Human Science

Life Response (sudden good fortune) has many subtle rules, nuances, and peculiarities. One example of the latter is that if you shift your consciousness to the positive in one area of your life, you will often experience a response in a very different one. For example, when you finally get the courage to stand up to an abusive boss, life rewards you when a previously non-responding woman you have been wooing suddenly appears at your doorstep ready to begin a serious relationship. This ability to attract from one domain by reversing our consciousness in another is a fascinating aspect of life response. Here is another example from a film I watched recently.

In ‘Scent of a Woman,’ Charlie Simms is a student at a private preparatory school who comes from a poor family. To earn the money for his flight home for Christmas, Charlie takes a job looking after retired U.S. Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, a cantankerous middle-aged man who is now blind, alcoholic, eccentric, and difficult to get along with.

Charlie is distracted by a very big problem he is having at school. Three students have played a prank on the school's headmaster, Mr. Trask, by placing a balloon filled with plaster and bearing a profane image above his expensive car, which was presented to him by the school's board of trustees. Trask then pops the balloon, causing the contents to rain down on him and his car in front of the entire school. Only Charlie and another classmate, George knows the identity of the culprits, as they had seen them setting the booby trap the previous night. However, both of them refuse to reveal the culprits' names. After threatening both with expulsion, Trask tries to bribe Charlie by assuring him admission to Harvard if he names those who committed the prank. Charlie still tells him nothing, but is warned that he must or suffer the consequences for being a "cover-up artist."

When Charlie originally took the job, he was told that he would only have to stay with Colonel Slade at his niece's home and look after him. However, Slade had actually planned a visit to New York, and therefore enlists Charlie’s help on the trip. He takes a room at the Waldorf-Astoria. During dinner, Slade reveals the real purpose for the trip: to eat at an expensive restaurant, stay at a luxury hotel, see his big brother, make love to a beautiful woman, and then commit suicide.

Charlie learns how Slade lost his sight by foolishly juggling hand grenades while drunk. Slade's crude behavior at dinner further alienates his brother and other relatives. Later, the blind Colonel tangos with a girl whose perfume captivates him. He drives a Ferrari with a very nervous Charlie in the passenger seat. Slade tricks Charlie into leaving the hotel room to buy him a cigar, but a suspicious Charlie comes back to find Slade ready to commit suicide with his gun. After a few tense minutes, Charlie is able to stop Slade from killing himself.

By this point, Charlie has become very loyal to the Colonel. Charlie becomes the sole person to stand by Slade, and defend him against the Colonel's own family. Charlie's loyalty is not lost on Slade, as Slade offers him advice numerous times and even comes to see him as a true friend. In their intimate discussions, the Colonel reveals that more than anything in his life he would like a good woman.

Charlie eventually returns to school, where George, is about to reveal the names of the students involved in the incident. Trask conducts a courtroom-like assembly of the student body and the Disciplinary Committee. He questions George, who with the help of his influential father is able to weasel out of the jam by claiming to be only partially certain of the culprits' identity, suggesting that Charlie might have had a better view than he did. Charlie then refuses to give the students' names, and is about to be expelled when Colonel Slade surprisingly enters and delivers a compelling speech on his behalf, revealing that Charlie had been offered a bribe to inform on the other students. Slade then wins over the students and the committee. The students who played the prank on Trask are placed on disciplinary probation, George is given no recognition, and Charlie is exonerated.

Now here is the part of the story that I would like to direct your attention. As Charlie and Slade walk outside of the school, a beautiful middle-aged woman walks up and congratulates them on their effort. Slade though blind is dazzled by her beauty and intelligence. He indicates that he would like to see her, which she seems to desire as well. In fact, she seems to be everything he had (earlier) dreamed of. Slade then returns home. No longer bitter, he seems to have a new look on life, a new young friend in Charlie, and the real possibility of befriending the woman of his dreams.

In this story, a broken man changes his attitude through deep friendship with a student. He then offers his services when the young man is about to be condemned in front of the student body. That act of self-givingness instantly attracts the woman he so deeply yearns for now in his life. As we see, when we shift our consciousness to the positive in one area of our lives, we often attract positive conditions in another. If for example we have a deep aspiration to love someone and then act in another domain in a positive way -- through an act of self-givingness, or greater psychological strength, or higher attitudes, etc -- life instantly fulfils that deep, original aspiration. When Slade attracted the lovely, sensitive, and intelligent woman at the conclusion of the story, it was the final outcome in a process that began when he expressed his deep aspiration for such a person, and then self-gave of himself in another arena, helping a young friend avoid a catastrophe.

We too can utilize this approach, if we are first clear about what we want, look around and overcome a glaring limitation in our being in any area of our lives -- whether a poor attitude, ego and selfishness, poor organization, weak effort, lacking psychological strength, etc. Life will then reward our efforts by bringing the object of our desire, whatever that is, to our doorstep.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for their film summary.)

--Roy Posner 15:45, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

See also other Case Studies on Life Response

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