troubled learners

Troubled Learners Trying Too Hard

Troubled learners

“The trouble with many of us learners is that we wish to learn too rapidly. We have little knowledge of the power which really brings us all we do acquire—the power which reaches out from us when the other faculties are temporarily suspended, and brings back not only ideas, but teaches the muscles how to carry out ideas. New invention comes to the mind which originates it when in this state, not when the mind is straining after its plan. You will make a perfect circle on paper with pen or pencil far easier when you do it idly, and care little whether you succeed or not, than if you are tremulous with anxiety to make one. When you are free from that anxiety, your real power has opportunity to act. That is the power of the spirit. It is the man who throws all thought of success or failure to the winds, who is most likely to accomplish the daring act at which others shrink, or, if they try, try with great dread of failure, which is mistaken for care. The best pilot through raging rapids is the man who has the power to forget all danger and see only obstacles. His spirit then possesses his real self. Self-possession means the power of the spirit to possess and control the body as its instrument.” ~Prentice Mulford

Learner’s Troubles

Learners should never be troubled because we should all understand that learning is important. We should also understand that since it is important, it can’t be rushed. Anyone who is serious about spiritual development knows that in the ancient mystery schools, students studied for many years to become enlightened. Yet today, many things that because they have instant oatmeal and instant soup, they should be able to get an instant spiritual awakening followed by a nearly instant complete enlightenment. Unfortunately, wishing for it doesn’t make it so. It still takes years in most cases for a REAL spiritual awakening, and for complete enlightenment, we have to continue along the path of higher consciousness after physical death. Continue reading “Troubled Learners Trying Too Hard”

don't fret

Don’t Fret, Keep Moving Forward

“Don’t be over anxious because you do not learn or advance in any art or calling as fast as you wish. Don’t fret in mind because attempt after attempt fails. Don’t hurry. When you feel in the mood of hurry and fret ,stop! That is the state of mind most opposed to learning. That is the mood which wastes your strength.

“You can learn anything if your mind be persistently set upon it. Then wait in peace. The art will come to you.

“If you will, for fifteen minutes or half an hour daily, sit down with a box of colors, and idly daub and make play of trying effects in color by painting one shade over another, you will, if you desire to paint, see skies, mountains, and forest coming in these alternations of light and shade, as one coating of color is placed over another. … You will have it suggested to you how easily tree trunks can be simulated by a few straight or curved lines. A splash od blue will serve for a pond or lake, green marking on its edge will represent shrubbery; and ere you know it, there is a landscape. … This is the foundation of art. … Th more free the mind is left to follow its own teaching, its intuition, the guidance of the spirit, the greater the inspiration.” ~Prentice Mulford

Don’t Fret

It is difficult to not worry and fret when we are having difficulty learning something, or are simply not learning as fast as we would like to. But fretting over it doesn’t solve the problem, it makes it worse. That is because when you fret and tell yourself things like; “I’ll never learn this,” “I’m just not good at this,” etc., you are programming your subconscious mind with those thoughts.

Sadly, we even see this problem in education and in government. All students are expected to achieve a certain skill at essentially the same pace. If they are too slow, they fail or at least get a bad grade. They continue to ignore the fact that many great artists, scientists, engineers, and creative people of all sorts often did poorly in school because they couldn’t keep up with the pace. The thing is, sometimes they are moving slowly because they are grasping the subject thoroughly rather than superficially, and that takes more time, also. As Mr. Mulford points out, rushing often produces poor results. Continue reading “Don’t Fret, Keep Moving Forward”

do not believe

Do Not Believe Everything You Hear or See

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found in writing in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ~Quotes of Wisdom – 99 Buddha’s Quotes by Raja Vishuoadi

Do Not Believe What You Hear

Thee are several reasons to not believe something simply because you heard someone say it. Have you ever walked into a room where some people are having a conversation? You try to guess what it is about when you have heard only a small part of it. Later, you find out your guess was completely wrong. Or did you ever try the exercise in school where the teacher whispers something to the person in the front of the room, who then turns and repeats it to the person behind them until it reaches that last person? If you have, you know that what the last person heard is very different from what the teacher said. This happens even when you know what the exercise is about and make a concerted effort to be accurate. But the biggest reason is that just because people are saying something doesn’t make it true or right. Rumors often spread faster than truth, and with more believers. As the quote says, simply because many are talking about a thing doesn’t make it true. Then, of course, there are those things that are true but are none of our business. We love to gossip about others and look down on others, at least a majority of us, but it is unwise. We neither improve ourselves or others by gossiping about them.

Do Not believe what You See

We also know that the eyes can be tricked so just because we see something doesn’t make it true. One of my favorite examples of this is the works of street art that make it appear as if there is a great hole in the sidewalk, or a monster crawling out of the ground. It is all illusion, none of it is real. The pat so few of us understand is that even those things that are not intentional illusion nevertheless are. Virtually nothing in the material world is what it appears to be. This is backed by the science of Quantum Physics which teaches that the entire physical universe is but a hologram.

Do Not Believe in Traditions

If you have never watched the movie, Fiddler on the Roof, you should make the effort to do so. It is more than a musical about a poor Russian Jew and his family. It is a tale of a man who lives by tradition and when his daughters and friends start to bend and even break those traditions he has a hard time adjusting.

We may not call them traditions, but we all have beliefs that we got from our parents who got them from our grandparents and on back possibly several more generations. These beliefs may have been true at one time, but no longer are. Others never were true, but we have stuck with them anyway. We need to question them all. We need to be open to proof that what we believe is simply not true. Atheists cannot find any proof of God no matter where they look. It is not because the evidence doesn’t exist, but because their beliefs don’t allow them to see the evidence. If you do not believe it, you will not see it.

Do Not Believe Teachers

This is especially true of materialistic teachers. But even with spiritual teachers, we should only believe so much. If they try to tell you in detail everything that you will find in the spiritual realms once you have truly awakened your spirit and soul, they should not be listened to. These are things that no person, no matter how enlightened, can tell you. You must learn them from experience. The job of the spiritual teacher or guru is to teach you how to awaken your spiritual faculties and how to protect yourselves from the demons that are likely to be after you when you do. What your awakened soul sees in those realms should be open to your own experiences. And any firm beliefs you hold about them in advance will block you from seeing spiritual things as they truly are.

Do Not Believe Others

In summary, we should not believe the experiences of others, particularly in spiritual matters. We can accept that they had those experiences, but that doesn’t mean we will have the same experiences. We have to stay open-minded when approaching the spiritual and gain knowledge and wisdom for ourselves, not from others.

relaxing by the sea

Relaxing for Peace and Clarity

“They seek for themselves private retiring places, as country villages, the sea-shore, mountains: yea thou thyself art wont to long much after such places. It is in thy power to retire into thyself, and to be at rest, and free from all businesses. A man cannot retire better than to his own soul; he especially who is beforehand provided of such things within, which whensoever he doth withdraw himself to look in, may presently afford unto him perfect ease and tranquility. … Afford then thyself this retiring continuity,and thereby refresh and renew. … What remains then, but that thou often put in practice this kind of retiring of thyself, to this little part of thyself; and above all things, keep thyself from distraction, … but be free and consider all things.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Retiring Places

What Aurelius is calling “retiring places” doesn’t mean a place to go when we retire. Or at least it is not limited to that. He means a place where we go to relax, unwind, escape our busy, everyday lives. It is what a real vacation is all about.

When Aurelius was alive, the sea-shore, the mountains, or a quiet villages were possibly the only choices one had for doing this. Now we are fortunate enough to have many more places to go to unwind and relax. We can hike in a forest, visit an amusement park, or take an ocean cruise (my personal favorite), just to mention a few possibilities. But not all leisure activities are relaxing. One must choose carefully if that is the goal.

Into Thyself

Marcus wisely points out that there are internal as well as external options for relaxing. In fact, all relaxing is internal, though it may be stimulated by external things.

Some of us can afford to take vacations to the sea or the mountains only occasionally. Others can’t afford it at all. That doesn’t mean they cannot relax and escape the hustle and bustle. They have to go inside themselves to do it. They can practice forms of meditation and visualization specifically designed to let them escape. Continue reading “Relaxing for Peace and Clarity”