New Year’s Resolution: Let’s All Make Character Matter Again

Beginning in the late 70’s and continuing for most of the 80’s, there was a push among professionals closely aligned with the “medical model” to cast most emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems as the result of chemical imbalances in the brain.  Advancing this perspective did a lot to remove the “stigma” often associated with mental disorders, some of which had been unwarrantedly viewed merely as manifestations of weak or poor character.  But unfortunately, despite the great strides made in the treatment of certain brain diseases and the many other benefits the medical model has brought to mental health care, as is often the case, we went too far in discounting the importance of character and its role in both promoting and maintaining sound emotional and behavioral health.

Character’s importance in the public’s eye hasn’t been eroded solely because of the dominance of the medical model.  Many aspects of our culture have unfortunately not only “enabled” poor character development but also fostered – even rewarded – many forms of character disturbance.  In an age of moral relativism, permissiveness, and especially, “entitlement,” it’s hard for folks to grow up feeling grateful, a part of something bigger, and, therefore, duty-bound to not only make something honorable of themselves but also to make a contribution to the greater good worthy of both self-respect and the respect of others.  Ours is an indulgent culture in which we don’t seem to care so much that we have allowed ourselves to dysfunction.  And we’re far too tolerant and accommodating of the dysfunction of others.  What’s worse, the medical and mental health establishment has many of us thinking that when we do dysfunction, a pill is sufficient to make things better.

I wrote my books Character Disturbance, In Sheep’s Clothing, and The Judas Syndrome, created this blog, and began my UCY.TV program Character Matters because my experience has taught me that character is like a psychological immune system of sorts (For more on this see:  Character as a Psychological Immune System).  Stressful things happen to all of us. But when you have strength and solidity of character, you can more readily summon the internal resources to weather the storm.  And when sound guiding principles lie at the heart of your character, many times the slings and arrows of life only further develop and strengthen your character.

All the readers of this blog know what a nightmare it can be to have to deal with or be in a relationship with a person of disturbed or disordered character.  And perhaps there’s never been a time in our history where character (and the “twisted thinking” that typically accompanies character disturbance) has mattered as much (For a provocative illustration of this reality see: Radical Ideologies: Deadly Ways of Thinking). So, for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned, I’m making this resolution for the coming year:  I’ll be doing all I can to help “make character cool again.” I plan to not only talk about it but also to put as positive as possible a “spin” on the concept of character development so that it once again becomes both fashionable to focus on and encourage it and commonplace to recognize and reward it.  I’m going to do that in as many of my written (including some new newspaper columns and Huffington Post contributions) and spoken professional enterprises (including some new “webinars” and additional YouTube videos) as possible.  And I invite all of you who believe in and follow my work: parents, teachers, students, managers etc. to partner with me in this campaign.  Let’s all resolve to reverse the damage done by so many years of relativism and entitlement and to strengthen the institutions capable of addressing our most pressing problem.  Whether or not we choose to ignore or discount the fact, character always has and always will matter.  It matters in every aspect of our lives, from our relationships, to our work endeavors, to our civic duties.  So let’s do our best to make it “cool” to talk about, focus on, and especially promote character once again.  Passing more laws and imposing more rules and regulations won’t fix out character problem (Disturbed characters don’t pay any attention to them anyway!), and doing so only burdens decent folks and impinges on our freedoms.  Nor can we solve the problem by drugging our populace any more than it already is.  The medicine our ailing society (as well as the all-to-many dysfunctional characters within it) really needs is a healthy dose of character.  And that means that we have to focus like a laser beam on its importance, do our best to cultivate in ourselves, and routinely expect and insist upon it in others. When we hold ourselves and each another accountable again, make it “cool” to care and unattractive to self-serve and exploit, this age of narcissism will come to an end, and our future will be bright indeed.

Happy New Year!

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100 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution: Let’s All Make Character Matter Again

  1. This is an excellent idea and I am on board to let it begin with me and my own family. I am forwarding the article/challenge to my young adult children. Thank you for your resolve Dr. Simon. Happy New Year.

  2. It seems that the “new” mode of parenting involves telling a child that they are doing a !!!” GOOD JOB”!!! for anything from blowing their nose, finishing their dinner or going to the toilet. I cringe every time I hear a parent say !!! GOOD JOB !!! as if they had mastered some amazing feat by taking their dinner plate to the kitchen. Rediculous.

      1. Yes J, unfortunately it is, so our American culture is now composed largely composed of “speshul sneauxflaques” — I’ve had many older business people (my customers) complain that kids these days have no work ethic, etc. I know a former special education teacher, a very good one, simply quit because her principal would not back her up when she tried to discipline students in her classroom, they would complain to their parents, who would complain to the principal, and she finally decided she didn’t need to put up with this garbage any more, so she quit. And our local school system thereby lost a valuable asset. I could go on at length, but you get the idea. Peace and hope from Elva

  3. Passing more laws and imposing more rules and regulations won’t fix out character problem (Disturbed characters don’t pay any attention to them anyway!), and doing so only burdens decent folks and impinges on our freedoms.
    I TOTALLY agree. Morals and values can not be mandated and as a law abiding single female I resent anyone telling me, or trying to, that I can’t possess a gun to defend myself against someone who wants to harm me.

    1. Hi Puddle — AGREED!!! I get some really weird people in my shop sometimes, am Not looking for trouble, but if it comes looking for me, I will meet it head on. I am about a half mile from the police station, but it takes them several minutes to get here, when seconds count. Peace and hope from Elva

  4. So eloquently put, Dr. Simon and I wholeheartedly am with you. However, I am not sure there are enough like minded individuals to defeat the culture attack of destruction set in place during the early 60’s of free sex and drugs and the great welfare system of entitlements to name a few. And yes, the medical model of the 70’s followed close behind. From all my reading there are few medical professionals that attack the beast at its heals like you do.

  5. Hello Dr. Simon, I fully agree that character flaws need to be worked on, but, “who will bell the cat?”

    I try to recognize these defective or deficient people up front, but am not always successful. Have just last week had to call the police because a wannabe customer would not leave when I refused to take her work. She demanded that I explain, but since our state law is that I can refuse service for any reason, I don’t have to explain. I refused her because she had in the past been dishonest. Told her I didn’t want to have to call the police, she said go ahead, thinking she would call my bluff. (she is a lawyer in another state, but does not practice law apparently — probably thought she could talk her way out of any problem) I got the dispatcher on the line, started giving her the information she needed, then wannabe customer decided to leave, so told the dispatcher we could cancel my request for officer assistance. Since I had previously told her “husband” (not really, he has a wife in a different country, is very rich, owns cattle ranches and oil wells, etc., so this female is actually his concubine) that because he took 3 months to pick up and pay for his work, he would have to find another seamstress. He had his hand on the doorknob on his way out, when he turned around and said plaintively, “were you really offended that I was late?” To which I said yes, you hurt my cash flow, telephone co. or electric cooperative would have cut your service for being that late.” Concubine knew all this, but since she has a different surname, I didn’t connect the two until she came to pick up 2 shirts and 5 pr. pants. She had put it all under her name, but she said, 2 shirts for _____, she paid and left. Which was why I refused her further service, she was dishonest.

    So, now, because this is a small town, I sometimes run into them at the post office, where both of them make a BIG show of smiling, waving, calling me by name, he even came around his car to confront me to remind me of his name. etc. Reminds me of a stupid boy who had a crush on me in 7th grade, he would follow me around on the playground, generally made a pest of himself, until I finally kicked him really hard on the shin, then he got the message. Most of my customers are nice people, but this pair, well, as one of my seamstress colleagues says, they are terrible people. Apparently they have alienated every other seamstress, here, in a couple of other states, and in the other country where his wife and children live.

    As you already know, I am not diplomatic, though I try to be polite. But I won’t put up with deliberate very late payment, or with dishonesty. So, any tips you could give for dealing with this kind of behavior would be greatly appreciated by me, and probably by many others who read here. I’m all for this campaign, just need some “marching orders.” Peace and hope from Elva

  6. Wonderful and totally agree…good character needs to be “COOL” again!! I’ve enjoyed your inspirational posts and Character Matters program this season, they have been filled with hope that Character can be cool! Especially the simple truth of love! I’m not a religious person but have always believed in the core of religious beliefs of love and care. I am with you all the way!!! This is so true… ” Stressful things happen to all of us. But when you have strength and solidity of character, you can more readily summon the internal resources to weather the storm. And when sound guiding principles lie at the heart of your character, many times the slings and arrows of life only further develop and strengthen your character.” Here’s to making us all a little stronger in character this new year!!!

  7. It’s not just America though… American culture has spread around the globe. Well, the Americans I’ve met with some nice exceptions (they are my friends) are usually the loudest with their opinions and the most arrogant and entitled. They show no curiosity or respect for other cultures and, although superficially very polite, are the first ones to complain about something. They like talking about moral relativism but are very judgemental about cultural differences that are actually normal. Some Americans recently were shocked that I’m judging a guy sleeping with a new girl every week and I think he’s not a good person to be hired. How can I judge someone’s choices? Well, if they choose to be exploitative and shallow, I can and I will judge them. And if they are abusing the fact that as a white American man abroad they are getting a lot more attention than back home, well, sorry but they are not just losers back home, they are CD and they deserve to be judged based on their personal lives.
    Unfortunately, there are CD in every culture and many of them have power (at least the US is not that corrupted). And as I said, American entitled culture is spreading around the globe (although few other countries are as entitled and arrogant) so it’s a worldwide problem.
    BTW, American fascination with guns is truly bewildering to any non American. It’s a very bizarre way to be “free”. It feels much more free to live in a place where guns are banned. You have the real freedom to go anywhere and not be afraid. I don’t understand how a device for killing people gives you freedom and hopefully I never will. It looks like another instance of short term oriented thinking. In the long run everyone will be better off without guns but in the short run owning a gun gives you a false sense of security I guess. That’s just my opinion of course, I’m not a specialist but it just looks so common sense it’s amazing how many people can’t see it.

    1. Puddle, all I hear is how “Awesome” my grandkids are for using Keenex and not their sleeves and can you believe for even lifting the lid and replacing the toilet paper and I’m not kidding even flushing the toilet. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Big Breath. I can’t say anything because their “feelings” are hurt and then I’m only invited on gift giving. So be it. Go Granny Go!

      1. Juleiann……..I hear you! It’s something that always sounded like fingernails on the chalkboard to me but i never understood why until I read Dr. Simon’s writings about entitlement and overinflated self esteem being such a problem. Well these “GOOD JOB” parents are doing their part to perpetuate this issue, are they not? As did Spathtard’s mommy by making such a huge show out of recognizing ANYthing he did to “help her” as he was living under her roof for free being taken care of at the age of 46+- during his, sabbatical (quote) from life’s (self created) hardships. Disgusting.

    2. Julieann,

      With that it’s no wonder people grow entitled.

      Of course, some people become such without upbringing being faulty at all.

  8. Dr. Simon; I think too few therapists, etc. focus on character and the importance of it.
    I know I will never be perfect, but attaining good character has always been important for me, also to teach me kids about integrity, etc. When I had read you “10 Commandments of Character” it was a real turning point for me. I always thought that I just needed to worry about my own integrity and character. Almost had that “live and let live” mentality when it came to character. I know my values, I know (even though it sometimes takes awhile) what I expect of myself, just thought, ‘oh well, not everyone has those values’
    In other writings you have written, very similar to in this article: “really needs is a healthy dose of character. And that means that we have to focus like a laser beam on its importance, do our best to cultivate in ourselves, and routinely expect and insist upon it in others.” That was a real turning point for me, when I realized that, not only in this last few years I had taken the focus off my own character growth and I needed to put more of my focus back there, but I also realized that when it comes to character there are no grey areas. I realized that one of the things in my life I strive for is honesty and transparency in all close relationships; this is something that I should expect from others, not only that but when I’m accepting others falseness and deceit it damages my own character. This really helped me focus again on my own character growth, but it really helped me not turn a blind-eye to others. It is okay to stand up and say, “I will be honest with you … and I’ll accept nothing less in return.”

    I 100% agree that we need to accept nothing less from society in general, but especially from ourselves; if there’s enough of us, who knows what we can do to change someone else’s direction and focus.

    It is so refreshing to have a professional who can truly see the big picture, who isn’t in the “quick fix” that society seems to want. Thank you Dr. Simon, your books changed my life, your dedication to helping people is inspiring.

  9. I’ll do my part, “Character is cool”. Perfect way for 2015! And I believe it starts with me. If I am expecting good Character from others, I also need to practice it, moral values, good habits, virtues, integrity, kindness, dignity, etc…the list goes on. I am sure Dr. Simon, you could write whole books on any one of these. I am looking forward to following all your upcoming articles. Also any ways to help our children and grandchildren build good Character is most welcome. Thank you!

  10. I second that and join in the effort, Dr Simon. Yeah!

    And I have a New Year’s wish for this blog. That you may feel drawn to do a series on the Art of Confrontation for the Layperson. I now have consequences down pat, but still don’t get this part. Help us face up to them in a good way! 🙂

  11. I agree! We have to first educate the mental health field in which I work in as a clinical social worker. I’m often at odds with psychiatry and others who don’t know the difference between an unconscious behavior and one with intent. As you wrote so succinctly in “character Disturbance” these patients/clients know how to work our system and continue to wreak havoc on loved ones and society. We have to be better at identifying character disturbance, and like Dr. Simon, do it with empathy but do swiftly. Happy new year everyone!

  12. I don’t think mental health officials can fix this one alone. If you look at society, the media, television, hollywood, the ball players, our politicians, and on and on this “Character Disorder” is of the heart, soul and mind and it is of epidemic proportions world wide. We as a society are spiritually bankrupt and the cancer is growing fast. I agree with Dr. Simon on personal responsibility, and that evil prevails because good men do nothing. If if hadn’t been for my faith in the Lord Jesus, prayer and good health care providers (all christians) my soul would had been consumed. As Scott Peck said it is EVIL (People of the Lie)

  13. What mental recovery books would be great additions to ISC and Judas Syndrome?

    I’ve at least spotted Patricia Evans’ Victory over verbal abuse, but haven’t read it.

    1. Hi J, Puddle, Tori, any others plodding through recovery after a break-up — just spotted an article posted today on sciencedaily.com. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150106112540.htm)– “An Unexpected Way to Recover From a Breakup.”

      “But new research suggests that repeatedly reflecting on a breakup — even through participation in a research study — actually speeds emotional recovery.” This is a short article, not a book as J asked for, but I think it applies here. I have noticed over several months that Puddle and perhaps Tori, and others, have made good progress toward accepting what has happened, and moving on with your lives.

      J, you seem so fluent in English that the occasional error leaps out at me. English has quite a few irregular verbs (you can google for “list of English irregular verbs” — specifically, the past tense of “to draw” is “drew” not “drawed” — I have hesitated over mentioning this, then decided that you would probably want to know. If I have offended you by mentioning this, I apologize. Having translated English into Spanish, I know how difficult it is to capture the flow and feeling of idioms. Spanish has lots of irregular verbs also.

      Peace and Hope from Elva

      1. Thank you so much Elva. I’m so grateful you are here with us. We have all made progress!
        ((( Big Hug to you))) 🙂

        1. Hi Puddle — happy to be here too — and you all have made lots of progress, I can see it over the long run. I’ve spotted a new book that I will order, after I get my car insurance paid. It’s by Joe Navarro, (my favorite body language author) and it is on how to recognize disturbed people up front. I can hardly wait!!! Should be really good. Peace and Hope from Elva

      2. Elva, good article! And I would add………multiply that by 10 for break ups involving one of these types. I can be so isolating because of the nature of the beast. Having sites like this can be a life line when it’s so hard to even find a councilor that understands the insidious nature of what they do. Can you imaging, as i often have, what it would be like before there were sites like this? Of course caution is required because some of the sites are so peppered with severely disordered people as well. I’ve experienced THAT twice…….

        1. Hi Puddle — glad you liked the article. And yes, I don’t have to imagine what it was like before www, I know. I got my divorce 25 years ago, it took me years to work through the aftermath by myself. Couldn’t afford counseling. So yes, sites like this one are really life / sanity savers for the ones who look and find them. I often wonder what happens to the ones who post here once, are welcomed, then never reply again. Peace and Hope from Elva

          1. Wow Elva…….I can’t imagine 25 years ago! But Spathtard’s first wife was dealing with him longer than that ago i think or a similar time frame. I’ve wondered on countless occasions what she must have been through with him. He was n his late teens and i’ve heard they are at their worst in that age bracket. She did not fare well at all, I do know that 🙁 and of course she got scapegoated without mercy be his highness.

      3. I thank you too Elva for the article. I think talking about things has helped me immensely. And I’m with Puddle when she says it is ten fold with these horrid people. I know this year will be so much better than the last year. Hugs all round to you all, it’s wonderful to be able to come here and find such caring people! 🙂

        1. Hi Tori — glad you found the article helpful. I know it helps me to talk about a bad experience (even a short one) so as to “get it out of my system.” You have a longer way to go than I did. My ex — well, let’s just say I’m glad he is ex. He died several years ago, and I did NOT grieve for him.

          After all is said and done, what counts is what we do with the rest of our lives. We are all climbing, and if we see someone else having a difficult time, we can at least offer a helping hand to get over an obstacle, or even, sometimes, just to listen and be sympathetic. I believe you are now teaching (?)– you have my admiration for that, I just don’t have the patience to work with kids. Peace and hope from Elva

          1. Hi Elva thanks so much! 🙂 What I am grateful for in all this now is that my trust in people is growing…in that there are good people out there who can make you feel so positive when the chips are down. All of what we learn on our own journey can help others and that’s so important that we reach out and be human. That’s one thing CD’s cannot take from us! 🙂

            Elva I am not a teacher yet but am studying toward maybe becoming one but I have worked with children in schools as support, those with learning difficulties and it is most fulfilling work. I do love it! 🙂

          1. Hi Puddle — Thank you!!! for the hugs — always appreciated. And several hugs back to you — Hope you are enjoying the New Year so far. Just for fun, visit Icanhas.cheezburger.com — pet pictures w/captions. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and visit some of the other sites listed there — there are enough animal videos to keep you amused for a long time!! Peace and Hope from Elva.

          2. Puddle, I just received my copy of Dangerous Instincts and have skimmed some parts of it…amazing information and quite scary at the same time. I can see already how this book will join dots from other readings. Thanks so much for the recommendation. Hugs back at ya!! 🙂

          3. Tori, it is a great book. I can’t even begin to describe what it does to my brain when I read all the precautionary recommendations however. Like I feel inside myself just total confusion and mental chaos. I have a serious problem with thinking like this, as she recommends and can so clearly see how easy it is to throw me off track by one of these types. I just feel like staying at my house from here on out. Honestly, people with FASD (and this has been recommended to me by the state FASD coordinator in a neighboring state to where I live) need what she calls an “external brain”. This is basically someone who helps you keep all the balls of your life in the air. At any given time, my brain is just spinning like a blender on high speed trying to stay on top of me and my responsibilities. So when someone steps in front of me with bad intentions and wants to manipulate me or take advantage of me, I’m already at maximum mental capacity and have a VERY hard time sorting it out. Im just SO open _in the moment_, maybe a form of impulsivity (an FAS trait). things just pour out of my mouth. I think this is part of the reason I find it hard to grasp the intentional, calculated nature of how psychopaths operate because I am just SO not like that.
            ANYhow………I hope that this book is helpful to you Tori!!
            As usual, BIG HUGS to you!!
            When I first started interacting on these victim blog sites, it used to annoy me that people sent cyber hugs to other people. It felt superficial and shallow. But, I really mean my hugs and feel such a kinship here with the regulars. I hope you don’t feel left out J!! I just don’t send you {{Hugs}} because of the gender difference! 🙂

          4. Puddle this is an excellent book. It has given me so much information and has even gone someway to answering a question that’s been lingering for this past year. That was invaluable! As well as interview techniques etc… summing up people and how we so easily dismiss certain behaviours. I’m going to give it to my son to read as well, it will be good for him to know how to take precautions. Honestly I think it is hard for anyone to comprehend the nature of a psychopath. Though I can’t imagine how difficult it is for you with your other difficulties. Thank you too for your lovely hugs…I know they are not superficial but I know what you mean how it can feel that way…know mine are real too! I might not be as huggy on the site as you but never doubt that they’re given and are sincere! 🙂

    2. Don’t even recall what post that was! 😀

      Did I type tired? I must’ve glossed over that completely.

      Anyways, great link.

      1. Hi J — post was about Anton LaVey (sp?) — don’t remember where it was. Glad you liked the link — lots of good stuff on sciencedaily.com. Peace and hope from Elva

      2. Weird, I’ve typed here in hurry and tired before and this is the first time anything’s jumped out to anyone.

        One commenter, Sue, commented about exploiters advising church-goers to always turn the other cheek and be easy targets. To that I commented first about one commandment(“honor thy mother and father”) and how it doesn’t make sense if parents are abusive.

        I also added that Anton Szandor LaVey founded the Church of Satan, drawing from people, who called themselves Christians, but were not what they made themselves up to be. Among notable thoughts expressed by LaVey are responsibility to the responsible, not wasting energy on ingrates(psychic vampires) and thinking for oneself instead of blindly accepting dogma(now, it is pretty ironic that CoS is pretty dogmatic still in a way).

        1. I do want to say that abusers in the church will twist scripture to further justify their abuse The concept of turning the other cheek doesn’t actually make us easy targets. It actually protects us if we don’t isolate it from other scripture. We are supposed to confront those that are sinning and wronging us or others. If they listen than great. If they don’t then we are to walk away knowing we carry no responsibility or further obligation to them. This “turning the other cheek” I believe means we are to not stoop to their level, not to engage in abusive behaviour or retaliate. It’s almost like they aren’t worth our time, we are to show godly love by letting them experience the consequences of their own actions. On the other hand if they are truly showing change then we are to forgive and to have patience. Again, biblical “turning the other cheek” does not mean accepting or tolerating abuse.

          1. Sheri, that is such good advise. The way you explain that well known premise makes way more sense to me.

          2. Hi Sheri — beautifully said. There are, of course, always a few poor souls who are so desperate for ANY kind of attention that they will accept being treated like doormats, I’ve seen them in every church I’ve been in. Even if you try to tell them they don’t need to take such poor treatment, they will say, “But I like that person!” My own younger sister (half-sister probably) was like that. She would do things that she KNEW would get her in trouble, just to get some “negative” attention.

            But yes, speak to those who are in danger, or who are sinning, then if they refuse to listen, shake the dust off your feet and leave them to the consequences of their actions. Peace and Hope from Elva

          3. Puddle and Elva. Thank you both for me a lot of the I am learning that there are so many messages I’ve been given by people who either don’t understand my situation or twist biblical concepts for their own gain or control. I have been scouring a lot of material and learning to detect what is truly sound and what has been twisted. It is really sad when people use biblical concepts to further dominate and control. When you actually look at the truth of what’s being taught, these concepts are actually meant to protect and strengthen those who are weak, being abused, or oppressed.

          4. Wow, just noticed my typo’s above. Sometimes I write these messages on a mobile device and I don’t quite get out what I want. It should read: “Thank you both. I am learning a lot about the messages I’ve been given…”

        2. Actually J, I’ve noticed a couple of times, little things, and of course i realize you are from a different country AND we all make mistakes and typos! I usually understand what you are saying, or anyone else for that mater. Sometimes it takes a little more deciphering than others (for any one). It’s ok!! 😉

        3. Hi J — not to worry about my spotting an odd word. I started reading the dictionary around 65 years ago in order to do the more difficult crossword puzzles. I’m a cut-throat Scrabble player, and I am such a nit-picker that 3 different friends, who put up webpages, specifically asked me to go over their sites looking for any kind of errors that needed to be corrected. I see typos all the time, plus poor grammar in articles posted by supposed “journalists.” If it’s a really bad error, I send an email. And occasionally I revisit webpagesthatsuck.com — You can see some really poor design there, plus there are checklists for people to use to keep their own designs clean and easy to use.

          About some supposed “Christians” who do not practice what they preach, I have found them in every church where I played the organ for services. And just as in septic tanks, the big chunks rise to the top. I wrestled with the commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother” and gave that honor to the foster parents who raised me. Biological egg and sperm donors did not behave in a manner worthy of being honored. I’ve detailed some of that behavior in previous posts. Ephesians 6:4 says “Fathers, do not exasperate your children…”, and the study note for that verse says “Fathers must surrender any right they may feel they have to act unreasonably toward their children.” Colossians 3:21 says “Fathers, do not embitter your children.”
          Luke 17:2 — “It is inevitable that there should be pitfalls, but alas for the man who is responsible for them! It would be better for that man to have a mill-stone hung round his neck and be thrown into the sea, than that he should trip up one of these little ones.”

          Well, enough kvetching for today, Peace and Hope from Elva

        4. Thanks for replies and clarifying some biblical concepts there. Elva, you should save those passages. They are important.

          Yes, psychic vampires aren’t worth our time.

          About Satanism, LaVeyan Satanism emphasizes that Satan is just a symbol for potential inside. Thou shalts are seen as self-suppression and wasting own potential. I’m NOT a Satanist, but it makes sense to me that we can build wortwhile goals by improving ourselves and not just staying in bad shape.

          New Age -thought, too, does have some thought to it worth thinking about. It IS a hodgepodge of concepts from different religions, but it does have parts that are worth thinking. Even such corny things as crystals do make sense in a way if you consider them a vessel for energies of the Great Self deep within subconscious that would otherwise cause problems for an ego. (For reference, see Moore, Facing the Dragon, chapter 10, Resources for Facing the Dragon; It’s another great book about grounding our psychospiritual life)

          New Age -belief talks about higher self. It’s just that it’s easy to slide into passivity, laziness and magical and wishful thinking. Even the Secret sounds like you just need to visualize. Well, visualization is just a tool in a toolbox. If you can take time for yourself and craft a vision for yourself that you can believe and act on, then higher self or God gets the message

          Now, to add to the discussion, here’s a video you might find a little or very controversial. Speak your minds, please.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smp1eiGp4OQ&spfreload=1

          1. Hey J, just to let you know, my internet situation here is pathetic and I can’t watch many video type things because I have limited data usage. Sorry!

          2. Oh damn.

            I still typed and refered to many things that are worth further thought(like magical thinking, laziness, visualization, higher self, so-called self-deification Satanism advocates and is probably as easy to misunderstand as the Christian “turn the other cheek”).

          3. Here’s the link again.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smp1eiGp4OQ

            The Amazing Atheist has many thoughts here that I think lead to discussion. We talk about important concepts here, including faith.

            The video’s name is Face it, Apologists: Religion Sucks. The description is this: “Religion is not a force for good in the world. Never was. Never will be. Irrational beliefs don’t lead to productive actions with positive real world outcomes.”

            What thoughts do those wake in you, folks? What about the video?

        1. Hi J — yes, but right now I have errands to run, I don’t drive at night because oncoming headlights nearly blind me. Meanwhile, if you are interested in my suggestions, do a bit of research on spectrolite, should be easy for you since it comes from Finland. Don’t have time for more right now, so will post again later. Peace and hope from Elva

        2. Hi J — about the video link — let me say first that, as a musician (piano, pipe organ, vocal chorister and soloist), and as a borderline Asperger’s syndrome person, I am extremely sensitive to sound. People who think that, if they yell at me, they will force me to accept whatever viewpoint they are expressing, are badly mistaken. I linked to your video, listened to the ranting to about the midway point, then turned it off. Same way with the organ link that was up briefly, I listened to it for about 5 seconds only, because it was UGLY to listen to. In the same vein, I have had to listen to many Bible-thumping preachers when I was younger; after about 3 minutes of that, I simply tuned them out.

          If someone has a logical viewpoint to present, s/he should be able to do so in a normal conversational tone of voice. If someone yells at me, I WILL leave. I refuse to be yelled at.

          Might I suggest that you read the book The Power Of Sound, 2nd. ed., c.2010, by Joshua Leeds. See websites
          thepowerofsound.com and sound-remedies.com. Sound is so ubiquitous in our lives that little thought is given to how much it influences us. For me, it is a large part of maintaining my mental equilibrium. You might also google for psychoacoustics; infrasound, entrainment (which topic is related to the spectrolite I suggested you check out), and other such topics that google might suggest. I have many other books on music and sound that I can recommend, if you are interested.

          Also, at 74, I am more aware than ever that my time on this earth may be another 20 years, or it may be another 2 months. I have too much to do to waste time on non-productive projects.

          I KNOW that God IS. He has protected me for all of my life. I KNOW that my Redeemer LIVES. I KNOW that the Holy Spirit IS present at various times and gives me guidance in my life. I have seen miracles in answer to prayers. I am responsible to Him to use the gifts He has given me to help other people along life’s way. If you are interested in how my views were formed, here is a partial list of books you could read. First, at biblegateway.com, the Finnish version of the Bible, translation finished in 1938, is available. My preferred translation of the Bible is The New Testament in Modern English, translated from the original Greek by J. B. Phillips. Also by J.B. Phillips, his book, Your God is Too Small, it’s short, available online full text in PDF format. Also, C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters.

          The point has been made that organized religion has been responsible for many ghastly abuses during the course of human history. Yes, sadly all too true, the Spanish Inquisition being only one of many instances. And when you add misguided humans into the mix, it’s war.
          But when you look at the circumstances of each of these happenings, it is readily apparent that the people who are doing the persecuting are NOT behaving as Christ would have behaved, i.e., they are NOT being Christians (character disorders writ large in many cases).

          Because of my personal situation of having to deal with many people during the week, I use the weekend to relax at home, I read the Bible, listen to good hymns on one of my CDs. I choose not to attend any local church — I’ve not found any of those close by to give me the spiritual food I need. Most of the local churches are now offering only “contemporary Christian worship music” in their services. Such stuff is based on 20th century Hollywood music; it is not Christian, nor is it “worship” — it is simply and solely entertainment, it short-circuits the logic circuits in the brain, and leaves those who listen to it for long stretches of time vulnerable to whatever the preacher chooses to say. Think Jim Jones and Koolaid, for example.

          In deciding what to do with my life, first I’ve tried to assess the abilities given me by God. Then, I ask for His guidance Every Single Day as to what He wants me to do with those abilities. I look at your posts about various “entities” referred to by Jung et al and think why is you trying to make it more difficult than it is? satan and his minions are alive and well in today’s world and are responsible for a horrendous amount of suffering.

          So, bottom line, I may not be the best person for you to have a dialogue with about these various topics in which you are interested. “Here I stand; I can do no other.” Peace on earth to men of good will, and Hope for a better future for all of us, from Elva

          1. Elva, I’m with you. I’ve been thinking about what you have said about sound and its affects. I love quiet. Even in the car I rarely listen to the radio. I live off of a road that can be very loud, lots of work trucks and semi tractor trailer trucks. The engine break on the hills and it is crazy loud. I should probably relocate! Ugggggg. The thought of it makes me feel like something drains out of me. Just overwhelming. I feel SO stuck.

          2. Hi Puddle — my deepest sympathies that your home is subject to loud highway noises. I’m very fortunate in that, even though I live right on a major highway, this is a solid old house, the walls are concrete blocks with river rock used as a filler. Most of the windows have storm windows put up over them, so keep the noise down to a muted murmur. The one window without a storm window lets noticeably more noise in.

            Don’t know if you own your home, or if you rent. If you own, you could possibly retrofit more insulation which would cut down on the noise; that can be expensive, but you could do it a bit at a time as you can afford it. If you have single pane windows, heavy wooly fabric draperies over the windows would help dim the sound. I sometimes use ear plugs, you can get packs of 30 or so at the drugstore — they’re soft foam and are disposable. I myself also dread the thought of having to move someday, what a chore!!!!!

            There is no question that loud noise is detrimental to health. It raises blood pressure and can be really damaging to your hearing, among other bad results. I also think that at least some of today’s mental disorders can be directly linked to whatever the sufferers listen do.

            If you could use further suggestions for noise reduction, can do, if you can give me a better description of your property layout.

            Here’s to peace, quiet, hope from Elva

          3. Well Elva, thank you for the suggestions,,,,,,,,, I think it would be very difficult to adequately describe this situation. My house is more than 300ft off the road but it’s in a huge dip. there is a hill to the south and a hill to the north so I’m in a valley which acts like an echo chamber. all the roads up here are small two lane roads but HUGE trucks travel them transporting stuff here, picking up stuff there, lots of dump trucks, service trucks of one type or another. And your local yokals and their pick up trucks.
            Ear plugs are right out for me because I can’t stand to not be able to hear in my surroundings and I have pets I need to keep an ear and an eye out for. Plus they hurt my ears. It is a no win. I have storm windows too, not sure about the insulation,,,,,,,,,it’s kind of beyond all that. Plus when I’m outside,,,,,,gardening and doing whatever it’s really bad. I have actually run outside before because i thought a huge helicopter was landing or something! It was a huge semi engine breaking on the hill. I was complaining about it to my neighbor one time, they live right next to the road in a single wide trailer! She L O V E S it when the trucks do that!! LOL!
            SO, I either need to move somewhere more isolated then I am or……………..
            Things like that “hurt me” in a way that’s hard to describe. I feel invaded. I have grown used to it to some degree and it is part of living where I live. Some roads are way worse than others……..like mine? It’s a strange place. Here’s something weird though…….I love fireworks! The louder the better. I think it is circumstantial. I think I’ve said this before but it is very important for my home to be calm and peaceful and predictable. Spathtard turned my situation upside down and now this contractor situation took a total dump on it. I just lost a LOT of money to that and had indirectly lost a lot during the recovery from Spathtard……….I need a serious regrouping but just spin my wheels further it seems. I wonder if there isn’t a spell on this place.

          4. Hi Puddle — yes, solid egg sized rocks. These are not flat surfaced blocks. Instead, they are rocks dumped into a form, 8″x16″x6″, which had an irregular surface on the one side to face out, all other sides flat, then concrete was dumped in to fill the form, filling in all the empty spaces between the rocks. Very solid. Then, construction followed, using the blocks just like bricks. Does keep the noise out.

            Some plants can be used for hedges, which might help mitigate the noise. In particular, giant bamboo, which will grow in snowy climates, BUT it can be very invasive, so you have to consider carefully before you plant. Will mull this over, might come up with some other tips. Peace and Hope from Elva

          5. Elva, very interesting construction method! I’m not sure I completely am following you but it sounds different! You must understand, this noise is SO loud and I have actual woods between the road and my house. Bamboo is a no go as 1) my well is in front of my house between the house and the road. 2) I already have a handfull of invasive species I’ve tried to eradicate with little success. 3) there are a couple varieties of bamboo that were introduced here many moons ago and people hate the stuff. It gets dug up, accidentally moved in top soil and relocated much to the new “owners” dismay.
            This is a noise that is so loud it’s like being under fire if one of the really bad trucks goes by! It’s almost comical sometimes if I’m outside on the phone with someone because it really does sound like some kind of gunfire or who knows what on their end. I can laugh about it but I know it is unsettling on some inner level for me.
            This place is so hard to live in so many ways. My property is beautiful though. Magical even, until those contractors did what they did. One weeks time….. They rapped this place in one weeks time. Destroyed many things that I concidered sacred. What it did to me emotionally, mentally and spiritually can not ever be reclaimed or reembursed. I hope they all get what they deserve someday. I know what they did and they were going to do more. Why? I’m not entirely sure other than money and because they could. It’s heartbreaking Elva. I can’t build a case against them and if I start crying because we unearthed a yellow spotted salamander from her home of God only knows how long, who’s life I had saved twice before this time, I look like a loon. I just met with another lawyer yesterday who probably thought I was off my horse because I tried to describe how much certain things meant to me, things they lifted their legs on with zero respect or reverence.
            So the point of that speech is maybe my time here is over? But where oh where would I go?

        3. Thanks for replying, Elva. Now I, too have many points to make in response to your points(Your reply is great as always).

          1.I like to spark discussions on human mind and life philosophy in general. Things I say aren’t always related or directly related to what most commenters here talk about. Many times discussion tends to go back to the usual, though, and discussion goes on the whole time anyway. I want to hear what kinds of different viewpoints may come up when I present some viewpoint, in this case related to matters of faith and religion. The Amazing Atheist says his viewpoint about religion and others have a viewpoint of their own in response. It doesn’t seem disruptive to me(you didn’t say anything hinting that, I’m simply speaking my mind). One wise woman I once knew during a computer basics course even said one would do well to study many different points of view on different things. A general statement, but it makes sense and I agree with it.

          2.Related to the first, folks here talk from the context of being done in by aggressors. Without minimizing, trivializing, demeaning, degrading, devaluing, diminishing, disparaging or dismissing anyone’s unfortunate experience here, wouldn’t it be good to shift between different contextes, to discuss from different contextes, too? The good example would be between contex A: aggressor-target and context B: things that can generally go wrong with human mind.

          3.My sister has also commented she dislikes how The Amazing Atheist talks loudly. I’ve never had a problem with that myself, because he does make many good points. I don’t think he tries to bend others to is view by shouting, he simply seems to be naturally loud as he expresses his viewpoint. Of course, I understand if anyone says he could work a bit with his way of talking.

          4.Thank you for your comments on sounds. May not be my point of interest, but clearly important and worth expanding. Perhaps there are many others, who would be interested to follow on your clues. Will check out some of the references you’ve given, though.
          (again, interesting discussion opening here)

          5.As for the actual content of the video: If one person only believed in Jesus, he would be considered crazy, according to TAA. I’ve taken to thinking that deities, eg. Jesus or Buddha, are symbols for potential of each and every person to develop. They feel real just like values we live by, since we wouldn’t get anywhere by beating each other to death. However, if only one person said they believed in Jesus, others would see them as crazy, because it would be so out of “accepted normality”. Am I right, am I wrong?

          6.”If ten people believe that, holy s**t, it’s a cult!” There’s more detail to that than TAA realizes. Cults have always been around. Cults are pyramid-structured, authoritarian groups serving aims of a charismatic leader under an espoused fundamentalist, narrow, limited, misleading belief system, utilizing deceptive recruiting tactics, front groups, thought reform(brainwashing) tactics and isolation of cultists from outside world. Cults are NOT about beliefs they espouse, be it an apocalyptic, Eastern, New Age, psychotherapy or prosperity cult. Cults are about benefit for their leader. Some end up like that of Jim Jones, by Kool-Aid.

          7.TAA also talks about moderate Christians and how he thinks it doesn’t make sense that God allegedly has made some rules that one still doesn’t take very seriously. Aren’t there many passages or books in the Bible that Christians pay no heed to?

          8.What can we learn once again? There is a definite difference between “He has protected me for all of my life. I KNOW that my Redeemer LIVES. I KNOW that the Holy Spirit IS present at various times and gives me guidance in my life. I have seen miracles in answer to prayers” and “I am the voice of God, I have the might”(I figure some fanatics do believe what they say). There can be healthy spiritual beliefs(I refer to Albert Ellis’ Feeling Better, Getting Better, Staying Better, even though it references spiritual beliefs in passing as one method among others).

          9.Comprehensive school had religious education talking about Bible many, many times. Not that I wouldn’t glance once again. Screwtape letters, could take a look. J. B. Phillips’ Your God Is Too Small seems interesting, too, and seems like it’s something that could be applied to many other viewpoints, too.

          10.That “contemporary Christian worship music” sounds like something I’ve read is used in Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian churches to lull listeners into a trance. The way they act like, thinking they speak in tongues it seems, must be embarrassing to more sensible Christians.

          11.Yes, I have talked about some “entities” in the unconscious. Jung talked about autonomous complexes, repressed parts of ourselves, that also cause us problems and which we need to integrate.

          12.People also have weird experiences of things that don’t feel like they are a part of them at all, but something truly alien. They feel disorienting. It’s good to have a name for such. Then you know what these disorienting contents of collective unconcious are.

          Further comments are welcome, like always.

          1. If you want further info on the last one, Jung’s vol 8, Structure and Dynamics of Psyche has a text about such experiences: Psychological Foundations of Belief in Spirits.

            You can also go to Google Books and read Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal. The second chapter, Spirits and Hauntings, is directly taken from the aforementioned text.

            Considering how vulnerable our minds are, why not seek information?

          2. Mind you, Jung talks about EXPERIENCE of invasion by collective “spirits”. Aren’t those just as real as feeling the guidance of a higher power?

          3. J, you know what is interesting to me? #10 of your well worded reply about music. There are and have been religions that believe music is not to be listened to and in a way I can see why. Music can drum up emotions. for example, it has been VERY interesting for me to observe my reactions to music since I quit drinking. Most of the time I don’t obsess about or miss drinking or crave alcohol. But if I hear just the slightest bit of Pink Floyd, who’s music was my drinking anthem, or any other songs from my past that are associated with drinking or get me stirred up and in a f-it from of mind…….I find myself TOTALLY back in some other mental dimension and have to real myself back in. Sometimes it’s easier than others.
            Anyhow, when you listen to a lot of religious music and observe the congregation as they sing, there is definitely an strong emotional component there. I imagine that it is easier to influence any person from an emotional state than from a mental state and that is what manipulators do……..appeal to our emotions, recognized to not, and play on the place they see is most vulnerable. If we were all able to stay in a strictly mental and intellectual frame of mine during the time our situations were evolving I doubt very seriously that we would have ended up where we did. They not only have a way of knowing which emotional buttons to push and stroke but when and how to do it.

          4. J, Sorry to say, I’m just not interested in discussing things of this nature for the most part. Satin, entities, religion, etc…….Just not really an interest of mine and so much of it is based in beliefs which are very subjective, theories and beliefs. I mean no offense and obviously speak for no one other than myself on that!

          5. Hi J — I am going to agree with Puddle here, to me, most of the things you want to discuss don’t seem useful / relevant to me, and I’m guessing, to most of the other readers here. As previously noted, I’m 74, I work full time to earn my living, plus shoveling snow, daily chores, etc., this means there simply is not enough time in my day to read everything I would like to read. So what I do read / study has to be useful in my life or as information to help other people who need encouragement. Most of the folk who come here are desperate for help in dealing with their immediate problems. I’m trying to possibly give suggestions to alleviate their distress.

            Might I suggest that I consider sound to be extremely important, way more so than most people realize. To give just one example, google for Tomatis and Benedictine monks. I’ve given you as much information as you seem willing to take in. I am not a Biblical scholar, so I suggest that if you want more information on the Bible, go to biblegateway.com and follow some of the links and / or do one of the Bible study courses they offer. Jung, Adler, et al, I’m sure are interesting if you want to study the underpinnings of current psychology theories. I feel that many of those theories are more complex than they need to be. Speaking for myself only, I fully recognize that my personal faults and flaws played a part in why my marriage failed. And probably some of the other posters would say that yes, we each have flaws. BUT, the important thing to recognize here is that we have all tried our absolute best to make situations work; however if a partner is not willing to really try, not just give lip service, we are here for help.

            I mean no disrespect to you, but overall, what you seem to want to discuss are not topics that I think will be useful to me. Since I have an “engineering” turn of mind, I always consider the ROI when I must spend time on something. Your friend in the computer class was somewhat right in suggesting that people should investigate new topics. However, if that is all you do, you run the risk of appearing to be merely a dilettante. So, I wish you well. Peace and hope from Elva

          6. Okay.

            That helps me clarify some things. Again:

            1.Considering our minds are vulnerable, it’s good to have a name for disorienting experiences when they do happen. An example would be grieving and “seeing glimpses of a ghost”. Don’t you think it’s good to know HOW we can be vulnerable?

            2.Also, I may not have spoken as much about my experiences as others, but I surely have met some rather nasty people, among them Viper and Sinister Man. Viper I’ve talked about under the article Mental Illnesses and “Disorders”: The Autistic Spectrum. Sinister Man I haven’t talked about nearly so much, because he was more vague and creepy than anything(though his attitude certainly didn’t have him be responsible, that’s for sure).

            3.Please do realize that brainwashing cults ARE run by exploiters. Now, researching cults further is up to you. Not many understand what cults really are. If they were just some groups of kooks, they wouldn’t be anywhere near as much a problem. They are insidious and elusive and take away people’s freedom. It is important to make this information also more known. You can carry this information on to others.

            4.I was thinking along the lines that we’d possibly discover something new about matters of faith. That’s why we all discuss things here, right? To come up with things that help us live.

  14. I try to keep things simple otherwise I get patheticly confused. So I don’t know if I’ve got this all correct.
    The way I’ve looked at the confusion is separate it all into one of two categories:

    mental illness
    or
    poor mental health

    How about that?

      1. Hi Puddle — oh dear, does sound like maybe you need to consider going elsewhere. I don’t have any good answers for you, only can tell you that I pray daily for all who read here that they can work their way through their problems. All I can say is that when I have a seemingly insoluble problem, I take it to God in prayer and ask for guidance. The guidance always comes for me, sometimes from a completely unexpected direction, sometimes more slowly than I would have wished, but it does come. So, if you had your wish, where might you like to live? Something to ponder on. Peace and hope and {{{hugs}}} from Elva

        1. Thanks Elva,,,,,,,,yes….this is somewhat of a quagmire to say the least but i do appreciate your input. It’s just hard to really capture the entirety of it all in words here.
          AND, part of the problem is that I have NO idea where I would want to live if I left here. Right now I have lost a huge amount of money to this contractor and am in the position of having to spend even more money fixing what they destroyed. As explained, some things can’t be fixed. I paid too much for the place when I bought it 8(?) years ago, the value has declined greatly since then because of the housing market alone. I’ve put a substantial amount of money into the place and there is just so much more needed, especially now that these people did what they did. It just spins and spins and spins in my head Elva and brings me to tears of frustration and defeat on a regular basis. How do you do better when you know you are doing your best already? It is just so incredibly frustrating because people expect answers to their question, expect me to preform in a way I can’t grasp. How do I tell someone during a meeting or appointment that basically anything you say that takes more than a minute to tell me and anything after that will more than likely not be remembered………but it might but not in context. My mind is just so weirdly unpredictable.I have an incredible memory SOMETIMES, about SOME things but it’s not reliable or predictable. when too many things are happening or too many foreign concepts or words or numbers are coming at me I go somewhere else and can be looking like I’m following along but i’m really not. My ex boyfriend (not Spathtard) used to sweetly say,,,,,, “where are you now Puddle?”. He would be explaining something to me and kind of pause….I would say, “what was the first part again”? It’s like that for me when I read as well. I kind of have to read forwards and backwards.
          Sorry to ramble Elva.
          As with most things like this I am unable to really figure it all out and what ends up happening is that some random circumstance occurs and I just finally go with it. I will think myself in circles for a very long time trying to take all the options into consideration, all the factors, all of it and get nowhere until something more or less forces my hand so to speak.
          {{HUGS ELVA!!}}

          1. Hi Puddle — oh dear, sounds like you are in a real whirl. Wish I could give you some better tips than I have mentioned already. Lots of hugs to you — I do know the feeling of “how / where do I go from here?” I will mention that extra B & C vitamins help me when I am in a very stressful situation. If you are not already taking such, they might help. Peace and hope from Elva

      2. Hi Puddle — I skimmed over the article you linked to, about pitch.

        If you look, you can find conspiracy theories about all kinds of subjects. One publishing company sends me a catalog twice a year or so. Some of the books are written by Ph.D.s who seem to be nutjobs. There are a few books that look interesting, but I haven’t actually ordered any of them.

        Bottom line here — I see that Google suggests 440hz conspiracy as one of the possible topics here. So, not to worry, I personally will stick with 440hz. If pitch goes higher, it puts a real strain on soloists’ vocal cords. Besides which, I have perfect pitch, and if the basic pitch is changed, it gives me real problems because the printed score is different from what I am hearing, so I have to transpose it in my head. Just in passing, Handel’s tuning fork for A was pitched at 435hz.

        Am still mulling over your property problem with noise. Nothing yet, except that if you have anything else done by a contractor, have a good lawyer involved from the beginning. Peace and hope from Elva

        1. Hi Elva, yes, you keep on pitch!! 🙂
          I did have a lawyer involved with this. Oddly, i really did try to do this right. I had an attorney look at the contract before i signed it. She made some suggestions, one of which was to get as many details as possible. So the contractor put some details in the contract but far and away an inadequate amount and I never took it back to her before I signed it. I was going on his word. so even though I did try to do this right, I fell short by a long shot out of ignorance and inexperience. I got talked into something I had no intention of doing, and he side stepped around my concerns while I was kept jumping moving the things I needed to move. I see, everyone else sees, how it all happened. I have emails to show a lot of it as well. It means nothing as far as recovering my money from what I’ve been told because he has no money to go after, has two children, a house/ shop and a vehicle. Interesting he has never finished the outside of his building…..tax dodge. The guy ripped me off and if it were not for my friend stepping in when she did, would have ripped me off even worse.
          {{{Hugs Elva}}}

  15. Well Puddle it has to be strong enough wording that outsiders don’t perceive it as a bad hair day. Oh yea, it must be politically correct too.

    All the and’s, if’s, but’s, maybe’s, twists, turns and the labels and buzz words. There’s a name for every beep, murmur, burp and whatever. It’s confusing and that in itself gives the disordered an edge. They love confusion and chaos.

    I wish we could go back to the old days where people were either good or bad. If Grandma said someone was bad we knew well enough to listen and take it as a warning. Then life went on with the bad one on the outside looking in.

    Years ago the bad hid in the shadows, behind bushes and in the cracks and corners. For many years now they’ve been parading right in the open for all to see. No one resigns out of disgrace anymore.

    Makes me sick…..literally.

    I learned to tolerate the intolerant.

    Just as Dr. Simon wrote: “And we’re far too tolerant and accommodating of the dysfunction of others”

    I just read Dr. Simon’s article Radical Ideologies: Deadly Ways of Thinking

    It doesn’t matter if I look around my kitchen table or look at the struggles between nations and all that which is in between; it’s all the same.

    A matter of degree but all the same root….man’s decayed and rotten heart….evil.
    It’s a battle between the good and the bad; between the givers and the takers.

    Give satan an inch and he’ll run with it every time.

    1. The last sentance here is a keeper Suzi.

      A matter of degree but all the same root….man’s decayed and rotten heart….evil.
      It’s a battle between the good and the bad; between the givers and the takers.
      Give satan an inch and he’ll run with it every time.

    2. Suzi,
      “It’s confusing and that in itself gives the disordered an edge. They love confusion and chaos.”
      Seemingly so Suzi. I remember Spathtard saying something to me once that at the time didn’t make the sense it does now. He said to me, ” I think the only way you feel in control is when things are out of control”. I remember that,,,,,,,???WHAT??? feeling at the time. I now know it was him telling me something about himself. It seems impossible to me now that I didn’t nail him down for an explanation at the time because I just couldn’t even grasp how he could think that about me. So twisted.

      1. Hi all — just spotted another article that might be of interest, sometimes we get so wound up in dealing with the “alligators” that we forget to stop and smell the roses. It is essential that we all get some “me” time, playing the keyboard, gardening, go for a walk, call a friend and make a date to have dinner somewhere, whatever you really enjoy doing. Library. Museum. Botanical Garden. Bible study class. Explore refdesk.com. Go to http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150107204555.htm
        Peace and Hope from Elva

  16. Asking others to get on board and help out. Have you heard about the App called Yik Yak. It’s horrible, horrible, horrible. It has given anyone the ability to post messages without signing in and anyone within just over a 2 mile radius can read the messages. It is completely anonymous. It has been used to target teenagers, extreme bullying has been going on. The Yik Yak user claims there are “rules” so that anything offensive is removed. They HAVE NOT followed through with this. The bullying is anonymous and is extreme, there is no accountability. I know this because my 14 year old daughter has been targeted, horrible rumors, now others in her highschool keep approaching her with these awful things that have been posted about her. Her friends are supporting her, but now they’ve been targeted too. Horrible bullying … no accountability and since it’s anonymous even those that might reserve themselves think they can say whatever they want like a coward. My daughter is not perfect, she is a teenager after all, but these comments are over the top and threatening.

    To learn more about this app, maybe one step towards showing the world that we do want to hold each other accountable, go the TheChoice.org to read more about how this app has affected other teenagers and sign a petition to shut it down!!!!!

    I am crying just writing this, I have experienced bullying in my time, but this new app, the way it’s giving teenagers the freedom to say whatever they want, like telling others to kill themselves or spreading horrible untrue rumors … and no accountability … the new age of bullying is full upon us, our kids. My daughter has chosen to not be a part of this app, to not view it, try to ignore it, etc … but I don’t think that’s enough.

    1. Oh my gosh, so early in the morning where I am at …. DO NOT go to The Choice.org, I really messed this up!!!!

      GO TO The Change.org. There you will find a story about a 17 year old girl and her petition to get this app shut down.

      Social media has become a huge avenue for bullies, and it seems to be getting more extreme and easier for them to avoid accountability. I shudder at how much worse it’s gotten in the last 6 years and it only seems to be getting worse. There is that old saying “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” … that’s a lie, words do hurt!!!

  17. I raised my children on a small farm for these very reasons and home schooled them. I am so thankful that I did, as they are all hard workers with a good work ethic. I have seen how the majority of the young ones try to get out of as much work as they can. My children have seen it to and as young adults have had to take stand on what they know is right. When they were raised on a farm with these animals depending on them for food and water – and in Minnesota they would die quickly in the cold if they were neglected. They learn that the world does not revolve around them. Getting back to basics is important. I see young men with no muscle or ability to work hard. All they have known is apartment life and taking out the trash is work. They dont know their purpose in life. It is sad. We as a culture have said in underlying ways that everything is work and we dont want to do it. Look at the food- quick easy pop it in the microwave. People dont know how to cook and this is killing our nation. There are so many ailments due to poor diet that people are running around in motorized wheelchairs that could be up running marathons if they could change their diets. But there is a lazy aspect going on here. It is a matter of perspective – it is how we view life. Our young ones need work that is fulfilling and this will help them know their purpose. So parents need to think about this and not just their own convieniences. Children are more important that careers – but not to spoil the kids, but to teach them how to work, follow through, redo if necessary. I raised my kids learning how to make everything from scratch. From butter to ketchup, and all in between. It warms my heart that they use these abilities in their lives, even in college. They also have a love of learning – so nothing scares them. They know they can get a book and figure it out.

    I can go on and on about all they changes that need to be made. I will stop here. But a good thing I see with the computer age is at least like minded folks like us can communicate and come up with ideas to help change the direction this is all going.

    So I like your ideas and I will use them in my practice. I am helping people heal their digestion through diet. Autism, mental disorders, and many other ailments are due to this issue. People need to be taught how to eat food that is beneficial to their bodies and take care of themselves and their loved ones.

    Thank you for your hard work.

    kayte : )

    1. Kayte; I think it is great that you are helping others with the use of diet changes, this makes a real difference. A friend’s son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in grade 4, the teachers and people she was dealing with in the medical field wanted to medicate him. She refused, instead she did a lot of research and discovered that through a serious diet and routine change, and sticking to real structure could benefit greatly. She had tried these things and they did make a big difference in a lot of areas. He still had struggles in school, but the funny thing is the teachers labelled him and he acted to fit their expectations, which wasn’t good. Yet, because I had a better understanding of what his mom was trying to do, when I was supervising as a helper at school and sports functions, I treated him with respect, did not treat him like I expected him to misbehave, I was compassionate but firm and treated him like I expected him to listen. He was always respectful with me, even those times he would not listen to the teachers, he would listen and respond to me. And now, that he is a young adult, he if he happens to see me he will even go out of his way to come and say hi to me.

      So, I really agree with what you’ve said, it’s a combination of diet, structure. But I also think society’s expectations on the younger people have not helped. If we expect them to “act” like someone with a disorder and make excuses for their bad behavior … they will buy into it and more than willingly behave that way. But if we treat them with respect, give them structure, not treat them like their “damaged” and expect them to follow through, they will take us seriously and in the end they will learn how to truly respect us and appreciate us for that.

  18. J — I am very well aware of what a cult is. I was raised in one and I left it FIFTY YEARS AGO ago. Some 15 years ago I did extensive research on cults, narcissistic pastors, isolation from family and friends, etc., and I HAVE passed this information along when it was pertinent to the situation. On matters of faith, I have my faith and have learned that those who would debunk it are entitled to their own opinions, but so am I entitled to my opinions. That you would push that atheist video here, (and he WAS yelling) when it is apparent that many of the posters here are Christians — well, your idea of what is appropriate in this circumstance is not appropriate in my opinion. I say again, if you wish to learn about Bible / faith, etc., go to biblegateway.com and take a Bible study course. You surely would be welcome to ask questions there.

    Again I say that most of the people who post here need immediate help, not a philosophical or theological discussion on “entities”, old psychological theories which may or may not be valid, ghost sightings, etc. I haven’t seen those topics raised for discussion by anyone except you.

    I do wish you well. Peace and hope from Elva

    1. Okay, Elva. I must’ve missed the bit about you being raised in a cult. You did tell me specifically about your mother and obviously I don’t wish that on anyone.

      Many others can also find this information useful and pass it on. Just because you are aware doesn’t mean all others are readily aware.

      When I added the TAA -video here, I was hoping discussion like this: “TAA is biased here and here. He ignores some important concepts like this and this.” Not religion itself, really, but what it represents. That’s what I hoped. I hoped Christians would have their input against what TAA says. Yes, it’s in Judas Syndromes, good intentions aren’t enough. I’m not kidding myself here.

      You said you’re borderline Aspergers and are sensitive to sounds. Would you please show me where you’ve mentioned this before? I don’t remember reading that before. Then again, I haven’t read all comment sections, so I don’t wonder if I’ve missed that, too.

      TAA indeed gets too enthused at some points. Your comment about yelling came as a surprise to me, nonetheless. I apologize for this and promise to be more mindful of the way a presenter is talking before I post any video links.

      No doubt immediate help IS given here. Meanwhile, people also engage in conversation about different psychological concepts. Indeed, I’ve started discussions, out of curiousity, concerning some concepts that aren’t usually brought up here.

      http://www.drgeorgesimon.com/commonly-misused-psychology-terms-wrap-up/ Scroll way down and see discussion of lex talionis(May 23, 2014), for example.

      Did you miss the part about how our minds are vulnerable? Not “philosophical or theological discussion” when you get down to it, but how we know when our minds are working against us, when random subconscious impressions that make no sense start coming up. I now get I wasn’t clear on this.

      Now, did this clarify anything?

    2. I’m not talking about actually seeing ghosts, but how we can perceive things that aren’t really there, whether budding psychosis or not.

  19. J, I have to say I’m with Elva here. With her not against you. I too feel that the nature of this forum is designed to help those who are seeking answers to situations pertaining to a relationship with a manipulator, family, room mate, romantic non partner, etc. I understand you are curious about the topics you bring up and think that there may be better venues to discuss them. Elva has mentions a few. I don’t question your intentions per say, just that this doesn’t seem to be the place to get the interest and participation you might like in those areas.
    You have been very supportive in your understanding and comments with me and others regarding abusers and manipulative losers and I have always felt that your heart is in the right place like that. I just don’t see the relevancy of some of these topics of late.
    Rest assured that at least in this country people are aware of cults and how they operate. I don’t speak for everyone but I feel certain that most people are aware. Another interesting coincidence in regards to Arthur Janovs news letter today, he was also talkin, rather disjointedly, about cults, gurus, etc….
    So, I hope very sincerely that my honesty regarding all of this does not offend you J and that we can put this to rest and move on. N

    1. Hi Puddle — well said and I agree, wrong venue. Loud sound can permanently damage hearing, raise blood pressure, raise stress hormone levels, I avoid it completely. Here’s to peace and quiet! Peace and hope from
      Elva

      1. Hi Puddle — I googled for noise reduction with plants, there are lots of good websites with explanations and lists of plants — maybe there is something there to help reduce your traffic noise. Take a look, see if anything might be feasible for you. Ask me questions about which kinds of plants will work in your climate. I belong to the national arbor day foundation, plants can be ordered fairly cheaply. Peace and hope from Elva

        1. Hi Elva, again…….it’s really not a situation that plants are going to fix. First off my house is above the road so anything I plant between me and the road will be below the house. There is a huge woods there right now so to plant anything would require removing a whole lot of trees/woods. IT is hard to describe really.

          1. Hi Puddle — oh well, I thought there might be something useful, but since I don’t have a bird’s-eye view, will just have to keep mulling it over. {{{hugs}}}, peace and hope from Elva

      2. This went into an unexpected direction. Not that many others here wouldn’t talk about tings not directly related to nasty relationships, but I googled noise blocking plants, too. Not sure if I ever get to use such, but could come in handy. All this from “yelling” or loud talking. Wouldn’t have guessed.

        Also, a flowing fountain is apparently a good way to drown noise.

    2. Thank you, Puddle.

      Very interesting coincidence. I don’t follow Arthur Janov. That could change. I can’t automatically know how people here know about cults AND if someone here posts about abuse in a church(like Sue did), I see that cult mind control is similar, just to different degree.

      And Elva, did you even read my last comments? I can accept that you chose to comment on the sound and I can just and just accept that Christians here didn’t end up pointing out flaws, biases and holes in TAA:s argument, leading to enriching discussion and more comprehensive understanding about nature of faith in general and how it can help us. I admit the idea didn’t work out nearly as good as I hoped and I made a promise(read a little above) and I admit some of my latest ideas have been a bit too far out for this venue. I can even accept that you, Elva, brought up Jung and autonomous complexes out of the blue, because they were tangentially related to the matter at hand.

      The way you keep emphasizing loudness, Elva, is making a bit too much noise( 😀 lame pun) here. I made a mistake and you could just have asked me to be more careful before posting videos.

      I have discussed some similar things to what I’ve discussed before(comes forward in the lex talionis -example). I feel a bit that you really haven’t understood everything I said.

      I have seen people discuss things that aren’t of immediate concern, but immediate help is what’s most given here, I’ve always known that. I was grasping to discuss the nature of faith, but I went too far.

      I’ll be more mindful of HOW CLOSELY any ideas I get are related to the subject matters here.

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