Short idea (11): An interesting thought a violent schizophrenic patient told me many years ago: "I like to think that everyone has the same amount of suffering they have to experience in their lives. For some it is spread out, and, for others, most of it comes all at once, but we all have the same amount of suffering."
Short idea (48): Psychological pain is always an opportunity to learn about our illusions; about where our feelings are registered in our bodies; about our bloated or otherwise incorrect self-images; about our unreasonable and immature expectations; about our obsolete, un-honed, imprecise, conflicting, or superficial values.
Short idea (49):
1) Psychological Suffering = Suffering.
2) Psychological Suffering + Unconsciousness = Suffering x 2 (or possibly x 3).
3) Psychological Suffering + Consciousness + Time + Quiet + X + ? = Peace + Calmness.
Short idea (60): Success can serve as an anesthetic for the suffering that comes from peering into the deeper levels of reality.
Short idea (97): An altar is a focal point for attention, and it is made to focus attention. A little girl dies and a mother makes a little altar at a spot in a room and places a cross on it, the child's favorite ribbon, and a picture. The altar focuses the mother's attention (and is made to focus her attention) on these things. The things help her remember, and to remember in a positive way, and so to counteract the grief and terror of the loss. Not only can the mother sit in front of the altar, but, wherever she is, she knows the altar is where she left it; and she knows the moves she must make to get back to it; and this, by itself, makes her feel a little better. Creating the altar is an unconscious process and can't be contrived. It happens as everything in nature happens.
Short idea (111) : There are four kinds of hurts. Hurts administered by an enemy, hurts administered by a friend, hurts administered by ourselves, and imaginary hurts. Each requires a different kind of response.
Short idea (126): Here is a powerful idea I heard that I think is an exaggeration with some little truth in it, though you may have a different opinion: All suffering that remains unconscious becomes a physical illness. If the suffering is the private suffering of one individual, the individual will get a physical illness. If it is the suffering of a country, people all over the country will get sick. If the unconscious suffering is of all the people in the world, people all over the whole world will get sick. If the unconscious suffering is deep enough, painful enough, and unconscious enough, the resulting physical sickness is a fatal one.
Short idea (145): One image of love that comes down to us from ancient times is of a cute little chubby infant, Cupid, shooting one of his tiny arrows into someone's heart. This image appears In paintings and on greeting cards and in T.V. advertisements selling gifts for happy lovers. But the image of Cupid shooting an arrow into an heart must have had different meaning for the ancients. We don't use bows and arrows for hunting or warfare, but they did. To be shot in the heart with an arrow would not have been thought by them to be a wonderful, happy experience.
Short idea (36): Devastating experiences make a person feel closer to those who have been through similar experiences and distant and separate from those who haven't. Losing a child separates a person from most other people; losing an old parent makes one feel part of the natural flow.
Short idea (43): A good side of difficult experiences is how they peel off the surfaces of yourself. If you're a fan of self-knowledge, this is a plus. It creates a chance to catch a glimpse of things you don't and can't usually see. If the painful experiences are rooted deeply enough, they cast a new light on ordinary experience and behavior. This, in turn, can lead to the development of new adaptations.
Longer Observation (21): Deep Cures: Traditional wisdom says that the Lord heals, not doctors. In our times, when medicine is charging ahead recording remarkable successes in its crusade against suffering, is there any place for this old wisdom? In discussing this question I will be focusing on psychological suffering.
Psychological Exercise 6: The Whole Picture
This is an exercise to demonstrate "the Whole Picture" with respect to perception of colors and to feelings and moods.
The last few pages contain the "punch line" or the "moral" of the exercise.
Each of the next 25 pages will contain an image of a color such as this
and also a multiple choice question.
You may choose more than one answer for each.
In some cases, no answer may fit perfectly.
Please feel free to come up with your own answers. That is, please don't feel limited by the choices.
There are 29 pages (including this one), and, for the full effect of the exercise, it is necessary to go in order and not skip ahead, especially not to the end.
These questions are not meant as a quiz or test, so there are no ratings as to right or wrong, correct or incorrect or even a place to record your answers.
The questions are meant only to stimulate self-exploration and thought about the meaning and place of good and bad feelings.
Short idea (202): It is not necessary to have a philosophy of fear, anxiety, depression, and terror, but it is necessary to have a philosophy of the place of fear, anxiety, depression, and terror.