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A well-informed person: The bulwark of the prudent is noble and distinguished learning; a broad understanding of all that is happening, but in an uncommon, not common, fashion. Such persons have wit and wisdom on their tongues and they know how to use either on proper occasion: for more is often accomplished through a witty remark than through the gravest argument. And common sense has proven more valuable to many than the seven arts, however liberal they may be.

~ Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

World—A Projection of Thought

Careful reflection will show that the entire universe is in reality the projection of the human mind—Manomatram Jagat. Purification and control of the mind is the central aim of all Yogas. Mind in itself is but a record of impressions that keep expressing ceaselessly as impulses and thoughts. The mind is what it does. Thought impels you to action; activity creates fresh impressions in the mind-stuff.

Yoga strikes at the very root of this vicious circle by a method of effectively inhibiting the functions of the mind. Yoga checks, controls and stops the root function of the mind, i.e., thought. When thought is transcended, intuition functions and Self-knowledge supervenes.

Thought has the potency of creating or undoing the world in the twinkling of an eye.

Mind creates the world according to its own Sankalpa or thought. It is the mind that creates this universe, (Manomatram Jagat; Manahkalpitam Jagat). Through the play of the mind, a Kalpa is reckoned by it as a moment and vice versa. Like a dream generating another dream in it the mind having no visible form generates existent visibles.

~ Sri Swami Sivananda, Thought Power

The 40th President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. He was the second of two sons to John (Jack), and Nelle Reagan. The family lived in an apartment on main street that lacked indoor plumbing and running water. Ronald’s father nicknamed him Dutch as a baby because he reminded him of “a fat little Dutchman.” His family lived in a series of towns until they settled in Dixon, Illinois, where Ronald’s father opened a shoe store.

Ronald attended Dixon’s Northside High School and worked as a lifeguard in Lowell Park, a 200-acre woodland along the Rock River. On August 3, 1928 the “Dixon Daily Telegraph” headline read,“Ronald Reagan saves drowning man,” Ronald pulled a total of 77 people from the water over the seven summers he was a lifeguard.

He went to Eureka College, a small Christian college near Peoria, Illinois. He studied economics and sociology, he also played football, was the captain of the swim team, served as student council president, and acted in school plays. He focused more on sports and acting and less on his studies, he graduated with a “C” average.

After graduating in 1932, Ronald found work as a radio sports announcer at WOC radio in Davenport, Iowa. He moved to WHO radio in Des Moines as an announcer for Chicago Cubs baseball games. His specialty was to create play-by-play accounts of games, even though he only received basic information of the game in progress by wire.

While traveling with the Cubs in California a movie studio agent discovered Ronald and in 1937 he signed a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers. Over the next three decades, he appeared in over 50 films, his best-known role was in the 1940 film, “Knute Rockne, All American,” which gave him the lifelong nickname, “the Gipper,” for his role as the Notre Dame football star, George Gipp. His other popular movie was in Kings Row,” and he played an accident victim who wakes up to discover his legs have been amputated and cries out, “Where’s the rest of me?”

Ronald married actress Jane Wyman on January 26, 1940 and they had two biological children, Maureen, who passed away in 2001, and Christine (who was born in 1947 but lived only one day), they adopted Michael, who was born in 1945.

In December 1941 the United States went to war and Ronald was drafted into the army. His poor eyesight made him ineligible for combat so he was assigned to the Motion Picture Army Unit in Culver City and made training and propaganda films.

In 1947 he was elected as the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) for the first of five consecutive terms. As the SAG President he was requested to testify before the United States House Committee on Un-American Activities. The hearings resulted in“the Hollywood Ten” being imprisoned and many writers and directors being blacklisted due to allegedly having ties to the Communist Party.

In June 1948 Ronald’s wife filed for divorce claiming, “mental cruelty.” Ronald had become obsessed with politics, but his wife was also having an affair with Lew Ayres, her co-star in the movie“Johnny Belinda.” Ronald is the first U.S. president to have been divorced.

Although Ronald was mainly a B-movie actor, he dated a number of A-list actresses, including Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Doris Day, Betty Grable and even Marilyn Monroe. But his womanizing days ended when he met actress Nancy Davis, who came to him for help because she was mistakenly listed as a possible communist sympathizer. They were immediately attracted to each other, she was reported saying, “I don’t know if it was exactly love at first sight, but it was pretty close.”  Ronald was still skeptical of marriage after his painful divorce, but over time Nancy became his kindred spirit and they married on March 4, 1952. They had two children, Patti and Ronald “Ron” Jr..

In late 1952 Ronald led a movement of Democrats for Eisenhower during Eisenhower’s 1952 and 1956 presidential campaigns. His movie career wasn’t going anywhere and he became financially strapped and took a job as an emcee in Las Vegas introducing the singing quartet, “The Continentals.”

Ronald was hired by General Electric in January 1954 and for the next eight years hosted “G.E. Theater” on television every Sundayevening. He also toured the United States as a public relations representative, giving pro-business talks, speaking out against too much government control and wasteful spending. He changed the way he viewed government and his speeches discussed government’s encroachment on individual freedom.

As a “Democrat for Nixon,” Ronald delivered more than 200 speeches supporting Nixon’s candidacy in the 1960 presidential campaign. Ronald continued to be outspoken and took on the Tennessee Valley Authority, as an example of “big government.” General Electric was forced to fire him in 1962 because he became a political liability.

Ronald’s mother Nelle passed away on July 25, 1962 from a condition that had the same symptoms of a disease that would later be called Alzheimer’s, the same disease Ronald would be diagnosed with in 1993.

As co-chair of California Republicans for Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona for President, Ronald gave a speech on October 27, 1964 called, “A Time for Choosing.” The speech attacked “big government” and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs.  When Goldwater lost to Lyndon Johnson he stepped away from politics and Ronald became the leader of the conservative movement.

Ronald published his autobiography, “Where’s the Rest of Me?” in 1965, and ran for his first public office in 1966. He defeated Edmund “Pat” Brown Sr. by almost 1 million votes and became the Governor of California, inheriting a $200 million deficit problem.  In order to balance the budget, Ronald proposed needed cuts and unpopular cuts to the University of California and in the mental health system, the state budget increased during his first term as governor.

In the spring of 1969 Ronald sent the National Guard to the University of California at Berkeley to break up a student strike.  With guns armed with bayonets and tear gas, the National Guard occupied Berkeley for 17 days. Ronald was viewed as a peace-restoring hero by some people and a trigger-happy extremist by others.

Ronald was re-elected as governor in 1970 and during his second term focused on welfare reform. In January 1973 he submitted a $9.258 billion budget with a $1.1 billion surplus, and gave taxpayers a rebate. During his second term, Watergate was impacting his friend, President Richard Nixon, and on August 6, 1974 he admitted that Nixon deceived the country.

Jerry Brown was elected governor of California on November 5, 1974, allowing Ronald to start his presidential campaign against now President Gerald Ford. Ford wins the Hampshire primary and the Republican National Committee endorsed Ford. The National Republican Conference of Mayors and the Republican governors called for Ronald to withdraw. His campaign ran out of funds but he refused to quit and won the North Carolina primary.

Ronald lost at the Republican Convention in Kansas City and Gerald Ford was the Republican Parties selection for President. In November 1975, Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated Ford by a narrow margin to become president. Ronald spent the next four years working on his ranch, giving speeches and writing a weekly column before running for President again in 1980.

Ronald and his running mate George H.W. Bush, campaigned against President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale in the 1980 presidential campaign. Ronald won the election by an electoral margin of 489-49 and captured almost 51 percent of the popular vote. His vision for his Presidency was, “We must balance the budget, reduce tax rates and strengthen our defenses.”

Ronald is sworn in as the 40th President of the United States on January 20, 1981, he made the presidential oath of office with a family bible he received from his mother.  In his inaugural address, Ronald famously said of America’s troubled economy, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” On that same day, Iran released 52 hostages who had been held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran for 444 days. Ronald, who had a sweet tooth, also received 3.5 tons of red, white and blue Jelly Belly brand jelly beans on his inauguration.

Ronald and Nancy brought in an era of glamour to the nation’s capital, the first lady wore designer fashions, and hosted numerous state dinners. Nancy called him ‘Ronnie’ and he called her‘Mommy’, and would write her notes such as, ‘Whatever I treasure and enjoy . . . all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you.’

Ronald’s first steps in office was to call for $41.4 billion in cuts from the Carter budget, mostly from “Great Society” programs that benefited the poor. He also called for a 30% tax cut over three years and an increase in defense spending, he rejected the bi-partisan proposal for Social Security cuts.

On March 30, 1981 Ronald was outside a Washington hotel and was shot by John Hinckley, Jr., who said he was trying to attract the attention of actress Jodie Foster. A bullet pierced one of Ronald’s lungs and narrowly missed his heart. Ronald later told Nancy,“Honey, I forgot to duck.” Hinckley also shot three other people, the most serious was Press Secretary James Brady who was hit in the head and suffered brain damage. Hinckley was determined not guilty by reason of insanity and committed indefinitely to a mental hospital. Within several weeks of the shooting, Ronald was back at work.

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) went on strike in August 1981 after union negotiations collapsed. Thousands of flights were canceled and Ronald ordered the controllers back to work, 11,345 workers refused and were fired and PATCO lost its union certification.

On September 1981 Ronald appointed the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor. She stepped down from her position in 2006 and recently made headlines for urging President Barack Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.

In late 1981 unemployment reached a six-year high and Ronald stated that a balanced budget in 1984 is “not probable” and redefines a balanced budget as “a goal.”

In the fall of 1982 the nation sunk into its worst recession since the Great Depression. Ronald fears budget deficits as high as $200 billion and by January 1983 the unemployment rate reached 11.5 million. In Milwaukee, 20,000 people waited in 20 degree weather to apply for 200 jobs at auto-frame factory. Ronald’s approval rating dropped to 35%.

In foreign affairs, Ronald sent 800 U.S. Marines to Lebanon as part of an international peacekeeping force after Israel invaded that nation in June 1982. The following year, on October 23, 1983, suicide bombers attacked the Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Americans. In addition to the problems in Lebanon, Ronald had to deal with an ongoing contentious relationship with Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi who was supporting terrorist operations.

Walter Mondale accepted the presidential nomination at the 1984 Democratic convention. Ronald’s popularity rebounded due to a booming economy and a resurgence of patriotic pride. In the first Reagan-Mondale debate, Ronald’s performance was so bad that the press questioned his ability to continue serving as the president, raising the “age issue.” During the second debate he answered a question about age as, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

On November 4, 1984, Ronald and George Bush defeated Walter Mondale and his running mate Geraldine Ferraro by a landslide, he carried 49 states, 525 electoral votes to Mondale’s 10, with 59% of the popular vote. One fourth of registered Democrats voted for Ronald.

He is sworn in for a second term on January 20, 1985, he is the oldest president ever to be sworn in at the age of 73, his approval rating was at 62%.

On June 14, 1985 TWA Flight 847 from Athens is hijacked by terrorists. There are 153 passengers aboard, including 135 Americans. The pilot is forced to fly to Beirut, where hijackers beat and kill Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, then dump his body on the tarmac. The plane is flown back to Algiers then back to Beirut again. Most passengers are released; 39 are held captive in Lebanon. Four days later at a press conference Ronald vows that the U.S. will never give in to terrorists’ demands. The 39 hostages who were aboard the hijacked TWA jet are freed on June 30, 1985.

Ronald was involved in the Iran-Contra affair and claimed on national television that the U.S. did send some defensive weapons and spare parts to Iran, but denies it was part of an arms for hostages deal. “Our government has a firm policy not to capitulate to terrorist demands…. We did not — repeat, did not — trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we.” Polls showed that the American people didn’t believe Ronald and his approval ratings dropped from 67% to 46% in one month and to 42% a month later. He later testified to the Tower Board about his knowledge of a shipment of anti-tank missiles. When asked for an explanation, Ronald picked up a briefing memo he had been provided and read aloud: “If the question comes up at the Tower Board meeting, you might want to say that you were surprised.”

He did eventually acknowledge mistakes in the Iran-Contra ordeal and said, “There are reasons why it happened, but no excuses. It was a mistake.” Ronald’s approval rating rebounded to 51%.

Ronald gave a speech on June 12, 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany and said, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”Twenty-nine months later, Gorbachev allowed the people of Berlin to dismantle the wall.

On November 8, 1988, Vice President George Bush defeated Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis for President. George Bush is inaugurated on January 20, 1989, Ronald leaves office with the highest approval rating of any president since Franklin Roosevelt.

In November 1989 The Berlin Wall separating East Germany from West Germany is opened and Ronald is awarded honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. He also publishes his life story,“An American Life.”

The Reagan Library and Museum, located in Simi Valley, California, is dedicated on November 4, 1991. It is the only presidential library in California, and is one of the first ten in the country. Among the items on display is a 6,000-pound graffiti-covered section of the Berlin Wall, given to him by the people of Berlin.

On July 24, 1992 Ronald is questioned in the ongoing Iran-Contra trial and is unable to recall facts and figures, and even struggled to remember the name of his Secretary of State. The following year he goes to Mayo Clinic for tests and doctors diagnose him as having Alzheimer’s disease. In November 1994 Ronald informed the American people that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and made no more public appearances.

Almost ten years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, died at his Los Angeles home on June 5, 2004, he was 93 years young. Ronald was given a state funeral in Washington, D.C., and later buried at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs.

After Ronald’s death, Nancy continued in the political arena supporting embryonic stem cell research as a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  She died of heart failure in 2016 at the age of 94 and is buried with her husband at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs.

Ronald and Nancy’s two children, Patricia Ann and Ronald Prescott, are still alive today. Patricia changed her last name to her mother’s maiden name, Davis, in an effort to have an independent career. She lived with Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon in the 1970s and co-wrote the Eagles song “I Wish You Peace.” She was active in the anti-nuclear movement before her father was elected president, which caused controversy and created strife in the family. In 2011, she launched “Beyond Alzheimer’s” at UCLA, which she still runs today.

Ron Reagan stated in a 2004 New York Times interview, that he did not claim any religion, but that he practiced Buddhism.  When Larry King asked him why he would not run for political office, Ron replied “I’m an atheist. I can’t be elected to anything because polls all say that people won’t elect an atheist.” In 2011, he published“My Father at 100:” A Memoir, and came under scrutiny when he stated that his father may have had signs of Alzheimer’s when he was President.

 


Quotes

“I, in my own mind, have always thought of America as a place in the divine scheme of things that was set aside as a promised land. It was set here and the price of admission was very simple: the means of selection was very simple as to how this land should be populated. Any place in the world and any person from those places; any person with the courage, with the desire to tear up their roots, to strive for freedom, to attempt and dare to live in a strange and foreign place, to travel halfway across the world was welcome here.”

“If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what’s at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.”

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

“A tree is a tree. How many more do you have to look at?”

“Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”

“No one who lived through the Great Depression can ever look upon an unemployed person with anything but compassion. To me, there is no greater tragedy than a breadwinner willing to work, with a job skill but unable to find a market for that job skill. Back in those dark depression days I saw my father on a Christmas eve open what he thought was a Christmas greeting from his boss. Instead, it was the blue slip telling him he no longer had a job. The memory of him sitting there holding that slip of paper and then saying in a half whisper, ‘That’s quite a Christmas present,’ it will stay with me as long as I live.”

“A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

“[The Democrats] say that the United States has had its days in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith.… My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view.”

“It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work — work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. This Administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy. “

“[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

“We don’t have an option of living with inflation and its attendant tragedy.…We have an alternative, and that is the program for economic recovery. True, it’ll take time for the favorable effects of our program to be felt. So, we must begin now. The people are watching and waiting. They don’t demand miracles. They do expect us to act. Let us act together.”

“Honey, I forgot to duck.”

“I hope you’re all Republicans.”

“The years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization. The West will not contain Communism; it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we’ll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.”

“I hope the people on Wall Street will pay attention to the people on Main Street. If they do, they will see there is a rising tide of confidence in the future of America.”

“The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.”

“It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history…. [It is] the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.”

“I have a special reason for wanting to solve this [economic] problem in a lasting way. I was 21 and looking for work in 1932, one of the worst years of the Great Depression. And I can remember one bleak night in the thirties when my father learned on Christmas Eve that he’d lost his job. To be young in my generation was to feel that your future had been mortgaged out from under you, and that’s a tragic mistake we must never allow our leaders to make again.”

“Let us beware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world…. I urge you to beware the temptation …, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil.”

“I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering those nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”

“And make no mistake about it, this attack was not just against ourselves or the Republic of Korea. This was the Soviet Union against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere. It was an act of barbarism born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations.”

“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”

“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

“The poet called Miss Liberty’s torch ‘the lamp beside the golden door.’ Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we’re here tonight. The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the ’80s unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America’s is.”

“Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom. What brought America back? The American people brought us back — with quiet courage and common sense; with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.”

“[G]overnment’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.”

“In spite of the wildly speculative and false stories of arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments, we did not — repeat did not — trade weapons or anything else for hostages nor will we.”

“A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.”

“Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

“How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life…. And how stands the city on this winter night? … After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true to the granite ridge, and her glow has held no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”

“Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions.”

“Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you’d think that the 1980s were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these days. They’re claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but you and I know better than that. We were there.”

“In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”


 

What comes first, the choice or the decision?

The definition of choice is; the act of choosing, the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities, the opportunity or power to make a decision.

While the definition of decision is; a choice that you make about something after thinking about it, the result of deciding, the ability to make choices quickly and confidently.

Maybe one way to tell the difference is the amount of information you need to make that choice, or decision. Decision are more process oriented, you go through analysis and steps to determine your options. Choice is more of a mindset; you choose between what the right or wrong choice might be.

We can go through our life making decisions on where to live, work, and play, but do we make the choice of how to best live and make more proactive choices in our life. We can spend a lifetime making all sorts of decisions, yet we spend little time making distinctive life choices.

I believe we may need to focus more on making choices than making decisions. We need to make real and necessary choices on how to lead our life in the most purposeful way possible.

Once you chose to make a decision you start to gather the facts you need to make an informed decision. Choices can be changed, but from my point of view, once you decide to do something, you do it.

Napoleon Hill wrote in his multi-volume The Law of Success book, The Golden Rule;

The man of DECISION cannot be stopped!

The man of INDECISION cannot be started! Take your own choice.

If you chose to decide on whether to take action on something, it’s final. Then you start to think about the right choices you need to make in order to support the decision. The decision is the goal, the choices are the tasks to accomplish it.

Decision is a more general term that does not imply the existence of alternatives. It is driven more by needs, goals and problems than by simply encountering a set of choices. Choice, then, is selection from alternatives.

One way to distinguish between a choice and a decision is to look at it from a sales perspective. A client might decide to purchase from a particular vender, and then they’ll chose which products, services and/or options the vender offers.

But does the slight difference between choice and decision really matter? I don’t think so, as long as you follow-up with action.

Indecision, otherwise known as procrastination, is what you need to stay away from. Mr. Hill wrote that successful men and women are those who reach decision quickly and then stand firmly by those decisions after they are made. Indecision is the devil’s tool, when we procrastinate, we fail to live the life we’re supposed to live.

So why do we procrastinate? FEAR is usually the reason. Fear of making a mistake, losing money, getting sick, getting criticized, etc. etc. etc… James Allen wrote in his book Eight Pillars of Prosperity, “Men who are afraid to decide quickly for fear of making a mistake, nearly always make a mistake when they do act.” How many opportunities were missed because someone, or you, didn’t pursue it because you were afraid of making a mistake or getting criticized?

Once you have identified all your options, weighed all the information, and made the best decision you can, don’t look back, and never second guess. When it comes to making good choices and proper decisions, all you can do is all you can do.

 


Choice

The will to evil and the will to Good

Are both within thee; which wilt thou employ?

Thou knowest what is right and what is wrong;

Which wilt thou love and foster?

Which destroy?

Thou art the chooser of thy thoughts and deeds;

Thou art the maker of thine inward state;

The power is thine to be what thon wilt be;

Thou buildest Truth and Love, or lies and hate,

Of thou dost choose the evil, loving self,

Thy cries and prayers for Good shall all be vain;

Thy thought and act bringeth thee good or ill;

Deep in thy heart thou makest joy and pain;

As thou pursuest Good, striving to make

Evil depart, thou shalt rejoice and say: —

“Lo! Light and Love and Peace attend on me:

Truth fadeth not, and Good abounds always.”

Choose as thou wilt thy thoughts and words and deeds.

And as thou choosest so shall be thy life:

The will to Good shall bring thee Joy and Peace,

The will to evil, wretchedness and strife.

~ James Allen, Poems of Peace (1907)


References

Decisions vs. Choices: Is There a Distinction?

https://www.thindifference.com/2012/06/decisions-vs-choices-is-there-a-distinction/

Making Choices and Decisions

http://www.refreshleadership.com/index.php/2015/06/making-choices-decisions/

Choice vs. Decision

http://changingminds.org/explanations/decision/choice_decision.htm

The Choices And Decisions We Make In Life

https://youtu.be/jTJXwzdgnWg

 

Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837, to Richard Falley and Ann Neal Cleveland in Caldwell, New Jersey. He was the fifth of nine children and his father was a Presbyterian minister whose income barely provided for the large family. The family moved several times around central New York State for his father’s job.

When his father died in 1853 the family was plunged into financial crisis forcing the 16-year-old Stephen to drop out of school to help support the family. Stephen worked with his older brother at the New York Institute for Special Education, and then as a clerk and part-time law student in Buffalo. The knowledge he gained from these experiences helped him pass the bar exam in 1858 without any formal study.

He worked in a law firm before quitting his job to start his own practice in 1862. He became a popular lawyer known for his hard work and determination. In January 1863 he was appointed as the Assistant District Attorney of Erie County but lost the election for District Attorney in 1865. Congress passed the Conscription Act of 1863, requiring able-bodied men to serve in the army if called upon, or else hire a substitute. Grover chose the latter course, paying $150 for a substitute to serve in his place. He said he needed his income to support his mother and sister.

Stephen Grover Cleveland dropped his first name as an adult, perhaps because he had been called “Big Steve” by friends, he weighed over 250 pounds. He did became known as “Uncle Jumbo” when he was Governor of New York. He was the second-heaviest President after William Howard Taft and Fitness Magazine named him as the least-healthiest President.

In 1870 Grover was elected as the sheriff of Erie County. As the sheriff he was also the town executioner and ended up having to personally hang two murderers. He returned to his law practice after his election as sheriff ended.

He eventually entered politics and aligned himself with the Democratic Party and was elected Mayor of Buffalo in 1881. He assumed office on January 2, 1882 and proceeded to work hard to fight government corruption in order to protect public funds.

His success as the mayor made the New York Democratic Party officials consider Grover as a possible nominee for governor. He easily won the elections and was made the Governor of New York in January 1883. He was opposed to unnecessary government spending and vetoed eight bills sent by the legislature in the first two months in office. He was responsible for forming the Niagara Falls State Park, along with other parks in New York State, setting a model for the National Park system that would later be established.

In 1884 the Democrats were seeking a presidential candidate who would contrast sharply with the Republican nominee, James G. Blaine. Blaine was notorious for his dishonesty and lack of principles. Grover Cleveland was quoted as saying “Whatever you do tell the truth,” had an untarnished reputation as an honest person with strong moral values became the perfect Democratic nominee. Republicans accused him of fathering an illegitimate child in 1874. Cleveland admitted it was possible and took the blame, but the child’s mother had been with other men who were married so he may have done so to protect the other men’s marriages. Cleveland’s honesty helped to blunt the scandal’s impact which allowed him to narrowly win the presidential election in 1884 by just 1,200 votes in his home state of New York. Cleveland won the Presidency with the combined support of Democrats and reform Republicans, the “Mugwumps,” who disliked the record of his opponent.Grover and Francis Cleveland

Grover was uncomfortable in the White House, especially as a 47 year old bachelor. He married his ward, the daughter of his deceased Buffalo law partner, Oscar Folsom, who had named Cleveland as his daughter’s financial protector. He had not exactly raised her, but he had been her godparent. It was the first and only wedding held at the White House by a president, making Frances Folsom America’s youngest first lady at 21. They begin to have children with three being born in the White House. The Cleveland’s had five children in all, Ruth, Esther, Marion, Richard, and Frances. The Baby Ruth candy bar was named after Grover’s daughter Ruth and not after the famous baseball player Babe Ruth.

During his first term, Vice President Thomas Hendricks died in his sleep on November 25, 1885. Grover didn’t have a Vice President through the rest of his Presidential term.

He was against subsidies and special interests, which is how his record-breaking use of the veto came about. Grover believed that hardship built character. Congress gave him the nickname: “guardian president,” because he exercised his veto power more than double the number cast by all previous presidents, a total of 584 times. It’s still the highest number of any president except FDR, who had three terms.

Grover vigorously pursued a policy barring special favors to any economic group and vetoed bills like the one to appropriate $10,000 to distribute seed grain among drought-stricken farmers in Texas, and private pension bills to Civil War veterans whose claims were fraudulent. When Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic, passed a bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service, Grover vetoed it.

He angered the railroads by ordering an investigation of western lands they held by Government grant. He forced them to return 81,000,000 acres. He also signed the Interstate Commerce Act, the first law attempting Federal regulation of the railroads.

He stood for re-election in 1888 against the Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison. The Republicans campaigned aggressively this time while the Democrats’ campaign was poorly managed. Cleveland actually won his second election in the popular vote but the Republicans toke the electoral vote making Benjamin Harrison the 23rd President. When moving out of the White House, it is said that Frances Cleveland told the White House staff to take care of the place because they would be returning in four years.

After leaving the White House he resumed his career as a lawyer and took up a job with a prominent law firm. By the early 1890s it became clear that Harrison’s Republican government was growing increasingly unpopular and Grover became the Democratic nominee in the 1892 presidential election. The election proved to be a somber affair because Benjamin Harrison’s wife was ill and he stopped campaigning. Out of respect for Mrs. Harrison, Grover opted not to campaign as well. She died just days before the election. Grover defeated Harrison making him the 24th President, he is the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms.

During his second presidency a severe economic depression developed and ‘The Panic of 1893‘ manifested with the decline of the nation’s gold reserve, the collapse of railroad infrastructure along with financing and banking failures. The Pullman’s Strike took place in 1894, it was the first national strike in US history and involved over 150,000 persons in twenty-seven states. Grover Cleveland sent federal troops to control the crowds and successfully ended the Pullman car workers’ strike in Chicago, Illinois

Grover was inconsistent in his social views, he opposed discrimination against Chinese immigrants in the West but did not support equality for African Americans or voting rights for women. He also thought Native Americans should assimilate into mainstream society as quickly as possible rather than preserve their own cultures.

In 1895 Grover Cleveland became the first president to be filmed, he appeared in a photoplay by Alexander Black called, “A Capital Courtship” in which Grover was signing a bill into law.

Suffering from ill health and losing the support of the Democratic Party, he left his second term on March 4, 1897. William McKinley became the 25th President of the United States until his assassination on September 14, 1901 when Vice President Theodore Roosevelt became President.

On June 24, 1908, at the age of 71, Grover died of a heart attack at his home in Princeton, New Jersey. The children were away at the family country home in New Hampshire, but his wife was at his bedside. Grover had been ill since the previous autumn, suffering from a weak heart and other ailments. His last words were “I have tried so hard to do right.”

He was a hard worker, and idealistic, Grover had an excellent memory and was the only president to deliver his inaugural addresses without notes up to that point.

An unusual aspect of his legacy is that a body part of Grover Cleveland’s resides at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. It is his “secret tumor,” an epithelioma removed from the roof of his mouth during his second term without letting the public know, he told everyone that he was going fishing.

The portrait of Grover Cleveland appeared on the $1,000 bill until it was discontinued in 1945.

February of 1913 Frances remarried. Her new husband was Thomas Preston Jr., an art history professor. They moved to London and became involved in the National Security League and during World War I Frances became active in the Needlework Guild. Frances Cleveland died on October 29, 1947, in Baltimore, Maryland. She lived longer than any other first lady had after leaving the White House.


 

Links

Grover Cleveland Timeline

http://www.presidential-power.org/presidencies-timelines/grover-cleveland-presidency-timeline.htm

http://www.american-presidents-history.com/grover-cleveland-timeline.html

Grover Cleveland Biography                                                                        

http://www.biography.com/people/grover-cleveland-9251050

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Grover_Cleveland.aspx

http://www.fun-facts.org.uk/american-presidents/grover-cleveland.htm

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/grovercleveland22

The Famous People

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/

‘The Panic of 1893’

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h792.html

The Pullman’s Strike

http://www.britannica.com/event/Pullman-Strike

A Capital Courtship

https://archive.org/details/capitalcourtship00blaciala

Frances Cleveland

http://www.biography.com/people/frances-cleveland-9251039

A Yacht, A Mustache: How A President Hid His Tumor

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/06/137621988/a-yacht-a-mustache-how-a-president-hid-his-tumor

 

Video’s

Grover Cleveland Biography

http://www.biography.com/people/grover-cleveland-9251050

GROVER CLEVELAND

http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/grover-cleveland

President Grover Cleveland Biography

https://youtu.be/xmz36n9ryIo

Voice of Grover Cleveland

https://youtu.be/Tcyhqq6Q_bo

Presidents in Our Backyard — Grover Cleveland

https://youtu.be/uInPvhEauJc

HIS 202 22. President Grover Cleveland

https://youtu.be/Idl1M_o_ETs

HIS 202 24. President Grover Cleveland

https://youtu.be/C-L5VOpYgpM

 

Books

The Forgotten Conservative: Rediscovering Grover Cleveland

http://amzn.to/1RN0WQ5

Grover Cleveland: The American Presidents Series: The 22nd and 24th President, 1885-1889 and 1893-1897

http://amzn.to/1UxGjfo

A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland

http://amzn.to/1U60UJx

An Honest President: The Life And Presidencies Of Grover Cleveland

http://amzn.to/1UxGF5S

The President Is a Sick Man

http://amzn.to/1MbChbr

Napoleon Hill states that before you can apply the principles of the Think and Grow Rich philosophy you must study and understanding three enemies to the sixth sense; indecisions, doubt and fear.

Indecision can be considered as the habit of permitting others to do one’s thinking. Or letting others criticism delay us from moving forward with what our sixth sense is telling you.

Have you ever had an idea and shared it with someone else and they thought it was stupid? Your sixth sense gave you that idea but we let others prevent us from taking action on it. Eventually, if we listen to those negative comments, we stop listening to our sixth sense and think of our ideas as just “pipe dreams.”

With indecision comes doubt. We need to give ourselves a reason why we’re not following through, so we tell ourselves that we don’t think we can do it or it’s a stupid idea like your friend said it was.

So we slowly reprogram our subconscious to believe that we can’t do it. How crazy does that sound?

Unfortunately, it’s crazy enough that eventually, that doubt turns into fear. Now our brain is afraid of doing what our sixth sense originally told us our path was.

Fear is a great motivator, most people will run from something they’re afraid of. But what causes us to fear pursuing our desires? It’s a battle we all fight and most of that fight happens internally.

Napoleon Hill outlines Six Basic Fears that we all suffer from at one time or another, but hopefully not all at once, they are;

The fear of POVERTY
The fear of poverty or clinically known as Peniaphobia, originates from the word penia in Greek meaning poverty and phobia meaning fear. This fear paralyzes you from moving toward your purpose and is the most destructive of all the six fears.

There is a number of symptoms of the fear of poverty, some of which surprised me, but if you don’t conquer these fears you will be destined for the poor house.

INDIFFERENCE is commonly expressed through lack of ambition and accepting life circumstances without protest. It can also be the lack of initiative, imagination, enthusiasm and self-control.

DOUBT is expressed through alibis and excuses and individuals may show envy of successful people, or criticize them.

WORRY is expressed by finding fault with others and individuals may even neglect their personal appearance. They may show signs of nervousness, lack of poise, self-consciousness and self-reliance.

OVER-CAUTION is the habit of looking for the negative side of circumstances and focusing on failure instead of succeeding. Over-cautious individuals may be pessimistic, and could suffer from bad indigestion, poor elimination, auto-intoxication, bad breath and bad disposition.

PROCRASTINATION is the habit of putting off until tomorrow that which should have been done last year. Individuals may refuse to accept responsibility and be willing to compromise with difficulties instead of learning from them and moving to the next step. Other signs of procrastination may be the lack of self-confidence, definiteness of purpose, self-control, initiative, enthusiasm, and ambition.

EXPECTING POVERTY INSTEAD OF DEMANDING RICHES. You’re only the average of the five closest people to you. Individuals need to associate with people who demand and receive riches and not those who accept poverty.

The fear of CRITICISM
The fear of criticism is clinically known as enosiophobia, which not only covers an unnatural fear of criticism, but also a fear of having committed unpardonable sin(s) mentioned in the Bible. This fear is believed to have originated about the same time politics became a profession.

This fear, like the fear of poverty, are fatal to personal achievement because it destroys initiative, and discourages the use of imagination.

The major symptoms for the fear of criticism can be associated with,

SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS which is generally expressed through nervousness, timidity in conversation and in meeting strangers, they may have awkward movements of the hands and limbs and shifting of the eyes.

LACK OF POISE is expressed through nervousness in the presence of others, poor posture of, poor memory.

PERSONALITY can be associated with the inability to make decision, lack personal charm, and are unable to express their opinions.

INFERIORITY COMPLEX can be demonstrated by an individual who uses “big words” to impress others, and may even imitate others in dress, speech and manners. They may even create or inflate achievements to give them a feeling of superiority.

EXTRAVAGANCE is the habit of “keeping up with the Joneses,” even though it causes financial hardships.

LACK OF INITIATIVE can also be the lack of confidence in your own ideas, which leads to the failure to follow opportunities for self-advancement. Individuals may also fear to express opinions or give evasive answers to questions and be either hesitant or deceitful in both words and actions.

LACK OF AMBITION can be seen as mental and physical laziness, lack of self-assertion, or being easily influenced by others. They may also criticize others behind their backs and flatter them to their faces. These individuals may lack tactfulness of manner and speech and be unwillingness to accept the blame for their mistakes.

The fear of ILL HEALTH
The fear of ill health is clinically called hypochondria, people live in fear that they have or will get a serious illness. This type of person spends time preparing for sickness, talks about death, and saves money for burial expenses. Unfortunately, unethical people engage in the business of “selling health” or advertising remedies to ill health symptoms, which keeps this fear alive in some people.

Symptoms of the fear of ill health include,

AUTO-SUGGESTION is finding within themselves symptoms of all kinds of diseases to the extent that it appears they enjoy the imaginary illness and speak as if was real. Some individual’s may even experiment with diets, physical exercises and try home and “quack” remedies.

HYPOCHONDRIA is considered the habit of talking about illness and expecting its appearance. It is brought on by negative thinking and nothing but positive thought can cure hypochondria.

EXERCISE is viewed as dangerous and people avoid activities that may cause physical harm, which can result in excess weight.

SUSCEPTIBILITY to illness happens when this fear breaks down our body’s immune system and creates favorable conditions for diseases, which we fear.

SELF-CODDLING is a habit of making a bid for sympathy, using an imaginary illness due to laziness, or to serve as an alibi for lack of ambition.

INTEMPERANCE is the habit of using alcohol or narcotics to destroy pains such as headaches instead of eliminating the cause. This may also be the overuse of prescription medications, which causes over 100,000 deaths a year.

The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE

The original source of this inherent fear grew out of man’s polygamous habit of stealing his friends mate, and his habit of taking liberties with her whenever he could.

This fear is the most painful of all the six basic fears. It probably plays more havoc with the body and mind than any of the other basic fears, and can be the ruin of many people.

Symptoms of the fear of loss of love of someone include,

JEALOUSY is the habit of being suspicious of friends and loved ones without any reasonable evidence of sufficient grounds. Jealous individuals accuse their spouse of infidelity without grounds and are generally suspicious of everyone.

FAULT FINDING is the habit of blaming friends, relatives, and loved ones upon the slightest provocation, or without any cause whatsoever.

GAMBLING is caused by someone who has the habit of spending beyond one’s means, or incurring debts, to provide gifts for loved ones with the belief that love can be bought.

The fear of OLD AGE

The fear of old age or clinically called, Gerascophobia, is derived from Greek ‘gerazo’ which is a phrase that means ‘I am getting old’ and phobia meaning dread or fear. This fear grows out of the possibility of ill health leading to the loss of freedom and independence, poverty, or having the instilled fear from religious beliefs of what comes after life, heaven or hell.

The commonest symptoms of the fear of old age is the tendency to slow down and develop an inferiority complex do to “being old.”

The other symptom is the habit of speaking apologetically of one’s self as “being old” instead of expressing gratitude for having reached the age of wisdom and understanding.

The worse habit of this fear is killing off initiative, imagination, and self-reliance by falsely believing you’re too old to do certain activities.

The fear of DEATH

The fear of death is clinically called thanatophobia and is distinguished from necrophobia, which is a specific fear of dead or dying persons and/or things, not one’s own death or dying.
To some this is the cruelest of all the basic fears due to their specific religious beliefs on what comes after death.

In the book Napoleon Hill criticizes religions for creating fear based on the belief that hell is where the devil burns you for eternity. The thought of eternal punishment, with fire, can often cause people to lose their reason to live life to the fullest and can make happiness impossible.

The general symptoms of this fear starts with the habit of thinking about dying instead of making the most of life, and having a lack of purpose, or suitable occupation. This fear is more prevalent among the aged.

The greatest of all remedies for the fear of death is a BURNING DESIRE FOR ACHIEVEMENT, and being of service to others. A busy person seldom has time to think about dying, they find life too thrilling to worry about death.

The big question is, do we attract what we fear?

Fortunately for us, fear is a state of mind. We can overcome our fears, if we believe we can. We control our thoughts so when you get a negative thought you need to reprogram your thinking to turn it into a positive thought.

Now I’m not saying we need to walk around and tell ourselves that everything is just fine, we need to face our adversities. But we need to face them knowing that we can overcome them, not consistently worry about them.

Napoleon Hill wraps up Think and Grow Rich by describing the “Seventh Basic Evil, The Devil’s Workshop.” The devil’s workshop lurks in the evils caused by something we all deal with, not only from others, but from within ourselves.

The evil of negative influences is the death of many dreams and if you fail to overcome this evil you’ll forfeit your right to achieve your desires. Negative influences come from the most unlikely places, our friends and relatives. If you believe in these negative influences you’ll develop a state of mind that will destroy your mental attitude. Once that happens you’re under the devil’s influence and will drift through life and never live your purpose.

In order to win the battle and defeat the devil you need to protect yourself against negative influences. This may include avoiding negative people who criticize instead of encourage you. Keep the negative influences out of your head so it won’t damage your subconscious mind.

Are you struggling with negative influences and accomplishing your goals? Answer the self-analysis test questions at the end of the chapter to see where you may need to improve in order to stop your alibis that may be deeply rooted in habits. Master your habits and gain possession of the Master Key that unlocks the door to Life’s bountiful riches.

“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.”
~ Plato

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

~ Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

What is your definition of bravery? Usually when asked this question, people don’t provide a definition, but rather an experience or event they have witnessed or endured themselves. However, once in a while you find someone who coughs up a quote or line they’ve heard somewhere that provides the logical answer to that opening question.

Some might be confused as to the difference between true shows of courage are and a lack of personal safety, but luckily there are others who know the true meaning. Probably because those who know the meaning, have had their backs up against the wall and had to fight their way out. They are the ones who have had an almost divine moment of understanding what standing up for yourself means, or what standing up for others means. They are the ones who know what being a hero is really about, and how, when you feel true fear and have no way to escape it, you have to face it. And it is in those moments we know what it means to be sincerely courageous.

Whether it be a soldier on the battle field running towards the violence, or a mother who smiles at her sick child, ensuring them it’s going to be all right when she’s just be told the mass in their brain is growing. Or even something as trivial as confronting someone about something, or quitting that job you’ve had for 8 years with all the securities and starting a new adventure. It takes all kinds of bravery to overcome the fear that, when left untamed, can atrophy our senses and transform us into cowards that rely on someone else to save them.

The good news is that the brave ones are all around us. Everyday we encounter someone who either has been or is currently being very courageous, you just don’t know it because unlike the ones who need saving all the time, the brave ones don’t carry signs that say “Help Me!”

We find them in our books, on our tv’s, or in public. They are writers, actors, firemen, servicemen, nurses, and servers. White collar, blue collar, and every shade in between. They understand that everyone is fighting a battle of some sort, but they also understand that not everyone chooses to fight the battle they’re in. They know because they have been in that situation. That situation when fear steps into a room with them and took over the space, leaving them with that corner that others have been backed into before. Except these folks don’t try to get comfortable in that corner, they stand up and begin to take the space back. One of these brave ones is Nelson Mandela.

A blank four cornered room may not project a lot of shadows, but after 27 years, your mind will start to create a darkness that can engulf the whole room if you let it. I imagine that’s how a 44 year-old Mandela may have felt after receiving the sentence of life in prison. However, Mandela overcame his ghosts of fear and hatred and not only was pardoned from prison, but went on to achieve international recognition for his presidency in South Africa.

In 1995, Nelson penned an autobiography entitled, Long Walk to Freedom. Published by Little Brown & Co. the bio charts Mandela’s early life, education and his 27 year term behind bars. He dedicated the book to, “my six children, Madiba and Makaziwe (my first daughter) who are now deceased, and to Makgatho, Makaziwe, Zenani and Zindzi, whose support and love I treasure; to my twenty-one grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who give me great pleasure; and to all my comrades, friends and fellow South Africans whom I serve and whose courage, determination and patriotism remain my source of inspiration.”

Through his bravery, Nelson Mandela was able to cultivate and grow a nation into a more peaceful region. And through his friends, family, and fellow South Africans, he had the fuel to remain courageous and defeat his ghosts of fear to see his dream come to life.

“As water, when transmuted into steam, becomes a new, more definite and wide reaching power, so passion, when transmuted into intellectual and moral force, becomes a new life, a new power for the accomplishment of high and unfailing purposes.”

~ James Allen, 1910 From Passion to Peace; Transmutation

Congratulations, you have completed Napoleon Hill’s chapter on The Mystery of Sexual Transmutation! How do you feel? A little confused? A little uncomfortable? I would naturally have to agree with either of those emotions upon my first reading of chapter 11. However, after a couple rereads I have been able to pick more and more out of it. If you came out unscathed and in full understanding of Mr. Hill’s grand message, kudos to you. Yet I am still willing to bet you would benefit from a second reading of this month’s chapter.

Amongst the missives and tiny Easter eggs of knowledge are frank opinions on why most people under 40 haven’t reached success, or why having a spouse can assist in your success or keep you from it depending on the relationship you have. Yet all in all I believe the loudest message he is trying to give us is to FOCUS.

Whether we are focusing our energy or our thoughts, directing those streams of consciousness correctly will inevitably open up the waterway, so to speak, to what we are hoping to accomplish.

As water, when transmuted into steam, becomes a new, more definite and wide reaching power, so passion, when transmuted into intellectual and moral force, becomes a new life, a new power for the accomplishment of high and unfailing purposes Such simple yet soul stirring words could only come from one man, James Allen. Most notably known for his work, As a Man Thinketh, James Allen was an Englishman whose short life only spanned 48 years. In that amount of time, Allen lived a pretty significant life, penning 19 books including From Passion to Peace from which this month’s quote was plucked.

As if his content isn’t valuable enough to any enlightened mind, coming across a quote, let alone a chapter, on transmutation was an awesome discovery. In Allen’s chapter on Transmutation, he reaffirms what we have already read, or will read, in Hill’s chapter, and that is to transmute or focus our energy and thoughts into that which we desire.

Like Napoleon Hill, in From Passion to Peace, James Allen writes about the steps to peace that begin with passion. Though Allen equates passion to sin more than to a positive desire, in just 64 pages, he walks the reader through the seven steps to finding inner peace.

Passion, Aspiration, Temptation, Transmutation, Transcendence, Beatitude, Peace

“The first three Parts of this book, Passion, Aspiration, and Temptation, represent the common human life, with its passion, pathos, and tragedy. The last three parts, Transcendence, Beatitude, and Peace, represents the Divine Life-calm, wise and beautiful-of the sage and Savior. The middle part, Transmutation, is the transitional stage between the two; it is the alchemic process linking the divine with the human life. Discipline, denial, and renunciation do not constitute the Divine State; they are only the means by which it is attained. The Divine Life is established in that Perfect Knowledge which bestows Perfect Peace.”

If you haven’t read any of James Allen’s work, I highly encourage you too. His works are pretty much open to the public and can be directly found online at the James Allen Library. While you’re there, learn about this man’s life, and read about the vision he had when he was 10 years old. Of course you can always go to Amazon and find a copy of any of his 19 works, but I encourage you to stop by the James Allen Library and while devouring one of his intellectual pieces maybe donate a little to the Libraries estate. And if you donate over $10 you will receive a paperback copy of As a Man Thinketh. Though his teachings are meant for all walks of life, if you prefer a non-masculine version of the book there are an assortment of As a Women Thinketh publications from various authors you can find on Amazon.

It is clear to see, since his death, that James Allen has left somewhat of a hibernating legacy. One which I believe is due for an awakening. If literature such as Allen’s, or Hill’s for that matter, was more readily taught in our schools or incorporated into our learning system, what would be the result? I often wonder.

-David Joseph Leingang

“I found myself opened up to dozens of points of view which would otherwise never have occurred to me. My understanding and sympathies were enlarged, and many of my social, political, and economic views were modified as a consequence of increased knowledge.”
~ H.P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters Volume 4; pg. 389

Let me ask a question. How many of you know who H.P. Lovecraft is? Sadly chances are you don’t, though you may recognize the goofy name from somewhere. Let me ask one more question. Do you like horror stories, or the works of Steven King, Robert Bloch or John Carpenter? Chances are you have heard of those gentlemen and to some extent enjoy or respect their work. But what do they have in common with H.P. Lovecraft? They all started their careers from his influence. Today you can flip through any of Kings spine tinglers and find references to Lovecraft’s work, and Bloch used to have direct correspondence with the old fellow.

Known as one of the first true masters of horror fiction, Howard Phillips Lovecraft took his influences from the great Edgar Allan Poe and took them in his own direction. His work has influenced thousands, and is finally beginning to gather the recognition it deserves with functions like the NecronomiCon, a week long convention held in Providence RI., dedicated to the works and influences of Lovecraft.

“I think it is beyond doubt that H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the Twentieth Century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”
~ Stephen King, Danse Macabe

Though known for his literary prowess, H.P. Lovecraft has become known for his prolific letter writing habit. Over the course of his 46 years of life, Lovecraft penned over 100,000 letters, most of them ranging between 20 – 60 pages… front and back. Through that time, he wrote to over 30 different correspondents and helped shape the imagination of young minds of the time, such as Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian), and Robert Bloch (Psycho).

It was through these correspondents that Lovecraft developed his Master Mind. As stated in the presented quote, which was written near the end of his life, H.P.L recounts what his like-minded companions, many of which he never met in person, had done for him. In his youth he was an almost angry, bigoted racist, though through his letters was he able to discover his place in this universe and understand the lives therein. They nursed his creative thoughts when he was depressed, and knew to knock him down a peg or two when he became a little to overzealous.

Mostly an introvert, he rarely met in large groups to discuss his work, but rather utilized his letters to lay down his thoughts and dreams. There were more lows than highs when it came to his temperament, yet if it weren’t for his communications he may never had seen any success, though little it was back then. His Master Mind was there for him in ink and parchment, through thought and dream. It is because of his correspondent Master Mind that the development of the Cthulhu Mythos – a pantheon of gods, monsters and aliens – was born and grew with his encouragement for his friends and fans to use to their liking. Today Cthulhu Mythos stories are not only being written, they are being published in new anthologies all dedicated to this gentleman.

Almost 80 years since his death, 125 years since his birth, he is finally beginning to gather the world wide respect he deserves. Out of the 100,000’s of letters he supposedly wrote, only about a third of them are available for any to read. Protégés and fans alike have collected his works and letters and published them in many formats for all to consume. After all of his works are free domain for all to enjoy and none to own. Can’t say that about hardly any good writers, past or present. I highly suggest anyone to peer into the life of this man and indulge in his incredible tales that enlighten and frighten their readers.

-David Joseph Leingang

If you were born during the late 1960’s or later there is a good chance you have read a book by Theodor Geisel. He is known as one of the most intelligent, creative and silliest minds to have penned over 44 books. His style of writing has compelled children, and adults, to enjoy reading. His whimsical nonsense rhymes are fun, they wrestle your brain and make you feel young. See what I did there? His characters have taught us all important lessons, and have grown our hearts three sizes. I am, of course, talking about the great Dr. Seuss.

Of all the wonderful books Mr. Theodor Seuss Geisel has shared with the world, one of my favorites is I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!. Published by Random House on November 12, 1978, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! is a summation of a larger message the good doctor successfully left imprinted in all his works.

In May of 1954, Life Magazine published an article reporting that children were having trouble reading books because they were boring. Geisel’s publisher at that time was moved by the article and asked Geisel to take a list of 250 words that the publisher thought were important and write a book. After nine months, Dr. Seuss’s first book, The Cat in the Hat, was an instant success. This sparked the big bang of nonsensical literature that spurred off into so many different characters, lands and themes.

Throughout the 44 or so books something that every reader has experienced is fun. The mission set out in 1954, to make books interesting for children was met but served a greater purpose. That purpose was the habit forming addiction that is only sated by reading, an addiction to knowledge.

In Napoleon Hill’s chapter on Organized Planning, we learn the importance of knowing. Through a life of learning, which primarily consists of reading, we become confident in what we know about the world and the things in it, and when we are comfortable in what we know, we become comfortable with ourselves. Knowledge is a strange form of proprioception – The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium. Knowing where you are makes it easier to decide where you are going, and possible drive you toward your purpose or passion.

The knowledge learned from any of Geisel’s works is designed to foster open mindedness and enlighten our understanding that silliness is not a bad thing, but rather a tool for greatness. It drives into the subconscious of the youth that reading isn’t work, because after all, it’s not work if it’s fun right?

I am overjoyed at night, when prepping my two year-old daughter for “night night,” when she points to her stack of Dr. Seuss books and asks to read before bed. She giggles at the words and eagerly flips pages as we stumble over precarious verses and foreign words. If I am not careful she will hustle me into reading her more than one, but where’s the harm if she’s staying up past her bedtime to read.

So enjoy yourself and break in the binding of a Seuss, or a Theo Le Sieg book (his other pen name). If you don’t enjoy reading, maybe you can ignite that interest alongside another, like a child. Learning with others creates ideas and strengthens bonds. Communication improves, and we know a little bit more every time we flip a page. What will you learn about yourself through reading?

“You might learn a way to earn a few dollars.
Or how to make doughnuts…
or kangaroo collars.”

By: David Joseph Leingang