Looking back, how many senseless things have we pursued in which we thought would bring us happiness. In truth they only imprisoned us. To realize that we are not bound by these senseless pursuits is the beginning of freedom. If we continue to seek for freedom in things that have no meaning, we seek to prove happiness is where it is not. Let us be glad that we cannot prove that happiness is contained in the world of form. For if it were, we would continue to seek for it where it is not, and never find it.
This idea points again toward how simple happiness is to find. Look for it where it awaits you, and there you will find it. Look nowhere else for it is not there.
I once was walking along the sidewalk after a nice dinner with friends. There in front of me a man searching down on his hands and knees under a street light. I started looking with him as I asked “what are you looking for”. He slurred back to me as I noticed his intoxication, “my damn wallet”. I thought, clearly it is not here and then asked him, “where did you lose it”. He pointed back down an alley. I asked, ” why are you looking for it here?”. Slurring he said “I can see out here”.
This is the condition we find ourselves in. We search in what we know and are familiar with because we cannot see where we have never seen before. This is the greatest freedom a Who-man has. He may change the way he/she see’s and the whole world changes with it. He is not bound by all of the strange and twisted ways of the world. The way he was brought up to see can be changed by changing our thought. Change your thoughts, change your life.
I invite you to look at this with me. The first time I heard it was in a quote from Willie Shake-a-spear.
There is no good or bad, right or wrong, only thinking makes it so.
These two pictures above are the same. They contain only pixels on a screen. Most if not all people would say that they are not the same. One is beautiful and one is a dreadful landfill. The point is that only our thoughts about the two pictures give them any meaning. Everything is only our thought about it. In this way we are only ever seeing the past. We are always looking forward or looking back, but either way we are still only seeing our past thoughts about it.
Where else can we look? We have tried everything else with limited and temporary success.
“Know Thyself” was written on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Legend tells that the seven sages of ancient Greece, philosophers, statesmen and law-givers, who laid the foundation for western culture, gathered in Delphi to inscribe “know thyself” at the entry to its sacred oracle. When people came to see the Great Oracle, standing in line staring at the inscription above the doorway into the temple, Sartre Neuron or know thyself, would have been the most profound advice that could have been given.
How does your mind work. What are the stimulus and response that identifies your personal behavior. In the Biblical story of Genesis, it says Adam named the animals and here we find the beginning of mans thought. Note that as soon as Adam named the animals they became separate from him, in contrast to before he named them, it was all just One, including himself. This is the condition we find ourselves in. Subject/object reality. I am here and you are where you are. Just one short example of our current reality.
Nothing we see with the body’s eyes means anything. Why? Because we have given everything we see all of the meaning it has for us. -ACIM
Self-knowledge is all-encompassing. What is learned on one scale of experience can be applied to all scales. It is the highest form of knowledge, surpassing all other knowledge. Self-knowledge is also timeless, which means that what is gained in one era, benefits all subsequent generations.
When asked what was the most difficult thing, Thales replied, “To know thyself.”
When asked what was easiest, he replied, “To give advice.”
“The essence of knowledge is self-knowledge,” claimed the Greek philosopher Plato. Centuries before him, the Hindu Upanishads confirmed, “Enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge.” Leagues away and centuries later, the Persian poet Rumi wondered, “Who am I in the midst of all this thought traffic?” and the American poet Walt Whitman celebrated his Self, “a simple, separate person.”
Can one really come to know himself? Some would say that a book cannot read its own pages or that a fish has no concept of water or that a flame cannot light itself. One thing is for certain, the ego loves to study itself. Be careful not to fall into this trap. If one wanted to shortcut the whole procedure he would simple decide to be happy. The images are all the same. There is no good or bad, only thinking makes it so. We have given everything we see all of the meaning that it has for us. We cannot control anything in the world, but we are in total dominion of our reactions to what occurs in the world. If this is true and I assure you that it is, YOU and I have dominion over all things.