A ten step recipe to being happy, by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
1.When in doubt between “doing” and “not doing,” choose “doing”. If you’re wrong at least you’ll have the experience.
2. Listen to your intuition more than your reason. Words forge reality but they are not it.
3. Make some childish dream of yours come true. For example, if you wanted to play but were forced to become an adult before your time, save some 500 euros and go play them at a casino until you lose it. If you win, keep playing. If you keep winning, even if it’s millions, continue until you lose it all. It’s not about winning, but about playing with no end.
4. There is no greater relief than to start becoming what one is. Since childhood, we’re coerced into other people’s destinies. We are not in this world to pursue the dreams of our parents, but our own. If you’re a singer and not an attorney like your father, abandon your law career and record your album.
5. Stop criticizing your body right now. Accept it as it is without concerning yourself with the stares of others. You’re not loved because you’re beautiful. You’re beautiful because you’re loved.
6. Once a week, teach others the little or lot that you know. What you give to them, you give to yourself. What you don’t give to them, you take away from yourself.
7. Every day, look for a positive story in the newspaper. It’s difficult to find one. But, amid all the atrocities, somehow, there always is one. A new species of bird was discovered; comets transport life; a boy who fell from the top of a five story building landed unharmed; the daughter of a president intent on drowning herself was saved by a laborer with whom she fell in love and married; young Chilean poets bombarded the palace of La Moneda where Allende was assassinated with 300,000 poems from a helicopter; etc.
8. If your parents abused you when you were a child, calmly confront them in a neutral place that is not their territory, developing four aspects:
This is what they did to me.
This is what I felt.
This is what, because of that, I now suffer.
And this is the reparation that I ask. Forgiveness without reparation has no use.
9. Even if you have a large family, assign yourself a personal territory where no one may enter without your permission.
10. Stop defining yourself: allow yourself every possibility that could be, and change paths as often as necessary.
# Failing does not exist. With each failure, we change paths. To arrive at what you are, you must go through what you are not. The greatest happiness is to become what you are. In every sickness there is: A prohibition: You are prohibited from being what you are.
# A lack of consciousness: When you don’t realize what you are.
# A lack of beauty: When you lose beauty, you become ill.
“The normal adjustment of the average, common-sense, well-adjusted man implies a continued successful rejection of much of the depths of human nature.”
At first the hero slumbers unreflectively within the conventions of society like the rest of us. To a large extent, the culture’s conventional beliefs are accepted as reality, its morals deemed appropriate, its limits seen as natural. This is the developmental stage of conventionality, where most of us languish unquestioningly throughout our lives.
Conventionality is an essential stage on life’s journey, but it can be a stopping point or a stepping-stone. Since our culture rarely recognizes further possibilities, most people settle here and die here. But if there is on which ‘Master Game’ players agree, it is that through conventionality may be a necessary stage of life, it is definitely not the highest.
In fact, the conventional way of being and state of mind are considered as suboptimal, clouded, and inauthentic. In Asia, this clouded state is described as maya, illusion, or like a dream. In the West, existentialists describe it as automation conformity, everydayness, or inauthenticity, while psychologists label it as a shared hypnosis, a collective trance, or “the psychopathology of the average.” Whatever its name, the painful implication is that most of us sleepwalk through life, ignorant of our potentials, and unaware of our trance because we are born into it, we all share it, and because we live in the biggest cult of all: cult-ture.
The hero’s task is to go beyond these conventional limitations. This task involves more than simply reacting against social norms in blind countercultural defiance. Rather, it requires facing the inner fears and outer social sanctions that constrain and cripple our capacities, growing beyond conventional developmental stages, and realizing the fullness of our potential. This requires recognizing and awakening from the collective trance that is the source and sustainer of conventional beliefs and limits. Only in this way can the hero effectively help others to awaken.
One aspect of this awakening is “detribalization.” This is the process by which a person matures from a limited tribal perspective to a more universal one. Such a person no longer wholly looks at life through his or her limiting and distorting biases, but rather begins to recognize, question, and correct them. In fact, this correction of cultural biases is one of the hero’s great gifts. However, before this can succeed, many other tasks must be accomplished, and the first of these is to respond to “the call.”
Continued in Part.2