Today's Quote

"If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down."
Mary Pickford

Today's Quote

"My girlfriend always laughs during sex --no matter what she's reading."
Steve Jobs

PL on why ALL IDEAS -especially about sex, drugs and violence - ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL

Here I go again! This won't be the first time I've taken on the Abstinence Only crowd - those who believe that not having sex before marriage is a good idea - but I can't ignore that the New York Times is giving equal time and respect to a notion so utterly absurd on the face of it in an article in the Magazine today entitled, "Students of Virginity. (You can read the article here: "
Why do I get as riled up about this subject as I do about, let's say, drugging school children or government sanctioned killing? Because after treating people of all ages and backgrounds in therapy for thirty years, and as a sociologist studying culture, my conclusion is that the single most prevalent and insidious cause of dysfunction in our world today is sexual repression and suppression, from Middle America to the Middle East. (And rest assured that it's no coincidence that the Iraq War is raging on between two sexually repressed and fanatical governments steeped in religious ideologies that subordinate sex - and women.) Right. Whether you look underneath the facades of the perpetrators of child abuse or of war, you'll find someone with a harsh or otherwise distorted relationship to sex. Just read the newspapers!
This is not a new or original idea here, folks. It has been understood throughout history. The truly organic, spiritual nature of sex, and the detrimental effects of sexual repression, have been written about for thousands of years - in the East and West - from the Kama Sutra to the writings of Sigmund Freud. But more importantly, you know, each of you know, that it's true experientially. How could something that feels so good and is so compelling in our very nature be wrong?! What must it do to our psyche and emotional life to be told that something so desirable inside of ourselves, something that feels so exhilerating and life-affirming, is sinful, or must be controlled, except under the strictest of conditions prescribed by legislators or religious leaders? It doesn't compute, right? That's why you masturbate secretly? Or have affairs or seek out prostitutes.
Now, mind you, when I use words like "life-affirming," I'm talking about real sex, not "faux sex," ala Elliot Spitzer or Bill Clinton or the school teachers in the mid-west seducing 13-year olds. That kind of impulse-disorder driven behavior is in fact the result of sexual repression caused by guilt and shame about sex. I'm talking about sex that is the celebration and exploration of our human nature, sex that elevates, not denigrates.

Here are some beautiful excerpts from a Pathwork Guide lecture called "The Spiritual Significance of Sexuality:"

"In the human realm the power of sexuality can, in its most ideal form, be the greatest "representative" of spiritual existence. There is no other human experience that conveys so fully what spiritual bliss, oneness, and timelessness are: the timeless Now, beyond the confines of time. In the total sexual experience man breaks through the confines of time and separateness to which his limited mind has bound him. Through such an experience man is reminded of his true existence in the eternal."

So, again, why would we seek to deny or control such a wonderful and powerful force with externally enforced celibacy or internally oppressive defense mechanisms? Because the sexual experience reveals us, for one thing. It opens and exposes us, if it's real sex. It blows our egos out of the way, freeing us up to see ourselves and others in a purer way than we're used to.

Here's more form the Guide lecture:

"Whatever exists within the human psyche shows up in the sexual experience. It is impossible to keep it out of it. The sexual experience is therefore an infallible indicator of where a person is: where he is liberated and at one with divine law; where he is evil and destructive; where he is stuck and stagnant because his destructiveness is hidden and not being dealt with. Hidden facets become magnetized and energized by the sexual current and they determine its direction. When this direction is negative, and therefore shamefully denied, both development and the vitality of the life force are being hindered. The powerful creative energy that is inherent in the sexual expression creates a condition in which all character attitudes, all aspects of the most hidden nature, must manifest."

Wow! The sexual experience as an infallible indicator of where a person is at? Well, take a look around you, and at yourself, and ask whether or not this seems obvious to you. It certainly does to me.

Hey, editors at the New York Times, stop giving equal weight to regressive movements like Abstinence Only. If you have to report on such a phenomenon, be honest. This is not just another legitimate philosophy about sex and love. This is a distortion of our humanity. And it causes harm. The single most common reason for divorce is sexual incompatibility, especially among people who didn't have sex until after they were married, and the most common reason for violence against women and children is sexual repression, as well.
And while you're at it, stop acting like giving children drugs in order to perform more efficiently in school is any different than athletes taking steroids to perform better on the field.
Oh yeah, and one more thing - while I'm going off - how about if we stop pretending that deciding to become a cop or a soldier isn't a pathology. Who in their right mind signs up for a career who's job description includes having to kill human beings?
Please, let's just be honest.

Today's Quote

"Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery of the truth about the unique history of our childhood."
Alice Miller

"IN TREATMENT" - The First Season

Granted, I may be a bit biased since psychotherapy is my chosen profession, but I think this first season of "In Treatment," which ended last night, was one of the best things I've ever seen on television. ( I know at least three therapists who watch the HBO series. I don't know, do lawyers watch lawyer shows? Cops cop shows?)
Anyway, "Paul" (played stoically by Gabriel Byrne) said good-bye to his first set of patients this week, and they realistically all left in very different ways: "Sophie" had a breakthrough, while "Jake and Amy" broke up; "Alex" couldn't face his guilt and pain and crossed over into the next life, while "Laura" faced-off with Paul in the bedroom, finally, but it was Paul who couldn't cross-over the line with his patient. (Instead, he had a panic attack!) And then there's "Paul and Gina," the Friday night installment where the therapist gets his therapy, often showcasing one of the richest segments every week, and with some very fine acting at that. Diane Wiest is brilliant in her role as Paul's flawed mentor, firmly but lovingly, with perhaps a touch of longing at times, challenging Paul to face his demons openly and with humility.
What I find unique about the show, however, is not only do those involved present real issues in the patients believably, but they unabashedly, and without judgement, show the weaknesses and humanity of the therapists, with an innate and in-depth understanding of the internal processes they go through. The skills of the therapists are often juxtaposed with their foibles, the series at once showing reverance for the intimate exchanges that take place and compassion for the challenges facing all the participants.
Here's an interesting aspect for me, though: while I have had some excellent real-life mentors in my 30 years of practice as a therapist, some of the best have been actors PLAYING therapists! Coming immediately to mind are Judd Hirsch in "Ordinary People," Joanne Woodward in "Sybil," and Robin Williams in "Good Will Hunting," for starters, and now, Mr. Byrne. Why is that, I've wondered? How is it that writers, actors and film makers are so able to portray the inner workings of this vocation with such clarity and courage?
Well, psychotherapy is an obsessively secretive profession, and not just for the sake of the patients, as one might be led to believe. Many therapists have gotten too comfortable with cloaking themselves in the "blank screen" - which is supposed to be for the purpose of allowing the patients to project their conflicts onto without undue influence. But the screen also ends up serving to protect the therapist from their own roiling feelings getting stirred up by the powerful exchange of emotions and energy in sessions with people baring their souls to them. The kind of treatment that leads to is merely... analysis (irony/pun intended). Analysis can increase awareness, and increased awareness frees up one's inner resources to some degree. But transformative change requires more than awareness.
All four of the actors-as-therapists I referenced above had one thing in common which contributed to the successful transformation of their patients in treatment - they, the therapists, got involved. They not only cared about their patients, but they shared themselves with their patients, and as Paul said so poignantly in one episode of IT, "No real therapy can take place without love." Judd Hirsch's character, as well as Ms. Woodward's and Mr. Williams', all told their patients that they were their "friends," truly, with the full range of feelings that implies - including love and anger, desire and contempt. They opened up not just their offices to their patients, but their homes and their hearts, their lives. That is the gift of a good therapist - knowing how to balance analysis with love, without relying too heavily on either, knowing how to use yourself in sessions without intruding yourself. That's what makes therapy a calling when it's done well, because it's more than the application of techniques or theory, more than a mental exploration, more than a science. It's an art, which is probably why artists can portray it so well. Mainly, therapy is a relationship, a powerful, focused relationship that requires each participant to reach for their highest selves.
"In Treatment" has captured the beauty and anguish of such relationships.
I can't wait for the next installment... though I am a bit exhausted!

Today's Quote

"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail."
Fran Lebowitz

Today's Quote

"I want to grow old without face lifts. They take the life out of a face, the character. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made. Sometimes, I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but you'd never complete your life, would you? You'd never wholly know yourself."
Marilyn Monroe

Today's Quote

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi


One of the conundrums I faced as a therapist for several years was why some people in therapy greatly improved their lot and rose to higher levels of self-actualization and some people did not. Even if they had similar backgrounds and similar problems, and even if an equal amount of effort and dedication was involved on the part of the patient and therapist, some would go much further than others.
If all things were equal, including my input and talents as a therapist, why couldn't all of my patients within a certain range make similar improvements in their conditions? It's kind of comparable to the age-old question of why two siblings of the same sex and fairly close in age with the same parents can so often turn out to be so dramatically different.
I really puzzled over this for a long time, especially after I began my training program for new therapists. I knew that they, too, would eventually come up against this dilemma, and would be inclined to assume that it was simply more resistance on the part of the patient, even though so much resistance had already been broken through.
As with all insights, the answer began to make itself clearer and clearer in my mind as I progressed on my own inner journey and self-work, and as I worked with more and more people in treatment. But it also required a "spiritual perspective" to finally arrive at an understanding that we human beings were more than just our bodies and brains, more than our genes and experiences; we were also "energetic beings," imbued with a "soul force" that was unique in both quality and quantity in each person. I became aware that people had different "amounts" of spiritual energy or "chi," and therefore, what each person could achieve in a particular lifetime had specific parameters.
Wow! With that lightbulb, things began clicking into place, and as a result, I became more patient with my patients, seeking to discover what each individual's innate potential was rather than pushing them to attain what I thought they should be aspiring to.
This evolution in awareness for me became further refined when I came upon the concept of "soul ages," in a book by Joya Pope, called "Upcoming Changes." (Joya's website on soul ages is a must read at: The dominoes fell over in perfect harmony as I read about the characteristics of "Infant Souls," "Baby Souls," "Young Souls," "Mature Souls" and "Old Souls." I suddenly could see everyone I knew, including myself, in a brilliant new way. And of course it made complete sense: if human life parallels spiritual life, then why couldn't souls be at various stages of development (ages) in certain planes, too, as they are here on Planet Earth? The Soul Age material channeled by Pope even perfectly described the various countries and cultures according to soul ages, how certain like souls will generally congregate together to work on similar issues of development. (I often thought that if our leaders had been aware of this reality, we would have taken a very different approach to the conflicts in the Middle East, but that's a different discussion.)
The potential in this understanding for eliminating judgement, including of ourselves, is great. I have read and reread the description of an Old Soul so many times because it always helps remind me of why I'm struggling with what I struggle with and why I'm thought of as an eccentric by some people, when I'm just being what I consider to be normal... for me! And likewise, if someone is a Young Soul, and therefore all about ambition and getting things done in the outer world, or a Baby Soul, mainly satisfied to attain the gratification of their survival needs, why would I judge them for being themselves?

Check it out at the website ( and see what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts and reactions and whether or not you found yourself!

The Tide is Turning?

You might want to check this out -

From one Republican...

McCain On Iraq: "We're Succeeding.
I Don't Care What Anybody Says"

... to another Republican.

Abraham Lincoln: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Today's Quote

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken


This was written by the founders of our country 232 years ago:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."

This was written by Karen Horney, famed psychoanalyst from the mid-20th Century, on what she called the "morality of evolution:"

"Inherent in human beings are constructive evolutionary forces, which, of their own accord, strive toward self-realization and a spirit of mutuality with others as we naturally mature. With such an autonomous striving toward self-realization, we do not need an inner straight jacket with which to shackle our spontaneity, nor the whip of inner dictates to drive us to perfection. We do not need them because we see a better possibility of dealing with destructive forces in ourselves: that of actually outgrowing them. The way toward this goal is an ever increasing awareness and understanding of ourselves. Self-knowledge, then, is not an aim in itself, but a means of liberating the forces of spontaneous growth. In this sense, to work on ourselves becomes not only the prime moral obligation, but at the same time, in a very real sense, the prime moral privilege."

Governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed?
Working on ourselves is our prime moral obligation?
Is that what Mencken, the reknowned journalist of the 1st half of the 20th Century, implied with today's quote - ""Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under" - that to the degree that we allow the dictates of others or others' rules, inner or outer, to control how we behave, what we believe, how we think even, we should be ashamed? That furthermore, to the degree that we submit blindly to the moral authority of others, we are being less than who we truly are?

This was written by me several years ago in defining Full Permission Living for my students:

"In my years of psychotherapy practice, I have discovered along with my patients that within ourselves there is no inborn negativity, no inherent, unbridled destructive impulses that must be forever controlled, no "original sin", no evil nature or permanent dark side. Rather, it is one’s belief in such a personal "badness" and an identification with it that causes people to act in dysfunctional ways that then seem to reinforce the false notion of “being bad.” These distorted ideas lead so many people to feel that they are not deserving of a life filled with love, sensuality, creative expression and material abundance. Many have erroneously concluded, and been told, that if they allowed themselves to do in every given moment what they truly felt like doing, they would inevitably act destructively - with selfishness, malice, excess or recklessness. In reality, it is that very conclusion, in self-fulfilling prophecy, that becomes the source of undesirable behavior. These negative ideas exist in the subconscious and are reinforced by many voices in our cultural environment. We are regularly told, directly and subtly, that we are somehow corrupt from birth and in need of inner and outer suppression. These messages, though popularly subscribed to, are insidious and wrong.
"Indeed, if one frees up and releases long-suppressed, and therefore toxic, feelings held in the body, and uncovers and challenges one’s archaic inner beliefs and images, the individual can be liberated from the self-negating, self-hypnotic suggestions repeated constantly in our minds since childhood. People can, in reality, become truly open systems and as such become able to trust their intuition, gut feelings, and desires without fear and without constant self doubt.
"What is required to achieve this level of openness is an other matter. For the person seeking to live with full inner permission, it will take a number of devoted years of hard work first. Nothing less than an intense period of immersion one’s healing process at all levels of the self - mind, body, emotions and spirit - will suffice to free the human spirit from the prisons we had to create to survive our childhoods and the binds of our cultural histories. This self-work must include the exploration and uncovering of the unconscious mind with all of its limiting and contradictory beliefs, the loosening-up and expressing of suppressed feelings, the unblocking of the physical body, and a relearning of what natural human development is and what its distortions are. It is not easy. But it can and has been done. Individuals can become able to trust what they know and feel and to follow their desires fearlessly. The realization that comes once we are conscious and unblocked is that we are not inherently defective or destructive, but actually made with an inner guidance system that we can indeed rely upon
"The main idea underlying full permission living was expressed quite well actually a long time ago in our fledgling country, though perhaps the message is still not fully understood yet. It is the “self-evident” truth that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are indeed our “inalienable rights” by birth, as the founders of our country realized in writing about the nature of freedom and natural living over two centuries ago. That all human beings have the potential to become “healthy, wealthy and wise”, as Benjamin Franklin proclaimed, is also a major tenant of full permission living, though as we will see, it does require a little more than “early to bed and early to rise!” We must free ourselves of our accumulated oppressive beliefs, individually and en masse, and the suppression of emotions that have caused us to lead lives of "quiet desperation" or destructive acting out.
"Now, as we begin this new century and millennium, we may be able to realize the dream of personal independence that those great revolutionaries spoke so eloquently about in 1776. Perhaps today, we stand at the threshold of a new era in which humanity can realize itself as well to be a beautiful, magnificently designed self-created expression of all that is, engaged in full permission living as part of the great 'I Am' of the universe."


Today's Quote

"I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit."
Kahlil Gibran

"Caren" on PL's post on Obama

Wow! Check out this lovely e-mail I just received today.

"Hey Peter,
Long time, no speak and yet, as I follow your blogs, you are speaking to me. I want to thank you for sharing your heart and your thoughts with all of us on your list. I just read your post re: your sadness regarding the attacks on Barack Obama. I, like you, have been pretty much apolitical until this man came to my attention, and I am also moved to tears by him, especially after his historic speech in response to Rev. Wright's sermons.
"It is my personal belief that a large part of Barack Obama's effect on the people is not this 'cult-like hysteria' that that I've heard described, or the fact that 'he made a speech in 2002,' but that this particular soul just might be vibrating a little higher than most we've experienced in politics to date. What he stands for also sets him right on the front of the wave of an integral worldview, and I can only hope with all my heart that enough people are enlightened enough to make a difference and put this man in office. I am Canadian and can't vote in the US, but I have been contributing money to his campaign. As much as I respect Hillary Clinton, the day I watched her sarcastically mock Obama's message at a rally was a sad day. ( I was more than sad actually; I was fucking furious!)
"Anyhow, Peter. I know we are on the same page here about this. In his speech given from the Ebenezer Church in Atlanta about a month ago, he said that what this country really had a deficit of was 'empathy!' Amen."

Amen to you, Caren! And thanks!

Today's Quote

"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties."
Sir Francis Bacon

Oh, and another thing...

On stress and a happy marriage, here's a quote from a Brigham Young University study that was reported online Thursday by the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. (
"A happy marriage is good for your blood pressure, but a stressed one can be worse than being single, a preliminary study suggests."

The message - work on your marriage and get happy, or get single!


"Stressed parents make kids ill!"

PARENTS! - Get a life! Get therapy! Free yourself up emotionally, sexually, creatively... if only for your kids sake! Please!

Here are some excerpts from a University of Rochester study ( reported by the BBC:

"Parents with stressful lives may be making their children as well as themselves vulnerable to illness, research suggests. A University of Rochester study, reported by New Scientist, found sickness levels were higher in children of anxious or depressed parents. It also found links between stress and immune system activity in the children. It has long been known that stress can cause immune system changes that make a person more prone to infections and other illnesses. However, the new study, first published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, is the first to provide evidence that the problem can be transmitted from parent to child.
"The researchers, led by Dr Mary Caserta, followed the parents of 169 children over a three-year period, with the parents recording instances of childhood illness, before undergoing six-monthly psychiatric evaluations. The total number of illnesses was significantly higher in the children of parents with higher levels of 'emotional stress."

Today's Quote

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."
Johann Goethe

Today's Quote

"There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his."
Helen Keller

How very, very, very sad

Since 1980, I have basically considered myself to be apolitical. Identifying with neither left, right, Democrat, Republican ,Green or Libertarian, I became disgusted with the disingenuous, insincere, two-faced, mealy-mouthed nature of political discourse. Indeed, after Jimmy Carter lost and Ronald Reagan won in 1980, I haven't voted in a presidential election since for lack of belief in any particular party's sincerity or for lack of hope in our political system. Politicians themselves became the butt of jokes in the way that admen once were in the 1950's and 60's - snake oil salesman who spoke with forked tongues, never told the truth, and whose bottom line was always personal gain at anyone's expense. Since the mid-Eighties consequently, I have focused on helping individuals elevate their own levels of consciousness, one person at a time, ignoring the notion of "movements" on a mass scale.
Then, suddenly, in 2007-2008, there came Barack Obama.
Believe me, I haven't cried at the words of a political contender since 1968, nor have I witnessed a person running for political office who I knew actually saw himself truly as a public servant in that long a time either. But yes, Barack Obama has made me cry. Barack Obama has aroused me to vote once again. When I voted for him in the NY primary recently, it was a revelation. I voted!
Understand this - I have done a lot of work on myself. I am self aware and as anti-dogmatic as you can be. I am not politically oriented, nor do I believe that politics can offer real solutions to our problems. I believe that only by raising consciousness can we really change anything. Barack Obama is the first candidate running for national office that proposes to help us raise our consciousness in many, many, many years.
So, why am I so very, very, very sad? Because I see that the forces of fear, despair, hatred, bigotry, ignorance, greed, ambition and ego are out in full force against not just Obama's candidacy, but more tragically, against his message. The message of unity, of oneness, of positiveness, and of hope. His message is being attacked with the rampant, virulent, wild-eyed paranoia so often directed at the perceived enemies of the psychotic mind. It is no coincidence that the extreme right punditry are attempting, in Hitler-esque fashion, to attack Obama as Hitler-esque. They are in a state of terror at the possibility that a candidate who promotes unity could be elected because their entire existence is built on the house of cards of ethnocentric, xenophobic separateness.
I have hope for humanity. I do. Truly. Evolution of consciousness is inevitable. We will all make it to the promised land ultimately. But I found myself surprised to consider with the rise of Barack Obama's candidacy that we might actually make it there in my lifetime. But the fear of change and growth is powerful. Very powerful. So, today, for the moment, I am sad. But still willing to be surprised.

Today's Quote

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)

Today's Quote

"All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why."
James Thurber


Caught the new series on HBO last night that focuses on the roles John and Abigail Adams played in the founding of our country. Fascinating watching these flawed but inspired human beings as they overcame their own limitations, inner conflicts and contradictions, and the primitive thinking of their times to pursue the calling of their higher selves.
Ironically, there's no doubt that if the words of the Declaration of Independence were read aloud today, there would be many in government and the punditocracy decrying it as a liberal, unpatriotic, blasphemous screed.
Yet, I couldn't resist making the comparison when these individuals convened in Philadelphia in 1776 to make their momentous decision and write those memorable words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." There they were: Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Franklin. Here we are: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Condi.

Today's Quote

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
Douglas Adams

Today's Quote

"I've noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts."
Bethania McKenstry

Thoughtful comment on my George Carlin post by Elsa

Elsemarie Hansen said...
I found your web page after I googled George Carlin's comment "professional parents". Wanted to share one of my favorite aricles of all times: The New First Grade – Are Kids Getting Pushed Too Fast, Too Soon?

Cheers Elsa (European-born new mom living here in the US and who foresees an enourmous amount of unhappy kids/teenagers coming our way - due to parent-related-pressure)

Today's Quote

"Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls."
Kahlil Gibran

Full Permission Loving

Growing up in the Sixties, like a lot of people who are now in or just entering their mid-life, I heard a lot of radical messages about love. “Make love, not war” was a popular slogan of the peace movement during the Viet Nam era. “All You Need Is Love”, the Beatles’ anthem, reverberated via satellite around the world offering a singular solution to all of life’s problems. “Free love” was declared to be the new celebratory attitude towards sexuality. I soaked up these messages over three decades ago, and felt their rightness inside of my body back then, and I felt so optimistic about the future of the human race. I was glad to be alive in this period of humanity’s evolution. I imagined that these ideas and attitudes would soon be accepted by the majority of people everywhere because the simple wisdom expressed in them was so compelling and irrefutable. As another song from that era proclaimed on Broadway in the musical, “Hair”: “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius – harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding…”
Today, thirty years later, those messages seem either quaintly idealistic or, on the other hand, even more radical than they originally did. Many now seem to seriously doubt the power of love to overcome hatred or to resolve problems in our time, and people certainly have become very cautious, even fearful about celebrating their sexuality. Others assume that experiences of brilliant love and exquisite pleasure are fleeting moments that cannot last, so why bother?
What happened? Has love failed in its promise? Is sex not all that it’s cracked up to be? What actually is the nature of love and the purpose of sex, and why do we doubt or fear the power of these energies so much?
In my experience as a mind-body-spirit psychotherapist, I have found that people usually fear what they desire the most, and that the fear of genuine love and pleasure is ultimately at the core of every character structure. [Note: a character structure is a cluster of psychological defenses, emotional blocks and physical contractions that distort a person’s personality, body and energy flow.] Why would we fear love and pleasure? It seems counter-intuitive to fear what feels so good. Indeed, when I first suggest to a patient that they have a fear of pleasure, the response is usually one of protest: “I definitely do want to be in love.” “I totally crave good sex.” “I wish I could have it all in one relationship!” Their explanation for the lack of these experiences in their lives is that it must be something external causing the problem: “There are no available men/women out there.” “You can’t have good sex when you’re working or raising kids.” “Having it all is only possible in the beginning of a relationship.”
However, at some point in the course of therapy, when the defenses and blocks of a person’s character structure have been loosened and the emotional channels have opened, the truth becomes apparent. People discover that in their newly opened state, real love and sexual pleasure are available to them…and they are terrified of it! The openness becomes symbolic of some great unknown against which we all reflexively contract. As Eva Broch puts it in her “Guide Lecture” on the spiritual significance of sexuality: “In the human realm, the power of sexuality can, in its most ideal form, be the greatest ‘representative’ of spiritual existence. There is no other human experience that conveys so fully what spiritual bliss, oneness, and timelessness are.”
So, how do we develop a reflexive reaction against something that feels so wonderful? Perhaps we have to go back to the beginning…of our lives, to understand this particular dilemma of human existence as it is right now.
A newborn infant is an extraordinarily open system, a receptive, sensate being without any body armor, without defenses other than a kind of instinctual withdrawal reaction from pain perhaps. In such a state, everything is felt so acutely, so intensely, both pleasure and pain. If you watch a baby react to stimuli, it is always with their whole body, with the totality of who they are. When experiencing pleasure, like from the loving touch or smile of its mother or the nourishment from the breast, the little baby seems to quiver and melt from ecstasy; when it is hungry or wet in its diaper or otherwise uncomfortable, it seems to shake in agony and outrage.
While in this state of original openness, the child will inevitably experience a certain amount of frustration of its basic needs, and it will be hurt by other painful stimuli as well, such as the anger, fear or anxiety of its parents. The anguish in the child will eventually cause it to begin contracting its body, as its muscle control develops, to try and control the sensation of pain, and it will become a less open system. In a sense, the child has learned at a very visceral level that openness to receiving pleasure means openness to experiencing pain. A secondary response develops that becomes what we call second nature – in this case, a reflex to avoid “too much” pleasure. This becomes one of the final conditioned responses that must be overcome in therapy in order to become able to truly experience and sustain deep love and sexual pleasure.
Here’s Eva Broch again from the same Guide Lecture: “The ability to take frustration and pain are essential ingredients in the ability to love, to give and receive, and to experience bliss. Blocks and prohibitions of true fulfillment exist because within the adult personality, the infant still claims fulfillment according to its mode.”
“Its mode”, we can presume, means to avoid pain at all costs. Somehow, the child seeks to experience love and pleasure while avoiding feeling its hurt and pain…and this is not possible. One cannot stay open and closed at the same time. As that child grows eventually into an adult, it will develop a frustrating compromise solution, keeping only partially open, or opening only occasionally to have a taste of pleasure, followed by closing up quickly again lest pain follow. This is why people have come to believe that love and passion don’t last in a relationship.
When a person falls in love, there is a rush of energy, call it “Eros”, or “Cupid’s arrow.” I’ve come to think of that surge as a “free sample” from the universe to let us know what life could be like without defenses. For a while, regardless of one’s character structure, when we fall in love, our defenses are temporarily blown aside by the force of Eros. We see everything in beautiful colors, feel healthy and invigorated and can only see the best in ourselves and the beloved other person. This is bliss. After a while, however, the free sample is done, and our defenses begin re-asserting themselves, closing us up again. The reason for this is that we intuitively know that staying open to this amount of bliss will allow the stored up old hurt and pain we’ve been holding and hiding from to come up and out, and we reflexively try to stop that. This happens below the surface of consciousness, so we are confused and disappointed, and conclude that passionate love just doesn’t last.
What needs to be discovered, however, is that at the point when the free sample begins to run out, we have the choice to buy the whole package. If we actively seek out a process that will systematically dismantle our defenses so we can keep the emotional channels open, the passionate love can indeed not only last a lot longer, but even grow profoundly deeper. The “price” is, of course, letting all of that old pain out. What makes us recoil from doing that is the erroneous belief that we could not withstand the pain. That belief is from the childish mind, from a time when the hurt of not being loved enough was indeed too overwhelming, maybe even a matter of life and death.
Now, as adults, being disappointed in love is not a life and death matter (believe it or not!). We just react as if it was. To a baby or little child, its parents are the entire universe before whom they are completely vulnerable and upon whom they are totally dependent, without choice. For better or worse, there is nowhere else for a child to turn for love and nurturance than its parents. As an adult, however, one always has options regarding the choice of a love object, and adults also have resources available to improve the quality of a relationship that a child does not.
Furthermore, the pain of emotional deprivation to a being in a tiny, little infant body, with an unformed mind, is devastating and cannot be processed. An adult in an unfulfilling relationship has a big body and a fully formed mind with which to deal with this lack, so the feelings need not be experienced as devastating. When it seems so to an adult, it is an illusion. Though the feelings are real, created by the residual, unprocessed mind of the child inside, the danger is not. Discovering this reality and releasing the old pain is where a full spectrum therapy can help keep.
Does this mean that two people can be guaranteed to be in love “forever” if they free themselves of their defenses? Not necessarily. Being in love can have a natural course of time, short or long, just like any journey two souls may take together. All journeys have endings, even great ones. An essential ingredient of real love is its freedom. Love can be felt, given and received and ultimately followed where it leads, but if one attempts to control or possess it, which would only be done out of fear, the channel closes. This has been talked about in many places, from the Bible to the beautiful writings of Kahlil Gibran to the popular songs of our generation. “If you love somebody, set them free”, Sting sang in his hit single from the 1990s.
Monogamy in a relationship that is not based on fear is “spontaneous”, as Ellsworth Baker said in his book, “Man In The Trap.” What does that mean? To me it means that one is so in love in a singular way with one particular person that on a day to day basis there is a powerful desire to experience all of one’s sexual love energy only through that one other. There is no need for emotional or legal contracts, nor are there feelings of jealousy, ownership, obligation or betrayal under the surface. Just free love, love given freely. In my experience, this kind of spontaneous love with another is one of the most powerful and spiritual experiences we can have in physical form.
From such an open place, when the time of being in love naturally concludes between two people, the sadness felt is “clean,” without remorse or bitterness or defensiveness. One feels a poignant sweetness and a true feeling of being blessed for all that was experienced during the time of connection to the beloved other soul. The “end” of the relationship can be more like a graduation, rather than a tragedy.
To get to such a place requires that a person face their most deeply feared feelings of loss and abandonment stored up from childhood, and see those feelings all the way through to the other side. To be fearless to love, in other words, we must become fearless to lose. Anyone who I have seen become fearless in this way and find their way to genuine, free loving, confirms that the journey was worth the so-called “price.”
So, what has any of this got to do with the world’s problems and the dawning of a harmonious age? Well, I have never seen anybody who has become able to love freely wanting to make war or rob banks or even litter the street. In fact, people who become free in that way are warriors, but warriors who never have to fight in the usual sense. They are simply courageous enough to really love and fearless about the illusions around losing. They understand the channeled message in Barbara Brennan’s book, “Hands of Light”, that puts it succinctly: “Hating war is not the same as loving peace.” Nothing is more powerful than an open heart. Nothing is more powerful than love. Finally, even fears of death are transcended when one loves openly.
Perhaps, to come full circle back to the “Summer of Love” days of the late 1960s, that was the meaning of “All You Need Is Love”, and of the final message the Beatles gave to us when it was time to naturally end their relationship with us: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Today's Quote

"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Oh, and another thing...

Sex with a prostitute is not sex. Not for the prostitute, nor for the john. For each of them it's a way of controlling the opposite sex out of fear and loathing of the opposite sex. Just thought I'd throw that in because some commentators that I otherwise like, including Bill Maher, think Spitzer's acting out was because he was horny. Not a chance, Bill.

Today's Quote

"Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind."
W. Somerset Maugham

The Desire for Humiliation

Erica Jong wrote this yesterday about the Eliot Spitzer-prostitution debacle:

"I once did research on dominatrixes in New York for a novel I wrote called Any Woman's Blues and discovered that one of them -- Ava was her name -- had a powerful male lawyer washing dishes in an apron and heels during her parties. Powerful men like to be humiliated. Maybe all Attorney Generals are kinky and should stay out of public office. Think of Rudy Giuliani." (

Powerful men like to be humiliated? Is that so? And if so, why would it be? And what about powerful women?
Well, it might seem a little confusing, because you have to define "powerful," first of all.
There are two kinds of power - power "over" and power "for" - one is pathological, and one is not.
Power over is what is sought by those stuck in a set of character defenses, particularly psychopathy and masochism. It seeks to control people, to bend others to their wills for the purposes of the ego, and perhaps more importantly, it seeks to have power over one's own feelings. This would certainly include many politicians, of course, and especially those who trumpet loudly their own moralistic attitudes. This "reaction formation," as it's known in psychoanalytic terms, is why so many priests and "family values" types, or law enforcers, often get caught doing the very thing they're so publicly against. The reason they're so against a particular act is because the urge to do that very thing is so strong, and harshly judged, in them. This person ultimately desires to get caught, to be "humiliated," as Erica Jong points out, because it is a relief to finally be exposed. Why else would a high profile prosecuter, or a sitting president, be so indiscreet in their sexual dalliances?
Power for is a different story. This is an expression of one's innate gifts, like the power for creating art or music, power for motivating others to develop their potential, the power for innovation, for developing new approaches to old problems. This power seeks to move others, not control them. This is healthy power, "empowerment," you could say.
But here's the interesting thing - and yes this does apply to women as well as men - whether your expression of power is unhealthy or healthy, you may find yourself attracted to humiliation or defeat either way. Why? Well, because until you've crossed the threshold into emotional and psychological adulthood (which has nothing to do with age, unfortunately), you will fear your own power, whether it is expressed pathologically or not. Obviously, you're in a different kind of struggle if you're acting out all over the place and incurring the wrath of the people around you for your hypocritical behavior, but still, subverting yourself is subverting yourself. If you're holding onto the whims and wants of childhood, you cannot accept being a genuinely powerful adult, even if you really are one.
It keeps coming down to the same things, after all, doesn't it? We have to give up on our childhoods, take the losses, and move on up to grown-up life.
It's powerful.

Today's Quote

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Thomas Didymos

Today's Quote

"We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be."
Jane Austen

Drugs in our drinking water!

Wow! We really are all connected!
An Associated Press investigation found that a vast array of pharmaceuticals _ including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones _ have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans (

More from the report:

"How do the drugs get into the water? People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue. And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies _ which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public _ have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife."

Oh, yeah, and there's further evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic.

What's fascinating about this to me is the reality that this story highlights - we're all inextricably connected to each other. If some portions of our population are numbing themselves, trashing their immune systems or throwing their hormonal balance out of whack, it's happening to all of us. Wow! There's a twisted kind of harmony in that, don't you think?

What is attractive?

It doesn't matter what age you are, what gender, what sexual orientation, whether you're single, married, with or without kids. High on the list of the most common anxieties and disturbances I encounter in people are around the issues related to body image. And man, do most people have it wrong!
Many women, for example, are convinced that men prefer skinny, young model-types to a mature, Rubenesque woman, when in fact, many surveys of men have shown the opposite to be true. Indeed, throughout history, men have always preferred full-figured woman. (See the write-up on this website- - where the virtues of the "hourglass or pear-shaped woman of wide hips, an ample bust, plump cheeks, soft-full lips, and a generally healthy profile of alluring curves and crevasses" are extoled.) And in an article I recently mentioned on my blog, "Sex and the Grey-Haired Woman" (, the author, a woman, conducted a test using internet dating and found that more men preferred her when she potrayed herself with grey hair than with brown hair.
Likewise, what women find attractive in a man is not the tightness of his abs or the size of his cock or wallet, which is what many men mistakenly think. On the Mister Poll website (, which claims to be the internet's largest poll database, women rated EYES as by far the most important physical characteristic in a man, with CLOTHES being a distant second! And in an article entitled, Housework Gets You Laid (, information from a report released by the Council on Contemporary Families showed that the husbands and fathers who have been "getting better about getting off the sofa and helping around the house receive the payoff for doing more chores of... more sex!"

So, what are all of these distortions about? Well, sorry to say, but we're back to my pet dysfunctional peeve - narcissism! Yep, that rampant condition in our culture that is gutting the self-esteem of our population. The symptoms, as I've listed before are:
- Intense investment in a false self, with extreme efforts to live up to a grandiose, perfect, “special” self-image;
- Intense desires to be attached to an idealized other, who is objectified, seen as perfect and special and can be merged with in fantasy and used to bolster the idealized self-image - the “special person of a special person;”
- Others are related to as either sources of supply for emotional gratification and self-aggrandizement, or as extensions of the self, not as real, separate beings with their own needs and identities;
- There is very little capacity for real empathy with others;
- A self-righteous sense of entitlement with little ability to tolerate frustration;
- Intense underlying rejection of the real self, which is seen as weak, vulnerable, inadequate and imperfect and irreversibly flawed; anger, contempt and irritability is felt towards others who display what has been rejected in the real self;
- Deep underlying “abandonment depression” (Masterson);
- Extraordinary dependence on external validation by others for the value of personal qualities and achievements; those who do not give such support are either devalued or overvalued; criticism or negative feedback is reacted to with rage and deep feelings of woundedness; paradoxically, others who do offer approval are often devalued and seen with contempt.

Translated, this means that any man or woman who measures a prospective partner by their age, or the tightness of their skin, color of their hair or the size of their hips or bank account is narcissistically disturbed. Okay, enough said? This requires intensive, long-term dedicated work to heal. If you want to debate it, write me.

Okay then, what is true attraction based on in a healthy adult? For that answer, you have to ask yourself or anyone you know who has truly been in love. They will tell you the same things - that it wasn't any one particular characteristic, physical or otherwise, no criteria from a checklist, no measure of deeds done in the service of servitude. No, it was something indefinable in material, physical or superficial terms. It was a spark, a passionate rush, a powerful feeling of destiny or familiarity, a charge, an energetic signature. When you're with that person in that place, you know the truth about life, about yourself, about the other person. You're soaring, glowing, and seeing with a clarity that is irrefutable. You don't see body parts or measurements or net worth. You see the person's soul, the glorious, sensual, orgasmic essence of Eros in their being. You look at their body and you swell with desire to mingle and merge with that manifestation of the being in physical form. It is perfect - at any weight, at any age, of any color. You desire to reveal yourself, the good, the bad and the ugly. You desire to know everything about the other person. It's a thirst that can't be quenched, yet one that must always be pursued.

So, if you find yourself either believing that your happiness lies in living up to someone's idealized expectations of who you should be, or you find yourself searching for that imaginary "perfect" partner who will make you feel good about yoruself, know that you have a narcissistic disorder. Get help, while you still have the potential to love.

Today's Quote

"Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?"
George Carlin

Today's Quote

"He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

PL on Drugs Vs. Therapy on "The Love We Make" blog

There is a lively debate going on at "The Love We Make" blog ( on the subject of drugs versus therapy. Worth checking it out. I would like to add this beautiful quote by Thomas Moore (author of Care of the Soul) for consideration:
"The Greeks told the story of the minotaur, the bull-headed flesh-eating man who lived in the center of the labyrinth. He was a threatening beast, and yet his name was Asterion - Star. I often think of this paradox as I sit with someone with tears in her eyes, searching for some way to deal with a death, a divorce, or a depression. It is a beast, this thing that stirs in the core of her being, but it is also the star of her innermost nature. We have to care for this suffering with extreme reverence so that, in our fear and anger at the beast, we do not overlook the star."

Today's Quote

"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
Robert Frost

Grey Hair: Good For Your Sex Life?

Enough said? Check it out at:

Today's Quote

"As a twig is bent the tree inclines."

PL on George Carlin on Child Worship

Did anyone see George Carlin's special on HBO, "Its Bad for Ya" last weekend?
Now, let me be clear, I find a lot of George's "humor" in his later years to be tired and... well... humorless, even though he is a keen observer of the foibles of human beings. His humorlessness notwithstanding, one section of his tirade on modern life in America caught my interest. He decries "a special kind of bullshit" that's taken hold in recent times in our culture: "Child Worship." Carlin defines this as an "excessive devotion to children by professional parents," otherwise referred to as "obsessive diaper sniffers," who are "over-managing their children and robbing them of their childhood." According to Carlin, "Even the simple act of playing has been taken away from children."
At one point, Carlin addresses one of my pet peeves, parents vicariously living through their children. In a most painful bullseye moment, he asks: "Isn't the pressure to succeed placed on kids for the sake of the parents just a sophisticated form of child abuse?" Yes, George, I say it is.
George goes on to say that the so-called "self-esteem movement" has been a complete failure because children never get beyond the artificially indoctrinated notion that they're "special," when in fact, children are "incomplete works." I frequently talk and blog about this "specialness training" as the genesis of narcissism. (Carlin states that studies show "all sociopaths have high self-esteem," a nonclinical misuse of both terms, but his point is understood.)
"A lot of kids never get to hear the truth about themselves," he continues, "until they're in their twenties when their boss fires them," or, I would add, until their love partners leave them because they don't want to be the all-praising parents for a grown-up person.
However jaded George Carlin, now 70 years old, may be, I do agree that child worship is bad for ya!

Today's Quote

"Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it."
J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

"Anonymous" responds to F.J. on AWM

Has F.J. actually read what Gary Hubbell wrote? Hubbell needs to wake up and learn the meaning of hypocrisy and fast, before he writes any more of these inane (insane?) articles! His description of a so-called “Angry White Man” sounds more like an adolescent, paranoid, homophobic wet dream Hubbell was having. What he describes can only be defined as an ignorant, unenlightened, male chauvinist, not only racist and elitist but also disturbingly misogynistic.

Listen to this:

“His last name and religion don’t matter… but he considers himself a white American.”
"The Angry White Man's not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race.” 

Well I guess this White Man is NOT A RACIST if you, Hubbell, say so, and as long as he doesn’t mention which “certain backgrounds” he’s speaking of. Hello?!
More from Hubbell: "The Angry White Man knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner.” 

Clearly something only an ignorant, unenlightened male chauvinist would actually “know.” I'll take this to mean, as well, that an Angry White Man runs his family with his head rather than his heart? So, I can just imagine how really loving he is!
When speaking of Hillary Clinton, our former first lady and New York State Senator, Hubbell's AWM says: “He recoils at the mere sight of her…Her very image disgusts him…he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.” These can only be the words of a deeply thoughtful and RATIONAL person, right??!!
Hubbell also points out “…everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush,” while ending with “…just as the great majority of them (AWMs) voted for George Bush.” I guess we can add "good" judgment of character to my earlier list as well!
Lastly, and not least, Hubbell has forgotten one important adjective to describe this Angry White Man and that is LONELY, because surely any fantasy man with all these qualities has no one out there but himself to keep him company.
Whew! Mr. Hubbell needs to wake up and smell the hypocrisy.

PL's response to F.J.'s AWM article recommendation:

Just a little food for thought, F.J. -
In any given moment, an event or action by another can make us feel appropriate anger. That kind of anger tends to dissipate when one takes appropriate action expressing the anger. What makes one identify oneself as an angry person, however, of any kind, is an internal dissatisfaction with oneself, not an external provocation from another.

Today's Quote

“Love is the revelation of the other person’s freedom.”
Otto Kernberg

F.J. on not forgetting the Angry White Man!

F.J., no fan of the Huffington Post you may recall, recommends this article from the Aspen Times: "In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Man" by Gary Hubbell (

Okay, F.J., I presume you qualify?

Today's Quote

"Sanity is a madness put to good use."
George Santayana

This is your brain on jazz

My friend, Barry, a very cool jazz musician in LA, sent me this. I'd say we could all use to learn a little jazz!

Check out the article at:

Here's a taste:

"A pair of Johns Hopkins and government scientists have discovered that when jazz musicians improvise, their brains turn off areas linked to self-censoring and inhibition, and turn on those that let self-expression flow. It appears, they conclude, that jazz musicians create their unique improvised riffs by turning off inhibition and turning up creativity."

Think about these ideas, parents, or prospective parents...and feel free to comment

From "Conversations With God," by Neil Donald Walsch:

"The truth is, most humans are not equipped to raise children even in their 30s and 40s – and shouldn’t be expected to. They really haven’t lived enough as adults to pass deep wisdom to their children. Your younger years were never meant to be for truth-teaching, but for truth-gathering. How can you teach children a truth you haven’t yet gathered? You can’t, of course. So, you’ll wind up telling them the only truth you know – the truth of others, your father’s, your mother’s, your cultures’, your religion’s, anything, everything but your own truth. You are still searching for that, searching and experimenting, finding and falling, forming and reforming your truth, your idea about yourself until you are half a century on this planet, or near to it. It is the elders who should raise the offspring – and who were intended to. In any society where producing offspring at a young age is not considered “wrong” because the tribal elders raise them and there is, therefore, no sense of burden, sexual repression is unheard of, and so is rape, deviance and sexual dysfunction. Parents see their children whenever they wish, live with them if they choose, but they are not solely responsible for their care and upbringing. The physical, social, and spiritual needs of the children are met by the entire community, and education and values offered by the elders. If your elders aren’t contributing, its because you have not allowed them to. In parenting, politics, economics, and even religion, you have become a youth-worshipping, elder-dismissing society, and so you have lost much richness and resource."

From Kahlil Gibran:

"“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
 They come through you but not from you,
 And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
 You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
 For they have their own thoughts.
 You may house their bodies but not their souls,
 For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
 You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
 For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
 You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
 The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that 
 His arrows may go swift and far Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
 For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

Today's Quote

"Eighty percent of success is showing up."
Woody Allen

More on Depression

In my last entry, I talked about how to see depression, and any characterologically caused symptoms and distress, as having an adaptive purpose from the big-picture perspective. Still, depression sucks! Here are a few thoughts by some experts on the human psyche and emotional life on how depending on illusions or focusing on negative outcomes can both lead to depression.

Alexander Lowen (creator of Bioenergetic therapy): “In a situation where one feels helpless to change or evade a threatening reality, recourse to illusion prevents the person from giving way to hopeless despair. As an illusion gains power it demands fulfillment, thereby forcing the individual into conflict with reality which leads to desperate behavior. To pursue the fulfillment of an illusion requires the sacrifice of good feelings in the present. In desperation, the person is willing to forgo pleasure and to hold life in abeyance in the hope that one’s illusion-come-true will remove the despair.”

Eva Broch (author of the Pathwork Guide lectures): “No illusion exists that can bring you harmony, peace and freedom.”

Jane Roberts (author of the Seth material): “Whenever you are trying to rid yourself of a dilemma, make sure that you do not concentrate your attention upon it instead. This acts to cut out other data, and to further intensify your focus upon your difficulty.”

Today's Quote

"Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them."

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