Why is it that one person can deal with stress in a healthy way, while another person, under the same identical pressure, gets ulcers? According to the author, there is one particular reaction to stress that causes many destructive psychological and physiological changes.
Q: You say that there is one emotion that poisons and perverts all human feeling and thought, which affects one's health, and destroys one's family, business, and relationships?
A: Yes, but strictly speaking, it is not even an emotion. The identity of this response is resentment. Once you begin to respond resentfully to any form of intimidation, all happiness, health, wealth, and wisdom are lost. This common condition can set in immediately through a severe trauma, or it can grow up in you gradually over many years of accumulated aggravation.
Q: But surely it is "only human" to get upset. Isn't it true that if you never got angry, people would walk over you?
A: I'm not referring to anger, pure and simple. The weakness I'm specifically focusing on is resentment. The word resentment comes from Latin roots that mean, literally, "to feel again." It implies a re-experiencing of previous anger. This pent-up rage makes us lose control so that we become violent, to the point that we do and say things for which we are sorry later when we regain our composure.
The Bible describes a healthy anger: "Be angry, but sin not." The "sin" referred to is our responding to provocation with resentment, which is the root of hatred.
Now something strange but undeniable happens when we resent. Besides finding ourselves saddled with great conflict, we find within us something of the identity of the person we resent! We can't stop thinking about the person we resent. We actually start agreeing with their ideas; we can't say no to them. The adversary unconsciously or consciously wants us to resent him, because he senses that this will separate us from our own common sense and enlightened reason. And unless we are upset away from our own calm center of dignity, he or she would be unable to dominate us or plant suggestions in our mind. When we are upset, we have no power to resist suggestion.
Q: But sometimes it seems one has to "be upset" in order to resist people, isn't that true?
A: Don't be deceived. If human beings were just animals through and through, you would be correct, because that is how animals function. But are we totally animal? Isn't part of you spiritual? Whereas animals grow and evolve by responding with fight or flight to their environment, each human being also has an inner "environment" as well. And as we go through life, each individual becomes more and more answerable, obedient, and subject to either the inner or the outer.
Q: What is this inner and outer you speak of?
A: If we are spiritual, we have an inner man or woman within the shell of our animal selves that “evolves” by the way it responds or does not respond—with resentment—to "stress," or more correctly, temptation. I am referring to evil lurking behind the everyday cruel, willful pressures of people who hate innocence and want to project their cruelty into us.
Q: Do you mean to say there are people who want to dehumanize us and change us into compulsive animals?
A: It's not so much the people, as what is acting through them. Can't you see this for yourself? Can't you see how the adversary operates through its victims by making them objects of hate? As I said, when you hate them, you are separated from common sense and enlightened reason; you fall from grace. Through resentment you are separated from true love, as evil pene¬trates your soul.
When the adversary was outside, say, in a parent, it tricked you into resenting it. But as soon as you realize that it has gotten inside you, you begin to resent it there too. You get mad at yourself—you hate yourself—but that newly-implanted "self" gets its power from intimidating you the way it did when it was an external adversary.
Q: Are you saying that resentment causes us to develop a different iden¬tity than that which we had at birth?
A: Exactly. The order is as follows: Someone is horribly cruel to you—perhaps you are molested as a child. You become resentful as a result, and bingo—you are penetrated by the identity and pridefulness of your corrupter. This causes a sensual nature to be awakened in you, and before you know it, you are full of troubles, compulsions, vices, and excuses.
Q: Are you saying that if you could locate and give up this resentment you could be angry in a right way?
A: You heard it right. Resentment is not anger in its purest sense. Resentment is hate. Animals do not hate. Hate is a spiritual quality and choice. You can choose not to hate—and that is the power of love. By the way, true love is not a feeling, either.
Q: Now you're going too far! How can such a powerful emotion as love not be a feeling? That doesn't make any sense.
A: Well, surely all humans need love, but have you ever questioned your own kind of love?
Q: You're saying there's more than one kind of love, that there's a sort of love that feels like love, but isn't?
A: Think of it this way: Have you ever been in love, and then been betrayed by that lover? Of course you have; who hasn't? We have all had some experience with passionate, fulfilling—but very treacherous—"love." And what, may I ask, is your reaction to the betraying love?
A: Right! And what happens to our psyche when we feel this "love" taken away? We sense that the spiritual part of us is now closed off by hating our brother or sister. We also discover that our falling to resentment has actually increased our animal appetites. Remember, hate separates a person from true love and makes them need "love" from the outside, to fill the inner empti-ness caused by resenting. But our new love object inevitably becomes a hate object, because we have unknowingly become addicted to hate. Again and again the hate object tricks us into resenting it.
A woman who resents her father will find herself sexually attracted to men just like the dad she hated as a child. That love will be, to say the least, frustrating, and is guaranteed to lead back to resentment. The poor woman is confused, because of her hate, about what love really is, and from whence it might be derived. Truly, men take advantage of this.
Man's ego is weak for this false loving, and is further weakened by indulging in this false loving. And what does the woman behold after having falsely loved? What else, but the very weakness she fell to hating in her father as a child. Therefore, her resentment continues to confound her about loving and being loved.
So resentment deadens us, and literally separates us from God's love. His love is true life; but when we hate, we are separated from dispassionate, spiritual love and fulfillment, and being lost, go off looking for life and "love" through feelings.
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As we die spiritually, we make our deadness "alive" through emotions—both feelings of hate and feelings of love. As a matter of fact, the more resentment we can feel, the more we increase our cravings for sex, food, and other appetites. The pride which en-tered us when we fell to hating—the false identity which has made a home in us—compels us to lose ourselves in false loves and false pleasures.
So you see, you are fulfilling the beast.
There is a scripture that says, "The love of the world is an enmity with God." That is why we must "resent not evil," so that we can realize true love and so overcome evil with good.
[A special form of emotional self-control is the key to relating properly to yourself and to the world. Your very life depends on your responding in a right way to what is wrong with you, so that it cannot get or remain inside and rip you apart. To put up an invisible, impenetrable force shield of calm patience around you, you must learn to deal properly, without resentment, to pressures of any kind, whether from within or without. The audio exercises on my new credit-card-sized Cure Stress Device audio player show you how to do this and help you practice remaining in the proper state. To get your own Cure Stress Device, CLICK HERE, ]
Listen to Roy Masters LIVE call in radio show Monday to Friday from 9 PM to 11 PM Pacific on KDWN Radio in Las Vegas, NV.
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Roy Masters who in his 80s continues to broadcast the longest-running counseling show in talk radio history, his internationally syndicated daily radio program Advice Line, grew up in pre-WWII England. He started his journey toward understanding human nature when as a teen he saw a stage hypnotist at a vaudeville show in Brighton. The hypnotist easily put volunteer subjects in a spell and made them do outlandish things, like dancing with a broom and forgetting their own names.
Puzzled by the hypnotist's mysterious power, Roy distinctly remembers pondering the question: "Why can't hypnotism be used to make people act sensibly, rather than foolishly?" Inspired by the idea of harnessing this baffling force for good, he later pursued the art of hypnotism and established a successful hypnotherapy practice.
After several years of practice, Masters made his central and pivotal discovery about the root of people's emotional problems, addictions and complexes. He realized that people did not need hypnosis, because their core problem was that they are already hypnotized not by a clever stage performer, but by the stresses, pressures and seductions of daily life.
He used his knowledge to discover a way to help us become de-hypnotized, and discovered that the root of the power of negative suggestion lay in our wrong emotional response, that of resentment. Masters' remarkably effective exercise, a simple observation technique called Be Still and Know is at the core of his unmatched track record in helping people overcome even the most serious mental-emotional problems, and is the centerpiece of a successful program within the U.S. military community (Patriot Outreach) that is helping thousands of military personnel and their families cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).