Other Perspectives #91

816 OP Relax and Succeed - Forgiveness is a promise

With all due respect, I would like to draw attention to the difference between an ego’s idea of forgiveness and spiritual forgiveness. An ego’s idea is what’s expressed above. It’s a nice sentiment, it’s certainly not a bad thing if you do it, but it asks someone to do something in the future, which doesn’t exist in the healthiest mindspace. You’re always Now. So much like the post on Setting Limits, you cannot set an expectation of the future without risking adding further suffering to your life. On the other hand you can spiritually forgive someone, which has nothing to do with the other person at all. You’re not doing anything for them. You’re saving yourself by only living Now, which means you are not choosing to think about something painful that happened in some ethereal past. If something did happen again and you look past it out of love and forgiveness again, (in that Now), then you’re truly forgiving. So you might “fail” at forgiving one in ten times if you weren’t in a healthy state of mind. But that didn’t mean you failed at forgiving. You just missed being conscious once. And people can appreciate the effort in a nine-out-of-ten. They might even respect you a bit more if they’re occasionally reminded of how much the event hurt you and that it takes spiritual effort on your part to keep it out of your today. No one can demand your forgiveness. But your voluntary choice to leave painful thoughts in the past is something you are always free to do and it does improve all relationships.

peace, s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

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A Psyche of Peace

So how do we stop thinking? Lots of people know how to do that in the theory which is why this blog is all about looking closely at the quotes I see racing around on social media. For the most part they’re pretty useful, but instead of applying them as overall lessons people only seem to post them when the most superficial meaning of the phrase seems suitable to their current day.

779 Relax and Succeed - Meditation is the medicationIf you spend real time meditating on these ideas you realize that most people posting the quotes do believe they’re pointing to something real, but they don’t make any real effort to try to truly understand them or live by them, which sort of defies the value of a quote that’s survived for thousands of years. The answers to our perpetual questions are perpetually in front of us and yet we ignore them.

The nature of modern life, social media and the popularity of the visual quote has somehow turned quotes into commodities when the original point was the deepest possible meaning. These were ideas meant for slow deliberate contemplation, not to be treated like a checkbox. But as the old saying goes, when the wise man points at the moon the fool looks at his finger.

So we each have to ask ourselves–are we just treating these quotes as check-boxes? Do you really do anything other than just quickly acknowledge you like it, maybe save it and then move on? Many of these are are famous, ancient quotes. Surely your personal peace and spiritual life are worthy of an hour of serious meditation on an idea you already know you like?

If I post something on the Other Perspectives stream on Mondays that’s because it’s a quote that is either dangerous to healthy functioning or it has the potential to be. And if they’re in the rest of the week—like these ones are—then the reason is because we’re here to discuss them more fully. To understand them and turn them into actions in our lives.

779 Relax and Succeed - Religion is beliefSpirituality isn’t a noun. Enlightenment isn’t a degree you get. These are verbs. These are actions. These are when subject and object merge to the point where this is where you are not a separate individual thing that is moving through space and time, but rather your life is a motion–a living perpetual creation: a State of Being. At that point you, your life and the world around you merges into a single experience.

Don’t skim with your spirituality. Don’t spend more time choosing a coat or shoes than on your personal development. One just drapes over your ego, the other is your fundamental substance. And the essence of you is definitely worth exploring. You are beautiful. That’s a guarantee.

Enjoy your day.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

The Friday Dose #41

527 Relax and Succeed - Smile

I wrote yesterday about the intense focus that is placed on us as individuals. We surrender real life to pursue hollow activities that reflect life. We believe we’re connected because we’re current and hip and in-the-know, but we’re also rushed and harried and worried and incomplete. We squeeze little moments of joy into lives filled with obligations to beeps and clicks and bells and flashes. We think we’re succeeding when all we’ve done is bought-in. I know you think about this but it’s time to do some real meditation. Don’t just ponder the thought, bitch about it and move on. Actually ask what changes you could make that would impact your life in a positive way. Just that one simple, sincere meditation would easily expose that you do tons of things that have little reward and a much bigger price than you’ve ever really calculated. There’s some great advice in here. Squeeze a bit of it into your day:

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Yesterday I also talked a bit about how advertising infects our idea of what our lives should look like. Rather than looking for overall value and enjoyment of our experiences, we instead look for a list of things or places or activities which we can check off as having belonged to us. I find this one of the most obvious and yet unnoticed aspects to human ego: a huge percentage of our lives are dictated by beliefs we have which were formed by people whose motivation was to make money, not make our lives better. Much like people who make military hardware, advertisers are putting considerable human capability into making the world worse. These are smart and capable people. Can you imagine what the world might look like if we had everyone oriented toward making a better world rather than a more profitable one? Jerry Seinfeld does a great job of illustrating this point with his Clio acceptance speech. It’s as enlightening as it is enjoyable:

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Russell Brand is a star because he’s talented and because his originality plays well in public. He’s a guy who’s worn dresses and challenged some pretty basic ideas about life. Like Louis CK or George Carlin or even Jon Stewart, he’s a comedian who’s more a philosopher at heart. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat, Brand exists to draw attention to the inconsistencies in our belief systems. He challenges our values and suggests another path. The establishment see him as entertainment or even craziness. But if you listen closely, he makes way way way more sense than any advertiser ever has. The fact that most of us are more comfortable with the advertising than the originality of Brand is a sign of how brainwashed we’ve all become. Almost everything he’s saying has already been scientifically proven to be true. So why does it sound so strange? That’s a question worth asking yourself:

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Spend more time with your friends. Spend less of your time focusing on products and services. And engage yourself with your own spiritual sense. Do that and your life will improve, guaranteed.

peace. s

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The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Focus on these and change your mind. Enjoy.