This week’s lesson offers more than most. Can we choose what motivates us? Do we eat from desire or from hunger?
You learned the concept ‘pain’ when you learned language. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
Haanel states this week, all conditions and experiences that come to us are for our benefit; that we gain strength in proportion to the effort expended, and that our happiness is best attained through a conscious cooperation with natural laws.
You do not have to believe this. Accepting it will work.
1. The laws under which we live are designed solely for our advantage. These laws are immutable and we cannot escape from their operation.
We keep trying to escape, looking for the way out like a fly banging on a windowpane, right next to an opening that allows it to go free.
3. Difficulties, inharmonies, and obstacles, indicate that we are either refusing to give out what we no longer need, or refusing to accept what we require.
We keep hold of what no longer serves us, usually because it is known and therefore some kind of comfortable. Receiving is just as important as giving. Both require the other.
5. We cannot obtain what we lack if we tenaciously cling to what we have. We are able to consciously control our conditions as we come to sense the purpose of what we attract, and are able to extract from each experience only what we require for our further growth. Our ability to do this determines the degree of harmony or happiness we attain.
Harmony and happiness are tuning forks; find them in your life. Use them to adjust YOU to the circumstances.
7. All conditions and experiences that come to us do so for our benefit. Difficulties and obstacles will continue to come until we absorb their wisdom and gather from them the essentials of further growth.
Growing up I heard two statements over and over. What we like least in others is what we like least in ourselves. The other was more direct. Remember whenever you point a finger at someone you are pointing three back at you. The world is our mirror and the lesson will not let us pass until we have taken it full measure.
14. … if we wish to express abundance in our lives, we can afford to think abundance only, and as words are only thoughts taking form, we must be especially careful to use nothing but constructive and harmonious language, which when finally crystallized into objective forms, will prove to our advantage.
The beginning of relaxation happens the moment we accept the tension. The more you rebel, resist, ignore, pretend, ‘try’ to relax or hope it goes away all keep it steadfast in place. Abundance is no different. Something in us keeps it away.
Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
20. We know that the Universal Thought has for its goal the creation of form, and we know that the individual thought is likewise forever attempting to express itself in form, and we know that the word is a thought form, and a sentence is a combination of thought forms, therefore, if we wish our ideal to be beautiful or strong, we must see that the words out of which this temple will eventually be created are exact, that they are put together carefully, because accuracy in building words and sentences is the highest form of architecture in civilization and is a passport to success.
Is this saying the written word is the passport to success? The ease of video, especially off the cuff, zero edit, and free form has its place but Haanel seems to suggest it is not the highest form of architecture. There are different kinds of spoken words also. Talking to no end, babbling with no one remembering what is said is common on the one end all the way to speech acts like promising, declarations and affirmations. When you say the black cat climbed the tree. No tree or black cat comes out of your mouth. It does not form on the page or in your mind. However, when you say “I promise…” a promise exists now.
22. Words may become mental places that will live forever, or they may become shacks which the first breeze will carry away. They may delight the eye as well as the ear; they may contain all knowledge; in them we find the history of the past as well as the hope of the future; they are living messengers from which every human and superhuman activity is born.
How much attention do we pay to our ‘word’ and how much to the ‘word’ of others?
Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
25. … if we apply the principle of Mathematics correctly we shall be certain of our results. Where there is health there will be no disease. If we know the Truth we cannot be deceived by error. If we let in light there can be no darkness, and where there is abundance there can be no poverty.
This black and white version of reality is useful to stand in. It provides a measure of the distance required to attain what we are after. However, health and disease often reside together, one more powerful than the other. Knowing the truth and not being able to explain it, share it, present its case appears to allow error free rein. Any light may eliminate absolute darkness and it may not be enough to see anything either. Abundance and poverty are both rampant in the world and can exist right next to each other.
29. In the physical world there is a law of compensation which is that “the appearance of a given amount of energy anywhere means the disappearance of the same amount somewhere else,” and so we find that we can get only what we give; if we pledge ourselves to a certain action we must be prepared to assume the responsibility for the development of that action. The subconscious cannot reason. It takes us at our word; we have asked for something; we are now to receive it; we have made our bed, we are now to lie in it; the die has been cast; the threads will carry out the pattern we have made.
The law of compensation may have equal balance as part of its equation. The law of creation offers another path and until you can create “nothing” all we are doing is changing stuff. “We must be prepared to assume the responsibility…” and depending on our definition or belief what responsibility means is the crux of the matter. I assert that responsibility starts with willing to be cause in the matter and is devoid of fault and blame.
31. Insight is a faculty of the mind whereby we are enabled to examine facts and conditions at long range, a kind of human telescope; it enables us to understand the difficulties, as well as the possibilities, in any undertaking.
Some people have insight better than others do. Some have it now and then and some appear totally unaware. Are those all a choice?
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
35. Insight is a product of the world within and is developed in the Silence, by concentration.
How long can you maintain concentration on one thing, while remaining completely silent?
Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. – Jean Arp
…knowledge does not apply itself. That our actions are not governed by knowledge, but by custom, precedent and habit. That the only way we can get ourselves to apply knowledge is by a determined conscious effort. Call to mind the fact that knowledge unused passes from the mind, that the value of the information is in the application of the principle.
If you read the previous post, In or Out Here, you now know that since Haanel’s day we know that ‘determined conscious effort’ (our way of being) may change the subconscious but still does not give us control in the now. Building new precedents, new habits and new customs leaves us only as a machine still, without our will, without our purpose in charge of the moment while some other purpose, some other will holds sway. Is that it? Is our only chance at self-control redoing the wiring of a machine that operates on automatic? Knowledge and wisdom are never unused or lost but passes on to where and who will put them to use.
I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse’s good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment. – Ludwig Wittgenstein