A Practical Guide to Being Better
NOTE: This is a work in progress. It is meant to serve as a practical guide to improvement.
A brand of madness brought about by choice. Our conscious mind, driving a fraction of our decisions, compels us on occasion to usurp our subconscious by believing strongly that an abrupt leap from a lovely path into the briars is sound decision making. This utter foolishness, being discontent in a state of peace, will be the root of our demise as a community and as individuals.
Let us consider then, clawing our way back to high ground.
On matters of spiritual dilution, cease activities that gray the soul. Feeling destroyed is brought about by self-destroying. The high ground rests on a solid foundation of consistent and healthy decision making. Compromising the foundation cracks and thins the soul, that is the adhesive between the mind and the heart. Disregard the soul and watch as the mind and heart go astray.
On matters of discipline, the trials of the temptation of instant gratification are, by design, meant to dissolve the perception of free will and choice. Focus on the discipline, and be ever mindful of the choices presented to you. Scrutiny is your ally. Ask yourself simply, will this contribute to my being. Will this elevate my thinking and my love, my appreciation and my desire to be good? If the universe answers no through your heart, or if it is unclear, choose accordingly. A lack of clarity articulates the presence of conflict between the desire to be gratified instantly and the knowledge that the long-term fruit will not be good for the soul. The feeling of turmoil is the universe communicating that there is danger to your being in the choices you are considering. Be a warrior. Hone the sword of a disciplined mind and unsheathe it, striking down with great prejudice the terrible and tempting spirits that offer self-destruction behind the guise of false pleasure.
On matters of love. You, better than anyone, know your heart and what it loves. Be well with those you know you respect and love and quickly move away from those you do not. Pretending to love and pretending to respect will confound your own heart. When we fill our lives with false loves, we cripple our heart’s own self-awareness because all it knows is falseness… true love and appreciation becoming an exception rather than a normalcy.
On matters of the self, be who and what you are. This statement is not meant to marginalize the dynamism of environmental egos. No, this macro statement applies to your overall nature as it relates to your relationships with others. Know your heart well enough to know when others love and respect you as you truly are. Genuine love and respect from others is just as important as love and respect from oneself. Present yourself honestly to others so that you may receive their respect and dignity honestly.
On matters of alcohol, drugs, and debauchery. These powerful things must be treated with respect. If you are out of balance, refrain and be balanced. If you are in balance and they do not impede your discipline, enjoy them moderately as tools that can create honesty and passion with others. “Impede your discipline” is a critical statement. Some substances have a nature that impedes your discipline regardless of your balance. Heroine, for example, should be avoided due to the permanent effects that it has on your body’s ability to naturally produce the chemistry needed for happiness in its absence. Have discipline and be mindful of what you bring into your temple. Desecrating your temple and weakening its walls is a great tragedy. Your discipline is your protector and your light bearer, it determines the comfort of your love within your temple, when it finds you. Your love’s potential for comfort is your own potential for happiness. Elevate by building a strong, warm place in your soul for it to rest and play.
On matters of the judgment of others. Judge others well, and as they relate to your own affairs. Do not assume knowledge or gossip. Do not demonize, or rationalize hate. All humans are beautiful, even those of us thrown deeply into living hells. If your friend speaks poorly of someone, kindly remind them of the negative impact they have on you when they expose you to such negative thinking. If they are truly your friend, they will value your heart and acknowledge your request. If they do not do these things, distance yourself from them until they realize their lack of consideration and apologize. Accept their apology and hold no ill will. If behavior repeats, create distance.
On matters of success and wealth. Pursue it, but only if it contributes to your goodness. Understand that great wealth will both create opportunities for elevation and remove them. Do not be ostracizing or haughty. Present yourself tastefully and be respected as someone who fits well into all rungs of society by all members of the community. Your goal is to have love, happiness, and appreciation from all, it is not to have wealth. Wealth should contribute to your goal, it should not be your goal.
On matters of ideology. Believe in what you want, but be good to all others. Respect and value that, while your way may feel true, it is your way. We share this world with others, and their way has just as much merit and value as your own. Let your only requirement of others simply be goodness, and let your only requirement of yourself relative to them be to contribute to their goodness and they to yours.
On matters of God (what do I believe). God is appreciation. God is love. God is your ability to feel thankful and full of wonder. God is your youth. God is your guide. God does not hate. God is your discipline. Faith is your measureable propensity for closeness to God. Discipline protects faith, it lives within your temple.