Monthly Archives: December 2014

Week 13 – Christmas, Family and the Art of Stillness

This Christmas has been one of the best of my life. It was not just that I had the opportunity to spend it in a forest, cut off from the rest of the world, nor was it just that the place we stayed was a beautiful farm house set in fields and woods. It was that I had quality time – four days all told – with 9 other family members; and what a blessing that was. We talked, walked, cycled, cooked, ate, played, and had fun together. It was a real holiday for me – a complete change – and it made me realise what you can miss if you let it pass you by.

Another thing I love was the time and the idyllic place for thinking. To pause and take notice of the changes that have taken place within me. I have a completely different attitude, an altered mind-set from when I first started the MKMMA course. I have hope. I have determination to see things through to their end. And what a gift it is to share these experiences with your loved ones.

My family clubbed together and gave me a tablet for Christmas. My daughter put some apps on it that I may find of use. One of them was called TED Talks – a marvellous site dedicated to talks given from great thinkers of our time. The first talk I looked at I hit gold – Pico Iyer’s The Art of Stillness completely resonates with the Master Keys approach to Sitting Still. I high recommend it to you.

Peace to you and a Happy New Year!

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Week 12 – A Master Keys Christmas Carol – Part 1

The melted candle’s flame convulsed as it struggled for oxygen in the stale and heavy air of the bedroom. Ebenezer’s shadow swayed across the damp patches of the bare wall, but his body moved not. He sat on his old, old bed hunched and clasping his shins, staring into the darkness of the other side of the cavernous, cold room. In the stillness and silence, only the occasional wisp of breath furled from his mouth to demonstrate the life within. With emaciated frame and hunched repose, those dull, lifeless grey eyes and gaunt demeanour belied the man’s relative youth. A life of selfishness, greed, intolerance and mistrust had carved deep furrows into his mind and moulded his form to that of a snide, cynical and penurious creature that, with avid emotion, embraced mammon and vehemently shunned open-hearted companionship with disdain.

He gazed at the darkness and the darkness stared back. His usual mood of superiority and resentment for the world around him had, at his time, retreated; his mind as empty as the trappings of his abode. The path that he had chosen for himself had finally reached its destination. The dying light gave in to the black void.

The whispers were hardly noticeable and, in the numbness of Ebenezer’s mind, it took time for him to realise the sounds were not of his own imagination. With breath held, he tracked the sound from right to left across the far wall of the room. Clearly a voice…perhaps outside? No, it is moving too far to the left – it would be inside the house. Inside? Burglars?

As Ebenezer rose, the whispers intensified and darted from place to place. Curiosity slowly transformed to a mild sense of peril as the wiry man lit a candle and peered into the blackness.

“Who is there?” he murmured. The noises continued with no sentient reply. With gathered courage he spoke with what eminence and authority he could muster. “Who are you? Do you mean me harm? …..If you seek to rob me, you may see that I have nothing of value”. With no visible form hushed whisperer spoke softly, but firmly into Ebenezer’s ear, “Of that, Ebenezer Scrooge, I heartily agree!”

Ebenezer, turned and reeled in shock. The candlelight revealed no person. He gulped, “Where are you?”

A voice in the corner of the room replied “I am here”. Scrooge turned to the corner and with candle held aloft, hastened to the corner to find no one there. His neck craned, he scoured the ceiling and the walls. “What do you see, Ebenezer?” The voice was now behind him. He scuttled to the opposite corner of the room. “Ebenezer, what do you see?”

Fear gave way to frustration, “Why are you playing games with me?” Scrooge uttered firmly.

“I assure you, I play no games. What do you see?”

The deep-set steely eyes of the man in night attire shot to the latest location of the disembodied voice, “What do you mean ‘What do I see’? I see nothing, I have seen nothing!”

“Then you have seen me.”

Scrooge’s frustration grew. Before he had chance to vent his ire, the voice spoke again. “I am the phantom of your opportunities passed. By definition, you see nothing. Now, Ebenezer, extinguish the candle.”

Scrooge glanced at the meandering flame, then back to the darkness. He had been startled, exasperated and bewildered in quick succession but he still had the presence of mind to think logically. Logic was the currency of the world and he was a man of the world. If he could not see his companion in the light, yet he did not attack with the benefit of this advantage, then he probably had no intention of aggression or malice. Furthermore, the darkness would further diminish the chance of success of such intentions and, with his greater knowledge and experience of the room in darkness, he would have the upper hand. He blew out the candle.

The minutes of adjustment for Scrooges eyes to the darkness were spent in silence and expectation. He concentrated on the finding the body of the mysterious visitor. He looked for a shape, even the hint of a shape in the blankness before him. He could not tell at first whether it was his imagination or actual bodily forms or even a combination of the two, but as he focussed his mind on the task, extremely subtle wisps of fleeting light appeared and faded – first here, then there- until Scrooge’s mind could piece together a shape, and the shape was that of a human body standing five paces before him. In time, by memorising the positions of light both past and present the picture took shape and features began to develop. A young man manifested slowly before him, bold and upright with an open posture accepting – even loving. Scrooge’s usual attitude of cynicism and contempt had stopped abruptly with shock of the apparition before him – the very foundations of his philosophy of the machinations of the Universe were now in a state of flux. This was not a time to revert to type.

The phantom slowly raised his arm in an arc above his head. Again, by a combination of sight and memory, the shape of an arch was formed. The apparition moved slowly sideways as the arch took its form.

Scrooge could not tell if the arch enlarged or moved toward him, but the effect was that he was slowly entering the arch. He knew he had to focus or the visions he saw would be disrupted or gone.

Wisps of light like tendrils of smoke drifted-by at all angles. For no known reason, a gamut of emotion was stirring within Ebenezer. Again, the drifting strands took form until he finally realised their significance. These were people he knew! People of all types that he had known in his past – some he had known well, some not so and all around were amorphous shapes and shades of light.

“Look harder Ebenezer, focus” came the voice once more.

The form of Scrooge’s sister, Fan, came before him. His countenance lit up as he watched her dance the way she did when he was but small and young and carefree. He wanted to hold her hand, but fear that it would somehow break the spell. As he looked to his right, his jaw dropped and a blush reddened his pallid and haggard cheeks as his first and only love, Belle drifted toward him. Three faint lights raced playfully around her. Ebenezer stepped closer but all apparitions receded quickly in to the darkness. Though still present, not even Scrooge’s guide could be seen.

Perplexed, Scrooge inquired, “What have I done to repulse them so?”

The voice replied, “You have done nothing”.

“I don’t understand. If I have done nothing, then why do they depart from me?”

“You did nothing”.

Ebenezer’s indignant face melted when he realised the import of the voice’s words. It was his own inactions of the past that resulted in the ghosts of the present. Vast possibilities of life and love for scrooge is confined to the ether of non-existence.

“How did my path divert so?”

The voice replied with no emotion, “You made a series of choices which impacted on you and the world around you. Your choices have defined you.”

Scrooge dropped to his knees, his eyes welled with hot, bitter tears, “What can I do to amend for my transgressions?”

The voice replied, “In my realm you can do nothing for the thoughts, the attitudes, the mind sets and actions of the past have already had their effect and they cannot be altered. But in your realm you can do everything.”

Ebenezer held back his tears, raised his head and composed himself. “Forgive me, phantom for I have indulged in myself for far too long – what of Fan and my dear Bella? What if I cannot find them to make recompense?”

“Guard yourself Ebenezer, for the only person you can truly find is yourself.”

The first light of dawn filtered into the dank bedroom of Ebenezer’s abode. “One more thing I ask of you phantom, I beg you, please to seek the forgiveness of those I wronged in your realm”.

“They have no need of your forgiveness, for they know you not and could not perceive you, as I have been unable to see you. Your thoughts have formed habits, your habits have defined your character and your character has diminished your soul. The opportunities from your past have disappeared. I cannot see you for you have become as nothing”.

The tears welled up to over flowing, “Then I have no hope?”

The voice spoke more softly, “You have shown remorse. Remorse is the Handmaiden of Resolve and the Herald of Hope. You have hope Ebenezer, but on your journey you will need much more than that alone.”

“Good spirit, from whence do I obtain the abilities to extricate my elf from this pit?”

“More guides will manifest themselves, but for us, it is time to part our ways.”

Scrooge melted softly to the floor, head hung in the grief of such wasted time on dark and fruitless pursuit. He took a breath, “Before you depart, may I know the name of my messenger?”

The reply was hushed and echoed through the room.

“My name is Ebenezer Scrooge, the man you would be.”

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Week 11- If- Rudyard, Og, Charles and Napoleon Are Met…

Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If-” is my favorite and is one of the most inspiring pieces of text in the English language. The poem resonates with the teachings found in The Greatest Salesman, The Master Keys and Think and Grow Rich.

This is my homage to Rudyard, Og, Charles and Napoleon:

“IF-” by RUDYARD KIPLING


If you can keep your head when all about you   

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

“I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious…the slaughter house is not my destiny. I will persist until I succeed.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked III.

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

“I will cause others to believe in me because I will believe in them and in myself” Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

“The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked III.

 

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

“For just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and the spears of anger. Adversity and discouragement will beat against my new shield and become as the softest of rains”. Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked II.

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

“I will eliminate hatred, envy jealousy, selfishness and cynicism…” Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

“…the value of experience is overrated usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked I.

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; 

“Do not confuse Imagination with Fancy, or that form of daydreaming in which some people like to indulge. Daydreaming is a form of mental dissipation which may lead to mental disaster.” Charles Haanel, The Master Keys, Part 8 Section 14.

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

“Then comes the process of visualisation. You must see the picture more and more complete, see the detail, and , as the details begin to unfold the ways and means for bringing it into manifestation will develop methods, methods will develop friends, and friends will bring about circumstances, and, finally, the third step, or Materialisation, will have been accomplished.” Charles Haanel, The Master Keys, Part 7 Section 7.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;  

“I will love the ambitious for they can inspire me; I will love the failures for they can teach me.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked II.

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

“With love I will tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they have built round their hearts and in its place I build bridges so that my love may enter their souls.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked II.

 

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

“Failure I may encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never wil I know how close it lies unless I turn the corner”.  Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked III.

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

“I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me then I will work on in despair. I will toil and I will endure. I will ignore the obstacles beneath me and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked III.

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

“So long as there is breath within me, that long I will persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles of success; if I persist long enough I will win.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked III.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

“I love the kings for they are but human; I love the meek for they are divine.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked II.

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

“[My shield of love] will become stronger and more protective with use until one day I will cast it aside and walk unencumbered among all manners of men and when I do, my name will be raised high on the pyramid of life” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked II.

If all men count with you, but none too much;

“And how will I confront each whom I meet? In only one way. In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You. Though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkled my brow, bring a smile to my lips and an echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked II.

 

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

“And I make a solemn vow to myself that nothing will retard my new life’s growth.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked I.

 

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,  

“Today, I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked I

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

“I will walk tall among men and they will know me not, for today, I am a new man, with a new life.” Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman, Scroll Marked I

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Week 10 – True Health and the Power of the Mastermind Alliance

Before I start my blog this week, I just want to make it clear that the purpose of my tale is not because I have any particular religious partisanship to promote, but rather, I want to relate to you an experience I had when I was younger which resonates strongly with the principles we have learned in the Master Keys Mastermind Alliance; namely:

  • The reality of manifestation of the restoration of health similar to the case of Frederick Elias Andrews in Part 9 of Haanel’s The Master Key. In the case I witnessed, the manifestation was instantaneous.
  • The Incredible power of a mastermind alliance when all focussed on one task, all with the same thoughts and the same charged feelings (i.e. the same belief) that manifestation would occur.

My tale goes back to 1988, when I was invited to attend a Christian Evangelistic Event at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), situated between Birmingham and Coventry, UK. It was a reasonably big gathering – from what I remember there were around 10 to 12 thousand people attending. In one of the largest halls in the NEC.

The event entered a period where the visiting evangelist went down from the stage to mingle with the people who had come in the hope to be healed by God. It was at this time that something truly extraordinary happened which carries a lesson or two for us on MKMMA.

The evangelist encouraged a woman in a wheelchair to get up. The sceptic in me and my working knowledge of body-language told me that the woman was somewhat reluctant, even embarrassed to stand up (it later transpired that she wasn’t fully wheelchair-bound, but could stand for short periods). All this was videoed for all participants to see. The crowd were less sceptical than I. The crowd went wild, thinking and believing that someone who could not walk had just been healed.

The evangelist then, for no apparent reason, rushed to another area in the venue and commanded another woman in a wheelchair to rise up and walk. She not only rose up and walked, she ran around the auditorium. However, this lady could not stand for short periods. She had in fact been confined to a wheelchair for 2 years after a previous 23 years of spinal injuries and conditions resulting in 10 operations and 4 years in hospital. Furthermore, she had had 3 heart attacks, acute angina, severe bronchitis, pain in her back to the point of blackouts and deteriorating eyesight. Gone. This woman became whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy in an instant. Her name is Jean Neil. I saw this miracle. I waited to the end of the event to talk with her as we left together, Jean pushing her own wheelchair as we left. I bore witness to this as true. You’ll find her story on YouTube.

I’d like to make these observations:

  1. Jean Neil had the most appalling quality of life, but she did not give in to her condition. She gave. She gave love and time faithfully to those at her church and taught at Sunday school. She didn’t despair, but she “walked the talk” and applied her thought and feeling to believe she could be healed.
  2. Jean visualised her goal. It resulted in her dreaming EXACTLY what happened when she was healed (place, people, events) months before it took place. That divine spark in her subconscious working away to show her the solution to her predicament.
  3. The evangelist knew she was going to be healed the moment he saw her at the start of the event. It was a matter of WHEN, not if. However, it’s important to remember that the evangelist was the conduit for the effect and not the cause (which is one of the reasons I haven’t named him). As Napoleon Hill says, ”I succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use and the co-operation of other people”. It is interesting to consider that when people were healed in the presence of Jesus of Nazareth, he would often tell them that it wasn’t he, or any other person that had healed them but would say, “it is YOUR FAITH that has healed you”.
  4. I believe that the crowd were a massive catalyst for this amazing occurrence. When that first lady got out of her wheelchair 10,000 people believed in miracles. Now, nothing was impossible, so when the impossible was needed, the impossible became manifest. That crowd was a mastermind alliance. What could we do together when we are all focussed on one task with the same thoughts and feelings? That, my friends, is an exciting question, with and limitless answer.

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