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All wisdom and all virtues such as bravery, gentleness, kindness and steadfastness already exist within you in perfect form.
Vices and imbalances such as cowardice, weakness and clumsiness are caused by not accepting the various aspects of yourself.
Virtues in your everyday life can be developed by simply accepting the various aspects of yourself and allowing them back into your life.
This guide will show you how.
The simple but powerful techniques contained here will enable you to:
*Be calm and relaxed in every situation*
*Eliminate habits and self limiting beliefs by dealing with their root cause*
*Increase your capability in any field of endeavour*
*Increase physical and mental vitality*
*Understand yourself and those around you*
*Improve your character*
+Much more than you now believe possible.
Firstly, it is not intended that you believe anything in this book blindly or without thought. There is no need to convince you
of any doctrine whatsoever and any such effort would be counterproductive. Blind acceptance or rejection will not help you
in understanding and applying the wonderful techniques contained here. As long as you are willing to think carefully about
and experiment cautiously with the information in this book, I am convinced that you will come to appreciate its great value.
Thus appreciating its value, you will study more deeply and practice the exercises with greater enthusiasm gaining
considerably from doing so.
How to Read this Book
Secondly, as you read and apply the knowledge and exercises within this book, your awareness about the previous chapters will correspondingly increase. Therefore it is very useful that you reread previous chapters and continue to apply yourself to the earlier exercises as you progress. You will find that any parts you may have found difficult to understand will become clear in the light of the increased awareness that you have gained from later chapters. The varied exercises are designed to compliment and enhance each other, so when you are familiar with the text, it is natural that you combine the various techniques as you see fit.
A virtue is a particular quality of being that is the correct and most natural way of dealing with a particular aspect of reality.
Almost all religions and secret societies have their own particular list of virtues that they would have you aspire towards.
Such lists can act as a useful guide and reminder of how we can best live. Unfortunately such lists are incomplete and arbitrary. The compilers of such lists and philosophies, whilst sometimes wise, must have been ignorant of the true nature of the virtues.
The various Human languages are distorted and incomplete maps of a beautiful and universal conceptual matrix. It is wonderfully symmetrical and interconnected. It is intimately related to every part of your life.
Just as a small number of letters can combine to make countless words and just as all the myriad substances in the world are formed from a comparatively few chemical elements so all the concepts and situations, in their infinite variety, are made up from a limited number of simple conceptual elements. The branch of the universal matrix that we are concerned with now is the virtue matrix. The universal matrix of virtues is the ideal blueprint for our character's development. In fact our true nature, underneath the various false beliefs and rubbish, is identical to it. All the parables and teaching stories in the world are contained within it. By its' very nature it is beyond dogma and sectarianism. It is, in short, the underlying unifying bridge which connects all spiritual and mundane schools of thought.
Virtues come in pairs which are complimentary to each other: the opposite of a virtue is always another virtue. If we internally prefer one virtue to its opposite partner, it becomes over extended and imbalanced whilst its partner becomes weak and stunted.
BRAVERY and CAUTION are a complimentary pair. If I do not accept the CAUTION within me I will tend to be
RECKLESS and take too many risks. On the other hand If I do not accept the BRAVERY within me, I will tend to be cowardly and miss out on opportunities.
Examples of the Virtuous Opposites
Most people believe that the opposite of STRENGTH is WEAKNESS but this is not so. WEAKNESS is actually a LACK of STRENGTH. The opposite of too little force(WEAKNESS) is too much force(ROUGHNESS). The actual opposite of STRENGTH is GENTLENESS. They are a single state. Perfect STRENGTH must also be perfectly GENTLE otherwise it would fall into ROUGHNESS. Perfect GENTLENESS must also be perfectly STRONG otherwise it would fall into weakness.
The opposite of perfect HUMBLENESS is perfect MAJESTY. They are a single state. It is impossible to be ARROGANT without also being INSECURE. These concepts have to do with self worth. REVERENCE and AUDACITY have to do with the worth of others. Lacking REVERENCE for someone we fall into rudeness. Lacking AUDACITY we fall into idolization. So HUMBLENESS, MAJESTY, REVERENCE and AUDACITY are all connected by the concept of worth. Every virtue is a member of a specific group of four virtues connected by a simple concept.
The mind attunes to that which it focuses on. Write down all the virtues you can think of. Knowledge is power. Write down
all the vices you can think of. A vice is merely a lack of a particular virtue. Every virtue has an opposite virtue and so every
vice has an opposite vice. Link together as many virtues with their virtuous opposites along with their corresponding vices.
This can be more easily done by writing each concept onto a separate piece of card so that you can move them around as
you will. Feel free to use a dictionary or thesaurus to help you.
*Exercise One: Overview*
Every virtue is associated with a particular basic concept such as danger, information or resources etc. Try and group the virtue pairs according to their nature. For example bravery and caution are connected with danger. Honesty, discretion and openness etc are connected with information.
Is the virtue active or passive, giving out or keeping in, to do with the self or the non self? Does the positioning of the virtues in your matrix reflect these qualities?
The idea of symmetry is not an intellectual ornament. It helps us to see all the virtues as equal and thus removes the many prejudices and preferences picked up from particular past experience. Furthermore rigorous symmetry will reveal gaps in your knowledge or unnecessary repetition of the same concept under a different name. Your matrix should be perfectly complete at the same time as being perfectly simple: clarity and comprehension will be the result.
To do this exercise perfectly is to have uncovered and have a good understanding of the universal matrix. True your particular words and labels may well differ from country to country and person to person but the underlying concepts and correspondences will be found to be the same for anyone who studies them deeply.
Summary of Exercise One: Overview
It is unlikely however that you will attain that level of coherence on your first try. You will no doubt have a ragged and incomplete matrix with some degree of error. As you progress with the other exercises, come back again and again to this exercise to revise your work. I promise you that an inherent beauty, symmetry and completeness will emerge for you and you will not regret the effort you have spent. By calling forth your innate understanding and by focussing on the virtues, many inner prejudices and false notions will automatically fall away from you. You will then begin to embody the qualities necessary for a truly fulfilling and successful life. We will study the matrix further in a later chapter.
Whenever we reject a part of ourselves, it falls into semiconsciousness.
Beliefs can only exist in semiconsciousness. Think for a minute and you will see that it is so. If you are truly aware of something, no beliefs about it form: you just experience it directly as it is. Throughout your life beliefs and hypnotic suggestions have been collecting in the areas of semiconsciousness within you. It is probable that right now you have many negative and false beliefs about yourself and the world around you. There are thousands of self help books that will tell you how to change your beliefs and teach you how to think positively. Most will produce positive effects in your life if you apply a little effort. Unfortunately the effects can be short lived: The root of the problem is missed. It is like chopping the tops of weeds or sculpting a hedge. In a while the weeds will grow back and the hedge will become untidy again. Nevertheless, clearing away the beliefs is a useful exercise in order to tackle the root: semiconsciousness which is caused by not accepting the various inner parts of ourselves.
Some people cherish their own beliefs and opinions to such an extent that they ignore direct evidence to the contrary. They are not really interested in the truth as much as they are in defending their own beliefs. Such people fear the truth and often labour under thousands of negative and crippling attitudes and beliefs their whole lives leading to needless suffering.
Two attitudes towards truth
The other type of person is loyal to the truth- whatever it might be- over their own beliefs etc. Such a person is humble enough to realise that they don't know it all and has a natural curiosity about the world around them. If someone like this is proven wrong, they are not defensive: in fact they are delighted for it means they have moved closer to the truth.
So what type of person are you? If you can sincerely and whole heartedly perform the following exercise, then you have loyalty towards the truth whatever it might be.
Relax and silently declare to yourself that you wish to let go of all false beliefs that you hold no matter how long you have held them or how much you may have cherished them. As you do this, visualise in your mind an appropriate picture which is symbolic of the inner cleansing that you are undertaking. For example, imagine your false beliefs as a wall that is then
smashed down. You could imagine your false beliefs as darkness that is being replaced by the light of direct awareness or imagine all your beliefs on paper that is then burnt to pure ashes that blow away. If you feel unable or unwilling to let go of all your beliefs, just pick an area or a particular belief and work on that.
*Exercise Two: Letting Go of False Beliefs*
Now, still relaxed, simply allow yourself to love Truth. Trust in it and be open to it. It is entirely beneficial and safe to do so. You can do this exercise any time silently and easily. Eventually it will no longer be necessary as you will have totally and naturally reintegrated the correct attitude into your everyday life.
This exercise will dissolve away many barriers to your understanding and natural well being. Some beliefs will instantly dissipate. Others may take a little longer. Now that you have uplifted your attitude towards the truth you will be more open to logical persuasion and genuine evidence and you will be protected from those around you who would have you believing self limiting rubbish etc. Also, because you have reduced the false propaganda against various parts of yourself, you are in a much better position to accept and reintegrate them.
Summary of Exercise Two: Letting Go of False Beliefs
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