Question: Since I have begun to learn to stay quiet and observe thoughts and see them for what they truly are, I have been set free from several vices I had previously "thought" I would die with. This happened quite effortlessly, and I know in my heart that I have found Truth. When I attempted to tell a Christian friend of mine of the freedom that I have experienced as a result of "letting go," he became quite concerned for my eternal salvation. It seems the issue is about the blood of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of the resurrection, and more specifically, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me." How are these things reconciled? How can I find a way to discuss this subject with my friend?
Answer: The true Christ, apart from his life in Jesus, is not a person, but a Celestial Power. His life is Freedom. And that Freedom is a gift for anyone who wearies of being a captive of himself. Heaven is not a time to come, just as Christ is not a future self. The Kingdom is within; it is not a thought, it is not a creed, it is not a belief, nor even a faith. It belongs to the man or woman who wants Real Life. Christ himself always told his disciples, "Watch." The translation of this original Aramaic word is: "Be awake!" Don't try to convince anyone of anything and be wary of anyone who wants you to embrace what he does through "terror tactics." The odds are if you look closely at this person warning you of Hell, you would see that he is in it in his fear. Follow your wish to be free, not the person who says he knows where it is even as he is imprisoned in the imitative life. This natural longing you have for the Light will blossom, and as it does, you will have Christ's Life the way it was always intended.
Excerpted from Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom
Question: I enjoy your tapes and books, but I am having trouble reconciling your teachings with those of Christ. Christ talks of salvation. What do your teachings have to say about this?
Answer: The teachings of Christ and this work are in complete harmony. This Work is not about self-rescue. It is all about coming wide-awake and realizing that the self that wants to be rescued is the actual source of the suffering it cries out to escape. Rebirth is the express result of our dying to this false self and its suffering.
(Best of 2000 Chats)
Question: How would you distinguish the "born again" experience from what you call "doing the work"? Are we talking about the same thing?
Answer: The idea of being "born again" or "saved" has become almost completely meaningless today. True self-transformation, the birth of a New Mind that Christ called "metanoia," is not something that can be handed out by priests and ministers for the asking. Such transformation requires conscious, deliberate, ongoing effort on the part of the individual... but not by "works" as in the context of doing anything in order to "earn" salvation! God requires us to choose His Life in every moment, and we must pay with ourselves to put Him first. Dying to yourself is the path to rebirth... not saying some magic words in a fervent moment in hopes that they will wash you clean forever. This kind of experience may well be a starting point but it is not the whole story; it is not the be-all and end-all of the spiritual journey. Christ summed up the Path to gaining entrance to the Kingdom when he said: "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it."
Question: What does someone have to do to go to heaven?
Answer: You must find such things out for yourself, but here's a good beginning: Know thyself.
(Unpublished Writing by Guy Finley)
Question: What does it mean to be "saved" and how does one ask for it?
Answer: Salvation is the old giving way to the New because we no longer want what we once were. In that quiet passing comes that Self which was always there before. The "first becomes the last, and the last the first." Every single longing, every prayer a person ever utters and reaches for, always has to do with Something within: Something somehow felt to be just beyond reach, and if only they could get through that door and stand there, all would be well. Christ said, "Knock and it shall be opened to you." This special knocking has to do with sincerely saying, "Can you help me?" Surrender the self at each door on the Way, and then the door opens. That's the spiritual path; that's salvation. It's within you. And you must make the journey. But to make the journey you have to be on the Way, you must understand the request that begins it. Give up in the right way. Learning to surrender yourself begins with learning to see the need to surrender yourself. The rest takes care of itself. This will happen to you, for you, if you'll persist sincerely with your wish for a New Life.
Excerpted from The Lost Secrets of Prayer