The Defensive Mechanism

In the early days of the human species the survival instinct
was very strong. This is necessary for the survival of any
species. In the case of humans, like most other animals, it
took the form of “fight or flight”.

The human consciousness and energy within the body
was always in a state of alertness, ready to defend the
body from injury or to run away from imminent and
lethal danger.

Now, we live in a fairly secure environment where the
necessity for physical survival is not as prevalent as it
used to be. Humans have evolved with a superior
mental capacity that has improved the chances of
survival of the species to a large degree from the physical

However, the “fight or flight” instinct has not disappeared.
It has shifted to the environment of the psyche. The human
of today to a great extent lives in “the head”, in ideas and
concepts, and projected images of what should and shouldn't

This tendency to dwell under the influence of “mind” (i.e. the
thought realm) creates a virtual world for the psyche.
It is in the realm of the psyche where the survival instinct has
now found a new arena for renewed, activity.
Defending one's self-image, opinions, etc., has become the
number one priority of the “fight or flight” instinct. It is
still there for protecting from possible physical dangers, but
a bit more sluggish in that area.

In the psyche this instinct has transmuted into a “defence”
mechanism. Its priority is the defend what you think you
are, your perceived value, your “rightness” or your “rights”,
your opinion. The attitude of mind has degenerated to a
state of “me above everyone else”. This attitude was
necessary for the early survival of the species when the
intellect was not as “highly” developed as it is today, but
it no longer serves the human species when we are looking
for harmonious ways to live together and survive without
destroying ourselves through mental instabilities.

Now, more than ever before, we need to master the mind
which is capable of forging many different kinds of instabilities
and survival problems for the species.

Mastery of self is an approach that works. We must be masters
of the thought realm that has brought us to our current
technical heights, but is now also testing our very sanity
under the disguise of fulfilling various desires.

The next time you spot the “defensive” mechanism arising
to protect your position, opinion, belief, or whatever mental
or intellectual category – STOP for a moment, and notice
that the very words coming out of your mouth, or the
reactive thoughts just beginning to explode into words,
are the potentially lethal weapons that can create great
disharmony and unneeded turmoil in your, and others'
life experience.

Can you rise above your conditioned limitations?
Are you a Master of self?
Begin now, if you haven't already.
You can only add to the next evolutionary
improvement of self and humanity.


The Subjective Event

It is widely “assumed” by those who are doing
personal development to “develop” themselves in some way,
that presumably the goal is to become more effective
in a particular area and thus achieve greater success at something.

But, who is this PERSON that you hope to develop?
Who is this person that you “think” you are?

The PERSON is totally a subjective event.
In actuality there is no verifiable objective world “out there”.
It is all a subjective production and you are the
“witness” that is also subjectively present to record or
respond to the phenomena perceived by your senses.

Since the human relies on reasoning as the “be-all and end-all”,
whether it is ultimately true or not, I will attempt to explain the
reasoning for the above paragraph. This may “turn on a light”
for some readers. Those with an “open mind” for investigation
at a “greater depth” will benefit most.

You will be aware that a healthy human is equipped with the so-called
five sense organs. These are the five traditionally recognized
methods of perception, or sense: sound, sight, touch, smell and taste.
This is the human interface to the so-called “outside” world.

Let us take sight (vision) as an example for a deeper look. (pun)
One does not actually “see” through the eyes. The eye is an
organ that performs rather similarly to a camera. The lens admits
and focuses light rays that are reflected from an object and these
rays fall upon the retina where the rods and cones are impressed
by the light signal. (Similar to a camera's film or electronic light
sensor being impressed by light). The retina is connected through
the optic nerve(s) (synapses etc.), which carries the electro-
chemical signal to the visual cortex of the brain, which incidentally,
is at the BACK of the brain (whereas the eyes are at the front of
the brain).

So far, this is the simplest of scientific/medical explanations for the
sense of sight. However, if we look a little closer with some real
investigative curiosity, we might ask: “So do I, or does the brain
actually see a tree that I might be looking at?”

That is a great question! We assume that we “see” what we are
“looking at”, but is that really so. This may be a simple basic
way of communicating the event, but how do we know in actuality
that we are “seeing” at tree. All that the brain receives at the visual
cortex is a signal (electrochemical or electro-magnetic) and the
signal has no resemblance to an actual tree.

It seems that we humans experience a visual event and then draw
upon inherent organic experience (cellular memory perhaps) to gain
a perception of some sort about the signals that come to us through
the eyes. Over the evolutionary period of the human species a consensus
in the collective consciousness of mankind has brought about agreement
about our experiences with the so-called outside world.

The entire conceptualization of this “outside world” is resident in memory
or thought, as a conclusion or assumption based on millennia of agreed
upon definitions of perception by the 5 senses. It is all subjective.

Even to measure such “outside” events through humanly conceived
instrumentation is not conclusive of an actual outside world. The interpretation
is still subjective, as it is processed by our conceptual "mind" system.
If one looks very deeply, very hesitantly, without the burden of all the
preconceived and formulated “knowledge” of mankind, one might see

This has been the perennial understanding of the great spiritual traditions
and ancient mystery schools. Science is just beginning to touch upon some
of this mystery through areas such as quantum mechanics
and trans-personal psychology.

If you are really interested to find out more about yourself, then do not
rely on the authority of “others” to condition your thinking. Escape the MATRIX.

Be the Master. Mastery of self is the first step to everything,
and – “the first step is the last step” from the quote below:

The first step is the last step
... The first step is the last step. The first step is to perceive, perceive what you are thinking, perceive your ambition, perceive your anxiety, your loneliness, your despair, this extraordinary sense of sorrow, perceive it, without any condemnation, justification, without wishing it to be different. Just to perceive it, as it is. When you perceive it as it is, then there is a totally different kind of action taking place, and that action is the final action.
J. Krishnamurti


Personal Development

- If you are doing it for success,
then you are likely to stray off course.
Along with more success, you will have to
master the skills for managing the accompanying pains and sorrow
which are ever-present in a dualistic world.

You cannot have tall without short,
- right without wrong,
- high without low,
- healthy without sickly,
- richer without poorer,
- success without failure
- and so on, and so on.

We live in an experiential dimension of being,
usually referred to as dualistic.

In this dimension of experiencing, everything appears to be
grouped in opposites. This appears to be a requirement of the
conceptual processes of the imaginative mind. You cannot
conceive of 'tall' without 'short', nor 'good' without its opposite 'bad',
and so on.

Think of a baseball team: It aims for success by practising that which
will help it to win more games than it loses. Every win can be interpreted
as a success, but that is only understood by the games they failed to win.
Success for the team is best understood as a progressive improvement in
performance, and an ongoing accumulation of more wins than losses.
And then, at the end of the season - SUCCESS... but that is not permanent
either. You know the 'drill'.

So you have been working on 'yourself'.
- working on your self-image.
- working on identifying and and resolving limiting habits.
- working on understanding your thought processes, how they help, how they hinder.

This is in many ways a useful work.
However, if you are seeking some sort of 'personal' gain out of this
then the real benefits will elude you and you will have missed
the opportunity to evolve beyond simple 'personal' development.

What is this PERSON - PERSONA
- that you are trying to develop?

Personal development is just a beginning.
A 'door opener' one might say.

Mastery of self is the true end-game.
It is why you are here in this world.
You cannot play the Master game
until you have attained Mastery of self.

Then you will be ready to enter another dimension
of experiencing that literally 'blows away' duality.


Beyond Dreamland !


I know that I am not my mind (thoughts) \
nor the body. The mind is a tool I use for
interacting with my world of experience.
The body is a vehicle that enables our
third dimensional “dream-world” of experiences.

Both thought (mind) and body have evolved
over millennia, through countless experiences.

So here we are.

Are you stuck, thinking that you are nothing
more than “body/mind”, or maybe
“body/mind” and some sort of “intelligence”
or intellect?

If that is the case then you are severely limiting
your multidimensional expansion into reality.

Step out of “dreamland”, taste the reality!
Are you Master of your domain, or
is thought the master of you?


Watching Thought

One area to explore in personal development and beyond,
is how we understand thinking.
Is it a tool we use?
Is it what in essence characterizes "the self"?
How does thinking affect our lives, our plans,
or is all of that just thought?

The mind is defind by its content.
The content of mind is thought.
Thus, "no thought - no mind".
This is not necessarily a bad thing,
it might be the solution to many of our problems!

The following is from the Introduction of
one of my books. Perhaps it will serve a
purpose here.

I don’t know how to think. DO YOU?

How does one THINK?
Do you squeeze your eyes shut, tighten your entire body and will a thought into being?

What are the mechanics of thought?

Or do thoughts just happen?

Are they just there and over the years we develop
an ability to attach to them in some way.
And then do the thoughts become “my thoughts”
and “her thoughts” and “their thoughts”?

But if thoughts just happen, then where do they come from?
Some would say that ‘you’ think.

If that is so, then how would you think to stop thinking?
After all, if you are the one in control of those thoughts you call yours,
then shouldn’t you be able to stop them at will?

Go ahead.
Stop thinking.
What will you do?
Shout in your mind “STOP!” or “SHUT UP!”.
But those are still thoughts.
That is thinking.
It hasn’t stopped.

All of this is happening, and yet someone (something or some nothing)
is seeing all this as it happens.


The Genuine You

How to see yourself more meaningfully.
That would surely be useful, if you are at all
serious about your potential and role in life.
 Usually we “think” we know how we appear to others.
We judge for ourselves, in our mind (thoughts) how others see us.

But, is that an accurate gauge of how you truly
appear to others.

The Ancient aphorism "Know Thyself"
was inscribed in the entrance to the
Temple of Apollo at Delphi, in Greece.

Plato employs the maxim 'Know Thyself' extensively
pointing out that Socrates is referring to a long-established wisdom.
There are at least six Dialogues of Plato which discuss
or explore the saying of Delphi: 'Know Thyself.'

Lana and Andy Wachowski (American film directors, screenwriters and producers)
used one of the Latin versions (temet nosce) of this aphorism as inscription over
the Oracle's door in their movies The Matrix (1999) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003).

So, what is this “Know Thyself”?
There are different levels to which this saying applies.

At the simplest level the saying “Know Thyself” refers to
having an understanding of your relationship to life.

In other words:
How you relate to the world (other people, things and ideas);
How you relate to yourself, your thoughts and beliefs etc.;

How do you see yourself?
Do you see yourself through the beliefs that you have acquired?

Do you understand what makes you do the things you do
and why you do them?

In other words, do you have a 'handle' on your habits?

There are “higher” or “deeper” levels of understanding the
aphorism “Know Thyself”.
This is part of the journey of Mastery of self.
At the deeper levels it deals with comprehending who,
or what you actually are – beyond your body and mind.

Truth mirrors reality and it logically follows that the best way
to decipher the truth about yourself is by personally observing
and experiencing the reality of which you are a part.

Utilizing your experience of the world as a reflection (a mirror)
of yourself is an important insight.
Seeing yourself as others see you gives a more accurate appraisal
of how you “come off” or appear to the world around you.

Other people see you based on their own conditioning
and habits. Therefore, they make a judgement of what they "think" you are
based on the behaviour that they observe and how it affects them.

By carefully observing how others' reactions to you affect your
habitual responses you can learn a lot about the “robotic”
nature of your behaviour. You learn whether there is a
“genuine” you interacting with the world.

Or perhaps you will discern to your shock or amazement,
that the 'you' that you thought was genuine is actually
a fabricated, conditioned response to the various stimuli of
of the universe which you think you inhabit.

There are many 'levels' or 'degrees' of revelation possible.
These all “point to” or "reveal" the depth and richness included
in the saying “Know Thyself”.

Are thoughts, beliefs and conditioning the ultimate mechanics
of who you really are? Are you not much more than such
a simplistic mechanistic view of life?

To “Know Thyself” is to discover the GENUINE YOU.


After you've developed the "Person" (as per Personal Development)
 Have you tested the "new you" out in the world?

Have you noticed any significant changes to
your personality (this relates to 'person')?

Are you still reacting in old ways to the
thoughts that 'flit' across the mind?
Do thoughts no longer linger as they used to,
creating unnecessary concern and stress?

These are just a few of the signs to look out for
on your journey to Mastery of self.

As the American professor psychologist Ram Das
(Richard Alpert, partner of Timothy Leary of LSD fame)
said many years ago - "If you think you are enlightened
then go live with your parents for a week."
That should quickly clear up any misconceptions of
whether there has been any real 'growth' in your
mastery, or if it is just the 'run of the mill' kind of
Personal Development - which is often quite illusory,
self gratifying and short-lived.

Why short-lived?
Because any 'surface' work on the 'person/personality'
cannot meet the test of time.

There will be some situation, sometime, that will
challenge "who you think you are" to such a degree
that if you are not able to humble yourself enough to
realize that this particular experience is a "lesson
for growth" being handed to you, then you will come
"crashing down" to your real reactionary, conditioned,
robotic self.

History, and everyday experience is filled with
examples of such self-instigated sabotage, which
is often viewed as failure. 

But it is not failure at all
if you realize the gift of
the lesson for growth
that such an experience presents.

A word to the wise.

Will You Rise Above the Storm ?

A key aspect of “Mastery of self”
is the realization that you are not the thoughts
that appear to demand your undivided attention.

Conceptual thinking (reasoning) is a useful tool
for survival and management of your everyday worldly affairs.

However, when the focus of the mind (thinking) is set
on the “Person” (i.e. personal image) that you think you are ,
and the various associated emotional conundrums that appear to
“rule your life”, then that is the “time of troubles” that seem
to plague us.

This is one area where one has to discern the
“truth” in the game of personal development.

Everything is experienced in the mind (i.e. Thoughts).
Physically we may “go through” (i.e. Experience) events,
however the actual “experiencing” occurs only in the mind.

The mind (thinking) conceptualizes (i.e. translates) the physical
events into various images which are stored in memory for later
recall, thus giving the impression of passage of time and the
“movement of life” so to speak. That which is stored in memory
is always “colored” by particular individual conditioning, beliefs,
and impressions, so that the record created by mental processes is
rarely faithful to the actuality of the experience.

Discerning the relative truth of experiential situations versus
emotional memories of those events is one of the strengths of
a “Master of self”.

This is an example of “Rising above the storm” and focusing on
the power of being rather than reacting to emotional stimuli.

Be The Difference !

Personal Development can be looked upon
as a game to be enjoyed.

There is no winner and no loser,
only evolving consciousness.

What is this world filled with people and things?
Why do some get ahead and others “drop out”?


Be a “player” in this game!
BE a meaningful contribution.
You can make yourself and others feel better!
Really feel better and not in the ‘mind’ only.

Participation in this game of “Mastery of Self”
is not a mental practice. It demands your full
commitment as consciously evolving life!

BE the difference. Don’t just think about it.

You set the example, you become the hero,
You don’t do it for the results, they will come on their own.

Do you do it at all? Or is it done through you?

It is your INTENTION that sets the
course of action and manifests the results
that you call “MY LIFE”.

SUCCESS – Not many see this way.

When we pursue something called “Personal Development”
we are referring specifically to the development
of something related to the “Person”.

To be successful in such a venture you must understand
“what IS this PERSON that you wish to “develop?”

First look at the environment and the society in which
this “person” is operating or manifesting.
Then address several of the main aspects that will have a relationship to
the person’s interaction with that environment and society.

What are this person’s traits and
can they be assimilated usefully into social interaction?

This will determine your ability to discern your value
in interacting with your particular environment
which includes the economic and social aspects.

- Are there changes needed to the traits of this person you will be “developing”?
- What would be the best way to address this aspect of “Personal Development?
Have a careful look at the environment to which you must relate harmoniously.
(Remember that “environment” refers to everything ‘around’ you, including other people).

- What are this person’s strength’s?
- Do you see a perceived asset to the environment in which you will be participating?
- Are there specific things relating to skills that you should attend to?
- Are there specific personal habit improvements or changes
that you could make to improve your contributing potential?
These are only the beginning steps that must be considered
if you seriously intend to develop this “person” that you have in mind. 

It is important to note that you are NOT the “person”.
One might say that you are the “driving force and power” behind the person.

The person is the “actor”, the puppet, one might say;
but only you have the power to develop this person into a useful contributor
of whatever world environment you choose.

This is the beginning of the road to success.
This is also the basics of self development in the sense of “self realization”
and the “Mastery of Self.”

Success is not something you acquire.
It is not a goal that you achieve.
Success is the ongoing process of being a useful contributor.
Success is what you make of yourself
and how others see you in relation to their needs.

Success is who you are in essence.
Your success manifests as fulfilment.

This fulfilment can take any form (worldly, spiritual or both)
depending on one’s level of understanding and appreciation of life.

One of the keys to success is “giving”, or being of service (to others or to life in general).

The more that you give meaningfully, the more “space” you create within yourself
for the flow of life’s abundance in various forms,
to come your way.

This is really the basic understanding of the so-called “LAW OF ATTRACTION.”
Not many see it this way.

Abide in Awareness of Being

Recently I watched a video of a figure skating  competition.
The video shows a couple demonstrating the Mastery of
Physical Movement in figure skating, and perhaps the Mastery of
mental concentration or one-pointedness
in the execution of complex movements.

Although many people associate this sort of accomplishment
with Mastery of Self it is NOT that. It IS merely ACCOMPLISHMENT.
Mastery of Self does not pursue accomplishment,
although accomplishment is often the natural result of
true Mastery of Self. (Read the Tao Te Ching for more on this)

Mastery of Self involves the total mastery over mind,
which includes freedom from attachment to opinions, desires,
doing things with ulterior motives in mind, etc.
In essence Mastery of Self is freedom from the concept of
little old ‘me’ and my needs, and opinions and all the
baggage that comes with being conditioned by limiting
thoughts, beliefs and concepts. 

Mastery of Self is the road of self-realization. In other words
it is for those who genuinely seek the truth of who or what
they really are, which corrects the misconceptions created
by “THINKING” or believing who they are. It is not for
the timid, or the opinionated, or the lackadaisical‎. 

Those skaters in the video clip demonstrated great physical
accomplishment. We cannot tell from just the video whether
this stems from the Mastery of Self in the way that I have
explained it. It is still possible to accomplish great feats of
various sorts without ever having Mastery of Self. One could
be a great financial wizard, or a great salesperson, or a
marvelous athlete and still suffer the various ailments of
a limited, conditioned mind. Mastery of Self leads to total
freedom of the illusions and delusions of mind. 

The personal self is a product of mind.
In the Mastery of Self one recognizes this subtle manifestation.
A “personal self” identifies with mind and so
the mind becomes master over self.
For one who abides in the awaress of being
the mind is a tool not the master.

What Gets “Developed” in Personal Development?

Arrow Developing What? A Game of Illusion.

What is a "person"?
Are you just a “person”,
or are you much, much
more than that limited persona?

An entire psychology has been developed
and promulgated over a very long time,
and we have fallen under its spell, believing
that we are only bodies and brains and the result
of electrochemical reactions and synaptic

What a limited and limiting view!
There is much more to the reality of being
than the little, but ensnaring cogitations of limited mind.
Consciousness precedes all of this.
You can discover this for yourself experientially.

Mastery of Self gets beyond this game of illusion.