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THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PREMISE
Everything in the world of form is preceded by a thought. Thoughts are not in the world of form, form is not in the world of thought. But one actually precedes the other in all cases. This is what the premise is getting at. If one wishes to affect form, one must work with cause, not effect. Thought is cause, form is effect. And when we work in the realm of thought, choosing a negative one or a positive one will influence the outcome.
Another quality of a negative thought is the idea of attack. All negative thoughts are attack thoughts and attack has never successfully eliminated threat. Try to remember if that has ever happened in history. Of course, attack or wars have been won or lost. But has the actual threat been "defeated?" Even with the most notable conflict of the 20th century, World War Two, was the actual threat defeated? Certainly the archetypal enemy, Hitler, was killed. The Axis powers were left with no armies or means to fight. But was the actual threatening concept defeated? Not really. One who seeks for the evil elements that were evident then can certainly find them now. The names have but changed. All of the powerful attacking that the Allied forces presented did little to eliminate the conceptual threats that Nazism represented. Interestingly enough, looking at it correctly, we see that the very nature of attack is to fail, or attack itself would no longer be necessary. Gulf War ring any bells? Viet Nam? Etc., etc. But don't get distracted.
Yet turn to a different example from history. Just for the sake of interest, consider this. If you are over the age of twenty, you remember something called the "Cold War." The two combatants were the U.S. and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics. If you are over the age of, say, thirty, you probably spent most of your life with the spectre of nuclear war as part of your awareness. Indeed, for parts of six decades, the idea of nuclear missiles raining down over our country was a very real fear, sometimes pervasive and obvious, sometimes only lurking, but always there.
It's gone now. And also gone from the face of the earth is a country, a political entity, the U.S.S.R. At one point, most assuredly, the U.S.S.R. was the most powerful military force in history. The megatonnage of destructive capacity was mind-boggling. And now, our arch-rival, our Cold War adversary, is no more. How did this happen? Does anyone remember? Was it a surprise attack that humbled the Russians before our might? Was it an inside job that felled the giant? Was it some out-and-out political attack that finally worked? Embargoes, boycotts, attacks in the press - did they finally lead to the fall of the Soviet Union? What did we do that finally crushed them? The answer? Nothing. We did nothing. After fighting the Soviets on every front, in every way, during the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s, the Soviet Union began its demise after we did nothing to it at all, but rather stopped doing anything to it.
In a series of events in the fall of 1989 and the spring of 1990, some interesting things transpired. The US and USSR had been haggling over some fine points on an arms treaty and things were not quite resolved by Christmas. In fact, tensions were pretty high. But President Bush started announcing some minor arms reductions unilaterally. This is certainly not to suggest that Bush was adopting some sort of New Age philosophical point of view. Surely, Bush probably had in mind financial cuts - the announcements were usually tied to a desire to cut spending. But the fact is, he began laying down our arms. Around April of 1990, he actually toured Offutt airbase near Omaha and attended a fund-raiser at Peony Park. The next day, the White House announced a huge 50,000 unilateral troop reduction in NATO. The very next week, Russia voted democratically to elect its first president. There was no tit-for-tat and a short while later, Bush announced that he was ordering the standing down of 30% of our nuclear strike force. SALT II, the arms treaty had not been finalized. It was not something he was doing in exchange for any concessions by the Russians. He just did it. (Sounds suspiciously like a Nike ad, doesn't it?) He laid down 30 % of our nuclear missiles without asking the USSR to do anything.
There is no claim here that Bush's non-attacking actions caused the transformation of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. There is no need for that claim. This is not a battle; this is not a debate. This is not attack. But the Soviet Union is no more. Something the US would have given anything to defeat for oh-so-long, required no attack at all. It collapsed when we stopped attacking it. It's gone, isn't it? Answer yourself this: What exactly did we do to conquer the Soviet Union?
NOTHING "NEW" ABOUT NEW AGE
The point? "The devil's in the details," they say. It's easy to get distracted from looking within for cause. Look how easily we were just distracted by a little story. We spun away from concept into a discussion of what the title of a movie was, as if the title mattered! The concept mattered. And our friend was quite perceptive, Buddha had already brought the concept to him. Had he heard it? The concept of thought being in the context of positive or negative is the point. Did Buddha teach "In all intellectual pursuits, gather all the facts you can and then make your decisions thusly. Therein lies the peace of God." I think not. It's a little more like "As you sow, shall ye reap." And not in the terms of physical as much as mental. As Job said, "My greatest fears have come up to meet me." Or was it Job? Or Satchell Paige? Or is the concept the point as our friend so unconsciously yet so deftly reminded us?
THE HEART PART OF IT IS...
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Michael Braunstein is Executive Director of Heartland Healing and certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners in clinical hypnotherapy. He graduated from the Los Angeles Hypnotism Training Institute and was an instructor at the UCLA Extension University for 11 years.
Heartland Healing is devoted to the examination of various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information and not as medical advice. It is not meant as an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or by Heartland Healing Center, Inc.