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Where Do YOU Get the Power to Change?

From: Janardhan
Sent on: Saturday, August 17, 2013 7:05 AM

Musings on 'education', Peace in the Park and lasting change.
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Hi ,
I heard an enlightening concept from a venerable yogi yesterday. He said the definition of education is that which makes you humble. It was unlike any other description I heard about the importance of schooling. I pondered on how much of it I imbibed over the 18 years of study. It probably had the opposite effect on me, a increasing sense of pride and superiority with each degree obtained. Education these days seems more like information gathering rather than learning to be a better human being. Some of the most important lessons in life for most of us come from pursuits outside the realms of institutions. Do we recognize this and give it the time and importance it deserves?

Further to the mention last week about the interview on Radio Disney, here is the recording of that talk show. Please send your good wishes for our first Peace in the Park festival in San Francisco next weekend.

Enjoy below a reflection on what you need to bring lasting change in your life.

With love,

 Where Do YOU Get the Power to Change?

You're sitting in your car at the lights. Just as they turn to green someone cuts in front of you and speeds off into the distance. You are furious! "What an arrogance! What an idiot" you think! You're so mad you stop fifty yards ahead to cool down. A moment later someone drives up beside you and tells you that the person that cut you up at the lights had just heard their mother was taken critically ill to hospital. In one second your anger subsides. It collapses into understanding and compassion. In effect you become peaceful and you send loving thoughts of hope to that person. One little piece of information was enough for you to change your mindset and your feelings.

You could say that this is the 'power of information' but it's not. It's the power of belief. And who decided to believe?

In such situations some people believe instantly the information that they receive. And they use it to change their perception and therefore their reaction. Other people, down the more cynical end of the spectrum, have the habit of not believing anything they are told. They have probably been frequently misled many times in the past. They don't easily 'trust' what others say. Perhaps the majority of us sit somewhere in the middle of such a spectrum, sometimes believing blindly and sometimes being incredulously disbelieving. But most of the time not quite sure which way to swing.

The Roots of Stress
We do seem to live in a world where more people are prepared to tell lies and mislead others in order to serve their agenda. It's a world in which creating successful strategies of misinformation is even celebrated. So how are we to sort the truth from fiction? How are we to disentangle half-truths based on others agendas and discern the accuracy of what we are told? In the above example how do we 'know for sure' that there is a critically ill mum in a hospital somewhere? There is only one way and it's called 'validation'. The only way to truly know is to go to the hospital and see for our self. Only then does the need to believe or not believe become redundant. Now we 'know' for sure.
The capacity to turn information into the power of belief and use it to change some of our thinking and perhaps some of our behaviors is something we can all do. But it can't free us from our all our stress i.e. all our mental suffering or our emotional pain. The roots are too deep and cannot be reached by information and beliefs. The seeds and roots of our stress can be found at the spiritual level deep within our being. Information and beliefs can point to the heart of our being but they cannot go there. Information and beliefs can 'signpost' what lies behind our mental and emotional states but only the immediate 'insperience' of being there, can give us the power to deeply change the thought and feeling patterns that are causing our stress. Understanding why this is so also reveals why so few people seem to successfully and lastingly change the way they think, feel and act. Here is why.

Seeking Relief
After awakening in the morning most of us get up, look in the mirror, and believe that we are what we see. As we go through the day we will create stress in various emotional forms swinging between anxiety (fear) and frustration (anger) to moments of sorrow (sadness) mostly based on the belief that we are just a physical form in a physical world with no control over anything more than three feet away! We also carry the other learned beliefs that the stress is a) normal b) caused by someone else. We will look out into the world around us and see it as both a competitive and perhaps dangerous place, because that is also what many of us have been taught to believe.

At some stage in our life we will seek some kind of relief from our physical, mental and emotional stress/suffering. As we hunt for that relief, often with the hope of finding the ultimate solutions, we will encounter a thousand methods, techniques, approaches, philosophies not to mention saviors, all offering and many promising to...fix us! We are likely to encounter what some may call the 'spiritual approach'. If we do we will probably receive the following information. 'They' will likely say that 'in truth' you are not a mortal and finite physical form in a process of continuous decay (as seen on Channel Mirror in the morning!) but a spiritual entity that is immortal, infinite and ageless. They will say they are only reminding us that our true nature is peaceful, loving and joyfully contented and not grumpy, prone to worry or depressed. And they will probably explain that the world is essentially a benevolent space in which all life forms exist in harmonious co-operation with each other; it's just that some species have forgotten how, including the majority of the human species!

It's the kind of basic 'spiritual information' that sounds both simple and true. You could argue with it but who would want to? Probably only those who are perhaps a little addicted to their stress/suffering. However, even when we believe it, it doesn't change us. It doesn't change our day-to-day state of being, our patterns of thought, our habits of behavior, our habits of 'stress creation', which have all been laid down over many years. No matter how much we 'believe' that it's all true it doesn't give us the power to free our self from our daily worries and our existential angst. Well maybe there is a slight lessening of the degrees or depth of our stress/suffering as the balm of such ideas provides a kind of consolatory comfort that all is really well within both our inner and outer worlds. But it's only as good as an ointment for a rash. It only covers the surface and provides a little temporary relief.

More tips on lasting change next week!

©  Mike George 2013

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