Best-Selling Self-Realization author
The real reason life feels like it's so full of hard choices that we have to make is because, in our spiritual sleep – and in the dreams we dream therein – we stand between a self-created "rock and a hard place": a perpetual captive of the unconscious conflict born of struggling – in vain – to protect what we first imagined we must have to be free... from its unseen opposite: an equally imagined fear... that we might lose it.
In the end, and to the point of this work we do, the journey is from outward to inward. The journey takes a person from “out there” (powers and possessions, travel, drugs, new hobbies, friends, relatives, approval, etc.) to an understanding that as long as they look to anything or anyone outside of themselves, it is never going to reconcile or bring an end to the overwhelming negative states such as fear that are wrecking their life.
So there must be a certain kind of transition that an individual makes from being tormented by whatever they are tormented by into a relative understanding that gradually releases them from whatever that psychological, mental, emotional problem is. Certainly, there are intermediate places in this journey from outside to inside. But understand there are as many false solutions as there are humans on this planet suffering from being identified with one.
Let’s all come wide awake and take a closer look at fear – specifically at one of its most debilitating manifestations, depression – as an example of how we can see the way our mind works instead of struggling to work out what our mind is telling us is the problem and the solution.
Our sleeping mind, our unconscious nature, is always looking for the opposite of something. What’s the opposite of depression? Is it joy? Is it fun? Is it unabated happiness? Because in that mind, depression is something that in identifying with it, we believe that it must be escaped.
For most of humanity, the escape from depression is through a chemical or through something that you can manifest by appearance, so that if this is what depression is, then you’re going to affirm happiness. But we all know, you can affirm happiness “until the cows come home,” and the minute the smallest condition comes in that’s not part of what you’re managing to hold up as an appearance, you’re going to fall right back into that pit… only worse so because some of what you thought was happiness has now proven not to be happiness at all.
Don’t look for the opposite of depression. This is so important. Rumi said, “The antidote is in the venom.” What that means is that the solution to this depression is not to find some way to unconsciously continue it by coming up with things you believe will release you from it as an opposite, because whatever it is you imagine is going to free you from depression doesn’t exist without the depression that imagined it! To understand that these things appear together is the beginning of the end of identifying with either the solution or the suffering that seems to be inherent in a depression you can’t escape.
The task isn’t to escape depression. That’s our whole mindset, isn’t it? “I’m going to escape this toxic person”; “I’m going to escape my emptiness”; “I’m going to escape my depression.” That’s the way the mind works, instead of understanding that the thing you’re trying to escape is a quality of consciousness that you don’t understand in yourself yet. And if you would go from the outside back in and become a student of the depression instead of a student of how to escape it, then your awareness of that depression would start to show you things about yourself that you didn’t know.
It never dawns on us that when depression comes, it is of course going to point at what validates it, because the more that the depression can be validated by what it decides is causing it, then the clearer becomes the seeming solution to escaping it. And so, it’s just a series of dominoes connected to a psychological state that was never intended to be lodged in us to begin with. But for us, there is that state.
As an exercise, for the next two weeks, see what you can see about depression instead of looking at what depression is telling you to see. See what you can learn about depression from yourself – not from a book, not from something somebody tells you. The whole world, everybody you know can’t wait to talk to you about your problems. People pay big money to come and learn how they, the way they are, can change themselves the moment they want to do it. You can’t change yourself! But you can see the part of you that isn’t changing. And in that you die to yourself. You don’t reinvent yourself. God help this world and the gurus that are selling a way to reinvent yourself. Every reinvention of oneself is the actual story of Frankenstein’s monster.
See what you can see about depression, including seeing how depression is giving you what it wants you to see to keep you its captive. Do that even a little bit, and you will have a glimpse. A little bit of light will come in and you will see something about depression. And instead of being depressed, you will learn that depression has been imposed upon you by a misunderstanding of your relationship to this life and everything and everyone in it.
For over 40 years Guy Finley has helped individuals around the world find inner freedom and a deeper, more satisfying way to live. His in-depth and down-to-earth teachings cut straight to the heart of today’s most important personal and social issues – anxiety, fear, self-discovery, meditation, relationships, addiction, stress, compassion, and personal peace. His work is widely endorsed by doctors, business professionals, celebrities, and spiritual leaders of all denominations.
Guy is the author of 45 books including his international bestseller “The Secret of Letting Go,” that have been translated into 30 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.
He has a weekly program on InsightTimer.com, and is a regular contributor to numerous print and online publications.
Guy is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit Center for Spiritual Discovery located in southern Oregon, with tens of thousands of online newsletter subscribers worldwide. His talks are live-streamed free from the Foundation twice each week. https://www.guyfinley.org/light
A Life of Learning outreach program is OneJourney, a growing, international community. In a world where differences among people are tearing us apart, OneJourney uses the wisdom of the ages to show that the journey to wholeness is an inner journey that is essentially the same for all people and all religions throughout time. It’s just been described in different words. The OneJourney site and its ever-expanding Living Book helps us meet life in a new way so that we no longer fight with events, but can use everything to grow stronger while making the world a better place. www.OneJourney.net
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