Copyright © 2008 by John Erickson. All Rights Reserved.


Anxiety attacks. Depression. Phobias. Common words which can mean a social inconvenience for some while for others they represent threats to their survival. What are they? What causes them? From birth onward the basic behavior of man and beast is to assert, to probe, to take things and make sounds and just basically impose themselves on their environment with no sense of fear. What changes that? Some think the cause is inborn, that some people are born to dominate and others are destined to submit. Then what changed those fearless and spontaneous behaviors we attacked life with from the beginning?

If you've experienced these feelings and have gotten this far, life has given you enough pain to justify whatever needs to be done to ensure your well-being. Any hesitancy on your part to act in your own best interests only shows that you still hold a reverence for those who've hypnotized you into making you manageable and making someone else better off...

Those mysterious influences which produce either confidence or cowardice cannot be found by examining the human will, for every action exhibited by an unselfconscious youth reveals nothing other than a decisive unawareness of fear. This state can only be changed when an unnatural interference disrupts that child's natural gravitation toward the perpetual exploration and conquering of life's events. What we define as "confidence" in adults is only the basic personality we were born with. It is that personality which is behind the intuitive, willful actions that make life fundamentally possible.

Once the abuses of an intrusive personality reach a point which traumatizes our inborn will, our natural, exploration energies then become perverted into "appeasing" behaviors. We now associate personal survival with pleasing the capricious whims of that intrusive personality. From then on, we are conditioned to respond to the loudest voices and the most domineering personalities we encounter ...

... Cowardice never originates within the individual - it is always caused by a perversion of our perceptions by an overbearing authority figure in youth. That events are ever interpreted as threatening at any age only reveals that that person's view of life had been shaped for them before their analytical apparatus had a chance to develop. This feeling of fear is now stored in their memory, continuously "on-call" to be triggered by any new experience. Even when the original object of their fear has long since been demystified by their intellect, that feeling which had arisen from it remains as a phantom. The fact that something made them feel that fear compels them to believe that something must exist somewhere which is worthy of such fear. The mind searches for things to attach this phantom feeling to, superstitions to help make sense of it - after all, it (the feeling) does exist. . . it therefore must be real, must it not? And that is the real damage done when intimidation has been perpetrated on a youth: it is not the abusive act itself, but the fear sensation it leaves behind as a permanent personality trait with which they react to all future intimidation and fear they encounter for the rest of their lives.

The majority of people are thoughtless. Carefree. Not prone to analyzing feelings, people or events. It just doesn't occur to them to do so. Work, eat, sleep, excrete. Live and die. No reason, no rhyme, and everything's fine... They could manage a department store or a concentration comp with equal emotion.

Then there are the sensitive, analytical few who are prone to question why things are as miserable as they are. Maybe they were less rebellious in youth to successfully overcome the barrage of repressive bulldung liberally doled out at that stage of life. This is when we are trained to thoughtlessly assent to insane demands and demoralizing repressions from schools and authority figures...

But in the back rows of life there are those solitary personalities who deeply consider every piece of nonsense others intimidate them with, in the misguided assumption that it was issued with some kind of logic or consideration. And as time carries us from the grammar school incubators of insanity to adolescent and adult social forums, the sensitive few are too traumatically impacted by this rubbish to function fully... The system which arrested their healthy development is the system which now condemns them... Whatever the cause, a yoke has been fitted around their necks to forever keep their heads low before these benighted swine.

If we're ever going to turn this mess around, it must be preceded by destroying every sense of obligation to please others. They have no vested interest in your well-being. All ties to people and past events must be severed. Your first and only interest must be seeking and maintaining that zeal for living you were born with. You must attack and destroy with a fanatical resolve every barrier to a vigorous and joyful life. The system doesn't care whether you live or die. For you to go after your share of life is seen as an intrusion into their desire to keep you in servitude. The easiest way they can keep you enslaved to them is to scare you into remaining a milquetoast, weak-willed and depressed. It is because of the maliciousness of this attack upon your freedom that you must battle every negative idea you experience with resolute anger.

Fear doesn't exist. It is not a quality of this life...The primary fears are of falling, and of a loud sound. But when an invasive personality gets a hook into those basic fear responses, then we link these useful nervous sensations to unrelated events that have no actual fear about them.

The purpose of this book is to bring definition to these undefined feelings, to demystify that which seems unexplainable and threatening to the person experiencing it. ...any perception of fear is an internal misrepresentation caused by intrusive personalities and a confining environment rather than by the inherent character of the individual. ... The kinds of fears which produce depression, anxiety attacks and other disempowering states are not concepts we are born with. They can only exist when our own clever imaginations are forced to try to make sense of traumatic experiences when very young. From that vulnerable point onward, the individual feverishly creates intricate depictions of horror in their mind's eye based on the clumsily issued threats of the witless adults in their midst... these "personal" concepts are actually foreign fictions designed to keep the mind's will in abeyance.

Only great indignation can break us free from this... become fully aware of how our good intentions were used against us by the social order we gave our trusting allegiance to. There must be a vicious desire to reclaim the full dominion of the Self and to wrest our mind free from any cultural obligations which require that our will be restrained by personal misery... But that powerful initial shock of self-realization is the detonator which sets that discovery process into motion. I have written this in a style designed to trigger that awakening shock.

The truth is always simple. Life is easy. This realization is obscured by the desire of people to control other people. The illusions of misery, loneliness and the fear of our failure to meet unmeetable demands: these are the products of an imagination which has been accessed by an intruder. These thoughts do not appear "foreign" to us because of the squatting privileges they have taken for themselves during their years of residency in our minds...

Because of this indiscernible bondage, it takes a potent jolt to shatter these conventions and assumptions of the mind. Just how much of our learning actually lends itself to improving our lives? How much of it is merely the remains of control devices wedged-in by those whose sole motive was to make us manageable and fearful so that their jobs would be less demanding?

The most horrific anxiety will find its root in some petty childhood incident in which a primary, intuitive reaction of defense or assertiveness was thwarted by an adult using a suggestion of fear... the professional's goal of drug-induced composure diverts our attention from pursuing the cause... any degree of pain can be nullified by a commensurate degree of passion, or joy... This state of "joy" is what we were born with, what compelled our initial desire to survive, and remains within us to be rediscovered.

This is easy... The hard part is that after a lifetime of relying upon others to validate our opinions, this reawakening process demands that we now stir ourselves up. ...A change of this magnitude requires a gargantuan emotional explosion... nothing happens until you get mad. Anger brings focus and direction to a chaotic milieu of feelings....

If you read this book, you will be changed. As important as the message is, it is the passion behind it that is the key to its power. As you read and reread it, the spirit of the message will become progressively more vivid as it melds with your own distinct yearnings which have lain fallow for so long... The anger I experienced in this searching process was the transformational explosion which changed my course from a pursuit of timid comforts, vain hopes and religious assuagings, to:

  • an unabashed pursuit of anything complimentary to my well-being;
  • to freely initiate spontaneous actions in the midst of others;
  • and to accept a "truth" only according to its ability to benefit its practitioner.
I have written this as though I were writing to my younger self , at a time when I had been fully perplexed by these sensations of anxiety and depression. Had something so brash and honest existed for me in that day, I would have been spared considerable misery. Its reason for being, then, is that someone of a similar mindset might relate to the message, and the attitude behind it, and thereby be spared the misery of endeavoring to seek solutions from a world capable only of creating the problem.

L I S T E N !
© John Erickson

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A Viciousness For Life !
The above is an excerpt from "A Viciousness For Life!," A Militant Approach to Fighting Depression.

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