What Am I?
Our special theme says, “Our use for words is almost over now. … The truth of what we are is not for words to speak of nor describe. Yet we can realize our function here, and words can speak of this and teach it, too, if we exemplify the words in us.”
Today I would like to contemplate the first phrase of this excerpt along with the last phrase of the excerpt. That is:
Our use for words is almost over now … if we exemplify the words in us.
Another way of looking at this is:
Our time of learning is almost over now,
if we are ready to live from what we’ve learned.
The “if” is interesting. It means that we need to make the decision to exemplify the teachings. If we make that decision, we no longer need metaphysical education. We’ve received enough metaphysical education. However, if we are not yet ready to live from what we’ve learned, more education is needed.
In other words, the purpose of education is to bring us to the willingness to live the teachings. Once we are ready to live the teachings, education has fulfilled its role.
The Teachings of Inner Ramana makes a similar statement. It says:
It’s time to go beyond everything you’ve learned.
Everything you’ve learned has been helpful. It’s been helpful toward willingness to take this next step. But without the step that we are taking together now, all that you’ve learned serves no real purpose toward awakening.
Our first year of Gentle Healing included a lot of learning. We’ve learned:
- The person that we think we are is not what we are. It is a false self, made up of thoughts, feelings and misperceptions. This false self, typically called the ego, is the cause of all human suffering.
- The truth of what we are is life-awareness. Awakening is the process of moving from identifying with the false self to knowing our true Self as a permanent direct experience.
- The desire to know truth is the most important motivator in the process of awakening. Without that desire, we will not apply ourselves toward that end. Therefore, anything we can do to increase that desire is helpful.
- At the human level, casting our attention on thought creates neural pathways in the brain. These pathways are the source of our habits, beliefs and way of seeing. Resting attention away from thought allows previously formed pathways to dry up, which undoes previously formed habits of thought, feeling, perception and action.
- Metaphysically, casting our attention on thought feeds energy into the creative principle, which in turn creates all appearances in the world. What we feed into the creative principle also returns to us as another thought or experience. It’s important to remember that like creates like, so focusing on fear creates more fear, focusing on anger creates more anger, etcetera. Unaffectedness (resting attention away from thought and in presence) generates Grace.
- Inquiry is a valuable tool as we learn to step out of our habituated (conditioned) way of being into a way of being based on clarity. We learned several methods of inquiry including Root Cause Inquiry, Byron Katie’s “The Work,” Diedriek Wolsak’s Choose Again process and self-inquiry as taught in The Teachings of Inner Ramana.
- There are two awakenings, the first of which is awakening from the self-centered self to a self that reflects truth. A Course in Miracles refers to the first awakening as true perception. What true perception sees is the real world.
- Abiding as the unaffected self is one key way of permitting the shifts that purify us of the self-centered self and move us toward true perception. Abiding as the unaffected self can be seen as rest-accept-trust as taught by Regina Dawn Akers, never closing the heart as taught by Michael Singer, remaining in noticing presence as taught by Gina Lake or the Loving All Method as taught by Michael Langford.
- Surrender, as it is taught in The Teachings of Inner Ramana, is a valuable tool as we move away from the self-centered self to movement that is not centered in the self. Surrender allows us to be moved by something other than personal will, so we can live in the world effectively without continuing attachment to our self-centered thinking.
- We come to know our true Self through focusing on awareness. We learned to focus on awareness using short glimpses throughout the day and through daily, sustained focus using Awareness-Watching-Awareness, Loving Consciousness and Abandon Release methods of meditation.
- The second awakening is an awakening beyond the self that reflects truth (true perception) to Truth Itself (beyond perception). This is the human’s final awakening, also known as the last judgment, the final end of the ego, manonasa, and nirvana. Beyond this point, there isn’t anything that words can express or mind can imagine. This awakening is the goal of the spiritual path.
We may have learned some other things this year, but these were the main points. These teachings were taught over and over again through different teachers using different words. Hopefully these teachings are now well embedded in our brains.
As our first year of Gentle Healing ends and our second year of Gentle Healing begins, we move from more education to less education and from some practice to living the teachings in all situations. The second year of Gentle Healing will be extremely beneficial, if you live from what you learned in the first year. If you are not ready to live from those teachings, more education is needed. In that case, it is better to go back and repeat the first year of Gentle Healing than it is to continue to the second year.
Repeating the first year of Gentle Healing may feel like being “held back” in the first grade while all of your friends go on to the second grade. However, the reason for holding a student back is to increase the student’s ability to succeed. Without a good foundation, the higher levels are often too challenging for the student—possibly out of reach—and time is wasted. Repeating the first year in order to get a good foundation may be the most effective way for some students to proceed.
I am not a first grade teacher who has the authority to pass first year students or hold them back. I will not make that specific recommendation for anyone. Please let intuition guide you. It may be a matter of whether you applied yourself well to the first year or spent a significant amount of time not applying yourself to our daily lessons and homework. As you review the bullets above, you may know if you effectively digested the education necessary to continue to the second year.
Judgment and love are opposites. From one come all the sorrows of the world. But from the other comes the peace of God Himself.
Please read today’s workbook lesson in full. Notice a phrase, sentence or excerpt that you feel particularly attracted to and go into it more deeply through writing.