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The Medusa Phenomenon

In the Greek mythology Medusa was a monster with a human female face. From her scalp grew living venomous snakes instead of hair. She looked so hideous that gazing directly upon her would turn anyone into stone. In my mind I regard this fear of turning into stone, very much like fear of transforming oneself into a new person, when confronted with reality as the Medusa Phenomenon.

Do you know that this phenomenon is exhibited by the self or ego in every individual whenever a fundamental change or direction in lifestyle or thinking is required? There is a fear that if we honestly looked at ourselves that perception might change us and we might lose our identity or the comfort zone we have created. There is therefore a tendency to always look away from ourselves and think that the solution to our problems lies outside us and not within us. This way we can avoid taking direct action and make only superficial changes in our lives without disturbing the status quo.

Facing reality is therefore like gazing at the Medusa. It elicits the Medusa Phenomenon. Look around you and you will find the Medusa Phenomenon in action everywhere.

For example if a person avoids something for fear that it might change his thinking or change his perceptions, is surely reflecting the Medusa Phenomenon. It is always easier to hide behind a belief system or a label and become a follower than to question the value system we have created.

When we want to lose weight, what do we do? We go on a diet, as if there is a magic formula outside us that will solve our problem. But surely it is because we have been consuming more calories than what our body requires in 24 hours that we have gained weight. So in order to lose weight, all we have to do is consume fewer calories than what we need in 24 hours. But no we do not do that. We depend on the various diets to teach us to eat less and lose weight. Hence we have a whole industry developed in making money out of people who are overweight.

Again if we looked at the problem of smoking in society it is the same situation. The smoker usually knows that smoking is bad for health, yet he continues to smoke. He is lead to believe that he needs outside help to give up smoking. He thinks he needs will power to give up smoking. Having a weak will power is a good excuse not to give up smoking. Hence we have now a whole industry developed to help people give up smoking. Surely what the individual needs is a change in his perceptions. Smokers are a good example of the Medusa Phenomenon in action because they dare not honestly look at themselves.

Alcoholics and drug dependents are another group where this Medusa Phenomenon is seen to be operating in full force. They dare not look at themselves for fear that what they see, might change them. It is better to blame the past and the world outside them for their misery rather than confront reality. If they were to find themselves on a desert island, they would be probably more concerned with where their next meal was coming from, rather than their next drink or pill.

So you can see that solutions to our problems are quite simple and lie within us. If you are one of those people who dare not look at yourself or hate to look at yourself, clearly what you need is change in your perceptions.

Read The Enchanted Time Traveller and learn how to change your perceptions without using will power.