An axiom is something that can be recognized as true without the need to “prove” it. In regard to human experience, it is something we recognize as true simply by hearing it or reading it, and noticing that it resonates as self-evident in the center of our being.
As in mathematics, axioms can then be used to prove or solve other more complicated and less intuitive equations or problems. For example, the fact that “1” is the smallest number that is not a fraction is obviously and apparently true upon brief consideration. We can always rely on this to be true, in every circumstance. It is never “not true.” Thus, when confusion sets it, we can return to these axioms to see if they shed any light on the particular problem or challenge at hand. Often they do…
Below are some principles that, for me, are axiomatic in regard to the processes of healing and evolution that can be catalyzed by psychotherapy:
Resistance = Contraction = Suffering (therefore, any formula for living that decreases resistance and contraction will also result in decreased suffering).
[And let's not forget that -- likewise -- any formula for living that relies on INCREASING resistance and contraction will lead to INCREASED suffering!]
The moment we cease resisting our experience is the moment it can begin to transform.
Now is the only time powerful enough to free us from the past.
The body is always a direct connection to the present moment, because the sensations of the body can only be experienced in the present moment (i.e., the body has no conceptual system to even conceive of a “past” or a “future.”)
As such, the body doesn’t lie.
The source of my suffering is most likely a function of my own distorted perception of the present moment.
If I can become aware of what I am currently resisting – and shift into simply allowing it to be instead – some form of healing and/or evolution will take place.
Love does the healing, and Love loves to do it. Our primary contribution is to get out of the way.
The things we feel we can’t talk about tend to crawl to the center of our sense of identity.
There is nothing in us that can’t be accepted, can’t be healed, can’t be included -- and can’t be put to good use.
Numb is a problem, not a solution.
Avoidance is a terrible strategy for living.
Any part of ourselves that we try to suppress, banish, “eliminate” or deny just comes back meaner and crazier.
Whenever two human beings with open hearts occupy the same proximate space, some form of healing and/or transformative exchange will take place.
"Aphorisms” [as contrasted with "axioms"] are more like little bits of advice or guidance that are pithy and potentially potently useful across a wide range of situations (but, unlike axioms, there may be exceptions where they are not necessarily applicable or helpful...).
Here are some of my (current) favorites:
Aim to treat your emerging inner self (in whatever form it may appear) with as much affection, respect and compassion as you would treat the “outer” person in your life you love the most…
BE the love (kindness, understanding, acceptance) you’ve been searching for.
Notice what allows your heart to be a bit more open -- and do more of that.
Listening is love in action.
Pay attention to what you are currently resisting, and how you are resisting it -- and see what happens if you relinquish just a bit of that resistance, right now...
I am not responsible for my first reaction -- but I am definitely responsible for my second one.
[Said another way, we can't choose what we feel; we can only choose how we respond to whatever feelings may arise.]
The mind is a terrible place to look for truth -- much less “peace”!