Caroline Myss: I live in the surreal world you’re living in too

This video is a very long Caroline Myss lecture. This first one is pretty amazing. Her brother is subjected to psychiatric abuse. The whole lecture is 11 videos. She has a hard-core philosophy and as usual I understand her with my ability to translate people’s various “spiritual language” into my own understanding of my experience. I don’t need to believe all the words she uses precisely to hear the truth in them.

In any case, this story of her brother in this first video is exciting to me, because she has gotten the chance to see what happens to us survivors close up and personal in her brother. He was psychiatrically abused. Intensely.  Watch all 11 videos if you’re moved to. The beginning of this video is a long intro which I skipped because I already know a lot about Caroline Myss. So do as you need to.

I just discovered that this video does not allow embedding so you need to click on it twice and go to youtube to watch it.

If you watch the next 10 videos I warn you she may offend. See if you can bare with her. It’s some really meaty stuff to think about even if you don’t agree with everything. I like that she makes me feel uncomfortable. She gets right up in our faces. She makes me squirm. And I love her though I often have to take her in small bits and I don’t accept all she says.

How’s this for an awesome quote in video 6:

The unforgiving are the reason there is war. Now I don’t care what level it’s at but if you have a bitter heart at the micro you have a bitter heart at the macro…

Forgiveness is the first mystical act. Without forgiveness a real healing cannot happen.

From video 9:

This is a work in progress: next year I may add or subtract from this. (what she is talking about in the lecture…she is still learning as are all of us!)

I’ve been sorta live blogging as I watch these videos. I watched the whole thing now which I hadn’t when I first posted this. It’s really great and I loved it.

To get to the next videos click on this video after you’re done and find them on the youtube page you get to by clicking on this video.

39 thoughts on “Caroline Myss: I live in the surreal world you’re living in too

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  1. Gianna,

    Another powerful video! When I first encountered her several years ago her message did not resonate with me. I actually felt intimidated by her. Now I am in a completely different place and her message really resonates most of the time. She does go places that I don’t agree with but that is okay. By learning what we do not believe of what someone says, we more fully understand what we do believe.

    I have not watched all of the videos yet but will do so later today. I can say that for me forgiveness was a huge part of my healing. However, I had to do it when the time was right for me and not before. Also, it had nothing to do with calling up my abusers and telling them they were forgiven. It was an act that I did inside my own heart for my own healing. That said, I more and more try to act in a live and let live way. We are all so different and our experiences are so different that what works for one may not work at all for another. That is perfectly okay!

    Thanks for sharing the videos and I will let you know when I have viewed the remaining ones.

    All my best,
    Tamara

    Like

  2. “I’m totally with Alice Miller, who says, the only ones this sort of forgiveness makes feel better are your abusers”
    Boy am I w/ya on that sentiment Marian!
    Also very well said Daniel M…

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  3. I think, it’s not different with forgiveness than it is with so many other things: you have to forgive yourself (i.e. break that vicious victim-persecutor-rescuer circle – I know, it’s a triangle, but well… ), before you can forgive others. – Says I, who just had a lengthy discussion with some arch-phenomenologist, who thinks the whole “you have/need to (forgive/understand/whatever) yourself, before you can ( … ) others”-thing is bs. Lost in thought…

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  4. i may be wrong, but it felt to me that she was speaking a lot in the command form, ordering others on how to go about their healing processes.

    it’s a common problem among those who think they’ve healed or found the way…that it should be the same for everyone…when it just simply is not.

    there are a myriad of ways to heal.

    but again, I love hearing others experiences even if they’re only part of the picture they are often pieces of the puzzle for me….

    spoken by someone who is still putting multiple puzzle pieces in place!!

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  5. Hi all,
    it’s fun to join in here—glad to hear what others are saying. I agree, pushing forgiveness on people ultimately just suits the purposes of the abuser.

    but a key point for me in my own healing (and in watching the healing of others) is that forgiveness also placates the part of ME that has become just like my abusers, and has actually swallowed up their abuse inside of me and victimizes the best part of ME!

    it’s actually very painful not to forgive, because it brings up so much of my pain and rage, but it’s so necessary for my healing process. it’s the kind of pain i welcome and cherish. NOTHING that i want to experience for the rest of my life, that’s for sure, but pain that i honor as necessary. the pain of coughing up the poison.

    i have been pathologized a LOT for my healing process, for its intensity, and often by people who remind me in certain aspects of caroline myss. in my experience they are people who have “cashed in their chips” on their own healing processes, may have done some EXCELLENT work in the past, but gave up and instead became gurus.

    i may be wrong, but it felt to me that she was speaking a lot in the command form, ordering others on how to go about their healing processes. that never works well with me. and when others command i usually take it as a sign of their own unacknowledged lack of healing. (and also their own acting out of how they were talked down to as children by those in power…treated like objects…)

    i’m enjoying this blog. thanks gianna.
    -daniel

    Like

  6. oh…that last comment was a response to Marian up above in the thread that starts with Daniel…the way these threads work now is weird…

    I expected it to be under Marian’s comment…

    I might go back to the old way the comments were set up.

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  7. I don’t have a developed philosophy about forgiveness, but tonight at midnight (EST) I’m posting a piece about the evolution of my anger and rage and some sort of experience of healing I’ve gone through recently..

    lately, with the culmination of my virtual but public “confrontation” with my old abuser I’ve shed the poisonous anger—that which was hurting ME.

    I suppose this contains forgiveness…but I don’t even know. I don’t hate any of them anymore. None of the people who hurt me. The rage, resentment, is gone…so I suppose I have forgiven…but it’s healed me…not them.

    this is so brand new I don’t know how to articulate what I’m experiencing, but tonight at midnight you can see my first attempt of articulating what appears to be some sort of evolution and it has nothing to do with denial, dissociation or forgetting what happened.

    It does not let anyone off the hook and as Duane says it does not ignore justice.

    there will be more to say in the future as it is more deeply integrated.

    Like

    1. Gianna, I don’t say forgiveness as such is bs. Certainly not! But you can’t force it on anyone, and expect them to heal by doing so. Actually, if you tell someone, they’re “bad”, because they can’t/won’t forgive, is, once again, blaming these people themselves for their problems. For having been a victim, that is. It is, indeed, exactly what Neal did to you when he expected you to just forgive and forget. And maybe it was exactly because you said “no”, and stood up for yourself, while he had to accept it, because he no longer has any power over you, that you were able to forgive.

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      1. Gianna, I don’t say forgiveness as such is bs. Certainly not! But you can’t force it on anyone, and expect them to heal by doing so. Actually, if you tell someone, they’re “bad”, because they can’t/won’t forgive, is, once again, blaming these people themselves for their problems. For having been a victim, that is.

        yeah, absolutely, it sounds like you think I said something to suggest otherwise? I certainly didn’t mean to…I agree with you completely.

        there is no such thing as forced forgiveness…it’s impossible…

        I personally had a desire to forgive that I don’t impose on anyone else.

        and like I said, I don’t even know yet if that is what happened, but I’m guessing maybe…frankly I’m in the middle of a process that has me a bit off my guard! But I like it and it feels good.

        Like

  8. What is ‘perfect’ but an assessment of the mind. Perfection is an illusion that holds us back. At your essence you are pure beauty, pure joy.

    I gave up being perfect long ago and now I am free. We have a dark side and until that is incorporated into the light, light cannot ‘win’. When darkness is integrated into the light you get more light.

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  9. love this conversation,
    thanks for adding to it Christine…

    I agree she has a message for certain people at certain times.

    And for me she works SOME of the time. I also need love and tenderness and gentleness even as I get something from her sledge hammer style…I have many teachers.

    No one is perfect….we learn from our abusers too…I try to see the everyone who enters my world as a teacher….those people who hurt me too.

    My therapist is incredibly loving and nurturing and validating.

    anyway….agian, so glad this conversation has taken twists and turns…

    Like

  10. Many years ago Caroline Myss fed my soul. However at this point in my life I no longer need a bull dozer running over me. I have done a lot of healing and a gentle tug is all I need now. So I won’t even watch nor read her books. But there are a lot of people who live in denial and she is the perfect Obi Wan Kenobi to cut through their crap.

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  11. But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).

    Like

  12. i watched a few of the segments—including the one on forgiveness—and i had a mixed reaction. overall it’s a negative reaction. i felt she was a cold, hard woman, quite arrogant, and NOT emotionally healthy, but very grandiose about her healthiness. she reminded me of a more intelligent and sophisticated and scientific sylvia browne—gearing a similar sort of attitude and vibe at a higher-end audience.

    i like her perspective on psych meds, though—of course! she sees the insanity there.

    but much of her point of view—when you strip away the trappings of her personality—just doesn’t do it for me. i disagree with a lot of it. for instance, her forgiveness stuff—i didn’t agree with that. i’m not at all pro-forgiveness. to me forgiveness is nothing to discuss, because it’s just a consequence of healing. sure, it’s nicer to forgive, but when these people advocate forgiveness as a tool for healing oneself and for healing the world, i completely disagree. i think she’s talking about a dissociated forgivess, premature forgiveness. in my opinion it’s not lack of forgiveness that’s killing the world and causing war, it’s unresolved trauma—which people are acting out all over the place. when people really heal the trauma, and all the horror around that, the forgiveness comes naturally. so i feel she’s putting the cart WAY before the bull, and that sets people up to heal in a totally backward way, which is very damaging, and not long-lasting.

    i did not feel she radiated peace, but instead tightness and anger. i felt she was a very angry person, and yet not even in touch with it…

    sorry if this comes across as ultra-harsh, but i just wanted to be honest with you. also, in fairness, i might be jumping to some conclusions about her POV because i only watched like 25 minutes of her talk—so this is an initial impression.

    curious to know what you think of this—

    Like

    1. I think it’s all fair…she elicits all the same reactions in me…BUT I do think she has compassion and I’ve read a lot of her work. She has a tough exterior and doesn’t take into consideration EVERYTHING, ALL POSSIBLE lived experience…I am NOT where she is and I have to do shit that she would call pathetic or wounded etc IN ORDER TO HEAL…but I do think there is a time and a place for her message…

      I don’ think she’s angry. but she is passionate…anyway…I don’t really care…she helps me understand myself and my experience, I don’t swallow anything anyone says whole.

      she also frightens me and I wouldn’t want to meet her in my delicate condition—but some day I’d like to take her on head to head!! how’s that for a healing fantasy!!

      I simply don’t see things black and white…she is totally right on and she also misses it simultaneously because she is only working from her limited personal experience as we all are…

      Like

    2. Daniel,

      I agree with your assessment of her character and what you said about forgiveness. You hit the nail on the head.

      Like

    3. The forgiveness-thing was where she really lost me, too.

      In my world there are two kinds of forgiveness. The one, she seems to promote, and that many therapists also do promote: “Oh, you must forgive! Otherwise you’ll never heal!” Bs. In regard to that, I’m totally with Alice Miller, who says, the only ones this sort of forgiveness makes feel better are your abusers.

      I think, I’ve told this before, but when my therapist said, that she, “under these circumstances”, didn’t expect me to ever be willing or able to forgive, that was one huge relief. Because it was the recognition of my experience, that I’d never got before, and that I needed in order to be able to accept – and, eventually, much later, start to forgive. And that then, the forgiveness that, via recognition and acceptance, comes out of healing, is the other – and in my opinion only true – kind of forgiveness.

      Like

      1. Marian—test—repeat comment

        I don’t have a developed philosophy about forgiveness, but tonight at midnight (EST) I’m posting a piece about the evolution of my anger and rage and some sort of experience of healing I’ve gone through recently..

        lately, with the culmination of my virtual but public “confrontation” with my old abuser I’ve shed the poisonous anger—that which was hurting ME.

        I suppose this contains forgiveness…but I don’t even know. I don’t hate any of them anymore. None of the people who hurt me. The rage, resentment, is gone…so I suppose I have forgiven…but it’s healed me…not them.

        this is so brand new I don’t know how to articulate what I’m experiencing, but tonight at midnight you can see my first attempt of articulating what appears to be some sort of evolution and it has nothing to do with denial, dissociation or forgetting what happened.

        It does not let anyone off the hook and as Duane says it does not ignore justice.

        there will be more to say in the future as it is more deeply integrated.

        Like

    4. Her body language suggests, to me, that she’s had some pretty rigorous coaching as a speaker, not that she’s a cold person.

      Whether forgiveness is a consequence of healing, or a prerequisite to it, is an interesting question, and one I hadn’t really thought about until you pointed it out.

      I like her unapologetic posture, although I realize it won’t appeal to everyone.

      Like

  13. oh…okay, I must have looked at the wrong one…there must be more than one at the Omega with her wearing the same clothes…thank you!!

    I’m glad I can watch more of her stuff later too…I’ve been to that website before and last time the downloading wasn’t working…but it is now.

    Like

  14. I checked out, compared: it’s the same talk. But there are several talks available on her site, and you have to scroll down to “Keynote Address Being Fearless – April 2008” in the menue to the left. Fifth from top. That’s it.

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  15. Marian, that’s actually not the same talk! it’s a different one…she’s wearing the same clothes but and it’s at the Omega institute but its not the same talk…but yeah, go watch more of her stuff there if you guys like…

    BUT if you want to know what I’m talking about here you gotta watch it on youtube.

    Like

  16. Gianna,

    Either this video caught me at the wrong time…or maybe, just the “right time”…..

    I know my response was not in keeping with a spiritual dialogue per say.

    From and appreciation for the ‘mysterious’ to an appreciation for justice….all from one video….

    Maybe the timing was “just-right”….
    Thanks for posting it.

    Duane

    Like

  17. Gianna,

    My wife and I attended several lectures and weekend seminars, etc by a very good priest in Texas over the years. His name was Fr. Gayle White, and he devoted the last several years of his life to the topic of ‘Forgiveness’.

    We read a lot of his books, and always enjoyed his talks – He was down-to-earth, but a well-educated, and deeply spiritual man….

    At one overnight retreat in the woods, we woke up to hear one of his seminars….”You can forgive someone, and take them to court at the same time”….I thought these were strange words at first, but listened pretty intently, and much of what he had to say began to make perfect sense….

    When I hear her describe what happened with her brother, and when I hear the many stories along the way, I’m reminded of his words…..

    Yes, we live a a mysterious (I prefer mysterious to mystical) world….I learned the teachings of the Christ at a very young age, and I remember hearing of his compassion, but remember other times when he was just – standing between the prostitute and those ready to throw stones, and the time he tossed around the tables in the temple – those of the money-lenders…..

    He spent his life teaching in parables….Wanting others to understand this “God” that Caroline Myss speaks of….In fact, it appeared to be his mission in life – to help others remember to focus on the spiritual part of our experience….not to get caught up in the material world….

    At the same time, I think his teachings leave plenty of room for justice….As I mentioned in a comment a few days ago – true peace comes through justice….

    Rambling a bit, but my point is this – I want to be able to forgive the doctors who continue to cause this kind of pain and injury (the kind her brother underwent), and I want to see them go to jail – Both.

    And, I think it’s quite possible to do both.

    We have a moral obligation to seek peace – through justice. True peace comes this way, and we can forgive, while making the world a better place for the next generation – a safer place….a kinder, more loving place.

    Duane

    Like

  18. There is a culture of sickness and there are a lot of people in love with being sick, who could not imagine living one day without feeling fresh pain from their wounds or being disabled. They depend on their illness as mis-identification of self That license pretty much means they never have to grow up, take responsibility or make real lasting healing.

    yup, you got it baby!

    Like

  19. I am not going to comment on every vid of hers in this segment but something very specific resonated with me.

    Her experience of correctly interpreting the molested woman’s actions as a power game. Using her injury to control others.

    I had several meditation experiences and some help from some teachers that enabled me to see how I flaggelated myself with my ptsd past and used my righteious chip on my shoulder to be permanently angry and distrustful of everyone. I caught myself using my own wounds as crutch and an excuse.

    Then once I got past that, I saw other people doing it too, clear as crystal. When I called them on I got the same judgment, “You are insensitive”. That’s what you get for calling a spade a spade to someone who is wounded. It’s your fault, not theirs.

    You see that in the comments on YT or on blogs or amazon reviews of bipolar memoirs, the victim can’t be blamed for their bipolar, it’s all bipolar’s fault and on and on.

    There is a culture of sickness and there are a lot of people in love with being sick, who could not imagine living one day without feeling fresh pain from their wounds or being disabled. They depend on their illness as mis-identification of self That license pretty much means they never have to grow up, take responsibility or make real lasting healing.

    I am looking forward to her other vids, I like her 🙂

    Like

  20. yes, Jane, I hope you’ll watch the whole thing…she’s a total fireball…and I don’t know what I believe but I learn from her and so many other “spiritual” people.

    Like

  21. I just watched the first one. She is a fireball. I agree with her although I am an atheist. I do believe in spiritual consciousness and within that framework, everything she says makes perfect sense.

    The asking for an autograph part,

    /facepalm

    Like

  22. I’m actually adding to this post as I listen to the whole lecture…so visit back if you want too…I should have listened to all of them before posting, but I didn’t know if I was going to listen to the whole thing and I wanted to get something posted tonight…

    it’s a damn good lecture, but I won’t be at all offended if anyone does not like it!

    Like

  23. You are right the first 6 minutes are just intro…but the image of her brother’s wife and herself taking the drugs in a paper bag and throwing them on the floor….I really like that.

    That psych-doc…so clueless.

    That brother is lucky to have her for a sister and his wife seems with it too.

    Like

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