What exists when worry is absent? Peace.
Which do we prefer?
I’m in the middle of an experience of peace. In fact I truncate it by writing to you but it’s more important to record these things than to go for the fulness of them. (1)
I was worrying. About the usual. And somehow, in my imagination, I saw worry as melting and then drawing back into itself until it formed globules. Then these globules dried up, turned into ash, and blew away.
This is consistent with finding shame and fear to be empty some days or weeks ago. These feeling states and attitudes are subjectively real, but have very little objective existence. Once we venture into them, they crumble or disappear.
I found myself, for a moment, without worry. I did the spiritual equivalent of “looking around” and recognized this space as one I knew a few years ago. (2)
Life without worry is full of peace – peace-ful.
But, when we hear that, I don’t think we get the true meaning. It isn’t that all our worries are solved. It isn’t that anything external has changed for us. It’s that something internal has.
We’ve come to see worries themselves as generic and we’ve set them all aside as a class of phenomena, in preference to remaining in … what turns out to be … our native state of peace.
Franklin Roosevelt said we had nothing to fear but fear itself. I’d add worry to that, Mr. President. Worry clouds everything and cuts us off from the peace of our Natural Self.
Lots of worries playing on us is like sitting in a waiting room with someone who has a boombox turned up loud. You’d want to flee.
Worry is like that radio. In a state of worry, the everyday consciousness wants to flee. It cannot maintain the connection with the Natural Self, which exists in that deeper state of peace. Too much noise.
So it flees from peace into tension, hiding, fighting, etc.
What I’m seeing is that worry is like crumpled-up newspaper. Light a match to it and it goes up in smoke. Peace is like the air. It remains after everything is burned.
Remove worry itself, however you do it – providing you’re not simply suppressing it – and what then is seen to remain, the default, the residue is peace.
But there’s a condition. We have to notice peace, just as we have to notice love and bliss. We have to be aware of it. And we are easily distracted.
(1) We all know we’re going to get there so there isn’t an element of … well, worry. And, besides, if I went for the fulness of it, I might end up no longer writing.
(2) During that experience, I saw a man on a platform, in my mind’s eye, as my train of thought sped by. I recognized instantly that he was in a state of profound peace and it propelled me into that state as well.
Peace was substantial, like granite, an image Archangel Michael also used when he described peace to me a year or two later.