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There’s a lovely pond I can see from my windows. Some days the water is so clear that many species of fish are discernible. I may spot them busily darting to and fro or placidly sleeping just under the surface, basking in the warmth of the sun.
But when storms come through, the waters muddy, occluding any view beneath the tumultuous surface. This turbulent state often lasting many hours.
The dynamic pond provides a fitting metaphor for the mind. In one state, peaceful, calm, and clear. Yet the other, raging dark and choppy.
It might be tempting to believe the agitated storms are represented by the drama in our life. Unfortunate events, inconsiderate people, twists of fate. The seemingly fruitless attempts to fill perceived lack: additional income, better health, improved relationships, and a kinder society.
But none of these are the cause of muddy waters, an agitated mind. Rather, it’s the investment we have in life’s events that matters, that gives them their consequences.
As we read in A Course in Miracles, “I am never upset for the reason I think.” (W-pI.5)
We believe emotions are caused by the various people and events inhabiting our awareness. But that is not true. The “happenings of life” are a smokescreen, having no ability to contribute toward or take away our peace.
It’s the meaning we attribute that gives them their effects. Thus if we’d like a tranquil mind, attempting to affect change in the world will never succeed. But learning how to shift perspective leads to the most extraordinary sense of peace. “Change but your mind on what you want to [experience], and all the world must change accordingly.” (W-pI.132.5)
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore the muddy waters of our mind, and practices we can develop to find serenity amid life’s storms. I look forward to seeing you then.