4 Encapsulating Messages from the Book “The Alchemist”


“…That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

 

“What is an alchemist?”
“It’s a man who understands nature and the world.”

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The book The Alchemist follows the story of a boy, Santiago, who becomes a shepherd to pursue his dream of traveling to “know the world,” he says. 

Santiago’s parents wanted him to become a priest but he insisted on following his passion of traveling. When he told his parents he wanted to travel and not be a priest his father was against the idea at first but ended up supporting his son with 3 gold coins.

 

 

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

During Santiago’s travels as a shepherd he encounters a woman who interprets dreams. He has been having a reoccurring dream so he decides to have her interpret it, although he is hesitant in trusting her. 

She tells him “dreams are the language of God” and after hearing his dream she tells him he must go to the pyramids in Egypt where there is a treasure for him. Santiago was disappointed in her interpretation so he left but his journey continued…


The next person Santiago encounters is a king:

Santiago: “Why would a king be talking to a shepherd?”

King: “For several reasons. But let’s say that the most important is that you have succeeded in discovering your destiny…”

“The boy didn’t know what a person’s ‘destiny’ was.”

King: “It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is…
…At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.”

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“The old man(king) pointed to a baker standing in his shop window at one corner of the plaza. ‘When he was a child, that man wanted to travel too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.’”

“’What’s the world’s greatest lie?’ The boy asked…
It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.’”

 

Santiago’s decision to live a life that he wanted rather than what his parents wanted for him sent him in the direction of living his dreams. He followed his intuitive voice within and that made all the difference.

He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.

Over the course of the book Santiago meets a number of other people who all seem to be in his life for a reason beyond his momentary understanding. He learns lessons as he faces obstacles and setbacks which come when any person chooses to pursue their dreams.

“He read the lives of the various people who have succeeded in doing so…They were fascinating stories: each of them lived out his destiny to the end. They traveled, spoke with wise men, performed miracles for the incredulous, and owned the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life.”

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Santiago learns many things throughout his journey like to persist in following his dreams although he is continually tested, to trust life and the process, and that the “soul of the world” is a world beyond words.

“‘That’s the principle that governs all things,’ he said. ‘In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s a positive force.’”

Learn more about The Alchemist in the following 4 sections of encapsulating messages:

1) Follow your Dreams
2) You will be Tested
3) Trust Life and the Process
4) The Soul of the World
5) Favorite 23 Quotes from The Alchemist

 



coacht.blog dream1) Follow your Dreams


“But what if I can’t?”
“Then you’ll die in the midst of trying to realize your destiny. That’s a lot better than dying like millions of other people, who never even knew what their destinies were.”

He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.

“Why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?”

“Because that’s what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.”

“If a person is living out his destiny, he knows everything he needs to know. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

“And what went wrong when other alchemists tried to make gold and were unable to do so?”
“They were looking only for gold. They were seeking the treasure of their destiny, without wanting actually to live out the destiny.”

“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer.”
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering it self. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

“…When I have been truly searching for my treasure, Ive discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”

“It’s true; life really is generous to those who pursue their destiny.”

“To do that successfully, I must have no fear of failure. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work. Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.”

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,’ his heart said. ‘We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

“And anyone who interferes with the destiny of another thing never will discover his own.”

“The boy told himself that, on the way toward realizing his own destiny, he had learned all he needed to know, and had experienced everything he might have dreamed of.”

 

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2) You will be Tested 

“The closer he got to the realization of his dream, the more difficult things became…In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage. So he could not be hasty, not impatient. If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.”

“He realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.”

“‘I had to test your courage,’ the stranger said. Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World.”

“…You must not let up, even after having come so far. You must love the desert, but never trust it completely. Because the desert tests all men: it challenges every step, and kills those who become distracted.”

“‘Once you get into the desert, there’s no going back,’ said the camel driver. ‘And, when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.’”

“It’s only those who are persistent, and willing to study things deeply, who achieve the Master Work.”

“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’”

“…Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.”

“To show you one of life’s simple lessons. When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”

“When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

“In his heart, he felt a strange sense of joy: he was about to die in pursuit of his destiny.”

 

coacht.blog-alchemist-trust.jpg3) Trust Life and the Process

“Well, maybe I just want to know the future so I can prepare myself for what’s coming.”

“If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise. If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur.”

We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it. But the old king hadn’t said anything about being robbed, or about endless deserts, or about people who know what their dreams are but don’t want to realize them.”

“In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.”

“There’s no such thing as coincidence…”
The boy knew what he was about to describe though: the mysterious chain that links one thing to another, the same chain that had caused him to become a shepherd, that had caused his recurring dream, that had brought him to a city near Africa, to find a king, and to be robbed in order to meet a crystal merchant, and…”

“He had not a cent in his pocket, but he had faith.”

“The camel driver, though, seemed not to be very concerned with the threat of war. ‘I’m alive,’ he said to the boy. ‘When I’m eating, that’s all I think about. If I’m on the march, I just concentrate on marching. If I have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other. Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.”

“When you are in love, things make even more sense.”

“Don’t forget that everything you deal with is only one thing and nothing else. And don’t forget the language of omens. And, above all, don’t forget to follow your destiny through to its conclusion.”

“Don’t think about what you’ve left behind…Everything is written in the Soul of the World, and there it will stay forever…If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.”

 

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4) Soul of the World

“He learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke—the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love.”

“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time.”

I learned that the world has a soul, and that whoever understands that soul can also understand the language of things.

“You already know about alchemy. It is about penetrating to the Soul of the World, and discovering the treasure that has been reserved for you.”

“…And then there were the others, who were interested only in gold. They never found the secret.”

“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’”

“At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged within him.”

“He realized: If I can learn to understand this language without words, I can learn to understand the world.”

“This Soul of the World allowed them to understand anything on the face of the earth, because it was the language with which all things communicated.”

“No. It’s like the flight of those two hawks; it cannot be understood by reason alone. The Emerald Tablet is a direct passage to the Soul of the World…”

“Love is the force that transform and improves the Soul of the World.”

“The boy reached through to the Soul of the World, and saw that it was a part of the Soul of God. And he saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, could perform miracles.”

“‘Everything in life is an omen’, said the Englishman… ‘There is a universal language, understood by everybody, but already forgotten. I am in search of that universal language, among other things. That’s why I’m here. I have to find a man who knows that universal language. An alchemist.’”

“All his life and all his studies were aimed at finding the one true language of the universe.”

“How do I immerse myself in the desert?”
“Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.”

“‘The desert takes our men from us, and they don’t always return,’ she said. ‘We know that, and we are used to it. Those who don’t return become a part of the clouds, a part of the animals that hide in the ravines and of the water that comes from the earth. They become a part of everything…they become the Soul of the World.”

“In the silence, the boy understood that the desert, the wind, and the sun were also trying to understand the signs written by the hand, and were seeking to follow their paths, and to understand what had been written on a single emerald. He saw that omens were scattered throughout the earth and in space, and that there was no reason or significance attached to their appearance; he could see that not the deserts, nor the winds, nor the sun, not people knew why they had been created. But that the hand had a reason for all of this, and that only the hand could perform miracles, or transform the sea into a desert…or a man into the wind.”

“He had only one explanation for this fact: things have to be transmitted this way because they were made up from the pure life, and this kind of life cannot be captured in pictures or words. Because people become fascinated with pictures and words, and wind up forgetting the Language of the World.”

 

coacht.blog Alchemist quote

5) My Favorite 23 Quotes from The Alchemist

1) “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

2) “…That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

3) “The old man pointed to a baker standing in his shop window at one corner of the plaza. ‘When he was a child, that man wanted to travel too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.’”

4) “But what if I can’t?”
“Then you’ll die in the midst of trying to realize your destiny. That’s a lot better than dying like millions of other people, who never even knew what their destinies were.”

5) ) “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

6) He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.

7) “My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer.”
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering it self. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

8) “And what went wrong when other alchemists tried to make gold and were unable to do so?”
“They were looking only for gold. They were seeking the treasure of their destiny, without wanting actually to live out the destiny.”


9) “He learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke—the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love.”

10) “To show you one of life’s simple lessons. When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”

11) “It’s only those who are persistent, and willing to study things deeply, who achieve the Master Work.”

12) “In his heart, he felt a strange sense of joy: he was about to die in pursuit of his destiny.”

13) “‘I had to test your courage,’ the stranger said. ‘Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World.”

14) “What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’”

15) “Well, maybe I just want to know the future so I can prepare myself for what’s coming.”
“If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise. If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur.”

16) “There’s no such thing as coincidence…”
The boy knew what he was about to describe though: the mysterious chain that links one thing to another, the same chain that had caused him to become a shepherd, that had caused his recurring dream, that had brought him to a city near Africa, to find a king, and to be robbed in order to meet a crystal merchant, and…”

17) “‘Everything in life is an omen’, said the Englishman… ‘There is a universal language, understood by everybody, but already forgotten. I am in search of that universal language, among other things.'”

18) “It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time.”

19) “When you are in love, things make even more sense.”

20) “How do I immerse myself in the desert?”
“Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.”

21) “Don’t think about what you’ve left behind…Everything is written in the Soul of the World, and there it will stay forever…If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.”

22) “He had only one explanation for this fact: things have to be transmitted this way because they were made up from the pure life, and this kind of life cannot be captured in pictures or words. Because people become fascinated with pictures and words, and wind up forgetting the Language of the World.”

23) “The camel driver, though, seemed not to be very concerned with the threat of war. ‘I’m alive,’ he said to the boy. ‘When I’m eating, that’s all I think about. If I’m on the march, I just concentrate on marching. If I have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other. Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.”

 

I hope you enjoyed these messages from The Alchemist!

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3 Transformative Messages from Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”

In A New Earth, author Eckhart Tolle shares his open-minded & progressing ideas to help you achieve the peace of God which surpasses understanding, as Jesus spoke of.

He helps you gain insight into the harming effects the human ego can have when unchecked, which is a core element holding you back from peace.

As you work on decreasing the ego in your life(techniques included in third section), you will grow in conscious awareness, staying present in the moment–alert, listening, less consumed with compulsive thinking, resulting in abundant peace & joy.

One of the main messages from this book is that you are not separate from life. You and life are one, you are whole, together, but our egos thrive on division; division from everything—life, others, and even yourself.

coacht.blog new earth

A few other fundamental concepts from the book include:

—Life to the fullest is lived Beyond Words

—The human egos current grip on humanity and what you can do about it

—Techniques & Parables to help you achieve peace

—Best Quotes

These 3 fundamental ideas and the best quotes each have their own section with the theme of being connected to life flowing through each section.

The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all “others,” all life­forms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth.”

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I have been and am still working on a longer summary of each section(which I may or may not finish), but here are the shortened versions of each section!

You can be part of the shift toward this new consciousness, this New Earth.

Take your time & enjoy!

—Life to the fullest is lived Beyond Words

We live in a world overrun by words and thinking. 

Do you ever reminisce about childhood and wish to feel that joy & aliveness once again?

That joy is found when you don’t have a stream of endless thoughts, when you are in the present moment, acting “in the zone” or “flow” with no thought in mind.

“Some of those people who, through creative action, enrich the lives of many others simply do what they enjoy doing most without wanting to achieve or become anything through that activity.”

You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do.”

Think Less to Live More

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Thoughts come in different forms but their main form is through words.

Here are some related insights from Tolle:

“We often believe that words are facts, but in the end, words are just another thing created by humans!”

“When you look at it(anything) or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you.It’s essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you…

…This is what great artists sense and succeed in conveying in their art…

…When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought. A depth returns to your life. Things regain their newness, their freshness.”

And the greatest miracle is the experiencing of your essential self as prior to any words, thoughts, mental labels, and images.”

On that note—TELEVISION!

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“So does TV watching create inner space? Does it cause you to be present? Unfortunately, it does not…

…Your mind is inactive only in the sense that it is not producing thoughts. It is, however, continuously absorbing thoughts and images that come through the TV screen. This induces a trancelike passive state of heightened susceptibility, not unlike hypnosis…

…That is why it lends itself to manipulation of “public opinion,” as politicians and special-­interest groups as well as advertisers know and will pay millions of dollars to catch you in that state of receptive unawareness. They want their thoughts to become your thoughts, and usually they succeed…

…Television has this in common with alcohol and certain other drugs. While it provides some relief from your mind, you again pay a high price: loss of consciousness. Like those drugs, it too has a strong addictive quality.”

Another thing your thoughts influence is your idea of who you are.

Nobody can tell you who you are.”

You will learn more about this idea in the next section on the ego—that a current belief is that you are defined by your accomplishments, relationships, career, race, height, skills, etc, but this is NOT who you are. What you are is much more than these transient identities.

Here’s Tolle:

It’s okay to try and figure out about yourself, but don’t confuse knowing about yourself with knowing yourself… 

…The psychoanalysis tells you about yourself, they tell you about how your past has conditioned your behavior and thoughts but it is not you Tolle says. It is content, not essence. Going beyond ego is stepping out of content. Knowing yourself is being yourself, and being yourself is ceasing to identify with content.

“Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.”

“You are not the ego, so when you become aware of the ego in you, it does not mean you know who you are – it means you know who you are not. But it is through knowing who you are not that the greatest obstacle to truly knowing yourself is removed.”

Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem.”

Tolle discusses how there are no absolute truths, although people often define themselves and others in an egoic way that they believe is true. It’s not.

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“We need to bear in mind here that nothing we say about the nature of the universe should be taken as an absolute truth…

…Neither concepts nor mathematical formulae can explain the infinite. No thought can encapsulate the vastness of the totality. Reality is a unified whole, but thought cuts it up into fragments. This gives rise to fundamental misperceptions, for example, that there are separate things and events, or that this is the cause of that… 

…Only the whole is true, but the whole cannot be spoken or thought. Seen from beyond the limitations of thinking and therefore incomprehensible to the human mind, everything is happening now…

…As an illustration of relative and absolute truth, consider the sunrise and sunset. When we say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, that is true but only relatively. In absolute terms, it is false…

…Only from the limited perspective of an observer on or near the planet’s surface does the sun rise and set. If you were far out in space, you would see that the sun neither rises nor sets, but that it shines continuously. And yet, even after realizing that, we can continue to speak of the sunrise or sunset, still see its beauty paint it, write poems about it, even though we now know that it is a relative rather than an absolute truth…

…So let us continue to speak for a moment of another relative truth: the coming into form of the universe and its return to the formless, which implies the limited perspective of time, and see what relevance this has to your own life…

…The notion of “my own life” is, of course, another limited perspective created by thought, another relative truth. There is ultimately no such thing as “your” life, since you and life are not two, but one.”

I love the above message from Tolle even though it took me multiple times of reading it to get a good understanding of what he meant. To really realize that you are not the ego/labels/etc that you thought you were. That you are not separate from life, you are completely connected.

As you begin to understand that who you thought you were isn’t who you are, you may experience some insecurity and uncertainty.

Tolle says:

“There may be a period of insecurity and uncertainty. What should I do? As the ego is no longer running your life, the psychological need for external security, which is illusory anyway, lessens…

…You are able to live with uncertainty, even enjoy it. When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change…

…The Roman philosopher Tacitus rightly observed that ‘the desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise…’

If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity

…Many years ago, as a result of a strong inner impulse, I walked out of an academic career that the world would have called ‘promising,’ stepping into complete uncertainty; and out of that, after several years, emerged my new incarnation as a spiritual teacher.”

Here is a parable I heard from the author Tim Ferriss about a person stepping into uncertainty and pursuing what life was guiding them to which is their dreams.

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“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? There is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. Quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. Quality requires your Presence.”

You are so much more than how you or anyone else has defined you.

There is beauty beyond words. The joy you once felt as a child you can feel again.

—The human egos current grip on humanity and what you can do about it

“The ego could be defined simply in this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment.”

Our egos are sculpted from the day we are born. We are given labels of who we are and people have an idea of how our future will be. These thoughts, which are expectations, have huge impacts on how each human life unfolds. The reinforcements of people telling us who we are become an obsession until we are constantly thinking that “this is who I am,” and defining ourselves with specific words.

These thoughts get reinforced into the child until they are living completely through their ego, labels & judgments of who they think they are, and this grows stronger throughout life when it is unchecked.

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“Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are…

…In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless…

…They also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind…

…‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.’

Poor in spirit means no inner baggage, no identifications. Not with things, nor with any mental concepts that have a sense of self in them…

…The kingdom of heaven can be the profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and so become ‘poor in spirit…’

…This is why renouncing all possessions has been an ancient spiritual practice in both East and West. Although this will not automatically free you of the ego…

…The EGO will attempt to ensure its survival by finding something else to identify with, for example, a mental image of yourself as someone who has transcended all interest in material possessions and is therefore superior, is more spiritual than others.”

Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms.”

“The more people identify with their minds, the more they suffer…

…If the sufferer could look at her body without the interfering judgments of her mind or even recognize those judgments for what they are instead of believing in them—or if she could feel her body from within—this would initiate her healing…

…Those who identify with their good looks, strength, or abilities experience suffering when those attributes begin to fade and disappear, as of course they will.

“‘I’ always leads to suffering sooner or later. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn’t mean that you neglect, despise, or no longer care for it. Enjoy and appreciate its attributes while they last. Right nutrition and exercise too.”

“The ego isn’t wrong; it’s just unconscious.
When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it.
Don’t take the ego too seriously.
When you detect ego behavior in yourself, smile.  At times you may even laugh.”

One area the ego can be unconscious and bring suffering upon itself is in relationships. 

The ego is constantly on guard, defending itself to maintain the identity it has been giving itself.

Tolle gives these words:

“The ego is always on guard against any kind of perceived diminishment. Automatic ego-­repair mechanisms come into effect to restore the mental form of ‘me’….

 …When someone blames or criticizes me, that to the ego is a diminishment of self, and it will immediately attempt to repair its diminished sense of self through self-­justification, defense, or blaming. Whether the other person is right or wrong is irrelevant to the ego. It is much more interested in self­-preservation than in the truth. This is the preservation of the psychological form of ‘me.’ Even such a normal thing as shouting something back when another driver calls you ‘idiot’ is an automatic and unconscious ego­-repair mechanism. One of the most common ego­-repair mechanisms is anger, which causes a temporary but huge ego inflation. All repair mechanisms make perfect sense to the ego but are actually dysfunctional. Those that are most extreme in their dysfunction are physical violence and self-delusion in the form of grandiose fantasies.”

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“In addition, gossiping often carries an element of malicious criticism and judgment of others, and so it also strengthens the ego through the implied but imagined moral superiority that is there whenever you apply a negative judgment to anyone…

…If someone has more, knows more, or can do more than I, the ego feels threatened because the feeling of ‘less’ diminishes its imagined sense of self relative to the other. It may then try to restore itself by somehow diminishing, criticizing, or belittling the value of the other person’s possessions, knowledge, or abilities. Or the ego may shift its strategy, and instead of competing with the other person, it will enhance itself by association with that person, if he or she is important in the eyes of others.”

Tolle says to do nothing when someone criticizes or blames you.
        —Check out the parable in section 3 “Is that so?”

“Making yourself right and others wrong is one of the principal egos mind patterns, one of the main forms of unconsciousness.”

“All you need to know and observe in yourself is this: whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.”

“The stronger the ego in you, the more likely it is that in your perception other people are the main source of problems in your life. It is also more than likely that you will make life difficult for others. But, of course, you won’t be able to see that. It is always others who seem to be doing it to you…

…The more the sufferer sees himself persecuted, spied on, or threatened by others, the more pronounced becomes his sense of being the center of the universe around whom everything revolves, and the more special and important he feels as the imagined focal point of so many people’s attention. His sense of being a victim, of being wronged by so many people, makes him feel very special. In the story that forms the basis of his delusional system, he often assigns to himself the role of both victim and potential hero who is going to save the world or defeat the forces of evil.”

“Each person is so identified with the thoughts that make up their opinion, that those thoughts harden into mental positions which are invested with a sense of self. In other words: Identity and thought merge. Once this has happened, when I defend my opinions (thoughts), I feel and act as if I were defending my very self. Unconsciously, I feel and act as if I were fighting for survival and so my emotions will reflect this unconscious belief. They become turbulent. I am upset, angry, defensive, or aggressive. I need to win at all costs lest I become annihilated. That’s the illusion. The ego doesn’t know that mind and mental positions have nothing to do with who you are because the ego is the unobserved mind itself.

“An emotion is the body’s response to a thought…
…Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.”

“In Zen they say: ‘Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.’ What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.”

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Now that you seen some of the toxicity of the ego it’s time to look at what can happen when you live without ego.

“It comes as no surprise that those people who work without ego are extraordinarily successful at what they do. Anybody who is one with what he or she does is building the new earth.”

All truly successful action comes out of that field of alert attention, rather than from ego and conditioned, unconscious thinking.”

Living awakened, without ego, includes modalities of acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm, Tolle discusses:

“Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.”

“To sum up: Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose… 

…Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you…

…Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows form the unmanifested Source of all life through you for the benefit of all.”

 

But the ego is tricky and tries to find other ways to make it focus on itself, such as dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.

“Your personality, which is conditioned by the past, then becomes your prison. Your memories are invested with a sense of self, and your story becomes who you perceive yourself to be. This “little me” is an illusion that obscures your true identity as timeless and formless Presence.”

Here is a good story Tolle retells which illustrates the unwillingness of the human mind to let go of the past:

“Two Zen monks, Tanzan and Ekido, who were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing. Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side…

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…The monks walked on in silence. Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn’t restrain himself any longer. ‘Why did you carry that girl across the road?’ he asked. ‘We monks are not supposed to do things like that.’

‘I put the girl down hours ago,’ said Tanzan. ‘Are you still carrying her?’

…Now imagine what life would be like for someone who lived like Ekido all the time, unable or unwilling to let go internally of situations, accumulating more and more “stuff’ inside, and you get a sense of what life is like for the majority of people on our planet. What a heavy burden of past they carry around with them in their minds.”

“When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life – increases dramatically.”

“Your Being then does not shine through form anymore – or only barely. Through nonresistance to form, that in you which is beyond form emerges as an all-encompassing Presence, a silent power far greater than your short-­lived form identity, the person. It is more deeply who you are than anything in the world of form.”

—Techniques & Parables to help you achieve peace

Parable–Not Minding What Happens

“J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, spoke and traveled almost continuously all over the world for more than fifty years attempting to convey through words ­ which are content – that which is beyond words, beyond content…

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…At one of his talks in the later part of his life, he surprised his audience by asking, ‘Do you want to know my secret?’ Everyone became very alert. Many people in the audience had been coming to listen to him for twenty or thirty years and still failed to grasp the essence of his teaching. Finally, after all these years, the master would give them the key to understanding.

This is my secret,’ he said. ‘I don’t mind what happens.’

Does this mean you can no longer take action to bring abut change in your life? On the contrary. when the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of Life itself.”

**

How to be at peace now? 

“By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else. Once you have made peace with the present moment, see what happens, what you can do or choose to do, or rather what life does through you. There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.”

**

Don’t seek happiness

“If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it. Unhappiness covers up your natural state of well­being and inner peace, the source of true happiness.”

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**

How to live a life of abundance in all aspects of life

Try this for a couple of weeks and see how it changes your reality: Whatever you think people are withholding from you—­ praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on – give it to them. 

You don’t have it? Just act as if you had it, and it will come. 

Then, soon after you start giving, you will start receiving. You cannot receive what you don’t give. Outflow determines inflow. Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you already have, but unless you allow it to flow out, you won’t even know that you have it. This includes abundance. The law that outflow determines inflow is expressed by Jesus in this powerful image: “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.”

**

How to be enthusiastic

“Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose.”

**

How to recognize when ego begins acting in your life & what to do

“SEE if you can catch your voice in the head, perhaps in the moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: The voice of the ego, no more than a conditioned mind-pattern, a thought.

Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. You are the awareness that is aware of the voice.

In the background, there is awareness. In the foreground, there Is the voice, the thinker.

…In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind.

The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern.  

Ego implies unawareness.
Awareness and ego cannot coexist.
Every time the ego is recognized, it is weakened.”

**

Parable on accepting everything without taking any of it personally

IS THAT SO?

“The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his next­door neighbor became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry and scolding parents as to the identity of the father, she finally told them that he was Hakuin, the Zen Master. In great anger the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting and accusing that their daughter had confessed that he was the father. All he replied was, ‘Is that so?’

News of the scandal spread throughout the town and beyond. The Master lost his reputation. This did not trouble him. Nobody came to see him anymore. He remained unmoved. When the child was born, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin. ‘You are the father, so you look after him.’ The Master took loving care of the child. A year later, the mother remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at the butcher shop. In great distress they went to see Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. ‘We are really sorry. We have come to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.’ ‘Is that so?’ is all he would may as he handed the baby over to them.

The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, in exactly the same way: ‘Is that so?’ He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. 

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Events are not personalized. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness.

The baby is looked after with loving care. Bad turns into good through the power of nonresistance. Always responding to what the present moment requires, he lets go of the baby when it is time to do so.

Imagine briefly how the ego would have reacted during the various stages of the unfolding of these events.”

“Non reaction is not weakness but strength. Another word for nonreactor is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence.”

“In Zen they say: ‘Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.’ What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.”

**

A Parable on Peace: “This too will pass” 

According to an ancient Sufi story, there lived a king in some Middle Eastern land who was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The slightest thing would cause him great upset or provoke an intense reaction, and his happiness would quickly turn into disappointment and despair. A time came when the king finally got tired of himself and of life, and he began to seek a way out. He sent for a wise man who lived in his kingdom and who was reputed to be enlightened. When the wise man came, the king said to him, “I want to be like you. Can you give me something that will bring balance, serenity, and wisdom into my life? I will pay back any price you ask.”

The wise man said, “I may be able to help you. But the price is so great that your entire kingdom would not be sufficient to pay for it. Therefore it will be a gift to you if you honor it.” The king gave his assurances and the wise man left.

A few weeks later, he returned and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box and found a simple gold ring inside. Some letters were inscribed on the ring. The inscription read. This too will pass. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wise man said, “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way you will always be at peace.”

This too will pass. What is it about this simple words that makes them so powerful? Looking at it superficially, it would seem while those words may provide some comfort in a bad situation, they would also diminish the enjoyment of the good things in life. 

“Don’t be too happy, because it won’t last.” This seems to be what they are saying when applied in a situation that is perceived as good.

…this story points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to non-attachment. Non-resistance are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.

Those words inscribed on the ring are not telling you that you should not enjoy the good in your life, nor are they merely meant to provide some comfort in times of suffering. They have a deeper purpose: to make you aware of the fleetingness of every situation, which is due to the transience of all forms- good or bad. When you become aware of the transience of all forms, your attachment to them lessens, and you dis-identify with them to some extent. Being detached does not mean you cannot enjoy the good that the world has to offer. In fact, you enjoy it more. Once you see the transience of all things and the inevitability of change, you can enjoy the pleasures about the future. When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them.

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**

What to do when you’re with people

“When you meet with people, at work or wherever it my be, give them your fullest attention

…The human Being becomes more important than the things of this world. It does not mean you neglect whatever needs to be done on a practical level. In fact, the doing unfolds no only more easily, but more powerfully when the dimension of Being is acknowledged and so becomes primary.”

**

How do you measure true success?

“The world will tell you that success is achieving what you set out to do. It will tell you that success is winning, that finding recognition and/or prosperity are essential ingredients in any success. All or some of the above are usually by­products of success, but they are not success…

…The conventional notion of success is concerned with the outcome of what you do. Some say that success is the result of a combination of hard work and luck, or determination and talent, or being in the right place at the right time. While any of these may be determinants of success, they are not its essence. What the world doesn’t tell you – because it doesn’t know – is that you cannot become successful. You can only be successful…

Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? There is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. Quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. Quality requires your Presence.

**

How to love yourself

“To love is to recognize yourself in another.”

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**

How to feel the peace that surpasses understanding

-Realize what the ego is and how it works.

-Allow forms/labels that you once identified with collapse and that will lead to the ego collapsing since ego is identification with form.

“When there is nothing to identify with anymore, who are you?”

Tolle goes on to say:

“When forms around you die or death approaches, your sense of Beingness, of I Am, is freed from its entanglement with form: Spirit is released from its imprisonment in matter.

You realize your essential identity as formless, as an all-pervasive Presence, of Being prior to all forms, all identifications.

You realize your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with.

That’s the peace of God.
The ultimate truth of who you are is not in I am this or I am that, but I Am.
Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative. Coincidences happen.

When you yield internally; if action is possible or necessary, your action will be in alignment with the whole and supported by create intelligence, the unconditioned consciousness which in a state of inner openness you become one with. You rest in God.”

**

Parable on Entering Zen

Can You Hear The Mountain Stream?

“A Zen Master was walking in silence with one of his disciples along a mountain trail. When they came to an ancient cedar tree, they sat down under it for a simple meal of some rice and vegetables. After the meal, the disciple, a young monk who had not yet found the key to the mystery of Zen, broke the silence by asking the Master, ‘Master, how do I enter Zen?’

He was, of course, inquiring how to enter the state of consciousness which is Zen.

The Master remained silent. Almost five minutes passed while the disciple anxiously waited for an answer. He was about to ask another question when the Master suddenly spoke. ‘Do you hear the sound of that mountain stream?’

The disciple had not been aware of any mountain stream. He had been too busy thinking about the meaning of Zen. Now as he began to listen for the sound, his noisy mind subsided. At first he heard nothing. Then, his thinking gave way to heightened alertness, and suddenly he did hear the hardly perceptible murmur of a small stream in the far distance.

‘Yes, I can hear it now,’ he said.

The master raised his finger and, with a look in his eyes that in some way was both fierce and gentle, said, ‘Enter Zen from there.’

The disciple was stunned. It was his first satori – a flash of enlightenment. He knew what Zen was without knowing what it was that he knew!

They continued on their journey in silence. The disciple was amazed at the aliveness of the world around him. He experienced everything as if for the first time. Gradually, however, he started thinking again. The alert stillness became covered up again by mental noise, and before long he had another question. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I have been thinking. What would you have said if I hadn’t been able to hear the mountain stream?’ The master stopped, looked at him, raised his finger and said, ‘Enter Zen from there.’”

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—Best Quotes

Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem.”

“The sapling doesn’t want anything because it is at one with the totality, and the totality acts through it. ‘Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow’ said Jesus, ‘They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’ We could say that the totality – Life – wants the sapling to become a tree, but the sapling doesn’t see itself as separate from life and so wants nothing for itself. It is one with what Life wants. That’s why it isn’t worried or stressed. And if it has to die prematurely, it dies with ease. It is as surrendered in death as it is in life. It senses, no matter how obscurely, its rootedness in Being, the formless and eternal one Life…

…Doesn’t the existence of any goal imply that there is a temporary disruption in that harmony with the present moment and perhaps a reestablishment of harmony at a higher or more complex level once the goal has been attained? I imagine that the sapling that pushes its way through the soil can’t be in total harmony with the present moment either because it has a goal: It wants to become a big tree. Maybe once it has reached maturity it will lie in harmony with the present moment.”

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Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance. The fact is: Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.”

Those who do not attempt to appear more than they are but are simply themselves, stand out as remarkable and are the only ones who truly make a difference in this world…

…They are the bringers of the new consciousness. Whatever they do becomes empowered because it is in alignment with the purpose of the whole…

…Their influence, however, goes far beyond what they do, far beyond their function. Their mere presence – simple, natural, unassuming – has a transformational effect on whoever they come into contact with.”

Many poets and sages throughout the ages have observed that true happiness – I call it the joy of Being – is found in simple, seemingly unremarkable things.”

“True happiness is not caused by the thing or event, although this is how it first appears”

“There are two reasons why we don’t see this unity, why we see things as separate. One is perception, which reduces reality to what is accessible to us through the small range of our senses: what we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. But when we perceive without interpreting or mental labeling, which means without adding thought to our perceptions, we can actually still sense the deeper connectedness underneath our perception of seemingly separate things.

……The other more serious reason for the illusion of separateness is compulsive thinking. It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists. Thinking cuts reality up into lifeless fragments. Extremely unintelligent and destructive action arises out of such a fragmented view of reality.”

“The notion of ‘my own life’ is, of course, another limited perspective created by thought, another relative truth. There is ultimately no such thing as ‘your’ life, since you and life are not two, but one.”

“The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all “others,” all life­forms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth…
…A new species is arising on the planet. It is arising now, and you are it!”

“If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.”

“The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego. The ego can never be in alignment with the present moment, which is to say, aligned with life, since its very nature compels it to ignore, resist, or devalue the Now. Time is what the ego lives on. The stronger the ego, the more time takes over your life. Almost every thought you think is then concerned with past or future, and you sense of self depends on the past for your identity and on the future for its fulfillment. Fear, anxiety, expectation, regret, guilt, anger are the dysfunctions of the time­bound state of consciousness.”

Not what you do, but how you do what you do determines whether you are fulfilling your destiny. And how you do what you do is determined by your state of consciousness.”

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I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the book A New Earth!

You might also like one of my most viewed posts: 5 Life-Changing Takeaways from the Book, “Way Of The Peaceful Warrior”

Share this message and ask how you can be part of the New Earth!

30 Essential Messages from Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”


“Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is a unique.”

 

And yes. They wrote a little different in the 1800’s. Many of these quotes I had to read multiple times to truly comprehend.

“Self-Reliance” is a soul touching essay. I continually felt profound connections as I engulfed myself in this essay.

After being so touched by this work I felt the need to share its most essential messages with you.

A few of the many words I would describe this text are: Insightful. Life-Changing. Thought-Provoking. Soul Touching. Truly. Incredible.

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Before diving into all 30 Essential Messages, here is a brief overview of some of the things you will be hearing:

 

9 Overviewing Ideas

(1)-Seeking & Becoming more of your True Self

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or youIf you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions…”

Live no longer to the expectation of these deceived and deceiving people with whom we converse.”

 

(2)-Following paths that brings you joy in life, trusting it & continuing regardless of numerous failures

“…A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls… 

…He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not `studying a profession,’ for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances…”

 

(3)-Experiencing Genuine Peace, which does not come from anything outside of you, but begins within

A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it… 

…Nothing can bring you peace but yourself…”

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(4)-Recognizing the facade of societal ways

“…It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it…”

“…This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars.Their every truth is not quite true…”

 

(5)-The people in power hate nonconformity & encourage the general population to oppose those people

“For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.”

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

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(6)-Understanding the connectedness & importance of everything; that all things are of equal importance

…Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fulness and completion? Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being?”

 

(7)-Wherever you go there you are

The soul is no traveller; the wise man stays at home, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign lands, he is at home still.”

 

(8)-Truth>All

“Henceforward I am the truth’s. Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no law less than the eternal law…

if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last.– But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility…”

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(9)-Life(Your Ego) is Fleeting

This one fact the world hates, that the soul becomes; for that for ever degrades the past, turns all riches to poverty, all reputation to a shame, confounds the saint with the rogue, shoves Jesus and Judas equally aside.”

 

 

30 Essential Messages

The following 30 messages are all significant but I highlighted the elemental concepts in Blue and Bolded succeeding elements. Each message holds high value but I also ordered them beginning with what I believe to be the most moving.

 

#1

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think

…This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness…

…It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it… 

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

 

#2

“Phocion, Socrates, Anaxagoras, Diogenes, are great men, but they leave no class. He who is really of their class will not be called by their name, but will be his own man, and, in his turn, the founder of a sect.”

 

#3

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A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it…

…Nothing can bring you peace but yourself…. 

…Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

 

#4

Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion… 

…This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars.Their every truth is not quite true… 

…Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four; so that every word they say chagrins us, and we know not where to begin to set them right.”

 

#5

“But do your work, and I shall know you. Do you work, and you shall reinforce yourself. A man must consider what a blindman’s-buff is this game of conformity”

 

#6

At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door, and say,–‘Come out unto us.’ But keep thy state; come not into their confusion… 

…The power men possess to annoy me, I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act. What we love that we have, but by desire we bereave ourselves of the love.”

 

#7

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And truly it demands something godlike in him who has cast off the common motives of humanity, and has ventured to trust himself for a taskmaster. High be his heart, faithful his will, clear his sight, that he may in good earnest be doctrine, society, law, to himself, that a simple purpose may be to him as strong as iron necessity is to others!”

 

#8

Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage… 

…He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them.There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike…

…But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future… 

…He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.”

 

#9

“The soul raised over passion beholds identity and eternal causation, perceives the self-existence of Truth and Right, and calms itself with knowing that all things go well.

 

#10

If we live truly, we shall see truly. It is as easy for the strong man to be strong, as it is for the weak to be weak… 

…When we have new perception, we shall gladly disburden the memory of its hoarded treasures as old rubbish… 

…When a man lives with God, his voice shall be as sweet as the murmur of the brook and the rustle of the corn.”

 

#11

“For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must know how to estimate a sour face.”

This youtube talk, titled Don’t Take Life Too Seriously, by Alan Watts reminded me of the quote above.

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#12

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day…

…—‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

 

#13

“I hope in these days we have heard the last of conformity and consistency…

…That a true man belongs to no other time or place, but is the centre of things. Where he is, there is nature. He measures you, and all men, and all events…

…The man must be so much, that he must make all circumstances indifferent. Every true man is a cause, a country, and an age; requires infinite spaces and numbers and time fully to accomplish his design;–and posterity seem to follow his steps as a train of clients.

 

#14

We pass for what we are. Character teaches above our wills…

…Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment.”

 

#15

“Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now.”

 

#16

Insist on yourself; never imitate… 

…Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession… 

…That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him…
 

…No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it…

*Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is a unique.*

The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow…

…Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare… 

…Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. There is at this moment for you an utterance brave and grand as that of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or trowel of the Egyptians, or the pen of Moses, or Dante, but different from all these. Not possibly will the soul all rich, all eloquent, with thousand-cloven tongue, deign to repeat itself; but if you can hear what these patriarchs say, surely you can reply to them in the same pitch of voice; for the ear and the tongue are two organs of one nature. Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart, and thou shalt reproduce the Foreworld again.”

coacht.blog Shakespeare quote Emerson

#17

Live no longer to the expectation of these deceived and deceiving people with whom we converse.”

 

#18

“And so the reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance. 

Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long, that they have come to esteem the religious, learned, and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate assaults on these, because they feel them to be assaults on property. 

…They measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is… 

…But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property, out of new respect for his nature Especially he hates what he has, if he see that it is accidental, — came to him by inheritance, or gift, or crime; then he feels that it is not having; it does not belong to him, has no root in him, and merely lies there, because no revolution or no robber takes it away.”

 

#19

“If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart. If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined. If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life… 

…A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls… 

…He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not `studying a profession,’ for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances…

…Let a Stoic open the resources of man, and tell men they are not leaning willows, but can and must detach themselves; that with the exercise of self-trust, new powers shall appear; that a man is the word made flesh, born to shed healing to the nations, that he should be ashamed of our compassion, and that the moment he acts from himself, tossing the laws, the books, idolatries, and customs out of the window, we pity him no more, but thank and revere him,–and that teacher shall restore the life of man to splendor, and make his name dear to all history.”

 

#20

“Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired. Our sympathy is just as base. We come to them who weep foolishly, and sit down and cry for company, instead of imparting to them truth and health in rough electric shocks, putting them once more in communication with their own reason

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man. For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire. Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it. We solicitously and apologetically caress and celebrate him, because he held on his way and scorned our disapprobation. The gods love him because men hated him. “To the persevering mortal,” said Zoroaster, “the blessed Immortals are swift.”

 

#21

“Henceforward I am the truth’s. Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no law less than the eternal law. I will have no covenants but proximities. I shall endeavour to nourish my parents, to support my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife,–but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way. I appeal from your customs… 

…I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions… 

…I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly…

…It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men’s, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last.– But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility… 

Besides, all persons have their moments of reason, when they look out into the region of absolute truth; then will they justify me, and do the same thing.”

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#22

“The magnetism which all original action exerts is explained when we inquire the reason of self-trust. Who is the Trustee?

…What is the aboriginal Self on which a universal reliance may be grounded? What is the nature and power of that science-baffling star, without parallax, without calculable elements, which shoots a ray of beauty even into trivial and impure actions, if the least mark of independence appear? 

…The inquiry leads us to that source, at once the essence of genius, of virtue, and of life, which we call Spontaneity or Instinct.We denote this primary wisdom as Intuition, whilst all later teachings are tuitions. In that deep force, the last fact behind which analysis cannot go, all things find their common origin

…For, the sense of being which in calm hours rises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them, and proceeds obviously from the same source whence their life and being also proceed…

We first share the life by which things exist, and afterwards see them as appearances in nature, and forget that we have shared their cause. Here is the fountain of action and of thought. Here are the lungs of that inspiration which giveth man wisdom, and which cannot be denied without impiety and atheism…

…We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organs of its activity. When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing of ourselves, but allow a passage to its beams. If we ask whence this comes, if we seek to pry into the soul that causes, all philosophy is at fault. Its presence or its absence is all we can affirm. Every man discriminates between the voluntary acts of his mind, and his involuntary perceptions, and knows that to his involuntary perceptions a perfect faith is due. He may err in the expression of them, but he knows that these things are so, like day and night, not to be disputed. My wilful actions and acquisitions are but roving;–the idlest reverie, the faintest native emotion, command my curiosity and respect…

…Thoughtless people contradict as readily the statement of perceptions as of opinions, or rather much more readily; for, they do not distinguish between perception and notion…

They fancy that I choose to see this or that thing. But perception is not whimsical, but fatal. If I see a trait, my children will see it after me, and in course of time, all mankind,–although it may chance that no one has seen it before me. For my perception of it is as much a fact as the sun.”

 

#23

“But the rage of travelling is a symptom of a deeper unsoundness affecting the whole intellectual action. The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home… 

We imitate; and what is imitation but the travelling of the mind? 

Our houses are built with foreign taste; our shelves are garnished with foreign ornaments; our opinions, our tastes, our faculties, lean, and follow the Past and the Distant. The soul created the arts wherever they have flourished…

…It was in his own mind that the artist sought his model. It was an application of his own thought to the thing to be done and the conditions to be observed. And why need we copy the Doric or the Gothic model? Beauty, convenience, grandeur of thought, and quaint expression are as near to us as to any, and if the American artist will study with hope and love the precise thing to be done by him, considering the climate, the soil, the length of the day, the wants of the people, the habit and form of the government, he will create a house in which all these will find themselves fitted, and taste and sentiment will be satisfied also.”

 

#24

“In manly hours, we feel that duty is our place. The soul is no traveller; the wise man stays at home, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign lands, he is at home still, and shall make men sensible by the expression of his countenance, that he goes the missionary of wisdom and virtue, and visits cities and men like a sovereign, and not like an interloper or a valet.”

 

#25

(Although I still love traveling, I think there’s wisdom in this quote below & reminds me of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Wherever You Go, There You Are)

“Travelling is a fool’s paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I seek the Vatican, and the palaces. I affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go.

 

#26

“The relations of the soul to the divine spirit are so pure, that it is profane to seek to interpose helps. It must be that when God speaketh he should communicate, not one thing, but all things; should fill the world with his voice; should scatter forth light, nature, time, souls, from the centre of the present thought; and new date and new create the whole

…Whenever a mind is simple, and receives a divine wisdom, old things pass away,—means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now, and absorbs past and future into the present hour. All things are made sacred by relation to it,–one as much as another…

All things are dissolved to their centre by their cause, and, in the universal miracle, petty and particular miracles disappear. If, therefore, a man claims to know and speak of God, and carries you backward to the phraseology of some old mouldered nation in another country, in another world, believe him not…

…Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fulness and completion? Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being? Whence, then, this worship of the past? The centuries are conspirators against the sanity and authority of the soul. Time and space are but physiological colors which the eye makes, but the soul is light; where it is, is day; where it was, is night; and history is an impertinence and an injury, if it be any thing more than a cheerful apologue or parable of my being and becoming.”

coacht.blog Emerson Quote Self-Reliance

#27 

“In what prayers do men allow themselves! That which they call a holy office is not so much as brave and manly. Prayer looks abroad and asks for some foreign addition to come through some foreign virtue, and loses itself in endless mazes of natural and supernatural, and mediatorial and miraculous… 

Prayer that craves a particular commodity,–any thing less than all good,–is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg…

…He will then see prayer in all action.The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature, though for cheap ends. Caratach, in Fletcher’s Bonduca, when admonished to inquire the mind of the god Audate, replies, — “His hidden meaning lies in our endeavours; Our valors are our best gods.”

 

#28

The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loathe to disappoint them.”

 

#29

As great a stake depends on your private act to-day, as followed their public and renowned steps. When private men shall act with original views, the lustre will be transferred from the actions of kings to those of gentlemen.

 

#30

“Life only avails, not the having lived. Power ceases in the instant of repose; it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim. This one fact the world hates, that the soul becomes; for that for ever degrades the past, turns all riches to poverty, all reputation to a shame, confounds the saint with the rogue, shoves Jesus and Judas equally aside.”

 

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Here are some considerable(still super incredible) quotes:

 

Considerable Quotes

“His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents.”

Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not. The same particle does not rise from the valley to the ridge. Its unity is only phenomenal. The persons who make up a nation to-day, next year die, and their experience with them.”

“These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.”

It is only as a man puts off all foreign support, and stands alone, that I see him to be strong and to prevail. He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak because he has looked for good out of him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head.”

 

 

For more relative quotes, here are some quotes from Thoreau to ponder.

 

The Most Insightful & Life-Changing Ideas From Marcus Aurelius’s Book, “Meditations”

Marcus Aurelius is a former Roman Emperor (Ruled from 161A.D. – 180A.D), and his personal notes are so insightful & impactful that they have been translated, turned into a book, and carried on for almost 2000 years now.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius has definitely expanded my mind to new & deep ideas. Aurelius’s words have given me a deeper understanding on letting go of petty worries & focusing on life’s bigger picture.

His words gave me insight into the shortness of life, death, good ways of dealing with negative people, different ways of thinking & perceiving life, and so much more.

MeditationsMarcusAurelius1811

If you are open to mind expanding ideas then this is definitely for you!

To begin with some of Marcus’s wisdom he was one of the first people recorded to ever have the perspective of being a citizen of the world instead of only a citizen of his town/country:

He said: “My city and state are Rome-as Antoninus. But as a human being? The world. So for me, ‘good’ can only mean what’s good for both communities.”

He saw the bigger picture of life & death.

Marcus is known as one of the few good Emperors to ever live. Most other Emperors and people in power got caught up in their power & lived a life of overindulgence in all things. Marcus was able to see past this physical World into the bigger picture of life & beyond, which led him to living a disciplined & humble life—which even today is extremely hard for people, especially people in power!

I read this after seeing it was on the top of Ryan Holiday’s Book Recommendations. So I got a copy of it online, and dove right in.

I have previously thought about how the Earth will one day be consumed by a star or something & will discontinue existing, as well as everything on it. I never had a name for that idea until now—it is thinking as a stoic. This may seem negative to some but this perspective can help you let go of your trivial worries. Embracing these ideas can help you live with a deep inner peace, as it did for me.

In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius gives unique & stoic perspectives on how to live a better life.

The sections in this summary include:

1) Dealing with Others’ Opinions & Actions

2) On Thinking, The Mind & Perspective

3) On One’s Actions & Work

4) Death & The Shortness of Life

5) 19 Best Quotes

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To first sum up the book Meditations with a few main points

  • Don’t worry about what other people say or think about you. Focus on what is in your control & let go of the rest. “God did not intend my happiness to rest with someone else.” 

It never ceases to amaze me: We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

“Or is it your reputation that’s bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us-how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space-and most of it uninhabited.”

  • Let go of the small worries you have during your days. Your problems, as well as your entire life is temporary & one day will be gone forever—let your worries go today:

“The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be no one, nowhere—like Hadrian, like Augustus. The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do.  Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it.  But with kindness.  With humility.  Without hypocrisy.”

“In the age of Vespasian for example — People doing the exact same things: marrying, raising children, getting sick, dying, waging war, throwing parties, doing business, farming, flattering, boasting, distrusting, plotting, hoping others will die, complaining about their own lives, falling in love, putting away money, seeking high office and power……and that life they led is nowhere to be found…The exact same thing happened in the age of Trajan..And that too, gone..

..Then what should we work for??

—Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech.  A resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.”

  • Everything happens for a reason. Human logic can only comprehend so much about Life & the Universe—embrace & learn to love the situations & circumstances you are in no matter what position life has put you in. You are still breathing. Be thankful for what you do have & stop complaining. Life is short. Don’t pity yourself-life has a reason for us-death is not a bad thing. “Don’t complain. Doing what’s right takes patience. Think about the number of people who have feuded and envied and hated and fourth and died and been buried.”

“Treat everything around you as a dream.”

“People ask, have you ever seen the gods you worship? How can you be sure they exist? Answers—Just look around….I’ve never seen my soul either, and yet I revere it—I Know they exist because I’ve felt their power over and over.”

  • Seek out peace of mind over fleeting pleasures. Know you can never know it all-be humble & remain a life long student. Honest work can help you achieve peace of mind: 

“Some people, when they do someone a favor, are always looking for a chance to call it in. And some aren’t, but they’re still aware of it—still regard it as a debt. But others don’t even do that. They’re like a vine that produces grapes without looking for anything in return… —A horse at the end of a race.. —A dog when the hunt is over… —A bee with its honey stored… —And a human being after helping others. 

—They don’t make a fuss about it. They just go on to something else, as the vine looks forward to bearing fruit again in season. —We should be like that. Acting almost unconsciously. -Yes, except conscious of it.”

“Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, thats when he has you in his spell.”

People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”

Enjoy many more insightful & thought-provoking words from Aurelius.

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1) On Dealing with Other People

“Don’t pay attention to other people’s minds. Look straight ahead, where nature is leading you, through the things that happen to you through your own actions.”

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and unfriendly.  They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”

“Welcoming wholeheartedly whatever comes- whatever were assigned—not worrying too often, or with any selfish motive, about what other people say. Or do, or think.”

“Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good.  It will keep you from doing anything useful.  You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.”

“God did not intend my happiness to rest with someone else.”

“You want praise from people who kick themselves every 15 minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves…..why do you want approval from people who don’t know where or who they are on this planet?”

“The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do.  Only what you do. Asking yourself: Is this fair?  Is this the right thing to do?”

“Why do unskilled and untrained souls disturb souls with skill and understanding?”

“So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine.”

“So remember this principle when someone threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.”

That to expect bad people not to injure others is crazy. It’s to ask the impossible. And to let them behave like that to other people but expect them to exempt you is arrogant—the act of a tyrant.”

“When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger.”

“If they’ve injured you, then they’re the ones who suffer for it.”

“People do things that upset you, but it can’t harm your mind. People do boorish things, what’s strange or unheard of about that?? Isn’t it yourself you should reproach—for not anticipating that they’d act this way??—It was you who did wrong by assuming that someone with those traits deserved your trust.”

“Other people’s mistakes? Leave them to their makers.”

”Leave other peoples mistakes where they lie.”

“If anyone can refute me-show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective— I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”

“People out for posthumous fame forget that the Generations To Come will be the same annoying people they know now. And just as mortal. What does it matter to you if they say x about you, or think y?”

“When faced with people’s bad behavior, turn around and ask when you have acted like that. When you saw money as good, or pleasure, or social position. Your anger will subside as soon as you recognize that they acted under compulsion.”

“If someone despises me—that’s their problem. Mine—not to do or say anything despicable. If someone hates me—that’s their problem. Mine—to be patient and cheerful with everyone, including them. Ready to show them their mistake. Not spitefully, or to show off my own self-control, but in an honest, upright way. That’s the way we should be like inside, and never let the gods catch us feeling anger or resentment.”

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”

“People who feel hurt and resentment: picture them as the pig at the sacrifice, kicking and squealing all the way.”

That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere—not ironic or an act. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight—if you get the chance—correcting him cheerfully at the exact moment that he’s trying to do you harm..

‘No, no my friend. That isn’t what were here for. It isn’t me who’s harmed by that. It’s you.’ And show him gently without pointing fingers that it’s so.”

That it’s not what they do that bothers us: that’s a problem for their minds, not ours. It’s our own misperceptions. Discard them. Be willing to give up thinking of this as a catastrophe…and your anger is gone. How do you do that? By recognizing that you’ve suffered no disgrace.”

“That you don’t know for sure it is a mistake. A lot of things are means to some other end. You have to know an awful lot before you can judge other people’s actions with real understanding.”

It never ceases to amaze me: We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

“The despicable phoniness of people who say, ‘listen, I’m going to level with you here.’ What does that mean?? It shouldn’t even need to be said. It should be obvious—written in block letters on your forehead. It should be audible in your voice, visible in your eyes, like a lover who looks into your face, and takes in the whole story at a glance. A straightforward honest person should be like someone who stinks: when you’re in the same room with him, you know it.  But false straightforwardness is like a knife in the back. False friendship is the worst.  Avoid it at all costs. If you’re honest and straightforward and mean well, it should show in your eyes. It should be unmistakable.”

“Or is it your reputation thats bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us-how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space-and most of it uninhabited.”

“To live life in peace, immune to all compulsion..Let them scream whatever they want.”

“Not to be distracted by their darkness.  To run straight for the finish line, unswerving.”

“Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism.”

“When someone seems to have injured you: -But how can I be sure? And in any case, keep in mind: —That he’s already been tried and convicted-by himself, like scratching your own eyes out. —That to expect a bad person not to harm others is like expecting fig trees not to secrete juice, babies not to cry, horses not to neigh—-the inevitable not to happen.”

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2) On Thinking, The Mind & Perspective

“Look into their minds, at what the wise do and what they don’t.”

“Beautiful things of any kind are beautiful in themselves and sufficient to themselves. Praise is extraneous. The object of praise remains what it was—no better and no worse.Is an emerald suddenly flawed if no one admires it???”

“If you can cut yourself—your mind—free of what other people do or say, of what you’ve said or done, of the things that you’re afraid will happen, the impositions of the body that contains you and the breath within, so the mind is freed from fate, brought to clarity, and lives life on its own recognizance—doing what’s right, accepting what happens, and speaking the truth—
—If you can cut free of impressions that cling to the mind, free of the future and the past—can make yourself ‘a sphere rejoicing in its perfect stillness’ And concentrate on living what can be lived (The present moment) —-then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility.  And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you.”

“If the problem is you’re not doing something you think you should be doing, why not just do it?”

“Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, ‘why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?’ You’ll be embarrassed to answer.

“Then remind yourself that past and future have no power over you. Only the present-and even that can be minimized. Just mark off its limits. And if your mind tries to claim that it can’t hold against that…well then heap shame upon it.”

“Comparing a man who people are mocking and a spring of clear water: —”A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung, and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained. — TO HAVE THAT. NOT A CISTERN BUT A PERPETUAL SPRING. — HOW?? BY WORKING TO WIN YOUR FREEDOM. HOUR BY HOUR. THROUGH PATIENCE, HONESTY, HUMILITY.”

“The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be no one, nowhere—like Hadrian, like Augustus.

**The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it.  Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”

“The mind without passions is a fortress. No place is more secure. Once we take refuge there we are safe forever. Not to see this is ignorance. To see it and not seek safety means misery.” …Be grateful for all you have.

“If this evil is not of my doing, nor the result of it, and the community is not endangered, why should it bother me?? Where is the danger for the community?”

“People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like….By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful-more free of interruptions- than you own soul  An instants recollection and there it is: complete tranquility (think of pleasant memories). A quick visit to this mindful place will be enough to ward off all nonsense and send you back ready to fave what awaits you.”

“It’s normal to feel stress and pain as a human, as a normal human being. And if it’s normal how can it be bad?”

“To erase false perceptions, tell yourself: I have it in me to keep my soul from evil, lust and confusion. To see things as they are and treat them as they deserve. Don’t overlook this innate ability.”

“Disinterest means that intelligence should rise about the movements of the flesh. Above fame, above death, and everything like them.”

“I can control my thoughts as necessary; then how can I be troubled? What is outside my mind means nothing to it. Absorb that lesson and your feet stand firm.”

“You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant.  And certainly everything self-important or malicious. Get used to winnowing your thoughts so you aren’t ashamed of what you’re thinking.”

“The mind in itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within.”

“Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you. Nor can the shifts and changes in the world around you. —Then where is harm to be found? —In your capacity to see it. Stop doing that and everything will be fine. Let the part of you that makes that judgment keep quiet no matter what the body attaches itself to.

“Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life-the rough & the smooth.”

“Disturbance comes only from within—from our own perceptions.”

“Everything you see will soon alter and cease to exist. Think of how many changes you’ve already seen.”

“The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception”

“Have you ever seen a served hand or foot, or a decapitated head, just lying somewhere far away from the body it belonged to?? —That’s what we do to ourselves—or try to—when we rebel against what happens to us, when we segregate ourselves..or when we do something selfish….You have one advantage here: you can reattach yourself.”

“Stop perceiving the pain you imagine and you’ll remain completely unaffected.”

“Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, thats when he has you in his spell.” —(Remember how little you know. You may be an expert in one subject but remain humble by remembering how little you know in other fields.—Also think about in comparison to how vast the Universe is, how little you know. Remain a life long student).

“Give yourself a gift: the present moment.”

“Alexander and Caesar and Pompey. Compared with Diogenes, Heraclitus, Socrates?? The philosophers knew the what, the why, the how. Their minds were their own. —The others?? Nothing but anxiety and enslavement.”

“People ask, have you ever seen the gods you worship? How can you be sure they exist?Answers—Just look around….I’ve never seen my soul either, and yet I revere it —I Know they exist because I’ve felt their power over and over.”

“So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human, like a mortal.”

“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”

“External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.”

“Don’t be disturbed. Un-complicate yourself. Something happens to you. Good.  It was meant for you by nature, woven into the pattern from the beginning.”

“Things are wrapped in such a veil of mystery that many good philosophers have found it impossible to make sense of them. Even the stoics have trouble.  Any assessment we make is subject to alteration—just as we are ourselves.”

“Keep reminding yourself of the way things are connected, of their relatedness.”

“Wash yourself clean. With simplicity, with humility, with indifference to everything but right and wrong.”

“Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option: —To accept this even with humility. —To treat this person as he should be treated. —To approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in.”

“Blot your imagination. Turn your desire to stone. Quench your appetites. Keep your mind centered on itself.”

“Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions—not outside.”

“You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind—things that exist only there—and clear out space for yourself: —By comprehending the scale of the world. —By contemplating infinite time. —By thinking of the speed with which things change—each part of everything; the narrow space between our birth and death; the infinite time before; the equally unbounded time that follows.”

“Pray for others and pray not to feel fear, or desire, or grief… —Isn’t it better to do what’s up to you?? Like a free man!  —Start praying like this and you’ll see.

—Not “some way to sleep with her” but a way to stop wanting to.

—Not “some way to get rid of him” but a way to stop trying.

—Not “some way to save my child” but a way to lose your fear.

REDIRECT your prayers like that, and watch what happens.”

“I am part of a world controlled by nature. I have a relationship with other, similar parts. And with that in mind I have no right, as a part, to complain about what is assigned me by the whole. Because what benefits the whole can’t harm the parts, and the whole does nothing that doesn’t benefit it.”

“That no one can say truthfully that you are not a straightforward or honest person. That anyone who thinks that believes a falsehood. The responsibility is all yours; no one can stop you from being honest or straightforward. Simply resolve not to go on living if you aren’t. It would be contrary to the logos.”

“So too a healthy mind should be prepared for anything. The one that keeps saying “Are my children all right?” Or “everyone must approve of me” is like eyes that can only stand pale colors, or teeth that can handle only mush.”

“Remember that what pulls the strings is within—hidden from us. In speech, in life, in the person. Don’t conceive of the rest as part of it—the skin that contains it, and the accompanying organs. Which are tools.”

“Characteristics of the rational soul: Self-perception, self-examination, and the power to make of itself whatever it wants. —It reaps its own harvest. —It reaches its intended goal, no matter where the limit of its life is set. No matter which task you pick-it has fulfilled its mission, done its work completely.  So that it can say, ‘I have what I came for.’-

—It surveys the world and the empty space around it, and the way its put together. It delves into the endlessness of time to extend its grasp and comprehension of the periodic births and rebirths the world goes through. It knows that those who come after us will see nothing different, and those who came before us saw no more than we do.—Affection for its neighbors. Truthfulness. Humility. Not to place anything above itself.”

“A branch cut away from the branch beside it is simultaneously cut away from the whole tree. So too a human being separated from another is cut loose from the whole community. —The branch is cut off by someone else. But people cut themselves off—through hatred, through rejection—and don’t realize that they’re cutting themselves off from the whole civic enterprise. —But we can reattach ourselves and become once more components of the whole. —But if the rupture is too often repeated, it makes the severed part hard to reconnect, and to restore.”

“As you move forward in the logos, people will stand in your way.  They can’t keep you from doing what’s healthy; don’t let them stop you from putting up with them either. Take care on both counts. Not just sound judgments, solid actions—tolerances as well, for those who try to obstruct us or give us trouble in other ways.—

Because anger, too, is weakness, as much as breaking down and giving up the struggle. Both are deserters: the man who breaks and runs, and the one who let himself be alienated from his fellow humans.”

“And why is it so hard when things go against you? If it’s imposed by nature, accept it gladly and stop fighting it. And if not, work out what your own nature requires, and aim at that, even if it brings you no glory.”

“Four habits of thought to watch for, and erase from your mind when you catch them. Tell yourself:

—This thought is unnecessary.

—This one is destructive to the people around you.

—This wouldn’t be what you really think.

—That the more divine part of you has been beaten and subdued by the degraded mortal part—the body and its stupid self-indulgence.”

“Because to be drawn toward what is wrong and self-indulgent, toward anger and fear and pain, is to revolt against nature. And for the mind to complain about anything that happens is to desert its post. It was created to show reverence-respect for the divine—no less than to act justly.”

“God sees all our souls freed from their fleshly containers, stripped clean of their bark, cleansed of their grime. If you learn to do the same, you can avoid a great deal of distress.”

“That it’s all about how you perceive it.”

“Throw out your misperceptions and you’ll be fine..And what’s stopping you from throwing them out??”

“That nothing belongs to anyone. Children, body, life itself—all of them come from the same source.”

“That it’s about how you choose to see things.

That the present is all we have to live in. Or to lose.”

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3) On One’s Actions & Work

“Learn to ask of all actions, “Why are they doing that?”—Starting with your own.”

“Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we’re practically showered with them.”

“But true good fortune is what you make for yourself: Good fortune=good character, good intentions, and good actions.”

“Focus on what is said when you speak and on what results from each action. Know what the one aims at, and what the other means.”

“My city and state are Rome-as Antoninus.  But as a human being? The world. So for me, ‘good’ can only mean what’s good for both communities.”

“Never regard something as doing you good if it makes you betray a trust, or lose your sense of shame, or makes you show hatred, suspicion, ill will, or hypocrisy, or a desire for things best done behind closed doors. If you can privilege your own mind your guiding spirit will keep you clear of drama. You will be free of fear and desire. Concentrate on your mind to be in the right state—the state of a rational, civic mind.”

“But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human—however imperfectly—and fully embrace the pursuit that you’ve embarked on.”

** “All of us are working on the same project. Some consciously, with understanding; some without knowing it.” ** …—“Those who sleep are also hard at work”—Heraclitus—The project of Life—Being guided by higher power for greater good…

“So by keeping in mind the whole I form a part of, I’ll accept whatever happens.  And because of my relationship to other parts, I will do nothing selfish, but aim instead to join them, to direct my every action toward what benefits us all and to avoid what doesn’t. —If I do that then my life should go smoothly—As you might expect a citizen’s life to go—one whose actions serve his fellow citizens, and who embraces the community decree.”

“Some people, when they do someone a favor, are always looking for a chance to call it in. And some aren’t, but they’re still aware of it—still regard it as a debt. But others don’t even do that. They’re like a vine that produces grapes without looking for anything in return.

—A horse at the end of a race…

—A dog when the hunt is over…

—A bee with its honey stored…

—And a human being after helping others.

—They don’t make a fuss about it. They just go on to something else, as the vine looks forward to bearing fruit again in season.

—-We should be like that. Acting almost unconsciously. -Yes, except conscious of it.”

“But we need to eliminate unnecessary assumptions as well. To eliminate the unnecessary actions that follow.”

“To keep the gods in mind as well. What they want is not flattery, but for rational things to be like them. For figs to do what figs were meant to do—and dogs, and bees…and people.”

“No surplus words or unnecessary actions.”

“When you complain, you are hacking and destroying life.”

“Be ready to reconsider your position when someone can set you straight or convert you to their view—but it must rest on the conviction that it is right, or benefits others-nothing else. Not because its more appealing or more popular.”

“Not to live as if you had endless years ahead of you…While you’re alive and able-be good.”

“Do external things distract you? Then make time for yourself to learn something worthwhile; stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions. But make sure you guard against the other kind of confusion. People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time—even when hard at work.”

“If you seek tranquility, do less. Or, more accurately, do what’s essential—what the logos of a social being requires. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better.”

—”Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?””

“How much more damage anger and grief do than the things that cause them.”

“No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be good. Like gold says my task is to be gold.”

“The things ordained for you—teach yourself to be at one with those. And the people who share them with you—treat them with love. With real love.”

“When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.”

“And how trivial the things we want so passionately are. And how much more philosophical it would be to take what we’re given and show uprightness, self-control, obedience to God, without making a production of it. There’s nothing more insufferable than people who boast about their own humility.”

“To shrug it all off and wipe it clean—every annoyance and distraction—and reach utter stillness.”

“The more we deny ourselves of bad things, or are deprived of them involuntary—the better we become.”

“Characteristics shared by god and men— — Not to let others hold you back. —To locate goodness in thinking and doing the right thing and to limit your desires to that.”

“The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.”

“Revere the Gods; watch over human beings. Our lives are short. The only rewards of our existence here are an unstained character and unselfish acts.”

People find pleasure in different ways. I find it in keeping my mind clear. In not turning away from people or the things that happen to them. In accepting and welcoming everything I see. In treating each thing as it deserves.”

“Practice really hearing what people say. Do your best to get inside their minds.”

“To a being with logos, an unnatural action is one that conflicts with the logos.”

“To move from one unselfish action to another with God in mind. Only there, delight and stillness.”

“What is it in ourselves that we should prize?

—Not just transpiration (even plants do that).

—Or respiration (even beasts and wild animals breathe).

—Or being struck by passing thoughts.

—Or jerked like a puppet by your own impulses.

—Or moving in herds.

—Or eating, and reliving yourself afterwards.

—Then what is to be prized? An audience clapping? No. No more than the clacking of their tongues. Which is all that public praise amounts to-a clacking of tongues. —So we throw out other people’s recognition. What’s left for us to prize?

—** I think it’s this: to do (and not do) what we were designed for.  That’s the goal of all trades, all arts, and what each of them aims at: that thing they create should do what it was designed to do. —Hold on to that and you won’t be tempted to aim at anything else. And if you can’t stop prizing other things you’ll never be free—you’ll be jealous…People who need those things are bound to be a mess.”

Take Antoninus as your model, always. His energy in doing what was rational…his steadiness in any situation..his sense of reverence…his calm expression…his gentleness…his modesty…his eagerness to grasp things. And how he never let things go before he was sure he had examined them thoroughly, understood them perfectly…The way he put up with unfair criticism, without returning it…how he couldn’t be hurried…how he wouldn’t listen to informers..how reliable he was as a judge of character, and of actions…not prone to backbiting, or cowardice, or jealousy, or empty rhetoric…content with the basics-in living quarters, bedding, clothes, food..how hard he worked..his ability to work straight through the dusk-because of his simple diet…his constancy and reliability as a friend…his tolerance of people who openly questioned his views and his delight at seeing his ideas improved upon….So that when your time comes, your conscience will be as clear as his.”

“Nothing has meaning to my mind except its own actions. Which are within its own control. And it’s only the immediate ones that matter. Its past and future actions too are meaningless.”

“Treat what you don’t have as nonexistent. Look at what you have, the things you value most, and think of how much you’d crave them if you didn’t have them. But be careful. Don’t feel such satisfaction that you start to overvalue them—that it would upset you to lose them.”

“You are much mistaken, my friend, if you think that any man worth his salt cares about the risk of death and doesn’t concentrate on this alone: whether what he’s doing is right or wrong, and his behavior a good man’s or a bad one’s.”

“Avoid rashness and credulity.”

“What matters is what kind of soul he had. —Not being a slave to other peoples’ ignorance, not losing temper unpredictably..treating men with justice and the gods with reverence.”

“Place your own well being in your own hands. It’s quite possible to be a good man without anyone realizing it. Remember that.”

“And you don’t need much to live happily. Don’t give up on attaining freedom, achieving humility, serving others, obeying God.”

“Perfection of character: to live your last day, every day, without frenzy, sloth, or pretense.”

“So you know how things stand. Now forget what they think of you. Be satisfied if you can live the rest of your life as nature demands. Focus on that and don’t let anything distract you.. 

..You’ve wandered and realized you never found what you were after: How to live. —Which is found in doing what human nature requires. —Through first principles. Which should govern your intentions and your actions. —What principles? —Those to do with good and evil. That nothing is good except what leads to fairness, and self-control, and courage and free will. And nothing bad except what does the opposite.”

—**The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it.  Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”

“Nature thrives on forward progress. And progress for the rational mind means not accepting falsehood or uncertainty in its perceptions, making unselfish actions its only aim, seeking and shunning only the things it has control over, embracing what nature demands of it.—As the leaf does in the tree.”

“Time for controlling your arrogance-yes. For overcoming pain and pleasure-yes.  For outgrowing ambition-yes. For not feeling anger at stupid and unpleasant people—even for caring about them,—for that, yes.”

“Blame no one. Set people straight, if you can. If not, just repair the damage.  And suppose you can’t do that either. Then where does blaming people get you??” 

No pointless actions..

“Everything is here for a purpose. And why were you born? For pleasure? See if that answer will stand up to questioning.”

“Joy for humans lies in human actions. —Human actions: kindness to others, contempt for the senses, the interrogation of appearances, observation of nature and events in nature.’’

“You have to assemble your life yourself—action by action.”

“No carelessness in your actions. No confusion in your words. No imprecision in your thoughts. No retreating into your own soul, or trying to escape it. No overactivity.”

“To lie is to blaspheme against the logos. Liars commit deceits which is injustice.”

“Do not pursue pleasure as good and flee from pain as if it is evil—that is blasphemous.”

“To privilege pleasure over pain, life over death, fame over anonymity—is clearly blasphemous.  NATURE doesn’t do those things.”

“Real luck would be to abandon life without ever encountering dishonesty, or hypocrisy, or self-indulgence, or pride. But the “next best voyage” is to die when you’ve had enough. Or are you determined to lie down with evil? Hasn’t experience even taught you that—to avoid it like the plague??

—Because it is a plague—a mental cancer—worse than anything causes by tainted air or an unhealthy climate. Diseases like that can only threaten your life; this one attacks your humanity.”

“To do harm is to do yourself harm. To do an injustice is to do yourself an injustice—it degrades you.”

“Objective judgment, now, at this very moment. —Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. —Willing acceptance-now, at this very moment-of all external events. —That’s all you need.”

“Work: Not to rouse pity, not to win sympathy or admiration. Only this—activity, stillness, as the logos of the state requires.”

“The design of the world is like a flood, sweeping all before it. The foolishness of them—little men busy with affairs of state, with philosophy—or what they think of as philosophy. Nothing but phlegm and mucus.

—Well then what?

—Do what nature demands. Get a move on—if you have it in you—and don’t worry whether anyone will give you credit for it.

—Be satisfied with even the smallest progress, and treat the outcome of it all as unimportant.”

“Indifference to external events. And a commitment to justice in your own acts.  Which means: thought and action resulting in the common good. What you were born to do.”

“Even in illness go on living your life the way it should be lived.. don’t discuss all your sicknesses and stuff..keep talking about philosophy and things you enjoy talking about.”

“Isn’t it enough that you’ve done what your nature demands? You want a salary too? As if your eyes expected a reward for seeing, or your feet for walking.  That’s what they were made for. By doing what they were designed to do, they’re performing their function. Whereas humans were made to help others.  And when we do help others—or help them to do something—we’re doing what we were designed for.  We perform our function.”

“Your actions and perceptions need to aim:

—At accomplishing practical ends.

—At the exercise of thought.

—At maintaining a confidence found on understanding. An unobtrusive confidence—hidden in plain sight.”

To follow the logos in all things is to be relaxed and energetic, joyful and serious at once.”

“To stop talking about what the good man is like, and just be one.”

“To feel grief or anger or fear is to become a fugitive—a fugitive from justice.”

“Too many things obstruct the irrational soul and get in their way.  But intellect and logos are able to make their way through anything in their path—by inborn capacity or sheer force of will.”

“Keep before your eyes the ease with which they do this—the ease with which the logos is carried through all things.

—All other obstacles either affect the lifeless body, or have no power to shake or harm anything unless misperception takes over or the logos surrenders voluntarily.”

“If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it. Let your intention be pure.”

“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.”

“It’s all in how you perceive it. You’re in control. You can dispense with misperception at will, like rounding the point. Serenity, total calm, safe anchorage.”

“To live a good life:

—We have the potential for it. If we can learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. This is how we learn: by looking at each thing, both the parts and the whole. Keeping in mind that none of them can dictate how we perceive it. They don’t impose themselves on us.—It is we who generate the judgments—inscribing them on ourselves—And we don’t have to. We could leave the page blank—and if a mark slips through, erase it instantly.”

And along with not getting angry at others, try not to pander either. Both are forms of selfishness; both of them will do you harm. When you start to lose your temper, remember: 

There’s nothing manly about rage.

—It’s courtesy and kindness that define a human being—and a man. That’s who possesses strength and nerves and guts, not the angry whiners. Pain is the opposite of strength and so is anger.

“If you don’t have a consistent goal in life, you can’t live it in a consistent way.—Unhelpful unless you specify a goal.”

“If you direct your energies toward a common goal for all of mankind, your actions will be consistent, and so will you.”

“At festivals the Spartans put their guests’ seats in the shade, but sat themselves down anywhere. (Treat your guests better than you treat yourself)”

“This advice from Epicurean writings: to think continually of one of the men of old who lived a virtuous life.” (Look toward role models)

“Mastery of reading and writing requires a master. Still more so life.”

“We need to master the art of acquiescence. We need to pay attention to our impulses, making sure they don’t go unmoderated, that they benefit others, that they’re worthy of us. We need to steer clear of desire in any form and not try to avoid what’s beyond our control.”

”Socrates: What do you want, rational minds or irrational ones?

-Rational ones.

-Healthy of sick?

-Health

-Then work to obtain them.

-We already have.

—Then why all this squabbling?”

“Don’t let anything deter you: other people’s misbehavior, your own misperceptions, what people will say, or the feelings of the body that covers you…if it isn’t ceasing to live that you’re afraid of but never beginning to live properly…then you’ll be worthy of the world that made you. —No longer an alien in your own land.

—No longer shocked by everyday events—as if they were unheard-of aberrations. —No longer at the mercy of this, or that.”

“Practice even what seems impossible. The left hand is useless at almost everything, for lack of practice. But it guides the reins better than the right. From practice.”

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4) On Death & The Shortness of Life

“Leave it up to the Gods and turn your attention to how you can best live the life before you.”

“You accept the limits placed on your body (height, weight, etc) Accept those placed on your time.”

“If it doesn’t hurt the individual elements to change continually into one another, why are people afraid of all of them changing and separating? It’s a natural thing. And nothing natural is evil.”

“Don’t complain. Doing what’s right takes patience. Think about the number of people who have feuded and envied and hated and fourth and died and been buried.”

“Treat everything around you as a dream.”

“And what dying is—and that if you look at it in the abstract and break down your imaginary ideas of it by logical analysis, you realize that it’s nothing but a process of nature, which only children can be afraid of. (And not only a process of nature but a necessary one.) And how man grasps God.”

“Then what can guide us?? Only philosophy. Which means making sure that the power within stays safe and free from assault, superior to please and pain, doing nothing randomly or dishonestly and with imposture, not dependent on anyone else’s doing something or not doing it. And making sure that it accepts what happens and what it is dealt as coming from the same place it came from. And above all, that it accepts death in a cheerful spirit.”

“You have functioned as a part of something; you will vanish into what produced you. Or be restored, rather. To the reason(logos) from which all things spring. By being changed.”

People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”

“But suppose that those who remembered you were immortal and your memory undying. What good would it do you?? And I don’t mean when you’re dead, but in your own lifetime. What use is praise, except to make your lifestyle a little more comfortable?”

“In the age of Vespasian for example — People doing the exact same things: marrying, raising children, getting sick, dying, waging war, throwing parties, doing business, farming, flattering, boasting, distrusting, plotting, hoping others will die, complaining about their own lives, falling in love, putting away money, seeking high office and power……and that life they led is nowhere to be found…The exact same thing happened in the age of Trajan..And that too, gone..

Then what should we work for??

—Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech.  A resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.”

“Suppose that a god announced that you were going to die tomorrow or the day after. Unless you were a complete coward you wouldn’t kick up a fuss about which day it was—what difference could it make?? Now recognize that the difference between years from now and tomorrow is just as small.”

“Human lives and brief and trivial. Pass through this life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint.”

“Everything is interwoven, and the web is holy; none of its parts are unconnected. They are composed harmoniously, and together they compose the world.”

 “Our lifetime is so brief. And to live it out in these circumstances, among these people, in this body? Nothing to get excited about. Consider the abyss of time past, the infinite future. Three days of life or three generations: whats the difference?”

“Surrounded by all of this, we need to practice acceptance. Without disdain. But remembering that our own worth is measured by what we devote our energy to.”

“As a doctor prescribes patients thing, nature has prescribed us all with different physicality’s and injuries….What happens to each of us is ordered. It furthers our destiny. Accept what nature prescribes. Embrace it.”

“Nature creates things with the overall idea that it will be beneficial to the WHOLE. It was prescribed for you, and it pertains to you. The thread was spun long ago, by the oldest cause of all.”

“The foolishness of people who are surprised by anything that happens. Like travelers amazed at foreign customs.”

“I am made up of substance and what animates it, and neither one can ever stop existing, and more than it began to. Every portion of me will be reassigned as another portion of the world, and that in turn transformed into another. Ad infinitum.”

“Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone—those that are now and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river. The infinity of past and future gapes before us—a chasm whose depth we cannot see.”

“Remember:  

-Matter-how tiny you share of it.

-Time-how brief and fleeting your allotment of it.

-Fate-How small a role you play in it.”

“Soon you’ll be ashes, or bones. A mere name, at most—and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, and trivial.”

“Until your time comes, honor and revere the gods, treat human beings as they deserve, be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood and nothing else in under your control.”

“Death. The end of sense-perception, of being controlled by our emotions, of mental activity, of enslavement to our bodies.”

“So many who were remembered already forgotten, and those who remember them long gone.”

“For every action, ask: How does it affect me? Could I change my mind about it? —But soon I’ll be dead, and the slate’s empty. So this is the only question: Is it the action of a responsible being, part of society, and subject to the same decrees as God?”

“That everything has to submit. But only rational beings can do so voluntarily.”

“At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return.”

“Nature is like someone throwing a ball in the air, gauging its rise and arc-and where it will fall. And what does the ball gain as it flies upward? Or lose when it plummets to earth? What does the bubble gain from its existence? Or lose by bursting? And the same for a candle.

—They all die soon—praiser and praised, remember and remembered.  Remembered in these parts or in a corner of them. Even there they don’t all agree with each other (or even with themselves). And the whole earth a mere point in space.”

“Fear of death is fear of what we may experience. Nothing at all, or something quite new. But if we experience nothing, we can experience nothing bad. And if our experience changes, then our existence will change with it—change, but not cease.”

Don’t look down on death, but welcome it. It too is one of the things required by nature. Like youth and old age. Like growth and maturity. Like a new set of teeth, a beard, the first gray hair. Like sex and pregnancy and childbirth. Like all the other physical changes at each stage of life, our dissolution is no different.”

“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”

“Keep in mind that everything you believe is meaningless to those you leave behind.—The only thing that could make us want to stay here: the chance to live with those who share our vision.  

—But look how tiring it is—the cacophony we live in. Enough to make you say to death, ‘come quickly. Before I start to forget myself, like them.”

“Think about your life: childhood, boyhood, youth, old age.  Every transformation a kind of dying. Was that so terrible?”

“The earth will cover us all, and then be transformed in turn, and that too will change, ad infinitum. And that as well, ad infinitum.”

——“Think about them: the waves of change and alteration, endlessly breaking. And see our brief mortality for what it is.”

“Consider the lives led once by others, long ago, the lives led by others after you, the lives led even now, in foreign lands. How many people don’t even know your name. How many will soon have forgotten it. How many offer you praise now—and tomorrow, perhaps, contempt. —That to be remembered is worthless. Like fame. Like everything.”

“All that you see will soon have vanished, and those who see it vanish will vanish themselves, and the ones who reached old age have no advantage over the untimely dead.”

“To decompose is to be recomposed.—That’s what nature does, endlessly..”

“To my soul: 

-Are you every going to achieve goodness? Wholeness. Ever be fulfilled, ever stop desiring-lusting and longing for people and things to enjoy? Or for more time to enjoy them? Or for some other place or country—a more temperate clime? Or for people easier to get along with?  

—And instead be satisfied with what you have, and accept the present—all of it.  And convince yourself that everything is the gift of the gods, that things are good and always will be, whatever they decide and have in store for the preservation of that perfect entity—good and just and beautiful, creating all things, connecting and embracing them, and gathering in their separated fragments to create more like them.

Blaming no one.”

“He has stripped away his body and—realizing that at some point soon he will have to abandon mankind and leave all this behind—has dedicated himself to serving justice in all he does, and nature in all that happens.  

What people say or think about him, or how they treat him, isn’t something he worries about.  Only these two questions: Is what he’s doing now the right thing to be doing? Does he accept and welcome what he’s been assigned?  

He has stripped away all other occupations, all other tasks. He wants only to travel a straight path, to God.”

“Nature gives and nature takes away. Anyone with sense and humility will tell her, ‘give and take as you please,’ not out of defiance, but out of obedience and goodwill.”

“Continual awareness of all time and space, of the size and life span of the things around us. A grape seed in infinite space.”

“Everything was born to die.”

“When you lose your temper or even feel irritated-remember that human life is very short.”

“Where are all those people now?

—Nowhere…or wherever.

That way you’ll see human life for what it is. Smoke. Nothing. Especially when you recall that once things alter they cease to exist through all the endless years to come.

—Then why such turmoil?? To live your brief life rightly, isn’t that enough?”

“The raw material you’re missing, the opportunities…What is any of this but training—training for your logos, in life observed accurately, scientifically.

—So keep at it, until it’s fully digested—As a blazing fire takes whatever you throw on it, and makes it light and flame.”

“Remember how brief is the attentiveness required. And then our lives will end.”

Amor Fati

“Leaves that the wind drives earthward; such are the generations of men. -Your children, leaves. Leaves applauding loyally and heaping praise upon you, or turning around and calling down curses, sneering and mocking from a safe distance.

A glorious reputation handed down by leaves. All of these ‘spring up in springtime’ and the wind blows them all away. And the tree puts forth others to replace them.  

None of us have much time. And yet you act as if things were eternal—the way you fear and long for them.”

“But intelligence is uniquely drawn toward what is akin to it, and joins with it inseparably, in shared awareness.”

“What is it you want? To keep on breathing? What about your feelings? Desiring? Growing? Ceasing to grow?  Using your voice? Thinking? Which of them seems worth having?

—But if you can do without them all, then continue to follow the logos and God. To the end. To prize those other things—to grieve because death deprives us of them—is an obstacle.”

“The fraction of infinity, of that vast abyss of time, allotted to each of us.  Absorbed in an instant into eternity. —The fraction of all substance, and all spirit. —The fraction of the whole earth you crawl about on. —Keep all that in mind, and don’t treat anything as important except doing what your nature demands, and accepting what nature send you.”

“How the mind conducts itself. It all depends on that. All the rest is within its power, or beyond its control—corpses and smoke.”

“And to be sent away from it (life) not by a tyrant or a dishonest judge, but by Nature, who first invited you in—why is that so terrible?”

“Like the impresario ringing down the curtain on an actor: “But I’ve only gotten through three acts…!” Yes. This will be a drama in three acts, the length fixed by the power that directed your creation, and now directs your dissolution. Neither was yours to determine. So make your exit with grace—the same grace shown to you.”

Interesting Side Note: To avoid the public schools: Roman Aristocrats normally preferred to have their sons educated by private tutors who were considered more reliable than the professional schoolmasters who taught all comers for a fee.

^^I still find this to be a smart thing to do in today’s society. Public schools spend more time managing students than teaching them…To find a solution for the issues in the education system…Anyone have solutions?

04 be content with what you are ma

5) 19 Best Quotes from Meditations

“The despicable phoniness of people who say, ‘listen, I’m going to level with you here.’ What does that mean?? It shouldn’t even need to be said. It should be obvious—written in block letters on your forehead.  It should be audible in your voice, visible in your eyes, like a lover who looks into your face, and takes in the whole story at a glance.  A straightforward honest person should be like someone who stinks: when you’re in the same room with him, you know it.  But false straightforwardness is like a knife in the back. False friendship is the worst.  Avoid it at all costs. If you’re honest and straightforward and mean well, it should show in your eyes. It should be unmistakable.”

“I can control my thoughts as necessary; then how can I be troubled?  What is outside my mind means nothing to it. Absorb that lesson and your feet stand firm.”

“My city and state are Rome-as Antoninus. But as a human being? The world. So for me, ‘good’ can only mean what’s good for both communities.”

“To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony.”

“Have you ever seen a served hand or foot, or a decapitated head, just lying somewhere far away from the body it belonged to?? —That’s what we do to ourselves—or try to—when we rebel against what happens to us, when we segregate ourselves..or when we do something selfish. You have one advantage here: you can reattach yourself.”

“The mind in itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within.”

“If the problem is you’re not doing something you think you should be doing, why not just do it?”

“Beautiful things of any kind are beautiful in themselves and sufficient to themselves. Praise is extraneous. The object of praise remains what it was—no better and no worse.—Is an emerald suddenly flawed if no one admires it?”

“Do not pursue pleasure as good and flee from pain as if it is evil—that is blasphemous. To privilege pleasure over pain, life over death, fame over anonymity—is clearly blasphemous. NATURE doesn’t do those things.”

“Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, thats when he has you in his spell.”

“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?” (Think about your 9-5 job—if you hate it, why do you fear death? Because you want to continue working at a job you hate? Want to keep living an unhappy life?…)

“Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, ‘why is this so unbearable?  Why can’t I endure it?’  You’ll be embarrassed to answer.”

“Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life-the rough & the smooth.”

“Leaves that the wind drives earthward; such are the generations of men. —Your children, leaves. Leaves applauding loyally and heaping praise upon you, or turning around and calling down curses, sneering and mocking from a safe distance. A glorious reputation handed down by leaves. All of these ‘spring up in springtime’ and the wind blows them all away. And the tree puts forth others to replace them.  None of us have much time. And yet you act as if things were eternal—the way you fear and long for them.”

That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere—not ironic or an act. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight—if you get the chance—correcting him cheerfully at the exact moment that he’s trying to do you harm…

‘No, no my friend. That isn’t what were here for. It isn’t me who’s harmed by that.  It’s you.’ And show him gently without pointing fingers that it’s so.”

“If you don’t have a consistent goal in life, you can’t live it in a consistent way.—Unhelpful unless you specify a goal.”

“If you direct your energies toward a common goal for all of mankind, your actions will be consistent, and so will you.”

“Things are wrapped in such a veil of mystery that many good philosophers have found it impossible to make sense of them. Even the stoics have trouble.  Any assessment we make is subject to alteration—just as we are ourselves.”

“People ask, have you ever seen the gods you worship?  How can you be sure they exist?Answers——Just look around….I’ve never seen my soul either, and yet I revere it—I Know they exist because I’ve felt their power over and over.”

You can buy the book for $4.00 from Amazon here if you would like! Please share if you think this summary can impact others to live their best life!

2 Ideas & 15+ Techniques to Help you Achieve a Clear Quiet Mind

“Our biggest mistake is that how we, as an individual, sees things, is the way life is. That’s not true. That’s one perspective out of billions of people on a planet in the universe. How could what you experience be true for everyone? That’s just ignorant to think that way.”

 

This summary & book (Clear Quiet Mind by Kevin Schoeninger) are guides for those who are looking for ways to attain a deeper inner peace, leading you to a more fulfilled life—being more happy, healthy, loving and wealthy.

All aspects of your life benefit from inner peace.

I highlight two main ideas from the book and within those sections I include many “how-to’s” and techniques that when practiced can help you obtain peace of mind and better life experiences. 

You don’t need to read the sections in any specific order—if there is a section that you think will help you most then go to that one first!

Table of Contents for this Summary:

1) Main Idea Number 1 —The way you perceive & think about Reality is unique and NOT how Reality actually is (Solution=Objective Thinking)

         1a) Perception in Politics

2) How to Take on an Objective Perspective

         1) Recognize & Accept that your personal perspective has been influenced & shaped by your environment throughout your upbringing

         2) THINK about specific experiences you would like to have more of, and then write them down

         3) Technique—Mental Rehearsal

         4) Technique—Making Conscious Turnarounds

         5) Write down small actionable tasks you can do to get closer to experiencing things you want

         6) Focus on what you are Thankful For

         7) Practice Self-Observation

8) 5 ways To Practice Healthy Detachments

         8a) Observe what you are doing from a place above and behind your head (The First Seat of Consciousness)

         8b) Laugh at yourself (this is one of my personal favorites)

         8c) Take a walk, exercise, change your posture, and move your energy

         8d) Journal

         8e) Detachment Drill

9) —Big Idea Number 2 — Life Is Communicating With You

         9a) Techniques & How To’s on Listening to Life

10) 7 More Techniques to Help you Live your Best Life

         11) Technique For Redirecting Thoughts: Mental Pause

         12) Mental Approach For Change: Take full responsibility

         13) Technique—Remind self of affirmations

         14) The Ultimate Release Technique: Forgiveness

         15) Technique: Rewriting the Past Technique

         16) Technique: Inner Smiling

         17) Mental Technique: Viewing tough times as opportunities

18) More Quotes

 

Kevin explains how peace of mind does NOT come from external circumstances; it is something to be had by practicing techniques (written throughout this post), which when practiced and applied to your life can help you have more of the life experiences you truly want.

Kevin dives deep into the human psyche throughout the book by using what he has learned in over 35 years of learning & teaching multiple fields of Mind-Body Training (Life Coach, Qigong Meditation Instructor and Reiki Master Teacher). He also has his Master’s Degree in Philosophy.

I have done my best to condense the almost 200 page book into an outline of what I think will best help you begin living a more peaceful life today…

..I can confidently say that if you take time out of your busy day to patiently practice some of these techniques, you will recognize yourself having less worries & truly enjoying more of the day-to-day tasks that you previously found to be tedious. 

If you’d like, you can buy the book here on Amazon.

Enjoy.

Main Idea Number 1—

The way you perceive & think about Reality is unique and NOT how Reality actually is.

We all perceive & think about reality in our own different & unique way.

The quote at the very beginning of this article talks about how our personal, narrow-minded thinking can limit our life experiences and therefore our happiness.

What is the solution?

Practicing Objective Thinking.

When you aren’t able to understand why a person does what they do, you are looking at life through your own personal lens and not allowing yourself to view life through their lens.

Our limiting thoughts become our idea of who we are, and what reality is, but our thoughts can not represent reality in an accurate way.

1a

Perception in Politics

A great example of this is in observing Politics. Politicians learn to speak confidently even if they are lying. They usually try to get people on “their side” and make “the other side” look bad. Instead of being objective and trying to truly see how they can help their community, country and world, they create an us against them mentality and only small and usually futile tasks are achieved. —This is not all politicians, but it seems to be a trend.

Can we one day genuinely cooperate & work together? Can we actually resolve negative situations?

*A way to resolve this is to take on the mindset of not viewing others’ opinions as ‘wrong,’ but just as different.*

Here are some quotes from Kevin that will help you begin taking on a more objective perspective:

“We believe that the way we think about things is the way things are—and if someone else thinks differently, we believe they are flat wrong. This leads to inner tension and outer conflict. It keeps us from expressing ourselves articulately and from working well with others.” (154)

“What if, instead of points of view being right or wrong, every point of view simply shows us some aspect of reality?” (154)

“What if we begin with each person sharing what is important to them, while the other people listen and ask questions to better understand where the one speaking is coming from? Everyone can then share their points of view with reference to the points made by previous speakers.” (154)

“What if our goal is not ‘Being Right!’ But, instead, coming to mutual understandings and solutions that honor each other’s perspectives?” (155)

“How might your discussions be if you start with these basic insights?:

1—Every point of view has something to show us.

2—No perspective contains the whole truth.”

“Once you let go of the need to be right, you can open to a much wider range of insight and information. You gain a deeper compassion for yourself and others.” (158)

How To Take On An Objective Perspective:

1

Recognize & Accept that your personal perspective has been influenced & shaped by your environment throughout your upbringing.

“Perspective is like a lens that offers a specific view of the world. It can be a collection of almost any number of preconceptions, expectations, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, needs, moods, relationships, memories, physical sensations, and external circumstances which form your personal meaning context at a specific moment in time.” (11)

“Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception you can change your emotion and this can lead to new ideas.” Edward de Bono

Here are some questions that can show you how your perspective has been influenced by your environment. Answering these questions can help you gain a new perspective and lead you to living your best life on purpose:

What has been the result of living from this perspective?

Am I living a life I desire?

Have I chosen to surround myself with supportive people?

Practicing objective techniques (Below) can help you live a life you love.

Your actions are a result of your thinking, and if your thinking has been heavily influenced by your environment then how do you know you truly think for yourself?

You don’t need to be happy all the time—there are ups and downs in everyones’ lives—but you are the only person who can really know if you are living your best life.

Living as a product of one’s environment is easy, it takes little effort. Know that you have to put some effort into opening your mind to new perspectives and taking control of your life.

“What you focus on determines what appears before you. How you focus determines your relationship to what happens. Why you focus determines your energy, inspiration, actions, and results. And your conscious choice of focus determines the quality of your life and interactions with others.” (14)

Ask yourself, ‘What am I focusing on at this moment?’ Then ask, ‘What happens when I focus on this?’” (15)

**When we have any experience, the primary mistake we all make is to think that ‘the way we experience things is the way things are.’ … We absorb those beliefs, attach to them, identify with them, and live from them as if they are true, as if they accurately represent Reality. We then tend to think these beliefs will always be true and continue to act in alignment with them. Then, in turn, produces results in our lives that reinforce those beliefs.” (19-20)

Kevin talks about how when we live with our limiting beliefs we quickly tend to judge ourselves and others: 

“We see ourselves and others conditionally. Only if people behave in certain ways, have certain preferences, or conform to certain beliefs and values, are they worthy of being loved, cared for, and rewarded. Otherwise, they are excluded or punished.” (20)

“Instead of asking ‘what is the right way to look at things?’ Ask ‘what does this perspective show us?’

‘What does it focus on and highlight?’

‘What does it reveal?’

‘What is the result of looking at this situation this way?’ (22)

2

THINK about specific experiences you would like to have more of, and then write them down (Technique-Mental Rehearsal)

“Is there anything you hope or wish for but haven’t been able to do, be, or have? A limiting belief is hiding there.” (21)

Many people automatically focus on negative results, which makes them more likely to have negative experiences. When you are thinking about an experience you do NOT want to have Kevin says you should think about positive alternatives and make a new choice that will lead to a better experience—(Technique-Making Conscious Turnarounds).

 

3

TECHNIQUE—MENTAL REHEARSAL 

(165-170)

“The purpose of mental rehearsal is to consciously use your imagination to pave the way for the experiences you desire and to test options that might provide these experiences.”

How to Practice Mental Rehearsals:

First, define an experience you’d like to have and imagine any important details of this experience.

Second, in your imagination step into the scene so it surrounds you. Notice what it feels like to live in this experience.

Third test some potential options that might give you this experience and notice how they make you feel.”

Take back control of your life. Ask these questions:

“Is it possible to let others have their feelings and opinions without allowing them to determine what you think and feel? Can you let go of allowing the opinions of others to control you? Is it possible to stand strong for what you want in the face of criticism?”

Also “Write down any obstacles or objections to the option you are considering and how you might handle them.”

“To summarize mental rehearsal, the key is to define and imagine your desired experience in full sensory detail, step into it as if you are living it, and notice how it feels.”

 

4

TECHNIQUE—MAKING CONSCIOUS TURNAROUNDS

“When you are frustrated, sad, angry, or depressed, what do you do? Are you at the mercy of these feelings? Do they make you think you’ll never have what you really want and never be who you want to be?” (173)

Conscious Turnarounds help you empower yourself. 

How to have a conscious turnaround:

(174-180)

“Be real about what you are feelings and the thoughts that stroke this feeling. Don’t suppress it.”

See if you can observe all this without judging yourself as good or bad. Use your skills of mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment.” (Mindfulness, acceptance & Detachment are discussed in Step 5).

“Ask yourself “When did I start thinking and feeling this way? What event set these thoughts and feeling in motion?”

“Have you thought this way your whole life? Or did a specific event or series of events set this mood in motion? Most recently, what prompted you to think, feel, and act this way?”

“This experience does not represent the way things are, it’s just how you think things are.”

“Perhaps there are other ways of thinking, which would feel different, lead you to act differently, and create different results?”

Remind yourself of your limiting perspective. Think about experiences you want to have and welcome those new possibilities.

“Ask yourself, “If anything is possible now, what would I like to have happen?”

“Even if you’re not convinced that you can think, feel, and act differently, what if you could? Even if you’re not convinced you can have different results in your life, what if it is possible? What happens when you act as if things can change?”

…“Once you crack open the door of what if, and allow in even a silver of light or a wisp of fresh air, that sets the stage for new thoughts, feelings, actions, and results to appear before you. What might these be?”

“Ask, ‘What is one, small, very doable action I can take to move in this direction, to have a taste of this experience?” (This is Step 3, below)

As you ask these questions and take action you become an intentional actor in your life instead of a victim of circumstances. Continuing to view yourself as a victim creates all kinds of anxieties and worries. Kevin says that conscious action is a cure:

“Stepping into conscious intentional action is the key to transforming your anxiety into excitement, anger and judgment into loving acceptance of yourself and others, depression into inspiration, doubt into confidence, and fear into faith.”

If this were easy everyone would do it. If it were easy to let go of how you think things are, we would all do it. It can be difficult because our thinking has been conditioned and reinforced throughout our lives. The more you practice letting go of how you think things are, the more you will take on new perspectives and allow for better life experiences.

“Your thoughts, feelings, actions, and results form a perspective through which you perceive yourself, others, and Life.”

 

5

Write down small actionable tasks you can do to get closer to experiencing things you want

Example—After writing down specific experiences you would like to have more of, such as “I would like to work from home and travel, living on a beach in _(fill in the blank)_,” some small actionable tasks to help you experience that are: 

—Think about a subject or subjects that you are knowledgeable in. Write them down.

—Look up stay at home jobs in that field & look up the top influencers in that field.

—Read the top books(find at least 3 specific books) in your field of interest.

—Continually seeking out opportunities that would allow you to work from home.

*Never Stop Learning.

—Feel free to email me if you have a goal or goals and are having a difficult time thinking of actionable tasks to achieve it.

 

6

Focus on what you are thankful for

Think of at least 3 specific things instead of dwelling on something negative. This can quickly change your state of mind. Billionaire entrepreneur and coach Tony Robbins agrees and explains Here how to not just think about gratitude but feel and step into a grateful ‘state of being.’ He says that “Gratitude is the solution to anger and fear.”

 

7

Practice Self-Observation

Self-observation is your ability to adopt a ‘neutral perspective’ from which you can witness your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and results as objectively and honestly as possible—without judging them as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ As best as you can, you simply witness what is.” (29)

Practicing self-observation includes using techniques that stem from mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment.

Mindfulness is your ability to consciously place your attention on something and be ‘present with it.’ — You are present with your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and results, moment by moment, without being caught up in and carried away by them. You are simply witnessing presence.” (30)

Acceptance is crucial because it enables you to look at yourself very clearly, instead of avoiding the truth because you don’t like what you see.”

With acceptance comes detachment: 

Detachment is separating yourself from your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and results.

Kevin describes detachment with: “You separate who you are from the thoughts and feelings ‘you have,’ the actions ‘you take, and the results ‘you get.’  You are NOT your thoughts, feelings and actions, or the results you bring. You are the one who ‘has’ the experience.”

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5 ways To Practice Healthy Detachments 

(57-61)

8a) Observe what you are doing from a place above and behind your head (The First Seat of Consciousness) 

The first seat of consciousness is letting go of our thoughts and any associations we have as we experience a place just above and behind our head.

“For a few moments, you let go and your awareness ‘diffuses,’ so you take in the ‘whole field’ of this page, yourself, and the space around you.”

Kevin introduces and explains how to practice this seat of consciousness HERE.

 

8b) Laugh at yourself (this is one of my personal favorites)

“We all take ourselves pretty seriously..” This is true.

* “There’s a simple antidote: see what’s funny about what you’re doing, thinking, or saying—or make it funny.”

“Can state what you’re thinking in a funny voice and really exaggerate it. This can work well with a limiting belief, a fear, or something you really want to be right about!!”

“Bottom line is to find something funny about what you’re doing or make it into something funny to take the edge off your seriousness and let go of how tightly you’re hanging onto your point of view.”

 

8c) Take a walk, exercise, change your posture, and move your energy

“Take a deep in-breath as you raise your arms overhead. 

“If you really need an attitude adjustment, try more vigorous exercise.”

 

8d) Journal 

“When you journal, try writing down exactly what you are thinking and feeling, without judgment, nonstop, until you feel you’ve gotten it all out.”

“When you’re done writing, you may want to rip up what you’ve written, or burn it, to symbolize that those thoughts and feelings have run their course.”

 

8e) Detachment Drill

“Detachment Drill is something you can say to yourself, over and over, to imprint the idea that you are not defined by your current perspective. When you realize that you are much more than anything you think, feel, and do or anything that happens to you—this helps you detach and let go.”

As you practice detachment techniques you will be able to realize that you are not your thoughts. Thoughts are only one aspect to any individual—they are not the whole individual. Who you truly are is beyond thoughts, which is hard to understand because as humans we are constantly thinking.

You are the universe experiencing itself through the perspective of the physical body you are in.

When you begin recognizing how your perspective is shaping your experiences, you will be able to better shape & change your perspective so that you are able to make choices that lead you to experiences you truly want to have.

“Keep in mind that your limiting perspective is not a solid, unchanging thing. It is more like a tendency, a preference, a habit, and one that isn’t giving you the results you desire.” (34)

Know that your limiting perspective is temporary and only thoughts that have been reinforced. It can be changed.

Many people are comfortable in their pain, so they hold on to their limiting perspectives:

“If you strongly identify with your limiting perspective, think it is a permanent quality that defines you, or think it is the ‘true and right way,’ to see things, you make it more real and substantial than it really is. It becomes negative force in your life and strongly determines the results you get.” (35)

So detachment is a lot about letting go of limiting perspectives so that you can have experiences you actually want to have.

When applying self-observation:

“You become a magnet for better experiences and discover that you have a lot more power to influence what happens than you thought. As a result of these experiences, you tend to feel more grateful and at ease no matter what happens.” (48)

 

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—Big Idea Number 2 — 

Life Is Communicating With You

(117-137)

In this section you will find quotes & ideas that can help you understand that life is communicating with you. People who ignore what life is telling them usually aren’t happy for long, but if you truly learn to listen to life, happiness happens.

This life-force is “An invisible life-force that has come in many names through many religions. This Life-Force is the Divine Breath that animates and connects us all.”

We experience this life-force all the time but we just don’t usually recognize it.

“Have you ever felt the presence of someone who just walked into a room? Or have you felt uneasy or deeply relaxed when entering a room? Do you get a feeling about a person when you meet them, without even knowing anything about them?”

These energies are life communicating with you.

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Techniques & How To’s on Listening to Life:

Breathing is one of the best techniques for activating the life-force. Breathing is the most primary event happening in the present moment that is keeping you alive.”

To practice breathing, find a quiet place as you sit comfortably upright. Don’t try to force breathing, but focus on the sensations inside your body:

“Allow your mind to rest on any sensations that draw your attention. See if it’s possible to simply be aware of how your breathing presents itself, without trying to feel anything specific and without trying to make anything happen. Just pay attention and notice any sensations of breathing..”

“See if you can maintain an attitude of ‘waiting on your breath’ and ‘following it’ just as it is.”

“To help you, can mentally repeat ‘breathe In’ when inhaling, then ‘breathe out’ when exhaling.”

“Or can say ‘Re’ when inhaling then ‘lax’ when exhaling. Many people find an anchoring word or phrase is soothing and helps them focus.”

As you breathe, ‘feel that you’re welcoming the Universal Life-force into yourself as you inhale and imagine that you are breathing out feelings of appreciation and gratitude for this gift of life as you exhale.”

“What if you relax and trust the flow of life through you, rather than trying so hard to make things happen, because you believe it’s all up to you and you have to do it on your own?”

Letting go and trusting life will give you a more abundant, healthy and peaceful life.

As you begin listening more to life as it communicates to you, you will be able to welcome new possibilities into your life:

“This is a powerful gift of a clear quiet mind—the ability to receive intuitive insight and guidance….your mind is in a state in which intuitive wisdom naturally arises.”

“You can use your analytical mind to gather date, assess pros and cons, and weigh alternatives. Then once you’ve done this preliminary research, it’s time to set your intuitive mind to work.”

“What if you pick up on everything that is happening around you because you are, in fact, interacting with everything energetically? What if you are not aware of these interactions simply because these exchanges are invisible to your eyes and you have not tuned into and cultivated your ability to sense energy?”

“With practice, this type of information can become a source of profound guidance. Receiving this guidance brings a sense of magic and spiritual comfort to life. It gives you the feeling that everything is set up just the way it is meant to be—and that all is well.”

“A nice analogy here is to imagine your mind as the sky. When the sky is clear, it’s easy to see individual clouds floating by. If your mind’s sky is stormy, it’s a jumbled, swirling, confusing mass of information that can be overwhelming.”

“So the first step in discerning intuitive information is learning to clear and quiet your mind—To recognize where you’re coming from, let go of how you think things are, and return to your clear quiet mind.”

“In a nutshell, this is a matter of paying attention to what is happening in the present moment, noticing information in the many forms it might come to you, asking good questions about what you notice, and testing out the results and consequences in real life.”

“For example, Dr. Rossman, suggests that, if you become aware that you’re having heart trouble, you might imagine that your heart can speak to you. Ask it what it has to tell you, what it wants. If you have headaches, imagine that your head or brain can speak to you.What does it need in order not to hurt so much?”

“Good questions to ask: ‘What’s the message in this pain, anxiety, fear, irritation, or discomfort? What needs attention right now? What can I do about this?”

“A second way your subconscious speaks to you is through images. Do you notice any recurring scenes, scenarios, or images in your dreams? Do you notice the same images in your environment again and again? Recurring and attracting images can be signs that important information is available.

“Third notice signals in your environment. What is life showing you by what is happening to you? What do you hear others saying? What is life revealing about you by what is appearing around you?”

Journaling can help you put the pieces of this puzzle together. To figure out what life is telling you, write down everything that happens throughout your days—your thoughts, feelings, actions, experiences, etc.

“What if life is always guiding you to your next step? Imagine a possible step you could take.”

Again, Good questions to ask:

“What can I do about such and such?

What is the message in this experience?

What is important to know about ________?

What is my soul purpose in this situation?”

“Pay attention to insights arriving in your daily life, your dreams, and your interactions with others. You also might receive images or insights that don’t make clear sense at first, but, as you contemplate them more, they reveal new insights.”

“See if you can simply stay present with your inquiry, without rushing to have an answer. Allow it to resonate within you and imagine your inquiry sends out lines that connect with what you need to know right now.”

It’s important to stay present, open and aware without judging anything to really hear what life is telling you.

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7 More Techniques to Help you Live your Best Life:

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Technique For Redirecting Thoughts: Mental Pause

Kevin encourages readers to use the technique of a Mental Pause to redirect your negative thoughts to a better experience:

“Can be used in moments of tension, fear, anxiety, stress, and confusion…to practice mental pause, stop what you’re doing, take a time-out and insert a mental pause…. 

—Ask, “What am I afraid of at this moment? Notice the first thing that comes to mind.” 

—Ask “Is there anything I need to do about this? Does this relate to a painful situation from my past? If so, am I now ready and willing to let this fear go?”

“As you discover this deeper source of peace, you’ll gain a greater trust, faith, and belief in the benevolent grace of Life and be able to welcome new and better possibilities.” (52)

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Mental Approach For Change: Take full responsibility

We know that the first step is to recognize the way you’re thinking. Now, take 100% responsibility for your perspective. Yes, our environment shapes us, but now that you know that it shapes you, it’s time for you to shape yourself.

“Only when you take full responsibility for how you are thinking about things are you able to let go of thoughts that no longer serve you.”

Lasting results come from inner work. 

“This inner work is not just for you, because, as you release your fear-based thoughts, stories, and beliefs, you add this ability to our collective consciousness.”

Detachment helps with this inner work—“Detachment is simply stepping outside your current perspective, so you can let go, gain new insight, and welcome new possibilities.” (57)

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Technique—Remind self of affirmations:

—“I have thoughts and opinions, and I am more than these. I am a conscious observer who can entertain many different thoughts and choose the ones that work best at any given moment.”

—“I have emotions and feelings, and I am more than these. I can explore the energy and information in emotions to better understand myself and others.”

—“I have interests and desires, and I am more than these. I can use my interests and desires as information to steer me toward what I am here to do.”

—“I have a body, and I am more than a body. My body is just a vehicle in which my soul has experiences.” 

—“I have experiences, and I am more than these. I am a witnessing presence who can choose how I relate to whatever happens.”

“Repeat this sequence (affirmations above^^) out loud or in your mind until you notice a shift in your consciousness—until you’ve really detached from hanging onto any way you define yourself that limits you. Then, notice how you feel.” 

I loved chapter 7 so much that I wrote an article on this chapter alone. You can find out more on the Myth of Perfection HERE.

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The Ultimate Release Technique: Forgiveness

What is true forgiveness? And how can you really forgive? Read Kevin’s impactful view on forgiveness below.

“Forgiveness is an essential technique for letting go of any experience that has an intense emotional charge.”

Kevin has a good perspective on forgiveness:

“Before we explore what it means to forgive and why it’s so effective, let’s dismiss two common misconceptions about forgiveness that may hold you back from it—

—1) That forgiveness is about letting a person who did something wrong ‘off the hook.’

—2) That forgiveness means you are weak or ‘giving in.’

“Forgiveness is primarily about the one doing the forgiving. Forgiveness is something you do to let go. It is something you do to stop allowing the past to intrude on the present.

“It is about letting go of being defined and controlled by something that happened in the past. You forgive so you can move on. Forgiveness is a step toward your own personal inner freedom.”

“Forgiveness is an act of strength. It is saying to yourself, ‘I will not be controlled by what happened to me in the past. I will not be a victim. I choose to let go, so I can move forward.’” 78

“Forgiveness may or may not be expressed to someone else. You don’t need to say: ‘I forgive you for _____’ you can forgive them for yourself as you say it to yourself.”

Many times people unintentionally hurt another person because of something going on inside of them. Practice not taking your pains personally:

“That doesn’t mean that what they did was right, or excusable, or in any way acceptable to you. They may have been completely misguided. However, what if what they did was an expression of where they were coming from at that moment—and that was about them.” 79

“What they did might have been a retaliation for something you did that was unfair, uncaring, dishonest, or harmful. Is there something you did, said, thought, or felt that played into what happened?”

Kevin also talks about the importance of forgiving yourself. He asks readers, “Is there something you need to forgive yourself for?”

“Forgiveness happens in layers over time — You’ll know when its been effective. You’ll feel an inner freedom that wasn’t there before. You may also sense a clearing in the relationship with you and the others involved.”

Forgiveness can be a process that takes time. It can take multiple efforts and progressive insights & results for real forgiveness to happen.

Doc Childre said “If you stop traveling down those pathways, they’ll soon give way to the new patterns you’re creating, but it takes repetition.”

How to Practice Forgiveness:

“Forgiveness, in our context, is letting go of anger, resentment, blame, or indignation toward yourself and others for perceived wrongdoing.” 80

You forgive not because what was done was OK, or in any way acceptable, but simply because forgiveness will help you to heal, move on, and journey forward. Regardless of the potential impact on others (which can be powerful), forgiveness of others and yourself is most important for what it does for you, the person doing the forgiving.” 80

It’s normal to feel resistance to forgiveness.

Kevin invites you to practice forgiveness using a meditative journaling process called “Rewriting the Past.” Rewriting the past helps you call to mind a past event and view it in a new healthier and objective perspective.

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Technique: Rewriting the Past Technique

How to Rewrite the Past:

(80-87)

“Find yourself a quiet private environment and commit 20 minutes to do this. Turn off your phone.”

1) Begin by consciously relaxing

—Imagine your body parts completely relaxed. Feel them relaxed. “Take a few slow, deep breaths and feel the sensations of breathing inside your body. Each time you exhale, release any tension from your body with a deep sigh, ‘haaahhhh.’”

2) From this relaxed place, call to mind the past experience you would like to let go of and give it a name.

—Imagine where you were, who you were with, what happened, and how you felt. As you recall this event, accept whatever images, thoughts, or feelings arise.

“You had this experience, but you are more than this experience. It in no way defines who you are. You are a conscious presence who is more than any experiences you have had.

All feelings come and go. It’s OK. You’ll be fine. If you feel overwhelmed, take a few slow deep breaths to help you let go and come back to present-moment sensations in your body. 

3) Now shift to key components of the memory associated with this experience.

—Look back on the past event as objectively as possible, see it as a learning opportunity, forgive yourself and others, and, then, see the past in a new light.”

4) Forgive self for the part you played in this experience.

5) Observe self in new light. 

—Remember better moments/experiences with the people involved. Can you create a new memory in relation to this event in the light of self-compassion?

—Imagine and feel as if your whole body is filling with your breath. As you exhale, imagine and feel as if your whole body empties out.

—Other ways to rewrite the past include forgiving the other person or persons involved. Not because it was ok for them to do what they did, but for your healing.

Also see if it’s possible to remember better moments with the person or people involved.

Is it also possible to see this past experience as a learning opportunity? 

“Write down any insights about how this experience can help you be wiser or become a better person.”

Here is an idea of why we stress so much:

“We normally identify who we are with our body, our personality, our thoughts and feelings, what we believe, the roles we fulfill, and what we do. Because these aspects of our being are subject to change, decay, and death, we constantly try to make ourselves into something more substantial and secure. We are always striving to be, do, or have more. This fruitless pursuit keeps us in a perpetual state of stress.” (95)

Who is the “I” that is having the experience? It’s not your ego-it’s NOT who you think you are. Kevin calls this egoless state of mind your “clear quiet mind” (96)

This can help you prioritize: “What might you let go of because it’s not really that important? What might you choose to prioritize and focus on?” (107)

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Technique: Inner Smiling

(109-114)

Inner smiling is also a great technique to create better experiences and a clear quiet mind for yourself.

“Inner Smiling is a powerful way to heal your heart, reduce stress, improve your health and immune response, stay calm in the midst of chaos grow stronger relationships, and find clear intuitive guidance.”

It’s “Focusing on your heart while you generate these ‘core heart feelings.’”

“Using appreciation, gratitude, love and trust within the space of your heart shifts you into a state of optimal function and healing.”

Step to help with inner smiling:

—Get relaxed, imagine your favorite place. (Example- sitting in sun in warmth) Feel yourself smile and smile and feel gratitude.

“Imagine you are breathing warm, positive, smiling energy in and out through your heart…As you breathe in, imagine and feel you are welcoming warm, positives smiling energy into your heart. Appreciate and feel grateful for this soothing energy.”

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Mental Technique: Viewing tough times as opportunities

(141-150)

“What if these challenging moments are the ones that hold the greatest opportunity to break free from your habitual reactions? What if your most challenging struggles carry your greatest guidance and deepest connections?”

“Challenging emotions are portals to deeper insights and connections.”

“Doc Childre and Howard Martin of the HeartMath Institute describe the power of the heart: The heart’s electromagnetic field is by far the most powerful produced by the body; it’s approximately five thousand times greater in strength than the field produced by the brain, for example. The heart’s field not only permeates every cell in the body but also radiates outside of us; it can be measured up to eight to ten feet away with sensitive detectors called magnetometers.”

So remember that you have a limiting perspective. Don’t avoid your feelings or distract yourself. Limiting thoughts arise often. Once you recognize them you can move forward.

How you think things are are NOT the way things actually are. It’s just how things are for you.

“Place your attention in your heart, imagine you are breathing in and out through your heart, and allow your emotions to flow freely through you, rather than trying to stop them.”

Imagine yourself in a comfortable position. An ideal place. On a beach. A couch. Relaxing in a country you’d love to be in. A place that soothes and supports you.

Ask yourself what you need to do to move through this. What can you learn from this experience? How can you respond to this situation to move forward with meaning and purpose? Allow yourself to welcome new possibilities.

“Shrines of loved ones…We see them every day and remember that life is more than a few years in this body and we are always part of a larger spiritual family. The worries of life seem so much less scary from an Eternal perspective.”

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More Quotes

If there are any quotes in this section that have already been written throughout the paper it is because repetition is a great way to learn. The more you hear something, the more you are likely to learn it.

Perspectives, just like subjects in schools, are learned, which means that you can change yours with practice.

“Meditation also taught me about the diversity in myself. I can have a whole host of different thoughts and feelings—and none of these define who I am. I can inhabit any number of roles and engage in any number of different activities, yet none of these define me. I am something other than the thoughts, feelings, roles, and behaviors in which I participate.” (157)

“I am simply one who has experience. Objectively speaking, I am “a place” in the Universal Field where “experiences happen.” Subjectively I am a witnessing presence who can step into and inhabit any perspective that I choose in order to experience a wide variety of possibilities.” (157)

“Personal flaws can be doorways to greater awareness, as well. When we approach them with mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment, our flaws give us perspectives that lead us to specific insights or to develop specific skills we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.” (157)

“Our personal quirks give us unique perspectives that widen the world. They also give us more appreciation for the quirks of others.” (157)

“Instead of hunkering down and being scared, defensive, judgmental, and angry, we can accept the diverse parts of our own experience—including our own feelings of vulnerability. We understand that anger and judgment are defenses that protect these softer sides of ourselves.” (158)

“Underneath our anger and judgments are feelings of wanting to be loved, accepted, safe, and secure.” (158)

“You can live in many different worlds —and these worlds change moment by moment, depending on what you focus on and how you relate to it.” (162)

“Houses are a great metaphor for perspective. A perspective is a point of view you inhabit that enables certain experiences. Perspectives include thoughts, feelings, memories, actions, and habits that form a point of view. A point of view enables you to see certain things and not others. It gives you a focus that supports certain types of experiences.”162

“So when searching for a house, or making any decision, here are some good questions to ask yourself: ‘What experience do I want to have? And “What decision best supports this experience?” (162)

“As one who has experiences, as a witnessing presence, you can choose to inhabit any perspective.” (185)

Kevin encourages you to think that everything happens for the benefit of the whole life-source:

“I believe the challenges we are having right now on our planet are doing exactly this—pushing us to evolve. What if Life is calling us to expand and grow, to raise our consciousness to a new level?” (185)

“What if all these events are coming up to make us more of who we are here to be?” (186)

“In the face of these challenges, (what if we learned to ) ask more empowering questions:

“What is this experience trying to tell me? If life is set up to always guide me forward, what is this experience revealing? What is it calling forth from me? What do I want to see more of in the world? How can I participate in this? How can I make a positive difference in my own life—and share this with others?” (186)

“What do you feel inspired to do? How can you act on this today?” (186)

“When you engage in conscious, positive, intentional action—even a little every day—it changes how you feel about life. When you make inspired action a practice, you no longer feel like a victim of circumstances. You realize you are a conscious creator who can make a difference. You are here to play your part, to take on your unique role. In the light of this perspective, your actions take on a life of their own and they carry you, and all of us, forward to places we’ve never imagined possible!” (187)

“From the deep inner peace of your clear quiet mind an abiding appreciation and gratitude for the gift of each moment naturally arises—and you realize you can welcome any experience you choose!” (187)

 

As you begin to live with more of a clear quiet mind, you are able to view life through a lens of love, being able to live more of the experiences you truly want.

 

Continue practicing techniques that help you deepen your inner peace. Good luck & I hope the best for you on your journey!

 

The Myth of Perfection

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As I was reading a book an acquaintance sent me, Clear Quiet Mind, I came across a section in the book from Chapter 7, The Myth of Perfection, that I believe is very helpful for accepting our imperfections and living with peace of mind in a World that is constantly telling us to be “perfect.”

After reading this chapter on the myth of perfection I googled “myth of perfection” and found that many people have written on this subject: The Huffington post, Professors, TEDTalks, etc. It is a popular subject, so it must be important to discuss. 

Here I break down what I find from these multiple sources with practical ways of accepting our imperfections from Clear Quiet Mind, which can help you get past your myth of perfection to living a life with more peace of mind. Enjoy.

Have-No-Fear

Dictionary definitions of perfect include: “Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.”

“Completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.”

Why do so many of us strive for an impossible feat which only leads us to disappointment? Why do we judge others when they make a mistake, but are forgiving for our own faults?

Are your role models perfect? Who are your role models? If they are a superhero from a movie or book, then that’s just not realistic.

A TED Talks speaker, Jim Hill, speaks of his former unrealistic expectations of himself and of others here.

He says, “Ive been wrong about role models all along. They don’t have to be perfect. How could they be perfect? They’re people.”

He goes on to speak about how no one is “perfect” all the time. We’re people. We’re flawed, and that is okay. After someone told him he was a good role model, he thought of all the reasons why he was not a good role model, but he says, “But if I could be a good role model for this slice of time, well then maybe all my role models could be perfect in slices of time.” 

Instead of judging a person off of one bad thing they did, or maybe something they didn’t do, we can look at the slices of their lives that are inspiring to us: A characteristic of theirs, an achievement, an attitude, etc. When we chase perfection in ourselves and in others we only end up beating ourselves up, or others up (verbally usually), because we all fall short.

quote-a-role-model-is-an-imperfect-person-not-a-perfect-person-because-that-s-who-we-are-as-jennifer-love-hewitt-127-88-03

I want to be perfect just like you do, so how can we accept this inevitable fact of being imperfect?

Practical techniques from Clear Quiet Mind are next, but one way the speaker Jim helped himself was by practicing recognizing that his friends aren’t perfect, but they are pretty awesome at times, so he looked at the positive traits in them instead of focusing on any negative. He now tries to look at everyday people as role models, none of them are perfect, but they have slices of perfection woven into them. He says that doing this has let him off the hook of perfection.

An incredibly helpful way to release the myth of perfection is to understand that no one is perfect or ever will be, but we can look at the good qualities in others life and look up to those qualities.

Author Kevin Schoeninger also has great ideas and ways on how to handle this myth of perfection. He goes a little deeper on this subject by diving into ways to recognize when we are viewing things from a myth of perfection and then ways to release the myth of perfection.

Remember, we all struggle at times with this myth of perfection. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.

Kevin says things like:

“Do you avoid taking risks in business because you think you might fail?”

“The Myth of Perfection is an invisible line that is impossible to measure up to.”

“When have you done enough? “By what standards can these be judged—and, who says so?”

“Is it really important for you and/or your kids or be busy, productive, and perfect all the time? Does that make for a happy and healthy life?”

“What if these standards of perfectionism are arbitrary, illusory, and moving targets that keep you locked in the stress of never being good enough or worthy enough for what you really want?”

The bottom line is that ‘perfection’ is a myth. What you see when you step back and observe life more objectively is not perfection, but ‘diversity.’ Life is infinitely diverse. Diversity is a rule here on Earth. There are over seven billion different human bodies, sets of skills, habits, lifestyles, preferences, and personalities—and countless other lifeforms, each with their own unique characteristics.”

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3 ways to recognize The Myth of Perfection

(All quoted examples below are from Chapter 7 in Kevin’s Book, Clear Quiet Mind, pages 63-74)

“The myth of perfection needs to be made conscious before you can let it go and choose another outlook. Until you recognize it and can pause it as it arises, you’ll be a slave to its mythical power.”

The first way to let go of any limiting perspective is to recognize what you’re doing, Kevin says.

1) Black and White thinking

Example: “A person is a ‘good person’ or a ‘bad person.’”

“Actions are either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’”

“This just isn’t true. Every person is a diverse mix of different intentions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There are no 100% good or bad people. No one is 100% percent anything.”

“Actions can only be judged in context-yes even the ‘bad ones,’ like stealing, lying, and taking a life(example just below). What if these actions were in the service of a greater good?” 

(Example)—“Would you lie to a Nazi about hiding a Jewish family in your attic? Would you steal their gun if they barged in and were trying to use it? Would you kill them to save innocent lives? Perhaps?”

*”Life presents itself in a rainbow of different colors and shades. Black and white thinking just doesn’t represent Reality. It’s important to view everything, every action, and everyone in their uniqueness within the complex contexts in which they appear.”

2) Always, Never, and Should

“This kind of thinking disregards the truth that all things in this physical world of time and space change and grow. Circumstances change and require different responses. We all change. Life is always changing. Life requires adaptation.”

…“Yet, we tend to label things as if they are unchanging. We say things like, ‘you always…’ and ‘I never…’ to judge others and justify ourselves.”

“‘Should’ is an equally fallible concept. We think that people should follow the rules, until they break them, create something new and amazing, and become famous for it. Then, in retrospect, they were courageous or creative geniuses.”

What if minorities and women never stood up for their rights and just followed the rules? There were laws that women couldn’t vote and that people could own slaves..How unbelievable is that? What good would happen if we didn’t break rules that are meant to be broken?

“We think that people should work until they are 65—yet, we admire those who can retire early. We think that we should long for retirement, yet those who stay engaged and active in purposeful work seem to have the most fulfilling, healthy, and happy lives.”

“Discernments about what is good, right, and valuable can only be made within the ever-changing contexts in which they occur. So, check yourself for the words always, never, and should. See if you can notice the arbitrary standards behind these statements. What if these are unnecessarily stressing you out or creating conflict?”

3) Comparison and Nitpicking

“We are brought up to compare—and this naturally leads to critical judgments if we or others don’t measure up.”

“A current example of this is the notion of ‘political correctness.’ This concept is one of the most arbitrary markers for what is good and bad. Political correctness clearly is about what is most important to the group with which you identify. It has no absolute value on its own.”

“In U.S. politics, as people congregate around ‘whatever Democrats do is bad’ or ‘whatever Republicans do it bad.’ This type of thinking leads to all sorts of contradictory and conflicting judgments…Life doesn’t offer absolute answers”

The bottom line is that people, things, and actions can only be discerned within the complex contexts in which they occur. Quick and easy, black and white judgments are inaccurate to how life actually presents itself. Life is infinitely diverse.

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4 powerful techniques on releasing The Myth of Perfection

1) Notice Exceptions and Alternatives

“Notice exceptions to the rule you’re applying.” Kevin’s idea is that we are around imperfect people all the time, friends, family, etc, but we still love them for who they are.

He says, “For example, do you think so and so is beautiful even though he or she is ‘overweight?’ Can you think of a time when a ‘good person’ had a ‘lapse in judgment?’ Can you remember a time when the point you are now disagreeing with was true?”

“Notice the variety of possible ways you can look at the same situation. By momentarily adopting different points of view, it helps release you from the stress and tyranny of any one perspective.”

“At a minimum, it can lead you to say, ‘Maybe there are a variety of ways of looking at this situation.”

2) Refute Irrational Ideas

Our ideas, our self-talk, whether rational or irrational will impact our emotions, and our emotions motivate our actions. Kevin discusses how the psychologist Albert Ellis wrote about this, identifying common irrational beliefs that “launch us into stressful feelings which result in poor coping behaviors.”

Some of these adapted irrational beliefs include: “I must have love and approval for me to feel good, I must be flawlessly competent, successful, and perfect to deserve good things, My happiness and suffering are entirely dependent upon external events, Anything unknown, uncertain, or potentially dangerous is scary, What happened in the past determines what will happen now.”

There may be truth in some of these ideas for you, but “it’s how you use these ideas against yourself that’s decisive,” Kevin says, “When you attach to them as strong beliefs, they limit how you view yourself and your possibilities.”

“Certainly, you don’t control everything that happens, but you can control how you interpret, relate to, and respond to what happens.

“Ellis discovered that, if you can refute your irrational ideas, you can interrupt the chain of reaction, and create a new outcome. If you reframe your thinking, you will feel and act differently. By doing this, you become stress-resistant and stress-resilient.”

Kevin discusses Ellis’s 5 Steps to Refute Irrational ideas which you can read more about here in Ellis’s ABC Model

3) Ask yourself, ‘Am I Coming from Love or Fear?’

“Anytime you’re feeling critical or judgmental toward yourself or others ask this question: Am I coming from love or fear?”

“The root of the myth of perfection is fear of vulnerability— that ‘I am vulnerable if I’m not perfect.’

“The cure for fear is first identifying your fear and acknowledging it, then deciding if it needs to be acted on or not. This helps respond appropriately to what is happening. Perhaps your fear is alerting you to something that needs to be done? If so, how can you address your fear by taking appropriate action? If not, can you let that fear go?”

Good questions to ask fear: ‘What am I afraid might happen? Is that likely or am I exaggerating that possibility? What actions do I really need to take? Is it possible that nothing needs to be done except letting go of fear and seeing things in a more realistic empowered way?’”

“Once you’ve identified necessary actions or decided that you may be exaggerating risk to protect feelings of vulnerability, you can move toward love.”

“On the love side, you can ask, ‘How can I be more loving and compassionate toward myself and others in this situation? What would ease fear? What would help things work out well for all concerned? How can I initiate or participate in this positive outcome?’”

“In moments of fear and vulnerability, what would someone who loves you unconditionally, exactly as you are, say to you or do? How can you apply this principle to how you relate to yourself and others?”

Love is a response that naturally arises when you see the real needs of yourself and others in any situation. Love desires the best for all concerned. Love is your natural response when you are free from fear. When you love, instead of criticizing and blaming, you can observe and discern what needs to be done.”

4) Observe and Accept What Is Actually Happening

“In moments of challenge, vulnerability, and fear, is it possible to set aside all mental chatter, all stories and judgments, and simply be an objective witness to what is happening? … It is possible with practice to do this, to free your mind.

“Remember your skills of mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment. Is it possible to mindfully observe what is happening, accept it as it is, and let go of judging people and events as good or bad? Is it possible to see others and situations innocently, as if for the first time, without prejudice? —To help do this you might use the First Seat of Consciousness(technique): — Observe the situation from a perspective above and behind your head. Imagine yourself sitting up there, looking down on yourself, others, and the situation as a whole.”

The technique above reminds me of the Stoic technique of “taking a view from above.

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You can imagine being in the sky, on a cloud, looking down at yourself and all of life, which can get you out of your own thoughts.

“I encourage you to try these techniques to release the myth of perfection in situations in which you are harshly judging yourself or others.”

Kevin’s book is very useful in helping people achieve an inner peace through practical techniques. I have underlined almost every single word throughout this book as I read it. As I read the book, part of me wanted the next page to not connect with me so I didn’t have to underline it, but it kept happening!

If you would like the full book you can buy it here from Amazon for $15

5 Life-Changing Takeaways from the Book, “Way Of The Peaceful Warrior”

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

Book Written By Dan Millman

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Dan signing my Peaceful Warrior book!

Click on Dan’s name above to go to his website & learn more about him. (Also can scroll down to go straight to the 5 life-changing takeaways if you’d like).

Growing wise through personal and spiritual experiences, this story follows a World Champion Gymnast, Dan, who seemed to “have it all” in the eyes of society.  Even though he had everything he desired in the physical realm, he was still not happy.

I think many people can relate to this^.  We get what we think we want and then find out that it doesn’t bring lasting fulfillment. We hear about rich & famous people committing suicide, although many people often desire that famous/rich life. Dan is still alive & well today, but he went through many struggles to be able to live life beyond his ego.

I feel good, sometimes I don’t, ay,” said Drake in his popular song “God’s Plan.”

Everyone feels bad at times, no matter how much ‘success’ they have in this world. And it’s okay to feel bad, even though the media only portrays happy people having a good time. Remember that what you see on tv usually isn’t an accurate example of real life.  You can check out an article I wrote on accepting our feelings by Clicking Here.

Anyway, one night, while Dan was still in college, he went to a gas station after waking up in the middle of the night.  He met a unique old man who he named Socrates later on. (“Socrates” never told Dan his real name).

Socrates became Dan’s guru/mentor/teacher. Helping to enlighten Dan, Socrates teaches him many things throughout the book that ultimately opens Dan’s mind and allows him to awaken; to be happy now without a reason.  Like many people in the World today, Dan was living through his ego before he met Socrates.  He pursued worldly pleasures & accomplishments only to find out that those “fulfilling” moments don’t last.  Led by his teacher, Socrates, Dan is able to experience life beyond his ego, and live in peace.

The “living in peace” phrase just created another thought through me; we always say Rest in Peace when someone dies, but why don’t we ever say Live in Peace when we are living??

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Way of the Peaceful Warrior was one of the first books that had a big impact on my life.  I read it for the first time when I was around the age of 19, and have continued to read it again & again.

After I finished reading this book for the first time it immediately became my favorite book, and remains my favorite to this day. It opened up my mind to new ideas & a different way of viewing & living life. Way of the Peaceful Warrior has helped me live joyfully in the present moment, to be happy now without reason, to focus on things that really matter, to take action instead of dwelling in thought, to live non-judgmentally, & to live life in love.

I do not always remain in this state of bliss, but when I accept my feelings & situations as they are, this brings me peace. I shared this earlier, but click here if you’d like to read an article on this.

The author, Dan Millan, said he wrote this book “to inspire, uplift, and to remind readers of life’s bigger picture & higher promise.”  This book definitely inspired me & gave me more insight into the bigger picture of life.

Live the moment

“Be happy now, without reason, or you’ll never be happy.”

~I truly believe that this book should be read throughout schools all around the world.  The ideas & ways of thinking this book explains could benefit the education system & our future tremendously~

In this post I will summarize some of the main points of the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I will discuss how I have been using what I’ve learned from this book, will provide you with many of my favorite quotes from the book that relate to each takeaway & I’ve added some thought provoking quotes from the book at the end. Thank you for reading & Enjoy!

**I also want to encourage you to not just read this, but to put these ideas into practice. Ask yourself, “How can I apply this to my life?” These life-changing ideas need to be more than just read. Be patient when practicing these, & continue to remind yourself of these ideas throughout your days for them to become second nature.**

1) BE HAPPY NOW, WITHOUT REASON.

  • Millman’s words helped me see that happiness lies in the journey, not in the destination.  Many people are working at jobs only to make money for retirement.  Retirement does not equal happiness. I have used this knowledge to do more of what I love & to practice being fully present in each moment.  I am able to enjoy the ‘little things’ in life, such as a cup of coffee, a book, playing basketball, teaching, hanging out with family/friends, and the list goes on.

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Why waste half your life doing things you don’t enjoy doing if you have an opportunity to do something you enjoy?

Happiness happens now, in this present moment.  The future never really comes, the future only happens as another present moment.

Here are great quotes from the book that can open your eyes to being happy now, without reason:

* “‘What do I do then, now? Where do I go from here?’ Dan asked Socrates.

‘Who cares?’ He yelled gleefully.  ‘A fool is ‘happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason.  That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline—above all else I have taught you.’”

“Reality never matched their dreams; happiness was just around the corner — a corner they never turned. And the source of it all was the human mind.”

“There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!” 

“Sometimes sorrow, sometimes joy. But beneath it all remember the innate perfection of your life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness.” 

“You Don’t need a reason to be happy. If you do that reason can be taken away.” 

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“And so I awoke to reality, free of any meaning or any search. What could there possibly be to search for? All of Socrate’s words had come alive with my death. This was the paradox of it all, the humor of it all, and the great change. All searches, all achievements, all goals, were equally enjoyable, and equally unnecessary.” 

“Act happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.”

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

2) You are much more than what you think

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Live in the Present.

  • Our thoughts limit our experience.  When you can let go of your thoughts, you can be fully alive in the present moment.  The answers you seek lie beyond thought.

“My name doesn’t matter; neither does yours.  What is important is what lies beyond names and beyond questions.”

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“The birth of the mind is the death of the senses” 

^^ I’ve been realizing this more & more lately that we are most alive when we are not dwelling in thoughts.  We can take time to have rational thoughts, but take some time to meditate in nothingness.  Let go of your thoughts by focusing on your external environment.  Tap into your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Feel?  Try to do this for at least a few minutes.

When you are only in your mind, thinking, you are never fully in the present moment. Practice focusing your attention to things outside of you.

* “Satori is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs at the moment when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed; and the emotions are open and free.”

“Remember, every-moment satori.”

“The warrior is Here, Now.”

“You have to ‘lose your mind’ before you can come to your senses.” 

“Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.  The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear & anger, regret & guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.”

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“Your business is not to ‘get somewhere’ — it is to be here.

“You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind — your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity — is all that ends at death.”

^^This quote reminds me of the philosophy stoicism. I wrote a post about it that you can check out by Clicking Here.

3) Life is much more than what you can think.

  • This book helped me view the external environment without judging it. Instead of looking outside & thinking “Ooo I love or hate this weather. There is a bird & a tree, and wow that car is going really fast,” I practice just looking outside & dwelling on what is, letting thoughts come & then go like passing clouds. I practice not judging things around me, seeing them just as they are, with no thinking needed. I am not like this all the time, but it is good to practice this technique!

“You now see everything through a veil of associations about things, projected over a direct, simple awareness. You’ve ‘seen it all before’; it’s like watching a movie for the twentieth time. You see only memories of things, so you become bored. Boredom, you see, is fundamental non-awareness of life; boredom is awareness, trapped in the mind. You’ll have to lose your mind before you can come to your senses.”

“You’ve become bored to things because they exist only as names to you. The dry concepts of mind obscure your direct perception.”

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“Like most people, you’ve been taught to gather information from outside yourself; from books, magazines, experts.  Like this car, you open up and let the facts pour in.  Sometimes the information is premium and sometimes it’s low octane.  You buy your knowledge at the current market rates, much like you buy gasoline.  Like this gas tank, you are overflowing with preconceptions; full of useless knowledge.  You hold many facts and opinions, yet know little of yourself.  Before you can learn, you’ll have to first empty your tank.

4) Actions are more important than thoughts.

“Your thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.”

Don’t believe everything you think; I have heard this phrase many times & it relates to this idea.

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We can’t always control what we think, but we do have control of our actions.

Yes, try to think positive & focus on the best, but don’t try to force thoughts away. Embrace them; let it come & then let them go like clouds passing by.

“You don’t need to control emotion,” Socrates said. “Emotions are natural, like passing weather. Sometimes it’s fear, sometimes sorrow or anger. Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.”

“Old urges continue to arise, but urges do not matter; only actions do. A warrior is as a warrior does.”

“. . Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.”

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Paying attention is also an action, and one of the most important actions:

“A Zen student asked his roshi the most important element of Zen.  The roshi replied, ‘Attention.’ 

‘Yes, thank you,’ the student replied. ‘But can you tell me the second most important element?’ And the roshi replied, ‘Attention.’”

Practice paying attention.

“Ultimately you will learn to meditate your every action.”

“Use whatever knowledge you have but see its limitations. Knowledge alone does not suffice; it has no heart. No amount of knowledge will nourish or sustain your spirit; it can never bring you ultimate happiness or peace. Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy. Life demands right action if knowledge is to come alive.” 

“Full attention to every moment is my desire and my pleasure. Attention costs no money; your only investment is training.”

5) On Life & Death.

* “Experts devote their life to training. Masters devote their training to life.”

“I’ve tried to show you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is the warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.”

* “Everyone tells you what’s good for you. they don’t want you to find your own answers. they want you to believe theirs.”

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* “‘Why worry? Better to live until you die.  I am a warrior; my way is action,’ Socrates said. ‘I am a teacher, I teach by example.  Someday you too may teach others as I have shown you—then you’ll understand that words are not enough; you too must teach by example, and only what you’ve realized through your own experience.’”

“The World out there, is a school, Dan.  Life is the only real teacher.  It offers many experiences, and if experience alone brought wisdom and fulfillment, then elderly people would all be happy, enlightened masters

..But the lessons of experience are hidden.  I can help you learn from experience to see the world clearly, and clarity is something you desperately need right now.  Your intuition knows this is true, but your mind rebels; you’ve experienced much, but you’ve learned little.”

“Think of death as a transformation — a bit more radical than puberty, but nothing to get particularly upset about.” 

“Death is not sad; the sad thing is that most people don’t really live at all.”

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“Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment.”

“You fear death and crave survival. You want Forever, you desire Eternity. In your deluded belief that you are this ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘soul,’ you find the escape clause in your contract with mortality.” 

“Wake up! If you knew for certain that you had a terminal illness – if you had precious little time left to make use of your life and consider who you are, you’d not waste time on self-indulgence or fear, lethargy or ambition.  You do have a terminal illness – it is death. Be happy now, without reason – or you never will be at all.”

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Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed these book notes as much as I enjoyed the book.  I think many people can relate to this incredible story.

Let us be happy now, without reason, and we will live our best life.

You can purchase The Way of the Peaceful Warrior book from Amazon by clicking here if you’d like.

More thought provoking quotes from the book:

* “So I’m a fool, huh?” Says Millman.  Socrates responds with, “We’re all fools together.  It’s just that a few people know it; others don’t.”

“Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change, free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death.  But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

“Enlightenment is not an attainment, it is a realization. And when you wake up, everything changes and nothing changes.” 

“How do you know you haven’t been asleep your whole life?  How do you know you’re not asleep right now?”

“Understanding is the one-dimensional comprehension of the intellect. It leads to knowledge. Realization is three-dimensional — a simultaneous comprehension of head, heart, and instinct. It comes only from direct experience.” 

“Focus all your energy not on struggling with the old, but on building the new.” 

“Embody what you teach, and teach only what you have embodied.”

“Stress happens when the mind resists what is.”

“There are no ordinary moments!”

*Story about a younger traveler, Milarepa who has been seeking enlightenment everywhere.  He eventually sees an old man carrying a heavy sack down a mountain & thinks the man knows the answer to his question… 

Milarepa says, “‘Old man, please tell me what you know. What is enlightenment?’ The old man smiled at him for a moment, and swung the heavy burden off his shoulders, and stood straight.

‘Yes, I see!’ Cried Milarepa. ‘My everlasting gratitude. But please, one question more. What is after enlightenment?’

Smiling again, the old man picked up the sack once again, slung it over his shoulders, steadied his burden, and continued on his way.”

I had to read this story^ a few times before I understood it. I hope you can see it.

“Life is not suffering; it’s just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind’s attachments and just go for the ride freely, no matter what happens.”

“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.”

“Reading the future is based on a realistic perception of the present.  Don’t be concerned about seeing the future until you can clearly see the present.”

“Meditating an action is different from doing it. To do, there must be a doer, a self-conscious someone performing.  But when you meditate an action, you’ve already released all thoughts, even the thought of, ‘I.’ There’s no ‘you’ left to do it.  In forgetting yourself, you become what you do, so your action is free, spontaneous, without ambition, inhibition, or fear.’”

“The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination.”

I hope you enjoyed the quotes as well as the summary! Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice! Start today, ask “How can I apply these ideas to my daily life?” Let these ideas sink in to who you are.

I also recommend reading Dan’s second & third books in the Peaceful Warrior trilogy. (Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior & The Hidden School) which you can purchase from Amazon if you’d like by clicking on their title.

Get the books from a library or buy them; either way it will be worth your while! I read both & thoroughly enjoyed them.

Happy Reading! I wish you well on your journey toward becoming a Peaceful Warrior.