What would you do to improve yourself? Well, let’s step one step backwards. The first question might be, why should you bother improving yourself? And I believe the answer to that is some thing like, so you don’t suffer any more stupidly than you have to. And maybe so others don’t have to either. It’s something like that. You know, like there is a true injunction at the bottom of it. It’s not some casual self-improvement philosophy. It is that if you don’t arrange yourself properly, you’ll pay for it and in a significant way. And so will the people around you now, and you could say, well, I do not care about that, but that’s actually not true. You actually do care about that because if you are in pain, you may care about it. And that means you do care about, even if it’s just that negative way, you know, it’s very rare you could find somebody who’s in excruciating pain who would ever say, well, it would be no better.
If I was out of this sort of pain is one of the things that brings the notion that it would be better if it did not exist along with it, it is in controvertible. So you get your act together so that there is not any more stupid pain around you than necessary. Well, so then the question might be, well, how would you go about getting your act together? And the reply to this, and this is a phenomenological idea, too. It is something like, look around for something that bothers you and see if you’re able to repair it. So now you think, well, let’s say, let’s say you go into, you can do this in a room. It is quite fun to do it. Just when you are sitting in a room just like a space, maybe your bedroom, you can sit there and just sort of meditate on it and think, okay, if I wanted to spend 10 minutes making this room better, what do I have to do?
And you have to ask yourself that, right? It’s not a command. It is like a real question and things will pop out in the room that, you know, like there’s a heap of papers over there. That’s kind of bugging you. And you know, that perhaps little order there are a fantastic thing. And you know, you have not, there is some rubbish behind your computer screen that you haven’t attended for like six months. And the room would be marginally better if it was somewhat less dusty and the cables, weren’t all tangled up the same way. And like, if you, if you let yourself just to consider the expanse where you exist at the moment, there will be all sorts of things. That will pop out in it which you could just fix. And, you know, I might say, well, if you’re coming to see me for psychotherapy, this simplest thing for us to do first would just be to get you to organize your room. You think, well, is that psychotherapy? And the answer is, well, it depends on how you conceive the limits of your being. And I Would say start where you can begin.
You know, If, if something announces itself to you, which is a strange way of thinking about it as in need of repair, you could repair, then Hey, fix it. You fix a hundred things like that. Your life will be a lot different. Now, I often tell people to repair the things you repeat every day, because people usually think of these as trivial, right? You get, you brush your teeth, you’ve got your breakfast. You know, you’ve got your routines which you go through every day. Well, those likely constitute 50% of your lifetime. And people think, well, they are mundane. I don’t need to listen to them. It’s like, no, no, that is exactly wrong things you do every day. Those are the main things you do. Hands. All you’ve got to do is do the arithmetic. You have figured out immediately. So a hundred alterations to your wider domain of being, and there is a lot less rubbish and there is a great deal less rubbish around it.
A lot fewer traps that you step into. And so that is in keeping with Ewing’s idea about erasing the dis once you’ve got your mind and your emotions together, and as soon as you’re acting out that, then it is possible to extend what you’re willing to consider yourself and start fixing up the things that are part of your wider extent. Now, sometimes you do not know how to do that. So you may say, imagine you’re walking down Bloor street and there’s this man who’s like schizophrenia and alcoholic and has been on the streets for a decade. He sort of stumbled towards you and you know, incoherently mutters something, that is a problem. And it would be useful if you could repair it, but you, have not got a clue about how to fix that. You simply walk around that and go find something you could fix, because if you muck about it, that not only is it unlikely you will help that person, it’s very likely that you’ll get hurt yourself.
So, you know, just because while you’re experiencing things themselves, as in need of repair, doesn’t mean that it’s you right then and there, that should repair them. You have to have some humility. You know, you don’t walk up to a helicopter that isn’t working and just begin tinkering away with it. You have to stay in your domain of competence. But the majority of the time, if people look at their lives, you know, it is very interesting thing to do. I liked, I liked the concept of the room as you can do that at the drop of a hat. You know, you go back to where you live and sit down and think, okay, I will make this place better for half an hour.
What should I do If they have to ask And things will pop up like mad. And it’s partly because your head is a really strange thing. As soon as you give it a title, a genuine aim, it’ll reconfigure the entire world in keeping with this goal. That is really how you see to begin with. And so in case you set it a task, especially you’ve got to be genuine about it, and that’s the reason why you must bring your thoughts and emotions together. And then you must get them on your body. So you’re acting consistently. You have to be real about the aim, but once you aim, the world will reconfigure itself about that aim, which is extremely strange. And it is, it’s, it’s technically true. You know, the best example of that, you have all seen this video where you see the basketballs being tossed back and forth between members of the white team versus the black team.
And you’re doing that. A gorilla walks up into the middle of the video and do not see it.
It is like, you know, in case you thought about that experiment for about five years, that would be about the right amount of time to spend thinking about it. Because what it shows you is that you see what you aim at and that guy, if you can get 1 thing through your mind and as a consequence of even being in college, that would be a good one. You see what you aim at. And so, because one inference you might draw from this is be careful what you aim at,
Right? It what you aim at determines
How the world manifests itself to you. And so if the world is manifesting itself in a really negative way, one thing to ask is, are you planning at the right thing? Now?
You know, I am not trying to reduce everybody’s issues to an improper aim. People today get cut off at the knees for all sorts of reasons. You know, they get sick, they have injuries, there is a random element to being that’s for sure. But, and so you don’t need to take anything, even that particular phrase too far, you need to bind it together with the fact that arbitrary things do happen to people, but it is still a terrific thing to ask.