We Create Our Reality

Used with permission from Publicdomainpictures.net

Today I ran across two particularly interesting quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh that really resonated with me.

People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.


Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.”

These two quotes really resonated with me because the theme of how the internal path is reflected into the external world, and vice versa, has been a recurring theme for me this week.

First, leading up to, during, and after the North Carolina constitutional amendment this week that bans same-sex marriage, there was a huge amount of vitriol being spewed forth by conservative talking heads regarding the issue. Just watching the conservative political pundits and politicians speak about the amendment and issues facing the LGBT community, I was really struck by the amount of true hate that many of these people had. Even those that cloaked their opposition to LGBT rights in politically correct niceties such as “I’m not anti-gay, I’m pro traditional values”, seemed to harboring a great deal of resentment to a group of people that in no way poses any actual harm or threat to anyone. Period. Even though these people were clothing themselves in the cloak of righteousness, they were (and are) suffering because of the anger and ill-will that their views create internally and externally, whether or not they want to admit it, or even realize it. These people are not only experiencing internal conflict and turmoil, but externally they are influencing and/or governing over a society that is also full of conflict and turmoil. The vitriol is now ramping up even higher, because President Obama (thanks largely to Vice-President Biden’s horrid Washington D.C. sin of a truthful tongue slip), has finally came out in support of the right for same-sex couples to get married.

Now then, admittedly I generally fall into the libertarian portion of the scale when it comes to social issues, because I feel that as long as you aren’t hurting me, or anyone else, I don’t really have the right to force you to live your life a certain way, nor do I have the right to force my version of morality on you. However, no matter what end of the political spectrum you fall into, it shouldn’t be that great of a stretch to realize that every human being is a person that has the same rights and emotional needs as anyone else, and they are entitled to those rights and the fulfillment of those needs no matter their race or gender, or their sexual, religious, or political preferences.

Beyond our feelings towards LGBT issues, in all portions of our life when we hold onto certain views, especially negative views, or views that discriminate or harm other people, we are not only causing internal suffering, but we are causing external suffering because our world will be filled with imbalance and chaos. As the first quote alludes to, when we staunchly hold onto views, especially those that don’t stand up to rational thought, they cause us to suffer internally because we are in a constant state of internal defense. Our ego is battling against our true-self which is loving, caring and compassionate. By allowing ourselves to be open-minded, loving, caring, and compassionate, we can be released from the constant state of having to justify irrational, or at least ill-conceived, views.

The second quote alludes to the fact that our internal state and views undoubtedly effect our external actions, and our external actions effect our internal state and views (the internal and external worlds are reflections of one another). Our internal thoughts and states, as well as our external actions, bear our signature because they reflect back on one another, and whatever energy you put out (positive or negative) will eventually be returned to the sender (you). Basically, what we put out into the world will eventually come back to us (the law of cause and effect, Karma, etc). So our internal views and external actions constantly send out ripples into the pond of the external and spiritual worlds, and eventually those ripples will return to us and bring back whatever energy we have put out. So positive begets positive, and negative begets negative, and in order to live a positive and happy life, both the internal and external worlds must be in a positive and balanced state.

Therefore, we create our reality, because if we are open, loving, positive, and compassionate on the inside, our external actions will be a reflection of that, and that positive energy will be returned to us in a variety of ways including: greater inner peace and harmony, more balanced and positive relationships, and a more balanced and positive society and world at large.

Since we each create our own reality, we must refine our inner self to be more positive, loving, compassionate, and open-minded, and we must make sure that our actions reflect positive energy out into the world. If we are full of internal conflict, hate, mistrust, and ill-will, our external world will reflect that. Therefore, we must choose wisely.

Practical Tip: When you have a feeling of ill-will toward an individual or group, evaluate why you feel that way, and once you have identified the core reason, rationally reflect on it and decide if it is reasonable to hold that belief (which it almost certainly will not be). If it is an unreasonable belief disregard it, and work to think of that person or group in a loving and caring way.

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Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

  1. May 11, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    This post is fantastic. Thank you for being so thoughtful and considerate toward LGBT rights. I agree, hatred toward anyone causes more damage than good, to ourselves and in turn, to the world.

    • May 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it! I’m also glad to see that you have started blogging again! Your blog was one of the blogs that really inspired me to start blogging in the first place!

  2. May 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Most excellent.
    Thank for posting your thoughts.
    You are so very clear, concise and thought inspiring.
    You have another follower.

    • May 11, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      I’m glad that you have enoyed my work! I’m also glad to meet someone else from OKC!

  3. Filipovsky
    May 14, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    It is a fantastic blog, you have. Thanks for stopping by on mine and liking some of my posts. I’m definitely putting yours to my RSS feeds 🙂 greetings from Nuuk

  4. May 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    This post goes along with the theme and message from one of the church services I attended this past weekend. The summation is that no one has the right to judge anyone else and unclean or undesirable because God has reconciled all people to Himself. Therefore, excluding and causing others to feel unaccepted based on a false morality that is not factually supported is wrong, misguided and ultimately harmful. Thanks for adding to the conversation around this topic.

    • May 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      You’re very welcome! I think that Jesus’ message was centered on love and accepting everyone, so it saddens me when I see so-called Christians who do not follow those teachings of Jesus.

  5. Dave
    May 18, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    I have divorced myself from politics, and politicians as the subject reaches in, and pulls out the worst in me.

    That said, it seems quite simple, it is not our place to judge. Especially from such a cruel place of just because, I have not experienced nor, do I understand.

  6. Dave
    May 22, 2012 at 6:04 AM

    This is one reason, I limit myself when it comes to politics. Cannot accept all the false claims, and smiles.

    The politicians try to patronize the majority which if taken singularly, one by, one may not really be the majority after all. It’s just that, it is planted for the ‘group’ by, the one holding on to those non-flexible, ‘traditional’ values.

    I have great disdain for politics, and the liars participating directly within. As you can see, the worst in me is brought out by, their presence. Apologies.

    • May 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      No apologies necessary. I actually have a degree in political science, because I use to really be intrigued by the political process (the ideals at least); however, after studying it in depth, to put it mildly I have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to the political process, and those that move the cogs. Thanks for sharing!

  7. June 5, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    Very true that we are prisoners of our thoughts.

    • June 5, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      Very true, yet like the man in Plato’s allegory of the cave, we have the ability to leave the cave of darkness. Thanks for commenting!

  8. June 8, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Keep saying it. I keep saying it. You have said it more fully, more eloquently. Keep saying it. And, then, somebody hears!

  9. June 12, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Yes!!! I don’t see the whole gay marriage fuss either – just because a gay couple get married, doesn’t change the whole meaning of marriage for straight couples. Doesn’t change anything, in fact.

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