Seeing double

When we're angry, we are filled with rage at the world as it appears to us. We are inflamed with a burning issue that cannot be resolved with the world as is. We are on fire with desire for a different world to live in.

Where we go wrong is to take "the world" literally. We think, incorrectly, that the world to fix is the one on the outside. We assume there is only one real world and our five senses tell us the truth about that. We dismiss our inner world as mere mind stuff, worries and unreliable moods.

When we've spent lots of time in reflective practice, we get a different sense of our inner lives. The world inside becomes equally real to the outside one. At some point it becomes the only world that's real. It appears as consciousness to us that cannot be born or die, only continue eternally.

Once we've realized how our inner world is partly or totally real, we are seeing double. When we get angry we have a new place to go. We can consider how to change the world of our beliefs. We get that the world as it appears outside us is a representation of the world we believe in deeply.

The world we can change within us is comprised of our 'facts of life". We believe in what cannot be changed by us. We assume certain rules are the way the world works for us, our particular fate, and how we've been cursed or blessed in this life.

We've learned this inner world by experience. We've graduated from the school of hard knocks. Life has taught us how to limit ourselves, fear for our survival, join in consensual anxieties and feel guilty about our happiness.

This belief system works like film in a movie projector. It creates appearances that reflect, validate and perpetuate the recorded assumptions. It sends out signs of what is believed so deeply it appears as unchangeable facts of life.

This is the world we are on fire to change when we get angry. If we are seeing double, we know which world to change, and which will happen to change on its own when we succeed at the inner transformation.


  1. Tom,
    Here is a related quote that is a pillar for me...

    "Wanting to reform the world without discovering one's true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes."

    -Ramana Maharsh


  2. Thanks for the quote Pete. It's a great example of knowing where to go to change the world.

    Extending the metaphor a bit, if our feet are hurting, we don't realize it's our choice. We don't see that we are passing up the opportunity to wear shoes and change how we contact the ground. We do see that the stones and thorns are infuriating us. We want to fix those buggers as if there's nothing to be done about our feet. We are certain those annoyances are "making us feel awful". We envy people who don't have this problem and assume they are thick soled or masochists. Putting on shoes transforms our experience of the world, our understanding of others and our sense of what else to change.