Further Thoughts on Thinking for Your Selfsam
Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
Last time, I introduced you to the first of the tools for change that will allow you to become the person you want to be, living the life you desire, as described in your Blueprint for Personal Change. Thinking for Your Self is that primary tool.
Of course, thinking for your self is the natural, obvious thing to do, but I pointed out how seldom many of us do our own thinking.
We’ll begin our further thoughts on thinking for your self by exploring teachers: the kind of teachers you want in your life – and those from whom you should keep your distance.
Desiring a happier, more fulfilling life, most of us seek out teachers to lead the way to a better life. Sometimes the teacher is an individual or an organization; other times, the teacher comes in the form of a life-changing book, seminar, or workshop. The teacher may be an adult education course, a motion picture, or even an Internet column. Whomever or whatever your teachers be certain that yours are allowing you to think for your self.
Here are some guidelines to consider when looking for a good teacher.
Look for eachers who guide, but don’t command or control, their students.
Seek out teachers who treat their students in a loving and respectful manner.
Find teachers who acknowledge your goodness and emphasize the positive qualities you possess.
Support teachers who practice what they preach.
Find teachers willing to tailor their guidance to fit the needs of individual students.
Look for teachers who will not allow their students to idolize them.
Trust teachers who let you know that your best teacher is the one within you.
On the other hand:
Beware of teachers who claim your life will be a failure without their guidance.
Reject teachers who claim to have a “copyright” on truth.
Don’t support teachers who cultivate your dependency on them.
Stay away fro teachers who expect you to accept their beliefs on faith.
Run fast from teachers who ask you to surrender your will to their own or to their god’s will.
Don’t listen to teachers who claim that you are sinful or bad.
Beware of teachers who are egocentric, greedy or power-hungry.
Fear teachers who claim self-perfection.
In my own quest for personal development, I’ve been blessed with teachers who encourage me to have a mind of my own. I’ve also had many opportunities to observe the mind-numbing results of friends and family who have gone through life as other-created people, accepting, virtually without questioning, the beliefs of controlling gurus, ministers and other “so-called” teachers.
I encourage you to apply the guidelines above, as well as your own highest standards, to your current and future teachers. How do they measure up? I realize that an objective evaluation of your teachers can be difficult, especially if they have fancy degrees, a large following; if they are a loved one, or reflect organizations you’ve long held sacred. Still and all, if you want to become a person who thinks for him/her self, it’s important to periodically review the individuals, institutions and organizations to which you turn for guidance and instruction.
SIN IS CAUSED BY IGNORANCE
Sin is commonly defined as “an offense against God, a violation of nature or of our fellow man.” Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, I’m convinced that it is ignorance, and not an inherent evil, that causes us to sin – to violate the laws of God and nature.
Furthermore, because the Bible says that God deigned all his Creation “very good,” I believe that sin’s reality is limited to the mortal mind, with no validity or punishments in the eternity of God’s Creation.
No savior had to die for our sins (ignorance). If anything, a redeemer might give up his/her life to demonstrate the ultimate unreality of sin. We needn’t suffer for our sins (ignorance) – nor do we need to be punished for them. Those ancient ideas are unenlightened and masochistic – they don’t reflect the Truth of Being. Humankind has spent thousands of years entertaining those self-destructive ideas, and neither man nor the world has benefitted.
Our challenge is to replace the “darkness” of ignorance with the “light” of knowledge. The first step is accepting this challenge, rather than casting the burden for your redemption upon the shoulders of some “savior-God.”
DEVELOP “SALES RESISTANCE”
There are many reasons why people want to do your thinking for you. Sometimes these people are well-intentioned, though misguided. Other times, and frequently, their motives are self-serving.
Regardless of the intent, whenever someone tries to think for you, that person is, in effect, trying to sell you something. That “something may be a mouthwash, a political ideology, a relationship or a “ticket” to heaven. Whatever the product s/he’s selling, the “salesperson’s job is made easier when you unthinkingly accept their beliefs.
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: You must learn to recognize when someone is trying to sell you something – when someone is trying to do your thinking – and develop strong sales resistance.
Next Up: Final Thoughts & A Thinking for Your Self Adventure.
Please send your Re-Creating Your Self comments, observations and questions to me at [email protected]
Copyright 2009 by Christopher Stone