Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rules of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Before I begin, I wish to express that I reserve copyright on this body of text, however I grant permission for any other person to republish portions of this text, with the following conditions: 1) credit must be given to Charles K. Bilyue as the author/origin of the text; 2) no more than 3 complete sections of the text are posted on any other server, website, or other media. These conditions may only be waived by my express permission: if you wish to disregard them, please contact me for permission ahead of time. This is very important to me, and I have considered writing a book on the subject (probably considerably more lengthy, but even so).

I originally posted this material to the Science of Getting Rich NETwork forum at http://forums.scienceofgettingrich.net/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2616072454/m/1877053895 (tinyurl: http://www.tinyurl.com/myworldview ). I'll try to make it more manageable, later.

Realize that I am not out to offend anyone or, to the best of my knowledge, be biased or prejudiced against anyone. I quote some Bible text below, and my interpretations, or the inferences I draw from it, may be unusual, but it is done for the sake of learning, reasoning, and enlightenment. If you have an opinion, please consult my request for comments at the end.

I have a quite unconventional world-view. Since I was very young, before I can remember, I asked questions of how things work and attempted to find answers for them (one of the earliest stories I have been told about myself was removing a hinge from a door the day that I was first given a screwdriver), and eventually, I came to the question, "how does reality work?"

Due to contradictions and corruptions in religion, philosophy, science, etc., this is a difficult question, as many of you reading this probably know. (For those of you who are convinced that you have all of the answers, due to ascribing to a particular answer from a single source due to blind faith in that source - bully for you, if it works!)

After reading through the Bible, the Qu'ran, the Bhagavad Gita, numerous Gnostic Christian writings, countless writings on other religions and philosophy, recent scientific discoveries, legal studies, large volumes of self-help literature, and information from numerous other sources, as well as reflecting on some dreams that were influential on my life, I cobbled together a perspective of the basic rules underlying how things work. Some of the more influential sources not mentioned above are, as I mentioned in another thread, Abraham Maslow (and particularly a biography of his life, The Right to Be Human, which was based heavily on his own notes), Steven and Evelyn Boston ( www.reluctant-messenger.com ), Bart Ehrman (and other critical analysts of Christian texts), Wallace Wattles (who was one of the sources of inspiration to help get me moving on the path, out of a nasty depression).

1. Power and responsibility cannot be separated. Attempts to separate them, or to maintain them out of balance, result in instability and eventual collapse of whichever of the two is attempted to be kept greater than the other. For power without responsibility: the person who attempts to lift a weight without taking measures to lift it properly to avoid injury, will eventually injure themselves and lose almost all ability to lift. The person who attempts to drive a car without learning how, will probably wreck it, destroying the car and perhaps suffering injury. For responsibility without power: The person who assumes a debt, without ensuring that they will have the income and assets to pay for it, will likely default on it, and no one will trust them with such an obligation for some time. The person who dives in to save someone who is drowning without themselves knowing how to swim, rather than alerting someone better able, or at least calling for assistance, will likely do the person drowning little to no good. Tyrannical regimes (lack of responsibility) collapse due to revolt, coup, or accumulated weakness; the person who attempts to rob a gun store dies (lack of power).

2. All persons, and perhaps all life, have access to intuition, in a form not entirely dissimilar to Carl Jung's collective unconsciousness, though perhaps not as limited as that. People call it God, Formless Intelligence, muse, inspiration, or any number of other things - and it very well may be those things (and those things may be considerably more than intuition). This intuition is always true, correct, and not misleading, and knows everything about everything, and is not bound by time nor possibilities. This conveys an immense amount of power to those able to effectively direct it in their own lives, hence the importance of intuition in business success.

3. The subconscious mind is the seat of all accumulated 'permanent'/'faithful' choices made by an individual, and acts very similar to a program, single-mindedly directing the individual to carry out the program. Proverbs 16:9 (RSV) "A man's mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps."

That is to say, intuition is the way that we reach the goals that we have. In particular, all actions carried out by the individual are determined by this subconscious mind, not the conscious mind. This is an indirect process (God/Formless Intelligence 'directing the steps'), with the conscious self only able to direct actions through the subconscious as if by puppet strings. From this perspective, I am writing this here and now not because I now decided to write this, but because I decided that under the current circumstances I would write this. This model makes it quite easy to understand addictions and habits and the difficulty of breaking them, as well as cases where people do things without knowing why.

In addition, chaotic/unordered/conflicting thoughts/mental images interfere with reaching any goal, just as alternatively digging a hole and filling it does not a productive act make (James 1:6-8).

4. Because of #3, the subconscious mind acts as a filter or modulator of the intuition. This explains the particular danger of prejudice and other forms of bias. By clouding out the always-correct intuition, error is introduced. In addition, as the conscious mind obtains information from the subconscious, but the subconscious from the Source, the conscious mind often suffers from lower-quality and lower-volume information as compared to the subconscious. The conscious mind may often be unaware of what the subconscious mind is doing, and being that its role is in more deliberate criticism, it may not be able to handle the volume of information which the subconscious mind does.

5. Because of #3, methods that affect the subconscious mind, such as visualization, affirmation, goals, particularly those with great emotion attached to them, are far more effective on altering behavior than mere conscious 'decision making.'

6. Because of #3, it may be possible that the conscious mind itself is directed by the subconscious mind. If this is the case, then the subconscious mind could be said to be a dynamic, self-modifying program.

7. Values may be a helpful model in explaining the subconscious mind and how it makes decisions. If so, this would suggest that, while it is difficult for the 'permanent' choices adopted by the subconscious to be changed, particularly as they may be somewhat self-reinforcing, incentives and disincentives should be helpful in long-term change, through value-remodeling. Incentives do seem to be effective in practice, as long as the definition of incentives is not overly limited (such as to money; money is too abstract to be a terribly effective incentive). Success is determined by these values, the 'beliefs' of the subconscious mind - rather, those beliefs are the 'success' you will have, whatever those beliefs are.

8. Incentives will not be as effective if they are not consistent, as inconsistent incentives may distort the cause-effect interpretation. By this method inconsistent incentives may distort the resultant values, as values and behavior may be altered around the structure of incentives in order to maintain the status quo as much as possible while optimizing for the costs/benefits of the incentives. (People often tend to push the bar when enforcement of laws/discipline is inconsistent, in attempts to derive benefits from the maximum tolerable disobedience . . . while dieting generally does not result in long-term weight reduction, often due to inconsistent incentives and application of the same.) Accountability, therefore, is integral to consistent and expedient value-modification/goal-setting and the obtaining of long-term results. (Accountability is for rewards, not just punishments; and is meaningless without the existence of some incentives or disincentives.)
The need for persistent thought ("sustained and consecutive thought . . . the hardest work in the world," according to Wattles, SoGR ch. 4) in influencing values results in a necessity for controlling one's incentives and holding one's self accountable to influence those values.

9. As a result of #1, people have as much power over their lives as they are willing to take responsibility. To the extent that they attempt to avoid responsibility, they convey power over their lives to others. Because of this, accountability and incentive structures can be used by anyone to influence - though not necessarily control - any person or institution outside of themselves.

10. People choose where and under what conditions they are born. They choose this based on the challenges they wish to face, the goals they wish to reach. This is done from a subconscious/spirit level, so it is 'automatic' and optimal according to opportunity. While not incarnated, people do not make 'critical' choices, as those are the domain of the conscious mind, which does not exist outside of the body. Combined with #1, #2, and #9, this rule makes people ultimately accountable for their life. On the other hand, if they have the power to wreck their life from the VERY beginning, then they can use that same power to remake it in a better way (hopefully without dying first, of course).

11. Governments, trade, and trust are all based on #9, and as long as people are vigilant regarding whom they are willing to trust with power over their lives, and the choices that they make for themselves, prosperity cannot be avoided for all involved. Unfortunately, people are often not so vigilant, so they end up oppressed, swindled, and betrayed. This is neither to say that people should not trust, nor that trade and governments are bad: rather, it is to say that they will all become destructive when people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own well-being.

12. Reincarnation is a fact of 'life.' If people can and do incarnate as other species, that would be their attempt to reduce their power or personal responsibility. Reincarnation is the path by which all of the created entities (or fragments/portions, as some may see it) of God return to the origin, through continual learning. This relates to the three gunas of Hinduism: peaceful light, restless life, lifeless darkness. The dead are in the state of lifeless darkness. Matter/conscious mind is the state of restless life. God/spirit/subconscious mind is the state of peaceful light - except when the spirit/subconscious is polluted with bias, prejudice, and other untruth, and then part of it is in contact with the All, while part of it is stuck in the life/darkness cycle as it deals with the untruth. This also relates to the Bible, where in Ecclesiastes, there is a statement along the lines of, "the dead know not any thing . . . have no portion of any thing under the sun." While in darkness, the critical conscious mind does not exist, and interaction with matter is essentially absent, except to the extent of the subconscious influence, which is directed to return to life. Because of reincarnation, people can and do learn from life (subconscious level) regardless of how it turns out. The 'restless life' of the conscious mind is what makes using it to change the relatively stable subconscious so difficult, and why stillness of self, through meditation and similar methods, is so valuable to enhance intuition (awareness of the 'still, small voice') and to expedite successful endeavors.

13. Because of #2 and #3, nothing occurs as a result of 'chance.'

14. Because of #1, #2, #3, and #9, death occurs when one's subconscious is ready for it. As I believe the Qu'ran said, numerous times, that if it is your time to die, you can be secure high in a tower and you will still die. Another perspective (not from a religious text): if someone tries to kill you with a gunshot and your subconscious does not believe you are going to die now, you will somehow avoid the lethal wound. As most people believe that external forces can kill them, they convey that power to those forces, and as a result suffer mortality. As to age - I suspect that it is the same mechanism, though I will not argue it. Health is determined in part by circumstances of birth (DNA, etc.), if it is impossible to avoid some of those consequences, it is due to the accountability of the power/responsibility connection.

15. No person can force another person to make a choice. The idea of free will is absolute. However...

16. The critical conscious mind is the gatekeeper for the subconscious mind. It determines what is learned by the subconscious mind, and therefore what 'choices' are stored in it.

17. Based on #9, #15, and #16, while a person cannot be forced to make a choice, they can be directed by another to accept something as true and be lax in their stewardship of protecting their own mind.

18. Because of #3 and #17, no person can force anyone to do any thing that they have not decided they would do, at least through their value system if not specifically, under some set of circumstances.

19. Because of #2, #3, and #18, it is possible for people to use their choices - Clear Mental Image, faith, etc. - and their intuition - God, Formless Intelligence, etc. - to 'manipulate' others. This occurs because when person 1 sufficiently believes that an event will happen, and person 2's action is instrumental to the event happening and they have no belief on the issue, and no belief absolutely preventing that action: person 1, through perfect intuition, will bring about the conditions that will lead person 2 to commit the necessary actions to result in the outcome. This may occur on subtle levels, and the entire process may be (and often is) entirely unknown by the conscious mind of person 1. In essence, person 2's values set their external control panel, and if person 1 figures out how to use it, they can influence person 2; and if their subconscious mind is attempting to influence person 2 for some other end result, with its access to perfect information, it will know how, if such a method exists.

20. Based on #1, #2, #3, and #9, victims are ultimately responsible for their victimization.

If people do have power over their own lives, then when bad things happen to you, you're at least partially responsible as you had power over your life, and you can change things to avoid or mitigate ill occurrences. If you fail to be responsible and as a result allow someone else to take up that power over you, then they determine those conditions in your life, and those might not be in line with your conscious preferences.

The true purpose of law therefore should be not to prevent victimization, but to discourage the effort to abuse rule #9, that is, the goal of law should be to encourage people to take power over their own lives (though discouraging victimization would likely play a part in that). If this is done, 'victimization' would necessarily decrease.

21. Because of #19 and #20, subtle 'manipulation' will often occur even when unintended, and will always be successful to the extent that it can be, while conscious 'manipulation,' based on lower-quality information (#4), will rarely be effective, due to its basis in lower-quality information. As a result, conscious manipulation is generally folly (though conscious seeking of subconscious manipulation is quite dangerous, but may be rarely detected), and the stigma associated with manipulation, which at least in subtle forms is an unavoidable and natural practice, does not make sense, in isolation.

22. People use stigmas associated with accountability and manipulation to protect limiting beliefs: their self-perceptions of innocence (lack of responsibility) and/or powerlessness (lack of power); their perceptions that others do not have power over them, despite their refusal to guard and "rule" their own minds and thereby their lives (attempting to believe they can have power without responsibility); their perceptions that they can correct the natural order without paying some price (attempting to believe they can have responsibility without power, such as attempting to discipline an unruly child/person without consistency or meaningful incentives/disincentives); and the false notion that because people are not manipulating them, they can trust the leadership or guidance of those people implicitly (blind faith) rather than critically. These ideas are fundamental in politics and especially advertising, but also in many other areas.

23. You and Formless Intelligence/God/etc. are, at least on some level, the same. "I and my father are one." Because of this, knowing yourself is essential to knowing how to direct your life. This comes out of #3 and #6, and also the statement from the old Delphic oracle in Greece: "Man, know thyself, and you will know the universe and the gods." Ultimately, your results are derived from your subconscious, and therefore from your values, the 'filter' you have on the Source. If you want 'good things,' use a filter compatible with those things. If you want lack and misery, models for that filter are, sadly, readily found.

24. Successors are important to long-term change in institutions in the world. The Bible has three stories that illustrate this: Jacob and Joseph, Elijah and Elisha, and John the Baptist and Jesus. In all three cases, the first one (Jacob, Elijah, John) were fairly influential in their little part of the world; their immediate successors (Joseph, Elisha, Jesus) were immensely successful, in comparison. In the cases of Jacob/Joseph and Elijah/Elisha, however, there appears to be no successor after Joseph or Elisha, and the results in both cases are anything but pretty (Elisha attempted to have a successor, but... that fell apart well before Elisha's death). Jesus, in contrast, had numerous successors (of some form; though, unfortunately, the successors may not have entirely understood what they should pass down, based on the amount of conflict that arose not long after). The moral: if you want lasting change to an institution in the world, a stable system of succession is integral. Based on the other rules, to prevent it from becoming corrupted it must also have sufficient accountability to meaningful and appropriate incentives/disincentives, to keep it true to its values, one of which should be to attempt to ensure that the successors will 'know themselves.'

25. Based on #24, and something else from the Tanakh/Old Testament, a model of government is shown. In the Torah, there is an underlying bidirectional flow of teaching/taxation.

The tax system is something like this: conquered peoples would be tributaries to Israel, paying them tribute or serving as slaves. Israel would pay a 10% tithe of their increase to the Levites. The Levites would pay a 10% tithe, of the tithe they received, to the priests. The priests would sacrifice to God.

The teaching system is something like this (more implied than not, unfortunately): God would teach the priests; the priests would teach the Levites; the Levites would teach Israel; and Israel would teach all who were willing to learn. The tributaries had a great incentive to 'learn': if they converted to the Israelite religion, they would be considered 'one of the people,' one of the Israelite family, and they would no longer be tributaries/slaves.

Unfortunately, this model appears to have fallen apart, I suspect in part because, at least based on the Exodus story, the people may have believed that if they disobeyed the priests, God would slaughter them (like the countless who disobeyed Moses and Aaron), and therefore the people felt they had no recourse against impropriety in the priesthood; therefore, they were lax to hold the priesthood accountable, which ultimately became corrupt (see the sons of Eli in early 1 Samuel).

26. The health of relationships between people (or people and animals, or anything else, perhaps even between subatomic particles) are based on something I like to call value synchronicity. If your values are in agreement, the relationship will do well. "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3, NKJV). If they are not, then they will have conflict. As people grow, their values will often times grow in different directions, therefore maintaining that synchronicity, the synchronization of values, requires effort, diligence, discipline. If the people in the relationship do not make sufficient effort, then they will grow apart. Eventually, the mere dissimilarity of their values will pull them apart more than together. At this point, it may be more work to attempt to save the relationship than to scrap it, particularly if there are 'irreconciliable differences' - that is, if there are values that they neither agree upon nor are willing to compromise on.

27. Based on #26, the reason people are attracted to their values/goals may simply be based on resonance and the creative force; this idea is that values create a resonance with the conditions or path compatible with those values. In a way, the 'created future' attracting the 'present' to itself. I wonder if the idea of magnetic attraction is similar to this: it isn't so much that opposites attract and like repel, so much as that the conditions compatible with flow are attracted by the 'desire to flow,' the path of least resistance to the flow; or for that matter, superconductivity. If I actually knew anything about physics, maybe I'd have a clue about this. Red Face

28. Also based on #26, dependency is not a stable, healthy foundation for a long-term relationship. Dependency encourages power-tension and resentment due to differing values and dissimilar interests. Trust is the only stable, healthy foundation, and true trust can only be ensured through effort to maintain value synchronicity. However, as life is growth and stagnancy is generally entropic, maintaining trust by maintaining value synchronicity can only be beneficial if all parties involved are consistently helping each other to grow, else maintaining synchronicity would be due to mutual stagnation or decline, both of which result in entropy/decay. If someone refuses to grow, they likely will not be an asset in a relationship and as a result likely cannot be trusted.


Eventually, I might get into my personal experiences as to why I believe this is true (such as a week of related dreams that I had when I was younger, that convinced me of reincarnation and left me with related memories for a long time). Suffice it to say that these rules have worked exceptionally well for me in understanding and dealing with life since the most important ones came together (the power/responsibility rule, and the idea that people choose where they are born, more than any others), though this has been a developing work-in-progress for quite some time. The main barriers I have had to realizing all of my goals and dreams are the practicality of time (some things just take a long time to accomplish, such as education), and my own issues with doubt and unconfidence, which have been more or less steadily diminishing. (Success is great for doing away with doubt and unconfidence!)

I personally consider myself Christian, though my beliefs are probably more in line with Gnostic Christianity than any other form.

Questions are welcome, as are any thoughts (as long as they are not inflammatory or the result of simply being offended). Constructive criticism is welcome: if you believe something in this is wrong, let me know what and why, and I'll do my best to better explain it or reconcile it. I'm not trying to be 'right,' here, as much as I'm trying to know what is correct.

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