About the Book
Life is a Paradise throws light on the following questions-
What is life? What are paradise and hell? What is the key to happiness and how can we find it?
Humour is one of the important features in this book. The book will appeal to all those who are interested to know the depth of human psychology and also who are change their life for better.
The author has expressed his thoughts and actions in an easy manner though stories and folklores.
Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that life will indeed be a paradise, once you read the book.
About the Author
Prof Nossrat Peseschkian, born in Persia in 1933, has been living in Germany since 1954. He is a professor specialising in neurology, psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine. He is the founder of the method of Positive Psychotherapy and head of the International Academy of Positive and Transcultural psychotherapy (IAPP). Since 1968, Positive Psychotherapy has been introduced in 76 countries throughout the world. In 1997 Dr. Peseschkian was awarded the Richard Merten Prize for his work “Computer Assisted Quality Assurance in positive Psychotherapy” and his effective study of Positive Psychotherapy, in 1998 the Ernst von Bergmann Plaque of the Federal Medical Associattion for 25 year of continuing medical education, and in 2006.
A man’s son, who had studied philosophy at the university, returned home for the first time. His father gave him a hearty welcome and laid out a good meal. Over wine, the father asked, “What did you study at the university, my son?”
“Philosophy,” he replied.
“And what can you do with philosophy?”
“Oh, philosophy is very useful,” replied the young man.
“Take for example this roast chicken. For ordinary people, it is just a common, concrete chicken. For us philosophers, however, it is two chickens, a concrete one and an abstract one.”
“I never thought philosophy was so useful,” mused the father. “So, let’s do it this way: I’ll have the concrete chicken, and you can savour the abstract one.”
People have different values and standards. These shape our lives and are often the cause of misunderstandings. They are largely dependent on one’s personal experience; education; social stratum; milieu; one’s philosophical, religious or weltanschauung-related convictions; political opinions; and the prevailing mood, which depends on the current situation. Different things are important to different people: one person may be able to get along without something of cash value, another may do quite well without something that has scarcity value, another may well be able to dispense with something useful, another may feel quite detached from something that might bring him prestige or that is of sentimental value. Differences among such people often lead to interpersonal conflict. Especially provocative of such conflicts are individuals who have fixed value standards, hold them to be unchangeable, and then are confronted with people who hold fast to other value models. Furthermore, problems arise when value standards are conceived of within changing social circumstances. We often are helpless in the face of these differing and changing values; not infrequently, our bewilderment turns into aggression. The point, therefore, is to react with flexibility and to freshly examine our own opinions, seeing things from a new perspective, from which others may profit as well.
Asked whether their age difference wasn’t disturbingly evident, a forty-year-old man who had married a twenty- year-old woman responded: “Not at all. When I see my wife, I feel ten years younger. When she sees me, she feels ten years older. So we both feel thirty.”
Experience has shown that with sufficient attention and close observation, our problems, conflicts and difficulties can essentially be avoided, or at least treated or corrected. If that isn’t possible, it’s due first and foremost to our own attitude, which keeps us from objectively seeing the problem that has come to us out of our environment. The consequence is that we are unable to adequately work through disappointments derived from our own personal lives or our broader milieu and that we develop guilt feelings or use others as scapegoats.
An older man said, “How often have I made a fool “of myself just to prove that I’m not an idiot!”
We can learn to positively circumvent even misunderstandings.
Intergenerational relationships are one place where the relativity of values particularly applies. This becomes crystal clear when a grown-up gives a present to a child that he himself finds very valuable, although the child would have preferred another, cheaper toy.
A 32-year-old mother, for example, tells of the considerable dissonance between her and her step-parents, who for years have been besieging their grandson with presents: “I don’t know what to do with so many toys. They never think of giving something practical, like clothing. It drives me crazy.”
Upon questioning, it becomes clear that her stepfather had been in the war during his son’s childhood and hadn’t been able to play with him. In a way, he was trying to make up for lost time by giving his grandson toys for presents. So, toys had different meanings for the mother and her stepfather. For one of them, they were a burden; for the other, an unburdening.
When one makes such causal relationships clear, one can begin to see things in a different light.
Teacher: “You have six euros in your pocket. You lose one euro. What do you have?” Student: “A hole in my pocket.”
Learn to differentiate between your own motives and those of another. Don’t shut out other people; instead, learn to enquire about the motives.
In this book, we want to go into the following questions:
What is life?
What are paradise and hell?
What is the key?
How can we find the key?
One important approach in my work as a psychotherapist is to combine the intuitive thinking of the East with the new methods of the West. Stories and folk wisdom are purposefully brought into the counselling process.
It has become clear how we can learn from other cultures, through stories, folk wisdom and humour. These are like an oasis of catharsis.
Humour is the capacity to keep a light heart when the going gets rough.
In this book, you’ll find some examples of such encounters. For those who are interested in a comprehensive presentation of stories and positive psychotherapy, I recommend the book, Oriental Stories as Tools in Psychotherapy.
When a doctor tells his patients good stories, he needs to prescribe only half as much medicine (Sauerbruch).
I wish to thank Mrs Vera Hickmann, a graduate in Pedagogy, for her careful handling of the paperwork and for her encouragement. I am thankful to my colleague and fellow worker Arno Remmers, M.D., and to my son, Hamid Peseschkian, M.D., for their critical proofreading of the manuscript. My wife, Mrs Manije Peseschkian, has helped me a great deal with the stories. Dr. Karin Walter, of the Herder publishing company, who has always helped me to find just the right dimensions, encouraged and guided me in writing this book.
It isn’t that we have too little time;
rather, there’s a lot that we don’t use.
In the groove
Seeking paradise, activating energy
Paradise is right beside you - A change of perspective
We can make our lives a paradise - On social interaction
In paradise, you’ve got everything - Generosity and hospitality
There are stumbling blocks in paradise too - How not to lose your way
Getting underway - To finding wisdom
A blessing on the way
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