Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

A Zen Master Explains Why “Positive Thinking” Is Terrible Advice (Because It’s Dishonest & Irrational)

5 Comments

https://simplecapacity.com/2017/05/a-zen-master-explains-why-positive-thinking-is-terrible-advice/

I love it when spiritual people actually have a depth of thinking, that sees through the BS and ‘gets it’.


From the article…

“The philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful; it means being dishonest. It means seeing a certain thing and yet denying what you have seen; it means deceiving yourself and others.”

“Positive thinking is the only bullshit philosophy that America has contributed to human thought – nothing else. Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, and the Christian priest, Vincent Peale – all these people have filled the whole American mind with this absolutely absurd idea of a positive philosophy.

And it appeals particularly to mediocre minds…

The negative is as much part of life as the positive. They balance each other.”

“You ask me: Am I against positive philosophy? Yes, because I am also against negative philosophy.

I have to be against both because both choose only half the fact, and both try to ignore the other half.

And remember: a half-truth is far more dangerous than a whole lie, because the whole lie will be discovered by you sooner or later. How long can it remain undiscovered by you? A lie, of course, is a lie; it is just a palace made of playing cards – a little breeze and the whole palace disappears.

But the half-truth is dangerous. You may never discover it, you may continue to think it is the whole truth. So the real problem is not the whole lie, the real problem is the half-truth pretending to be the whole truth; and that is what these people are doing.”


I’ve always known ‘positive thinking (only)’ was unhealthy. I see it in the survivor arena all the time. People are told they should consider their trauma in positive only terms. They should consider positive reasons for the abuse.

To me, that is incredibly unhealthy and does not lead to healing.

But, unless someone has the capacity for rational thinking…… they will fight against this. Especially if they use ‘positive thinking’ as a coping strategy.

I will continue to write about and share what I consider to be far more rational and healthy thinking.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

5 thoughts on “A Zen Master Explains Why “Positive Thinking” Is Terrible Advice (Because It’s Dishonest & Irrational)

  1. This is a very important article which I share widely. “Positive Thinking” tends to invalidate our feelings. It’s our right to be sad, or anxious, or depressed. These are valid emotions. I spent too many years trying to pretend that I am “normal” and “happy” – that is, suppressing my true emotions. This led to self-harm as the pressure builds up and then I needed physical pain to get rid of it. Part of my “healing” from C-PTSD involves stopping to be ashamed about what I feel and what I suffer from.

  2. Thank you for this article – it expresses my personal experience. I began healing from CSA 30 years ago and the ‘positive-thinking’ lark was quickly rejected due to the fact that ‘positive thinking’ was how i’d survived to endure further abuse, in socially-enforced DENIAL i.e. Social Workers made me feel guilty (at age 13 after Mum fled to a refuge) for refusing to “rebuild a relationship” with a ‘Dad’ who had abused me in every way.

  3. You might find this interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW5u-tj-2rs – my healing has taken me through a very interesting and enlightening journey into human consciousness – it’s been scary at times but only enough to strengthen and build courage – please feel free to contact me via twitter – would love to collaborate with you toward sharing fresh perspectives. Love & Light x

  4. Fantastic post!!!

    It’s important to push back against these kinds to toxic things people buy into without examining them first.

  5. ALL of our feelings provide important data about who we are and what’s going on.

    Trying to block or control or ignore the “data” feelings provide creates many problems.

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