A wasn’t invited to the work social. ‘How could they?’ he fumed. ‘No one ever bothers including me. There’s a work drink next week and I’m not going to go. That will show them I don’t need them.’
B had an idea for a programme she wanted to launch. ‘No one is going to want to do it’ she said ‘It’s probably too expensive for most people. Why would anyone want to come to me anyway? I’m going to shelve it.’
C hates driving because everyone on the road these days is so aggressive. ‘Some idiot cut me up the other day. I was so furious I tailgated him for a mile. That showed him.’
We can see what is going on here.
A, annoyed at being ostracised, ostracises himself.
B, believing that no one wants to do her programmes, doesn’t tell anyone about them.
C, seeing other drivers as aggressive, is aggressive.
All of them are living with a misunderstanding that has them trapped in a hamster wheel creating the very thing that they are running from.
This is what is actually happening:
Energy ebbs and flows in our mind. We move from a low state of mind to a high state of mind randomly and continuously. This is simply the energetic flow of life. The tide moving in and out. Inhale and exhale. Systole and diastole. The move through autumn from summer to winter and into spring. Day into night. Life into death into a different form of life. That constant movement and change. We are part of it. Of course, our energy ebbs and flows. It is impossible for it not to.
And that ebb and flow is generated by whatever generates the pull and push of universal energy. It has nothing to do with us. Just as the tide has nothing to do with the water.
Now, because most of us don’t understand that energy goes up and down of its own accord and states of mind go up and down accordingly, we believe there has to be a reason for our changing feelings. And of course we look outside, to the outside world to explain to us why we are feeling high or low in a particular moment.
And this fundamental misunderstanding leads us into…
The hamster wheel of oblivion (I made that name up myself…)
The energy dips in our mind and we feel low – depressed or anxious or unhappy. We believe that something must have caused those low feelings. We look outside for an explanation.
And because we have certain beliefs about ourselves and certain thought patterns, these create a lens through which we view the outside world, a well-worn channel through which our attention flows.
We look out into the world and find an explanation of our low mood that corresponds to what we think we know about ourself and the world.
And it looks so real. Because right in front of us is the evidence. A client has cancelled. I’ve been left out of a party. My rumpled face in the mirror. A driver cutting me up. No wonder I’m feeling inadequate, rejected, ugly or insulted. The reason is obvious! I knew it all along! People don’t like me. I’m not attractive. Drivers are aggressive.
But we forget that we are not seeing straight. We forget that, in fact, it is impossible for us to see straight. We can never, ever, ever, ever see the world for what it is. We see an infinitesimal, microscopic sliver and the sliver we see is 100% dictated, coloured, shaped and carved out by what we believe about ourselves and the world, our thought patterns and tendencies and by the state of mind we are in at that precise moment.
The truth, therefore, is that the reality we are living in is 100% generated by thought in that moment.
The crazily logical thing is that when we mistake this sliver that we have thoroughly stamped on with all our personal beliefs and mood for actual reality, we react to it as if it real and, in the reaction, we create the very thing we are resisting.
If I believe I am unattractive, in a low mood I will see evidence I am unattractive. I will believe this evidence. I’ll hide myself away. I’ll stop smiling. I’ll suspect that the people who chat to me just feel sorry for me. I’ll withdraw. This will feed my low mood. I’ll see more evidence. And on and on. In other words, I will actively make myself into the most unattractive version of myself. I see what was only ever a projection and I turn it into reality.
If I believe people don’t like me, in a low mood I will seek out evidence that people don’t like me. I’ll react to and dwell on any perceived slight. I’ll be rude to them. I’ll be ultra-sensitive and frosty or needy. I’ll make myself as unlikeable as I can be.
If I believe drivers are careless and inconsiderate, in a low state of mind I will look for evidence that drivers are inconsiderate. I’ll see people cutting me up and not giving way. I’ll beep at them, scowl, push ahead, show them they can’t ignore me on the roads. And other drivers will react accordingly to my poor, inconsiderate driving.
It is the same with every single thing that we see ‘out there’.
It is an utterly vicious circle. We actively participate in creating a reality that we believe is causing us problems. What we resist persists. The whole thing takes on a life of its own. The invented becomes the real.
A low state of mind conjures up the stuff we don’t want. Seeing the truth of this is utterly transformational. It is this understanding that allows us to step out of the hamster wheel and onto the path of…
When we really see that our state of mind fluctuates all the time, we start realising that what we see out in the world is just a function of universal energy.
We realise that whether we see problems or opportunities, exclusion or invitations, an ugly or a beautiful face in the mirror depends entirely on how our thoughts are directed by our state of mind and habitual patterns and beliefs in that moment.
None of it is real in any true sense. When we realise the infinite amount of things out there, it is impossible that what we are noticing is anything more than a single, filtered pixel in an immense ever-changing, impossible to define landscape.
And this realisation breaks the cycle. We see it all for what it is and we realise the blinkered madness of creating the very thing that we don’t want. It is impossible for us to react anymore. Because we know there is nothing there to react against. The ‘problem’ reveals itself to be no more substantial, permanent or real than a sunbeam dancing on the tip of a wave.
When we know not to look outside any more for any version of reality, all we can do is look within. That is literally all we have.
Which is marvellous. Because within is where it’s at.
Fresh thoughts, new ideas, inspiration. And we know we can trust them because they don’t come tangled up in that made up view of how the world is or how other people are or who we are. They are simply prompts or nudges or insights or realisations that have a direction and expansion and a beautiful, surprising obviousness to them.
And from that place of pure inspiration, we create. And that creation prompts something else that is pure inspiration, pure new thought. We act again. We open ourselves up to more inspiration, more ideas. Our life expands and it doesn’t matter in the slightest what our state of mind is doing, whether we are breathing in or out. There is no self to defend and protect. No hamster wheel to scamper in.
There is just wisdom to act on. And the more we act on the wisdom, the wiser we become. The more we expand into life, the more our life expands.
Hamster wheel going cheap to first bidder. Anyone…? Anyone…?