[Adapted from Chapter 7 of my book The Secret Power of Words]
Your need either to love or to hate identifies you both with those you love and with those you hate. When you try to speak up to them in a calm way in order to correct some wrong in them, you find you come up against a strange corresponding identity within yourself that feels threatened by the correction. It’s like plunging a knife into your own heart, and you may start to doubt the validity of your perception of error. Conversely, when you do a good deed to others, it’s like doing good to yourself. When you are angry and thus lose their support, you also lose the support of the corresponding identity within yourself.
When you put your mother or husband on a pedestal, you overlook their obvious faults and cultivate their hidden spirit of wrong in order to feed and sustain your own pride. When you try to correct them, you can’t. The words freeze on your lips; you become weak and fearful. In your frustration you may seek out a substitute husband, friend, or wife to cultivate.
Whether we are unable to stand up to the wrong in others, or we stand up to them in a wrong way, the reason behind our action, or lack of it, is the same: pride. When we fail to speak up, we preserve the “high” we got from spoiling them rotten; and when we speak up angrily, in a wrong way, and they answer wrong with wrong, we get high on judgment. Either way, our pride is served.
A woman putting up with a degenerating husband often rewards her pride with such thoughts as “I must be good if I can put up with that nonsense!” Such a woman depends mostly on what others think and say for her sense of goodness; and by seeing herself always from the imagined perspective of “their” eyes, her pride lives in a drunken stupor, and she may never be able to see the part she is playing in her own problems.
You can become so strongly identified with the person you hate that you feel forced to kill him in order to put an end to your own hated self. Charles Manson’s loathing of himself was behind the death wish he had against the society that spawned him. He saw the destruction of the world as a “noble” and redeeming way of destroying himself. Likewise, a man may kill the woman he loves to prevent his own image from being defiled by her contact with another man. It is his way of keeping “sacred” and untouched the part of himself that he sees in her.
On the other hand, we may not be able to destroy people we hate because we have to go on loving or hating them in order to complete their identity within ourselves. We cannot kill our “god” until that “god” is fully complete in us—not until then can the hate in us turn on the “god” of our creation.
Prideful reaction moves always to extremes. The Jim Jones cultists followed their leader to death because he was in them and they were in him. What happened to Jim Jones also happened to his followers. What threatened Jim Jones also threatened his followers. They felt what he felt because they based their life and thinking on his presence. The Jones presence hypnotized everyone and served as a buffer, a drug that kept people from realizing what devils they had become. It prevented them from seeing that the heaven they thought they had found was really a hell. To lose their leader would be to lose every good they could possibly imagine; so, to avoid the painful hell of heavenly reality, they followed him to the “heaven” of hell’s reality.
What could have happened if Jim Jones had awakened, you might ask. Would it not have threatened the followers, who were so completely under the spell of his lies? They were so completely hypnotized that in all probability they might have killed an “aware” Jim Jones and replaced him with another seductive leader.
You will know what it feels like to be a Jim Jones psychotic when you try to speak up to those who have corrupted you and traumatized you to the point that you cling to them mindlessly, never questioning their authority. You will soon discover that you cannot possibly break free from the sin of clinging until you have committed yourself so completely to a right source (I should say “the” right source, as there is but one) that you are bonded to it. Until that time, your ego will be unwilling to give up its prideful life by giving up the people, places, things, and ideas that have sustained it, and from which you have drawn your sense of being emotionally secure. Remember what the Scripture says about the friendship of the world. It is enmity with God.
Many “pillars of society,” whose egos thrive on your respect and friendship, lead obscene, bizarre lives in secret. They relieve the guilt of their private demons by acting out their conspicuous “friend of society” roles, and public adulation frees them to sink deeper into their private hell. You would be horrified to know how sick many famous people are.
Merely by being someone’s friend, especially if he is of this world, “worldly,” you support his every secret wrong, releasing him to commit acts that even he sees to be self-destructive, until finally, out of frustration with his lack of brakes, he turns his wrath on you for not stopping him. You, the loyal friend or lover, may wind up a victim. But how loyal was your friendship? And whose victim are you, his or your own? Let us beware of “loving too much”!
Each of us, in our wrong mind, is attracted and addicted to a wrong someone or a wicked something. We crave the power they have, simply by agreeing with us, to support and enhance the wrong that is growing up inside ourselves. So strong is this feeling-contact that we will stoop to anything and stop at nothing, not even murder, to preserve that source of life and comfort. The source of our corruption becomes our god, and the more we get into that god, the more that god gets into us.
The more deeply we involve ourselves with the consciousness of God, and the more we grow in our understanding of Him, the more His revelations inspire in us a complete dedication to a lifestyle that is totally dependent on His Will in us. Conversely, the more we depend on some corrupting influence for our “righteousness,” the more excited we will become with our subtle discoveries concerning that person, place, or substance. Each new discovery excites an evolving form in us that expresses the character of the source.
An invisible, yet very definable, boundary line separates the realms of right and wrong. Step across it to your peril! Until the principles that separate good from evil are clear in your mind, your life won’t be worth living. You will fail in your relationship with everything, even though you may seem to be successful. No matter how much your friends and associates may butter you up, you will not feel right about being rich, powerful, respected, or “loved.” And going to the other extreme of being poor or despised won’t cure your despair either. Until your motivation is from the right source, nothing you do will be right or feel right. The best you can hope for when you are not properly grounded within is a sense of goodness that is conveyed to you, worthy or not, by the affection of the external world. And how much joy can you take in the opinions of those who have no real knowledge of what goes on in your soul?
A man’s role is a man’s role, and no wife can rob her husband of his grace without becoming manly herself. Each of us must know his place in the divine order of things. If you, as a man, do not see that principle clearly enough to take hold of your responsibility, then the spirit of your wife will rise up to confuse you and take charge, dragging you into her realm and altering your nature at the core in the process. Respond to any tease or temptation just once, and from that moment on, you are a slave to its motivation and comfort forever, or until you find salvation.
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Let me speak to you about the principle of love and motivation and speaking up in yet another way. Suppose, for instance, someone offends you and later acts as though nothing has happened. Should you allow that person to continue a business-as-usual attitude toward you without having first apologized? If you do, you must surely see that you are acting in subtle agreement with a wrong. At the very least, you will have blown your chance to clear the air and get the relationship back on a proper footing. You might not have understood the other person’s intent, or he might not even have meant to offend you in any way; but if you fail to speak up in a timely way, a cloud will continue to hang over the relationship as far as you are concerned. Is that a proper way to relate to a fellow man?
(To be continued in Part III.)
[To free yourself from entanglement in the intimidator’s game, you must learn to deal properly, without resentment, to pressures of any kind. My Be Still and Know meditation exercise shows you how to do this and helps you practice remaining in the proper state. You can try it before you buy it and, if you like it, purchase your own copy, at fhu.com or by calling 800-877-3227.]
Listen to Roy Masters LIVE call in radio show Monday to Friday from 9 PM to 11 PM Pacific on KDWN Radio in Las Vegas, NV.
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Roy Masters—who in his 80s continues to broadcast the longest-running counseling show in talk radio history, his internationally syndicated daily radio program Advice Line, grew up in pre-WWII England. He started his journey toward understanding human nature when as a teen he saw a stage hypnotist at a vaudeville show in Brighton. The hypnotist easily put volunteer subjects in a spell and made them do outlandish things, like dancing with a broom and forgetting their own names.
Puzzled by the hypnotist’s mysterious power, Roy distinctly remembers pondering the question: “Why can’t hypnotism be used to make people act sensibly, rather than foolishly?” Inspired by the idea of harnessing this baffling force for good, he later pursued the art of hypnotism and established a successful hypnotherapy practice.
After several years of practice, Masters made his central and pivotal discovery about the root of people’s emotional problems, addictions and complexes. He realized that people did not need hypnosis, because their core problem was that they are already hypnotized—not by a clever stage performer, but by the stresses, pressures and seductions of daily life.
He used his knowledge to discover a way to help us become de-hypnotized, and discovered that the root of the power of negative suggestion lay in our wrong emotional response, that of resentment. Masters’ remarkably effective exercise, a simple observation technique called Be Still and Know—is at the core of his unmatched track record in helping people overcome even the most serious mental-emotional problems, and is the centerpiece of a successful program within the U.S. military community (“Patriot Outreach”) that is helping thousands of military personnel and their families cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).