- Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2002
- 7976 words
GF: Welcome everyone to our chat tonight. We will get started right after I give you a few thoughts to ponder about the present nature and special predicament of our spiritual heart.
Did you know that the distance from your heart to your toes is approximate in scale to the distance of our sun to the most distant planet in the solar system so that our heart sits in a relative center to the whole of our body much as does the sun to the planetary bodies held in its field of gravity?
Did you know that all creatures, from the common garden gnat to the great whales that swim the seas, all have nearly the same number of heartbeats in a lifetime, assuming a natural life and death? What a mystery is this heart whose character we share -- how unfathomable, how attractive, how powerful, how potentially perfect is its undiscovered promise.
The invisible scope of the human heart reminds me of scenes in certain kinds of films, usually magical tales, where the hero walks through the door of what appears, from the outside, to be a small cottage (or even a closet), and finds himself suddenly standing at the threshold of a world whose vast dimensions, sights, and scenes are unimaginable from outside the door.
I believe that these scenes, where a quest leads up to passage into a new world, fascinate us as much as they do because a small part of us can see in these moments something true -- something that hints to us of the immense hidden nature of our own uninvestigated heart. Just a small consideration of this idea tells much.
Saints and sages alike teach that all the love in the universe, all the fearsome states and their dark shadows, every ounce of gratitude, every bit of pride, all the wonder and woe that ever was or will be, sit at the Foundation of our heart. That is a lot of power, promise, perfection, and potential punishment to all be in one small place in us, isnt it?
And this brings us to the point of these preliminary comments. This place called our heart, this organ within us that beats so steadily, seeing to it that the vital red stuff of life continues to surge through us, is really just a kind of three-dimensional reflection of a Higher order of Heart whose Life pours out to us to animate our own.
Imagine something like a water-drop shot out from the spray of a thunderous Niagara Falls, complete in itself with all the qualities and capabilities of water, and yet only a microcosmic version of the timeless ocean from which it springs, and to which it returns, in its endless rounds rushing through countless rivers and streams.
If this description of the heart strikes you as being majestic, tireless, and timelessly magical, thats because it is just that! And in some ways each of us knows this heritage to be true. Each time we intuit our native home to be amongst the unmeasured stars, or sense within us a vitality and capacity to give from resources without end, we have felt the beating of our Real Heart.
Strangely enough, at least at the outset of ones self-investigation, it is this vast potential that we feel beating in us that makes our present state of self seem so dissatisfactory. We dwell as a captive of our own unrealized possibilities, so that a vague, but definite, awareness of our incomplete interior condition calls out to us.
Somehow we know that our hearts are broken. In the silence of ourselves we know our heart needs healing. And we feel this wholeness that we could be calling out to us with each ache that courses through us because of some unkindness we embrace and then send out from our heart to the heart of another. The True Spiritual Path begins with self-awareness such as this.
It is then that we start to know that our heart is in need of reparation, of a special sort of restoration. And still more strangely than our first few steps upon the Path, it is this very self-realization that brings us, step by step, to the heart-stopping discovery that a broken heart cannot heal itself!
Perhaps some of us are beginning to learn this unthinkable but priceless Truth. It alone reveals the concealed limitations of our present level of self, even as it provides a way for this same self to transcend itself. We learn that only the Living Light can return our heart to its Rightful Character. We realize that only what is Whole can heal what is divided.
If you are at all uncertain about whether or not your heart needs this kind of spiritual healing, you need not wonder anymore. I will assure you that you can know for sure. To help with this very personal investigation, I will give out 5 Ways to Know If Your Heart Is Broken and Needs Healing at the end of our chat tonight.
What do you feel like discussing tonight? Please keep your questions real, personal, and to the point. This means to stay awake to yourself, to resist the temptation to be speculative or to otherwise ask merely curious questions based in comparative thought. Our time together will be profitable if you work this way. What is on your mind tonight? What shall we talk about?
stacy: Are you referring to the physical heart or the spiritual heart? Are they both located in the same place?
GF: Quantum physics is just beginning to discover what enlightened beings have known all along: There is only one center in the universe and it is everywhere.
JSTRICK999: How do you keep confidence in yourself? I am 29 and I am not good at any career skill that will provide enough money for me.
GF: Real confidence is not ours because we can do certain things well but because we are at peace within ourselves, whatever we may be doing when we're doing it. Try to remember that what you really want from life is something that no amount of money or approval from others can provide. With this in mind, find work in a field that you feel an attraction to and start where you must within it. The rest takes care of itself.
JSTRICK999: How do you continue to develop the skill of learning, especially as you get older and the world takes its toll on you?
GF: Real learning is a very natural condition to us. We're created to continually incorporate into ourselves what is new and true. On the other hand, there are other natural parts that resist the influx of any material that contests the hold these parts have on our nature. So it's a question of whose attention will win the day. That's why finding something you love is a lot easier to learn. Get The Road To Good Fortune tape set. If the tapes don't help you understand better what you're asking, just return them.
aa: I do not enjoy the job I foolishly accepted. But, I certainly have learned much about myself and have overcome great fears as a result of it. How do I know if this "career" is my destiny? I'm not sure what I love, but this isn't it. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
GF: When one is not sure what to do in certain circumstances, the best bet is to remain in the condition while using all of ones ability to watch and taste what happens there and within oneself at the same time. Gradually you will know without doubt (but not necessarily without fear) what must be done.
Quentin: Is it possible to stay aware of ones thoughts while waiting to drift off to physical sleep? I earnestly try to stay attentive to myself, but eventually my thoughts drift, and next thing I know it's morning. Is this just natural because one is physically tired?
GF: This exercise of working to remain awake and aware of one's thoughts -- in essence meditating while going to sleep -- is an important and helpful practice. In time, you will have the attention necessary to see many fascinating things because of this wish you have to observe yourself. Stay with it.
James1: In staying aware while falling asleep, does focusing with your eyes (although closed) on one spot help?
GF: Do what feels comfortable to you. Sometimes gently holding one's eyes and attention at the center of the brow just above the eyes can help. But again, do as seems natural to you.
trw: I am a relatively new student. I have suffered a chronic pain condition daily for almost twenty years. With medication I am able to function and be employed and have a family. I believe in God and know that God allows circumstances in all of our lives to develop us for His greater purpose He has for us. When I am in my states of physical pain, the dark thoughts rage within me and seem almost unbearable at times. You speak a great deal about psychological pain. What about physical pain?
GF: The kind of chronic pain you describe is challenging, but because of the nature of your condition, so can the rewards be greater than others may find who are less physically compromised. Work diligently at finding the interior resources you need to not resist the pain. Stay aware of it but out of it by using your attention to help you remember what you wish to be in relationship with instead of allowing the pain to relate you incessantly to the aching. Work at this.
JEFFBREADMANJESS: I also have to deal with a good amount of constant pain. I use minimal drugs and the rest is a focus. Is it possible to become over-focused?
GF: If you're asking me is it possible that one could actually increase his pain by being overly focused on resolving it through willful means, I believe the answer is yes, it is possible to be over-focused. We must, if we (all of us) would, find a way to use the conditions life gives us. I assure you every kind of condition holds in it a way out of it. It's our task to find this Way.
Bonj: In Teachings of the Timeless Kindness you said, "Negative things are here, not because we are supposed to not want them, but to learn from them." Are you saying that we are supposed to want negative things so we can grow?
GF: No, I'm not saying that. What I am saying is that negative forces are a natural part of our existence. They serve a purpose in these physical realms (invisible ones as well) as surely as do positive energies. It is their interaction when taken consciously that elevates the mind now participating in these energies. Light is self-organizing. Light transforms the darkness.
TM: My spouse had an affair and I am struggling with resentment. We are working to rebuild our marriage. What advice would you give me?
GF: The thing about resentment -- one of its secret powers over us -- is that it makes us feel more powerful than the one we resent. Drop these negative states by seeing they only compromise your wish for a new start. They are the past. They are punishment. On the other hand, only you know if what you have is worth saving or if you're just afraid to be without what is now a source of resentment to you. Stay awake. Watch.
Portia: What do you mean by "when an unwanted condition becomes the condition itself"?
GF: What I meant in the Key Lesson that you're referring to is that it often happens when we have a negative reaction to something that we actually become transfixed with that negativity so thoroughly that we don't see that the only problem we have at that point is that we're walking around hating or resenting something that may not even be in place any more.
Lenny: I can see from your inspired writings, talks, and interactions here that you must have broken into a higher world. No one else seems even close. The world is packed with all-knowing charlatans. Why do students know of no other masters in todays world? I feel spiritually abandoned and trapped (God Forgive me). I'm glad you're here, but why is there no one else to help?
GF: Never forget what I'm going to tell you. It is the truth. We are in the lost state we are because of what we are in relationship with unconsciously. The moment we wake up to this and change what we are in relationship with, consciously, everything changes. The Living Light is never farther away from any of us than our wish to stand in it. That is all we need to know.
jaybird: Releasing hidden anger and hostility has long been a focus of my spiritual inner work. Yet, it often seems the more I work at facing my anger, the more it seems to take me over. I sense I may be going about this the wrong way. Can you provide any helpful insights here?
GF: Yes. You are beginning to realize what Vernon Howard taught many years ago. "Resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance." Not wanting to be angry cannot change an angry nature, and actually is a secret movement of that very same nature. We must become aware of what anger is in us, not what we think it means or does, but what its actual life does to our own. May I recommend an audio tape entitled "Freedom from the Cage Called Rage"? You can get it right off the Website its Item # 401. If it doesn't help you to begin working in a new way with these punishing states, just send it back, no questions asked.
James1: Can anger be latent? A little while ago I consciously asked myself what I was in relationship with and tried to keep this intention with me. This was followed by two weeks of deep anger. Is this what I was in relationship with, or a part of me defending itself to stay hidden?
GF: You're on the right track. But know that this anger that you are beginning to detect does not belong to you. No negative state has its origin in us. Our subtle body is very receptive to all forms of invisible forces. These energies are registered unconsciously and then formed into a known quality by the content of our own past experiences.
ADB: What should I do about unwanted physical desires/urges/cravings as these relate to actions that I am aware do me no good? I'm aware that I'm doing something that I shouldn't be doing, but this awareness is not enough to cease these unwanted desires. I know the resistance to the disturbance IS the disturbance, but their pull is so strong and convincing with their just one more time can't hurt talk. Insights please?
GF: I once knew a dog that ate bacon grease from a neighbors trash can for twenty days in a row, and that always got sick immediately afterwards. On the twenty-first day it smelled the can and walked away.
Roy: I'm confused and discouraged with my attempts at meditation. There is so much stuff about opening Chakras and raising the Kundalini and a hundred other techniques to me this seems like Alice in Wonderland. You've said how important this practice is what then should our aim be in meditation?
GF: Forget all the nonsense. One of the most negative forces on this planet today is run-away imagination. Come awake right now where you are and simply be aware of all things going on physically around you. At the same time, be conscious of all things going on within you, including the thoughts that are trying to tell you what you see. Watch them too. This is a good start at meditation. Work at it.
rousseau: Run-away imagination! This is a new term for me, but I understand the principle. Please discuss this a bit so I can learn to site it and be more aware of its path as opposed to the Higher path of daily self awareness.
GF: Here are a few examples: All psychological fear is the negative effect of negative imagination. The mind projects an image and at the same time thought evaluates the picture as though the picture was reality. In Reality, the self that projects the image and the image it projects are one thing. What we fear doesn't exist without our imagination of it.
James1: I learned that not only am I easily distracted (thoughts, emotions), but I've witnessed myself looking for distractions. What is it in me that looks for distraction, and how can I focus? So many things appear to be started, but nothing is accomplished.
GF: This is good that you are beginning to see how easily your attention is stolen. It indicates the beginning of a special kind of attention required for walking away from one's self. The whole myth of Narcissus is connected with one's fascination with one's self. And in this instance, our insatiable thought-nature seeking sensation generates one opposite after another to consider in order to feel real. I hope this helps.
Rael: I would like to express my appreciation for you taking the time and effort to be here every month; thank you very much. My question: What is the difference between waking and sleeping?
GF: I will assume that you're speaking about spiritually being asleep or awake. When we are spiritually asleep, it means we have no awareness of any of the invisible forces (thoughts and feelings and more) that surge through us, and that we accept as being the same as ourselves. As we awaken, we realize these conditions move through our consciousness but need not be allowed to define it.
Rael: If we are aware of these invisible forces moving through us one after another, what's the difference? Their pain, distraction and presence is still impacting on us.
GF: These forces interact only with natures that are similar to themselves. A beam of light cannot be negatively impacted by a thunderclap. They dont have the same character. Who we are, who we may be, is not the same character as the conflict in us that we now presently identify with.
Rael: Then how is it that we come to identify with the beam of light instead of the thunderclap -- that is with the light and not the conflict which so wishes to drag us down?
GF: In some ways it is a question of learning to discern what within us is actually for our growth and what (within us) intends to keep us captives. But this learning is not in the conventional sense of learning as much as it has to do with working to stay awake and aware of ourselves and to allow this Living Light to do the discerning for us. This is what goes before us to make the crooked places straight.
Jason: I write computer code. I can write it for hours. I can even write it in my sleep. It is always enjoyable and has many challenging tasks. Yet, I have no affinity, no talent for your work. I have followed for seven years, studied always. I am beginning to wonder if I lack the natural talent you have for this. Where do I find new strength?
GF: Spiritual development is not a question of our being talented, or for that matter, even intelligent! If it was, we'd all be "goners"! All that is required of us to realize ourselves in greater measure is two things: A weariness with being filled with negative states that lead nowhere, and a little wish in our heart to know what is Higher and that what we hold our faith in holds only the best interests for us.
JeffS: Thanks, that gives me a bit more hope. I do find small bits of connection with the divine, but it seems so faint -- I just still don't have faith that I'll do MY part to make it out of this mess.
GF: Remember this for the rest of your life: The Truth, the Light, God Himself has made it so that you are to succeed in realizing your Real Life in this Divine Life. Nothing can interfere with this by power. Only deception misdirects us. All despair is misdirection that seems like we care for where we are. Care enough to drop the despair.
bob_nj: I have read a lot of books: The Bible, Krishnamurti, Gurdjieff, etc., and more recently Vernon Howard and yourself. I was genuinely aspiring (half the time) when young, but have never lived the truth. How do you guys do it?
GF: If you looked up and suddenly saw your living quarters on fire, you would have no hesitation about what you need to do in order to save your life. Spiritually speaking, one of the reasons that we who do this Work is because it allows us to see that the house we are in is occupied by characters whose sole interest is conflict and limitation. Thus we leave the house.
KevinB: Last night I was stunned by Joseph Campbell and his The Power of Myth. Of the many questions, one for now: He said, "People think heaven is a place you go to and have everlasting peace. It's not. It's eternity experienced now. Eternity is not everlasting." The last sentence is where I'm baffled most. Any help?
GF: Without having seen and heard, it's difficult, because context is everything. I will say, though, that Eternity is now and not in some later time or place. Our spiritual work is about recognizing that all dreams, regardless of how sublime and "eternal" they may seem, are of the finite world.
ADB: I find myself always thinking about the things I need to do, and find a constant struggle staying in the now. Advice please.
GF: One of the reasons that many of us remain so very busy in our brain is because the activity unconsciously lends us a sense of importance. It gives us a self with "so much to do." Even at a million miles an hour, such mental and emotional activity still takes us nowhere.
ADB: I know I need to do something, but when I eventually get around to having the window of opportunity to do it, I find myself doing all I can to avoid starting it.
GF: Take one task, just one, any one. Make it small. Do it. Do it completely. And do it with the aim of watching all of the contradictory parts of yourself that surface as you do this one task consciously. If you'll practice this one exercise, you will learn more than a thousand chatrooms can teach you.
wheeljay: I also wish to express my gratitude for you and your ceaseless efforts to communicate. I realize how challenging this is because you have to somehow bypass the false personality. I guess this is one reason that stories, myths and parables are so often used by Teachers. My question is that I always have to "look good," i.e., intelligent, smarter than the next person, more awake, etc., and I don't want to be like this any more but cannot not be that way. Can you help?
GF: Become as present to yourself as possible when you start to feel the onset of these interior pressures to perform in front of others. Only the conscious awareness of these self-wrecking egoist drives can begin to diminish their hold upon us. Fight the Good Fight inwardly and ask the Light to lend you what you need to see your way out.
wheeljay: Thank you. I particularly appreciate your drawing my attention to what is obvious but that I could not see -- this is self-wrecking. You are 100% right. It causes me so much pain and keeps me falsely separated from real connection with others, God, and my true self. By the way, I just found the following excerpt from verse 24 of the Tao Te Ching that seems to fit like a glove: "He who tries to shine -- dims his own light...
GF: Such Truths are so simple that millions miss their light.
Bob: Is there such a thing as Chivalry in a spiritual sense? How can men be true to women?
GF: Yes, there is such a thing as chivalry. The key is, regardless of the gender, that we must be true first to ourselves before it's possible to be true to any other being. This was the topic of our class last night. We must learn what it means to say to all whom we meet (and this is an interior statement), "Here, let me help you with that." "That" means their inner state, which is really our own that we have touched.
asiam: Almost everyone around me, including loved ones, seem to still be lost and self-oriented even when they have had opportunity to learn new understandings. I have let go and stayed kind, but what else should I do when it seems I cant have a fruitful relationship with anyone?
GF: One of the most challenging aspects of the Path is to let go of what doesnt work -- which always feels like an emptying sensation -- and then to not fill ourselves with whatever we name as now missing from our hearts, etc. Do nothing to fill these spaces in you. Work to remember that what we really want is for God to supply us with what we NEED -- from within us -- and that we ought not rush out (again) to give ourselves what we want from outside of us.
straydog: Many times when I try to improve any area of my life, I end up with the exact opposite of the improvement that I was tying for! Why is that, and how can I change it?
GF: Everything depends upon why we do it. What we do is always secondary to this interior motive. Find out why you wish to improve what you do and then you will know why what is happening to you happens.
Olympus: What can be done when you are in a close relationship with someone who is terrified of life and continuously dumps his responsibilities on you?
GF: Move. I mean this first in the sense that if you weren't standing spiritually, psychologically in this person's dump zone, what could fall upon you? Secondly, by move, I mean do what you can to help this person see what they do to themselves and you. If they won't see, if they won't learn, then by move, I mean exactly that. It's your life. Live it.
DebbiE: You just said that we should attempt to help someone close to us to see "what they do to themselves and you. In other writings of yours, you mention that we should not attempt to change anyone. Couldn't helping them see what they do be construed as trying to change them, and wouldn't that be making something outside of ourselves responsible for our happiness? I trust there is no contradiction. Shed Light please.
GF: Consider that helping someone to see what they are doing to themselves and to you might well mean that you dont react or respond as you always have leaving them with their own destructive or negative behavior with no one to fight because of being judged, etc. Find out how to help others without drawing attention to yourself for what you do.
ADB: If I'm aware of an addictive behavior (nail-biting, drink, food, sex, etc.) and I am aware that it all starts with some thought I'm having, how do I place awareness in the process and when? Am I to become aware that I am behaving from a part of me that is asleep yet still continue with that behavior with awareness? Is there more?
GF: The question how do I place awareness in the process means that you (as yet) havent learned what it means to be awake and aware of yourself. Being aware of ourselves doesnt mean that we are trying to fix something. It means we watch what is going on and if it is the case as in addictive behaviors allow our own awareness, the light of it, to show us what is taking place in us. This light is the healing itself, as real intelligence will not consent to compromise or destroy itself.
asiam: All of my creative, honest interests and positive passions seem to be located in another out-of-state environment. These things I have an honest interest and aptitude for, yet all opportunities around me are simply not what I feel. Should I accept this situation and look towards something else now that I am approaching my thirties?
GF: Of course I can't (and wouldn't) tell you what you should do, but I will lend a few thoughts for your benefit. We must do what is in our power and refuse to do what is not. If it's not in your power because of family or other financial responsibilities to move to a more promising place, then do what you must to accomplish what is required of you. If this isn't the case, walk through the fear. Go for what your heart longs. Either way, refuse to feel sorry for yourself.
cary: I just received in the mail today your new book, Seekers Guide to Self-Freedom, and already I know it's exactly what I've been needing. Thanks so much.
GF: May you find in it the next step for yourself.
Faust: Why is it that when I share the treasures of my heart (which are in line with the New Testament) to others, most of them tend to become very defensive and refute the principles of higher living through Christianity and self-knowledge. It leaves me feeling naked, and I have to deal with the dark clouds of the aftermath. I feel mocked, rejected, etc., but my self-esteem no longer goes down the tubes.
GF: Eventually you will not fall into the trap that others set for you by pretending to be interested in what you are doing, or have to say, and who then use your own words to prey upon you. Such people are living lies and can only prove the truth (of themselves) by condemning others.
david: When I look at the condition or situation inside of me that wishes to negatively respond to an outward stimulus, but then dont resist the sinful inclination but just observe as if I am outside of myself looking at myself, it is as if I am searching for the real cause of why I want to respond negatively. Then it seems as if I effortlessly drop this intention. Is this the Path?
GF: I'm not sure what you're asking, but I'll offer you this consideration: Real seeing, real observation of one's self, has no qualified "searching" in it at all. This kind of higher self-awareness is much like bringing a lamp into a room that has been darkened and then lighting that lamp so that everything formerly unseen in the dark suddenly stands out and is seen. This kind of seeing changes what is seen. I hope this helps.
Faust: I am benefiting from your teachings of Timeless Truth on a daily basis now. I use adversity as a tool for growth, and the bad things are mere passing clouds. It feels tremendously great. But when I share these principles with people, let alone my faith, they harden their hearts and it makes me almost cry for them and their fatalistic outlooks. Should I use another approach, or should I develop a healthy sense of detachment?
GF: Remember that Christ taught that we must not cast our pearls before the swine. This did not mean that one sits in judgment of others, but that we recognize that we must be very sparing with our spiritual sharing until our own intuition tells us this is a brother or sister in Truth. Then we may speak wholeheartedly and we will share in the wholeness that comes from this.
jaybird: In recent chat sessions you have advised us against asking mere "curiosity" questions. Yet it would seem that curiosity is a very natural trait which, when rightly utilized, could help us grow spiritually. Am I right about this? If so, can you make a clear distinction between "healthy" and "unhealthy" curiosity?
GF: Yes. "Healthy" curiosity is always a curiosity about a personal insight or experience with the aim of uncovering what one senses remains still covered within him. Unhealthy curiosity is mere mental stimulation whose secret purpose is to cover up some kind of agitation whose unconscious pressure drives the person to ask untold meaningless questions that serve nothing but filling space and time.
Olympus: How do I talk to someone about these principles?
GF: Be honest. Don't be someone you're not. Be truthful. Don't pretend to know things you don't. Be present to yourself. Watch how parts of you want to make impressions and refuse to go along with this unconscious approval-seeking. Speak about what you love and the love you speak of will begin to speak for you. That's a promise.
beckycs: I have been forgiving a habit of my spouse's again and again for seven years now. His habit recently reached a level where it dragged the quality of my life down along with his. I want to forget and move on, because it is not the real him who has the problem. He has a great loving spirit, but I am now so fearful that it will never stop.
GF: While it may be true that our True Nature has the potential of being without one problem, that doesn't mean that our present nature should be excused for its negative actions or otherwise self-destructive qualities. You must see the difference between what is and what you hope for. Do not compromise yourself at the expense of your development.
asiam: I find a calm feeling and peaceful relaxation when listening to certain things, and although they are sensory oriented, they seem naturally beautiful and helpful (such as electric water fountains, etc). Is this wrong?
GF: Of course there is nothing wrong with such pastimes, assuming they are natural and healthy for the whole person. We as human beings are in a physical realm whose beauties and congruencies are intended to both please us and help us remember the Creator of these delights.
hawkeye: Where does the experience of daydreaming or being unable to focus on something for long come into play in seeking the Path?
GF: Our minds are terribly undeveloped. Of this there's no doubt. Our ability to attend to anything, especially if it doesn't please us, virtually doesn't exist. The good news is that this same mind of ours is created for the very purpose of being attentive and receptive to perfecting influences. Everything depends upon what we really want. We must learn to want God's Life more than the life we've been giving ourselves with this mind of ours.
BNevrgivup: I have been in a personal relationship and now marriage for many years, yet I continue to feel that something else is required. The difficulty is the person I am with is good and kind and truly loves me. It is a silent internal struggle. Can you comment with regard to relationships and how this is worked out?
GF: If you're saying that in your heart you long for a Higher Life and your partner has no interest in such things, then this condition will be challenging at best. In my experience, the heart that longs for a God-centered life cannot be silenced by anything this world offers it, regardless of how well-wrapped. Do your best to keep your wish for Real Life alive. The rest will unfold naturally.
MikeS: I had a shocking experience in which I could see myself thinking and my physical reality felt as if it were "behind" time. Is this the state I am aiming for -- to watch these thoughts pass through me until they stop? Or is this the wrong direction?
GF: From what I can tell, this experience is not unnatural on the Path. But never mind such experiences. Even the best of them are in time and pass, and if we become identified with such events, we will lose our ability to become present to ourselves in the Now. Just do the best you know to keep watching without thinking about what that which you see implies. Just see!
Steven: I care deeply for animals, however I don't know where to draw the line between compassion and sentimentality. If a pet starts to become a problem, what do we use for guidance in dealing with it?
GF: If by your question you mean when does one put an end to a favorite pet's life, the answer would have to be when the quality of life for that creature has more suffering in it than sweetness because of its relationship with you.
dianne: If this Higher power has been around to give love and power to us since humans have existed, why can't our higher selves live on also? A finite existence seems so limiting and ultimately useless in our efforts to achieve a higher level of self. Whats the motivation?
GF: Within each of us resides an order of consciousness that was never born and that cannot die. Either we feel at the core of us a longing for this reunion with the Reality of ourselves, or we don't. If we do, the "motivation" comes to us from this Eternal Essence within us. If we don't, then what's the problem? We must each choose our path.
Faust: Do you have any tapes dealing with your response to "dianne"?
GF: You might try listening to tape #436 Beyond the Experience of Self. It can be ordered through our online bookstore, etc.
sadie: I am amazed by the depth and wisdom of your teachings. Would you mind giving a hint regarding your most important influences and sources for personal development? I am new here.
GF: I spent about fourteen years working directly under a great author (now deceased) by the name of Vernon Howard. One day soon, I intend to put up on our website a recommended list of books similar to those now available at the library at my Foundation in Southern Oregon. Come visit.
Moondog: I'm still confused about the true role of men and women. I know it's not a politically correct subject, but psychologically speaking, how can I understand the differences? The world is nearly void of any guidance here, and intuition is deceiving.
GF: We may only come to truly understand the true role of the opposite sex as we awaken to what it means to be the gender that we are. Nothing is more fantastic than a man discovering his strength, just as a woman may discover hers, even though they are of totally different qualities. Each compliments the other.
asiam: What is it about music that seems so magical, like another whole dimension in and of itself? Is this just extreme sensory overload of pleasure, or mechanical brain wave vibrations?
GF: Music that we hear with our ears has its roots in far subtler realms and it may be that some forms of these tones help us remember subtler parts of ourselves that are far more receptive to Higher Impressions.
ADB: How can one do the inner work without falling into a self that feels pity, contempt or disgust at those who choose to not even desire or attempt to awaken? I know this superior attitude is not correct, nor desired, but rather proof of how asleep I am at times when this happens. Advice?
GF: Realize that what you feel towards others you first give to yourself.
Truition: Do you know of any writings or have any suggestions on running a business consciously?
GF: No, I do not. Why dont you double your inner efforts and learn what is needed to write your own book? That would be the most helpful course, although certainly not the only way to learn more.
Kraig: As I'm becoming more aware of those automatic reactions which I have grown up into, I also see that I get more wrapped up in my moods or emotional states as an indicator of spiritual state on a day-to-day basis. I know this is a hurdle to get beyond. How can I intensify my awareness to my true nature, so that emotions are simply something which I'm doing rather than who I am?
GF: Your statement indicates a growing awareness of these mechanical emotional states. What you are looking for this conscious separation of one level of automatic self to deliberate and conscious Self will come if you continue with the wish and work to see yourself in action. Be patient, but be persistent!
asiam: How can we get what we ask for, when the moment is the seed to the next, if this moment is false, wrong, bad, etc., and produces bad consequences? Yet we use it to see, develop, grow. Isnt it true that if we stayed rightful in the first moment, we would never had this wonderful new opportunity that came from the bad? Am I thinking too much?
GF: Yes, too much; I couldnt have said it better. The mind -- the normal intellect -- cannot, will not ever grasp the intoxicating mystery of the opposites as they reveal themselves through the developing strains of time. We must agree to be here, to be whole, to be watchful, and to be willing. If we do this much, Truth will take care of all else. Of this you may be assured, but let this assurance come to you from the Truth itself because of your inner work.
GF: I want to pass along the notes I promised would be given at the end of our chat.
First, lets go over the 5 Ways to Know If Your Heart Is Broken and Needs Healing. You may be surprised at what you find, but you may be assured that if anything you read on this list applies to you, then so does the need for healing. After the list we will talk about what is in our power to do -- and not to do -- when it comes to giving ourselves the healing our heart needs.
The first way to know if our heart is broken and needs healing is if we spend most of our time thinking only about ourselves.
Second on the list of ways to tell that our heart may be broken is if our thoughts dwell on dark and gloomy imaginings, or if we find that our feelings are filled with varying states of despair, defeat, or anxious doubt.
Number three asks us if we are likely to agree with, or give ourselves over to fiery feelings? Do we consent to states of conflict with our being, becoming identified with angry or resentful vibrations as they make their way through us?
The fourth indicator on our list of ways to know that our heart is broken and needs healing is if we never see the choice to put the interests of someone else before we consider those of our own.
And last on our list of 5 Ways to Know If Your Heart Is Broken and Needs Healing is that we can tell that there is something in our heart that needs repair if our principal sense of contentment and well-being is derived only from pleasures that we give to ourselves.
Now a bit of explanation: Even a casual glance at this list reveals our hearts need work. More accurately stated, our hearts need to have work done upon and within them if they are to heal. And although this much ought to be clear to us, it is not. After all, most of us have already tried virtually everything under the sun to make these repairs. Lets review a partial list.
Here are just a few of the ways we have tried to help our hearts find wholeness: new relationships, more knowledge or control over social or economic powers, charms, crystals, healers, pulsating lights, chemicals, organics, power spots; the list runs on for as long do our heartaches that never quite disappear. What then can we look to for this healing that we need?
Here is a spiritual truth we must understand: The needful repair of our heart cannot be attained through any process of mental or emotional amendment, but only through spiritual replacement. Healing the heart is not about its gradual reformation, but its permanent restoration. Of ourselves we have not what it takes to effect such an exchange.
Simply put, we must see the impossibility of trying to realize a whole heart by adding things to it, regardless of how sublime the imagery; we must recognize that seeking solutions to our perceived suffering merely serves to sustain two equally false notions: first, that it is possible for us to climb out of our own unwholeness by throwing ourselves a rope.
The second false notion is that this haunting sense of incompleteness within us -- that ever-seeking sense of I that drives us along trying to service its desires -- is somehow connected to who we really are, to our Essential Self. It is not. This new understanding explains why the only real solution to healing our broken heart is to be found through its surrender.
Here are a few crucial thoughts to help you better understand these last ideas and the challenge inherent in them. In general, our task is to deliver our heart to the only place where such a replacement is possible, and not to do anything else but watch what happens when we consent to this delivery. The more we meddle to make things happen, the slower proceeds ones true mending.
Where is this place within us that holds such a promise? Where can we go to surrender our hearts while letting go of all concern for the outcome? It is in the heart of our remembrance of God while -- in the same moment -- we watch with quiet impartial awareness what we are shown by His works.
If we are willing -- not figuratively, not in imaginings, but literally -- to put our heart in Gods hands, to bring it into the Celestial Repair Shop of the Living Light, and to do this with no other wish apart from being willing to invite Wholeness to make Its Heart the same as our own, it will be done.
Take deliberate time out each day, several times a day, for a few quiet but select minutes to consciously surrender your heart to God. And do your best to remember that when you ask for this special Work to be done within you, your part is to remain watchful (instead of wanting) no matter what you may see revealed to you about the content of your heart.
Mark your calendar to reflect that next month our chat will not be (as usual) on the first Thursday of the month, but on the second Thursday, April 11th. Until then, remember yourself, remember God. Work at what we discussed tonight. Make all the mistakes you must, but make effort. Truth will teach you the Way.