Message Boards Message Boards

Books and Websites

Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton

Toggle
Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 12:42 AM
Heey guys,

I just started reading the book ´Radical Honesty´ by Brad Blanton. Just finished the introduction and it seems interesting.
Information about the auteur: W. Brad Blanton (born September 4, 1940) is an author, seminar leader, and twice Independent candidate for United States House of Representatives.
He was trained in Gestalt Therapy by Fritz Perls, M.D., Ph.D., the founder of Gestalt Therapy. He was trained in hypnosis by Milton Erickson, M.D., the founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychopathological Association.

The book contains four parts:
- The being (the one who notices)
- The mind (the one who thinks)
- Liberation of the being from its mind
- Things learned from the war between being and mind

Here is a summary:
My clients and I have been learning from each other
that the primary requirement for getting beyond adolescence
is telling the truth. This book deals with the whole problem
of telling the truth: the difficulty in telling the truth, how it
hurts one not to tell the truth, how we are all liars, and how
it works against our self-interest to lie. It is common for
people to ruin their lives and kill themselves through with-
holding. It is normal for people to stop growing and die from
an accumulation of mild stress disorders over time. Being
overweight, uptight, a heavy smoker, a heavy drinker, a non-
exerciser, or some combination thereof, are the direct result
of a more central ailment of the mind. These deaths come
from remaining enmeshed in the mind—trapped in lies. Es-
cape from the trap of lies is in learning, and improving
through constant practice (just like learning to play golf or
tennis), the ability to tell the truth.
We are all the walking wounded. Most of us are still
interested in clarity and the truth, but at the same time we
are interested in making a case for how our childhood was
worse than average and how we're better than everyone else.
The conventional way to suffer through life is to build a case
for ourselves. That is what you get taught to value in Catholie parochial school and law school as well as all other schools
(just not as efficiently as in those first two schools).
But at the same time we are all participants in a project
to find out what being alive is. And when we lie or hide or
avoid—essential tactics in case building—we don't discover
anything new about life and we don't help others to discover
anything new. Being interested in this common human proj-
ect of discovery is an important part of the great conversation
in which we humans have been engaged for several thousand
years. For my own good, I want to hang out with people
who want to find out what it would be like to live in such a
way as to leave no unspoken words, no unfinished business;
I want to be with people who are hungry for the truth, who
want to spend time learning and sharing what they have
learned rather than defending their images or reputations.
This book is for that group of people that is growing larger
every day—-those whose thirst for knowledge and willingness
to share overrides their defense against embarrassment. I am
writing for people who want to grow beyond the adoles-
cence that currently passes for adulthood, for the couples
who are fed up with acting and blaming, for individuals in-
terested in integrity or wholeness over moralism and fitting
into roles. This book is an antidote to that conventional suf-
fering. I hope it will piss you off and hurt you and inspire
you, and break your mind's hold on your spirit.

I was wandering, are there more people who read his book? And what are your findings?
What are your experiences when applying his method of being radical honest?

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
8/31/15 3:12 PM as a reply to John Power.
What does the qualifier 'radical' mean in this context? What is the difference between a radically honest person and an honest person? Can you provide an example of a situation in which an honest person would be untruthful, but a radically honest one would be sincere?

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 12:37 AM as a reply to neko.
I have just started reading this book, so I can´t speak of the entire content.
But I come across the following:
The word "radical," incidentally, originally referred to
the juice in fruits and vegetables, the moisture provided
through the root {radix in Latin). It later came to mean the
essence or substance of things. Radical does not mean "far
out," but, rather, "far in." Radical honesty would be the
core of truth, not just the outward trappings. Just as there is
"the letter of the law" and "the spirit of the law," so there is
literal truth and essential truth.
He talks a lot about getting out of your mind and detachment from identification of ourselves as our experience. I quess by being radically honest, you tell what you feel and think and because of that you put your mask down. You learn to be true to yourself and not withhold information because of other people.
Maybe someone who read the whole book can share his/here experience?

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 12:55 AM as a reply to John Power.
I just don't get it. I know several people who define themselves as "radically honest" and I have had several discussions on this topic, but no one was able to explain to me how they are different from a "vanilla" honest person.

For example: If your teenager child had marijuana on him and you were stopped by a police officer, would you lie to protect your child, or would you have him arrested? "Radically" honest people I know would lie to the police officer in this case. Which is the right choice, in my opinion, but not very radical.

What these "radically" honest people have in common is: They were liars for a large part of their lives, cheating on their spouses and so on. This book changed their ways, which is certainly a good thing. But the thing is, these specific people had a very low standard for honesty in the first place. So just being honest in the ordinary sense of the word is very "radical" in their eyes.

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 1:33 AM as a reply to neko.
The word 'radical' sounds way more exciting than if you left the word off so from a propaganda perspective, it's a good move to add it in there.  ;-P  (imo that there would be another example of 'radical' truth :-P )  I have not actually read the book or anything, so am not really qualified to say much but maybe it also implies honesty not just in the normal sense of not telling lies outloud, but also more globally about self, like maybe it means realizing it is my fault that I was poor and without money for much of my life because I consistantly made choices that maintained that situation, that the reasons I got angry at such and such time was because I felt insecure and afraid (ie not that other guy's fault even though I tried to blame it on him at the time), that the reason I got sick was probably because I had not been taking good care of myself, and that the reason that business failed had a lot to do with me not putting much effort into maintaining it (ie no more blaming it all on the economy collapse).  The lies that are deliberately told to others are IMO just a fraction of the total pile of lies.  IMO a large percentage of lies are lies we tell ourselves day by day and minute by minute when we are too weak to admit the truth to ourselves and instead would rather believe some pretty lies.  Those lies may feel a tad better over the short term, but long term, IMO they sap the strength and stability out of our lives and derail our road to success.  My personal opinion anyway.  I've known people who tried really hard to never deliberately tell a verbal lie, but the lies they told themselves were many. 
-Eva 
[quote=
neko]I just don't get it. I know several people who define themselves as "radically honest" and I have had several discussions on this topic, but no one was able to explain to me how they are different from a "vanilla" honest person.

For example: If your teenager child had marijuana on him and you were stopped by a police officer, would you lie to protect your child, or would you have him arrested? "Radically" honest people I know would lie to the police officer in this case. Which is the right choice, in my opinion, but not very radical.

What these "radically" honest people have in common is: They were liars for a large part of their lives, cheating on their spouses and so on. This book changed their ways, which is certainly a good thing. But the thing is, these specific people had a very low standard for honesty in the first place. So just being honest in the ordinary sense of the word is very "radical" in their eyes.

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 1:56 AM as a reply to neko.
First, I want to say that the following is my own interpretation and not having fully read the book, I can´t speak according to it.

Well, to go along with your example. The chance that this example would occur when you are radically honest and learned your child to be also, is small. The child would be open to you and you would have had a good conversation(s) with him/her. When there is radical honesty, the chance that your child would use marijuana is small. Why? Because when he/she has a problem, the child will tell you. Then you can together work it out, plus shared pain will already lessen the pain. So instead of struggling with the problems on his own and covering it up by the use of drugs, the child can now with your support find a solution. I think that´s it with radical honesty, you can only do this when you are less attached to your experience, or you will become less attached because of the practise of radical honesty. When you are less attached, you are less ego-based and have more care for others(the child).
So in this example, the child and you haven´t been radical honest and suddenly at that moment, you want to be. That´s not realistic.

@Eva: I quess your right. It is about the lies you tell to yourself and to others. It is about believing your interpretations of the world and believing that things that went wrong in your life are not ´your´ fault. Just to protect your own image of a ´self´.

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 1:51 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:

The lies that are deliberately told to others are IMO just a fraction of the total pile of lies.  IMO a large percentage of lies are lies we tell ourselves day by day and minute by minute when we are too weak to admit the truth to ourselves and instead would rather believe some pretty lies.  Those lies may feel a tad better over the short term, but long term, IMO they sap the strength and stability out of our lives and derail our road to success.  My personal opinion anyway.  I've known people who tried really hard to never deliberately tell a verbal lie, but the lies they told themselves were many. 
I like your thinking Eva! But the problem with "self-honesty" is: Everybody believes that they are honest with themselves, by definition!

Example: If I think "I am lying to myself when I call myself a happy person", then I am actually thinking that I am not a happy person and, in doing this, I believe that I am being honest with myself (whether I am actually happy or not). So maybe there was an instant of breaking through a lie, an instant of recognition of lying to myself... but on both sides of the instant of recognition, I thought I was being honest in calling myself happy before, and sad afterwards. The two sides are completely different, although they both feel real. (Shall we call this be a self-honesty-fruition by the way? emoticon )

Makes sense?

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 2:05 AM as a reply to neko.
I like your thinking Eva! But the problem with "self-honesty" is: Everybody believes that they are honest with themselves, by definition!

They don´t believe this if they are honest with themselves emoticon
You have to have mindfulness and wise reflection. The attitude to investigate the truth no matter what the results are. You have to use logic and identify false thoughts based on biased. Yes, this is a life long journey to wisdom. So your honesty will progress through your life. The decision to be (radical) honest is just the intention to put more attention to your experience and be truthful. The wisdom determents how honest you can be, but this is not under your control.

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
9/1/15 2:08 AM as a reply to John Power.
John Power:
First, I want to say that the following is my own interpretation and not having fully read the book, I can´t speak according to it.
Haha, no one of the posters in this thread has read the book so far! Best way to discuss!!! emoticon

The discussion is still interesting for me though emoticon

John Power:
Well, to go along with your example. The chance that this example would occur when you are radically honest and learned your child to be also, is small. The child would be open to you and you would have had a good conversation(s) with him/her. When there is radical honesty, the chance that your child would use marijuana is small. Why? Because when he/she has a problem, the child will tell you. Then you can together work it out, plus shared pain will already lessen the pain. So instead of struggling with the problems and covering it up by the use of drugs, the child can now with your support find a solution. I think that´s it with radical honesty, you can only do this when you are less attached to your experience, or you will become less attached because of the practise of radical honesty. When you are less attached, you are less ego-based and have more care for others(the child).
So in this example, the child and you haven´t been radical honest and suddenly at that moment, you want to be. That´s not realistic.
I agree with what you say... except for the word "radical". Isn't talking openly with your child what any honest person would do? Would we really call "honest" a person who manipulates their child into obedience through fear and guilt? What purpose does it serve , to break down honesty into A-grade, B-grade and F-grade honesty? My impression is that 'radical honesty' waters down the value of truthfulness and build some sense of moral superiority on top of a very low standard of what it would mean to be honest.

Examples:
- I "radically" don't walk into liquor stores and shoot people.
- I "radically" don't trip old ladies as they are walking on a frozen sidewalk.
- I "radically" pay my taxes.
If somebody said this to me, I would get the impression they have very low standards of what it means to be a decent human being... emoticon 

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
2/18/16 10:28 AM as a reply to John Power.
Former actualist here. RH sparked a few spontaneous PCE's in me, years after I had long given up on AF and without searching for them. The term "Radical" is used to mean that you are 100% honest with everyone, all the time. In this way you overcome fear of the truth. Almost no one is honest 100% of the time; you discover this quickly after you get a streak going, as it becomes blatantly apparent when people hold back, shy away from the truth out of fear, etc. 

Like I said, it led to a few PCE's. Richard placed a high premium on sincerity on the AF trust, so it makes sense. RH is an interesting book and definitely worth a read. I think he's on to something. But I think that you need to quickly develop discernment between the truth and lies - and also, the difference between expressing anger or whatever else directly, as opposed to indirectly (i.e. telling them what they did that made you mad, as opposed to insulting them, sneering or scoffing at them, etc.). If you don't you will start a lot of fights that you can't finish because you started with a shitty map.

My 2 cents. Worth a read, at the very least.

RE: Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton
Answer
2/18/16 9:00 PM as a reply to John Power.
John Power:
I like your thinking Eva! But the problem with "self-honesty" is: Everybody believes that they are honest with themselves, by definition!

They don´t believe this if they are honest with themselves emoticon
You have to have mindfulness and wise reflection. The attitude to investigate the truth no matter what the results are. You have to use logic and identify false thoughts based on biased. Yes, this is a life long journey to wisdom. So your honesty will progress through your life. The decision to be (radical) honest is just the intention to put more attention to your experience and be truthful. The wisdom determents how honest you can be, but this is not under your control.
Yeah,  I'd say the same thing.  If you believe you are totally honest with yourself at all times, then you are probably not being honest with yourself!  ;-P  I would not call it a thing of black and white or yes/no dichotomy, but a process of working through many layers of delusion.