The Power of Now Book Summary/Notes

CH. 1

Recognize that you are separate from your thoughts and begin to watch/observe them without identifying with or judging them, leading to a higher level of consciousness activating.

Witness the thoughts, detach from “being” them.

As you do so you become aware of the thought as well as yourself watching the thought, “watching the thinker”.

Thoughts lose power when you don’t “energize the mind through identification with it”, leading to realizing their fleetingness.

The subtle pauses/gaps in between thoughts, “no mind” is when peace/stillness can be noticed and felt. (become more aware of these moments). Over time they will last longer and deepen, “no end to its depth.”

Outside of meditation a good way to create a gap in the mind stream is by becoming intensely conscious of the present moment, paying attention to all the sense perceptions. By doing so, take notice and become more aware of the sense of being and presence/peace within.

-Dis-identify with the mind and its thoughts

-Each recognition of a gap through mediation and awareness of the now makes your consciousness stronger.

CH. 2

Must observe our emotions, as when in conflict with a thought, our emotions speak truth. Let them just be as they rise, don’t analyze, just watch.

Ask yourself: What’s going on inside me at this moment?

The more present and watchful we are of our emotions, the less powerful they will be.

Accept the now for what it is, as if you had chosen it. Realize that it’s all you have and try to stay conscious of the present as often as possible. Make the now your dwelling place versus always dwelling on the past or future.

Pain and negativity can only survive if you unconsciously identify with it. Use your awareness to recognize it as it arises, feel its “energy field within you”, pay attention to it and the identification will break.

When I get frustrated or impatient, notice the sensations, my breathing, etc. Snap out of it by telling myself that this isn’t me, I don’t have to identify with this. Accept and witness the energy of the pain-body as a silent observer/watcher but don’t “be” it.

“Don’t let the feeling turn into thinking” – don’t justify it, just let it be.

When your thinking is aligned with pain-body, you’re identified with it and feeding it via your thoughts.

“Don’t make an identify for yourself out of it.”

Be aware of yourself being aware of what’s happening inside you.

“An emotion is the body’s reaction to your mind.”

Fear and anxiety derive from what “might” happen in the future. We can focus on the present but when we let our thoughts run free into the future of what may be, an “anxiety gap” is created.

Focus on living what can be lived!

CH. 3

We unconsciously identify with the mind and its thoughts, emotions, reactions. Our “ego”.

When you recognize it, you can step out of it and into the present and just allow all to be.

Must practice withdrawing attention from past and future when not needed. Observe the habit of escaping from the now. 

“The moment you realize you are not present, you are present.”

Watch your thoughts, feel the emotions, observe the reactions.

“Identification with the mind gives it more energy, observation of the mind withdraws energy from it.”

When we excessively focus on goals or desires we prevent ourselves from living in a joyful state where we can see and appreciate life, we are distracted and only using the present as a stepping stone where it loses its intrinsic value.

CH. 6

We must focus on the feelings of our inner body as often as possible, this is the key to remaining conscious and grounded in the now, a permanent state of connectedness.

We can do whatever task is at hand, but always try to stay rooted within and feel the inner body.

In situations that would normally annoy or frustrate you, shift focus to feel the inner body and live in the present, feeling the stillness and peace.

When challenges arise, we must immediately go within and focus on our inner body or else emotional impulses will overtake us.

If we can do this, we will find stillness and presence and determine the best route forward without a clouded, emotional and reactive mind.

If our emotions slip in, pause, observe them, feel them, fully accept them as is, be aware of them as much as possible and then focus back into the inner body energy field.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Book Highlights

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Book 2

If you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life?

You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think. 

Making sure that the power within stays safe and free from assault, superior to pleasure and pain. Making sure that it accepts what happens and what it is dealt as coming from the same place it came from. And above all, that it accepts death in a cheerful spirit, as nothing but the dissolution of the elements from which each living thing is composed.

Book 3

Getting the most out of ourselves, calculating where our duty lies, analyzing what we hear and see, deciding whether it’s time to call it quits – all the things you need a healthy mind for, all those are gone. So we need to hurry. Not just because we move daily closer to death but also because our understanding – our grasp of the world – may be gone before we get there.

Trusting that all is for the best. For we carry our fate with us – and it carries us.

If it’s time for you to go, leave willingly – as you would to accomplish anything that can be done with grace and honor. And concentrate on this, your whole life long: for your mind to be in the right state – the state a rational, civi mind should be in.

Your ability to control your thoughts – treat it with respect. It’s all that protects your mind from false perceptions.

Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. The span we live is small – small as the corner of the earth in which we live it. 

Nothing is so conducive to spiritual growth as this capacity for logical and accurate analysis of everything that happens to us.

Keep the spirit inside you undamaged, as if you might have to give it back at any moment – if you can embrace this without fear or expectation – you can find fulfillment in what you’re doing now – then your life will be happy. No one can prevent that.

In everything you do, even the smallest thing, remember the chain that links them.

What is unique to the good man? To welcome with affection what is sent by fate. Not to stain or disturb the spirit within him with a mess of false beliefs. Instead, to preserve it faithfully, by calmly obeying God – saying nothing untrue, doing nothing unjust. And if the others don’t acknowledge it – this life lived with simplicity, humility, cheerfulness – he doesn’t resent them for it, and isn’t deterred from following the road where it leads to the end of life. An end to be approached in purity, in serenity, in acceptance, in peaceful unity with what must be.

Book 4

Nowhere you can go is more peaceful – more free of interruptions – than your own soul.

That doing what’s right sometimes requires patience. 

That things have no hold on the soul. They stand there unmoving, outside it. Disturbance comes only from within – from our own perspectives.

That everything you see will soon alter and cease to exist. Think of how many changes you’ve already seen.

“The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.”

Choose not to be harmed – and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed – and you haven’t been.

It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise it cannot harm you – inside or out.

Not to live as if you had endless years ahead of you. Death overshadows you. While you’re alive and able – be good.

The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.

Not to be driven this way and that, but always to behave with justice and see things as they are.

If you seek tranquility, do less. Or do what’s essential. Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?” But we need to eliminate unnecessary assumptions as well. To eliminate the unnecessary actions that follow.

Don’t be disturbed. Uncomplicate yourself. Somehow has done wrong…to himself. Something happens to you, good. It was meant for you by nature, woven into the pattern from the beginning.

Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present – thoughtfully, justly.

Blind – one who keeps the eyes of his mind shut tight.

A key point to bear in mind: The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object. You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.

What should we work for? Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech. A resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.

The truth: that wisdom is justice.

Look into their minds, at what the wise do and what they don’t.

Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you. Nor can the shifts and changes in the world around you. Then where is harm to be found? In your capacity to see it. It needs to realize that what happens to everyone – bad and good alike – is neither good nor bad. That what happens in every life – live naturally or not – is neither natural nor unnatural. 

Time is a river, a violent current of events, glimpsed once and already carried past us, and another follows and is gone. 

To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaints. Like an olive that ripens and falls. Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.

It’s unfortunate that this has happened. No. It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it – not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all, to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.

Book 5

What happens to each of us is ordered. It furthers our destiny.

The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts. 

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone – those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the “what” is in constant flux, the “why” has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us – a chasm whose depths we cannot see. So it would take an idiot to feel self-importance or distress. Or any indignations, either. As if the things that irritate us lasted. 

The mind is the ruler of the soul. It should remain unstirred by agitations of the flesh – gentle and violent ones alike. Not mingling with them, but fencing itself off and keeping those feelings in their place. When they make their way into your thoughts, through the sympathetic link between mind and body, don’t try to resist the sensation. The sensation is natural. But don’t let the mind start in with judgements, calling it “good” or “bad”. 

Honor and revere the gods, treat human beings as they deserve, be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood – and nothing else is under your control.

You can lead an untroubled life provided you can grow, can think and act systematically. Two characteristics shared by gods and men (and every rational creature): i. Not to let others hold you back. ii. To locate goodness in thinking and doing the right thing, and to limit your desires to that. 

True good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions. 

Book 6

Look inward. Don’t let the true nature or value of anything elude you. 

The best revenge is not to be like that.

The mind is that which is roused and directed by itself. It makes of itself what it chooses. It makes what it chooses of its own experience. 

When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep on going back to it. 

Perceptions like that – latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That’s what we need to do all the time. Pride is a master of deception.

Respect your own mind – to prize it – will leave you satisfied with your own self.

Not to assume it’s impossible because you find it hard. But to recognize that if it’s humanly possible, you can do it too.

If anyone can refute me – show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective – I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.

Death. The end of sense-perception, of being controlled by our emotions, of mental activity, of enslavement to our bodies. 

The only rewards of our existence here are an unstained character and unselfish acts. 

Keep reminding yourself of the way things are connected, of their relatedness. All things are implicated in one another and in sympathy with each other. This event is the consequence of some other one. Things push and pull on each other, and breathe together, and are one.

The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patience with those who don’t.

When you need encouragement, think of the qualities the people around you have: this one’s energy, that one’s modesty, another’s generosity, and so on. Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we’re practically showered with them. It’s good to keep this in mind.

Why should it bother you that you have only x or y years to live and not more? You accept the limits placed on your body. Accept those placed on your time. 

You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you. Things can’t shape our decisions by themselves. 

Practice really hearing what people say. Do your best to get inside their minds.

All those people who came into the world with me and have already left it.

Book 7

I can control my thoughts as necessary; What is outside my mind means nothing to it.

Our own worth is measured by what we devote our energy to

Focus on what is said when you speak and on what results from each action. Know what the one aims at, and what the other means. 

So many who were remembered already forgotten, and those who remembered them long gone.

Forget the future. When and if it comes, you’ll have the same resources to draw on – the same logos.

Everything is interwoven, and the web is holy; none of its parts are unconnected. They are composed harmoniously, and together they compose the world. One world, made up of all things. One divinity, present in them all. One substance and one law – the logos that all rational beings share. And one truth. 

Let it happen, if it wants, to whatever it can happen to. And what’s affected can complain about it if it wants. It doesn’t hurt me unless I interpret its happening as harmful to me. I can choose not to.

To feel affection for people even when they make mistakes is uniquely human. You can do it, if you simply recognize: that they’re human too, that they act out of ignorance, against their will, and that you’ll both be dead before long. And, above all, that they haven’t really hurt you. They haven’t diminished your ability to choose.

When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as theirs, or near it, in which case you have to excuse them. Or your sense of good and evil may differ from theirs. In which case they’re misguided and deserve your compassion. Is that so hard?

Treat what you don’t have as nonexistent. Look at what you have, the things you value most, and think of how much you’d crave them if you didn’t have them. But be careful. Don’t feel such satisfaction that you start to overvalue them – that it would upset you to lose them. 

Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option: to accept this event with humility, to treat this person as he should be treated, to approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in. 

Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly.

Neither unbearable nor unending, as long as you keep in mind its limits and don’t magnify them in your imagination. 

You don’t need much to live happily.

To live life in peace, immune to all compulsion.

Book 8

Not feeling anger at stupid and unpleasant people – even for caring about them.

What is this, fundamentally? What is its nature and substance, its reason for being? What is it doing in the world? How long is it here for?

Apply them constantly, to everything that happens: Physics. Ethics. Logic.

This is what you deserve. You could be good today. But instead you choose tomorrow.

To accept it without arrogance, to let it go with indifference. 

A rational being can turn each setback into raw material and use it to achieve its goal.

Stop perceiving the pain you imagine and you’ll remain completely unaffected.

Give yourself a gift: the present moment.

Nothing that can happen is unusual or unnatural, and there’s no sense in complaining. Nature does not make us endure the unendurable.

External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now. If the problem is something in your own character, who’s stopping you from setting your mind straight? And if it’s that you’re not doing something you think you should be, why not just do it?

Remember that when it withdraws into itself and finds contentment there, the mind is invulnerable. No place is more secure. Once we take refuge there we are safe forever. Not to see this is ignorance. To see it and not seek safety means misery.

What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.

Book 9

Things wait outside us, hover at the door. They keep to themselves. Ask them who they are and they don’t know, they can give no account of themselves. What accounts for them? The mind does. 

Enter their minds, and you’ll find the judges you’re so afraid of – and how judiciously they judge themselves.

How the mind can participate in the sensations of the body and yet maintain its serenity, and focus on its own well-being. 

None of the people you’re upset about has done anything that could do damage to your mind. Isn’t it yourself you should reproach – for not anticipating that they’d act this way? 

By doing them a favor and expecting something in return, instead of looking to the action itself for your reward. 

Book 10

Be satisfied with what you have, and accept the present – all of it.

You can endure anything your mind can make endurable, by treating it as in your interest to do so.

If they’ve made a mistake, correct them gently and show them where they went wrong. If you can’t do that, then the blame lies with you. Or no one.

To stop talking about what the good man is like, and just be done.

Continual awareness of all time and space, of the size and lifespan of the things around us.

Everything was born to die.

Each of us needs what nature gives us, when nature gives it.

When faced with people’s bad behavior, turn around and ask when you have acted like that. Your anger will subside as soon as you recognize that they acted under compulsion. 

If you’ve immersed yourself in the principles of truth, the briefest, most random reminder is enough to dispel all fear and pain. None of us have much time. And yet you act as if things were eternal – the way you fear and long for them.

Learn to ask of all actions, “Why are they doing that?” Starting with your own.

Book 11

It’s the pursuit of these things, and your attempts to avoid them, that leave you in such turmoil. And yet they aren’t seeking you out; you are the one seeking them. Suspend judgement about them. And at once they will lie still, and you will be freed from fleeing and pursuing. 

To live a good life: We have the potential for it. If we can learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. And why is it so hard when things go against you? If it’s imposed by nature, accept it gladly and stop fighting it. And if not, work out what your own nature requires, and aim at that, even if it brings you no glory.

iv. That you’ve made enough mistakes yourself. You’re just like them.

v. You have to know an awful lot before you can judge other people’s actions with real understanding. 

vi. When you lose your temper, or even feel irritated: that human life is very short. Before long all of us will be laid out side by side. 

vii. That it’s not what they do that bothers us: that’s a problem for their minds, not ours. It’s our own misperceptions. Discard them. Be willing to give up thinking of this as a catastrophe…and your anger is gone. How do you do that? By recognizing that you’ve suffered no disgrace. 

viii. How much more damage anger and grief do than the things that cause them. 

“If you don’t have a consistent goal in life, you can’t live it in a consistent way.” 

This advice from Epicurean writings: to think continually of one of the men of old who lived a virtuous life.

Grapes. Unripe, ripened, then raisins. Constant transitions. Not the “not” but the “not yet.”

“We need to master the art of acquiescence. We need to pay attention to our impulses, making sure they don’t go unmoderated, that they benefit others, that they’re worthy of us. We need to steer clear of desire in any form and not try to avoid what’s beyond our control.”

Socrates: What do you want, rational minds or irrational ones? -Rational ones. Healthy or sick? -Healthy. Then work to obtain them. -We already have. Then why all this squabbling?

Book 12

If you can cut free of impressions that cling to the mind, free of the future and the past, and concentrate on living what can be lived, then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you. 

We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.

To see things as they are. Substance, cause and purpose.

At all times, look at the thing itself – the thing behind the appearance – and unpack it by analysis: cause, substance, purpose, and the length of time it exists.

It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you.

That before long you’ll be no one, and nowhere. Like all the things you see now. All the people now living.

It’s all in how you perceive it. You’re in control. You can dispense with misperception at will. Serenity, total calm, safe anchorage. 

What links one human being to all humans: not blood, or birth, but mind. That an individual’s mind is God and of God. That it’s all how you choose to see things. That the present is all we have to live in. Or to lose.

And how trivial the things we want so passionately are. And how much more philosophical it would be to take what we’re given and show uprightness, self-control, obedience to God, without making a production of it. There’s nothing more insufferable than people who boast about their own humility.

The fraction of infinity, of that vast abyss of time, allotted to each of us. Absorbed in an instant into eternity. Keep all that in mind, and don’t treat anything as important except doing what your nature demands, and accepting what Nature sends you. 

How the mind conducts itself. It all depends on that. All the rest is within its power, or beyond its control. 

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The Richest Man in Babylon Summary/Notes

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The seven cures for a lean purse

-A part of all you earn is yours to keep. Save at minimum 10% of all that you make. It shouldn’t affect your livelihood to do so and you’ll begin to fatten your wallet.

-Spend only on what’s necessary. As your income rises, it’s naturally that your expenses do as well if you allow them to. Make it your goal to realize that not all desires can be gratified, and to find fulfillment in desiring to be able to save.

-Compound interest. Put your money to work for you so that over time it continues to produce more and compound.

-Invest wisely. Don’t let the desire of making wealthy rapidly cloud your judgement. Allows have your principal in mind and to ensure you don’t lose it. Consult wise people who already have experience with investing and making money and gain insight from them. Focus only on what you have experience in or within your circle of competence.

-Own your home. Your rent goes towards owning it vs throwing it away, and at some point you will fully own it and only pay taxes, allowing you to reduce your cost of living/use it for other desires.

-Plan for the future, whether you’re in it or not doesn’t matter as it’ll be there for your family. Make investments that can compound over time for when you’re unable to work or have passed away.

-Master yourself, cultivate your powers by acquiring knowledge and experience and skills so that you can gain respect and confidence for yourself and ultimately attain your desires. Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Have strong and definite and specific desires to focus on.

Good luck is attracted to those who take advantage of opportunities when they are presented, without hesitating. Good luck follows opportunity, and favors action, rarely does it come otherwise.

If you lend to others, make sure that they have expertise in the venture they are pursuing with a plan. Make sure there is some form of collateral in the event things don’t go well so that you are guaranteed your principal.

Instead of lending to family or friends, try to help them in other ways so that you do not take on their burden.

“Where the determination is, the way can be found.”

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Reality Unveiled Book Summary/Notes

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Our bodies are built to only see a very small portion of what’s visible to us on the electromagnetic scale, and that’s only .00005% of what’s possible to be seen in our world, the same goes for seeing physical things (only 4% of physical world do we see).

We view only what we see as reality, but we really don’t see or know what reality even is.

Albert Einstein “reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

Atoms make up everything in the universe. They are essentially empty space, which means humans are mostly empty space.

Everything is one, interconnected from the same source of pure energy. The reality we see, everything being separate and solid on its own, is an illusion.

Everything is conscious and aware, even inanimate matter (water) and plants, even though they may not be as advanced as animals or humans and have self awareness and reasoning capability.

We are severely limited by our sense perception, a prisoner of sorts that isn’t free to ultimate reality.

E=mc2 means matter and energy are one and the same.

We know the earth is round, despite our senses understanding of it being flat since we cannot see the curvature. We can use this concept to override other limited perceptions that we have.

Reincarnation – we choose our lives in advance so that we can experience certain situations and learn from them.

People aren’t good or bad, they are all teachers for us. We can learn lessons from all, to be patient and have compassion for someone who isn’t friendly or offends.

All paths lead to cultivating unconditional love. That is the ultimate objective and how we advance to further stages of density and get closer to the creator.

Treating others how we want to be treated has been said in various forms from all religions and spiritual influences, it is the underlying message and insight.

Practicing compassion – see the person as a little child, bend down and hug them and console them, even if they did something that doesn’t align with what you deem as right or wrong.

Practicing love – feel the love you have for yourself, your loved ones, your home, your city/country/world, people you don’t like. Now picture everyone else feeling that same love. Now turn it all around and feel the love that everyone else has for you.

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The Psychology of Mans Possible Evolution Book Summary/Notes

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Man is a machine, brought into motion by external influences and impacts.

Man doesn’t “do” everything simply “happens”.

Man doesn’t know himself, not even in the smallest things.

Pretty much without awareness of ourselves we are all just sims characters and don’t know our ass from our elbow.

Psychology has two definitions.

1 – the study of the possible evolution of man, what he may become.

2 – self-study, study of oneself.

The highest moments of consciousness create memory.

It’s possible to become conscious continuously with the right practice (developing awareness/self remembering) and help (guidance from others who have achieved it).

Four states of consciousness (living only in the first two)

Sleep
Waking state
Self consciousness (objective of the self, knowing the full truth about ourselves)
Objective consciousness (knowing full truth about everything, studying things in themselves and the world as it is).

Seven functions of the human machine

Thinking (intellect)
Feeling (emotions)
Instinctive function (inner work done without you)
Moving functioning (outer work you need to learn)
Sex
Higher emotional function (can only appear in higher states of consciousness during “self consciousness” state.
Higher mental function (only in objective consciousness state).

When in waking state, sleep/dream state is still functioning and influences everything. We live more in dreams than in fact. We do not know that we live in sleep, do everything in sleep and are asleep.

Harmful features in man that we must observe and recognize

Lying – speaking about things one doesn’t know and even cannot know, as though one knows and can know.

Imagination – constant thoughts/distractions taking one away from consciousness

Expression of Negative emotions – from bad temper, weakness, incapacity to keep grievances to himself. Must be resisted so you can observe.

Talking – if you talk too much to others or yourself, you can’t observe.

To overcome these we must overcome two things.

Identification – identifying with everything we believe in and associate with ourselves. We must separate ourselves from ideas, feelings or objects that absorb us. Remove identifying with from the equation and you can begin to see the world for how it really is.

Considering – identifying with people. Focusing efforts on what other people think about us. Must eliminate.

Man lives under two kinds of influences.

The first consists of interest and attractions created by life itself such as interest of ones healthy, safety, wealth, pleasure, security, pride, etc.

The second consists of ideas not created in life but are taught and learned via schooling, through philosophy, science, religion, art, etc.

Four Centers in the body

Intellectual – mind/brain/head – slowest
Instinctive/moving – spinal cord – 30,000 times faster than intellectual
Emotional – solar plexus – 30,000 times faster than instinctive/moving

Within these centers are 3 sub centers, intellectual, emotional and mechanical (includes instinctive/moving).

This gives instinctive/moving and emotional centers longer time to do their jobs, as their time is operated differently from how we measure our ordinary time. Our quick reactions and processes in the body may take a second in our time, but on instinctive time it is up to eight hours.

Our time isn’t the only time which exists. A kind of cosmic process almost like light years speed.

Negative emotions arise from imagination and identification. They bring no value and do not help us advance our growth. We invent them.

“Man must sacrifice his suffering.”

Begin to remember yourself. We can not control when we are conscious but we can wire our minds/thoughts to focus on and bring about consciousness by directing it to what they’d experience during being conscious. Be more aware of yourself.

“In order to understand a thing, you must see its connection with some bigger subject, or bigger whole, and the possible consequences of this connection. Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem.”

Observing attention and trying to control it through will and effort is when we are working in the intellectual parts of centers.

Intellectual part of the emotional center is the chief seat of the magnetic center and is a way to higher centers when fully developed. It includes artistic creation.

Intellectual part of the instinctive center is the mind behind all the work of the organism and one can come into contact with it through the state of self consciousness.

In order to do so one must consistently practice self remembering/awareness of ones self and sustain it long enough to feel and understand the different functions belonging to different parts of different centers.

In order to see the parts of centers, one must practice attention, which requires efficient ability to practice self remembering.

Awareness leads to being able to focus attention on what you’re becoming aware of.

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Atomic Habits by James Clear Book Summary/Notes

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Tiny improvements/habits compound over time and can have dramatic positive effects. (Patience is key, small changes often appear to make no difference until a critical threshold is crossed).

Example – ice cube doesn’t start melting until it reaches 32 degrees, so at 31 degrees and below nothing changes.

Try to get 1% better each day.

Focus on systems/processes to get results, not goals. Achieving a goal is not just about setting one, and once you achieve it then what?

True long term thinking is goal less thinking, it’s not about any single accomplishment, but rather constant and never ending improvement.

Commitment to the process determines progress.

In order for a habit to stick, it needs to be part of your identity. Most people focus on outcome based habits such as a goal they want to accomplish, but you must focus on identity based habits and who you want to become.

It’s hard to change a habit if you never change the underlying belief that led to creating this past habit/behavior.

Research shows that once a person believes in a particular aspect of their identity they’re more likely to act in alignment with that belief.

The stronger the belief (I’m not a morning person, I’m bad with directions, I’m always late, etc), the more you’ll do everything in your power to maintain that self image.

Two step process to changing your identity

The word Identity is derived from Latin and means “repeated beingness”

New identities require new evidence that can then be used to reinforce that you are capable of being this person if you continue to perform the habits.

1 – decide the type of person you want to be (who is the type of person that could get the outcome I want?)
2 – prove it to yourself with small wins

The focus should always be on becoming that type of person not on achieving a specific outcome.

4 steps of habit formation

Cue – a bit of information/signal your brain receives
Craving – the motivation to want to act on it
Response – the actual habit in action
Reward – the pleasure received from taking the action

4 laws of behavior change

Make it obvious
Make it attractive
Make it easy
Make it satisfying

Implementation intention – a plan you make beforehand about when and where you will act out a certain goal/implement a particular habit.

The most common cues that trigger a habit are time and location.

When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.

I will (behavior) at (time) in (location).

Research shows that people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through with it. **setting the start date for action at the first day of the week/month is beneficial as it’s when hope is higher for people.

It’s not a lack of motivation, but a lack of clarity!

Habit stacking – a special form of an implementation intention. Start by identifying a current habit you do daily and stack your new behavior on top of it, the key is to tie your desired behavior into something you already do each day (this allows you to create a set of simple rules that guide your future behavior).

Make sure the cue is highly specific and immediately actionable.

(behaviors don’t happen in isolation, each action becomes a cue that triggers the next behavior. Ex- going to the bathroom leads to washing hands which leads to throwing dirty clothes in the hamper, etc).

Habit stacking formula

After (current habit) I will (new habit).

Advanced stacking based on situations:

Mood. When the phone rings, I will take one deep breath and smile before answering.

Phone. When I grab my phone just to do so, ask myself if it’s necessary to use it right now.

Minimalism. When I buy a new item, I will give something away.

Inversion of make it obvious is make it invisible.

The secret to self control is to optimize your environment so that the cues/triggers that lead to a bad habit are removed from the equation (reduce exposure to the cue), leading to you not acting out the habit. Willpower is short term, focus on tweaking your environment for long term.

People with high self control tend to spend less time in tempting situation. It’s easier to avoid temptation than resist it.

Repetition of an action is what leads to the creation of a habit, which then becomes automatic on an unconscious level.

When you repeat a habit it leads to physical changes in the brain to become efficient at the activity, called long term potentiation, strengthening of connections between neurons. “Neurons that fire together wire together”.

Habits form based on frequency, not time.

Human brain is similar in size to our ancestors from 200k years ago. It hasn’t developed for the modern day. It’s still wired to living in an immediate return environment (finding food, shelter/protection) versus present day which is a delayed return environment (you can smoke today but might not feel the long term effects for decades).

This leads to time inconsistency, where our brains evaluation of rewards is inconsistent across time. We value the present more than the future. The cost of good habits are in the present, the cost of bad ones are in the future.

What is immediately rewarded is repeated, what is immediately punished is avoided. We must focus on delayed gratification versus instant.

To get a habit to stick you need to feel immediately successful even if it’s in a small way. By making it satisfying and rewarding yourself at the end of performing the habit, it increases the odds that the behavior will be repeated next time.

Use a habit tracker to provide clear evidence of your progress, leading to a satisfying feeling. Never miss a habit twice in a row!

We need to build habits that work for our unique personalities, where we have an advantage. What comes easy to you? Where do you feel like you make progress rapidly and receive positive feedback?

Goldilocks rule – a way to maintain peak motivation (flow state) by working on tasks right on the edge of their abilities, of just manageable difficulty, not too easy or too hard.

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A Guide for the Perplexed Book Summary/Notes

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There is nothing that compares to contemplating and seeking truth in life.

Humans seek for something higher than what we can understand and reason with in our lives, to rise above “the whole state of the present life”.

Levels of being, the four elements

Mineral – m (matter)
Plant – m + x (life)
Animal – m + x + y (consciousness)
Man – m + x + y + z (self awareness)

Self awareness is being able to not just think but also being able to be aware of his thinking. consciousness/intelligence open up unlimited possibilities for learning and accumulating knowledge.

M is visible, x y and z are invisible.

“While the higher comprises and there in a sense understands the lower, no being can understand anything higher than itself.”

A human can expand its understanding by striving towards a higher level of growth.

“Once a human potentiality is realized, it exists.” – Werner Jaeger

The higher level of being not only possesses power additional to/exceeding the lower, but also has power over the lower, the ability to use it to their benefit.

“Are there powers that are higher than self awareness? Are there levels of being above the human?”

Minerals/matter is passive, plants are mostly passive, they are objects.

Animals are active, humans are active, they are subjects.

“No matter how weighed down and enslaved by circumstances a person may be, there always exists the possibility of self-assertion and rising above circumstances. Man can achieve a measure of control over his environment and thereby his life, utilizing things around him for his own purposes.”

Humans have a lot of passivity in them, and remains an object in many cases due to circumstance and dependency. They use imagination/intuition to get past this, and in return become “beings”.

Physical cause – stimulus – motive – will

Capax universi – capable of bringing the whole universe into his experience

The present is broader for humans as we have the ability to make the past present through memory and the future made present through foresight, allowing us to embrace it more, of which is simply past and future for lower levels of being.

“Self awareness is a power of unlimited potential, that not only makes man human but gives him the possibility, even the need, to become superhuman.”

In order to truly view reality for what it is one must have a certain level of adequacy (adaequatio) or grade of significance, backed by knowledge and not by what he has acquired through society.

One must become aware of his thoughts and presuppositions and how they tie into ones perception. In order to find truth one must be open to everything without any prejudice.

If one lives through the lense of society, in set and limited ways, he will remain at a lower “level of being at which the search for knowledge and understanding is to aim.” There is potential to learn more and find truth but it’s prevented due to narrow mindedness.

“We must shut the eyes of sense, and open that brighter eye of our understandings, that other eye of the soul, which indeed all have, but few make use of it.”

Bodily senses help us decipher outer differences.
Ideas produce insight and understanding/meaning and is found within.

Science in modern times is manipulated and served to purpose economic and political efforts for power, versus to help man understand and find truth and be liberated. This leads to unhappiness and unfulfilling lives despite our high standards of living.

Self awareness is the power of directing attention vs being captured by outside or inner forces. Directing is living, captured is being lived.

It’s our objective to achieve a state of awareness/mindfulness that is continuous and controllable, or else we are like machines.

The development of this is an increase in intensity and quality of attention, a clear and single mindedness of what’s happening to us and in us, without judgment or reaction, taking note of and then releasing.

In order to find truth, we need to see it, not think it. Our thoughts need to be pushed to the side, our ego must dissolve. Our reason must first be supplied with genuine and absolute material before we can begin reasoning. Detachment from self interest, when the striving for power has entirely ceased.

When you have control over the body (postures, gestures, breathing) you can then work on gaining control over the mind and it’s thinking function.

Theory from William James that the emotion we feel is nothing but the feeling of some bodily changes. We cry therefore we feel sad or sorry.

There is a bridge connecting inner feelings (invisible) and bodily expression (visibility).

“External considering” putting yourself in another persons shoes so that you can see yourself from another’s perspective.

Uncritical self observation is the goal, having objective pictures of what’s really happening, not pictures retouched by our current opinions of right or wrong.

Instructional and description science. Instructional is restricted and focused on only parts of the truth to deem as proof. Description is observable through the senses or seen as signs through consciousness/self awareness and deemed as acts of faith since they can never be proven.

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The Mind Illuminated Book Summary/Notes

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Samatha – tranquility/calm abiding

Vipassana – insight

Samadhi – concentration/stable attention

Sati – mindfulness

The untrained mind produces distractions that lead to forgetting, which results in mind-wandering.

Spontaneous introspective awareness – the moment you realize that you’ve stopped focusing on your meditation practice. Appreciating this moment allows it to happen quicker, making mind wandering shorter and sustained attention longer.

You can cultivate this awareness through the practices of labeling and checking in. These techniques allow you to catch distractions before they lead to forgetting.

Intentions repeatedly sustained over the course of many meditation sessions give rise to frequently repeated mental acts, which eventually become habits of the mind.

Set and hold the intention to be vigilant so that introspective awareness becomes continuous, and notice and immediately correct for dullness and distraction.

Attention and peripheral awareness make up conscious experience. Both are worked on to cultivate stable attention and mindfulness, the two main practice objectives of meditation.

Attention is typically something you’re focusing on, singling it out to analyze and interpret, and dominates your experience.

Peripheral awareness is normally in the background, focused on sights, sounds, smells and sensations, providing the overall context for the experience.

Stable attention – being able to choose and focus on an object and keep attention continuously fixed on It.

Repeating simple tasks with a clear intention can reprogram unconscious mental processes.

Mindfulness is the optimal interaction between attention and peripheral awareness.

There’s limited conscious energy, but we can learn to increase it for both attention and peripheral awareness to thrive in.

If the mind is agitated, it doesn’t accurately reflect experience. Instead we’re caught up in projections and lack perspective.

Stage 1

Prior to meditating

-Ask yourself what’s your purpose for meditating. To improve peace of mind, inner calmness, etc?

-What’s your goal for today’s practice? Better control of attention, returning to the object quicker?

-Think about potential distractions and resolve to set them aside if they arise. Just setting this intention will make them easier to handle.

Four Step Transition

Step 1 – focus on the present, sounds and sensations, by opening your peripheral awareness fully. Keep attention on the here and now.

Disregard any thought that has nothing to do with the present moment. Memories and thoughts about the future will naturally occur, and being fully present means being aware of them, but not engaging in them.

Step 2 – focus on bodily sensations exclusively (touch, pressure, warmth, movement, coolness, tingling, etc) and let everything else remain in peripheral awareness. Any sound or thought that arises, return to the body.

Notice any pleasant sensations, distinguishing between the sensation as sensation and your minds reaction to it, and spend a few moments enjoying the pleasure.

If you get distracted or feel restless, return to step 1 by focusing on everything in the present. Then slowly go back to step 2 and focus strictly on bodily sensations.

Step 3 – Focus on bodily sensations related to the breath (nose, face, chest and abdomen). Savor or even purposely induce feelings of peace and happiness.

Step 4 – focus on sensations of the breath at the nose. Wherever the sensations are clearest (just inside the nostrils, tip of the nose, upper lip, etc).

Don’t try to follow the air as it moves into the body or out of your nose, just observe the sensations from the air passing over the spot where you’re focusing your attention. Remember, the meditation object is the sensations of the breath, not the breath itself.

***Counting the breath – once you’ve gone through the first four steps, start silently counting each breath. The goal is to follow the sensations around your nose continuously for ten consecutive breaths, restarting each time your attention slips. (Consider the beginning of the out-breath as the start of the cycle). Once you hit ten, stop counting and focus just on step 4.

Stage 2

Conscious intention and affirmation powerfully influence our unconscious processes.

By savoring and valuing your aha moment (and encouraging yourself to have more of them), you’re training the mind through positive reinforcement to wake you up more quickly in the future. Perform this gently and easily.

Find the beginnings and endings of each part of the breath cycle, and the pauses in between. Then try to observe all these points with equal clarity.

Don’t limit peripheral awareness. To cultivate mindfulness, allow sounds, sensations, thoughts, memories, and feelings to continue in the background.

The best way to avoid or resolve impatience is to enjoy your practice. Focus on the positive. Notice when you feel relaxed or focused, relish in these feelings. Be proud of yourself in your sense of accomplishment, and encourage these feelings to grow stronger.

By making meditation satisfying and enjoyable the mental processes in your mind come into harmony, creating a harmony joy feedback loop which is crucial to achieving unification of mind.

You must cultivate peace, contentment, happiness, and joy at every opportunity.

Success comes through repetition with a relaxed attitude, rather than from effortful striving.

Stage 3

Two types of distractions, subtle and gross.

When less time is spent on the distraction and the meditation object remains the primary focus of attention, it’s called a subtle distraction, as they make up the background of conscious experience.

Subtle distractions are always present.

When a distraction takes center stage, occupying most of your attention/putting the meditation object in the background, it’s called a gross distraction.

Following – discern between the start and end of the in and out breaths as well as both pauses, with equal clarity.

Once done, begin to focus on recognizing the individual sensations that make up each in and out breath. First, carefully observe the sensations between the beginning and end of the in-breath (until you recognize 3-4 distinct sensations every time).

Continue to observe the rest of the breath cycle just as clearly as before.

After you consistently do this, do the same with the out-breath.

You must maintain extrospective awareness during this process.

Connecting – extension of following that involves making comparisons and associations. (Not necessary right now, but simply just asking questions such as is one breath shorter than the other, is the breath shorter or longer when the mind is distracted, etc).

Labeling – A practice to identify the distraction in the very moment you realize you’re no longer on the breath. Give the most recent thought a quick and simple label (thinking, planning, remembering) and then let go of it gently and easily and return to the breath. Avoid analyzing the distraction.

Checking in – during your session turn your attention inward to see what’s happening in the mind, called introspective attention.

This is a key to cultivating introspective awareness, by using attention, making awareness of the minds activity a habit.

Always check in very gently and briefly, to evaluate how much scattering was just occurring. This helps you determine if any distraction is about to turn into a gross distraction. If so, label it and tighten up attention on the breath to prevent forgetting.

The labeling of distractions trains awareness to know which distractions to watch out for in the future when you’re checking in.

This practice of checking in allows you to correct for gross distraction before it causes forgetting. You should check in regularly (every half dozen breaths or so, without counting) until it becomes a habit.

Don’t try to eliminate distractions entirely from awareness. As long as they stay in the background, let them come, let them be, and let them go.

When pain or discomfort becomes too much to ignore make it the focus of your attention. If the urge to move becomes irresistible decide in advance when you will move and what movement you will make, then be very observant as you move.

Interlude

-Staying mindful means you’re calmer, don’t react so quickly, or be distracted by your own emotions. With mindfulness you recognize more options, make wiser choices, and take control of your behavior.

-when we are mindful (steady dose of both attention and awareness), we provide the unconscious mind with new real time information that is directly relevant to what’s happening right now (this info tells us that it’s normal knee jerk reactions to the situation are harmful and not helping). This allows for reprogramming at the deepest levels of the unconscious.

The longer we can be mindful in a particular situation, the more new info becomes available and the more mindfulness can work its magic.

Consciousness can continue to pick up on and communicate the consequences of the event and their effects on our mental state long afterward.

The duration and consistency are equally important.

Being truly mindful of your actions and their consequences alters how you react in the future. Whenever something triggers one of your invisible programs it’s an opportunity to apply mindfulness.

When your mindful enough in daily life for long and often enough, then consciousness can communicate the actual context and consequences of your conditioned reactions to their unconscious sources. This produces real change.

Stage 4

Need to start emphasizing the introspective part of peripheral awareness. It’s like standing back a bit from the meditation object, just enough to keep the breath at the center of attention while taking in everything else happening in the mind.

Connecting – observe changes in the breath over time and how those changes correspond to shifts in your state of mind (when there’s more or less subtle distraction/dullness)

Become aware of the activities/mental processes of the mind itself and how it behaves: movements of attention, the way thoughts, feelings and other mental objects arise and pass away in peripheral awareness, and any changes in the clarity or vividness of perception.

By using the breath as an anchor while you mindfully observe the mind, you’re “watching the mind while the mind watches the breath.” This is called metacognitive introspective awareness.

Whenever you can’t disregard a powerful distraction, finesse the situation by intentionally making it your new meditation object.

Whenever you judge instead of just observing, mindfulness is less effective. By simply allowing material from the unconscious to come up, by mindfully bearing witness and not reacting, you reprogram the mind more deeply than you ever could through intellectual analysis.

Fourth interlude

Experience is divided into individual moments of conscious.

We can only be conscious of information coming from one sense organ at a time. Moments of seeing are distinct from moments of hearing/smelling. Therefore each is a separate mental event with its own unique content.

Each moment of consciousness is like a freeze frame, nothing changes.

Ordinary consciousness includes a significant proportion of non perceived mind moments. The more of these you have, the more you’ll have in subsequent moments.

Most moments of consciousness are moments of attention with the breath as their object, but others have knee pain or thoughts about lunch as their object.

Attention isn’t actually moving between a breath and these distractions. Successive moments of attention hold different objects. Interspersed among these moments of attention are moments of peripheral awareness of other bodily sensations, sounds, thoughts, and emotions, creating the background.

A strong intention to perceive in every moment of consciousness is the real antidote to dullness in meditation.

Stage five

Focus on the sensations around the surface of the abdominal region, not just the concepts of expansion.

Once established, choose an isolated area of the body away from the abdomen to focus attention on and examine all the sensations in that area, specifically those connected to the breath. Keep sensations of the breath at the abdomen in peripheral awareness.

Repeat this to a broader area (half foot to full foot, upper arm to entire arm and hands).

Fifth interlude – the mind system

Two main parts – conscious mind and unconscious mind

The conscious mind is not the source of its content. It’s more like a space or a screen into which the unconscious sub minds project their information and intentions.

The unconscious mind is divided into two major parts, sensory mind (taste, touch, smell, etc) and discriminating mind (thinking, emotional, reasoning/analysis), which produces moments of consciousness with mental objects. Each are composed of many individual sub minds that function automatically and simultaneously.

The conscious mind is like a boardroom, where all sub minds can communicate through.

The conscious mind acts as a universal recipient of information from these sub minds, but also as a universal source of information in that when one sub mind sends its info to the conscious mind, that information becomes available to all unconscious sub minds, allowing them to interact/communicate with each other through the conscious mind.

The collective interaction of sub minds and its resulting outcome is the executive function process.

Instead of immediately identifying with anger, if there’s some hesitation (because you remember to observe the situation mindfully) the delay allows information from other sub minds to rise into the conscious mind, offering different courses of action.

Conscious intentions that are repeatedly acted upon eventually give rise to automatic actions that no longer require conscious intention.

The narrating mind (sub mind in the discriminating mind) takes in all of the content in consciousness from all other sub minds, and constantly processes/organizes it. It then projects the information back as a binding moment of consciousness, becoming available to the rest of the mind system.

There is no “I” or “self” as an entity, just many unconscious sub minds exchanging information via the conscious mind.

The experience of consciousness itself is the result of the shared receptivity of unconscious sub-minds to the content passing through the conscious mind.

Stage six

Conscious intention is the key to developing exclusive attention (several sub minds agreeing to the intention, making it stronger and more effective). Simply hold the intention to observe all the fine details of the meditation object and ignore everything else.

Define your scope of attention much more precisely (a specific area + exclusively the breath sensations of that area) and ignore all other sensations from attention, allowing them to remain in peripheral awareness.

Keep increasing the scope of attention to include larger areas, while alternating between large and small areas, until you expand attention to include the entire body.

After a while shift focus back to the breath at the nose (or shift attention first to the abdomen then the nose). When exclusive focus fades, repeat the exercise of experiencing the whole body with the breath.

You don’t have to go part by part through the entire body each time (you can do it all at once) unless it’s helpful.

You create exclusive single pointed attention not by shrinking your attention down to a small point, but by expanding it to focus on the entire bodies sensations so there’s no room for distracting thoughts and other mental objects.

Metacognitive introspective awareness is cultivated by being aware of the ongoing activities of the mind (what attention is doing/being directed at/changes of objects) and by the state of mind (clarity, happy, impatient, etc).

The more intention you put towards increasing this awareness, the more availability there is in consciousness to achieve it.

Jhana- a shift in mental state when your mind slips into a groove and “flow” occurs for a little while.

Sixth interlude

Pacification of the sense comes from consistently ignoring sensory information presented in awareness. Sensory subminds eventually stop projecting their content into consciousness.

Stage 7

By enjoying the experience of exclusive attention (through constant repetition), the executive functions are overriding the intentions of other sub minds, which trains those sub minds to adopt the intention to be vigilant and immediately correct for distractions.

It becomes effortless to sustain exclusive attention because the sub minds are as active as ever/actively participating in the intention to sustain it.

If you feel doubtful, stuck and restless cultivate an attitude of acceptance and patience. Take as much satisfaction as possible in how far you’ve come and remind yourself of the rewards that will surely follow if you continue.

Walking meditation

Stage 1

-Focus on sensations in your feet as you walk, use this as your anchor when you get distracted

-Intentionally allow the mind to observe whatever is in the present

Stage 2 and 3

-Complete one full step before lifting up your back foot, focusing attention on sensations in the moving foot.

-Stop walking when you get distracted in your head and label it.

-When an outside object gets your attention, stop and focus on it. Be alert to the way you react to things.

The idea is to maintain intentional control over the movements of attention so you take in the totality of experience.

-Check in periodically to examine one of the three sensory fields, sound, visual, or body sensations.

-Limit verbal self talk, focus on being in the present silently.

Stage 4 and 5

-don’t stop walking for distractions, continue to examine them if you want and maintain an awareness of the walking sensations in the background

-when attention is stable, stop as you please to freely investigate your surroundings.

-observe and investigate visuals, sounds and sensations. Look at things close and far, how clear or less clear they are. Hear things close and far, how clear things become when you focus on them and others get pushed to the side.

-notice the difference between hearing the sound and identifying it. Practice hearing separately from identifying. Investigate without analyzing.

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The Road Less Traveled Book Summary/Notes

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Discipline – a system of techniques of dealing constructively with the pain of problem solving (instead of avoiding that pain) in such a way that all of life’s problems can be solved.

-delaying gratification – dealing with the pain first so that you can enjoy the pleasure later.

-your upbringing/childhood and how your parents raise you is immensely important and helps shape you for your life.

Time- if you take the time, you can accomplish many things that may currently be viewed as limited beliefs.

Problems – do not avoid them, they do not go away. You must work through them so that they do not remain as a barrier to growth. Even though they are painful in the moment they won’t be once they are resolved. IF you allow them to persist, the pain will be much more intense and last longer in the future.

-beliefs and revising – need to be open minded and flexible, and constantly tweak our views of the world.

-self examination – the life of wisdom must be a life of contemplation combined with action. We must not just examine life but examine the examiner simultaneously.

-truth – in order to seek truth, we must have the discipline to revise our views and overcome pain. Truth must be more important to our self interest than our comfort. Personal discomfort is unimportant and should be welcomed in the search for truth. We must be dedicated to true reality at all costs to sharpen our mental health.

-self-discipline – complete honesty takes less energy than lying. It enables you to be totally free and open.

-healthiness of depression – the process of unconsciously or consciously the feeling of giving up something of the self that is loved or familiar is depression.

The feeling of depression is a signal that major change is required for successful adaptation. Most people aren’t ready or willing to accept or recognize this.

Balancing – being able to discipline your discipline

Bracketing – subtype of balancing, the act of balancing the need for stability and assertion of the self with the need for new knowledge and greater understanding by temporarily giving up one’s self to make room for the incorporation of new material into the self.

Mature awareness is possible only when biases and prejudices are put to the side. It involves a double movement of attention: both silencing the familiar and welcoming the strange. Bracketing the preconceived world to allow the strangeness into the perceptual world. The ego must be neutralized/eliminated.

In order to grow and travel further through the journey of life, one must have multiple deaths (giving up familiar views and things) and rebirths (retaining of new information and views). One must learn to endure and accept both pleasure and pain.

For to exercise power is to make decisions and the process of making decisions with total awareness is often infinitely more painful than making decisions with limited awareness.

Love – the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing ones own or another’s spiritual growth.

As we extend our limits (through effort), we grow into a larger state of being. This act of loving is an act of self evolution even when the purpose of It is for someone else’s growth.

Love is not effortless, it’s effortful.

“Real” Love occurs when the feeling of love lacks, and when one acts lovingly despite the fact that they don’t feel loving. This is a permanently self enlarging experience.

Falling in love is a temporary and partial collapse of one’s ego boundaries. It is sexually instinctual/rooted/stimulated (a deeply genetic and natural experience which serves to increase sexual pairing/bonding so as to enhance the survival of the species).

This happens outside of one’s control, effortlessly. This is not an experience that facilitates growth.

Children – by giving them undivided attention (total focus on them without doing anything else), they will feel valued/valuable. The more valuable they feel, the more things of value they will say..they will rise to your expectation of them.

Listen to them enough and you’ll realize how extraordinary they are, leading to you willing to listen more and learning more from them.

The more you know about them, the more you’ll be able to teach them.

The more you listen to them, the more value they feel, the more willing they will be to listen to you and learn from you.

Growth and religion

-our understanding and view/outlook on life is our religion, and everyone has one.

-the path to holiness lies through questioning everything.

Evolution of consciousness

-everything, all knowledge, is within our subconscious. It is when we become more aware that we discover this knowledge consciously.

-our unconscious mind is god. God is within us.

-those who have attained spiritual growth are aware that their unusual wisdom has its origin in their unconscious. That their knowledge flow to them through this connection.

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What to say when you talk to yourself Book Summary/Notes

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Our thoughts and beliefs have been hard wired into us from a very young age.

The brain believes what we tell It most. And what we tell It about ourselves, It will create.

How successful you will be at anything is tied directly to the words and beliefs about yourself that you have stored in your subconscious mind. And what is stored there was decided for us by someone else.

Growing up we are told No and what we cannot do more than 148,000 times, while being told yes and what we can do very few times in comparison.

77% of everything we think is negative, counterproductive and works against us.

75% of all illnesses are self induced.

Our mental programming is majority fucked up.

Neuroplasticity – the ability to rewire the brain throughout our lifetime and ability to strengthen and weaken synapses, and create new ones – can help us make vital changes in the programming we accept from others, and what we say when we talk to ourselves.

There are three essential ingredients in order to making lasting and permanent positive changes in our lives.

1 – the concept has to become physically wired into the brain
2 – understanding how the brain gets wired and the role we play in the wiring process
3 – a new word for word set of directions, new programming to both your conscious and subconscious minds. Specific “programming vocabulary” worded in a certain way that can be used at any time to replace old negative programming with positive and productive new directions.

The only solution that includes all three of the essential ingredients that create lasting change in the brain is “self talk”.

To make long lasting change we must begin by fixing our old programming ways, the years of conditioning that keeps us doing things the old way.

Self talk – the practice of consciously and actively rewiring the brain with a more successful and new picture of oneself.

“Whatever you put in your mind, in one way or another, is what you’ll get back out, in one way or another.”

Repeated messages that we hear are wired into our subconscious mind. If allowed, which typically happens without our awareness, these affect, direct and control everything about us.

Every thought that we have is always tied to something else that we already know about.

Even new thoughts are instantly tied/compared to something else in the mind to connect the new information to so that we understand It.

The more we believe something, the more we accept other similar ideas about It.

“The more you think about yourself in a certain way, the more you will think about yourself in that same certain way. The more you think about anything in a certain way, the more you will believe that that is how it really is. The mind works that way because the brain always tries to tie any new thing you think to something you already believe.”

“The longer you have bought the thought, the “truer” It is.”

“Everything you tell yourself about yourself becomes a directive to your subconscious mind, and anytime you make a statement about yourself that is negative, you’re directing your subconscious mind to make you become the person you just described, negatively.”

“The human brain will do anything possible you tell it to do if you tell it often enough and strong enough. If you tell It the wrong thing about yourself that is what it will accept and act upon.”

“Our internal programming mechanism treats anything we tell it with equal indifference.”

“What we put into our brains is what we will get back out.”

“The subconscious mind is a sponge; It will believe anything you tell It – It will even believe a lie – if you tell It often enough and strongly enough. That part of the brain makes no moral judgments; it simply accepts what you tell it.”

The self management sequence

The five steps that control our success or failure

1- behavior/actions

If you do right, you’ll progress, and vice versa.

Why we find it difficult and don’t do things we know we should is because of our feelings, which influence and control all of our actions.

2- feelings

Actions are first filtered through our feelings, which determines or affects what we do and how well we do It.

Regardless if the feelings are rational, they control and influence the actions we take. If they’re positive and productive, your action will follow.

Feelings are created, controlled and influenced by your attitudes.

3- attitudes

Positive perspectives allow you to see opportunities ahead and set our sights to reach them. In order to process the kinds of feelings which work for us we have to have the right attitude to start with.

Attitudes are created by our beliefs.

4- beliefs

What we believe about anything will determine our attitudes about It, create our feelings, direction our actions and helps us succeed or fail.

Our belief about anything is so powerful that it can even make something appear to be something different than what it really is. It does not require that something be the way we see it to be, only that we believe that it is.

“Belief does not require something to be true. It only requires us to believe that it’s true.”

They’re created by our programming.

5- programming

What we have accepted from the outside world and have fed to ourselves has tested a cause and effect chain reaction sequence which cannot fail to lead us to what we program/believe.

Programming creates beliefs.
Beliefs create attitudes.
Attitudes create feelings.
Feelings determine actions.
Actions create results.

In order to change your results you must change your programming.

“Self talk is a way to override our past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with conscious and positive new directions. Self talk is a practical way to live our lives by active intent rather than by passive acceptance.”

It offers a way to stop being a product of conditioned response, but governed instead by personal choice.

5 levels of self talk

Level 1 self talk (most harmful self talk)
The level of negative acceptance (I cant…)

Saying something bad about yourself and accepting It. The most frequently used self talk of all, the backbone of everything that works against us and stands in our way.

Doubts, fears, misgivings and hesitations are all programmed when we use this verbiage.

Level 2 self talk
The level of recognition and need to change (I need to..I should..)

Recognition of a problem, but creates no solution.

Level 3 self talk
The level of decision to change (I never..I no longer..)

Works for you instead of against you. When you make the decision to do something about it, stating the decision in present tense as though it’s already taken place.

“I no longer put off doing anything I want to get done.”
“I never get upset in traffic.”

Automatically rephrasing old negative cannots in a new positive way that tells the subconscious mind to wake up and make the change.

Level 4 self talk
The level of the better you (I am)

Most effective self talk (stated in present tense), what is needed most.

It’s positive, inspiring and encouraging. It excites and pushes us forward.

“I am a winner. I believe in myself. I have determination, drive and self belief. I am living the life I choose, and I choose what’s right.”

Level 5 self talk
The level of universal affirmation (It is..)

“People who typically think positively actually grow more neurons in the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This area of the brain is in part responsible for our ability to seek alternative solutions to problems, deal with challenges and maintain an even balance. The research shows that the value of a can-do spirit of positive thinking has had its core and important basis lender on structure of the brain itself.”

External motivation is temporary. When you rely on others to motivate you, once you lose that person the motivation goes away with them.

This is because we still have our old programming in the back of our minds, in our subconscious just waiting to turn things back to our old normal way of living.

The brain cannot store motivation.

We can decide for ourselves what should motivate us, versus having someone else decide for us.

The right self talk creates internal motivation that can help us stay motivated. You must practice to become your own motivator.

“Self help permanently rewires neural pathways in the brain through the use of conscious repetition.”

“With self talk, you’re in control, and instead of temporarily overriding programs, you’re actually rewiring neural networks to create long-term changes to the structure of your brain itself.”

In order for any self improvement concept to work, It must be easy.

We are constantly fighting against our time, energy and mind. When strategies are time consuming and difficult, our programming pushes them off to the side for the majority of us.

Five different techniques for using self talk

1- silent self talk

More awareness than effort.

Anything you think about yourself or anything else around you. Level 1 (I can’t) and level 2 (I should, I need to) shifting to level 3 (I never, I no longer) and level 4 (I am).

Subtle shift of no longer viewing from a negative lense to a positive and productive one.

Most of what we call problems are really only perceived as problems, The way you look at each of them determines whether they really are or not, you need only tell yourself to see them in a better way.

Don’t let your old programming talk you out of this as it’s just an old and negative habit that can be combated.

How we feel is mental and chemical it is physiological, if we tell ourselves that we feel energetic or enthusiastic when we are really tired at some point of this repetition we will convince ourselves that it’s true.

2- self speak

Anything you say out loud. Makes up an important part of the pictures and directions we feed to our subconscious.

What you say is a determining factor in whether you win or lose in life. The better your self speak (positive attitude regardless of any circumstances) the better off you’ll be.

“Listen to everything you say when you speak. Do your words paint a picture for your own subconscious mind you want it to be seeing? If not, change the words. Rephrase them.”

3- Self conversation

Holding both sides of a conversation with yourself, out loud.

In the morning tell yourself how great this day is going to be, hold a convo about It and how you feel about It. What you can achieve versus what you cannot.

By speaking out loud you force yourself to put thoughts into words and allows you to ask yourself questions and get straightforward answers. Surprisingly we are very factual in our responses and help us stop kissing ourselves.

4- self write

Self talk written word for word for yourself.

“It focuses your attention makes you think and gets you actively involved in the process of erasing the old negative programming and actively participating in the process of replacing old with the new. That kind of focus and involvement fine-tunes your initiative and adds energy to your determination.

5- recorded self-talk

Listening to positive self talk (podcasts, interviews, videos, etc), even while doing something else or not always agreeing with It can help rewire your brain, as your subconscious begins to program the positive new info regardless if you are consciously thinking about It or not.

3 step process for getting started

Monitor – mindfulness through meditation, being aware of being aware.

In order to change our self talk dialogue we have to start by being aware of what It currently is. As we make it a habit to monitor and observe our daily thoughts (the words we see out load, as well as what we tell ourselves in silence), we can see what’s positively and negatively impacting our lives. This can then help us with determining what we must change.

We are aware of less than 10% of all the self talk going on in our brains.

Edit – as we become more mindful we must eliminate any negative self talk that may hinder us. The moment we notice it happening, we have to edit it immediately and rephrase It in a positive light.

“When you hear yourself say something like “I’ve really got a problem with this…” turn It around and say “I can handle this. I’m a capable person and I handle problems well.”

By turning our negativity that we think and say into positivity, we are sending messages to our subconscious mind and through repetition they begin to physically program into our brain!

Do not underestimate this. Our subconscious has capabilities beyond the limits of our understanding. Self talk can vastly improve every facet of your life for the better, it’s just a matter of wiring it into your mind so that It then works automatically like a habit.

Listen – by listening to self talk phrases, and specially worded self talk recordings (even just in the background for a few minutes per day without any conscious effort), your subconscious automatically will rewire your brains programing.

“The key is repetition. The more often the same messages are repeated, the stronger the brain wires them in.”

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