“You are a creature who acts, thinks and feels. Spirituality fuses these three into a single reality. Thinking doesn't lord it over feeling, feeling doesn't stubbornly resist [thinking]; doing occurs when both thought and feeling say, 'This is right.'”
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets)
Authentic spirituality affords us many lessons on right thinking, right feeling, right action. It stresses that all these be in harmony for one to be at peace with oneself. We know the truth of it, too, don't we? When we are called upon to do something that doesn't feel right, something inside us recoils. When someone tells an off-color joke, or espouses sexist, racist, or anti-Semitic ideology, we feel the wrongness of it. When we are employed by a company that intentionally cuts corners, that cheats customers or suppliers in pursuit of profits, we experience the weight of those decisions. Unless we are true sociopaths, we have built-in filters that screen for what is ethical and fair. The question then becomes right action.
When we know that something is wrong, that it doesn't square with our sense of fairness, do we speak up or remain silent? Do we protect our own standing, or take the risk of losing it? Do we go along with the crowd, or do we oppose that which offends our ethics? Right action does not mean easy action. Certainly, it's easier to go along and get along. Right action means living every minute of every day in accordance with one's own values. It means not tolerating injustice in order to keep the peace, or to keep the job, or to keep our status.
Spiritual practice heightens our awareness of these layers of self. We monitor our thoughts, feelings and actions more consciously. Maintaining the unity of the three—right thought, right feeling, leading to right action—becomes more valuable to us than acquiring the “desires of the flesh,” as scripture calls them. Something in us may still want that shiny object, but the core of us says, “Don't do it.” And we listen. And what we get from right action is peace of mind—peace beyond understanding. And not only peace, but security. When we are secure in our own reliability, we are at peace.
In the Spirit,