A mind is a terrible thing, waste it.
The mind chats about its favorite topic, the mind, and meanwhile no one is tending to the broken heart.
When I am in Rome I do not want to do as the goddamned Romans do because they are just as fucked up as I am, or worse.
So I published the goddamned thing [= Radical Honesty] myself.
The truth turns to bullshit in the human mind just like food turns to excrement in the human body. Our minds work pretty much the same way our gastrointestinal systems work. A mind is developed to take good nourishing truth, absorb what it can, and turn the rest to shit. Unfortunately, the mind doesn’t expel its wastes automatically like the body does. We have to do it voluntarily. According to Hugh Thomas, author of A History of The World, the greatest medical advance in history has been garbage collection. The greatest psychological advance in history is just around the corner and will also have to do with cleaning up. Cleaning up lies and ‘coming out of the closet’ is getting more attention these days. Some day we will look back on these years of suffocation in bullshit in the same way we look back on all the years people lived in, and died from, their garbage.
Fritz Perls, one of my teachers, recommended that people ‘lose their minds and come to their senses.’ Unless people who have grown minds learn to lose their minds and come to their senses again—pay attention to gravity, their own bodies, the world of real objects and other beings out there—they remain locked in their own tightly held notions of ‘how things are’ and never notice any new experiences.
Psychotherapy is one way of learning how to finish growing up: how to get to creativity from the intermediate developmental stage of adolescent lying and fantasizing.
Depending on an external frame of reference for social orientation leads you to try to manipulate other people to get what you want rather than getting it on your own.
Usually we consider creating meaning to be more important than creating the world. We take for granted our function as creators of the world and focus much more attention on creating meaning. We are preoccupied with the power of interpretation.
Being present to the immediate moment-to-moment passing of the world, the fragility of our own being, and the relative unimportance of the personality we think we are, is a terrifying experience.
Psychotherapy was invented to try to keep body and soul together—to help us to not mind being all the time and to not be minding all the time.
The best people in a dying culture are the outcasts considered crazy by the leaders; the ones most disillusioned with their own culture. In Yeats’ phrase, ‘the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.’
[Het gaat niet om good or bad, het gaat om alive or dead.]
Life is a game in which the rules change as the game progresses, and you have to know where you are in the game to know what rules to play by. Furthermore, you can’t ever be certain where you are in the game, and the rules don’t always apply.
Depression is the state accompanying gridlock in fantasyland. Most of us daydream a while and play in the world a while in just the way I have described, the time spent in the daydreams being much greater. Learning to balance consciously the daydreaming and living requires a clear distinction between lying and the truth. What clears the space for that distinction is getting to where you don’t care what anyone knows about you. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.
By paying attention to the language people use, I can tell whether they are identifying with the ‘case-history-and-judge’ self or the ‘being-in-the-moment’ self. The language of the ‘being-in-the-moment’ self is the language of the Lone Ranger’s friend Tonto: Me hungry. Me thirsty. Me wanta go.
The secret of the good life is not suffocating in the mind’s bullshit. Bullshit is like heroin (or a warm blanket or money in the bank or life insurance)—it feels so good and protected and safe and warm that even if you do choke on your own puke, you don’t mind so much. The alternative, freedom, is often too terrifying for a mind to tolerate, so the mind hides from freedom behind piles of bullshit, under blankets of evaluation, in a bed of memories.
Describing what is true ruins the escape from freedom that being lost in the mind offers.
Descriptive words come out of beings who are in charge of their minds. Evaluative language comes out of minds in charge of being.
When thoughts and feelings are shared in this way, you get the benefit of the correction or modification of your mind’s view of reality that can only come when you put your thoughts out there in the public domain.
[DIT is wat ik bedoel, denk ik, toen ik je vertelde dat ik wil toetsen hoe iets voor jou is, voor een ander is, waarom ik mensen nodig heb. Mind-check = reality-check.]
Language has the power to evoke the being of human beings and rescue them from their own minds. Skill in the use of this kind of language develops through the practice of telling the truth. The clearer I am willing to be about myself, the more clearly I can see others and the more clearly I can speak to them. You too.
Playing in a world where all is known is more challenging and less trivial and less wearing.
Honest people speak simply, using language more to describe than to evaluate.
The person who learns to tell the truth is the most free, most alive kind of adult human being you’ll ever see, but is more insecure than normal. The insecurity comes from having fewer beliefs to rely on for security. Although beliefs don’t really provide security, they provide an insulation against the world and one feels afraid but protected.
The being within which the mind resides yearns for freedom. The mind resists freedom. Freedom is antithetical to mind. The mind exists for survival. The mind was built to provide security, certainty, prediction, and control. The mind has surpassed its function of physical survival to ensure the survival of the ‘sea of suggestions’ it long ago decided it was. The mind is a bullshit machine.
All real suicides, where people really died, were the result of a battle between being and mind. In those cases the mind won.
A human being can only be aware of three things: 1. things happening in the immediate environment, 2. feelings and sensations inside the body, and 3. thoughts and fantasies.
Our greatest heroism, our willingness to surrender life itself for our loved ones, and our greatest tragedy, the mistaken and useless sacrifice of our own and others’ lives for meaningless causes, are central to the tragic joke we are.
Love is when you let someone be the way she is.
The fundamental way we come to know who we are is in relationships.
[Er zijn verschillende ikken.]
When the truth changes from your speaking, you know you’ve spoken the truth.
Many of the people who go to therapists or physicians seeking relief are tired. They are tired from having worked out their lives in such a way that they get worn out instead of recharged by living. When someone like this takes responsibility for exercise, nutrition, and rest, a number of their ‘psychological’ problems disappear. The human body has a wonderful capacity to restore itself if it is given a break from abuse and a chance to rest.
Nothing interrupts the mind like telling the truth.
What must be unlearned is the habit of being lost in value judgments that override experience.
If you don’t take good care of yourself, find a therapist. Find a good one (who agrees with what I have just said). One clue to assist you in finding a therapist or a group to support you in staying whole and healthy is this: just talking is not enough. Talking therapies alone are obsolete and on the way out. Any therapist that conspires with your mind to try to help you think your way out of unhealth is not going to help you.
…the point is the shift of figure and ground. The figure in the foreground, the mind-bound, harried, ‘shouldistic’ warrior, moves to the background—still alive and well and whole, but no longer leading—and the heretofore background figure, the quiet animal who walks and laughs, taking what’s so in nature, comes to the foreground—even in the city, and even at work.
That serious play, that paying attention first and then thinking-directed-by-attention, that utter dedication to being with whatever you are doing, is a way of being we have known since the light first came on in the womb.
[Ik wil andermans geest niet, realiseer ik me na het lezen van Radical Honesty. Opgehoopt vuilnis, fantasies and lies. Mind and Being. Hart en geest. Ziel en Zin.]