Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (August 10, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
"David Clarke has written a powerful testimony to the strength of the human spirit to overcome adversity. He bravely promises that, with God, anything is possible including complete recovery from any addiction. For those who are struggling with faith or self-awareness, I would recommend reading this book to acquire hope as a stepping stone to faith; then finally leading to the knowledge that, with God, all things are possible."
Father Richard Rohr,
Best selling international spiritual author
Ockham's Razor Revisited
Ockham's Razor is a blazingly candid memoir/recovery guide within a spiritual context. It is a deeply moving, intensely caring, intimate portrayal of a gay man's journey through abysmal depression, manic episodes, extreme indulgence and sexual addiction. He eventually discovered the power of the simple solution and enjoys enduring sobriety.
Unlike many self help books, it speaks from the heart as one who's been there and back too many times. It offers a simple, do-able plan that can lead to a safe harbor for addicts, and people on the brink of disaster. It is a valuable source of information and inspiration for manic depressives, addicts, their supporters, co-dependents and professionals in the field gift-wrapped in a literate and fascinating read.
Twenty-six years of practicing, studying, rising above and sinking to the depths, recommitment, regret, disillusionment with incompetent professionals, 12-step commitments and lapses, confirms the author as an expert on the subject with a workable solution.with Marc is worth more than sweat and semen spent in other men's beds?
Author David Clarke is a retired social worker, a recovered alcoholic, and recovered sex addict. He has poured his years of intense experiences into his first novel, Shades of Gay. David found spirituality as a way to help fill the needs that could not be satisfied through his addictions. He is socially-minded and wrote this book as a way to share the pain of addiction through the protagonist, who searches outside of himself for that which can only be found within.
My experience, as a physician counseling people with cancer and other life threatening illnesses, is that their addictions and self-destructive behavior are related to a lack of love being experienced during their lifetime, particularly during their childhood years. The solution then is to be found in love and not in addictions which represent a search for the feelings and benefits similar to that which love provides including the love of others as well as self-love. When I see David dedicating his book to his parents I know he has experienced forgiveness and healing and has the wisdom to share with us, gained from his life experience, which will help us to heal.
Our childhood is literally stored in our bodies and needs to be responded to. Or, as Alice Miller writes, “Someday the body will present its bill.” Drugs, sex and alcohol do not resolve the problem. When our response is to seek revenge and seek distractions and numbness we will suffer many more serious illnesses early in our adult years than those who felt loved. We need to respond in healthy non-addictive self-destructive ways and resolve the wounds which we have accumulated due to our receiving the opposite of love; indifference, rejection and abuse.
When we grow up feeling lonely and insecure for a variety of reasons related to our lack of self-esteem and an unhealthy self-image we stop feeling worthy and caring for and about ourselves and our life. We are all God’s children and need to realize our divinity. Religions and the authority figures in our lives may be a problem due to the guilt, shame and blame issues they expose us to but God is not.
David discusses his being gay and how that created a feeling of shame because he felt different. We are all different but still members of the same family and need to understand we deserve the love no matter how different we are. Wanting to be normal is only desired by those who feel inadequate to begin with and who didn’t receive healthy, constructive life coaching but instead criticism and blame from their authority figures. Be authentic and don’t worry about being normal and like others.
We have five children, one of whom is gay. The following message was given to us by him. It shows the benefits of parental love and accepting your child instead of judging and criticizing. As I said, we are all different and the more differences the harder life can get but when we receive love we become empowered and have a reverence for all life.
Think of his response, which follows, in comparison to a patient who wrote to me, “My mother’s words were eating away at me and maybe gave me cancer. She told me I was a failure and embarrassed her and only dressed me in dark colors so no one would notice me. The cancer gave me permission to become my true authentic self.” No one needs anyone else’s permission.
From our son: “Dad, I just wanted you to know that all my life you have been my hero. From the time I was a little boy throughout my whole life. All the times you came to school for show and tell and brought my pets in and all the classes you visited with body parts that fascinated and put in awe the entire school. All the pets you let me have and all the understanding and love you gave me no matter what. All the people you put back together when they were broken. I was always so proud to be your son and I always will be. I don’t think there is anyone else in the world that will ever know what it means to have a father like you and a mother like mom. I just wanted you to know this so if some day comes that I can’t tell you how much you both mean to me. You will know because I put it into words way before that day came. Love, His Name”
Now let’s put the guilt, shame and blame aside and think about how you would introduce yourself to God when you get to Heaven if you want God to say, “Come in.” The right answers are either “Your child is here.” Or “It’s you.” So work on that self-love and what I call reparenting yourself and know you can help others accomplish this too. You are made of divine stuff.
Start by asking for help and not hiding your wounds. We are all wounded and it is the wounded soul who, in love’s service, is truly capable of helping others because of their woundedness. That is why David is able to offer his experience and share his wounds because his curse did and our curse can become a blessing and he is trying to show us how to make it happen. When going through Hell we have to stop and ask ourselves, “What am I to learn from this experience? “
We need to understand we can eliminate what is killing us and not have to self-destruct. You save your life by ending the untrue life you are living, which others imposed upon you, and start being your authentic self. It is a process and a labor pain which will prove worthwhile when you give birth to yourself. Just as a graduation, which celebrates your finishing school, is called a commencement so is your life about never ending commencements. Your choice is to choose life and by that I mean what benefits you and all living things. Then miracles happen and true healing begins. When your interruptions become your life healing begins.
I like to use a daily mantra to keep me focused on all the things I have learned and share. I try to live the sermon and not wait for a disaster to wake me up. I repeat these words, which comes from many sources, throughout the day, “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever. I am happy. I am healthy. I love my life, wife and family. I am content with what I have. I rejoice in the way things are. Nothing is lacking. The whole world belongs to me. Thank you for everything.”
I recommend daily affirmations, keeping a journal of your feelings, realizing charcoal under pressure becomes a diamond, the therapeutic effects of laughter and knowing you are not alone. Look at all the support groups David encountered as an example of the other wounded souls filling this world.
I also felt it is important to not let your ego get in the way. David discusses writing an autobiography and if it is simply all about him, as is part of this book, I would not find it helpful to myself or others. But when he shares what he has learned because of his journey then it takes on meaning and becomes therapeutic. Life is a journey and when others help us to find our sense of direction the trip gets much easier. I loved his epilogue because its words are wise and useful for us all and sums up the lessons we can all learn.
The key is our mind and thoughts. We control only one thing and that is our thoughts and the feelings they create. Our job is to find a way to give our love to the world by becoming a love warrior. Love is our weapon of choice and not self-destructive addictions or internalizing our feelings because we can’t bring ourselves to share them with our family. When we bring love into all our relationships love becomes a powerful weapon which breaks down the barriers to communication.
When we feel loved by God and self-love we are truly free. We are all actors given a lifetime to rehearse, practice and become the person we want to be. So ask for help and find life coaches who do not blame you but guide and help you to become the authentic self you want to be. It all happens one day at a time. Meditate upon what needs to happen and change will occur. As I said, under pressure charcoal becomes a diamond and the curse a blessing
A follow up study of Harvard students revealed that 98% of those who did not feel loved as a child had suffered a major illness by midlife while only 23% of those who felt loved had. The lack of love is the source of all our problems in the sense that without it we do not have the strength, intention or desire to make changes. And desire and intention are what changes us, the world and the people residing here. Mind and matter are one. So replace your addiction with love and find true happiness.
We are all wounded and capable of writing books to help others because it is the wounded soldier who serves love. If you write a book be sure it is filled with solutions and not just problems. I can assure you all the books which need to be written have already been written. New ones are simply updating things which can be helpful. So look for the common themes shared through the ages and learn from them about surviving and thriving.
Our Creator loves us and provides all living things with the potential to survive disasters and life threatening events. Hope is real and not about statistics. You have the potential so don’t fear giving it a try and being a responsible participant on your journey through life. Be aware of what you are learning and learn from the stories people are telling because they speak the truth. Laugh for no reason several times a day and bring the therapeutic effects of joy and humor into your life.
Rehearse and practice having a sense of gratitude, joy and acceptance and ask your coaches to point out when you lose your way. Then every day becomes another chance to play our part and become our true selves. Self-acceptance and self-love are vital in the process. Then you can learn from your mistakes, thank your coaches and bloom like a flower versus making excuses, denying your problems and being unwilling to grow and change. If you do the latter people will give up on you.
One of the lines I think of often is, “Let your heart make up your mind.” We need to pay attention to our feelings. I always remember the lawyer who said, “I came to a conclusion that was eminently reasonable, totally logical and completely wrong because while learning to think I almost forgot how to feel.” So let God redirect you. Do what makes your heart happy. Use material things and wealth to create a better world and you will find happiness and the addictions we can all benefit from.
I know from people’s dreams and drawings that the future is being created unconsciously long in advance. Your everyday choices are not coincidences. They have meaning and are creating your life. So take responsibility and pay attention to the wisdom within you and learn from the experiences of people like David. Also remember that what we see in others resides within us. So accept your problems and addictions and change yourself rather than projecting the blame and problem onto others because it is easier to do that than change yourself. If you find this book inspiring it speaks about the inspiration within you it is bringing forth. We can’t put it there.
In closing let me share a few final points. Keep dreaming and remember you have the potential to achieve what you desire. Detach from material things and remember the only results of importance are that you choose life enhancing actions. Don’t fear change; change fear. Develop a childlike sense of humor and let it guide you through the tough times or ask yourself WWLD? What would Lassie do? Animals and children enjoy the day and do not worry about tomorrow. You can reparent yourself and find a chosen dad and or mom to help you.
Now here is a list I want you to use to guide you. Think about what group it may have come from before you look at the source I share at the end: “Tell the truth. Do your best no matter how trivial the task. Choose the difficult right over the easy wrong. Look out for the group before you look out for yourself. Don’t whine or make excuses. Judge others by their actions and not their race.”
No, it is not David or I or some spiritual addiction group. It is The United States Marines. So pay attention. Read on and learn to survive from those who have been on the front lines.
Bernie Siegel, MD
Best selling author of many books including Love, Medicine and Miracles
The title of my book derives from the principle of succinctness used in problem-solving devised by William of Ockham (c. 1287 – 1347) . This book gives evidence to the fact that freedom from addiction can be achieved by keeping it simple. It is my gift for anyone who's living on the razor's edge. In this book, I am going to share a simple program that can lead you to an amazing life of freedom filled with great joy.
Here is a question for you. Are you tempted or tortured by addiction? It comes in many forms: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, relationships, gambling, sex, compulsive spending, workaholism, and a host of others. It can destroy your life and the lives of those you love. You, too, can be free as I now am.
I have lived a life of addiction and insanity. It has been a fractured life. Some of my challenges have included overcoming mental illness, alcoholism and sexual addiction.
On the inside, I always felt different. I was lonely and insecure. I attached myself to things that seemed to make me feel better; but, over time, those things became dysfunctional. I had to learn how to let go. That was not easy!
I learned to live my life in compartments. I locked away those parts of my life that I didn't want others to see. I presented a facade of normality even though I didn't have the slightest sense what normal meant. I lived a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence as I walked through the shadows of my secret lives.
If you can relate to anything I have said, you may need help. Help is out there in many forms, most notably in the form of twelve-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. There are twelve-step meetings for many other addictions and they have helped individuals find a life of freedom from self-destruction. They are spiritually-based programs designed to help people reach out for help from a power greater than themselves. Some call this God.
They are not religious programs. There is a vast difference between spirituality and religion though the latter may serve the former. This book is not meant to be a replacement for twelve-step programs. It's simply that different approaches work for different people. Rather it may be an alternative or it may be a maintenance program for those who are already recovering.
In this book, I shall tell my story. I shall continue to weave the important concepts over and over for reinforcement. Ultimately, I shall try to condense my premise into the one abiding principle; that is, that you do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You do unto yourself with gentleness. You do no harm. Use your conscience as your guide.
I've found it best to keep things simple in order to recover from living a life based on dependency. I learned that I didn't need to be dependent on anything outside of myself in order to find happiness. That only comes from within. I believe that is all God wants for any of us. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Thus we are meant to be free; free to choose what is best for us; free to be all we can be.
It is my hope that today can be the beginning of a new life for you. By taking baby steps, I have learned to live a life beyond my wildest dreams. It's my greatest hope that you can too. You deserve it!