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The Power of Thought

It is said that people are defined by the 5 things they think about most. On behalf of our mission, which strives for the attainment of authenticity, that is something to consider.
    Thoughts that dominate our minds influence our perspective of the world and the shaping of our values. Understanding that we can choose what we run over and over in our heads shows us, to some extent, that we can exert more control over who we are.
    No matter what face we put on in front of others, when we entertain negative thoughts, or values that conflict with one another, we actively resist our own liberation. We end up with hidden agendas that even we might not be aware of, impeding our progress.
    Taking note of what we repeatedly think about during the day can be helpful. Are we haunted by the past? Or by failed relationships, bad decisions, or childhood trauma? Do unresolved issues run constantly in the background of our minds, ultimately sabotaging our progress? Are we addicted to some vice we are ashamed of and need to hide it from others? Are we hamstrung by irrational fears, concealed by phony confidence?
    While these psychological barriers may be considered just part of the human condition, our accepting them amounts to losing control of our lives, a paltry response to what the quest is all about. It is a denial of our innermost desire to find completeness, to fulfill our Telos.
    What we watch on the media for hours at a time influences us as well. The frenzied urgency of political commentators is nothing less than techniques for indoctrination. They promote irrational fears in order to propagate their biases and prevent us from thinking for ourselves. That they often sound alike reflects a formula of coercion.
    In like manner, continued exposure to violence on television desensitizes us to acts of hurting one another. Some actually consider the threat of violence a valued part of our cultural heritage!
    Focus enough on media illusions of the rich and famous, and the lure of its subliminal messaging changes our attitudes toward values that really count.
    The truth is, one cannot be a committed Knight and a scoundrel at the same time. If today’s Knighthood is anything, it is a rejection of personal hypocrisy. When a courtesy is extended, its intent as a sign of respect must never be violated or exploited. If we believe in freedom, it cannot be limited only to ourselves. Equality is a ridiculous, vacuous ideal if it excludes whole groups of people due to prejudice. Greed and compassion for others are structurally incompatible, no matter how we try to balance them.
    If you feel irresistibly drawn to chivalry, but find yourself responding to it only on a part-time basis, or in a piecemeal manner, or just in words online or in fantasy, ask yourself why. What inner conflict is disrupting your commitment? What values do you harbor that contend with your urging of conscience? What thoughts manage to push chivalry aside after a moment’s reflection? What better thoughts can compensate for that?
    The power of the 12 Trusts comes from their ability to awaken moral ideals that are part of our nature, not imposed from the outside like political propaganda. They are not exploitive, but life-enhancing. They seek to liberate rather than control. They view the quest as a blessing of freedom rather than a coercive threat to autonomy. They nudge conscience to its proper place in our lives, helping complete who we are.
   
The 12 Trusts give us something positive to contemplate when the negativity of errant thoughts seem to run amok in our minds. Their direct link to conscience makes them powerfully alive and morally rejuvenating.
    The person who holds true knighthood in his or her heart understands how negative thoughts affect our vision of reality, and how self-discipline, combined with a code of ethics based on Nature’s Law, can help reset our priorities

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