The United States is still stuck in 2 disastrous wars, a badly sagging economy and a man-made environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia still abound in public policy and the public square, while the right wing media lies outright about it without consequence.

What happened?

Barack Obama was supposed to be the "change" we were all waiting for, wasn't he? His election was supposed to signal a new day in American leadership, right?

Well... here's the problem: like so many people in this time of great transition, President Obama is stuck in 3D.

Yes, compared to the child we had as a putative leader from 2000 to 2008, Obama seemed to be a breath of fresh air. He was/is a mature, thoughtful, intelligent adult with a balanced emotional life, a vibrant relationship and pragmatic, rather than superstitious, strategies for governing. But that's not enough.

As Albert Einstein once said: "You cannot solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created it." And the level of consciousness that has created our current debacles is three-dimensional, which is to say, linear and dualistic.

Like Obama, I have seen many people become quite frustrated lately because although they appear to be doing the "right" things in their work-lives or relationships or regarding their health, nothing seems to work out satisfactorily. And that is because they are trying to work from the outside in, instead of from the inside out. They are operating according to Newtonian physics instead of Quantum physics. In the latter, consciousness rules matter, creating our reality, and time is relative, or an illusion. There is no "either-or," "right or wrong," "me or you." We are all one with each other and with All That Is, and we create our own reality from our consciousness. Period.

These understandings are no longer meant to stay in the realm of theory or science fiction entertainment, folks. The time has come to shift to a Fourth Dimensional perspective and realize that whatever ails us, whatever we are dissatisfied with can only be addressed from within our individual and collective consciousnesses.

Don't believe me? Well, keep on trying to do the right thing instead of clearing up your inner life, and let me know how it works out. But you better let me know soon, because I'm off to 4D. Come on, Barack!

"Spike" comments on PL's post: "STUCK IN 3D, LIKE OBAMA? HOW'S THAT WORKING OUT?!"

Here's Spike:

I agree with this 100%! Changes really do need to be made from the inside out and if you just say your going to change something it will never happen unless you really want it to deep inside. I agree with your ideas behind Obama as well. Did people really expect things would change right away once we had a new leader? Things take time & understanding especially when we are in as deep as we currently are. He does need to change into some 4D thinking but people cannot expect immediate results!


Readers of this blog must wonder at times where I'm coming from.

On the same page, I can be talking about how we create our reality from within, no exceptions, we are all one and love is the essence of All That Is, and then scroll down and I'm calling the Pope and Mel Gibson crazy or ranting about the Park Slope Stepford Parents or listing lengthy and complex stages of healing in therapy.

What gives, PL?

Well, I'm glad you asked. I am indeed coming from more than one place on this blog.

At once, I am attempting to impart what I have discovered as spiritual truths about the nature of reality, truths that operate beyond three-dimensional existence, but incorporate 3-D, while simultaneously commenting on this physical/linear level of creation from a physical/linear perspective. It is an interesting, and I must admit, stimulating exercise.

I know that to heal the Pope in Rome, I have to heal the Pope in me that I've created. But it is kind of fun to lambaste and chastise the pontiffs whose dictates I felt tortured by in childhood every time I got angry or horny. Of course, now I know that I created those Popes, too, but nonetheless, the limitations of this game create challenges that I have clearly wanted to take on, so I pretended that Popes were outside of my creative abilities growing up.

Woah, what the heck are you talking about PL?!

What I'm saying, folks, is that it's all a game down here in 3-D physical reality on planet Earth, a game with rules that we made up and agreed to abide by... until we don't agree anymore. Since I've been writing screenplays and TV episodes, I've come to realize that the process of creating reality is exactly the same as the process of writing a movie. We choose the settings, the characters, the story lines and the timing of events, all in a somewhat structured, yet still very improvisational way. It really is fun... if you let it be, even if what you're writing is melodrama or horror.

Ahh... I hear the protests: "Suffering isn't fun, PL. And neither are war or poverty or racism or violence or oil spills!"

Well, first of all, to many individuals, being a warrior is very exciting, and ennobling poverty, or greed for that matter, are common approaches to life that people take pride in, and so on. Also, for a lot of other people, fighting against war and poverty and oil spills is a stimulating game that elevates their perceived sense of self.

That being said, however, we may be coming to a time when those games have been played-out for a majority of human beings, a time when we do in fact put an end to war and poverty because they're just not interesting story-lines anymore. "Boring. Been there, done that. Let's try experiencing alignment with unconditional love and oneness again, outside of the illusion of a space-time continuum."

It seems that many of us on Earth are ready to shift the game in that direction, into Fourth-Dimensional Reality, with the help of The Wave.

But don't mistakenly think that life on Earth is something to escape. It's not. We're here to experience being here, and ultimately to experience what unconditional love expresses itself like in three dimensions. It can be quite exquisitely pleasurable in its own very unique way once we really master the game.

You know, just before you reach the top of a mountain you've been climbing, the pain in your legs and the exhaustion may seem overwhelming, but if you continue on, the exhilaration from the view at the top of the mountain will be equally overwhelming in a joyful, awe-inspiring way. And maybe at that moment, it will all seem worth it.

Hey! Good game!!

More on Open Marriage

They're all over these days - articles about non-traditional marriages or open marriages or no marriages. "Polyamory" seems to be the new relationship/non-relationship buzzword everywhere. Tango On-Line Magazine has numerous pieces on marriage without monogamy, as does the Huffington Post in its "Living" section. It seems that now, 36 years after Nena and George O'Neill wrote their best-selling book, "OPEN MARRIAGE," the concept is making a real comeback.

Wikopedia defines "open marriage" this way:

"Open marriage typically refers to a marriage in which the partners agree that each may engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without this being regarded as infidelity. There are many different styles of open marriage, with the partners having varying levels of input on their spouse's activities."

In my therapy practice, especially over the last ten years or so, I have definitely witnessed a shift in the consciousness about marriage and relationships. For one thing, fewer people are getting married at all, and those that are thinking about it are not considering it at least while they are in their twenties, or even early thirties.

I think that's great. No one who gets married before they've really experienced adulthood for a good while is getting married for a healthy reason. Period. No one. It's all about fear and fulfilling images when you're that young. How can you tell? Because young people who get married think it's a momentous occasion, a really big deal, a... UGH!... commitment! In other words, a contract! With clauses that, no matter how poetic, basically claim that the spouses involved won't have to worry about being alone ever again: "I might get fat, you might get lazy, we might stop having great talks and great sex, but I've got a contract that says you have to be with me."

Now, of course, only the most out-of-touch people these days don't know that divorce is a routine part of adult life, since over fifty percent end up there, but that statistical fact doesn't change the fantasy for so many. Still, something positive must be up, since the "institution" of marriage seems to be under siege, among people of all ages.

Okay, but what about "open marriage" or polyamory as alternatives? Well, first of all, why not? What's wrong with having more than one love and/or sex partner? Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx both understood a century ago that monogamous marriage was a constructed social arrangement that mainly benefited societal institutions and economic systems, not the individuals in the marriage. Freud saw marriage as a way for society to control sex, and Marx saw marriage as an efficient consumption unit designed to fuel capitalism. (I agree with both Freud and Marx on this, by the way, and I want to add that, in general, traditional marriage as it is widely practiced is NOT GOOD FOR THE KIDS!)

But I want to say something else beyond just that traditional marriage with contractual monogamy is an institution built on personal fear and societal control. I want to say that marriage can also be a celebration. It can be an enthusiastic way of saying to the world, "We're in love!" "Yahoo!" "Check us out!" "We're immersed in a high order of Love-Eros-and-Sex and it's the shit!"

Yes. That's it! It's the party part of marriage that makes sense, not the "marriage" part. And if you're truly partaking of that kind of Love-Eros-and-Sex, you will find yourself arriving to a place that I've called, "spontaneous monogamy," a place where you're just having so much great sex and great talks and great life with your partner that your desires are focused like a laser on that one love partner. No need for a contract. No obligatory co-dependency. Passion, pleasure, fun and love, and yes, the sharing of the responsibilities of careers and parenting, and accepting the challenges of coming face to face with each other's character flaws, too. But always driving it all is the laser. Perhaps in that place, you might even decide to experiment with extramarital sex at some point, but it will be in the same spirit of celebration, not because, as described in so many of the open marriage articles, your sex life with your love partner has gone flat or doesn't meet all of your needs sexually, etc.

So, okay, one last point. Open marriage, or open anything in human relationships, has nothing to do with outer behaviors. Having sex with several persons, or just one person can be open or closed. It's really about how open you are to the full range of your own emotions, how free you are of your inner belief systems, how readily you can reveal yourself to another, and how connected you are to your own soul.

To be continued...


To each and every single one of you, from the depths of my heart and soul, I thank you for your beautiful work last night at Shetler Studios. You gave everyone there much more than an hour of entertainment, you gave them all an experience.

Here's some of what one of the producers in attendance had to say:

"Peter, Terrific show tonight. The characters continue to impress, as well as your writing prowess. I really do want to see more, and that is what should happen for a series to succeed. Once again, I'm impressed with all the talented actors you've assembled, and the hard work they put into this. Nice job!"

And another producer:

"It was a wholly new experience having watched the rehearsals, compared to last month only seeing the reading, itself. What a great endeavor and, yes, the actors are really special people as well as talented performers."

And finally, one film maker guest in the audience put it to me this way afterwards:

"There was so much love, so much love!"

Yes. And that love was you, folks. Always know that your craft is a gift from your highest, true self, a giving thing that brings light and life into people's lives. Thank you for bringing it into mine!

OK, now I'm going back to bed... for the month of August!


"There you go again!" as Ronald Reagan famously said only months earlier in the debate with Jimmy Carter that led to his election. Yep. We're back in the summer of 1981, and our gang of misfit warriors are taking a break from the cut-throat Gramercy Park Softball League for July 4th by having a team picnic and co-ed softball game at the notorious "Field 6" of Riis Park in Queens.

Frank Cello, Jennie Silverman, G.C., Larry, Bird, Rick, Sam, Eli, Jeffrey, and of course, the hot City Rock women, all played by a brilliant ensemble cast of New York actors, will be on stage for the sixth performance of the season, Episode 6: "The Picnic," at Shetler Studios TONIGHT, July 28 at 7 PM.

And as always in these gritty New-York tales, it won't be all fun and games. Frank and Jennie must try to rescue a pregnant 14-year old runaway from a life on the seedy streets of Times Square, and from her astoundingly dysfunctional parents. Along with our heros and recurring stars, this episode's featured guest characters will indeed be remembered for years to come.

Oh, and then there's the smoking soundtrack of 80's music! This month's episode features: Todd Rundgren, Smokey Robinson, Ricki Lee Jones, Quincy Jones, The Pointer Sisters, Joan Jett, Manhattan Transfer, Tom Petty and more!

Come and join us once again for the latest presentation of a series that will change the way you watch television. CITY ROCK is live!

For more information, go HERE. And check out the City Rock Youtube video HERE:


Here's Anonymous' comment on an FPL "classic" from a few years ago:

"Thank you for your knowledge, guidance & light as I work to dismantle my cocoon!"


Thank you!


Here's LOFF56:


I guess then, what I'm asking is more on a personal level for you, Peter Loffredo. Given what you've learned writing this Blog, (and I do believe that blog writing is more about expressing what we are currently learning than what we already know), would your first line of attack (for lack of a better phrase) when trying to heal an individual or a group be more akin to Dr. Len's approach, this 4D approach as you're calling it? Or would you assess the situation and deal with it on a 3D or 4D basis depending on what you deemed to have the most efficacy? Given that you're suggesting that 4D trumps 3D, why would you ever go back to solving a problem in a 3D kind of way? To use another simplistic analogy, if the goal is to drive a nail, and you're given a choice between a hammer and a rock to do the job, why would you ever choose the rock? Only if the hammer wasn't an option would you try to use the rock, right? But it seems, for you at least, that the proverbial hammer is now always an option.

OK, let me be more blunt about the question. Given what you now know about the efficacy of this 4D approach, would you ever go back to "kicking ass"? And I realize that this is a very linear question, so I'm hoping you can step back for a second to answer it in a very linear "yes" or "no" fashion. Lol

Here's PL:

And another great question, L56. Thank you!

But here's the thing - to be able to use a Fourth Dimensional approach full time, you have to be operating in fourth dimensional reality full time. I'm getting there, but I'm not fully there yet. How do I know I'm getting there? Well, just from the perspective of my work as a therapist, over the years, I am definitely finding that as I've done more and more work on healing myself, my patients have accelerated their personal healing journey proportionately. And like the therapist in the article, I am doing less intervention and less application of technique but getting more and more powerful results. So, I actually do use the 4D "hammer" approach over the 3D "rock" approach as much as possible.

What I was saying in my prior post is that I understand that a part of me (including a part of my spiritual self) has found the 3D approach interesting and fun to work with for a while, and so that is why the apparent "delay" in moving fully to 4D. Also, in linear reality things take time.

Stay with me, though. I'm going. I expect to arrive to the place that Dr. Len is at in the very near future. In fact, I'm healing you right now, L56, without even being in the same room as you!


Here's LOFF56:

Yeah, you've completely lost me on this one PL.

Sunday's post about "The World's Most Unusual Therapist" was very fascinating, and I'm totally getting where you're going with that. I totally get that whole, work on yourself to make other people better. It makes a lot of sense even on a basic biological/social level. If you make yourself stronger physically, then the whole tribe benefits from your abilities. But I can't help thinking that Dr. Len's ultimate example of "riding the wave", as it were, is pretty antithetical to your "ass kicking" methodology that you've talked about many, many times on this blog. Haven't you argued that "kicking ass", as it were, was a means for people to find the truth about themselves in a not-so-sugar-coated way so that they can be empowered to help themselves? I'm a bit lost as to how both philosophies can co-exist. In Dr. Len's methodology "ass kicking" wasn't really on the agenda. In fact, from what you posted, it looks like he didn't even talk to his patients, or even talk about his patients, or was ever even in the same room with them. They would have no idea in the physical 3 dimensional world what he thought of them or maybe even that he even existed!

It appears to me as though both methods are in contradiction with each other. Is there a compromise here? Does one ultimately trump the other? Are you now subscribing to Dr. Len's methodology and therefore resigning yourself to the fact that your past "ass kickings" were all just for "fun"? Or is there still something to be said for a good "ass kicking" that perhaps Dr. Len just doesn't get?

I hope I'm not oversimplifying things, but I also hope you can see my confusion.

Here's PL:

I love the fact that you give yourself - and everyone else - the gift of reflecting deeply on things, L56. Thank you!

Yes, what I was trying to say in one sense is that 4D does indeed "trump" 3D, but going 3D in response to 3D is, or can be, "fun." What I actually said was that "commenting on this physical/linear level of creation from a physical/linear perspective" is "an interesting, and I must admit, stimulating exercise."

Perhaps another way of saying this is that healing oneself as the method to heal others is the most powerful and efficient way to go about healing - the 4th Dimensional approach. Does that invalidate the 3-dimensional approaches, including "kicking ass?" Only if you're thinking three-dimensionally!

We are in the process collectively of evolving from a three-dimensional, linear perspective to a non-linear multi-dimensional perspective, but that doesn't mean that the experiment in 3D was "wrong" or invalid. It was that experiment, that experience. Now, we're sort of at a been there, done that place with hard-core dualistic thinking, so we're shifting.

Very stimulating, eh?




Go, PL! Reading you loud & clear in Vermont! Thanks for this post!

"If you want to solve a problem, no matter what kind of problem, work on yourself." —Ihaleakala Hew Len


Thanks, LJ - I know you do!


"Letting women be priests — which should be seen as a way to help cleanse the church and move it beyond its infantilized and defensive state — is now on the list of awful sins right next to pedophilia, heresy, apostasy and schism."

Read the rest of Maureen Dowd's editorial in today's NY TIMES HERE.

Crazier even than this guy?!!?"The death throes of Mel Gibson’s career feel less like another Hollywood scandal than the last gasps of an American era."
Read the rest of Frank Rich's editorial in the NY TIMES HERE.


According to the Pope yesterday, the ordination of women is a "grave crime" subject to the same set of procedures and punishments meted out for sex abuse! Are there any defenders of the Catholic Church left?!



Here's Luis:

I really appreciate this article. No words enough to thank you.

Here's PL:

Well, Luis, your words are definitely enough. Thank you.

Self-knowledge is a very wonderful thing, is it not?

All my best,

Oh, and here is the therapeutic tasks and approach that you asked for.


- Develop spontaneity, assertiveness and healthy aggression without fears of humiliation or retaliation;
- Become aware of, accept and release negative feelings and attitudes, and sadistic impulses, without guilt or anxiety;
- Relinquish the obsessive-compulsive patterns, and the excessive need to control and not mess up;
- Recognize and relinquish the self-sabotaging and passive-aggressive behavior patterns that have been a resistance to expansion and an illusory form of vengeance against the dominating parents of childhood;
- Stretch and decompress the body, opening it up to its full length; release the held aggression everywhere in the body, and particularly let go of the spasticity in the entire pelvic floor area;
- Experience sexual feelings freely without guilt or the fear that the bottom will fall out; let go of the pushing and stopping as a way of controlling the energy flow;
- Release the judgmental attitudes and disgust toward bodily functions and needs, particularly sex, eating and excretory functions;
- Acknowledge and experience the different aspects of the personality, opening the lines of communication between them, while establishing an identification with the adult self;
- Become aware of the erroneous conclusions, images and beliefs of the mask/false self, and the limitations and unreality of the idealized self image;
- Experience pleasure and expansion, and recognize and express one’s Higher Self aspects with less fear of exploding;
- Primary raw negative expression that needs release: “No!”
- Primary positive self-affirmation that needs assertion: “I have the right to be free.”


- Establish a light and warm environment, acknowledging the genuine kindness, compassion and goodness in this person who suffers from a belief in his or her own “badness”;
- Engage the person’s capacity for humor to counteract the heaviness in their emotional climate and despondent view of their life as a burden;
- Encourage the person to talk about their perceived “disgusting” habits and self-destructive patterns to neutralize the shame and guilt;
- Help the person face the reality of having been controlled and dominated by the parents, and that “being good” was a desperate attempt to get love and acceptance;
- Confront the person’s defiance and hostility underneath their passivity; the person employing this structure can tolerate and even needs provocation by the therapist to get their anger acknowledged and moving;
- Use full bodywork regimen early on and regularly, including group; use rolling to stretch out the compressed torso, pelvic thrusts, hitting and kicking to free up the aggression; massage the heavily armored large muscles deeply, even pounding them, to release pain and tension; massage chest and diaphragmatic segment to facilitate fuller exhalation; facilitate crying through deep massaging of the neck, chest and abdomen, which will be necessary to clear the massive contractions there;
- Energize the “No!’ fully and regularly in this person through verbal expressions while doing the bodywork; also have this person energetically verbalize scatological expressions and sounds during bodywork (“Shit on you!”);
- Confront the person’s passive resistance to therapy as a way of spiting the perceived controlling will of the therapist (as parent); this person will tend to be a “model patient” (“good boy or girl”) by always being on time, always paying, following up advice, etc., but will “thwart” the therapist by “never feeling any better”;
- Help the person recognize their Higher Self aspects, especially their compassionate and joyful nature, to see that their gifts are there even when hidden behind the mask, and that although they have a wounded aspect in their personality, they need not identify with that aspect in order for it to get the help it needs;
- In the later stages of therapy, as the person drops the mask and releases the raw negative feelings, fear of pleasure and expansion must be addressed as it comes up with reassurance, based on experience, that they can tolerate the energy now and that the fear is not a regression or a setback.


Compulsion: a repeated action, the need for whose performance insistently forces itself into consciousness even though the person simultaneously does not wish to perform the act; compulsions are obsessions in action, are ego-alien and are therefore always resisted.

Dissimulation: the act of pretending.

Externalization: a process by which one’s feelings toward oneself are experienced as feelings toward others.

Obsession: an idea or impulse that repetitively and insistently forces itself into consciousness even though it is unwelcome; an example of an intellectual obsession is a preoccupation with metaphysical questions concerning one’s purpose in life, ultimate destiny, etc.; an example of an impulsive obsession is an idea that leads to action like concerns about germs leading to repeated hand-washing.

Rationalization: making a thing appear reasonable, when otherwise its irrationality would be evident; meant to act as a screen, to cover up ideas or actions intended to gratify an unconscious need.

Reaction Formation: the development of conscious attitudes and interests that are socially acceptable that are the antithesis of unconscious attitudes and impulses that are not acceptable.

Reversal: the process by which an energetic expression, an impulse or feeling, is changed into its opposite. Through this mechanism, hate may change to love, sadism to masochism, longing for an object to rejection of it, etc. (precursor to reaction formation)

Ruminative Thinking: repetitively going over ideas (often unpleasant ones), recollections or plans mentally that serves no adaptive purpose, but rather serves to distract one’s conscious mind from being aware of feelings deemed unacceptable.

Undoing: a defense mechanism consisting of positive action that actually (or in fantasy) is the opposite of something against which the ego must defend itself (i.e. – eating health food to defend against an impulse to literally “eat shit”).


Yep. We're doing one more round before we take a break in August. Number Six. Episode 5: "Father's Day" was a great experience for all involved, and the vortex being created around City Rock garnered even more positive energy and enthusiastic interest. I am struck by the direct relationship between doing what you love to do and receiving support from all corners of the Universe.

Here's a peek inside the script:


Frank and Jennie relaxing in the bathtub in the kitchen, taking turns with a joint and a pint of Jack Daniels. Frank shakes his head.

I feel guilty doing this with you while you’re on a methadone program.

Hey, Frankie babe! Gimme a break! I’m not shootin’ dope. Michael the Monster is out of my life... for today anyway. And I’m in therapy three goddamn times a week with Cramer the Magician! Dig? I gotta give myself some kind of reward now and then. I’m just bummed that I didn’t pick up a half O-Z of coke while I was at the clinic this morning.

Frank looks at her as if she were an alien, then changes the subject.

Can you believe those two? I don’t know which one is crazier?

Which two? Larry and G.C.? Or Joy and Rick? Man, that dude loves to party even more than me...

No. No. I’m trying very hard not to think about the team right now. I mean, the Glicks.

Oh, yeah! I say... he’s the crazier one, but she’s the killer.

Yeah, it’d be better if she was the one who couldn’t go out in public.

(eyes flashing pain)
I know that stare of hers. A little too familiar...

Before he can respond, the phone rings. He gets out of the tub, dripping water and suds across the kitchen and picks up the phone sitting on the window sill.

(his eyes widen)
HI! HI! Sarah! Wow! How are you?... Uh-huh... uh-huh... great, great... yeah, good, okay, busy... social worker at a high school, yeah, and part-time at a runaway shelter... yeah, yeah, you know me... you? RN? Congratulations!
(conflict on his face as he listens)
... uhh... sure, okay, yeah... when? Oh. Yeah, sure. Okay. Dinner? Okay. Call me when you get in and I’ll give you directions. Okay. See you tomorrow.

He hangs up and dries off. Jen curious as she tokes on the joint and passes it to him. He sits on the edge of the tub.

You look like you need a hit of this. Who was that?

My ex-wife.

Oh, snap! You’re ex-wife?! How could you already have an EX-wife?


This is something I wrote this morning in response to a debate over which NYC park was better - Central Park or Prospect Park.

Here's PL:

Over my 6 years of living in Park Slope, and writing on this blog, and before that on the Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn blog, I have been very critical of this enclave of sexless, stroller-jockeying Stepford Parents, and the narcissistic, non-empathic kids they are breeding. So, naturally, people have often not so subtly suggested that if I didn't like it, I shouldn't live here, somewhat with the same tone that George Bush said "You're either with us or with the terrorists."

So, since it's obviously not the people in PS keeping me in this part of New York City, why do I live here?

Yep. It's Prospect Park!

I lived right near Central Park for 25 years, and used the park regularly, and there is no comparison. Prospect Park is a pristine paradise compared to Central Park. The lushness of it even elevates and freshens the air in the surrounding streets.

And the lack of tourists? Well, Jim Rasenberger must be the only New Yorker who thinks that is a drawback. His reasons for preferring CP basically seem to come down to that more people go there and it's more famous. Well, maybe that's because it's in Manhattan, and because it's more like an amusement park than a landscaping masterpiece.
Yes, I must agree with everything Elizabeth Giddens says, including her observation on God's practice run with men before he made his masterpiece - women.



This might sound like it could be me, but it's actually from a blog called: Earthspiritworks.

"I spent time lounging on the beach this week (and I’ve got the sunburn to prove it – ouch! – wtf wasn’t I thinking?), resting after many weeks of teaching, holding space for others, planning, etc. Nature, particularly the ocean, has an wonderful, calming, healing effect on me. I had the pleasure of falling asleep at night to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. That may just be my favorite lullaby. As I sat on the ferry heading back to the mainland, I smiled as I watched Fire Island fade on the horizon. An enormous sense of gratitude and renewal swelled inside of me and I realized that I was happy to be returning to the city. Mission accomplished. I reflected on that peacefulness in meditation and wondered how I could maintain it when the ocean is not available."


Mel Gibson's career and grip on his life are basically over. The news is being reported everywhere this weekend that after his latest abusive, racist spate of acting out and borderline behavior, his agents have dropped him, and he is now a total pariah in the movie business. Done. Finished. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!

But, what happened to Mel? And more importantly, could it happen to you?!

Well, it's actually pretty simple, you see... Change is constant.

If something or someone is alive, there is a continuous movement of energy, life force if you will, that never ceases to flow. If, however, due to unresolved inner conflicts, unchallenged erroneous beliefs and blocked emotions, one creates constrictions to that flow of energy, illness or dis-ease will result. Always. No exceptions, folks. None. Ever. No "closed system" ever thrives over time.

As we "age" (I prefer "grow" or "evolve" as being more accurate, but...), things either get better or worse as linear time passes. They never ever remain the same. Either your life continues to become more constricted and painful and depressing over time, your distortions more pronounced, your limitations more extreme, your satisfaction more diminished, or your life becomes freer, happier, more pleasurable, vibrant, passionate and peaceful with age. And obviously, the determining factor here is whether or not you have done the self-work necessary to heal the wounds we all suffer from having crash-landed on Planet Earth when we're born.

So, it's up to you, folks - be happy, live long and prosper or...


Here's David:

I came across your blog from your posting on craigslist about the stroller ban. I was curious about more of your views when I read this post about sun exposure.

As a 46 year old who first had skin cancers removed from my face/torso/neck by 30 due to natural sun exposure (the beach/park/etc), I can't disagree with your statement more. I find it also dangerous.

I don't know your ethnic heritage, but your skin type must be of a kind that produces enough melanin to protect against damage. My background is Scottish, so I have fair/ruddy skin. I have to wear sunscreen everyday, or else I would have more basil and squamos cell skin cancers all over my face and arms. If unchecked, these can grow, get into the blood stream, and become melanoma. Which can be deadly.

Since you counsel people for a living, I'm surprised that you would make large, blanket assertions that seem to say that all doctors are bad, all western medicine is bad, the sun is great for skin and reports of its dangers misleading.

If I was a potential client/patient of yours and found that you dont think there is anything at all to be gained from the science of western medicine, it would be like saying you firmly believe the world is flat, and I would run for the hills. Your thinking (on this topic) seems to be so reductive, yet you seem to profess to expand people's thinking.

Thanks for letting me share my views.

Here's PL:

Thanks for writing in, David. Always glad to have to have a new voice heard here.

I would like to "tweak" a bit of what you're claiming I said.

Yes, I do at times speak generally in over-arching ways about certain professional groups, especially on this blog. That is certainly so. I also use specific cases and my own personal experiences as examples, at other times. For instance, I said: "One thing I have always known is that the sun is good for me." (Italics for emphasis.)

A very important aspect of Full Permission Living, that people sometimes overlook because they are so invested in a belief in the need for harsh inner control over their thoughts and feelings, is what I repeated in my piece about the sun that you refer to: "When you have done the self-work necessary to clear out a good portion of your self-destructive, character structure driven defenses, you can then follow this simple rule: 'If it feels good, it is good!" I also said: "I have never shied away from getting as much sun - without burning - as possible.

Clearly, what is implied there is that if you haven't done the self-work necessary, you might want to be careful about what you think is pleasurable, because it's probably skewed in some potentially damaging ways. I have known many people with similar ethnic backgrounds to yours, and they don't enjoy the sun anywhere near as much as I do. And that is my point. If you are clear enough to follow the Pleasure Principle built into you by nature, you don't need a doctor to scare you into not getting too much sun, your body reaction will tell you.

Also, I am not impugning the integrity of every single individual within a professional group when I am criticizing that group, David, anymore than I am impugning my own integrity when I expose the insipid, passive-aggressive behavior amoung psychotherapists. And I am not implying in what I've written that there isn't "anything at all to be gained from the science of western medicine." Personally, I think conventional doctors are good mechanics, and I would go to one to stitch up a gash or reset a bone, but to diagnose my overall health or heal a disease? Never. They are not trained for that. Doctors are trained primarily to treat symptoms in such a way as to maximize profits for themselves and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries that they are in league with. Sorry, but that's just so.

And... as I've written many times on this blog, the "one bad apple" excuse doesn't let industries off the hook where the corruption is systemic - i.e. the Catholic priesthood, law enforcement, traditional education, etc. And the mainstream medical profession is systemically very corrupt. The fact alone that all doctors understand the placebo effect, and heard about it in medical school, yet still don't focus on dealing with people's inner beliefs when treating them, is malpractice, don't you think? If I knew that I could work with my thoughts and feelings instead of taking drugs, being cut apart or doused with radiation, wouldn't I prefer that? Shouldn't doctors advise me as such?

As a clinical social worker who has dealt with a lot of other people's health issues, and as a human being concerned with my own health, I have not only had a lot of professional dealings with the medical profession over the years, but I have learned to empower myself and others that I counsel to take responsibility for their own health. That is what I do. My patients don't blindly follow any dictates from me, David, because I work to facilitate their own self-empowerment by advising them to seek the truth themselves in every situation, and by helping them clear out the blocks that interfere with discovering that truth.

It's not me saying the "earth is flat," David, but it is the dogma built around erroneous beliefs in order to sustain a system of fear and greed that is "reductive."

Thanks again, David.




Here's LOFF56:

PL, you said:
"I am not 'shaming' my patients or readers by firmly pointing out their destructive and self-destructive behavior or thought patterns, and "insisting" that they attempt to do the work they came to see me for, anymore than I'm being judgmental or shaming if I tell my little child that throwing pasta across the table or stealing a friend's toy is not acceptable behavior."

You're missing the point. The parents of Park Slope that you're "assessing" are neither patients that have sought you out for your help nor your children which you are charged with raising. Unless you're assuming that they are all reading your blog and using your wisdom for their own self-actualization, any "assessment" of them are not for their direct benefit. I understand your bedside manner thing, I get that, it makes sense, I'm not questioning that, but that's not what's at issue. The real question is why are you using that bedside manner for people that are clearly not willing to listen? To tweak a popular phrase, once you catch a fly you can give it as much vinegar as you like, but the fact still remains that in order to catch said fly you ought to be using honey.

Here's the bottom line, I still think you're being judgmental. But that's your prerogative. It's your blog. I just don't understand why you're so resistant to owning up to the "J" word. "Avenue Q" the Tony winning musical of 2004 has famously said in one of its songs, "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist." It's meant to diffuse the tension associated with our small discretions by showing us that we all share at least some degree of imperfection, even in regards to things that are otherwise extremely unsavory. Another interpretation of this is that if you claim that you're 100% not a racist you're dooming yourself to live up to impossible standards and inevitably doomed to fail. So, I say "Everyone's a Little Bit Judgmental". And, "Everyone's a Little Bit Narcissistic." Right?

Here's PL:

Actually, L56, I am assuming that whoever is reading my blog is using whatever wisdom I am able to channel for the purposes of their own self-actualization, and furthermore, I assume that they are seeking some guidance, consciously or not, in how to raise the undeveloped child aspect in their personality.

Secondly, I am not claiming to be beyond judgment myself, in some "perfected" way, but my "prerogative" is not the issue. Again, it's not all relative in 3-D reality. To say to someone who is violent - "You are violent!" - is not a judgment, but an accurate assessment, yes? Well, likewise, to say to someone - "Your narcissism is hurting your child!" - is not a judgment.

Using honey to catch a fly? I prefer this guy's approach!


First, here's the comeback from Anonymous:

Just because you say it, doesn’t make it necessarily so.

To issue blanket dismissals of your Park Slope breeder neighbors as pseudo-adults with inflated egos who become overindulgent parents of children who can’t hope to grow up to become self-actualized is, in fact, a judgment.

Your assertion that judgments are not based on reality is false. Reality can certainly be a component of judgment, as are the limited availability of information and whatever expectations the person formulating the opinion may have.

To call a narcissist a narcissist may or may not be a judgment. It depends on having sufficient information to make the claim. To refer to all your Park Slope breeder neighbors as narcissists is a judgment. Plain and simple.

I’m sure you come across some of these people in your practice, and maybe that gives you sufficient data points to make an “assessment” about those people. But to lump all of us together based on that interaction and some people’s (poor) decision to haul their kids to bars assumes you understand the motives of all of those people. You don’t, and your generalizations about them come from judgments. That’s fine, everyone judges other people, even despite their best efforts to refrain from it. Just don’t pretend that’s not what it is.

And don’t pretend you’re trashing these parents to save the children from suffering. If that were your sole objective, you wouldn’t do it this way. It pisses you off that people do this dumb shit, and you’ve taken to griping about it on your blog. Maybe your “concern” originated from a better place, but it’s just bitching.

On the inset of your webpage, you say that we’re “meant to live with full inner permission to follow our natural inner guidance and our inborn pleasure instinct to seek out gratification…, and that such a way of living always benefits those around us and those that we love.” It seems to be that when you observe the conflict between one’s innate pleasure instinct (mmm, beer) and living to benefit those one loves (dragging your kids to a bar), you take to slamming the offenders (Narcissists! Pseudo-adults! Hedge fund managers!). What a beautiful message. You claim to be merely calling for personal responsibility (which sounds like a positive message), but you’re doing it by shaming parents into doing better (hardly positive). How can you say name-calling isn’t trying to shame people into changing? That’s exactly what it is. It’s designed to make people feel bad about the way they behave.

Where is your empathy?

Next up, here's LOFF56:

Oh Jeeze, I must be bored and in need of a good semantic argument...

PL: Assessments on the other hand are descriptions based on information objectively observed. To call a narcissist a narcissist isn't a judgment, therefore; it is an assessment, and actually an essential ingredient to any healing process. There is no healing without facing the truth about oneself.

As a point of fact, an objective observation as you define it here doesn't exist. As you probably know an observer will always have an effect on the observed. Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal for one, but also it's understood that observers in the wild no matter how invisible they try to make themselves will have some sort of effect on the animals they are observing. The same goes for people. Whether you call it a Judgment or an Assessment really is a matter of degree. Given that, anon. has a good point. Your assessment, as objective as you're trying to be, still means you're imparting an effect on those parents that you're assessing. And imparting anything on anybody even on a microscopic level is in fact to some degree narcissistic. Whether intentional or not.

And by the way, to "insist upon self-responsibility" is hardly "assessing" the situation. Of everything, this is the most obvious evidence of you imparting your will on the situation. Since when is "insisting" a tool of neutral observation?

I'm not suggesting that self-responsibility is not something we should all desire in our fellow humans, but even if it's for good, "insisting" that anybody do anything puts us on a different plane than those people, and that IS narcissistic. There may be an argument in here somewhere that says that some narcism (like this kind) is actually good... but for semantics sake, it's still narcism.

And now I'm gonna' end my narcissistic judgment of you and go about the rest of my day. :-D

Here's PL:

Wow! The semantics and relativistic arguments are flying boys! (I'm assuming that "Anonymous" is male, for some intuitive reason.)

Look, we've been down this road before on this blog. While time and space are indeed relative, and in the bigger picture, there are only a few Universal "Laws," and yes, we do create our own individual reality, as the quantum physicists have demonstrated,... while all this is true, nonetheless, and simultaneously, in the agreed-upon collective reality, where we all need oxygen to breathe, for instance, and where there is gravity, and narcissism, there are in fact Truths that are "Self-evident." What constitutes narcissism, for instance, is not relative at the human personality level. There is an agreed upon clinical definition of what it means, what its symptoms are and what effects it has. To root your arguments on the relativity of it all, is to be arguing for argument's sake, don't you think?

The second road we've been down before on this blog is the one regarding my bedside manner as a therapist. I do not operate as a proverbial "blank screen," that is for sure. In this day and age, that type of detached mental process is way too compartmentalized, cumbersome, time consuming and in terms of genuine self-actualization, insufficient to the task. I am not "shaming" my patients or readers by firmly pointing out their destructive and self-destructive behavior or thought patterns, and "insisting" that they attempt to do the work they came to see me for, anymore than I'm being judgmental or shaming if I tell my little child that throwing pasta across the table or stealing a friend's toy is not acceptable behavior.

And suffice it to say, it clearly isn't a need of mine, or of any adult I know, or of any child of mine, or of any child that I know, to eat dinner at Provini or bend an elbow at Union Hall.

Gimme a break, fellas!



I was perusing the Gothamist article about the stroller ban at The Gate and wound up in the comments section at FIPS. I read your comment, and have a question for you: Who are you?!

(Besides being a psychotherapist for blah-blah years—whatever that’s worth-- and some sort of a Park Slope parent)

I should’ve prefaced this comment by saying that I live in Park Slope, I’ve got a couple of kids, and as a rule, I don’t drag my kids to bars or to restaurants that don’t cater to kids. I’m pretty sure that the one time a year that I wind up meeting some friends at a bar on a slow afternoon (or say, watching a bit of a World Cup game) for a beer is not just an opportunity to act out my drama through my children. I still find plenty of opportunities to act out my own dramas. And I'm not an apologist for those that pollute the bars with their kids. That’s not my point.

It’s interesting that you don’t find that it undermines the spew that you preach on this site to sit in judgment of the shameless narcissists who reveal their poor life choices by taking their kids to bars and nice restaurants. I am curious how you reconcile all this healing and self-actualization that you’re helping or hoping (or something) others realize in themselves with this negative, counterproductive, judgmental sniping.

There is no doubt that there are selfish, entitled people who wind up having kids without understanding the magnitude of that choice. I’m not sure many people do fully grasp what it means to be a parent before they decide to do it. But you appeal to the shame and guilt in your fellow PS parents (and patients, it would appear) by calling them out on your site and the other sites you frequent. This seems to violate the FPL handbook and trashes the credibility of whatever you want to accomplish with the FPL thing.

And it reeks of your own narcissism that you use your new-agey, healing, loving forum to address your beef with your own neighbors, and to remind readers that you’ve been doing it for years. And you might want reign in the pride that you have for unearthing the little nugget that there are narcissistic parents in Park Slope. Any monkey that steps out off the subway in this neighborhood could smell it in the air in a couple of minutes. It’s hardly a landmark discovery.

These petty attacks don’t seem to demonstrate your state of harmony with others and the world around you, but maybe that makes sense to you…being a highly-evolved psychotherapist and all.

Lots o' luck.

Here's PL:

Thanks for writing in, Anonymous, though I'm not sure why you're asking who I am since it is "narcissistically" all over my blog, isn't it?!

Anyway, many people confuse judgment with assessment, as you seem to be doing. Judgments are not based on reality, but on projections, transferences, identifications, etc. Judgments, in other words, start with a need to see other people as you wish to see them, rather than as they are.

Assessments on the other hand are descriptions based on information objectively observed. To call a narcissist a narcissist isn't a judgment, therefore; it is an assessment, and actually an essential ingredient to any healing process. There is no healing without facing the truth about oneself.

It is true, yes, that I don't see my role as a "healer" as being to sooth anyone's fragile ego nor feed anyone's illusions about themselves. Too much damage is done from that kind of enabling, especially to children, and including by many therapists.

Any "monkey," as you snidely put it, can smell the narcissism in Park Slope, yes again, but rarely does anyone write about more than their own distaste or inconvenience from the actions of the Stepford Parents here. I am much more concerned with the gutted self-esteem and lack of empathy the Park Slope children are suffering from as a result of the self-indulgent parenting that goes on in this enclave.

This statement by you is certainly not a throw-away line in my book (or blog): "There is no doubt that there are selfish, entitled people who wind up having kids without understanding the magnitude of that choice. I’m not sure many people do fully grasp what it means to be a parent before they decide to do it."

And I don't seek to "shame" or increase "guilt," Anon, but to insist upon self-responsibility.


Yes! Yes!! YES!!!

Sanity at last.

The GOTHAMIST reports that stroller bans at bars in Brooklyn are expanding.

I have been writing about this HERE and on the Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn blog for years.

As a parent in Park Slope and as a psychotherapist for 30 years who has worked with scores of families and children, I have been staunchly against the narcissistic, vicarious acting out by adults who want to bring their kids into bars and fine-dining restaurants. It's not good for anyone - other patrons, the parents themselves and especially, it's not good for the kids. Children need parents who are real grown-ups, not sad excuses for them, parents who actually have lives separate from their kids, and the kids need adults who can demonstrate respect for others through their actions.



Ringo Starr is asking fans to say the words “Peace and love” at noon, EST, on the occasion of his 70th birthday today!

Hey, why not?!


In February, I posted two horrific stories (link HERE), stories of unspeakable brutality against two young girls, one in a middle eastern country (Turkey) and one in a third world country (Somalia). I'm adding a third incredible item from today's news. You will find these stories very upsetting, but there is a reason I am posting them here, something that I wish to illustrate.

On the right hand side of this blog there are several links to other sites. One of them is a link to a description of "SOUL AGES" from the book, "UPCOMING CHANGES," by Joya Pope. Understanding this concept - that we are not all the same in terms of our soul ages - is crucial to finding and establishing peace in our world, and in our own personal lives.

We all are aware of the phenomenon of how two people can be of the same chronological age, of the same demographic background, even from the same family circumstances, and yet be so entirely different. I have had this experience as a therapist as well. I am the same therapist with all of my patients, yet a sampling of my caseload would show that no two people, even with the similarities listed above and even demonstrating equal dedication to their healing process, progress at the same rate or to the same degree. This is beyond the nurture-nature debate, and beyond genetics. There is a soul element at work here, and what is clear is that at the soul level, no different than at the physical, we are on a continuum developmentally.

Just as a two-year old child will wantonly take whatever it wants from another toddler, even using physical violence for its aim, completely without any conscience about it whatsoever, even with sadistic pleasure, a "Baby Soul," though it may be in an adult physical body, can likewise live an entire lifetime wantonly using brutality to gratify its primal urges, and even take pleasure in the expression of its brutality.

Which brings me to today's terrible news story:

"Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, a mother of two, could be stoned to death at any moment under the terms of a death sentence handed down by Iranian authorities. Ashtiani, 42, will be buried up to her chest, according to an Amnesty International report citing the Iranian penal code. The stones that will be hurled at her will be large enough to cause pain but not so large as to kill her immediately. Ashtiani, who is from the northern city of Tabriz, was convicted of adultery in 2006. She was forced to confess after being subjected to 99 lashes."

Sorry about that, readers, but I wanted to be graphic enough to make the point. Such behavior in a culture cannot be explained away by differences in political philosophy or religious beliefs, nor does it stand up to scrutiny to claim that these despicable acts are merely the manifestation of sexism (or even sexual repression which I've written about extensively on this blog) or racism or greed or any other psychological disturbances. Not when an entire culture is involved. There has to be yet another element involved for such large scale "insanity."

What is happening in countries or groups that act in this way is not very different in significant ways than what would happen if you put a group of two year olds together in a room and left them there indefinitely without an adult. Now, imagine if those abandoned two year olds had the bodies and brains of human adults, and had access to money and weapons.


So, here we are faced with this situation, assuming, of course, that in our culture we are mainly at least a combination of "YOUNG, MATURE AND OLD SOULS," and so, what should we do?

Well, if an adult entered that room of two-year olds, what would said adult do? Institute sanctions depriving them of milk and diapers? Bomb them? Wipe them all out? No. An adult would first take away any dangerous objects (weapons), then provide basic nourishment and boundaries, and guidance towards future socialization. Yes?

So, why are we at war with Baby Soul countries, where women are so oppressed that they have to cover their faces in public, and where men think that if they kill "infidels" in suicide missions they will be rewarded by getting to have sex in Heaven with 70 virgins?! (Why would any adult man want to have sex with even one virgin?!!?)

We are acting insanely ourselves, it would seem, and beneath our own developmental level, by warring against these people, aren't we? We should be containing them, yes, so they cannot inflict harm on others, but we should also be nurturing and guiding them, right? What gives?

Well, maybe to find the answer, we need to know at what soul age our leaders, who are making these decisions to go to war or not, are operating from.

I have written a lot on this blog about President Obama's status as an emotional "adult," in comparison with the "kids" who'd been running things for so long prior to 2008. Most politicians in the U.S. are "Young Souls," a hallmark of which is enormous egocentrism and a craving for power. "A Young Soul typically has little respect for anyone whose ideas are not their own," writes Joya Pope. "At this consciousness level, if one can make money or gain influence, the long term consequences of any act aren't terribly important. The problem with toxic wastes being dumped all over is one result of being in a Young Soul culture in a hurry to make a buck. While Young Souls are productive, industrious and goal oriented, their vision extends only so far, and they are not likely to question their motives or ethics."

Obama, operating more from a Mature Soul place, is "emotional centered," and according to Pope, to a mature soul, "All the wealth, power and acclaim aren't quite enough; profits and winning no longer have transcendental value." It is the beginning of "generativity", the desire to give back to the world and the next generation, which comes into full force in the Old Soul phase of spiritual development.

I do believe that Obama wants to get us out of the two wars he inherited, and I believe that his impulse is to find a way to reach out to these baby soul cultures and offer genuine assistance to them. That is why he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

On a personal level, this is very relevant information, too. If you find yourself in conflict with someone who "just doesn't get it" or " just doesn't care" or is "out of control" emotionally, you are most likely dealing with a baby soul or a young soul. If you are not also a baby soul or young soul yourself (and you're probably not or you wouldn't be reading this blog), then it behooves you to step up as the mature or older soul in the situation and, regardless of everyone's titles, be the one in the guiding position. Yes, that may mean guiding your boss or parents, even though you've been used to deferring to such "authorities" throughout your life, because in the end, the older soul is the one best equipped to lead, especially in terms of consciousness.

So, sorry about the graphic news items, folks, but our tendency to stay asleep and simply look at such horror stories superficially slows our collective development down. Those of us who are mature or old souls need to step up, or step down from our mountaintop retreats, and assume the role of guides.



One way that I’ve conceptualized the process of personal evolution has been as a kind of three-part movement: from false clarity to genuine confusion to genuine clarity.
False clarity is a frame of mind in which one’s personal belief systems are so firmly in place and embedded so far down in the subconscious mind that the person feels certain of their validity, and so rarely questions them. From this place, people frequently start sentences out with "I believe…"
"I believe that if I assert myself directly, no one will like me."
"I believe that if I acted strictly according to my desires, I’d be out of control."
"I believe it’s impossible for passion to last in a relationship."
"I believe that if I want something done right, I have to do it myself."
"I believe that to truly give to others means to sacrifice something of what I want."
And so on…ad infinitum. There are many, many such commonly accepted inner axioms with variations and derivatives aplenty.
Since these beliefs are not doubted for the most part, they are accepted as the "harsh realities" of life. Much energy is then invested in trying to find ways of manipulating the self, and other people, to get what one wants. To that end, a person will develop false selves that some have referred to as "masks," or "personas," constructed to present to the world in order to attain life’s sought after abundance and love - or its substitutes: praise, recognition, emotional validation, etc.
So, one of the first endeavors in a person’s unfolding personal process is to begin uncovering the embedded beliefs behind the masks, and challenge their validity, thereby confronting the false clarity they offer as a substitute for real knowingness and security. It is not easy. Indeed, if you believe something so thoroughly, you will create, invite, or only be able to see that very thing in your life most of the time, so it’s reality will seem absolute. And, if you have been so invested for so long in a particular method of trying to attain a modicum of happiness, you will not readily forgo it. To face that a strategy that you have been devoting much of your life force to is actually faulty is a heartbreaking proposition.
Let’s consider a common scenario. A person may have had a series of love relationships in which they’ve found themselves feeling emotionally deprived. In spite of tireless efforts to be agreeable, accommodating and self-sacrificing, they were still "not getting enough" - attention, sex, support, appreciation or affection - from their partner. This person feels so defeated and frustrated because while they believe that there really isn’t enough love in the world to go around, they are sure that the way to get what is available is by being… agreeable, accommodating and self-sacrificing! What they are in denial of is the fact that their accommodating behavior is part of a mask, and as such an attempt to hide a manipulative and demanding childish attitude towards their loved one based on a belief in deprivation that began in childhood.
The partner being bombarded with these demands, masked as obliging behavior, will often withdraw and indeed be less inclined to "give" affection, etc. No one wants to be covertly demanded of in that way. This then seems to validate the underlying belief that "there is not enough," and so, the person believes, one must manipulate even more, getting still worse results, all the while building up a stockpile of resentment. On and on this can go, in a self-fulfilling, vicious cycle.
The failure of the manipulations to get more of what is wanted is often what brings the person to some kind of self-work, seeking to find out what they’re doing "wrong", why the mask they’re sure is based in reality is not having its designed effect. This is life in a state of false clarity. So sure you’re right, sure you know how life works, but inexplicably unhappy, which if the beliefs are seen as clearly right, can only lead the person to the conclusion that they are failing - meaning manipulating inadequately.
So, where can one go from there, from the place where the self is so rigidly defined according to firmly held beliefs that are supposed to solve problems but ultimately only lead to frustration and a sense of inadequacy?
Next posting: "genuine confusion.!"


When blocked feelings are released (through an integrated mind-body psychotherapy), the embedded beliefs that caused the “false clarity” mentioned in the previous posting start appearing in higher relief and dissipating. This is because the beliefs were previously being used to justify keeping emotions trapped in the body and so, as the emotional channels are opened, the old beliefs become subject to challenge and dismantling. People find themselves at that point without the familiar, stereotypical ways of viewing the world, themselves and others. They feel somewhat lost at first, anxiously free-floating for a while. Commonly heard at this point in one’s process:
"I’m feeling lost. What can I count on? Where can I find security? I don’t know how to act." Meaning, without the illusions created by projecting static images into the future, what can they count on for predictability? Again, the reason they are in self-work in the first place is because they’ve realized that their lives have never successfully followed their projections anyway, and the fulfillment promised by the illusions always seemed to remain unattainable or just out of reach. Now, they are starting to realize that they didn’t know what they thought they knew. Now, they are in a state of "genuine confusion!" At this moment, I usually congratulate patients! It is here, in the "I don’t know who I am" place, that true wisdom begins.
What keeps people going at this stage is that despite the confusion, they feel better, and often, in spite of an apparent lack of direction, their outer lives frequently are improving. For one person, it may be physical health that improves, for another financial abundance arrives, or their work-life becomes more creative. For still others, they break through a relationship barrier. Yet, for all, it is mainly the new inner feeling of self-possession and inner connectedness that provides motivation.
The example of the person in the previous post will have uncovered a belief in deprivation and scarcity of love that’s been embedded in the subconscious mind since very early in childhood. The feelings stored in the body since that time, the hurt and rage, have also now been energized through the therapy and started releasing at this stage as well. The origins of the person’s masks are getting uncovered and seen as primitive attempts by the child to "get more" from a parent - with poor results, of course. It is now becoming understood that the world of love has been viewed through this tainted lens for the last two, three, four or more decades, since infancy usually. It is experienced as a revelation to consider that one could be fully gratified in an adult relationship, could give and receive all of the love that one is capable of without having to do anything to "get it". It is also startling to realize that one has discounted or ignored the possibilities for greater love because to see that would have run counter to the "absolutely certain" beliefs that they were holding onto. This is a point at which the resistance to being "wrong" about one’s strategy for living gets confronted. It is painful. One is faced with the fact that all of the feelings of failure and frustration, and of course, self-hate, were not based on reality at all, but on an erroneous conclusion about life which originated in early childhood. Great courage and faith is required by the person to forge on here.
If one does indeed forge ahead, what is the next step on the journey? Next posting: “Genuine Clarity.”


If one does indeed forge ahead from false clarity through genuine confusion, what is the next step on the journey?
When the deep primal feelings have been to a great extent released, and the core negative beliefs very much unveiled, the person comes to a new place of overall inner security and openness that provides both confidence to trust what one knows in the moment, and simultaneously, flexibility to re-evaluate one’s "knowledge" and change when called to do so. This is "genuine clarity." The person knows how they feel in the moment, and is aware of their immediate inner thought processes as well. Judgmental attitudes about emotions and the contents of one’s mind are not held onto.
A person at this stage follows their instincts in major decisions without a lot of second-guessing or rigidly gripping to projections and anticipated outcomes. When one is in a state of genuine clarity, the truth of matters is no longer mainly sought through deductive reasoning, but rather through inner resonance with the truth, and actions are decided upon by trusting "gut feelings." The person at this stage knows that whatever transpires, they will be open and flexible enough to creatively move with the events. Mistakes and temporary obstacles are accepted as information, not measured against images of perfection or rigid beliefs about success or failure. One can experience the "joy of being wrong" in this state, that is the freedom from needing to come up with the "right" strategies, free from worrying about "blowing it" when making decisions, etc.
In our example, the person who once believed in deprivation now knows through experience that life is abundant with opportunities to exchange love and pleasure with another and that the only "efforts" one must make to that end are to keep the emotional channels in oneself clear. Gratifying experiences have begun to come to this person, now in genuine clarity, without manipulation, indeed, without even "wanting" them in the old way at all. "Good things" seem to just arrive as a by-product of being more genuinely oneself. The person understands, too, that we all act like magnets for experiences in life, and that we will attract whatever we are "charged up" with. If it is joy and love that we are energized with, we will attract joy and love. If it is hostility, likewise that is what we will attract. So, unpleasurable events are dealt with by going within to examine one’s inner attitude. One is also clear now that one’s attitude towards oneself is one’s attitude toward others. I believe that a common misunderstanding of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is corrected intuitively by the person in this place. Most people think this expression means you should love your neighbor as much as you love yourself, as if it were a rule for behavior. In fact, I believe it means that you will love your neighbor to the degree that you love yourself.
The person who has achieved genuine clarity will also feel it in their body when they are in truth. No other "proof" will be needed to determine the "rightness" for them of courses of action. This person will explain, "I have to do this or that because it just feels right." They will also say about their actions, "To do otherwise would be not being my-self."


Here's Maurice:

In theory, I agree w ur concept.. HOWEVER, I watched ann incredible film w Denzel W., " The Book of Eli ", which makes the point that Man's basic nature is violent, destructive, hostile, and hating..and , in the end.. MUST HAVE some SOURCE G-d like...which
serves mankind as GUIDE..for sociall order..interested n your comments

Here's PL:

Thanks for your comment, Maurice. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Denzel movie, too.

Regarding the idea that man's essential nature is destructive, etc., a common mistake is to confuse our "first nature" with our "second nature." As I say on this blog, and it is certainly not an original thought, our first nature is rooted in love and oneness. Our second nature is rooted in the dualistic experiment that includes negativity. That being said, nothing is separate from "Source," from God, from All That Is, and that includes all that we refer to as the dark side.


Well, this is interesting. On a blog called, "Creedal Christian," one Bryan Owen, a priest in the Episcopal Church, wrote about Full Permission Living in a piece called: "The Human Problem and Full Permission Living," in which the priest extensively quotes Paul the Apostle who bemoans his sinful nature, which he can't, of course, control. You can read the whole piece HERE.

Here's my response, which I posted on the Creedal Christian blog:

The inner struggle that Paul is describing could be characterized in modern psychiatric terms as an "obsessive compulsive disorder." The unwanted behavior that Paul keeps indulging in is typical of someone who harbors guilt, particularly around sexual feelings. Here's Paul: "I don't accomplish the good I set out to do, and the evil I don't really want to do I find I am always doing."
Paul even seems to be aware that the urges reside in his subconscious mind: "My conscious mind wholeheartedly endorses the Law, yet I observe an entirely different principle at work in my nature."
Where Paul, and Christian theology, falls short, and with dire consequences, is in abdicating responsibility for what lies in one's subconscious mind. Instead of true self-examination and self-work, Paul, like many "sinning" Christians, blithely blames "his nature" and "The Fall" for his behavior: "In my mind I am God's willing servant, but in my own nature I am bound fast, as I say, to the law of sin and death."
The unfortunate results of this kind of self-flagellating trickery can readily be scene in the rampant sexual acting out among religious people, especially Christians. It is guilt and the suppression of sexual feelings that leads to negative acting out, not our true nature. Jesus understood this. That is why he said these things: "Judge not lest Ye be judged," "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." Jesus understood that it was the human ego's capacity to judge that was our "original sin," leading to our fall from paradise. God created us perfectly, and in His image, including with the free will to explore notions like ego, guilt and judgment, but pretending that we are the victims of our own nature is a distortion that has led many professed Christians to a lot of what Paul would describe as "evil" behavior.

Here's Father Owens' comeback:

Thanks for commenting, Peter. The portrait of the Apostle Paul you're offering is one whose validity I don't accept. It strikes me as, at best, a thin reading, and at worst, a form of psychological reductionism. (Nor, BTW, do I accept pitting Jesus against the Apostle Paul in radically oppositional ways.) By contrast, I think that the posting from Fr. Stephen I cite does justice to the Apostle Paul.

But generally speaking, what you're saying does seem to underscore the point that we tend to reject (even within many mainline denominations) the classical meanings of terms like "sin" and "the Fall," especially insofar as they point to an ontological problem we simply cannot will our way out of (which you characterize dismissively in a memorable phrase as "self-flagellating trickery"). And actually, taking Paul and the tradition (articulated via Fr. Stephen) seriously, we could say that religious people (or anyone else, for that matter) acting out in sexually destructive ways - in spite of knowing better and willing otherwise - actually makes the Apostle Paul's point, providing warrants for the diagnosis that there is, indeed, an ontological problem with human nature such that the credo of "Full Permission Living" looks like a peace treaty with sin and fallen human nature.

For me, all of this points to the radically counter-cultural character of the Christian faith.


A "peace treaty with sin," yes, I like that, Bryan. I do believe that is what Jesus was advocating. It is only by making peace with our inner struggles that we can cleanse ourselves of that which negates our highest nature.
Thanks for the dialogue.


"As soon as you allow where you are to be all right, you will be able to get where you want to be much faster."
Darryl Ankar (channeling "Bashar")


Here's the scoop, folks - read it and cheer!

According to a recent Pew Research study, more American women than ever now remain childless all their lives: 20 percent, compared with 10 percent 40 years ago.

Yes! Yes! YES!

If it isn't obvious to you why this is great news, you're probably not reading this blog in the first place. However, let me elaborate...

I have been working with adults and children as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist for 34 years. Plus, I've raised and am still raising children at the age of... well, nevermind. Here's what I know, bottom line - most people who have children don't have a clue about what parenting a child is like as a life choice, and even moreso, most parents have no idea whatsoever about what a child needs developmentally to grow up to be even remotely self-actualized.

This extraordinarily dysfunctional reality starts with the pathological reasons most people have children in the first place.

Check these stats out:

If you have a college degree of any kind, there's a 24 percent chance that you will never have a child; with a Ph.D., there's a 34 percent chance that you'll never have a child. But if you've never finished high school, there's only a 15 percent chance that you'll never have a child.

If you live in Utah, you're nearly twice as likely to conceive than you would be if you lived in New Hampshire.

If you're a teenage girl who is in a relationship with a gang member, you're nearly twice as likely to become pregnant than teenage girls who are not involved with gang members.


In other words, if you're uneducated, young, right wing and desperate, you're significantly more likely to have kids! How great for our world is that?!

Now, I can hear all of my Park Slope breeder neighbors, streaming into bars and fine dining restaurants with their SUV Maclaren strollers, railing at me because they are none of the above. They are right. They come from the other, more insidious group of unqualified parents: the narcissists. Right, the self-referential, middle and upper-middle class pseudo-adults who have kids as an extension of their own inflated egos or to vicariously have another go at their own lost childhoods. These are the overindulgent parents who create the narcissistic offspring written about recently who grow up to have no empathy and who can, without conscience, become the hedge fund managers destroying our economy out of their own skewed sense of entitlement.

So, let's stand up and celebrate the women (and men) who are perhaps spending their lifetimes focusing on their own personal growth and development and fulfillment instead of acting out their dramas through their children. The world desperately needs this shift and we should all be encouraged at the trend.


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