Thursday, November 19, 2009

Five Gates? What the heck it that?

You might be wondering why you should care about this blog, about me, about my journey of self discovery? I hope you do care, at least to some small extent. I think what I'm trying to do is worth noting, and at least being some what quizzical about. I"m using an approach of self discovery that the Rabbi Dr. Lynn Kesselman devised, after himself reaching the end of his rope. He wrote a book about his process, that he calls the Five Gates Program. It's a system to rediscover the points in our life where we formed some of our dark cycles. The patterns that keep us from being the people whom we are meant to be. The people we know we should be. We instinctively know that we're deviating from this true self whenever we use drugs, drink and drink, or have promiscuous sex. Or if when we keep people from being close emotionally, keep from being honest with others about our state, or use anger or desperation, to keep people around and in our lives. These are all the ways in which I've tried to keep control of the world and the people around me. I guess it's sorta served it's purpose... but at what cost? I've lost so many good friends becasue they can't stand to see me abuse myself physically and emotionally and whenever they started to express genuine concern for my well being, i've lashed out at them or just left them all together. I"ve desperately wanted to find love and be in a close intimate relationship, find a man who can love me for who I am, and help me be better but this is obviously just a fantasy because It's my own work to figure out my past. But at least I know I can do this with some help. THe help that Lynn Kesselman's Five Gates Program offers is a solid way to look into my past and try to fish out these critical moments where these habits, that now cause havoc in my life, stared and then figure out how I can accept them as the past and realize that In this present I have control. I've had a few Aha! moments already. And After the first few discoveries, I'm starting to feel the growth. It's really liberating to realize that my life is actually in my control. As I find these key points, and wrestle with them, and dig deeper, I've been following the path from teh past to the present and understanding the links in between. I'm starting to realize how something from my childhood has affected key moments in my life. That time I had a huge fight with my best friend and nearly killed myself. The time I ran away from home to punish my family for not listening to me. So many of these traumatic events start to fall down into place after I've removed a few lynch pins that have held up the deck of cards that is the dark cycles I keep repeating.

The real power to Dr. Lynn Kesselman's Five Gates, is that it focuses on alleviating the source to my habits and defenses. It's amazing how quickly going to the source can have an immediate effect. It's something that I've been working with and people are already seeing some of my changes... I'll stop bantering on now. Let me tell you a bit more about exactly what the five gates is.

The Five Gates Program is more than a recovery program—it is a way of life. It gives us a new way of seeing ourselves, how we became who we are and how we can transform ourselves into the person we want to be. The Five Gates Program transforms us through sequenced thoughts and actions which are designed not so much to treat our symptoms, but to permanently heal us by removing the root causes of our anxieties, depressions, addictions and the destructive effects of our dysfunctional beliefs. It generates from within us a natural and lasting spiritual awakening based on easily understood logical truths, many of them taken from our personal life experience. It teaches us powerful living tools for navigating in the present. The Five Gates “Core Training” has two parts: the Mental Awakening (Gates One, Two and Three) and the Spiritual Awakening (Gates Four and Five). Following the Fifth Gate, we begin “The Life Practice,” our lifelong program of self‐monitoring and improvement, which is even more empowering and pleasurable. Most people who take the Five Gates Training Program have tried several other programs that didn’t work. This does not indicate they have less chance of success in this program—often just the opposite. Most programs operate from the facilitator’s perspective and do not intimately connect with the perspective of the person seeking help. Too often other programs put off the person needing help by being judgmental, illogical and superstitiously based. The Five Gates Program is a not only a powerful tool for correcting dysfunctional beliefs of those needing help, but it is a seamless, logical and powerfully intimate progression of healing truths and easily understood methods to cement and improve upon our progress. Most people who seek help in this area suffer from some degree of loss of focus. The Five Gates Program overcomes this problem by quickly cutting to the root of how we process reality. The speed at which we heal is not only convenient to our natural impatience, but also takes advantage of the fact that slow healing is more difficult in that it causes us to live in negative perspectives which provide no immediate relief. Because the Five Gates Training Program positively transforms the way we process reality, it is a valuable tool for anyone who simply wants to feel better about him or herself and life. It often helps boost our intelligence by greatly improving our self‐esteem and concentration abilities.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Our Compulsive Natures Take Over Our Lives

Compulsion can be such a strong thing. It can make you unable to stop, to become addicted. It can make you do things you never would normally do. It can make you become a monster, hurt those that love you, be mean, viscous and destroy beauty. Compulsion for me was a way to defend myself, separate myself from the reality, the painful reality of my life. Much of the pain was because I was unable to escape my own compulsions. The very mechanisms I used to defend myself became the bars of my cage, the cage that kept me trapped when the water started to rise. I know I needed help. Desperately needed help to find a way out of my vicious cycle. For years I think I knew that what I was doing was completely wrong and that I had to stop, before I hurt myself and destroyed any positive connection I might have left. I was on a cycle of destruction that was leading me toward death. A slow suicide. I recently found some light. The Rabbi Doctor Lynn Kesselman, his program called the Five Gates. It's a set of spiritual principles that have helped me to regain faith in life and the world. Lynn Kesselman, went through this self discovery and figured out a way to show other how to come out of the rabbit hole and find the open possibilities of the future. I've only just started down this path of self revelation, self acceptance, self understanding, and self love. Lynn Kesselman wrote a great passage on compulsion and how it consumes us:

Our having prolonged unresolved suffering despite our

best efforts causes us to lose faith in our ability to have a

suffering‐free future. We interpreted this prolonged suffering

experience through the “eyes” of our earliest logical

tool, our belief that our future will resemble our past. We

concluded that through our present actions, we could do

little to secure a much‐improved future. This is the

dilemma that every addict faces in his or her psychologically

based cravings.When we are depressed and compulsive,

we become fatalistic and conclude that because we

feel miserable today, have been miserable so far despite our

efforts at times to improve our situations, we will feel miserable

tomorrow and indefinitely. This makes us believe

that the best chance we have for any happiness at all is to

give in to our emotional mind, which craves immediate

relief, instead of believing in the promises that self‐restraint

will give us what we want and need.

Once defeated, we stop improving our situation

because we believe it will hurt us less. To lose our struggle

uncontested seems to be a better outcome than if we had

tried our best and lost anyway. If we try hard and lose, we

feel like failures. This usually happens because we were

never taught that trying our best is success in itself. To feel

better about not trying to solve our problem, we may try to

fool ourselves by saying, “If I wanted to, I could win.” But

this doesn’t work either. When we stop trying, we know we

will continue to suffer, usually worse than before, and

begin to dread the future altogether. Depression like this is

the root cause of our inability to try to improve.

In the Five Gates philosophy we say that anxiety

(fear) minus hope = depression. In our weakened state of

depression, we desperately reach out for quick fixes to

soothe the pain of our anxiety. Compulsive behavior is the

result. Some of us were taught in early childhood that

worry (an expression of fear) and not just caution is necessary

to keep us safe. If we were raised this way we

became addicted to negative thoughts that further drove

our anxieties to constantly force us to look at life as dangerous

or negative to us. As this habitual way of thinking

deepened within us, we eventually found that our inability

to help ourselves from becoming anxiety‐ridden made us


In my practice, I have discovered that most people who

were believed to have a hereditary predisposition to

anxiety and depression could usually overcome these

problems by simply changing their beliefs about themselves

and life. When they went to their physician they

were asked if either of their parents also suffered from this

problem, and if so their problem was written off as

“running in the family” and could probably be fixed with

the proper medications. The real problem is that in their

early childhood they were taught to see themselves and life

in ways that were anxiety‐producing, resulting in

depression. The causes of depression, and not only the

symptoms, can almost always be resolved through this


I have often been asked why I don’t believe in the

hereditary nature of addictions, anxiety disorder or

depression. The truth is that I don’t really know, but I have

never had a client whose seeming predisposition toward

these problems could not be explained by our discovery of

how he or she grew up to be who they are as it was

revealed in their Fifth Gate journey. In other words, I have

yet to find the well‐adjusted child of well‐adjusted parents

who upon exposure to alcohol and no other negative emotional

problems suddenly found him or herself addicted to

alcohol, unexplainably anxiety ridden or severely

depressed. If these afflictions were hereditary, I should

have found many such cases. On the other hand, some

people may experience greater pleasure or euphoria when

exposed to the same amount of certain stimulations and

may therefore find it harder to keep their rational mind in

control of their emotional mind, particularly in times of


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Rabbi Doctor Lynn Kesselman

ANd the book of the five gates, not the book of the five rings b myamoto y musashi, also another good read. Book I recently read the Rabbi Doctor Lynn Kesselman's book about his Five Gates philosophy. Its a methodology to discover and uncover the pains locked in the past which have caused problems in my life since that time. My childhood was filled with torment and turmoil. My parents were living in a marriage of connivence and had little love. I was abused sexually by my uncle. At an early age I was sexualized and very sexually active. Later as things progressed, I was teased at school because of my ethnicity. I never felt like I had a place to fit in and consequently found myself a sexual deviant and constantly seeking affection from people who really just wanted me because of my body and not for the beautiful person inside. I was trying to make up for the lack of love that my parents showed to each other, to my siblings, or to my self. Lynn Kesselman's ideas are so straight forward and obvious. The five gates are not an ancient mystery, or some secret waiting to be unlocked. Lynn Kesselman's ideas are easy to digest and very universal. I found these concepts helped me to look into my past and uncover the blocks that I had put in place in order to cope and defend myself through some truly horrific torment and abuse.

Well I may be an obvious candidate for the five gates program... but you might be wondering if it would help you? Let me put an excerpt from the book that I found particularly poignant. Maybe this will help you to understand what Lynn Kesselman is trying to do.

How Do I Know If I Need Recovery? From What?

“Am I happy?” It seems clear that if you are happy you

are not going to want to change anything about yourself.

The key to seeing if you are happy is to ask yourself the followings

questions. “How completely do I enjoy being who

I am right now?” “Do I say or do self‐destructive things?”

“Do I feel anxiety much of the time, even when I am faced

with no important losses?” “Do I have problems getting

myself to do things that my judgment tells me I should be

doing?” “Do I feel lonely and isolated, but can’t get myself

to take any steps to connect with other people?” “Am I

ashamed of being who I am?” “Do I have problems obeying

the law?” “Do I abuse alcohol, other drugs, sex, gambling,

food, or exhibit any other addictive behavior?” “Do I find

myself unable to accept and let go of past disappointments?”

“Do I experience anger, resentment or rage when I

can see they do me more harm than good?” “Have I been

diagnosed with any emotional or mental disorders?” “Do I

tend to alienate people around me or leave them with a

poor impression of who I am?” “Am I frustrated about my

inability to help myself?“

If you have any of these kinds of problems, don’t feel

discouraged about them because you can greatly reduce

these problems and often can free yourself from them

entirely by taking the Five Gates Training Program as it is

found here. Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t.

I hope this might help you! I recommend looking for this book and reading it yourself if you are having a daily struggle to overcome and accept our lives. It can be so tough that you might just want to end it all but, know that there is help. Lynn Kesselman is one person who can give a bit of advice and point you in the right direction so you can follow the spiritual principles so you can learn how to live successfully and understand your life!