World View: Full, Empty, Better, Worse…

Alan Liefting on Wikimedia

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the world and the different ways people view and deal with its problems.  A recent blog post (and I’m terribly sorry — can’t remember whose post) contemplated the glass half full/half empty syndrome.  It led me to think about how positive thinking is often equated with the half full outlook and pessimism or negativity with the half empty.  She pointed out that actually such a glass is half full of water and half full of air so the glass is completely full.  So a third way of looking at it.

That got me pondering a difference I keep encountering among me and my spiritual journey friends.  I know lots of people who believe in keeping up with the news and who get hot under the collar over many issues and also talk a lot about the terrible problems of the world and how we have to do this that and the other thing to “fix” it/them.  I spent many years as an activist so I not only get that point of view but my knee jerk reaction often leans that way.

I’ve written in other posts (here and here) about my changing beliefs; that I now question the answers we’re always dreaming up to solve other people’s problems and that I am less enthusiastic about working for change.  I want to be really clear that this is my answer for myself to these questions.  Lots of people open their hearts and work hard for what they believe is right and I am not dissing that or saying they’re wrong and I’m right.  I believe in a world where there isn’t one right but one where many paths and choices can all be right at the same time.

I really believe that thoughts create reality or, in more current lingo, that we attract things to our lives and into the world by the nature of our thoughts and the feelings behind them.  So for me, if I read the news and think constantly that the environment is being destroyed, cruel people are constantly mistreating others, wars are endless, etc., then I feel like I’m drawing more of those things into the world.

And the thing is I see a different world.  I began noticing when I started taking Yoga Journal not long after I began yoga in 1986 that a sub-group exists that could be seen in the ads and articles quite readily.  A world of businesses and services that reflect a different way of doing business and that provide products desired by people who want to be healthier and live greener and find peace, etc.  And over the 27 years since then I’ve watched that sub-world grow and grow.

Now I see it every day in blog posts from around the world that seek peace, enlightenment, a different way.  In painters and sculptors, composers and musicians, dancers and poets whose art reflects a world of spirit and journey and divine peace.  I see more and more meditation centers and yoga studios.  I see a world in which millions of people are seeking peace, finding brilliant answers for environmental questions and social issues, doing heroic things to help others.

When people tell me I need to face the “real” stuff that’s in the newspapers, I think, “aren’t we real?  The significant portion of the world that’s living this new paradigm is here and living and breathing and real.  If we’re not in the news what does that say about the ‘reality’ of the news?”

I think that every person who clears away anger, fear, hatred, etc. from his or her own life and raises his/her vibration contributes greatly to the world and to peace.  So while working for social change or volunteering, etc. is one way to contribute, I don’t believe it’s the only way.  And for me, right now, until I see more clearly a way to know for sure that the answers I might push on other people are right in the divine sense, I prefer to see the side of the world that’s already transforming and to celebrate its reality.

24 thoughts on “World View: Full, Empty, Better, Worse…

  1. This is just beautiful Leigh. Thank you for this message… the first thing I read today. I can understand exactly what you mean. For years I struggled with the idea of doing… all of this social stuff. And feeling pressure to do this and that, not to make me a good person, but to help grow beauty and love in this world, to help heal where there is pain and bring peace where there is unrest. I felt overwhelmed as a 20 something, like I could never do enough. I saw a beautiful world, and I just wanted everyone else to have the same opportunity.

    But as a thirtysomething, I began to understand, it matters not what I do… the way to live and love is to simply BE. Now that I am nearing 40, I understand that there is a delicate balance between the 2, and we all have different ways of finding that balance. And I no longer feel any pressure to do anything. In fact, I feel free. Free to simply be me; and to know that by doing that, by living in peace, I make my mark in my space in this world through my vibrations and energy.

    Much love to you.

    • Oh, I like that — “by living in peace I make my mark…”. I’ve been thinking lately about the progression of thinking at different ages — how determined I was to change the world in my 20’s — and how convinced that my friends and I had all the answers. Maybe social/political thinking has progressions through different ages for most people? Interesting to contemplate… XOXO, Leigh

    • I’ve noticed that for years in critical reviews of all forms of art. I’m curious whether that trend in critical thinking influenced a more general world view or whether it arose from a general shift in world view that equated “real” with mean, cruel, poor, bad…

  2. Love this, Leigh. It reminds me of Gandhi’s philosophy of Ahimsa. Even in making great changes, we need to act peacefully, without violence. A lot of times protest contains a hidden violence of mind and spirit. I love the idea of purifying self to contribute to a peaceful world. I’m right with you. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  3. Hooray! I love this post! It’s exactly how I feel and what I do. Haven’t watched the news for more years than I can remember. It’s toxic manipulation.

  4. That was beautiful. Very well written as it really expressed your truth and in doing so allowed me to see another viewpoint that I had not seen before. It also gives me hope that the world, as is, is slowly fading away and what we are becoming will create a new way of being. Thank you. Namaste

  5. This is exactly how I think. I have to admit that since going through breast cancer, I have dealt with it by being angry. In a weird way, It was so much better than feeling sorry for myself. Now I have made peace with it. Thanks for the reminder to keep putting out the positive vibes!
    Thanks for bringing this fab post to the party!

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