Today's Quote

"Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it."
John Adams


Well, this is a difficult one - I frequently tell my patients who have been wounded in their childhoods (which is all of them) that facing the wounds inflicted by one's parents, and the rage and pain that comes with them, does not necessarily mean confronting said parents in present time. Healing is a personal, inner process from which healthy behavior will follow, but confronting your old tormentors isn't always a practical or valuable thing. What's more important now is that you're not allowing yourself to be injured by them, or anyone else, any longer.

What's difficult for me about applying this approach to the national scene, however, or the collective as it were, is that very often by not confronting the damage done by perpetrators in positions of political, business, religious or other institutional leadership, we can inadvertently set the stage for further acting out and damage.

Bob Herbert makes this point today in the NY Times, in an op-ed piece entitled: "ADD UP THE DAMAGE."
Herbert starts out by saying: "When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in three weeks (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry, a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches, over the damage he’s done to this country."

Well, I agree with Bob, but I actually think more needs to be done than howling in order for the collective consciousness to heal from the crimes of our leaders. When Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for the high crimes that led to his resignation, the country was not able to heal its collective wounds from being so betrayed by a leader in high office. If George Bush, Dick Cheney and many others who committed very high crimes indeed, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, are allowed to go off unaccountable except to the annals of history, our collective psyches will not be able to heal. I do truly feel that for Barack Obama to bring the nation together in the way he is inclined to, he must see to it that his Justice Department holds the previous administration accountable for the damage it has inflicted.

Here's a bit more from Bob Herbert:

"The catalog of Mr. Bushes' transgressions against the nation’s interests — sins of commission and omission — would keep Mr. Bush in a confessional for the rest of his life. Don’t hold your breath. He’s hardly the contrite sort. He told ABC’s Charlie Gibson: 'I don’t spend a lot of time really worrying about short-term history. I guess I don’t worry about long-term history, either, since I’m not going to be around to read it."

Well, Mr. Bush, we actually cannot leave you to a history you won't be interested in or around to read. You are now our responsibility.


Interesting to review last year's year-end reflection of 2007, written at this time last year. It still stands up, I think, so I'm reposting it, though I still plan to do this year's Year-End Reflection.

'Tis the season to... reflect. At least that's what I always feel most inclined to do at this time of year, much moreso than exchanging impractical presents and over-eating, all in the name of "traditions" which require that we behave in certain rote ways without reflecting on why we're doing it.
I'm not against acknowledging certain dates on a calendar, though. Since we do live under the construct of a linear time continuum, holidays and anniversaries can serve as moments "in time" to look over the period just ending to try and understand what motivated us to live how and where and with whom the way we did ("What did you do and how did it feel?" is the only question I think God actually ever asks anyone at the end of a lifetime.). I find a good year-in-review process at once gratifying and disheartening. Gratifying to see the ways in which I may have evolved in the past year, and to take note of the non-material gifts I have given to others, given of myself, in other words, to the degree to which I was able to be myself genuinely with those others. Disheartening to face the ways in which I was disingenuous at times.
One thing I've stopped saying is: "This year was a year of transition." Ha! Why? Because in looking back, I've been saying that exact same thing about almost every preceeding year for most of my adult life. Perhaps, I'm finally accepting that this is a transitional lifetime for me, though if the present moment is all there is, and all time is simultaneous, then what I am transitioning from and to is up for grabs.
Reflecting on the outer world situation, I had an insight recently, expressed somewhat in my recent essay, "Ain't That America." The insight was simply this - that as bad as things seem today, in terms of corruption and greed and dishonesty and brutality in so many areas of our various societies, it has been no better or worse for any long stretch of history that we are aware of going back at least a few thousand years. Which again speaks to the simultaneity of time. Clearly, we are exploring and experimenting with the dark side of the human experience, from Ancient Rome, the European Dark ages and the American continent's use of genocide and slavery to establish its sovereignty, to today's exploitation and despoiling of our world and children under the tyranny of corporate and religious fascism.
Sounds grim, but yet this thought did not leave me at all in despair. Quite the contrary, it focused me on the two things that really matter most: self-knowledge and love. When you examine any extensive text of spiritual teachings that stand up without dogma, the only two things that ever really seem to "interest" God are finding more and more creative expressions of love, and deeper and deeper explorations of God's "I Am-ness." So, too, for human beings, each of us as part of that greater I AM, when we are mostly about love's expression and knowing ourselves, we are in harmony.
So, in looking back at the calendar year of 2007, a year that held more than a few bits of turmoil for myself and many people in my sphere, I am ultimately gratified, as in full of gratitude, because I did indeed find more ways of expressiving myself creatively through love, and I do actually know myself that much more at year's end than at this time in 2006. And I had the great pleasure of sharing similar journeys with fellow seekers. I end this year, then, feeling blessed. And grateful.
So, from the great I AM from which we all originate, I wish you a wonderful rest of the holiday season (and hopefully a little actual rest during the holiday season!) and a spectacular New Year!
All my best -


One of my favorite books ever written by a psychotherapist was called: "Is There Life After Analysis?" by Alma Bond, Ph. D.

Here's what Dr. Bond had to say about what makes for a successful course of therapy:

“...the ability to understand oneself, to love, to hate, to work, to mourn, to allow oneself pleasure when appropriate, to maintain a relatively stable mood, to know who one is and be comfortable with it, to see oneself and the world realistically, to be independent of one's parents or one's therapist, to remain emotionally and physically healthy in the face of anxiety and the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, and to take over the role of the therapist when the treatment is over. In a manner of speaking, the primary motive of psychotherapy is to make the therapist obsolete.”

Yes! I have frequently said that if I am doing my job as a therapist correctly, I am continually putting myself out of business! Notice that Alma doesn't say that one has to be issue-free to be done with therapy, but rather that one has to be able to honestly see oneself and be able to treat/confront the issues when they show themselves.

Here's more from Dr. Bond on what takes the place of analysis after it is completed:

“The definitive answer to the question of what takes place after therapy can only be answered by the character of the individual patient. Every patient who ends therapy will do something different with his life. My first result was that I became my own therapist. I began to work on my dreams in earnest. I also had more time and energy to throw myself into my career. In two years, I doubled my therapy practice, then went onto writing. Now, in present time, in this new era of my life, the force of energy I once devoted to therapy, and before that to being neurotic, is now focused on my writing career. I feel it is fueled by exactly the same source of power. We only have so much of it; if it is going into conflict, it is unavailable for work. Some will spend this energy enriching their family life, others in deepening their knowledge of the interest of their choice. Some may change their careers altogether. Still others may buy themselves the time and leisure to travel...”

How great, huh? To have all that energy back? Energy that was first locked up in our neurotic defenses and character structures, and then the energy that had to be devoted to the hard excavation and demolition work of those structures in therapy. That's a lot of energy! Having all of that back can do wonders for fulfilling oneself sexually and in love, in health and in our chosen paths to creativity and generativity. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! So, come on people, put me out of business already!

I just want to add a note about meditation here. Many people I know who are following some kind of spiritual path end up feeling very frustrated. They've read The Course in Miracles or Conversations With God or watched The Secret a hundred times and they just seem unable to make use of the Laws of Attraction. Well, here's the thing - all of the promises contained in those and many other spiritual teachings are real. We are meant to attain the fulfillment of our deepest desires, and we do create and/or attract our own reality. And meditation does "work." In fact, there's a cute little piece of the Huffington Post today called "How Meditation Makes You Nicer." (
BUT... and it's a big but... you are always going to create and attract from your unconscious and subconscious first, so if there is a lot of conflict and negativity in there, you're going to find a lot of crap coming into your life before any good stuff does. You can't wallpaper over the unresolved issues, even with a valid meditation practice. You might achieve some level of "niceness" and glimpses of peacefulness, but it won't last. That's where the hard work of therapy comes in. I wish there was another way, but there aren't any end runs around this, and there arean't any magic pills! However, after therapy, watch what happens when you meditate for real. It's easy. All you need is love.
P.S. Last I heard, Alma Bond was alive and well and writing in the Florida Keys.

Peter Yarrow's Response to the Mean-Spirited "Barack the Magic Negro"


You really gotta love the way psychopaths always end up shooting themselves in the foot they're always trying to stick up someone else's ass.

Here's Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul & Mary, known for many songs, including "Puff the Magic Dragon," of which the RNC saw fit to pass around a racist parody of this holiday season:

"The sending of a Christmas greeting by Chip Saltsman to the members of the Republican National Committee that includes a recording of the so-called parody, "Barack the Magic Negro" is not only offensive, it is shocking and saddening in the extreme. It flies in the face of America's deeply held hope for a new era in which common ground and mutual respect characterize the exchanges between our national leaders.
"I and my co-writer of 'Puff,' Lenny Lipton, have been eagerly awaiting an end to the mean-spiritedness, outright disrespect and bigotry that was commonplace prior to this last presidential election. What might have been wearily accepted as 'the way it was' in the campaign, is now unacceptable. Obama is not a candidate. He is the President-Elect, and this song insults the office of the Presidency, the people who voted for him, as well as those who did not -- and taking a children's song and twisting it in such vulgar, mean-spirited way, is a slur to our entire country and our common agreement to move beyond racism."


Here's another news story to add to the four different but horrific stories from four different news sources I posted last week. My point in printing them is this: until we realize that while we may all be physical human beings living out lifetimes in the same linear chronology, we are not all the same soul age, and so to treat people who would enslave, rape or otherwise brutalize children, or murder others because of their skin color as if they were merely "bad" is itself insane. The people of the various groups and cultures in these stories are infant and/or baby souls at best. Just like a two year old child is by adult standards "insane," so, too are the people in question here insane by the standards of a mature soul. To go to war with or simply incarcerate a two-year old would be nuts, right? But to set strict, clear limits on the behavior of that child, while offering guidance, training and support makes sense, yes? That's exactly what we need to do with the insane, misogynist, racist, paranoid infants in human adult bodies of the world.

Think about it.

Check out THIS STORY: "Child maid trafficking spreads from Africa to US"


THIS STORY: "Saudi court rejects divorce plea from EIGHT-year-old girl married to 58-year- man"


THIS STORY: "There are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human history"

: "White vigilante groups blockaded small town in post-Katrina New Orleans and murdered blacks"


: "Egyptian teacher murders a pupil whose homework was late"

Today's Quote

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Today's Quote

"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us."
Black Elk (1863-1950)



"The eyes are often lidded, with a drowsy, sleepy look meant to disarm and seduce." "Brit, here we are memorializing you and you're not even dead yet! But time marches on."
George W. Bush


After twice electing (well, sort of) George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and their philosophies of "greed is good," "might makes right" and "I'm always right, anyway," the very same country elected Barack Obama!


Over the past three decades, I have witnessed what many, including mainstream medical practitioners, would consider to be miracles. Tumors shrinking and disappearing shortly before a scheduled surgery without explanation, terminal cancer going into sudden remission, a child with a supposedly organic brain dysfunction becoming normal, gastrointestinal problems clearing up in one week after a year of failed medical approaches, sexual functioning and potency increasing in middle age, chronic vision problems clearing up instantly without any medical treatment... I've got a long list of many more that are both physically and not physically oriented, but it's those physical ones that seem to impress people more. For me, people finding love-Eros-and-sex in a whole new way, seeing themselves and others clearly for the first time, finding more strength and vitality in their bodies as they get older, receiving a surprise solution to a financial problem, these are more of my favorites.

Anyway, the point is, miracles happen. They do. Really. I've seen it. But what is a miracle?

My favorite definition of a miracle - and I don't really know who said this first - is this one: "Miracles are the result of nature unimpeded." Think about that.

Miracles are the result of nature unimpeded.

In other words, what we call miracles are really just the normal operations of life when we get the barriers that our egos have created out of the way. In every one of the above examples, and many, many more, a person has freed up their emotions and/or let go of a long-held, internal belief system, and as a result, created what others would call a miracle: a spontaneous healing of an illness without slashing, burning or drugging, a dissolving of a long-standing mental block, the sudden, unpredictable solution to an intractable problem.

Einstein also knew about miracles. He once said this: "There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."


As you go into this final week of the year, which is the "high season" for those of us in the psychotherapy business, a time when people feel their conflicts, losses, disappointments and blockages most acutely, try opening yourself up to the unimpeded nature of yourself. Consider the possibility that when all the efforts of your logical mind fail, when your outer will is being thwarted, when you can't easily see a way out or a path to the light at the end of the tunnel, there is a miracle waiting to happen. Not a reward for being "good," or a compensation for your suffering, not because it's "your turn," or the luck of the draw is finally going your way, not because God or Santa Claus is cutting you a break. No. Simply because the goodness of nature, of life the way it is meant to be for all can be accessed and channeled through you, if you just let it. So, let it. If you need help getting out of your own way, getting out of nature's way, which we all do, seek it. Help is always available. Really.

That's a miracle, too.

Comment on PL's post "WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME!"

"scolthorp" left this comment:

"Peter -- Well said! I've recently been studying Don Beck (student of Clare Graves) and his model of human development. I think us nutty human-folk need more advice from people like you on matters of psychological maturation, or we're never going to grow up and learn to enjoy the variety of cultural differences. To Quote Gene Roddenberry: 'Humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but to take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms."

Today's Quote

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein


Here are four different but horrific stories from four different news sources today. My point in printing them is this: until we realize that while we may all be physical human beings living out lifetimes in the same linear chronology, we are not all the same soul age, and so to treat people who would enslave, rape or otherwise brutalize children, or murder others because of their skin color as if they were merely "bad" is itself insane. The people of the various groups and cultures in these stories are infant and/or baby souls at best. Just like a two year old child is by adult standards "insane," so, too are the people in question here insane by the standards of a mature soul. To go to war with or simply incarcerate a two-year old would be nuts, right? But to set strict, clear limits on the behavior of that child, while offering guidance, training and support makes sense, yes? That's exactly what we need to do with the insane, misogynist, racist, paranoid infants in human adult bodies of the world.

Think about it.

THIS STORY: "Saudi court rejects divorce plea from EIGHT-year-old girl married to 58-year-old man"

THIS STORY: "There are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human history"

THIS STORY: "White vigilante groups blockaded small town in post-Katrina New Orleans and murdered blacks"

THIS STORY: "Egyptian teacher murders a pupil whose homework was late"

Today's Quote

"The narcissist is not hungry for experiences, he is hungry for Experience! Looking for an expression or reflection of himself in Experience, he devalues each particular interaction or scene, because it is never enough to encompass who he is."
Richard Sennett (U.S. social historian)


Well, here's an article, called "Unfreedom Of Choice?" based on a ridiculous but popular belief that suggests that the reason so many people are either not satisfied in a relationship, or avoid relationships altogether is because there are too many choices - kind of like a grass is always greener syndrome.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Are you always looking around for something better: a better job, a better apartment... a better relationship? For example, let's say you finally found a pretty great love catch. Do you still find yourself tempted to keep going back to that large online dating ocean, in hopes of finding an even bigger, better, more 100% perfect catch? If so, your search for the better might be making your life worse.
Barry Schwartz, Ph.D., psychology professor at Swarthmore College, and author of 'The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less' has concluded that excess proliferation of choice makes people more anxious and less happy - even clinically depressed at times. Schwartz defines people who tend to check out all the options as 'maximizers' and believes they tend to question whether they've made the right choice, then later regret their choices."

Come on, Doc! Why do so many of the practitioners of the healing arts and sciences still look outside of the human being for the causes of our dysfunctions? Maximizers?! Ugh! How about this idea? A person who can't make a choice or feel satisfied with a choice because there's always a potential "better" choice is trapped in an Oral Character Structure with a narcissistic personality disorder overlay. A mouthful yes, and it is a real double whammy, too.

The orality part of it is what I call the "need-greed complex," in which there can never be enough (see my Oral Character Structure post for details), and the narcissistic part of it is that desire to be "the special person of a special person," as one narcissistic person so aptly described it. Problem there is, as soon as said special person picks you, and is therefore not elusively out of reach and elevated, he or she is no longer special.

Tough one, huh?


Comment on PL's "EVERYDAY CHILD ABUSE" & PL's response

"Anonymous" wrote this in response to my "EVERYDAY CHILD ABUSE" post:

"So, I have less than a 10% chance of inadvertently fucking up my kid?! Only the most suicidal degenerate gambler would accept those odds---at that price, the game sounds like it ain't worth playin'! So the question is: is the possible but highly improbable reward of actually raising an amazing kid worth the much more likely risk of contributing more ugly mess to the human experiment and being responsible for screwing up the very people you most intend to love?"


No, it's not worth the risk if the question is just whether to procreate or not. Anyone can have a child, but not everyone can or should raise one. But if a prospective parent is dedicated to healing their own wounded inner self, regardless of what that entails, whatever it takes, then a prospective child born to that parent would be blessed indeed.


How is THIS not child abuse?!

Yes, naming your innocent newborn "Adolf Hitler," per the news story linked here, is an extreme example, but it is only the grossest manifestation of what constitutes socially acceptable and legal child abuse committed every day by everyday parents. Vicariously acting out through one's offspring is one of the most insidious and common ways that "good" parents gut their children's self-esteem. By identifying with your kids and projecting your own fears, wishes and other feelings rooted in your own unmet needs and wounds from childhood onto them, and then, by living out the idealizations of yourself meant to compensate for those unmet needs through your children, you are repeating the damage that your parents inflicted on you.

Alexander Lowen, famed psychologist and author, once said that over 90% of children are effectively abused by their parents. I agree.

Something to think about.


As if being depressed weren't depressing enough, the medications euphemistically known as "anti-depressants" kill one of the best remedies for depression - great sex!

This is from an article in the Boston Globe:

"Sexual numbness. Lack of libido. Arousal that stalls.Such sexual symptoms have long been known side effects of the popular Prozac class of antidepressants. 'This is such an upsetting issue," said Aline Zoldbrod, a Lexington psychologist and sex therapist, "with millions of affected sex lives"

People? Hello?! Depression is caused by turning anger and sadness inward, and, of course, one of the effects of that emotional suppression is to inhibit emotional functioning and our ability to experience pleasure in all areas of life including sex. Anti-depressants don't eliminate anger and sadness; they numb and bury it deeper inside of you. This is the exact opposite of the movement needed to heal and - YES! - cure depression. Through a holistic therapy process, you can get that stockpiled rage and hurt out of your body and live emotionally free, full of joy and pleasure. How utterly ludicrous to manufacture a drug, let alone actually ingest one, that not only deepens a serious problem, but even eliminates one of the most powerful antidotes to that problem - sexual healing! Killing off your sex drive while trying to solve your depression problem is as ridiculous as destroying your immune system with radiation while trying to solve your cancer problem.
Just because the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry have gone insane, folks, doesn't mean you have to be crazy, too.

Today's Quote

The holiest of holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today's Education Quotes

"The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves."
Joseph Campbell

"You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives."
Clay P. Bedford


Six months ago, I posted a piece called "FULL PERMISSION LEARNING" in which I described the dramatic effect on our then 10 year old son after attending the orientation week at the Brooklyn Free School.

I wrote last June:

"BUT... after just one day at the Free School - ONE DAY! - B was like a different kid. Not only was he relaxed, smiling and bright-eyed after his day (at SCHOOL!!), he was standing taller! That was the truly remarkable thing. And I got it - he felt respected. He'd spent a day with adults who respected him for who he was, adults who cared about what HE was interested in learning about, instead of adults who tried to force information down his throat and conveyed his inadequacy if he didn't spit it back properly in a timely fashion. Now, after a week at the Free School, miracle of all miracles, given a chance to take today off from school or go in, B chose to go. He wanted to go to school!"

Well, now, as we approach the end of 2008 and the holiday break, and after a full three months of "B" - now eleven - attending the Free School, I can report that the remarkable experiment continues with remarkable results. Not only are the awful memories of stressful nights and conflict-ridden mornings fading, but B is able to walk the streets of Brooklyn with a friend, go to stores and manage money, and observe with interest the goings on in the world. The other evening at yet another stress-free dinnertime, B was talking about Iran. Surprised, I asked him how he knew anything about Iran? Did he study it in school? "No," he said, "but now that I'm not worried all the time, I listen to the news when you and Mom are watching it and I pick things up."

Wow! Did I have to fight back the tears! A kid learning from the world around him, without being stressed out or force-fed information. B has even taken an interest in watching Jon Stewart with us lately, and recently he had the patience to sit through my story from high school physics class about the "Vandegraff machine," used to make static electricity. Oh, yeah, and he came home from school one day and showed me how to play "power chords" on guitar, surprised to find out that I'd ever heard of Deep Purple and even knew the song, "Smoke on the Water!"

Trust and availability, that's what the Brooklyn Free School is all about. Trust that children all bring gifts to bear in this world if they would just be allowed to explore themselves and find the room for self-expression in their own time. Availability, adults just being there, without the needs of their egos, when the kids need guidance or mentoring on their journey.

It's a beautiful thing! I'll keep you posted.

Bonni's comment on my post: "WHY AREN'T YOU RICH?!"

Here's Bonni:

"Thank you for this. My 'word of the year' for 2009 is 'abundance' (word of the year is sort of like a resolution, but it's more just setting an intention/theme and a year is a convenient length of time). This post appearing now was synchronistic and perfect. I'm guessing you posted it for me, right? :)"


Homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism, greed... these are not political or philosophical positions or points of view; these are psychiatric conditions. MENTAL ILLNESS!
READ THIS and hopefully, if you're not emotionally dead, WEEP!
"Brooklyn Man Dies From Beating" (

Today's Quote

“Only the man who does not need it is fit to inherit wealth, the man who would make his fortune no matter where he started.”
Ayn Rand

Today's Quote

"Dangerous is wrath concealed. Hatred proclaimed doth lose its chance of wreaking vengeance."
Seneca (Roman philosopher)

Deepak Chopra on Sean Hannity and the Deflated Right Wing

Here's Deepak:

I sent the following letter to Sean Hannity recently in response to his misrepresentation of what I said on his show regarding the Mumbai terrorist attacks. I have not received any response back from him. Today I read it aloud on my Sirius-XM radio program and am now making it public here as well.

"Dear Sean,

I saw a report about last night's show that quotes you as follows:

"Hannity continued by saying, "We had Deepak Chopra on last night and he's blaming America! ...He was blaming America for the attacks in Mumbai and I challenged him on it and I'm like, 'Wait a minute. You've done so well in America. Why are you blaming us?' We protect 100% of the world's population. We're 4% of it."

I am really disappointed in you. Do you not remember your other guest when I was on, former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen? He made the same point I did about America's policy toward the jihadists: "Are we creating more terrorists than killing them?" Ironically, this question is attributed to Donald Rumsfeld.

It really doesn't matter to me personally whether you agree with me or not. Leaving our debate aside, your habit of taking statements out of context and playing the blaming game is sad. You have a powerful platform that influences many people. Why do you use your influence to monger fear, militancy, divisiveness, and jingoism?

I was hoping to come back on your show and have a reflective, intelligent dialogue, but perhaps the attack mode is the only way you know to make a living. The best excuse for your dishonest accusations against me is that you don't believe what you're saying. The far right has deflated, so you are there to pump it up with hot air. If you stop blowing, you'll be out of a job. I empathize.


PS: No one expects the right wing to change, but for what it's worth, they have entered an era of reconstruction. They've lost both their power and their credibility. Instead of trying to educate me about being an American, you might want to re-educate yourselves about dirty pool and below-the-belt attacks. Just a thought."

Today's Quote

"The body never lies."
Alexander Lowen


Here's an item from today's news:

"Almost one in five young American adults has a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol or drugs, researchers reported Monday in the most extensive study of its kind. The disorders include problems such as obsessive or compulsive tendencies and anti-social behavior that can sometimes lead to violence. The study also found that fewer than 25 percent of college-aged Americans with mental problems get treatment. Counting substance abuse, the study found that nearly half of young people surveyed have some sort of psychiatric condition, including students and non-students."

The good news? That someone is bringing up the subject. The bad news? Let me count the ways - The obvious - hardly anyone's getting therapy, and if they are, it's usually drugs, which can do absolutely nothing to cure a personality disorder. And the "nearly half" statistic is a farce. I haven't yet met anyone, young or old, who doesn't have some kind of clinical dysfunction, or "personality disorder," unless, of course, it's because they are psychotic, which is beyond personality disorders. That's right. Unless you had a childhood in which you were raised by two self-actualized parents who were vibrantly in-love with each other and fulfilled in their sexual and creative lives, you have a personality disorder - at best!

The time has come to treat mental and emotional health and maintenance the way we treat physical health - as a top priority. That is, unless of course, you don't mind all of the cheating, stealing, lying, violence, depression, narcissism, substance abuse, eating disorders, nightmares, rage, hand-washing and compulsive masturbating, not to mention pedophilia, racism, xenophobia and homophobia.

Let me know.

Today's Quote

"Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the psychotic in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent."
Sigmund Freud

Today's Quote

"It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible."
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Repost: "Like a Fish Needs A Donut?"

Question to the readers of this blog:
Are you in, or do you want to be in, a love relationship with an equal? Are you, in other words, or do you want to be, experiencing love-Eros-sex with someone who meets you in those areas fully, and who also meets you intellectually, spiritually and emotionally?
Hold onto your knee-jerk "yes" answer for a moment, and take a deep breath. Look at your current relationship and circumstances, and look at your history, before you answer.
Are you the type of man who's mostly attracted to younger women, or are you the type of woman who's mainly drawn to men with money? Or do you perhaps "need" flat stomachs, big tits, a six pack, a certain height or weight, hair of a certain color, or at least hair? Are previous marriages or kids a deal-breaker for you? Have you been a "caretaker" type who's chosen a needy, immature or high maintenance partner, so you can feel both wanted and deprived at the same time? Or are you an aloof, introverted type who's drawn to someone who "chases" you, so you can feel both special and harrassed at the same time? And here's one full of conflict: Do you feel satisfied and met sexually by your partner, and do you know if your partner feels that way? If you answered "yes" to any or all of the first 6 questions in this paragraph, and/or "no" to the last question, then reconsider the answer to the original questions in paragraph one.

Judith Warner, in a NY Times piece, "LIKE A FISH NEEDS A DONUT!", bemoans the superficiality of "men Out There" who "dated women multiple decades younger than themselves, prized them for their looks and their fecundity and fell in love with the magical rejuvenating mirrors they found in the women’s adoring young eyes," rather than prefering to date "contemporaries, women who’d lived, matured, grown wiser and more human with the experience of parenting." Yet, ironically, it seems to be exactly women like Judith who choose the very kind of men she's complaining about. (Remember that book, "Women Who Love Men Who Love to Hate Women?")
And rest assured, ladies, the men who choose younger women under the illusion that they're going to be hotter in bed and better eye candy are in for a big let-down. Once you get over the novelty of tight skin, not only do you realize it's just... skin! But it doesn't stay tight indefinitely anyway! And when that craving for the good daddy overtakes her youthful passion, that little Candy Apple isn't going to want hot sex anymore, as much as she'll want ego stroking and shoes.

Having sadly fallen prey to the depressing, and erroneous, belief system that comes from compulsively, and unconsciously, choosing partners from one's character defenses and unmet needs from childhood, instead of from one's adult self seeking a mutually gratifying experience in love-Eros-sex, one is left to only find comfort in shared misery. Judith, like many people I've known, describes the billions of people of one sex or another as if they were truly a monolithic group - MEN with a capital "M" and WOMEN with a capital "W." Only by believing that there are "no good men OUT THERE" (or "good women"), that "they're all the same," can one continue to avoid the reality of facing the choices one is making. In therapy sessions, some of my patients have at least been bold enough to consider that there "might be" some more evolved members of the gender in question OUT THERE, but then, they will often retreat into "Well, there can't be that many!" To which I usually respond, "Well, how many do you need?!" Get it? This is not a statistical problem, folks. And there's no such thing as MEN with a capital "M" and WOMEN with a capital "W." This is a - forgive me! - law of attraction problem. As in, you get what you seek, especially what you seek unconsciously. If you are stuck focusing on getting from a partner what you didn't get in childhood - emotional caretaking, validation, and recognition - you are guaranteed to have a lousy, ungratified adulthood. This is relationship physics, and it is as certain as the law of gravity.
Listen up, Judith, and anyone else who's really pissed off at the opposite sex right now (or the same sex, as the case may be) - take care of yourself emotionally, validate yourself, see yourself, get whatever guidance you need and do whatever it takes to take the loss of your childhood and move on into the great world of freedom and gratification of adulthood. It is so worth it!

Today's Creative Quotes

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
Albert Einstein

"The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."
Alan Alda

"The key question isn't What fosters creativity? But it is why in God's name isn't everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything."
Abraham Maslow


I watched an intense show on A & E last night called "Intervention," which is a reality show in which an addicted person is filmed in the depths of their pathology, along with interviews with their significant others, and then followed through into an intervention, with a helping professional guiding the way, to get them into rehab. It's a very powerful show, but what was so clear to me, though only an incidental focus of the show, was how the "identified patient" - the addict - was bearing the brunt of their family's dysfunction, and in some ways was the least disturbed member of the family circle.
It's well-know in family therapy models that dysfunctional families tend to orbit around one person in the system who is seen as "the problem." While everyone bemoans this person's disorder and purports to be invested in his or her recovery, the reality is that "enablers" are often more addicted to their role than the addict is addicted to their substance. In fact, you could see in the show, as I have seen in working with such families, that the addicted person is often more open to rehab and treatment than the family is, once the process begins. And very often, once the addict has recovered, he or she turns out to be the strongest member of the family.
Check it out.

"Rick" on "LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS" & PL's Response

Here are Rick's very thoughtful comments on the subject:

"Great stuff here. I will certainly use that in my repertoire in dealing with the trials and tribulations of my teenage students. As I read your posts, I always try to incorporate personal experiences. I try to see if the explanations of who I should vote for, the level of consciousness, an idea, a trait, my ego, longing to kill my brother or marry my mother, all work in my instance. When they do, it certainly is reaffirming and helpful. When they don't, that is when I take a second look, reflect and then come to an understanding. If I just can't quite fit that square peg of your reasoning into the round hole of my actual experience, that is when I usually respond.

You clearly articulated the 5 levels and they are interesting, insightful and, as I always hope these posts would do, give the reader an opportunity for a "free" lesson on self-actualization. Furthermore, you were able to keep in check your proclivity to pull a "Sonny" from the Godfather and throw trash barrels at the reader's head only to be immediately followed by the shoe!

What I struggle with on this post is the feelings around regret. I was shaking my head in agreement all the way through, but couldn't quite accept as part of "being", one must live without regrets of past events. I would argue that putting regrets in a proper place would make one truly "being," not just living without them.

I look at my past and there are certainly decisions I made and actions I did that I wish I could change. Have I worked on the pain it caused me and others? Yes. Have I forgiven myself and others for them? Yes. Have I apologized and taken full responsibility? Yes. Have I chosen a different action since then? Yes. My regrets are in a place of acceptance and understanding, yet they, and the subsequent process of dealing with them, need to still be with me to insure that the lessons of yesterday help me be a better person today.

Simply living without them or forgetting them, reeks of the most unevolved (how's that Loff56) level of consciousness, "reflex". I've been there and tried to justify my actions or just simply tried to delete them from memory. Not to acknowledge regrets, and all of the painful, yet positive lessons that can come with them, can create that big river in Egypt, De-Nile! We know how that script reads."


As always, Rick, very heartfelt and clearly coming from a person of conscience.

In terms of the state of "being" that I talk about as the highest human level of consciousness, I wrote:

"At this phase of development, a person knows that he or she creates their own reality and accepts responsibility for one's creations without judgment or blame. This person lives without attachment to outcomes, without regrets about past events, without worry about future happenings. Dualistic thinking falls by the wayside, and there is a true sense of oneness felt in connection with all others and with life."

That oneness with others - which creates true empathy - is why regrets aren't necessary to help this person be "a better person," as you strive to be. The person who is in a state of being is connected to others, through empathy, in such a way that hurting another hurts themselves immediately and directly, so regret isn't necessary as a deterrent.

And yes, you astutely understand that this stage - "being" - is similar in one way to the lowest stage - "reflex" - in that the person in a state of being, like all living beings in their natural state, will act "automatically," but in a state of being, it will be in a harmonious way with others without having to use guilt or regret or a lot of analytical thinking as a motivation. The difference between human beings and most animals, however, is that we can question ourselves and develop "awareness" and "understanding" on the way to "being." In fact, we need to go through those stages because, unlike most animals, human beings have egos.

Great conversing with you again, Rick.


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