"We Are All Innocent..." A Must Read...

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 6391
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

"We Are All Innocent..." A Must Read...

Post by Sighclone » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:09 am

Have you ever run across a simple concept either in reading or in life that was so obvious after you read or experienced it that you were almost embarrassed? This happened to me after reading Kathleen Brugger’s “We Are All Innocent By Reason of Insanity.” I remember feeling miffed when Eckhart Tolle used the word “insanity” so many times in “The Power of Now.” I thought that was a bit extreme. Several years later, however, here is a book not only asserting and demonstrating that we are insane, but declaring us innocent for that reason, and suggesting ways to be saner, and to deal with the insanity we see everywhere: We are All Innocent By Reason of Insanity, by Kathleen Brugger, a forum member and contributor. The subtitle is odd: “The Mechanics of Compassion.” But Ms. Brugger clarifies the steps at the end of the book and gives an exercise / example.

I promised Kathleen a review, and read the book twice, taking notes, etc. But, instead of a rather academic review and commentary, I’m just going to touch on a few points…hopefully enough to get you to buy the book (the Kindle version is $4 on Amazon.) In brief, she asserts that we form our image of reality in our minds from a combination of “objective” and cognitive thought-forms and subjective individual points-of-view which add value judgments. Actual reality might be a complete mystery, but the fact that “something’s happening,” is certainly real. What we live in is a mind-generated virtual reality. And it is delusional. And we are insane.

Whew. Bold stuff – easy to discard as radical and, well, insane. But then she brings in the ego, collective egos, the fallacy of free will, survival techniques of the subjective mind’s primary identity, pride and shame, no-fault crime and alternatives to current “correctional” institutions, arbitrary value standards, acceptance, presence, the fallacy of forgiveness, and finally, compassion. Plus there are many very forthcoming personal reflections and observations, a treatise on sexuality, and a powerful conclusion, part of which is: “Happiness is a by-product of acceptance.”

As a nondualist (is there such a thing?), I was particularly impressed with how she finds relief and peace in very nondual theses: 1) there is no free will 2) we are innocent and “perfect” just as we are, fully deserving of compassion, 3) we can be comfortably free from beliefs, either individual-story-beliefs or collective value-judgment beliefs, 4) and the profound virtues of humility, acceptance and surrender. Ms. Brugger makes no claims to be “enlightened,” but reaches these conclusions from years of observation and examined personal experience. In a way, this fundamentally non-spiritual book actually adds support to the already powerful nondual assertions in literature written by formal spiritual teachers. Her conclusions are very familiar to all of us in this forum. This unusual perspective was, for me, simple and obvious after reading it, and allowed me to bring into focus a number of personal judgments which had been lurking out of conscious range, reminded me to accept them, now see them clearly and let them die. This book was a watershed for me – it is really a world-view book…deserving a much wider audience, extensive commentary, and perhaps even a following/discipline such as we saw for Transactional Analysis. You will not be disappointed by reading this…it is stunning.

A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

User avatar
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:51 pm

Re: "We Are All Innocent..." A Must Read...

Post by coriolis » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:43 pm

I got the Kindle edition a week ago and generally concur with your assessment of the book as a "must read" having read through it once.

I took away from it that the primal insanity afflicting human beings is the unexamined subjective reality we inter in the core of our being -- our precious, our treasure of great price-- which is precisely that which stands between us and the real treasure of being set free by knowing a reality that is not subservient to unquestioned and unproven subjective notions.

We approach ourselves religiously (protecting beliefs that may not be questioned) when we should be more scientific (discarding any belief that cannot stand up to questioning).

A good read.

I didn't fully understand all the parts about sex but maybe that will become clearer a second or third time around.
Look deeply inside yourself and try to find yourself.
The ensuing failure is the true finding
---- Wu Hsin

User avatar
Posts: 3800
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: "We Are All Innocent..." A Must Read...

Post by smiileyjen101 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:16 am

I too enjoyed the book and thank Kathleen for leading us into it.

It adds insight to the notions of layers of an onion, and I particularly loved this
f our life film ever stopped completely we would have attained the absolute present, and like attaining the speed of light, time would theoretically cease to exist.

We all know what would happen then (really? would we 'all? hehehe)

The light of the projector would burn through the celluloid illusion and there would remain only white light.'

We are all innocent by reason of insanity. Kathleen Brugger
There is also an introductory topic on the book here - http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... =2&t=11742
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:08 am

Re: "We Are All Innocent..." A Must Read...

Post by Ralph » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:52 am

I have not read the book but I love the title " We are All Innocent By Reason of Insanity".
This remind's me of the quote , " Be in the world but not of it",

You see ...'to be in the world and of it' is Insanity but 'to be in the world but not of it' returns you to Innocence.

User avatar
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:18 pm

Re: "We Are All Innocent..." A Must Read...

Post by KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:33 pm

Ralph wrote:I have not read the book but I love the title " We are All Innocent By Reason of Insanity".
This remind's me of the quote , " Be in the world but not of it",

You see ...'to be in the world and of it' is Insanity but 'to be in the world but not of it' returns you to Innocence.
Like it Ralph! Thanks for the review Sighclone, and the kind words from Smileyjen and coriolis. If anyone has any questions they can always pm me.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity

Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: "We Are All Innocent..." A Must Read...

Post by beginnersmind » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:24 am

LOL Andy,

A Course in Miracles uses the word insane almost 200 times and insanity over 60 times. I hear you though, the word does/did seem a bit extreme, but with a lot of introspection I have come to see that this is a far more accurate statement than I would have liked to believe about myself. I think Tolle also calls it being unconscious.


Post Reply