"ANONYMOUS" ON PL'S "SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS" ASKS A 4D QUESTION/PL RESPONDS!

Anonymous asks:

"And what of the child's choice? A child is vulnerable, dependent, yes. But what of the child choosing it's parents before it is born? What about a child/person choosing a difficult life in order to help others grow?"


PL:

Great question, Anon, and one that takes into account the big picture view from where we do indeed choose the circumstances of our birth for a variety of reasons. To that Higher Self aspect of ourselves, we are never victims, even as children.

My blog piece in question addressed the personality/physical/emotional body level of self, which in 3D reality is where we all start our incarnations. In that sense, a human child doesn't choose its traumatic childhood situations; its Higher Self does, knowing full well that there is a higher purpose and infinite well-being to existence. Through the course of a lifetime, the evolving human being can come to understand its greater purpose and embrace its early suffering, though.

Thanks so much for your comment!

Best,
PL

A FAMILY AFFAIR!

This is a submission by an FPL reader, "F," some honest reflections around the holidays on the human condition.

Thank you, F

Here's are his reflections:

All of this warring that takes place in Washington D.C. with our elected officials reminds me of a dysfunctional family. Maybe "dysfunctional family" is redundant but that is perhaps a subject for future writing and or exploration.

It's hard not to to feel the yin and yang of it all. I would, for the purposes of this piece, akin the democrats to the yin, the female, the wife trying to hold it together. Or, the quarterback that sees the whole field and makes the best decision he can, at the time, for the team. Not the wide receiver fighting with him in the huddle for the ball. Yes, that makes us, the american people, the family. I shy from using "children " here. Young adults just sounds a little better (and is a great movie).

I was fascinated as a child to watch my parents "war" from the top of the stairs. Much like the Viet Cong at the time, they only fought at night. I had a birds eye view into the kitchen from my perch between the hamper and bedroom door. They only did battle in the kitchen. Later in life I assumed this was because my mother was a lousy cook. I now know that if it happened anywhere else in the house I would not have been able to witness it.

My father, also a former Marine, went at her like a crazed drill instructor. Using his raised hands only to point in her face to drive and trap her into corners where he could concentrate his field of fire most effectively. The corner trap by the oven was also an effective tactic to keep her on her feet and thus engaged. A couple years later, after he left and I got his job, I learned a lot while serving my apprenticeship. I learned that as a child my mother was also physically and verbally abused by both of her parents. That's a lot of hurt. A lot of warring.

I am glad our country's quarterback won one yesterday. I also hope he marches us down the field in 2012. I really do, I think he is presently the best person for the job. He really does see the whole field, I believe that.

Please stop the fighting. Both sides. You will get more done. It's counter-productive and hurtful to the kids, young adults, family, nation, world. If we. a democracy with over 235 years experience can't get it together, how can we expect it from others?

Fellow humans, lets try harder. With all of our collective years of experience and education to draw on we are running out of excuses. Happy Holidays to all.

IT'S A SMALL WORLD, AFTER ALL? NOT!

Okay, let's start right out with the admission:

I went to Disneyworld last week!

There. I said it. It's a long story how and why I ended up there, but that's why I wasn't on the FPL blog last week... because when you're at WALT DISNEY WORLD (WDW), there's no time for communication with the outside world, and believe it, the world at large is outside of Disney, certainly if you live on one of the coasts of the United States!

So, here's the good, the bad and the ugly of it...

The last time I was at Disneyworld was 35 years ago, right before Epcot opened up at the 23 square mile property in Orlando, Florida. Jimmy Carter was about to be elected president that fall and our "long, national nightmares," as interim President Gerald Ford put it, of Watergate and Viet Nam were over. (Who knew that the even longer national nightmare of Reaganomics lie ahead.)

It seemed like the future heralded by the advances in technology and civil rights in the 1960's was about to finally begin. Walt Disney himself, who envisioned WDW and especially Epcot as positive, forward-looking examples of his vision of a world united in common cause and connection, soaring into the future, led of course by America, never lived to see the project completed. Nonetheless, in 1976 when I was last there, it still bore the imprint of a visionary.

Today, not so much.

In the decades that followed the Seventies, "conservatism" took hold of our 3rd-dimensional society in a big way. The conservative philosophy essentially espouses that more good comes from remaining the same, or even reverting backwards, politically and culturally, than from progressivism, changing and growing, and moving forward. Conservatism quickly became the perfect environment for rampant corporatism, greed and corruption at the institutional levels of our country, and in keeping with that shift, the once "Wonderful World of Disney" became the Disney Corporation. And consequently, Disneyworld became a surreal Stepford village meets Truman Show of American capitalism on steroids set in the now retro cultural universe of America as it was three generations ago... or middle America as it is today.

And speaking of middle America, I have never in my life seen such a concentration of 300+ pound white people anywhere, not even on "The Biggest Loser!" It is not a small world in Disney, after all. It is apparently a haven for obesity, the park now more famous more for it's enhanced jumbo turkey legs at $10 and 2 pounds apiece, than for the cool, sustainable hydroponic garden that Walt envisioned feeding the world one day, now hidden in Epcot, hardly advertised or visited.

So, that's the bad and the ugly.

What's the good?

Well, the good was that even in this museum piece of 3D reality, we had a 4th-dimensional experience, creating a reality where cab-rides and plane rides were impossibly smooth and on time, where we avoided the infamous long lines for attractions and rides, where the food was decent (no turkey legs for us), where we bonded as a family, laughed and reveled in a world so outwardly foreign from our own vortex here at home. (Oh yeah, the one really creepy thing about Disney is the way they say,"Welcome Home!' when you arrive. Yuk!)

And finally, there was Cirque de Soleil. Never having seen it in New York, and knowing my homebody tendencies, not likely to see it in the near future here, we attended the show in Disneyworld one evening. Folks, it was truly jaw-dropping! Tears in my eyes amazing, my hands hurt from applauding so much during the standing ovation at the end. All I could think of when watching those performers in graceful, breathtaking feats of physical prowess was that when the soul is allowed to come through a human being, anything is possible.

Anything is possible.

I do believe that was the original belief held by Walt Disney when he envisioned Disneyworld all those decades ago. And apparently, in spite of all the retrogressive forces we've been buffeted by since his demise, the intention of his dream still lives.

LOFF56 ON THE DARK SIDE OF CIRQUE DE SOLEIL/PL RESPONDS!

Here's L56:

Hey PL - Long time no see. Sorry for the absence, but I've been reading the blog, just haven't had much to say until now.

I just have to pipe in briefly regarding the Cirque show you saw in Disney World. Not to ruin the experience for you - after all in theater the ends do in fact always justify the means. If your experience was of amazement that is still worth exactly what it was worth. However I do feel obliged to tell you that the outpouring of soul that you described is probably as far from reality as possible. Aside the fact that those shows are designed with with manipulative music, and lighting and special effects, most of those "spectaculars" and Cirque specifically have a really bad track record of really bad employment practices. Those shows are obviously very dangerous, and I don't know exactly, but I'm guessing the show you saw may do anywhere from 10, 12, maybe as many as 18 shows a week! Generally, none of those performers are protected by a union, benefits (like health insurance) are really hard to come by, salaries are really meager - all for a show where you literately put your life on the line twice or more times a day! I've also heard that Cirque is particularly heavy handed about not allowing people to take a lot of time off and also about their performers maintaining their physique (beyond the reasonable extent that maintaining your weight for example is a safety concern for that show.)

Anyway, from my understanding the only thing going on with the souls of those performers is probably a lot of "crushing"! But, I'm sure there are some of them that still enjoy doing it despite the obstacles - and all of those performers are the cream of the crop in their field. It's just too bad that the Cirque company doesn't particularly take good care of their folks.

I should add a disclaimer that all that I say is second hand info from informal conversations with people that have worked or have known people who have worked at Cirque. It's entirely possible that that info is outdated too - maybe Cirque has cleaned up their act. (No pun intended).


Here's PL:

Great to "hear" from you again, L56. The FPL blog is always enhanced by your thoughtful comments.

I just recently heard similar concerns from someone else about Cirque not treating their performers well, though like you, it was second hand and in the past. I certainly hope they have "cleaned up their act." The Disney version that we saw included a lot of safety precautions - wires and a net for tightrope walkers and trapeze artists - and they also only do 2 performances per week in their own specially designed theater. That being said, there certainly is a history of abuse and exploitation in circuses, just like there is in Olympic sports like gymnastics and, of course, college football!

As far as the soul aspect, it is not unusual for those moribund corporate "owner"-types and such, whose opening to their own higher selves in so constricted, to exploit those who have a wide-open channel. Maybe the soul is okay with allowing that dichotomy for highlighting purposes.

Interesting to ponder, and as always, L56, you give us food for thought.

Thanks!

PL

TODAY'S QUOTES!

Christopher Hitchens died last night. Here are but a few of some select quotes I found delicious:

“Nothing optional—from homosexuality to adultery—is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishment) have a repressed desire to participate.”

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are god.”

“George W. Bush is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.”

REPOST: "THE LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS!"

In a class I taught once, I described five levels of consciousness: reflex - awareness - understanding - knowing - being.

Here's a summary:

Reflex is the level of consciousness attained by most animals, and all human beings. It is akin to instinct, though in human beings operating at this level it can be distorted by a primitive ego with its irrational fears and stock-piles of rage. We all know individuals who are easily proned to explosive outbursts or who become paralysed with fear in the blink of an eye.

They are reacting reflexively to imagined threats usually (like bigots and perpetrators of most violent crimes), and this tends to become a chronic state for such people, unlike animals in the wild who react to actual threats in the immediate present, then return to a relaxed state when the danger is passed.
Awareness and understanding are the next two higher levels of consciousness. They are arrived at by freeing up the mind. This is accomplished first by clearly seeing what is going on in one's inner and outer life (awareness), and then making the cause and effect connections about the events (understanding).

Awareness can begin increasing right right from the get-go in a self-work process. Often, even in a first session, a patient may say in response to a therapist's observations about something, “Oh! I never realized that before.” His awareness has been activated and increased.

Understanding comes somewhat afterwards as connections are made mentally and repetitive patterns that were previously thought of as mysterious or cruelly random are seen in their predictable light. Hidden agendas, intentions and beliefs are accepted as personal realities.

Knowing comes with freeing up the emotions in the body. It is only from our gut, from within our bodies, that we can ever say “I know” something with certainty. That is why we say, “I just feel it”, when we are definite about something. The person who truly feels, knows their own truth confidently. Getting to a place of knowing takes hard work and determined effort. In addition to developing awareness and understanding, one must now undertake the “breaking” of the body's defenses and armoring, and really feel, especially, at first, the difficult feelings of sorrow, rage and fear. This is the “point of no return.” If a person breaks through here - and it could take several years - they will never go back to their previous levels of functioning. They are on their way to being.

Being is simply living, spontaneously and naturally, and comes from letting go. Of everything! It is living without attachment. Although awareness, understanding and knowing are part of being, they are incorporated now without effort, without thinking in the usual sense. Basic trust has been firmly re-established, but now combined with the knowledge, courage and wisdom of an adult.

The re-establishment of basic trust leads to the rediscovery that at its root, life “works”, and that at our own cores, we are loving, creative, compassionate beings. At this phase of development, a person knows that he or she creates their own reality and accepts responsibility for one's creations without judgement 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. Body, mind and spirit are felt to be one. The person here doesn't think of themselves as “sick” when having a symptom, but rather experiences pain as information and guidance. There is no irrational fear of death…or life. Perfection is not demanded from oneself or others. Life is lived spontaneously.

DAYDREAMING AND SLEEPING ON IT!

Interesting study written about HERE in a blog piece on the Huffington Post called: "Why Daydreamers Are More Creative."

It speaks to, from a cognitive point of view, why those who are considered easily "distracted" or "spacey" actually have access to the more creative realms of the mind. I myself have found that since I've crossed the boundaries of character structure to a fair degree that my way of "concentrating" has changed. When I really need to solve a puzzle or understand an apparent mystery, instead of putting my brain in high gear, I "go fuzzy." That is, I let go of my thinking brain, breathe and relax into a kind of altered state of consciousness that allows information to "come through." When I receive or "hear" the answer, it is with much more certainty than when I resort to deductive reasoning or calculating, the methods of the brain.

What is tragic is that many, many children who are referred to derogatorily as "daydreamers" are often labeled as having an "attention deficit," and put on drugs, which cut off their creativity in the service of getting more rote activities done.

Here's something I posted a couple of years ago that is related:

Did you ever end your day with an unresolved problem? A knot of some sort you couldn't untangle at work, or a relationship conflict that seemed to have no clear resolution? Who hasn't? But have you had the experience of waking up the next day with the solution suddenly as clear as could be, as if it had been there all along? Most of you have had such experiences, which is why the notion of "sleeping on it" is part of the common wisdom in all cultures.

I just had one of those waking-up light bulbs this morning. Last night, our kids somehow managed, as kids do, to break a contraption in our house (I'll spare you the details) that was essential to our domestic tranquility. It had to be fixed before I started sessions this afternoon. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to fix the darn thing last night. The better part of my wisdom told me to let it go because I was tired and ready to relax for the evening.

"Forget it. I'll sleep on it." I declared.

Low and behold, I woke up wide-eyed at 5 AM with the answer in its entirety right before me in a picture in my mind. I saw it. I knew what to do. I went back to sleep. A few hours later, and yes, now it's fixed!

Just as I talked about in my essay on "Gut Feelings", I was reminded that the bigger decisions and harder problems in life are better left to our unconscious mind, where our higher self wisdom, the knowledge of our entire species in the collective consciousness, and our imagination reside, along with all the knowledge of the Universe.

An article in New Scientist a couple of years ago referenced a study at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands that concurs: "Sleeping on it best for complex decisions."

Here's an excerpt:

"Complex decisions are best left to your unconscious mind to work out, according to a new study, and over-thinking a problem could lead to expensive mistakes. The research suggests the conscious mind should be trusted only with simple decisions, such as selecting a brand of oven glove. Sleeping on a big decision, such as buying a car or house, is more likely to produce a result people remain happy with than consciously weighing up the pros and cons of the problem, the researchers say."

Go fuzzy, folks, and have a good sleep!

IS THE TRUTH BIASED?!

A new study just released listed the states with the highest rates per capita of cigarette smoking. They are in order: Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Ohio, Missouri, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Michigan.

Is it biased to point out that these are also the states with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, spanking of children and a consistent tradition of voting for conservative candidates in presidential elections?

I mean, really?!

IMAGINE!

Thursday is the 31st anniversary of John's Lennon's murder, which is commemorated in the pilot episode of my TV series, City Rock. I found myself having a sort of perverted political twist on John's song, "Imagine," in my head this morning, kind of a flip-side of his lyrics in which he imagines doing away with the worst of 3D - religion, nationalism, greed, etc.

My negative revery was imagining a world in which the right wing, Tea Party, or any one of the group of Republican miscreants vying for the nomination of their party, actually had their way in this coming era.

It went something like this:

Imagine there's no universal health care, not even for kids, soldiers or the elderly, no regulation on corporate thievery, no equality for women, people of color, gays or those born in other countries; Imagine no democratically-elected body making sure our roads, hospitals and schools are maintained in optimum condition, no limits on killing people in other countries because they might have a desire to cause us harm one day; Imagine no restrictions on what kind of lethal weapons everyone can own and carry, no laws against executions, no laws protecting the rights of a mother who has been raped to safely end the pregnancy, no laws monitoring what may go into our food or water or air.

Imagine that.

TODAY'S OUTLANDISH QUOTE!

"Today, the condition remains a mystery... it is still poorly understood, and often misdiagnosed."
Casey Schwartz, a graduate of Brown University with a master's degree in psychodynamic neuroscience from University College London, on the subject of "hysteria."

Dear Casey -

What?!

As a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist for over 30 years, I can tell you that the causes of this disorder are quite discernible and commonplace, and so I must object to the above statement in your piece on The Daily Beast, entitled "Hysteria: Is the Condition Mental, Physical, or Made Up?"

In fact, the repression of sexual and/or aggressive impulses and ideations still remains the cause of most conversion symptoms. It is only since the medical/pharmaceutical/insurance cartel took over the diagnosis and treatment of hysteria that the original understandings of Freud have been ignored. Problem is, the Old Master was right. It's just that psychoanalytic treatment, effective when done properly, is tedious and offers no renumeration to physicians or drug companies, and costs too much for insurance companies.

MORE ON WHY I'M LEAVING 3D: Black Friday Target Shoppers Step Over Man As He Collapses, Dies!!

A Black Friday shopper who collapsed while shopping at a Target store in West Virginia went almost unnoticed as customers continued to hunt for bargain deals. Witnesses say some shoppers ignored and even walked over the man's body as they continued to shop, reports the New York Daily News.

Well, I hope everyone got the bargains they were looking for!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

Here's J. D. Salinger from his short story "Teddy". In the story Teddy describes his ideal approach to education:

"I'm pretty sure I wouldn't start with the things schools usually start with... I'd try to show [the children] how to find out who they are, not just what their names are and things like that... I guess, even before that, I'd get them to empty out everything their parents and everybody ever told them. I mean even if their parents just told them an elephant's big, I'd make them empty that out. An elephant's only big when it's next to something else--a dog or a lady, for example. I wouldn't even tell them an elephant has a trunk. I might show them an elephant, if I had one handy, but I'd let them just walk up to the elephant not knowing anything more about it than the elephant knew about them."

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Seeking self-actualization as a human being is a challenge, yes, but in the way that climbing Mount Everest or running a marathon is, in the way that composing a musical piece or a screenplay is, in the way that falling in love is. It requires that you strive for your highest excitement with a "whatever-it-takes" attitude, that you accept full self-responsibility as a privilege, not a burden, that you move through life's events alive with passion, that you stay awake."
(PL on FPL)

TODAY'S QUOTE!

“Wonder Woman wishes she could be Professor Warren!”
(An admirer of one of my modern day heros, Elizabeth Warren, in an article in the NY Times entitled: "Heaven Is a Place Called Elizabeth Warren")

IS THIS YOU? A DEEPLY SPIRITUAL, NON-JUDGEMENTAL, WISE TEACHER WITH NO MONEY?! MAYBE YOU'RE AN OLD SOUL!

This is from Joya Pope's book, "UPCOMING CHANGES," a book that I discovered, not coincidentally, exactly when I was trying to understand what makes people different from one another, even when many of their circumstances and backgrounds seem the same. Discovering the "soul age" concept was part of a significant shift in my life. If you are reading this, perhaps it will be for you, too.

Meanwhile, below is a lengthy excerpt from the description of the "Old Soul." Is this you?

Check it out:

"While Old Souls do not tend to grow into their full soul perceptivity until about age thirty-five or so, they will, even before then, be accused of stepping to the beat of a different drummer. They are unusual - two steps away from the norm - in this Young Soul culture. Because they are inclined to individualistically follow their inner perceptions and desires, they may be seen as eccentric, though usually harmlessly so.

"While there is great motivation for spiritual growth, motivation tends to be lacking when it comes to developing political or material punch. Seldom doing anything they don't want to and preferring their own unconventional pursuits, they often seek the path of least resistance as far as work, so that all energy can be poured into spiritual development. The Old Soul's essence may be willing to let him or her be dirt poor for the duration of many lifetimes as long as one is gaining the desired spiritual and philosophic lessons. Sometimes an essence actually interferes with a person gaining money when it's clear that riches would distract attention from the real inner work. Remember, you are your essence while you are astral; it is you who decides not to give yourself the wealthy Young Soul parents or the drive and ambition to go out and get powerfully rich.

"Because of the essence's richness gathered over many lifetimes, Old Souls tend to be extremely competent in a wide range of things - which often aren't pursued! They will try to find work that supports their personal growth: counseling, teaching, bodywork, gardening and carpentry being some favorites.

"Many are magnetized by philosophy and art. If higher education proves necessary in order to teach, less orthodox schools allowing more opportunities for inner exploration will be favored.

"A fancy house or car, or impressive clothes and jewelry aren't often too high on an Old Soul's real priority list. Neither is a nine-to-five job. Plain laziness on the physical plane sometimes creates difficulty paying the bills, but the material game just isn't what it used to be. However, Old Souls do have one advantage with the material world: as they begin to seek, understand and use the laws of the physical universe, goals can be attained with less effort. Thus, there is an outer, as well as an inner draw to understand the universal laws distilled in astrology, metaphysics, tarot and other ancient teachings.

"Old Souls may explore many religions and teachings, being most drawn to those emphasizing love and to those they've resonated with closely in past lives."

REPOST: "EAT YOUR CHOCOLATE!" AND DO YOUR CLEANSE!

In general, the way the "Pleasure Principle" works is simple: if it feels good, it is good.

This is of course, in keeping with the understandings of Full Permission Living, which rests upon the foundation of truth that all people are entitled to live pleasure-filled, spontaneous, lives without guilt, shame or oppressive inner rules and prohibitions. Indeed, we are meant to live with full inner permission to follow our natural inner guidance and our inborn pleasure instinct to seek out gratification in all of our actions and endeavors, and that such a way of living always benefits us, those around us and those that we love most optimally.

There was a nice, pre-Valentine's Day piece in 2010 on the Huffington Post by one Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D., about the health benefits of chocolate. It makes the point, from a medical perspective, of how pleasure is good for you.

Dr. Braunstein writes:

"Can a chocolate a day help keep the doctor away? A gift of chocolate is not only heart-warming, but in small amounts may be heart healthy, too. For maximum benefit, toss aside the heart-shaped assortment of nougats and caramels, and instead splurge on the highest quality dark chocolate you can find. Be sure it has at least 70 percent cocoa content. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, pigments found in many vegetables and fruits, especially ones dark in color like blueberries. They are also found in red wine, grapes, red apples and some teas. These act as antioxidants helping to neutralize artery-clogging free radicals. They fight heart disease by lowering blood pressure and lowering the levels of oxidized LDL - or "bad cholesterol," while minimally raising the levels of the "good cholesterol" HDL. There also is some evidence that dark chocolate can reduce blood clots much like the effect of aspirin."

Yes, Dr. B, eating good chocolate tastes good and is good for you - eaten, of course, in appropriate amounts (i.e. - not compulsively).

I wrote a piece a couple of years ago called "FULL PERMISSION EATING," in which I discussed the merits of following the Pleasure Principle when eating, and especially important in our compulsive culture, the importance of eating without guilt. It is a lengthy and worthy article, I think.

People sometimes misunderstand the principles of following pleasure and living with full inner permission. It is NOT a license to act out suppressed or repressed negative, destructive impulses. In order to pursue pleasure freely, one has to have done the self-work necessary to rid oneself of those distorted manifestations of the self to a great extent, and be living from one's adult and higher self mainly - our first nature.

That being said, I am coming down the home stretch, now on Day 7, of a 10-day "Schulze."

The Schulze is a full-body cleanse based on the programs of one Dr. Richard Schulze, whose cleanses I've been doing for 16 years, now. But why the need to cleanse if I've been living according to a freed-up pleasure principle?

Well, even though I am dedicated to only eating what I love to eat, without guilt, and I am also dedicated to eating food that is fresh, organic and/or at least hormone and antibiotic-free, I do not do so one hundred percent of the time. I go to restaurants, for example, where the well-prepared, delicious food isn't always organic, and as far as I know, they don't yet make an organic, alcohol-free Johnny Walker Black, which I enjoy on the rocks, by the way. And while I could dedicate myself to meditating more scrupulously on changing the molecules of whatever I ingest so I wouldn't need to cleanse my body occasionally, I do meditate on a lot of other things and have to pick and choose my priorities in linear time. Plus, unless I create my own biosphere to live in, I am subject to the pollutants in the air and water, and generally in the crazy environment we've collectively created like everyone is, so cleansing is necessary and practical in order to maintain myself in a state of being able to follow my pleasure principle fully.

So, eat drink and be merry, folks, and do the necessary self-work to create a reality where whatever you do enhances your pleasure and fulfillment and thereby enhances the state of the world!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

Got this from "Auntlori" this morning:

"Having the rare, loving, snuggle moment with Sal this morning. Snuggled tightly into my lap, he was so sweet. I looked at him and said: 'I love you Sal.' He smiled so lovingly and said: 'Don't touch my cars."

NOTE: Sal is 2 years old. That is a typical self-referential response to love at that age. If you know any adults who respond like that to love, know what you're dealing with.

RAMPANT CHILD ABUSE IS REAL!

Not long ago, I posted two pieces (HERE and HERE) on how prevalent child abuse was, and I quoted Alexander Lowen, creator of Bioenergetics Therapy, as having once said that "ninety-nine percent of all children are abused" in some way by their parents and/or teachers.

Interestingly, and sadly, enough, many of the responses I received were from those claiming to be in the lucky one-percent, wishing to debunk the notion of such rampant abuse. In light of the recent Penn State revelations, and the blithe way in which so many covered the horror up, as if a grown man raping a 10-year old boy in the shower was all just some kind of unfortunate side-effect of college athletics, I thought the deniers might want to read this latest bit of research from the American Heart Association, Center for Disease Control, Child Protective Services, and the Nurse's Health Study.

Sorry, but if you need a license to drive a car, and a degree or training to get a job, shouldn't you have to do more than just fuck somebody to become a parent? And shouldn't teachers and coaches - who are also supposed to be teachers - be required to be mentally and emotionally fit, at least to a point of not being overtly sociopathic?

Sorry.

THE NON-VIOLENT SIDE OF THE WAVE AND THE IRREVOCABLE SHIFT TO 4D!!

I have written many blog posts over the last couple of years about what I've been calling "The Wave". I have on several occasions focused on the deadly side of The Wave, taking people into disastrous situations or even knocking them right off the planet.

Well, today, there was a front page banner headline on The Huffington Post proclaiming "THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT IN HISTORY!"

Wow! Really? The "most significant development in history?!" What is it?

Well, remarkably, it is that in spite of what the media and entertainment industry portray, hard statistics reveal dramatic, worldwide reductions in violence and violent deaths.

Hard to believe? Read on...

In one book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," prominent Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker writes: "Statistics reveal dramatic reductions in war deaths, family violence, racism, rape, murder and all sorts of mayhem. The decline of violence may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species."

Of course, as a mind-oriented academic, Pinker attributes the positive shift to an increase in human intelligence, pointing out that as measured on the IQ scale, an average child today would be "a near-genius a century ago. And that increase in intelligence translates into a kinder, gentler world," according to Pinker.

The logic Pinker employs here, though, is not only extraordinarily linear, it is also child-like. Simply because two things exist side-by-side in time doesn't mean there is a causal relationship between the two. That is behavioral psychology at its worst, but I'm not getting into that here.

What I would simply like to propose is that we consider that at whatever level of relative development one is, there is an acceleration going on, an irrevocable shift towards expanded consciousness, which is different that mere intelligence (after all, some very brilliant men, intellectually speaking, have devised some horrific weapons of mass destruction), and towards higher vibratory rates in humans as energy beings.

In other words, in spite of the political obstructionists and doomsayers, and the religious zealots ("baby souls" all), who long for war or "rapture" to fulfill their thirst for childish drama, we are in fact evolving as a species.

This shift has wreaked havoc in individual lives at times, yes, and invited natural and man-made disasters, yes-yes, but here, in these facts about the decline of violence, we see the positive side of The Wave. Whether it's taking us to a 4th Dimensional level of consciousness, or higher, or merely to a higher frequency of 3rd dimensional consciousness, we're all going.

Okay.

Happy Sunday!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"As long as someone loves you or you even love yourself then that shield of love is there."
(The latest from the ThroughHarley blog)

3D ALERT! BE CAREFUL ABOUT YOUR INCARNATION!!

THIS is what happens when you planned on reincarnating as a tree, but you rushed into it without doing the necessary preparation in the spirit world.
CLICK HERE

REPOST: "FALSE CLARITY TO GENUINE CONFUSION TO GENUINE CLARITY"

In response to a request, I am reposting this piece I wrote during the second year of my 3-year training program for Full Permission Living. It is something that I think is very important because many people can seem very sure of themselves while they are predominantly living in a state of unreality, and some people may doubt themselves for feeling confused about things, when in fact they are much closer to the Truth (capital "T") than the falsely confident are. One cannot skip steps to arrive at genuine clarity, and one cannot get there simply by acting sure of themselves.

One way that I’ve conceptualized the process of personal evolution has been as a kind of three-part movement, that being from false clarity to genuine confusion to genuine clarity.
Initially, when someone first arrives in therapy, they are in a state that I’ve found myself thinking of as "false clarity." This 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, rarely questioning them. From this place, people will frequently start sentences out with "I believe…"
"I believe that I can't only get what I want through the manipulation of myself and others."
"I believe that if I am honest and 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 Eros and passion to last in a relationship."
"I believe that if I want something done right, I have to do it myself, because no one will ever be there for me."
"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 axioms or beliefs with variations and derivatives aplenty. (In my class on beliefs, and in each of the character structure classes, I presented a more extensive list of some of the more common beliefs that we run our lives by.)
Since these beliefs are not doubted for the most part, the person initially coming for therapy is seeking ways to better cope with what are accepted as the harsh “realities" of their life. Much energy has been invested in trying to find better and better ways of manipulating the self and other people to "get what I want". To that end, a person will develop what some theorists have referred to as "masks" ("personas", according to Carl Jung), or false selves, constructed to present to the world in order to attain sought after praise, recognition, love or substitutes for those things. Indeed, many come to therapy looking to polish up their masks so they might "work better", and are surprised to find out that a key part of the real self work is, in fact, to expose and "take off" the masks.
One of the first endeavors in a person’s unfolding process, then, is to begin uncovering the embedded beliefs behind the masks, and challenging 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 invite, create or only be able to see that very thing in your life most of the time, so its 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 come to therapy because they 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 just "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, etc., behavior is part of a mask, attempting to hide a very demanding and childish attitude towards their loved one based on a buried belief in deprivation. The partner being bombarded with these masked demands will often withdraw and indeed be less inclined to "give" affection, etc. This then seems to validate the underlying belief that "there is not enough." So therefore, one must manipulate even more, all the while building up a stockpile of resentment. On and on, in a self-fulfilling, vicious cycle that Eva Broch referred to in one of her Pathwork Guide Lectures as a "circular trap." The failure of the manipulations to get more of what is wanted is often what brings the person to therapy, 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. 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 this place where the self is so rigidly defined according to firmly held beliefs that only lead to frustration and a sense of inadequacy?
When blocked feelings are released through an integrated mind-body-spirit psychotherapy, the embedded beliefs start appearing in higher relief. This is because the beliefs were previously being used to justify keeping emotions trapped in the body. 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 and they will experience a shift in their "I am" completion to the more immediate feeling expressions. "I am…feeling lost now. I don’t know how to act. What can I count on? Where can I find security?" 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 therapy in the first place is because they realize 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, at the "I don’t know who I am" place, that true wisdom begins.
What keeps people going at this stage, fortunately, 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 work-life becomes more creative. For still others, they break through a relationship barrier. Yet, for all, it is really the new inner feeling of self-possession and inner connectedness that provides motivation.
At this stage of the process, the person in the above example has uncovered a belief in deprivation and scarcity of love that’s been embedded in the subconscious mind since very early in childhood, based on a less-than-fully-gratifying relationship with a parent. The feelings stored in the body since that time, the hurt and rage, have also now been energized through the therapy and partially released 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 is required by the person to forge on here.

If one does indeed forge ahead, 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 state. The person 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."

TODAY'S QUOTE!

OH WOW! OH WOW!! OH WOW!!!"
Steve Jobs (His last words before he died!)

COMMENTS ARE BACK!

I am sad to report that, somehow, the control that sends comments to a monitoring file awaiting my approval was accidentally flipped on for a while. I am glad to report that all of your comments were saved there, and I have now published them - unedited - and have turned the filter off.

Please keep those comments, kind or not, coming!

Thanks!

PL

TODAY'S MAKE MY DAY QUOTE!

“These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage? I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of. They go on and on with all this bullshit about ‘sanctity’ — don’t give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”
Clint Eastwood

THE FIRST SINGLE FROM THE CITY ROCK ALBUM IS NOW ON ITUNES!!

The release of the first single by sycicWALRUS, our new musical group formed around the CITY ROCK TV series, is now up on ITunes!

Do a search on ITunes for "Sycic Walrus, Working Class Hero" and you will find us.

Spread the word. Our next two singles from the CITY ROCK album will be out in the next week.

Stay tuned!!

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Sex is a means of escaping our little self or ego. It is many peoples' only experience of meditation."
Deepak Chopra

OLDER WOMEN LOVE SEX!

As you can see by the number of links below, I love to write about how great life is meant to be as you mature and become fully adult, and especially how great and important sex is to a maturing, evolving human being.

A new study from the Women’s Health Initiative, referenced in a blog piece entitled, Women Over 50 Enjoying Healthy, Active Sex Lives, has found that, contrary to popular belief, older women are generally satisfied with their sex lives - and if they do have a problem, it’s because they’d like to be having more sex!

Remember the main tenant of the Pleasure Principle, folks:

"If it feels good, it is good!"

Check out these links and have fun!

HALF TIME!

DECLINING WITH AGE? NO, WITH TIME!

SEX IN THE SECOND HALF!

DON'T FEAR THE REAPER, BE THE REAPER!

FREAKING OUT ABOUT TURNING FIFTY? HA!

REPOST: DEEPAK CHOPRA: IT ALL COMES FROM SEX!

Here's Deepak, without any commentary from me except where I've put words in bold:

Dear Friends,

On the occasion of the Sony e-book release of my book, Kama Sutra, I would like to share the following insights on sex and spirituality:

Sexual energy is the primal and creative energy of the universe. All things that are alive come from sexual energy. In animals and other life forms, sexual energy expresses itself as biological creativity. In humans, sexual energy can be creative at all levels -- physical, emotional and spiritual. In any situation -- where we feel attraction, arousal, awakening, alertness, passion, interest, inspiration, excitement, creativity, enthusiasm -- in each of these situations, sexual energy is at work. Whenever we feel these states of awareness, we must put our attention on the energy that we are experiencing, nourishing it with our attention, experiencing it with joy and keeping it alive in our awareness.

Sexual desire is sacred and chaste. The suppression of sexual energy is false, ugly and unchaste.

During sexual union, there is union between flesh and spirit.

Bliss, carefreeness and playfulness are the essence of sex.

To improve your sexual experiences, get rid of your expectations.
Expectations are primarily in three areas: 1) Performance, exemplified in the question, "How am I doing?" 2) Feeling, exemplified in the question, "How am I feeling?" 3) Security, exemplified in the question, "Do you love me?"
In sex, as in all areas of life, resistance is born of fear. All resistance is mental. It implies judgment against what is being felt. Sex becomes a problem when it gets mixed with hidden emotions such as shame, guilt and anger.

Sexual intimacy is the road to the taste or experience of true freedom, because it is the one area of life in which we can become completely uninhibited and free.

Sexual fulfillment occurs when the experience comes from playfulness instead of need. Frequently people bring their conflicts and needs into the sexual experience. When sex is used to fulfill needs, it leads to addiction. When sex comes from playfulness, the result is ecstasy.

All problems related to sex, neurosis, deviancy, sexual misbehavior, violence, abuse, can be traced to resistance, suppression and repression -- not to the sexual urges themselves. If we are allowed to discover our urges, desires and emotions, without outside inhibition, they won't go to extremes. Extremism, in any form, is a reaction to repression, inhibition and suppression. Aggression and violence are the shadow energies of fear and impotence.

Sex is a means of escaping our little self or ego. It is many peoples' only experience of meditation.

Meaningful sex has to be value based. Values are personal. Each situation that has sexual energy in it, involves the whole human being and their entire value system. My values may be different from yours, and I have no right to be the moral judge of anyone's values. It is important, however, to have core values, and respect them. Without values, we become spiritually bankrupt. Sexual experience will never cause problems and will always be joyful, if lovers share the same values.

True intimacy is union between flesh and flesh, between subtle body and subtle body, between soul and soul. Sexual energy is sacred energy. When we have restored the sexual experience to the realm of the sacred, our world will be chaste and divine, holy and healed.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people."
Steve Jobs

HOW "OLD" ARE YOU? PAUL McCARTNEY BEGS THE QUESTION!

"Who’s this Derek Jeter guy? People tell me he has more hits than me.”

Sir Paul, who just got married again and is planning a European concert tour, cracked that joke as he performed for 2 straight hours, without even stopping for a sip of water, during a concert earlier this year at Yankee Stadium. A reporter covering the concert for the Wall Street Journal (?!!?), Jon Friedman, wrote:

"All night long, McCartney played, by my rough count, 27 Beatles songs and nine others. He remained faithful to the vintage musical arrangements from the Beatles, Wings and McCartney solo records. He never even stopped to take a sip of water. McCartney, who just turned 69 years of age, rocked even harder last night than he did when I last saw him perform, two years ago at the then-new Citi Field across town."

Friedman went on to say that McCartney was "at the top of his game."

Okay, you see where I'm heading, right?

69?

Top of his game?

How old are you? Or should I ask: How old do you think you are? And how's your game going?

I've written several blog posts here on the illusions and beliefs about the so-called "aging process." You can check them out HERE. The point is that growing older, like everything else, is what we say it is, individually and collectively.

Personally, throughout my life, even as an adult, I have looked forward to being older. I always presumed/understood that life only gets better with the passage of time, especially if you get that time doesn't really "pass." In a linear line of reality it does appear to, but in the higher, truer reality of our existence, each and every moment is created anew. Therefore, if one can get to a point of living fully in the now, even while choosing to play the linear time game, which includes the illusion of "accumulating" experience, one can really choose to enjoy life more fully, perhaps by playing shortstop at Yankee Stadium as you enter your 40's, or performing rock concerts there into your 70's!

ATTENTION NEWCOMERS! THIS IS NOT AN ANTI-PARENT BLOG!

But as the next six posts indicate, I am currently following the energy of my calling and exposing the shoddy, debased state of what passes for parenting in three-dimension reality these days.

If you are a "Clueless Park Slope Parent," turn back now!

TODAY'S "BAD PARENTING" QUOTE! (NOT BY PL!!)

This is from Toni Nagy's entry on Alternet.org, entitled: "How Better Parenting Could Produce Fewer Greedy Bankers and More People Who Care About the Future of the Earth."

"So the question is why is money more important then our survival? My answer is bad parenting. The human race is sprinting towards its own destruction because we think that money will make us feel better about our mommy and daddy never loving us enough or teaching us how to love ourselves. It is not your mom and dad's fault, or even their parents'. We are talking about generations of people who have not figured out that nothing will make you feel emotionally fulfilled if you are not genuinely emotionally fulfilled on your own. Maybe the 99% of us so blindly support the [super-wealthy] 1% because we spend our adult lives resenting our parents and trying to find happiness through material possessions, power over others, success in our jobs, and looking at pictures of each other's vacations on Facebook."

ADDENDUM TO THE "TERROR VERSUS HORROR" POST!

A very interesting note regarding Lowen's ideas about the differences between and the effects of terror versus horror is that he implies that chronic situations of terror in early childhood lead to the formation of a schizoid character structure, while repeated instances of horror lead to the formation of narcissism and a psychopathic character structure.

In the schizoid character, withdrawal and disconnection from feelings and the body is the typical defensive reaction to the terror, while in the narcissist and psychopath, it is a disconnection and withdrawal from reality, and from an acknowledgment of others as real, that prevails as the reaction to the horror.

WHO'S BIPOLAR? PARENTS, DOCTORS AND TEACHERS RUINING CHILDREN'S LIVES!

Here's the title of a June cover story of NEWSWEEK Magazine: "Mommy, Am I Really Bipolar?"

The caption underneath reads: "Hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. have been wrongly diagnosed with the trendy disorder, argues a noted psychiatrist. And the results can be tragic."

Let me cut right to the chase, because you can otherwise find many posts on my blog railing about the disgrace that is the rampant drugging of our children. The real problem is that so many people don't want to know the truth. The three main groups of adults whose charge it is to see to the well-being of our children - parents, teachers and doctors - are in fact, the three most destructive elements in our children's lives.

Parents have children that they aren't equipped to raise, because they haven't done the self-work to even remotely attain a level of self-actualization before they procreate. Consequently, they seek drugs for their children so as not to have to deal with their offsprings' complicated, evolving emotional lives and the direct challenge that presents to their egos.

Doctors drug children - and if we don't face this, we're really screwed - because it's easy and profitable. Real healing is a calling, not an intellectual exercise or the application of mechanical techniques for profit. And people, especially children, don't need to be "fixed," as much as they need guidance on how to use their own inner healing resources.

Teachers, overwhelmed and underpaid, have sadly devolved into not much more than prison wardens merely trying to control their charges and get through their day without the disruptions that the bundles of energy known as kids create as part of their natural beingness.

We so desperately want to believe in our images and idealizations of authority figures, but let this NEWSWEEK piece be a warning, folks: the price of denial is high.

I'M STILL SORRY, PARENTS, BUT BETTELHEIM WAS RIGHT: LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH!

Below is a post I put up a couple of weeks ago referencing an article and a study demonstrating how the emotional state of mothers affects the brain development of their children. How parents' emotional lives affect the development of their offspring is obviously not a subject I've shied away from, and I've aroused the ire of many parents as a result.

Well, today comes another article and another study reporting that when parents are depressed or under stress, their suffering can leave a lasting mark on their children’s DNA — and not for the better. You can read the entire piece by Sharon Begley, entitled "How Stressed Parents Scar Their Kids," by clicking on the title.

Here's an excerpt and below is my previous post with links to other previous posts on this matter:

"When it comes to finding culprits for everything that’s wrong with us as children and even as adults, parents are everyone’s favorite default option. And why not? Decades of research in child development and psychology have linked maternal depression to children’s mental and physical illness as well as language and cognitive deficits, shown that when the parents’ marriage is riven by conflict children grow up to be emotionally insecure and have difficulty forming loving adult relationships, and found that when parents are under significant stress their kids are more likely to have behavior problems, to have difficulty handling stress, and to be at greater risk for mental illness. If there was any doubt about the power of this parental legacy, an upcoming study should dispel it: when parents are under emotional, financial, or other forms of stress, it can alter their children’s patterns of genetic activity at least through adolescence and perhaps longer. And since some of the altered genes shape brain development, the effects of parental stress might permanently wire themselves into children’s brains."

From two weeks ago, here's PL:

A couple of years ago, I had a debate with one Barbara Fischkin, author and activist mother of an autistic son. Barbara wasn't pleased with some pieces that I wrote on the subject of autism, particularly because I stressed disturbances in the mother-child connection as a causal factor.

Well, as is so often the case, out comes a study this week entitled: "How Sad Moms Change a Child’s Brain: New research shows that children with depressed mothers can have enlarged amygdalas, the part of the brain responsible for emotional responses—and detecting threats."

I'm not looking to be right here, folks, I'm just fed up with the insidious partnership between the mainstream medical establishment, claiming that brain chemistry is unrelated causally from a child's environment, and parents who don't want to do the self-work necessary in order to qualify themselves for parenthood.

There's nothing disgraceful about acknowledging one's limitations and dysfunctions as parents. What is disgraceful is the denial and refusal to seek appropriate healing at the expense of our kids and society at large.

Sorry, but Bruno Bettelheim, who wrote the landmark book, "Love Is Not Enough," was right!

REPOST: THE SADOMASOCHISM OF EVERYDAY LIFE!

Well over a decade ago, I read a book called "THE SADOMASOCHISM OF EVERYDAY LIFE: Why We Hurt Ourselves and Others and How to Stop" by John Munder Ross, Ph. D. The book illustrated quite lucidly how we act out impulses to hurt ourselves and others regardless of what our main character structure is. As I mentioned in my introduction to the Masochistic Character Structure, everyone has some of this baby, and it is the lynchpin of so many of our dysfunctional dynamics.

But here's an interesting thing I never really noticed before: in the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers understood that masochism was a species problem for the whole human race.

For real! I'm telling you - these guys were channeling!

Check out the highlighted passage below.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Wow! "...more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Translated: "We are more inclined to continue our painful impulses and actions than to dismantle the structures we're familiar with."

This is one of the biggest barriers in any healing process, and I point it out constantly to people when they complain, not consciously understanding why they keep finding themselves in the same painful circumstances over and over.

"Because it's familiar," I'll say.

And human beings cling to the familiar to their last breath, practically, or for as long as "evils are sufferable." In other words, until things have gotten so bad that facing oneself is unavoidable, we will choose our old, dysfunction habits, what Freud called our "repetition compulsions."

So, I offer this suggestion - that you all discover your rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" by abolishing the sadomasochism of your everyday life through a commitment to some serious self-work. Because it's not about wearing a mask of "being nice," people, it's about being free, being real and vibrating with vitality and pleasure.

Do it!

Declare your independence!

"AUNTLORI" RESPONDS TO PL'S "STOP TRYING SO HARD!"/PL RESPONDS!

Here's Auntlori:

I would have to agree with this, particularly at this time while I have two preschoolers. I watch in awe at some of these parents signing their children up for activities every single day of the week - in addition to preschool. The parents I am talking about have children the exact same ages as mine- 2 and 3! Many parents believe that if they get "them" started early, they will be ahead of the game, they will somehow advance past their peers because they have been doing "it" longer. There is nothing said about whether the kids actually enjoy "it" or show any kind of special talent. I never tried to "teach" my kids to walk - they did it when their bodies and minds were ready to (one at 12 months and one at 16 months). One was not a better walker as a result and no one felt left behind because his friends were walking and he wasn't! People should stop trying to mold their kids into what they think they should be - leave the kids alone - they do things in their own individual time and their beautiful special talents will emerge naturally if they are given the room to express them. The foundation for the preschool I picked for my boys is Learning Through Play. If it's not fun, no one learns anything and really, if it's not fun why bother? because you'll be ahead of the next guy? Who cares if you're not having a good time?!

Here's PL:

Amen, Auntlori! Thank you!!

IS HAVING AN AFFAIR GOOD FOR A MARRIAGE?

Below is my response to an article from a couple of years ago on the question. It is one that is getting asked more and more frequently these days as marriage itself as an institution is being challenged. As a sociologist and a psychotherapist, I see this challenge as a very positive turn of events. Intention is everything, I often say, and far too many people have jumped into marriage and parenting with a negative intention - i.e. - to satisfy the demands of their egos, images and societal conventions.

Here's my edited comments:

If we’re talking about having “an affair,” as in having sex and romantic interludes with someone outside of your marriage and keeping it a secret, then we’re talking about unactualized behavior and a limited level of consciousness.

Why?

Well, implied by the secrecy aspect of the scenario is that there is some dissatisfaction in the marriage that hasn’t been addressed over time, which means there is a limited level of honesty and open communication between the spouses, which is unactualized behavior.

On the other hand, if the purported reason for the secrecy is “structural” – i.e. - to keep the “intact family” intact, then what you’re describing is a household without Eros. There might be love all around, but a marriage without Eros does not provide a healthy environment for either spouses or children to live in.

Moving towards the so-called “open marriage” scenarios, well... polyamory is certainly a valid life-choice, and an interesting way to engage in relationships, but once you’ve played that hand out (usually before middle age, if you're developing normally), a self-actualized individual will inevitably gravitate towards the rich mine of “spontaneous monogamy,” (as opposed to the contractual kind) in order to have that ultimate experience of love, Eros and sex focused like a laser through one person meeting you at the same of intensity.

Deep levels of self-revelation, which deepen, sustain and expand the experience of love, Eros and sex, takes time and focus. The “free sample” of falling in love, be it in an affair or otherwise, is exactly that – a free sample. To really cash in, you have to do the self-work necessary to keep the channels open to your inner self and to your partner's inner life.

Regarding affairs or polyamory, some participants in extramarital explorations worry about the consequences - i.e. - “What happens if my partner falls in love? This would be a betrayal of the deal, no?”

No.

Betrayal only starts with betrayal of yourself, from denying yourself fulfillment, from not having the will to tell your partner that you might be dissatisfied with some aspects of your marriage, or even that you’re having feelings for someone else. Some well-timed “havoc” is very often what saves a marriage and a family from a life of hunkering down into masochism, martyrdom and unhappiness.

And there’s no valid reason that raising kids, pursuing careers, or getting older has to kill the Eros, either, folks. It's all about the honesty and exposure, and it's all worth it!

REPOST: ME AND MATT WANT ELIZABETH FOR PRESIDENT!!

I'm reposting this from 2 years ago because Elizabeth Warren is finally running for higher office. She's got my vote for everything!

As regular readers of my blog know, I have my heroes... I mean, besides Mickey Mantle, who was my childhood role model for my masochistic character structure. Peter Breggin, Alexander Lowen, William Kuntsler have been a few among several public figures who've I admired in recent years.

One of the criteria to become a present-day hero of mine is that you must be willing to speak Truth to power or convention.

Currently, two of my top tier heroes in that department are Matt Taibbi, the stunningly brilliant and ruthlessly thorough journalist, and Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law Professor and Chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel, and the rare academic and person in government willing and able to explain in plain language the facts of matters that the crooks and liars who are pillaging our country would rather have not understood.

This week, it's all been brought together by Taibbi in a piece on his blog called: "ELIZABETH WARREN FOR PRESIDENT!"

I have had that exact same feeling as Matt every time I've heard Elizabeth speak or read her words. (See my piece: "CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE ECONOMIC SOUL!" LISTEN TO ACTUAL HISTORY FOR A CHANGE!!!")

Also, read two pieces by me on Taibbi: "TOUGH READING" and "YOU ARE THE ONLY GAME THAT ISN'T RIGGED."

[NOTE: Now, don't write in telling me that I'm turning on President Obama prematurely. I am still fully confident in Obama's adult levels of maturity and presence of mind, as well as his intellect and relative egolessness. I believe that the country is moving forward progressively because of the consciousness that he represents, and as a result, I am more confident in the direction we are heading than I have been in over thirty years. I just love great Truth-tellers, that's all.]

FEAR OF CHANGE, ATTACHMENT TO PARENTAL AUTHORITY & THE ILLUSIONS OF BASEBALL PURISTS!

You know, one of my 3D fascinations has always been baseball, a timeless (literally) endeavor that bridges the definitions of "game" and "sport," is originally and uniquely American, is the subject of one of my favorite movies, "Field of Dreams," and, of course, my favorite up and coming TV show, "CITY ROCK." (Softball-baseball, same thing.)

But my love of baseball isn't "traditional," nor of its traditions. In fact, in most cases, relating to most things, I abhor tradition, because adherence to tradition tends to be what fear of growth and resistance to change like to hide behind. Furthermore, so-called "traditionalists" most often, and barely disguised, are operating from their childish egos which idealize parental authority.

Case in point - there is a debate currently raging in baseball (finally!) about the absolute authority of umpires. In a technological age such as ours, when we are able to follow the trajectory of a small sphere, less than 3 inches in diameter, moving at 90+ miles an hour, in such super slow motion that we can see a speck of clay on its surface and count the number of rotations as it travels the 60 feet to home plate, more and more people feel that relying on the utterly flawed judgements of men (euphemistically called the "human element" by purists) is just a bit too traditional!

Too many baseball games (and yes, they are just games) are being blown by umpire mistakes, which, because we have the technology to see them more clearly, are seeming more and more absurd. It's not about winning or losing for me. A good game is a good game, whoever wins. For me, the umpire debate is about the refusal to grow up and let go of the illusion that parental authority is somehow inherently "good." It's not. It's just parental.

Here's a piece from yesterday's Sporting News entitled: "It's time for baseball to scrap the 'human element' and bring in more instant replay!"

PLAY BALL!

TODAY'S FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF QUOTE!

"You're not selfish enough to be a good boyfriend!"
("Mindy" to "Frank" in Season 2 of CITY ROCK)

CITY ROCK VIDEO TRAILERS 1 THRU 3 WITH BONUS MUSIC AND SLIDE SHOW!!

CITY ROCK's First Video Trailer: "The Decision!"

City Rock - The Decision (Final) from Platinum Platypus on Vimeo.


CITY ROCK's Second Video Trailer: "The Face Off!"


CITY ROCK's Third Video Trailer: "The Project!"


"WORKING CLASS HERO" (Full version from CITY ROCK: "The Project!")

Performed by Jesús Cristal, with Christina Giordano on background vocals and Peter Loffredo producing.

Slide Show from the set of City Rock's Soon-to-be Released Fourth Video Trailer: "The Heat Wave!"

Repost: "Eric Erikson on Adulthood!"

This is from Erikson's famous work: The "EIGHT STAGES OF THE LIFE CYCLE." It was rare that psychologists wrote about adulthood in the same way that the stages of childhood were explored in such depth by so many. Yet, we do not stop developing once we reach adulthood, which Carl Jung says doesn't really occur until we are around 40 years old.
Following are excerpts from Erikson's book about the three stages of adulthood, as he saw it, that I used for a class I taught on adulthood:

"6. Intimacy and Distantiation Versus Self-Absorption – It is only after a reasonable sense of identity has been established that real intimacy with others can be possible. The youth who is not sure of his or her identity shies away from interpersonal intimacy, and can become, as an adult, isolated or lacking in spontaneity, warmth or the real exchange of fellowship in relationship to others; but the surer the person becomes of their self, the more intimacy is sought in the form of friendship, leadership, love and inspiration. The counterpart to intimacy is distantiation, which is the readiness to repudiate those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to one’s own.

7. Generativity Versus Stagnation – Generativity is primarily the interest in establishing and guiding the next generation, although there are people who do not apply this drive to offspring but to other forms of altruistic concern and creativity which may absorb their kind of parental responsibility. This is a stage of growth of the healthy personality, and where such enrichment fails, regression from generativity to an obsessive need for pseudo intimacy takes place, often with a pervading sense of stagnation and interpersonal impoverishment. The mere fact of having, or even wanting children does not itself attest to generativity.

8. Integrity Versus Despair and Disgust – Only a person who has in some way taken care of things and people and has adapted to the triumphs and disappointments of being the originator of others and the generator of things and ideas – only that person may gradually grow the fruit of the [prior] seven stages. [The state of] integrity is the acceptance of one’s own life cycle and of the people who have become significant to it as something that had to be and that, by necessity, permitted of no substitutions. It thus means a new, different love of one’s parents, free of the wish that they had been different, and an acceptance of the fact that one’s life is one’s own responsibility. It is a sense of comradeship with men and women of distant times and of different pursuits who have created orders and objects and sayings conveying human dignity and love. The possessor of integrity is ready to defend the dignity of his or her own lifestyle, knowing that an individual life is the…coincidence of but one life cycle with but one segment of history, and that all integrity stands and falls with the one style of integrity of which he or she partakes. Lack or loss of this accrued integration is signified by despair and often an unconscious fear of death. Despair expresses the feeling that time is short, too short for the attempt to start a new life and to try out alternate roads to integrity. Such a despair is often hidden behind a show of disgust, or a chronic contemptuousness. Integrity, therefore, implies an emotional integration which permits participation by followership as well as acceptance of the responsibility of leadership."

SCENE FROM CITY ROCK SEASON ONE, EPISODE 11: "ORIA"

I wrote the pilot episode of City Rock a few months after 9/11/01. Over the next 2 years, I wrote another 9 one-hour episodes, including a season finale that I was very happy with. The scripts just flowed out of me, effortlessly, coming from a place other than my intellect or memory. Two years ago, in 2009, it occurred to me that I should finish the first season according to the contemporary standard of 13 episodes, so I wrote and inserted three more scripts where I felt inspired to do so.

"ORIA," the story of a young Dominican girl caught up in the crack cocaine trade in Washington Heights in the early 1980's, was one of those new scripts, and a favorite of some fans of City Rock.

Here is the finale of the episode:

CAMERA follows Frank as he moves through the sea of intense teens. Many of them acknowledge Frank with various nicknames and street slang, almost all are affectionate in their energy towards him.

He sees her, sitting in a corner, hunkered down with her book.

FRANK
Oria.

She doesn’t look up. He squats down next to her.

FRANK (cont’d)
What are you reading?

She closes the book.

ORIA
Nothing.

FRANK
I’m sorry about Manny, Oria.

ORIA
We were going to go back to Santo Domingo and live on the beach.

FRANK
He told you that?

She shakes her head.

FRANK (cont’d)
You know, Oria, I don’t think that would have ever happened.

ORIA
Manny always meant what he said.

FRANK
He may have meant it, but... Manny was hurting people and heading for a bad ending.

ORIA
You mean because he was selling drugs?

Frank nods.

ORIA (cont’d)
So many people seem to really want drugs, though.

FRANK
That’s true. It’s confusing.

CUT TO:

INT. BARRY CRAMER’S OFFICE - EVENING

FRANK (O.S.)
It’s confusing.

Frank is sitting on the couch, across from the therapist.

FRANK (cont’d)
Why do we desire things so desperately that are bad for us?

BARRY
Control.

Frank looks curious.

BARRY (cont’d)
When someone abuses us, it often seems to come out of left field. When we do it to ourselves, we’re in control of the abuse. We know it’s coming. There’s no shock factor. We’re making the choice.

FRANK
So, what am I doing? Why am I so drawn to all of this... drama? I don’t think I was abused in my childhood.

BARRY
Think again.

FRANK
What do you mean?

BARRY
In a way, you’re at a disadvantage compared to someone like Jennie. It’s easy for someone to know they’ve been abused when a parent was a drunk or was violent or flamboyantly crazy. But when the parents seemed normal, seemed to be in control of themselves because their dysfunctions were outwardly masked or socially acceptable, that child’s got a tougher time in their healing process.
(beat)
Who are you trying to save, Frank? Really?

Frank reflects silently.

CUT TO:

EXT. PHOENIX RESIDENTIAL DETOX AND RECOVERY CENTER - DAY

Jennie is smoking a cigarette on a cement bench in front of the center. The building behind her is a 2-story adobe structure painted in pastel colors that blend in with the desert surroundings.

CLOSE-UP of Jennie shows her lost in thought.

CONAN (O.S.)
Guess you didn’t know you had so much to think about.

Jen doesn’t turn around. She knows the raspy voice. We see who it is. It is the tall, thin, weather-and-life-beaten black man who looked in on Jennie while she was detoxing.

He is CONAN MATHIAS, counsellor at the Phoenix Center. He walks over and stands next to her.

JENNIE
Who says I’m thinking?

CUT TO:

INT. FRANK’S COLD WATER FLAT - EVENING

Frank enters his apartment and turns on the light. The place looks somehow particularly empty tonight.

He walks in and takes a beer out of the fridge, pops the top and takes a deep draught.

He sees that a note is on the floor, near the door. He goes over and picks it up.

He reads:

"A leader is at his best when after his work is done, his aim fulfilled, his followers will say: we did it ourselves."

FADE TO BLACK.
 

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