Responsibility – The Foundation of Greatness

This is an excerpt taken from Radical Honesty, by Dr. Brad Blanton, PhD. These are some key lessons of life that cut across every philosophy, religion, and belief. To paraphrase one philosopher: “You are as much like God, as you as willing to take responsibility”. Another philosopher stated that: “The first and greatest lesson in life is to emotionally accept the premise: ‘I am responsible for me.”

For Mormons, or others into religion or spiritual, this principle of responsibility lies at the heart of these Gospel principles, among others:

  • Repentance
  • Being born again
  • Single-mindedness
  • Love for God and your neighbor with ALL your heart, might, mind, and strength
  • Making goals and commitments

Responsibility

Responsibility means that whatever you are doing, you are willing to experience yourself as the cause. You are the source of your troubles as well as of your successes. Wherever you are on the way to reaching your goals—whether you are cruising along, pulled over to the side of the road, or feel like you’re going backwards—the willingness to experience yourself as responsible is the crucial element of success.

As long as you are blaming, explaining, apologizing, trying, resolving to be good, hoping or feeling guilty, you are not being responsible.

[in other words: “Do or do not. There is no ‘try’.]

Trying to experience yourself as responsible won’t work. What you can do is declare yourself responsible, and then see what happens, it is possible to interrupt the powerless games we play to avoid being responsible. When we begin to interrupt those games, we can move on.

One of these games is called, “Okay, okay, I’m guilty.” This game is to make it look like you have taken responsibility for yourself when you haven’t. Admitting you are guilty is a great way to avoid being responsible.

There is a big difference between admitting you are guilty of failure, or “copping a plea,” and really owning your power as the creator of your life. Whether you feel guilty or not is irrelevant. Admitting you are wrong or were wrong is only a prelude to taking responsibility for your life. It is not enough. You have to make a commitment after you interrupt this game. After you acknowledge that you’ve been fooling yourself by trying hard, you have to make a public declaration of what you will now be responsible for creating. Stick your neck out. Put your ass on the line. Tell everybody what you are about, and by when you will get results, and ask them to help.

We all know that commitment is essential to creation. What has been unclear in our culture is what to do when you’re not committed to anything but struggle. When we feel powerless to keep our word, eventually we stop giving it.

Your wholeness—the experience of yourself the way you are must precede commitment, because to be anything less than your whole self is to be trapped in the morass of beliefs you have about who you are based on your case history. Commitment must be based on the awareness of what is, and on the willingness to be responsible for ourselves the way we are. That means if we are imperfect beings who make mistakes, break our word, get angry, and are selfish, greedy, petty, and unfair, we must make our commitment as those imperfect beings. We spend our lives waiting to get better so that we can accept ourselves. We refuse to enjoy life, refuse to accept that we are loved and forgiven, and refuse to tell the truth about who we are because we never quite meet our own standards. Perfectionists are people who would rather be the worst than be the second-best. Everyone who ever successfully made a change that worked and served as a platform for the next, did this first: they finally accepted themselves the way they were. They gave up the struggle to get better. Then, finally, they were free to change.

The source of your historical being and the source of your present being is like a generator that has been constant since it started. Getting back to your source is the first technique for change. When you pay attention to the being you are, you withdraw attention from the dilemmas of your mind.

This is at the heart of Buddhism, Yoga, Vedantic Philosophy, Christian salvation, and other forms and practices of enlightenment. When a Zen Buddhist sits and looks at a wall for fourteen hours a day for seven days in a row, he does it to be able to sit and look at a wall. To be able to sit and look at a wall and just sit and look at a wall is enlightenment. To sit and look at your life story like you would sit and look at a wall is to recontact your source in the same way.

Your heartbeat started about eight weeks after the egg that became you got fertilized. You tuned in to life by growing into attunement. That is who you are. To get back in touch with who you are when you have been lost in your mind is to get back to your source.

This is hard to do. You have to die to live. Your “pretend” self, that doesn’t include your imperfection, has to die. Then, you again become a whole being. You then have the power you have always had, only now you can use it consciously. This is the good life. It requires that you sacrifice the pleasure of crying yourself to sleep on a greasy mattress.

Authority and Wisdom

People who have to assert their authority don’t have any. As apostle is supposed to act in the name of Christ and be a special witness of Name of Christ, not in the name of the apostleship, which has no inherent authority in and or itself, only to act in the name of Christ.

I’m seriously wondering about the arrogance and sense of entitlement among the church leaders. The Spirit seems to be missing.

It used to be that when the First Presidency spoke out on a political issue, they didn’t take sides, but came up with a third-way solution that the average person would never think of. And the members were amazed at the wisdom they showed. Now, the church is in lock-step with the arch-conservatives and the Catholic Church when it comes to gay rights.

Surely, men of inspiration could come up with something more humane and still follow the Gospel. Jesus often came up with surprising answers that often irritated the authorities, but were completely in line with the Gospel. But, the time is long past to extrapolate and wrest from the scriptures,or put something in the mouth of Christ that he never said, or follow the views of some medieval Catholic theologian. They seriously need to get in touch with the living Christ.

Either that, or stand aside and make room for people who are willing to humble themselves and ask for wisdom.

Love and Hate – Two sides of the same coin

These people described as “doubters” seem to want remake the Mormon church from a hard-Right political institution into a hard-Left political institution. And when they post their remarks on blogs and Facebook, they get both agreement from the other so-called “apostates” and demonization from the so-called TBM’s (true blue Mormons). These are your typical, expected, knee jerk Facebook responses. This is really nothing new.

What I have to offer, and it seems refreshingly new to me, is that nobody besides me is pointing out:

(1) Nobody in all of history ever reformed a church or religion, including Christ. Christians were driven out of the synagogues and formed their own congregations.

(2) Obsessive love or hatred for the Church is two sides of the same coin and indicate an attachment to the Church. It’s the Tar Baby from Uncle Remus. Once you get stuck, love it or hate it, you can never break lose. (Unless, of course, you find something more appealing to take your attention off the church and what you love or hate about it.)

(3) Joseph Smith was both a genius and a charlatan. Like all of us, he was a complex mix of both good and evil. This was prophesied by Moroni who said his name would be known for good and evil. Moroni never said that either reputation was undeserved.

We need to discern the true principles that Joseph Smith taught and find ways to apply them to today’s world, not the nineteenth century world. We need, also, to clearly identify his ruses and his mistakes, and take care to not repeat them and call out others who do.

Joseph Smith taught some principles that will empower us as individuals, as families (both traditional and non-traditional), and remake society and the whole world. But, this cannot be accomplished using the failed model of the traditional church or organized religion. We must find something better.

But, the haters don’t want to see this. They are too busy fighting brush fires and kicking against the pricks to see the larger picture.

And, why is nobody else pointing out these simple facts? Because nobody wants facts. Facts end the argument and stop the discussion. Bullshit keeps the argument, the discussion, and hence the game going.

I’m sorry to step in and spoil your game, but as I said above, the only way to get people to pry loose from the Tar Baby is so offer something better. A bigger game. A more important game. That’s what this blog is all about.

Memorable Quotes

“The Lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean.” H. P. Blavatsky

“I speak ‘with absolute certainty’ only so far as my own personal belief is concerned. Those who have not the same warrant for their belief as I have, would be very credulous and foolish to accept it on blind faith. Nor does the writer believe any more than her correspondent and his friends in any ‘authority’ let alone ‘divine revelation'”! H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, vol. XI, p. 466 (October, 1889)

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every teacher needs to be a full time student, else he should quit teaching.” Ed Dawson

“Each ascension is a new creation in a new unit of time, because it really isn’t fully inside the stream of time. There is no repetition of ascension. Impossible.” Ed Dawson

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it. ” Alan Kay

“Do not enter into an unclean area, unless you intend to clean it up.” Mary Baker Eddy

Teachers and Gurus

Any true teacher should make statements which the student can then confirm for himself. No more.

A real “guru” gives you methods whereby you can look for yourself.

Unfortunately, most people are not up to doing so.

Teachings are very valuable as they can guide where to look. That saves lots of time as one has the chance to inspect the relevant things first instead of engaging in endless journeys.

Manipulators like to indoctrinate others with truths that make them do things which is of benefit for the manipulator. The combination of certain truths are then known as ideologies. They are not made for the benefit of the people who live it out.