Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Bible: Translated - Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What a powerful verse that is. I've heard it repeated many times when I was a christian. After my crusade out of that paradigm I've discovered an entire new realm of meaning in these verses. 

I will list out the modern ways of thinking I've found to be effective in life for me, and then tie them into why this verse is powerful. You'll see how in doing this, you're following the same pattern, only in a totally different paradigm. 

1. RAS - Reticular activation system. This is what is responsible for what are called "Self fulfilling prophecies" and for the idea that "whatever you focus on you move towards". There are even entire other paradigms like "The law of attraction" which argues that by thinking about something you somehow cause the universe to "pull" what you want into your life. 

What is really happening is that your mind zooms into what is relevant or valuable to you in the context of what you're intention or goal is. 

Have you ever bought a car and then seen your exact same car EVERYWHERE? I have a friend who believes the number 22 is his lucky number. That every time he sees it it's a "wink" from the universe. His RAS is focusing in on the number 22 and he finds that number in all kinds of arbitrary places. The car clock, a phone number on a window to a restaurant, labeling to some product, parking spaces...etc

2. Not worrying. We all know intuitively that worrying saps out energy. It doesn't help make you effective in life. The most powerful people in the world have concerns but they don't worry. 

That means they are aware of something that is of concern, and they are seeking a possibility for what they want

For example. I am concerned with upsetting or offending people. The possibility that I am is harmony, unity, and community. So my focus is on that possibility. not pidgin holed on my concern. That's when a concern becomes a worry. 

3. Being thankful. This has a profound effect on how someone feels about themselves and their lives. The way that it works is by altering the context of someones life, and thus it transforms the way their life occurs for them. 

The easiest example I can give is a story I heard about a pastor who takes his children to Haiti to serve orphans instead of taking them to disney. This has the effect of having them return home incredibly thankful for everything they have and the life they live in the states. Compare this to having taken them to Disney first. They'd return home sad and unthankful for their home and the life they life. 

So being thankful alters the context of your life. Tony Robbins teaches this in his "Get the Edge" program. Make up 20 things you're truly thankful for, and the context of your life changes. Do this every day as a mindful habit and it will continue to alter the context of your life and bring you peace of mind. 

Now imagine this as a process that you automatically execute when life becomes troubling.

1. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition... present your requests to God" This is when you automatically focus on what you want. In the context of this verse, you'd be asking God for what you want. The point, though, is that you yourself are becoming clear about what it is you want, and the possibility you are searching for. These prayers go something like "Dear heavenly father. I'm having trouble with school, please give me the patients, diligence, and focus to study and pass my test."... What are the possibilities this person is focusing on?

Yep, patients, diligence, and focus.

Their RAS kicks in to show them ways to generate these characteristics. 

2. "with thanksgiving" - This has another effect. When you are thankful for something, you tend to believe it is already so. For example. You thought your house was destroyed in a flood... then you get a message from someone who tells you "The house at xyz address wasn't touched by the flood". You believe it is so, and so you are thankful. Tony Robbins teaches about being thankful for what you want as though it is already so. This has a psychological effect, creating certainty in a future that isn't yet realized. 

This is the deeper effect of what being thankful does. 

3. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Well, as a matter of what is so, there is peace of mind when this process is done over and over again in every area of your life. 

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