Having a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing sounds easy until you think about how much conditioning has taken place in your life, and how many of your current thoughts were influenced by geography, the religious beliefs of your ancestors, the color of your skin, the shape of your eyes, the political orientation of your parents, your size, your gender, the schools that were selected for you, and the vocation of your great-grandparents, to list only some possibilities.
You showed up here as a tiny infant capable of an infinite number of potentialities. Many of your choices remain unexplored because of a hopefully well-intentioned conditioning program designed to make you fit the culture of your caretakers. You probably had next to no opportunity to disagree with the cultural and societal arrangements made for your life.
There may have been some adults who encouraged you to have an open mind, but if you’re honest with yourself, you know that your philosophy of life, your religious beliefs, your manner of dress, and your language are a function of what your tribe (and its heritage) determined was right for you. If you made any fuss about going against this preordained conditioning, you probably heard even stronger voices insisting that you get back in line and do things the way they have “always been done.” Fitting in superseded having a mind that was open to new ideas.
If your parents were Jewish, it’s unlikely that you were raised to honor and respect the Muslim religion, and vice versa. If both your parents were Republicans, it’s improbable that you heard the virtues of the Democratic Party extolled. Whatever the reasons our ancestors may have had for not having open minds, it’s true that they inhabited a much less populated world than we do. In today’s overpopulated world, we simply cannot continue to live with those old styles of closed-mindedness. I urge you to open your mind to all possibilities, to resist any efforts to be pigeonholed, and to refuse to allow pessimism into your consciousness. Having a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing seems to me to be one of the most basic principles that you can adopt to contribute to individual and world peace.
No One Knows Enough to Be a Pessimist
Find an opportunity to observe a tiny little green sprout emerging from a seed. When you do, allow yourself to feel the awe of what you’re seeing. A famous poet named Rumi observed, “Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.” The scene of an emerging sprout represents the beginning of life. No one on this planet has even a tiny clue as to how all of this works. What is that creative spark that causes the life to sprout? What created the observer, the consciousness, the observation, and perception itself? The questions are endless.
A short while ago, Earthlings in the space program were moving a tiny vehicle on Mars via remote control. Invisible signals took ten minutes to travel through space and arrived to make right turns and instruct a scoop to pick up some Martian real estate to examine. We all marvel at such technological feats. But think about it for a moment. In an endless universe, Mars, our closest neighbor, is the equivalent of moving a billionth of an inch across the page you’re reading! We move a little vehicle on a neighbor next door and we’re so impressed with ourselves.
There are billions and billions of planets, objects, and stars in our galaxy alone, and there are uncountable billions of galaxies out there. We are a speck in an incomprehensibly vast universe that has no end to it. Think about this: If we found the end, would there be a wall at the edge of the universe? If so, who built it? Even more perplexing, what’s on the other side of the wall, and how thick is it?
How can anyone be a pessimist in a world where we know so little? A heart starts beating inside a mother’s womb a few weeks after conception, and it’s a total mystery to everyone on our planet. In comparison to what there is to know, we are only embryos. Keep this in mind whenever you encounter those who are absolutely certain that there’s only one way to do something.
Resist being a pessimist. Resist with all your might, because we hardly know anything at all in comparison with what there is to know. Can you imagine what a pessimist who lived only 200 years ago would think about the world we live in? Airplanes, electricity, automobiles, television, remote controls, the Internet, fax machines, telephones, cellular phones, and so on. All because of that spark of open-mindedness that allowed progress, growth, and creativity to flourish.
And what of the future and all of your tomorrows? Can you picture faxing yourself back to the 14th century, flying without machines, telepathically communicating, de-molecularizing yourself and rearranging yourself on another galaxy, or cloning a sheep from a photograph of a sheep? An open mind allows you to explore and create and grow. A closed mind seals off any such creative explanation. Remember that progress would be impossible if we always did things the way we always have. The ability to participate in miracles-true miracles in your life-happens when you open your mind to your limitless potential.
The Miracle Mind-Set
Refuse to allow yourself to have low expectations about what you’re capable of creating. As Michelangelo suggested, the greater danger is not that your hopes are too high and you fail to reach them; it’s that they’re too low and you do. Have within you an imaginary candle flame that burns brightly regardless of what goes before you. Let this inner flame represent for you the idea that you’re capable of manifesting miracles in your life.
In every single case of a person experiencing a spontaneous healing or overcoming something that was considered to be impossible, the individual went through a complete reversal of personality. They actually rewrote their own agreement with reality. To experience Godlike spontaneous miracles, you must have a sense of yourself as Godlike. The Scriptures say, “With God all things are possible.” Now tell me, what does that leave out? A mind that’s open to everything means being peaceful, radiating love, practicing forgiveness, being generous, respecting all life, and most important, visualizing yourself as capable of doing anything that you can conceive of in your mind and heart.
Whatever universal law that has ever been utilized to manifest a miracle any where, any time, and in any person is still on the books. It has never been repealed, and it never will be. You possess the same energy, the same God-consciousness, to be a miracle worker-but only if you truly believe and know it within yourself.
Understand that what you think about expands (“As a man thinketh, so is he”). If your thoughts are filled with doubt and you have a closed mind, you will of necessity act upon those closed-mind doubts, and you’ll see evidence of your thinking virtually everywhere you are. On the other hand, should you decide (make no mistake about this, it is a choice) to have a mind that’s open to everything, then you’ll act upon that inner energy, and you’ll be the creator as well as the recipient of miracles wherever you are. You will experience what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote, “To me, every cubic inch of space is a miracle.”
What Being Open to Everything Means
Everything means just what it says. No exceptions. When someone suggests something to you that conflicts with your conditioning, rather than responding with, “That’s ridiculous; we all know that’s impossible,” say, “I’ve never considered that before. I’ll think about it.” Open yourself up to the spiritual ideas of all people, and listen with an open mind to crazy schemes and ideas that seem at first to be outrageous. If someone suggests that crystals can cure hemorrhoids, that natural herbs can lower cholesterol, that people will eventually be able to breathe underwater, or that levitation is possible-listen, and be curious.
Let go of your attachments to what you’ve been trained to believe. Open your mind to all possibilities, because whether you believe something is possible or impossible, either way you’ll be right. How can that be true? Your agreement with reality and all that’s possible determines what you’ll become. If you’re convinced that you can’t become wealthy, famous, artistic, a professional athlete, a great singer, or whatever, you will act upon that inner conviction that prevents you from manifesting what you’d really like. All that you’ll get from your effort is being right. When you need to be right, you’re attached to your conditioned reflex of the way things are and always have been; and you assume they will always be.
Releasing Your Attachments
This first secret has two components: (1) a mind that is open to everything, and (2) a mind that is attached to nothing. Your attachments are the source of all your problems. The need to be right, to possess someone or something, to win at all costs, to be viewed by others as superior-these are all attachments. The open mind resists these attachments and consequently experiences inner peace and success.
To release attachments, you have to make a shift in how you view yourself. If your primary identification is with your body and your possessions, your ego is the dominant force in your life. If you can tame your ego sufficiently, you’ll call upon your spirit to be the guiding force in your life. As a spiritual being, you can observe your body and be a compassionate witness to your existence. Your spiritual aspect sees the folly of attachments because your spiritual self is an infinite soul. Nothing can make you happy or successful. These are inner constructs that you bring to your world, rather than what you receive from it.
If you think peaceful thoughts, you’ll feel peaceful emotions, and that’s what you’ll bring to every life situation. If you’re attached to being right or absolutely need something in order to be at peace or to be successful, you’ll live a life of striving yet never arriving.
It’s possible to have a burning desire yet not have attachments. You can have an inner vision of what you intend to manifest and still detach yourself from the outcome. How? Consider this observation in A Course in Miracles: “Infinite patience produces immediate results.” It sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? Infinite patience implies an absolute certainty that what you’d like to manifest will indeed show up, in perfect order, and exactly on time. The immediate result you receive from this inner knowing is a sense of peace. When you detach from the outcome, you’re at peace, and you’ll ultimately see the fruits of your convictions.
Suppose you had a choice between two magic wands. With Wand A, you can have any physical thing you desire by simply waving it. With Wand B, you can have a sense of peace for the rest of your life regardless of what circumstances arise. Which would you pick? A guarantee of stuff, or inner peace for the remainder of your life? If you opt for peace, then you already have Wand B. Simply have a mind that is open to everything but attached to nothing. Let it all come and go as it will. Enjoy it all, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any thing, any place, and particularly, any person.
In all of your relationships, if you can love someone enough to allow them to be exactly what they choose to be-without any expectations or attachments from you-you’ll know true peace in your lifetime. True love means you love a person for what they are, not for what you think they should be. This is an open mind-and an absence of attachment.
It will look like this: Sell Your Cleverness And Purchase Bewilderment