- Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2003
- 8495 words
GF: Welcome everyone. Before we begin our chat tonight, let me introduce you to some helpful ideas about what is required of us if we wish to realize our True nature.
First it should be explained that real self-transformation has little to do with trying to somehow change the form of our present nature by struggling to become more of "this" or less of "that." Real self-transformation and the realization of it are one and the same. This is what we will discuss, in part, at the outset of our chat, and again before we say good night.
Seen or not, everyone everywhere is looking for his or her "heaven." Watch people closely and this search becomes terribly evident. The man seated at his desk dreaming of when he will have his life to himself, the woman at the luncheon counter trying to resolve some relationship issue in her mind from the more than obvious to the totally unexpected, one thing is clear:
All of us, moment to moment, are looking for a little peace, a little happiness of our own. Some of us seek this heaven in worldly things, within plans for a better tomorrow filled with new pleasures. For others, bliss is someone to hold, or being held rapt by some natural wonder. And some are sure that their conditioned idea of heaven is the same as living in its grace.
But, regardless of where in this world one seeks his or her heaven, two things ought to be clear: first, these heavens of ours never last. They lose their luster. Reasons always abound, but in one way or another, reality collides with our dreamboat; and as it sinks into life's unknown and unwanted waters, goes with it our hope that "this time" we had made it!
Second, it isn't until we have had enough of coming up "empty" that it occurs to us that not only have we been looking for heaven in all the wrong places, but maybe, just maybe, what our heart longs for isn't to be found where we have been searching for it. The ancients teach, "Why seek ye the permanent in the passing, the eternal in the temporary?" This is our study tonight.
I live on top of a small mountain in southern Oregon where each morning, from a chair seated next to a large window in my small house, I sit quietly and watch the world turn. Right outside, usually less than ten to twelve feet away from where I am seated, it is as though Mother Nature mounts a wildlife parade just for me.
Deer, wild turkey, gray tree squirrels, rabbits, and more than a dozen species of birds all congregate and then move through an area just beneath a cluster of spreading oak trees. The birds come for the seed I provide in a number of stations, and the turkeys come for their table scraps. Why the rest appear as they do is anyone's guess. Maybe they just enjoy the party!
At any rate, come early March, signs of spring appear and this change means many things to my visiting friends. For most birds, mating season begins in earnest. This usually means lots of singing, posturing, and aggressive, territorial behavior, while for some of the other creatures, this time heralds a season for giving birth to young conceived some months before.
But regardless of these varying conditions, one thing remains in common to one and all; and it is apparent to anyone watching with an eye willing to observe and learn: these creatures are constantly active. They are as alert and as sensitive to life going on around them as is a silk spider web responsive to the slightest summer's breeze.
And along with this natural feature of all wild creatures, in fact very much at the root of what enables them to expend so much vital energy, is another highly noticeable behavior: their lives are a never-ending search for food. Apart from propagating their own species, feeding themselves is their principle work on this earth. Which brings us to the point of these first notes.
The silent turning of the seasons, the latent desire of all creatures to fulfill the purpose for their being, the invisible hand that ensures that necessary supplies of food stuffs will be there for them at the right moment; these elements, their balance and concert with one another all speak of what the Wise have called (and still do) the "Invisible Eternals."
These Invisible Eternals are the unseen Timeless Principles that sit behind the expression of our physical world, and that are to its existence as is the sun to the shadows that pay silent witness to their creator. To be able to see these Eternal Forces as the true backdrop of a greater reality is to become a witness to an Intelligent Universe at work.
For the one who would become consciously aware of these Invisible Eternals, the same is brought into a whole new order of reality where intelligence, action and harmony are as one thing; herein the Light shines upon and animates all creatures alike. Even conflict serves something greater than its lesser causes.
This journey of awareness between one's first glimpse of this Higher Reality, and one's realization of it as the ground of one's own being, is the true spiritual path and task of those who would know and be known by Truth. And we are created to enter this Higher World, to know this heaven and its Love while we dwell on earth. Make no mistake about this.
All Scripture, the Wisdom teachings regardless of origin, confer this same truth. To take one example, the great Christian mystic Boehme points out that Christ taught, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them the eternal life." Here Christ did not say, "You may know life eternal in a time to come (i.e., after death), but now, in this life.
If anyone has "eyes to see" these Invisible Eternals -- where the celestial is hidden in the common -- and "ears to hear" the truths about themselves and their relationship to these everlasting Principles, then such a person is ready to begin the inner work required for the next step to make this change in their being. Yes, it takes work; and any who teach otherwise mislead.
What is the nature of this inner work that we must do, and how can we be sure it is required of us? When is this work to be done, and who or what determines all of the above? These are the questions that seekers have been asking since time began. For now, one thing ought to be clear, and the rest of it we will touch on before the chat's close:
To enter the Everlasting World where the Light of Conscience is awake within Itself requires first that we learn to align ourselves with the Eternal Principles that are its secret foundation. And then, as our faith grows in the Goodness of this Higher Ground, that we surrender ourselves, our will, to the Truth of its Eternal Being.
Just before the end of tonight's chat I will enlarge these last thoughts and offer you some new ideas about specific ways in which we can do the work to align ourselves with, and realize, what is our own True Nature.
What would you like to talk about tonight? Have you been working on some special condition within yourself and wish some clarification? Let's get started with your questions and see what happens. Please do keep your questions and comments to real issues. Speculative thinking and other philosophical meanderings are meaningless if self-realization is one's sincere desire.
All right then, you are on. What do you want to discuss? What's on your mind? Let's get started!
rrogoff: Do you have a recommendation for how to stop temptation (like with smoking)? I need some advice about freedom from voices. I would like to know if I am at all on the right track.
GF: There is an important principle at the root of all True spiritual teachings, and it applies to your question. The principle is that "resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance." What this means is that when we struggle to stop ourselves from doing something against ourselves merely out of the wish not to suffer what we do to ourselves, we may be assured the behavior will continue. We can't end our wrong relationship with the parts of ourselves that tempt us and then torment us for falling into their hands until what we are tempted to do no longer holds any attraction for us. This approach is not trying to dominate what is defeating us, but is based on the idea of illuminating what has been deceiving us. Until we recognize the difference, we will struggle for no true gain because we do not understand that what we are against within us is a secret part of us.
rrogoff: Am I in a dangerous position to just not worry about it? Will I further harm myself? Knowing that I have surrendered to these voices, what is the key to dismissing them? I study and study and they seem to have free reign. Is there a way I can tell if I'm on the right track? Is this a lifetime of study I am facing to get rid of these hostile voices?
GF: Clearly I can't diagnose your condition online. But I will tell you two things. First, you have the God-given right not to be negative. You have been created with what has authority over any harmful voices. Your task is to decide what you want for relationships in this life. Then having decided, you must not only choose, but work to align yourself with the Light that can and does defeat what is defeating you. Go into our online book store and order tape T234 "Seal the Gates of Hell." I believe it will help.
ADB: I'm having a hard time differentiating when I turn the awareness of a dark feeling in me into an identification with that feeling and that dark nature. Can you help me tell when I've become identified and not just aware? It all seems so subtle, too subtle to detect accurately.
GF: Try to recognize the difference between being aware of a negative state versus being absorbed in it. In awareness of a negative state there is always a kind of conscious discomfort born in the awareness of being "apart from" the state. When we are absorbed in a state (i.e., identified with it) there is just the dull anxiety or pain without any consciousness of ourselves having been compromised by that state.
ADB: So when I can say to myself, at a particular moment when I'm aware of "heaviness" inside, that I am aware that I've been overtaken by depression, then I can be assured that I'm not identified (at least for that moment) with the depression? Am I interpreting your answer correctly?
GF: Self-observation is not what we do in order to end a condition. Trying to end any condition in us in our consciousness ensures that condition stays in place. Self-observation, awareness of a state, brings that state in us into a certain order of intelligence that knows exactly what "to do" with that state. Our task is to embrace the Light, not to create it.
rrogoff: What does it mean to be identified?
GF: To be identified means that ones sense of self is vested in his thought about something, like when we get a new car and then we feel pain when it gets a scratch.
hawkeye: Is there a way to help someone deal with the pressure they feel in stressful situations, like test taking?
GF: If you can help this person to learn the difference between doing what is in their power versus struggling against what is not, then you may help. In this instance, all stress is counterproductive to the condition it meets. It is a mechanical reaction that produces the opposite of what it seems to bring. For instance, it feels like stress protects us. It doesn't. It punishes us even as it steals our ability to think and to respond intelligently.
nobush: Should one drop all search for self-improvement and just live in a state of 80% "no mind"? I'm about through using my ego to figure life out. Is this good? I mean, I don't "get" life or my purpose here what I'm supposed to do with it. Life seems cold and isolating to me, and it always has.
GF: The question you've asked is born out of frustration. Frustration always defeats the individual whom it occupies. A state of being awake is not the same as walking around with a blank mind. It is into minds that have been dulled with frustration or fear that negative states find a way to prove to a person that life has no point. Start over. Just work to be as awake as you can, and then let life reveal to you causes for you in it that you have yet to imagine.
nobush: I'm going to ask you the same question in a different way because I have touched the power of it but don't "get" it yet. Is the idea of the spiritual path to just drop one's thinking? This allows one's soul to give one guidance. It speaks when you're silent. It's silent when you think. If this is so, how does one know when one is receiving the soul's guidance?
GF: To be inwardly silent allows us to become conscious of a whole new order of ourselves, one that doesnt allow self-compromise of the presence of other punishing self-divided states. No one guides himself to sorrow.
Rael: I have been troubled about the upcoming war, the battle of Armageddon that we are about to start. I see the folly of starting such a conflict, but see that protesting it is equal folly. What can we do in such a situation?
GF: You're in the right place to understand the following instruction: The war in this world is a reflection of the unseen war in each of us. Before there can be peace on earth, each of us must understand this spiritual truth. With this in mind, find all of the different ways you can in your day to let the conflict or violence end with you. An example: Someone says something cruel don't fire back a "missile." Bear the darkness in you and it ceases to affect the world outside of you. It is changed, you are changed, the world changes.
801: Regarding self-observation: I find myself making thought comments such as "What is this feeling?" or "I don't know," or simply fear, bitterness, etc.... is there a way to shut out all commentary? I think I'm doing it wrong.
GF: You must not try to shut out thoughts and feelings. What's disturbing you is more your resistance to the internal chattering than the chattering itself. Learn to watch these parts of you the same way you would watch a flock of seagulls swooping down on a beach. Their squawking has nothing to do with you.
Truition: Conscious risk clearly brings the struggle between our thought-self and our true self into plain view. What guidance can you provide for taking useful risks?
GF: Never allow a psychological fear that appears in your mind to go unchallenged. Learn what it means to meet what frightens you with the intention not of overcoming the condition the fear points to, but with seeing into the nature that produced the fear to begin with. This is most helpful if you can do it.
RAY: Can you explain how we get the things that we don't want based on thoughts?
GF: Many times, certain fearful thoughts will tell us that if we do what they instruct, we will be protected. As we follow the guidance of these thoughts, we are resisting whatever it is in life that produced the condition that gave rise to these thoughts. The more we resist any condition, the more likely it is that condition will persist. Try to see how this works. Ever hear the expression, "Don't think about that 'Pink elephant'"?
Eric: Is the following statement a proper thing to say to God at a moment in which I have truly observed anything whatsoever in myself? "Please teach me how to NOT do anything about what I just observed." Is there something better to say? Now I seem to "monkey around" with what I observe in myself, which keeps me going in circles.
GF: If you open a door into a room that has been dark for a hundred years, the light that floods in effortlessly dismisses all of the shadows that filled the room before. When we see things in ourselves, we do not have to comment to ourselves or to God about what has been seen. The light of self-awareness does for us all that is necessary.
nate100: I have developed the introspective relationship with myself that is necessary to identify my flaws and work out insecurities, but sometimes I am confused about what negative feelings are caused by emotional baggage from the past, and what negative emotions are accurate for the specific situation.
GF: I can answer this easily. All negative emotions that one identifies with are destructive. There is no difference between emotional baggage and an emotional state that punishes us. Try to recognize (which is what real self-awareness allows us to do) that the presence of negative energy in us - unattended by the light of awareness - is always constrictive and self-compromising.
Grayson: I have goals as a writer. Previously, I have put myself into the future I wanted to create, but know this is wrong. Should I just focus on the present love I have for the building of the story and take it moment to moment, or are future goals good to an extent?
GF: Apart from practical applications relative to knowing it takes 30 minutes to get from one end of town to another, goals as you have described them are inherently self-limiting, and ultimately self-lashing. Stay with your love of your craft. Love will not only perfect what you do, but it will bring you into its act.
RAY: How do we align our thoughts in the outer world so our true nature doesn't bring the opposite of our outer world thoughts?
GF: Just as no wave exists without having been born by invisible currents in an ocean, so is it true when it comes to thoughts. They are an expression of subtler forces, deeper energies. It is our awareness of this deeper aspect of ourselves that is an inlet, a window into the true nature of the thoughts that both occupy us and that we project out into the outer world. Make your aim to be awake to, aware of the kinds of thoughts and feelings you have, and that same awareness will handle the rest for you.
Grayson: Are the individual "I's" of the lower self made up of clusters of thoughts and emotions?
GF: No individual "I" exists apart from some relationship with an opposite. Most of what we take for being "I" is born out of some form of resistance. These "I's" have associations, and these can be said to exist in various clusters according to type.
stevie: Are all positive feelings that we experience in our unawakened state false, like our negative feelings?
GF: No, you must understand that when we speak of negative feelings being false, it isn't that they aren't real, but rather that the sense of self that they produce through their presence is a false "I." It is temporary, a condition born out of a relationship with a passing emotional condition. Positive feelings are also real. But again, they are an aspect of our temporal life that produce only fleeting sensations of well-being. I hope this helps.
suzannemly: I struggle with living in the same surroundings and being with the same people as I work on being in touch with my true nature. I often feel a strong desire to move away from my family and responsibilities. I feel I should be able to live in both worlds, if you will - the outside one I'm used to and the inside one I aspire to spend most of my time in. Do you have any suggestions for transcending this duality? Do I just ride it out, or is it my higher nature telling me that I need to physically move on?
GF: It may be that one needs to make a move with regards to their environment, but I can tell you that there should be no necessary contradiction between one's exterior world and their wish for an interior life. The real Work on this earth has always been about learning to use the world around us as a mirror to transform the world within us.
Grayson: From your books, I have the idea that when one full "I" is in charge, its opposite is there also, like when one works toward a goal, the opposite fear of loss will be there, too. Is this right?
GF: Essentially that is correct.
Eric: It seems like as I go through my day I sometimes catch myself being my usual self, whether it be the way I walk or my facial expressions or whatever. I have this serious nagging thought (feeling?) after I observe my usual self that I will never be able to stop being me, like I will be chained to the old me forever. What do I do? Do I observe this nagging thought and just continue observing with patience and persistence?
GF: You must understand that your false self has no interest in you freeing yourself from its influences over your life. Of course it tells you that you will never succeed. Next time you hear this, ask yourself this question: Is it the light or the darkness that tells me I'll never be free of the dark I'm in? When you know this answer, you know what to do with your own negative reactions.
trusting_soul: I am wondering why it is that every time I try to understand and open myself to what you are saying, all I find is that your answers leave me feeling as though you want me to have inner turmoil. Why question things inside that have no real answers? Why mess with things that aren't broken?
GF: Thinking that my answers are intended to lead you to inner turmoil misses the mark entirely. I cannot give you what you already have. Our present condition interiorly is constant turmoil that we are by and large unconscious to 99% of the time. It is the gradual awareness of these conflicted parts of us that brings an end to them. Conflict cannot end conflict. This is what we must discover if we wish to be free. It begins with self-awakening.
Grayson: Would it be right to say that emotions are "echoes" of thoughts, so that if I have a negative emotion, if I can do the work to try to find the thought, I eventually will?
GF: No, emotions are not echoes of thoughts, they are a completely different creature in terms of their order of being. However, negative emotions do support negative thought. Be awake to the thoughts and feelings and your awakedness will do for you what thought cannot.
Roy: In this remarkable work coming through you, I see a repeating theme --to increase our consciousness by self-observation and not identifying. To me, nothing else is attainable without this condition. When I get comfortable with something I suspect it has become mechanical, so it is with my self-observation. Can you help me to discriminate real self-observation from just thinking I'm observing myself?
GF: True self-observation always includes the awareness of the thinker and the one who thinks he's watching. If you are not aware of your thoughts, then you are your thoughts. There will always be in true self-observation a sense of inclusion of all things observed, as opposed to the common sense of ourselves which is always due to something exclusionary.
jaybird: Can you briefly state an effective way to use feelings of discouragement for spiritual growth?
GF: You may have this backwards. We don't use clouds to realize the sun. When the clouds are gone, the sun is there. Discouragement is a lying, negative state that drags us into it because we get something out of the relationship. When we end our relationship with what is false, lo and behold the True appears. That's growth.
Judy: As much as I try to do this work, I still catch myself occasionally either making a critical remark about someone or feeling a pang of envy about what someone has, etc. I am aware immediately that I'm doing it and try to drop it, but I get upset with myself that I get these feelings. Why in the world do I care what other people do or have anyway? Any suggestions to overcome this?
GF: Learn to watch the second reaction. What's the second reaction? It is a negative response in us to having seen a negative response in us. This is a trick of the false nature to keep itself in charge of our faculties. Drop the second reaction. Do this and gradually the initial reaction will begin to fade away because of your willingness to work through it.
stevie: How important is meditation to our inner work? It is not something I practice. Should I be?
GF: There is no substitute for watching one's mind quietly, attentively. Meditation, spending time by yourself watching yourself, is not only a good practice to do at whatever time is available to set aside for it, but in the long run, meditation is life. We are created to participate in the interior world of ourselves. Meditation is both the window into that world, as well as the way in which we participate therein.
Grayson: When I come into the Present, I see not only my own thoughts and emotions, but others' and how people are affected by them. It seems then that my lower self is very insignificant, and I seem to see others more objectively and clearly. This brings a sense of freedom. Does this sound right?
GF: Yes, this is quite accurate what you have said. When we can be awake to our own inner life, that awareness helps us to be aware of the inner life of all others. This is the real beginning of True compassion.
Eric: I feel like I'm losing my sense of humor, maybe because my humor was or is based mostly in vulgar subject matter or making fun of somebody else. Nowadays that kind of humor doesn't sit right. Does this sort of thing happen often in the Work?
GF: Yes, it does. The real changes that take place in us almost always occur before we become conscious of those changes. In this instance, you are beginning to awaken to how distasteful darkness is. Keep going.
LMAC: The last several years I've noticed that I am more emotional than when I was young. I'll cry with warm fuzzy thoughts, reading greeting cards, people telling me their triumphs and great misfortunes (like deaths in their family, etc.). Something tells me this emotional feeling isn't quite right to be expressing it to this extent. I feel embarrassed if anyone sees tears welling up in my eyes while they are talking to me. Can you shed some light on this for me?
GF: Your intuition is correct. And there are any number of interior reasons for excessive sentimentality such as you're describing. Nevertheless, persist with the wish to watch your own highly charged emotions. If you will do this with a wish to understand what is producing this kind of pressure in you, you will become gradually conscious of certain hidden emotions that are the source of these states.
Rousseau: I am thinking about compromise, particularly the difference in negative compromise and surrendering in a good way. It comes up in relationship after relationship, including work, family, everywhere! I wish to have more clarity when dealing with others to save myself from the frustrations that self-compromise brings, and to develop the ability to choose in favor of myself more.
GF: The only time that we feel like we must compromise is when we feel like we can't win. That's where the negativity comes in. Any situation we're in with others where we're trying to win, has already caused us to lose something of ourselves. Try to notice where it is you want to "come out on top" and dare to let go of Rousseau in these moments. That's proper surrender. In that action, there is no compromise.
dhaselhoff: What advice would you give to a student who has a real hard time concentrating?
GF: Attention is a faculty of ours. It can be developed or strengthened according to one's realization for the need of this feature. It is our awakened need for some element of our own undeveloped consciousness that is the stimulant and ultimately the provider of what we need. There are exercises for developing one's attention in my book, The Lost Secrets of Prayer. You might start there.
Grayson: Sometimes when I catch my thoughts, I tend to see how this most recent thought came about by tracing the cause/effect of the line of previous thoughts before it, and sometimes come upon one originating thought born from an exterior experience that started it all. Is this practice worthwhile to pursue?
GF: Anything we can do to increase our understanding of the thought machine helps free us from its mechanical life.
nobush: The last time I talked to you, you said (in reference to anger): "Is a little fire better in your hand than a big fire?" Would this apply to all negative emotion we identify with?
stevie: When I am presented with a moment that causes conflict in me, I get muddled and confused in my eagerness to understand and use the situation. Should observing come before understanding the moment?
GF: Getting muddled and confused in any given moment often indicates that we are trying to defeat or overcome the moment. Best if you were to learn what it means to come to an interior stop and catch the parts of you that want to win in the moment, that want to prove yourself in the moment, and just let these go. Working like that will help you to watch the whole of the moment and yourself better.
jaybird: Is there such thing as "social responsibility" or "social justice" in the context of the spiritual path? If so, how is it defined (and practiced)?
GF: The idea of social responsibility and social justice was created by people who want power or authority over others who are not acting according to their morality. There is such thing as responsibility and justice, however. They are natural features of an awakened mind and actions that occur spontaneously in true conscience.
hudnut: Is it possible for a human being to be afraid of divine love (agape)? And if so, how does one go about addressing such a condition? (Could it be merely a fear of the unknown?)
GF: The physical being, the flesh as Saint Paul called it, is incapable of divine love. It has no relationship to it, and therefore instinctively resists it. Don't be concerned about how to address the birth of divine love in yourself. Merely work at inviting this higher relationship between yourself and God, and God will do in your spirit what is necessary for it to become his beloved.
RAY: Is it our birth right to be abundant?
GF: The answer is yes, but if by "abundant" you mean wealthy, powerful, and packed with social position, the answer is no. True abundance is spiritual in nature, and all other forms of abundance are secret emptiness because they are in time and must ultimately dissolve.
James1: Is it wrong (opposite of Truth) to want or have worldly abundance? I know the problem of identifying with such things.
GF: The real question ought to be: Can one fill the hole in ones soul with things of this earth? And the answer is what you must find. When you do, you will have the answer to your question.
Rael: Where is true knowing found? By this I mean that the only way I presently know that I know anything is to have a mental conversation with an imagined person in which I am explaining to him what I know or don't know. But this knowing is temporary, and ultimately proves itself wrong, or at least useless.
GF: What you have said is the beginning of knowing, and you don't have to think to know that. True knowing is a quiet, passive state of a mind that is whole in itself and to itself, in which it is an instrument and a witness to a certain order of Intelligence that knows without thinking what is right, true, and necessary.
BNevrgivup: In your weekly update, you discussed "Public Opinion," and our dependence on favorable views of our self. This is a trap, as you put it. What if you are hated unjustly and rejected unjustly? How do we cope with this situation and the constant fear of rejection which we cannot control?
GF: I have said the following before, but I'll restate it. The only thing that troubles us or frightens us about another person, is what we secretly want from that person. When, through our inner work, we realize (as scripture states) that only God is good, then we will cease to look to others for anything other than natural social interaction.
RAY: In order to go beyond the mind, do you meditate and focus on the silence between thoughts?
GF: Try to understand the following. It's deep. The self that wants to go beyond the mind is a fabrication of the mind it wants to go beyond. When mind sees the truth of what I have just told you, it quiets on its own. Then, the natural state of silence is realized as the ground of that same mind.
jaybird: You (and others who teach higher principles) often counsel us to "drop" negative emotions when we become aware of them. Yet, these feelings often seem to stubbornly refuse to be dropped! Why is this and how can it remedied?
GF: No negative state is truly yours. These conditions are either leftovers of some conditioning, or visitors of some natural expression. Either way, the reason that we can't get rid of negative states is because by trying to get rid of them we identify with them. The awakened mind sees these levels of being without deriving a sense of itself through their being.
Rousseau: One superficial question on the Vernon Howard we sometimes bring up when I search for his work in the public library, I get results of children's books. I'm curious if this author is the same author as you studied with?
GF: Mr. Howard was, in his early days, a prolific writer of children's books.
barry: There is the idea of the middle way, and then there is the idea of total non-identification with the negative state. So where did the Buddhists get the middle way from?
GF: To not be identified with negative states does not mean that one sits and judges the state and then decides not to be identified with it. All forms of judgment are forms of identification. Real non-identification is born out of a mind that understands that it is not what it sees. We are not the thoughts and feelings that we see pass through us, but become them when we identify with their content.
barry: So do we end discouragement through simply non-identification with it, or is there something more to it at a thought level?
GF: Everything begins with bringing our awareness to any condition as it arises within us. This light of awareness penetrates all states of self and discerns from an Intelligence its true nature. Through it we are given the correct action to take toward the state, etc.
LMAC: I've been overweight since I was a small child. I'm learning to be awake as I am eating, but I can see myself still eating beyond the point of physical satisfaction. Do you have some books or materials that may help me see this insidious problem I've had for over forty years?
GF: I invite you to e-mail Chris through our "Contact Us" page and ask her for tape #205 entitled "The Truth that Frees Us from the Addictive Nature." I believe it will help you with your present condition and wish for freedom from it.
Kraig: How do we tell the difference between Truth and the false mind?
GF: Just as one knows the difference between a star and a shark one lends light and the other bites!
barry: I'm a rock 'n roll musician. Most of the lyrics are negative, I guess. So should I just drop my love of this music? I know you were a musician at one time. Is this why you stopped?
GF: Why would one drop what one loves because others do what is not loving? Be your own artist until you no longer wish to pursue the craft. I stopped because I began another path.
Langston: I was watching the Lakers game yesterday. I noticed my aversion for them because they are show-offs, have too much talent, etc. Then, it occurred to me. When I am at work, and I know more then someone else, I show off! Would this prove to be living from a level of existence whose nature is divided? If so, what is my next step?
GF: What you report is a good indication of what is the seed of compassion. We never judge anything so harshly (in others) as we have hidden from ourselves in us. Ask God, the Truth, to show you more and then be willing to see what appears before your inner eyes.
Suzannemly: Do you think seeking a spiritual mentor, someone you actually spend physical time with, is preferable to self-study, reading, chats such as this? If so, any suggestions for finding such a mentor?
GF: The student who seeks light must eventually seek this, and some accept a candle while others want to be near the sun. Each must follow the dictates of his or her own awakening heart.
straydog: I'm still not getting over my friend who died. I've read many of the things that you've told us about grieving; I've stood there and left the empty gulf empty. But still many times the gulf is bottomless, and your advice is just words that bounce off me. My experience is (now I'm just guessing) probably similar to when you lost your friend Vernon, but on my own scale. I wish that I were as awake as you were. I'm in big trouble here what now?
GF: Grief that persists is secretly a negative state of self that keeps itself alive by holding an image of what it has lost in order to continue feeling lost and alone. You must come to see the truth of this by witnessing yourself calling up this image so that then you can feel the pain associated with it.
Grayson: Can you give me some insight into how I can handle the following situations? I have friends with whom I enjoy spending time. We work together and with other very negative people. My friends have always thrown back at them what they dish out. With my new insights into the truth, I do not. I have thoughts that tell me my friends cannot understand me, and thus deem me "weaker" or "inferior" for just walking away.
GF: What matters is not what such friends think. Besides, truth be known, what you think are their thoughts are secretly your own (about them).
kobya: I've been working on myself for some time now and know I have grown to some degree. Recently something I considered "bad" for me occurred and I allowed a hatred for Truth to own me for a month and was negative to everyone. Now it seems I've lost some of my desire for Truth. Any thoughts or encouragement?
GF: These incidents are somewhat to be expected. You should know that anything in you that hates the truth is not you, but a false nature that drags you down into its considerations and that then punishes you for its ill deeds. Just drop this sense of self when it appears, and remember what you love, not what it tells you that you dont love.
confusedwilly: How can I obtain peace? Is peace such an abstract thing that one may find it hard to maintain?
GF: Peace is the natural fruit of a quiet mind and a heart that has reconnected with the Living Light within it. We do not maintain this higher state of self, but it maintains us when we will put its Life first (in us).
kobya: I know I can't be happy in my current career because it requires me doing things I am not comfortable with. I truly feel I will never be comfortable with these aspects and finally (after years) see that nothing is wrong with feeling this way. I fear quitting though because of what may happen to me. What do you suggest?
GF: These moments are difficult, but critical in the development of our soul and its relationship with the Light of God. We see (our situation) by this light and see the darkness in it. You may be assured (but not comforted, yet) that the Light that reveals this condition will guide you safely out of it into something better suited for (its) development (in you). But you will have to risk the fear you feel to learn the truth of this relationship.
GF: Before our chat time on-line runs its course, I would like to pass along the remaining notes from my opening remarks. We are inquiring into what is required of us to realize our relationship with the Eternal Truth that lives within us.
As a quick review for those of you not with us at the beginning, and to refresh the minds of those who were, I introduced the idea of our inherent spiritual longing to search for, find, and to realize "Heaven" on earth. Added to this thought was how elusive this state of self-wholeness seems to be, regardless of how, or where, we have been conditioned to search for this, our "bliss."
Then, with regards to how to realize this unanswered need we have for the Supersensual Life, we touched on what the ancients called the "Invisible Eternals," the Timeless Principles that serve as the secret foundation of all that exists. We left off with the idea that awakening to these Higher Realities is one and the same as realizing our (God-given) True Self.
Our need to discover and realize these Invisible Eternals cannot be over- stated because, the truth is, we are their embodiment. It is this same fact that makes it possible for us to awaken to their existence, align ourselves with their will, and to realize our oneness with them. Now let's take one of these Timeless Principles and see how exploring its Wisdom increases our own.
One Timeless Principle that is evidenced throughout creation is that all things "lesser" have their origin in something "greater." For instance, the branch owes its being to the vine from which it originates; the rivers run back to the seas that give them birth. And so it is when it comes to these Invisible Eternals; amongst them are found "greater" and "lesser" Truths.
With these insights to guide us, let's look into one of the greatest of these Principles taught by every great teacher since time began. In these so-called progressive times, this all but forgotten Principle is as simple as it is prophetic: "We reap what we sow." Share this fact with someone who hates his life and he will hate you for the truth you tell about why he feels as he does!
Everywhere you look today people are only concerned with getting what they want, when they want it, and as fast as possible. The fires that fuel their appetite (for this envisioned success) create so much smoke that they lose sight of the fact that all they reap for their insistent sowing is one regret after another. And of course when things go badly, there is always someone to blame.
If we are ever to realize our Timeless True Self, if we long for heaven on earth while we live here, then we must sow the seeds that help bring that Higher Life into fruition. One cannot expect to reap what one does not sow, and imagining or hoping for a higher life is not the sowing of true spiritual seeds any more than dreaming about climbing a mountain is the same as reaching its top.
To sow spiritual seeds means that we do spiritual work. Spiritual work is always interior work first, even if, as a matter of course, this work becomes manifested through some outer or social action. What is this interior work by which we sow the seeds of the celestial within us? Following are four ways to work at sowing the seeds of a Higher Life.
We must learn not to burden others or ourselves with our disappointments, fearful future visions, or past regrets even as, in the same moment, we learn to ask Truth for more insight into those unseen aspects of our present nature that is, at once, reaping its regrets even as it sows more of the same dark seeds.
We must learn to sit quietly with ourselves and wait patiently for the Light of God's Peace to replace those dark, noisy thoughts and feelings telling us we have too much old baggage to make the Journey Home. Each time we sow these seeds through some quiet meditation, we reap the strength that comes with realizing that this Silence that comes to us is our real Home.
We must learn to remember our intention to start our whole life over every moment we awaken to find ourselves reliving some past conflict. To sow these seeds of a refreshed outlook born of remembering that our True Life is always New, is to let go of who we have been and to begin reaping a life free of anger and fear.
We must learn to look our fears, our weariness, our anxiety, directly in the eye and, instead of seeing what is impossible (according to their view of life), sow the seeds of a whole new possibility by consciously daring to doubt their dark view of things. Our refusal to identify with self-limiting negative states reaps us the reward of realizing ever-new and higher realities.
The key lesson here is that it is not enough to just sow seeds in this physical life, regardless of how sublime they may seem when we set them out. Even those seeds that "succeed" in rewarding us for our effort can only grow forms that must fall in time. If we wish Heaven, Wholeness, Love, and Light to fill our lives, then we must sow their Eternal Seeds within us. That is the Work.
Make your own list of ways to work at sowing the seeds of a New Life, being careful to remember the infallible Principle behind another of the Invisible Eternals: the inner determines the outer. Set yourself to the task of being an inwardly awake person and watch how you begin to reap the awareness that makes all things possible.
Our time has run out. Take time to study tonight's lessons and you sow the seeds of Truth in your mind and heart. Then do the inner work that truth shows you as being needful to do, which it will. The rest of it all just happens according to the Invisible Eternals that are now at work within you.
And now, good night everyone; see you next month on Thursday, April 3, same time and place. Until then . . .
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