When you change, everything changes
You want to make sense out of reality, wake up.
Many people swing into action only to make things worse. because they’re not coming from love, they’re coming from negative feelings. They’re coming from guilt, anger, hate; from a sense of injustice or whatever. You’ve got to make sure of your “being” before you swing into action. You have to make sure of who you are before you act. Unfortunately, when sleeping people swing into action, they simply substitute one cruelty for another, one injustice for another. As Meister Eckhart says, “It is not by your actions that you will be saved but by your being. It is not by what you do, but by what you are that you will be judged.”
Remember what Paul said: “If I give my body to be burned and all my goods to feed the poor and have not love . . .” It’s not your actions, it’s your being that counts. Don’t swing into action until you’re awake. Unfortunately, too much emphasis is concentrated on changing the world and not enough on waking up. When you wake up, you will know what to do or what not to do. Some mystics are very strange, some go silent, some of them sing songs, some of them go into service. We’re never sure. They’re a law unto themselves; they know exactly what is to be done. “Plunge into the heat of battle and keep your heart at the lotus feet of the Lord.”
Imagine that you’re in a bad mood, and You are being driven through beautiful countryside. The landscape is beautiful but you’re not in the mood to see anything. A few days later you pass the same place and you say, “Good heavens, where was I that I didn’t notice all of this?” Everything becomes beautiful when you change. Or you look at the trees and the mountains through windows that are fogged over from a storm, and everything looks blurred and shapeless. Before you go out and try to change the trees or change the mountains, wait a minute, and examine your window. When the storm ceases and the rain stops, and you look out the window, you say, “Well, how different everything looks.” We see people and things not as they are, but as we are. That is why when two people look at something or someone, you get two different reactions. We see things and people not as they are, but as we are.
Remember that sentence from scripture about everything turning into good for those
who love God? When you finally awake, you don’t try to make good things happen; they
just happen. You understand suddenly that everything that happens to you is good. Think
of some people you’re living with whom you want to change. You find them moody,
inconsiderate, unreliable, treacherous, or whatever. But when you are different, they’ll be
different. The day you are different, they will become different. And you will see them differently, too. Someone who seemed terrifying will now seem frightened. Someone who seemed rude will seem frightened. All of a sudden, no one has the power to hurt you anymore. No one has the power to put pressure on you. People are so busy accusing everyone else, blaming everyone else, blaming life, blaming society, blaming their neighbor. You’ll never change that way; you’ll continue in your nightmare, you’ll never wake up.
(a) identify the negative feelings in you; (b) understand that they are in you, not in the world, not in external reality; (c) do not see them as an essential part of “I”; these things come and go; (d) understand that when you change, everything changes.