How to Solve Problems
Chapter Seven from the book "Introduction to Gnosis"
In life, man faces innumerable problems. Each person needs to know how to solve each of these problems intelligently. We need to comprehend each problem. The solution of every problem is in the problem itself.
The time for us to learn to solve our problems has arrived. Many problems exist: economic, social, moral, political, religious, family-related, etc., and we should learn to solve them intelligently. The important thing to remember for the solution of every problem is to not become identified with the problem. One has a certain tendency to become identified with the problem and the identification is so intense that, in fact, we become the very problem. The result of such an identification is that we fail in the solution because a problem can never solve another problem.
One needs much peace and mental calm to solve a problem. An uneasy, battling, confused mind cannot solve any problem. If you have a very serious problem, do not become identified with the problem, retreat to any healthy recreational place: a forest, or a park, or the home of a very close friend, etc. Distract yourself with something different, listen to good music and then, with your mind tranquil and calm, in perfect peace, try to comprehend the problem profoundly, remembering that the solution to every problem is within the problem itself.
Remember that without peace you cannot do anything new. You need calm and peace to solve the problem that presents itself in your life. You need to think in a completely new way about the problem that you want to solve and this is only possible by having tranquility and peace. In modern life we have many problems and we, unfortunately, do not enjoy peace. This is a true jigsaw puzzle because we cannot solve problems without peace.
We need peace and we should study this in depth. We need to investigate what the principal factor is that puts an end to peace within and outside ourselves; we need to discover what causes the conflict. The time has arrived to comprehend in depth, in all levels of the mind, the infinite contradictions that we have within because that is the principle factor of discord and conflict. If we comprehend in depth the cause of an illness, we cure the sick. If we know the profound cause of the conflict, we do away with the conflict and peace is the result.
Within and around us, thousands of contradictions exist that form conflicts. Truly, what exists within us also exists in society because, as we have said so many times, the latter is an extension of the individual. If there is contradiction and conflict within us, then in society they also exist. If the individual does not have peace, society will not have it either and in these conditions all the pro-peace propaganda turns out to be, as a matter of fact, totally useless.
If we wisely analyze ourselves, we discover that a constant state of affirmation and negation exists within us: what we want to be and what we actually are. We are poor and we want to be millionaires, we are soldiers and we want to be generals, we are single and want to be married, we are employees and we want to be managers, etc.
The state of contradiction engenders conflict, pain, moral misery, absurd actions, violence, gossip, calumny, etc. The state of contradiction can never bring us peace in life. A man without peace can never solve his problems.
You need to intelligently solve your problems and therefore it is urgent that you have peace constantly. The state of contradiction impedes the solution of problems; each problem implies thousands of contradictions: Shall I do this? The other? How? When? etc. Mental contradiction creates conflicts and frustrates the solution of problems.
We first need to solve the causes of the contradiction to finish with the conflicts; only in this manner will peace arrive and, with it, the solutions of the problems. It is important to discover the cause of contradictions; it is necessary to analyze them in detail. Only in this manner is it possible to do away with the mental conflict. It is not correct to blame others for our internal contradictions; the causes of these contradictions are within us. Mental conflict exists between what we are and what we want to be, between what a problem is and what we want it to be. When we have a problem of any type: be it moral, economic, religious, family-related, marital, etc., our first reaction is to think about it, resist it, deny it, accept it, explain it, etc. It is necessary to comprehend that with mental anguish, contradiction, worry, conflict, it is not possible to solve any problem. The best way to react before a problem is silence. I am referring to the silence of the mind. This silence comes by not thinking about the problem. The silence comes when we comprehend that nothing is solved with conflict and contradictions. This silence is not anyone’s special gift, nor a certain type of ability. No one can cultivate this silence; it arrives by itself. It arrives when we comprehend that no problem is solved by resisting it, accepting it, denying it, affirming it, or explaining it, etc.
From mental silence intelligent action is born, the intuitive and wise action that will solve the problem no matter how difficult it might be. This intelligent action is not the result of any reaction. When we perceive the event, the problem, when we notice the fact without affirming it, denying it, or explaining it, when we do not accept the fact, nor reject it, then the silence of the mind arrives. Intuition flourishes in silence. From silence the intelligent action that totally solves the problem bursts forth.
Only in mental silence and quietude is there freedom and wisdom.
Mental conflict is destructive and ruinous and is a result of opposed desires: we want and we do not want, we desire this and the other. We are in constant contradiction and this, in fact, is conflict. The constant contradiction that exists within us is due to the struggle of opposite desires. There is a constant negation of one desire for another desire; one pledge is placed over another pledge. A permanent desire does not exist in the human being. Every longing is temporary: he wants a job and after he has it, he desires another job. The employee wants to be a manager; the priest wants to be a bishop. Nobody is satisfied with what he has. Everybody is full of unsatisfied desires and wants satisfaction.
Life is an absurd succession of fleeting and vain desires. When we profoundly comprehend that all the desires in life are fleeting and vain, when we understand that the physical body is engendered in sin and that its destiny is the putrefaction of the sepulcher, then, from that profound comprehension, true peace of mind is born and contradiction and conflict disappear.
Only the mind that is in peace can solve problems. Peace lies in the silence of the mind.
Contradiction surges from stubbornness; when the mind clings to one single desire, when it wants its desire to be realized at any cost, it carries out its desire; in this way it is logical that there has to be conflict. If we carefully observe two people who are discussing a problem, we will be able to confirm that each person clings to his desire, each person wants to see his desire satisfied and this, naturally, creates mental conflict.
When we resolutely see the vanity of desires, when we comprehend that desire is the cause of our conflicts and bitterness, then true peace arrives.
Seated in a comfortable chair, or lying down in your bed, close your eyes. Then concentrate on your interior, studying yourself, investigating your desires, your contradictions.
It is necessary for you to comprehend what your contradictory desires are so that, in this way, you may know the causes of your internal conflicts. Peace of mind comes from the knowledge of the causes of mental conflict. Practice this simple exercise daily. It is necessary that you know yourself.
Samael Aun Weor