We must take small practical steps, often when we would prefer to take giant ones — but we must move in the direction of our ideals through action. Otherwise we will feel disillusioned, or powerless, or sure, that only drastic, highly unideal methods will ever bring about the achievement of a given state or situation.
Life at all levels of activity is propelled to seek ideals, whether of a biological or mental nature. That pursuit automatically gives life its zest and natural sense of excitement and drama. Developing our own abilities, whatever they may be, exploring and expanding, our experience of selfhood, gives life a sense of purpose, meaning, and creative excitement — and also adds to the understanding and development of the society and the species.
It is not enough to meditate, or to imagine in our mind some desired goal being accomplished, if we are afraid to act upon the very impulses to which our meditations and imaginings give rise. When we do not take any steps toward an ideal position then our life does lack excitement. We become depressed. We might become an idealist in reverse, so that we find a certain excitement in contemplating the occurrence of natural disasters, such as earthquakes.
We may begin to concentrate our attention on such activities. We may contemplate the end of the world instead, but in either case we are propelled by a sense of personal frustration, and perhaps by some degree of vengeance, seeing in our mind the destruction of a world that fell so far beneath our idealized expectations.
None of the unfortunate situations discussed in my blog, have any power over us, if we understand that events do not exist by themselves. All events and situations exist first within the mind. At the deepest levels of communication no news is secret, whether or not we receive it by way of our technological gadgets.
Our thoughts and beliefs and desires form the events that we view on television. If we want to change our world, we must first change our thoughts, expectations, and beliefs. If every reader of this blog changed his or her attitudes, even though not one law was rewritten, tomorrow the world would have changed for the better. The new laws would follow.
Any new law always follows the change in belief. It is not the other way around.
There is no civilization, no system of science, art, or philosophy, that did not originate in the mind. When we give lip service to ideas with which we do not agree, we are betraying our own ideals, harming oneself to some extent, and society as well, insofar as we are denying oneself and society that benefit of our own understanding. Each person is an idealist. I simply want to help us practice our idealism in the acts of our daily life.
Each person alive helps paint the living picture of civilization as it exists at any given time, in our terms. “Be your own best artist”. Our thoughts, feelings and expectations are like the living brush strokes with which we paint our corner of life’s landscape. If we do our best in our own life, then we are indeed helping to improve the quality of all life. Our thoughts are as real as snowflakes or raindrops or clouds. They mix and merge with the thoughts of others, to form man’s and woman’s livingscape, providing the vast mental elements from which physical events will be formed.
As we learn to allow our impulses some freedom, we will discover their connection with our own idealized version of what life should be. We will begin to discover that those spontaneous urges are as basically good and life-giving as the physical elements of the earth that provide the impetus for all biological life.
Beyond that, however, those impulses, connect us with the original impulses from which all life emerges.
We will discover the natural, cooperative of our impulses, and we will no longer believe that they exist as contradictory or disruptive influences. Our impulses are part of the great multi-action of being. At deeper levels, the impulse portion of the personality is aware of all actions upon the earth’s surface. We are involved in a cooperative venture, in which our slightest impulse has a greater meaning, and is intimately connected with all other actions. We have the power to change our life and the world for the better, but the methods that are worthy of them. Science and religion have each contributed much to man’s and woman’s development. They must also reevaluate their ideals and methods,however.
In larger terms, there are really only scientific and religious men and women, however, and fields of science and religion would be meaningless without those individuals who believe in their positions. As those men and women enlarge their definitions of reckless in pursuit of the ideal — reckless enough to insist that each step we take along the way is worthy of that ideal.
We will understand, if we are a practicing idealist, that we cannot kill in the name of peace, for if we do so our methods will automatically undermine our ideal. The sacredness of life and spirit are one and the same. We cannot condemn the body without ultimately condemning the soul. we cannot condemn the soul without ultimately condemning the body.
I would like each of my readers to be practicing idealist, and if you are then you will automatically be tolerant of the beliefs of others. You will not be unkind in the pursuit of your own ideals. You will look upon the world with a sane compassion, with some humor, and you will look for man’s and woman’s basic good intent. You will find it. It has always been there. You will discover your own basic good intent, and see that it has always been behind all of your actions — even in those least fitted to the pursuit of your private ideals.
The end does not justify the means. If we learn that lesson, then our good intent will allow us to act effectively and creatively in our private experience, and in our relationships with others. Our changed beliefs will affect the mental atmosphere of our nation and the world.
We must encounter the selves that we are now. Acknowledge our impulses. Explore their meanings. Rely upon ourselves. We will find far greater power, achievement, and virtue than we suppose.