Letting Go with Guy Finley

Question: I have been practicing catching and dropping negative states. A few times I’ve awakened in the night, sick to my stomach and entertaining worrisome thoughts. I have awakened a few times feeling unbridled terror. I practiced the “Stop, Drop, and Endure” exercise you’ve spoken of, and the fear dissipated. What I wondered immediately after my period of relative objectivity was, is fear what I think it is, or is it a neutral feeling attached to my hypnotic belief about it?

Answer: No state is a “thing” like a coffee cup, or a sculpted piece of wood… an “object” that has a permanent shape and remains that way until shattered or burnt. All thought-induced, desire based negative psychological states, including fear, are the dark effect of converging forces and, as such, are never the same in content or appearance. Imagine a place where three rivers meet… and then see how the place they merge will always be changing because of the influence of their ever-changing confluence. Our task in observing these states must include an understanding on the part of the observer that what we are watching move through us moves, as it does, in part, because of the way they are observed.

It is a common mistake, many of us will make for many years, to try to rid ourselves of unwanted states by hoping to glean some secret about their nature. Yes, understanding the nature of a state is important, but until we realize that any resistance we have towards the state helps create and sustain the state we don’t want, then we are trying to understand something that is, in effect, created by our own misunderstanding of it. One must watch and watch… work consistently to observe as best possible… until one starts seeing not only the nature of the state in question, but the nature of the observing “I” as well.