Years ago I read a book called The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes. Written back in the early 1900s, some of the language is archaic and the sentence structure worse than mine. But something about the ideas contained in the book resonated with my husband Thom and me. We signed up for classes and over time, that positive philosophy worked its way into many parts of our lives and minds. Although no longer active in the teaching, there is a quote from Holmes that came vividly to my mind this week. That phrase is, “Find me one person who is for something and against nothing, who is redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul, and I will find another savior, another Jesus, and an exalted human being.”
As the dust settles following the recent election emotions are running high. Mine included. It is tempting to make those who see things differently as the enemy, and to self-righteously sooth myself with my so-called intellect and reasoning skills as being morally and mentally superior. But where is the compassion? And what does retaliation do except build a wider chasm in a world in desperate need of unity, peace, and understanding?
Of course, the argument against a mindset of compassionate inclusion (and I can convince myself as good as anyone) is that such liberal and open-minded behavior is ineffective, uncaring and just plain wrong. Even now, the shaming on Facebook among those who professed to be all on the same side is starting to condemn and judge others for not doing enough or doing it “right.” If everyone we judge is the enemy, and everything is a battle to be won in the name of righteousness, how can anyone ever win? And even if we did “win” how could that be the loving, kind, compassionate world so many of us say we want to experience?
What I believe Ernest Holmes suggests in his quote is that any time we fight something, any time we resist something, we only cause it to grow and fester. Even worse is what we ourselves become in the fight. Holmes is not the only one to point out this dualistic challenge. Zen Master Jianzhi Sengcan said back in the late 500’s, “If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between for and against is the mind’s worst disease.”
The Law of Attraction philosophy as taught by Abraham-Hicks backs this assertion with constant reminders that as “energy and vibration” we each draw to us exactly what we put out. Strong emotions like anger, hate, fear, and condemnation all return to us with the same ferociousness as what we send out. Like a boomerang, we get what we give. So, even if we feel righteousness about our anger, blame, and disapproval, is that what we consciously wish to invite back into our lives with increased velocity?
So what happens then? Do we just sit back and let circumstances unfold in front of us that break our hearts? Do we ignore the pain of others and watch while the world around us teeters on the brink of perceived disaster? Again, that is when Ernest Holmes offers more wise counsel. He continues his quote with, “Find me one person who no longer has any fear of the universe, or of God, or of man, or of anything else, and you will have brought to me someone in whose presence we may sit and fear shall vanish as clouds before the sunlight.” In other words, let us return to the very Source of our being and fearlessly be for what we want to see in the world, and let go of everything else.
But how do we do that?
- Be very clear about the type of world you want to inhabit. Want equality and justice for all? Then get involved and champion that at every opportunity. Care about the environment? Get involved in everything available to support the healing of the planet. Concerned about the safety and rights of women, children and minorities? Stand up, support and get involved in organizations in your community and in your country that are doing the work you want to embrace. Think our political system is broken? Be the person who finds a more equitable solution and change the world.
- Meditate daily to remind yourself of your true eternal spiritual nature.
- Train your mind to stay focused on the qualities you admire and find healing like compassion, hope, peace, love, forgiveness.
- Avoid shaming or judging anyone who expects you to do what they do to change the world. (And certainly, don’t fight back!) Again, if what we give out comes back to us, make sure that you either stay neutral or give out love. Let others be responsible for their own karma.
- Support organizations and “vote” with your dollars for groups and people who exemplify the qualities and characteristics of what you want to see and experience in the world.
- Hang out with people who model the type of consciousness you hope to embrace.
- Become as self-aware as possible so that you recognize when you find yourself slipping slowly (or quickly) into anger, fear or revenge. At those times do something proactively to create change or gently remind yourself of your greater Self.
We are not, and never have been powerless. Lots of forces in the world might attempt to convince us otherwise, but they are only coming from their own fears, sense of limitations and inadequacies. We might have conditioned ourselves to believe we can’t make a difference, but it isn’t true. Each of us has the power to greatly influence ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities. But we can’t do that just sitting at home yelling at the television and wishing the world would change. We must get involved and share the very best parts of us.
Another favorite quote of mine comes from a poet named Jalaluddin Rumi in the 13th Century. Rumi said,
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing or right doing,
there is a field.
I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
When we get rid of the fences we use to separate us from one another we might find that that field is closer than we imagined. Yes, get involved and work to change the world into a place you want to live. But always remember, the place each of us primarily lives is within our own heart, mind, and consciousness and we are in charge of how to populate it, regardless of what is going on outside. May we each embrace the highest and best we wish to see in the world. And never forget, the SMART approach is to always be for something, rather than against.