The Big Test
Unless you make an effort to be more conscious, your companions will probably dominate your will power and freedom of choice. You will usually be happy or sad, loving or angry, based on the strongly-held sentiments of your family, business colleagues, or closest friends. What a strange way to live! So many people forfeit the opportunities which come their way each day; they don't allow themselves the understanding that brings a greatly enriched life. They merely react to their companions much like puppets, with straw brains, dangling from strings.
Companionship is especially powerful in influencing moods and attitudes. Generally, a few optimists make the others in their group or family more optimistic. The optimists have a subtle influence, so others become keen to accomplish and achieve success. Friends and families gradually grow more willing to create a happy life experience. On the other hand, pessimism commonly shared becomes like a disease and each member of the group goes out into life every morning to seek evidence that his/her pessimism is wellfounded and perfectly justified. Other shared moods, from exasperation to ecstasy, pervade the groups of closely involved people.
Hopefully the mood of each new seeker of higher consciousness will be developed into a happy, constructive well being which is strong enough to easily shed destructive moods of others.
Your companions very likely dominate, or at least greatly influence, your attitudes, too. The attitude of prejudice, for example, is still a major factor between neighbors and countries around the world. Some groups form because of a shared prejudice. Many times, for no direct reason, a member of a prejudiced group will find himself hating someone he doesn't even know, or trying to block the career of a person he has never met.
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