Our current goals:
- Widen the horizons of our vision
- Take direct approaches to uncover the blocks that keep our vision narrow
- Lift those blocks, however briefly, in order to experience the sense of liberation that comes when the blocks are removed
- Intensify our motivation for freedom
The false self is nothing but thought. It isn’t a self at all. It has no life. Only awareness-life-presence has life. Only that which has life can be a genuine self. However, when the attention aspect of awareness-life-presence becomes engrossed in thought, it appears that life and thought are one. This creates the illusion of the false self.
In order to claim awareness-life-presence as our identity, we need to release the illusion that we are thought. A good way to release the illusion that we are thought is to observe thoughts without getting hooked on them.
Let me demonstrate:
Let’s imagine I am in a work relationship with someone. I am working with this person on an important project that has many challenges. We are working on one particular challenge that needs to be resolved before we can move to the next set of challenges. A deadline is looming. I begin to notice that my co-worker isn’t doing his part of the research. My mind begins to tell me that we are going to fail because he is avoiding his share of the work.
As someone who is embracing my true identity, I say to myself, “I see that thought, but I don’t know what is supposed to happen here. I don’t know what is going to happen here. My only role is to do my part and watch the rest.”
With that, I ‘unhook’ from thoughts that were asking for attention.
That’s how forgiveness works. Forgiveness doesn’t deny thought and it doesn’t believe thought either. It acknowledges the presence of thought, but doesn’t give it meaning.
Reason is the ability in the mind that enables humans to make decisions using logic. In the example above, I used logic to convince myself to let go of a particular line of thinking. This use of reason could be called right-reason.
Today’s lesson talks about how we misuse reason. It says, “Without [the kindly light of forgiveness] we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack.”
The purpose of reason is to enable us to make decisions that are in our best interest. But when we misuse reason, “what we think we understand is but confusion born of error. We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light.”
We need to return reason to its proper function.
The Yoga Vasistha is a Hindu text named after a Vedanta sage, Vasistha. A quote from The Yoga Vasistha says, “So long as one does not subdue the mind with the mind, one cannot attain Self-knowledge.”
That quote points to the importance of the proper use of reason. We can use reason to justify our attachment to thought or we can use reason to unhook from that attachment. The latter is using the mind to subdue the mind. It’s how we practice forgiveness, which today’s lesson describes as the “function God would have me fill.”
Here’s something important to know about the right use of reason. When you use right-reason, thought may argue that you are using reason to deny the truth. In the example above, it might argue that I am denying the truth that my co-worker is a lazy butt.
It’s important to remember what today’s lesson says, “Forgiveness represents your function here. It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone … the means to let illusions go.”
In other words, right-reason is not the truth itself. It is an illusion used to release a greater illusion. So if thought argues that right-reason is not true, realize that’s okay. Letting go of the greater illusion is the current task at hand. That brings us closer to truth.
Right-reason is the means to right-dreams, “a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, … and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before.”
“The way is simple. Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.” You make the choice to be condemned or free through your use of reason. You will use it to justify thought or to unhook from thought. The latter is the choice for freedom.