Why Free Will Is Not a God-Given Gift, But a Muscle That Must Be Built

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Free Will, Integrating the Unconscious

It’s a strange thing.

Sigmund Freud is the famous one, but do you know which master of the unconscious mind has effected your life more?

His lesser known nephew Edward Bernaise.

Eddie, as he was known, was a devious, manipulative little shit.

He realized that by using his uncles theories he could devise masterful ways of selling people crap they didn’t need, that damaged their health, wasted their money, and took control of them like puppets.

Remind you of anyone?

Dam right.

I’m taking about you and me.

The consumer.

Capitalism’s Gimp.

Take the following example:

In 1929 the American Tobacco Company hired Bernaise because they had a problem. Only men smoked cigarettes. Women didn’t.

They were losing 50% of their entire potential market.

And they wanted it.

So they asked Bernaise to devise a marketing strategy that appealed to the unconscious mind of women in America by creating a campaign that went to the heart of what they were truly passionate about.

Female Emancipation.

Women’s Liberation.

The campaign that resulted from this re-branded cigarettes as, wait for it …

Torches of Freedom.

The Will To Surrender

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Free Will, Integrating the Unconscious, The Revolution and Consciousness Series

In the winter of 2003 I awoke one morning with a sudden realization that I would never sabotage my life consciously. That no one, in fact, ever sabotages their life consciously. That no one on the face of the earth has ever woken up in the morning, gone to their bathroom mirror, and with utter sincerity, and complete conviction looked at themselves right in the eyes and said:

today I’m gonna fu*k you over.

It just doesn’t happen. Yet the unnerving fact remains that we all do so constantly. Literally non-stop. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year we somehow manage to sabotage ourselves in a multitude of infinitesimally small and large ways perpetually.

When I first came to this understanding it perplexed me, then infuriated me, and then began obsessing me with such a maddening frenzy that I decided I couldn’t take another step in my life until I could answer one simple question:

If I am not sabotaging myself consciously … then who or what is?

This was the day that I began exploring the mystery of my Unconscious Hard Wiring and Conditioning. The day that I began an experimental journey to understand the parts of myself that were influencing me without my conscious awareness. It was a process that lasted almost a decade and ultimately involved resisting every impulse that I experienced within me, no matter how great or small, in an exercise to strengthen my own will over what my Instincts, Mind, Emotions, Heart, Nervous System, Society, Family and Culture were all influencing me to do on an unending daily basis.

The premise of my experiment was simple:

Only by saying “no” to absolutely everything

would I ever be truly sure that I was able to “say” yes to anything.

Because if I continued acting in ways that I wanted to, or that seemed pleasurable, or appropriate, or justifiable, I would never be sure that I was ever really truly choosing to, or simply passively accepting the predetermination of a highly convincing, unconscious impulse to. I would never be 100% sure that I was acting with free will or simply obeying an impulse that I had been unconsciously trained by everyone, and everything else to.

What To Do When The Reasons You’re Stuck Are Unconscious

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Healing, Integrating the Unconscious, Level 4 Healing, Limiting Beliefs

I was co-facilitating a group a few years ago when a woman came in who was stuck in a job that she hated and wanted desperately to leave. Within several minutes I knew that she was fighting an unconscious trauma from her past.

But I could also tell that she was not ready to go there.

Over the course of several weeks I watched other members of the group all attempt to coach her out of her fear so that she could transition into the life she really wanted. As people spoke, she nodded her head, said she understood, went back and forth, gained hope, lost it, and then fell back into offering excuses for why she couldn’t quit.

From the outside, it didn’t make sense. People were exasperated. Eyes rolled. Some participants, I could tell, just thought she was plain stupid. But I knew this wasn’t true and that something much deeper was at play. From the very beginning I could see that this transition point in her life was triggering a significant trauma from her past that was creating a powerful, undeniable emotional signal within her that screamed: “Stay put, and suffer in silence!
Because if you don’t, the consequences will be worse!”

What to do?

Shining Light on the Shadow of Male Masturbation

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in Conscious Men, Healing, Humour, Integrating the Unconscious, Leadership Development

This article was first published in Common Ground Magazine in February 2015, and speaks to a challenge that I myself faced head on in my mid 20s. It took me until my mid 30s, almost ten years later, to gain enough distance from that journey, and the healing that it required, for me to feel that I could write about it with the appropriate clarity, humor, and care necessary for a topic that many men struggle with to this day, through no fault of their own.

For anyone who is not a man (or has never been a man) I invite you to read on with an open, compassionate mind.