‘Throwing fuel on the fire’ or ‘pouring oil on troubled waters’?
Peace within creates peace without
How often do we ‘throw fuel on the fire’ of discontent, when we want the opposite – peace?
Might exacerbating the mistakes we make in our lives, day after day, be the kernel of the problems we face?
Whether it’s our partner, child, parent, sibling, friend, colleague or neighbour, in our heart of hearts, we seek peace and harmony in our relations with them – not ill will or conflict.
Peace, simple peace, is the sustainable way to good relations with others – and that means all others.
And, although it seems a stretch, is not ‘throwing fuel on the fire’ the same problem facing humanity too? Keep that in mind as you read on.
But here’s the rub: it’s impossible to have good relations with others without first having a good relationship with ourself. One is the mirror image of the other.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
In response to that question, the following words came to mind:
Beyond our frozen fears and imagined needs lies another realm –
a realm unrivalled.
Beyond our beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge is another state –
a state of wisdom and common sense.
Beyond acceptance and tolerance is another world –
a world of love and understanding.
There, an all-embracing warmth melts the edges of division,
dissolving the illusion of you and me, of them and us.
This internal, eternal universe is home, is love,
is life unbridled – The Realm of Possibility.
HOW DO WE ACCESS POSSIBILITY – THAT PLACE OF PEACE AND HARMONY?
In surrendering the known for the unknown – the yet to be seen – we see into The Realm of Possibility.
If willing to suspend our conditioned beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge – to transcend the personal biases we all carry – we find our most treasured gift – peace within ourselves and harmony with others.
How can that be?
There exists – a priori to our lifelong mental accumulation of beliefs and biases – The Realm of Possibility.
The Realm of Possibility was, still is, and will always remain free from the conditioning we have accumulated since birth.
IT’S ONLY OUR CONDITIONING THAT BLINDS US FROM SEEING POSSIBILITY
Before we form any memories, there, at the source of our existence, is the raw material of our reality – original Thought – powering our thinking, feelings and behaviours.
It’s there we find Possibility, a fresh start and our peace.
Entry to that peaceful place is simple.
Entry is also humanity’s greatest challenge and task.
Access has been sought, meditated on, prayed for, written about and mythologised. That place has turned into all manner of religions and belief systems since the beginning of our species.
But there is no mystery to it.
Discovering that ‘crack in the cosmic egg’ occurs when we relinquish – even momentarily – our present reality.
Why would we want to do that?
Why would we want to see beyond everything we are sure is ‘the truth’?
Your ‘known’ and my ‘known’ is the reality we see, recognise and understand – it is who we believe we are.
It’s also who we think others are.
We join with others who agree with our ‘knowns’.
And we separate from others that disagree with our ‘knowns’.
WHAT VALUE TO US – TO THE COMMON GOOD – IS SEEING THROUGH AND BEYOND OUR CONDITIONED REALITY – BEYOND OUR KNOWNS?
What value is there for you and me and the common good in seeing through our everyday perspective on life – our idiosyncratic way of seeing the world?
Look around and reflect on that question.
Is our ‘known’ serving us well?
In living within the reality of our lifelong accumulation, are we finding the peace we seek and the harmony in our relationships with others? All others?
The answer is no for most of us!
Upsets, anxieties, and tensions within marriages, communities, races and nations – not to mention the state of the world – prevail.
THROWING FUEL ON THE FIRE
Our ‘knowns’ conflict with others’ ‘knowns’.
The ‘normal’ or ‘balanced’ individual can get irritated by the most trivial slights to their ‘knowns’. They can feel disrespected and invalidated and become reactive.
The so-called ‘extremist’ individual may cut off the heads of those who disrespect their ‘knowns’.
At the ‘normal’ global level, we criticise other nations’ leaders, governments, citizens, customs, and commercial practices.
At the ‘extremist’ national level, we go to war, killing hundreds of thousands, even millions, because we disrespect theirs or because they disrespect our national ‘knowns’.
You may consider this and what follows foolish, daft – even delusional; however, millions worldwide live peacefully from understanding at their core what follows.
POURING OIL ON TROUBLED WATERS
To be at peace – to be a pourer of oil – is to see life beyond our habituated state of mind – all that we are sure are the ‘facts’, the ‘knowns’, the ‘certainties’ of our life – those ‘knowns’ that are the ‘truth’ for us.
That requires releasing our grip on all that forms our view of life: the restricted standpoint of our personalised, psychological, philosophical, political, religious, and spiritual world.
Everything we believe to be ‘the truth’, including what is written here, is a trap when it blinds us from seeing into the unknown and getting a fresh start in our moment of upset.
To see beyond the known, ‘the truth, the facts, as we believe them to be’, we need to free ourselves from each ‘trap’.
In surrendering ‘our ‘known – our traps’ to the yet-to-be-seen, we enter the realm of unconditional kindness, a new understanding, and a level of wisdom and common sense not previously experienced – and much more: our freedom from fear.
The moment we enter that realm of our mind, we realise how we had innocently spent much of our life ‘throwing fuel on the fire’ of our discontent when it was our inner peace we craved.
In those precious moments of our awakening, we see that believing we ‘know the truth’ of anything is the price we have been paying for needing to be ‘right’ and, therefore, to make others ‘wrong’.
In seeing beyond our ‘known’, we cease ‘throwing fuel on the fire’.
Suddenly, the waters are no longer turbulent – ‘oil has done its job’.
In that twinkling, we experience our inner world of kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense – The Realm of Possibility.
In waking up in that new reality, we transform – and miraculously, the world we inhabit transforms along with us.
We are suddenly at peace.
But it’s more than that: in that instant, we are at peace, at one with life as it is – not as we imagine it to be, would like it to be, or believe it should be.
We are where we belong – in love with life.
Warmly … John
The Possibility Project