The following is an excerpt of Be Yourself: The Art of Relaxation by Israel Regardie.
It can be purchased by clicking HERE.
This seems silly to you? You can't imagine being anyone else?
Well, you're right, of course. You can't be someone else, but you can be considerably less than your true self. You can quite unconsciously be aping another person altogether-one for whom you have had much love or admiration. Or, alternatively, you may be inhibiting your self out of fear of life, or from a lack of knowledge of how to live. In such event, the real "you", whatever that actually may be, is prevented from obtaining creative expression. This state of psychic inhibition in itself is productive of quite serious tensions in the spheres both of body and of mind. They are tensions of which, more likely than not, you have no direct awareness.
It is through the impact of two opposite yet complementary forces that this involuntary tension gradually comes into being. For instance, there is on the one hand the dynamic tendency of self, or vital energy within, surging upwards and outwards all the time, seeking an opportunity to expend itself or find adequate expression in the external world. On the other hand, there is the effort upon the part of your own rather apprehensive ego to prevent the upward and outward surge of this dynamic instinctual creative force. After all, consciousness is a thing born from and trained by the restricting and peculiarly inhibiting nature of modern social organization. And, as when you know, life and present day society look askance at the unmodified expression of the instincts regardless of the particular plane upon which they seek manifestation.
Large families- as manifestation of this force on the sexual plane- are denied people nowadays. There is the important factor of economic pressure. There is also the risk of social rejection and ostracism because people prefer to look. upon such things as old-fashioned and out-moded. Moreover, if you happen to have artistic or creative abilities, no matter how well or ill-defined and developed, how much sympathy and assistance can you expect from those about you? Very little, I wager.
In a few words, you- most of you reached by this little book- are not being yourselves. A conflict is being waged within your own heart and mind. The first result of this is that you are in a state of nervous and muscular tension from which you are unable to free yourself- believe it or not- even when you are resting or sleeping. Secondly, because of this you are wasting an enormous amount of energy and power which so easily could be employed in far more satisfying or creative directions. Very briefly, because of this inner conflict resulting in neuro-muscular tension, you find that you are unable to relax. Do you question this?·
Consider, then, the perfect power for rest in all animals. Lift up a sleeping cat. You will see how perfectly relaxed she is in every muscle. That is not only the way she sleeps, but the way she acts, rests, and relaxes. No matter how great. or how intense the activity, when she stops she is able to drop every muscular tension: So it is with all animals, except in rare cases where man has tampered with them sufficiently to interfere with the true order of their lives.