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Before you can know any man, as he really is, you must observe him in all the foregoing moods, and perhaps more, which is practically the equivalent of saying that you have no right to judge others at sight. Appearances count, there can be no doubt of that, but appearances are often deceiving.
It takes a lot of careful observation to know a person as he or she truly is. People are very complex with different levels to their personality. People can be likened to a huge mansion or palace with thousands of rooms. Behind each door is a part of the building that is completely unknown until it is entered into. And most of the rooms are off limits to the average person and only intimate acquaintances and family members are allowed to enter. To get to know a person will require time, a lot of conversation, and much careful observation of how they behave in many different situations. Very few people take the time to do this with more than just a hand-full of individuals. And yet they are quick to criticize and judge others without really knowing them at all. Some have said that to know all is to forgive everything. One thing that I notice as I grow older is that the more that I learn and experience in life, the more I am willing to forgive others their faults and failures. Seeing the bigger picture really clears up the surrounding landscape and makes everything make sense. I am much more forgiving today of myself and others than I was at any previous time in my life.
Before anyone can judge others correctly or rightly, they must see everything. I remember hearing a story about a man on a subway in New York. At one stop another man and his three children got on the subway. The father just sat down and started staring off into space. His children got really noisy and rowdy causing a lot of discomfort to the other passengers. The man watching all of this began judging the father for not telling his children to behave. Finally it got to the point where this man took action and confronted the father about the noise his children were making. The father looked up and said, “Yes, I guess my kids are making a lot of noise and disturbing people. I don’t know how to handle it, because we just came from the hospital where their mother died a few minutes ago.” Immediately the attitude of this man changed. Instead of being judgemental he immediately was filled with compassion for this father and his children. He saw the reason behind the bad behavior in these children and instead of judging them and this father, he now felt a great sadness for their situation.
Appearances like physical beauty are only skin deep. If you only go by what your eyes and ears tell you, you will never see what is really going on. There is always much more to a situation than what the eye can see. One of the reasons many people love mystery and detective stories, television programs, and movies so much is because of the ability of the detective to uncover the hidden truth, and to explain clearly what actually happened. The average person is unable to see the pieces of evidence and the clues left behind. But the sharp mind of the detective can easily see these things. So they love reading or watching Sherlock Holmes and others perform their seemingly miracles to solve mysteries.
This course has been so designed that the student who masters it may take inventory of himself and of others by other than “snap judgement” methods. The student who masters this philosophy will be able to look through the outer crust of personal adornment, clothes, so-called culture, and the like, and down deep into the heart of all about him. This is a very broad promise! It would not have been made if the author of this philosophy had not known, from years of experimentation and analysis, that the promise can be met. Some who have examined the manuscripts of this course have asked why it was not called a course of Master Salesmanship. The answer is that the word “salesmanship” is commonly associated with the marketing of goods or services, and it would therefore, narrow down and circumscribe the real nature of the course. It is true that this is a course in Master Salesmanship, providing one takes a deeper-than-the-average view of the meaning of salesmanship.
Basically what this is talking about is that this course teaches people discernment and wisdom. That IS a very broad promise, but one that can be fulfilled. Wisdom comes from having your inner eyes opened to see what is really happening around you, in you, and in others. It is the ability to look at a situation and to see what is the underlying issue and the inner workings of that situation. Very few people attain to having wisdom. It is beyond most people simply because they have never taken the time to apply themselves to learn it. It takes study and meditation of how things work to gain wisdom. Most people are sheep and they follow the leaders that guide them. A person who has wisdom charts their own course. They are not followers, but leaders and trailblazers. Jesus told his disciples to be wise as servants and harmless as doves. The serpent is a symbol of wisdom. So he wants his disciples to attain unto wisdom but at the same time to be harmless as doves. A dove doesn’t hurt or harm any creature. They are seen to be completely harmless. So the best position to be in is to have great wisdom but to be clothed in the innocent disguise of a dove. Wisdom isn’t something to be shown off to everybody. Because once a person is lifted up in pride, they will no longer possess wisdom. Pride and wisdom are opposites, but wisdom and meekness dwell together.
It is one things to wear a watch on your hand and quite another thing to understand how it works. You can buy an airline ticket and fly in a Boeing 747, but it is entirely different to know how to fly one or how to manufacture one. You can drive your car without ever knowing how to repair it when it breaks down. In like manner you can see the outward symptoms and appearances of situations, problems, and people; without ever really knowing how to understand them or to fix them. But by studying diligently how all these things work and interrelate to each other, you can learn wisdom and gain understanding. It will come neither quickly nor easily, but it will indeed come if you apply yourself to study and meditation without ever quitting.
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