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Personal growth: Jumping off the cliff of self-actualization October 5, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Overcoming Fear.
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In discussing the many challenges in creative writing, Ray Bradbury gave some excellent advice which applies to the large-scale project of living life itself creatively and the more focussed innovative efforts we try to make in our self-development work.

Namely, that in all matters requiring creativity, we need to put aside our fears, jump off the cliff, and then build our wings on the way down.

We can gradually master the skills required in whatever project we are working on and can be assured of varying levels of success in learning those skills.

But in making the big leap into an entire philosophy of self-improvement, while realizing that it might not work takes a lot of courage.

And if we think about it too much, we will probably not be willing to gamble on making the required investment in time, commitment and effort.

But, for sure, if we don’t jump, we  won’t be making our wings, or soaring creatively.

— Dennis Mellersh

 

Self-actualization: The power of limiting our accessibility October 2, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Development Potential.
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If we are to fully realize our potential in personal development, we need to reduce our accessibility to the outside world, and we must learn to be “deliberately available and unavailable,” according to Don Juan Matus. (1)

Don Juan stresses, for example, that “The art of the hunter is to become inaccessible… [which] means that you touch the world around you sparingly. You don’t eat five quail; you eat one…you don’t damage the plants just to make a barbecue pit…you don’t use and squeeze people until they have shrivelled to nothing.”

Don Juan further explains that the hunter, confident in his ability, knows that he can obtain game repeatedly through his skills, and so he does not worry about that aspect of his existence, and in that respect is inaccessible.

He is not desperate, like the person who worries they will never eat again, and so eats five quail at once.

According to Don Juan, when we worry we cling to things out of desperation and by repeatedly doing this we become exhausted, and we also exhaust whomever or whatever we are clinging to.

(1) As detailed in Carlos Castaneda’s book, Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan. The book, part of a series, features “conversations” between a Mexican shaman, Don Juan Matus, and Carlos Castaneda, when the latter was doing anthropological research in Mexico.

In these “conversations” Don Juan speaks using images of the world he is familiar with in the Mexican desert, to make his philosophical points.  There is discussion/debate concerning whether Castaneda’s writings should be viewed as anthropology or as dramatized literature, or as a combination of both.

—Dennis Mellersh