Psychological Self-Help

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and problems? What are your ideas about God(s)? The idea is to
recognize that many of your core beliefs and attitudes today may have
a long, quite understandable history of being "passed down" to each
new generation. Also, one may begin to see that beliefs, which were
very functional 100 years ago, are no longer serving you well. Follow
the same procedure with your great-grandfather (mother),
grandfather (mother), and father (mother). 
The idea is to find your myths that are harmful. There are probably
endless examples within anyone's lifetime of old beliefs out-living their
usefulness. A child who is told he/she is dumb may never test out
his/her level of ability in school. A favored child may continue to
expect the whole world to cater to his/her needs. A rejected person
may avoid new love situations. An adult child of an alcoholic may
continue to feel super responsible for everyone in his/her family. A
workaholic may think of little else but work until a heart attack brings
him/her to the brink of death. A religious person may think God is
always right and responsible for everything that happens until his/her
teenaged child dies. A perfectionistic, self-critical person may
continually feel like a failure and suffer psychosomatic problems or
depression. A sweet, compliant, overly giving person may keep smiling
and serving others because "that is how mothers... fathers... nice
people behave" until she/he is ignored and even cruelly dominated by
greedy "takers." 
Similar to section 11 of Progoff's journal (see method #3 above),
Feinstein and Krippner recommend that every person develop an
ongoing relationship with an "Inner Shaman"--a wise guide to
understanding your unconscious motives, tapping your internal
wisdom, and revising your personal mythology to meet new situations.
Your Shaman might be Mother Nature, Aristotle, Confucius, Jesus, a
wise old man, or anyone you respect highly. It is a way of increasing
your insight. 
Humans seem to have a compelling need to understand, to know,
to predict. In the absence of scientific knowledge, all of us have an
"inner story" that helps us explain the past, understand what's
happening now, and anticipate the future. As a way of discovering how
parts of that inner story may be creating problems, you are asked to
imagine three scenes from your life: a paradise, paradise lost, and
paradise regained. Note that many myths follow this sequence,
including the story of Adam and Eve with Christian religion providing
the way to regain paradise. Also, for some people childhood was
blissful, adulthood a grind, and they long for a return to the past (or to
glory in heaven). Likewise, some psychoanalysts believe that being in
the womb was paradise and the religious drive is our attempt to return
to an ideal place. The basic self-help idea here is to vividly imagine (1)
a wonderful time of your life, (2) a painful, unhappy, stressful time of
your life, (3) a time when happiness and peace was regained, and (4)
the hopes and principles that have guided your quest for a better life,
i.e. what have you done to make your life better? Record these
fantasies in a journal. Careful study of these extensive, elaborate
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