It’s a game…04!

Do you love life?

I didn’t. I ****ing hated it. Despised it. Resented and despaired of it.

And like most people I thought I would like life more if it would change first.

But that’s not how it works. After many years I’m beginning to love life, not because life changed, but because I finally understood that loving feels so much better than hating. And when life feels good it’s hard not to love it.

That’s a little glib, so let me break it down to practical steps.

First I learned that I create my reality through the vibration of my thoughts. My whole experience of life is a perfect match for the vibration of my thoughts.

Second I learned that I could control my focus, and deliberately focus on thoughts that feel better instead of thoughts that feel worse.

Third, after doing that for a while I discovered I could find thoughts that feel really really good, so satisfyingly good that I make time to sit down and write out those thoughts and really relish them because they feel so good. At least three times a day I’m taking time to focus on these really good-feeling thoughts.

Feeling that good regularly also overflows into the rest of life. I’m letting go of negative thoughts and circumstances…because why would I spend time focusing on thoughts that feel bad when I could be enjoying feelings of delight and eagerness and satisfaction?

Delight, eagerness, satisfaction, the more I feel these feelings the stronger and more frequent they become.

So let’s put that together: I’ve gone from being someone who hates life and feels doubly burdened by every unwanted experience and circumstance, to someone who can feel profoundly good feelings at will, and, lo and behold, I find myself beginning to love my experience, my reality, my life.

It’s not so surprising in hindsight, but I had to let go of a lot of resistance to even be open to the idea of feeling better.

And I’m not content with just feeling better…I’m not choosing blissful ignorance over harsh realities. I wouldn’t have followed this path if I hadn’t found to my own conviction that I really do create my reality.

The Abraham-Hicks teachings reconcile perfectly with my spiritual and philosophical knowledge and experience. Feeling good doesn’t just feel good, it’s also why we are here, the purpose of our existence: joy, freedom, expansion…life in its fullness.

Practicing happiness 28

Contra mundum with a vengeance.

So it turns out I’m a villain.

In anime there’s the trope (presumably informed by Shinto beliefs) of a creature or spirit that becomes warped through suffering or injustice or its own negative emotion and becomes evil.

It always struck me as a little unfair, but it makes sense. Like the boar spirit at the beginning of Princess Mononoke, or any number of unhappy yokai in Natsume Yuujinchou. These spirits are often victims themselves, yet their bitterness or wrath turns them into something dangerous to others.

In the Abraham-Hicks teachings the cause of our suffering is our own resistance. When we focus on unwanted aspects of reality we experience friction or going against the flow of our own inner being, because our inner being only ever focuses on the wanted aspects of life.

Our negative emotions are our experience of this friction.

I’ve been working on letting go of resistance and feeling better. But it turns out my resistance was more extreme than I realised.

At some point in my life I got turned around. I took my negative experiences and extrapolated to life in general, the whole world, and existence itself.

I decided that life was not worth living, the world was pointless and broken, and existence was burdensome and futile.

Treating all of existence as unwanted felt pretty bad. But in a way it was a relief to reach that sweeping conclusion. It was more satisfying to turn against life than to try to find redeeming features amidst the misery.

It was also a form of vengeance against everyone and everything responsible for making life so burdensome in the first place. Like playing a game where the odds are stacked against you and the cost always outweighs the rewards, the obvious answer was to refuse to play.

Ironically that’s how I finally interpreted spiritual teachings too. Life is being crushed beneath the wheel of samsara, and it’s only refusing to buy-in that brings us true freedom.

If our thoughts and attitudes create our reality, what kind of reality does this contra mundum attitude create? Not the best.

If resisting the flow of life causes suffering and negative emotion, how about turning defiantly against the stream and saying “f*** you”?

Change of heart

My spiritual search was an attempt to find a way out or transformation of this hated reality. But the answer I have finally arrived at is that my hate is itself the problem.

If I want to feel better I have to learn to love the reality I’m in. If I love the reality I’m creating, then it will change to reflect this positive and satisfying and delightful attitude.

I can’t hate my way into a better-feeling life. No matter how justified my resentment might seem, or how comforting my scorn might feel, if I’d rather enjoy life then it’s time for them to go.

How much should we hate our enemies?

The obvious answer is that we shouldn’t hate our enemies. In a Christian context we’re told to love them. Some religions even exhort us to have no enemies, perhaps converging on the same point.

But enemies and hate can sneak into our worldview without our realising it.

Do you hate Trump? Is Trump your enemy?

You might not think about it that way, but if Trump (or any other group or individual) seems to embody everything wrong with the world, then yes they are your enemy, and you probably hate them too.

In my latest article at MercatorNet I examine this issue in the context of same-sex marriage – a debate that’s heating up in Australia at the moment.

Check it out: https://www.mercatornet.com/features/view/how-much-should-we-hate-our-enemies