Masturbation: Fantasy Rescue By the Parents

[Written around 2004.]

Masturbation is risky for anyone with unhealed psychological wounds – that is, all of us who are not yet fully enlightened. Although our biology plays a part in motivating us to express ourselves sexually, our unresolved emotional issues push us far more strongly. People are emotionally motivated to masturbate by a craving to play out unconscious dynamics of parental rescue in an attempt to bypass the healing process. Continue reading

The Risks of Emotional Healing

[Written around 2005.]

The emotional healing process, if it goes well, risks much. At basic it risks is a person’s false self, which is all most people have. It’s how they’ve been defining themselves for their entire conscious lives – ever since they created it to fit into their childhood families. Healing attempts to help a person rid himself of this false self and to help him manifest his true self that lies underneath, dormant or partially dormant for years. Continue reading

Does Growth Have to Be Painful?

[Written around 2004.]

Yes. Pain is a byproduct of the growth process. Emotional growth stretches the limits of the personality, and this is unpleasant. At some level personalities want to remain static and fixed, and become rigid as such, even for the most growth-oriented people. Even children. If children were not compelled to grow, motivated deeply and intensely from within – by their inner spirits, their life forces, their passion – they wouldn’t be able to put up with the pain of growth. Growing is not fun. Its consequences may feel wonderful over the long haul, but its process is awkward, uncomfortable, and anxiety-producing.

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Alice Miller in a Nutshell: A Brief Critique

[Written in late 2009.]

Although I have already written a sixteen thousand word essay analyzing the work of Alice Miller—my favorite writer in the psychology field—over the years several people have asked that I create a shorter, more concise, easier-to-read version.  I have finally done so—and have gone in a few new directions too…

Before I begin the new essay, I want to make a few background points.  I wrote the longer essay in 2006.  A few months after I wrote it someone passed it along to Alice Miller herself, and she read it—and criticized it harshly on her website.  She labeled parts of it “highly confusing,” she argued that I was taking her words out of context, and she stated that my motivation was to confuse her readers.  However, by putting my name on her website she generated a significant amount of attention for my essay, because within hours a horde of people googled my name, found the essay, and read it for themselves.  (Several wrote me complimentary emails.)  The next day, however, Alice Miller realized her “error” and removed my name from her website, calling me “Mr. X.” instead, presumably to make it more difficult for people to find the essay and judge my words for themselves. Continue reading

A License To Procreate: Putting A Stop To Inappropriate Parents

[Written January, 2007.]

To get a driver’s license you must be able to see well, pay money, pass a written road test, and perform skilled driving under pressure – and the world agrees that this is appropriate. To get a therapist’s license you have to go through years of dedicated, stressful, and often annoying education, training, and supervised work – and the world agrees that this too is appropriate. Yet to become a parent, the most intense and holy of duties known to humankind, you only have to know how to do one thing: have sex. And you don’t even have to know how do it well.

Something is clearly wrong with our world. Continue reading

Jesus Rejected His Mother

[Written around 2005.  Commentary in 2013:  Just to be clear, I have no clue whether or not Jesus actually lived as they said he did.  I take him to be a very unusual and mythological person, and that’s how I’m writing about him…]

Jesus was a warrior, and his prime enemy was the family.  He advocates open rebellion of children against their parents.  Take Matthew 10:34:

“Think not that I have come to bring peace to the earth; it is not peace I bring but a sword.  I have come to set son against father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law; a person’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”

Jesus says reject your parents, reject the lies they raised you on, and find the honest truth within yourself.  Continue reading

Father’s Day: Another Sick Holiday

[Written in 2004.]

Our culture celebrates fatherhood because our culture celebrates denial. Our culture does not celebrate the individual knowing himself, nor in any way knowing the truth of his father. Our culture celebrates honoring his false self. People who study their parents’ full selves are on shaky ground in this culture. If they step too far out of line the culture treats them as enemies. And with good reason: they are enemies. Continue reading

The Gravity of the Family System

[Written in 2004.]

The family system has the intense gravitational pull of a planet. It sucks everything into its orbit and shears off all rough and radical edges. If it has its way it never spits anything back into the universe. All it does is take and remold in its own image.

Those who escape the family orbit begin to form a gravitational pull all their own. Their force of character increases and their convictions grow firm. They no longer have to view the universe through the refracted lens of family distortion – and unresolved childhood trauma. Continue reading

Jesus’s The Sermon on the Mount: A Radical New Translation and Psychological Explication

[Written around 2005.]

Commentary (from 2005): The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most enlightened pieces of writing I have ever come across.  If it was Jesus who discovered these ideas, then he was incredibly advanced.  If it was someone else, then I take my hat off to him or her.  My goal for this project was to translate the spirit of this Sermon into something fresh, new, and equally enlightening.

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What Makes A Healer?

[Written around 2004.]

A healer must be humble. Humility is optimal openness to learning. Humility requires suspending one’s preconceived confidence in what is right and what is wrong and listening on a more fundamental level. The healer must be a great listener. He must be open to entering the depths of another’s story, another’s wisdom, and another’s truth. Everyone carries a lifetime of truth in their pain, their symptoms, and their buried hopes, and he must relate to it if he is to help them remove their psychic daggers from their chest. Continue reading

Why Live If We’re All Only Going To Die Anyway?

[Written around 2004.]

Life is our one grand chance to contribute this world. This is our one chance to bring peace to our existences and to that of others. This is our one chance to find out the truth, and to manifest it. This is our one chance to find enlightenment and to shine at our brightest. This is our one chance to find out what it really means to live. Continue reading

Why People Are So Terrified of Death

[Written around 2005.]

People are only terrified of dying if parts of themselves have never consciously lived. They may have attained wealth, raised families, achieved fame, and earned societal respect, but this is not living. Real life is about being fully conscious, and for the fully conscious few, death is no terror. Continue reading

The Essential Difference Between Animals and Humans

The thing that most clearly differentiates humans from animals is the capacity to self-reflect.  Although chimpanzees, our closest genetic relative, can be taught to do almost everything humans can, albeit at a more primitive level, they cannot self-reflect.  They cannot take that mental leap of stepping outside of themselves and studying themselves from an alternate perspective, even having a relationship with themselves—of dialoguing with their internal self that they are alive, that their heart is beating, that their life has purpose and meaning, that they will die someday, and, ultimately, that they can make creative, conscious changes in their internal and external environment based on what they learn on their life’s journey.  This is the realm of humanity—and perhaps of dolphins and whales too, though if this is the case then I would agree with John Lilly, the famous dolphin researcher, who called dolphins “the humans of the sea.” Continue reading

The Advantages of Being Conventional

[Written around 2004.]

The world loves the conventional. No one attacks you. No one hates you. No one criticizes you. No one rejects you. No one steps on your toes while at the same time accusing you of stepping on theirs.

But the conventional are dead. They were long since routed out of the best of themselves. They were long since hated and criticized and civilized into soul-numbing defeat. They were long since divorced from the best their potential had to offer. Their now-loving parents once injected poison into their veins. Continue reading

Critique of Judith Herman’s classic book, “Trauma and Recovery”

[Written around 2004.]

“A Strong Book with a Limited Perspective”

This book is brilliant – but short-sighted. From the introduction Judith Herman provides a clear paradigm for understanding trauma and recovery: “The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.” What she fails to understand is how this applies to her – and those like her…that is, everyone. Continue reading

Dissatisfaction is Mentally Healthy

[written in 2004]

In a world as troubled as ours, dissatisfaction is an excellent sign of mental health. Certainly there is nothing more motivating for growth than dissatisfaction. It is the root of struggle, and thus evolution. No one struggles because he wishes to, but rather because it is his calling in life. His home is the mountainside. Yet some have been granted their wish of a home on the plateau. They are the upholders of emotional compromise, and the “normal” world idealizes them for their beauty and poise. They are the world’s happy people – on the surface. Continue reading

Eleven (Now Twelve) Situations In Which It Is Not Appropriate For You To Have Children

[Written in 2004. This essay, perhaps the most controversial on this site, appeared on the original version of in 2004. I’ve gotten more emails, some of them quite angry or even hateful and threatening, regarding this essay than any other thing I’ve written. Many times I’ve considered changing this essay or taking it down, mostly because it was almost too stressful for me to stand behind, but then I’d reread it, and decide…that I still agreed with it. And so it’s stayed. Meanwhile, I’ve added a 12th situation…at the end.]

1) You are not fully enlightened.

If you are not fully enlightened it means you still repress some degree of unresolved trauma. We all have a compulsion to act out our repressed traumas on our intimates, and all the more so on our vulnerable, needy children – because they cannot refuse it or escape. Therefore, where you are not enlightened you will abuse your children to at least some degree. This is inappropriate. Continue reading

The Traumatized Are Safe

[Written in 2004.]

A traumatized child is safe to broken parents because he does not threaten their dishonest authority. Thus he earns his crumb of love. A traumatized student is safe to broken teachers because he does not question their unearned authority. Thus he earns his right to gain a false education.

A traumatized worker is safe to broken bosses because he follows their numbing orders. Thus he keeps his dead job and perpetuates a dead system. Continue reading