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November 14, 2005

Neurotic Idealism and Unhappiness

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. --- Some human beings are idealistic. They use their thinking and imagination to conceive how the things they see in the empirical world ought to become. Perceiving an imperfect world, idealists use their thinking, aka minds, to imagine how it ought to become perfect. They invent perfections and ideals in their minds. In fact, their minds are always inventing ideals: how things ought to become perfect.

They carry their idealistic tendency to human beings. They perceive imperfect human beings and use their thinking and imagination to visualize how human beings and their social institutions ought to become more perfect.

Having invented ideals and perfections in their thinking, ideas of how people and society ought to become, they use those imaginary ideal standards to judge real people. They juxtapose real human beings, imperfect creatures, to imaginary perfect human beings and perfect behaviors and necessarily see the difference.

They perceive the difference between ideals and reality and feel disappointed and frustrated. Idealists generally are sad people, for nothing in the imperfect real world ever meets their ideals. They are perpetually dissatisfied persons.

The goalpost of what is ideal is always shifting; as you think that you have met an ideal standard, its goalpost is extended and you start struggling all over again to meet the next ideal and as you meet it, it shifts, ad infinitum. Idealism is shifting quicksand and can never be met.

Plato’s ideal state, apparently, is only ideational and not attainable in the empirical world? Not to worry for some observers argue that there is an ideal perfect state in the spirit world, the world created by God. As these persons see it, our human tendency to seek ideals is motivated by our desire to replicate the ideal spiritual state in the material universe. One assumes that this is a conjecture for one is not aware that Plato’s archetype exists in the spiritual world or not. For our present purposes, idealism is ideational and not an empirical proposition.

Apparently, aware of the impossibility of attaining imaginary ideals, normal persons don’t even bother seeking ideals; they accept imperfect reality, imperfect human beings and imperfect social institutions and work with them as they are. Social realists do not quest after neurotic, that is, unrealistic idealism.

The neurotic is a person who uses his thinking/mind to invent ideals: ideal self, ideal other people, ideal institutions and ideal everything he sees in the empirical world and aspires to making them real. He cannot make them real, for reality is not fantasy. In the meantime, the neurotic feels anxious because he is hoping to attain his ideal self and fears that he is not going to become that ideal self.

The perpetual fear of not becoming his ideal self is called neurotic anxiety by Karen Horney (See Neurosis and Human Growth, 2002). Alfred Adler, in his seminal book, the Neurotic Constitution, argues in the same vein as Horney. As he sees it, the neurotic to be child feels inferior, perhaps due to inherited genetic disorders, inferior organs and or adverse social conditions or a combination of both. The child subsequently rejects his real self and posits a superior self and wants to become the superior self. In fact, the neurotic sometimes acts as if he is his desired superior self when he is not it. The neurotic child sometimes tells lies to other people, lies about him, lies that make him seem all important, powerful and outstanding when in fact he is not so. He tells lies in a misguided effort to live up to the demands of his wished for superior, perfect and ideal self concept/self image.

The superior self is mental and not real. The real self is rooted in the individual’s body and, as such, must be weak and imperfect. The imaginary self is conceptual and imagery and is in the individual’s thinking/mind and can be made perfect by merely wishing that it be so. Wishes are not reality. The laws of matter and energy prevent all things in material form from being as the mind wishes them to be. For example, you may wish to fly, but the fact is that you cannot fly unless you grow wings. And even then, there are limitations to your flying. Matter and energy, body, imposes limits on human beings behaviors.

As both Adler and Horney sees it, the neurotic must give up questing for an ideal, superior self, ideal other people and ideal society and ideal anything, and accept the imperfect self, imperfect other people and imperfect social institutions as they are. If the neurotic accepts imperfect reality, as it is, not as he wants it to become, and does not compare it to imaginary external ideals, then he does not feel neurotic anxiety. He subsequently lives in peace, he lives with what is, reality as it is, not what his neurosis wants to become reality. He stops trying to remake himself, other people and society into his fantasy of how they ought to be.


Neurosis is playing God; it is effort to be God like and reinvent the self and reinvent reality. The neurotic wants to be the creator and author of himself, other people and reality. He wants to create himself, create other people, create social institutions and create everything. He wants to change reality into his ideas of what it ought to become. If he were to succeed, he would have become God: the creator of reality.

Of course, the neurotic is not God and is not going to change himself, other people and reality into ideal and perfect forms. Indeed, he cannot even change a piece of hair on his own body, what more change him.

The neurotic has an obsessive-compulsive desire to change himself and change the world. As it were, an inner pressure, a force he finds irresistible urges him to reject the real, to reject his real self, to reject other people’s real selves and reject the real world and replace them with his own versions of them. The ideal self, ideal other people and ideal world that the neurotic invents is a replacement self/world, a substitution of the self/world the neurotic made for the imperfect self the universe made him/world to be.

In his thinking, mind, the neurotic is forever constructing ideal selves and ideal everything and using those purely ideational ideals to judge himself and those around him and finding them not good enough. He is always pointing out his and other people’s faults Vis a Vis his ideal self for them.

The neurotic person invents an ideal superior self and attempts to talk and live from that false self. Instead of speaking and living from his normal imperfect self, he identifies with a false superior, perfect self and talks and attempts to live from the perspective of that false ideal self, hence comes across as a phony. Moreover, whatever he says, his moralisms and ideals are not going to happen in the real world for they are separated from reality. People tend to tune him and what he says out as unrealistic and immature.

The neurotic so identifies with his elevated and all powerful, superior self that he finds it difficult to pray to God. He feels denigrated to bow down to God and pray to him. Why? Because he is in competition with God and imagines himself as powerful, if not more powerful than God. He feels humiliated praying to God.

That is probably why most religions of the world ask people to kneel to God and worship him. They so not because God is narcissistic and vain glory seeking and desires people’s praises but because praying to him and submitting their will to his will shrinks their swollen neurotic and sometimes psychotic egos. Even normal persons are a bit neurotic, that is, they have swollen false egos; neurosis exists in degrees in all people.

According to Helen Schucman, in her book, A Course in Miracles, God created the world and gave all of it to his children. Before they ask for anything, God has already given it to them. God has granted the requests of his children’s prayers before they make them. But to receive the answers already given by God, one must do what God requires of one: one must accept God as ones father, as ones creator; one must see ones self as the same and equal with all God’s creation, other people; one must stop the insanity of trying to create ones self, create other people and create the world. One must stop trying to be God, for there can be only one God in the universe.

Finally, one must overlook the world one invented to replace the world God created. That is, one must forgive the world, see pass the empirical world to behold the real self and real world that God created. The real self and real world is not in body, for bodily self and its world is the self and world we made to replace the nonmaterial spiritual unified self God created us as, the Christ self.

The neurotic, that is, the mad person, which is all of us, in degrees, has one goal and one goal only, to kill God and usurp his creatorship throne. He wants to murder God and replace him as God the creator and proceed to create himself, create other people and create the world and its institutions. This is the wish of the son to kill his father and replace him as his own father and father of other people, the author of reality.

The neurotic finds it very difficult to respect other people. He perceives respect for other persons as personal humiliation, and he does not want to be humiliated by other persons. For example, he finds it very difficult to say sir to another man or mam to a woman. He sees saying so as a sign of weakness and inferiority and acceptance of other people’s superiority over him. Instead, he would rather look down on people and only point out the bad they do. In showing people’s imperfections he hopes to show that they are not ideal and are inferior to him, inferior to his ideal self, that is, not to his real self, for his real self is the same and coequal with all people, imperfect.


The neurotic makes those around him, in fact, all people unhappy by always reminding them of how imperfect they are, vis-a-vis his perfect mental ideal constructs. He is generally perceived by other people as a killjoy, and he is a killjoy. He lives a miserable life. Since misery loves company, he seeks out the company of other people and makes them miserable by always comparing them to his false, ideal standards of how they and the world ought to become.

The joyful person accepts himself and the world as they are, imperfect, and lives with them and does not aspire after impossible ideal states.

The normal person accepts himself as he is, imperfect, accepts other people as they are, imperfect, and accepts social institutions as they are, imperfect, and lives with them as they are, not as he would like them to become. He is not aspiring after imaginary perfections of his own making. He is not playing God and inventing ideals and perfections and trying to use them to replace reality. He accepts his inherent imperfection and powerlessness. He accepts that he does not have the power to change himself, change other people or change reality because he is not God; he is a weak human being.

Because the normal person accepts imperfect reality, as it is, and coexists with it, he is generally at peace with his imperfect self, imperfect other people and imperfect world. Put differently, the normal person is at home in an imperfect world.

The scientist is a normal person. He accepts the real world, as it is, and tries to understand it on its own terms and adapt to it as it is, not as he wants it to become. The scientist studies the imperfect world we live in, understands the laws of matter and energy and uses them to devise technologies that enable him more effectively adapt to the world. He is not out to change people and their world. The scientist is not motivated to change people and make them perfect. He just wants to understand people as they are (psychology, studies people as they are, imperfect, and does not want to make them perfect; only moralistic religion, which is of the ego, wants to make people perfect) and understand the physical world, as it is (physics, chemistry and biology) and coexist with them.

The scientist, physical or psychological scientist, is not motivated by neurotic idealism to seek perfect people and perfect morality. He accepts imperfect morality with the understanding that imperfect man cannot have perfect morality.

Real human beings are motivated by desire to survive; therefore, they must place their self interests ahead of other people’s interests. Real human beings are selfish and self centered, as economists like Adam Smith and political realists like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and others tell us. The scientist, material and social scientist, accepts selfish human beings and works with them as they are, without any wishful efforts to make them over into socially centered, perfect angels.


The neurotic/psychotic is not at home in an imperfect world. He wants to change the imperfect world, himself and other people included, into his ideas of perfection. In the process, he is filled with anxiety, fear, depression and paranoia.

If you want to change your self, change other persons and change the world and its institutions, you have, in effect, hated and rejected your real self and hated and rejected other people’s real self.

Any time you want to change something into your wishes, you have attacked it. Because you have attacked what you want to change you must necessarily fear counter attack by those you wish to change, those you attacked. By hating, rejecting and wishing to change your real self and other people’s real selves you, you have attacked them and you expect counter attack from them. You expect your real self and other people’s real selves, the real son of God, Christ, to counter attack you. You therefore live in fear, hence you have paranoia.

Whoever attacks his real self and other people’s real selves has attacked the unified Son of God. God is in his children and his children are in him. Whoever attacks God’s children has attacked him.

You have attacked God by wishing to make yourself into who God did not create you as. God created you as unified with him and all people, and since only spirit can unify, as unified spirit.

You hated and rejected unified spirit and attacked it and made yourself into body and now seem to live in body, in separated, special state where you seem to have created yourself via inventing your false self concept, the ego. You have, in effect, attacked God and expect God to counter attack you, hence you fear God and run from him.


On earth, you live in guilt for what you did, changing yourself from unified spirit to separated, and special self living in body. All human beings live in Original Sin, the sin of changing themselves into what their creator did not create them as. God created them as unified spirit but they changed themselves, not in reality but in their imagination, in the dream, that is, this world, into separated, special selves housed in bodies.

When they renounce separation, and the specialness that spawned it, and return to union with God and all creation they are no longer guilty. They return to feeling sinless, guiltless and innocent and holy. They return to living in the grace of God where all their needs are met.

Their needs in spirit are not material, for spirit is not material. Their needs are spiritual needs, the need to be close to their father and their brethren, to be aware of their union with their father and brothers. On the other hand, on earth, their needs are material, for they live in matter, in body and body has material needs. God did not create them as material beings hence do not know anything about their material needs. Nevertheless, if they forgive and love one another, the God in them, the God in the temporal universe, the Holy Spirit, knowing that they think that they have material needs, although he knows that they really do not need them in their real self, in spirit, satisfy those needs. As long as we live on earth and have material needs, false needs, if we dedicate our lives to love and forgiveness and serving God and his children on earth, God tends to satisfy our earthly material needs. God, the Holy Spirit, that is, will give you all you need to live on earth with, to do his work of bringing the word of God, love and forgiveness, to all God’s children on earth.

To identify with the special, separated self, the ego, the false self, and to expect other people to be special egos, that is, to seem ideal and perfect, is to attack people and their creator. You must expect attack from those you attacked.

The neurotic who wants to change himself and change other people have attacked those he wants to change, and knows it, and expects them to attack him hence fears them. Thus the neurotic lives in constant fear.

The person who lives in constant fear is a paranoid person. Paranoid persons are persons who hated and reject their real selves, hate and reject other people’s real selves, hate and reject reality, that is, attack reality and want to replace it with an imaginary ideal reality, ideal selves.

The paranoid person attacks reality and want to become the author of reality, and since this means attacking other people and attacking people’s creator, the paranoid person is afraid that God and other people would counter attack him hence he lives with free floating fear at all times.

When you stop trying to change yourself, other people and reality, you have stopped attacking your reality, stopped attacking other people’s reality and stopped attacking reality itself and subsequently live in peace and joy.


An idealist is always judging other people with idealistic standards. What he is doing is attacking other people and they feel attacked by him and feel defensive towards him. He may not be consciously aware that he is attacking people. When you compare people to your self invented ideal standards and, or from that ideal standard criticize them, you are psychologically attacking them and inflicting pain on them. You are not a nice person, for a nice person does not inflict pain, physical or psychological, on people.

Actually, at the unconscious level, the neurotic knows what he is doing; he knows that he is attacking people, himself and other people, trying to change them into becoming his ideal concept and ideal image of what they should become. He knows that he is inflicting psychological pain on people and he expects them to do so to him hence he is afraid of people and he is paranoid.

It is a high stakes game the insane person, all of us, in degrees, is playing. The reason I am explaining this phenomenon is for you, a normal-neurotic person, to become conscious of what you are doing when you criticize people. I want you to know that you are attacking them and trying to kill them and make them over into your ego image of what they should become.

If you insist on ego idealism, you must, therefore, expect people to counter attack you, hence you must fear them and live in ego defenses; you must be paranoid.

To heal your neurosis and paranoia, you must give up all desire to change your self, change other people and change the world. You must give up all idealism and pursuit of perfection according to your view of it.

You must stop and ask to be shown who your real self is, who other people’s real selves are, and what the real world is.

You did not create your real self; you did not create other people’s real selves and the real world. God created your real self, other people’s real selves and the real world.

There is nothing you can do to change the real self and real world God created; it is not up to you to change your real self, other people’s real selves and the real world.

In fact, you need do nothing to be your real self. Your problem (that is, the neurotic’s problem) is that you think that it is up to you to do something to become a better self, a self according to your concept of perfection. It is not up to you to create your self or create other people, for you are not the creator of the universe, God is, and you are not God.

God is our creator, you are a created being. However, as an extension of God, who is like God, you are co-creative with God and all of us, but you create with the creative power of God in you, but never by your own power. By himself alone, the son of God can do nothing; he does all he does with his father’s creative power in him, his father’s gift to him. When he loves he creates positively, when he hates he uses the same God creative power in him to create negatively, he misuses the creative energy in him.

Actually, you need to undo the ego and the egos world you already did. The ego is your block to your awareness of your real self. The special, separated self, the ego is like a veil and shields you from the experience of your real self. The ego is darkness that prevents you from seeing the light of God in you.

As long as one identifies with the ego one would never sees the face of Christ; one would never experience ones real self; one would live in darkness. To be in ego state means that one shuts ones eyes and sees darkness while all along one is in the light of God. Union is light, separation is darkness; as long as you see yourself as separated from God and other people you live in darkness. The moment you accept that you are connected, joined and unified with all people, love and forgive all people, you return to the awareness that you live in light. Love all and become aware that you always live in the presence of love while imaging yourself live in hatred.

Relinquish your false ego self concept and ego self image, that is, let go the notion that you have a separated self housed in body, and you experience your true self, the self God created you as, a unified spirit self, a self you share with God and all people. Stop seeking to become an ideal, perfect and superior self of your making, be quiet and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the self he created you as, the self he created other people as and the world he created for his children to experience. If you ask honestly and do not provide the answers by yourself and just remain silent, emptied of all your ego based thinking and images, be a void, be open to God’s will in your life, not your neurotic and psychotic wishes that you replace it with, you would escape from our ego-material world and momentarily return to the real self and its real world, a self and world that our language cannot explain, for it surpasses language, it is ineffable; it is a world where there is no you and not you, subject and object, seer and seen; it is a unified world where all are the same self and the same mind, the same thinking. (See William James, Varieties of Religious Experience and Evlyn Underhill, Mysticism, for writing on mystical experience, the experience of the real self and real world that God created for his children.)

The neurotic is generally unrealistic and immature in profile, for he is expecting reality to conform to his imaginary ideals of it. He is bound to fail, for reality is not about to change and become what he likes it to become. If he is sensible he would give up his idealism, his neurosis, his tendency to constructing a fantasy, ideal self and world, and accept reality as it is.

Idealism, neurosis, is actually power seeking behavior. The idealist wants to remake himself, other people and the world to his liking. He wants to kill God who permitted an imperfect world to seem to exist and become the God who created a perfect world.


The idealistic neurotic is so insistent that the world become as he wants it that some of them despair when they realize that they cannot change themselves, change other people and change the world. Many of them, especially during teenage years, are unable to accept the fact that they cannot make the world become perfect and commit suicide. As it were, it is either the world becomes what they want it to become hence grant them their wishes to be godlike or they kill themselves. Since the world is not about to change to gratify their wishes such unrealistic persons kill them.

Some neurotics manage to stay alive and keep wishing for ideal states. These ones are the ones who make the lives of those around them miserable by always comparing them to ideals and finding faults with them. They are the forever critical persons. If you happen to be their wives or husbands, children and neighbors they would subject you to unending evaluation and always point out your shortcomings vis-a-vis ideal standards. It is like they see you as a performer and they are performing performance appraisal of you. They feel compelled to always judge your behavior with their ideal standards and always find faults in you.

Even though you are like every one else, imperfect, idealistic neurotics would not permit you to live with that fact peacefully. They always compare you to ideal states that you could never attain and since you are tempted to accept their neurosis, you try to live up to their neurotic false standards but quickly realize that those are impossible and stop trying to live up to them. You leave their company and go seek the company of more realistic adults.

Children of idealistic neurotics can hardly wait before they leave home and stay away from their over critical parents.

Such critical men despair and since they are lacking in the neurotic courage to kill themselves, as some did during their teenage years, they, nevertheless, kill themselves gradually. Over eating, over drinking, smoking, over drinking of coffee and other drugs are undertaken by those with death wish.

Idealists who cannot become the ideal perfect persons they wish that they were often turn their frustration and anger on themselves and gradually kill themselves through bad living habits. See an over eating person and you see a person who hates his real self and wishes that he were an ideal self. Since he is not going to become an ideal person, he undertakes to destroy his real self and its real body with over eating, drinking alcohol etc.

Most addictions are undertaken by idealists who despaired of attaining their ideals and turned around to destroy them selves.

On a personal note, my only addiction is coffee. I know that it is not good for me still I drink it. Obviously, I want to kill myself with caffeine. So why do I want to kill myself, albeit gradually? It is because I do not like my real self; I do not like my body and do not like the imperfect reality that is our fate. I want an ideal self, ideal other people and ideal world. Failing to obtain them, I acquiesced to the imperfections of being on earth and turned my disappointment and anger at myself hence tried to self destroy with caffeine.

Other persons do what I do with alcohol, or drugs or food or sex addiction. All addictions to mood altering substances are rooted in hatred and rejection of the real self, and desire for an ideal self, a self one is never going to materialize.

In heaven, in eternity, in unified state we wished for separated selves, that is, hated and rejected unified spirit and seem to have gratified our wishes by being in this world. We are in the temporal universe to experience separated, special self. Since the origin of the world is based on hatred and rejection of what God made, what is, in this world, also we continue that trend of hatred and rejection.

Thus, in this world, we hate and reject the ego and body we made to live in this world with. This world came into being from self hatred and is based on hatred and rejection and must continue only on that basis. You hate God and his son and now hate man; you hate union and now hated separated self and its separated world. You try to invent an ideal separated self and ideal, separated world. It is insanity at work.

Stop already and love the world you made. Love your separated self, love your ego, love you body, love other peoples egos and bodies, love the empirical world.

When you love the ego and its world, you recognize that the ego and its world is no other than the real self and real world in a dream of their opposite. The world is a wish for the opposite of God, the opposite of the unified self, hence is a world of separated selves. Reality is always unified; separation is impossible, for were it possible, all things would cease being. God and his children would die if separation and special selves were possible.

Jesus asks us to love the world we can see before we can love the world we cannot see, the world of God. Love all people and thereafter you experience heaven, unified spirit. But until you meet the condition of heaven, love, you cannot enter heaven. The only way to return to heaven is to love and forgive all God’s children here on earth.

Neurosis, Karen Horney pointed out, is characterized by “basic anxiety”. The neurotic is filled with fear, fear of this and fear of that. As Horney sees it, this fear is caused because the neurotic posited an ideal self concept and ideal self image and is perpetually afraid of not living up to that ideal, perfect superior self. As long as he seeks to become an ideal self he must fear not becoming it and, therefore, must live in fear; a fear whose cause he does not consciously know. Fear whose cause is not known to the fearful persons is called anxiety; the neurotic lives in perpetual anxiety.


Horney’s description of the neurotic is, by and large, true. But fear has another function. If one is afraid of other people, fear that they may harm, kill or reject one, one tends to avoid them. To avoid is to separate from. One separates from those one fears.

(We fear harm and destruction from other people. Our sense of vulnerability is seen by those who are intent on evil. Murderers convince themselves that since people are afraid of harm and death that they can harm and or kill them. They see people over valuing their ego, separated lives and the bodies in which those lives are housed. They attack and kill people’s bodies; they destroy that which we value. In killing people the murderer feels very powerful for now it is up to him to destroy people’s life. Other people, society, want to protect themselves. They want the murderer to be captured and tried and punished. They give to the state, the police, judicial and penal systems the role of acting out their desire for grievance and vengeance. Thus society employs the police to capture the murderer and the courts to try and condemn him and the jails to house and or kill him. In effect, society does to him what he did to the individual. Society says to him, you too value your life, so we are going to destroy that which you value. We are going to seem powerful by destroying your life, as you seemed powerful by killing people. This is tit for tat. This is how the ego based society is maintained. It is an insane society, a society based on false valuation; valuation of the valueless, the ego and its body. The fact is that the real self is eternal spirit and not the body we see it as in. No one can destroy the real self. The murderer cannot destroy the individual’s real self; the state cannot destroy the real self of the murderer, either. The murderer does not murder any one and the state cannot murder the murderer. Both the murderer and the murdered are the holy children of God; they are immortal and are unified spirit and cannot be harmed. It is only in their dream of separation that they seem housed in bodies that are prone to harm and destruction. In the meantime, those who identify with the ego will pretend ability to harm and or kill other persons and society will pretend ability to punish and or kill them and the insane show continues. It continues until the children of God learn to forgive the ego and the world the ego made and live out of their spiritual self, the unified self.)

In this light, fear is a means of separating from other people. When one separates from other people one lives in isolation. In isolation, one nurses ones separated ideal, special and superior self. The big false self is retained in social avoidance.

In relating to other people, one cannot maintain ones false, superior self. The condition for relating to other people is sameness and equality and shared power. Therefore, fear, anger, shame, pride, guilt depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia and other upsets are really mental devices employed by the person who wants to separate from other people; they are used to enable him to do so. Perception that other people want to harm or reject one is used as a rationalization, a means of convincing himself that if he comes close to others that they would kill him. Rationalization is an ego defense mechanism; what is rationalized, explained, seems reasonable but is false nevertheless.

The person who avoids other people wants to live in body and from bodily perspective it seems to make sense to avoid those who seem able to kill him. On the other hand, if life is eternal and no one can kill one, though others can destroy ones body, but not ones soul, then it makes no sense to fear, avoid and separate from those who can destroy the body but cannot touch the soul.


The ego, the sense of separated I is really a form of insanity. It is insanity because it does not exist yet one defends it as if it exists. It is defense that makes it seem to exist for the defender. When one stop defending the ego it is seen as non-existent, a mirage that had seemed real but is in fact not real. The ego is an illusion that when desired it seems real but when not desired and defended it does not exist.

In the meantime, if one identifies with the false self, the ego, and pursues ego idealism, one tends to believe that the world exists for one to do with it as one likes. One engages in perpetual imagination, fantasy, always transforming the world into whatever one wants it to become in ones imagination. In effect, one is now the god that created this world and makes it over into whatever one wants it to become.

If one accepted that God created the world, not one, then one would desist from imagining how the world ought to become; one would give up idle fantasies and accept the world the God created as it is, not as one wants it to become.

What is the world that God created? If God is permanent, it follows that he cannot create a transitory and ephemeral world. Our world is dynamic and changes every second. A permanent and changeless God could not have created our world, a world where nothing remains the same for more than a second.

A world of changes must be invented by the opposite of God. The opposite of God is the ego (in Christian terms, Satan). As long as one identifies with the opposite of God, the separated self, the ego, one must attempt to invent the world according to ones likes and be exposed to frustration and disappointment.

One must, therefore, give up ones identification with the false ideal, separated self. In doing so one gives up engaging in idle ego dreams of how the world ought to become, what other people ought to be like and who one ought to be like. One must accept the self, other selves and the world God created: the changeless, spirit world.

If one gives up ego wishes, dreams and fantasies one is healed of neurosis and psychosis. Neurosis, among other things, is characterized by an obsessive-compulsive wish to change ones self, to change other people, to change social institutions and to change the world into what one wants them to become, ideal. This wish to change things and make them what one wants them to become gives one a sense of being the inventor of the self and the world; that is, it makes one feel godlike. As it were, the son has killed his father and become his own father; one has killed God, usurped his creatorship throne and is now the creator of ones self, other selves and the world; one is now more powerful than God himself.

Neurosis is a wish for grandiose power, delusional power that is not going to come into being, for wish as one does, one did not create ones self, one did not create other selves and one did not create the world; God created us.

If one stops the insane quest to remake the world in ones ego self image, one is healed of neurosis and psychosis. One becomes calm, peaceful and happy.

The normal person is a bit neurotic and quests after some ideals and some superior self. But he does so in a flexible and less rigid manner. The neurotic and or psychotic person, on the other hand, pursues his ideal self with total dedication. The insane person rigidly and inflexibly wants to become his ideal, superior self. The normal person seeks the same ego ends that the neurotic, psychotic person does; all human beings want to seem like god, the creator of the world but the normal person goes about it in a flexible manner hence seem relatively calmer and happier than the neurotic. The normal person has his ego and ego desires but despite them successfully adapts to his changing world. The normal person is flexible and does not ask the world to change and become what he wants it to become. He has flexible ego defenses, but is defensive nevertheless. Normalcy, neurosis and psychosis are all mental disorders; normalcy seems healthier than the others, but, in fact, is equally insane. They are all insane because they are adaptation to a false ego self as if it is real and who one is. Ones real self is unified spirit self, not separated bodily self.

The cure for normalcy, neurosis and psychosis is to give up the wish to have a separated self, to give the ego up altogether.

One must give up the self concept, the self image and the empirical personality that one constructed to replace the self that God created one as. When one gives up the self one made to substitute for the self God created one as, one returns to the self that God created one as: the unified self, the self that is joined to God and all creation, aka the Christ self, the son of God who is one with his father and brothers.

In God one still has a self but not distinct from other selves. In God ones self is not sufficiently separated from others for one to be aware that others are not one; there is no you and I, no subject and object, no seer and seen; all know themselves as sharing one self, one thinking and one mind. In this condition of oneness is peace and happiness; peace and joy that no human being in the world of separated selves can comprehend.

The ego is not a person that one can touch. The ego is an abstraction; it is the concrete representation of the wish to be separated from God and other people. The ego is like Satan; Satan does not exist apart from the person who wishes to identify with it. Satan or devil is not a person; it is a mode of thinking and living, a lifestyle that separates from other persons and lives only for the self and not for other people. Satan, aka ego, is a wish to create ones self, create other people and create God.

In Christianity, Satan is given concrete form in the myth of Lucifer. Lucifer is said to be an angel that was filled with pride and resented the fact that God created him and wanted to create him self and create his creator, God. He is said to have warred with God and was chased out of heaven by God’s loyal angels led by Arch angels Michael and Gabriel. He descended from oneness, heaven to the world and formed the world of separation.

Gnosticism calls the force of separation the Demiurge. Helen Schucman, in “A Course in Miracles” calls it the ego, the separated I.

If one is on earth one has wished for a separated I and identified with it. To be on earth, one must have thought it possible to be apart from God hence sees oneself in a place of separation, space and time.

To be on earth, as Christianity correctly says, is to have committed a sin, the Original sin of separating from ones creator, God, and separating from ones real self, Unified Spirit Self. To be on earth is to live in sin, which is to see ones self as apart from God and other people and to do things only for ones self interests but not for common interests.

While on earth, one must give up the wish for separated I and replace it with a counter wish for unified self.

On earth, the unified self is represented by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, like the ego and Satan, is an abstraction, not a person; he represents our higher self, a self that is holy, that is, a self that knows itself as unified with God and his creation.

The Holy Spirit teaches love and forgiveness as the path to salvation. In as much as Jesus taught love and forgiveness he completely identified with the Holy Spirit and can be called the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the God in us, and the God in the temporal universe. In that sense, Jesus is the Christ, the unified self; he is one with God. Where you see Jesus Christ you see his father. (This is a metaphor for God does not have form and cannot be seen.)

Where you see the Son of God, since he is in God and God is in him, you see God. Where I see a human being, you or me, I see God.

The ego is a false entity, a non-existent idea of separation. As a non-existent reality, the ego must be defended to seem to exist in the mind, the thinking of the person who wishes that it exist, who wishes that he be separated from other people. The egotist must continually defend his ego self with fear, anger, pride, shame, guilt, depression, paranoia and other mental and emotional upsets. Defenses of a non-existent idea, the separated self, defenses of an imaginary self image, a picture and seen as if it exists, makes it seem to exist.

If the ego is not defended it does not exist. That is correct; if the ego is not fended with fear and anger etc it does not exist.

The next time you are afraid of somebody, instead of separating from him or her, instead of avoiding him or her, to go retain your ego, relates to him; join him or her. Forgive whatever the person you are separating from did to make you afraid of him. If he had attacked you, physically or verbally, to make you afraid that he might harm you, forgive him. To forgive is to overlook what the other person did, to see what is done to you as not real. To forgive is to see the events on earth as events done in a dream, as illusory hence have not happened. To forgive is to overlook what one perceives with ones physical eyes and to now see with Christ vision, to see with spiritual eyes. Spirit is forever unified; to see with spiritual eyes is to see holistically, to have unified perception; a perception that overlooks separation and sees union everywhere it looks. Union is reality and separation is illusion of reality.

If you do not give in to the temptation to avoid people, you join them. When you join people, the separated ego self disappears, literally. The ego is only a mere concept, it is not a reality. It is defended with body and fear and other defenses. If when someone attacks your body and you understand that despite the pain you feel and despite his harming and destroying your body, that you are spirit and eternal and overlook his attack, you literally return to the experience of oneness with God and all creation. (You feel pain in your body because you identified with body and made body seem real; you made body feel pain and in so feeling it seems real to you; if you did not believe in the reality of body and see yourself as unified spirit, you would not exist in body and would not feel pain.)

This is what Jesus did; his psychological self was attacked by all the accusations leveled against him and his body was attacked in crucifixion. He knew that he is eternal spirit and not body, hence did not defend his ego/body. He did not defend the separated self; he overlooked the world of ego and reverted to the awareness of unified self.


The individual who has decided to relinquish his false ego self has decided to give up his personal will and embraced God’s will. Now he knows that the will of the father is the same as the will of the son; the father and son share the same will. God’s will is the will of his son. Father and son will love and unity.

It was the son’s wish to be different from his father, to have a will that his father did not share with him that led him to a journey without a distance, a journey to nowhere, to this world. The prodigal son tried to go seem independent from his father but eventually learnt that he could not and accepted his mistake and returned to the state of union with his father and recovered peace and joy.

In the temporal universe, this entails surrendering ones will to the will of God; it means thinking as God thinks, loving and forgiving thoughts only; it means seeking union with all people and not seeking separation and ego. There is one will in the universe, God’s will. No other force can disobey God’s will. The son of God may wish that he disobeyed his father’s will, he may even dream that he is apart from God but in reality he is not apart from God; he lives in God while dreaming that he is apart from God; he is always in union while imagining that he is in separation.

Surrendering ones ego wishes means doing only work that is in accord with God’s will, with the Holy Spirit’s work. The Holy Spirit’s will is love and forgiveness. Any work that is in accord with loving God and all people and forgiving the bad done to one is in accord with the Holy Spirit’s will.

The Holy Spirit’s work, though the same everywhere, but in as much as on earth we see ourselves as individuated, his work is individualized in each of us. To surrender to the will of God means doing the work that God wants one to do, not the work ones ego wants to do. It means discovering the line of work one has aptitude and interest in doing and in doing which one serves God and man. Actually, it means doing what ones ego likes doing but now doing it for a different purpose, to serve all humanity.

In the process of separation each of us constructed an ego for himself and herself; that ego developed certain special skills. You may have developed skills as an engineer, medical doctor or psychologists etc. That is your ego skills, skills that enable you to adapt to the world of the ego. The Holy Spirit now takes that ego skill of yours and uses it for a different purpose. In other words, you redirect your ego skills to serving God’s purpose of love and forgiveness. This means that you use your ego talent, say psychology, to teach love and forgiveness; you use your ego talent of medicine to teach people to remember that they are spirit, while taking care of their body.

When one surrenders to ones work, the Holy Spirit’s work for one, one flows. As it were, the entire universe comes to ones help; all people open doors for one and help one to do that work.

One is no longer in ego control but allows the higher self, the Holy Spirit, love and forgiveness to be in control, to guide one. One is calm, peaceful and happy.

One is no longer addictive to mood altering substances like food, sex, drugs, alcohol, caffeine etc.; one simply eats enough food to be alive so as to do the work one has to do in God’s plan to liberate all his children from the ego.

One does not plan for ego glory but plans for God’s glory. One still makes future plans, still looks forward to what one will do tomorrow but what serves God, not what serves ones ego and makes one feel important.

One acts with the Holy Spirit. One trusts in the Holy Spirit, one does everything one can but leaves it to God to determine the outcome of ones action. One takes the outcome as the will of God for one without resorting to ego anger and frustration.

Do all that you can in every circumstance you find yourself in and leave the rest to God. You aren’t in charge or in control, God is.

You are now evolving into the conscious awareness that God is all there is and that you are only a part of him, but not all of him. You do not resist God (as ego does…if you resist God you will eventually be forced by adverse circumstances to surrender to God, so you might as well not resist and surrender right now, so as to make your life easier, peaceful and happy).

An awakening child of God accepts that only God exists, that God is. He accepts that God manifests in all of us. Each of us is an individualization of God. On earth we are not aware that we are the individualization of God and are one with God. But we see ourselves as separated from God, as the ego.

Buddha and Jesus are examples of persons who, while on earth, recognized that they are the manifestation of the God in us. They became the Buddha, the Christ, the Atman; they became enlightened to their true nature. They were enlightened and illuminated to the light of God in them.

God is creative and created his Son, aka Christ, Buddha, Atman. The Son of God is given the power to create like his father does; we create like God.

We can choose to create good or bad. In spirit we create only the good, in separation we have chosen to miscreates, to create the bad. We can choose to love/join (creation) or separation (evil).

We create with our thinking and feeling. If we wish something, our thinking and feeling produces the effect we desire, even if it is an illusion, as in this world.

Whatever happens to the individual in this world is the product of his thinking, the effect of his thinking and feeling.

Collectively, all of us create what happens to all of us on earth, but individual each of us creates what happens to him, good or bad.

We are not our thoughts and feelings. We are the thinker of our thoughts and the feeler of our feelings. Because we are separated from our thoughts and feelings, we can change our thinking and feeling and produce different effects.

If we silence our ego thinking through prayer and meditation, we access our deeper self, the Christ self, the Holy Self, the Unified Self, the Son of God who is as God created him.

Our primary function on earth is to transcend our ego-based thinking and attain Christ thinking, to reach the place of union in us.

The function of religion is to help reconnect us, to yoke us back to our source, God. Religion is any practice that enables us become aware of our real self, unified self.

There are many religions, each geared to different people. On earth we are different and, as such, need different religions. But, ultimately, all religions teach one message, return to union, relinquishment of the separated self and return to the unified self.

Religion helps us become conscious of what we are doing and enables us to consciously love and forgive all people, so as to awaken to the Christ in us.

Everything that happens to one is because of ones thinking and behaving. One can learn from it and return to love or fight it. If you fight it, is defensive to others evil actions towards you, you will live in conflict, but if you forgive those who attacked you, you would live in peace.

The individual is like the prodigal son; he left his real self, Christ, union and our father, union; now he must recognize that he made a mistake in leaving our real self and identifying with a false separated self. He tried to make our false self seem ideal and superior to others.

One now knows that one cannot make the separated self ideal and cannot make a transitory and ephemeral world permanent, so one lets go of them and return to what has value, worth and is changeless, the real self, the unified self.


Everything is thinking: unified thinking or separated thinking, forgiving thinking or unforgiving thinking. Now you think in a forgiving manner and let go of all thoughts of vengeance. You no longer bear grudges against any one on earth. You are on your way home.

Home is where God and his son, all of us, are one self. The father is one side of the coin and the son is the other side of it; both complete each other and cannot exist without the other, for the father needs a son to be a father and a son needs a father to be a son.

God and his son know their proper places: the father produced the son, the son did not produce the father; God is greater than his son, though both are the same in essence. The result of acceptance of this reality is peace and happiness.


The neurotic is generally preoccupied with thinking about what other people think of him. Actually, what is going on here is that he is thinking about what other people think of his ideal self: do they accept his neurotic game and see him as his desired ideal, perfect and superior self?

The ideal self is the person he wants to become and he worries about other people accepting or rejecting it. If he thinks that other people have accepted it, accepted a lie, he feels validated and is somewhat at ease, but if he feels that other people did not accept this lie, this neurotic false self he feels not confirmed and angry at them. He is angry at those who did not accept his false ideal self for he wants them to collude with him and accept a false self he made up, an unreal self as real.

The neurotic wants to deceive himself; he made up a false self and wants other people to accept the false self as whom he, in fact, knows fully well that he is not that false self.

Even if other people accepted that false ideal, superior self they would not be accepting his real self. But he has played this neurotic game for too long that he does not even know who he is any longer.

Who are you? What is your real self? You do not know! The real self is unified spirit and the neurotic does not know it. He tried to replace that God created self with his self created ideal self, the separated ego.

One must stop all desire for ideal, perfect and superior self and say: I do not know who I am. This is honesty. Neurosis is an attempt to be dishonest and accept a false self as the real self. Be truthful and tell yourself that you do not know who you are and keep quiet.

In silence the real self would reveal itself to one. Whenever the desire to think about what other people think of you, you have identified with the neurotic self, that is, the false ideal and want it to seem real.

Let go of your identification with the ideal self and stay quiet. Do not think from the ego false self, just be quiet, stop all conceptualizations, ideations, and just be silent. This inner silence is called meditation. You can be in meditative state for most of the time; but to do so you must cease all ego-based thinking; ego thinking clouds your thinking with the false thinking of the ego false self.

Do not concern yourself with what other people are thinking of you. At any rate by other people you mean other peoples temporal selves, their egos; you are thinking about what their egos are thinking of your egos; thinking of false selves thinking about your false self. This is insanity, but in sanity that makes the ego seem real for if the ego thinks that other egos are thinking of it, it feels real, as if it exists in fact. You want other egos to recognize and validate your ego; for false selves to validate your false self. If they validate your ego both you and they live in the ego false world.

Do not seek other people’s approval, do not seek ego approval; do not seek external, outside approval; just be quiet and go inside you to experience your real self, the self God created you as, the unified self.

You know that you are close to being your real self when you are calm, peaceful and fearless. If you actually live as your real self, you would not see yourself in physical body, you would escape from this world and enter the world of spirit, a formless world that we cannot possibly talk about, for it is beyond speech and language.


In this essay, I have made neurosis and psychosis as all bad. Actually, they are a step ahead of normalcy. The normal person sees his earthly ego self and the world and accepts it as real and lives with them. The neurotic sees his earthly self, other people’s earthly selves, the world and its institutions and do not like what he sees and rejects them.

In America, for example, the neurotic sees the inherent evil in the American polity and does not like it. He then uses his thinking and imagination to conceptualize an alternative self, alternative other people, alternative world and alternative America. His alternative world in his mind is an improvement of the extant world he sees.

The neurotic is dissatisfied with his earthly ego self and seeks an idealized form of it, he is dissatisfied with the ego based world and seeks alternative to it. He cannot return to the normal state and go back into deep sleep and take the slaughterhouse world and its evil selves as acceptable selves and world, he must seek alternative to what is.

The issue is whether he seeks idealistic alternative or God given alternative to the self he and people already have. When we invented ourselves and world, God reinvented it for us. That new and different world, the world invented by the Holy Spirit already exists, inside us, not outside us. We did not make that world, God made it. All we need do is tune out the world we made and we see the world God made for us; a world still a physical world. We live in that light world for a while, and then let it go and return to unified non physical world, what folks call heaven. In heaven the son of God disappears into his father and his father disappear into him and both know themselves to share one self and one mind.

In America, for example, black persons are marginalized. The black neurotic sees this evil world and uses his thinking and imagination to visualize a better America, one where all are treated as the same and equally. Alas, his ideal world is still ego based and merely improves the ego.

The ego is not real and, therefore, cannot be improved. America cannot be improved. America is the ultimate ego empire. You take it or leave it, but you cannot improve it. What will happen is that the ego, America, can be relinquished, let go of, so that a different world is seen, a world already reinvented by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, our higher self, the God in us has reinvented the world we made. If and when we tune out our ego-based world and live only loving and forgiving lives, we experience the real world has already remade from our present world, a new Israel, a new Jerusalem, a new World, a world of love and forgiveness, a world that while still physical, hence an illusion, approximates the unified world of God.

Seek not to improve America, Africa and the world, but seek to experience the world of God, a word already inside us, not external to us. Seek the real world, the real self, and, ultimately, return to unified spirit self. This is the goal of Real Self Fellowship.

We want to escape from this world but before doing so we must be here and practice love and forgiveness and we must study science and technology and use them to understand and improve our existence in matter and optimize living on this earth. When we have lived fully on earth, we reawaken to our real self and real home.

*Who did I write this essay for? My ego would like to think that I wrote it for other people. The ego wants the individual to concentrate on other people, to see their problems and pretend ability to change them. You cannot change other people; the person you can change is you.

As long as one looks outwards, one will not look inside ones self to know who one is. The ego does not want one to know who one is. One is the holy son of God, the unified self. The ego does not want one to know that real self, hence it urges one to look outside one and see separated selves and identify with that illusion.

I am not writing this material for other people. I am writing it for myself. But who is me? There are other people who are like me; in which case, I am writing it for them, too.

Those who need this kind of information will find and benefit from. I write to understand myself and to change myself from ego separated self to unified spirit self. In unified self I experience peace and joy and share that peace and joy with all people.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

My views are influenced by the writings of Alfred Adler, Karen Horney and Helen Schucman. Representative samples of these fellows’ writings are:

Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution. New York: Ayer, 2000.

Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002.

Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles. Tiburon, California, Foundation for Inner Peace, 1976

(Essays in Spiritual Psychology; if you are not interested in this subject, please delete it. My hope is that, perchance, one or two persons are interested in metaphysics, that which is beyond empirical science.)

Posted by Administrator at November 14, 2005 03:24 PM


thanks for interesting article. very useful as for me

Posted by: writing at November 14, 2005 04:52 PM

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