(This the 11th 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.)
There is no happiness except that of experiencing your Self. When you see that, it makes the path very direct. You stop chasing the rainbow, and you go for the happiness where you know it is — right within you. Everything you are seeking you are and very foolishly saying you are not. That’s part of the enigma: everything everyone is seeking with such intensity, one has — and much more.
You cannot experience this while you project into the future or lament the past. The future and the past are mental concepts in which uncertainty and usually lack are inseparable from. Whatever excuses and justification you use now to resist or reject happiness, you will continue to do so after you’ve done or got what you believe you need to be happy.
You can only experience happiness now and it follows then that only time you can experience yourself is now as well. You cannot experience Self/happiness next week, when you’ve done some more work or next year after you’ve been on a few more retreats. It’s now and that’s it.
The only solution is to look inside and see if this is true for you, here and now. You are not trying to find it, adopt a belief system or be convinced. Is there a possibility that in this moment, you are love, abundance? How? Just check and release on whatever get in the way of that recognition.
Love and abundance are not personal emotions like fear (of something/one) or anger (at someone/thing). They are impersonal and for everyone, it’s a case of recognition rather than gaining anything.
As part of all, I don’t need anything because it’s all already mine. Everything I think I lack, I can only lack as a separate self. I know that I create my own lack by believing in lack, but holding on to this concept.
We discover that we never give up anything on the spiritual path but our self‑imposed bondages and miseries.
The mind will always tell us we are going to give something up when it sniffs change in the air. What if people think you’re weird? What if you have gone mad? What would it be to give up myself — my idea of Sally? What would I lose?
It’s only the thought I can’t do it that stops you from doing it. Those who can’t don’t really want to.
You can’t force this. Release the emotions under ‘I can’t’ and then see what happens. Often you find ‘I don’t want to’ along with ‘I shouldn’t have to ...’ and ‘I have no intention of …’
Wishing won’t do it, nor will trying. You have got to do it!
Without action, wishing encourages magical thinking and manipulation: if I release, can I have …? Release on wishes and wants, not on outcomes. Outcomes are going to happen anyway. All you need to do is let go of what you are not, which is the wishes, wants and lack. You will find that if you do this work to try and be better, even though that is where most of us start, you will tie yourself up in knots — it will be like looking in the mirror and trying to change the reflection. In the words of Nisargadatta:
Realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection. Attend to yourself, set yourself right; mentally and emotionally. The physical self will follow automatically.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I have been doing this and pretending I am not doing it. I said, ‘Sedona Method! Save Me!’ Save my arse! — ‘Make me better’.
The arse is imaginary, the idea that the arse is an entity in itself IS the suffering. Although it’s often extreme situations that give people the drive they need and the sense of ‘nothing left to lose’ gungho attitude that pops them right through the illusion of self. Only when you completely surrender will ‘you’ be graced with this understanding. It’s either/or. You cannot be doing this work, hoping for a better you because that means you are not willing to do it.
Your success is determined by your desire for it. If you get discouraged, you are not really interested.
Here, he is talking about your success at freedom/realisation. Do I really believe my little gripes matter enough to get in the way of freedom? How much will I allow it to matter that so-and-so has got more than you, that someone has offended me? How long am I going to carry on believing the nonsense that I are the centre of the universe when I am quite obviously not. Why hold on to the idea that I am owed anything? It causes no end of strife and difficulty, everything contracts around that concept.
Every experience is to bless you, not to hurt you. If you stay in accord with principle, you will come out higher!
The greatest of all tests are those at home, with your immediate family. Therefore, home is an excellent place to grow. A lot of spiritual growth can be had by practicing the real, selfless love on your mate and family.
Oh, how true. It is likely that this is where we are our most habitual and therefore our most limited and therefore experience pain. I speak with my family and I feel inadequate. But the worst part of it is that it’s my own construction: I was moaning, half-hearted and vague.
Where was I at that moment? In other people’s minds looking at me and judging me as inadequate. That’s all there is to the pain. Nothing else, nothing happened except that instead of abiding in the truth of who I am, I went on an adventure and created other minds to judge me.
If you feel opposed, claim your ground without any need for attack! Your inner ground is imperturbable, always at peace, always available and still like the deep sea beneath even the strongest hurricane.
Love, love, love. Love first, find the love in every situation, it doesn’t matter if you know what it means or how to do it because it’s not for you and it’s not an intellectual exercise. Just as Gail Brenner said to me today, from love you are invincible.
Opposition is a very healthy thing. It provokes and firms growth.
I hate opposition: I blush and feel defensive. What am I opposing in this moment? This is the work, right here and right now.
Stand ye out and be different, and don’t let the others trick you back into where you were. It’s not easy. It takes fortitude.
Expect infinity, no more. You cannot expect too much.
Every gain is an eternal gain; every step forward you make now is forever. We climb a ladder, and each time we get up to another rung, we forget about the rungs below. Then, when we get to the top, we kick the ladder away.
This is rather mysterious and the conventional view is that the mind comes and goes and it varies in its impact and ability to convince you that this time it’s real.
What about a nervous system perspective? When a perception triggers a powerful anger or fear reaction, we experience ourselves as a separate ‘me’ under threat who needs to get into action to survive. Or is it possible to have some transparency even in this state? Is it possible for us to be in a fit of rage alongside the awareness that we are not the rage, that it’s just a flash, like any other sensation? Could we be always aware that we are watching the movie Free Solo and not on the rock face? When we realize this, is it permanent?
Studying the illusion helps make it real. If you want to know the Truth, don’t study the opposite.
This is why I take issue with traditional therapy — or my experience of it at least. It is a thesis in the illusion and that is what I studied with intense focus for decades. It’s driven by mistaking the source of the pain and thinking it came from outside, or the unseen, unknowable subconscious. Focus on the mechanisms not the content, the content will keep you stuck.
We can only expand out of the ego. The Self is.
The Self cannot be expansive or anything else. When we feel that expansion, it’s an indication that we are taking off the tight suit of shopping-list self and it feels wonderful.
In our desire to attain liberation or realization, we are helped to the degree that we help all others.
What gets me in a pickle is that I get easily and quickly fired up by revenge when I perceive that I have been wronged or something I care about has apparently suffered the same fate. I fantasize about avenging all the shit therapists, crappy self-help courses and all the con-artists I have come across.
On behalf of whom do I want to take revenge? This is not a throwaway question. Check. Who or what was injured, left unrecognized or slighted?
I admit to this rather unattractive habit freely here because I know that even our darkest thoughts cannot survive exposure to the bright light of consciousness. Revenge is chaotic and uncomfortable; in this state there can be a lot of energy in the system but it achieves little.
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.