“Breaking the self-deception in your gaze is the hardest thing to do”

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Aguilar publishes one of the world’s first illustrated psychology guides, a project by Pedro Jara and Ana Belén López ‘Dommcobb’

The psychotherapist and professor at the University of Murcia Pedro Jara (Ceutí, 1966) and the illustrator Ana Belén López (Murcia, 1975), better known as Dommcobb, have succeeded in doing the unimaginable: devising an illustrated psychology guide in which concepts are shaped through words and vignettes. “Who decides for you when you decide?” (Aguilar, 2022) is a real and special creation that is entertaining and understandable thanks to the synergy of its knowledge and talents. It’s a comprehensive book that tackles such an everyday topic as decision making, and it does this by examining what elements influence and determine each of those choices.

“The core of the work is the utmost conquest of inner peace – which is the opposite of the inner conflict we are all involved in – which is arguably the fundamental ingredient of happiness,” explains Pedro Jara, a specialist in clinical psychology, from. This inner peace — he continues — depends on a person acting coherently, that is, having a connection with his essential self — which the book calls “inner judgment” —; and that he is essentially true to himself or, which is the same, has a clear conscience.

To achieve this, “self-awareness is necessary, but yourself is made up of countless external voices – called mental invaders – that first camouflage themselves with our interior.” Through that idea, it associates itself with freedom, a state achieved “by learning to free oneself from education, indoctrination and all those cultural voices that we have internalized and confused with ourselves.” Only, he points out, by making a certain emptiness, an unlearning and a deconstruction of the self, can one attain the essence of oneself and fundamental freedom; and from there to train that conscience in order to achieve that inner peace.

In the words of Ana Belén López, who contributed her artistic talent to translate complicated concepts into something simple, the book is an observation of yourself to see what you are not and then unlearn who you think you are.« You have to observe yourself to see which things are not yours and have only been learned, integrated and repeated. From that point on you start to empty and get rid of whatever you think is solid and start considering what you are going to mount there [en su lugar] Therefore, the illustrator recalls, the book says not to take advice but to isolate yourself in order to observe yourself.

“Who decides for you when you decide?” It is a look within, an exercise in self-knowledge, questioning and conquest of that self of freedom. “Ultimately, it’s about developing a lucid gaze, both inside and out, and breaking the self-deception in the gaze, which is easy to say but the hardest thing to do, so the book has some technical parts, so that what our intellectual understanding is integrated into a ‘deep self’, deepens Pedro Jara.

“With only one person in the world doing it, we’re satisfied because we know it’s hard to experience it. The guide is very tasty as there is a lot of data and interesting stuff, but of course the personal work is heavier and where you can really develop the curiosity or genuine intimate interest to say ‘god wait, but when am I doing this? And when am I cheating myself? And when am I delusional in a simplistic way? That’s really screwed up and cool,” López continues.

As the authors say, it is disturbing and terrifying to look inside yourself and find that some of your thoughts are not what you really want, but are the result of society. However, “to get” [a esa libertad y paz interiores] you have to go through very uncomfortable areas because true existential learning is bound to involve some degree of pain and suffering,” says Jara. As much as it is an uncomfortable reality, he emphasizes, it is reality and that is why most psychology and self-help books are read and not practiced.

When it comes to achieving a greater degree of knowledge, Jara and López offer a range of easy-to-understand techniques thanks to simple language and vignettes that provide a short pause to the denser parts. Some of those classes don’t take advice and don’t explain as much as to why one or the other is being decided. Both prohibitions are connected with that inner voice that can only be heard by listening to yourself. “This self-listening means examining whether what I think, believe or wish is really mine or has been installed on me from outside,” clarifies Jara. “There is a constant question of whether what I feel and want is mine. It’s considering that if everything were possible in life, if I wanted to stay the same or choose something else,” López clarifies. «For example, I have to ask myself if I really want to get rid of that resistance and if so, because I want a stable job? Is it for the money? But do I really want that job? You have the answers yourself, therefore you have to ask yourself and be open to listen and when you have the first answer, quarantine it, ask yourself again if that is it and so on… It’s an intimate and constant reflection,” the illustrator adds.

Asking questions and asking yourself what constitutes our internal criteria, such as the authors of ‘Who decides for you when you decide?’ is essential to getting to know yourself thoroughly. However, it is not worth ignoring all those questions that the guide asks out loud, you have to pay attention to them. “Take these questions seriously, don’t let them pass you by and don’t take them for granted, precisely because we don’t want to give advice, what we do is try to help the reader look inward and put the radar of their attention on those parts of himself opening those doors that bring him more in touch with his essence,” says Jara.

“If you’ve ever become curious or have ever wondered, What’s happening to me here? Or if you’re interested in getting to know yourself, the book is a gem and a resource that will help you move forward, even if it doesn’t give you answers. [porque esas están dentro de uno mismo] And although it seems like I’m advertising, but no. I have a lot of confidence in this book as a companion if you’ve already had that curiosity,” says López.

Source: La Verdad

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