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A road less travelled....

Old 08-05-2006, 02:00 AM
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Codswallop means drivel or rubbish.

Meeeep!!! Autumn - you want me to type the flippin' thing as well as read it??!!

I might have a play at some point - mind you, even a skim over the pages should give plenty enough flavour of what I mean.

I think my initial falling out with the book came from his prescription of doom for any child growing up with plonkers for family. I'd never suggest that damage isn't done but people ARE amazing and something makes me go 'URGH' about expecting failure.

Have a read... and see.
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:27 AM
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This is what I sense on most of the pages:
In 1983 he began a bid for the presidency in order to be "a healer to the nation", but was forced by health fears to abandon his ambitions. Recently he had written in Glimpses of the Devil (2005) about his experiences of conducting exorcisms and had embarked on a new career as a songwriter. The voice of God asked him to be objective about the merits of a song he had written on the subject of faithfulness. "I went into a sort of guided meditation and I imagined there were a million people around the globe, Japan, Ethiopia, Brazil, America, what not, all with headphones on listening to this thing and that their consensus would somehow be objective… I played it for the 62nd time and I said: 'Holy s***! It's not good. It's great.' "
His next book, People of the Lie (1983), explored human evil. He was tiring, too, of his own patients, whom he thought "slow" and insufficiently attentive to him. He wound down his practice and set out on the lecture circuit, charging $15,000 a talk. He collaborated on Christian song sheets and, in 1987, published The Different Drum, which pointed out where communities were going wrong.
From The Telegraph - a top UK newspaper.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.../28/db2801.xml

I have to confess that I'm not overly concerned my instincts stem from wanting to be president, a desire to be an excorcist or a love of public speaking!

I do get what you mean though brigid - I think though that we're more aware when that is happening, I think we KNOW we are seeing something which we dislike in ourselves; how could it be both SUB conscious and related as conscious experience?
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by equus
I do get what you mean though brigid - I think though that we're more aware when that is happening, I think we KNOW we are seeing something which we dislike in ourselves; how could it be both SUB conscious and related as conscious experience?
I just know for myself that there are behaviours that I have commented on in other people that are my own, I haven't realised it at the time. As one example, my brother was an alcoholic, he drank himself to an early grave, I got really upset with him at one point, telling him how he was really doing and living things that were not actually right for him. Really these things were true about myself at the time, they bothered me so much then but now when I see it in someone, it really doesn't bother me much at all, I know that I have been there, am getting better about doing the right thing for me and living to my potential. I just don't get too emotional about it all for other people because it is not my issue any more.

There are other things that I have been a total dick about too, like control issues, anger (you might remember a few posts - I found your input and feedback enormously helpful as well as challenging my beliefs at that time), manipulation ... I have done these things and recognised them in others and disliked them, commented on them etc.. not seen them in myself. I find that the more I let these things go the less they worry me in other people, I just recognise them now and it is ok. This is my experience with myself anyway.

I am sure that alcoholism and my upbringing as a child of alcoholic parents and some abuse in my childhood has had an influence on me and that for other people those same influences are not true. For other people who have truly experienced unconditional love, open and honest, I am sure that there are less of these things and that they just are upset by behaviours because they are outside their experience and knowledge.

But I also know that in my last relationship my partner saw things in other people that bothered him, but that they rarely bothered me because they were not really part of me, who I am and my upbringing. I just didn't recognise them as being bad or needed to downgrade the person as he did, I just saw things as being someone elses choice and not mine so why would it bother me, I don't have to live with it.

Of course there are also situations where a behaviour is harmful to another person, I try to help where I can in these cases and I don't feel the need to analyse myself, no actually I still do, that is a lie. Recently I helped a friend who was trying to work out how to improve her relationship with her physically and mentally abusive husband ... I admit that I still analysed myself to see if I felt distate of the whole situation because I was accepting an abusive type relationship ... the answer was yes, albeit I felt that my situation was less abusive, really the degree is not the issue nor even a point for consideration. It did not mean that I was caring for myself any better than my friend by accepting things.

So maybe for some of us Equus, we do have to look within when a behaviour or situation bothers us, maybe not for others.

I believe in our subconscious and conscious being quite different entities, I believe our subconscious innately knows what is good and right for us, our conscious does not always know this because conscious thought is governed by bodily reactions etc. I can't really get too technical on this, I have no widely read basis, just have some experiences and seen a few things, no indisputable proof. Recently had a distance Reikki healing done on me, it just is an instinctive belief I have, no solid factual basis. May also have something to do with the religous teachings of my youth and how I felt it was true that god was in everyone of us and everywhere, how we should listen to our conscience ... stuff like that, it appears in many teachings and religions.

peace and love,
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:42 AM
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I may have missed your question Equus, I think the conscious is governed by physical, mental and emotional pulls. I consciously chose to ignore my "better judgement" when drinking, I justified behaviour, I consciously did not recognise some of my problems and issues. They were pushed away so that I could continue to do what I was doing in "good conscience". I still have some of these tendencies.

Have to go ... thinking about if I do consciously recognise stuff ...
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:41 AM
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After writing that piece about what bothers us most in others I thought it far too narrow an explanation of what I was trying to get at, and now returning to this thread 15 hours later see it was. But also that it was quite thoroughly investigated and my point was eventually addressed. Essentially,
Originally Posted by Brigid
I don't think it is a black and white thing, I definitely look within these days when I find an annoying behaviour and try to be honest with myself ... I sometimes find it. But that is good, once found and recognised I can change it, or accept it within myself...Changing / accepting it increases my tolerance and patience for others.
And once understood within oneself, that annoyance no longer has power to affect us personally. Because we understand it, we're not obliviously/ subconsciously bound to it (reacting without understanding). We can objectively see it for what it is, what causes it, how it affects our own self and others. A lot of the frustration dissipates through such awareness.

Ayn Rand! I read ALL her work in its entirety in my mid-20's. Her writing had more profound effect on my thinking, of waking me up to the power of the individual, than any other author/ teacher/ instruction. I had to go back through my volumes of handwriting/ typewriter notes (pre-computer days!) for this. If I may quote. From The Fountainhead:

"The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator all relations with men are secondary.

The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares than man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism. Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for others and place others above self. No man can live for another. He cannot share his spirit just as he cannot share his body. But the second-hander has used altruism as a weapon of exploitation and reversed the base of mankind's moral principles. Men have been taught every precept that destroys the creator. Men have been taught dependence as a virute.

The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality--the man who lives to serve others--is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit?

"In all proper relationships there is no sacrifice of anyone to anyone. Men exchange their work by free, mutual consdent to mutual advantage when their personal interest agree and they both desire the exchange. If they do not desire it, they are not forced to deal with eachother. They seek further. This is the only possible form of relationship betweeen equals. Anything else is a relation of slave to master, or victim to executioner."


This written before her pinnacle tome Atlas Shrugged. Who is John Galt? The individual within.
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by aloneagainor
The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares than man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism. Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for others and place others above self. No man can live for another. He cannot share his spirit just as he cannot share his body. But the second-hander has used altruism as a weapon of exploitation and reversed the base of mankind's moral principles. Men have been taught every precept that destroys the creator. Men have been taught dependence as a virute.
This whole concept has been one that I have been coming to terms with over the last few years. After a catholic upbringing and a glamorised image of sacrifice of oneself for the greater good of others, plus the way that I handled abuse as a young girl, where I kept quiet for the sake of peace and really became a martyr .... yep I agree that we serve the world better by being all that we can be ... that we dont really do anyone good by sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others ... that very often that sacrifice is not even understood by the very people that the sacrifice was made for.

I have lived my life for a long time as a second hander (not always) putting myself second and not really living the life I want to. I am finally getting to the point of being able to live my life for me first. Which also means making considered decisions that do not center around what anyone else's perceived ideas of normalcy are. I make decisions based on what I believe is right, and I put myself high up in the list of priorities for that decision.

I struggled with the idea of arrogance at one stage, but now I am over it. I trust now that I know what is right for me. I sense that some other people around me are also finding what is right for themselves and doing it ... now that to me is profoundly great.

Thanks for the excerpt aloneagainor!!!! Really enjoyed reading it.

love and peace,
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:29 AM
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It's a massive twist in thinking isn't it, that realization that no-one lives for another, that we live for ourselves, and to be guilted into believing we must sacrifice ourselves for another is the grandest manipulation of them all! Catholic guilt...that's the ultimate. Have you read John Dominic Crossan or Antony deMello? Both former Catholic priests who, in light of greater understanding (enlightenment), revised their postion about that religion and deemed heretics in the church. But so firmly they recognized the faulty and destructive, manipulative teachings within that religion they continued to profess their newfound understanding to anyone willing to hear of it. Taken me decades to get past that "mind-crippling nonsense" ((Five)) instruction of my childhood...

Yesterday Jehovah's Witnesses paid me a visit. They have a new intro. line, asking the question, "If you could eliminate one negative force in the the world, one cause of global suffering, what would it be." I thought to say "evangelists" but thought better of it and went with "world hunger" instead.
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:01 AM
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The Fountainhead...

The Fountainhead was more of a pleasant read than Atlas Shrugged, in terms of flow (and entertainment value). Both novels are essentially formats to display the same principles, values and such. She used her novels, manipulating the stories to preach her philosophies.

Autumn, if you you are up to it, I would suggest you read the Fountainhead rather than watch it. The book is worth reading. It is also a little quicker paced than Atlas Shrugged. Not as epic. If you liked Atlas Shrugged at all, you will most likely enjoy the Fountanhead quite a bit. (It's shorter too.)

I'm gonna have to read this Peck book that Equus has been discussing just to have a look at the thorn in Equus' side. If nothing else, I'll keep it in the bathroom.

Peace!
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:40 PM
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Anyone notice that there are no children in Ayn Rand's books? No room for the handicapped or disabled?

okay, so I am thinking I am going to have to read Peck again since it has been probably 20 years since I originally read it, recommended by my shrink, as I am sure my perspective on many things has changed over time.

Sounds like the man became a bit senile in his later age!
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:09 PM
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I'm really glad I started this and that I did it honestly with what I felt. It's started so much discussion, all of which I want to join that I'm going to have to be careful not to wind up with a nonsense post!!

I think altruism is selfish but I'm happy with that, it doesn't worry me that it's the case because it makes sense to me. We're group animals, hard wired to co-operate, and not made to suvive well in prolonged isolation (hence solitary confinement being a world wide popular torture/punishment). I think my happiness does to some extent depend on what I can offer. I know from experience the pleasure of a new sofa soon wears off, it's nice but 'it' ceases to make me happy - I can compare that to memories where whether by luck or intent I've been able to give back a smile and that REALLY makes me happy, that's lasting. I think about the body and how it reacts physiologically to anger, hatred, violence, and fear; over time the impact is negative. On the other hand I look at the physiological impact of affection, generosity, and warmth - they bring with them physical health and can be lived with for years without harm. So I believe altruism is selfish but as it's MUTUALLY beneficial I don't worry about it - I'm happier smiling at people!

To help MYSELF NOT live in anger I remember that behaviour in any one time doesn't define a person, I know I've done some awful things BUT I'm not awful. I am ALL of me not just as an adult but all of my past and all of my future, I'm learning and I can do my best, when I don't do my best I can accept I'm not perfect. I try to look at anyone else the same way but as this post demonstrates I don't always succeed.

I've read books that have changed my life, the Dalai Lama on ethics, and seen films that altered me so much I came out different to when I went in - I watched Ghandi as a child, the only white child in the packed cinema. When I read Oliver Sacks his affection for people seeps off every page, as does his curiosity and implicit awareness of 'trying' to explain/understand something rather than dictating understanding.

There are so many things that bother me reading Peck's book - but maybe I should spend less of the time angry at him and instead try to understand what has made this book so popular. However I have no wish to assimilate his thinking into my own, I believe he is not someone to follow or to trust as any kind of guide.

My favourite Guide is my Sri Lankan taxi driver friend who said strong words are when the heart and mouth speak the same language, not two like a politician!! He reckoned if you can learn to mean what you say - which includes knowing what your words mean, then you can offer something by talking. It's a hard task, I had no idea how hard but it is interesting and it makes sense!
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by equus
My favourite Guide is my Sri Lankan taxi driver friend who said strong words are when the heart and mouth speak the same language, not two like a politician!! He reckoned if you can learn to mean what you say - which includes knowing what your words mean, then you can offer something by talking. It's a hard task, I had no idea how hard but it is interesting and it makes sense!
There is a saying attributed to Ghandi:
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." - It is truly great!!

I agree with all the things you said about feelings, chemicals, physiology of the body etc. Equus. When I think about my own martyrdom, it was not essentially doing anyone any good, least of all me. When we are sacrificing ourselves I think that is a completely different thing to doing something good for someone else because we want to, because it has the potential to bring us just as much joy as the other person. If I do something for someone I have to make sure that I am doing it without hurting myself in the process and that I am just sharing myself honestly. I also believe now that I essentially must get something in the exchange to keep it a true, equal and balanced exchange between people. What that is may be a fantastic feeling of well being. I certainly have gotten no feeling of well being from sacrificing my intrinsic self and worth for someone else, that was just plain bad for me and that is what I have done in the mistaken belief that it would bring me joy.

I haven't read the books you mention aloneagainor, I have found within my own belief system some truisms within the catholic faith and also some very good psychological strategies for living - always thought that confession was a great way to offload in a safe way and do some penance so that we could grow, change and evolve. Absolutely love the teaching to treat others as we would like to be treated. But I have definitely also found that catholicism has a controlling element. Organised religion is a bit like that in my opinion, based on social requirements as much as an ideology.

I also think that catholicism has been based on a male dominated ideology, it exhibits fear of women and of natural sex. I doubt that is healthy nor natural - there have been many extremely disconcerting accounts of sexual depravation within the catholic faith and priesthood, quite revolting. Even as a child I didn't see it as natural to have priests and nuns on their own.

I remember as a child being told that a nun that was my teacher was about to be married to god - she was finalising her vows - I cried because I thought that meant she would have to be killed to do that and I so loved this teacher. Weird stuff really. Religion is a man made construct IMO and I can take or leave certain things - some of it is great and really powerful, other stuff is just the teachings of really inhibited and power trip hungry individuals. There is definitely a controlling element in most social constructs.

peace and love,
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