The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Junia Wonders and Daniela Volpari

Marla Little’s pumpkin was rolling down the hill. She warned others that it was rolling. She screamed for help and started chasing it. The farmer followed her and gave chase too. The baker saw the pumpkin and decided to join them in the chase, so did the milkman. The butcher joined the party too. The parade marchers followed suit. A group of people thought that the vegetable parade happening after seeing the party chasing after the pumpkin. They were extremely excited as a result. A plump lady decided to prepare food for the party as she felt they needed food. The pumpkin rolled toward the cauldron where the plump lady was brewing soup. She tipped the cauldron so that the pumpkin would enter. The most delicious pumpkin soup was served to everyone. Marla Little was happy. The End.

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Why You Should Not Own a Mechanical Watch (Or Any Other Timepiece for that matter)

 

  1. Mechanical watches are simply an accessory which you can easily do without. Clothes are the first thing people notice when you are out and about. If you want to draw attention to yourself, wearing tight-fitting and trendy clothes is a better bet than owning a luxury watch. A watch is such an indiscreet accessory that is barely noticeable except to people who are into watches. Conclusion: It is more important to buy good-looking and trendy clothing.
  2. Wearing a luxury watch might improve your confidence, but it won’t help you in dating or picking up girls. If you have any personality flaws, a watch will not help you fix it. Basically, a watch will not help you to improve your social life in any way. Social skills can be improved via practice and putting yourself out there.
  3. People might think that you are too flashy and flaunting your wealth in public. They might think you are insecure in nature. In addition, they might view you as being snobbish and a show-off. That’s certainly not how you want to be viewed by others.
  4. Owning luxury watches is a sign of being materialistic. We all know that material items can only bring that much happiness in our lives. Please google ‘hedonic treadmill’ to know more.
  5. There are better ways to deploy your money and generate returns. For instance, one can invest in stocks, bonds or housing to generate passive income. Basically, for watches, there is high tendency to lose money once you try and sell them. Thus, owning watches might not be a very sustainable hobby.
  6. Going for holidays provide better satisfaction than watches. Holidays provide a unique and eye-opening experience which you can’t get from your watches. It is better to buy experiences as compared to material goods.
  7. Due to hedonic adaption, chances are that you will quickly get used to your luxury mechanical watch and get bored of it. You will have the constant urge to upgrade and buy the next expensive timepiece. This process will keep continuing and there is no end in sight. You are like a mice on a treadmill, constantly running but no end goal in mind.
  8. If you want an emotional connection, you will be better off finding a girlfriend or something. It is delusional to build an emotional connection with an inanimate object like a mechanical watch. Lol.
  9. You can easily get the time on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, nearby café. Timing on GPS devices/quartz watch like a watch is more accurate than a mechanical one. Hence, it is illogical to embrace old technology and use mechanical watches.
  10. There are other ways to feel masculine and powerful besides owning a mechanical watch. For one, you could head to the gym and bulk up.
  11. 11. Cheaper hobbies can also bring you a lot more pleasure. For instance, I like drawing and it also brings me great pleasure. There is beauty in spending time and effort in improving your craft. In addition, it is an extremely cheap hobby. The same can hardly be said for mechanical watches.
  12. You are your own individual and deep down inside, you know that you don’t need a watch to differentiate yourself from others. You must let your personality shine through without owning any external object on your body.
  13. A mechanical watch has periodic servicing costs which you can’t escape from. Just like a car which maintenance, a watch requires cleaning and oiling about every 5 years or so. Therefore, there is definitely upkeep costs. You don’t own a watch, the watch owns you.
  14. It is troublesome to own a mechanical watch and to wind it. If you forget to wind, you need to reset the time. In addition, you can’t bang your watch around as it will affect the movement and accuracy. Almost all mechanical watches are susceptible to shock, magnetism and temperature variations.
  15. You don’t need a good watch to be an alpha male. Confidence can be trained in other ways.
  16. You are a sucker if you are drawn into watches because of the luxury watches’ advertising in the media etc. Although, advertising has hidden messages and can subconsciously affect the brain, you know you are strong enough to resist them.
  17. You suck if you buy watches just to compete with your friends and to gain high status. There is no need to be a heavy hitter in the watch game. You shouldn’t need to prove yourself to anyone. Competing with others will just lead to misery because there is always someone else out there who owns better watches than you.
  18. One can reward themselves in many other ways besides buying a watch. Perhaps you should spend money on your parents and treat them to an expensive meal.
  19. Mechanical watches are so old-fashioned. The technology has already existed for hundreds of years. Why is there a need to turn to old technology? Isn’t mankind great because we always look to the future and develop cutting-edge technologies?

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The Rich Employee by James Altucher (Part 2)

How a Poor Employee Thinks. Jobs can be either outsourced to other countries or be replaced. Education might not protect you from it. Do not look for employers who will outsource people at the first opportunity. Use time to learn to be innovative. Learning from online courses is a great idea. Avoid the poor employee mindset. A poor employee gossips, under promises, doesn’t understand company vision. He never invests in himself. He spends on showing off instead of learning new things. He never comes up with great ideas. Does only what is required to get a salary. He surfs the net a lot for personal interests. He hates the job.

How to Become a Rich Employee. This is a practice.

The Rich Employee Miracle Morning. You are the alchemist of your life. A near death experience can change you. Do not fight with any bad things that might have befallen you. Adopt the daily practice of choosing yourself: striving to improve every day 1% for both your physical and mental health. Some of the miracle morning strategies you can adapt are ‘Meditation’; ‘Prayer’; and ‘Breathing’. Use affirmations to help you every morning. For instance ‘Today, I am open to learn new things’. ‘V’ is for visualization. Learn to visualize your goal. ‘E’ is for exercise. ‘R’ is for reading. Read books that contain positive ideas. ‘S’ is for scribing. It is very important to have a healthy routine. Start to take action and develop positive habits.

How a Rich Employee Creates His or Her Side Hustle. What worked in the past might not work well today. Hence, it is better to cultivate the rich employee mindset. Being an entrepreneur is about mitigating and not creating risk. Find a system for developing a side job. Pay attention to your emotions. How do you make a blog more successful? You love more. Learn to spread the love and share others’ posts. Link others to your page. Have guest bloggers. Learn to make more love. Buy low, sell high. Use drop shipping tactics, like buy from AliExpress and then sell on Ebay for instance. Adopt the QVC-A method for success. Q is for Quality, V is for value, C is for consistency, A is for authenticity. Learning to find happiness with less is true wealth. We are the sum of our experiences and not the sum of our belongings. It is okay to do nothing at all on some days.

How Does a Rich Employee Handle When Others Get Jealous and Trash Her or Him? You gain success and others will start hating you. People will be jealous of your success. It is not possible to be loved all the time. I have learnt to deal with death threats and hate mails. Learn to live life like it’s your last day. It might be the last moment you see your loved ones. Hate will eventually pass after a while too. Those haters are just junk status binging. Just say ‘thank you’ and let go. Learn to have a vision. Write and work from the heart. Laughter cures all and makes people relax. Laughter is indeed the best medicine. Do not waste time living other people’s fears.

Habits of the Mentally Strong Rich Employee. Anyone can learn to mentally strong. Mentally strong people have very strong relationships. ‘You are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with’. Honesty is important. Understand it’s not about me, it’s about you. Focus on solving the problems of other people. Don’t keep thinking about making money. Smart people keep reading and become stronger. Some of the good books to read are ‘As a Man Thinketh’. Every mentally strong person was a voracious reader. Health is wealth and you can’t achieve big things in life when you are sick. Sleep 8 hours a day and walk a lot. Be curious and try to learn more things in life. Ask questions and learn and do not be shy. Learn, say, repeat. Exercise your idea muscles and come up with ideas. Learn to exercise the idea muscle and keep learning. Mentally strong people give themselves permission. Give yourself permission to fail and to try again. Ask ‘what can you do to help others?’ Understand that life changes fast. There is no grand purpose for you out there. Also understand that experiences are more valuable than goods. Learn to listen more. Pretend everything is going to die tomorrow and treat others well and with compassion. News is completely unimportant. Art and innovation are main stayers. Always take the job that gives you as much freedom as possible.

When you buy something nice, the neurochemicals spike, and then go away. When you have an experience, you have days of anticipation for the experience. Then you have the experience. Then you have the memories that can last forever. – James Altucher

Habits of the Poor Employee. The poor employee has an opinion. The poor employee thinks they are special. We do not have a special purpose in life. The poor employee talks a lot. Try to talk less when you know nothing much. The poor employee has no career. The poor employee thinks it needs X to get Y. There are many other paths to get Y. Some people think that ‘If I don’t do this then bad things will happen’. The poor employee thinks that he can’t leave. There will always be haters. You can’t change them, so you can just delete them. You are the coach of your future self. Take a walk when you feel like shit. Spend time with those who are good around you.

Get good at three, four, or five things. Then find the intersection. Then become the best in the world at the intersection. That’s how you can pretend to do your special purpose. – James Altucher

How the Rich Employee Learns

A Rich Employee is Always Learning. How do you know what you are talented at? Everyone is talented in many things. There are 10 step technique for learning. The first is to love it. Write every day. Study every chess game and work hard. Quantity of ideas is more important than quality at the start. Get a teacher. That will make you learn 10 times faster. Study the history and study the present. Do not read so many self-help business books. Write down the things you learn from each book. Do easy projects first. This will be the small wins which you give you enough confidence to continue. Study what you did. Analyze and do a post-mortem for any failures you might have suffered in the past. No man is an island and we work better in teams. Find your evil plan. Change the world.

Don’t forget the important rule: the secret of happiness is not “being great” – the secret of “growth”. If you only “try”, you’ll get to a level that is natural for you. – James Altucher

Frequently and Important Questions Rich Employees Have

How Does a Rich Employee Deal with a Crappy Boss While In Transition. When a boss yelled at me once, I quit. However, that is not the best way to deal with things. One should learn to deal with them and train them. The first tip is never kiss ass. Engage as little as possible with him, only talk about work. Never talk badly behind his back. Always give him/her credit for everything as Dogs like to be loved. Write a cover-your-ass memo every day describing what you are up to and who you are dealing with. Keep track of every detail. Build relationships with his network of colleagues and contacts. Help other employees of your boss with their jobs. Learn to over deliver. Understand what’s your market value and apply for jobs.

If your boss is a crappy person then you want to engage as little as possible. Only work stuff. Never joking around. Never anything that builds a meaningful dialogue that he will twist later. Don’t make friends with an animal. – James Altucher

On anything he asks you to do provide an extra touch. That is how he gets promoted. When you are more creative than him, over deliver for him, and he gets full credit. – James Altucher

Why is it especially important for women rich employees to become idea machines? Women need to bring things to the table too. This is because women still get paid less than men. As women, you should ask more questions. Men tend to ask the questions during talks. Men do things even if they are not 100% prepared. The transformation might be slow but slow and steady wins the race. Get out of depression. Remember to give to ourselves. Remember that ideas help to save lives and relationships etc. Learn to debunk stereotypes of women. Come up with 10 ideas a day. Ask yourself what is your passion for today? Learn to cut ourselves some slack. Understand that there is no beauty in playing small. The author recommends that ladies read ‘Lean in’.

Just One Thing to Do. Are women afraid that they will ask dumb questions? Do not be afraid anymore.

How Does a Rich Employee Master New Skills? Most of us will not be masters at anything. Talent is indeed a factor. How do you find what you are talented at? The first method is to write down what you enjoyed doing as a kid. Another way is to go to a shop and see what books you pick up to read. We are after all a combination of all of our experiences and if it is garbage so be it. Work on it four hours a day. You will also need to study history rather deeply. Study those who had failed before you. Study your failures. Do not blame others if you fail. Always learn from your experiences. Be able to recognize patterns. To become a master, one has to endure much pain. With mastery, big failures will always come. Build your ego. Persistence creates luck.

There’s a myth that everyone is talented at least one thing and you just have to find it. This isn’t true. Most people are not talented at anything. Most people can be pretty good at something. – James Altucher

At some point you have to cook 10,000 meals. Or play a million hands of poker, or 1000s of games of chess. Or start 20 businesses. Very few are successful right away. That would require too much luck and luck favors the prepared and the persistent. – James Altucher

One reason most people in the world don’t get really good at anything is because they have no talent for anything that anyone cares about. Another reason is they don’t want to put in the work. – James Altucher

How Does a Rich Employee Transform Anger into ‘What Works’? When you experience paranoia, you start losing intelligence. It will destroy you. Resentment is very bad too. If you think of revenge, that is very bad too. So does feelings of regret. Perfectionism is bad too. You can’t control the fact that you are not perfect. There are always things outside your control and you simply care too much. Feelings of guilt are not desirable too. Thinking of worst case scenarios are not desirable too. Talking unnecessarily also removes confidence.

Is there a ‘right way’ to ask for things that the rich employee utilizes? Do not be ashamed when you have to ask for something. The passive aggressive ask. By keeping silent, it will ruin your life. By asking, sometimes it can hurt your chances in future. If you can handle a lot of Nos, then keep asking. This is known as the cold ask. It doesn’t hurt if you don’t really care about the person and also what they of you. You are asking for something very small. You can ask people out for coffee. I asked 100 people to give me $5 on the street, only 1 guy gave me $1. Begging might work. Learn the ‘no pressure’ ask. Asking is good if whether they say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ doesn’t affect the relationship. Later on, you can follow up with No Pressure Asks. One good way is to ask for advice. Ask for advice on how you can improve at work or in your personal life. Try the reciprocity ask. Therefore, the trick is to give something first. You don’t have to ask immediately, you can store up your asks. What to have to offer in return? Therefore, sometimes you need to do the background work first.

As a Rich Employee, how do I know if I should take up a job in a start-up? If the CEO has built a business before, the odds of failure go down to 25%. The company must have enough funds to last 1 year at least. You must also believe in the company’s vision and the CEO must be good at communicating that vision. If you use the product and you like it, even better. Don’t work for a company that is easily replaceable at a lower valuation. Learning is the key. Look out for the subtleties of the company. If you hear about the company trashing their clients, you will probably not want to work for them. All gossiping is bad. You have to like your boss. Work for promising companies utilizing new technologies. Do not ask for when the company will IPO, because it can take up to 7 or 10 years. Make sure you see the path to profitability.

Resources for the Rich Employee

Create a Choose Yourself Meet-up in Your Town. Improving yourself is a practise and not a goal. Associate yourself with others who strive for self-improvement too. Associate yourself with people with similar goals. Share with others how to keep learning, network etc. How to Run a Choose Yourself Meet-up. Keep the meetup small. Gossip should be kept out of the way. This is like a self-help group.

Suggestion Websites where you can pick up new skills: Fedora; TedX; Coursera; Coursmos; Highbrow; Skillshare; Curious; Lynda.com; CreativeLive; Udemy; Codecademy; Stuk.io; Udacity; Platzi; Learnable; Code School; Thinkful; Code.org; BaseRails; Treehouse; One Month; Dash; DataCamp; DataQuest; DataMonkey; Duolingo; Lingvist; Busuu; Memrise; Chesscademy; Pianu; Yousician; ClaudiaYoga.

Recommended Books: ‘The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9 to 5’ by Taylor Pearson; ‘The Miracle Morning: The Not-so-obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life (before 8am)’ by Hal Elrod; ‘Become an Idea Machine. Because Ideas are the Currency of the 21st Century’ by Claudia Azula Altucher; ‘Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success’ by Mathew Syed; ‘Seven Years to Seven Figures: The Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire’ by Michael Masterson; ‘Quitter’ by Jon Acuff

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The Rich Employee by James Altucher (Part 1)

Who is This Book For? Learn to choose yourself. Always tell yourself that as it very crucial. Ask yourself how can you change the world? Have a ‘rich employee’ mindset. Choose themselves. Apply that vantage point. You can apply the lessons even if you are not an entrepreneur. Make the most of every situation and get the most of every job and learning opportunity. Learn to be a rich employee.

The Rich Employee Mentality. The world was changing fast but I was feeling lost. However, we cannot fight the change. If you are the rich employee, you can survive in any economy. Learn to practise ‘The Daily Practice’ every day. Eat better, move better. Do not spend time with people who will bring you down. Learn to become an idea muscle. Practise a little more gratitude each day. Learn to recognize who are the gatekeepers in your life. Knowledge as a whole can be outsourced. However, ideas can never be outsourced. Income inequality is increasing. Being an entrepreneur, there is an 85% risk of failure. Participate in the idea economy. Learn to participate in the Idea Economy. Learn to enjoy the best of both worlds. Keep getting better everyday.

Everything that can be outsourced will be outsourced. Anything that can be replaced with technology will be replaced with technology. – James Altucher

Don’t forget that entrepreneurship is just like having a job with an 85% rate of failure. There is no way to predict or avoid that failure rate. Once you jump into that poo, it’s too dark to see if a shark is waiting to eat you. But there’s an 85% chance that a shark is there. – James Altucher

Start the Road Towards Becoming a Rich Employee Exactly Where You Are

10 Things a Rich Employee Does if She or He has Just Been Fired. Try your best not to panic, instead learn to take action. If someone bribes you to do something, and you do it, you have become a prisoner.

10 Things a Rich Employee Will Do if She is Hired Today. Follow your boss if your boss is good. Rule #1: Love your product. You must love your company and use your product. Read every book on your company’s history. The author worked for HBO and watched a lot of HBO shows. Rule #2: Know the history of the company. Rule #3: Know the history of the executives. Rule #4: Make your boss look good. Give your boss all the credit. You depend on your boss to climb up. You must know his goals etc. Wake up 2 hours earlier to go to work. Thank him for the opportunities he has given you. Rule #5: Know all the secretaries. Take them out for lunch. Pay attention to ‘Human Resources’. Rule#6: Test Your Value. Do not be inbred. Hence, do not stay at one place for too long. Have fun with other people from top companies. Every time you get an offer, you might get a raise. Introverts are good at listening. It is a powerful skill. Rule#7: Study the marketing campaigns. Rule#8: Study the Industry. Rule#9: Become the Company. Make sure you know how to execute the idea in detail. Rule#10: Leave. Think like an entrepreneur when you are working for a company.

Know all of your colleagues and what their dreams and ambitions are. Get to work 2 hours before they get to work. If they need favors, do them. You have a whole 2 hours extra a day. You can do anything. – James Altucher

10 Reasons a Rich Employee Will Stay at Her or His Job: For Now. You should quit your job, but maybe not today. Not everything is black and white. Reason 1: You get a steady paycheck. Reason 2: Friendship. Reason 3: Chance of Promotion. Reason 4: Fake Money. Reason 5: Respect. You get to build connections with prominent people. The trick to do well is to over-promise and over-deliver. Reason 6: You can Afford to Have an Evil Plan. It took me 18 months to get going. Learn to eliminate your risk. You must have your job to get risk of the risks. Be an entre-ployee. Learn to eliminate the risks. Summers are off. When you are entrepreneur, you will worry about everything and anything. You get to switch jobs. Consult and help people and learn new things. Don’t jump over the cliff. Have ropes and safety gear. Try to generate as many passive sources of income as possible. Income has not been rising steadily in relation to inflation. Try to do consulting and get more skills whenever possible. Have an evil plan and keep working on it in your free time.

In a regular job you can probably get by (maybe unhappily but still get by) forever. But an entrepreneur has a very high chance of failure. Which would you rather take? I don’t want people to stay at a job. – James Altucher

Just being an entrepreneur, without having multiple sources of income, without first taking care of the risks, is suicide. – James Altucher

As an employee, you can link your financial success to the success of the larger company. If you can figure out how to do this, then you can stay at your job forever and watch it grow. – James Altucher

Why Be a Rich Employee?

Why You Must Urgently Become a Rich Employee, Right Now. Most people in the workplace are angry with you. Try not to let people control you and try not to control others. Always remember that no one remembers how you helped them. You cannot save anyone. You never really ‘own’ anything. That thing will own you. For example, you need to pay a bank loan etc. Do not let money control who you associate with. ‘Luck equals 1. Persistence, plus 2. Diversification.’ Come up with many ideas but only implement one. When you are angry in response to someone, you are letting anger control you. Do not let anger control you, or you will sacrifice your health. It is better to be healthy than to be ‘right’. Learn to ignore the chatter in your head. Don’t be the slave, be the master.

If someone does something I don’t like, I can’t control what they may think or do. It’s useless and it’s a waste of my time. I try to change my circumstances so I don’t have to deal with those people. – James Altucher

How to be a ‘Master’ or at least: The Smartest ‘Rich Employee’ in the Room. To seem the smartest, always assume you are the least intelligent person in the room. This is because you will learn to listen more. Learn from everyone you can. People never finish talking. Listen to the silence. Ask them questions after they are doing talking. Intelligence compounds exponentially. It’s called the network effect. Be a spy when you go for an event and absorb as much as possible. Learn to be humble. The problem is even if you are confidence and exude charm, people will forget you. If you are humble, they will remember you.

The Rich Employee vs The Poor Employee Mentality

How a Rich Employee Thinks. Leaders walk the talk. That is why the CEO of the company, Disney, picked litter from Disneyland and threw it away himself personally. He nurtured a culture of excellence. The CEO is the lowest employee who has the most bosses. Excellence ripples throughout an organization. Thinking about money reduces your performance level on the job. Finding meaning in your work is the key. When you are discouraged, learn to encourage others. A great CEO just needs to be right 50% of the time. The key is that a rich employee ties his financial success to the financial success of the company. As an entrepreneur, there is little way of predicting the future. However, you can control your mindset, habits etc. When a company is too big, learn to create ‘grouplets’ or small projects to motivate employees. Craig Silverstein worked for Google but later created Khan Academy. It is now a billion dollar company. A rich employee over promises and over delivers. I always hire people who deliver extra solutions. Always go to work early. The brain is relaxed in the day and sleep is important. Lack of sleep is related to health problems. You are most productive in the mornings. It is difficult to work immediately after lunch as you will be sleepy. You are the most productive 2 to 5 hours after you wake up. Do administrative tasks later in the evenings. A rich employee does not gossip. Gossip arose since the caveman days. It helps to instil trust in others whom you don’t know. However, once secrets leak, things are not pleasant anymore. If you know someone has been gossiping behind your back, you will not treat the person the same again. If your boss finds out that you are gossiping about him, you are screwed for life. Spend less time gossiping and more time working. Ask at the end of each day: Who did I help today? Relationships can’t be outsourced. Spend time during your way to help your co-workers. It is hard not to help someone when you have receive something from them. Always adopt a mindset of ‘who can I help?’ It could be someone from another dept. If you have a stable salary, it could work against you, as you will want to work less since you will get the same amount of pay. A rich employee gives credit to his bosses and employers. Always choose yourself. Judge your success by the success of your employees/students. Help your manager to shine. Focus on your mission and long range profits. Focus on a pain point in the world. Always ask that question first. You must ask yourself questions. What do you want out of work? Write down what your long term goals are. Constantly learn about your competitors, the industry, the history etc. You can always add more value. You must know all the nuances of your competitor in order to succeed. You should new ideas every day and also know how to execute them. Write down 10 easy execution steps for your idea. A rich employee builds deeper bonds with employees throughout the company. You can’t push change through if you don’t know anyone. You should work for a company that allows all of the above. Help your employees succeed. You need to be a leader. Write many leadership articles. Good leadership is very rare. A bad leader does not understand the 30/150 rule. If you have less than 30 people, give each person one thing to do. Do not give people many things. Learn to assign responsibility clearly. Make your employees leaders. Bad leaders are jealous when others are smarter than them. Understand your 30 employees well. If your organization has more than 30 but less than 150, set projects and create small teams. Start a vision if you have more than 150 employees. This is when you must lead by example. Unify people with a story. Having a bad vision equals to failure. Some companies expand by keep buying competitors and not grow organically. Bad leaders talk bad about their clients. Bad leaders don’t want you to pass them. Always attribute your success to your mentors. Bad leaders don’t know their numbers. Bad leaders don’t get rid of the bad people. A bad leader often has enormous charisma. It was charisma that got them there, to where they are. They can charm their bosses. Bad leaders smoke crack. They will not admit their faults. Do due diligence on your own organization. Come up with correct metrics for success. Improve 1% every day. A rich employee has an evil plan. The poor employee does not have an evil plan.

A bad leader will not change his behaviour no matter how many people he or she leads. – James Altucher

Title doesn’t matter. Salary doesn’t matter. It’s how you deliver value and create excellence around you that matters. Title and salary work themselves out over time. – James Altucher

I know that if I can deliver a message that actually helps people in this chaotic world, than money will be a by-product of that in the long run. – James Altucher

The smartest people alive who have brilliant business ideas, who never executed, are never heard of again. Only action makes a hero. Superman never sat around in his living room and said, “Hmmm, should I help Lois?’ No. Execution saved Lois’s life. – James Altucher

There are many ways to tie your success to the success of your company: you can be paid in money, of course, which is good. But also in freedom, in well-being, in better opportunities for your future, and so on. – James Altucher

Bad corporate leaders will do this: buy all the companies, fire all the waste, report good numbers to the stock market, and then sell their stock, the stock goes down, the company falls apart. I’ve seen that happen a lot. – James Altucher

At any point in your career, you are either a thermostat or a thermometer. You either define the temperature of the people around you and help them achieve their goals and dreams, or you simply do as you’re told and be a follower and never inspire. How do you become the thermostat? – James Altucher

How a Poor Employee Thinks. Jobs can be either outsourced to other countries or be replaced. Education might not protect you from it. Do not look for employers who will outsource people at the first opportunity. Use time to learn to be innovative. Learning from online courses is a great idea. Avoid the poor employee mindset. A poor employee gossips, under promises, doesn’t understand company vision. He never invests in himself. He spends on showing off instead of learning new things. He never comes up with great ideas. Does only what is required to get a salary. He surfs the net a lot for personal interests. He hates the job.

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The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker (Part 2)

The Failures of Heroism

The Spell Cast by Persons – The Nexus of Unfreedom. Men must hide from the truth. Men have followed leaders who seemed larger than life. Men worship power. There seems to be some fascination over those who have power. Do famous people have a halo around them? Some men respect their doctors so much that they think they are larger than life. Hypnosis is certainly possible. We all fear not being in full control of ourselves. Ferenczi admitted that we in our innermost soul, we are still children and we remain so throughout life. We all still feel the need to be subject to someone, just like how we were subject to our parents when we were younger. Freud performed a lot of research on group psychology. He tried to understand why men were so sheeplike when they functioned in groups. They fell under the sheep of their leader. He has an extreme passion for authority and wants to govern by unrestricted force. People like being in groups because it makes them feel safe. They feel safe in the group, but all this is an illusion. Every man feels like an omnipotent hero. Erich Fromm believed in narcissism. There were problems with Freud’s theory too. The leader had some traits which enabled him to hold the group together. He allowed the followers to express forbidden impulses and secret wishes. He wipes out fear in people. People think they engage in illegal activities as a group. Men likes to crave illusion. People use the leader to fulfil their own needs and urges. People use the leaders as almost as an excuse. Being in a group helps man take on individual responsibility. The leader takes the responsibility for all evil acts committed. To Freud, humans have a sexual instinct. Transference is a problem of courage. Transference could be seen as a fetish control. It literally means the need for man to exert complete control over external circumstances. Man will project all of his human qualities on an object. However, if he loses the object, he fears that he might lose himself. You can even make your own body that object. Transference is a form of narrow control that anchors our own problems. Some see transference as a fear of life. The Universe has overwhelming power but we can endow certain persons with it. The transference object becomes an obsession for the person. The more you fear death, the more you see the need for transference objects. Some people see transference as the fear of death. Now, you need the transference figure to assure your immortality and carry on you causa-sui project. It will provide shelter on your life. People want heroes for their own immortalization. When the object dies, people start to panic. Men always strives to be good. All organisms strive to feel good about themselves. The feeling is even stronger in Man. However, what is ‘right’ is not straightforward. Man feels tremblingly small and impotent in the face of transcendent nature. Rank understood the human condition really well. Transference is almost a universal passion. To Rank, Man worshipped God because of an outgrowth of life-longing and the need for meaning. This is the duality of man. Men want to be associated with values that endure. There is a school of thought where people use transference as an urge to higher heroism.

Man is a trembling animal who pulls the world down around his shoulders as he clutches for protection and support and tries to affirm in a cowardly way his feeble powers. – Ernest Becker

Transference heroics gives man precisely what he needs: a certain degree of sharply defined individuality, a definite point of reference for his practice of goodness, and all within a certain secure level of safety and control. – Ernest Becker

If all people are more or less alike, why do we burn with such all-consuming passions for some of them? – Ernest Becker

If Man gives in to his natural feeling of cosmic dependence, the desire to be part of something bigger, it puts him at peace and at oneness, gives him a sense of self-expansion in a larger beyond, and so heightens his being, giving him truly a feeling of transcendent value. – Ernest Becker

How do I realize my distinctive gifts, make my own contribution to the world through my own self-expansion? – Ernest Becker

Individuation means that the human creature has to oppose itself to the rest of nature. It crates precisely the isolation that one can’t stand – and yet needs in order to develop distinctively. It creates the difference that becomes such a burden; it accents the smallness of oneself and the sticking-outness at the same time. – Ernest Becker

Otto Rank and the Closure of Psychoanalysis on Kierkegaard. Creature consciousness is absorbed in culture. Back in the day, men was happy to serve God. Christianity made heroes of everyone. Christianity took creature consciousness and made it the condition for his cosmic heroism. For men without religion, they had to find a love object. Salvation is transference beatification. Love is the highest form of striving. Modern man is dependent on the love partner. In a relationship, we accept the other person’s body and things can joined in unity. Death is seen as the twin brother of sex. Sex ensures that the creature created will eventually die. Resistance to sex seems like a resistance to fatality. A child, will reach a stage where he will be curious about how he got his body. The body is something to triumph over. Personality is ultimately destroyed by sex. Is it good to lose yourself in another person? How can a human be a god-like thing to everything else? We expect perfection from our loved ones, but sometimes they disappoint. We feel diminished by their weaknesses. We elevate our love partner to God status because we want redemption. We need to admit our creatureliness and helplessness. Having guilt free sex might not be good too. It is defeating to want too little from your partner. Cosmic heroism must transcend human relationships. However, doing so might affect one’s quality of life and one’s individuality. Most people live based on societal norms. Women often get married, but are not happy because she sacrifices her individual personality. However, there is an aspect of self-surrender in it too. The problem with individuation is that one separates from the herd. This is the creative guy. The creative person must fashion his own idea of existence. His work is his form of ‘heroism’. However, how can one justify his own heroism? No one has a right to play God. However, the artist knows that how he is judged by others still matters and still needs to obtain meaning from outside. No matter how great his work is, he knows he pales in comparison to the transcending majesty of nature. The only way out of this is that one has to give one’s life as a gift to the powers out there. Your creative work on its own cannot provide a source of salvation. Rank wanted man to live beyond the limits set for himself. One should reach for religion. Rank thought that Man needed a religious ideology.

The idea of himself as a special cosmic hero with special gifts for the Universe. He doesn’t want to be a mere fornicating animal like any other – this is not a truly human meaning, a truly distinctive contribution to world life. – Ernest Becker

The Present Outcome of Psychoanalysis. Rank wrote about neurosis. It sums out the problems of human life. Freud could reduce insights to a few fundamental theories. The first aspect of neurosis is the trouble of the truth of existence. Everyone has their own stylistic reaction to life. It is also historical in nature. As a human, to protect ourselves, we have to shut off outside experience. This is known was ‘partialization’. Men are built more like creatures than Gods. Men thinks about the small problems instead of the big ones like life and death. Hence, men sort of refuses reality, or the ‘refusal of reality’. When the world is too much for people, neurosis sets in. Neurosis is universal in nature. Some people make their loved one their all. His ‘safe’ environment has failed him. Guilt often results due to an unused life. This is when we have potential, but failed to live according to our potential. Do not narrow-down the world too much. Some people get stuck in the narrowness. If you feel vulnerable, it is because you are not big enough to face the fears of the Universe. Some people’s fears are hysterical and have no explanation. However, they don’t know what the problem is. In order to avoid death, the person narrows down on his world. This results in isolation. Another type of neurosis, is when a person has too vivid imagination. This is a total problem. If you cannot narrow down the world, the world might seem too confusing. Some individuals cannot separate and some cannot unite. One needs to find a balance between the two. One reason for such behaviour is when one has poor social skills. When this happens, you will feel your life is a total problem. This person withdraws from the world and becomes a narcissist. A neurotic lives symbolically, not biologically. The artist is the most neurotic of all. Everyone is neurotic to some extent. The artist is better than the neurotic because he can produce works that represent his symbolic view of the world. Some level of objective creativity is a must. The neurotic tends to criticize himself too much. The artist glorifies himself because he has the talent to do so. Talent is circumstantial. The author can understand why people like to work hard at their jobs as the alternative to that is natural desperation and madness. What can keep Man from going mad? In reality, people have all sorts of personalities. Is the average man one to be emulated? It seems like our Creator has no grand plans for Mankind. People are living an illusion. On what level of illusion does one live? Man needs a new reality. Cultural heroism is important for men. Cultural play tends to vary with society and history. Men needs other acts to find heroism and not just simply raising kids. He needs revolutions and wars. Modern man is left to his own resources. He has to justify himself. Science still can’t explain the soul. To Rank, psychology was a negative sort of ideology. Psychology tries to identify what’s wrong with a person when he is unhappy. However, sometimes the cause of happiness is because of one’s relationship with the world. Hence, psychology has limited understanding of humans. Psychology tends to focus on circumstantial guilt. Psychologists in the modern age now represent the new God. The Merger of Sin and Neurosis. Both Kierkegaard and Rank reached similar conclusions on psychoanalysis. They both had the ‘theology’ world-view. Man must translate his meaningfulness on a larger level. However, justifying your own heroism is bound to fail. Neurosis is a strive for self-achieved immortality. The cure for neurosis is to change your world-view. One needs to plunge into world experiences and then try to attain meaning from it. To Goethe, men didn’t know what proper experiences were. Religion needs to be supported by external and compelling activities, not just a belief in God. What is the best foolishness to live under? The best one is the one that provides the most dignity and freedom. Religion removes our responsibilities. We can make free decisions. We can rely on powers that support and do not oppose us. Religion also allows one to explore their individual heroic personality. Also, it gives hope because it is largely unknown. It relieves the absurdity of earthly life. To Rank, Christianity ranks as an ideal. Is there a cost for failure to reach transcendence? Can an individual affirm and accept himself from himself? A creative person is too full of himself and of the world. One needs to ask important questions like what world view? What powers? For what heroism?

Generally speaking, we call neurotic any life style that beings to constrict too much, that prevents free forward momentum, new choices, and growth that a person may want and need. – Ernest Becker

To live is to engage in experience at least partly on the terms of the experience itself. One has to stick his neck out in the action without any guarantees about satisfaction or safety. – Ernest Becker

In sin and neurosis man fetishizes himself on something narrow at hand and pretends that the whole meaning and miraculousness of creation is limited to that, that he can get his beatification from that. – Ernest Becker

A General View of Mental Illness. Humans fear isolated forms of human existence. Mental illness is very complex and varied. I will try to simplify the concepts for the layman. Is there even a general theory of mental illness? Mental illness is essentially denial of creatureliness. People who have depression are afraid of life. Fear of life leads to excessive fear of death. Depressed people fear to move and do anything. Do not live simply to meet the demands of others. Men do not have the power to rely on. People hunger for immortality in their own small family circle. Transference is the use of an object for self-perpetuation. If you cannot fight or flee from your problems, you will enter a state of depression. People who are depressed want others to care for him and take care of him. There is a sense of guilt in this. Failure to have a useful social role can lead to depression. Menopause reawakens the horrors of our body. Nature is the real ‘castrator’. Once both the bodily and the cultural projects fail, one is a failure. Some form of heroism is needed. One cannot simply rely on object-embeddedness. One has to be a hero in some way. Schizophrenia is another sort of mental illness. He is a realist. He fears life and its demands and lives in mistrust of himself. We have a good theory of what schizophrenia is about. The symbolic and bodily self are completely disintegrated. He is not securely rooted in his body. As a result, he needs to hyper-magnify his world to achieve transcendence. Hence, he seems very contrived. He is open to his own anxieties. His body, to him, is a mass of stench and decay and will betray him. A normal person will use his body with confidence. He doesn’t have an ego response. Perversions are not marginal. Freud was interested in studying about perversions. To him, the fetish is a substitute of a woman. Man can find dualism strange and cannot accept impermanence of the body. Children are shamed of their bodies when they soil themselves. Death and decay are themes of obsession. Children are indeed bothered by their bodies. This is especially so if he has seen traumatic things. Their kids will grow up weaker in their body confidence. Low-esteem is a serious problem too. Wanting to sexualize is an expression of individualism. This also explains fetishism. Our body is standard, but the self is personalized. How can one reconcile this? Perversions are in essence a striving for freedom. Freud thought that the fetish object represented the mother’s ‘penis’. People with fetishism treat their bodies with a halo, like a personal thing. Some people have fetishes with shoes. Feet are ugly while shoes are beautiful. Fetishes can be charms too. Clothing has massive impact on people. Perversions are a form of private religion. Sadism and masochism might seem natural. When you rape someone, you show you can manipulate and dominate another person. It provides intensity in the place of emptiness. Masochism is a way of taking pain and transmuting them into pleasure. Rank thought that Mankind could not get rid of thoughts of masochism and sadism. Mental illness are seen as failed heroics. They all have the power of courage.

All living organisms are condemned to perversity, to the narrowness of being mere fragments of a larger totality that overwhelms them, which they cannot understand or truly cope with – yet must still live and struggle in. – Ernest Becker

The more you shrink back from the difficulties and the darings of life, the more you naturally come to feel inept, the lower is your self-evaluation. It is ineluctable. – Ernest Becker

One must pay with life and consent daily to die, to give oneself up to the risks and dangers of the world, allow oneself to be engulfed and used up. Otherwise, one ends up as though dead in trying to avoid life and death. – Ernest Becker

If you can’t be a hero within a communal ideology, then you must be a nagging, whining failure in your family. – Ernest Becker

The body is definitely the hurdle for man, the decaying drag of the species on the inner freedom and purity of his self. – Ernest Becker

Retrospect and Conclusion: The Dilemmas of Heroism

Psychology and Religion: What is the Heroic Individual? We tend to follow other person’s ideas. We find idols in our lives. We try to convert our people to our idea. The artist tries to create his meaning and he must be sustained by them. Kierkegaard thought man had to live in faith and give meaning of life to his Creator. This is the knight of faith. One needs to find what is needed to live. Man cannot get rid of his nature. The enemy is repression, the denial of death. Men sets limits for himself because this a truly human existence. Therefore, our culture or superego sets such limits. Even if you can postpone death, people might still fear dying prematurely. What kind of Gods would people in a Utopia worship? There are certainly limits to psychotherapy. One cannot have it all his own way. One must draw back in some areas and pay the penalty in some form or another. Psychotherapy does have its uses. Psychology is useless, because it helps to cure weaknesses, but it does not promise immortality. Hence, that is why psychotherapy does have use. Psychology is not a new belief system. The author believes that the fusion of psychology and religion is logical. There are also limits to human nature. There is no way to transcend the human condition. Social movements are mere fancy. Is therapeutic revolution a viable concept? Utopian societies tend to deaden human sensitivity and deny humans of heroism. There are a lot of things about creation and life which we do not understand. All we can do is speak to the life force.

A creature who takes more of the world into himself and develops new forms of courage and endurance. – Ernest Becker

Whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. Otherwise it is false. – Ernest Becker

Whatever is achieved must be achieved from within the subjective energies of creatures, without deadening, with the full exercise of passion, of vision, of pain, of fear, and of sorrow. – Ernest Becker

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The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker (Part 1)

Foreword. The book was first published in 1973. I interviewed him when he was dying from cancer. That moment helped to shape my views on death. Contemplation of our inevitable death adds sweetness to mortality. Another famous book of his is ‘Escape from Evil’. Human beings have a need to control basic anxiety, to deny the terror of death. Some people thought death was a taboo topic. Most people conspire to keep death unconscious. Society provides the hero system which people think can help transcend death. Some people do things because they want to have achieved something that is long-lasting. However, they might not particularly like doing such things. Humans conflict over religions etc and heroism causes much conflicts. To what extent should one pursue heroism? Mankind can hope that people channel their hatred into world problems like poverty etc. The true hero is aware of his mortality and can see impotence and vulnerability. He rejects mass culture and opts for cosmic heroism. Who knows what the future of Mankind will be? Through this book, we learn the relationship between the denial of death and the dominion of evil.

This is the terror of death: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression – and with all this yet to die. – Ernest Becker

Preface. The fear of death haunts humans. People deny that it is the final destiny for man. Some primates celebrate death as it is an elevation to a higher form of life. The dear of death is the human condition. Humans are no closer to the truth than centuries ago. Why is so much overproduction in society nowadays? People like to overproduce but the major issues of the world remain unsolved. The world needs more love, less strife. The problem with modern writers is that there is too much exaggeration. This is my first mature work. The book contains values by philosophers like Kierkegaard, Freud and Otto Rank. Rank’s works were brilliant. His thoughts spanned several fields of knowledge. His books were difficult to read so I have ‘translated’ some of his ideas here. Freud and Rank were close friends. Rank knew his work really well. I will mention more on Rank rather than Jung because Jung was already widely covered by other writers.

Introduction: Human Nature and the Heroic. We know the importance of heroism, but it somehow got neglected along the way. People here thought that the main purpose of man was the heroic. People are narcissistic after all. We are absorbed with ourselves. No one cares about the man next to him. Narcissism is closely associated with self-esteem and self-worth. Man needs to feel comfortable in his self-esteem. Humans need to feel themselves as objects of primary value. Humans are naturally competitive creatures. It is therefore natural for man to want to be a hero. However, all these have no cosmic significance. This is the way society is. Society is a vehicle for heroism. This is the idea of cultural heroism. Are you conscious of what you are doing to earn feeling of heroism? Some men will sacrifice themselves to the good of society. However, the younger generation does not believe in that kind of sacrifice. They see the horrors of society, like wars etc. Some youth scorn religion. Religion needs to work harder to convert these youth on their side. Even the whole society is like a ‘religion’ in some way. It is time for Man to ask the deep questions.

In our culture anyway, especially in modern times, the heroic seems too big for us, or we too small for it. Tell a young man that he is entitled to be a hero and he will blush. We disguise our struggle by piling up figures in a bank book to reflect privately our sense of heroic worth. – Ernest Becker

They earn this feeling by carving out a place in nature, by building an edifice that reflects human value: a temple, a cathedral, a totem pole, a skyscraper, a family that spans three generations. – Ernest Becker

Part 1: The Depth Psychology of Heroism

The Terror of Death. Freud believed in thinking about death once in a while. Death is something that moves man. It was a psychological problem. Heroism was a reflection for the terror of death. Many ancient myths believe in reincarnation or life after death. There is a lot of work on death already. For a young child, he is not aware of what death is. Sometimes, they only realize what death is when they are 9 or 10. A young child is fully dependent on his parents. People with bad experiences might fear death more. Another school of thought is ‘morbidly minded’. This means that the fear of death is in everyone, whether you were brought up well or not. It is not possible to decide whether the fear of death is a basic anxiety. The author believes with this ‘morbidly minded’ school of thought. No one is free of the fear of death. Even William James thought the same. The fact that we strive for self-preservation means that we fear death. However, the fear is more unconscious than conscious. For most people who enjoy living, their fear of death is repressed. A child has to rely on his parents. Animals are not immune to chaos too. Gradually, a child will be exposed to the cruelty of life. Death is a complex symbol, which different societies and cultures will view differently. How does kids with childhood nightmares go on to lead optimistic lives? Humans are very good at repressing our fears. Repression is a scientific concept. It is through striving that fears get absorbed in. As you expand on life and seek better experiences, the fear of death must get ignored. A strong family upbringing amounts to inner sustainment. Men tends to follow what society expects of him and doesn’t question too much. All he needs is to go with the flow and just live. It is when you have undergone a bad experience that the fear of death emerges in pure essence. There are many ways to repress death, of which religion is one way. There are different angles where one can examine the fear of death. Is it even good to be fully aware of your mortality?

Gregory Zilboorg says that most people think death fear is absent because it rarely shows its true face; but he argues that underneath all appearances fear of death is universally present. – Ernest Becker

I don’t believe that the complex symbol of death is ever absent, no matter how much vitality and inner sustainment a person has. – Ernest Becker

The Recasting of Some Basic Psychoanalytic Ideas. We know analyze psychoanalytic theories. Does man have an essence? Can it be found? Man has a paradoxical nature as he is half animal and half symbolic. However, men is like food for worms and is made of flesh. This is a complex dilemma. However, animals are simply driven by their instincts. They live in a world without time. Animals do not think of death. Everything men does is try to deny his grotesque fate. The child cannot understand this dualism too. However, the kid sometimes might soil himself and realize that his body is not all rosy and almighty. The body and the self cannot be reconciled easily. Men tries to deny his true condition. Anality is the problem of man’s dualism between his self and body. A kid might play with his feces, but later realize it’s part of his bodily functions. Men sit only on their arse. Having bodily functions also indicate decay and death. Men like to think that they are not an animal. He doesn’t like to have his body take control over him. Our creativity in life is basically a denial of the truth of the human condition. Freud believed in the Oedipus complex. Freud thought of human motives in ‘primitive’ ways. He believed that many people had sexual tendencies since young. Childhood is indeed a crucial period for man. The Oedipus project is about the conflict between narcissism and ambivalence. When the child is very young, he can cry and get what he wants. After that, he enters the ‘anal’ stage, where he seeks to control his body and master it. The child later believes that he can shape his own life. Later on, Freud developed the ‘castration complex’. Eventually, the child must get free of the mother and become independent. Soon, the child sees her as a threat. He realizes that the female model is different from male and is shocked. The female body seems alien to him and the child is helpless. He realizes that she is vulnerable. He realizes that one could have been born anything, and of any sex. It is purely a matter of chance. One has to take on the burden of one’s meaning of life and body. Sexuality is a universal problem. The body is always casting a shadow over your personal freedom. When the child witnesses sexual intercourse between his parents, he couldn’t take it anymore. He couldn’t take part in it. As a result, he feels betrayed. Sex is so widely practiced, but it can disillusioning too. Sex is also a private thing, and in some ways an escape from society. People need to take part in social projects to achieve meaning.

He is a creator with a mind that soars out to speculate about atoms and infinity, who can place himself imaginatively at a point in space and contemplate bemusedly his own planet. This immense expansion, this dexterity, this ethereality, this self-consciousness gives to man literally the status of a small god. – Ernest Becker

Human Character as a Vital Lie. Humans use fantasy as a lie, to distract themselves from reality. Why are so few people truly courageous? Why is man so cowardly? Is it because he is an animal. Are we indebted to society? Maslow termed the fact that people dream to be great, but don’t do it, a term called ‘Jonah Syndrome’. This is because we know we are a weak organism, so have to cut back on the full intensity of life. These are defenses against grandiosity. For most adults, we have closed off our idea of miracles of creation. We live in a miraculous and incomprehensible world. Animals work based on instincts. Men cannot take his own body for granted. His memories and dreams might be foreign to him. We are simply, gods with anuses. Freud studied about human limitation and the formation of character. According to him, Man fears knowledge of oneself. We engage in repression if we fear something that could make us seem inferior or weak. We have to repress our smallness in this world. We must repress the primary awesomeness of the external world. Humans have two fears which are distinct from animals: the fear of life and the fear of death. Man wants to stay safe and not end up in danger because he understands the fragility of life. A child does not know what it is like to possess great power. A child has to learn to build up defenses. He has to generate a unique identity. We live securely and serenely. These defenses form an illusion. Anxiety is the spur of energetic activity. We get into relationships for security, however, we have to maintain them and then to further the lie. We never really live a life that is truly ours. We need to expose the fourth level, which is the fear of death in order to live authentically. This is the psychologic rebirth. One should always live with humility. What does it mean to live with ‘full humanness’? It means full fear and trembling, at least some of the waking day. Maslow talks about self-actualization. Freud had a theory that humans had innate instincts. Post-freudian theory believed that a child was malleable and instinct free. It was the environment that shaped his development more. The child had to think of defenses in the world. Life can seem overwhelming at times. A person’s character is a defense against despair. The child’s perceptions of the world are new and fresh. The world seemed all beautiful.

He doesn’t know who he is, why he was born, what he is doing on the planet, what he is supposed to do, what he can expect. His own existence is incomprehensible to him, a miracle just like the rest of creation… – Ernest Becker

It can be the power of an all-absorbing activity, a passion, a dedication to a game, a way of life, that like a comfortable web keeps a person buoyed up and ignorant of himself, of the fact that he does not rest on his center. – Ernest Becker

No matter what men pretend, they are only one accidental bite away from utter fallibility. – Ernest Becker

The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive. – Ernest Becker

The Psychoanalyst Kierkegaard. Psychiatric and religious perspectives are closely linked. They cannot be separated easily. Kierkegaard wrote outstanding analyses of the human mind. It is because of his ambiguity that causes him to be in dread. Man cannot suddenly be an animal. Death is man’s peculiar and greatest anxiety. Man tries to avoid anxiety. How does Man lie about himself? He mentioned Man blocked off reality and lived in half-obscurity. It is similar to the term ‘repression’ of modern day. It is important to let the child fend on his own. Although upbringing is important, at some stage, it is important to let the child wander on their own. One should always seek new possibilities and choices. He described character shut-offs as men living inauthentic lives. They simply follow automatic and uncritical living. They do not belong to anyone. Men who do not think for themselves. This is the guy who imitates others. The ‘immediate’ man does not recognize himself and needs external validation. This is the guy enslaved by culture. Men chooses to live that way because of the danger of a full horizon of experience. Freedom can be dangerous. The problem of life is too much possibility. The split of the body and the self is known as schizophrenia. However, it is important to acknowledge one’s limits. The idea of consummate health is not easy to attain. Depressive psychosis is where there too much limitation placed and not enough freedom of the inner self. This happens when an individual is bogged down by daily life. Some men live a ‘safe’ live. The extreme case of this is depressive psychosis, where a man feels literally stupid. In this case, everything becomes necessary and yet seem trivial. The depressed person feels these people are his shelter. He embeds himself in others. Both excessive and too little possibility of life are bad. One has to live safely within the probabilities of a given set of social rules. Some men try to make use of their special talents to benefit mankind. However, after a while, we get tied down by other commitments. This is better an immediate man. He does want his uniqueness to result in confrontation. The last type of man is the self-created man, the man who is the master of his own fate. He will plunge into life. This could seem demonic. He immerses in the body and experiences. Kierkegaard understood the dangers of lying to oneself. What would life be like if one did not lie? What is the true possibility of man? He didn’t like the ‘normal cultural man’. The real man is one who has ‘transcended’ himself. How does one open up to new possibilities? To him, the enemy was the Oedipus complex. The childhood defenses you built since young become your life-long trap. He must know how to throw off ‘cultural lendings’. One should not live automatically. One needs to realize the truth of one’s condition and recognize one’s creatureliness. The flood of anxiety is the educator. By understanding dread may happen every moment, one will lead to interpret reality differently. One needs to face up to his natural impotence and death. The self must be broken in order to become a self. One has to feel lost and accept it and then one can begin to find himself. The self must be destroyed for self-transcendence to begin. The child relies on power linkages, which have to be broken. This leads to faith. However, does one yearn for cosmic heroism? Kierkegaard believed in the merger of psychology and religion. The brink of oblivion can seem like the brink of infinity. One can use anxiety as an eternal spring for growth into new dimensions of thought and trust.

The whole order of things fills me with a sense of anguish, from the gnat to the mysteries of incarnation; all is entirely unintelligible to me, and particularly my own person. Great is my sorrow, without limits. None knows of it, except God in Heaven, and He cannot have pity. – Soren Kierkegaard

If a man were a beast or an angel, he would not be able to be in dread. Since he is a synthesis he can be in dread…man himself produces dread. – Ernest Becker

For the self is a synthesis in which the finite is the limiting factor, and the infinite is the expanding factor. Infinitude’s despair is therefore the fantastical, the limitless. – Ernest Becker

In such a bogging down, the individual does not feel or see that he has alternatives, cannot imagine any choices or alternate ways of life, cannot release himself from the network of obligations even though these obligations no longer give him a sense of self-esteem, of primary value, of being a heroic contributor to world life even by doing his daily family and job duties. – Ernest Becker

By seeing the multitude of men about it, by getting engaged in all sorts of worldly affairs, by becoming wise about how things go in this world, such a man forgets himself… does not dare to believe in himself, finds it too venturesome a thing to be himself, far easier and safer to be like the others, to become an imitation, a number, a cipher in the crowd. – Soren Kierkegaard

One chooses slavery because it is safe and meaningful; then one loses the meaning of it, but fears to move out of it. One has literally died to life but must remain physically in this world. – Ernest Becker

It would be so nice to be the self he wants to be, to realize his vocation, his authentic talent, but it is dangerous, it might upset his world completely. – Ernest Becker

One goes through it all to arrive at faith, the faith that one’s very creatureliness has some meaning to a Creator; that despite one’s true insignificance, weakness, death, one’s existence has meaning in some ultimate sense because it exists within an eternal and infinite scheme of things brought about and maintained to some kind of design by some creative force. – Kierkegaard

The Problem of Freud’s Character, Noch Einmal. Freud tried to understand faith and deepen his understanding of man. Freud spoke a truth where nobody wanted to here. He recognized man’s creatureliness. He didn’t have high opinions of religion. To him, creatureliness was instinctive behavior. Freud had bias to his sexual theory. Carl Jung didn’t agree with Freud. Freud thought that religion was repressed sexuality. Apparently, Freud was very proud of his sexual theory. Jung thought it was not proven and had no basis. Freud thought occultism was self-deluding and self-inflating. Now, we know that the sexual theory proved to be wrong. Man did not just seek sexuality, but only had a fear of death which caused repression. The issue with Freud was that he didn’t leave his sexual dogma. He never really became an existentialist. He thought men had a death instinct and overcame it by killing. Freud thought that man carried death with him unconsciously as part of his biology. He changed the ‘death problem’ to the ‘death instinct’. Freud had many health problems and hated dissent. He was cynical towards those who opposed him. Freud seemed to be narcissistic. Many people thought of Freud to have a strong character. Freud was certainly not the immediate man. To him, death was an intimate problem. He played with the date of his death all his life. He wasn’t afraid of dying, but the grief it might cause his parents after he passed on. Sometimes, he suffered panic attacks. Freud reacted to death via panic attacks and also heroic resignation. He didn’t want to disappear into oblivion. Freud tried his best to submit to others around him. He was ambivalent towards supernaturalism. He believed in some superstitions, but failed to let that affect his main character. He didn’t want to yield because that would let one’s guard down. His psychoanalytic movement was his vehicle for heroism. The problem with being a genius is that he needs his work to justify him. Freud wanted Jung to carry on psychoanalysis. Jung was Freud’s son and when Jung rejected him, it was like the father-murder complex. Jung admitted Freud was a good teacher, but he had a mind of his own. Freud hated when Jung triumphed over him. This was the guilt of victory. Freud was largely disappointed by his father. Freud wished that his younger brother would die and he eventually did. This left a lot of guilt inside him. Jung hated feelings of helplessness. Do you abandon the causa-sui project, the attempt to be father of oneself? Freud saw the man who didn’t need sexual need and activity as having a higher aspiration as compared to a common man. Human beings are fragile and ephemeral. How far does life has to secure heroic meaning? The Enlightment’s view is that immorality means being loved by many anonymous people. Freud tried to destroy some of the letters he wrote. To Freud, psychoanalysis was his form of religion. Freud didn’t need to have intellectual dependence or spiritual dependence. Freud was obsessed about his sex talk and didn’t seem to know how to stop. However, he was still a great man. Freud refused to move from his instinct theory to the blanket idea of a death fear. He never wanted to move from scientific creatureliness to religious creatureliness.

The death fear of the ego is lessened by the killing, the sacrifice, of the other; through the death of the other, one buys oneself free from the penalty of dying, of being killed. – Otto Rank

It was Freud who discovered the idea of being “wrecked by success”: that when a person achieves the truly superlative, it is often felt as an intolerable burden because it means that he has won out in competition with the father, having excelled him. – Ernest Becker

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