Website owner: James Miller
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 question: 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 error) 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 above. 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 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
Topically Arranged Proverbs, Precepts, Quotations. Common Sayings. Poor Richard's Almanac.
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?