(This the 10th 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.)
Seeing a problem in the world is trying to be a limited ego‑body‑mind. If you think you have a problem, you do.
Cloud-cuckoo-land surely? Or is he referring to step 1of his six steps to freedom where you must want freedom more than you want to make the world real? Is ‘seeing a problem’ trying to make the world real?
We all have tasks and responsibilities we must attend to. Not attending to them would be catastrophic. As long as ‘attending to problems’ means using our minds to work out what to do and then doing it, there isn’t any issue.
But for most of us, these tasks and responsibilities morph into gargantuan mind-monsters that haunt us at night and appear to control us by bringing out our inner procrastinator.
Once we’ve developed some aversion to a task, we’ve identified with it to some extent and made it about us. This can take us over to such an extent that we believe that we don’t solve it, we will not survive.
Once we have identified with it, given it meaning to it, it transforms from a task into ‘a problem’.
Yes. You have to wipe out the words problem, can’t, don’t, won’t — all negative words. In the future, when man is in a state of harmony, all these words will disappear.
You cannot do this as an act of will. No, it needs to done from the roots, from releasing the feelings that generate the thoughts. And you do this with an attitude of, ‘nothing is beneath me, nothing is too messy for me, nothing is too childish or too irrelevant’ — everyone is invited to the party! All is welcome here!
The higher you go, the more you see the perfection, and therefore the less you see problems. The more one sees problems, the lower one is.
Not buying into ‘this is my problem, let’s talk about problems, and my problem is bigger than your problem …’ feels very frightening, irresponsible when everyone around you is obsessing over theirs. Surely I must pay attention! What will people think?
Lester says that they won’t like it, and they will try to bring you back to where they are. When I question my value, my qualifications to facilitate others and present this understanding to the world, I get dragged down and disheartened as I am confronted with the mess I have made of my finances.
I think about my friend L. Imagine if she could have stayed alive and taken the step I am taking now, the value of her experience to others would have been incalculable. The same is true for me — this must not have been in vain.
Let them think you are wrong. You know you are right! Don’t argue. It’s fruitless.
To come out of hiding, I can use this understandingand release to dscover whether any impulse to go back undercover is real or an old habit. Some people will stay absolutely bonded to their old rules about the how the world is, however uncomfortable that may be. They will accuse me of being self-centred, unrealistic, mad, deluded and uncaring but if Lester, Hale and Rupert had feared this kind of pushback, we would have missed out on these priceless teachings. Let them eat cake.
It’s how much you see that there is no problem and help others see that there is only perfection that shows unselfishness. This way you offer help; you’re very constructive and unselfish.
The ultimate in unselfishness is to go with my vision and honour my experience regardless of what anyone thinks. How can shying away from wanting to share this be for anyone’s highest or best good?
The bottom state is one of apathetic inertia. It’s destructive. It just wants to stop everything, actually destroy everything.
So there is no need to attach to this, to diagnose it, to identify with, it simply is as is. From a nervous system perspective, it also fits as this is a dorsal vagal state, run by fear and separation.
The top state lets everything be just the way it is, because everything is perfect, and one in this state powerfully projects this mentally to everyone. The middle state is the action state that moves you from the bottom toward the top state of equilibrium and tranquility.
As he says, if you think the old state is easier, the exit is always open. You can always say ‘this is rubbish and I want nothing more to do with non-duality.’ Give me real life of stuff and bodies!
Q: But doesn’t this sort of thing take a great deal of courage many times? Sometimes I don’t really have the guts to be able to do the things I want to do. Lester: All right, why don’t you have the guts?
Always the wants. You don’t have to spend very long looking into the ‘I can’t’ until you find a want and a concept of ‘me’ that needs defending. ‘I don’t have the guts’ means ‘I am too scared of disapproval.’ But what is it really that you are defending? What good does this concept do you?
“Ouch, it’s hot! My hand is burning! Boy, do I have a problem!” That’s all. When you see that you are doing it, you stop. If you have a problem, you’re putting your hand into a problem and yelling, “It hurts!” and acting as though you’re not putting your hand into it.
I conjure up images of my past, of disapproval and even mocking from others. I imagine all the terrible things in store for me and then I say, ‘it hurts!’
Drop the stories, attend to what’s here and now and see how thought changes. Without my narrative of loss, shame and damage, there are no problems. I am putting my ‘hand in the fire’ every time I bring up my story of lack, damage and even of my self-diagnosed darling ADD.
All of those are devices to take me away from happiness, to resist happiness and keep the ego alive and well because while I am believing them I can make my life all about me. But let myself off the hook by believing that when I am cured, I will be selfless. Any goal in the future will never happen, whatever the goal is, have it now and if you cannot have it now, release. This is what all workshops and courses are: free beer tomorrow. It will never come. You will spend you life in workshops or with your nose to the grid stone hoping that one day you will have suffered enough, or improved yourself enough to be happy. That day is never going to come. You do it now or never.
If there is any hesitancy, it is probably because, without realizing it, you want to create problems in your life. We do this because as long as we think we are a limited body-mind, we feel like we need be like everyone else and to have a purpose in life. We are afraid if there were no problems, there would be no need for us. And in a way we are right. We are not our limited body-mind-ego that thrives on creating and then solving problems in order to justify its existence.
We invest our identities in having and then solving this problem. For me, this has been going on for years. It’s my project morning noon and night. Without this problem I would probably have to confront something I really don’t want to look at such as how I wish I had more friends here or how I wish I drew more and trusted creativity. As long as I can keep my problems alive, I am stuck, and I love to be stuck because it saves me from doing what scares me even more than stuckness.
The more I am using a problem to hold on to an identity or to relate to other people, or to play a role that fits like old slippers, the more invested I am in limitation, and therefore, the more I hold on to the problem.
If the One is the only doer and the One is perfect, how can there be a problem? We only perceive problems when we feel like it is “me” who is doing, as opposed to resting in the knowing that “It is not I but the father who worketh through me.”
Imagine if you wholly and completely accepted your situation — whatever it is, good or bad — without any friction. Imagine you couldn’t think ‘things should have turned out better for me’? Then what do you have? Peace of course. The pain is in the ‘should have …’
If you are a ‘me’, you have a conflict: there’s the ‘me’ that should have done better, got more, had more luck, been treated better by people versus the doubtful ‘me’ that believes that this is all ‘I’ deserve and whatever hardships you face now are ‘my’ destiny and reveal fault lines in my personality.
We don’t pretend that this is not here, we release it. We also acknowledge past trauma, inter-generational trauma and archetypes. Minds are complex and we do not want to dismiss that. They are wonderful and complex and full of surprises but they are not ‘us’. We are that which is prior to the mind, that which gives life to all thought, sensation, perception etc.
Conflict will keep you absolutely stuck and the longer you stay in it, the stronger your identity as a ‘me’ becomes; after all, it’s ‘me’ that appears to be the problem and attention naturally flows towards the perceived source of pain which in this case is the person I think I am, the body-mind I mistake for Sally.
You can also explore this by asking yourself, “What frustrated ego desire is causing this problem?”
This is just about all you need.
At the bottom
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.