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Yogi Bhajan: Healing Begins with Tolerance

Sat Nam Dear Family,

Tolerance is the capacity to have a relationship with someone, or something which you oppose, and do it without anger, fear, vengeance or guilt. In fact without any insecurity whatsoever. Now, I didn’t say accept. Acceptance is not a part of tolerance. Acceptance is agreement. Tolerance, by its nature, cannot include acceptance. Otherwise, there would be no need for tolerance. Respect for the way another thinks is the replacement for acceptance. Respect allows for tolerance without acceptance. 

At this point, most people step back, Too much pain or memory of ill thinking or acting denies tolerance. “It’s not fair.” Well, who’s the judge? Tolerance is not about judgment. This judgment idea is the killer of all dreams of tolerance. Your own afflictions of pain, fear, etc are the killers of a balanced judgment.  Then, off you go!  If in your heart you truly want healing, just don’t go there. Respect for another’s awareness, or lack thereof, is the half-way house transitioning from judgment to tolerance.

Until we allow all, especially those we oppose, to have their own way of thinking, acting, and their life experience, there can be no advancement in a relationship and healing will be delayed or forbidden. Otherwise we are insisting, we are requiring, others to change for a relationship to exist. Hmm, that sounds like control. Wanting to change others rather than oneself isn’t the way too healing, or any real change. It just perpetuates bias and prejudice. 

Tolerance may allow another to change through example, communication, or awareness, but change must come from within oneself, not others. Of course, there are exceptions when actions may harm others unnecessarily, that’s what laws are for. But, that’s not what I’m talking about here. Actions may change, but a change of heart can only be effectuated internally. True tolerance allows for this space to be explored.

More importantly, tolerance allows for growth, personal growth. Displaying tolerance is the example which keeps on giving. Tolerance rests the soul; relaxes your feelings; it provides an expanded perspective; it's an elevated experience of life. A life filled with a balanced perspective. This experience is so dramatic and real that all you want to do is experience it deeper and deeper. Your reality has changed. That’s what tolerance can do.

Tolerance is an expression of elevation, of strength. Don’t misunderstand, you may have to do battle with that or those with whom you are tolerant of, but it shouldn’t be done thorough insecurities. It must be done through love, but that’s another article for another time. Just know that  your tolerance should be unwavering. No external noise should deflect this belief.  Of this there is no doubt. Your life has been betting on this tolerance thing, now it’s time to cash-in. 

Tolerance does not necessarily take a change of heart initially, it takes discipline and strength. Learning to be tolerant is a process. Perhaps in the beginning, tolerance is not even on the table, it’s absolutely out of the question.The knee-jerk reactions often to get even with someone in order to verify your desire to be right. It may be momentarily satisfying, that’s understandable, but it is not the best procedure. It works against you. Tolerance works for you. It lifts you to the next step. Tolerance isn’t about another, it’s about you. It allows you to move on.

Tolerance is the first step in healing. Patience, forgiveness, understanding, and love is the following progression. Healing is a step by step process. Skipping steps is very, very dangerous and difficult, so stay with the formula. When baking cookies, skipping the butter or sugar renders the dough tasteless. Please don’t make this mistake.

Tolerance is rewarded with faith, true faith, real faith. The kind of faith which will carry a student through any and all chaos come what may. Whatever you are faithful too becomes a new reality. Faith in God’s tolerance provides the guts, the courage, to remain faithful through the process and to do it effortlessly. Tolerance is a double feature, faith and courage. 

In this time of intolerance where Republicans hate Democrats (and vice versa), Moslems hate Jews, Sunnis hate Shites, and on and on, we must be better than this. We are better than this. The few Republicans, Moslems, and Sunnis who have replaced hate with tolerance know the score. They are the peacemakers in the world. Isn’t that who we are? I believe it is. 

Tolerance is a display of respect, respect for yourself, for others, and for God’s Will. After all, All is God’s will. As spiritual beings, it’s our duty to think and act only on God’s good nature, knowing that karma is what keeps the world going. It’s on display everywhere. Tolerance provides the balance, the reconciliation of both. Therefore, tolerance is God’s remedy. It’s the goodness of God. It’s God Himself.  Please don’t miss this opportunity to do something really great for yourself. You deserve it. Pursue tolerance no matter what. Stay tuned,

In His Blessings,

Your  Friend,

Hari Jiwan