Articles about Spirituality
Each day we hear a knock on our psychological door, and when we open it a pushy person enters and begins to bark out orders: "Worry about this." "Remember and regret that." "Work harder!"
Is it little wonder we experience only the most fleeting feelings of love, kindness or relaxation? We are all the time being pushed along by something that calls itself an authority, and without ever questioning, we accept it as one. A voice comes in and orders us to become negative. We obey without even being aware of the voice. We think that we ourselves are responsible for that reaction, and that there's a good reason for it. We've been conditioned to accept these sad, self-destructive states as natural. At the same time, another part of us hates our darkened state and thinks that this hatred is natural. However, a more informed view reveals to us that neither the wrong state, nor the hatred of the state are natural, and we don't have to put up with either any longer. Our new and higher self-understanding makes it possible for us to regain command over our lives, so we need never have to obey those dark inner voices again.
The time has come to take back our lives. If we fail to do so, all we have to look forward to is hearing a new knock on our inner door again and again, and then finding ourselves admitting an unconscious, unhappy force that tells us what to do. Oh, it's true that sometimes the unwelcome visitor brings a cake (a happy thought), and we feel temporarily content. But for every cake it brings, it whispers ten painful suggestions. We can begin to recognize that all of these inner voices are false authorities, and instead of inventing ways with which to tolerate them, we can challenge their right to exist altogether. It is not possible for two authorities to rule. When we challenge and reveal for ourselves the false authority, we make an opening for the true one to take its rightful place.
We can break the control of these inner voices with their false authority. When we begin to feel the approach of a negative state, we can boldly challenge it by coming wide awake and inwardly asking, "What is your authority based on?" Our ability to consciously question these inner intruders is enhanced as we clarify our purpose in life. Our new and higher purpose to break free leads us always to choose the high ground, and from that higher vantage point, we can see the approach of any negative state before it takes us over. With experience, we become more adept at recognizing the conditions that tend to give rise to these pained states. Because we know they have no real existence in themselves, and will pass if we do not feed them our own energy, freedom is always within our reach.
What a new way to look at life! Until now, no one ever told us that our mental and emotional suffering had no right to have authority over us. In fact, we were told, or shown, just the opposite. Now, with our redefined purpose, we no longer see the value in a life that can be disrupted at any moment by a negative state that comes in and tells us how we must feel. We realize it's time to take to the high ground within.
A true authority lives inside each of us that would no more submit to a false state than any creature would voluntarily jump off a cliff into a treacherous ravine. We can invoke that true authority by making it our purpose to release its power into our lives. Be assured that everything we do to free ourselves and discover who we really are produces a positive result, which is the same as saying that our sincere attempts to liberate ourselves must succeed!
Each time we choose in favor of our higher purpose, our position is redefined and we are shown life in a new way. Each bit of new knowledge increases our strength to take our lives back. Every day provides another opportunity for us to reach the understanding that just because something is pervasive does not necessarily make it powerful. Now we see that our wrong assumptions and demands kept us in a position where suffering seemed natural. Our new position shows us that none of that was real. We can challenge the authority of the false to take us over. We can say to it, "I don't want to live with you anymore." And, remarkably, everything will change.
(Excerpted from "The Intimate Enemy" by Guy Finley)
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of The Secret of Letting Go, The Essential Laws of Fearless Living, and more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization, including his brand new book The Secret of Your Immortal Self. Guy is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet and the Huffington Post. Click here to visit the Life of Learning Foundation website and sign up for free to receive Guy’s 8-hour eCourse Seven Steps to Oneness on 8 MP3 downloads.