Posts Tagged invalidation

Invalidation’s Shadow: The Human Cancer Effect Conclusion


The last two posts talked about human cancer in its pervasive manifestation and its cure. The root of human cancer is invalidation and the cure of invalidation is to reverse its effect through seeing how it plays out in the real world and to abide in the unchanging light of our Authentic Being.

In this final post of this series, I want to talk more about the effects of this cancer on the human level. But more specifically, I would like to illustrate examples that are more extreme, yet often more a part of our everyday lives, than those that are discussed, in detail, in my book. The first post in this series talked about the overarching effect of this cancer. Today we will take a brief look at how invalidation/cancer manifests on the group, regional, and national levels.

The Inner City

In our own society of the United States, we have many zones of invalidation distributed through time and space. One zone, we might know well, is the inner cities of most urban areas in this country. African-Americans arrived in this country as slaves, mere chattel. Their emancipation in 1863 actually changed very little. Without the support of the plantation system they were forced into the even more cruel clutches of rural wage/farm labor. In essence, they remained slaves, but now without the supports of housing or food! This system of indentured wage/slavery continued well into the 20th century. Now we have the vast landscapes of poverty, hopelessness, self-futility and desolation that characterize nearly all of our largest cities.

This is a whole people who have experienced almost nothing but invalidation. So what do we see in these areas? We see abject resignation, profound depression, violence, substance, abuse, and shattered families. We also see strength, love, and solidarity. Invalidation is not of one color. Like everything else, it has a spectrum. Even in the most exploited and negated areas, the vitality of our Authentic Being lives on. What I describe in Liberation from the Lie and these posts should never be read as some kind of simple, unitary effect. No. It varies from person to person, from group to group, and even to nation to nation. But where invalidation is most pervasive, where people are most negated, where communities and families are most broken up, there you will find concentrations of invalidation.

The violent young men and women of the inner city express their innate powerlessness through brutal shows of force often followed by episodes of depression and hopeless futility. We hear many of these young men confident that they will not live to see their 25th birthday. The invalidation effect expresses itself differently by class. The expression from the poor is often more raw, more apparent, but because these communities are so negated and so isolated culturally, we can ignore their cries of need. We can pretend that they don’t exist. We can blame them for our failures. We can live happy that we are not them. The pathos of this relationship of human cancer is so great that words truly escape me. But we can see how the invalidation effects are protected by our immense capacity to deny and blame. This is all part of the hollow world of human cancer where relationships are based on false promises, mutual validation (see the Book), and personal self advantage.

Islam

The Middle East and especially the Persian Gulf region has been a place where cultural invalidation has played a powerful role. First the region was colonized by England and France in the 19th century. Puppet regimes, designed to serve the controlling and extractive needs of the conquerors were established and ever since then, this region has provided their Western masters with the fuel to drive their factories, cars, and war machines. We have used these people and their resources and have every notion of bleeding them dry of the one resource that can bring them the wealth to build locally owned and controlled productive institutions. But the many decades of invalidation have acted to create a monster. More than anything else, invalidation is a polarizing influence. When negation occurs everything becomes more extreme. Thus we observe in the shadow of colonization the creation of radical Islam. When you disenfranchise a people through force and coercion (as the human child is coerced and forced to be as we demand them to be!), we create monsters.

Thus our exploitation and invalidation explains 9/11 and all the carnage that has followed in its wake. Al Qaeda is like an inner city gang. It is configured in rage, implicit powerlessness, and righteous indignation. And we act as if we cannot understand their anger and frustration. We respond to their acts of force as if they have arisen in a vacuum. Instead, we raise the stakes by blaming them for their own abject poverty and neglect. As we heap rage and recrimination on Muslims, we raise our own shining crosses ever higher. We conveniently forget about the massive exploitation, we forget about the 1,000 years of conflict with the Islamic world starting with the Crusades, we forget about the colonization, we forget about how colonization infantilizes a people and their sacred culture, we forget it all and that forgetting is the very manifestation of invalidation in one of its most destructive forms. Our own rage and fury is part and parcel of the very same invalidation. For when human cancer arises, all are sickened. We are the people that flew the planes into the Twin Towers, we are the terror squads that roam the countryside of Afghanistan, we are the violent subjugation of women, we are the the whole process from start to finish and it all begins with invalidation.

The Empire of the United States

My final example is the current world empire, the United States. Unlike the inner cities of America and the dispossessed of the Middle East, the social-culture of the US presents the other side of the invalidation coin. Where those of the inner city and the Persian Gulf region are the depleted side of the negation coin, the Empire is the bloated side. As an empire our marks of success are characterized by sucking. We suck the life out of those regions and people to sustain a culture where the divide between the “haves” and “have-nots” must be large and projected outwards. We suck everything we can from the dispossessed part of the world and thus bloat and expand our own cultural being. We need to show the world just how fantastic it is to own multiple homes, gas guzzling SUVs, every type of power hogging contraption, and all the rest. As an empire we have the luxury of defining to the world what it means to be a success. As the world’s media center we can propagate this image of avarice to all the world. Now every family in China and India would like nothing more than two cars, multiple televisions, and the rest of the material package.

We are driven to have these things for not to have them would mean that we are not a success. Thus our drive to possess all that the world can produce is fueled by a powerful fear of its absence. Without all the material accoutrements of 21st century success, we are, in essence, failures. We have not secured our slice of the empire’s fruit. This is the drive to be someone – someone special – someone safe – someone successful – someone powerful. We can live in our electronic palaces and comfortably blame those dirty people in the inner cities for their own woes and we can blame those dirty people in the Middle East for their own social and economic failures. We can feel as entitled as we possibly can and live oblivious of the truth of our connections with all of that and so much more.

The Universe of Invalidation/Cancer and Its Healing

This is the universe of human cancer. No one fully escapes the shadow of invalidation. And as it has grown in power, the stakes to our survival as a species have grown in proportion. We can’t fully understand the invalidation/cancer effect unless we see, simultaneously, both sides of the process. We are all victims of any compulsive need that is driven by fear and we can only be fear driven when our identity is defined by a belief in our innate inadequacy, insufficiency, and worthlessness. That is the whole basis of the invalidation experience as it is expressed in my book, Liberation from the Lie.

As long as who we believe ourselves to be is defined by a belief founded in our own invalidation/negation, we will continue to feed and nurture human cancer. This need is passed through the generations and becomes the very thing we know best – to our detriment. The violence, the substance abuse, the wars, the depression – all of it will continue unabated. It will not go away with political or social reforms. Rather our healing comes in the individual and group realization in our Authentic Being – that which is not defined by any socially or culturally defined identity. It is that which precedes all identity and links us to all of creation as, not only equals, but as One. Thus looking to our government or our religious leaders for salvation is an utter waste of time. It is a monument to profound entrancement that is a consequence of futile hope. We desperately seek something external to ourselves to complete who we are and to solve all our problems.

That will not work. The only healer we will ever have is ourselves. We are the revolution in consciousness. This is not a matter of getting anything. Rather, it is a matter of return, of shedding the false and allowing the real to reveal itself as a consequence of this healing. This is the power of liberation.

If you would like your own copy of the Cancer Series, please email me at: eric@liberationfromthelie.com and just request the Cancer Series and I will send it to you.

Please spread the word!

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Leave a comment

Invalidation's Shadow: The Human Cancer Effect Conclusion


The last two posts talked about human cancer in its pervasive manifestation and its cure. The root of human cancer is invalidation and the cure of invalidation is to reverse its effect through seeing how it plays out in the real world and to abide in the unchanging light of our Authentic Being.

In this final post of this series, I want to talk more about the effects of this cancer on the human level. But more specifically, I would like to illustrate examples that are more extreme, yet often more a part of our everyday lives, than those that are discussed, in detail, in my book. The first post in this series talked about the overarching effect of this cancer. Today we will take a brief look at how invalidation/cancer manifests on the group, regional, and national levels.

The Inner City

In our own society of the United States, we have many zones of invalidation distributed through time and space. One zone, we might know well, is the inner cities of most urban areas in this country. African-Americans arrived in this country as slaves, mere chattel. Their emancipation in 1863 actually changed very little. Without the support of the plantation system they were forced into the even more cruel clutches of rural wage/farm labor. In essence, they remained slaves, but now without the supports of housing or food! This system of indentured wage/slavery continued well into the 20th century. Now we have the vast landscapes of poverty, hopelessness, self-futility and desolation that characterize nearly all of our largest cities.

This is a whole people who have experienced almost nothing but invalidation. So what do we see in these areas? We see abject resignation, profound depression, violence, substance, abuse, and shattered families. We also see strength, love, and solidarity. Invalidation is not of one color. Like everything else, it has a spectrum. Even in the most exploited and negated areas, the vitality of our Authentic Being lives on. What I describe in Liberation from the Lie and these posts should never be read as some kind of simple, unitary effect. No. It varies from person to person, from group to group, and even to nation to nation. But where invalidation is most pervasive, where people are most negated, where communities and families are most broken up, there you will find concentrations of invalidation.

The violent young men and women of the inner city express their innate powerlessness through brutal shows of force often followed by episodes of depression and hopeless futility. We hear many of these young men confident that they will not live to see their 25th birthday. The invalidation effect expresses itself differently by class. The expression from the poor is often more raw, more apparent, but because these communities are so negated and so isolated culturally, we can ignore their cries of need. We can pretend that they don’t exist. We can blame them for our failures. We can live happy that we are not them. The pathos of this relationship of human cancer is so great that words truly escape me. But we can see how the invalidation effects are protected by our immense capacity to deny and blame. This is all part of the hollow world of human cancer where relationships are based on false promises, mutual validation (see the Book), and personal self advantage.

Islam

The Middle East and especially the Persian Gulf region has been a place where cultural invalidation has played a powerful role. First the region was colonized by England and France in the 19th century. Puppet regimes, designed to serve the controlling and extractive needs of the conquerors were established and ever since then, this region has provided their Western masters with the fuel to drive their factories, cars, and war machines. We have used these people and their resources and have every notion of bleeding them dry of the one resource that can bring them the wealth to build locally owned and controlled productive institutions. But the many decades of invalidation have acted to create a monster. More than anything else, invalidation is a polarizing influence. When negation occurs everything becomes more extreme. Thus we observe in the shadow of colonization the creation of radical Islam. When you disenfranchise a people through force and coercion (as the human child is coerced and forced to be as we demand them to be!), we create monsters.

Thus our exploitation and invalidation explains 9/11 and all the carnage that has followed in its wake. Al Qaeda is like an inner city gang. It is configured in rage, implicit powerlessness, and righteous indignation. And we act as if we cannot understand their anger and frustration. We respond to their acts of force as if they have arisen in a vacuum. Instead, we raise the stakes by blaming them for their own abject poverty and neglect. As we heap rage and recrimination on Muslims, we raise our own shining crosses ever higher. We conveniently forget about the massive exploitation, we forget about the 1,000 years of conflict with the Islamic world starting with the Crusades, we forget about the colonization, we forget about how colonization infantilizes a people and their sacred culture, we forget it all and that forgetting is the very manifestation of invalidation in one of its most destructive forms. Our own rage and fury is part and parcel of the very same invalidation. For when human cancer arises, all are sickened. We are the people that flew the planes into the Twin Towers, we are the terror squads that roam the countryside of Afghanistan, we are the violent subjugation of women, we are the the whole process from start to finish and it all begins with invalidation.

The Empire of the United States

My final example is the current world empire, the United States. Unlike the inner cities of America and the dispossessed of the Middle East, the social-culture of the US presents the other side of the invalidation coin. Where those of the inner city and the Persian Gulf region are the depleted side of the negation coin, the Empire is the bloated side. As an empire our marks of success are characterized by sucking. We suck the life out of those regions and people to sustain a culture where the divide between the “haves” and “have-nots” must be large and projected outwards. We suck everything we can from the dispossessed part of the world and thus bloat and expand our own cultural being. We need to show the world just how fantastic it is to own multiple homes, gas guzzling SUVs, every type of power hogging contraption, and all the rest. As an empire we have the luxury of defining to the world what it means to be a success. As the world’s media center we can propagate this image of avarice to all the world. Now every family in China and India would like nothing more than two cars, multiple televisions, and the rest of the material package.

We are driven to have these things for not to have them would mean that we are not a success. Thus our drive to possess all that the world can produce is fueled by a powerful fear of its absence. Without all the material accoutrements of 21st century success, we are, in essence, failures. We have not secured our slice of the empire’s fruit. This is the drive to be someone – someone special – someone safe – someone successful – someone powerful. We can live in our electronic palaces and comfortably blame those dirty people in the inner cities for their own woes and we can blame those dirty people in the Middle East for their own social and economic failures. We can feel as entitled as we possibly can and live oblivious of the truth of our connections with all of that and so much more.

The Universe of Invalidation/Cancer and Its Healing

This is the universe of human cancer. No one fully escapes the shadow of invalidation. And as it has grown in power, the stakes to our survival as a species have grown in proportion. We can’t fully understand the invalidation/cancer effect unless we see, simultaneously, both sides of the process. We are all victims of any compulsive need that is driven by fear and we can only be fear driven when our identity is defined by a belief in our innate inadequacy, insufficiency, and worthlessness. That is the whole basis of the invalidation experience as it is expressed in my book, Liberation from the Lie.

As long as who we believe ourselves to be is defined by a belief founded in our own invalidation/negation, we will continue to feed and nurture human cancer. This need is passed through the generations and becomes the very thing we know best – to our detriment. The violence, the substance abuse, the wars, the depression – all of it will continue unabated. It will not go away with political or social reforms. Rather our healing comes in the individual and group realization in our Authentic Being – that which is not defined by any socially or culturally defined identity. It is that which precedes all identity and links us to all of creation as, not only equals, but as One. Thus looking to our government or our religious leaders for salvation is an utter waste of time. It is a monument to profound entrancement that is a consequence of futile hope. We desperately seek something external to ourselves to complete who we are and to solve all our problems.

That will not work. The only healer we will ever have is ourselves. We are the revolution in consciousness. This is not a matter of getting anything. Rather, it is a matter of return, of shedding the false and allowing the real to reveal itself as a consequence of this healing. This is the power of liberation.

If you would like your own copy of the Cancer Series, please email me at: eric@liberationfromthelie.com and just request the Cancer Series and I will send it to you.

Please spread the word!

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

Tolle’s Pain/Body and Liberation’s Wound/Fear-Self: A Comparison


More and more I would like the content of this blog to consist of letters written by Liberation Blog and Liberation from the Lie readers who raise important questions about what I am trying to put forth in this venue. So, if you have any questions or comments, please send them my way and I will respond to them in as comprehensive a way as I can.

Today’s question focused on a comparison between Eckhart Tolle’s pain/body discussion and mine regarding the Wound and the corresponding Fear-Selves.

The Liberation from the Lie reader writes:

HI Eric, I have almost finished the first section….Is your wound/fear-selves model equivalent to Tolle’s pain-body/ego?

My response –

Tolle’s discussion of the pain/body is related to my discussion of the fear-selves, but there are important differences. I provided a cultural and historical context for the inevitable development of fear as the primary governing principle for a civilization addicted to ambition and consumption. Thus, the discussion in Liberation is much more political than that of Tolle. But, with all due respect to Tolle, I find my own findings to be more sweeping and explanatory. Nearly every event in our personal lives and in the world can be described and understood using the terms of Liberation from the Lie. For example: They explain 9/11 and how America responded to this event. If you read the book carefully, you will see that it explains nearly every form of interpersonal conflict and conflict involving individuals, groups, and even nations.

The concept of the fear-self identified with inadequacy was developed from ideas that I first encountered as they were discussed by Stephen Wolinsky, which he derived from Indian Advaita. I linked those ideas to the concept of invalidation, which I, in part, derived from my many years of work in Navajo peacemaking. Liberation marks the unification of those two psychological traditions.

On account of our primal Wound, the very young self begins to development a contextually specific array of Fear-Selves whose purpose it is to insulate the psychological self from the pain and chaos of its underlying Wound. The identification with inadequacy was essential for the development of civilization since it became necessary to convince people of their own innate insufficiency. In this way, socialization organized itself around obedience (self invalidation) and pleasing important others. Religion, education, and labor became the vital institutions dependent on self-negation through obedience.

The process of self-negation explains nearly every personality type that exists in this world, but the very process that produces the incredible “achievements” of this world, from the fantastic improvements in health to the horrors of the Holocaust, have acted to “cover-up” the light of our Authentic Being. Thus many Eastern traditions, as well as that advocated in Liberation from the Lie, seek to lay out journey of return to this source that is our essential nature prior to its contamination by the civilizing influences of the well-intended family, schools, and the demands of the work-place. Unfortunately, many of these same traditions replicate the self-negating constructs from which they themselves emerged.

Liberation is the seeing, just like in zen, that we are NOT that struggle to be someone or something. Isn’t it interesting that nearly all of us are in a compulsive struggle to be the enlightened me we psychologically project and, at the same time, flee from the self we believe ourselves to be! This is the ultimate self-crushing dilemma.

The organization of life into discrete independent objects, including you and me, is just a convenient story told by the mind. Rather, life is dynamic and ever-changing and our reflection is in everything and everyone. The mind will want to pin everything down into a neat order – and that is, as the tao te ching says, the universe of desire. There is no doing away with that universe. But it is not the exclusive universe. That which is never-changing sees all of this and is not effected by any of it.

This is not to say that we need to become this unchanging background to existence. That is already in place. We see this unchanging field in the light that fills every aspect and element of our sensed world. It’s really more about discovering the legacy of the invalidation trauma in our immediate life. And I think this is where Tolle’s concept and mine come together. Pain and suffering is an inevitable consequence when we both strive to be someone we believe we are not AND we strive not to be someone we believe we are!

I think all of this will become a lot clearer as you continue reading. But here is where Tolle is really helpful. The mind is always a projecting a future me that will benefit from all of this. That is, exactly, the class of thinking that sustains the inadequacy belief. You would never need to invest your beliefs in a future me if you were not still placing your primary faith in an adequate self you already believe yourself to be! Life is now – end of story. It is likely to change as your understanding changes. But right now notice how your future projecting is effecting the qualitative experience of this very moment! When you really SEE that, you will be free.

That is the seeing that untangles the know.

, , ,

Leave a comment

Tolle's Pain/Body and Liberation's Wound/Fear-Self: A Comparison


More and more I would like the content of this blog to consist of letters written by Liberation Blog and Liberation from the Lie readers who raise important questions about what I am trying to put forth in this venue. So, if you have any questions or comments, please send them my way and I will respond to them in as comprehensive a way as I can.

Today’s question focused on a comparison between Eckhart Tolle’s pain/body discussion and mine regarding the Wound and the corresponding Fear-Selves.

The Liberation from the Lie reader writes:

HI Eric, I have almost finished the first section….Is your wound/fear-selves model equivalent to Tolle’s pain-body/ego?

My response –

Tolle’s discussion of the pain/body is related to my discussion of the fear-selves, but there are important differences. I provided a cultural and historical context for the inevitable development of fear as the primary governing principle for a civilization addicted to ambition and consumption. Thus, the discussion in Liberation is much more political than that of Tolle. But, with all due respect to Tolle, I find my own findings to be more sweeping and explanatory. Nearly every event in our personal lives and in the world can be described and understood using the terms of Liberation from the Lie. For example: They explain 9/11 and how America responded to this event. If you read the book carefully, you will see that it explains nearly every form of interpersonal conflict and conflict involving individuals, groups, and even nations.

The concept of the fear-self identified with inadequacy was developed from ideas that I first encountered as they were discussed by Stephen Wolinsky, which he derived from Indian Advaita. I linked those ideas to the concept of invalidation, which I, in part, derived from my many years of work in Navajo peacemaking. Liberation marks the unification of those two psychological traditions.

On account of our primal Wound, the very young self begins to development a contextually specific array of Fear-Selves whose purpose it is to insulate the psychological self from the pain and chaos of its underlying Wound. The identification with inadequacy was essential for the development of civilization since it became necessary to convince people of their own innate insufficiency. In this way, socialization organized itself around obedience (self invalidation) and pleasing important others. Religion, education, and labor became the vital institutions dependent on self-negation through obedience.

The process of self-negation explains nearly every personality type that exists in this world, but the very process that produces the incredible “achievements” of this world, from the fantastic improvements in health to the horrors of the Holocaust, have acted to “cover-up” the light of our Authentic Being. Thus many Eastern traditions, as well as that advocated in Liberation from the Lie, seek to lay out journey of return to this source that is our essential nature prior to its contamination by the civilizing influences of the well-intended family, schools, and the demands of the work-place. Unfortunately, many of these same traditions replicate the self-negating constructs from which they themselves emerged.

Liberation is the seeing, just like in zen, that we are NOT that struggle to be someone or something. Isn’t it interesting that nearly all of us are in a compulsive struggle to be the enlightened me we psychologically project and, at the same time, flee from the self we believe ourselves to be! This is the ultimate self-crushing dilemma.

The organization of life into discrete independent objects, including you and me, is just a convenient story told by the mind. Rather, life is dynamic and ever-changing and our reflection is in everything and everyone. The mind will want to pin everything down into a neat order – and that is, as the tao te ching says, the universe of desire. There is no doing away with that universe. But it is not the exclusive universe. That which is never-changing sees all of this and is not effected by any of it.

This is not to say that we need to become this unchanging background to existence. That is already in place. We see this unchanging field in the light that fills every aspect and element of our sensed world. It’s really more about discovering the legacy of the invalidation trauma in our immediate life. And I think this is where Tolle’s concept and mine come together. Pain and suffering is an inevitable consequence when we both strive to be someone we believe we are not AND we strive not to be someone we believe we are!

I think all of this will become a lot clearer as you continue reading. But here is where Tolle is really helpful. The mind is always a projecting a future me that will benefit from all of this. That is, exactly, the class of thinking that sustains the inadequacy belief. You would never need to invest your beliefs in a future me if you were not still placing your primary faith in an adequate self you already believe yourself to be! Life is now – end of story. It is likely to change as your understanding changes. But right now notice how your future projecting is effecting the qualitative experience of this very moment! When you really SEE that, you will be free.

That is the seeing that untangles the know.

, , ,

Leave a comment

Why We Suffer: An Example from My Own Life


Anytime we experience psychological suffering in our lives, we are also experiencing a direct invitation for self-understanding. This is why grief, disappoint, frustration, and even hopelessness can be seen as gifts possessing great value for us.
I would like to present an example taken from my own life. After all, it is the life I know best.
My wife asked me why I become so upset and even militant when people disagree with me at social networking sites, such as Facebook. Often when someone posts, what seems to me to be a spiritual quip that is naive or doctrinaire, I become quite annoyed and without much delay, post a strongly worded rejoinder. She asked me, why do I seem to care so much what anyone says?
Why do I care what someone else thinks?
This was an invitation for exploration into a very real and immediate source of suffering.
Here is how it played using the Theory of Invalidation as it is proposed in Liberation from the Lie.
First we need to know that when we are experiencing suffering of this type, we need to know that this is psychological suffering. This means that the suffering is a direct reflection of who we believe we are, which is in conflict with how the world is presenting itself to this psychological being (me). We also need to know that this psychological suffering is an echo of a much older and self-sustaining pattern.
All psychological suffering is a consequence of invalidation. The expression of anger, frustration, depression – each is an expression of the invalidated self. So what is happening in this example?
I could see that this need to reply, this intensity, was really a need to be heard. I was the youngest of two brothers. In my family of origin, I was thought of as the lesser person. My voice was more one of annoyance than of integrity. Although well intended, my parents tended to ignore who I was and often made light of what I had to say. The attention that I needed (as well as the love) was roundly ignored and I was placated by occasional gifts.
In this way, among others, I was invalidated. What resulted was a psychological profile that I call the Fear-Based Expert. Because I needed to be heard, I needed to have the authority that lots of information would provide me. The Expert profile is one that believes it knows a lot and generally feels some superiority over those that are seen to know less.
In my own case, this Expert Profile is tempered by lots of compassion and love that I have for most people. If I weren’t expressing these ideas in this blog, few would guess that this is true for me. But it is.
This pattern of militant, strongly worded replies on Facebook reflected a deeper expression for a need to be heard, respected, admired, and even loved. It was a plea for serious attention, the one thing I lacked as a child.
But there is a lot more to this realization.
Frankly, my life has been fraught with failure in just those areas where I focused my expertise. I failed to complete two Ph.Ds on account of my controversial topics and occasionally anti-authoritarian attitude I had against well established academic protocols. My statistical work with various foundations ended because of their tendency not to be politically correct, and even the book I wrote about this process had received relatively little attention at amazon.com.
Thus, not only was I struggling for attention in much of my adult life, but I was continuing to fail in the very endeavor that has been most important to me.
It is for this reason, that I would sink into despair over a world that just didn’t appreciate me or what I had to say, no matter how diligent I was about the quality of the ideas and their contextualization with human experience as well as their academic rigor. I continue to fail and thus my tendency to melancholy and sadness are sustained. The child that needed attention was still alive and well in the 57 year old version of me.
Now part two – I also could see that people whose views I consider naive and, frankly, unoriginal received much more public accolade than my own. I resented these people and wanted to “set them straight” by showing them how uninformed they are. When we are invalidated and living through our Fear-Based selves (like 99.9% of the human population), we will also replicate, ironically, our primal invalidators, just when we are feeling the pain of our own invalidation. So, when I am resenting the admirers of people I generally don’t respect, I am replicating the behavior of my parents who invalidated me. I become the invalidator and the people I invalidate reflect my invalidated self! In this way, the whole invalidation process is repeatedly recreated. I am both victim and perpetrator!
We can also see how this process further informs my life. My quest for knowledge and understanding was made possible through this invalidation. It, literally, made me to be the person I am. When we see the manifestation of invalidation in our lives, it is clearly NOT a black and white situation. It is, nearly always, gray. If we look deeply enough, we will see that nearly every psychological element of our personality is explained by our core invalidation experience. The psychological self is the invalidated self.
The moment I can see the whole trajectory of the invalidation shadow in my life, I become one step removed from it. I am not, necessarily, healed from its effect, but I am, to some extent, liberated from its hidden effects.
The question becomes, “who am I without this invalidation behaviors?” This is the key question we need to ask ourselves as we explore the effect of invalidation in our lives. Only we can answer this question.
There is great poignancy to this exploration. When we feel our own sadness, we know what everyone else is going through. The investigation of invalidation becomes authentic compassion, not only for ourselves, but for all people. We see how fear-based psychological strategies, of which conventional nonduality is one, become our essential psychological self. They are all attempts to adapt the pain of invalidation.


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What Is Invalidation: How We Lose Connection With Our Authentic Self


Invalidation, as used in Liberation from the Lie, means anything that induces a young child to sever his or her connection with the authentic self.

Hundreds of studies have shown that very young children (right after birth) need unconditional love from their parents. They need constant caring connection. That is not what happens in the modern era (it did happen with hunter/gatherers). Children are placed in their own rooms where they must deal with isolated terror; exiled and disconnected from their life givers. They are frequently punished for just being themselves. They are expected to be obedient to authority (family – school – work).

They learn that love is earned – it is NOT a given. To receive love, the child must conform to the demands of their “bosses” (parents – teachers – relative – etc.). They learn, in the starkest terms possible, that they are not acceptable as they are.

In this way we lose our connection with our authentic selves. We become a Fear-Based Self.

A child, to live as the authentic must be fully secure in their body and mind. When the connection is severed, as it is for nearly all of us, this security is lost. The Fear-Self is an adaptive strategy in a child’s attempt to regain security based on methods learned to gain love and respect. In this way, we become addicted to being “smart”, or the “expert” or “beautiful/sexy”, or “spiritual” or becoming a “pleaser” etc. We become manipulators of love, affection, and commitment. We can’t live as our authentic self, because we no longer who this person is.

This is how invalidation operates in our very first days and years of our lives and this Fear-Self is the adaptation made to compensate for this invalidation.

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