Tag Archives: Creavitity

Outcroppings Of Creativity

To a certain extent we do carry the knowledge of our forefathers within our cells and chromosomes, which present a pattern that is not rigid but flexible–one that in codified fashion endows us with the subjective living experience of those who, in our terms, have gone before. Some very old cultures have been aware of this. While being independent, individual members also identified with their ancestors to some extent, accepting them as portions of their selfhoods. This does not mean that the individual self was less, but was more aware of its own reality. A completely different kind of focus was presented, in which the ancestors were understood to contribute to the “new” experience of the living; one in which the physically focused consciousness clearly saw itself as perceiving the world for itself, but also for all of those who had gone before– while realizing that in those terms he or she would contribute as well as the generation past.

The animals were also accepted in the natural philosophy of selfhood as the individual plainly saw the living quality of consciousness. The characteristics of the animals were understood to continue “life,” adding their qualities to the experience of the self in a new way.

The human body would be used in earth’s great husbandry as, from it, dying and decaying new forms would arise. This was a give-and-take in which for instance, a jungle neighborhood was truly home, and all was a portion of the self psychically, spiritually, and physically.

Let those who will, laugh at tales of spirits turning into the trees–a simplistic theory, certainly, yet a symbolic statement in such societies: The dead were buried at home in the same close territory, to form in later times the very composition of the ground upon which religions grew. Again, our limited concepts of selfhood make what I am saying difficult for us to perceive.

I am not saying, that the living consciousness of each individual returned to the earth literally, but that the physical material permeated and tamped with that consciousness did, and does. Even the cells retain knowledge of all of their affiliations. In physical terms the consciousness that we understand is based upon this.

 

Selfhood is poorer when it does not at least intuitively understand this heritage.

The World As A Cohesive Whole

Before we continue, I would like to remind the blog’s readers that in the middle of these or any of the problems we have been discussing, there may be a period of depression, of the feeling that one’s own problem has no solution after all.

Whenever this occurs, the steps I have given before in previous blogs should be followed. Briefly, immediately refuse to worry about the future or the past. Tell yourself you can worry another time if you want to — but for the moment you will not be concerned about the past of the future.

Remind yourself that for all you might have read, of heard, or deduced earlier, it is certainly not inevitable that all unfortunate situations take the darkest of times, and that indeed the opposite is true; for if such were the case, the world and all of life would have literally been destroyed through disasters and calamities.

Concentrate upon the present moment — but more, concentrate upon the most pleasant aspects of the present moment. If that moment has distracting, unfavorable aspects, then resolutely bring into your mind whatever images delight or please you at the moment. These may be very simple. Remember the smell of lilacs, for example, or try to hear the crisp crunch of snow, or try to visualize an ocean or lake. All of these procedures will serve to quiet your mind and body, and build up your own reserves.

 

This is an excellent policy to follow, because we can start it wherever we are. It will help alleviate fears and doubts at least momentarily, so that then we can pursue the entire issue later, with more assurance.

Conflicting beliefs about the nature of reality can bring about dilemmas in almost any form, for the individual will always try to make sense out of his or her surroundings, and try to at least see the world as a cohesive whole.

Some of the most complicated ways of trying to put conflicting beliefs  together are often mental or emotional ones. The more incohesive the individual feels the world to be, the greater his or her efforts will be expended in an attempt to put the world back together.

Some people possess beliefs that are so in opposition to each other that they are forced into some of the most complicated mental or emotional footwork. Their problem will seem so gigantic that only some interference from an outside source will be sufficient to give the individual a sense of wholeness and sanity. A person may become so frightened of using his or her own power of choice or action that the construction of an artificial super being is created — a seemingly sublime personage who gives orders to the individual involved.

Again, let us use a hypothetical case — this time of a man named Stephen.

Stephen may be so terrified of making choices, so indecisive, that he constructs an imaginary super being who orders him to do thus and so. If a decision comes up on a job, for example, then the super being will order Stephen to take one course or another. Stephen has given up accepting responsibility for his actions. This imaginary personage may say it is God, or a famous hero from the present or the past, or Jesus Christ, or Mohammed, and the personality involved will be quite certain that such is the case.

Stephen, for example, many hear the hallucinated voice of the god or hero. The voice may be so frequent that it becomes highly distracting, or it may only appear in times of undue stress.

Again, we are starting out with a fairly simple picture. Our friend might also be convinced that he himself is evil, unworthy, or even depraved, the lowest of men or women. In such circumstances an individual might then construct an artificial devil or demon who annoys him constantly, and even orders acts of a highly destructive nature.

The individual, like Stephen, has also given up the responsibility for his own choices, and feels that he or she cannot be held responsible for any destructive acts that might be committed.

Any of the two kinds of personalities mentioned might also begin to feel persecuted, chased, or harassed by some outside agency. Among the agencies chosen, of course, are the FBI, the CIA, the Russian Secret Police, The Ku Klux Klan, or any controversial group given to acts of violence for whatever purposes.

Sometimes such episodes last for long periods of time, but they can also appear for just several days, clear up spontaneously, and return again perhaps years later.

Some people may seem completely normal in behavior unless certain subjects are brought up in the course of a conversation, or unless some stimulus in the environment arouses them.

For instance, the individual might be talking along normally enough when he or she hears the sirens of a police car in the distance. Instantly the person might leap up, convinced that that was evidence of the pursuit of the FBI or other agency.

The car with siren might disappear, yet the alarmed person’s attitude and actions may very well instantly cause his or her companion to realize that something was clearly amiss. The disturbed person may immediately begin a long tirade, describing previous episodes in which he or she was hunted from city to city. There may be further complications, in which the person insists that phones were bugged, letters opened, and privacy was constantly invaded.

 

This might be the very first sign to the person’s companion that anything was wrong at all. In most such instances the tirade will continue for some time, while in other far lesser episodes it might instead simply leap to disordered, confused thoughts about being so pursued. Or instead, the individual might embark upon a rather heated discussion of police forces in general.

In actuality, people in those circumstances are often so frightened of the use of power that the idea of being under constant surveillance actually lends them a sense of protection.

The point is, that in such circumstances the person will try to use evidence from the outside world to prove that he is indeed being pursued.

In the same fashion, the person who hallucinates the voice of God or a demon actually does so to preserve the idea of sanity in his or her own mind. As long as he or she believes that a god or demon is involved, then the person can consider the entire affair most extraordinary, decidedly apart from usual experience, but valid.

If the therapist tries to convince such a person that the hallucinated personage does not exist, then this threatens the person’s concepts of personal sanity.

It is , then, that any therapist convinces the client that while the super being is a self-construction, and/or that the voices are hallucinations — this does not mean that the client is insane.

An effort should be made to help the client understand that errors of thought and belief are responsible for the condition — and that the removal of those erroneous beliefs can relieve the situation. The therapist should make it clear that he or she understands that the client is not lying, in ordinary terms, when he reports hearing voices from the devil.

 

According to the particular case in point, the therapist should then try to point out the errors of thought and belief involved, and also to explain their more or less habitual cast.

First, the ideas must be disentangled, and then the habitual behavior will begin to disintegrate. The therapist should also assure the client that on many subjects and topics of thought and conversation, the client operates quite well. The subject itself is so cast the, of course, an entire book could easily be devoted to it, so it is impossible to cover all the issues that may be involved with such cases here.

Some of the errors concern the misinterpretation of physical events. The individual — convinced he or she is being pursued by some secret organization — again, may hear the sirens on a very real police car. The error is the assumption that the vehicle is pursuing the individual rather than some other party. The therapist can help the client learn to question his or her interpretation of such events.

All such cases can have their own peculiar complications. In the case of secondary personalities, the main operating portion who usually directs activity might be male, displaying all of the usual male characteristics. The second personality may seemingly be female, however, even speaking in a feminine-like voice. Or the opposite might be the case.

It is also possible for the individual to dress in male attire, while the secondary personality wears feminine clothes — or vice-versa.

What we are involved in mainly, however, are the characteristic periods of seeming amnesia, occurring usually involuntarily, often without any transition except perhaps for a headache.

In this category, I am not referring to individuals like “Psychic Mediums,” who speak for another personality with a sense of ease and tranquillity, and whose resulting information is excellent knowledge — the obvious products of uncommon common sense that proves to be helpful to the individual and others.

Behind all of those instances we have been discussing, however, there is again the need for value fulfillment, that has been blocked largely by conflicting or even opposing beliefs.

Regardless of how unbelievable it might seem to some blog readers, it is true that even the most destructive events are based upon misinterpretations of reality, opposing beliefs, and the inability to receive or express love. In fact, that kind of rage is the mark of a perfectionist caught in what seems to be the grasp of a world not only imperfect, but evil.

This brings us to another most dangerous belief — that the end justifies the means.

The greatest majority of destructive acts are committed in line with that belief. It leads to a disciplined over-rigidity that gradually cuts down the range of human expression.

We should be able to see, in fact, that the problems we have been discussing begin by limiting the field of available choices, and thus curtailing the range of expression. The individual will try to express himself or herself to the best degree possible, and so each individual then begins a concentrated effort to seek out those avenues of expression still open. All of the constructive beliefs mentioned throughout this blog should be applied to all of the instances. The individual must feel safe and protected enough to seek its own development and aid in the fulfillment of others.

One of the most rare and extraordinary developments that can occur in schizophrenic behavior is the construction of a seeming super-being of remarkable power — one who is able to convince other people of his or her divinity.

Most such instances historically have involved males, who claim to have the powers of clairvoyance, prophecy, and omnipotence. Obviously, then, the affected individual was thought to be speaking for God when he gave orders or directions. We are dealing with “god-making,” or “religion-making” — whichever you prefer.

In almost all such instances, discipline is taught to believers through the inducement of fear. Put very loosely, the dogma says that we must love God or he or she will destroy us. The most unbelievable aspects of such dogmas should, it seems, make them very easy to see through. In many cases, however, the more preposterous the legends or dogmas, the more acceptable they become. In some strange fashion followers believe such stories to be true because they are not true. The interceptions of almost all religions have been involved one way or another with these schizophrenic episodes.

 

The person so involved must be extremely disturbed to begin with: up in arms against social, national, or religious issues, and therefore able to serve as a focus point for countless other individuals affected in the same manner.

In a fashion. Adolf Hitler fell into such a classification. Although he lacked that characteristic mark of speaking for a super-being, this was because he frequently regarded himself as the super-being. The trouble is that while such religions can also inspire people to acts of great sympathy, heroism and understanding, their existence rests upon drastic misreadings of the nature or reality.

If the major religions have been touched, then there have also been numberless smaller cults and sects throughout history into the present that bear that same stamp of great psychological power and energy, coupled with an inborn leaning toward self destruction and vengeance.

To varying degrees, other less striking individual cases can bear the same sense of magic and mystery.

There is certainly no need to romanticize schizophrenic behavior, for its romantic-like elements have long been coupled in the public mind in an unfortunate manner, seeming to place the madman and the genius in some kind of indefinable relationship. Such beliefs are apparent in statements such as: “Madness is the other end of sanity,” or “All genius is touched with madness.”

Beneath these ideas is the fear of the mind itself, the belief that its abilities are fine and dependable up to a point — but if it goes too far then it is in trouble.

What does it mean to go too far in that connotation? Usually it means that knowledge itself is somehow dangerous.

In some cases, however, the constructed super-being can deliver astute comments on national, social, or religious conditions.

Most such personages, however, begin to prophesy the end of the world, from which the chosen people — whoever they may be — will be saved. More than a few have rendered specific dates for this worldly foreclosure — dates which have come and gone. Many people still continue to follow the very same dogmas that seemed to have proven themselves wrong; the personage comes up with a newer excuse, or a newer date, and things go on as before.

Again,however, even in far simpler cases, the constructive personage will often make predictions that, incidentally, do not predict — and almost always give orders and directives that are to be followed without question.

There are many other deep psychological connections beneath schizophrenic behavior, but since my blogs are also devoted to other subjects, we will go on to other ways in which conflicting beliefs bring about mental or physical dilemmas.

 

 

 

Many Cancer Patients Have Martyrlike Characteristic

Many cancer patients have martyr-like characteristics, often putting up with undesirable situations or conditions for years.

They feel powerless, unable to change, yet unwilling to stay in the same position. The most important point is to arouse such a person’s belief in his or her strength and power. In many instances these persons symbolically shrug their shoulders, saying. “What will happen, will happen,” but they do not physically struggle against their situation.

It is also vital that these patients are not overly medicated, for oftentimes the side effects of some cancer-eradicating drugs are dangerous in themselves. There has been some success with people who imagine that the cancer is instead some hated enemy or monster or foe, which is then banished through mental mock battles over a period of time. While the technique does have its advantages, it also pits one portion of the self against the other. It is much better to imagine, say, the cancer cells being neutralized by some imaginary wand.

Doctors might suggest that a patient relax and then ask himself or herself what kind of inner fantasy would best service the healing process. Instant images may come to mind at once, but if success is not achieved immediately, have the patient try again, for in almost all cases some inner pictures will be perceived.

Behind the entire problem, however, is the fear of using one’s full power or energy. Cancer patients most usually feel an inner impatience as they sense their own need for future expansion and development, only to feel it thwarted.

The fear that blocks that energy can indeed be dissipated if new beliefs are inserted for old ones — so again we return to those emotional attitudes and ideas that automatically promote health and healing. Each individual is a good person, an individualized portion of universal energy itself. Each person is meant to express his or her own characteristics and abilities. Life means energy, power, and expression.

Those beliefs, if taught early enough, would form the most effective system of preventive medicine ever known.

Again, we cannot generalize overmuch, but many persons know quite well that they are not sure whether they want to live or die. The overabundance of cancer cells represent nevertheless the need for expression and expansion — the only arena left open — or so it would seem.

Such a person must also contend with society’s unfortunate ideas about the disease in general, so that many cancer patients end up isolated or alone. As in almost all cases of disease, however, if it were possible to have a kind of “thought transplant” operation, the disease would quickly vanish.

Even in the most dire of instances, some patients suddenly fall in love, or something in their home environment changes, and the person also seems to change overnight — while again the disease is gone.

Healing can involve help on many levels, of course. The world of normal communication I call Frame-Mind 1, while Frame-Mind 2 represents that inner world, in which indeed all time is simultaneous, and actions that might take years in normal time can happen in the blinking of an eyelid in Frame-Mind 2.

Briefly, Frame-Mind 1 deals with all the events of which we are normally conscious.

Frame-Mind 2 involves all of those spontaneous processes that go on beneath our conscious attention. When we are young our beliefs are quite clear — that is, our conscious and unconscious leanings and expectations are harmonious. As we grow older, however, and begin to accumulate negative beliefs, then our conscious and unconscious beliefs may be quite different.

Consciously we might want to express certain abilities, while unconsciously we are afraid of doing so. The unconscious beliefs are not really unconscious, however. We are simply not as aware of them as we are of normally conscious ones. Negative beliefs can block the passageways between Frame-Mind 1 and Frame-Mind 2. It is an excellent idea for those in any kind of difficulty to do the following simple exercise.

Relax yourself as much as possible. Get comfortable in a chair or on a bed. Tell yourself mentally that we are an excellent person, and that you want to reprogram yourself, getting rid of any ideas that contradict that particular statement.

Next, gently remind yourself again: “I am an excellent person,” adding: “It is good and safe for me to express my own abilities, for in doing so I express the energy of the universe itself.”

Different phrases with the same meaning may come into our own mind. If so, substitute them for the ones I have given. There are endless exercises that can be used to advantage, but here I will only mention a few that appear most beneficial.

 

 

For another exercise, then relax yourself as much as possible once more. If you have some disease, imagine it as particles of dirt. Tell yourself that you can see inside your body. You see streets of boulevards instead of muscles and bones, but go along with the image or images that appear. You might see streets lined with dirt or garbage, for example. Then mentally see yourself sweeping the debris away. Order trucks to come and carry the garbage to a trash heap, where you may see it burn and disappear in smoke.

Instead of the drama I just outlined, you may instead see invading armies, attacking home troops. In such a case, see the invaders being driven off. The pictures you see will follow your own unique leanings and characteristics.

The unconscious levels of the self are only unconscious from our own viewpoint. They are quite conscious in actuality, and because they do deal with the spontaneous processes of the body, they are also completely familiar with our own state of health and well-being.

These portions can also be communicated with. Once again, relax yourself as much as possible. Sit comfortably in a chair or lie on a bed. A chair is probably preferable, since it is easy to fall to sleep in you are lying down. You can refer to these portions of the self altogether as the helper, the teacher, or whatever title suits you best.

Simply make a straightforward request,asking that some picture or image be presented in your inner mind, that will serve as representative of those portions of your own inner reality.

 

So do not be surprised, for you may see a person, an animal, an insect, or a landscape — but trust whatever image you do receive, if it seems to be that of a person, or angel, or animal, then ask it to speak to you, and to tell you how best to rid yourself of your disease or problem.

If the image of a landscape appears instead, then ask for a series of such images, that will again somehow point the way toward recovery, or toward the resolution of the problem. Then follow through with whatever reply you receive.

In all such cases, we are opening the doors of Frame-Mind 2, clearing our channels of communication. Since our physical body itself is composed of the very energy that drives the universe, then there is nothing about us which that energy is unaware of. Simply repeating these ideas to ourselves can result in release of tension, and an acceleration of the healing process.

These exercises may suggest others of our own. If so, follow through on them — but to one extent or another each blog reader should benefit from some of them.

Again, every effort should be made to insert humor into the living situation as much as possible.

 

The patient might begin to collect jokes, for example, or funny cartoons from magazines and newspapers. Watching comedies on television will help — and so, in fact, will any distraction that is pleasing to the patient.

Crossword puzzles and other word games will also benefit, even if only done mentally. It might also be advisable for the patient to take up some completely new field of knowledge — to learn a language, for instance, or to study whatever books possible in any field to which he or she is attracted.

The more actively and fully such a diversion can be indulged, the better, of course, and yet the mental playing of games can be quite fruitful, and serve to give the conscious mind a needed rest.

Everything should be done to insure that the patient is given a hand in whatever physical treatment is involved. He or she should be enlightened enough through doctor-patient discussions to make choices about the treatment. In some cases, however, patients will make it clear that they prefer to hand over all responsibility for treatment to the doctor, and in such instances their decisions should be followed. It is a good idea for the doctor to question the patient sometimes, to make sure that the decision is not one of the moment alone.

Whenever possible, it is far better for the patient to remain home, rather than live steadily at a hospital. When hospitalization is required, however, family members should try to act as honestly and openly as possible. It is a good idea for such family members to join other groups of people who are in the same situation, so they can express their own doubts and hesitations.

One family member, in fact, may be quite surprised by a barrage of unexpected reactions. They may find themselves furious at the patient for becoming ill, and then develop unfortunate guilt feelings over their own first reactions. They may feel that their lives are being disrupted through no cause of their own, yet be so ashamed of such feelings that they dare not express them.

A therapist or a group of other people facing the same problem can therefore be of great assistance. The patient may also feel abandoned by God or the universe, and may feel unjustly attacked by the disease, thus arousing a whole new tumult of anger, and it is most important that the anger be expressed, and not repressed.

Such a person might imagine his or her anger or fury filling up the inside of a gigantic balloon that is then pricked by a needle, exploding in pieces from the pressure within, with debris falling everywhere — out over the ocean, or caught up by the wind, but in any case dispersed in whatever way seems agreeable to the patient.

It is also vital that such people continue to receive and express love. If the person is mourning the death of a spouse or close family member, then it would be most beneficial for the individual or the family to purchase, or otherwise provide , a new small pet. The patient should be encouraged to play with the pet as much as possible, and to nourish it, to caress and fondle it.

Often such a procedure will reawaken new stirrings of love, and actually turn the entire affair. This is particularly true if one or two beneficial changes simply seem to happen in other areas of life.

The rearousal of love might well activate Frame-Mind 2 to such an extent that the healing energies become unblocked, and send their threads of probable actions into the person’s living situation as well — that is, once the channels  to Frame-Mind 2 are open, then new possibilities immediately open up in all of life’s living areas. And many of these, of course, have a direct bearing on health and the healing processes.

In these, and all situations, it should be remembered that the body is always trying to heal itself, and that even the most complicated relationships are trying to untangle.

For all of life’s seeming misfortunes, development, fulfillment, and accomplishment far outweigh death, diseases and disasters. Starting over can be done — by anyone in any situation, and it will bring about some beneficial effects regardless of previous conditions.

Behind all maladies, in most basic manner lies the need for expression, and when people feel that their areas of growth are being curtailed, then they instigate actions meant to clear the road, so to speak.

Before health problems show up there is almost always a loss of self-respect or expression. This loss may occur in the environment itself, in changing social conditions. In the matter of the disease called AIDS, for example, we have groups of homosexuals, many “coming out of the closet” for the first time, taking part in organizations that promote their cause, and suddenly faced by the suspicions and distrust of many other portions of the population.

The struggle to express themselves, and their own unique abilities and characteristics drives them on, and yet is all too frequently thwarted by the ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds them. We end up with something like a psychological contagion. The people involved begin to feel even more depressed as they struggle to combat the prejudice against them. Many of them almost hate themselves. For all their seeming bravado, they fear that they are indeed unnatural members of the species.

These beliefs break down the immunity system, and bring about the symptoms so connected with the disease. AIDS is a social phenomenon to that extent, expressing the deep dissatisfactions, doubts, and angers of a prejudiced-against segment of society.

Whatever physical  changes occur, happen because the will to live is weakened. AIDS is a kind of biological protest, as if symbolically the homosexuals are saying: “You may as well kill us. We might be better off than the way you treat us now,” or as if it were a kind of suicidal drama in which the message read: “See to what ends your actions have led us!”

I am not saying that AIDS victims are outright suicides — only that in many instances the will to live is so weakened and a despondency so strong sets in that such individuals often acquiesce, finally, to their own deaths, seeing no room in the future for their own further growth or development.

The attitude even of doctors and nurses toward the handling of such patients shows only too clearly not only their fear of the disease itself, but their fear of homosexuality, which has been considered evil and forbidden by many religions. Emotions run at top pace in such cases, and the AIDS patients are often shunted away, out of human society. Often even their friends desert them. Yet AIDS can be acquired by those who are not homosexuals, but who have similar problems. It is a great error to segregate some individuals, like some modern colony of lepers.

Luckily, the disease will run its course as sociological conditions change, and as man’s and woman’s inhumanity to man and woman becomes clear even to the most prejudiced.

 

Homosexuals can benefit from the ideas in this blog, particularly if small groups get together, examining their own beliefs, and reinforcing their will to live, their right to live, and the basic integrity of their being.

Any anger or hostility should also be expressed, however, while not being overly concentrated upon.

Many other diseases that seem to be spread by viruses or contagions are also related to the problems of society in the same manner, and when those conditions are righted the diseases themselves largely vanish. It should be remembered that it is the beliefs and feelings of the patients that largely determine the effectiveness of any medical procedures, techniques, or medications.

Unfortunately, the entire picture surrounding health and disease is a largely negative one, in which even so-called preventive medicine can have severe drawbacks, since it often recommends drugs or techniques to attack a problem not only before the problems emerge, but simply in case it may emerge.

Many of the public-health announcements routinely publicize the specific symptoms of various diseases, almost as if laying out maps of diseases for medical consumers to swallow. There are many techniques apart from medically conventional ones, such as acupuncture, the laying on of hands, or the work of people who may be known as healers. The trouble is that these other techniques cannot be monitored sufficiently so that their benefits can be honestly appraised.

The main issue is always the vital importance of the individual’s belief systems, however, and the sense of worth he or she places on body and mind.

We have dealing with quite drastic diseases, but the same concepts are true in other areas also. There are people who undergo a series of highly unsatisfactory relationships, for example, while another person might experience a series of recurrent diseases instead. In spite of all problems, the life force operates continually in each person’s life, and can bring about at any time the most profound, beneficial changes. The idea is to clear the mind as much as possible from beliefs that impede the fine, smooth workings of the life force, and to actively encourage those beliefs and attitudes that promote health and the development of all aspects of healing experience.

 

 

The Will To Live

Starting over — changing one’s belief, is a bold endeavor. It is quite possible that along the way we may become discouraged or disillusioned.

At such times it is a good idea to give oneself time to relax. Turn one’s attention to something else entirely, and mentally say, “To hell with it all for now.” The entire idea involves a process in which we try and not try at the same time, in which we do not strain to achieve results, but instead gently begin to allow ourselves to follow the contours of our own subjective feelings, to uncover those spiritual and biologically valid beliefs of early childhood, and to bring to them the very best wisdom that we have acquired throughout our life so far.

So when we do become discouraged, a playful diversion should give us refreshing release. An escapist movie or novel, or the purchase of some small frivolous item may also serve to relax our conscious mind. We are actually involved in changing a way of life, in altering our very view of the self and the world in the hopes of acquiring a new sense of harmony with our bodies, our minds, our fellow creatures, and the environment.

Indeed, there is no more exciting adventure, and it will bring about more surprises and discoveries than any expedition to alien landscapes. Our beliefs are indeed alive in their own fashion. Now, instead of taking them for granted, we will begin to notice both their uniqueness and their variety.

If we are talking about starting over, however, we may as well begin at one of the lowest points and work upward. This way we can see beliefs in their darkest form, and then little by little watch them begin to show energy, vitality, and fresh impetus.

 

 

In nearly all matters of poor health, or unfortunate living conditions or mental or physical stress, there exists a strong tinge of denial, fear, and repression.

These are seen at their most severe and their most obvious where suicide is involved — particularly in the suicide of the young. In later blogs we will discuss some special cases of reincarnational influence connected with suicide, but for now we will be concerned with the increasing numbers of suicides by young adults.

At one time or another most people consider the possibility of their own death. That is a quite natural reaction to the conditions of life. With some people, however, the idea of death seems to grow obsessive, so that it is felt to be the one escape from life’s problems. It may even achieve an allure in some people’s minds.

The propelling force in all of existence is the desire to be, however — the impetus toward expression, development, and fulfillment. Some people who consider suicide believe in life after death, and some do not — and in the deepest of terms all deaths are somewhat suicidal. Physical life must end if it is to survive. There are certain conditions, however, that promote suicidal activity, and the termination of one’s own life had been held in great disrepute by many religions and societies, though not in all.

Individuals innately want to cooperate with their fellow human beings. They have a need to help other people, and to contribute to the common good. Many people who commit suicide feel to the contrary that they are no longer needed, or in fact that their very existence stands in the way of other people’s happiness. Young adult suicides are not necessarily from the poorest or the lowest stratas of society at all. In fact, poverty often serves as a strong impetus, leading the individual to fight for his or her daily needs.

Such a person’s day may be so crowded with desperate activity that there is no time with which to even contemplate suicide, because the struggle for life itself is so intent.

Again, the desire for value fulfillment, development and purpose is so strong that if those seem denied, life becomes — or seems to become — less precious. In many cases it is the son and daughter of the upper middle-classes, of the well-to-do, who run into such life-endangering dilemmas. Some youngsters are so overly provided for by their families that it seems that there is no way for them to achieve any more than they have.

If their parents are overly indulgent, then the youngster may actually feel as if they were adjuncts to their parents, or possessions alone. On the other hand, some upper-middle-class families stress competition to such a degree that it seems to the children that they are only valued for their achievements, rather than being loved for simply being the people they are.

To most people, none of these situations seem particularly drastic, and certainly there are far worse cases of human disillusionment in the world. Yet many such youngsters literally see no future for themselves as adults.

They do not visualize themselves as future parents, or as having certain careers. It is as if their whole lives accelerated to the brink of adulthood — yet they could see nothing beyond. Along the way, whether or not it was obvious to parents, such youngsters begin to feel that life is meaningless. Often such individuals are highly gifted, yet they feel as if that promise will never blossom.

In most cases these youngsters are actually quite secretive — though the self they show to parents and friends might appear to be lively and gregarious.

Such persons can help themselves, however, and they can be helped by others.

First of all, let me make it clear that no one is “damned” for committing suicide. There are no particular “penalties.”

Would-be suicides, for all their secrecy, usually do mention the subject to a friend, relative, or close family member. The subject should not be ignored or condemned, but honestly examined. Part of the mystique of the suicidal impulse is indeed the secretive aspect — so the very expression of the feeling is beneficial, and leads to better communication.

Indeed, part of the would-be suicide’s dilemma may be caused by a lack of communication with others, a misinterpretation of the motives of friends or family members, and a difficulty in expressing one’s own needs and wishes.

 

 

 

 

When To Ignore, Instructions, Suggestions And Resolutions. A New Beginning

The thoughts and beliefs that we want to rearouse are those that were often predominant in childhood, as mentioned in earlier blogs. They are spiritual, mental, emotional and biological beliefs that are innately present in the birth of each creature. Children believe not only that there will be a tomorrow, and many tomorrows, but they also believe that each tomorrow will be rewarding and filled with discovery.

They fell themselves couched in an overall feeling of security and safety, even in the face of an unpleasant environment or situation. They feel drawn to other people and to other creatures, and left alone they trust their contacts with others. They have an inbred sense of self-satisfaction, and they instinctively feel that it is natural and good for them to explore and develop their capabilities.

They expect relationships to be rewarding and continuing, and expect each event will have the best possible results. They enjoy communication, the pursuit of knowledge, and they are filled with curiosity.

All of those attitudes provide the strength and mental health that promotes their physical growth and development. However simple those ideas may sound to the adult, still they carry within them the needed power and impetus that fill all of life’s parts. Later, conflicting beliefs often smother such earlier attitudes, so that by the time children have grown into adults they actually hold almost an opposite set of hypotheses. These take it for granted that any stressful situation will worsen, that communication will worsen,that communication with others is dangerous, that self-fulfillment brings about the envy and even of others, and that as individuals they live in an unsafe society, set down the middle of a natural world that is itself savage, cruel, and caring only for its survival at any cost.

 

Our body actually lives on large quantities of joyful expectation.

The fetus is propelled by the expectation of future growth and development. It is bad enough to anticipate that most unfortunate situations will worsen rather than improve, but it is foolhardy indeed to believe that mankind is bound to destroy itself, or that nuclear destruction in nearly inevitable.

Many people no longer believe in life after death, and so large numbers of the population are philosophically denied a spiritual or a physical future.

This deprives body and mind of the zest and purpose needed in order to enjoy any pursuits or activities. Such beliefs make any human endeavor appear futile. There are ways of reacting to the dangers of nuclear energy that are far more healthy and beneficial, and we will discuss these in later blogs.

For now, I simply want to suggest that all such beliefs should be understood and dismissed as soon as possible. We hope to show how most natural health-promoting beliefs can be applied to all mental, physical, or emotional illnesses or difficulties. I want to assure that regardless of our circumstances, age, or sex, we can indeed start over, re-arousing from within ourselves those earlier, more innocent expectations, feelings and beliefs. It is much better if we can imagine this endeavor more in the light of children’s play, in fact, rather than think of it as a deadly serious adult pursuit.

In other words, we will try to instill a somewhat playful attitude, even toward the most severe problems, for the very idea of play encourages the use of the imagination and the creative abilities.

This starting over. Again, because of simultaneous nature of time, beliefs can be changed in the present moment.

There is no need to search endlessly into the past of this life or any other, for the “original” causes for beliefs. Making a change in the present of a certain kind will automatically alter all beliefs “across the board,” so to speak. It is important, however, that we do not strain too hard to achieve results, but allow ourselves some leeway. We react to our beliefs habitually, often unthinkingly, and in usual ideas of time, and in our experience of it — we must allow oneself “some time” to change that habitual behavior.

As we do, we will discover oneself reacting to the desired beliefs as easily and automatically as we did to the undesirable ones. As we do, keep the idea of child’s play in mind, however. this will allow us to keep the entire affair in a kind of suspension.

The child plays at being an adult long before he or she is one, and so we can play with more desirable beliefs while we are still growing into that more beneficial picture.

One of the issues I want to discuss in depth is that of spontaneity in relationship to health and disease.

Our very physical existence itself is dependent upon the smooth functioning of many spontaneous processes. Our thinking, breathing, and motion are all guided by activities that are largely unconscious — at least from the standpoint of what we usually think of as the conscious mind.

Our body repairs itself constantly, and our mind thinks — all without our normally conscious attention. The same applies to all of those inner processes that make life possible. Our thoughts are conscious, but the process of thinking itself is not. Spontaneity is particularly important in the actions of children, and in the natural rhythmic motion of their limbs. Feelings also seem to come and go in a spontaneous fashion.

It is indeed as if some inner spontaneous part of the personality is far more knowledgeable than the conscious portion of which we are so rightfully proud.

Many people, however, fear spontaneity: it evokes extravagance, excesses, and dangerous freedoms. Even people who are not so fervently opposed to spontaneity often feel that it is somewhat suspect, distasteful. perhaps leading to humiliating actions. Spontaneity, however, represents the spirit of life itself, and it is the basis for the will to live, and for those impulses that stimulate action, motion, and discovery.

In the truest regard, our life is provided for us by these spontaneous processes. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, at one time the human personality was “more at one with itself.” It accommodated unconscious and conscious experience more equitably. Man and woman were more aware of his and her dreams and so-called unconscious activity.

It is only because civilized man and woman have somewhat overspecialized in the use of one kind of knowledge over another that people fear the unconscious, spontaneous portions of the self. The fear alone causes them to block out still more and more unconscious knowledge. Since the spontaneous portions are so related to bodily activity, they are very important in facilitating good health, and when people feel divorced from their spontaneous selves, they also fell divorced to the same extent from their own bodies. Such individuals become frightened of freedom itself, of choices and of changes. They try desperately to control themselves and their environment against what seems to be a raging, spontaneous mass of primitive impulses from within, and against a mindless, chaotic, ancient force of nature. In the physical world, such behavior often leads to compulsive action — stereotyped mental and physical motion and other situations with a strong repressive coloration. Here any expression becomes almost taboo. The conscious mind must be in control of all actions as much as possible, for such a person feels that only rigid, logical thought is strong enough to hold back such strong impulsive force.

These attitudes may be reflected in rather simple compulsive actions: the woman or man who cleans the house endlessly, whether it needs it or not; the man or woman who will follow certain precise, defined routes of activity — driving down certain streets only to work; washing his or her hands much more frequently than other people; the person who constantly buttons and unbuttons a sweater or vest. Many such simple actions show a stereotyped kind of behavior that results from a desperate need to gain control over oneself and the environment.

Any excessive behavior may enter in, including over-smoking, overeating, and overdrinking.

It will be difficult for some people to believe that spontaneity is to be trusted, for they may be only aware of feeling destructive or violent impulses. The idea of expressing impulses spontaneously will be most frightening under those conditions.

Actually the people involved are repressing not violent impulses but natural loving ones. They are afraid that expressions of love, or the need for dependence will only bring them scorn or punishment. Therefore, they hide those yearnings, and the destructive impulses actually serve to protect them from the expression of love that they have somehow learned to fear.

Science itself, for all of its preciseness in some areas, often equates instinctive, impulsive, chaotic, destructive activity as one and the same.

Nature and the inner nature of man and woman are both seen to contain savage, destructive forces against which civilization and the reasoning mind must firmly stand guard.

Science itself often displays compulsive and ritualistic behavior, to the point of programming its own paths of reasoning, so that they cover safe ground, and steadfastly ignore the great inner forces of spontaneity that make science — or any discipline — possible. As I have said before, spontaneity knows its own order. Nothing is more highly organized than the physical body that spontaneously grow all of its own parts.

As our life is provided for us, so to speak, by these spontaneous processes, the life of the universe is provided in the same fashion. We see physical stars, and our instruments probe the distance of space — but the inner processes that make the universe possible are those same processes that propel our own thinking. It is erroneous, therefore, to believe that spontaneity and discipline are mere opposites. Instead, true discipline is the result of true spontaneity.

Value fulfillment of each and every element in life relies upon those spontaneous processes, and their source is the basic affirmative love and acceptance of the self, the universe, and life’s conditions.

Since ancient times religions has tried to help man and woman understand the nature of his or her own subjective reality — but religion has its own dark side, and for this reason religion unfortunately has fostered fear of the spontaneous.

Instead of promoting the idea of man’s and woman’s inner worth, it has taught people to distrust the inner self and its manifestations. Most churches preach a dogma that stresses concepts of the sinful self, and sees man and woman as creatures contaminated by original sin even before birth.

This distorted picture depicts a species of sinners innately driven by evil, sometimes demonic, forces. In this dogma man and woman needs to apologize for his or her birth, and the conditions of life are seen as a punishment set by God upon his or her erring creatures. Unfortunately such concepts are also reflected in fields of psychology, particularly in Freudianism — where, say, slips of the tongue may betray the self’s hidden, nefarious true desires.

The unconscious is understood to be a garbage heap of undesirable impulses, long ago discarded by civilization, while again much religious theory projects the image of the hidden self that must be kept in bounds by good work, prayer, and penance.

Amid such a conglomeration of negative suppositions, the idea of a good and innocent inner self seems almost scandalous. To encourage expression of that self appears foolhardy, for it seems only too clear that if the lid of consciousness were opened, so to speak, all kind of inner demons and enraged impulses would rush forth.

Again, people who have such views of the inner self usually project the same ideas upon nature at large, so that the natural world appears equally mysterious, dangerous, and threatening.

In political terms such persons also look for strong authoritative groups or governments, stress law and order above justice or equality, and tend to see the poorer, less advantaged members of society as impulse-ridden, dangerous, and always ready for revolution. It is quite frequent for persons with those beliefs to discipline their bodies overmuch, take positions as police guards, or set themselves up in one way or another in control of their fellows.

I am not here stating that all police guards, members of the military or whatever, fall into that category. Such people will, however, tend toward a strongly disciplined life. Many of their health problems will deal with eruptions — interior ulcers, skin eruptions, or in very definite mental and emotional eruptions, and great outbursts of force and temper all the more noticeable because of the usual disciplined patterns of behavior.

In most such cases there is a lack of the normal range of emotional expression. Such persons often find it extremely difficult to express love, joy, or gratitude, for example, and this lack of expression is taken for granted by others, who do not see it in its true light, but think instead that the person is simply reticent.

Secondary personalities and schizophrenic episodes are also somewhat characteristic — again appearing as sudden explosive behavior when conflicting beliefs are dammed up and held back. And when it is believed that the inner self is indeed a bed of chaotic impulses, then it becomes less and less possible for an individual to express normal range of activity. The person then feels lethargic and out of touch with work of family.

Expression is a necessity of life, however. Each person feels that drive. When one set of rigid beliefs threatens to make action appear meaningless, then another set of buried, repressed beliefs may surface, providing new impetus precisely when it is needed — but also forming a secondary personality with characteristics almost opposite to those of the primary self.

We will have more to say on all of these issues — but now I want to discuss spontaneity, or its lack, in relationship to sexuality and health.

All of the negative beliefs just mentioned touch upon sexuality in one way or another. Those with the beliefs just mentioned often think of seuxlaity as bestial, evil, and even humiliating.

These attitudes are intensified where the female sex is concerned. We have, of course, a strong drive toward sexuality, and if we believe that it is to be shunned at the same time, then we are in a very ambiguous position. Women with such beliefs and conflicts often wind up having hysterectomies, performed incidentally by male doctors, who hold the very same beliefs.

Many men look forward to having sons, while at the same time they revere marriage as a necessary part of respectable family life, and also feel that marriage is somewhat degrading — particularly to a male — and that the sex act itself is only justified if it brings him an heir.

Such a male will seek sex with prostitutes, or with women he considers beneath him. In a strange fashion, he may even feel that it is wrong to have sex with his own wife, believing that the sex act so degrades the both of them. In many cases these people will be great sportsmen, follow conventionalized male pursuits, and perhaps express contempt for the arts or any interest considered remotely feminine.

Many schools of religion and so-called esoteric knowledge have promoted the idea that sexuality and spirituality are diametrically opposed to each other.

People in the sports arena also often encourage the concept that sexual expression is somewhat debilitating to the  male, and can weaken his constitution. Priests take vows to ensure sexual abstinence. The fact is that sexual expression is, again, an important element in the entire range of human experience, encouraging mental and physical health and vitality.

Some people may have a stronger or weaker sex drive than others, and yet that drive is a strong part of any individual’s natural rhythm. Damned up, such sexuality still keeps trying for expression, and it is often men or women of habitual “sexual discipline” who suddenly break out in bouts of sexual promiscuity or violence.

In actuality, the combination of a philosophical stress upon discipline, physical and mental, with the belief in the sinful self, often brings about the most unfortunate human dilemmas. These ideas usually ride along with feelings that power is desirable but dangerous. To abstain from sexuality then means to store up one’s own power. People with such beliefs often have severe problems with constipation, and have retention symptoms — retaining water, for example, or salt or whatever.

They may also suffer with stomach difficulties, many being overly fond of extremely spicy foods. Some have unusually heavy appetites, even though these may be regulated by a series of diets — which are then broken by overeating.

There are so many other elements involved in human nature that I do not really want to point out any culprits, yet male-segregated communities are obviously notorious for encouraging that kind of behavior. Every individual in such institutions or societies is not affected in the same fashion, of course — yet we do have these kinds of closed societies, relatively speaking, and they can indeed serve as cradles for fanaticism and rigid stereotypes of behavior. Again, here we find that discipline, rather than free will, is stressed, so that the opportunity for choices is drastically reduced. The more open a society, the more healthy its people.

What I have said also applies to organizations segregated along feminine lines, though to a lesser degree.

In both cases the sexes are denied any true communication, and an extremely artificial framework is maintained, in which the sexes literally become strangers to each other. This also encourages various kinds of hysterical reactions, as well as a larger frequency of “contagious diseases” than is experienced by the normal population.

These conditions also occur in some varieties of religious cults, whether or not strict sexual segregation is enforced. If human relationships are highly regulated and supervised, or family members encouraged to spy upon their relatives or friends, then we have the same kind of curtailment of natural expression and communication.

People in such societies often suffer from malnourishment, frequent beatings, an excessive use of the enema, and often indulge in physical punishment. The children are strictly raised, and a lack of normal spontaneity is the rule rather than the exception. Members of such organizations often suffer maladies in which their bodies do not utilize nutrients. They are often food faddists of one kind or another, but because they do fear spontaneity to such a degree they will often become afflicted with diseases of maladies associated with the body’s unconscious processes.

We can also find single families, of course, that operate like cults — or an entire nation — that are given over to repression with its resulting violence.

The ideas that we have, then, play a large role in the way the body handles its nutrients, and utilizes its health and vitality. If we believe that the body is somehow evil, we may punish it by nearly starving to death, even though our diet might be considered normal by usual standards. For it is possible for our ideas to cause chemical reactions that impede our body’s ability to accept nourishment. If we believe that the body is evil, the purest health-food diet will or may do us little good at all, while if we have a healthy desire and respect for our physical body, a diet of TV dinners, and even of fast foods, may well keep us healthy and nourished.

If we are talking about health, it is our beliefs that we must look. We have the most efficient and beautiful physical organs, the most elegant joints and appendages, the most vibrant lungs and the most exquisite of senses. It is up to us to form a body of beliefs that is worthy of our physical image — for we are nourished by our beliefs, and those beliefs can cause our daily bread to add to our vitality, or to add to our cares and stress.

The weight of unfortunate beliefs perhaps falls heaviest on the older segments of the population, for the beliefs have had a longer period of time to operate relatively unimpeded.

Those particular beliefs actually take hold in young adults, so that it seems that all of life is meant to come to its fullest flower in young adulthood, and then from that prestigious position fall quicker and quicker into disuse and disarray.

These ideas do not inflict severe difficulties upon older members of the population, but they also have a vital part to play in the behavior of many young people who commit suicide directly or indirectly. It seems to such youngsters that the pinnacle of life is just at hand, to last upon youthful beauty and youthful achievement, so that it appears that all of the rest of life’s activities must suffer by contrast.

Knowledge through experience is not considered a practical-enough method of learning, so that the skills and understanding that come with age are seldom taken into consideration.

Again, to a certain degree, religion and science — and the medical sciences in particular — seem devoted to encouraging the most negative beliefs about human nature. It is taken for granted that all mental, physical, spiritual and emotional satisfactions become lesser with advancing age. It is taken for granted that memory fails, the body weakens, the senses stagnate, and emotional vividness dims. It is often considered scandalous to even imagine sexual activity after the age of even 40 or 50.

Faced with the kind of a projected future, no wonder many adolescents prefer to die before catching sight of the very first hint of deterioration — the first wrinkle or touch of gray in the hair. What forerunner of disaster such natural signs must seem! And at the other end of the scale, older parents are treated by their grown children as if they themselves were falling into a grotesque version of a second childhood. Many people actually speak louder to older persons, whether or not they have any hearing difficulties at all.

Our entire world of commerce and advertisements, of competition and of business, prolong such attitudes. This is aside from the impact of the entertainment industry, which reflects that same glorification of youth, and that fear of growing old.

 

There are very definite, excellent side-effects of growing older, that we will also discuss in future blogs — but here I want to assure the blog reader that basically speaking there are no diseases brought about by old age alone.

The body often wears out because it has been used less and less — and that is because little study has been given to the true capabilities of the healthy physical body in the later years of life. that period also contains certain rhythms in which normal healing processes are highly accelerated, and the life force itself does not wear out or lessen within a body. Its expression may be impeded at any time, but the unique energy of each individual is not drained away because of age alone.

We will have more to say concerning older people and their ways of life, and also discuss the many beliefs and ideas that can come almost immediately to their aid. The subject of suicide will also be discussed in a different context, and when I invite my blog readers to start over, I want it understood that we can indeed start over regardless of our age or circumstances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living At Cross Purposes, You, You, You And You

Each person is so unique that it is obviously impossible for me to discuss all of the innumerable and complicated strands of belief that form human experience — yet I hope here, some way, to present enough “specific generalizations” so that the blog reader can find many points of application as far as our own life is concerned.

In fact, we may discover not just one you, but several you’s, so to speak, each pursuing certain purposes, and we may find out furthermore that some such purposes cancel others out, while some are diametrically opposed to each other. Such cross purposes, of course, can lead to mental, spiritual, physical and emotional difficulties.

Many people believe that it is dangerous to make themselves known, to express their own ideas or abilities. Such individuals may be highly motivated, on the other hand, to become accomplished in some art or profession or other field of activity. In such cases we have two cross-purposes operating — the desire to express oneself, and the fear of doing so.

 

If both beliefs are equally dominant and vital, then the situation becomes quite serious. Such individuals may try “to get ahead” on the one hand, in society or business or in the arts or sciences, only to find themselves taking two steps backward for every step they take forward. In other words, they will encounter obstructions that are self-generated. If such a person begins to succeed, then he or she is forcibly reminded of the equally dominant need for lack of success — for again, the person believes that self-expression is necessary and desirable while also being highly dangerous, and thus to be avoided.

Dilemmas result in many ways. The person might succeed financially, only to make a serious or faulty business judgment, thus losing the financial benefits. Another person might express the same dilemma through the body itself, so that “getting ahead” was equated with physical mobility — so that it seemed that physical mobility, while so desired, was still highly dangerous.

Such reasoning sounds quite outlandish, of course, to most individuals, but the person in question, say with a disease like arthritis, or some other motion-impairing aliment, might ask themselves the question: “What would I do if I were free of the condition?”

Like the alcoholic’s wife mentioned in my earlier blog, such a person might suddenly feel struck by a sense of panic, rather than relief, thus experiencing for the first time the fear of motion that underlay the problem.

Yet why should motion be feared? Because so many individuals have been taught that power or energy is wrong, destructive, or sinful, and therefore to be punished.

Often playful, rambunctious children are told not to be showoffs, or not to express their normal exuberance. Religions stress the importance of discipline, sobriety, and penance. All of these attitudes can be extremely detrimental, and along with other beliefs are responsible for a goodly number of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional problems.

Unfortunately, there are also some particular teachings that are sexually oriented, and that therefore show their effects often on one sex rather than the other. Boys are still taught to “be cool,” unemotional, aggressive, and assertive — as opposed to being emotionally warm, cooperative, gregarious but without fake bravado. Boys are taught that it is unmanly to be dependent in any way. They become embarrassed in late boyhood when kissed by their mothers, as a rule — yet it is quite natural to be both independent, cooperative and competitive.

Such young men grow up with the desire to be independent, while at the same time they also experience the natural drive for cooperation and dependence upon others. Many end up punishing themselves for any behavior they consider dependent or unmanly. They are often afraid to express love, or to accept emotional nourishment gracefully.

As a result some such people become severely afflicted with ulcers, so that their stomachs becomes sore and ulcerated at the acceptance of physical nourishment.

Epilepsy is a disease often experienced also by people who have strongly conflicting beliefs about the use of power or energy, coupled with a sometimes extraordinary amount of mental and physical energy that demands it be used.

In many such cases the individuals involved are highly intellectual, and possess obvious gifts that are, however, seldom put to full use. Such people are so frightened of the nature of personal power and energy that they short-circuit their nervous systems, blocking the ability for any purposeful action, at least momentarily.

Because they realize that they do indeed innately possess strong gifts and abilities, these people often seek attention for their disease, rather that for their abilities. They may become professional patients, favorites of their doctors because of their wit and repartee in the face of their affliction. They are determined to express themselves and not to express themselves at the same time. Like so many others they believe that self-expression is dangerous, evil, and bound to lead to suffering — self-inflicted or otherwise.

This particular group or people are also usually possessed by an extraordinary anger: they are furious at themselves for not being able to showcase their own strength and power — but “forced” instead into a kind of behavior that appears sometimes frightening and humiliating.

Individuals who suffer from epilepsy are also often perfectionists — trying so hard to be their best that they end up with a very uneven, jerky physical behavior.

In some instances, stuttering is a very mild example of the same kind of activity. On the one hand some epileptic patients feel a cut above the usual run of humanity, while on the other they perform far more awkwardly than normal persons. Again, many also believe that those with special talents or gifts are disliked by others and persecuted.

This brings us into a conglomeration of beliefs unfortunately connected with romanticism.

These beliefs are centered around artists, writers, poets, musicians, actors and actresses, or others who seem unusually gifted in the arts or in various other methods of self-expression. The beliefs lead to the most dire legends, in which the gifted person always pays in one way or another for the valued gifts of self-expression — through disaster, misfortune,or death.

These concepts have many cousins, so that we actually have an entire family of beliefs that are all in one way or another related.

Foremost, connected with the distortions about creativity and expression, is the belief that knowledge itself is dangerous, evil, and bound to lead to disaster. Here, innocence is seen as synonymous with ignorance. What we actually have behind such a belief is a fear of free will and of making choices.

The more extensive our knowledge, the more aware we are of probable actions, and of the conglomeration of choices that then become available. There are also people, then, with an intense thirst for knowledge who believe that knowledge is indeed good and beneficial, while on the other hand the belief just as fervently that knowledge is forbidden and dangerous.

All of these instances lead, of course, to severe dilemmas, and often pull an individual in two directions at once. They are the cause, also, of many spiritual, emotional, and physical difficulties.

It should probably be noted here also that this suspicion of knowledge is intensified when the female sex is involved, for the legends quite erroneously give the impression that knowledge is twice as disastrous if possessed by a woman. This should be kept in mind whenever we discuss beliefs that are specifically sexually oriented.

It must seem obvious that behind all such beliefs lies the distrust of nature, man, woman, and life itself.

We must also remember, however, that in a fashion beliefs themselves are tools, and that in some situations beliefs that seem quite negative can also clear the way for more beneficial ones. With all of this discussion of negative beliefs, therefore, it is a good idea not to call any beliefs bad or evil in themselves. They are no more bad or evil in their way own, say, than viruses are in theirs. If we look upon them in that manner, we will avoid being overwhelmed by what seems to be an endless parade of negative thoughts and beliefs that can only lead to destruction. Instead, compare the negative beliefs, for example, with the storms that sweep the country: they have their purposes — and all in all those purposes tend to promote and support life itself.

While we are still in the middle of such discussions, however, remind oneself that any situation can be changed for the better. Remind oneself constantly that the most favorable solution to a problem is at least as probable as the most unfortunate “solution.” Remind oneself also that despite all of our worrying, the spirit of life itself is continually within our experience, and forms our physical body.

Large numbers of the population do indeed live unsatisfactory lives, with many individuals seeking goals that are nearly unattainable because of the conglomeration of conflicting beliefs that all vie for their attention. They are at cross purposes with themselves.

This leads not only to private dilemmas, illnesses, and seemingly futile relationships — but also to national misunderstandings, entanglements, and world disorders. There are indeed ways of breaking through such conflicts, however, and those broader avenues of expression, peace, and satisfaction are available to each individual, however unfortunate the entire picture seems to be.

It is possible, therefore, to improve our health, and to deepen the quality of all or our experience.

In terms of earthly life as we understand it, it is overly optimistic to imagine that eventually all illnesses will be conquered, all relationships be inevitably fulfilling, or to foresee a future in which all people on earth are treated with equality and respect. For one thing, in that larger framework mentioned in earlier blogs, illness itself is a part of life’s overall activity. Disease states, so-called, are as necessary to physical life as normal health is, so we are not speaking of a nirvana on earth — but we are saying that it is possible for each blog reader to quicken his or her private perceptions, and to extend and expand the quality of ordinary consciousness enough so that by contrast to current experience, life could almost be thought of as “heaven on earth.”

This involves a re-education of most profound nature. All of the conflicting beliefs that have been mentioned thus far are the end result of what I have called before the “official line of consciousness.” Certainly people experienced disease long before those conflicting beliefs began — but again, that is because of the part that disease states play in the overall health of individuals and of the world.

What we are going to have to do, then, is start over. It is indeed quite possible to do so, for we will be working with material with which we are intimately familiar: our own thoughts, emotions, and beliefs.

We must start from our present position, of course, but there is no person who cannot better his or her position to a considerable degree, if the effort is made to follow through with the kind of new hypotheses that we will here suggest. These ideas are to some extent already present, though they have not predominated in world experience.

 

This alternate way of thinking is biologically pertinent, for it should be obvious now that certain beliefs and ideas serve to foster health and vitality, while others impede it.

These ideas are translations of the emotional attitudes of all portions of nature and of life itself. They are better than any medicine, and they promote the expression of value fulfillment of all kinds of life, whatever its form.

 

Learn Through Play-Acting

I have mentioned in previous blogs that play is essential for growth and development. Children learn through play-acting. They imagine themselves to be in all kinds of situations. They see themselves in dangerous predicaments, and then conjure up their own methods of escape. They try out the roles of other family members, imagine themselves rich and poor, old and young, male and female.

This allows children a sense of freedom, independence, and power as they are themselves acting forcibly in all kinds of situations. It goes without saying that physical play automatically helps develop the body and its capabilities.

To a child, play and work are often and the same thing, and parents can utilize imaginative games as a way of reinforcing ideas of health and vitality. When a child is ill-disposed or cranky, or has a headache, or another disorder that does  not appear to be serious, parents can utilize this idea: have the child imagine that you are giving it a “better and better pill.” Have the child open its mouth while you place the imaginary pill on its tongue, or have the child imagine picking the pill up and placing it in its mouth. Then give the child a glass of water to wash the pill down, or have the child get the water for himself or herself. Then have the youngster chant, say, three times, “I’ve taken a better and better pill, so I will shortly feel better and better myself.”

The earlier such a game is begun the better, and as the child grows older you may explain that often an imaginary pill works quite as well — if not better — than a real one.

This does not mean that I am asking parents to substitute imaginary medicine for real medicine, though indeed, I repeat, it may be quite effective. In our society, however, it would be almost impossible to get along without medicine or medical science.

While I want to emphasize that point, I also want to remind  that innately and ideally the body is quite equipped to heal itself, and certainly to cure its own momentary headache. We would have to substitute an entirely different learning system, at our present stage, for the body to show its true potentials and healing abilities.

In other cases of a child’s illness, have the child play a healing game, in which he or she playfully imagines being completely healthy again, outdoors and playing; or have the youngster imagine a conversation with a friend, describing the illness as past and gone. Play could also be used even in old people’s homes, for it could revive feelings of spontaneity and give the conscious mind a rest from worrying.

Many ancient and so-called primitive peoples utilized play — and drama, of course — for their healing values, and often their effects were quite as therapeutic as medical science.If your child believes that a particular illness is caused by a virus, then suggest a game in which the youngster imagines the virus to be a small bug that he or she triumphantly chases away with a broom, or sweeps out the door. Once a child gets the idea, the youngster will often make up his or her own game, that will prove most beneficial.

Instead of such procedures, children are often taught to believe that any situation or illness or danger will worsen, and that the least desirable, rather than most desirable, solution will be found. By such mental games, however, stressing the desirable solution, children can learn at an early age to utilize imagination and their minds in a far more beneficial manner.

One of the most disastrous ideas is the belief that illness is sent as a punishment by God.

Unfortunately, such a belief is promoted by many religions. Children who want to be good, therefore, can unfortunately strive for poor health, in the belief that it is a sign of God’s attention. To be punished by God is often seen as preferable to being ignored by God. Adults who hold such views unwittingly often let their children in for a life of turmoil and depression.

In all cases of illness, games or play should be fostered whenever possible, and in whatever form. Many dictatorial religions pointedly refuse to allow their congregations to indulge in any type of play at all, and frown upon it as sinful. Card-playing and family games such as Monopoly are actually excellent practices, and play in any form encourages spontaneity and promotes healing and peace of mind.

Play together, even if only mind games are involved — games with no particular purpose except fun.

 

 

 

Children’s Innate Love Of The Body And All Of Its Parts

For adults, ideas of health and illness are intimately connected with philosophical , religious, and social beliefs. They are even more entangled with scientific concepts, and with science’s views of life in general. Children, however, are far more innocent, and though they respond to the ideas of their parents, still their minds are open and filled with curiosity. They are also gifted with an almost astounding resiliency and exuberance.

They possess an innate love of the body and all of its parts. They also, feel an eager desire to learn all they can about their own physical sensations and capabilities.

At the same time, young children in particular still possess a feeling of oneness with the universe, and with all of life, even as they begin to separate themselves at certain levels from life’s wholeness to go about the delightful task. Seeing themselves as separate and apart from all other individuals, they still retain an inner comprehension and a memory of having once experienced a oneness with life as a whole.

At that level even illness is regarded simply as a part of life’s experience, however unpleasant it might be. Even at an early age, children joyfully explore all of the possibilities of all sensations possible within their framework — pain as well as joy, frustration as well as satisfaction, and all the while their awareness is propelled by curiosity, wonder, and joy.

They pick up their first ideas about health and disease from parents and doctors, and by the actions of those people to their own discomfiture. Before they can even see, children are already aware of what their parents expect from them in terms of health and disease, so that early patterns of behavior are formed, to which they then react in adulthood.

For now we will speak of children who possess ordinary good health, but who may also have some of the usual childhood “diseases.” Later we will discuss children with exceptionally severe health conditions.

Many children acquire poor health habits through the well-meaning mistakes of their parents. This is particularly true when parents actually reward a child for being ill. In such cases, the ailing child is pampered far more than usual, given extra special attention offered delicacies such as ice cream, let off some ordinary chores, and in other ways encouraged to think of bouts of illness as times of special attention and reward.

I do not mean that ill children should not be treated with kindness, and perhaps a bit of special attention — but the reward should be given for the child’s recovery, and efforts should be made to keep the youngster’s routine as normal as possible. Children often know quite well the reasons for some of their illnesses, for often they learn from their parents that illness can be used as a means to achieve a desired result.

Often parents hide such behavior from themselves. They deliberately close their eyes to some of the reasons for their own illnesses, and this behavior has become so habitual that they are no longer conscious of their own intent.

Children, however, may be quite conscious of the fact that they willed themselves to become ill, in order to avoid school, or an examination, or a coming feared family event. They soon learn that such self-knowledge is not acceptable, however, so they begin to pretend ignorance, quickly learning to tell themselves instead they they have a bug or a virus, or have caught a cold, seemingly for no reason at all.

Parents frequently foster such behavior. Some are simply too busy to question a child about his or her own illness. It is far simpler to give a child aspirin, and send a child to bed with ginger tea and a coloring book.

Such procedures unfortunately rob a child of important self-knowledge and understanding. They begin to feel victims to this or that disorder. Since they have no idea that they themselves caused the problem to begin with, then they do not realize that they themselves possess the power to right the situation. If they are being rewarded for such behavior in the meantime, then the pressure is less, of course, so that bouts of illness or poor health can become ways of attaining attention, favorite status, and reward.

Parents who are aware of these facts can start helping their children at an early age by asking them simply the reasons for their illness. A mother might say: “You don’t need to have a temperature in order to avoid school, or as a way of getting love and attention, for I love you in any case. And if there is a problem at school, we can work it out together, so you don’t have to make yourself ill.” Again, the reasons for such behavior are often quite clear in the child’s mind. So, if the parents begin such questioning and reassurance when the child is young, then the youngster will learn that while illness may be used to attain a desired result, there are far better, healthier ways of achieving an end result.

Some parents, unfortunately, use the nature of suggestion in the most undesirable way, so that a child is often told that he or she is sickly, or weak or overly sensitive, and not as robust as other youngsters. If that kind of behavior is continued, then the child soon takes such statements as true, and begins to act upon them, until they do indeed become only too real in the youngster’s everyday experience.

Good health is closely related, of course, to a family’s beliefs about the body. If parents believe that the body is somehow an inferior vehicle for the spirit, of if they simply view the body as unreliable or weak and vulnerable, then children will at an early age begin to consider good health as a rarity, and learn to take depression, poor spirits, and bodily aches and pains to be a natural, normal condition of life.

If, on the other hand, parents view the body as a healthy, dependable vehicle of expression and feeling, then their children will look at their own bodies in the same fashion. It is very important that parents express a fond affection towards each other, and toward their children. In this way most children are assured of their parent’s love, and hence need not resort to illness as a way of gaining attention or testing a parent’s’ love and devotion.

 

There is no natural reason for children to feel a sense of shame concerning any bodily part. No portion of the body should be spoken about in secret, hushed tones. Each child should be told that his body, or her body, is a precious private possession, however, so that it is easy to build up a desirable feeling of bodily privacy, without any hint of shame or guilt.

It goes without saying that parents should hold the bodies of their male and female children in equal favor, so that one is not considered inferior to the other. Each child should be educated as early as possible by their parents, so that the youngsters are repeatedly reminded of the body’s natural resources and healing abilities.

Parents who are actually quite worried about their children’s’ susceptibility to illness often go overboard, stressing all kinds of sports and sports-related projects, but the children sense their parents’ unspoken fears, and they try to reassure their parents through achieving high goals or merits in sports programs.

 

There is no area of thought or belief that does not touch upon the subject of health in one way or another. Therefore, throughout my blogs we will be devoted to many ideas that may at first seem unrelated to the topic at hand.

 

 

“The Health and Disease States”

Before we discuss the human situation more specifically in relationship to health and “dis-ease” — let us consider the so-called states of health and disease as they apply in planetary terms, and as they operate in all species. This will give us a far vaster framework in which to understand the ways in which each individual person fits into the entire picture.

I used quotation marks around the entire heading for this blog to stress the point that the heading is written with our own ideas of health and disease in mind. Actually, however, regardless of appearances and misreadings of natural events, the very idea of disease as we usually think of it, is chauvinistic in health rather than in sexual terms.

Basically speaking, there are only life forms. Through their cooperation our entire world sustains its reality, substance, life and form. If there were no diseases as we think of them, there would be no life forms at all. Our reality demands a steady fluctuation of physical and nonphysical experience. Most of us, my blog readers, understand that if we did not sleep we would die. The conscious withdrawal of mental life during life makes normally conscious experience possible. In the same way there must, of course, be a rhythm of physical death, so that the experience of normal physical life is possible. It goes without saying that without death and disease — for the two go hand in hand — then normal corporeal existence would be impossible.

For all of man’s and woman’s  fears of disease, however, the species has never been destroyed by it, and life has continued to function with an overall stability, despite what certainly seems to be the constant harassment and threat of illness and disease. The same is true, generally speaking, of all species. Plants and insects fit into this larger picture, as do al fish and fowl.

I have said elsewhere  that no species is ever really eradicated — and in those terms no disease, or virus, or germ, ever vanishes completely from the face of the earth. In the first place, viruses change their form, appearing in our terms sometimes as harmless and sometimes as lethal. So-called states of health and disease are also changing constantly — and in those vaster terms disease in itself is a kind of health, for it makes life and health itself possible.

Later we will discuss what this means to us, the individual person, but for now I want to stress that fact that while it may seem natural enough to consider disease as a threat, an adversary or an enemy, this is not the case.

 

The subject matter of suffering is certainly vitally connected to the subject at hand, but basically speaking, disease and suffering are not necessarily connected. Suffering and death are not necessarily connected either. The sensations of suffering, and the pain, do exist. Some are indeed quite natural reactions, and others are learned reactions to certain events. Walking barefoot on a bed of fire would most likely cause most of my readers, to feel the most acute pain — while in some primitive, societies, under certain conditions the same situation could result instead in feelings of ecstasy or joy.

We want to discuss “disease” as it exists apart from suffering for now, then. Then we will discuss pain and suffering and their implications. I do want to mention, however, that pain and suffering are also obviously vital, living sensations — and therefore are a part of the body’s repertoire of possible feelings and sensual experience. They are also a sign, therefore, of life’s vitality, and are in themselves often responsible for a return to health when they act as learning communications.

Pain, therefore, by being unpleasant, stimulates the individual to rid himself or herself of it, and thereby often promotes a return to the state of health.

Even in situations that involve a so-called host-and-parasite relationship, there is a cooperative process. Fleas, for example, actually help increase circulation, and constantly comb animal’s hair. At minute levels they also consume some bodily wastes, and creatures even smaller than they are. They also keep the immune system active and flexible.

Many diseases are actually health-promoting processes. Chicken pox, measles, and other like diseases in childhood in their own way “naturally inoculate” the body, so that it is able to handle other elements that are a part of the body and the body’s environment.

When civilized children are medically inoculated against such diseases, however, they usually do not show the same symptoms, and to an important extent the natural protective processes are impeded. Such children may not come down with the disease against which they are medically protected, then — but they may indeed therefore become “prey” to other diseases later in life that would not otherwise have occurred.

I am speaking generally here, for remember that our individual beliefs, thoughts, and emotions cause our reality, so no person dies ahead of his or her time. The individual chooses the time of death. It is true, however, that many cancers and conditions such as AIDS result because the immunity system has been so tampered with that the body has not been allowed to follow through with its own balancing procedures.

Again, however, no individual dies of cancer or AIDS, or any other condition, until they themselves have set the time.

There are many other conditions to be taken into consideration, for such diseases certainly do have strong social connections. They occur in social species. This does not mean that they are necessarily contagious at all, but that they do bear an overall relationship to the give-and-take between individuals and their social and natural frameworks.

 

 

A city might be overrun by rats, for example — a fine situation for the rats if not the populace — but the entire picture would include unrest in the populace at large, a serve dissatisfaction with social conditions, feelings of dejection, and all of those conditions together would contribute to the problem. Rat poison may indeed add its own dangers, filling other small birds or rodents, and contaminating animal food supplies. Nor are insects invulnerable to such conditions, in such an hypothesized picture. Actually, all forms of life in that certain environment would be seeking for a balanced return to a more advantageous condition.

We may wonder why so many forms of life would be involved in what might seem to be self-destructive behavior, often leading to death — but remember that no consciousness considers death an end or a disaster, but views it instead as a means to of continuation of corporeal and non-corporeal existence.

I am not advising my blogs readers to refuse to have their children vaccinated, since we now have vaccination into consideration because of the prominence of it in society. It is very possible, however, that science itself will in time discover the unfortunate side effects of many such procedures, and begin to reevaluate the entire subject.

It is true that some native populations — particularly in the past — were free of many of the childhood diseases that are considered natural by western medicine. It is also true, of course, that some primitive societies have lost large numbers of their populations to disease. Some of those instances, however, were caused precisely by the sudden introduction of western medicine.

I am not condemning western medicine per se, however, but merely pointing out its many detrimental aspects. Medicinal science is also in a state of transition, and it is just as important — if not more so — that it examine its concepts as well as its techniques.

The idea of using animals for experimentation has far more drawbacks than advantages; there is the matter of one kind of consciousness definitely taking advantage of another kind, and thus going counter to nature’s cooperative predisposition.

In the distant past some ancient civilizations did indeed use animals in such a fashion, but in a far different framework. The doctors or priests humbly stated their problems verbally and through ritualistic dancing, and then requested the help of the animal — so that the animals were not sacrificed, in those terms, nor taken advantage of. Instead, they united in a cooperative venture, in which animals and man and woman all understood that no consciousness truly died but only changed its form.

Animals have indeed often been quite helpful to man and woman in various healing situations and encounters, but in all such cases these were cooperative ventures.

This leads me of course to at least mention here that cruel methods used in the slaughtering of animals and fowls for human consumption. The creatures are treated as if they possessed no feeling or consciousness of their own — and such attitudes show a most unfortunate misreading of natural events. As a direct result, at least as many diseases develop through such procedures as would exist in a highly primitive society with unsanitary conditions.

 

In that kind of setting, however, balances would right the themselves because the basic understanding between living creatures would be maintained. We cannot divorce philosophy from action, and the cruelty in slaughterhouses would not be perpetrated if it were not for distorted philosophies dealing with the survival of the fittest on the one hand, and the egotistical assumption that God gave man and woman animals to do with as man and woman wished.

Remember that each segment of life is motivated by value fulfillment, and is therefore always attempting to use and develop all of its abilities and potentials, and to express itself in as many probable ways as possible, in a process that is cooperatively — correction: in a process that takes into consideration the needs and desires of each other segment of life.

 

The very existence of certain kinds of viruses provides safety against many other diseases, whether or not those viruses even exist in an active manner. It is obvious, of course, that the overall physical stability of the earth is possible because of the ever-occurring storms, “natural disasters,” and other seeming calamities. Yet such events promote the earth’s great, bountiful food supplies, and serve to redistribute the plant’s resources.

In the same fashion, disease also, in the overall picture, promote the health and well-being of life in all of its aspects. Value fulfillment operates within microbes and nations, within individual creatures and entire species, and it unites all of life’s manifestations so that indeed creatures and their environments are united in an overall cooperative venture — a venture in which each segment almost seeks to go beyond itself in creativity, growth, and expression. In a smaller, individual framework, each man and woman, then is motivated by this same value fulfillment.

We will shortly see how diseases are caused by the detriments set up against value fulfillment, often because of fears, doubts, or misunderstandings — and how other diseases may actually lead to instances of value fulfillment that are misread or misinterpreted.

I also want to stress here that all aspects of life experience not only sensations but emotional feelings. Therefore, there is a kind of innate gallantry that operates among all segments of life — a gallantry that deserves our respect and consideration. We should have respect, then, for the cells of our body, the thoughts of our mind, and try to understand that even the smallest of creatures shares with us the emotional experience of life’s triumphs and vulnerabilities.

 

 

 

Health Suggestions

Suggestions are usually statements directed toward a particular action or hypothesis. To a large extent, suggestions are ties into conscious thought processes, following the dictates of reason. For example: “If thus and thus be so, then thus and thus must follow.” There is no magic connected with suggestions — but repeated often enough, and believed in fervently, such suggestions do indeed take on a deeply habitual nature. They are no longer examined, but taken for literal truth.

They are then handed over to more automatic levels of personality, where they trigger the specific actions that are so strongly implied. Many such suggestions are “old-hat idioms.” They belong to the past, and again they escape the questioning and examination that are given to new ideas.

These suggestions may be remarkably long-standing, therefore, and consist of beliefs received in childhood. Accepted now in the present, non-critically, they may still affect health and well-being. Such suggestions can be beneficial and supportive, or negative and detrimental. Here are some examples that should be quite familiar to many people. They consist of suggestions given to children:

“If you go out in the rain without your rubber boots, you                       will catch cold.”

“If you are too talkative or demonstrative, people will                             not like you.”

“If you run you will fall down.”

 

There are many variations, of course, such as: “If you go out in rainy weather, you’ll get pneumonia,” or: “If you tell a lie your nose will grow.”

These suggestions and others like them are often given to children by their parents with the best of intentions. When they are young, the offspring will accept some such suggestions uncritically, coming as they do from a revered adult, so that the suggestions are almost interpreted as commands.

A suggestion like: “If you go swimming too soon after lunch, you will drown,” is extremely dangerous, for it predicts behavior of a disastrous nature that would follow almost automatically after the first act is performed.Obvious, children who go into the water right after eating do not all drown. The suggestion itself can lead to all kinds of nervous symptoms, however — panics, or stomach cramps — that can persist well into adulthood.

Such suggestions can be removed, as we will explain shortly.

There are other kinds of suggestions that involve identification. A child may be told: “You are just like your mother; she was always nervous and moody.” Or: “You are fat because your father was fat.”

These are all statements leading toward a certain hypothesis. Again, the problem is that often the hypotheses remain unquestioned. We end up with structured beliefs unexamined, that are then automatically acted upon.

The suggestions we have given so far are predictives; they actually predict dire events of one kind or another, following a given original action.

There are many of these, dealing particularly with age also. many people believe fervently that with approaching age they will meet a steady, disastrous deterioration in which the senses and the mind will be dull, and the body, stricken with disease, will lose all of its vigor and agility. Many young people believe such nonsense, and therefore they set themselves up to meet the very conditions they so fear.

The mind grows wiser with age when it is allowed to do so. There is even an acceleration of thought and inspiration, much like that experienced in the adolescent years, that suddenly brings a new understanding to the aged individual, and provides an impetus that should help the person to achieve greater comprehension — a comprehension that should quell all fears of death.

Thoughts and beliefs do indeed bring about physical alterations. They can  — even and often do — change genetic messages.

There are diseases that people believe are inherited, carried from one generation to another by a faulty genetic communication. Obviously, many people with, for example, a genetic heritage of arthritis do not come down with the disease themselves, while others indeed are so afflicted. The difference is one of belief.

The people who have accepted the suggestion uncritically that they will inherit such a malady do then seem to inherit it: they experience the symptoms. Actually, the belief itself may have changed a healthy genetic message into an unhealthy one. Ideally, a change of belief would remedy the situation.

People are not simply swung will-nilly by one negative suggestion or another, however. Each person has an entire body of beliefs and suggestions — and these are quite literally reflected in the physical; body itself.

All practical healing deals with the insertion of positive suggestions and the removal of negative ones. As we mentioned earlier, each smallest atom or cell contains its own impetus toward growth and value fulfillment. In other words, they are literally implanted with positive suggestions, biologically nurtured, so to that extent it is true to say that in a certain fashion negative suggestions are unnatural, leading away from life’s primary goals. Negative suggestions could be compared to static sounding on an otherwise clear program.

Worry, fear, and doubt are detrimental to good health, of course, and these are very often caused by the officially held belief of society.

Those beliefs paint a dire picture, in which any given situation is bound to deteriorate. Any conceivable illness will worsen, and any possible catastrophe be encountered.

Such beliefs discourage feelings of curiosity, joy, or wonder. They inhibit playful activity or spontaneous behavior. They cause a physical situation in which the body is placed in a state of defensive aggression. Under such conditions it seems only rational to look for the worm in the apple, so to speak, and to expect pain or danger in each new experience or encounter.

Play is very important — indeed, vital — attribute in the development of growth and fulfillment. Children play naturally, and so do animals. For that matter, insects, birds, fish, and all kinds of life play. Even ants and honeybees play. Their sociability is not just a matter of constant work within a hive or an any mound. This playful activity is, in fact, the basis for their organized behavior, and they “play” at adult behavior before they assume their own duties.

Creatures play because the activity is joyful, and spontaneous and beneficial, because it activates all portions of the organism — and again, in play youngsters imitate adult patterns of operation that lead finally to their own mature activity.

When people become ill, worried or fearful, one of the first symptoms of trouble is a lack of pleasure, a gradual discontinuance of playful action, and an over-concentration upon personal problems. In other words, illness is often first marked by a lack of zest or exuberance.

This retreat from pleasure begins to cut down upon normal activity, new encounters, or explorations that might in themselves help relieve the problem by opening up new options. Such a person becomes dejected looking — unsmiling and somber, leading others to comment upon such a dejected countenance. Comments such as these: “You look tired,” or: “What’s the matter, don’t you feel well?” and other such remarks often simply reinforce the individual’s earlier sense of dejection, until finally this same kind of give-and-take leads to a situation in which the individual and his fellows begin to intermix in an negative rather than a positive manner.

I do not mean to imply that it is always detrimental to make such queries as “Are you ill?” or “Are you tired?” Such questions do indeed predict their own answers. When a person is feeling in good health, exuberant and alive, such queries will be nonchalantly shoved aside — they will have no effect whatsoever. But constant questions of such a nature do not help an individual who is having difficulties — and in fact too frequent expressions of compassion can also worsen a person’s state of mind, stressing the idea that he or she must be very ill indeed to attract such feelings of compassion. It is far better, then, to make no comment at all under such conditions. I am not speaking of genuine questions of concern so much as rather automatic, unthinking, negative comments.

On the other hand, it is an excellent practice to comment upon another individual’s obvious zest or energy or good spirits. In such a way, we reward positive behavior, and may indeed begin a chain of positive activity instead of continuing a chain of negative reactions.

I am not telling you to gush out a steady stream of positive suggestions, whether or not they bear any relation to the situation at hand.

I am saying that it is far better to look on the most hoped-for solution to any situation, and to voice that attitude rather than to expect the poorest outcome, or express the most dire of attitudes. There are some issues highly vital to health and happiness, that are quite difficult to describe. They are felt intrinsically. They are a part of the esthetics of nature itself. Flowers are not just brightly colored for man’s and woman’s enjoyment, for example, but because color is a part of the flower’s own esthetic system. They enjoy their own brilliance, and luxuriate in their own multitudinous hues.

The insects also appreciate flower’s profusion of color, and also for esthetic reasons. I am saying, therefore that even insects have an esthetic sense, and again, that each creature, and each plant, or natural entity, has its own sense of value fulfillment, seeking the greatest possible fulfillment and extension of its own innate abilities.

This sense of value fulfillment, once more, benefits not only the individual, but its species and all other species. In a manner of speaking, then, the picture of nature is painted by its own consciously vital, esthetic portions. Each portion of nature is also equipped to react to changing conditions, and therefore deals with its own kind of predictive behavior, so that it can grow today into tomorrow’s condition.

Nature always works with probabilities. In human terms, this means that each person has a vast bank of avenues that lead to value fulfillment, and that individual abilities will ideally form their own boulevards of expression.

Poor health, or simply unhappy situations, arise only when the individual meets too many detours, or encounters too many blocks to the expression of value fulfillment.

With man’s and woman’s own exteriorized ego, this leads to the question of free will and the making of conscious choices.

The human individual is aware of large numbers of probable activities. Each individual person literally possesses far more abilities than can be adequately expressed in any given lifetime. This insures a large profusion of possible actions from which the individual can draw according to changing circumstances.

Each person can also intrinsically sense the direction in which he or she is most inclined. Inspiration will send nudges towards certain activities. It will be easier and more delightful for each person to move and grow in certain directions, rather than others.

In this discussion, I am not merely speaking in terms of exterior accomplishments, or goals, though these are important. Many people, however, will find they have a natural knack for relationships with others, in which the known value cannot be judged, as it can, say, in the works of an artist or writer.

Instead, such people will indeed perform a kind of artistry of relationships, composing, say, symphonic, emotional compositions that indeed play as masterfully upon the emotions as the pianist upon the keys. By looking at our own abilities lie by following the shape of our own impulses and inclinations. We cannot learn about ourselves by studying what is expected of us by others — but only by asking ourselves what we expect from oneself, and discovering for ourselves in what direction our abilities lie.

There are certain simple steps that can be followed, whenever we find oneself in a difficult situation, whether the condition is one of poor health, a stressful personal involvement with another, a financial dilemma, or whatever.

These steps seem very obvious, and perhaps too easy — but they will bring an immediate sense of ease and a peace of mind while our inner reserves are being released and activated. I have mentioned these steps many times in previous blogs, because they are so vital in clearing the conscious mind, and bringing some relief to the frightened ego.

  1. Immediately begin to live in the present as much as possible. Try to become as aware as you can of present sense-data — all of it. Often, while you are in pain, for example, you concentrate upon that sensation alone, ignoring the feelings of ease that may be felt by other portions of the body, and unaware of the conglomeration of sounds, sights, and impressions that are also in the immediate environment. This procedure will immediately lessen the pressure of the problem itself, whatever it is, and give you a sense of refreshment.
  2. Refuse to worry. This fits in automatically with Step 1, of course. Tell yourself you can worry all you want tomorrow, or on some other occasion — but resolve not to worry in the present moment.
  3. When your thoughts do touch upon you particular problem in that present moment, imagine the best possible solution to the dilemma. Do not wonder how or why or when the ideal solution will come, but see it in your mind’s eye as accomplished. Or if you are not particularly good at visual imagery, then try to get the feeling of thanksgiving and joy that you would feel if the problem was solved to you completed satisfaction.

These steps will allow you breathing time, and actually help minimize the pressure of your situation whatever it is. Then quieted you’ll be able to consider other steps that may more directly address your particular solution.

This endeavor itself will also activate your own dream mechanisms, and you’ll find that new creative understanding to the task.