When you begin to see life without fear, frightening things become acceptable. Or so it may seem.
At the same time, we may feel called upon to act in response to a world that is out of balance, whether it’s someone in trouble or larger harmful developments.
This world matters even if we are convinced our experience in this world will dissolve into oneness.
It’s a spiritual fantasy to believe that nothing matters, that the world before us is not real. The world is not real is the same way as the eternal inside inside, yet it functions as real in our spiritual journey.
In the late 1970s, Krishnamurti famously asked an audience whether they wanted “to know his secret.” Audience members reportedly leaned forward in anticipation. Krishnamurti quietly said, “You see, I don’t mind what happens.”
It’s one of my favorite quotes.
Another quote I love comes from Angela Davis, and it seems to say the exact opposite:
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
This twist on the Serenity Prayer is a commitment to act in the world.
These two ideas live inside me comfortably, though it took a few years to understand they are not in conflict.
We offer ourselves to the presence within. We ask for guidance, and we ask to be useful. “Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will.” And we surrender the outcome.
We will be okay. The world will be okay. Whatever happens. And we give ourselves over to the guidance to do what we can do.
We are what we think. This idea goes back centuries. It has been used to encourage people to put spirit first; it has been used as a way to get ahead in business. Here are some quotes about how our thinking affects our reality:
- Proverbs 23:7: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
- Henry Ford: If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.
- Buddha: We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
- Albert Einstein: The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
- Earl Nightingale: You become what you think about all day long.
Some have been skeptical about the power of thought. Lao Tzu held an interesting view: “Stop thinking, and end your problems.”
Some spiritual teachers warn about the tricks and trapdoors that come with too much intellectualization. A friend recently said, “Don’t trust the intellect except as it comes from the heart.
My favorite quote about the power of thought comes from “The Course in Miracles” on the subject of vision and wholeness. You’ll find it in Lesson 56, paragraph 27.
“Recognizing that what I see reflects what I think I am, I realize that vision is my greatest need. The world I see attests to the fearful nature of the self image I have made. If I would remember who I am, it is essential that I let this image of myself go. As it is replaced by truth, vision will surely be given me. And with this vision, I will look upon the world and on myself with charity and love.”
That’s clear. Let go of the fearful ego and its troubled thoughts. Let your true nature and true vision look out on the world with love and compassion. The Christ/Krishna/Buddha within you looks out on the world with love. If you allow that vision to be yours, you will live in peace. Spirit is present within us all. It is infinite and eternal. Its influence on our lives depends on how much of our self we’re willing to surrender to its light.
Let the light inside cleanse your thoughts of fear. You’ll then see the world as it truly is – a reflection of the spirit light within.