I have a favorite book series, written by Louise Penny. Many people that I have told about this series have become addicted to them too.
Besides being written with a skill that I envy and creating a community of characters that speaks to our deepest desires, Louise Penny offers profound insights into life using the voice of her characters. One of my favorites is spoken first by the main character, Inspector Gamache.
He says, “Don’t believe what you think.”
Ah, so true. So easy to remember. And so effective.
Effective because we all know that what we perceive, feel, think is reality for us – will be true for us. It’s not a new age idea. It’s a scientific fact that our perception is driven by what we believe, and what we believe is what we see, not the other way around.
Remembering this is useful in big and little ways. I was in two stores this week where I was looking for something and couldn’t find it. Instead of believing what I thought – that it wasn’t there anymore – I said to myself that it was there and I could see it.
Still not finding what I was looking for, I tracked down someone to help me (not always an easy task) and asked them. They found it for me.
I asked for help.
I am learning to stop believing that I think there is something wrong with asking for help. It doesn’t make us weaker to acknowledge that we need help. We desire an integrated society and yet believe what we think that independence and the ability to do all things alone is an honorable idea.
Don’t believe what you think.
Del’s Taiji teacher has been admonishing the class, “Don’t think – feel.” This fits with not believing what you think. Our intellectual mind gets in the way. It tells us things are this way or that, and it’s the only way it will work.
Our intellect tells us that we are good at one thing, terrible at another. It tells us that if we just have more information, work harder, do more, that we will succeed.
What if we stopped and felt all these ideas. Would we be doing what we are doing? Would we do the work that we are doing? Would we say yes to more people and ideas? Would we find that feeling is more profoundly satisfying than pounding through another project?
If our leaders were feeling instead of believing what they think, would we be governed by greed ending in conflict and war?
Starting with ourselves, if we were feeling instead of believing what we think, would we stop being so driven by fear and trying to do everything on our own?
Or would we pause, notice the oneness that is our universe, and move towards kindness and compassion, because we no longer believed in what we are thinking when we think we can do anything without affecting everyone.
Not believing what we think we will discover new ideas, notice what isn’t working and see solutions.
Without eliminating the belief in what we think nothing would have been invented, no feats of endurance would happen, no creative ideas would thrive.
Just one examination a day of what we believe because we think it is that way will go a long way in moving us all towards what is entirely possible – harmony within all human endeavors.
Harmony already exists in nature and the universe.
It is only we – who believe what we think – that make disharmony where harmony is the underlying principle of all that exists.