"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the
situation but thought about it. Be aware of the
thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the
situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is."
-- Eckart Tolle
How something is said is so important to the understanding of it. That is why repetition of a subject is important for better understanding in anything.
I've talked about the idea that there truly is no right or wrong unless you choose those thoughts about the subject. Many would choose differently about the very same circumstance or situation. What Eckart Tolle says above is the same, yet the he adds the nuance of the word 'neutral.'
He says an event, situation, circumstance is just what it is. It is neutral. It is not good or bad. There is no judgement in neutrality. It is when we enter the equation with our own thoughts that judgement comes in and we judge based on our own past training and experiences and beliefs and customs. In other words, WE CHOOSE how to judge this, and we normally judge it off center to the right or left, toward good or bad to varying degrees. We see a hurricane's effects and call it bad, a humanitarian's efforts and call it good, and so on.
Yet, you will find so few thinking about it as neutral. And, this is one of the choices available to all. What if you could see things neutrally? The event would certainly have a different response in us if we thought about the event in a neutral way compared to judging it good or bad.
There is a popular phrase, 'good, bad, or indifferent.' In this, one might think that being neutral is being indifferent. I know a lot of people think that when they encounter someone who is just observing the event with neutrality, but looking at a situation as it is and not reacting as so many do, is not at all being indifferent. Being indifferent is more a judgement, as if to say that one does not care, whereas neutrality is like being above it enough to see the whole picture and to just see it as it truly is rather than what we make it out to be.
In Another Sense, It Is Like The Difference Between Responding And Reacting.
Spread Some Joy Today--Try not reacting to some situation or event this week and instead just observe. Pretend it is a dream and you're watching your dream from on high and just seeing it play out without any judgement at all. Then just enjoy your moments. That is one way to joy. You can choose joy at any time you want.