Let’s Talk – Thoughts on Several Issues

GavelMountainview Medical, the surgical center in Las Cruces, NM., informed me politely that I was not welcome as a patient for my inability to wear a mask.  Once my failure to wear a mask was resolved, I was welcome to return, but I was not welcome until then.  This was made pretty clear to me today (27 September 2021).  Regardless of a wet signature signed letter from my VA-provided primary care provider, I cannot wear a mask, irrespective of the fact that the VA had arranged this appointment and was paying the bill.  I was persona non grata.

One would think that having accepted a contract, the accepter would do everything to fulfill the contract.  Yet, apparently, a mask is sufficient legal cause to forfeit a contract.  Does anyone else find this strange and odd?  Would a lawyer please step forward and explain contract law to me.  When I have accepted a contract, my job has been to fulfill that contract to the best of my abilities or be found in breach and liable for the damages to the contract issuer.Apathy

Changing topics.  I was taught, look people in the eye when speaking to them.  Be honest, forthright, and confident enough as a person to render respect.  I have studied people and psychology for a long time.  I am lost on this topic and if you have insight, please feel free to add your comments below.  Why do women feel the need to either become hostile or play with their clothes, hair, or refuse eye contact when talking to me?  I am not horrendous to look upon; I am certainly not good-looking either.  I am not flirting; I interact with other people for professional reasons; yet, I cannot get people to look me in the eye and have professional conversations.

What has happened to eye contact in American society?  What has happened to confidence in communicating?  Look, I get it; right now, the media has everyone scared to shake hands.  I was raised providing a firm handshake, looking people in the eye, and socially interacting is the highest skill you can learn to succeed.  I was having this conversation randomly the other day, and the other person was scapegoating millennials.  I feel this is 100% unfair as the problem is multi-generational and crosses all industries and situations.  Consider the following, and let’s have this conversation.Einstein

Changing topics.  What is more acceptable to you; all talk and no action, or all action and no talk?  In reviewing some transcripts of a ZOOM meeting where President Biden was in attendance with many Democratic National Committee (DNC) leaders and party flunkies, the president made remarks to the effect that since he was the only one speaking to a point, the DNC should be grateful.  One of the reasons I have been hesitant to expand the blog is that I prefer to be a person of action.  Yet, with my disabilities, I find taking action less and less the course I can physically handle.  Thus, I must find new outlets, and training others is a course of action I am good at.  Thus, the blog was born; but not taken without reservations.

QuestionNow, America finds itself at the mercy of a person who considers himself a person of words and thinks others should be grateful to have his words on a particular subject.  In psychology, this method of thinking is generally classified as narcissistic.  A narcissist is a person full of pride and egoism, which shows extreme love for themselves and only for themself.  I cannot think of a better adjective to describe Joe Biden.  Thus, I wonder about the question posed, do you prefer a person of many words and little action, or do you prefer someone of few words and plenty of action?

Strip politics, identity, sex, gender, and all other adjectives and names from this comparison.  Simply make a distinction between words and no action and lots of action and few words.  Then lay that preference out on the world and make choices based upon that preference.  As a person of action, I prefer other people of action.  I like people of action for actions can always be guided and shifted; words mean everything is stuck awaiting action.  If you prefer words to action, please let me know in the comments section why and explain to me how words are better than action.  I am genuinely interested in and appreciate logic and reason.kpi

Changing topics.  Last week my cousin succumbed to his injuries and passed this mortal coil.  I learned something that made me furious, and frankly, I am still not my “cherub-like self.”  I had always thought my cousins escaped the chains of abuse.  My uncle and aunt on my father’s side are just so tender-hearted and innocent; I thought their kids would escape the evils of abuse so prevalent on my side of the family circle.  Unfortunately, the clutches of sexual abuse tormented their family, and my cousin did not ever receive the training needed to overcome the abuse and was a victim his entire life.

I learned from an early age how to fight.  I was raised to be the last bastard standing in a room full of bastards.  I learned how to win, fight dirty, and be it fists, words, ideas, or weapons, I was going to be the victor.  I grew the antibodies against abuse by being abused.  I do not like admitting this, but it is the truth, plain and simple.  My cousin never got this training, I never knew he needed this training, and his family has suffered incredibly from a guidance counselor in the school district who abused my cousin in the second grade.Grit - Defined

To the abused; I am sorry!  You are now faced with a choice, do you give the person who abused, or is still abusing you, power over the rest of your life, or do you choose to fight and win back your life, dignity, and potential?  That is the only choice you make, and you will make this choice every day for the rest of your life.  How you choose dictates your destiny; do you have gravel in your guts sufficient to take back what was stolen from you or not?  You have friends, associates, and support, but at the end of the day, in the wee hours of the morning, you, and only you, have the power to defeat your abuser, and you must wield the sword to defeat the abuser!Angry Wet Chicken

To the abusers; I detest you!  With all the power I possess, I will actively work against you to defeat you!  There is nowhere you can run, nowhere you can hide, and nothing you can do to evade and escape.  I am not justice; I am simply a man who will not allow you the power to continue to abuse.  I know many like me who are just as committed to seeing you stand in front of a judge and be punished for your crimes, and we will continue to work for this day to our dying breath!

I have met too many abused and broken people who do not understand the simplicity of conquering abuse.  The action is simple, choose to stop allowing yourself to be abused.  The reality and activities to support that choice are hard, painful, and the struggle is real physically, mentally, emotionally, and on every level possible.  But, I promise you, freedom from abuse is possible!  Make the choice to stop allowing yourself to be abused!  Need a friend, contact me; need help, reach out.  There are plenty of people locally and more virtually who understand and are happy to help.  Just allow us to be there for you!Angry Grizzly Bear

The accepted praxis in society is to not talk about abuse and abuse recovery as this is a topic for “someone else” to discuss.  Well, that myth ends today!  Abuse is happening too often to continue to ignore, sidestep, or push it under the table.  Abuse is not just a topic for annual teacher training classes, nurses, and doctors.  Abuse does not just happen to low-income families, bad people, or those who “deserve it.”  Abuse comes in many different types and styles, forms, and methodologies.  The single unifying factor in abuse is a single person who is gaining power over another person through manipulation and dominion.

Sexual abuse is about power and dominion, as well as sexual gratification.  Sexual abuse is NEVER about love, and I do not care if it is male-on-male, male-on-female, or female-on-female; it is always about power, not love!  Physical abuse is always about dominion and power over another person; they are always selected for their weakness.  The abused person is constantly victimized until they cannot live without the abuse, or so they are trained.  Verbal abuse is all about power and dominion, feeding the ego of the abuser on the weakness of those abused.  When directed at another for personal gain, apathy is abuse and needs to be corrected before additional harm and further abuse are committed.

Pornography and masturbation are self-abuse.  Drug abuse is self-abuse, alcohol abuse is self-abuse, and these abuses lead to physical, sexual, verbal, and other types of abuse.  Abuse of self leads to abuse of others.  Abuse of others causes society to detest and denigrate you, exasperating self-abuse and addictive behaviors, which further exasperate drug and alcohol abuse and abuse of others.  Vicious cycle indeed!

Knowledge Check!Agree or disagree, leave a comment and let’s have the conversations that need to be discussed.  Let’s openly discuss root causes and look to create solutions that can generate positive outcomes.  Better, let’s open our hearts and hands to lift and support.  There has undoubtedly been sufficient abuse, torment, anger, and hatred in this world.  We need to find different solutions!

© 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.

Dialectical Behavioral Theory – Decisional Balance Sheet – The Integrity Edition

Bobblehead DollAn email in my inbox started me thinking of Johari Windows first thing this morning, and in the process of proving myself wrong, I learned some interesting things and figured I would share my journey of discovery.  I am always fascinated when I prove myself wrong; I like it; mainly because it proves I am still human with a lot to learn!

Johari Windows

A Johari Window is a visual method for looking at data about self-knowledge and delineates information into four areas of interpersonal relationships:

        • The Open Area – represents what we both know about me and openly share.
        • The Hidden Area – is what I hide from you about myself.
        • The Blind Area is what you know about me, observe about me, and are aware of about me, but refuse to share with me.
        • The Unknown Area – is the part of me which neither of us knows about on a conscious level.Johari Window

Dialectical Behavior Theory

The Dialectical Behavior Theory (DBT) simply stated, is an evidenced-based process where a psychotherapist and a patient work to increase a patient’s emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about triggers leading to reaction and assessing and building coping skills to apply to events, thoughts, feelings, behaviors to avoid undesired reactions.  DBT is a precursor of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which has shown significant effectiveness for PTSD-related problems and spectrum mood disorders.  A tool used frequently in CBT and DBT is a decisional balance sheet that looks like a table in an MS Word document.

Plusses/Pros Cons/Minuses
Self
Others/Family

A decisional balance sheet crops up a lot in various forms and under multiple names in psychology to represent data visually in a decisional tree, where the optimum location is in the lower right corner.

Low

High

Low

High

Imperative to understanding is that each decisional balance sheet, or decisional tree, can be read top to bottom or right to left.  The optimum location remains constant, regardless of the topic.  This is mentioned solely as a differentiation method between a Johari Window and a Decisional Balance Sheet.  A Johari Window can be any size but cannot be read top to bottom or right to left with an optimum location in any of the boxes.  That is how you tell the difference and my mistake from earlier this morning.

Integrity

Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values.  In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions.  Integrity is the choice to be the best you can be.

Integrity is holding ourselves to the same high standards that we have for others. Expecting little of everyone is apathy. Expecting less of ourselves than others sets us up for hypocrisy. Leniency is expecting less of others than ourselves, and it fails to create accountability. Integrity is the box where we should be at.” – Adam Grant

Integrity is not malleable, changeable, adjustable, wishy-washy, or like a suit coat that can be put on and taken off.  You either possess integrity, or you do not, and if you do not possess integrity, you are not worth my time and energy!Integrity

The current US President has no integrity, and America’s enemies knew this and desired this quality in the American president.  The Vice President, the majority and minority speakers in both houses of the Congress, and many of the governors and mayors in America all lack integrity.  As witnessed in the 2020 elections, a lack of integrity is being experienced in the judges, the county supervisors, the election boards, and many state legislators, and state election officials as well.  America is suffering from a dearth of integrity in public officials, and that is a significant problem!

Plato 2As a kid, I was told to role model John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Colonel Sherman Potter, and even Father Mulcahy.  I was told to despise those who weaseled on deals, liars, thieves, cheats, lawyers, and politicians.  These people were necessary evils, but I never believed in a necessary evil.  If you were evil, then you were not worth my time or support.  I maintain that position to this day, and it disgusts me to no end when I have been hoodwinked by politicians I thought had integrity who turned out to be wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Senator McCain, I am talking about you specifically, and I do not care that you are dead!

Millstone of Designed IncompetenceI guess it has been a couple of years now, I thought it had only been several weeks, but I had a conversation on the power of religion to improve integrity.  I have found just as many atheists as religionists with integrity and just as many religionists as atheists without integrity; thus, I can only conclude that religion is a tool for improving integrity, but individual choice trumps religious flavor and fervor.  Yet, religion does play a role in providing a moral background for building a solid foundation under a person with integrity.  Seeing as atheism is a religion, I have no problems calling on religionists of the world to unite to provide a moral background to improve integrity where they currently live, work, and reside.

However, in calling for an increase in integrity, I feel duty-bound to call out those without integrity for public display, ridicule, and scorn.  For example, I have found that the Queen of England has a lot of moral fiber and a high level of integrity, whereas her son is a flat-out creep who somehow missed integrity lessons and is choosing the life of depravity.  For all her faults, I felt Princess Diana had a lot of integrity, and her kids had some integrity, but they seem to be choosing the way of the snake, which is difficult to observe.

Plato 3President Biden is utterly bereft of integrity, his children are also utterly bereft of integrity, and Hunter is the worst of the bunch.  I do not wish to see how deplorable the grandchildren will be as they will be a millstone around America’s neck for a long time!  Vice President Kamala Harris and her spouse are two people utterly bereft of anything approaching integrity, moral uprightness, or even common decency.  They are joined by the Obama’s (including the children), the entire Clinton Machine, and the black hole of integrity has many others currently occupying seats in Washington DC for company.

Exclamation MarkSince we have so many examples of poor integrity, there must be examples of people with integrity.  Thankfully the answer is yes, and they are easy to spot.  Below are common ways to spot integrity, and I challenge you to look for and vocally support integrity where you find it.  One of the best ways to show integrity is to appreciate integrity in others.  Catch people doing good and vocally thank them.  Send thank you cards.  Send thank you emails.  Remember them after the incident.

        • Take responsibility for actions and consequences – Choosing to do the right thing is hard; accepting the consequences for failure, especially when it was not your fault is integrity in action. Allowing others to receive praise for accomplishments is integrity in action.
        • Put another person’s needs above your own. – This requires observation. Do the right!
        • Offer to help with action, not words. – As a disabled person, I do not want someone to offer to get a door, grab the bloody door! If I drop something, don’t offer to get it; bend down and grab it.  I will never criticize anyone for taking action.  Offers are good, but I always refuse offers to help, but I never refuse actions to help!
        • I will always give you the benefit of the doubt and start from the position that you are trying your best; please reciprocate.
        • Honesty is the only policy. Delivering honesty with kindness and forthrightness is socially the only way to move society forward.
        • Aretha Franklin was very clear, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Learn it, live it, love it!  RESPECT is a two-directional street; you have to show it to get it.
        • Admit when you are wrong. It is called humility.  Humility is not weakness, but strength, learning, and growth.
        • People with integrity are reliable, they are on time (every time), and they work until the job is done.
        • Integrity includes kindness, even to a kid crying, dirty, stinky, smelly, and wet — a homeless person, a peer, a police officer, another driver, etc. Kindness is a choice!
        • Integrity is where we start each day anew as a lifestyle choice.

© 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.

The Law and Ideas

Bird of PreySeveral days back, I came across some incredible quotes from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that started me thinking on several topics.  I beg your attention as we discuss the fundamental truths of the following two quotes:

The law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life. Its history is the history of the moral development of the race.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas [and] the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

QuestionI am not here to debate the law.  However, in discussing these two quotes, predominantly since they originate from a Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America, we will discuss aspects of the law.  The same goes for religion and philosophy; it is necessary to discuss aspects of both religion and philosophy to discuss the law.  However, I am not here to debate either religion or philosophy.

The Law and Social Morals

2015, in a decision that shocked the American Nation, the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges and same-sex marriage stopped being a state right’s issue and became a Federal issue, even though the Federal Government does not issue marriage licenses.  Using the two quotes above, we find the truth of both in the actions of the court.  The court decided that the Federal Government needed to “step into” a state’s right issue to prevent a kaleidoscope of legal decisions across the entire 50- and American Territories.Plato 2

What is wrong with 50-different states exerting their rights?  The SCOTUS decision states the following, “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”  Apparently, SCOTUS forgot to read and understand decisions from previous justices who faced a similar moral issue.

I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy – I don’t disparage envy, but I don’t accept it as legitimately my master.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Same-sex marriage was all about envy, not rights, not liberties, not freedoms, envy!  Envy couched in the language of “equality.”  Love, devotion, sacrifice, family, all of it was smoke-screens and mirrors to hide envy.  Those who engage in bedroom practices that were not in the mainstream wanted their relationship to be a “marriage.”  With all the state and civil granted benefits involved.  The simple solution to this moral dilemma was to remove the government’s self-appointed authority to regulate marriage.  The day the state and local governments decided to regulate marriage was when citizens lost fundamental rights to keep the government out of their business.  One of the most significant privacy abuses in the world occurs every time the government forces a couple to register (license) a marriage.

ApathyWorse, the government forces you to pay a tax to get married.  By paying a licensing fee, the government taxes marriages, invades your privacy, and in doing so, provides you the ability to pay for the privilege of inviting the government into your bedroom.  The moral development of the law to govern society hinges upon justices not legislating from the bench, judges who refuse judicial activism because the elected representatives of the government are moving too slow on an issue, and judges who remain dedicated to the limits of the law.  Yet, the exact opposite has been allowed to occur by the elected representatives who abdicate their roles to the judicial branch, who refuse their duties as a co-equal branch of the government, and people who use the law for selfish ends and means.

Question 2What is more precious to you, government benefits, granted by the courts and purchased from taxpayers in another area, or privacy, freedom, and liberty?  How you answer this question should be revealing to you and a reminder of your obligations as a legal citizen of these United States of America, a free Republic (if we can keep it).  Freedom has a cost; the cost involves being involved in elections, voting smarter, watching and scrutinizing those elected, and monitoring the actions of judges and lawyers.

Privacy and Freedom – The Law and Ideas

From the US Bill of Rights and US Constitution as amended, we find that America’s founding fathers wanted an individual’s privacy held sacrosanct in American Law.  Unfortunately, what do we see in the laws of America the exact opposite?

        • Amendment I
          (Privacy of Beliefs)
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances.
        • Amendment III
          (Privacy of the Home)
          No Soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
        • Amendment IV
          (Privacy of the Person and Possessions)
          The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
        • Amendment IX
          (More General Protection for Privacy?)
          The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
        • Liberty Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
          No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Knowledge Check!One might ask, where is the marketplace for ideas.  The answer begins inside the walls of your own home.  Except, if you enter your thoughts on social media, the Department of Internal Revenue Service has empowered your employer to withhold employment to express your thoughts inside your own home or on your social media accounts.  Worse, the government calls this a privilege of employment and a cost of doing business in a technological age.  Hence the first two places where ideas are testing truth, and competing for market share, are social media and your home.

Where else would one expect to have the freedom to share ideas?  Employment and religion are two other places where the government regulates and restricts ideas.  How many churches faced IRS sanctions for allowing political speech inside their walls, every single one!  What about employers; they limit the sharing of ideas on a host of topics under the language of diversity, inclusion, and risk.  Due to fear from the potential of people to become violent, the insurance companies and IRS allow your liberties, privacy, and constitutional rights to be curtailed, culled, and clipped as an excuse to protect your safety at work.

As a final thought, consider the following:

For my part, I think it is a less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Never Give Up!

Playing an ignoble part in the confiscation, curtail, and culling of rights, liberties, and freedoms, has been the improper role of government since President Wilson (D).  He was allowed to do what he did by a complicit Congress and the K-12 educations of the populace.  The reason functional illiteracy is so rampant, the government in the 1860s approved Dewey’s ideas to make students dumber, purposefully, to ensure the government could steal power unconstitutionally.  By the end of the 1940s, the coup was complete, and you became the property of government to be used and abused as the government desired.  Some Sunday thoughts to begin your next week with; unfortunately, the ideas must lead to action if America is to be saved!

© 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.

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.

The Power of Thought – Circumstances and Health

QuestionJames Allen (1903) wrote a suggestive treatise on the power of thought called “As a Man Thinketh.”  Long has this topic been on my mind as I have witnessed how responsibility and accountability for one’s thoughts, as they become actions, is neglected, dodged, and avoided.  Every choice a person makes holds natural consequences; this is an incontrovertible truth.  Yet, many continue to think only their actions have consequences, so what occurs in their heads is nobody else’s business.  Except, thoughts become things; thus, the need to discuss controlling one’s thoughts.

Thoughts and Circumstances

I had the pleasure of working with a person, incredibly smart and ingenious with his hands.  As a singular point of reference, I have never met better in all my travels and interactions.  This man could read a blueprint, a CAD drawing, draw a blueprint, and then follow it to create masterpieces.  We got to talking one day about college; here he is, a successful middle-aged construction worker with a large family, who was worried he had not developed his mind enough and was considering college.  I hope one day he does go to college; I hope he takes his practical experiences, his lifetime of success and failure, his tenacity, and his chutzpah into a college classroom.  I want to be a fly on the wall the first time an instructor tries to tell him there is an academic way and a practical way to live life.  I imagine that conversation is very pointed and not won by the instructor.Calvin & Hobbes - Ontological Quandry

Because this man has understood a principle, control of thought leads to control of behavior, actions, and consequences favorable.  Let us be clear, and quote James Allen, “A mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth.”  Weeds or fruit, veggies or grass and thorns, the garden and the mind, are similar and easily understood by the actions of those tending or neglecting.

Consider the following, my wife’s Grandmother spoke no English when she came to America.  Her sons were almost immediately sent to war.  She learned to speak, read, and write English out of pride for her sons serving and honor America for giving her freedom.  She was well-read in English and her native tongue.  Some would have the audacity to call her unlearned; I have always called her a hero and counted her children and precious friends.  Her choice to naturalize into America was pivotal to her success in learning a new language to write to her sons serving in the military.  No excuses, no please for an interpreter, no whining for fairness, no looking back to the “Old Country” and living in America to spite America and Americans.  Her consequences were a mind well cultivated and successful children.

Calvin & Hobbes - EnmityChoices have natural consequences, enough consequences pile up, and a lifestyle is produced. For example, research reflects that the majority of Americans will never pick up a book, let alone read one after K-12 graduation.  Even those going onto additional education will barely read, and upon graduation, will still not pick up a book to read.  I had the misfortune of being treated by a Neurologist who last picked up a book in the 1970s when he graduated with his medical degree.  He never touched the research constantly flowing in his field, never read for fun, never read to his children.  When he treated me in 2016, I knew more about his field of study than he did.  Why? Because I desired to know what the neurological issues are in my body.  Here he is, chief of Neurology for the Albuquerque VAMC, and his residents and patients knew more about current issues in neurology than the chief.  Now, some may contend this is bogus or a singular incident; choose to believe as you will.  But, I talked to other patients who had similar experiences with this doctor and comparable results.  I sent this doctor research and was told the research was to be disregarded until another doctor, not a neurologist, suggested the same treatment as discussed in the literature.Non Sequitur - Classic

The circumstances related stemmed from a single choice, cultivating an inquisitive mind carefully or neglecting the mind, allowing all sorts of vile weeds to choke out the good and run amok due to negligence.  Worse, the choices of this doctor led to an entire department of medicine to reflect his preferences and neglect learning for personal opinion.  The mind’s thoughts provide as consequences the environment to abuse others and fail as a professional.  Ever see a garden in winter, the seeds replicating are on or under the ground, awaiting their time to germinate and grow.  Weeds or flowers, veggies of thorns, fruit or tree, and the seeds will bring forth more of the same.

Never forget, “The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves and also that which it fears.  It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.”  Do we understand the consequences and circumstances bred from thoughts?  What will we do with this information?

Thoughts and Health

Non Sequitur - Dangerous TechnologyAs a kid, I chewed on everything.  Pens, pencils, markers, if I could fit it into my gob, I chewed on it. Then, as a teenager, I started smoking, and all of a sudden, I stopped chewing on things, stopped needing something in my hands to play with; cigarettes gave me a tool I needed, and my mind was clear for the first time.  I loved smoking; I wanted to learn how to smoke a pipe, for I thought that might be a better option than cigarette smoking, and I could move further along in controlling and quieting my hands, mind, and mouth.

When I joined the US Army and went off to Basic Training, quitting smoking was hard!  I yearned for something to chew on, not possible.  I longed for something to play with for my hands, not happening.  But the most challenging aspect of Basic Training and not smoking was not the lack of tobacco, the heart racing when I walked through second-hand smoke, but the mental addiction.  Smoking had given me liberty, and then it was taken away, and I did not know what to do with myself.

Anton Ego 4Thus I learned a valuable lesson, and when James Allen discussed the power of thoughts on health, I knew the lesson well from personal experience through smoking.  “The body is the servant of the mind.  It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed.  At the bidding of unlawful thoughts, the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts, it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty.”  Continuing, James Allen reinforces the following idea, “Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought.”

My mother-in-law fell, breaking a bone near her hip, requiring surgery, and she spent the rest of her life in a long-term care facility for she struggled to recover.  I respect my mother-in-law as a knuckle-fighting, butt-whooping, hard-charging no prisoners taking person.  She fought from her first day of life until she softened due to circumstances in the long-term care facility.  She struggled to change her mind and thoughts as a 90+-year-old woman of incredible experiences.  One of her roommates was nearing a century, she was blind in both eyes, but she shone with dignity, power, and the happy experiences and choices of a well-cultivated mind across a lifetime.  The difference between my mother-in-law and her roommate in health, mental ability, and physical ability was palpable; two women I deeply respect and admire, but who perfectly reflect the principle of the power of health being connected to thoughts.Calvin & Hobbes - Irony Hurts

James Allen expresses this connection thusly, “Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up the body in vigor and grace.  The body is plastic … which responds readily to the thoughts by which it is impressed, and habits of thought will produce their own effects, good or bad, upon it.  Thought is the fount of action, life, and manifestation; … Clean thoughts make clean habits.”  My wife’s uncle and his spouse reflected the opposites in this statement from James Allen. Nevertheless, the wife always had something kind, friendly, good to say about anyone, as an extension of her choices of thought and a well-cultivated mind.

On the other hand, the husband struggled with the thoughts of WWII and his actions in the war, which made him susceptible to every cough and cold; he was miserable and very irritable, as an extension of his refusal to cultivate his mind.  The wife read books, the husband watched TV.  The wife engaged in society, and the husband hid at home.  The wife had clean thoughts and positive consequences; the husband struggled with addictions; when he finally overcame the physical addiction, the mental addiction made him more irritable.

Knowledge Check!If you would perfect your body, [first] guard your mindIf you would renew your body [first] beautify your mind.  Thoughts of malice, envy, disappointment, despondency, [etc.] rob the body of its health and grace.  A sour face does not come by chance; it is made by your thoughts.”  Let us take this advice to heart.  Let us begin today cultivating an inquisitive mind, filling it with carefully selected thoughts, memories, and feelings. Then, we can choose to be better people by committing to changing our thoughts.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
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