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Don't React

Excerpts from Man to Man: A Journal of Discovery for the Conscious Man

"Man is not what you think man is: man is an institution of grace, not reaction. When, as a man you react, no matter what the temptation is or how hard the button is being pressed, you are not a man. The difference between man and animal is so little; there is such a fine line you can't believe it. If you react or provoke to react or ask to react or make to react, you are not a man. Man never reacts to environments, circumstances, and pressures. Man accepts the challenge and makes his own way. I hardly believe that you understand what I am saying, because what I am saying is that people look like men, they even try to act like men, they even talk like men, and they believe and feel they are men, but the reality is they are not.

"The question is, what is your strength? What is your grit? The question is not what are other people doing to you. People will always do things, weird, negative things. They will always be jealous. They always lie but lies do not live very long. They will try to bring you down. Their anger can reach a capacity, an animosity and vengeance, interlocked in life so that you don't have anything to go for. But don't do away with it; instead, as it is being presented to you, just laugh it away.  A woman said to a man, "Hey, you son of a [xxx], you rascal, you idiot, oh, you cursed devil." Can you believe all this was said in one breath? But just see what his reply was. You know what he said to her? "Oh man, that's a wonderful script," and he walked away. I couldn't believe it. In my whole life I had never seen something like this. The man had been accused, abused, and faced and he said, "Oh man, that's a wonderful script. Doesn't fit me,” and he walked away. He didn't bother to say, 'Why are you abusing me? Why are you accusing me? What wrong have I done? What is this? What is that?' Not a word! He said, "Oh man, oh man, it is a wonderful script," and he walked away smiling. That's called endurance.

"The idea is for people to be strong and to let them control their weaknesses. When you want to stop water from flowing in one direction, you put up a dike to stop the flow and then open up a channel for it to flow in another direction. Human energy works in exactly the same way. You stop it from flowing to the negative or destructive side and you will have an equal amount of energy to flow in a positive direction. Just remember: there is X amount of energy in you and you are its master. You can use it the way you want and direct it in the way you want it go.

"In life, men are questioned, challenged, and tested. Do you believe yourself to be a man or don't you? That is the question. Can you be questioned by the whole world and have an answer for it? And is your answer, “I am a man of Infinity”? If you don't want to call yourself a man of God, then call yourself a man of Infinity—then your love is with Infinity and nothing else."

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan