Guy Finley explains that we meditate because we want to be in touch with a world within ourselves that isn’t subject to the vagaries and whims of the outer world or even our own thoughts and feelings. By establishing a relationship with this stillness within, we are able to remain authentically impersonal to any disturbance that moves through us, and can act from what is loving and compassionate instead.
As strange as it sounds, it is natural at times to lose our zeal for awakening. This sense of self-loss is actually a necessary step along the higher path. For many years, a person can work for greater wholeness, for a spiritual life, based on a partially unconscious desire to fulfill themselves with the image and the requisite feelings that attend such thoughts. Again, this is a natural progression. But as we work, this self and its desires will naturally fade, and with it seems to go our zeal for self-work. This is where it gets interesting. It is only when we persist along the path, in spite of our lukewarm emotions, that we begin to realize there has been something within us doing the work all along, and that it will continue to do so if we will simply allow it to. As this self-discovery grows, our faith becomes real in proportion to our realization of just how true this finding actually is. There is an Intelligence at work for us, within us, that wants more for us than we do for ourselves.
Question: Can you briefly state an effective way to use feelings of discouragement for spiritual growth?
Answer: You may have this backwards. We don’t use clouds to realize the sun. When the clouds are gone, the sun is there. Discouragement is a lying, negative state that drags us into it because we get something out of the relationship. When we end our relationship with what is false, lo and behold the True appears. That’s growth.
Question: You have said that a person must become thoroughly dissatisfied with his or her life as it presently is in order to move beyond it. My question is, how do we prevent this dissatisfaction from becoming despondency, which hinders spiritual growth?
Answer: This is a good question because many of us are already secretly reliant upon feelings of defeat or other destructive self-states. The difference between dissatisfaction with self as it manifests and becoming despondent over these expressions is that we must awaken to how unsatisfactory it is, how draining it feels to despond over anything. Negative states have to go… period.