A Special Holiday Message About How to Make the Season Bright
We're coming into a time of the year when certain conditions of the human consciousness glare. This time of the year is intended to be the happiest time of the year according to popular culture, but for most it's not only not the happiest time of the year, it's often the most conflicted time of the year. All of the unattended-to things relative to family and friends -- all of the shortcomings that one has lived out for eleven months -- suddenly pop up to the forefront when it's time to make amends, buy gifts, have family meals, and enjoy the happy tidings. If you're going to become a different kind of human being, gradually you will need to see what I'm going to speak of.
There are all kinds of movements. This room -- as relatively still as it is -- is filled with movements, but they're invisible movements. There is the movement of the person sitting next to you, however subtle that may be; there is the movement of the air around us caused by breathing, caused by the fireplace; there is the movement of thoughts and feelings, and the movement of invisible energies that these thoughts and feelings produce that emanate, radiate from the body; and there is the interaction of those radiations of two different people sitting next to each other and having the experience of whatever it is that energy brings out. But all of these movements, by and large, are almost completely ignored. They're ignored, not because we choose to ignore them, but because we live from a nature that is isolated, cut off from any awareness of these movements. Not only are we not aware of these movements, we're not aware of the movements inside of ourselves.
If I was to ask how many of you have been aware three times in the last ten minutes of the movement of your own thoughts and feelings, I can virtually guarantee that a small number of you might raise your hands, and amongst those, maybe one or two actually saw the movement of something. Being identified with something is not seeing the movement of something.
There are levels and scale of movement in this room, even as I'm talking with you, even as my words may move you one way or the other. There is the movement of the world, and there is the movement of spirit. They are two different things. One precludes the possibility of a human being ever understanding anything about compassion, about love, and the latter (the movement of spirit) is itself the embodiment of things that are compassionate, true, good, and loving.
The world that you are in now -- when you're not aware of the movement of virtually anything -- is the world in which you are part and parcel, fully a part of the movement of the world. The movement of this world is completely governed by the movement of desires that have nothing that oversees them except for whatever dominates the particular individual in whom that desire manifests itself in the moment.
Therefore, a person is virtually blind, deaf, and dumb relative to the degree to which he or she is identified with these movements inside of themselves, and cannot see at large the movement of themselves in the world because they are the world that is moving. Now, maybe that doesn't mean much to you, but I'll tell you something about it -- something that I saw recently.
My wife and I had gone to Costco [a giant warehouse store] in order to pick up some supplies for the Foundation. Costco is a perfect microcosm of the human brain. It is loaded with more things than one needs, set out in attractive aisles for the purpose of catching one's eye (just as thoughts, desires, and feelings are), and it's filled with individuals -- not one of whom even knows they're in the store, who knows the movement of their own thoughts and feelings.
Relative to that picture, imagine all of these thoughts and feelings running around the mind (just like in Costco), trying to get their hands on what they want to get their hands on -- lots of discounted deals, lots of bright things for the future to make one happier -- with thoughts bumping into each other, carts running each other over. Someone sees something and you see it at the same time, and you want the pasta before they get it. Have you ever run into your own thought?
Here are a thousand people in a giant store, and the purpose of that store (of desire) is to bring one to the desired object. If the store wants something to stand out, someone must actually make it stand out, so (particularly at this time of year) there are always a half a dozen or so people standing in front of little carts with microwaves and skillets, preparing tasty morsels for human beings to sample.
The human beings standing there, waiting to get their tasty morsel, are irritated by the fact that they have to wait in line to get it, or that the woman preparing it is too slow – because they're part of a movement that can't see anything except for the desire in front of their own eyes. They can't see that 75-year-old woman, skin like tissue, thin and worn, hands old, eyes bleached (from the same kind of life that we've lived, I might add, that we've all been a part of). Hardly anyone says "thank you." Not one person there thinks to themselves, "How is it that I'm in relationship with this poor old woman, irritating me because she's not giving me my pleasure fast enough?"
There is a monster at large. It is in our body. There is a monster at large that doesn't care about anything other than what it needs in order to feel about itself what it has named as being primary for that moment. That's all.
There is in me -- just as there is in all human beings -- a nature who has a vested interest in keeping out any impression whatsoever that makes me see that the world I am walking through is how it is because of what that nature is. No one wants to suffer the fact that the world they see is what it is because of the way they are. Why? Because then I'm going to have to meet this thing that doesn't see but just wants. I have to meet this thing that doesn't consider anything outside of itself other than what is necessary to support whatever it is feeling about itself in the moment.
Here is all of this movement, and part of that body of human beings is all moving towards a poor old woman who is moving to satisfy that movement, and not one part of any of that movement has consciousness of any other part. That's what it means to be dead and blind.
Until a person begins to separate from this incessant movement in themselves, there's no chance for them to ever know a life that isn't part of the denigration of the spirit because of that incessant movement. It's impossible.
But what a suffering is involved. I have to stop feeding myself. I have to stop having enemies. I have to stop thinking about people. And most important, I have to stop putting myself at the center of the universe because all the things I think about, even those I think I care about, still put me at the center of the universe.
All of this movement that I'm talking about, which we absolutely don't see because we're swept away in it, precludes us from seeing anything else that's in that movement.
To be blinded means to be out of relationship with what's around you. And the point of spirit, as opposed to the movement of the world, is that spirit (what is true) is always in relationship with what is around it. It's never not conscious of its relationship to life because gradually a human being begins to recognize that it's mandatory to become still. Without stillness there is no hope for transformation.
You have to examine yourself and see how stimulated you are by movement that you come up with that has to do with the plans by which your spiritual works are going to change you. All your plans and knowledge, your gabbing and convincing one another of what you have and how things ought to be, doesn't change anything – it just makes you part of the "Costco consciousness" of spiritual beings.
True spirituality has its root in a very, very dear payment that begins with an individual becoming conscious of himself, in the world, as he is, and as the word is. Then because of that, by the very consciousness that he has of the condition inside of himself and its relationship to the world that condition has produced as a result of his unconsciousness of it, then change becomes necessary. It's not a question anymore that a person wants to change. They're staggered by the fact of what they are. You're not staggered at all by what you are. You're quite pleased with what you are because presently what you are is filled with your plans to become something different. All plans to become something different are garbage. If you have a spiritual future, you have nothing but the repetition of what you have been.
Be different this year by being different now. Try to see past the movement of your own mind. The only way to see past the movement that is generated by desire and the mind is for there to be something still in you. If there is nothing still in you, then you are part of all of that movement.
You go out to the supermarket, the shopping centers, the mall. By and large you waste your money, trying to find a way to feel good about what you've been and done over the year by making it up to someone at this time. You want to know how to make it up to someone? Don't hurt them. Don't take from them. Don't stand in front of them and wait for them to give you what you want so that your appetite can be satisfied. Give them something. Give them your attention. Find out where you can be a little bit of light instead of a stone around somebody's neck.
I know that it doesn't sound like much, but I can assure you that one person standing in a crowd of five, ten, or fifteen people, recognizing the fact and the actuality of the condition they're in, coming wide awake and bearing some of the pain that's inherent wherever human beings are gathered for the purpose of satisfying themselves, that such a tiny act not only changes that moment but changes the whole of the world that you and I have been a part of.
This is what the holidays are about, as far as I'm concerned: Where is it possible for me to step out of the worldly movement and into the stillness of spirit that can be a part of the world but is not in it in the way that I am when I am part of that blind movement to satisfy myself?
When the shoe fits, change the foot... it's not easy to change one's foot, meaning to change one's psychology, but I can assure you, if you don't do that work, you will be part of a blind force that is consumed by a blind force, and that ends in a blind force.
On the other hand, this time of the year, you do what you can, wherever you can, and suffer what you must consciously. Cease to be a part of what is destroying this earth and the soul inside of you, and you become part of the creation of a new world that begins within you and is finally expressed in a Light that dawns and is born upon the earth.