How we got to our Breakthrough

Is Stress a Disease or a Symptom?

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With all the misinformation on the subject of stress you could easily end up living in lack and dread the coming of a new day.

Many people see stress as the cause of their procrastination, frustration, and failure. And so they try to "treat" stress the same way that much of modern medicine treats the symptoms of a disease - rather than treating its cause.

Now, to clarify, stress is NOT a disease. But it is a symptom. And if you try to "treat" it instead of the underlying cause, you're going to end up disappointed and discouraged. And failure is then misunderstood as one of its consequences, as well as one of its causes.

Both stem from the same root, they're outcomes of misunderstandings - inaccurate beliefs about how things work. Mistaken yet sincere beliefs about natural law cause many problems, including stress and failure. Resolving these problems requires the change in level identified by Albert Einstein, Nobel prize-winning Physicist and all-round genius, who famously said:

You cannot solve a problem at the same level
that created the problem in the first place!

The change in level needed here is therefore to eliminate the sincere yet inaccurate beliefs which cause your stress rather than try to "treat" it directly. That's the breakthrough found in these pages. This free online seminar explains what you need to do as well as how...

The Origin of our Approach

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After many - too many - stressful failures, I eventually concluded that I needed to study what works. I also realized I need real clarity on what doesn't work. I discovered this by finding out that, duh, what doesn't work does not give desirable results!

When this finally sunk in, and I'm not going to tell you the embarrassingly large number of years it took, I realized that desirable results include having less stress. How not to reduce stress was just one painful yet repeated experience!

So I've spent many, many years investigating, finding out by experience what doesn't work. What's behind the problem that, although we know what works, we don't necessarily do it. We know we should do this, and yet we do that instead. And even after we've failed doing it yet again, why we continue to keep doing it while telling ourselves this has gotta work!

Many seminars, over a thousand books, and innumerable screw-ups later, I have refined the process of reducing stress into a coherent strategy. You actually want to address the cause of your stress - rather than just put a band-aid on its very painful effects!

There's conclusive scientific proof for the validity of our approach. Quantum theory has now proved that context is crucial through many brilliantly conceived and designed experiments!

This breakthrough also owes
much to the work of many wonderful teachers such as Edward de Bono, Katie Bryon, Alexander Everett, Ken Keyes, Robert Kiyosaki, and Anthony Robbins to name just a few whose seminars I've had the privilege of attending. Our methodology also draws on the secular aspects of some brilliant spiritual teachers such as Dr. David Hawkins, Fr Anthony de Mello, Rajneesh Osho, and Neale Donald Walsch. Yet the experiential approach is unique, indeed a breakthrough.

Is this Really a Breakthrough?

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But is this really a breakthrough? Yes! It is, but how can you tell? Did you glance at this breakthrough and your mind disagree that this is the highly effective solution you need?

If so, self-sabotage has reared its ugly head and hijacked your mind to sabotage your progress. This very common problem is addressed in several places on the first page of this seminar, as well as Implementation/ Your Essential First Step. The concept of self-sabotage is introduced on the self-sabotage page.

Negativity is one of the more common forms of self-sabotage that you can experience. However, there's just one guarantee:

"If you say no to change, then nothing much will change!"

Your stress will continue unless you are willing to overcome your self-sabotage. You need to explore all such thoughts of disagreement. Then you'll realize that all you know right now is you do not yet know. But something must change, and this could be the change you need.

But you'll only know by exploring it carefully. Unless you get authentic experience by seeing how well it works, you won't know. How could you know?

Even if someone else were to assure you that it is indeed a breakthrough because they have explored it properly, that doesn't necessarily make it true for you. Their context, their experiences so far in life, their perspective is not the same as yours.

Yet you're here, you're visiting this site to reduce your stress. And reducing stress involves change - which must come from you. If you expect someone else to change to reduce your stress, you give your power away. And becoming less powerful increases stress!

So take total responsibility for your own stress. This immediately reduces your stress because you're then motivated to do something about it! Right now, that's simply to invest the time to study this free seminar.

If you were totally happy with reality as it is right now, with what is, then you would be totally happy. How much stress would you then have? None. So a powerful way of looking at stress is that it's a measure of the gap between reality, the truth, and what you think should be happening, your context. (You need to reflect on this deeply...)

The Crucial Distinction between General and Specific

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There's an enormous yet little understood difference between the General and the Specific.

The General has no specific situation in mind so applies to any circumstance. The Specific identifies a particular situation, a specific circumstance. And whilst reducing stress in specific circumstances needs the Specific Steps, there's a big change in context for any situation in general.

The General Steps provide a coherent, highly effective strategy to reduce stress in any circumstance, without knowing the specifics of a situation in advance. No therapist needed! The Specific Steps experientially reduce stress in a specific situation. Here you will need a particular stressful situation to work with in mind.

Just telling someone to change the way they think - either in general or specifically - is neither effective nor likely to last. Many if not most parents eventually come to recognize this.

Our Target Audience

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This technology is only for well and mentally healthy people. If you are not well, are ill in any way, or have any psychological or mental health issues, please go to a medical professional! This is not therapy.

This online seminar is for healthy professionals who are actively searching to reduce their stress. Some of them may either have already tried some sort of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, or have some other reluctance to the whole therapy profession.

Since you're here, if you've already tried therapy of any form then you cannot have found it completely adequate. Perhaps, like many others, you have looked at the unsatisfactory lives of most psychologists, analysts, and therapists and agree with the general consensus that their lives are no less screwed up than the rest of us...
Maybe you reject the ongoing need for expensive personal sessions which can last for years. You just know that with today's technology, there has to be a better way.

What do we Offer that's Unique?

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Another good question. Let's answer this in a slight different form: What makes this breakthrough so much more effective, how does it reduce stress so well?

This breakthrough is designed to reduce stress in general, as well as in any particular circumstance. It is not therapy and you don't hire a therapist. This free online seminar enables you to work in your own time at your own pace.

There are two aspects to this breakthrough:
  • the General Steps to reduce stress, and
  • the Specific Steps
The General Steps are the essence of the breakthrough, they are unique and copyright. Changes to your context, to your thoughts and thought patterns form the basis of success. So ReduceStressNow has created a systematic methodology designed to help a client experientially internalize the necessary changes to his context, to her perspective.
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The Specific Steps - which apply the General Steps to a particular situation - enable you to reduce stress caused by a specific issue. These owe much to the approach of Byron Katie, which seems to owe much to Ken Keyes' teachings, which seems to owe much to ancient Buddhist teachings. We have, of course, written permission to use her brilliant approach.

"Yes, okay," I hear you say, "but why should I spend my valuable time here? What makes this free online seminar unique?"

Let's suppose you're in our target audience - a stressed-out professional who has tried other sites that promised to reduce your stress. You've come here and are now wondering: Can we really deliver?

Only you can reduce your stress. And yes, we can and will show you how. But you have come to us. Obviously what you have tried before has not been that effective. Nor has any other website that you've visited already, or you wouldn't still be looking...

Compare our Breakthrough

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Many practitioners in various disciplines, including psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, cognitive therapists, etc. seem to think they have the complete and only answer to reducing stress. Yet how can they all be right?

It's not that these disciplines are not effective in the short-term, but do they have all the answers? The tremendous growth in alternative fields such as coaching - even by their own practitioners - shows how often the short-falls are recognized.

To see how and why this breakthrough is so different, explore what makes ReduceStressNow unique here. Click on each Expander line to explore the question, our approach is after the Caduceus (the symbol of Hermes, the Greek messenger who brings the answer of the Gods).
a. Do you Really Need a Therapist?

Do you really need a therapist?

Psychology, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and cognitive therapy all seem to assume that personal interaction with a therapist is necessary. This highly-ranked
cognitive therapy site (according to Google) recommends a

"close working relationship between you and your therapist"

which would be impossible without a personal therapist, of course.

Our breakthrough ReduceStressNow technology is designed to show you how to reduce your stress by yourself. No therapist required. No need for expensive therapy sessions!

You explore the General Steps and implement the Specific Steps to reduce stress in your own time at your own pace. Help is available if required, of course.

b. Should you Focus on The Past?

Should you focus on clearing up the past first?

Analysis/therapy practitioners seem to put lots of energy into clearing up the problems of the past. But more past is created as time passes, which makes this a never-ending task!

Some analysis/therapy practitioners even say explicitly that you need to clear up the past before you can move on.

Although there is some truth here, it doesn't take much objective thought to see that it can not be entirely true. If it were, progress would be impossible for the average person who has unresolved past issues.

This focus puts energy into the past. Energy energizes, so putting energy into what you don't want tends to increase the problem rather than solve it.

This is not to say that reducing stress caused by past issues is not valuable. The Specific Steps recognize that experientially reducing stress in specific past issues is crucial. But it's important to do it without exacerbating the problem.

So spends little time on the past, it instead focuses on the future - where you're going to spend the majority of your time!

c. How Long does it take?

How long does it take? Do you need to keep coming back for years? Should it really take so long?

Analysis/therapy practitioners seem to see analysis/therapy as a long-term process. Some encourage patients to keep coming back for years. Many explain upfront that it can take quite a long while... instead explains the principles behind the cause of your stress, and the General Steps that reduce it. Once you understand and have experientially integrated the context responsible for the creation of stress, you become wiser. Then you can avoid creating stress next time.

d. Do you Focus on a Specific Issue?

Do you need to address a specific issue?

Analysis/therapy practitioners seem to require a specific issue to address. Some seem lost without one, which suggests they don't understand the cause, but only know how to fix the symptoms.

At ReduceStressNow it's entirely up to you. You don't have to start by resolving a specific issue. You can also start by exploring the causes of stress in general and then use the Specific Steps to resolve a particular stressful problem. Working through an example can be very helpful, but to reduce stress in the long-term you need to know the general principles.

e. Do you take People with Mental Health Issues?

Is ReduceStressNow for those with mental health issues? Emphatically not!

Psychoanalysis/psychotherapy is primarily aimed at people with mental health issues. If you have any such issues, please go to such a professional, we can't help you.

Yet some practitioners do seem to want analysis/therapy to be all things to all men, implying that everyone needs analysis/therapy and therefore should become a patient.

ReduceStressNow clients are not ill, this is only for well people who stress. Again, if you are ill in any way, or are not well, or have any medical, psychological, or mental health issues, please go to a medical professional! This is not therapy.

Legal stuff. The information provided here is only a guide for entirely healthy individuals and is not a substitute for professional services or medical advice or care of any sort or form. If you need or are seeking medical, professional, or any other such services, please seek the services of a competent professional, do not use, rely, or depend on any information contained herein. The author, the publisher and their employees, agents, associates and assigns are not liable for any damages arising from or in connection with the use of or reliance on the accuracy of any information or strategy contained in this or any other document whatsoever.

Does the psychology profession have the only effective approach?

No. The existence of so many other forms of personal development demonstrates that people are different, and what may work well for some can be totally ineffective for others.

Yet, in 2007, the Psychology profession attempted to extend the South African Health Professions Act which defines the scope of the profession of psychology to cover all forms of human development. This would have made all alternative approaches illegal.

The generous interpretation? - this was purely an attempt to protect the general population. Its underlying belief perhaps being that since only psychology works, all other approaches should be made illegal. But even the most casual investigation demonstrates this to be totally untrue.

For those less generous, it simply demonstrates both mental poverty and inadequacy. The close-minded arrogance of such an approach is staggering. It shows that when you're perceived to be failing to deliver, banning the competition can seem like an attractive strategy!

Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in their various forms have been going for well over a century. And yet their patients often find they keep coming back for years and years. This strongly suggests that the emperor has no clothes, despite what its practitioners insist. The focus on clearing up past issues has major drawbacks. Yet most of them don't seem to have woken up to reality yet...

The recent revolts against repressive governments in the Middle East, along with the earlier demolition of the Berlin Wall, show that freedom is important to virtually everybody. But the psychology profession's attempt to make it illegal for anyone but themselves to address personal development in South Africa is just a denial of individual freedom.

g. How Effective compared to Coaching?

Some see coaching as an alternative to replace psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, although not for reducing stress.

Coaching is a twentieth century phenomenon which focuses on the present - what to do now, this week, this month to get to where you want to be. It offers a viable approach when you're wondering how to achieve a specific goal. The Socratic elenchus has indeed proven its worth over the centuries.

Yet the emphasis on questions to decide what to do today, this week, this month ignores the long-term. The focus is on the
external changes to what you do, to your doing.

But the French have a wonderful saying:

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

which translates as: the more things change, the more they stay the same!

wiki dictionary explains this means, "Although the outward appearance may change, fundamentals are constant." Indeed! The problem lies in your fundamentals, and changing what you do does not address the fundamental cause - your context.

Focus on what to do ignores one of the important determinants of success in any venture. Success depends not just on what you do, but also on where you come from when you do what you do. Changes to your context contribute as much - if not even more - to a successful outcome than changes in what you do.

The belief that context is at best secondary is a large part of the problem. The ReduceStressNow breakthrough explicitly addresses the fundamentals of context.

Look at it this way, if you already know in your heart that you won't succeed, then it doesn't much matter what you do! You won't succeed - simply because you don't have a winner's context!

h. Are they Happy and Fulfilled?

How happy, how fulfilled are analysts, therapists, coaches, and other personal development practitioners? Are they entirely pleased with the way their lives are unfolding?

Speaking purely from personal experience, most - perhaps the vast majority - of those I've come across are not noticeably more content with their lives than regular people. They all stress about their own problems and do not seem any more successful in "having it all together" than you or I.

This suggests they don't know how to resolve their own issues. They simply ignore the immense wisdom in the age-old maxim:

Physician, heal thyself!

If they knew how to rectify their own problems, wouldn't they do so?

This shortcoming, this limitation to analysis/therapy explains why many analysts and therapists also get training in alternate personal development fields such as coaching. Which, however, ignores the fact that coaches are also not noticeably more fulfilled...

i. Why Focus on The Future?

Why focus on the future rather than the past or the present? Because I have heard on good authority that the rest of your life will be in the future!

Analysis, therapy and coaching do all pay lip service to the future, but seem to do little to resolve the underlying causes of the stress you feel right now and will continue to feel in the future.

Yet another way of looking at stress is: A lack of success in achieving what you want to achieve.

This insight suggests a key to stressing less is to ask: How can I ensure I become more effective in the future? Such important questions are at the core of our strategy. How can we empower you to become more effective in the future?

You want to reduce your stress, which frees up the energy you previously wasted stressing. Which gives you more energy to be more creative about your future.

But what you really need is not just to reduce stress in one situation, but to discover how no matter the circumstances. The general causes of stress are at the heart of the ReduceStressNow breakthrough.

The most effective strategy, of course, is to discover how to accept all and any situations without creating any stress about them in the first place. That's what we teach personal clients.

This all implies the absolute necessity of change - the need to change your context.

j. But it's Not My Problem!

But "It's his problem," or "Her problem", "not mine", say some in disclaiming responsibility. Yet you are stressing about it, which means it is your responsibility.

Although all practitioners and coaches recommend taking responsibility, some seem to avoid explaining to their clients that their internal views - rather than the external circumstances - are the cause of their stress. That to change their circumstances, they need to change. Some explicitly ignore the need for a client to make internal changes, and just focus on the external changes in what they do.

But without changing your context, nothing much will change.

In contrast, ReduceStressNow explicitly says that to change your circumstances in any meaningful way you need to change, you need to:

Discover how to overcome your self-sabotage mechanism!

This breakthrough will enable you to become more effective in general, and more effective in overcoming stress in any specific situation.

k. Do Not Believe Anything we Say!

Don't just believe what we say, don't believe anything we say!

The program is entirely experiential - there's no need to believe in anything that we say or recommend. We don't believe in believing - and neither should you!

Real knowledge is experiential, we do not want you to believe - you gain far more power when you check it out for yourself. Only then can you know that it really does work. Without verifying a belief for yourself, it may or may not be true. How can you know for certain?

Experience gives you authentic knowledge. Just as you can't delegate exercise and get fit, you need your own experience to become more capable, more effective at handling the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

This approach - which focuses on you gaining your own experience - means there's no need to give your power away by believing others. Don't believe anybody - including us - we'd much rather you try it out for yourself to see how well it works...

Then you develop wisdom. Wisdom can be seen as knowledge applied. Which needs authentic knowledge rather than the unreliable knowing of belief.

Now there's Scientific Proof!

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The New Scientist, on 22 June 2011, reported on a series of scientific experiments which provide a fascinating perspective on the ultimate nature of reality and its total dependence on context.

"In 1967, Simon Kochen and Ernst Specker proved mathematically that... the values that you obtain when you measure its properties depend on the context...
there is no reality independent of the choice of measurement."

"Now... a beautiful experiment... [has proved] there is no sense in assuming that what we do not measure about a system has [any independent] reality."

These elegant experiments by Anton Zeilinger and Radek Lapkiewicz have given even more support for the Copenhagen Interpretation proposed by Neils Bohr, a giant of quantum physics. Click this link to see the New Scientist report.

Science has now finally proved there is no independent reality - everything does indeed depend on your context!
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Psychology's Attempt to Monopolize all Personal Development

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In 2007, the Professional Board of Psychology attempted to extend the South African Health Professions Act, which defines the scope of the profession of psychology, to cover all forms of development of the human mind and its care. This would have effectively criminalized all work aimed at personal healing, growth, and transformation which is not performed by registered psychologists.

The gazetted Regulations changes prohibited:

"the use of any psychological methods or practice aimed at aiding persons or groups of persons in the adjustment of personality, emotional or behavioral problems or at the promotion of positive personality change, growth and development."

and even prohibited "advising any person on his or her physical state and administering, selling or prescribing for such person any medicine or treatment."
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The proposed wording would have prohibited personnel evaluation, alternative medicine, counseling, coaching, personal development instruction, and religious counseling from practicing legally in South Africa. This draconian attempt to ban all alternative approaches, with its explicit attack on freedom of expression, upset everyone, including the religious fraternity!

The narrow-minded arrogance of this approach was staggering. It showed that when your manifest failures become widely perceived, banning the competition can be seen as an attractive strategy.

This attempt by the Psychology industry in South Africa ostensibly came from an attempt to protect the general population, of course. A mistaken contention that since psychology is the only effective approach, all others should be made illegal!

Yet even the most casual inquiry shows this opinion to be totally untrue. Different people are very different, so different approaches are needed. For those who recognized the underlying rationale behind the proposals, this attempt simply demonstrated the mental poverty of the Professional Board of Psychology in South Africa. One size does not fit all!

Check out this true and very amusing story of why psychologists have lost so much of the general population's confidence...
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Robert Kiyosaki

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Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been on the best-seller lists for years. It's all about becoming wealthy! As a result, Robert Kiyosaki is now a world famous wealth-creating author and teacher. Yet his fifth book, Retire Young, Retire Rich, says virtually nothing about what to do to become wealthy. It's instead all about context, your perspective, where you come from when you do what you do.

"It is not so much what you do that makes you rich or poor.
It is more the context surrounding what you do
that makes you rich or poor...

"That is why when people ask me what I do... I reply; 'Please don't ask me what I do. Ask me what I think about what I do.'...
the difference... is the context surrounding the actions or content."

These quotations come from page 326 in Retire Young, Retire Rich.
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Dr. David Hawkins

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The work of brilliant psychiatrist Dr. David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. is seminal. Honored as a 50-year Distinguished Life Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Hawkins is a formally recognized "Teacher of the Way to Enlightenment" in the Far East.

You may know him as the co-author, with Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, of the revolutionary work Orthomolecular Psychiatry, which initiated a new field within psychiatry.

Dr. Hawkins' emphasis on the importance of context is immense. A brief exploration of his books shows hundreds of references to the word context.

"Political/sociological hypotheses are usually proven over time to be incorrect and based on false assumptions... such formulas almost always ignore context altogether."

"Much confusion in society as well as philosophy stems from not realizing the importance of defining the context."

"To know that the Self is context and that, in contrast, the self is content is already a huge leap forward.
The naive seeker merely keeps reshuffling the content."

"It is context which defines both limits and possibilities."

"a whole new mode of knowingness that recontextualised the very core of experiencing. The shift was basically from content to context..."

"A statement is only true within a specific context, and the same exact statement can become blatantly false in a different context (situational ethics, impaired responsibility, mitigating circumstances, different time period or setting, different cultures or historical period, etc.)"

These quotations come from pages 201 and 255 in The Eye of the I; pages 120 and 126 in I - Reality and Subjectivity; and pages xiii and 44 in Truth vs Falsehood.
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Bryon Katie

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Through her experiences, Katie Byron realized that to question your mind is to reduce your suffering. She now teaches an inspiringly simple yet effective methodology - the four questions and the turnaround - called The Work.

"As long as you think that the cause of your problems is 'out there' - as long as you think that anyone or anything else is responsible for your suffering... you are forever in the role of the victim."

"Every time you're in (someone else's) business... you have left yourself, and the effect of that is loneliness and terror. Until you question what you believe, you remain the innocent cause of your own suffering."

"For people who are tired of the pain, nothing could be worse than trying to control what can't be controlled. If you want real control, drop the illusion of control; let life have you. It does anyway."

These quotations come from page 76 in Loving What Is and pages 35 and 49 in Question your thinking, Change the world.

Our General Steps to reduce stress are entirely our own work. The Specific Steps - which apply the General Steps to a particular situation - owe much to the inspiration of Byron Katie, which seems to owe much to the inspiration of Ken Keyes, which seems to owe much to the inspiration of ancient Buddhist teachings.

I've attended several of Katie's awesome
classes and see her as enlightened. Her husband, with whom she's written several books, is the well known Buddhist scholar and author, Stephen Mitchell. We have her written agreement to use her approach, and I appreciate that permission. Thanks a million, kt.

The approach, but not her copyrighted originals, has been adapted for use here. They are, of course, all © Byron Katie, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Fr Anthony De Mello

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Although I meditate regularly, the General Steps owe nothing to any form of psychology or religion. I am spiritual although not religious. My personal view is that religion has had too much authority over the centuries, which it has used to promote the value of becoming a believer. This is not to discount the enormous value that some enlightened and highly religious souls, eg Fr Anthony de Mello, SJ, have to contribute. See, for example, Awareness, page 17:

"Some of us get woken up by the harsh realities of life...
It never occurs to (others) that there may be a better way.
If you haven't suffered enough, then there is another way; to listen.

(You) don't have to agree with what I'm saying... Because agreement and disagreement... don't have anything to do with truth...
Truth is sighted suddenly, as a result of a certain attitude.

So you could be disagreeing with me and still sight the truth.
But there has to be an attitude of openness, of willingness to discover something new."

Along with many others, de Mello also knows that your attitude, your context is crucial to discovering the truth.

A discussion of Anthony de Mello found online contains the following quotation (citation unknown):

"To doubt is infinitely more important than adoration... to question is so much more important than to believe."

We also don't believe in believing, we instead believe in real knowing, which comes with experience. This is because the mind can be hi-jacked by the self-sabotage mechanism, and then the thoughts it gives you can be unreliable and manipulative. Rather adopt the correct attitude, which helps avoid such problems.

Those who simply believe what they are taught often don't bother to gain any experience. So they get further and further from wisdom - authentic hands-on knowledge in the real world. And their believers become less and less effective in turn. This highly problematic approach - the blind leading the blind - is a major contributor to the problems we experience today.
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Neale Donald Walsch

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This spiritual teacher has some very interesting things to say about life. Some of the perspectives he offers can be quite radical, yet they fall into an integrated whole which clarifies how to make amazing progress.

"Your perspective creates your thoughts... if you can remember this... your whole life will change...

"Assume a different perspective, and you will have a different thought about everything. In this way you will have learned to control your thought, and, in the creation of your experience,
controlled thought is everything."

Psychiatrist Dr. David Hawkins strongly emphasizes the importance of perspective - context - throughout his books. This same focus on context is exactly what Robert Kiyosaki emphasizes in Retire Young, Retire Rich.

It's so very reassuring to see there's now scientific proof that context is crucial. Science agrees with these teachers from radically different environments: - one psychiatry (medical), another very material, and the third spiritual. They all have exactly the same message!
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To Reduce your Stress - continue here

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Simply choose your next step to start immediately:

Food for Thought

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"The central problem of illusion is not that it is unreal or fallacious, but that it seems real."

Socrates (469 BC–399 BC), classical Greek philosopher

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