It’s flu season and the world at large seems to be enamored with fear of contagion. On yesterday’s news (and probably today’s – who knows, the TV isn’t on yet) there were accounts of death and disease around the dreaded virus. One woman failed to get a flu shot got infected while caring for her sick family and she died. It feels like I’m tempting fate to write about this but I don’t believe in flu. Or perhaps more accurately, I don’t believe in spreading fear. I don’t believe the body is inherently susceptible to sickness; it’s natural state is health and the mind is powerful. (“According to your faith be it done unto you,” said Jesus in the Bible. The Course says, “Your witnessing demonstrates your belief, and thus strengthens it.”) I do believe in contagion however and that is the tricky part.
It extends beyond the flu. It extends to beliefs about the state of the nation and the planet. (The Course says, “Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom.”)
All minds are connected, and as a result, we cannot help but be affected by the ideas that others carry. It’s how brainwashing occurs. As humans, we tend to become like those with whom we associate. As Jim Rohn used to say, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Mom was right when she wanted to make sure we weren’t falling in with a bad crowd because what our friends find acceptable matters.
Like or not, each of us is contagious. What are we spreading?
Our world view is reinforced by surrounding ourselves with those who think like we do. Advertisers know this and they target what we are exposed to according to what we have demonstrated that our preferences are. Most of us prefer not to have our beliefs challenged and so we surround ourselves with people who agree with us. This is one of the dangers of technology and why it’s easy to become polarized when someone with a different opinion enters our arena. Ego feels threatened and it’s natural to want to eliminate this threat by attacking. We think there is some benefit from it. We think it will eradicate the threat. A Course in Miracles says, “The mind that accepts attack cannot love.”
I am taking a class at church, Unveiling Your Hidden Power, on the teachings of Emma Curtis Hopkins and she talks about this idea, so it came up in class last night’s. It is something I think about with some regularity and why I regularly notice who I am spending my time with and what their beliefs are. It why my mantra is “teach only love.”
What each of us thinks matters. What each of us believes matters. Emma’s solution is to deny untruth (fear) and affirm truth (love). When confronted with untruth, her response is, “I praise the Living Spirit within you.” This is “Namaste;” “the God within me recognizes and salutes the God in you.”
To demonstrate the power of contagion, the teacher showed a video. This is a different one (shorter) but essential the same scene.
Laughter is contagious. Or think of how often someone starts yawned and pretty soon the whole room is fighting to stay awake.
Or the crowd gets angry. Or start helping. Or, or, or. There are dozens of instances where the power of contagion helped shape the direction of how things unfolded.
This is why, to my mind, it is so crucial to be aware of what I think and who I fraternize with. It’s also why in our Tuesday night group we try hard to make sure we don’t allow ourselves the luxury of bashing the insanity we see in the world. It’s OUR insanity. What we see in the world is a reflection of our own thinking. The world is neutral. We are the ones who color it with our beliefs. Change our beliefs and we change our world.
But we are susceptible to the influence by those around us. In this video, Derrick Hull, discusses the importance of the contagion of being and how to make it work for you. The key, he says, is self-focus.
For me, it always goes back to Self-reference. Today’s A Course in Miracles lesson says, “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.” If I remember that, if I remember that I don’t have to be influenced by anything or anyone other than Spirit, then I have a leg up. I become the peace I want to see in the world. I become the health. Then I am no longer the one who is influenced by the swirling sea of emotions and ideas of those around me, I am the swirler. I have harnessed the power of contagion and herded it into a sea of love.
I am a teacher for God.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.