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 593 ***** out of ***** ratings on U.S. iBooks.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Trying Too Hard to Be Good Made Us Capable of Evil

Copyright: zatletic / 123RF Stock Photo

There are two forces at war in the human breast - love and idealism. 

Love is the impulse to accept. To accept ourself. To accept others. To accept the world as it is. To accept life as it is.

Idealism places limits on our acceptance of ourselves, others, the world and/or life as it is. Idealism is a bottle of poison labelled “medicine”. It advertises itself as the road to Heaven, but is really the road to Hell.

Love gives us the ability to cooperate. It gives us the ability to heal social divisions. It allows us to forgive. Love is the road to Heaven, but sometimes it is portrayed as the road to Hell. If we view life as a battle between Good and Evil, then to accept evil would appear to mean letting it win. But fighting against evil is what generates evil and always has. Accepting evil is what heals it. This is true of the evil within us as well as the evil of others. If we find a flaw in ourselves, it will grow only if we fixate on it, that is if we fight against it. And the evil behaviour of others is defensive. It arises from fear. The fear may not be of a threat to the body, but to the individual's ability to accept themselves. A guilty conscience is a major motivator of hostile behaviour. What all of us desire in our heart of hearts is to be accepted totally, so that we can give up our defensive battle. All of the atrocities which have been committed through the whole of human history have grown out of a lack of acceptance.

In the history of religion we can see the intertwining of these two elements. 

On the one hand, a religion is a repository of ideals, of high standards, and thus an eroder of self-acceptance. If we accept ourselves unconditionally, then we tend to be loving and cooperative naturally, because such behaviour makes us feel good. When we set high standards for ourselves and come to believe that anything less is unacceptable, we rob ourselves of the joy which would feed loving behaviour. If we beat ourselves up about being “sinful”, that will make us more “sinful”.

The unconditionally self-accepting individual - the individual who loves himself - has no resentment toward others. He has his bliss.

But those of us who strive to meet our ideals by an act of will unavoidably build up a well of resentment towards those how are not suffering as we are suffering.  We envy those who allow themselves to commit the “sins” we won’t allow ourselves to commit. And we resent the joyful existence of the innocent. The innocent also confront us with the falseness and misery of our own state.

From this arose the concept of the blood sacrifice. Unable to acknowledge that idealism itself was the source of all “sin”, religions often came to accept that resentment towards innocence needed some kind of outlet. Unable to see that what needed to die, if love were to rule the world, was idealism, they substituted the resented innocent. In some religions the sacrifice would be a lamb. In some a baby. In some a virgin woman.

Some interpretations of Christianity view Jesus the same way. They say that what frees the believer of sin is that the messenger was killed.

This isn’t just a religious thing. Men raping women or molesting children are acting on exactly the same impulse. Trying to find relief for the pain of their guilty conscience by inflicting suffering on those who are psychologically healthier and freer in spirit than themselves.

But the possibility of forgiveness and redemption and an admonition to love one another is also often present in religions. The problem is that this would always remain an unfulfilled potential until we came to realise that idealism and the idea that we need to strive through discipline to be better people, or that we need to insist that others do so, was the very thing which gave rise to our capacity for greed, murder, rape and domination.

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