Everybody Is Just Like You

Everybody is driven by the same underlying fear of life that caused you so much difficulty in your own life prior to looking at yourself. Your response to it was most likely different from that of the villains of history, but it was also shaped by the idiosyncratic way in which your particular psychology developed and found some homeostasis. So if you have been a good person, it was because the circumstances of your life have caused your response to the fear to take the form of good personhood; of being a good guy rather than a bad guy. It’s that simple.

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Expectations

Expectations come in at least two flavors. The first flavor is a reasonable expectation as to what might happen in the course of our day-to-day life. For example, if I plant a garden, I will have the reasonable expectation that, barring bad weather or unforeseen damage by pests, in due time I will have the fruits of my labor in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. If I place an order for something at Amazon, I will have the reasonable expectation that, in due time, a package will arrive at my door. If I work for wages, I will have the reasonable expectation that on payday I will have money.

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Why Practice Self-Directed Attention?

The Just One Look Method is a two-part process. Those two parts are the act of Looking at Yourself and the Self-Directed Attention Exercise.

The act of Looking at Yourself resets the mind and triggers a period of recovery in which the mind restructures itself, in a context that is no longer based on the fear of life itself. For the process to start, just one look is enough.

The second part, the practice of Self-Directed Attention, is fundamental in the recovery.

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These Times

I will not pussyfoot around the situation facing humanity today.

I am seventy-four years old and I have seen a lot of drama in my own life and in the lives of humans everywhere. In the 70s, I robbed banks and destroyed the means whereby working people were being made poorer every day. In the course of things, I was shot, put on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, and imprisoned for almost 20 years in federal prisons.

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The Nature of Belief

Through no fault of our own, most humans—that is to say most of us—have minds that have come into being shaped by a context of fear and distrust of life itself.

We didn’t cause that to happen, and we can’t even know directly that that is the case, any more than we can know directly that the Earth is a big ball without actually getting far enough away from it to see its roundness with our own eyes.

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A Liberating Insight

With very few exceptions, pretty much everybody on earth—butcher, baker, candlestick maker, rich, poor, beggar, and thief—each and every human being on the planet is at least as confused, fearful, miserable and afflicted as you are now or have been at some point.

Everybody on earth is at least as blameless as you are and as justified in their actions and beliefs as you are. Nobody on earth is in complete control of what they think, and want, and resist. Not even you.

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The Period of Recovery

The root cause of most human psychological misery is the fear of life. This fear of life is a psychological autoimmune disease that arises in reaction to fearful experience very early in life, long before we learn that we have a mind–long before we are even conscious of ourselves as individual persons. The fear of life is an unseen assumption that life is inherently dangerous and profoundly untrustworthy. And it is upon this invisible foundation of fear and distrust that our minds develop over time.

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The Power of Attention

Last weekend we conducted a webinar on the practice of self-directed attention which we teach to provide critical support when the results of the act of the inward looking begin to unfold in your mind.

In the opening of that webinar, I tried to convey insights and understandings that I felt would be useful.

I started out by answering five common questions about the looking and its results:

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Coming Clean

Coming clean: “To admit something to someone.” McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions

The root cause of all human psychological misery is the fear of life itself that strikes most of us at or near birth, and sets the context in which our psychology develops over time. It is useful to speak of the fear and its effects as a kind of psychological autoimmune disease that is subject to therapeutic intervention. There is no one to blame for our misery, least of all ourselves.

The simple act of looking at yourself with your mind’s eye will reliably destroy that context of fearfulness and its diseased psychological mechanisms. We have seen for ourselves that when that happens, the mind naturally begins to restore itself from a foundation of sanity and self-reliance.

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