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Articles & Ideas


Learning, intelligence and "emotional static"

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

I thought Dan Weinstein was the brightest guy on the globe.

I mean I thought he had more brain cells than everyone else on the planet combined. Dan and I became good friends as Stanford freshman. He was a very pleasant fellow--hard to rattle, always had a smile--and he got straight A's without even trying. Furthermore, he was taking 21 units a quarter instead of the standard 15. He took the extra units just for the "fun" of it--sigh! I spent long hours "hitting the books" for my 15 units and rarely had time for anything else while Dan, on the other hand, loved to play basketball, shoot the breeze with his classmates, take part in various school activities, etc.

And his A's just kept coming. Easily. Consistently. No strain. I'll say it again, I thought Dan Weinstein was the brightest guy on the globe.

In those days it seemed like he had a better brain than me. His was a Cadillac while mine was a Chevrolet. Nowadays, however, I question that. I know there are a lot of tests out there that "prove" that some people are more intelligent than others. They've been painstakingly put together and designed to filter out all extraneous influences and arrive at a "score" that evaluates one's intelligence. Since I know little or nothing about these intelligence tests, I choose to honor their findings and the people who put them together.

At the same time, however, I wish to introduce another angle--another way of looking at "differences in intelligence" that, to me, has more useful applications than the testing route. My thought here is that everyone is a Dan Weinstein. Right or wrong, that's the assumption I make. For me, however, it's not just an assumption. I truly believe it. We are all splendidly brilliant and have enormous intellectual potential.

Even if that assumption is wrong, by the way, it has great value as a rapport generator. If I genuinely think you are brilliant, chances are you're going to like me a lot. Furthermore, it is a well known fact that a teacher's opinion of a student's intelligence has a great deal to do with their scholastic performance. Accordingly, if I think you are brilliant that attitude alone is likely to improve your intellectual ability.

So if everyone is brilliant and capable of straight A's then what causes the apparent differences in intellectual performance? I suggest a major contributor here is what I call "emotional static." The student who is belittled at home and told that s/he is dense and stupid carries emotional static into the classroom. When s/he doesn't know the answer to a question and/or is jeered at by classmates, his/her "stupidity" is reinforced. When the teacher relegates the student to the remedial group, even more reinforcement takes place.

Such a student develops what amounts to "learning phobias" that create emotional static whenever they are asked to take a test or do any other form of intellectual performance. It's hard to think clearly and fluidly when your psyche is busy with social fears and self denigrating thoughts. To get a sense of this, try to take a test while a bee is buzzing up your nose. I wonder how well you would score.

Some people have "emotional bees up their noses" when it comes to learning and just simply cannot think clearly when confronted with an intellectual challenge. This has nothing to do with their innate intelligence, of course, although it appears that way to an outside observer.

It seems to me that just about everyone has some degree of emotional static in their learning process. For some it is quite severe while, for others, it is relatively mild. Most of us experience "blocks" in certain subjects and have difficulty thinking clearly when under stress. I suggest that a major contributor to the "degree of one's intelligence" is how much emotional static they are dealing with. The more emotional static involved, the more difficulty one has in intellectual performance and the "dumber" they appear.

This is common sense, of course and I don't think anyone will disagree with it. The idea won't win the Nobel Prize for uniqueness but it may win the hearts of humanity for its practical application. Intelligence tests are just tests. They simply provide a measure--a score--but they do nothing to improve one's apparent intelligence.

The emotional static approach, by contrast, contains the seeds for major improvement. Emotional static is easily addressable by EFT. We can dig out the traumas, fears, guilts, angers, etc. that cause these learning blocks and get rid of them. The result is clearer thinking and easier learning. This is obvious and, for many cases, it ought to be easy. In relatively short order, EFT can dramatically enhance intellectual performance simply by eliminating the emotional lids on our intellectual potential. This is simple, I know, but it is astoundingly profound. Apply EFT to every student that has any degree of emotional static about learning--which is most of them--and watch scholastic performance soar.

To round out this discussion, I include below two recent messages I received on this subject. My comments are included within them.

Hugs, Gary

P.S. I still think Dan Weinstein is brilliant--just like you and me. Maybe Dan does have a "better brain" than others but I also think he had little or no "emotional static" as a student at Stanford. I wonder how well his better brain would have worked if he had to deal with those emotional bees.


I felt I could also share an experience of EFT with you at this time. I was helping my daughter with her Math homework. It was something which she was having difficulty understanding and she was close to tears, saying things like "I'm useless at this, I will never understand it, etc.".

GC RESPONSE: To me, this statement is evidence of emotional static. There's a block in there somewhere. It is a replay of something she "learned" about her intellectually ability in the past. To use a term from the Palace of Possibilities, it is part of the writing on her walls.

FRANK CONTINUES: I was also getting a bit frustrated, as I felt that I had explained it in every way I could and that she should be getting it. Finally the light bulb went off in my head and I told her to tap on "Even though I can't understand this stuff...".

Two rounds of tapping, with me tapping along with her, and we were both able to continue. She immediately grasped the concept that we'd been struggling with for 20 minutes or so, and completed her homework easily. And what's most wonderful about this is that she has reversed her feelings [emotional static] about her inadequacy with math and we both know how to deal with any blocks that may come up in any subject. As a tool for parents to help their children (and themselves) EFT has certainly proved itself again.

GC RESPONSE: Yes. Yes. Yes. It is indeed a tool for parents to help their children and themselves. But that's just the beginning. It is also a major, major, major tool for use in our school system as well as for businesses that need to train employees. It has uses throughout every aspect of our society.


Frank Gerryts


Hi Gary,

You may remember speaking with me several weeks ago about my wife's "fear of the future." We've used your suggestion to be more specific, and she has made wonderful progress.

GC RESPONSE: One of the common errors made by newcomers to EFT is that they address problems too globally. While it sometimes works to say "Even though I fear the future.....," it is usually more efficient to be specific and say, "Even though I fear tomorrow's school board meeting...." That's what Pete meant when I said I suggested being more specific with his wife's challenge.

PETE CONTINUES: My question has to do with learning problems. I am in medical school, and bought the EFT course to help me in that area. All of my life, I have been a straight A student. In my undergrad program, I graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA, and was #1 in my class. However, something happened when I started med school - some kind of major psychological reversal, I assume. It seems that no matter how much effort I put in, it is everything I can do just to pass, much less get good grades. It is so weird for me - I've never experienced anything like this before.

GC RESPONSE: To me, emotional static is in the way. I don't know precisely what's going on, of course, but I would start looking for specific past events that are being replayed now and showing up as emotional static. There may be a challenge with achieving this high level of performance. Perhaps, at some level, you believe you don't deserve it. Maybe it's out of your comfort zone. Maybe you think others will resent you. Who knows? Be a detective. Brainstorm with others.

PETE CONTINUES: I want to know if you have any suggestions for me. I do have some test anxiety, but it's not that bad, and I'm sure I can knock it out easily with a tapping or two. My problem seems to be with retaining, recalling and using the information.

GC RESPONSE: Perhaps you will make more headway if you redefine the problem from "My problem seems to be retaining, recalling and using the information" to "I have developed emotional static that is fogging up my thinking."

PETE CONTINUES: I've seen a neurologist, and there is nothing medically wrong with me. As far as EFT, I didn't get the course until the end of the semester, and classes don't resume until mid-August, so I don't really have any way to test its effect until then. What I have been doing, is using the opening statement, "Even though I want to be a failure..." several times per day to try to correct the PR. Other than that, I'm not sure what else to do.

GC RESPONSE: As stated before, go back to past emotional events that may be contributors to your emotional static. Also, just like with your wife, you might want to be more specific. "Even though I want to be a failure...." sounds too global to me. In addition to going back to specific past events, try things like "Even though I have a block in getting this chemistry concept...."

PETE CONTINUES: Thanks so much for your help.

Pete Osterbauer


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