Keys Posts 2012, Part 17

This entry is part 30 of 40 in the series 2012A

WHAT IS YOUR STORY? – By Artie Dewey


(Note from JJ Several people have asked Artie for a summary of her presentation at the Gathering. She has written it up in three parts. Enjoy.)


Have you ever seen the Jack in the Box commercial where Jack and his cohorts are standing in a loud nightclub on the sidelines trying to talk? Jack asks “Why are we here?” One guy says “You said we should try Club Chipotle.” Jack replies “I said we should try a chipotle chicken club.” Then he described the combo and the price of $4.99 which includes fries and a drink. One woman asks “Did you say you wanted a drink?” Jack answers “I said a drink comes with a combo”. She gets all excited and asks “You know how to mambo?” Jack, all cool and clever, says proudly “Of course I can do the robot”

Does this style of communication sound familiar in your house? You talk past each other because neither one can “Hear” the other – figuratively speaking in most cases, but I think JJ doesn’t hear as well as he used to, so it’s literal for me – and then you get into an argument over something you may not have even been talking about in the first place!

Misunderstandings like this can sometimes be sorted out if you go back in the conversation and retrace who said what – and women are superior in doing this, even years later. The problem is men don’t admit to saying what THEY said – right?

More difficult misunderstandings to sort out are those that involve our OWN thoughts and beliefs.

Do you believe what you think? This is an interesting question.

Of course we believe our own thoughts because they come from us, right? If we don’t believe our OWN thoughts, whose thoughts DO we believe? Do we, in fact, consciously create our thoughts?

Last year, we learned in my talk about the Healing Code that most of our adult stress stems from unquestioned childhood beliefs we formed from our environment – things our parents, siblings, friends, and teachers did and said to us. As children, we were sponges with no maturity and experience to filter the negative, self-limiting feedback we absorbed into our subconscious. Since many of these childhood memories (the Healing Code calls them “heart pictures”) silently dwells in our subconscious, we aren’t aware of how our past effects our ADULT lives until a stressor triggers a reaction that often isn’t appropriate to the situation.

Have you heard of the statement in The Course in Miracles that says “I am never upset for the reason I think”.? (This is one of JJ’s favorites and he relishes reciting this to me sometimes in an argument – what man in his right mind tells his wife “you’re not upset for the reason you think?”) Why is this statement true? WHY do we get upset for reasons we’re not even aware of?

The answer is in the word “upset”. When we’re upset and emotional, the subconscious takes over and conscious well-thought-out responses fly out the window. Most of our negative reactions that bubble up from our subconscious are AUTOMATIC, like habits and learned skills like walking and driving. Because they’re based on deeply engrained beliefs about ourselves and the world, we’re attached to them and they even define who we are.

Are we likely to give credence to thoughts and feelings that we believe are true because they’ve been with us for so long, even if they no longer serve us (and maybe never did) ? Of course.

How often do we change our minds, particularly our long-held beliefs? Not often, which is why people don’t change that much during adulthood. Do we ever stop to ask if our thoughts are true? Probably not. Our UNINVESTIGATED, engrained beliefs that become our STORY is what I’m going to talk about today.

A book that caught my attention this year after I heard the mention of it by Jenny McCarthy on Oprah, is called “Loving What Is” by a woman named Byron Katie. Katie – as she’s commonly called – was a severely depressed suicidal alcoholic living in the desert of Barstow, California. For years she raged at her family, traumatized her kids, had no friends, and lost her successful real estate business because of her problems.

One morning, after sleeping on the floor of a basement room of a rehab facility she checked herself into because the other women were afraid of her and because she didn’t consider herself worthy of a bed, she woke up in a totally different state of consciousness. Some would say she had a nervous breakdown, others like JJ and I think she may have become a walk-in. She didn’t recognize her body but was fascinated by it, she didn’t know who she was and where, she didn’t communicate in the usual manner, etc. She literally acted like a non-human alien who jumped into a body without preparation.

Anyway, after adjusting to her body and surroundings, all this lead her to question every thought and belief she ever had – negative and positive -, and this unraveling over a period of time brought her peace from depression, anger, disappointment, addiction, etc. and healed all her relationships. (It resulted in a divorce because her dysfunctional husband was threatened by her new consciousness.)

Through word of mouth, people from around the world came to her door to find out about this peace she had found. She was no New Ager and read no self-help books in her life, so when the New Agers she counseled left her house, they would often say “Namaste”. She thought they were saying “No mistake”, and she thought “Wow – these people really get it!”

Since then, Katie’s teachings have become a machine – she’s written several books with the help of her next husband (I’ve compiled portions of 4 of them for this talk) , she tours the world giving seminars, she’s done personal counseling with thousands, she founded a 28-day facility program for the addicted called Turnaround House, she offers a 1.5 week School of the Work and a follow-up Institute for graduates that offers professional certification. Her extensive web site is Katie offers free audio and video downloads featuring actual sessions with clients in workshop settings, free downloads of resource materials, etc.

Katie calls this process of questioning your thoughts and beliefs “The Work”. I’m first going to cover her 6 basic principles before we talk about the inquiry.

1) Principal #1: Katie’s foundational belief is “I’m a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. No thinking in the world can change it. What is IS.” The principle is notice when your thoughts argue with reality – we suffer when we believe a thought that argues with what is. “If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try and in the end the cat will look up at you and say Meow.”

Using “Shoulds” and “Shouldn’ts” in our language suggest a state of mind that projects into past experiences and tries to change the present and the future. They’re evidence of wanting a different reality. You reject what’s happening and interject SHOULD and SHOULDN’T as if they can change reality. “I should be able to trust people” (Wayne). “My boss shouldn’t ignore my intelligent input.” “I should have known this wouldn’t work out.”

What you think shouldn’t have happened SHOULD, because it DID. No mental arguing in the world can change reality – it only causes you stress. The more you stick to the belief that you’re in control of the events and people in your life, the more you’ll fight reality every step of the way. We have no idea what’s going to happen next with total assurance, which makes the game of life exciting, even for God.

This is not to say that we should accept everything that happens without judgment because it’s not possible or desirable. But by accepting what’s happening (but not necessarily liking it), and keeping the mind clear and the emotions calm, positive action to remedy a situation if it’s called for is possible. Instead of cursing the darkness, we light a candle.

Accepting reality not only positively affects our relationships and events in our lives, but also our physical bodies. The book “Intuitive Healing “states “Our beliefs trigger biochemical responses. No organ system stands apart from our thoughts. What you really believe programs your brain chemicals.” The body has its own consciousness and life, but, like the subconscious, the body takes your mind’s direction, whether it’s life- affirming or non life-affirming. The body’s consciousness will tell you through pain and illness when the stresses are more than it can handle.

For example, anger can increase inflammation; anxiety can cause jittery platelets and high cortical levels; grievance can lead to cancer, the most common emotional cause of cancer.

Listen to the body and respect its message – don’t let thoughts that argue with reality enter in to stop the body’s healing process, like “I shouldn’t be sick” or “I hate this tumor. I’m going to battle with it” -Ever hear of the “courageous fight with cancer” statement often used in obituaries?

You’re not present to help your body if you deny or fight against what’s happening to it. Do you think your body will heal from illness most efficiently when you’re tense and fearful, fighting it as an enemy? Use compassion and acceptance and ask the body what it needs from you. Be grateful for its health and support and calmly and rationally give it what it needs to heal.

Another way we argue with reality is when we tell ourselves we HAVE to do things – I have to go to work, I have to clean the house, I have to go grocery shopping. These things become stressful chores when we argue with reality. In knowing that we don’t HAVE to do anything and that we only do what we DECIDE to do right now, we just do things in peace and acceptance, and they can even become pleasurable. This is an important point I personally have learned over the years in regards to housework. I have complained and martyred myself that I HAVE to do all this housework and nobody appreciates it (sound familiar?). When I get the response, “if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it”, that just twists the knife – if I don’t do it, who will??? Finally, in my old age, I realized that I do chores because they make ME feel good when I do it, and I would do it even if no one was around to appreciate it, so I might as well enjoy the process instead of fighting it and making everybody around me miserable.

The bottom line is that when we argue with and reject reality, we create a fantasy life, and live it as if it were true. We believe a lie. We aren’t present in our own life when we deny the truth of it and we aren’t present for others when we deny the truth of who they are because we’ve detached ourselves.

2) Principle #2 : Stay in your own business. There are 3 kinds of business: Yours, mine and God’s (that which is beyond anyone’s control). Much stress comes from living outside your own business or “sphere of influence” as Steven Covey calls it – there is separation from yourself and you’re not living your own life, because you’re not in it. Every wonder why people who’s life is tied up with minding others’ have lives that don’t work? Nobody’s living it! When you think you know what’s best for someone else, you not only avoid facing your own problems but you’re also frustrated, anxious and lonely because you’re out of your area of control. The next time you’re feeling stressed, ask yourself whose business you’re in mentally – it’s usually not your own.

3) Principle #3 : Meet your thoughts with understanding. It’s not our thoughts but the ATTACHMENT to them that causes our suffering. Attachment means believing a thought is true without questioning it. Most people think they ARE what their thoughts tell them they are without question. It’s amazing when I watch shows that help people – lose weight, or get themselves together financially, or help them heal relationships, etc. -how many of them say they feel worthless and unworthy – it seems to be a common denominator. They believe their own thoughts and beliefs despite proof to the contrary. This is why obese people who lose a lot of weight often gain it back because they don’t see themselves as thin regardless of what the mirror or scale says. Outward success doesn’t change the inner dialogue.

Unfortunately, we can’t control our thoughts. (According to Deepak Chopra we CAN control them because they are not us – we are not our thoughts, emotions, body, etc. ). I disagree. Just because we are more than our thoughts doesn’t mean we have control over them – just as we are more than what happens to us doesn’t mean we can control what happens to us. Our thoughts come unbidden, they usually come from the subconscious so we don’t CONSCIOUSLY create many of them, and sometimes they work against our own best interests. Ever notice this? How many times do you say something that just pops out of our mouth and you wonder “Where did THAT come from?” Or you meditate and get all excited that you didn’t have a thought for 10 seconds, but then realize you just had a thought that you didn’t have a thought? Byron Katie believes we don’t really think – we’re BEING thought. This seems far out, but if we’re the thoughts of God, as JJ teaches, then maybe she’s right.

Katie’s theory is that if we can’t control our thoughts, don’t try to control them, or suppress them (this leads to cancer) ,or change them (as in positive affirmations) , or let them go (as in meditation practice). They will let go of YOU if you meet them with understanding. Be the observer of your thoughts and treat them like friends coming for a visit, but don’t automatically believe them. The only way to unravel them and release their power over you is ask questions about them – are they true?

Do you believe or find credible your thoughts while dreaming? No. They come from you, so why not? Because they come from the subconscious and they’re often silly and don’t make logical sense. Thoughts from the subconscious aren’t any more reliable just because you’re awake. Once a thought or belief that is painful is met with understanding AND skepticism , the next time it appears you may find it interesting or even funny. After that, you may not even notice it.

4) Principle #4: Become aware of your stories, which are your thoughts about what’s happening that are untested, uninvestigated theories of what things mean. What things mean is the left brain’s job – to make sense of our environment. When unexplained and/or unexpected events happen – for example, when someone doesn’t contact you when they’re supposed to (common culprits are contractors), when your boss invites you to come into his office at 4 pm on a Friday, when a cop’s siren goes off behind you on your teenager has missed his curfew by an hour – the left brain begins creating stories to defend yourself, explain the situation, blame the other person, etc. Ever notice that? I must be a great storyteller because before I know what’s happening for sure, I’ll weave a story about what’s probably going on and I upset myself – and then I find out what really happened – totally unlike my fantasy – and I feel stupid. Anyone ever do that?

There are also stories we tell ourself that encompass more than an event – they’re stories that we use to explain our lives. Small stories breed bigger ones. Bigger stories breed major theories about life and we become defined by the stories we tell ourselves. Your personality takes it as a badge and you wear it. For example, how many people define themselves as cancer survivors, or rape survivors, or a minority, or ADD/ADHD, or obese, or poor, or unemployed, etc. – almost to the exclusion of all else? Some of our stories empower us, many disable us. Every disabling story is a variation on a single theme: THIS SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING – I shouldn’t have to experience this – This is unfair. When we recycle these stories, we move out of the truth and live in fantasy, which reduces our power of decision.

Most of our stories involve other people, particularly those close to us. The problem is that we often know less about those close to us – our spouse, children, parents – than a stranger we’ve talked to for an hour. We only know our STORIES about them and don’t have a clue who they really are. Also, our understanding of other people is limited by what we think we already know and the projections of our own thoughts we’ve placed on them. This is what happens sometimes in the process of falling in love (more likely, lust) with a person who doesn’t share your values, like a “bad boy” for a girl or a “toy boy” for an older woman. We create a romantic, fantasy story about how wonderful and exciting and attractive the person is, regardless of the facts that may say otherwise. Your friends and family don’t see what you see in the person and you think they just don’t want you to be happy. Sound familiar? Love is blind – we don’t get to know the person, even after we’ve married them, until the “honeymoon is over.”

Tony Robbins, who’s livelihood is helping people to empower themselves, says we get stuck in our negative stories through repetition that tell us we can’t become more. We connect through the pain and problems in our lives even when it’s not necessary. Stories of our problems are the biggest addiction in humanity – they become a pattern. Problems allow us to escape our fears, especially if they’re big enough, bad enough and not our fault. Robbins’ foundational advice is to divorce your story if it doesn’t serve you and marry the truth. Affirmations don’t work because they don’t challenge you to see the truth and tell a different story.

What’s YOUR story? What’s your story that you’ve attached yourself to and may even by part of your identity?

5) Principle #5: After looking at the suffering behind your thoughts, reverse it and look for the THOUGHT behind the suffering. If you have a thought that argues with reality (“this shouldn’t be happening”) then you have a stressful feeling and then you act on that feeling, creating more stress. Rather than understand the original cause – a thought – we try to change our stressful feeling by looking outside ourselves and blaming others. This phenomenon is called PROJECTION or EXTERNALIZATION. When an event happens that causes internal stress, this is the alarm clock that says you need to look inside at what you’re telling yourself. Iyana VanZant has a cute acronym: PAIN: Pay Attention Inward Now.

How do you know when you’re projecting your stuff on other people or events? If you receive what is happening as a point of interest or information, you aren’t projecting. If it causes you internal stress, the mechanical reactive ego will tend to look for fault outside of yourself, as a defense mechanism – we judge in others that which we reject or disown in ourselves. This is projection. The problem is “What we can’t be with won’t let us be” – we have to deal with it. People who do horrible things that land them in prison do these things because they externalize their pain, not because of their pain – they don’t look inward and deal with their pain – they take it out on other people.

Principle #6: Use inquiry to investigate the truth of your thoughts. It’s a way to end confusion and experience peace. Inquiry is more than a technique – it reveals inner aspects of our being – our thought process, our past experiences and what has hurt us, how we see the world, how we protect ourselves or beat ourselves up. Our subconscious thoughts meet the moment because we move thoughts into the conscious mode -out of the dream state. It’s like asking yourself “where am I going?” when you’ve been on automatic pilot mode driving to work when you meant to drive to church. You wake up to reality.

Often, when we think we’re being rational, we’re really being spun by our own thinking, which can get us into painful positions we uphold in our mind. Neuroscience identifies a part of the brain called “the interpreter” as the source of the familiar internal narrative that gives us our sense of self. One scientist was quoted in the book Cell Level Healing “Perhaps the most important revelation is precisely this: the left cerebral hemisphere of humans is prone to fabricating verbal narratives that don’t necessarily accord with the truth. The left brain weaves its story in order to convince itself and you that it’s in full control. It amounts to a spin doctor. The interpreter, or left brain, is really trying to keep our personal story together. To do that, we have to learn to lie to ourselves. We tend to believe our own press releases.”

Self questioning – investigating the truth of our thoughts – uses a different, less-known capacity of the mind to find a way out of its self-made trap. It’s an ongoing and deepening process of self-realization where the mind notices each stressful thought and undoes it before it can cause any suffering. This process of inquiry is the meat of Katie’s work. Quoting her: “Through inquiry we discover how attachment to a belief or story causes suffering. Before the story there is peace. Then a thought appears, we automatically believe it and the peace disappears. We notice the feeling of stress in the moment, investigate the story behind it, and realize it probably isn’t true. The feeling lets us know that we’re opposing what is by believing the thought. It tells us we’re at war with reality.”


Now, to get to THE WORK:

The first step before self-inquiry is to vent your feelings on paper. Katie developed a “JUDGE YOUR NEIGHBOR” worksheet (available for download on which has 6 questions that encourages you to “bitch” in delicious detail about some body or some happening. This is a strictly confidential sheet that allows the ego to go crazy without mental or moral censorship. This is the opportunity the ego has been waiting for and it will gladly tell you everything, like a child. It’s best to be judgmental, harsh, childish and petty. Don’t try to be wise, spiritual or kind. Those experienced in doing this process say they get pettier and pettier and more and more uncensored because it gets harder and harder to find something to be upset about over time.

When you commit to writing down your feelings, you find out a lot about your thinking, values, and experience. You take a look at what’s been swirling around inside you for years, without asking yourself what’s the cause and what’s the solution. Sometimes we just get lost in the mind’s chaos and we don’t know what to do to feel better. In writing them down, you see your feelings in physical form and through inquiry, you begin to understand them, deal with them and heal them . This is all a therapist does, right? Why pay a therapist when you can do this for free?

The next step of inquiry is to respond to 4 main questions about the feelings your wrote down:

1) The first question that is the entry gate to opening the mind is IS IT TRUE? Katie says that if you do nothing else, this is the most important question you can ask yourself. What is the REALITY of it? Remember, in reality, shoulds and shouldn’t s don’t exist. They are just observations and wishes.

Let’s say you wrote down on your worksheet “My children ALWAYS disrespect me and I’m OUTRAGED by this. They SHOULD clean up after THEMSELVES so I don’t HAVE to do it. ”

These 2 sentences are rich with examples of the principles we discussed earlier… • “My children always disrespect me” invites the question IS IT TRUE? Is cleaning up after yourself the proof of respect or lack of it for a person you live with? (If so, a lot of husbands ALSO disrespect their wives.) • Do they ALWAYS do this? (Absolutes are a tip off that you’re stretching the truth, even if it’s partially true. No one does anything all the time except breathe. • The 2nd statement has a should, which argues with reality – they shouldn’t clean up because they don’t – that’s the reality of it. • It also implies that you’re out of your business because cleaning up after THEM isn’t your job, it’s theirs. • Finally it has “so I don’t HAVE to do it.” also argues with reality because you don’t have to do anything. If you want to do it anyway, acknowledge that and do it without stressing yourself out.

2) The 2nd question, as a back up is CAN YOU ABSOLUTELY KNOW IT’S TRUE? This question is for those who answer yes on the 1st question IS IT TRUE? We can’t absolutely know anything, especially about what another person is feeling. Going back to the example, I know a lot of people, especially husbands who don’t consider it disrespectful to leave their crap lying around – this thought doesn’t even occur to them. Thinking we know another person’s mind is folly and it keeps us from doing the work to know our own mind.

When our remarks contain extreme reactions like “I’m devastated”, “I’m terrified” “I’m outraged” – these often aren’t really true. A common technique therapists use is to get to the foundational truth of what you’re feeling – it usually boils down to fear of loss of love or positive regard of others even when we’re very angry, but manifests as something else to cover our vulnerabilities. Look at not only the truth of the situation, but your own TRUE feelings about it.

If you’re not sure if something is true or not about what you’ve written, there are 5 additional statements that may help to bring your true feelings out:

a) Add “and it means that__________” to a statement you’ve made to bring out more feelings. For example, you might add after the disrespect statement above ” and it means that I feel alone and unloved by my children”. Anger wasn’t the real feeling in this example – it’s hurt and vulnerability.

b) Ask what you think would happen if things were the way you want them. You might say “I would feel loved and appreciated if they picked up.”

c) Imagine what’s the worst that could happen when you write down something you don’t want to happen, and then ask if it’s true. This is a common technique for reducing stress over events we can’t control. For example, you might say “I’m dead and my children never clean up after themselves. The house is condemned and they become homeless and die of starvation.” Ask Is this what could REALLY happen? Extreme worst case scenarios help us put things in perspective. Living with the fear of negative outcomes is often more painful than the actual event, which I call the “wait till your father comes home” threat.

d) Look for shoulds and shouldn’ts you can use if you haven’t already used them to add to statements of fact that are true, but don’t lead to realizing deeper feelings. Saying “my children leave crap around the house” doesn’t evoke the feelings that “my children should clean up after themselves” – the latter statement reveals expectations, beliefs, disappointments, etc.

e) Another way to find the truth: Where’s your proof? Bring all your evidence and ask if it’s true.

For example, the statement “my children don’t respect me” used the proof statement “They don’t pick up after themselves”. I posed the question “is not picking up after yourself proof of disrespect?” 2nd, where’s the proof that you HAVE to pick up after your children? Does your family force you at gun point to do it?

3) Going back to the 4 inquiry questions: the 3rd question after is it true and can you absolutely know it’s true is HOW DO YOU REACT WHEN YOU BELIEVE THAT THOUGHT? Picture yourself in the situation and see the people or events that are causing you stress. See your reactions – what do you say, how do you say it, what’s your body language look like, what feelings are going on inside you? With this question we notice INTERNAL cause and effect as opposed to external cause. When you believe negative thoughts, there’s an uneasy feeling or stress. If you realized from the 1st question that the thought really isn’t true for you, then you’re looking at the power of a lie and what the power of your thoughts can do to you and those around you.

A follow-on question Katie asks to this one is “can you see a reason to drop that thought – and I’m not asking you to drop it because you can’t and don’t even try.” Once you see the truth of it, the thought will let YOU go, not the other way around. A reverse variation on the question is “Can you find one stress-free reason to keep the thought?”

4) The 4th question : WHO WOULD YOU BE WITHOUT THE THOUGHT? With this question imagine yourself NOT reacting, as you did in the 3rd question – just observing. Then imagine who you would be if you couldn’t think this thought. How would your life be different? How do you feel without the story? How do people respond to you? Which feels kinder and more peaceful – with or without your story? In our example, if you didn’t think you’re disrespected just because your kids don’t pick up after themselves, how would you feel? You would feel more calm and have the presence of mind to come up with options. A couple of things I can think of: a) If your kids are young, tell them calmly and pleasantly to pick up their stuff before they do anything fun, and make a game out of it – call them vacuum monsters and set a timer to see how fast they can “suck” up their toys b) if they’re older, make a notation on a chart that they owe you a set amount of money for the task you did on their behalf. By removing a negative emotional response which shuts down creativity and engagement in a solution, you can get what you aim for without shooting yourself first in the foot.

For many people, life without their story is literally unimaginable because they’re so attached to them – they have no reference for it. When asked “who would you be without the thought?”, “I don’t know” is a common answer to this question in Katie’s experience. This imagination exercise helps us to come up with more positive and effective alternative realities that helps to unstick us from long-held recycled beliefs and give clarity to understand the situation and act efficiently. We step back from the situation and become the observer of our scripts, and then decide if and how we want to rewrite them. (Chopra says that the highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe yourself without negative judgment and attachment. As you watch yourself, you gain insights.)



Finally, Katie has developed THE TURNAROUND, which is the hardest part of The Work because it requires an open mind and heart. In this process, you take what you’ve written of others and see if your words are as true or truer when it applies to YOU. As long as you think the cause of your stress is “out there”, your problems will never be solved because you’re not in your own business and therefore have no control. You’re forever in the role of victim when you blame the external.

The turnaround is done in 3 steps and you don’t have to believe them – they just open your mind to seeing other options that may be as true or truer for you. If some statements are too hard to accept, add “sometimes” and see if it’s true, or substitute a different but related word. Then list examples of how they could be true for you.

The 3 steps are: (all turnarounds below are applied to the example worksheet statement )

1) Turn it around to YOURSELF • “I should pick up after MYSELF”. Is this true? We all should. Am I setting a good example?) • “I don’t respect ME”. Is this as true for me as I think it is for my kids?

2) Turn it around for the PERSON • “My kids SHOULDN”T pick up after themselves.” They shouldn’t because they don’t – this is reality. Deal with this first. • “My kids SHOULDN’T respect me”. Why should I EXPECT anybody else to respect me or love me? I can’t control that and it’s MY job to respect and love me. Cut out the middle man. If you want something you’re not getting, give it to yourself – that way, you get exactly what you want.

(3) Turn it around to the OPPOSITE • “I should respect me.” Yes. • “My kids should pick up after ME.”(HA HA) • “I don’t HAVE to pick up after them because I don’t have to do anything I don’t decide to do.” • “I’m not outraged – on the scale of the outrageous, this is a 2.”

Katie suggests that you always do the 4 inquiries BEFORE a turnaround because without them to open up your mind to other possibilities, the turnaround can feel harsh and shameful. The judgment turned back unto yourself can set up self-defensiveness, which closes your mind to solving anything. If you’re open to the questions and see other sides to the issue, then the turnaround will be additional revelations rather than mental gymnastics.

Once you’ve learned to go inside for your own answers and opened yourself to turnaround, you’ll see that most everything you think you see on the outside is really a projection of your own mind. We see who we are by seeing who we think other people are. In discovering the innocence of the people you judge, you’ll come to recognize your own innocence.

Katie says after successfully doing The Work for a while, you’ll actually LOOK FORWARD to problems that pop up so that you can process them without stress and defensiveness, and without hopelessly applying willpower to force to eradicate the situation from your life. If you live with the person you’ve judged, you may as well look forward to the problems as you go – it makes life easier. If you don’t live with the person, you probably find yourself living with them in your MIND, so you may as well look forward to it. It’s no longer necessary to wait for people or situations to change in order to experience peace and harmony. Whether you go through life with lots of stress or with peace and acceptance, the trip is the same – the difference is HOW the journey is made.

Only after you’ve done The Work on other people, Katie suggests you can do it on yourself. She says this order is important because the ego will put up defenses if you start with yourself, so you need practice first. We have 20/20 insight vision about other people, but not ourselves.

TRYING to love and approve of yourself can be just as painful as seeking the love of others, and the results are just as unsatisfying. You think other people think there’s something wrong with you because YOU think there’s something wrong with you. By seeking to gain other’s approval, you’re trying to stop them from thinking what YOU are thinking. In every inquiry about painful relationships, you discover that the stress is caused by your own thinking. Katie says “If you haven’t undone painful thoughts about yourself, you can get into a bubble bath, light candles, recite positive affirmations and pamper yourself in every way – and once you’re out of the tub, the same thoughts will come back to haunt you. It’s like staging a seduction, only you’re the one trying to seduce you”

A good place to start in questioning the parts about YOURSELF that stress you out is questioning what you’re most ASHAMED of. Secrets cry out for inquiry – you can’t be free if you’re hiding from yourself.

Step 1: Write down “what I’m most ashamed of is” or “what I don’t want you to know about me is___________” (Applied to our worksheet statement: “What I’m most ashamed of is that I sometimes hate my kids and I look for excuses to gripe at them. I like being a martyr and try to make my kids feel guilty.) Step 2: Write down what you think this means: “…and that means that__________” (Ex: “…and that means that I think I’m a bad mother and person.) Step 3: Inquire into each meaning. Is it true that I’m a bad mother and person for feeling this way sometimes? Ask yourself for your own truth – treat each question as a deep meditation – ask and gently wait for the heart’s answer to surface. Step 4: Turnaround your responses, even if they are difficult, and find 3 genuine ways in which the opposite is as true or truer – you may discover that everything you thought it meant isn’t necessarily true. (Ex: “I don’t think I’m a bad mother. I’m not ashamed that I sometimes hate my kids. I’m not supposed to always love my kids until I do.” Is this as true or truer? This inquiry allows the mind to give you other truths that can set you free to love them or not, and to be a very good parent regardless of what you’re feeling about them at the moment. By freeing yourself of parental guilt, you can find your love naturally, and you can really hear your children and be with them, and you don’t have to do anything or be anything you’re not.

Katie has a great quote about being ourselves that can be turned into a meditation: “I am the perfect one to be me and no one else can be it. I must be this height to be me, exactly this weight, exactly this age. That is the requirement to be me. There are 2 ways of being me: one is to hate it and one is to love it. Since I don’t have a choice but to be me, which will it be? I am perfectly myself”. When you love yourself, you love the person you are always with.

Katie says that if you really want to be free, CRITICISM from others can be a gift. Feeling hurt or wanting to defend yourself means there’s something you don’t accept and love about yourself – it’s the part you want to hide. The worst that can happen is that you’re hearing the truth. Isn’t that what you want? No matter what anyone says to or about you, if you experience stress, then you are the one who’s suffering in the moment. Stress is the signal that it’s time to question your own thinking. When someone criticizes you, don’t try to rebut and defend. Settle into it and ask yourself “Is it true? Could she be right? Can I see how someone might see me that way?” An interesting response would be “Thank you for letting me know. You could be right.” Notice what that does to the argument and feelings involved.

The saying goes that friends are people who agree with you. Enemies -and family – are people who don’t.

Quote: “For the personality or ego, love is nothing more than agreement. If I agree with you, you love me. And the minute I don’t agree with you, the minute I question one of your sacred beliefs, I become your enemy. You divorce me in your mind. Then you start looking for reasons why you’re right, and you stay focused outside yourself – when you’ve focused outside yourself and believe that your problem is caused by someone else, rather than by your attachment to the story you’re believing in the moment, then you are your own victim.”

A couple of things to keep in mind about criticism: 1) The person who is criticizing you is telling you what they think – telling a person they shouldn’t think that or feel that way is futile. We think what we think and feel what we feel. Their opinions of you are just their observations and they don’t have any meaning for you except that which you give it, which is true of everything in our lives. You’re out of your own business when you worry about what others think of you. If you live your life and let people form whatever impression they want about you, without your engineering – and that’s what they’re doing anyway – you open yourself to be responsible for your own happiness and live the highest you know.

The 2nd thing to keep in mind: When criticism isn’t true of you, it’s probably a projection from the other person. It’s about them, not you.

Finally, a word about FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past can be different. FORGIVENESS and inner PEACE is possible when you realize the truth about projections, about your underlying beliefs, about your reactions to others actions based on your past experiences, about minding your own business, and about the fact that we’re all doing our best. You realize that your suffering is largely your own doing. Look at your thoughts, ask questions, see what applies to you, and set yourself free.

I’ll end with a quote from the I Ching: “It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are without any self-deception or illusion that a light will develop out of events by which the path to success may be recognized.”


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Kalispell Gathering 2006, Part 21

This entry is part 6 of 24 in the series Kalispell Gathering 2006

Audience: What is the time frame on this?

JJ: The time frame for fully entering the Aquarian age is about 200 years. We are going to be gradually shifting over and there is still a lot of strong Piscean energy left in the churches – all the churches, Christian, Muslim, even many of the Buddhist and Hindu are still strongly polarized in the Piscean energy. This energy has to be shifted over from the emotions to the plane of the mind and when you think of the mind you think, are we leaving out the heart. Actually the heart energies has 12 petals, six of the petals are related to wisdom which is very closely related to the mind and six of them are related to different types of love energy.

So the wisdom aspect of the heart is very closely linked to the mind and in the mind is a reflection of the heart chakra. In the top of the head you have an exact duplicate of the heart center, so you have a heart center in the head and you have a heart center in the heart. The reason for this is the pure love of Christ is very mental because it associated with a higher mind.

When people associate mind with something sterile they are thinking of the concrete lower mind. The higher mind is very closely attuned with the heart energies so much that you can’t use the higher mind without using the heart to a degree because they are very closely intertwined. One of the popular sayings among the new agers is, well we have to be mindless and let go of the mind. If you let go of the mind then you are experiencing what happens when you dream. You let go of the mind when you dream and nothing makes any sense in your dream because your mind is somewhere else. You and the vehicle that is your mind is somewhere else and all that is dreaming is your emotional nature, and the emotional nature without mind is nonsensical, but it gives you something to experience while you are dreaming anyway and it is better than nothing. (Laughter) When our mind comes back and merges with our emotional self we can try to make some sense of it again. Any questions?

Audience: You mentioned about the old woman that was waiting so long to see Jesus, It is a man that is mentioned I thought or maybe it was in another gospel.

JJ: Maybe it was an old man; I was thinking it was an old woman.

Audience: In one gospel it says that it was a man and in another is says it was a woman.

(Note: It was a prophetess named Anna Luke 2:36-38)

JJ: Over the next 200 years the plan is to establish relative peace on earth and before Christ can do His work there has to be an anchor of stability on this planet. He is not going to come when the Jews and Muslims are still hating each other and we at war with Iraq, He will come once an anchor of stability has been established and if we can establish a little bit of stability in Iraq where a teacher could go to the middle east and teach among the Christian and Muslims then that would be the ideal thing to do, Hopefully we could do this without someone trying to cut His head off! (Laughter)

It is important that societies over in the Middle East be established that are free because part of His plan will be to work in the Middle East and influence people for good there. As Shirley saw, sooner or later a beautiful temple will be built. That is the plan, the Jews will eventually have a Messiah of their own but it will not be the Christ but will be another Master who will come and work with them. The important thing to realize is that Christ is not alone. The Christ is the head of the Spiritual Hierarchy of the planet. There are a number of Masters and the exact number is not given, but the head of the Masters of Wisdom is The Christ.

Jesus is one of them and Master DK is another, Master Koot Hoomi another. Quite a number of them that work with Him. They are all working diligently to bring peace on earth and good to all men. In the Mormon scriptures it gives a hint about the Masters, it says, “All are under the condemnation of sin except for Holy Men, that ye know not of.” For those of you that are familiar with the Mormon scriptures let me ask, who are the Holy Men that you know not of, that are not under any condemnation? The answer is those are the Masters.

The Spiritual Hierarchy of the planet that work with the Christ and will come with him and will work with Him during the Aquarian age. Some of them will incarnate and others will simply manifest in some way and still others will work by overshadowing disciples and creating a link and work with them. We will reach the point as it was in ancient days where the gods walked openly among men. So it is in the approaching age, the gods will again walk among us. The truth is that only a handful of people will recognize who these gods are.

Audience: What would be most important for people like us who would like to assist in manifesting these kinds of things?

JJ: In my opinion, the most important thing that we can do right now is to promote the teachings that I have written on these types of subjects, to get them out there and discuss them with people. I believe it is possible that these books I have written can be as popular as the Da Vinci Code one day. I spoke with people who have read the Da Vinci Code and the Celestine Prophecy and most did not read them in one sitting. About half of the people that read my book are up half the night, miss work and cannot do anything but read it. Now this tells us that it has potential to be a very big seller.

Another thing is that when a bookstore owner reads a book they then begin to promote it and tell customers, “hey you have got to read this book.” If a bookstore owner has not read it then maybe it will sit there until some customer discovers it. We are not in any of the big bookstores yet and Barnes and Noble refused our book. They said because this book did not have writing on the back they couldn’t stock it. I did not realize I was supposed to put some type of writing on the back cover but, we published quite a few and we cannot just throw them away. So it is just little things like that we do not know about because we are publishing it ourselves. So in our new book we put some writing on the back. We do have a supplier that sells to Barnes and Noble and I have a plan to get in there. If a major publisher would pick it up and agree not to make alterations in it then we would have potential to really go some where with it.

I have had two people from Hollywood contact me about movie rights for the book and I told them that I have not sold the movie rights and I have not heard back from them. Things are in the mix out there and sooner or later things are going to happen, it just a matter of time.

Audience: Inaudible

JJ: We’ve sold close to 10,000 or so of the “Immortal” and not nearly as many of “The Lost Key of the Buddha,” a couple thousand maybe. The problem is the time distance between the first and the second that we lost a lot of the ones that read the first. Now we have a trinity of books and anyone who reads the first book will want all three now.

Audience: What about Amazon that is where I found “The Immortal” the first time.

JJ: Amazon still orders a few and most of our orders come from small new age bookstores that order through our distributers. We have two new age distributers that sell to new age bookstore and they are fairly small bookstores and we do not have any of the big bookstores yet.

Audience: I would like to see it not in the new age bookstores because I think that there is a stigma attached to them.

JJ: Yes, it does not hardly fit in anywhere, the Christian stores will not take it because it is too unorthodox, the new age people are suspicious of it because they think, well John the revelator that is the Bible and this too Christian for us. The Course in Miracles had that problem, no publisher would accept it because they said it sounds too Christian and the Christian people thought that it sounds too new age and it had the same problem that my book does until somebody finally fell in love with The Course in Miracles and financed the publishing and that is how that book finally got into marketplace. Then it started to take off after they published it.

It was quite a few years before this happened because no publisher would touch it and they finally just published it themselves. I did not even try to get this published by a publisher because I figured it would not even begin to get accepted so I just published it myself. Many years ago and I was told that one of the best agents was Scott Meredith, I sent him some of my stuff and he is a famous agent who is one of the few that will read the material from unknowns, but you have to pay him. I was 16 when I sent him some of my stuff and paid him to read it. He handles some people like Arthur C. Clarke and some other famous sci-fi writers. I can’t remember all the names though.

He wrote back and said, “you have a great imagination and I think you have a lot of potential but this story is not any good because you are not following the right principles of writing,” and then he explained to me how to do it. I sent him a couple of my writings when I was young and he really encouraged me but then I ran out of money to pay him to coach me. He came to mind after I wrote “The Immortal” so I checked in with him again found out the he had died, but his agency still remained. So we sent some money to examine The immortal and the person that read it had a name that sounded like she was from India and you would think that someone from India would appreciated the teachings in the Immortal but she said they would not accept it as a book to promote and the reason is that “you are mixing teachings with fiction and what you need to do is eliminate all the teaching and just write a book of pure story and if you do that then send it back to us.” (Laughter) I thought, well that destroys the whole purpose of the book! So when the book sells a million copies I am going to write them a letter and say that you are completely wrong on how to go about publishing a book.

Audience: What about sending letters to famous people?

JJ: Many people sent letters to Oprah and some sent her a copy.

Audience: David Akins said that this would be the book that would put you on the map. Yes, and also said that Joe’s Mom would be dead by Christmas and that was six months ago, so who knows.

JJ: David Akins is fairly sensitive so you never know and I need to send him a copy too. He is a new age teacher, physic and a little bit of everything. He read the first book and was enthused about it and he recommended it to a lot of people and I had a tremendous number of people in Boise that read the book because of this guy so I must send him a copy of the latest book. He was not impressed with “The Lost Key” for some reason, I do not know why but he was not very enthused about that book. It is funny that some people really liked “The Immortal” and then did not care for “The Lost Key” What did you think?

Audience: It seemed like such a new concept and such a wonderful story and then the second one did not seem to have that “Pow” that the first one had.

JJ: Part of the reason for this is that Buddhism is really boring and it takes a lot of concentration to try to put it in a way that was not boring. But if you ever read the Buddhist writings they are sterile and boring to read. So to try to make the Buddha interesting was very difficult and I think this was part of the problem.

Audience: As a Christian thinking about reincarnation and the Buddhist teachings was so taboo and strange to me, it was “The Immortal” that opened my heart to the fact that we were reincarnated. The Buddha though was like arrgg! Because as a Christian it is like what is this, it is just that weird eastern writings and do I really want anything to do with these teachings?

JJ: Few of the Christians would have read the Lost Key if the Immortal did not first prepare their minds. But the great part about the first book was that it was condensed in this free book here. It does not go into reincarnation or anything that is considered weird; there is nothing in it that really rubs the Christian the wrong way. In fact it is not until they get into book II that some really start to have a problem. I was pleasantly surprised though at how many people who were pretty standard Christian that read the books all the way through and had no complaints. I thought that when they got into reading about John the Beloved, talking about reincarnation that would turn many of them away but book I seemed to have prepared their minds enough that by the time they get to book II they were more open and this was a pleasant surprise for me that I did not get as much flack that I thought I would.

Audience: It was weird how it sometimes works, I was talking to some people at this large Methodists church in Texas and the topic of the Da Vinci Code came up and she was like the pastor in the church got everybody to read it and we all went to see it. And I was saying, what? And she said, oh yea, we do not really care if Jesus was married because that does not change anything.

JJ: It is amazing that most religions don’t want to examine the possibilities of history. If He was married or not that is okay, no big deal, but the Catholic Church sure does not like the idea though. You guys have a really good energy about you and I appreciate your time and interest. I feel very little resistance in this group. Often times in a group I can sense resistance but I sense a high degree of openness in this group and that is why it has been a really good free flow of energy tonight and we have been able to touch the soul a couple times and this really a nice feeling. I would like to thank you for your presence, your openness and your willingness.

Kalispell Gathering 2006, Part 22

This entry is part 7 of 24 in the series Kalispell Gathering 2006

Healing session

JJ: We will cover a few areas of healing here, some of which we have not covered in the past. This will give us a little variety. Every year we have a section on healing and then I give a dissertation on healing.

JJ: What does it mean to be healed?

Audience: Inaudible

JJ: That is part of the healing process. What other thoughts on healing?

Audience: I think it means to be restored to the original form because when I reading about sounding the original sound it occurred to me that if one knew how to do this that you could heal all areas and restore the body to it’s original form.

JJ: Okay, restore to the original form, this is a good answer as well. The question is this, what doe sit mean to be healed?

Audience: To made whole again.

JJ: What are the levels of healing – is there something more than just physical healing? If someone has a broken wrist or has a disease, when and if they eventually get better are they now whole or could there be other things wrong with them?

Audience: Inaudible

JJ: So we have mental illness as well, emotional illness, what is the difference between an emotional illness and a mental illness? Do they discuss that in psychology?

Audience: Perception

JJ: There is a definite difference but I do not recall orthodox scientists talking about that but there is a definite difference. I think the world as a whole just lumps mind and emotion together and the do not really understand the difference or how that the two are actually separate.

Audience: For the most part psychology will say that you do not have emotional issues they say you have thought process issues. It is said by those in that field that your thoughts cause your emotions so they do not work on emotional issues they always work on mental issues.

JJ: Okay. What is the difference between an emotional problem and a mental problem?

Audience: 1st member: I think emotional problems are caused by childhood.

2nd member: A mental problem can be a dysfunction of the brain.

3rd member: I believe one is physiological which has to do with some kind of illness where is the other is just dealing with your own feelings.

4th member: (Wayne) I know! I know! (Laughter) Okay you can divide the senses that we all have into somewhat distinct lines. We have sensual response like say you bump your elbow or something like that and there is whole range of senses that cover that. Then you have emotional responses where you feel a surge of energy like getting angry or being unhappy with someone so then it depresses. Then there is exaltation and stuff and then we break things up mentally where it is an analytical process. We have more control over mental and the others in a progressing or descending order are more of knee jerk reaction. We can learn to control our emotions as we should but we have emotions and the senses whether we control them or not.

JJ: Both the mind and the emotions play tricks on us. They cause us to have many things to deal with that give us numerous problems. As a matter of the fact, if our minds and emotions were healthy, we would very seldom have physical diseases unless you are breathing some type of toxic fumes or something like that. However, even people that are around chemicals but have a good attitude may not get sick. It just seems to get filtered through their system very well.

There are some people that smoke all there life like George Burns, who smoked cigars and drank all of his life. He lived to be a couple months over 100 years old, and he had a great attitude – very positive, always upbeat and he is a very interesting example. Your state of mind and your emotions has a lot to do with your health as well as how you deal with your emotions along with exercise and diet. If we are master of all these things then we are going to be pretty healthy overall. I know many people that are really into health foods and very fussy and careful on their diet and will not deviate from it at all and they are always having health problems. Have you ever known anyone like this?

DK explains why this is so, He states some people are putting too much attention on the body, and energy follows thought, so when one is focusing too much on your physical health it puts energy on your health in a negative way and sometimes it will make you sick. He states that we need to balance out the energy and put a certain amount of energy outside of ourselves and a certain amount inside ourselves as well to balance out the energies.

Some of my family members, like my Mom over here, 95 years old and still in relatively good health, except she is not as exuberant as she used to be. When we grew up we ate the worst foods. I grew up on potatoes, gravy, cinnamon toast, margarine with trans fats, the worst type of margarine, Karo syrup, lots of sugar and Mom was not into health foods at all. She smoked and drank most of her life with my Dad and she divorced him and then quit smoking and drinking that probably helped out her health a little bit. But in her younger years for about 20 to 30 years she lived that lifestyle. She just recently switched to whole wheat bread. She is as far away from being a health food person as possible yet she is 95 years old and had cancer a few years ago with chemotherapy and survived it along with everything else. How long has it been since you had the chemo?

Mom: About 10 years.

She survived that and the only thing that it affected was her short-term memory. Before the chemo her memory was in good shape and after the treatment she has a hard time remember short term. That is why I thought it was great that she could recite that poem because her memory is not at the optimum level anymore. I think her memory would still be up to par if she had not had to have the chemo, which she had twice, for her original cancer came back. Chemo probably takes about 10 years off your life so she would probably live to be 130 had she not had that treatment process.

The fact of health is a mystery and there are a number of things bringing it all together. So let us examine the emotional and the mental, the simple emotional reactions that really hurt an individual’s health. Number one is guilt if a person carries guilt it really takes a toll on them and devitalizes of their vital energy and will cause them to be self-destructive. This is one of the main benefits in “The Course in Miracles” and it is really a course in how to resolve guilt. How many read this book?

Audience: Inaudible

JJ: It is a very interesting book and it claims to be given by Christ Himself. It is up to the person who reads and interprets it as to where it comes from. There are a couple things that I disagree with in the book but overall the principle of removing guilt is extremely important. What causes guilt?

Audience: Judgment of man.

JJ: The cause of guilt that we are going to present is not directly presented in the Course in Miracles, but this I find to be very effective.

Audience: Judgment of man outside of authority, if I am born without guilt than it has to be taught to you by someone.

JJ: Correct; guilt is not natural. As a little child you do not feel guilty about anything until someone teaches you to feel guilty. Lorraine says it is outside authority, what kind of authority?

Audience: (Lorraine) Unearned or unjust authority.

JJ: Yes, but what is different about this authority that produces guilt?

Audience: It is beastly.

JJ: And it is beastly why?

Audience: Because it is fear based.

JJ: And why is it fear based?

Audience: Critical

JJ: Yes it is critical. The authority it purports to come from where?

Audience: God

JJ: God, correct. In other words, the parent will say to the child, “God does not want you to do that.” Projecting to the child an outside God that has total authority to annihilate your body and soul and telling you that if you do this naughty thing that God and is going to be very displeased with you and He may punish you or whatever. You do not know what God is going to do and He has total authority and He is not a nice guy like me, he is a mean son of bitch!

Audience: (Laughter)

JJ: We say God is love but when we teach it, we teach that we have a really mean God, right. Is that not what people really project. God is love but he is going to wipe out these people and burn them to ashes because He loves them! Basically the message of many is this, God is really mean but He loves you.

JJ: We start with children when they are young and say, “God does not want you to do that.” A little kid will do things like steal a cookie out of the cookie jar or something like this and eats the cookie and then thinks, Oh, boy, God did not want me to do this. God can read my thoughts. God is watching me and He knows I am doing wrong and now I can’t even enjoy this cookie. What is he going to do? Oh my! Am I going to burn in hell!

And we start to implant guilt in children from the time they are young. Think back to a scripture where Jesus says, it is better to have a millstone hung around your neck and drown in the depths of the seas than to offend one of these little ones. Many of us offend these little ones not realizing what we are doing by planting these seeds of guilt in them. Now we can teach them right from wrong, but how should we teach them? Should we say, now this is wrong and God does not want you to do this. What should we say instead?

Audience: By setting and example.

JJ: Right by example, we can say that Mommy does not want you to do this. But, when we tell them that God does not them to do it then this plants the seeds of guilt. You do not know what God wants or does not want. Are you His spokesman? No, when we say God does not want you to do this then we are setting ourselves up as being in the place of God, sending a message from God to the child. This is the power of the beast in Revelations that is spoken everywhere. And it starts with Mom and Dad planting these seeds in the little children.

Audience: 1st member: (Annie) would you say that you have guilt because God is mad at you.

2nd member: I think you can have guilt from failed expectations and can do this to yourself or someone else.

JJ: Everybody in the universe has the God Within and if we are not going by a God Within then we are substituting it with a god without. Even if one is a hardened atheist he has  a God Within and part of his being recognizes this. Any atheist that is subject to guilt gives proof is proof that he gives allegiance to some type of god. Because offending the God without is what produces the guilt whether you are a believer or a non-believer. When the person looks inside no matter what their belief or non-belief he sees the same thing. A non-believer or a believer is going by a God Within or a god without.

If parent is a non-believer he will probably not say God does not want you to do this. He may use a different authority. In other words, Mommy and Daddy or the state become the outside god instead. The God in heaven is actually more potent to use for the young child because that god can seem to be everywhere, but the child of the atheist can think that mom and dad can’t see me and I can get away with this. The child that thinks “God can see me and I am stealing this cookie.” He then is bit more nervous.

Audience: (Wayne) Don’t most people atheist or not use a reward and punishment system for their children?

JJ: That has something to do with it, for the atheist there is there is going to be an outside authority and reward and punishment always enters in. How this is done is the key. For an atheist family they will substitute something for God in the child’s mind. If we raise our children right and let them exercise their free will as much as possible and do not bring in any outside authority in an overwhelming way then the child can grow up without this terrible guilt, and it will not matter whether his parents are atheist or believers.

But it does matter to both that if they have an outside god affecting the child’s mind. For an atheist the outside god could be the parent, an authority figure like a police officer or any state official or party leader does not want you to do this.

Many atheists are into philosophy and they may teach the kid that a philosopher really knows what is going on and build him up like a god. The state or the parents could be an outside god, even for the atheist’s child. His parents have taught him right from wrong and in a way it is important to teach that stealing is wrong but it needs the balance. If the child thinks that is the end of the world and they are going to be punished in a terrible way somehow for stealing a cookie then the kid will feel some guilt. I would imagine it is probably a little bit of a benefit for a child being raised in an atheist family in that the outside god thing does not come across as powerful. It is still there and there is either the god inside or outside, one or the other, and if the parents are not allowing the inside God to manifest then there is an outside god that is going to manifest guilt within the child.

Copyright 2006 By J J Dewey