01 Try This On | Freedom Thru An Open Mind

Episode 1 Show notes: Minds, like parachutes, work best when open. Having an open mind is critical for both freedom and success. One of the tragedies of our society are the sheer number of people who let the mainstream media, social media, Hollywood, government, big pharma, big food, and other big institutions and organizations do their thinking for them. If you are ever going to be free… truly free, you’ve got to have an open mind, and you’ve got to start thinking for yourself. An excellent strategy for making sure you don’t dismiss a new concept, idea or philosophy that might be exactly what you need to help you achieving freedom and all of your goals, is the concept of “trying this on,” which is discussed in detail in this episode.

NOTE: Below is a transcription of this episode using AI technology. We know it’s not perfect, and we know you won’t give us a hard time, because you’re loving like that. Thanks in advance. Namaste.

Hi everyone. I’m Christopher Hughes, the lead conductor of the Above Ground Railroad, a freedom-focused personal development podcast, and this, is Episode 1.

Let’s get this freedom train rollin! 

I attended a seminar several years ago in Southern California and the speaker said something really interesting. He was about to suggest something to us in the audience that may have been thought of as controversial or maybe something that we would not agree with. And so he prefaced his comments by saying, “I want you to try this on.” That was it. He just made the suggestion that we try this on. And so we’re all braced and ready for impact.

He said that the only reason anyone engages in philanthropic work, or in charity work is for some sort of selfish gain. And you can imagine the response from the audience that came as a result of that statement. And he went on to say that everyone that engages in or is involved in any kind of compassionate work, service or philanthropy, that they’re getting some sort of reward. They are getting a social reward. They are getting acknowledgement and approval and esteem from those around them. It makes them feel good. It gives them some level of self-satisfaction or self-approval. Maybe they do it because they feel like they’re going to be blessed by God or the Universe, or they do it out of obedience, which again is some sort of reward. I am good. I am doing a good thing and I’m not taking a position for or against what the speaker was suggesting that day. But I will say this that the audience some members of the audience came on done particularly those who do charity work compassionate work as a result of their Christian faith.

So there was one woman who just couldn’t stand it, and she had to let her opinion be known. And she raised her hand and this was a kind of seminar where you could actually you could raise your hand you could suggest a different opinion. As a matter of fact they had microphones set up throughout the room and you could stand up and go and find one of those microphones and you could tell the speaker what you think. You can give him a piece of your mind. And this woman certainly did that and she began to say… I’m a Christian and I disagree with what you’re saying, and this is blasphemy you know my gosh and how dare you and who do you think you are. And… I simply do it because it’s the right thing to do.

They had this really interesting back and forth, and he said to her, “Ma’am did I tell you that I was right? Did I say, ‘Hey thus sayeth God?’ Did I say that what every thing that comes out of my mouth is the fact of the matter that if you have a different opinion you’re wrong and I’m right. Did I say any of those things or did I say try this on.” And she continued to debate with him and continue to argue with him and then he jumped off the stage and walked toward her and he said “Ma’am,” taking off his blue blazer. “I want you to try this on.” And he laid his blazer on her shoulders and she said, “It’s too big!” We in the audience were cracking up because clearly this woman was not getting the hint. And there was some back and forth, and now he really started to dig in, and said, “I didn’t ask you for your opinion. I didn’t ask you if it fit, if it didn’t fit, if you like the color, the fabric… I didn’t ask you any of that. I just said ‘try this on,'” and she said, “Well it doesn’t fit!”

We lost it in the audience and I remember putting my head in my hand and just thinking where did she come from?! Is she a plant?! What is happening right now?!

A little side note… if you’re ever feeling bad about yourself just get into a big group of people where they’re allowed to make comments, and you’ll feel so much better about yourself and your intelligence. No kidding.

Anyway, so he looked at her and he said this; “I would hate to be your husband.”

Oh! Can you imagine.

I would hate to be your husband!? And why did he say that? He said that because it’s like this woman’s need to be right. She was so combative and so attached to being right.

It was so crazy.. this whole thing!

And of course she was just beside herself. At this point she just shut down, because he clearly got a little bit too close to home. It was an unfortunate situation for her certainly but it was very powerful for all of the rest of us. It reminds me of something that Dr Wayne Dyer taught me many many years ago and the first time he said it I recoiled. I was like… I don’t know about that! That sounds like an assault on my religious beliefs! But he said, “Be open to everything and attached to nothing.”

When he first said it, it didn’t land on me right but over the years it has become more and more meaningful in my life. And I will say this, there were things that I would have gone to my grave fighting for and defending, just a few years ago, that I don’t even believe anymore, and so yes, be open to everything and attached to nothing. This woman was so attached to everything including being right.

Now I’ve told you that story because as we move forward particularly in the first three, four and perhaps five episodes in the Above Ground Railroad, I will be making some suggestions similar to that of the seminar speaker, of the seminar leader, in that they may not land on you right. Initially. And so I will start this podcast by saying just try this on! Simply have an open mind. Minds like parachutes, work better when they’re open. And that’s the suggestion… just simply have an open mind.

All right with that said, did you hear the intro; that if you can convince a man that he is free or a woman of course if you can convince a man that he is free, he will never attempt to escape? Right out of the gate, let me ask you a question… Have you ever attempted to escape? Have you ever plotted out a path to freedom? No we don’t plot out a path to freedom because we’ve been convinced that we are free! But we’re not free! And that’s the purpose of this podcast.

You see, if you’ve got to be somewhere on Monday morning or else, you’re not free. If we’re making payments to the bank we’re not free. If we’re under the control and the influence of someone else’s ideology, of someone else’s philosophy, of someone else’s outlook, of someone else’s agenda, we’re not free! The fact of the matter is that if you can convince a man or woman that they are free they will never escape, and this is why so many of us live lives of silent despair. We go 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 years and never take a look at our beliefs, and where they came from and ask ourselves, “Do I really believe this or were these beliefs given to me?” We never take a look at our thoughts and our feelings and where they might have come from, and why it is that we do what it is that we do.

In large part, what is it that we think about? We think about the things that we have been taught by others. We think about the music we listen to. We think about what’s on television. We think about what’s on social media and whatever everyone else is talking about. “They” are controlling our thoughts and our feelings by this bombardment of propaganda. We do what it is that we have been conditioned to do, and let me give an example of this, before you start scratching your head and looking at me sideways.

We have all been taught to go to school. Sounds familiar yes. We’ve all been taught to go to…..

school….get good…..

…grades…so that we can go out and get a good…


That’s right! You knew how to fill in the blanks didn’t you?

We’ve all been taught, conditioned, trained, enculturated and raised up to go to school, get good grades, so that we can go out and get a good job. And how long are we supposed to work? About how many years? About 40 years. And who said that? Where did that even come from? And more importantly why are we doing it?

Have you ever heard of somebody who retired in their 30s? Of course? Well why can’t you? You ever heard of somebody that became a millionaire? Why can’t you? You ever heard of somebody living an  incredible life? Why can’t you? Ever heard of somebody that dropped out of college that became a billionaire why can’t you? More importantly, why is it that we are buying into this idea, into this ideology; go to school, get good grades, get a good job, work for 40 years and retire on a pension that doesn’t exist anymore.

Now I’m going to go pretty hard out of the chute, but that’s why I said, “just try this on.” We think and we feel about those things that we’ve been told those things that we’ve been inundated with since the time that we were small children. Momma said do it! Daddy said do it! Society said do it! Well what if mom is crazy? What if dad’s crazy? What if society is crazy?!

It’s called mass inculturation. You can finish my sentences! We can finish each other’s sandwiches! (That was a reference to Frozen, the movie #IveGotFourKids. But, yes! We can finish each other’s sentences. We may or may not know each other. We were born in different cities by different parents in different families, raised in different schools, raised up in different churches or belief systems…maybe even different states and different countries, and yet you can finish my sentences. We are supposed to go to…

…school, get good…

…grades…go out and get a good…


That’s called mass enculturation. Do you have to go to school? No! Do you have to get good grades? No! Do you have to work for 40 years? No! I retired in my 30s. So no, you don’t have to but we do it. I mean I was talking to a friend last night and I said, “Hey how long are we supposed to work?” And she said, “Until we’re 65.” I said, “Who said that?!” Think about that. That is so creepy, scary, and weird! How long are we supposed to work? Until we are 65?! I mean… there are so many problems with that, maybe we have to dedicate an entire episode to talking about the problems about that! First of all, what does “supposed” mean? Who said we’re supposed to? Who are these people? Where did this come from?

Don’t you know that when you retire, meaning like you’re working all day everyday for many many years and all of a sudden you retire.. and you’re not doing anything else, do you know what happens? You die!

Where did that come from? And again the more important question is, why do we so faithfully and obediently just follow the herd?! Well we will explore all of this in great detail. We’ll talk about who “they” are; the who and the they and the them, but for today’s purposes whoever they are said go to school, get good grades, get a good job. Couldn’t they have also said or said instead; educate yourself, be a critical thinker, challenge everything, consider entrepreneurship, deep-dive into personal development, work harder on yourself throughout your life than you do on your job, work harder on yourself throughout your life than you do on your business, work harder on yourself throughout your life than you do on your job, or on your spouse, or on the economy, or on the President or the leader of the nation. As my good friend and mentor Jim Rohn always said… “work harder on yourself than you do on anything else.”

Yes! They could have said that! They could have said, hey create so much value within yourself that that value spills over as service and value into the marketplace and the marketplace will reward you commensurately. Yes they could have said that, but they didn’t say that. What did they say? They said go to school, get good grades, get a good job, work for about 40 years. Couldn’t they have said retire young retire rich? Yes they could! Couldn’t they have said, “You have limitless potential and this incredible mind of yours. If you can think it, you can be it! If you can see it in your mind’s eye you can see it in your real life! You can retire young and retire rich not just rich but happy and healthy and joyful and contented and with everything that you want!” Couldn’t they have taught us that? Imagine five year olds in a class… “All of you young 5 year olds by the time you’re 25 you’ll be independently wealthy. You’ll be able to travel the world you’ll be able to be involved in philanthropy and ministry and whatever else that makes you excited, and if you want to just be selfish you can do that too! Just enjoy your life!”

Couldn’t they have taught us that? Absolutely they could have told us that, but instead what? Go to school, get good grades, get a good job, work for 40 years!

Now please. If you are a parent, or you want to be a parent, or you are a grandparent, or you will be a grandparent, please “hear” what I’m about to say.

Our young children believe everything that we tell them, so why not tell them what we want them to believe.

Let me make it a little more personal for those of you that do have children or grandchildren.

Your young children will believe everything that you tell them, so tell them what you want them to believe.

We don’t have the time to get into it in this episode…we will in future episodes, but if you have an understanding of the subconscious mind, and how it works, particularly when children are young and how impressionable they are. Children don’t think that mom or dad could ever possibly be wrong. Little children, little, little young children. So what you say to them is the truth. It goes right into their subconscious mind without any filtering at all whatsoever.

You know I think it’s interesting that as a kid my dad used to always say to all of my brothers and sisters, “Y’all are going to be successful when you grow up so that when I’m old and poor you can take care of me.” Isn’t that interesting? And all of his kids have done very, very well and continue to do very, very well in life. That is the power of the subconscious mind. He planted that success seed in our minds when we were very young, and he nurtured it by continuing to say it and reinforce it throughout our lives. So remember that.

This is why I’ve started the Above Ground Railroad, because so many of us, virtually all of us, are in bondage by erroneous beliefs, by things that we were taught, that are not true. And as we move forward, I’m going to say some things that some of you will resist. Why? Because it goes to the juggler of your inculturation, of the indoctrination, of the common consciousness in which you and I were raised in.

Think about the fact that we’re supposed to work for 40 years. Interestingly…for those of you that are religious or familiar with the Old Testament or the Torah. consider the children of Israel… they were slaves they were slaves for hundreds of years and in bondage, and then one day they weren’t slaves anymore. They were liberated. They were freed and they were in search of what? They were in search of the Promised Land. They were in search of the Promised Land and they wandered, and they wandered, and they wandered, and they wandered, and they wandered… and how long did they wander? For about, what? About forty years. And how long are we supposed to wander, I mean work… be employed… for about forty years… wandering, wandering, wandering.

Where was the Promised Land for the children of Israel? Where was the Promised Land the whole time? Was it a 40 year walk? Is that what took them forty years to find it? No! It wasn’t a 40 year walk! The Promised Land was right around the corner. It would have just taken them a few days to get there! It was right around the corner!

Well what if our five and six year olds, and 7 year olds and 8 year olds and 9 year olds and 10 year olds… what if they were taught that their own personal Promised Land was not forty years away, that retirement and the good life was not forty years away, that they didn’t have to work for 40 years or 30 or even 20. That if they do things right, and they follow, correct principles and they get the right education, not propaganda. If they get the right education,  they educate themselves, and they create value within themselves, and if they take that value and they translate it to service in the marketplace, that they don’t have to work for 40 or 30 or even 20 years! Couldn’t they have told us that? Of course they could have told us, that but they didn’t! And we’re not going to get into why they didn’t or even who they are. But I promise that we will in the future.

So something to consider… are we really thinking our own thoughts, are we really feeling our own feelings, or are we really doing the things that we want to do, or are we doing what has become socially acceptable? Are we doing what we have been conditioned to do? Are we doing what common consciousness has dictated that we do? Are we doing what has been ingrained in us year after year, after year, after year, after year, starting at birth, by people who also had been programmed to do these things before we ever showed up on this planet? Those people specifically, meaning your parents, your family, your tribe, your village and your teachers.

Let me ask you… Do you get up every single day of your life solely to act out your desires? Are you on your own schedule? Is your calendar full of the things that you truly desire doing? Or, is your calendar full of the dictates and demands of other people, companies, institutions, and organizations? Do you get up every single day of your life to act out the desires of your heart? Are you in your divine purpose? Like I am in this very moment? Are you doing the things that you’ve always wanted to do? Are you checking off the list on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, of all those things that you want to do, see, become, have, accomplish and enjoy? Are you working on those things, or are you in the humdrum… get up, go to work, come home, check Facebook, pop a beer, doink around on the internet, set your alarm at night, feeling despair about having to do it all… over…again… the next day.

See we have a choice. We can live life by design, or we can live by default. And unfortunately, almost all of us, are living life by default not by design.

That’s part of the quest of the Above Ground Railroad is not only liberation and freedom… uncommon freedom, but to help people live a life of design, not one of default. We’ve all been conditioned and inculturated to go to school, get good grades, get a good job and work for 40 years.

As a part of that conditioning… that inculturation, we are supposed to go to college, and they gave us this list of things that we are supposed to major in. Well what if you don’t want to major in anything on their list? What if I go in there and say, “Hey! Yo! Check it out. I want to major in jumping jacks, meditation and mindfulness.” Let’s see… “I want to major in world travel. I want to major and being a freaking rockstar!” They’ll look at you like you’re on crack! This is not how it works in college. You don’t get to chose.

Back in the late 1800’s when Benz came out with what really was the first practical car, that was usable. It wasn’t really designed for the masses, but later Ford came out with the Model T, and that made cars possible for really the mainstream. But there’s so many things about the Model T that people didn’t like. People wanted other things and other options, and every year, now we have new cars and new makes and new models with new options and new features, because car manufacturers are making cars that people want.

We want our car doors to open up now instead of opening out! For so many years they opened out, but now we want them to go up and look like a bird. For all those years we’re doing it the same way, but Tesla, and I know that there were others, but Tesla now, with the X, we’ve got car doors that go up instead of out. People wanted lights on their cars so they could drive at night, and they got lights! And they wanted leather, and GPS and now automatic pilot, and they get it! That’s what car manufacturers and so many other companies do. They create products and services that people want. And as we consider education…our formal education… again Jim Rohn said that a formal education, in other words one that can be had in a college or university, that a formal education will make you a living, if you’re lucky; that is a dying idea! It’s going the way of the T-rex! Our formal education can make you a living if you’re lucky, but a self education, one that you put together yourself, can make you a fortune. A self education can make you free. By the way this isn’t an anti-education podcast. This is a pro-education podcast. And that’s the whole point. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about education, specifically the right kind of education! A focused type of education on freedom. The relevant and immediately applicable kind of education, and one that is a applicable long term and throughout your life.

It’s that kind of an education that will help you to become free, not only free but to have, to enjoy, and to accomplish everything that you want to. It’s all about education and freedom, and freedom through an educated mind. Not freedom through an enculturated mind, Not freedom through a propagandized mind, because freedom doesn’t come thru that kind of an education and inculturation. Freedom only comes from truth, and it is truth that sets us free, not what THEY SAY is the truth, but THE TRUTH that sets us free and there is a huge distinction between the truth and what they say is the truth.

Now I think I’m going to leave you hanging right here. We’re going to pause. We’re going to stop Episode 1. We’ve gone about 27 minutes and I think 27 minutes is a good amount of time to spend together on this episode.

As we look forward to Episode 2, what’s this all about? What have we talked about so far? I mean, have we really covered any ground in Episode 1? Yes we have. We’ve talked about, hey look, the mind works best when it’s open. Just try this on. We’ve established the importance of having an open mind, and trying this on. We’ve established that we’ve all been enculturated and we’ve proven that by the fact that you, who I may or may not even know, can finish my sentences. And we’ve established that we just do what it is that we’ve been told to do. We’ve established that young minds, children, will believe anything and everything that adults tell them and instead of telling our children the things that will liberate them and lead them to happiness and joy and bliss and contentedness and success and spirituality and freedom, we saddle their minds with nonsense. Then we started talking about cars and what’s that about? We’re still talking about education. Join me in Episode 2, as we finish all of these ideas and march toward uncommon freedom

I am Christopher Hughes. This is the Above Ground Railroad: Your Path to Uncommon Freedom. Bye for now.

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