Preface to our conditioning (this page was updated 7/11/2021)
After all my life’s experiences and all my research of understanding and self evolution, the fact still stands you are hearing this story through my life and human condition. It is my opinion. Each of you will interpret this story based on your present thoughts and own human condition. I can only hope you experience an awakening as I have and begin enjoying your life as a human is intended.
Forgiveness is much more difficult than resentment. Forgiveness takes relinquishing the power most human conditions fight against.
Growing up as a street boy in Cleveland, I never thought I would have come to this special point in my life. At 72 years old, I know there is still so much more. I will never be the age of falling into status quo. I’m worth more and owe myself more discovery of my potential.
I sat a hundred times to write this book asking myself why. The truth is, after 30 years of research and life changing experiences I still turn in circles whining for validation. That’s still the insecurity in me trying to dissolve itself. Or am I aiming to reward myself for what I cheated myself out of for decades? After reading 10s of books, I learned one of man’s natural instincts is the desire to “Feel Good”. You know, the old, pat on the back? The ‘ata boy we can’t give ourselves. The whining for validation is a trait you will hear me say but not one we should seek from others to make us whole. The fact is I vehemently advocate against falling victim to needing others to evaluate my inner self. Needing external validation was a human condition pumped into me. Rather, I was not taught to honor myself as much as I was taught to honor others. Let me be clear. Too much pat on my own back is a drug for ultra-ego. I was conditioned to seek the ‘ata boy by others. Our parents either invested time telling us how bad we were or how great we were. Or in my case, my parents were in survival mode and let me flagellate like a lose balloon in a room. I was left to sort out my own emotions. I was all good as long as police didn’t knock on my parent’s door.
I grew up feeling I was judged negatively. In my case all the judgement came from me about myself. My drive of learning was not by esteem or ego. It was more by insecurity and seeking validation. If you accepted me, I was good. My parent’s participation was truly unintentional neglect. Succeeding is nice but depending on our level of esteem, our low self-esteem could keep us from being intellectually successful. Fearing the chaos of change often held me back.
Fear, another human instinct. Unlike that little Chiwawa dog that will bark fearlessly at a monster, I ran from fear of rejection for decades. I think my dad saw himself in me and felt sad. He let it be without training. Most other species are natural predators. They don’t think or feel the emotion of fear. Somewhere in all of this life we need to find a balance that encourages us to chase, explore and discover our greater potential and given gifts. Some people are laid back and confuse finding their greater potential with standing on a soap box preaching to the quire. That is not the case or need. But if you are creative and let’s say draw, jump into it as a huge hobby. If it is your passion, the rest will come to you.
The base of that unknown is who we really are and the gifts we were meant to enjoy. I never liked a ball sport or rumbling with the gangs. Yet I’ve discovered level 6 white water rapids, skydiving, base jumping and more. This was all an individual experience. Discovery of the unknown is not easy. It’s scary, but rewarding. Its also not easy because if its unknown we don’t know where to look.
You’re reading this because something in your reality is not synchronizing with your hopes, dreams or who you really are. Deep within us is a rumble of discovery. Sometimes yearning, sometimes sleeping due to defeat or the fear there of. I used to say, “that’s just not me” as a way of staying safe?
I found chaos is where I discover as long as I’m willing to understand defeat is an experience and not an emotional identifier. Let me be clear about the word chaos because many see it as “Oh my, the sky is falling”. No, its only out of the light of extreme order. I feel comfortable while I’m experiencing order. Think about this; think if Edison always remained in a state of order. He may have never sought to discover electricity. If humans staid in order, we’d still be lighting our way with candles. You don’t need a ton of examples to know what I mean. I advocate to stop burning time haphazardly. Time, the one commodity that cannot be replaced. Get out of the syndrome of “I wish I was…” or “Someday I’m going to be”, or “I hope” or “Dream”. A friend said she was going to move to southern France. Now in her mid 60s she is still finding reason not to go. Replace all those limiting thoughts with “today is the day I’m going to discover more about me”. Take action. How? Understand the human condition and how you got here and how to escape it.
Life sucked so much for me I had to escape the conditioning. But how? In many cases there is such potentiality within, yet we don’t know its there. Yes my friends, “we don’t know what we don’t know.” Our potential is in there. We need to find desire by discovery. Begin trying some of the dreams just to see how great they feel. If it doesn’t feel good, try another dream. How? Learn more of how to abolish the thought of, “I can’t because…..”. Don’t be like I was. I compensated my fear with alcohol. Although I have a propensity for the habit, it was my choice. I always did my best at everything I tried. That included Alcohol, Oreos and ice-cream.
Order means we may stay in some pretentious being that blocks discovery. Who doesn’t like order? It’s a safe place to be. I wanted to change but didn’t know how. Most of my life I never gave it a thought. I lived in status quo because it was nonthreatening order. The truth is I was enraged inside. Ever wonder what programming really went on to those seemingly wonderful children with average families who end up going into school with an automatic rifle?
Reprograming our condition is much more difficult than wiping a computer hard drive of all the years of influence. The confusion is like a fog. None of it is perfectly clear except this life is too noisy. We continue to hang on to the noise searching for short cuts to feel good. Yet we subconsciously stay in the fog of lack of clarity. Some wait for some sign. Sometimes we call it “meant to be”. Other times we may compare ourself today with who we were. That is a great prophecy with one flaw. We may get complacent while feeling we are much better than our past. Simone Biles is breaking her records. Michael Phelps is breaking his own records. We often find order and don’t seek more discovery of ourself. We live in a wish or dream we feel could never come true. When we see a rainbow in the sky, we see it as a good luck sign. News flash; the sign man ain’t coming. Its really the day you decide you can no longer accept how you are treating yourself. I decided I was no longer going to work 80 hours for medium income like my dad. I did what I had to do within the honor system and became wealthy. I sure had some real defeats on the way up. They were experiences never to do that again. I continued to discover and did it again. People say I’ll never stay in absolute order. They are correct. But I won’t continue to punish my body on the mountain or building design. Let’s see how this book does. No limits with me.
I honor you for making it this far. It is the beginning of your awareness. I sat several times to launch my story. Each time, I wrote and rewrote. Each time I sat to express my thoughts; I fell into more research reflecting on how I became who I am. Its crazy how I fell on this drive by just continuing to turn over rocks of the unknown.
Some resources are from humanistic psychologists and professionals like Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. Others include behavior and neuroscientists like Bill Sullivan, Marc Lewis and W. Thomas Boyce. The list goes on. It includes young motivationalists who gave me a pep talk. If you think its too deep for you think again. I’m a guy with a short attention span. I’m a guy who barely thought of flying and became commercially rated. Retention for me is not easy. It took a little longer to achieve my commercial pilot’s license but I got it. You don’t have to know those guys I call rocket scientists. Although I found myself intrigued after never reading a book and getting into behavior modification. I focus on the who I really am and eliminate all the stories I was conditioned to believe. Each phycological teacher and many others are resources confirming my thoughts from several platforms. You will read about addictions and their colliding theories, how we have been conditioned by our influencers to be controlled by humanistic beliefs. These are beliefs we use as an antidote to diminish chaos in our life. It is my belief alcoholism is dubbed a disease for many excuses. The collateral damage is now the victim is given an excuse to stay average. They don’t get encouraged to grow. Growth solicits chaos. Chaos invites relapse. So, they say. It may be true unless the entire process is dealt with differently.
We believe we are happiest when compared to others or our earlier emotions. I’ll talk about pretentious personalities and how they hide and seem to protect our very own insecurities. The shame of it is, as humans we have more power to get closer to self-actualization than we are brave enough to put into play. Hopefully someone of you will scratch the surface of self, enough to discover you can defy gravity. Then by living the real you, another will walk up to you and ask you where you got who you are. You’ll give a smirk on your face and remember your journey. As humans, we owe breaking the cycle to tomorrow’s children. My greater hope is you will find what I did. It’s a great adventure.
My bio comes later but to put me in perspective. I grew up a street boy from Cleveland. Low education, never encouraged to read. Wall flowers made it right through school. The truth is I didn’t read my first book until, as sailors say, out at sea. My DNA is plagued with negative propensities. I was 40 when I began my journey to awareness. It took devastating chaos. One of those devastating perils of life we call the big bang. I, like many humans opened my eyes to self. I’ve been into my self-development since. Knowledge is indeed power. It is also freedom. Technology makes it easy to learn and evolve. I use many mediums including reading, you tube and information from peers. Keep in mind, you are one of those who should treat yourself as you would want to be treated. If you are one of those “do gooders” to other than ask if it is time to do gooder for yourself. I fear most of us treat others better than ourselves. That’s another false unknown pretense. We go around helping others to help people. The truth is, it fires dopamine into our system. Now that’s a feel-good neurotransmitter. Some of us find some spiritual benefit. They say you get to heaven if you neglect yourself and love the world. What about yourself? I don’t have to be egocentric because I take care of myself.
I lived in retreat and stagnation. My success was only the dream of “someday I’m going to” attitude. We live in fear of failure or limitation. Then one day, we face some unyielding peril that brings us to some sort of awakening. Then, after facing death or destruction we now see the light and will change our life. Unfortunately, after passing through the peril, our desire for “feel good” and order, wanes. It’s a common humanistic trait. There seems to be too much chaos in try, try, try.
Some of us fall into obsessions of pharma, food or some other vice that redirects our justification for not facing our fears. All in the name of feel good fast. That is another common humanistic trait.
I destroyed my life and the people around me. After studying human behavior and neuroscience as a 25-year science project, I thought I’d share some really good news. There’s hope for us. You may discover someone you never thought possible. Voila, with a little adaptation, We can fly. I proved it to myself.
From a street boy out of the east side of Cleveland to extravagant adventurist full of happiness, and peace. My past acquaintances may not believe some of my stories. Why should they? They are living in the typical human condition of judgment and order. They knew me as another human. They continue to judge me. They are trapped within themselves. They will swear they are not trapped but they are. “They don’t know better”. Or it is easier to hold resentment rather than esteem for my accomplishments. Resentments, another humanistic trait to devoid from our mind.
Imagine the evolution before and after, electricity, communication technology and travel. Change continues. Are you ready to be part of it or a bystander? Remember, what you know for sure is you only have one shot at life. Don’t think working 80 hours each week is the answer. If you believe in hereafter, it should not limit your achievements in this life. Spirituality conditions us to treat others well. To another, we are one of those others. So why not treat ourselves like another.
To some degree, this is us. So many step programs are great steppingstones. The problem arises when a doctor prescribes anti-depressants without therapy. Without encouragement to re-discover the nucleus of us, we continue going in circles, living an average life. We continue to compare ourselves to others. I stopped comparing myself to superman and found him in me. We are taught to wait for signs. Often, the sign man doesn’t show up with the news. We cop out by saying, “it wasn’t meant to be”. Maybe what we need is a new pair of glasses.
One warning; when we learn how and who caused this mixed-up mess of a life we live, we become responsible to make the change. We learn forgiveness and accountability. It may weigh heavy on us but the end game feeling is one I can only share in a facial expression.
If you take this leap, the people around you may also awaken or begin the same superpower they are created to practice. Its contagious. Just don’t fall victim to the people of our past who don’t believe we changed. Have mercy on them for being stagnant.
I was a product of society’s misunderstanding. I didn’t know better and passed it on to my children. They may not agree because we won’t know what we don’t know until we plunge deep into the journey of self-discovery. It’s time to forgive yourself. The army slogan said it well, “Be all you can be”. We have to discover who we really are before we can change who we BE. There is a 13th step to recovery that is not often discussed. That is; Now that I have studied and practiced all 12 steps of any recovery program, I will move from recovery to discovery of my potential.
Come a long with me if you dare. Learn who’s to blame, how to forgive and who you can become and above all, Escape from the Human Condition.