I love this quote. It has become my mantra over and over again when I feel myself getting tangled in the web of the world around me. Sometimes the strings in my life have barbs and they tug and snare, and I think of these words and feel instantly calm.
I said them once to my father as he went on a tirade about some commotion with his family. He was sad because after his mother’s death his family was squabbling about what to do with certain items, money, and property. The emotions he was carrying with him were heavy, and I often have a difficult time in the presence of them. I wanted a way to calm him, soothe his fears and anger, so I said, “Be in this world but not of it.”
He quieted for a moment, then asked, “What does that mean?” I explained to him that it’s the thought that we are created to be in this world and a part of its manifestations, but as soon as we lose ourselves in the mastication of events, we are lost.
“Think about,” I said. “We are physical beings. We are in a physical reality much of the time. There are events and things that transpire that we cannot control nor should we. As soon as we start to believe that these events and things are who we are, we lose the thread. We are spiritual beings living a physical experience.” He looked at me like I had three heads. He nodded and continued driving, no longer lamenting the affairs of his family. I felt generally soothed by the fact that he was at least mulling it over.
After a few minutes he turned to me, “So which one of your psycho babble new-aged philosophers taught you that idea?”
I laughed. “Jesus,” I said. He paused again. His deep and abiding love for Catholicism kept him from going any further with his derides.
“So tell me again what this means,” he said. I did, but I am still quite sure he didn’t get it, and truthfully, that’s okay.
The quotes I remember, the mantras that keep me going, the words of wisdom that help steer me in the right direction day after day are here for my journey. The understanding that we are all here to learn our particular brand of lesson is never lost on me, and I try to remember that before I get frustrated by lack of understanding. We are all on our own paths and we are shown constant signs to help guide us through, and perhaps showing others our sign posts help them or maybe it just helps us. As we reaffirm an idea for another, it travels more deeply into the core of us, and there it becomes lodged and more of a truth than it was before. Either way, it is good.
Trust. Trust. Trust