- Posted: Tuesday, July 08, 2003
- 7781 words
GF: Welcome everyone. Before we begin tonight let me present a few thoughts about what is required of us to walk away from useless suffering. No one can hope to know such freedom without first understanding certain truths as to what keeps us captives of unconscious negative forces. We will discuss some of these insights now, and more at chat's close.
Nothing is harder for us to accept about ourselves than the yet-to-be seen fact that, whatever form this pain may take, we play an unconscious role in our own habitual suffering. Some of us are prone to high anxiety, while others can't escape those low dark states associated with depression and self-loathing. But the fact remains:
We must challenge this involuntary, and often intractable, refusal to even entertain the idea of our complicity in what compromises us; for without gathering the self-knowledge we need to nullify this conflicted condition in our psyche, how can we hope to end the heartaches that begin there? How can we hope to heal something we won't even look at!
On the other hand, nothing is healthier for us than the beautiful process of awakening to how we have been unwittingly involved in our own aching. And we stand in good and wise company if we will consent to make such a discovery in ourselves. Down through the ages all True teachings have disseminated the following lesson:
Freedom from any compulsive, self-wrecking behavior must begin with our recognition that we are voluntarily serving that which compromises us, even though we may strongly claim the counter is true. Such a conscious awareness of (this) conflict inherent in our own divided mind may be difficult to endure, but only if we fail to realize this last point:
This conscious awareness (and it alone) is the seed of a new action that eventually flowers in a self-wholeness that is one and the same with the true self-freedom we are all seeking. With these ideas in mind, let's gather the rest of the facts we need to let go of all regrets by separating ourselves from what has been useless suffering.
If you watch animals in the wild, as the author enjoys doing, one thing is obvious: The nature of any animal and its natural experience of life are indivisibly related. For example, deer attract biting flies. In the high heat of summer you won't see one without the other, and I have seen deer driven nearly crazy by these pests. They have no choice in this seasonal torment.
I make this point because, much in the same way as an animal's nature attracts to it the elements that define that creature's life, the same holds true in many ways for human beings. Not only does our present nature attract what we call our life experience, but it also determines the way in which we see and experience these same events.
We may doubt this timeless truth -- that one's inner nature determines one's experience of the outer life -- but the outcome remains the same. To continue the earlier metaphor, all of us know what it's like to find ourselves in a swarm of stinging thoughts and feelings -- where we are unable to outrun them or otherwise escape their punishing presence.
But this is where the similarity ends, or at least where it ought to, between our nature and that of our animal brothers and sisters. An animal has no choice but to tolerate what its nature attracts to it from the world around it. We alone may choose what we receive from life; that is provided we are willing to awaken to our True Nature.
All of us have felt certain deep and silent promptings to realize our Original Self, even though we may not yet have recognized them as such. For instance, we all feel intuitively that we are not created to live in torment of any kind, that we are more than hapless victims forced to yield to passing conditions. And as we shall see, this is a true intuition.
We are not made by that Great Intelligence that balances whole star systems to suffer from the conflict inherent in what amounts to an unbalanced understanding of our own essential nature! And this is why if we ever wish to gain conscious control over our present nature -- along with what it attracts into our life -- we must gain true self-knowledge.
But this needed higher knowledge cannot be acquired from sources outside of us; it must be gained through honest self-discovery. Only real changes in the level of our self-understanding can change our present nature, for they are very much related. Change one and we change the other, including what it has been attracting into our lives.
Most of us know or have seen someone whose unconscious thoughts and feelings serve to attract painful events into his or her life. Of course, as a rule, this same person blames his unhappiness on evil people, or on a world set against him. But our higher understanding allows us insight into the real reason for his continuing misfortune.
The problem is that when it comes to understanding ourselves by looking into the mirror of our own experience, our once clear vision fails us; which helps explain, in part, the Sufi teaching regarding the necessity for "polishing the mirror of the heart." But as with all such spiritual ideas concerning being more self-discerning, there is more to it than meets the eye!
For by the degree we empower ourselves to see what is Real, so are we at once set free from the powerful grip of painful illusions that once imprisoned us. Before we close the chat tonight I will pass along a simple illustration to help shed more light on this last crucial insight.
We can get started now, but please do keep your questions and comments based in your own discoveries, and not in mere philosophical speculation. What do you want to discuss? What are you working on in yourself? Let's see what we can learn tonight. You are on.
Akaysha: Do you believe it is necessary to dredge up past issues, acknowledge and make effort to release them, or that we can move forward without doing this?
GF: No, there is little to no true value in recollecting painful past issues. One of the things that one must come to discover is that whatever it is that may need correction in our life, it can only be corrected in the moment that it is present in its essence and met in that same moment by one's awareness of those contradictory elements in himself. Then the Light does for us what it is intended to do, which is make us whole. That's the healing.
Eric: Sometimes when I see nervous, anxious, worrisome, despairing, and any other self-tormenting thoughts and/or feelings surging through me, I seem to detect another little subtle thought saying, "These thoughts and feelings are necessary; there is no escaping them." And that vague thought seems to come (especially) AFTER I have questioned the necessity of those earlier self-tormenting thoughts and feelings. Please, do you have any insight into that?
GF: What you have described is absolutely natural as long as we remain in relationship with the very nature that is providing the same punishing thoughts and feelings you've described. It has to say there is no escaping "me" because without this painful opposite in you to resist, this sleeping sense of self can derive no other sensation of life for itself. This self is resistance itself. Knowing this lets us let go.
Peggy: I appreciate your comment about the fact that we are voluntarily serving our compromising states. I say I want certain things, but I am not doing what I need to do to manifest them. This has been going on my whole life. I look forward to your further comments on this phenomenon.
GF: Yes, by all means stay until the end of the chat to read the remainder of the essay that goes deeply into this problem and then delivers new knowledge that can become a true solution.
BillH: I have noticed that some activities don't bring the sense of happiness they used to. Is there a good way to tell if this is due to a problem such as depression versus a positive change of growing out of those activities?
GF: The difference between having outgrown the love of a lower sensation versus being a captive of a dark depression should be something fairly easy to discern. For starters, when we are ready to leave certain worldly pursuits behind us, we are not made unhappy due to the understanding that has brought us to that point. On the other hand, if we find ourselves sorrowful over something, whatever it is, it's clear we haven't outgrown either that condition or the consciousness attracted to it.
James1: I too have had these activities make me happy in the past but now leave me empty. Have I grown beyond these sensory vibrations? Is my looking back the pain? I've caught glimpses of my first response to new things: dread. I want to see more, but it's scary and shameful.
GF: In the long run, what we eventually realize is that what we really want is not something new to desire, but to be free of wants (that compromise us) altogether. This losing interest in the world's power to please us begins with losing interest in the pleasures that once made us content. To that extent it often feels as though we are losing ourselves because our former sense of self depended upon these same sensations.
mikejb35: How do we move from independence (once gained) to interdependence with others, such as in relationships, business dealings, and the like?
GF: The assumption in your question is that you have already gained independence, but if I may say so, the condition that you're calling independence should be placed under a certain amount of doubt. Here's why: True independence is automatically perfectly interdependent with all people and events it enters into. False independence is usually based in some kind of fear or control behavior by which we want to protect ourselves from some forthcoming pain.
Diojeneez: God told Moses, "I am that I am." Vernon Howard says, "God IS consciousness." Please, make the connection.
GF: One of the main stumbling blocks for spiritual seekers of a God-centered life is the fantastic but mistaken idea that one can have a life in God apart from the life of God that that life is in. Of course there are stages to self-realization relative to relationship with the Divine, but "I am that I am" simply means that there is nothing apart from me to know me other than what is me.
Diojeneez: Ah, so God is the absence of me. So the question, "What is God?" makes no sense.
GF: In essence, that's correct. Even God himself says to have no graven images, and originally was the God with no name for just this reason. A divided nature can never know what is Whole.
mobilman: There is us and there is the One. Where my question lies is in who is expected to do what part of this transformation?
GF: There is an old teaching that says something like this: "If one wishes to have God's life, he or she must give everything toward that desire, even though nothing that one does toward such a desire can actually effect the outcome of that desire. Then, knowing this, one must forget that he knows it. The reason for this is that True self-realization is something God grants on His own, in His own way, and all unbeknownst to the one who would have such a transformation take place. Our task is to love the Light; the Light will do the rest if we'll simply hold it first and foremost.
Rael: I see the hardened pattern of habitual responses in which my life is lived, but have been experiencing an ever diminishing energy to find freedom from this cage. Is there a source of new energy to be found?
GF: The energy that one needs to proceed upward on the interior path is given to him or her in direct proportion to the clarity with which they see the actual content of their own being -- much in the same way a man groggily napping in his house finds instant energy to leap from it when he sees it is on fire. So is it for us. Our task is to watch ourselves and allow what we discover to lead us where it will.
redgreen: Guy, are you awake?
GF: The reason that your question cannot be answered the way you wish is because whether or not I am what you would call awake is not the issue. The only thing that one should be concerned with is what is going through him or her right now, and not the condition of any other human being around them. Besides which, no matter which way I would answer your question, it would produce a problem for you. Work on yourself to awaken and then you will know without asking who is or is not awake.
TJ: The way in which I have grown through listening and understanding many of your talks has been through repetition. If I relocate to Southern Oregon for the sake of being closer to a true source of truth, will I receive the same benefit? How could I when it takes me several times to listen to one talk or idea, let alone several per week? I think it would be great to be in proximity to Life of Learning Foundation, but want to know if it's the right method.
GF: There is a tried and true axiom that says it takes a lighted candle to light a candle. If your interest is in awakening to yourself, then you would do well to come for a visit and see how the talks impact your life. The difference between being in the atmosphere of the live meeting versus listening to a tape is the difference between standing on the seashore and smelling the ocean air versus buying an aerosol can called "Ocean Spray."
TJ: I have been on several of what appear to be promising job interviews where I'm told many positive things, yet I'm left hanging, avoided, and lied to. I am wondering if it is me or something I am doing to make these people uncomfortable. I see their sleep and know the job is not right for me but I desperately need income. Please comment. I'm running out of financial resources.
GF: There's no way that I'm able to tell you through a written answer what you seek to resolve this confusion. I can fairly much assure you that the old idea "it takes two to tango" is never far off the mark. However, try as best you can to not ponder past defeats, as this only builds unconscious resistance in you in moments forthcoming where you need to be present to yourself and awake. Start over -- that's the Golden Rule. It always works.
mikejb35: In the Old Testament, it says something like (God speaking): "I will write my commandment (of love) on their hearts." Is this the same as saying that God placed the Kingdom of Heaven within?
GF: Yes, that is basically what the statement means, although the interior meaning of "my commandment of love on their hearts" has to do with a Living Light that is the actual essence of the spiritual heart that longs for God and His life. In other words, it is not a place one reaches for, but a presence interiorly we are created to become conscious of and in.
Diojeneez: The Kingdom of Heaven is within, but conscious men like Swedenborg say there are actually three heavens, and "few will understand me." Swedenborg is no idiot, so I researched this. In some saint biographies it said, "they passed into the third heaven," at death. Is that related to these teachings at all?
GF: Christ himself said "my Father's kingdom has many mansions." In this he is referring, as are other True men of spirit, to the fact that within our own sleeping consciousness there dwells a Living Light whose presence may effortlessly penetrate into what amounts to an infinite number of higher kingdoms. These same kingdoms are often referred to as being in a triad, hence the number three.
DocBlock: Is the west coast higher in vibration than the east coast, or are the only vibrations within our own minds?
GF: I'll answer this question, but only in the hopes you can understand the higher meaning of what I say. First, just like in the human body and its various centers of sensitivity and organic relationship with its own parts, the earth is fashioned similarly. That means there are indeed places where naturally higher frequencies may be found. But these differences mean almost nothing to an individual who is still thinking about life instead of investigating the thought nature and its low vibration.
Eric: When I see myself anxiously and worriedly fawning in order to gain the approval of another person, as I have spent the last 3 weeks of my life doing with a girl I recently met (if only I could just relax and be pleasant), should I just watch and endure the pain of watching my present nature in action? And should I also make the "non-effort" of not trying to do anything about it? Am I on the right track here?
GF: First, catching yourself being a weak man for the purposes of pleasing the opposite sex is a good discovery in itself. Make it your intention to watch yourself as closely as you can while trying to be someone instead of doing the natural work of seeing that only something in you that feels it's no one struggles to be someone in the eyes of another. This kind of observation will gradually free you from the futile and painful practice of trying to impress others.
TJ: Certain loved ones of mine are being faced with horrific circumstances and losing their ability to function naturally. This is affecting all around them and there seems to be no way out of these problems. How can we stay focused on God's love and keep faith when certain horrors come into existence? It is hard to believe God is allowing this when a loved one loses necessary human functions to live and is caused to hurt others.
GF: I would turn your question around and instead of asking how can we stay focused on God's love and keep faith in the face of certain horrors to come, ask what is it in me that wants to identify and derive a sense of self from any imagined horror? Everything that takes place in our lives is potentially what each of us needs for the next step in our own spiritual development. This includes not only our own suffering, but the suffering of those that we love as well. Once we learn this great secret... that the entire cosmos serves the spiritually seeking man or woman, we are well on our way to realizing our place in God's great heaven.
Langston: Can you please provide some insight on how one should approach moving closer to a location where Truth is taught, when a result of that move will cause one to have to "leave behind" their family?
GF: If by "leave behind their family" you are referring to small children and a wife, then one must be very diligent and discerning with such choices. We are responsible for our actions in this life until they are complete, and that includes taking care of those who are necessarily dependent upon us. If on the other hand you are talking about a family being your parents or other relatives, pack your bags; it's time to leave things that are meant for children to the children that want them.
Langston: Yes, in fact I do mean a wife and small child. I am standing before a crossroads here. I want to provide for my family, and I necessarily do so, but I need to also be surrounded by like-minded people and an authentic school. I have asked my wife to come with me, but, she refuses.
GF: I understand what you have said. Now you must understand it would be not only improper, but actually unjust were I to guide you with actions in this circumstance. You alone know the conditions of your relationship, and you alone must make the determination as to the extent of what it means to be responsible versus being afraid of feeling guilty. Keep working on yourself and hold your wish for a new life in place. God will never leave you out of the picture.
BillH: I recently read some material which covered concepts like our "inner child" or "inner critic" and the value of having a dialog with them. Are these examples of the false selves you speak of or something else? Is there value in having dialogs with inner selves that don't normally have an opportunity to speak?
GF: There is no value having a dialogue with oneself, regardless of what we may call this "self" with which we speak. Your time is far better spent listening to the dialogue in your head that doesn't need you to take one of the parts in the play.
BARRY: I was listening to an old live recording from KPFK today coming back from work. You said something like "I've had students who believe they are observing or being mindful, however what they are doing is using the mindful practice as a new sense of self." How does one know the difference? I feel I'm observing most of the time correctly, but maybe not?
GF: It's important that one try to discern the difference between being awake to the whole of oneself versus being absorbed by the act of trying to be awake to oneself. When we are awake to ourselves, there is a seer who is conscious of all things being seen, including its own presence in the mix. In self-absorption, we are secretly identified with seeing and as such are deceived as to our action.
redgreen: It would be supportive to know that at least one person is awake. With the exception of a handful of celebrated spiritual people, I am not aware of anyone being awake.
GF: I hate to pop your bubble, but 99% of what the world considers celebrated spiritual people are in some ways worse than asleep. The best I can tell you is that a lion never fails to recognize another lion, and never mistakes it for anything else. Within you is the Christ Life, that nature of Light that can never mistake darkness for anything other than it is. Strive to realize this Light in yourself and it will not only guide you where you need to be, but it will effortlessly confirm your actions.
BARRY: I don't know what to do with my life and feel I don't fit in. I'm 32, have no career, no money, no direction of what I should do with my life. Is this a good thing? The "TPIC" has lots of ideas about what I should be doing, but how does one know what the person that is anchored outside of time should do with one's life? Should I just wait until I just know?
GF: Look, you may not know what you want to do with your life, and there's nothing wrong with that. But if you want a spiritual life you must learn what it means to be a good householder. This means that you must provide for yourself by some measure and must never be a dependent upon others or our social welfare systems. Begin with starting in the right place, which is throwing yourself into whatever it is you most fear doing, including meeting if necessary the parts of you that want to do nothing. You'll learn from this if you'll do it.
BARRY: It has been said that one's calling is pointing to the road (or the direction where to look for the road) but not giving a map. Do you agree?
GF: No map exists by which one can move from what is untrue to what is true. Truth alone is the guide and the goal.
mobilman: On the subject of attention, I once heard you say something to the effect that "if we are aware of anything, we are aware of the object of our attention, but not the nature of our attention." Does that mean we have more than one type of attention?
GF: True awareness must include both object and subject, as awareness transcends the opposites that produce the illusion that there is a difference between the observer and the observed.
ruth: I have read material by some authors that say we can "experience" God and be aware of Him and His kingdom. I long to be able to do that; however, I don't know how to even start the process. Do you have any advice?
GF: Start where you are, not where you want to be. It is in the growing awareness of our actual condition that we are at last made ready to receive something that is already within our condition, but that is covered up by our identification with that condition.
MichaelCorrinet: "I" experienced "God" directly when I was seventeen. I spent three years of utter bliss and clear thinking, then gave it up for reasons too lengthy to go into here. I'm just starting to reawaken. Any advice?
GF: Lend your whole heart, your mind, and your soul to your wish to realize your relationship with the Living Light. If you indeed had an awakening as you've described, you can never give up such an opening in yourself, and it only awaits your returned attention for its re-intervention into your life.
MichaelCorrinet: I want to awaken fully again, with all my heart. I live in a darkness brighter than most people have ever imagined, yet I yearn for what I had.
GF: You may be assured of this: There are instances where for reasons known only to God, he touches a soul and illuminates it. Sometimes it's only for five seconds, sometimes it lasts for five months. But He withdraws His Light, and when He does, there is a terrible darkness born of that absence. The thing to remember is that this terrible darkness is not a punishment, but stands as invitation for that same soul to give itself up to the Light it longs to live within.
BARRY: Which book or tapes would you recommend for the questions I have asked in this chat?
GF: I think that Design Your Destiny would give you some needed (inner) direction as well as the right encouragement to start (life) over. As for tapes, if you haven't heard the material in the "Heart and Soul of Freedom" album, it will prove helpful in countless ways. As always, just return anything that you feel doesn't add more light to your life.
BARRY: What would you think of someone putting these ideas of yours into rock music? Also, is it possible to be just a messenger and not a priest in doing so? I don't have all of it figured out, but how could I deliver it?
GF: The day may come when these teachings are presented in a musically staged performance. It is in the back of my mind, albeit distantly. Whatever we do that isn't motivated by love must fail (us) even if it seems not. And what we do for love succeeds without messenger or "priest."
BARRY: Would you say most thought is useless? It seems to me most thought is an addiction.
GF: You are not far off the mark.
Diojeneez: "An evil generation seeks a sign, no sign will be given but that of Jonah the prophet." The first part is clear, what does that second part mean?
GF: I have never considered this question, and I have no immediate insight into it either.
Kieran: Because of your teachings (and my work), I am starting to see the shallow values in myself and others. I am beginning to be able to really laugh at myself now. But I am also laughing at others' ignorance and vanity, etc. Some see me as being uncaring and insensitive even though I naturally have less anger in me because of my work. Could you give any advice please?
GF: Be careful not to identify with anything in you that feels in any way superior to those around you. Light is naturally recognized as being different in nature than darkness. So let it be with your understanding with regard to others with less self-knowledge.
TIPS Question 1: You say that everything we do and every action we take is born out of an opposite. I can understand and see that. It seems an inescapable law of this existence. Yet you also talk about transcending these opposites. Is this an awareness of this law and knowing it is taking place, or are you talking of a life under a different law which governs our action?
GF: We have within us a certain conscious property that is not of the same order of life, or reality, as is thought. Commonly we call this aspect of ourselves higher awareness. This light that is a form of consciousness can dwell in the opposites and be conscious of their content without being drawn into being identified with the "this or that" aspect of these opposites. This is why we do the work to awaken ourselves, because this higher nature lives above the ache of the opposites.
TIPS Question 2: Our world appears to celebrate the public expression of all kinds of emotion. What is the proper place for emotion in our spiritual work?
GF: Higher emotion never has self-consciousness or a motive attached to it. It is a pure and innocent energy that requires nothing to confirm its existence in order to feel the contentment that is its natural being. Public expression of emotion is almost always for the purpose of winning attention or otherwise placing someone in the spotlight of self-generated sensation.
TIPS Question 3: Since the beginning of human history this planet has been ruled by the aggressive use of force. Why? Will it ever change?
GF: Because the only strength that human beings know is the assertion of an opposite, which of course is not real strength but always a form of resistance bred of conflict.
TIPS Question 4: How does your work relate to the 12-step programs? I've noticed similarities.
GF: The only time it's possible for true change to take place in one's life is when at last that same person realizes that he is incapable of making true changes through his own efforts. Then that man or woman has been made receptive to a relationship with something greater than themselves that alone can heal themselves.
TIPS Question 5: If your disturbance arrives on the back of another, how do you use AAA [accept-agree-allow] and keep from being taken advantage of?
GF: By working to accept, allow, and agree to any moment such as you've described, one will find they cannot be "taken advantage of" because there will be no separate self sitting outside of that relationship to either act as judge or victim.
TIPS Question 6: What is it about people (me) who always seek comfort, avoid going the extra distance, and feel as though they have tried and tried to reach their goal, but haven't?
GF: By and large, the reason that most of us won't go the extra mile is because there's no one there within us capable of asserting such a will over our essentially divided nature. Before we can actually "do" real inner work, we must have discovered how fractured our present nature actually is. The awareness of this division within us is the beginning of its coalescence, which leads to the ability to do what you have asked.
TIPS Question 7: How can I be more productive as a human being and translate that into my business?
GF: In the end, clarity is the same as productivity. The more clear we are within ourselves about ourselves and our aims, the more effectively we not only achieve these, but are able to communicate them to others.
TJ: How can we then see with more clarity? Do we always need crisis to give us clarity or are we meant to be limited in certain ways?
GF: Clarity is not an effect of something, but is its original state. Clouded minds want to clear themselves, which is impossible. We need to see where confusion dominates our life and then stop doing the will of those parts of us involved in this secret form of self-punishment. Then clarity reveals itself in unlimited measures relative to our capacity to receive such wholeness.
TIPS Question 8: You have both condemned the use of imagination and spoken of the right use of imagination. This is a powerful mechanism of the mind. Would you elaborate on the proper use of imagination in the work?
GF: The improper use of imagination is when the mind works by itself to produce first an image and then a self in relationship with that image that derives its experience from that creation. This is classic division in the mind and is destructive in that it leads nowhere other than to self-induced pleasures.
TIPS Question 9: You have given us many practical steps (such as "accept-agree-allow") and I'm seeing that the most important thing I need to do is to be awake to the moment that brings the lessons. What can I do to strengthen my ability to remember that intention?
GF: Never make an excuse for yourself again when meeting the fact that by falling asleep to yourself you stumbled and fell and hurt yourself or someone else. We must all continually work to realize the relationship between our experience in life and what we are connected with in our mind that produces this experience.
TIPS Question 10: Is it right to feel a sense of urgency to do this work?
GF: Either one feels such an urgency or one doesn't. There's no question of right or wrong relative to the sense one has that his or her soul depends upon the steps needed to develop it. If I myself feel an urgency for transformation, then that urgency stands. If I don't have this, then I don't. Learn to obey the parts of you that are telling you what you must do to fulfill the purpose of your life. Learn to disregard all other interior voices.
TIPS Question 11: Is there a way to tell if another person is beyond all hope of turning from Darkness?
GF: Yes, but best to concern yourself with increasing your love for the Light than to worry over such things. Besides, it is only the Living Light in one that can make such a determination without negative or self-righteous judgment in it.
TIPS Question 12: How do you receive your wisdom and knowledge?
GF: One must learn what it means to ask for what one really wants. Anyone who asks for a life in the Light -- and who will pay for what they receive -- will be given what he or she requests. It is a Law.
TIPS Question 13: When one has a chronic illness that affects not only the body, i.e. fatigue, but also mind (severe vertigo/dizziness) how can one continue to work at not getting identified with one's inability to maintain attention and make real progress?
GF: Everything, no exception, can be used for one's spiritual development. Identification with unwanted conditions can consume what little energy we have, so instead of allowing yourself to be caught in such self-centered considerations, drop these thoughts as you catch them and you will find new energy available for new and higher interior work.
TIPS Question 14: What can I do to maintain my awakened state for a period of time?
GF: Don't ask what can I do to maintain this or that, but use your attention to catch where it is that you get put deeper into (spiritual) sleep!
TIPS Question 15: If a person is doing something illegal and it affects one, should it be left alone and let it run its course, or should one intervene and try to make it right?
GF: We must never do what we know in our hearts is the wrong thing for us to be doing.
TIPS Question 16: This question is not to justify eating junk food, but could it be true that refined foods can be transformed to a usable form when we have grown in our spiritual life? God created all things. Man changes these things, but once we are living a higher life, will our bodies use the elements differently?
GF: We are in bodies that require certain elements -- in certain states of balance -- in order to know physical well being. Don't eat foods for the sake of convenience or just for their pleasure quotient. The rest will handle itself.
TIPS Question 17: Many people believe that they need to pay money to spiritually oriented therapists who can tell them why and how they are ailing and what to do about it. People believe that emotions can be suppressed and uncovered through this. How true is this notion that they can get better?
GF: Let those who think the path to true self-newness can be found by reliving what is old and without life find their own way through this mistaken thinking.
GF: Our time has nearly run its course for tonight, but before we say good night I wish to send along the rest of the special material I wrote for our discussion on how to walk way from useless and unconscious suffering.
Imagine a young child alone in a darkened bedroom at night... maybe you can draw upon your own experience as this story unfolds. A truck drives by, headed down the neighborhood street, and its bright lights pass through the bedroom window -- causing a large shadow to suddenly appear on the opposing wall.
The child, awakened by the truck as it rumbles by, opens his eyes to see this menacing looking dark shape race from one corner of the room to the other. And because he witnesses what he cannot understand (as his youth allows him no knowledge of the actual nature of nighttime shadows), his tender mind is instantly flooded with fear.
Hearing the child cry out, caring parents rush into the room to explain the truth of what just happened: "Darling, what you saw dive into that dark corner and disappear is nothing more than a shadow; and you must understand that even though we can see their form, shadows are not real; of themselves they have no substance, which means they cannot hurt you."
Then, one of the parents -- perhaps using a flashlight to back-light a hand so as to cast a creepy shadow on the same wall -- would use her deliberate display to make this final point: "It's only our fearful feelings about these shadows that give them the power to frighten us." And then, drawing nearer to her son, she makes sure she has his attention: "Watch closely now and your father and I will show you the truth of this." And right at that moment the child's father turns on the overhead light in the room, making the shadow figure disappear. She continues in a gentle but firm voice: "So do you see, my darling? Shadows are really nothing more than a temporary form of nothingness that our own fearful reactions make seem real. But they are not!"
When she sees her child smile back, she kisses him good night and turns off the light. Her mind is at peace, knowing full well that her son will never again feel the punishing fear that comes with believing in shadows. We may share this same confidence if we wish. All that is asked of us is to see what is true and then to act upon it.
Just as this attentive parent intends -- for the new knowledge she delicately plants in her child's mind -- that he should never again be tormented by the presence of any shadowy shape, so too does the Living Truth hold out a similar instruction for us to take into our mind: All thoughts are but mere shadows. They have no substance of themselves other than what we impart to them as we see them start to take shape upon the walls of our own unenlightened mind.
One brief illustrative example will clarify this last idea. Take a man who catches a glimpse of a couple ahead of him as they just turn the corner. For a second he thinks he has seen the love of his life walking hand in hand with a complete stranger! Fear and anxiety race through him as he runs to confirm what he's afraid to even imagine. But here's the key lesson in this unfolding drama: What this man actually sees in his mind's eye as he sprints to the end of the next corner is not what he had seen only the moment before; for he now sees life around him through the torment-filled thought-bred images of what his life will be like once he turns the corner and confirms his worst fear! We have all been battered by some such bad dream.
These painful emotions of high anxiety feel as real as they do because they are born out of our being fully identified with dozens of unwanted and fear-filled images passing before our mind's eye. These pain-filled images are a lie. They always are. Besides, as it turns out, the woman he saw wasn't his sweetheart after all!
This happy ending is not the point; there's even a happier ending in store for us if we will follow this spiritual story all the way to its full unfolding. When we think about any painful event, be it only twenty minutes old or as long as thirty years ago, we are looking at nothing more than a shadow of something that once was, but that is no more! But these pressing thought-produced shadows running though the mind have connected to them, through unconscious emotional associations, the very stuff of the suffering that first appeared with them; and it is important, for the following reasons, that we recognize how this psychological process continues to unfold from here:
Like the small child in our story who gives the passing shadow on the wall the power to produce fear in himself, we unknowingly imbue our own imaginings with the power to punish us as we -- seemingly, naturally -- struggle to resist these painful images passing through our psyche. Which brings us to an essential point in this study:
The pain we feel in ourselves as we recollect what once wrecked our life is real in itself, but the cause of this suffering is a lie. Can this be? Let's see. A simple question answers the mystery: If there weren't something in us wanting to revisit these painful old images -- to feel their familiar old pangs -- then would we? The answer is "No!"
And once we can see the truth of this finding, as it applies to the aching we feel, then we are ready for the next step in letting go of what lashes us: We can dare to consciously doubt the conclusion that our own feelings would have us accept as being true: That we have no choice but to believe in ghosts! Thanks to Higher Understanding we now know better!
To help summarize this advanced lesson in letting go, here is a special short poem whose wisdom you can always call on to help you remember the truth that helps set you free. Dare to apply this truth-filled understanding to any moment that you find filling with self-wrecking states, and watch how you can make even the most stubborn sufferings disappear: The "feel" is real, but the "why" is a lie! Let this truth about tormenting feelings find a home in your heart and mind and you will never again find yourself feeling lost in moments of emotional crisis.
That's all the time we have for tonight. See you next month, August 7, same time and place. Until then, remember yourself, your God, and to always put the Truth first in all things. Good night.
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