Your basic nature is that of perfection.
I want to remind you of something you knew long ago, when you were a small child, and which you forgot: you are perfect. Take a look at the next small child you see and you can experience directly that people are perfect. You are perfect, even you. Now, this is as clear as anything there is. Just as clear is the fact that there are blocks to the experience and expression of that perfection, blocks which are called "beliefs that you are less than perfect." Remember that you donít have beliefs for what is true. What is true is directly experienceable and doesnít require believing. So, if you have a belief that you are not perfect, I have no trouble with that. In fact, I expect it. But where would such an absurd belief come from?
Someone you loved and who loved you told you about your supposed imperfections and you believed it. There was no problem with it until you began believing it. Then there was a problem. In order to dominate and manipulate whomever you were dependent upon in those early years, you sold out and went along to get along. Now you are paying the price for selling out way back then. I want to emphasize that you did it. No one did it to you, no matter how "reasonable" it seems to say so. You didnít have to develop negative beliefs about yourself. You did it in order to dominate someone. Now, if you say that someone did it to you what you are doing is making an excuse for yourself and a reason that things canít change now. The truth works. Saying that someone else is responsible for your negativity does not work; therefore, it is not true. What I mean by the phrase "it doesnít work" is that saying that someone else is responsible for your negativity does nothing toward changing your negativity around so that you can be in the natural condition of satisfaction. Only being responsible for it yourself works. You can chant little positive sayings about yourself for the rest of your life, and if you are not willing to be responsible for it, nothing works. What you have, then, is a mass of negativity encased in a lot of little positive sayings.
TOPBook Two, Chapter Two
Enlightenment is the natural condition of life after you strip the unnatural heavy and dark conditions away.
"Enlightenment," much like "love" and "responsibility," is a much misunderstood word. So, I want you to be clear about it before we go any further. Many seem to think that enlightenment is a feeling and it is not. Some think enlightenment is understanding, and thatís not be even close. There is nothing emotional or intellectual about enlightenment. You canít get it from your mother and you canít get it at school. It has something to do with love, but not as you probably understand that word.
There is a realm of experience that cannot be described in words. Any attempt necessarily falls short of the experience. Nevertheless, I am going to describe enlightenment in words since that is the form of communication available. However, we must know that words cannot be the source of enlightenment either. Words can only express the experience the after the experience. They cannot generate the experience. Words do not generate enlightenment. Reading this will not make you enlightened.
Nor is enlightenment generated in the mind. The mind is only good for calculating how to survive. You will never experience enlightenment through your mind. The mind can only use words and "understand" enlightenment. I want you to really get frustrated about enlightenment and "try" to get it. You know what? You canít! It is just not possible for a person to generate enlightenment by effort.
You can only generate enlightenment by doing nothing. I mean nothing. By "nothing" I donít mean that you get a lemonade and go swing in a hammock. "Doing nothing" is possible while doing hard labor. In fact, it is easier to do nothing while doing hard labor. What I mean by "doing nothing" is to suspend your "stuff;" that is, your judgments, opinions, positions, beliefs, even your faith. Going through your stuff is doing something, not going through your stuff is doing nothing. Then do what you do in life because you are doing it, not because you believe in it, have a high opinion of it, or have faith in it. Doing what you do out of belief, opinion, or faith takes you out of the picture and makes your stuff the source of what you do. You land in a condition called no responsibility, no enlightenment.
What you do in life is not "heavy" until you add stuff to it. What you do in life is certainly not important from the standpoint of ultimate truth. Not important. If you think it is important, you are not the cause of it, your stuff is. Be light about your life. Live it moment to moment and in such a way that we could either ignore it or print it in tomorrowís newspaper, and it wouldnít matter.
You donít need to be proud or ashamed of your life. It just is. Nor do you need to be in control. If you are in pride, shame, or control, you are not the master of your life; pride, shame, or control is master. You canít be right, make others wrong, be proud and controlling and consider your condition important, and be enlightened.
Naturally, most of the description of enlightenment is a telling of what it is not. Enlightenment is the natural condition of life that has no name after all the unnatural conditions that have names stripped away. I am now going to describe the condition of enlightenment for what it is rather than what it isnít. As I do, I want you to know that you conceivably could be in any or all of these circumstances and still be endarkened.
First of all, you will not experience needs beyond those that you naturally need: air, food, and love. You will know that your mind condition, whatever it is, is perfect even when you have judgments to the contrary. You will not depend on others to pronounce your life worthy. You will not depend on others to pronounce your life worthy. Criticism will be of no concern to you. You will not be criticizing others and you will not be attached to their criticism of you. You will be in the experience of loving others. You will know that life is not serious and that it is profoundly significant. You will know that others contribute to your life and you will acknowledge them for it. You will truly have what you own in life through a willingness to not have it and a willingness to share it with others. You will live in the present moment and not be attached to your memories of the past or your schemes for the future.
TOPBook Five, Chapter Seven
You are not the product of your environment as your story would have it.
As people progress through life, in the ordinary course of events, they collect a memory of what happened on the journey. As time passes these memories are reworked and edited, practiced and preached, until they come into line with a false identity supported by a "story.: The purpose of the story is three-fold: (1) to make the teller right and others wrong, (2) to explain the reasons things turned out the way they did, and (3) to give the teller a sense of who he is, which, without the story, is apparently missing.
Oddly enough, it fails on all three counts, but persists in the mind for the sake of allaying anxiety. Inevitable the story does not come out consistent with the truth of what happened. It tends to come out more like what the teller would like to have happened, what he thinks should have happened. In the process, memories can actually be reworked and changed. In psychoanalysis this is known as a "screened memory." In truth, all of us carry screened memories in some form, although we are the last to become conscious about it. So, if anything, the story makes you wrong because of its gross inaccuracies.
On the second count, the story more or less succeeds, but not really. It does provide the teller a certain degree of reasonableness about the "why" of how things turned out. However, the answers to "Why?" never provide mastery about how things are turning out now. So, reasonableness is synonymous with uselessness, and in this sense the story is a total failure.
The third factor, identity, is quite deceptive. It really looks as though we should be our motherís children, products of the schools we went to, the sum total of our beliefs, positions, opinions, tastes, and so forth. And yet, this sort of identity comes so quickly and is so quickly gone. It leaves one with a certain lack of satisfaction about "Who am I?" Not to mention the fact that human beings generate, with regularity, creations that simply cannot be explained on the basis of previous experience.
I suggest to you that you are not the product of your story, and that your story does not make you right, except at great expense to your own aliveness. I suggest to you that your story in no way explains things in a way that provides you with mastery of your life. Most significantly, I suggest to you that you are the consciousness that indwells the mind which has collected this story and, as such, the last thing you need a story for is to identify who you are. Becoming enlightened has a lot to do with giving up the "importance" of your story on all three counts and, ultimately, giving up your story altogether. Only when you have given up the "importance" of your story can you begin to have a significant impact on the world. Your story prevents you from serving the world and sticks you reciting mind stuff for the rest of your days.
Book Three, Chapter Five
As it turned out, you survived. Therefore, your parents did their job. Anything else you ever said about it was in the service of being right.
"Parents" are those people who had a significant role in being with you and administering to your basic needs in early life, until you began to survive on your own without their assistance. Your biological parents may or may not have been your real parents. To deal with this issue of parents, you must correctly identify who your real parents were or are and give up your griping about those people who you think should have been your parents. It may be that you lived in the same household with your biological parents and had one or more additional real parents. Brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents, friends of the family, and others serve us as parents. You may be unconscious about who your real parents are if you are stuck in a belief system about who your parents should be.
As with all relationships in life, the relationship with a parent has a purpose. Now, much is added to the real purpose of having a relationship with a parent. A parent is not designed to instantly gratify all of your wants and needs. Nor is a parent relationship designed to make you feel good about yourself. You are responsible for that. A parent is not designed to program you to make the right choices in life. You are responsible for all of your choices in life. The purpose of a parent is as follows: to be with you and assist you in surviving until you can survive on your own. Anything else you may have said about it, good or bad, has been in the service of putting yourself in a right position, so that you donít have to face the fact of your responsibility for your own life and the way it turns out. I mean this in both senses. It is fine and generous to give credit to a parent for your life turning out well, and it does not express the ultimate truth about it. It is absolutely evil to blame a parent if you feel that your life did not turn out. It is evil because of the damage it does to you: you sacrifice your aliveness. Your life will not work until you have acknowledged responsibility for it. Figuring out how your parents did it to you does not work.
Now, as it turned out, you survived. Therefore, your parents did their job. No matter what you say about it, they did their job. Those people who had parents who do not do their job are not reading this, due to the fact that they did not survive. You, on the other hand, are living proof that your parents did their job. You know what? It isnít even your parentís job to have personalities that you like. Isnít that a kicker? Iíll bet you anything you thought they were supposed to win some sort of personality contest with you. If you have baggage about any of this, unburden yourself. Life works better enlightenend.
The issue of love comes up often with parents. The question frequently asked is, "Did my parents really love me?" What love is, is fulfillment of purpose in relationship, not that emotional garbage you thought it was. The truth is that if your parents put up with you until you could survive on your own ( which they obviously did), then they loved you. That is, they fulfilled their purpose in your life. If you are not satisfied with the way in which they fulfilled their purpose, that is your problem, not your parentís. Donít you dare lay that one on them. You probably wonít have any trouble noticing that you are carrying around a lot of "stuff" in life. It was no different with your parents. They burdened themselves with stuff, too. In fact, you were privileged to experience some of it. You probably liked some of it so much that you made some similar stuff of your very own. So when you become enlightened, by unloading your stuff, you do it by knowing that you are not your stuff and that you are responsible for it. We wonít let you have double standards. If you are not your stuff, then your parents were not their stuff either. When you know that, you have an opportunity to relate to your Self for who you are, not who you arenít. Take and do likewise with your parents. So the ground of being in relationship to parents is that parents and children love each other profoundly. And there are blocks to the experience and expression of that love on both sides. So what? It doesnít really matter if the form of the relationship never changes. Nevertheless, people want the form of the relationship to change, so Iím going to tell you how to do it.
Let them be right. You be wrong. Who cares who is right and who is wrong anyway? Quit resisting them. Let them be right. You wonít not survive if you let them be right. I promise you that what is under their need to be right is a deep love for you. By resisting their positions you block the experience and expression of their love for you, and your love for them as well. Where you want to be with your parents is complete on the past so you can begin to relate to each other in the present. You donít start on the road to completeness by being incomplete. Being incomplete doesnít exist. Feeling incomplete merely supports the position that you are right. Give up being right, and the experience of completeness, which has always been under the stuff, will be manifest in your experience. Make your relationship with your parents perfect, if you think you can handle it. You may have a need to be at odds with your parents. In fact, if you are, you do. So, if this is the case, what is up for you is to become aware and responsible for this kinky need so that you can give it up if you choose to.
By the way, your parents donít have to be alive for you to complete the relationship. Completion is a process of telling the truth that happens within you.
If you are willing to complete your relationship with your parents by telling the truth, it will then be possible for the rest of your relationships to be perfect as well. The thing about parents is crucial because that is the nucleus in which your mind patterns about relationships began. Until you clean that up, the whole thing is less than what is possible. As usual, you clean this one up by dropping the extra baggage of your mind stuff, thus becoming enlightened.
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