Beyond Belief: Symptoms of hopelessness

I’ve started to read Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief. Here are a few thoughts I’ve expressed to friends that were prompted by the first dozen pages of the paperback version.

“p. 5 We need a painless liberation from our insidious emotional wounds..a leader who will take the place of an emotionally distant parent for whom we will sacrifice anything just for the promise of love, protection, and caring.”

The elections of the past two presidents were symptoms of the hopelessness that most Americans feel. Both elections promised hope.

“p. 6 Beliefs sell and sell well. People will pay dearly for even the promise of fulfillment, even if it is in the next life.”

Religion can have a much worse and lasting effect on people than any politician or political system can. Politicians can drag out and delay living up to their promises.

Religious leaders don’t have to deliver much at all during their followers’ lifetimes. In fact, it works in the leaders’ favor to minimally address their followers’ current sufferings, as that strengthens the appeal of the imaginary next life.


The past three weeks I’ve gone to 7-11 to get a morning coffee. More often than not, I see people buying lottery tickets during the 2-3 minutes when I’m there.

What accounts for this behavior? Not everyone who buys a lottery ticket is a math illiterate.

I’ll guess that the behavior is a symptom of hopelessness. People’s widespread feelings of hopelessness cause them to generate a faith that an exceedingly-improbable event can miraculously happen in their lives. The lottery-ticket behavior follows.

State governments are responsible for these lotteries. It’s one of the ways governments prey upon their citizens’ feelings of hopelessness.

I once worked as a contractor in a government office where everyone except me pooled money every week to buy lottery tickets. I was also the only nonreligious person there. Coincidence?

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