“What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs?”
–A Course in Miracles
Every town has one. The mumbling guy on the street. The woman in all-black who frequents coffee shops carrying a three-foot cross. Those intriguing characters that always make you wonder. In Lawrence, Kansas, where I live, we have a whole contingency of such characters. Dennis, who typically wears a Spiderman outfit, never leaves home without his “daughter” Cheryl, a plastic doll he either carries or pushes in a stroller. Over the years, Cheryl has “grown up” from a baby doll to a bigger doll until now she’s the size of a storefront mannequin which, in truth, she actually is.
Pranksters kidnapped Cheryl the other day and the local police force, taking it quite seriously, put out an A.P.B., which thankfully resulted in an immediate recovery. Dennis and Cheryl are local celebrities. Dennis even has his own fanpage on Facebook.
The point I’m trying to make is that Dennis is no different than the rest of us. His world, although a slight deviation from what’s considered normal, is very real to him. Just as the world we’ve made up in our minds is very real to us. But both—Dennis’ world and the world we “see” and believe in with such a tenacious grip—is fiction. Neither constitutes Reality.
Reality, according to physicists who study these things, is that we are all connected. We are all one. In fact, the biggest secret in the world is we all really love each other.
We only “see” this other reality, this separate, divided, ugly world, because we imagine it to be that way. Illusions are as strong in their effects as is truth.
Because we continue to repeat and believe in the world we see on the six o’clock news, we continue to see the all hell-breaking-loose world of destruction and limits. Because dodging minefields is our source of vision, we continue to see a world of doom. Through our rote insistence on fear, we have created a fearful world.
But it’s no more real than the world of Dennis.
We have enslaved the world with our fears, doubts and miseries. By simply changing our vision, by imagining what “could be” instead of believing in “what we think is” we can literally change the world. The inner always creates the outer.
Instead of swimming in the insane culture-wide obsession with pathology, we should revel in the endless flood of miracles.
Isn’t it time to give up the world we keep re-running in our mind, to overthrow the status quo? A new more imaginative and free world is possible. But we must retrain ourselves to look through optimistic eyes. To say “thank you” and recognize all the beauty and largesse in our lives.