Do You Really Need That Thought?
We hold many of our beliefs to be sacred simply as compensation for being in a state of mental fragmentation. I am a kind and tolerant person. Why would one need that thought? Many people are good, benevolent, and kind without ever needing to define themselves that way. We hold a strong belief when we struggle to keep its opposite hidden from ourselves as well as from other people. Who needs to repeat the thought, Money is flowing easily into my life? Who needs to tell people, I am very open and loving and friendly? Who needs to say, You can trust me? As Queen Gertrude says to Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Belief differs from simple reality. Every belief has an opposite, with which it is in constant struggle. Reality has no opposite. It just is.
Soon after my wife, Chameli, moved here from Norway, we were listening to the news on the car radio. “We are a good and just people,” a pumped-up politician declared. Chameli laughed out loud. She often does. “I just can’t imagine in my wildest dreams the prime minister of Norway standing up with a straight face and saying, ‘We are a good and just people,’ ” she said. “Not because Norwegians are evil, but just because it is such an absurd and meaningless statement. Americans or Norwegians, people are people, the world over.” Why would our political leaders need to keep telling us how good we are? Some suggest it is to compensate for the unilateral bombing of civilians in other countries by the tens of thousands, rampant imperialism, and escalating greed and consumerism at others’ expense. Who knows? Often people need strong beliefs to mask their opposite. Otherwise, things speak for themselves.
Only when we are willing to be both good and not good and everything in between does our feeling of being separate relax and the goodness of all life begin to flow through us. Effortful goodness is morality; effortless goodness is translucent. As we will discover, the way to dissolve a belief is to stop resisting both sides of the polarity. When the internal fighting stops, there is no longer any need for belief.
“As long as we’re at war with our own minds, we’re at war with the world and with the whole human race. Because as long as we want to get rid of our thoughts, anyone that we meet is likely to become an enemy. There is only one mind, and people are going to tell us what we haven’t dealt with yet in our own thinking. “You’re fat. You’re stupid. You’re not good enough.” If you are an enemy to your own mind, other people have to become enemies too, sooner or later. Until you understand, until you can love the thoughts that appear in your mind, then you can’t love the rest of us. You work with the projector — the mind — not the projected world. I can’t really love you until I question the mind that thinks it sees you outside itself.”
This is an excerpt from my book, The Translucent Revolution. To read more, purchase the book here.