June 20, 1984
Before we continue, I would like to remind the reader that in the middle of these or any of the other problems we have been discussing, there may be a period of depression, or the feeling that one’s own problem has no solution after all.
Whenever this occurs, the steps I have given before should be followed. Briefly, immediately refuse to worry about the future or the past. Tell yourself you can worry another time if you want to – but for the moment you will not be concerned about the past or the future.
Remind yourself that for all you might have read, or heard, or deduced earlier, it is certainly not inevitable that all unfortunate situations take the darkest of tones, and that indeed the opposite is true; for if such were the case, the world and all of life would have literally been destroyed through disasters and calamities.
Concentrate upon the present moment – but more, concentrate upon the most pleasant aspects of the present moment. If that moment has distracting, unfavorable aspects, then resolutely bring into your mind whatever images delight or please you at the moment. These may be very simple. Remember the smell of lilacs, for example, or try to hear the crisp crunch of snow, or try to visualize an ocean or lake. All of these procedures will serve to quiet your mind and body, and build up your own reserves.
This is an excellent policy to follow, because you can start it wherever you are. It will help alleviate fears and doubts at least momentarily, so that then you can pursue the entire issue later, with more assurance.
Chapter 13: “Messages” from Gods, Demons, Heroes, and Other Prominent Persons – or, More Conflicting Beliefs
Conflicting beliefs about the nature of reality can bring about dilemmas in almost any form, for the individual will always try to make sense out of his or her surroundings, and try to at least see the world as a cohesive whole.
Some of the most complicated ways of trying to put conflicting beliefs together are often mental or emotional ones. The more incohesive the individual feels the world to be, the greater his or her efforts will be expanded in an attempt to put the world back together.
Some people possess beliefs that are so in opposition to each other that they are forced into some of the most complicated mental or emotional footwork. Their problem will seem so gigantic that only some interference from an outside source will be sufficient to give the individual a sense of wholeness and sanity. A person may become so frightened of using his or her own power of choice or action that the construction of an artificial superbeing is created – a seemingly sublime personage who gives orders to the individual involved.
Again, let’s use a hypothetical case – this time of a man named Donald.
Donald may be so terrified of making choices, so indecisive, that he constructs an imaginary superbeing who orders him to do thus and so. If a decision comes up on a job, for example, then the superbeing will order Donald to take one course or another. Donald has given up accepting responsibility for his actions. This imaginary personage may say that it is God, or a famous hero from the present or the past, or Jesus Christ, or Mohammed, and the personality involved will be quite certain that such is the case.
Donald, for example, may hear the hallucinated voice of the god or hero. The voice may be so frequent that it becomes highly distracting, or it may only appear in times of undue stress.
Again, we are starting out with a fairly simple picture. Our friend might also be convinced that he himself is evil, unworthy, or even depraved, the lowest of men or women. In such circumstances an individual might then construct an artificial devil or demon who annoys him constantly, and even orders acts of a highly destructive nature.
The individual, like Donald, has also given up the responsibility for his own choices, and feels that he or she cannot be held responsible for any destructive acts that might be committed.
Any of the two kinds of personalities mentioned might also begin to feel persecuted, chased, or harassed by some outside agency. Among the agencies chosen, of course, are the FBI, the CIA, the Russian Secret Police, the Ku Klux Klan, or any controversial group given to acts of violence for whatever purposes.
Sometimes such episodes last for long periods of time, but they can also appear for just several days, clear up spontaneously, and return again perhaps years later.