During a recent webinar, a participant thanked me for sharing “the practical” side of the Three Principles, mentioning that she had recently been exposed to a different speaker who focused on “the spiritual”. It had never before occurred to me to make that distinction when discussing the Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought. To me, the universal, spiritual truth of the Principles is exactly what makes them practical.
So I’ve been reflecting on that. How could I do better at assuring that point is obvious? Why does clarity about a spiritual truth lead to effective practical work? Three reasons came into focus:
- Understanding the Principles completely erases our bafflement about human behaviors.
- Understanding the Principles empowers us to confidently navigate our lives, no matter what.
- Understanding the Principles allows us to interact with others in a loving way, regardless of their state of mind.
I’ll take them one at a time. First, before I understood the Principles at work behind all of life, I was constantly blindsided by other people’s unpredictable behaviors and totally unaware of my own. I was in business. I would have cordial meetings with potential clients or associates, and expect that they would follow through a certain consistent way, only to have them behave entirely differently at a subsequent encounter. I had no way to deal with that. It never dawned on me that people act differently in different states of mind, and that the “reality” they see changes dramatically as their tension rises and their mood drops — i.e., if they become more or less insecure. Nor did I realize that something that appeared “cordial” to me when I was in a calm and easy state of mind might look suspicious to me in a low mood. So I always felt like I was being buffeted about by reactions I couldn’t control or understand. I never saw the role of my own variable states of mind in my understanding of what was going on. Without realizing it, I lived in perpetual anxiety about where I stood.
As soon as I realized that the Principles represented Universal Spiritual Truth about all human beings, all the time, it all made sense to me. I started to pay more attention to my own and others’ states of mind, and pay less attention to the details of low-mood thinking. If a client called me in an upset, insecure state of mind, I saw it as my role to help the client calm down and clear his/her head — not to join in the upset and try to solve a problem that, of course, looked insoluble to a distressed person.
This was incredibly practical. First of all, my clients and colleagues now seemed understandable and innocent to me. I stopped wasting time worrying about issues that cropped up from bleak, discouraged states of mind. I stopped taking anger or frustration personally. I saw the ups and downs of myself and others as just part of life, and I knew better than to jump into the depths with people when they were at their worst because I knew it was temporary, that their thinking would change and their perspective would brighten, and we would have a chance to work things out easily in a higher state of mind.
My whole business changed completely with that insight alone. I lost all my fear of facing difficult situations. I knew, deep down, that I, and everyone in my life, had innate health. I knew that if I did not feed bad mood thinking or fuel the flames of insecurity, the tone would quickly shift and we could accomplish things readily. We all became a lot happier and more productive.
Second, when I realized the universal truth of the Principles, I lost my fear of the unknown, I didn’t react to my own insecure thinking, and I felt like I knew what I was doing, even when I was down. It no longer seemed like life was pushing me around; I saw clearly that I, and only I, was creating my experience of life. Life was not happening to me; it was happening through me, as I often share. Just being absolutely certain that I was the thinker of my own thoughts, the creator of my own life story, took all the pressure off me. If I didn’t like the way things were turning out, I had the power to change direction. I was able to relax and look at all life situations, good and bad, with equanimity.
What did that mean, practically speaking? It meant I was no longer too insecure to change when I saw new possibilities. It meant that I no longer saw risk as frightening. It opened whole new worlds to me, personally and professionally, allowing me to follow my heart, not confine myself to what my fears defined as “safe.”
Third, no one seemed threatening, or difficult, or hard to work with, or mean. Like all of us, I had some insecure thoughts that lingered in the realm of “reality” for me, but honestly, in each moment, I just started loving every person I was with, regardless of what they were doing. This made it possible for me to work successfully with clients or colleagues others might have avoided. It eased the way to forgiving others, and myself, for moments of insecurity. It felt to me that I saw through the surface and into the sweet and innocent purity of the spiritual energy of each person, the “formlessness before the formation of form”, to quote Sydney Banks, that gives each of us the potential for a fresh start in every moment of our lives. I gained increasing faith in the potential of every human being on earth to be at peace, and the confidence that this could come about easily in a moment of insight.
So looking at the world now, for example, I am saddened by the level of fear and insecurity that is drawing so many people into horrendous, dark places. But that does not shake my faith in the fact, the practical, absolute fact, that this can change. Will it? I don’t know. But the truth that it can, that it is just as likely for a person’s veil of fearful thinking to lift as for it to remain in place, allows me to continue happily in my work, hoping to touch one soul at a time, and hoping those souls will reach out and touch others, and we will, ultimately, bring quietude and joy to light across the world.