Fallacy Number One:
"I must be adequate, achieving
and competent in all possible ways if I am to consider
myself a worth while person."
Philosophically it is imperative that we learn to live
with and accept our personal failings. No objective standard
exists by which you may decide you are a "success". Success
is determined by whatever you consider it is for you
Double check you are not merely subsisting on the
unfulfilled dreams of your parents? Someone said that a
child is just a canvass upon which parents "splatter paint".
If your idea of success is running a corner store and you
achieve this, then you are as big a success as the
millionaire business tycoon. Managing a household
efficiently or fulfilling a desire to write a book makes you
a success if these are your goals.
Somewhere I read that true success is being able to live
your life in the way you find satisfying - not anyone else's
way - your way!
Our society promotes contradictory ideals such as "a
successful young executive is a ruthless competitor, a
modest winner, and a good loser". Careful thought reveals
that the above statement asks individuals to contain within
the framework of their personality mutually exclusive
traits. Don't be fooled by accepting such garbage.
The best key to achievement is to discover how you may
release the innate creativity, which is possessed by
everyone. Creativity lends itself to satisfaction in all
areas from baking a cake to repairing a car.
Fallacy Number Two:
"I should be dependent on other people, and it is
necessary to find someone stronger than myself on whom I can
Be careful, women particularly, about believing this
idea. One can rely on nothing but the self. No state,
nation, political system, religious dogma, marriage partner,
relative or friend can be completely relied upon.
Change is a fundamental law of life and the only really
worthwhile dependence is upon oneself. The object of all
true philosophical systems is to lead the student from a
state of dependence to one of independence. When we have
crossed the river of life why still cling to the raft?
From an Eastern viewpoint consistent meditation upon the
'Sat Guru' or 'Master Within' can allow you to build a
pillar of strength within yourself and perform the
alchemical transformation of being 'Alone' into being 'All
By the same token we must accept humans are naturally
gregarious and being 'independent' should not be at
the exclusion of 'interdependence' promoting
satisfactory support systems at work and home.
One of my old lecturers defined mental health as 'the
ability to work and love' and both these activities involve
interaction with others.
Fallacy Number Three:
"As an adult it is necessary that I be liked and
appreciated by nearly every important person in my society."
The human condition is such as to encourage us to be riddled
with insecurity and anxiety. We are all trapped to a greater
or lesser extent by this fact. The more insecure we are the
more reassurance we crave from others. Face the truth that
you cannot be loved or liked by everyone. Someone will
always dislike you (perhaps with good reason!).
The only approval that really counts is self-approval. Have
you come to terms with yourself? If you essentially dislike
yourself why should others like you? It is a great secret
that only those with self-approval dare risk giving credit
A closely allied fallacy is: "some members of society are
wicked, bad, villainous and it is absolutely necessary that
they be blamed and severely punished for their way of life".
What do you think about alcoholics, prostitutes, criminals,
homosexuals, divorcees, adulterous marriage partners and
abortionists? "Who will cast the first stone?"
If you accept that some people are intrinsically evil
(rather than unhappy, brain-damaged, or else free of
superficial moralism ) be careful you don't end up stoning
yourself to death at a crisis period in your life.
If you base your life upon the fallacy of judging others,
guilt will create a living hell for you, should you commit
adultery, have an abortion, be divorced or experience
Perhaps it is worth contemplating that the bulk of serious
criminal activity, drug addiction and alcoholism are all the
end results of personality disturbances and neurological
damage. In the sphere of human emotions and sexual activity
be cautious about moral judgment of others for one day you
may discover yourself in the very situation you have
Fallacy Number Four:
"It is an absolute tragedy and a personal catastrophe
when things are not the way I very much wish they were."
Remember the old saying that bars do not a prison make? The
prison is created by mental attitudes, not situations or the
environment. Oscar Wilde said:
"We are all born in the gutter but some
of us are looking at the stars"
Do not be tricked into thinking human happiness is
externally caused and that you possess little or no ability
to control your sorrows and tensions. Although our problems
in life cannot always be eradicated our attitudes to
problems can be changed.
The difference between a tragedy which emotionally cripples
one individual and a similar tragedy which leaves another
adequately continuing to cope with life, is simply a
difference in mental outlook, set or attitude. Avoid
converting problems into worries.
You may feel I am being very trite and superficial in
suggesting this - the reality perspective is that the
majority of occurrences in our life that upset us most
definitely are not CATOSTROPHIC - Tragedy is a word we
should reserve for the accident at Thredbo or the recent sad
death of a Princess.
Fallacy Number Five:
"If something is dangerous or potentially dangerous, I
must be terribly concerned about it and should constantly
dwell upon the possibility of it occurring."
A major key to philosophical equilibrium is living in the
present. There is a distinct line drawn between awareness of
possible danger in certain situations versus a fearful
concern of phobic proportions in which the mind is living in
imaginary anticipation of future calamity. When we become
anxious over an imagined future calamity we are really
reacting to the fantasy of an event, which has just occurred
in our mind as if it had occurred in reality.
"Our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries
lie in anticipation" - H. de Balzac (1799-1850)
We know that a natural ebb and flow in the affairs of men
exists. Yantra Yoga (South Indian Numerology) teaches how to
utilise the potential inherent in each segment of time as it
arises: however the concept of cycles must never be
misconstrued as an encouragement for neurotic concern with
the future or fearful anticipation of natural testing phases
which represent an inevitable part of living.