OK, how do I even start this?
As soon as I start to even think about making a point…
… thoughts instantly form to support it; to support my opinion.
Aren’t I entitled to my opinion?
Don’t get me started… Americans have been conditioned to feel entitled… to opinions… to resources in other countries… to… whoops, I guess I got myself started.
Now I’ve got to figure out how to get around this. It is a challenge. No debating that.
And there it is…..looking at the wrong stuff, again.
It’s stunning how much of my life was spent forming opinions so I could “express” myself.
And, almost always, it was either to get my way or justify my behavior. Oh, yeah, almost forgot, and of course to “show off” what I think I know. Good grief.
I simply cannot imagine working that hard anymore. Why do we work so hard to shore up that pseudo-self-esteem?
Haanel’s lesson for week 5 really was a turning point for me…..actually, that may not be accurate. Like so many who begin this exercise in earnest…..especially us micro-wave, got to have it right now Americans [whoops, did I just express an opinion for no reason? 🙂 ] ……anyway, for most of us….finding the Master Key, claiming it, learning to use it, [after we finally stop looking for the lock], it is a process. And, most likely it was lesson 5 that helped me embrace that I had already surrendered……I just did not know it till lesson 5.
In passage 9 Haanel writes, “If either of us were building a home for ourselves, how careful we would be in regard to the plans; how we should study every detail; how we should watch the material and select only the best of everything; and yet how careless we are when it comes to building our Mental Home, which is infinitely more important than any physical home, as everything which can possibly enter into our lives depends upon the character of the material which enters into the construction of our Mental Home.”
Opinions, I realized, instantly, were really poor material.
Most of my opinion was formed by listening to others, conditioning from the “lets-turn-them-into-consumers” educational system and the government… and others by-products [friends, foes, parents] of the “follow-if-you-want-to-fit-in” drone, “don’t think for yourself” types of subcultures we find ourselves in. How did we get there?
As I began to really understand that while most folks were well-intentioned… opinions were out of control and even the ones I was rejecting were influencing me.
What the hell?
The fear I had become so used to…sort of numb to it, had turned me into someone who used opinion constantly to constantly reconfirm my identity. That I did not understand that I was living in my associative memory and these “opinions” were trapping me in the associative memory…..and locking me out of my imagination turns out to be the crime. Don’t get me wrong, I was the victim and the perpetrator 🙂
I was living by precedent and not making progress. I was simply rearranging the furniture, in a house, a life that was not interesting… even though those opinions tried to, with a little passion mixed in, make me seem interesting. Anyway, I realized I could not build a house that I wanted… a life I wanted… with material from my associative memory. Opinions? They had to go.
But what would I do? Where could I find a path to the lumber yards and warehouses of great materials?
Son of a gun….there is was…..as I sat there pondering, way back when… borderline panic… in passages 20 and 21
20……”It is the benignant force which decrees primal creation. It thrills down from the Divine, direct into every created being. It originates life, which the physical scientist has not done, nor ever can do. It stands out among all forces supreme, unapproachable. No human heredity can approach it. No human heredity measures up to it.
21. This Infinite Life flows through you; is you. Its doorways are but the faculties which comprise your consciousness. To keep open these doors is the Secret of Power. Is it not worthwhile to make the effort?”
It was within me! I had spent my time looking outside for the right answers, for the “secrets” [to success, love, relationships, etc], for, gulp, the meaning of life. Imagine the arrogance of that?!
And, son-of-bitch… there it was in the first chapter of the first book… Genesis…” and His face moved across the waters”…and ….”heaven and earth”
…oh my goodness…..the realm of divine ideas with the water representing the connection… between Universal Mind… and… a stunned me.
I just had to open the doorways… and let that “comprise my consciousness”…
Now I had it.
Or did I?
Knowing and doing are often two different things.
Passionate opinions would flow from my lips later that very day.
… and again
… and… started to see a wee bit of progress.
Needed help. Sat… thought… John Wooden pops into my head.
Naw, can’t be thinking of basketball…..and I dismiss it……and it pops in again……and again…
I surrender… did a lot of that in lesson 5… there is tremendous power in surrender, unconditional surrender.
Funny, we think it’s going to hurt or humiliate us… but it’s freeing… to surrender the bondage of self.
Start reading some of his 54 things he lives by…
Ask myself… “why are you reading this?”
Oh, yeah….something that will help me let go of opinion and, with practice, I can get better materials to build the house… in that bewlidering frontal lobe….yeah, now I remember.
“Consider the rights of others before your feelings and the feeling of others before your rights.”
Got to read it 4 times.
Sounds tough, impossible. Og pops in my head….Scroll 2.
I decide to stop worring about the problem, me and my opinions… and I focus on Mandino’s Scroll II, “when tempted to critisize I will bite on my tongue, when moved to praise I will shout it from the roof tops.”
Wooden’s challenging idea fits perfectly and in a few days all I am doing is shouting praise of others from the roof tops.
And, I slip a little. And a little more…..but they, opinions, come less and less frequently and the state of mind last for nano-seconds. The rationalizing about entitlement, it’s not really an opinion; that nonsense stops.
The “doors” fly open…..and a rich flow of ideas starts surging through me
…and I weep
…like a baby