Who Pulled The Plug?
I have written extensively about our minds and expanding our awareness to help people can access more of their power and potential. This is non-trivial as it this takes time and effort and a greater awareness of power and what this means to us. There is a lot to learn and many areas where we need to grow. The big lessons take lifetimes and are very difficult to work on directly. These lessons are core things and their affect radiates and affecting many of our thoughts and beliefs and so forth. To learn any of the "big" lesson (or potentially THE big lesson if there is such a thing) we must work on many smaller ones. Some of them seem insignificant and are often overlooked; however, any one of them can make a huge difference in many aspects of our lives. The lesson of power and of course personal power is a prime example of this. In this essay we are going to look at some of the lessons of power we can work on every day to develop our access to our own inherent power.
The lessons of power are not always "bit ticket items". As a result we often fail to work on the small things we waste power on. This is in part because we are often unaware of them and when we do they seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things. We do not realize that if we keep at them they will make a big difference. Looking at the bigger picture of power itself can help us recognize their significance, provide us with some impetus to work on them and help us become aware of the little things we can do.
In this essay I will not to provide a definitive list of all the things we do that disperse our power and address them individually. This is a fool's errand. We don't learn how to add by learning how to add every combination of number one could possibly add. Yes, we teach addition using examples of additional with small numbers. The concept of addition is what they need to grasp so that they can add any numbers together. The same applies here. We will look at power itself and then some of the most common ways we disperse our power by explaining them and how they impact us. I believe you can then use this knowledge and apply it in your life.
One thing I want to clarify off the top is that power is something we all have. Still I get that many read about power and, when they look at themselves and their lives, think they have little of it. We hear this frequently from people struggled or who compare themselves to others that appear to be so much stronger and more powerful. Rest assured that this is absolutely not the case. Yes, some have more power to access than others for various reasons; however, it is not due to someone having an inherent lack of power. It is not like we have little and they have lots. The fact is we all have lots but they make better use of theirs. Even those with the least have more than enough power to transform their lives and the most successful have far more power than they are using. So, our challenge is not a lack power, it is in learning not to waste it.
So, just what is power? Well, power itself is not overly complicated. Our power is not found in our physical, emotional or mental aspects, these are temporary vehicles. Our power comes from those aspects of us that are "immortal". People refer to these aspects by different terms such as true self, core consciousness, higher self, soul, spirit or monad (an esoteric term). For the sake of this discussion the term is irrelevant. What matters is understanding that it is power from these higher aspects that enlivens our lower vehicle. We happen to see our mind as who we are but it has NO power. Our consciousness empowers our mind just as gasoline powers a car or electricity a stove. All our minds can do is allow our power through or block, filter and disperse it.
Power itself, and therefore the lessons of power, are rooted in the Law of Limitation. This is a topic I have touched on before in other essays (1). Limitation is the first law of manifestation and it is also the first law of power. Power is useless unless it can be conserved or harnessed and this is where an understanding of the Law of Limitation comes into play. The law is stated quite succinctly in the quote below. Of course there is more to the law than one is likely to gleam from this quote alone. Be that as it may, it is sufficient for the topic at hand. I recommend you not just read the quote, but also take some time to contemplate it.
"The Law of Limitation means the concentration of power by the rejection of the irrelevant." ~ The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune (2)
In terms of our accessing power, what the law tells us is that we concentrate our power by focusing our attention. One common example of how we do the opposite is seen in how we spend time thinking about things that do not matter or are of little to no value. We tend to think too much and fill up the seconds with all kinds of thoughts though we are only aware of a fraction of them. My father referred to such thoughts as drivel. Carlos Castaneda referred to this "mind chatter" as internal dialogue (2). In the below quote he does not refer to power directly, but he is implying it because one must have it to enter "the world of shamans."
“The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue” ~ Carlos Castaneda (3)
It is not like what I have mentioned is some strange, mysterious and dangerous secret that has been kept hidden, though some of its subtler aspects have been and still are viewed this way by many. We all know from our own personal experiences, or should, that we do our best work when we give a task as much of our attention as possible. What helps us focus our attention is reducing distractions, be they external or internal, in order to fully isolate the matter at hand. However, our minds are almost continually busy doing not one or a few things but many, many things, most of which we are not aware. These internal distractions make focusing a challenge.
We can usually do some things to reduce external distractions, the internal ones are another matter. In a very real way our thoughts, and the considerations and deliberations they are involved in, take many forms and become a convoluted tangle. This makes it difficult to silence our minds conscious and non-conscious deliberations so we can focus on whatever matter is before us. All the active thoughts, even our non-conscious ones, take power. This means that the thoughts that do not benefit or serve us waste of our power.
To deal with how we waste our power there are three two questions we need to explore...
- How is power wasted or dispersed?
- How do we find out how we waste power?
- How do we deal with what we do that wastes power?
I cannot possibly cover all the ways we disperse our power in this one essay, however, I will look at some of the main ones. Fortunately, while there are many ways we do this there is only one thing that prevents us from harnessing more of our power: our minds. Well, it isn't our minds per say so much as their having been poor programming and and the mass of thoughts we acquire and hold onto. No one wants to think that their own worst or most challenging enemy is their own minds. But, this is actually neither here nor there, it simply is.
It is poor programming that has our minds knotted up. Poor programming can have us concerned with, among other things irrelevant and inconsequential thoughts, unresolved conflicts and "what if's", many complex and convoluted thought streams and the emotions they give rise to. What makes it challenging is that the bulk of our internal dialogue is chatter that does not reach our conscious attention. It occurs either just below the conscious level or deeper in our non-conscious mind (which is most of it) and can be illusive. This inner chatter arises from how our minds react to and try to integrate our experiences.
So where does all this chatter that interferes without our ability to focus and think clearly come from? Well, it root source is a result of how our minds integrate our experiences. To develop an understanding of the kind of mental activities that waste our power we need to consider how our minds do what they do. For example, what does our mind do when it lacks sufficient information to accurately integrate experiences or struggles to determine all the possible outcomes of various scenarios their consequences? Well, unless we consciously intervene, which means we must be aware it is doing this, it will continue to try to resolve them. When the mind does this the chatter, the internal dialogue, will go on.
Our minds react to every aspect of our experiences. However, its perception of them is not hard coded, it is programmed by our reactions to them. Part of their reactions are related to mundane things that we need not be and typically are not consciously aware of. I am referring to such as mapping our bodies positioning, interpreting distances, spacial relationships and object recognition (object within its "field of vision") and so on. Of course, much more are related to substantive things such our reactions, both thoughts and feelings, to what we perceive. Again, we are only consciously aware of only a fraction of our reactions to our experiences.
For instance, we perceive all aspects of a room, but we are not consciously aware of how we have reacted to all the elements of the room or what is in it. We may like the way the room is laid out or certain objects in it do not appeal to us and so on. Rarely would we be able to articulate our reactions as most happen at the non-conscious level. We may be conscious of whether we feel comfortable in the room or not or notice certain objects in particular. However, it is unlikely that we are aware of their doings in this regard nor why we (our minds) reacted the way we did.
For the most part, low level mental activities such as those related to the mundane ones mentioned earlier do not take much power at all. Though our minds are aware of these activities they are dealt with very quickly, mostly by the brain (what is referred to as the etheric web plays a significant role in this). As a result the mind does not spend any significant amount of time integrating them unless something has gone wrong before or does goes wrong and this matters to or affects us. For example, say we go to place our foot down and misjudge the distance leading to our slipping or falling. In this case, we would likely to try to figure out why we misjudged the distance. If it was merely a perception issue such as mentally misjudging the terrain we will likely pay no further attention to it. If it occurs regularly then of course we will think about it and our mind will spend more time reacting to and integrating every step we take to compensate for it.
Our minds do not quickly move on when they remain concerned about what is perceived, cannot determine what to do to resolve negative consequences or ramifications of it or do not care for the outcome. When this happens our mind continues to try to either integrate it to resolve any issues it perceives. Complicating matters is that our thoughts continue to stir up emotions and will do so as long as the matter remains a concern. In this situation the loss of power can be significant, especially if our emotions are strong. To grasp this fully let us step back a bit to consider what our minds are doing during every experience we have.
At any given moment what catches our attention depends on many things. The factors include the obvious things such as visual queues, movement, bright colours and so on. But no aspect of the experience goes unnoticed by our minds. They react to every aspect of it, mostly at the non-conscious level. Every thought in our minds that have any correlation to the experience are activated to varying degrees. The degree depends on such things as recent events, how prominent they are and ALL our past experiences that have some commonality with it, some of which can be rather tenuous or obscure.
When you stop to think about all it is easy to see why we, or more specifically our minds, are distracted by a number of different aspects of our experiences on a continual basis. To bring this back to our power, imagine a container with a many small holes in the bottom and how the water flows out of it. Compare this to how it flows out of a container with only one hole as large as all the small holes combined and you get the idea. This is how we waste our power, it literally is the death of a thousand cuts.
The reason our minds have all those "small holes" is that we have too many thought processes going on and have made far too many things important that are of no benefit or value to us. The fact is virtually all of us do this far too much. Making many different things important to us is one of the main drains on our power. The question is "Do we know why?" I would hazard a guess and say that typically most of us do not. In order to know such things we need to become more mentally conscious (4). Figuratively, the path to reducing how we disperse our power lies in reducing number of holes in our mental bucket by first noticing them then working on understanding them so we can deal with them. To do this we must learn more about ourselves.
There is an old adage "out of sight out of mind", which means if we do no see someone or something frequently we will forget about them or it. It sounds reasonable and in one sense it is. The sense I am referring to is consciously, but it does not apply to our non-conscious mind. This is partly because even though we may not be able to consciously recall something or someone our mind never forgets. We see this in people who have eidetic memory or hyperthymesia (5) and what one can do we can all do. It is true that they can be hard to access, but they are there.
Our original experiences remain because the vibrations we perceived and our perception of them cannot be destroyed. The reason we forget virtually all but the most prominent memories because as time goes the thoughts and memories that arise from new experiences gradually overshadow and bury and even change older ones. How quickly varies based on the energy associated with them and the minds assessment of them. But our loss of power is not directly a result of the mass of memories and other thoughts contained within our minds. The primary reason is the number of memories and thoughts, and the streams that arise from them, that are active because our minds deem them as important or they remain unresolved.
Other significant contributors are how our thoughts affect how we interpret perceptions and the very way we think. This is because how we think and process what we perceive, our very reasoning skills, are also "encoded" in thoughts. These are thoughts related to our objectivity and how we observe, assess and analyze what we perceive. For instance, our ancestors were very superstitious, they routinely explained outcomes by making up notions they felt could explain it even if their reasoning was erroneous. Often the reasons were attributed to supernatural phenomenon. A modern analogy to this is found in how we attribute qualities to people based on how we feel about them rather than on any particular facts we know about them. We then go on to make assumptions about they think or what they will or will not do based on our faulty reasoning about their nature. We ought not concern ourselves with how others think. Besides it is highly unlikely we know and it is better to simple accept we do not rather than waste power with on contrived ones.
Our minds do not start off with good reasoning skills and able to deal with complexity nor are they by nature observant. These are skills that must be developed. We do not remember developing them let alone how we did, though we may remember noticing that we did. They develop as a result of what our minds are "fed" and what it learned based on our choices and outcomes. How we feel about these things factors is. When it integrates all these things it will use what reasoning it has developed and in the process will change.
The mind actually programs itself, including its version of logical reasoning. We tend to overlook or be unaware of this because we rarely spend much time considering how our minds actually do what they do. Faulty observation and reasoning skills lead to the mind have additional challenges and hence we do. For instance, if our reasoning is faulty and we base an entire chain of thought on it all the power and time we vested in it is a waste. Further, the less developed our reasoning skills are the more our mind churns away over unresolved matters or complex matters. To stop it we have to learn why and what it is busy with. We then break the complex problems into smaller, more manageable ones. Each and every thought stream involved as minds churn things over take power.
We also need to remember that old issues never die on their own, they simply "disappear from sight". For example, years ago I was having a fairly personal conversation with someone close to me about letting go of things from the past and why and was told "I do not hold onto the past". I was a little surprised as we all do this to varying degrees but the claim remained. Since "knowing thyself" was what we were discussing I brought up an incident that had happened over twenty years earlier. When I did the person exploded in anger as if what happened all those years ago had just occurred. The thoughts that led to the anger all those years ago had gone nowhere. Not only was it still very much empowered, it would have continued to influence how they reacted to their experiences over time.
My point is that the minds holding onto unresolved thoughts that lead to such strong emotions also take power. Also, such thoughts have a certain degree of prominence in the non-conscious mind and as so tend to be noticed and activated when there is a commonality with what is going on the present. This is how we can become more emotionally charged and react strongly to something that should or normally would be trivial. Not only does holding onto things take power, it "mucks up the works".
Another significant power loss arises when our minds get "get stuck" in the process of integrating too many aspects of our experiences. This happens when it fails to resolve aspects of them to completion and tries to "dot all the i's and cross all the t's" . When you mix chemicals they will continue to react until the process goes to completion. It is the same for our minds though in our minds case there can be many thoughts involved in process and new elements can be continually introduced so sometimes the process never goes to completion. One reaction becomes another experience and the mind can create yet more "what ifs" notions each of which much also be resolved. It is no accident that these kinds of things rob us of our power. They also keep us further away from the present moment, the now.
Essentially, power loss occurs when our minds are engaged in matters that do not benefit us or have no substantive value. Our mind may have convincing itself that they are important, but that does mean they actually are. So far in this essay we have looked at number of things we that waste our power. Below is a list of some of the primary ways we waste our power:
- Unresolved conflicts
- Poor reasoning skills
- Challenges of complexity (related to reasoning skills)
- Superficial observation
- Subjective observation
- Strong lower emotional reactions
- Focus on matters of no consequence
- Expectations for the projected future
- Clinging to the past (regrets, old hurts etc.)
- Not being consciously attentive
- Erroneous thoughts
- Irrelevant and useless information
The above list shows there are ways to disperse our power. Consider them in turn to and you can see how they disperse our power. Realizing this we are then able to see and work on reducing the chatter in our minds and conserve our power. In this case, when I say chatter I am referring to all activities of mind that can lead to empowered streams of thoughts that serve no meaningful or beneficial purpose. The source of most of them is the non-conscious level and they are often elusive. Hence, if we want to plug our power leaks we must turn our attention on ourselves.
It is quite challenging to turn our attention within and upon minds below the conscious level. We know little of what they are doing on our behalf. We rarely even consider how busy they are churning away on various things and reacting to every aspect of our experiences. Nor do we realize that it controls what we notice or observe. We tend to think we notice what is going on around us, but we do not. We only notice a fraction of what is going on because we not nearly as observant as we think we are. Our minds filter out parts of what is going on and focuses on others based on what we have tended to pay attention or made important over the years. This also contributes to our tendency to focus on what is going on without.
The outside world and our interactions with it are a compelling movie. Our minds also react to every element of our experiences, reactions that come in the form of thoughts and from them emotions. Figuratively, activated thoughts weave and wind their way through our minds interacting with other thoughts as they do. Thoughts that share commonalities of of varying degrees resonate intrinsically. The mind may "notices" these associations with existing beliefs and thoughts depending on what it has been trained to. Where there is a commonality with another thought, be it a memory or belief or any other kind of thought, that thought can also becomes activate. This is part of process by which the mind integrates experiences. When it does this it can confirm or negate prior notions and assertions, shift them or create new ones and so on. These connection, I have figuratively referred to them as thought streams, carry on as long as they have the attention of any aspect of our consciousness or minds. All of these activities take power.
Our minds are comprised and thoughts and thoughts are "vibrations in energy" of a certain type. They are not rigid or permanent things in the phenomenal sense. When we change a thought we are not obliterating the original one we are, in a sense, adding vibrations to to it. You can think if it like vectors where the direction of the combined vibrations is the sum of the vectors involved and there can be many. The original vibration is no longer distinct, and ceases to directs things, it is the combined vibrancy of all vibrations involved that do that. This is also why clearly understanding what we are working on is important, otherwise we can "change our mind" about something making matters worse.
Now that we understand a little more about the sources of our leaks we can look at some of them more closely. Examples and explanations can help one to notice and identify them. This is the first step to plugging the power leaks we have because we cannot work on what we do not notice and are not aware of. I am referring to such as our concern over things that are of no value, noticing misconceptions and erroneous beliefs and working on our mental skills so our minds do not spin their wheels. Why we want to do these things will become clearer as we go along. It is also why it can take time to get it right. In order to deal with any issue thoroughly, many of which we have carried most of our lives, we need to understand it very well.
Note that the understanding I was referring to does not necessarily come in the form of words. This is because we can know what the issue is and even what we need to do from the energies we perceive if we have learned or know how to understand them without reverting to language. But this is a rare skill. Coming to an awareness of our challenges , regardless of how we do so, is half the battle. The rest comes from how much effort we put into it, how well we focus and how well we actually "know" what to do and so on. We want to have access to more of the power of our consciousness to do this. You could call this power our will. So, as we clear up little power leakages we have more power to focus on the bigger ones.
Will comes from our higher self and, figuratively, is directed down through the mental and lower planes by our intent (via our causal body). It is impulses from our causal body that manifest or activate thoughts just as our thoughts manifest or active emotions. We need to be focused to direct our power or will to change thoughts. Our thoughts can make it harder or easier to access, none the less, the more of our will we can summon the better. This is something we all can do and have done at some point in our lives to achieve a challenging goal or milestone. So, have faith in yourself. If you truly want to reduce how much power you waste you can.
Now, each of the active streams of thought I referred to earlier takes power. When we start working on reclaiming our power getting to know these streams is a good place to focus our attention. When we do we start to get an inkling of just how many active thought streams we have going all in time. Meditation or other activities that help with mindfulness, are a good way to start to notice the streams. Most are subtle, but we get better at noticing them by learning to observe existing ones that are prominent and the new ones we start up. Fortunately, most of the streams of thoughts we come to a quick end and fade without much effort or we would be overwhelmed.
For instance, if I have a dirty glass I put it in the dishwasher without much thought about it. Once this is done I rarely spend any more time thinking about it. By the time I walk away from the dishwasher the fact I put the glass in is not on my mind at all. However, I would certainly spend more time thinking about it if the glass I am putting in the dishwasher is a special one. In this case I would likely be concerned about it getting damaged and will continue to think about it. It could be special for any number of reasons, but what has me think about it is that it is special, perhaps even irreplaceable. Due to its importance the streams of thoughts associated with it will remain active likely involving others such the consequences of it getting damaged. It is likely to activate emotions anxiousness until I do something to reduces the risk. Where there is risk, the mind will fuss. It will do this at the non-conscious level even if I get distracted by something that becomes momentarily becomes important and consciously forget about the glass. But that does not mean my non-conscious mind will just let it go. The thought steam will remain active, though likely with less power.
It should be obvious how such things dispel our power. One minor matter easily resolved like my example isn't the problem. The problem is that we tend to have many of these going on all the time, some far larger and/or more significant to our lives and often do not realize it. When we are not focused we are not directing our minds activities consciously and our mind will do their own thing based on what we taught it. Plugging these kinds of leaks means bringing matters to closure. We can do this by thinking things through and making conscious decisions, if not they become loose threads and like a cat would our minds will play with them. Closure on a matter brings the thought streams and likely most of those related to its importance, to a conclusion. As a result our attention conscious or otherwise is withdrawn.
Using the previous example, my anxiety will persist if I do nothing about or cannot figure out how to resolve the risk and still plan to put the glass in the dishwasher. It could even grow beneath the conscious level as the mind pours over the possibility of of it getting damaged. My anxiety is likely to continue unless I make a conscious decision of some kind to sufficiently mitigate the risk such as not washing the glass or let go of caring whether it gets damaged.
In this example it is easy recognize and choose the simplest way of reducing the risk to the glass and the solution is within my control. Bigger challenges arise when we there is uncertainty in what the options are, and there potentially being many, as well as the possible consequences of choosing them. Toss in parts being beyond our control and the uncertainty grows. Further complicating matters are own own thoughts and resulting feelings about the options and outcomes. If the mind is conflicted or the risk indeterminable in all scenarios it will continue to churn away. This is because our minds essentially use decision trees (6) to evaluate situations. If you are not aware of decision trees you can learn more about them by following the link provided.
Using the example of the glass in the dishwasher, The first level of the decision tree consists of node, two leaves and the connecting paths between the node and the leaves. The node would represents the question "Is the glass safe in the dishwasher?" The connecting paths would be the answers of either "Yes it is" or "No it is not". For simplicity I am skipping the possibility that I do not know if it is. So, the leaves of the tree are what I do depending on whether it is or is not safe. At level one the only question is it safe and let us assume I have decided it is safe and that I can put the glass into the dishwasher. The decision to put it in the dishwasher is the first level of the tree.
There can be second and third questions that follow such as "Is the glass valuable or important?" and then perhaps "Is it safe enough?" and "Can I make it safe?" Each of these would be a new level or sub-tree and the leaves in turn become nodes. . If the glass is not valuable or important then I put it in and am done. My mind will let go of the active thought streams and move on. If it is valuable then we add levels or sub-trees. At each level I must determine what I need to do depending on the answer to the question and follow through on it. As you can see decision trees can get quite complicated.
Decision trees can have many options, at each level, and form layers and loops (inter-dependencies) making the process the mind goes through longer and more problematic. My mind will cease churning over the safety of the glass if the decision tree leads to a leaf where I am done, namely the glass is safe. If this is not the case then I have not reached closure on the thought streams and they will remain active. My mind will continue to try to get to such a state where the glass being safe. Of course, my mind may decide that it is not worth worrying about either consciously or non-consciously and again I am done. Alternatively, I may consciously think things are okay but my non-conscious mind does not. In this case it will continue to remain concerned though I may not be consciously aware of it though I might notice feeling a little unsettled but not why. How concerned my mind remains depends on such things as how important the glass is and the risk of damage.
Now, the above problem is easily resolved by hand washing the glass. This eliminates the risk ending the matter. In many other situations the risk of negative outcomes will be far more problematic due to complexity and other factors. For example, more active and connected thought streams increases uncertainty and risk (do not think of these streams in a spatial sense) partly because the number of unknowns increases . On top of this are our emotional responses to our thoughts. These make it hard for the mind to go through the process of determining all possible scenarios and options, their likelihood of occurring and their outcomes along with the risks involved. If our perception is that there are significant risks of negative outcomes our uncertainly can lead to strong emotional reactions. Our minds can even invent scenarios that have next to zero chance of occurring and then become concerned over them. When this happens our mind will remain thoroughly engaged in trying to resolve the dilemmas it perceives. This complexity means our thinking processes will have a significant impact on how well we can navigate such tangled webs. Obviously such mental activities take more than a little power.
It should be obvious that good thinking and reasoning skills benefit us. When we struggle with these skills our minds can churn, all the while stirring up our emotions, hampering decision making. This becomes more challenging when we do not have good thinking and reasoning skills such as those needed for decision analysis. We tend to think in vague terms, which doesn't help our minds at all. When information is vague you never know what they will do with it. This can lead to even more anxiety and worry and other reactions as our minds pour over ramifications and "what ifs". It should not be hard to see how this leads to an entire host of other thought streams and emotions being active and dispersing our power.
Other reasons why we struggle with the larger decisions are we are often conflicted and typically have more than one issue going on a time, each one a concern, and they can overwhelm us. We are not typically aware of all the non-conscious thoughts streams that are active (as in unresolved), how connected they are or their influence on our thinking processes. In conditions of higher stress we notice even less. In these situations we find our fears and anxieties come to the fore further dispelling our power.
A significant number of active thought streams relate to matters that are, in the grand scheme of things, inconsequential, not our business or over which we have no control. For instance, many worry about things such as what other people are thinking about them. It is one thing to consider how others view us (7), so long as it is in a self-reflective manner. For one thing, what they think of us in none of our business. For another, unless we are highly telepathic we likely have no idea what they are thinking about us, nor whether they are conscious of doing so. Better to go by how they treat us. But trust issues often get involved and these can run deep. The bottom line is if we stew over it and do not merely consider it and move on we are wasting our time and our power.
It is hard to overcome the little thought streams that can gnaw away at our minds. They tend to be obscure and lie below the conscious level. When you add them all up and include the various factors we have looked at, it is easy to see why we can struggle being focused and attentive and waste our power. At the root of all our struggles lies our mind. It has developed, a form of programming if you will, based on its/our reactions to experiences and in the process establishes our thinking processes at the conscious and non-conscious levels. Deal with these "programs" starts with noticing them, nothing more, nothing less. From there is a matter of, among other things, patience, persistence and a willingness to change.
Our conscious mind will not automatically pay attention, be as conscious as possible in the moment, think rationally and logically (what Buddha referred to as "right thinking") and be objective and non-superficial in its observations. The same goes for our non-conscious mind. Both must be trained to do these things because our minds, like running water, will always take the easiest route. If we don't care it won't either. And, as we have already seen, doing these things poorly means more "junk" and more ways to disperse our power.
A significant portion of the less than helpful programming in our minds are from our early years when we were building our mental house (8) and the earliest ones are some of the most influential. We can sugar coat it all we like; however, doing so changes nothing. Do not take this to mean we are helpless victims of our programmed minds, we are far from it. At any time we can consciously choose to work on our minds and improve its programming. Our minds are one of our aspects, but they not "us". They are a construct that arises out of the interactions between our core consciousness or "true self" (for lack of a better or more commonly understood term) and its experiences. Our consciousness, the source of our power, uses the mind to interact here. If our mind is not well constructed it acts as a limiter.
We all struggle with the kinds of things I have been referring to, from time to time, for a number of reasons. A common one is that we our becoming very comfortable with our jailer, our minds. For many of us it is the only "I" we know. This is why we do not realize we have been incarcerated by them nor how and why (9). If the majority of our actions arise from acts of mind and it is well constructed it will serve us, if not we will serve it. Which one is true for us really all comes down to a choice: try to lift the veil or stay lost in the shadows of ego and mind frittering away power.
It is our mind that creates our illusion of reality, within it lies the illusion of separateness. It is our minds that give rise to the our personalities, something we become overly attached to. We see the "I" our minds create as the real or true "us" rather than an aspect of "us", one empowered or enlivened by our actual "true self". We also tend to see our personality, and hence our mind, as fairly rigid even though experiences show us they are not. You could say that escaping the minds shadows is the Holy Grail.
I do not want to give you the impression that our minds are the enemy. They are not. The fact is we need them, we cannot function here without them. However, we need them properly trained. As long as they are not we remain captive to their constructs, many of which we are not aware of. Doing this means clearing debris from our them. This way we are loosening the knots and plugging the leaks. We do this by training our minds, being more consciously attentive and through acts of will. In the process reclaim power.
Regardless of the approach one takes it will involve working on our minds for every thought we have can influence and even change others. I am referring to working on our reasoning skills, being more objective, less superficial in observing and so. Presuming one has the requisite intent and desire (10) the next key element is working on our ability to focus our attention. While most realize the benefits of focused attention, and can focus it at times, few realize the full impact a lack of consistent mental focus has on us and our lives. When our minds are not well trained we end up juggling a number of unresolved things on a consistent basis and pay attention to a whole range of things that are irrelevant or beyond our control.
In a very real way, and hopefully you will excuse the expression, the mind spends much of its time "playing with itself". The more it does this the more power we surrender. This is why paying more attention is important, in addition, our attention is critical because we cannot plug the leaks we cannot see. Time to turn the lights on. Yes, it takes time but few tasks worth doing are easy. So we should go easy on ourselves, not in a slack way, rather we shouldn't be overly critical of our pace. The task at hand is not unlike trying gradually turning a large ocean liner.
So, we know that any path to reducing how we disperse our power lead through our minds. We also know that changing it is easier said than done. It is almost like trying to work on the engine of the car as you drive down the road. Further, what we do will affect our personalities and this can be a challenge because we become fairly attached to them. To work on them often means not only working on aspects of our personalities we may not want to part with but also against our own histories.
Our history is massive collection of highly connected thought streams that make up a body of our mind. This should not be hard to accept when you consider that all our thoughts have arisen out of our reactions to experiences, and our experiences are our history. Nothing we think or believe can be separated from our history. It is this interconnectedness and the dependencies that arise that leads to our minds resisting change. It is not our minds that resist, though it can appear this way, it is only following its programming. This resistance grows as thought patterns are reinforced over the years.
Any approach we take must respect this fact that it is a challenge to look into the minds inner doings and it is a tangled web we have woven. With every passing year our mind junk accumulates becoming like a huge knotted ball of knotted balls of string. You cannot force such a knot apart, doing so makes it tighter. This can lead our becoming discouraged, complacent, impatient or even angry and bitter. To loosen a knot you gradually tease it apart, something that requires a measure of patience. Psychologists use what is commonly known as "talk therapy" to try to probe and tease such knots.
When you try to unravel a knotted ball of string you start with the strands on the outside and pull on them lightly. This way you can see deeper into the knot and how the various strands are connected. If we are persistent and patient we can gradually unravel it. Yes, the mind has a far higher degree of complexity and interconnectivity than any knot; however, the process is the same. Do not let the enormous complexity of the mind concern you. This is because many of our challenges are related to a small set of influential core thoughts or beliefs. Changing these sends ripples through the mind affecting every thought and thought stream they are connected to. In relation to the matter at hand, the loose strands are what we can observe in ourselves here and now. We notice them by paying attention to what we are thinking and doing (11). The hardest part about doing this is in carrying through with it consistently due to all the distractions in life and the goings on of our minds.
Our ability to access more of our personal power is directly related to how clear and well balanced our minds are. The principles are same the regardless of whether we want to be more successful in business, happier in our personal lives or are on a spiritual path. We all find it hard to work on our minds. It is a struggle to focus on conserving power and directing our attention though not because we do not want to.
It is a struggle mostly because there can be many nameless and faceless aspects of our minds operating at the non-conscious level draining away the power we need to work on dealing with them. They are always there drawing us in and will virtually run our lives from the shadows if we let them. All of these things are the doings of those pesky mental programs we have created, doings that for the most part are unbeknownst to us. Yes, it can be hard to change what you cannot see, however it certainly is possible if we are paying attention. Doing so is part of any approach one takes to reclaiming their power.
These threads or thought streams I referred to earlier wind their way through our minds. They are activated and enlivened or empowered by our attention to them. This attention that does not have to be of the conscious variety and most occurs in the background. They are "spawned" by our conscious attention to various thoughts. We do not know about these threads. By this I mean we do not know what thoughts are active, their purpose, how they interact and affect other thoughts, their relative strengths and influence and so on. They form complex structures and we can only work on them by becoming aware of them. We change them by putting conscious attention on them. We do this because our power primarily flows through our conscious attention. If this were not the case we would never be able to override our non-conscious impulses nor be able to actually change them.
These streams of thoughts form knots many of which are dispersing our power. Regaining our power means finding, unravelling and releasing them. When it comes to our minds - nothing is simple or even as it seems. Our mental knots are complex weaves of thought streams that have to be teased apart. This is where paying attention to our thoughts comes in. We want to notice what we think, what we pay attention to and do not, and how we react to our experiences. What we are looking for are patterns to what we notice and think, how we react and the outcomes. We want to react to what we are perceiving as little as possible. This can be a challenge as we are quick to react and also tend to notice and do the same things we always have. Stepping outside of and escaping our routines and patterns of discernment is a challenge. This is in part why we can struggle with object analysis of ourselves.
All thought streams served a purpose at some point, at least from our minds perspective, even if that purpose was neither beneficial or useful. They can remain steadily active for years, even a lifetime, others fade away. It all depends on the person, their experiences and the thoughts they come to have. What we do not realize is a large number of our thoughts are nothing more than noise, clutter or mental junk. In order to conserve our power we have to clear our minds of them. Some can be cleared fairly easily while other will be harder for the reasons we have touched on but also because some of our junk becomes very near and dear to us. Some will also be highly connected.
The implication of the above is that when we change one thought or thought stream it is hard to say what else might be affected and how. What can do what seems a fairly simple change and find that can affect other things we never expected it to and not necessarily in a beneficial manner. This is an example of the "Law of Unintended Consequences" and one of the dangers of neuro linguistic programming. This is why I mentioned that we first should looking for patterns and get to know our knot better before rushing headlong into or proceeding willy nilly in making changes we think help us. We make no changes until we Know.
In order to do what I have been talking about it is essential that we develop good observation skills. This means, as mentioned, paying more attention and observing objectively. Being objective means not allowing our wants, needs and beliefs and so on to dominate how we react to and hence our perception of our experiences. When we do this we should be making mental notes, at the least, regarding the situation and our reactions and so on. We also need to to work on not observing in a superficial manner. I touched on this earlier when I mentioned it is hard to start consciously noticing things we have programmed our minds not to. Being mindful and focusing on noticing as much about what is going on, rather than reacting to it, helps us bypass subjectivity. It does the same thing in helping us see more of what is going on. If we still struggle with paying more attention or being less subjective and superficial in our observations we may need to consider asking ourselves "Why?"
By doing these things we see more clearly and reduce the tendency to overlook aspects of our experiences and reactions (both thoughts and feelings). While a significant level of objectivity is required the more we focus on paying attention objectively the more we are "telling" our minds that doing so is important. This reinforces the notion with our non-conscious mind making its thought stream more powerful. This, in turn, leads to change at the non-conscious level. We must be both persistent and insistent in this as it takes time to create a new way of thinking and being. It is amazing how much we can learn about ourselves by doing this. for there are benefits to spending more time looking within us and less without...
By paying more attention we begin to notice things about ourselves including the loose superfluous and irrelevant noise (junk) and aspects of our mental knots. The knots they form in our minds are elusive in the glare of everyday living. Mindfulness and meditation, and other such practices, reduce the glare and are excellent for helping us see them. They all waste of our power and do not help or serve us. We need to let them go. For example, from time to time pretty much all of us have thought about what we believe others are thinking about us. Some spend an inordinate amount of time doing this and we do it with more than just people. As we have already see, doing this involves evaluating all kinds of different possibilities and the "What-if" scenarios. We know that such mental activities do nothing but dispel our power and waste our time. Our progress is limited when we have not developing our ability to be attentive. The fact is we cannot work on what we do not see and recognize as not serving us.
Our best guide to what we should be doing is found in our own lives. They lie waiting to be found, like hidden gems in a pile of rocks and we can find them by observing ourselves and our lives right here and right now. When we do this we want to try to notice what our assumptions are because we need to make sure they are actually valid. You might be surprised to learn just how many unsubstantiated, erroneous and false notions we hold. When being attentive we also want to observe rather than react to our thoughts and emotions. The goal is to be a neutral 3rd party observer of ourselves. This way we do not read to much into or let our minds be focused on our reactions in a significant way. An example might help...
Say I notice that I struggle with "A" (substitute any challenge you'd like for the "A"). I start my work on it by simply being aware of and accept it. What I do not want to do is rush to assumptions about why I struggle with "A". My mind will likely conjure up its own notions about why, but it is part of the problem so I do not accept these notions. I want to know WHY I struggle with "A". The reason I struggle with "A" is because of the thoughts in my mind, thoughts created from my reactions to experiences. We do what we do for a reason, by this I mean in our minds are thoughts that guide our choices. Our mind makes choices based on its reasoning and its beliefs about the way things are for us.
In the essay "Is That Right?" (12) I spoke about how our minds come to hold laws. These laws lead to rules that we apply in particular circumstances through individual rulings. I also spoke about how we can have multiple rules that apply in a given situation that can conflict or be erroneous (due to errors in reasoning). It is not different with our issues. My issue "A" could be the result of a number of conflicting rules I hold. I hold. I need to get at and know which ones they are because I struggle with "A" for a reason.
I struggle with "A" because of thoughts I hold be they beliefs or laws and rules and so on. I may even have added on conditions on whether rules apply, such as ""A" is permissible if and only if..." or ""A" is permissible when..." and so on. Our minds applies its rules and so on in a given situation. It can get pretty jumbled in a hurry. We typically use our laws, rules and such conditions as justifications for our actions. To sort the tangle we need to see what it going on from different angles.
So, recognizing that there is likely no one single reason I struggle with "A" I will try to remain in observer mode. This does not mean I can ignore the consequences should I continue to struggle with "A". I may very well have to do something to mitigate them until I can resolve the underlying issue. It only means that I do not rush to try to make all kinds of assumptions about the underlying problem, and try to work on them or what I believe to be the root causes without knowing more. I do this even if the reasons may appear to be obvious.
For better or worse our issues aren't going anywhere. If they are issues of importance to my growth "here and now" they will resurface. If I am attentive and remain open to learning about myself I can see and come to know them. This way I do not make my knots any tighter. My challenge "A" is like a loose thread or perhaps a few loose ones on the outside of my knots. The reasons or reasons for a particular knot could be near the surface or buried deeper in the knot among a whole group of thought streams not visible at the moment. I will not know this unless I am observant.
The bottom line is that if I presume to know why I struggle with "A" and start to react without knowledge I can make things worse. I could be fighting the wrong fire or little fires connected to a core issue(s) and not realize it. In the later case, the fires will continue to spring up until I resolve the core issue(s). I can save myself a considerable amount of time and effort by finding and by working directly on the core challenges. Remember, thought streams that are activate will activate those "related" to them. I will try to be careful and attentive so I can to learn more about and understand the connected thoughts and their relationship with and influence on "A".
For example, if I found myself getting frustrated in a certain situation I wouldn't assume it was solely due to the situation. I would try to recognize that the situation exposed an issue within me leading to my frustration. I would remember the feeling of frustration and look for aspects of the situation that triggered whatever rule or rules my mind applied. What I want to find out is "Why am I frustrated?". Fortunately all of our issues have a common source, that being our mind. We know where they are and can set about hunting them down.
Taking on our own minds can be intimidating, though it need not be. In and of themselves they have no power over us, we only think they do. Our programming is merely thoughts that together act and react based on their nature. We believe things and hold personal truths some of which are elevated to laws about the "way it is". These leads to sets of rules, which our minds apply in various situations. So, if I am getting frustrated it is most likely due to a law or rule I have set up such as one of the form "If this and that and ... occur I am frustrated" (of course this is an simplification). The patterns we notice can be based on many factors, some very obscure, such as the physical setting, who is present, what I am wearing, what I experienced, think and feel just prior, the time of day, whether I ate, how I feel about myself and so on.
What we tend to experience are the result of rulings. Figuratively, the rules hide behind them. For example, in a particular situation I may not know what we want, but I know that I am not getting it. The result is the ruling, the "if I don't get X then I will feel this way" or "If I do X then Y will happen." By observing our rulings we can get the rules they are based on. By continuing along this path we can get at the laws the rules are based on. Sure, they can and often will be buried quite deep and finding them can be like trying to catch the wind. However, our minds are powerful and we did create them in the first place. They will respond to our intent and will do a lot of the heavy lifting for us. We need our will and focus to direct their activities.
Again, remember that we do not want to push too hard for the answers to our questions. For one thing, we may not be asking the right questions and for another the less we try to force the answers the better. For example, I am pretty sure we all have found ourselves trying to remember something and it keeps evading you no matter how you try. Further, the harder we try to force our memory the more elusive it becomes. I am also fairly certain that you have all found that the memory comes to mind later "out of the blue". This happens because we have let go of the need for the answer and our pre-conceptions about what it is. This allows our mind to "do its thing" and it will present it to us. It is no different in learning to listen to our "inner voice".
Our fears of what what we will find (13) make us hesitant to look deeper. This is a challenge we will not surmount until we have had enough of the discomfort it brings or we want something more than the power of our minds resistance to it. Even our resistance is a big power leak because we make think we are ignoring it our minds do not. They spend an inordinate amount of time essentially scheming to keep us from doing anything and distracting us. Still, we can start to work on it even if our comfort level with self exploration is low.
We do not need to become totally objective, this is so difficult to attain. However, the more we do what we have looked at in this essay the more objective we become. In the essay "One Thought" (14) I looked at one way of helping this process along. Essentially, the method is to try to focus our intent on paying more attention and being more objective a little more each day. This builds up our strength and confidence. By continuing to do this we will start to notice what we need to work on. Further, being more objective has the effect of rendering our minds less resistant to change, a double bonus!
We all know some of the ways we waste our power though perhaps not down to the level where we know the exact reason(s) why. As we have looked at the process of dealing with and plugging our energy leaks by paying attention in observation and not analysis mode and certainly not problem solving mode. Doing this makes it more likely our junk will be revealed to us and that we will notice it when it does. The difference is critical. It is not dissimilar from how one would go about gaining someone's trust. The best way to develop trust is to be honest, open and sincere.
In a very real way, if we want to grow, we need to develop a trusting and loving relationship with ourselves. The more conditional we are the greater the resistance. When we accept that we have challenges, everyone does, and forgive ourselves for not knowing better at the time it gets far easier. The benefits of being willing to look into the dark places within us cannot be understated. It helps to reduce our minds fears about facing and examining what lies within. It doesn't fear growing, its fears are based on what we programmed into it. We have been afraid to and it is just following orders. You may not think that developing such a relationship with ourselves is not important or even silly and unlikely to make much of a difference ... but it does. Doing this is an act of will, one that changes the programming of our non-conscious mind.
Paying attention can be harder than we think. We are used to living in the stream of thoughts we call the "I" rather than observing them. At first we may not notice much that we were not already aware of, but with persistence will see more. We begin to notice things we were not paying conscious attention to before at all. For example, we tend to be quick to judge and react to things, including people. We see someone and almost immediately have formed an opinion of them based on our first impressions or judgments of them.
Many rely on their first impressions; however, contrary to popular beliefs, they are not generally based on "true intuitions". They are based on mental programming that is often faulty. When we are paying more attention to our thoughts we notice that we are doing this and can intervene rather than automatically accepting our judgments. Once we start to notice what we pay attention to and what we are actually doing a very interesting and wonderful thing happens. We actually begin to see and experience the world more as it actually is rather than how we have imagined it to be.
When I was growing up many viewed long hair in a very negative light. People would stereotype those with long hair people based on notions they allowed themselves to believe were true. Some saw them as dirty, not too bright, untrustworthy, drug users, lazy or trouble makers and so on. When they saw long haired people these thoughts came to the fore not because they were true. They may have been told it by someone and accepted it or met people who had long hair and showed some of these traits and erroneously applied them to ALL people with long hair. They were not seeing people as they were, they were seeing them as they believed them to be.
We often take on our beliefs based on faulty reasoning, such as "Every long haired person I've met was stoned." and as a result come to think that this applies to all people with long hair. Doing such things no only results in a skewed and false view of reality, it is a huge waste of power. As alluded to already, our minds pay particular attention to things we have made important and some things it ignores completely. This affects all that we perceive. We do not realize it because nearly all of our judgments occur at the non-conscious level beyond our prying eyes and attention. Our minds makes its determinations based on past experiences and on beliefs, laws or rules that may not even valid. All we know is we see something we do not like and go with our "feelings" about whatever we perceive or is going on.
Also in the list near the top of the essay are the expectations for the projected future and are were two points. I am referring to clinging to the past and the projected future. It should be obvious how clinging to the past wastes power. Consider how regret, shame, hurts, guilts and blames and so on all get woven together and that each thought stream and the emotions they activate take power. The past is gone, we cannot change it. While pining over what our minds thing might have, could have or should have been can have a numbing effect on our conscience it only hampers us. I believe in actions and consequences or choices and their consequence. The only question is have we learned or not?
The other area to be mindful of is our expectations for the future. Consider our future expectations are based on our momentum, in this case the momentum of our thoughts and emotions. The mind calculates or derives these imagined futures based on on our conscious and non-conscious thoughts. The more we look to the future the more powerful our imaginings and projections about it are. Our minds will, if that's how we trained them, continually monitor all the factors related to our projected future. The further reality, as the mind sees it, deviates from its expectations for the future the more anxious it becomes. It is no unlike stretching of an elastic band. If you have every felt uneasy, anxious or unsafe or scared, but couldn't attribute a "cause" to it, this could be the reason. In this case we do not just disperse power by by activating the thought streams, we also do it as it takes power when "the band is stretched."
Of course there are benefits to having our non-conscious mind doing things in the background for us, such as providing warnings. However, these are only of value when they are NOT based on poor reasoning or false notions and so on. This is the source of our irrational fears. It would not be a huge waste of power if we did this on occasion, but we do not. We do this fairly frequently. How much we fall into this trap with any particular thing depends on the breadth and depth of our past thoughts about and our emotional reactions to them.
I cannot understate the benefits of good reasoning skills. They help in assessing situations, factors, risks,potential consequences, and making clear decisions. These skills also help one to accept fewer opinions and gossip as fact, hold fewer stereotypes based on anecdotal evidence or other preconceptions and so on. It helps us to examine our beliefs (15) to see if they "hold water". We also become less gullible and more self reliant. All of these things help us conserve power.
It is easy to see how the mind gets busy doing all kinds of things that dispel our power. We make lots of different things important. We make some things so important, including what should be trivial matters, that our minds come to feel they are almost a matter of life and death and will defend them even to our detriment. As I mentioned, we should remember to ask ourselves questions. A good one remember is ... "if I knew I was going to die in the next few days would this matter to me?" Life is too precious to waste on matters that are of little or no consequence.
The more we pay attention and are conscious of and act in the moment the fewer loose threads we leave lying around. This means making conscious decisions and closing out trains of thought. If we do not do this our minds will continue to concern themselves with them. This way we are not wasting our time on things that are of no benefit to us. This is something we can do when matters are within our control is one thing, doing so when matters are beyond our control is quite another.
When something is beyond our control we should consciously work through the decision tree by looking at the possibilities and deciding how we will proceed in all of them. We can get hung up concerning ourselves about not knowing what we will do in various scenarios or think there are "nameless" and potentially dangerous options. To deal with this we have to accept that we cannot know everything, consciously consider them and accept that all we can do is deal with them if and when they happen. Further, we must be firm in our acceptance of our decisions and not be casual about them. Note that I am not saying one has to "get all serious about it", rather one is is merely firm and direct with their thoughts.
We leave fewer loose threads and active thought processes when we are not concerning ourselves with things that we should have resolved already or that are of no consequence or irrelevant. Being concerned abut how others view us is a good example. How others view us should not matter at all, though many make this important. Why? If we like who we are then why would another persons view matter? Are we going to even think about changing ourselves for them, let alone do it, when we already like who we are? I doubt it.
It is only when we do not think well or like certain aspects of ourselves that what others think about us matters to us. When this happens we find ourselves thinking about what traits we possess that might make them think poorly of us or we try to figure out what we can do to make that happen and so on. We think about such things and then carry on to other things thinking that is the end of it, but it usually is not. We forget that our thoughts and emotional reactions don't just vanish, they remain active for as long as we feed them our energy.
When one works on what I have mentioned they almost automatically begin asking more subtle questions of themselves and listen for the answers. Questions such as "Do I really need this?", "Why does this matter to me?", "Why do I care what they think of me?", "Do I pay enough attention to others?" or "What purpose does this serve?" come to mind (not that everything has to have a purpose). It's simple math, the less time and energy we spend on things that don't matter the more we have to direct at what does.
All the points I have made in this essay have analogies with the functioning of a computer. For example, if you keep opening up new programs and do not close any your computer will grind to a halt regardless of how fast it is. Another example would be if you loaded a bad program on your computer it can cause all kinds of problems including making it crash. This would be analogous to taking on erroneous beliefs that conflict with not just beliefs we already have, they may also conflict with reality. Also, computers require maintenance as anyone who has owned one knows. You need to run programs that defragment the disk, clean junk files and links and so on that build up in your computer or it will slow down and could even crash. You can avoid doing these things if you continually upgrade to a faster computer but will eventually run into the same problem with it and have to buy yet another one. Well, we cannot upgrade our minds in the same sense, they are what they are. What we can do is upgrade their software, which is our thoughts, by developing the skills I mentioned. Further, we can do regular maintenance to keep our minds functioning well through mindfulness and paying attention to our reactions to experiences.
Part of the junk in our minds is the tangled web of laws, rules and conditions we create. What we typically need is to hold fewer of them and try to make sure those we do hold are clear, concise, non-conflicting and unambiguous. When we first start to clear up our minds we find it requires a significant amount of attention and effort to deal with because we tend to ignore our minds. We go about our business unmindful of all that is going on within them. If our mind was a huge library, every thought a book and all the people moving around were the thought streams what holds our conscious attention would be the equivalent of us sitting in a chair in a busy library with a few books thinking we had the library to ourselves. However, if we continue to do this it gets easier.
Finding our issues and solutions to them in the vast library of thoughts that is our mind is not as difficult as it sounds. Our lives reflect what we think and hence the imbalances are a reflection of these thoughts. If we pay attention to our lives, willing and able to accept responsibility rather than blame outside forces for our challenges and observe our reflection we can get at the roots thoughts. We can resolve most of our issues by finding and modifying the thoughts and even thinking processes that give rise to them. This is the main purpose of the essay; however, we can use exactly the same method to notice and reinforce our skills, positive attributes and beneficial qualities.
I often use computer analogies to make points about our minds as they have a lot in common. One area where the mind and computers differ significantly is our minds defend themselves. To get what I mean imagine you are trying to add new or update software on your computer or some other device and the device refused to do it. Anything we do that persists for long enough, including how we think, becomes ingrained in our personality. Our minds become attached to their version of who we are, to our personality. They can be very reluctant to let it go of beliefs and thoughts even if they are holding us back. We can change these though how much depends on our will and focus.
I fully realize that for some what we have covered can be intimidating. Before you get out the popcorn, close the curtains, put on your favourite movie and curl up on the couch do not let it intimidate you. Consider that if the mind can do what it does without our conscious attention and direction and then what it can do with it even a portion of our full attention. Further, once we get going and are committed there is a "snowball effect". Once you start to work on one thing on a regular basis it soon becomes part you and grows stronger. The skills I have referred to are core skills, ones our minds use continually. Developing them helps us in every way.
This essay was by no means meant to be definitive on the topic of power. My intent has been to bring a greater awareness of power, explore some of the "ways and why's" of how we waste or disperse it and provide some ideas on dealing with the leaks. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention that the focus has been on reducing the power we waste. Do not turn your efforts to reduce how you waste power into a quest for power itself. I cannot state this any better than it was in the below passage from The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune.
“To exemplify - the man who desired power would obtain vanity. To obtain power he would have to desire that qualities which confer power – strength, foresight and wisdom. The man who desires power builds for himself the consciousness of the vain egotist. The man who desires strength, foresight and wisdom, builds for himself the consciousness of power.” ~ The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune (16)
By doing the kinds of things I have mentioned in this essay we are not seeking power, we are working on getting to know ourselves. This is key. In the process of getting to know ourselves better we see and deal with the ways we waste and dispersing our power. It is the path of growth all of us have to travel regardless of the way we choose to go about it. If we make this part of what we do on our journey through life we will develop the qualities of strength, wisdom and foresight. Developing these attributes confers power upon us. When one can do this ... all the lights come on!
© 2016 Allan Beveridge
- Essays referencing Law of Limitation
- Awareness Series Part 2: Developing Our Ability to Focus - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/awareness-series-part-2-developing-our-ability-to-focus
- Developing Our Spiritual Foundation - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/developing-our-spiritual-foundation
- Dion Fortune, The Cosmic Doctrine, Boston, MA, Red Wheel/Weiser-LLC (Chapter 26, page 152)
- Carlos Castaneda quote source: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/632253-the-internal-dialogue-is-what-grounds-people-in-the-daily
- Becoming Conscious Series (reference to lead in page for the series - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/section-2-growth-fundamentals/becoming-conscious-the-power-of-perception
- Hyperthymesia: "possessing an extremely detailed autobiographical memory. Hyperthymestics remember an abnormally vast number of their life experiences."; from Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperthymesia
- Decision Trees; Wikipedia reference: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_tree
- *Exercise 3.1: Describing Oneself From Two Views - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/section-4-exercises/ex-3x-taking-a-look-at-yourself/ex-3-1-describing-oneself-from-two-views
- Our Mental House Series (link is to the first essay in the series) - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/our-mental-house-part-1-the-dynamics-of-thought
- The Menagerie - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/section-2-growth-fundamentals/becoming-conscious-the-power-of-perception/the-menagerie-part-1
- Intent and Desire - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/section1concepts-5/intent-and-desire
- Paying Attention to Our Attention - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/paying-attention-to-our-attention
- Is That Right? - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/general-writings/60-perspective/181-is-that-right
- Under the Covers - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/under-the-covers
- One Thought - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/one-thought
- Ex. 1 What Do I Believe? - http://thetwinpowers.com/en/section-4-exercises/ex-1-what-do-i-believe
- Dion Fortune, The Cosmic Doctrine, Boston, MA, Red Wheel/Weiser-LLC (Chapter 27, pg 164)