September 6, 2008 by gus
When I was in third grade we took a test, all that you had to do was put a “T” or an “O” next to the sentence to indicate whether it was truth or an opinion. In this step we are not going to ask for existential, metaphysical, or religious definitions, just plain old third grade stuff. Just because it’s plain old third grade stuff doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.
Memes have a powerful component to them; they are taken as the truth. Not only are they taken us the truth, but they tell us something very bad will happen if we don’t believe them. And obviously, as evidenced by the previous two steps, they have a negative emotional charge associated with them.
So in our minds when we say “the light should change faster” what we are really saying is that it’s the truth. We think it’s the truth that the light should change faster. It SHOULD change faster and there is a corresponding emotional “charge” we throw at the light to underline our statement. The body thinks if it throws enough energy at the light it will make the “should” statement true.
If you write this sentence down and really truly examine it. You will see that this is merely your opinion. The truth is, the light will change when the light changes, and not one second before. The truth is if it was green you wouldn’t care. There is not a whole lot to say about this if you’re honest with yourself. It’s obvious that it’s an opinion.
Now there is something that is true to the statement and this is why we think the whole meme is true. It is true that you are thinking that the light should change faster. There is no doubting that you are thinking that the light should change faster. This is the trick the ego uses to get you to believe that the world is wrong, and thereby hold negative emotions and false ideas in place. I will rephrase this again because it is very important.
It is true that you are feeling an emotion. It is true that you are thinking something should be different. It is true that the thought your thinking is making you feel the emotion. It is absolutely not true that the world should be different than it is. It is a physical impossibility for the world to be different than it is right now. Even more impossible is you are actually thinking that the past should be different than it is.
You cannot even recognize what is going on until after it has already happened because it takes a fraction of a second to register in your brain. “SOMETHING SHOULD BE DIFFERENT” IS DEFINITELY NOT THE TRUTH. THE PAST CANNOT BE CHANGED. THE PAST DOES NOT EVEN EXIST. THE PAST AS YOU KNOW IT IS A FIGMENT OF YOUR IMAGINATION. IT IS NOT HERE NOW EXCEPT AS A MEMORY.
The first half of this step is to see that the meme is your opinion and not the truth. The second half of this step is pretty easy. Ask yourself the question, whose opinion is it? If you’re sitting in the room all by yourself will be fairly obvious that it’s your opinion. Lots of times you will see that it is your mother’s opinion or your father’s opinion. It could’ve been anybody’s opinion, but now it’s your opinion.
You own it and all of its corresponding costs. If it’s your opinion, and you own it, can’t you change it? Of course you can, you just had no reason why until now. If this opinion causes you pain as evidenced by the first two steps, wouldn’t it be wise to change it? Of course it would. Why would anyone in their right mind hold an opinion that hurts their body, uses up their mental faculties and is totally false?
This mental activity is normal, but it is completely insane. It is not sane to think imaginary things that cause harm to your body. If you check in a mental institution they’ll tell you everyone is there because they think things that aren’t true or they hurt themselves or both. The people in a mental institution are just doing it at a greater level than “normal” people are doing.
There is an acceptable level of insanity in this world because nobody has made it easy for the layperson (or professional for that matter) to clearly identify an insane thought. We can’t put everybody in the mental institution, so we give the rest of them drugs to cover up their insanity. (Again, unless they are writing Bibles about you, you will fit into this category to some degree) There is a saying from a course in miracles that really made this idea clear to me. “I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.”
Once I understood that it was the thought that hurt and not the other person that hurt me or my body hurting me, my spiritual growth accelerated. My mind is clever at hiding this fact from me. Once you know the feeling, the meme, and are certain it’s your opinion move on to the next step.