I’ve always thought of spring as my favourite time of year. One minute we can be in the cold hibernation of winter, and the next, we’re noticing buds on the trees. So often this is such a speedy transition, it can catch us by surprise, and yet, how pleasant that can be.
It’s that feeling of waking to a new day, with everything renewed and fresh, that feels so special. It reminds me of new hope and growth. Our plans and ideas beginning to take shape and form.
During the cold and damp winter months, those things that brought so much colour and life in the summertime, die away. Even though we experience this, there is a beauty in how nature utilises, everything. The past is used in a way that nourishes the next generation. It is of course beneficial for us to consider using our past in the same vein.
To me it’s a little like learning from past mistakes. Properly learning from the past, enables us to nourish, the future. We nourish it through taking our new understandings forward. It’s the understandings from our mistakes that enable this transition.
The key to this lies in what we choose to learn. We must ask: what have I learned? For it’s so often the case, that we make the same mistakes several times over, before we reach a point of advancement. You’ll notice the use of the word ‘advancement’ as this is surely all we can sensibly look to do … advance.
Thinking we can reach perfection, as a result of learning from mistakes, would only constitute further error; an error in our thinking. Perfection is an unachievable goal, yet there is always room, for improvement.
This is where development comes into play
Starting a new season with plans and ideas is a must. To what extent we’re able to put these plans into action, comes as a result, of the resources we hold. We must be sure we propagate a positive mindset, with the beliefs, to back this up. Knowing just how to do this is important.
Along with removing the negatives, and learning from the past, we must actively seek to creatively install new ways of thinking about our future happiness. Be that concerning the health of our relationships, or understanding how our beliefs shape and influence our mindset, both are equally important to develop.
Consider now, how a Development Workshop can help to ensure a bright, rewarding future, from spring 2019 onward. Apply Now.
It’s interesting isn’t it? Can we be happy and not fulfilled? I think the fairly obvious answer is yes. We can of course be happy in our everyday activities. In fact, if we follow certain philosophies, we can be happy every moment of everyday, simply by being in the now moment. Doing everything mindfully, be it washing up to playing with the kids, if we do these things with our full attention, we can be happy. So says the philosophy.
What concerns me though, is how following this philosophy – and only asking if we’re presently happy – we might actually be missing something fundamental: Our deeper purpose.
From a personal perspective I’m the sort of person who can be very happy with routine. Breaking routine is something I often find difficult. It’s the predictability of routine that creates a kind of safety net. I’m not on my own with this. And so for myself and most others, it is important we open things up, by asking that second question in my title: ‘Am I fulfilled?’
“By asking this question we’re creating a void”
As you might know, the mind abhors a vacuum, and will always seek to fill it. We can use this principle in a constructive way when we understand it. As with asking the secondary question [Am I fulfilled?] we can also use it to help with the more mundane. Consider when we can’t remember someone’s name, or some other detail, and as soon as we consciously lose the search in our memories, our unconscious provides the answer. A name, or whatever it might be we’re searching for (keys, purse or wallet,) the answer just pops into our awareness. Magic.
So, even though we can be happy in the present moment now, be cautious with this, and always ask the secondary question: Am I fulfilled?
Happiness is a belief
Our beliefs in happiness will always be subjective. We believe we’re happy, but are we? In this moment now we are, and compared to someone who’s currently experiencing difficulties, we might also be. However, what about the happiness experienced by people who’re fulfilled?
It could be that in order to feel fulfilled you’d need a family around you. You might not currently have this and as such seek it. Perhaps fulfilment for you would be finally reaching that metaphorical mountain top. Without seeking this fulfilment – be it in your career or some other goal – we might just wander aimlessly not really experiencing the full range of our emotions and potential experiences. If we’re not cautious, we can become trapped in moving from one moment to the next (believing we’re happy,) without actually achieving the greatness, we’re capable of.
We all have a valuable and useful legacy to leave behind. Ask your question now and consider how a Personal Development Workshop can help you find fulfilment.
During the course of life there are times when we might wonder why it can seem so cruel. The trials and tribulations we all go through can be very testing indeed. We read about the troubles of individuals, whole communities or society as a whole, and we wonder. We wonder why. Even so, dwelling on the negative is obviously best avoided, yet if we’re to live life to its fullest, we will never fully escape its harsh realities.
“Starting on a negative just then enables me to enforce the importance of its opposite: positivity. With positivity, comes happiness”
When reminded of the trials of life, it is possible to instantly neutralise the negative effects, this can have on us. We do this through switching over to a more stoic mindset.
A stoic mindset dictates that we must look to ensure our emotions don’t become the ruling influence in our lives. If we’re to be fully alive we must look to build self-control, fortitude, and a calm acceptance that life will inevitably have its trials. Although this is the case, self-control, is never gained through denial of the belief life can be cruel, but only through acceptance there will always be both negatives and positives, within it. Life and death, kindness and cruelty, will always coexist. It’s how it works here, and once we’re in a place of acceptance, it becomes a very powerful stoic approach.
In my mind, this goes some way to explaining why people who look to deny, or effect indifference to the negatives of life, don’t seem very genuine. They seem contrived, insincere and false. It’s almost as if life for them, is just one great big positive and funny film, they’re just playing a part in. The problem is, denial of life’s true nature, makes us very bad actors. Worse still, we might end up only ever being an observer of this film of life, and never fully engaging with it.
“A dull axe will do a poor job of chopping firewood, as will a dulled mind make of lighting the fires, of life”
We better fuel the fires of life when we recognise how fear smothers it. We dull our minds through seeking to avoid the harsh realities of life. This may be with drink and other drugs, or through denial, indifference or manipulative mind games played with others. In this respect, the stoic also recognises the importance of living a virtuous life; to which happiness, is intrinsically linked.
“A genuine appreciation and acceptance of life’s ups and downs, makes it, and us, more real”
So there we have it. Even though life can seem cruel and unkind, once we stoically accept it’s true nature, happiness is experienced through understanding how life must be fully lived without fear.
“Looking closely at money does seem to open up more questions than answers”
Even so, questions are important, and discussing money, so we can lose some of the potential stress and misunderstandings surrounding it, will be of great value (excuse the pun).
Often when seeking to understand money, we’re given advice and guidance that relates directly to its management: how best to save, invest, earn etc. All well and good, however, there is something of fundamental importance, that’s often overlooked: The Psychology.
Time and money bear a close correlation. For example, we want that new car, bike or pair of shoes, but don’t currently have the cash available. So rather than waiting, until we’ve saved enough, we borrow. Buy now pay later. You might think fair enough. If we’re prepared to pay the interest on the loan, we’re able to enjoy the goods now, rather than later. But what is the psychology behind this thinking.
“What is buy now pay later really all about. Is this a lack of patience? Is it just a social thing? Or is it that our wants are greater than our needs?”
I’m able to compare my own experience of being young and broke with someone who is currently just starting out in life. When I was sixteen I didn’t have the cash to buy the moped I desperately needed, so, with my father acting as guarantor, I borrowed. It turned out to be a mistake – I borrowed more than I could afford – and my father had been foolish to allow it. He’d been unable to advise me otherwise. In comparison, I’m aware of a young man who, even though his earning capacity is restricted, has successfully managed to save enough money to buy his first moped. He’s also now saving for his next bike; a bigger one. He has no debt. To be able to put the words young and patient together, in the same sentence, is a very rare thing.
“We can know this is down to several potential factors”
Firstly he hasn’t been able to borrow money (no guarantor) or secondly he’s been cleverly advised out of it. The chances are, his beliefs – formed from advice and experience – have created a positive time/money correlation. In other words, he’s learned patience in its respect.
Of course saving for a moped is one thing, yet buying a house for example, would be an entirely different matter. With the property market as it is, it would be nigh on impossible for the average person to ever save enough to buy one outright. He or she would be so old, by the time they’d saved enough, that they’d never have the chance to enjoy it. Plus we have the problem of house prices always increasing way above the rate of pay increases. And isn’t that a curious thing? The gap between the rich and the poor ever increasing do you think?
“Anyway Let’s Not Get Distracted!”
That last paragraph does all hinge on our beliefs relating to home ownership. Provided we’re able to find a decent landlord we can be quite happy renting. If you’ve no concerns over leaving inheritance to family members (or cat charities,) then owning your own home, is in fact a bit of a nonsense. We can all be sold on the idea of having no mortgage in retirement, but that can be offset, with the belief that retirement is a complete nonsense too. Retire from what? There are many ways we can stay as wage earners in old age. Society actually requires input from the older generation. This is in much the same way children (mostly) benefit from knowing grandparents.
We could go on and on with the debate over money, yet there is one simple answer to removing much of the stress surrounding it. I touched on this earlier. It’s that thing of our wants being greater than our needs. Once we can reach a point in our lives where our wants match our needs we’ll be in a favourable position. The sooner the better. This is the time/money correlation in its essence.
“Doing this involves some cleverness”
If, at the age of sixteen, I’d been a little more canny and wise to the world, I could have avoided much of the stress and difficulties I’ve experienced ever since. If someone had said to me:
“Look kiddo, here’s the thing, you’re being fucked over by your own wants and your wanting is being driven by your beliefs on happiness.”
“Right now you believe the only root to your happiness is that moped, right? Okay, so what would need to happen for you to find this freedom and happiness without it?”
That last question would certainly be a mind-bomb for the average sixteen year old. It would probably be the case, that suggestions from someone I believed in and respected, would’ve been necessary. Perhaps, if such a person had introduced me to an inexpensive hobby, things would have worked out differently. Perhaps, if it’d been explained – in clear and simple terms – that happiness and freedom must begin in the mind, and never outside of it, things would have been very different.
All in all, there’s no getting away from the facts of life: We will always need sufficient money to cater for our basic needs and independence. Without that we’ve no chance of happiness, and to add to our misery, illness is potentially around every corner.
“So to close”
Hopefully this has opened up your mind a little to the subject in hand. I would question the belief that money buys happiness. Without our basic needs being met, we’ll be unhappy, that’s a given. However, our attitude of mind, mentality and belief system, has great bearing on the amount of stress and unhappiness we might experience around the subject. It’s really worth pondering on the time/money correlation. Surly it’s the case, the wiser we are and the sooner we find this wisdom, the happier we will be from the offset?
You can find out more on beliefs through workshop attendance and by typing in the search word ‘beliefs’ into the appropriate box. Your application form can be found here.
“Prompted by an earlier conversation I feel it’s time to talk about passion once again”
How would a Buddhist describe his beautiful life? A Buddhist would no doubt go into talking about Buddhist philosophies and beliefs. He would assert that beauty is found through following his beliefs and philosophies. The Buddhists believe they have the answers. Because they believe this, they have.
I believe, when we take matters down to their grass roots, we’re awarded a much clearer understanding of things. At this level, we can see the reason why Buddhists believe they have beautiful lives. We clearly see it’s because of their passion for Buddhism. The same goes for anyone who’s successful in fully believing their own usefuland positive beliefs and philosophies. And this is the case no matter what they may be.
To further explain, let’s say we asked Elon Musk or Richard Branson whether their life was beautiful, and if so, how they’ve achieved it. It’s quite possible they’d also go into the realms of their beliefs and philosophies. Once again though, we can nail this on the head by recognising something very important about wealth and success: it’s passion that brings it.
“Whether Buddhist or businessman, happiness, and the prospect of living a beautiful life, comes as a byproduct of passion”
Both of the above examples highlight what lies at the root to happiness, wellbeing, and beauty. Never get strung up on the detail of why people are living beautiful lives. It’s all relative to their particular philosophies and beliefs, and they’ll no doubt be happy to fill you in, on all the details. The thing to remember is this: In the example of Buddhist, or wealthy businessman, both believe they’re living beautiful lives. And this is even though they live at opposite ends of the spectrum.
And so, it comes as no surprise to say, once you find a useful and positive philosophy to believe in – and be deeply passionate about – you’ll be on the path toward finding a beautiful life. It has nothing to do with status, wealth or standing, and has everything to do with passion.
“In whatever you choose to do with life, learn how to be passionate, about it”
This brings me neatly to a gentle reminder of what lies beneath passion. Oh yes. For just as with quantum mechanics, we’re also able to reduce human drivings down many levels. What lies beneath passion is love. Once you’ve learnt what love really is, you will effortlessly, Create, A Beautiful, Life.
“From a failing relationship, to a limiting belief, once we let go our suffering ends”
It is actually an understanding that goes back thousands of years. The reason we struggle with it though, is because it’s often not until we reach the point – where we’re ready and prepared to let things go – do we begin to understand its wisdom and truth.
Once again it’s ignorance of our ignorance that’s holding us back. It’s reaching the point, where we’re actually prepared to accept that we know less than the sages of thousands of years ago, that’s important.
“Important, because when we do, we begin the process of enlightenment”
Those of us who desperately hold on to those things we either no longer need – or no longer need us – that suffer the greatest. We could even go as far as to say, holding on to a life, that’s no longer being lived, has a lot to do with suffering in old age.
“It might seem very simplistic, and perhaps a little clichéd to say: we create a peaceful world once we find peace within ourselves. Even so, what if this were true?”
What exactly do we have to lose through seeking this peace from within? If our world becomes peaceful as a result, we’ll all be grateful for the effort and if nothing happens, there’s nothing’s lost.
If we were to follow some eastern teachings about finding peace within, we’d be told that using the word effort, is wrong. We’d be led into a world of symbolism, metaphor and double speak, sufficient to confuse the hell out of us, and into throwing the book away. We’d sink back into our funk, confusion and depression, before we could even say the word taofuck. So let’s establish some facts to begin with. If you want to find peace, wellbeing and happiness, you will need to put some effort in.
We certainly don’t advocate the worlds belief: no pain no gain, as this would tie us up, with employing the methods used by the majority. You know the kind of thing: Keep busy, stiff-upper-lip, pills, alcohol, sex, doctors, money, consumerism, you name it, all the western world solutions, to tie us up in knots.
“So when we talk of effort, we’re referring to the effort involved, with being retrospective. The effort it takes to examine the root to our discomfort and unease”
My background is Analytical Hypnotherapy. As a result, I’ve come to understand, it’s the examination of memories from early experiences, that enable us to take charge of any negative influence they may still hold over us.
There’s no denying it’s only the courageous who’re prepared to undergo this kind of analysis. Over the years spent as an analyst, I met many courageous souls, who’d reached a point in their lives, where time in my chair had become a necessity. I’m by no means suggesting we all do that, what I am suggesting though, is we should all take a leaf out of their book. Retrospection is the way and means to break free from the negative influences of the past.
As example let’s look again at depression. We read about the early demise of celebrities who’ve spent a lifetime struggling with depression. It’s my view, and that of my colleagues, that this kind of depression is borne from a fruitless search. As you will have experienced this yourself, think back to searching for a lost item; perhaps it’s keys, purse or wallet. When we’re unable to find a desperately needed item, we become frustrated, and eventually downhearted.
Now imagine when this search is for something metaphysical. Imagine when this search is for love. Potentially, it could be a love we’ve never experienced, but longed for all our lives. Through whatever means we just can’t find it. There’s no satisfaction. We’ve tried everything: dozens of relationships, sex, drugs, consumerism. . . yep you’ve guessed it, all the things we’re told to believe make us happy, complete and well.
“When the search is for a love we’ve never know, all we find, is frustration leading to depression. Until the next time that is. The pattern and process just begins again. And we wonder why depression comes and goes”
The solution is to cease the external search. We must stop looking to find some kind of satisfaction through external means. The answer really does lie within. What if the presenters, actors, actresses or pop stars, stopped seeking love, through the adoration fame brings? Would this mean we’d have less artistic excellence? I doubt it. Potentially our artistic excellence would be recognised for having a very different nature. Not through the work of tortured souls, but from peaceful souls who’ve found what the answer is. A true acceptance of a self created through retrospection.
The cure to loneliness will never be recognition from others, just as the search for love outside of ourselves, will always prove fruitless. Those things you love about others are within you too. Retrospection might just help you know.
“It stands to reason, one persons version of what a beautiful life is, will differ to another. Even though this is the case, when it comes to the majority view, we do see a common theme”
This theme is the meta-system of established beliefs pertaining to creating a beautiful life. It follows that if we have all the components, that form this meta-system of beliefs, we will be happy, complete and living the dream, so to speak.
The question that arises, for the likes of those engaged in Personal Development, is this: What if that meta-system is something we don’t want to follow? What if we prefer to question the norms society dictates?
Does this list constitute a beautiful life?
Find the person of our dreams
Buy a house
Start a family
Work a nine to five
Raise a family
We must bear in mind, the type of list above, will always have a potential sublist of problems or pitfalls. For example how many marriages are strong enough to go the distance needed to raise a happy family? How many of us will find and maintain sufficient job security to support a mortgage? How many of us get to actually enjoy a healthy old age we’ve saved for all our lives? We could go on, and of course no matter the kind of life we choose, there will always be a sublist of problems we’re likely to face along the way. It’s just the nature of things.
“The point is, what we find ourselves striving for, in terms of finding happiness and beauty in life, really does come down to what we choose to believe”
Within our definition, of what Personal Development is, we state: “Knowing ourselves better, becoming more informed of our drivings, creates the advantage of removing conflict.”
This unconscious/conscious conflict could have been created through the model of what society teaches us – about finding beautiful lives – having not fitted with our experience of it. In other words, our childhood experiences – that have now become the unconscious model to aim for – didn’t fit the conscious societal model listed above. We have a conflict, between what the individual believes, and that of society as a whole.
“If we want to understand conflict and confusion better, take a moment to consider the propaganda presented by the media – concerning happy families – and compare that to the reality”
Those around us may have tried to fit the pattern but failed spectacularly. The millions of children raised by single parents, without sufficiently effective role-models to follow, stands testament to this failing.
“The model society teaches doesn’t work for all, and especially doesn’t work, when pursued by those who’re ill equipped to find it”
Taking a breath, in order to recap now, it becomes easier to understand. If what we experienced during childhood was a poor imitation of the ideal – of what society believes constitutes a beautiful life – then we will be ill equipped to follow it. We will attempt to follow it, only to find unhappiness, conflict and stress. All this unhappiness and stress is due to our attempts to follow an ideal that doesn’t exist in our unconscious mind. In one form or another we will end up repeating the mess our parents made of things. Unless:
“What if we changed the list and learned that a beautiful life is something entirely different?”
It comes when you stop. For crying out loud, just stop what you’re doing for a moment, and ponder. What are you doing to make happiness?
What we’re all potentially doing is reaching. We’re planning and we’re thinking about that next thing. When we have free time, the question forms: what shall I do today?
When we compare ourselves, to the other animals of the world, there’s one thing that pops up: Choice. Our consciousness (as it is so far) gives us choice. We’re aware of the possible alternatives. We’re able to plan ahead.
We have an awareness, amongst many other things, of self, time, environment and feelings. We have control (to varying degrees) over our emotions and are able to exert influence over them. Our imagination creates future scenarios and we imagine how we might feel whilst within these imagined situations.
There are times when we no longer need to plan or think very much at all. We unthinkingly act because we know what’s made us happy in the past. Our past has quite literally taught us what to believe makes us happy and what happiness is. We automatically follow routines by remembering previous events where we’ve felt happy. The human mind does like familiarity.
It’s often these familiarities that cause us to become stuck. Staying with the same happy-habits and activities, over extended periods of time, creates dissatisfaction. The effect happy-habits have on us, start to wane, and we may even start to feel slightly depressed or stuck. Once we realise what’s missing, we inject a little variety into our lives, and put ourselves back on the road to happy feelings again. All is well for a while longer.
“We’re coping. We have survival strategies and coping mechanisms. When we stop, ponder and reread these understandings, some of us will see the problem.”
As touched on, what we come to believe makes us happy, obviously stems from past events where we’ve experienced happy feelings. We remember happy and we also remember sad. As such, from day to day, we make a conscious effort to avoid what we believe makes us sad and seek out those things which make us feel happy.
Consider for a moment what made you feel happy as a child. There are those of us, who had happy – if not joyful – childhoods, where happy feelings were predominant. It is, believe it or not, easier for these fortunate individuals to find happiness now as adults; it follows as a natural consequence of living a happy childhood. And so what of the less fortunate? What of those whose childhood was mostly devoid of happiness? Lonely children make lonely adults.
Consider how we feel when alone. It is a rare individual indeed who doesn’t need the company of others to feel happy. From personal experience, I can tell you, time alone for me when young, wasn’t so much ‘happy time,’ but was often just time away from the stress and fear of my dysfunctional family. I wasn’t necessarily happy whilst alone, however, it was the closest approximation of happiness I could find. It was time free from stress and fear. It remains the same today: when alone I’m neither happy or sad, I just feel less stress and fear. I do experience fleeting happiness when in the company of others though.
To help us better understand the happiness conundrum, it’s important we stop, and take the time to think about the methods we employed then, and how they compare to now. Those methods we used, or were taught as children, may be tired and worn by the time we reach adulthood. They may not of even been true happiness, and just the avoidance of sadness, fear or stress.
I feel that interacting with people, of a like mind, is one of the most beautiful and lasting methods of experiencing happiness. Sometimes we must go out of our way and break from our ordinary routines in order to find these people. Creativeness, that is removed from being too self-absorbed, is also very powerful. In addition to these suggestions, I think we should all look to find a little more contentedness through being more comfortable, within ourselves.
When we stop reaching out for happiness, and realise much of it is about internal contentedness – created when we’re loved by ourselves and others – the world will be a much brighter place. Lonely individuals struggle with this, simply because they have yet to really, deeply understand, how lonely they are from themselves. Understand who you are. Get to know, that deep within you, there is a beautiful child, longing to be loved by you. Contact Us if you’d like to learn more.
Yes, so here we are again, it’s Christmas. The season to be jolly and all that. And indeed why not? It’s a sure fact, Christmas does have the power to create happiness, peace and love, for some. Who am I to question this power? If it works, do it, that’s my advice.
Just as long as delusional beliefs have the power to make us happy, why shouldn’t we continue to hold them? If a belief, delusional or not, has the power to lift our lives and create happiness, there can be no harm, surely? Well, I think we should entertain a little caution.
Most beliefs are very much a personal thing. Collective beliefs, such as those surrounding Christmas, do come at a cost to some. The cost is, not all of us actually want to be drafted into the collective beliefs, of the majority. Because of this, Christmas may have the opposite effect on us, to that of the majority. To some, Christmas is a very challenging and difficult time.
To feel obliged, into following traditions and the beliefs of others at this time of year, is a very tiring and stressful affair. I can of course hear the reaction. I hear the words: “Bah Humbug” and all that guilting shit. However, it’s true to say, the lonely are no less alone at this time, in fact, they may feel worse. Unless, that is, they’re able to pull a very special trick.
This special trick, is to adopt some delusional beliefs of their own, that are as useful, to those working within the fictional reality, of religion.
“A fictional reality created by the manipulative cleverness of religious workers. These chancers, have succeeded in making the fictional beliefs of religion, a working reality. They earn money from a collective delusion. Is this a brilliant deception?”
This deception has been achieved through the ‘time wearing’ effect. Think of a slow drip of water onto a rock, in time, the water will wear the rock. You might think this an amazing feat, it no doubt is, however we must remember, the Chinese also invented water torture, something that eventually drove those who experienced it, insane.
“And so collective insanity has been created through the ‘time wearing’ effect. I would like to give you further account of this phenomenon.”
Think of spending time with a work colleague who is very kind and accommodating. This colleague even has the means at her disposal to grant you extra time off, and even determine extra paid hours, that you might not necessarily have worked. Over time, the more these ‘special favours’ go on, the more indebted you might become. One day this work colleague approaches you asking for a favour.
Now, even though you may have an understanding – about the potential backward/forward nature of ‘favours’ never being a good thing – you listen to her suggestion. Because this colleague has been unable to use up all her holiday allowance during the year she has a plan to get paid for them instead, the only problem being, she’s salaried.
Yes, she is salaried (fixed wages with no overtime) and you’re not. So here is the suggestion: What she would like to do, is pay you these extra hours, so you can then transfer these extra hours, into her bank account.
To the streetwise this will instantly sound a bit doggy. You’d be right, it’s fraud. However, because you’ve potentially been softened up over time, you may feel it necessary to overlook, the fraudulent nature of this arrangement, and go ahead with it.
Clearly, we can see the dangers of the insanity of others, and the ‘time wearing’ effect, rearing its ugly head once again. Imagine how you’d feel if, some months down the line, this anomaly became flagged-up at head office, and everyone got fired. Slightly pissed off I should imagine. The time wearing effect really is a fucker.
“There can be no harm in delusional beliefs provided they’re kept to the individual who finds them of benefit. Many delusional beliefs, when shared with others, are dangerously exploitative.”
And so coming back to happiness and delusion. What we must understand about delusional beliefs is, they often only suit the individual. If delusional beliefs are of benefit and use to you, as an individual, all is well. Just remember, when we include others into our delusions, this can prove damaging. Cults would be prime example of their damaging nature when others are involved.
Let’s be clear: the ‘time wearing effect’ is very seductive and subtle. We may be sucked into a false sense of security. Be sure that collective beliefs are of benefit to you, if not, dump them. If you choose, I can help you dump the current, collective beliefs – of manipulative religious workers – by pointing something out to you:
“You can make every day happy and peaceful through believing you are a good, compassionate person. A person who has the power of love to help you through. Once you decide to dump the delusions of others, this power of love, is something you will find deep within.”
Please have a lovely day tomorrow. This can be achieved through having nothing to do with the delusions of chancers, and everything to do with knowing this: Your future reality is what you consciously make it. Make the right choice. א
Many of us believe that if we just had a little more money we’d be freer. We think that if we only had enough money to set up that business, or establish some kind of higher status in the world, all would be well. The truth is, freedom, has nothing to do with these things.
Clarity of mind:
“This can be achieved through a meditative state. During this state, we must look to drop everything from our minds, that we believe matters. When we’re able to do this, we clearly understand. . . freedom occurs when we shed the layers of confusion brought about through conflicting beliefs.”
“The common man is indoctrinated into his expectations of life.”
The very broad and general system of beliefs we’re given, come as a consequence of our environment, during childhood. For example, when young, what made our parents happy? This is easy to answer, because most times all we need do, is ask ourselves what makes us happy. Happiness, and most importantly what makes us happy, is a learned behaviour.
“By questioning our ‘learned’ behaviour we escape many of the shackles previous generations have taught us. Paradoxically, many of the means we use to seek happiness, actually enslave us.”
It goes without saying, happiness, well-being and safety, are important to us all. How we find these things varies from individual to individual. One individual might feel free, well, happy and safe when he’s in the local betting shop, placing a months wages on a horse. Another, may feel free and safe sitting in his favourite chair, with his family around him, watching a good movie after a hard days work.
“Yet another person, who has questioned the types of systems we’ve developed to make us happy, may feel all these things when sitting alone on a beach.”
True happiness is achieved when we free ourselves from the illusions created through learned behaviour. When we take the time to really think about it, happiness is a state of mind, effortlessly achieved, when we have balance. A Buddhist monk for example, may well tell you: “happiness is achieved through realising the now moment.” How easy would life be, if we could achieve happiness (a state of contentment) through simply being aware, of our breathing? In those moments of awareness, would we be enslaved by all the ‘trappings’ of life we’re taught to believe we need, in order to be happy? No, in those moment, we’d be free.
“It may seem difficult to believe and accept, the most effective route to the true happiness freedom brings, will include: Creativity, Change, Challenge and Variety. All of which, can cost us, nothing.”
It’s worth considering a different route, to what you believe may help you feel happier, before seeking investment in that business. It’s only ever the ego (the best creator of illusions there ever was) that seeks a higher status in life, and is often driven by fear. Do we fear not seeming good enough? Our fears enslave us.
In addition to all this, raised self-esteem, is something we attach to happiness. The assumption is: low self-esteem equals unhappy. It’s certainly the case, if we’ve found activities – from learning martial arts to having sex – that help with building our self-esteem, we feel happier when doing them. However when this is the case, we’re also working to the same mistaken principle: Happiness comes from outside of us. This belief is our weakness.
We raise our self-esteem from the inside out. For example, if a child is small and weaker than his classmates, the solution will often be seen as something external. With this in mind, is learning martial arts the answer? High self-esteem will only be achieved during the hand chopping, board breaking classes. He’ll still potentially grow up to have low self-esteem in many other aspects of his life. If he never questions the belief: small and weak, he’ll remain this way on the inside forever.
“Now he has his ‘black belt’ what if he were drawn to a violent lifestyle? What if he or adopted a confrontational approach to others?”
Would this be a useful way to get through life? Far better to change how he feels about himself on the inside. We do this through helping him deal with his emotions in a gentle way. We help him question his beliefs about size: small is efficient, small diamonds are used to change big things, and so on.
The paradox is this: The greater the happiness – found through our archaic beliefs – the more enslaved we become.
Happiness is found through the things that help us feel less afraid; when we can fight we’re less fearful; when we own we’re less fearful. The bigger the car, or the house or whatever – now we have the black belt – the safer we feel; all paradoxical.
We really do live in a world that’s a mirror reflection of the true one. When we step out of this mirror – through shedding the confused conditioning of our beliefs – we’re able to see the ridiculous nature of the world we’ve created. Only then, will we find the freedom, that costs nothing.
We know what creates happiness don’t we? Whether it be the simple things in life, like walking the dogs, a nice meal with friends and family, or perhaps it’s the larger things like our work or relationships; we know what makes us happy. Perhaps for you it’s security that works: a nice home, enough food and sufficient money to have what you want and need.
All of these things create a feeling that we call happiness. On a physical level our activities release certain chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins) into the brain, creating our happy feelings; we’re happy because our brain is telling us we are.
“Scientist have of course measured this and can now manufacture these chemicals, (drugs) and once in the bloodstream, they actually bypass those things we need to be doing in order to feel happy. So being happy is a physical thing we can measure.”
With this in mind, can happiness ever be an illusion? If we’re creating the chemicals associated with happiness, (ether externally administered or within our own bodies) this must mean that happiness is tangible and real; surely there is never an illusion? If we feel it, we are!
All things considered, and on a slightly different track, we now know all about the placebo effect: feelings can be created through administering the placebo of a sugar pill. As such, the effect of happiness is created by the belief we’ve been given a pill. In this respect we can see that happiness is always an illusion simply created within the mind through belief. We believe that certain things need to be happening for us to be happy. When we believe something works its the belief making it so.
Going back to our opening examples, if we’re unable to walk the dog, or spend time with friends and family, and we believe these things lead to happiness, surely without them, it follows we’ll be unhappy? To explain we can use a certain group of people as example: prisoners. Are all prisoners unhappy?
We know there’s currently a lot of self-harm and depression in our prisons, and so is it the case the removing a person’s liberty, always leads to unhappiness? Actually, no, this is not the case, some people are actually happier in prison, than they were in the outside world. In particular those who’ve been institutionalised.
“One might say, that to a greater or lesser extent, we’ve all been institutionalised, and our happiness is simply the consequence of what we’ve come to expect from life, and what kind of life we need to be living, in order to be happy.”
Depression in the outside world is on the increase also, and considering our quality of life has never been better, we might want to wonder why. Perhaps old beliefs are beginning to break down and we now need some new ones.
Try this one. It’s my belief that happiness is a state of mind that can be found no matter the circumstances or quality of life. That might seem an odd assertion, however, this kind of positive mental attitude (PMA), is achieved when we have this fundamental understanding:
“Happiness already exists within us and is found (released) through the change and challenges we set ourselves. Contrary to this, beliefs are often the false, illusory root to our failing happiness.”
When it comes to depression we can say that this is simply a symptom of feeling stuck. Even prisoners are able to escape depression once they’ve been given sufficient challenge and variety. Exercise, for example, is a popular activity in prisons, as this helps to release the chemicals mentioned earlier, and also sets competition and challenge between inmates.
Further to this, it could be said, the type of people who find themselves incarcerated in our prisons, have confused beliefs on life, and once they’re made to feel safe, with sufficient challenge and variety, this is all that’s needed for them to feel some kind of contentment. Potentially imprisonment has challenged (but not changed) their beliefs, and so once released back into the wide world, confusion sets in again, causing them to reoffend.
Coming back to the illusion of happiness for a moment, let’s consider the average man and what he needs to be doing in order to feel happy. How about spending the day watching television, does this work? How about working all week living with the expectation of watching his local football team at the weekend, followed by a few beers when out with his mates? Is this man happy?
The average man would probably tell you that he’s okay with this, and he’d be telling you the truth. Provided his beliefs for happiness are being fulfilled, all is well. His expectations (beliefs) may well be that he must work all week, in order to afford seeing his local team and buy beers later, and when this is the case, he’s sorted. For the average man problems can begin when this pattern is threatened. For the average man, security and stability are the linchpin to his happiness. I would consider these beliefs to be illusory.
“I say this, because there simply wouldn’t be enough variety and challenge in this kind of life, for it to lead to happiness. Once a man raises himself above average, his old beliefs break down into illusory, leading to frustration, dissatisfaction and depression.”
And so to sum up, happiness will be a failing illusion under certain circumstances:
1, When induced by manufactured drugs
2, When governed by old and average beliefs
3, When driven by possessions, habits (good or bad) and security, rather than challenge and change
Happiness is real, lasting and tangible when:
1, We understand it’s ‘released’ from within through challenge, change and variety
2, We’re able to push aside our fear of losing the illusion of security
3, We recognise how the average man imprisons himself through his beliefs
I know English isn’t my first language, and yet, strange as it may seem, if I heard it now, I’d no longer understand the language of my homeland. It’s been far too long since I’ve heard or spoken it; a rapid staccato of clicks and other sounds, too fast for my mind to process. I’ve gotten slow in my old age. Besides, it seems to me, my first language, if you could call it one, is that of feel.
“I speak the language of feel. For instance, I feel, in the world today, empathy is currently on the wane. Perhaps empathy always ebbs and flows? Everything is reactionary, defensive or attacking. There’s no: let’s just feel what’s happening, notice the feeling, forgetting reacting.”
All that buried emotion, within each of us, finding an outlet through reactionary activity, as opposed to pausing, so understanding may find its way. It’s like the Dalai Lama saying, as he did: “I don’t feel like there’s anything special or different about me.” What he’s failed to hear, is the feelings he has, are only one sided. It would seem, to most, he’s been conditioned in the feeling of joy, and nothing else. Perhaps, it’s even a mocking joy, no one above, is failing to feeldeeply enough, so as to stop disrespecting our efforts. No one needs disrespecting mockery.
The time of Siddhārtha Gautama was one of feeling. He would also feel it now. Predominantly, what the masses felt, was suffering and pain. No doubt, if you’re living in a time of pain and suffering, you’ll come to believe that this, is all there is. And so it is, the language of feel, is always on the precipice of dying out completely.
“You cannot fully understand this language if all you know are the pleasurable tones and colours. You cannot fully understand this language if all you know are the tones and colours of pain and suffering. You need to know all the tones and all the colours, or else, how can you expect to understand what anyone is saying? Especially those in need.”
People talk of the language of love and I laugh. The language of love is the hardest of all. Imagine staring into the eyes of love and hearing its song. Can you hear that song the language of love is singing? It’s very soft, very calm and very, very quiet. You really need to be listening to hear it. Not listening hard, you understand. No, it’s about no listening at all. No longer actively blocking out, those around you, like so many do. Feel the sound as you look into my eyes.
“Is there any effort required to sense the language of feel? Or do you just feel it? Do you know how it feels to wash yourself in the river everyday? Do you know how it feels when there is no river?”
If you want a response from me, first, you must learn the language of feel. Can you feel the silence?
“And so here we are again. Today the bank of England has warned lenders that they’re putting themselves at risk, through the amounts they’re lending, as personal debt is on the rise again.”
It’s estimated the average UK borrower now has a level of personal debt to the tune of £30,000. Car finance has reached unprecedented levels, and it’s estimated over eight million people are now dependent on credit, just to get by. From food to rent, without credit, these eight million people would potentially go hungry and homeless. Should we worry about debt? No, we shouldn’t worry about the debt. What we do need to worry about though – or at the very least really start thinking about – is why so many of us are falling into this situation again.
The answer to why, is something many of us could easily find: we’re living beyond our means spending to find happiness. It’s the vicious cycle of needing to spend to find happiness, only to then find unhappiness due to how hard we need to work, just to maintain the debt. Once again lenders have us all by the balls, or if you want to look at it another way, gender-neutral, nipple clamps.
This vicious cycle is of course driven by excessive consumerism. I know that I’m running the risk of sounding boring by going over this ground again, however, someone somewhere may gain the advantage through reading this: STOP LIVING BEYOND YOUR FUCKING MEANS!
Yes, I used to do the very same thing, and I know why: I was a desperately lonely drunk, who was not only addicted to the booze, but also spending money to buy the things, I believed, would help me feel powerful and happy. In the long term, all the booze and possessions did, was prove to me how drunk and lonely I was. And of course, in the end, broke.
It’s about taking a long hard look at what methods we’re using to find happiness, or at the very least, some escape from our unhappiness. We could tackle this by asking ourselves: how is it we’re unhappy? Or we could address what we need to do to find happiness, that doesn’t cost us more, than we actually earn. I feel the best method is is to deal with both.
Firstly happiness is of course relative: what makes one person happy would potentially have no bearing on someone else. Bird watching or golf might bore the tits of you for example, whereas partying at festivals, might really get your juices flowing. Perhaps age has a lot to do with these kinds of preferences, and yet true happiness, has potentially nothing to do with how we spend our free time. True happiness must have more to do with our predominate state of mind that manifests through adopting a more creative lifestyle, that cost little.
A sense of contentment, I believe, has a lot to do with happiness. You know, things like: a stable home environment, loving relationships, and work we find tolerable, or even enjoyable at times, must help build this feeling of contentment.
Also a positive mental attitude surely goes a long way to helping us feel happy. The kind of attitude that helps us see the pleasant side of any job, or mind state that enables us to tolerate those things we dislike in life, must be important. When it comes to asking: how do we do our unhappiness? Or: How do I find unhappiness? This must have a lot to do with our (too high) expectations of life, and perhaps lack of stability, healthy relationships and love etc, etc; all the opposites of contentment I suppose.
We spend to find some kind of reward for the unhappiness we’re experiencing in life. We’re creating our unhappiness through our discontentment. We need the possessions everyone else has – as we buy into the illusion sold by the media – that they’re happy and powerful (and yes we all need to turn the fucking TV off!). And so, ultimately, the more debt we have, the greater our sense of being trapped and discontented, and so the cycle goes on.
The cure, as you might have already guessed, is discomfort. Yes, that’s right, the cure is the discomfort we’re likely to feel at the transition from the illusions of our childish expectations, to the grown up realities of life. These grown-up realities are all about recognising how we do unhappiness. How are we keeping ourselves trapped in the vicious loops that ultimately make us feel unhappy? What must we recognise about our lives, and what’s lacking from them, so we may step out of the excessive consumption loop?
Even though these realities may make us feel briefly uncomfortable, the long term goal, will be reached. The long term goal is the ability to separate ourselves from the illusions we harbour – that help us avoid the harsh realities of life. When we embrace discomfort we will fully realise true happiness. The happiness we currently seek is only a form of avoidance. We cannot avoid the truth for ever, in the end, it always catches up with us. Face the truth and of course we set ourselves free.
“I’ve gotta tell ya it’s an expression I’ve never found myself using. It’s a cop out and it’s cowardly. It’s a way of saying “well I’ve fucked up but you know what? It doesn’t matter, because after all, I’m only human.” How about upping your fucking game instead of gently fading out.”
What exactly does the expression “I’m only human” actually mean anyway? Does it mean: because we’re human, it follows that we’re flawed and weak? And by this mentality it’s okay to accept defeat? To just give in and fade away, to give in to the majority of people who don’t listen because they’re looking for the easy way out. The bullshit way, so they can escape their responsibilities to themselves and others? Human beings have conquered the fucking planet and its not been an easy journey. Show your ancestors some respect. Only human indeed.
Don’t ever say to me “I’m only human” I don’t wanna fucking hear it.
There are those of us that take life and our future rather seriously. We don’t give in, we don’t make excuses, we just get on with the job of swimming against the current tide of ignorance and failings.
There is so much confusion in the world today with no absolutes and exacts. No correct meaningful guidance and it seems chaos prevails. It’s as if everyone is running around with no real idea or sense of direction and purpose. Make a plan. What do you want to achieve in life? And don’t make it so fucking predictable that I could simply pick it out of your fucking brain. Make a fucking difference by swimming against the tide. Yes you’ll feel alone. Yes you’ll feel ostracised. But these are the things that don’t matter. Be alone because without that – your ability to be in solitude – we’re all buggered. Mass approval is worthless.
I read a book recently that suggested that there really isn’t such a thing as individuality and the self. Well, here’s the thing, that doesn’t fucking matter either. What matters is that you continue to believe that there is, because without individuals, who show the strength, tenacity and courage, to break free from the crowd, my time here is empty. Besides, the author was only reiterating what the coward-buddhists have been saying all along: Life is suffering blah, blah, blah. Fuck em. A crowd of people who gave up on life thousands of years ago. It was bullshit then, and it’s still bullshit now.
If you’re scared to be in a crowd, that doesn’t matter either. It doesn’t matter because there’s a reason for this: you don’t need the crowd and be assured, in the long term the crowd will need the individual. Crowds can be dangerous. They seem to attract psychopaths; the most recent: a fucked-up misogynist, and little else, who decided it would be a good idea to blow himself up. As someone I used to know said: “Well there’s one less nutter in the world for us to worry about.” So sad he took innocent lives with him. If it was up to me I’d hunt his inept, bastard parents down, and hang them up from the fucking yardarm.
There are people, alone in the world, who are this way, simply because they’re powerful individuals. Individuals who love others and want the best for them. They want the same happiness and love they’re able to experience, without the crowd, for others too. Their aloneness, is strength, never illness. Stop believing the bullshit propaganda from the fearful-needy crowds.
When it comes to personal beliefs, one thing I’ve always refused to believe in, is evil. It’s my belief that evil is often confused with fear or lack. Also, when we’re unable to explain away the actions of our fellow man, evil is often used as a ‘get-out-clause.’
“When we say: “What an evil person” this relieves us of our responsibility to the child they once were. We feel less guilt when we label certain individuals as evil.”
There is an important distinction for me to draw here: even though we may refuse to believe in evil, it doesn’t automatically follow, that the beliefs others may hold, doesn’t make evil relevant in the world today. In other words, others, who believe that evil exists, and indeed that it has a power, make evil, and the network of beliefs that built it, something that has force or energy. Believe in anything and we give that ‘anything’ energy.
Imagine you believed that evil has as much right, to be a relevant force here on earth, as the belief in love does. Imagine how it would be, believing the force of evil to be strong, and that following a path, the beliefs in evil dictate, will in fact get you all the things you desire here on earth. Imagine you believed that there was no such thing as love and that evil – inasmuch as self-centeredness is a correct way to be – will award you a good if not fine standard of life.
“In fact, we don’t actually need to believe in evil at all, we simply need to lack the belief that it’s important to do the right thing by our fellow man, and that there is such a thing as the love of all people and love of truth.”
Is it not the case, that consideration for our fellow man, is borne of beliefs related to love? If we lack belief, this is simply as effective, as there actually being something like a force of evil.
Very recently I meet a famous individual. He’s very rich, very popular, flamboyant, and doesn’t shy away from exhibiting his wealth. Good luck to him you might say, and to some extent, I would agree. The only problem, I have with the financially wealthy though, are their lies. Be wealthy by all means, just don’t feel you need to protect yourself – or place yourself on some kind of pedestal – through lying. It is NOT money that makes wealthy people happy, it’s busy, creative lives, that does that. Never feed into the illusion, that wealthy people often project (to the young), that it’s their wealth making them happy.
“Buying into this illusion will ultimately lead to unhappiness, perhaps even despair. It’s no wonder so many of our young feel despairing. They’re being fooled by the lies of those who create illusion to maintain their popularity.”
Sure, money’s nice, it’s a lovely facilitator, however, some of the happiest people I’ve known in the past, would have been considered poor by modern standards. Believe it or not, the reason they, and those now like them, are happy and contented, is because they’re surrounded by love. It seems to me, that it can often be a one or the other situation: Love or Money; no doubt also a belief.
I feel we can take this slightly further than belief though. The reason I feel this way, is because of the evidence. If it’s simply the money you’re after, I really doubt you’ll be a happy, loving individual. Alternatively, if by consequence of being extremely good and happy with what you’re doing, you get rich, this is a different situation entirely.
The chemistry for being wealthy – and happy – is simply to have made your money through doing the things you love. What I sensed, from the pop star I recently met, was a high degree of arrogance and loneliness, (not to mention the malevolent smile). Money can no doubt offset a lot of loneliness – and excuse an arrogance the young look-up to – just be sure you make a lot of it, as fighting off loneliness, is an expensive business. Be wealthy, yet never believe you can Cheat-am all, all of the time, I’m not that easily fooled. א
If every individual took responsibility for themselves, and acted within guidelines based on love and integrity, what kind of world would we live in?
If every parent and teacher understood the power and influence of their beliefs, how would this affect our children?
If you’re unhappy with your life, the expectations of others, or indeed the way of life dictated to you, how would it be if this conflict were to be cured?
Be objective and take a moment to consider the world we live in. Do the troubles of the world outway the comfort, love and happiness we all generally feel? It’s said that even though our quality of life is better than it’s ever been, we’re still not any happier today, than we were a hundred years ago. Staggering when you think of that.
“What can we put this down to? Potentially this has a lot to do with how the realities of life often don’t match our beliefs and expectations. Again, at it’s base, we can consider this a conflict. Conflict between belief, reality and the ideal.”
Consider how, just today, the living wage has risen here in the UK. Does this wage rise mean that all of a sudden two million people are now going to have better lives? On the surface we would say yes, however, once those two million people have grown accustomed to the extra cash, over time they will begin to seek more, leading to unhappiness, once again. The human condition no less. Are we not all just April fools?
What if we had expectations of life that matched, or were slightly lower, than the reality? In other words what if we were already comfortable and contented earning seven pounds twenty per hour? What if the extra thirty pence became a surplus? Would this make us happy; to have more than we need? Most of the world’s population believe they need more than they have. Is this not the root to unhappiness?
Is it not the belief we need more – or at the very least be equal to others – that breeds discontent and unhappiness? What is equality anyway? How would it be if we believe happiness is purpose? And what if we believe that this purpose were to live a simple life, giving of oneself, finding contentment in needing nothing other than the clothes on our backs, roofs over our heads, and food in our bellies? What if we all understood the reasons for why this seems so hard to achieve?
What if we helped children find contentment rather than teaching them to constantly seek achievement? What if we taught children that being great is to live a simple life, living within your means, never taking more than you give to the world? Does this sound like a dream? Does it sound like idealistic claptrap?
It will sound this way if we’re caught up in the world’s beliefs and caught up in the games of our wilful egos’. When we master the driving of our id – our instinctive selves – only then will we find true happiness. Those who have this must live as example to all others.
“The only problem being, these people seem to be in the tiny minority, with the smallest of voices. The thing to remember though, is if you’re seeking to be truly happy, listening to the whispers of the hushed minority, is the game you must now play.”
It is possible, even when living amongst the deafness of this world, to hear, loudest of all, whispers of the wise. Work that one out, if you will.
“Do you consider yourself one of the beautiful people? Do you have all the luck, all the money, all the physical attributes, all the opportunities? Or do you wish things were different?”
At times we find ourselves thinking: “oh if only I had this or that, everything would be okay” or “if only I had the right person in my life everything would be different”.
And yet we know deep down that no matter what we have, or who we are presently experiencing in our lives, wishing things to be different won’t make it so. Ultimately, we’re the ones solely responsible for making changes in our lives, and finding that magic formula for happiness.
“When it comes to relationships who we welcome into our lives is, more often than not, driven by impulses that are beyond our conscious awareness. Why we find ourselves attracted to the people we do is something that depends on many factors, and unfortunately, very few of these factors are something we consciously control.”
In regard to the formula for happiness, the statement: “if only I had the right person in my life everything would be different” is an important one. You may have luck, money, good fortune, and yet without the right person to share this with, it’s pretty much worthless. In fact it can take having the right person in your life to instigate luck and good fortune in the first place. Love can be the catalyst to many beautiful things.
A very important consideration, that assists us with the discovery of the happiness formula, is learning the ability to make ourselves aware of how we continue to choose and welcome the wrong people into our lives.
“We humans do have a tendency to mimic the actions and behaviour of who we have chosen to model ourselves on.”
Consider how the adults around you behaved when you were young. Consider what kind of relationships you witnessed, and therefore, how you first learned about how adults interact. Provided we choose to change and advance things can, and will, be very different.
“As time moves forward, much of what we do becomes unconscious and unthinking, and this includes how we behave within our relationships.”
Spending time on ourselves learning about how we may be unconsciously creating our own difficulties, by welcoming the wrong people into our lives, is the way to break free from old patterns of thought and behaviour.
It’s my belief that we all have something beautiful deep inside us that has nothing to do with luck, good fortune or outward appearance. Once shown how to tap into this resource the magic formula of happiness is complete. With the knowledge of what this beautiful thing is, deep within, wishing becomes obsolete.
For one it’s the uniqueness of us we must get hold of. When we stop fulfilling the things we believe about ourselves, that limit our outlook on life, and our ability to strive forward without wishful thinking, we become what we have been all along – a beautiful and happy person – the deeper essence of you.
“The Double Bind, is when an individual is bound in such a way, that there’s a feeling of no escape – or no alternative – to heading in one particular direction, or following a certain set of rules.”
For example, on entering a Hypnotherapists consulting room, you may well be asked: Would you like to sit in that chair or the one by the window? Either way, you’re expected – and bound – into sitting during the session; or are you likely to state: I’d prefer to stand, thank you. If so you’d probably be told the ‘yoga’ class is next door. A negative result for all concerned.
So you see, a Double Bind, is one where you’re left with no alternative, or certainly with the feeling, there’s no alternative.
Whether we like it or not binds are something we face everyday of our working lives. Do we take the bus, the train or do we drive to work? We’re bound by our commitment to work for a living, and of course, for most of us, travelling there. What we must remember though, is we’re not bound or tied to do a certain number of hours in any one week. We’re not bound to give our entire lives to work as so many seem intent on doing.
“In order to free ourselves from this particular bind, and turn it to our advantage, we must change our thinking.”
There must come a point, in the near future, where more of us realise the nonsensical nature of how we’re living out our lives. Leisure time will increase as more and more of us find that machines have taken our place. Automation, of labour-intensive work, makes perfect sense, as does the potential for AI technology, to replace jobs such as teaching or driving.
If in the future, wealth becomes better divided, we’ll certainly have more enjoyable lives, and more time for leisure activities. Removing the guilt, associated with having a leisurely lifestyle, and then becoming more creative with our free time, will be important for us to succeed at this upcoming change.
“The binds, many of us are neglecting to acknowledge, are there as a means for control. We’re steadily slipped deeper and deeper into appalling systems, that are dictating and creating appalling, unhealthy lives.”
These systems are telling us we must earn a certain amount of money – we’re initially bound into through needing to pay off student loans, for example – and we’re conditioned to believe in the need, for a certain – ever-increasing – amount of money, to live comfortable, happy lives. We believe money and lifestyle equal the level of happiness we experience.
So there are the binds, escaping these shackles starts by asking ourselves: What’s the point of the whole thing? We’re working forty to fifty hours a week to pay of the debt – a belief system – has generated.
Imagine a life with no debt, ten hours of work per week, and the rest as leisure time, filled with fresh air and energising, joyful exercise, that requires little financial outlay. It’s about state of mind. It is achievable, all we need do, is think ourselves out, of the binds we’ve placed ourselves in to.
“Balanced minds create balanced lives where work, exercise, time with family etc. are all in harmony.”
In addition to this, time just sitting silently watching through windows, is never wasted time. When we make this kind of time, we extend our lives, enhancing the richness of our experiences. This is something for us to get our heads around.
Teaching our children contentment happens when we have this for ourselves. Contented children will achieve whatever they choose, whilst those who’ve been taught to achieve, will always be busy wondering: Why can’t I find it?
“What would you say is hard to believe? Would you say it’s hard to believe there’s happiness in life, without the things we use to create it?”
For example, how can we live life without the emotional games we play, or the drugs we take, or the possessions we own? Is it hard to believe a life without these things?
What if our relationships were smooth and flowing, full of change, excitement, understanding, compassion and love? Would we find it hard to believe we had found such a thing? What if our life were filled with satisfaction in our work? What if life was filled with satisfaction and happiness in our home lives? Would it all just be too much, and too hard to believe?
“You may think there are far too many questions in those last two paragraphs, and so to a few explanations, and potentially, some answers.”
Imagine for a moment you believed all of the above were possible: the compassionate, loving relationships. The fulfilling work life. The fulfilling home life. A fulfilling life without drugs, without overeating, without the need for the amount we seek. In order for these things to become reality, and stay a stable reality at that, we do need to believe they’re possible.
Those who struggle to find this stability and happiness may think they believe it’s possible, yet at far deeper levels, their minds hold beliefs that jeopardise this stability and happiness.
“A restlessness is created through what this deeper part finds hard to believe.”
To explain, imagine a person who feels constant dissatisfaction in most, if not all, aspects of his life. Something many of us can no doubt relate to, is the feelings associated with dissatisfaction, and frustration. And so imagine this person who continues to feel this sense of dissatisfaction and frustration, no matter what successes, accomplishments and achievements he finds. How can we explain this?
“One way to help explain this is through understanding lack, and more specifically, lack of belief.”
When our minds don’t actually hold beliefs, at the deeper, unconscious levels, that instruct us to feel complete, happy or satisfied with what we have in life, then frustration and dissatisfaction is the result. We then continue to grasp and reach out for more in the hope we will find this elusive happiness, and satisfaction. When it comes to drugs, money and possessions, these are simply used as a means of calming and comforting the dissatisfied mind, if only for a while.
What if we held the belief: I am complete.
Or: I am whole.
Would this help do you think? There is strong evidence to suggest that wholeness (an acceptance of all aspects of life and our human selves) is in fact what we’re seeking through our excessive consumption. We’re constantly looking to find satisfaction (completeness, wholeness) through external trappings because we lack the above beliefs.
Think about this belief: There is nothing I want that will make me happy.
And then add this: Happiness is a state of mind I can achieve without want.
Now the cruncher: Imagine being taught this by parents as a child.
When you come to truly understand the power of belief, you’ll understand how it is there are happy people who have, nothing. They are out there. Could you find such a state of mind? Is it that hard to believe?