For most of us non-resistance does not come easily. It goes against our normal reaction to life, where we usually tend to push ahead against all obstacles. Jesus’ teaching of “Resist not evil” is one of supreme spiritual power, for when you antagonize any given situation you give it power against yourself. But when you offer mental non-resistance the opposition will crumble before you.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency to resort to using force to get our way, to use a battering ram rather than a key to open doors. And it is this tendency which is the cause of most world conflict, and most of our own inner conflicts, which in turn cause most of our physical and mental ills.
To foster a clear perspective of our relationship to life, it would be helpful to reflect upon this statement by Jesus: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” In other words, in the world there are many conflicts, dilemmas, and problems; but, says he, I have risen above these things and do not let them stand in my way. He made a clear distinction between the world “out there” and the world within.
Life is “outer-directed” for most of us, the world around us and the people within it setting the tone of our lives. When you are outer-directed, you have permitted yourself to grow a relationship to life wherein anyone has the power to push the buttons which disturb, frighten, or anger you, or make you discouraged.
Jesus says for us to be inner-directed, to “go into your room and shut the door.” Go into yourself to find your inner direction; forsake the outer-directed way. When you are inner-directed, you know that you are your own person and your life is lived from within out; you possess an inner poise and an inner security.
With your mind stayed on God, you are free from fear of outer conditions or person. Our troubles really stem from whether we are outer-directed or inner-directed. In the one case, we react and get disturbed, blaming the outer person, situation or event; in the other case, we are committed to keep our inner peace, refusing to react to the turmoil. In a consciousness of inner peace and calm, we can deal effectively with the situation. When inner-directed, we can deal with people in an understanding manner, realizing that they may have good reason to be feeling and acting as they do; however, we never have a good reason to let them cause us to be upset or hostile.
The real test is how you react in every experience. You have heard it said, “Life is consciousness.” You react not only from your particular level of consciousness, but your reaction begins a new chain of causation which then becomes your new level of consciousness. If you react in an outer-directed manner, then in a way the other person or situation has done you a favor in showing you that you are in the wrong state of consciousness, so you need to change that; and it is a good thing that you have been reminded of it.
Non-resistance does mean simply following the path of least resistance or taking the easy way out. If, in contemplation, you find something disagreeable, stop thinking about it and go out and meet it with an attitude of serene non-resistance.
The key to non-resistance is what Jesus pointed out; it is overcoming. It is to change the mind and to keep it changed, not to fight the person, the job, the debt, the situation. It is to “overcome the world” or worldly view, not to come over these particular things.
Love is another key to non-resistance, which is why Jesus tells us to love our enemies, not because they are deserving of our love, but because when the other person causes us resistance we are not acting the part of our divinity. The power that accompanies our divinity is only ours when we act the part. When you take an inner-directed approach, you reach for and act in accordance with your higher, divine self.
Jesus says that we must go into the inner room and close the door in order to restore our contact with God and with our innate potential. So, when we find resistance in our world, instead of fighting it or resisting it, we are to perceive it as a warning light that we are dealing with the rest of the world in an outer-directed consciousness.
In other words, don’t fight the other person, change yourself! Bless the situation; love the other person, not because he or she deserves your love, not because of what it will do to him or her, but because in the act of blessing and loving you can rise above it and get your thoughts back on the right track.
Non-resistance is a key element in our personal development and spiritual growth.
God is Blessing You, Right Now!
Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham
Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham, a Unity minister for over thirty-seven years, invites you to subscribe to his free inspirational newsletter, “Spiritual Solutions,” at Spiritual Solutions. Feel free to share this article in its entirety with a friend.
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