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

Monday, July 04, 2016


By tradition we celebrate the Republic on July 4, the date when all signatures were affixed to the stunning document declaring independence.  

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, once upon a time government did not recognize, or impeded, the inalienable rights.  The machinery to amend the Constitution has been used to correct instances where government prohibited freedom for many people.

It is attitude that rules.  There are people on the July 4th who are in mental and emotional bondage.  Rather than enjoy their lives and share that joy with others (rising tide lifts all boats) they instead dwell upon past “wrongs” and injustices.  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 and perhaps, after a while, they’ll get curious.  Once curious, they may begin to perceive things differently.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Thinking about NOW

Now is the time.

Living in the moment.  Being in the now.  You've heard the phrases - make the most of the present - it's all you've got.  Well, yes.

When do you live?  Now.  Seriously.  When does life occur?  Now.  I know, you can look at the fossil and read the history book - look at life long ago.  When did that life occur?  Now.

When many people think about time, it is imagined as a track, much like a rail road track, on which the person moves.  The track behind is the past.  The track yet trod is the future.  We are conscious of having lived, living, and continuing to live.  The concepts of past, present, and future are well defined in our daily experience.  Morning, afternoon, night.  We get it.

Let's ratchet up a notch and reconsider our movement along that time track.  We don't move.  The track moves, so to speak.  When do you experience morning?  Now.  When do you experience afternoon?  Now.  When do you experience night?  Now.  Conceptually we can order experience, but experience can only exist now.  Therefore, life is possible only now.

Imagine yourself amidst a swirling universe, with people and experiences coming to you as you allow them into your now experience.  All of that drawn to you is attracted by your attention to it - Law of Attraction.  In this sense, the future is not something that happens to you, but you happen to your future.  Whatever you are experiencing now is the result of your consciousness.  If your experience is not as happy as you instinctively know it should be, then by changing your thinking (beacons that attract similar conditions/situations/people) you affect what you experience.  You're not helplessly riding the rails of time into experiences, but crafting (aware or unaware) the schema which form your now experience.

"But George, I remember when I was five years old and..."  Indeed you do.  When were you five?  Now.  Are you five years old now?  No.  Things are remembered only now.  The future is imagined now.  The past was experienced now and, of course, the future can only exist now.  Now is a slippery thing, but if you can wrap your head around it, so to speak, then managing your life becomes more effective.

"Life is too short to _________."  That well-intentioned thought is a good illustration of the railroad track version of life moving along time.  I'd suggest replacing "short" with "precious" or "important" or "valuable".  She how that alters the intent?  It pulls the concept into the moment, the now.  In effect, why put up with ________(fill in the blank) when you don't have to? Or want to?  Right now, this moment, you can decide, choose, determine, allow (any number of verbs will work) what you want to experience now.  Knowing that your now decision will attract similar conditions/situations/people.

Granted, in order to experience our luscious three dimensional world we have to create a time frame in which objects move about.  That requires a space to move about and a rate of movement (time).  It all happens now, but perception creates a track of before now, now, after now.  It's a rich and wonderful experience, and we love it!  Yet if we can mentally rise up a notch and see the process as it is created, then the importance of now is fathomed.  What you think now affects the movement of conditions, situations, people, into your life orbit.

Life is too much fun to experience by default.  Being aware now directs more thought power to the experience.  Life becomes more fun by intent.  Now.  It's when you are.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Simple Question

Do I want to be happy?

Not complicated.  Yes or No.  There is no "maybe" or "if."  If the answer must be predicated on certain conditions existing, or specific individuals doing or not doing this or that, then the answer is a default No.

Before anything comes a decision, a declaration of intention followed by attention.  Happiness must first be a choice.  Do I want to be happy?  Yes or No.  The question has nothing to do with whether you "deserve" to be happy, or "should" be happy.

Do I want to be happy?  Yes or No.

Yes, I want to be happy.

Keep that idea foremost.  Ignore the chattering nabobs of negativity.  It's your life.  You decide.

Monday, April 04, 2016

A Summary

This is a marvelous video clip that summarizes a host of concepts, impressions, "ah-ha!" moments, and revelations.  I have studied the "after life" arena since, well, forever, and have paid attention to commonalities included in diverse accounts and testimony.  Moorjani does a nice job of condensing a major impact into a clear video.  Enjoy.

"Anita Moorjani has become something of an international sensation since her book "Dying to be Me" hit the New York Times bestsellers list only two weeks after its release in March, 2012. She had experienced what most people never have; she "crossed over," and came back to share what she learned. Her remarkable NDE (Near-death experience) and subsequent healing from end-stage cancer is one of the most amazing cases ever recorded. Doctors had given her mere hours to live when she arrived at the hospital in a coma on the morning of February 2, 2006. Unable to move, and in a deep coma as the result of the cancer that had ravaged her body for nearly four years, Anita entered another dimension, where she experienced great clarity and understanding of her life and purpose here on earth, and was given a choice of whether to return to life or continue on into death. Anita chose to return to life when she realized that "heaven" is a state, not a place. This subsequently resulted in a remarkable and complete recovery of her health within days of her return."

Friday, March 18, 2016

I'll be nice to you IF you are nice to me, first.

"I'll be nice to you if you're nice to me first."  "How I treat you depends on how you treat me."  "I'm not supposed to like you, so I don't have to be nice to you."  There's a lot of deep rooted beliefs in those mental statements.

If those sentiments ring familiar, then it's possible that the principle teaching of the Great Master known as Jesus is not grasped, understood, let alone utilized.  That principle, known as the Golden Rule, is simply to treat others in the same manner which you would wish to be treated.  Those who get it, get it.  Those who don't, can't.

One of the profound effects of that teaching is that it is not about other people.  It is a formula for personal happiness.  The Golden Rule is all about you.  Everyone wants to be happy, to feel better in the moment.  Some succeed, many don't.  Those that don't likely think to themselves  "I'll be nice to you IF you are nice to me first."  The key point of the teaching is missed.  The "action" or energy element is placed on the other person.  You "react" to what this other person does, or does not do.  And if the other person isn't "nice" to you, then you cannot be "nice" to him.  This creates antagonism and a struggle results.  Listen to others and note how people describe their daily experience as a struggle.  It's not fate, or the gods, or capricious forces causing their struggle, but a deep seated belief that drives their thinking.

The Golden Rule is neutral.  It is the Law of Attraction applied to personal happiness.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Works great, unless you think that you are a worthless, no good, S.O. B., who has sinned, and deserves to be punished.  It you harbor a belief that you should suffer, then you will attract those who will help you fulfill your belief.  That's how it works.  Until the belief changes, nothing else can.  And, that's why there was (and remains) so much resistance to the Master's teaching.  Changing a belief can be very difficult.  My favorite quote is from John Maynard Keynes:  "When someone convinces me that I am wrong, I change my mind.  What do you do?"  If thinking differently (which is what changing belief is) is terrifying, then cognitive dissonance occurs - that miserable state of being when undeniable "facts" challenge entrenched beliefs.  Something has to give - either re-write the facts or change belief.  Changing facts is a time consuming theatre.  Changing one's thinking is often scary (venturing into the unknown, so to speak.)  How do you feel?  That's a good indicator of how effectively the Golden Rule formula is being practiced.  Is there a sense of relief when an attitude is changed? 

For the Golden Rule to be effectively applied, the fundamental question must be answered:  Who am I and why am I alive?  (There are many variations of the question, but you get the gist.)  It's important because you cannot treat anyone else better than you treat yourself.  If you believe that you are created free and with a desire to be happy, then you convey that state of freedom and pursuit of happiness to others.  In return, you attract people and situations that affirm your freedom and happiness.   The Golden Rule in action.  Yet if the answer is oppressed "I was created to serve the tribe (hive, etc.)" then that is the manner you convey to others - who are fellow servants, suppressing individualism.  It takes a lot of effort to suppress innate identity.  History recounts the massive efforts to do that by institutions, ruling class, religions, and so forth.  Simply, if you can't believe that you deserve or should be happy, then there's no way you can.  The Golden Rule will make no sense.  You will treat others in the manner you perceive them treating you.  Reaction rather than action.

One of the reasons the teaching was so revolutionary is that it presented a way to create a happier life experience as opposed to merely avoiding more suffering and misery.  Same coin, two sides.  The more dominant "philosophy" of that era was do not do to others what you don't want them to do to you.  In effect, don't steal unless you want be stolen from, and so forth.  Frankly, not a bad governing approach for a society.  There is an enormous shift in consciousness with the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  One is to reduce/avoid pain and misery.  The other is to create more happiness by deliberate thinking.  A lot of folks at the time "got it."  People still do, to this day.

The "problem" with Jesus' teaching, was that it had no need for any institution or external force, to bring about a better life for the individual.  A lot of investment had gone into religion, priesthood, social expectations, family obligations and so forth - a powerful shared belief that a  "good" life was possible only by following the rules of others.  Ignore and suppress intuition and yield to the herd.

How entrenched is the momentum of the belief that it takes an intercession from someone or something in order for a person to earn, or be worthy, of a good life?  Martin Luther had some thoughts on the matter - long after the time of Jesus - when the Church became the only way to salvation or a better life.  The whole Protest was for direct personal access to God, via the Bible.  No institution or priesthood was necessary.  The mass media of the day, the printing press, allowed courageous individuals to get the Bible translated into common language, printed, and made available to the "common man."

It can be hard to imagine, now, what a huge deal that was.  So, we can get an idea of the level of angst resulting from the Golden Rule at the time.

What is "wrong" with individual freedom and the pursuit of happiness that so threatens many?  Nothing is wrong with it.  So, practice the Golden Rule.  Use the Magic Word, Ashali, it's a good tool for directing thinking to what is truly desired.  You'll feel better.  And, isn't that what it's all about?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Tommy Learns About Happiness

Tommy liked his job.  Tommy enjoyed his job so much that he actually looked forward to going to work each day.  As the foreman of the shop he had a good crew to work with.  It wasn’t that long ago that Tommy became enamored with Suzette, one of the administration staff at the facility.  They married.  Suzette and Tommy were very happy with themselves, their children, their jobs, and their life.

That was his problem.

Generous by nature, Tommy permitted his brother, separated from his wife and out of work, to live with them while he looked for work.  Tommy’s father was ailing and he also joined the growing household.  Coming over for regular bar-b-que’s and holidays were Tommy’s other siblings and relations.  Their lives were filled with problems, resentments, illness, and legal issues.  Tommy was concerned for all of them.  He and Suzette felt blessed and happy while nobody else in the family did.

Tommy began to feel badly about feeling good.  One day he discussed with his boss how he felt guilty because his relations were having so much trouble and his family had it so good.  The boss understood, and was prepared to help Tommy.  “Tell you what I can do, Tommy,” said the Boss.  “You’re fired.”

Tommy was stunned.  His boss continued.  “Feel any better?” he asked.  Tommy was too flummoxed to answer.  “Now, as I understand it, some of your relations are jealous of your happy life and that bothers you.  So, to help out, I’ve fired you.  Now they’ll be happy, right?”

By that point Tommy was thinking more clearly.  “But it won’t change anything, except now I don’t have a job.”

    “You felt guilty about having a good job didn’t you?” asked the Boss.
    “Well, yes,” replied Tommy.
    “So by losing your job, you’ll feel better?”
    “I don’t know about that,” said Tommy.
    “Won’t they feel better, now that you’re in the same boat as them?” remarked the Boss.
    “Doesn’t  losing your  job help them?”
    “No,” mumbled Tommy.
    “You mean to tell me that their lives aren’t going to get better just because you got fired?”

The Boss smiled.  “Well, if losing your job isn’t going to help them, then you might as well keep it.”  Tommy sighed relief.  “However,” noted the Boss,  “You can’t keep feeling guilty.  Your having a job doesn’t keep them from doing anything.  They’ll be just as miserable regardless of how happy and Suzette may be.  That about right?”

Tommy scratched his head.  “I hadn’t thought about it like that.  My good life doesn’t mean they can’t have a good life.  It’s up to them.”

“Bingo,” chimed the Boss.

As with the other tales in the book Habits, Patterns, and Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night, Tommy’s story is true.  Isn’t it odd how some people feel bad about having some measure of good in their life?  This is another variation of the Crab Bucket.  Tommy’s good life doesn’t depend on what others think or do and visa versa - unless he allows it.  Tommy wasn’t aware, at first, that he had that ability.  Before his realization, “Do I want to be happy?” would have seemed a trick question.  Not anymore.  Not only does Tommy desire to be happy, he expects it.

A variation is “Do I deserve to be happy?”  The very question answers itself – a resounding no.  The question implies an obligation to justify existence.  Some deeply held thinking habit is embedded in the psyche that forever chides the person to prove they are worthy.  Prove worthy?  To whom?  The first answers are usually mother, father, parents, family, church, boss, and so on.  The underlying premise is that happiness cannot exist without the permission (approval) of someone or something else.  Whoever holds that approval authority is a powerful being indeed.

The true answer to the question, “Do I deserve to be happy?” is yes.  Of course you do.  It’s up to you, however, to enter that desired state of being.  Happiness cannot be ordained or bestowed from something external.  It’s an inside job, so to speak.

The geniuses who founded the United States of America based the entire enterprise on what Thomas Jefferson eloquently penned, with editorial assistance from Benjamin Franklin:  “ We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Life and Liberty are recognized as rights bestowed by God (or whatever manner one may title the Creator) on each person.  Each also has the right to pursue Happiness.  Happiness is not a “right.”  Happiness is not bestowed, or given.  It is achieved.  That is the magic of it.  It was true then, it is true now, and it will be true tomorrow.

Happiness is available to anyone and everyone.  It is not withheld from them by anyone or anything.

(Excerpt from Habits, Patterns, and Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night)