GF: Good evening and welcome to our chat for this month of May. First, I will post some special ideas. As you will see, these insights will prove themselves to be critical along the Way to your inner awakening.
There are times when it feels as though dark states of discouragement dog us, following us around as if just waiting for us to fall down, never to rise again. On these days our own lackluster emotions are hounded by thoughts barking at us that nothing is right with our lives. Sound familiar? Clearly, discouragement is a punishing state.
On these same sad days, even the smallest wish on our part to part ways with these sentiments is greeted with waves of doubt that, like an undertow, turn our resolve not to sink into a malaise into what feels like a futile struggle with the inevitable! Unspoken, yet most telling, we can hear reverberating within us words to the effect, "What's the point? Why bother?" Then, as though we have heard from the Fates themselves, we accept as our guide the dreariness of some "can't do" negative state.
Is this how it must be? Must we mingle ourselves with what discourages us? The answer to these questions is decidedly "No!" But to free ourselves from the spell that discouragement casts over our consciousness requires that we gain New Self- Knowledge. The Good News is that once we have uncovered exactly how this negative state steals our will and turns us into will-less toadstools, we are on the road to realizing a life that sits out of the reach of any discouraging state. So, let's get started.
We begin our journey with a truth: All discouraging feelings are a lie. Now perhaps you are already wondering how something with the power to wreck us can be called unreal. So, please make the mental note that this initial truth doesn't mean that we don't feel the weight of bleak moments, nor does it mean that many of us don't fall beneath their spell and become trampled under their powerful illusion. No, discouraging states of self can land upon us with the force of a thousand regrets. They sneak in and steal our vitality, infusing the very atmosphere around us with misgivings about our lives. Clearly just contending with such an adversary is a task, let alone hoping to overcome its negative influences and come out on top. But that is exactly what we are going to do!
The next truth we must realize about discouragement is that it makes no difference why we feel this darkness in us -- meaning that what our discouraged feelings blame themselves upon is of no consequence when it comes to our eventual conquest over them. For instance, sometimes we can feel discouraged because our past efforts have never prevailed over what challenges us, so why try now? Or perhaps we are disheartened because one of our main hopes for happiness suddenly proves itself to be hopeless. Maybe we get downcast in the day because our body, or our mind, is no longer capable of doing what it once could in younger years, and all we see on the horizon are more limitations.
The point is -- when it comes to these dispiriting states -- it makes no difference what they say is the cause of their punishing presence within us. The truth is that these dark states find the cause they need to inhabit us right from within the content of our own past experience! What does this mean?
Negative states, all dark energies that enervate us, only succeed at draining us because they are capable of making us see -- drawn up from the storehouse of our own mental and emotional memories -- those psychically loaded images that validate their existence. In other words (and this following Key Lesson deserves your careful consideration if you wish to conquer this unwanted condition): The only power these dark states hold over us is that they get us to identify with feeling ourselves as being powerless. And when such strong feelings of futility are accompanied by what is seen (in our own mind's eye) as being valid -- because we are given over to unconsciously recall the considerations that make them so -- then boom! The trap is sprung and into the darkness we go!
Had enough of feeling like you are never enough? Good! Then before we close our chat tonight, I will pass along the additional insights and Key Lessons that you will need to start walking away from any discouraging state.
Please, as always, let's keep our questions and comments centered around and upon personal inner-work issues. Let's avoid asking philosophical, or otherwise merely spiritually curious questions. No one profits from these types of inquiries, while everyone grows from one's real questions that arise from one's real efforts to awaken. All right then, what should we discuss tonight? What is on your mind? What can we learn together?
jaybird: Your opening remarks really resonated with me as I have become increasingly aware of how much part of me actually enjoys reliving unpleasant scenes from my past. On a mental level, I know this is harmful and just plain stupid, yet I can't seem to just drop it. Your guidance here would be greatly appreciated.
GF: Nothing can change for us with regards to our mind drawing us into unpleasant past memories until we can actually be aware of the fact that the parts of us that are drawn into these dark daydreams enjoy being dragged through what they later protest. Next time you find an unpleasant scene unfolding on the screen of your mind, deliberately come awake to yourself. This means cease to identify with the scene playing out. This will teach you much.
seeker: Are you saying that any dark state is a lie and that by simply seeing it (throwing light upon it) that it will lose its power over us?
GF: I'm saying that the state of captivity that comes over us because we are identified with dark states is an unnecessary condition, i.e., therefore not real, and therefore it may be seen as being a lie because the truth about it dispels it. We must not seek ways to be more powerful than what we feel overpowers us. It is our identification with these states that must be seen and dropped.
Randy: The discouragement I feel is from a lack of love for myself and, in turn, the inability to be affectionate towards my wife. Where do I begin? How do you give what you don't have?
GF: Start with this: Throw out all of your ideas about what you lack and what it seems to produce in your relationship with others. Sounds to me like you've read one too many books on "loving." Come awake. Don't think about what you feel, or why you feel it. Instead, be as aware as you can as to what your relationship with these thoughts and feelings is producing in you in the moment. Do that much. You will get what you need to change.
Randy: It seems so simplistic to just be aware of your thoughts and how you feel in the presence of those thoughts. I find it so very difficult to separate myself from my thoughts, and the irony is that I feel so separate from everyone else!
GF: From your comments it is evident that you are starting to see certain inexplicable (up to now) facts about yourself. This is good. The Secret about bringing our selves into the Light of awareness is that this Light of awareness is a Living Light, with powers of transforming and reorganizing what is brought into it. The separative self wants nothing of the life in the Light.
markus: Is self-discipline important? Or do we change once we recognize the Truth about our situation?
GF: Self-discipline is the early stage of a mind that catches and corrects its own tendencies toward self-compromise or defeat. As one's mind awakens to itself, the light that dawns within it doesn't so much discipline the self as it simply keeps us from making self-defeating choices.
Nicole: I was wondering what advice you have about people with mental illness? Did they "choose" this? My mother has bi-polar illness. It is not only hard for me to handle when the episodes happen (as I am the one who has to "deal" with it and make hospital arrangements and such), but it is even harder to watch her struggle with this illness. She has had it for 28 years now. It happened to her the day I was born.
GF: I have the same advice for everyone, regardless of the conditions they find themselves in with one another. Every relationship in this life is a gift. Through them, we are offered the opportunity to see and meet within ourselves the qualities of character that prohibit us from fulfilling the promise of our True nature. Be kind. Consider her needs before your own whenever possible. Be a good daughter.
801: Could a mental illness, such as Nicole mentioned, be a gift to her mother?
GF: The human being has within his or her essence the remarkable ability to turn lead into gold. This means that when a person loves Truth/God/the Light more than anything else, that everything this person encounters in life works out to be a gift for them because the Light that is active within them transforms all forms.
steveb: Would you say cancer also is a gift, or could it be random genetic chance?
GF: There is a lot of New Age nonsense around today about such ideas as someone "chooses" a horrible condition for themselves, or that we give ourselves painful conditions as gifts. Underneath such ideas is secret and destructive egotism. It is true that all things can be good for those for whom the Good is all things, but it is the Good itself that ultimately determines and defines such outcome.
noah: You've said that outside conditions don't contribute to our feeling of being "tied up," but what about when a person is literally tied up, or trapped physically in some other way, and being tortured as well... is the "disturbance" still in the person's mind?
GF: If you are not yourself experiencing the condition you described, than what's the point of your question? Obviously, someone who is physically restrained is physically tied-up. But even so, his captors are not the keeper of his consciousness, and he may be free regardless of his conditions.
sanajaja: What about genetics? How big of a role do they play in the person we really are, or do they?
GF: Just as principle precedes the forms it produces, so is it true that consciousness comes before the genetics that reveal it. Change consciousness, change everything.
RRUU22: My son worries about what other people think of him all of the time. I have to reassure him constantly. He is 28 years old!
GF: One of the secret curses that most of us live with is born out of the false and painful assumption we have been given to live with that what other people think of us makes any real difference in the quality of our lives. Point out to him that it is not the thoughts of others that trouble him, but his own thoughts about those thoughts. Help him to awaken; don't be a part of his bad dream.
Eric: I'm trying (or maybe I imagine I'm trying) to apply this new esoteric knowledge to my being. My adventure started about one year ago with your Secret of Letting Go. My question: How do I know whether or not I'm applying this knowledge correctly? I don't want to build a house upon the sand.
GF: Actually, more important than the question "Am I applying this knowledge correctly," is the question "to what am I intending this knowledge to change?" There are things that we are given the gift of being able to change. We may affect change in our own being. Such change can be true, real, and everlasting. We may change some things in the exterior world, but these powers and the changes they affect are always temporary.
McRat: I'm very interested in knowing when you will be in the San Francisco Bay Area again.
GF: At this point, the remaining leg of my talk series will be in the great northwest, from which I will return for our annual Talks in the Pines at the Foundation in southern Oregon. The dates are June 19th through the 23rd. If you can attend these talks, I'm sure you will come away strengthened in your wish for Real Life. See the link on the homepage for more information. Also, be sure your name is on our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date on my travel plans.
DanG: Would you review with us what you mean by "remember yourself and remember God"? I am sure you don't mean an image we have of God.
GF: The idea of remembering oneself and remembering God sound like and seem to be two separate ideas, but they are not. If a person truly remembers himself, is awake in the moment to the whole of his or her nature, this self-awareness brings with it the remembrance of God because no one remembers himself in this way without knowing at that moment his utter dependency upon a Life within himself greater than himself.
DanG: Are you saying that we must be aware of our false personality at work and remember that we in reality have a godly nature within us that has been covered up by our development of a false personality?
GF: I'm saying that real self-awareness is the same as perfect self-honesty. Further, that perfect self-honesty is a form of conscious confession, and that conscious confession, by the fact of one's recognition and realization of their actual nature, implies the existence of that Life that sits above the person doing this work.
RRUU22: Although I'm getting better, I seem to clam up when I'm having a conversation with some people.
GF: One good bit of inner work for all of us is to work in the opposites. In this instance, when you find yourself feeling like you should "clam up," that's the time to deliberately, consciously, open up. Why? In doing so, you will become aware in an enhanced manner of the parts of you that, for their fear, are trying to make you disappear. Our task is to bring light into ourselves. The Light does the rest.
Ruth: In a recent taped talk you said, "The right answer is: Let me help you with that!" Am I misunderstanding this, or does it mean we may NEVER retreat from someone swinging a hammer but believing/insisting it is a feather fan? I know that Christ said 70 times 7 is not enough, but I have seriously struggled with this a long lifetime when is enough enough, lest we entrap ourselves in martyrdom that leads no one anywhere?
GF: Of course, all such decisions are entirely individual as to where the line is with helping others at the cost of ourselves. This does not mean to live in abusive relationships. This does not mean to consort with thieves of any sort who steal what they might from you given the opportunity. What we're working for is learning to put the love of something before self-love. This "something" that we put before us we may call Truth, God, Kindness, what you will.
Ruth: Sorry to be dense-headed on this issue, but does "Let me help you/me with that" include breaking off, retreating as in what the Christ referred to with words like "even brush the dust of their soil from your shoes" (after departure)? Declaring someone "hopeless" (inwardly) is arrogance, but isn't to "hang in there, under the hammer" with "let me help you with that" just the opposite side of that wooden nickel?
GF: Yes, under certain circumstance it is just as viable to walk away from someone, as a form of helping them, as it would be to stay there and help them through the condition you would rather not. This is why it is so important not to have mechanical ideas or cultural behaviors as our guide. Let your own awakened intuition walk you through what is best. Do your best; the rest works out.
Ruth: Your response to what constitutes "let me help you with this" has given me enormous relief. I had a horror of abandoning anything/anyone, and now I clearly see that it leads back to age two, feeling abandoned in an orphanage waiting for a mother who died that is, it is about self and about conditioning, not "owned"/resolved. Thank you so much for saying that retreating may be a form of help.
GF: The answer is to proceed in life while remembering that our real intention is not the invention of something that let's us live with what is hurting us. By putting our wish to see the Truth before our wish to prove (to ourselves) that we already know it, the Truth is given the reins it needs to guide us to the revelation that liberates us (from what formerly held us captive).
Roy: From your tape "The Path to Perfect Peace" I'm working with the idea of "Let me help you with that." I've had some encounters where it is just impossible for me to accept that the destructive qualities I see in others are also in me. Are there some exceptions to this interplay, or is the truthful concept of "I can't judge what I don't know" immutable?
GF: The concept "I can't judge what I don't know" is indeed immutable. If what we react to in others were not in us prior to our reaction, there could be no possible resistance to the qualities in others that bring up this negative reaction. Key here is not to judge yourself any more than any other in whom you see some unsavory quality. "Let me help you with that" applies to us in ourselves as much as us with others.
Roy: If it's immutable, then I must be denying in me what I see in them. Not to judge is a tough one, especially on myself. Where do I take it from here? I am always looking for some resolution. Do I stay with my resistance to those qualities and see what's on the other side of that?
GF: There is an unrealized (by the sleeping self) pain and pressure in any judgment we cast upon others or ourselves. Our awareness of this self-inflicted punishment is the beginning of the end of our participating with the unconscious parts of ourselves that mechanically act out this ache.
crystalphoto: I am having problems with my expectations of people and feeling disappointed when friends do not act in the way I think they should towards me. I am currently experiencing a lot of anger with a person I considered such a good friend who I feel is manipulating me and causing a situation to be much worse. I have been doing my best not to go to these angry places. Is there a place for anger and disagreement with friends that is OK?
GF: Disagreement with others is a naturally occurring condition and not to be avoided simply because it causes anger in us or some other negative reaction. On the other hand, anger and negative reactions toward others always arise within us from some unconscious expectation or demand we carry about that person. Our pain is that what we are identified with -- how they should treat us and what that makes us -- gets thwarted. Negative states such as anger are destructive not only to the nature that embraces them, but are counterproductive to our wish to be in agreement with one another. If we could see how poisoning and punishing anger and other aggravated states of self are, we would never have to ask if they're OK for us any more than we would ask if it's OK (if it's good for us) to jump off a cliff!
James1: What is it about guilt that makes it so engulfing? When I begin to work towards having some of the rewards of this life, part of me constantly reminds me of my shortfalls and how undeserving I am to be rewarded.
GF: We live from a nature (unconsciously of course at this time) that does not care what it does to us in its name as long as we can have the feeling of being on center stage with the spotlights on us. Guilt and other self-considerations of a selfish nature always seem to be the opposite to us. We think it means that we must be good if we feel that bad. See what is good and what is bad in you and then drop the fascination with the bad.
jenn: How does the study and cultivation of Chi/etheric life energy fit into one's spiritual development? Is this pursuit merely a distraction from what is really important? I teach in a Waldorf school, and Steiner was adamant about the etheric and astral bodies being very real.
GF: What I will say is not to minimize the principle of etheric or other subtle bodies, but what we need to be working upon is not so much the cultivation of higher energies, but the ability to be aware of where we are wasting these precious forces. What good is filling a basket with no button? When we are awake to ourselves, the light that is active within us prohibits unnecessary loss of vital forces and attracts qualities like itself by its presence.
BarryF: As we persist with our "inner work," can we know (feel and experience) that we're making progress? Is it measurable?
GF: There is a chapter section in one of my books, Freedom from the Ties that Bind, that I actually wrote for the purpose of helping others get a "handle" on such questions. The chapter is entitled "40 Ways to Measure Your Spiritual Progress." If you don't have the book, you can get it online from this website. If it doesn't help you, just return it no problem.
Eric: I read in Maurice Nicholl's "Commentaries" about the idea of recurrence, which states that if a man's personality remains active and essence does not grow, that man will "recur" and live the exact same life over again, with all the miseries that he created for himself. If recurrence is true, then does that mean that a man is given eternity, literally, to become what he was created to become?
GF: Nothing in this universe is static. Nothing. We are always in the process of ascending or descending. The good news is that part of what we must go through, i.e., falling down in our lives, helps us to become conscious of the Truth that "up" exists. As long as a person persists with his or her wish to awaken and have a God-centered life, the opportunity persists.
Eric: The thing that I want this knowledge to change is this guy called Eric. I want to make my personality "passive" as Nicholl would say. I'm truly sick of my old nature, and I believe some change is happening. But whether Eric is becoming passive or not, I will continue to work, because each glimpse of the truth is the promise of further glimpses, as you might say. This is great stuff!
GF: Your attitude is right. I promise you that any work that you will give yourself to (and then carefully watch the results thereof) will lead you unfailingly to the next step in your work to realize greater and greater truths.
Barry: I typed the following statement out and put it on top of my computer so I can have it as a constant reminder would you agree with the words that I've chosen? How would you say it? "A negative state cannot be born unless it is given birth to through the agreement of thought. Either positive resistance or negative agreement bring that state to life because you're dealing with it on its level."
GF: Negative states in and of themselves are not the problem. Truth be known, negative forces are part of what permits us to grow. The pain and captivity that comes with "being" negative is born out of our unconscious identification with the dark state. Once a dark state commands our faculties, we serve it in the dark circle that comprises its consciousness.
Doc: You are always telling us to stay awake, but in a chat a few months ago, you said, "Experience fully what the unattended mind connects to. Do not try to stay attentive all the time. See where you're hypnotized, and lose interest in that. Be aware of the pain that unconsciousness brings." Isn't this advice contrary to "try to stay awake moment to moment"?
GF: With all due respect, never would I say that a man should be, or in any way agree with, being inattentive to himself, which means that you have misunderstood something. The essence of this Work has to do with awakening within ourselves that Nature that is naturally endowed with the ability to observe itself impartially. This awareness is both a haven and a force for change. Stay awake.
801: Is "trying to stay attentive" also a source of hypnosis?
GF: One's work to stay awake and inwardly attentive is the antithesis of hypnosis.
James1: Could you please speak more about "awakening that Nature that is naturally endowed with the ability to observe itself impartially"? Your previous answer just struck me. I've tried to work with the ugly parts, not considering there is this part. I believe this relates to "no room at the inn."
GF: One cannot become aware of what is limiting him without first sensing this limitation. His consciousness of (any) limit comes to him from an unseen (but simultaneous) awareness of what is less limited within him. The painful part of self-observation is born out of identifying with the limited vs. realizing this condition is present to the mind because of the limitless.
kda: Can you offer some insight into dealing with the loss of a pet? How do we turn it into a learning experience?
GF: One of the things that I am always stressing in one way or another in my talks with students is that much (if not all) of our pain in this life is born out of mistaking what is temporary for the eternal. The loss of any creature that we love is painful no doubts. But let us learn to use such loss as a reminder that we should always be attending to the Eternal, to God, even as we give ourselves to what passes.
kidd: Is it possible to care so much for a person and to see so much about them as to actually lose interest in a future with that person because you have so much empathy? I sometimes feel this way and I don't think I am identifying with this sensation either.
GF: What you describe is a contradiction. This contradiction cannot exist anywhere other than within your own mind, as the more we love anything in this life, the more we want to spend time within that love.
steveb: Do you believe there is a connection between what we eat and consciousness, and if so, what part does diet play in healing our neuroses? Also, is diet less a part of the state of mind we experience as we progress, or more as we become more sensitive to our true nature?
GF: There is no question that the kind of food we eat, as well as the way we are when we eat it, has an impact upon our organism. The body is a factory capable of producing extraordinary product. However, junk in, junk out. The body breaks down, and the mind loses its capacity to consider even its own condition. Breakdown follows at all levels. The more awake we become, the more consciously we eat.
steveb: Is a strict diet and exercise essential to health, or does a positive attitude and calm mind transform the physical?
GF: Everything in moderation is the golden rule each nature to its own.
Barry: What is your take on Jesus getting angry, turning over the tables, etc. in the temple story?
GF: All parables in the New Testament are interior stories intended to teach the aspirant about the invisible domain and forces within which he or she must learn to walk and interact.
kidd: You often speak of "TPIC's." Are they just the different emotions within us, and should they should be totally disregarded?
GF: "TPIC" stands for "Temporary Person In Charge." If you haven't read The Intimate Enemy, it explains fully this psychological creature that commands (at present) our consciousness. The TPIC is why we cannot learn. The TPIC is responsible for the circle of self. Anything in us that shows up after we crash to explain to us how to fix what we crashed into is itself a part of the accident we just had. Learn this by seeing it in yourself.
IamTerry: Do you believe in personality disorders, or do you think it's just the result of abuse in childhood? If we don't like how we are, can we change? I'm speaking about myself. I don't like who/how I've been all my life. I am 53 and hope there is hope for me.
GF: Let me assure you that there is always hope for anyone who refuses to fall into self-rejection and self-loathing. The subject of personality disorders covers too much ground to discuss. However, apart from actual organic problems in the brain, virtually everyone you know has a personality disorder. This means that they are caught in resisting their own nature as it plays itself out, not knowing that what resists the disorder is itself a part of it.
RLG: Can you describe who the anti-Christ is? Is he a real person or some kind of collective consciousness that many share within? Is this what we see in ourselves that is so ugly and fidgets to keep us imprisoned in our minds?
GF: Keep it simple. Don't get caught up in a bunch of words. For instance, anti-Christ means that which is against the light of love and its ability to transform the darkness into light and love. Therefore, anger could be called anti-Christ. Fear falls under the same heading.
steveb: Are the activities planned for day and evening during the June retreat, and is there transport from Grant's Pass to the center?
GF: There are nine special events (talks) and more planned from the 19th through the 23rd of June at our annual meeting at the Foundation. We also have a seven-meeting possibility if you can only make it only for the weekend of the 21st - 23rd. The talks are entitled, "The Heart and Soul of Freedom."
steveb: Do you have an opinion about "The Course in Miracles" and do you recommend any other books besides your own?
GF: I have no opinion about the book you mentioned. There are recommended books in our library at the Foundation, a list of which will soon be available online.
steveb: Do you also have a music library at your center and a suggested listening list? Do you feel music can enlighten as well?
GF: We do not have this feature yet, but your question invites us to begin its consideration. Thank you.
Barry: What you do to change a disturbance is the disturbance, so what is the proper use of thought to create a goal that one desires to happen without coming into agreement with the lack of not having what one desires?
GF: The correct idea here is that "resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance" (Vernon Howard). If a goal we set is to try and create some condition exterior to ourselves for the purposes of making us feel more powerful (or whatever other psychological quality you would add), then all such actions secretly empower the secret opposite that drives this desire.
Barry: Should we always be focused on our outcome in life (i.e., "I desire to I am going to") through thought and action, always moving towards what we desire instead of away from what we don't want so that what we focus on expanding?
GF: Far better than focusing upon one's desires is to focus on being awake to the nature of (self-serving) desires to begin with. "What man taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?" asked the Christ. Find the answer to this question and watch a whole new range of positive actions be born in you.
hawkeye: Is there a best way to deal with a person who is expressing extreme anger either at you or someone physically near you?
GF: Yes, but it is difficult work. First, always remember that angry states in others -- part of their very purpose -- is to elicit in whomever they are thrown at, a similar state. Fire loves fire, and would have it spread and grow wherever possible. This means your task is to watch the fire rise in you, instead of allowing the sleeping parts of yourself to be drawn into the fire in the person before you. Stay awake, watch, drop yourself.
DanG: Is what we call God formless?
GF: Yes, and yet this Divine Life is revealed in all of the forms we see.
Barry: What is your take on the statement that "Every thought is a prayer being spoken"? Conscious or unconscious, we do create all the time!
GF: Exactly, therefore the unattended mind is a veritable mine field!
straydog: I was recently discriminated against because I was not of a certain religion. The situation that I'm in often feels like "sometime things are just unfair." Sometimes my situation is barely tolerable. I'm confused.
GF: If we run with wolves, why do we cry out when they turn on us and lash out with their claws?
DanG: Is it true that no one will have a chance at seeing the truth until all belief (religion, politics, etc.) is done away with?
GF: No, this is not true. Truth, its dawning and fulfillment, is entirely an individual love story.
Seeker: I have seen the results of this work. It's quite amazing the changes in my life in a very short time.
GF: Keep going. Always remember that there are parts of us that want us to accept some final form of ourselves, and the Truth is that Love, the Living Light, is formless.
kidd: What about fearful thoughts of the future, especially being physically attacked? (I am in personal protection.)
GF: No such fear can attack us without having first drawn us into a back alley (of ourselves) called negative imagination. Staying awake in the present moment, mind quiet and watchful of outer and inner intruders, is the best protection on earth.
kidd: Are you saying that all images of the future are nothing more than us seeing some picture of something false within us? if so, should we try to see where they come from? How should we look at the future then?
GF: Apart from practical planning for one's necessities in the time to come, there is no natural need in a human being to form any images whatsoever about the future. Such images almost always hold a pleasant dream or hope for us from which we derive a sense of pleasure and even possession. But all these images really produce is the secret fear that what we have hoped may not come to pass as we've hoped it. See this.
Barry: I understand what you saying about anchoring yourself to what's timeless or observing the challenge at hand. My situation now is I observe these challenges, but I wonder because does one eventually feel a sense of direction to go in with ones life (goals). I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with my life.
GF: It's not much comfort for me to say at this point to you the following, but nevertheless it is true, and you will find comfort one day in learning that these words are true: Give yourself to God, surrender your life to your wish to be awake within it. Follow your heart's desire to be whole and free. Whatever else you have to do to live, just do it. It (meaning what you must do) will become secondary to what Truth will show you that you should do.
steveb: Can we hope to remove suffering from our consciousness entirely? Can we live honestly in a state of blissful consciousness?
GF: We can end our presently punishing relationship with unconscious suffering, and by our inner work awaken to the creative movement of Life within us, and that sustains and activates our universe. Then we participate in change vs. feeling conflicted over it!
ed: When one has done all the preparation for a creative work and somehow just cannot take the next step, what would you suggest?
GF: Start anyway! The creative act follows the act of creativity.
noah: If I may ask, what were the childhood experiences that you mentioned on KPFK? Have you ever done psychedelics and/or what do you think about them? Have you heard about the studies in the '60's with LSD that showed it to be supposedly very beneficial? I bring it up because I've had some very, very, very profound and/or life-changing experiences involving LSD.
GF: The early spiritual experiences in my pre-teen life, etc., are of a very personal nature and not something I discuss in any informal setting. As far as psychotropic drugs are concerned, I do not endorse their use. The risks far outweigh real changes. True change in us cannot be affected through a chemical substance even though such substances may reveal unimaginable changes are possible (for us).
Faust: Why is there pain in this world? Is it because of the "fall" in Genesis, when the first sin came into existence? Were we originally never meant to experience the pain that we do? I've been doing the inner work to eradicate unseen pain in my life, and it works, but were we really ever meant to experience the pain that we do? I can't even stand to see lions rip a water buffalo apart on "Animal Planet." Do we have a cruel God? Why would he allow such pain in this world?
GF: Know thyself and all else shall be revealed.
cyahna: What is the key to self-development that truly unlocks it for all?
GF: The Need, the Wish, the Willingness, the Receptivity, and the Realization that one must start right where he or she is.
DanG: Is not the key to self-development years and years of work on oneself?
GF: Everything changes in a flash of Light. Truth is Timeless even though it manifests itself to us within us in an instrument of time. It takes days to summit a high peak, and then the glory is right there (as it always was) with you in the present.
DebbiE: I'm coming to the "Talks in the Pines" without my kids. My six year old son is experiencing fear about my leaving him that is manifesting in fear of the dark more than usual. I sense that this is a good time to help him understand these principles rather than give up the trip. Is this a good take on the situation?
GF: Yes, in the long run we help others we love to "grow up" by being willing to do some growing up of our own!
sdhal: Must one always stay in a marriage for the sake of the kids?
GF: Hatred and violence is more destructive to young souls than is the absence of a father figure as a live-in fixture around them.
steveb: Do you think sports play a helpful role in our society, or are they merely a distraction from ourselves?
GF: Sports today as in any time are a reflection of the society that breeds them. Keep things personal with regards to such questions. Forget what others are doing. Ask: "Am I hiding out in front of the TV (or in anything else I do)?" This is all one needs to know.
noah: Is the past relevant at all? It seems that you suggest that the past is not relevant.
GF: All things are relevant. It is just that before they reveal their value, we are required to understand how they fit into the grander scheme of things. For instance, the past as a place to wander through in thought is useless to the true aspirant.
Let me give you the balance of the notes I promised I would when we began. The special lessons for our study this evening center around the lie known as discouragement.
When we feel discouraged, it is just that: We are without the courage we need to attempt whatever it is before us. Feeling emotionally drained and mentally depleted, we seem to have nothing to call upon to overcome life's challenges. We never feel so alone as when we are in the company of dark, discouraging thoughts and feelings which brings us to a vital lesson in our search for liberation: This dreaded sense of isolation that discouragement draws us into is a part of its punishing plan.
What does this mean -- this idea that discouraged thoughts and feelings want us to feel alone? Here is a quick glimpse of an amazing insight to help us defeat this darkness at work within us: Discouraged states of self can only breed themselves in a specialized sense of isolation, in a dark medium that is able to affect in us the illusion that we have been cut off from the Endless Resources of Real Life. In other words, the reason discouraging states hold us captive is because they have managed to convince us that all there is, is the limited darkness of their reality!
And this reality -- regardless of how we protest its presence -- impresses itself upon us until this unconscious conspiracy is almost complete. No doubt we would be headed for a kind of black hole in our own consciousness were it not for one thing: Discouragement only has the last word with us as long as we give our consent to what it would have us believe is true about ourselves.
But we can do better than agree to ache, and here is how: When we know that who we really are, our True nature (our God-given Self), is not created to be contained by any dark condition, then we act in these moments from an altogether different Truth. And this knowledge, born from Truth and founded in the faith it holds in the freedom of the Living Light, does the rest for us!
Here, for your study, is the One Secret that Defeats Discouragement. The more you will work to integrate its insight into your mind and heart, the better will it be empowered to go before you to help light your Way. Stay awake and bring its wisdom with you into your every moment. Do this and watch how defeated feelings fall way.
The principle trick any discouraging state plays on us, as it descends upon us, is that we are made to feel as though we have reached the end of our powers, and hence, our possibilities. Assessing ourselves from this perception, we are certain there is no farther we can go because we have nothing to get us there! Our overriding sensation is not too dissimilar from a train out of steam and thrown off its tracks; we feel deadened and derailed with little hope of ever getting started again. But, as we will now discover, what has been pushed upon us by this dark state as being real, and the actual Reality of what is available to us, are two totally different things. Let's see:
The next paragraph holds the great secret of how it is possible for us to defeat any discouraging state. But, like all great spiritual secrets, the only way it can be coached to tell itself to us, and grant to us its power, is if we will do the Work it requires of us to reveal its hidden treasure of Truth. Read and study the next insight until its Light breaks in you.
First, the depth and breadth of ones awareness is a feature of the Ever-Present Now within which it dwells. This Timeless Now is omnipresent; it dwells everywhere already, knowing no boundaries. Nothing can capture awareness any more than a cloud can hold back the sky. Here is what this means:
Our awareness of discouragement, or of any negative state for that matter, transcends its boundary and already dwells beyond the limits of its confining darkness. Which brings us to this discouragement-busting Truth: Whenever we will lend our attention to the inner task of working to transcend some dark state at work within us then -- in that same moment -- even if we dont see the immediate fruits of our effort, we actually release it, and ourselves, from its restrictions. For our effort to be conscious of our condition instead of remaining its captive fresh energies flood over and through us lifting us into the new understanding that who we really are can never be held back! Our willingness to bring that dark, discouraged state into our awareness of it, instead of allowing it to define what we are aware of, has changed our very relationship with life!
Now the path before us, only a moment before impossibly dark and shut off to us, opens up to us because we have opened ourselves to God's endless resources. No walls exist because the nature now active within us cannot be walled in by negative (life-stealing) thoughts and feelings. We can no longer be dominated because we have chosen Truths Illumination as our advocate.
Let me leave you with this one last thought: There is a Way already made for us to be free, fulfilled, kind, and true. Our task is the realization of this Wisdom awaiting us within the Living Light in ourselves. We may take some comfort in knowing that nothing in the universe can stop us from knowing this Perfected Life because the Divine has already seen to the Truth of it. We need only agree to pay the Cost of this Consciousness and we will find that the needed Coins are there in our pocket.
See you next month on Thursday, the 6th of June. Remember yourselves, remember God, and do your work to integrate tonight's lessons. Nothing is more valuable or important than our wish and willingness to have a God-centered, Light-filled Life.