Power -- who has it and who doesn't -- seems to determine who pushes and who gets shoved in this world. And given our preference, if we must choose one, we would rather be doing the pushing. The only problem is that on the level of this field of choices, whether to push or be pushed, everyone loses because push always comes to shove. The really incredible part of all of this, as we are about to learn from our self-studies, is that there is no real worldly or personal power to be found here at all. Even more amazingly, we will discover to our great relief that, when it comes to true security and contentment, none is needed. That's right. This is because there is a third choice. This third and higher choice is the choice to be left alone.
There is no power on earth that can make you feel safe and secure, because it isn't this world that threatens or disturbs you. You seek worldly and personal power because you are dominated by your own thoughts and feelings. It is your own undeveloped nature that punishes you, because it doesn't as yet understand that the disturbance it perceives as being outside of itself is itself. And so this unconscious nature keeps you ever seeking power and authority in the hopes that with enough of it, you will eventually have the force to be able to control your life. This is like throwing a rock into a pond to quiet the ripples. The more you toss in, the more waves you get. That is why what you really want is to leave yourself alone.
Our True Self longs to be free and unencumbered by self-limiting, self-defeating, compulsive thoughts and feelings. The problem is, at our present undeveloped level, we believe that another person or event is causing our unhappy feelings. We want power over them in the hope that it will give us power over our punishing feelings. Can you see that this approach to self-command is doomed from its ill-conceived beginning?
We fall into the power trap any time we go looking for a strength outside of ourself instead of revealing to ourself the inner weakness that sent us seeking. Looking for a new strength to solve an old weakness is a waste of time and only makes us weaker. What is needed is a new understanding born of a new kind of seeing.
Whenever we seek some power to make a fear go away, all we have done is empower the fear. There is no power that can make light out of darkness. Remember this lesson the next time you feel compelled to help yourself out of a dark inner thought or feeling, and go silent. This silence and inner light will do for you what you have not been able to do for yourself. The power of the truth is that by its light we are empowered to see where we have been calling a weakness a strength. Real strength appears all by itself once we stop acting from weakness.