• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • RSS

Posts Tagged “fear”

Common Sense or Fear? Our choice.


Every time we get new information, we have a choice what to make of it. That choice has nothing to do with the information. It has to do with whether we understand how we bring our own thinking to life as reality. We don’t choose the first thought that comes to mind. But every subsequent related thought and what we make of it is strictly up to us.

fork in road

The more deeply we understand our own spiritual nature, that we are generating our life experience by bringing thoughts to mind and then taking them more or less seriously, the more easily we make common sense choices.

Example:  I am walking my dog as usual and I see another person, also walking a dog, fall down. This is not something I expected, nor is it something I can simply not allow into my mind. So I am at a crossroads. My next thought could be anything. It could be to rush up to help the person; to stay away in case that person is contagious;  to stand there and shout for help; to turn my back on the situation and figure someone else will come along — and so on. That next thought sets a direction. If my first thought was to rush up to help, my next thought might be caution. Or my next thought might be the checklist I know to determine if the person is having a stroke. Or my next thought might be to secure my dog so she would not interfere with the other dog while I was trying to help. And so on. On the other hand, if my first thought was to turn my back, my next thought might be the formation of a justification for turning away, or it might be to decide the person probably tripped and got right up and I spared him embarrassment, or it might be regret for being uncaring, and so on.

We don’t break our thinking down this way, but that’s how it works. We take in information and then we create our own thoughts about it. We do not act on the information; we act on our own thoughts about it. The direction our thoughts go has a lot to do with our knowledge of what is going on in our minds, and the depth of our own recognition that when the train of thought is leading to anxiety, self-doubt, fear or darkness, we can change direction. The types of thoughts that continue to come to mind are defined by the state of mind in which we are thinking. If we are calm and confident, we’ll continue to think of increasingly constructive things. If we are stressed and fearful, we’ll think of increasingly less constructive things. If we don’t like the feeling state our thinking is leading us through, we can change our our minds.

There is one and only one reason for thoughts of anxiety breeding thoughts of fear breeding thoughts of panic breeding hysteria. That reason is upsetting thoughts taken increasingly seriously. For those who understand that their rising levels of tension are being produced by their own thinking, not by events or circumstances, this doesn’t happen. They know they have a choice, and one choice is to pause, let the flow of negative thoughts pass and allow their minds to quiet. A whole different quality of thinking will arise from a calmer state of mind. Vivid examples of this choice arose in my life this past week.

First, I watched in astonishment as the U.S. whipped itself into a state of panic over the Ebola virus because one case occurred in a man from Liberia, where the virus is rampant, and infected at least two nurses in exactly the way we understand this virus spreads, through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person. There is a lot to learn about how we manage health care institutions and how we train health care providers from this case, but there is no reason to extrapolate that everyone in the US is now in imminent danger. But somehow, within days, response escalated into reaction, which escalated into over-reaction, which escalated into national blaming and widespread panic. The increasingly dire thinking about what could happen has spread like wildfire. It doesn’t matter how it started. It spread because people simply are not aware of what they are doing with their own thinking. The first fearful thought brings a little tension, and opens the door to increasingly fearful thoughts and more tension and the race is on. Once people have worked themselves into a frenzy of concern, all common sense is out the window. Unless we know that we have the power to turn it around, our thinking can run wild.

Second, I received the news that one of my dear friends, Dr. Jamie Shumway, had succumbed to ALS after six years of decline. Jamie was a colleague at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He really saw for himself the profound meaning and import of the message of hope I and my colleagues were working to impart: we create our own reality by using the gift of thought to enliven our consciousness of what we perceive as real. When I first met Jamie, he was an irrepressible outdoorsman. He white-water kayaked. He hiked. He fished, He snowshoed. He skied. He was in love with high energy activity. Some years later, he had heart surgery and he had to give up many of his strenuous undertakings. Did he mourn that loss? No, he decided to take piano lessons, and spent hours quietly practicing and coming to appreciate music. He even took part in a recital with a group of youngsters who were taking lessons from the same teacher! He got a huge kick out of that. Just as I was leaving WVU to move to Florida, he began having unexplained weakness in his legs. He served with great grace and wit as the moderator for the beautiful farewell party given for me and my colleague Dr. Bill Pettit, even as he leaned heavily on a podium because he had discovered that he couldn’t stand for very long without support. At that time, he was having neurological tests.

Then came the news, ALS. For the next several years, Jamie did every single thing he could do within his increasing limitations. He moved from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair, but he kept on  going to WVU sports events, going down to the dock to fish, attending parties and events. He continued to work as long as he possibly could. After he retired, he continued to teach, his huge smile quickly helping students forget his voice was strained and his movements very small as he negotiated his motorized wheelchair with the last of his strength. He spent his final months working with a collaborator to finish a book about his life. He died at home. All along the way, he never talked about what he couldn’t do; he reveled in what he still could do, and made the most of it. Even in his last years, many of us had lively conversations with him about the things he had always enjoyed talking about.

He could have spiraled into fearful thinking and regret and recrimination and anger. Certainly, some terminally ill patients facing a long, slow, irreversible decline do that. But he knew how to use his thinking to keep his bearings. He knew how to ignore fear. He knew how to live in the present moment in gratitude for what he had, without wasting precious time stewing about what he didn’t have. He put his energy into ordinary, common sense thinking about making the most of life.

Those who have followed their thinking into a state of agitation about Ebola are not wrong or bad. They are innocently unaware of the simple logic underlying life. We are making up our own interpretations of what is happening and living through them as though they were reality. Jamie knew and felt the power in that. It is a power we all have.

Sydney Banks says it beautifully here:


<div class="responsive-container"><span class="youtube"><iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="425" height="344" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iBozKxHbFMo?wmode=transparent&fs=1&hl=en&modestbranding=1&iv_load_policy=3&showsearch=0&rel=0&theme=light" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></span></div>

Leave a Comment

What ever happened to peace and love?


peace and love

What ever happened to peace and love? The answer is nothing has ever happened to peace and love. Peace and love are constants of the nature of all mankind.  Peace and love are the spiritual essence of humanity.

Then how do we explain the murderous rage, the boiling resentment, the hatred of “others” spreading across the world? Those things have nothing to do with our spiritual nature. They are the products of insecure thinking unrestrained, misleading multitudes into vortices of fear.

It looks hopeless to many that mankind will ever live at peace, that people who don’t see eye to eye will work together constructively to find common ground, that “others” will be appreciated for their differences and understood as part of the family of man. It doesn’t look hopeless to me. Yes, it is painful to be a witness to widespread human suffering. But it only strengthens my determination to keep on working to share the underlying logic of the human psyche, the simple Principles that explain the creation of both peace and war and describe the power each person on earth has to choose a new direction.

Let’s look at a simple chart of the spectrum of states of mind:

state of mind chart.001

As we understand how our thinking works, we find more and more inner peace and see life from gratitude and joy, free from fear and judgment. Without understanding, we become entrapped in insecure thinking and fall prey to feelings of alienation and despair.

The words could be different, but pick up on the feelings implied. Above the red line, people are in relatively calm states, with wisdom and insight accessible to them. The higher their level of calm, the more they are at peace and their minds are free and clear. Below the line, people are in relatively stressed states, increasingly caught up in personal, habitual thinking. The deeper they fall into distress, the more they cling to their thinking and lash out in self-protection.

We are always in some state of mind, but we are oblivious to it. Whatever our state of mind, our thinking looks like reality to us. If we are living in a chronic state of anger and upset, we are feeling insecure, off-balance, and fearful of protecting ourselves and our own view of things. When we are living in a constant state of ease and calm, we are feeling secure, confident within ourselves, and able to access insight and creative solutions to problems.

The ups and downs of our states of minds play out in the worldly realm, like weather on the surface of the ocean. But below the active, ever-changing surface is the steady flow of the current of life.  The Principles describe that current. The current is not the weather; but without the current, the weather would not have a way to play itself out. The current brings the ocean to life. The Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought describe how experience enters our awareness. Mind is the intelligent energy, the breath of life, that infuses our spirit. Thought is the way we use that energy to create ideas and images within our own heads. Consciousness is the way we become aware of what we have created and have a sensory experience of it.

Most people have no recognition that this process is constantly at work, generating our experience. When we awaken to how our thinking and our states of mind work, we understand our present experience and we know that if we do not like it, we can change it as we find deeper calm and wisdom. When we innocently believe that the thoughts we are having and our reactions to them are being caused by things outside ourselves, we are at war with the circumstances of life. We can never win because we cannot force others to fit our thinking about how life should be. We can only come to the realization that everyone is the same, and just like us, they are looking at life through their own thoughts.  When we all realize that our own thinking is creating our experience of what is happening, the power to change is ours, and we are one insight away from a completely different experience of the same world.

Pain arises from all our “if-then” thinking: If this changes, then I’ll feel better. If that group would go away, I could enjoy my community more. If those people weren’t bothering me, I wouldn’t have to kill them. Peace arises from the insight that each one of us is looking at the same circumstances through their own unique thinking and states of mind. One person’s good outcome is another person’s nightmare.

How would understanding this help? We would stop fighting each other’s insecure thinking and instead look to generate calm and security before we took action. There are examples of this in the world. One of the most touching in recent history is the Forgiveness Project. All of us have had moments in which a healing insight has transcended resentments or anger, and given us a fresh start with someone or something. Large or small, those are the moments which turn us towards the light of our spiritual nature, the capacity to be at peace

Love and understanding harmonize the mind of humanity to its true inner nature.

What you give in life is what you receive. 

To give love is to receive love.

A mind full of love and good feelings can never go wrong.

Love and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. Without them, life is encumbered by ill feelings and unhappiness.

Judging your own faults or the faults of others leads to unhappiness. A mind that dwells in non-judgment is a contented mind.

A heart full of love is void of all judgment and is filled with divine spirit.

Sydney Banks, The Missing Link

Leave a Comment

Squandering Our Power

Across the developed world, environmentalists have gotten our attention about power. We use energy efficient light bulbs, appliances and devices. We turn things off. We adjust our home thermometers not to waste power when and where no one needs to be warm or cool. We care about gas mileage. We recycle. We are increasingly committed to conserve  and use the power we have wisely in every aspect of our lives…

Except the most important.Brain power

I repeat. Except the most important. Across the world, we are squandering the absolutely most important, greatest infinitely and universally available power of all of humanity: Our power to think and create. To use our minds to know the difference between wisdom and insanity. To use our freedom to follow the thinking that inspires, uplifts, creates, harmonizes, resolves, and leads us to transcend all limitations at any moment.

At some point in time, it will be known that the greatest tragedy of the current era was that humanity squandered the most valuable resource we had and almost destroyed itself and the planet. It will be recognized that we squandered our personal power because humanity was almost entirely oblivious to the fact that the only — I repeat, the only — cause of hatred, of murder, of warfare, of anger, of frustration, of mistrust, of every horrible thing of which humanity is capable is unrecognized negative, insecure thinking taken seriously over time.  The tortured thinking that each person living in anguish is making up from the inherent power of all human beings to think for themselves and see what they think as their personal reality is the source of all of humanity’s pain. As soon as people see that, see for themselves that thinking is something we are doing and that our thinking is entirely within our control, and thus our personal realities are entirely within our control, they change. They just do. They change because people are

” target=”_blank”>intrinsically drawn towards peace and happiness. When people see that it is within their own power to find peace and happiness, they use that power constructively. They use it easily because it is right there; it is innate; it is our birthright as human beings to use the power we have to think to create our personal experience of reality. It is the only way we see life.

The truth is all around us. When we see people operating from wisdom, common sense, love, compassion, ease, grace, we are deeply touched. We admire them as though they were special. We fail to realize  that there is no difference between them and anyone else except that they are using their power to think more wisely, and following positive feelings to higher levels of thinking. No one is special. Some people are just more deeply in touch with their own psycho-bio-spiritual health and wisdom. Some people cherish peace of mind over upset, and know it’s within them to find it.

When I look at the huge unsolved problems humanity faces, locally, regionally, nationally, globally — everywhere — it hurts my heart to know that the answers are simple and available. But we can’t find them when our minds are agitated and tormented with fear and negativity.

If, suddenly, across the world, people woke up to the fact that we are all living in a thought-created reality that could change in a moment, it would change in a moment. We don’t like what we have created. We don’t like poverty. We don’t like to see people demonizing others and committing unspeakable atrocities. We don’t like war. We don’t like starving children, displaced families, resources blown to smithereens by senseless terror, murdered innocents, hateful discourse, brutality… No one would choose any of the awful things we face today — if they knew there was a choice.

There is a choice. It is one thought away.

As soon as the world realizes that we are creating all of humanity’s experiences from the inside-out, that our experiences are not the product of our circumstances, but our circumstances are the product of our own thinking, everything will change. Quickly.

There is a whole movement sweeping across the globe doing everything in our power to elicit that change, to awaken others to the extraordinary gifts we have as human beings, the infinite, universal power to use our minds to think and create the life we want.

For those who have seen it, ordinary life changes that appear to be miracles occur all around us, all the time.

Look into it; follow the resources below. Please. Let’s join together to stop squandering the only real power we have that can change everything.

Cut off from innate wisdom, a lost thinker experiences isolation, fear and confusion. This is why there are so many horrible atrocities throughout the world. Newspapers are full of wars, killings, children starving.  Ignorance of our own inner wisdom is the cause of sin. There would be no sin without such ignorance. The malfunction of our own personal thought system instigates the breakdown of personal relationships and leads to the crumbling of societies, causing unnecessary suffering and sadness. The misled thoughts of humanity, alienated from their inner wisdom, cause all violence, cruelty and savagery in this world. Since the beginning, the state of any society is a direct result of its conditioned way of thinking. As you think, so you shall hear. The sage hears fools and wise alike. The fool hears only fools.”

                                                                             Sydney Banks, The Missing Link




Leave a Comment
PayPal Acceptance Mark