MENTAL ALCHEMY

by Robert Gresak
(South Africa)

People on the whole just do not realize the incredible power of the mind,
a power which can lift one to the heights or drop one to the most abysmal
depths. Through the ages of mans evolution there have always been those few individuals who have known this and lived as much as possible on those mental, consciousness heights and were looked upon generally by the people of those times as almost superhuman, as Gods. Of course through their ignorance they also greatly feared these radiant souls not realizing that they held the germ of that same greatness within themselves despite the fact that these great individuals sought in their own sublime way to disseminate the truth hoping to reach the few who were ready to absorb the wisdom. Isn't it true how prone people are to put themselves down or get themselves into a flat spin when faced with some adversity or seemingly insurmountable problem. They get caught up and enmeshed in that ancient trap of the lower finite self which seductively whispers of mans weakness of spirit and inability to overcome without external help, and of course this seduction has been inbred into mans racial psyche over the ages. One of the greatest souls who ever took physical incarnation said:- " Know ye not ye are Gods in the making", but the various faiths have since then disregarded this blazing truth, as with many others, as being to 'radical'and not suited to mans spiritual growth, for how blasphemous to consider oneself as aspiring to become a God.

The churches and other religious institutions at that time and indeed in the centuries after considered it their duty and solely their mandate to see to mans religious and spiritual upbringing. They were supreme in this as if a man or woman had no individual soul./ Its been a sad and centuries long struggle in respect of mans spiritual evolution and yet, through it all there have always been souls who were not blinded by dogma and the religious institutions mandate that they were the sole arbiters of mans spirituality. If it were not for those brave and far-seeing souls forging ahead towards the light they sensed within one wonders, timewise, how many more centuries would have passed before the stranglehold of orthodox religion would abate. To utilize our God-given inner power, work towards harnessing it in place of being controlled by the lower self one has to be menatlly strong, for lets face it, to live in todays world, to cope with its frenetic pace, one has to be tough, tough minded, otherwise its easy to get totally swamped./ If this seems a bit grim think of all the things that happen to people, pain, physical or mental, sickness, frustrations,crushing disappointments, the harsh and hurtful things said and done by friends, colleagues, ones children, grief and bereavement and a host of other things. That great soul, Norman Vincent Peale said that one thing every person should learn IS HOW TO HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO TAKE IT.

If you haven't yet had to take it, you will eventually because life will place you in almost the same situations time and time again until you do learn to take it with equanimity.This is a simple yet profound truth. The same difficulties, weaknesses and problems confront one until we learn to face and overcome them to a greater degree with our own inner resources. One of the top priorities one has to learn on the road to self mastery is the development of tough mindedness.One must however remember that being tough does mean being hard or callous. Indeed, tough mindedness must be developed in conjunction with love and compassion for without these there can be great danger to the soul. One has only to think of the many dictators and tyrants of the past to see the truth of this. They were immensely strong mentally with an equally strong will but totally lacking in compassion and love for there fellow man. As Norman Vincent Peale further said:- "there are two types of people in the world, the tender minded and the tough minded. The tender minded cannot, as a rule, take it. Criticism just cuts them to the quick. It hurts and wounds them terribly, problems and obstacles appall them and opposition overwhelms them. The tough minded do not like criticism any more than anyone else but they know how to receive and handle it. They extract carefully from the criticism all the know-how it contains and simply blow the chaff away as they have what it takes. Toughness of the spirit is in everyone, one of the gifts of the Creator, it just has to be rediscovered. We did not come into being without all the attributes for overcoming lifes adversities. Its a case of learning again to exercise ones spiritual 'muscles'. Naturally to jump from the one extreme of negativity to the opposite of tough mindedness is not that easy and so it is important to associate with people who have 'crossed over the bridge', who have gone through the stages of growing into that toughness of mind on whom you can perhaps lean at times drawing from their inner strength. One of the great things one can do to cultivate this attitude is to picture oneself as being tough minded and to see yourself as actually possessing this quality and to keep on with this visualization, seeing yourself as mentally strong, purposeful and in control. YOU TEND TO BECOME WHAT YOU THINK AND VISUALIZE./ Such is the power of mind over matter and circumstances.

There is this lovely affirmation. Almighty God made me strong, I see myself as I really am, strong, and I have what it takes./ Thank you Lord for my inner strength". One has to keep on saying this and believing it and in time the conscious mind will accept it as fact and truth. When this truth is firmly established in your mind you will be able to stand up to anything and not crack no matter how difficult the problem facing you. So if life is extra hard going for you it would be wise to have a real honest session with yourself and look into where the trouble lies. So often we tend to blame others or social conditions or forces beyond our control. But the real truth is that the difficulty is not beyond ones control.The solution lies within you affirming continually your positiveness and asking that the solution will present itself.Failure must be traced in the last analysis to the presence of failure elements in the personality which have been allowed to dominate the thought patterns. If you are weak and defeated it is because it is but due to the fact that your mind has lied to you for years about your real abilities./Another important factor in this mind scenario is to see in and beyond difficulties the possibilities which are present. if you could delve into the thought patterns of many great men and women not only of the past but present now, you would find that there minds were unclouded by shadowy gloom and that the quality that differentiates them was and is their ability always to see a chink of light in the darkness. The tough minded have this larger vision and therefore are able to see a line of light at the end of the shadow. Persistence is the key. You can stand up to lifes difficulties and cope well.

Have faith in yourself.

That great soul, Gautama Buddha declared:-" The mind is everything, what you think you become." Just think if children were taught to build a sound, spiritual thought pattern, to be tough minded yet compassionate it would make them almost shatter proof against future adversity.

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by: Karen

Thanks Robert.

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