Cecil J. Thompson
In my journey, I have found that to overcome the dross of negativity in everyday living we must do two things. First, we discover the identity of the jester in our minds. Here, let me quickly point out that "dross" refers to "waste or impurities" that turn energy negative. "Jester" is a mental phenomenon that plays a lifetime game of trying to convince individuals that they are powerless, loveless, chaotic, small, insignificant beings that live under its judgments and criticisms and, ultimately, under the judgment of death. But your spirit in the Spirit: yours and mine, call it, "jester" because its game is nothing more than a clown's fiction which causes a lot of pain in the world. Second, in overcoming negativity in everyday living, we must practice awareness in three stages: 1) participation, 2) detachment, and 3) observation.
FIRST, we say, "I am aware that I participate in negativity."
SECOND, we say, "I am making a Spirit-conscious choice not to participate in this dross."
THIRD, we say, "By faith, I am living in the light and I observe the dross of negativity
passing my way. I know what it is and I don't want it. I let it pass. I commit to
practicing non-participation in negativity, prayerful and meditative detachment from it,
and peaceful co-existence with it, as I let it pass by. I do not participate in it, but I live with it.
I do no violence against it because I'm not in it. In this mode, the negative charge
of meaninglessness turns positive under the on-going creative movement of Divine truth."
PARTICIPATION- In our "participation" in daily life, especially in fast paced socieities, we are often mixed up in a series of unconscious actions. I use the phrase "mixed up" because in a spiritual sense the acts are unconscious. For example, it's already eight o'clock Monday morning and you are still sitting in traffic because there is an accident down the road.
You should've been at work at eight and now it's some minutes past the hour. Your anxiety level starts rising, you even feel some guilt about not having left the house in reasonable time. That guilt, then, hooks itself onto a slightly deeper guilt-feeling that goes back a few years when you had a big fight with an ex-spouse who tried to link your failure to be punctual with your worth as a person. That, then, leads to even greater anxiety. So you start banging on the steering wheel in frustration, but that doesn't solve the problem.
You continue sitting there, and the guilt aroused by your ex-spouse hooks itself to an even deeper guilt-feeling that goes back to childhood when your entire sense of self-worth was brought into question by an abusive parent. Just then, the cars ahead of you start moving; you are relieved, but still angry and bitter because of the delay (at least that's what you think), then, some unlucky driver crosses into your lane and gets in front of you and you explode! You call the driver every name in the book.
The goal under the influence of a clown's fiction is to turn your day into a horrible mess even before it starts. I am sure we can recall many more scenarios of "participation" in the dross of negativity.
To overcome this kind of of negativity, we first acknowledge that we are participants in it; but not just at the superficial level of reacting angrily to a driver who gets in front of us on the road or the fact that we are delayed in traffic for an hour or longer. Our participation that fuels and sustains the misery of our reacting to every problem is caused by false subconscious beliefs we have that we are under judgment, that we are insignificant, that we are loveless, that we are powerless, that even in death we will fizzle into nothingness. These beliefs are the dross of negativity / dross of meaninglessness. Under the right circumstances, like a traffic jam, these beliefs turn positive energy into negative energy.
In negativity there is also an unexplainable urgency. In fact, everything becomes an emergency. So we rush at every point. We want to rush everything; rush to work, rush home, rush at the grocery store, rush success; rush, rush, rush! But why the emergency? Well, here is your answer: the mind's jester engages in an amassing of illusory calendars, clocks, and watches and with them creating a framework of destructive time-sensitivity around the subconscious echoes of pain, hurt, and despair. Each time you look at the calendar, take a glance at the clock, or look at your watch a dreadful feeling of loss of time comes over you and judgments intervene. The positive energy you had with which to SMILE, GREET OTHERS, LAUGH, PLAY, LOVE , BE LOVED, and engage in constructive and fulfilling work immediately turns negative.
So the real reason we are in this perpetual rush-hour is we are in a constant hurry to put distance between ourselves and the judgments and criticisms of the mind's jester that produce enormous pain. Having said this, I should point out that following schedules and adhering to reasonable deadlines is legitimate. Being time-conscious in daily life is a wonderful discipline, but being mired in an illegitimate subconscious process of rushing and stress-building is destructive.
DETACHMENT-So how do we detach ourselves from the jester's game? In farming, we cultivate the fields, till the soil, plant the seeds, tend to the crops, and look for the harvest; similarly, here we cultivate fields of the soul by nurturing a sincere desire to know ourselves as spirit, then, we plant the seeds by practice / action, and see the harvest of life here before it comes. In this state of consciousness, we awaken as spirit watching ourselves operate in the world. In this mode of being, like an out of body experience, we can gently tap ourselves on the shoulder whenever we see the jester throwing its net to catch us in the subconscious waters of our minds. By faith, in detachment, we walk on those waters. So in our process of becoming more ourselves as spirit in the Spirit, we make a Spirit-conscious choice no longer to be a part of the dross of negativity and meaninglessness whose nature is, ultimately, a fiction.
OBSERVATION-Here we are walking, sleeping, talking, working, and living as spirit beings. The objective is never to remove negativity from the spiritual gaze. The Spirit is positive energy that floods the soul through and through. Of course, it hears the voice of the jester and observes the fiction of meaninglessness that distances tranquility from so many precious lives. It observes the mind games, but they have no effect on it. This is a stage of maturity to which all are called, not by special action but by humility and simplicity, to open the soul like the flower opens up to the sun. The Spirit in which we live as spirit looks upon negativity and transforms it through its intense gaze of life, a life-giving force who gives life to even the life-denying jester that forgets itself once caught in that positive flow of energy deep in the soul.