Beyond Survival – Inspiring Self-Realization and Self-Actualization to reach good mental health and recovery.

Welcome to the Prometheum Institute’s personal development course on building Self-Realization and Self-Actualization in an effort to help you either build mental strength or recover from the effect of its weakness.  Here we do not attempt to treat mental illness or presume that we can, through education alone, restore you to mental health if you are already too far behind the eight ball.  Instead, we focus on helping you build Mental Strength.  We prefer to use Mental Strength rather than mental health because we cannot accept that the mind can be diseased.  We accept that it y be insufficient, that is, insufficiently developed and so functions insufficiently, but not unhealthily.

 

We invite you, if you can follow the guidance or if you are doing it with the guidance of your counsellor, to study the discourses diligently.  They are meant to inform and stimulate, not entertain or soothe.  This is why we have invited you to build Self-Realization and Self-Actualization.  Self-Realization is the discovery of your personal identity, one that resides within you, not one that is defined by what you have, who you know, or what you can do.  Self-Actualization is the process of approaching life with an understanding of its nature of perpetual change, not one of contrived or expected stability.

 

Thus, we invite you to examine the content with an open mind.  We will not try to persuade you. We will only reveal some truths based on scientific evidence followed by logical deductions you can also make ot learn to make on your own.

AN INTRODUCTION

There is a common fallacy that seems to pervade the way we handle others or the way we let ourselves be impacted by the authority of others.  This based on the assumption that the conscious or rational mind resides in some unidentified part of the brain, that it develops naturally according to the choices we make as we grow.   Then a pathway is established that dooms us to function within a certain sphere that then defines us.  We then see human behaviour within the simple context of displaying that development as what we are and, if that seems unhealthy, to force a reformation through treatment, punishment, or retraining, or tolerate it as our or their limitations.   This is armchair psychology at its worst, not based in scientific fact, but useful because it takes an apparently complex condition and brings it down to simple or simplistic terms.  This is so often revealed in the automatic admonition of the parent who suggests that a youth should “act their age” or a manager who believes that financial reward/punishment will allow the developed but lazy conscious abilities to come to the forefront.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

Any observation of rational thought, even within ourselves, reveals that it is not nurtured or developed merely by being. Observation of feral children has confirmed this. In other words, left to just being, even with proper nutrition, exercise, and rest a person will not be able to function rationally at a competent level.  The body including the brain – will grow to full size and function.  The mind, however, has to be nurtured differently, and that is not centered in the development of the brain.  Let’s make that simple.  Regardless of the stage of physical development, the mind has to be developed separately, and that can be done at any stage of awakening. In other words, a person malfunctions only because they do not know better, not because they are sick or bad or inherently foolish.  When they do not know, the natural physiological instincts take over.  That is like the monkey, or cat or dog – sophisticated to different degrees, trainable, but still reactive.  We call this intelligence – in the lower animals, and now in mechanical objects with electronic functions where we call it artificial intelligence.  The human being is born as a thinking being.  That is unique, invisible, indestructible, powerful.  But it must be nurtured, realized, and polished as the unique entity that it is.  We can do it anytime, but it must be done with a focus, purpose, and diligence.

Until it is developed, it can easily be taken over by the natural instincts that evolve within the limbic system of the brain. These actually expand to replace the holes left by the underdeveloped cognitive mind. Therefore, when we fix, treat, or train the automatic function of the brain, we, or any person, are still left with the weak, underdeveloped mind with holes in various portions even if we are highly developed in other areas of function.  In other words, a brilliant scientist, an acclaimed athlete or entertainer, or a successful entrepreneur may still have underdeveloped areas of mental capacity that leave them childlike when challenged there.   And everyone will have to face any area of responsibility with intelligence and foresight no matter how competent they or we are in other areas.  In short, we have the basics of a sophisticated monkey but with a special quality that allows us to rise above that.  We are monkeys until we become human.  Until we do, we function as sophisticated monkeys.

The cognitive mind has to be above that.  It is, or more correctly, we are an unmeasurable aspect of the human condition.  We are the soul, a metaphysical presence that can only be developed through the rational process of self-realization and self-actualization.  If we will give ourselves and others that recognition and respect…

it will allow us to discover and impart the idea that that life is but a journey

To an unknown destination

Often through unknown territory, tough challenges, and frequent stumbles.

But these are meant to make us stronger

Not weaken or dissuade us, because

Life is based on change.

So change is part of life; it is not a disruption of a stability that does not really exist.

We, on the other hand, are unique.

We are not made of the same elements as is the physical reality we occupy and from which we must emerge

Stronger

Surer

Happier

That, however, is something we must discover; it does not come naturally.
We must learn why it is our destiny – self-realization – and reach it purposefully – self-actualization.

The Analysis - LOOK WHERE NO ONE ELSE CAN SEE

This is a discourse on how to look behind the behaviour and determine the parameters of what cannot be seen – the feelings, thoughts, capabilities, and limitations that live within you, hidden from the world, but are part of you or the fullness of you nevertheless.  It shows how to look into how you really see the world and your place in it, what are the visions that drive you and the insecurities that hinder you and generate the defensive behaviours that cause you to act inappropriately or inadequately. This is the process of Self-Realization.

Our job as individuals searching for our place in this world or our purpose for living, or that of managers, parents, or advisors to others is to first understand ourselves and then help our protégés understand themselves, the inner essence that is the personality, the identity. To do that, we must be able to look into how we see the world and later, how our protégés see themselves and their place in their reality, not keep them as our project or responsibility.

This allows us to have and share insights that empower us and them to examine deeper and more objectively than is easy or natural. Remember, a person knows HIM/HERSELF better than anyone else can. With the insights we lead them to have, they will be able to examine themselves deeper and more accurately than we can ever do for them.

This first part will encourage you to place greater focus on yourself or anyone as an intelligent mind-force, a metaphysical existent with the capacity to grow regardless of the level of uncertainty or misperception of the world and your or their place in it. In these discussions I will fluctuate between speaking to you as the person looking into yourself and also as the person who is in the process of guiding or influencing others because your response is as affected by theirs as theirs is affected by yours.

Let’s face it, however, whether you are helping someone who is actively displaying some level of cognitive limitation or emotional instability, or you are seeking clarity for yourself, you or they will already be displaying some uncertainty or vulnerability in the way you address conditions that impact your life. Though it may feel more urgent to deal with immediate issues, it is important to realize that such action is only a “bandaid” approach. It is better to place that apparently urgent condition on hold and build clarity. Then, any action to manage differently will come from within, not as an application of a borrowed solution.

This part of the course will establish the idea that the mind is you, that it has to be developed differently than is the body; it cannot be left to chance.

POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS

I see myself as a little boy walking on the seashore diverting myself by now and again picking up a smoother pebble or prettier shell when, all along, the vast ocean of knowledge lies undiscovered before me. Sir Isaac Newton.

VIEW POWERPOINT

ESSAY HANDOUTS

Have you ever seen a person who has never been in a canoe before try to canoe? It looks like an exercise in frustration. He sits awkwardly on one of the seats and gingerly paddles, first on the right, and then on the left. On a smooth lake, it may even seem to be a pleasant exercise though somewhat overdone. Now suppose such a person sets out bravely enjoying a glassy-smooth lake early one morning. The zigzag path doesn’t concern him as he stays close to shore or secure within a small bay.

Now let us suppose that a young teenager with a fast motor boat zooms by close to this intrepid but inexperienced canoeist. What happens next is not difficult to visualize. The canoe rocks and may even capsize. What does he do?  GET FULL HANDOUT

Every individual, every human being is equal to every other in having the same responsibility to manage ourselves in this world of immense biological, mechanical and social activity. Every individual is equal to every other person in having the same two categories of management options. One is proactive management that comes when we have conscious, rational understanding of the situation to be managed.

This is a Secure Reality, or a reality in which we feel emotionally secure. The other is reactive management that we use when we do not understand the situation fully. Then, we are in an Insecure Reality or a reality in which we will feel emotionally insecure and act immaturely no matter how intelligent or experienced we may be. Thus, the difference is not a secure or insecure person, a well or sick one, or a good or bad one, but there is a person who can be in a secure or insecure reality at different times.

GET FULL HANDOUT

Self-Esteem is an awareness of self as an existent or entity that is whole, complete, valuable, one who fits in with the reality he/she occupies.

Because there is not any initial self-awareness when a person is born, every child starts life without self-esteem. A child, and subsequently a youth, builds a personal vision of self that is based on attributes that appear to define and present them as the independent and respectable or acceptable individual. Therefore Self-Esteem is low when the attributes that the child can reach to define a value of self are unfavorable, disordered, or fragile. Think about it.

Let us now examine this carefully so we can understand the individual with low or fragile Self-Esteem and also see how to fix it. Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many (often conflicting) theories. They falter because they focus on building or replacing those visible attributes, not on the science of a deeper definition of self. So please allow me to walk you through an abstract examination of this dilemma. READ MORE

AUDIOVISUAL LECTURES

CASUAL CHATS

Building The Foundation - EXAMINE WHERE NO INSTRUMENT CAN LOOK

This is a discourse on how to look at life objectively. It requires and prepares you to view your stresses less as impositions that hurt or impede survival and more as challenges that can be used to stimulate and empower. This process of seeing life objectively from an observer state is that of self-actualization.

To be an authority in an area that is obscure, one must first understand obscurity.   This will be your attempt to influence your clients on how and why they should build insights into life, themselves, and their place in their world. We see this as the building of the foundation that allows you to guide them to see themselves more analytically and see what areas they need to build or strengthen. Emotions are obscure, however. We cannot truly measure them. Yet they influence every area of our client’s ability to act, change and react, or recover from an unhealthy state. Emotions are, however, simply the way we feel about ourselves. When we do not feel comfortable, capable, or safe in a particular situation or state, our emotions become frayed. When we feel capable, comfortable, or safe, emotions are balanced, even if those feelings are delusive. No one needs to treat a balanced emotional state. We only need to treat the unbalanced one. And we can feel unbalanced or unstable both when the pressures of life seem overwhelming and when we are weakened by personal limitations. Of course, when both are active or are present at the same time, the imbalance is at its peak. Since you are working with people whose emotional imbalance seems too much, too prolonged, or too frequently experienced, we have to assume or conclude that the combination or too much stress and too limited capacity is at play. To help, therefore, you have to know what causes too much stress, not only for your client, but for anyone. In other words, you have to be an expert on the nature of stress as an obscure phenomenon until released as life responsibilities, social injustice, rejection, or impositions, and interruptions in personal health or stamina. This part of the course will lead you to examine life as a perpetually changing paradigm of components that can make any event, any task significantly different from a more familiar state, and thus more stressful. You will see how this can play out, both in the challenges of social interaction and that of physical health and wellbeing. It will also examine another obscurity. This is the depth of a person’s capabilities, how this is developed and can be re-energized or re-activated. You will do it by first examining yourself and then others from a theoretical perspective. Remember, you will be leading them down a path of responsibility and self-realization that is quite unfamiliar and difficult no matter how intelligent or urbane they may seem to be. It is important to see that, when someone is moving from, say 1 to 100 and they reach 5, the observer sees only 4% improvement. Yet the person has improved 400% from 1.

ESSAY HANDOUTS

Self Respect is the ability to maintain dignity in the face of stress, rejection, criticism, or any activity that can erode one`s value systems. In a world of imposing immensity and persistent change, the forces that can strike at anyone`s value systems can be extreme, unprecedented, and persistent. Yet, we cannot contain or control those external events. There is no special stress that will always threaten every person. What threatens is the difference between what is imposed and the strength of the systems defining the person facing those impositions. If something destroys the systems that create value and define self, then it can destroy us. GET FULL HANDOUT

AUDIOVISUAL LECTURES

CASUAL CHATS

Self-Realization - HEAL WHAT ONLY YOU CAN REACH

This is a discourse on how to elevate yourself above life and, with that, to look at life objectively. It requires and prepares you to see yourself as different and more versatile than the capricious reality you occupy, and view your stresses less as impositions that hurt or impede survival and more as challenges that can be used to stimulate and build the power of self. This process of seeing life objectively from an observer state is that of self-actualization.

To be an authority in an area that is obscure, one must first understand obscurity.   This will be your attempt to influence your clients on how and why they should build insights into life, themselves, and their place in their world. We see this as the building of the foundation that allows you to guide them to see themselves more analytically and see what areas they need to build or strengthen. Emotions are obscure, however. We cannot truly measure them. Yet they influence every area of our client’s ability to act, change and react, or recover from an unhealthy state. Emotions are, however, simply the way we feel about ourselves. When we do not feel comfortable, capable, or safe in a particular situation or state, our emotions become frayed. When we feel capable, comfortable, or safe, emotions are balanced, even if those feelings are delusive. No one needs to treat a balanced emotional state. We only need to treat the unbalanced one. And we can feel unbalanced or unstable both when the pressures of life seem overwhelming and when we are weakened by personal limitations. Of course, when both are active or are present at the same time, the imbalance is at its peak. Since you are working with people whose emotional imbalance seems too much, too prolonged, or too frequently experienced, we have to assume or conclude that the combination or too much stress and too limited capacity is at play. To help, therefore, you have to know what causes too much stress, not only for your client, but for anyone. In other words, you have to be an expert on the nature of stress as an obscure phenomenon until released as life responsibilities, social injustice, rejection, or impositions, and interruptions in personal health or stamina. This part of the course will lead you to examine life as a perpetually changing paradigm of components that can make any event, any task significantly different from a more familiar state, and thus more stressful. You will see how this can play out, both in the challenges of social interaction and that of physical health and wellbeing. It will also examine another obscurity. This is the depth of a person’s capabilities, how this is developed and can be re-energized or re-activated. You will do it by first examining yourself and then others from a theoretical perspective. Remember, you will be leading them down a path of responsibility and self-realization that is quite unfamiliar and difficult no matter how intelligent or urbane they may seem to be. It is important to see that, when someone is moving from, say 1 to 100 and they reach 5, the observer sees only 4% improvement. Yet the person has improved 400% from 1.

ESSAY HANDOUTS

The need to communicate effectively in a marriage or family unit is perhaps one of the most challenging responsibilities we must face today. It is a responsibility because a relationship is the most dynamic area of life, dynamism that is based on the hidden, individual thoughts, desires and feelings of the people involved. People think constantly. Their thoughts are generated in directions that are influenced by past experiences, present perceptions and personal feelings. In today`s complex social, economic and mechanical world, no one`s total past experience equals anyone else`s. There may be some overlap, but the specific conditions that form any particular experience is entirely unique, and therefore specific to the person influenced by them. In addition, every situation is so multifaceted that two people observing the same event can have two very different perceptions. And, of course, forces that are unique to that individual at that time evoke personal feelings. So, the thoughts of another person are generated by such a unique combination of factors that they are without precedent. There is no knowledge of any event, issue, or existent that is common to all observers. No one, man, woman, or child, can be presumed to have a thought or opinion that is predictably based on any single social, cultural, religious, or ethnic factor. A man does not think specific to his gender. Neither does a woman.

GET FULL HANDOUT

If management can be defined as the process of reaching a state of equilibrium with a task or responsibility, then life as a whole is a management challenge! It is management because, in order to succeed or at the least survive, we are required to achieve an equilibriumWe live in times of great change. No one has been adequately prepared for the disruptions this brings daily in our jobs, family life, health, personal relationships, or the social interactions within the multicultural melting pots of our urban centres. It is natural then that the personal strengths we have learned to rely on will inevitably become stretched, even to breaking point. The result is that accountable people have time only to put out fires and many of us are beginning to fail at out jobs or relationships, addicted to the substances and activities that offer trivial respite, or lost in emotional angst we cannot escape long enough before the next stress arrives. These Unhealthy Moods and Inappropriate Behaviours can severely jeopardize our social, material, or physical wellbeing. We need to understand them before we try to fix them, or we will be left going around in circles and getting results only for trivial moments. with the many things and people that form our environment. It is a challenge because, regardless of how well we may have managed one issue, change creates a disequilibrium requiring another effort at success or survival. In order, therefore, to be successful at any aspect of life – career, health, or relationships – we must first accept the responsibility as managers of our own lives. Then we must look at how this can be achieved most effectively in the highly volatile conditions we face today.

GET FULL HANDOUT

AUDIOVISUAL LECTURES

CASUAL CHATS

A SUMMARY

We propose that nobody is inherently bad or sick or purposefully wrong.

What we show is that everyone operates sometimes in darkness, and sometimes in clarity.

When anyone is acting in places of clarity that person will act appropriately, and with consideration. An inappropriate response is simply a natural physiological response when the rational mind is operating in a state of darkness.

Therefore, a person who responds inappropriately should not be treated as wrong or sick first. He/she should be recognized as being insufficiently enlightened and simply falling back to basic instincts.

We cannot judge someone who is operating out of a dark place and punish them for being wrong, treat them for being sick, or fix them with our solutions. We have to first discover their darkness by uncovering the areas of enlightenment, and offer to “turn on their light”. A person can only be judged unworthy if that person refuses to build enlightenment.

This technique is based on the understanding that all humans are souls, born rudimentary – in darkness – but invited to build the power of that soul. We owe it to those who seek our counsel to give them at least that fighting chance.

This is what Prometheus did. He defied Zeus who was angry with man and took fire from man as punishment, leaving them in darkness.  Prometheus stole fire from heaven and taught it to man – the sign of enlightenment. Of course the part easily remembered is that Prometheus was punished by being tied to a rock and the ravens came nightly and ate his liver. The next day the liver will grow back making a continuous feast for the ravens and continuous pain for Prometheus. But he did a good deed. He was the god of wisdom. He gave us the fire of enlightenment.

We, mental health workers and addiction counsellors, see people who are easily condemned by others as wrong, sick, or foolish.  We, however, understand that they are functioning from a state of darkness, a darkness to which we are all born. Some stay in it because they did not have the opportunity to build clarity.  We, as counsellors, can make a difference. We can share the fire and let our protégés build greater clarity because that is what makes us unique.

You must remember, however, that your job as a counsellor is not to be responsible for your client; it is to teach them to be responsible for themselves.  When you have done that, your job is done. Know when to let go.  People will stumble. Some may need refresher courses, but as long as you have given the message that life is for growing up, not for just being, your part is done.  Let go! Be compassionate if your client needs reassurance.  Give again your message of self-actualization. And free then client to be self-accountable.

You may not have taken away any specific pearls of wisdom from this course, but you will notice that you are already seeing things differently, projecting yourself differently.  I hope it will give you satisfaction and a greater influence where you can make your presence felt. Take great pleasure in your work. It deserves you.

Discover… Recover… Expand Mental Strength