This article by John-Roger was originally published in The Movement Newspaper, February 1983.
We would be much further ahead in this world if we worked more to make our own beliefs valuable to ourselves rather than trying to change other peoples’ beliefs. And we would be even further ahead if we found the uniqueness of our thoughts, experiences and personalities and capitalized on them.
Recently a person asked me, “What do you believe?” And I said, “That’s very difficult because my beliefs are based upon empirical evidence that I have found inside of myself. And it’s not necessary to demonstrate or portray that evidence to persuade or coerce anyone to believe as I do. It’s just something that I’m doing.” It doesn’t work to try to change anyone’s beliefs because if a person wants to change, they will do it alone – from inside themselves.
What you believe can sometimes be a carryover from patterns you learned in childhood. And those beliefs can be more of a crutch than a support to help you function at the highest potential of your existence. And isn’t it funny to blame your present existence upon something that happened when you were a child?
Some years ago, when my father was still alive, he taught me a very valuable lesson about this. I went back home to visit my parents, and my father and I were driving some place high in mountains in his pickup truck. As we were driving I remembered something that he once did to me. Or that he didn’t do that I thought he should have. I pulled the car over to the side of the road, came to a halt and said, “You know, there’s something I want to tell you.” He looked at me and said, “If you think you’re going to blame me or your mother for anything that’s happened to you, you might as well get out of the car. But let me remind you that it’s a long walk. “
I looked at him and realized we were 10,000 feet up on a mountain, 50 miles from home and all of a sudden it hit me at and I burst out laughing. I said, “You’re right, Dad, you’re absolutely right.”
I realized that at some point it becomes our responsibility to bring our lives present – in this very moment – and forgive and forget the past and live fully, 100% of who we are today. We have to! There’s no excuse not to get up, get going and do it now.
People say, “Well, what will I do?” I tell them, “Stand up.” They’ll get up and I’ll ask them, “Isn’t that better?” Now you’re in a position to do. You’re in a position to move on your thoughts and to verify the belief that you were having, that now will no longer be a belief, faith or hope. Now it will be an experience that you will validate by your change of behavior.
You can tell if a person has changed their behavior because they will be in the action of doing. They won’t be telling you that they’re doing it. If a person says, “I learned that; I know that,” and you see them going against those words, you’ll know they’re lying. But if you hear a person say that and is demonstrating that in their behavior, you will see that they have told you the truth. And the truth is what we’re all after – no matter where it’s found.
Just because you have learned something and think you’re “there” doesn’t mean that you can stop. You have to keep working at it. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. And vigilance means that you have to demonstrate being awake. Watch what you say because you may be fabricating an illusion that will then prevent you from becoming what you say you are.
You may say, “Oh God, now I have to live up to that. There’s no way that I can live up to what I said, so I’ll tell a lie and try to get out of it that way.” So you start stringing out the lies, one after the other. But at some point, it will come back to you because you are fabricating an unbelief which is as bad or worse than trying to present your true belief in order to change someone. .
You have often heard me say, “Check it out. You decide. If it works for you, use it. If it doesn’t, let it go.” That approach can really be useful to you. Why? Because that’s exactly what you’re going to do. You’re going to be the one who decides, and you’re going to be the one who lives your life according to how it will be best for you.
There are two ways to go through life – either laughing or crying. Wouldn’t you rather laugh? That’s taking care of yourself. Believe it or not, this world has a lot of discouraging things in it. But you can use everything to your advantage and lift yourself up out of the discouragement. There is not one thing that has been placed on this planet that you cannot use to lift yourself.
Every moment of your existence, when you are a responsible creator, you do the things that will lift you into a higher consciousness. If you are with a group that is boring, practice patience. If you are with a group that uses a different vocabulary, write the words down and learn what they are saying. If you are with a group that is emotionally out of balance, work to balance the emotions inside of yourself. If you are with a group that is of a different ethnic background, practice acceptance. Instead of being discouraging, this situation can become a challenge.
We were not put on this earth to be beggars. We have the choice within us at all times to change our behavior and to make the most of any situation. The spark of divine truth lies within each one of us, and we need only to awaken to that and activate it in our lives to make it a reality. Our divine nature – our true selves – is not something distant and unreachable within us. And the only thing that keeps us from acknowledging that inside of ourselves can be our own unwillingness to move beyond the beliefs that we cling to.
The things that are to be done physically, do physically. The things that are to be done emotionally, do emotionally. And when you blend them into one action, you have changed your behavior. The change in behavior brings rewards – the rewards of new opportunities, new abilities and new life. And these rewards .can encourage you to continue to change your behavior even more to bring you into the awareness of your soul.
Use your imagination to see yourself getting better and better. Hold the picture in your mind of what you want more of. For every thought get a feeling to match it and then do something with it physically. That’s using all the parts of your existence to your advantage. That’s loving yourself, taking care of yourself and lifting above discouragement, boredom, blaming others and judgments. Use your natural knower to watch where you are going and how you are directing yourself.
You prepare for the worst, hope for the best and shoot down the middle. And when you support yourself and believe in yourself, you can bring about positive, directed changes in yourself and in the world.
Baruch Bashan (the blessings already are),