We live in a world of distraction.
Wars. Rumors of wars. Gas prices surging. Fake news. Assaults on truth. The endless news cycle. The newest tech. The rise and fall of empires.
Distraction. Distraction! At every turn, distraction. Yet, no matter how loud the captivating cacophony grows, the question remains: What is it that truly matters?
Is it education? Earning money? Amassing power? Review the lives of this who have reached the pinnacle of any or all of these quests and you will see that none of these options carries much appeal beyond the thrill of the chase. Once obtained or attained–be it knowledge, wealth, or fame–the victory turns into the hollow mockery of an empty shell. The only answer is “more” on this endless round. Surely there is some higher purpose for life than just accumulating that which, in the end, matters little?
Throughout history, the greatest minds of our species have pointed to love and truth as being central or primary to our existence and somehow related to our purpose, but the average person feels there is little time for such lofty concerns. Truly living appears to be a luxury to the soul struggling for survival.
We’re taught to consume, to view the world as a treasure to be plundered, bought and sold. We’re told that our earliest ancestors were hunters and gatherers, surviving off the land. They supposedly lived more harmoniously with the rest of the earth than we do now, but the stories we’re told of their lives are stories of struggle, survival, and scratching out a meager existence. I don’t recall any mention of purpose, fulfillment, or truly living.
Why this narrative? Why is life presented as a struggle, something to endure or “push through?” There is plenty of evidence to support this worldview, but holding this worldview also creates more of the world it anticipates. When life is viewed as being full of danger, risk, and suffering, those elements tend to be emphasized and perpetuated, both by the persecutors (be they other people or “life” itself) and the victims (be they intentionally or collaterally harmed). Analyze any argument between two people or any war between two nations, and the pattern becomes clear.
We move in the direction of our response. That which has our hearts has us. That which we focus on tends to grow, whether we love it or hate it. Your love of springtime and disdain for Mondays tends to condition the nature of your experience. Both are forms of response. Both love and hate are templates/lenses/portals through which the future–your future, our future (for we are interconnected)–emerges.
Think about the most influential people who have ever lived. Why were they so influential, not just in their lifetimes, but in the decades and centuries beyond? They saw another possibility, if not another worldview. They found a way–through their words and deeds–to lift the burden of fear and anxiety in their own experience and in the lives around them. Put simply, they revealed that victory was not only possible, it was and is at hand. And they demonstrated it, as many times as they could…regardless of whether or not they were accepted or rejected by those within their sphere of influence.
What stands out to me today is the recognition that those who overcome do so not by trying, but by letting. They stop struggling against life and start moving with it. They stop trying to get (for themselves, from others, from the world at large) and focus instead on living radiantly (without concern for results). The moment they do this they discover that life isn’t out to get them.
How would life change for you, do you think, were you to truly let go to this thinking? Most stop the minute they begin thinking along these lines because they are afraid. They are afraid that if they truly let go of a fear-based view of life that life will let them down. They hop back on the rat wheel and start running, trying, striving…vainly attempting to “make something of themselves” while desperately hoping to do so before something unexpected comes along and nullifies their existence. This takes on many forms, but typically involves shielding feelings, putting up barriers, pretending to be strong, faking it until they make it, putting on a happy face, etc.
Now back to love and truth. Why do they matter? Why are they central? Simply put, they are the two qualities from which real life emerges. What are the antonyms of love and truth? Hate and lies. To the degree that you center your thoughts, incline your heart and base your actions on hate and lies, you perpetuate the unreal life, that is, unreality. Conversely, you experience life as it was meant to be as it truly is in fact–and radiate that experience to your contemporaries and descendants–when you let go of hate and lies (both your own and that of others!).
Human beings have been creating an unreal world for far too long. It may offend some to hear this, but much of the unreality has been perpetuated by the so-called “good” people who dedicate their lives to struggling against the hatred and lies and the suffering that spring from them.
How do you become part of the solution? Check your response throughout the day, both in times of pressure and in times of ease. What lies in the center of your concerns? If you find yourself struggling against or with some manifestation of evil, be it in yourself or in another, remember that struggle with implies subjection to, without exception. You cannot overcome evil in any lasting manner by rallying against it.
You must let. You must let the reality and power of love and truth move through you and out into the world you center. If you find yourself trying to be good rather than letting the power of love and the purifying waters of truth move through you, you will fail. Millions of people have tried to fight the laws of being, the law of response, by taking the law into their own hands. They stop (if they ever start) trusting life and the power of love and truth and become vigilantes, despite the fact that the laws of being, the laws of reality win every time.
Man has long seen himself as the legislator of his existence, the lawmaker or law-giver. This is understandable given that man in the state he is in does not trust life, let alone laws of truth or the power of love. The greater part of human suffering springs from this central flaw in orientation and thinking. Rather than moving in accordance with the will of love, truth and life, he creates stories and myths that seek to validate an alternate reality and perpetuate the lie that mankind can dominate in any way that it sees fit.
We have the world we have not because of some capricious God or fickle band gods, not because of the randomness of nature, but because we, in fact, have created it in our likeness and to our liking. We have stolen the power and twisted the design–no doubt with the best intentions!–and we have no one to blame but ourselves for the cacophony of distraction in which we strive, and struggle, and yearn.
There is but one power (i.e., love) and one integrated design through which that power can safely be directed (i.e. truth). When we take the designing into our own hands and try to create a world that is pleasing to us, we are doomed to fail.
We must let. We must let that which has distracted us in the past retreat to the shadows of unreality from which it emerged. We must stop giving weight to that which does not matter. Nothing matters unless you give it weight individually, unless we give it weight collectively.
And before you let yourself off the hook, you do have time for this. You assign weight to the little things in your experience in the way you respond to them. Any time you feel entitled to take what would normally seem to be petty reactions to others, you’ve abandoned love and truth in favor of hate and lies. The way in which you respond to that which happens around you is either your superpower or your greatest curse.
The choice is yours and nothing justifies anything less than your highest and finest. Be ye therefore perfect. Don’t try to be perfect, let yourself be perfect. That perfection is resident within you, regardless of how many times you have let yourself or others down.
You don’t have to trust me on this one, but you do have to trust life.