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Stan Grof on Overcoming Inadequacy

December 26, 2016

Excerpted from Beyond the Brain, by Stan Grof:

From the viewpiont of observations from deep experiential therapy, determined striving for external goals and the pursuit of success in the world are of little value in overcoming the feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, no matter what the actual outcome of these endeavors turns out to be.  The feelings of inferiority cannot be resolved by mobilizing one’s forces to overcomepensate for them, but by confronting them experientially and surrendering to them.  They are then consumed in the process of ego death and rebirth, and a new self-image emerges from the awareness of one’s cosmic identity.  True courage lies in the willingness to undergo this awesome process of self-confrontation, not in a heroic pursuit of external goals.  Unless the individual succeeds in finding his or her true identity within, any attempts to give meaning to life by manipulating the outside world and external achievement will be a futile and ultimately self-defeating, quixotic crusade.

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