No one likes paying taxes.
I doubt even government workers, whose salaries in part derive from taxes, enjoy paying them.
Not only are taxes complicated, time-consuming, and stressful - but we often owe more than we had anticipated.
One would be hard pressed to attach any remotely positive adjective to the obligatory act of paying taxes.
Yet the esteemed playwright and philosopher Seneca remarked, “I pay taxes gladly.”
How could a wise man hold such an anomalous mindset?
Because Seneca intuited from a different perspective.
He saw taxes not as sacrificial duty but rather as an opportunity to contemplate grievances. It’s not that Seneca was happy paying taxes, but he knew the pain surrounding them provided a perfect opportunity for introspection.
In fact, Seneca viewed any unpleasantness as a “life tax”. Whether that be stressful relationships, corrupt officials, diseased body, insufficient income, mandatory hardships, and so on. To all of which he reiterated, “I pay the taxes of life gladly.”
We advance on a spiritual growth path not by adroitly avoiding burdensome situations but through gentle consideration of each resistance. Without which we remain entrenched. Arduously trundling our Sisyphean millstones.
A Course in Miracles teaches that every experience is the result of a choice in the mind.
Two ways of looking at the world are in your mind, and your perception will reflect the guidance you have chosen. (T-12.VII.5)
Any sense of discomfort or distress demonstrates our choice for the ego mind.
But there’s another way of looking. One that sees each “life tax” as an occasion to return awareness to the mind, where we can reflect upon our choice.
As you look in, you choose the guide for seeing. And then you look out and behold his witnesses. This is why you find what you seek. What you want in yourself you will make manifest. (T-12.VII.7)
Looking with gentleness aligns us with the right mind, from which we genuinely and lovingly pay any taxes gladly, for in that moment, all taxes have been transformed into messengers of love.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore these “two ways of looking” and how we can make the choice that leads to extraordinary peace. I look forward to seeing you then.