“Love is the answer because, pure mind, divine mind is pure love. Divine consciousness is pure love. Divine thought is pure love.” — Sydney Banks
I am on my way back from Oslo, home of the Nobel Peace prize, and where the first One Solution Conference was held. I am deeply moved, filled and inspired as I return to LA. The premise of the conference — there is one solution to global challenges is a bold statement. It does, however, make sense within the context of there being one source to human suffering. As George Pransky stated at the conference, if there is one solution, there has to be one problem, and that problem is chronic human stress and distress resulting from a misunderstanding regarding where human experience comes from.
We are taught that our experience comes from outside of us. Therefore, we look first to outside causes and solutions to ameliorate our suffering. We believe if we can change and control circumstances then we can eliminate distress. This, however, is not where our experience comes from. Our internal experience comes from our own thinking. Consciousness brings our thoughts to life through our sensory system, and that is where our experience is created.
What this means is that our experience exists independent of outside circumstances. It is not a causal relationship. Thoughts producing feelings is the causal connection. One of the most moving examples of this for me is demonstrated by Viktor Frankl, renowned Austrian psychiatrist who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. Even in the most harrowing of conditions Frankl was able to connect with his spiritual well being. He shares in his book, Man’s Search For Meaning:
“… for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which men can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world may still know bliss, be it only for a brief moment.”
This bliss comes from inside. It is our true nature. It is a state of mind that we all have access to when our personal thinking settles. No matter what our circumstances we can experience this, and, not only can we experience it independent of our conditions, the best solutions for addressing problems and solving challenges come from this state of mind.
This is the direction the One Solution conference asked us to look in. Rather than starting with fixing everything out there, start by connecting with your natural state of loving and address problems from this state of mind. That is the one solution. I have been teaching this to individuals, couples, families, and organizations. Now I see how it relates to global challenges as well.
There were inspiring case studies shared at the conference regarding how an inside-out approach based on the Three Principles teachings of Sydney Banks has been used and is being used to foster change in the world. There were examples of transformation in housing projects, with refugees in Gaza, with Nepalese relief workers, and with the Kenyan Police service.
Despite the varied circumstances and different challenges being addressed in the case studies, the one solution of pointing people in the direction of their innate well being was the foundation for change. Recognizing the infinite power of thought engenders resilience and allows people to stabilize and regain their bearings so they do not experience chronic stress and fear.
The natural state of every human is to have access to the infinite potential of thought. We are designed to have fresh, new thoughts that stabilizes us.When we see this is available to us and know thought is the source of our experience, we are less likely to fuel and get gripped by limiting thought patterns, and when we do, it is easier to take them less seriously and not hold them in place as long. This does not mean we escape suffering all together, but we don’t have to experience it in a chronic way. We can allow ourselves to be restored and stabilized by fresh thought this is self-correcting.
The “One Solution” is not an answer to every logistical problem that exists on the planet, but it shows us how to alleviate the chronic stress and distress that underlies global challenges. There will be acute stress and distress we experience at times, but chronic stress and distress can only be held in place by thought. Thought, however, is not only the source of our suffering, it is also the source of our healing. We all have the infinite potential to experience new thought, fresh thought, transcendental thought. We have the capacity to experience thought that is beyond the intellect and that wakes us up to the wisdom of the heart.
When our hearts are open it is impossible to create war. It is impossible not to share. It is impossible to kill. It is impossible to withhold. It is impossible to judge. All hostility disappears. All difference is accepted, and we are left with the oneness of our humanity. From the oneness it makes no more sense to hurt another than it does to hurt ourselves. It is common sense to find solutions when the veil of separation dissolves. When we see beyond the limitations of judgments and fear based notions, we are left with the commonality of our humanness and the simplicity of loving one another.