I have written many times about the power of acceptance. Accept what is happening in the present moment. But I feel that I should explain this in more detail, as so many people seem to miss the second part of the equation. We live in a world of polarities, and the spiritual aspirant will want to live in the balance of the two polarities. It is by being in balance that one can be properly situated with a balanced mind, body and spirit. Therefor we find balance between spirit and matter, male and female, right brain and left brain, meditation and action, etc. When the two hemispheres of the brain are balanced, the hemispheres become bridged, and this is the proper state of mind for revelation from the heart to become manifest in what is called abstract mind, the mind in perfect balance between the two polarities of male and female.
When we are out of balance, then our perceptions, thought processes, emotions and health become skewed to one polarity. It is not difficult to spot when someone is out of balance, even through their facades. So what does this have to do about acceptance, you might be thinking.
Eckhart Tolle has expressed the importance of acceptance many times. But I also notice that so many people have only accepted one side, or one polarity of his discussions. They have either ignored or just missed the rest of it. They easily spot the passive aspect of the teaching, but how many can remember the rest of it? It’s very understandable why this happens. First, because the first part of the teaching is a very radical approach to life (to just allow things to be), so it catches your full attention. And secondly, because the second part seems to almost negate the first part. Allow me to explain.
In the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explains that we should simply accept things as they are, and then Act from that state of consciousness. It seems a lot of new age people forget the second aspect of the teaching. And not just them. This seems like the slogan of Eastern adepts as well. In the West we have a similar slogan, “Oh well.”
Eckhart Tolle gives the example of running your car off the road and getting stuck in the mud. You look at the situation, and you accept the obvious fact that you are stuck in the mud. You don’t get all worked up and react. You don’t scream at the car or the road. You don’t deny that you ran off the road and are stuck in the mud. Neither do you ignore it. You center yourself calmly, which is the point of balance. You assess the situation at hand. You are accepting the Present Moment As It Is. This is what reality has placed before you in this moment. How you respond to this situation is the true test of one’s mettle (look that word up).
By accepting the present moment, as it is, even if it is difficult, the mind becomes calm, and the mental chattering stops. The senses become very acute, and you are very aware. You assess the situation from a space of clarity, free from the mind’s chatter. This is surrendering to the present moment. Remain in that state, and the answers needed will come to you. If you are stuck in the mud, an idea may come to you, or you may feel a deep urge to act. This then creates right action, as it is coming from a much deeper aspect of your Self.
The first aspect of the teaching is to accept what is happening without mental and emotional resistance. It is real. This is the female, right brain passive aspect. The female is receptive and the male is active. We receive information, which is a feminine component. As we stand by the side of the road, we passively accept the situation that reality has presented to us. We don’t fight it or deny it. We don’t blame or get angry. We receive the information of the situation in a calm, centered state. So now what? What do you do now, just leave the car in the mud and walk away? Or do you take action?
This is the second aspect of the teaching – to take action. Accept where you are and what is happening, but if you don’t like it, change it. This takes action. This is the male aspect, left brain activity. The two aspects together create balance. If you only accept without taking appropriate action, then you are imbalanced in the right brain passive feminine. You remain stuck in the mud. If you don’t accept what is happening, but instead react, then your actions will “miss the mark”, as Jesus said. That is an imbalance of too much masculinity and coming from an imbalanced left brain. If you fight or deny what reality is presenting you, or if you ignore it or get angry and just react, then that action is coming from the false Self, the little voice in your head.
If you are pleased with what reality presents before you in the present moment, it is easy to accept, but it is when difficulties present themselves, that our mettle is tested. That is when you can see what needs to be adjusted to find balance.
And what if you do not like what is happening, and you cannot change it? Let’s look at that. Eckhart Tolle gives the example that say you are stuck in a night club, with very loud heavy rock, gangsta’ rap, hip hop, whatever music drives you nuts. They have you strapped to a chair, so you cannot leave. So what Can you do? Nothing. If that is the situation, you either accept what is, or you will suffer, by trying to fight something mentally that you cannot stop. You are stuck in resistance, and if you think about it, you are resisting the present moment. Resistance cause pain. For some reason, reality has placed this situation before you. It has sprung forth from the present moment, and you Are that present moment. So I would suggest to accept what is without resistance. After a while, the music seems to fade away, and you find yourself in the silence, the substrata from where the music is manifest from. Perhaps there is a very powerful lesson in this for you that could shift your consciousness. Or then again, maybe you’ve just been really bad, and Santa Claus is giving you a taste of your own medicine. In which case, maybe you will learn to be a good person. Who knows? In such a situation, you have two choices: Accept what is and find peace, or resist it and suffer.
I would like to use this equation for our present situation, here and now on planet Earth. What is occurring now is a battle for our minds, hearts and souls. There seems to be some extremely powerful people that are bent upon the destruction of the world. Our rights are being taken away at a very alarming rate. We are being poisoned, fed plastic food and water with dangerous drugs. People’s savings have been looted, their houses taken away. The police have become militarized, and kill innocent people with impunity. Our governments are the most corrupt vile psychopaths roaming the Earth. This is not the time to just give the police thugs a flower. It is not the time to ignore or deny what is happening. This is not the time to be fearful to examine the situation. But neither should one react to what is happening. That gets you caught up in the drama.
Many people react to the situation either with fear or denial. These are both aspects of the false ego. The ego lives in fear, and therefor wants to control. The ego lives in denial, as it always wants to avoid the truth, because the truth would expose the false ego. New age followers, and many sects from Eastern traditions would choose to live in denial, claiming it is all illusion, that everything is relative and there is no such thing as good and evil. Or they pretend that their sentimental love has the power to change things. “Just send it love.” They obviously do not understand the dynamics of reality. Other people become fearful, usually fear for one’s self and family. Fear generates the desire to control. So we see people running out into the streets protesting or rioting. We see people getting involved in politics, believing that will create change. If it did, it would be illegal. All of these actions or inactions are arising from the false ego. One is imbalanced in the right brain, which makes one passive. “It’s all an illusion. Go back to meditating on unicorns.” The second is imbalanced in the left hemisphere, the masculine side. Reacting without clear thought.
I have expressed that we should accept what is, as reality has placed it before us. We have a part to play in that, because the objective reality is manifest from the present moment, and We Are the Present Moment. The world is the way it is because this is what the present moment has presented to us. Yes, it’s a present. I have expressed that it is not wise to take action to change the world until you yourself are awake. Such actions come from the false ego, usually from fear and anger. This is a serious situation we are all facing in the world. and you are one person. Right action would insist that you use your intelligence, abilities and energy in the best way possible to have the most affect. If you just react and run out into the street and take part in a mob, it would be avery poor choice, and will be largely ineffective. Also, you run a real risk in getting caught up in the collective consciousness of the crowd, which is full of anger. You can easily be swept away with them.
It seems the ego is completely unprepared for dealing with our present dilemma. This is the time to be passive, in the sense, you need to become prepared, so you would want to take in valid information of what is happening around you. You want to have a clear picture of the situation and study the dynamics at play. You want to clear the mind of the chatter and focus your attention to the situation. This is when your senses become acute. So this is the meditative state, the time to clear away one’s false beliefs and clear the mind. This is the time to reconnect with your deeper Self. It is from that deep space within the core of your Being, that the answers and directions will manifest. This is how you begin to see the direction to take, and the details. Your plan unfolds to you what right actions to perform that would have the most affect. That could be something so simple as to just be a shining light in your community, a person that knows right actions, a teacher or mentor. You may be drawn to write or sing songs, create art, give talks, make youtube videos, write books, blogs, do radio shows, get involved in different ways. You may be drawn into nature, where you become present and commune with Mother Nature in gratitude. This action is extremely powerful for healing Mother Nature. If the actions arise from a clear mind and a good heart, then they will be effective. This is right action. Actions arising from the false ego will always “miss the mark.”
I have written of how actions arise from a person that is awakened. They just flow naturally. In On Trying To Be a Nice Person, I wrote:
“I have found that when you awaken to your Self, then all good qualities follow you naturally. You don’t try to be anything. You just simply Are. Your thoughts, desires and actions are naturally kind and caring. It’s just who you are. Good qualities are not something separate from you. They are intrinsic in your Being. You breathe kindness and caring. There is no agenda, there is no selfishness, there is no manipulation, there is no harm done to another. You are simply Being. There is no effort in one’s actions, no calculative thoughts or plans. You no longer strive to be kind and considerate, because it is who you are. It just naturally flows.”
When one is situated in this state of consciousness, one is in the flow. His actions become spontaneous, as they are arising from deep within. This state of consciousness is very powerful, very loving and wise. Now love can take many forms. A mother will chastise her child out of love. A mother will fight to protect her child from harm. Love is not always passive.
Now there is more to this equation. We move from meditation to action, and then again from meditation to action in cycles. And there are cycles within cycles. So we don’t have to be completely awake before taking any action. When you meditate on your deeper Self, you are connecting with truth, and wisdom will manifest. After the meditation, the actions you create are coming from a clear space, which is now more in line with truth. The more you engage in this cycle of meditation and action, the more in tune you become, and the more you become aligned with truth. If you have a small amount of truth and wisdom, you can then perform small actions. In other words, I wouldn’t suggest changing your life path, or engaging in some project beyond your scope, simply because you had one small glimpse of truth in meditation. Patience is a virtue. You may get a feeling of the direction you desire to take, but make sure that you are prepared and that you have the abilities and resources needed to perform the task.
I have seen so many times people who go to some seminar and get all psyched up and enthusiastic to change their lives, so they divorce their wives, quit their job and/or move somewhere. After a few days or weeks, the seminar high subsides, and they find themselves in a real mess, that They created themselves. I have seen people get over enthusiastic about beginning some project which they do not have the intelligence, resources, abilities or even the proper direction to undertake successfully. The internet is full of such disasters.
You don’t have to be fully awake to take action. If you become aware of an atrocity, let others know about what is happening. In fact, you are morally obligated to inform people. If someone is about to walk off of a cliff, it is your moral obligation to warn them of the danger. This should be obvious. So we are moving in cycles of meditation and action. Without the meditation aspect, the actions will come from the false ego and “miss the mark.” The actions should also be proportionate to the insights received during meditation. If you get a small glimpse of the truth behind the veil, your actions should be in the same proportion to remain balanced. You wouldn’t want to rush out and try to change the world, simply because you saw a glimmer of truth.
So remember that acceptance has two components that balance the equation. This is the same equation one should consider between meditation and actions to stay in balance. This equation should be considered in all times in our lives in all occasions. Balance between work and play, eating and evacuating, rest and exercise in balance, learning and executing what we learn. Balance is the key.
– Greg Calise