How to Do the Right Thing
Most children are raised to be thoughtful adults who will try, in every circumstance, to “do the right thing.”
“Just do the right thing!” we tell ourselves when we face a challenging moral or social dilemma. Easy to say… but not always easy to do.
How can we know what’s right all the time? What if something is right for one person but seems wrong for another? And what if we want to be the best person we can be but doing the right thing is just too difficult at that moment?
Doing the right thing means being skilled in the art of behavior. It means that our behavior with others is mutually beneficial. It should result in an increase in joy, love, and fulfillment. It should be evolutionary. When we do something perfectly, we enrich the deepest level of inner life and offer the best chance of a healthy outcome for all involved.
A different perspective on right behavior
What if you could do the right thing naturally and instinctively, without fail? What if you didn’t have to consider, weigh, debate with yourself, doubt or regret your decision? What if your action was effortless?
The key to effortless right behavior is to be aware of our deep connection to everyone and everything. That is because when we do feel connected to something or someone, we treat them as we would treat our own self, like an extension of our self—a psychologically healthy person is not likely to choose to inflict pain willy-nilly on themselves.
So what if we felt as connected to everything and everyone in our environment as we feel to our own bodies, minds and hearts? What if we experience kinship to—or ownership of, or intimacy with—everything and everyone the world round, all the time? In such a relationship, it would be unnatural and unlikely for us to even have a harmful thought arise in our mind. If we feel deeply connected to all things and beings at all times, that relationship itself would suffice to insure nourishing behavior on our part. Uplifting, harmonious, life-supporting behavior would be as natural to each of us as is the mechanism that keeps us from entertaining harmful thoughts about ourselves.
Assuming that all things are connected and that a true feeling of that connectedness with all things and beings is possible, how do we achieve it?
Unity on the level of consciousness
The answer lies deep within the universe: from the microcosm to the macrocosm, from the galaxies to an atomic particle, there is a field of infinite intelligence. We see this intelligence permeating throughout nature. We see it, for example, in the systematic growth of a tree from a seed and a human adult from an embryo. Intelligence functions in the laws of gravity and electromagnetism. It organizes our metabolism, our breath, our bodies from head to toe. Laws of nature operate on every level of inner and outer life due to this pervasive intelligence at the fundamental levels of life everywhere. Modern science calls this fundamental underlying field of intelligence the unified field, wherein all forces and particles of nature are united; all multiplicity is just the ripples on that single ocean. In physics, the field of quantum mechanics has established that we are not separate from the world at large. An understanding of how interconnected we all really are—with one another and the universe—is being revealed in our modern age by science itself.
Just as the pervasive intelligent nature of life conducts the activity of our bodies, this same infinite field of intelligence also lies within our own minds at the fundamental level of our thinking process. Every day throughout our lives, our thoughts keep arising—expressions of intelligence popping into our mind—never running out. But the quality and the profundity of our thoughts is in direct relationship to how smooth the pipeline is between the fundamental intelligence in the deepest level of our nature and our mind’s functioning. For most, the pipeline is clogged. Scientists say that people are using a woefully small percentage of our full potential. If we are stressed, if our brain is not fully functioning, and if our consciousness is not broad, then thinking is proportionately less effective than when brain function is optimal and the mind is unbounded and stress free.
Neuroscientists have found that during the Transcendental Meditation practice, the brain produces high-power alpha waves. This distinct brain pattern corresponds to the state of relaxed inner wakefulness—the mind is resting in the field of pure intelligence within. When the alpha waves become synchronous, the seat of the brain’s executive judgement is strengthened. It’s interesting to note that because they don’t offer systematic effortless transcending of thought, no other meditation technique has been found to consistently produce alpha coherence throughout the brain. Researchers have found that the experience of transcending restores neurological balance, inner silence, and clarity of mind. (ref: Cognitive Processing, 2010)
When we experience transcendence—the reservoir of intelligence within—we establish our inner connection with everything. By transcending the thinking level to this inner source, we naturally would be able to think, perceive and behave from this most profound, powerful, intelligent, unified level of life. That is the result of the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, which effortlessly and spontaneously takes the mind beyond thought to our nature—to the nature of everything and everyone.
As infinite intelligence and brainwave coherence become more established through daily TM practice, there is an evolution of personal qualities such as increased love, compassion, understanding and intuition. We find ourselves becoming more friendly, kind and uplifting in our speech and behavior. We find ourselves more capable of humanity in our behavior. We find ourselves “doing the right thing.” Spontaneously, our behavior reveals and reflects our connectedness—not just to our own nature, but to the nature of everything.
About the Author
Janet Hoffman is the executive director of TM for Women Professionals, a division of TM for Women in the USA