This is the level of behavior. It is the level on which most people attempt to exert the most control. The strategy of focusing on controlling the level of action is popularly called "self-discipline" or "behavior modification."
The level of action specifically refers to behavior which interacts with the physical universe. There are also "actions" at higher levels of cause -- for example, the willful actions of forming an intention or changing a belief. The powers of those more subtle forms of action are attributed to the levels (i.e., intention or belief) on which they occur, and are therefore not considered to be examples of the level of action.
Controlling the level of action allows for a measure of success, because if you prevent an action, you prevent all of its effects. For example, if you discipline negative behavior, you avoid the regrettable circumstances and interpersonal problems that negative behavior causes. Likewise, if you perform a positive behavior, you enjoy the various positive effects it produces.
However, behavior control has its limitations. It can be frustrating, difficult, and tiresome to consistently control behavior when the beliefs, orientations, and intentions that motivate the behavior remain unchanged. For example, it's hard to make a convincing apology when what you really want to do is defend yourself, or get someone off your back. In this case, the best you can actually do is SUPPRESS yourself. And suppression is never perfect: Sooner or later, the dike will break, a negative behavior will occur, and its effects will be suffered.
Stages of Growth | Cause and Effect | Levels of Practice
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