There’s a school of thought that advises us to avoid the negative and accentuate the positive, sometimes called positive thinking. I can’t and wouldn’t speak for the other editors, but I can say that I don’t follow that particular path myself.
Not like it’s bad and wrong. It isn’t. It just has consequences that I don’t choose for myself.
The first reason I don’t follow it is that what is deemed negative and positive will vary from person to person. What may be positive for me may be negative for you and vice versa.
If I were to avoid the negative, much of what is featured on this site would be deemed by many as needing to go. After all the majority of the population still holds that saying 9/11 was an inside job is negative.
Many more would consider it negative to say that forces serving the government of the day blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Or that the the same general forces used ultra-low frequency vibrations to bring down the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge.
But these forces allied with the government were, in my view, behind 9/11, the Murrah Building explosion and the I-35W bridge collapse. So how do we decide what’s negative and what’s positive?
Similarly what’s positive for one person may not be positive for another. Many people’s version of diet, exercise, sexual patterns, or recreational pursuits may be positive to them but not to others.
The second pitfall with this approach is that it often results in people simply pasting a happy face on top of a sad face. It simply results in adding a new, second layer to the original unwanted condition we’re facing.
Now we have a smile over a frown. And often when I look at a person who’s behaving in this way, I find myself saying, “Hmmm… I don’t get the smile,” or “Something’s not right here.” The smile seems superficial or the upset shines through the smile. Something just doesn’t fit. There’s no deep rootedness to the positive approach. It’s virtually only skin deep, for my money.
The alternative to avoiding the negative and accentuating the positive is to focus on the truth. I have to add that my focus on the truth would have to be combined with avoiding harmfulness, as I said on July 20. (1)
How can we ever come up with a standard that says what’s truly positive and negative? I’m not sure we can. But we can certainly come up with a standard that says what’s true and what’s not.
How can we know what’s true?
Jesus set the standard thousands of years ago but I’m sure other masters have as well. He said: “The truth shall make you free.” (2)
Why does the truth make us free? I don’t know. I can only guess that that’s the way God designed life.
But it would make sense, would it not? If the purpose of life is to know God, to know the truth, and, if knowing God, or knowing the absolute Truth, sets us completely free from material life, then it makes sense to me that the truth of the moment would set us free from the conditions of the moment.
In other words, if the absolute Truth sets us free from separation from God and all the ills that that entails, then it would make sense to have lesser truths set us free from lesser conditions, as if they were bread crumbs leading out of the forest. Small truth sets us free from small conditions; large truth sets us free from large conditions. Conclusion: the truth is important. At least that resonates with me.
Thus if we want to be free of an upset, all we have to do is know the total truth of that upset and the upset lifts. That’s the whole basis of what I call the “upset clearing process.” Knowing the truth of an unwanted condition results in the release of tension, relief of physical symptoms, etc.
The way that we can know if we’re telling the truth about an upset is to see if we’re feeling increasing relief as we describe it. If we’re moving from the presence of tension towards the release of tension, then we’re probably telling the truth. If we’re moving further into upset, tension, etc., then we’re probably not telling the truth. This manner of proceeding is foolproof because life itself is feeding back to us unmistakably whether or not we’re telling the truth.
So we do have objective standards for knowing the truth but what’s negative and what’s positive will vary from person to person.
Thus, what some people regard as the rewards of positive thinking, I believe I get from releasing myself from the unwanted conditions that the truth frees me from.
I feel expanded, empowered, enabled, etc. Is that not what we seek from positive thinking? And I haven’t simply added another layer of positivity to the existing layer of negativity. I haven’t simply plastered a smile on top of an upset.
But everyone needs to follow their own path.
I do acknowledge that sources like SaLuSa advise concentrating on the positive. I translate that into a different vocabulary when I hear it and say to myself “the wholesome, the fruitful, the constructive, the divine qualities,” etc. I do so just to get away from the positive/negative vocabulary to avoid the difficulties I just outlined.
Having said that, I do acknowledge that I cultivate the divine qualities, but these are not variable from person to person. It isn’t the case that what one person calls love another would not recognize as love, or bliss, or joy. Unless they’re mistaking what love is in the first place. But love is love is love whereas the positive and negative vary.
And the positive and negative are not divine qualities, to the best of my knowledge. One can see that the mechanism by which the Law of Attraction works does not distinguish between positive and negative energy. We draw towards us what we fear just as much as we do what we love.
We know that God does not judge. We know that no positive or negative, good or bad, exists in the Absolute. But love, joy and bliss do. So I also wouldn’t equate the divine qualities, which exist, with positive and negative, which ultimately do not exist.
(1) “Devotional Attitiudes,” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/07/devotional-attitudes/
(2) John 8:32.