It is written in the Holy Bible, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” This is true whether the thoughts be pure or impure, hostile or loving, peaceful or warring. With this in mind, we should exert every effort to purify our thoughts that we may not contaminate our immediate surroundings with unwholesome, negative attitudes and actions which tend to have a trickle down negative effect on one’s environment and society as a whole. Such a mind purification process does not occur automatically in itself. It requires consistent, deliberate, concerted effort and association with those things and individuals who will foster elevation of mind and morals to highest potential. This requires acknowledgement of and distinction between those things which exalt us and those that reduce us to lower terms–as most prime time television shows that glorify violence, stupidity and are filled with sex and profanity, none of which enhances or even alludes to the nobility of man.
“Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself–Rise, then unto that for which thou wast created,” we find in the Baha’i scriptures. Much of the entertainment of today is geared toward excitement, sexuality or becoming an instant millionaire. Few have ever heard of Desedrada, which begins “Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may in silence.”
Only through silence can thoughts ring clear that would seldom penetrate or be heard amid the noise and haste of man’s creations, where one seldom is allowed the opportunity to think for oneself. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” and we are never allowed the opportunity to think then we may seldon know who we are. This makes us vulnerable to be easily people-programmed (manipulated) to be smart, stupid, angry, resentful, complacent, or whatever they want us to be and the two primary manipulative instruments are music and the media (not necessarily in that order).
Let us never underestimate the influence of music, not only on people of every age and persuasion, but experiments have proven that soothing music also has a positive effect on plants and animals including higher student IQs in classrooms and even increased milk production from cows.
Although it may be very difficult to create a tranquil atmosphere in today’s fast paced society so hooked on hype, there are numerous other ways one can enhance the power of positive thinking. I find it in simple tokens and signs of God’s love which collectively are so numerous that they easily become miracles that create childish happiness. It is just as easy to engage in finding fault with everything and everyone and in so doing, one will stay miserable, annoyed and unhappy. The choice is ours.
One of the many passages taught in children’s classes simply states: “One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise.” Yet the Baha’i Writings clearly state: “The foundation of the Kingdom of God is laid upon justice, fairness, mercy, sympathy and kindness to every soul. Then strive ye with heart and soul to practice love and kindness to the world of humanity at large, except to those souls who are selfish and insincere. It is not advisable to show kindness to a person who is a tyrant, a traitor or a thief because it encourages him to become worse and does not awaken him. The more kindness you show a liar the more he is apt to lie.”
Although man is part of the animal creation, he possesses a power of thought superior to all other created beings. If his thoughts are constantly aspiring towards heavenly subjects, then does he become saintly. If his thought does not soar but is instead directed downward to center itself upon the things of this world he grows more and more material until he arrives at a state little better than a mere animal–nay lower than the animal that has no other choice.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”–It’s a matter of choice.