I need continual reminders that maintaining a positive focus requires partial detachment from the reality around me.
Remembering that our focus is reflected in our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reality, it follows that true change begins with a change in our focus.
But too often we try to change our focus, using reality as a gauge. This is a bit like trying to lose weight and staring at your reflection for immediate signs that it is “working”, and getting discouraged when there’s no immediate change.
The relationship here is even more significant: if you begin to focus on your present reality, your thoughts, feelings, and your subsequent reality will follow suit.
The positive-thinking material therefore suggests a degree of detachment from the reality around you. Not only that, it suggests coming to view the change in focus itself as the desired outcome, with the understanding (but not the grasping or clinging) that reality will eventually change.
Otherwise you may experience a repeated feeling of discord or insecurity as your attention drifts back to the reality around you which neither fully reflects your prior positive focus, nor can ever be the true fulfillment of your desire.
Detachment plays a similar role in mysticism. Seek first the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness means that we cannot be truly satisfied by anything less than God himself. Only the divine can bring fulfillment, and like the positive-thinking material, it is understood that we will never reach the limits of satisfaction in this lifetime.
In other words, we will always be pursuing a deeper and more satisfying focus on the divine.
The second half of the saying is that all these things shall be added unto you.
“All these things” refers to our earthly needs…the aspects of reality that worry us. So we are told not to worry about them, that our Father knows all our needs, that everything will be taken care of.
The aim of both mysticism and the positive-thinking material is to learn to recognise positive focus, or focus on God, as the desired end. A mystic might say it is God we are searching for in our many and varied worldly pursuits.
As God said to Jeremiah:
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.
The exile is a spiritual one, because we attend to the passing world, conforming ourselves to its patterns as though it were the ultimate reality.
To live for sons and wealth,
For belongings and health,
O Kabir, is to be like the bird
Which during one night’s stay
Starts loving the tree.
So detachment is necessary. Not to separate us from an “evil” world, but to keep us fixed and focused on the right path. Our world will reflect this focus, our thoughts, our feelings, our actions and our reality will all change to accommodate the new mind or new spirit in us. It will be like a “new creation”.
And in that detachment you draw deeper and more fully on the divine. You’re forced to accept that real fulfillment lies in that focus, that spiritual disposition, that “positive energy”. Drawing on it more purely, where else could you go or stand or want to be?
In recognising that your thoughts, feelings, actions, and reality all flow from your point of focus, you recapitulate creation itself, where all things flow from the divine. You put what is “least” right to the fore, the mysterious thing that seems smallest, weakest, empty, yet from which all existence flows.