I’m not smart enough to understand everything the universe is up to.

TAGR #13: The Sixth Sense

No, not M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie, but rather the culmination of the entire Napoleon Hill philosophy. And again, he is playing in a realm beyond rational thought. If you can’t go there, I suggest you simply assume that he and his mastermind were wrong. On the other hand, if you are willing to speculate a bit, I believe something quite useful can be gained.

The sixth sense defies description! It cannot be described to a person who has not mastered the other principles of this philosophy, because such a person has no knowledge, and no experience with which the
sixth sense may be compared.

–Napoleon Hill

If I take this literally, then it would be a mistake to attempt to approach this directly. With all due respect to Mr. Hill, SOME of what he discusses here has indeed been spoken of in various esoteric texts, but “Think And Grow Rich” is a hard-nosed book on success, not an airy-fairy new age bundle of aphorisms…so what’s going on?

Well…I think that the best way of describing this is to say that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That if you take the preliminary steps: Focus desire, nurture faith, constantly imprint goals and positive beliefs, model excellence, develop your creative imagination, create and work your plan, make decisions quickly and change them slowly, persist in the face of all opposition, maintain a positive attitude, form alliances with others for mutual support and welfare, “channel” your emotional and physiological sexual energy, and open yourself to the possibility of non-ordinary communication…something miraculous can and will happen.

Frankly, the weeks I’ve spent going over the 13 basic principles have been a revelation. Again, I am grateful beyond belief to my Mom for introducing me to this. In the intervening years, I’ve experienced (what seemed to be) instances of precognition, aura reading, altered states, and non-sensory perception. While I can’t predict their occurrences, I’ve stopped being surprised when it happens. I watch it with a slight sense of amusement and wonder, understanding that there is doubtless some physical explanation: but I don’t have to understand that explanation to take advantage of the information.

And that’s the key. My assumption is that I’m simply not smart enough to figure out everything the universe is up to. And that if I limit my input to what I can understand, I have diminished the overall input of useful or accurate data. On the other hand, you don’t want to be too credulous, either.

In my world, that means that I apply any new information to all four major areas: body, mind, relationships, and finances. The more useful it is, the more I consider it to be true. The same is true of “experts” teaching about any subject. The more successful they are in all areas, the more accurate I believe their perceptions to be. By applying these two metrics, it is possible to sort your way through a huge amount of behavioral options safely: look at the people who practice X, or have opinion Y. How do they measure in ALL areas, compared to the general population?

If worse, or about the same, I feel safe in ignoring them. If better…evaluate more closely.

In my examination of high-functioning human beings a belief in non-ordinary communication or “intuition” is disproportionately high. This does NOT mean they are literally correct, but I do interpret this as “it would be smart to keep an open mind.”

As I’ve said, I have two distinct personalities, a scientist and a shaman. They overlap a little, but not much. They are testy with each other, but do exchange Christmas cards. And that, for right now, is enough for me.


A perspective on “psychic” powers


TAGR #12: The Brain (as broadcaster/receiver)

MORE than twenty years ago, the author, working in conjunction with the late Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, and Dr. Elmer R. Gates, observed that every human brain is both a broadcasting and receiving station for the vibration of thought.

–Napoleon Hill

Now, there is really no way to interpret this other than that Napoleon Hill, and perhaps a number of those brilliant and successful men whose lives he studied, believed that psychic abilities exist, including telepathy and forms of clairvoyance. And this has been, and continues to be, a sticking point for many who might otherwise appreciate this book.

His basic contention:

1) Under certain circumstances, every brain is capable of picking up “vibrations” from other brains.

2) That this ability can be accessed through sex transmutation and other focusing of “energies.”

3) That this capacity can operate as a mega “Mastermind,” tapping us into a group or universal wisdom (similar to what is referred to as the “Akashic Records.)

There are two positive ways of addressing this belief:

1) One, that it is correct, and that we must expand our beliefs to include such capacities.

2) That it is a metaphor. In other words that under certain circumstances, our brains behave as if we are “picking information up” from other minds. We access previously unknown depths of creativity, intelligence, courage, problem-solving, and so forth.

It would be totally possible to focus on the fact that non-physical communication is contrary to your model of the universe, and miss the fact that what Hill did was observe a useful phenomenon and misinterpret its origin–and that would be foolish of us. From my own perspective, it is better to ask: “what might that phenomenon have been? Is there something advantageous happening here?”

I think there is. Briefly, when you combine clear goals with powerful emotions,you reach a point where what Hill calls “Creative Imagination” begins to produce ideas previously undreamed of.

You have but three principles to bear in mind, and to apply…the SUBCONSCIOUS MIND, CREATIVE IMAGINATION, and AUTO-SUGGESTION. The stimuli through which you put these three principles into action have been described— the procedure begins with DESIRE.

–Napoleon Hill

1) Have a clear, written goal

2) Visualize and emotionalize your process and result every day.

3) See how accomplishing your goal will improve your sex life. Feel it and let yourself get turned on by the idea.

4) Take daily action toward your intent.

Hill speaks more and more of “intangible” capacities toward the end of the book, until you’d wonder if TAGR was a stealth version of “The Secret.” Considering that it is the best-selling self-help book of all time, I suggest that you neither reject nor accept what says automatically. But that you try its suggestions out for yourself. You’re smart enough to figure out what is true, what is false, and what might be a genuine, if mis-labeled, phenomenon.

best game in town!