How To Stop Worrying
Is it true that knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss and love is blind? Is it true that money cannot buy happiness, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that what goes up comes down?
It depends upon how you look at it.
How you look determines what you see! In other words, your perspective defines your perception. Therefore, how you react to what is happening is not based on what is really going on. It is based on the perspective through which you view your life.
If you look for what’s wrong, you will find it. If you look for what’s right, you will find it. If you look for goodness, you will find it. If you look for badness, you will find it. If you look for factors that support the non-existence of a Perfect Divine Power, you will find them. If you look for factors that support the existence of a Perfect Divine Power, you will find them.
The Power Of Perspective
If you feel discouraged about your possibilities, it is because of your perspective; not the facts. If you feel insecure, anxious and worried, your perspective and not reality is the cause. Your perspective determines how happy and how sad you feel, how loved and loving you feel, how abundant or deprived you feel, how enthused or depressed, how grateful or resentful you feel.
My first wisdom teacher used to say, “Your luck is in your look. Good look!” It was the power of our perspective that he was referring to. Whether you feel lucky or unlucky depends upon how you are looking at your situation. You can find justifications to feel either way.
The Power Over Perspective
He who controls his perspective controls his life-experience. Control over your perspective begins with distinguishing between your perspective (subjective reality) and the truth (objective or absolute reality). As long as you “blame” outside circumstances or other people for how you feel, you confuse your perspective with absolute reality.
Welcome To Infinity
You don’t resent someone because of who they are but because of the perspective through which you view him or her. Every individual, every situation, every event consists of an infinite number of factors. You cannot separate one aspect of what happens from the infinite universe in which it happens, of which it is a part. Every event is a cosmic event, connected to an infinite context too vast for the mind to fathom or grasp. The whole universe is happening now. Your eye does not blink – the whole universe is blinking.
The meaning we project onto an event, or the value we give to an event, is based on our perspective, not reality.
Your perspective is like a telescopic tube through which you perceive an infinitesimal portion of the infinite, and then react to what you see as if it is all that is going on.
Leaving The Infinite
When you emotionally react or feel the flare of desire you leave the infinite, the way things really are. You look at your bank account and you react to it, as if you really know what is happening. You imagine the consequences of running out of money, and react to that imaginary situation as if anything that you go through might be wrong, bad, unfortunate. The fact is, though, that your interpretation of reality is entirely arbitrary!
Imagine a car driving 60 miles an hour down a quiet street where families live. You might think, “I wish that guy would get a ticket!” Then you learn that he is speeding to the hospital to see his dying son one last time before the child passes away. Then you learn that he was actually misinformed by the doctors. His child’s chart was misread. You might feel angry at the doctor for misreading the chart, but then learn that this doctor was up all night saving lives. The point is that you cannot know what anything means outside of its context, and the context of every event is infinite. Perhaps if you could grasp infinity you might realize that nothing ever really goes wrong, that everything that happens is truly a blessing. This what the mystics down the ages have taught us.
Our Reactions Of Emotion And Desire Are Based On Illusion
Let’s see how desire is based on illusion. A young man sees a woman’s beautiful body and instantly feels an overwhelming desire to be with her. And yet, once he gets to know her, he finds himself resenting her for additional qualities that subsequently come to light. He then feels a strong desire to get away from her. And yet, it is entirely possible that there are things going on within her that would justify the behavior he does not like, and rekindle his desire to be close.
When your desire for something or someone goes unsatisfied you find yourself feeling depressed, even though the reality of having what you desire remains unknown. You might feel depressed about not landing a job that would only make you miserable if you landed it. You might feel depressed about choices you made in your past because you don’t like your present situation, while you are about to experience great benefits because of those choices.
Attachment To Perspective
Being aware that you are reacting to your perspective and not to reality may provide slight help in being less reactive and more open to the infinite possibilities of the moment. But when your reactions are strong, this insight flies out the window. For instance, if you feel stressed out and intimidated in reaction to someone in your workplace, being reminded that you are reacting to a perspective and not to reality will probably have little to no peaceful impact upon you.
While your rational mind can understand that you are reacting to your perspective, your desire and emotional nature does see it that way. When strong desire and emotion is triggered, automatic, unquestioned attachment to one’s perspective is also triggered. For example, if you feel very insecure about your future, the feeling of insecurity carries with it the belief that your future really can be bad for you.
To release ourselves from perspectives that lead us into pointless suffering is The Great Work. As we advance in this work, our emotional suffering is replaced with growing inner peace, joy, love and gratitude. We are literally saved from our troubles in our consciousness..
Attaining this invaluable inner freedom requires more than an intellectual understanding of the infinite nature of ever person, every situation, every instant, every now.
Awakening From The Dream
All of your desire, worry, regret, self-recrimination, resentment, discouragement, disappointment, feelings of betrayal and injustice, feelings of unworthiness and embarrassment… it’s all based on your belief in the illusion that you really know what is happening, what has happened, what will happen. We react with dissatisfaction, for instance, while our present situation may be absolutely perfect for us just as it is. If you feel like a failure, if you worry about your children, if you feel cheated, if you feel a strong desire to go somewhere or to be with someone… it’s all based on the illusion that you know the truth.
What envelops us in the dream of knowing while we live in unknowing? It is said that ignorance is bliss, but being ignorant of the fact that we don’t really know the truth proves to be the real cause of all of our suffering. When we are free from the emotional reactions and desires that are based on our belief in the illusion of knowing we find complete and perfect peace! We experience the perfection of this moment. We experience true inner harmony, love, joy, safety and inner peace.
The Truth Sets Us Free
In scripture we read, “Know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We experience that beautiful state of freedom from all troubles - including freedom from the painful sense of want, lack or loss - when we free our minds from any perspective that triggers off any degree of emotional distress, lack, wanting or neediness.
A clear mind produces a flowing, open, loving heart over-flowing with joy.
How do we reach this glorious state of freedom? It begins with facing the way we feel, allowing ourselves to fully feel what we feel, including when we feel the deepest emotional pain, as we consciously examine the experience.
Then, instead of being run by our perspectives, and by the emotional reactions and desires they trigger, we begin to run ourselves.
By saying “no” to what those perspectives would have us say and do to get out of our pain, we give ourselves the opportunity to clearly discern the reality they obscure – the reality that we really don’t know what we are upset about! Thus, through persevering in this practice of simply observing our inner turmoil while it lasts, little by little the perspectives that trigger it lose their power over us. Little by little our hearts and minds open and the light of truth that shines brighter and bolder, setting us freer and freer.
In conjunction with this practice, you can include the practice of suspending judgment regarding any situation you face. This involves “catching yourself” the instant you are about to relate to what is happening, what has happened or what may happen as better or worse than any other way that things might happen to go.
When we judge a situation as superior, we are holding onto a negative judgment regarding its opposite. Then, as a consequence, when a situation fails to meet our expectations, we find ourselves automatically judging that as an inferior situation, a situation that is worse than what we hoped for.
When we judge a situation, we live in the judgment, not in the reality of what is taking place, which, as we have seen, is beyond our mind’s ability to entirely comprehend.
While living in the suspension of judgment we lose our worry, accepting the fact that we honestly don’t know if anything really can go wrong.
Thus, we release our natural harmony and happiness, setting ourselves free of the false pressure and depressing demand that we need to control the direction of our lives to avert disaster. We thus set ourselves free to live in joy, as our ignorance, honestly faced, does indeed turn into bliss.
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