in 2003-2004 I discovered two important people. one of them is Dr. Caroline Myss, and the other author M. Scott Peck. during this period of my life, I had recently come out of my first official dark night of the soul. I was rendered homeless with my tiny cat and garbage bags of belongings as I borrowed time on a very kind acquaintance’s couch in Greenwich, CT. I write about the events surrounding this initial call to hear my own spirit, in my eBooklet 1. you can download it off of my website www.healingelaine.com/shop or under the shop tab if the link gives you trouble. as I regained my sense of self and stability after having it nefariously pursued over — and over — and over again by those who were supposed to love and support me, I found myself again diving deep into what I loved as a small child: reading.
in 2003-2004 I was a young person, with little corporate experience but a whole lot of life experience. I knew that although “other” was an interest of mine, that I had to be taken seriously before I stepped into my world purpose. this meant to me that I had to build an actual real world life for myself – which meant, I was interested in learning the actual mechanics of how people work versus escaping my body through my psyche to solve problems (i.e. fortune-telling, psychic readings, etc). I fantasized, during this time, about setting up my healing practice but I knew it was too soon. I have always been a grounded person (hi, I am a Capricorn with a Taurus Rising and an Aquarius Moon – can you tell?), but again my destiny is something that always seemed to negate “typical”. as I focused on building a career in corporate America to stabilize myself and navigate the “real world” (also so that later on, “normal” people could relate to me and me to them in this way), and move away from the chaos that had pursued and followed me my entire life, I came across the two amazing authors. I was able to meet Caroline at a book/CD signing in New York City one year. her work met me at an impasse in my life that changed the way I felt about myself, and everything around me — it connected to all that I already knew within me in a way that is hard to put into words, and I do share about this in another post dedicated to her. during this time I also encountered (for the life of me, I do not know how — I must have simply been reading a lot at this time, or really, really seeking) the work of M. Scott Peck. I read People of the Lie in 2004. I can’t say that I remember much about the book in terms of particulars in terms of reading it at THAT point in my life, because I was still largely unconscious at that time in my life, sorting through my trauma and being in my early 20s. what I can say, is that I held onto his books (all of which I still have), and that they made enough of an impression to process something, somewhere, in the back of my mind that connected dots to my own personal truth and understanding. in a nutshell: I resonate with both of the above authors and particularly Peck’s book People of the Lie.
I read this book again recently, for the first time since 2004, and it hit me like a ton of bricks: the content in this book, while not even remembering some of the stories in it from the first time I read it, matches much of my intrinsic compass and the way that I have unwittingly approached my work with others. as you may have read in other posts of mine, I never wanted to complete my psychology degree in college. for a variety of reasons. my entrance essay to both Boston University and Northeastern University, the only two schools I applied to and both of which I was accepted, was based on growing up surrounded by narcissism, depression, despair, addiction, abuse, and how it relates to the human condition — aka my hellish life experience until the glorious day when I was 18 and got to leave it all behind. I do not believe I was astute enough with my writing at that time to put all of those concepts and experiences in the same context that I would now. but I recall thinking “my grades are not that good, because since sophomore year I attended school as little as possible…I dropped all of my extra-curricular activities…maybe this essay is the only thing that will get me into these schools because someone reading it will connect to me”.
this book is a key ingredient to understanding human evil. the incredible paradox in which we currently reside, socially and otherwise on our planet, can be attributed in much depth to much of what this book discusses (and much of what my own personal writing discusses). in other words, we are confused creatures and we assign “evil” to certain ideas, labels, structures or personalities, when, in fact, it is MUCH more insidious than that.
my own personal understanding of evil, with which I have GREAT unfortunate experience, is simply: someone who lies to themselves. they are aware of the lies. they will die for the lies. they are 100% committed to the evil. the lies allow what is hidden, what is dark, to persist and corrode all that surrounds them. someone who lies to others but not to themselves (which is, let’s be honest, something we all do – we all lie, big or small, at some point and in different ways) can be free from evil. if we were not in the flesh, we could possibly be free from our lies. but we are not; we are incarnate physical beings. this, requires a level of personal honesty to be free from evil (darkness). I have always had an appreciation for those who, though perhaps I don’t care for personality-wise, are honest. this is because I always know what I am getting from them. it’s a clean feeling, even if there is a feeling of dislike or even a strong difference in beliefs. I can deal with that which I can see. I have always had an aversion — physically, and otherwise — to that which I can not see. this is evil manifest. and as the book People of the Lie points out, IT IS EVERYWHERE.
our collective moral compass is shot, but it’s an individual responsibility to change it. as we change, everything around us changes. we can blame the media, we can blame a celebrity, or we can blame our past — but if we lie to ourselves, we ARE the problem. the ability to stand alone in truth is something very few people are willing to do — because it is hard and lonely. you can be attacked, brutally, for it. many people lie to themselves. they cave to temptation. money-fame-attention: falsities. and they seem like good people. great people, even. they hide behind non-profit work. church. law. social spheres. but they can’t actually hide forever. because as more people awaken to their own core, this darkness is exposed.
I have written about and posted about my own ideas of evil. evil will never seek therapy, unless it is under the guise of proving something to someone else or manipulating the therapist himself. evil will never actually have a bottom line. evil serves to CONFUSE. have you ever felt confused by someone? as in, they are saying A, but why do you feel B? they are presenting “evidence”, which makes sense and seems to add up on the surface, but you feel otherwise? that is evil. and it runs deep. and it corrupts entire souls and human beings. I’m not being religious here, I am being scientific. but you can apply this notion to whatever context most pleases you. most of you don’t actually know what evil is, because you have been exposed to it SO OFTEN that you are confused. but the important part is how you deal with yourself, within yourself. that is the key. the redemption. THE FREEDOM. I wrote about this a bit here, on how we fail in life because we want to be liked.
with all of this said, in addition to the other two prerequisite books that I have requested anyone who inquires about working with me to read in advance, I now add a third: People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck. it is also highly suggested, if you want to work with me in some capacity, that you have been in traditional psychotherapy for at least one year. I don’t want to see people who go from ayahuasca ceremony to tea ceremony to yoga retreat to breathing retreat to meditation retreat one after the next after the next after the next, simply as a means to LEAVE THEIR BODY and never actually look at themselves. thankfully I do not attract those folks anyhow (they would likely be turned off simply by my writing, or my eyes and make some sort of projection). I have attracted a few in the past, particularly early on in my work, and they are never satisfied with what I have to say. because they can’t hear the truth. leaving your body is not truth. we do not meditate to lose ourselves (you might as well be a drug addict), we meditate to connect to ourselves. TO OUR PERSONAL TRUTH. this book is grounding, and I am a fan. the most successful cases I have had, whether consulting personally for an individual or for their business, includes those who are grounded enough to tether themselves to the psychological work realms; meaning, they are talented therapists themselves, or they are or have been actively in therapy (with a good, traditional CBT therapist — as you may note, there are really bad ones. and I’ve seen them on my journey), OR, they are simply open to therapy (aka facing the facts).
although my words are direct and may seem to resound with thunder at times, it is because of my deep passion for lending a hand to individual and collective human experience. I am just a human myself, imperfect and always learning, but I won’t ignore the fire within me that never dies. it is the fire that I was put here on earth to burn, and it supersedes all that is false. I trade off a lot to keep this fire burning. it is often a burden, but also, I believe, an incredible blessing to come.