Q. - If people knew what they should do to use more of their brain, do you think they would do it?
A. - Thinking people might do so, because it makes sense to them to improve themselves. Unfortunately, people are creatures of behavioral conditioning and they often consider themselves victims to the stuck patterns of behavior they have developed over their lifetimes. For instance, does a fat person stop eating when he realizes that he should? Does a smoker simply stop smoking when he realizes that it is damaging his health? Do people do the things that they know they should in order to improve their lives? When people are flexible and open to improving themselves, there are many simple exercises and techniques that they could follow to begin new directions for themselves in The 100% Brain Course.
Q. - What surprises you about people?
A. - Well, I have always been surprised by the lack of help that people ask for?! To my mind, if you are operating successfully in the world, you know the value of asking for help to allow things to move along smoothly for you. But how many people do you find that operate smoothly in the world? If a person is operating unsuccessfully in a social structure, he or she must ask for help to operate better in that social structure. Isn't that what a sensible person does? Even an illogical child asks for help from its parents when the child needs something or wants to know something, so how come all the unsuccessful adults in the world don't ask for more help is what surprises me?! Operating correctly in the world is understanding that you have help around you all the time, and you can learn to create whatever you need through that understanding.
Q. - Have you come up with any conclusions about why people don't ask for more help than they do?
A. - Well, some misguided reasons come to mind. Many people are very arrogant in the world, so arrogant people don't think anybody else can help them. People seem to view other people from their own level of understanding, so if they cannot figure out an answer, then they think that nobody else can figure out the answer either. To me, this is arrogance. In the Orient of course it is different, because the young routinely look to the old for sage and wise answers to their questions. Another reason could be a low self-esteem that keeps them from asking for help when it is needed. For some reason, people inwardly think that they are alone in the universe and that nobody would help them if they asked, because nobody really cares about them?!
Q. - What about memory, how important is memory in people's lives?
A. - Without your memory, how can you learn from your mistakes? If you keep forgetting the lessons presented to you or you ignore the lessons or reject the lessons, how can learning take place?
Q. - When you talk about mistakes, what do you mean?
A. - When you do something that does not get the result you wanted, it might be considered a mistake in life, right? The rational thing to do is to try something different until you get the result that you wanted. If you continue to do the same thing, you will invariably get the same result. It is only when you do something different that you get a different result. Unfortunately, people don't seem to reason this out for themselves very effectively, so they continue to do the same thing and they continue to expect a different result. It is like their memory of past results has not been realized and they get stuck in unfavorable behavioral patterns, like a needle stuck on a record playing the same brief tune over and over. When you bump the needle off the stuck spot, you can explore the melody on the rest of the record more easily. So people's lives often stay stuck in unfavorable patterns of non-working behavior that continues to give them unfavorable results in life.
Q. - What is the purpose of life to you?
A. - If a person knew precisely the moment he or she was going to die, how do you think it would change that person? Do you think that person would strive to improve himself or herself in whatever moments he or she had left or do you think that person would suddenly suffer from despair and despondency and not perform very well at all after finding out when they were going to die? We all are born with a particular mission or goal or objective that we develop as our life's purpose, but all our progress towards this objective contributes to our inner development in some way. Continual development of one's mind, body and soul is everyone's life purpose, and of course, in so doing we should always strive to be happy, helpful and loving in every way to those around us.
Q. - Do you realize that people have far less laudable ambitions in life?
A. - Do you mean their life's purpose could be making as much money as possible or acquiring as much power over others as possible? Well, of course, we are all at different levels of development when we come to the earth. No man can tell another man how to live his life, but do you think the ambition of money and power contribute to happiness & clarity or unhappiness & disallusionment?
Q. - Are you saying that the pursuit of money and power is not a good thing because it invariably leads to unhappiness?
A. - Powerful people often try to control the life direction of other people, but no man can really control another person's life anyway. You can pressure them with torture or death, but the ultimate decision is still theirs as to what they will do. Some people are easily influenced and seduced with money and power, and others are not. It is a very sad thing to see somebody ruin his life for the sake of money or power. When someone foresakes his values or his principles or his mission in life simply for the sake of money or power, I am greatly saddened.
Q. - Why do you think that so many people have so many problems in the world?
A. - They lose their understanding of their spiritual relationship in the world. The world is a giant candy shop of opportunity and adventure, but most people don't see it that way. They see the world as a cesspool of misery for some reason, filled with hardship and pain?! The more you use your brain in all its completeness, the more you can see the candy shop. The less you use your brain, the less beauty and wondrous opportunity you see. When you view the world by looking down a large PVC pipe and only see the world as that limited view at the end of the pipe, you miss out on so much that is available to you everyday. By using your complete brain, you remove the PVC pipe from your face and you begin appreciating the wide panorama of what is truly available in the world. With our free choice, we can always choose to appreciate the fullness of what the world represents or we can choose to restrict our view of the world. Those that live in misery and pain obviously choose to restrict their view. When we choose to attend more mindfully to our senses, our senses open up to greater and greater degrees, and brain usage increases correspondingly as well.
Q. - When you mention spiritual relationship in the world, are you saying that you believe in God?
A. - Well, not the kind of God sitting on a throne and dictating little directives to his earth minions. God to me is the universal energy that permeates everything and that keeps everything operational in its various forms. This energy is what we are all a direct part of that keeps us all unified and connected in its marvelous oneness. Sure living things all look different, but we are all made of the same spiritual stuff inside the physical shell. People often have such limited thinking about everything. They believe only what can be measured in some way. Of course, you have to wonder how limited their thinking must have been 2 or 3 centuries ago, when even fewer things could be measured. Usually the more diversely expansive the usage of the brain, the fuller the understanding of one's spirituality. Of course, sometimes people must hit bottom before they suddenly have a spiritual awakening.
Q. - What do you think about the greed in the United States?
A. - Well, the United States is probably the freest country in the world, but the downside to this freedom is that with all this unfettered freedom, the U. S. has a higher rate of problems than any other country in the world. In international student testing, U.S. students are on the bottom of the list in test results as ranked against other 1st world countries & unfortunately America still maintains only an 80% literacy rate! We have the highest obesity rate in the world, the highest crime rate, the highest drug addiction rate, the highest mental ill health rate, the highest smoking rate, the highest alcoholism rate, the highest sexual perversion rate, the highest divorce rate, the highest indebtedness rate and on top of all this, the American people have the utter audacity to complain constanting about what they don't have?! How can a population that has more than any other country in the world continually complain about what they don't have? And how can a country that spends so much money have bigger problems than any other country? If money solved problems, then America which spends the most money on its problems shouldn't have any problems, right? But obviously this is not true. It's the U.S. population's state of mind that has everything to do with their problems. Greed has overtaken the U.S. population to such an extent that more laws have been created than any other country in the world to accommodate the greed and the accompanying problems. A thinking person would ask himself - Is there a direct relationship between all the freedom of the U.S. and all its problems? Obviously, there is a relationship. So why are so many countries trying to emulate America's example when America is having more problems than any other country in world? It appears that money is the incentive again. U.S. citizens are like children in a candy shop - grabbing and eating all the candy they can until it makes them sick with greed. You can try to regulate the amount of candy the people eat with laws and fines if they break the laws, but it would be far more prudent to teach the people that too much candy is not good for them. My method would be to teach the 10% or 20% brain users to use more of their brains so they could operate more successfully in the world with fewer overwhelming problems. But when a country regards spending as their top priority, what kind of people do you think would be more encouraged by the government - whimsical, carefree spenders or practical, thinking individuals?
Q. - Why do you think that people continually complain about not having enough money?
A. - They are simply programmed that way via their friends, relatives and by way of movies and television news. More money, more things, more of this and more of that. With the MORE idea in mind, people are never satisfied. They never have enough. The idea of more doesn't create a cutoff point. If they could say to themselves that they have enough, it would provide a cutoff point. It's almost as if people think that more money could relieve poverty?!
Q. - Are you saying that money cannot relieve poverty?
A. - Money or the lack of it has nothing to do with poverty, but your state of mind has everything to do with poverty. Does a penniless Buddhist monk roaming the streets consider himself poor? Of course not. He understands that he will always have what he needs when he needs it. I have seen multi-millionaires living in a state of squalor because their state of mind holds them there. Having a lot of money also has absolutely nothing to do with happiness either, and yet people assume that it does. Look at all the millionaire rock stars, movie stars and company CEO's that are leading miserable lives, often despondent, strung out on drugs, alcohol or some other addiction. Did their wealth increase their happiness? Of course not. Again, it is your state of mind that produces happiness in your life, not how much money you have.
Q. - Why do you think that people rarely get what they want in the world?
A. - Lack of understanding of the basic spiritual law - whatever you project from yourself, you will receive back to yourself. When you proceed through the world with thoughts of lack and what you don't have, you will receive back the same. When you project thoughts of always having what you need, you receive back the same as well. There is great power in thinking about what you want and proceeding towards your goal with the expectation of receiving it. In this sense, we could all consider ourselves millionaires, because when we operate in this way, we are drawing on the unlimited, universal bank of abundance that surrounds us all the time. Of course, material minded people find great difficulty in understanding this principle.
Q. - Do people recognize in others what they need to learn for themselves?
A. - People should be able to learn from other people's mistakes and recognize the superior qualities in others that they need to learn for themselves, but unfortunately they usually don't. They have eyes to see, but they are hampered by their own inflexibility and inability to recognize anything exceeding their own level of development. They often think that if they haven't figured out an answer, then nobody else can either. Also, those endowed with a high I.Q. or have high education often have an inflexible arrogance that prevents them from seeing qualities and skills in other people that exceed their own abilities. Can a person with a 100 I.Q. possibly understand what it feels like to have a 200 I.Q. until he gets there? Can an emotionally dysfunctional person possibly understand what it feels like to be emotionally stable until he also gets there in his own development? This is why we should never judge another person, because they are only basing their conclusions and assumptions and actions on the experience and knowledge that they have, not someone else's. What is logical behavior to one person is often not to another person.
Q. - How do you think that people shape their behavior?
A. - If a young child sticks his hand into the fire and gets burned, he is provided with instant reinforcement that teaches him immediately not to do that again. Unfortunately, life does not always provide such instant reinforcement to shape our behavior, and therein lies life's adventure. With the help of others, we learn to figure things out for ourselves by using our brains. We have been equipped with a very large brain which we can choose to use completely and to our best advantage or not. It's always up to us. So when a child is offered his first cigarette, his first glass of beer, his first sexual experience or anything for the first time, he can choose to partake of it or not, and so it is with all the decisions in his adult life as well. Even after his first experience with something, he can still choose not to repeat the experience if it proved unfavorable in some way, but unfortunately behavior is shaped by repetitive experiences and therein lies the problem of stuckness that develops. The more we repeat an experience, the more stuck it becomes in our life. Depending upon many factors, adults are faced with decisions about being faithful to their partners, about being honest with those around them and many other adult decisions that make life so interesting and adventurous. When you are dealing only with a fraction of your brain, many decisions seem overwhelming, but when you learn to use more of your brain, such decisions are easily made. Negative reinforcement is given to you when you stick your hand in the fire, but in life you have to use your brain to determine whether to do something or not to do something. It's when you don't use your conscious, thinking brain and only react on a very basic limbic level that you get yourself into mischief.
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