Our interpretations of experiences result in either lives filled with love, peace, and joy or lives filled with loneliness, discord, and unhappiness. The video that follows explains how you can live a life filled with love, peace, and joy. A transcript follows the video.
Experiences are neutral. An experience has different effects on different people because the individual’s interpretation of the experience gives it impact. When we see something coiled up in a dark corner of the garage, some will feel fear if they believe it is a snake; some will feel nothing if they feel it is a rope; and some will feel joy because they love pet snakes. The one experience is interpreted differently by individuals. The result of the interpretation is emotion. The emotion from any single experience could be fear, indifference, delight, desire, amusement, or other emotion that depends on the individual’s interpretation. The emotions are not inherent in the experience. They are entirely in the individual’s interpretation of the experience.
We want to feel the emotions of happiness, love, contentment, security, and peace. We want to avoid feeling the emotions of unhappiness, rejection, loneliness, depression, fear, and discord with other people. These positive and negative emotions motivate our actions. We want to get good feelings. We want to avoid bad feelings.
People in our societies today are taught that to be happy, they must have certain things in their lives: a big house, a new car, a spouse who treats them well, obedient children, a job that gives them good money, and adulation from their family, colleagues, and boss. If they don’t have these things, they can never be happy. They are destined by cruel fate to be unhappy and discontented. Happiness comes from a world that gives us what we want. If we don’t get what we want, it’s the fault of the people around us and the world. They must change for me to be happy.
Schools teach children at the ages of five or six that they are successes or failures. To be happy, they must be better than other children so they receive adulations from their parents and teachers. If they are rated as failures, they lose approval and can even be punished. They feel discouraged and unloved. Schools reward children who excel over others, regardless of their actions and motivations. They do not reward being other-centered and giving help when a fellow student asks for it. You must be better than everyone else to feel good about yourself. As a result, children learn they can have happiness only when they acquire things, feel they are better than others, and are given praise by others for winning. They are taught to be self-centered rather than other-centered so they can feel happy.
The major reason we are in Earth School is to change our interpretations of experiences so we become other-centered, loving, and compassionate. We will then feel empathy and act to reduce other people’s suffering. Reducing others’ suffering will bring us joy. Then selfishness, actions that hurt other people, cruelty, and violence will be viewed as unacceptable. Changing our minds and hearts to be other-centered, loving, peaceful, and joyful is our reason for being here.
The wise Raabi who taught in the hills of the Galilee in the first century CE, name Yeshua bar Yosef, or Jesus, is reported to have said “You must have a change of heart and mind, for the Kingdom of Heaven is here now.” It was mistranslated as “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” The word “metanoia” mistranslated as “repent” really means “have a change of heart and mind.” Jesus was saying if you have a change of heart and mind, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven now, in this lifetime. You can live in love, peace, and joy if you just change yourself.