Times They Are A Changin’

“Times,” Bob Dylan famously sang, “They are a changin’.” You may have noticed from my earlier post that time and change are on my mind today. As I mentioned the other day, we’re in the process of selling our house and moving back to Kansas City.

Change always makes me reflective. It also has a tendency to make us want to cling to what is familiar. This morning I sold our 2006 Kia Sorento to the junk man and will be waving goodbye to it for a couple of Ben Franklins.

This was the first brand new car April and I bought together back in August of 2005 and was our main family car for many years. This, too, has been coming for a while. In the four years we’ve been here, it probably hasn’t been driven more than 30 times. I put a new battery in it last Fall, but when I went to start it the other day it wouldn’t start.

This vehicle never let us down. We never had one morning when it was our main car that it didn’t answer the call. While it’s just metal and plastic in one way. In another, it’s memories of trips to Manhattan to watch K-State games and 43,604 trips back and forth up Highway 69 between Louisburg and Overland Park.

This move back to Kansas is a new chapter for us. Some things, including this Kia, will not continue on the journey with us.

Plato recorded Socrates saying the following. makes “Heraclitus is supposed to say that all things are in motion and nothing at rest; he compares them to the stream of a river, and says that you cannot go into the same river twice”

In our modern world, this quote has been culled down to, “You cannot step twice into the same river.”

Time passes. Everything stays in motion. What was no longer is. What is will soon no longer be. That’s the nature of all composite things…cars, rivers, and us.

It’s only attachment that makes it sad. If we can step back and see the big picture, the awesome symmetry to the whole cosmic dance comes into view. All IS well!

Ray

 

 

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Is Out There Really Out There? – Day 125 of 365 Days to a Better You

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.

~Mark Twain

For centuries, wise sages and great teachers have taught that the world is what our thoughts make it. For most of us living in the modern, rational age, even if we buy into such ideas, we tend to see them as metaphorical and not literal.

Donald Hoffman, a cognitive psychologist at The University of California Irvine, has a very different perspective. He and his cross-discipline team have developed a theory that our brains are devices that literally create the reality that we perceive. They call it Multi-Modal User Interface (MMUI) and it picks up on some of the ideas of the Simulation Hypothesis and on age-old teachings from contemplative spiritual traditions.

This is a very old idea for me personally. Back in the early 1990s, I spent some time playing with the idea of whether “my reality” showed up wherever I was located. For instance, I wondered, when I was at work, did my apartment still have objective reality? Or, did it become real again by my traveling there and perceiving it.

For those who have never considered ideas like these, Hoffman’s work may seem ludicrous. However, there’s a ton of scientific evidence backing up these ideas. Two he mentions frequently in his presentations are that fully one-third of our brain is devoted to visual perception. That would be unnecessary if we are just “taking pictures” of the world. Secondly, his research has shown that Evolutionary Theory has not taught us to see truth, but rather see what allows us to survive.

The implications seem fanciful, even a little crazy by our consensus view of the world. We have made a major assumption that “reality” is something objective that exists out there and that our senses are simply designed to show us that reality.

What if our senses are, in fact, a means of taking raw data like a matrix of numbers and converting that into the reality we experience? What if we are literally manufacturing objective (agreed upon) and subjective (individual) reality from our consciousness? What if our senses have been designed, like radio receivers, to receive these impulses and manifest space and time?

The implications are broad and profound.

While we are likely mere children playing with adult capabilities, the ability to consciously control the creation of our reality would mean literally anything could be possible for us individually and collectively. Given our current state of development, that could be scary. It could also be a game-changer.

Perhaps, the tools we have talked about in our 365-day series are the rudimentary beginnings of techniques to put this into affect to change our lives and the world.

What it says about our space-time reality, our materialist viewpoint, and the nature of our existence are bigger questions to be explored. Nonetheless, these ideas open a world of vast possibility and potential, if we are willing to drop old paradigms and courageously walk through the gateway.

Thank you so much for following and reading this blog. For more motivational content, please visit the TAS Website. You are all AWESOME!

Ray

My 15 Favorite Albert Einstein Quotes

Today’s Affirmation:

When I am open to bigger possibilities, I am open to bigger outcomes!

Many think of Albert Einstein as that wild-haired mathematician, physicist, smartest guy of all-time, or the E=MC2 guy. Today many have forgotten that he was also a great thinker, philosopher, statesmen, and advocate for humanity in his time.

His ideas led to massive advances in many fields, including warfare and weaponry – the atomic bomb. He was keenly aware of the responsibility humanity had to use his genius – our genius – wisely.

He had is flaws and his personal problems like the rest of us. To me, that only makes him more human and his genius more approachable.

Today I am sharing my 15 favorite Albert Einstein quotes. Some of them will not be new to you. I hope a few of them will provide new insights into the man and into yourself.

  1. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
  2. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
  3. “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
  4. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
  5. “I speak to everyone the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of a university.”
  6. “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
  7. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
  8. “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”
  9. “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
  10. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”
  11. “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
  12. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
  13. “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
  14. “Everything must be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Finally, Einstein wrote:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss! Become your bliss!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorRay’s 2015 speculative fiction novel, Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation, is turning heads. Where did humanity really come from and where is it going? This is Book 1 of a trilogy. The Awakening has begun!

Learn more about the trilogy and order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com.

The Visionary – Affirmations and Original Quotes

Today’s Thought:

“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear, and no concept of the odds against them. They make the impossible happen.”
~ Robert Jarvik

Where would a society be without its visionaries? The French novelist and philosopher Anais Nin once said, “Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.” That is a succinct measure of a society, its mindset, and its direction. How does our society see visionaries? How do YOU see visionaries?

Visionaries are those intrepid souls who risk the wrath of their own tribe to push the tribe forward. They challenge convention and rewrite the possible. The visionary works without a tightrope and is willing to be called heretic, sinner, and outcast all for the hope of bettering the lives of the children and grandchildren of the people casting them into the abyss.

A true visionary is authentically living what Joseph Campbell once called “The Hero’s Journey”. The concepts of the visionary and hero have long intrigued me. Over the past few years, I have tweeted many brief thoughts about these two kinds of people. I decided it was time to compile them. Today’s post focuses on the visionary. I will publish another soon focused on the hero.

My hope is that you will see some of yourself in these descriptions. At the very least, I hope you will no longer count yourself among those who fail to see in the moment the remarkable service these people are doing for us all.

I believe we were all born visionaries and conditioned to be less. May these affirmations and statements reawaken the visionary in you.

Affirmations

  1. Today I transform my fear of failure into a vision for success!
  2. I can and I know I can! I can because I have the vision and the nerve.
  3. I am a great visionary! Today I make my visions so!
  4. My vision is a powerful and inevitable reality and so am I!
  5. Today I shift my thoughts. Today I shift my paradigms. Today I shift the world.
  6. My mind is a fertile place always ready to grow and embrace new and powerful visions of myself and the world.
  7. We created the status quo and only we can change it!
  8. The bigger I believe, the bigger I achieve.
  9. I am focused on the sunshine of my vision, not the shadows of my doubts.
  10. My mind constantly produces creative, forward-looking ideas!
  11. I am a business visionary. I am always setting the trends that others follow in my niche!
  12. I am a visionary. I see and respond to trends well ahead of the pack.
  13. I am a visionary! I’m always thinking new thoughts and dreaming new dreams!
  14. I am a great visionary. I see the world not as it is, but as it can be.
  15. My purpose is strong. My vision is clear. I’m prepared to follow my vision come what may!
  16. Today I push the unmovable! Today I change the unchangeable! Today I think the unthinkable! Today I transform what is!
  17. I understand that every big breakthrough risks the wrath of conventional wisdom. My idea is so big I take that risk willingly.
  18. Today I am shaking off the status quo and my old paradigms to create a better life!
  19. I see more in me. I see more in you. I see more in us.
  20. Bigger thoughts change me. Bigger actions change my life. Bigger paradigms change everything.
  21. If being controversial shakes up the status quo, then I will shake, shake away!
  22. The status quo is a kind of gravity and today I reach escape velocity!
  23. Today I lose my useless paradigms in favor of paradigms that serve me.
  24. The further I look, the further I see. Today I see our big future!
  25. We are entering an era of astonishing revelations and paradigm shifts that will shatter all that has come before.

Thoughts

  1. The visionary knows that every moment has within it the power to transform every moment that came before it.
  2. It is in the nature of the tribe to revile living visionaries and revere dead ones.
  3. Where the world sees walls, the visionary sees doorways.
  4. Where the world sees acorns on the ground, the visionary sees forests.
  5. The visionary doesn’t wait for maps, he makes the map.
  6. One visionary mind begins the revolution that leads to evolution.
  7. The visionary has released the mindset that life happens out there and to you and grasped that life happens in here and by you. Life happens THROUGH us, not TO us.
  8. We can choose to live in the limited paradigms inherited from others, or
    become the people we really came here to be.
  9. The tribe will always conform you until you have the courage to
    transform you.
  10. The tribe demands conformity, but the visionary commands greatness.
  11. What we refuse to question rules us. What we dare not question enslaves us.
  12. The visionary always risks being unpopular or uncool for the sake of the vision.
  13. The tribe believes the visionary has turned his or her back on them when the visionary has simply turned to face the tribe’s future.
  14. Conventional thinking keeps the world going day to day, but only visionary thinking changes the world. Be a visionary!
  15. The visionary knows that mind always creates the world. It is never the other way around.
  16. When the status quo seems permanent and unchangeable, remember that every status quo it replaced seemed the same way. Visionaries with determination can move the unmovable.
  17. The tribe says, “choose a side”. The visionary says, “there is a better way.”
  18. True originals break free from the herd and become themselves. Be an original!
  19. The Power of One is astounding. Every avalanche begins with one determined snow flake! Every new paradigm with one determined vision.
  20. You can’t “crunch the numbers” on a dream. Your big dreams defy conventional wisdom and that’s a good thing!
  21. The powers that be fear the visionary; for the visionary is the only one capable of making them the powers that were.
  22. The power of one determined person is life’s X Factor.
  23. Experts can quote chapter and verse of what is, but it takes a visionary to see what can be. Be a visionary!
  24. The tribe demands conformity. The visionary ignores the drama and opens new possibilities for them anyway.
  25. The tribe often believes the visionary has turned his back on them, when, in reality, he’s simply raised his hopes for them.
  26. Do you create your own paradigms or are you a tenant farmer in someone eles’s paradigm?
  27. Whose paradigms are you living by today? Yours or unconscious ones planted by others?
  28. A visionary is someone who has broken the conditioning of his or her tribe.
  29. What is is, but that doesn’t mean it’s what has to be.
  30. Unless you awaken and think for yourself, those who control your paradigms will control you.
  31. The truth already set you free. Now its time for your paradigms to catch up with that fact.
  32. In every moment, ordinary thinkers are transforming their world unconsciously. A visionary is an extraordinary thinker who makes that process conscious.
  33. What myths do you need to drop from your self-paradigm to claim your future?
  34. A paradigm tested by questioning is a fortress. A paradigm untested and
    unquestioned is a house of cards. The visionary questions.
  35. The problem with relying on “the experts” is that it forces you to live in the paradigms they create. We must create our own. The visionary is a master at creating his own paradigms.
  36. Everything enters the realm of possibility when you release the power of the status quo. Break its chains! Escape its gravity!

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Ruthless Compassion: An Interview with Dr. Marcia Sirota – The Affirmation Spot for Friday March 5, 2010

Today’s Affirmation:

Today I am just me; no masks and no excuses. Simply me!

One of the goals of this blog is to expose readers to some of the great thinkers and practitioners in the worlds of motivation, self-help, and personal development. Today I am pleased share an interview with Dr. Marcia Sirota MD FRCP (C).

Dr. Sirota is an author, speaker, and founder of the Ruthless Compassion Institute. This conversation was conducted by email between February 21 and March 1, 2010. I’d like to express my thanks to her for her generous attention and thoughtful responses to the questions posed and for sharing her wisdom and ideas with us.

I hope you will find Ruthless Compassion a useful tool in your journey. You will find contact information for Dr. Sirota at the conclusion of the interview.

Stay inspired!

Ray


TAS: Marcia, can you tell the readers a little about your background and what led you to the work you are doing now?

Dr. Marcia Sirota: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, having studied both Western and Eastern schools of thought. I also have a background in the arts; in particular drawing, writing and dance. I’m a board-certified psychiatrist currently doing individual and group psychotherapy with a focus on healing trauma, overcoming blocks to creativity and success, conquering addictions and improving relationships.

TAS: Ruthless Compassion is an attention-getting phrase. How do you define RC? How long have you been practicing and teaching it?

DMS: Ruthless Compassion is a synthesis of loving-kindness and empowerment. It’s a philosophy which promotes the unerring pursuit of the unvarnished truth tempered with an attitude of gentleness and respect toward ourselves and others. It also entails taking personal responsibility for the choices we make and the actions we take in life; recognizing that no-one can or should do these things for us. Finally, it’s an attitude of integrity, whereby we hold ourselves and others accountable for these choices and actions and don’t enable anyone to continue making bad choices.

TAS: I love the idea of a philosophy that combines loving-kindness and empowerment. Often in life one person holding another person accountable can create conflict. How do inexperienced practitioners hold others accountable without eliciting hostility? Do all involved parties have to be committed to the process for it succeed?

DMS: Holding someone accountable for their actions doesn’t always mean confronting them. Sometimes it’s necessary to be more direct and to let them know that their behavior is unacceptable, but often it’s preferable just to give the person the type of consequences that emerge out of you taking better care of yourself. Practicing RC isn’t about “teaching someone a lesson” or bashing them over the head to make a point. It’s about neither enabling someone to hurt you nor colluding with them when they try to hurt others.

If someone gets angry or hostile when you don’t let them get away with their bad behavior, it demonstrates that they are unreasonable, and unwilling to change their ways. It might be disappointing to see this about someone but it’s not a bad outcome. It provides you with crucial information about their character that you’ll need in order to asses whether you want to associate with them or not.

All parties don’t have to be aware of RC for it to succeed. When someone receives consequences for having made a bad choice, they are being presented (by the practitioner of RC) with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. They have a further choice to make then: whether to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow or to reject it, and perhaps become angry.

If the person chooses to become upset about receiving a consequence, perhaps in the future other people will practice RC with them and eventually they’ll make the connection and learn something; maybe even changing their ways. On the other hand, if they immediately use the consequences to improve their behavior, two things will happen: they’ll make it possible for us to trust them and feel closer to them, and they’ll be learning at the same time how RC works and may choose to use it themselves in the future.

TAS: This may sound like a question for a musician, but who are your psychological influences? Whose work inspired your vision for RC?

DMS: My psychological influences are many and varied: They include all my teachers, whether in my personal life or the ones I’ve studied in books. I especially appreciate Freud and his division of the psyche into Id, Ego and Super-ego, and Transactional Analysis, developed by Eric Berne who translated these concepts into the child, adult and parent parts of the psyche. I’ve taken that idea and run with it in my theories and practice. I also appreciate Jungian archetypes, folk tales and mythology as bases for understanding the complexities of the human psyche and human relationships. I probably take a lot from various schools of Buddhism, as well.

Ruthless Compassion came to me as an evolving concept through my practice and my life. All the above influences as well as my life experiences combined into this new way of looking at things. In observing the suffering of my patients and of people in general, I saw that the old ways of dealing with relationships, work, the environment, money, addiction, creativity and even spirituality didn’t hold, and that a new approach was desperately needed. Ruthless Compassion was borne of this need.

TAS: On your website, you state, “The goal of the (Ruthless Compassion) institute is to enable you to live with greater freedom, empowerment and happiness, to be in constructive, meaningful relationships and to make a positive contribution to your family and community.” How does RC help people achieve these aspirations?

DMS: RC can help people live better lives in that it supports their becoming more conscious. The ruthlessness aspect spurs them ever onward in seeing and dealing with the truth of how things are, who they are, and what the people in their life are doing to them and around them. The compassion aspect allows them to face the truth without beating themselves up, either for the choices they’ve been making or for not having seen the truth sooner.

RC keeps people from being enablers to others’ bad behavior, thus preventing a lot of potential suffering. RC is empowering because it has people living in reality and this makes it more possible for them to achieve their goals. It has people taking responsibility for themselves, while also preventing them from criticizing themselves. This combination is a great motivator for positive action.

TAS: What differentiates RC from other forms therapy or self-development techniques? Are there similarities with some other techniques?

DMS: RC is different in that it’s reality-based. There’s no magical thinking involved that tells people to think the right thoughts and then they’ll achieve their goals, or that if they buy into this quick and easy solution, they’ll fix their problem(s). RC tells you that good things come from working toward realistic goals in a meaningful way.

RC doesn’t promise to change your life or that it will bring you amazing riches, fabulous success or  brilliant romance. What it does do is enable you to let go of a lot of the unnecessary suffering in your life that has come from making poor choices – the choices that were based on false hope, inappropriate expectations or erroneous beliefs. It allows you to improve your relationships by owning your part in them and letting go of the part that doesn’t belong to you; it frees you to pursue real goals, both of personal growth and outer success, based on your real efforts.

RC is also different because it doesn’t ask you to change who you are to practice it. It’s not a dogma, and therefore anyone can benefit from it. It doesn’t require you to change your diet, your religion or your lifestyle. What you do have to change is your attitude and your old ways of looking at yourself, others and the world.

I imagine that RC has similarities with a number of techniques or tools for living, but I also think that it is a unique philosophy in and of itself.

TAS: You mentioned magical thinking and false hope. Of course, there are some very popular “systems” that have come out in recent years giving people the impression that their thoughts are a kind of cosmic ATM card. You think the right thoughts, the claims go, and anything can be yours.

Unfortunately, those ideas have caused damage to the demonstrated benefits of positive thinking and positive visualization. How do you differentiate magical thinking from positive thinking and what role, if any, does positive affirmation play in RC? How does one differentiate false hope from real hope?

DMS: Magical thinking is deciding that something is so, just because you want it to be. It has no basis in reality. Positive thinking is seeing the reality of a situation and maximizing its potential.

False hope is the hope for something that could never be; for example that if you try hard enough you could get someone who doesn’t like you to love you. Real hope is grounded in what is actually possible, like the hope that you could become a happier, healthier person.

There is definitely a role for positive affirmation in RC but for it to be meaningful, it must be reality-based. This means we recognize our own limitations and the limitations of reality, and instead of trying to affirm the impossible (which renders our affirmations absurd) we affirm our inherent qualities and strengths.

Positive affirmations should remind us that we’re entitled to be happy and free; that we’re lovable and valuable as we are, and that we’re more likely (although not guaranteed) to succeed if we give something our best effort.

When affirmations are disconnected from reality, they are ridiculous at best and destructive at worst. When they are reality-based, they encourage us and support us in pursuing and achieving our goals.

TAS: What kinds of results have you witnessed? Are you able to share any anonymous success stories that really demonstrate the power of RC?

DMS: Practicing RC is a very effective way of improving your life. I’ve seen many example of people making positive changes in their relationships, at work, in overcoming addictions and in developing self-esteem. I’ve had a few patients whose marriages were in crisis and through the practice of RC, they are now in a much better place.

I had one patient who was being exploited and disrespected at work, even though they were an excellent employee. Through the practice of RC they’ve become a lot more strategic in the workplace, and while they continue to do excellent work, they are now setting appropriate limits on what is asked of them as well as commanding respect from supervisors and colleagues.

TAS: Where does RC go from here? Do you feel like the concept is fully developed or ever-evolving?

DMS: I see RC as an ever-evolving way of thinking and being. As I evolve as a person, and as the people who are using it evolve, we’ll be able to see where we can take this philosophy of empowerment, personal responsibility, self-accountability and integrity.

Rigid ideology tends to devolve into dogma; even fanaticism. I want RC to be a living, breathing philosophy that can grow and develop as we do. In order to be valid, it must be able to tolerate questioning and be amenable to change.

TAS: Yes. We have seen dogma and fanaticism result from many well-meaning philosophies in the past. Does RC have a future beyond this generation? Do you see it as a movement or philosophy that will transcend your current work? Are there other teachers learning and teaching it? Does someone need to be in counseling or a group to practice it or can someone practice on his or her own?

DMS: RC is in its nacent form, and it’s my hope that more and more people will begin to embrace it and experience the benefit of practicing it. Like any new movement, people need to find out about it and I plan on giving seminars (webinars) and workshops in the near future to teach people how to apply the principles of RC in their daily lives.

I don’t think that RC needs to be learned or taught in a therapeutic setting, but I do believe that whoever teaches it must be very well-versed in the theory and practice, in order that they neither dilute nor distort the message. Along the same lines, those who want to learn it must be sincere, open-minded and well-taught, so that they don’t go off with a partial or confused understanding of the principles of RC.

TAS: If TAS readers are interested in learning more about RC or your work, how can they do that?

DMS: TAS readers are welcome to visit my website: http://www.ruthlesscompassioninstitute.com where they can view videos and read articles about the practice of RC. The “About” section of the site also discusses the meaning and purpose of RC. I am on Twitter: @rcinstitute, where I regularly tweet original content that represents my philosophical point of view.

TAS: Marcia, thank you so much. We look forward to hearing more about RC in the future.

A New Sun Is Rising – The Affirmation Spot for Monday December 22, 2008

apollo_sunriseToday’s entry is a multi-paragraph affirmation that captures the essence of a dream I had several years ago. May it inspire hope and remembrance in all who read it today. Remembrance that the world we live in is a choice not a prison sentence. We can have a world rooted in peace and driven by the potential extant in each of us, if that is world we expect and demand.

If we continue accept less, then that is the reality we will continue to experience.

This affirmation calls on us to expect more of ourselves, each other, and our leaders. It reminds us that a new and better day is right here ready for us to awaken to it. Some have. Some are. Some will. Some are fighting to hold on to the old world. Which are you?

The sun is rising; the clouds have passed away. And in the minds of at least a few, a greater consciousness has arisen. Tradition is no more. There is only awareness: an awareness of radiant possibilities and transcendent hopes for a world about to be born.

A world in which our fondest dreams shall come to pass. Where the greatest potentiality of humanity is realized: that each member of the human family will awaken to the inner light that opens one’s heart and frees one’s mind to look across culture, race, gender, religion and vast distance and see oneself.

Be of good cheer, o patient ones, for this new day dawns; a day of wonder and hope. A day, when filled with joy, all people shall attain their full potential. Long has been the night of toil and pain. Too long have brothers and sisters lived according to their fear of each other rather than their love for each other. But no more, the blinders have come off.

Finally and forever the Human Race will stand in the radiance of the truths that have lived within each of us all along. Truths that can no longer be ignored or distorted. The truth of our UNITY and our place in this planet’s web of life and in the greater cosmos beyond.

Be the inspiration you want to see in your world.

Ray
The Affirmation Spot.com

Freeing Your Mind – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 24, 2008

Today’s idea:

“The mark of a moderate person is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind; she has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring her way.”

Tao Te Ching, Verse 59

Most of us like to consider ourselves open-minded and fair. We like to think we look at things objectively and tolerantly. The fact is, however, that our life experiences have indoctrinated and biased our views.

Most of us are not, as Lao Tzu suggests, “free from our own ideas.”

The mention of certain words or concepts evokes waves of emotion that have little to do with the concept and a lot to do with the mental baggage we have accumulated. Worse, our views are often formed based on what other people have told us rather than what we ourselves know.

Since awareness is the doorway to understanding; let’s do a little test.

I’m going to list some words. As you read each word, take a moment to listen to your reaction. I’m not saying you should feel one way or the other about any of these words or the concepts they conjure. I’m simply suggesting you become aware of your blind spots and prejudices so that you can release them and truly deal with life in the open and honest way you want to.

Some of these words may cause little reaction within you, while others may cause a strong, visceral reaction. Becoming aware of your reactions is a very empowering way to take back control of your own thinking.

Ready? Read the words one at a time (silently if you like) and pay attention to your reaction.

  • New and Improved
  • Capitalism
  • Communism
  • Sarah Palin
  • Barack Obama
  • Democrat
  • Republican
  • Christian
  • Jew
  • Muslim
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Immigrant
  • Labor union
  • Russia
  • Israel
  • Corporation
  • Old
  • Young
  • Fat
  • Freedom
  • Fear
  • Math
  • Wall Street
  • Science
  • Religion
  • War
  • Peace
  • Terrorism
  • Love
  • Hate
  • Rich
  • Poor
  • Environmentalism
  • Profit

The Greek sage Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The more you examine and pay attention to your auto-reaction to things the better able you are to look at each circumstance with fresh, unconditioned eyes.

The key to freeing your mind is to ask yourself why. Why does this word evoke this emotion? What information is that feeling based on? Where did I get that information? How do I know that information is accurate? It takes a lot of strength to really examine your unconscious assumptions.

You don’t have to use this list. You can make your own list of emotionally charged words and explore your feelings.

The fact is that – for better or worse – words that create unconscious reactions when they are even uttered hold the potential to be used as manipulation. An empowered thinker is able to set aside the initial reaction and explore what is being said beyond the word.

We see this all the time in political campaigns. Labels start getting tossed around. The labels are a kind of psychological warfare because the labelers know people react to those words.

You may find that this approach helps you break free from old programming and allows you to move forward in your life.

Know thyself!

Ray

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