- Thoughts for inspired living

December 4, 2007

Resistance – Acceptance

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:07 am

I found 3 entries from my Grasshopper Notes Journal from 3 years ago that I thought I would blog about today.

“Our minds become resistance mechanisms. Once they were acceptance mechanisms, thus the expression: ‘Your old hound will remain trickless.'”

“Resistance is holding on to what was; acceptance is seeing what is.”

“Acceptance removes all pseudo-choices and streamlines your thinking.”

We really were spongy at one time. It was so long ago and hardly anyone remembers the experience of learning how without knowing how. Just think about the accent you speak with, the mannerisms that you have that were your parents, the way you walk, and many of your beliefs. You absorbed these traits and beliefs before you knew what a trait or belief was.

Then a very interesting thing happened. Our intellect flowered. We learned to say “No,” and resistance was formed. We started to lose touch with reality right then and there. We learned to impose our will on reality in an effort to get what we wanted. Never mind that we were blind to the fact that the strategy rarely worked. But that didn’t keep us from plowing on. We learned that “rail against reality” strategy and most of us keep it for a lifetime.

We hold on to beliefs that don’t work and wear glasses that make obvious things seem invisible. Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer opened our eyes to reality.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

The holding on to the notion that we can bend reality to our whims seems stronger than the force of gravity. Persisting with a strategy that doesn’t work is what keeps monkeys in tribal Africa from retaining their freedom.

The monkey hunters carve holes on each end of a hollowed out coconut shell. They insert a rope in one hole and tie a knot on the inside on one end. On the other end they carve a hole just big enough for a monkey’s hand to fit into. They place a peanut inside the shell and put the coconut in plain view. They take the other end of the rope and hide waiting for the monkey to arrive. The monkey discovers the shell and puts his hand inside and grasps the peanut. While his hand is fisted around the peanut, it cannot fit back through the entrance hole. The hunter then pulls on the rope and captures the monkey. The monkey could let go at any moment and be free but his focus is getting the peanut with a strategy that isn’t working. He won’t let go.

What makes us different from monkeys is that we have the ability to make a choice, but we rarely do. We continually get captured by a strategy that doesn’t work.

The choice that works is to remove the illusional choices that we have been conditioned to believe. Acceptance is that subtraction process. It narrows it down to the only choice there is – to accept reality. Not accepting reality is some form of the thought, “this shouldn’t be happening,” or “this can’t be happening.” How hard would you laugh if you heard the trapped monkey say, “This shouldn’t be happening?” Our internal conversation to circumvent reality has yet another drawback. It keeps us focused on the denial and allows no room for a solution to our dilemma to pop in.

This is in no way a defeatist attitude – quite the contrary. When you accept what is happening, without all the diversional spin, your thinking gets streamlined and you make room for a solution to show up.

You can spend your time making a fist at reality or you can find an organ grinder with tons of peanuts.

All the best,


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