Earl Nightingale started his talk, The Strangest Secret, with the following:
I’d like to tell you about the strangest secret in the world. Some years ago, the late Nobel Prize winning Dr. Albert Schweitzer was being interviewed in London and the reporter asked him, “Doctor, what’s wrong with men today?”
The great doctor was silent a moment and then he said, “Men simply don’t think.”
I looked up the definition of think. Bing gave two definitions of think as a verb:
- Have a particular opinion, belief, or idea about someone or something.
- Direct one’s mind toward someone or something; use one’s mind actively to form connected ideas.
Certainly Dr. Schweitzer was not talking about the first definition. Everyone has opinions, beliefs and ideas. It is the second definition that is the problem.
Most people are not in control of their minds. Of course, we believe we are thinking. The reality is that we are observing our minds running amuck.
One of my favorite teachers was Jack Boland, the Unity minister. He likened the mind to a puppy on a leach. The puppy wanders around sniffing the grass, the trees, the fire hydrants and most of the time we follow. Few people learn to control their minds and direct their thoughts. Imagine telling your mind to heel. Get over here and focus on what I want.
I was amazed when I first had the experience of controlling my mind. Walter Russell gave me the experience in one of his books. The experience became the starting point of my course, Mental Mastery.
However, I wanted to go beyond the experience. I learned that it is easier for us to control our brains if we can make sense of something.
The course includes the philosophy and science that explains why controlling our minds is so important. Think of your brain as a biocomputer. You are the operator/programmer. What happens if you ignore your computer? Nothing happens. Or someone else hacks your computer and takes control.
Similarly, most of our lives we have allowed others to hack our brains and take control. We have been programmed and using the first definition of think; we have opinions, beliefs and ideas about everything. Where is truth?
Let me give you an example. Nathan, my grandson, was learning to talk. I was having my morning coffee and he came over to sit on grandpa’s lap. He pointed to my coffee and said, “Hot coffee.”
I said, “No it is coffee but it isn’t hot any more.”
He said, “coffee.”
His brain was programmed.
What if I had told him, it was chocolate? What if his entire life he was told that coffee was chocolate? Would he at some point go to a restaurant and order chocolate and be quite upset at what he was given?
That is a simple example. Some would say that he had been lied to. However, most of our education turns out to be faulty. We get emotionally attached to our opinions, beliefs and ideas because we believe them to be truths. We are using the first definition of think.
When we take control and begin to examine our opinions, beliefs and ideas, we see that we may have been wrong. That process of questioning our opinions, beliefs and ideas is really the work of thinking which Schweitzer said men simply do not do.
The polarity we see in the world today is the fight between opinions, beliefs and ideas. What we need are leaders who do the real work of thinking and pursue the truth.
How about you? Are you ready to change your life and take charge? Pursue truth. I think you’ll be amazed.
Thanks for reading.
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