Taking Action in a Perfect World

The world is perfect. As you question your mind, this becomes more and more obvious. Mind changes, and as a result, the world changes. A clear mind heals everything that needs to be healed. It can never be fooled into believing that there is one speck out of order.

But some people take the insight that the world is perfect and make it into a concept, and then they conclude that there’s no need to get involved in politics or social action. That’s separation. If someone came to you and said, “I’m suffering. Please help me,” would you answer, “You’re perfect just the way you are,” and turn away? Our heart naturally responds to people and animals in need.

Realization has no value until it’s lived. I would travel to the ends of the earth for the sake of one person who is suffering. The desperate, the hopeless, are unenlightened cells of my own body. It’s my own body I’m talking about—the body of the world is my body. Would I let myself drown in water that doesn’t exist? Would I let myself die in an imagined torture chamber? My God, I think, there’s someone out there who really believes there’s a problem. I remember when I used to think there was a problem. How can I say no when that person asks for help? That would be saying no to myself. So I say yes and I go, if I can. It’s a privilege. It’s more than that: it’s self-love.

People are perfect just the way they are, however deeply they’re suffering, but they don’t realize that yet. So when I meet someone who’s suffering, I don’t say, “Oh, there’s no problem, everything is perfect.” Though I can see that there’s never a problem, and I’m available to help him see that, telling him what I see would be unkind. That part of my body is suffering, everything is not perfect for him, because he believes it’s not. I, too, have been trapped in the torture chamber of the mind. I hear what he thinks he needs, I hear his sadness or despair, and I’m available. That’s full-blown activism. In the presence of someone who doesn’t see a problem, the problem falls away—which shows you that there isn’t a problem.

People ask me, “How can you listen to all these problems, day after day, year after year? Doesn’t it drain your energy?” Well, it doesn’t. I’ve questioned my stressful thoughts, and I’ve seen that every single one of them is untrue. Every thought that used to look like a poisonous snake is actually a rope. I could stand over that rope for a thousand years, and never be frightened of it again. I see clearly what some people don’t yet see for themselves. Everyone in the world might come upon that rope and run screaming the other way, and I wouldn’t be afraid for them, feel sorry for them, or worry about them at all, because I realize that they’re not in danger, they’re absolutely not in harm’s way. As they cry snake, I see only rope.

If you have a problem with people or with the state of the world, I invite you to put your stressful thoughts on paper and question them, and to do it for the love of truth, not in order to save the world. Turn it around: save your own world. Isn’t that why you want to save the world in the first place? So that you can be happy? Well, skip the middleman, and be happy from here! You’re it. You’re the one. In this turnaround you remain active, but there’s no fear in it, no internal war. So it ceases to be war trying to teach peace. War can’t teach peace. Only peace can.

From A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are

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  1. “some people take the insight that the world is perfect and make it into a concept.”… So a description’s value is only as a lived experience. When we build off it conceptually we enter confusion. This was not very clear.

  2. Having read and practiced The Work, I admire the system as a very up-to-date and operational version of the ages-old wisdom.

    One point is very strange to me, and I find it in contradiction with one statement given here (Noting wrong with contradictions, but still…)

    In one of the books, distingushing between “your business” and “other people’s business”, I remember Katie saying:“If you are sick, it is none of your business, it is your Doctor’s business”.

    Taking this as true, why does it matter if my friend is sick? or mistaken? How does one stop messing with other people’s business and stick with his own? Or is it only Katie’s privilege to know who should be helped?

    I assume the answer is “If you ask me I will help, otherwise you are welcome to stay in your position until you suffer to the point of asking for help”.

    But then, why is this case different form the need to help YOURSELF when your body is aching? Why not take care of the body so it will deteriorate in a slower pace? Why depend on the doctor for every physical problem? Are you not your body’s best friend?

  3. Beautiful, beautiful, thank you so much Katie. We are indeed the world, and perfect with all of it included, not in spite of any of it, not resisting any of it.

    I just discovered this blog this morning and loved finding it. I continue to learn how to reach out through the internet, and am learning through seeing this blog. The possibilities are exciting for being able to support our collective awakening.

    Please feel free to visit my own website if you are interested at http://www.wideawakeliving.com . I think the blog idea would be a good one for there also. You have inspired me.

  4. I gave myself this speech yesterday in the shower after doing the Work on the thought: “I have to make a change in the world.”

    I realized that it is only my world that needs changing, and that can only be done by questioning my thinking. And, when I’ve questioned them and loved reality, then and only then will I be free to respond to the world around me. As long as my thinking keeps me at war in myself… there’s not much of value that I can do for the rest of the world.

    Thank you for posting this right now.

    It was perfect.

    I love you, Katie.

  5. Thank you so much for these tastes of your new book. I am so excited about it. I am certain that you and Stephen did a wonderful job. I am definitely looking forward to it.

  6. Katie,
    How do you respond to this verse of scripture in the Bible?

    “15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16 NIV)

    Second, “the world is perfect,” is this true?

  7. Evan,

    I think I can relate with where you are coming from here. I used to feel this way, too. May I share some things with you, please? I’ve been wanting to voice some things on this topic for awhile now, and I see this as an opportunity.

    >>”The world is perfect” is this true?

    Do you think the Creator of the Heavens and Earth made even a single mistake? Do you think all the “imperfections” in the world are an accident? Do you think that God had anything but a perfect plan for us?

    Whether you believe in the God of the Bible (complete with the devil), or not… if the world doesn’t look perfect to you, then I invite you to keep doing the Work.

    I’ve heard Katie say that she doesn’t believe in the existence of the devil (actually, she said that God is everything, and that leaves no room for the devil. She said the devil doesn’t make sense to her.) I do not agree with her on that, and the devil’s role does make sense to me. Still, the world is perfect as I see it.

    The Bible says: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” 1 Cor. 14:33. Also, in John 8:44 it is said of the devil, “he is a liar, and the father of it.”

    What I understand from Katie, is that confusion is the only suffering in the world, and in my experience, confusion is the devil’s job, 100%. Once he has confused us about who we really are (wonderful Children of God) and the reality of our Heavenly Father, we do the rest. Rape, murder, lying, cheating, stealing… all are born out of our confusion. Sin, is born out of believing our confused thoughts, and separates us from God and each other.

    In other words, all of my deceitful, confusing, stressful thoughts are born of the devil. And when I believe them, I do his dirty work. Questioning those thoughts through the Work offers me the blessing of repentance, and of discovering the Truth of God, and in that, I find peace.

    There is no way I will ever believe that the loving, merciful, perfect God who created me is responsible for the suffering in the world. To think that He would have me raped, killed, beaten, or enslaved causes me more stress than any other thought I can think. Understanding the devil’s role in reality brings me great peace.

    What I learned from Katie is that when we have questioned our thoughts and are no longer confused, we are loving… and we would never harm another human being in this place of love. My Father in Heaven, who loves more perfectly than I, or Katie, or anyone I know… how could he harm us when He is perfect love?

    To me the statement “Everything is God” is the one that really doesn’t make sense. And, just because Katie believes it, doesn’t mean I have to in order to do my Work.

    So, is the world perfect? Well, it is absolutely and exactly as it should be right now, and that is perfect. The devil’s presence in this world is part of the Creator’s plan. Is not God all-powerful and all-knowing? How could this be a mistake?

    If anyone has a problem with the things that Katie teaches that do not coincide with a Gospel understanding, then I invite you to do a JYN worksheet on Katie. I’ve done several, and found great peace in it. I learned more from those worksheets than any others.

    What Katie believes about the nature of God is her business, not mine. What I believe is my business. I do not have to accept and agree with everything she says. I can, however, get what I came for, and take what is useful for me, and go on with my own Work, and my own life.

    And, I certainly don’t have to convince Katie that my experience and understanding of God is the correct one. She seems perfectly capable of doing her own Work.

    I’ve rarely met anyone as genuinely loving and accepting as Katie. I’ve met many Christians in my life who claim to know the Savior, and who don’t follow His example like Katie does. She is a work of art, and I have no doubt that the Lord’s hand is in the Work.

    Katie tells us not to believe anything she says. I take that to heart, and it has made all the difference. I trust my own inner knowing, at all times.

    I invite you along with me to just love her and accept her for who she is. That is what she does for all of us. I want to offer her the same kindness and courtesy, because that is what I believe the Savior would have me do.

    “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7

  8. Dearest Katie,

    Yes, and thank you. I notice as I do The Work, I am a more clean, loving, efficient activist. People want to be around me, even sometimes ask for advice. I can have conversations with all kinds of people from all kinds of perspectives. I can listen and clarify, and find common ground. Just asking “is it true?” makes my mind zero in on finding common ground. Other people don’t have to have The Work — it’s me who has it, and if others are interested they ask. And it’s not forced then, not proselytizing… it’s just an interest in connecting. I love The Work and activism together, they are great partners. I love the creativity of activism when you don’t need someone else or something else to change. Then activism becomes free, alive, loving.

    Of course “I” want to help! As a student.

    I love you,

  9. I dont agree the world is perfect. At this point of time I am happy inspite of my imperfections and problems. They are not major.
    What can you say about a cancer patients world. Its mostly pain and suffering. My uncle is suffering. I feel his pain. How can he make his world perfect?

  10. By reading this Post again (with the snakes and the rope..) a analogy came into my mind, that makes me smile:

    It’s like on a day with really bad weather, black clouds with hail, lightning and thunder and a lot of people are running around in panic, screaming that the sun is gone and that they are lost. That there will never be light again. That the every live on earth will be dead in within a short time.
    And I am sitting there and KNOW that the sun is still there, there is no danger at all, everything is perfect. The sun will “come back” (well, it’s actually never be gone). I can watch the people running around in fear. And I can smile. I can wait. I can help them, if they ask. Tell them, that the sun is still there. Everything is perfect.

    With that, an other thougth came to me:
    Sometimes in the past I questioned me if all the automatic thoughts, that stress me, will ever be stopp. It seems that there is no end, that I would never be free. But now I can see, that the stressful toughts are just clouds. I can’t stop the clouds at the sky, I can’t stop my automatic thoughts.
    But I can see, that above of them there is only the sun. No matter how many stressful thoughts (clouds) pass my mind (the sky), there is always love, peace and perfection (light) behind them. They don’t have to stop, it’s all ok.

    Pascal from Germany

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