By Alex Williams
This is a revealing image. I’ve seen many of us swimming upstream and I might have spent some time doing the same. On the other hand it reminds me of a friend I know who is always bragging about adding six months to his life by jogging. I have to giggle every time he mentions this. I don’t want to tell him he’s spending them jogging.
Now profoundly serious, I would like to make a statement here. Keep in mind it’s just one aspect of a cornucopia of choices one is offered here on this dimensional plane. This plane is composed of laws. We might say that the Universal field is on auto pilot. One of the premises or one of these laws works in this way. I think we all know this one but do we utilize it?
“I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me: I ask for, and receive as I have asked.”
It says that whatever you look for you will find. Whatever you hold in your heart and seek you will realize. This has been stated in many writings in many different ways. You and I might want to experiment with this and see if it is true. I have and it is for me. An old adage says ” be careful who you wish for because you just might get it”. With that in mind, refine just what it is you are seeking. I have spent a great many years researching and looking at this process of defining what I wanted. Traveling down dead end dirt roads, making u-turns, and getting stuck in the mud. My goal in this article is to teach on the basis of what I want to cement in my learning with the realization that what I teach is teaching me: and to pass on this to another in order that he may save time by my coming before him or her. With that in mind I will state again: define what it is that you want. Set the goal.
What might save you time is the notion that whatever you believe you seek is merely a symbol for what you truly desire. No matter how I boil it down, I find that what I seek is Peace, love and Joy, which all are attributes of happiness. In other words they all go together and are not realized without each other. What am I saying here. Seeking anything outside of your being will bring nothing. Why? Because nothing from nothing leads to nothing.
There is no object, person, place or circumstance that can bring you anything, joy or sadness. In fact there is nothing outside of YOU at all. It is our thoughts alone that bring us pain. We might even expand that to say, it is our thought system alone that will decide our experience. Below or underneath our thought system lie our values and beliefs. These beliefs are mental constructs or filters in which we see the world. I want to say right now that they must be torn down and shredded that is, if your experience in this dimension is not working for you. If that is the case even slightly, don’t feel to upset about it, most experiences here are not working. The learning that we have allowed the world to teach us is all inside out and backwards. The great news is it can be changed or transcended.
To summarize those last few lines: its not the person, object or place that brings you joy, it is your belief anything outside of you has the power to cause anything. The Buddhist have a saying ” even you happiness is Dukka”. The new puppy we bring home today already contains within it the suffering of losing the dog a short time later when it dies. What I am trying to say is that there is a happiness inside you right now that is not circumstance dependent. There is nothing outside of your mind that needs to happen to bring it about. It is being happy for no reason. It arises from within, from nowhere and radiates all around you.
Also what I have stated is that if one’s beliefs are not bringing happiness they can be swapped out or traded. Much like a computer can be updated with a more efficient software package. I was raised with a strong work ethic, that is I taught myself if I wanted to be happy I would have to struggle and suffer long hours working in order to; get married, buy a house, raise children, save for a 401k …….Moreover I was taught to follow like a sheep in the footsteps of all of the preceding generations. One time I was in the kitchen at Thanksgiving. My sister was cooking the turkey and it was time to bring it out of the oven. She did this with a small audience watching in the kitchen. My daughter noticed that the end of the turkey was cut off and asked why. That’s how we do it here, she was told. But why, she asked. My sister looked at my mom and asked the same question. Apparently my mother had been taught the same way. My mother went and asked asked her mother why it was done this way in our family. My grandmother said that she cut the end of the Turkey off because her baster was only so long, not long enough for a large turkey. What am I saying here. Look at everything you do and ask why. Trace it all the way back to the beginning. In my circumstance I could have asked; why do I have to get married and have children and so on. Research and analyze why it is that you do what you do.
Think about what you are thinking about.
Ultimately one must end up telling the mind what to think. This may sound strange but try it. Or not.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. -Buddha dude
Watch the mind. If the goal is happiness then an unhappy thought does not serve your goal. Simply throw the thought out. Notice how the mind will attempt to bring up all kinds of events that happened in the past. Another place it likes to live is in the future, Things will get better tomorrow. When this happens one needs to have a mantra that he believes in ready such as, If not now when or what if this is as good as it ever gets. We have to come to see that it can never get any better than right now. If we don’t see this we will live in past memories and future imaginings.
One thing I consistently behold in this world is that people are unhappy, they say they want help but when an idea is suggested it is heavily resisted. It appears that they simply want the world to change to fit them. In effect they think, if this person would only behave the way in which I feel they should or if only this list of events would take place then I could be happy. This is not anything new, we have all probably seen this in ourselves or others. I suppose I am just now really seeing and experiencing this again as I attempt to help others when they ask. We say we are not satisfied with life but we think incorrectly that it has nothing to do with our thoughts. Denial is the deadliest form of unhappiness. I see how relevant the Bible story still is today in which the man addressing Jesus ask what else he could do to enter LIFE. Jesus responded “sell all of your possessions, give the money to the poor and come follow me.” The man went away disappointed, for he was a wealthy man. We want to enter the happiness of true life, but we want to do it our way.
I attended AA for a number of months. One of the elements of that system is to have a sponsor. I saw over time that many of the sponsees would ask for help but when it was offered they simple began debating the advice or simply never followed it. When we ask for a guide it must be up to us to follow. What causes us to resist is of course change. We want everything around us to change but not ourselves. This is why many spiritual thought systems are of value. It forces us to change to fit a different thought system.
Choose One Follow it, then shed it!
Like the Caterpillar transforming into a Butterfly the mechanism must ultimately be shed. Why? One of the dangers of a thought system is becoming identified with it, forming rigid belief constructs and them projecting them onto others. This is of course has been the basis of many wars etc. Every thought system is a trap. Every spiritual practice or psychoanalysis mechanism must be transcended in the end. You will know when the end has come, Your mind will simply become free or whole and you will know.
I can see that the best shortest route to helping someone is to see them as completely, eternally perfect beings. what does that look like? One simply overlooks all error, personality and ego. If one is called by another apparent consciousness to help, this must be regarded to him as a call for love and NOT a call to point out all of the error you may see to that person. Every call to you can simply be put into two different categories, a call for love or an offer of love. Let’s say that someone is in the middle of a bad break up of a relationship. Over and over they state all of the reasons for that breakup and the pain they are experiencing. What might be your reaction? There are a smorgasbord of possibilities however I see that the only viable one is to continue to see that person as perfect. To see past the error and view the consciousness as before the error of the creation of the ego and all of it’s difficulties. If this ability has not been realized in you as yet, you might even comment either out loud or to Yourself “That’s great”! What do I mean by this? If you have not heard of the “Peace Pilgrim” stop right now and look her up. There are a few youtube videos and articles out there regarding her. In one conversation I heard an interviewer ask her what she did when she had a problem, her comment was that she enjoyed problems because she took them as an opportunity to knock herself back on course. This is how it is in this relationship classroom called earth. Problems are a wakeup call that can allow us to get back on course.fractal If this world is a reflection of your state of mind, that is, an outside picture of an inward condition, then a perceived problem is an invitation to wake up to what the state of your mind is. Ask yourself, where am I right now, what is my state. I can always tell when I have drifted off the correct track or path of my mind because I no longer feel joy. Any worry, anxiousness or unhappiness is a sign that I have thought an incorrect thought or pictured a series of fearful images which is exactly what we do with thoughts. We turn them into images and believe them real. Thoughts in pictures are not real and have no reality, this is called image making and replaces true vision. By pointing out to another that the issue they are going through is a wonderful opportunity to learn this lesson correctly once and for all in the classroom of life we change the purpose of life. Now we have a meaningful goal. Everything is now seen as an opportunity and not another dread repeating itself.
Finally my goal is to walk around this world with one word ringing through my mind. That word is extraordinary. Indeed if one is not in awe consistently then he is not paying attention or is engaged in image making or the cornucopia of illusions that the mind engages in. In reading about all of the recent clinical trials being conducted regarding Psychedelics and their potential use in treatment of all sorts of ailment including depression. When the elements are given to the patients the brain scans show a marked decrease in the subjects brain activity very similar to that of skilled meditators. Exactly how this all works I will not attempt to fool you into thinking I know. I will say that in the ancient spiritual text it is said that driving around in the neighborhood of your mind is the source of suffering. Get out of your mind as frequently as possible. That is until one masters his mind, which is one aspect of what I believe we are here for.
-Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
-However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act upon them?