Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Thursday, July 03, 2014


By tradition we celebrate the Republic on July 4, the date when the document declaring independence was adopted.  Our great experiment continues to confound history.  From the get-go was the debate over primacy – the individual or the government.  The principal factor in the debate is creation of wealth, another way of stating standard of living.  Wealth is created by individuals, We, the people.  Government cannot create anything.  It must take what others create.  In our Republic, this is taxation – a touchy issue that created the House of Representatives and its responsibility to originate all spending bills.  The structure is good.  As always, implementation is the key.

Attitude is everything.  Let’s look at two prevailing attitudes:

1.  Unless it is stated in the regulations, you can’t do it.
2.  Unless it is prohibited in the regulations, you can do it.

Which do you prefer?  In the former, one must have permission to do something.  In the latter, freedom of action is the norm unless specifically prohibited.

Our Republic was established on the latter although through the decades great amounts of personal freedom have  been surrendered to the government.  Once upon a time, travel by flying was a delight and airports were happy places.  And, once upon a time government did not recognize, or impeded, your inalienable rights.  The machinery to amend the Constitution has been used to correct instances where government prohibited or limited freedom for many people.

It is attitude that rules.  There are people on this July 4th who are in mental and emotional bondage.  Rather than enjoy their lives and share that joy with others (a rising tide lifts all boats) they instead dwell upon the “wrongs” and injustices of long ago.  Quite literally, that was then.  A different people, a different world-view, a different perspective from that of the present.  This is now.  Do you wish to be free?  Do you wish to be controlled by others?  The beauty is that you have the freedom and ability to do either.  I would encourage freedom – living in the present and making the present the most enjoyable moment.  (Hint:  There is only one moment, now.  There’s no such animal as past and future as far as experience goes.)

Those who get it, get it.  Those who don’t, can’t.  It took me a long time to fully grasp that.  Yet it’s true.  The Law of Attraction is the example.  Those who understand the Law of Attraction benefit from that knowledge.  There are people who deny that there is such a thing as the Law of Attraction.  It is the working of that law that helps convince such folks that there is no such thing.  Like attracts like, and if one thinks there is no such thing, then evidence of no such thing will come forth.

There are many unhappy people on this Fourth of July.  That is sad.  Let’s help them by having a rollicking good time celebrating freedom and all that is joyous.  You don’t have to convince anyone of anything (because you can’t) but you can demonstrate your joy in Life.  Perhaps, after a while, they’ll get curious.  Once curious, here’s a great place to get some information on how to live happier.

So celebrate!

And, yes, it is quite the right and proper thing to appreciate what a group of amazingly thoughtful men did for us.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Reminder of How it Works.

Thus the self-defeating language of "I've GOT to lose weight," or "I MUST eat less," or...well, you get the idea.  Just as you instinctively RESIST being ordered, so do the cells in your body system.  Think the thought of what you WANT - which is to feel good.  See previous post below.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Think What You Want.

I must lose weight!  I’ve got to cut down on (fill in the blank.) I can’t continue doing (something you like)!  I ought to spend more time (doing this or that)!  I should (fill in the blank.)   Or, some version of  “breaking or beating old habits.”  How do you feel having such thoughts (intentions?)

If someone comes up to you and says “You’ve got to do this!” what’s the first thing that goes through your mind?  Your immediate reaction:  The hell I do!” you think.  You didn’t have to work at it.  As soon as those dreadful words “got to” were hurled, you immediately, instinctively, resisted them.  A bit of anger flared at the same instant for protection, didn’t it?  You were prepared to defend your freedom and identity.  That’s part of what makes us human.  Now, where it gets dicey is when this instinctive reaction is directed not at some external threat, but at yourself.

You react to your own thinking in the same way you react to the words spoken by another.  If you think to yourself words such as must, got to, can’t, should, ought, then you  risk resisting yourself.   That resistance becomes your point of attention rather than what you desire.  In a fight against yourself, you lose.

So what to do?  First, practice thinking and speaking to yourself as you would want others to speak to you.  Second, speak and think about what you desire, what you want, rather than what you lack or what your fear.

This is a good time to practice what you want.  Re-consider your intentions.  For example – “I must get up earlier each morning,” or “I must go to bed earlier each night.”  The issue is time.  How about:  “I desire to have all the time I need to do what I choose to do.”

“I can’t eat my treats, I must lose weight.”  The issue – comfort with self.  How about:  “I enjoy everything I eat and everything I eat nourishes my healthy body.”

And, a big one:  “I can’t worry so much.”  The issue – worry makes me feel badly about something I can’t control.  How about:  “Life is Good.  There is Good for all.  I enjoy thinking about Goodness.”

The bottom line is that you select the words you use to speak with yourself.  Are you clearly communicating what you desire?  Or, the tricky part, are you giving more attention to what you don’t want?  Law of Attraction means “ask and you will receive.”  Whatever you’re giving attention is asking.  You have a lot of control over your life experience, afterall.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The More I Thought About IT, The Angrier I Got!

You know how it goes!  As the day progressed, I realized that the more I thought about “it” the angrier I felt.  The transgression by a co-worker was irritating and somewhat irksome, yet the more I “thought” about the minor offense, the stronger I felt about it.  About that time the “Duh!” factor came forth to reveal the formula for creating emotional mountains out of mole hills.

The Duh Factor is that moment when we can see the forest and the trees; that happy moment when mentally we gain a splash of perspective on what we’ve been doing and how it directly affects what we experience.  “The more I thought about it (the initial offense) the angrier I felt (really, really pissed after tossing all night!)”  Duh.

Why not spend the same amount of mental energy (and burned calories) thinking about something good or desired rather than on something negative or unwanted?  Duh illuminates self-evident truths:  The more one thinks about something, the greater the emotional response to the thought.  Thinking, once again, is the important activity.

“So what are you saying, George?  That if I think goody Pollyanna thoughts my life will be a bed of roses, red wine, dark chocolate, hot rolls and butter?”  If you like roses, red wine, dark chocolate, hot rolls and butter you’re more likely to experience them if you think about them rather than thinking about that foul tempered so-and-so who you know is plotting against you.

American mystic and philosopher Charles Fillmore once wrote that thoughts held in mind produce after their own kind.  The more I thought about it, the angrier I felt.  Well, I have proved that.  It is true, simple, self-evident and undeniable.  Duh.

The tricky part is becoming more aware of how I am thinking and to consciously choose the activity of my mind.  I might want to fuss and fight, and thus so think.  But if that’s not how I really want to spend my time, then I am free to think according to what I want.  I know, having demonstrated, that the more I think about something, the stronger  the associated feeling.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

3. (63)  Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works - a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.  He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.  He was {the} Christ; (64) and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principle men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and then thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.
            Flavius Josephus, "The Antiquities of the Jews" 3.(63) (64)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Change? You Got It!

You have an awesome ability to change your thinking, attitudes, and perceptions about the people and circumstances in your life. Economist John Maynard Keynes summed it up—“When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?”

Indeed, what do you do? The ability to change your thinking is a wonderful skill. As with any skill, it can be learned, practiced, and even mastered.

Those who can’t manage a change in their thinking, or their perception of the world around them, can find themselves in a number of tricky situations:

·         Fighting needless battles—not against the world, but against themselves
·         Investing tremendous energy and time attempting to solve the wrong problem
·         Working very hard for success but not getting the expected emotional payoff
·         And yet the same unwanted event or situation seems to happen over and over

Change can be physically uncomfortable. Even when desired, it is still fraught with anxiety—and a real, tangible, physical sensation. You can prove this yourself.

A Little Exercise

Hold your hands apart and wiggle your fingers. Now, clasp your hands together, interlocking your fingers. Notice which thumb is on top and which little finger is on bottom. Now, separate your hands.

Clasp your hands again—BUT—shift one hand so you interlock your fingers such that the other thumb is on top and the other little finger is on the bottom.

Congratulations! If you managed to clasp your hands the “other” way, how did it feel? Odd? Awkward? Yes. Did it hurt? No. Did it feel right? Not exactly.

Let’s examine that odd sensation. Take a close look at your hands and fingers. Same hands, same fingers, same action—clasping your hands together interlocking your fingers. Yet why did you have a peculiar physical sensation the second time?

You changed the way you clasped your hands. Certainly a simple change—yet one with a distinct physical sensation. And an uncomfortable one at that.

That unique sensation was a result of consciously changing a simple action. If such a minor change can produce that level of sensation, imagine the discomfort you could sense from a larger change in your experience. And that, of course, is the point.

Hang on to this little exercise and use it often. If the mere act of shifting your fingers about one-half an inch produced such a distinct sensation, then the greater sensations of discomfort and unease can be put in perspective.

It is possible that much of the discomfort, unease, and restlessness that people experience are side effects of some change occurring in their lives. The less you are aware of the change, the more confusing, and perhaps scary, is the sensation.

It is said that change is the only constant in our world. It is the only aspect of life that you can bank on—nothing remains the same. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted that it was impossible to step into the same river twice. Even when something appears stable, it is in fact changing. Nothing escapes evolution, or movement, including your perception. The rate of change may be exceedingly slow or unimaginably fast. Change may occur in levels of experience beyond consciousness. But there is always change.

Our human experience is, for all practical purposes, a reaction to a given moment. That reaction is all we have to work with to manage the present.

            A moment passed and I looked back to pick it up

            and correct it.

            Such is the mischief of time

            that in the present I cannot.

Once an action, a feeling, or a thought has occurred, it slips away from you. This is good, actually. It permits you to replace one bit of energy with another, perhaps better suiting your immediate need. Of course if someone is clueless about the nature and process of change, then a world of mischief may surround him or her. The knack is managing the process of change.

But first, an observation and the first of several adages that we will encounter: People resist change. This is automatic. The first response anyone has to a change is to fight it. We do not like it. We develop an attitude. The resistance is fueled by the human reluctance to adjust our habits and ways of doing things. In a sense, we want to be lazy.

Would you just as soon have the world around you remain the same? It would be a familiar world, an experience with known fears, known dangers, and thus a comfortable place. It would also be stagnant and stifling. If the metaphorical river ceased to flow, it could turn dank and unpleasant.

Nothing about your life can remain the same. Regardless of how much physical, mental and emotional energy you throw at it, the process of change cannot be stopped. That doesn’t mean that you can’t influence change, quite the contrary – you literally create the reality you experience with your thinking. Yet how many lives are devoted, enslaved, in an attempt to fortify the status-quo of some mental or physical moment? “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts!”  The secret is changing your thinking and not other people or conditions.  You can no more change them than they can change you.