jump to navigation

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

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

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: Confucius on the self-improvement of leaders September 21, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

If we aspire to being a good example to others within our sphere of influence, particularly if we are in a position of potential leadership, we obviously need to develop an overall personal character worthy of receiving respect.

Confucius teaches this lesson in The Analects by referring to the behaviour of rulers and the consequences of their behaviour.

“A ruler who has rectified himself never gives orders, and all goes well. A ruler who has not rectified himself gives orders, and the people never follow them.” (1)

If we look at the idea of rectifying oneself from a personal behaviour point of view, Confucius would have us correct ourselves by working at removing the erroneous or faulty aspects within our patterns of behaviour.

(1) As translated by David Hinton in his book, The Four Chinese Classics.

—Dennis Mellersh