Frederick The Great Primary Sources

What would you do to improve yourself? Well, let’s step 1 step backwards. The first question may be, why should you bother improving yourself? And I believe the answer to that is some thing like, so you don’t suffer any more stupidly than you have to. And maybe so others do not have to either. It’s something like that. You know, like there’s a true injunction at the bottom of it. It’s not some casual self-improvement philosophy. It is that if you do not arrange yourself properly, you will pay for it and in a significant way. And so will the people around you now, and you could say, well, I do not care about that, but that is actually not correct. You truly do care about that because if you are in pain, you may care about it. And that means you do care about, even if it’s just that negative way, you know, it’s very rare that you can find someone who’s in excruciating pain who would ever say, well, it would be no better.

If I was out of this sort of pain is one of the things that brings the notion that it would be better if it didn’t exist along with it, it is in controvertible. So you get your act together so that there isn’t any more dumb pain around you than necessary. Well, so then the question might be, well, how would you go about getting your act together? And the reply to that, and this is a phenomenological idea, too. It is something like, look around for something which bothers you and see if you’re able to repair it. So now you think, well, let’s say, let’s say you enter, you can do this in a room. It’s quite fun to do it. Just when you’re sitting in a room like a space, maybe your bedroom, you can sit there and just sort of meditate on it and think, okay, if I wanted to spend 10 minutes making this room better, what do I have to do?

And you need to ask yourself this, right? It’s not a command. It’s like a genuine question and things will pop out in the area that, you know, like there is a heap of papers over there. That’s sort of bugging you. And you know, that maybe little order there would be a good thing. And you know, you have not, there’s some crap behind your computer monitor that you haven’t attended for like six months. And the room would be marginally better if it was a little less dusty and the wires, were not all tangled up the same way. And like, if you, if you allow yourself just to think about the expanse in which you exist at the moment, there will be all sorts of things. That will pop out in it which you could just fix. And, you know, I might say, well, if you’re coming to see me for psychotherapy, this easiest thing for us to do would just be to get you to organize your room. You think, well, is that psychotherapy? And the answer is, well, it depends on how you conceive the limits of your being. And I Would say start where you can begin.

You know, If, if something announces itself to you, which is a strange way of thinking about it as in need of repair, that you could fix, then Hey, fix it. You mend a hundred things like that. Your life is going to be a whole lot different. Now, I often tell people to repair the things you repeat every day, because people usually think of these as trivial, right? You get, you brush your teeth, you’ve got your breakfast. You know, you have your routines which you go through every day. Well, those probably constitute 50% of your life. And people think, well, they are mundane. I don’t need to listen to them. It’s like, no, no, that’s exactly wrong things you do daily. Those are the most important things you do. Hands. All you’ve got to do is do the arithmetic. You’ve figured out immediately. So a hundred adjustments to your wider domain of being, and there’s a lot less crap and there is a lot less rubbish around it.

A lot fewer traps that you step into. And so that is in keeping with Ewing’s idea about erasing the dis as soon as you’ve got your mind and your emotions with each other, and once you’re acting that out, then you can extend what you’re willing to consider yourself and start fixing up the things which are a part of your wider extent. Now, sometimes you don’t know how to do that. So you might say, imagine you’re walking down Bloor street and there’s this man who’s like alcoholic and schizophrenia and has been on the streets for a decade. He sort of stumbled towards you and you know, incoherently mutters something, that’s a problem. And it would be useful if you could fix it, but you, haven’t got a clue about how to repair that. You just walk around that and go find something that you could fix, because if you muck about it, that not only is it unlikely that you’ll help that person, it’s very likely you’ll get hurt yourself.

So, you know, just because while you are experiencing things themselves, as in need of repair, does not mean that it’s you right then and there, which should repair them. You have to have some humility. You know, you don’t walk up to a helicopter that isn’t working and just start tinkering away with it. You need to remain within your domain of competence. But most of the time, if people look at their lives, you know, it is very interesting thing to do. I liked, I liked the idea of the room as you can do this at the drop of a hat. You know, you go back to where you live and sit down and think, okay, I’m going to make this place better for 30 minutes.

What should I do If they have to ask And things will pop up like mad. And it is partly because your mind is a really strange thing. As soon as you give it a name, a genuine aim, it’ll reconfigure the world in keeping with this goal. That is really how you see to begin with. And so if you set it a task, especially you’ve got to be genuine about it, and that’s why you must bring your thoughts and emotions together. And then you must get them in your body. So you’re acting consistently. You’ve got to be real about the aim, but once you aim, the entire world will reconfigure itself around that aim, which is extremely strange. And it is, it’s, it’s technically correct. You know, the best example of this, you have all seen this video where you see the basketballs being tossed back and forth between members of the white team versus the black team.
And you’re doing that. A gorilla walks up into the center of the video and do not see it.

It is like, you know, if you thought about that experiment for about five years, that would be about the right amount of time to spend thinking about it. Because what it shows you is that you see what you aim at and that man, if you can get 1 thing through your head and as a consequence of even being in university, that would be a good one. You see what you aim at. And so, because one inference you could draw from that is be careful what you aim at,
Right? It what you aim at determines
The way the world manifests itself to you. And so if the world is manifesting itself in a really negative manner, one thing to ask is, are you planning at the right thing? Now?

You know, I am not trying to reduce everybody’s issues to an improper aim. People get cut off at the knees for a variety of reasons. You know, they get sick, they have injuries, there’s a random element to being that is for sure. But, and so you don’t need to take anything, even that particular phrase too much, you want to bind it with the fact that random things do happen to people, but it is still a great thing to ask.