Note: This week’s article is primarily for my students. But I strongly encourage all of you to read on and reach out with questions.
As you guys know, on this blog practically every week, I write about the Inside-Out understanding or paradigm. As a change of pace this week, let’s dispel a few common myths (as I see them) that hover around this understanding. Sound okay? Hold on to your hat—here goes:
Myth #1: You’re feelings aren’t caused by your circumstances; they’re caused by your thoughts about your circumstances.
Not so. Feelings are the residue or aftereffect of the universal principle of THOUGHT (divine energy). Not what you think about—that’s personal and occurs after you have a feeling. In other words, thought, then feeling occurs. The intellect then looks outside in a quest to decipher the feeling and makes it about something. Although it never really is.
Myth #2: Your thoughts can’t hurt you unless you give them power.
Not so. The thoughts that pop into your head (what you think or the content of your thinking) have no power. Plus, you don’t possess the ability give them power. Power? That’s found in the principle of thought.
Myth #3: You mustn’t make important decisions while in a low mood (aka, let your low moods pass).
Not so. All moods are normal and no mood controls you. Meaning, a mood can’t obstruct or enhance your ability to love, serve, care, excel, or make prudent decisions. This too shall pass? Nah, nothing needs to pass. You’re fine no matter what you are feeling.
Myth #4: It’s helpful to be aware of your state of mind.
Not so. Awareness is an effect, not a cause. Want awareness? Understand that even though it won’t often feel this way, both your circumstances and state of mind are neutral. Therefore, they don’t need to be worked on, fixed, or deliberately adjusted.
Myth #5: Your mindset is a performance variable.
Not so. While it’s true that your mindset (mood, feeling state, state of mind) is innately variable, it is not a performance variable. Your capacity to perform is an unwavering constant.
Myth #6: You don’t control the thoughts that occur to you, but you do control which thoughts you follow.
Not so. You don’t control the thoughts that occur to you, spot on. Yet, you will follow, or not follow, your thoughts to the extent that you understand that they are meaningless or untrue. And, while we’re on the subject, this understanding is also something that’s not in your control.
Myth #7: Sharing personal stories about the life situations you overcame as a result of the IO paradigm is helpful to others.
Not so. Sharing your own story regarding how you stumbled into this work is often helpful to others because everyone stumbles into this work and is impacted by it. However, HOW you were impacted is personal and better left alone. As John Steinbeck once said: “A great and interesting story is about everyone, or it will not last.”
Myth #8: Your grounding is different than my grounding.
Not so. Every person alive is grounded in Truth, God, or Love. No one understands the IO paradigm better than anyone else. The fact that experience is created from inside to out rests in all of us equally.
Myth #9: Your feelings don’t come from other people or anything external; they come from you.
Not so. You (like other people, places, events, and things) are on the outside. The variable nature of your feelings comes from the divine principle of thought. Who or what controls this divine principle? You guessed it: the intelligence of the universe or God. That’s the inside.
Myth #10: Free will and God’s will are separate.
Not so. Free will means that your will is free from the contamination of others. It’s not about choice or a practice you apply. Know that God is running the show and your will is truly free.
Myth #11: The Inside-Out understanding represents a community.
Not so. The IO understanding is purely a MOVEMENT. Sure, communities are wonderful. They’re generally happy places where people gather for camaraderie and fun. But that’s not this. What we have here is a paradigm—a truth—that can, will, and has saved lives. Remember: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Sydney Banks didn’t lead communities where folks came to socialize. They spearheaded movements. They kept the main thing (the purpose behind their movements) the main thing and hence changed the world.
Myth #12: Love is the answer.
This last myth, for me, is a tough one (that’s why I didn’t follow it with “not so”), and here’s what I mean: On a personal basis, it often looks to me that love is the cause of everything good in the world. However, when pointing others to the IO paradigm, it’s simply not helpful to focus too much on love and other “touchy-feely-type” sentiments (e.g., compassion, happiness, acceptance, gratitude, or forgiveness). These sentiments are wonderful, but, in truth, they’re compounds or effects that shouldn’t be offered up as causes or places to get or feeling states to achieve. Rather, stick to this fundamental question: Do you know where your feelings are coming from? As you and others begin to see that feelings are generated internally, and happen independent of people, places, and things made of matter—you can rest assured that love will effortlessly emerge.
There’s the list. I welcome any and all questions. In fact, I can’t wait to hear from you!