Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche observed that:

"In individuals insanity is rare... but in groups, political parties, nations, and fads: it is ubiquitous.”

In an insane society it may some times be inevitable that at (at times) even a completely sane individual might completely lose their own mind. How ever, unless you enjoy being constantly told by other people what to do (and how to live your own life) then you might be well served to never allow your self to be come so irrational (to such a degree) that you are forcibly deprived of your physical autonomy.

Since a persons degree of physical autonomy is determined (in large part) by societally elected authorities responses to our speech and behaviour, and since our speech and behaviour are generally recognized to be products of our own psychology, it would probably be intelligent for us to insure that our minds remain calm, clear, and rational... at all times.

How ever, even the strongest minded individuals may some times feel tempted to engage in to irrational misbehaviour, such as:

Impulsively emulating the misconduct of a way ward crowd,

or:

Wasting our time, energy, and money opposing others whose actions (or: "life" styles) we don't agree with.

We may even feel tempted to engage in to an aggressive conflict with those others, or worse: to contend with often completely unrelated third parties who may have absolutely nothing to do with the original conflict that we may feel tempted to blame for "making us" so up set (nor bear any real responsibility for the uncomfortably chaotic way that we may some times feel).

Rather than reflexively acquiesing to such destructively chaotic feelings (and resorting to doing or saying any thing that might cause any one else to feel similarly up set) it might be better for every body if we in stead take time reflect up on the observation made by Chinese philosopher "Lao Tsuh" who wrote in one of his books that:

"Those who conquer others are strong, but those who conquer them selves are the strongest of all."

So, with that idea in mind: what is required of us in order to conquer ourselves?

How do we over come our own flaws (and weaknesses) so that we can begin to transform our selves (and our lives) in to what we want them (and our selves) to be?

If we insist up on demanding things from others so that we can actualize superior states of experientiality, then we are a burden to them, and while burdening others may some times be unavoidable, some times it is unjustified (and thus: unjustifiable) and it might be wiser if we were to in stead adopt the attitude that it is only we (and we alone) who are ultimately responsible for our own level (or lack) of happiness in our lives.

Since our happiness is (to some degree) a matter of subjective perception, it might be help full for every body to insure that our perceptions of reality remain as calm, clear, and lucid as we can possibly cultivate them in to being be fore attempting to interact with any one else out in public. In order to accomplish that goal it is generally considered to be very important for a our mental health for each one of us to (individually or collectively) set a side some time each day, every day (at least one time per day) to "meditate" for any where from eight to twelve minutes.

Meditation generally refers to the art and science of relaxing, calming, centering, and healing our own minds, while at the same time exerting the effort required to insure that the rate, depth, and effectiveness of our inhaling (and exhaling) are as optimal as they can be. By setting a side time to meditate in such ways every day, we can insure that we are properly physically and psychologically prepared to more fairly and effectively interact with others in more constructive and productive ways that day, rather than blindly rushing out of our living spaces (and in to negative {possibly mutually destructive} interactions with other people in public).

One of the worlds most famous meditation teachers: "the Buddha" is reputed to have taught a method of cultivating a harmonious state of mind which can be established by seeking cognitive coherence with what are generally referred to as the: "Four Fundamental Truths" of life which is that:

Life is difficult.

Life is difficult be cause we are too rigidly attached to concrete, predetermined, desired outcomes.

The way to make life easier is to allocate some of our time each (and every) day to consciously detach from our self adulating beliefs that we "deserve" to continually enjoy those too rigidly concretely held expectations of desired future experiences.

and:

The best way to detach from our unrealistic expectations is by practicing the art and science of Meditation.

The most basic way to meditate is to consciously disengage from all normal, hectic, daily lifes activities, such as by closing your eyes and allowing your mind to enter in to a state of clear, calm, quiet, tranquil contemplation during which you are able to completely (and totally) relax... to the point where even all internally generated visual, auditory, and sensory perceptions cease.

At the same time, one ideally wants to allow one self to be come calm enough to be come aware of the rate, depth, and effectiveness of ones breathing. Breathing is considered to be "optimal" when it thoroughly saturates a persons blood, brain, and other vital organs with adequate quantities of life enabling oxygen and completely eliminates gaseous chemical waste products such as: carbon mon and di oxides. Once a persons inhaling (and exhaling) are optimized they will likely enjoy experiencing such simple (yet superior states of psychophysiology) making it easier for you to remain calm, relaxed, and focused all through out your day.

In order to cultivate such superior states of experientiality you should try to inhale your breath in though your nose and down in to a point just below your navel (a.k.a.: "belly button") to allow your lungs to fill up with clean, fresh, oxygen saturated air as completely as possible... all the way down, in to (and through) your abdomen... pausing for a few seconds to allow your body to nourish it self with those newly sufficient quantities of such life giving gas... and then slowly exhaling all the way to completion to allow all of the various poisonous carbon (mon and di) oxide gases that hueman beings must expel out of their bodies to be harmlessly eliminated out through our mouths.

By repeating that process until you feel completely calm, alert, and psychologically lucid, you will be able to insure that you will be much more likely to be in the appropriate states of mind before attempting to engage in to any type of productive (or constructive task) with others that day, particularly those that may require us to interact closely and harmoniously with others.

If, during the course of your intentional breathing session you find that you are so anxious that you can not breathe in properly through your nostrils with out difficulty, then you may have to work harder at it, some times resorting to drawing air in through your mouth for a time until your lungs are able to absorb sufficient quantities of that life attributing oxygen.

That way your bodies circulatory system can then carry that life potentiating gas to ones possibly suffocating brain cells, so that people can finally begin to relax and hopefully find that they are able to effortlessly breathe in through their nostrils again.

By investing the time to be come aware of our breathing process (from inhalation in through our nostrils, to full lung saturation, to inner calmness, and on to slow exhalation) and insuring that we can complete that cycle effortlessly we will be much more likely to be able to transcend the difficulties that life may present to us each and every day.

By investing our time and energy for an other eight to twelve minutes each (and every) night to once again meditate to optimize our psychophysiology before settling in to bed, we will likely find it is easier to psychologically integrate any negative, stressful experiences that we may have had to dissociate from during the course of fulfilling our (often too long) lists of daily obligations.

Unfortunately, when some one is dissociated from themselves, they are not at peace. 

By investing the time every day (at least once a day) to insure that we are mentally and physically optimized we will likely find that it will be easier for us to wake up feeling refreshed, giving us the opportunity to begin each new day in a nice, calm, clear, optimistic state of mind and then when our day is completed: to sleep more peacefully at night.

One common maxim often referred to when practicing meditation is the idea that: "thoughts are things". The Greek philosopher Plato also postulated this, when he taught his students about the multifold phenomena existing in what has come to be referred to as the "ideal" realm, which is a nonphysical purely energetic dimension of reality.  

Whether engaged in intense thought, or whether under the, often intoxicating influence of intense emotions our minds will construct corresponding "thought forms", subtle, energetic apparitions that actually exist in that unseen, "spiritual" dimension. 

Those thought forms are very real, and they can prove to be subtly constructive, or destructive influences in our lives, and in the lives of others, particularly to people who are either very sensitive, perhaps because of past trauma they may have endured, or people who are very afraid, perhaps because they are, or feel as if they are, very close to death. 

Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of the thought forms that we are creating, and projecting into the collective consciousness of the group of people we are around, and as a result, they may know more about us, and our desires and motivations, than we know about ourselves.

As a result people may respond to those thought forms of ours that they perceive, and to us in ways that we may not anticipate, particularly if we are not taking the time to meditate every day to become more aware of the energy that we are projecting into the hearts and minds of all of the people we may live around, or may come into contact with during our daily lives. 

So you will likely find it to be very helpful to you if you invest the time and energy to meditate at least once a day, every day, for eight to twelve minutes at a time, particularly before rushing out to attempt to engage in your daily activities or to attempt to complete your daily list of things to be accomplished.

In addition, many forms of multimedia entertainment, such as music, movies, television programs, music videos, and video games, may interfere with the proper shaping of your mind, and in some cases can actually induce destructive, or antisocial ideas into your mind, thus poisoning your entire outlook on life, with potentially disastrous results... not just for you, but for anyone else who may happen to be unfortunate enough to encounter you while you are "on the warpath". 

Perhaps it would be wiser for us to refuse to allow ourselves to be seduced by states of mind that imagine, or result in, warfare, and rather instead, to make conscious attempts to avoid thoughts, ideas, and feelings that may induce us to engage in violence, as well as to consciously avoid exposing our mind to forms of mass media "entertainment" that promote such ideas of hatred and violence?

In order for each one of us to become "the best person that we can be", it may be helpful for us to make strenuous efforts to stay acutely aware of what kinds of images, sounds, and ideas we are allowing into our minds, and try our best to only allow positive, constructive, productive, optimistic, and inspirational messages and ideas into our minds.

The reason why I attempt to engage in the practice of such psychological self discipline is be cause the Buddha all so reputedly taught that the way to become happy in life is to utilize our meditations as the first of four methodologies that can help us be come Enlightened. As a group, those methodologies are often referred to as the:

"Four Fold Noble Path to Enlightenment"

which consists of:

Expecting our selves to cognitively conform to exalted patterns of reality perception,

Expecting our selves to only engage in uplifting speech,

Expecting our selves to only engage in respectful, kind, and considerate actions,

and:

Adhering to only legal, ethical methods when accumulating the material possessions we perceive to be necessary so that we can enjoy (or at least tolerate) our lives.

By protecting our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts from forms of multimedia entertainment that promote greed, hatred and violence, and instead consciously seeking to absorb forms of entertainment that promote life affirming values such as peace, love, unity, and respect, we will be more likely to insure that the thoughts and feelings we cultivate and experience on a daily basis are more uplifting, and as a result, we will likely find our interactions with each other to be more harmonious.

Since thoughts and feelings lead to speech and actions, if we take the time each day to become more aware of our thoughts, and to meditate and breathe properly, then we will be much more likely to engage in speech and actions directed towards others that will be more effective than in the past. 

By practicing the art of meditation every day, you too can take proactive steps to try to insure that your experience of life is as happy, healthy, and harmonious as it can be, while at the same time extending that same courtesy to any other people that you may come in to contact with during your lifes daily activities.

If you would like to request my assistance in your efforts to accomplish your meditation goals, feel free to contact me any time to schedule a personal, one on one consultation (on a sliding scale fee basis: so you only pay what you can afford) and I'll be happy to work with you.

If you would prefer to learn on your own, you may want to consider exploring the following links to some books that may be able to help you more fully comprehend how hueman minds function, how you can more effectively cultivate meditative states of consciousness, and how you can more easily retain your psychological autonomy in a world that seems to increasingly demand nothing from us but absolute (and total)conformity:

"The Dow Day Zhing"

by: Lao Tsuh

Lao Tsuh was a 6th century B.C. Chinese philosopher who wrote the following famous scrolls of dream like poetry, each verse of which illustrates, through detailed descriptions of observable changes in nature, that similar uncontrollable changes in our lives are not only to be expected, but also (when viewed from the proper perspectives) appreciated:


"Siddhartha"

by: Herman Hesse

This book (and the authors other literary works) are legendary in "hippy" circles.  This book had a huge following during the "peace and love" era of the 1960's and 1970's, and when I read it while living with a large number of room-mates during my time at the University of New Hampshire, the insights I gleaned from it helped me tremendously:

"1984"

by: George Orwell

The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, finds himself under constant government surveillance to insure that he properly reveres the autocratic leader of the cryptofascist "utopia" in which he fearfully lives and works:

"Brave New World"

by: Aldous Huxley

Portrays an imaginary, possibly imminent "civilization" where, at birth, children are categorized according to their perceived potential, their socioeconomic position in the groups hierarchy is prechosen for them, and acceptance of their place in the rigid, mechanically conformist social structure is established by seemingly omnipresent coercion, supplemented through the administration of, and mandatory, involuntary ingestion of, mind controlling psychiatric "medications":


"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds"

by: Charles MacKay

Catalogs a very large number of (often cyclically repeated) historical incidents of religious, political, economic, and militaristic mass insanity:


(My paraphrasing of a Buddhist precept):

When there is light in the individual,
There will be peace in the family,

When there is peace in the family,
There will be peace in the city,

When there is peace in the city,
There will be peace in the nation,

And when there is peace in the nation,
There will be peace in the world,

So if you want peace in the world,
Find your inner light.

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