One of the reasons why there is a lot of suffering in our lives, is not because of the circumstances or the unsettling feelings that we may have, it has very little to do with that, in fact it may have nothing to do with that at all.
We live in a society that approaches the remedy to stress, or upset, or mental illness with just this one perspective: "I know why you are feeling the way you feel, it's got something to do with your circumstances, something to do with your thinking, and we need to get on top of that. We need to begin to move the pieces of your life around so that you can feel better, or introduce medication so you can feel better, or change where you live - so that you can feel better."
And this natural response derives out of our current way of understanding where experience comes from. "It comes from the outside. The outside, or my genes, or my biology or my past - all these things are responsible, they are catalysts of how I get to experience life in the way that I do."
So naturally, and logically, out of that perspective, there is going to be a philosophy that says there are good feelings and there are bad feelings; there are feelings that indicate wellness and mental health, and there are feelings that indicate mental illness. And you want to have one and not the other.
And that's the current state of affairs.
What we have been doing, and what's so profound for us, is not that we found a new way to feel better, it's that we've gone back to re-examine how we understand what human experience is in the first place.
We are having a conversation, an exploration, a self-discovery, for each of us individually, regarding what the human experience is. What does it stem from fundamentally? How does it work?
And what we ran into were these 3 principles. Over and over again, we saw that the only thing that was responsible for all human experience were these 3 principles. Nothing else, in the most literal sense! Nothing else that we examined, could we honestly say, was responsible for which particular experience was occurring within us.
So the way we found ourselves relating to our experiences, going forward, was that experience is, metaphorically speaking, for all of us, an expression of a Divine energy taking shape as us, and our mental lives, our psychological lives.
This was a huge breakthrough, because, for those evolved in this direction, it ruled out the possibility that anything else in this universe had the power to make us feel good or bad, bad or good. It ruled out the idea that particular feelings were a sign of mental illness. It's also ruled out that particular feelings were a sign of being right or true.
It ruled out the idea that I could enslave myself to a particular set of circumstances, because it will make me feel better. We kept coming back again and again to getting recentred to ... "Wait a minute! I know I've seen (and you've seen) that the way I'm experiencing my life at any given moment, has nothing to do with my life. It has to do only with how I happen to be experiencing my life, through these Divine principles.
And each time we reincluded that fact when relating to how we felt, it set each of us on a different trajectory, a different logic, a different come from, a different way to think about and relate to our experiences. And that, in turn, changed the way that way we responded to our feelings, and it changed the way we responded to other people.
But that's been happening to us on its own. This new relationship is a logical direction that flows from what we have learned about life. And the real leverage has come from appreciating, realising, becoming aware of, waking up to the fact that we are experiencing life through this singular system, this systemic fact, and we've found ourselves reincorporating a knowledge of this system when trying to make sense of our lives.
We've been waking up to that again and again.
We keep pointing back to the fact that there's something bigger going on here. There's something much bigger than "I'm depressed - it’s got something to do with my chemistry, or something to do with the water, or that maybe I'm broken, or maybe you are broken." These terms start to fade away.
Thus two colossal governing needs begin to wilt away in us. One - is the incessant need to mess with our circumstances, so that we can feel better; but better than that - way better than that, is the dissipation of this urge to want to feel differently than the way that we currently do.
That need starts to disappear.
During Bein Hematzorim, and particularly in the 9 days, we are sadly reminded once again, how we are still suffering due to the sin of Sinas Chinam, the lack of Eiyin Toiva, and the absence of compassion for others.
And yet, the question remains ... how can we elicit true change? How do we bring ourselves to love people who we deem to be unworthy of our love?!
Not easy, right?
Rabbi Shraga Kallus of Yerushalayim asks a question. The Talmud Bavli (Sanhedrin 109b) relates that even though one of Korach's initial coup supporters was Oin the son of Peles, he ultimately backed out and was saved from death due to the sharp witted intervention of his wife.
We are redefining the meaning of mental health. Mental health is knowing that no feeling is ever born of the world around me. Mental Health and security is the deep awareness that even the most scary and upsetting experiences originate from within a single, universal source - Thought.
Mental illness is innocently believing that feeling is coming from something other than thought. Mental illness is born when feelings, even positive feelings, are attributed to objects or the past. Depression? Anxiety? Phobias? Schizophrenia? These episodes are never inherently problematic but rather symptomatic. These experiences become the scapegoat for the one illness that plagues us all from time to time. And that innocent illness defined, is losing sight of the fact that we are always, only ever living in the feeling of our thinking.
We hope that more and more people quit the draining endeavor and endless pursuit of seeking nice feelings to maintain emotional security. Instead, let us all pick up a new pursuit, that allows us to experience true security no matter what feeling we find ourselves in. Let us pursue psychological truth by asking just one question:
Where do YOU believe your feelings are coming from in this moment?
Destin makes some very profound statements, such as "Knowledge does not equal understanding" and "You're looking at the world with a bias whether you think you are or not". At first I was quite taken by this video as I had never seen such an obvious and undeniable demonstration of Thought in the Moment being the direct power behind an experience of actual ability and competence and then the loss of that ability. I found it it quite striking!
But Destin gets a bit distracted. He seems to be drawn into the idea that his 6 year old was able to master the Backwards Bike much more quickly because a child's brain is more elastic than his older, aged, fixed brain.
It may be true that some people learn more quickly than others. It may be true that some brains are more elastic than others, but the Power of Thought trumps all of those things because it creates and sustains them all in the first place.
Our brains are as elastic as the Power of Thought allows them be.
Thank G-d, as long as we are alive, we are primed to perfectly feel Thought. And Thought is free. Free to present us with a new reality at any moment - no matter how old we are, no matter how long our reality has been a certain way and literally, no matter where or when you are.
That is awesome news!
I am repeatedly humbled, as I continuously find myself needing to go back to the basics of the 3 Principles.
Here is just how I understand it today.
All feeling is utterly and completely a product of my own thinking. The thinking (and feelings they create) I have at any given moment is free. Free from circumstances or the past. In other words, circumstances do not dictate what thinking I have. I can think/feel anything, anywhere, anytime.
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used civil calendar in the world. In the Gregorian cycle, the year begins, of course, on January 1st. The Hebrew Calendar operates with a very different understanding of time, and therefore has a very different "newyears". It's a great example of how our particular understanding of a given topic has immediate and identifiable implications for what we decide to think more about, what we communicate to others and how we choose to act in our world. With regards to calendars, the choice is ours. Yes, society chose to widely adopt the Gregorian calendar, but either system works pretty well.
With regards to how we happen to feel at any given moment, there are also two systems of how to understand what creates it all. Society has largely adopted the idea that circumstances, genetics, personalities, the past, thinking and a whole host of others stuff are contributing factors, if not downright direct causes. The 3 Principles Paradigm understanding, uncovers the irrelevance of all these factors and narrows every single moment of experience down to one, single, constant source - sometimes referred to as "Thought In the Moment" or "The 3 Principles".
However, in contrast to the choice over which calendar is best, in comparing the two systems of understanding how our personal reality is created - only one can actually be true. Either all personal reality is of the 3 Principles or personal reality is a product of factors in the world around us.
At this years Conference, we hope to clearly lay out these two opposing paradigms, so that you might have an opportunity to decide for yourself.
As life would have it, it does seem as if circumstances and the past are actually the source of my initial feeling at any given moment.
The sudden appearance of a particular person occurring simultaneously with a sudden change in emotion could lead me to conclude that there is a direct connection - direct cause and effect.
"What you did made me feel good!", I might exclaim. "His presence is ruining my enjoyment of this party", I might mutter to a friend. Or I might whisper to myself, "I will rise above my negative circumstances and remain positive."
One of the greatest things to realize is, that despite appearances, there really is no cause and effect between circumstances and feeling.
The 3 Principles metaphor has been trying to show us that, in truth, the world has no power of it's own to make one think and feel in particular way. The circumstances ARE real and our feelings ARE real, but the idea that feelings derive from circumstances is NOT real.
The most defiant child has no actual power to make one feel overwhelm. How one happens to think about a defiant child, does. The most painful injury has no actual power to make one feel despair. How one happens to think about pain, does. The most strenuous work has no power to make one feel stressed. How one happens to think about strenuous work, does.
The 3 Pricniples logic shows us all feeling derives from Thought. This is a constant truth, without exception. This rules out the idea - it rules out the possibility, that my particular thinking/feeling in this moment, is somehow originating from my physical surroundings, or your behavior, or my bank account, or the weather and on and on and on.
Certainly, there can be a sudden appearance of a particular person occurring simultaneously with a sudden change in emotion, but only due to Thought in the moment.
Here at Twerski Wellness, we are all learning, together, getting to see more and more often, areas of our lives where we had been innocently attributing the origination of our moods, attitudes, emotions, perspectives and feelings to circumstances and had been unaware of it's true source.
For those of you who have been getting a glimpse, please share with us, share with each other, how this has impacted your life, what implications have you have found and what it has taught you.
Twerski Wellness Institute aims to bring posts from many different Principles-based bloggers to spark reflection and insight.