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.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The Meaning of Life is Integration

Meaning arises through context and relationship.

The letter “O” doesn’t necessarily mean anything on its own, but when it is placed with three other letters to form the word LOVE meaning arises from the relationship between the letters.

If we disintegrate the word, it loses its meaning.

Thus integration is the path to meaning.

If we anthropomorphised the letters we would say they are cooperating to produce the meaning. So cooperation is the path to meaning.

We discover the meaning of data by integrating it into a coherent framework.

We integrate data through association. We make a distinction between same and different and assess the qualities of that which differs. We look for patterns in the data and seek to draw conclusions by looking for elements of sameness in the larger patterns. By seeing ways in which things are the same, we establish our categories.

The way that we associate data can be affected by the story by which we understand ourselves and guide our actions. We can, consciously or unconsciously be asking ourselves the question : “How does this data fit in to what I already 'know'?” or “How can this data be useful to me?” This tendency will interfere with our ability to associate the data, because we will tend to filter out details which would challenge our current theory or we will ignore what seems useless.

Nature’s thrust is toward the formation of living systems which function as integrated wholes. Her progress can be measured in terms of successful integration. Our body is a success because it has the capacity to operate as a successful harmonious system for as long as a hundred years. It is on this success that the formation of a larger whole, that of human society, rests.

Where there is a flaw in the integration of a natural system, conflict tends to manifest, and there is a fixation on that flaw. Sociality is the route to a larger whole for animal species. Competition for food and/or mating opportunities is generally the flaw, or impasse or “unfinished business”, in this process. Achieving the next stage of organisation means finding a way to integrate food sharing and mating into the cooperative functioning of the group, so that they cease to be a fixation which warps the healthy life of the group and leads to confllct.

The same principle can be applied to political theories and theories of human psychology. They are attempts to achieve a functioning whole conceptually that will improve the functioning of the individual and the social group. Once again, it is at the point of their flaws that fixation and conflict occurs.

You could say there is a survival of the fittest between theories, but the one which survives is not the one whose advocates fight the hardest (the social Darwinist model) but the one which is best adapted, the one which most accurately models reality. 

If we are fighting to have our theory acknowledged then it is not complete. The conflict that it engenders in others is the evidence that it is flawed, that there is something we have as yet failed to integrate into it. When we have arrived at something that goes past theory and can genuinely be called understanding we will know because it is the sea that refuses no river. We will know because it makes us whole - ending our internal conflicts - and spreads its calming and revivifying light throughout all humanity.

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