It will be useful to dedicate a chapter to understanding some of the most common happiness and peace destroying emotions. We will look at a few of them examining briefly the psychology of each.
Let us start with the mother of all emotions from which all other unpleasant ones are born. Fear itself is born from ignorance of our true nature, which causes us to identify with our bodies and personalities. Believing that we are these bodies and personalities, we then fear because we know that they are vulnerable and mortal. We then, out of fear, try to create some sense of security by securing for ourselves people, money, objects and professional and social positions etc.
Then we experience a second level of fear, that we might not be able to keep all of these. We may lose them to death, decay or change and we are again fearful.
We fear not having what we need in order to feel our security, self worth and satisfaction.
We fear losing these when we have them.
We fear others who might take these from us .
We fear change which might make them disappear
We fear death which means losing all this.
These basic fears can be expressed in unlimited ways according to each person’s specific mental mechanisms. The various expressions of fear have different names such as insecurity, anxiety, discomfort, weakness, worry, inability, confusion, fear itself, depression, denial, shock, hysteria, panic, paralysis, anger, hate, rage, aggressiveness, violence, jealously etc.
Here is a list (fig. 19) of the most common objects of fear which we have observed over the years. We have selected these few out of list of hundreds of fears, which we have compiled through questionnaires.
DISCOVERING AND OVERCOMING OUR FEARS
Fear is our greatest obstacle towards happiness, growth, success, peace of mind and harmonious relationships. Behind every negative emotion there is some hidden fear. Let us search out these fears and liberate ourselves from them. Remember that you may not consciously feel a fear but that it may be a subconscious fear – check out your inner child. Please make a list of fears which may exist in your conscious or subconscious mind. We will present to you here some common fears to help you out. Add whichever others you can think of. Remember that fear can be expressed as a variety of emotions such as: insecurity, anxiety, discomfort, rejection towards others or ourselves, weakness, worry, inability, confusion, depression, denial, shock, hysteria, panic, paralysis, anger, hate, aggressiveness, violence, jealousy etc. In each case write the emotions which you might feel when in contact with the following.
Sudden death by accident
Death of a loved one
Snakes, rats, mice, cockroaches
Failure at work
Failure in relationships
Failure at school,
Failure in life
Rejection from others
Being laughed at by others
God or his punishment
Loosing your freedom
Loosing your self worth
Conflicts with others
The sea, heights, fires
Cars, planes, boats
Elevators, small places
Large gatherings of people
To travel by your self
To lose your sanity
To be rejected in a love relationship
The opposite sex
Microbes and dirty things
Below we supply you with a list of techniques (fig. 20) with which we can overcome fear. Just a few words will be said about each, as the subject is covered in detail in the book THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HAPPINESS.
METHODS FOR OVERCOMING FEAR
Once you have established which objects, beings, and situations cause you to feel fear, or its various other manifestations, you can begin to determine how you would like to approach and transcend this fear. Consider the following possibilities and note in each case which fears might be overcome with each approach.
1. By gradually approaching that which i fear, increasing contact with it and becoming gradually accustomed to it.
2. Mentally approaching that which i fear through positive imagination techniques.
3. Transformation regressions to past experiences, reliving past events with the knowledge of the present.
4. Objectifying the fear by writing a letter to it, dialoguing with it, drawing it, or speaking to it, dancing it etc. The same can be done by writing to the part of ourselves which fears, rather than writing to the fear it self. There is a slight difference. Try it.
5. Transforming the form of the fear in the subconscious ( this requires help from a person experienced in guiding others in this technique. Chapter 20)
6. Keeping up a high level of energy, through proper diet, exercise, breathing, relaxation, meditation. (chapter 23)
7. By studying that which i fear and becoming familiar with it.
8. Group discussions in which i share my thoughts with others and listen to theirs, as we proceed together to free ourselves.
9. Faith in god, the divine plan and in my self as an immortal being.
10. Knowledge of the truth of our spiritual self.
11. Perfect spiritual love without need.
If you feel that you would be happy by overcoming some fears, then you may want to employ some of these techniques.
Following is a letter (fig. 21) written by a young man at the age of 25 after occasional periods of being held in a psychological clinic. He has understood his fear well and his letter will help us also understand ours.
A LETTER ADDRESSED TO FEAR
(Sample from a 25-year-old who was attending a self knowledge seminar)
I think I know quite a lot about you; with God’s help I more or less came to understand how you were born and how later you became so huge that you broke up my existence. The seed that bore you may have come from previous lives, but you fell on fertile ground and found the right conditions and grew so as to threaten everything in me. The ambience within the family, traumatic experiences, and perhaps things still unknown to me and yet to come, all that was food for you.
Now that you have gone into orbit and are low in the sky so that soon you will sink, I can see you as a huge piranha with innumerable black tentacles, an entity close to the form of death.
I say that you are low in the sky because you still hold me captive, a prisoner. I know you originally came to protect me, but you hugged me dangerously tight, you distorted my ideas, you engendered violence and aggression, you overfed my ego and almost destroyed me, you grew metastasis in every part of my being to such a degree that at the sound of your name alone I am terrified. I am afraid even when you are not there. In the end, like a ghost, you began to haunt me always and everywhere. In this ceaseless running you imposed and forced on me I have been running on many evil and dangerous roads.
There is no doubt that if it weren’t for you I would not be escaping to find new horizons. Although I have tasted death because of you and am still in pain, I thank you for chasing me. On the dark paths I had taken, I suddenly saw in the sky a star like a flickering candle, which began to guide me and determine my life. As time goes by, slowly but steadily, and this star will shine more brightly and make my progress surer, I want you to understand that this light is divine and will gradually illuminate every nook and cranny of my being, the places where you are now.
So I thank you for bringing me so far to protect me. Now I don’t need you any more. Go away. My real self is beginning to grow, that which fears nothing, is strong and serene.
As for you, the dwellings you find and the reality in which you flourish are all nothing but delusion.
I thank God that, with His help, I dare to face you. With the ever- increasing light I shall beam onto you, you will begin to disappear – seeking another dark place in the shadows.
I am already certain that you are low in the sky and some day will no longer exist.
This letter teaches some important points about fear and coming to terms with it.
1. He speaks of coming to understand how this fear was born in his system. This is very helpful in being able to objectify it when we observe it. We can then perceive it as something separate from us, which was programmed into us at some certain moment.
2. He gives it a form “huge piranha”. This also facilitates objectifying and distancing it.
3. He understands that at first the fear was a protective mechanism, but that it then got out of control.
4. He realizes now that he does not need it for protection, that he can find healthier forms of protection.
5. He also realizes that he can heal this part of himself by sending love and light, for fear can exist only in darkness, ignorance and lack of love.
When working with other emotions, we will almost always have to, in the end, confront the fears behind those emotions, especially the fears of rejection, loneliness, insecurity, of the loss of whatever is important to us, including our freedom.
The ultimate solution for all fears is faith in God, the divine plan and in our immortal, invulnerable spiritual nature. Until we become sure of these, all other solutions are useful.
Thus some basic questions for getting free from fear are:
1. “What do I imagine is going to happen to me if what I fear happens? or What do I imagine is going to happen to me if what I fear may not happen actually does not happen?”
2. “And if things do not happen as I want them to, what will happen to me?” This question is repeated over and over each time asking what we fear will happen “if the worse that we fear happens?” This will ultimately lead us to a few basic answers such as:
a. I will not be loved and accepted. I will be totally alone.
b. I will not be safe – I may die or be done harm to.
c. I may lose my freedom of movement and not be able to care for myself or satisfy my needs.
d. I will suffer emotionally. I will feel emotional pain.
Once we arrive at such basic answers, there are two basic directions :
1. We ask ourselves if we can accept even that final possibility, which until now is unacceptable for us at this point.
2. We ask ourselves if there are any spiritual truths or logical reasonings, which can help us believe that something like this will not happen.
Each will find his own balance between projecting positively that what we fear will not happen and accepting that we will be fine even if it does happen. Some chose the second, that is to try to mentally accept the worst without projecting it will occur, believing that the divine plan will always bring to them exactly what they need for their evolutionary process. What the divine plan brings may be pleasant or painful, but it will be what is best. This has the advantage that we go to the core of our being and realize that we will be able to survive (even death) and continue and be okay whatever happens. This should not be confused with fatalism. We are required by the vary nature of our being, and by the laws of evolution, to actively seek to create the most positive reality we can for ourselves, our family and society as a whole. What we are accepting without fear will be the results of those efforts. We do not give up the efforts.
Most people, however, do not have such unshakable faith in our immortal and divine nature and thus are better off strengthening their faith in Divine protection. Divine creation, sustenance, protection and guidance all definitely exist, otherwise life would not be possible, but they will not protect us from the events which we must pass through in order to awaken spiritually. That would be counterproductive to the purpose of creation – evolution.
Concerning this we must avoid two traps. The first is to avoid weakening the faith in those who believe they are protected and that nothing unpleasant will ever happen to them. They are protected, but they simply have not understood the purpose of this protection. The protection is for evolution and not simply for survival and comfort and ephemeral happiness. The second trap we must avoid is to create the belief that we must have problems and tests in order to grow spiritual. Although this is often the case, it is not always the case and one should not seek out to have problems so as to grow. We also grow through happiness and pleasant experiences.
Other’s chose to project that all will turn out exactly as they would like. This is positive thinking and it is very important in approaching life. Often things may turn out negatively in our lives simply because we think negatively. Thus we must think positively, optimistically while simultaneously feeling ready to accept any outcome.
GENERAL APPROACH FOR ALL EMOTIONS
(Refer to this chart for guidelines as to how to proceed each time you are working with emotions)
In addition to the various specific questions which will be given below for analyzing specific emotions, there are some other techniques which are universally beneficial and can be employed, and should be as much as possible in all cases. They very briefly are:
1. Objectifying the emotion by writing a letter to it, dialoguing with it, drawing it, or speaking to it, dancing it etc. The same can be done by writing to or dialoguing with the part of ourselves which has that emotion, rather than writing to the emotion it self. There is a slight difference. Try it.
2. Keeping up a high level of energy, through proper diet, exercise, breathing, relaxation, meditation etc.
3. Group discussions in which we share our thoughts with others and listen to theirs, as we proceed together to free ourselves.
4. Transforming the form of the emotion in the subconscious (requires an experienced guide)
5. Positive projection concerning those matters which concern us.
6. Transformation regressions to past experiences, reliving past events with the knowledge of the present. (requires an experienced guide) chapter 21.
7. Psychodrama and reverse psychodrama with those who are related in some way to those emotions. (requires an experienced guide)
8. Dialoguing with “personas” or parts of our selves which have these emotions. (requires an experienced guide)
9. Learning to accept the until now unacceptable.
10. Making a program for action towards changing things, so that they are more like we want them to be.
11. Prayer, faith in god, the divine plan and in our selves as an immortal being.
12. Perfect spiritual love without need.
ANXIETY – WORRY
Anxiety and worry, although obviously forms of fear, have become so common that it is worth looking at them separately. Anxiety often has to do with the factors of time and results. We are anxious because we fear that we will not have enough time to complete what we have planned, or that the result will not be successful, perfect or acceptable to the others.
We worry often for the same reasons, but also when we fear that something may not turn out as we want it to. That “something” could have to do with ourselves, our children, parents or spouse, which of course, ultimately, through our attachment to them, has to do with our selves.
We learn to worry as children, and this becomes a habit causing us to search for things to have anxiety or worry about even when there is nothing really important to be concerned with. We may wonder at times why our mind is thinking so much about a particular matter, creating anxiety and worry, when in reality that is not so important to us.
For this reason, we would do well to employ a program of exercises, breathing techniques, deep relaxation with positive projection, perhaps meditation and, of course, a healthy diet and creative expression. These activities will help reorganize the energy patterns, freeing us from hold of negative thoughts.
Some questions which might be useful here are:
1.”What are the matters about which you have anxiety or worry?”
2. ” How often do you have these feelings?”
3. “Are these subjects really so important to you? Are you so afraid that you will be lost or destroyed if they do not turn out as you want them to?”
4. “What do you fear will happen if this matter does not turn out as you want it to?” What will you not be able to handle?” “What will be unbearable for you?”
5.” If in, actuality, this matter does not turn out as you want it to, how long do you think it will take you to refind your peace and happiness?”
6. “Why do you doubt that this matter will turn out as you want it to?” ” What programming or beliefs cause you to think in this way?”
7. “Which beliefs make you feel that life will be such a disaster if this does not turn out the way you want?”
8. “Does your anxiety or worry help you to solve the problem, or function more effectively, so as to get the results that you want, or does it cause your mind to waste energy, time, and perhaps even sleep on negative thoughts?”
9. ” Do you want to have anxiety or to worry?” “If not, why not?” ” Why would you prefer not to think in this way? What are its negative effects in your life?”
10. “Which beliefs will you need to change in order to think more positively in these cases and be more sure that things will turn out as you want them to?”
11. ” Which beliefs will you need to change in order to believe that, even in the possible case that things do not happen as you want them to, that you will be okay, that you will survive and will again be happy?”
12. ” Is it possible that you might not want to stop worrying, that you are getting something out of this, perhaps you feel safe in this role?”
13. ” If there were a part of your self which actually wanted to keep worrying, why might it want that; what might be the gain?”
14. ” Is there anything which you would like to express to others concerning these matters?”
Refer also to the above chart “General Approach”.(Fig. 22)
HURT – BITTERNESS – INJUSTICE – ABUSED – PAIN
When we cannot get what we want, or need or what we feel we have the right to have, we feel hurt, bitter or injustice. We have not received the behavior we expected or believed we deserved. The beliefs behind these feelings are that “we need to have that which we are not getting in order to be safe or happy”. We have associated our security, satisfaction, self worth or freedom with something which we are not getting from persons, society, God, or life as whole.
Here we need to direct our questioning towards:
1. “What is it that I believe that I must have here in order to be happy?”
2. “Why do I need it?” What will be missing from me my self, if I do not have it?”
3. “Can I believe that Life gives me exactly what I need in order to continue my evolution and that it is giving me now exactly what I need? If I can accept that, then why is life giving this situation concerning which I am not happy? What is life asking me to do or learn here?”
The answers to this last series of questions will lead to two basic categories of answers:
a. Beliefs which I need to change in order to be able to accept what Life is giving me, and be happy with things as they are, even if they never change.
b. Beliefs which I need to change in order to initiate various actions and changes of behavior so as to create more effectively what I need and want from life.
In the case of the second category, frequently one of the actions we need to take will be to communicate more effectively and assertively to those around us, what we need and expect from them. In such a case, we need to clarify for ourselves exactly what we want to express to the others. We can practice in the form of a psychodrama, in which the we express our feelings and needs to another who is pretending that he is the person whom we want to communicate with.
Having practiced with another, we may then be ready to communicate our needs, feelings and beliefs to our loved one without accusing or rejecting him
Also refer to the above chart “General Approach” (fig. 22) for working with these emotions.
DISAPPOINTMENT – DISILLUSIONMENT – DISCOURAGEMENT
As a wise teacher once said, ” no appointments – no disappointments”. These emotions occur when we have created expectations concerning what we will receive from others, God and life. We might also feel such feelings concerning our own abilities or efforts. We feel this way when things do not happen the way we expected, or more often, when others are not who we expected them to be. Often, when we do not have the results we want from life, we feel disappointed and disillusioned in ourselves, others or God.
We make promises and myths in our minds, and then feel cheated when we they are not fulfilled.
The questions which interest us here are:
1. “What were you expecting here (from yourself, the other person, from Life , from God)?”
2. “Why are you expecting that? Do you feel that you need it? Why exactly do you need yourself, others, life, or God to be that way? ”
3. “What do you lose, if things are not as you expected.?”
4. “What will happen if you yourself do not live up to your expectations?” “Are you?”
5. “Whose expectations are these? Do they remind you of anything you heard as a child?”
6. ” Can you think of a way to internally create what you need even when you or others cannot be what you expected?”
7. “Can you accept that you, the others and all of creation are in a process of evolution, and thus, while it is useful to have the image of how you want us all to be, that it is also useful to have patience concerning the gradual manifestation of those ideals?”
8. Which beliefs do you need to change in order to feel safe and or worthy when you and/ or others cannot live up to your expectations?
9. “Which beliefs do you need to change, and / or actions do you need to take, so as to more actively insure that you and / or others are more dedicated to fulfilling your expectations?”
10. “Have you clearly communicated to the others what you expect of them and why you need that from them and how you feel when they do not give this to you?”
11. What would you like to communicate to those with whom you feel disappointed?
Also refer to the above chart “General Approach” (fig. 22) for working with these emotions.
Depression is a state in which, as with the previous emotions, we are not getting what we want from life, but here we also feel unable to do anything about it. It is a combination of being dissatisfied with ourselves, and/ or others, and also feeling totally powerless to do anything about it.
We gradually give up more and more activities and responsibilities because we feel that nothing is important. Disappointment and disillusionment, are sometimes preparatory states for change. Being dissatisfied with what exists is often the start of the conscious growth process, and a motivation for major changes. Many people have been led to a spiritual path through these three emotions.
Thus our analysis of this emotion is very much the same with the questions just above. We might just add a few to those already listed in the previous questionnaire:
1. “What is important to you?” What do you care about? Who do you care about?”
2. “What will you have liked to have done with your life before you die?”
3. ” If you could have some special powers above the average person, what would they be?”
4. ” What would you do with those powers?”
5. ” What is your vision of an ideal world?”
6. ” What role would you like to play in that ideal world?”
7. ” If you had enough money to survive simply, but comfortably, for the rest of your life and were free to spend your time according to your values and needs, without thinking of making money, what would you do with your time?”
As you can see, these questions which we have added in the case of depression are designed to help the us connect to our ideals and life purpose. Our life purpose will be in some way related to CREATIVITY, EVOLUTION or SERVICE. We want to discover how we might be able to align our lives to these three basic life principles, especially service. Feeling that our presence is useful to those around us, gives our life a sense of meaning and self worth, a reason for living and creating.
Because depression is also often a phenomenon created by a lack of energy, we would benefit greatly by employing a daily program of exercise, breathing techniques, deep relaxation and eventually meditation, as well as a healthy diet and creative activities. This, of course, would be helpful in the case of all emotions.
Also because some cases of depression may be affected by the blood chemistry, some persons may also need to seek pharmaceutical help, if all else fails.
Refer to the above chart “General Approach” (Fig. 22) for additional help.
JEALOUSY – ENVY
These two emotions are born from our lack of acceptance of who we are and what we have. Because we do not accept ourselves as we are, we envy others for traits or achievements which we wish we had. We probably believe that we will be more respected and admired or considered more successful if we had those traits. On the spiritual path we might envy the other for his ability to meditate, serve, fast etc.
We cannot accept what we have or do not have, and thus feel jealous towards those who have it or perhaps are taking it from us (such as love or attention from our parents, spouse, children or friends.) Our most intense jealousy has to do with being given exclusivity on important person’s love and attention, and in the case of a spouse, sexual contact.
As children, jealousy is one of the major emotions we experience when a new born sibling enters the family and our exclusivity on, or percentage of attention, is lost or diminished. We might also feel anger at this other being who is now getting what we were getting until now and still desperately want. The same happens when we fear that our spouse may be interested in someone else.
This happens when we have identified our survival, security, satisfaction and self worth with that other person’s attention. The fear that we may not be safe without the other, or that our self worth will be lost or severely diminished if he or she shows love to others creates what we call jealousy.
The beliefs behind these fears are:
1. I am safe only if I have someone who loves only me. Only then can I be sure that he of she will always be with me when I need him or her. I am not safe alone.
2. I am worthy (as a person, as a man, as a woman) only if there is at least one person whom loves only me and no one else. If he loves anyone else, the way he loves me, then I lose my self worth.
Herein lies the difference between human and divine love. Human love demands exclusivity, whereas divine love demands that we love all beings, as we love ourselves, because the divine itself is in all beings. (We are not talking about the sexual level here.)
Thus the problem of envy and jealousy will be solved when we free ourselves from the doubts about our safety and self worth. Some questions which will help.
1. “What is it that the other has, which you would like to have, or believe you must have, in order be happy?”
2. “Why do you need that? What do you gain if you have it and what do you lose if you do not?”
3. “What do you believe about yourself which makes you want to have what the other has, or be like the other?” What will happen if that does not happen?”
4. “Which beliefs do you need to change in order to be happy just as you are, or with any outcome, regardless of what the other has or is?”
5. “Which beliefs do you need to change in order to more effectively manifest in yourself, or for yourself, what you envy or are feeling jealous about?” (We must not ignore the possibility that the we envy something because the time has come in our evolutionary process to seek that. The emotion may not be pure, but it may instigate beneficial energies if they are directed towards self improvement.)
6. Is there anything you would like to communicate with the others concerning what you are feeling?” What would you like to communicate.
Refer to the above chart “General Approach” (fig. 22) for more help.
Loneliness, like fear, is a very deeply ingrained emotion which has to do with existence itself. Both emotions are based on the illusion of our separateness and identification with the body and ego. Being alone for one who has not yet become aware of an inner source of security, satisfaction, self worth, love and purpose is very much like death. Facing loneliness in such conditions is like facing death. For those of us who have not created a relationship with ourselves or with the divine, there is no life, no source, no happiness, no security, no purpose for living without others.
We must distinguish between being alone and feeling lonely. One can be surrounded by hundreds of friends, family and admirers and still feel lonely. Another can be alone on a mountain top for years and not feel lonely. Feeling lonely means not feeling connected to others, to God, to nature or to life. One may be surrounded day and night by persons he does not feel connected to or be alone in a cave and feel connected to God and all of creation.
The following questions may help us understand and overcome our loneliness.
1. “When do you feel most lonely?” “At what times of day or week and in which situations?”
2. ” What do you believe that you need at those moments in order to feel more connected with the others or the world around you?”
3. “Is there something which prevents you from contacting other people when you feel lonely?” Do you feel too proud to contact someone, or are you afraid that there will not be the response you want? Or are you afraid of anything else, which prevents you from contacting other people, when you are feeling lonely?”
4. “What do you believe which makes you feel lonely?”
5. ” What do you believe which makes being alone unacceptable or painful?”
6. ” Do you believe in God?” ” If yes, how could you feel His presence more tangibly in your life, especially when you are feeling lonely?”
7. “There are also many other people who feel lonely, such as the elderly, orphans, the ill, blind, deaf, paralyzed etc. people who may need help. How would you feel about helping these people with their loneliness?” If not, why not?” If yes, where and when would you like to begin?”
8. “Which beliefs do you need to change here in order to be able to accept being alone?” “How will you change these beliefs?”
9. “Which beliefs do you need to change in order to feel more connected to others and/or God and life?” ” How will you change these beliefs?”
10. “Which beliefs do you need to change in order to feel freer to express your needs for greater or deeper contact with others?”” How will you change these beliefs?”
11. “With which persons would you like to begin this expression and what would you like to say?”
In your analysis look especially for shame and pride. These opposite emotions tend to separate us. When we feel shame or guilt or doubt our self worth, we cannot believe that others love us or want to be with us. And even when they do love us, we cannot feel that love.
When are proud, we cannot keep company with just anyone, and also we cannot be the ones who will express our need to be with the other. We are too proud and want the others to ask for our company.
Also susceptible to such thinking and loneliness are those who have been programmed that we must be perfect, strong and never ask or be in need.
SELF DOUBT SHAME- GUILT – SELF REJECTION – UNWORTHINESS -REJECTION-DEMEANED
These various forms of self doubt are, together with fear, the most basic of all emotions and the causes of most other emotions. We will dedicate chapter 16 to this subject, and thus we will get right on to the useful questions.
1. ” Which are the events, situations or thoughts which come into your mind which trigger some level of this self doubt mechanism in you?” (We will, for the purpose of brevity, refer to all these emotions as Self Doubt. You may replace this word with any other which might be more appropriate for you.)
2. “What do you believe in those situations which makes you feel this way?”
3. “Why do you believe that?”………. ” And why do you believe that?” (The questioning goes on as we search for the belief behind each answer which is given. ” And what do you believe which makes you believe that?”)
4. “Do you know other people who are similar to you concerning the reason you are doubting your self?” “Do you reject them in the same way?” “If not, then why not?” Do you have two standards, one for yourself which is more strict and a more relaxed one for others?” “If yes, then why so?” What prevents you from accepting yourself in the same way that you accept others?”
5. “Whose beliefs are these, which are creating these feelings? Are they yours or do they belong to some voices from the past i.e. parents, teachers etc.?”
6. “If in fact, they are not yours, but programmings, would you like to get free from them?”
7. “Is it possible that you might not want to totally accept yourself, that you are getting something out of this, perhaps you feel safe in this role, or perhaps you feel it would be egotistical to accept and love yourself?”
8. ” If there were a part of yourself which actually wanted to avoid total self acceptance, why might it want that; what might be the gain?”
9. “Are any of these reasons why you feel self doubt actually because you feel that you are immoral, that what you are doing is wrong, that you are doing to others what you would not like them to do? If yes, what would you like to do about that?”
10. If you want to change that action mentioned in No.9, how could you do so? What makes you do it? What do you really want, which forces you to act in a way, which for your own conscience is wrong?”
11. “How can you get free from these needs which are forcing you to behave in a way which is undermining your own self esteem?”
12. “List at least five positive things about yourself, because of which you could accept and respect yourself.”
13. “Are you ready to create a more positive relationship with yourself? If yes, why?” “What are the negative results of your not accepting or loving your self?”
14. ” Do you deserve to love your self? If yes, why? If not, Why not?”
15. ” What are you going to do about this?” When and Where and How?”
16. ” Do you feel that communicating with others about this may be useful?”
17. ” If yes, what do you want to communicate to them?”
We need to give special attention to learning to express our needs, feelings and beliefs to the others around us. This is an integral part of regaining our self esteem. We may at first express these emotions aggressively, blaming the other due to pent up anger. For this reason, we may benefit by first writing what we want to say, and then finding a person trained in psychodrama to listen to us, as we express our feelings to him or her, imagining that he or she is the person we want to express all this to. Once we have done this a number of times, we may feel ready to communicate our needs and feelings to our loved one, without accusing or criticizing.
Refer to the above chart “General Approach” (Fig. 22) for additional help.
Also refer to the various techniques in chapter 16 for ideas about freeing ourselves from this problem.
ANGER – HATE – RAGE
Rage is an advanced form of anger in which we are even less in control, something like panic is to fear. Hate is a condition in which we think very badly of someone and do not want to have contact with him and probably wish the worst for him, perhaps even hoping something bad might happen to him. All three of these emotions, which from here on in we will simply call anger, are secondary emotions, in the sense that they arise from other emotions, such as hurt, fear, guilt, injustice, disappointment etc.
In general we are controlled by two thought-forms here:
1. One is that we must have something that the other is obstructing us from having. This could be anything from sleep, food, shelter, to our peace of mind or our spouse or other person to whom we are attached.
2. The second is that the person, towards who we feel this anger, is responsible for our reality. If it were not for him, this would not happen. He is responsible for our pain and unhappiness.
Anger can often also be a starting point for major change for an individual, or a whole society. Anger can become a source of energy and dedication towards transforming the negative and unjust around us. Also, many people need to first learn to feel and accept and express their anger (not necessarily at the others, – but in nonviolent and non harmful ways) before they can refind their self esteem and empower themselves.
Hate on the other hand, has few redeeming qualities, and is based on weakness. A strong person seldom hates.
Also there are some cases in which one may need to express anger in order to get a result for which he is responsible. This can be done, however, without demeaning or hurting the other. Thus we are not interested in suppressing our anger, but rather in recognizing it, accepting it, expressing it in non harmful ways, understanding it and directing its energy in positive directions towards self empowerment and social change.
Here is a brief list of some common reasons we might feel anger towards someone:
1. When others do not agree with us.
2. When they do not understand us.
3. When they obstruct us from satisfying our needs. (Remember a need could be psychological, such as the need for acceptance, respect or self esteem)
4. When they do not respect us.
5. When they think they are superior.
6. When they try to control us or suppress us.
7. When they criticize us.
8. When they tell lies or gossip about us.
9. When they harm us or someone close to us.
10. When they have evil intentions or ulterior motives.
11. When they are negative, complaining, whining, criticizing etc.
12. When they think they know it all.
13. When they give us advice we have not asked for.
14. When they play the role of the victim, the poor me and want attention.
15. When they do not take care of themselves or do not carry their load.
16. When they make mistakes
17. When they do not keep their word or appointments.
18. When they are weak and dependent
19. When they act in an egotistical and selfish way, disregarding our or others’ needs
20. When they use us or others.
21. When they are cold and insensitive
22. When they are not responsible to their word or responsibilities
23. When they are lazy
24. When they ignore our needs
25. When they reject us.
Now it would be very interesting to go through the same list replacing the word “they” with the word “I”, and the logical changes in the rest of the phrase, so as to determine when we get angry at ourselves. This exercise may also reveal that some of the anger we feel towards others is actually a projection of anger which we have for ourselves, and how, if we could understand and accept our selves in those situations, we might also be able to understand and accept others.
Some questions which may help here are:
1. “Which are the situations in which you feel anger?” (Might want to read through the above list one by one.)
2. ” What is it exactly that the others do, which makes you feel this way?”
3. ” What do you want which these persons are preventing you from having in these situations?” What is it that you want to have which is important to you and you are getting angry because the other is preventing you from having it?”
4. “Why is that so important to you?” “If you do not get it or keep it, what will happen?”
5. “What are your basic needs and attachments here which are making you suffer?”
6. “What do you fear will happen if things do not happen the way you want them to?”
7. “And if that happens?” ……
8. “Do you believe that the others are responsible for your feelings or your reality?” “Would you like to take responsibility for creating your own feelings?”
9. Does your anger have anything to do with your doubts about your self worth or feelings of self rejection or guilt? Can you see any relationship?” If yes what?”
10. “Does your anger have anything to do with fears or insecurity?” If yes, what”
11. “Do you get angry when you feel others are limiting your freedom?” When and why?”
12. Do you get angry at your self?” For what reasons?” “In which cases do you now see that you reject your self for the same reasons that you reject or get angry at others?”
13. “What do you want to do about this?”
14. “Do you want to be free from your anger?” If yes , why? If yes, what are the negative effects of anger on your life – health – relationships, – peace of mind etc.?”
15. If you answered no to the previous question, why?¨What do you gain by being angry? Perhaps you get a feeling of self righteousness or of being right and thus the other is wrong and you are okay?” Or perhaps you feel that no one will pay any attention to you, or that others must be punished for their wrongs and it is your responsibility to correct them?” Or something else?”
16. “Do you believe that life is a process of growth and that we have lessons to learn?” If yes, then what lesson do you need to learn here?”
17. “What exactly do you need from the others?” What do you want from them?
18. Have you expressed clearly to the others what you need from them, without accusing or blaming them?” If not, What would you like to express?”
We now need to learn to express our needs and beliefs as I messages, without attacking, or seeking to hurt or demean the other. Because this often means revealing our own weakness, something which angry people often cannot do, we will need to develop the honesty and self acceptance to tell the truth.
REJECTING OTHERS – CRITICIZING – CONDEMNING – BLAMING
Rejecting or criticizing others is not actually an emotion but rather a reaction or behavior caused by our emotions or beliefs. But as they occupy a considerable place in our lives both as our criticism towards others and as the criticism we receive from others, it will be useful to examine this emotional reaction.
In general, we criticize or blame or reject others when they behave in ways which bothers us, or prevent us from fulfilling our needs. Or we may reject them because, in that way, we establish our own self worth in relationship to them. Another reason is that, by criticizing and finding fault in others, we can place the blame for our problems and our reality upon them. They are to blame and we do not need to look at what we might need to learn in a situation where we are not satisfied with what we are creating in our lives. Another reason we might criticize others is because they do things which we do not allow ourselves to do, and thus we feel a type of injustice that we are trying so hard to be “good” or “correct” and the others are not. Thus, they are wrong. We also often criticize what we do not understand or whatever we fear or whatever is different.
The following list may help some of us discover what we tend to criticize in others so that we can then discover why we feel the need to criticize. As Christ said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” ” You will be judged by the measure with which you judge.” “Let he who has not sinned, throw the first stone.” “Look not at the sliver in the others eye, but the log in your own.” In other words do not judge or criticize.
BEHAVIORS WHICH WE CRITICIZE OR REJECT IN OTHERS
Here is a list of various behaviors which we tend to criticize. If we tend to be critical in any of these situations, we will want to ask ourselves what we believe which causes us to be.
1. For their egotistical behavior
2. For their immorality
3. For not being consistent with their word
4. For being late for appointments
5. For trying to control others
6. For telling lies
7. For being false – two faced
8. For wanting to be the exception to the rules
9. For being weak
10. For acting as if they are superior
11. For thinking that are very important
12. For not living by the rules
13. For being aloof.
14. For not acknowledging our presence
15. For rejecting us
16. For not being correct
17. For wanting to project themselves
18. For seeking affirmation through what they do
19. For being hypocrites
20. For not working conscientiously
21. For not keeping our agreements
22. For ignoring the others’ needs
23. For being inconsiderate
24. For hurting or harming us or others
25. For gossiping about us or others
26. For the way they dress
27. For the way they express themselves
28. For the way they work
29. For the way they behave how?
30. Because the do the following
31. Because they do not
32. Because in the past they
33. Other reasons
Now we can look through the same list and change the word “they” to “I” and see for which behaviors we reject ourselves. In this way we might search for answers to two questions.
1. Whether we tend to reject our selves for the same behaviors and thus perhaps our rejecting the other is a projection of our self rejection.
2. Whether we might discover that we allow our selves the freedom to do some things for which we reject others, and are very lenient with our selves.
Now that we have discovered the behaviors which annoy us, creating negative feelings in us, which then cause us to react by criticizing or rejecting the other person, we can look at the possible reasons why those behaviors bother us. The idea we will be working with here is that, since life is process of spiritual evolution, and each event and situation is a lesson in that process, then each behavior which bothers us or causes us to criticize, contains within it something that we can learn.
There are four questions which concern us here. These same questions can be asked concerning other matters which bother us such as illness, pain, situations with work, our finances or various events like being robbed, or cheated etc. We will use the word behavior here, but you can have in mind that we also could be analyzing some other unpleasant stimulus.
1. What is there in me which is attracting that behavior from the other (or from life)?
2. What is it that I believe which makes this behavior so unpleasant for me?
3. What is my lesson here?
a. Which beliefs do I needed to change in order to not attract this any more?
b. Which beliefs do I need to change in order to be able to be at peace with myself, even if I come into contact with this behavior in the future.
4. Which actions do I need to take here?
For a detailed description of a technique designed to help us answer these basic questions refer to Chapter 15.