Tag Archives: inner peace

Carl Jung – “We Cannot Change Anything, Unless We Accept it” (5 minute read)

If you are struggling to find inner peace, I urge you to read this short post. It is an excerpt from a lecture that Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, gave to a group of clergy. I discovered it on YouTube and have provided the link below.

People forget that even doctors have moral scruples. And that certain patients’ confessions are hard for even a doctor to swallow. Yet the patient does not feel themselves accepted unless the very worst in him is accepted too. No one can bring this about by mere words. It comes only through reflection and through the doctor’s attitude towards himself and his own dark side. If the doctor wants to guide another or even accompany him a step of the way he must feel with that person’s psyche. He never feels it when he passes judgment. Whether he puts his judgment into words or keeps it to himself makes not the slightest difference. To take the opposite position and to agree with the patient offhand is also of no use and estranges him as much as condemnation.

Feeling comes only through unprejudiced objectivity. This sounds almost like a scientific precept and it could be confused with the purely intellectual abstract attitude of mind but what I mean is something quite different. It is a human quality. A kind of deep respect for the facts, for the man who suffers from them, and for the riddle of such a man’s life.

The truly religious person has this attitude. He knows that God has brought all sorts of strange and inconceivable things to pass and seeks in the most curious ways to enter a man’s heart. He therefore senses in everything the unseen presence of the divine will. This is what I mean by unprejudiced objectivity. It is the moral achievement on the part of the doctor who ought not let himself be repelled by sickness or corruption. We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate. It oppresses. I am the oppressor of the person I condemn. Not his friend and fellow sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgment when we decide to help and improve, but if the doctor wishes to help a human being, he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is.

Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple and so acceptance of one’s self is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I have given him salt, that I love the enemy in the name of Christ. All these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yea the very fiend himself, that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the arms of my own kindness. That I myself am the enemy who must be loved. What then?

Then as a rule the whole truth of Christianity is reversed. There is then no more talk of love and long suffering. We say to the brother within us “Raca” and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide him from the world. we deny ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves and had it been god himself that drew near to us in this despicable form we should deny him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.

 

Image Courtesy of rdonar/Shutterstock.com

Is Your Permission The Only Obstacle To Bliss?

I had a thought on the weekend that they only thing in the way of the peace I desire is my own’permission’ to be at peace. Do I truly think I deserve to be at peace, or do I believe I need to overcome a pile of fictional obstacles that I have placed in my own way?

What if it was as simple as the recognition that I am allowed to be everything I’ve always wanted to be RIGHT NOW!

I am not talking about anything from the physical world like getting that new job, or being a scratch golfer, or even a successful blogger. But rather it is the feeling that I assumes comes with each of those. Those feelings of success, achievement, of being important, and of validation of my own existence. And after each of those feelings I believe inner peace will finally be realized as I can finally stop trying to prove that I deserve to be here.

There’s also a certain resistance I had to this idea because spiritual enlightenment seems to revolve almost entirely around transcending the mind, and this particular approach utilizes the mind, particularly the concept of permission.

But can the mind be a gateway to it’s own transcendence?

At the surface the concept of permission and acceptance seem quite similar. But the key difference in my interpretation is that acceptance is directed more at external conditions, whereas permission is related to my internal way of being, at my relationship with the world.

In my spiritual practice of acceptance my focus has never been on my inner feelings but rather an attempt at quiet observation of the physical world. When I add the idea of permission to the mix it is like adding a degree of freedom. That I am giving my inner world the freedom to be entirely separate from my external conditions.

A deeply held belief of mine was that if I was quiet enough, and saw the world rightly, all of the good feelings would come streaming in. But permission goes both ways, I must give myself permission to feel both the good and bad. Honestly though, we are pretty much all experts already at giving ourselves permission to feel crappy!

I guess in some ways it is a rebellion against the relationship between the inner and outer. Do I not still deserve to be at peace if I lose my job? Can I not still experience bliss if my pipes freeze and the basement floods? Can I still be calm if someone belittles and insults me? It feels like the answer could be yes.

Is that insanity, or is that enlightenment?

And when I give myself this permission to be at peace no matter what, I am not ‘trying’ to be happy, it just seems to come easily when I let it. Like it’s closer to my natural state.

 

 

What Am I Supposed To Think?

This is the question that blocks my growth. Some moments or days I am endlessly asking myself this question.

I become an infinite loop of validating that my thoughts in a particular situation are representative of the person I wish to be, or think that I am. I fear that if I don’t perform this double and triple check my very identity will drift off and become something bad, something very far from where I want to be.

It’s like I am constantly righting the ship.

The random nature of the mind makes this an incredibly tiring activity. I am sure there are many techniques one could perfect to train the brain to be more efficient in it’s thinking. Prior to becoming spiritual I forced my thinking to become more positive. I wrote down my better qualities and carried them around with me. In my tougher times I would repeat positive phrases dozens of times.

And this worked to a certain extent. Repetition was the fuel of my negative thinking so it makes sense that it could be reversed. However this still empowered the mind as the determining factor of my inner peace. And the randomness of the mind is still there.

I suppose it is that inherent randomness of thought that enables creativity.

It allows new ideas to emerge. It is this total freedom to create without boundaries that the mind loves. As soon as we place limitations, rules and boundaries around thought our mind rebels. Almost like a teenager, you tell the mind not to think something and it will think it until the cows come home. And because we are trained to identify who we are with what we think our anxiety goes through the roof. Compounding this is that the emphasis on identifying with thoughts is growing exponentially in our culture.

There is popular buddhist saying “What we think we become”, however the end of that quote is often left off and it changes it’s meaning entirely. It follows “When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” While the shortened version of this quote seems to emphasize controlling your thoughts, when heard in it’s entirety it seems to point away from that. To free yourself of thought is to be joyful.

In order to really change this world you need a free mind.

When you’re that true self who can watch the mind without getting wrapped up in it’s content brilliant ideas will flow through you. Perspectives that remained hidden before will be revealed. You will have an understanding of the whole that’s required to transform this planet into the utopia it was meant to be.