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Three Approaches to Healing the Mind

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I believe that it is far past time for us all to face up to the fact that there is something terribly wrong with the human family and has been for a very long time.

Wars and rumors of war abound; greed rules the worldwide economy. The rich get fewer and richer while most of us sink deeper into poverty and hopelessness.

Anxiety, depression and mood disorders ravage the human experience of life everywhere. If you are a human being, there is a very good chance that you suffer from one or more of the hundreds of psychological disorders defined in the professional literature.

If you are a human being, the chances are also very good that you have attempted or thought about suicide as a solution to psychological suffering at some point in your life. For human beings between the ages of 11 and 44, suicide is one of the top three causes of death worldwide, and suicide attempts are as much as 20 times more frequent than completed suicides.

Clearly, something is very wrong with us.

Until now, we have known only two approaches to dealing with this great burden of misery.

The First Approach

The first approach is by far the most common. It seeks to change the perceived nature of troublesome experiences, and the thoughts about them, by a variety of means.

These means include psychological and spiritual efforts to either change the nature of the experiences and thoughts, or to change our relationship to them by welcoming them, fully experiencing them, realizing that they are not true, dissolving them with concentrated attention, understanding their causes, and other techniques. Drugs, psychotherapy, spiritual practices, and uplifting promises of transcendence and transformation are included in this first approach.

Also included is the greed for wealth, fame, and power that drives even the richest, the most adulated, the most glorified, and the most powerful among us to seek ceaselessly even more wealth, fame, and power.

Although most of us have first-hand experience with the powerlessness of the active means in the first approach to find satisfaction, our fear of exposure and our isolation from one another prevent us from understanding the uselessness of these cherished methods. I have myself tried a number of these methods and found no satisfaction in them.

The Second Approach

Dissociation is at the heart of the second approach. It takes the form of withdrawal from life, either into the embrace of a god, or the adoption of understandings and practices that seek to snuff out the experience of life once and for all, even though the lungs continue to breathe air and the heart continues to pump blood.

Some of the ancient, esoteric spiritual teachings encourage us to see life and all its uncontrollable highs and lows, pain and pleasure, boredom and stupidity as essentially inexistent. They counsel us to discover that we too are essentially inexistent. They urge withdrawal from all relationship with the hurtful thoughts and experiences and offer practices designed to enable total retreat from life itself, which they see to be hopelessly broken and irredeemable.

In the thousands of years these ideas been available to us, very few people have managed to abandon life in this manner. I have also tried this approach with all my heart and found no lasting peace in it.

Religion on the other hand, counsels us to endure life's misery, and offers the embrace of a benevolent god and the promise of an after-life and paradise for the deserving faithful in return. I was raised in an extremely religious household, and that did not help me in the least.

The Third Approach

The act of looking that we offer is a third approach to the psychological misery of human life. It is very new, and it has actually very little to recommend itself other than the fact that it works.

It offers no transcendence, no bliss of being, and no escape from life's problems and difficulties. It brings neither sweet experience nor deep understanding of the nature of things. Truth is, it offers nothing of what we have come to expect in the way of release from life's problems.

Instead, it sees the problem as purely psychological and brings about a fundamental transformation of our relationship to life by destroying the underlying cause of the damaged psychology, which is an irrational, unseen fear of life itself.

In this approach, all that is needed is to try with your whole heart to move your attention to the direct sensory experience of what it feels like to be you—what you would call me.

In this act of looking, what you are looking for is the simple me-ness of you. Not the thoughts that pass through you, or the emotions that play within you, or the sensations that rise and fall within you. You are that which is always here. Everything else—thought, emotion, sensation—comes and goes in you.

After the looking, nothing more needs to be done. This simple act of inward looking automatically dissolves the background of anxiety, distrust and dissatisfaction that is the experience of life for most of us.

There is no need to try to stay there or to rest in yourself there. The moment of looking is very brief—so brief that you will hardly notice it.

You can do this simple act of looking at yourself whenever it occurs to you to do so.

In time, your relationship with your life will change. Things that used to drive you crazy won't have the same effect on you anymore. Patterns of neurotic behavior and self-destructive reactions to circumstance will be replaced by more positive, non-destructive ones. The distance between you and your life will slowly disappear and a new kind of intimacy with your life will begin to emerge.

Too simple, too good to be true? It might seem so, but thousands of people all over the world have already experienced the power of this simple act to transform their relationship with life from one of alienation, distrust and fear to the full, natural immersion in its endless wonder.

Click here for more information on how to look at yourself. On our website you will find free audios, videos and texts that will provide you all the guidance you may need.

You can also engage in a very fruitful conversation with other lookers from all over the world in our discussion forums. Click here to go to our discussion forums.

You can also read some of the hundreds of testimonials we receive about the effects of the positive looking in people's lives. Click here to go to our Testimonials page.

How to be free of the fear of life.