Some come upon the truth of things only once they’ve run aground on the reefs of remorse; others long for anchorage in what endures only after the winds of fortune slack off, leaving their sails full of emptiness. But the Wise seek the Truth of themselves aright; they search moment to moment within the tides of their everyday affairs, and never look back to see if their wish to know what is Eternal and True has taken their vessel too far out to sea.
Once we begin to consciously suffer for the sake of understanding our suffering (as opposed to unconsciously suffering in the attempt to escape the same), our pain becomes part of a process greater than ourselves: then we are born into a new relationship whose transcendent existence is, itself, the answer to our suffering, and in which our sorrow is answered and resolved.
In this short talk, Guy Finley talks about how we can learn to use every moment to reach for what our heart of hearts longs for.
Click here to listen to “Learn to Wait on the Divine”
Question: What about the idea of repentance? On one hand, being repentant for ourselves — as certain old religious teachings say we should be — seems as much a part of being self-punishing as is just “cutting loose,” going wild, and then feeling terrible afterward for our reckless actions. Is there a true repentance beyond this idea of just living full of regrets that change nothing?
Answer: Let me offer this: True repentance has nothing to do with any ideas or images we may hold about ourselves as either being “bad” or “sorry” for what we have done. Real repentance is an unmistakable, instantaneous moment of insight where we see, to our shock, that something untrue, un-joyful, and self-destructive has been living our life and getting us to call ourselves — and know ourselves — by its presence. Lastly, this shock — and what it brings — leads to the birth, or the discovery, of a new kind of inner peace that has no opposites.
Every time life brings a blow, the first of three keys necessary to unlock that world inside of yourself where there is this true self-command is to use the shake-up to wake up.
Here’s the shake-up. Something happened. And in the moment of the shake-up, what am I habitually given to do? I’m handed something, aren’t I? In the moment of that shake-up, I’m handed something that I always accept as being what the path should be, and I follow what my mind, my heart says in its reactive mode. I recognize that, and I use the shake-up to wake up. What am I waking up to? I’m going to let the first wave pass. I’m going to let the whole movement that that instant produces… I’m just going to let it pass, just like a wave in the ocean. I’m going to let it come in. I’m not going to get on it… if you’ve ever watched a wave, it comes in and then it settles. So the first thing is to use the shake-up to wake up.
And then the second of the three keys is to remember your intention in that moment, to remember for yourself what you know to be true. Here I am and I’m angry at somebody. There’s the shake-up. But I can wake up in that moment, and the moment the anger comes and it wants me to lash out, I can remember that in that instant that this anger is using me, that it will never lead to command. How about that? That no negative state can ever deliver command, ever. And I remember that. So when I say I remember, it brings me to the third key: then I do what is right for me and everyone else. I do what is right and I do what is true based on remembering it.
When you start to let the principles of Truth, of what is right and what is good… you let them start to prove themselves to you in the moment of uncertainty, the moment where things are shaking up, you’ll start to realize you have an advocate. Reality itself is at your back. And when you realize that, nothing in the world can stop you from growing in a new kind of command… nothing… because instead of calling on yourself in instances like that which you’ve always done, you’ll begin to wake up. You’ll begin to remember your intention to remember what is true, and when you remember what is true and you act on it, you will find that what you are given cannot be replaced by anything on earth because now you have a form of confidence and command that is timeless.