Recently had a funny conversational exchange in a bank with a “stranger” who referred to himself as a slow learner. I guess I could go on at some length on that topic.
What I’d just been mulling over in my mind was mind-made problems. As in, all our problems are mind-made. Heck, the atom bomb was a thought before it became a concrete reality.
I’d even had the thought that I sometimes get the sense that some people’s minds are actually virtual (self) torture chambers. You know??
The smart folks say our feelings are preceded by thoughts. In other words, it is our thoughts that lead to our feelings – not the other way around.
I meet the occasional person who seems to have a torture chamber inside her or his head. It’s easy to become impatient with such individuals (true confession: sometimes I do) & one can also feel considerable compassion (especially if one makes a point of thinking about being compassionate!)
Because hey! Who among us has never found our mind acting as our own personal torture chamber?? I mean honestly…
So. I could say more about problems being mind-made, & torture chambers inside heads & out, & slow learners (this latter is a pretty large club, hmmm? I myself have had a very-very long-time membership), but Life calls.
p.s. right off the top, a few writers whose books spring to mind (there’s that word again) on mind-made troubles & healing:
- Eckhart Tolle & A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
- Byron Katie & Loving What Is – Four questions that can change your life
- Joanna Macy: any of her works (her Web site is here )
- Don Miguel Ruiz & his The Four Agreements – A Toltec Wisdom Book
- Marshall B. Rosenberg’s work on nonviolent communication (books & DVDs) – e.g. Speak Peace in a World of Conflict – What You Say Next Will Change Your World & Nonviolent Conversation – A Language of Life (go to Sounds True & search on his name)
p.p.s. I’ve been observing recently that some people I encounter seem to have a bit of a mean streak. When I muse some on their past, I’m soon able to get some insight about where the mean streak likely originated.
p.p.p.s. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a single individual who didn’t have something useful to teach me.
p.s. # 4: these last 2 p.s.’s may seem a bit like non-sequiturs to you. They sort of do to me, too. But I think I’ll leave them here. What the heck.
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “What lies behind us and what lies ahead are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few other Emerson gems (just because I can):
“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer and philosopher (1803-1882)
“Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit… No truth so sublime but it may be trivial tomorrow in the light of new thoughts.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Do not follow where the path may lead...go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
“Life consists of what a person is thinking about all day.” ~ Emerson
“The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job here and there.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
On Success: “To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived…this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
** note: heard recently that this was probably not actually said by Emerson. Ah well. So many quotations are mis-attributed, hmmm?
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Non-sequitur quote: “Men honour what lives within their sphere of knowledge, but do not realize how dependent they are on what lies beyond it.” – Chuang-tse (quoted in “The Te of Piglet,” by Benjamin Hoff)