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Personal growth: Do we really control our thoughts? September 30, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
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Can we control our thoughts, or is thinking an automatic process like digesting our food, as Eckhart Tolle suggests.

In his book A New Earth, Tolle writes:

“The voice in the head [thinking]* has a life of its own. Most people are at the mercy of that voice; they are possessed by thought, by the mind. And since the mind is conditioned by the past, you are then forced to re-enact the past again and again.”

This can have a cumulative effect, which Tolle compares to an emotional energy field:

“This energy field of old but still very-much-alive emotion that lives in almost every human being is the pain-body.”

This phenomenon can be highly damaging to our emotional development.

Fortunately, Tolle spends a lot of time in the book providing advice on how we can limit the negative outcomes that might result from our personal pain-bodies.

A New Earth is not an easy book to thoroughly understand and implement, but it is well worth making the effort to do so.

* My parentheses

– Dennis Mellersh

Personal growth: Eric Hoffer on the essentials of creativity September 22, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Development and Creativity, The Creative Process.
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Eric Hoffer writes that “…tinkering and playing, and the fascination with the nonessential were a chief source of the inventiveness which enabled man to prevail over better-equipped and more purposeful animals.”

He describes earliest “man” as “the only lighthearted being in a deadly serious universe,” a universe whose other living creatures were driven by a “grim purposefulness.”

Hoffer takes this further in his frequent assertion that the essential driver of human creativity is playfulness rather than high purpose.

“It is a juvenile notion that a society needs a lofty purpose and a shining vision to achieve much…one must be ignorant of the creative process to look for a close correspondence between motive and achievement in the world of thought and imagination,” he states.

If Hoffer is right, it makes one wonder then, if being overly serious and having excessively lofty goals in our artistic/creative efforts could actually be hampering our inventiveness, originality, and overall creativity.

Note: Quotations are from Hoffer’s book, Reflections on the Human Condition

– Dennis Mellersh