Cruel people get their power from the way you respond to their pressure. Your life is in danger from people, especially members of your own family, who chip away, harp, nag and aggravate the life out of you, until you feel like killing them or yourself. YOU CANNOT FIGHT THEM WITH RESENTMENT, because they use your resentment to drive you up the wall with fear and guilt, and terrify you into submission. Take heart. There is not a single problem that you cannot solve if you will learn to be patient. You are the sum total of your experiences. Another way of saying this is that you are burdened by your past. Unless you learn to respond properly in the present, you build upon that past. And without self-control, that is the only future you have to look forward to. Respond wrongly to pressure just one time—and what upsets you, gets to you. And you will go on responding slavishly until you find the truth that makes you free.
You are not alone in your dilemma. The wrong emotional reaction to various pressures is making everyone sick and depressed, and driving people into conflict with themselves. Trying to solve the pressure-caused conflicts, many turn to consciousness-reducing drink, tobacco and drugs, legal and illegal. Your reactions, becoming compulsive, are a subtle form of obedience. But emotional obedience is a form of slavery. Behind the relentless pressures that people apply (sometimes in the name of God and good), is a selfish motive that compels you to sin. Because of your reactions, you are thrown out of control and so you can’t live your own life. That is the reason why you feel sick and depressed. Most of your sexual, family and business problems arise directly from your failing to respond in a right way to what is wrong, and I might add, taking it out on your loved ones. Conflict with yourself now becomes conflict with others. Most of the things that are wrong with your life, your marriage, your health, your children, can be resolved by discovering how to control your emotions.
Your emotional upsets have literally turned you upside-down. Even though you were technically correct in what you said or did, if you did it resentfully, your emotions backfired and confused you and as you began to doubt yourself, conflict, depression and fear grew. Emotion has destroyed your objectivity, and, failing to see clearly, you have made terrible errors of judgment. This, in turn, led to a fear of making decisions, so that perhaps you began to look too much to others for guidance, and you know how upsetting it can be if they happen to be wrong or take advantage of you. You must learn how to be patient with selfish and thoughtless people. You must learn to be poised and calm; otherwise, what is wrong in them shows up in you and makes you look like
“The way we pressure and react to pressure is the cause of all suffering”
the bad guy. Everyone is so fascinated with what went wrong with you that they fail to see what they did wrong to you, and that becomes another upsetting, frustrating and scary experience. Cruel, unthinking people feed off the way you respond to their needling; they walk away self-righteous and satisfied, leaving you frustrated, confused, revengeful and depressed. They get their power from your reaction, while your resentment often makes you feel like the guilty one. “Successful” domineering, (unprincipled) people drain you and make your life wretched; they can always be sure of getting through to your subconscious mind through your reaction to their pressure. Dehumanizing pressure to achieve and to study is changing people into animals—animals out of control, in mortal conflict with others.
OF COURSE WE ALL RESPOND TO PRESSURE—BUT THAT RESPONSE IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH US. Home and school pressures are alienating young people, creating monster rebel animals and delinquents, driving them to drugs, murder and suicide. Your emotions compel you to respond more and mores as an animal, less as a real person, and everything you think, feel, do or say will only bring on more trouble, conflict, fear and despair.You must learn to cope with pressures. If you can do that, if you can put the emphasis where it belongs—on standing for principles, finding patience and self-control—you can stave off disaster. The way we pressure and react to pressure is the cause of all suffering. Learn to be patient before it is too late. Upsetting you is the key to motivating you. Your emotional upset is the hidden reason behind all your conflict and suffering. Winning through intimidation is a common practice among spoiled and unscrupulous motivators. No doubt you have your own private dictator currently aggravating the life out of you. Through the shock of emotional upset, a compelling or morbid suggestion can be planted in your subconscious mind, and this is especially true with the emotion of resentment. If it doesn’t cause wild and senseless rebellion, you find yourself obliged to give in to ease the pain that the pressure of wrong resistance causes. Your life becomes a weary struggle against subliminal suggestions.
Giving in to please tyrants who reward weakness is a common but unhealthy form of love, loyalty, and closeness between husband and wife, mother and child, and between churches and their believers. (It also happens to be the way to lose your identity.)It is hard to say “no” to pushy, irritating people. You tend to favor people who apply pressure—your boss, or your wife—and you spoil your kids. When the breaking point is reached, there comes a rebellion against work and study; debilitating disease and nervous breakdown take their deadly toll. Reaction to stress is your weakness—your Achilles’ heel. All heartless, cruel, power-hungry, unprincipled people inherit the know-how to make your emotions work for them, and they have no qualms about casting you aside after you are used and broken. The world is dominated by tyrants, teasers, and psychopaths. Some of them get you through cruelty, while other types manipulate you with a holier-than-thou, irritating “kindness.” They might use both methods to confuse you, being mean to you one moment and being “kind” the next. Their bold, unprincipled manner upsets you, and because your resentment is the wrong way for a human being to deal with others, you feel guilty. Suddenly changing roles and becoming “nice,” they can intensify your guilt feelings and make you doubt yourself. In that manner you are made to believe that they were right all along, and that you were wrong. And so you learn to go along with their wishes; you find yourself doing things you would never have done in your right mind, and that upsets you all over again. This vicious cycle, with a built-in upset factor, repeats itself endlessly, until you feel like killing them or yourself.
Human beings were never designed to be externally motivated as animals, but because of a little understood ego-weakness, we are. That is the main reason why we all have paralyzing conflicts, anxieties and fears; that is the basis of all our problems, right there. Until you discover the secret of turning yourself on from what you realize is right deep down in your heart, you will always be an externalized zombie, compelled to act against your own better judgment, hurting people you love and doing things for which you are sorry later. Being upset is a conditioned reflex; it is an inferior way of reacting to pressure. It is why you feel so inferior, helpless and angry. What if you could learn to look injustice straight in the eye without flinching, patiently, calmly and with endless endurance? Surely you would not have the problems of repressing or expressing resentment.
This, then, is the aim of the Foundation of Human Understanding—to show you the secret principle of control through patience. I know what you want. You want relief from your nervous tension and guilt feelings. You want solutions to your sex problems and family problems. You want to stop smoking, drinking and overeating; you want happiness. But you will never find what you are seeking until you discover the hidden cause of your trouble, and that cause is allowing people to upset you too easily. Surely emotional self-control is the key you are seeking. Your very life depends upon responding in a right way to what is wrong with people. Your main line of defense (and attack) is to stay calm and patient. Seeing you unmoved, the motivator’s tactics backfire on him; he becomes upset, loses his power and panics. Put up an impenetrable, invisible force shield of patience that lets the good come through and stops the ugly world from getting in and growing up inside to control your destiny. By practicing the self-control techniques contained within the Introductory Package available from the Foundation of Human Understanding, Roy Masters reveals one simple principle that will keep you safe under all conditions of stress and persecution. It’s simple. Anyone who is sincere can learn to do it in minutes. The secret lies in being consistent and adhering to the discipline of the mind as does an athlete to his goal.
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