Self Help Sanctum

fulfill your self

The Conflict Within

The term schizophrenic is often (wrongly) used to describe people exhibiting multiple personalities. In fact the human psyche is complex and we all house numerous, and often conflicting, traits under the umbrella of a single individual.

The psychologist C G Jung used the term "shadow" to represent our repressed characteristics. He describes it thus: "Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is."

Our weaker characteristics are omnipresent and seek to express themselves. Although most times their dominant counterparts win the day, occasionally the shadow self takes control; eg a usually introverted person may go through a phase of making numerous casual friendships, and a usually cautious person may take an almighty risk. (more…)

Understanding Irrational Thinking

Most people like to consider themselves rational beings, making their various life choices for all the logically "right" reasons. However, the fact is that human behavior is filled with irrational biases that seem to be hard-wired into our minds/brains.

This article attempts to define "rationality", and highlights some of the more common forms of irrationality. Being aware of these factors in our psychology may at least make us less vulnerable to their innate pitfalls. (more…)

Know Yourself

Self Concept, Self Awareness

beware the man behind the mask, he hides the truth behind the mask

It is said that a major purpose of life is to learn, and also that we never stop learning.

In most human societies learning is institutionalized from a very early age in the form of compulsory schooling. In developed countries formal education can eat up the best part of two decades of an individual's life.

Furthermore, we are constantly reminded that we live in the information age or knowledge economy. Multiple TV channels, cell phones, the Internet... These days we need to continue absorbing knowledge just to survive.

One of the main rules of witchcraft is "know thyself", but for all the knowledge that surrounds us how many of us can claim to REALLY know ourselves?

It might seem like a no-brainer; after all we ARE ourselves, so how can we not know what makes us tick? But very often human beings function on autopilot. Our decisions are conditioned by our upbringing, our peers, the expectations of others... (more…)

Business Basics – Finding Your Niche

This short article considers what is meant by business and provides advice on finding your own niche in the age of the Web.

What is Business?

Survival requires many inputs; food, shelter etc etc. Yet more inputs provide additional comforts of life. Humans developed division of labor as means of increasing efficiency and individual utility. Rather than everyone try to do everything themselves, we specialize in a particular function and do it for others in return for the benefit of their functions; the process is blurred somewhat by money.

Business, essentially, is the process identifying the function/niche(s) that you wish to perform, doing it (them) for other people and receiving payment (and using such payments to buy your own needs/wants). (more…)

Understanding the Unconscious

Your Key to Fulfillment

The human mind can be compared to an island in the ocean. The visible part, ie above the surface, is our consciousness – what we are aware of at any given time. But beneath the surface the island is really a mountain, the vast bulk of which is submerged. This hidden part is our unconscious, that huge mass of content of which we are unaware but which can, and frequently does, have a significant effect on our lives.

Unconscious or Subconscious – Terminology

The terms unconscious and subconscious are often used synonymously, however Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis preferred the use of “unconscious”, saying: “the only trustworthy antithesis is between conscious and unconscious.” [Sigmund Freud, The Question of Lay Analysis (Vienna 1926; English translation 1927)]

The term unconscious may be used to describe the entire content of the mind that is not conscious, whereas subconscious may describe that part of the unconscious that is closest to, or most easily brought into, consciousness. (more…)

Do What Thou Wilt

English occultist Aleister Crowley wrote "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" in his classic The Book of The Law forcibly dictated to him by the discarnate higher intelligence called Aiwaz.

What is meant by this "law"? Does it mean we are free to do whatever we please - in other words that there is no law? Or does it convey a deeper, more subtle, truth?

Compare "do what thou wilt" to Jesus' expression of "thy will be done", referring to God's will. Are the two teachings irreconcilably incompatible? As we shall see, maybe not… (more…)

Coping with Depression and Stress

I am no psychologist, but I have suffered from depression and stress for as long as I can remember. I therefore present the following framework based upon my first-hand experience, observation and reflection in the hope it may in some way be of help to my fellow sufferers.

Depression is something that will inevitably be your close companion throughout the journey of life. It cannot be beaten or banished, but it can be managed and controlled through knowledge and understanding. There is no reason why those of us with depression cannot live fulfilling and successful lives. (more…)

The Power of Focus

Isn’t life amazing? Though sometimes frustrating, overwhelming, even infuriating, our journey through the material world is a truly fantastic adventure filled with potential for fulfilment and pleasure. But how many of are actually taking advantage of all that is on offer? Or to put it another way, how many of us are simply coasting through on cruise control and missing much of what’s out there?

Life is certainly complex. Numerous things demand our attention, and in the final analysis most of these urgencies are utterly meaningless. Have we paid the gas bill?, remembered Mrs X’s birthday?, chosen the right outfit for the company “do”?….. The list is endless. The trouble is, with so much noise, can we even hear – never mind respond to – the real message? (more…)

Finding Fulfillment

Knowing thyself

A necessary and key condition for a fulfilling life is that our efforts are aligned with our true goals. Although this sounds simple, and self-evident, sadly many people go through life without even being aware of their true nature or what their goals are; it’s unsurprising such folk struggle to find satisfaction

This article presents a straightforward framework for discovering your goals and creating a roadmap for their realization.

The suggested mechanism consists of 9 components: (more…)

The Meaning of Dreams

Why do we dream?

Nobody really knows why we dream. Explanatory theories include the following: