Does the News Make You Mad?
“I think it’s a great spiritual practice to turn on the TV and listen to the guy you hate most, the one who triggers you most. When you can see God there, you’re getting it. If you have to turn off the TV every time you see the person, and he sends you into skyrocketing anger, you have a lot of waking up to do.”–Adyashanti
Do you get upset about the news? What does Gandhi have to teach us about this? Here is an enlightened view:
Student: When I watch the news, I feel such an argument, a re-establishing of a point of view. How can I hold this truth in the face of the problems in the world?
Adyashanti: Words are such a small part of what is going on. The truth can’t be put into words. It’s really something that’s silent and can’t be explained. So, too, within ourselves, that which is very powerful and transformative affects the world in a way that our words can’t. And no matter what our words are, even if we’re saying, “Peace, peace, peace, world peace,” or “Feed the hungry, and feed the poor,” if that war is raging inside of us, with every word of peace, what’s being transmitted is conflict, conflict, conflict. Even though the words don’t say conflict, it is unavoidable. Who we are is what we transmit. This is so important.
I find that human beings are terrified of unity, because in this unity, there’s nobody separate from the unity who is going to decide or dictate how that unity acts. And the ego knows that in unity, ego is gone. It plays zero part. None. Zip. And the ego says, “Is everything going to be okay?…”
Human beings are coming from separation, not unity, in 99 percent of the activities they do, whether they think they are doing something good or bad. When you come from separation, that’s all you’re transmitting. When you come from unity, you might still be called and be drawn to do the same things you were called to do when you were stuck in separation.
You still may be writing senators or flying across the world, but it’s so different when it’s done from unity. And when it is, you know it is because your sense is, “I don’t even know why I’m doing this.” That means there’s no conflict motivating you anymore. Therefore you can’t come up with a reason because everything is okay. And yet, from that, something moves.
Mysteriously, this movement doesn’t happen for a reason. It’s just the way life happens to move through you. You might be a Gandhi kind of guy or gal who is moved to take some sort of action. Or you might be like Ramana and say, “It’s all the will of God, so why get involved?”
Then life is moving from its own dictates, not a me moving from your agenda. These are so different. When you look at the change that can occur, you can see one person inspiring thousands and tens of thousands. One person (Gandhi) with a single vision kicked the most powerful nation in the world out of India, actually convinced them to leave. Violence couldn’t have done that. “You’re rotten, you shouldn’t be here” wouldn’t have done it. But there is such power in seeing this Truth.
Activity flowing from Truth has such potential. Every other motivation for movement, for action, is violent.
Adapted from Emptiness Dancing, by Adyashanti (Sounds True, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Adyashanti. Reprinted by permission of Sounds True.
Adapted from Emptiness Dancing, by Adyashanti (Sounds True, 2006).