The Greatest Escape presents a radical new way of looking at personal growth that emerges from a new psychology, quantum psychology. It answers the fundamental question: do we really have the ability to change ourselves and improve our lives, or are we fooling ourselves? Does higher consciousness exist, and can we achieve it and experience a higher, truer reality?
The Greatest Escape responds to this question with a resounding yes! It explains how encoded in our DNA is a remarkable personal growth program that knows how to heal old psychological wounds and stimulate movement to higher levels of consciousness – with a little help from us. When we interact with this program, we become our own counselors, therapists and gurus. Immediate, fundamental change validates the work.
Our emotional responses are a crucial element in this endeavor. They function as an information-generating feedback system. Negative emotional responses, what we call stress, tell us we have psychological problems that are rooted in the past. Positive emotional responses, feeling relaxed, calm, and enjoying life, tell us when we have solved them.
Quantum technique 1 (QT 1) tells you how to interact with your body’s internal personal growth program and free yourself from your past. It begins with you noticing a stressful event. Perhaps you felt frustrated standing in a long line at the supermarket, recalled a painful incident of childhood abuse, or returned home from the war with post traumatic stress disorder. Next, you identify the negative emotion associated with that response. We experience many negative feelings. However, with a little thought, you’ll be able to identify your response as belonging to one of only six emotional categories: apathy, grief, fear, anger, lust and pride. The Judaic-Christian tradition calls these emotions the seven “deadly sins:” pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony and sloth.
What follows is a description of these emotional categories, beginning with the lowest level of energy, the greatest existential separation from the environment, including other people, and the most distorted map of reality. The intensity of any given emotional response ranges from mild to severe.
1. Apathy – “I don’t care.”
This is the lowest level of energy, and we “feel nothing.” We are lethargic, passive, indifferent, listless, unconcerned, apathetic, unresponsive, or passionless. We have little emotional reaction to events, and we don’t much care what happens: “Do you mind being homeless?” the reporter asked the bag lady. “I don’t care,” she replied. This state has the most closed psychological system, the least interaction with the environment, and the most distorted map of reality. Sometimes, apathy is resistance to knowing what we are really feeling, so if apathy comes up for you, ask yourself, “What emotion is underneath the apathy?”
2. Grief – “Poor me.”
We feel sad, dejected, gloomy, depressed, unhappy, lonely, regretful, discouraged, disappointed, shameful, pessimistic, or powerless. Grief is a step upward from apathy, because at least we feel something. This energy level is higher than apathy, but still quite low. We’re still operating with a considerably closed psychological system, and perceive a significantly distorted map of reality. We have little interaction with the environment and show little interest in anything outside of ourselves.
When you feel grief, you need to ascertain whether you are really sad – or mad. When we don’t express our anger outward, but turn it inward (suppress or repress it). We feel sad or get hurt feelings, which is another form of grief.
3. Fear – “I’d better watch out.”
Clearly, someone wide-eyed with fear has more energy, and interacts more with the environment, than someone who sits listlessly in a chair, uninterested in anything going on around them. Fear makes us hyper-vigilant, and we scan our surroundings, looking for potential danger, real or imagined. We feel apprehensive, frightened, uncomfortable, anxious, shy, distrusted, horrified, cowardly, panicked, nervous, tense, edgy, jumpy, uneasy, wary, concerned, guilty, or solicitous. Fear significantly distorts our perceptions of reality, we dread making mistakes, are reluctant to try anything new, and resist changes to the status quo.
4. Anger – “You better watch out.”
The energy level here is much higher, and we direct much of it outward into the environment. Sometimes, we turn our anger against someone we know, perhaps a spouse, or our children. At other times, we vent it on anyone who happens to be in the vicinity; for example, road rage. We feel impatient, frustrated, annoyed, exasperated, irritated, angry, bitter, displeased, murderous, stubborn, jealous, offended, or enraged. We often criticize others and blame them for our own problems: “It’s all your fault.” We frequently misinterpret the actions of others as a personal attack, such as when they disagree with our opinions. Instead of discussing a subject in order to learn something new, we have debates to prove ourselves right and the other person wrong.
5. Lust – “I must have it.”
At this higher energy level, we are less reactive and more proactive. We interact more with our environment because we want stuff from it. We feel an overwhelming hunger, craving, desire, longing, yearning, or appetite for something-such as sex, power, wealth, possessions, success, food, or fame. Lust brings temporary gratification, but no real satisfaction, so no matter how much we get of the thing we crave, it is never enough to satisfy us for long. Sexual lust has ruined many marriages and political careers, lust for money has led to the downfall of big corporations, and people kill for political power.
6. Pride – “I know I am right.”
Pride is the highest of the low levels of energy before self-actualization, and we have the most interaction with the environment and the least distorted map of reality. We feel arrogant, vain, haughty, disdainful, authoritarian, masterful, egotistical, self-confident, self-satisfied, proud, superior, or complacent. Experiencing ego’s certainty, we take an active role in society, and our self-confidence helps us succeed. Although we set high standards for ourselves, we don’t expect other people to measure up to them. We are likely to be perfectionists, reject criticism, and take pride in being a “good” person.
Pride requires additional explanation, because our culture often views pride as a positive trait. For example, we encourage children to “take pride” in themselves and promote the celebration of ethnic, religious, and national pride. However, pride encourages people to believe that the rules don’t apply to them, and so a physician decides that he can use addictive drugs safely, or a driver feels entitled to drive too fast. Believing in the superiority of our own race, gender, religion, or nationality, we feel justified in persecuting others and starting wars. When pride causes us to overestimate our abilities and underestimate those of other people, we invite disaster, whether we underestimate business competitors or the ability of ragtag insurgents to defeat our professional army. Pride is a “deadly sin” for good reason.
When you practice QT 1, you will be having a two-way “conversation” with your body’s personal growth program, but not in words. Your body, via your negative emotional responses, warns you of psychological problems that are deleterious to your mental health. You solve these problems by communicating with your unconscious mind in the language it understands – symbols. When you do, your brain responds immediately. Thus can you achieve a beginning level of adult mental heath that is known as self-actualization, and then evolve to even higher levels.
By helping us free ourselves from the past, similar to physical pain, the emotional pain of stress serves us in the interest of our immed
iate well being and long term survival. Repeating the past, living our own version of ground hog day, is dangerous, especially now, at a time of rapid social change. Having the abilities that emerge with higher consciousness, such as courageousness, individual power, and being comfortable with change, not only helps us succeed as individuals, but as a society.