“Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
A major shift in awareness occurs when we consider and question our values, those virtues we embrace and allow to permeate our lives. I never questioned the values taught by my family and church, for they were the “traits of God”: judgment, intolerance, anger, retribution, capriciousness, a command for perfection, and so on.
I associated those traits with a god and a mother who judged my every deed and motive. I learned to live in fear, then anger, then deep sadness at the life given to me by this god, a life of gnashing of teeth and wailing in tears. Furthermore, I adopted those values as my own so I could be more God-like, or so I supposed.
When we begin our journey toward awareness, we must question our concept of the divine, or, at the very least, the “values that we value”. Hopefully, we trade intolerance for acceptance, judgment for discernment tempered with compassion, perfectionism for gentleness and kindness. Hopefully, we exchange our negative values for the positive, grounded in the primary energy of unconditional love.
Perhaps you need to change your ideas about the god of your childhood. Maybe you have to rip the face of your mother or father off your image of God. Can you envision and learn to accept a different form of God, one who works in your life to bring forth peace, empathy, a sense of service, and whatever values your soul holds dear?
As you think about values that can guide you, consider aligning them with the affirmative values of spirit, of God. Throw out those that do not work. Absorb new, positive values to guide you on your path to transformation. Consider how they fit your concept of the divine and how they fit your ideals. Then, use all of them in all you do in this life.