- Posted: Monday, September 10, 2001
- 8114 words
GF: Good evening. I want to introduce some special ideas about what is required of us if we wish to spiritually transform our lives.
First, to set the stage, a short question about human behavior: Have you ever noticed how -- whenever there is a secret going around among your close friends - you will do almost anything to learn its undisclosed nature? Or if you think someone knows something that you dont, how you wont rest until you too are "in the know"? All of this is to say we seem to love secrets!
With this fact in mind, I want you to know that there is a great secret on this planet that virtually no one wants to hear, let alone know. Be assured this is no understatement. Truth be told, this one secret is so explosive, so dangerous to the social status quo, that billions of dollars are spent every year to ensure that this secret remains just that, a secret.
Entire industries exist to mask the truth of this secret. Nevertheless, every great once in a while, whenever some awakened person appears on the scene and tries to tell this secret to a world that is dying because of its very fear of this same secret, the world will either ignore the presence of such Teachers or, in some instances, try to wipe out their lives.
The thing that is so unique about this secret is that everyone - in his or her heart of hearts - already knows it! They just dont want to know that they know it! And this contradiction in our consciousness makes for part of the secret itself, because the more we resist anything in life, the more real it becomes to us - even if we have buried it (in us) as deeply as possible.
The other thing that is so strange about this secret that we dont want to know is that it is the very Gateway to the Life that we really want -- in that once we would tell (acknowledge) it to ourselves, its "dawning" in us would instantly dispel other dark secrets now lodged and living in us. What are these other sorrow-making secrets still hidden in us?
These are the ones that always betray us, that tell themselves out loud in bursts of resentments, fear, impatience, and other acts of intolerance. But think of it! With these enemies of Love and Light removed from our heart and mind, what could be left within us other than the pure goodly qualities of soul and Spirit that are strength, contentment, joy, and peace themselves?
So what is this secret that no one wants to know, that applies to all people equally regardless of social or economic standing? What is this secret that if known by us - if realized in our core - could not only transform us but help to change the whole world for the betterment of all? Here it is:
Everyone we know suffers. Thats it. We all have a pain in us that wont go away or that, at best, can only be pushed aside as long as some pleasurable vibration can be sustained through self-created cost or by a gentle natural coincidence of an accidental cause. Why would anyone want to know this unwanted secret about his or her life on earth?
For one thing, its realization sets the stage for being empowered to fulfill the two great commandments that reign as the Heart and Soul of every True religion: to love God first and foremost -- above all else -- and to love one another as ourselves.
Now, how does the realization of this unrecognized secret end our unconscious relationship with (what amounts to) a "reality" built out of resistance to knowing this same truth of ourselves? Study the spiritual logic that follows all the way to the True Freedom it reveals. Look closely and you will see the foundation of a new and compassionate Reality being revealed.
First, psychological suffering is secretly rooted in what is either the fear of a pending loss, or the negatively imagined fate of oneself because of a loss just incurred. And further, this same fear of loss is not the fear of some coveted possession, person, or position suddenly disappearing on us. Our fear of loss runs through deeper "waters" than these surface attachments.
The dreaded sensation of loss is caused by the involuntary severance of an attachment of ours; for it is through such attachments (whatever their nature - physical, mental or emotional) that our sense of self is structured and upon which it rests. This unconscious subtle condition at the root of our sense of self, and the pain that comes out of it, is known as being "identified."
So, psychological suffering is a result of our reliance upon an imagined self that is sustained through being unconsciously identified with its own mental and emotional creations. If we can see that this state of self amounts to what is pure narcissism, then we can also begin to realize what all of these discoveries have been leading us up to.
To know that we suffer as we do because of a nature within us that can love only itself - and that this suffering persists because it believes it can end its one pain through its own means - produces the possibility for us to put this backwards nature behind us, where it belongs. And in doing this we do what we have as yet been unable to do for ourselves: Put God first in our lives.
Lastly, how does knowing this truth of our own state of suffering create conditions that lead us to loving our neighbor as ourselves? Its simple, really. To begin with, we dont much see the despair of others because our own unhappiness blinds us to almost everything else except for what this same suffering tells us to pursue (or get away from) in order to end our pain.
But have you ever been brought to a moment where the pain of another around you was so obvious, so unmistakable, that you had no other choice but to consider this person before yourself? Hopefully you have known such moments. And not to be missed here is that in these moments - despite the weight you may have carried into this encounter - you were given the strength to carry a bit more!
Your awareness of their suffering awakened a conscious compassion in you strong enough to bear the both of you better than when you were carrying just yourself. Please ponder this miracle. Within these facts we have the evidence of a secret Path to a Real spiritual Life hidden right within the uneven cobblestones that pave our walk through this earthly existence.
When we close the chat tonight I will offer you a simple, straightforward inner exercise to help you put these new secrets to work in your life, and with this, to transform the foundations of your world.
Now, what would you like to talk about tonight? What is on your mind?
Beckycs: I can see in myself and others the drive to end this suffering we experience, but each individuals pain and solution seems to be based on different life experiences. I keep thinking it must be one pain expressed in many different ways and that this illusion keeps all feeling separate and lost from each other.
GF: Yes that is precise. It is truly one pain manifested in as many ways as a tree grows different shaped leaves. The beauty of understanding this, and more importantly of actually seeing the truth of it, is that we can stop trying to change the world and its people because they displease us. Its an interior condition that calls us by our suffering and there is where it must be answered.
jaybird: How do we make a clear distinction between true compassion and mere sentimentality? There often seems to be a fine line between them.
GF: The difference may be subtle to see at first, but it does exist. Start with this: Real compassion begins with considering another usually at some cost to the self, while sentimental emotions generally begin with self and secretly set it first in its consideration of things.
maire: Watching/reading the news often makes me wonder: How do you handle fear of a physical harm (shootings, stabbing, rape, etc.)? You cant just WATCH it till it goes away.
GF: If you feel fear while watching the news on television, or are made aware of conditions through other media that frighten you, its important to understand that this fear you feel is born out of nothing but negative imagination. This means that a part of you forms a scary picture of yourself in relationship to a dark event, and then seeing this you are frightened. Stay awake at all times.
Rael: Its like there are two worlds in collision: the exterior world, and the inner world of imagination. Neither one stops or is deterred by the other. The outer is relentless and the inner compulsively resists. When does the white flag of surrender finally go up, and who makes that decision?
GF: When you understand that the opposites youve described are not adversaries of one another, but actually complete one another, then the white flag goes up. Why? Because the same opposites are at work generating our present sense of self, and as we realize there is no self apart from relationship, then we disappear as we were and Reality floods in. The war is over.
kspoon: How do I keep a quiet mind and stay grounded in the present moment?
GF: If you havent read Design Your Destiny, you can get it online on this website. It has twelve practical exercises for helping one stay awake and present to themselves in the moment. Heres one: Do it now. Dont let its simplicity trick you into ignoring its possibilities. Relax. Let go. Become conscious of your physical body and attending emotional parts. Bring this awareness into you. This awareness is the present moment.
JohnF: Im currently engaged in my first fast. What can I do to grow, beyond bearing the acute craving for food?
GF: Intelligent fasting is good for body, mind, and soul. Once the body settles a bit and stops yelling at you for food, try to sit quietly as often as you can and allow the energy that you are not using in digestion to run a different course. With all spiritual practices, the important thing is not that one "succeeds" but that he has the right intention behind the practice.
traveler: What is a person to do if they get no satisfaction from their job, but the financial gain from this job is too great to replace without a major change in careers?
GF: I have always found that when I am uncertain about a change that I can see needs to be made, but cannot decide on the direction of that change, I do nothing. I wait and watch and try to be as conscious as possible as to the effects of the absence of my choice. If you need to change careers for the purpose of a Higher Life, you wont be able not to.
Faust: How would you handle a situation where someone was spreading a false rumor about you? In my case, a fellow started telling everyone I was gay because Im a vegetarian. It hurt my feelings, then I got angry. How do I handle the pain of a false label? I seem to be casting my pearls among swine. Help.
GF: What is True needs no defense and what is false cannot be defended. Were I in your shoes, I would do nothing but watch the wrong parts of myself squirm over concern over how others have judged me. Try to see that those you fear have misjudged you are also the same people that under different circumstances you dont even care what they think. Let it go. Watch yourself.
jaybird: I recently saw a sign in front of a church that said: "The minute you think you have humility, youve lost it." That made perfect sense, and it made ponder: Could it be that we only truly possess a virtue when we no longer need to think we have it?
GF: What one truly possesses he never has to think about possessing anymore than you wonder where your nose is.
DanG: When we have constant thoughts of a person of the opposite sex where there is no relationship, is there anything going on besides some attraction to the other person?
GF: Most of the internal chattering and churning of the mind is just its way to operate and run through a virtual reality of its own creation. The result of this interior running around is that one is almost always fully occupied and sated with a certain kind of self-complacency. Dare to be alone inwardly. This can be done with proper attention and the right intention.
Judy: One of our friends is the kind of person who doesnt show much emotion EVER. He doesnt get enthused when something good happens and has an "oh well" attitude when anything bad happens in his life. Hes not interested in spiritual things at all, so we attribute it more to apathy. Can you comment on the difference between being that way and being a true spiritual person who doesnt get swayed either way by any emotional upheaval?
GF: Yes, you have described a sleeping human being whose condition most likely is a result of having been beat up by this life with no way of understanding what happened to him. When we wake up, as we do, we live with an immense amount of interior energy that is always present and properly active towards our environment. Part of being present-minded includes a certain detachment from events, even though one is fully involved.
Eric: My favorite aunt died last Sunday at the age of 51. Is it possible that this wonderful, Christian lady is now in the Kingdom of Heaven even if she never "woke up" and came into contact with the principles that Vernon Howard taught and that you teach now?
GF: If your aunt was a good woman in the sense that she treated others with respect and kindness, and spent her life trying to grow as she understood the meaning of it, you may be assured that her life on earth was not wasted, nor will she lose what she has gained from her efforts in this life.
Rael: Can we discuss mental weed seeds? Its like an electric weed seed feeder is blowing a constant stream of them into our mental field. What difference does it make if we detect their presence when they are a second old, five seconds old, or a minute old? At what point do they "bear fruit" and re-seed themselves?
GF: First, there is a constant stream of spiritual weed-seeds being sown into the earth. The issue isnt to try to catch each seed or cut each down as it appears, but to realize that we need change the earth of ourselves into a substance that no longer creates a harbor for these sinister seeds. This is what it means to wake up and be changed. We enter new ground and it enters us. Its weed-free.
Jason: Vernon Howard said, "It is a bright day when a man or woman sees the need for thinking with full force." How do we think with "full force" when we are working on being aware of thought by separating ourselves from its "force" over us?
GF: Have you ever been at the beach, or anyplace where there was an inviting body of water, and you were getting hotter by the moment? Remember wanting to run with full force into that water? When a man or a woman realizes their interior condition and that this consciousness may be changed by right intention and work, then that person starts thinking with full force.
JohnF: Did your taste in music (or anything else) change as you became more conscious? (Im thinking of cilantro.) What separates what is universally good from the relativity of personal taste?
GF: Nothing. Preferences are cultural and a question of certain kinds of conditioning relative even to genetic type. And the other answer is that as one does change, everything about them generally changes because real self-transformation is at the "atomic" level and affects everything accordingly as this energy alters self.
Fedup: What would you say to or about a 15-year old with colored hair, chains around his neck and wrist connected by small locks, smoking Camels, who is rude and uses four-letter words just about every time he opens his mouth, who hates God and reads about witchcraft? He has no respect in any way for other people, verbally or otherwise. He will not help or clean up after himself, and has caused a lot of problems for both his mother and father. When he comes to visit, so do the police. He purposely causes trouble with me (his step dad). My wife defends him and puts him and her other children before our marriage and me. This kid is trouble; please give me some input.
GF: I cant tell you what to do with such a child, but I will tell you that if I had attempted to make kind and necessary corrections to this child and he or she would not obey, I would never let such a child in my house.
Fedup: I feel the same way about not letting such a child in the home, but my wife protects, and would disagree, even at the cost of our marriage. She has made it clear to her children and me that theyre first, always, regardless. Any suggestions?
GF: I repeat my earlier answer, although I am not telling you how you should handle this. Children are no more than sponges in their early days of personality formation, and by the time they begin asserting themselves, these impressions they have come to incorporate in themselves (and express) are on their way to becoming hardened habits, etc. The ONLY hope such a child has -- who is already aggressive and cruel, showing no consideration for others and beginning to exhibit dangerous anti-social behaviors -- is for an adult to lay down some laws of rightness and respect. Without these guiding principles -- established out of love but maintained with toughness -- the child is little more than an animal with a human body who will, one day, harm himself and others in a fit of some sort. I know this is difficult for you, but each of must weigh what we will and won't do in the face of truth.
JohnF: Im still vague on purpose, and particularly, promise. Can you give a workable "nutshell" definition of each?
GF: Every creature has a purpose. It is given to them. They must fulfill what they were created for, no exceptions. How much more so with a human? Try to remember the feeling of purpose. When a creature fulfills the purpose of its life, it has fulfilled the promise of it. Promise and purpose marry, and peace and contentment reveal themselves as the two wings on one bird.
Dave: Much has been said about self-observation. My question has to do with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), especially thinking compulsions. In reading about cognitive behavioral therapy, its recommended that you just watch the thoughts go by and not identify. Can you offer input here? I have not found it easy.
GF: The problem that we have with our thoughts isnt inherent in these thoughts themselves, but that we identify with their content and their passing. Identification is the root of any compulsive behavior, not the thoughts blamed for that self-compromising condition. Come awake and catch yourself being identified with your thoughts. You can do this. Then drop both the thought and the self it drags along with it.
geo: I have been studying Vernon Howards and your books for the last five years; it seems Ive come a long way yet have a long way to go. I am thankful for the light you have shared and the path you have made for me.
GF: When any of us finds what is the true Way, it is natural for this gratitude to come up in us. I remember when I first met the Work and Mr. Howard, I knew my days of searching were over but that now the genuine work would begin. It is good to feel this gratitude. Each of us owes a debt that is only paid by our willingness to endure what we must for the sake of the Truth.
Rael: Is there an event somewhere along our path that can be described as a "Eureka" moment?
GF: Whenever we have a genuine glimpse of something true, even if its painful to see, in each such seeing of something true, new energies are released and combined within us. Nothing feels better, nothing is better, and nothing leads us anywhere better.
sunseri: Is it possible to learn the lessons we must from reading your books, listening to recorded talks, and attending classes at the Life of Learning Foundation? Id rather "get it" there than out here. If we remember to walk the walk, rather than talk (read or listen) the talk, do we reach a less beaten path?
GF: There is an old, and I am certain quite true, statement concerning this Work and ones walk of the Path it presides over. "It takes a lighted candle to light a candle." Best of all is to be with others who are attempting to exchange their lives for Gods. Second best is to intend this purpose and proceed (because of circumstances) as best one can to put Truth first and foremost. God will not forsake the true heart either way.
Faust: I bought Dr.Weils "Breathing" tapes and the deep breathing is really helping my anxiety, but the root of my anxiety is the sheer amount of work Im having to do in my PC programming curriculum at college. I feel like Im going crazy, but Im not a False Type in Jungian terms. Can you shed the light of peace on me?
GF: No one can "shed the light of peace" on any other human being. The disturbance is within each of us as it is, and this is where the Light must be brought to bear -- within us. Peace is not something one pours over himself, but rather an interior understanding within himself from out of which pours Real Contentment and Life.
JohnF: I hate being contradicted, even though I know I shouldnt. When I try to "let it go," it feels like Im compromising myself, especially if Im right on a practical level. How can I find the balance point between Humility (without compromising) and Integrity (without ego)?
GF: Negativity is never right. Period. Repeat this sentence to yourself and when you understand that any time you are negative, regardless of the outer conditions called out for this interior conflict, you are in the wrong place and doing the wrong thing. Drop the negativity. Let God/Truth take care of the rest. Thats the work.
Russ: I have studied hard for the last two years. I just finished The Intimate Enemy. I finally see that there are thousands of thoughts and feelings. I can begin to separate myself from them, but it is wearing. When will it calm?
GF: One of the most difficult principles a sincere spiritual student must eventually learn is that to seek "an end" to anything is to guarantee one never reaches that "end." No opposite can cancel itself. As best you can, stay in the battle of observing yourself without getting caught up in what you see. Sure its tough. But the point is, there is a way out and that way is through ones self.
Eric: As I try to stay aware and watch my thoughts, I hear this little thought that is telling me, "Youre doing a great job; I think that youve just about reached your destination." Could this be the false self trying to trick me into complacency?
GF: Make no mistake about it: Anything inside of us that flatters us for our humility is part of a greater body of deception in us yet to be recognized. Your intuition is right. Watch these self-loving thoughts and drop them as quickly as you would a bomb.
hari: Im not grounded here my mind is always with the world and its problems, my lifes work. I have no friends only the electronic gadgetry that keeps me connected. What do you suggest?
GF: If you are not already practicing a deliberate time of meditation/self-observing, do so in a dedicated fashion. I know it seems that your mind is more powerful than your wish for real Peace, but be assured that this pressure is as much an illusion as is the self it creates that suffers from this same pounding. Gather the spiritual facts. Have you read The Lost Secrets of Prayer? Persist.
Jonathan: I find I dont enjoy life much. I dont like my current career path, but when I think of changing jobs or careers, I cant come up with one that I would enjoy. Should I just follow the money since I dont seem to enjoy any activities on which I can build a career? If Im going to dislike my livelihood anyway, I might as well make the most money doing it, right?
GF: Each of us must resolve these kind of interior questions on our own. I would add, however, that the wise man never makes peace with anything in life that torments him that it is possible for him to change. The wrong parts of us tell us what reality is and then we wrongly assume that what we have been told is reality. Become more dissatisfied; dont seek ways to be content with unwanted conditions.
Sam: What causes anti-social behavior and/or anxiety, and how does one handle this?
GF: These two negative states are not necessarily related apart from the unpleasant manifestation they both produce around others. Anxiety is always connected to a false sense of being incomplete in the moment and rushing to close the gap between the self that "isnt" and the one that "will be."
HelenElizabeth: There are two people about whom I thought I cared a lot. Recently Ive become aware that these people never show any interest in anything I do or care about. Im "letting go" of these people but find that I feel neither good nor bad about this decision. Any thoughts about this?
GF: It is very much a natural expression of ones inner growth that their circle of friends begins to change. For one thing, co-dependent behaviors begin to fall away as we become self-unified so that we no longer have interest in the game of pretending "I care" because "you care." Just let it all go. God will give you new and higher friends. Of this you may be assured if you stay the Course.
joey7: Just when I start to realize being alone has its purpose, and start looking forward to learning in this new life style, an influx of people have become drawn to me and idolize me, especially women. This doesnt feel right. Did I cause this? Should I ignore them?
GF: It is not infrequent that at each threshold to a subsequent step higher on the spiritual path that life will bring to ones door certain kinds of conditions that person would have never dreamed he would find himself in. In a manner of speaking, one can construe these as tests or initiations. Each one asks "What do you really want? Do you want the world, or Gods Life?"
Roy: I have had such encounters and they have awakened a deep compassion for the other person, but why is there a tendency to avoid such encounters? I think perhaps fear that such contact will bring suffering to myself. Can we possibly be so callous?
GF: You are very near an important understanding. The answer is YES, there are wrong parts in us that do fear such encounters with others because we know that to be aware of anothers suffering will require us to forgo our own. The self that fears this fears the influx of real compassion that comes when we will dare be so engaged. It fears this because this Kindness proves the existence of something it can never know or be.
sunshine: I do not understand your answer to Joey7. Are you saying if he chooses to have a relationship that he chooses the world and that if he wants a spiritual life he must be alone?
GF: Not at all, only that each of us - those who seek a God-centered life - must arrive at a decision as to which of these lives will come first for us. Once we choose in favor of Gods Life, then every relationship we enter into in this world strengthens both our wish for real life and our ability to realize it.
sunshine: I can understand that if we feel pain from the breakup of a relationship it is only caused by our thoughts and feelings about the other person. Can a man and a woman truly love each other, or is all just physical attraction and what our minds tell us we need to be happy?
GF: A man and a woman may know a love that is far away and above simple physical attraction and the picket-fence images of a happy home. Physical attractions fade under law, just as fences must rot. Real Love is the marriage of opposites by that One Life that can bring them together. When two people love the Truth and one another, their lives serve Truth and hence one another.
Sandy: I find myself treating young kids rudely and getting impatient with them (I have two of my own). Is it worth the effort to do some regression therapy to see why, or just "observe my actions and thoughts"?
GF: If we will taste what we give others to eat (psychologically, emotionally speaking) then we will gradually come to understand that one should never feed another anything he doesnt want himself. You dont need regression. What all of us need is awareness of the reality of our interior life and its impact on others around us.
Jonathan: I have a difficult time making friends. People seem repelled by me. Why is this? Is the problem that I repel people, or that I just have not accepted that a life alone is my lot in life?
GF: The only way to know why people respond to us as they do is for each of us to become conscious of what we give off in any given moment. Come aware of your inner life and it will change. As it changes, so will the outer life that it attracts.
jj: On occasion youll state something then tell us it is a cosmic law or a spiritual law. Are there writings where these laws are plainly stated as you put them - kind of like a ten commandments of waking up?
GF: In some instances, there may be references to these principles or laws in various old scripture. The beauty of this work that we do is that these same Laws are not only imprinted upon each of our hearts, but form the very basis of our spirit. Waking up is the same as realizing that you are the living Law.
joey7: Do you know where compulsive behaviors come from? I recently discovered I had some serious compulsive issues tying me to certain physical conditions, and Im extremely shocked. How can I cure myself?
GF: Beyond the body having become addicted to certain chemical cocktails that it produces through habitual, self-defeating actions, most forms of compulsive actions are the result of extreme forms of being deeply identified, hence attached, to certain conditions. We are driven to embrace these compromising conditions because the more fiercely we hold onto them, the more strongly we experience a sense of self.
ADB: Q1: I am at work at a meeting and have felt fearful thoughts prior to it. I find myself sitting at the table with my coworkers and when someone asks me what I think, I have an almost impossible time curbing panic-filled thoughts. I hear voices that say to me, "Just run. Go out. Leave the room." This is an issue Ive never gotten a handle on for many years. All efforts lead to panic and this terror conversation. What can I (not) do to stop this?
GF: In my book, Designing Your Destiny, theres an entire chapter written about what I call these "dark inner dialogues." Get this book and read this section until it becomes clear to you that the pain you feel is secretly produced by parts of you whose purpose is to keep you under their control. You can be free if youll do the work it takes.
joey7: You have stated that we ask for our circumstances, so does this mean we can be totally passive and trust God even more? When does it become too passive? This sounds like we have to do absolutely nothing then.
GF: To state it correctly, there are at all times certain levels of consciousness at work in us that under the Law of Attraction "ask" for the circumstances that we then find ourselves trying to correct or control. The passive state is not apathetic in nature, but receptive and aware in nature. This awareness detects and rejects all false characters which frees us from the world they attract.
KevinB: What happens to our chance at eternal life if we should die while yet a sincere seeker with a long way to go?
GF: Anything that one does in his or her life for the purpose of answering what they in their heart believe to be Gods Will for them, is never forsaken by God. Any true change that takes place in us because of work upon our own consciousness is a change that we keep with us forever. This is why it is always been said to "seek the Kingdom first." You cannot lose what is Real. Seek the Real.
Marie: Just recently I read some of your material. Some of it sounds familiar as Ive heard similar things from other sources. Before I get too deep into this, could you please give a bit of your background as to education, training, credentials and the purpose or statement of philosophy or your organization? I havent seen any of this on your web site nor on printed material I have.
GF: Everything that you could possibly need to know about me is available in any work of mine that you pick up and dive into. Besides, as a general piece of good spiritual advice: We must (each) learn to trust our intuition, and not what others tell us is true. There are far many more deceivers in this world than there are truth tellers.
Jonathan: Is it possible for a person to go his/her entire life without fulfilling his/her purpose? Im still trying to find my purpose, and the prospect of never finding it and therefore never fulfilling it scares me.
GF: Yes, this is possible, but it is impossible for any person who sincerely asks such a question and then acts upon what he or she is shown.
Faust: Have you found any kind of direct relation between the quality of our spiritual lives and the junk we must all face, such as the automobile exhaust we have to breathe on the highway, the tap water we drink, and the electromagnetic spheres that surround us?
GF: Our atmosphere - visible and invisible - is increasingly compromised. All the more reason to awaken and be a part of the purifying forces instead of the pollution.
joey7: When I wake up alone (which is most of the time), for a brief second I get a quick rush of thoughts of extreme hopelessness and negativity. This does not interfere or hinder me in thanking God, but I wish to know if this is my attention from the previous night or something else at work against me.
GF: Such forces are at work all the time. Stay awake, remain receptive to whatever commands your attention, and then bring it all into the Light of self-awareness (and remembering God).
hari: How can you tell the caterpillar the state of being a butterfly?
GF: This cannot be done. The old saying, "easier to tell a summer insect about ice" points this out. BUT, there is within us the evolved state of self that isnt really apart from us, just awaiting our awakened attention and
surrender to the Life it already is.
Faust: I watched a documentary about the sewers of London, and the grotesque sludge was incredible. Invariably, I began to equate this sludge with the "me mind," and Im wondering how YOU rid yourself of mental sludge. Can you provide one answer to such a big question?
GF: Stay out of the gutter of negative states and this question wont trouble you.
jaybird: Can you give examples of the many subtle, hard-to-detect tricks the false nature plays on in order to distract us from being in the moment? It would be immensely helpful to know specifically what to watch for.
GF: One of these tricks is to get a person to identify with a negative state in response to seeing something negative in themselves. Darkness always decries darkness so that it seems as though Light is around. All tricks like these are rooted in getting us to identify with something.
ADB Q2: Could it be said that any behavior that I do that after I do it and I dont know why I did it is a behavior that is instigated from a negative state, and therefore should be awakened to and ceased?
GF: Yes, in general this is true. I call these "extensions" of the negative state. Good detective work on your part. Keep it up!
kvk: Your work is commendable and honorable. My question is about prayer. The thoughts we have every moment are a prayer and the thoughts backed by full intense emotion and feeling are the ones that seem to work -- both negative and positive. How do you pray and what do you pray for?
GF: There are really a number of prayer forms and ways in which they are enacted everything from contemplation of the Light, of Christ, of Principles, to mediation on Gods qualities, to praying for others in His will, to actual absorption in the Silence of God and His Life. But the key behind all forms is intention. Let us not ask for His gifts, but for the one Grace of being - as conscious participants - in his Life (and its divine purpose).
Eric: George Gurdjieff said that a person MUST find another person to serve as a teacher in order to succeed at the "work," as he put it. But so far I think that truthful books have done a great deal of good for me. Is it necessary that I eventually find another person who is also on this same path?
GF: Everything depends upon ones level of development. There does come a time when the sincere person must have the aid of one who has gone before him or her.
ADB Q3: Fear is such a BIG issue in my life. Ive listened to your tapes many times and seem to be hearing that I am just supposed to stand/sit there and shake in my shoes when Im feeling panic/fear. Is this accurate? This is the one thing I dont want people to see since I now shake in my shoes when talking in front of groups. Help...
GF: Once we learn - actually see - what does not work with regards to fear, as in trying to cover it up or bluff our way through it, then we know what needs to be done. Is this easy? No, but nothing is harder than living with fear. Vernon Howard taught: "The way out is through." Find out if there is a God.
JAMES7072: Should one focus on vocation at all along the Path? Or is its significance limited?
GF: As a rule, the best thing for us is to love what we do versus resisting and resenting it for the "ends" these means seem to provide. It all comes down to what we want from life: heavenly peace or worldly powers. "Seek ye first"
Faust: Im doing my absolute best to grow spiritually. I lead a pure life, I read the Bible, Im saved, I do everything right, but Im not reaping the rewards because I feel that the very town I live in is poisoning me. I want to move. I feel it in my bones to move. Would you have any advice about such thoughts? Im under no illusions. I know one thousand miles wont change whats inside, but a new environment just may help. Advice?
GF: It is better to go through one thing that frightens us than to make a thousand plans based in fear.
Roy: I struggle over discerning between imagination and intuition, overly concerned with being deceived by "wishful thinking." How can we work to be attentive and receptive to the true intuition within us?
GF: Intuition rarely leaves one feeling unfulfilled, while wishful thinking is based on an unseen empty basket within oneself.
Judy: Do you believe that "Cosmic Consciousness" is something to be strived for by meditation or prayer, or should we not hope to experience that state, because it will happen (however brief) when we are ready to receive it? Do you think it is a special gift given to a very few individuals, or that it is a natural occurrence in our spiritual evolution?
GF: Awakening to Reality is the God intention at work within us, and nothing except negative unwillingness can keep this fruit from appearing in the right inner environment.
JeffM: The Bible has many instances where either God himself encourages violence or seems to act out of vengeance. Are these things taken out of context? Can we ignore them because we dont feel they fit our image of a "true and gentle god"?
GF: So much of the biblical language is in code and metaphor that one should almost never take the Word literally. Christ himself had to explain in secret His own teachings to His disciples as the language of parables had hundreds of interior meanings - at levels - for those "with ears to hear."
Mover: I see a lot of unhappy people out in this world. I see forces at work everywhere, inner and outer. If one is to live in this world, they better not be of it. Would you agree?
GF: We must learn to use this world for the purposes given to us for this development. To use something properly, one must understand it - otherwise, it stands over that person.
Faust: In essence, I think my spirit has caught a bad cold. But like a cold, I think its coughing up the very dregs that cause its sickness. Im just so tired of the morning commute, the people I have to deal with, the lack of friends, the lack of girls to date, the lack of jobs, and the same feeling of not getting anywhere day in and day out. Can you relate to this?
GF: If you want to grow you must give up these negative feelings - this dread you are identified with. The poison is never the place we are in, but the hatred of it.
GF: Before we sign off, I want to pass along the special inner-life exercise I mentioned would be given at the end of our dialogue. If you missed reading my opening remarks, please go back and review them, as they will greatly amplify the significance of my remaining comments.
First, here is the exercise in its simplicity, and then we will look at some of the reasons why it is, in too many ways to list, the secret solution that can help to end world suffering.
Twenty-four hours a day, whenever you can awake to yourself and remember that your Aim is to know your self and your God, ask yourself this question: What is it that is in my heart right now?
Then, with this wish to see the unadorned content of your heart - free of any justification, bare and unprotected - come as aware of your heart (the emotional center in your solar plexus area) as best you are able. Just see; dont try to be anything. Just watch; dont want anything but to see the fact of what is sitting in the center of you.
It makes little difference what we find there if we are honest and watchful. The beauty of being conscious of either the "low" or the "high" hidden in ones heart is that both states serve to rectify the soul by expanding its need for God -- a need that, by a new necessity, must increase the souls relationship with God. Heres a brief look at "how" this works:
If one searches his or her heart and comes to see a suffering there - some sort of "lowness" or "darkness" therein, this person cannot stand tall; pride cannot be his footstool; the wish to punish others out of a false sense of superiority simply could not be acted out. Such persons would know that they need God (in their life) instead of imagining they already have Him (there).
If, on the other hand, through self-observation we have become a bit conscious of our hearts secret content, and find there, for our work, a bit a grace, of goodness, of a joy not our own -- then we experience a true gratitude that is amplified for this Gift in our soul, a thankfulness made sweeter for having already known the lower forms of ones former state of the heart.
There are more benefits to this exercise. First, as we learn to listen to our heart, to all of the notes sounding there, we realize that there is no suffering on earth that doesnt also sound itself out in our own heart. With this awakening we become someone who can never again add any more measure to the sum of our fellow human misery. We start to become harmless.
Last, but not least, if we know the content of our own heart, when we can be aware of this telling condition of our own hidden self, then we not only know the secret contents of the heart of everyone else we meet, but we also know there is no real difference between us and all of these "others" around us. And it is this discovery that fulfills our purpose for being on earth.
For with the realization of this undivided life - that we are not apart, not separate from one another as our suffering makes us believe - we are awarded the Grace of knowing that God is one, and that each and every one of us is a secret measure of His divine life. All of this is in our heart.
Now it is time to sign off. We will meet again right here in cyberspace on the 4th of October. Until then, remember the exercise and do the best you can to stay awake and remember yourself and God.