Springingtiger's Blog

The Greatness of an Open Mind

Yesterday I was at a seminar on the Three Principles led by Jack Pransky, it convinced me more than ever of the value of intuition and it’s power as a context for one’s life.


I have studied many disciplines over the years, many of those have tried to compel exclusivity and deny any way other than theirs. I remember when I was first involved with est many of its adherents rejected all other personal development systems, claiming est was best; I think they were right to think est was better than other approaches at that time, but not to deny others. Werner Erhard built est from the insights of other pioneers like Jose Silva and L. Ron Hubbard, had he a closed mind there would have been no est and consequently no forum. It takes an open mind to recognise the value of other people’s contributions.


The adherents of religions are particularly prone to closed minds. When one looks at the early years of Christianity we see many beliefs coexisting within the church, but with the establishment of the church as the official religion of the Roman Empire we see a restriction of the freedom of individuals to believe as intuition led them. Successive church councils defined the dogmas of the church until spiritual inspiration, when it occurred, occurred despite the church, not because of it, and was frequently eradicated as heresy, even movements like that inspired by St. Francis of Assisi were treated with suspicion and were lucky to survive the opposition of the establishment and grow. Christianity has an appalling record of persecution of not only those within the church who think differently, but also other faiths, particularly Judaism and Islam; however we should not allow our minds to be closed to the many church members who have struggled and died to promote justice. Christianity is not the only intolerant religion we can look to Sri Lanka for the wholesale persecution of Hindus by Buddhists, and to most of Asia for the determined attempt by Muslims to eradicate other faiths, including other Muslims. In whichever faith we examine we find where orthodoxy is enforced, spiritual inspiration is crushed whether it manifests in the poetry of Sufis or of saints like John of the Cross.


Within the personal development fields we find the same intolerance. Any veteran of the newsgroup Alt Healing Reiki will remember the determination of certain people to hijack Reiki, and enforce conformity on the community so that only those they approved would have been able to practice. A similar thing happened in Neuro Linguistic Programming with different bodies trying to impose their own standards. Even now we see courses being attacked for not providing enough classroom hours or whatever; unfortunately for the intolerant,  the founders of NLP have chosen to follow different models of NLP successfully, which merely demonstrates that there are several valid approaches.

One of the underlying problems, whether of religion or personal development, is that of self interest or, more accurately, selfishness. Some people have a scarcity belief that compels them to try and amass to themselves all wealth and power and deny anything to those who will not conform. This is why the most obvious characteristic of cults, religious organisations and of certifying organisations in the personal development fields is a complete lack of originality and inspiration. When we impose limits on the manifestation of inspiration, inspiration does not manifest. I tire of so-called spiritual teachers who show no evidence of genuine spiritual experience, but only an ability to parrot dogma. Equally I despair of people who believe that there is a right way to do NLP, forgetting that what drives the great practitioners of the art is a ferocious curiosity to discover new possibilities. One of the joys of Darren Eden’s work and of using my journal is that it only works if I open my mind and put aside my self interest and my beliefs.

Intuition only works with an open mind. It cannot be contained, it will not conform to belief. Every morning and night I call upon my intuition, and many times in between; I cannot make it conform, I can only accept it and sometimes I have to accept that it is telling me things I don’t like and don’t want to hear. If I choose to ignore the voice of intuition, the world won’t end but I will be driven by my beliefs and lose the possibility to expand beyond them. Intuition is the direct experience of life, beliefs are an interpretation of experience, not always one’s own. It is impossible to experience intuition through the filter of belief,. However we tend to, having experienced an intuitive insight, try to make it conform to our beliefs and even reject it if it won’t. The joy of living in intuition is freedom, it is terrifying, but it is aliveness. Beliefs and doctrine provide structure and security, they protect us from experience. Living by intuition is like being a Diceman; choose intuition and you are nakedly exposed to experience. Sometimes I have to wrap myself in belief just for respite, but having experienced intuition, I cannot help myself from returning again and again to experience that aliveness, even if it shows me that everything I knew about myself is merely illusory belief.



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Compelling writing Rory

Comment by Crossing Frontiers

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