More times a day than we want to acknowledge, we feel powerless. In such moments, for whatever reason, we see our situation as being without a solution. Confusion starts coloring our considerations. Frustration grows and surrounds us, and we find ourselves imprisoned behind a wall of fearful expectations. But we need not, and must not accept being sentenced to a life of such limitation. We can uncover the root of this powerless feeling — and release ourselves from it — by discovering the nature of the illusion that creates it. For most of us the show gets started like this:
“Why did he have to do that?” – or — “Life isn’t fair!” – or — “They took this away from me.” Whatever the trigger may be at the moment…feeling powerless has a thousand reasons but, as we are going to discover, the same cause.
Let’s set the record straight: whatever these “reasons,” they are not the source of our pressing stress! The first thing we have to see is that these moments are events, not powers. This means they are passing conditions, not prisons. With this fact in mind, the real question we must now ask ourselves isn’t how do we regain our lost power, but what is it about these kinds of events that causes us to feel powerless?
The feeling of being powerless has nothing to do with what someone else did or didn’t do. And the feeling of being powerless has nothing whatsoever to do with what you did or didn’t do at any point in your life — regardless of your present conditions.
What’s the first thing we see when we hear news that runs counter to what we want? The evidence suggests we don’t really “see” anything at all; instead our attention is seized, absorbed by a familiar negative reaction whose only wish is that the unwanted moment just go away. This resistance acts within and upon our consciousness as a “blinding” and binding force, so all we can “see” is our own negativity over what we wish wasn’t happening! In moments like these we are literally looking at what we don’t want to be there.
When expectations get dashed, we don’t see new possibilities unfolding; all we see is the way things should have gone. We don’t see what is with all of its positive possibilities; instead we see only the negative…what is not. What these discoveries reveal is as startling as it is promising: the only reason we feel powerless is because we have become the captive of a mind resisting itself, an involuntary prisoner of a mind struggling to escape its own negative images. And there is nothing but powerlessness in this resistance because by law whatever we resist…persists!
There is only one way to liberate ourselves from the confines of this unconscious relationship; we need a new awareness of what it costs us to remain in its captivity.
What possible good does it do to resent any moment for unfolding as it does, to wish it didn’t happen? Does it change the moment in any positive way? No, it does not. Does our pain prove our position as being the right one? To the contrary: the more we don’t want the moment in which we find ourselves, the more we lend credibility to that moment as being overpowering. This false perception then strengthens our negative sense of self as the one being overpowered by it.
What is real power? Real power is knowing we already possess everything we need to succeed in the moment, as we would wish it. Real power lifts us above challenging circumstances; it shelters us from those fears that want to drag us down into troubled thoughts about tomorrow. In a word, real power is the quiet but certain understanding that everything that comes to us works for the good of us, no matter what it is.
We can practice this true, new power anytime we wish to have its strength and safety as our own. We start each time by remembering that ours is the power to choose what we will and will not give our power to.
Now we can do something radically new: rather than give ourselves over to the habitual reaction of resisting the moment, we remember the truth that sets us free; ours is the power to live from the power of our choosing. Said slightly differently, but equally true: we are created with the power to surrender our sense of powerlessness and, in exchange for this sacrifice, realize a life without stress and strife.
Our true home rests not in some time or place to come; neither does it await in a kingdom impossibly distant from us. Our home, as is true with our Heart of hearts, lies within. No map leads to this Divine door, because nothing that can be followed leads there; rather we pass over this innermost threshold by a transformation in our familiar sense of “I.”
Slowly we are weaned from our constant identification with a fleeting sense of self, derived only from sensation, and learn to prefer, instead, our growing awareness of this most subtle form of temptation.
The more awakened, aided, and consoled we are by the growing presence of this new “I,” the more evident and urgent becomes our need to sacrifice our former (false) sense of self…in favor of the Living Light that reveals it.
In this short talk Guy Finley discusses what stands in the way of spiritual fulfillment…
It is a mistake for us to think in terms of spiritual “success.” We are not here to succeed as we currently believe; we are here to change. If we wanted to use words, we could say that real success lies in genuinely knowing and living our part in life. However, the problem is that we have unknowingly named for ourselves what our part is.
If we truly want a new life, it will come at a great cost. Where did we ever get the idea that taking our life back from the nature that presently possesses it was going to be an easy task? We have to grow up and begin to understand that, just as there are celestial forces that are always active in our favor, there also exists forces that are set against our spiritual growth. What becomes of us all depends upon what we want in our heart of hearts.
There is no true spiritual fulfillment apart from being what we are in the moment. In our daily efforts to meet ourselves as we actually are, we are going to get knocked down again and again. But strangely enough, the harder we get knocked down, the better it is because it begins to shatter the immature illusion that somehow we are going to master this wild ‘self’ by ourselves. This lower nature is mastered when the room is made for the Master to come into our lives. The real nature of success is in letting God change us.
One thing is certain: whether in our waking life, or in the dreams that visit our evening’s rest, thoughts and feelings fill our every present moment.
Like the invisible winds that move the branches on the trees, we live in a world of this unseen, but ceaseless, flood of thoughts and feelings. In one sense, we’re constantly being washed over by the waves of all past human experience. These ancient forces, combined with our individual mechanical associative reactions to present events, all serve to give each of us the sense of a self with both a past and a future.
But this self is fictitious. Its nature is a kind of ghost house, a complex but empty structure created by the stream of thoughts and feelings that provide it with its false sense of life.
This false nature, a false self that we live from, is unconscious. And yet, the imitation life of this unconscious nature is so complete, most men and women never suspect their lives are being lived out for them by something with less substance than a shadow.
The lower nature of the false self has no control over the thoughts and feelings that tie it down because its only life is derived from their constant movement. The sense of self the lower nature creates is nothing but an effect of thought considering the content of itself, and as such it is as powerless to change the world it considers as is an echo to change the voice that gave it birth.
Only as this lower mind is made conscious of its own actual deceived condition, are we released from the psychic grip it has upon us. That’s why our task is to become increasingly aware of ourselves. Inner light is the only power that can resolve the captivity created by inner darkness.