“Large ideas have a tendency to eliminate all smaller ideas so that it is well to hold ideas large enough to counteract and destroy all small or undesirable tendencies. This will remove innumerable petty and annoying obstacles from your path. You also become conscious of a larger world of thought, thereby increasing your mental capacity as well as placing yourself in position to accomplish something
of value.” -Charles Haanel
This week we are faced with another set of polar considerations – those being some negative emotions: fear, hurt feelings, anger, guilt or unworthiness and how they might serve to expand our comfort zone; versus Haanel’s assurance that big ideas eventually blot out smaller concerns.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I usually don’t fully comprehend Haanel’s lessons on the first reading. I have, to a great extent, followed the instructions on how to process the lesson each week- that being read until Wednesday; then read with a highlighter; then read the highlighted areas at a minimum. In many of the lessons I have had the Wednesday highlighter session be the one where the lights came on. Recently, that has not been the case – the illumination has been occurring further and further into the week.
It seems to me that the concept of the big idea scuttling the smaller ideas is the truth. Most of those feelings tend to be on the small side and a decent big idea should vanquish them easily. My only counter to that would be whether the negative feeling is generated from self or externally. If something is an immediate threat fear is a natural, God given and good reaction, otherwise the fear is small and only by means of my repeated thinking becomes larger. That makes it a pretty easy decision, does it present an immediate or overwhelming harm or not? The other three emotions present limited benefit, they only serve to hold me back.
All of this rational, reasoned argument is great, but it really doesn’t work, when IT’s got me. So, what to do?
I am sure that Mark J will have a concept, an illumination, that he will reveal this week, so I do not offer any substitute for that… just a recitation of my own experience. That experience I will try to recount; briefly.
For a long time this sort of thing owned me on 3 fronts, to the point of considerable anger, fear, guilt, etc., even to the point of physical illness. It repeatedly disrupted my life, or at the very least my immediate plans at various times. It no longer does so.
In each, the process of interrupting the preliminary thoughts, or thought pattern, followed by getting quiet and handing it over to God- frankly sometimes with a prayer, sometimes not; produced the same result: freedom. I wish it could be done as simply and quickly as that, in my case it wasn’t.
With each, once I completely, unreservedly, unequivocally gave it to God, (which means I didn’t go over and dig around in it to see if it was working or not) I was at a later time struck with a thought of: “How long has it been since I’ve been paralyzed over (blank)?” In my experience, it’s usually around 3 or 4 months; of course by then God HAS answered my prayer and the “problem” HAS been removed.
What do I do to keep from going back to the old ways during the 3-4 months? I can’t say what will work for you, but if I try to help someone who has bigger, more troublesome problems than I do, I generally am less likely to run into difficulty.
The question would naturally follow: if this works so well and it is so reliable, why are you not using it on everything, all the time? That’s a great question. My only answer is that for me, the Old Blueprint and my ego work together to tell me that I don’t really have a problem, or that this new situation doesn’t require that sort of attention (until it’s painful enough). So, I MUST continue to work toward a more perfect understanding of how I can align with God’s will.