Humility and Openness
Regardless of whether it’s Christian, non-secular ideology, or scientific ideology, it all boils down to one thing: being open minded and void of any negative thoughts.
Christian (from the Bible):
Luke 9:25 – “What profit will a person have if he gains the whole world, but destroys himself or is lost?”, John 12:25 – “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”, Matthew 10:39 – “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”, Matthew 16:25 – “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
In Christian context, whatever worldly ideas we grew up with which molded us to become who we are at the moment, and caused us to have these earthly ideologies, habits, goals and ambitions, we need to lose all of them. We need to let God be the center of our lives instead and allow Him to mold us by His standards and not ours. We need to humble ourselves and empty ourselves of old ways of thinking, understanding, and doing things, and start being open-minded, humble, optimistic, hopeful, God-centered and motivated. It is only then where you will be blessed with inner peace and happiness.
One can only be willing enough to follow this teaching by Christ if he was humble and open-minded to our Lord and His ways.
Non-secular, from The Landmark Forum: (in my own words the way I understood them, as I attended their seminar):
“We need to empty ourselves of any thoughts to be able to create a world of endless possibilities”
We are often pre-judgmental. Before anything happens, just by looking at someone, or just as someone opens his mouth, our minds are already clouded with judgement. We are biased, and our thoughts are influenced by many factors, such as influences from other people, traditional behavior toward certain circumstances, and low self-worth. Low self-worth is a result of all these negative thoughts that constantly run in our minds. We put meaning into words by other people when all they mentioned were simple sentences, and yet we complicate things by clouding these sentences with made-up negative thoughts, and we are closed to the fact that there could be many reasons why these sentences were mentioned, and the reason behind it.
Bottom line is, we are being taught to stop analyzing everything and just look at things as they happen just like it is. If your boss says you are late, then it is what is is. It is not because your boss hates you, or your boss wants to make your life miserable. It’s all in our minds. Emptying ourselves of these thoughts allows us to create a world of endless possibilities, and there is no such thing as impossible. There is only what was done, what is being done and what can be done.
In a way, the Landmark Forum is teaching us to open our eyes and look at the bigger picture, and to differentiate between reality and fabricated reality which doesn’t really exist.
Scientific (from: Hindu Chakra):
You know that like attracts like, right? So here’s the deal: Positive people are drawn to positive energy; negative people are drawn to negative energy. We tend to perceive negative energy as something other people have. Sure, sometimes we feel negative – as in, “go away and leave me alone, world!” but did you know that negativity can be so ingrained in you that it goes unnoticed?
That’s because negativity sometimes wears a disguise called ‘reality’. It’s easy to rationalize that you’re ‘just being realistic’ in not daring to act on a dream – and believe it!
To clear negative energy, try this process:
1. Take ownership: “When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – the Dalai Lama
2. Cancel negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. This takes practice, dedication and making a decision to see the world through the eyes of “what can go right” instead of “what can go wrong.” You’ll have to catch yourself anytime you are acting out or speaking out your negativity, and immediately change your tune.
In a way, this is related to the other teachings.
1. “Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely — lay your life before him.”
What Bruce Lee is trying to say here is do not get distracted with the many trials that you encounter, but keep focusing on your goals. In the end you would have hurdled many trials already and would have reached your goals with ease and have done more damage than receive sufferings. Do not concentrate on the pain but the overall journey and the joy of reaching the goal.
2. “There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
Do not focus on your trial (plateau). Always focus on your goal. If you encounter a trial, work hard at overcoming it. If it still exits you need to work harder to overcome it, otherwise it will overcome you. If it does, it’s not the end of the world. Continue moving on, and just learn from these.
3. “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Be open-minded, void of any pre-conceptions about things, nor set by any concept of yourself and of others. (very similar to Landmark Forum) Do not restrict yourself or condition yourself of being in a certain type of personality or capacity, for there is no such thing. You are what you will yourself to be. We are adaptable to any situation life throws at us. We only suffer when we limit ourselves. It is our own doing.
One cannot be humble if he wasn’t open-minded, and one cannot be open-minded if he wasn’t humble. They go hand in hand.