Most people live each day on auto-pilot and with a high degree of unconsciousness when it comes to the viruses of the mind that they are being infected with or spreading themselves. We see many on our planet today getting upset about this or that issue, and while the issues may be valid, to various degrees each of us is responsible for the societal patterns we continue to propagate, yet do not enjoy.
Imagine this: your friend tells you their partner is cheating on them. What is your first reaction towards their partner? How about towards your friend? How quickly are you to label their partner as inconsiderate, bad, or call them names (which we won’t get into here)? How quickly are you to feel sorry for your friend and see them as a victim?
If you are like most, these are most likely your first thoughts, words and actions. And in our society today, the above situation isn’t hard to imagine either. It happens everyday. But what if I told you that the reactions we commonly accept as normal, or kind, or considerate, weren’t any of those at all. What if the reactions we consider as such were actually harming ourselves, others and our world?
Unfortunately in most, if not all cases, they are.
And so we have the reactions we have at births, at deaths, at weddings, in our jobs, in our homes, on the road and in our personal lives. We have been conditioned to act a certain way, and say or not say certain things based on the situation we are in. But it is this very thing that we have to look at brand new as we awaken to higher states of being. Not every situation of a similar type deserves the same canned response. When it comes to situations as Sam Sommers’ new book presents, the context of each situation matters, and matters a lot.
His Side, Her Side and the Observer’s
One of the greatest gifts of being human is the ability to have a large degree of complex emotional, neural and verbal responses. We are able to rationalize, use logic, intuition and our conscious mind in an array of ways. The fact that we are able to however, does not mean we always do. In fact I think we fail to live up to our potential in the majority of cases. We are magnificent in what we can do with our mind, unfortunately all too often we deprive ourselves of the opportunity. We settle for surface level observations, hearsay, and other people’s version of our reality. And since reality is in the eye of personal perceptions, this leaves us in dangerous territory when we accept other people’s versions, rather than establishing our own.
Now I understand that not everyone is ready or willing to take accountability for all their thoughts, words or actions, but for those of us who are, I invite you to rise to the occasion. Push your mind, your thought patterns, and beliefs beyond their regular confines. Activate your mind to hunger for the bigger picture, rather than being satisfied with rudimentary observations. Consider all aspects of each story, ask questions, and consider the infinite amount of possibilities before jumping to conclusions because what you see, is rarely what you get.
So let’s go back to the example of infidelity that we started off with. In considering the bigger picture, we would leave room to be open to the analysis of the situation from various angles. We help no one by calling another person names, or attaching negative thoughts or emotions to them. In fact, we are just poisoning ourselves. We also help no one by throwing pity parties for others. We are simply disempowering them from taking responsibility for their own life. So if we really want to help we need to stay conscious to the situation, its context and the bigger picture of all that is transpiring.
As we expand our mind, today we know that there aren’t just two sides to every story. There are at least three. But to me, they aren’t as the famous saying goes: “his side, her side and the truth” because the truth is that each person has their own truth that they derive based on their personal perceptions of reality. And so since reality is in the mind of the observer, the way I see it is that there is “his side”, “her side” and the third one being yours—the observer. And so if we really want to judge something, it would be wiser to judge a situation, instead of a person as we will most likely never fully appreciate or understand the decision of another, nor do we need to. We simply need to stay conscious and focus on our responses rather than get caught up in other people’s realities.
There Is Always More Than Meets The Eye
Let’s consider another example. By now I am sure we have all heard about the passing of Steve Jobs—the founder and previous CEO of Apple. As it goes in our society, when a famous person passes away all sorts of controversy seems to be brought to the surface. We seem addicted to drama and love gossip. And while there are many aspects of his life and work that were made into various stories, I wanted to focus on one in particular—his choice of cancer treatment.
Upon Steve’s passing, popular media wasn’t short on stories that put down his lifestyle and treatment choices. If only Steve chose to get chemotherapy or “proper” cancer treatment earlier on, if only Steve wasn’t a vegetarian, if only Steve didn’t resist modern cancer treatment, if only, if only, if only… I personally even had family and friends say to me things like “See, he meditated and followed a vegetarian lifestyle, and what good did that do him?” It was at those moments especially that I had to take deep, conscious breaths and remind myself that patience is a virtue. Anyway, back to my point.
The point of the matter is that we are so insistent in our society to grab one or two details and run with them, rather than considering the context or bigger picture. We have been doing this for centuries it seems and today have false ideologies, beliefs, traditions and even religious systems based on that notion. It is not only premature but actually harmful to ourselves and the greater good of all when we take surface observations only without considering the multitude of facets that make up the bigger picture. And this is again where context has to be taken into each situation so that we build upon our current knowledge and wisdom, rather than suppress it.
If we consider the example of Steve Jobs above, has anyone considered any childhood trauma he had? Or how stressful his life was? Or the quality of his thoughts, attitudes or emotions? Or his life satisfaction (and not the outwardly type, but the inner kind)? The ultimate conclusion is that even if they had, we would still not have the complete picture as to why he got cancer and died when he died, because when it comes to dealing with humans, we will never be able to step into someone’s mind. Ah, but you may say, there is a biography written on him where he himself was interviewed. Surely that must paint the correct picture about him. The truth is that even if you asked a person how they thought about things, related to life, others, etc…they themselves would not be a reliable source of their own mind as most of us live based on very unconscious mind patterns. As we know thanks to fields like that of neuroscience, the average human uses about 5% of the conscious mind, with about 95% of all daily activities taking place from the subconscious mind, which we cannot easily access.
Case and point: instead of jumping to conclusions, we need to be gathering more information and staying open to possibilities rather than boxing ourselves with false limitations.
While many people will continue to look at the story of Steve Jobs and think he was foolish for not getting modern cancer treatment, or foolish for eating raw or vegan food, or foolish for wasting his time meditating, those of us who are awakening will see through to the bigger picture. For all we know, his alternative lifestyle habits may have prolonged his life and been the very thing that saved him from succumbing to his cancer earlier in his life. And if you are really ready to push your mind even further beyond the conditioned patterns, then you know that his death was perfect, and not a day too soon for what his soul set out to accomplish.
But speaking of health and treatment, failing to see the bigger picture or take into consideration the context of matters seems to be a prevalent theme in our modern medical system overall. We see a problem in a cell, tissue or organ and simply focus on removing that, rather than understanding the root cause of its existence and working on treating the whole being which is composed of a mind and soul, not just a body. This is one of the main reasons why I personally am a strong proponent of holistic health that takes into account our multidimensional being when it comes to disease formation and treatment.
In the end, we may never be sure of what is in someone’s mind, or why things happen as they do even in our own life or our world. But what we can be sure of, is that increased consciousness equates to an increased ability to see the context of situations and the bigger picture of all that is.
Therefore whatever work you do to expand your personal consciousness will never go to waste. Go on a journey of self-discovery. Question yourself as to why you think, speak or act the way you do. Where did those ideas originate? Do they represent you? Read books. Go to conferences. Watch mind-stimulating material. All these and many other things can make you more aware and mindful of all of your thoughts, words and actions. The best part is that once we become aware of something, it is hard to undo awareness and go back to pleading ignorance.
And so whatever situation you find yourself in that demands some reaction from you, take a conscious moment of time out. Take a conscious breath. In the end you may still think, say or do what you normally have, but at least you introduced a space for your awareness to grow. In that space the seeds of awareness will grow, and so will your ability to appreciate the contexts of situations, breaking unconscious societal patterns and living from a space of greater wisdom as you begin to grasp the bigger picture of all that is.