Information addicts


We thirst for knowledge everywhere including and it is readily available. The internet, TV, schools, and books are all available to us in an instant. We constantly look for answers to everything. The increase in availability of technology that distributes information has increased the consumption of information tenfold in the last decade.

Handheld devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as programs like Skype and Netflix make it easy for us make it easy to find answers to things whenever we feel so inclined. In a way we are addicted. If it’s not you, just look around. Look where a couple is enjoying a beautiful breakfast together on a weekend and both are on their phones.

What has the volume of information done for humanity? For you and I? I feel that in short, this addiction to knowledge is our ruin. Sound crazy? Maybe. Can we afford to make this mistake if our thirst for knowledge and our hi-tech world that makes it so easy leads us to our destruction? Like all addictions, an addiction to knowledge can lead to an earlier death emotionally or otherwise. We believe that knowledge is the key to a great life. Well, knowledge is worth the hole in the donut – zilch. And we don’t care. The pursuit of knowledge, even if it is gossip, keeps us going. We do not have to feel or relate. We just avoid what matters by using our devices or should I say vices? Mankind will go merrily along believing it has progressed and then there will come a day when all hell will break loose. We will be lost. We will all be junkies seeking more knowledge to solve the pain. Give me more, I want more knowledge. Let me store it in my brain. It will give me power. It will heal me. Well, it will not. We will experience massive pain. Our humanity will be diminished. We have used tools that we were not ready for in a way that will destroy mankind.

Knowledge is only useful when it is integrated into our lives. When we use the knowledge to feel whole. When the knowledge changes our lives and we feel different. We must discover knowledge that makes a real difference in our lives. We must seek knowledge about ourselves and why we are addicted. We must learn to heal ourselves and grow as human beings. We must learn how to relate to each other, to love one another. All the knowledge on the planet is useless without feeling life is worth living and a connection to all that matters. All the knowledge in the world will not matter unless we feel fulfilled and significant deep inside.

Once we are our centered self, we can seek knowledge in a healthy way. Knowledge then becomes about helping ourselves to heal and grow and then in turn to help others heal and grow. We begin to live on purpose, to begin to leave as legacy, and to be the example for others. Knowledge consumed this way is with vision and can be very important. It is no longer an addiction. It is honouring oneself. Now, balance will always be important for everyone. Balance is also important to live a powerful and healthy life.

All addictions are about not dealing with our pain. Knowledge can be a serious addiction. Use knowledge as it was meant to be; to live a powerful and balanced life totally connected to all that matters. Then from that centre move forward looking for knowledge that will assist you in serving humanity. Look around you and see the addiction. It is massive. Be a part of the solution. Humanity needs you to show up.

Addictions and Distractions


I live in Vancouver, BC. Vancouver is a amazing city. I am truly a fortunate person be to living here. Like most cities, Vancouver has its skid row. The area is sometimes referred to as the Downtown Eastside, but the specific area ‘skid row’ refers to is the strip along Hastings that begins at Main and Hastings and spreads on either side. It’s a place where the most impoverished and troubled people of Vancouver tend to collect, and drug use open and rampant. I love to visit the area by walking or riding my bike through its many alleys. I love doing it because it brings my humanity into focus and it allows me to face my anxiety around survival. I have developed more compassion for myself as well as others through these experiences. It also helps me to recognize the equality to all of mankind, no matter what each person’s circumstances are. I see the pain in the people addicted to drugs, and I see my own pain that grows from addictions in my life, though they aren’t substance based. I used to be addicted to my emotional pain and I attempted to alleviate it by playing more than 60 golf games a year when I really did not like golf. Or playing poker once or twice a week when I really did not like poker. Or watching hours of TV or drinking alcohol or…..My addictions were a distraction, that allowed me to ignore the deep pain I felt. If I kept busy on the surface, removed from my interior life, then I wouldn’t have to face these larger problems. I realize that we all have addictions, though some are more socially acceptable than others. Although I may not risk my body as readily as a drug user, my actions are never the less harmful to my wellbeing. I now realize that all addictions including drinking, smoking and gambling will slow everyone down and take years off our lives in many ways.

When I visit skid row, I see people barely surviving. I often see people passed out with needles hanging out of their arms. They were so stoned they did not have time to pull the needle out after injection. Once I saw a woman like that, passed out, needle in her arm and 8 months pregnant. Her boyfriend was lying on top of her barely awake, cuddling her stomach as if to hold the unborn baby. My heart went out to that unborn baby. I asked myself many questions; What is going to happen in the womb to cause the baby to struggle for a lifetime? What is going to happen after birth when the child is born in a world of drugs and poverty? How much pain will this baby endure during its lifetime through no fault of its own? What did an unborn child do to deserve such a start? Can these adults do something now to give the baby a better chance and what would it take for them to realize the seriousness of their situation? After I reflected on these questions I realized that my childhood was also a challenge. I was born to young parents who did not want a child so I was rejected from the moment of conception. I was also born in a war zone, apartheid South Africa and I was brown. Being brown meant a life of shame and inequality. Like that woman’s baby, I was behind the eighth ball before I was born. It was going to be a struggle. I had to fight to survive. That was my journey. And fortunately I was born a fighter.

At home my father used his fists to knock me down early on in life. The last time he did it was when I was 18. That time I fought back for the first time and knocked the jackass on his ass. Then I left home for good. The fantasy of belonging to a family was eliminated. Prior to that event at age 18, when my father knocked me down, I always got up immediately. I did not want him to crush me. I needed to remain standing. I learned to get up quickly and powerfully when knocked down. That was going to be a great life skill as a grown man. I became my own Rocky. Yo, knock me down and I am just getting up man. I will keep coming man.

Life outside the home as a boy in South Africa was tough. Street fighting was a part of my life. I had to tough it out. I would not let myself be bullied. Crumble and I would be lost for a lifetime. I thought I would then become a victim and a weak man. So for me, outside the home was tough and inside the home was tough. I had to learn how to survive. I decided to not back down. I did not want to lay there on the floor or the street a beaten boy. Something in me decided to fight and I feel that something is my soul. My soul has a purpose and I had to make it. That fight is still in me today.

The problem with a survival strategy is that I succeeded in the physical sense, but I struggled in the emotional part of life. I shut down my feelings. I had to. Being rejected by my family and society would have been too much for me if I allowed myself to truly feel as a child. The problem with this strategy is that as an adult when survival was no longer an issue, the old mechanisms I used to keep my feelings at bay continued. And when I shut my emotional side down, addictions became my way of alleviating my pain and distracting myself from my issues. The golf and the poker and the drinking etc were an incredibly poor way of attempting to heal myself. It was merely postponing death. I was never really alive back then.

I had to learn to revive, feel and heal myself in order to truly live. My journey inwards as an adult was crucial!!! Without discovering why my childhood survival mechanisms were holding me back as an adult, I would continue to live a life of pain and mediocrity, a life of many addictions to solve the pain, a life of regret. Where are you using addictions to solve your pain? These addictions only give us a short-term gain. The practice leads to long-term pain and a life of regret. Take the journey inwards and live a powerful life. Take a walk into your skid row and discover your own humanity, your greatness and power.

My Subconscious Childhood Agenda

I have done a significant amount of investigation into knowing myself at a deeper level and that self-knowledge has led to significant if not quantum changes in my life, changes I value so very much. One of the most important pieces I discovered in my learning was my buried (unconscious) childhood agenda. The experiences I had as a child caused me to form certain beliefs, feelings and conclusions about myself and about life in general. These beliefs likely served me when I was young. In many ways my behaviour felt necessary to survive. Without the ability to take care of myself I had to please the ones who could, my parents. Like all children I was highly vulnerable to my parents’ moods, circumstances and what they were willing to know. However healthy or unhealthy these patterns of behaviour were, I have successfully arrived at adulthood. However, the problem with continuing my childhood agenda into adulthood is that even though it may have served me as a child, it is not likely to serve me as an adult because my circumstances have changed significantly. I am independent, I have more skills and intelligence, I have a wider variety of choices, I live in different environments, etc. Keeping up these behavioural patterns that served me in childhood has now created problems for me in adulthood.

Let’s start with what my childhood agenda actually was and then see how that agenda did not serve me well as an adult. Then I will discuss how I changed this agenda it to be aligned with my truth.

My parents general attitudes and behaviour could be described as depressive, unavailable, impatient, and angry. This led me to feel sad, ashamed, angry and rejected throughout my childhood. My parents frustrated me further by making me feel responsible for their anger, burdens and pain. They also used me as a pawn in their own conflict and beat me violently many times, with the intent to severely injure me. As a result I lived in fear and felt that I was excluded from the family, dominated and neglected. To avoid further pain and subdue the fear, I would do my best to be nice, agreeable, polite and responsible. These characteristics became my currency for survival. I wanted to be told that I matter and that I was worthy to spend time with, and feel safe when I went to bed.

My currency for survival as a child was being nice, agreeable, polite and responsible. With this behaviour I felt that I could subdue the bad behaviour of my parents, that I would be beaten less often and less severely, that I would be included in things, that I mattered and that I was good enough to be loved. I naturally continued using the same currency in adulthood, which led to serious problems including depression, further shame, lack of self worth, anger, and loneliness. It manifested itself into poor health, failed marriages, lack of ambition, poor self-worth, weak relationships, and so on. Now, on the surface, being nice, agreeable, polite and responsible may seem like a good thing. And in some situations it is. However, if it is a default like mine was, it can make you weak and cause frustration in relationships and in the work place. I had trouble setting boundaries and being fierce. I would look at abuse and make excuses or look the other way. Subconsciously I had to be liked or I would not survive because I did not feel that I was loveable. I subconsciously believed that being nice kept me in relationships. As you can see, being in a relationship as a NICE person or a GOOD BOY, was being in relationships as a person who was not authentic. I was a person living out of my childhood wounds and therefore showing up in life as a wounded little boy. Now my partners had their own crapola, for sure. Even those who had a positive upbringing and good relationships with their parents have their problems. No child goes unscathed through childhood; just look at the pain in the world to see the truth of this. My partner had her own buried (unconscious) childhood beliefs, which made things much worse. Ever wonder why relationships are so hard to do well? It’s because we attempt to solve problems with the same reasoning that caused the problem; the solution needs a different and deeper understanding.

It took massive pain triggered by my marriage to get me to do something about my suffering. In 2005 I got help. To my great fortune I was led to Dov Baron. This is where my journey to authenticity and power began. Dov quickly got me to see the NICE and GOOD BOY and how the behaviour impacted my life and where it was born. My journey then was to understand that firstly I could not change my parents’ beliefs through my behaviour as my parents were unavailable to me in my childhood and as an adult, and secondly that my behaviour was not that of a “powerful man”. With the guidance of Dov, I would learn to feel the pain of my behaviour and make apologies from those I had impacted through the behaviour. I began to heal quickly. My beliefs and behaviours changed. I became different. Being the NICE or GOOD boy left me for the most part in all areas of my life except in my relationship with a life partner. Here, I still struggle. My behaviour here is still in a default position and still applied in some cases in order to maintain the relationship at least for a time. It is hard wired because of my need to get my mother’s love, which never came (my mother wanted the nice or good boy to show up or I would be in trouble). I am aware of the default position and I am making choices to let it go. The nice and good boy will always be a part of me, however its influence is waning.

Discovering and dealing with my buried (unconscious) childhood beliefs has been very important in my life. The work has allowed me to be in authentic relationship with myself and others. I act on my truth, the values I have chosen for myself, my non negotiables, my wishes, my dreams and my vision. I am in the process of becoming a powerful man by accepting the necessity of allowing myself to be vulnerable.

How well do you understand your buried (unconscious) childhood beliefs? If these beliefs are impacting your life, would you not want to know what it is and how it impacts your life? Do you have the commitment and courage to see your truth? Do you want to live the life of your dreams? For me, the only thing that makes life grand is to know thyself very, very, very well indeed. Make the commitment and be a part of real change in the world. As you change, the world changes. Get the help we all so desperately need.

Human Suffering – A Cause For Greatness or Despair


I am writing this blog tongue in cheek because I am pissed off about humanity’s commitment to suffering. This light-hearted approach to writing helps prevent me from screaming and pulling my hair out. I just need to get this out while my arms are wailing about in the air. Bear with me.

We all have experienced, are experiencing, or will experiences suffering in our lives. We must like to suffer simply because we continue to suffer when it is not necessary. Why give up a good thing eh? We have suffered for millennia – that’s a commitment. So what is suffering and why do we suffer? Firstly, to know suffering we all have had to live through it, to experience it. We all have had to feel what it is like to suffer. Suffering, for the purpose of this blog, refers to long term and includes; continuously feeling pain, misery, distress, agony, self-torment, wounding, self-sacrifice, injury, etc. When we suffer, we feel unhappy, troubled, tormented, and wounded. When we suffer, we learn to endure pain. Since it only takes 10,000 hours to be a master at anything – we are all masters of suffering. Suffering becomes a part of life, a way of life. It becomes our badge of honour (I am being sarcastic here). We do have moments of pure joy, however, there is no continuous state of joy. Joy comes along as if by luck or chance, rather than being something we feel we have control over in our lives.

Unfortunately we usually deal with suffering in a way that enables its continuation as an individual and as a human race. To keep suffering alive we consciously or unconsciously avoid understanding and resolving the causes of the suffering. We go into denial (most of us become either Cleopatra or King Tut, the Queen/King of de-Nile). We make up shite that need not true – all meaning is subjective and it only holds what we attach to it. We stay away from anyone who offers us the truth about our lives and those we fear are often the ones who hold our truth. We continue to do the same thing over and over expecting a different result, which is the very definition of insanity. We blame others for our and identify ourselves as victims. We live entitled lives (a victim coupled with entitlement, whoa Nellie, watch out for this combination). We seek comfort in keeping things the same, same=safe=stuck. We are not curious, and we seek people who support us in our situation of suffering. We bite even harder on our beliefs and on our ideologies (have faith, it will all be OK when we are dead). We abandon ourselves (so that everyone else will as well). Human beings are a strange lot.

Why are we so addicted to suffering? One big reason for being addicted to suffering is because we fear loneliness. Loneliness is about the fear of complete isolation, a life of emptiness. To be with others, we must generally abandon ourselves and accept what is necessary to be in relationship (check it out – still friends with that a-hole? Why? Or still married to that person that blames you for everything? Why?). With life partners, we avoid the truth about our lives and the relationship and in so doing we become dependent on each other to a point where co-dependency is a likely result. Co-dependency is a sure and simple attempt to escape loneliness. We will do nothing to threaten the relationship because of the fear of loneliness. Let’s not open a can of worms or I may get the boot or want to move on. Or you know the movie line, “You complete me.” Yikes!!! Shiver me timbers.

Here’s what I have learned through experience. This is my truth and not the truth. I am alone. I was born alone. Yes, I had family support from the day of my birth, but I was alone. I am in my body. My body is isolated from the rest of the world and I craved others to stop the loneliness. This craving sets up dependency. The solution is very simple yet most difficult to do; I had to become at ease with the fact that I was born alone. To become at ease alone I had to become comfortable with being with me. I had to see the power in myself without being dependent on others – I had to know myself. There it is again; it seems like self knowledge solves just about everything? Hmmmmm? Very interesting. As Socrates is quoted to have said “An unexamined life is not worth living”.  Gee whiz, know thyself.

So to stop the relentless suffering, I/we must face our truth and we must become at ease alone. We must face the pain no matter how painful. We must feel the misery, the shame, the guilt, the loneliness, etc. Here’s the deal: Facing the pain directly now will allow you to release the suffering in the long term. We must follow the saying, ‘Short term pain (facing the truth) for long term gain (end of suffering),’ versus what we normally do: ‘short term gain (avoidance) for long term pain (suffering continues and it intensifies).’

In facing the pain we must be prepared to let go of all relationships that do not serve our greater good. I have found that for those who begin the work of knowing themselves, this requirement of letting go relationships is where they fall down and willingly go back to the suffering. Our attachment to unhealthy relationships is far too strong. We cannot overcome the dependency. There’s too much at stake, whether it is the sharing of wealth on divorce, no one serving your needs, being ostracized by family and friends, being alone, being seen as a loser, or a sense of shame and guilt. I have seen very poor life partner relationships continue because the co-dependency is too great. We are all powerful alone. Try it out.

If you are willing and are committed to go the distance you will discover love and beauty beyond your understanding. You will feel freedom for the first time in your life. You will feel inspired to make a difference in the world. You will be a magnificent example to many. You will live, truly live. Here’s what Khalil Gibran says about those who deal with their suffering in a healthy manner: “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars”. Your journey THROUGH suffering is what matters in life. Your decision to remain in suffering is your death. To avoid or to wallow will lead to equal amounts of suffering in the long term. One must confront and work through life’s struggles and hardships in order to thrive.

Stop the suffering and begin to heal yourself through self-knowledge. Become at ease alone and choose relationships that fulfill your values, your non negotiables and other requirements from a point of clarity. You will know what it is like for the first time to truly be in relationship because a relationship with another is not possible without first having a relationship with yourself.

All of the above has been written from my experience of facing my pain. I suffered until I was 50 years old. Nine years later at 59 years old I feel like I have lived for nine years. I can only know what is written here by living it. I can only express the aforementioned if I have felt it. And I do. Join me. The world needs you to know your truth.

This blog was inspired by my partner Anne who has the courage to face tremendous pain. She will emerge a strong soul seared with scars. A great example to us all. Thank you Anne.


Organized Ideologies and Beliefs


Why does mankind organize and rigidly maintain beliefs developed thousands of years ago? Why have these messages been organized and sold to the public? Did the people who originated the messages even want their messages organized? Did they know their messages were organized and maintained over a population of people?

We have many institutions that foster ideologies/beliefs that are pre-packaged for us at birth that cover not only religion, but also politics and culture. Have you ever challenged your own beliefs or those of the organizations that you belong to or born into? If not, why not? Do you believe that it is not your right to challenge anything that is been given to you by others like your parents, teachers or the institutions? How do you know what life is for you if you have not explored all options? I love these questions because they go to the heart of the discovery and beauty of my life.

I feel that mankind has organized its beliefs in order to provide certainty, comfort, security and gratification in our lives, for the present and the future. However, I feel that organized beliefs put us all to sleep, a deep sleep that is like death. In the sleep, we actually feel that we are taking action, being good, being right, being significant. I feel that we buy into established beliefs so that we do not have to deal with conflict; conflict within ourselves such as our personal pain; and conflict externally, like world problems and our life purpose. Adopting beliefs solves our problems for us and makes everything seem more comfortable. We are accepted. We belong. We know the rules. We feel secure. It’s really the easy route. However this is unfortunately a destructive way of living our lives.

Here are a few obvious examples of populations erroneously taking on the truth of institutions: Remember when institutions were absolutely certain that the world was flat, and anyone who disagreed was executed? How about now, where in some countries certain institutions force whippings for women who have slept with a man outside marriage, but not for the men? Then there are the institutions that excommunicate its members for denying the faith that they are born into. As well as those that posit that you can be forgiven your past sins, if only you pay financial reparations to the organization. Reparations to the ones that set the beliefs that make what you did a sin in the first place. Why is there a need for these organizations, groups, individuals to be right? Why do they need to be unchallenged and require that you close your beliefs without open and fair challenge? It could be control, power, control of wealth, control of knowledge and intelligence. It could be to create a false sense of security for people, or be built out of a fear of being wrong, or it could be all of the above

Here are a few not so obvious examples: Remember hearing about or living by the belief; spare the rod, spoil the child? Or, honour your father and your mother no matter what they do or how they live their lives? That a woman’s place is in the home? That the glass ceiling does not exist, or perhaps if it does, then it is there for good reason?

I feel that when we buy into established beliefs without challenge we become martyrs for the cause. A martyr is someone who sacrifices his/her life or extinguishes his/her life for a belief or set of beliefs. Martyrs are willing to be nothing on an emotional level. They give themselves away. Martyrs isolate themselves for the cause. They must buy the illusion even when the opposite understanding slaps them hard in the face and kicks them in the ass. No new experience is needed or desired. They are never curious. They are born into belief and die with the belief. That’s their journey in life. No more, no less. They lead a very small life. They may not have lived for themselves, yet they have certainty. Certainty of being right. Thinking that exploration and curiosity are ridiculous. They are sure.

Only those who are willing to pursue their own truth through self-knowledge will be able to confront their beliefs in a healthy way. We must understand ourselves in the total process of life. We must challenge everything until we know it is our choice. To choose freely is real freedom. To choose to seek approval or acceptance is not freedom. To choose to gain security is not freedom. To choose to gain recognition is not freedom. To choose to avoid being alone is not freedom.

Here are some questions that have dominated my life of late; can anyone organize truth? If truth is organized, is it still truth? What is the purpose of life if we do not seek to know the truth of life without encumbrance? What is life if I buy what is sold to me early in life? Is life not to be explored? Why do we want things to be easy?

J Krishnamurti’s explanation for seeking truth sums it up very well for me. He says that truth is a pathless land. Truth is not fixed so that there is no path to find truth. Life demands exploration and evolution.  Life demands that we show up: my life, my power, no excuses.

For me, truth must be discovered moment by moment and it must be felt. Truth requires presence of being and knowledge of self. Truth requires absolute vulnerability. Truth requires continuous search. Truth cannot be organized as it becomes about the past or the future, because organized ideologies keeps the person within a limited knowledge or understanding. Truth demands that each and every person on the planet must commit to keeping an open mind to everything. Truth requires constant change and evolution. Truth demands the person develop a life of being at ease alone.

We are creatures of comfort that seek easy answers and avoid facing painful things and feelings. We sacrifice our lives for ease and certainty. It’s a shameful waste. I wasted my life for the first 50 years. I thought I knew it all. I was a martyr to my beliefs. It was only when I became CURIOUS and I decide to discover my truth that I woke up and start to live. There’s no going back for me. It would be too painful. I am on the path of continuous discovery.

Challenge your understanding of truth. Seek it for yourself, by yourself. Seek guidance and not just anyone’s truth. We do not need gurus. We need mentors who help guide us to our own truth. Let go and live. Explore. Be curious! The world desperately needs each and everyone one of us to wake up to our own truth.


Our Obsession With Knowledge Is Our Weakness


Does the knowledge of the disaster of war prevent war? Apparently not. Wars are currently being fought every day from all corners of our world. Russia is on the verge of copying Nazi Germany by invading other countries on the premise of saving particular nationalities. Do the Russians really believe it will be different this time? Leaders continually ignore the ever-expanding knowledge that wars do not change the behaviour or the wisdom of man in the long run. We continue to do as we have always done, and we get the same results as we have always gotten. Humanity is an insane lot. Certainly not a wise lot. How else can one explain why we do what we do and do not learn? This doesn’t only apply to conflict on a global basis, just look in your own home, neighbourhood, institutions, etc and see the hostility happening there continually and systematically. Or in countries where firearm regulation is lax and gun culture is such that it is the norm for citizens to be running around with fully loaded guns ready to kill the innocent, the young, the beautiful, simply because something pisses them off. This is often done under the guise of self-protection and personal freedom, but at what cost? It is statistically proven that more innocent people are killed than protected with these practices, but the proof is ignored. With the unlimited knowledge available, nothing really changes mankind’s addiction to suffering. Knowledge may give us some advances in technology or medicine or war machinery for example. However, it does not give us the ability to love ourselves or each other. Knowledge alone does not allow us to live lives in joy, fulfillment, empowerment and relationship. Because nothing of substance has changed with all the knowledge available, mankind will continue to repeat the insanity of the past.

We seek external knowledge because we believe that knowledge is power. We have hi-tech tools that allow us to be inundated with data, facts and general and specific knowledge. We have never been so knowledgeable in human history. Many of us have university degrees and some have multiple degrees. Knowledge is abundant. So my question is, why has nothing much changed in the world and why is it that so much destruction and pain is necessary?  How useful is knowledge? If we think we know something, does it hinder our understanding of what matters? Does knowledge get us to act differently? Is the greed of knowledge an attachment or bondage? Why haven’t we stopped to see what more and more knowledge has given us? Who are we without our degrees or our knowledge? These are powerful questions I have asked myself and the answers to them have allowed me to live a very different life. One I cherish.

For me, the accumulation of external knowledge on it’s own is not learning. External knowledge is always in the past. Real learning is in the active (actionable) present. Our belief that the more knowledge we have, the greater our lives will be, holds us in living a life in denial. I am personally not one to pursue knowledge without knowing its application. I find that only what I am living is knowable. Everything else is theory and useless in my life. Some knowledge may be fascinating or entertaining yet useless for life itself. Knowledge without self-knowledge for me is at the root of disorder. It keeps me stuck.

Real wisdom is in the application of knowledge. If I am not living it (the knowledge), I do not really know it. And, to have credibility in my life, I cannot teach something I cannot live and I cannot say something I cannot feel. For example, ten years ago I read a book whose premise inspired me. It said in part, that each of us has unlimited potential in life. WOW, I was totally fascinated by that statement. Why would anyone make such a statement unless they knew it to be true? After thinking about it for a while I said, yes, that’s right. It works for me. However, nothing happened after that. I continued to live the same life I always had. I did not step into my potential. I was missing a major part of my understanding of this premise; I was not living the understanding. I was not discovering how I could step into my unlimited potential. The knowledge in and of itself was useless.

Fortunately I began to examine my life shortly thereafter. As I did this I took new and different action. I took little steps at first and that moved me into a different place. I loved it. The results where spectacular. My health got much better (my doctor hugged me when he saw the results of my life style changes), my business grew by 500% in 5 years, my soccer coaching effectiveness skyrocketed, my relationships became more authentic and loving, my public speaking ability went far past what I thought possible for me, I feared writing and now write every day, etc.

I am now able to feel and live the premise; each of us has unlimited potential. My new plans for my business takes it into the stratosphere, my commitment to relationships are on a conscious level, my plans for my health is to live to 100, I plan to write successful books, speak worldwide, etc. Yes, I/we do have unlimited potential. I know this through living it. To understand it intellectually has no meaning to me.

My truth is that the most meaningful, the most rewarding, the most powerful, the most important thing in life for me is to know myself. Self-knowledge is the beginning of real wisdom. All the educational degrees in the world combined could not replace the importance of self-knowledge for me. I would be much, much, weaker if I had all those degrees without knowing myself. There is no amount of money in the world that anyone could offer me to give up knowing myself. For me, with deep self-knowledge, the whole universe opens up, all is now possible, fear is diminished, power is restored, love is real, joy and fulfillment is accessible. With self-knowledge, I embrace the struggles of humanity, I have compassion for myself and others, I am intimate and I feel life itself. With self-knowledge, I get to contribute and make a difference that really matters. With self-knowledge I get to step out of the conditioning and the illusions. I get to see what is real.

Why do most of us reject the pursuit of self-knowledge? Why do those who commence to walk on the path of self-knowledge, leave the path and fall into the ditch? Why do we pursue options that continue to give us the same results? Why do we like our pain? Why do we like our comfort? —- I feel that most of us do not vigorously pursue self-knowledge because we cannot feel what the result will give us. Well, for me, the results are magnificent. Sweet as life itself.

With self-knowledge, I am able to apply knowledge so that my life and the lives of others can change. I do understand why wars continue and will always continue. To stop wars, each and every individual on this planet is responsible for making a decision to discontinue our obsession of being “right” and the other “wrong”. Each and every one of us must develop compassion for ourselves and then others. Without it, wars will continue. War starts in the heart of everyone on this planet. The knowledge of the evils of wars is not effective. The self-knowledge of why I may wish to control another is the beginning of ending my need to go to war (including the need to exploit those we love).

Pursuing knowledge about the external without knowledge of yourself, without application and action, without change, will only be for entertainment, which is a form of staying the same, living in denial. All of the theories of new ideas, new politics, new this, new that, is bunk. Self knowledge this the only route to change and living in harmony with yourself and others.

We must remove the leaders who do not understand themselves and who cannot live the change you wish to see in the world. Follow your own leadership. Leadership and change starts and ends with every individual on this planet. You live the life you wish to live and be the example for others. Real change will then occur.

Releasing Childhood Sexual Shame


I had been living my adult life with sexual shame that I developed in my childhood while living in South Africa. The shame manifested itself in several ways. I became depressed and sad, I feared intimacy and my body reacted by developing psoriasis, a problematic skin reaction. The shame arose at an early age. I was sexually molested throughout my childhood, beginning at age six. I became a sexual being thereafter and I sought out children my age that were also sexual. There was a group of us all under the age of ten, both boys and girls, who would regularly meet at a sewer entrance for our sexual fun. It was just something that seemed normal for me at that time.

Upon reaching the age of 12 years old, I experienced the shame of what I was doing for the first time. I wanted to be the “good boy” because I felt my survival depended on being good or nice. The sexual behaviour of my earlier years was not in alignment with being the good boy. So I stopped the sexual activities and denied it ever happened. This was effective for me at a surface level. However the price was a life of self-denial and the manifestations of shame. Underneath the surface, the shame continued to be felt in my heart, soul and body. The result was that I became depressed, feared intimacy and developed the stress related skin condition psoriasis.

One Saturday morning, in late 2013 when I was 58 years old, my mentor Dov Baron called me. Dov stated that he called me because he was feeling sadness in me over the past few days. He asked me if everything was alright and I said that I felt things were, except that I was quite worried about a psoriasis flare up I was having, that was the worst I had ever had. Dov said “That’s it.” “What’s it?” I asked. Dov said he felt that the psoriasis flare up was what was causing the sadness and that it related to sexual shame in my early childhood. Dov asked me to journal about my sexual experiences as a child. I did and it became clear to me through the journaling that I had denied my history and that I felt deep shame for being sexually active as a child.

To deal with the shame in a healthy manner I accepted, and more importantly “FELT” that I was indeed sexually active early in life, that I became that way due to molestation, that I liked sex as a child, and that I did visit the sewer a few times. In fact I accepted that I was a “sewer rat.” I gave myself the name “sewer rat” which allowed me in part, to break the need for the identity of the “good or nice” boy. A sexually active child was who I was – a young being who had a sexual drive. Being sexually active as a child did not make me a bad child. Needing to be a good boy made me feel I was a bad child because my behaviour did not match the requirements. Strangely, a week after feeling that being a sewer rat was alright for me I read the book Zorba the Greek. I loved the character Zorba. He was who he was and he owned it. He was a robust person with a strong drive for all life had to offer and when he spoke “The world got bigger”. Then it hit me, near the end of the book, Zorba writes a beautiful heartfelt letter to his friend and he signs the letter as the “Sewer Rat”. Wow, was this a coincidence? I thought not. I too was the sewer rat and loved all of who I was and had been. I felt a kinship with Zorba – brother sewer rats who love life to the fullest.

I have begun to realize that ALL MEANING IS SUBJECTIVE. And that NOTHING has meaning BEYOND the meaning I give it. I took on the sexual shame because I gave my behaviour a shameful meaning. It was not until I changed the meaning of my behaviour that I began to heal myself. Calling myself a sewer rat forced me to deal with the old meaning. There is nothing wrong with being a sewer rat unless I make it so. It’s good for me and it’s also good for Zorba. The Universe gives me what I need when I need it. Cool.

Two weeks after my realization of my childhood sexual shame the psoriasis went away and it has stayed away for six months now? Coincidence? No way!!! I felt my shame, I gave up the false meaning I attached to my behaviour and I have begun to heal myself. Facing it and feeling it is the only effective way to deal with the wounds of the past.

Have you faced and allowed yourself to feel the shame of your past? Are you living in denial and paying a tremendous price for your decisions? Do you feel it is best to live who you truly are and not something others want you to be or who you think you should be. Are you done doing things just to survive? Do you see that what you are not prepared to see about yourself, owns you (as the shame did for me)? Do you understand that all meaning is subjective and that nothing has meaning beyond the meaning you give it? Give yourself a gift and heal yourself of the past. Perhaps start with reading the book Zorba the Greek because Zorba expresses the zest for life and the love of who he was. We all need to embrace Zorba’s commitment to the love of self.

Yours truly,

Sewer Rat

PS – writing this blog has been a part of the healing process for me