The coaching I do is based on the understanding that the reality we experience is an ever-changing projection of thought and that the only truth ultimately is that of the awareness of that experience, consciousness itself.
And this gives rise to some big questions.
Is there actually bad stuff going on in the world or is it all just a projection? Do people harm others or is there no one to hurt or to be hurt?
If we believe it is just a projection will we just sit around saying ‘tra la la’ while people are massacred, animals are tortured and the environment is destroyed?
In other words is this understanding just a convenient way of bypassing the real issues of life? Denial of the real stuff that we see on the news and in our schools and workplaces? Are we deluding ourselves? Dodging the issue? (Are we really talking 3Ds here instead of 3Ps? That’s an in-joke. Don’t worry if you don’t get it. It’s not that funny anyway.)
It seems like there are two opposing ideas here to get our heads around.
On the one hand is the idea that there is no fixed reality, that every single perception we have of other people, the world, of good and bad, right and wrong is from thought believed. And every feeling we have of insecurity, fear, anger, depression is coming from that thought believed.
On the other hand is what we actually see right in front of us – that there are actual real issues, real cruelty, real suffering and the idea of walking on by saying ‘not real, just my projection’ seems absolutely ridiculous.
These two seem absolutely incompatible. One saying ‘nothing real, nothing to be done’. The other saying ‘this is real and must be addressed’.
Well actually the two are the same thing.
Because it is only through the understanding that our entire experience of reality is coming through us, a projection of thought believed, that we can solve the problems that appear in that projection. This is the single only space in which change can happen.
Of all the infinite bits of data swirling around us what do we fix on, make important and significant, see as separate from or part of us, turn into a reason to blame others or blame ourselves, a reason for war or a reason to love? All of it is a function of belief.
In Michael Neill’s Inside Out Revolution, he describes the metaphor of an artist’s studio with easels all around the circumference and an artist painting at each one. A person walks around the studio looking at each painting and is amazed that no two paintings depict the same thing. The person is very curious to see what could be at the centre of the room, what could they all be painting that they all interpret so differently. He looks in the centre and sees that there is nothing there.
Through thought, the world that we see around us from moment to moment appears. It is our world. It is our painting on the easel.
So how does that work when we see cruelty? When we see children being separated from their parents? People being bullied? Forests being destroyed? Plastic in the oceans?
Do we just do nothing?
Are we are looking out on that world and those people as separate from us? Do we believe they are fixed, objective and independent of perception? Are we seeing a world that we have to fix so that we ourselves can stop suffering. Are we seeing that our purpose in life is to make people live according to our values and beliefs? Are we seeing people who are misguided, evil and wrong and who know less than we do?
Then yes we should do nothing.
Because acting from this place, all we are doing is replicating the division, separation and all the rest of the noise in our head. From the illusion of separation, we create more separation. From the need to change the world so that we can stop suffering we create more suffering. From the idea that we somehow know better we make ourselves right and others wrong.
Angry, hurt, worried and insecure all we are faced with are reasons to be angry, hurt, worried and insecure. This is the world it looks like we are living in and it is a world coming from us. Through what we believe, we are creating it. Its problems will never be solved because the rage and separation in our head are creating them in the first place.
The fear and desperation and misunderstanding creates blind compulsion to act or paraylysis. We lash out or we are like a rabbit in the headlights. We shout, ‘This should be different! They need to change!’ But we have no idea how to make different what we see as separate from us.
But when we see what is really going on, everything changes.
When we get real we see that our suffering and insecurity and pain is not caused by the suffering that we see out there, by the images on the news, by the facebook videos, it is caused by what we are thinking and believing at that moment.
This is a huge. It shifts us into reality. It shows us that the world out there is the world in here. The world of our personal mind. Of thought believed. The only truth is awareness of experience. We don’t have to fix that experience. We don’t have to fix our feelings. The personal desire to change the world in order that we can feel safer and more secure falls away. The need to be right disappears. The drive to blame and criticise dissolves.
We become open and real. As awareness of all experience, as the space in which it is all happening, we are pure love, pure intelligence. The projection winds down and we look out with curiosity on a world that somehow only exists because of the awareness we are.
And instead of taking away all desire to act, we find ourselves in a place of mind-blowing, unstoppable resolve. This is pure compulsion to act and it comes straight out of love, intelligence, understanding. Every single act we do whether it is the washing up or talking to millions comes from knowing we are the space in which all of this arises.
We are accountable for all of it. Walking around with this understanding we know it is our world. There is no separation. And yet we still see a world of people and animals and objects. We still see actions and laws and consequences. This time, though, there is no one to blame or change. There is no one to make responsible. There is only us.
We will find ourselves picking up the litter in the street. We have seen it, so somehow we have brought it into the world and, if it does not sit with the love, intelligence and beauty that we know our world to be, then we pick it up. As it is for litter, so it is with everything else.
The man shouting at the woman in the street is us and the woman is every person we have ever shouted at. Knowing this we approach them, because we can’t stop ourselves, with humility, love and care.
We live with so much love, understanding and accountability, so devoid of blame and judgement that this world of ours can’t help copying us. From this place we can give up using plastics or head up a plastic company. We can stand in front of a tank or drive one. We can arrest someone or find ourselves in prison. We can stand on a soap box or we can listen. We can lead or we can follow.
The form is never the thing. The love, intelligence and accountability from which the action springs is the only thing that ever matters.
From our deepest integrity we find ourselves doing or not doing. We dissolve anything that is not pure love in ourselves and we do the same with what we see out there.
The switch is from fighting the system to knowing we are the system. No one can be wrong in this world of ours. There is no one we cannot love. There is no one that we can be better than. It is all of us.
And all we are is awareness of a world that comes and goes, that shifts and slides and a body that does what is in front of it to do, a voice to say what is to be said and a pen to write it.
From this place, we change the world. It is impossible not to.