7 Words Study Material
NO HELLO THANKS GOODBYE PLEASE THANKS SORRY YES
The 7 Words System presents a new idea originated by James Burgess
An idea is potentially a very powerful thing because so much that we do depends upon our perception of what is real and what is right. Yet when we look carefully at these reasons for our decisions, we find them to be insubstantial. What is real? What is right? Who can ever really answer these questions except subjectively? Everything depends upon how you see it, and how you measure its importance. Yet no two people agree on these things. It depends so very much on what they understand at the level of ideas, and mostly our ideas were given to us with a moral, religious or political spin that distorted the truth. Very few people are able to think clearly and honestly, untouched by these forces.
Humanity is facing untold, numerous dangers that even threaten the survival of the species. Surely it has become intuitively clear that we have collectively to change the way we think if we are to have any realistic hope of survival?
Learning how to apply the 7 Words System frees the mind of the distortions of thought that give rise to unpleasant emotionality and confusion. What follows is greater clarity, and empowerment; we get to choose more of what we love and desire, and less of what we fear and dislike. Everything begins with thought, so if the structure of how we have been conditioned to think is corrected then we can legitimately expect to experience major lasting improvements in our circumstances and sense of well being.
This is a non-dogmatic method that bridges the gap between spiritual and material worlds – not only a path for the serious seeker but also a management tool that has widespread applications in all aspects of private and corporate endeavour.
The range of applications is without limit; its scope is universal. Already the 7 Words System is embedded as a methodology in worlds as diverse as management consultancy, counselling, parenting, birthing, death and dying, spiritual guidance, therapeutic theatre and so on, with further areas in development such as addiction recovery and mainstream education at kindergarten and sixth form levels. The fundamental principles, coming through Sufism and other mystery traditions, has been taught for at least 1400, and perhaps thousands of years.
The system is defined by the idea that in all the complexity of human associations, there are only 7 core aspects of interaction; they are captured by the 7 primary words. These 7 archetypes of expression are the essential themes within all relationships and activities —archetypes – and they operate sequentially. We journey through stages of understanding, from No to Yes, spiralling towards the final wisdom that transcends any models or explanations. There are 7 wisdoms to grasp, which eventually after many repetitions of the cycle, we will come to see as one universal wisdom, which we have for convenience simply chosen to see as if it were 7.
It is a new way to look at everything — what we do, how we think, how we feel and what we believe in. It is about how we focus the mind and awaken the depth of heart. The idea is that these 7 words are basic — and that by deepening our understanding of these fundamentals, we can come to a much better sense of who we are, what needs to be done and how to make the right moves.
The system, when approached with the head, gives rise to ideas – and when approached with the heart, gives rise to 7 distinct inner states that inform our emotions. Mastery of the system requires us to learn how to move at will from one state to another in response to inner and outer motivations. When we train ourselves to embody these 7 principles as states, then both our rational and emotional responses become appropriate and helpful.
7 WORDS TRAINING
It is not enough to accept and understand the ideas behind this system, because if such an approach is only mental, and does not touch the heart fully, it will not get the principles into the body as states of being. This requires us to train. This means to learn by repeated practice how to gain deep and lasting body-knowledge of the principles such that we can call upon them at will, as a completely authentic expression of being. Only then can we claim to have knowledge of the system.
1. NO: self-confidence. Self-confidence comes from knowing who you are, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what to do to make the best of what you are. We look at a number of our important life roles, the best of our qualities, and notice where there are areas of concern. We look at aspects of self-deception as we face the truth about what is actually going on in our lives. If we are to feel happy in the long term then we must develop a firm foundation upon which to build a solid secure life; this depends upon clear enforceable boundaries, self-honesty, clear choices and authentic living
2. HELLO: influence. Influence is what allows us to enjoy the feeling that we matter, that we are worth our place in the world, that we impact upon others and can move things our way to some extent. There are lots of different areas of influence – for example, in our love relationships, how we are at work, the personal magnetism in our atmosphere, how to reach out to children, how to make friends and respond to community interests in a certain way. This can be measured and worked with to increase the effect we have upon others. The mind is seen as an integral aspect of our spiritual nature, which must be made clear in focus and strong of purpose if we are to avoid confusion in favour of creativity.
3. THANKS: relationship. We need people in our lives to give meaning and joy. We need to learn how to blend and harmonise with another so that the special softer qualities can emerge. We find that we can improve our experience of loving relationship by remembering to put into practice some very simple understandings. We understand that listening has great value in relationship, so does showing appreciation and tangible demonstration of our valuing someone as more important than others. We learn how to ask questions in such a way that a person can answer from the depth of the heart, which has profound healing implications for both people.
4. GOODBYE: life management. We all voyage from birth to death doing the best we can to negotiate through stormy waters, and the majority don’t do very much to manage the journey at all. They stumble around from one crisis to the next, without much by way of a plan or strategy, hoping for the best, even expecting a different result to come from the same behaviour. What folly! Even a three step process, though imperfect and somewhat temporary, is enough to deal with almost all that comes up: define the problem clearly, choose an alternative, and make the change. This weekend is about realisation that life is change and that we can learn how to manage change well and to our advantage. A single word can make a huge difference – the critical keyword, found by careful study of Q21.
5. PLEASE: visionary goals. We move ourselves towards what we focus on, and focus itself attracts the completion of desire. From this we see how important it is to have a clearly defined, specific, optimistic vision for the future, free of ambiguity and doubt. There are 7 steps to go through to achieve our goals – all simple, all required. Yet few of us are sufficiently clear minded to know what to go for, so we need to spend time looking at what we find important enough to dedicate ourselves too. Finding a vision is the first step towards its realisation, and seeing this in terms of qualities as well as events is an important breakthrough of comprehension about who we are becoming.
6. SORRY: spirituality. More potent even than the survival instinct, the religious instinct operates within us all. Many reject the unacceptable face of organised religion itself, with its corruption and false doctrine, and yet most hold onto a deep sense of the sacredness of life. The power of a person who is deep-seated in faith can be awesome, and all of us become stronger when we find our true unique path. The essence of all spirituality is reflexive self-consciousness – seeing yourself through the eyes of another. Learning how to do this is rather tricky, and has a lot to do with how we manage feedback and apology.
7. YES: trust. The final wisdom is surrender. Having mastered ourselves in all aspects of worldliness, paradoxically we learn how to control by letting go, how to win by giving up, and how to learn more by grasping less. We sink into the mystery, only to find that we had been looking in the wrong place for something we already had within. This is so much more than an esoteric idea – it becomes a way to live – and attracts opportunities that you could never have imagined! Meditation, games and breathing exercises are included, plus opening up individuals and the group to a greater sense of self-determination, so that control issues can be looked at more easily.
Links to study the individual words