When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”
Tao Te Ching v17
I respond to life experiences with awareness and understanding.
During a sporting event, a TV commentator objectively describes what happens on the field, while another provides analysis. My mind works in a similar way. I experience life through my senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—and my mind gives meaning to what it perceives.
I may unconsciously respond to new life events based on past experiences. When I practice self-awareness, I become conscious of both aspects of me. As I smell a flower, I pay attention to my inner analysis: What does it evoke in me? As I speak to someone, I notice my internal reactions. With practice, I see the difference between what happens in the world and my interpretations. Aware of my reactions, I pause before I act. I decide how to respond to life.
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind?—Job 38:36
I see no neutral things.
This idea is another step in the direction of identifying cause and effect as it really operates in the world. You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to believe that it is the other way around. This is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that it is the way you think. If it were not so, perception would have no cause, and would itself be the cause of reality. In view of its highly variable nature, this is hardly likely.
In applying today’s idea, say to yourself, with eyes open:
I see no neutral things because I have no neutral thoughts.
Then look about you, resting your glance on each thing you note long enough to say:
I do not see a neutral ___, because my thoughts about ___ are not neutral.
For example, you might say:
I do not see a neutral wall, because my thoughts about walls are not neutral.
I do not see a neutral body, because my thoughts about bodies are not neutral.
As usual, it is essential to make no distinctions between what you believe to be animate or inanimate; pleasant or unpleasant. Regardless of what you may believe, you do not see anything that is really alive or really joyous. That is because you are unaware as yet of any thought that is really true, and therefore really happy.
Three or four specific practice periods are recommended, and no less than three are required for maximum benefit, even if you experience resistance. However, if you do, the length of the practice period may be reduced to less than the minute or so that is otherwise recommended.
A Course In Miracles ~ 17
. . . Is Tolerant
You can purify your own physical atoms by right thinking, right speech, right living, judging no man; then, imperceptibly, will come a raising of your consciousness, a happiness of which you have never dreamed, and a gracious and gentle power will grow with in you which will make all the crooked places straight, and which will open your prison doors – even as the angel touched the door of Peter’s prison and set him free.
The Quiet Mind – Sayings of White Eagle