“Cherished opinions?” we say. “Of course not. I’m not cherishing this opinion. This is just the way it is. Everyone ought to be able to see it!”
The litmus test to find out if it is a cherished opinion is how much we cling to it as the truth. We will know this by the way we defend it.
If something needs defending, it’s weak. It needs propping up and can’t stand alone. If it’s weak, it can’t be the truth.
The truth needs no defense and can stand without anyone’s support. Just as 2 + 2 equals 4 doesn’t need our belief to be true. If we don’t believe It, we will have trouble reconciling our bank statement, among other things.
Another test to discover we had a cherished opinion is how disappointed are we when others do not see it our way.
Disappointment means we had expectations, hopes, which is another way of clinging to something—hanging on with hope that what we think should happen takes place.
We can certainly have preferences. Preferences won’t be bothersome if we just don’t believe that they are right.
Or, it will be good if it goes this way, and bad if it doesn’t.
When we think we can honestly evaluate what needs to be happening we are on dangerous ground. For we can only see our view, and like it or not, we only see a very tiny bit of all that is happening at any time. Certainly not enough to safely guide progress.
It isn’t that the thigs of the physical world don’t have distinguishing qualities. Of course they do, but when we put a good or bad label on them we are making a comparison that is not valid.
Situations are not intrinsically good or bad, but thinking makes it so. As Shakespeare declared. It all depends on the perspective.
Opinions that we have judged as right will cause us to feel righteous.
How do you feel when you are around someone who is righteous?
I find this point of view very frustrating, and when carried to extreme, obnoxious.
When we arbitrate between good or bad we are on shaky ground. The division between good and bad drops us into “no man’s land’ where there is no place on which to stand.
Do we want the truth, or our opinion?
Trying to bolster our beliefs with added facts and reasons won’t make them true. It’s still wobbly territory requiring much effort just to stay in place.
Paradoxically we will find steadiness and comfort in the “don’t know” mind.
We truly don’t know. We can have an opinion, and when we keep it as just an opinion, maybe yes, maybe no, we will be happier.
Opinions and preferences are useful when they are held lightly.
No one knows the Truth with a capitol “T”. We can only know our perspective.
It is my experience that the strongest ground I can possibly stand on is the “essence of truth, beauty and goodness” in which we all live. I don’t know what it looks like, or how it will manifest. But I know I’m happy when I trust this ground, and let go my strong grip on what I think needs to happen.
Am I willing to give up any opinion that would deny that things are working out just the way they need to? I call this divine order. I do my best to learn to trust it.
As I live in this place of quiet beauty, I reflect that there are things greater than I can possibly comprehend.
We are all created in the image and likeness of God. What would that look like? I don’t know, for we are truly a deep mystery.
Life comes together in ways that I don’t realize. I am happiest when I can let go the demand to know, and shift into awareness and gratitude for the breath that is presently breathing me.
This breath is something that I can know. I experience it directly. It arises and it passes away. But I have no idea all the wonders it is causing inside me. I know many facts, but can’t possibly know all that it is doing.
This breath keeps me alive right now, and it is enough to calm me and help guide me into my future. It’s real, and it’s here.
Let me trust this present breath, and give up my cherished opinion!