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Vivation and Attachment


If negativity were a good source of motivation, then there would be no poor people. Poor people who make their poverty wrong stay poor. "Poor" people who are grateful for what they have get rich. In every country on earth you can find people just like that. There is no country that does not produce some rich people who started out poor. All of these people loved and appreciated their money from the very beginning. Any person, with any amount of money, can focus either on how rich he is or on how poor he is. This does not depend at all on the content (i.e. the actual amount of money the person has). It is purely a choice of contexts.  Someone who focuses on how much money he has will manage his money with enthusiasm and become more and more prosperous. Someone who focuses on how little money he has will feel bad every time he thinks about money, and will probably blame someone or something for his impoverished condition, which will make him get poorer and poorer. Someone who thinks, "I can't get anywhere because all those rich damn capitalist fat-cats won't let me," hasn't got a chance, obviously. There is a word for thinking that the right place to tweak it is by trying to change the wealthy segment of society--the word is "stupidity". In the entire world, there is not one person who achieved prosperity by making rich people wrong. Blame is always disempowering.  We can only influence things that we take responsibility for.  Think about someone who says, "The reason I'm obese is because McDonald's advertises so much on TV. When I see those ads, I just can't help myself." Ha Ha Ha. Yeah right, the way to lose weight is to get McDonalds to change its advertising policy first! Most people have some stuff in their head just as stupid and disempowering as this. Anybody who thinks, "I have this defect because of the bad way my parents raised me," will never get anyplace without letting go of that negative belief. The way your parents raised you is not something that can ever be changed. If you want to get better, then you have to quit blaming your parents or blaming your past.

Negativity is universally disempowering. No one has ever become a better person by being motivated by low self-esteem.  The people who get the most benefit from exercise are the people who are most enthusiastic about participating in athletic activities, not the people who grudgingly force themselves to get some exercise because they make themselves wrong for being overweight. The voice of negativity goes something like this, "I haven't ever written a book before, therefore I guess I'm just not the writer type." Imagine trying to write a book because you make yourself wrong for having never written one! Enthusiasm for writing the book will obviously work one thousand times better.

I like to use the example of people complaining about the weather to illustrate how very foolish people are in how they manage themselves. But I'll give you another example: making the past wrong. Blaming some problem of ours on something in the past. "I can't be happy because I'm living on land that was stolen from the Indians." "I can't be happy because my father used to beat me." These things are common, but consider, for a moment, how foolish they are. It would be foolish indeed, but far less foolish, simply to say "I choose to be unhappy." That's obviously not a smart choice to make, but at least it acknowledges that it is, indeed, a choice. If you say, "I can't be happy because my father used to beat me," then what are you going to do? Hope for another incarnation in which your father is nice to you? And how nice will he need to be? Nice enough that you can't possibly make him wrong for not being nice enough? Even a father who was infinitely nice could still be made wrong for not being nice enough, because make-wrong is simply a capability of the mind. That we make something wrong is no statement at all about the thing itself--it is entirely a statement about the quality of our own self-management.  If you're not satisfied with how nice your father is, then you would be just as dissatisfied if he were a hundred times nicer. Obviously the content of the past cannot be changed, so it's 100% up to us to integrate it.

The content of the present also cannot be changed. What you are doing right now is reading these words. Even one second later you could be doing something else, but in that moment when you were reading those words, that was the unchangeable content of that moment. We have a large amount of choice about the content of the future, but we have absolutely no choice about the content of the past or the present, because they already exist just exactly as they are.  Everything is the way it is whether we like it or not. If we choose to like it, then it contributes to our happiness. If we choose to not like it, then we create the illusion of unhappiness. If we focus on the feeling of unhappiness and just open very slightly to the possibility of enjoying that feeling even a tiny little bit, then the feeling instantly integrates and we find that we are happy. (Actually we move on immediately to the next made-wrong feeling, which also integrates instantly.) It all depends on the context we choose.

None of our unhappiness is created by the content of our experience. The essence of all unhappiness is blaming the content. There is no such thing as content that cannot be blamed. If you tell yourself that the reason you're not happy is because of your lack of money, that means that you are not even grateful for the money you do have. With that attitude, you probably won't increase your income, and even if you do, you'll never be satisfied. It is the same with all things, the same with all content. Since the content simply is the way it is, whether we like it or not, then we are simply unwise not to like it. Spiritual progress means liking more and more things, ultimately liking absolutely everything just the way it is. If we tell ourselves that there are some things that we simply cannot like, because of the very nature of the things themselves, then we are foolishly arguing for the limitations of our own spiritual growth. What might you choose to not integrate? Death? War?  If you choose to not like death and war then you sure are going to have a miserable time being alive as a human, because death and war are things that humans contemplate a very large amount of the time. See if you can even watch television for a single evening without seeing any death or war! Everyone who gets The Seven Basic Lessons sees that death and war, whenever they actually occur, are perfect.


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