Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

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Shirley Labzentis wrote: April 20th, 2024, 10:18 pm Have you ever met a true narcissist, and if so, did you call them out on it? There is a person who is such a narcissist that it is becoming unbearable. It is all about them. Look at me, see how good I look, follow my advice, be like me, etc. This person also thinks that everything they say, you should believe, and the majority of it is BS. They say whatever they like and look at you like you are supposed to take their word as gospel. Sometimes, I think that they think I am an idiot because they think that I believe what they are spewing out of their mouth. I usually just smile and nod, but inside, I'm thinking that they can't possibly think that I believe them. What I really want to say to them is that they are a narcissistic, psychopathic liar and scammer, and I don't and won't believe everything you say. The problem is that they are essential in my life right now, and I can't just drop them like a hot potato. Do narcissists believe that they are narcissists? Do they know how they come across to others? What is your opinion, Scott?

Hi, Shirley Labzentis,

Thank you for your question! :)


Only 1%–2% of people have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 
 
I've met more than 100 people, so surely I've met a true narcissist. Presumably, for every 100 people I've met in my life, I've met a narcissist. For every thousand people I meet, I've met about 10 narcissists. 
 
But I have no way of knowing that they are narcissists. 
 
Maybe sometimes I suspect it, but I may be and likely am wrong when I suspect such a thing. 
 
Maybe sometimes I firmly believe they are not narcissists, but I may be wrong. 
 
In my opinion, the only situation in which a person is equipped to even semi-confidently diagnose a fellow human being with a mental disorder is when and only when the diagnoser is an accredited psychiatrist of above-average intelligence and the diagnosee is their official formal patient. And, even then, both misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis are extremely common. Just look at how many very normal kids get diagnosed with something like ADHD because they aren't great at sitting still for 8 hours a day in a miserable, boring, soul-crushing classroom at some factory school designed to iron out their individuality, creativity, and spark to factory produce another standardized obedient consumer. The average school setting is so inhumane and counter to human nature and to what a naturally healthy child is like. In my view, a student who can perform well according to the school's standards in that situation is the one who has an abnormal mental condition and/or disorder. To be sane in a crazy world is kind of crazy, in my opinion. 
 
Here is a great video by Dr. Orion Taraban, Psy.D., about how unreliable it is for even a trained psychiatrist to diagnose a patient in a formal medical setting: 
 
The source of the problem: what people fail to understand about mental illness
 
 
My point is that, even when it is a trained, accredited expert in a medical setting making the diagnosis toward their formal official patient, there is still a lot of doubt and uncertainty involved. Even then, there is a lot of misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis going on. 
 
But when someone is attempting to diagnose someone in their personal life, such as a spouse, roommate, or family member, I'd happily bet with at least 100:1 odds that they are wrong. I'd trust a Magic 8-Ball before I'd trust that person to effectively diagnose their spouse, roommate, co-worker, or such. 
 
That's true even if the person is a trained, accredited expert! 
 
A psychiatrist can diagnose a patient of theirs with some confidence, but they cannot reliably diagnose their own spouse, roommate, co-worker, or family member. It's loosely analogous to why even a practicing lawyer will typically not represent themselves in court. They are too close to it to be objective, rational, and unbiased, among other issues. 
 
Even if you are a practicing psychiatrist with a medical degree in psychiatry, here is my advice: do not attempt to diagnose your spouse, romantic partner, roommate, co-worker, family member, or anyone who is not your own formal patient in a medical setting. 
 
If you aren't a practicing psychiatrist, then don't diagnose anyone at all. 
 
If we polled women randomly and asked them if their most recent ex was a narcissist, what percentage do you think would say yes? 
 
I'd bet it would be around 20% to 30%. 
 
Thus, we can essentially be certain that almost all of them are utterly wrong since only 1%–2% of the population actually have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 
 
We would get similar results if we polled men about their latest ex, especially if, in addition to (1) narcissistic personality disorder, we also threw in (2) bipolar disorder and/or (3) borderline personality disorder. They would probably mostly say "Yes, she has it" in regard to any one of those, even though a fun follow-up question would be to ask them to explain the difference between the three disorders and see how they can't. 
 
I'll bet 10:1 that the person you think is a narcissist whom you ask about is not actually a narcissist, meaning they don't have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 
 
I am sure they often tell lies; most people without NPD do tell lies. I am sure they are often selfish; most people without NPD are, some much more than others. I am sure they are often mean, aggressive, and self-centered; most people without NPD are, some much more than others. 
 
I strongly advise you against diagnosing them even in your own head with any diagnosable mental disorder, let alone "calling them out" on it, presumably meaning loudly proclaiming your unprofessional and almost certainly incorrect diagnosis in an accusatory tone. 
 
But here's the more important point: What does it matter? What does it matter if the person you have in mind is technically actually one of the very few people who meet the exceptionally strict criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder versus someone else whose behavior you find irritating, who you consider to be very untrustworthy (i.e., someone who lies often), and who you don't feel like you can be yourself around? 
 
Those aren't just rhetorical questions. I'm really asking. What does it matter? Is it going to affect your own behavior and your own choices going forward? If so, how? Imagine, hypothetically, that you had a magic fortune cookie that could truly and reliably tell you with absolute certainty whether or not this person is truly one of the very few people who actually has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (versus maybe just some more generic, dishonest, annoying person who you don't like, meaning the person is what some might colloquially call a "giant asshole"). Would the yes/no answer that magic fortune cookie gives you affect your own behavior and your own choices going forward? If so, how? Roughly speaking, would it actually affect your own choices if going forward you found out he was (1) someone suffering from Narcissist Personality Disorder versus (2) just a giant asshole who doesn't happen to have NPD? If so, how? 
 
Do you see how the mind can get obsessed with deeply thinking about and debating things that don't matter (e.g., whether or not a person technically has NPD or is just some other kind of more generic asshole or liar)? 
 
It's like Russell's Teapot. The very reason you cannot know whether or not the person has NPD is the very reason it doesn't matter whether they do. The highly technical taxonomy for describing the deep, mostly imperceptible, alleged inner workings that lead to certain superficial behaviors (e.g., him lying to you) doesn't change anything that really matters to you (e.g., the fact that he is lying). 
 
Put the focus on your own behavior and your own choices, now and moving forward, meaning the choices of your present and future selves, not your past self. 
 
The main reason I recommend so strongly to you (and all my mentees) to never diagnose anyone at all (unless they are your formal patient and you are a trained accredited psychiatrist), is not because your diagnosis will almost certainly be inaccurate (which it will), but rather, more importantly, because doing so usually means you are overthinking about them and their traits, and thus—since your time, money, and mental energy are limited—you are therefore underthinking about yourself and your own behavior and your own choices. In other words, by taking undue responsibility for them you therefore are taking less self-responsibility. I suggest spending much less time thinking about or worrying about them and their alleged flaws and the alleged dirtiness of their backyard, and instead putting that time and energy into cleaning your own proverbial backyard. My recommendation to all mentees is this: Use your own standards of subjective cleanliness to clean your own backyard, not to judge or worry about others' backyards. To each their own. One person's trash is another's treasure, and one person's dirty is another's clean.
 
You cannot focus on your own behavior and your own choices if you are so focused on them, and their perceived behavior and perceived traits (as perceived by you which says more about you than them anyway since perception is almost entirely projection). 
 
If you are overthinking about them, then you are not taking the full self-responsibility that my book teaches you to take. 
 
As I have said many times before, self-responsibility (and, by extension, self-discipline, spiritual freedom, and inner peace) is less about taking responsibility for oneself and more about not taking undue responsibility for others
 
Look at your question and count how many words and sentences are about this other person, their perceived traits, and their alleged flaws, in detail, and how many (or few, as the case may be) are about you and the choices you are making and that are available to you. 
 
Every second you spend thinking about them is a second you are not thinking about yourself. Every second you spend thinking and worrying about them, their choices, and their alleged flaws is a second you are not using to focus on your own behavior and your own choices
 
This isn't some moral judgmental thing in which I am saying you 'should' focus on your own behavior and your own choices. No, I am not saying that. Rather, this is purely practical. It is to your own benefit to think about and focus on your own behavior and your own choices in your unique present, rather than overthinking about and/or analyzing in detail the behavior, traits, and alleged flaws of others, or, worse, attempting to diagnose them even though they (presumably) aren't your patient. 
 
 
Regarding everything I've said so far, I recommend you read these topics of mine: 
 
You don't have to have an opinion about everything. [Commentary on Overthinking] 
 
Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic Unassertiveness 
 
Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Political 
 
 
You ask, "Do narcissists believe that they are narcissists?" 
 
If they did, they either wouldn't care or they would be proud of it. Narcissists certainly don't sit around anxiously worrying with fidgety fingers about whether or not they are narcissists. If they really are a narcissist, it's all the more reason to stop worrying about them and not bother calling them out or such, and instead focus on yourself and your own choices, such as your choice of whether to cut them out of your life by creating and enforcing healthy boundaries. 
 
But, again, it's worth stressing that 90%+ of the time you think someone is a narcissist, you are wrong. 
 
For example, in romantic relationships, a very common attachment style is the avoidant attachment style, which is far, far more common than NPD, but it is very commonly mistaken for NPD by those who attempt to diagnose their partner (which, again, I strongly recommend one never do). Here is a video that explains that common kind of mix-up with some tips to see the difference between the very uncommon NPD and the much more common avoidant attachment style: 
 
Are they a Narcissist or just Avoidant?? Here's how to tell...  
 
Other things that, unlike NPD, are very common are: extreme dishonesty, selfishness, pathological lying, and generic arrogance or aggressiveness. 
 
1%–2% of the population are narcissists, but a lot more than that are dishonest, selfish liars or mean, arrogant people. And there are many reasons people can manifest those kinds of traits besides NPD. 
 
A person's disliked behavior being falsely labeled as NPD is about as common as a quote on the internet being misattributed to Socrates. 
 
 
 
Finally, I want to pick out what I think is the most crucial part of your post and question, which ironically, isn't in question form. You write, "The problem is that they are essential in my life right now, and I can't just drop them like a hot potato." 
 
You can't? You truly can't? Like, how so? Is there a literal gun to your head? Have you been literally handcuffed and tied up? If not, can you explain in literal detail what exactly is making it literally physically impossible for you to remove this person from your life and/or just tell them flat out that you don't trust them? 
 
I find that roughly 99.9% of the time someone tells me they cannot do something, they actually can do it, and they are just choosing not to. 
 
Here is an excerpt from Page 187 of my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All: 
 
In It Together (Page 187) wrote: 
The ego will lie. The egoic voice in your head pretending to be you will lie. It may say: 
 
“It was a hard day, so I need to eat for comfort.” 
 
“I must eat.” 
 
“I need a drink of whiskey.” 
 
“I don't want to gamble, but I have to go to the casino one last time.” 
 
“I can’t quit until I’m ahead.” 
 
“I need to win the money I lost before I can stop.” 
 
“I need one last fix before I go to rehab.” 
 
“I need a spouse because I cannot be happy living alone.” 
 
“I have to do something.” 
 
“They need to be punished.” 
 
“I have to teach them a lesson.” 
 
“The world sucks; I need to fix it.” 
 
“I can’t be happy with inner peace until the world is fixed!” 
 
 
 
 
Here are some posts of mine about setting and enforcing healthy boundaries: 
 
Advice about Ultimatums and Setting and Enforcing Healthy Boundaries in All Relationships: Personal, Business, Political 
 
Leaving the proverbial door unanswered: True love is freedom, not slavery. You needn't obey the knock nor the knocker. 
 
Compassion without boundaries is toxic. Giving an ungrateful person more just makes them more ungrateful (miserable).  
 
 
If you truly "can't" drop the person like a hot potato (i.e., cut them out of your life), meaning it's not a choice but literally something you physically cannot do, then please do re-ask your question and elaborate in detail with literal words about exactly why you physically cannot remove the person from your life. 
 
Otherwise, you may already have your answer: You can cut them out, so do. 
 
Otherwise (as a third option), please do re-ask your question to explain in detail why you don't want to cut them out of your life and why you are choosing to keep them in your life and keep interacting with them and keep listening to their alleged lies and other things they say and do that annoy or bother you. 
 
In either case, to provide more helpful, direct, and clear suggestions to you, I need to know more about you and why you are choosing to do the things you are choosing to do, and not so much about this other person and what diagnosable conditions you would diagnose them as having if you were in a position to do so (which you aren't, unless you are a psychiatrist and they are your literal formal patient). 
 
I look forward to possibly getting your follow-up question and doing my best to provide additional helpful tips, advice, and suggestions.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


True love.png


In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

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Alida Spies wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 11:52 am I have a question about the statement that the universe (or God) never makes a mistake. Does that mean millions of people have cancer because the universe (or worse, God!) wants it that way?

Hi, Alida Spies,


Thank you for your question! :)


The short answer is that I generally don't think it makes sense to talk about the universe (or God) as "wanting".
 
Even when it comes to us humans in our everyday lives as avatars in these made-up Newtonian VR-worlds that our brains create from inside a dark, quiet skull, I look at want as at least mostly an illusion, if not fully an illusion. I see it as an illusion in the same way that spiritual slavery and spiritual imprisonment are illusions. It's very similar, if not identical, to the reason that shouldness is an illusion. 
 
To me, if one is being honest with oneself, it doesn't make sense to say any of the following: 
 
 - "I should be doing my homework right now, but I am choosing not to." 
 
 - "I want to be doing my homework right now, but I am choosing not to." 
 
 - "I have to do my homework." (The illusion of spiritual slavery.) 
 
 - "I want to lose weight, but I have to overeat. I cannot choose to stick to a diet. I hate the way I look. I feel like a prisoner in my own body." (The illusion of spiritual slavery and spiritual imprisonment.) 
 
 
None of the above statements make sense. As I see it, they cannot be true. They are incoherent. It's like talking about a "married bachelor" or dividing by zero. It's nonsense and illusions. 
 
In most contexts, I use the words want and choose as synonyms. That's why I believe it's an incoherent dishonest contradiction to say something like, "I have the choice between A and B, and I want A more, but I am choosing B." For more on that, please see my topic: 

I have inner peace because I shamelessly know I do only what I want to do, and I don't ever do what I don't want to do. 


However, the word (1) 'choice' in that context may be clearer because it distinguishes the so-called 'wanting' from these other two things: 
 
(2) Gratitude. Gratitude could be described as wanting what you already have, except you can't want it since you already have it, so we call that gratitude. Gratitude overlaps with choice insofar as the gratitude may be for something someone has that they are choosing to have and hypothetically could choose to not have. But it is also sometimes distinct from when one has gratitude for something that is outside of their control, meaning they couldn't choose to not have it. 
 
(3) Wanting unchangeable reality to be different than it is, which can also commonly be described as wanting something you can't have. Many spiritual teachers, including but not limited to the Buddha, taught that this is the root of all suffering. Other words for it include resentment, unforgiveness, hate, ungratefulness, and ungraciousness. 
 
 
I certainly don't think it makes sense to say that "God" or "The Universe" wants something to be different than it unchangeably is. 
 
For instance, it doesn't make sense to say any of the following: 
 
 - "God wanted that hurricane that happened yesterday to not happen." 
 
 - "God wanted it to rain yesterday, but it didn't." 
 
 - "God wanted the lion to catch the antelope, but the antelope got away." 
 
 - "God wanted that kid to survive cancer, but the kid died of cancer." 
 
 
None of those sentences make sense. It's like the previous examples in that it's not just that I believe they are false, but rather that they are so utterly nonsensical that they couldn't be true. They are nonsense. They are incoherent. And the same is the case if you replace the word "God" with "The Universe."
 
God doesn't want. 
 
The universe doesn't want. 
 
The closer a human being comes to transcending desire, the more god-like that human being becomes. 
 
Or, to describe it without the equivocal and often confusing and frequently misunderstood word 'God'
 
The more a human being has transcended desire, the more the human being becomes coherent with the universe and with their true self, meaning the real me, the real you, and the real us. It can be described as the flow state, as becoming one with the Tao, one with nature, at infinite invincible inner peace. Some call it god-realization, or realizing the unity of all people and things, or manifesting your true eternal self into the fabric of reality through the vessel that is your current temporary body. Some call it spiritual salvation or grace. Some just call it flat-out 'transcendence'. Some call it 'spiritual awakening' or 'becoming spiritually lucid in the dream of life'. 
 
My book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All explains what that state is in much more detail and, perhaps more importantly, explains how to achieve that state instantly. Anyone who follows the 11 infinitely easy-to-follow numbered suggestions at the end of my book is guaranteed to immediately achieve that state. 
 
May I ask, have you already read my book



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


God doesn't want. The universe doesn't want..png


In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

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Mcbride6841 wrote: April 23rd, 2024, 12:35 pm I know you have answered partially previously but what did it cost you, personally, emotionally, mentally to get where you are?

Hi, Mcbride6841,


Thank you for your question! :)

I suspect you will want to re-post your question with much more elaboration and much more specificity. 
 
As asked, here is my only answer: 
 
Generally, everything I do is net profitable. 
 
It not only doesn't cost me overall but quite the opposite: it profits me. 
 
In other words, the total cost is always negative. It's the opposite of a 'cost'. Otherwise, I don't do it. 
 
Free people tend to form mutually beneficial relationships and only engage in mutually beneficial transactions, meaning they are profitable for both parties. 
 
If someone offers to sell me $10 for $11, meaning my net cost or loss would be $1, then I would say no. 
 
I wouldn't even buy $10 for $10. Even a $0 cost is not good enough to make a transaction mutually beneficial. It has to be profitable for both parties to be mutually beneficial. 
 
Luckily, wealth is not a zero-sum game. It can be created. This is for two main reasons: 
 
(1) due to the subjectivity of value, i.e., the fact that one person's trash is another person's treasure. 
 
(2) due to our creative power, especially insofar as one practices the teachings in my book about free-spirited creativity.
 
 
Of course, we could talk alternatively about the opportunity cost. But the opportunity for anything is infinite. It's effectively everything else besides the one thing and the one path you choose. In each moment, we each have infinite different paths forward from which to choose, and the opportunity cost of whatever we choose is effectively infinite in that we give up every other of those infinite possible paths to choose the one we do choose. Of all the infinite, different, and wonderful things you could choose to do right now, you can only afford to choose one. That's why every choice and every moment can come with what Van Gogh described as the paralyzing stare of the blank canvas. 
 
For more on that, I recommend re-reading all 11 suggestions at the end of my book, not just the 11 chapter titles, but each chapter in full. #4 is the one that contains the Van Gogh quote, but they are all very relevant to learning how to happily face the blank canvas that is life and be inspired with free-spirited creativity rather than be paralyzed.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


Wealth is not a zero-sum game. It can be created..png


In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
User avatar
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Posts: 5906
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

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Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango wrote: April 24th, 2024, 5:24 am Hi Scott,
My question today is about elder children in the family.
As an elder child in the family, are you really obligated to take care of your siblings financially or it should be up to your parents?

Hi, Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango,


Thank you for your question! :)


It sounds like you have not read my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All
 
I strongly recommend you read my book before asking questions here, since the answers are probably in the book. 
 
It took me over five years to write the book. So it will be a huge time saver for you to read the book since it would take me over 5 years of talking to you one-on-one for you to get what you would get just by quickly reading the book. 
 
Your question has the word "should" in it. If you use the word "should", you are not following the teachings in my book. 
 
Your question also suggests you are not aware of this key teaching from my book: 
 
"There is nothing you must do."



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


There is nothing you must do..png


In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
User avatar
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
The admin formerly known as Scott
Posts: 5906
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

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Jenna Padayachee wrote: April 26th, 2024, 5:20 am I am aware that you have mentioned not being religious in some of your earlier posts in the mentee program (nor is being a part of any religion a pre-requisite to reading In It Together).

Were you always in this state in your beliefs concerning religion, or was this developed over a period of time?
If so, which was the pivotal point in this direction?


The purpose of raising this question is based on the reflections of my own experience of a encountering a very deep exposure to diverse religions, I have observed that although the universal theme in these diverse religions are used to encourage divine love, liberation, unity and harmony, there are instances where such texts become extremely dangerous when misquoted or misunderstood by an individual (my egoic self-included/group of individuals') interpretation, influencing the opposite ( hate, slavery, division and chaos).

Note: I feel that your book (in conjunction with the mentee reading list you have provided) plays a crucial role in addressing delusions of our ego, granting clarity in viewing the universal truths of our existence and equips us one in terms of how we decipher reality and texts on our individual yet interconnected paths.

Hi, Jenna Padayachee,


Thank you for your question! :)


I was not raised religious.
 
I am the child of interfaith parents. My mother is Jewish, and my father is Christian. When I was young, they didn't practice either.
 
My father was raised as a Baptist. In that religion, they don't baptize the children as babies but instead wait until the child is older and can make up their own mind and choose to be baptized or not. Whether by coincidence or not, I think my parents took that general mentality (which I like) to raise me: They let me be free to learn equally about all the many different religions on this big, diverse planet, and if I were to find one compelling and believable and wanted to join it, they would allow that.
 
But I never saw one religion of the many sticking out as significantly more correct than all the others. To me, I never saw one as being right in a way that all the others were wrong.
 
So, in that way, you can say I have never been religious.
 
However, I have learned a lot from many different religions, including ones that don't exist anymore (e.g., the ancient Greek myths with their gods like Zeus and Poseidon).
 
Most importantly, by learning about so many different religions, I was able to get a great view of some of the fundamental things they all have in common.
 
That common thread of agreeable, important truth that weaves through almost all religions, that important common ground that they almost all have, is essentially the main topic of my book, "In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All".
 
It's an eyes-closed, fundamentally important truth that even a lone human, living alone their entire life on a deserted island, could figure out despite never meeting another human and never hearing anything about any religion at all.
 
Generally, all religions have discovered it. It's the baby in the bathwater that makes many people value their religion, even when there is a lot they don't like about it and a lot with which they disagree. For example, we could imagine what it's like to be a loving, happy, peaceful, kind-hearted gay person in a religion that teaches utter hate toward gay people and meanly and negatively judges gay people. Still, within that pool of dirty, hateful bathwater, there is that wonderful baby in the bathwater. That wonderful baby in the bathwater might understandably lead to the wonderful, kind, nice, peaceful gay person not wanting to entirely throw out their religion, despite the hateful teachings their religion is burdened with. They understandably—and perhaps even wisely—do not want to risk throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and thus understandably likely have a very conflicted and confusing relationship with that religion. 
 
My book, "In It Together" gives the baby without the bath water, so it's generally compatible with all religions, including non-religion. It's compatible with religions that have very clean, clear bathwater and ones that have filthy, dirty bathwater. One can mix it with whatever bathwater they want, or none at all. My book isn't about the bathwater; it's about the baby.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


Fundamental truth.png


In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Alida Spies wrote: April 29th, 2024, 5:24 am Hi Scott

If you get cancer, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?

Hi, Alida Spies,


Thank you for your question! :)


The first four words of the question are superfluous. To illustrate what I mean, what I am saying is that my answer to each of the following questions would be the exact same:
 
 
1. "If there is a full moon tonight, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
2. "If you twist your ankle later today, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
3. "If someone in your immediate family suddenly died next week, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
4. "If it rains tomorrow, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
 
My answer to all of the above questions and any others like them is the same.
 
Regardless of what happens outside my control (i.e., regardless of what proverbial cards I happen to be dealt in my future), the criteria I will employ to decide how I want to and will move forward are the criteria explained and listed in detail in my book, "In It Together", namely the eleven numbered easy-to-follow suggestions at the end.
 
In other words, no matter what happens regarding things outside of my control, what I will do is continue to follow the teachings in my book.
 
In other words, regardless of what proverbial cards I am dealt, the criteria I will employ to deal with those cards is the infinitely easy-to-employ strategy and criteria explained and listed in detail in my book.
 
I will continue to play the proverbial cards I am dealt the same way I have been—which is the way my book teaches to play them—regardless of what cards get dealt to me moving forward.
 
In practice, what does that mean specifically? Well, you would have to carefully read my book in full to get the full answer, but one tiny little example is this: I would follow the suggestion in my book about not moralizing and not using judgmental or resentful language. So you wouldn't hear whining miserably or with resentment that "I shouldn't have cancer!" or that "Cancer shouldn't exist!" or that "I should get to live longer!" Instead, I would continue to happily see the world as perfect with invincible inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), in part by continuing to practice the principle of fully and unconditionally accepting that which I cannot control, with an acceptance so full and unconditional it warrants the word love.
 
But that's just one tiny example. The full list of what I would do is in my book, namely with the eleven infinitely easy-to-follow numbered suggestions at the end.




With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



never-let-the-future-disturb-you.jpg



In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Mcbride6841 wrote: May 2nd, 2024, 3:56 pm When, how or why does a person decide that something, anything is unchangeable? I can recall being unemployed. I decided to change that. I felt I ‘should’ have a job. What stopped me from deciding that was an unchangeable circumstance?
“ Nothing unchangeable should be different than it unchangeably is. There is no should.”

Hi, Mcbride6841,


Thank you for your question! :)


You don't decide if something is unchangeable or uncontrollable.
 
Generally speaking, whether or not something is in your control and/or is changeable is itself not in your control.
 
So you don't decide that; you notice it. You observe it.
 
And, if you are being honest with yourself, you would do that through empirical observation, the scientific method, and logical reasoning.
 
I would strongly recommend making use of Occam's Razor, meaning having a high standard of belief and thus not jumping to conclusions. Keep in mind that you can always suspend belief one way or another about any question. If someone asks you if you believe Big Foot definitely exists or definitely doesn't, you can honestly say, "I don't know."
 
Many times people jump to conclusions because they falsely believe they need to have an opinion or belief about everything, e.g., that they have to answer "yes" or "no" rather than being able to say, "I don't know."
 
Keep in mind that, in practice, the issue is more about control rather than change. It's not about whether the thing can change (whatever that would mean) per se, but rather it's about whether you can control and/or "change" the thing.
 
For example, the weather is something that in one sense changes (on its own over time, which is an illusion), but the weather is not something you control, meaning it's not something you can change. So from your perspective, the weather is both uncontrollable and unchangeable.
 
In a sense, everything is unchangeable. And here is why:
 
You cannot change the past, and you cannot change anything that has already appeared to you in your present. By the time the light waves hit your eyes or the sound waves hit your ears, it's already in your unchangeable past. So what you typically see as your present is actually already in your past.
 
You don't change the future; you help create it.
 
The few little parts of the future that you control, you create or help create. For you, the rest of the future (which is almost all of it) is as unchangeable (i.e., out of your control) as the past.
 
So there's just a tiny little piece of the future that you (in your current human form) control and/or create.
 
Everything else is unchangeable and out of your control, and thus (if you are going to follow the teachings of my book) is to be fully and unconditionally accepted as that which you do not control and cannot change, with an acceptance so full and unconditional it warrants the word love.
 
Typically, the main thing you control is how you approach and spiritually react to the unchangeable aspects of the past that appear to you in your present. As the light and sound of things that already unchangeably happened reach your eyes and ears, do you react with resentment and 'shoulding' (i.e., saying or feeling it should be different than it unchangeably is) or do you unconditionally accept it with inner peace and true happiness? That is what is under your control. You control none of the past, none of the external present (i.e., anything you can see, touch, or hear), and almost none of the future.




With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



what-you-control-vs-what-you-do-not-control.jpg



In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Shirley Labzentis wrote: May 2nd, 2024, 7:26 pm Hi Scott,
My question is this: When will it all be enough? When will you come to the point where you decide? That's it; I've done everything that I wanted to accomplish, and now I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the rest of my life without working. Is it ever going to be enough? Are you ever going to be done and over and have no more ideas for new companies?

Hi, Shirley Labzentis,


Thank you for your question! :)


I think this question creates a false dichotomy, as if one must choose between working or being spiritually fulfilled.
 
So to answer it, let's break it down into two separate questions.
 
 
1. "When will it all be enough and you decide that you've accomplished everything and sit back and enjoy the rest of your life?"
 
It is already enough. Everything that needs to be accomplished for me to be happy and have wonderful, consistent, unwavering inner peace has already been accomplished. In a sense, what needed to be accomplished for that was nothing. As my book explains, inner peace costs $0 and takes no time to achieve. It's free, both in terms of time and money.
 
The only 'work' one needs to do to have free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness and spiritual fulfillment) is to follow the eleven infinitely easy-to-follow suggestions at the end of my book. However, since those are infinitely easy to follow, to even call them 'work' would be a misnomer.
 
The inner peace, true happiness, and spiritual fulfillment of which my book teaches does not require work and does not cause one to stop working. Instead, it's just a question of whether one is happy (i.e. has inner peace) while one does the endless working, journeying, and living, or if one is resentful, hateful, miserable, and/or feeling spiritually unfulfilled while doing the endless work.
 
 
2. "Will you ever stop working?"
 
It's not clear what you mean by the word 'working', but in the most general sense, to be alive is to work. In other words, to be alive is to be at war—war against death and war/work to achieve one's goals. In that sense of the words, to have no work or goals is to be dead, meaning to not be alive.
 
When we look at something that is alive (e.g. a flower, tree, or bee) versus something that isn't (e.g. a rock), the main difference is that the former has agency and goals and does work to achieve those.
 
In that broad sense of the word, making oneself dinner is work and is part of the war against death. Lifting a glass of water to one's mouth is work and part of the war against death.
 
A happy 100-year-old retired person happily gardening in their backyard for hours per day is work.
 
A happy 5-year-old building something with Legos is work.
 
In that broad sense of the word 'work', I (and all living people) will never stop working because that's what it means to be alive. It's true by definition that insofar as we are alive, we are working and warring.
 
The outer war (and work) never stops, at least as long as one is alive.
 
To be alive is to work. To be alive is to be at war. In a sense, to be alive is to suffer, at least if we define suffering as being at outer war and/or having unfulfilled bodily desires and/or as having work to do.
 
This important premise is raised in my book right at the beginning on Page 4:
 
In It Together (Page 4) wrote:You cannot eliminate desire by fulfilling desire. Fulfillment [of bodily desire and goals] causes desire and goals to be replaced, not eliminated. You cannot achieve a state of goallessness by achieving goals. So long as you live as a human, you will have unfulfilled desires and unachieved goals, as the human body and mind will always want more and will invariably create new goals once old goals have been achieved. To be alive is in part to be at war and to struggle.
 
 
As the book further elaborates later after providing the solution to have invincible inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), we are all like Sisyphus, but for some of us it is heaven and for some it is hell, meaning some of us have learned to be happy with free-spirited inner peace while doing the endless work, and others are unhappy, spiritually unfulfilled, and don't have the wonderful, graceful, true happiness that is free-spirited inner peace.
 
However, anyone who follows the eleven numbered, infinitely easy-to-follow suggestions at the end of my book will immediately have that wonderful, graceful, true happiness that is unwavering, invincible, free-spirited inner peace.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


You cannot eliminate desire by fulfilling desire..png


In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 19th, 2024, 2:15 am If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.

Alida Spies wrote: April 29th, 2024, 5:24 am Hi Scott

If you get cancer, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?

Hi, Alida Spies,


Thank you for your question! :)


The first four words of the question are superfluous. To illustrate what I mean, what I am saying is that my answer to each of the following questions would be the exact same:
 
 
1. "If there is a full moon tonight, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
2. "If you twist your ankle later today, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
3. "If someone in your immediate family suddenly died next week, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
4. "If it rains tomorrow, what criteria would you employ to decide on the best way forward to deal with it?"
 
 
My answer to all of the above questions and any others like them is the same.
 
Regardless of what happens outside my control (i.e., regardless of what proverbial cards I happen to be dealt in my future), the criteria I will employ to decide how I want to and will move forward are the criteria explained and listed in detail in my book, "In It Together", namely the eleven numbered easy-to-follow suggestions at the end.
 
In other words, no matter what happens regarding things outside of my control, what I will do is continue to follow the teachings in my book.
 
In other words, regardless of what proverbial cards I am dealt, the criteria I will employ to deal with those cards is the infinitely easy-to-employ strategy and criteria explained and listed in detail in my book.
 
I will continue to play the proverbial cards I am dealt the same way I have been—which is the way my book teaches to play them—regardless of what cards get dealt to me moving forward.
 
In practice, what does that mean specifically? Well, you would have to carefully read my book in full to get the full answer, but one tiny little example is this: I would follow the suggestion in my book about not moralizing and not using judgmental or resentful language. So you wouldn't hear whining miserably or with resentment that "I shouldn't have cancer!" or that "Cancer shouldn't exist!" or that "I should get to live longer!" Instead, I would continue to happily see the world as perfect with invincible inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), in part by continuing to practice the principle of fully and unconditionally accepting that which I cannot control, with an acceptance so full and unconditional it warrants the word love.
 
But that's just one tiny example. The full list of what I would do is in my book, namely with the eleven infinitely easy-to-follow numbered suggestions at the end.




With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott




never-let-the-future-disturb-you.jpg




In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.



Hi Scott,

The question was meant to address how you would decide on addressing the physical aspects. I've read your book and I don't need to ask how you would deal with it mentally.

Kind regards
Alida
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Dickson Bricks wrote: May 3rd, 2024, 9:10 am I have a question to ask. It's generally about life. How do you know when to stop. And when to say " I've given my best" it's time to sit back and retire.

Hi, Dickson Bricks,


Thank you for your question! :)

That question was already asked and answered earlier in the Q&A:

When will it all be enough and you sit back and enjoy the rest of your life without working?


Moving forward, please do make sure to read all the previous Q&As before asking a new question to make sure the question hasn't already been asked and answered.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Alida Spies wrote: May 5th, 2024, 6:56 am Hi Scott,

Why in your view are some people murderers, rapists, or enjoy inducing pain on their fellow human beings?

Hi, Alida Spies,


Thank you for your question! :)


This question is essentially impossible to answer as asked for the same reason that the following question would be impossible to answer as asked:
 
"Why do some people dance?"
 
 
The reason why one person is doing something (e.g. dancing or committing murder) is surely going to be very different than the reason why a different person is doing the same thing (e.g. dancing or committing murder) in a different situation.
 
One person might be dancing because they are getting married, and in their culture, it's tradition to dance at their wedding. Another person might be dancing because they want to get money for college, and someone has offered to pay them to dance. 100 other people each might have 100 very different reasons for dancing (or committing murder, or rape, or such).
 
I also suspect it would be more helpful to NOT limit this kind of question to humans specifically.
 
We can find many cases of killing and sexual violence in nature.
 
For instance, one interesting question might be, why do some species of Black Widows eat their mates?
 
What we can say about all the cases is that it is some combination of nature and nurture.
 
One reason people do things (e.g. dance, murder, or rape) is because they are trained and taught to do them, especially from a young age.
 
For example, without bothering to search online for the stats, I'd bet that most rapists were themselves raped, or sexually assaulted at some point in their life, or at least abused.
 
Likewise, many kids are taught to be sadistically vengeful, being taught some kind of behavioral principle or habit like an eye for an eye.
 
Many are also taught to dehumanize certain others or outgroups. Violent dehumanizers raise violent dehumanizers, and most people are violent dehumanizers. Most people are capable of treating other humans as poorly as factory-farmed animals are treated for meat production. The science is in on that, as shown by countless controlled scientific reproducible experiments such as Milgram's famous experiment on violent cruel obedience and the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment.

 
The reason most people aren't Nazis murdering Jews is just nurture. The reason most people aren't eagerly burning witches at the stake is just nurture. Their external circumstances only need to change slightly for most people to become murderers or rapists. Many people are much closer to being murderers, rapists, or sadistic violent dehumanizers than they think. For instance, most people don't follow the request in my following article at all:
 
Friends, I ask you to oppose ALL non-consensual non-defensive violence, even when it's legal or done by your government.
 
 
But genetics and other pre-birth factors also play a role, in that two people could be raised exactly the same from birth and one dances a lot and the other doesn't, or one commits a lot of violence and the other doesn't.

So, typically, I imagine it's mostly nurture (post-birth variations or factors) with a little bit of nature (genetics and other pre-birth variations or factors).



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



Violent dehumanizers raise violent dehumanizers..png



In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
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Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango wrote: April 28th, 2024, 12:02 pm Hi Scott
If you found out that your partner was a narcissistic person. What would you do about it?

Hi, Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango,


Thank you for your question! :)


This question is very vague and unclear as written. In the future, it would be helpful if you provided more details and specifics. That is for your sake much more than mine, because it's your loss most of all if I misunderstand your question and answer a different question than what you meant, or otherwise cannot answer it fully and directly because it's lacking in details, specifics, and examples. So my polite and happy tip to you when asking future questions is to also provide some details, specifics, and examples. For example, a second sentence starting, "For example, XYZ," goes a long way in specifying what the preceding sentence meant so that it's properly understood.
 
With that said, I can interpret your question in three different ways:


1. "If you believe your romantic partner has a diagnosed mental disorder that you alone have successfully diagnosed them with, what would you do?"
 
2. "If your romantic partner went to a psychiatrist seeking help, and the psychiatrist diagnosed them with narcissism, and they told you about it, what would you do?"
 
3. "If your romantic partner went to a psychiatrist seeking help, and the psychiatrist diagnosed them with narcissism, and you became aware of that diagnosis, despite them not being honest with you about it (e.g. you overheard them talking to their therapist about it while sneakily eavesdropping on them talking privately to their therapist), what would you do?"
 
 
Those are three very different questions with three very different answers.
 
I could answer more elaborately if I knew which of the three applied to your case and what you meant to ask. However, I will briefly answer all three now:
 


1. "If you believe your romantic partner has a diagnosed mental disorder that you alone have successfully diagnosed them with, what would you do?"
 
This would never happen to me because, as I explained in this previous answer, I adhere to the following principle, which I also strongly advise all my mentees to adhere to: Do NOT diagnose anyone with any mental condition or disorder unless you are an accredited psychiatrist (or psychologist, etc.) with a doctorate AND the person is your patient.
 
Even if you (or I) were an accredited psychiatrist with a doctorate, it would be an utter violation of my teachings for you (or I) to diagnose our own romantic partner, or our own self, or anyone in our own family, or our roommate, or anyone with whom we have a personal relationship or otherwise who isn't our formal patient.
 
You would be too involved with them and too close to the situation to make an objective, unbiased assessment.
 

***


2. "If your romantic partner went to a psychiatrist seeking help, and the psychiatrist diagnosed them with narcissism, and they told you about it, what would you do?"
 
In this case, I would handle it with roughly the same pattern I would handle it if my partner was an alcoholic who, on their own (without being prompted by me), admitted to me they were an alcoholic and went to AA meetings regularly.
 
In another analogy, I would handle it with roughly the same pattern I would handle it if my partner was a cheating sex addict and/or a pathological liar who, all on their own (without prompting or pressure by me), admitted to me that they had been cheating and that they were a sex addict and/or pathological liar who needed professional help but was not going to get that professional help (e.g. by going to therapy and going to sex addict anonymous meetings, etc.).
 
In another analogy, I would handle it with roughly the same pattern I would handle it if my partner was a pedophile who, all on their own (without prompting or pressure by me), admitted to me that they were a pedophile and that they were seeking professional help and treatment for that.

In those cases, if the person was exceptionally honest about it and I found out about it only because they are so honest and want to change it about themselves, then there's a slight tiny chance that I would be willing to stay with them for a bit as a trail run to give them a hesitant chance to make that change via the professional help they are choosing (on their own with no pressure from that they get it), in some cases when it comes along with an unlikely confluence of other factors that make that plausible. In terms of addiction and most mental disorders (e.g. narcissism, psychopathy, pedophilia, sex addition, abusive anger problem, pathological dishonesty, etc.), people rarely change, and I don't try to change my partner, and I recommend you never try to change your partner. But if the person on their own admits to having the trait and on their own decided to seek professional help to change it, I might (along with a confluence of other factors) hand around long enough to see if it appears to be working.

Keep in mind that the above descriptions do NOT apply if I (or you) had caught the person on our own and/or had they otherwise been backed into a corner, so to speak, meaning either there's either a good chance they are not totally and exceptionally honest or that they don't really want to change themselves or get professional help but are just being pressured or forced into it by external circumstance (e.g. court order or your nagging or the threat of you leaving them otherwise). That's because if the person had been caught somehow (e.g. they just got a DUI, or you walked in on them sleeping with someone else, or you walked in on them looking at a disturbing type of porn), then their would-be 'admission' is not an act of honesty, and their alleged promises to get help are almost certainly just more dishonesty and manipulation.
 
In other words, if their alleged problem had been revealed by accident rather than proactive honesty, that's a totally different story.
 
Proactive honesty would mean a lot.

There is a reason that "be honest" is literally the very first of the eleven numbered suggestions at the end of my book.
 
Here are some posts that further explain how important honesty is:
 
(Q&A) How do you handle a salesperson who loses money twice?
 
(Q&A) Can the qualities you look for in the people you hire (e.g. honesty, self-discipline, self-responsibility, graciousness, etc.) be spotted in a job interview?
 
99% of the time someone says they cannot do something, they are lying to me and/or themselves.
 
(Facebook Post) The Four Agreements
 
(Q&A) When hiring people, what are the personal and professional qualities that you think are most critical?
 
What are your core values, and how do they manifest in your life?
 
(Tweet) Love requires honesty.
 
(Tweet) A person who lies... can no longer love.
 
(Tweet) Every time you are dishonest, you make fear more important than love.
 
(Tweet) Kindness without honesty is manipulation.
 
Post: Most humans are dishonest.
 
 
I've said this many times, including in some of the posts above, and likewise, I will say it again now: In all relationships, including professional, personal, and romantic ones, honesty is the most important thing.
 
If my partner has been utterly and consistently honest with me, then that would be a huge factor in how I move forward.
 
Otherwise, I would almost certainly cut them out of my life immediately, namely by breaking up with them or divorcing them. In that case, I would typically recommend going 'no contact', or as close to it as you reasonably can, as fast as you can. Otherwise, among other risks that come with being in contact with a toxic person, you might get seduced by their dishonest manipulation, such as their phony apologies and deceiving promises to change.
 
So, in short, unless the person has both (1) a proven long-time track record of being consistently extremely and brutally honest with you, and (2) was 100% proactively honest to you about this newly revealed problem (as opposed to getting caught or otherwise getting backed into a corner), I would immediately cut them out of life and go no-contact with them.

Usually, the above question and answer would only apply if the relationship was very new, or if the person truly and honestly only just realized they have a problem/addiction/etc.. That's mainly because otherwise they would have presumably had to use dishonesty to cover up the problem from you.

If they have ever lied to you about anything, the above answer doesn't really apply. Because then you have a second additional problem (the lying) on top of the first, so even if you might have just barely looked past or gotten past the first issue had it only been that, the second problem that is the lying on top of it is the nail in coffin. It would be just foolish to truth that person and invest any more in that relationship in that case. Generally speaking, for me, lying of any kind is a deal-breaker when it comes to relationships, both professional one and romantic ones and most others.


***

 
3. "If your romantic partner went to a psychiatrist seeking help, and the psychiatrist diagnosed them with narcissism (or some other severe malignant or dangerous mental disorder such as being a sex addict, a pedophile, a psychopath, a physical abuser, etc.), and you became aware of that diagnosis, despite them aiming to hide it from you and them not being honest with you about it (e.g. you overheard them talking to their therapist about it while sneakily eavesdropping on them talking privately to their therapist), what would you do?"
 
In that case, I would strongly recommend you cut them off immediately. Immediately go 'no contact' with them, or as close to it as you can.
 
If you aren't married, break up with them. If you are married, divorce them.
 
If you live with them, move out right away.
 
If you have kids, take the kids; don't let the dishonest, dangerous, or malignant person see the kids, and file multiple restraining orders and court orders immediately to ask the court to order that the person can't see or communicate with you or the kids without supervision. Even if the court doesn't ultimately grant that request, the fact that you filed it will show you acted in good faith when you withheld contact with the kids in the interim (rather than that you were just being a spiteful ex acting vengefully).
 
The person is a dishonest liar, so don't believe anything they say after you break up with them and cut them off. Don't answer the phone when they call. Avoid any communication at all, and whatever little is impractical to avoid, have it done in writing, not over the phone or in person.
 
In practice, this principle holds true when you are in a romantic relationship with someone: once a liar, always a liar; once a cheater, always a cheater; once an addict, always an addict.
 
Even if a person is going to change or something like that, it's generally going to require they first hit rock bottom, and even after that, it will be a slow, grueling process that will only be hindered by having a potential toxic enabler (i.e. you) in their life. When addicts finally get cured, they also tend to get all new friends and such. Toxic relationships have a certain stability to them, so long as the toxic person(s) remain toxic and the relationship remains toxic. Relationships typically don't survive a toxic or mentally disordered person hitting rock bottom and then (slowly) getting cured. If you stay with them, either (1) they won't get cured, or (2) the relationship will get worse and more toxic and still end, or (3) both of those.
 
I believe that roughly 99.9% of the time, if you stay with an addict, cheater, liar, etc. in the hopes that they will change, with the plan of helping them change, you will actually be a toxic enabler, and your choice to stay will actually prolong them hitting rock bottom and push them even lower.
 
If you like them the way they are and want them to stay the way they are, then stay with them and keep the relationship going. Otherwise, end it. Leave.
 
The more people enable an addict, liar, cheater, abuser, etc. in the false name of helping them and in the false name of love and kindness, the more they prolong that rock bottom and the worse things get. When someone doesn't have enablers, they tend to hit emotional rock bottom sooner without as much actual external devastation, and thus they turn their life around before it gets as bad as it would if they had enablers. Having enablers makes it so the person goes to even deeper and worse extremes before hitting rock bottom and finally turning things around, which most never ever do anyway. Most—almost all—just keep going down further towards an unreachable rock bottom, and they just get enabled and worse until they die, even if it's of old age.
 
If #3 is the situation you are in, get out now.
 
You're probably an addict too, in that case, in that you are likely in a toxic codependent relationship, meaning you are addicted to the relationship and/or the other person.
 
Drop it like a terrible, horrible bad habit.
 
Act like it's cigarettes and it's killing you.
 
Don't take even one more inhale.
 
Get out. Far out. Don't argue about it with the person. Don't negotiate. Leave and cut off contact.
 
Accept financial losses. Accept discomfort. Accept social embarrassment.
 
Admit that you have a problem. Admit that you are an addict too. Get professional help. See a psychologist or trained therapist at least weekly, if not more. Move in with someone who will be a good influence—a close, good, healthy friend or family member. Treat it like you are an alcoholic, and even sending one text message to that person is like taking a sip of alcohol.
 
They are toxic, and you are addicted.
 
They aren't going to change, at least not with you still in their life. Thinking they will change is like being an alcoholic and thinking they can find a healthy alcohol to drink that won't make them hungover. It doesn't exist.
 
Even if they had been exceptionally honest, it would have been like ice skating uphill. But with the dishonesty added in, with them being a liar added in, it's futile. Leave. Cut off contact. Cut them out of your life.
 
Don't argue, debate, or negotiate it with them at all.
 
Don't even discuss it politely in detail with them.
 
Just leave. If you live together, just move out without telling them if you can. You can just leave a polite note or send a quick polite text after you've moved your stuff and reached safety:
 
 - "I know you have been having an affair. I moved out. Do not contact me. Take care."
 
OR:
 
 - "I know you are a diagnosed narcissist and have been lying to me about it. I don't trust you. I moved out. Don't contact me."

 
Keep all communication in writing and to an utter minimum. Go 'no contact' if possible, or as close to it as reasonably possible.

Don't leave them and/or go no contact or such as a means to punish them, get revenge, or sadistically make them feel bad or guilty or to manipulate them into changing or wanting to change promoting. No, that would be manipulative, dishonest, and abusive. It would be total violation of my teachings, especially in regard to those about forgiveness and non-resentment and love vs hate. Instead, remember that you are going no contact because it is the most loving thing to do and to protect yourself (and your kids if you have any). It's also typically going to be best and kindest for your partner, like ripping off a bandaid. Yes, it will probably hurt and.or anger them greatly in the short-term, but over the long-term it will probably be the only way to hurt them and anger them the least. You want to consider (most of all) what is kind, loving, and best for you, not them, because you want to clean your own backyard first and focus on total self-responsibility rather than taking responsibly for others, but even if you were worried solely about them and solely about their best interests (and yours none at all), it will still be best and kindest to just rip that bandaid off and leave them with no negotiation and little explanation and then go no contact.

Gray rock them. Don't take their calls. Don't agree to see them in person. Even if they send you nasty or enticing text messages or such, don't respond. Don't get baited. Don't feel like you need to explain, justify, or rationalize your decisions to them at all. Don't feel like you need to answer their questions. Don't feel like you even need to respond to their questions to tell them you won't be answering. You don't need to explain why you are leaving them, and they don't need to accept it. You don't need to explain anything to them, and they don't need to understand it. Let it all go.
 
When cutting a liar or dishonest person out of your life, you don't owe them a detailed explanation. Trust is the most important thing in a relationship; people know that, and if they pretend to not get that already or otherwise seem like they don't understand, it's irrelevant. Don't explain yourself. Don't argue, negotiate, or debate with them about it. Talking with a liar is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, but less fun for you. Don't waste your breath or time, or take the risks that come with it. Just don't do it at all.
 
Even if there is some practical need to contact them, do it in writing and keep it extremely polite, extremely concise, and completely on-topic.

Keep in mind, most likely my answer above does not apply to you at all. It only applies if the person has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist/psychologist that they have been seeing as a formal patient and went out of their way to hide it from you or lie to you about it and somehow you found out anyway. That seems extremely unlikely, so most likely one of the other two of the three answers applies for you or none of them do.

However, feel free to re-ask your question providing more specifics so instead of three guesses at what the situation might be I can answer in regard to the one thing it actually is (unless I got it right with one of my three guesses). :)



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



Love requires.png



In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango
Premium Member
Posts: 91
Joined: November 16th, 2023, 7:28 pm

Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango »

Hi Scott
No.1 is the advice I will be taking from you and I have taken full responsibility for my actions. Its wrong of me to diagnose another with a mental disorder. Thank you for the advice and one thing I have learnt is not to be judgemental in any situation. Even if I have an opinion on it, it's better to be silent.
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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.

Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango wrote: May 6th, 2024, 4:37 am
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 6th, 2024, 3:03 am while 'opinions' and other subjective feelings can come in many forms, my book, In It Together, does indeed suggest one avoid willfully engaging in any judgementalism at all, and likewise it does suggest one do not engage in any willful resentment or willful hate at all.
Hi, Scott.
How about I look at it from this approach, yes I do have an opinion but choose not to share it and keep it to myself. Does this also equal to not having an opinion.

Hi, Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango,


Thank you for your question! :)


No, it's not the same. These two things are not the same:
 
 
(1) Not having an opinion about something.
 
(2) Having an opinion about it but not telling anyone about it.
 
 
Here is a hypothetical scenario that might help illustrate the difference. Imagine the following three people:
 
 
Person One: A racist who thinks interracial marriage shouldn't happen and shouldn't be allowed, resents people who get interracially married, and has very negative, resentful opinions and feelings when he sees interracial couples. But this person doesn't tell anyone about their feelings. They keep their resentment towards interracial couples a secret. They believe in their heads that "interracial marriages shouldn't happen," but they don't say it out loud to others. They believe that 'should' statement, but they keep it a secret from others.
 
 
Person Two: A racist who thinks interracial marriage shouldn't happen and shouldn't be allowed, resents people who get interracially married, and has very negative, resentful opinions and feelings when he sees interracial couples. This person openly expresses their resentful feelings and opinions about interracial couples.
 
 
Person Three: Does not have any such racist, hateful, or resentful opinions. Does not believe in 'should'. Does not see people and think they should be married or should not be married.
 
 
So, to answer your question, person one is not the same as person three.
 
Likewise, person two is not the same as person one.
 
Those are three different things: (1) secret opinion; (2) non-secret opinion; and (3) no opinion.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


Having an opinion.png


In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango
Premium Member
Posts: 91
Joined: November 16th, 2023, 7:28 pm

Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 24th, 2024, 3:18 am If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.

Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango wrote: May 6th, 2024, 4:37 am
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 6th, 2024, 3:03 am while 'opinions' and other subjective feelings can come in many forms, my book, In It Together, does indeed suggest one avoid willfully engaging in any judgementalism at all, and likewise it does suggest one do not engage in any willful resentment or willful hate at all.
Hi, Scott.
How about I look at it from this approach, yes I do have an opinion but choose not to share it and keep it to myself. Does this also equal to not having an opinion.

Hi, Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango,


Thank you for your question! :)


No, it's not the same. These two things are not the same:
 
 
(1) Not having an opinion about something.
 
(2) Having an opinion about it but not telling anyone about it.
 
 
Here is a hypothetical scenario that might help illustrate the difference. Imagine the following three people:
 
 
Person One: A racist who thinks interracial marriage shouldn't happen and shouldn't be allowed, resents people who get interracially married, and has very negative, resentful opinions and feelings when he sees interracial couples. But this person doesn't tell anyone about their feelings. They keep their resentment towards interracial couples a secret. They believe in their heads that "interracial marriages shouldn't happen," but they don't say it out loud to others. They believe that 'should' statement, but they keep it a secret from others.
 
 
Person Two: A racist who thinks interracial marriage shouldn't happen and shouldn't be allowed, resents people who get interracially married, and has very negative, resentful opinions and feelings when he sees interracial couples. This person openly expresses their resentful feelings and opinions about interracial couples.
 
 
Person Three: Does not have any such racist, hateful, or resentful opinions. Does not believe in 'should'. Does not see people and think they should be married or should not be married.
 
 
So, to answer your question, person one is not the same as person three.
 
Likewise, person two is not the same as person one.
 
Those are three different things: (1) secret opinion; (2) non-secret opinion; and (3) no opinion.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



Having an opinion.png



In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.


Hi Scott,
Thank you for explaining this. Now I do understand. Having an opinion and saying it out loud or just keeping it to your self still.means you have an opinion. But not having one at all means you don't have any opinion which is the right thing to do. Thank you fir the advice.
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