Be a Thermostat, Not a Thermometer
There's a two-word phrase we often use whenever we're not happy about a particular circumstance. Makes me.
He makes me angry.
The situation at work makes me upset.
What's going on in the political world makes me so frustrated.
It's abundantly clear. The reason we're not at peace is because something happened, and, were it not for that, we'd be fine.
Unfortunately our assessment is completely wrong.
Author and coach Jim Kwik uses the perfect metaphor of temperature devices. When it comes to how we see the world, we typically act as thermometers when we should be thermostats.
A thermometer measures temperature. The climate behaves a certain way and the thermometer reacts accordingly. That's everyone.
If people get "hot" with us, we boil in return. And when the world is "chilly" to us, we likewise respond accordingly.
Just like unthinking, obedient thermometers.
In course-speak, a thermometer is the ego mind guiding us by its premise of reacting to the environment. What others say and do, what we have, and how our body behaves determine our level of joy. The world makes me happy or unhappy.
A thermostat, on the other hand, senses temperature and then performs various actions to achieve a desired outcome. It makes no difference what happens on the outside, the ideal temperature will always be maintained.
We can liken a thermostat to the right mind of spirit that continually creates a comfortable environment. Every situation is seen as either an extension of love or a crying out for help. And our response always extends beneficial tranquility.
When you are [sad or] anxious, realize [these] come from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be. (T-4.IV.3,4)
The ego always reacts to the outside world, teaching us that we are at the mercy of experiences beyond our control. The holy spirit quietly whispers "this need not be" and sets a certain path to peace.
Would you prefer to be one who fluctuates on the whims of circumstance or maintain an eternal state of comfort, no matter the occurrence? It's much better to be a thermostat than a thermometer.
Join me in Thursday's class where we'll discuss how we can achieve such a "device" replacement. I look forward to seeing you then.