There’s no one out there, revisited

I posted some time ago (here) about Gaya’s famous teaching: “there’s no one out there, just a bunch of mirrors reflecting you back to yourself.” It took me nearly a year to really grasp the magnitude of how this principle actually operates. In short, there are many different ways to think about this idea.

One is that every time you are emotionally triggered by something, it’s an invitation to go inside and discover more about yourself. The trigger is a gift; a clue, of sorts, letting you know that there is some negative self-judgment hanging out in your subconscious, waiting to be healed. Another way to think about this is that the external world is just a reflection of what’s going on inside of you. If you have chaos, or drama, or negativity in the world around you, look inward and you’ll see that that is precisely what’s happening inside your mind. If someone is mistreating you on the outside, I’d bet you are mistreating yourself on the inside. (No blame or judgement – just food for thought). A third perspective is that all the judgments you hold about other people, are really all about you. They have nothing to do with the behavior or appearance of another person. This last perspective was the subject of my previous post.

I could go on about this all day, but what I wanted to share here is a recent article from mindbodygreen by Dr. Lissa Rankin. “What the universe is really trying to tell you.” Lissa does a great job of asking just the right questions about this, often controversial, topic. The article offers another avenue to think about the world-as-mirrors principle. Here is the response I posted to the piece (on facebook).

The way i see it – this principle operates in the macro and micro sense. Our unconscious shadow side may, in fact, be manifesting our external reality in order to teach us, or allow us to experience being human. But in the micro (or local) sense, we absolutely create the story of what happens to us. And those are the feelings we experience as reality. Events objectively are value neutral, neither good nor bad. It’s the story we create around them that creates our reality. What if our conventional stories about life events aren’t accurate? What if we celebrate someone’s passing, instead of turning it into a tragic event? What if we experience loss and savor the grief as a beautiful human experience, while at the same time feeling excited for the person’s transition? This may sound morbid, but if you consider the implications, what’s really lost by changing all of our interpretations to positive ones? What if we drop all the story-lines?

Before you all get out your pitchforks, let me just say that I’m not indifferent to suffering – just the opposite. It is with a heart full of compassion and great empathy that I offer the possibility that we can perceive life differently. That perhaps we aren’t victims of a cruel unpredictable world at all. Instead we are absolutely in control of our experience (if you take time to develop the awareness that you have a choice of how to live in the world). Maybe, just maybe, life is actually a beautiful magical experience, just waiting for you to be able to see it clearly.