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Self-Transformation:Reading Won't Make It Happen -- Only Applying Will Do

Updated on January 10, 2020
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Image by Nino Care from Pixabay
Image by Nino Care from Pixabay

Books...Books...Never Enough Books

It may come as an intellectual shock to some folks, but this world is not in any need for yet another single book, sermon, motivational workshop, or CD with positive affirmations.

It has all been said and explained in so many ways that it shames the mankind for being such poor learners. More than two millennia of studying and parroting the teachings of our holy books have little to show for all that intellectualizing.

Let's honestly face it, the world hasn't turned into a Shangri La of altruism, tolerance, support, and compassion. And with those tons of therapeutic material written with ambition to open our eyes, we still prefer to keep them glued in our nightmarish experiencing the drama called life.

So we just keep reading between any two appointments with our shrink or doctor, or any two get-together with friends with whom we can exchange stories about our respective crappy conditions.

Blaming others stays as popular after we have read ten inspirational books, as it was before we read any. Choice of targets is all that makes us different in our intellectual tastes -- so some will blame parents, others will bitch about politicians, or ineffective doctors, contradicting name it.

And yet, some others won't be so creative as to project their own misery on others, they will just blame themselves, cooking in their own oil -- while at the same time appearing ridiculously knowledgeable about the "human condition".

Hey, we even invented something like "evil", with those demonic entities hijacking our souls, merely to cover up for our mental laziness, which, by the way, is the main cause of all "evil" befalling us. For an earthly equivalent of that evil we invented a whole catalog of potential "enemies". So we spend an insane amount of money for building up our sophisticated weaponry -- instead of using it for education, health care, or infrastructure, to name only these few justifiable uses for taxpayers' money.

But then, yes, with all that amassed technical know-how, we do sound like one hell of a smart species.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Reactive Machines, Not Proactive Creators

When it's about quality of living and coexisting, I hope I am not the only one noticing how people are not really using their heads for more than wearing a hat. So knowledgeable in "science of victimhood", and so ignorant in "science of normalcy".

We have a well proven potential to become a super-race in this tiny corner of the universe. But, again, it can't be manifested by our fighting all those imagined "evils" that stand in the way of our more convincing advancement. Not by reading yet another book, nor by attending yet another motivational workshop -- but simply by recognizing what we have been doing historically (if not hysterically) to ourselves.

Contrary to the popular mantra in self-help literature saying that "we are what we think"-- we are what we consciously do, which includes our choices of thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and models of interacting with others. There is one hell of a difference between unconsciously computed, and then merely emerging thoughts -- and those that we have chosen while introspectively aware of those unconscious tendencies and our conscious options to think and emotionally respond.

Which brings us to the theme of proactiveness vs. reactiveness. Someone already said it: "Life is only 10% of what's happening, and 90% of how we are reacting to it". Proactive means a conscious, life promoting intent, as we are examining and doing what is humanly doable.

Unfortunately, due to the most humanity living asleep, the whole life, with all psycho-physical dynamics, as well as the whole cultural paradigm, gravitates around this wrong choice of reactive over proactive. That includes so many cases where we just appear to be "proactive and exercising our free will", while we are merely doing it in reaction to something, not seeking an outcome based on some original interpretation.

Even our gods are portrayed as some reactive celestial entities that react to our behavior -- pleased by this, displeased by that, rewarding us, and punishing us for our merits and our sins.

Are we really so dumb to believe how the Unfathomable-Something which created the whole universe and set everything in motion from quantum particles to galaxies -- may react to our petty, crappy misbehaving, and go ecstatic over our rescuing a dog.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Time for Some Bragging

While waking up in the morning, people don't do it in a style of a winner, but a victim: "Crap! Another day, and it's not weekend!" So many of us -- allegedly even that "most powerful man on earth" -- are not really "morning people".


Because it takes them time just to mobilize all defensive mechanisms and mental strategies for facing another day. Vulnerable to their core, they would rather cover their heads for an indefinite snooze, before crawling out of bed and putting on their favorite social mask.

Not proactive creators of their day, but reactive human automatons with a mental keyboard full of buttons exposed to be pushed by anybody or anything.

Now, I have to do some bragging, to justify the way I am portraying others in such a fashion, while not including myself. My waking up in the morning finds me instantly ready to answer any question that I could normally answer after several hours of my wakeful state.

Moreover, in middle of so many nights I wake up in a creative mood resembling a mini-epiphany, fully refreshed after only a few hours of sleep -- to do an extra round of my qigong exercise, or to sit by this desk and write down what's on my mind. Not exactly feeling intellectually lonely -- and yet, not always eager to share it, either online, or with family, or with best friends.

Let's say, I am just being realistic about this passion of mine. Even now, as I am writing, in this, somewhat satirical spirit, I am aware that to many a reader it will just be but another story about "what is possible".

So many times I mentioned all those books that I have read, but they are not more than a dead pile of alphabet symbols without my applying their messages or their wisdom. Truth be told, not always sure about why I needed all those books to grasp and to apply something that I could have grasped and applied after just a few of selected ones.

But then, who knows, maybe I wanted them for a mental gym, or to polish and refine something that needed it. Or, I was reading so many of them so that I could repeatedly brag about it some day in the future, like I am doing it right now.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Same Ingredients and Recipe -- Different Cooks

Back in the seventies I got the same wisdom to be followed from Erhard Seminars Training, and from a few other books, as I am getting these days from quantum physics, epigenetics, or biocentrism.

Certain fields of science seem to be advancing by the same principle as I am using here and there while writing my articles on psycho-philosophy of living -- the one I am tempted to call "potatoes in different dishes". Namely, some folks like fried potatoes better than mashed, or baked, or diced and boiled -- while it's still just potatoes.

Personally, I love them heavily spiced one way or another.

So, when Werner told a depressed seminar attendee -- who had been haunted by his traumatic childhood, that he was an "asshole for tormenting himself with his past" -- that paved my path of a Spartan self-discipline.

Then, an alike effect I got from that story about a zen master walking by the river with his student, who suddenly blurted out about his impatience over the duration of attaining enlightenment. The master took him by hand into the shallow of the river, grabbed his head and pushed it under water. When bubbles stopped appearing on the surface, he pulled his head up with words:

"When you crave your enlightenment as much as you've been craving air, you will find enlightenment soon after".

That served as a powerful lesson to me, after which I quit mental laziness and procrastination. Books were signposts pointing at a direction, but they couldn't do the walking for me. Just becoming another smart ass was not among my life ambitions. Of course, I can't avoid people seeing me as one, but there are always those wise few who will not care "who" is saying it -- but "what" is being said.

So I am calling myself a "mental athlete" more for fun, because I am still far from being ready for any imagined "Mental Olympics" -- but what a hell, it's still more true about me than a portrait of a "mental couch potato".

On the corner of my coffee table, like glued to it, is the book "Becoming Supernatural -- Common People Doing the Uncommon" by Dr. Joe Dispenza. A place where some other folks would keep their Bible, Quran, Bhagavat Gita, or their favorite fashion magazines.

To me, that book is a reminder to stay tuned to my consciousness, not to get lost in the mazes of my mental automatisms.

Well, to each their own. Look, here I wrote something for a curious reader to ponder upon -- for a short while, of course, before it turns into "just another story", easily to be washed down from sleepy eyes by only a few blinks, not even by fully closing eyes on all this.

And yet, maybe not every single one -- and it's for such a reader that I was primarily writing all this.

© 2019 Vladimir Karas


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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      5 months ago from Canada

      Allen, my friend -- I would remind you of what you read, but I can't remember what I wrote - LOL!

      Just kidding. As long as you like what you read, something stays with you -- at least unconsciously. This time it's the idea of "applying" something of what we have read about.

      As for the "target" of my writing -- I can never tell who may like, or reject my ideas. I don't pretend to "know" anybody that well, my friend. That attitude comes from my enormous respect for the complexity of everyone's personality. I don't view people as an "open book" -- just because they might let me "read one page".

      So, when you write a nice comment, I can't tell which part of you is liking what I write, and which part of you stays quiet about rejecting it.

      Because, something in us always resists change.

      But then, I am at least happy that you got inspired. You have a fine mind, Allen Edwards, and that's why I enjoy calling you a friend.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Allen Edwards 

      5 months ago from Iowa

      Val my Friend..Once again, I feel you are sharing these wonderful creations, with me (a.k.a "curious reader") as the intended target.

      You hit the mark "everytime", My if I could JUST remember what the Hell I read -- not being funny about the "remember thing".


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