Psychiatrist Jerry Jampolski, the author of Love is Letting Go of Fear, says, “All of psychiatry is either increasing love or decreasing fear.” The happiness of individuals, or even the peace and progress of the planet, can be improved by our level of love for others, or reduced by the level of fear that we may lose some material advantage. Another way of looking at the conflict between our higher and lower selves is Joy and Pain.
While in Paris in 1911, `Abdul-Bahá said, “Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness. But when sadness visits us we become weak, our strength leaves us, our comprehension is dim and our intelligence veiled. The actualities of life seem to elude our grasp, the eyes of our spirits fail to discover the sacred mysteries, and we become even as dead beings.
There is no human being untouched by these two influences; but all the sorrow and the grief that exist come from the world of matter; the spiritual world bestows only the joy!”
So … by rooting our consciousness in the spiritual worlds, it is possible to live in a state of joy—with keener intellect and a mind less clouded with worries.
We can make decisions based on love and joy, or fear and pain. If we maintain our consciousness in the spiritual worlds, then our thoughts and decisions will be informed by the joy of the spirit worlds. However if we maintain our consciousness in the material world, then our thoughts and decisions will be informed by fear, either the fear of failure or the fear of loss. It seems inconceivable that we could make good decisions in a state of fear. With our hearts in the spiritual worlds, even an occasional poor decision about our physical lives will still produce joy. If, on the other hand, we maintain our consciousness in the material world, we are doomed to struggle with one worry after another.
So the obvious question is: how do we place and maintain our consciousness in the spiritual worlds? How do we become, as Wayne Dyer suggested, “a spiritual being having a human existence.” Making a mental adjustment only gets us so far. Serving others with humility may be a necessary part of the process. Humility requires assuming that others have a higher spiritual station than oneself. Over time, we begin to feel truly honored to be able to serve them. By putting our energy into service, by making loving service our goal, we are always content because it’s never difficult to find someone to help.
Another part of the process is contentment with the current moment. We must reduce the desire for more stuff, power or applause than we have. We can’t simply desire to remove desire because that becomes just another desire. Reducing desire does not imply or require complacency or apathy; we must set material goals and work hard to attain them, but without attachment to the outcome. Non-attachment means that if the goal isn’t achieved, we decide that it’s God’s will and that She must have a better plan for us. If we are “attached”—overly passionate about the outcome—our desire may be such that we can’t accept failure. At that level of desire, there is fear, pain, and the risk of poor decisions.
There is a lot more that can be said about these topics. Leave a comment if you’d like to hear more.
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