The following is an illustration that Bailes uses to clarify this point. I cringed when I first read it; I was the one that moved locations due to irritation. I have carried the parent thought of irritation a very long time; reaping the babies! Today I am working within the solution, healing this treacherous and debilitating parent thought.
“Three people lived in adjoining apartments. The one in the middle plays her radio loudly all day. Her neighbors meet in the hallway. A says to C, ‘That radio drives me crazy. I’m afraid I’m going to walk in one day and throw it out the window. It’s making me a nervous wreck.’ C smiles and says, ‘It doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I sometimes enjoy listening to it through the wall.’ It is the same radio, but two opposite reactions. If the radio in itself were the irritant, both ladies would be equally upset by it. The radio in itself has no power to irritate.
A might move to another location. But this would not solve her problem; She has only dealt with the ‘child,’ leaving the parent thought to produce more offspring. In the new place something else would irritate her. It might be the mailman, the grocery clerk, or her neighbors outlandish hats, or the way the doorman greets her.
This woman might go through some mental gymnastics to render herself immune to the effect of the radio. But until she learns how to dissolve out the irritation parent thought she will go through life under its control. She will find a new serenity when she learns how to move onto a level of thinking that is far above all belief in the power of anything outside herself to irritate her.
This in turn will remove the sting from situations that formerly bothered or outraged her, will lessen the frequency of their appearance, and will eventually cause her to see what a nuisance she herself must have been to others.”
OUCH!! The truth slapped me right in the face.
Psychologists tell us there are 2 possible reactions to disagreeable experience: fight or flight. Primitive man relied on this defense when confronted by dangerous animals; his body immediately shifted into urgent survival mode. His adrenal glands poured their hormones into his blood, adding to his physical power, enabling him to fight or run as his judgement dictated. Today, the type of danger has changed but our instinctive reaction is the same: we run away or we fight; both prove to be futile.
There is a 3rd possible reaction – transcendence. Yes this word conjures up, in many, metaphysical woo-woo talk; but forget all that and start fresh with the true meaning: rising above conditions. It is our choice to divorce ourselves from both fear of, and the hatred for, an irritating or fearful situation. It is within us to do so.
In my next post we will focus on the solution, what Bailes calls master thoughts and how they constructively oppose destructive parent thoughts and will master them.