The Day Your Thoughts Stood Still
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
The Day Your Thoughts Stood StillLessons on spiritual renewal.
When I was ten years old, I saw the sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still. It’s about a man who comes to Earth in a space ship to tell the warring governments of Earth not to bring their conflicts out into space. Like a Gnostic messenger, he travels here to warn human beings to change their way of life.
This movie version of what was a short story consciously draws parallels to the story of Jesus. I have always been inspired by the movie, but I would rather bring its spirit of renewal to our understanding of Jesus than see Christ themes in the film. The point of Jesus’ mission is not to draw attention to himself but to transform the way human beings live.
Breaking free of reasonable, standard, but unconscious patterns of thought is what Jesus was about. It’s as though he descended from another planet to tell us where we are going wrong and how our basic assumptions are off base. That is why we are so caught up in wars and injustice and inequalities. We assume that these gaps in human intelligence are natural and inevitable. Jesus talks as a visitor unfamiliar with this reasoning and offers a way out of our stupidity. He assumes that we don’t have to live with wary paranoia, demonic violence, and self-destructive narcissism—three kinds of personal and cultural neurosis that threaten our existence.
In an often-quoted Sufi story, a holy man is found crawling on the ground at night under a beam of light. “Are you looking for something?” someone asks. “Yes,” he says, “a key.” “Where did you lose it?” He points into the darkness. “Over there.” “Then why are you looking here?” “Because this is where the light is.”
I used to think of this story as a joke about how we tend to avoid the darkness and stay in the light of understanding. Now, after studying many Sufi stories, I think differently. The holy man was breaking free of the reasoning that says you should look for what is lost where you think you lost it—especially the key to your existence. He wasn’t foolish at all. He was simply free of the conventional and the obvious.
And when we break free of our thought patterns, we’ll be able to see Jesus’ purpose as not to form a religion but to transform the world, not to exploit this life for a heavenly reward but to establish heaven on earth.