The State of the World


Q:
Right now there are very apparent events in the world of extreme separation between people, and it's persistently seeping into the small peace I craft for myself and my family. It's difficult to accept that this is just the given pain of the world. That just seems unreasonable. It's all from ignorance, right? I understand there will be pain, but some feels disproportionate and unfathomable. I still struggle with this; just letting the world be without attaching my preference to any of it. Maybe I misunderstand something?
 
A: Take a look at how much "pain of the world" exists only in the currently arising thought. We have the power, with our thought, to create in one instant an entire world of discord, suffering, separation, and in the next moment it can feel as if our way of life is threatened, that we are in danger, or that we just can't bear the pain of suffering in the world. It might spin out into a whole day's worth of story in our head, or it might go out the window in the next second when the phone rings and you stop thinking about it. The point is, "it" is the way it has to be – there is no other possibility. Yes, it's all ignorance, and that's built into the world. The world and ignorance go hand in hand. They appear together. 

But what about "pain"? Does the ugliness of the world have to produce a "pain" thought? When you say something out there seeps into the small peace you craft for yourself and your family, it usually is only in thought that this happens. That thought has no power – it can’t hurt you. If something bad or tragic or sad actually happens to befall your family, then, with the knowledge of your true nature, you are able to face that and move on – you are able to handle anything life throws at you with ease. So there is a rock-solid confidence that replaces the tendency to “horribilize.”

The pain of the world is a tough one, and a big big question. One thing I do know, though, is that most of us in this culture allow ourselves way too much exposure to current events. In much earlier times, you would barely know anything beyond your own family’s goings-on. We let non-peace into our lives via the television and internet.
James often mentions that one needs to do a “media fast” at some point. The media just loves to feed you despair. It’s good to cut that off completely for a while.

I hope I have understood your question. If you would like to give me an example of how the events of the world seep in and disrupt your peace, I would be happy to try and address it if I haven’t already.

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