character and health: basic views: personality
helping others) character: good vs bad
evil is a force with an existence that is independent of anything or
it must be overcome in children.
adults must be always on the lookout for evil in themselves and overcome
it quickly, before it gets the upper hand in them
health: happy vs unhappy (healthy vs unhealthy)
happy people don't hurt themselves or other people.
hostility and violence are often reactions to fear.
have room in their heart for other people
are naturally empathic
know how to meet their own needs
we treat others the way we were treated, the way we treat ourselves
if you love yourself you will be able to love others
judgmental people probably judge themselves harshly
people who hurt other people are unhappy (and may be seriously mentally
healthy people are compassionate people
memorized rules from without
vs. a world view arising from health
criminal behavior and mental illness
criminal behavior and mental illness
criminals are not crazy; they're evil
"not guilty by reason of insanity" verdict should be disallowed
it is possible to be insane and guilty
most, if not all, criminals have intense psychological problems
retribution vs. incarceration, and therapy (if it would help)
criminals must be punished because
punishment acts as a deterrent (sp?)
they deserve it
the crimes must be avenged
there must be retribution, vengeance for all crimes
society - not the victim - must carry out the punishment
society is acting on behalf of the victim when it punishes criminals
criminals must be imprisoned until they have been punished enough
society incarcerates criminals to punish them, not to protect society
from them (since prisons evidently do not rehabilitate criminals)
punishing criminals is not appropriate; it accomplishes nothing positive
society must be protected from the criminals
psychology today has no effective therapy for sociopaths
so convicted sociopaths must be monitored, if not incarcerated, for
the rest of their lives
what causes a person to commit crimes?
the devil makes them do it
they are bad people and always were
unhappiness, lack of health, desperation
the way they were
you're either crazy or you're not
mental illness is usually a sign of a weak character
our fear of insanity causes us to
think of people with mental illness as different from "the rest
mental illness is a coping mechanism; we are all doing the best we
e.g., some psychologists believe multiple personality disorder
is not craziness
it's a sophisticated coping mechanism
lack of will power and self-control
of repressed painful feelings
addictions come to feel like part of us
looking at what addictions help us
judging yourself and others
judgments vs. self-acceptance
forcing what is perceived into a model of how things ought to be
the internal judge, internalized from one's childhood environment,
is the cause of much unhappiness
try to accept yourself for what you are
there's nothing wrong with judging everyone
when to judge
when you are faced with an unfamiliar situation or person
when not to judge
when you make a mistake
analyze what happened but don't judge yourself
two kinds of judgment
the judgments we must make for our own safety and well-being
the level of involvement I have with someone determines how much of
his/her character I must judge
the judgments we make which are none of our business
when I find myself making this kind of judgment about a person it is
usually a sign that I am projecting disowned aspects of my own personality
onto him or her
I must continually compare all my behavior to an ideal, a standard
absolutes - e.g., perfection - exist only in theory
what standard am i judging myself or others by?
rules and beliefs
rules and beliefs are the foundation of a civilized society
if i believe in following a rule, am i following the letter or the
spirit of the rule?
are my beliefs rigid?
do my beliefs arise out of fear?
do i believe that the verbal form of my beliefs is the true form?
or do I believe in the possibility of
nonverbal beliefs - beliefs that cannot adequately be expressed in
beliefs that adapt to changes in one's life and environment
self esteem & self-centeredness
self-esteem, pride in self, shame
"excessive" pride is considered a sin, a lack of shame
selfishness is a sin
people are innately selfish
selfishness must be overcome by forcing yourself to focus on others
the result of uncompleted childhood processes
can be gotten beyond only by indulging it, following where it leads
many people who are considered self-centered are, in reality, stuck
they need professional help
people who are self-centered are unhappy
they don't know how to meet their own needs
their ineffective attempts to meet their own needs appear to others
often as vanity
"the only way out is through"
we can become less self-centered, more altruistic, only by doing the
work of self-discovery
The only way out of self-centeredness is more self-centeredness.
self-centeredness is a manifestation of the organism's attempts to
heal itself, to do what it was not allowed to do in childhood.
taking care of yourself
emotions are the product of an inferior part of humans
they must be controlled, suppressed
they are unseemly
feelings are neither good nor bad - they just are
suppressing feelings will make you sick
and they will manifest themselves, anyway
feelings tell us what's going on within us and around us; each feeling
is a response to something
fear: "this is not a safe situation; I'd better get out"
sadness: the healing feeling
anger: "someone has violated my boundaries"
joy: everything is right
compulsions, obsessions and addictions serve to
keep feelings and painful memories below the level of consciousness
The only intelligence is the ability to learn the standard curriculum
(mathematics, debate, writing, history, science).
There are many different kinds of intelligence and learning styles:
The human mind apprehends the world by many means other than by breaking
it down into parts and studing the parts, one by one. It can grasp the
whole, without dissecting it. This method is often superior to analysis.
Intuition is not inferior to other means of knowing things. In fact,
it is often more accurate, because it includes all sensory information,
and understands things in their context.
the unconscious and the conscious
The unconscious is the home of the devil in the human mind.
The unconscious is who we are. The conscious is just our "front
office". It exists only to deal with the boring everyday details.
creativity is the province of "talented" people, specialists
you were born with whatever talent you have
you acquired whatever skill you have through will power
everyone is naturally creative
creativity is a natural byproduct of health, happiness
talent and skill are the results of love, interest
Character and Health: table of contents