On January 1st 2016, author Jerry Hyde - ‘the most dangerous therapist in the world’ - set out on a year-long adventure into the murky underworld of Sin with one objective in mind…to save the world. Join Hyde on an exhilarating journey through hope, despair, love and loss made all the more twisted by daily microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms. Listen in on conversations with such disparate and at times desperate characters as national treasure Grayson Perry, tantric chieftain Shivam O’Brien, Mem the Mad Sufi and LSD blotter designer Kevin Barron. The Book of Sin is not a self-help book. It’s a do-it-yourself-help book. Read on if you want a better understanding of how to live life by your own rules, and how to make the world a better, safer, richer and more peaceful place.
|Publisher:||Soul Rocks Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.38(w) x 8.63(h) x 0.78(d)|
About the Author
Jerry Hyde has worked in film, theatre, TV and the music business. After retraining as a psychotherapist he had a fairly conventional career until losing the plot and rebranding himself in the somewhat out-there style for which he's become known. He lives in London, UK.
Read an Excerpt
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The Book of Genesis
And so, before we set forth, let's talk some more about you.
Despite my gossamer-thin promise that if you read this you'll know how to live life by your own rulebook, and indeed save the planet, why would you accompany me on this trek? Why would you choose to leave the comfort of the fireside and venture out into the wasteland in the full knowledge that this journey is at best unpredictable and at worst liable to drive us to the edge of madness or beyond?
First, the world we live in is fucked. Our terrorist governments and corrupt, self-serving politicians have propagated a vast disparity in the division of wealth; a semi-visible and perpetual World War III rages above and below ground, and we need to find a whole new value system if we are to survive as a species.
Then there's the second reason and that is all about you.
Because, like it or not, you are a Sinner.
And look, I know you try your best, OK? I know you're one of the good guys. I know you subscribe to Avaaz and you've got a standing order to the World Wildlife Fund. I applaud you for that, I really do.
But way, way back, when you were born, when you were fresh and pure and new, you had no notion of mortal Sin, or even morality; and unless your mother had experienced some kind of trauma when you were in the womb, the chances are you were largely a blank canvas, secure in the innate knowledge that you were loveable.
And you had no concept of Sin.
My belief, after working as some kind of therapist for over two decades now, is that there is essentially only one core wound that any of us have and that all presenting issues are but symptoms of that wound:
Do I belong? Am I accepted? And most of all ... Am I loveable?
As soon as you are admonished, bullied or shamed, you run naked in your humiliation from the Garden and do whatever you possibly can to cover your arse.
And so it goes on. You develop an inner radar like a soldier on sentry duty, peering into the darkness, eyes on stalks in a fixed 1000-yard stare; hyper-vigilant to any perceived attack, your armour becomes thicker and thicker. But still the messages penetrate, at first from your family: 'big boys don't cry, little girls should never get angry, children should be seen and not heard, you wait until your father gets home, don't be naughty or the sandman will get you, mummy won't love you if you do that, you'll never go to heaven if you do that ...'
Then comes school: 'you're too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, you wear glasses, you smell, you have greasy hair, you're stupid, you don't have the right clothes to be in the gang, you're shit at maths ...'
As you grow older, maybe you realise that all of this was nonsense. Maybe you get over it or maybe you get some therapy, but inside you're wounded and deep down uncertain as to whether anyone will ever really love you.
And still the messages come: 'you're too slow, too fast, too short, too tall, too bald, too hairy, not sexy enough, too sexual, you're arrogant, you're a failure, you're brash, you're under-confident, too bullish, too weak. ...'
And by the time you're fully-grown, you're going to have ingested a whole library of data that says, in essence ...
You're just no good.
And from that position you are very susceptible to the idea that you are a Sinner, not because of what you do or what you don't do, but because you inhabit this world; and part of the core of this world's very structure is that you, by default, are born morally depraved and therefore must plead for salvation.
How else would you be controllable? By your parents, your state, your church?
Now hold on. Before you throw this book away, this isn't just another conspiracy theory rant. Not yet, anyway.
Wikipedia defines Sin as:
The act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God; or as any diversion from the perceived ideal order for human living.
However, rather than committing a wrongdoing, the original Hebrew word Sin meant 'to miss', to not be present, to be unconscious.
I apologise now if you don't like Osho because there's going to be a fair amount of his twisted genius in this book. He said:
The word 'Sin' is very significant; not in the way Christians interpret it, not according to the dictionaries, because they have been influenced by the religions, but according to its original roots: the word 'Sin' simply means forgetfulness. And that gives a totally new dimension to the word — a beauty. It is nothing for which you can be thrown into hell. It is something that you can manage. It is not concerned with any action in particular; it is concerned with your awareness.
To be aware is to be virtuous. And to remain in unawareness is the only Sin. You may be doing good things without awareness. But those good things are no longer good, because they come out of darkness, unconsciousness, blindness. And as far as awareness is concerned, a man who is full of awareness, alert, cannot do anything wrong. It is intrinsically impossible.
Awareness brings so much clarity, so much perception, so much understanding that it is impossible to do anything that can be harmful to anyone. It is impossible to interfere with somebody's freedom or somebody's life. You can only be a blessing to existence, nothing else. So, to forget that you are a seeker is dangerous. It is falling into Sin. This is the only Sin I accept as Sin.
Did you get that?
The only true Sin ... Is that of unconsciousness. Boom!
There we have it and I'll tell you right now, that may well be the most important point raised in this book, so if you're just skim-reading you can quit here and still have got something profound.
But should you wish to persevere ...
We are born pure, we are told we are Sinners, we desperately adapt in order to be loveable and thus lose touch with ourselves, which makes us unconscious, and in so doing ...
We become Sinners.
What a rip-off.
Of course, the notion of Sin and its hellish consequences have been used as a vehicle for the last 2000 years to control the masses, as well as, I grant you, providing some kind of social guideline in the form of morality. But, as Osho said, 'morality is so that people don't have to think for themselves.'
If you want to control people — whether it is to keep them in 'order', to exploit or to manipulate them — the best way is to instil in them a deep sense of guilt, or better still scare the b'Jesus out of them.
Keep them fearful.
The war against terror is a contemporary example. By manufacturing or manipulating a scary situation with a semi-visible or questionably real enemy we feel beholden to our governments to protect us.
Even better than terrorism, how about a list of things that you will almost certainly want to indulge in at some time because you're human, but — and here's the clever part — if you do you will fry for all eternity. That's all eternity mind, not just a quick, 'ouch! oh fuck I just burned my forearm on the edge of the oven' kind of moment. No, we're talking about that kind of pain times a thousand for all eternity. Forever. And ever. Unless ... You do as your told.
Convince people of that bullshit from as early an age as possible, preferably while they're young and untarnished like perfect little sponges, and man, you've really got control of them.
That's real power.
Christianity in particular is a religion that blossomed among the slaves of the Roman Empire, people of a servile nature who were sold an ideology of a saviour who died for their Sins.
The Pagan religions of the Romans and Greeks were much more level. I mean, you could even shag a god if you got lucky — there wasn't quite the same hierarchy as there is in Christianity.
There wasn't so much bowing down before a vengeful god.
* * *
A while back it seemed that everyone who came to see me suddenly wanted to talk about sex, and my friends and clients encouraged me to write a book about the sticky subject.
I think it's a good idea. I think it needs to be done. There are so many lies around sex, so many myths. The truth needs to be told.
I have so much experience of working with sex, and so many people who trust me enough to talk to me in great and explicit detail about their own personal experiences, and ... Sex sells.
And so yeah, I could write a whole book on sex, and maybe I will, and maybe I should, but right now it's just not calling me. I simply don't feel evolved enough in that area to do it. But in thinking about it I went to Lust and from there to the other Sins. And so ... Here we are.
1. Strong sexual desire.
'He knew that his lust for her had returned.'
Synonyms: Sexual desire, sexual appetite, sexual longing, sexual passion, lustfulness, ardour, desire, passion.
1. Have strong sexual desire for someone.
'He really lusted after me in those days.'
Synonyms: Desire, be consumed with desire for, find sexually attractive, find sexy, crave, covet, want, wish for, long for, yearn for, hunger for, thirst for, ache for, burn for, pant for; informal — have the hots for, letch after/over, fancy, have a thing about/for, drool over, have the horn for.
According to Wikipedia:
Lust is an emotion or feeling of intense desire in the body. Lust can take any form such as the lust for knowledge, the lust for sex or the lust for power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food. Lust is a psychological force producing intense wanting for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion.
OK, that helps a bit. Maybe it's what religion does with Lust that makes it problematic.
In Buddhism, while technically not a religion, it still seems they believe that 'suffering is caused by lust.'
In Hinduism, Lust is considered the greatest enemy to mankind and the gateway to hell.
In Islam, it is frowned upon and seen as the first step towards adultery, rape and other antisocial behaviours.
In Sikhism, Lust is counted among the five cardinal Sins or Sinful propensities, the others being anger, ego, greed and attachment. The uncontrollable expression of sexual Lust is considered evil.
However, none of the Pagan religions considered Lust a vice at all, especially the Ancient Roman Bacchantes and the Dionysians; and all things Tantric — art, writings and religious rituals — glorify sex as a route to the divine.
The Christians believe that Lust devalues the eternal attraction of male and female, reducing personal riches of the opposite sex to an object for gratification of sexuality; and the Catholic church considers it to be a disordered desire for sexual pleasure, where sexual pleasure is 'sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes'.
To me, the best interpretation I've come across so far is from Russell Brand, who described his sexual addiction as 'Like being chained to a maniac.'
And yeah, out of control or taken to the point of obsession, Lust can be a problem.
But then, so can anything.
* * *
Habitual greed or excess in eating.
'She said plumpness was a sign of gluttony in most cases.' Synonyms: Greed, greediness, overeating, overconsumption, binge eating, gourmandism, gourmandising, gluttonousness, voraciousness, voracity, wolfishness, insatiability; informal — piggishness, hoggishness, gutsiness; technical polyphagia, hyperphagia; edacity, gulosity, esurience.
The order of the Sins — those considered worst listed last — comes from Dante's Divine Comedy and next in line, Gluttony, is defined as the 'wasting of food, either through eating too much food, drink or drugs, misplaced desire for food for its taste, or not giving food to the needy.' Or as Dante saw it, 'excessive love of pleasure.'
Gluttony is clearly a serious issue in today's Western culture. As I understand it, human beings aren't designed to deal with abundance. We've come from millennia of feast or famine. In times of abundance — after a harvest or a successful hunt — people would gather for a ritual feast and once it was done, hunker down and live off the dried and preserved leftovers, sometimes for months at a time.
Nowadays, we live in a time of perpetual feast. Every high street has a multitude of food outlets, supermarkets, convenience stores, cafés and restaurants. Despite the increasing prevalence of food banks, it's hard to actually starve in our culture. My corner shop doesn't even have doors. It's open all day and night, every day of the year.
But our bodies don't know how to deal with this perpetual feast. So we keep eating. And eating. Three meals a day on average, plus God knows how many snacks.
I've done a lot of fasting in my time, either through poverty or spiritual practice, and the thing I've noticed is that we just don't need that much food. The trouble is mealtimes have become part of our social regime and so we eat because it's 'lunch time', not necessarily because we're hungry. It's one of the many ways we've become detuned from ourselves, out of sync, asleep. If you break with traditional mealtimes and only eat when you are genuinely hungry, not only will you almost certainly eat less, but also you'll find that you are much more sensitised to your whole being.
* * *
Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food.
'I don't know why I'm eating more — it's not hunger, it's just greed.'
Synonyms: Avarice, acquisitiveness, covetousness, rapacity, graspingness, cupidity, avidity, possessiveness, materialism; mercenariness, predatoriness; informal money-grubbing, money-grabbing; informal grabbiness; rare Mammonism, pleonexia, gluttony, hunger, ravenousness, voraciousness, voracity, insatiability; gourmandising, gourmandism; intemperance, overeating, overconsumption, self-indulgence; informal swinishness, piggishness, hoggishness, gutsiness; rare edacity, esurience, desire, urge, need, appetite, hunger, craving, longing, yearning, hankering, hungering, thirst, pining; avidity, eagerness, enthusiasm, impatience; itch.
That's a lot of synonyms ...
OK, we all get what Greed is. It's when somebody wants more things than the person needs or can use. That'll be guitars for me, then. And denim. I've got me a bad case of Greed for 24 ounce unsanforised, raw Japanese denim.
The problem already facing me with this book is that I wanted to reclaim some of these Sins, I wanted to find the good side. Lust isn't too hard a sell, but Gluttony and Greed?
I fear I'm facing defeat in the opening chapter.
* * *
But with Sloth I might be back in the game.
1. Reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness.
'He should overcome his natural sloth and complacency.'
Synonyms: Laziness, idleness, indolence, slothfulness, inactivity, inertia, sluggishness, apathy, accidie, listlessness, lassitude, passivity, lethargy, languor, torpidity, slowness, heaviness, dullness, shiftlessness; archaic fainéance; rare hebetude.
2. A slow-moving tropical American mammal that hangs upside down from the branches of trees using its long limbs and hooked claws.
It's while lazing around that I have most of my best ideas. The bath is a fertile tub where the muse often visits me, as is the couch that my grandfather made in the 1930s that my family and I have lounged around on ever since.
I'm not saying that I'm not lazy. I am. When it comes to housework, accounts and washing my car, I'd much rather pay someone else to do them. My concern is not that we waste that much time, but that we don't spend enough in peaceful contemplation. We don't sit and wait, we don't tune in, we don't cultivate our intuition, and we're too busy emphasising the value of productivity to the degree that we often sacrifice the kind of inspiration that comes with stillness.
What's more, everything has to be fast these days — high-speed broadband, 4G phones, drones delivering shit from Amazon. We seem to be in a terrible hurry.
But when it comes to productivity I'm a big advocate of doing nothing.
Nothing at all.
Because, to my mind, the best way to hit a creative dead end is to try — try really hard to come up with a great idea, bang your head against the wall as you attempt to think outside the box, to be brilliant, to be great, to shine, to prove to the world that you are of value, worth having on board ...
To prove that you are not lazy.
I remember my mum sometimes used to say to me at the end of the day during the holidays, 'So, what have you done to justify your existence today?'
I always found that a tricky one to answer and even now, aged 51, I find it hard to lie in bed in the mornings when I don't have to get up. That programming goes deep and who among us can claim to have been raised to do nothing? I was raised to worship the great gods of Do and Think. To do nothing, to be still, to wait or to contemplate ... they were false gods, forbidden gods, pagan gods, gods worshiped by losers and wasters.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Book of Sin"
Copyright © 2017 Jerry Hyde.
Excerpted by permission of John Hunt Publishing Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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