|Glossy insert used to promote A Species in Denial in Australian newspapers|
The aim of this book is to set you free. But free from what? Free from neurosis. Free from the feeling that you have to obey authority. Free from emotional intimidation. Free from addiction. Free from inhibition.
The key to happiness, mental health and being the most that we can be is absolute and unconditional self-acceptance. The paradox is that many of our problems are caused by trying to improve ourselves, censor our thinking, make up for past misdeeds and struggling with our negative feelings whether of depression or aggression.
But if we consider ourselves in our entirety in this very moment, we know these things :
1. Anything we have done is in the past and cannot be changed, thus it is pointless to do anything else but accept it. No regrets or guilt.
2. While our actions can harm others, our thoughts and emotions, in and of themselves, never can. So we should accept them and allow them to be and go where they will. While emotions sometimes drive actions, those who completely accept their emotions and allow themselves to feel them fully, have more choice over how they act in the light of them.
Self-criticism never made anyone a better person. Anyone who does a “good deed” under pressure from their conscience or to gain the approval of others takes out the frustration involved in some other way. The basis for loving behaviour towards others is the ability to love ourselves. And loving ourselves unconditionally, means loving ourselves exactly as we are at this moment.
This might seem to be complacency, but in fact the natural activity of the individual is healthy growth, and what holds us back from it is fighting with those things we can’t change and the free thought and emotional experience which is the very substance of that growth.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Friday, 23 August 2013
We may experience ourselves as individuals with free will struggling against impulses which we feel it would not be right to act upon, but the impulses come from the system and so do the ideas, factual information and beliefs, which cause us to exercise restraint. What is happening if we experience such an internal struggle is that tides which are larger than us are clashing in us. We are the location where this is happening, but we have no control over the process.
In the broad sense of the term the idea that there is such a thing as good and evil is a dualistic concept - that is one which divides phenomena into two opposing forces.
But the distinction between good and evil would only be useful if we had free will and could thus chose good behaviour and avoid evil behaviour. Since we don't have free will, we can't. All of our behaviour, whether constructive or destructive is a product of the wider system of which we are a part and over which we have no control.
From this systems view of humanity, it is precisely the idea that there is such a thing as good and evil which has acted like a virus to generate all of the behaviour we identify as evil.
And, since, all systems try to maintain equilibrium we can see that it is actually the fight against those forms of behaviour we identify as evil which generates that behaviour. If we try to push the system one way it will inevitably push back the other way. It is only acceptance which can bring harmony to the system.
This concept of the idea of good and evil as a virus contaminating the human system is, of course, expressed metaphorically in the story of Adam and Eve being cursed by eating from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. The only thing is that it wasn't knowledge but a delusional belief.