We sometimes tend to see ourselves as passive bystanders to the world around us. Events pass by in front of our eyes, without us being able to influence them and when life is against us, the reasons for our suffering lie outside us. What’s going wrong in our life is someone else’s (or circumstances) mistakes. We ourselves are victims.
But there is a completely different way of looking at the world around us. It’s not outside us, it’s inside us.
Think for a while. Everything we “see” is light waves that are reflected from objects around us, which in the retina in our eyes are converted to electrical impulses reaching the brain, where they are interpreted into an image. Everything we “hear” is sound waves reaching our brains via the auditory small bones in the middle ear and interpreted in our brains as sound, noise or maybe music. Same goes for “taste”, “smell” and the “sensations” of the skin.
What we imagine is being outside of us and what we think we can objectively look at, are instead sensations we ourselves have generated and interpreted in our minds. Actually, the entire world as we see, interpret and experiences it, is our own unique creation that exists within us and no other person on earth can control how we do this. We can’t experience anything outside of us. We can only experience what’s inside of us.
So, what does this reverse reasoning really mean for how we look at our lives? The insight that everything is happening within us can be scary, because suddenly we can no longer place ourselves in a situation where we are victims of the circumstances.
Certainly, we are not in control of everything (or even a fraction) of what’s happening around us and we usually cannot control what sensations will reach us. But it is us, and nobody else, who are in charge of interpreting and handling these impressions. We decide whether to act on them. We decide whether our inner experience will make us move forward or give up. And it is our own, highly personal, interpretation of what we experience within us that gives us guidance on how to handle our lives.
The full insight that our entire world is perceived within us – not outside of us – is powerful. It gives us authority, but also responsibility. It also takes away all opportunities for apologies why we do not live the life we have the opportunity and would like to live.
These opportunities are definitely not the same for everyone, but how we interpret, handle and act on the image of the world that we create within ourselves is entirely up to us and nobody else.