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     “What you want also wants you. If you seek the celestial, the celestial also seeks you. There are no unanswered requests in the universe. If we do not like what we are receiving, we can learn to ask for something different.”

How to End Suffering Archive 2

     The commentary series below is focused on a particular negative emotion, painful feeling, negative trait or  state of human beings that causes us tremendous pain and suffering. Perhaps you will recognize that you yourself have had personal experience with this condition. You’ll find the explanation of how it causes suffering and how it produces detrimental effects in your daily life. You will also be shown how Truth can help you to lessen these effects and how you can eventually eliminate them from your life altogether. A new negative characteristic of human nature will be gone into each month. It will be great fun to explore these things in order to help us see through them and to be rid of them.

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     “Excellent guides. Like air that uplifts the eagle. Keep up the good work.

— E-mail from man in Michigan

  • Annoyance - Dr. Lynne Wooldridge

    ANNOYANCE by Dr. Lynne Wooldridge
         There are negative states and emotions whose destructive vibrations are so obvious that you can’t miss them. Rage, fury and aggressive outbursts of anger, for example, produce effects that may linger long after the actual incident that brought them to the surface. But there are also other reactions, more subtle and much more frequent, that are just as harmful and invasive.
         One of those reactions, annoyance, is something that operates in everyone. That quick flash of irritation, the exasperated facial expression or gesture of impatience may seem trivial and unimportant but, in this work, it’s the small things that count. Vernon once said if you’ll work for freedom from fleeting, seemingly petty negativities, you’ll be qualified to tackle bigger challenges. Learning how to stop the downward momentum of falling into aggravation and annoyance would be of immense benefit to any sincere truth student. For one thing, it would help to calm the mind and emotions so that higher instructions could be heard and acted upon. Truth offers to give us the gift of complete life understanding but a clamoring mind and ragged emotions act as the great interferers blocking clear reception.
         Sometimes annoyance is focused on personal behavior that is forgetful or otherwise inconvenient, but quite often the irritation is directed outward at other people, circumstances and events. This society is very noisy and has set a lot of things out there to waste our time, distract, pressure and frustrate us. If we allow it, pretty much everything we have to deal with in this life can bother us at one time or another. A few instances that come to mind are robo-calls, aggressively talkative drainers, interruptions when working, bad weather, people who ask endless and pointless questions, traffic jams, someone who bulldozes his way to the front of the line and dealing with people who say they will take care of something but don’t. Even experiences with inanimate objects like wrestling with an immovable jar lid or trying to use a cumbersome tool provide opportunities for the false self to gleefully express its annoyance. Yes, gleefully. A very wrong part of us actually gets delighted and excited when it can be the intimidator and, even briefly, lash out at a hostile world.
         As a first step, it is essential to understand that these kinds of expressions are intrusions on our natural right to live a relaxed life. Stop foolishly believing that an irritated, aggravated reaction provides some type of protective defense against perceived external enemies. Not only does it not afford protection, but it also serves to strengthen and solidify the tight grip unconscious, habitual thoughts and emotions have on us.
         In our natural state, which can be reclaimed, Vernon said “You are above all problems.” Wow! This means the essence within does not belong to noise but to quiet command. Part of the difficulty, however, is that human beings are like demanding children who want others to cater to all of their desires and whims and to grant every wish, no matter how foolish or damaging. We have arrogant expectations and stubbornly insist that it is our right to sail through life with no obstacles or impediments from anyone or anything. To even get a glimpse that this irresponsible attitude is based in the domineering mind can lead to this shocking realization; the intellect is a tyrant always wanting its own way and having absolutely no cognizance of the existence of other people. To develop a distaste for this unpleasant and offensive attitude is a valuable part of our spiritual work.
         When I decided to write on this topic, I became much more aware of the hit-and-run tactics of pesty and painful annoyance. Vernon explained that the solution always lies within the problem itself. Focusing on just this one negativity actually revealed practical and relieving solutions that have simultaneously weakened the hold of the lower nature and welcomed the presence of something higher.
         Here are a couple of personal examples that will illustrate this relationship between awareness and relief. One morning I was at the grocery store going through the produce section. I encountered an older woman who was spending an inordinate amount of time looking at the lettuce. She was in the exact spot I needed to be in to pick up what I needed and was completely oblivious that anyone else was in the vicinity. I was aware as a feeling of irritation tried to creep in but remembered an exercise we had been given in a recent class. It was to notice any type of negativity trying to enter and to cut it off immediately. I relaxed, observed and waited and when she moved on, picked up my own lettuce. I did a little more produce shopping and it happened again. I wanted to get something else and there she was. Once more, I relaxed, observed and waited. I laughed to myself when it happened for a third time and became very aware of the feeling of relief I had been given by not caving in to the temptation to become annoyed and frustrated.
        
    Someone who I am around on occasion has the habit of always performing the same action to get attention from others in the room. This has bothered me for some time, but recently I’ve been deliberately slowing down my thoughts, feelings and even physical movements when this occurs and have realized it’s not really the other person’s action but my own repetitive and automatic internal objection that is causing the pain. Using the classic ‘Slow Down’ exercise has helped to rein in the impulse to vibrate to others’ behavior, which is a very freeing experience. Vernon writes that this exercise “is the secret method for mental clearness,” (1500 Ways to Escape the Human Jungle, Chapter 14, page 182). Its application also creates an essential separation from the false nature, thereby strengthening the development of the “detached observer” that quietly watches everything but is not overwhelmed or dismayed by anything.
        
    All of this is a fascinating and truly enjoyable study. To awaken is the true purpose of life on earth. The healing influence of successfully working on one harmful state extends itself out to all other problems in life. Much dedicated work is required but we are capable of throwing off the weight of thousands of negativities, an unburdening worth every bit of effort we must put into it.

  • Guilt - Jeff Fisher
  • Stubborness - Judith Anderson
  • Hostility - Eric Pendleton
  • Lying - Barbara Alpher
  • Anxiety - Dave Netherton
  • Worry - Verna Tracy

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