While our emotional reaction or response to past experiences may be the default position by which we filter new experience, we are not bound by this. A conscious decision to replace our “past” or “future” narrative is all is takes to transcend the default system.

Doing anything consciously means work, which is why we tend to do things that do not require conscious attention. We can entertain ourselves or be entertained. 

Ruminating mind enjoys activities that do not interfere with rumination. It is easier for mind to ruminate while being entertained (watching something) than by entertaining (reading, musical instrument).  Activities that demand our attention, especially one-pointed concentration, tend to be activities ruminating mind wants to avoid.

We will succeed at any activity that we can commit our attention to. Sometimes these activities easily capture our attention (sex) and other times we have to work at cultivating concentration, as may be the case for athletes and others who experience “the zone,” which is simply the suspension of ruminating mind and an increased ability to succeed and perfect whatever our attention is focused upon.

While change is not always optional, growth is. Growth requires taking the incentive to seek lessons from conditions and, in so doing, integrate knowledge we can gain.

(7.18) We may overcome all fear, lack, limitation, poverty and discord by substituting principle from error. 


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Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Iceland

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