Please take time this morning to read, “What is Salvation,” to contemplate Lesson 235, and to spend time in meditation. If you have 30-minutes for meditation and would like a gentle audio to guide you, I recommend this meditation by Michael Langford and Karen Worth
God in His mercy wills that I be saved.
Sometimes we experience resistance and frustration with the spiritual path and with ourselves as spiritual students. The superego (the self-criticizing part of the ego) is always ready to tell us how poorly we are doing on this path. It whispers that we will never awaken; we are not good enough to awaken.
The idea that we will never awaken is called “doubt.” Doubt is an ego preservation strategy, because if we believe doubt, we won’t fully dedicate ourselves to spiritual practice. Doubt, when it is believed, holds us back.
Ramana Maharshi said, “Realization is our true nature. It is nothing new to be gained. … Therefore there is no need to be doubting whether we would gain or lose the Self.” He recommended looking to see who or what doubts. When we look carefully, we notice the mind (the ego) doubts.
With right-reason, we can see that doubt benefits the ego. It is in our best interest to disregard doubt and continue with spiritual practice.
Doubt seems strongest when the ego is loud in our mind. That is when the superego is eager to tell us that we are spiritual failures. Interestingly, that is also when the ego is most vulnerable. That is when we have the best opportunity for healing the mind and transcending the ego. In other words, the ego attacks loudest when it feels itself losing control of our attention. It is fighting to “regain command and control.” (NTI Acts 14)
It has always been helpful for me to realize that when I appear to be failing, I am about to reach a break-through. The break-through will come if I do not give in to the ego voice. During the midst of the ego’s struggle, I choose to stick with my spiritual aspiration and with spiritual practice to the best of my ability (which seemed better on some days than others).
Today’s lesson says, “I need but look upon all things that seem to hurt me, and with perfect certainty assure myself, ‘God wills that I be saved from this,’ …”
That faith can be very important when the ego gets loud. We are not alone. The Self, with all of its knowledge, wisdom and love, is right here supporting us in our efforts to awaken to our Self.