A weary traveler approaching from the east encountered a farmer toiling in his field. The farmer offered the man a drink of water, and the two began chatting. The visitor asked the farmer, “What sort of people live in the next town?”
The farmer replied with a question of his own: “What were the people like in the town you’ve come from?”
“Well, they were not very nice. Unfriendly, antagonistic, and mostly lazy. To be honest, I was happy to leave that town.”
“Unfortunately,” said the farmer, “you’ll find the same sort of people in the next town.”
Disappointed, the traveler trudged along, and the farmer returned to his field.
A short while later, another visitor from the east approached the farmer asking for a drink of water.
The farmer engaged in conversation with the new visitor. “Tell me,” asked the traveler, “what are the folks like in the town up ahead?”
“What were the people like in the town you’ve come from?” posed the farmer once again.
“Oh, they were wonderful. Very friendly, engaging, and hard working. They were a joy to be around.”
“Fear not,” said the insightful farmer, “You’ll experience the same kind of people in the next town.”
And so it is in life. We experience what we want to experience.
I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me. (W-pI.51.2)
When we project fear onto the world, we experience a fearful, cold world. Something to which we all can relate.
It isn’t that other people are awful as the first traveler experienced. We first subconsciously look within, see misery, and then project that out onto a neutral world. And of course we then experience all that projected misery has to offer: pain, sadness, depression, and a hope for something better.
When we choose instead the thought system of joy, that framework gets reflected onto the same neutral world. And we experience the second traveler’s peace and contentment in every town we visit and in every person we meet.
Join us in Monday’s class where we’ll explore how we can lead a consistently joyful, happy life like the second traveler. I look forward to seeing you then.