- Posted: Monday, August 09, 2004
- 2850 words
Cammy (chat host): Hello everyone! Tonight we are so honored to have back with us a truly inspirational guest speaker... self-realization author, Guy Finley. Welcome back Guy!
GF: Thank you so much. Glad to be with everyone.
Cammy: Last March, Guy Finley spoke with us on "Freedom from Grief." Tonight, Guy will share with us a seminar on lessons only love can teach... based on his newest book, Apprentice of the Heart.
Guy is the best-selling author of more than 20 other books and audio albums that have sold over a million copies in 12 languages worldwide. Guy is also the director of Life of Learning Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals realize their true relationships with life through higher self-studies.
He speaks three times each week at the Foundation headquarters in Merlin, Oregon, and now is seen each Sunday, worldwide, on the Wisdom Television Network. And now... I give to you, the incredible Guy Finley...
GF: Welcome everyone. It's my hope that this evening we can all discover some of the important truths that Love is always trying to reach us with, and teach us about, so that we can become happier and more whole human beings.
I suppose before we start taking questions I should outline a little bit about what I have brought to the chat this evening in the form of a few ideas for discussion. Seeded in the center of the heart, as surely as the essence of a tiny seed holds the promise of a towering tree, lives within us the Presence of a Power that can dispel any gathering darkness and change what is unkind into conscious compassion.
What is this Presence and Power lying latent within us? It is Love.
The question before all of us is how do we learn to welcome and embrace this kind of Higher Love -- under every condition of our lives -- that can lead us higher and make us better and brighter for having followed that way.
One last thought and then I'm glad to open up the room and begin our discussion...
We must never reach the conclusion that whatever love we may have known in our lives is the same as Love's Summit. There is always something higher, sweeter, truer awaiting us within ourselves and our relationships... if we only know how to receive it.
Let's work towards making ourselves more and more receptive to the true and positive transformative influences of Higher Love. Now it's up to you....
Pamatu: How do we work towards making ourselves more and more receptive to the true and positive transformative influences of Higher Love?
GF: It begins with recognizing in ourselves those qualities that at once draw us to the object of our love, and at the same time awakening to those qualities in ourselves that obstruct the love that we would grow and know. There are, for the sake of this chat, four levels, four kinds of love.
The first is one we're all aware of. We desire whatever it may be... maybe another person, or even a pizza. We just want what we want. It's an appetite really. This level of love, expressed through desire, is often very selfish in its nature as all it seeks is the fulfillment of itself through the object of the desired.
The next level of love has to do with what happens when a person falls in love with another human being, or perhaps even with Nature, and for that love finds in himself (or herself) the need to change the kind of being they are. We all have known this kind of love as well.
It's the kind of love that makes us want to be better people, better wives, husbands, friends, and lovers. Here, love's action upon us is to help us see, through others, what we have yet to see about ourselves that stands in our way of a rich and whole relationship. These two loves are principally the ones we know, but they are not the only kinds of love there are.
Just as there is the love that makes us want to change ourselves for the sake of someone who has helped us see the need for this change in ourselves, there is yet another love -- a more rare love -- that comes when we have awakened to the earlier forms of it.
And that love that I'm talking about is a love that guides us to want to serve others at the cost of ourselves. This is a far more elevated form of love because slowly the one who loves -- and those that are the object of that love -- begin to merge.
Lastly, the final form of love -- at least as best I've come to understand this process -- is where the action of love in a human being so transforms that person's nature that the distinction between what one loves and the love that grants him or her this grace all but disappears.
We could call this divine Love, and it is the root of all other loves. It is that which makes all of us who are willing to be so, an "Apprentice of the Heart."
kath: After the death of my mother, and a divorce, I'm not sure I can love again. I feel like all the love within me is drained, and I'm afraid I'll never get it back. Can I?
GF: Oh, yes! Let me tell you something wonderful. But you must be prepared to let what I say fall on an open heart, and not one closed out of fear.
The truth is, pain and fear and loneliness are not aspects of Love. They do not belong to Love, but rather are expressions of our having become identified with someone or something for our very sense of self.
Then having lost this object of our affection that once gave us all of these powerful pleasurable feelings, we feel that we have lost ourselves. We have not. This is one of Love's many wonderful lessons if we're willing to receive it.
The end of a relationship is no more the end of Love than leaves falling from a tree in the autumn spells the end of the tree. Love will prepare any human being who is willing for its deft hand to work upon their heart to be more open and receptive, more spontaneously kind and loving, but we must do our part.
Catch the fear before it fills the space left for the entrance of a new love. Catch the negative states that want your attention on their conflict and concerns as opposed to being awake and open to the new moment and the new relationships unfolding within it.
katpat: Can negative energies or spirits prevent us from reaching this higher love, and if so, how can we overcome this negative?
GF: The only power that darkness has is in the absence of the Light. The only power that negative states have is when we give them our attention by mistake and so unknowingly nullify the possibilities of a Higher Relationship in that moment.
As human beings, we alone have the right and the power to choose what we are in relationship with in any given moment. This means that as we work to be aware of ourselves, it is the same as preparing ourselves for both the lessons and the education that Love intends for us. It is when we get captured by the dark contents of our own unconscious mind that we find ourselves captives of conditions that prohibit love.
katpat: No matter how hard I try to stay positive, sometimes I feel that so many negative energies are working against me.
GF: It isn't a question of trying to be positive! It's understanding that your mind, awakened to itself, will not embrace what compromises it, and that you have the choice in that awakened state of yourself to detect and reject any self-wrecking states that want to draw you into their considerations.
katpat: Also, I am still grieving for the love of my life who passed away two years ago.
GF: Yes... this takes work. Again, I trust you will at least consider my words before discounting them because they run counter to popular ideas. Grief has a natural place in our lives. The heart is a beautiful and eternal creature whose wisdom transcends the mind that tries to work its way out of sorrow.
Just as there are seasons on this earth that include the repose and rest of winter, so is there a natural winter of the heart. It is our responsibility to become self-knowing enough -- self aware enough -- not only to recognize the beauty of these seasons of the heart, but to embrace them for the naturally healing, naturally renewing seasons that they are.
katpat: So is this sorrow the winter?
GF: Yes. Sorrow is one of the seasons that we must let run its course.
serenitysonya: When trying to teach others how to enrich their own lives, what is the best way to make them feel enough love for themselves that they will, in turn, feel that they deserve to enrich their lives and become their dreams?
GF: There is no better teaching, and no better way to teach, than by what we are. Love is not something to be created by human beings, any more than stillness is simply the absence of noise.
The more we each become that which we believe is right, bright, and true, the more others are naturally drawn by the same qualities in themselves to want to reflect these characteristics of Love. Our task is always to lead by example, which necessarily includes not being concerned with who may or may not be following us.
lottie: Where does self-love sit in regards to the four levels of love, please?
GF: We can find the idea of self-love, as you've asked, in all four levels. First, there is the little shallow self with its tiny selfish heart, seeking nothing other than its own satisfaction. It loves itself, in a manner of speaking, and nothing else, which of course means it loves nothing in reality.
When we begin to want to be a better human being for the sake of Love, then another kind of self-love is born -- one that includes a bit of the idea of giving up some of oneself for the sake of winning back something better.
In the two higher forms, self-love takes on new meaning. To love thy neighbor as thyself is far more difficult than simply putting on a smiley face and pretending to care for their concerns. Real Love, at this level, means one begins to put one's own desires aside. He "lays down his life for his brother."
Lastly, the highest form of Love, can also be thought of as self-love in that now there is no true distinction between Self and the Eternal Love that is its ground.
Inergi: Why is it that so many fall in love with people who are unable or unwilling to share love in return?
GF: There are many reasons for such unfulfilled relationships. Here's one... at the lower levels of Love, the principal concern of ours is not so much that we have the experience of Love as imagined, but rather that we simply can go on loving our experience, whatever that may be. Sometimes we get into bad relationships with others and stay in them because we love to resent.
Inergi: So it's the "misery loves misery" type of love?
GF: ...or perhaps we remain attached to individuals who have hurt us because our mind is fascinated by reliving the regrets we have for having made the mistakes we did. Many people call such relationships "love." So yes, misery loves misery. It's a truth few understand, but those who come to learn it are on the stairway to the next level of love.
omlove1111: What are good steps to letting go of people who you love dearly? I have a hard time letting go of the past, and I know that can be unhealthy. What can I do?
GF: Try to see that it isn't the people that you are having a hard time letting go of... rather what is so difficult to release is the "feeling" you have of yourself when you consider yourself in those relationships.
The thing that's good to understand about such a transforming self-truth -- as difficult as it may be for our ego that loves to think it knows what love is -- is that there is great power in such interior discoveries.
For one, it means that we are not the victim of anyone. No one owns us. Nothing can compromise us. We are the slave of nothing and no one -- unless we remain unconscious to those parts of ourselves that would have us believe we are only as valuable as our relationships lend us the feeling of being.
Lady: How can we be sure to have a healthy balance of all four levels of love?
GF: Just as the sun has in it all of the qualities of the radiant energy that animates and warms our planet and ourselves upon it, so does the Higher Love that we are being prepared for in this life contain in it all levels without being compromised by any of the lesser levels. In the end, so to speak, this is the great lesson that Love would have all of us learn.
Elizabeth: I long so much for a guy to love me, but it's hard because the fact is, I don't even love myself. I have social anxiety disorder and depression. Although things are better for me now that I'm on medication, I still feel so lonely. I have few friends and not a guy in the world. I am only 17, but how do I overcome my shyness to find love?
GF: I have a promise for you, but you must do your part to fulfill it.
GF: First, never mind what this stupid world tells you beauty is about. You, and all of us, are created to know Love. The problem is (and it's a deep one), we believe we know what that means, so therefore we literally have become victims of trying to prove to ourselves that we are worth loving by first measuring ourselves according to a set of ridiculous, unenlightened standards.
It is this set of conditioned ideas that sits behind the anxiety and fear you feel around others. This means, if you want to be free to find the love your heart longs for, you must gain the knowledge, and then the will, to challenge the parts of your own consciousness that are presently confining you to this suffering you feel.
I have a book entitled, The Secret of Letting Go. Go online and get it. It will start you on the road to discovering that you are not only a unique creation, but that there is nothing else on this planet like you -- once you understand how to drop these defeating, socially constructed ideas that are compromising your life now. God, the Truth itself, wants you to know Love. With a friend like that, you can't lose if you'll enter the battle.
Heidi_Girl: It feels as if I have an ocean of love to give, yet in most moments, fear or my imagination inhibits any real interaction with another. How can I open my heart to give and receive what only Real relationships can offer?
GF: The feelings you have are a wonderful place to begin. But they are just the beginning... not the end they seem to be. We are each created with an infinite capacity to explore our own hearts through the relationships that the level of our heart draws us to.
When it's time to let go and move on, we must not allow the "wrong" parts of us to convince us that there is value in what they once taught us, in those lessons that we have now moved beyond.
It isn't until we realize that the object -- person, possession, or natural gift -- that we would give our love to actually stands in the way of fulfilling that endless love we feel, that we are now willing to allow that part of ourselves to come to an end.
This is known as "dying to oneself" in order to experience a true rebirth in a higher order of that Love that led us to such moments.
Cammy: Guy, we are out of time for tonight. Thank you for once again sharing a very special chat seminar with us. We have a lot of Love to take away with us!
GF: It's been my great pleasure to spend this time with you. I will hold the thought for everyone that our wish and work to realize higher levels of Love in our life all come true. Good night and thanks so much.