Section 13: All Phenomena are only Mind
Even with Einstein's endorsement, Spinoza's concept of God cannot serve as the basis of religious worship, and this is not difficult to understand. This is because there is no supreme deity, religious institution, scripture, rules, ceremonies, prophets, miracles, or holy relics, which contradicts the habits of the masses who are accustomed to being led and governed from a young age. In addition, there are no altars or crosses when praying, as the focus is on one's own inner being.
Each person is like an independent universe, and their inner being is the center of that universe. The consciousness of the Creator lies at the deepest part of the inner being, which is also our own inner consciousness. The subconscious layer contains memories from past lives and innate personality traits and talents, while the outermost layer is the self-consciousness that interacts with the environment daily.
Self-consciousness carries various characters, such as optimism or pessimism, bravery or cowardice, gentleness or anger, diligence, or laziness, and so on. It is an instinct to survive and changes continuously due to environmental factors and education, shaping each person's unique destiny.
Consider two travelers who were lost in the desert and spilled half of their water. One thought, "Thank goodness! There's still so much left!" and sipped slowly, eventually making it out of the desert. The other panicked, thinking, "This little bit of water isn't enough to survive!" and grew increasingly thirsty, eventually dying on the way.
Even though the blazing sun, scorching heat, and lack of water are the same, different states of mind lead to different fates.
The world's color depends on the color of the glasses we wear to see it. Similarly, the appearance of people, things, and objects in each person's life is the result of viewing them through their "self-consciousness," and there is no such thing as objective reality.
If we approach our friends with suspicion, no matter how genuine their intentions may be, we will interpret their actions as having ulterior motives.
To enhance workplace relationships, it's not effective to complain about colleagues and attempt to change them. Rather, it's crucial to reflect on how much of your dissatisfaction with your colleagues stems from your own preconceptions projected onto them. Empathy and altering your own mindset through adopting a different perspective are key to developing positive interactions with others.
Leon Festinger, an American social psychologist, formulated the famous "Festinger's Law," which asserts that only 10% of life's circumstances are uncontrollable, and the remaining 90% is dependent on our responses to the uncontrollable 10%.
To illustrate his point, he provided an example: while washing up, Castin left his watch on the edge of the sink. His wife feared the watch would get wet, so she relocated it to the dining table. When their son picked up toast, he accidentally knocked the watch onto the ground and shattered it. Enraged, Castin struck his son and berated his wife, resulting in a chain of unfortunate events that day due to the family's emotional turmoil, culminating in significant losses.
In the story, the sole fact is that the watch was broken, and everything else stems from inappropriate reactions.
I've heard another story: A married couple who had been trying to have a child for years finally had a lively and adorable son. Unfortunately, at the age of three, he accidentally ate some improperly stored medicine and couldn't be saved. When the husband rushed to the emergency room and learned of his son's death, he hugged his devastated wife and whispered "I love you" in her ear.
For a mother who has suffered the tragedy of losing a child due to a moment of carelessness, it takes great inner and outer strength to pull herself out of the abyss. If the husband had said to his wife at that time, "Why couldn't it have been you who died!" the heartbroken mother might have died. At the very least, their marriage could not have continued.
Unexpected events in life may always come before tomorrow. These large and small accidents hide lessons that must be learned in this life. The priority before answering them is to stop the disaster from spreading.
Even if the disaster is not spreading, getting out of the valley requires many changes in both the husband's and wife's mindsets and support, especially from the wife. Their innocent child, who came to this world with a mission, may very well bring a harsh challenge to their parents' marriage.
To navigate life's highs and lows with ease and joy, it's essential to cultivate the skill of directing our thoughts and breaking free from habitual thinking patterns. The practice of shifting our mindset is one that requires continuous learning throughout our lives. God has already granted each person with wisdom and strength, eagerly watching over us from the passenger seat.