Our sense of self, the way we experience ourselves, is very much connected to the widely varying states of emotional energies that come into us and that seem to shape the nature of our individuality. But the fact of the matter is, there is no such separate self, at least not the way we presently experience it. There are just these ceaseless states of energy and the fleeting sense of self they produce as they pass through us. And because these widely different states really don't belong to us -- in effect, they're just "passing through" -- the moment their nature moves on, goes with them the sense of self we had derived from their presence. This knowledge has great meaning for anyone who wants to be free of useless negative states, and more, including this: When you don't, when you consciously won't, express some negative state, you are literally asking for awareness of a Higher Self. Here's why. As you don't express that state, you become conscious of yourself as the ground upon which it is breaking as well as the presence of that visiting state. And in this moment of new awareness there is something there inside of you, with you, that won't change when the state changes.
Wouldn't you like to know a miracle? First, that God is -- that His Spirit is eternal, permanent is the miracle. But that you can experience this Miracle of miracles right within yourself -- by learning to consciously witness the coming and going of these inner visiting states -- that is your miracle. And incidentally approaching this same idea from another angle delivers the same result: wouldn't the seeing of where you've been losing yourself your whole life be the same as getting close to being wholly self-possessing? Please think about it. Isn't that what it means? Because what is it to not possess myself? It's to be whatever vagrant state happens to pass through. And I pray that they're good states sometimes because I want to get possessed by joy. Don't you? But the problem with getting possessed by emotional joy is that it either evaporates in the course of time or it just disappears when the temporary conditions that created it change as they must eventually do. And then you're left there empty, not only taken over by whatever the next state happens to be in line, but wondering, "Where did my joy go? What happened to my happiness?" And you think it's gone, because the "you" that was connected to it, created out of it, has disappeared too. So now you're looking for it again. Now you want to be more! And the whole vicious cycle starts again. "If only I had more money, more authority, it wouldn't leave me!" Yes . . . it will.
If you'd like to take the next step in doing the inner work required to help set you free from yourself, here are some suggested ways to begin detaching from the visiting states.
The next time that you're somewhere by yourself and all of a sudden in comes this complaining visitor -- you know what I'm talking about, the whining, negative state that wants to complain about the way your life is -- remember the secret prayer-in-action we just discussed: Not expressing the state is the same as revealing the self that is not it. Go silent to that self that wants to hold onto or glorify misery. This act of self-sacrifice is the same as asking God to lift you above yourself -- into His life -- which He will do.
Here's another way to self-separate. Do you ever speak badly about other people behind their back? Why would any of us ever want to badmouth another person? Because they must have done something that upset our sense of permanence. Again, a moment's reflection here is worth a lifetime of being self-determining. Dare to look at yourself when you denigrate other people, and you'll see that you feel this need to lash out because it seems to you as though they've made your ground shake. But the truth is, they didn't make your ground shake. You're just being attacked; visited by a kind of vicious shaky state. But when it rolls through and gets you to say "I" to it, your life belongs to it. Not expressing, not gossiping, is a form of requesting for yourself Something which doesn't need to talk about other people in order to either restore or give you a permanent sense of yourself.
Do you ever get afraid? If you'll refuse to go along with the fear that you feel, consciously refuse to do its bidding when it directs you how to protect yourself from the enemy it has projected on to the screen of your mind, you will become conscious of the fear as the psychic intruder, the intimate enemy, that it really is. And this new Higher self-awareness is the seed of a rebellion within yourself that God wants you to stage. And He will give you what you need at that point to set you free from the fear, or whatever that inner tyrant may be, that is over-shadowing you.
Are you beginning to understand how these new inner-actions are indeed new prayers? Because as you are able to see them for the invitation that they are for God to take your side, then you'll also start to see how you can extend this conscious invitation all the time and everywhere you go! One more example will show you how this is true.
Don't you want the last word in any disagreement, regardless of its seeming importance, even if you don't speak it out loud, but only utter it in the smoldering depths of your mind? You know exactly what I'm taking about! Because . . . if you don't have that last word . . . surely you're going to die!
Consciously giving up the last word is a secret prayer because the you that wants the last word isn't really you at all . . . it's that dark spirit of one-upmanship, that dark spirit of combativeness. And when you say, "I" to it, it's the same as giving your whole life to it. But when you don't express it for the first time, you'll become conscious of its presence in you and you'll realize its presence there is a punishment, and not some power that it passes itself off as being while you're identified with it.
So look at all the new ways in which you're learning to pray. And incidentally, talk about praying in secret! No one will know what you're doing. You won't even know what you're doing for a long time! That's the truth. And that's all right. You'll hear inside of you other visitors telling you, "If you don't express this you're going to explode!" Don't listen to it. Listen instead to Truth's instructions in any of these inner-situations. Here it is: Truth says to go ahead and dare that visitor to do everything it can do to you, including taking your life if that's what it wants! You stand upon the Ground of Truth. You watch yourself. Don't push anything away -- or down -- and don't give yourself up to what wants your life. To change the metaphor, you remain with God. You remain with what is eternal, what is timeless; you remain within what is not the state. Oh, what a work! Oh, what an activity. Oh, what a divine way to spend your day!
Allow me to add one last note to this study in learning to truly possess yourself. It's very important for your own inner-development to come up with what are your own new prayers-in-action based upon what you see about yourself. Every person attracts certain types of inner visitors, and no one prayer-in-action works for every person. Your spiritual life requires you to learn a spiritual craft of a sort; a skill born from self-observation. So take the time needed to look into your own life. See where it is that you're like what you are because of what you are allowing within you. Start this very moment to become conscious of all inner states. Your consciousness of them is the request for that Life which is not dominated by them, which is the same as requesting that God let you live within Him. And this request He always answers.