If anyone has the justification to feel hopeless, we might imagine it would be the spiritual leader of Tibet who was run out of his own country nearly sixty years ago and has been in exile in northern India ever since.
However, the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of compassionate understanding of the ways of the world, and his thoughtfulness is reflected in every message, speech and teaching he offers us. What can we learn from his words? To look at each situation not from the perspective of finding the pain in it, but to find the seeds of growth and optimism.
It is always our own choice how we view every incident in our lives, both private and public. We can take the position of fearing that the world is falling apart and there is no hope for future generations, or we can realize that we are always in a time of growth and evolution and change. When we look to ways to evolve in an upward direction, we make world peace an eventuality instead of simply a wistful wish.
Please enjoy the following excerpt from The Washington Post, Opinions, dated June 13, 2016.
Why I’m Hopeful About the World’s Future
by The Dalai Lama
“While it would be easy to feel a sense of hopelessness and despair, it is all the more necessary in the early years of the 21st century to be realistic and optimistic.
“There are many reasons for us to be hopeful. Recognition of universal human rights, including the right to self-determination, has expanded beyond anything imagined a century ago. There is growing international consensus in support of gender equality and respect for women. Particularly among the younger generation, there is a widespread rejection of war as a means of solving problems. Across the world, many are doing valuable work to prevent terrorism, recognizing the depths of misunderstanding and the divisive idea of “us” and “them” that is so dangerous. Significant reductions in the world’s arsenal of nuclear weapons mean that setting a timetable for further reductions and ultimately the elimination of nuclear weapons — a sentiment President Obama recently reiterated in Hiroshima, Japan — no longer seem a mere dream.”
The following excerpt is from the book Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts.
“Your rate of learning depends entirely upon you, however. Limited, dogmatic, or rigid concepts of good and evil can hold you back. Too narrow ideas of the nature of existence can follow you through several lives if you do not choose to be spiritually and psychically flexible.
“These rigid ideas can indeed act as leashes, so that you are forced to circle like a tied puppy dog about a very small radius. In such cases, through perhaps a group of existences, you will find yourself battling against ideas of good and evil, running about in a circle of confusion, doubt, and anxiety.
“Your friends and acquaintances will be concerned with the same problems, for you will draw to yourself those with the same concerns. I am telling you again, therefore, that many of your ideas of good and evil are highly distortive, and shadow all understanding you have of the nature of reality.
“If you form a guilt in your mind, then it is a reality for you, and you must work it out. But many of you form guilts for which there is no adequate cause, and you saddle yourselves with these guilts without reason. In your dimension of activity there appear to be a wild assortment of evils. Let me tell you that he who hates an evil merely creates another one.
“From within your point of reference it is often difficult for you to perceive that all events work toward creativity, or to trust in the spontaneous creativity of your own natures.”
Wayne Dyer and others remind us that when we change the way we look at things, those things actually change. The reason is that our point of view or perception of circumstances, events, people and conditions colors absolutely everything. Within our perception are our judgments, labels and evaluations about the world and all that is in it.
It’s a good thing to have a point of view or we would walk around totally overwhelmed. Imagine the chaos if every time we were faced with a green light in an intersection we had to dredge up information about whether it meant “stop” or “go”! We judge constantly because the stream of impressions our mind receives each day is staggering. And in today’s world of instant communication and massive amounts of internet mail and websites to visit, we can get sensory overload quickly. Our mind helps us assess all these things so that we can make quick decisions about whether something interests us enough to look further, and we all know how that channel surfing works with television, too. A quick glance and instantly our mind calculates whether we would like “this” or not like it, based on…what? Based on thoughtful contemplation? Rarely. Based on thousands of impressions we’ve already had and stored for just this purpose: to help us sort.
But there’s more to perception, because it affects the choices we make, and if we make a snap judgment against something new that could help us lead better lives, then we end up sabotaging ourselves by being too rigid.
Carol Adrienne, the co-author of The Tenth Insight, said, “Once we shift our perspective, we can never turn back. We stand poised like a deer sniffing the wind—alive. With this new way of looking inward for direction, watching for tiny clues, we realize that not only can we make a difference, but this is the real reason we are here.”
What do you feel your real reason is for being here? If you shifted your perception away from what everyday life has been up until now, do you think that would make a difference in your life?