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The Power to Walk Through Any Dark Moment

Key Lesson: Genuine spiritual happiness and strength dawns within us once we realize that passing dark clouds are as powerless to dim the sun in the sky, as is morning dew to diminish the color of new spring flowers.

Pull the Power Out of All Self-Punishing States

We have yet to recognize the fact that our thinking about any painful event as something real, solid and unavoidable is one of the conditions that perpetuate it. Take one thing out of the conjunction, and it is no longer the same event. When we stop giving our life energy to any moment which seems overpowering, it loses its illusion of power. In that moment is also lost our prior belief that we have to submit to its punishment. Because of our new understanding, we can see through our suffering instead of through its eyes. And what a world of difference this difference makes!

What we see is that our perception produces what we experience, and our experience is made up of many different small elements that by themselves mean nothing. When our perception combines and organizes these events, and connects itself to them through an expectation or desire, the thing takes on a kind of life. It appears to us as a whole, dark, permanent entity that has the power to hurt us, but it isn't that at all. It's only a conjunction of events that has conditional dependence, and the primary condition that gives it power is our perception. When all these conditions are stirred up and "baked in a cake," that cake has reality to us. But in fact, the cake is made up of individual facts that will simply pass if we let them.

Can you see what good news this is for those of us who wish to free ourselves from false suffering and find the higher life? It means that all those conditions that seemed so real and painful are just the creation of faulty perception. Our belief that the event had the power to hurt us is what made it so punishing and continued its existence, but now we understand that if the events are left to themselves, they must move on. The expression "This too shall pass" is now revealed in all its wisdom. Every temporary conjunction of events must pass as long as we don't keep it going through our own thoughts.

Now that we know negative events are not powerful in themselves, we can turn away from what we perceive as permanent punishment toward what can be called permanent pleasure. This is the same thing as turning toward Truth.

Everything passes. There is great beauty in this, both in the passing of pain and in the passing of pleasure. When things present themselves to you as permanent, don't believe it. Exercise a reasonable doubt. Discover from your own experience that the negative event that seems so overwhelming is not the power it presents itself to be.

This article is excerpted from Who Put That Stone In My Shoe?.

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