The One Thing That Matters - A moment of clarity

The focus of our winter Emmet Fox retreat was Peace of Mind, how to obtain it, and that there is nothing more important than peace of mind. Intellectually, I believe peace of mind to be the most important thing, but in my heart, I've had some blocks. Financial insecurity being one of them, meaning, a billion dollars does sound appealing!! So, during the retreat, we had some great conversations and break-out groups to discuss all of this. after the retreat, I committed to read Emmet Fox's, "The one thing that matters" every day for 6 weeks. I started sharing this reading with some friends in my life. One friend, who I greatly respect, also struggled with picking the peace of mind over a billion dollars. She went on to list 5-10 things she could do with the money to give back and help less fortunate people. It was inspiring, and I couldn't argue that when I give back it does bring peace of mind. So, she decided that she would take the billion dollars over peace of mind. I started considering what she was saying. But I also have seen Emmet Fox's teachings completely change and revolutionize my life over the past 15 years, so I trust his teachings. I also spoke with my mentor about this and he explained that helping less fortunate people is not the same peace of mind that Emmet Fox is talking about. One is temporary, one is permanent. I’ve had glimpses of what I consider to be “real” peace of mind, but just short intervals.

The next night, I was in the shower, and it hit me like a ton of bricks, it was a true moment of clarity. The central theme of Emmet Fox’s teachings is that when you get your thoughts right, your external world will follow suit. So within, so without. When you have true peace of mind, there are no external conditions to be fixed or changed. Meaning, that everything is flowing in a state of perfection, everyone reaping exactly as they are sowing. There are no less fortunate people, there are no homeless to feed, there are no wars, etc. When one possesses peace of mind, everything else is taken care of. This is a mental state, that in my opinion, very few people on this earth understand. Most people are caught up in the rif-raf of life, watching the news, stuck in their drama, stuck in negative mindsets and limiting belief systems. Their spiritual development is stuck in focusing on the external, rather than their thoughts and what they need to change. There will never be enough money to fix all of the external problems of “this world”. The only thing we really have control over is our thoughts, but the paradox is that our thoughts are "the world". A lot of things I've studied through the years (Emmet Fox, Existentialism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Ho'oponopono) they all teach this theory. When we change our thoughts and we experience peace of mind, our external will change and does change. It had never been so clear to me before in all of my life. Needless to say, I was also clear in that moment, that I would always pick the Peace of Mind over 1 billion dollars, or any amount of money, and any other thing for that matter. This realization that, there is nothing greater than peace of mind, is something that I will never forget.

“And the truth turns out to be nothing less than the amazing but undeniable fact that the whole outer world – whether it be the physical body, the common things of life, the winds and the rain, the clouds, the earth itself – is amendable to man’s thought, and that he has dominion over it, when he knows it.”    - Emmet Fox              

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  • Chasing Peace of Mind.

    It occured to me today—Shooting someone is the pusuit of peace of mind. It doesn't work (or we'd all do it). Being the only/one thing that matters we go to any lengths to attain it. It truly is the one thing that matters. Again I go back to the man who believed that 100 billion dollars will buy happiness and that he could get peace of mind at the bar down the street. And Lefty being moved not to judge.

    • Todd, I think it is such a natural reaction for most of us to want to control and change the external world (shooting someone). People like us get to the point where we realize, we are just wasting energy trying to change people and how they behave, or drive, or dress, or what their values are, etc. We can only change ourselves, but again, when we change our thoughts and how we think, the external world will follow suit. It's a constant work in progress.

  • Related to your point is something someone said to me years ago that still resonates with me "Usually, when someone suggests to you a choice between two things, it is a deception, a false choice." What if there is a third choice? What if there is no choice at all? Without peace of mind, $1billion could (will?) be wasted. But what if peace of mind is the ingredient that makes the $1 billion attainable? And with peace of mind, it might actually be used for some good purpose.

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