Ben H. Swett

Be here now

You can stop worrying about everything that is not where you are, everything in the past, and everything in the future, simply by focusing your attention on whatever is right around you. Say to yourself, "Be here now," and then stop, observe, and appreciate. Most stress is psychological: it comes from our speculations and memories and anticipations. "Be here now" is a tool that lets us rest, but it only works if we actually do it. "Stop and smell the roses" is a specific example.

The next tool in this series is "just do the next thing next" which is "be here now" without stopping everything you are doing. It's amazing how much work you can get done if you don't think about the whole job all at once.


Done. Finished. Good enough. Past. No longer applicable. Overtaken by events. Dead issue. As an antidote for the karma of unfinished business, you can release yourself from the desire for closure by deciding to let that piece of business go unfinished forever. You can in fact write it off the books as far as you are concerned. As soon as you no longer want to finish it, you are free of that karma.

I am

"I am" is the only necessary statement of self-awareness. Whatever anyone places before these two words is an unnecessary rationalization ("I think, therefore I am"), and whatever anyone places after them is an unnecessary limitation ("I am a thing that thinks.") What am I if I'm not thinking?

"I am a child of God" is a religious assertion, not a statement of self-awareness. And even though the statement "I am a soul" is accurate, it is somewhat redundant, because "soul" means "self".

"I am" is an antidote for erroneous self-identification. For example, I am not the body I wear or the brain I operate. I am not the name or personality by which others recognize me. I am not defined by my relationships: son, brother, husband, father. I am not a place or a profession. I am not what I do. For example, I am not a leader or a follower; I can lead or follow or neither lead nor follow. And I am not what I feel. "I am a fraid" is an erroneous self-identification even if it is an honest statement at a particular moment. Likewise, "I feel happy" can be accurate, but "I am a happy person" can be dangerous, because there are conditions that could make me unhappy enough to blow away that self image, and I wouldn't want to experience an identity-crisis along with those conditions.

I don't know

"I don't know" is often the only truthful thing a person can say, and I wonder why so many people find it so difficult to admit that fact when it is true. Surely admitting it to myself is a stress-reliever. Specifically, it sets me free from the stress of trying to pretend I know something I don't.

The Mohammedan scholars who discovered the number "zero" did the human race a favor. We need an equivalent concept in logic, as an antidote for Aristotle's "Law of the Excluded Middle" which is the delusion of certitude, but Probability Theory does not address validity of knowledge. Empirical validity could be described as the correlation coefficient of any assertion to its relevant data, evidence or experience, and expressed in the range:

+1 = true, valid ... 0 = don't know, untested ... -1 = false, invalid

Assertion: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
Truthful response: "I don't know whether that statement is true or false."

"I don't know" is very useful as an antidote for anxiety. "They should be here by now. I wonder if they got a late start, or had car trouble, or an accident... The truth is, I don't know, and speculation won't help. So I will decide how long I will wait before I start making telephone calls."


"Nevertheless" is the master-tool by which we can set our free will free from our own emotional reactions, as in, "I don't feel like it, but nevertheless I will" or "I want to, but nevertheless I won't."

In terms of formal logic, "nevertheless" is a discontinuity, the functional opposite of "therefore". In computer programming, it's a program interrupt, or more accurately, an operator over-ride.

This tool can cut the otherwise automatic linkage of psychological cause-and-effect, including stimulus-response and conditioned response and operant conditioning. It is an exercise of volition, applied as an uncaused cause. It does not require any rationalization, so it permits a rigorous inner honesty concerning what we actually feel, and yet it frees us from slavery to our feelings. "If it feels good, do it," is the motto of a slave -- or a robot.

Not get, give!

To want to give is a spiritually higher purpose, and to want to get is a spiritually lower purpose. In Field Theory terms, an entity who gives is a source, like a star; an entity who gets is a sink, like a black hole -- and that is precisely how psychic sight perceives them. Used as a mantra or vow until it saturates the subconscious mind, "Not get, give!" can elevate your personal purpose by changing your spiritual dynamics from in-flowing to out-flowing. It can change the spiritual atmosphere in a rather large area around you, and thus effect other (incarnate and discarnate) beings.


The thought "some (but not all)" is an antidote for absolute statements, categorical assertions, and other examples of the widespread logical fallacy of over-generalization. It is useful in answer to black-or-white questions such as, "Is the Bible true or false, fact or fiction?" I can truthfully answer, "I think some of it is factual and some of it is fictional, such as the parables and the Book of Job."

"Neither" and "Both" are also tools that can break the artificial barriers of either-or assumptions, statements, assertions, questions, etc. Why do we so often forget to use them?

That was then, this is now

Here is a tool that uses the difference between past and present. Recited as a vocal or silent mantra with a more-or-less specific focus for "that was then" and for "this is now", it can incrementally cut us free from a reaction created in the past, including a past life, and thus set us free from one result of the law of karma. However, this tool works on a case-by-case basis. To the limited degree I have tested it, does not seem to set us free from everything all at once.

Value-judgments (good, neutral, bad)

Your value-judgments can either reinforce what you want or change what you want. Intentional selection of value-judgments is how you can reprogram your subconscious mind, and thus your emotional reactions, attractions, spiritual direction, and karma.

You give away some of your power whenever you label anything or anyone good or bad, because your subconscious mind uses those labels to produce your emotional reactions. As a result of that subconscious mechanism, you tend to want whatever you label good, and fear to lose it; and you tend to fear whatever you label bad, and want to be rid of it.

The more you label things good or bad, the more completely programmed you become. I believe that is how free-willed beings become stimulus-response machines by internalizing "the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." And there is a percentage or ratio involved: if you label most things good, you are likely to be happy most of the time. What happens if you label most things bad?

Therefore, be careful with these two labels. You have to use both of them in order to survive, here and hereafter, because some things are truly good for you and some are truly bad for you, but you can use them wisely, based on personal experience or evidence or trustworthy testimony.

Here are some value-judgments I have found useful:

Good for (someone or something) is a positive value-judgment that focuses on the effect rather than the cause of that effect. For example, suppose that a fox is chasing a rabbit, to eat it. There are two possible outcomes, but what is good for the fox is bad for the rabbit, and what is good for the rabbit is bad for the fox. My emotions do not have to be linked to either animal. If something's trying to eat me, I can run like a rabbit, and if I'm hungry, I can hunt like a fox.

Enough is a positive but limiting value-judgment that can be applied to otherwise open-ended desires, ambitions, appetites, and cravings. It can also be used as a form of closure.

Harmless is a nearly neutral value-judgment, applicable to many activities, things, ideas, people and spirits. "Harmless" means "not dangerous, neither helpful nor hurtful" and suggests "Okay." By generalization from examples of behavior to an overall assesment of a specific entity (either incarnate or discarnate), it means "neither good nor evil" and suggests tolerance of that entity.

Okay is a mildly positive value-judgment that implies approval or permission, but not necessarily endorsement. It reduces inner stress and promotes inner peace. However, before we can use it, we must set aside the notion that we have to label everything and everyone as either good or bad, and open our minds to the fact that most things and most people are neither very good nor very bad.

Useless, worthless, trivial, unimportant, more trouble than it's worth. These mildly negative value judgments tend to produce indifference, which is the absence of emotional reaction. They can be selectively applied to the object of any desire you decide to reduce or eliminate. For example, "It's more trouble than it's worth" has neutralized my desire for power over others.

Dangerous is a more useful value-judgment than "evil" although both refer to something that can cause pain or hardship, because "dangerous" can be dealt with as a statement of fact, whereas "evil" is loaded with emotional connotations.

Evil is a thoroughly negative value-judgment that properly applies only to intelligent entities who cause others pain, hardship, damage or death, intentionally or through indifference. "People of the Lie" by Scott Peck provides some excellent examples. So does any newspaper. "Mind Hunter" by John Douglas shows some cases in which there is no rational alternative to this value-judgment.