Good morning, my friends. There’s a challenge in our world today. Many of the people who practice personal development and spirituality tell you to avoid negativity – negative people and situations – like the plague. One common piece of advice is to drop friends and family who are negative. They tell you that once you’ve found your enlightenment, you should go blissfully about your business without touching the darkness in the world.
This is not a new problem. There’s a story in the Buddhist tradition that the Buddha, having attained complete enlightenment, looked at the darkness and evil in the world and considered keeping it to himself. It’s said the god Brahma appeared before the Buddha and pleaded with him to teach the dharma, arguing that both men and gods needed to hear it. As history tells us, the Buddha did go out and encounter that dark world with his enlightenment and transformed half this planet.
There is much darkness in our world today. Our economic, military, and even religious ideologies create havoc, violence, and injustice.
You and I have the same choice the Buddha had all those centuries ago. We can say our affirmations, meditate, develop our bodies and our minds and our spirits and keep it all to ourselves. We can say, “Thinking about or exposing myself to those realities upsets my balance, is unspiritual, or risks what I’ve achieved for myself.”
Here’s the thing. We still have to share the world with all the institutions and people who live in this negativity. Just like positive thinking, negative mindsets create in the world what begins in the mind. If you look at many of the challenges we face, you can see this at work all around us.
I believe we are called upon, having attained some understanding ourselves, to spread the light into the darkness that is hatred, war, and injustice; doing more than simply letting it persist.
Involvement in the process is actually the most enlightened thing you can do. If enough of us do it, then this world has hope of turning the ship around and heading in directions that will change everything and everyone for the better.
Engagement not avoidance is the way forward. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this below.
As always, in case I’m the only one who tells you today, you ARE awesome!