Three Steps to Enlightenment
Copyright © 2011 Gary Rutz
The whole world is you. Yet you keep thinking there is something else.
Since you already know the truth, there is no reason for me to tell you. And you know the truth, because when you hear it, it fits. It feels right and it passes every test. You know the truth because at some point, probably when life had rung you out like a dish rag or when you were an exploding fountain of happiness; you saw it. Clear as day; Easy as pie. And then, you went back to living in the fake world and mostly forgot.
I know that truth is not the answer. Nor can it be. Truth is like an exercise machine – it just sits in the corner; useless until you get on and ride it. Still, if you want to read the truth once and let it get dusty, that’s all right with me. Or use truth as a coat hanger, or as the perfect flat surface for those boxes you can never get around to unpacking. Use truth as a conversational tidbit, or to remind yourself of your own super depthor even the place to run and hide when you're let down by the untruths you enjoy so much.
When anyone starts a conversation or a book by telling me “It’s the truth”, I immediately discount everything that comes after that. If it’s the truth, there’s no need to tell me it is. If it isn’t true, telling me it is won’t make it any truer. Therefore the truth I want to share with you, the truth I know is true, is for information only (FYI). Yes, truth works. Yes, truth is useful. Maybe even fundamental to inner satisfaction. But it has to be your truth before it will mean the world.
It may seem impossible possible that one person could explain the entire universe in three easy steps. . However, if you will believe (just for a second) that the answers are simple then whatever you read here has to apply everywhere. The three steps are either absolutely correct for all situations or they won’t work at all. And it will work whatever you believe. This is your world. Oh, This is my world, but only for me. For you, it’s always been yours, is yours and will always be yours. You are everything you see. You can’t be anything else. You’re in charge. Whatever you decide, however you choose to feel, whatever is your experience, This is you. That’s why the steps will work. Because it will be YOU choosing to apply them to YOUR life.
And we're all a little bug eyed at the world you're choosing to see. Look at you, in charge of the universe but you can't find change for the parking meter. You, in control of every feeling, every action and reaction, every lesson and every answer and you're still spitting mad that chocolate bars are shrinking and the price is staying the same.
First I’ll explain what is all this and then why the different ways we view it cause the appearance of complications. What is the foundation of thought that makes us view the universe as we do? Is there something inside us that can connect with what appears to be outside us? Whatever you do with what is written here, I offer this thought. The only place you will ever find truth is you. And all the answers you’ll ever need are inside you, right now. It can be difficult to want to look there.
You might say to yourself
“You think I’m gonna look inside me for the answers? Talk about your black hole of personal mistakes!”
However, it’s not the separate you, the lost you, that has the answers. It’s the universal you, the One you, that quietly holds the truth. But it may still be weird to look inside when all we seem to see is Becky Lou in the 3rd grade telling us about our bad teeth, or a former love with her Written List of every fault we ever had.
Fortunately, there is only one truth and if you can’t or won’t look inside, you can see your truth in everyone you meet. Your entire inner world is ably represented by all the people that come into your life. So look outward for all the flaws you carry inside. Much easier to see their crap rather than call it your own. But it's yours! Ha Ha. Fooled myself again. There I am, pissed off cause I missed my bus. There I am, lying to me about the incredible weekend I had. There I am, sad and lonely.
We're all seeing ourselves and quite frankly, I look kinda messed up. Still, that's my problem. And when I can let that go, start by accepting what I see, then forgiving me in a thousand places and choosing peace, well THEN I'll have... uh... peace. I could have said that better. Whatever. You know what I mean. Of course you do. You are me. Nice going. Next time how about seeing less of a receding hairline.
Pre-enlightenment - The Basics!
All things will be in everything; nor is it possible for them to be apart, but all things have a portion of everything.
Anaxagoras 500-428 BCE
Everyone you know is one and the same thing. Everything you see is one and same thing. Everything that has ever been, is now, or will ever be is one and same thing. There’s only one thing that makes up everything we see, hear, think and feel. What we do with this knowledge or don’t do is up to each of us.
That’s it. End of story. And you didn’t even need three steps! Not even one step. Finished. Enlightened. Perfect.
Take a deep breath. Let it all out. Phew! And you thought this would be hard. Now that you know it's all one thing, we're all one big happy being, what can go wrong?
And if you would (that is if I would) just believe me, I wouldn't have to write the rest of this book and I could return to my nap. …[gary waits to see if the world is one giant enlightened ball of happiness].... not yet huh? Okay I’ll keep writing.
Some people seem to require a little more detail. So I'm going to give you the long version and then you can tell me “I knew that all along” and “why am I bothering you when you already knew”. The answer is because I haven't learned it yet and you are supposed to be telling me! So get on it! I mean, look at me! You obviously have some work still to do!
Where were we? Right; the basics.
There is only one kind of thing that makes up us and everyone else. The test is to see if it is true, is if this explanation of the world we know will ALWAYS help us in dealing with whatever happens to, through and around us. Always; No exceptions; No other rules. If there are two things, or three things, then the rule isn't the rule. But there is only one thing and you can test it by looking for you wherever you are looking. A real fun-house mirror with you inside every time.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world. But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you, so the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also. - Kahlil Gibran
On this level, where we apparently exist, Energy is our way of communicating with each other. Our way of connecting with each other. We contain, focus and release energy in all our interactions with the Universe. Everybody has access to the same energy. No one is restricted; no one is ‘given’ more or less. Yet to live in Energy is to know that those people, places and things that surround us can APPEAR to affect our energy. We feel free when we hang around those beings that represent abundance. We feel burdened when we live among those beings that offer scarcity. Of course, this is OUR illusion; no one makes us feel less or more of the every present endless energy. That we choose to match the beings around us is a matter for our hearts, our minds, and our souls. We can choose to feel the most endless energy among those spirits with the smallest acceptance. It might be easier to believe that, if you believe we can remain burdened when surrounded by the most energetic people we know. That’s a choice as well.
When we’re in the zone; when we feel FULL of the energy that must always be available in endless supply, we know the truth of our connection, our integration, our sameness to everything that is. It can appear that senses are heightened, we have confidence in whatever faces us and have endless certainty of right action. Our shoulders are back, our stride lengthens, the birds are singing and we are on top of the world. It all makes sense and there is nothing to fear, nowhere to go, and we happily swing our arms to the rhythm of the universe. And we can stay here as long as we want.
Everything can see be seen from this perspective. Our family, our friends, our coworkers, the beautiful sunset, children playing, a flat tire, slipping on the sidewalk, all part of the beauty of life. We laugh, oh how we laugh. All of the good stuff feeds us joy; none of the bad stuff bothers us. It all actually seems to be a little magic, even if our pants are torn, our souls are solid. We almost see the coffee cup fall off the table before it moves and easily catch it without conscious thought.
But when we’re ‘burdened’, feel oppressed inside our own skin, everything and everyone feels strange to us; hurtful, fearful. When I’ve chosen to be burdened or to think I'm burdened by all of life's apparent troubles, I’ve felt a person’s touch to be numbing. It’s at this level where people claim to feel no connection at all. The one thing that IS, feels distant at best and more likely – a fable that can’t be believed. At the worst, we decide there IS NO connection and we are a separate being. All alone again, (sing it with me) naturally. And we can stay there as long as we want.
We can feel bad about anything, no matter how ordinary; Data entry, Dirt on the Collar, a Phone Call. And we can cry about everything, as if all at once the entire universe took a day off from existing just to make our lives miserable. Why is he smiling at me? Doesn't he know life sucks? Oh sure I found money on the sidewalk, but it was dirty and it doesn't make up for the way that women behind the counter was judging me. Here, the coffee cup crashes onto the floor before we even turn our heads.
But somewhere inside, we know it is The Same Universe, the same wondrous place where everything is just fine. Don’t believe me? I’ve seen it and so have you. Why aren’t both real? Because we are already one. One with the creator. One thing. Not happy and sad. Not free and enslaved. Not good and bad. One thing. The only thing.
All we need to do is look and see us as we really are and listen and hear only the voice of God. And if that's too new age mystical for you, how about all the people you meet can and do have the same core as you, the same wonder and the same doubts. Everyone is on the roller coaster, scared with anticipation as we go up, exhilarated to reach the top, holding on for dear life as we race along on the tracks and feeling let down when we hit bottom. Everyone.
And, it turns out there is another way. We don’t actually have to feel bad to justify feeling good. We can actually choose, without regard to any circumstance to see a perfect world, to LIVE in a perfect world. Right now! You know and I know it. At key moments of our lives, we've seen the mountain top and it follows us more perfectly than our shadow. It gleams within us and gives us all we've ever wanted. It shines and glows and we need nothing else. It's so simple and I seem to forget it every time I have to take out the garbage or admit maybe I am lazy. As if either could make me sad. And yet, I choose pain all the time, every day. So what's a fella to do?
What is the marvelous secret to living in JOY? To remaining happy? To living free of all doubt? What is this life changing knowledge?
Choose The Quiet Feeling of Acceptance, automatically feel the Perfect Forgiveness and therefore Live in Peace. Actually just decide “I choose peace”. Really, it’s that simple. Three easy, interconnected steps; Acceptance; Forgiveness; Peace.
The truth is just a thought away – release the pressure we imposed to keep ourselves so low– accept and forgive whatever comes in our hearts, our minds, our souls and poof – we ‘log in’ to the Universal net.
Accept that other being, forgive that other being and therefore live in PEACE with that other being as long as one can sustain it. We could live quietly without definition or destination, giving space both physical and emotional, while pledging to be available for a moment or for a lifetime.
Yeah sure, but what if they are a jerk! What if that person I'm supposed to accept is just begging for some life correcting “I'm not gonna take that from you” interaction. What if they just won't be the kind and generous world I want to believe in, just like those other jerks. What if just about everyone is deliberately making it so hard to be full of peace and love? What do I do, if all I want is a pat on the back and life keeps kicking me in the ass?
I can attack. Being faced with myself in every other person and seeing all the things about me I cannot accept, understanding that everything I seem to hate will be precisely what I deny in myself, I can scratch, kick and claw at all that stuff that seems to keep me from the first step, acceptance. Oh I'll accept you all right, accept you with a fist. Accept you with clever words designed to hurt in a special way. Accept all MY faults showing up in YOU and make the time and effort to give you all the correction you deserve. Once you fix everything in you, I can fix everything that’s wrong within me.
Blame. Doubt. Anger. Possession. Control. Maybe then I'll have peace.
But that isn’t it. That doesn't work. THAT is not the truth. I've tried it over and over again. Every time I try to make a better world for me, by beating the truth of acceptance and forgiveness into anyone who comes near, somehow, they fail to learn. Somehow, I fail to feel any better.
It's at that moment when I have the grand opportunity, a real chance for self-blessing, to accept fully whatever life is offering me or not offering me. I can see all that is in you as being inside me, and choose to accept and forgive you exactly as you are presented to me, as I am presenting you to myself. When I have allowed myself to know you and all you have taught me and accept and forgive whatever feelings YOU are exhibiting then I can still see you as me. Then I can seeus as the one True Being. THEN, I have found myself within a Clear Moment. Then I have come home.
Ooooo, ain’t you the mighty guru. Must be nice, way up there in Goody Goody Land.
Well, yeah, it is. You should know. It's your Goody Goody Land too. I don’t STAY there but that’s just because I’m as lost as you. I KNOW how to get there anytime I want, but so do you, and you knew it all along. We don’t NEED to be told. We don’t NEED to do anything. Still, some of us like to take an extra-long coffee break before we fix the world. For those of you like that, like me, there are some pointers that can guide you on how to travel. You don’t need the pointers. YOU are already there, with me. But just in case you like to read the map before you head on down the road, here goes.
What a wonder to know we can think and feel as we choose. That our energy is ours to share. Our energy is ours to rise up or take down, feel Great or feel Horrible. We manage ourselves like the conductor of an orchestra. In the brightest moment, a beautiful sunset at the end of a perfect day, we can choose to be miserable; ‘oh sure today was okay, but it’s going to rain tomorrow’. Or at some dark point in our lives, cold and covered in mud we can choose to feel great; ‘nothings broken and boy will I have a story to tell’.
We can choose how we will feel no matter what the people around us feel. Be calm and comforting to those around us while they find their way in the darkness. Be alarming and fearful while those around us offer us calm and comfort.
Again, each and every one, each and everything is made up of the same one thing; the only thing there has ever been, is now or ever will be. We, - are it. It is when we claim the separation of ourselves or choose to withdraw from that one thing that we feel disconnected, isolated; burdened by life itself.
If we learn to see that we are all part of the only thing there is, then each of us can choose to grow inside. We can choose to do, be, believe, function, operate, and EXIST in whatever way we want. In fact, we choose each and every minute every day. Acceptance and forgiveness is the first basis for right choice. Accept and forgive by being completely open and conscious – of what we are seeing, doing, and believing.
What if – wherever we are in the universe right now – this instant – is directly attributable to our willingness to accept and forgive, to be free, to include ourselves in the only one? NOT, and I repeat NOT our physical location, deep in prison or high on the mountaintop. Not who we are with, our closest friend or our worst enemy. Wherever we are in the universe, wherever we decide we are. INSIDE ourselves. THAT is entirely up to us.
It is possible to see this as an impossible test. Perhaps then, what if we measure ourselves by the peace we feel inside from this second to the next? No limits, no time table. No one is left out. Some choose, for a span of their experience, to be left alone. Whenever we choose connection we are always welcome. It is our true ancestral home.
We can choose to accept and forgive ourselves wherever we are; whatever we’re doing or thinking. Imagine! Loving every thought in our heads! Loving every word spoken to us, around us. Loving every action we have ever taken – yes the bad ones too. Choosing to accept and forgive our own consciousness; today; right now. Wouldn’t that be a relief?
Loving ourselves the way we are. Before all the New Thought – before any affirmation or thought pattern change; before any behavior modification, loving ourselves, As Is.
But maybe that is too big a step, too far to stretch. What should we do first?
How can I start to see a better world? Don't tell me to accept and forgive my neighbor. Tell me how to live with myself.
Okay. Before I can forgive myself, before I can live in peace, I have to learn acceptance. I'll work on accepting me and you work on work on accepting you.
Chapter One - Step One: Acceptance
The following section is taken word for word, with completepermission, in it’s entirety from Peter McWilliams “Life 101”.
And that's the way it is.
Acceptance is such an important commodity; some have called it "the first law of personal growth."
Acceptance is simply seeing something the way it is and saying, "That's the way it is."
Acceptance is not approval, consent, permission, authorization, sanction, concurrence, agreement, compliance, sympathy, endorsement, confirmation, support, ratification, assistance, advocating, backing, maintaining, authenticating, reinforcing, cultivating, encouraging, furthering, promoting, aiding, abetting, or even liking what is.
Acceptance is saying, "It is what it is, and what is is what is." Philosophers from Gertrude Stein ("A rose is a rose is a rose") to Popeye ("I am what I am") have understood acceptance.
Until we truly accept everything, we can not see clearly. We will always be looking through the filters of "must's," "should's," "ought-to's," "have-to's," and prejudices.
When reality confronts our notion of what reality should be, reality always wins. (Drop something while believing gravity shouldn't make it fall. It falls anyway.) We don't like this (that is, we have trouble accepting this), so we either struggle with reality and become upset, or turn away from it and become unconscious. If you find yourself upset or unconscious--or alternating between the two--about something, you might ask yourself, "What am I not accepting?"
Education is the ability
to listen to almost anything
without losing your temper
or your self-confidence.
Acceptance is not a state of passivity or inaction. I am not saying you can't change the world, right wrongs, or replace evil with good. Acceptance is, in fact, the first step to successful action. If you don't fully accept a situation precisely the way it is, you will have difficulty changing it. Moreover, if you don't fully accept the situation, you will never really know if the situation should be changed.
When you accept, you relax; you let go; you become patient. This is an enjoyable (and effective) place for either participation or departure. To stay and struggle (even for fun things: how many times have you tried really hard to have a good time?), or to run away in disgust and/or fear is not the most fulfilling way to live. One or the other, however, is the inevitable result of nonacceptance.
Take a few moments and consider a situation you are not happy with--not your greatest burden in life, just a simple event about which you feel peeved. Now accept everything about the situation. Let it be the way it is. Because, after all, it is that way, is it not? Also, if you accept it, you will feel better about it.
After accepting it, and everything about it, you probably still won't like it, but you may stop hating and/or fearing it. At least you will hate it or fear it a little less.
That's the true value of acceptance: you feel better about life, and about yourself. Everything I've said about acceptance also applies to things you have done (or failed to do). In fact, everything I've said about acceptance applies especially to your judgments of you.
All the things you think you should have done, and all the things you think you shouldn't have done, accept them. You did (or didn't) do them. That's reality. That's what happened. No changing the past. You can struggle with the past or pretend it didn't happen or you can accept it. I suggest the latter.
Even a prime-time disciplinarian such as Paul admitted,
For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. (Romans 7:19)
And that was a man who knew his should's. The next time you find yourself doing something you "shouldn't," or not doing something you "should," you might as well accept it. "If it was good enough for Paul, it's good enough for me."
When you make a mistake,
If you don't,
make matters worse.
While you're at it, you might as well accept all your future transgressions against the "should's," "must's," and "have-to's." You will transgress. Not that I necessarily endorse transgression--I simply accept the fact that human beings do do such things. Accept your humanity--with all the magnificence and folly inherent in it.
When you're in a state of nonacceptance, it's difficult to learn. A clenched fist cannot receive a gift, and a clenched psyche--grasped tightly against the reality of what must not be accepted--cannot easily receive a lesson.
Relax. Accept what's already taken place--whether done by you or something outside of you. Then look for the lesson. You might not enjoy everything that happens in life, but you can enjoy the fact that no matter what happens, "there's a lesson in here someplace."
The above is taken word for word in it’s entirety with complete permission from Peter McWilliams “Life 101”
Wow! Peter McWilliam's ‘Life 101’. Put down this book and go read his book.
Let's try it again for those of you (me) who just seem to want to fight the idea a little more.
“Acceptance is not approval, consent, permission, authorization, sanction, concurrence, agreement, compliance, sympathy, endorsement, confirmation, support, ratification, assistance, advocating, backing, maintaining, authenticating, reinforcing, cultivating, encouraging, furthering, promoting, aiding, abetting, or even liking what is.”
Acceptance is saying, It is what it is, and what it is, is what is. If that is too confusing, convoluted and just plain dumb how about “What you see, is what you get”.
Real Life Example
Your car is stuck because you backed out of the garage too fast and weren't paying attention. Now you are late and the simple plans you had for the day are not happening!
a) Sit on the front porch stunned into anger and depression and rant at God, hit yourself in the head with your fist and bemoan life itself (<< Me) or
b) Accept that it happened. Let yourself feel OK. Move on with what you need to do to fix it and go on with life without requiring pain or anguish to justify your mistakes (<< Me after a couple of hours)
Accepting the goodness we see in others as belonging to us. Accepting the bad we feel as belonging to all of us. Not justifying; accepting. Believing that we, along with each person we meet or see or read about or hear about, contain the same substance.
Everything we know, everything we’ve thought, felt, experienced – will always be within us, be with us, is us. And we CAN CHOOSE to act in the most loving way possible. No exclusion of baggage, no transformation of personality – instead growing large in the knowledge we are as much the one as everyone else. We have as much connection to life as everyone else. We are as strong and as free and as accepted and forgiven as everyone else.
We have the answers to each question we ask. We know how to get where we claim we want to go. We know what it means to be us. We knew it before the first book, person or conscious thought. We know the right feeling, the right action before we have felt it or done it.
Why would we choose to feel, experience, so much pain when we are presented with an equal opportunity to accept and forgive? Why do many of us choose this fear path? Perhaps we don’t want to know how easy it is. We may wish to stay joined to those who have chosen the path of pain. After all – we may rationalize – if my mother, brother or lover is burdened, I must stay burdened to be with them. Misery loves company. They need me to cry with them. I’ll just go down to the bottom so I can pull us both up. It’s only right I feel bad about this, but then later, I’ll feel good about feeling so bad.
It doesn’t work. It doesn’t help. But you’re welcome to try all you want.
Our peace will eventually attract those we wish to be with to grow in peace too. Until they choose to do so, it will appear that they are pulling us back down, they aren’t – they are living in the level they’ve chosen. It may take some time but they will move. Either that or they will naturally not share space with you. This may sound harsh, but in fact it is a wonderful goal to be a shining light.
On the fear path, we are attracted by the very horror that we reel from. The tragedy of the place we choose to live in is like a show that we watch between our fingers. When we learn to accept it and then forgive it, we learn to lose it. The only thing we can ever change is our acceptance and forgiveness of whatever we watch.
There is nothing that needs to be fixed before we can accept it. There is nothing we can do to change any person’s decisions about his or her own piece of being. We can trust all beings are living the path they choose even if we would offer them another plan. Whatever is happening around us is where our consciousness has chosen us to be. Some of you may claim that rightness and goodness will be with you all the days of your lives because of your deep abiding faith that there is more than this. And then I stop and I wonder, just for a minute, if that might not just be true.
What is our relationship to each other; our relationship to every other piece of the one? Whatever we decide that relationship is, we can discover our piece of the universe by choosing to accept wherever we are, whoever we meet and whatever we think and feel. No one has any greater power, ability, energy, enlightenment or grace than any other. We can all chose each day to accept it just as it is, to accept ourselves just as we are, to accept those who come into our lives just as they choose to be.
Remember, if you accept that God, Life, or whatever you call it, is for you, then shouldn't you be for yourself too? And, if you are the one and so is everybody else, who can be against you?
There is some truth in the sayings that the beloved is God, and that when we love God we are loving ourselves. I and thou are one. The other is the self. –Todd Murphy
Chapter Two - Step Two: Forgiveness
"If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts" -Counting Crows (This Desert Life)
Forgiveness is always about the past. It is about letting go of a decision you’ve made to hold onto anger, hurt, suffering and pain, based on the actions of someone else.
Let’s start with what we believe about forgiveness. Perhaps you believe that Some Things just can’t be forgiven. That Some Things should never be forgiven - even if we wanted to. That Some Things are Unforgivable. That forgiveness has to be deserved. That the person to be forgiven has to atone; has to have remorse. That forgiveness can only happen after some time has past; can only happen when there has been some recompense. That forgiveness is not for you. That while you can forgive, you can never be forgiven. We withhold our forgiveness from things that have nothing to do with us. “I’ll never forgive him for what he did to her”. “What she did to her family is unforgivable”.
Is forgiveness for the sinner or for the sufferer? Who carries the pain, the anger, the hurt? The sufferer. The Chinese have a saying “anger is a hot rock, it hurts the one who holds it”. The same goes for choosing to hold on to suffering, pain, anguish over what has been done to you. Or what has been done to someone else.
Forgiveness is for you and for you only. It has nothing to do with the other person. You don’t need to tell them their forgiven, reconcile, behave any differently, give them another chance or lend them money. Forgiveness has nothing to do with action. It has everything to do with your emotional vision.
Forgiveness is not ‘Forgiveness but’. It is not ‘okay I’ll forgive but I will continue to feel angry and hurt’. It is not “I forgive you but I will continue to remind you of the pain and suffering you have caused every time I see you”. Again, you are not required to forgive and then let that person back into your life. You are not required to forgive and then put yourself in the same situation where you were hurt before. You are not required to DO anything.
However I respectfully suggest you forgive and it is the 2nd step to enlightenment and you need to Forgive before you find Peace. It’s not a punishment for not forgiving. Not forgive all you want. Condemn, convict, and blame them all you want for however long you want. Blame yourself and hang the millstone of not forgiving around your neck. Hold your Not Forgiving up loud and proud at how righteously you have lived. No timetable and no tests. It’s your game and you can play it anyway you want. But it is you. It isn’t them. Which can seem a little extreme.
So Mr Wonder Pants, person X did this horrific thing that all society condemns as the worst possible example of evil human behavior and he GETS forgiven? So Mr Sick and Sweetly, I was friends, lovers, business partners, roommates, siblings, parents, or children of person X and all the things s/he did for YEARS and I’m supposed to just Up and Forgive them after ALL the things they’ve ever done that have wrecked every possible chance I ever had of having a good life?
1. They didn’t do it you. They are you. Even though you are battered, bruised, crushed, injured, wrecked, destroyed, broken, ruined. They did do all the horrific actions to you. All that pain, and suffering, all that cruelty, they brought that to you. They are directly responsible. But they are you. And no, you didn’t ask for it. No, you didn’t fail something or other and this isn’t all some terrible test of faith. But for some reason, it is there for you to look at, to accept, then forgive and then come to peace with. It is there, for you. Aren’t you the lucky one. Sigh.
2. It is commonly accepted that our memories are entirely subjective. Four people on four corners see an accident. Each will record a different impression. Two people have an argument. They may remember the event completely differently. Yet it is this personal system that we use to substantiate our beliefs. We remember, and how we choose to remember is how we choose to feel.
What we believe is based on perceptions.
What we perceive depends on what we look for.
What we look for depends on what we think.
What we think depends on what we perceive.
So what we perceive determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.
--- Gary Zukav
You may believe that certain thoughts you carry about poignant moments of your life hold great significance in shaping the person you've chosen to be. When we look back on memories of difficult times, we sometimes see them as 'good experiences'. Time itself has somehow changed the event we hated and feared so much at the time, to a moment of clarity or learning. How wonderful if we see it that way WHEN IT HAPPENED. Therefore, it seems reasonable to me, to believe that our current thought selection and memory beliefs will fundamentally affect and create the reality we live in. While this is true, I only promise a change of mind. I make no claim for a change of possessions, or a change of circumstance, not even a change of address. Yet what a wonderful change of our perception of memory; a remembering change of mind, a return to remembering our mind now that we know our thoughts are ours alone.
'As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.' -Mareus Aurelius.
Oh great, NOW you’re telling me I didn’t remember correctly. That X may NOT have done all those horrifying things. Or that somehow, I am at fault for remembering them wrong. Get Stuffed Mr “New Age”, I remember just fine and it was a terrible thing.
It’s not that you remember wrong. It’s that you remember with pain. You remember with agony. You remember by giving yourself the gift of suffering. And you can remember it differently; After you forgive.
I want you to think, to imagine, just for a minute. What if, everything you believe - everything you know in your heart of hearts happens to be true, for you? What if there is no escape, no relief from everything you believe? If you believe that what has been done to you or done around you can taint your life - you’re right. If you believe that certain people are required to be everything that you’ve ever dreamed – or you can’t find happiness for yourself – you’re right. But what if they don’t have any power over you? What if your memory of what they did, what they are is entirely yours? What if it’s all so damned obvious? Imagine, just for a moment, just for a nanosecond, that whatever you see - whatever you believe, that’s what’s happening now.
We come back again and again to the very strange (and wrong) idea that the material world must change in order for us to improve our inner realization. And every time and in every book, we are told that nothing outside us has any influence. Oh, it appears to be the fist, the whip, the anger, that we fear. But we know we let it. We know it didn’t DO anything. We did it. We limit what we will give ourselves; Our inner selves. And there is nothing else but us. Just in case you’re ready to forgive what you remember, there is even more to do, before we can let ourselves be free.
Oh great you say, I already threw this book across the room and now you’re telling them there’s more? Can’t wait!
It’s not just our memory. It’s what we deny; Won’t look at; Won’t even think about. All those things that either we deny in our lives or deny in the world around us. If we can’t forgive it for existing, forgive ourselves for being part of this... whatever this is... we will hold the pain in deep, so deep that we won’t even acknowledge the pain is there at all.
The Law of Our Experience is very much like this; what we deny, we will experience. NOT as a Test. We write the test, quantify the answers and mark the scores. It’s that when we choose to deny its existence, we have refused to forgive it for existing. And we need to look upon anything and everything that comes into our hearts, minds and spirit with equal acceptance and equal forgiveness.
You don’t have to suddenly acknowledge every miserable rotten thing that is happening anywhere to find peace. The Universe is endlessly patient. Having ‘no time’ means there is all the time there ever will be. You will show yourself what you need to see and your chance to accept it and forgive it is always available. If you choose to put it ‘out of your mind’ (as if that were possible) for a while, that’s okay. If you need to put it aside, and maybe look at it later, that is okay. Accept it for a while but don’t forgive it. That’s fine too.
There is only ONE thing that ever needs ‘doing’, only one thing that can ever be done. Be willing. Be aware of whatever comes to you. And accept and forgive it as it is, when it is.
What we refuse to accept and forgive, spiritually accept and forgive, will appear to come to visit. When bad results from the good we are doing, we have denied the bad. When people of faith are shown to be faithless, preachers of peace make war; they have denied that what they most fear has any existence. In effect, their fear created its own existence. The limits of their acceptance and forgiveness, of our acceptance and forgiveness, are being given ‘equal time’ and when we see the ‘bad’ things the same way we see the ‘good’ things, we will not have to face those same things again. They will always be there, but their power over us is gone.
A few former alcoholics have said: ‘one day I just decided to stop and never drank again’. Or perhaps you know someone who quietly without drama changed some negative aspect of their life; apparently with great ease. The circumstances, the booze, will still sit on the shelf. It will come to visit us less and less each time, as we show the compulsion to exhibit that aspect of the universe is gone. And all we need to do is to admit it is there and accept and forgive it as it is; as it appears, for you. Someone right beside you may be ranting in pain about that same thing. About how much it pains them, about how it is so powerfully negative that they see it everywhere, and for you, it will be a quiet moment, and if you turn to see it, your acceptance and forgiveness will cover it gently, and it will be gone.
The way to peace is not by resisting but by being accepting and then forgiving. Resistance is futile - thanks Borg! Because You are so powerful that what you resist, what you deny is You; Appears to hold you back from the One. You may think that you are protecting yourself, but you are only saving the agony is a nice safe place. It’s like not going to the doctor when you’ve hurt your wrist. You can wrap it up, put it on ice and ignore it for as long as want. It waits for you to bring to the light of acceptance; To the light of forgiveness. Whenever you’re read; Unwrap the pain; Bring it to the x-ray of acceptance; Put on the balm of forgiveness and you are healed.
I accept that experience
I forgive that experience
I am free
It is tempting and certainly popular to believe that we can think good thoughts to the exclusion of bad. However, the more we try to eliminate bad thoughts, the more they will visit us. It’s acceptance, transformation, not elimination.
One of our greatest challenges is how to face evil knowing that it doesn’t exist. Do we stand by like store mannequins with silly grins of endless acceptance and forgiveness while suffering surrounds and crisis apparently rules the known dimension?
The answer is – after you are in the right space, the right place in your own mind, then do what you need to do. Be free to protect your body or another body, protest, build a dike, or remove the toxic people from your life. But know that it is presented in your life as an opportunity to accept and forgive - always – and let it go with grace. Remain open to the idea that when you see it in the many forms, when you have chosen to see a hate filled world, .you can choose otherwise. It’s not the world that changes, its how you see it. It’s how you feel it. It’s how you choose to be, who you choose to be.
You might ask yourself, what I am doing here where this is real. Why have I chosen to look at this…or that! They are us and we are them. Everything you would wish to see is here and so is all that you claim you just can’t face. When you see it is all the same – all part of the loving universe that you create, so it will be.
It’s amazing to even admit that you are already perfect. You have to be perfect because you are all that is and it’s perfect by definition. That means the snarky grocery clerk; the rush hour maniac and your endlessly serene sister are all perfect too. They are you and they are me and we are fine, just fine. Accept and forgive without giving up anything. Resist nothing. Be true to the principle of true equality, at the very deepest level.
Chapter Three - Step Three: Peace
It’s important you know that you are authorized to feel Good; Every day; Every Hour; Every minute and Every second; With Every thought; Without regard to present circumstances. If you need to hear it from someone else, or you need confirmation given YOUR situation, I hereby declare you have MY permission to feel good about yourself. And I’m right; Because you are already good, peaceful, happy.
You may think it’s not that simple. On a spiritual level, we are more comfortable facing an emergency than accepting peace. Our ego seems to respond well when tested by some event but can be an enormous obstacle in peace. We admire those who live ‘on the edge’ much more than those that live in harmony.
What we are is often defined by what we are not. Once we can identify a problem/sin/lack in others, we can feel our own righteousness by comparison. ‘Sure I’m bad but I’m not THAT bad’. Despite our generous comparison of us versus them, we are even more critical of ourselves. We maintain a constant stream of internal fault finding that appears to help us keep ourselves intact. We seem to thrive on the energy of the pain and suffering we see, hear and feel. We offer the vision of peace for others but accept our own mental torment as natural, as life affirming, as if somehow, absorbing all the negative world can make us stronger.
By feeling pain then incorporating it into our structure, we can build a stronger ego and apparently be the better for it. However, a bigger sand castle is still sand. With no foundation, it will only crash with more noise. Many of our spiritual quests are only ego upgrades. Inside, in the quiet, we know that this ‘journey’ or that ‘discovery’ can make no difference to our true expansion as beings. Many of us prefer the illusion of success as long as we can hold on to the illusions we create.
Withdrawal is one road that seems to offer peace. If we go into the CAVE and practice our principles without interaction, we may make progress with ourselves. But as soon as you walk out, the world will offer you the same set of experiences you rejected before, with the same intensity. If you are not willing to accept them and forgive them, you will choose the same pain you thought you had escaped. You may feel righteous in proclaiming how the world let YOU down, when it is what you have chosen to see. When we learn to deal with it on Earth, we bring the peace of Heaven.
Even wanting to cure the supposed evil within you… the wrong-based acknowledgement that you need to be cured will put your attention on the problem, not the solution. Instead, see the supposed illness with acceptance and forgiveness and you will be at peace with illness, or with health.
There is another reason to be careful to identify only with the spirit inside. Allegiance to the trappings of a spiritual system may result in your judgment of other systems or no system at all. If you judge others burdened because you believe your faith has made you free, you will experience their burden until you see them as you. There is nothing bigger than peace, whether those you accept and forgive are enlightened, endarkened or endangered. You are free to choose your faith system. Any comfort, any acceptance and forgiveness that the system brings to you, is worthy. But if you claim that enlightenment and salvation can’t be had any other way, you are setting up a whole string of denials and pain for you to examine.
There is a positive way to see your own ego in action. Be one with it. Accept and forgive it the way it is. Be at peace with your own ego. THEN decide on your action. You can experience the present circumstances in perfection. I repeat, you need do nothing. But whatever you do, do it from the peace that is you. And then do it freely.
LIVING at a higher level is the only way to change you. Brief trips to the ‘mountain tops’ using drugs, sex, religion or power can show you the sights but you’ll always come back to where you were …until you choose a different place to be. Reforming others uses negative tension that appears to solidify you. Until you realize the only one to reform is you. They offer what you need to reform, within yourself. You are the Universe, the one thing, the only thing. There’s nowhere to go and if there were, you’re there already.
In this world, we concentrate on behavior to judge our success in choosing peace. However it is only our lack of awareness, our knowing, that separates us from the one mind. We can learn just as well living negative events as when we behave and live in positive way.
Oh my goodness. You’re saying the drug dealer, the murderer, my awful next door neighbor can have as much peace as me? That can’t be true. I go to church; I’m kind to animals; I RECYCLE!
Whatever happens around us, we can choose to see it as a beautiful expression of what is. We can act, or not act as we choose. Foremost in our mind is that we chose to be there and we can learn to accept and forgive it. We can learn to live with it, peacefully.
When we are burdened, the places we choose to be can be ugly. If we resist the concept, we live there longer. No matter how the world around us may seem to change or stand still, we can know that whatever happens around us can be seen as a perfect expression of the universe, exactly as it is.
Judgment is never right. Whenever you judge others, by being part of the same one as you, you judge yourself. And that judgment is not some glorious karmic test. It simply is you applying your own inner fears outside yourself. And so you justify your own fear and thereby make it real. All your words, all your inner judgments make up the world you create; the world you will see.
The Age Old Golden Rule is precise – for YOU. If, moment by moment you can see your Brothers (Sisters) as parts of the same whole as yourself, it will be as natural as breathing to offer unlimited compassion and awareness to all who appear in your life.
We have everything; we are everything we need to be. It is always available; was always available, will always be available whenever we choose.
You can be peaceful on any path you choose. It seems to be, that the people who choose peace, often act peacefully. Well duh! But the actions are not the point. The only point there ever is, is what you see, what you accept, what you forgive is where you will live in peace.
Dream well and live the dream - that's the message you have all impressed upon me. Here I am sitting typing the foundational thought of peace, trying to offer the thought that acceptance, forgiveness and peace are the only true path to heaven and I still want a longer weekend! There’s no reason for it, however, most of us prefer to grow bit by bit. Being aware, being awake, being willing to accept and forgive whatever happens to us, in us and around us IS the path. Anything else, is inner distraction
Imagine if we believed that the world is of our choosing. Our friends; our jobs; our daily existence a continuous show for ourselves. What if even our decision to believe we are controlled by others is totally ours to create or dissolve? That he or she, or your job or your dog or your lawn or your leaky faucet are NOT responsible for your road to enlightenment.
We are one when we choose to grow, to feel a larger part of this – however we view it. We’re one when we don’t choose to feel part of the larger self; close the book and the words are still there. Then what does it mean to be enlightened? It means we accept the truth that is within us - period. What we know, we know. What we are, we are. There is no need to run. There is nothing to run from and nowhere to run to; we’re already there. But if we want to stand in line for the next show, we can give ourselves all the time we need.
In the material world that we see so vigorously, we are what we consume. The way we act, speak, or smell must affect who we really are, right? The way they talk, behave; the choices they make must affect who they really are, right? The beautiful people appear smarter, the rich people appear happier; the famous people appear to have bigger lives. Of course, we only have to look into this truth on the most superficial level, to find out they are exactly like us. What a fantastic revelation! All of humanity can share the very highest level, whatever we perceive them to be. Yet many of us take this belief, turn it on its head and say, wow, everyone is as miserable as me…yippee!
Imagine being inside your own skin with such ease that you carried positive thinking deep inside your belly - with truth inside your heart. Imagine waiting in perfect peace for the next good thing to happen to you. Not the next romance, not the next raise, not the next vacation, but the next peaceful moment, the next happy feeling, the next inner satisfaction. Imagine letting go, completely letting go, of the entire negative self-talk that feeds you - that bleeds you. It seems to takes time and effort. But since it’s already here, and we are already there, most of all, it seems to take faith.
“Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.”-Melba Colgrove
You can Feel Good
It's all right to have peace. It’s okay to be contented; to feel pleasure and joy.
Everywhere we look, everyone we meet offers us the chance to perceive the face of God, the perfection of ourselves projected through our eyes and ears.
There are no tests of our will to joy, no barriers to us not being ‘ready’ created by anyone or anything. WE may feel as if some person or event is presented for us to challenge our right to peace but WE are the ones defining the moments. We choose the test, write the questions, establish the answers and grade ourselves. We may well feel we are not ready for some leap of faith or another. We are, naturally, as ready as we’ll ever be. But there is always time. There is no need to be this or that today. All that we are, all that we can be, we have inside. Whenever we look with acceptance and forgiveness, we’ll see it.
There is a wonderful freedom in knowing that there is no test to pass, no proof to make, no course to complete, no answer to learn. You know the answer is accepting and forgiving others, accepting and forgiving whatever you present to yourself. But you are not now or ever Made to do anything. No being of goodness does anything but be ready to accept and forgive you. No dark forces attack your life essence. Each moment, we are built to make the choice for a beautiful thought, for a loving exchange, for a shared peace.
And that is all you will ever need. That is all you will ever need to do.
We often look for reasons for what occurs around us, when we are creating an otherwise opposite set of experiences. We may choose to live negatively and then feel rewarded or we may choose a positive task and then feel cheated. From the outside, it is a pendulum swinging back and forth. Some of us attempt to see ourselves only as kind, good and wise or only unkind, bad and stupid.
Accepting and Forgiving the negative world as it is, as it comes into our reality, does not eliminate the pain and suffering that exists. But our feelings of loss and fear and pain disappear as we learn to accept and forgive that which appears to be not acceptable or forgivable. If there is only peace, then what appears to be not peace has to be as accepted and forgiven as something we haven’t yet been able to accept or forgive. That’s impossible of course. It is however, true.
We offer our own set of boundaries as evidence or proof that we cannot grow anymore. These self created walls are the very ones we need to step into, over and through. The way is to accept and forgive our creations as they are. No resistance to ourselves as well as to others.
It appears to be very common to look for personal demonstrations that will show progress. Our decisions, our choices do express where we are, but only where we are inside. Remember, it is not what experiences come to us; it is our reactions to what we experience.
We can believe in the deepest part of our belly, that we are so much more, that we are so connected - that we are so much a part of everything, and everything around us. Today I can feel good; today I can feel like it’s all possible.
And yet, nothing has changed. The only difference is in my heart. It’s that old saw about two men in prison - looking through the bars, one saw the mud, one saw the stars. Perhaps the prison is this contained field we place round ourselves that appears to help us keep out all the dark forces so we refuse to let go. Or the many messages we place before ourselves to keep out the light we put there to protect us. If we’re big enough to accept ourselves, and we let the energy flow through us in perfect peace, dark or light will only serve our ability to be with the one - the only one there ever is.
Do not despair, those who see the shadows darkly - the light into the very source of our being exists as pure as the day it was created. All we need is to look at everything and accept and forgive it the way it is. Try it. You might like it. You might learn to accept and forgive it. Bit by bit, puzzle piece by puzzle piece until the picture on the box is everything you’ve ever dreamed.
Imagine then, that the Highest Good of All wants that pleasure, the pleasure of The One, for every being at every minute of the day.
If we can agree that we have the right to feel pleasure, joy, happiness, contentment and peace - in whatever situation we find ourselves, then it is only a small leap of faith to believe that perfection is right here, right now. That is nothing to do, no change to make before we can achieve the peace of understanding. That everything MUST be perfect right here, right now. That even if we don’t BELIEVE it, that we think there has to be some barrier, some effort made for such an important event, we can accept and forgive ourselves, be loving for one instant and just for that second, feel the peace of the universe.
Even though it may appear that the Universe, or your boss, your partner, society or a million other forms is trying to keep you down, no one actually stands in your way. It may appear that road blocks rise up against our will, but all those blocks are put there by ourselves. We don’t have to pass any test. There can’t be any test. We are perfect right now regardless of anything we do to ourselves to provide apparent limits.
If we can accept that we have a right to the Eternal Pleasure of the Universe, then why on the one hand should apparent pleasure like sex and drugs seem to have such a high potential for damage and on the other hand apparent ascetic behavior like celibacy and sobriety appear to lead to enlightenment? The truth is again within us. It is not what we do but how we internalize our reactions to it.
It is generally accepted that sex between loving adults is indeed a powerful and beautiful achievement. Many people have noted the richness of the experience of orgasm. Yet like any pleasure we might derive, if we view this act with anything less than complete personal acceptance, even orgasm can appear to turn against us and become an object of desperation. All mood altering drugs can be a moment of peace and can show ourselves how to have the peace that we seemingly cannot grant ourselves. Yet once again, our own reactions, the patterns of behavior we bring to drug use can appear to turn it into the dark path to personal destruction. Or, after some period of anguish and torment, we may allow ourselves some time to feel good. Only to return our thoughts to pain, when we decide we no longer deserve goodness.
Give yourself the gift of a World of Perfect Harmony. Listen to the rhythms of life. The world ebbs and flows all around you day. Just as a song moves with ease from one note to the next, so you can be free to let go of the need to hold on, let go of the fear that the song will end. The notes of the Song of Life move and we can take pleasure as each note plays.
To repeat, there is no one other than us. We can choose to accept and forgive or deny and hate ourselves as we will. And so it shall be. When we choose to see the world as cold, lifeless and evil, we can stop; remind ourselves “perhaps I’ve made the wrong choice” or “I can make a better choice” or “that’s what I need to accept and forgive”.
This does not mean you are a doormat. You operate from peace. You are free. Protect your physical manifestation, walk away from toxic energy, take a stand, be true to your beliefs. But do it with no resistance to whatever circumstances appear to you. The Law is, what you resist draws you closer. What you accept and forgive frees you.
Wherever you are accept and forgive as much as you can. Just choose to accept and forgive whatever comes to your awareness. Even accept and forgive yourself for NOT loving it, if that is as far as you can go today.
Perhaps surprisingly, you are precisely where you need to be. In terms of your spiritual growth, it will be fruitless to change your geography, your friends or your foes, your inner dialogue or physical practices. You bring yourself to where you are. You bring yourself to what you do. You bring yourself to all your relationships. It truly is NOT what happens but what you decide happens to YOU. No external guru, no advice, no motivational event will ever change you. No place, no time, no fixed point decision. What will change you is being more of you. Your reaction – accept and forgive - not fear, not hate – will ultimately give you the Only thing you can have… a better self. A self at peace.
Accept and forgive yourself as you are. Who else could you accept and forgive? It can be helpful to turn this around. If we are the same; one thing, indivisible, then everything you fear is yourself. You can try to make the distinction to accept and forgive only some forms of yourself. You can choose fear at any form you cannot accept. Yet it’s all the same thing, so in each case you’re choosing either fear or peace. And naturally, any fear you identify, anything you refuse to accept and forgive, will visit you in various disguises until you accept and forgive it the way it is.
Equally as natural, the more acceptance and forgiveness you can see, the more peace will appear in the forms you identify. Your vibrations will ‘attract’ loving vibrations from those around you. Those who pretend to fear/hate what you are willing to accept and forgive will appear to try to subvert your vibrations to match theirs. If you accept and forgive THEM, they will either accept and forgive YOU or move on.
Again and again, the same answer to a million different questions. If your representations, your ideas are the world you see, how far must you run to escape the world you create?
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”-AlbertEinstein
Our awareness of how we perceive the universe can help us understand how we soul-feel. If the world is a beautiful place, we are choosing to feel good inside. If the world is ugly, we are choosing to feel bad inside. Inside or outside, we don’t need to change anything, merely see what is, with peace. It does not work to try to escape either what we see or what we feel. Whatever obstacles we create, we have to accept and forgive; in our minds, for ourselves, sooner or later, in this place or some other, at this time or another.
It is our retreat from our vision (internal or external) that appears to deliver pain to us. Make the choice to accept and forgive yourself for choosing to see pain. Look at it until it becomes a perfect piece of the universe.
There is no test, you need do nothing to attempt to accelerate your spiritual education. There is no need to go looking for anything. Since it’s your creation, when you need to see something for what it is, you will.
One way to know you haven’t managed to see it with peace as of yet, is when the same scene, feeling or circumstance appears to happen over and over. It’s not some cosmic trial, but your own being giving yourself more opportunities to learn.
Don’t take it personally. You have the free will, power and ability to stay stuck with that negative scene, or dream your own dream, live your own life, and see and feel what you want to see and feel. Actually, that’s what you’re here for. The point is for you to see it how you want to see it, without getting stuck, without getting lost.
It’s all right to say no. It’s even important. You can look at it with peace and leave it wherever and whenever you need. It’s not the leaving that hurts you, it’s the not looking. There is no behavior that can keep you from enlightenment anymore than a thought could trap you or a belief could freeze you forever. They are yours to play with. Whatever damage or judgment that you contain is yours. Yes, this can be a very frightening thought. Guilt appears to be a fundamental tenet of the human condition. Yet it is yours to accept or reject. Along with everything else that comes to you. But whatever you deny, that will visit you with increasing volume until you look it fully in the spiritual face.
“I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”-WalterAnderson
If it’s so easy to get out, why do we keep coming back? If nothing is holding us on any particular plane, why do we choose to be stuck to in fear and denial? If we know there is nothing and nothing to fear, why do we?
I feel the need to say again, this particular dimension / plane / physical place is not testing us. You’ve passed. You are a graduate. All that’s left is to throw your cap in the air! But as it appears we’re staying after class for a final review, it’s a good indication that we’ve attached ourselves to something in this structure or in the mirror, we are resisting something here and we just don’t wanna let go.
Many of us claim that we want to be here… ‘anything on this side of the dirt is better than the alternative’ (i.e. death). Some of us are convinced there is great hidden meaning to being here and if we were clever enough to discern life’s mysteries, then we would be able to move on. Some people believe we’re just hanging around waiting for the end of the world, that time God has chosen to quit this ‘popsicle stand’ and take his friends with him. Some simply claim, they want to get their ‘kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames’. All of these people claim an attachment to this particular circumstance, the great, the ordinary, the pleasured, the suffering, are all committed to this place.
Yet, I claim there is nothing here but you and me. No where to go and nothing to figure out. No action or conditions for salvation required. What we see if what we get and oh my, if we could only see, than all this would truly be the magic dust that disappears between our fingers as we most joyously let go.
It might be easier to imagine letting go of something ‘bad’ but why would we resist something good? Think of watching the merry go round and imagine this gentle carnival ride is a good thing. From the outside, we watch it go around and want to jump on board, but we see it traveling at a different speed than us. We watch the carnival worker jump on and off with ease and know this is within us too, but still, despite our desire, we hold back. It looks like a good time, but we’re just not ready.
The same can be said, once we’re on the ride. If in this case, imagine we determine that the ride is a ‘bad’ thing. We want to get off and back to ‘solid’ ground. We see people jump off unharmed, even laugh as they leave the merry go round, but we hesitate, frozen by our own fear, stuck as we go around again, looking for: Permission, Encouragement, Safety??
For the scientist, it may be useful to talk about stability. Remember Newton’s first law?
Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. - Sir Isaac Newton.
An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
This is us. Really, it’s us. We do what we do until we choose to do something different. And even then, if that appears to be uncomfortable, we just might return to doing what we did, even if we say we really don’t like doing it. Because we still need to look at it some more. That doesn’t make it good or bad, or indifferent. It’s just what we’re doing. And if we want to change, the laws of science say we’re going to have to make an effort. Now here’s where meta-physics leaves physics. We have to make an effort …. To LET GO… to accept the change easily… not fighting, not forcing, just being. We have to work … at not working. We have to labor at … surrendering… if the very best possible sense. It may be unusual to think of this labor as remembering or re-envisioning or accepting. Whatever word attaches itself to you, the essence is in the NON aspect. Doing by undoing.
And in relationships, of any kind, when one person has let go and the other person is holding on for dear life with both hands to all the problems of the past present and future, it can APPEAR to the problem person that the Let Go person has moved away. It’s not true. The Let Go person hasn’t gone anywhere and if anything is in a much better place (though of course it isn’t a place at all).
Nothing is actually happening but that’s how it might feel… and then what are we to do?
As usual do nothing and choose peace.
One common method of not choosing peace is to focus on those who seem to choose even less peace than you. It can appear to be comforting to stop looking up at the tower and look down to the sewer. It might even be tempting to claim that focus as the reason for your choice. I have to keep an eye on the sewer and I sure can’t do it from way up there… but the sewer and the tower are the same. There is nothing to fix …in either place. Neither is doing anything to the other and neither is supposed to be doing anything. Just imagine…it’s all right.
The principle of equality is easy and perfect.
The answer to every question about how can she be up there, or how can he be down there, or why am I up, or why am I down, is to remember the justice of our equality. Where you are, I am. Where I am, you are. Whatever the perception I choose to use, we’re all in the same place. In fact, we’re all exactly the same person but as that can complicate things when you split the check, it can be easier to mentally acknowledge our sameness from apparently different places at the table of life.
None of this has anything to do with how you behave. Make an homage to some one on the high diving board, step carefully around someone at the bottom of the pool, dive in and join him or climb the ladder just DON”T BELIEVE that there is any difference between them or between you and them. By finding the quiet place and remembering your equality, you will come to know that you can be in either place anytime you want. It’s not a reward or a punishment, not adversity or privilege, no reason for either at all. It doesn’t MEAN anything other than a different color, a different texture, a perception. You don’t have anything to Make, nothing to Break, you are … You. Oh… and you’re me too.
By the way, THEY are not doing anything to you. No, really! Their pain is not your pain, even when they tell you directly that it is.
‘You made me so Mad’!
‘You hurt me so Bad’!
“Oh I made him angry”
“I made her cry”
Not so. You didn’t do it. And their pain is no attack on you either. They didn’t make you feel Mad or Bad by what they did or didn’t do. They could use your help, but it’s probably not the help they’re asking for: all they need is to be accepted and forgiven and that’s all they’ll ever need. And that’s all you have to give too.
Whatever state they’re in,or however you choose to see them, they are the same as you. As long as we label each other as more enlightened or less, up or down, we will continue to be ‘attracted’ to those on our current level. We might even mistakenly believe that our level is the only level and others are either too peaceful (I can’t be like that) or too burdened (I won’t be like that). Once we open ourselves to the One idea that we’re all drops in the ocean, we can see how we can freely move through any level and that no level represents who we are. Imagine, just for a quiet moment imagine, that you can be you, all of You, a complete you, whether you are up or down, rich or poor, old or young, free or in chains, all the same.
Finally, the Final Word
Now we can be clear in every sense. Our perception is only ours - our feelings, only ours. And we are the same, the very very very same as everyone else. Our equality is our spiritual strength. That is the only reality. We are all there is and we are all visions of the one true thing.
We are it. All of it, whatever we make, whatever we think is made, whatever appears to be independent of us, every part of it. We are the universe. We are the soil and the water, the sun and moon. The air we breathe in and the air we breathe out. We can fully experience our perfect peace when we accept our perfect peace. Any discord we choose to perceive must be our unwillingness to be equal. We are older or younger. We are living or dying. When we accept our peace, we are alright because we have to be. They are alright because they are just like us. Just exactly like you.
Take the example of a party. When we all get together, we have an identity. Were you at the party? Oh yes I was there! And the label is complete. Even as a negative, it works fine. I didn’t go to the party. Or, I would never go that party. But whether you go or not, your identity, only for a moment, is defined by that label. We can all agree it’s not your whole identity, nor is it a permanent label. It wouldn’t exist at all except as a useful construct. This label is then a method for sharing information without its own independent life. Imagine then, that the universe, the planet and even our bodies are useful constructs we made to help us explain, to help us share, to help us remember. Yet the universe, the planet and our apparently independent bodies are not us. They are not what we are. They are a label for what we are current doing. WE are real but the relationships, the groups, the connections are illusions we make. And metaphysically speaking, where we are decides for us which illusions we will make. At our highest level of awareness, we can choose not to make them at all.
When all the movie explosions and gunshots are finished and the credits roll, do we claim the whole movie has been destroyed and we must suffer because of it? No. But there are those who linger, unwilling to let the movie end, playing the movie scenes over and over in their minds, and then wait for the next feature, happier in the presented dream then their reality when the lights come up, even if the dream seems to be a nightmare.
One problem is this world doesn’t feel like an illusion. Even when we experience moving from one reality to another, both seem as real as the other. We might understand that cannot be, but the feelings we have say otherwise. How we are, is what we see. What we feel, is what we know. Rather than pounding at the semantic door of illusion and demanding that reality come out, perhaps it is better to think of this as our Chosen Reality of the Moment. Changeable? Yes. A Momentary Truth? Yes. But for all that, that’s where we are and what we have chosen to see and so, however irrelevant to the True Peace it is us, for now and while we perceive it to be here, it is where we need to accept and forgive.
Everything we know, everything we’ve thought, felt, experienced – will always be within us, be with us, is us. And we can choose to act in the MOST peaceful way possible. No exclusion of baggage, no transformation of personality – instead growing in the knowledge we are as much the one as everyone else.
I’ll take the risk of talking about death though of course, you are best suited to know what you need and how you need it. Remember I have no more right to tell you what to believe than the dust mote that floats across the sunbeam through your window.
Nonetheless, just in case someone is looking for this, I offer:
Nothing can be lost. No one is forgotten. We, the apparent living who mourn, are no more separated from the dead than an atom is separated from its electrons. All is one and one is all we need. So I offer and again with the knowledge that you didn't ask, that those we decide are gone are still with us. They have to be, there is no where to go. In joy, all the supposed dead and the suffering are joined with us in glorious happiness for eternity and I offer you the choice to believe that you are completely forgiven for missing their corporeal form and completely welcome to connect with them as easily as you connect with anyone of us.
So repeatedly and with emphasis, I offer you respite. The beautiful oasis belongs to you and is no further than one thought, one acceptance, one forgiveness, one peace, by you, by me, by us.
I wish us well.
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