Inner Peace: What’s your operating system?

We live in a world of screens: television screens, computer screens, tablet screens, smart phone screens, GPS screens in our cars — and the list keeps growing. Each type of device has an operating system: Windows, Apple, Android, iPhone, Linux — and for those of us who remember, the infamous DOS.

Each operating system has similarities but also works in different ways. A classic debate on whose system is better is Windows vs. Apple. Each has its own experience, but both work for those who use them.

The same could be said about different cultures around the world. In different parts of the world marriages are arranged by the parents, while in the West, each of us choose our own partner. In Saudi Arabia, women were not allowed to drive cars until just recently. In New Zealand, the prime minister is a woman who is about to give birth and take maternity leave while in office.

Different operating systems exist politically: from tribal leaders, socialism, dictatorships to democracy. The political operating system in China is different than India or the United States.

Different operating systems are certainly seen in the world’s religious traditions: polytheistic vs. monotheistic, anthropomorphism vs. pantheism (God in human-like form vs. all is God). When someone passes on in the United States, the funeral in the Mid-West is a sad and somber occasion, while in New Orleans there is a party with music, celebration and dancing.

All of these operating systems have a different way of looking at the world, how people live their daily lives, and how life is viewed. Each system works for those who subscribe to that particular system. It is easy to see how each is simply a state of mind.

Underlying the cultural, political and religious operating systems is a set of systems or viewpoints that can be described as stages of consciousness that describe how we live and view our lives. We tend to move from one system to another on our spiritual path and sometimes back and forth.

Stages of spiritual growth:

• To me:
— Experience: Life appears governed completely by external forces. Example: “Why does this always happen to me?”
— To move to the next level: Give up blame and start taking responsibility for your life.
• To it:
— Experience: Life is influenced by my thoughts and actions. Some tools include affirmations, visualization, or mantras. Example: “I can control my thoughts and therefore my life.”
— To move to the next level: Give up control, power and detail management.
• Through me:
— Experience: Being receptive and open to guidance and intuition through Meditation. Example: “It is not I, but God that does the work.”
— To move to the next level: Give up Ego and Separation.
• As Me:
— Experience: A sense of Oneness or Unity with and as Spirit. Example: “I am one with God, I am God-Source.”

Whatever stage one finds themselves in, please know that it is a valid, productive, and worthwhile operating system. Doing a check-in to see where we are can be a valuable tool to assist us in advancing on our path. Wherever you might find yourself, allow yourself to be there. Don’t judge it, just sense what you are thinking and feeling at the moment and relate that to the chart. This is an excellent tool to become more conscious.

As we allow ourselves to be at a particular place on the path, without judgment, this help us to be non-judgmental of others wherever they are on the path, whatever their operating system is.

Releasing judgment is a big step to inner peace.

The World is not broken, Be in Peace.

— Jim Hatton is author (under the name James Apollonius Alan) of “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life,” available on Amazon or at Send 600- to 700-word articles to Sally McKirgan at

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