Whether we call it the inner critic, superego, or just plain nag, most of us have a "judge within" who's constantly on our case. A comprehensive guide to understanding how the inner critic works, this book offers practical, positive suggestions for breaking free of it. Using straightforward language and examples from everyday life, Byron Brown shows:
- Where the inner judge came from
- How it operates
- Why it trips us up
- Why we believe we need it
- How to develop awareness of it
- How to disengage from it
- The "soul qualities" we can develop to weaken its influence
DURING THE MANY YEARS I have been teaching people how to work with self-criticism, I have witnessed a great deal of suffering resulting directly from the negative ways people treat themselves. I have also seen their surprise and concern as they come to recognize how serious this situation is. Perhaps most important, I see their hunger for a sense of personal integrity based on compassion and understanding rather than a belief in deficiency based on self-blame.
There is nothing more poignant and heart-wrenching than to witness a friend treat himself badly out of a well-intentioned desire to do the best thing. It is painful to see his self-punishment, to recognize its inappropriateness, and to know you are helpless to stop it. You are helpless because the friend sees his actions as the logical and necessary outcome of who he is. Even when he recognizes the pain and struggle caused by the self-blame, he is not necessarily any closer to stopping it from happening.You might see that he believes he is responsible for something he is not and want him to recognize that. You may try to talk to this £iiend about it or give him books to read. But these things will have little lasting impact on his internal world unless they awaken his hunger to know himself beyond his hopes and fears.
Each chapter begins with an episode of the "Frank and Sue story," dramatically illustrating how the inner critic works; each chapter ends with a simple exercise designed to help the reader move along the path of self-discovery.
- The Soul Perspective
- What Is the Judge?
- True Nature and Reality
- Recognizing Judgment
- What Is Judged?
- Engaging the Judge
- Personal Will
- Being the Judge
- Why Judge?
- Joy and Curiosity
- Looking Deeper
- Stopping Self-Betrayal
- Defending Against Judgment
- After the Judgment Is Gone
- Recapping the Journey
"This a practical and personal tool for those who seek enlightenment and wish to defeat the inner critic." —Library Journal
"A life preserver for the true soul drowning in a sea of criticisms from its inner judge." —Independent Publisher
"In very clear and available language, this book details how to recognize the inner critic and how to deal effectively with it. Byron Brown's presentation is useful for any individual who wishes to be free from the inner suffering and coercion of this ancient foe of our humanity, but it is specifically directed to those interested and engaged in the inner journey toward realization and enlightenment." —A. H. Almaas
"Soul without Shame is a rare book that blends intellectual depth, genuine originality, and practical usefulness. As Byron Brown envisions the 'inner critic,' (the superego) it is a force that most of us accept as a necessary moral compass in our lives, but which in fact attacks us relentlessly and insidiously. Gracefully and persuasively, Brown makes the case that we literally become our own worst enemies, undermining even our most determined efforts to grow and prosper. This book offers rich and fresh insights into an aspect of inner work that is far too often neglected, and also sets out systematic ways to break free of the prison of judgment-both of ourselves and of others." —Tony Schwartz, author of What Really Matters