A man once awakened to find himself riding through what appeared to be a haunted house. He didn’t know exactly where he was. All he did know was that it was very dark and that he was moving along with no choice as to the direction. And if that wasn’t bad enough, around almost every twisting corner he knew that something out of his worst dreams was ready to leap out at him. He was about to jump out of the car and run for help when he thought he heard a strong quiet voice speaking directly to him.
“Stay in the car,” it said, “Don’t be afraid. This darkness and its creatures are not real. You don’t have to be brave, but if you want out of this scary place, you must wait in the car until the ride is over. If you jump out now, you will just get out into the darkness. Listen to me. Sunlight is just ahead. You don’t have to do anything except let the ride end.”
He knew something out of the ordinary was happening to him because, right about then, his conventional wisdom would have had him out of the car and running like a wild man for anything that even resembled the way out. In some unexplainable way he sensed he had been in this position before and that this time he must do something altogether new.
And so, instead of listening to his own frantic feelings, he decided in favor of following the strange instructions that had just come to him. Some tense moments that seemed like a lifetime later, he found himself rolling out into the sunlight just as he had been told would happen if he allowed the ride to reach its natural end. To his great relief, it had only been a wild ride after all. Now here is the inner-explanation for this story. Ride it all the way to freedom.
Every sustained effort you make to grow beyond your self, so as to help effect a real change in your present level of consciousness, brings up in you a host of negative thoughts and feelings that can’t wait to point out the negatives as to why this can’t be done. We’ve all heard their whine within. They cry out, “no way,” “why try?” “too tough” — on and on it goes. Unexamined, these inner-voices appear to have our best interests in mind. But they lie; and to see the truth of this deception is vital in our quest for self-victory. We need only persist with our wish to wake up, let go, and know the truth of ourselves and — in spite of their vigorous protest — these same resistant reactions will be forced to reveal themselves as the hulking giants of fear and despair that they have always been! They are not your friends. In fact, their only appointed task is to see to it that you turn back. These fierce but fake fiends usually accomplish their task by making you believe that you can’t go any further with them blocking the way.
Now comes the best part. Here is the beauty and the secret way in which higher self-knowledge “rescues” the one who actualizes it. You don’t have to “do” anything else. Your part in the process is done. Just as in the story of the man’s scary ride through the haunted house, all you need to do is to listen to the voice of truth and do what it tells you to do. Listen now. You don’t have to do anything about what tries to disturb you on your journey to outside of yourself. In fact, like the man in our story, you mustn’t do anything except stay in the “car” of life as it carries you along. You are safe there — in the conscious awareness of your fears. Now you know better than to run from one scary doubt right into the arms of another. Practice this lesson in perfecting higher patience in the trying moments of life. Remember: inner-progress is not measured by what you do with any scary thoughts or feelings, but by how well you understand this new instruction: there is nothing that needs to be done with any dark state except for you to stay awake and watchful. Whatever wants to frighten you will eventually fade into the nothingness from out of which it came in the first place. Let the world inside of yourself go by. All you need do is to act from what you can see is true. Then, just like sunlight, victory comes to you.
(Excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go, Rev. Edition, Llewellyn)
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 38 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. For more information visit www.guyfinley.org, and sign up to receive a free helpful newsletter emailed to your desktop once each week.
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