How to Be Free
Author: Joe Blow

Chapter 26
General Advice on Becoming Free

1. Pleasure is healing. Just as suffering directs our attention towards ourselves, pleasure reassures our deeper nature and allows us to be less armoured. The path towards freedom from needing things is to enjoy them more. Addiction occurs when we need more of something to get the same kick. This formula of decreasing returns may be unavoidable with drugs like heroin. But if we have a strong need for particular kinds of food or material possessions or particular activities, then we need to get over the idea that it is wrong to pamper ourselves and instead of criticising ourselves should really surrender to the pleasure that these things can give us. If we get quality of pleasure we wonít be so much of a slave to quantity. Sexual pleasure also is healing. We need to be careful about others' potentially fragile egos and also the possibility of disease, but otherwise sex is something which can heal us and help us to reawaken our ability to bond emotionally with our fellows. And if a partner is not immediately available, masturbation is an easy way to access healing pleasure and thus become more open to the new loving and co-operative society.

2. Scary thoughts canít hurt you if you accept them rather than fighting against them. Also, you are not alone with your disturbing thoughts. These are a common, perhaps near universal, experience. When we express our sick thoughts through sick humour it takes the pressure off of others who have similar thoughts. (The films and books of John Waters, as well as the man himself in interviews and in person, has been a major source of comfort to me.)

3. The truth will set you free. If you can find a way of doing it which feels non-threatening to you, telling truths about yourself which you may have previously hidden can be tremendously liberating. Hopefully some of the ideas in this book can help to provide a context in which being more open and honest about ourselves is not the scary process it once was.

4. Donít criticise anyone if you can help it. Let your behaviour towards them carry the message of a better way of living.

5. Share this book with others and discuss it with them. While we can work on our own healing alone, this is not as powerful as what can come about when we use ideas such as these as a catalyst for more open and spontaneous communication with others.


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