Why be interested in Philosophy - Sounds boring - Era of Misinformation

Phil1 – WHY BE INTERESTED IN PHILOSOPHY – Sounds boring – Era of Misinformation

Logic flow broadly Phil1 onwards

Inter alia, in this information era, we all face an ever-growing deluge of information, much of it false.  First, we should acknowledge that information is not knowledge and that knowledge is not always truth.  This raises the obvious question “What is the truth and/or how do we or can we know the truth or learn to discriminate?”.  I think we all “like to think we know the truth” and “would always be eager to know the real truth”, as we are constantly exchanging our opinions with others.  However, if you look back over time, you will find that your opinions & arguments have constantly changed.  This means that in many instances, what you held to be the truth when you were younger and what you believe to be the truth now has changed over time.  It was the realisation that my so called “truths” had changed over time that got me interested in finding out the “right/actual” truth – bearing in mind that nobody can ever know the truth about everything.  Bottom line, we all prefer to have the right end of the stick to being caught out hanging onto misinformation or an untruth, so how do we become more truthful / wiser?

The word philosophy derives from the Greek “philosophia” and literally means “Love of Wisdom”.  Now let me stress at the outset, I am not suggesting that you should immediately enrol in a course to study classical philosophy, although I suspect this will be an ever more popular discipline in the future.  However, I am suggesting that you should become interested in understanding just what “Truth”, “Knowledge” and “Wisdom” really are.

Knowledge is really about the facts and ideas that we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or experienceHowever, science is frequently disproving the old and proving the new, so even these truths are frequently transient.  Contrarily, Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life.  NB! Lasting truths are usually found to be governed by the laws of nature.

The first interesting fact is that the true philosophers like Socrates and Plato almost never made a statement, they only asked questions.  Probably this was because when you make a statement, you are implying it is a fact and by that very act you implicitly exclude the probability that you may be wrong – and, if you are honest with yourself, you were frequently wrong😊.  Essentially, they answered a question with a question, until the questions progressively eliminated possible wrong answers and this process continued until the “probable answer” to the last question was the “probable right answer”.  I highly recommend you read Plato’s “Lysis on Friendship”.  Furthermore, I hold that you can also substitute the word friendship with “love”.

NB! Socrates never wrote anything down.  Plato did, and many of his writings were a recording of his debates with Socrates “by rote”.

Broad definition of the Socratic Method if you are interested:

The Socratic method, or Socratic debate, is a form of argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.  The Socratic method is a method of hypothesis elimination, in that better hypotheses are found by steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions.  The Socratic method searches for general, commonly held truths that shape beliefs and scrutinises them to determine their consistency with other beliefs.  The basic form is a series of questions formulated as tests of logic and fact intended to help a person or group discover their beliefs about some topic, exploring definition or logoi (singular logos) and seeking to characterize general characteristics shared by various particular instances.

What is interesting about the information era, is that it will probably drive us ever closer to the truth.  Firstly, information found on the web will over time be compelled to gradually converge on the truth.  Secondly, the Internet of Things, coupled with the web will increasingly record where we are and everything we do, thereby making everything increasingly transparent.  This means it will be increasingly difficult to commit a crime (Read my Futurism article on Sensors & the Internet of Things at https://eelcogold.com/).  Finally, everything you do is being “rated”, by Uber, Airbnb, etc, and eventually someone will combine all these ratings and you will have a “universal combined ethics/integrity rating”.  We saw how a negative Facebook profile could cause one to be overlooked by prospective employers.  This means that it will be in your own interests to be, and be seen as ever more truthful, honest, ethical, etc, as all your personal qualities like your work ethic, integrity, etc. are likely to increasingly become a matter of public record.  Therefore, it may be prudent to get a head start by adopting a moral and philosophical approach to life with immediate effect.  Read my Back to Basics article on Honesty and Integrity at https://eelcogold.com/.

Back to a few Philosophical concepts.  Many of the great sages like Shakespeare, conclude some interesting “life skill” concepts.

One of these is this one, which I paraphrase from Shakespeare, namely: “The world is a stage and the people on it the actors”.  It is important to realise that we all have fears and expectations, and that our personality quirks were a product of earlier years and we are all on a different rung on the ladder.  Therefore, it is important that we get on with our own lives and spend less time judging others.

Another is the importance of “being in the present”.


Note!  All these reports are educational, free and published weekly.

Free Subscription – if you want to subscribe to this free newsletter, click on this LINK.  These, and earlier reports, can all be viewed at https://eelcogold.com/

Disclaimer!  The content of this report represents the opinions of Mr Lodewijks, who is a retired Civil Engineer with diverse interests.  Where applicable, the content should be deemed informative guidance to get the reader thinking and not specific advice.

The Exercise & How to Meditate - Life Changing Experiences

Phil2 – “THE EXERCISE” & “HOW TO MEDITATE” – LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES

I was introduced to The Exercise and Meditation by the “School of Practical Philosophy”, which operates in most major cities around the world, including in Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape. The object of both The Exercise and Meditation is to still the activity of mind in order that you spend more time in the present.  The benefit when you do these regularly and properly is that you follow less red herrings, think more clearly, make better decisions, sleep far less and experience far less stress.  Remarkably, your Blood Pressure also drops.

The Exercise is a remarkable experience that “formally” takes 2 minutes every morning and 2 minutes every evening.  However, I also do it or briefly “connect” every time I have to wait for a Dentist, Traffic Light or anything else.

Meditation is a life changing experience that takes 30 minutes every morning and evening.

The School of Practical Philosophy is a remarkable organisation that is supplementary and complimentary to all religions and, more important, “it does not ask you to buy into any belief system”.  It was started as the School of Economic Science in London in 1938, early in the WW2, to help people who despaired because they never got a chance to get their heads above water after decades of hardship arising from WW1 and the Depression, understand what was going on.  However, economic science is the study of human behaviour in the economic sphere, which means you inevitably get drawn into studying Psychology and Philosophy.  Now it is important to understand that the word Philosophy derives from the Greek word Philosophia, which means “Love of Wisdom”, or love of the truth if you prefer.  Accordingly, over time and in response to questions that arose during discussion, the school of Economic Science’s message expanded to include Philosophy and it ended up with drawing on quotes from Plato, Shakespeare, the Bible, the Hindu religion, Buddhism, the Quran, etc.  Essentially it drew on all these for wisdom quotes without buying into any belief system.  In fact, its central motto that is repeated daily is “Neither accept nor reject what we say, put it into practice” to see if it works for you.

Caution:

Meditation is an activity you cannot “easily” teach yourself due to the discipline required and the benefits of the “good company” of a group of likeminded people.  i.e. It is preferable, almost imperative, that you have a mentor.  Furthermore, in the same way that you cannot duck Gym if your buddy is waiting for you, it is useful to do it with a spouse, friend or others who meditate when you do, as group support helps you maintain the discipline.

BACKGROUND EXPLANATIONS:

Thoughts (activity of mind), are a common human condition and you will find that these will frequently interrupt both The Exercise and Meditation, which are aimed at stilling this activity of mind in order that you may learn to be “wholly” in the present.  When these thoughts arise unbidden, and they will, do not chastise yourself as that is just another thought that perpetuates that same “activity of mind”.  Just “seamlessly” revert to the activity at hand within a microsecond of realising that you are no longer engaged in The Exercise/Meditation.

Quote from Desiderata: “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself”.

Activity of mind   vs   Being in the present

I know you will think that this is an outrageous statement, but I ask you to bear with me and try to keep an open mind.  Almost all activity of mind, namely the thoughts that are constantly milling about in your head rehashing countless issues, playing out “what if” scenarios over and over again, is counter-productive for the following reasons:

  • All thoughts are either about the past, or the future. One cannot think in the present, one can only act/react in the present;
  • PAST: Thoughts about the past are pointless, as you cannot change the past;
  • FUTURE: Thoughts about the future are pointless, because you cannot control the future.  I know, we like to think we can, but if we are honest, we cannot.  It is a human “failing” that we want to be in control, because being out of control is a terrifying thought.  i.e. We fear the uncertainty that accompanies relinquishing control and “going with the flow”.  However, the only constants in this ever-changing world are Change, Death and Taxes.  Resisting change is the same as trying to maintain the status quo, which equates to “merely existing”.  Considering the rate of change of technology, etc., “uncertainty” and “being out of control” are a future given, so learning to embrace uncertainty, change and being out of control will be a future asset.  It worked for me.  I always embraced change and now I am happiest when I am out of my depth, flying by the seat of my pants, exploring new frontiers, because that is when I am “living life” not “simply existing”;
  • PRESENT: Essentially, if you are in the present, this counterproductive activity of mind is replaced with responding to the next need.  Either the creation presents the next need, or the intuitive mind presents the knowledge for / awareness of the next natural action that follows the previous action.  When you are fully in the present, you do not make mistakes, you make better decisions.  The trick is to trust your mind.  Over time, your mind has assimilated tons of information and nuances that your conscious mind is not aware of and processed or re-filed it while you were asleep.  This is why a hypnotist can make you recall stuff you did not even know you had assimilated – such as the registration number of a car, or the colour of the assailant’s clothes.  All that our milling mind play of thoughts achieves is to cloud the issues and inhibit the clarity of the unimpeded intuitive mind.  We need to relinquish this counterproductive obsessive illusion of “being in control”, which manifests as activity of mind, and learn to trust our intuition, which is infinitely powerful and connected to the universal knowledge and consciousness.  I have found that the more I trust my intuition, the better I honed my intuitive skills.  i.e. Practice makes perfect.

I know you are going to say that is all very well when I am playing a sport, or fixing something that is broken, but I need to plan.  I agree.  However, the trick is to set aside the time and to sit down and plan “in the present” and, when you have finished, put that planning session behind you.  Eg. Act with the mind in the present when you are “actively” drawing up a business or marketing strategy, provided you do it with full attention (no other thoughts allowed).  If at some later point it comes to mind, it is your intuition telling you it is not right, do not then think about it intermittently or continually, make a reminder note and schedule another planning session to revisit your previous conclusion.  i.e. Deal with it alone, do not constantly rehash it while you are “not listening” to someone, while you are busy with another task or while you are driving.  When you are supposed to be listening to someone, “even the dull and the ignorant, for they too have their story”, it is rude not to be listening – imagine if someone did it to you.  When you are busy with another task, do that task with full attention, allowing your mind to wander is the primary cause of shoddy error prone work.  Eg. When you are driving, you must be in the present driving, connecting with all the senses by feeling the steering & road, observing pedestrians, anticipating the traffic, etc, as most accidents happen because people’s minds were elsewhere – rehashing stuff, smart-phones.

THE EXERCISE – 2 minutes every morning and 2 every evening – more if you wish:

The Exercise is about connecting with the five senses of Touch, Taste, Smell, Hearing and Sight.  While it may sound simplistic, its purpose is to introduce one to the wondrous experience of being in the present, where you will find inner peace.  It is truly well worth doing and, in time, it certainly enhances the senses.

There is no exact routine to memorise, except that one should connect with the 5 senses or, at the very least, four if you choose to leave out sight.  The better you connect with the senses, the more you will benefit.  However, as you will be in different places, clothed differently, etc., your connection procedure will vary as circumstances and conditions vary.  Follows this broad but typical process/procedure:

Find a quiet spot in the house or garden, where you will not be interrupted.  Ideally you should sit on an upright chair like a dining room chair, rest your hands on your legs and close your eyes.  At the very least, your back should not be resting against the chair back.  Ideally it should be aligned as vertically as possible.  Sit with your legs at right angles and with your feet flat on the ground.  Try to keep your spine as vertical as possible, with your chin drawn down/back a tad to further straighten the neck/spine.  You may also choose to adopt the lotus position, provided you keep the spine as vertical as possible.  Now go through the following process – I know I said we want to stop any activity of mind and yet, to do this, these instructions and only these should intermittently go through your mind. Add or leave out instructions as appropriate to the circumstances and surroundings.

This is not a rushed Exercise.  Move from one “sense connection” to the next, spending time with each experience of the senses before proceeding to the next instruction.  You need to expand on each of those discussed below as your awareness changes with circumstance.

“Please first connect with the sense of touch.  Feel the weight of your feet on the ground (dwell on this).  Feel (wiggle) your toes (dwell on this), the pressure of your shoes and socks on your feet.  Feel the air on your legs, the hair on your legs, the touch of your clothes on your skin.  Feel the weight of your hands on your legs, the weight of your legs on the chair.  Feel the touch of clothes on your chest, the touch of you your arms against your chest.  Feel the skin on your face, the air on your skin, the weight of your hair on your head.  Feel your tongue in your mouth, the air going into your nose, your eyes in your head, etc.  Dwell on each.  Now try to expand this sense and feel all these at once – overall touch awareness.

 

Now connect with the sense of taste.  Taste the saliva in your mouth, taste any residual tastes in your mouth, open and then close your mouth and taste the air in your mouth, repeat these or stay with these for a short while.

Now connect with the sense of smell.  As you breathe in and out, try to isolate different smells (Merely the act of focussing on identification of smells is important).

Now connect with the sense of hearing.  First isolate and then hear each of the nearby sounds, such as other people moving around, the air conditioning, clocks ticking, birds chirping, cars in the distance, etc.   Now hear the stillness beyond these sounds, from which these sounds arise and to which these sounds return.  This is tricky, but very important.  I then like to “extend this outward to try to hear the stillness of the creation beyond the stars”.  It is important to do this without comment – i.e. you will hear a sound and be tempted to have a thought about it, but you must avoid this thought.

Finally, connect with the sense of sight.  Open your eyes and allow the eyes to record shape and colour.  Again, the trick is to do this without comment.  i.e. You need to see the colour without thinking anything about the colour, see the carpet without thinking there is a stain, see an object without thinking it is in the wrong place etc.  Just see the shapes and colours without comment.  Now close the eyes, stop all thoughts and enjoy a moment of blissful peace in silence – without thinking – simply being”.

Remember!  The objective of the exercise is to progressively connect with the senses.  In the event you become aware that thoughts have intruded, just revert to the senses in that same micro second without even an instant of self-criticism.

Important instruction

Initially you will find this instruction difficult and you will forget to do it, but in time it becomes a very liberating habit and you will love reverting to the stillness to the point of addiction.  Whenever you have a moment waiting for an appointment, sit upright and still the mind for a few seconds, or do the exercise – obviously adopting the correct posture becomes tricky.  Whenever you are stopped at a traffic light, watch the light without thought, or briefly stay with at least one of the senses of touch, hearing, smell, sight, sound.  i.e. Take a moment to connect with the senses and the stillness that accompanies it, because it brings us back into the present and stills the activity of mind.  Ideally, after completing “any” activity and “before commencing with the next”, we should still the mind for a second or two by pausing to connect with the stillness.  This also allows that moment for the creation/mind pro present the next need.  Ideally one should be connected with the senses at all times when engaged in any activity and not allow activity of mind to interfere. eg. With tasks that I do not like, I always say “Don’t think, just do”.  e.g. Do not think “I do not want to do the dishes” (or anything else) as that makes you feel tired even before you start.  Instead, just start and, at all times, stay connected with the senses.  Feel the soap in the water, feel the touch of the hands on the plate, feel the weight of the plate, place the plate in the rack with care, preferably without making a sound etc.  Part of that “attention” is inspecting with sight – i.e. ensuring the plate/dish/pot is truly clean.  If you do this for the duration of the session, you will find yourself energised after the session.  This technique applies to any activity you have to engage in.   With difficult tasks that we put off because “I am reluctant to tackle it since I do not know how to go about it”, I always remind myself to the Chines saying, “The first step is half the journey”.  If you just start, it is amazing how often the next step presents itself to the mind.  We have all experienced the feeling of amazement at the ease with which a job that was put off was completed when we finally got around to it.  Bottom line: The secret is “do not think, just do”, which is the essence of being in the present.

MEDITATION – 30 MINUTES AT SUNRISE and 30 MINUTES AT SUNSET – that’s it:

I will discuss posture further down but let us first tackle Meditation.

Meditation is almost impossible to explain as it is a simple process that results in a “subtly different experience every time, albeit with the same outcome.  As mentioned by Sogyal Rinpoche, in Tibetan book of Living and Dying, in his chapter on “Bringing the Mind Home”, “There are so many ways to present Meditation.  I must have taught on it a thousand times, but each time it is different ……”.  i.e. BIG NB!! You cannot compare one Meditation session with another.  Accordingly, I will describe the process, but not the experience, as it is difficult to summarise the experiences if each one is different.  Furthermore, if I did try to summarise the experience, or you tried to compare one session with another, it would introduce the risk that you look for a “particular” experience, which defeats the purpose of stilling the mind as it just introduces another thought process.  Broadly, Meditation is about stilling the activity of mind in order that one may connect with the Self.  It is important to differentiate between Contemplation and Meditation as the latter is a process aimed at stilling the activity of mind.  i.e. There is no substitute for Meditation.

Typically, Meditation comprises the uninterrupted repetition of a Mantra, which can comprise a word like “Aaauuummm”, “Raaaam” (Raaahm), or a sentence – usually given to you by your guru, tutor, or mentor.  I prefer a word as it requires less activity of mind than a sentence.  The duration of the utterance is a personal choice.  Eg. You can say Aauumm fast, or Aaauuummm slowly.  I personally prefer the longer utterance but know some who prefer the shorter higher frequency approach.  There should be no pause between utterances, as that enhances the risk that thoughts will interrupt the Meditation.  i.e. Typically, the repetition follows immediately on the previous utterance and is uninterrupted while you are breathing both in and out.  Ideally when one starts Meditating, the word should be repeated out loud for the first few minutes before it is internalised.  When repeating the Mantra out loud, listen closely to the sound of the Mantra, while being aware of the vibration/timbre of the utterance in your chest / being.  When it is internalised, nothing changes, except that the audible sound ceases and becomes an internalised whisper/sound – i.e. The you still need to “listen” to the sound and “feel” the sense of vibration.  It is really important to understand that the act of repeating the Mantra is not the same as the act of “listening” to that same utterance.  NB! If you are repeating the Mantra and not listening to the Mantra, the likelihood that thoughts will intrude is enhanced.

So now you are repeating the Mantra.  Regardless of how hard you try, thoughts will come unbidden to interrupt your Mantra repetition.  Since your mind is used to being preoccupied with thoughts, you initially will not even notice that the Mantra has been replaced with thoughts.  However, in the “microsecond” that you do become aware of the fact, it is critically important that you instantly revert to the Mantra without thought.  Do not engage in any sense of irritation or self-recrimination for being bad, as that is just another thought.  You will find that these intrusions of thought will recur repetitively during the Meditation, but that the more abruptly and efficiently you terminate these and revert to the Mantra, the quicker you will “spot them”.  NB! As you progress with the meditation and as you become more experienced, the frequency of these interruptive thoughts will progressively diminish and the duration of these thoughts will become progressively shorter the further you are into the Meditation.  As mentioned before, it is also important that you listen to and feel the Mantra, for the better you listen to and feel the Mantra and the longer you can stay with it, the quicker you will notice when thoughts have intruded.  Eventually, unbeknown to you, the Mantra will cease and not be replaced with a thought.  That is the point at which you will have a totally and naturally still mind, which only lasts a few seconds, so let us call it “the moment” for lack of a better word.  It can take weeks, months or a year before you experience this “moment” for the first time.  You will only be aware that you achieved that state after the event.  The instant your thought becomes aware of that condition, activity of mind will have terminated the “moment”.  i.e. The “aha moment” when you think “that’s it I am there” and/or “I must remain still to extend this”, you have once again engaged the mind in activities of thought.  All of the above, including the “thought” interruptions, is the process of Meditation.  As you become a more experienced practitioner, your ability to stay with the Mantra will improve and the frequency of “thought intrusions” will decrease.  Similarly, your ability to reliably connect with the “Self” in the “Moment” will improve and be extended.  NB! You must not become preoccupied with extending the moment – merely engage in Meditation and let it run its course as you will always have better and worse Meditation days.

In summary, the process is simple. Just repeat the Mantra, instantly revert to the Mantra when thoughts intrude and continue this process until the Mantra ceases and is not replaced with a thought, to experience the “Self” in the “Moment” – which probably only lasts a few seconds.

It is critical that you follow the above process and do not spend time thinking thoughts like “this is what worked last time, so I will try to recreate it” as that is just another thought intruding on the repetition of the Mantra.   Remember, no two Meditation sessions are the same, so do not try to look for a recipe to “clone” them.

Posture:

Posture is more important with Meditation than with the Exercise.  Again, sit on an upright chair like a dining room chair with your legs at right angles and with your feet flat on the ground.  Your hands should preferably be resting on your legs, open upwards.  At the very least, your back should not be resting against the chair back.  Ideally it should be aligned as vertically as possible not touching the back of the chair.  In order to make your spine more vertical, pull your shoulders back and pull your chin down and back slightly.  Close your eyes, pointing them at the point of the nose.  Now proceed with the repetition of the Mantra.

You should be aware that the process of the Meditation is the process connecting to the “Self” by “putting the ego in its place”.  The ego is responsible for all thoughts, which give it its identity.  Whether or not you believe it, the ego is going to rebel against the Meditation as it is threatening its very existence.  Accordingly, you will experience the following symptoms:

  • Initially your back will be sore, ignore it.  The pain will become excruciating.  Your body will become used to being upright and the pain will cease after a week or two.  Eventually you will actually prefer this position to slouching in a couch;
  • Your body will experience a host of discomforts like itches that want to be scratched, ignore these.  Sometimes there will be a number of places simultaneously that will be screaming for attention.  After ignoring these for a week or two, these irritations will cease (before you’re driven over the edge);
  • You will be constantly distracted by sound, ignore these.  After a week or two these extraneous distractions will all cease, and you will be free to continue unhindered with the Meditation, including the diminishing thoughts.

 

Timing: 

The Meditation should preferably be done twice, for a half an hour at sunrise and again for a half an hour at sunset, but at the very least when you wake and in the early evening.  Now one of the biggest obstacles to the practice of the Meditation is finding the time to do it – many find reasons why it will not work, including Gym, Work, Family, Friends, etc.  The obstacle of finding the time in the early morning can be overcome by waking half an hour earlier, but you then need the discipline to “immediately” sit down and use that time for Meditation, failing which you will get side-tracked with other “things that need to be done”.  The evening session is always the most difficult as you are always busy at work, with friends, have things that need to be done, or wrapped up, etc.  The only way to overcome this is with discipline – make it a “not negotiable” activity.  Remarkably, once you are in the routine, you look forward to it and your family, colleagues & friends are used to the fact that you are not available for that half hour.  It can be done anywhere but is easier if you find a quiet spot.  I have done it successfully in a room crowded with 50 chatty people who were having tea – admittedly they did not interrupt me as they all knew what I was doing.

THREE VERY SIGNIFICANT UNANTICIPATED GIFTS ARISE WHEN YOU MEDITATE

THE FIRST GIFT – Time:

In the same way that it is said “Give and you will receive back tenfold”, it is true that “Time Spent is Time Gained Tenfold”.  As mentioned, our first instinct is to say, “I do not have the time to meditate a half an hour in the morning and another half an hour in the evening”.  However, you will get that time back.  After meditating for a period of about 1-2 years, the School of Practical Philosophy gave the following instruction:

  • “Get up when you wake up”;
  • We came with all excuses such as:
    • What if I wake to go to the toilet in the middle of the night;
    • What if a dream awakes me in the middle of the night;
    • What if a neighbour’s security alarm wakes me etc;
  • They did not engage in discussion on the topic.  The instruction simply remained “Get up when you wake up”.

Remarkably, it later became clear to me that the purpose of the instruction is to reset your habit of sleeping 6, 7 or 8 hours every night.  It takes about two weeks of “Get up when you wake up” to reset your clock, where-after I found that I only needed to sleep 3 hours per night and, furthermore, I found I was more alert during the day.  I also found I scored time because I was far more efficient and made better decisions.  In addition, I was filled with a sense of perpetual peace and always “super” calm, even in the face of massive crises.  Bottom line, by sacrificing 1 hour for Meditation, I gained 3+ hours.  i.e. I used to sleep 7 hours – 3 hours = 4 hours saved, less 1 hour for Meditation = net 3 hours gained.  NOTE! If you do not meditate regularly and properly, you will not reap this free time benefit.

I mentioned that you soon get to the point where you look forward to the Meditation.  This is the most remarkable thing.  There is a joyous sense of homecoming every time you choose to re-engage with that stillness of mind by commencing with briefly connecting with one of the senses, engaging in The Exercise and/or Meditation.  This feeling alone makes it all worthwhile and one starts to increasingly look forward to it.  As mentioned, I would engage in The Exercise whenever I was asked to wait for an appointment or had to wait at a Traffic Light.  This becomes a habit and brings a progressively greater sense of stillness and peace into the being.  I even used to pause for a second and connect with the stillness between each and every activity, waiting for the creation to present the next need / the next need to present itself.  Eg. I would walk into the factory to do something and, when I was done, I would pause and wait for the mind to present the next thing that needed doing.

THE SECOND GIFT – Synchronicity:

When you have been meditating for a few years and your mind is more still, you naturally start to trust your intuition.  i.e. You naturally start to “go with the flow” and that is when Synchronicity steps in and things almost magically start “going your way”.  It is as if you and the creation are in Sync.  Eg. I found that I made “more intuitive” decisions relating to and consequently became more profitable with my on-line derivatives trading.  I remember when I owned my steel business and was meditating regularly, I had only one rule, namely “do not think about money, always do the right thing”.  I would merely have to think “I need to find work for that machine” and, within a week the phone would ring. and I would have work for that machine.  Also, machines never broke down when there were urgent jobs lined up.

THE THIRD GIFT – Peace and Lower Blood pressure

Anger, frustration, etc. evaporate and are replaced by a sense of peaceful calm.  My blood pressure also dropped.

GOOD LUCK WITH MASTERING THESE REMARKABLE SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES

Eelco Lodewijks

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MEDITATION BRINGS STILLNESS OF MIND, WHICH RADICALLY REDUCES STRESS

NOTE ABOUT STRESS    &    BEING IN CONTROL!!!!

Stress is what we experience when we think we are not in control – i.e. when we are not coping with the pressure.  However, that pressure is introduced by excessive activity of mind comprising the endless rehashing the “myriad of things I still have to do”.  This is easy to combat.  You list all those things, prioritise them and start from the top.  After all, you can only do one thing at a time – especially if you are doing it properly, with full attention and, by default, more efficiently.  The remarkable thing is that when you tackle the list, that you thought would take a week, it inevitably takes far less time.  i.e. When it was all repetitively milling around in your head it felt like far more than it actually was, but when you tackle the prioritised list it inevitably takes only a few hours.  If there are things on your priority list that are truly frustrating you apply the tried and tested rule – “Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things that you can and have the wisdom to know the difference” for perspective.  i.e. Drop the things you cannot change and really go after those you can.  NB! We tend to put off those “difficult” things, especially if we do not know how to start or do them.  However, inevitably when you start, it all unfolds far more easily than you thought, and you regret not tackling them sooner, which is why the Chinese say “The first step is half the journey”.  Finally, w.r.t. the stuff going on in your head, there is a wonderful Dutch saying that translates as follows: “One suffers the most for the suffering one fears, though it never appears, and so you have more to bear than God gave you to bear”.

Remember, it is human nature to fear being “out of control”, which is why we strive to be and try to convince ourselves that we are “in control”.  However, being in control is a myth and it is far better to surrender to the creation by going with the flow, rather than trying to swim upstream in order to maintain the illusion that we are in control.  This lack of control is currently being put into perspective by the accelerating rate of change, as it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the illusion of being in control.

When you have been meditating for a few years and start to trust your intuition, you naturally start to “go with the flow” and that is when Synchronicity steps in and things almost magically start “going your way”.  I remember when I owned my steel business, I would merely have to think “I need to find work for that machine” and, within a week the phone would ring and I would have work for that machine.  Also, machines never broke down when there were urgent jobs lined up.

An interesting aspect of this era where everything boring and repetitive is being automated and AI will increasingly take over much of our daily routines, is that we will have more time to “self-actualise”.  i.e. We should be able to spend more time in the upper part of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs”.


Note!  All these reports are educational, free and published weekly.

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Disclaimer!  The content of this report represents the opinions of Mr Lodewijks, who is a retired Civil Engineer with diverse interests.  Where applicable, the content should be deemed informative guidance to get the reader thinking and not specific advice.

 

Eelco Lodewijks

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