- Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2002
- 7712 words
GF: Welcome everyone. Let me open our meeting with some thoughts about what is required of us to realize the peace of mind for which we all long. No one can come upon this Real Silence without understanding certain truths about its nature. So we will discuss some of these truths now, and again at the close of our chat.
Now, let's begin at the beginning with an important point that ought to be more obvious to us than it is (at present): Concerning peace of mind, one thing should be clear: either we are at peace wherever we are -- because this peace goes with us -- or what we call our peace is a product of one of the following two possibilities: (1) Either by choice or by accident we have entered into some pleasing, and therefore peaceable condition, or, (2) the peace we enjoy at hand is the child of a particular condition over which we have attained some kind of temporary command.
In all situations such as these, though largely unconscious to us, we know our newfound peace is conditional -- the evidence being that we usually find ourselves hard at work to keep our present circumstances in place, whatever it takes. The proof of this uneasy "truce" with our troubles-at-bay is that we will resist any movement that runs contrary to our desired set-up.
Clearly such a qualified peace is not True Peace at all, if for no other reason than this order of peace lives in league with our unseen need to fight with anything that threatens its existence! It's obvious: Any sense of peace found through resisting some disturbance passes as soon as does our equally false sense of control (over that commotion).
Which brings us to this first key lesson: True Peace is not a sensation; neither is it anything the mind can imagine. Emotions and dreams are of the finite, temporary world. True Peace is the outpouring of a timeless Silence whose reality sits outside the movement of the opposites at play. In other words: Any peace subject to changing conditions is, at best, a collapsible pleasure.
Before we can hope to know the Peace that "passes all understanding," we must realize the nature of that True Silence from out of which it rises. The path to our perfection in Truth is of this Stillness. And even though it retreats as the acquisitive self approaches -- crying out for its solace -- this relationship is our task. So then, how is one to approach the "unapproachable"?
True Silence may be called upon, but it is without cause, which means it appears on its own and remains with one only as long as it pleases its own secret purpose. Nevertheless, one may court this sovereign Stillness through a quiet wish to understand its life within one's own. But, as with all things of the Spirit, definite rules govern the Higher Realms of this Reality.
To begin with, True Silence cannot be possessed; it is neither a thing to hold, nor some condition to be controlled. Yet, as it cannot be "gained," neither can it be lost, which means that whomever it embraces lives in a world free of fear. What does this mean to us who seek the Life of Peace? How do we proceed to enter into this inexpressible Being?
To do this one must start out from the right place. And this is where so many seekers lose their way. So our study does not begin with some imagined nature of Silence, and the pleasurable sensations of peace that accompany such dreams, but with those unseen barriers within us that prohibit this natural Grace and its Goodness from being our constant companions.
With these ideas in mind, see how simple is the following truth, for within it is a great secret about what we need to understand if we wish to proceed into the Peaceful Life: One of the main obstacles barring the entrance to the path to True Silence is that this realm cannot be entered by thought. This fact has far-reaching implications for those willing to investigate it seriously.
For one thing, this means that the True Path of Peace can be known only through the process of negation: the discovery and realization within oneself of what is whole and true by seeing through what is divided and false. Here is such a discovery: True Silence can not be found in one's future, or in any such imagined condition yet to come. Here is why this is true: The very idea of silence that we fashion for ourselves, regardless of its time frame, produces in us -- at the moment of its conception -- a kind of "noise," a certain emotional clattering that we have grown insensitive to due to our continual immersion within it. This noise is that familiar and pleasing sensation we feel when we imagine some silence soon to be our own.
Ironic isn't it, if we can see it? The very silence that we hope for in earnest is "disturbed" and kept at bay by our own manifested desire for its presence! And yet, within this very knowledge is a glimmer of Light; some truth to take us further if we will embrace what it shows us. For when we realize that our own desire -- that longing that is always at work dreaming up our more peaceable tomorrow -- is actually the agent of what disturbs our peace in the present moment, then we will begin to break free of this unconscious force -- the nature that always craves what it does not have in order to become what it hopes to be!
At the end of tonight's chat I will finish these thoughts and offer you some new ideas and insights about specific ways we can work inwardly to better understand the nature of the noise in our hearts and minds.
What would you like to talk about tonight? Have you been working on some special condition within yourself and need 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 real self-change is our wish. What do you want to discuss? What's on your mind? Let's get started!
AL: When quieting my mind, there is sometimes a feeling of peace and clarity in the present moment, but often there is this gloomy, dark feeling of emptiness, together with a sense of fear about the future making me feel very vulnerable. Why this inconsistency?
GF: One of the small pieces of higher knowledge that we need when we set out on the path of Truth is that not all of us wants to make this journey. Within us dwell certain energetic bodies that are only comfortable in a dark and divided world. When we become quiet and invite the Light into us to see ourselves and this life by, this entrance of the ineffable sets off this level of self. Watch it like you watch everything else, and let go of anything it brings up in you.
Gabe: I have a girlfriend who might be toxic to me, but I am not sure if she really is because she claims she understands her faults and wants to do better. Should I continue to pray for us both and keep faith?
GF: Such a question is difficult to answer in this environment, but if one spends time with someone who uses "sorry about that" as proof they don't want to continue being a vexation, then one may safely say this person is not interested in the change they apologize for not having made. Watch everything, be kind, and you will know soon enough what ought to be done for your own spiritual well-being.
Gabe: Are toxic relationships out to rob us of our peace knowingly or unknowingly? And is toxicity an inherent trait?
GF: Nothing steals from us without us handing over the goods.
cmontgomery: What is considered a toxic relationship?
GF: All toxic relationships have their origin in the divided mind and conflicted heart that seek resolution through relationships exterior to themselves. This seeking creates dependency that in turn produces fear and other addictive-type behaviors. These states are toxic.
chatguy: Somebody I don't really know showed me film footage of a murder. Despite trying not to identify with this, I still feel disturbed and sad about life and how fragile it is. Could this be related to me giving great attention to trying to catch the person(s) responsible for a recent break-in and considering the possibility of murder myself?
GF: If what you describe didn't cause a disturbance in you, then that would be cause for alarm. If one is someplace where one sees horrible things and one has taken himself there, one must ask himself, "Why am I shocked, knowing that I have agreed to be here?" Stay away from dark people, dark situations, and dark conversations. They are attractive to what is wrong in us, and we must learn to let these parts pass if we ever hope to know real peace.
chatguy: Thank you. Does this answer also apply to my disturbance of having a break-in while my family and I were less than 10 feet away?
GF: Not necessarily. The world is indeed sinking in its own sickness, and intrusions of physical and psychic types are surely on the upswing. Stay awake and refuse to hate. Do this by seeing that the hatred of any condition is secretly resistance to our own past, a condition of conflict that we feel the pain from and then lash out against the world as a result.
Deepa: I'm at a point where Peace hasn't come and most of what used to be my life has gone. Is there nothing I can do but watch?
GF: Until you know the answer to this question yourself, you will find other things that you believe can be done to free you from the onset of this darkness. Don't fear your situation. There are natural stages in the integration of self, and one of them that is inescapable is to have one foot in this world and the other in what awaits one with all sense of balance lost. Stay there. Stay close.
alex: I'm making good progress doing my spiritual work, but not much progress filling my external needs (money of course!). A prominent international success coach is soliciting me, saying that he can help overcome self-defeating habits and conditioning that hold me back (he wants $4,000.00). It's pure temptation, since I am in need of a solution to my external matters. I'm having a hard time with this.
GF: All prominent international success coaches are psychopaths. They are not interested in your success, but their own. One day, if you do your inner work, you will understand completely the truth of this because you will have seen the chronic deceiver at work within yourself, so that you can never be fooled by others who would deceive you for personal gain.
NIC: Please explain how it is that negative states, or negativity, harm me. I do not understand the concept.
GF: The mind cannot understand the punishment in its own negative state because the mind so possessed feels justified for its posture. If we can see ourselves for the moment when we are negative, we experience directly the stress and pain that exists in the very presence of our own punishing thoughts and feelings. A negative person is possessed by negative energies whose nature is in conflict with what is naturally whole. See all of this.
NIC: If I can learn to see the harm I can learn to stop it. How can I better determine and detect it?
GF: Silence in us is a form of perfect protection because nothing can pass into it or through it without being detected. Passive awareness is a form of self-silence in that in this awareness all of the noise of self is conscious to that awareness. Get the Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom from our bookstore. In it is a wealth of information about detecting and rejecting negative states.
FSE: I tend to worry about everything how does one eliminate negativity if they are constantly surrounded by it?
GF: A candle that is lit, sits in the dark, surrounded by the dark, but untouched by it. Negativity around us is merely the excuse the negativity within us uses to fill us with its own darkness. Vernon Howard used to teach his students to "brighten the corner where you are." You can do this in the midst of the darkness simply by remembering your wish for the Light and then being willing to stand within what it shows you in that moment.
whippoorwilllady: I lost my father a few weeks ago, and all I can feel is pain, anger, and bitterness toward some of the family... I try to find peace, but can't.
GF: Such times are no doubt difficult, but for anyone with a true wish for a light-filled life, there can be great benefit. Try to separate the best you can the natural grief at the loss of a loved one from the resentment now turned loose because of all of the resistance you're feeling due to this unwanted condition. There is in any loss we have, a commensurate sense of anger for the fact of seeing we haven't the control we believed we did. This anger, this negative state, wants to remain within us at all costs. It will use our own past experience with other people in such moments by calling up what they once did to us. This pain is unnatural and unnecessary in your grief. See the truth of this. Drop the negative reactions to your friends and family, and get on with what grief you must go through.
ithaca: When I think of leaving my parent's, something I really want to do, I am assaulted by intense guilt, and anytime I try to go, I end up sabotaging my success and wind up back here. Any ideas how I can break free from this very painful pattern? I am 30.
GF: Anyone who's interested, truly interested in the spiritual life, must come to understand what it means to be self-reliant. Real reliance is something we learn only by being thrown back upon ourselves after life rejects our ambitions or dreams. This true reliance that comes as a result of "mixing it up" with life reveals that who we really are can never lose anything real. Until we understand that truth, we are dependent upon everyone and consequently, fearful of everything.
ADB: I've culled this from past chatroom transcripts: Lust is the hidden opposite to desire. Desire seeks pleasure to relieve it from lust but only finds emptiness. Emptiness leads to addictive/obsessive behavior so emptiness can be escaped. Please correct what I may have misinterpreted.
GF: What you've said is fairly accurate, but lust is not an opposite of desire, lust is the unabated sensation of desire.
ADB: "Lust is the unabated sensation of desire" OK, let's get to the root hopefully. What is the root of desire since it seems to be what is first present here? Actually I'm trying to figure out addictive behavior, and I'm trying to figure out how this all starts in a person. What is the first "thing" that starts this addictive cycle when it begins?
GF: The culprit is always some form of unseen conflict in our mind. This gives rise to resistance (to the pain) and then to the "solution," the desired.
Heraclitus: If lust is the unabated SENSATION of desire, does that mean that lust is somehow related to ALL desire?
GF: Lust is a branch of desire.
chatguy: You once said that we awaken intuition by being at the end of what we know, and new information comes to us from the spirit world. I recently heard that all the information in the universe is already laced inside of us and we need to practice deep meditation to discover it. This was used in the context of how to heal oneself naturally.
GF: Each individual is indeed a microcosm, or, said differently, a model of the universe. Within each of us dwell all of the various energies that produce phenomenal experience.
hudnut: Lately I've had a lot of hunger for new experiences. My perception has been that experiences (such as travel) can be used as a tool for inner growth and approached from the standpoint of what I can learn from them. After listening to some of your talks as I understood them, I've begun to wonder how do I discern whether I'm really benefiting from pursuing new experience, or whether most of it is just another attempt to construct a sense of self (false self-image)?
GF: Your intuition is correct in that the kind of experiences that provide true inner growth do not exist on a map that we can plot a course to. Mostly what we call new experience, when it comes to travel and people, is really just yet another kind of sensation born out of reconfiguring our perception of the places and people around us. This is not what change is.
ADB: I find myself bothered with the insight that even five minutes after waking up in the morning I am already full of thought leading everywhere from the present. I sit quietly and am unable to quiet myself if even for a second. I know the awareness of this struggle is the first step. Any comments?
GF: Only "what is" can be changed. What is not, meaning what we imagine or otherwise hope for ourselves, cannot be changed. We have so many big ideas about what it means to be awake, that they cause us to ache anytime we experience ourselves as we are outside of the pleasant sensation of these images. Stay where you are. Don't fight with it. Watch, wish, and remain awake. Truth will take care of the rest.
PUPPY: I have been dealing with a lot of deaths lately. My cousin died, estranged from our family. We had been trying to find her for the past two years. This worries me because I have a sibling who will not communicate with me and has not for three years now. She used to be a good friend and I do not know even why she is doing this. I have tried everything I can think of and I am worried about someone dying before this rift is healed.
GF: If we wish to change our lives, and realize the new order of consciousness that is not constantly set upon by fear of being alone, left out, or otherwise ignored by life, then we will have to agree to meet within ourselves these insatiable parts of us that believe we are only of value if the world around us acknowledges that. Dare to be without. Let God fill that vast, dark emptiness in you. You've done nothing but fill it with more emptiness.
PUPPY: What happens when we die?
GF: I know this answer won't do much to please you at first, but if you'll think about it, ponder it, give it room in your mind and heart, I trust you will see the liberating truth in it. Rather than asking what happens to us when we die, we must learn to ask, what is it like right now to be alive? To be truly alive, truly awake to oneself, is to begin to know what it means to die. See this.
AL: Is it true that if we really come to live in the present moment 24/7, that all fears will drop away?
GF: I'll tell you a secret. The moment that all fears drop away is when we finally lose interest in any part of ourselves that is interested in fear. This requires being present, not to the "idea" of the present moment, but to the full content of it, which will include all of our present and pressing fears. This can be done. Go to work.
Heraclitus: I got a shock awhile back from seeing myself as I am, and I'm having a hard time allowing more shocks to occur. Just as one begins to "arise," I pull back out of fear. Suggestions?
GF: Find out who it is that's "pulling back." Here's the truth: Fear fears fear. The Light does not withdraw from the darkness. If darkness calls itself the light and then withdraws when confronted by what it decries as being a darkness, you can be sure there's no light there, only the sensation of self trying to protect itself from being seen through.
langston: I have experienced the same "fear of what I see" within. Certain images are produced in my mind (that I don't want), and I run out to stop them by watching more of those same images! (As I write this I laugh at the stupidity of it). Please provide some insights.
GF: Determine to do less "fixing" of what you observe going on and more seeing (of it). You already know some of what you need to do. See more.
CHUCK: I have been haunted for years by the fact that I will never know "who I am or "where" I am in the universe, so nothing seems important without these answers is there a solution to this problem?
GF: Anything in you that would assert in thought, emotion, or otherwise, that you cannot know your place in God's universe, is not a friend to listen to, but an adversary you have mistaken as being a counselor. Here is new counsel: Drop all of this false concern about your fate to be, and become awake now in the moment. Let go of what wrongness tells you "can't be" and you will begin to realize the truth of what is the truth of yourself.
SHADY: I have a friend who reads your books. She asked me to ask this question: How do you deal with your spouse when he is very caught up in the world of knowledge and logic? How can we help?
GF: Here is the golden rule concerning helping others along the Path: Give counsel only to those who ask for it. Anything else is a form of secret aggression in the form of interference with others for the sake of getting them to conform to your ideals. If a person is caught in the net of knowledge and logic, if it's true logic, they would be able to "hear" these ideas because nothing is more logical than Truth at the outset of one's path. If he resists, leave him alone. Do your own work and never mind the results of it. If this person you speak of can recognize there is real change in you, it may produce the attraction necessary to move him from his hardened mental views.
noah: Where you said to give counsel to only those who ask for it what about school teachers? I've always had a suspicion that the way we teach our kids, or try to teach them, is somehow unhealthy, or as you said "a secret aggression... for the sake of getting them to conform to our ideals"... and that it is impossible to teach something that someone doesn't want to learn, which is the case with most students in our school system.
GF: It is a sad state of affairs, the way things are. Change is needed, no doubt. It is also doubtful such changes will occur given society's need as it overwhelms the individual's potential to develop according to type.
Randy: I find myself looking towards role models and trying to learn from others. I am convinced that others know more than I, including you. Should I just let go of all that? Easier said than done!
GF: Here's a secret: If the greatest man in the world, whomever that might be in your mind, came up to you today and said, "Not I, but you are the greatest person in the world," you would have a moment's flush and then a flash of absolute emptiness as you realized nothing has changed. What you wish, only God can give you. What you need, you cannot give yourself apart from this wish.
SHADY: I know you say to stay in the moment and not be drawn down out of it by others, but sometimes that is so hard when you are surrounded by many. I know you just have to keep trying and not give up. Do you have a word?
GF: Wisdom, the real Light of Life that we hope for, is not so much won by us as it is born in us by our willingness to bear our own unseen stupidity. It is in experiencing ourselves as we are that we are given the grace that allows us to lay ourselves down. It is in this process alone that we succeed, and there is no end to it. Start over, start over, start over.
Da_Contrarian: For the last ten years I've struggled with relapsing pertaining to drugs and alcohol. I had over two years clean at an early age (21) and the last 10 years have literally been hell. I seem to be attached to my pain and misery and self-sabotage when things are going well. I would just like some feedback from you on addiction. I always catch myself dwelling on the past or fearing the future.
GF: First, let me encourage you to stay the course. The Truth, as hard as it is to realize, even in a dim way at some times, is that we are not created to be conditioned or for that matter, captive of any exterior force. May I suggest to you that you call or e-mail Chris at the Foundation and order tape #205, "The Truth that Frees You from the Addictive Nature." I know it will add light to your life. If it doesn't help, just send it back, no questions asked. This is an older title, which is why you cannot order it directly from our online bookstore.
LMAC: I've seen that I've said and done some terrible things to people in my life. How do I get through this guilt and shame? Is there a right way to make amends to the people I've wronged?
GF: Oh yes, there is. Change yourself. In the long run, there is no other way that we can either be forgiven for who and what we have been, nor is there any other way to truly forgive others. Start by daring to stay awake to these recurring bouts with shame and, instead of identifying with the negative sensation that is merely a rerun of your old nature, drop it like a hot rock. You'll have to work at this, but real results will follow.
AL: Do you recommend dismantling one's own self-image? I mean, the self-image is just an illusion created from our subjective memories, pale static shadows from the past.
GF: Self cannot dismantle self. That's an illusion. On the other hand, we can be aware and awake to ourselves and in this Light, experience an order of integration that turns what was formerly dark into a new life.
ADB: I hope this question isn't too elementary. What exactly is present inside a person when a person is awake? Is the mind completely void of thought and just seeing what the eyes are looking at without putting descriptions to what is seen? Or is a person simply aware of the weight of the body and nothing else (but yes, I know, everything else)? Seeing as how being awake is so new to most people, myself included, I want to know exactly when I truly am awake.
GF: The only way that one can know what is the interior life of someone more awake than he, is to become as awake. All else is merely stimulation for the mind, which is the antithesis of being able to quietly see the content of oneself.
vince: By practicing your ideas and concepts for dealing with fear, will fear disappear or will it always be there even as one's awareness to the ways of fear get clearer and clearer?
GF: It is not fear itself that troubles or punishes us, but it is what is within us that resists fear that is such a trouble. Apart from this resistance, fear has no counterpart, which means that as we cease to resist fear, because we see through its secret nature, fear disappears because the "I" in us that was its counterpart disappears.
Rael: You just commented that it is not fear that troubles us, rather resistance to it. Could the same be said of ignorance, i.e., ignorance of the purpose of our life?
GF: The problem contains within itself the solution to it. Our problem is all of our ideas about these issues, most of which are secret forms of resistance.
MobilMan: I believe that this is a peace issue -- that the seeking of relief from pain is the reason for seeking pleasure and or other things like drugs and the like. Is finding and identifying the pain a necessary step in eliminating this cycle?
GF: You're on the right track, but rather than saying one finds and identifies the pain as the negation of this cycle, better stated is this: As one becomes aware of how pain resists itself by producing images of pleasure to come, and one realizes that this pain is the root of the pleasures he hopes for, then the opposites are cancelled in him by the Intelligence that has seen this fact.
MobilMan: So by realizing that pain is the root of the pleasures hoped for, and the opposites being cancelled in him by the intelligence that has seen this fact, is what is left the pain, or does that go too?
GF: As the unconscious conflict in us abates, goes with it the pain caused by it.
Bev: I'm so tired of living the same old life that leads me nowhere toward the Peace that I want. It all seems so futile and empty. I find I am so tired of keeping up the façade, but why is it so hard to just "let go" of it all?
GF: There is one very shocking fact along the Path that there is no escaping if we want real peace, and there are no exceptions to this rule. Right now, this moment, everyone everywhere is embracing exactly what he or she wants. Nothing can make us cling to conflict. If we do hold on to a negative thought or anxious emotion, it's because we still find value in it. This is what we must see if we want to be free.
jaybird: If I am clinging to what I want, then there are obviously many things I value on an unconscious level. Can you offer guidance to help me awaken to the false rewards and pay-offs I am (unwittingly) seeking?
GF: One good practice is to always be mindful of the relationship between what is coursing through one and what one is connected to (mentally, emotionally) in these same moments.
AOL: When we talk of transformation, who is being transformed? Our TPIC, our lower earthly nature? Or is this nature darkness that is driven out by the Light?
GF: The Light enters into the darkness, and acts upon the darkness in such a way as to transform its nature into something greater than what it formerly was, more perfected because of the presence of this light now active and working upon it within it.
AOL: If our old nature is driven out by the light, then this is merely an exchange of one nature for another. So what is transformed?
GF: You must not have read the answer. The "old nature" is not driven out, but made into a creature unlike itself by the entrance into itself of a transforming life light.
VB: My mind is always full of a lot of negative chatter. I have begun to be aware of the fact that this is coming from the false self, but being aware does not stop the chatter. Please advise.
GF: Here's an exercise that may be of help: The next time you find yourself caught up in negative chatter, come as awake to the whole of yourself as you can and ask yourself this simple question: "What does this dark dialogue have to do with my wish for a life in the Light?" If you do this enough with a wish to learn the answer to your own interior question, this chatter will gradually fall away.
801: My step-brother stole about 200K in inheritance and rewrote my grandmother's will when I was in the hospital. I hate him so much for what he has done. He fled internationally in '97 without a word. We used to be close. Do I have to quit hating or spiritually die?
GF: Just like a small flower cannot live in a hail storm as it is destroyed by the driving force dropping upon it, neither can who we really are live with hatred within us. It isn't a question of how to become free of hatred. Such questions are secretly posed to us by the resentment we resist. The question that can be answered, and must be answered, is what am I with this hatred in me? This we can see, and anything we can see in ourselves we can be free of.
noah: I've recently been listening to a lot of talk radio, interested in learning about what the government is up to, curious about what's really going on; it seems important, especially now that we're going to war -- the interest began with my wanting to know the real reasons behind why "we're" going over there to kill thousands of people. Do you agree that these are important matters in our time, and in any other time?
GF: This race called human beings has never been without a war, which means that 99% of this race called human beings are Godless creatures. If one tries to decide who he should be based upon current affairs and popular prejudices, he will remain nothing less than the handle of a pot. We are given by God the ability to choose in favor of the Love that He is. To choose otherwise is to choose from a racial consciousness steeped in conflict, set only to produce more pain.
Bev: I just don't get it -- if we (human beings) are created in God's image, why then are 99.9% of us "Godless creatures"? It makes no sense to my simple mind.
GF: In short, because we have become so totally self-centered, God has been squeezed out of our lives.
Roy: From your lesson "Use Your Pain to Realize the True Purpose of Life," where you describe the painful but natural conditions into which we are born, I have the impression that everything I've ever known or come to value is actually working against my greater good. Is this the nature of this Work, to go against the grain, against the natural flow of the forces that govern our lives?
GF: I'll say this much: There does come the day, the dark but glad day, when we realize that most of what we think is the very best part of us is indeed the very thing that has been punishing us all along. Such shocks shake the very fabric of one's constructed self, and make clear to it that it hasn't a leg left to stand upon that is real or can be counted upon. Welcome the shocks. They are sent by Truth for your transformation if you'll accept them.
chatguy: I believe I discovered obsessive compulsive traits I never thought I could ever have and remember having these characteristics at a very young age. I also realized that others in my family tree have these as well. Is this a generational curse? Is there even such a thing? More importantly, what can I do?
GF: Most compulsive behavior is undertaken as a path to an imagined pleasure. Now realize that there can be no such thing as pleasure that is compulsory. A slave has no choices except to serve what has mastered him.
SHADY: How do you relate to being led by the spirit with the truths you have, for there is always more?
GF: I wait and watch, work some, and then start again.
Heraclitus: In social circumstances, I don't want to wear a mask of false cheer, nor do I want to be a stoic "drag." I would like to be naturally pleasant, relaxed and spontaneous, but I'm too preoccupied with protecting myself. Help!
GF: Get weary of yourself, which is different than fighting with yourself over what you are "not."
jaybird: In one of your books, you counsel the reader to "Make all empty feelings reveal their real contents to you." Would you please explain this idea a bit further, and can you offer a specific exercise that would aid in accomplishing this?
GF: We must lose our strange fascination with our pain. Instead of thinking from your anger, blaming others for the fire you feel, learn to "stand" in these flames. Consciously ponder this pain, which means don't allow it to divide it and you into two different things, which it does once the pain gets you to identify the "enemy" outside of you to blame.
dngrB: Mr. Howard once said that us guys should forget every woman on the planet and put truth first. Easier said then done. Could you please give some encouragement?
GF: The path to one's true transformation is never found through the avoidance of anything, but through outgrowing what becomes secondary once understood.
LMAC: How does one deal with physical pain such as arthritis, or any pain for that matter? Is this pain a part of aging or can the root of its origin be eliminated?
GF: Life is (for those who can "see" it) a process of letting go. Suffering is for a reason in all cases. Take what steps you can to not aggravate what makes you ache, and learn to use the rest for self-realization.
Manny: Can you give us some encouragement perhaps describe what the emotional life is like for the awakened man? Are there new emotions? Is love less fleeting? Is it truly free of conflict?
GF: One knows that there is a Great Purpose behind all things and that his or her only responsibility is to act accordingly to what is continually revealing itself. In this Purpose is Intelligence and Wisdom, a Kindness beyond words.
asz: I've had a history of anxiety states, quite severe at times. With time I've learned to control them. However, with increased stress at work or problems at home, panic attacks kick in. At first, not knowing what was going on, I would be overwhelmed with fear. When fear subsides, stomach problems go on. I feel tired of this constant disease.
GF: The root is always in undetected division in us, conflict that creates effects that debilitate, one way or the other. If you have not read the material in (my book) The Intimate Enemy, I strongly suggest this as some real medicine. If you don't find this true, return it, no problems.
Bev: Thank you for the talk where you said our lives are supposed to be a "constant state of asking God for help." I've been messing mine up for so long that I found great relief in the prospect that God is willing to show me some better ideas if I only continually ask and stop deluding myself that I know what I need!
GF: Good. Now go to work!
AL: Is it possible to really "Let go and Let God" by gradually replacing one's own self/will with a higher "smarter" and all-seeing/knowing will?
GF: We do not replace our will with another will, for the very effort is the essence of willfulness. We must awaken to the actuality of ourselves, of our so-called "will," and in this awakening comes the exchange.
Manny: I never feel as if I am doing "enough" inner work. While I'm sure I'm not, is the voice that tells me that just the voice of fear?
GF: Only when one is sure that one has done all that is in his or her power do these voices lose their "power" to haunt of taunt.
Poppy: How is it I can experience two night time dreams of pain and loss, but in the day time feel okay and at peace about this ending of relationship? I don't think I'm kidding myself about doing better, but am I?
GF: Evidence points to your conclusion. What is not seen in the day is dreamed at night.
AL: It seems to me that I can never be at peace and at the same time live in time (the imaginary past and future). Only in the present moment can peace and reality be found. Is this correct?
GF: To dream such dreams is to invite rude awakenings, always.
GF: Our time together on-line has nearly run its course, and I want to send along the notes I promised to conclude with at the beginning of our meeting tonight. Here is a brief summary of what we learned in the opening remarks: As long as our time is spent in any form of an imagined peace or contrived self-silence, regardless of how we achieve this pleasure for ourselves, such quietude is not real Stillness at all, but only the sensation of it. These sensations always fade away, leaving us feeling betrayed and hungry for more!
The conscious realization of this mistaken identity -- where we have communed with what is little more than a form of psychic noise, calling this state of self the Celestial Quiet we long for -- leads us directly to the threshold of the Real Silence our spiritual heart longs for.
Gradually, but definitely, we realize what must be done: Now we must let go of our thought-self; we must die to its endless desire to become what it isn't by imagining what it will be. So that instead of living from this ultimately empty sense of one's "becoming," we do the real silently-seeing work of being what we are in the moment. This silent kind of seeing frees us.
For this reason, our moment-to-moment meditation, our awaked-ness to life, becomes revelation when we open ourselves to what is and see what it reveals. With these truths in mind, study the following insights into True Silence. Allow their understanding to become your own. Ponder them. Quietly turn them over and over in your mind. Soon you will hear what cannot be told.
- Just as true emptiness holds all things, True Silence bears all things. Whatever is brought into this Silence, whatever it touches, is gradually silenced . . . yet not by an act of domination, but through a peaceful integration of a lesser into a Greater.
- True Silence is an interior Presence and not an exterior circumstance. It has no opposite and is not created, which means nothing can act against it or serve to enhance its existence.
- True Silence cannot be cultivated, but the conditions that prohibit its presence may be understood out of being.
- True Silence is perfectly empty of content and completely full without contradiction.
- True Silence is without preference and neither rejects nor resists any condition.
- True Silence is the heart and soul of compassion.
- True Silence doesn't have intelligence; it is Intelligence of an order that a divided mind cannot comprehend.
- If we wish the presence and peace of True Silence, then the great necessity of solitude should be as evident to us as realizing that any seedling must be left undisturbed if it is ever to break out of its dark ground and live in the light.
As the understanding of these truths grows in us, and we look at our life through its eyes, we come to realize that this new silent seeing is itself a part of the contentment we seek. Here is why: The "eyes" of this passive awareness are not just "filled" with what they behold, but actually partake in the life of all that is perceived. Can we see what this means to us?
The absence of division between seer and seen is the negation of desire. And when the stress and pressure of longing to possess whatever it may be are at last negated by this higher self-awareness, goes with them all of that painful conflict that must occur whenever there exists a sense of separation between ourselves and our hoped-for peace of mind.
As challenging as this sounds, we may be encouraged. Truth itself is on our side. In this life everything is either growing or it goes the other way. To this rule there are no exceptions. To positively comply we need only be willing to grow in the Truth of ourselves, and act from what is seen as true. In this way the contradictions in our consciousness are cancelled.
Here is a last thought we can all use every day to help us along the way to living in True Silence: Once we realize that what we must understand (if we are to be quietly free) can not be spoken, imagined, or otherwise fashioned by thought, only then will we stop talking to ourselves about what we need. True Silence awaits the one who will see this Truth and be still.
Our time has run out for tonight. I trust you will quietly think on these things we have worked together to bring into the light. Do not believe in discouragement. It is a noise that calls itself a good neighbor. It -- and what it would have you believe -- is a lie. We may be free of what taunts us if we will learn the truth of how it holds power over us.