(This the 9th essay in the series of many in which I share my experience of reading Lester Levenson and Hale Dwoskin’s Happiness Is Free: And It’s Easier Than You Think, Books 1 through 5, The Greatest Secret Edition. Sedona Press. Kindle Edition.)
However, you’re going to use effort until you’re fully realized. Now, there will be times when you’ll use no effort, and everything will fall perfectly into line for you.
Using effort to be what we already are is a curious idea. We resist being happiness or being freedom because it sounds ludicrous — we might see it as naive, delusional or simple unattainable. It feels easier and safer just to go along with the rest of the tribe and continue to strive for happiness through objects, people, work and ‘being good’.
Taking the easy route is also an action. Giving up is an action. It requires effort to quiet your longing for something different, something more truthful; it’s hard work to keep undoing the thoughts that tell you, ‘there must be another way’.
Indolence is an action, a negative action. It is the act of holding yourself from moving.
When is a ‘problem’ not a problem?
Resisting, distracting myself, this is an action. To do nothing about urgent, but dull bureaucratic tasks is an effort: I have to keep suppressing thoughts how I should be handling these responsibilities; I need to keep them at bay so that they don’t disturb me.
Lester: The moment you say, “I have a problem,” you are stuck — you are making it real! You can’t get rid of the problem, because you are making it real. You’ve got it.
Q: So, if when we have problems, we say, “There is no problem at all,” will they vanish then?
Lester: No. If you say, “There is no problem,” they won’t vanish, because you’re saying, “There is no problem.” You’re mentally holding the problem in mind and therefore sustaining it. Erase the problem from your mind. Know that everything is perfect — then the problem is necessarily nonexistent.
This is a paradox and it seems to contradict the preceding paragraphs. You can’t just pretend you don’t have problems! That’s a ridiculous suggestion!
If we dig a bit deeper, it does start to make sense.
As soon as you negate something in language, you bring it to life. Saying ‘there is no problem’ is similar to thinking that everything will work out for you, just as it should because you are meditating/releasing or in some way being good and earning your luck.
Doing a deal with spirit/God/Universe
Any position like this means that you are holding lack (or whatever you are trying to fix or get rid of) in mind. Then you take a whole raft of subtle and not so subtle actions to try and change it. That is not knowing everything is perfect, it is manipulation.
This is where many people get stuck: I took up spirituality because I didn’t like what I had done, didn’t like where I was in life, and didn’t like the actions I needed to take to change it. So I came up with a plan to do a lot of spirituality and hope that my luck would change and that my practices would let me off the hook. This attitude kept me stuck for years and I often see the same negotiation in the people I work with.
Everything is perfect
If you knew, in every cell of your body that everything was perfect, you would not need to take action to change anything — all action would be driven by love (in this context ‘love’ doesn’t mean lovey-dovey, romantic love, it refers to an expansive state of mind where all is well and everything is welcome).
The problem with tax returns, job applications or whatever else might be bothering us is that we don’t like them. We think they should be different, and they should be easy. Welcome how much you hate them and keep expanding and allowing your aversion until it releases, and move on. Don’t get lost in disliking authority as this is fool’s game. Release and let go, don’t stew.
Trust in the natural order of things
Imagine actually doing what Lester is proposing here — having such trust in the natural order of things that you really could let go? I have had enough experience to tell me that it is possible to be in such a state.
What is the alternative? Look at my direct experience — does focusing on a problem, objecting to it, examining from every angle, ever yield results? Does it fix it? Yes or no?
You don’t sit down and wait, you don’t do anything. Just let go of the sense of doership. You just know that everything is perfect, and then the slightest thought you have will come into being quickly. There’s no limitation on God, the Self. Whatever you think will have to come into being if you let go, because you’re invoking your infinite power — God, your Self. Nothing can stop it!
How is doing nothing not indolence?
How can you do nothing and not be indolent? Non-duality is so full of contradictions. Through using the Sedona Method, I do have a sense of what he means here; you can release to the point where everything is just happening — there can be a lot of activity — but none of it is personal.
When nothing is personal, you do not have attractions and aversions, it all just ‘is’. Without the reference point of the personal ‘me’, you do not object to anyone or anything with any fervour. It’s the fervour that trips us up, the things and people that we feel so strongly about are actually only thoughts, sensation, pictures created in our own minds, but they cause no end of trouble.
It’s only ‘me’ that sees imperfection
So the more you can release to the point where everything is perfect, the more it is perfect. Releasing to get rid of stuff is better than not releasing, but it is still a negotiation.
Try it when you’re alone. Just “I, I, I,” and not, “I am a body, I am a mind,” but, “I, I, I,” that feeling of Being. I think the word that describes God better than any other single word is “Beingness.” God is all Beingness. We are all Beingness pretending
So, be your Self, and there never will be a problem.
Self does not hide away or obsess over problems. It is not interested in any of that. The mind likes to obsess, to see destructive patterns of behaviour. Once it spots one, it grabs on to what’s wrong and what needs to change to make itself indispensable.
If all of this is making your head spin, you’re not alone. We read something like this — that proposes that it’s possible to be happy just we are — and our mind tells us either (1) This is total BS, or (2) This is amazing, let’s get cracking.
The mind does a great job of motivating us and discipling us to the practices we’re attracted and follow the teachers we find useful. Once there, we need to allow the thinking to take a back seat. From there, it might well start arguing with everything that is presented to you, like a toddler on a long car journey.
Going to war with thinking won’t work because it involves more thinking. The only way to lose interest in thinking is to switch our attention inwards, towards the ‘I’, to that which gives life to thinking, that which is prior. Paying attention to the contents of thoughts will get you nowhere and changing them will keep you busy for infinity.
You can find the introduction to this essay series here: Happiness is Free: And It’s Easier Than You Think
I am an experienced facilitator in the Sedona Method — which is based on Lester’s teachings and by far the easiest and fastest route to discover for yourself the freedom, happiness and peace he describes in this book.