I have been in the New Orleans area this past week, and I have learned SO much. The one thing which amazed me the most is how many people I met who were saying things like, “I decided I need to follow my own inner voice.” Wow!!
This week, we’ve been asked to look for kindness, both in ourselves and in those around us.
The preface to Part 16 of the Master Keys says:
… through an understanding and conscious operation of spiritual laws, we can convert every seeming difficulty into a blessing.
Isn’t that what kindness is all about?
Here is what I mean. If you pay for something you bought, that’s not particularly kind in and of itself. That is simply a transaction. But if you buy it to help someone else, or pay for someone who comes up short at the register, then it becomes a kindness. That person you helped had a seeming difficulty, which you turned into a blessing.
Haanel again hammers at the idea that thought is the cause. The only cause. If we want something, anything else, these things are simply effects, and we need to develop the appropriate thought patterns to produce that effect. Our time is best spent in developing those thought patterns (aka: the silence/the sit), because once you think about something in a certain way, the outward world MUST change to correspond to that.
So: kindness. Converting difficulties to blessings. Thought being the cause. How do these things fit together?
Let me give you an example: you go into your bathroom, and there’s a towel on the floor. You can have several thoughts about this, but here’s two that everyone can relate to —
- oh, look, the towel’s on the floor. Let me pick it up.
- oh, look, the towel’s on the floor. I’ll get it later.
Which thought leads to the effect of a clean bathroom?
Well, you might think, “Who cares if a towel is on the floor?” That has an effect too, and if you’re asking that, I bet there is more than a towel on your bathroom floor. Am I right? 😉
If you live with others, you might have angry thoughts and blame them for that towel being there. That leads to other effects. Negative thoughts charged with angry feelings … I hope you see where I’m going with this. You wonder why you feel so bad all the time.
Or you can be kind and pick up the towel, giving yourself a feeling of accomplishment. Kind to the others in your home. Kind to yourself.
It’s the same seeming difficulty: a towel lying on the floor. Totally different thoughts. Completely different effects.
Haanel talks more about constructive and destructive thoughts, and how the thoughts themselves are not particularly good or bad. What matters are the thoughts we entertain, dwell on, and manifest in our lives. This is why the Mental Diet is so important, and why we need to be kind to ourselves while using it. It’s too easy to get into this vicious circle of I had this negative thought and therefore I’m bad (another negative thought), and so on.
I love love love this quote from Part 15:
We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light.
Focus on what you want, your ideal, and on what you want to become, and voila! the light is on. It was dark, which seemed like a difficulty, but you turned it into a blessing, not only for yourself but also for those around you.