Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Solstice...The Medicine Woman's Call for Transformation!

The medicine women in The Unholy are healers. They are women of earth. They call forth transformation potential in hurting people. They echo Rilke's words, "Earth, isn't this what you want: an invisible arising in us? What is your urgent command, if not transformation."

In the novel the medicine women are described as "...seers and healers...they kept to themselves, meeting only infrequently , even with one another. Their solitude nourished a depth, Francesca said, that could be sustained in no other way." Archetypal energies flow unimpeded in these woman because of unwavering interiority. They value privacy, solitude, the solitary life.

In the following interview with Brent Nichols of Bards and Sages we looked at the medicine woman's nature:  

 Q:  "Your protagonist, Claire Sanchez, is a curandera, a term which roughly translates as "medicine woman." What exactly is a curandera? What led you to choose this occupation for your heroine?"

A: "A curandera is a healer. She spoke to me as the story evolved, told me who she was and her struggle to find herself. The path of a healer is fraught with danger. She dramatizes the life of so many women and men seeking to face their fears, find themselves, and walk the path of healing, natural magic, and life."

Thinking about this interview, I was struck by its simplicity. There is a way of looking at things that gets to the heart of the psychic matter. Healing is psychic. It changes us. Women healers have an instinct for the intuitive. They are able to pierce the soul with understanding. They do this, as the story tells, because of their interiority.

Ultimately, it's what's in the soul that we fear. Transformation, true change, frightens us. We get frantic around the holidays. Winter is really a time to quiet the self, go within, listen. Instead we go without, get caught up in the push and pull, yank and yells of the retail world, family dysfunction, and societal angst. The medicine woman within calls us as the solstice draws nigh to nestle into the hills of Aztlan, go within, listen, transform and end the year without depletion and into transformation!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Medicine Woman Magic through Love!

In The Unholy, the medicine women are specialists in love and magic. Both work together, can't have one without the other. They nourish love. There's magic in it. In contrast, the power-mongering men, especially within the church, are caught up in using people not caring for people. Ultimately, the story shows that the difference between using and caring for people is huge. Things happen, good or bad, troubles and maybe disaster, or creative natural magic based on how we treat self and others.

Natural magic is borne out of feminine energy. The archetype of the medicine woman is replete with magic. Spirit and nature are fused. The heavy-handed masculine patriarchy of organized religion exerts crippling force in the novel. People are brainwashed into serving religious guilt and fear. The medicine women and their natural magic stand in opposition to this. They are examples of love made real in the world, women of determination and authentic caring. From their truth to self and to the caring for one another mysterious things happen.

The creative mystery that is life depends on plugging into the current of natural magic. Love and true to devotion to self and significant others lights this path. To exert masculine force and will onto what should be governed by mystery ends by hurting us. In The Unholy it proves fatal.

Healing divisive ways of looking at life comes only from the magic of true caring. The medicine women exemplify a force that resides in each of us. But, there are challenges aplenty. Dark masculine drives toward having our own way no matter the cost threaten the life of the soul. The medicine women in The Unholy offer a way through this dangerous dilemma!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Virtual Book Tour Cafe!

The Unholy is on tour through the end of January 2013 with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe. It's a way of connecting to grassroots readers. Doing a tour allows me to connect with folks that I otherwise might miss. Online connections are a true way of connecting to others who think, question, read, and want to ponder life's questions.

The Virtual Book Tour Cafe emphasizes secrets, destiny, life and death, good and evil in the The Unholy. In the story, a young woman faces the reality of evil. Evil incarnate in the person of an archbishop is set on her destruction. Childhood ghosts come haunting. Fear runs rampant. Evil stalks. The young woman, a healer, is faced with a life-and-death decision: to face the evil or forever be haunted.

Death looms large. The Virtual Book Tour Cafe's emphasis on the drama of destiny and life and death struck me as vital. They connect me to my readers. We all live out issues connected with what's our destiny, how we want to live our life, and death itself.

Life won't be as it is forever. Death means change. In The Unholy, death lurks around every corner. Maybe it is always lurking in a different way for us, more than we admit or care to admit. Life, death, secrets, and destiny come to bear not only on the dramatic narrative of the story but in terms of what we're facing at this moment in our life. Secrets, things we haven't admitted to ourselves, threaten to hold us back. Face the ghost, the evil, or forever be haunted, risking death itself.

Connecting with readers on this tour helps me to have a sense of being in touch with the real folks wrestling with real issues concerning secrets, destiny, life and death, good and evil. Virtual connections are real in a different way than physical connections. They connect us with each other without physical presence, but with a unique emotional link. The Virtual Book Tour Cafe connects us as author and readers as we take the journey into secrets, destiny, life and death, good and evil---The Unholy!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rambling Voices in My Head Review!

This is an interesting read.  Dr. DeBlassie III has an interesting and captivating way of applying the psychological elements into his writing.  I love the mental games played and the depth of characters he is able to create.  This is one story that will keep you reading and guessing what will happen next.  There are some amazing "creep" factors to this story and I'll be sure to recommend it to my friends.

I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that I absolutely love how the crows are used in this story.  This is one you must read for yourselves and I don't think you will be disappointed... at least not in the quality of the story.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Writer Wonderland Review!

"The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie is a work of the heart as well as fiction. This beautifully described novel shimmers with both mystery and promise. The first page sets the tone with a mammoth battle between good and evil. Claire witnesses her mother, representing the natural world and healing, defeated by a dark force.

As an adult, she both denies her heritage as a healer and is drawn to it. She discovers those closest to her could have the most to gain by her renouncing her legacy. The author reveals using Claire as his tool that all is not as it seems in organized religion. Often the very existence of such is to control the populace not for their greater good, but for a small portion’s benefit.

Mr. DeBlassie tackles this provocative topic with an ease of someone familiar with the material and not afraid to address it. I would have liked the novel to have been longer with more emphasis on Claire’s childhood. All the same, it is a stellar novel."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nightmares, Howling, and the Cave!

Nightmares taking place in a cave are scary. Not infrequently howling comes out of the walls. Dreamers try to escape. The force of the nightmare, like hallways of hidden hands, pull them back into the dark realm of the cave. There is something here for you, the unconscious mind asserts. You must remain until you are able to see, to hear, to understand.

In The Unholy, medicine women, the transformative powers of feminine energy, know to listen to the deep psyche. People walking the path of healing and soul understand dreams, visions, synchronous events. They listen to their intuition. Those who know the power of inner feminine energy tap into the energy source of the medicine women in The Unholy. Thing is, to get the good stuff we need to be in the cave. And, in the cave is where the howling and nightmares happen!

To access what might be frightening inner wisdom we need depth. Reading helps to take us there. "Live daily" is phrase I use during book readings. Reading the horror within The Unholy takes us into the cave of the transpersonal unconscious mind. It is here that psychic stuff happens as we read. The mind is affected, questions, wonders, and is possibly transformed.

Transformations are shifts in attitude. What we once thought sacrosanct opens for consideration. The powers of feminine consciousness arise within us and speak mysteries. Maybe what we've held near and dear has been too external, they whisper. The howling in the cave, once we settle into the rhythm of story and reading, becomes whispers that beckon us into questions, wondering, and possible transformation.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Soul Haunting and The Dream!

Dreams, especially nightmares, can be loaded with haunting! did read the right words, just as I wrote them. Nightmares have lots and lots of juicy psychic stuff for insight, enlightenment, and soulful growth in the form of haunting. Thing is, we're so often afraid to listen to it, to the haunting. To listen to inner disturbance as it comes out in nightmares means facing the ghosts that always bear tidings of one sort or another.

Halloween and All Souls Day proclaim the existence of an unseen world. The veil between the world of waking and sleep, the realm of the deep unconscious mind, the spiritual world, thins. Spirits are real. People have reported dreams and waking visions of seeing spirits. I have a colleague, a psychotherapist, who is also a trained shaman. Unseen souls can inhabit homes, place, generate havoc! She's the one to call to exorcise the spirits so the home will sell. It's worked countless times for countless folks.

In the world of soul, the unseen world and the spirits that populate it bring messages into the world of consciousness. They haunt us till the message gets  through. They help us to grow, if we're willing. The spirit that appears by our bedside at night, the nightmares that haunt sleep, the dark events that come out of nowhere can shock us into consciousness...inspired change!

I had a rip-roaring nightmare last night of a literary demon. He was trying to force me into the mainstream literary establishment. I'd be abandoning my writing in dark fiction. It was frightening to say the least. A complete abandonment of self, of soul, was what the demon demanded. I awakened knowing that I had to remain true to my writing, true to myself.

Listening to the message of the nightmare, the spirits of the unseen world, means partaking of organic soul food and not Halloween trick-or-treat candy. Symbolically, candy can refer to a sweetening up of what's bad so that we don't taste it, feel it. Halloween tricks or treats...pass them up in favor of contemplating the haunting, the candle in the center of the carved out pumpkin head, its flickering, its eerie and unrelenting soul meaning.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Horror as Healer!

Old blues players say they play the blues to chase the blues away. Stephen King, master horror writer, has written that scaring is caring. It all comes down to facing fright to get the fright dealt with. You face the ghost or it stays with you and haunts you. That doesn't sound too good to me.

Reading a novel like The Unholy sets religious horror smack dab in front of us. We can't run from it unless we stop reading. If you read The Unholy it may affect dreams, bring bad religious experiences back to consciousness. Horrid stuff stays locked away in the basement of our minds unless it's brought out into the light of day, consciousness. It grows rancid there, psychically smelly, grotesque.

I watched The Conjuring last night, a really decent horror flick. Terrible things happen in families and are pushed away. People try to force forgetfulness. Ha! It's locked in the basement. And, it knocks, bangs, on the door and gets out. Way, way scary. An exorcism is needed. let it out then call it by name and cast it out and back into the miserable realms that birthed it.

We finished the movie, slowed our hearts from racing, sighed, and said "Good movie." We felt relief. It let loose hidden tensions and in ways not immediately discernible cleared out our heads. It was a good story. Horror heals, blows out clogged psychic tubes, chases horror away, and ultimately unleashed, as in The Unholy, insights, changed perspectives, and intense emotions stored in the basement of our minds.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Religious Abuse and The Quickened Soul!

Rigid religion deadens the soul. Reading in depth psychology and spirituality I was doing this week emphasized that rigid religion defends against genuine religious experience. During a Healing Event/ Book Reading and signing for The Unholy I shared the psychological adage when rigid religion comes in the front door spirit leaves out the back. The dark side of religion abuses the soul, leaves the soul spiritless.

Soul quickening requires an emotional and spiritual infusion of energy. This isn't an intellectual change, it comes from the heart and from within the heart, the soul. For some people, soulful quickening means busting loose of formal religious strictures and institutions; others report being able to navigate their way through religious dogmas and demands and still feel spiritually intact and enlivened. What matters most to the furtherance of consciousness is soul quickening whether within the confines of organized religion or freed of them.

Thus, soul quickening heals abuse incurred from the dark side of religion. As William James, father of American depth psychology noted, religious instinct is the most deeply rooted and deep seated of all human experience. It does not need to be formalized and certainly not rigidified. Soul quickening, a renewed feeling and passion for the spiritual, jettisons us out of the mucky muck of the unholy, toxic religious rigidity, and into the realm of restored passion for the deep psyche and its always evolving path.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Empathy Not Religion!

"You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion." This quote came from a social media post from one of my friends who struggled for years to come to grips with the difference between a good, spiritual human being, and the person within who had been scarred by old time rigid religion. Old religions pull for allegiance to outer doctrines and rigid dogmas. Inner spirituality leaves one free to be a naturally empathic and spiritual being.

Parents tell me quite a bit that they're thinking of getting into religion so as to pass on morals and values to their children. I have to echo the words of this anonymous writer that what needs to be passed on is human empathy, modeled by the parents, not religion. We can't look to an outer source for something that needs to come from inside the human heart and from inside the family.

Depth psychology is about turning within and cultivating sensitivity without in the realm of relationships. William James, the father of American depth psychology, wrote of God as intimate soul. Spirituality is instinctual, God as intimate soul. God seeping into the exquisite realm of love and loving. Empathy, not religion, cultivated in the home and in one's life brings forth the fruit of intimacy with soul and those that we cherish and love.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Message of The Unholy!

Andi'S Book Review:

What message do you hope readers will take from it? 
In The Unholy, the story is pure emotion, fear and rage and hope and challenge, that inspires and frightens and causes us to stay up late at night in order to finish the story. Dream and chronic nightmares plagues people who’ve gone through the horror of being abused within a religious system. It could be emotional, spiritual, physical, or sexual torment---or all of the above---a true encounter with the unholy---that people undergo during childhood or adolescence or adulthood. They become anxious, depressed, or suffer a terrible emotional breakdown. I’ve treated them, helped them, and they helped to inspire the story of The Unholy and pass on the message that there can be hope in the midst of seeming hopelessness!

Inspiration for The Unholy!

Andi's Book Review: 

What was the inspiration behind ' The Unholy'? 
The story comes out of over thirty years of treating patients in psychotherapy who are survivors of the dark side of religion…have been used and abused and cast to the side. I’ve seen that when this happens people, those around the victim, to include family and friends, often turn a blind eye and deny what has happened. Rather than writing a self help book I decided to approach this realm of human suffering in fiction. To tell a story moves the reader into a deep and unconscious dimension that bypasses conscious defenses, leaving us open to truths that otherwise would be blocked. So, dramatizing the dark side of religion, pulling what can be the most vile and evil, and pivoting it against an innocent and sincerely searching soul leaves the reader on edge, hopeful, but unsure as to what will happen and who in the end will survive…a truth conveyed symbolically and dramatically.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Devil's Throne...Trapped Emotion!

The Devil's Throne, an actual place in New Mexico dramatized on the front cover of The Unholy, reminds me that some places are simply haunted! There's an eeriness to them. Old Gothic writers stated that violent emotions can be trapped in floorboards or walls of homes or contaminate land. As a matter of soul, I have to agree that violent emotions seep into people, things, and places, leaving a residue of eeriness and haunting.

The human psyche, the soul, picks up on such matters as an antennae attracts and conducts electrical waves.  In The Unholy, Claire finds her way to a haunted place in the desert. She, as a sensitive female healer, feels an eeriness, violent emotion trapped about the area. I remember when my wife and I were looking for land to build our home. One plot looked good, but that night I had a nightmare that it was a black sink hole. There was bad trapped within its confines. We purchased another plot and built our home in large part because of a dream of it being imbued with luminosity...goodness in and through the property. Others built on the first property, one thing after another going wrong, tragic misfortunes. Our land has been good, a setting for hearth and home.

Badness trapped, goodness moving in and through land and places--both are real.  The Devil's Throne in the story of the Unholy,  locates evil in time and place. Awareness of what is not good super charges human sensitivities. Places, houses, land effect us. When we're in a bad place in life becoming aware of it is key. Awareness can move us on. "Awareness sets the stage for transformation," taught an old professor. Stories and symbols generate life altering sensitivities, potentially untrapping, exorcising devilishly destructive memories, relationships, emotions, psychic gunk that's been plugging up the transformational works.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

La Loba...Shape-Shifting Divine Feminine!

La Loba, the instinctual, wild feminine energy within, shape shifts into necessary forms inner and outer. Intense changes propel us to let go of the old and jettison into mysterious realms of energy and transformation. In The Unholy, Claire Sanchez, a young curandera, faces life threatening attacks from darkness. The dark side of the archetype, of any powerful spiritual force, in this case religion, can overwhelm the life giving aspects of both the self and the ego, leaving us in spiritual crisis and day-to-day torment. La Loba, wild yet purposeful impulses beating their way to consciousness, can offer potential for both consciousness and change. Shifts in energy states and moods may well signal the call of La Loba!

Sitting in the airport, en route from one end of the country to the other with less sleep than is desirable within a 48 hour period, I felt a strange impulse. I tried to shake it off as nervous energy resulting from lack of sleep. However, the mood shift didn't leave. It mounted to a fierce desire to leave behind something that I'd been needlessly clinging to. That night in dream I found myself clinging to the side of a cliff, with all my might holding on so I wouldn't drop. My fingers trembled as the edge slipped away, sandstone crumbling. I caught sight of what lay below and couldn't see a thing. It was so dark that all I knew was a depthless abyss below and myself plummeting if I lost my grip. I lost the grip, fell back, the sense of dropping through space and time unimaginably frightening. As is many times the case in dreams, or in this case a nightmare, I woke up before hitting bottom.

La Loba stirred within me at the airport, the nightmare confirming the descent into the wild needing to take place so that I could be expedited into an unfathomably mysterious, frightening, yet transformative realm. It was a wild feeling that stirred within me. La Loba howls and, as with Claire in The Unholy, we become hesitant, fearful, hold back from letting go, facing what must be faced, and having a chance to move on. It's definitely life transforming if we let it be; on the other hand, when you consider it, it's totally no fun at all to stay stuck on the side of a cliff, gripping for dear life and not wanting to let go, drop down, move on.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Religious Abuse, Brain, and Soul!

A neuroscientist and I got caught in a conversation while in a NY elevator. He talked about his work with the brain and wanted to know what I did in treating survivors of religious abuse. We got into the story of The Unholy and how religious trauma affects not only the brain but the deepest recesses of soul. It didn't strike him as odd that I'd emphasize this; but, it did hit him hard, though, that he'd never considered soul as integral to trauma and its impact.

Well, thus goes it in the world of everyday, mainstream, mental health care. It still has a ways to go in terms of understanding that we are not only physical beings, but soulful beings whose most intimate aspect is that of psyche, soul. Psyche reels and is loaded with torment when traumatized by religious guilt, fear, and deceit. A young man once shared a dream with me in which God appeared to him in the form of a luminous woman who instructed him to enter into a hallowed place within the center of the earth and there escape the terror of living in a religiously rigid and angry family that incessantly berated him for not being "worthy in the eyes of god." He stated that he learned to go within himself, to "the place that for me was the center of the earth, the center of my being."  He fled within himself, to deep recesses of soul, to protect himself from the religious trauma of being raised by parents set on the dark side of religion. 

A childhood diagnosis of attention deficit disorder led to a regimen of medication. He described it as "settling my brain but my soul was still quivering, shaking inside me." The brain can be dealt with, treated when injured by trauma; the soul requires patient tending and healing that requires what he felt was "a good long time." In his adult years he entered depth therapy and furthered his understanding and experience of psyche, soul. He discovered that the ground of his being indeed lay within, in psyche. The woman who had come to him in the dream during his adolescence returned many more times to confirm her watchfulness over his life. He came to terms with the reality that for the rest of his life he would be in the process of healing from the damaging effects of having been immersed in the dark side of religion during his childhood. Fortunately, the psychological injury was not as bad as it could have been due to the dream he had had as a teenager. He responded quickly to it, went within himself and there found safety.

The dark side of religion disrupts brain chemistry and physiology and traumatizes the soul; but, auspiciously, the psyche comes during dire times, and she guides us to turn within and discover hallowed realms of soul, the center of our being so as to begin the process of healing from injuries sustained by the lash of the dark side of religion.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Breath, Heavenly Wanderings, and The Unholy!

Breath, heavenly wanderings, and The Unholy (Sunstone Press/Release Date August 2013) fit together just as natural spiritual openings that are blocked generate toxic backup. My depth psychological colleague, Michael Eigen, author of The Psychoanalytic Mystic, shared with me the following quote by Chuang Tzu: "All things that have consciousness depend upon breath. But if they do not get their fill of breath, it is not the fault of heaven. Heaven opens up the passages and supplies them day and night without stop. But man on the contrary blocks up the holes. The cavity of the body is a many-storied vault; the mind has its Heavenly wanderings. But if the chambers are not large and roomy, then the wives and sisters fall to quarreling. If the mind does not have its Heavenly wanderings, then the six apertures of sensation will defeat each other."

Psychic breath happens naturally. Toxic religion loads spiritual passageways with shame. Bad things happen when natural spiritual openings are blocked. Here in New Mexico, the realm of Aztlan in my novel, we have witnessed institutional religion inflicting horrors on innocent souls. Both Eastern and Western religions have been implicated on the front page of newspapers. Eastern gurus and Western priests have prohibited what Chuang Tzu described as Heavenly wanderings. They claimed souls for themselves. Shame bore down on souls meant to be nurtured into increasing degrees of freedom.

In The Unholy, Claire discovers that hidden within her own past is a religious skeleton that cannot be escaped. It rattles in the closet like a bag of old bones. The dark side of religion, its masked ways and shiny lures, eclipse the reality of human suffering perpetrated by ecclesiastical masters of illusion.

What is not faced takes us down. Going down, in the realm of depth psychology, is not necessarily a bad thing; it offers psychic prospects. In the case of Claire, she must enter the depths of her own life experience and make discoveries similar to those made by patients in depths therapy. As skeletons are faced, room is made, and transformational possibilities emerge.

All things that have consciousness depend upon breath states the old wise man. So, breath for us, as practitioners of soul, remains the sure conduit to the sacred. Healing soul blockage, induced by the dark side of religion, require opening the mind to darkness and light, the truth of shame and the luminosity inherent in choosing one's own path over institutional demands. Breathing large and roomy breaths ushers us into dream time wandering in spheres of soul where destiny calls and choices lie before us.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shame, Bad Religion, and Freedom

     Shame and bad religion ring about as hard in the human ear as a bell clanging way too up close that finally stops. Shame gets the bell of bad religion going. Without the human capacity for shame, the inner sense of being defective, then bad religion would have no hold on the human psyche.
     For over thirty years I've been helping people take the deep plunge into the unconscious mind so as to find freedom from the dark side of religion. It doesn't always work. Sometimes people want quick fixes, a whole lot of help without much struggle. In my novel, The Unholy (Sunstone Press, August 2013), Claire comes face to face with feelings of being defective and not wanting to go on. The shame induced by bad religion cripples the soul, at least momentarily, and can cause us to want to give up, not go on with life.
     When a child is raised in bad religion, the mind's innocence and receptivity to natural and freeing spiritual experience is compromised. Bad religion induces shame, the sense of being defective way down to the core. Bad religion goes on to state that giving your soul over to it will insure you of salvation. Giving yourself over to something, to anything, outside of yourself and your own right mindedness inevitably compromises the psyche.
     "I was so into the cult of it all, that I thought it was right. I felt superior to everyone who wasn't following my religion. They were bad and I was good, they were shameful creatures, I was not." So said a man who underneath it all finally admitted his emptiness and unhappiness. "I was all right when I was with the religion. They did my thinking for me. But, when I was alone, I was with myself and what was left of my self eventually got through to me. I had to work hard to find and then to keep my own mind, my soul."
     A dream came to him one night. "I was walking out of the church, looked up and saw a giant turd fall on the church. I got the message, from above so to speak." This man found his way out of bad religion, the unholy, the clanging bell finally coming to a stop. Like Claire in The Unholy, he discovered that something other than himself had hold of his mind and he was the only one who could do something about it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Prison of Belief!

Healthily, the way it's supposed to go is that belief is to supposed to set us free. When it doesn't then it makes sense that reconsidering things is in order. Guilt, fear, force, shame can't be the way to make lives better and people more loving, creative, and conscious.

Religion, psychology, art, all manner of spiritual practice, and sexuality are charged with numinous energy that can compel people to either find themselves, or else (horror of horrors!), lose themselves. Loss of self takes place when we no longer think for ourselves. We can end up thinking like everyone else, whether they are artistic geniuses, Jungian or Freudian therapists, yogic gurus, or passionate lovers unless we rather fastidiously take into account the guarding of our own mind.

New York Times article,  Going Clear (12.20.13) , explores the power of belief within an organized religion and how it literally corrupts human nature. Rather than engaging in spiritual encounter that heals and transforms, individuals find themselves succumbing to group think, a terrible loss of self and mind. A professional colleague on hearing of my upcoming novel, The Unholy (release date Spring 2013), said ".....the dark side of religion?'s all dark." I went on to say, "Even saying that is too much. People need to have their own experience of what works for them and what does not. That leaves us free, or else we run the risk of dictating that all manner of one thing or another is bad." We want to encourage exploration, experience, psychic freedom.

Prisons of belief are built when all manner of this thing or that are judged all good or all bad. Excluding obviously destructive ideologies and actions, ideas and practices are in large part neither good or bad. It depends on what we do with what we have and what life has dealt us to deal with. Healthily, it is the nurturance of inner truth, what sets you and me as individuals on the path of a free mind lived without knuckling under to threat from external forces that demand compliance, that ultimately unbinds the human psyche and lets loose consciousness!