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“There is nothing in the whole universe that represents a threat to who you really are.”
INVOLVEMENT WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS
You get involved a hundred times a day in vagrant unnecessary thought, one of which is the false belief that you must get involved in other people’s problems. It can be a small difficulty such as not having enough money or a large difficulty such as a serious illness. When someone comes up to you with his problems you automatically go into the “right” reaction, which could be sympathy, advice, making a decision and so on. You will see that you really resent doing this. The next time it happens just watch the other person and say to yourself “What has that to do with me? Why are you crying on my shoulder?” This reaction is very unacceptable to your false self and can be an authentic new experience for you because you are breaking out of the rut of your old habits. Never do anything to keep your image of being a nice person in place.
TRY TO BE CONSCIOUSLY KIND TO ANOTHER PERSON
Try to be consciously kind to another person, even to the point of wearing yourself out. Try to do things for others. Little things. For example, someone asks you for directions. You deliberately, consciously help them because they won’t help themselves — but they ask you — do it for them. The value in this is to see your own resentment.
Do something for another person consciously so that we break down this self-interest we have all the time. This is an exercise in becoming an aware person. (You will know when not to do something for another.)
I WILL REMEMBER
Write 10 to 15 single sentences each beginning with the same three words, “I will remember.” Examples:
LEAVE THE ‘OUCH’ ALONE
Write down, “Ouch, but that’s right!” on a piece of paper, followed by “do nothing with the mental pain.” Then underneath add several things you usually do with your pain — fight it, resent it, etc. When you do anything with your mental pain, you are adding “you” to it. Leave the “ouch” alone and it will go away; otherwise, you’ll be an “ouch-grouch”! Your weaknesses will now collaborate to find ways you can do something with the pain. However, light is always stronger than darkness, which is absolutely nothing. Do this exercise for three days on three separate pieces of paper and do not look at the papers until the fourth day. The written words will be imprinted inwardly where they can work on you automatically.
LIFT THE CURSE OF IGNORANCE
Make everything, every day, as hard as possible on yourself. Be awake to the environment, without thinking about it with this objective: to go through a new hell, a healing hell of not knowing what to do. Hell is the avoidance of hell. Go right up to it and go through it! You cannot lift the curse of ignorance on yourself unless you are willing to let the hell blaze as furiously as it wishes — and it wishes to blaze far more furiously than you have ever dared to see, which is why you’re suppressed and cursed. Do you really care more for the inner dictator than for your deliverance? Go through the hell of a supposed “you” disappearing. Practice this daily: “Let’s see what this machine says and does today.”
ENTER THE EMPTINESS
The only proof is self-proof. Find some wrong, emotionalized state inside yourself and practice not being that. Be willing to see what happens to you as a result of no longer crying over anything, including the hideous injustice of this world. Everyone complains, everyone feels he’s a victim. To live outside yourself, you can never live for complaining, for revenge. You’re going to have to just open your hands, let your life slip away and enter a horrible, terrifying emptiness — and just stay there.
FIND THE DEEPER MEANING
Do this exercise, which will help you understand the prison you’re in and the key to it — you must earn the key! Free yourself from words by making two lists on a piece of paper. Name the left-hand list ‘Non-Religious (Psychological) Words’ and the right-hand list ‘Religious Words.’ Then match pairs of words which have one reality behind them:
Ask yourself, “What was I about to say?” Since you only read a wrong inner script, all the parts you read are wrong too. This exercise is designed to bring higher judgment down to the mechanical inner script to correct it. The suspicion that something is superior to the old, mechanical, boring life will produce the questioning of what you’re about to repeat. Awareness has peripheral vision. When you’ve determined to give yourself little jolts, you can start to give up your familiar reactions, phrases, posturing — what you ‘always say’. And now comes the spiritual revelation that you can cross out that reaction. Dare darkness. Go right into the new situation, daring to have nothing to say. See the blank space yawn before you and don’t rush in to fill it!
As an alert spiritual detective, detect your words and thoughts and actions and listen to yourself talk to any person, anywhere, anytime, with the wish to be instructed by the Spirit of Truth. Watch the revelation come that that was insecurity talking. Watch both verbal and mental statements. And seeing your actual state, know there’s an alternative. We’re here to banish self-torment. Want to do it? Do the exercise!
Deception in any man or woman can never hide from clear thinking. So take one deception a day and look for it in a particular human being, and then in yourself. It never fails, because a sea of troubles is indeed a sea of troubles.
To produce the necessary jolt to see that you don’t know where you are, learn self-surprising. Pull a trick on the devil! (Do this exercise by yourself or with someone else.) When tempted to react with a harsh word or hostile feeling, surprise yourself by being pleasant instead. This is a guaranteed method for building a life that is stronger than anything else in or out of life! You can know when you are in an unpleasant position inside yourself. This knowing will bring the wish to test it: “I’m going to find out what happens to this supposed ‘me’ if I catch it, scream ‘no’ and just remain pleasant.” No mechanical, volcanic action. Just endure the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen. Then you will understand what has enslaved you all these years.
KNOW THAT YOU ARE DOING IT
The next two times you flip a light switch, know that you’re doing it.
Learn to understand that there are values that last far beyond time into eternity. Everything in time is weakness, is evil, is harmful to me. So, be disloyal to your sick nature and say “NO” to your sick thoughts, and to human sickies who seek to wreck you. The Spirit of Truth — which is strength — is available. Just wipe that stupid, sick grin off your face! It is possible to listen and learn and become strong.
STOP SELLING OUT
Why do you think about the thoughts of other people at all? As an experiment, try not to care what another person thinks of you. No longer care whether anybody on earth cares for you! Selling your soul means giving up the chance you have to be real.
GIVE AN HONEST ANSWER
Anytime you do or say anything to be safe, you’re in danger! Here’s a technique to use. Ask yourself: “Am I a problem to myself?” You’re so dumb, so self-destructive, an honest answer would always be “yes.” Whenever you come to a crossroads, you always dumbly think from self-interest alone, trying to protect your miserable little world. Saying “yes” to this question is still on the level of thought, but it is right thinking — it redirects the flood to the productive power of a higher energy.
Look at people who have no interest in studying truth, and make a list of their negative qualities. It works every time! Watch their facial expressions, their words, their eyes, what they do or don’t do. This is a good mental and spiritual habit which will gradually spread throughout your life.
OBSERVE HOW IT AFFECTS YOU
Why do you want to have anything to do with sickness, with talking about useless things? Notice how one sick comment can set you off. As an exercise, hear a comment from anyone, and observe how it dictates to you your comment back to them. Notice the negative, defeated comments people make, and how they lead you downhill — because you fell asleep. See how you are the slave of everyone you meet.
ON YOUR WAY HOME
As you leave for home, ask yourself what kind of a person you’re going home with. If you have an overwhelming feeling of despair and hopelessness, congratulations! — for you have spent your life up until now covering up this fear of ceasing to be by not knowing that now is your eternity. Oh, you’re so fast at covering up that sense of desolation, of inner wilderness: too bad. Do you have the intelligence to do what you’ve been told to do? Go through your dark valley so you can get past it.
SHAKE YOURSELF AWAKE
Every five minutes shake your head awake from dreaming.
RESCUE IS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
You don’t know how close you are to rescue. Please stop believing in yourself as you now are. Catch yourself starting to feel dismayed, and say “NO”! Disconnect from the world’s vicious defeat. Be very serious about this sentence, which scares the devil: “Just one more time.” It’s for a self-awakening exercise. That is, you can form new right habits to counteract your old wrong ones. Remember this — “Just one more time” and then the next and the next. Say, “I’m going to go against everything I’ve known in life.” Your love for tears is your world! The other side is closer than you think — right here, right now.
Human beings are the same everywhere. Crabby, know-it-all, degenerating progressively. So make this your philosophy of life, let it seep all through you: “That may have worked at one time, but no more!” Really look at her, at him. What does he or she really want? (You are now teaching yourself many lessons) Say, without words, “What you’re saying has no connection with the new me!” Now a small spark of light begins to talk for you: “I am really, in a small way, not me anymore.” Say this mechanically at first — for after the saying comes the understanding, and after the understanding comes the power. And then you’ll see yourself walking all alone, comfortably, through life.
THE NUT LIST
It is possible to see how idiotic and foolish human beings are without feeling superior to them. As an exercise, list human types you have observed or known.
WATCH THE TERROR GO AWAY
Study humans who seek to appear powerful and authoritative, and connect them with ghosts, who are supposed to look scary, appearing to be light and having life. Light, however, dissipates ghosts, reveals them as being nothing, which they always were! So catch yourself in a little bit of terror and false anxiety. Realize there is only one thing you can trust, which is the light itself. Only that can dissipate the ghosts, and when the ghosts go away, the terror goes away. See how mad your mind really is — that’s the only chance you have.
SEE THE LIE
Observe how everybody uses physical objects to lie about themselves. Make a list.
CHANGE YOUR NATURE FOREVER
If you do this exercise, your nature will change! (And post notes around your house showing you that you don’t do the exercise.) For the rest of your life, you are never, never again going to dominate ordinary social situations. Let the other person do the talking and you be passive. Just sit back and let the other person blab on and on uninterrupted. Note everything about the conversation, about them and about yourself, like how nervous you get. Then when they ask you a question, notice how your favorite topic of conversation is yourself. There is no condition worse for you than to stay glued to yourself. Unless you get rid of this false personality, the pain will never go! For the pain exists nowhere outside of you.
For the next seven days, every time you open the refrigerator door, first know that you are. To be gone from yourself at any time is wrong.
I CAN’T AFFORD IT ANYMORE
It is bad for you to be sick and neurotic and unhappy. Look at who you are trusting. See how dumb you really are. You are worshipping self-sickness, trusting it to lead you out. So, suddenly examine your state from time to time, see how you operate wrongly and badly, and realize that remaining in self-punishment is bad for you. You are terrified right now that, if you were to understand this, something would be taken from you, that you wouldn’t know what to do. Exactly! Don’t spend one more day going on as you are, afraid you’ll lose something good. What do you have that’s good? Nothing! All you have is weakness, cowardice, a sheep-like mind. If truth takes that away, you’ll be able to walk free and live the life you want. What is going to be taken away from you is everything that has been keeping you depressed and gloomy and one of the many sickies in this sick world. What would be different would be to have no reaction to others’ behavior toward you, from your mind or conditioned emotions. Just say, “No, I can’t afford it any more!” and in the silence that follows, you will understand other people for the very first time in your life.
STUDY THE FEAR
“Practice this exercise intensely for one full week, and be pleased and delighted by what you’ll learn. You’re to study your fear of somebody being angry or insolent toward you. You will see, for example, that a wrathful human being is completely sick. Why do you want his or her approval? Learn that the fear is a false state in you. As you get healthier, see how everyone is far sicker than you knew! Watch everything and the end result will be complete freedom from yourself.”
“As a practical experiment, when you’re asked this question, answer it silently to yourself, and especially notice the inner process that happens immediately after you read the question as you try to answer it. Just forget the outer world for a moment. Now, please tell me who you are? Notice how the first thing you did was to start to think, and to think with memory — which is all utter nonsense. You are nothing that thought can describe. You have got to stop describing yourself. You will know who you are when you no longer try to answer the question. When you realize you are nothing you think, you are a free person. Withdraw all self- description.”
COOPERATE WITH TRUTH
“You are going to have to find some crack in the wall of egotism so you can begin to see what it means to cooperate with Truth. For example, notice the emotional states as they pass through you daily. Are they pleasurable ones? Who calls them pleasurable? A very lost and antagonistic nature does. You don’t know the tricks that your emotions are playing on you, unseen to you. You have made a horrible mistake in your inner life, which is to call your self-harm (lust, revenge, etc.) pleasure. Why would you be so evil as to feel pleasure when your enemy is hurt? Wouldn’t you have to be a devil to enjoy that? You are! When ‘you’ exist, all you are is evil. All you do is tell lies all day long, secretly destroying yourself! Why would you mislabel things, calling something that is evil good? It’s so that this self can continue to exist as evil. If you saw all this, it would crumble. So you have to take an extremely close look at what you call pleasure — which is setting yourself up for greater destruction, all based on keeping the ‘I’ intact. What this ‘I’ calls pleasure can now be seen through by your new nature, which is trying right here and now to develop.”
“Make a list: Where are you arguing for the devil over your ‘rights’? You have only one right and that is to learn to be a pleasant person regardless of circumstances. Understand thoroughly that you’re living from a false bundle of needs, and you’ll never again care what comes your way in life — because you’ll be living in eternity!”
BE A THOUGHT WATCHER
“Take one instance of a depressed, forlorn, heavy-spirited state and trace it back to its origination point in some thought or comment. Thought-watching is absolutely necessary for you to catch thoughts and comments passing through your mind: false elation, gloom, etc. No matter what you’re doing, be a thought- watcher. Watch them until they dissolve and watch your life and mind become new and fresh.”
THE INVISIBLE WORLD
“Your mind must surrender to the spirit. (Leave hypocrisy to the spiritual kidders.) So, see how long you can go during today simply alternating between practical thought and spiritual self-watching, which are both good. Don’t fall asleep by going into negative thought, loving self-pity. This means to study and put first the spiritual world. Think of everything in life as belonging either to the visible or the invisible world — and remember, the invisible world precedes and creates the visible world. So why would you ever try to change the physical? When you understand real causality, the last thing you’ll be interested in is altering the visible. You’ll want to spend as much time as possible in the invisible world!”
HOW TO TRULY PUT AN END TO WHAT IS FALSE
“All imitation is a burden. Mimicry is sad. Catch the strain and lack of naturalness in being an imitator and the uncertainty over whom to imitate. To leave the desert, cease following all human beings. Just be lost right in the middle of it all, until all that is left in your life is complete despair, complete hopelessness. Note how you’re following false guides, unnatural ways out. Despair is great, as long as that’s all there is. But you always seek a way out. Simply collapse right in the middle of the emptiness with no hopes at all, and don’t fear this state. Go for one small victory a day, a small bearing of your loneliness with no attempt to end it. This is ending it!”
FLIP THE SWITCH
“Just before flipping the light switch on the wall, flip a light switch in your mind, and know you’re flipping the switch on the wall.”
BE MORE MATURE
“Whenever anybody does what is wrong, do what is right! Say, “I really could have been more mature — I didn’t need to be so childish.” Cancel time and space, and stay where you are right now!”
DEFEAT THE ‘OR-ELSE’ MONSTER
“Detect the threat, for anyone who threatens you is sick, and have nothing to do with anyone who uses the ‘or-else’ monster. You don’t need them. Say “I don’t need you, I don’t want you.” And isn’t it ridiculous that you intimidate yourself all day long. God is here for a purpose — all you have to do is ask. Don’t want to stay you. God will help you to choose something higher than yourself.
RAISE YOUR LEVEL
“To attain the level where you are neither attracted nor repelled by the world and all it contains, know that you are now living from attraction and repulsion — so that you no longer know how to appear or what to choose. You forget your spiritual promises to yourself. Only you can keep your promises. God/Truth/Reality is above all, but you let that petty thieving mind steal what you could have. You have to have more problems so you can use them to grow! Why, you have griefs you’ve never even met. You want to deny to yourself that you’ve ever promised yourself to get straightened out. You have (and everyone has) an unseen hysterical shriek inside of you. Some event could produce this result in you! As long as you have it in you, you’re a terrible danger to yourself and to others. This is part of your work, to invite spiritual help to dissolve it. When you lose yourself, there’ll be no fear of exploding, for there’ll be nobody to explode. You do not have to fear the shriek, the explosion.”
ABOUT TO READ
“The next time you pick up anything to read, know that you’ve picked it up.”
“Spiritual warfare 101. Too bad I am over 50 before getting this lesson. Self-command, it’s as valuable as all the treasures in the universe and yet the least sought after. Strange humans. Something is always jerking our inner chain.”
— Scott C. via e-mail