I'm on my way home. Now I am being carried by a five gallon bucket of peace. Nothing has changed, and everything has changed. How is that? I change and everything changes. It is not merely that my perception has changed, for the heart of a person connects to everything. The change in me does indeed influence, even changes in some ways, the reality I encounter.
It is hard for us worldlings to accept this. We are so conditioned to work from the outside that we cannot conceive the possibility that change is also wrought from the inside, silently, through the heart. Since all matter is both created and held together by the Word of God, it is theologically self evident that the heart (or nous), the organ that perceives spiritual reality, would also be the primary organ through which we influence all reality that at heart is spiritual--well "self evident" may be too strong of an expression for someone like me who has spent more than fifty years stumbling down theological dead ends.
Working on ourselves really is work to better society, to help those who are hurting, confused, and wandering aimlessly. The paradox is that we have to let go of them, let go of those we love, those people and problems that consume so much of our mental and emotional energy. We have to let go--entrusting them into God's care--so that we can pay attention for a while on ourselves, so that we can heal ourselves.
You would think that we would get it, that we would get that what we are doing is not working, that our words are only hardening, they are having no effect, that often they are having a worsening effect. But if we can change ourselves, if we can work through the heart, from heart to heart, silently and with love; then really anything is possible.