How can I learn to be more kind to people? And to do it each and every day as often as possible.

  1. As for me, truthfully I struggle with it, but if one wishes to be an evolved transcendent being, one must develop a meta-awareness of self that is inherently more objective and far less subjective than the ego alone allows. And most people never really step beyond the ego which is why the world is the hostile place it currently is. But it doesn’t have to be. Asking that question and generally availing oneself to kindness as not only a distinct and available choice but also as an opportunity is DEFINITELY.
  • Is when you are at one of those challenging but inevitable moments in life when you are passionately engaged in conversation with someone and the mood escalates a couple notches to heated debate on its way to all out confrontation. This is so hard especially when the center point is some bit of knowledge that, from your perspective, is so elementary it is self-evident (like 2+2=4) and yet your opponent just won’t wake up and get it through their thick heads. THOSE are the moments where our more primitive natures emerge and we’re reduced to our simple primate ancestry. It is in those corners that we say and do cruel and hurtful things to others… often those we love the most because it pisses us off that much more when the words we find so shockingly misinformed and repugnant are coming from someone we’d come to regard so highly. It is like, “You’re stupid + I Love You, THEREFORE if both are to remain true, I must also be stupid.” It can be quite a vicious cycle.

At those key junctures,

  • Is to remind yourself that no matter what the circumstances of your dispute, you always have the choice between being RIGHT and being KIND. When faced with this decision, ALWAYS choose KIND.

Most all of human suffering and sorrow is caused by our primitive attachment to having other people tell us they were wrong and we were right.

  • Candidly, as easily as I say it, I acknowledge that this is very hard to do in real life, especially when someone says something totally idiotic or politically inept or just infuriating on levels that you can’t put into words but they get your blood boiling. I am a person who is really opinionated plus passionate. And it is hard to master this skill if that’s how you’re built… but it CAN be done.

I can tell you from direct experience, I have many times regretted the toll taken for asserting I was right but I have never once regretted choosing to be kind instead. It offers a different kind of reward — one that ultimately feels much more life affirming and progressive. In my observation, it is the mark of an evolved and evolving person to have the aspiration to be kinder and your question here is the very doorway that will take you all the way there.

The ego has a selfish need to always be right and for everyone to know it. But it is possible over time through repeated practice to train your ego to regard being KIND as a form of being uber-right… and then it really starts to cooperate. And that reminds me of a funny bumper sticker I saw once and will never forget. It makes for a good closer. It said, “When I have learned to transcend my ego, I will have become truly cool.

2.

In our daily lives when we interact with friends, we’re being judged. When we interact with bosses, we stand to lose by being irritated. We’ve incentives to speak softly, keep smiling and so on. But if you want to be really kind go to someone who’s much beneath you in socio-economic class and of no potential harm. That’s a real test of one’s character. You’d gain nothing here by being kind, here’s just a poor soul who has nothing to give. You know- I mean the waiter when you go to a restaurant, the sweeper when you’re in a park, even a dog when you’re on a deserted street. Ask the waiter/sweeper to sit with you, ask them how their day was; ask them about their life. Listen. It won’t make much of a difference- you don’t need to change their world, but you would instill a hope in their lives- they’d know there’s someone who cares for them. They’d know “all of them are not the same“.

Test yourself further? There are too many situations when we meet irritated people. When you encounter one, it’s too tempting to retort in the same manner. Unless the other carries arms/dagger don’t retort. Keep smiling. This may irritate them further. Let them come at you, abuse you, even push you once or twice. Don’t retaliate. At the end of the day you’d make some irritated soul kind enough or at the least save yourself the long lasting headaches of a heated argument.

If you’re looking for universal rules of kindness, I think there’s only one:

Whatever pisses you off, don’t inflict the same on others”.

In clichéd words it’s said “Do unto others what you want them to do to you” but being overused it’s almost ignored. For instance I dislike loud music around myself which doesn’t resonate with my taste, dislike people talking/speaking aloud in phones when I’m sleeping nearby/ reading. So if I’ve to play music, I’d use headphones or resist. In no ways would I assume the other’s music tastes would resonate with mine. If I’ve to make/receive a phone call/talk while someone nearby me is reading/sleeping I’d move elsewhere. In no ways would I assume he may have no problems with it. Some places are regulated to ensure such regulations, but as I said if you want to test your character, do the same when there is none. You’ll be more kind, and people will adopt your kindness as well.

3.

  •  Have empathy. To be empathetic is to imagine how the other person would feel in a given situation. For most people, empathy is instinctual. When you see someone else in pain, do you cringe on their behalf? When you watch a cute baby burst into a smile, do you smile too? When you have to watch someone struggle through an extremely awkward situation, do you feel embarrassed on their behalf? These are all signs of natural empathy–now just tap into that whenever you’re making a decision or interacting with others. As often as you remember, try to imagine how everybody else is currently feeling, and how they would feel depending on actions that you might take.

For example, suppose you’re hanging out with five friends, four of which already know each other, while the fifth is the “odd man out” in the situation. Even when you yourself are having a lots of fun, continuously ask yourself, “Is Odd Man Out having fun too? Are we including him in conversation? Would I feel awkward if I were in his shoes right now?” If you realize that he is being excluded, take action by changing the topic or by purposely bringing him into the conversation (“We’ve been talking about our classes a lot–what are classes like at your school?”).

  • Practice. Like all things, being a kinder person takes practice. Even the kindest person makes the occasional faux pas–when you do so, you can handle it by apologizing, thinking about how you might be more considerate in the future, and observing what other kind people do in the same situation. My mom is one of the most thoughtful people I know. She often asks me questions like, “Are you going to bring a gift over when you visit?” or “How’s Mrs. Smith doing with her new baby?” Many times, the thought had never even crossed my mind, and I feel embarrassed for being neglectful. Over time, though, I start training myself to think that way. I remember to leave others a token of thanks when visiting, I remember to ask about Mrs. Smith’s latest life event. With practice, what seems like juggling a dozen “thou shaft’s and “thou shalt not’s will eventually come naturally as a way of thinking. I’m no grand master myself, but I hope to someday be as habitually kind-hearted as my mom!
  • Be grateful of what others can teach you. When trying to be kind, people sometimes are condescending on accident. To avoid that, think of all other people as your equals–in fact, think of them as your teachers. No matter what, every other person can teach you something that you don’t know, whether it’s physics, a foreign language, knitting, singing, talking to animals, giving great presents, holding lively conversation, appreciating a fine wine, breakdancing, or storytelling. If you keep that in mind, you will be in the right mindset to show kindness rather than condescension.
  • Pay attention to details. Being a kind person means that other people’s lives matter to you. Pay attention to and remember details about other’s lives. If your classmate mentions that she’s catching the flu, maybe you can bring her some medicine the next time you see her. Or maybe you can send her a cheerful “get well soon!” email/Facebook post. Or just remember to ask “Are you feeling better?” in class the following week.
  • Ask what you can do to help. Don’t know how you can be helpful? There’s an easy solution to that–just ask. “Is there anything I can do to help?” is a great sentence to say and to hear.
  •  Manners. Say “please” and “thank you” and “sorry” and “excuse me.” Don’t worry about being too polite unless someone explicitly tells you to stop. In fact, say “thank you” even when the other person was only minimally helpful, and say “sorry” even when it was only minimally your fault. Personally, I try to include the phrase “Thank you for…” in almost every email I write.
  • Exercise random acts of kindness. Surprise others (both friends and strangers) with unnecessarily nice actions. Offer to help carry heavy objects. Leave large tips for kind taxi drivers. Leave your friend an anonymous survival pack before her big exam. Bring a pie over to welcome your new neighbors. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Leave encouraging notes for specific people. Smile at people who look sad. Share leftover birthday cake with your officemates. Buy a pack of pens for the friend who always complains about losing his pens. Clean your parents’ house unexpectedly. Put some $10 bills in the street performer’s jar. And so on.
  • Donate your time, resources, and/or money. If you wish your kindness to reach a larger scale, consider donating to a charity or two that you care about. If you feel you can’t afford it, your time volunteering can often be equally valuable. And don’t forget to donate the clothes you’re no longer wearing!

4.

Being kind does have its advantages. Everyone talks to you. You get more favors. You have more friends.

And everyone loves you!

But learning to be nice and likeable is a trait that few people have mastered.

Have you ever met a warm person who made you feel comfortable and relaxed within a few minutes of meeting them?

You may have felt nervous or uncomfortable to start with, but all it took was a few lines to enjoy a great conversation with this nice person.

They’re charming and great to be friends with, aren’t they?

  • Smile and be warm. This is a perfect start on your journey to becoming a nicer and more likeable person.
  • Communicate well. Have interesting conversations with others without getting personal or intrusive
  • Think from the other person’s point of view. Most of us are so full of ourselves that we forget to think from someone else’s perspective.
  • Don’t be sharp. Avoid being rude or snappy in your retorts and responses. Don’t hurt people just because you can. Many people take pleasure in making someone else feel weak or humiliated. Don’t be that person.
  • Be confident, but not egoistic. You may be confident and egoistic about yourself. You may take pride in your achievements or how much you make in a year. But when you’re interacting with others, don’t bring your ego out in the open for all to see.
  • Have a positive outlook. Be happy. Don’t obsess about the bad things in life. Enjoy every moment of life and share your happiness with people around you. Positive people always have a sparkle in their eyes, and draw friends and admirers closer all the time.
  • Respect everyone. As long as they respect you. If you want to know how to be nice and loved by all, you need to treat everyone around you with respect. You have to remember that there’s always someone watching you at all times.
  • Be fair in your opinions and behavior. Don’t favor one person unnecessarily even when you know they’re wrong.
  • Be accommodating and help others. If you have the opportunity to help someone, go ahead and do it.
  • Pranks are funny only if everyone enjoys it. Don’t hurt someone to make a few others laugh.
  • Laugh easily. Everyone likes a cheerful laugh. Enjoy life, spend time with others and widen that smile
  • Good company. Be hygienic, smell good, look clean and be fun. Don’t be the person people squirm to sit next to.

Is it when we first become aware of our own accomplishments and failures do the emotions of pride and shame emerge?

  1. Pride and shame most likely emerge before we are aware of them. They may be initiated by social cues from our parents or care-givers through positive or negative reinforcement.

When we first learn to walk or take a series of first steps, we hear the excitement and praise of our parents. They are proud of us. We hone in and focus on these significant experiences in our lives. When we focus on an experience, certain neuron-chemical transmitter markers such as acetylcholine are imprinted on that memory experience and the memory is embedded in the brain. It is a pleasant memory that says:

“Look at You. You did it. You are the best”

Pride is born and by repeated accomplishments and praise from the surroundings, children learn that pride is a good thing. That part of the brain cannot distinguish between bad and good pride. It has to be incorporated by the parts of the brain that are responsible for morality or higher learning of reasons behind why we ought to be proud or ashamed.

In other cases, it can be explained to us through repetition that our actions may lead us to getting hurt or we may hurt someone else (playing with matches or chewing on something that can get stuck in our throats) There is an experience of shame or scalding by others that say to us:

“Look. What you did just now is really not good ok? Don’t do that again. You can get hurt.”

A child hears the disappointment and anger. Child also runs on fear at that moment which can also be a great motivator. She or he automatically knows something is not right and it was noticed by their parents. Most parents are already stressed out with raising small obnoxious children. Therefore, now violence may be added to the mix by a spank (controversial way of disciplining a child). Child is taught shame on the spot but it may still take some time before the brain catches up with the emotion. The stressful experience now releases norepinephrine (neurotransmitters responsible for fight or flight) in the brain and we get super alert and stimulated. The memory is developed. There is no doubt that a number of children are more sensitive than others and the experience might have a greater impact on them.

Children are focused learners and their neuroplasticity is quite amazing. When they focus on important event, during deep sleep and rest it will affect rewiring of that brain location and register that memory for life in the subconscious. The child may or may not forget the memory but it will be retrieved during accomplishments or during failed behavior or perceived failure automatically. Individual may relive a childhood memory that felt really good or really painful. Pride and shame are instincts also common to other mammals. They often get us in trouble or keep us in line through social stigma. Later we self-regulate ourselves with proper upbringing in most cases.

In conclusion. The praise and tone of a kind, gentle voice is driven by love of our parents and sense of accomplishment is born. Pride results. It is a good memory that teach children it is alright to be proud. Later accomplishments release feel good neuron transmitter such as dopamine and accomplishments and emotion of pride may be manifested or visible to the world. It may be out of balance or be shown in inappropriate moments or instances also.

The shame is driven by fear which incorporates disappointment, scalding, raised voice, yelling and unfortunately aggression or outright violence in some cases. There can be rumors and pointing fingers by others later in life where society or surroundings perceives a behavior to be ashamed about and a person is ostracized.

Both fear and love are powerful motivators that initiate reaction in the brain which cannot distinguish one from another. In some instances, children learn better by pleasant experience and in other instances they learn better through fear and negative experiences. What unites them however, is super focus on these very experiences. That focus according to neuron-scientists such as Dr Andrew Huberman incorporates itself into the structure of the brain. These experiences literally mold the brain through neuron plasticity.

Just to add something important. Neuroplasticity happens during intense focus and one can rewire their brain even during adulthood. Individuals can change the brain for their own good and rewire it and heal it, resulting in more positive perception. They have to focus on a given objective and add experience to it in order for the memory to be imprinted and something new is learned.

2.

 All the phenomena described in your query are but the manna of the mind … they are human produced phenomena (penalties and rewards of the ego) meant to distract one’s consciousness from the deeper, more profound truths of their nature and purpose of being …

… imagine with me a Halloween haunted house and all its spectacles and frights … or a carnival attraction wherein one is lost within a myriad of rooms, each one filled with twisted and deformed mirrors reflecting skewed and utterly distorted versions of reality back to the one traveling through the circus maze … this is a very accurate description and reflection of the egoism mind as it travels through the maze of life and its Maya … its distractions and illusions. And as in the parable of the carnival, there is a part of us that knows it is an illusions, yet, there are those who believe in what they see and fall victim to its dance of illusion.

… “Accomplishments” … “failures” … “pride” … and … “shame” are but distortions of mind reflected back to consciousness though the twisted mirror reflections (emotions) of ego …

… all truth is entrusted to the heart, for the mind is an open mine field filled with many hidden explosives and false ‘rewards’ … therefore, seek that which has been entrusted to the quiet places of the heart … for there, truth lies. Begin the journey for truth that ends all other journeys.

  • Unfortunately shame and pride are basically instilled into you at a young age, or that’s when we develop the feelings but at a young age you’re not understanding what they mean, then as you grow you develop what makes you feel ashamed or you react in a prideful manner because either your used to it, or you see that you’re getting reaction from people.

3.

Consciousness is kind of like the screen that all we are, plays out upon. We are not separate or divided from the screen. We are the illusions that play out as the screen, the action figures on it and as it. The screen is untouched by the apparent body/minds that come and go. You are the screen, and life as this screen identifies as a personal action figure. That dies because it’s a relative reality, it’s an expression of reality like a wave in the ocean coming and going, or a snowflake falling, absolutely unique and impermanent.

Anything that is not real perishes in time and space. The sense of this individual me separate from the other ME’s happens gradually in this dualistic appearing world. It’s like the screen(consciousness) plays at believing its separate from itself (individual) to have novelty, as any individual or blade of grass, or star, or DNA strand..

It’s the potentiality that nothing represents playing itself out in time and space as all that is.. God cannot be in one hit now, it’s too much, so apparent time and space drip feeds God as God to God. Experience.

An apparent appearance.

Yet God hides in plain sight here. That’s how God is known. Stillness reveals the nothingness to nothingness as nothingness here.

That’s why no words…

No thought…

Nothing can come near its reality.

To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. What are your thoughts and opinions?

  1. In a properly-functioning society, all who are in management roles should consider themselves to be serving those they are leading! All the rest is just feeding our largely-ignorant Egos.

We humans became a powerful species by cooperating in ever-larger groups, finally Groups of Groups. At the moment, however, we have allowed those Fear-driven ones who use competition to control others, using Fear as a tool against those over whom they have a leadership role.

When enough of us choose to live Love-focused lives, the balance of power of the led, over the leadership, will swing so far that those who do not serve those led will be ousted. The process is already underway; but some of those who Fearfully try to lead while in the Fearful mode are doing crazy things that are starting to severely destroy processes we humans need to have the planet allow humans to still exist!

Either enough of us move up to live Love-focused lives or those who want to control instead of serve will retain their positions for longer.

In the end, the outcome will prove inevitable! Survive as a species because we cooperate and leaders serve; or disappear!

  • I think that is one reason for command, but it is an incomplete understanding of leadership. On the other hand, a kidnapper does not serve their victim, and they serve only their own interests.

To focus only on “the servant leader” and ignore the selfish, self-centered, and self-indulgent commander is to misunderstand social relationships.

  • There are two reasons to be in a leadership position, to serve oneself or to serve others. There are many who serve themselves (for the ego, financial, or power benefits) and there are some who lead to serve others, because they can.

2.

, I’m on board with that. For myself I never give directive or instruction except as offer – and I’d whale the tar out of anyone I discovered was sneakily (without telling me!) acting upon it as if by obedience, rather than in a free agreement of aims and wills! REALLY?!

Tell you what sunshine, you want to perversely and against-my-wish make me your boss, that’s a mistake you make ONCE. Because AS BOSS, MY ONLY ACT is to discipline the smack-ass crap out of you never to do it again!

(Verbally, that is – no literal “smack-ass” required)

(Believe me, full-bore reason delivered with aim in well-chosen words of force and clarity – verbally suffices)

NEVER can you do what I want if it’s not what you yourself freely want, and call it “what I want”!

It isn’t.

I didn’t want you to do it. I wanted you to do it if you wanted to. Only that last part mattered to me. Only that part.

Only if you wanted to. And past the first betrayal you will not be able to claim innocence a second time. First time’s a freebie! Tons of people love people to do things unwanted, to please them in acts of self-sacrifice. First time, okay – you’re off the hook. Culture excuse holds – I’m a real nurture vs. nature type myself. But examine that behavior, please. Sacrifice for me? That’s repulsive. Do it once not knowing it’s repulsive, okay. Do it again?

That’ll be all, thank you. I do not appreciate disgusting, deliberate acts of betrayal. I appreciate them even less when dressed up as “favors” – when you full-know my will in the matter.

Hehe I’m kind of dressing it up all commanding. It’s absurd! Don’t let it put you off, I’m sincere, but it could never be that serious. Just a matter of open and direct communication, and people do tend to believe me on the last thing I want.

I’m kind of the anti-commander, when you get down to it. I DEMAND AND EXPECT MUTINY! Oh wait, you want to charge? Well, okay, LET’S CHARGE! It’s surprising how well-coordinated free agreement and spontaneous alignment gets, after so little practice. Once the fundamental rule is absorbed and understood, that is.

It’s the last thing I want for you to do it unwanted. Sheesh! Is this not a universal human stickle? Well whether it is or it isn’t, after your first mistake you will never be able to claim ignorance twice. You cannot do my want against my will. You doing what you don’t want is the last thing I want. Really-dearly.

I want the other to do NOTHING they don’t fully and freely want. It’s only offer, what I give.

All is offer.

So yeah, as to this service commander biz? How you put it? I for one am on board. But I hope you know?

That’s just for you, how you put it. Well, you and me, plus whoever else subscribes. It doesn’t hold for other commands, other commanders?

It holds for your commands.

It has neither force nor applicability to anyone else’s command. You don’t get to command another’s command. You don’t get to define its terms or set its constraints. Think you do? Think you can?

Step to me. I’ll straighten you out with ease and you’ll never walk so funny again.

Treat it right. Here’s how to put it: “For me to command is for me to serve.”

Well, right on! ’Cause that’s for you to say. Well-said. Rightly so. Obvious does not preclude righteous.

Afterthought. Next steps.

If in addition to that you take no directive nor instruction from any commander who is not evidently a true and faithful servant – hey! Good follow-up. Nice step.

Seems a natural progression. Coherent. Smacks of integrity and a general you-harmonious scheme of things. Still falls quite a bit short of making you commander of commanders, though.

Keep working! You’ll never get there, it’s beyond your scope. At some point in true going, though, you will work out why you shall not have standing to command all commanders.

Or anyone else you don’t serve, for that matter. And any you do serve, your service is both voluntary for your part – and consensual for theirs.

How do I stop hating myself? I’m angry that my depression is starting to lift at 30. I grew up in a cult and felt paralyzed the last ten years. I don’t understand the purpose.

  1. I want to applaud you for Showing up for yourself and asking for help. It takes strength and courage.

How we express our emotions and the frequency of how often we feel certain emotions is all a habit. You have already done the first, most important and powerful step which is becoming aware that you aren’t content and want change!

it‘s a practice. Going from hating yourself to hating yourself less is a skill that you can practice. The first step is accepting and understanding that you deserve the change for the better! Accepting yourself may not be easy but is needed to move forward – it’s a process that everyone can achieve.

What does accepting yourself actually mean?

It’s getting to know yourself, your thoughts, your emotions and your body – eventually befriending it all. Especially the negative emotions that no one taught us how to deal with. Negative emotions need compassion and space to just be without judgment. The insight that negative emotions could be having positive intentions helped me a lot. In the eastern philosophy negative emotions are there to help us. By making us feel uncomfortable they are trying to wake us up.

Trying to show us that we might are moving in the wrong direction away from our soul’s desire. Judging yourself for the emotions that we feel is where most suffering comes from. We‘re shaming and blaming ourselves for our reality, for our experience. And it’s totally understandable why we do so. We have never learnt that our emotions are valid. All of them. It sounds like you had a rough past – give yourself permission to treat yourself with more gentle compassion.

Often we think that by judging ourselves we can solve what bothers us about ourselves, but it’s actually completely counterproductive. Judging, blaming & shaming ourselves will only take away our energy – it won’t lead to effective problem solving.

Swap the script.

Tell yourself something nice. What do you like about yourself? Is it your courage, your resilience, your strength that made you go through and survive a cult?

I can feel so much strength in the few words you wrote.

I’m wishing you all the best on your healing journey.

 I’d like to end this comment with these few words:

THE PAST DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.

2.

There are many methods to enter your subconscious – phototropic breathing, psychedelics, meditation and maybe others.

But what I personally recommend and most safe as well is to start practicing Dynamic meditation every day.

It will give you more energy. With time it will let you encounter your subconscious. With every meditation you will enter deeper and deeper into your subconscious. Once these events from the past surface to the conscious mind – you will be free of them.

But if you start practicing Dynamic meditation I will just warn you that for the first few times you do it you will feel very tired. Your body will feel very weak. But after a few more tries you will be gaining more and more energy with each day. Personally for me it took 7 days to see a change and 21 days to be a new man.

3.

We are complex beings in a very complex universe which chose (against huge odds) to choose only those paths which first led to Live; but then for species such as Humans. So, in spite of nonsense told you otherwise, you were intended an as a life-form are Loved by this universe.

You are an eternal, spiritual being who will have many lives in bodies made of stardust. Although all of those bides will die, you will never die!

Bodies are well designed to bring us the lessons that we need to choose to grow and become what we are destined to become.

First off, we are destined to become such great examples of living Love that others choose to become just like us Later we are destined to not just do Love-focused things, but to become Love Personified!

One of the paths to growth is to learn to choose to Love yourself, just as you are; an imperfect human being who is becoming dissatisfied enough to start changing towards becoming Love!

One of the best book get a copy (part of a connected pair of bottom-up and top-down viewpoint books) is:

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way Study Guide with DVD: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered

Does indecisiveness usually mean all the options are equally good?

  1. Not necessarily all good. Indecisiveness can result when all the options are equally good, or equally bad, or equally mixed, and the person whose decision it is unable to tease apart good, bad and indifferent factors, separate them and weigh them up. Come to a decision. The uncertainty of outcomes may play into it. This or that option may look good now – but how will they play out? Might I not regret my choice?

Any of us may be prone to indecisiveness in given moments, where clarity lacks or great things weigh in the balance. Over and above all that, though, “indecisiveness” is often applied as a character trait to people who habitually encounter difficulty in weighing options and making decisions.

Important to note: “indecisiveness” only applies where one has to or wants to make a decision. They are there in the moment, and circumstances dictate they are the one who must decide. If you offer someone a decision they don’t care about, something trivial that doesn’t affect them, something they have no personal need to decide now but could as well decide next week or never, this is not really indecision. All the urgency in the matter is yours, not theirs. They don’t really have a decision to make. At least, not one they must make.

A person who is “undecided” or “noncommittal” in a given matter is not thereby “indecisive.” It’s simply that there has never been any reason they had to decide. They can continue undecided until further experience decides them, if they like. Perhaps gathering and weighing new information. Perhaps not thinking about it at all.

I mention it because some people seem to think it reflects poorly about them if they haven’t decided on anything and everything that has more than one side. Often they plump for some position on scant basis, a “decision” where they “decide what is true” rather than investigate, gather, identify and weigh all factors and decide from what is true. These people aren’t decisive, so much as they are superficial and inconsiderable blockheads. The fact that so many of them compound the frivolity of their conclusions with obstinacy in maintaining them is a similar mistake. They observe courage of well-examined, well-founded convictions is a mark of character, so they think courage of unfounded, unexamined convictions will be just as good.

In the moment of decision you have everything you know, everything you value and consider important, everything you can find out just then, and that’s all you have. Decisiveness is a character of mind that can perceive what’s in play and what’s at stake, and from there reckon quickly and well to a decision well-founded and well-considered – even if it took little time. Looking back on the decision, we may have cause to regret what we did not know then. Typically we will still find our decision sound, based only on what we knew.

Decisiveness is far less about clarity and rapidity of thought in the moment than it is about how much prior consideration has gone into what you value, what you prioritize, and how things work in this world. It’s when we really don’t know what we want – haven’t really thought it through – that we are paralyzed by indecision as we try to work all that out with the pressure on. Prior preparation and a thoroughness of examination (esp. self-examination) is what enables one to size up and weigh options readily, and respond to opportunities with decision.

2.

Indecisiveness can mean many different things. It can mean all the known options are roughly equally good. Or the options are equally bad and one feels forced to choose the lesser of two or more “evils”. Or some combination of good and bad. Or that the best option is yet unknown and hasn’t shown up yet. Or the person isn’t ready to commit to something and needs to “live with” the idea for a while longer. Or they need more time to “try on” the options in their imagination to settling on an answer yes or no. Some people just don’t want to take responsibility so avoid making a decision, on general principles, or they figure the matter will likely resolve itself so they don’t need to do anything. So many possibilities here.

3.

It usually means we are still living in the many weak states of Fear, where anything or even everything can and will go wrong!

Once we choose to: a) step out of Fear; b) turn around; and c) start our own personal version of The Way towards fulfilling our Destinies of Becoming Love Personified, we understand that the universe has our back and to Fear the future is an incorrect attitude about our journey!

Most of society is set up to have us stay, just barely surviving in the many weak states of Fear; so that we are much easier to control. Billions are spent each year to ensure that we get the messages about where we should stay! Most humans do so!

We are indecisive because we assume we will choose badly and lose ; all in a universe that has not selected for us and is inherently dangerous! This universe is not like that!

Where is creativity?

  1. Creativity resides within the unique neural structures peculiar to a single individual: nowhere else.

The external world — the world outside your body & brain, Harikirtan — is the same world for everybody.

You look at the moon, I look at the moon: it’s the same moon. We see the moon at different times under different atmospheric conditions: do these differences explain our individual creative output?

No — that’s not it.

With the exception of olfactory information, the external sensory data your body encounters in the world is recorded in the THALAMUS. Then this data is sent to your CEREBRAL CORTEX, where it’s processed and interpreted.

This means human creativity is determined by individual differences each person exhibits in their thalamus, in their cortex, and in the neural pathways between these two brain structures:

THALAMUS > NEURAL PATHWAYS > CORTEX = HUMAN CREATIVITY

Because our individual brains are all, to some degree, varied, creativity is inherent in Homo sapiens as a species.

(Which it’s not in other species — salamanders, for example — in which the neural path between thalamus and cortex is much shorter than our own.)

The world around us is the same: it’s we who are different, one to another. Such differences produce our creativity — our originality — as we work to make new things in the external world.

Observation is what generates creativity. We observe, we express, and we create. This is what our species does: we make things.

It’s why the best methodology for making art is to relax and be yourself while you observe, observe, observe and record, record, record.

Your way of portraying the moon will be different from my way of portraying the moon, Harikirtan, because our neural structures are different in some way … there’s nothing more to it than this.

The big wide world lies outside of our own body. The way we receive, interpret and express our place in that world lies within us.

-Lance

NOTE: The thalamus is a small structure within the brain located just above the brain stem between the cerebral cortex and the midbrain and has extensive nerve connections to both. The main function of the thalamus is to relay motor and sensory signals to the cerebral cortex for interpretation. What is the Thalamus?

2.

Creativity is the result of the biology of the brain, with some brains being more creative and some less so. Creativity is not destroyed or created by the home environment, schools, or teachers.

To understand creativity, one needs to examine a large number of perspectives that relate to the creative brain. The best single source of information from these perspectives is The Cambridge Handbook of the Neuroscience of Creativity (2018) Rex E. Jung (Editor), Oshin Vartanian (Editor). The book is long, but worth reading, if you are really interested in understanding creativity.

Among the factors that are important to the creative mind are

  • lowered inhibition (the function that blocks unrelated stimuli from being processed)
  • increased connectivity between brain regions that are usually not connected
  • ability to achieve divergent thought
  • ability to access the default mode network (DFN) for creative idea generation
  • leaky attention (the opposite of maintaining focus)
  • ability to create remote associations

A basic neurological aspect of creativity is the inhibitory function, which acts to keep the brain focused on a given task by not responding to unrelated items that are not related to the cognitive activity. When this function is low, the number of extraneous stimuli that are rejected is low, so the brain gets a broader range of stimulants—helpful to creativity. Although rare, there are verified cases of people suddenly developing an interest in creative pursuits, following a brain injury. It happens only when the area of the brain that is damaged is the part governing inhibition. Similarly, exposure to alcohol or other drugs can reduce the inhibitory function and promote creative thought.

The connectivity of white matter tracts also can bring in distant associations in the individuals who have connections to usually not-connected parts of the brain. The point of all of these examples is to show that properties of the brain are the primary reasons some people are creative and some are not. You cannot teach someone to be the brilliant painter Picasso, but you might find one out of a few billion people who have what it takes.

Besides the book already mentioned, there are lots of other good papers on the subject. I think these two are particularly good:

Methods

Creativity meets neuroscience: Experimental tasks for the neuron-scientific study of creative thinking/ Andreas Fink, Mathias Benedek, Roland H. Grabner, Beate Staudt, Aljoscha C. Neubauer/ Methods 42 (2007) 68–76

Human Brain Mapping 31:398–409 (2010) Neuroanatomy of Creativity; Rex E. Jung, 1,2 * Judith M. Segall, 1 H. Jeremy Bockholt, 1 Ranee A. Flores, Shirley M. Smith, Robert S. Chavez, and Richard J. Haier

3.

Creativity is outside of Logic and, on the Scale of Consciousness created by David R. Hawkins, up into the range of ‘Love and above’! The range of Logic ends before Love.

Other teachers remind us that we have to all but shut down our noisy minds to enter the field of Consciousness which is sourced in our sixth, non-dimensional, senses and beyond what our five physical senses can access.

Those who have not learned the limits of our physical senses, and those who worship the Logical processes will rail at this; but they will also fail to make Great advances, being restricted to only the tiny, incremental steps which Science-only processes can keep us confined to doing.

We are complex beings in a very complex universe; but are normally taught at the kindergarten level so that we remain largely ignorant and controllable by others.

Both meditation and contemplative prayer can take us into the silence, by helping us quiet our noisy minds; so we can hear the subtle messages which we need to make leaps of imagination.

There are many good teachers who can help you meditate, starting with the basics but moving well up into very powerful procedures. As you grow, it is likely that you will need to change teachers; but that is OK; even necessary!

To become very creative you will have to go beyond the ‘silence’; but that can easily happen if you understand it is the final step; after you are already very good at ignoring mind noisiness!

All Great creativity is done in deep levels of consciousness!

4.

My definition of creativity is precise. Consider the set of all possible thoughts which can be generated algorithmically from everything that is currently known, i.e. by cutting and pasting and shuffling and otherwise repeating or re-assembling, etc. every intelligibly parable sentence you can imagine.

A creative idea (art work, etc.) is anything that makes sense but is not included in that set.

A couple thoughts here: First, creativity need not be salubrious. Somebody invented the idea of extermination camps. Zyklon-B and using it to murder people was a creative idea somebody had. Sophocles wrote: “O clear intelligence, force beyond all measure! O fate of man, working both good and evil!” He was not just making pretty sounding words.

Second: You do not need to be a Shakespeare or an Einstein to have a creative idea, and not just a trivial one. I had an uncle who, as an enlisted man in World War II, invented the “star and bars” insignia still found to this day (2020) on all United States military aircraft. His invention saved lived by enabling U.S. fighter pilots to distinguish friend from foe and thus avoid shooting down their comrades by friendly fire in aerial combat. He had only a high school education. A whole bunch of college education officers never even had a clue to solving the problem. The downside was that, because he was only an enlisted man, he got no publicity for what he did and, apart from me, nobody would ever know about it.