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Letting Go with Guy Finley

Letting Go with Guy Finley

On the Road to Being Real

posted by Guy Finley

Question: I have all the “right” books and audio materials. I know what I need to do, but I don’t! Why? Its like I’m frozen, and its killing me; yet I have no trouble partaking in my self-destructive behaviors. Why? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: You have reached a vital point along the path to authentic self-liberation: the great divide that exists between what a person knows versus what he or she is capable of doing with that knowledge. As you’re beginning to see, anyone can grow flowers while the sun shines; its another story altogether when it comes to acting from the light of what one knows is true to do in moments of darkness. Saint Paul went through this same stage, and he reported on it with words to this effect: “I don’t do the good I want to do, instead I do the evil I don’t want to do!” So, you see, little comfort though it may be, you’re not alone.

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The reason that the “truth sets us free” isn’t so much because of something that we’re able to “do” with it — with regards to trying to “fix” or control what’s wrecking us, or holding us back — but rather through the always shocking discovery that, as we are at present, there is very little we can do that is real; and by “real” I mean act in such a way that we no longer harm ourselves or others without knowing it.

And to paraphrase your question — “what can I do to get unstuck and stop destroying my own happiness?” — you’ve already seen the answer; you just don’t want to see the truth of it for fear it means you’ll be stuck with some kind of suffering forever. The only place any of us get stuck is in the world of resistance… of not wanting whatever it may be we fear about our self and its “life.” It’s very hard to see, but resistance is a form of attachment. But once this understanding dawns in us, as it must if we persist with our wish to be free, we stop fighting with ourselves to become something imagined. This also ends the disappointment we feel over what we have failed to become. Then we begin the real interior work of attending to the “self” that invariably traps itself in a world of its own unconscious wants (and not wants). It is only in dying to this self that we are liberated from doing its bidding; what remains can’t act against itself or another.

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Sowing the Seeds of True Self-Knowledge

posted by Guy Finley

Real life is not by the numbers; it is impossible to “know” and grow at the same time. Yes, one can have a formula for a prescription drug, or a recipe for a good green salad; but there is no system of thought that can stand up to the ever-shifting changes of real life, let alone meet those same changes fearlessly. The self that knows itself through thought can never develop beyond the content of itself, any more than a math equation can suddenly outgrow the pile of figures responsible for its form.

One of the reasons we want to know — in advance — how “to do” certain things, spiritually speaking, is that we want to save time in our spiritual search; we want to “cut to the chase” of how to end the conflict we have in ourselves with others, and arrive at the contentment we’ve imagined; we want to be at peace. Among the many hidden contradictions in approaching the inner quest from such a mindset is the following: the more we try to save time — find the “shortcut” to higher consciousness, the more we actually create and slave beneath the sense of time that drives us through our days, as well as becoming further identified with the level of consciousness that creates the prison of psychological time from which we hope to escape.

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The truth is, we can’t know what to do in advance in any given moment. And although we now meet life in exactly this way — that is, with predetermined ideas about how to respond to what unfolds before us — this is not unlike a downhill skier “knowing” when and where he will make his turns before it snows. Add to this idea the fact that whenever ideals or systems of ideas go before us as measuring sticks, they are soon turned into a judge’s bench from which we dispense some form of punishment on anyone (or upon ourselves) for not doing as we think ought to have been done.

Knowledge, regardless of how sophisticated, is a tool. It arises from and belongs to what has passed; it is the past put into a formula. As such it embodies, defines, and relates us to life through what we, or others, have already come to know is true about reality. But real life is not limited to what was; it is always new; it is always now. And while it may bring to light, under law, certain conditions or events that precede its appearance (what we call karma), it is more than just these forms alone…just as a flower in bloom is more than its newly opened petals.

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Real life is the expression of living intelligent forces that actively shape whatever they touch, as well as whatever reaches out to touch them. It might be said that each moment appears, as it does — in whatever form or color — hard or soft, dark or light — to teach us about ourselves; and how can we hope to learn what we must from such moments, if we meet them already knowing how they should unfold? No form is free.

And just as one wouldn’t mistake a ladder for being the same as the rooftop upon which he hopes to view the stars, neither should we confuse knowledge for those innermost revelations that can come to us only through self-understanding. This level of genuine self-knowledge is never static; it places no demands on life, therefore it fears nothing that life may reveal; it has nothing whatsoever to do with thoughts, plans, or otherwise imagined purposes. Real self-knowledge, the unshakable ground of enduring peace and security, is born in the union of the present moment with a Presence in us that’s capable of being aware — at once — of what is acting upon it, of what is being acted upon, and what is flowering as a result.

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The Power to Perfect Your Labors

posted by Guy Finley

Patient persistence in our labors, coupled with persistent patience through-out each one: these two powers serve not only to perfect the task at hand, but also work in harmony to perfect the hand that undertakes the task.

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(Audio) Learn to Love This Labor Called Life

posted by Guy Finley

In this podcast, Guy Finley talks about how a truly fearless and happy human being is one who understands that our lives are not meant to be spent serving only ourselves.

Click here to listen to “Learn to Love This Labor Called Life”

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