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Re: Fears and Phobias
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: July 12, 2008 12:45AM

Anticult - I bought David Burn's book 'The Feeling Good Handbook' from Amazon and was able to order a copy of 'When Panic attacks' from the library. I'm still waiting for them both and I hope that they will help.

I am beginning to come around to the fact that this whole concept of 'overcoming the ego' is just an antiquated belief that originated I don't know where, in Buddhist teaching, Hindu theories. In the dark ages for all I know.

The irony is that the most egotistical people are the ones who are supposedly 'getting rid of' their egos. (And I am as guilty of anyone of this.)

I am beginning to think that the concept was probably used as a means to control people in agrarian/feudal societies and give certain lucky people the only sense of authoritarian power available without access to material resources. It probably served those living as monks or nuns quite well at the time too. Enabled them to live off the backs of the 'ordinary' people who worked and provided food, clothing or shelter for them.

While perhaps applicable to the times in which it originated, I am coming to think that the whole thing just causes unnecessary fear, confusion and conflict in people.

My Guru taught us that it was this mysterious 'ego' that caused us suffering; some evil part of ourselves that had to be detroyed in order to attain 'enlightenment', 'salvation', 'a sense of blissful presence'. Whatever.

I hope that modern psychology will be a helpful tool for me at this moment. A system that is sane, clear, logical. Something that doesn't depend on butchering certain parts of my identity and the suppression of my natural impulse to be a self-governing, creative and happy individual who can say 'no' to anyone freely at any time without fear of divine retribution.

If there is no 'enlightenment' in that, there is at least a sense of freedom.

Having said all that it sounds as though I am doing just fine. Yes and no. There is still confusion, there are still questions about what I learned that was true and what was false. There is such a sense of loss; loss of ideals, loss of time, my youth, loss of opportunities for work, for love, the chance to have a family, loss of friends, even loss of the Guru, who I once loved.

I write about it here because I don't know where else to express it, to let it out; waiting until the next counseling appointment because there is no-body I can talk to; no-one who understands what it means to look as though everything is fine on the outside but on the inside to wonder how it is possible to lose so much.

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Re: Fears and Phobias, Systematic Desensitization
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 12, 2008 01:50AM

Hi Solea and others, here is my 2 cents on some of this.

If any person has actual "phobias" that match the definition, and crippling Anxiety, then they really need to seek some good treatment.

The good news is that Systematic Desensitization has been proven to work.
Every city has legit anxiety clinics, and experts that can help.
So anyone with an actual phobia, please get some Systematic Desensitization done at an anxiety clinic, or with a registered certified anxiety expert.
(psychoanalysis has not been shown to help for that stuff).

We can't really do that on our own, phobias and serious anxiety disorders need professional treatment. Then after, the other stuff like the books are great as a supplement. But those books will say the same thing too.

EGO: (notice they never even define what it is)
This is some of what I think about that. I agree with much of what you said.
In ancient times, when life was brutish and short for most people, sure it may have been best to detach from everything, eat your grain, work dawn to dusk, then die young.

And of course, for peasants and slaves, the Chiefs-Leaders prefer to have them to have a lobotomy as then they are easier to control, like a herd of sheep.

But now life is very different.
The world is a complex place, and we need our beautiful natural minds to cope and manage.

And to be blunt, what that Guru is saying is utter nonsense. Science is showing the exact opposite. For example, Positive Psychology is showing the happiest people and what they are doing.
We need to do the opposite of what he is saying.
Its like these guru's are saying..."you eat food with your hand and are fat, so cut off your hand".
Why not just learn better behavioral-cognitive skills?

Notice most of the Gurus don't live like that. (of course there are exceptions).
Also, many guru's are full of self-hatred, due to their own hypocrisy.

They attack the Mind, as the mind is what makes us free.
These are huge areas of philosophy, psychology, science, art, etc.
But the old-school Guru's, and the New Guru's who wears pantsuits, seem mainly to be about helping their own bottom line.

Everyone has to find their own way in these complex areas of life...good Teachers are great, but these Guru's and fake Anti-Guru Trickster thanks.

These Guru's hate critical thinking, as if someone does it, then they expose their shams, and can't be controlled as easily. Critical thinking is THEIR enemy, but its the person's friend, its a wonderful tool, like a swiss army knife when camping. They want to take away their followers natural swiss army knife so they are more helpless.
That is called Learned Helplessness, good for them, bad for us.

I am keeping my terrific, free, multi-modal ALL NATURAL and ORGANIC Swiss-knife of critical intelligence and free will, thank you very much.

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Re: Fears and Phobias
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: July 12, 2008 02:54AM

Hahaha. Great post as always. Yes, keep your 'Swiss-thinking knife' Anticulti-ji (Hahaha. I'm kidding, just kidding!)

My own knife is around here somewhere, a bit rusty but still usable nontheless.

On a serious note, the point about seeking proper treatment for phobias is well taken. Thanks for the link and the authentic happiness one also. I will check that out this afternoon.

Being 'authentic' seems to be a developing theme in my life these days. How do I really feel about things that happened in the past in my group and what is happening now, etc. Write it down authentically, without self-censure. Feel the emotions they told me I 'should' not have, such as sadness, anger, grief and the thought of the relief that would come from getting out of the group.

An authentic life lived on my own terms is what I wish for now. That does include getting the necessary professional help. I hope others will do the same if they find themselves in a similar situation.

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Re: Fears and Phobias
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: July 27, 2008 05:11AM

Solea, and Anticult, you've hit the nail on the head when you mentioned authenticity and critical thinking. For years, I'd go to Soka Gakkai meetings and I'd feel this queasiness in my stomach and not know why. Now, I think it's that I was very uncomfortable with things that were being pushed, especially the worship of the organization's president -- and yet, I thought of these people as my family and I wasn't ready to leave at that point. My discomfort came from suppressing my own critical thinking and authentic feelings. Part of me really was saying, "No, this just feels wrong, this just doesn't make sense!" and I wasn't ready to listen to that part then.

So I accepted my leaders' "explanation" that my discomfort was really due to my own ego, delusion and weak faith, and wasted far too many years in this group.

I guess the lesson is, if something just doesn't feel right, I need to really pay attention to that feeling and not try to "reason" it away. I too am spending a lot of time these days journalling -- and really trying to go deeply and be honest, rather than just write what sounds good. I have a lot less patience with bs than I used to.

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