Love: It’s Not What You Think

Love is the stillness between thoughts.

Love is the safe space of wisdom.

Love is the clear light of creativity.

Love is the gentle attendant of fearlessness.

Love is the greatest gift of humanity.

Love generates the ideas that transform us and bring us peace.

Love recedes in the face of fear, but it does not disappear. It lodges deep in our hearts and faithfully awaits the moment of silence into which it will re-emerge.

When we open ourselves for even a moment to that silence, love never sleeps through it. Love shines into our minds and illuminates hope and possibility.

Love is the constant current that flows eternally beneath the turmoil of our thinking, the perfectly reliable movement stirring us to find comfort in the fluidity of life without getting distracted by the ups or downs.

No matter what we think about it, no matter the words we use, love is not what we think or what we say. Love is a spiritual force, the deep aliveness that is the essence of being before we think about it.

We are born in love. Just look at the innocent, bright-eyed curiosity and enthusiasm on any small child’s face, and you see that pure love. It is neither conditional nor specific. It is just unfettered engagement in life flowing through each person, most obvious before it is papered over by personal thinking.

We know it is at the heart of human experience because it is, and has always been, at the foundation of every significant religious framework we have known. It is the common good at the core of the experience of mankind. It is who we are before we think about who we are. It is the beautiful feeling most natural to us, before we learn to use our own power to think to fill our lives with the infinitude of possible experiences.

Love is like the pilot light of our emotional life. Feed it, and it burns where we need it. Starve it, and it flickers on, always ready, always there, always and ever the resource we have whenever we seek it.

We can turn our backs on love and nurture our personal emotional thinking whenever, and for however long, we choose. But as soon as we let it pass and look to quiet, love comes to light again. Love soothes us and draws us back into the dance of life, the easy movement with and around the other dancers, feeling the music of our common heartbeat and the joy of moving freely through time.

The Principles lead us back to love, to the purity of thought which offers us a non-judgmental fresh start moment-to-moment-to-moment. More and more people across the globe are drawn to see them at work behind life — the formless energy of mind pulsing through infinitude, the individual ability to think allowing each of us to make up whatever we want, the power of consciousness bringing those thoughts to awareness as our individual realities. More and more people are realizing that pure formless energy is love, and love is always the answer.

My love is like a red, red rose;

Its fragrance fills the air;

It guides me to a place of light,

Instead of dark despair.

                                                                                                                                   Sydney Banks

 

It is a good time in history to ask people to re-read the whole chapter on Love and Forgiveness in Sydney Banks’ The Missing Link., pp. 117-124.

As Mr. Banks reminded us, “A mind full of love and good feelings can never go wrong.”

 

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Love: It’s Not What You Think

Love is the stillness between thoughts.

Love is the safe space of wisdom.

Love is the clear light of creativity.

Love is the gentle attendant of fearlessness.

Love is the greatest gift of humanity.

Love generates the ideas that transform us and bring us peace.

Love recedes in the face of fear, but it does not disappear. It lodges deep in our hearts and faithfully awaits the moment of silence into which it will re-emerge.

When we open ourselves for even a moment to that silence, love never sleeps through it. Love shines into our minds and illuminates hope and possibility.

Love is the constant current that flows eternally beneath the turmoil of our thinking, the perfectly reliable movement stirring us to find comfort in the fluidity of life without getting distracted by the ups or downs.

No matter what we think about it, no matter the words we use, love is not what we think or what we say. Love is a spiritual force, the deep aliveness that is the essence of being before we think about it.

We are born in love. Just look at the innocent, bright-eyed curiosity and enthusiasm on any small child’s face, and you see that pure love. It is neither conditional nor specific. It is just unfettered engagement in life flowing through each person, most obvious before it is papered over by personal thinking.

We know it is at the heart of human experience because it is, and has always been, at the foundation of every significant religious framework we have known. It is the common good at the core of the experience of mankind. It is who we are before we think about who we are. It is the beautiful feeling most natural to us, before we learn to use our own power to think to fill our lives with the infinitude of possible experiences.

Love is like the pilot light of our emotional life. Feed it, and it burns where we need it. Starve it, and it flickers on, always ready, always there, always and ever the resource we have whenever we seek it.

We can turn our backs on love and nurture our personal emotional thinking whenever, and for however long, we choose. But as soon as we let it pass and look to quiet, love comes to light again. Love soothes us and draws us back into the dance of life, the easy movement with and around the other dancers, feeling the music of our common heartbeat and the joy of moving freely through time.

The Principles lead us back to love, to the purity of thought which offers us a non-judgmental fresh start moment-to-moment-to-moment. More and more people across the globe are drawn to see them at work behind life — the formless energy of mind pulsing through infinitude, the individual ability to think allowing each of us to make up whatever we want, the power of consciousness bringing those thoughts to awareness as our individual realities. More and more people are realizing that pure formless energy is love, and love is always the answer.

My love is like a red, red rose;

Its fragrance fills the air;

It guides me to a place of light,

Instead of dark despair.

                                                                                                                                   Sydney Banks

 

It is a good time in history to ask people to re-read the whole chapter on Love and Forgiveness in Sydney Banks’ The Missing Link., pp. 117-124.

As Mr. Banks reminded us, “A mind full of love and good feelings can never go wrong.”

 

The post Love: It’s Not What You Think appeared first on Three Principles Living.

Love: It’s Not What You Think

 

Love is the stillness between thoughts.

Love is the safe space of wisdom.

Love is the clear light of creativity.

Love is the gentle attendant of fearlessness.

Love is the greatest gift of humanity.

Love generates the ideas that transform us and bring us peace.

Love recedes in the face of fear, but it does not disappear. It lodges deep in our hearts and faithfully awaits the moment of silence into which it will re-emerge.

When we open ourselves for even a moment to that silence, love never sleeps through it. Love shines into our minds and illuminates hope and possibility.

Love is the constant current that flows eternally beneath the turmoil of our thinking, the perfectly reliable movement stirring us to find comfort in the fluidity of life without getting distracted by the ups or downs.

No matter what we think about it, no matter the words we use, love is not what we think or what we say. Love is a spiritual force, the deep aliveness that is the essence of being before we think about it.

We are born in love. Just look at the innocent, bright-eyed curiosity and enthusiasm on any small child’s face, and you see that pure love. It is neither conditional nor specific. It is just unfettered engagement in life flowing through each person, most obvious before it is papered over by personal thinking.

We know it is at the heart of human experience because it is, and has always been, at the foundation of every significant religious framework we have known. It is the common good at the core of the experience of mankind. It is who we are before we think about who we are. It is the beautiful feeling most natural to us, before we learn to use our own power to think to fill our lives with the infinitude of possible experiences.

Love is like the pilot light of our emotional life. Feed it, and it burns where we need it. Starve it, and it flickers on, always ready, always there, always and ever the resource we have whenever we seek it.

We can turn our backs on love and nurture our personal emotional thinking whenever, and for however long, we choose. But as soon as we let it pass and look to quiet, love comes to light again. Love soothes us and draws us back into the dance of life, the easy movement with and around the other dancers, feeling the music of our common heartbeat and the joy of moving freely through time.

The Principles lead us back to love, to the purity of thought which offers us a non-judgmental fresh start moment-to-moment-to-moment. More and more people across the globe are drawn to see them at work behind life — the formless energy of mind pulsing through infinitude, the individual ability to think allowing each of us to make up whatever we want, the power of consciousness bringing those thoughts to awareness as our individual realities. More and more people are realizing that pure formless energy is love, and love is always the answer.

Photo by Robert Scott https://www.flickr.com/photos/zackie/6045641820

My love is like a red, red rose;

Its fragrance fills the air;

It guides me to a place of light,

Instead of dark despair.

                                                                                                                                   Sydney Banks

 

It is a good time in history to ask people to re-read the whole chapter on Love and Forgiveness in Sydney Banks’ The Missing Link., pp. 117-124.

As Mr. Banks reminded us, “A mind full of love and good feelings can never go wrong.”

 

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Living a Dream

We are always living a dream. We cannot experience anything without thinking it first. Whatever thoughts we bring to mind create our experience, which lasts only as long as they are brought to mind. Our thoughts are uniquely our own; no two thinkers arrive at precisely the same thoughts, although many people can share a predilection for certain kinds of thoughts. So each life, truly, is a particular dream, experienced as it unfolds through each person’s thinking.

One of the first statements I saw from Sydney Banks is: “Life is a divine dream, suspended between time, space and matter.” I was fascinated by it, though I could not work out what it must mean at the time. It hung there in my imagination for a few years, equally puzzling to me each time I revisited it. Then I heard Syd speaking once about a conversation he had had with a scientist, in which Syd tried to point out that the constructs of time, space and matter are ideas we’ve made up to be able to talk about our universe. But the only truth is formless energy.  Peering through the thicket of already formed thoughts at formless energy is a pointless exercise. We are bound to be caught in the tangle of our thoughts, not seeing beyond them, if we try to work through them to clear a gateway to infinity.

That gave me the courage to ask Syd a question: “How can I understand that life is a divine dream, suspended between time, space and matter, if I cannot think about it?” At the time I asked that question, the only book Syd had published was Second Chance, in which there is considerable conversation about  SEEING (as opposed to seeing) and KNOWING (as opposed to knowing). The wise character in that book describes SEEING in these two passages, for example (although I highly recommend reading the entire book):

“Remember, I told you …. that there are more realities than meet the eye. This SEEING must come from an experience of SEEING another reality.” (p. 16)

“‘SEEING’ is what evolves man’s mind to a higher level of consciousness. It is this evolvement that enables him to psychologically understand himself and the world around him.” (p.26)

Syd did not answer my question directly, but instead asked me what I thought about Second Chance. I told him I was confused by it and did not know what it all meant. “Good,” he said, “it’s good to be able to admit you don’t know. That’s the opportunity for knowing. From a state of not knowing you are likely to SEE something new.”

So I remained baffled, but I dropped the whole idea of figuring it out. I found that acknowledging not knowing and being at peace with it had really quieted my mind down. Needing to know the answers all the time (a habit developed in elementary school where there was a high premium on being the first with your hand up) had been revving up my thinking a lot more than I had realized. From a quieter state of mind, I was able to glimpse that “SEEING” is spiritual and “seeing” is temporal: that is, SEEING is an experience beyond cognitive limits. SEEING is fluttering briefly into the emptiness before thought where you KNOW the power of thoughts forming, your own power to form thought, as a spiritual gift before form.  I realized that I had previously memorized, pondered about, and repeated the definitions of the Principles as they were always described, thus innocently focusing on the formed word to understand them, rather than awakening to the formless, the true Principles, the spiritual energy of all life in creation, before the words. I had been reading the notes, but missing the music.

That was one of the most exciting insights of my life, and it was a point of transformation. Oh, like all of us, I still talked about the logic of the Principles and described the inside-out outcomes of the ways we create and hold our thinking, but I knew that was all an interpretation of the point, not the point. Not the point. The point is beyond words, in Universal energy we all share and through which we become our formed selves. Seeing the pure energy at the source, though, we have certainty that anything we see or know now could change, simply with the formation of new thought. Access to that reality is through stillness, through quietude, not thinking harder.

Although we can talk about Thought and thoughts, we are pointing to the feeling of the power that frees us from any one thought to release the potential of infinite new thoughts. It doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks, how long they think it, or what they make of it, if they KNOW the Principles. That power is realized and experienced, not taught or learned. For me, in the instant I caught a glimpse of that, I SAW and KNEW the absolute absurdity of taking any thought seriously. No matter what. It’s no more possible to hang onto really beautiful thoughts than to drive away really ugly thoughts. They all pass naturally as the flow of formless energy continues to power us through life. We have to re-think them to “keep” them. When we SEE that for ourselves, we cannot possibly harm ourselves with our own thinking, any thinking. Because we KNOW we are living a dream brought to us by our unique imagination and the creative power of life. We know the dream is fleeting, evanescent, just images we create, passing across the screen of our minds, signifying nothing but the beautiful power to keep creating them.

For me, the depth of gratitude I feel for Sydney Banks for so simply expressing the possibility that any one of us, all of us, can SEE this for ourselves, is immeasurable.

 

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The Principle of Thought

The Principle of Thought is the crucial power behind life as we know it. If we did not have the ability to transform the pure energy of Mind into ideas and images — forms of perception — we could not see life. Thought as a Principle is simply the power that provides the impetus for our minds to communicate through the brain and the senses.  The Principle of Thought empowers thinking to happen. We put the formless into  forms, and whatever we create appears to be our life. Since all of us are doing this on our own, no one truly knows another’s life; we live in our own separate thought-created realities, using our own free will to choose what we make of the time and circumstances into which we are born.

The ability to think our way through life is an extraordinary power — yet it is the essence of who we are, so we take it for granted. Most of the time, we don’t even recognize or appreciate that we are the thinkers, making up our lives moment-to-moment. Yet that power, once recognized, gives us the freedom to change, at will, in any given moment.

If someone is feeling victimized, it is not because they are truly a victim of their circumstances, no matter how difficult those circumstances may be. It is because they are creating victim-thoughts about those circumstances and feeling increasingly trapped and insecure. When they wake up to the power of thought, they can quiet that victim thinking, allow their heads to clear, and arrive at a whole new set of thoughts which might contain the answer to how to change their life. When I first heard that, I found it hard to believe. But in the 30 years I have done this work, I have seen it happen so many times, including to myself, that I know for sure it is true. As soon as our thinking changes, our whole experience of our reality changes.

In a way, of course that would have to be true. Like all living things, we are born equipped to survive for our natural lifetime on this earth. What greater survival mechanism could we have than a “psychological immune system,” the power to change our minds, see things more clearly, make new choices, look in a different direction, have fresh ideas.

So … here is a 2-1/2-minute basic explanation of the Principle of Thought, part of the series that will continue next with the Principle of Consciousness. You can find a general overview of the Three Principles here, and The Principle of Mind here. And here is Thought:

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The Principle of Mind

Last week, I published a brief Blog and video posting about the Three Principles as discovered by Sydney Banks, the foundation of Mental Health Education as I and thousands of others practice it. This week, I offer another brief Blog and video, just on the Principle of Mind. (The Principle of Thought will be next week, and The Principle of Consciousness after that.) I hope these are helpful to sharing the profound understanding of how these Principles can change the understanding of the true human potential for peace, across the globe.

When asked why there are three Principles, Sydney Banks used to say, “Well, actually there is just Mind. But we would not know it without Thought and Consciousness. Combine those three and there is nothing more we need to see life.” To see this in depth in Sydney Banks’ own words, read The Missing Link, or any of his other books, all of which can be found at Lone Pine Press.

As much as we try to talk about Mind, there is really little we can say because our very presence on earth is after the fact of Mind. So just as we cannot ask a savant to describe how he “learned” his gift, we cannot ask ourselves to describe how we acquired the gifts that give us life.  All we can know is that we are alive, and filled with the potential that being alive in a dynamic state allows us the possibility, at any moment, to change. The Principles describe our power to change, and it all starts with Mind.

This video is also available on You Tube

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The Three Principles

Everything I blog is grounded in the Three Principles of Mind. Thought and Consciousness. Sometimes, it seems we don’t take time to reflect on the significance of this, that there are Principles that offer deep logic to our recognition that innate mental health is a spiritual quality, the pure formlessness of the creative power that empowers life.

We can think about the spiritual, but because it is BEFORE thought, before we create form in our minds to explain it, we cannot ever truly define it. We can only observe spiritual power after the fact, as we use our power to think our way through life and realize, more and more, that power is within us. We don’t need to seek it outside ourselves, or look for others to provide it. It is who we are, living beings empowered to create ideas and images and experience what we create as our own personal reality.

When we fill our heads with ideas and images of what’s wrong, or what we fear, or what we dislike, or what we reget but can’t change, our personal reality is painful, sometimes even tortured. When we allow those thoughts to pass and fill our heads with fresh ideas and images, of what we appreciate, what is possible, what we love, or what we dream, our personal reality is refreshing, even joyful. The Principles describe the immutable logic of how this works; we can count on it. No one can “fix” us, but the power to change is always one thought away from within each of us.

So I offer this 2-1/2 minute video to explain the Principles. It is not complicated, but we can complicate it tying ourselves in knots trying to offer an intellectual interpretation. The key is to know that the Principles describe the formless energy behind all life. Because we are alive, we are part of that creative energy, and we use it to create the experiences of our individual lives. It is neutral; we have the choice of what to bring to form for ourselves. So we have ultimate freedom — as long as we don’t THINK we are not free.

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Facebook discussion

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 (supplemental)

The following is my response to a Facebook discussion I just spotted under “The 3 principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness –Does anyone know what became of…” I thought I should reprint my response here as well for my blog readers:

I have not read this entire thread, only glimpsed at some of the entries, so I apologize for any redundancies that might appear here. From the little I’ve seen it would be wise for people to really listen to what Judy Sedgeman has said here (which does not surprise me at all).

First, the early Syd tapes: About 3 or 4 or so years ago, knowing the value of these early tapes and knowing that I, personally, found them even a lot more valuable than his later, official audio and videotapes (not that those are not very valuable because they certainly are), I personally asked Judy Banks for permission to digitize those old audiotapes, officially put them out again and have all profits from sales go to her and her family. She said no. She did not specify her reasons. This disappointed me, but I felt like I had no choice but to respect that. Then I heard that some people had taken it upon themselves to pirate copies of them and distribute them. This did not set well with me at all.  It is a clear violation of copyright laws and, to me, a lack of respect for Judy Banks and family. People can come up with all kinds of excuses for why they feel justified in doing that, but that is a fact.

That said, now that Paradigm Shift (a history of Three Principles understanding and dissemination) has just come out, everyone can see that those old audiotapes exist and were officially put out twice, once by Paul William Fowler, and once as a set by John Wood, both with Syd’s blessing, and therefore they are out in the public domain as audiotapes. (I, personally, found the John Wood set at a library book sale in Montpelier, Vermont, which surprised the heck out of me, and I quickly scarfed it up, even though I already had most of them.) And just like any piece of music or book (such as any of mine), once it is bought by someone they can do whatever they want with it except redistribute it; they even sell it at yard sales or to used bookstores, and it gets around, and no matter how many times it is sold after that, the author and publisher never get a penny from any of those sales. So the same can and does happen with Syd’s old tapes. Digitizing them and distributing them is another matter entirely.

Now, at one point, Syd pulled the plug on Fowler being able to sell them anymore and later on John Wood being able to sell them anymore. The question is why. Putting aside any personal stuff that may have been going on between Syd and them at the time, it would be logical that Syd realized that certain language he used on those early audiotapes, about half of which were recorded before any psychologists came around, might get in the way of his message going out through psychology, which he believed it should. So, logically, that makes perfect sense; if certain language turns off some people, then in that respect, logically, it would be unwise to have those tapes out there, and I can understand that “reality.” On the other hand, I, personally, think we’re big enough boys and girls that we can handle it. Yes, some people will be turned off, but some other people will be turned on even more. All of the leaders of this “movement” heard those early “very spiritual” tapes and got even more jazzed to be part of this. But that’s just me.

However, now that the history is out there for everyone to see in Paradigm Shift, it’s kind of a game-changer.  Judy Banks saw an early draft of that book and did not raise any objections of those old tapes being listed. Everyone who didn’t know they existed now knows they exist. Maybe (hopefully, in my view), this will cause a groundswell of interest in them and it will spur new interest in getting them out there officially. Again, that’s just my view.

Which brings me to Sanity, Insanity and Common Sense. Now that Paradigm Shift is out, anyone who didn’t know that book existed now knows it does, and there will be curiosity about it. For anyone interested in the history of the development of this understanding I see it as an important historical document. I also see it as ancient history. And even though it is possible for people to get insights from anywhere (because they always come from within, regardless), I don’t know why anyone would seek it out as the place to go to understand this understanding better, when it was off-base in many ways. I don’t deny that it is interesting, but as Judy Sedgeman says, we have evolved so far since then, why wouldn’t people, instead, seek out where we have evolved to?

One more thing in light of what I said about Syd’s early tapes. Paradigm Shift also refers to the book, Island of Knowledge by Linda Quiring, which is ostensibly Syd’s first book. It is closest teaching to Syd’s original experience and therefore it is the most raw, one could say. I had not even heard of this book until about a year and a half ago and I have been involved in this since a few years after Judy, 1991. That’s how much it was kept under wraps. Why? Again, putting aside any personal differences that may have occurred, I believe it has to do with the language Syd used at the time; when psychologists later came along and Syd got the idea that it should go out through psychology, Syd saw that language as counterproductive (not only the spiritual language but also the counter-culture language of those days) and therefore actually harmful. However, we have evolved a great deal since the early ‘70s and, again, in my view I think we’re now big enough to handle it and absorb it. That book is being reprinted as we speak, and will be coming out within the next couple of months. Like those early tapes, it may well turn some people off, but as a historical document in my view it is priceless and exceptionally insightful (and the pictures in it are a gas), and in my view I think it does far more good than harm. I think people are capable of taking the hippie stuff with a grain of salt.

So that’s my cut on all this, for what it’s worth, and I hope it is helpful.

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EuroTrip Day 34: Visiting Syd Banks’ Edinburgh

Day 34, Sunday, May 24, 2015

 
Today was video interview day, in preparation for the Scottish Parliament event. Jacquie Forde interviewed Dean, Jen, Judy and me.
I felt pretty good about mine, talking about a subject I’m very comfortable with: prevention and the promotion of well-being from the inside-out. I focused on what I will focus on at the Parliament, that we have been missing the two most essential variables that lead to change in people’s lives:
1) No matter how wonderful the evidence-based programs we put in place, if people’s thinking doesn’t change, they will not, and in fact cannot, change; and
2) when people are guided by their wisdom they will not, and cannot, engage in the problems we’re trying to prevent.
The Three Principles focuses directly on these two most critical and neglected points of change, which outside-in prevention and public health completely neglects.
Jacquie and Judy dropped Jen and me off at the famous Rosslyn Chapel, which is a very old (c.1500), fascinating, mysterious and beautiful place. It’s the place Dan Brown made famous in his book,The Da Vinci Code, as the last clue led there, and the end of the movie with Tom Hanks was filmed there. Intricate rock carvings of weird faces and angels and pagan figures, no two alike, adorn the Chapel and are hidden in its nooks and crannies. Very interesting.
Then Jen and I each walked down the hill to the Rosslyn Castle, now mostly in ruins but a very magical place. You walk straight into the ruins of this castle, but then look over the wall and you suddenly realize you are very high up. How did that happen? Then I took a path and walked down below. Magical.
Duke Street Edinburgh

Acknowledgement: John Gray, Stenhouse, Edinburgh: November 14, 2011

Last but not least, after we got picked up and then dropped Jen off to have dinner with some friends, on my urging Jacquie drove us to the Leith section of Edinburgh, where our tour guide, Judy Banks showed us where Syd [Banks] grew up on Duke Street, which starts at the end of Leith Walk. She was fuzzy on the exact tenement building in the row, but the poor conditions he grew up in became clear.

Then we saw the Lochend Road Primary School where he went to school. Then we drove to Kings Street in Portabello section, near a North Sea beach, where Syd moved as a mid-late teenager or young adult.
There wasn’t time for me to do what I wanted to do: get out and say a prayer of thanks—absolutely tremendous gratitude. I did have the thought that Syd was just another poor, adopted kid walking the streets, and no one could possibly have predicted what happened to him. No one can ever predict any child’s future, and this is why all children should be cherished and nurtured, no matter what they present to the outside world.

 

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War and Peace

It is ultimately a matter of war and peace whether people across the world come to understand the role of their own and others’ thinking and fluctuating states of mind.

 We can look at behavioral options people experience along a scale from high levels of insecurity to high levels of security.

We can look at behavioral options people experience along a scale from high levels of insecurity to high levels of security and the thinking that makes sense in each state of mind.

One person at a time, when someone comes to understand how thought works and what is creating their experience of reality, they become increasingly secure. When a person feels secure, not living at the mercy of external factors, life does not look threatening. Secure people remain calm and exercise judgment, and look for insight and wisdom, rather than reacting or over-reacting without perspective. They recognize the power of beliefs within the context of knowing that each person becomes committed in their own way to their own beliefs, and nothing but their own insights will change their minds. They see with increasing clarity that people are all the same deep down: all people are constantly creating thoughts and then experiencing those thoughts as “reality”. Reality changes as our thoughts change. Knowing that, we lose our attachment to particular thoughts and gain awe for the very ability to keep thinking, to see beyond what we’ve thought so far. Respect for the shared human power to change keeps hope alive and allows us to see possibilities. It allows us peace within ourselves.

On the other hand, those who have no idea where thoughts come from and why reality looks different to different people are always prone to feel insecure, and cling to their thinking to ward off worsening insecurity. It is an either/or. Either we see the fluidity and creativity of thinking and understand that thoughts come and go and reality “shifts” as our thinking/feeling shifts — or we don’t see the fluidity of thinking and believe that thoughts have a life of their own and we have to hang onto our habitual thinking or fall prey to outside forces. Insecurity pushes people farther and farther away from tolerating differences and encourages the creation of elaborate systems of thought to make their own closely-held points of view feel/seem superior. It introduces the need to defend one’s position at all costs.

Two things are important to realize. Things that make absolute sense to us and seem quite obvious when we are insecure do not make any sense to us whatsoever when we are feeling secure. And the reverse is also true; things that seem quite appropriate and clear to us when we’re secure don’t make any sense at all when we are insecure. So as our states of mind change, the things we say, do and pursue are very different. A child who is angry and frustrated will stomp on and break a brand-new toy. In a quiet state, the child would pick up the toy and play with it.

What does this have to do with war and peace? War doesn’t come out  of the blue. War starts to make more and more sense to people who  are frightened and insecure and have no room in their thinking for “others”.  People who are calm and secure experience peace in their hearts and  minds, and thus seek and nurture peace.

Nations are assemblies of people who share a prevailing state of mind and perspective about the world. When people generally feel hopeful and optimistic, they make choices that reflect their level of security. They are inclusive and generous-spirited, and look for solutions that will do the least harm. When people start feeling frightened and pessimistic, they make choices that reflect their need to protect themselves and ward off enemies. They are exclusive and small-minded, and look for solutions that will keep them safe no matter if others experience harm. Out of a world dominated by leaders who live in fear and insecurity come many wars. The more brutal the fights, the more frightened people become, so they become trapped in a downward spiral of pain and despair. Nothing but war and more war makes sense to them — in that state of mind. In a moment of security, it would make no sense to them at all.

It is innocent because no one would choose killing and destruction if it appeared to them they actually had a choice. The key is understanding the illusion of that downward spiral, that insecurity breeds further insecurity until the moment we understand that all of it is built from our own thoughts. Stepping back, allowing the fear to pass and getting a fresh look can change everything.

Every human being on earth wants to have a happy life, but every human being on earth does not — yet — realize that that happiness is internally generated. No one has to suffer so that I will not suffer. When we realize that all people are creating their own thinking within the context of their own variable states of mind, we truly understand what creates human experience and behavior. We know not to pay attention to the thinking that comes to mind when we’re in an insecure, upset state of mind. And we know we can count on our thinking when our thoughts change and we feel calm and secure again. We navigate by the feeling of security. With the knowledge of how life is created from the inside out, we know that an instant of quiet into which one new thought comes can change everything. With that clarity about life, we know that peace is never more than a thought away, and we simply allow the thoughts that take us in the other direction to pass through our minds, just as we would watch a train cross the tracks, knowing that no matter how long it is, every train has a caboose!

“Thought, like the rudder of a ship, steers us to the safety of open waters or to the doom of rocky shores.”  Sydney Banks, The Missing Link, p. 56.

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