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EBS59: You Can Remake Your World

Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #59

Delivered by Eric Butterworth on August 27, 1975

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It is a commonly held view among commentators, armchair philosophers and habitual defeatists that the world is not a fit place to live in. Their attitude is reflected in the title of a recent musical play, “Stop The World—I Want To Get Off!” We don’t have to look far to see discord, injustice and inharmony; just pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV.

However, one cannot understand the world at the circumference of experience, nor can one solve the problems of life from the sidelines. Emerson says that man surrounds himself with the image of himself, and if that image is faulty, then the world we create for ourselves is going to have many flaws. We must know the person to understand the world, and having accomplished this we recognize that each of us lives in a world of his own thinking—formed, shaped, and transformed by the action and renewal of his mind.

There are many who say that this is a terrible era in human history. There were times when men knew peace and could live a life of love and tranquility, or so these people would have you believe. When the world is once perceived that way it continues to seem that way. The poet says, “We think in secret and it comes to pass,/ Environment is but our looking glass.”

Many of our fears in regard to the state of society are related to a personal sense of insecurity. We are so tied up with our possessions, so deeply in the habit of doing things in a certain manner, that we resist the inevitable changes that must and do take place. Our lives will never be the same as they once were, but this is part of unfoldment and growth for us as persons and for our civilization.

Lowell Thomas tells of a time when the Connecticut legislature was in session in Hartford, sometime in the 1700’s. Around noon it grew so dark that the chickens went to roost; the sun was blotted out for several minutes. The lower house scattered in disorder, but the members of the Senate were more orderly, one member proposing a resolution that they adjourn in order to have time to compose their souls in peace with God before the world came to an end. However, Senator Abraham Davenport, undisturbed by the supposedly evil tidings, verbalized his faith by rising and saying, “If it is not the end of the world, then we do not need to adjourn. If it is the end of the world, I would rather be here doing my duty when God finds me. I move that candles be brought and that we go on with our business.”

To remake your world, you must be willing to let go. You must acknowledge that He who is within you is greater than he that is in your world. You must be assured that life, in a very real sense, is lived from within out. You need to know that reality is not material nor destructible. As Jesus said, “In the world ye have tribulation, but I have overcome the world.” He accomplished this by coming over, rising above worldliness, and being undisturbed by worldly things. Jesus would never be fretful about the changes swirling about us all today. As I am fond of saying. He was living on top of the world. The Psalmist says, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; He shall set all things under your feet.”

A young boy and his father were traveling on a train when suddenly the conductor started to harshly criticize the father at some length about some minor infraction of train rules. The boy told the father afterwards that he should have “beat up” the man. The father told him that if the discourteous employee could stand himself that way through an entire life, then the father could certainly stand him for a couple of minutes.

Always keep on top of things. Mary Martin wisely observes that getting into an argument gives you a very tiny chance of boosting your ego and softening the opposition, but a very large chance of losing a friend, not to mention hardening an artery.

We often speak of atmosphere, and the young speak of “vibes”. Let’s think of what we mean by this. Every place, every organization, has some sort of atmosphere. Indeed, we constantly create atmosphere wherever we go, influencing the world around us at all times. We certainly create the world within us, which is where we truly live.

A great illustration of this is in a story told about a couple seated in a railway dining car. The wife bore an attitude of irritability and unfriendliness and rejection, complaining about everything that occurred to her. The husband apologized to their table companion, saying that he hoped the companion wasn’t greatly bothered. The wife, he said, had much on her mind because she was a manufacturer. This was a rather surprising statement, as the wife seemed anything but businesslike. When asked what she manufactured, the husband replied, “Unhappiness”. An icy comment but an apt evaluation. We are all manufacturers of the atmosphere around us at all times. Every business, every endeavor, every home has an atmosphere created by those who inhabit it.

One businessman speaks warmly of a certain hotel he visits while traveling. He always insisted on staying in the same room on every visit, though he didn’t quite know why it had a special attraction. It turned out that the chambermaid habitually blessed each of her rooms, creating a wonderful, renewing, refreshing atmosphere for all those, unknown to her, who stayed on her floor. What a wonderful way to remake your world!

We need to bless our homes, our places of business, our automobiles, at every opportunity. Wherever we go, like turning on the light, we can lift the vibrations of consciousness.

In his marvelous poem, “If”, Rudyard Kipling writes: “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings nor lose the common touch.” If we can all carry our own love and faith into an otherwise chaotic atmosphere, maintain our convictions in spite of confrontation, speaking at all times in a calm voice, we will find those around us relaxing and responding with love and warmth. Work on this process because it is a very real need.

Life will become more interesting when we open up our minds to new dimensions of living, feeling the depths of ourselves and relating to the depths of others.

Life becomes more interesting when you stop resisting human frailties in others.

We need to bless people wherever we are, to salute the divinity within them as suggested by the lovely Hindustani word, “Namiskar”. Determine to keep your thoughts on this level. If you find yourself short-tempered, irritated, angry, then consider it a reminder that you have slipped a bit and have started a negative vibration. Then, recommence remaking your world by turning to more positive thoughts.

Bless all who remind you of your needs. Do not wonder why someone treats you the way he does or makes negative remarks to you; instead, keep your thoughts in peace and think objectively about what his needs are and why he needed to do that to you or say that to you. As you realize more and more that life is lived from within out, then you permit the inner spirit to be revealed spontaneously as a divine reaction to life’s challenges. Things do not hinder or harm you; you are able to condition your mind to high thoughts and to creative self-evaluation and to lofty goals and objectives. Then, in an amazing way, life will become interesting and exciting and fulfilling, with a continuity of peace for you, even though others may continue to bewail injustice and inferiority and insecurity. You will be adding the weight of your consciousness on the side of positive answers, on the side of peace, on the side of justice and freedom and fulfillment. You will help create positive vibrations and a superior atmosphere in the world around you.

© 1975, by Eric Butterworth

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