Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

Here’s a short poem…

The self-teacher is the self-cheater.

What does that mean? It means that if we teach ourselves what the lessons are that come our way, we cheat ourselves of what they have brought us.

All life lessons are an invitation for us to understand that there is a complete, eternal, whole world within which not only do we live but that lives in us.

Until we have begun to see the incredible, perfected, eternal principle that is embodied in every human being’s life in this world we live in, we will continue to try to figure out how to deal with what life brings us — how to work out this problem and that problem, etc.

Real freedom comes in proportion to our ability to learn the lessons that life is bringing that are already within and a part of something eternal.

There is no greater, more reliable teacher of true self-knowledge than intentional patience and, when married to a willingness to observe oneself through the stillness and sacrifice that such patience demands, there exists no swifter, more sure path to self-realization.

Question: Are we (as students) in any relationship in the moment with the spirit of past teachers when we have a relationship or connection with a living master?

Answer: The whole point of any true teacher or teaching is that the spirit of Truth is timeless and not individual, so if you awaken, you realize the same spirit of Truth as apprehended by your teacher.

Question: Can a person wake up without having to physically move to where the teacher is and work directly with the teacher?

Answer: It has been said, and I know it to be true, that it takes a lighted candle to light a candle. Real inner work requires special circumstances for the individual willing to do it because, as a rule, we all tend to take the easy way. We need others to help us remember ourselves and our intention.

Question: Most of my studies seem to be all reading and on an intellectual level only. I want to know, do you think there is value in seeking out a teacher?

Answer: Your dawning realization that the intellectual understanding of spiritual truths is useless for true transformation is the beginning of you walking away from what clearly doesn’t work. A true teacher (and they are rare), can be of benefit — not because he or she will tell you anything of such a nature to make you want to change, but by being around a true individual, you will see that real change is possible. This will awaken a new hunger necessary for real change.

You can make yourself miserable but you can’t make yourself happy. Real happiness is effortless. Happiness comes to those who understand that you can’t seek it any more than you seek the air you breathe. It is a part of life to be found within living. The excitement of anticipation is not happiness, any more than smelling freshly-baked bread nourishes a hungry body. All pursuit of happiness is based upon the false assumption that happiness can be possessed. It cannot. Happiness is the natural expression of a stress-free life, just as sunlight naturally warms the earth after dark clouds disappear.