The Avatar Times
Manageable Causes vs Plausible Excuses
by Harry Palmer
I've been noting the difference between manageable causes (something you can do something about) and plausible excuses (an excuse that is believable). I'm not a big fan of thinking backwards into the past, but sometimes a little of it is necessary. The strategy that I favor is to identify a situation, either good or bad, and trace the actions or inactions that were responsible for it. The actions that I'm particularly interested in are those that I can deliberately repeat, or those I can change, or those I can avoid doing in the future. These are manageable causes; I can manage them. Of course there may be unique circumstances or events which can't be managed, which also contribute to the situation: acts of God, difficult people, broken beyond repair, or used up. It's good to be able to recognize these so I can avoid making future plans that count on them. ("Then I get lucky..." is not a good planning step.)
The best argument for studying the past is to learn to repeat manageable actions that lead to favorable situations and avoid manageable actions that lead to unfavorable situations. It is not always a perfect system in changing times, but it does turn the odds in your favor.
Did you ever have one of those realizations where you pull a string on some situation and it just completely unravels back to some manageable cause? You go, "Yeah! Oh, yeah! YEAH!" You just learned something. Seeing the causes leading up to something is the beginning of wisdom. Of the causes that contribute to a situation, some are easily managed, some are barely manageable, some require skill and training to manage, and some are apparently unmanageable.
Some people get wrapped up in a situation and worry, explain, blame. Their minds would better be directed at honestly discovering the manageable causes that are contributing to the creation of the situation and manage them. Work on the root of the problem.
A plausible excuse conveys that you are not at fault, because you couldn't do anything about it. NOT AT FAULT is the operative message. A plausible excuse is a claim that there are no manageable causes that contribute to the situation you are in. It is an attempt to avoid any responsibility. The excuse is effective to the degree that you can get other people to agree to your helplessness.
Remember the best excuses you used in school? They always communicated something like this: "I really couldn't do anything about it, because..." And then you plugged in your favorite limitation, for example, "...because I didn't have time." As you grew more adept at excusing yourself, you filled in the blank with more customized limitations that the teacher would accept.
"I didn't get my homework done, because...teachers do not get paid enough!"
The word "excuse" comes from ex meaning free from and cusa meaning cause. So the message behind an excuse is, "I was not cause!" And if you decide you were not cause, chances are good that you have decided you were helpless effect.
Richard Bach wrote, "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours." He could just as well have written, "Decide that you are helpless enough times, and sure enough..."
Remember when you explained to the teacher that you were late because you didn't wake up, and she replied that you were responsible because you didn't set an alarm clock? I'll bet you never used that excuse again. No good. It didn't free you from cause. Next time you'll be smarter and you'll know enough to say, "Because the alarm clock ran down in the middle of the night."
I tried this with a teacher once. Actually I used it three days in a row. The fourth time I tried to pull it, she opened the draw of her desk and handed me an electric alarm clock. She just wasn't getting the message that there were no manageable causes that I could control to get to school on time. So I did what any healthy fifteen-year-old would do, I told the teacher I was sick!
Being sick is the best excuse. Man, you can hammer that beauty home, and whole crowds of people will gather around and shout, "He can't do anything about it. He is sick!" And sure enough...
Being sick is an excuse that almost anyone will agree with. It is a beauty. It has to be at least part of the reason for the success of the medical profession. What a profession! They give you drugs to handle the discomforts caused by using the world's best excuse. And now you are really covered. "Sorry, I'm on medication." "Sorry, I'm under a doctor's care." It doesn't get much more helpless than that. Forgive my cynicism, but on this planet if you provide a service that validates a person's excuses, you are sure to be a success.
The world's best excuse is a note from the doctor. It is three times better than a note from the school nurse. And it is ten times better than a note from your mother, especially if you wrote it yourself.
Twenty years later, working on a sinus infection, I suddenly remembered the alarm clock episode and experienced a near-instant cure. This was one of those "Oh!" insights: responsibility makes you healthy; excuses make you sick.
If you are having a problem getting people to accept your excuses you have to learn to make them more overwhelming. Play with words like "unavoidable", "tragedy", "fate", or "God's will." No one is going to challenge those. Isn't that what fate means? "No one can do anything about it." God's will is the ultimate excuse.
Go ahead; try it. "I'm late because of...(lower your eyes and throw in a limp for good measure) unavoidable fate!" You see how helpless that is; no one is even going to try to get you to look for a manageable cause. Only a fool would challenge fate.
A plausible excuse has some other benefits. The person you give it to should still approve of you even though the situation-you-didn't-have-anything-to-do-with was a disaster. It just didn't turn out according to plan. Bad luck! You are covered; you've got a plausible excuse. Anyone who hears it should still like you, maybe even offer some sympathy, and realize that you're helpless. Another victim of fate!
Maybe we could create an official no-responsibility passport. The first page would say, the Supreme Universal Council decrees that this individual is helpless and has no responsibility for the life situations she appears in. Don't laugh; it's a good idea. What a relief, a no-responsibility passport, an NRP. If you arrive late for school, you just pull out your NRP and have the teacher stamp it. Think of how much time it would save the world. And how much illness it would prevent.
Here's another reason it is a good idea. Every new excuse you have to dream up whittles away at your attention power. If someone accepts your excuse for one situation, it wouldn't be wise to use the same excuse for the next situation. (And there will be another situation because you are not learning.) So you are faced with frequently having to create a new excuse. It is not a one-time deal. But with a no-responsibility passport, you have proof that you are helpless and the pressure is off. I'm in favor of making life easier for those people who are determined to fail.
Have you ever wanted to do someone in? It's easy; just suggest a plausible excuse that they can use. That will reduce their power in a hurry. They'll be helpless in a few weeks. It is easier than murdering them, although it may not be any kinder.
Too often it is easier to give an explanation for a difficult situation than confront your own actions that might have contributed to the situation. "I couldn't do anything about it, because..." (...Because you are deliberately creating yourself as a helpless loser.)
An excuse is an attempt to deny that this is a cause-and-effect universe. You do something and it produces an effect. You forget to do something and it does not produce an effect. You drop something and it falls on the floor: cause and effect. You would not drop a book, watch it hit the floor, and then say, "Not my fault, I can't do anything about gravity."
Gravity is a plausible excuse, but the manageable cause is that YOU let go of the book.
Manageable causes are your share of responsibility for a situation. I know it is an ugly question, but if you want to get to the bottom of a complaint in a hurry, ask: "What did you do?" Most of what happens to us, and I'm trying to be gentle, is in one way or another, partly our responsibility. Truth can be a harsh reality.
It's easy to say: "Everything that happens to YOU is at least partly your responsibility." It's not so easy to say: "Everything that happens to ME is at least partly my responsibility." See the difference? And it is even more humbling when you look for MY manageable actions that are partly responsible for creating the problem. If your purpose for thinking is to succeed, you will. If your purpose for thinking is to protect yourself, you won't.
The goal is to remedy some situation: unhappiness, loneliness, failure, exhaustion, or despair; the place to start is with MY manageable actions that are contributing to that situation.
You know what I'm getting at? When you look for manageable actions you are looking for your share of responsibility for what you are experiencing. You are actually looking for what you can do (or not do) to change the experience. When you do this, you move beyond the need of plausible excuses.
Hang in there, next week I will tell you how to find Manageable Causes.
The Story of The Avatar Course
Does everyone like Avatar?
No. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the way Star's Edge does about personal responsibility. It is a complex issue that has motivated an occasional press attack on Avatar. Some individuals, organizations, and even countries, develop extreme psychological domination over people's lives. Psychologists call this dominance / submission a form of co-dependency. When the victim of such a relationship increases personal responsibility, the dominating partner – or organization, or country – is threatened, i.e., personal growth on the part of the victim threatens the status quo.
From the dominator's point of view, Avatar is a threat?something to be decried as dangerous and to be avoided. Such people have even made the accusation that Avatar is a brainwashing cult. Ironically, those making the accusation are guilty of the offense themselves.
One young German woman who left her boyfriend after taking the course describes her decision to leave as, "waking up and realizing I was trapped in a unhappy relationship." But her boyfriend claims she was brainwashed. Even though completely untrue, the local press found the boyfriend's story attention grabbing (meaning it would sell papers) and immediately sensationalized Avatar as a "dangerous brainwashing cult."
We don't brainwash people. Just the opposite. We help people to recognize limiting beliefs that they may not have accepted voluntarily or may not even be aware of. We show them how to change their beliefs if they choose. We don't tell people what to believe nor do we put forth any beliefs as true beliefs. We only help people to make a connection between the consequences they are experiencing in life and the beliefs that they hold. Avatar teaches personal responsibility.
Ask yourself, what kind of people label increased awareness and personal responsibility as dangerous?
I created the primary: "I trust the Source Being of everyone." I am well trained in observing people in a psychiatric setting. And I realized that I was searching for the 'spots' in someone's universe; searching for the problems.
Today, I felt what that can mean for the other person. That it has a great negative response for them when I am scanning for problems. This is something I realized earlier, but thanks to the Avatar materials and the guides, I could feel it into my bones.
When I go back to work again, I am going to make contact from that primary. I hope that I can contribute to an EPC* by creating it in a psychiatric setting. In this course, and all the other Avatar courses, I saw the amazing result when people make contact and connect in this way. I have a great admiration for the quality of the work and how great it feels. For 14 years, I am busy with consciousness, etc... but I have never experienced such powerful, quick, integrating tools before. –A.B.
*EPC - Enlighened Planetary Civilization
I got a wonderful result in reviewing the Master Course this time. I found out my irresponsibility since my schooling, my family, my marriage, and working. I see all my suffering was created by me. In the Transparent Belief Exercise and Protecting Process I take more responsibility. My beliefs create my experience. My sabotage beliefs create my hopeless feeling, creating my suffering. I haven't taken responsibility. I make others do what I am supposed to do. It's a smokescreen. Thank you Della. Thank you for all the support from all the Trainers. Thank you Harry for taking me out of my mind to see the light. I will contribute to an EPC. I will study and practice until I become an outstanding Avatar Master. –C.L.C.
Dear Harry and Avatar Family, You are definitely my family and I am grateful beyond words. With your help in these last 10 days, I have experienced layer upon layer of transparent beliefs like skins of an onion and found the courage to use the Avatar tools. My wonderful Masters and fellow students have supported my work at unravelling them. Fifty plus years of knots, unknotted, in 10 days!!
I have learned to own and celebrate my achievements as a Source Being, and to acknowledge my responsibility for my whole life. As if that were not enough...to finally experience unlimited awareness! To experience consciousness creating and discreating form! And to have the tools to practice this daily. A gift beyond price! I feel a deep commitment to this work for the sake of others, and will be at Masters soon. Thank you! I do it! –M.S.
Harry, I wrote you one note to date about the gains I am acquiring using your inspiration and works. This morning while using the Belief Management Mini-Course, I found a major transparent belief that will finally change a pattern that has created in my life. And this afternoon, another major transparent belief revealed itself that will change more patterns that have been running my life that I will now own and be able to change. Thank you Harry for all your dedication to make the Universe more aware. –D.A.
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With Avatar everyone wins. Every person who becomes an Avatar shifts the collective consciousness toward greater tolerance and understanding. Helping yourself with Avatar helps everyone else at the same time. – Harry Palmer