- Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2002
- 9571 words
GF: Good evening and welcome to our chat. Before we get started I want to pass along some special ideas about the secret causes of self-limitation that stand in the way of self-liberation.
To begin with, and to set the stage for our study, it is the true leaders -- those individuals of this world who expand its boundaries -- who reveal the secret routes to new and nobler realities. Such revolutionary discoveries are never the work of organizations. These groups always spring up in the wake of the walk of those who lead in order to capitalize upon their work. Those who seek power by such means are, by definition, little more than followers of the individuals who have found the power to discover. And generally speaking, such followers tend to be fearful because their powers are always borrowed. So then, what is that makes one person a true leader and another his dependent? The answer is not what you think!
It isn't that these leaders in life don't have the same fears as we do; that just is not the case. The way they prevail in fulfilling the promise of their chosen path, regardless of their field, is for one of two reasons: Either their love of pursuing their heart's desire outweighs those fears they meet or, in the case of the greatest leaders, these peerless individuals have learned fear's ruling secret and turned it to their favor, making them self-ruling. They are able to walk past the places where most of us see a path that ends.
Now what is vital for us to understand at this point is that in both cases -- whether it is the love of something that draws a person through a territory otherwise prohibitive to others, or it is someone able, at will, to pass through life's "impossibilities" -- both types of leaders employ the same empowering Principle. This is good news for us because it means that even if we haven't yet come upon a real love of something for us to do with our lives, a love that "casts out our fears," it is possible for us to learn to love the Principles that lead us to this fearless nature. These spiritually empowering Principles, that we will touch upon shortly, are the invisible backbone of a special spiritual character that lives latent in all of us. For now we will call this character the Best in us. Which brings us to several questions:
What is the nature of the Best in us? Where is this fearless nature to be found? What purpose does it fulfill in our lives? Let's answer these questions one by one to help us begin to realize this still secret and fearless part of ourselves.
First, the Best in us is that yet-to-be-awakened aspect of ourselves, of our Higher Consciousness, that doesn't "think" about whether or not to act in the face of fear, but that knows, under any and all conditions, that it is impossible for it to fail. And because of this Native Knowing, our Higher Self lives without the usual limitations that fear always imposes.
What is the nature of the Best in us? Let's see. Whoever we are, regardless of our respective circumstances, the Best in us . . . is our individual capacity to outgrow not just the limiting aspects of our own character, but to grow beyond even the best parts of ourselves already once transformed. In other words the Best in us is a secret part of us with an unlimited potential to transcend itself; a self-verifiable fact that, once seen, goes to prove the existence of Infinite Compassionate Intelligence, call this Greater Consciousness what you will. With this in mind we arrive at our next question: Where does this Leader Within us, the Best of us, dwell?
This fearless nature has its home within the invisible ground of our being, yet this interior ground is not a static quality. It is more like a kind of invisible foundry -- a spiritually timeless place where who we are to be is forever being forged between the make-up of our present understanding and the ever-unfolding nature of the present moment that this understanding encounters. It is the choices we make in these moments that decide our individual destiny and that determine whether we grow into the Best in us or not, for within each such moment one of two very distinct natures may appear in us and preside over us. Which brings us to a tale of two natures in one.
There exists one nature in us that knows itself only by what it has been. It defines what is possible for it to do in the present only by consulting what it has done in the past. This self is the essence of mediocrity. It always has multiple reasons why its best can never be good enough, so that by its logic there is but one conclusion and that is, "Why bother to try?" And then -- there is another, Higher Nature within us that does not define itself by anything apart from its wish to explore and realize its own infinite possibilities. This nature is the Best in us; it is the Leader Within. Our task, if we would live without limits, is its awakening.
Before we close the chat tonight, just at the end of our dialogue, I will pass along some additional lessons concerning what is required of us if we wish to awaken and gain our liberation from self-imposed limitations.
We can get started now with your questions and comments, but please work to remember that our task here on-line together is to address what is real and challenging, those issues you are at work upon within yourself. Let's not spend our time wandering through frivolous philosophical questions or imaginary spiritual ideas. What would you like to talk about? Let's see what we can learn together.
NYGuy: How is it that leaders are moving forward -- sometimes even to an extreme -- irrespective of what others think about them?
GF: Much of what you want to know in this question will be addressed at the close of the chat in the final essay concerning the topic of true leadership. For now, I will say that such leaders do not consult with what trails them but rather have their eyes fixed upon whatever vision it is that sits at the center of their beckoning intuition.
Roy: I've worked with the principles you speak of: Self-Remembering; the Silence within; Higher Self; even this Best in us, enough to have had a "taste" of a different order of Mind. I have identified a nature in me that is always wanting to know if I am "there" yet, always measuring my progress or state of being. This is probably an obstacle to getting "there" in the first place, so do you have any suggestions for how to let go of this nature?
GF: You are right in your intuition here. The parts of us that are always trying to determine whether we have grown or not, spiritually, are the very parts of us keeping us from genuine, deeper, more meaningful inner growth. When you catch such thoughts searching through you to qualify some order of yourself, drop them like the darkness that they are.
Roy: Thank you, Guy right to the point. I will keep working. From another perspective, can we develop the ability to recognize when someone else is working from this higher order or mind? Something tells me we can, and I think it's because we would both be standing on the same "ground."
GF: We may sense someone has Wisdom that we dont because of our own growing interior Light, but as far as the actual understanding this person may have, who is "above" us may not be known until we ourselves stand there.
dude: Although I have been involved with this work for several years and am very accomplished at not wanting and understanding, etc., I couldn't help feel a strong sadness when I realized I was rejected from a six-figure job because of the background I was born into. This was one of the few ways someone like me could make a decent living. What should I do or see? Should I just accept my limitations and not look towards being a business pro despite my ability?
GF: If we could only learn what it means to never look behind us meaning to realize that any thoughts spent on water that has passed by us is wasted, not just on those waters, but in its action within us. Do what's in your power. Refuse to do what's not. It's not in your power to change this sick world. It is in your power to die to this sickness in you that is the world.
Faust: I tried helping a person who is struggling with alcoholism. He said I was delusional and only wanted to gratify my ego by helping him. Neither of these assertions are true, and he won't return my calls even after six months. I feel rejected. I really thought he was a friend, but I was wrong. I can't seem to "let go" of it.
GF: The fact that you can't drop the rejection that you experienced in this relationship may prove his assertion of you wanting something from him for your efforts. Even if this isn't so, you should suspect strongly any parts of yourself that are unable to release any relationship that has rejected you.
Faust: Thank you. You have just opened my eyes to the fact that I did, in fact, wish to be recognized "positively" for my efforts in that relationship. I honestly feel that I "can" let it go now.
GF: When we can remember that things that persist in our lives do so because we resist them, we are well on our way to seeing through the unconscious contradictions in our own mind and heart that produce the inability to let go. It will take work for you to drop the mechanical association that has formed in the mind with regards to this person, but now you're on your way.
Bonj: Your response to Faust is interesting. I once thought that I was strong enough to release myself from a long-term relationship until it came time to do so. I fell apart. I could not stand the rejection. I still do not understand that. Please comment.
GF: The wrong parts of us only know themselves through the images that we hold of others. It is in considering these self-constructed images that we see a reflection of ourselves through them. When the reality of a person changes and our image no longer fits, we can no longer find ourselves in either the person or our image. We feel lost and as though we will die. Seeing this truth ends the torture in unconscious identification.
mresler: I finally realized that an unpleasant internal stowaway almost always joins me on vacations. Hopefully this is the first step in leaving the bum behind next time. Any suggestions?
GF: The eventual rejection of all negative thoughts and feelings that stow away in lower aspects of ourselves begins with our conscious detection of their presence as being punishment to us. Your discoveries are the beginning of a new kind of understanding whose light within will ensure that no stowaways of a psychic nature will be able to commandeer your life.
CD: What if your mind is constantly attacking you with thoughts that bother you... how do you rid yourself of this? I try going quiet, but these thoughts just get more intense. Please advise. (P.S. I thank God every day for you and your help in making me aware of how bad my condition has/had become. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your devotion.)
GF: The key to such conflict in our consciousness is that we mustn't "try" to get rid of these attacking thoughts and feelings. Remember this phrase: Vernon Howard taught that resistance to the disturbance IS the disturbance. In this case the more you don't want these things bothering you, the more you feed the very forces that trouble you. Instead of trying to push away these punishing thoughts, become dedicated to being more aware of them than you've ever been. This awareness, this ability to observe these states, will teach you that they have no natural right to interfere with your life. This new knowing is the separation you are seeking, and it does what must be done for you.
MikeS: What does it mean to not resist attacking thoughts and feelings? My experience has been that by trying not to resist, I feel as if I'm breathing new life into the very same thoughts and feelings. I don't understand what it means to not resist painful thoughts and feelings.
GF: The parts of us that fight with any dark forms in us must themselves be part of the darkness they fight with. Try to see the logic in this. The light doesn't fight with tormenting thoughts and feelings. It sees through them, and by its action, not only dismisses these states but transforms them at the same time into a new understanding about the darkness.
Barry: What you do to change the disturbance is the disturbance so positive thinking and affirmations are a bunch of garbage! What you focus on expands, BUT what you resist persists. What on earth does one do with that?
GF: We must realize that everything is in scale and levels. Affirmations, visualizations have their domain, such as in sports efforts or even some modes of healing the body, but become powerless when it comes to changing consciousness itself.
Barry: So if I feel depressed, the idea is to do nothing to this "disturbance"? What about expressing it? Is that resistance to it or feeding it? Are you saying just allow your feelings? Like right now I feel a little depressed should I just allow those feelings to be there and not do anything about them just allow them?
GF: The task is to realize that expression or repression of any negative state is born at some level from being identified with the darkness within. We cannot learn about something we are identified with.
Bonj: VH said that the quality of goodness is found by eliminating what is bad. Sometimes the good feels bad and turns out bad, and the bad feels right and turns out good. How do I truly discern the difference?
GF: As strange as it sounds, it's all a matter of acquiring the ability to "taste" the essence of whatever state it is that has surfaced within you, drawing you into relationship with its reality. This "taste" is a kind of spiritual gift that comes with one wishing to understand his or her condition more than they long to be identified within it.
HD: I'm new here. Is VH Vernon Howard?
GF: Yes, a great man I had the fortune of working with for many years.
Mell: I am trying to understand this part of me that needs to hurt others in return for being hurt deeply. What insight can you share on this darkness?
GF: First, let me encourage you to never let go of this wish you have to learn what it is within you that finds value in hurting others for whatever reason. Negativity feeds upon negativity and breeds what is negative as a result. When someone hurts us, the pain that drove them to lash out awakens a latent darkness in us that returns the pain in kind -- and all mechanically. Our task as individuals who want to not only change ourselves, but all of the relationships that revolve through our life, is to begin the process of conscious recognition of these self-wrecking states followed by the conscious act of separating ourselves from their dark influence. This is what it means to "lay down our life for our brother." Work at this.
seeker: How does one work with their intentions? My two major weaknesses are food and sex. I am so fed up with finding myself in the hands of these desires, and am suffering from the effects of unconsciously giving into them. Is the objective to observe what's going on internally each moment and choose not to follow the false directives that go against your intention, or is there more to it that I haven't realized?
GF: Any piece of fruit taken from a tree prior to its ripening makes that food inedible and bitter. So it is with spiritual work. The task isn't to become someone who we think is spiritual because he doesn't do unspiritual things, but rather the task is to awaken to the parts of ourselves that are drawn, not just to behaviors that are compromising, but that hopes to find a new self in yet another new image. Instead of trying not to be someone attracted to things that you find self-compromising, watch yourself as closely as you can as you do the things that you wish you weren't doing. This act of observing this self in action will educate you to its will. Once you understand what drives it, then you will begin to gain a form of control over it.
Wilber: I am beginning to suspect that our nighttime dreams are a result of our true inner nature. They seem to be directly related. What do you think?
GF: The answer is, yes and no. Some dreams serve a purpose that the mind requires for reaching resolutions, while other forms of dreams are merely the mind using available images to it to give shape to forces passing through it beyond its ability to recognize or know in its present form.
MikeS: Does a spiritually awake being have nighttime dreams? If so, are they conscious for the entirety of the dreaming state (what some would call lucid dreaming)?
GF: Consciousness during dreams may occur, and this does change the sequence of events, but not the fact of dreaming itself unless one awakens oneself deliberately.
DanG: Are dreams necessary at all? Are not dreams necessary for a mind in disorder during the day meaning that dreams try to bring order at night?
GF: Mostly the mind is trying to resolve unconscious contradictions and lending images to other sources of stimulation; but much transpires to the mind in this deep state of quiet (if it reaches this).
russell: How do I find more conscious moments in my life? It's like I constantly have all of this anxiety in my mind and heart. Please help me.
GF: It seems hard at first to understand what I'll tell you because we're so sure that we want what we think we want. Nevertheless, the way we find more conscious and awake moments in our lives is when (and as) we weary of spending our time unconscious and asleep to ourselves. The awakened life is the natural fruit of the understanding that a sleeping life just doesn't work.
mresler: I've heard you mention the "crossing over" a couple of times lately. Will you explain what you mean by this? Is it the same thing as dying to self?
GF: There is possible for us as human beings a condition of consciousness that is ever-renewing. This ever-renewing energy enters into any place made ready for it. Realizing the end of anything, be it a thought by itself as a limited instrument, or the thought nature itself as a limited creature, brings that nature to an end. The self that sees this and makes the journey crosses over from itself to itself.
MattM: How do you deal with the anger, fear, and aggravation related to the threat of potential future terrorist (and possibly even nuclear) attacks on America? I'm not concerned about my personal safety, but I do not like to see other Americans and our economy put at risk. I know better than to feel this negativity, yet the fear and anger periodically arise when I consider the situation. Maybe trying to ignore it is the best thing to do, but denying the realistic dangers seems impossible.
GF: I'll tell you a secret. Within us, certain negative states are always waiting to rise up and dominate the mind unconscious to their presence. They accomplish this when, through unconscious identification, our thoughts fall upon something such as conditions outside of ourselves contrary to our liking. These states then seize the image and make both themselves and what we loathe real. See this.
russell: This false self is always bothering me. How do I weaken it so it will fade away? I'm always identifying with my thoughts.
GF: Imagine an iceberg drifting slowly into southern and warmers seas. The sun and the waters gradually reduce the mass of this iceberg by natural processes. It is exactly the same when it comes to this rock-hard self that sticks so closely to us and makes us suffer. Bring it into the light of your awareness; keep it there. The Light does the work. Your job is to stay in it.
ADB: I recently had this insight, perhaps erroneous, but are we complicating things with regards to (struggling with) waking up WAY too much? Perhaps that is what we do to things as humans and its our innate nature?
GF: Yes, that's not a bad thought, and it is worth considering as such. The mind likes to present problems to itself, so that in solving them, a sense of self is created. This is the unconscious movement of the opposites operating in thought. Seeing, for instance, the truth of this nature at work, produces in that same mind -- through its own cognizance -- the end of this movement. Silence follows.
DanG: It seems like all our so-called problems come from an unconscious need for security or permanence in this world.
GF: No, our problems are not from an unconscious need for permanence, but from the unconscious act of seeking what is permanent in the impermanence of this world.
ADB: I've had an extremely unprofitable multi-year experience trying to get a business off the ground. This created a lot of tension between my wife and me. She has now said that she has had it with this endeavor and is demanding that I stop it altogether or else weigh some serious consequences. I now fluctuate between anger, sadness, and resentment as I try to resolve my plan of action per her request. I am finding it nearly impossible to wake up during this tumultuous time.
GF: Of course I can't suggest to you in this circumstance what to do or not to do with regards to your wish and your wife's reluctance to support it -- these things happen. I can and do suggest that you use these difficult and emotionally dark times to separate yourself as best you know how from the negative states trying to drag you in to their perception. You may have already seen this, but these negative states want to drag your wife into their dark hole as being responsible for the upheaval that you feel. What you feel is these negative states. What they blame is of no consequence to a man who wants to wake up. Remember this the next time you get ready to fight with anyone over anything.
russell: I know waking up is a slow process, but could you give me any exercises on how to wake up?
GF: Come awake right now. Know what is going on within you and outside of you at the same time without thinking about it. Do this every moment that you can remember to for the rest of your life.
Rael: Lately I have been experiencing a marked increase of awareness of a relentless fear and its accompanying hostility within me. It is like I am in a pit of these feelings which constantly pressure me. Is it possible that I have been under this same intense pressure all of my life?
GF: Congratulations. The only power that such dark and fearful states hold over us is our unawareness of them. The philosopher Fenelon once said that a stone beneath the surface of the earth weighs as much as one on the surface. Never fear any fear you find. Finding it is the beginning of freedom from it, regardless of how it cries out that you are a "goner" for entering its realm. Stay there!
Barry: The present moment is the only thing that's real; I can be in the eternal now with my focus. But I almost feel I'm denying emotion when I just observe the negative stuff and not get involved with it.
GF: Being in the present moment has nothing to do with denying anything. Real present-mindedness is an inclusive state of consciousness made possible by the light of awareness. This light is what dismisses what is contrary to one's growth in God. Light doesn't fight with the negative; it transforms it.
MattM: I have many questions about Jesus Christ, and who he really was. One question is, do you think he was just a man who achieved a certain spiritual level and closeness to God's life (much the way you seem to have), and therefore is really nothing more than you are, except perhaps by degree of advancement along the spiritual path? Was there anything unique about Jesus as opposed to other spiritual seekers, teachers, and spiritual people who make it to an advanced level?
GF: You may frame what I will say next however you wish, but the intent remains. The purpose of our interior work, the reason for our wish to rejoin a timeless reality, is so that we may realize the living Christ, the living Light, within us that is the essence of a whole, true, kind, compassionate, and loving life.
MattM: I take it from your response that Jesus' mission was not to provide a vehicle to gain some afterlife (as seems to be suggested by popular dogma) but merely to teach about how to live now, while we are on earth. Makes sense, but I often wonder what will be the consequences (going to hell?) on being wrong about not believing the church dogma about Christ (that seems to also be promoted by the New Testament).
GF: One of the prerequisites for entering the Way is to be so weary of fearing (whatever!) that one begins to act more from the wish to discover than the apprehension of what will happen to him for this intention.
alex: I have been trying to lose some weight, and in working to stay awake, a marvelous thing happened. One hour after eating lunch, I caught the thought: "I'm not satisfied; I should go get something sweet from the snack machine." I paused and said to myself: "I'm still full from lunch and I hate how sluggish I feel after eating sweets." And just then the whole feeling disappeared! I never had that happen before. The next morning I awoke and I caught: "I'm still a little tired, I should stay in bed longer."
GF: These are wonderful moments in one's life when we begin to catch in our own consciousness the thoughts and feelings rooted and arising to our attention from conditioned behaviors. These thoughts and feelings are not us, and only pass themselves off as being us when we are asleep to their whispers in us.
Pardah: I can't grasp what you mean when you imply negativity is not us. If not us, then who is it? Where does it come from? Who are we when you say we are not the person who goes by our name? I'm sure it's deep, but I'm getting all confused now.
GF: Much as a radio is not the music that plays through it, neither is who we are those energies that pass through us. Our mistake is that we identify with the various vibrations (regardless of their level), and in doing so, mistake negative energy as being the same as our essence. It is not.
Ruth: Punishment to ourselves always punishes close by-standers. An intelligent, serious person of apparently good intentions sets up self- (and other) sabotage repeatedly. After having seen these "unintentional" episodes many times, one detects what looks like a virtual glee at loss, waste, and destruction. Since one (at this time) does not wish to totally withdraw from the intermittent saboteur (for many reasons -- among them loyalty and affection), HOW does one stand close and not get caught up?
GF: In order to develop, we must be able to discern within us what is authentically for us and what is set against us. Anything, any part of us, that finds any justification whatsoever for self-pity, self-judgment, judgment of others, resentment, or anger towards others, is our enemy. Use the word "enemy." It is appropriate and needful. Never mind all that spiritual hogwash about what one should or shouldn't be, do or shouldn't do. Be awake and taste the ache that comes with attacking anyone or defending anything. This awakedness is our defender. It is our shelter. Have no other. And for heaven sakes, don't take the side, ever, of what wants to steal your life from you.
Ruth: I guess you answered my question. There is an irrepressible irritation that rises when confronted with phoniness, which the "disher-upper" thereof is quite unaware of and a sometimes roughly expressed unwillingness to be suckered into someone's game... snippy, snappy, sharp jumps right out of my mouth. I will pray over focus to allow staying in awakedness. Irritation in response to fake set-ups comes SO suddenly, with velocity.
GF: Everything may be used for our growth inwardly but only if we are willing to see ourselves in each mirror that every moment provides.
neeltak: I am a French language speaker and it is quite difficult to follow conversation here, but I would like to understand why I am always looking for love while I am married with two kids but unhappy with a man that is so distant with me and our kids and still I want to pursue this relationship. On my side I decided to look for love everywhere I can find it... in real life, on Internet... I would crawl through broken glass to find somebody who could love me.
GF: The love that you seek, you will never find with another human being. It isn't that relationships and the love they offer don't have value, but there is within each of us a nature that is looking for an order of Love that cannot be answered within individual relationships. Only heartache can follow such a hunger for love at any cost. I think you already know this. Make it conscious. Then see what happens.
dude: It seems extremely wrong that almost all marriages end in divorce. is this a normal result of change and everything not being permanent, or is this our fault when we ask for the wrong in an idea or someone else?
GF: There is no general answer to your intimation, however, regardless of how relationships change, real Love never becomes the opposite called resentment, or hatred.
seeker: Do we originate thought, or are we just receivers with only a will to choose, or both? I've heard this suggested a few times and I'm not sure if this notion is important or relevant.
GF: Does a flute originate the notes that sound through it?
Rael: It is easy to see the foibles, follies, and fears within oneself, but when looking at other people it is not so apparent that they are subject to the same inner forces. They seem so smooth, so polished. In unguarded moments I can spot their inner states, but face to face is more difficult. Is it true that everyone is in as much inner chaos as I?
GF: Oh yes, you may be sure of it. Shakespeare said, "Oh what a wicked web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." Add to this one another thought from him: "All are actors upon the stage."
Faust: I'm blessed and I enjoy life, and although my career hasn't taken off yet, I'm thankful for all that I have. I'm great during the day, and at night, but I have serious motivational challenges when I awake each morning (I hit the snooze button a lot). I just don't understand why I can't seem to "attack the day" the way I used to. Do you understand this phenomenon?
GF: Thinking that we can do more of something that hasn't made us happy by doing more of it with greater vigor, and that this action will lead to eventual happiness, makes no sense. Can you see that? Make it clear to yourself and then watch what happens.
James1: Is our "sleepiness" in direct proportion to our fear of what we may see and give up?
GF: There are some correlations here.
dude: I can understand and agree with "resist not evil," but does it not say in the Bible to "resist the devil and he will flee"?
GF: It very well may state this idea somewhere. Try to keep in mind that most of the words you read in English such as "resist," and even the word "devil," are translated themselves from Greek that were translated from the original Aramaic. I can assure you that the root meaning of these words has little to do with the common understanding assigned to them.
DanG: It is very clear that we all must "let go" of all our conditioning in order to see the truth. We cannot have any opinions about anything because the opinions are not the truth.
GF: The conditioned self cannot let go of the conditioned self. What we have that can help us let go is the awareness of this conditioned nature and the inherent limitations and sense of captivity that comes with living from it. This awareness allows us to let go of who we have been, because once seen, we have no longer the need to be this conditioned self.
jaybird: Something has occurred to me in my efforts to awaken: Is it possible that we can become identified with being "seekers" of Truth to the point where we no longer have genuine interest in becoming "finders"? If so, what is the remedy?
GF: Simply seeing what you have seen will be a force in your favor to keep you from falling into this trap.
JasonM: What a pleasant spring evening... and what pleasant work to do. Can you suggest a simple way to conquer smoking cigarettes? This is from a student of many years, many wonderful moments, and much work still to do.
GF: Try to have the intention, while you smoke the cigarette you don't want to smoke, of remembering your wish to be free of the smoking habit. This remembrance of your wish will help you hold your attention where you want it to be -- on freedom -- as opposed to mechanically becoming identified with the pleasure inherent in the drug.
Nathan: My first introduction to you was three days ago when I was listening to a taped conversation of you with Art Bell in 1997. Oh, how I wanted to yell, "Art, cant you GET IT?" (I trust he's come a ways since then!) I just wanted to say thank you. They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears, and you hit it on the head at a time when you answered my exact questions. I will study your works as I work upward.
GF: I'm glad that you are finding these principles of value in your inner work. Stay close. If time and schedule permits, try to attend the upcoming annual Talks in the Pines here in southern Oregon. The topic is going to be "The Heart and Soul of Freedom."
Ben: I am very pleased with my current mate, and I want to be good to her, but I still have cravings for other women. How can I stop this? I suspect I'll never be satisfied.
GF: There parts of us that cannot be satisfied, as you suggest, will not (ever) be satisfied. They are literally a bottomless basket. Their nature is a set of unseen opposites that try to cancel one another by chasing one another. This is classic circle-of-self, whose content is pure conflict, punctuated by occasional pleasure. If you haven't read The Intimate Enemy, I strongly suggest the material to you. You can order it on-line.
olympus: How do you break out of wrong thinking while right in the middle of it?
GF: As we wake up a bit, we begin to be able to "see" certain mechanical actions in our mind -- like defensiveness, or justifying ourselves. These and other unconscious reactions are "tells" -- indicators of an unconscious nature at work covering up its "will" in us. The more we can awaken to these inner betrayers, the sooner we break their hold within and over us.
patty: This is my first time listening in on your chat. I thank you for giving of yourself. I also want to thank you for "The Road to Good Fortune." My husband and I recently had to let go of our business, and as a result, we are presently in bankruptcy and he is now in a position where he must find a job. What is so wonderful about all of this is that I knew that I had nothing to fear.
GF: Finding the road to a fearless life is the road to all good fortune!
HD: I have been suffering through chronic fatigue for just over a year now, to the extent of not being able to hold a full-time job. The doctors nonchalantly tell me that it lasts 5-7 years and then go on to their next patient. What would be your suggestion for increasing my vibrancy during the day?
GF: Try to detect how much unnecessary thinking you are doing. Watch the mind instead of identifying with its movements. You might want to order "Secrets of Cleansing Heart, Mind and Soul" (from the website) as there is much in this tape set that might help you restore your inner health. As always, if the material doesnt shed light on your concerns, just send it back; no problems.
alex: I come from a large family with many relatives, and I can't figure out why God gave me the sensibility to see that my life was a wreck and to seek Him, but my relations who have struggled much the same as I remain in the dark. I am grateful to have been brought to the path, but I can't help but feel slightly bad for my relations -- that they may not have been as fortunate as I have.
GF: Do your inner work and let what Light comes be a lantern. Leave the rest to God.
James1: Lately I've noticed that events that would normally cause a stressed response (tightened stomach, anxiety) do not have the same effect. I actually looked for those responses and they came, but in a muted form, and then passed. I know this is what you've been pointing to. It's wonderful when it happens. Could you expand on this?
GF: Stress is proportionate to how (unconsciously) certain we are that who we are is somehow dependent upon what happens around us. As we outgrow this victim consciousness, our new understanding naturally brings us to a more relaxed state of self.
dude: Do we, as the human race, create or are we just discovering because "there is nothing new under the sun"?
GF: We are involved in the creation as is the violin involved in the quality of vibrations that pass from the strings sitting upon its sounding board.
JamesK: I heard VH say that he refused to allow people to break down in his presence (hysteria, confusion as he called it). Others teach that it is OK to fall apart, to let go. Which is right?
GF: To everything, and for everyone, there is a time and purpose. Hysteria is a lie agreed upon by frantic and fearful natures. Breaking down is a prerequisite for being reborn.
Alma: I still suffer from this terror (instilled by church) that If I'm not following their path, I'll miss some great afterlife reward, or go to hell. I see in scale that Heaven or hell is in the Now. But as much as this work has done for me, I'm half-afraid I could be turning my back on salvation. What if I'm wrong about all of this work? Help?
GF: Fear is a darkness that only the Light can dispel. I can tell you that salvation is not a time to come, anymore than the Life of Christ was "then" and not Now. Ask God to show you what you must see to be free of this fear.
James1: How can I genuinely ask for help? Even as I ponder and type here, I know in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "How will his response relate to my obtaining financial wealth?"
GF: Just recognizing the hypocrite in us is the beginning of its end. Ask to see what you must to have a God-centered life, and then keep your eyes open!
MikeS: What drives the false self to try so hard to destroy us? It appears to me to be a lose/lose situation. What is its purpose?
GF: You are only seeing half the picture. May I suggest you get the tape series "Living in the Light." It will help you discover New things about the nature of darkness, and how it is created to be transformed -- not resisted.
seeker: Can you suggest a book on universal laws? I have learned of some of them from so-called self-help programs which push the singular idea of how you can have ANYTHING you want. Learning the laws was very edifying, but I'm so tired of the selfish exclusion of God's will when they present the subject of learning more about yourself.
GF: Serve Truth for itself, and not what you hope to gain from it. The self that seeks rewards is a punishment disguised as a power and a pleasure. Get the Seekers Guide to Self-Freedom (available on-line through this website). Its filled with principles to empower oneself through spiritual understanding.
yasky: I am sometimes overwhelmed/fearful of the responsibility or obligation of awareness. How can I think/feel about this so that fear is not my master?
GF: If you feel frightened like this, it is because you are not aware of the fear, but identified with (it) through the thoughts describing it to you. Negative imagination must be dropped. Drop it.
dude: I have been doing great at ridding myself of false purpose, but can't yet seem to find my real purpose. The career type of things I am interested in (that I would do even if I were wealthy) are all out of my reach. Any comment?
GF: Be patient and keep your purpose true and always before you. The rest will appear naturally.
yasky: Do you believe that all we have ever been (and perhaps will ever be) exists within us now? In other words, am I: myself as a child, my mother, my father, my child, etc.? I know I hear some of their words within me sometimes positive, sometimes negative.
GF: Consciousness is not confined to forms, but this does not mean one is (or will be) all forms.
WannabeFree: I have been going through a period of depression, and I have come to the realization that my state of negativity has been caused by a combination of unfulfilled expectations and boredom. How do I overcome this state of unhappiness?
GF: Get bored with being the nature that finds value in feeling futile.
MM: What does it mean to you personally to let God prove himself to you?
GF: It is possible for a person to realize that there has been, and always will be, a Divine Plan at work within him or her. The conscious awareness of this Intelligence proves the Intelligence (exists).
DebbiE: Am I correct to just watch when thoughts about an old flame surface when I go back to the area where the relationship occurred? I'm happily married, but they continue to happen even when I think I'm watching. I'm surprised by the thoughts' existence. Is surprise resistance? It's strange, because I just met someone with the exact same name as my old flame. His dog wandered onto our property.
GF: Such memories are simply mechanical associations. Dont make anything out of them. See them as birds that fly up out of a meadow they return to each year.
FunkJ: Can you offer any excitement about the rewards ahead of us, or is this just a distraction?
GF: We must do the work we do because we are unable to find rewards (of meaning) in any other works.
James1: Could you talk a little about the Law of Accident?
GF: When our attention is stolen, our will follows, and following this sleeping self causes accidents from which we suffer for our inattention.
MikeS: I have a question about finding hidden fears. Sometimes I think of something "new" that frightens me and I think, "Oh great, I've invented a new fear." Are all fears pre-existing? Is it possible to create a brand new fear in the moment, or am I always discovering fears that haven't surfaced?
GF: Fears are never independent from the form they attach themselves to. Hence, what you fear is not what another fears (in the same way). Our divided thought nature has new names for old fears, but the base is timeless!
Farah: Can you elaborate on the idea of life-levels? Vernon spoke about our quality of life being in levels the more we progress, the better level we live on, etc. I think this is what you mean by "scale"? Regarding that, if a person reaches a higher level in their life, can it ever be lost?
GF: There are always discoveries lost, which is why our work must be consistent in order to "cement" what we have seen into the fiber of our being. Once consciousness has encompassed something real, that cannot be lost unless one turns away from this Love.
WannabeFree: I have been aware recently that I use entertainment as a way of ignoring life and even my "responsibilities." What is it that makes imagination more appealing than real life? Can this be reversed?
GF: The false loves the false because it makes it feel real. Seeing the reality of this (as you are awakening to) begins the end of this false (irresponsible) life.
Jason: What happens when you are numb to everything not sad or happy just nothingness and you don't expect anything from people anymore?
GF: Never suspect (or fear) that any one cloud in the sky is the air itself.
aa: What are your thoughts on having children?
GF: If you want to have children, then have them.
jaybird: When you say, "Do what's in your power. Refuse to do what's not," you are obviously offering practical guidance. Often, however, we lack the wisdom to know the difference. Can you shed some light on how we might make more sound judgment on these matters?
GF: It is not in your power to change another. It is in your power to (deeply) understand what this means, and for this realization (it is also now in your power) not judge those who you think need changing.
WannabeFree: I feel possessed by possessions. They seem to make my life smaller and more cramped rather than giving me happiness. Is acquisition the problem? What is at the root of these feelings?
GF: The nature that only feels real by what it thinks about is the issue, and not the things it acquires that leave it dissatisfied.
Joel: I have been working on watching my thoughts. I notice that I still flinch from them often... any ideas on how to stop this "flinching"?
GF: Watch the flinching. This impulse belongs to the nature seen, not the one that sees it.
STRAYDOG: I'm going through kind of a rough spot in my life. But with all that's going on around me, I try to stay "awake" or at least aware. There are times when I stop, and the moment is absolutely beautiful! Now that's just plain weird (but kind of cool)!
GF: The more awake we can be, the less we will ache as we used to. Stay the course. Things get better the brighter our inner life becomes!
GF: I wish to give you the Key Lessons promised at the close of my opening remarks.
Before we look into what it will take for us to awaken to what is the Best in us, we need to better understand the parts of ourselves that run into one limit after another, as well as why we habitually accept this unwanted sense of self-restriction that attends their presence in our consciousness. Let's see what we can discover. When we see something looming ahead of us that looks too hard to handle, what is it at work within us that feels like it has reached the "end" of what it is capable of doing? What is it that reaches this closed-in conclusion? Here is the surprising answer: The limit of this captive self is the length of the leash of what it knows.
What does this mean? The boundary of its reality is the extent of what it has been through, so that the active circumference of its level of consciousness is restricted to the content of its past experience. And this explains why any condition that beckons it to go beyond this psychological point is viewed as either being unattainable or even as a danger.
For this nature it could be as simple as wanting to, but being unable to, say (to another) what one wishes to say for fear of being misunderstood, as once occurred (painfully) in an earlier relationship. Maybe we wish to study some new discipline, but won't attempt it because "stupid" people -- as we may have been called in days gone by -- cannot possibly succeed at such tasks.
These findings should allow us to see that at least one of the pillars at the base of our limitations -- if not the whole foundation itself -- is some form of fear. Which brings us to this important note: We never meet a fear itself. Our fears themselves always remain invisible to us. Instead we meet fear's proxy, its representative on earth! And what is the nature of this proxy? Anything that we name as being our limitation in life. And we should be able to easily recognize these stand-ins, especially since they are always telling us: "Danger ahead. Stop here! Don't go any farther. You can't possibly succeed at that!"
In other words, just before the gate of what could be the realization of a whole new Greatness -- right when we have the opportunity to team up with the Best in us -- we run into some sort of barrier -- what we commonly accept as our "limit." But what exactly are these limits? What is their real nature? Once we apprehend this fact, we are on our way to real self-freedom.
With these thoughts in mind, here is a Key Lesson in two parts: First, these limitations that we run into in our lives are little other than temporary boundary lines established in our consciousness -- psychological lines that feel like permanent barriers to us because of the fear that washes through us should we even consider attempting to cross them. The second and equally important part of this Key Lesson is that in these same moments -- when we are certain of our inability to go any farther -- our halted experience is not due to any exterior condition we may see before us, regardless of how real it may seem. What holds us here is that we have been made captives of our own fearful feelings and nothing else!
Our hopes rest in our ability to understand the secret nature of this fear, because as we awaken to its actual make-up, we learn at the same time how to walk through our limitations. Here is what we know so far: Fear makes its unwanted appearance in us whenever life asks us for an answer that we don't have, or that we don't think we can find. In other words, when we don't know what we need (and want) to know in the moment of challenge, our fearful perception of this same moment before us tells us that we are not up to the task and will, most likely, find ourselves overcome by it.
But what is it, really, that we see before us in such testing moments? We have reached a pivotal point in this study, so our extra attention is required to consider the next few insights. That barrier we see before us, regardless of how real and sensible it seems to be, is a limit set by a lower order of self within us. All such limits are the natural expression of an unconscious, thought-based nature that cannot see beyond the content of its own stored experiences. For this level of self there is nothing beyond its own set of conditioned thoughts by which it is defined -- and through which it defines (for us!) what is possible in life and what is not! Of itself, by itself, this level of our nature will not enter, cannot travel, beyond what is unfamiliar and unknown to it because it unconsciously realizes that it cannot exist as it has been in any place where it has never been before.
If you have ever read the Old Testament, the above truth tells of an interior principle reflected in the story of Moses, who led the journey out of Egypt, but who, himself, could not cross over into the Promised Land. What stopped him? The mental level cannot pass through the spiritual Gates of Greatness. It must help make the journey in time, but it cannot enter the Ever-New Now.
With these thoughts in mind, we come to the last of the questions with which our study began: What is the purpose of awakening the Best part of ourselves? It is to help us realize that once we understand how to call upon this Presence within us to show us the Way, there exists no time or place beyond which we cannot go. How do we come to this new and liberating understanding?
In the face of any limitation, standing before what frightens us, we must come awake and remember the Best in us by recollecting and then embracing the will of this Living Light. Then, from within this higher awareness, we must choose what we know is the fearless Truth of ourselves as opposed to allowing the little will of the fear-filled self to tell us what is true about the moment and ourselves.
Here is what such conscious actions make possible: The Best in us knows that when we will act as though it is impossible to fail, it will be. This does not mean that we will not feel fear. Do not make this mistake. It means that standing there, in these moments, we understand that these fears and doubts coursing through us -- that darken the way ahead -- do not belong to us. These negative and limiting psychological forces are the vestigial visions of a self that we must no longer mistake as being our own.
There are two kinds of people in this world whose quality of life, like all of us, is determined by their outlook. There are those who feel chained to life by their own unrelenting doubts, and then there are those who doubt that such chains exist at all. The first group of people are held hopeless captives of vague fears that they may lose something of value should they strive for freedom and fail, while the second group know that the only antidote to such clinging doubts is through conscious deeds!
The final Key Lesson in our study is a summary of not only all that serves to awaken the Best in us, but that describes the one action that leads us to its Permanent and Impenetrable Shelter: If we would but dare to attempt those things that frighten us, and persist upon this course for only a short while, we would soon discover that our efforts themselves have cleansed and cured us of our fear.
Be sure to mark your calendar for our next chat room, Thursday, May 9th. Please do note this is one week later than usual because I will be in Los Angeles for a talk at the Bodhi Tree on our usual first Thursday meeting date. Until then, remember to do the work that awakens the Best in you. Do your part and It will take care of everything else!