the techniques described up to now are very important. But they
cannot solve all of your health problems by themselves.
As I have been saying from the beginning of this book, state of
mind, mood, laughter and depression influence health by stimulating
the secretion of certain substances. By now, all researchers agree
on this. Only one point is still being debated: how important is
the psychological factor? I believe that our attitude towards life
and towards ourselves is much more important than we generally think.
The idea that we have of ourselves and of the world we live in determines
our entire existence, minute by minute.
Now I'd like to invite you to try a little experiment. Stop for
a minute. Breathe, relax, and ask yourself why you don't succeed
in getting what you want out of life. You might find it useful to
write down these reasons. So - what isn't right with the world?
What isn't right with you?
In this list, you will find your uneasiness with a world that doesn't
understand you, doesn't protect you, doesn't respect you, doesn't
love you. And, if you really looked inside yourself, there also
will be the uneasiness, of not feeling capable, of not being strong,
attractive or efficient enough. Perhaps you are fickle, perhaps
you are a spendthrift, perhaps you lack virtue, dignity, or a lust
for life. Of course you must have your own good reasons to think
this way. Dozens, hundreds of times you have seen how nasty, rude,
mean-spirited and sadistic people and the world are. You have seen
countless times how you are capable of ruining good opportunities,
throwing away in a second what you had obtained through great sacrifice,
disappointing those who loved you. It is obvious that you have thought
about these things a great deal before arriving at such negative
ideas about yourself and others.
Perhaps, however, you would like to consider a completely different
point of view.
I think that over the centuries mankind has constructed a gigantic
mental error, an insane ideology that is handed down from father
to son. Our ability to reason is built over a foundation of wrong
ideas. Since birth, we were never taught to feel part of the world.
But how would we live if the universe didn't love us? We are taught
that we are not good, intelligent, or competent, enough. But how
could we have endured all the difficulties that we have come up
against if we had not been capable of overcoming them? And how many
times has the world helped us?
Find me just one person who has never said: "It's a miracle
that I'm alive." It happens all the time, but we don't take
even our own words seriously.
This way of looking at the world is devastating. It thwarts our
efforts, guarantees failures, amplifies difficulties and errors,
and creates depression. And it is the source of 5 terrible negative
feelings that afflict humanity.
Not feeling part of the world
Feeling hatred and a desire for revenge
Criticizing others and oneself
Feeling remorse for one's own errors and inadequacies
The world doesn't love you. Everyone is ready to use you, jump on
you, or attack you. These five feelings poison our life. They crystallize
into an attitude, a way of talking, acting, relating, planning,
and being, that more than any other factor determines how we pass
How many times, have you looked at the behaviour of another person
and thought that it would have been possible for him to improve
his own life, change a certain situation, try a new experience,
but you saw that distrust, fear and resentment prevented him from
changing? Don't you believe perhaps, deep down, that this goes for
How many times have you noticed a connection between what is
afflicting that person and his way of being?
Actually, there are many people who in the face of serious illness
have based their cure above all on the effort to modify their idea
of themselves and their attitude toward life. It isn't an easy route.
1 - No one can convince you that the world accepts you with love.
No one can teach you to feel that everywhere, in everything that
exists, there is a positive magic that you can feel and share with
others. No one can give you this positive feeling of being part
of the world. It is already nearly impossible to transmit to another
adult, the pleasure that you experience from a painting, a piece
of music, a dance, or a sunset.
children, who are very receptive, learn quickly to take
joy in these experiences, if they are offered to them with love.
For adults, it is much more difficult. You can do so only you really
want to discover in yourself this pleasure of belonging, starting
with the things that have given you joy and enthusiasm in life:
love, art, friendship, play, sport, commitment, adventure. To develop
the sense of belonging to the world, the conviction that you are
alive because the world wants you and loves you, will allow you
to experience a different attitude toward things, and the first
successes that you experience will encourage you. The world is full
of infinite riches. Everything is produced with great abundance.
The air, water, the infinite varieties of beauty, thousands of delicious
fruits, are all there to nourish us, to restore us and to give us
pleasure. If we didn't have human stupidity to ruin our delights,
we would indeed live in an earthly paradise, assisted by marvellous
machines that entertain us and do the hardest work for us. All you
need is to find the right attitude towards life so that you can
enjoy it abundantly.
2 - No one can convince you to look sincerely within and see in
your innermost self how resentment, guilt, fear, and the idea of
being incapable have crystallized into a particular way of feeling,
seeing and thinking about yourself. Your entire life, your choices,
and your illnesses revolve around this fulcrum, around this secret
image of yourself that you don't acknowledge even in your most intimate
* * *
this is difficult.
It is hard to look in the face the contempt that we feel for others
But the difficulty lies only in this initial stage: to understand
oneself, to understand. Then it becomes natural to realize when
fear, resentment, or a sense of guilt or inferiority lie behind
a thought or a statement. To substitute all this rubbish accumulated
over the years with positive thoughts, with love towards ourselves,
others, and the world, becomes easy, because it gives constant and
immediate benefits. It also becomes a formidable instrument for
facing difficulties, by trying, first of all, to undo the flawed
attitude that has caused harm. It is true that not everything that
happens to us depends on us, and it is true that changing our attitude
won't make us all-powerful and immortal. But it is also true that
there are women who always end up with men who beat them, and women
who never get involved with someone who beats them. The difference
lies in their attitude.
Violent men flee from women who have self-esteem and love for
themselves. Such a woman may be the victim of a chance act of aggression
out on the street, but she will never marry a violent man. And -
this is important - it is also less likely that she will be assaulted
by a stranger, because it is written on her face that she will not
be an easy victim. One can see it in her way of moving, of talking,
etc. Violent people are cowards, and look for people who are afflicted
with mistrust, fear, and low self-esteem: in short, people who will
not be able to mobilize all their energies to react, who panic and
remain paralyzed in the face of abuse.