Thought and Character – A Discussion

WhyIn Proverbs, Old Testament, we find an oft-quoted aphorism, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”  If we first accept this aphorism as truth, then the following from James Allen, from “As a Man Thinketh (1903)” can also be presumed truthful.  “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.  As the plants springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.”  Bringing into sharp reflection the connection between how a person thinks and their character.

In high school, the football and wrestling coaches played mind games to help us players think and become winners. Then, we went through drills to practice thinking and planning moves, so our most important muscle, the mind, was prepared to act when challenged physically.  Likewise, as a firefighter, I know the value of mentally walking through situations to prepare my mind and my fire teams’ minds before being challenged physically to respond to a threat or incident.

Ziggy on Political WeatherI once met a professional soccer player; we shared a bus trip from Salt Lake City to Vernal, Utah, as he traveled to catch a plane in Denver, Colorado.  While I do not envy him, his travel scheduler, we had a very interesting conversation on how thinking builds character.  Professional sports players have similar mental walk-throughs as a regular part of their daily exercises.  Here I had always been under the impression this was for non-professional sports players and was pleasantly surprised to hear his experiences.

James Allen insists that “Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.”  In the US Army, while serving as a Chaplain’s Assistant, I was wandering through the line company barracks and stumbled across a tank crew having “Sergeant’s Time” in the hallway.  There I met the most interesting character; he held a doctorate from MIT, he was utterly brilliant, and he was a specialist who drove tanks for a living.  When asked why driving tanks and not working in his field of study, he stated, “I do not like my field of study.”  Through education, this soldier had made himself tools for building a career he detested in a field he was bored with, and in seeking adventure, he joined the US Army as an enlisted man and found something he preferred.

ToolsThe tools of education became the chains of bondage and weapons that left him without passion.  His thoughts had turned his desires in his chosen field into a trap, where he thought his only way out was doing something radical and “out of character.”  Except for those who knew him, his character was always bent towards being a soldier, but he had not thought thru this character aspect himself.  His thoughts had already revealed his character, but he had not become cognizant of this aspect of himself.  How many times has this happened to you?

President Thomas S. Monson, a previous leader of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, was quoted as saying, “Decisions Do Determine Destiny” [emphasis in original]. Likewise, James Allen maintains, “… Man is the master of thought, the molder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.”  Think of how vital thought is to the grand scheme of a person, and you will find the power to be and do anything!  “Man is always the master, even in his weakest and most abandoned state … [as a conscious master] man can only thus become by discovering within himself the laws of thought; which discovery is totally a matter of application, self-analysis, and experience.”  Doesn’t this assertion fill you with the hope that the chains of bondage in your mind are only there until you allow yourself to change how you think?

LaughterHow did I finally kick the cigarette habit, so the mental addiction could no longer tempt me to smoke; I change my thinking.  Instead of allowing myself to find second-hand smoke delightful, I began seeing it as something to avoid.  As I changed my thinking, my body stopped reacting in a manner to claim a need for the cigarettes.  It was not easy, but I had physically quit smoking 10-years before my mental processes, and mental addictions were finally conquered.  The power to correct my body’s behavior towards cigarettes was always mine to claim and apply, but first, I had to change how I think about cigarettes, then my mental needs changed, and then I was free of the mental addiction.  Changing thoughts and time, experience, was required, and slowly my body obeyed.

I have seen the same occur in reverse.  A female friend of mine claims she needs chocolate during her menstrual cycle to maintain mental health.  When she discovered that chocolate was the main factor in her deteriorating health and obesity, she still maintained that chocolate was healthy and blamed everything but chocolate for the problems.  When she went through menopause, she discovered that chocolate had no power over her body and was left without her mental crutch and excuses.  What could have been a life-altering discovery did not change behavior because the thoughts never changed.  I moved and lost contact before her story ended, but the failure to change thinking has always left me wondering what thoughts I need to change to avoid a similar fate.

Bait & SwitchThe New Testament records, “He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  To which James Allen has added, “… for only by patience, practice, and ceaseless importunity can a man enter the Door of the Temple of Knowledge.”  I remember reading about a famous diamond mine in Africa, the largest diamond mine in the world, and how even with technology, the mining process continues to be one of patiently gathering, carefully digging, and unending repetition to haul diamonds from the dirt.  In L. Ron Hubbard’s book, “Battlefield Earth,” one finds the same pattern in digging for gold.  Patience, careful gathering, unending repetition, and still the results are teaspoons of gold for the tons of rock and dirt shifted.

The mind is the same.  Changing thoughts requires time, patience with yourself, and care in selecting new thoughts to plant.  Care in how old thoughts are removed so as not to damage those thoughts being cultivated, and unending repetition to remove the seeds of thoughts that would be the weeds in your mental garden.  But, with the pattern comes the promise; those who put forward the work will reap a garden of benefits.  What are those benefits of changing our thoughts, “As a being of power, intelligence, and love, [being the] lord [and master] of his thoughts, a man holds the key to every situation and contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he can make himself what he wills.”

Knowledge Check!What benefit could be grander, to will something into existence through the power of thought!  How amazing a world we could make when all people realize this power and claim this power by changing how we think.  There is a benefit to cause and effect; that benefit is realization, wisdom, and eventually power to will into being that which is powered by our thoughts. So choose to consider changing how you think and watch how the world shifts around you.  You can change yourself by changing your thinking!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Caution! Dangerous Waters Ahead!

Bird of PreyTwo events this week present a need for lovers of freedom to be very aware of what is happening in the halls of the capitols of America.  In the first event, we passed the ignominious first anniversary of the death of a criminal.  The second is the continued stress and strain to maximize what has been dubbed “The Capitol Riot.”  In both events, we see plastic words thrown about like seeds ready for planting, and we see how the media continues to fan flames of Trump Derangement Syndrome to the dismay and disaffection of all.

Frankly, I detest being reminded of George Floyd; I have had my fill of the riots, the terrorism, the media, the politics, and the defamation of the police over this incident.  Hero or criminal Derek Chauvin and his family have been sundered by overzealous media reporters.  Hero or criminal George Floyd and the arrest have been so twisted, manipulated, and politicized that the truth has become the only real casualty in this entire debacle.  Several facts remain, stuck like gum on the underside of a school desk.

      1. George Floyd had a heart condition. The severity remains wrapped in medical and legal jargon so deep it would take an army of doctors and lawyers to decipher.
      2. George Floyd had several different drugs in his system when he died, including Fentanyl. In case you have been living under a rock, Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that carries the following warning, “High risk for addiction and dependence. Can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or when combined with other substances, especially alcohol.”Thin Blue Line

Is that warning pretty clear?  Mixing Fentanyl with any other drug runs the risk of exasperating current health conditions, such as a heart condition.  Mixing Fentanyl into a drug cocktail runs the risk of a multi-drug intoxication, and as the VA has proved, multi-drug intoxication can take harmless drugs and vitamins and kill!  Fentanyl and Methamphetamines were found in George Floyd’s blood during the autopsy, producing the probability of a multi-drug intoxication.  Between the politics, the terrorists masquerading under the media’s protection as peaceful protestors, and the chutzpah of the judge, Derek Chauvin, and his family have been ostracized and attacked mercilessly.  George Floyd passed counterfeit money, had illegal drugs in his system, had a heart condition that he might or might not have been aware of, and the stress of fighting police killed George Floyd.Dont Tread On Me

The fact that the media refuses to name any of these facts announces in terms unrepentant how biased and deadly the media considers themselves to be.  The press continues to spout lies. Every time the media opens its collective mouth, the disregard for their heritage and position in this Free Republic is shunned and denied for personal gain!  The media deserves to be held complicit in lighting the fires of terrorism that so many cities have suffered.  Justice needs to be served cold and raw to the corporate media!

        1. Toxicity levels of Fentanyl depend upon body mass, amounts taken, other drugs or alcohol present, and when those drugs were consumed. The experts vociferously disagree on the toxicity levels in George Floyd’s body at the time of death.  Everything discussed in court regarding toxicity levels is hyperbole and a personal opinion from paid professional witnesses.  Do not allow the details to mask the facts, or the media will lead you around by the nose!
        2. As discussed previously, the holds the police chose were legal and acceptable until the corporate media went ballistic and needed an excuse to blame the police for the death of a man passing counterfeit money and using illicit drugs. Who when approached by police for questioning, began to fight the police.  How can a person conclude that Fentanyl was illegal?  Not a single doctor has come forward claiming they prescribed the Fentanyl for a medical condition.  How and where did George Floyd obtain the Fentanyl?Why

So, celebrate George Floyd if you choose.  That is your decision.  I support your decision to make your own choices, and may you enjoy the consequences as you prefer.  But, I weep for Derek Chauvin, who became a political sacrifice for the rabid media and politicians who needed a scapegoat.  Should George Floyd be alive today and standing trial for passing counterfeit money and possessing illegal drugs: yes, except he chose to fight the police.  George Floyd chose to place dangerous drugs in his system.  George Floyd did not care about his health before engaging with the police in combat; why should I care about George Floyd’s death?

Knowledge Check!My concerns are for the living, the innocent, and those left to clean up this mess, which has been exploited by, and exasperated by both politicians and the media to the Nth degree.  I am not indifferent to the suffering of George Floyd’s family, but wasn’t his family already suffering from his choices?  For the record, I am sorry he is dead; yet his death does not, in any way, shape, or form, justify the damage and terrorism that the United States has witnessed in his name!  I am sorry George Floyd died while in police custody, but his choices came with consequences.  Unfortunately, those consequences have now included so many others; the damage is beyond count.

Why is the George Floyd case so dangerous?

The media has taken a deplorable incident and turned it into a terrorist-feeding frenzy, where justice is robbed, mercy is denied, and innocent victims are destroyed mercilessly as “collateral damage.”  Private property destroyed!  Public property and businesses put to the torch—employees beaten to satisfy the appetite of the terrorists, all for the media to revel and parade.  Consider this pattern, for it has been being developed over incident after incident until it is a money-spinning machine.  Play the race card, use the continuously aggrieved populations in society to whip up emotions, and turn them loose for the cameras.  Then report how the problems are always someone else’s fault, and how more money needs poured into social programs, then lie and half-truth through every event to keep the machine spinning money!Plato 3

Ask the media, when will they be reporting on the criminals who looted stores before burning them to the ground?  Will these criminals get the same 24/7 media-feeding frenzy and biased judge and jury?  Will the employee victims ever see compensation and justice?

The Capitol Riot

In making the following statements, I am not in any way denigrating the losses on 9/11; nor, am I belittling the actual loss of life during the Capitol Charade being called a “Riot.”  Any time lives are lost, there should be repercussions for those taking lives, investigations, and all the facts revealed.  However, any lawmaker who attempts to equalize the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a staged riot on the Capitol is denigrating, deriding, and insulting the memories of lives lost!  Unfortunately, the politicians are trying to make political hay on the Capitol Riot, making me sick!

Plato 2I watched the capitol disturbance live and in color.  I have seen the video footage of law officers guiding people into the proper rooms. I have witnessed the debacle from end to end. While I am not an expert, the entire episode reminds me of Kabuki Theater, not a spontaneous attack on the Capitol.  While I decry the damage done, I think those attempting to steal were idiots. I fully support law and order conducting a full investigation, including where the buses came from and who bankrolled the Kabuki Theater being passed off as the Capitol Riot.

Yet, let us be clear, from the day of the Capitol Kabuki farrago to today, the politicians have continued to attempt to steal liberty and freedom, using the pattern established from 9/11 and the excuse of safety for the politicians.  Let me remind you, you serve the people; since you have chosen to live like feudal lords over the serfs, you have broken the promise and oath of your office, and you and your staff need to be fired from public service!

Knowledge Check!The Patriot Act has been the single most freedom-sucking bureaucratic life support measure, only surpassed by ObamaCare in my lifetime, coming in third to the United Nations debacle!  Enough is enough!  Hiding behind police officers while destroying America is not appreciated by those who live here, and politicians need to be held accountable with their staff.  Continue to make excuses, hide, and refuse to represent us, and the ballot box is waiting!  The media is like a snake, soon they will bite you, and I hope they bite hard; think Nagini and Mr. Weasley from the fifth Harry Potter book.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

Word Plasticity – The Scourge of the Modern World

Non Sequitur - Plasticity of Language

Consider the following term ‘Flaccid,’ which is often mispronounced as “flassid” instead of the proper pronouncement “Flakcid” (Calvert, 2008).  Whereas, the term ‘Decimate’ does not mean extreme destruction, but the death of every tenth man and originates from Roman Military punishment (Calvert, 2008).  These are but two popular terms that are regularly plasticized in English communication through mispronunciation, lack of understanding the definition, and always with a hidden agenda.  Everywhere in all societies, and throughout all of recorded history, we find intentional misconception being passed as intellectual depth, through the plasticization of words.  Plasticization of words is nothing more than disconnecting words from standard definitions for a personal political agenda.  Many engaged in the intentional plasticization of words are “thought terrorists” who are trying to run their plan and break the mental will of people, demonizing those with knowledge of words as ignorant, and using the court of public opinion to employ emotions as a means to kill debate.

Plasticized words make the most trouble and unfortunately, public education in America does not appear to care; in fact, public educators are some of the worst abusers of words, disconnecting words from meanings to achieve an agenda, again mental terrorism.  Poerksen (1995) discusses this phenomenon in some detail, and the need to be more cognizant of the problem is but a small part of the solution.  Poerksen (1995) for example brings up the term ‘strategy’ the context might not be clear, and without specifying the intention and meaning, the audience becomes lost very quickly, but be confident they know and are doing what they understood.

Hitler’s Germany was famous for plasticizing words to make socially unacceptable actions, to be understood as acceptable with no negative consequences.  Consider how cattle cars were used in the transportation of Jewish Citizens, by plasticizing the term “cattle” the Jews could be eliminated, society could consider what they were doing as acceptable, and the political agenda of Hitler was pushed forward, because a human of different religion, handicap, and so forth has been reduced to cattle.

Poerksen (1995) is correct in labeling those who intentionally destroy language through plastic words as tyrants and their actions tyrannical.  Mao was an excellent speaker, but his methods of deceiving included making words plastic to cover abuses of people, destruction of lives, and to help his followers feel good about what they were doing.  Ex-President Obama used a TelePrompTer because extemporaneous speaking is not his forte, and because of the plastic words which were bent, twisted, and molded to deceive.  We all remember the promises of Ex-President Obama where ObamaCare is concerned.  However, what is fading from the collective public memory are the plastic expressions lauded upon Bergdahl to justify nefarious actions.  Bergdahl is but one small example of how Ex-President Obama manipulated language to hide, obfuscate, denigrate, and deride the American People.

Stretched Words

Shakespeare (2016) uses Hamlet to relate a line that applies to frequently; especially when communicating online, “… thou doth protest too much, methinks.”  Too often, those intent on misusing words are the ones protesting too much about something and now every communication, every interaction, and every person is a threat that must be lorded over by the intellect of the one protesting.  A recent example of this the world witnessed during Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, where the judge’s children were physically and verbally assaulted, but a warping of legal rights and guarantees justified the assault.  A careful review of any newspaper, news broadcast, and many politicians speaking will evidence the plasticization of words to justify actions, e.g. President Clinton, “Depends on what your definition of “is” is,” words to couch a threat while seeming to be helpful and friendly, or worst of all hide abuses of others through twisted logic.  Every time words become disconnected from standard meanings, society crumbles, language becomes useless, and the consequences are multi-generational.  Exactly as what transpired in recovering Germany after Hitler’s demise.

I had the great personal pleasure of speaking to a senior from Germany who lived through Hitler’s oppression and the recovery of Germany post-WWII, and the person I spoke with affirmed the most difficult social problem was relearning words and definitions to communicate without the taint of Hitler’s Germanic Language.  Hence, we can draw several lessons from this experience, language is trained and can be retrained, relearning language is a social problem fixed through social interactions and personal knowledge, and personal responsibility and accountability remain pre-eminent in communicating correctly.  Another lesson from my experience, history repeats itself and those with dastardly designs will always corrupt language to gain the advantage, before showing their true colors.  Every single despot in recorded history has employed plastic language to lull the population into acquiescence, before demanding loyalty.

What is a person to do in these difficult times?

Words Defined

  1. Know words and their definitions. Accurately knowing and using language supports society and improves communication. Do not be afraid of dictionaries, thesauruses’, and asking for help in making sure word selection is the best it possibly can.
  2. Ask questions about words used when unsure. If you know a word’s definition and the context appears to be off, be brave, ask questions, and insist upon the other person either clarifying or using more simple language to prove their point.
  3. Stop all use of emotion in communication. The people who insist upon employing passion do so to thwart logic, stop debate, and ruin lives.  If the sender wants to use emotion, stop talking, stop listening, and let the sender belittle themselves.
  4. Speak simply. Write simply.  Language and punctuation are excellent tools to communicate, use them, not emotion, not complicated terms, and know your intent in communicating.
  5. Speak and write specifically. Pronunciation, annunciation, and clarity come with simplicity and desire to build value for others through communicating correctly.  Know the intent of your communications.  Know and understand the purpose.  Answer through the message, “What do I want the receiver to do or know?”
  6. Listen. Forget active listening; active listening is not satisfactory to the societies we currently live in.  Commit to listening reflectively, for in listening reflectively we take active listening skills and add the desire to achieve mutual understanding.  Lacking mutual understanding means communication remains unsettled and unsettled communication breeds areas to abuse words, meanings, and intentions.

Please note, this does not mean someone becomes a communication police officer or communication stormtrooper.  Fighting plastic words is all about the individuals knowing, doing, and being better as a communication sender and receiver.  Aware of the duality of the roles in communicating effectively, with a desire to be the communicator of choice others follow.  Plastic words are intentional, and the person creating plastic words knows full well their fraud and deception, e.g., Ex-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton.  In choosing to de-plasticize words, we choose to respect those who plasticize words but not speak with them until they become honest communicators while monitoring through listening.

References

Calvert, J. B. (2008, June 13). Words, words. Retrieved April 25, 2015, from https://mysite.du.edu/~jcalvert/humor/words.htm

Poerksen, U. (1995). Plastic words: The tyranny of modular language (J. Mason, & D. Cayley, Trans.). University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Shakespeare, W. (2016). Hamlet [Kindle].

© 2018 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

The images used herein were obtained in the public domain, this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.