We all find it remarkably easy to love beauty when, through our conditioning, we identify something as beautiful. People who love cats, particularly kittens, will likely find the above picture to be beautiful. Those who hate cats may find it challenging to see this little critter in the same light.
It is our programming which tells us what is beautiful and what is not. Because of the dualistic nature of our brain, naming anything automatically creates its opposite. It is the way the brain identifies and classifies the world that surrounds us. In order to call something good, we must also have an idea of what is “not” good.
The capacity to access what life has taught us is a gift. To be able to discern between what is beneficial and what is harmful is absolutely necessary for the survival of any species. True to the dualistic nature of physical form, however, anything which is helpful can also be harmful if used without discretion. The ego’s ability to judge is a mechanism which allows us to function in the world. Used indiscriminately, this amazing tool becomes the root cause of all our suffering.
I have friends who insist that suffering is simply an aspect of being human, and is therefore necessary. While suffering may be helpful when used as a stimulus for the evolution of our soul, I cannot accept the premise that it is unavoidable. I have proven, in my own life that suffering is optional; it is actually a choice.
“If suffering is a choice, why would anyone ever make such a choice?” friends have argued.
Until we are aware that we have the power and ability to live life without suffering, it does not appear that we have a choice. While I agree that suffering is the default or the norm for the typical human experience, I hasten to add that we are not required to live our lives restrained by the norms of society.
If we want to quit suffering we only need to change the way we judge, name, and classify the events and circumstances of our lives. Instead of defining our experiences on a scale of dualistic opposites, we can choose to allow everything to simply “Be.” Rather than insisting that some things are good and some things are bad, we can decide to merely allow that they “Are,” just as they are.
Is this endeavor easy?
No, of course not; if it was easy, suffering would be the exception instead of the norm. To free ourselves of this ingrained tendency requires that we understand the Truth about who and what we are.
Suffering is created by the same mind that insists “some things are wrong others are right, that some things are beautiful while others are ugly.” Consider Cheri Huber‘s words: “There is nothing wrong in the universe. Wrong exists in our limited view of the universe.”
The Truth of our Being is that we are not our thoughts. We are not our brains which process these thoughts. We are not slaves, imprisoned by whatever happens in our lives. We are the Being that gives our physical form Life. As such, we have the power to choose which thoughts we will invest in and which thoughts we will dismiss.
Suffering is created by investing in judgmental thoughts. We set ourselves free when we consciously avoid judging the world within the confines of our old, limiting structure.
I seldom use the word “God” in my writings because of human nature’s tendency to attach so much emotional baggage to this concept. I also seldom mention Jesus of Nazareth’s teachings for the same reason. People read the word “God” and they immediately conjure up an image based on whatever that idea means to them. If my words happen to line up with their vision, they may see value in what I offer. If on the other hand our interpretations of this word clash, my suggestions can be easily discarded. Even within the “Christian” culture the teachings of Jesus are debated in emotionally charged, ego-based arguments which compromise the value of the lessons themselves.
I find Jesus to be one of the greatest teachers of “living in peace” that the world has ever documented. I feel that all of his lessons show us the way to live a life free of suffering, free of the prisons that we seem so willing to create for ourselves. When asked which of the existing commandments was the most important, Jesus replied “Love your god with all of your heart, all of your mind, and all of your soul.” I will not argue about the various interpretations of this writing from the Book of Matthew, because the words are irrelevant. It is the concept that is important.
The most important thing we can do to live a life of peace is to love God with every ounce of our Being.
So, to evolve ourselves to actually living in peace, we must decide what the concept of God means to us. Our chance of attaining this level of freedom is totally dependent upon the quality of this understanding.
For me, Life itself is God. There is nothing which is outside of my concept of God. There is Only God. No matter how deeply we peer into the microcosm of life or how far we look into the macrocosm of life, it is all God. God is all there IS. Everything I Am is God. Everything you are is God.
This understanding has always met with a lot of resistance whenever I have shared it, especially among those invested in the dualistic teachings of the Bible who insist that there are at least two powers: God the Good and Satan the evil. It has also annoyed atheists attached to their truth that there is no unifying force in the Universe.
It is not important that others agree with these ideas. What is important, to me, is that I live in peace, regardless of what life brings. When I see all there is as God and I apply Jesus’s teaching to Love God with all of my Being, living in peace is my reward.
Truth has no opposite. True and false are dualistic ideas born in a brain that must have polarity because of its structure. Truth IS. What IS has no polarity.
Beauty is said to be in the eyes of the beholder, but the eyes of the typical beholder are limited by the judgmental mind. Within this structure some things are named beauty and some things do not meet this definition.
The structure itself, the judgment that one thing is beautiful and another is not, reinforces the oppressive constraint of dualism. Suffering can only exist in a field where there are some things that are beautiful and some things that are not, where some things are good and others are bad.
One quick way to start withdrawing from the enslavement of the dualistic brain is to see everything as beautiful. Practicing the wisdom Ray Stevens taught that “Everything is beautiful, in its own way,” is an effective way to challenge our unexamined truth. Once we can view everything as beautiful, we are well on our way to owning Byron Katie’s profound wisdom that peace is found through “Loving What Is.”
After all, what’s not to love when everything is beautiful?
As I opened with Bede Griffith’s shared wisdom I shall also close with his wise teaching: “The divine beauty is not only truth but also Love, and that Love has come down from heaven and made its dwelling among men.”
I encourage you to begin shifting your paradigm, today, by simply seeing everyone and everything as beautiful. Love this beauty, which is omnipresent, with every ounce of your being, and living in peace will become the norm instead of the exception in your life.