Change is neither good nor bad

There is nothing bad in undergoing change—or good in emerging from it.

Meditations 4:42.

Remember that in the heat of hand-to-hand combat with self. Self will have an opinion. The opinion is rarely constructive!

Usually the opinion is negative. I’m discontented or resent whatever is happening. I don’t like it, so it’s bad. And because it’s bad, I should make it stop. (Except I am powerless to do so). Personal misery is the result, and the world is oblivious to my disapproval and unhappiness.

Or my opinion about something is favorable. So whatever happening is good. I like it and approve. What a deeply intelligent person I am! They (the eternal “they”) should let me make all of the decisions in the world, because I’m so smart. A puffed-up ego is the result, yet the world is oblivious to my genius and selfless wisdom. Smug superiority followed by misery.

A constructive opinion seems to be one where I observe a situation (hopefully without judgment), and draw a lesson for my life.

Or maybe, if an interaction with another person is required, a gentle observation and suggestion for how that person might do differently. Something along the lines of a sponsor’s “suggestion”. “Why don’t you think about doing such and such?” They always sounded soft and pleasant, until the hidden (to me, not the sponsor) implications of not following the suggestion revealed itself.

Anyway. The point is that we grow along spiritual lines. Yes, yes. I know that. Shut up with the obvious stuff. What’s the point? The point is to swim with the change, without opinion. And don’t break your own arm patting yourself on the back.

“He was wrong, so I told him so.”

That was a punchline to stories Anderson would tell to explain why making judgments about things beyond your control was bad for everyone.