- Posted: Tuesday, April 08, 2003
- 8554 words
GF: Welcome to our chat tonight. These are difficult times, at best. So before we begin I want to give you some new ideas to work with that are vital for any of us who would do our part to ensure peace on earth.
There is one essential reason why there is war on this earth, and why this conflict continues as it has down through the ages. The answer may surprise you. We do not understand our own pain - our suffering. Six-and-a-half billion human beings live in ignorance of their pain. But this is not to say that we live pain-free.
In fact, without exception, human beings carry on their shoulders and in their hearts massive amounts of pain. No matter what religion you are, you have pain. No matter what part of the world you live in, no matter your economic condition, no matter your social conditioning, no matter the color of your skin - you have pain. All human beings have pain.
It is because we are presently not aware of most of it, and because we do not understand anything about the nature of it, that ignorance of our pain manifests itself in war. So, even though it isn't a popular topic of conversation among human beings, we must examine our pain if we are ever to gain the understanding to end war for good.
The interaction of all matter and energy in the Universe is governed by a grand set of Universal Laws. These laws can also be called Timeless Principles, Everlasting Forces, Fundamental Truths, and many other names. For our purposes, I'm going to call these forces Invisible Eternals.
As human beings, we are the embodiment of these Universal Forces. We are the embodiment of the principles that produced the universe that we live in. Until we understand something about these Principles that govern all and everything, we can't begin to understand ourselves, or our relationship with others.
One of these Invisible Eternals is the force of opposition. Everything created is born from opposition. Everything destroyed (incidentally, so that something new can be created), is done so by opposition. This is true inside of us just as it is true outside of us in the world and in the greater universe. Let's look at some commonly recognized examples:
Opposition is a major part of what modifies the movements of stellar bodies (in our galaxy, solar system, etc.). Collisions of tectonic plates create immense oppositional forces, which result in the formation of new land and the raising of mountain ranges.
There is opposition in the action of wind moving through a forest. The wind strengthens the healthy trees and cleanses the weak, making for a noble forest. Our immune system opposes the diseases that attack us. It does so not only to defeat the attacker, but also to learn about its tactics in preparation for the next battle.
Now, where there is opposition, there is always a form of conflict. In the physical world, this state of conflict is natural and accepted. After the winds pass, and the trees return to their normal state, the trees don't sit and hate the wind. Bacteria don't complain, "I hate the immune system because it wouldn't let me in."
But human beings are different. When we experience opposition and conflict, we resist it. We think about it. We hate the things that we are opposed to. Conflict inside of a human being creates pain.
What we fail to realize, however, is that without those opposing forces working their way in us, we could not change. We could not grow. It would be impossible. All things would stop because nothing would be created or destroyed.
So, we must ask: "What is it about this human nature that is different from the nature of the wind and the tree, that is different from the nature of the solar system, that is different from the nature of the tectonic plates? What is it inside of me that turns what is natural opposition into hate, anxiety, frustration, depression, and pain?"
When we look closely at ourselves, we see that all of these negative states find a home and their expression in us due to opposition to what "I want" in any given moment:
For example, one person wants all human beings to be Jewish or Muslim, while another insists they all be Christian or Buddhist. This group wants more money and that group stands in the way. You want me to love you and I am not acting very loving at the moment. I want to be left alone and you won't be quiet. So can we see the real root of conflict here?
I want what I see as necessary for my "peace" of mind, and when you don't want that same peace, in the same way, what happens to me? I get frustrated. And what follows frustration? Anger. And what follows anger? Violence. War. This is why before there can be peace on earth we must learn to see what makes us warring!
These wants -- these unconscious desires -- are the root cause of pain, and thus the root cause of war. We couldn't be frustrated, hateful, or angry because things didn't go our way unless we had a desire -- a picture in our mind -- of how they should go. So we rarely see the world around us as it is. We only see things in relation to how they fit in with our desires.
If we look at ourselves honestly, we can see that we don't actually meet people directly; we instead meet our evaluation of them. We don't actually have conversations with people; we talk to ourselves inside our mind about the conversation we're having while we're having it. We do not look out and see something as it is; we look out and describe to ourselves what we see.
When the world that we have imagined in our mind does not match the world of reality, we get frustrated. We feel pain. We get angry. We blame things outside of ourselves for the pain we feel inside. And we never see that it isn't the things outside of us that make us feel bad; it is the mechanism of desire inside of us that is the real cause of our pain.
Now, before we close out this first part of our study, you do the "math" given what we have discovered. No frustrated desire, no pain; no pain from frustration, no anger; no anger, no one to blame; no one to blame for my pain, no war.
Before we end the chat tonight I will finish these thoughts and offer some additional ideas on what each of us can do to give birth to a world without war.
Now let's get to your questions and comments, but please work to remember that our task here on-line together is to address what is real and what leads us to authentic self-transformation. Let's discuss the issues you are working upon within yourself, which means let's not spend our time with frivolous philosophical or religious questions. What would you like to talk about tonight? Let's see what we can learn together.
BillH: What is the distinction (if any) between observing conflict in the world and having a feeling that there shouldn't be the conflict. Or in other words what do you do if seeing some foolishness "bothers you"?
GF: In truth there is no difference between getting angry over the violence that one sees in the world and the violence within one that gets upset over what is seen. It's a good thing that you are seeing these more subtle aspects of your own psychology. Keep watching. The Truth will help you to understand these seeming contradictions in your own consciousness.
justme: I have this subtle, fearful, way-overprotective nature that seems to stop me from having real relationships. I am afraid to pay close attention and see the truths about people I love, and it saddens me. I sometimes wish to try to keep this horrible world from them despite my faith in God. What am I caught in here and what can I do to end the sad feelings I get when I see into somebody I love?
GF: First let me say that we must never allow any fear that we have about what we suspect to be the "truth" of someone to interfere without perception of the same. The Light by which we apprehend another's nature is in many ways the only true way in which we may safely know who is right for us and who is wrong for us. On another note, it is not your place (or anyone's for that matter) to shield someone else from this world and the lessons that it offers. When we try to protect people from what causes them pain, we effectively interfere with their realization that the world they encounter is but a reflection of their own nature. The only way we can really help one another really love one another is by encouraging each other to do the interior work it takes to discover the truth of ourselves.
justme: I have a once close family member who has been afflicted with a bad, common mental disorder. This person's life is torment at best. Our fears seem to be coming true in that this person's young children are growing and now taking on not-so-pleasant personalities. This affects all of us and it is the one thing I cannot understand although I try by letting go and being kind. Please advise.
GF: Naturally no one wants to see anyone that we care about fall into the hands of negative characteristics such as you have described. More than likely, it isn't that you cannot understand what is happening, but that there are parts of you that do not want to see the fact of what has transpired. Resisting life is futile, especially when it comes to refusing to see what others are making of themselves. This doesn't mean to be happy over the events, only to see the waste in wanting them to be different.
mobilman: Do you have understanding regarding this scripture: "Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
GF: We often discuss in our ongoing meetings here at the Foundation the spiritual truth behind one of the Invisible Eternal principles I mentioned at the outset of the chat tonight. Walt Whitman once said that, "A blade of grass is made of the stuff of stars." How much more so is that true of us, and if that is indeed the truth (which it is), then we are not apart from the Grand Intelligence of this universe, nor its intent for Goodness to be ours everyday of our lives. This is how we are "arrayed."
Jilly: Does consciousness make a shift when you are aware of choosing against self?
GF: It could be said that consciousness is not unlike the reflection of a mirror, and that everything that passes into it and before it causes a change in the reflection, but not in the mirror itself. When we choose against ourselves, it is done in an unconscious act that reflects instantly in this mirror to reveal the conflict inherent in any divided act. This "shift," this "fluctuation," we can and must be conscious of through our awareness.
Jilly: I'm sorry; I must have stated my question wrong. What I meant was does consciousness make a shift when we choose in favor of God because of the knowledge we have gained through the work?
GF: Every act of will that is an expression of the Light that has entered us to make whatever choice is so indicated, changes our consciousness in that moment.
nrg-gate: On page 165 of "The Secret of Letting Go," there is this sentence: "The Truth itself promises that nothing bad will happen to you." Later, in same paragraph is the statement: "...the real danger lies not with the unexpected but with remaining where you are in your present life-level." Help me understand.
GF: There is no contradiction in these two ideas. Nothing bad occurs to the Good in any human being. This is because what is Good in us is created for the purpose of transforming all that it meets into an expression of Itself. The "danger" mentioned has to do with what happens to the soul that chooses the "good" that it prefers due to the pressure of the desire to fulfill itself according to one's conditioned need. Such a soul isolates itself and in so doing ultimately destroys its chance for Real Life.
Grayson: Does the following sound real or delusional? Sometimes, after going into the present and watching troubling thoughts, I see objectively my own and others' thoughts, and then feel freer. Sometimes, I go beyond this and receive insight to great things happening outside my immediate surroundings; I realize that somewhere children are having a blast at a park, or a young couple is walking near a lake, and I identify and suddenly feel more joy, peace, and freedom.
GF: Only you can know the difference between what is certainly possible as you've described it, versus the possibility that this is all taking place in imagination. The good news is, if you just keep watching yourself in the present moment, these issues will resolve themselves. Either way it turns out, don't let yourself identify with what may be a gift or an act of self-deception.
Grayson: I believe I could have worded my question better. I was not referring to definite, specific things happening outside my surroundings, but rather to the knowledge that no matter what is happening here, somewhere in this world people are enjoying themselves right now, and that is just as important to the world as my own situation is, and I seem to identify with that. Does this sound right?
GF: If you're asking me, "Is the nature of happiness, happiness wherever it may be expressed?" the answer is yes. We are each created with the potential to live in a world of intelligent principles instead of being captives of ignorance and the states it produces that punish us. Happiness exists as an objective entity, as surely does darkness.
Grayson: The real point I meant to ask about was whether it is "right" and truthful to feel joy and happiness because people somewhere in the world right now are experiencing that.
GF: If you are asking me to confirm that one might feel happiness while watching a child playing happily, the answer is yes. If you ask "can one feel the happiness of someone 500 miles away?" the answer is there is no difference between the happiness of "there" or "here." It is wrong parts of us that want to feel themselves special that separate such things in our mind.
Jilly: In a tape of yours I listened to recently you said something to the effect that awareness precedes a thought. Can a person stop certain thoughts/see them and not let them enter beforehand?
GF: The more one awakens to the activity of thought and its purpose in the mind, the more thought naturally quiets down, as it is no longer fueled by a form of unconscious self-fascination. Awareness always precedes thought, as surely as the sky must precede the bird that flies through it. Work to be more like the sky, and less like a "bird brain."
Eric: I just watched a Vernon Howard video and he said that I could easily, effortlessly drop all of my problems, worries, anxieties, burdens, false hopes (in other words, drop being "me"), etc., right now! Why do I refuse to do it?
GF: What Mr. Howard says is true. And in a deep but necessary spiritual paradox, you will only know the truth of this statement as you discover all that you can about the nature presently occupying you that cannot live in any other dimension other than the negative states you've described.
mobilman: I recently discovered that I have been identifying with money. I didn't realize it until an event where some was taken away (which I believed was unfair) and a storm overtook me. I realized that if money can make me happy, it can also make me unhappy. Comments?
GF: All desires are double-edged swords. The pleasure one gets from an image he is attached to is necessarily connected to a kind of dependency, which in turn breeds fear and anger when the conditions that supported that attachment collapse.
orion: I have had moments in observation where I was suddenly disturbed by an outer event and I could feel my heart jump -- a very unpleasant sensation. I am able to sit back from these disturbances and watch them, but then become upset that, after all my practice, something like a loud noise or an angry stare can cause such a physical reaction. Will the reaction ever go away?
GF: It is never the first reaction that is our problem. The physical organism is created to respond to physical stimuli of all orders. It is the second reaction that steals from us our peace and quiet of mind or heart. This is the reaction that either blames something outside of us for upsetting us, or that turns on us and belittles us for not being as spiritual as we had imagined. Study this in yourself.
James1: Is it true that I have become so consumed by fear that I don't want to do anything?
GF: Fear, unattended to in us, not only isolates us in an imagined fearful world, but serves to produce for us all of the evidence we need to confirm this delusional and dark conclusion.
James1: Do I address matters knowing that I am (what feels like) enveloped in this fear? Should I ask, "How has this fear manifested itself in and around me?"
GF: Yes. Don't think about what fear gives you to think about. That's how fear sucks you into its world. Instead of thinking, or being absorbed into feelings of fear, learn to watch these thoughts and feelings while they try to convince you that their life is your own. This watchfulness is a kind of light that will reveal to you the difference between the darkness that calls itself you, and the you that knows better.
mobilman: A decision I made recently appeared as though it was wrong. The second guesser came and began to tell me the reason this happened was because I did this and I should have done that. It worked out, but even if it hadn't, it didn't make the decision wrong. Comments?
GF: One must begin to realize that within one there is a certain nature that is only happy as long as something needs to be fixed. This same self cannot come to a decision and make it without flipping into conflict instantly over what was thought to be best. Here's a new action to take decisively: Choose what you must and then be done with the "second-guesser" in you who really only lives to steal life from you so that it may live.
Jilly: Can a bad relationship hinder spiritual development, even if you are working spiritually but the other person is not (whether it be a spouse or a child or other family member)?
GF: Nothing in the universe can hinder spiritual development in the soul who is willing to use all of one's conditions, regardless of their nature. This isn't to say that there is some benefit in dwelling with dark individuals, only that the light in us can use everything around it.
Carron: Someone who has been present through my life, someone who once thought the world of me, has now backed away, and by trying to make things better I've made it worse and the closeness is gone. I've tried to sit with the pain, and not react, but I see this person each day and try to find the "lesson" in the rejection I am feeling but pain ends up finding it's way back.
GF: Where in the world did any of us get the idea that spiritual work is the antidote for pain in life? It is not the antidote, it is what allows us to work through the parts of us that produce this pain. Only when we are awake to the dynamic in us that produced a painful attachment will we have the capacity to naturally drop our interest in the sensations such attachments produce. Then we are free of pain because we've lost interest in what causes it in us in the first place.
orion: In social situations I move into an autopilot state, engaging in the same typical unconscious behaviors with the same people. No matter how much I remind myself to remain conscious, I have trouble being present and become aware of how unconscious I was as soon as I am alone. As such, I find it desirable to avoid others. What should I do?
GF: Always move toward the conditions that you want to avoid, not away from them. The parts of you that direct you to stay away from situations in which you find yourself asleep are the very sleeping parts that are compromising your wish to be awake. The only way to realize this and release yourself from these self-wrecking aspects is to bring them into the light of a conscious action to see them as they are.
saqib: Last year this time I came across the teachings of Vernon Howard. After some time I had an experience of being nobody. I just felt so in the moment. "I" the experiencer was not there, and it was so filled with awe I couldn't even speak about it. After a few weeks I was me with my conditioning again. Since then I have been quite unstable, confused and divided. My desires make my prayers and meditations look hypocritical. I have had enough from books and tapes. Please help.
GF: I understand what you have said. You may be assured of the following: Any awakening of a real nature has an actual organic effect on the brain. It takes time for the organism and the self that is the extension of it to orient itself to new orders of energy. Don't get caught in resisting your condition, imagining negative pictures about yourself that punish you, or otherwise identifying with parts of yourself trying to pull you down into fear or self-loathing. Go back to work on yourself. Drop all self-concern.
rousseau: I have felt the same disorientation occasionally when reading too much of Vernon Howard's or your books and tapes. I have to back off and just live, then come back to them a month or more later. I wondered if there was a reason for this. Actually I sometimes also tended to become "hard to deal with" during these times according to my family. I don't exactly know what changed in me that they noticed.
GF: Such cases are each individual and must be treated as such, which is one of the reasons why in true cases there is no substitute for being in the presence of the teacher helping to elicit such movements. As a rule the Light always feels "disorienting" to what is shadow-like, but this is not to say other (less flattering) factors may not be involved here.
saqib: Please clarify one thing for me: Going through these changes of adjusting to new levels of energy, do I enter a spiritual tradition of Sufism (for instance), or remain self-observant and to myself?
GF: Follow your intuition, but know that no "path" in and of itself has value; it is the person that makes the "tools" valuable, not the other way around.
saqib: Are you in any relationship at the moment with the spirit of Vernon Howard relative to the Sufi's teachings of a relationship or connection between living masters and students?
GF: The whole point of any true teacher or teaching is that the Spirit of Truth is timeless and not individual, so if one awakens, he or she realizes the same Spirit of Truth as apprehended by their teacher.
doctree: Is it foolish to leave an abusive relationship even if you have nowhere to go and might have to camp out for a while?
GF: It is never foolish to leave anyone or anything that abuses us in any way whatsoever, no matter where we might have to be for some time. Put what you know is true and right before what you fear and imagine in the night.
ScJ711: I keep having dark feelings inside whenever I think about the nature and motivation of evil or demons, especially since they exist on higher realms and are intelligent enough to understand that the universe has an eternal law of karma. Can you help me gain the proper perspective on this?
GF: No one can feel the nature of evil and remain in that relationship so as to be damaged by that unless they have been deceived into allowing their attention to remain on such darkness. Your awareness and your attention belong to you. Reclaim them and you will release yourself from these fears born out of being deceived.
Grayson: I think I see spiritual significance in the lighthearted quote, "You wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you ever realized how little they did." This Truth seems to kind of take the "self" out of situations. Does this sound right?
GF: Yes, that's exactly right. People rarely think of others without themselves being the center of those thoughts.
doctree: You once hinted to me that increasing my inner conflict would be good for me. I did not understand at all at the time and now only a little bit more. Can you explain what you meant?
GF: I didn't say you should increase your inner conflict, only that you should be willing to be more aware of just how much internal conflict already exists within you. Make your intention moment-to-moment to watch yourself as you are, instead of trying to prove yourself in whatever situations you find yourself in, and you will discover all the conflict you need to transcend it in yourself.
RobF: In the "Go Quiet" exercise in Design Your Destiny, when you tell us to watch and observe our thoughts, is that the same thing as when you tell us at other times to come awake and aware of our surroundings?
GF: Yes, they are one and the same.
Eric: I believe that self-deception may be a pretty important "area" of study. Please, what would you say is a particularly cunning and dangerous self-deception that we should be on the lookout for?
GF: Since a mind divided in itself cannot see itself, this same mind never recognizes that it sets out with one end in mind and four minutes later is working towards a completely different end. Before one can work on ending self-deception, one must first end the deception, the illusion, that he is "one" to begin with. Only discovering how divided we are can end the deception that is born in the dark of this division.
Diojeneez: Awhile ago I encountered something that completely baffled me. It was Swedenborg's interpretation of Genesis, which looked (at least to me) exactly like everything thing I've heard you teach! Maurice Nicoll and Vernon Howard have done things like this as well. How is it that your whole teaching is contained in the first book of the Bible, but more than that, how is it that you even perceive the esoteric meaning of the Bible to begin with?
GF: It is difficult for us to understand that it is not men or women who are teachers of Truth, but it is the Truth that teaches itself through such individuals. This being said, there is no individual who finds Truth, but that the Truth you have described expresses itself through various individuals throughout time.
justme: Do you know why we gain different insights at different times despite being in the same situation or hearing the same teachings? I believe I am paying attention, but seem to hear new ideas from something I've heard dozens of times before. Does this mean I am not being fully awake? Could I be doing something better?
GF: Yes, what you have described is one of the reasons why it is so important for an individual to do "continuous" inner work, and to keep the company of others who do that same kind of work. The reason for this is that we are not "one" within ourselves, but "many," and each of these aspects of ourselves have, in essence, separate "ears" that hear the Truth differently at different times. The Truth eventually unites these aspects into what is whole.
ScJ711: As I continue to understand this false nature in me that creates feelings of guilt, fear, and judgment, I find myself coming across many spiritual teachings that talk about entities attaching to our souls at some point in our evolution that could be a product of the false self. This has produced a lot of fear in me, but I know I'm ultimately in control of my soul. I would really appreciate if you could help me gain the right perspective on this.
GF: You might want to get a copy of "Secrets of Cleansing Your Heart Mind, and Soul" from our website. What you have said is true. There are subtle forms that attach themselves to us as surely as thoughts are forms that we become attached to ourselves. Fear of such possibilities only helps to ensure the possibility feared. Drop this concern and choose self-study over self-fascination.
pkay8: I'm having some trouble with meditation and "going within." I've been reading your book The Lost Secrets of Prayer. It's really good and reader-friendly; I just cannot get myself to let go. Do you have any words that might make it click?
GF: This is hard to understand at first, but think on what I say here until you understand it. Don't "try" to make your mind quiet. Real meditation is about living in the awareness of what one actually is at the moment. It is this awareness that is the true nature of silence, and only as we live in relationship with it - through meditation - do we begin to experience the presence of its nature. Then silence is not a creation of ours, but a condition we awaken to within ourselves.
Diojeneez: Vernon Howard had this booklet about human sharks in which he says that "people want to be the stars of their little sick shows entitled, 'How Important I Must Be That The Whole World Is Out To Get Me!'" My question for you is, why exactly does the false self want to be important, and how does that desire function within me?
GF: One of the unseen deceptions that secretly drives human beings crazy is that, on one hand, their false nature is literally compelled to think about itself and put itself before all else, and on the other hand, nothing this nature can do (since it is false itself) can make itself feel real. In the long run, this nature just loves to vibrate with no concern for what shakes it up.
briant: Although not a promiscuous person, I have always "looked" at other women and never seemed to be free from the desires of X-rated material and the darker sides of things. For the first time in my life, I recently felt free from all of that and was no way interested in any other curiosity -- just my fiancée. How can I keep that real life feeling? I do not want to be caught up in false, meaningless attractions.
GF: There is no sickness in any of us that does not make us feel sick when it is active. Awareness of ourselves reveals the fact of this whereas the desire of such things masks both the sickness and the pain it produces. Work to remain awake and aware of yourself, and don't hesitate to ask God as you understand Him to give you more of the light you need to be free.
Jason: Is it possible to remember and honor one's memory without this false self? I am trying to honor the memory of a past loved one but when I try to remember them in a proper manner, most of my thoughts are about me.
GF: We spoke about this in our class last night. What is Real, True, Good, and Right in us -- relative to ourselves and our loved ones -- is not an act of memory in any way. Love is timeless as is compassion, respect, and all other noble qualities. When we live our lives working to reflect these Higher realities, we are automatically in relationship with every possible counterpart that has had a presence in our lives.
2big: Someone I know is incredibly negative. Everything is wrong, bad, someone else's fault, etc. I am using this to see more deeply into how I myself do the same thing, just to a lesser degree. Do you have words of wisdom to help me and my friend see more clearly how to use so-called bad things to move to a higher life? Is it just expectations about a certain outcome that get us in trouble? Or is there more to it?
GF: One of the most powerful and ultimately self-transforming principles that we can and must awaken to in our lives is that nothing and no one that we see in life, and certainly no experience that we derive from that relationship, actually exists outside of our own consciousness. What this means is that negative people set off negativity latent in us that we then blame them for. This is why if we learn to love our enemies, we can begin to use them and their darkness for the purposes that the Light within us has allowed this relationship to exist in the first place.
Eric: Tolstoy said that these Principles are simple, understandable, and few in number. As we truly work more and more on ourselves (not just in imagination), do we begin to see connections between things that before seemed completely unrelated? I think maybe I have experienced this seeing connections, and I'll tell you, it's actually a fun experience.
GF: Yes, precisely, and the reason this is "fun" is because when one sees that he or she is a part of the perfection of the Divine, there is no more fear that one has to run the show in order to star in it.
Diojeneez: What is this idea of charity Jesus always talked about? According to the Muslims he says, "Charity does not mean doing good to him who does good to you, for this is to return good for good. Charity means that you should do good to him who does you harm." I'm very confused, I thought we shouldn't even keep the company of those who love the darkness?
GF: Do not hate those who hate you, but bear (consciously) the negative reactions that appear within you that seek to punish them for their transgression. This is laying down your "life" for the sake of your brother.
ScJ711: In order to be free, we have to understand our dark side, and as long as we stay without understanding, we will be in fear. So I understand that evil on the earth's plane of existence is born out of deep fears and deep pains at the core of someone's being. So forgive them because they're in pain and are not aware of the karma they produce. But what about the forces that work against us on higher realms? Every time I let this go I have an emotional response. How do I understand and proceed?
GF: Your task is to remember the Light and put it first in your life (as best you understand this), and to let this living Light "fight" the "battles" that it will. Be an observer on the field of consciousness, not a "general" in the midst of trying to win some war you cannot.
Diojeneez: What is this Law of Opposites you and Vernon Howard are always talking about? I only understand it in bits and pieces. Can you define it?
GF: Any attempt to describe it under these limited conditions serves nothing. You might pick up a copy of The Intimate Enemy which discusses some of the dynamics you wish to learn.
2big: I used to like most all music and listened to a lot of radio. Now I find most music and the radio irritating and prefer silence or very quiet background music. Is this good? Did your taste in music change as you sought the higher life?
GF: Clearly this is natural as one's nature seeks what best reflects itself wherever one may be.
briant: I never try to sit and meditate but almost always stay in an observant state throughout the day. Should I try to sit and practice, or go with what I am doing to gain more understanding to life?
GF: There is benefit in sitting quietly, free from exterior distractions and intending to meet life without sensations such as life elicits from our normally engaged mind.
steveb: Would you recommend some music for meditation?
GF: As a prelude, perhaps. But for the true purposes of meditation which is communion music becomes a hindrance, not a help.
Carron: Any suggestions on how to release our thoughts of attachment?
GF: Such letting go begins with realizing that these thoughts you have described are not "your" own to begin with.
DebbiE: You have said on numerous occasions (yourself or through others) that I have all the answers within. I seem to not have as much need to ask questions. I think I must be getting somewhere with the work.
GF: So be it.
Grayson: I don't seem to fully understand scales and levels. Can you elaborate? If not here, can you give me a good source on those topics?
GF: You can find some help in seeing into these principles if you listen to either volume one or two of the "Secret Teachings of the Sacred Testaments."
Grayson: These multiple selves in us you have been mentioning tonight, are they the different "I's" that conditionally pop up in different situations that make up the lower self of thoughts?
GF: What you have stated here is essentially true, although these various lower aspects of "self" are not limited to one's thoughts.
Grayson: Should the lower self of "I's" be considered something to ultimately kick out for good, or is it naturally beneficial to a full life if understood and used in the right way?
GF: There is no "you" that can kick anything out of you anymore than an auto can kick a bad gear out of its own transmission.
GF: Our time together on-line has nearly run its course, so now I wish to give you my remaining notes on what each of us can do if we wish to give birth to a world without war. I will spend a brief moment summarizing a few of the more important ideas we discussed at the outset of the chat. They are important enough to review once more before we continue our investigation into the secret causes and potential "cure" for this conflicted planet of ours:
There is a set of grand universal laws that govern the interaction of all matter and energy in the universe (including human life). One of these Invisible Eternals is the beautiful principle of natural opposition. Natural opposition is the force responsible for all birth and change in the universe.
Natural opposition in itself is a constructive force, however, we, as human beings, transform it into a destructive, negative energy by comparing in our mind "what is" to "what should be."
This comparison of our image of the way we think things should be to the way they really are, causes frustration and pain. We then are moved to look for something outside of ourselves to blame for the pain we feel inside, so we fight and there is war. Must this pattern persist? How does all this relate to stopping war?
This war with Iraq is the manifestation of an immense pressure between opposing forces. Everyone involved has objectified its/his/her pain. The US has objectified its enemy. Saddam has objectified his enemy. Every dictator in the world, and his willing or unwilling countrymen, have in some form or another given a name to what they see as causing their pain.
When this latest war ends, the "victors" will have a momentary reprieve. They will enjoy victory just long enough to conceive the next desire that will bring along with it the next thing to blame for it not being fulfilled. The "losers" will not get a reprieve, but will instead harbor even greater hatred for the ones who "caused" them pain. Another war will follow.
This is why the time between two wars is not peace. All throughout time, war continues to manifest because its seeds are never destroyed. And this is where we come in. This is what every True teaching has been trying to disseminate since the beginning of time. If we want the war to end, we must let it end in us.
We must bring the opposing forces into our awareness. We must see them as they are -- not as we are. Instead of naming and defining what the cause of our pain is -- so that we can have a new desire, a new enemy, a new plan -- we must learn about the mechanism inside of us that creates pain.
We are created to understand that we are the embodiment of all of the Invisible Eternal Principles, and that they have their place and their power within us, but these opposing forces were never intended to be used by our minds to create negativity, hatred, fear, and pain.
Just like the wind in the trees, these opposing forces are meant to exist merely as a potentiality that is expressed, and, at the end of the expression, all the conflict is meant to be gone.
You and I have something in us that is capable of transcending these forces. In that moment of anger, that moment of fear, that moment of anxiety -- that moment in which we feel thwarted and frustrated -- rather than turning our lives over to a mental construct (that instantaneously creates desire and pain), the whole thing can be let go -- consciously forgotten.
In those moments where we feel negativity swelling inside of us, we can become aware of ourselves and the mechanism inside of us that creates pain and war. We can realize that every desire, every wish for things to be different than they are, is a secret dictator on another campaign to run our lives into the ground. Which brings us to this:
How do we answer a dictator, any dictator, wherever he, she or "it" appears in the world around us or within us? We take away his power by taking away its "source": his money. This strips him of his supporters, which leaves him with no forces to implement his evil. How does all this happen? We implement a policy of radical isolation.
What is radical isolation? It is just what it sounds like: No trade. No interaction. No deals. None.
Why? Because "trade" is how the tyrants of this world get their money. And this money is what keeps the generals in place and the army deployed. The generals and the army keep the psychos in power. And there you have tyranny and oppression. (Please remember that this is an interior story for our spiritual development and not a suggested political action.)
Try to look at the big picture here. The world has tried polite sanctions for many years, but they are not meaningful. Sanctions in the eyes of the world mean "I'm not going to trade with you on this thing. But I am going to go ahead and trade with you on the other, because if I don't, my people might have to suffer, which means I won't stay in power."
The collective will of the world today is non-existent. It cannot enact real sanctions. Can you imagine President Bush getting on television and saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I really mean this. I realize now that war doesn't work. Hatred and violence begets more hatred and violence. So what we're going to do instead of dropping bombs is enact a total embargo of Iraq. This means that as a world, not one country will trade with the oil rich state of Saddam. Now, among other unpleasant things, this will mean gas rationing. But, we're through with this dictator. We're going to isolate the evil so that the goodness that is inherent in that country, in its oppressed peoples, can have a chance to be strengthened and grow free."
Do you think this scenario impossible? Life teaches otherwise. What happened to any drug addict or alcoholic who finally kicked his or her damaging habit? It has to be that there was something inherently good in that body which was strengthened to the point where it could understand the destruction that was taking place. Once the understanding was there -- once the person could see the whole of the situation -- that person could never go back and touch what they were involved in any more than they could stick their hand into a fire.
What does radical isolation mean for us personally? We know that anger is bad for us, self-pity is destructive, anxiety and stress rip us apart. But what do we do with these negative states? We make trade deals!
Why? Because as individuals we do not have a collective will. We have "generals" and "cabinet members and diplomats" inside of us -- some of which say no, others of which say they need the trade. "I need to feel sorry for myself, because this time it's really important," "I need to be angry at that person; just look at what he did to me!"
We never say, "Anger, I know you are a destroyer of happiness. I will not trade with you. Fear, you have fooled me once too often. Self-pity, you have punished me for the last time!" We don't practice radical isolation. We practice appeasement instead.
There was once an international policy of appeasement whose high point came in 1938 with the Munich Pact made between Britain, France, and Nazi Germany. Basically it said: "Hitler's OK. Let's make a deal with him and give him what he wants; he promises he won't bother us if we do this." The next thing you know the world is at war. So how does this lesson apply to us?
No matter how much we want to feel bad over that breakup, no matter how much we want to blast that person who didn't treat us right, no matter how much we want to get angry over whatever -- we must not let those negative energies express themselves through us. Instead we must work to isolate them in our awareness of them.
This action leaves them alone in the Light -- and robbed of the powers they need to make deals in the dark (of us). This is a difficult task to undertake because there are parts of us that secretly enjoy much of this pain. We feel consoled in our self-pity. We feel self-important when we are angry. We absolve ourselves from responsibility when we blame others.
But if we hope for a real end to conflict, then this inner work of radical isolation is the cost. When we will do our part to weaken the negative parts in us, it serves to strengthen the good because another Invisible Eternal is that health, balance, and goodness are intended to prevail. Light always triumphs over darkness, Good over evil, Peace over war.
Each of us must do the work to end war inside of us. This higher spiritual action alone is the pathway to the kind of Real Peace that no dictator, physical or psychological, can ever take away from us because the conditions of our awakening consciousness won't permit it.
Our time has run out. Remember all that we have discussed this evening. Choose the true inner path of peace by refusing to be a part of the conflict that calls you to enlist in the war within you. Choose in favor of the Light, and it will fight the good fight for you. Do persist with your inner work. And now, good night.
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