Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter (View On-Line)

  • Article Our Mission at the Van Tharp Institute: Part III of Trading through a Financial Metaphor
  • Trading Education Gain Peak Performance in Your Trading
  • Trading Tip Market Responds at a Turning Point—Now What?
  • Workshops Two Events Added in July
  • Mailbag Market Update Alert from Van Tharp


Our Mission at the Van Tharp Institute: Part III of Trading through a Financial Metaphor

In the last two weeks, I have written about the mission of my company: transformation through a financial metaphor.  The Van Tharp Institute actually offers three levels of transformation with the first two being transformation of the trading game and transformation of Self.  Now we come to the final level of transformation: Changing Your Level of Consciousness. This kind of transformation is initiated during the Oneness Awakening Course, the Advanced Peak Performance 202 Workshop, and Peak Performance 203: The Happiness Workshop.  Transformation at this level allows people to move toward a level of consciousness in which happiness and abundance are the norm.
I think this third level happens in two stages, so I broke it down into two sub-levels: 

  1. Raising one’s consciousness dramatically, which I have seen already in some of my Super Traders.
  2. Actual awakening, which I have yet to see.

Level IIIA: Raising Your Consciousness

The late David Hawkins was one of the most successful psychiatrists in the world. He had a very high level of consciousness and performed miracle cures on his patients. He eventually closed his practice to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology, his thesis on measuring the levels of human consciousness. Much of his thesis was then turned into a popular book entitled Power vs. Force.

In Power vs. Force, Hawkins describes human consciousness using a log scale from 1 to 1,000, with 1,000 being the highest level of consciousness achievable by a human being. Hawkins postulated that only a few (e.g., Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc.) ever achieved the 1,000 level. He goes on to say that, for much of the past 5,000 years, human consciousness as a whole has been just below 200-the level that separates the positive from the negative. According to Hawkins, Gandhi 2 had a consciousness of 700 and was able to defeat the British Army, whose collective consciousness was 175.

That ’s the power of the log scale difference between power (high consciousness) and force.

Raising your level of consciousness doesn ’t just help Gandhi, it can help you as a trader. If you are trading at a low level of consciousness, you are probably trading out of fear, greed, or desperation.

Our goal at the Van Tharp Institute is to help traders take large leaps forward in consciousness.  Think about the impact of getting rid of around 5,000 non-useful beliefs in a year.  That probably would raise your consciousness several hundred points. 

A few of my Super Traders have reached such levels. Without going into too much detail, I’d like to share some of their experiences.

Super Trader Transformations

I had one Super Trader—through an exercise in one of our workshops—reach a deep, profound state of mind.  When she told me about it, I suggested that she trade through that state.  Just by trading in that state, she was able to make 134R in the month of November 2010.  During that month, she made money on 86% of her trades and she made no mistakes.

Another Super Trader entered the program with a Ph.D. in engineering.  He completed the psychological portion of the program in less than a year and through his personal evolution his concepts of trading became simpler.  Furthermore, his purpose totally changed from making money as a full time trader to spiritual evolution with trading success being a metric for his spiritual advancement.

One of our Super Traders also became one of the first Oneness trainers and he was a co-trainer for the first Trading in the Now Workshop during the Super Trader Summit last year.  After becoming a trainer, he went from 70% efficiency in his trading to better than 95% efficiency.  He fulfilled his longtime desire to quit his job and trade full time. 

There are a number of others I could talk about, but I just selected these three as examples.

Level IIIB: Awakening

I once had dreams of forming a company with a few other like-minded people to change the world; however, those dreams faded quickly.  At some point, I realized that nothing would change until I changed; this is the basic idea of performing well in the matrix and going beyond it.

In the process of my personal transformations over much of my adult life, I have pursued many directions and methods of personal development.  Most recently, I became a Oneness Blessing giver and Oneness trainer a few years ago.  Nothing I’ve done in my 30 years of personal transformation has been as powerful as my experiences with the Oneness Process over the last few years. Now, most of my staff members are blessing givers and while all this has been happening, the business has grown in success

I originally had no intention of making Oneness part of the VTI curriculum.  All this seemed very “far out” to me when I started, but for some reason I was drawn to it.  I’m constantly looking for what works and helps people.  And as I’ve watched the transformations that have occurred as a result of the process, I’ve been amazed. The few articles that I have written on the topic were among our best received articles ever.   In addition, most of our Oneness Awakening workshops have sold out and some traders are making it the first VTI workshop they have ever attended.   Moreover, people are reporting significant changes through the blessing and that’s why I offer it for those who are interested.

The final level of transformation is simply a state that I aspire to attain: awakening.  In this state, the following are true:

  • Thoughts occur but you do not identify with the thoughts at all.
  • Seeing and listening occur but there is no one there as the seer or the listener.
  • Doing occurs but it is automatic, there is no doer.
  • The body is there but you realize that it is not you. You are not your body.
  • The mind is there but you realize that it is not you.  You are not your mind.
  • Everything happens automatically.
  • You understand that you have (or had) many personalities (what Libby Adams calls little i’s) but none of them are you.  In fact, you now understand that there is no person there at all.
  • You are existence, consciousness, bliss.
  • The whole world is your family.
  • And when I say “you” in this statements, it is misleading because that is just who you formerly thought you were.  You no longer exist because you are one with everything.

If you want a perfect example of how an awakened being lives, read Byron Katie’s A Thousand Names for Joy

I am now a Oneness trainer and we offer the Oneness Awakening Course through VTI.  Through it people become Oneness Blessing givers—meaning they are channels for the energy (from the divine), which accelerates transformation.  Right now I know of about 20 people who have permanently awakened through this process, although I am sure there are many more.  I feel like I’ve seen glimpses of awakening in myself as well.   My internal guidance, which has become very strong and personal, assures me that I will be awakened through this process.

What’s important about this level of transformation is that anyone who achieves this (and it’s not so much an achievement as a realization) will be able to trade effortlessly and make money easily.  However, by then, money will no longer have any importance.

My next book will be about trader transformations.  The book will cover the three levels of transformation and include stories from five or six different people who have accomplished a major transformation on each level.  We are accepting submissions now, and we’ll be paying $250 for any chapter that we publish in the book.  If you think you’ve made a major Level III transformation, as described in this article and would like to write a chapter-length article (3000-6000 words), we would love to see it. Submit articles in MS Word to [email protected].

About the Author: Trading coach, and author, Dr. Van K. Tharp is widely recognized for his best-selling books and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program—a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp at  

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drTrading Tip

Market Responds at a Turning Point—Now What?

Last week, we looked at some important oversold sentiment indications and support levels that gave us a high probability for a market turn to the upside. As an overview, sentiment analysis gives us strong clues about when the psychology (and actions) of market participants have swung too far to one side. When this happens, a move away from the extreme sentiment is likely to occur.

Think of this as a rebalancing—when too many people get on one side of a small boat, there has to some move back from the edge or the boat will tip. Last week, too many people were at the bearish extreme. However, a word of warning on sentiment analysis: it can be a fairly blunt instrument. Like Lord Keynes said, the markets can stay irrational longer than we can stay solvent. So we need to add other tools to our analysis. Last week, we looked at some key support areas that could provide turning point levels.

Here’s the chart from last week.

chart 1

The day after last week’s article was published, the market had a strong down day right to the first area defined—the 2010 close. It was accompanied by the rising 200-day simple moving average providing a confluence of support levels. The 2010 close is an important psychological level because above that level the market is in positive territory for the year; conversely, below that level, the market is in the red. With that background let’s see what happened when those levels were tested.

chart 2

So Where Can We Go from Here?

Now that we’ve had a big pop-up as suggested by our combination of sentiment and technical analysis, what can we expect? A combination of tools should give us a useful roadmap. Let’s look at Fibonacci retracement lines to find a couple likely targets.

chart 3

Some initial targets are the 1300 – 1301.50 zone for a 38.2% retracement and the psychological whole number barrier of 1300. An expected retracement move would be to the 1314 for a 50% retracement of the down move from the end of April to last Thursday.

Let’s look at a couple of resistance areas that represent “market memory” on the chart.

chart 4

The first main resistance level is the 1345 area when the cash S&P 500 market tested four times on 2/18, 5/19, 5/31 and 6/1. If that doesn’t hold, the market could revisit the yearly highs at 1370.

Bear in mind that external news always trumps any analysis (at least temporarily). So a deterioration of the Greek debt crisis or other outside influence could change this whole picture in a hurry.

Great Trading,
D. R.

About the Author: A passion for the systematic approach to the markets and lifelong love of teaching and learning have propelled D.R. Barton, Jr. to the top of the investment and trading arena. He is a regularly featured guest on both Report on Business TV, and WTOP News Radio in Washington, D.C., and has been a guest on Bloomberg Radio. His articles have appeared on and Financial Advisor magazine. You may contact D.R. at "drbarton" at "".


Disclaimer »


Two Events Added in July

July 23 $495

Tharp Think

This one-day workshop is perfect for those who would like to get a sample of the kind of quality material Van teaches.
Even at this low price, it is taught exclusively by Van!

Cary, NC
July 30-31 $195

Oneness Awakening

This is the transformation workshop Van talks about in his article above. These usually sell out to capacity. Register early to ensure your seat.

Cary, NC
Last chance to register for the Blueprint Workshop in Germany. It starts next week!

Blueprint for Trading Success

Register Now


Peak Performance 101

Berlin, Germany

Click here to see our full workshop schedule with details

Click here to see locations, logistics, etc.


Market Update Alert

Even though Dr. Tharp is traveling and speaking in Europe this month, he is still monitoring the markets. 

He wants to let his readers know that a significant market type shift happened in the last week: the market type moved from Neutral Normal to Bear Normal. 

Bear Normal is a relatively rare market type in historical terms when compared against Bear Volatile.  Dr. Tharp’s volatility measure continues to creep up and it’s now midrange in the normal area. If we were to see continued downward movement combined with more volatility, there's a good chance that the market could turn to Bear Volatile.  Bear Volatile markets can be very costly for investors who stay in their positions and don’t move to the sidelines. 

If you have long term positions, reassess and confirm your stop orders.  Shorter term traders might ready their trading systems that go short and take advantage of the potential increase in volatility. 

We’ll have a full market type report in two weeks in our regular monthly market update on July 6.

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June 22, 2011 - Issue 531

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