Liberation from the Lie by Eric Gross, Video & Text Book Review

As many books as we read and review here at, you might imagine there could be a great deal of repetition in the material that we go through.

In many cases, there really is only so much you can say about the nature of reality.  And we’ve read quite a few books that really aren’t worth the time to review.  So it is always a particular treat to read a book that approaches things differently or brings a message from a different angle.  “Liberation from the Lie” by Eric Gross is one of those books.


(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

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Prior to writing this book, the author had a 10 year affiliation with traditional Navajo healers, and experienced what they call Peacemaking first hand.  Liberation from the Lie is a fascinating blend of anthropology, psychology, spirituality and Native American tradition.  Unlike eastern teachings, this book theorizes that the initial trauma of separation isn’t inherent in being human.  Hunter-gathers were much more nurturing, nursed their young for three-to-four years and children often slept with their parents up till they were five.  Beyond that, there was the closeness of family in these tribal groups and there was not the rigid, Puritanical strictness placed on children to behave a certain way.

According to this book, the evolution of farming and modern civilization changed all that.  To produce more help in the fields, more children were produced and not given the same nurturing as the hunter gatherers.  This initial separation, Gross calls the Wound.  To compensate for the Wound, humans developed what he calls a Fear-Self.  This Fear-Self helps try to negate the Wound, but actually complicates matters and contributes to a continual striving to prove our validation.

This sounds complicated in a short review, but the author does an excellent job of explaining everything.  He also developed various kinds of Fear-Selves.  I actually recognized somebody I know in just about every Fear-Self.  My mother, wife, in-laws, and of course my own initial dominant Fear-Self that I spent 40 years appeasing.

Along the lines of some other recent recommendations such as Peter Ralston’s “The Book of Not Knowing” and Stephen Wolinsky’s “Waking From the Trance,” Liberation from the Lie includes experiential exercises at various stages of the book.  This is definitely not a book to read and tuck up on the shelf never to look at again.  Seeing through a Fear-Self will take time and intent, and this book is something useful to refer back to.

Eric is a friend of mine on Facebook and in a message exchange he stated “Good ideas don’t arise in a vacuum. Liberation from the Lie is built on the work of Morris Berman, Stephen Wolinsky, traditional Navajo healers (who powerfully identified invalidation as a source of conflict and violence, and my many years in a zen buddhist practice). But the primary source has always been my own testing of these ideas in life and in my own studies of other writers.”

I asked him where the terms Wound and Fear-Self came.  His response: “As far as I know the terms Wound and Fear-Self are, in part, original to Liberation from the Lie.  However….the idea of a core deficiency belief was greatly influenced by the writings of Stephen Wolinsky.  The concept of the Fear-Self personas is original to my work.”

The techniques offered in Liberation from the Lie, in our view, are more relevant to the western mindset, and therefore more useful.  This is really a fascinating book, and gives it our highest marks with a 10 out of 10 on our Infinity Scale.

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