I would like to explain my motivation for writing this book.
I got sober when I was 15 1/2 years old in 1985. Back then, living in Beverly Hills, California, there was nobody around to teach me how to understand what meditation was. This was a tremendous disadvantage, because the 12-step recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous has a very important 11th step. The 11th step on the path of their suggested program of recovery reads, “...sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God.”
At age 15 1/2 I had already decided that there was no religious God, so I had no one to pray to. I made that conscious decision when I was in Hebrew school at age 13. I was betrayed by the rabbis and mistreated and abused (never sexually, but physically and mentally). They were the secondary catalyst for me turning my back on the idea of God. The first catalyst was my father—a proclaimed atheist who was once a very religious man.
My father at the time of this writing in 2020 is 79 years old. He’s an extremely moral man, in spite of his being an atheist. He cares tremendously about the well-being of people, and he feels compelled to solve the riddle of why so many people suffered in the holocaust and other terrible tragedies. I don’t have the ability to psychoanalyze why he had a fixation with some of the world's worst genocides. But I’m mentioning this hoping to give a better understanding of my background.
In my 20s I found meditation and intriguing. I went to places that taught very docile yoga. Although I found the people and the movement really uplifting and truthful, I couldn’t stick with it because it didn’t have enough of the brutality that I would come to like. I needed more of an adrenaline rush in those years of my life; I was dependent on that. I needed to boost my identity, and I did not identify with being a Yogi—I identified with being a skydiver.
Looking back, now I see that they were both the same thing. They were identifications with personality types that are constantly changing and evolving in me. With certain things I’m definitely moving much slower. I don’t feel stuck. I feel like I’m making progress, and I feel like I’m doing the necessary work.
There were many years that I wasn’t consciously doing self-help work, and I struggled a lot more than I had to. But today I look back at the work that I have done in my life. I realize now that I have always been trying to craft businesses around helping people. I knew that in order for me to be helpful to others, I would have to complete work on myself pertaining to living a mentally and physically healthy lifestyle. So I focused much more on doing that. I’ve continued to make that the primary focus of my life ever since.