Often over time men have been overshadowed by divinity and inspired by God to accept positive leadership. Had they not responded to the available impression nor accepted the newly recognized responsibility, the course of world affairs and its events would have been different.
What Obscures and What Aids ‘The Process’?
Becoming impressionable to Divine Purpose requires a consciousness and willingness to cooperate. It is a positive collaboration and proceeds under law and for a specific purpose—in line with the Law of Synthesis, of unity and fusion. The motive is ever the greater helping of the race. Impression is one of the methods to be used by the Coming Christ* and His Great Ones to do just that for the helping of the world.
All attitudes, relationships and actions that are contrary to or impede realization of the One Life and violate the essential unity of humanity foster glamour and illusion. Fatigue, lack of focus and ‘busy-ness’ on the physical plane do much to obscure the process, also. Discipline enables one to achieve the alignment necessary to render oneself a fit vehicle for Impression.
Working in cooperation with the Masters of the Wisdom—the Hierarchy of Light and Love—we become the recipients of impression and of energy. The head center registers Purpose. The ajna center focuses intention. The energy of Will impresses us from the Ashram via the Antahkarana—a result of registration by the head center, which is then distributed through a focus on the ajna center. Impression leads to application in service. In a manner of speaking, this process proceeds to turn the disciple “inside out” as he/she begins to live in greater consciousness and expression.
The following disciplines, requirements and methods will assist in the process of becoming impressionable to Divine Purpose:
Most of us like to think that we are in control of our actions. Turns out, your brain can be a big jerk, and you are susceptible to a large list of biases and reactions that can hold you back from acting objectively. Luckily, some good social psychology books (spurred on by well-research papers and experiments!) have revealed a large amount of these biases to the common reader.
Here are five notorious social biases and the ways that you can recognize them and react.
Fundamental Attribution Error
This is a very insidious bias that we all fall victim to from time-to-time.
The calling card of the fundamental attribution error is when we place a large amount of emphasis on situational explanations when rationalizing when things happen to us, but we use personality-based explanations when rationalizing what happens to others.
As an example:
If Alice saw Bob trip over a rock and fall, Alice might consider Bob to be clumsy or careless (personal/dispositional).
If Alice tripped over the same rock herself, she would be more likely to blame the placement of the rock (situational).
First uncovered by the classic study The attribution of attitudes, there are STILL no concrete explanations to explain its occurrence.
Some of the more common reasons cited include:
- The just-world phenomenon: our brains are naturally inclined to have a belief that the world is balanced or “fair”, and that things that happen to others happen for a reason. While we often see other people this way, we have a tendency to see ourselves as “victims” instead.
- Salience of the actor: individuals capture our attention, so when observing their situation, we are focused on them, when observing our own situation, we focus on the environment.
- Automaticity & processing: we often process things on a subconscious level, and it’s often easier for our brain to wave away a situation as happening “just because they deserve it” rather than looking at the circumstances.
Dealing with it: Unfortunately, there isn’t much beyond an agreed list of “best practices” when it comes to dealing with the fundamental attribution error (it’s that pervasive!). The best I’ve got for you is to remind yourself of the old adage of, “Walking a mile in someone’s shoes,” and determining if the situation is playing a major role in the event.
For instance, if a beginner makes a mistake, recall a time when you were a beginner yourself at the same activity or another; it’s likely that your nervousness, inexperience, and other outside factors caused you to make some errors as well.
The Halo effect is an attributional bias where our brain makes judgements about the character or competency of others based off of our general impression of them. In some cases, it can be viewed as a form of social proof.
The problem occurs when these impressions are wrong, and since they are often based off of superficial judgements (such as if the person is attractive to us), we can be wrong quite often.
What is also worrisome is that this bias seems to be present even at the highest levels of society in realms where objectivity should rule. In fact, it’s been shown that on average, attractive people serve shorter prison sentences than others who were convicted of similar crimes.
Dealing with it: The most important way to battle against this bias is to try and detach yourself from the person at hand and to take the actions in as much of a “vacuum” as you are able.
If the same action were committed by someone whom you didn’t admire, would it impact you the same way? We have a tendency to get swept up in the stories of others, so ask yourself if the “mystique” about someone was gone, would you perceive their actions differently?
It’s important to ask yourself these questions when trying to objectively evaluate the actions of someone who may have left a strong impression on you or is someone who you truly respect: those qualities don’t always lead to the person being right.
The “naive cynicism” bias occurs quite often, even in the most trusting of people.
It states that people are, on average, likely to assume that others have more of an egocentric biasthan themselves. This means that people believe that others are more likely to be egocentric than themselves when dealing with people.
We have data to show that this is not the case (statistically speaking), such as how Malcom Gladwell’s Blink showed that most people do not sue their doctors when injured due to negligence, despite the often pervasive idea that patients are always taking advantage of malpractice in this manner.
In one series of experiments, groups including married couples, video game players, darts players and debaters were asked how often they were responsible for good or bad events relative to a partner.
Participants evenly apportioned themselves for both good and bad events, but expected their partner to claim more responsibility for good events than bad events than they actually did.
Dealing with it: The important thing to remember about this bias is that it’s more of an outlook on others. While circumstance often plays a huge role in people’s outlook on the world (those born in a crowded, crime-ridden city may have different views on other people than those who grew up in a quiet suburb), but it’s important to remember that there are a LOT of people in the world and that, on average, most people evaluate situations in the same fashion that you do.
People by and large will give credit where it’s due, and you should try to react to situations where you have some sort of inclination that the opposite will happen, not just assume that everyone is more egocentric than yourself.
This one probably didn’t need a study to confirm it, am I right?
It’s very obvious to many of us that people favor those who are in “their” group, but there is something a lot scarier about this bias than you may realize: people often form groups from the most trivial distinctions.
In a notorious study called Social categorization and intergroup behaviour, social psychologist Henri Tajfel was able to show that people could be placed into groups from meaningless choices (choosing between two painters who they had never met) and then have these choices affect their reactions when it came time to dole out real rewards.
Think about that.
People who chose the same painter (again, the choice was meaningless) would then, when queued to deal out real rewards to any participant, chose to FAVOR those who chose the same painter and DISCRIMINATE against those who didn’t.
To make matters worse, in a study on customer loyalty programs, consumer researchers showed that people became more loyal to the programs when they new that they were in a “gold” class and above other people enrolled in the program, showing that meager distinctions of superiority can make people more loyal to a supposed in-group.
Additional studies have shown that things as shallow as similar purchases can trigger the effect. So if you meet someone and they also own some tennis racquets, terrariums, a pair of Crocs, or aDolphin Power Boat (yes, that’s real), you are susceptible to in-group favoritism rearing its ugly head. Meeting someone with a common item, such as a guy who also wears pants, probably won’t trigger the effect, or at least I hope so…
Dealing with it: This (as with all of these biases) is tough to handle, but this one is especially tricky because it can we can encounter it due to the actions of others. To maintain our own objectivity, the best way is to envision an interaction without group constructs in place.
If this or that person weren’t connected with you in some way, would you still feel the same about their actions? Conversely, if someone from the “other team” were on your side, would their actions be different in your eyes? It’s important to consider these distinctions when evaluating individual situations because, as the research shows, we can be heavily influenced by them.
No list would be complete without this one.
The Dunning-Kruger effect states that unskilled individuals are likely to suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. Conversely, those who are highly competent may have feelings of inferiority, because they believe everybody else has the same competency that they do.
According to Charles Darwin:
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
It turns out that he was far more correct than many of us would like to admit.
In some recent research (2008), Dunning & Kruger asserted that individuals who were most likely to suffer from illusory superiority were those who were disinclined to receive feedback from others on their performance. Blocking out of any critiques allowed them to create a sense of accomplishment that wasn’t necessarily true.
Dealing with it: Lacking confidence in oneself is just as bad as being overconfident. What then can we do to avoid falling victim to both sides of the Dunning-Kruger effect?
I think that the solution is best addressed in one of my favorite quotes by Ernest Hemingway:
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
Focusing on improving yourself and not worrying about the performance of others or your skill in relation to them.
It’s fine to be competitive, but when you spend too much time analyzing what other people are doing (especially if it’s not for a competitive sport or activity), you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment as you set goals based on other people’s lives rather than your own.
Never take your position for granted and never let any favors you receive go to your head.
Half of your mastery of power comes from what you do not do, what you do not allow yourself to get dragged into.
The most important of these skills, and power’s crucial foundation, is the ability to master your emotions. An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power, a mistake that will cost you a lot more than any temporary satisfaction you might gain by expressing your feelings. Emotions cloud reason, and if you cannot see the situation clearly, you cannot prepare for and respond to it with any degree of control.
All working situations require a kind of distance between people. You are trying to work, not make friends; friendliness (real or false) only obscures that fact. The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.
Learn the lesson: Once the words are out, you cannot take them back. Keep them under control. Be particularly careful with sarcasm: The momentary satisfaction you gain with your biting words will be outweighed by the price you pay.
In most areas of life, the less you say, the more profound and mysterious you appear.
If deception is the most potent weapon in your arsenal, then patience in all things is your crucial shield.
Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay.
By saying less than necessary you create the appearance of meaning and power. Also, the less you say, the less risk you run of saying something foolish, even dangerous.
Seem to want something in which you are actually not at all interested and your enemies will be thrown off the scent, making all kinds of errors in their calculations.
Practicing exercises is the only way to experience the teaching. An exercise done with all your attention will bring you into ‘here and now’. Here are 24 exercises from Tom Campbell
- – Try to tolerate a characteristic of a person who annoys you immensely.
- – Be aware of the fact that those things that you find annoying about other people are the things you are still struggling with yourself. Things you have overcome will only result in compassion.
- – Taste the food you are eating with all your attention.
- – Listen to the sound of the voice of the person talking to you. Do not try to understand (catch) the words.
- – Listen to the silence, the intervals between the words or the notes of the music.
- – Direct all your attention at the work surface. The work surface is the surface between the instrument you are using and the object you work on, e.g. the surface between the sandpaper and the windowsill, or the space between the saw and the beam.
- – Listen to music and observe where in the body the music is heard. Observe the differences between the physical perceptions of rhythm, of melody and harmony.
- – See life as a game in which all roles are equal.
- – Observe one of your roles and try to unmask the identification.
- – Ban excessive arranging and fixing, and have faith that the right solution is always within reach.
- – As soon as you notice a prejudice coming up, let go of it immediately.
- – Really close activities by letting go of them / by completely coming to yourself. Practice with telephone calls. Start the next activity with a clean mind.
- – Stop unnecessary talking. If you notice the other person is not listening, stop immediately. If you catch yourself singing your standard tune, stop immediately.
- – Do not waste energy by excessive exertions: screwing the cap of the toothpaste too tight, ditto for the lid of the jar of peanut butter, slamming the door, a too heavy touch on your keyboard, etc., etc. In short, have a sense of measure!
- – Observe the functioning of the three centres in your daily work. What belongs to the head? What belongs to the heart? What belongs to the belly? Observe how each centre functions by seeing it while it happens. Everyone has to discover for himself his own way of functioning and his own falsity, so that this can be purified.
- – Watch your movements without intervening. Under an observing eye, which does not intervene, we can discern the right measure, and our movements and actions will become more precise, more correct, and consequently clearer and more distinct. Excessive movement will disappear and so a lack of effort. Start with observing the hands at work, without intervening.
- – Observe your thinking and the circling thoughts in your head while they are ‘circling’. Remembering this afterwards is not much use or no use at all, because what is done cannot be undone. We have to manage to stop such a stream of thoughts when it is in full swing. Only then something will change, in actual practice in other words. Under this observing eye, circling thoughts will have less chance to go their way. The same applies to associative thinking, inner conversations and imagination.
- – Consider: love starts where nothing is demanded in return. Explanation: In your relationship with your partner, or relationship with whomever, see whether you are behaving with love, with this text as a touchstone.
- – Practice: give someone what you think you are without. Explanation: sometimes you may feel that someone should pay you attention, listen to you or respect you. When you are stuck in this, switch the situation round and put that which you think you are without at the disposal of the person of whom you expect, demand or are trying to enforce something like this.
- – Practice: Take the position of the Objective Observer for 15 minutes. Explanation: This is the easiest exercise in the world, which is the least easy to put into practice. It is the exercise for filling so-called empty moments when waiting for the train, bus or people. The exercise is like this: resolve to just watch, listen, feel, smell and/or taste (these are the sensory functions) for 15 minutes. To optimize this exercise, the advice is to go to a busy environment, such as a park, a train station or busy shopping street. Naturally, you will notice that in no time, your consciousness will be stuck in one or other thought, association or judgement. When you see this, you open your consciousness again as wide as possible, and make sure you do not forget that consciousness is a fact. Every attempt at ‘doing things yourself’ will not work.
- – Observe how we continuously consider our world in opposites. Black-and-white thinking is a cultural pattern and is an invitation to discord.
- – Observe where you lose your attention and have fallen asleep.
- – Come to yourself regularly by, for instance, listening to the farthest sound. Enjoy the silence.
- – Listen to the sound of your own voice without wanting to do anything about this sound (without criticising it either).
Found and abridged from http://tomcampbell.tumblr.com/post/54399874/gurdjieff-self-remembering-exercises
Vedic Mathematics allows even children to solve immense multi digit equations in seconds. Their are vedas (patterns) that can allow you to solve algebra, long-division and calculi using simple pattern recognition.
Here is one example.
Books books books! Every once in a while, someone’s silent labour is uncovered, as though a rejected cornerstone had been unearthed for all to see. In this case it is esoteric knowledge, compiled, distilled and ordered for a few initiates, and briefly for us all.
The first of these is: Bookult (currently Down on 23rd of June – a replacement has been posted ) 23hich has roughly 500 esoteric ebooks and what are known as ‘Libers’ free to view, download and enjoy. Compilations like these are rare, and may take many years to assemble. Unfortunately they regularly vanish along with the servers hosting them.
Among Bookults gems are The Martinist initiation courses, Franz Bardons initiation into Hermetics and perhaps most difficult to come by Jean Dubuis Alchemical Correspondence courses. Utterly invaluable.
Arcane Advisor is another great place to go, with more classified documents (AMORC’s Neophyte, zelator, ipsissimus Lectures) here than any other site I know. So if you have a Kindle and a bit of spare time you can find more Hidden secrets in a few days than perhaps a whole lifetime of hap hazardly perusing amazon or the local Water-stones.