Merry Xmas from the Center for Honesty Radicalness
Having worked as a psychotherapist during many holiday seasons I know that people generally get more depressed around xmas and new year’s because they make comparisons of their lives to the projected images of happiness that surround them during the season. It doesn’t matter how phony or how authentic the messages are, people get depressed anyway, and there are damned good reasons for why they do. So I want to remind you–my friends and kinfolks and readers and supporters–of a cheerful little idea from the realm of reality, which if you love, can seem to love you, and have you get that you are God. Here it is: It is not important whether the glass is half empty or half full. What is important is whether we can see a God damned glass with some liquid in it.
We all need to overcome the primary control system that keeps misery in place. That system is this: Focusing entirely on some assessment or other about whether the glass is half empty or half full. This bullshit question is the source of untold misery. It resides within our minds and throughout our culture. This is the very source of the sickness unto death we all share. It gets magnified during xmas.
Seeing and describing what is so, rather than trying to figure out what it means, is the fundamental focus of Radical Honesty. We invite you to read our books and take our courses to learn the skills and distinctions that liberate you from the cultural jail that resides in your own mind–particularly around xmas time.
This entire Radical Honesty set of options is a recovery course for so-called normal adults. This work is for our mutual recovery from our poisonous education and the terrible collective mental illness called civilization. The holidays are often a failed attempt to transcend civilization. And that, of course, is even more depressing. Ho ho ho.
The undoing of this internalized faulty system of lies about what is and is not important, begins with this simple assertion: Honesty about what actually exists is more critical to the health and well being of human beings than any philosophy about what things mean. Description counts. Assessments, evaluations, comparisons, explanations and understandings are secondary–and more often screw things up than help.
Because of how our minds work when they are entangled in assessments and comparisons and the like, it is absolutely impossible to plumb the depths of human ignorance. There is no idea stupid enough that you can’t find some human being or group of human beings advocating that idea, operating according to it, and with very extensive explanations for why it is a good idea, and trying to enroll others in it. It is because of the system that lives in us and that we live in–trying to figure out half full or half empty while ignoring what is there–that we can be so psychotically, pathologically stupid. So from one dumb ass to another, good luck.
And, at the same time we admit the depths of our capacity for incredible ignorance, we must acknowledge that it is also hard to comprehend the heights of human courage and compassion. The magnificence of human beings is as hard to get as are the depths of human ignorance. Sometimes human beings are willing to sacrifice their lives for others, and go to great ends to help other humans and other creatures. Human beings are often wonderful, individually and collectively. This capacity for love and wonder and sacrifice comes from seeing a glass with liquid in it. It does not come from arguing about the glass being half empty or half full.
The real answer to the question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” is this: “It is both half empty and half full.”
Happiness requires acknowledging what is present, including what appears to be the source of unhappiness. Like they say in AA, we have to admit that we have a problem. Then we have to support each other in not letting our problem run our lives while we try to fix it by “thinking” or “figuring it out” (a highly overrated activity, having to do most with trying to decide if the glass is half empty or half full.)
Out of Conflict, Wisdom. Out of Trouble, Peace
We know that people come to our workshops and to the other programs of the Center for Radical Honesty because they are not happy. You inquire here and participate with us because you are rich and middle class people, privileged of the people of the world, and you are not happy about something. And even though you are often fed and watered and sheltered and entertained, and pleasantly distracted enough to be able to sustain unhappiness for a long time, after a while entertainment doesn’t do the trick of distracting you sufficiently from your alienation, or from our mutual alienation, and our insane culture. That takes a while to happen. The quicker you get it the better off you are. We assume since you are reading this shit here that you are about ready now.
From me and my friends and colleagues at Radical Honesty–Our Holiday Greeting: We knew you would show up sooner or later, and we are happy to hear from you and to respond back. We want you to know that you are not to blame for what you have learned that has made you unhappy. And at the same time we must tell you that, without a doubt, you are entirely responsible for your own happiness. Unhappiness and dissatisfaction are built into our dysfunctional attempts to control and/or dominate or use other people while faking that we care—which is the standard operating procedure taught by our culture. It is imbued in our Judao/Christian heritage. Manipulation and lying is the way to “happiness” in our culture. That doesn’t work, but it takes a while to learn that it doesn’t work. By the time we get that what we do to try to be happy doesn’t work, really, for anyone, even for those “on top,” it is often almost too late–and then we resist acknowledging what we know to be true for a while longer just to piss away a little more time. We have to bang our heads on the wall of life for a while before we begin to question whether or not what we are persisting with that doesn’t work, is stupid. All these things take time. If you think you may have pissed away enough time now, and are ready, let’s begin again. Can you find it in your heart to feel sorry for Donald Trump?
We would like you to join a cult now, organized to not merely overthrow the government, but to save humanity and its millions of victims among our fellow species. Whether or not we survive as a species depends on whether all these long progressions from dumbed down to enlightenment must be followed without any shortcuts—in order to get enough of us to wrest control from, or educate and re-train (or some combination thereof) the rich people who are in charge of our entire economy. We the people, who have been dumbed down by what our culture calls “education” –are all anxiety and depression prone–and most of us are committed to staying that way! Quit doing that, dumb ass!
Not only that, and if that is not enough, corporate billionaires are funding the continuation of ignorance for the sake of preserving their wealth. This quote from an October 3, 2010 article by Paul Krugman in the NY Times is the best way to bring in the new year I can think of:
“Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change, economists willing to declare that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth, strategic thinkers willing to provide rationales for wars of choice, lawyers willing to provide defenses of torture, all can count on support from a network of organizations that may seem independent on the surface but are largely financed by a handful of ultrawealthy families.” Paul goes on to say how a few multi-billionaires created the “grassroots” uprising that voted the Pee Rub Lick Um Party back into power. Contemplate that to cheer yourself up.
In order to impact and change the ignorant pell-mell trip into hell we sub groups of humans are in a race with each other to achieve or prevent, we overachievers need to act more quickly than we have ever acted before to bring about a change of heart and perspective in our enemies and in ourselves. And to do that we must learn how to be happy personally. And then we need to work together to start a contagion of curative happiness that cures the low level depression that most of us privileged people of the world call “life,” while we rob and kill others to maintain our lifestyle, miserable as we, nevertheless, are.
What can we do? One option is something we call Radical Honesty, a shortcut to enlightenment.
Conscious Misery is the First Step to Happiness
We need to generate awareness of unhappiness in order to generate happiness. We need to acknowledge misery and work with others to do something about it. We need to admit we are unhappy enough to change, though change is a miserable pain in the ass as well. That is what we do. It is called the Course in Honesty, or sometimes, the Curse of Honesty. We are going online with it in March to see what we can do to help others discover our miserable little key to happiness.
Probably the most valuable single thing we have to contribute is something called the completion process. We help people get over things by teaching them how to cause to happen what they have been avoiding most, and then shift their attention from their mind to their body, where they actually experience the sensations associated with their self imposed misery based on bullshit assessments and phony “self” judgments.
…when life is just sensational. We support each other to shift from a focus on the assessments of the mind (is the glass half full or half empty?) to noticing the sensations in the body (what do you notice in your body now?) This allows people to experience their experience to completion. When that happens forgiveness occurs simply because bitterness peters out when guarding against it recedes. Then when that happens there is a new beginning, a new dialogue, new deliberation and a new life together. So here’s wishing you a miserable time or some miserable times as a result of this work. Here’s to an increase in the sickness unto death until you throw up.
So xmas serves a purpose after all. If you read the model for life from the Sufi’s, called The Sufi Levels of Consciousness (a chapter in Practicing Radical Honesty), you will see why we are happy for your misery. Merry Xmas!
Love and kisses,