Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

In this short talk, Guy Finley talks about three stages in the life of a spiritual aspirant: first we explore the world, then we develop into good householders, and then if we are truly fortunate, the remaining years of our lives are spent in the pure pursuit of developing an authentic relationship with the Divine.

Question: I live in a place where people are not very open to spirituality. Because I’m discovering who I am and what potential I was created to be, it can be difficult at times. How do I live from what I believe, respecting the ones around me, and not have them be threatened by what I believe?

Answer: Put your love of what is true, open, and kind, before all else… and Love itself will see to it that your life grows in truth, spaciousness, and compassion for others, regardless of what they think about you. More than this, one cannot ask for; less than this… is to miss the purpose of having been given life.

Our experience of life, our relationship to it, is directly, intimately connected to the way in which we see it — meaning it is our understanding of life that determines how we “go” through it. This is why new, true self-knowledge is essential; the more we realize about who and what we are, and what is our true purpose in life, the less we resist what takes place around and within us. And as we grow in this new self-knowledge, we are more open and willing to learn from what life would reveal to us about our true nature.

For most people, the pain of aging and of losing their capacities to “shine” publicly (or in whatever way that once was a source of pride) is a long ride to hell. The wrong parts of them cling, tenaciously, to their former identity so that their view of life (as it naturally changes) is as an enemy come to strip away their treasures. But for those (of us) who want to know the truth of ourselves, and who wish to know a wholeness in this life that can’t be derived from social contrivance, things unfold in a different fashion.

We know, or at least suspect, that the whole “journey” here on earth is intended to be one of “service” to something celestial, to a Self greater than the little self that measures itself by the social values of this world. And call it what one will…this path is one of surrender, of letting go and letting go of whatever within us clings to and cries over the slow disappearance of who and what we have been. Only in letting go are we given something that can’t be “gained” in any other way…the realization that when we will let go of what we are sure we must have or be, we lose nothing but the pain of some attachment to something that is an illusion. And again, for those who have “ears to hear”…everything that passes in time is an illusion. Only the Divine, what is True, call it what you will, remains constant. Letting go is how we give ourselves to that ineffable Light that is Life.

There is an unspeakable gem whose light comes seemingly from all around us, but in truth is an upwelling from within us. Our relationship to that upwelling light — to that source of love — is really where we find the meaning of life, and we discover this relationship in the mirror of the present moment. But when we are caught up in imagination, whenever we are lost in thought, we can’t see the purpose of life that is right in front of us.

What do we serve when our heart and mind are as barren as a winter’s tree, and all we can do in those moments is turn on ourselves with a vengeance for not being what we imagine we should be? What do we serve in those moments? In those moments we serve a part of ourselves that believes in death, a nature that believes in the end instead of the beautiful real-life process of transformation.

Stop trying to fulfill a purpose for your life through imagined ends. Begin to spend a little bit of time in your body, present to life, instead of pursuing it. That’s the first step to finding your true purpose: being present to life instead of pursuing it.

Life wants us to know the meaning of it. It is an innate urge in us to know the meaning of our life, and it is right before us in the mirror of the present moment.