08 Feb 07
Psychotherapy With Dr O’Malley (9)
I presented Dr. O my homework: some of my favourite quotes and my interpretation of them in the context of my character development and aspirations.
There is no wealth but life John Ruskin
Previously I believed there is no wealth but wealth, and greed is good. Ruskin’s quote demonstrates how shallow my materialism was.
A man can surely do what he wills to do Arthur Schopenhauer
To succeed, I need the willpower. To think, to will, to implement my plans are the necessary steps.
Make haste slowly Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus
I need to take breaks, restore energy, and relax so I don't get mentally unbalanced.
Miss-spending a man’s time is a kind of self-homicide George Saville
Realizing how little I know and how much there is to learn, I must continue to spend time learning.
He who hates vice hates mankind Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus
I am learning to live with my vices, and I am determined not to become their slave.
We cannot learn without pain Aristotle
There are no shortcuts in life without consequences that are often painful. I try to learn from painful situations. The discomfort of exertion now is the price of happiness later.
We will either find a way or make one Hannibal
My goals will remain unrealised without action.
Knowledge alone effects emancipation Shankara
Learning deconditions - it liberates.
Rule your desires lest your desires rule you Publilus Syrus
If I had heeded Publilius Syrus, I wouldn’t be in prison. This quote is important for my future health and happiness.
“An excellent array of quotes,” Dr. O said.
“I had fun doing it,” I said.
“Ruskin is talking about being dedicated to having a healthy life. Last time we met we discussed how being dedicated to help others is a good way to channel energy versus channelling energy into destructive egocentric goals. The third quote implies making rapid movement slowly. Take breaks. When driving down the road take time to avoid wrong turns. You’ve done a good interpretation of Saville’s quote. You show a dedication to effort. The quest for knowledge is good, but don’t forget experience and work have roles to play as well. Again, with Hannibal you show dedication to a way. It’s for you to decide whether it’s a way to Beverley Hills glitz or a way to understanding yourself and your life. Some say ascetics acquire wealth of character. Others, such as the Kashmiri yoga traditions around 700 AD say you do not have to become ascetic to achieve enlightenment. You can be a householder with a job, family, responsibilities, and still be dedicated and achieve enlightenment. Folks do it in different ways. There is no one spiritual path.
Now I’ve got something to tell you: I’m being moved to Rincon Unit, so this will be our last session.”
“Oh no! I thought this was too good to be true. We’re making great progress and now I'll have to start all over again with someone else.”
“Yes. Dr. T will be taking over. She’s a little older than I am, and she’s had plenty of experience.”
“This is the third time this has happened. I feel like I’m building a house and it keeps getting knocked down.”
“But you’re learning to build a stronger house. You’re becoming more skilled with plaster, nails, and floorboards.”
“That’s not the point. Now I’ve got to build rapport all over again. You’ve influenced my life more than any other staff.”
“You’ve enabled me to build a cognitive structure to deal with my anxieties. I laugh things off because of what you’ve taught me. You’ve enabled me to bundle my studies, my yoga, and your wisdom into a solid foundation that will help me deal with whatever life throws my way. You’ve increased my understanding of myself immensely. It seems everything I’ve been working at has come together under your tutelage. I was afraid this would happen - that you would eventually leave.”
“Is there anything you’d like to ask me before we part?”
“What’s the single most important piece of advice you can give me?”
“You need to be willing to accept who you are. Don’t always want to be better, or new and improved. Accept who you are. You contain a lot of good inside you. You’re doing a good job of sorting yourself out. You’re putting tremendous effort into it. Make haste slowly. Don’t let your abundant energy distract you. Don’t destroy yourself. Don’t rush down the path. You’ll do exceptionally well if you don’t get confused, and if you realise what’s going on around you and how it could affect you. Be cognizant of the pluses and minuses – the consequences of your actions. Learn about yourself from your yoga. Over the next year focus on several poses, the alignment, the breathing, the micro adjustments, the fluency of the poses themselves. A foundation will develop, not just muscle on bone, but a strong foundation from which you’ll know yourself better and be able to expand in all directions. From your physical practice you’ll develop a mental foundation. Developing into quite a nice person is the goal.”
“I’ll do my best to put that into practice.”
“Good luck to you too.”
To Dr. O, if by chance you read this, and you could spare the time, I would be pleased to receive an email from you at firstname.lastname@example.org with a view to keeping open a line of communication.
Should I continue on with Dr T?
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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood