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Sunday, September 22, 2013

On Being the "Slave to our Emotions"

We’ve all heard the saying that we shouldn’t be “the slave to our emotions.”  And then psychology tells us we must acknowledge our legitimate emotions rather than repress them.That perhaps "letting it all hang out" is better than "stuffing it."

Perhaps the whole bell curve of us lie between the two poles—somewhere between repressing emotions and needing anger management classes.

Emotions are tricky. Do we have them? Or do they have us? In the very necessity to control our anger, can we say that even in that way, even in the way of controlling it, it controls us?

Here are two quotes to consider:

“If it depends on something other than myself whether I become angry or not, I am not the master of my life.” Rudolf Steiner

"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are."  The Talmud

There is some great truth hovering in the middle of these two quotes and if we can hang out with them a while, some of it will seep into our consciousness. We might want to argue with the first quote that things happen that should make us angry if we are normal people. But I don’t believe anybody could really argue with the second quote if they took the time to consider it fully.

However though you might not be able to argue that there is anything wrong with the quote, or incorrect about it. No quote can be the truth of anything. The only thing that can be the truth of anything is us. We can’t know truth as a object so the only thing we can do with truth is be it. I know I’ve said this often before. And these two quotes are such a good example of what I mean.

Just because we intellectually apprehend some idea doesn’t mean we actually fully experience the truth of it as it pertains to us unless we make an effort to do so. Not to just stop and think about it, though, of course, that is where we must begin. But we must take more time than that. And put more into it than our thinking faculties allow. And perhaps more time than our busy world now allows. We must do what Walt Whitman in his “Song of Myself” suggests: “I loaf and invite my soul.”

And if you loaf and invite your soul to hang out with these two quotes they may be of great service.  For myself, I’ve been reading Rudolf Steiner lately as, as always, I might spend several days on one page. When I decided to commit the above quote of his to memory it took me three days to memorize one sentence. Must be a reason for that.

One thing I have noticed is that since I have committed that little sentence to memory, it pops up when circumstances occur that tend to make me angry--for instance my dog barking in the morning a half hour before I wanted to wake up. When that emotion starts to flair, the sentence occurs to me as well and I look at that instant of my life in a slightly different way. I don't go "heedless into it." I consider myself. I take a wider look.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Just Read Children of the Gods

Dear A. B.

I just finished your book Children Of The Gods and what a fantastic book it is! I had originally been putting books on eBay to supplement my income and I was about to list this one. I had no idea what it was about but I knew it was a first edition signed by the author. I browsed through it and got hooked. I read it from cover to cover right then and there and now I would never part with it. I intend to read it over and over. I can't believe how beautifully you weaved such eternal truth and knowledge into a very pleasurable narrative. This would be a perfect candidate for an audio version, but I can't find one. Any thoughts to making one?


E. H.

Dear E. H.

Yes, I thought about doing an audio before but just never got around to it. I didn't sell very many of these books. My book The Little Chapel that stood is my best seller. Brainswitch out of Depression does well. But strangely enough Children of the Gods is now in the hands of an off-broadway producer (who came across the book and loved it) collaborating with a music professor in Capitol Univ in Columbus Ohio to make it into a musical. Who knows?

I got a call at 11pm from  my daughter's tennis coach years ago who said he had the book on his shelf for years (I had given him a copy) and just read it and had to call me to tell me what a profound effect it had on his life. You just never know when you write something where it is going to end up.

Thanks so much for writing. I'll put your letter on my blog.http://mobyjane.blogspot.com. My webmaster said I've received over 50,000 hits and that's good. Not much of a techie myself. Again I really appreciate that you took the time to write.

A. B. Curtiss

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I Need the Reassurance that I will Be Happy Again

Ms. Curtiss:

I am ever so grateful to have been able to discover and purchase and read your book, Brainswitch Out of Depression.  It has already helped me redirect my thinking even though I only purchased it less than a week ago.

I was in the midst of a depression when I purchased the book and your techniques are helping me climb out more quickly than I would have on my own.  In fact, I'm sure, without the book I would be sliding further in.

I do remember reading the part about how some people told you your techniques were helping them manage their depression but that they still didn't consider themselves happy.

I have some happy times in the last few years that I hope I will have again but right now I feel like I need reassurance from you, for some reason, that I will attain and maintain the happiness I have felt in the past.

I have a supportive family, husband and group of co-workers; I am taking fish oils and B vitamins daily; I am exercising daily; I am eating well and trying to limit sugar; I am meditating daily (using the Jon Kabat-Zinn program)...so that + the Brainswitching seems like a good plan to stick with.  Being patient is hard and last Thursday night I felt the most hope and inspiration I have felt in a while...and then today not as much; so I find that hard.

Any thoughts, advice or reassurance?

Thank you SO MUCH for writing your book.  I have never understood depression before and now it makes total sense in the way you describe it.

Thanks for all your help thus far. M

Dear M

I haven't had a depression hit for quite a while. Last night, for no reason at all, I felt hopeless, helpless, useless, pointless and the world was not a beautiful place anymore. I thought immediately to myself. Crap, I'd forgotten how horrible this is.

And I got immediately busy doing whatever was my chore at the time. It is an ingrained habit of mine, for a long time now, that I automatically spend no time at all in the ompany of the depressive thought or feeling. I don't fight it by refusing  o think it in an aggressive way. I acknowledge it calmly, not really with a yawn, but with a sense of I've been here before and pardon me I'm not interested. And I recognize my depression when my depression is triggered in the earlies possible stage now. Since I am so used to being completely okay, I immediately notice the downward shift. This time I just said Yuk, and kind of turned away like you might do if you saw a bit of dog poo on your path that you didn't wish to step in.

A thought is basically what most depression is, a thought that you don't have to think. Anxiety, or PTSD caused by drug use (doctor prescribed or street), where you can't get out of the fight-or-flight mode is a little different. It's agonizing whether you think it or not. For this you need serious nutritional supplements to restore your endocrine system.I've had experience with that as well though I haven't written about except on my blog. However, once cured, that seems not to repeat itself. I guess as long as you keep up the nutrition, which I have.

What was always helpful to me, when I used to get depression hits more often, was recognizing that I was not the only one. That millions of people felt just as bad as I did at that very moment and I would pull myself up and get going to help all the others as well as myself. You must immediate reconnect with  "the other," if not physically then at least symbolically. You could say something to yourself like, okay me and you can do this together.

You can also pray to God, if you have that going for you. Even if you don't pray to God to enter your heart, you can even recognize your own heart, your own perfectly okay center by putting your hand on your heart and bringing you awareness out of your thinking to just being there with your own heart. It is very calming. Try it right now. Just
put your hand on your heart, close your eyes.

If you really concentrate on doing that and relax into it you will find that your whole body bends forward and relaxes and you sense new connection with life, with everything.. Even with another person over the Internet showing you how you are already, deep inside, okay..

About happiness. Striving for happiness is putting your psychological system under undue stress. Happiness isn't something you can strive for. Happiness is your okay self being freed from your anxiety to get happy.. Happiness is a feeling, it is getting something you want. It is not essential like your essential okayness that, now and then, in its calm acceptance of "what is" is the very center of love itself. You don't want happiness if you really examined it. What you want is to be able to connect to life in a loving way. To see life as beautiful again. You, yourself are made of the very love you
seek. But it is covered over by your anxiety that you don't have it.

I would suggest you also read my book Depression is a Choice. You can often get that
for a dollar or two on amazon. And meantime I will always answer any specific question you have. And I do not charge for that.

The difference between me and other people just starting to steer themselves out of depression is that I don't get upset or alarmed if it hits me. Anymore than I would get upset at some dog poo in my path. It's there, okay, walk around it don't rail at it and ask why it's there and think about it and wish it wasn't there. All of this attention just makes it stronger and stinky, you end up trying to stomp on it and you get it all over your shoe.
A. B. Curtiss