Thursday, 23 March 2017
I got well 99% through turning outwards to the world as it is now and engaging it as one of a gazillion (that’s a technical term) (almost) identical souls grazing as it were in the pastures of God and 1% looking (but not staring) at my gruesome memories of the past (NB not the past: my talking portraits of it hung in the halls of my mind—this is important because the past cannot harm me; suffering can arise only from the portraits still present in my mind). The 1% is sadly unavoidable, but sustainable, provided however that I quarantine it successfully and do not think about let alone dwell on it when I am not doing so for the express purpose of extracting useful information about exactly what I thought and did, in order that the past can be neutralised (and, to take the portrait image, repainted) through reinterpretation, forgiveness, and amends. It is vital, therefore, to spot and immediately move away from any negative thought—specifically any negative thought about the past or about myself. This is the practice of Step Ten. The following passage by Emmet Fox is helpful, too:
THE LAW OF SUBSTITUTION
There are a few great laws that govern all thinking, just as there are a few fundamental laws in chemistry. We know that thought control is the key of destiny, and in order to learn thought control we have to know and understand these laws.
One of the great mental laws is the Law of Substitution. This means that the only way to get rid of a certain thought is to substitute another one for it. You cannot dismiss a thought directly. You can do so only by substituting another one for it. If I say to you, ‘Do not think of the Statue of Liberty,’ of course, you immediately think of it. If you say, ‘I am not going to think of the Statue of Liberty,’ that is thinking about it. But if you become interested in something else, you forget all about the Statue of Liberty—and this is a case of substitution.
When negative thoughts come to you, do not fight them, but think of something positive. Preferably think of God; but if that is difficult at the moment, turn your attention to something quite different.
‘But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil… (Matthew 5:39).
‘With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding’ (Job 12:13).