Monday, July 09, 2007

Respect your Thoughts

"Let me think about it".
This is an all too common statement that many of us make without much 'thought'. We have been taught at home, in schools, at work places and everywhere else, to think about things because thought is intelligent and certainly helps you to figure the best ways to deal with issues - WRONG! The human being was not made (created) to think!

Now, before you start asking questions or making demanding observations, the learned scientists around us have confirmed that the human brain does not have any thinking capacity. The brain contains no part that is used for "thinking". Yeah!, I also ranted and raved when I came across this the first time but I did an experiment - next time you get that beautiful idea, the light bulb sort of thing, try sitting down with pen and paper and try to build on the new idea. Chances are, if it is a totally new thing like the COKE formula, you will end up with a blank. If you manage to pen down anything, it will most likely be bits and pieces of data that is already stored in our brain.

The brain is like a computer. You take in data and store it in there, and also have a system of retrieving that data - remembering it is called. This is not thinking, if it was, then computers can think. This is the process that is used in education to the highest level possible. Personally, I respect education a great deal and so this is not to suggest anything untoward to all of us educated people, but have you ever wondered why some do not make it in the scholarly area? Could it be that they are not endowed in the art of storage and retrieval of data? Have you ever wondered why inventions and other great ideas are rear in 'fountains of learning'?

Thought comes from beyond the mind.
All thought comes from the fountain of life, further deeper than where the human mind can be found. Thought comes to us as intuitions. Thoughts have their own dynamic lives and when we create things, be they a successful business or an imposing structure, we are only speaking life into the thoughts. When we fail to speak life into the thoughts, someone else does so that we can get the chance and opportunity to say "that was my idea"!
So instead of thinking about it, maybe we should try sleeping over it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Place of Harmony and Peace

Many years ago, as Saint Paul wrote to the Romans, he identified the need to ask them to pursue a transformation of the mind. He explained that the way to achieve the required harmony and peace in life was by the renewal of the mind and non-conformity to this world. "Think outside the box", he said, adding that it was only possible to think outside the box after we have transformed our minds. What is the hope and purpose of this kind of transformation? Saint Paul says that it is the way to test and approve what the will of God is, his good, pleasing and perfect will for humankind. It is the key to how life should be, plain and simple.

The nature of the spirit of man is to reach The Place of Harmony and Peace.

Saint Paul's observations remain true to this day. Have you ever determined to commit yourself to the discovery of self or the achievement of a life-changing status, only to find it strange that absolutely nothing happens? The self-help industry is huge and booming. Billions of dollars are continually changing hands. People are spending large sums of money on motivational talks, books, seminars etc, and although a number attain the required breakthrough, the greater majority find themselves trying one strategy after another without much to write home about. Surely, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these folks, no matter what the promoters of the strategies say. The question that begs here is this, have you ever spent time and money on a success strategy and ended up achieving zero from it? The answer, I would bet is YES.

So why did it not work? Why was it presented as a formula that works and yet it failed to bring the desired change in your life? Did you feel frustrated by the results? Did you feel empty or inadequate? Did you consider that it could have been a problem with you and not with the strategy? Chances are, you never got any of these feelings. Chances are, you probably just thought that you needed to try again. Maybe you thought little about this particular bit of advice and decided it was not really for you. Deep inside, you may have felt that you were not ready - and you were right! Your subconscious mind was not ready for the process that you had chosen. If this were not true, then all those strategies do not work for anybody else. But they do!

In this blog, I look at the fact and truth that all that we are comes from within us. Unless our subconscious minds be first transformed, unless we first deal with the inside, we can achieve little change in our lives, if any at all.

The State of Conformity.
If we are seriously and genuinely seeking change in our lives, then we must be stuck somewhere that is undesirable, whether this is a realisation that we are able to acknowledge or not. If we are conformed to a belief or belief system that is less than rewarding, then we remain stuck. The problem with being thus stuck, is that we can never be all that we ought to be. We cannot achieve our life's purpose. We cannot fully enjoy what we engage ourselves in. We cannot positively impact the lives of others, least of all our own. More profoundly, such conformity is made up of some very slight and seemingly harmless ways of perceiving and doing things. It is therefore possible to be and remain conformed without having a clue that you are in the wrong place. After all, things have always been done this way! How often have you heard the words "I know nothing much will come out of this", or "I hope am not wasting my time doing this"? The state of one's life is the hallmark of a conformed subconscious mind. As a man thinks, so is he. This is the make-up of a person who is "stuck in the rut", and many of us are!

The State of Freedom.
When freedom from the state of conformity is attained, one should expect to live a life that encompasses the following positive qualities among others:

  • Less busy-ness in life
  • Better time and issues management as better focus is achieved in all things
  • A more heightened creativity
  • Increased energy levels as a passion for all we do grows
  • A more fulfilled work life
  • More enjoyable and meaningful relationships
  • Better resource management
  • A more generous demeanor
  • Less (unnecessary) problems in life
  • A more balanced, organised and interesting life all round
In a nutshell, we find that we begin to live a life that is focused on other people more than we are concerned with our own. In essence, we stop focusing on ourselves since in reality, no problems exist in our lives as do in the lives of others - we begin to love our neighbours. This, coupled with the fact we become more caring for others, brings us to the state of selflessness. After all, we cannot become selfless when we ourselves are in need, as we are bound to concentrate on our lot first.

The Nature of Being in Transition.
Are you tired of being in the rut? Are you tired of debt, the same recurring problems, inability to get things done etc? Then you may be in the state of transition - the true condition of moving from paralysis to success. But I must add a word of caution here; this is only a state and not a guarantee for breaking out. Many live in this state for a large part of their lives, if not all their lives.

All human beings are on the same plane, sharing the same resources in everything that they do. One can therefore rightly say that one's station in life is a matter of choice. We choose where we go from here.

The choice to conform. We are restless and uncomfortable with our situation in life and instead of deciding to get ourselves out of our sorry condition, we embark on a lifelong journey of finding fault from outside ourselves. We vehemently blame the government, the weather, other people, "being born on the wrong side of the tracks" and whatever else we can put a finger on as long as it is not us! We deny our very being - who we are and what responsibility we have over our own lives. Like the drug addict who will not give up his habit, we are in denial.

It is also possible to accept our difficult situation and learn to live with it. "That is the way it is", we say. This is our lot, just as it was with our forefathers, we reason. And then we gallantly live out the difficult life. This is a common phenomenon in Africa where I come from.

The choice to change. We are restless and uncomfortable with our situation in life AND we take the bold decision to make a change. I emphasize the and because we find ourselves in both the conditions since there exist a time lapse between the bad condition and the good as we work our way out. We realise that we have in us, the ability to make the desired difference and we decide to take responsibility. If there is anything wrong with our lives, we are responsible for bringing it upon ourselves. We decide NOT to apportion the blame on anyone or anything. We decide to come up with ways and means of changing our lot. We begin seeking.

Where Do I Stand?
The first step to the walk to freedom is to acknowledge our position. Without this, no journey can begin (since we have no need to leave our station in life!). The drug addict will not embark on any rehabilitation program until he acknowledges the fact that it is better to be drug-free. More fatalistically, it is also possible to hold onto a lie and not realise it. Most people believe that their attainment of small earthly successes brings them to the point where they have "arrived" or "made it". Unfortunately for these dear souls, they never get to embark on the journey to greatness. Indeed, many of the students of The Place of Harmony and Peace are those souls that are broken, those that suffer chaos and confusion in their lives, and more so those who suffer loss and financial difficulties. It is in this scenario that we find the great paradox - as the hungry souls get snapped up by dishonest "saviour" as they insatiably search for answers, the arrived and have made it ones rue at the vulnerability and "foolishness" of the hungry souls while in the whole drama, they themselves continue to hold onto the lie in the hand and fail to realise that they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

We must therefore truly and honestly identify where we stand in order that we may embark on the journey to freedom. This is a big decision to make.

Crossing the Chasm.
We have already observed that restlessness is not enough to get us out. We need the transformation that Saint Paul spoke about, in addition to the restlessness.

A poor man will not embark on the journey to riches if he maintains the poverty mindset or mentality. An illiterate man will not pursue education if he is comfortable with illiteracy. A lazy one will not roll up his sleeves and work if being lazy is fine. A drunkard will not stop his fatal habit if he has no interest with being sober. In my country, those who partake of alcohol spend a great deal of their time in bars and other social places - they are socialites to the core. If you but tell them that you do not drink alcohol, the question that will be shot at you is "then what do you do?". Wondering what they would do with their time were they to stop drinking keeps them at the bottle. The list goes on and on.

If we critically look at this issue, we come to terms with the truth that is contained in first dealing with our minds before we can claim to want to change our lives, or even have the ability to do so. Many a times, humankind will spend a great deal of resources attempting to achieve something but will end up only scratching the surface, no matter the amount of zeal. As long as our subconscious mind is not in agreement with our thinking mind, then we are condemned to a long and uneventful life journey. But if the two will agree about anything, it will be done by the Father in heaven. Otherwise how would we explain the ease with which our lives take on a new meaning when we arrive at this point?

Speak to your subconscious mind. The six-million-dollar-question therefore is this - how do I train my subconscious mind to accept a new way of life? How do I eliminate the old and existing "mind tracks" in order to create new ones that will allow change to come?

The way to do it is by constantly talking to our subconscious minds, there exists no shortcuts, only faster and effective ways. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing..., we must develop faith of that which we desire, right in the core of our subconscious. The subconscious mind understands every language that reaches our five senses and the effectiveness of our communication with the subconscious is greatly enhanced as we employ more of the five. Even though the subconscious will not perceive the communication in the same way as we do physically, it hears, smells, sees, touches and tastes!

There is therefore a great need to regularly communicate with the subconscious about our many desired destinations. If we can regularly "speak" to the subconscious about our desired place in life, if we can regularly play the "smells" of that destination, if we can regularly "see" the destination and indeed generate a clearer vision with each visit, if we can regularly "touch" all those physical features of our destination, if we can regularly "taste" the givings of our destinations, then we would surely be on our way to convincing the subconscious that we are NOT at the destination of our life's journey and we therefore need to start moving. If we constantly do this, then we will constantly be on the move, up to our final day, since it is not possible to attain all that we can in one lifetime.

So how do we practice the exciting art of talking to our subconscious minds? Some recommended means that I have personally tried with success include:
  • Listening to tapes particularly before retiring to bed and immediately on waking up. The Paraliminals are a great winner here.
  • Meditating and employing all the techniques of the five senses as discussed.
  • Strategically positioning written affirmations of what is desired and believed for.
  • Keeping the mind focused on the present moment and its needs, in order to eliminate regrets, unforgiveness, hurts etc of the past as well as the fears, anxiety, stress etc of the future. The Power of Now is a classic in this area.
  • Maintaining a positive outlook of every aspect of life, continually affirming the positive with all the feelings that you can muster. This is quite effective when we talk to our image in the mirror while maintaining direct eye contact.
  • Maintaining a thankful and grateful heart that accepts all that is, as we positively seek to surrender all. Great conflict and difficulty is created in our lives when we seek to control and manipulate the issues of life.
These are by no means the only ways to reach the subconscious mind. Indeed, every true seeker knows that a new industry is quickly developing in this area, and this is good. The beauty with the art of talking to the subconscious is that all systems are simple and can be performed by anyone. Rick Warren said that if you can worry, then you can meditate, how true!

Then we fully understand the exhortation to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. If we will do anything in life, we must keep negativity out of our being. Negativity is poisonous.

Do We Arrive at The Place of Harmony and Peace?
If we did, life would cease to have meaning! What would we wake up to the morning after? But wait, it is not about us, it is about the universe, it is about the world, it is about the creation, it is about The Creator. It has been said that we cannot solve the world's problems. Jesus said, in this world you shall have trouble. If the problems of the world are not your responsibility, then they will always exist - as you solve one, someone will be creating another - and you cannot keep up.

Look at it from the following two perspectives:

1. The other person. No one has control over you. You do not have control over another. Not your kids, not your wife, not your husband, not your siblings, not your friends, no one. In fact, any attempt to gain control over another is witchcraft. Period. Because we do not have control over others, we do not have control over all the problems that keep cropping up all around us. We are therefore left with only one course to remedy this, to continually point everyone to the truth and leave them to take it from there, as they also hopefully pick the cue and start the journey of seeking The Place of Harmony and Peace.

2. You. Yes, you can arrive at The Place of Harmony and Peace in your own life and so can every human being. As we have explored in this discussion, we arrive at the point where we drastically reduce drama in our lives. We can put most or even all aspects of our lives pretty much under control. People do it all the time, in their jobs, with their time, with their money etc. The hope of this is that if we can change ourselves one at a time, then we would well be on our collective journey to delivering the entire world to The Place of Harmony and Peace.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The two way test

Two days ago as I was reading, these words jumped from the article right into my face: "do you spread the gospel because you are required to, or do you do so because you enjoy its benefits and are therefore determined to ensure that others do not miss the bus?".

There are two ways through which we get into whatever vocation or purpose in life. We are either authentic (the good) or aping others (the bad) when we decide to settle into a life activity. This is what determines whether we enjoy or suffer the resultant harmony and smooth running or disharmony and conflict. Think about the one or two grumpy medical nurses that have had the pleasure of driving a needle into your body at some time or the other. One wonders why anybody would want to be a nurse and seem to hate the work at the same time. Anyway, that is simply it. It's either a calling or you simply got involved because of some other fascination.

Life is simple yet interesting. I have found a simple and interesting way to make a self-assessment as we journey through our daily activities.

  • Two ways of getting absorbed into your desired area in life:
  1. By a deep yearning to release that which is good within you. That which is true and born of a higher value than the physical.
  2. By admiration of those who are actively practicing their purpose or even a fascination with the activity, financial rewards etc.
  • Two ways of testing whether you are riding on the good or the bad:
  1. By experiencing harmony and a very deep satisfaction in your work and life - an unhindered flow of ideas and creativity.
  2. By experiencing constant difficulties and disharmony in work and life - numerous mental blocks and the repeated necessity to procrastinate.
  • Two ways of testing whether you have a future in your chosen area or not:
  1. Total harmony where the choice is good. A burst of energy and little need to think as you work, since all energy works in concert to achieve the higher goal.
  2. The need to juggle the issues of life - total neglect of one issue in order to concentrate on another. The need to constantly stop working in order to think and vice versa as energy is divided and pulling in different directions.
  • Two ways to test and know whether you are in your element or not:
  1. While in the good you find no or little need to keep checking whether you are doing the right thing or not. You are too busy and in the flow to think about the energy that is coming from within.
  2. The constant need to seek external energy boosts when in the bad. Occationally requiring to consult your hero or inspiration in order to pick up new ways and tricks - very much in the way that drugs work.
  • Two ways to move on when you have determined your position:
  1. When you are in the good you must determine to learn the art of planning and setting goals. You must determine to stick to those plans and goals as a matter of great and critical importance.
  2. If you are in the bad, you must go back to the drawing board and seek to discover (uncover from under the illusions, perceptions etc) your authentic self. It is never too late to embark on the journey. Besides, all the problems that you encounter while in the bad go into making you better in the future.
When we preach the gospel because it is a duty, we are not authentic and are doing the gospel a disservice - the gospel does not need us. When we are genuinely fearful that others will miss out on the goodness that we are enjoying, then the gospel cannot do without us. That is why it is said that, that which makes you cry is your true purpose.