beyond the natural mind – a 21 day manifesto

Day Twenty

“Today, I will begin to let go of all emotions which hinder me from greatness. I will begin to leave the past behind, not carry it with me, and let my future create itself through my good thoughts and actions every day.”

“The quality of being great, distinguished, or eminent”

How would you define greatness? What does it mean to be great? Is it that you are superior to everyone else? Are you naturally better than everyone else? Or is it something else?

If you tell everyone you are great does that mean that you are suffering from delusions of grandeur. Does it mean you are “big headed”?

The thing is, even if you are top of your class, the best singer, or extremely rich, no one wants to hear you boasting how great you are! We don’t like people telling us they are better than us do we? It makes us feel bad about ourselves. It makes us feel like we are in some way inadequate. It affects our self-esteem.

The thing is we all want to be the best don’t we? We all want to be rich, we all want to be the president, or the boss of the company, don’t we?

Actually, that’s not true is it? We know we can’t all be great. We know that we we have to stay at our own level, and just accept it. Not everyone can be the boss, after all, if everyone were the boss who would do all the work.

Who would clean our streets and or toilets? Who would grow the food we eat, who would serve us meals at restaurants, or do all the work unbecoming of being the greatest? It’s just not practical and you know it. So you live your life according to what others perceive your abilities to be.

You quietly take the job on the factory assembly line, you follow orders, you do as your told, and then tell everyone that you enjoy it.

You failed your exams or did very badly at them, or you did ok, but not good enough to be the greatest.

You know there can only be very few truly great people. You know that everyone must take their dedicated place waiting for them on the wheel of life.

You are a cog in the wheel and you know it. Your only purpose is to be that cog. For that you will be paid a wage which will allow you to house, clothe and feed yourself. That is your role.

If you try to break free of the wheel or find it too hard to stay on, you will find yourself in a position of being on your own. If you cannot house, clothe and feed yourself and your family you will be seen as a failure. You will be ostracised from the other cogs who cannot understand why you don’t just keep quiet and do your job. Your self-esteem will deteriorate, and although people may take pity on you, that is all they will feel for you. You have failed at your task of being human.

So who defines what your job on the wheel is? Who is directing your life? Who says that the most important thing for a human to be is as a cog in the wheel of life? I’m sure that most children when asked what they would like to be would not say cog in the wheel, or feel pitied, they want to be a pilot, a doctor, or a singer.

But we have to ask ourselves why any child would come up with these “job” titles, for they are still jobs which mean they are still cogs on the wheel. Even jobs like “boss” or “president” are merely bigger cogs.

So why do we ask children what they would like to “be” when they grow up? Surely what we are asking them is, what task would you prefer to perform as a cog in the wheel when you are old enough to be considered ready to earn money and pay taxes.

For me, greatness is something more than being exceptional at a job, it is a state of mind, so let’s forget about what jobs we would like to do. Let us forget how we did at our exams. Let us let go of the idea that we are merely a cog in the wheel of life, for that idea is surely not our own. Let us start to explore our greatness together!

If greatness is defined as the quality of being great, then by just being, we are great!

Do you know what species you belong to? Well, I’ll tell you anyway. You are a member of homo sapiens, the most advanced species on the planet, characterised according to wikipedia, by “a large brain, a particularly well developed neocortex, pre frontal cortex and temporal lobes making them capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, problem solving and culture through social learning. This mental capability, combined with an adaptation to bipedal locomotion that frees the hands for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other living species on Earth. Humans are the only extant species known to build fires and cook their food, as well as the only known species to clothe themselves and create and use numerous other technologies and arts.”

So that’s you, and me, and seven billion other members of the same species. Did you read anywhere that says we are limited by how well we do in our exams, or limited in what we do in our lives? No, I didn’t either!

Somewhere along the line ladies and gentleman, we have been tricked by a powerful conjurer, someone who has made the majority of us believe that we are limited, that there is a specific role which will fit our level of education. This role will involve working at least five days a week doing a repetitive task which cannot at this time be completed by a robot. For this you will be able to call yourself a bona fide member of society. You will receive money for your labour, but just enough to stop you from staging a revolution.

Entertainment will be provided for you in the form of music, art, theatre, cinema to be enjoyed when you are on official rest periods from “work”.
You will also be allowed to drink alcohol to help you relax from the stress you are under from the work you must undertake.

You are encouraged to “buy” your own house, get married and have children as soon as possible as this shows you have conformed to the plan.

If you do anything which interrupts the plan such as not paying your taxes you will be punished, as will you if you break any of the laws of the system for which you work.

“Keep quiet and conform and all will be well”

Of course it will be. The system rewards all those who play their part without complaint.

Are you starting to understand? There is no other species in the known universe as great as you, yet you are limited, not by yourself, but by external forces intent on running the wheel to their own advantage.

But you’re still not convinced that you are great are you?

Isn’t it strange to know that physically your brain is exactly the same as some of the greatest minds in history? You have the same brain as Einstein, Galileo, Newton, Plato, Michelangelo… Actually why don’t you think of one of your greatest heroes? Have you got it? Right. Now know that your brain is made of the same stuff.

So what makes your hero greater than you?

I’m sure you are starting to compare their achievements – he painted the sistine chapel, I paint people’s houses. He discovered the telephone. I use a telephone. He designed the flushing toilet, I clean toilets etc..

So they may be silly examples but why are you comparing yourself to anyone? Why are you comparing what people have done that you admire with what you do? You already know that you have the same brain as people who earn a million dollars a year, and those who survive by begging for pennies.

So what is stopping us from greatness? What is holding us back? I’ll tell you. It’s us! We are limiting ourselves based on an external idea that only exceptional people will be great. But does the fact we are here as part of the great species homo sapiens the only species capable of abstract reasoning, bi-pedal locomotion, and introspection not start to make you think that perhaps you are capable of unlimited greatness?

It doesn’t? Why not?

Because, you see, I didn’t do very well at school, I come from a country with no education, I was beaten as a child, I have to work in the fields to help my parents…

Remember, we are not talking about greatness as defined by what you do to earn money. So tell me, what is holding you back from unlimited greatness?

I’ll tell you. Everything you think and feel is holding you back. Every negative thought and emotion is holding you back from potential greatness. Everything everyone has ever told you about you is holding you back.

Today is a new day. Right now, it is time to let go of the past, and go on a journey to find out what true greatness is. Don’t worry you don’t have to travel anywhere. Stay right where you are.

So what will you do when you find you are so much more than just a cog in the wheel; that you have infinite potential? Well, as long as you don’t take a job oppressing everyone else, thinking you are somehow superior, you can do whatever it is you choose to. You are an incredible human being, and when everyone else realises their greatness, the world will indeed be a great place to live, for all its inhabitants.


by alan macmillan orr


Chinese (Simplified)