When I first heard of higher states of consciousness, I imagined they would bring awareness of subtler dimensions, possibly new energies, or some other aspect of reality that was beyond my everyday perception. Over the years, I have gradually realized that enlightenment is seeing the same world, but in a different light. It is not seeing different things so much as seeing things differently.
Peter Russell, From Science to God: A Physicist’s Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness
Many of us come to meditation and the study of consciousness, at least in part, because of the feeling that we have no power in our world; the belief that we are at the mercy of people, institutions and events over which we have no control. From this perspective we look at others as potential enemies, we look at experiences as potentially dangerous, we look at anything and anyone new with suspicion and an expectation of trouble. We shut down our experience of the world and retreat into the assumed safety of our self and our speculating mind.
This is uncomfortable at best and soul-killing at worst. It is precisely the opposite of living. It is a way of simply surviving. And it’s in a misconception about the way things work.
It is true: the facts of our life are, by and large, outside our realm of control; however, we have absolute control over our point of view on those facts. The one thing we can control – and indeed must control – is the way we see the world, the people in the world and the happenings in of the world.
It is our perception of a thing that determines our reaction to it, not the thing itself.
Was today a good day or a bad day?
- I had nothing to do! I was so bored!
- I had nothing to do! Thank God, I really needed a break!
How was your date?
- We went bowling. Can you believe it? What a square!
- We went bowling. Can you believe it? How sweet is that?
- He opened my door for me! What? Like I can’t open a door?
- He opened my door for me! At last! A real gentleman!
Did you get that job?
- No! I’ll probably never work again!
- No! But now I’m free to do this play!
These may be silly examples, but indeed we have the ability to turn every single idea about life around. As we do so, we can begin, slowly and steadily, to build a world view that is in alignment with the truth of nature rather than the misconceptions of our mind and our ego self.
What is the truth of nature?
- Life is good.
- All change is progressive change.
- Evolution is all that is ever happening.
- I am meant to enjoy myself and enjoy my life.
- Everyone is always doing the best they can at any given moment.
- God is love.
- I am loved by God.
- God is all that there is.
- Everything is God.
Today I will assume good will from the universe and from everyone and everything in it. When something seems bad or wrong and it is outside my area of control, I will open myself to the idea that there is good in it somewhere, and I will open myself to seeing that good.