How I react to this is a better word then a critique
by Alton Slater
I will proceed to offer my reactions and how I think it can be improved for me.
Since I am no great intellectual, dont give anything I say much credence unless it is real to you also.
My comments will be in black bold
I will put your text in green when I wish to make a comment.
I will delete parts that I have no comments on at this time.
By James Barton
"When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of wisdom are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much."
Great quote to start out with.
"Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself."
This guide will show you how.
The simple but powerful techniques contained here will enable you to:
*Be calm and relaxed in every situation*
*Eliminate habits and self limiting beliefs by dealing with their root cause*
*Increase your capability in any field of endeavour*
*Increase physical and mental vitality*
*Understand yourself and those around you*
*Improve your character*
+Much more than you now believe possible.
I react this because I want to experience what is offered without having
to be hyped up about what it can do for me. Maybe saying there are many benefits to
studying the text which you will experience after studying, learning and applying the basic principles
How to Read this Book.
Firstly, it is not intended that you believe anything in this book blindly or without thought. There is no need to convince you of any doctrine whatsoever and any such effort would be counterproductive. Blind acceptance or rejection will not help you in understanding and applying the wonderful techniques contained here. As long as you are willing to think carefully about and experiment cautiously with the information in this book, I am convinced that you will come to appreciate its great value. Thus appreciating its value, you will study more deeply and practice the exercises with greater enthusiasm gaining considerably from doing so.
Secondly, as you read and apply the knowledge and exercises within this book, your awareness about the previous chapters will correspondingly increase. Therefore it is very useful that you reread previous chapters and continue to apply yourself to the earlier exercises as you progress. You will find that any parts you may have found difficult to understand will become clear in the light of the increased awareness that you have gained from later chapters. The varied exercises are designed to compliment and enhance each other, so when you are familiar with the text, it is natural that you combine the various techniques as you see fit.
I would rather have a general overview and the best way to study VirtueScience.
Examples of the Virtuous Opposites.
BRAVERY and CAUTION are a complimentary pair. If I do not accept the CAUTION within me I will tend to be RECKLESS and take too many risks. On the other hand If I do not accept the BRAVERY within me, I will tend to be cowardly and miss out on opportunities.
Most people believe that the opposite of STRENGTH is WEAKNESS but this is not so. WEAKNESS is actually a LACK of STRENGTH. The opposite of too little force(WEAKNESS) is too much force(ROUGHNESS). The actual opposite of STRENGTH is GENTLENESS. They are a single state. Perfect STRENGTH must also be perfectly GENTLE otherwise it would fall into ROUGHNESS. Perfect GENTLENESS must also be perfectly STRONG otherwise it would fall into weakness.
The opposite of perfect HUMBLENESS is perfect MAJESTY. They are a single state. It is impossible to be ARROGANT without also being INSECURE. These concepts have to do with self worth. REVERENCE and AUDACITY have to do with the worth of others. Lacking REVERENCE for someone we fall into rudeness. Lacking AUDACITY we fall into idolization. So HUMBLENESS, MAJESTY, REVERENCE and AUDACITY are all connected by the concept of worth. Every virtue is a member of a specific group of four virtues connected by a simple concept.
To me these are the essentials and need to be repeated in various ways with examples and experiential dialogues.
*Exercise One: Overview*
The mind attunes to that which it focuses on. Write down all the virtues you can think of. Knowledge is power. Write down all the vices you can think of. A vice is merely a lack of a particular virtue. Every virtue has an opposite virtue and so every vice has an opposite vice. Link together as many virtues with their virtuous opposites along with their corresponding vices. This can be more easily done by writing each concept onto a separate piece of card so that you can move them around as you will. Feel free to use a dictionary or thesaurus to help you.
Every virtue is associated with a particular basic concept such as danger, information or resources etc. Try and group the virtue pairs according to their nature. For example bravery and caution are connected with danger. Honesty, discretion and openness etc are connected with information.
This is too advanced for the novice.
It is unlikely however that you will attain that level of coherence on your first try. You will no doubt have a ragged and incomplete matrix with some degree of error. As you progress with the other exercises, come back again and again to this exercise to revise your work. I promise you that an inherent beauty, symmetry and completeness will emerge for you and you will not regret the effort you have spent. By calling forth your innate understanding and by focussing on the virtues, many inner prejudices and false notions will automatically fall away from you. You will then begin to embody the qualities necessary for a truly fulfilling and successful life. We will study the matrix further in a later chapter.
Let the process work by it's merit. Skip the disclaimers and its beneficial effects unless you give examples of it working for an individual.
Whenever we reject a part of ourselves, it falls into semiconsciousness.
Beliefs can only exist in semiconsciousness. Think for a minute and you will see that it is so. If you are truly aware of something, no beliefs about it form: you just experience it directly as it is. Throughout your life beliefs and hypnotic suggestions have been collecting in the areas of semiconsciousness within you. It is probable that right now you have many negative and false beliefs about yourself and the world around you. There are thousands of self help books that will tell you how to change your beliefs and teach you how to think positively. Most will produce positive effects in your life if you apply a little effort. Unfortunately the effects can be short lived: The root of the problem is missed. It is like chopping the tops of weeds or sculpting a hedge. In a while the weeds will grow back and the hedge will become untidy again. Nevertheless, clearing away the beliefs is a useful exercise in order to tackle the root: semiconsciousness which is caused by not accepting the various inner parts of ourselves.
I would challenge this with counter arguments. It is only true to an extent.
Two attitudes towards truth.
Some people cherish their own beliefs and opinions to such an extent that they ignore direct evidence to the contrary. They are not really interested in the truth as much as they are in defending their own beliefs. Such people fear the truth and often labour under thousands of negative and crippling attitudes and beliefs their whole lives leading to needless suffering.
The other type of person is loyal to the truth- whatever it might be- over their own beliefs etc. Such a person is humble enough to realise that they don't know it all and has a natural curiosity about the world around them. If someone like this is proven wrong, they are not defensive: in fact they are delighted for it means they have moved closer to the truth.
So what type of person are you? If you can sincerely and whole heartedly perform the following exercise, then you have loyalty towards the truth whatever it might be.
I think you have to let this stuff go. It may be so but I would rather do the study and work and see for myself.
*Exercise Two: Letting Go of False Beliefs*
Relax and silently declare to yourself that you wish to let go of all false beliefs that you hold no matter how long you have held them or how much you may have cherished them. As you do this, visualise in your mind an appropriate picture which is symbolic of the inner cleansing that you are undertaking. For example, imagine your false beliefs as a wall that is then smashed down. You could imagine your false beliefs as darkness that is being replaced by the light of direct awareness or imagine all your beliefs on paper that is then burnt to pure ashes that blow away. If you feel unable or unwilling to let go of all your beliefs, just pick an area or a particular belief and work on that.
Now, still relaxed, simply allow yourself to love Truth. Trust in it and be open to it. It is entirely beneficial and safe to do so. You can do this exercise any time silently and easily. Eventually it will no longer be necessary as you will have totally and naturally reintegrated the correct attitude into your everyday life.
If the text of VirtuScience was clear and concise with many examples and said in various ways, letting go of beliefs will then result due to the effectiveness of the VirtueScience philosophy.;
*Exercise Three: Awakening the Virtues*
By their very nature the virtues within you are loveable. Simply focussing your awareness on a virtue will help naturalreintegration.
Relax physically and inwardly. Choose a virtue that you want to reclaim. Let go of any false beliefs you may still be holding about it. Silently affirm that you love and accept that part of your nature and visualise it as a light flowing from within, nourishing and fulfilling every part of your being: actually imbuing every part of your being with the special quality of the virtue. Silently affirm that you are willing for yourself and your circumstances to change and be assured that the changes can only be beneficial. Now concentrate your efforts on the virtue opposite to the one you have chosen and repeat the same procedures. Allow yourself to see the two virtues as a single harmonious state. Let go of any preferences you have for one virtue over another: They are both an essential part of your being.
Repeat the exercise a couple of times with each virtue you want to work on. Over time you should work systematically through all the virtues. A good quality matrix from Exercise One will ensure that none of the virtues are missed.
I like the way this is presented.
The Virtues Are Interconnected.
Every virtue is reflected in every other virtue. To uplift one virtue is to help uplift every other virtue. To perfect one virtue is to perfect all virtues. For example, perfect bravery must also be humble, gentle, spontaneous, patient and compassionate and so on, through every other virtue, otherwise it would not be perfect.
By reintegrating bravery you are, to some extent, automatically reintegrating it into every other aspect of your being. So if your patience or compassion for example falter when danger is near, then boosting your bravery will help heal your patience and compassion. This general principle can be harnessed to a greater extent by reuniting virtues in a conscious way.
*Exercise Four: Reuniting the Virtues*
Relax inwardly and outwardly. Choose two virtues you wish to reunite (eg spontaneity and gentleness). Allow your spontaneity to be gentle and allow your gentleness to be spontaneous. See them as two separate qualities merging and mingling into each other, glowing with loving cooperation. Know that in reality they always have been one with you and each other. Realising this, manifest them in your everyday life. Let the qualities (in this example: spontaneous gentleness and gentle spontaneity) infuse every part of your nature.
Every Virtue is Useful in Awakening the Other Virtues.
Every virtue is a unique power that is ever ready to help you in awakening the other virtues and in all ways maintain balance and harmony. Thus every virtue is an individual pathway to overall wholeness and well-being.
I like these above too.
Examples of Individual Pathways.
If you attain complete spontaneity, your every thought and action can only arise from the virtuous mind. Living continually in the present moment you bypass any beliefs or habits which you will notice are always linked to past or future: never the present reality, which can only be perceived directly.
If you attain complete bravery then all the fears and aversions which acted as barriers to the various aspects of your being will collapse.
If you attain complete compassion you naturally love and accept all the previously rejected aspects of yourself thus fully reintegrating all your inner qualities.
*Exercise five: Unifying your Virtue Matrix*
Write down and contemplate as many "individual pathways" as you can. Choose a virtue and try to consciously use its special quality to further awaken itself and all the other virtues within you. Visualise all the virtues as one light, one awareness, beyond labels and in unity with you now.
As you gain an understanding of the virtues and vices, you will begin to notice imbalances in your character that you had previously glossed over: either being unaware of them, mistakenly considering them to be positive or mistakenly seeing them as inevitable and inescapable flaws in your character. This recognition of previously unnoticed imbalances is certainly not a cause for dismay, on the contrary it is a sure sign of welcome progress towards the ideal state of perfect contentment and perfect concern. Living in such a state means you have avoided the twin imbalances of over concern (ie worry) and over contentment (ie complacency).
All your own vices are caused by a lack of love. There is nothing particularly wishy washy or new age about this statement: it is a fundamental principle upon which this work is based. Accepting this principle deeply will protect you from any feelings of self loathing which only serve to maintain or worsen the particular imbalance.
*Exercise Six: Dealing with Your Own Faults*
Silently affirm to yourself that you are loveable even when in error. Forgive yourself for past sins. Allow yourself to feel new and act differently in the future. View your past faults as temporary clouds covering your innate sun of goodness. As you breathe in draw the necessary lessons and wisdom from your past. As you breathe out let the synthesis of your understanding affect your attitude and behaviour in your everyday life.
Love and accept the vice you are working to resolve as well as the vice opposite to it. Contemplate the simple truth that by loving and accepting the extremes we effortlessly embody the middle way that is a synthesis of both qualities.
This is ok for some folks but I want the power of mindfulness and wisdom to work without affirmations that may actually cause the reverse.
Vices: Other Peoples.
The outside world and other people in particular, act as mirrors to our inner state. If someone with a particular vice creates a negative reaction within you, you can be sure that you have a corresponding inner problem regarding the associated virtues. Such people act as a useful guide, showing you where to direct your efforts of reintegration. Making an effort to love those around you will have a direct effect on the corresponding parts of your own nature. Making an effort to love your inner aspects will have a corresponding effect on how you view others and so how they react to you. Now I must make it clear what I mean when I say "love other people". It does not mean that we do everything for them or always put their needs above our own. The love I am talking about is virtuous love: all the virtuous opposites are at one with it. For example: prudence as well as generosity and steadfastness as well as flexibility.
I copy that.
*Exercise Seven: Accepting Others Despite Their Faults*
Relax inwardly and outwardly. Allow the problem person to be new: don't hold onto any negative expectations about them. Inwardly declare that you forgive them. Visualise them surrounded by the lovely light of unconditional love. Imagine the light actually penetrating their temporary negative behaviour and outer personality: penetrating gently and beneficially to the painful and rejected parts of their personality. Actually love and accept those parts of their selves that they presently cannot. Know that in doing so you are helping your own inner qualities resurface.
Generally right on.
A Deeper Understanding of the Matrix.
The purpose of this chapter is to enable you to refine the virtue matrix that you constructed in Exercise One. Your matrix will then, more and more, accurately reflect your own inner mind and the conceptual universe. There is a part of your nature that is ever virtuous and ever conscious: your true nature. Your true nature already has a perfect understanding of the virtues. By deepening your everyday understanding of the virtues you naturally attune to that pristine part of your nature. This attunement is like a bridge that allows your true nature ever greater _expression in your everyday life.
Again I want you to do the work for me so that I can just study it. Then when I have a more complete understanding I may add to it.
I am reading a lot of Buddhist stuff. They spell out everything in great detail and then I sort it out to see what will work for me.
According to the principles of simplicity and completeness, every virtue in our matrix should be of the same order of complexity. The chemist acknowledges the vast variety of substances but in his periodic table he only includes the simple chemical elements.
Water is not a chemical element: it is a compound of two chemical elements. In the same way some of the concepts that you consider to be elemental virtues may actually be a compound of two or more other virtues. If you have a virtue in your matrix that you are not sure about, you should check to see whether or not its quality and meaning can be made up from a combination of other virtue elements. If so then it can be safely discarded from your matrix as its compound qualities are already present within your matrix in a purer form.
See above comment
Beyond the Elemental.
It should be noted that although we are dealing with elemental virtues they themselves are formed from combinations of even simpler conceptual elements. By uncovering these elemental concepts and noting down their combinations you can be sure that you are on the right track. As you discovered in Exercise One, every virtue belongs to a group of four virtues. This indicates that all four share a conceptual element. The scientific name for a virtue is composed of the simple conceptual elements that make it up. For example, strength, gentleness, steadfastness and flexibility all share the conceptual element "FORCE".
Strength is the [GIVING OUT] of [FORCE] from the [SELF],
Gentleness is the [KEEPING IN] of [FORCE] from the [SELF],
Steadfastness is the [RESISTING] of [FORCE] from the [NON SELF],
Flexibility is the [ACCEPTING] of [FORCE] from the [NON SELF].
Have you defined Self and Non-Self. I may have missed it? Terms need to be defined in my view.
When the mind experiences two or more things together it, from then on, associates them together. When the mind is reminded of one of the things, the other is also remembered to a degree. One of the reasons why people display their medals and achievement awards etc is because they evoke a little of the original good feelings associated with the achievement: it helps them to feel like a winner and so continue to act like a winner.
Yes there are chains of associations that have charge on them, that have been anchored in our conditioned mind which form from the unpleasant and the pleasant to the degree of intensity and whether or not we were aware of those impressions. That started eons ago and create all our mental tendencies.
*Exercise Nine: Positive Association*
Look around your living area and try to identify any objects which make you feel bad because they remind you of negative past experiences or for any other reason. If you can remove them/replace them why not do so?
Do you have any objects that you associate with happiness and success hidden away from view? Why not display them more prominently for positive results?
Social and Universal Association.
Apart from your own personal associations there are some things that are generally associated with particular feelings or concepts. For example cleanliness and tidiness are associated with order and efficiency etc whilst dirty and messy areas are associated with squalor and degradation to some degree. Certain images, colours and forms can evoke beneficial feelings and mental attitudes within us.
Summary of Exercise Eleven: Anchoring Positive Associations.
If you perform this exercise properly, you will build up a web of positive associations with the external object. When you then encounter it normally and glance at a feature that you worked on, favourable feelings are triggered within you. More than one feature anchor is likely to be triggered in the course of an encounter, thus enhancing and supporting the beneficial effects. Note: it is not necessary to be physically there when anchoring positive associations onto an object. By picturing the object in your mind you can perform the exercise anywhere.
Have you looked into Neurolinquistics? "Frogs into Princes"
The Darkness Within.
When you have a good understanding of the virtues and trust their natural power within yourself and others, you will be ready to resolve the darker and more difficult miss comprehensions that you may have been harbouring for a very long time.
In the highest sense, all concepts are equal. It is only our ignorance, coloured by past experience, that makes us prefer or detest one concept over another. There are some concepts that humanity as a whole has shunned and pushed to the darkest and most remote corners of their minds. As you know, when a concept is repressed an area of darkness \ semiconsciousness forms where, over time, many foolish beliefs become lodged. Concepts such as suffering, pain, death, loneliness, abandonment and evil etc, etc deeply repulse the average person. This powerful repression takes up a lot of energy on a moment to moment basis and the false beliefs can have a crippling effect on our everyday lives. Because they are particularly abhorrent, or at least seem to be, it takes great bravery and compassion to reintegrate them back into our consciousness. That is why I recommend this exercise only to those who already have a good virtuous base of mind. Reintegration of shunned concepts does not mean that we become attracted to them. Reintegration means that we have reestablished a state of equilibrium with them: we are neither attracted nor repulsed by them. For example: when confronted with hatred, our minds do not then recoil from it and so fall into semiconscious habit, we remain present, absolutely conscious, with all our inner qualities available to deal with the situation in the most appropriate way.
This final comment is what I came up with re-reading this. In my view the text should not include any exercises.
Seminars or workshops should be given either online or in person.
Remember this is all my stuff not yours and unless you go into agreement with anything I offered then immediately delete it.