“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose,”
– Master Yoda
As I have mentioned in the past, one of the most insightful experiences that I ever had into the nature of the human experience was after watching a video of a talk by Judy Sedgeman at Tikun. As I was mulling over what I had been listening to, I was watching some people walk down the road and, in a sudden burst of understanding, I could see these people thinking.
Now, in and of itself, knowing that other people think is not really such a big deal – you know, everybody thinks. But where up until that point, I was already able to see the Principles working through myself, I had never comprehended the idea that the Principles were working through everybody and every living thing in exactly the same way. This revelation turned out to be a massive deal changer in the way I live and perceive life, for not only am I living in the feeling of my thinking but so are you and absolutely everyone around you.
Here’s where the difference comes in: because 99% of the world’s population is not aware that they are living in the feeling of their thinking, they believe, in all innocence, that they are living in the feeling of their circumstances.
As Sydney Banks pointed out, we all have good thoughts and we all have bad thoughts but, with an understanding of how our psychology really works, though we can’t control which thoughts come to mind, we can decide whether to pay attention to them or not. When we know that thought is fluid and, left to its own devices, thought will change – whether we have good thinking or bad thinking, we find ourselves in a situation where if we just leave our thoughts alone, we don’t give them attention, they dissipate without us having to do anything for that to happen.
And with that, we find that our thinking slows down very naturally and with that slowing down we find ourselves closer to our natural state of well being with better access to wisdom and intuition.
But when we live believing that we live in the feeling of our circumstances, then we find ourselves in a situation where we are going to attempt to arrange our circumstances in the hope of only having good thoughts and thus a good feeling. With that, we are much more up in our heads, calculating, trying to work things out intellectually with our own personal thinking and so our thinking accelerates and we become very attached to it, which takes us further away from our natural state of well being, wisdom and intuition.
It’s very easy to understand:
The more thinking we have, the lower our level of Consciousness…
The less thinking we have, the higher our level of Consciousness…
What’s important to know is that our level of thinking-consciousness fluctuates throughout the day but the more we are aware of how the Principles work through us, the more time we will spend in a state nearer to pure Consciousness/pure Mind.
As Deepak Chopra points out, recognizing how it works IS the insight, there’s nothing more to search for and we don’t need to do anything with it – once the insight is there, human nature then naturally adapts within the now deeper understanding.
We all act/behave on the thinking that we have but where the understanding of the Principles can change lives is that knowing that what we think is, ultimately, not real – then even if we do have bad thoughts, or impulses, and everybody has them, we still know that we don’t have to act upon our thinking. The fluidity of thought also means that, whatever our circumstances happen to be, there is no set rules for the thoughts that we have about them – in other words, we don’t have to think what we are thinking, we CAN think something completely different.
To give you a concrete example of how this plays out, I will talk about two students of mine: the first, though she can see that it works from the inside out from an intellectual viewpoint, still has trouble seeing that our circumstances are not what dictate how we think and feel; the second has a good understanding of the Principles and sees easily how we live in the feeling of our thinking and how a busy mind leads us away from our natural well being and wisdom.
Both students have come to me because they want to have a better experience of life; they both had perceived financial problems at the outset and both had the feeling that there was something missing in their lives.
The first is still searching for happiness outside of herself; a missed career opportunity is taken as a personal blow, an argument with her partner means the relationship is breaking down, lack of finances gives her low self-esteem. Recently, she was offered a fantastic work opportunity, working with a fantastic team for a big media company. She got excellent test results from the entrance tests; she got the highest marks for that. She feels successful!
Her reaction to that now is, though her level of finances is exactly the same as before, she feels rich and is being more carefree in her spending. For example, whereas a few months ago, she saw a dress she wanted to buy but felt miserably that she couldn’t, recently she bought the dress and had a great time showing it off to her friends. And there are similar examples of this behaviour.
Because her life is perceived as being “better” – i.e. her outside circumstances seem to be going the way she would like them to, then she is behaving in accordance with her new thinking.
The work I have with her now is attempting to get her to see that it’s her thinking that is different, leading to her behaviour that is different but also that she is, somewhat, confusing inner happiness with pleasure and enjoyment.
The second student, who has grasped and embraced this understanding, though she still takes steps to further her career, to have a more physically comfortable life, she doesn’t get caught up in the thinking around her circumstances. She is no longer attached to outcomes for her well being because she realizes that her well being is always there, untarnished, untouched, but for her potential thinking. Recently, things have moved physically forward in her life too – by physically I mean, her finances are better, she has more comfortable living conditions, she is more able to put the food on the table that she would like. Here’s what’s interesting: the other day she told me that she had seen a handbag, a really pretty handbag in a shop window. It was just the colour she liked, the size was ideal for carrying around her stuff, the shape and style were exactly to her taste but she didn’t buy it. The reason she gave me for not buying the handbag was that she realized that the bag would give her some pleasure for a short amount of time but that she didn’t need it for her well being. Whether she had the bag or not she was just fine.
And this realization led her to see that, in the same way, her improved circumstances were not the basis for her improved feeling. For me, that was a rather beautiful insight.
The truth is, it might look like it’s coming from the outside in but it can only ever work in one direction, from the inside out. For the simple reason that without the thought, there would be no feeling.
Why can’t my first student see that? From what I see with having worked with her, she is simply scared of letting go. And in a paradoxical way, she is afraid of letting go because she is scared that if she does, then she will lose the control of herself and “misbehave” – not be sufficiently committed to her job, overspend money that she doesn’t have – that, in short, she will become careless and find herself in an even worse situation than she was in previously.
Paradoxical because, the more we let go, the less we base our well being on our circumstances, the more and more we are aware that our thinking creates our perceived reality – though we become carefree, i.e. we don’t take our fearful thinking quite so seriously, the less likely we are to become careless through the simple fact that, through our carefreedom, we become less dependant on any external needs to achieve a sense of well being.
And that is the fundamental difference between being “careless” and “carefree”.