- Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2002
- 8424 words
GF: Welcome everyone. Before we begin tonight I want to discuss a very simple but invaluable idea. We are going to look into what it means to be a Friend of Truth. This kind of Friendship makes all things possible. Without it, a Real Life is impossible.
Before we tackle the idea of what it means to be a Friend of Truth, let's do a bit of preliminary thinking toward the whole idea of "friendship." What we are about to discover is that being friendly to everything that wants to befriend us is not always in our best interests. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. We must begin at the beginning.
Can we recall in younger days a parental figure telling us that they did not want us spending time with a certain person or group of people? The idea behind their correction was that if we continued our current relationship with these people -- seen as being "bad" for us -- nothing good would come of it.
Most of our parents either did not, or could not, explain to us why they imposed these restrictions on our relationships. The truth is, apart from what was their general understanding that "a bad apple ruins the whole barrel," our folks did not have much more insight into such things. Mom and Dad just "knew" that trouble follows those who keep bad company. And usually they were right.
In fact, now their conclusions seem more than obvious: sharks do not swim with dolphins; coyotes don't keep rabbits as pets. Life instructs us: lambs lay down with lambs. It's clear that all creatures have their circle of "friends," and that outside of the wise tolerances these relationships will bear, we all tend to keep the company of what we are naturally comfortable having around us.
Of course, when it comes to relationships with others, who hasn't been attracted to certain types that we sensed may be harmful? Thankfully our intuition usually prevailed, and we were spared the punishment of painful indiscretion. But these kinds of relationships in life -- and the mistakes made through them -- are not limited to just people and our choices concerning their company.
The truth is that when it comes to our friends, we cannot expect from them anything better -- any qualities higher than -- the inner company we keep with our own thoughts and feelings. Simply stated, it is the content of our mind and heart that is not only attracted to certain kinds of people (and events), but that also serves as an attracting agent to those who want to be around us.
It's likely that most of us have never taken much time to think through how the nature of our thoughts and feelings directly determines the company we keep, but I assure you this is true. Speaking of which, here is another truth about our circle of friends that underscores the importance of keeping good inner company: The old adage goes, "we resemble those with whom we assemble."
Simply put, this means that our character changes according to the company we keep. In other words, never a moment passes in which we are not each being acted upon by whatever we are in relationship with in that same moment. The implications of this are vast, and to see the truth of them is to realize the need for a continuing vigilance, both outwardly and inwardly. Here is why:
Our life, our experience of living, is a ceaseless creation of the interaction of the infinite invisible forces active around and within us. In any given moment our consciousness is an expression of the sum of these invisible interior connections.
What this means to us is that the continual transformation (of self) is not just an idea. It is an eternal axis around which our life not only revolves, but through which our nature is ever-becoming -- for better or for worse -- more or less of what it is. The point is clear: What we become in this life is very much determined by the kind of "interior" company we keep.
Even if this idea of "inner" company is new to you, its reality becomes common sense once we learn to look in the right place. Within ourselves we live in perpetual relationship with our own thoughts and feelings. If it helps you to visualize this insight, think of these psychological forms and forces as your invisible circle of friends, for that is exactly what they are. Yet, they are more.
We know that all physical creations under the sun belong to certain orders of being. We also know that all these orders of being themselves stand in an order of being, and that they associate with one another according to their nature. Well, this same principle holds true when it comes to our own thoughts and feelings. These forces have their own families of a sort and we are their "home."
So now we add to the idea that we "resemble those with whom we assemble" the additional insight that "birds of a feather flock together" and we should be able to see why, down through the ages, those who have sought the Awakened Life have been called the Friends of Truth.
These wise men and women understood in their time, as we must now in our own, that the more moments one spends living in the company of the Truth, the more the Life of what is True courses through him. Its friendship converts him; by Law its company transforms him. He is made newly conscious by the entrance of a new inhabitant. His life has become a home for Truth.
Before we say good night this evening I will send along some special notes and suggested practices for how we can do the inner work of spending more and more time in the Good Company of Truth.
Now it's your turn to ask questions or make comments as they apply to your ongoing spiritual work. Please, let's all refrain from superficial philosophical speculation. The best questions, the ones that elicit the most beneficial response for all involved, are the ones that arise directly out of our own continuing inner work.
What do you feel like discussing tonight? What have you been working on within yourself, and how can we use this time together to make ourselves new, better, and deeper Friends of Truth? Let's get started with your questions and see what comes to us.
Bev: There is a certain comfort in having "old" friends around -- at 42 I have a couple that date back to grammar school. Isn't this the same with our thoughts and feelings? There is a certain "comfort" and false safety in recognizing them and knowing them -- and how they "know" us? What is familiar often seems better than what is unfamiliar.
GF: There is nothing "wrong" with having old friends, if indeed they are True friends. What is a True friend? Anyone who does not agree with our negative states, and who will not coddle us when we are in conflict with life. There's more on the nature of Higher Friendship at the end of the chat, so stick around for that.
Bev: In fact, it feels at times to be a "Friend of Truth" seems so lonely -- like there is no one else and nothing else that matters anymore, yet our entire lives are a construct around valuing other things and other people. Sometimes I feel such a sense of nothingness in trying to be a "Friend of Truth" and it isn't a very pleasant feeling!
GF: Yes, there is no question that being a "Friend of Truth" requires an order of receptivity on one's part that is unlike anything the world around us ever asks us for. You may be encouraged that the not-so-pleasant feelings visiting you now can only remain with you as long as you resist your condition. Being friends with Truth helps us to let go of any such resistance in favor of being in relationship with Reality, our True Friend.
KautiousKat: I have been paying attention to the fact that trouble follows those who keep bad company for some time now, and I can't help noticing other people's folly and how lost they are. I have noticed this in even young children. Certain ones seem to have nothing but hardships. Does this mean we are born with certain company, and if so, can we help ourselves out?
GF: We are always capable of changing our internal company. This is the one True choice we have as human beings, i.e. to determine the nature of what we are in relationship with moment-to-moment in ourselves. Anything that tells us we cannot change our condition, is itself the condition we have been unable to change. Seeing this changes everything, because it changes the company we keep.
Bev: Do these forces pull at even the youngest of children and, if so, how does a parent be a counter-balance to these forces? It seems that even my young children are so "mean" and angry and unhappy much of the time. Are we all attacked, beginning as infants, by these negative forces, or is most of it learned behavior (from us parents!)?
GF: These two forces of conflict go hand-in-hand, and one feeds the other. I think we will see with increasing evidence more and more ugly behavior from even younger children than we see now. In part, this is due to a certain kind of spiritual congestion that is overcoming this earth. The other part of it is due to ignorance on the part of those in the throws of this increasing constriction.
Bev: Wow sobering for a parent to hear. So, how do I counter-act these forces such that my children are not part of this "spiritual congestion"? Sometimes it seems like it is all kind of hopeless hearing what a negative direction this world, and even the children in it, are headed in
GF: Be as true to what you know is the Truth as you can. This act of will radiates and helps all in its influence.
namaste: I have been perplexed with decisions on relationships, in particular romantic relationships. Being aware that nothing external can affect my happiness, why would I choose one relationship over another? If you love someone for what they are and ignore what they are not (subjective) then you can love anyone. It seems nothing more than a choice. What criteria are healthy in making such a choice?
GF: I once knew a person who believed he was an apple. All day long he professed this. But when all was said and done, what he said he was and what he actually was were two different things. Saying that we know that nothing external can affect our happiness, and living from a state of awakedness that is our happiness, are two different things. Don't get caught in the mental trap. See what you feel, and then make from this discovery the best choice you can.
Gabe: Three weeks ago I broke up with a very beautiful young lady that I had a 16 month relationship with. I was hurt. She was very needy, unstable and toxic. She was my first love. Can I ever love someone as much, or even more than her?
GF: As difficult as this is to understand, and it applies to Namaste's question as well, the way that we change as human beings is through awareness of what we are, as opposed to thinking about ourselves and what others may or may not bring into our lives. Relationships are for the purpose of educating us about ourselves. If we can't be open and honest with ourselves in them, then they are for naught. Forget what's coming. Be attentive now.
ADB: Since money is such a false god to virtually the entire world, even to those of us on the Truth path, can you give a recorded talk specifically focusing just on this topic? If so, I'd be most interested in obtaining a copy of it.
GF: Sure. One never knows exactly what topic will be discussed at our ongoing meetings, but I will keep your wish in mind.
Cletus: When I leave this chatroom (and especially class at the Foundation), I seem to have a need for Truth that's not just intellectual, but EMOTIONAL as well. Yet it's only a matter of time before that one True part is once again just a TRACE of Conscience within this cacophony of sensations. How can I cultivate this "emotional awareness"?
GF: It begins with what you are starting to notice about yourself now. The True Path is a continual discovery of where one had mistaken something that he thought was right and light for what was untrue and an action of darkness. The emotional awareness you seek, seeks you as well. We must just continue to be in the right place inwardly to receive its influx. Stay the course.
Kraig: Breaking old and worn-out thought habits may take a lifetime to fully achieve. Is the key to doing so simply the conscious attention to our thoughts and the behaviors which flow from them?
GF: Essentially, yes. Of course one has to enter into all the various relationships that habits run through us in order to see their authentic interior ground. But you may be assured that the light of awareness eventually penetrates and dissolves and integrates all that has plagued us, turning it into that which is part of our perfection.
KautiousKat: I have what I strongly believe, without identifying, a no-brainer opportunity to do what I like and am also very good at without too much upfront expense. I have been self-employed before and know what mistakes NOT to make. The problem is I have no money to do this right. All my investments and workings have gone to nothing and I am now getting despondent and feel horrible. Is this ok? What could I be doing wrong to ask for this?
GF: It is a spiritual law that not only is anything worth having never free, but anything that we get that we don't work for and earn through diligence and effort becomes as a curse to us. Start over with everything. Drop your resentments if they are in you. Ask Truth to show you what you must learn. Truth never fails us.
KautiousKat: I have noticed certain ideas and mindsets repeating themselves as "new" things/strategies come to me. I think I am not going to make the same mistakes just because I have more professionalism, yet these mindsets/ideas are uncanny. How could I have the same thoughts if I failed last time and usually learn from my mistakes?
GF: Your question shows that you are beginning to realize that thoughts alone can change nothing. The only thing that can change what we receive is a change in what we desire.
jaybird: What is the true cause of procrastination? Can you offer a simple yet spiritually sound method of overcoming it?
GF: The true cause of procrastination is fear. And the way one overcomes the fear of not being able to get started, or that one may not succeed at what he starts, is to recognize that it is more painful to sit with this fear than it is to discover whether there is a basis for it.
TreeGuy: My whole life I have struggled trying to understand homosexual feelings within me. Can you shed some light on this subject?
GF: This forum is not the best place for such a serious investigation as your question begs. I can tell you that in part, homosexual feelings have to do with blocked emotional energies, and are (in general) the expression of conflict with no outlet. You may also want to know that whatever is turned in us that compromises us, can always be turned around by a wish to know the truth of such things.
chester: So being heterosexual would have to do with unblocked emotional energies?
GF: No, it is not a case of just switching sexual preferences. Its not that easy or difficult as the case might be. The issue, as I said, is much deeper than such a simplistic view. Only the natural opposites can develop along the lines naturally created for them.
mikejb35: I am reading The Lost Secrets of Prayer and in Chapter 2 it says "everything is already done." Does this mean that my life's outcome is already determined and I must find that outcome?
GF: No, that's not what it means. The statement "everything is already done" refers to a broader relationship between what is Light and expansive versus what is dark and constrictive. On the other hand, once we realize that a certain order of success already exists within us, and that we need only realize this eternal condition, then it can be said that our outcome is determined as well.
ADB: How does one balance doing the Work and providing for his family's present and future needs? With growing children and future expenses, the entire concept of delving into the "business" world to obtain sufficient funds is a seemed necessity, but the business world practices are so contrary to the Work. How does one stay on the path while immersing oneself into this other needed world?
GF: There is no contradiction whatsoever between being a good householder and doing one's spiritual Work. The whole of this Work that we do is to help us understand how to use the world we live in for the purpose of our inner development instead of allowing the world to drain us by dragging us into its empty structure.
ADB: I know I need to be a good householder and I can still do the Work. I'd like to think that's what I'm doing now. I just can't figure out how one builds a future financially without pursuing the almighty dollar and getting caught up in all that dark stuff.
GF: We must each choose the life we want in the present moment. We receive what we love Now. There is no other time to come, even though our senses tell us so. And if what we love has no love for us -- as in the love of money -- then that experience ought to be easy enough for us to "see" and such seeing is the only Path there is.
Cletus: Lately, I've been telling negative states to "get out of my house." Yet this seems to run contrary to ALLOWING what is dark to show itself while watching and not naming it in order to invite the necessary shock from seeing myself as I am. Comments?
GF: These two things only seem in contradiction to the mind that "thinks" toward them. When one sees what is negative in one's "house," if he is present to this punishing presence, he at once knows what its "name" is, even as this witnessing intelligence within him is silently instructing that dark to get out of my house. Can you see it?
straydog: I have had several bad experiences the last few years, including the loss of my dearest friend. I've been trying "leaving the empty space empty" as you've prescribed. I believe that I just learned that even through our troubles we must remember to find the "peace of the Universe" because everything that happens, happens whether we're awake or not. True?
GF: Yes, everything happens in this world to us whether we are awake to what happens or not. The difference is -- and it's a big difference -- when any event that is unwanted falls upon us working to be awake, that seemingly negative event is transformed instantaneously into new self-knowledge. The presence of this new True knowledge keeps us from repeating patterns that attract many of the negative events we're always trying to deal with. The moral is: It's better to be awake.
Rocky: I have trouble believing in God and this bothers me a lot I don't know why! Can you give us some evidence or proofs that God really exists?
GF: First, let me tell you that a belief in a divine being is not necessary for us to have a relationship with what is Divine. When we will be truthful with ourselves, there is no escaping what begins to reveal itself as a relationship within us with something far greater than ourselves. I do from time to time "help" people to see logically the "proof" of God. Just last night's talk here in class covered some of this material. If interested, e-mail Chris at the Foundation and ask for information on the 12/4/02 talk.
Gabe: I know emptiness is not a negative state, however, what can be done to speed up the process of emptiness? Should I be proactive and involve more of myself in more activities, or should I allow myself to naturally go through it?
GF: If you knew that emptiness isn't a negative state, then there would be no fear of it. We are always trying to figure out how to race through anything that frightens us. And this is your answer. Fears can only be dissolved through direct knowledge of their actual nature. Never run from anything to escape what troubles you, nor seek some place safe in order to avoid the same.
jaybird: Can you give us some insight on the true meaning of the holiday season which we are now in the midst of? What lesson might we take from it that will aid our spiritual growth?
GF: All forms of events are reflections of deeper, more invisible movements of certain forces that give rise to certain creations. So it is with the Christmas holiday. December 21st is the winter solstice. That is the darkest day and the beginning of the birth of Light. Christmas was originally understood this way. Christ represents the birth of Light that transforms the darkness.
Diojeneez: With all these tapes, books, seminars, etc., is there a point where it all becomes spiritual greed? Should we just get two or three books and focus on them?
GF: I'll tell you something exciting: You can take one true spiritual idea and if you approach it properly, that one true idea alone can tell you the story of the universe.
ADB: I have a friend who's on the path and he's done three Vipassina meditations (ten days of 15-hour intense individual meditation) during the last several years. He say's it takes him until the fourth day to begin quieting his mind. Without meaning to sound negative, is it possible to make progress into the next level on the awareness path by meditating for 15 minutes only a couple of times a day? This seems at times like quite the mountain to climb.
GF: All of us are different. Each of us responds uniquely to circumstance. Besides, what difference does it make how long something takes that one sees is essential to his or her Real Health? Such time thoughts are torment themselves.
mikejb35: When I exhaust the energy from one of my centers, say the "intellectual", how can I call energy from one of the others, say the "emotional"?
GF: Questions such as these can only be answered by an individual delving deeply into his own condition at the time. When we drain ourselves in one area of our life, many times it's an indication we need to switch activities and not force the issue. On the other hand (and this is why a teacher is necessary), there are times to test the seeming barriers and discover whether there are secret reserves waiting for use.
Rael: There seem to be thousands of "heads" on the tree of the artificial self, each taking its turn to pop onto the screen of mind, and coming around again. If we are to defeat each of them it could take thousands of years. Do we need to deal endlessly with each of them?
GF: The story of Medusa is exactly this issue. In this myth, the creature could only be destroyed by whacking off its head instead of slaying one of its serpentine hairs at a time. This death blow to the self is not really its destruction, but more resembles its integration into a broader Intelligence. Our willingness to be aware of ourselves is this sword that subdues the self.
Tre-Tre: Sometimes I struggle to keep on course without diversions distracting me. Any suggestions?
GF: Seeing where it is that we are pulled off course by what distracts us is part of the way in which we discover the distracting nature within ourselves that believes we can reach our destination by running in circles. Catch yourself drifting off to satisfy something you've never been able to satisfy, and soon you will no longer be satisfied with this part of yourself, or its promises.
Diojeneez: You told me two months ago that Jesus "did not die for our sins." What did he die for?
GF: I am not ducking your question, but answering it in the only way it can truly be answered. If you will go to work upon yourself, asking God, the Truth, to guide you all the way out of yourself and back home within yourself, then you will know for yourself what it was that Jesus died for. His life was an example of what is necessary for rebirth. It is now, as it was then, and it's all in you.
ADB: I read your books and after I finish reading but one paragraph I find it hard to recall what I just read. Can I be THAT asleep, or is a nature in me stopping me from truly integrating these Truth teachings? I've been told by another seeker that this might be a good thing happening and not to worry about it. Any insights you can offer are, as always, most appreciated.
GF: This that you report is quite usual, and is not a sign of something good or bad. Higher impressions need a receiver and a reservoir. That is what we are working to be given and have formed within us. Keep going.
BARRY: I understand the problem is not the problem but my identification with my own inner turmoil, etc. Knowing this is not enough. Sometimes it gets to where I feel like I'm playing a spiritual game of "uncle." These dark states slowly whittle down my ability to see them for what they are.
GF: I can only tell you that all negative states have a direct and realizable source. Our work is not to conquer these states, and certainly it is not to allow them to overcome us, but it is to literally understand these states of self so thoroughly that they no longer can act independently upon us. Wholeness, self-wholeness, is the solution to the suffering of a divided self.
BARRY: Is enlightenment one's ability to be able not to identify with dark states?
GF: That is just the (bare) beginning of awakening to ones true nature
JJ: After visiting the Foundation I feel I have found a True Light in the world. My spouse disagrees. She continues to go to church weekly, and gives money. However when there is talk of buying a new tape set or planning another visit (for myself) she becomes upset and calls me selfish. Is there a balance here that I am not seeing?
GF: Relationships where one wants to realize the truth of oneself and where the other lives in a dream of what they believe is a truth apart from themselves, are at best challenging. This much I will tell you: Have your own life no matter what it costs you. There is no substitute for the kind of self-knowledge that one must have if one would ever hope to have a real relationship with what is Eternal, call this Christ or what have you.
DennisS: If we don't choose our thoughts, who is choosing them for us?
GF: Does a clock choose to strike 12? Or is the chime an expression of a mechanical device running through its routine? If you will learn to observe yourself, without talking to yourself about what you see as you watch, you will achieve an understanding about the nature of thought that thought itself can never bring you to. The answer you seek is in this action.
Kraig: When people whom we love are unwilling to see the true source of their pain is themselves, what would be a positive course to take to support them going forward in life?
GF: Sometimes, in fact most times, the best thing we can do for someone who insists that we are a source of their suffering, is to never again do anything towards them that helps them to think this way. For instance, if your friend attacks you, don't attack back. Don't defend yourself. This will leave your friend with no option but to see that the conflict starts and ends within them.
Bonj: What role does emotion have in helping us heal? Can guilt be used to tell me that I did something that needs to be changed?
GF: Higher emotion is one of the most healing powers on this earth or anywhere else. This emotion is the flower that is born out of our efforts to know the Truth about ourselves. As far as guilt, it is a wasted and useless, ultimately self-destructive state. We need only see ourselves as we are in the moment when misstepping. This awareness not only changes what misstepped within us, but it also dismisses any wrong identification with our fault.
MikeS: Is it possible to change as a result of seeing ourselves before we misstep, or does all True change come as a result of seeing ourselves as we misstep?
GF: One gives way to the other.
seeker: Do not all men possess Goodness? Did the firemen who died on 9/11 possess it while they worked to save others?
GF: In a word, no, not all possess it. But those who don't, at some point somewhere along the line, chose against this Goodness. As far as the heroes of 9/11 are concerned, only they know what they did and why they did it.
KautiousKat: A 14-month beautiful relationship you had encouraged me to go into instead of the dark place I was in has now had to end due to a geographical separation. This person was somewhat negative and seemed to not want truth. I am happy for the break-up yet deeply saddened as we became closer than most people I know. I feel out of place and very awkward and like I'm missing something. Is this nothing more than dependency? How can I go into the new?
GF: What has to be, has to be. Try to see that much of what lingers is really just certain parts of you revisiting what was in order to give you a sense of being now. Drop these trips to torment.
mikejb35: In the book "Solved, the Mystery of Life" (a collection of Mr. Howard's lectures), Mr. Howard states that everyone is a "Dracula" or a "lunatic," yet you encourage us to be "out there." I don't seem to understand the apparent conflict.
GF: There is no conflict in the spiritual fact that any sleeping human being is by his or her very nature a drain of our vital forces. It's worse than this really, and that's why they're called lunatics. Lunatics believe they can fill themselves by stealing the emptiness of others.
Diojeneez: VH shocks me when he says "Everyone you know or see is determined to destroy everyone he sees -- but you can't take seeing this yet." Can you help me see this?
GF: Read the answer I just sent mikejb35. It explains all that you need to know. Now be willing to see it.
Gabe: Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom, and all these things shall be added unto you." Is "kingdom" spiritual things, ministries, truth, or what? Please clarify if possible.
GF: The Kingdom that Christ spoke of, as he himself said, is within each of us. This means we do not need any fetishes to worship, temples to worship these fetishes in, and certainly not mediators between ourselves and the Divine Being that is the core of our very self itself.
Dennis: If we are spiritually asleep to ourselves, are we really choosing to live in darkness or is darkness choosing us? Without awareness, what choice do we really have?
GF: And that is just the point. Once seen, we begin to want to be awake more than we want to be instruments of (our) desires.
Bev: I know you may not plan your future talks, but could you please consider doing more work on helping us to understand the meaning of biblical scripture? It seems that so much is "black and white" with instructions (such as Paul's writings), and yet so much of it seems in conflict with what I understand about what Christ came to teach us. I want to read scripture, but I really don't understand the deeper meanings. Help!
GF: If you haven't already listened to the new tape album, "Secret Teachings of the Sacred Testaments", or the new CD "The Kingdom of Heaven is Like..." start with one of these. I discuss the interior meaning of scripture in great detail so that it has personal meaning to one's inner work. I plan more of these talks, and volume II is in the works already.
inthenow: I (and others here) have asked questions regarding self-healing practices and if there is any use/truth to them. You have not answered. Is this a sore subject that we should not seek, or perhaps you did answer many times before, or you feel it is not important enough? You have helped me tremendously and I don't want to ask something I shouldn't. Please comment.
GF: There are values to many practices when it comes to helping the body naturally heal itself. But these approaches are basically useless in the subtler realms, which is why I do not like to talk about the physical (problems). But, caution is needed in this physical approach as well; charlatans and their snake oil methods abound!
Rousseau: I love Truth and seek to know best as I can how to identify and express it at each moment. I have many questions, but this has been on my mind as I was coming to the chat tonight: I find your material very useful for my studies, so I share it with close friends occasionally. However, my wife doesn't have much patience for some of your tapes because you raise your voice quite often, and I would really like to be working with her on the upward path.
GF: If it's possible, help her to understand that nothing within us that becomes a captive of what we resist can ever hope to be free. We all have a history in which, for one reason or another, we were negatively conditioned by people and their personalities. She must learn to get past her own past if she wishes a True spiritual future. Teach her to watch her reactions and to use my talks for a double purpose. You can do this.
Diojeneez: Saint Francis of Assisi says those who do not receive the bread and wine given by priests as the "Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ," have been damned. What's your take on this?
GF: The sacraments are (and have always been) representations of an interior act -- a kind of enactment of a spiritual agreement on the part of the aspirant to receive the living Light. We do not need any so-called priest to help us take this truth into ourselves anymore than we need someone elses lungs to breathe.
BARRY: What should I do on Friday after working a long, hard, sweating, mundane, mental-tearing, muscle-aching, depressing job I hate? How do I keep myself from agreeing with the idea that a 12-pack of beer is the solution?
GF: See that hating anything destroys the one who hates.
inthenow: I have a serious problem with oversleeping. No matter my schedule, how much I stay active, or what's at stake, I don't care about much else when I am in the stages of waking up. I try to wake up as I am waking up but I don't worry about much, and find great comfort in sleeping in. What's wrong?
GF: If you wish to change this negative pattern, then set the aim for yourself of noticing how riotous, how noisy it is in your mind as you lay in bed not wanting to get up. This pounding is part of the problem, because the voices tell you it will only get worse if you get up. Listen to this truth: Get up when your eyes open, and open your inner eyes to the presence of these thoughts and feelings. See them instead of resisting them. This will help you change.
Sammy: I've been trying to study the nature of my wants, and "un-wants." I'm starting to see the I's that are evoked with each of them, particularly the person created by the "un-wants." Does the "un-wanter" secretly cancel the opposite of what the wanter is trying to manifest? Does this explain our frustration/sabotage when we try to achieve something from the opposites?
GF: To sum it up, self itself is a creation of resistance. This means that it always either wants something, which is a secret opposite of something it wishes to avoid, or it doesn't want something, which is again an opposite of something it would prefer to possess. When one sees that one side of an opposite cannot cancel the opposing side, and that opposites can only give rise to more opposites, lo and behold the mind that sees this is set free from partaking in the play of opposites.
Shady: Isn't wanting a type of anxiety, something that drives you a distance in a direction which takes you really nowhere?
GF: Wanting something need not necessarily be a cause for anxiety, but it often becomes so when the wanter believes that without obtaining what he desires, he will somehow be less for it.
Gabe: I have learned that beauty and a nice body can be deceiving in relationships. I am aware that inner beauty is more valuable than the external, but I still find myself being selfish and desiring exterior beauty. Is it wrong or selfish to have these desires?
GF: No, of course it's not "wrong" to appreciate physical beauty. Where we get in trouble is when we are so identified with exterior conditions that we are blinded both to what is actually within that may not be so beautiful as well as a beauty that may be hiding in a not-so-attractive exterior.
poppie: I have noticed that very damaged people have a kind of vortex I get caught up in if I don't really work at staying awake. In the long run, should I avoid these people? (It's my job to work with them.)
GF: Do your best to avoid animals when not working at the zoo. Keep the company of Truth wherever you are, even amongst truth haters.
DebbiE: You have encouraged me to get my answers from within. Do I really need to be a part of these chats or even read your work or the work of others? It seems so, but Krishnamurti writes that he never read anyone else's writings on the Work. You said in this chat that a teacher is necessary in the area of discovering secret reserves. What does this all mean?
GF: Do what you want based on what you discover personally are your needs. The rest of the discussion on such things is useless.
Kerry: Every time I get that sensation of being "touched" by the Truth, I feel you are by my side. Several things you have stated about fear and about Truth have "touched" my soul tonight in a way that I cannot fully explain. After hundreds and thousands of hours of trying, it's like the "Light" has finally appeared from nowhere. Can you feel this too? Is this REAL?
GF: There is no better, no more healing and uplifting feeling in this universe than to be touched by Truth. It confirms, comforts, and changes us all at once. Now, let go.
inthenow: Why do I always look at other women? I am capable of love and devotion but can't help looking at others even when I am in a serious relationship. Is this just part of being a man? What is it about others and pornography that is so appealing? Could it be the fact that I was taught it's all bad and to stay away from it? I know I feel like a slave and do not want this.
GF: See that there is no pleasure in compulsion, only the promise of release from the dark desire that drives it along and that state is hell itself.
beckycs: I have my own ideas about what it means to be a kind person toward others, but a few of the people I know have called my perspective a weakness. The results of my interpersonal relationships sometimes do seem to support their appraisal since I am always turning the other cheek, but I can't seem to deny that part of myself that wants to help when I am asked to do so.
GF: Dont make a problem where there isnt one; if you are selling yourself to be liked, see the endless pain in this and the compromise of self involved. If not, then there is no issue, except for the pain of wanting everyones approval.
Gabe: Would you consider yourself as a person who has the "gift" of wisdom as stated in 1 Corinthians 12:8?
GF: I am not familiar with the passage, but any real spiritual understanding is a gift of grace.
ScJJ: How do you define enlightenment, and have you ever had an enlightening experience? If you are familiar with Andrew Cohen, he speaks about urgently letting go of fear and attachment to desire, and that planning on having several years of inner work ahead of you is a very secure position for the ego to be in which will delude us from the absolute. Is inner work really a secure illusion of the ego that keeps us from having to face truly letting go right in this moment?
GF: Trying to define what is enlightenment is a (self) trap only the unenlightened fall into -- as they (apparently) feel some need to prove their spiritual status. One can discuss certain qualities to Light as it comes to reveals its Life within one, but thats all. And for the record, it (true dying to oneself, which is the only genuine enlightenment) does take hard work that transpires through time, even though results are always instantaneous and in the Now.
SHADY: Freedom is my destination; that's why I'm here. But when I am shown that I am still making bricks, or doing time, freedom seems so far away. Freedom isn't really that far away, is it?
GF: It is never any further away than ones willingness to wake up, let go of self, and will what God (in His Present Moment) wants.
poppie: I have been experiencing a flood of light that flashes through me where I speak my heart unlike anything I've ever felt before. I don't know what to think about this.
GF: Just learn to watch all of these things. As Spirit comes into us, makes its Life known, there are many strange things that happen. Keep your eye on the Spirit, not what comes in its wake.
ASZ: Thanks for recommending The Intimate Enemy for tackling my anxiety states. Insights are profound (i.e., psychological benefit being greater than a strong feeling of self). The metaphors such as "hitchhiking spirits" really help in discovering the authentic self. It is amazing how one can get out of the viscious circle (chain of thoughts) through deliberate detachment leading to realization of " his" internal/eternal BEST FRIEND.
GF: Your insights are just the beginning of the breakthroughs that await any one who will put Truth first in his or her life.
GF: I want to send along my remaining notes concerning the importance of keeping the company of Truth. We left off with the idea that wise men and women of days gone by had always spoken of the secret value of being a Friend of Truth. They taught that the more time one spends in the company of Truth, the more certainly would its Timeless Spirit act upon him, transforming his or her nature and making it new.
Which brings us to the ageless questions that seekers of all ages have been asking since the beginning of time: What does it mean to keep the company of Truth? What is the nature of this Truth that one can befriend? Can a mortal make friends with what is Immortal and, if possible, then how does one go about cultivating his or her relationship with this Eternal Higher Conscience?
The answer to all of these questions begins with one necessary insight -- one that we must reach by first recognizing how the Living Truth has always been present in our lives, even if we weren't conscious of its kind and continuing presence all around us. Let's see if this is true.
Can we see how the real lessons in our life, those that actually strengthened us -- even as they helped make gentler our heart for (learning) them -- have always been due to the simultaneous onset and startling realization of some formerly unseen truth as it concerned one's self? And further how, all along until this moment of discovery, each of these truth-filled lessons had been an unknown need of ours, only we just couldn't see this secretly needful state of ourselves until certain other conditions had been fulfilled?
Now, if we can see this relationship between ourselves and Truth, and how its Light quietly awaits our embrace long before we suspect our need for its guidance, then we are ready for two key lessons that must be learned at once: First, we must discover what it is that is keeping us from this full friendship with Truth. Then, through this same realization, we will have before us the facts we need to deepen our friendship with it. The answer to the first of these questions is simple to state, even if it can be difficult to see. Here it is: We have been keeping company with the wrong friends. What does this mean?
Any thought or feeling that jumps up within us to explain to us why we are the way we are, that wants to help us justify ourselves after we catch a glimpse of something less than flattering about ourselves -- appears there within us for only one reason. Let's see what it is:
It wants to pass itself off as our friend-in-need -- a feat it does by working to soften the blow of our having seen some formerly unsuspected truth about our present nature. This would-be friend is our secret enemy! Here's the proof of this truth: What is True never needs an agent of any kind to soft-pedal its presence. Truth is Living Light, and nothing is more gentle than that!
Learning to inwardly recognize who and what is not our True Friend is the first step in the deepening of our relationship with Truth. To this end we must see that our friendship with what is Whole and Timeless requires that we walk away from what is fragmenting and time-bound within ourselves. And there are many ways in which one can help oneself with this new kind of seeing.
Let's review a few of the ways that can help us open our inner eyes and become a better Friend of Truth: reading truth books, being by oneself, letting go (of whatever), taking nature walks, remembering one's God, helping others grow, refusing to waste, letting others "win," respecting all forms of life, giving up negative states. All of these inner activities can have great value.
But like meditation, which is invaluable interior work for the sincere student of Truth, the above practices are only as valuable as is our understanding of their purpose. For instance, true meditation is not the path to some imagined awakening whereupon one discovers some new and improved version of his former self.
Meditation is about being awake Now. In true meditation there is no seeker and neither is there anything being sought after. So it is with being a Friend of Truth: We must not want anything from Truth other than its companionship. So then, with this in mind, and knowing the ways in which our own acquisitive minds work, the question becomes: "How" does one keep the company of Truth?
Don't let the simplicity of the following insight keep you from exploring its secret depths: Keeping the company of Truth is as simple as always working inwardly to be as truthful with ourselves as it is possible for us to be. Said with a different slant, refuse to embrace the many false friends within us, or outside of us, each time they offer us their self-serving excuses for our pain.
This one conscious act of being truthful (with self) satisfies all conditions necessary for being a Friend of Truth. It places us in the Now, where Truth lives; it arms us with the Light of Truth that cannot be overcome by any darkness perceived; and it elevates us into its Eternal Kingdom by showing us that what it gives to us in the moment was ours from the beginning of time.
Remember your wish to be a Friend of Truth. Choose over and over again to live in the light of its company and watch how the crooked places in your life straighten out by themselves. Truth doesn't just go ahead of us to reveal the Higher Path; it is the Higher Path itself! Persist with your wish to be free and do the inner work your wish requires.