First Quarter, 1986
How Can We Improve Our Self-Esteem?
A: Most of the subject matter that our philosophy deals with involves techniques by which to better control your environment and yourself. When you feel that you are in control of yourself and know that the emotions that you feel are beneficial to you and move you further along, rather than being victimized by anything, then you feel like you are an OK human being and you like yourself. If you love yourself, then it is no longer necessary to make demands on other people. You become more selfless, and you want to see good things happen for other people. It becomes more important for you to do things for other people rather than to do things for yourself.
You arrive at those higher feelings very naturally as the step following your attainment of self-esteem. An important factor in developing self-esteem is to live up to your goals. Practicing the things that you hope to eventually become helps to make it happen. If you wish to have the attributes of a certain person after whom you would like to model yourself, then visualize yourself as that person and practice being like that person. What you practice you will eventually become. Anything that you can set your mind to become, you can be. You can also greatly modify your personality.
How Can One Deal with a Recurring Emotional Problem?
A: I wish that there was some quick, easy way. If you go to a psychoanalyst, he may have to work with you for years before he gets a handle on something he can start to unravel; because you brain is so good at hiding things from your consciousness. As you feel better and better about yourself through your accomplishments and your skills that other people can appreciate, you feel good about yourself. Then anxiety about your self-esteem kind of falls away. Even though you do not address your emotional problem directly.
A: Yes, this is an effective tool readily applicable by anyone. People who are involved with the Brotherhoods’ must be OK people. They have learned how to run their lives in such a way that they can function effectively and hold a job, and get along well with people.
It seems strange that so many people don’t believe they are worthy and good. We buy our parents’ apparent messages that we are lazy, dumb, selfish, inconsiderate, etc., which they use in order to whip us into shape. They keep pointing out all the faults but they forget to point out the good points. Eventually a child comes away with the idea that he is just a bundle of faults that must be concealed from other people. He ends up playing an act which is not him. To thus develop a personality which is strictly a facade requires that he spend the rest of his life terrified that somebody is going to perceive what he really is underneath of it. That’s an exhausting way to live a life. So, we come down to living your ideals and realizing that you are a worthy human being. You then are unquestionably entitled to the same amount of acceptance as everybody else in the world.
What Can One Do to Become More Loving?
A: Kindliness works in that direction. However, loving is not so much a matter of gathering up certain kinds of techniques. It has more to do with your feelings about yourself. If somebody loves you, that’s nowhere near as important to you as when you are able to love another person; because it is your loving somebody which really energizes you. It’s your love of other people that uplifts you. The thing that is important, particularly to young people, about having people say that they love you, and showing that they love you, is that is bolsters your self-esteem and allows you to feel that you are an OK person. But their love of you doesn’t advance you Egoically. It’s your ability to love, which in turn is dependent upon your ability to love yourself, that really is uplifting to you. You carry inside yourself your attained level of ability to love. It does not come from another person or persons. You can transfer the focus of your real love to anyone. The rewards of love are in the giving. To be sure, it’s a lot of fun and being mutually loved by somebody else because of the many kinds of things that you naturally want to do together as companions, particularly if it’s between male and female and you are romantically involved with one another. But you can’t expect your child to love you, since he’s really too young to give love. You can expect a response of human warmth from a child in return for your love, but that’s really all he’s capable of.
What Is the Brotherhoods’ Way of Helping People Balance Themselves?
Q: We’re all wanting to bring some kind of balance into our lives, hopefully to get toward Initiation, but some people may have a very one-sided view of life. How do the Brotherhoods approach someone to balance him out?
A: When you study under one of the schools originally founded by a Brotherhood, you keep moving closer toward the center of the extremes. It sometimes takes many years to actually get to that point, but that is what they are up to. To get your attention in the first place, to get you to do anything, They must first offer something that interests you and is more in line with your usual way of doing things. If you are an exceedingly practical type of person, a hard-headed businessman who’s into construction or something like that, and somebody comes to you with an approach to wisdom couched in flowery terms and lovely spiritual thoughts, you will probably say that these people are too far out, that that is no way to make a dollar. But where somebody promises you that they can show you how to make more money, increase your efficiency, and so forth, then as time goes by you can find out that certain cosmic principles work. They start putting other things in your path-things that you don’t have much experience with, and that begin to sound quite idealistic, but useful and valuable to you. Bit by bit, They begin to lead you toward the centerline of balance. It seems indirect, but it works. That’s the way with all instruction. It’s a modern way of doing things. You get children into a school and you start giving them story-books and get them to learn something without their realizing it.
How Does Free-Will Relate to Astrology?
A: We are the ones who establish which astrological configurations we are going to be born under and, as Egos on the Astral Plane, wait specifically until these things come about before incarnating. Essentially, the astrological configurations at the time of your birth reveal character, the kind of things you plan to work on, and the experiences you choose to have in this lifetime. It’s like an indication or a signboard to anybody as to what your intentions are and what kinds of tasks you want to work on. Your natal configurations tend generally to contain the same indicators as were operant the last time you died. There are many different combinations that can give you the same effect, but it indicates what kinds of channels will be open at certain times as your natal chart is progressed. But, since you have free will, you are the one in control all the time. The same tendencies may be in different peoples’ charts, but they may apply to many different kinds of activities that people may happen to be into; one might be in medicine, one in manufacturing, etc. Astrology doesn’t mean you are locked into some kind of predestination, it just shows what channels you want to have open, and the events you want working in your life. It is your “blueprint” for this particular lifetime, but even then, it is none too precise.