”‘How do we stop negativity from arising, and how do we get rid of it once it is there?’
As I said, you stop it from arising by being fully present. But don’t become discouraged. There are as yet few people on the planet who can sustain a state of continuous presence, although some are getting close to it. Soon, I believe, there will be many more.
Whenever you notice that some form of negativity has arisen within you, look on it not as a failure, but as a helpful signal that is telling you: ‘Wake up. Get out of your mind. Be present.’
There is a novel by Aldous Huxley called Island, written in his later years when he became very interested in spiritual teachings. It tells the story of a man shipwrecked on a remote island cut off from the rest of the world. This island contains a unique civilization. The unusual thing about it is that its inhabitants, unlike those of the rest of the world, are actually sane. The first thing that the man notices are the colorful parrots perched in the trees, and they seem to be constantly croaking the words ‘Attention. Here and Now. Attention. Here and Now.’ We later learn that the islanders taught them these words in order to be reminded continuously to stay present. [Tips: Sätt upp dina egna versioner av dessa papegojor – t.ex. lappar runtom huset, kontinuerliga alarm på telefonen, eller en särskild bakgrundsbild på datorn – så att du flera gånger om dagen stöter på påminnelser att inte domna bort i dina tankar.]
So whenever you feel negativity arising within you, whether caused by an external factor, a thought, or even nothing in particular that you are aware of, look on it as a voice saying ‘Attention. Here and Now. Wake up.’ Even the slightest irritation is significant and needs to be acknowledged and looked at; otherwise, there will be a cumulative build-up of unobserved reactions. As I said before, you may be able to just drop it once you realize that you don’t want to have this energy field inside you and that it serves no purpose. But then make sure that you drop it completely. If you cannot drop it, just accept that it is there and take your attention into the feeling, as I pointed out earlier.
As an alternative to dropping a negative reaction, you can make it disappear by imagining yourself becoming transparent to the external cause of the reaction. I recommend that you practice it with little, even trivial, things first. Let’s say that you are sitting quietly at home. Suddenly, there is the penetrating sound of a car alarm from across the street. Irritation arises. What is the purpose of the irritation? None whatsoever. Why did you create it? You didn’t. The mind did. It was totally automatic, totally unconscious. Why did the mind create it? Because it holds the unconscious belief that its resistance, which you experience as negativity or unhappiness in some form, will somehow dissolve the undesirable condition. This, of course, is a delusion. The resistance that it creates, the irritation or anger in this case, is far more disturbing than the original cause that it is attempting to dissolve.
All this can be transformed into spiritual practice. Feel yourself becoming transparent, as it were, without the solidity of a material body. Now allow the noise, or whatever causes a negative reaction, to pass right through you. It is no longer hitting a solid ‘wall’ inside you. As I said, practice with little things first. The car alarm, the dog barking, the children screaming, the traffic jam. Instead of having a wall of resistance inside you that gets constantly and painfully hit by things that ‘should not be happening,’ let everything pass through you.
Somebody says something to you that is rude or designed to hurt. Instead of going into unconscious reaction and negativity, such as attack, defense, or withdrawal, you let it pass right through you. Offer no resistance. It is as if there is nobody there to get hurt anymore. That is forgiveness. In this way, you become invulnerable. You can still tell that person that his or her behavior is unacceptable, if that is what you choose to do. But that person no longer has the power to control your inner state. You are then in your power – not in someone else’s, nor are you run by your mind. Whether it is a car alarm, a rude person, a flood, an earthquake, or the loss of all your possessions, the resistance mechanism is the same.”
– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Syftet med en blogg är väl onekligen vanligtvis att dess författare ska reflektera över saker och ting, men att röra dessa stycken ur Tolle’s The Power of Now känns som att trampa på helig mark.
Dessa lärdomar, i synnerhet det sista stycket… Take it all in.