June 26, 2013
Question: It seems the world is in such screaming agony, robbed of everything meaningful by selfish powers in Washington and everywhere else. How can I learn to transcend all this stuff when families are being destroyed before my own eyes and our leaders refuse to treat anyone with respect? How can I remain a member of the human race and patiently let all this come down?
Answer: I understand completely your inclination to feel despondent about the state of affairs of the world and can tell you are a deeply empathic person. There is a way to remain sensitive and caring and still keep your joy for life.
What helps me is remembering that the manifest world is created by the very interplay of opposites: good and bad; left and right, freedom and limitation. We wouldn’t be able to distinguish what we do want without knowing what we don’t want.
There is an infinite number of beautiful things happening in the world, at any point in time. Unfortunately, the ego loves to focus on the tragic, the dramatic, the evil, the enemy. It’s job is to keep you distracted by that side of the equation. But if you aren’t seeing an equal amount of good, you’re not seeing in a balanced way. Life is no more bad than it is good, and vice versa.
The outer ring represents the total picture, which is made up of an equal amount of yin and yang. The interaction of the two gives birth to all things. The middle line (for our purposes) represents a balanced view. When you’re focused more on the negative, you’re out of balance. Equally, when you’re focused too much on the positive, you’re also out of balance. Thinking that’s out of balance rarely leads to beneficial results.
There is a way of seeing (or at least remembering) that transcends the play of yin and yang, gives the big picture view and helps with formulating solutions. That’s from the outer rim of the circle. From there you see that it’s all just the play happening. From the big picture view, you realize that everyone is making up their own experience (even though it may not seem so) according to their interpretation, attention and vibration. You make up your experience by focusing on this or that, and you suffer or not. It’s really that simple.
Quantum theory demonstrates that the ‘observed is affected by the observer.’ Focusing too long on what’s wrong with something, just fuels more negative energy to the already toxic situation, and to you as well. When you shift to looking for a solution, you immediately change your vibration and hence, the situation.
My most painful experiences in life have also caused some of my greatest growth, expanded my awareness, and awakened me to what I truly want out of life. It’s a kind of alchemy to make golden experiences out of undesired material.
Suffering exists, there’s no question about that. But, as the Buddha says, there is a way out. In his opinion, the way out of suffering is to follow the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Number one of the Eightfold Path is ‘right view.’ That means looking at something correctly. Correctly means from a balanced perspective.
To draw on some wisdom from Shakespeare, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
If what actually happens were real, we’d all see it the same way. We’re each having our own experience of life based on the frequency of our energetic vibration, which is created by our conditioning, and by how we respond (whether consciously or unconsciously) to or from our conditioning.
Being able to look at ‘all that is’ with compassion and understanding is really evolved. Until then, it’s wise to question everything you think.