Understanding the Importance of Human Behavior
The Third Great Question Concerning the Nature of Reality
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Chapter 1 – Simple Reality: The Essence
- Chapter 2 – Religion and Human Behavior
- Chapter 3 – Psychology and Human Behavior
- Chapter 4 – Insights and Human Behavior
This third book in the trilogy is the most daunting. In this book you will be challenged, not by learning about new attitudes, beliefs and values, but you will be asked to incorporate the new paradigm into your life—to act—to begin the process of changing your behavior. If your behavior doesn’t change, then in fact you have been indulging in self-deception. You might just as well have read the latest bodice-ripper—Fifty Shades of Gray anyone?
Why Am I Here? is a question that undoubtedly enters the mind of most of us during our lifetime. And there are other questions buried within that question: What am I to do? How am I to behave? Which behaviors will get me what I want?
Answers to those questions depend upon the context in which they are asked (P-B or P-A) and upon who is doing the asking (the false self or the True self).
Most of us would like to escape the tyranny of Simon Legree (the false self) and escape being “enslaved” on the plantation (P-B). To do that we have to trust Harriet Tubman (the mystics) and let go of the less than desirable but familiar life of picking cotton. We met most of the mystics in the first two books of the trilogy and we now face the acid test. Are we going to trust them; are we going to change our behavior or not?
To illustrate the challenge, we have selected insights typical of those found in the introductions to chapter two (religion) and chapter three (psychology). It is in these two introductions and the 11 articles found in chapter four that the most startling distinctions are drawn between the behavior required to escape the slavery and the egregious suffering that characterizes most of our lives, and the freedom and compassion that awaits us across the river in the territory of Simple Reality.
The German philosopher Paul d’ Holbach (1723-1789) had many insights regarding religion and human behavior. “Against one timid man whom this [idea of hell] restrains, there are thousands upon whom it operates to no effect; there are millions whom it makes irrational, whom it turns into savage persecutors, whom it converts into wicked … fanatics; there are millions whose minds it disturbs, and whom it diverts from their duty to society.” (1 p. 705) To escape to “free territory” we will have to consider whether our “ole-time” religion will be compatible with the True-self behaviors we want to create.
Turning our perceptive intuition toward psychology we focus on the biographer Adam Phillips and his latest work entitled Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst. “It was through attention to the unconscious that he made his major discoveries, the most important being that from birth to death we are, every last one of us, divided against ourselves. We both want to grow up and don’t want to grow up; hunger for sexual pleasure, dread sexual pleasure; hate our own aggressions—our anger, our cruelty, our humiliations—yet these are derived from the grievances we are least willing to part with. The hope of achieving an integrated self is a vain one as we are equally divided about our own suffering; we do in fact love and want—may intend—never to relinquish it. What Freud found most difficult to cure in his patients, Phillips tells us, ‘was their (mostly unconscious) wish not to be cured.’” (2 p. 10)
Does the worldview of the mental health care profession support our behavioral goals? Do our therapists believe we want to suffer or (maybe unconsciously) believe that we are incapable of creating healthy, life-sustaining responses to life? Do we believe we can become our own therapist and a self-reliant practitioner engaged in our own self-transformation? Can we escape the plantation on our own and find our own way through unknown territory in the darkness, trusting our inner wisdom to take us beyond the reach of suffering.
These are but some of the questions you will encounter in this, the third volume of the Great Question Trilogy. You are fully prepared for your journey—you just have to believe it.
TRILOGY BOOKS IN PRINT
Where Am I? Story – The First Great Question
Who Am I? Identity – The Second Great Question
Why Am I Here? Behavior – The Third Great Question