Peaks and Valleys

Cult think (which includes religious, political, and self-help/positive thinking guru cliques) tends to be extremist in nature.  That includes either over-reacting to or ignoring entirely (read denial) high and low ends of the vicissitudes of life.  The highs can include all manner of self-congratulatory, hallucinatory-causation thinking.  “I thought it and it happened; I am god-like.”   The lows can include all manner of guilt, regret  and need to re-examine and even re-create oneself.  “Who am I really and who do I need to be?”

Far better I think to follow the great middle path.

Life’s peaks and valleys are as natural as the hills and dales of the landscape or the pull and repulsion of the subatomic dance making up the woof and warp of the universe.  Obsessing with owning them – positive or negative – and thus fixating on the result tends to park folks in peaks and valleys.  Meanwhile, atoms tango, breezes blow, currents flow, and life goes on.  One can choose to stagnate with rises and falls or one can choose to learn from them and evolve.

I believe that Rudyard Kipling captured the idea very well in his poem “If”, which includes this passage:

     If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

I believe that ‘If” is an effective antidote to cult thinking.  See for yourself:

If you can keep your head when all about you   

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


93 responses to “Peaks and Valleys

  1. Marty, your writing keeps getting better and better. In both style and substance.

  2. I’ve wondered and wondered HOW IN THE WORLD could someone follow these profound words.

    AND how could Triumph and Disaster be considered impostors when there is so obviously a winner and a loser and more perplexing … treating them as the same.

    I think I first read this poem on a pub wall somewhere in England. I had gone with my former husband and two of his children in 1983 to spend a year and do the SHSBC. We spent most of our time instead traveling the English countryside — wide-eyed at the hills and valleys. And motoring all over Europe.

    It’s been 31 years since I first read this poem. 21 years since my last scientology service and 13 since I stopped considering myself a scientologist and I guess it’s every day that I work at walking the middle path.

    Arriving? There is no arriving just the constant wish that I and others can live this poem …

    Thanks Mark.


  3. Hell of a lot of “IFs” in that poem….. 🙂

  4. Wow. Utter chills on reading “If.” I read it a long time ago and didn’t appreciate its power and wisdom anywhere near what it deserves. Thank you for posting it. I’m sure I’ll be reading it again and again.

  5. Any one of these “if”s is probably worth taking to heart, but tie them all up into one bundle and you’d have a pretty good start on a new cult right there.

  6. Mark N Roberts

    Wonderful post, Marty.
    I like to think that I can have serenity and action alike and enjoy the moment of each. I have enjoyed rushing to tornado torn areas with chain saws and ropes in hand with 20 high school football players under my charge. I like sitting on the porch on a balmy summer afternoon watching the squirrels and birds compete for nuts.

    The highs and lows and middles all have their value in their moment. It has been implied that one must be able to release the extreme moments and move on.

    I say it is one step better to release any reason to become obsessed, repressed, stuck, or trapped in the first place. I say recover your ability to be completely extreme, and then to turn around and in a second be completely serene. Or better yet, be completely serene during extreme times.

    Lift a tree from a broken child and a moment later, discuss the spices on the hamburger that the Red Cross just brought.

    Living in the moment.

    ARCL, Mark

  7. That’s inevitable – as soon language comes into the picture. We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

  8. Unless, maybe, there is conceptual understanding – and the flexibility that goes with it, as Kipling basically said.

  9. I think the point of over reacting is very well instilled in most of people, including myself at times, and it only aids to loose perspective of the whole scene and drown in it.

    As far as the lows such as regret they only serve to introvert oneself and, again, loose the view of life as it is.

    When I departed the Church I went for months on end trying to figure things out; was sort of clinging into the past, with worries about the future and concerns for the present. Motion sort of stop until little by little I allowed myself to come out of this waving up and down. It hasn’t been easy and I still have more to learn but, honestly speaking, you have been a very helpful ingredient in my changes.

    As I said, I am still open to learn much more and evolve. I do intensely appreciate your comms. in this blog. Thank you Marty.

  10. You are right. Kipling captured it so well. Probably read it the first time in high school, 50 years ago or more. Reading it at my “mature” age, it has so much more meaning as I have lived pretty much every “if” he names. I could regret the wisdom I turned my head to for too long, instead, I choose to see that now I appreciate it more than I could have before.

    Hugs and kisses to you and the family.

  11. Hiram Abiff

    One of my favorite poems. I gave it on a plaque many years ago to one of my sons. Kipling was a Freemason and I think their philosophy and teachings of right thinking and balance are evident. One of their teaching symbols is a point within a circle with 2 parallel lines outside it. Its about staying centered. Thanks Marty for presenting this poem. I find it very uplifting.

  12. Tom Gallagher


    Your comments coupled with this Rudyard Kipling poem in a way seems to be a Cliffs Notes version of the tao te ching.

    Simply beautiful! Thanks!

  13. Gerhard Waterkamp

    I love this poem. Thanks for posting it. I would probably have never seen it and missed a great piece of aesthetics communicating a universal truth in such beautiful and simple terms.

  14. But, I don’t want to be a man… 😉

  15. Marie guerin

    So much being said in these few words and so very appropriate “now” for so many I am sure, myself included.
    What a gift !

  16. Read the Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-2

    Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children… (Ephesians 5:1).
    Paul puts it flatly, bluntly, openly: Be imitators of God. That is a great declaration. The word for imitators is the Greek word that means to mimic. Mimics are those who follow the pattern or the example of God. If you want to put it simply, you can say it this way: Be godlike. That is the goal of Christianity. It is to produce men and women, boys and girls, who are godlike in the midst of an ungodlike world. That is what it is all about.

  17. “If” is such a great word, admitting at once both the humility that we do not know it all and our potential to aspire to a richer humanity.

  18. Nice. Continued success Marty.

  19. The poem of Kipling is excellent. But your writing about peaks and valleys is for me something very valuable. Putting it in perspective with all that we have lived in this five years it makes a lot of sense and it serves as a clearing for our (my) soul. IMHO one of your best writings to date.

    I have not commented since long ago, but this writing is a diamond. Thanks for sharing your conclusions. I hope we can all carry on evolving inside this life of peaks and valleys.

  20. Thanks for this post, Marty. I found it very inspiring, as I often do.

    This poem is beautiful and powerful. I like the way you used it here, and found it moving in a new way, even though I am very familiar with it. I also think it is one of the more commonly misused and misconstrued poems in our times. I have heard problem gamblers quote the part about risking it all and starting over, in an attempt to elevate their self-destructive, compulsive behavior to some kind of enlightened detatchment. I don’t think that was what Kipling meant, but I could be mistaken. 😉

    To me this poem suggests that if one can avoid turning one’s preferences and biases into walls and barriers to what life brings and what it can mean — aka “beliefs” — then a much larger realm of experience is available. If one has the courage and wherewithal to forgo any such wall or barrier, then the whole world of experience and meaning remains available, and one stands clear-eyed and upright in the midst of it. But remember, this is an ideal, expressed in poetic language. It is not a hard and fast criteria for righteousness or something, obviously. It is ironic to me that I have seen this poem used in that manner — as a way to beat someone up for being “attached” in some way, such a sin in some western Buddhist circles.

    I find it is not possible to ever fully eradicate all those “walls”, but the ideal is such a powerful guiding star in terms of personal growth. Of course we will celebrate our triumphs and mourn our losses, battle our enemies and welcome our allies. Life will have an impact, and if we are alive, then we will move through it in ways that evidence that impact. The point is that in the midst of that process, we are stronger and richer if we do not lose our freedom of choice to forgo those “walls” and meet the present moment with full participation of an open mind and heart.

    That’s my two cents. Thanks again for the inspiring stuff, Marty! 🙂

  21. Thank you.

  22. A fine post, and another expression of the middle way.

    I’ve often thought Kipling was a bit of a Buddhist at heart, aware of the transience of all things (as in his much-misunderstood poem ‘Recessional’). If any readers need some context for ‘If’, it comes from his book ‘Rewards and Fairies’, where it’s linked to a story about a boy in 18th century England who gets carried off to America, has a series of adventures, and always lands on his feet due to his flexibility and quick wit.

  23. Marty.. This is my favorite poem. Thank you so much. I really needed this today. One line that I don’t understand is..

    ” If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, ”
    Maybe I am being to literal. If you care for a friend deeply and they betray you on a personal level. Why would one not expected to be hurt.

    For example.. ( This never happened to me) If say my best friend had an affair with my husband. Of course I would be hurt AND absolutely devastated.

    PS.. Your blog is getting better by the day and happy for you, Mosey and your beautiful baby boy.

  24. Hiram,
    “Kipling was a Freemason”.

    I never knew that.

    From the poem:

    “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it”

    What is meant by the above statement in Freemason terms?

    Kind regards,

  25. There is another triangle: Observation, Knowledge, Awareness.
    Sample: On my job I handle a complex computer based machine. I do an software update on work area A. Tell the people that I did update those machines. Person B working in work area B that has nothing to do with the functions of workspace A also “knows” now, that an update had been made suddenly finds an error on his workstation B. He did see a non optimum function on his machine for years. But now as he “knows” he suddenly is aware of the malfunction and now he can observe it.
    Observation without correct information or knowledge results in awareness that is incorrect. Or delusion.
    In the church people are often accused of something. Being out ethics. Non productive. Full of shit.
    Now the person knowing this assumes awareness and now can observe it in his life.
    It starts with: find a little non optimum thing that can be observed in reality. (being late on the job one day a year) Let the person know that this behaviour is based on… whatever the common ground here is like “devil”, “overts”, “karma”. That’s all one has to do. The person now is aware of it, knows that it is not acceptable, observes it in his real life and works hard to fulfil expectations.
    It you repeat it a few times this will then be put on automatic and the person is now under full control.

  26. Robert Almblad

    I am thankful Marty for that little reminder this morning, as I pondered the trials and tribulations of my life, of the higher meaning of life. It puts life into perspective, like a good night’s sleep or a well deserved vacation, but it’s done in 5 minutes re-reading Rudyard Kipling poem. Thanks again.

  27. I just received this thought to ponder for today from Urantia org. I thought it was most interesting and also appropriate to post here:

    A Thought to Ponder from The Urantia Book:

    “The Creators are possessed of full power to make Urantia a veritable paradise, but such an Eden would not contribute to the development of those strong, noble, and experienced characters which the Gods are so surely forging out on your world between the anvils of necessity and the hammers of anguish.”

    (258.11) 23:2.12

    That means the same thing as:

    “Calm seas do not a good sailor make”

    Only conflict and other adversities build good characters.

    The dealing with conflict using dialetic methods, to seek the highest truth possible, or state of resolution , to a win win solution is what builds good character. Good character, noble character, and right purpose are everything.

    That is a long the same line of thinking as what Hubbard said; a being needs problems to solve.

    So conflicts are good, boys and girls, keep on fighting.

    If you do it the wrong way, you will get worse, if you do it the right way, you will get better and wiser.


  28. “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same”

    The recognition that both triumph and disaster are both impostors and should be treated the same signifies a consciousness that has awakened. Triumph and Disaster; Good and Evil; Light and Dark; Peace and War; Freedom and Imprisonment; Rich and Poor; Right and Wrong and on and on for what seems must surely be an infinity of dichotomies….all impostors in the illusory world of duality. When this recognition occurs in consciousness, it is instantly clear that the only way through this pretense of peaks and valleys is by travelling the great middle path.

    I do believe though, and my experience is reflecting this belief, that once I discovered the middle path and recognized it as being the only sure path through what I view as being an incredibly seductive dream, that whether I’m lured into the valley or up to the peak, the experience I have, whether it be some form of suffering or pleasure, will serve to inevitably guide me back onto the middle path.

    For me, the discovery and the recognition that…to use Kipling’s words…triumph and disaster were impostors and should be treated the same, was a significant moment of awakening where it felt as if all the perspectives I held so close and dear were struck by a tornado and torn away from their foundations to be scattered to parts unknown.

    Much thanks Marty for sharing Kipling’s enormously profound poem that so beautifully points to the way out of the dream.

  29. I love reading your words Marty. I have known nothing but cults and cult think all my life and have finally broken free on the supression of being surrounded with those who would shoot their own mother if they were told to.
    All my life I have found myself questioning my own sanity until one day it all became so clear. It was not me who was insane!!
    I now read words that sit with my truth so deeply that it calms my heart and soul.
    Thanks Marty for your truth and integrity.

  30. Roger weller

    Great answer, wild horse, I agree 100 percent, and great post Marty, very appropriate.

  31. martyrathbun09

    That is interesting on how different people interpret things to their liking.I read an article once about how both opposite poles of the US political spectrum claimed the movie Forest Gump as a political statement promoting its side.

  32. wow I’ve been reading a lot on Scientology, and on other cults. I really hope more people wake up to the fact that all the church is is a cult. It’s hard not to make that judgement considering all of the controversy surrounding it and how many people are speaking out about it. Also the way the church handles criticism, wow. I recently watched a video that had the similarities between the church of Scientology, and Jim jones peoples temple, and the similarities are to the Tee. The way they handle their members, the way they handle criticism everything was right on point, and it was scary.

  33. Marty, this gave me chills as well. It just validated to me that there are old souls which have already learned life’s lessons and are good enough to help others along the path. ARC Bill Dupree

  34. Roger weller

    Me too Yvonne, what is the old saying youth is wasted on the young.

  35. Roger weller

    Very funny, remember that also,very easy for people thinking ,it’s all about me.ive been known to go that route.

  36. So true Robert,that’s what I love about a poem or a few sentences of truth puts you back on track looking a the important things in life.getting out of your minds for a minute or 2. Thus poem certainly does that.

  37. Hiram Abiff

    Hi George. Nothing within the teachings of Freemasonry aims towards obtaining the earth and everything within it. What I sense the intention is that if one can do or follow the guidelines in the poem, there is nothing of any more importance than one could have achieved in all the world. Freemasonry has it initiate rituals and lectures aimed at making a man a better man by improving his character and dealings with others. One of the teaching props they use are 2 stones, one a rough ashlar and one a smooth polished stone. The goal is to chip off ones imperfections and thus go from being the one to the other. They employ many such symbols. But more basic or important is the goal to initiate a man into an inner life, making him aware that he is more than his body and is raised to higher levels by higher powers than himself. That is the spiritual teaching behind the 3rd degree where one becomes a Master Mason. It is a subtle message within a story they use. Symbolism and allegory are used to teach. I suppose that when the modern Masonic teachings were formulated, any spiritual teachings outside the established church had to be done carefully and secretly. But the bottom line behind Masonic teachings has nothing to do with any material goals. Anyone who enters looking for that will miss the whole point and never truly learn the secrets of a Master Mason. For many here, mocking up a picture of a cat and being asked who is looking at that cat might be quite the shortcut to feeling that there is more to you than your body. A Masonic initiation takes 3 months to get through the 3 degrees, but when done properly on a candidate who desires to be a better man, it typically has a profound and lasting impact in their lives.

  38. Do you want reality ? Do you really understand stuff?

  39. Roger — I guess there are more than a few who would call me WILD horse but it’s actually WIND horse —

    A tibetan buddhist term defined thusly:

    On the outer level, the lungta (or wind horse) is a mythical Tibetan creature from pre-Buddhist times that combines the speed of the wind and the strength of the horse to carry prayers from earth to the heavens.

    Inner Level: Positive Qualities
    Lungta is associated with positive energy or ‘life force’ and with ‘good luck’. It is both the subduer of evil and the vehicle of enlightenment.

    If you’ve ever seen Buddhist prayer flags, typically they have a wind horse on them.


  40. Hiram,

    Thank you for putting in a good word about the Free Masons. I have learned a number of yrs ago that they were a good organization. And all the flack was BS. The product of delusional psychotics who see wrong where there is right and right where there is wrong.

    I was a member of the Rosicrucians some yrs ago, and they were good too. Oddfellows too. There could be a few more. As far as I know these organizations are similar. They sort of have their own spiritual development bridge. The odd fellows and Masons are very selective of who they let in. Rosicrucians are quite open.


  41. Marty,

    Sort of reminds me of Phil Spickler being construed as the Forest Gump of scientology. What I took out of his interviews with that beautiful woman was ultimately no one needs “the bridge” or a 7 division Org ‘Borg’………

    Therein are some talks about constructs! Simply put, Ron ultimately destroyed the art of the craft.

  42. Dear Marty,
    First, let me tell you that by reading all the other comments, I really perceived — probably for the first time — the great mix of different viewpoints, beliefs and realities that you have attracted on this blog. It’s quite wonderful to read all these different approaches to life and livingness. It’s really one of the few places on the internet where I found such a diversity of thought, yet lacking the negativity or closed-mindedness of other sites and blogs.
    Just on this one post, I have read people who wrote about Freemasonry and Christianity and, even though I may disagree with what they’re saying — due to my own personal viewpoint and understanding of these particular groups — I found the following happening:
    The first instinct was to post on their comments a sort of cutting reply, which, in my eyes, would have “showed them how I know more than they do about their religious group, etc.”
    However, I re-read your post and took a breath and then had a laugh. I was about to act the same way cultists do — and I do not belong to a cult, now, in any way, shape or form — so that would have been just plain crazy!
    Therefore, I took a few second to analyze this reaction. Why did I react this way?
    To make a long, convoluted story short, it is a basic instinct in us Terran humans to look at our viewpoints and assume it is the right viewpoint all the time. This swings on a very extreme pendulum. One one end, our viewpoint is the only right, admissible, true outlook on life and, on the other end, it is quite the opposite: one is never right, one is always wrong — a sinner, a wretch and a victim and only a “higher power” can save us.
    So, eventually, I decided to discipline myself to walk a sort of middle path and I did not write my cutting remarks, I told myself that, since I have not been a Freemason, and despite having a pretty good, reliable knowledge of the true essence and origins of the Bible, it was not worth the effort (or the risk) to start a blog-war over someone asserting their own opinion about a certain group or religious belief.
    And there goes the lesson from the poem “If”, which I believe you were trying to communicate to us:
    Triumph and disaster are allegories for the concept of right and wrong — and these ARE impostors. One may conceive to be right and one has freedom to do so, so long as one grants that freedom also to others.
    So, Marty Sensei, how am I doing? Am I getting it?

  43. Hiram Abiff

    Hi Dio. Thank you for you comments. I would like to expand a little on them. The Odd Fellows were pretty much a mirror of the freemasons. When they came into being, it was Masons who began it and most members held membership in both. This was in the hey day of fraternalism. Today the Odd Fellows are a much diminished organization but the Masonic foundation from which they grew remains fairly strong and widespread. Your right that they are selective on who they let in. Or are supposed to be. The intention is to ensure that the candidates motivation is not other than to be a better man. That there is no monetary or political motivation, and that he is not insane or a criminal. Those sort of things. Political and religious talk and agenda is frowned upon within Masonic lodges to help keep the Lodge on course and not disrupted. on Secrecy and initiation, the teachings will have the most impact when the candidate is there for the right reasons, so its important that the candidate ASKS to join and is not recruited in any way. In the past you would often find fathers not even talking to their sons about it. Many a Father would love to see their son ask to join, but any pressure would or could compromise the sons true desire. I am sure there were exceptions. Not everyone gets it on the underlying spiritual principals involved. Today, you see Freemasonry all over the Internet and even running ads about joining. And its ok to promote and suggest membership as long as its in the form of an ad and not directed to any individual in particular. The person still needs to do the ASKING. For their own benefit, not the organizations. If a man cannot be humble enough to ask to join as he wants to become a better man, then perhaps its just as well for the organization that he not. Freemasonry survives because of its symbols and teachings. Its probably always existed under one name or another and likely always will. Even watered down with some lost tech over time, its still as good organization as you stated. Their main focus after initiation of candidates is charities of all sorts. A good example of that is the Shriners with their free care Burn and orthopedic hospitals. Shriners are Masons and an ancillary organization.

  44. Hiram,
    Thank you very much for the information about Freemasons. Now I understand more about George Washington.

    Much Metta,

  45. martyrathbun09

    In my opinion you appear to be doing great Flav. Whether that is the moral of the poem, if that is the way you read it, it is so.

  46. Hiram Abiff

    George, your example of Washington might be a good example to the meaning of your original question. Washington was the Master of his local Lodge. That takes a good amount of time and effort. He wore his Masonic apron at the laying of the cornerstone for the capital. He was so popular that at the time he could arguably have been crowned King. But he walked away.

  47. IF read by Marcus Brooks:

  48. Thanks again Hiram.

    I liked your sensible post.

    That should be the way Hubbard should of done it.

    Having appropriate screening process is the best way to do anything.

    The better companies are now increasingly doing thorough psychological testing.

    Here is a good site:

    Many years ago I read several books by a secret society in Paris, that was only a blank door along a side walk.

    And their postulate was that if someone actually saw the door and decided to open it, to see what was in there, that person was allowed in to the organization.

    That organization was still operational in the 90s. I forget the name of it. I think the name started with a “P”.

    They also had an org in Toronto.


  49. Thanks for pointing out something theta for everyone to notice! For bring some understanding, here today! And for the understanding your blog has always promoted.

    And thanks for hanging in there!

  50. martyrathbun09

    Thanks for the wonderful edition you sent. We read it together from time to time. Even though he doesn’t grok the words, he digs on the flow and intention of it.

  51. There are minutes recorded at a Freemason meeting the night of the Boston Tea Party: time to break for some tea.

  52. Flavp, I really appreciate what you had to say and I am most grateful that you shared your process of self inquiry and how that process shaped your response i.e., to walk sort of a middle path and not write cutting remarks. All that you expressed in your comment was (to me) a wonderful display of the evolution of an awakening consciousness.

    There is a quote of Victor Frankl’s that I have shared numerous times on Marty’s blog (and will probably continue to do so 🙂 ) and as I experienced what you were writing about, once again, it rose up for me to have yet another look. The quote: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Each time this statement by Victor rises up for me to have a look at it is more profound that ever before.

    For me, ‘the great middle path,’ the ‘IF’ that Kipling writes about and the ‘space’ between stimulus and response that Frankl points to…they are all one and the same.

    It seems to me Flavp, that your self inquiry moved away enough obstructions to reveal the ‘space’ that is never not there but is often obscured by mental machinery (thinking auotmaticities) and in that ‘space’ you made a conscious choice on how you would respond. It was a conscious response not an unconscious reaction. Again, thank you for sharing the process, it was very cool to observe!

    You wrote: “I really perceived — probably for the first time — the great mix of different viewpoints, beliefs and realities that you have attracted on this blog. It’s quite wonderful to read all these different approaches to life and livingness.” Here’s what I have discovered Flavp – when one can loosen their attachments to their own hierarchy of preferences for words, phrases, stories, beliefs and so on and recognize that there is no need to ‘fix’ or ‘adjust’ the perspective of another…indeed, it is quite wonderful to read all the different approaches to life and livingness that are shared on Marty’s blog as well as displayed in one’s experiences throughout the seeming journey through space and time in a world of perception.

  53. Hi, Hiram. I have a comparison question too. What do you know about the Mystery Schools and their connection or similarity to Freemasonry? There’s an energy healer in my area who studied at “The Modern Mystery School,” specifically. She and her products are quite impressive!

    Here’s a link FYI:

  54. p.s. Also, what is the relevance of Lucifer to Masons?

    Thanks in advance!

  55. Lucas McCain

    Hi Monte. Nice comment. That “space” between stimulus and response is the difference between a life in control or out of control. I came across a meditation exercise by Roy Masters (Foundation for Human Understanding) that creates or allows one to create that space. He has a lot of good material, but the meditation exercise is particularly good.

  56. Hi Monte,

    Wow. There is an LRH statement that is amazingly similar to the one of Victor Frankl that you quoted. The following is from *Advanced Procedure and Axioms*:

    “Here is a mechanism interposed in the cycle of stimulus-response restimulation which demonstrates that:


    “Man is so aberrated at this date that it took considerable processing to discover this interim factor. And to discover that the interim factor is far more important than the mechanism of restimulation and that restimulation ceases by picking up the inner postulate between a source of restimulation and being restimulated.”

    “The extent of free choice is remarkable. The amount a case can be improved by self-determinism processing is even more remarkable.”

  57. Thank you, Monte. I appreciate that.
    I suppose that, since I follow a number of different blogs, some of them (a lot of them, actually) having to do with LGBT matters, I tend to be a little trigger happy and defensive of what others think.
    This has caused a mental machinery, as you put it, to react every time someone seems to attack or deviate from my own accepted view of reality.
    I strive to be tolerant and accepting but often these mechanisms sort of just go off into fourth gear.
    In the example above, it was one of the first times I simply said: “Aw! Let it go, puh-lease!”
    And I let it go. It felt good. I hope I can sort of carry this over into other discussions, on these other blogs, where there is a lot of suppression and reacting is often the first instinct.

  58. Hiram Abiff

    Hi Marildi. Ceremonies are used universally. Modern Freemasonry uses a ceremony in each of its 3 degrees. It is said that the ancient mystery schools used ceremonies as well. Some Masonic authors over the centuries would like to give Freemasonry a pedigree that goes back thousands of years. And people can speculate all they want on the transmission of truths, how and by whom, along the time track. It really matters very little. Beyond that the word “mystery” or “mystery school” could mean or refer to just about anything, your link being an example, and there is no direct connection. Many have spent a lifetime of research on these connections and relationships. I will leave that to them. Its their pastime, not mine. You can find volumes of works on the subject. Which brings me to your other question I will respond to in the correct place.

  59. Hiram Abiff

    As I mentioned in the response to your other question, there have been thousands of books written about and by those associated with Freemasonry. One such author of the 19th century was Albert Pike. He was a major player in developing what is today called the Scottish Rite, an ancillary organization of additional colorful added on degrees for those so inclined. They are pursued as an option after one becomes a Master Mason. Let me put this in context. Over the centuries, there have been hundred of various offshoots to Freemasonry and “degrees” developed in many countries. Many with high sounding names and designed to give status and allure to those so inclined. Back to Pike. Pike published thousands of pages on tracing the historical meanings of all things religious and fraternal. Pike refers to a Lucifer as literally being the Light Bearer or Light bringer. I suppose that is what the word actually means. Anyway, that is the context for this. It may be of interest to those who like to trace origins of words or historical meanings, but has nothing to do with joining a lodge and doing the 3 degrees to become a “Master Mason”. I have read about the word Lucifer being brought up as an objection to Freemasonry by those who require strict adherence to their beliefs or agenda and needed something, anything, to use to demonize freemasonry. Pretty lame, in my opinion. Here is a website (not official, these are individual opinions) with lots and lots of interesting stuff for those so inclined to read about freemasonry, travel back in time looking for connections and meaning, or just have a lot of free tome on their hands. Wikipedia has a decent synopsis as well for some basic info. Anyone actually interested in their local lodge should contact that states Grand Lodge and they will have the local lodge secretary call you. Hiram Abiff signing off.

  60. Thanks marildi. I see what you mean. There is a marked similarity between what Frankl said and LRH said. Another wonderful example of how even though the form can greatly vary, the content is the same.

    Conscious response – unconscious reaction, both are preceded by choice. However, when consciousness has attached itself to and identifies itself with form, reaction appears to be being caused by something external to oneself so the actual source of the reaction goes unrecognized. Both Frankl and LRH, in their own way, introduce the idea that one chooses to react or respond. And when a person begins to contemplate this idea, that “space” between stimulus and response begins to emerge. Just pondering the idea that I am the one choosing to react or respond causes the veil of mental machinery aka the ego thought system to dissipate enough so that the “space” (the middle path, stillness, emptiness – whatever you want to call it) is revealed. Every time I choose to make a conscious response over going with the default automatic reaction of the mental machinery, more space is revealed. And choice by choice I choose my way out of prison and into a classroom.

  61. Thank you Lucas. And thank you for introducing me to Roy Masters. I had never heard of him before. I see he has many videos on YT. I will be exploring what Roy has to say and how he chooses to say it. That said, will you please direct me to where I can read or hear his meditation exercise that you speak of.

  62. Hiram,

    Your posts emote reason, rationality, deep thought, intelligence, stability, lots of learning, and the like.


  63. Made my day 😀

  64. For those interested in atomic physics here is some interesting data:

    Click on the numbers
    (477.4) 42:7.2

    and the scroll to the top of the page, to the beginning of the chapter:

    A Thought to Ponder from The Urantia Book
    “Within the atom the electrons revolve about the central proton with about the same comparative room the planets have as they revolve about the sun in the space of the solar system.”

    (477.4) 42:7.2

  65. Dio. Thanks. We all live with some failures, regrets, doubts. I will take the kind comments you offered for present and future support. I will confess that I do not real all the postings here, but I do read yours.

  66. Lucas McCain

    Hi Monte. They used to have a policy that they would send it out for free if you could not afford it. Don’t know if that still stands. Here is the link to their meditation page. The Classis Meditation is the one I was referencing for creating space or pause between stimulus and response.

  67. I see that the link for Urantia did not come through.
    (Urantia is a name for earth.)

    Copy and paste this link:

    When the page opens, you can read the quote and then scroll up to get to the beginning of the chapter.


  68. Mark N Roberts

    I could not have said it better. In fact, that is what I have been trying to say.
    When you get all the way down to the bottom of it, it is all YOU, ME

  69. Mark N Roberts

    The Urantia Book
    I have been in universes such as the one described in these writings. Endless rules, highly structured, authoritarian.

    Some liked it and stayed for awhile. I didn’t and left when the opportunity availed. This one we’re in is bad enough.

  70. I go along with your viewpoint with regard to getting into a lot of significance. What you wrote above was all I needed. Thanks much for the informed views.

    Btw, I googled “Hiram Abiff” and confirmed that it’s a pseudonym – a good one for you.

  71. Thanks very much again.

  72. “Every time I choose to make a conscious response over going with the default automatic reaction of the mental machinery, more space is revealed. And choice by choice I choose my way out of prison and into a classroom.”

    Beautifully expressed. And inspiring! Thanks, Monte.

  73. Mark N Roberts

    This body is becoming a hindrance, a distraction. I used to run, 2 step, up 5 floors of stairs, every day. Used to run up 80′ inclined walkways in 130 deg. heat, several times a day. During tornado rescue, High school football players asked why I wasn’t tired. I said I was, but there is work to do.

    Now, I’m getting tired and lazy. Forfeit this body? Don’t be silly. Going to get it back to normal.

    Stallone remarked about Travolta after they had done a movie. That John had muscled up in 6 weeks what it took Sly 6 months to do. Well I’m not doing an action movie, so 3 or 4 weeks should do it.

    I’ll be busy for awhile, talk to ya later.

  74. A Wise Fool

    Hmmm…in the “end” all life returns to the infinite – the true middle way (if it can be considered to be anywhere). Just a datum of incomparable magnitude…

  75. That’s good data about being physically fit. And the bit about John Travolta.

    You’ll be missed, Mark. Do well. Hope you come back soon! .

  76. Mark,

    You: Going to get it back to normal.

    Me: I have the same attitude or VP.

    I have been doing research on longevity for a few yrs now.

    Read this for one good page:

    Hubbard said in Dianetics 55, (I think) that the only reason why we get old and die, is because we get too accumulated with engrams and etc..

    I think he is partly correct.

    I think Dr. Bernarr is partly correct too.

    I think if we addressed both Hubbard and Bernarr, we would be on the right track and do quite well.

    There are probably a few more pieces to the formula to add to that yet.

    I am working on that.

    But the idea that scientologists get old and die is not congruent with scntlgy principles. Especiallly not doing better than average.

    The average scntlgist does not do any better than average.

    If the average scntlgist could even live to a 100, that would be a good sign of it’s workability.


  77. Mark,

    The universe they are talking about, is our universe and our earth.

  78. Tom,
    Great comment. I’m adding here your link to Aldous Huxley’s quote:

  79. Could it be that the Ancient Greeks were rigth after all when they said: “Like above, so below”?

  80. I got the picture. Very theta!

  81. Thanks Mark.

    Mark…”When you get all the way down to the bottom of it, it is all YOU, ME”

    This universe of perception seems to be upside down and backasswards. Do you think this means that when we get way down to the bottom of it that we’re actually on top? 🙂

  82. Flavp,

    I suppose there could be some similarity, or connection. Certain mystics over the ages, had some fairly good insight, They were connected or were channelling information or knowledge. The Urantia book was channeled.

    The information was always there, but man did not have enough development to receive it nor understand it.

    Like Hubbard said, in order to understand something, you have to have something of comparable magnitude to compare it to. So the more understanding man gets, the more information can be given. I would add responsibility to that too. Knowledge is dangerous in the hands of a fool.


  83. Hiram,

    I ack your reply.

    I know what you mean.

    I am selective too.



  84. Hiram,
    I have another question. When I was in my Catholic grammar school in the 6th grade, I specifically remember Sister Polycarpa, who was my religious instructor, telling us that Freemasons were not Christians.

    “Offensive terms such as ‘Jah-Bul-On,’ the so-called secret name of God, are used.” – Wiki.

    Washington, as the Master of his local lodge, would thus have probably used that secret name for God. Colonial America was very tolerant to all types of religion. I wonder if they would have accepted Scientology?

    Kind regards,

  85. Hiram Abiff

    Hi George. Freemasonry is a fraternal organization with a spiritual teaching. Being a freemason does not make one a Christian. But a Christian can be a freemason. Freemasons can be deists or adherents to any sect that believes in a higher power or God so-called. Atheists are not allowed membership and that is a question they ask the aspiring candidate. The Freemasons refer to this entity as the Grand Architect of the Universe. So most Gods of Religions could also fit under than broad title. Freemasons take their oath on whatever Holy book they wish, Bible, Torah, Koran, Veda. Jah-Bul-On does not mean much of anything, and is certainly not the name of a Freemason God. It may be a made up name of a shortened Jahovah-Baal-Ohm. Jubelon is the name of one of 3 Ruffians in one of their skits. Remember that there are undred and possibly thousands of rites and rituals that creative minds over the centuries has dreamed up treid to lend credence to by using references to Masonry. Even “my good friend” the Beast. But Freemasons do not define God very tightly at all and leave it to the Mason himself. I better be careful before recommending Wikipedia again and read it in its entirety first. Most Masons I know are Christians. And of those, most were/are raised protestant. The RC’s were not very accepting of their members joining other groups that had a spiritual message. There was a small window in the 60’s or 70’s which allowed it, I think, then it shut again. The RC’s have and promote the Knights of Columbus. (which was partly fashioned on the masons in the late 19th century as were most fraternal organizations) . As far as your question about how well scientologists would be accepted in colonial America, I have no idea on that at all. As far as George Washington goes, I cannot say with certainty anything. But if he was raised a Christian, his conception of the Grand Architect of the Universe could have defaulted to that of God the Father or God in Heaven in the Christian Trinity. Freemasons do not have their own God that they substitute or add to any ones belief system.

  86. Marty, Thank you.

  87. A Thought to Ponder from The Urantia Book
    “Religious meanings progress in self-consciousness when the child transfers his ideas of omnipotence from his parents to God. And the entire religious experience of such a child is largely dependent on whether fear or love has dominated the parent-child relationship.”

    (1013.6) 92:7.11

    Link to get the full story:

  88. Hiram,
    Thank you for the clarification. You have a deep grasp of this subject!

    Kind Regards,

  89. Mark N Roberts

    Bottom meaning basic, original, source, simplest, earliest cause. Foundation.

  90. Mark N Roberts

    Thanks for the link, Dio.
    Dr. Bernarr has several good points, but like you said, neither he nor LRH had the whole picture. For one, DNA misduplicates over time and will begin to show more and more errors.

    Also, I didn’t see where Ron mentioned that having bodies that were short lived was touted as a wonderful thing when we signed up with the last few large common universes.

    “Go ‘Clear’ every few years. Dump your troubles and start out fresh with every life.” We were told it was a great thing, that we learned from past universes and the rules in this one were much better. It was part of the ‘Reg Cycle’ for this universe. We all applauded and said “Where do I sign up”. “Right here at this implant, I mean, training station, we’ll get you started.”

    They used the ‘Kirby vacuum cleaner dilemma’ on us. Get a Kirby vacuum when you are young and it will last practically forever. The problem is that for most of your adult life, you end up with an old, heavy vacuum that still works and is too expensive to throw away. Your stuck with it. Much better to get a light cheap new shiny vacuum every 5 years.

    There are other factors involved, hidden intentions, but this is the primary, original reason that meat bodies are disposable.
    At least, that’s the way I recall it. Kinda funny, looking back on it.

  91. Mark N Roberts

    Dio on the Urantia Book:
    “The universe they are talking about, is our universe and our earth.”

    Mark: Sorry, Dio, no, it is not. Been there, done with that place. But it is good to learn about every place you have been and how it affected you. Turns out that dating (your own timeline, not others) and determining the location of incidents really is critical to straightening oneself out.

    I mention “your own timeline” because it does not always align with others. You can spend 500 years in a games universe (a playground built by a friend) and when you come out, only 5 minutes have passed for the guy standing right next to you. You can spend a year at a time chasing tigers or being chased by hunters, and do it over and over a hundred times. You can come back to the same place in a million years and play a few more times. This can be confusing at first, but it resolves with a little practice.

  92. This is one of my favorite poems, and I share it with my students every year to stimulate their creative writing and enlighten them! I am a never-in; however, I “did” EST in the mid 70s (a total rip-off in the worst ways of Scientology). I visit this site frequently and The Underground Bunker. I have read several (6) books on Scientology. Thank you Marty for all you do to bring down this evil cult.

  93. I welcome a response!

    I’m probably older( physically) then you and would love to get you in the ring.

    Someone needs to beat you within an inch.

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