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Is "positive thinking" helpful in making a better world?
Question: Is "positive thinking" helpful in making a better world, just by having positive thoughts?
Answer: Positive thinking always implies an opposite. This is why affirmations are not the complete picture. If you use positive thinking or affirmations and still have unconscious ego beliefs, it is like putting sweet icing on a cake of mud! This is why the path of the Course and all true spiritualities is bringing the darkness to the light - rather than trying to cover the darkness and push it down.
The journey is often wet with tears, and there are many intense emotions as you allow the feelings to come up. One of the things I am enjoying most here in Argentina is the willingness to express emotions and cry. In many gatherings I have in the United States, people do not allow themselves to cry. But this is very healing and cathartic. It is much more helpful than to wear a mask and pretend. A friend was noticing at the meetings that there are mostly women, and occasionally one or two men. We were discussing this last night and I was relating that in the sexual stereotypes it is more acceptable for women to cry. My friend’s husband stated that the "macho men" never come to these groups. This is just another demonstration that it is all based on beliefs and not really a male/female issue. Crying can be a symbol of openness.
Question: Do you have more men in the American Course groups?
Answer: There are places where there seem to be more men, but generally I don't notice. I've come to the place where I see everything the same—people, dogs, objects—the tapestry is whole. There are no animate versus inanimate objects, no organic and inorganic, big or small. I see no difference between the city and the country, or highly populated and rural. It is all a matter of purpose.
There is a wonderful section in "A Course in Miracles" called "Setting the goal." If you put your goal out front, it is like carrying a torch of light. When your goal is clearly set, you will perceive everyone and everything witnessing to the goal you have set. You will see no exceptions. When you do not set a clear goal, the situations in your life just seem to happen, and then the ego always looks back on what just happened and decides whether it likes it or doesn't like it. This is always very frustrating.
In the story of Lot's wife in the Bible, she was told not to look back or she would turn into a pillar of salt. Think of that the next time you start looking back on something that has already happened. That is the ego, and it freezes your mind in the past.