Ideas from the Best Thinkers: Evolve, Ascend, Inspire

in #spiritual6 years ago

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Personal growth is something I am keenly interested in, and developing as an individual is an ongoing pursuit of mine. I've never been much of a joiner, nor much of a follower: more of a seeker, really, and have always sought my own answers to things. In this stumbling, meandering quest, I have come across all kinds of information that really spoke to me: that put the fine point on a principle I only vaguely understood.

What follows is some of the best of that. These principles have all served me well,, and I think it might serve you well, too. I hope you enjoy this, and I hope you take away at least one idea from all of it.


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"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it." Aristotle.

Indeed it is, Aristotle. Indeed it is. The student of Plato (who learned from Socrates), Aristotle concisely describes a hallmark of intellect. Never "taking it personally", great minds are often happy considering ideas of all sorts, but perhaps mostly so, those they disagree with, or disbelieve!

For an average mind, considering the counterpoint is a chore, possibly insulting, likely scary, and entirely disagreeable. For the thinker, it is one of the most important points, certainly one of the more enjoyable ones! In the world of great thinking, being proven wrong is something to embrace, as you can stop messing around with the wrong idea. Intellectually, it is the thrashee who benefits in losing the debate, not the thrasher who wins it.

Live with Compassion.

This one has been said a lot: from Christ to Buddha, Lennon to Marley, the concept of living a life full of compassion and love that has been with us for a very long time. The extension of empathy, compassion is something we all appreciate in times of need and a trait we should seek to foster. Before judging people too harshly, understand that they have had all kinds of struggles that you are not aware of. What the eyes may not see, the heart can allow for.

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Change YOURSELF to Change the World

Many people despair at their inability to change the world: this is because, by and large, it is impossible to change the world, directly. Its ears are small: the voices, many. Some people are born to to greatness .. others, achieve it. Others have it thrust upon them. For most of us, this is not the case. By constantly asking ourselves "Why haven't I made a real difference in the world?", we doom ourselves to perpetual frustration. Even those in very high stations cannot truly change the world: they can only operate within it, within their (limited) sphere of influence.

The best way we can change the world is by changing ourselves: by acting in ways that inspire others to act similarly. As our behaviours spread, so too, hopefully, does the intent behind them. Our world today is full of many hollow voices, and many deceptions. Actions are what matter, and as the saying goes: they're far more important than words. BE the change you wish to see in the world.

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Read some Alan Watts

One of the all time best, Alan Watts encapsulates a tremendous amount of wisdom into very few words. He does it in a way that, personally, I really connect with. A combination of philosopher, comedian, and everyman, he's a unique character who is well worth listening to.

Here are some of his words:

“Tomorrow never comes.”

“We’ve run into a cultural situation where we’ve confused the symbol with the physical reality; the money with the wealth; and the menu with the dinner. And we’re starving on eating menus.”

“The word ‘person’ comes from the latin word ‘persona’ which referred to the masks worn by actors in which sound would come through. The ‘person’ is the mask—the role you’re playing. And all of your friends and relations and teachers are busy telling you who you are and what your role in life is.”

“When you are not getting in the way of yourself, you will begin to find out that all the great things you do are really happenings. All growth is something that happens. For growth to happen two things are important. You must have the technical ability to express what happens. And secondly, you must get out of your own way.”

When you get to a deep ethical problem—where there is no easy decision on way or the other—you must look at the problem from the point of view of an artist. Which way of doing this is, in some sense, greater? It may be better to go off with a bang than a whimper.”

https://secularbuddhism.com/101-alan-watts-quotes/“

Here is one of Alan Watt's lectures: The Joker. It takes no time at all to know whether or not you'll enjoy his work. Give it two minutes, and maybe you'll end up listening for the whole three hours. It's not hard to listen to, and rather packed withinsightful ideas.

Evolving the self is a noble pursuit, one that can be greatly assisted, and expedited, through the consideration of the wisdom of the ages. By integrating the knowledge of past masters, we honour them and their struggles, as we speed our own journey towards self improvement, onwards to that distant light of self-realization, and perhaps for a few, something some call 'enlightenment.'

I hope this post has been of some use to you. The works of the people I've mentioned have had significant impacts on how I view the world, myself, and those around me. Simple concepts like "be compassionate" and "hear people" are truly profound and tremendously powerful. This wisdom has helped me: hopefully for you, it will do the same. Most likely, it will serve as a small reminder of things you already know.

Good luck out there. Be well.

And remember:

No one gets out alive, so don't take any of it too seriously!

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Image Credits

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https://pixabay.com/en/rembrandt-aristotle-bust-art-93203/
https://pixabay.com/en/shaman-spiritual-spirit-tribal-2897334/
https://secularbuddhism.com/101-alan-watts-quotes/
https://pixabay.com/en/fool-court-jester-jester-s-mirror-140229/


[ @xwalkran ]

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Great post, thanks for provoking thought!

Some forget how important thinking is. The things you see around you have already manifested, or already exist if you prefer. You can not change the present or the past but you can change the future! Too often people get caught up laboring in the physical world to manifest change when in all reality your treating the symptom of the problem.

The mental realm is the realm of cause. It is where all change begins, then proceeding afterwards are the effects, the reality you see manifest around you. Cause then effect, thought then action.

Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the additional insights. Bang on.

Hi @xwalkran!

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