Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hang on to your Belief Systems

Hang on to your Belief Systems. They are about to be Challenged! —By Grady Harp

Now and then along comes a book that opens our eyes to viewing the world from a completely new perspective, and after reading such a book, the way we react to events in our lives is altered—for the better. Such is the experience that happens to the reader fortunate enough to encounter GUILT WITH A TWIST: THE PROMETHEAN WAY by Dr. Lawrence H. Staples, a Jungian psychoanalyst who just happens to write very well indeed!

In Dr. Staples’ words: "We have to sin and incur guilt if we are to grow and reach our full potential." He goes on to explain that the message of this book "is inspired and informed by the myth of Prometheus. Myth tells us Prometheus stole fire from the gods and made it available for use by humans. He suffered for his sin. Zeus had him chained to a rock where an eagle pecked and tore daily at his liver. But human society would have suffered if he had not committed it. Thus, the life of Prometheus portrays a mythological model for guilt that is different from the conventional view. The Promethean model of guilt suggests the importance of sinning and incurring guilt in order to obtain needed—but forbidden things."

Staples explains how our conventional view of guilt keeps us 'good', providing a safe fence behind which we can function without the fear of doing bad things. But he quickly dismantles that belief by citing examples from not only mythical but also historical figures whose 'sins' resulted in changes that benefited society as a whole. His theory is that if we cannot sin and suffer guilt, we cannot fully develop our potential as human beings. Often, by taking the risk of sinning against conventional norms and incurring guilt we can become unique givers to the whole of society and potentially be the catalyst of great change, as in the case of Prometheus.

Though Dr. Staples' thoughts and ideas at first appear to be challenging, acceptance of thinking outside the box results in recognizing the potential that is in each of us: sin > guilt > change. As Staples summarizes it: "Life inevitably confronts us with the Promethean dilemma: Do we live our lives without fire and the heat and light it provides or do we sin, and subsequently incur guilt, in order to obtain for ourselves and for society those important changes and developments that we need?" While the content of this book demands the reader's full attention, the possibilities for changing not only ourselves, but also society, seem endless. —Grady Harp, April 08

In addition to the USA Today, WNBC, and, Grady Harp's reviews appear on Barnes & Noble, Soapadoo, Powells Books, and he is an Top Ten reviewer!!

Guilt with a Twist by Lawrence H. Staples —ISBN 097760764X
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