This book is a Get Out of Jail Free card and a passport back into the playground.

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.

How to Be Free is available as a free ebook from Smashwords, iBooks in some countries, Kobo and Barnes & Noble

It is also available in paperback from Lulu or Amazon for $10 US, plus postage.

The ebook version currently has received 725 ***** out of ***** ratings on U.S. iBooks.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

A Public Service Announcement to the Dark Side

If you could beam a message telepathically into the minds of everyone on earth who was contemplating a destructive act, what would you say?

Here is what I would say :

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to harm someone - wanting to kill them, rape them, torture them… Fantasise about it as much as you like. But if you do it, you will lose more than you gain. No matter how much momentary satisfaction it gives you, that satisfaction will be fleeting and will be outweighed by the negative effects on your life of the consequences, even if you don’t get caught and punished.”

Why would I take this particular approach?

Our feelings, thoughts and desires arise from the interaction between our current psychological structure and our environment. We chose neither. It is no good chastising someone for something over which they have no control. The sensible thing is to help them to understand what they can do about it.

Hostile feelings are essentially defensive. They arise from deep-seated feelings of insecurity. A hostile individual is like a dog who has experienced many beatings. He doesn’t feel safe, so his impulse is to bite first. Now if we show acceptance of his situation and give him plenty of room to run around and bark and growl, he may gradually realise that we don’t mean to kick him. But if we back him into a corner, he may be unable to do anything but bite us. This is why expressing acceptance of the hostile feelings makes us less likely to be a victim of them.

In my message, I wouldn’t mention morality. I wouldn’t try to appeal to their better nature. I wouldn’t ask them to have compassion for their prospective victim. If any of these arguments would work, they would have worked already. Everybody has heard them before. And each of them is an implied criticism, an expression of an implied lack of acceptance. This kind of approach tends to back the savage dog further into the corner.

Throughout the history of the human race we have had many organised systems for preaching morality. We’ve had the Ten Commandments for thousands of years, but they don’t seem to have done anything to curb our propensity for murder, theft or lying. Perhaps we need to try a new approach. Perhaps we need to begin preaching unconditional self-acceptance and enlightened self-interest.

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