LOA Retooling

In order to help curb my negativity, I’ve been following the techniques described in the book The Law of Attraction (2006). It’s been about 6 weeks since I purchased the book in late January and the results aren’t there yet. I think I’ve been getting too specific with my “Creative Workshop” items. I’m apparently too much of a Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) when it comes to the things I want. “Don’t care how, I want it NOW!”

It’s like episode 12 in season 10 of South Park, “Go God Go” (2006), when Cartman is too impatient to wait 3-weeks until the Wii gaming console is released — he consequently attempts to cryogenically freeze himself in the snow until the release date. When I pick out a specific item, I want it NOW!! For example, I’ve been focusing on the Sjobergs Scandi Plus woodworking workbench. I’ve purposefully imagined it everyday, but now I’m just getting bratty about it. The same goes for a well-functioning body — why isn’t it performing perfectly!?

Initially there wasn’t a problem, I felt happy picturing myself sitting at the beech-topped bench, turning the vises as they clamp my latest project. But it seems that anything specific just can’t come fast enough. And as the book says, I’ll have to “go general” and stop getting too specific. Similarly with health related matters, I was under-the-weather not long ago and had difficulty reconciling my weakened state with my desires. So instead of browsing life for things I want, I’ll simply have to pick the best thoughts in every moment.

No more browsing tool catalogs, real estate listings, vacation resorts, and no more imagining big bank accounts or improved sleep. I’ll just have to think of things like “joy” and “contentment”. Psh. Yeah I’m a bit disappointed. It felt like leafing through the Sears Wish Book of the 1980s and making a list of all the delightful goodies I wanted. Now it’s just “being happy” without a tangible reward. That sounds like Buddhism. Forget material possessions, focus on achieving a state of bliss by calming the chaotic mind.

I was hoping to see myself integrating into the world through the intentional creation of my desires. Now it’s back to retreating from the physical and focusing on the intangible, which is where I was at. And if you can’t tell, I’m STILL being a brat about it. Therefore, I’m clearly not able to handle “wanting”. Yes, the book mentions the possibility of a rough transitional period, and maybe this is it — but it definitely feels like I’m doing something wrong.

So instead of imagining a Sjobergs workbench for example, I’m going to imagine myself having the knowledge and ability to consistently apply a “higher” perspective to my everyday life. I’ll see myself realizing my bratty behavior and bad attitude, helping myself to redirect focus onto better thoughts. I’ll imagine appreciation and comfort, confidence and contentment, lighthearted amusement and an overall enjoyment of life. We’ll see how that goes.

Good Day

Not long ago, I noticed that I was having a great day. Things were going really well, I even found a few things I thought I lost. But do you know what people with horribly unappreciative and pessimistic attitudes do with such a feeling? “Uh-oh, I’m gonna have to pay for this great day with a horrible day, downs always follow ups, something bad is SURE to happen now!”

I had that thought during my day and I dismissed it whenever it appeared. The next day was a decent one, not great but overall it was okay. And the next-next day? It was a rough morning. I was dropping things, speaking harshly, and things weren’t going my way. It was obvious that my mind was in a frenetic state. It was jumpy, going from one topic to the next as fast as it could.

After breakfast, I sat at my desk and noticed how I kept jumping from one brief activity to the next. “Ah-ha! I see what you’re doing! You’re all over the place! Time to shut down….” And with that realization, I ceased all activity and stopped engaging with incoming thoughts. I simply sat in a meditative state until my mind reset. It finally calmed down after a few minutes and I proceeded from there.

The day went well after that. So the lesson here is this: When things sour, stop. Notice the calamity the mind is causing when allowed to run wild — reset yourself by taking the reins and quieting the mind. When my mind ran rampant, the external world I experienced was unpleasant — but it completely turned around once I became present and noticed what was going on.

Fluid Flight

I’ve been playing with small remote-controlled flying-things lately. These are indoor-caliber devices with mini propellers that are relatively safe to crash. It’s a fun hobby. So fun in fact, that I’m even watching videos about larger drones and actual helicopters and regular full-sized airplanes. I guess I’m a bit obsessed by flight right now. But so what, what’s my point?

What’s the difference between the first day you fly a tiny helicopter and the seventh day? It flys a lot smoother, it’s more nimble. Why? Because you’re lighter on the controls. Instead of hard jerks to the limits of the lever, it’s a slight and delicate movement to the left. Gentle and easy-does-it becomes easier to do. You’re no longer over-correcting and sending the aircraft in every direction.

Essentially, you stop being overly cautious and just fly. Fear is what makes you grip the controls too tightly, not allowing for nuance. THIS WAY! NO! THAT WAY! AHH! IT’S GONNA CRASH!! But after you practice a bit and crash a few times, you start to loosen up. So on day-one you’re too tense and on day-seven you’re more relaxed — that’s the significant difference that improves your overall piloting performance.

On day-one, you’re over-thinking, trying to mentally move the controls this way and that. But thought-out movement is too slow and clumsy. Whereas on day-seven, your hands know what to do, they effortlessly move the craft away from the walls with automatic reactions. Or at least until you realize how well you’re doing, and start analyzing the action. Once you begin over-thinking again, your reactions slowdown. CRASH!!

Doing something well, is the act of getting out of your own way. What that means is: allowing the body to do its thing while not allowing the consciousness to “help”. It’s a dance — you can’t mentally move in a graceful way, your body has to be unencumbered by conscious interference. What you, the consciousness, needs to repeatedly remind yourself is this: “Shhh! The body is performing, please be respectful and remain quiet. Simply watch and enjoy the show.”

Coincidental Calamity

Nothing’s going right right-now. Look at that opening sentence for example!! “right right”?!! COINCIDENCE!? Three, yes THREE different activities that I typically enjoy crashed and burned today. Wait, make that FOUR activities now that my opening sentence sucks. What’s going on!? Are the forces of physics and chance aligned against me!?

But if they’re aligning in such an obvious way, then a chance-based physical reality isn’t real. Something else is going on here. If EVERY place smells like poop, it’s time to check your own shoe. Okay, gotta get back to basics — gotta get calm. These were just simple activities we’re talking about, yet for whatever reason they went extremely wrong.

Uh-oh. You know what went “right” today? I was really enthralled by the Netflix show Lost in Space (season 2). And you know what happens in EVERY episode? Something goes drastically wrong!!! “Danger, Will Robinson!” What if I’ve been feeding my mind a diet of calamity, and consequently it’s introducing that theme into my everyday life!

My mind’s like: “Oh, you’re entertained when things go wrong? Well here’s more of the same! Yay!” Such a helpful and dutiful mind, right? So sweet. I remember watching a dark-themed show a few weeks ago and noticing a dour cloud around me then too. Hm, I guess that’s not a coincidence. What goes in, is what comes out.

Hm, does that mean I have to completely cut-out shows that showcase disaster, even if they have upbeat endings? Is it like stuffing yourself with a bunch of junk-food and getting a tummy ache? Or, does my awareness of this circumstance help to negate the effects? Can it be consumed in moderation?

Hm, I only have a few episodes to go, I’ll try to keep my awareness high and monitor the situation. I’ll report back…

Rich, out.

Complicated Belief

It seems to me, that a “belief in simplicity” is the primary component when it comes to effectively doing something. If you examine “talent” for instance, it’s the ability to perform a function without complication. If you have a talent for memorization, you simply recall previous facts — there aren’t any complex routines-of-memorization to perform, the facts just remain in your mind.

Whereas if you believe something is complicated, you’ll have trouble doing it. For example, if you’ve never ridden a bicycle and wonder how the heck you can manage to keep a two-wheeled vehicle stabilized while simultaneously peddling and steering, then you’re probably going to fall a few times if you try it. But eventually, as you get comfortable with the concept, biking becomes a piece of cake. It’ll go from seemingly complex, to effortlessly simple in just a moment.

What unlocks an ability, is not learning or even practice, but the acceptance of a belief that an ability is not complex — it’s simple instead. Again, “talent” is whatever we see as easy and uncomplicated. For example, my friend is a talented cook that can mix and match ingredients at-will, devising flavors that please the palate — to her, cooking is easy. Whereas I see all those ingredients, their various amounts and mixtures, their commingling flavors, and the assorted heating elements involved — and I see complexity. As a result, I’m not a good cook.

Take school for instance, its primary purpose is to take you-the-student through a ritual-of-schoolwork in order to convince you that you’ve learned something. And at the end, you’re given a certificate to further prove to you that knowledge has been imparted. But if you examine the curriculum involved, it’s woefully incomplete and teaches little of importance — and the students barely retain even that.

This is not a condemnation of the education system by the way. I’m saying the process of “learning” simply doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you’re convinced of the simplicity of the subject-matter. If you believe in the ritual of education and accept your status as graduate, then you can move into a professional field that you no longer believe to be complex.

The question then becomes, can we merely turn-on talent by convincing ourselves that the activity-in-question is not as complicated as we thought — that the activity is actually simple istead? “Beginner’s luck” is a thing because the beginner simply doesn’t know better — he assumes that a particular activity is easy. But if self-doubt finally convinces him of an activity’s complexity, he’ll lose his ability.

We don’t think about what we’re doing while doing something well — we just do it. Autopilot takes over as our consciousness sits back to watch the show. But if we consciously believe an activity to be too complex for autopilot to handle, and our consciousness attempts to perform it manually, the outcome is a mess. Whereas whenever consciousness is comfortable with an activity, it sits back and allows autopilot to perform unencumbered, as it should.

As a Man Thinketh – notes

My notes/summary/interpretation of the book As a Man Thinketh (1903) by James Allen.

A poem by James Allen:

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:–
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

Thoughts are the incantation by which we conjure our character and circumstances. It’s as simple as this: good things come of good thoughts — bad things come of bad thoughts.

Through our thoughts we create the world we experience. Through patience, practice, and persistence our thoughts can be molded to bring forth the best of life.

Like a garden, the mind is forever producing whether we tend to it or not. Without effort, the mind becomes overrun with weeds — whereas with some attention, a pleasant crop can be planted.

Chance is not a thing — we find ourselves exactly where we think we should be. If we believe in frustrating circumstances, our experiences will reflect this belief. But as control over thought increases, circumstances likewise come under control.

We gravitate towards whatever excites, whether it be from love or from fear. Our experiences are grown from our thoughts — we reap what we sow. External circumstances do not make us who we are — they merely reveal our underlying pattern of thought.

We don’t receive our various wishes and wants, but the sum of what we think. Thoughts have the power to imprison or delight — we experience whichever situation we earn through the cultivation of thought.

If we find ourself in miserable conditions, we can know our mind is rife with miserable thoughts. Thoughts are the cause and circumstance the effect. External improvement begins and ends within.

We often frustrate ourself with conflicting thoughts — wanting with one thought while thwarting with another. While it’s obvious that only oak trees come from acorns, the same is true with thoughts: good thoughts produce good things — bad thoughts produce bad things.

Improvement starts when criticizing and complaining end, when blaming others stops, when unpleasant conditions are used as the reflection of inner conditions, and when constructive and worthwhile thoughts become the new foundation of mind.

As the inside changes, the outside follows along. What looked confusing, unfair, and corrupt becomes well-ordered, fair, and honest.

Of course hateful and fearful thoughts lead to negative outcomes, whereas loving and gentle thoughts lead to positive outcomes. As we relax, life gets easier. When we stop our thoughts from thrashing about, the waves of the world are no longer stirred.

The body becomes what the mind believes. Sickness and well-being manifest based on habit of thought. Anxious and fearful thoughts welcome disease into the body whereas thoughts of joy and vitality strengthen the body.

It is not the diet that needs changing, but the corrupted thoughts that necessitated it. The finest thoughts naturally bring about a healthful diet. To defend the body, discipline the mind.

Thoughts of spite, jealousy, disappointment, and hopelessness act as poison on the body. The expression and agedness of the face readily reveal the thoughts we believed to be hidden within. Even death comes as peacefully as we believe it to come.

Cheerful thoughts can cure whereas pessimism can kill. Through our thoughts we confine ourself to a self-made prison or we enter through the doorway of heaven on earth.

By focusing on a purpose, the mind is made easier to control. By following our nature, devoting ourself to our duty, thoughts are concentrated. Upon this path, fear and doubt are our greatest enemies and must be slain without hesitation.

Whatever we accomplish or fail to accomplish, our own thoughts make it so. This is the very definition of individual responsibility. On one hand, we only have power over our own thoughts — but on the other hand, this provides us with an ability to alter the world we experience.

In this sense, the oppressor and the oppressed are cooperating in the creation of suffering. Both are afflicted with low-quality thoughts by ignorance. Both require improvement in thinking.

Through uplifting thoughts, we rise in the world. Through pessimistic thoughts, we sink in the world. For accomplishment and lasting success, effort must be applied to disciplining the mind.

The dreams we nurture will one day manifest. If we fantasize the worst, then we’ll achieve it. Whereas when we lovingly tend to the best of what we envision, we’ll achieve that. There is no good or bad luck, simply good or bad thoughts. Those we maintain, remain.

Strive to stay in a serene state. Practice remaining calm.

“The sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought. In the bark* of your soul reclines the commanding Master; He does but sleep: wake Him. Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power.”

* “bark” in this context likely means “ship” as in a “sailing ship”.

Flowing Flowers

The most important thing you can do to enhance your experience of existence is this: mental hygiene. In other words, if you’re having an unpleasant time, then you have a dirty mind. Every day, every hour, every minute, you have to tidy up as thoughts ceaselessly blow in through the window of consciousness.

The thoughts themselves aren’t necessarily “dirty”, it’s your own tendency to collect them and clutter up your mind that’s the problem. On their own, thoughts blow in, thoughts blow out — no big deal. But when you hold on to them, storing them away on a shelf for easy access, regularly marveling at them to the exclusion of new thoughts — you’ve got a problem.

Be careful of collected thoughts. Once you take a thought, it’s like plucking a flower off a bush. It’s cool to have it in your house for awhile, but it will wither and wilt soon enough, becoming a decayed version of its former self. And that’s fine, who doesn’t like some fresh-cut flowers around? But, you must maintain the vases and throw-out the flowers when they start to droop.

Who wants ugly or stinky flowers in their home? If a thought is unpleasant, don’t maintain it in your mind. Let it go, move on to the next one — there’s always a new one waiting to come in. Try not grabbing any, just soak in the sights as you browse the thought aisle. Scan past the ones you don’t prefer and focus on the ones you do.