12 May Accepting Changes in Life | Inspirational Podcasts
Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of inspirational fashion and gift ideas. Visit them online at BookofZen.com. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from The Wonders of Life by Ida Luella Rettinghouse Lyon, published in 1910.
Someone has said that without life the universe would be wasted. But without consciousness, life itself would be wasted. A happy consciousness is the crowning triumph of nature’s achievements. A happy consciousness is the underlying purpose of all the wonders of the ages. That dismal old saying that humanity was made to mourn is being relegated to the rubbish-heap, along with other rhetorical junk that condemns us to suffering for suffering’s sake.
We were not made to mourn. We were made to look hopefully into the future, not brood wretchedly over the past. It is absurd to say there is no hope. There is always hope — “while there is life.” The fact that “hope springs eternal in the human breast” is evidence that hope is not without foundation.
Surely, nature would not have implanted this hope within us, if there were not good and sufficient reasons for hoping; or given us a soul-absorbing desire without the means of satisfying it. But we must, ourselves, find the means. You must search out the truth for yourself, and, if you set about it earnestly, you will find help, for the world cannot help you unless you will make an effort to help yourself.
When you begin to help yourself by doing what you can in your own way, you will find help as you progresses — help that will come in unexpected ways, and as you need it. Disasters must, necessarily, overtake us. There are storms in the psychological, as well as in the physical, life. But there is a purpose in the intensity of feeling which such mental disturbances awaken. They serve to prepare the soul for the happiness which is to follow.
“The darkest hour is just before the dawn.” Consciousness cannot be one unbroken condition of happiness, for consciousness depends upon change for its very existence. Thomas Moore gracefully expressed this in the saying: “We’ve had some happy hours together. But joy must often change its wings. And spring would be but gloomy weather, If we had nothing else but spring.”
Consciousness has been appropriately called the window of mind, through which it looks out upon (and communes with) kindred mind. Consciousness (like will, thought, and feeling) is an instrument of Mind, which we can describe only as that which we are conscious of being, and which we recognize in connection with everything in nature.
The signals communicated by the optic nerve result in the consciousness of that which we call light. The auditory nerve imparts a different signal, which results in the recognition of that which we call sound. Sensations differ according to the difference in signals imparted to the brain cells by the sensory nerves, and which are called sensory stimuli.
But these signals are not all the result of stimuli from outside the body, as in the case of light and sound. There are, within the body, nerve centers which send impulses to the brain cells, differing from those sensory impulses excited by light and sound waves. We are thus conscious of forces at work, not only outside the body, but within it as well.
The personality is that degree of consciousness which we command. Thoughts come and go. They may never come again in precisely the same way, or indeed at all. But each has left an indelible trace of its presence upon the brain. Thoughts are always causing changes in the brain, and, hence, in the personality. We are therefore the builders of our own characters…..