Week 19 commentary

These are my thoughts on Lesson 19 of the Charles Haanel’s Master Key System. In order to fully understand the context of my thoughts, please read the actual lesson at:

https://www.psitek.net/pages/PsiTekTMKS39.html

The main idea of this week’s lessons seems to be a repeat of the lesson for Week 1: everything that is everything must start with the mind. How we think, and the quality of our thoughts, will shape our future. In fact, Haanel repeats this phrase that he started with Week 1 of this work:

14. We also know that this mind is static, mind at rest, we also know that the ability of the individual to think is his ability to act upon the Universal Mind and convert it into dynamic mind, or mind in motion.

In the prologue of this lesson, Haanel writes of how we overcome fear by being being conscious of our own power. This reminds me of a video I watched from Dr. Pillai, aka Dattatreya Siva Baba, of how depression is the result of a lack of power we feel over our lives. Because we feel like we can’t control anything in our lives, we feel despondent. I am not fully endorsing the guy, but I think he is correct in what he says.

Therefore, to overcome fear and depression, we need to be conscious of the power we do have. That power is really how you and I act. Look at what you can do and work from there. It may not seem enough but great changes start small. You can’t control other people, but you can control yourself. That is more than enough.

Once we focus on our thinking, we will be able to control our future.

At this point, I want to address the “victim-blaming” mentality that still goes on in the Law of Attraction community. First of all, I am actually beginning to see their point of view. I can see why some people in the community has a tendency to blame the victim. Once one focuses on how they think, it’s just a matter of time when controlling our future will seem a lot easier.

However, I still won’t go around telling people that they bought their problems on to themselves. I still won’t laugh at others nor tell them that they deserved to be robbed, harassed, or abused because . . .

  1. What I know is what I have learned. It’s a logical fallacy to believe that once I learned a certain idea or fact, that everyone else automatically understands as well. That is not how things work. Sure I can realize that my thinking is the creator of my fortune and misfortune, but not everyone else does. Most of the people who do blame the victim do so out of a need to feel superior to others. Most of them also do so out of assumption, so of course they will look arrogant when they do so. I will say this, though, I do see that society does want us to play the victim. I might write more about this in a later post.

  2. Everyone has sentience and agency. No one is ever forced or compelled to abuse another person. The reason why person A hurts person B is because person A harbors bad thoughts in his mind to do so. Person B never forced person A to act in such ways.

  3. Most LOA practitioners say they engage in victim-blaming because they want to “empower” the victim. The best way to empower the victim is to show how to change one’s life for the better, not shaming them. Empower others by teaching meditation. Empower others by teaching affirmations. Empower others by becoming fitness buddies and going to the gym. Pointing fingers is lazy.

Funny enough, I think of how I had to deal with an office bully and the hate I received from LOA practitioner Bertha. I dealt with my office bully problem by reciting affirmations, yet that still caused that Bertha character to publicly shame me. Guess she thought I didn’t exhibit enough power.

Speaking of which, I do like how Haanel describes all the learning institutions in the world as “powerhouses of the mind”. It is true that knowledge is what really what changes society.

Nowadays, many Americans decry the state of of public education in the US. There are those who believe that we should do away with it all together. I find the latter sentiment quite dangerous.

Yes, American public education is broken and needs to be fixed, but to do away with it all is going to bring more destruction to America than a nuclear bomb or an anthrax cloud.

I speak as an Indian-American. You might watch videos or read articles about the brilliant inventions that came from India, like the number zero or the ruler or chess. Many doctors and tech giants in the US are of Indian origin. The Hinduja family is one of the richest in the United Kingdom.

Yet, when one visits India, one cannot but notice the poor villages in areas like Kakinada or the slums of Mumbai. How is it that India is the home of many geniuses and genius inventions? That is quite simple: all these inventions and all these brilliant minds come from the top 10% of the Indian population for thousands of years. Only the top 10% of India has had access to a decent education for as long as anyone can remember up until the 20th century. If you were born in the wrong family, that’s it. You are to be a laborer, farmer, or even prostitute for the rest of your life. These are the effects of the caste system.

Thankfully there are more educational options in India than there were before. Is Indian education the best? No. There are a lot of issues that need to be resolved, however, the fact that the Indian economy has been improving shows that public education has been helping.

I can also draw parallels to that of China. Just like India, only the top 10% of the Chinese were able to access any form of education. Hell, most of the people were illiterate up until the mid-20th century. However, thanks to massive educational reforms since the 1950s, there has been a lot of changes in the Chinese economy. Is the education in China the best? No. I can write a lot about what I think China has to change when it comes to their education, however better to have a flawed education than none at all.

I also challenge you to think of how life would be life if you didn’t know how to read. If you can’t do that, imagine living in a country where you can’t read the language. I remember how difficult my life was in Korea when I couldn’t read one single Korean character. After I learned how to read the Korean alphabet, my life was so much easier and a lot more fun over there.

I’ve seen Americans on the internet rant about how they don’t want to spend their tax dollars subsidizing some other person’s education, especially if they deem it to be useless.

There is no such thing as a useless education, only a useless human being. Anyone can apply what they have learned, it takes some thinking and figuring out. I can speak for myself that, despite working in an office where bullying and backbiting were the norm, I was able to keep myself and got a lot more work done than my coworkers. Why is that? Because I read The Great Learning (大学) as part of my coursework.

Many who eschew any form of study of history, philosophy, or even comparative religions but focus on mathematics, science, and engineering also tend to be easily influenced by shady politicians and cult leaders. In fact, one reason why I was able to leave the Soka Gakkai was because I saw parallels between Daisaku Ikeda and Mao Zedong. The Soka Gakkai loved putting up shows akin to the Mass Games that used to be performed in Pyongyang under North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Also, did you know that many scientists were also part of the Aum Shinrikyo, the guys who orchestrated the sarin gas attack in Tokyo back in 1995?

One example that Americans use as useless education is getting a degree in basket weaving. You might not get a job with basket weaving, but you can start a business. Imagine how much money you can make producing and selling baskets in your neighborhood or on etsy? Nowadays, governments are trying to cut down the use of plastic bags. Baskets can be a good alternative.

Listen, maybe not everyone is cut out for a college education, but at least whatever they learned in public schools has given them more options than not. One of my friends joined the US Navy which helped him get a better job. Another was able to work in childcare. Another is a plumbers, and plumbers know a lot more chemistry than you’d think.

The rest of Haanel’s lesson is about how he describes the mind. There is nothing much I can say about that except he does betray some study of philosophy.

Part of his study seems Daoist: 6. They are names given to two different parts of one quantity. The two extremes are relative; they are not separate entities, but are two parts or aspects of the whole.

Part of his study seems Zen Buddhist: 9. We find exactly the same law obtaining in the Spiritual world; we speak of Mind and Matter as two separate entities, but clearer insight makes it evident that there is but one operative principle and that is Mind.

Another part almost sounds like Marcus Aurelius’ teachings: 10. Mind is the real and the eternal. Matter is forever changing; we know that in the eons of time a hundred years is but as a day. If we stand in any large city and let the eye rest on the innumerable large and magnificent buildings, the vast array of conveniences of modern civilization, we may remember that not one of them was there just over a century ago, and if we could stand on the same spot in a hundred years from now, in all probability we should find that but few of them remained.

The one thing that I love the most of this lesson is this:

Silent thought, is, after all, the mightiest agent in human affairs.

Yes it is.

Week 18 report

As Groucho Marx once said, “Time flies like an arrow as fruit flies like a banana.”

I had to look at my phone to see what day it is and I had no idea it is a Saturday.

Let’s get started on my Master Key progress report.

My meditation for this week feels quite similar to the meditation from Week 8. On Week 8′ meditation I was to see that everything man-made was the result of ideas. A someone had an idea about wanting to sit comfortably and next thing you know he or she invented the chair.

In this case, I was the meditate on the human being’s ability for creation. One thing that makes human beings different from most animals, save for the beaver or a few kinds of monkeys, is that we can create all kinds of things.

Not everyone is a Mozart, but everyone can create some sort of music. Not everyone is a Da Vinci but everyone can draw a picture. The same can be said for story telling, sculpting, poetry composition, and dance. Outside of art, we human beings also create in other ways, especially through invention. Someone invented the wheel, the chair, the light bulb, the space ship. Some architect took some paper and drew up plans to design the house or apartment you live in. Even if said architect or inventor is not involved in the creation of your home or everyday objects, there are builders and factory workers who are also part of the process of creation.

Although most of my audience of this blog are also bloggers, let’s say you are not an artist or an engineer of any capacity. You don’t produce any type of anything for anyone, you would think. Except you do. Each and every day, you take raw ingredients and manipulate them in ways that create a new type form of cuisine. Potatoes are natural and so are cranberries. The same can be said for the chicken you bought from the store. The roast chicken with a side of cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes aren’t natural. They are the result of your manipulating all the ingredients to create a new dish.

This is one example of how we all engage in some form of creation or another.

Not only do we create things, we also create our future. If you treat people well, you will create a good future for yourself. If you treat people like trash, you will create a bad future. You create health by exercising and eating right and create sickness by doing all sorts of unhealthy things like smoking or binge drinking.

They all stem from the human instinctual desire to create. Also, what is it that we use to help in that creation? Ideas and cognition.

It’s been an eye-opening meditation experience.

My last post basically describes most of what has been going on in my life. Here I am, doing my usual exercises and next thing I know it I get reprimanded for it.

I will say this, though, this little tiff has given me some insight. First thing I realized is that one thing my parents and I have in common is that our emotions are quite strong. Their emotions were strong in their reprimand and my emotions, after I retreated back in my room, were strong in quiet frustration.

I point this out because last night, as I was doing my workout while were my parents were sleeping, I realized everything wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. I will expand more on this later, but I have to say: blessings do come in disguises.

Either way, this is a sign that I have to act like an adult again and make my way out. It’s funny, here I was going to hang out at home for a month for (Thai) school vacation only to be stuck here as if I got terminated from my job. It was a good year to relax and recharge. Now I think I have what it takes to maintain a job AND deal with immature people. After all, my biggest problem in life has been dealing people and their baggage. Now I think I have it resolved.

Here is an example of what I can do to deal with the drama queens like those I have met in the past. First thing in the morning, when I wake up , I can do Walter Camp’s Daily Workout as a way to pump up my spirit and put myself in a good mood. If a coworker or other people say or do something rude and disrespectful, then I can do this Chinese calisthenics workout in the evening. That way I can raise my endorphins and lose weight at the same time. The more insults I receive, the more calories I burn.

In a sense, everyone wins. He or she gets to relieve their problems by throwing insults at me, and I get to look like a sexy Indian like that of Shah Rukh Khan or Amitabh Bachan.

Next week (and hopefully for a week) I am to meditate on what is apparent vs. what is real. Haanel rightly states that what we see is never really what is true. Therefore I am to meditate upon this to bring more awareness on this issue.

Exit, stage right

At times I wish I am a basement dwelling incel rather than being a somewhat voluntary celibate living on the second floor.

The other day, after I finished my Canadian Air Force workout with kickboxing moves in my bedroom, I went downstairs to the kitchen to get some coffee and water for my next workout of the 108 bows. My parents saw me and the next thing was they told me to sit down. They said that in a tone as if they found out I was hiding some porno mags or that they came across a secret stash of heroin.

First thing my mom said was, “Didn’t your father tell you anything about working out in your room?” I was like, “No.”

To be honest, the last time that was the case was when I was doing the 108 bows in room very fast. My standing up and going back down was making lots of noise, and he was napping at the room below me. That was years ago.

Ever since I came back to the US from Thailand, I always worked out in my room and never heard any complaints. Even then, I don’t run in place or jump around as it would make too much noise. The only thing I can think of that made a lot of noise yesterday were my low kicks, but then again I have been doing them for a long time now. Also, do remember, I always talk about needing my workouts to be apartment friendly. This is why.

Next thing you know, both my parents lectured me about how I shouldn’t workout in my room anymore or that I have to let them know when I am exercising or even just go outside to workout. They were talking to me like I was convicted felon. It’s like all those Law and Order episodes got into their heads.

First let me mansplain as to why I workout in my room and try not to leave it until I am done. In every other time I would go outside to workout, my parents would see me and then give me chores to do. To them, the main reason why I leave my room is to serve their needs. As soon as they see me it’s “Oh you’re here! Call the store for me to see when they close” or “get me a glass of water” or “turn the heat up”. Five to twenty minutes later, I can resume my workout.

Don’t get me wrong, of course I will help my parents out with anything, but I want to finish my workout first. I don’t want to get distracted to a point that I basically have to skip my workout because I was given other things to do.

But now they are encroaching on my territory. Now I have to exercise on their terms or don’t exercise at all. In case you might think I am being an entitled princess, let me tell you something, I hardly ask them for anything. In fact, all they ever do is ask me to do things for them.

Granted, I did decide not to go Thailand because I still wanted to make sure I can deal with drama queens and office bullies. The thing is, though, my parents strongly objected to my going as well. They said they wouldn’t stop me, but they didn’t want me to go.

I thought they should be happy that I would staying around. Unfortunately, they never are. Hell I can think of times I acted like the filial son and sacrificed my own happiness to please them, only to be shat on for doing so. At times, I get treated like the black sheep. Which is stupid because black sheep don’t obey anyone. Black sheep do what they want. Why am I treated like the black sheep when I do what other people say? It gives me a headache.

Well I guess there are two things I have to do.

First of all, I have to adjust my workout schedule. I will still do the Canadian workout except it would be late at night when everyone else is asleep. I usually do my qigong workouts in the evening, but I will so them in the mornings or afternoons. I will have to stop my 108 bows workout since that was one workout that pissed my father. I will stick to doing the planks each morning. Furthermore I will go back to doing Walter Camp’s Daily Workout.

Second of all, it’s time for me to move out. I don’t know if I can go back to Thailand, since it is expensive and I have to still dish out a lot of cash. However, I have been strongly thinking of going to Taiwan so I will shoot for that. Just like Thailand and New Zealand, they also did a great job combating COVID-19.

Why not America? Because I don’t want the “freedom” to work three jobs in order to have a roof over my head.

Week 18 commentary

Here is my commentary for Week 18 of Charles Haanel’s Master Key System. In order to understand the context of what I am writing about, please read the actual lesson at: http://www.psitek.net/pages/PsiTekTMKS37.html

Haanel writes a lot of the same ideas that he has expounded in other chapters, such as watching they way we think and so on, but there is one particular idea that I want to address.

This particular idea is how Haanel thinks that we human beings are starting a new age of thought, that we are coming to recognize the power of the mind and the law of attraction and will be able to use both in order to bring about a new revolution in our lives. He isn’t the only who writes this. Earl Nightingale writes the same thing. I am sure it is the same with Rhonda Byrne, Lilou Mace, Jack Canfield, and many others.

However, this so-called new revolution has yet to come to fruition. There are a lot of reasons why this is case. This article won’t do the topic justice, but I will do the best I can.

Before I go on, the nice things I have to say about the Law of Attraction/New Thought philosophies:

I agree and also believe that the quality of our lives truly do depend on the quality of our thoughts. Once we look at how we think and why, then our lives can and will change for the better. For that matter, most of our mistakes are due to not examining the way we think.

The problem with meditation is that it has all these mystical connotations. In reality, it’s a valuable psychological tool to help in that self examination. I think that if everyone takes 15 minutes a day to meditate, and do so for 100 days, their lives will change in ways they can’t imagine. Why? Because then they will have an idea of what motivates their actions, plus they can learn how to control their emotions.

In my mind, it’s enough the practice the first four weeks of the Master Key System and skip the philosophy reading alone. Spend the first week sitting down for 15 minutes and not move a muscle. Spend week 2 letting go of your thoughts. Spend week 3 practicing progressive muscular relaxation. Spend week 4 letting go of negative thoughts and emotions. By then, you have built up a foundation for a very powerful practice. Read the text, though, for details on each meditation.

Creative Visualization, another practice in the Law of Attraction/New Thought community, is also a helpful tool. I personally use it at times to improve my academic and work performance. I even used it as a way to extricate myself out of a toxic work situation and towards a new job as an English teacher over in Asia twice. Furthermore, Soviet athletes were known to have used this technique as part of their training for the Olympics as well as world famous boxing champion Mike Tyson.

Many people say Earl Nightingale is a Law of Attraction guru. He certainly preached it in his lifetime and I even make such connotations. However I still think of him as a man apart because he lectured and wrote a lot more than simply having nice feelings. I highly recommend his recording series, “Direct Line” for listening because that man has so many good ideas. While I haven’t implemented this idea yet, but Nightingale is the main reason I plan to take a couple of free college courses even if I don’t get any reward or certificate out of them.

However, despite the beneficial practices of the Law of Attraction philosophy there are reasons why they haven’t spread as far as the gurus would like.

Psychology is a young, esoteric science:

This does sound like a cop-out but allow me to explain. All the beneficial aspects of the Law of Attraction are based on psychology, especially in terms of Cognitive Behavioral Thinking. However, the biggest problem is that there are many misconceptions on how the mind works. Many people, particularly with those of a public school education, are misinformed on basic psychology. For example, very few have any idea on the difference of conscious and subconscious mind, how volition plays a role in our actions, or what is our ego and what role it plays in our lives.

The reason why I think psychology is just as important as chemistry and mathematics is because, as children and adults, we need to learn how to function in society in face of pressure and stress. We need to learn how to deal with the negative parts of our lives and enact positive, more rational changes.

For example, we all have negative emotions from time to time. The way my old rival Bosco dealt with them was by putting me down and insulting me to make himself feel better. Unfortunately for him, he was never able to resolve his issues because he was too busy making fun of me. In my case, I deal with my negative emotions by exercising, especially through martial arts. Not only does my health improve, the endorphin rush helps bring clarity to my problem solving abilities.

Just to make things clear, I am not a psychologist. Most of my learning is through Buddhist texts and self-help books which means all I know is pop psychology. Yet, despite what little I know, I’ve had people frea out whenever I expound upon subjects on the mind and its functions.

Because many people have no idea the benefits of a psychological education, many would be adverse to study it. It would be inconceivable for many to see how understanding psychology can help with finances, for example. To reiterate, a lot of these LOA and self-help books are based on psychological principles.

On the other side of the coin, though, because of people’s general ignorance of said subject they are also prone to accept problematic, fallacious beliefs as well as legitimate truths such as how quantum physics are involved.

Which brings me to my next point . . . .

Most self-help materials have a mixture of useful information and rubbish, especially when in the Law of Attraction

If you ever read my past “commentaries” on Charles Haanel’s lessons, I willingly volunteer aspects of his work I don’t agree with as well as things I do. The main reason, and I always state this, is because we need to be critical of the books we read. We can learn something important from books like “The Secret” or “Think and Grow Rich”, but we also have to be sure that we don’t fool ourselves. We have to be sure that we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot by accepting harmful beliefs.

I once wrote about this dispute I had with a LOA practitioner named Bertha at a social network of like minded people. I must state again that the network doesn’t keep records, so I have no way to back up my claims. Anyways, whatever principles she did learn, it helped her a lot. She even stated on her profile that she even got herself out of debt thanks to her Law of Attraction study. However, because she wasn’t critical in her reading, she would often have a “blame and shame the victim mentality”. If something bad happened to someone, she assumed it was their fault. The main reason why she and I clashed was because I was the target of an office bully.

Victim-blaming is one of the many pernicious beliefs that is taught in the Law of Attraction community. There are plenty of others such as;

-To earn money you just have to think wealthy thoughts. Working hard isn’t necessary to earn one’s keep.

-It’s bad to challenge yourself because you might not succeed in your undertaking, therefore imprinting the concept of failure in your mind (Haanel believes this and I have been wanting to dispute this for a long time!!!)

-The best way to cure diseases is to think healthy thoughts. The more you think of health, the less you need medical professionals.

These and many others I have come across in my personal study. What doesn’t help is that the Law of Attraction and New Thought teachers and life coaches teach these concepts as scientific, that they are true just because they say so. Ironically enough, those teachers forget that science is all about testing and disproving hypotheses and theories, which is something those same people forbid their students to do.

As a result of these unchecked beliefs, the Law of Attraction community fosters an environment of toxic positivity.

Toxic positivity in the Law of Attraction community:

Toxic positivity, as oxymoronic as it sounds, is a phenomena is which people are forced to put on a positive demeanor. They do so either through peer pressure or through compulsion through their belief system.

In this case, as many LOA believers preach, one must always put on a mask of cheerfulness and joy in order to attract more luck into their lives and avoid any potential hazard or calamity. Many of them will always speak in positive terms about how grateful and “blessed” they are, even if they are quite the opposite. Of course, it’s no one else business but their own to decide how he or she should act.

However, it’s another thing when a certain individual expresses some sadness and grief in their lives, only to be told not to do so. They are told that he or she is the one making their lives miserable and they need to think only happy thoughts in order to extricate themselves out of their problems. If said person expresses any doubt about his or her life or about the Law of Attraction in general, that person will be shamed and even humiliated for doing so.

I know because this has happened to me.

I have come across some literature that states that we must devote our lives to service, that the more we help others the more we can attract or manifest better luck. Even Haanel writes of this in Week 18 of the Master Key System. Shakti Gawain also states the importance of being kind and compassionate to others in her book, “Creative Visualization”.

In my experience at the old social network, that was never the case. Most of the people there were very haughty and judgmental. Very few were supportive or encouraging in their words. Read up on my story of dealing with an office bully and the sequel on Bertha and you will see what I mean.

One time, I wrote in my previous blog about how I will be surprised that I will manifest $1 million, but I highly doubt it. One member of that site condescendingly told me that it’s very easy to do so. I never got to ask her this but I do wonder: if it is easy to manifest $1 million, then how come no one is doing it and taking that money to help Flint, Michigan get clean water? How come no one is manifesting $1 million to clean up the slums of Mumbai? How come no one is manifesting that kind of money to donate to inner city public schools? I’d love to do so, but I am a rank amateur in all this.

It has also been my experience that many LOA practitioners shy away from pressing social and political issues of the day. New Thought guru Wallace Wattles even writes: “Do not talk about poverty; do not investigate it, or concern yourself with it. Do not spend your time in charitable work, or charity movements, all charity only tends to perpetuate the wretchedness it aims to eradicate.”

It does feel like many practitioners really follow this, consciously or not.

Most Law of Attraction and New Thoughts proponents don’t seem to believe in their teachings . . .

. . . and many of them have skeletons in their closets.

When people take up a new hobby or activity, especially for self-improvement, they naturally look up to the teacher to see if it works. Why do many people take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Because they saw Royce Gracie defeating fighter after fighter in the first UFC. Why did many young men buy the Charles Atlas course? Because Charles Atlas was a fine physical specimen.

What of the Law of Attraction gurus? Since they teach these principles in their books and seminars, they should be rich and successful because of the teachings they embody. Unfortunately, for very few, that seems to be the case. The vast majority of them tell a different story.

Long time ago, I wrote a little blurb on Tony Robbins. I questioned how is that he can tell people how to make money, or run a business, when all he did was sell his teachings? The guy made his money by telling people how to make money! He also has a lot of sexual harassment claims going against him.

Napoleon Hill is an interesting character. He was an ardent of the Master Key System and later made his fortune with the book, “Think and Grow Rich.” My favorite success guru, Earl Nightingale, also cite him as an influence. While many entrepreneurs cite this book as an inspiration, Hill’s life does not reflect his teachings. He has been accused of being a con-man and a liar. He also died poor and penniless.

There is Australian-based wealth guru David Schirmer who was featured prominently in Rhonda Byrne’s movie, “The Secret”. Since then he has been exposed as a fraud who scammed people out of their money by WIN News.

Last, but not least, I also must point out that L. Ron Hubbard used a lot of New Thought and Law of Attraction teachings when he was creating the religion of Scientology. His immoral and criminal acts are too numerous to count, but they have been well documented in other forms of media. I recommend “The Aftermath” produced and hosted by Mike Rinder and Leah Remini if you ever want to understand Scientology as well as the life of L. Ron Hubbard.

The problem with these teachers and their misconduct is not just immoral and criminal, they also convey the message that their teachings don’t work at all. If thinking positive thoughts and visualizing wealth is all one needs to be financially secure, then why did Napoleon Hill had to resort to fraud? If these techniques are supposed to work, then there would be no need to act in such a criminal or immoral fashion. Again, going back to my first example, if Charles Atlas was found to never have exercised the way he said he did, then no one would buy his courses. The same for all these other self-development gurus.

What can possibly be done about all of this:

Right now, I am studying the Master Key System just to try it out. I don’t consider myself a Law of Attraction guru in any sense, nor I want to be a life coach (at least not yet). If I was a lot more invested in the teachings, and want them as widespread as possible, here are the steps I would take:

First of all, I would be my own critic, I would look for any holes in my thinking in order to make sure that I won’t look or act the fool. For example, if a text says that that we attract our misfortune through negative thinking, I would be the first to ask about the Holocaust, the Nanjing Massacre, and the Titanic. If I was not the first to ask the hard questions, I would be a lot more open to have others criticize my, or someone other person’s teachings, so that I can examine the inconsistencies and logical fallacies. Never would I ever laugh at or pu-pu anyone who raises any objections.

Secondly I would never twist facts to fit my narrative, I would do the reverse. In fact, I always do because I am pretending that the Law of Attraction is a science and science is always correcting itself. If I were to preach about the power of positive thinking and visualization, it is that it changes and controls YOU and not your environment. Why your boss bullys you, for example, is not because your negative thoughts compelled him. He’s just a douchebag. The next question is what you can do about dealing with said boss.

Thirdly, I would never ever tell exaggerated stories nor spread them. Success in any endeavor is incremental. It’s hard fucking work. There is no way to get results very quickly and it is a disservice to those who have taken the time to improve themselves. Besides, this would set the student up for failure if I were to say “You can manifest millions in a month.”

I would also behave correctly. There is a proverb that says, “If you don’t want to be caught doing anything, don’t do it.” That is a rule that needs to be followed. As stated before, if I ever achieve my success through ill-gotten means, this will throw doubt on my teachings. Plus, no one likes horrible people.

If I were to become a life coach I need street cred. I want to have an actual story to back me up on my teachings when it comes to helping others. If I were to start working at a McDonald’s or 7-11 and then moved on up to a better job like president of a company or whatever, then what I tell people is from the heart. I would not speak in theories and hypotheses as I would have actual proof of what I am talking about.

If I do publish a book on self-development, I won’t write more than 2 or 3. Why? It’s the opposite of Wayne Dyer. Dyer would always write in his book that he has the ultimate teaching of success, but then he changes his mind and comes up with a new one, and another new one, and another. If I come up with the ultimate program for success, there should only be one for it, and another 2 just in case I come with improvements. Otherwise, the more “improvements” I come up with, the more of a liar I would appear.

Last, but not least, my teaching would be almost free. This is so that I can keep the right students with the right attitude on success. If one feels that he has to pay $2000 for a success course, then he has a lot to learn.

If you made it through this long article, thank you very much. I wasn’t expecting this to go as long as it did.

 

 

Week 17 report

I heard somewhere that while “happy people are not without problems, happy people are the ones who can solve them.” I think Earl Nightingale might have said something to that effect or some other success guru.

In my case, I usually solve my problems the way outlined by Sun Zi in his classic, “The Art of War.” Basically I write down my goal, my strengths, my flaws, what I can do, what I cannot do, and even the moral principles I abide by. After writing them all down, that’s when I make a plan or strategy.

It’s a good way to solve problems, except that I need time and space to do so. I need to be alone and need at least have an hour to think these things thorough.

This week’s meditation has given me a good alternative when I don’t have the time nor space to resolve my issues. Granted, it’s not a meditation taught by Charles Haanel. It is something that Earl Nightingale once expounded in one of his talks. However, it has given me a wealth of ideas to try out in order to make changes in my life.

Last week, I have found a way to get myself to read novels. This week, I have dealt with two problems. First I found a way to get myself to sleep sooner. Secondly, I have found ideas on how to deal with people who suffer from (and enjoy) narcissistic personality disorder.

Thanks to this technique, I am lot more optimistic.

This means wherever I go, and wherever I work, I can simply use this method to improve my life even if by a little bit. That little bit is enough to bring about greater change.

On the fitness side of things, I am doing quite well. I have been sticking to my usual workout, the one I modified from the Canadian Air Force, and I am still doing the 108 bows. I am also doing a plank challenge as part of my bows so I can work myself up to doing 2 minute planks on a daily basis.

As much as I love Walter Camp’s workout, I haven’t been doing it a lot. The main reason being is that I do a lot as it is with both exercise and self-cultivation. I’ve been doing so much that I cut down my Taiji and qigong practice down to the standing meditation exercise. To be honest, one reason why I am looking forward to finishing my study on the Master Key System is so I can have more time to deepen my other practices.

Speaking of which, I have been doing this free 10 day Standing Meditation course released by Master Lam Kam Chuen as a substitute for the qigong practice I used to do. If you are curious about qigong and don’t want to spend any cash, I recommend this course as well. Tomorrow is my last day on the course and it’s been a good study. After I am done with the course, I plan to do a 30 day Standing Meditation challenge at least until I have more time to do more qigong.

The one complaint I do have is that I feel like my mind is spinning its wheels. I am not growing in wisdom so to speak. The best way, I think, to remedy this is by doing lots of reading on philosophy and/or scriptures. Long time ago I did propose to read the same 5 or 6 philosophical books, but my sleeping pattern has been messed up.

For now, right before I sleep I will read the “Buddhist Catechism” by Henry Steel Olcott and “The Essence of Buddhism” edited by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius before I sleep. I figure that they will help me learn something new and come up with new ideas.

Obviously I haven’t been working thanks to this stupid virus going around. Despite this, I have been daydreaming about teaching in Taiwan. I have been wanting to see Taiwan for the longest time, especially since I have been to China more than a fair amount. Funny enough, while I was in Korea I missed living in China a lot more. Granted I don’t like its government (very Communist) nor do I like the working conditions there (too Objectivist*), but everything else is pretty awesome. It makes me wonder if Taiwan is better. It’s still a democracy, I hear foreigners have more rights as a workers, and there is Chinese culture.

I do miss Thailand. I love that country and, for the longest time, I was thinking living the rest of my life there. COVID did change all that. Plus, the harsh reality is that the Thai baht is really on the low end of global currency. I am not making a lot of money working in Thailand and, thanks to the new COVID laws, I will be losing a lot more going there. Interestingly, many Thai villagers would work in Taiwan, China, or any other country in the ASEAN organization so that they can have enough capital to start a business in their hometowns. One guy I know set up a convenience store after working in Taichung for sometime.

But everything is up in the air.

Next week, I am to meditate on my power of creation. I am to meditate on ways I create things in general.

Ciao!

*I’m serious! The more you look into Chinese law and working conditions, the more it resembles “Atlas Shrugged” and less like “The Communist Manifesto”.

Workout idea 3 (and possible future cultivation lifestyle): Buddhist planking

I love the 108 bows.

As a spiritual practice, it is great. I cannot describe the emotions I get from bowing 108 times a day. One can easily assign these emotions due to endorphins, but I disagree. I don’t just get an endorphin rush as I would with other physical activities, I get something a lot deeper out of it.

This is one of the main reasons I also want to make the 108 bows a lifetime practice. Years ago, when I did do the bows for 100 days straight, I felt like my life improved for the better. One of my regrets is that I stopped doing anymore bowing after the 100th day.

There are reasons, however, I don’t like the bows. Today I want to address one main reason:

While the 108 bows are great as a spiritual practice, it’s lacking as a physical one. Anyone who has tried the bows, or even seen them, can tell that it is a somewhat decent cardio practice. It is also great for the lower half of the body. When people do the bows as a daily practice, every day is leg day.

Where it lacks is the upper body. While there is some engagement of the core, it’s not so strong as sit-ups or crunches. At the same time, the arms and the chest are neglected.

In fact, when I first did the 108 bows for 100 days, I developed the legs of Arnold Schwarzenegger but had the upper body of Fat Albert. This is despite my weight loss.

Therein lies the question: Is there one exercise I can do to care for my upper body?

I don’t want to spend more time than necessary. This means I have to do an upper body exercise that doesn’t require progression. That means the amount of time or reps I do is good enough and I have no need to do anymore.

Is there such an exercise?

Photo by Li Sun on Pexels.com

Yup, the plank.

According to what little research I did, the plank is perfect for my upper body needs. While there is debate as to how much planking one must do everyday, the consensus is that no more than 5 minutes a day is good enough. In fact, those who hold the planking records are not really benefiting from the plank more than someone who is doing it for less than 10 minutes.

To me, this seems like a reasonable way of both maintaining my health as well as continuing on to my spiritual journey.

Why am I bringing this up?

First of all there are many people, especially in Korea, who do the 108 bows and nothing else as a workout. Some of them don’t have time to go to the gym or do any other exercises. I figure if someone wants to only focus on the bows, at least he or she can also add in planks to help have a more balanced workout.

Secondly, I am thinking of what to do next for cultivation after I am done with the Master Key System. I could possibly TRY to do the Zen path outlined by Master Wong Kiew Kit, but there is that possibility that I might not have the time to do so due to work, health, or luck.

One possible Zen path I might get into doing is one suggested by Ven. Pomnyun in one of his books. He writes that one way for the laity to improve their lives is spend every morning doing the 108 bows and every evening doing some sort of prayer ritual. I read this in one of his books, but only one page.

I am thinking this is the next thing I am about to do.

Week 17 NON-report

 

Usually when I have been falling behind on my meditation, I would title a post like “Week X do over”. It will be a do over week for me, however, I also want to say that I have had a fair amount of progress this week.

Why the do over? Well, I haven’t been able to meditate as much as I would like. In fact, as soon as I would go into meditation my parents would call me down to help out with chores and what-not. By the time I am done helping with them, it would be a late at night and I have to crash. Of course, problem #2 is that I don’t sleep well enough to wake up early in the morning to focus on all my cultivation efforts.

At this point, I have this feeling that I won’t be having as much free time as I like. As it is, I gave up the idea of practicing Taiji since it was one of this activities that took a lot out of my day. Thus far, I’ve been focusing on qigong. Even then, however, I am thinking of simply focusing on standing meditation aka zhan zhuang because that takes less time. While standing meditation isn’t the most fun way to cultivate qi aka breath-energy, it is the most powerful. Obviously, this also means no more experimenting on how to make qigong build muscles.

Now that I am done whining, here are some good news:

For this week’s meditation I decided to try a modified version of a technique propagated by Earl Nightingale. The technique is basically writing my main goal/problem on a piece of paper, relaxing, and then staring at the paper writing down any ideas that pop up in my head.

One problem that I have been having for years is dealing with a broken attention span. When I worked at my office in the US, I was basically on the internet close to 24/7. Because I was on the internet all the damn time, reading a book became difficult for me. When I was in university up until I was 30, I would easily read close to 40 books a year. Nowadays, I am lucky if I can finish 10. Furthermore, even though I haven’t worked in the office nor go online as much as I used to, I still have trouble reading books.

So my goal was to increase general readership.

Although I spent a couple of days on this technique alone and wrote lots of bad ideas. I picked a couple of good ones and implemented them.

I am happy to report that I am reading more often this week than I did last week. I might even finish a novel or two by the end of this month, which is a big deal for me. Despite the fact that I didn’t spend much time on this technique, I am quite surprised how much progress I have attained in achieving my temporary goal of readership.

However, my main purpose for now is studying the Master Key System and studying the System means practicing meditation.

So I decided to do Week 17’s meditation program over again until next Saturday. However, I have a new problem that I want to tackle:

How to get myself to sleep!

Ever since I have returned back to the US, my sleeping pattern got thrown out of whack. I would find myself trying to sleep at night only to pass out early in the morning and waking up in the afternoon. There is a psychological reason for it (wanting to do more in my waking hours) and also an orthopedic one (I got this weird back problem that I cannot describe). So thanks to those two I have a hard time sleeping.

Therefore I want to try that technique again from Nightingale just so I can find ways to restore my circadian rhythm.

So who is that pretty Korean woman, whose picture I posted on the top of the blog? Her name is Kim Jeongmi, sometimes spelled as Jungmi. She was awesome singer back in the 1960s and was probably a target of South Korea’s secret police at the time*. This means she had a lot of street cred. People compare her to Janis Joplin, but I think she is more like Grace Slick.

Posted below is one of her albums. It’s on my top 100 albums.

*Back in the 1960s to 1989 South Korea was military dictatorship. In fact, it was no different from North Korea except that South Korea eschewed any form of Marxist study. After 1988, when South Korea hosted the Olympic games, the country went through massive democratic reforms and became a lot freer country.

 

 

 

 

 

Week 17 Commentary

Here is my commentary for Week 17 of Charles Haanel’s Master Key System. In order to understand the context of what I am writing about, please read the actual lesson at: http://www.psitek.net/pages/PsiTekTMKS35.html

I am pretty surprised at what Haanel writes in the prologue, that the type of god we worship is based on the type of people we are. That makes perfect sense. Funny enough, that’s what I read from Dharma Master Kim Jae Woong long time ago.

Still when studying cultures and religions, this does have merit. The Chinese Jade Emperor is a statesman with many ministers and civil servants carrying out his orders reflects the Chinese love for bureaucracy. The Abrahamic deity of Judaism-Christianity-Islam is a very harsh man, but that’s because those three religions came from a desert region. Hindus have gods with lots of arms and legs or animal heads to reflect the jungles of India. Plus there are theories that drugs were involved, this makes me feel pride for my ancestors.

Why does Haanel make this anthropological observation? It’s because he rightly points out our true “gods” in the modern age: money, riches, beauty, music, and (gotta admit) sex. Haanel states that what is underneath these manifestations aka true power.

Ultimately what is it that manifests these gods of ancient times and now? What is it in those gods that make us worship them? Simply it is the mind.

One of the ways we can use the powers of the mind is by developing concentration. Here is the part in which Haanel gets very elusive in his explanation. He is about as elusive as Lao Tzu in his work, “The Dao De Jing”.

The biggest problem is that concentration, as Haanel and even many Asian monks understand it, is very hard to explain. Most people see concentration as a myopic hold on one’s mind to a certain object as in constantly thinking of a deity or a tree without thinking anything else. This type of concentration does have its benefits.

However, the concentration that Haanel is trying to describe is a lot more subtle and is even more of a subconscious action. Part of concentration is being aware of what and how you are thinking. The next part is to simply try to change your thinking habits over and over again until you reach a certain goal or conclusion.

Here’s a dumb example to sorta illustrate my point. Let’s say you want to buy yourself a house. You think of what kind of house you want and took a look at your finances. Now for the part in which you concentrate: you wake up one morning feeling grumpy since it is a Monday, then you remind yourself about your new house so you rouse yourself up and get yourself to work. You have a Zoom call with some of your colleagues and you see Bob wearing an ugly shirt. You almost want to lash him out for his bad fashion sense, but then you remind yourself that you have a house to buy so you stopped caring. Later on, you are planning your weekend and your Friday night, then you remember about your house and decided to call in an accountant about how to finance your dream home. You also decided to go on reddit and ask about good books on improving finances and even made a decent purchase. Friday night rolls around and you were about to binge on your favorite show, then you reminded yourself about your house and decided to spend some time reading that book on finances and browsing around for listings before putting on your show.

So you see, it’s really a question of reminding oneself about one’s goals/problems and going about taking action to achieve/resolve them.

However, if you find my example too hard to follow, the best thing to do is to practice this type of concentration. Here are three different ways one goes about it:

  1. Practice Creative Visualization. Shakti Gawain wrote a really popular book on the subject. If you don’t want to spend the cash, this site has the basics down. You can also try Gawain’s Pink Bubble Technique.

  1. Another method is from Earl Nightingale’s Strangest Secret. He has this technique in which you write your goal down in a card and review it every so often. The lecture is interesting which I hyperlinked.

3. Last, but not least, you can use the meditation technique I am practicing for this week. It’s also a technique that came from Nightingale as well. Click on the hyperlink and you will see my modification of the technique. You will also see the video in which Nightingale gives his original method.

How I am doing Week 17’s meditation

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

I just want to make a quick note on some changes for this week’s meditation.

Last night, as I was listening to the audiobook version of the lesson, I came to find Haanel’s meditation of the week very ambiguous and foggy.

That is to say, I have no idea exactly how to do the meditation as instructed.

As I was listening to the chapter, however, I was reminded of another lecture by Earl Nightingale. In fact, I would go so far to say Nightingale’s meditation idea is a better match for Week 17 of the Master Key System.

Here is the lecture in question:

While the science behind Nightingale’s lecture is obsolete, especially since many scientists disproved the whole “using 10% of our brain” thing, the meditation exercise still bears worth trying. I have always wanted to see if it works, so I am going to take this opportunity to try it out.

Here’s my procedure:

  1. I will take a notebook with a blank page and write on my current problem as the title. In this case, I will write: How to get more reading done.

  1. Then I will sit down and relax. First I relax all the muscles in my body, then the organs, and then my bones. I sit for a good 5-10 minutes in a state of repose and quietude.

  1. After I am done relaxing, I will simply spend the rest of the 15 minutes staring at that paper from step 1. As I stare at that paper, I will write down whatever ideas that pop up in my head such as: read a chapter right before I workout. By the way, I will write any ideas that come up no matter how good or bad they are until my timer goes off.

That’s about it. The only modification from Earl Nightingale’s idea is that my entire procedure will take 15 minutes and I will write at least 5 ideas. Nightingale recommends taking an hour and writing at least 20. Still, 5 ideas is better than none at all.

Again, I am going to do this meditation everyday for the week. However, if you like Earl Nightingale’s original version better, you only need to try it 5 days a week.

Cheers and have a nice day!