Here is an amazing higher instruction that can help you step beyond yourself: “Walk away from the mental ‘how’ into the spiritual Now.”
This secret instruction deserves our close attention. Its real value, like that of a priceless jewel, is best appreciated when seen from every angle. Just as it is the nature of such a rare jewel to reflect its inner brilliance in all directions, so is it the nature of this special instruction to light your way once you have unlocked its secret. Here is one of its keys. The journey outside of yourself doesn’t take you to a place, but to the realization that who you really are lives above the world of thoughts and feelings. The everyday mental life which naturally includes asking “how” has its practical place in the world of auto mechanics, building a house or running a computer. These kinds of tasks are governed by the mental life. Living and working in this physical world, it is necessary to ask “how” in order to learn to “do.”
However, when it comes to learning how to live above and outside of our self, the same mental life that can safely deliver men to the moon cannot take us any higher or further than its loftiest thought. A thought is never the thing. In other words, it is impossible to think yourself outside yourself.
If we want to know “how” to proceed with our inner-journey, we must understand that even the finest mental life cannot deliver us beyond what are its own inherent limitations. From this unique inner-vantage point we can see that something altogether new, some unthinkable leap is needed if we are to successfully bridge the gap between this limited mental world and the new life beyond our selves.
As you begin to realize the true restrictions of living from a thought-dominated self, you will no longer ask “how” because part of your new realization will include the understanding that this habitual question of “how” to get outside of yourself is actually arising from the same life-level you are trying to leave. At this important stage of your inner-development there may be times when it will seem to you as though there is no way out. You’ll be glad to learn that the truth has something better for you to do than feeling trapped. Here is its instruction:
Each time you reach the point of self-uncertainty where you know you must take a step, but you also know that you can no longer ask “how,” just go ahead and step forward anyway! Step into the Now of this very moment. Step into what appears to be the darkness in front of you. Nothing bad will happen. In fact, something miraculous will occur right before your eyes. Your decision in favor of this bold new action thrusts you into the spiritual now where the actual moment itself teaches you everything you need to know about how to proceed. Moving away from the mental how into the spiritual Now places you under the guiding influences of an intelligence that never fears the unknown because higher understanding is its very nature. To your grateful astonishment this new order of intelligence does for you what you were certain you could not do for yourself. It solves the dilemma; it finds the way. All you need to do is follow.
It doesn’t matter how reluctantly you take your first step into the spiritual Now. What does matter is that you take the action. If you will do your part, the Truth will take care of the rest. This explains why the true spiritual life is said to be pathless. When it comes to leaving the mental world behind, there is no path outside of your next step…and your next…and your next. So what are we waiting for? The clearer we can make for ourselves the difference between the mental how and the spiritual Now the easier it becomes to depart from the one which is to enter the other. Keeping in mind what we have just learned, you may want to give the following ideas some special attention.
1. Living from the mental how: We often fear what we can’t understand. Living in the spiritual Now: We understand that fear is a mental mistake.
2. Living from the mental how: We seek answers for tormenting questions. Living in the spiritual Now: We understand that there is no intelligence in torment so we simply drop those questions.
3. Living from the mental how: We look to the past to help guide us to a secure future. Living in the spiritual Now: There is freedom from the past and no thought for tomorrow because we are living fully in a painless present.
4. Living from the mental how: We are reluctant to admit when we are wrong. Living in the spiritual Now: We are free from the punishing need to pretend that we are always right.
5. Living from the mental how: We spend valuable time looking back in regret over past events. Living in the spiritual Now: The past exists only for practical purposes and never as a source of pain or problems.
You may want to make your own list as I’ve done. By contrasting these two inner-conditions it will become increasingly clear to you which of these two worlds you really want to live in.
(Excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go, Rev. Edition, Llewellyn)
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 40 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. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet and the Huffington Post. 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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