“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”
Security and abundance is not something external you are trying to get. It is the natural reality of someone who does good work and who has little attachment to the outcome. How so?
It is your usefulness that determines your security. If you serve a company or person well, you will always be rewarded. The more value you create in service, the more money you can ask for in return. It isn’t a question of chasing; rather, a question of creating value and serving.
A person chasing money and security is of the mindset that they should be paid a lot for very little. This person often stresses out, makes demands, complains about problems, plays the victim, and behaves selfishly. The ongoing concern with getting rather than giving leaves this person unwilling to serve anyone in any useful or valuable way.
You cannot do anything well in a state of panic. A selfish mind cannot serve. Stop chasing the result. Instead, you can meditate. Relax a bit. Slow down. Just do your work every day, then step back. If you keep going, keep getting better, and simply do your best, then the outcome is certain.
The Tao Te Ching is a book of seeming irony. To the mind, it seems that every piece of wisdom it offers goes against conventional wisdom. But to live it is to walk the path to serenity.
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“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”
Thought alone, when it is no longer connected with the much vaster realm of consciousness, quickly becomes barren, insane, destructive. (Eckhart Tolle)
Complete identification with the mind (the belief that I am my thoughts) is the cause of failure, suffering and insanity. A person in this state—convinced by the story of “me against the universe”—suffers from so much fear and panic.
Even still today, most people never look at or question their belief in separation. Instead, exhaustive effort is made to blame other people, limitations and situations for their suffering. “If only this person would change, or if only I could find a way to accomplish this, then I could finally be happy.” This way of thinking appears to make sense when we are young, but as we get older something else happens.
As you mature, you look back upon all the things that were supposed to make you happy and supposed to end your suffering. Much of it was eventually accomplished. But just as soon as it was, of course you found the next reason to suffer. At some point, you face a choice to either sink into despair or, far better, you learn to merely observe thought rather than trusting it.
The sane, creative, productive mind has learned to humble itself to the vast realm of consciousness. The mind isn’t you; rather, merely a useful tool to channel being into doing. Of itself, the mind has no real power, knowledge or truth.
That which is real is beyond the mind and can be best described as unconditional love. When this is known, the mind functions optimally and the suffering ends.
The word “God” has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. (Eckhart Tolle, Power of Now)
Eckhart Tolle continues, “By ‘misuse’ I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the reality of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction—as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions such as ‘my’ or ‘our God’ is the only true God and ‘your God’ is false.”
Use of a misused word isn’t all that helpful. “Love” is another badly misused word and wonderful books have been written attempting to redefine it correctly. This has been the learning obstacle throughout history: people who don’t understand the essential truth behind a concept begin using and defining the word in a way that has nothing to do with the original meaning.
The truth is never found in a word or in a set of words arranged in some perfect order. Words are only symbols; sounds our vocal cords and mouths make. At best, words can point to the truth; but they never exactly are the truth. Therefore, it is helpful to approach knowing by exploring multiple teachings and traditions.
Atheists like to mock believers by laughing at the concept of their “man in the sky”. Yet, those who know God would also laugh at this concept. That’s not what we are talking about.
God is being, love, consciousness, freedom, the force of life, the Tao, source energy, truth, perfect knowing, power, oneness and the unobservable, eternal nothingness that surrounds all material form within and throughout the universe. There is only one God, which is being, and is beyond our mind’s ability to fully define, possess or grasp.
Through a practice of quieting the mind, remaining still and present, wanting only honesty and truth, and acting only in love, we can allow the source energy within to guide us. Whatever language is helpful to get us there makes no difference at all, but the most important thing we can do in life is to undo whatever is blocking us from this knowing. For those who are unwilling, the suffering gradually increases through life; until one day they do become willing and open.
You have probably learned the world’s lesson that there is no truth, only shades of gray. Or you may think there are different kinds of truth—that there is universal truth, plain truth, and perhaps ugly truth. Some truths are considered good, appropriate, or acceptable; while others are meant to be hidden in shame. You may believe that you have your truths and I have mine; or that you would have to convince everyone of your truth for it to be considered true at all. So, you remain stuck in the mental game of argument and debate.
Truth can only be honesty. There are no orders of reality to honesty. There are no levels or different types. The truth about an error is no less truthful than the truth of love. Therefore, there is no need to judge or sort out the significance or importance of various truths. The truth about your life, your feelings, your desires, your needs, your experiences, or your fantasies are no less honest than the truths spoken by the Buddha, Lao Tzu or Jesus Christ.
All honesty is truth and can be honored equally. The philosophy of truth is simple: if you are telling the truth and you want only truth, then you are on the right path. You are allowing reality to reveal itself to you as it is.
Nobody can judge your path. There is nothing to argue or debate. There is no superior form of honesty; only honesty or dishonesty. You don’t need to discover the ultimate secrets of the universe right now, though you probably will. For now, you only need to be honest. So how do you choose honesty? By always being honest and calmly accepting the honesty of others. –From my free eBook, The Switch.
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest art seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.
-Tao Te Ching
The end of confusion is the recognition of oneness and sameness where there was once perceived duality and contradiction. There is nothing to be judged, debated, or struggled against—only that which rests effortlessly in truth or that which is false and can be ignored.
Maybe what we call "awakening" is just a decision to live your truth and do what you really want to do.
While it has taken decades to play out, the Internet has brought collapse across industries and has fundamentally changed everything about how the world used to work. With the massive shift away from centralized control over things and toward decentralization, we need to be more honest with ourselves about the implications.
More than 25 years after the large-scale introduction of the Internet, most of us are still stuck in mental models of how the world was before. On some level, we still believe there is some value, prestige, or even competence to be found in what is clearly becoming an obsolete world order.
Let’s get real. Today, do music labels have any power to make a new artist successful? Are book publishers capable of or interested in making a new author famous? Does anyone even read the newspapers and magazines? Does advertising work?
Most of the documentaries on Netflix, for example, are stories that happened during the previous world order. The fictional movies we watch also reference these obsolete ideas and values. The people who we admire and want to be like—they became successful and famous under an entirely different system. Their lessons are no longer relevant. But because there are so few fresh voices getting through, this is what we are left with and the obsolete mental models are perpetuated.
The result is that we are constantly failing. Now there is an entire industry selling us books and motivational content promising that we can succeed—that we can somehow become like our heroes, even though the conventional definition of success is no longer attainable. The world is entirely different from how it was when our heroes succeeded. The problem is not our lack of talent and not our lack of ability to innovate. The problem is that we are defining success in a way that is now impossible to achieve.
Companies and creative people continue to invest in PR and advertising because we still believe that 1) people can be persuaded by such mediums, and 2) this is the way to reach a huge audience. Anyone who has tried this knows that, no matter how much money you throw at this, it doesn’t work anymore.
For the most part, it seems that only previously established entertainers, artists, writers, and companies seem capable of maintaining a huge following. How is anything new and innovative supposed to gain a following or reach a substantial audience? Does anyone know what we are supposed to do?
To start with, perhaps we need a different definition of success. Success can no longer mean becoming huge, being in the media, instantly gaining millions of customers or followers. It doesn’t work that way anymore. These types of breakthroughs just don’t happen and, even if they could, nobody is paying attention to the traditional media anyway.
Perhaps success, these days, means living in freedom, making enough money not to worry, having a happy relationship, and making a difference in people’s lives. You don’t have to be known by millions of people. Maybe it is enough to mean a lot to a few dozen, a few hundred, or a few thousand. We may not be able to change the world, but we can start a company that creates excellent value for a few loyal customers.
Furthermore, we can celebrate what is great about this massive democratization / decentralization movement. Now we can record our own music, publish our own books, produce our own videos and films, start a global business from our bedrooms—and we can do all of this from anywhere in the world. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for the past dozen years, and I’m tired of thinking that my “real success” is somewhere in the future. I’m declaring my life a success now because I will no longer define success by that which has become essentially impossible in this new world order.
Now that we are free from the grip of centralized media, what’s left is our person-to-person connections. Rather than trying to appeal to a system that is supposed to make us successful, we can learn the art of human relationships. We can learn to shed ego, to serve one another, to join in harmonious union, to figure out ways to build trust and closeness while also inventing ways to scale our reach in this new world order.
The world is becoming decentralized, and it is time that our thinking catches-up. This isn’t good or bad; it just is. Let’s start there. Let’s be honest. Let's appreciate one another for what's great about us even if we aren't famous. We can enjoy what’s happening now and let’s create what happens next.
Whenever you are with a brother, you are learning what you are because you are teaching what you are. (A Course in Miracles)
“He will respond either with pain, or with joy, depending upon which teacher you are following. He will be imprisoned or released according to your decision, and so will you. Never forget your responsibility to him, because it is your responsibility to yourself. The Kingdom cannot be found alone.”
Some people seek inner peace by labeling others as narcissists and sociopaths—then creating boundaries, attempting to rid themselves of what they call “toxic relationships”. Any time we judge or condemn a brother or sister using such labels, we are serving the ego and its belief in separation.
What are you teaching? That narcissistic and sociopathic behavior is real, that the other is condemned, wrong, flawed, sinful, hopeless? This is belief in separation, not the path to inner peace. Here you seek but do not find.
Happiness is not found in isolation and separation. This is the path toward loneliness and lack. If you desire abundance and freedom, respond your brothers and sisters in spirit. Learn to communicate, and to teach, on the level of feelings and needs.
Marshall Rosenberg says, “Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need.” Or as stated in the Tao Te Ching, “What is a bad man but a good man’s student? What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?”
To teach is to look past the error and to communicate on the level of the unmet need. Healing and growth is possible, but only if we learn to respond to each other like this: “I can see that you’re feeling angry. Is it because you have a need for more freedom, or more love, or more safety? I’d like to understand you better. Would you like to talk about this?”
We continue tomorrow and each day after that.
Men have been convinced to hide our truths about our wants, needs, and desires. We withhold honesty all the time because we are told that our truths are somehow wrong.
This makes it impossible for us to enjoy life. Rather than openly being who we are, we choose to suppress it. When this fails, we lie, we cheat, we do whatever it takes to be who we truly are and to fulfill our real needs in secret.
The problem is that secrets and lies are always eventually exposed. Dishonesty is the cause of crisis, because crisis is exactly what happens when the truth exposes a lie.
There is nothing wrong with us to begin with and nothing we need to hide. Every person has a right to be who he or she is. If you feel this message, check out my eBook called The Switch.
The way to end your problems, to stop suffering, and to avoid crisis is rather simple: choose truth and honesty instead of withholding it.
The Switch reveals the power of undoing dishonesty everywhere it exists in your life by telling the truth.
Suffering is caused by trying to make real what is not true. This is faith in illusion — a failing and impossible strategy to get what you want and to live your dreams by hiding who you really are.
Lack of honesty is not just the cause of suffering, but also crisis. Crisis is what happens in your life when the truth inevitably exposes what you have attempted to hide.
The Switch is the eBook and Audiobook for anyone interested in awakening from illusion now to end suffering and to avoid crisis. Come out from the dark. Be who you are. You are not guilty and there’s nothing wrong with you.
For $15, get the eBook PDF + access to Audiobook version of The Switch — which provides all the insights and tools you need to find lasting happiness in your life through the power of perfect honesty. In addition, the eBook also describes how to join the new global community of awakened people who share the intention of living in perfect honesty and freedom.