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.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Hammer or The Key : Exposing the Dictatorship of the Imagined

Copyright: bee32 / 123RF Stock Photo

All of us maintain some kind of relationship between the world as we can perceive it with our five senses and that which we can only imagine.

The approach of science is to study what we can perceive with our senses and deduce from this evidence the laws of nature which cannot be directly perceived but only imagined.

Religious belief often takes the opposite approach. Through our culture we absorb beliefs about something we cannot directly perceive and then allow these beliefs to shape our interpretation of what we can perceive. 

I say “often” because religious belief doesn’t always work this way. Some observe the physical world of nature and from its orderly creativity deduce the existence of a deity of some kind. They may add to this perception moral principles derived from observation of nature or society - a direct assessment based on sensory evidence of what produces a harmonious and creative society and what does not.

The relationship between the real and the imagined is a key issue for all of us regardless of our belief system. Every day we make decisions which mediate between the world we can perceive with our senses and that which we can only imagine. If I’m saving up my money to go on a holiday, something imaginary is effecting how I manage my real physical environment. My holiday will be purely imaginary until it occurs.

The imagination is crucial to our existence as creative beings. A healthy relationship to it is one in which it grows like a plant from the soil of our sensory perception of reality. Let it be as wild and prolific in its growth as it wants to be as long as it doesn’t enter into a relationship of hostility to the world of perceptible reality which gave birth to it.

In the extreme, some insist on the submission of the human individual and society generally to the will of a deity who can only be perceived through the use of the imagination. Yet we can all be prone to just such a tendency - trying to make ourselves or others conform to an imaginary vision of how we think things should be.

Love is the alternative to such an approach. Love arises from the forging of connections within perceivable reality. It is improvisational in its nature. It is the creative process through which the potential intrinsic to any social situation realises itself. Thus it cannot be imposed on the basis of a belief in something imagined, but it can be the key to the realisation of that which has previously only been imagined.

When we attempt to make ourselves or others submit to something imagined - be it a deity or a personal ambition or a utopian concept of how the world should be - it is if we are taking a hammer to reality. We are engaging in an act of violence. This is idealism. It is the root of all evil.

What we need is not a hammer with which to shape reality but a key to unlock its intrinsic potential.

When we gather information and seek understanding we are using a key. When we open ourselves up to listen to those with whom we have been in conflict and engage in civilised debate with them we are using a key. When we accept ourselves as we are as a basis for healthy growth, rather than trying to force ourselves to conform to something we imagine, we are using a key. The path of the open mind is the path of the key. The path of  equal communication is the path of the key. Love is the path of the key.

It is easy to become confused by all of the conflict in the world. The tendency is to chose sides. By so doing we can find ourselves committing complimentary mistakes. We can end up becoming more like that against which we fight.

A wiser approach is not to look for right or wrong sides in a conflict but to look for creative or destructive strategies. On either side of any conflict we might find those who use the hammer and those who use the key. If we seek the people of the key and shun the people of the hammer, regardless of their allegiance, then we will be moving towards real solutions to the problems we face.

Copyright: anyka / 123RF Stock Photo


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