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Ingredients of the calm, quiet mind of good mental health. Causes of mental problems.

   What are the ingredients of the calm, tranquil, quiet mind 
   characteristic of good mental health? 

   -- feeling safe, secure (as opposed to feeling insecure).  A 
       feeling obtained by having some wealth, money in the bank.
   -- lack of fears, anxieties, worries
   -- self-confidence
   -- lack of inner anger
   -- lack of such things as jealousy, envy, hatred, 
       anger, pride, conceit, covetousness, etc.
   -- feeling benevolent toward your fellow man
   -- contentment with self, with what you are and have
   -- modesty, humility

   The above question is closely related to the following 

  Q.  What causes disturbance of the mind, lack of mental 
   calm?  The answer:

   -- feeling insecure, unsafe
   -- fear, worry, anxiety
   -- lack of confidence
   -- inner anger
   -- things like jealousy, envy, hatred, anger, pride, conceit, 
        covetousness, etc.
   -- hatred or dislike of your fellow man
   -- dissatisfaction with yourself, with what you are or have
   -- pride, conceit, arrogance
   -- loneliness
   -- false assumptions (wrong ideas, wrong beliefs, intellectual 

   All of this is related to questions about emotional or mental 
   problems and their cause.  What causes emotional problems?  In 
   most cases the cause probably comes down to one or more of the 

   People with problems want solutions.  In looking for a solution 
   we first ask what the cause of the problem is.  But it should 
   be noted that identifying the cause of a problem is not the 
   same as giving a solution to it.  Identifying the cause of a 
   problem is one thing, a solution is something else.  A fly may 
   find himself all confused and bewildered because he suddenly 
   can't fly.  An onlooker may see the problem immediately.  He is 
   caught in a spider's web.  The problem is obvious (to the 
   onlooker).  But what is the solution?  That is not so obvious.  
   What advice can you give to the fly for escaping from the 
   spider's web?  Life is full of mental traps.  Getting out of 
   them can be very difficult.  The way out may not be at all 
   obvious.  Americans are used to assuming there is a remedy to 
   every problem.  You just call a plumber if you have a plumbing 
   problem, a doctor if you have a health problem, a psychiatrist 
   if you have a mental problem.  You go to the expert and tell 
   him what the problem is and he fixes it for you.  If he doesn't 
   fix it you assume he must be inept and try someone else.  A 
   person is all confused, all mixed up mentally, and he goes to a 
   psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist psychoanalyzes him and then 
   after he finishes with the psychiatrist he is ten times more 
   mixed up, messed up, than he was before he went.

   Let us consider an example.  A person with some kind of odd
   limitations, personal weaknesses, or handicaps may suffer from 
   feelings of insecurity.  He may fear that his limitations or 
   weaknesses may cause him to lose his job, putting him out on 
   the street in a cold world.  For example, he may be very slow.  
   He may fear his natural slowness will cost him his job.  He 
   fears, furthermore, that his particular idiosyncrasy, his 
   particular weakness, may make it difficult for him to hold ANY 
   job.  He visualizes being fired from one job after another.  
   His fears, anxieties are well justified.  He is astute enough 
   in assessing the danger he is in.  He is afflicted by fears, 
   anxieties due to feelings of insecurity.  What is the solution?

   Someone has said, "We all have handicaps.  It is just that with 
   most of us they don't show."  A lot of us lack confidence or 
   feel insecure in one way or another.

   The main concern of a person with a problem is the solution.  
   The cause of the problem is only of curious interest.  A person 
   caught is a trap wants to know how to get out of the trap just 
   as the fly in the spider's web wants to know how to get free of 
   his trap.  There may be no solution.  Then, again, there may 
   be.  A person may have all kinds of fears and anxieties because 
   of an inferiority complex, because of lack of confidence in 
   himself.  The problem may be simply that he is just far too 
   negative about himself, that he is just not seeing himself with 
   good perspective, that he is just far underrating himself.  The 
   solution comes with him getting a proper perspective on 
   himself.  He may come to realize that his weaknesses and lacks 
   are far less important than he had always thought and that he 
   has a lot of really great strengths and good points that he 
   never noticed or realized.  When he gets his perspective 
   straight, his problems vanish.  If a person has mental problems 
   caused by things like inner anger, jealousy, pride, hatred of 
   society, etc. then he will have to deal with these underlying 
   causes in order to deal with his problem.  The solution lies in 
   a shift in underlying outlooks, attitudes and values.  With the 
   right shift, the problem goes away.  If, for example, the 
   problem is caused by inner anger, getting rid of the inner 
   anger gets rid of the problem.  Typically mental problems are 
   caused by not just one, but several of the above causes.  Then 
   he must rid himself of all the underlying causes.  These 
   problems tend to be very difficult to solve.  Most people never 
   do.  There are some things that sound very easy in theory, but 
   are very difficult in practice.  These problems involve 
   entities that are subtle.  Attitudes, outlooks and values are 
   subtle.  It may be obvious to an onlooker that an individual 
   needs to change some attitude or outlook.  It is easy to tell a 
   person that he needs to change an attitude or outlook.  
   However, for the individual involved, changing an attitude is 
   not an easy thing to do.  We are talking about the way people 
   think and feel about things.  We are talking about getting rid 
   of things like anger, pride, hatred, envy, etc.  A lot of 
   people would like to know how to do that.  It is not so easy.  
   These are ingrained mental habits.  In order to do it the 
   individual has to really, truly want to.  You have to get them 
   to want to.  For example, a proud, conceited person is not 
   likely to respond well if you tell him he needs to get rid of 
   his pride in order to solve his problem.  We are talking about 
   changing feelings.  We are talking about underlying mental 
   habits and mental habits are not easy to change. 

   Feb 2009

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