Besting Yourself: Gaining Power
Living should be fun. If your life is less than rosy, this book will help you transform yourself, realize your power, attain abiding contentment, and become what you were born to be.
Ascending to enlightenment is a skill. Besting Yourself: Gaining Power is a master class in making the most of your life, with bliss on tap. It is easier than you imagine. No thought is required. No worry. Accruing power takes less energy than you are currently expending. All you need to do is pay attention while doing and luxuriously relax while being. Besting Yourself reveals what your mind has been keeping from you, and what no other book will tell you.
From the chapter “Being”:
Living should be fun. Bliss is your birthright.
Not tip-top? Feeling worried, anxious, or depressed?
Why is that? The answer is simple: you are indulging your mind, and your mind is messing with you.
Your peril lies within. The dilemma goes deep. You have been indulging your mind your entire life.
Your misery owes to lapping up whatever your mind spills out. You should be using your mind as a tool. Instead, your mind is playing you: you’re the tool.
You have great power you are leaving untapped. You can realize your greatness, but only if you are determined. Your resolve to be best yourself will prove the decisive factor in gaining power.
From the chapter “The Problem”:
In the dark corners of your mind lurks discontent. You want to feel good all the time. That is doable but difficult. There is momentum behind your discontent.
What you experience is a deception. Actuality is an elaborate illusion. You never see the lies that you believe, and you have been believing.
All is process. Everything of meaning is of events, not objects. Your affections are of what objects symbolically mean to you or what you did with them, not the objects themselves. That includes you too: what you think you are. Your memories are of what you did, not your body.
Despite activity holding paramount meaning, our minds present events in terms of objects acting and being acted upon. Our cognitive development and language reflect this object bias. This object orientation is a fundamental falsity.
This instant – now – presents all that ever exists. What exists is what can be sensed. All else that appears within is fabricated from memory & imagination.
Living in the past or through ideas is mental illness. In mental health, you live in now, only referencing memory and counterfactual thought to solve problems or during storytelling entertainment.
The elements of mentation come from 3 integral wellsprings: coremind, willmind, and nattermind.
In making sense of sensation, coremind manages raw perception.
Desire and intention are the province of willmind. Willmind is the mental expression of will.
Willmind gets its input from coremind. Paying attention is willmind using coremind. Concentration is willmind in full flower.
Thought steals awareness away from now. Thought takes your eye off the ball. Thinking is an unforced error.
Enter nattermind, the troublemaker. Nattermind is also known as monkey-mind, for its proclivity toward chatter. That blather is thought.
Nattermind is the independent agent within that interrupts your concentration and tries to darken your day with negativity in all its wild varieties. Thoughts you do not initiate, emotions you would like to disown, come from nattermind. Monkey-mind is the source of your discontent. Nattermind is a force of anti-bliss.
Your mind has been polluted by nattermind. Monkey-mind is the root of your problem. Nattermind is your nemesis.
Many in the Collective try to scratch the itch their monkey-mind makes by self-medicating to dim their awareness. Dimming the light of being is a diminishment in quality of life. The idea of relaxing by becoming less aware is bowing in subservience to nattermind.
From the chapter “The Goal”:
You are at your best when you are calm and fully aware. Clarity is the trump card in the game of Life. You can draw that card if you are resolute. Refuse confusion. Summon clarity.
Consciousness is the facility for awareness. Awareness is the quality of being attentive to the present. Consciousness is an interested witness of the proceedings presented to it.
Awareness is the door to living. At higher levels of awareness, you sense your habitat to a greater extent. With clarity comes a vivid richness in detail.
The quality of your life is defined by your awareness. Maximizing your awareness is accomplished by raising your level of consciousness.
There are 4 ascending levels of consciousness: iğnorance, enlightenment, cöherence consciousness, and realization (or unity consciousness). Raising your baseline consciousness to a higher plateau has awareness benefits you may have experienced for brief moments but not sustained.
From the chapter “The Plan”:
Strategically, you want to take control of your life by wresting it from your monkey-mind. Tactically, the goal is to be fully present in the present moment, never lost in thought.
Performing the plan described takes less time and energy than not following the plan. Actuation only takes will: the will to be more alive.
Pay attention. The past is gone. The future does not exist. Nothing to be done about either past or future. Take care of what is happening now. Blunders come from inattention.
You monkey-mind will resist your rejection of it in every possible way. That monkey is a gorilla when it comes to wanting to keep possession of your soul.
You are only mentally well when quietude is your norm. You enlighten yourself by sheer will. Either you win or your monkey-mind does.
Though your progress will be felt as incremental, going from iğnorance to enlightenment is not a transition of degrees. Emerging into mental health is a metamorphosis. You are indelibly changed for the better.
From the chapter “Reality”:
Let us begin by observing what cannot be denied: mentation happens. You have a mind. 18th-century British philosopher George Berkeley stated it well: “Existence is perception. All those bodies which compose the world have not any subsistence without a mind.”
We experience our lives as a dualism. From infancy, our minds tell us that we reside in a body amid a physical world. We have consciousness, a mind, and a body.
There is an alternate to dualism, which is a monism. A monism posits that reality has a single source from which Nature emerges. Either matter creates the mind (matterism), or the mind makes a mirage we call matter (energyism). Matterism and energyism are antithetical.
The 3 reality paradigms are mutually exclusive. If dualism is a deception, a monism must be true: either matterism or energyism.
How to know which paradigm is correct? 18th-century Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith put that “the theory that can absorb the greatest number of facts is the one that must rule all observation.” If what is known to happen cannot be explained by a reality paradigm, that paradigm cannot be correct. The correct view is comprehensive, its explanatory mechanics flawless.
From the “Conclusion”:
The legendary Chinese sage Lao Tzu wrote: “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” Do you have the will to power? Few do. George Berkeley saw that “Truth is the cry of all but the game of the few.”
The road to realization is an adventure that irrevocably enriches your life. Besting yourself is a noble quest.