CwG Quotes "Let this be your task, your greatest joy: to give people back to themselves. "

- Conversations with God Book 3

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Daily Thought

 

Humanity's future depends on what humanity thinks about itself. It depends on what humanity thinks about God, and about Life. The more you know about how to destroy yourself, the more you need to know about how to save yourself. It is time now to expand your base of knowledge of God and of Life, to grow in your understandings, to increase your awareness and to enlarge your consciousness

- Tomorrow's God p 18, 21

 

 

 

Bulletin #592

 

May 09, 2014

More on Contentment.



A Note from Neale...

 

My dear friends...

Last week in this space we talked about the first two steps in Contentment: Abandonment and Requirement. This week, we'll look at the final three: Resentment, Argument, and Discernment.

Resentment

Freedom is the natural state of the soul. Freedom is what the soul is. The word Freedom and the word God could be interchangeable. God is the essence of Freedom, by definition. Freedom is that quality of being which knows no limits, is bound by no restrictions, and upon which can be placed no requirements of any kind.

God is not required to be, do, or have anything. One cannot require God. That is because God is All Powerful, the Creator, and no requirement can be placed on such a Being. Who would do the requiring?

The biggest secret in life is that you cannot be required to be, do, or have anything either. That is because you were made "in the image and likeness of God." You are all powerful, the Creator, and no requirement can be placed on such a Being.

Even if Someone could (presumably, God), there is no one who would. That is, God would not. Why? Because there is nothing that God wants from you. There is nothing that God needs in order to be happy. God has everything, because God IS Everything. There is nothing that God is not--so what could God possibly want or need or demand?

The soul knows this. This is impeccable logic, and so at some level the mind understands this, too. But it may be at a very high level--a level of thinking (and remembering) that the mind does not very often rise to instantly after birth. Shortly after birth the mind abandons what it thinks it knows and understands about Life, because everything in its exterior environment is evidencing something other than that. So the mind abandons its Highest Remembering: that of its own Unity with The Essence, and its Oneness with All That Is.

It may take (and it usually does take) years for the mind to remember this truth again--much less to live it. Particularly when the young Being is being told from moments after birth through all the early years of physical development that yes, it is separated from That Whence It Came...and that there is a requirement which must be met before it can return. Returning is what it yearns to do, so the young Being earnestly seeks to understand and to meet those requirements.

The only trouble is, the soul knows at some very deep level, and the soul understands perfectly, that the idea of a Requirement being in place in order for the Being to experience (much less return to) God is false. It is counterfeit. It is simply not the way things are. And so, for the rest of its life the Being will be conflicted between what it knows interiorly (in its soul) and what it is being told, and thus thinks it knows, exteriorly (in its mind).

Interiorly, the Being understands that it is Freedom Itself (that is why all beings on the Earth yearn to be free . It is their Essential Nature...and they know it.) Exteriorly, the Being is told over and over again that it is not free, but must do or not do certain things in order to return Home, in order to experience its True Self and its intrinsic Oneness with God.

As it walks the path of Life, the Being will continually experience this conflict and continually encounter a crossroad that will soon become very familiar. It will be the crossroad of surrender and resentment. The Being will either surrender to what it is being told, or it will resent what it is being told.

Resentment is the third stopping point on the path to Contentment.

Resentment is a signal that the soul is beginning to take over from the mind; that what the soul knows that it knows is starting to be more important than what the mind thinks that it knows.

Resentment is not a negative emotion. It is a very positive sign of growth. Resentment is the beginning of rebellion, and rebellion is the beginning of wisdom. Every free country, and every free man, started with resentment. Wisdom lies on the other side of "no, thank you."

Resentment is wisdom birthing. This is always the case.

The Being that surrenders to what it is being told about the Outside World and "how it is" may remain at the Second Stopping Point on the Path to Contentment--requirement--forever. That Being will never be truly happy, because it never truly knows freedom, and freedom is the essence of what it is. And so, the Being will never truly know Itself--and that's what it came here to do. This, too, it intuitively knows, and so the Being will be very unhappy, utterly discontented.

It will try to make itself happy. It may even be able to convince itself that it should be happy, because after all, it is doing the right thing. It is working hard to meet the requirement that God has placed on all those who wish to return to Him. (The fact that these requirements are impossible to meet might also lead to the building up of a little resentment. But the person who has surrendered to the Cultural Story told to it by its Outside World will tamp down this resentment--or, typically, redirect this resentment and begin to resent others who are not accepting the Cultural Story. )

Thus, the internal conflict will be turned into an external conflict, with the Being rejecting conflict within itself in favor of conflict with those outside of itself. This is always much easier to handle and much easier to justify.

The world is now conflicted with itself for this very reason. For the planet's people as a whole are now moving through their own collective process of evolution. That is, the entire species called homo sapiens has now approached the crossroad. Species evolve at a much slower pace than its individual members. It takes multiple generations for a species to take even one step forward. Many individual members must take giant steps for the species as a whole to take a tiny step. That is why it is said, and it is true, that every individual's personal work is uplifting the whole of humanity.

Argument

Once the Being had reached the third stopping point of resentment, it has created a field of energy within which argument can take place. If resentment is the birthing of wisdom, argument is its early growth. Wisdom grows as argument begins.

The Being--emboldened by its resentment--begins to argue with the Cultural Story it has been told, and often with those doing the telling: parents, teachers, elders, ministers, rabbis, ulamas, and, during the very early stages of growth, nearly everyone and anyone in authority.

Arguing with authority is a Rite of Passage of the young, and nearly all Beings on the road to Contentment make this passage. Again, argument need not be a negative emotion or experience. Reasoned argument can open the door to higher awareness. Indeed, it nearly always does--for people on both sides of the debate.

Of course, with the individual human being the argument takes place within. Argument is, first, an internal process...a stepping stone to Contentment. One begins to argue with one's own Cultural Story. The soul begins to tussle with the mind. This is a gentle tussle, for the soul never struggles and never opposes, but always and only loves. And so, the soul seeks to love the mind into a Larger Understanding.

Internal argument with exterior truth is always a good sign, a wonderful indication of growth. It is only when argument takes place that choices can be made. The choices, of course, are the decisions one makes regarding which of the Being's internal conclusions it will embrace. Is the Cultural Story right, or is my Inner Knowing right?

We are talking here about the Cultural Story about everything. About God. About Life. About How Things Are. About Each Other. About everything.

Allow me to give you an example. We have a Cultural Story being told on this planet about physical beauty, and body type. Now somewhere inside of us we all know that this Cultural Story is just that--a story that someone has told and that people have bought into. Somewhere deep inside of us we understand perfectly well that this Cultural Story and How Things Are has nothing to do with ultimate reality. It is simply our created reality, and we can buy into it or not, as we choose.

Now we get into an internal argument about it.

"It's true!"

"It's not true."

"It's true!"

"It's not true."

"It's true!"

"It's not true."


"Okaaay, it's not true! But now what????"

Discernment

The final stopping point on the road to Contentment is discernment. This is when we stop arguing and finally discern, or know the difference between, what is True and what is Not True.

Of course, "truth" does not exist. There is no such thing as Objective Truth. A thing is only true if it is true for you. Subjective truth is the only truth there is. Discernment is the experience of residing in one's own truth--and remaining there, all exterior "evidence" to the contrary notwithstanding.

We know that F-E-A-R is False Evidence, Appearing Real." Fear will come up whenever anyone steps toward discernment. In the early stages of discernment, it is natural to doubt ourselves and to question our innermost knowing. This is the final stage of argument, a holdover from the previous internal experience. Ultimately, for the truly persistent, discernment wins out. We know that we know, and we know that we know it.

Discernment is the victory of the soul over the mind, of the interior over the exterior, of the inner truth over the outer reality, of the Only Story There Is over the Cultural Story we have been told.

Discernment is knowing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder--and that God beholds beauty in everything. Discernment is knowing the difference between the exterior myth and the interior experience. Exteriorly, we are told that God and we are separate, and that there is a requirement we have to meet in order to return to The Essence. Interiorly, we know intuitively that God and we are One, and that nothing is required for us to experience that. Nothing.

The experience is ours whenever we want it. The love of God is ours whenever we embrace it. The forgiveness of God is ours whenever we accept it--although it is totally not needed, for God cannot be damaged in any way. And the wisdom of God is ours whenever we claim it.

And here is the big secret: All of this can be ours whenever we share it.

It is the sharing of anything that gives us a true experience of it, and there is no other way.

With Love,



(A "P.S." To Weekly Bulletin readers...if you are not logging in regularly to CWGConnect, and if you find it beneficial to stay close to the CWG material, you may find it wonderful to remain deeply connected with the Conversations with God messages in this way. Just go to www.nealedonaldwalsch.com and click on CWGConnect. It's an incredible resource, offering something new from CWG every single day, seven days a week.)

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Letters to Neale:


Dear Mr. Walsch:

I cannot tell you how profound CwG, Book 1 is to me. I have been struggling with drug addiction on and off for about 27 years. This book gave me so much inspiration and hope helping me see why people use drugs (prescriptions in my case) in order to face the world, and find it so difficult to live life on its own terms. I'm almost 42 years old, and I just relapsed after being clean for over 60 days (which is a miracle in itself to me), and I need God's help so badly. I need His words of wisdom to give me strength. God makes choices sound so simple, which I'm sure they should be, but I sure could use some more inspiration and knowledge on that subject. I hope you can talk with Him about that in detail. I know there are a lot of people like me out here who would surely benefit from His wisdom.

Susan




Neale Responds

 

Dear Susan,

It's not clear from your letter whether you are a user of prescription drugs only, or of street drugs as well. You mention prescription drugs in your parenthetical description, but then you speak of having "relapsed after being clean for over 60 days." These are not the words normally used by a person who has merely found she has had to return to using medications after laying off them for a couple of months. They are words I have heard over and over again from people using street drugs. There is also the possibility that you are abusing prescription drugs, by using them addictively. And perhaps that is the case. In any event, your question and your call for help touches, as you say, a condition faced by hundreds of thousands of people. So let's look at it.

I believe, Susan, that people misuse drugs (prescription and otherwise) because they feel they have nowhere else to turn. They have become chemically dependent because they have not been able to find anywhere else what these chemicals bring them: a feeling of well being, or at least a sense of detachment and momentary release from the emotional and/or physical pains which they are experiencing in their lives.

Even those who have gravitated to so-called recreational drugs (while claiming they are doing so simply because they enjoy the feeling of "being high") are announcing that they have not found a way of achieving the feeling these drugs bring them by any other means. And so, of course, they return time and again to their drugs (or drinks, or sexual intoxification, or what have you). All addictive behavior is such an announcement. It is a declaration that says, "I have lost control of my life, and my ability to create in my life what I really choose."

There are two categories into which all human experience falls. That is, we experience ourselves in one of two ways in any given moment. We are either (1) original/creative, or (2) unoriginal/reactive. These are the two modes of self-expression by which we experience ourselves as Who We Really Are, and Who We now Choose to Be. In other words, these "expressions of self" are nothing more than ways we are choosing to be.

Now here's the important part. We don't "have to be" anything. We get to choose. We get to decide. There is nothing that we absolutely have to be in the face of any person, place or thing. We don't have to be angry, we don't have to be sad, we don't have to be happy, furious, or anything in particular. We are at choice in all of it.

Now our choice is nearly always based on how we are perceiving the data that we are receiving.

Based on our perceptions, we choose (quite arbitrarily, actually) a state of beingness into which we then move. It is the place in which, for that moment, we "live and breathe and have our being." When we "have" a state of being, we are what I call "be-having." That is, we are "having a state of beingness"--and calling it "us." It is a decision we make. It is our choice. And we are making this decision and this choice every minute of every day. When we play out such choices and decisions and turn them into action, social scientists say this is how we are "behaving." And they call this "behavior."

I have observed with regard to behavior that there are several types. Behavior can be (A) rare, (B) occasional, (C) regular, (D) habitual, (E) compulsive, or (F) addictive.

Now, getting back to our two categories of experience, we see with regard to category 2 (unoriginal/reactive) that all of the types of behavior I have just described (A through F above) may be observed in people at one time or another. With regard to category 1, however (original/creative), only the first three types (A-C) are observed. As soon as a behavior becomes habitual, compulsive or addictive it is no longer an expression of self which is original/creative, but rather, it has become unoriginal/reactive.

In the first category we exhibit a behavior that is originally created to suit the moment. That is, we greet the moment, and the data it is presenting to us, as if it was virtually brand new--never experienced in this way before. And we literally create, on the spot, an original way to deal with it; an original way to respond to it; an original way to "be." This does not mean that we will never "act" as we have "acted" before (we may, for instance, "act" continually nice; or always respond with patience; or consistently "be" kind, understanding and loving). And so, how we "show up" may be consistent with our long-term idea about ourselves. Thus our "behaviors" may appear very "regular" even though our self expressions are always "original."

In the second category we exhibit a behavior that is recreated to suit the moment. That is, we greet the moment, and the date it is presenting to us, as if it was the same as a moment we have experienced before. Then we literally recreate, on the spot, an unoriginal way to deal with it; an unoriginal way to respond to it; an unoriginal way to "be." In short, we react. We act as we did once before. Our behaviors become "habitual," then "compulsive," and finally "addictive" because our self expressions are always "unoriginal."

The words "creative" and "reactive" are the same, really. Only the letters have been moved around to have them mean different things. The same letters have been manipulated to produce a different result. This is true of the actions associated with those words as well. When we are creative and when we are reactive we are essentially being the same thing: observers of the events in our life. Only the emotions have been moved around to have those events mean different things. The same data have been manipulated to produce a different result.

Our human bodies are, when all is said and done, essentially nothing more than receivers of data. Through our bodily senses, we both receive and perceive these data. We try to make some sense out of it all--in every case forgetting completely that the data are not coming from somewhere else, but that we, ourselves, have produced them.

Most of us think of life as something that is happening to us, not because of us. We view people, places and events as exterior to ourselves, apart from ourselves. But in truth there is nothing that is exterior to ourselves, nothing that is apart from ourselves. There is no person, place or event which is not part of Who We Are. As long as we think that there is, we will always be able to imagine that somebody, or something, else is "doing it to us;" that there are exterior people, events and circumstances over which we have no control, but which have control over us. This is the illusion we entertain, and in which we live. This is the place of helplessness that creates our despair, and our despairing behaviors, of which drug abuse is obviously one.

Drug abuse is an addictive behavior (type F above). And since types D, E and F can only belong to expression category 2, we see that drug abuse is an unoriginal/reactive expression of self. Indeed, addictive behavior is behavior that is reactive in the extreme.

Reactive expression is expression which comes from the illusion that there is no choice in the matter. It is not the way we would choose to be, and not the behavior we would exhibit, if we thought we did have a choice about it. Yet we do not hold such a thought, and so we do not choose to have a new way of being, but continue be-having in old ways. We keep exhibiting old behaviors. In short, we act as we have acted before. We re-enact the moment exactly as we experienced it last time. When we do this uncontrollably, we move from habitual to compulsive to addictive behavior.

Why do people abuse drugs? Because they have forgotten so completely Who They Are that they think they have lost total control over their experience of themselves. They have moved from choice to no choice, and from authentic to non-authentic in the expression of themselves. That is, they are exhibiting behaviors--ways of being--that are not the truth about themselves.

I've taken time to make a point that you may think is rather obvious. But the number of people who do not see all this as obvious would surprise you. And, of course, the teachings here have to do with much more than just drug abuse. All habitual, compulsive and addictive behaviors are being discussed here, from nail biting to sexual compulsion to tobacco addiction to all manner of behaviors which tell a lie about us.

The cure for addiction of any kind is a spiritual one. In spite of the fact that we keep failing miserably, we keep trying to cure drug abuse with physical means, including physical force. (That is, in fact, how we in this country keep trying to cure everything.) One day we will understand that the cure is not physical, it is spiritual. That is something which many so-called 12 step programs have known for years, which is why they have such an astonishing success rate.

Yet even 12-step programs of many types sometimes begin in a place which I view as semantically false. Some of them begin with what feels to me like a semantic lie about you, and they ask you to repeat that lie as your means of finding the road to recovery. The lie they ask you to repeat and to own, the first statement they ask you to make, is that you are powerless in the face of your addiction, that you cannot solve the problem alone. In truth, that is the only way you are going to solve it.

Some of the programs that ask you to turn your life and your recovery process over to God begin, in my view, in the wrong place, and take you to the wrong place. They begin by allowing you to assume (and in some cases demanding that you admit) that you and God are separate. Yet it is precisely this illusion of separateness that makes you powerless to end your addictions. (Which is why, incidentally, many 12-step program graduates will never say that they are "healed," but, rather declare that they are "in recovery.")

Yes, use the power of God in your life to solve a problem that you are told you cannot solve without the power of God. On this, 12-steppers and I agree. But do not place the power of God outside of yourself. And be careful not to replace one kind of dependency (a dependency on drugs, for instance, or alcohol) with another kind of dependency (on a group, or a meeting). This is interdependence, rather than independence.

Now it may serve you to use a 12-step program as a first step toward independence, and if that is so, bless it for being there; honor it for where it can take you or where it may have brought you. Yet never choose to substitute the Band-Aid for the healing.

You ask, why do people use drugs (prescriptions in your case) in order to face the world, and find it so difficult to live life on its own terms? People do so because they do not understand their true nature, their true relationship to God, and their true reason for being. They do not understand life and what it's about, and know nothing of their higher nature, nor of their grander purpose. They are disconnected completely from the greater reality, and so live life on a very physical level. They see themselves as being at the effect of their lives, rather than at cause in the matter. And so they experience themselves as helpless and hopeless, at least without their dependencies, whatever they may be.

Now I want to say a word here to those people who are using prescription drugs properly, responsibly. Do not go off your drug therapy because you think that you have lost control of your life. You have not given up your power to these prescriptions if you are using them appropriately. You are empowered by them. Just make sure you know what you are taking, and why, and whether you actually need them. Yet do not dismiss them, or make them "wrong," out of some sudden idea that "enlightened people do not take drugs." What enlightened people do is create their lives so that they work. The miracle of today is that we have co-created it together. That includes the many true miracles of conventional medicine.

Yet there are many who are abusing drugs in every and any form, and there is a way to assist these people. Simply remember and restate the truth. Know the truth and the truth shall set you free. The truth is that you and God are one; that there is no separation between you; that you are a divine being, using this your present lifetime to choose and to declare, to announce and to be, to express and to fulfill Who You Really Are. You will draw to yourself every person, place or thing you need in order to fulfill that destiny. Therefore, condemn nothing, bless everything, and if you do not like your present experience, choose again.

You can alter your experience of any moment, and of yourself in that moment, without altering anything, which you see as exterior to yourself. Nothing outside of you has to shift or change. Only that which is within becomes new. And yet, when you hold a new inner idea about yourself, your old outer reality sooner or later begins to change. It is inevitable.

You want to end your own addiction, Susan? Create and hold a new idea about yourself. Understand more deeply and more completely Who You Are. Come to greater clarity about who you choose to be. Read Conversations with God Book 1 over and over again until you have internalized it, and actualized it.

And understand this, lest you imagine that you are alone. Most people have addictions. They simply do not recognize them as such. If one is addicted to drugs, or alcohol, or food, that addiction is now recognized by society as exactly what it is: an addiction. Yet if one is addicted to sex, one might simply be called flirtatious, or promiscuous, or seductive, or a "womanizer." And if one is addicted to approval, one may be called a "hard worker" or a "team player" (and, if the addiction has led to continual unhappiness, one may be called that newer thing: "dysfunctional"). If one is addicted to cigarettes or tobacco, one is simply said to have a "bad habit." And on and on it goes, with us labeling our behaviors every other thing save what they are: addictions.

The way to end our addictions is to move from category 2 to category 1 in our expressions of self. To shift from reactive to creative. To move from unoriginal to original in the way that we view and create each moment--and our selves in relationship to it. To live the grandest version of the greatest vision ever we had about ourselves. To create that vision if we have not already done so, and then to expand into it. This is what recreation is all about. The purpose of life is to recreate yourself anew in every moment of now, so to know your self ever more gloriously, and thus to glorify God.

I hope this has helped. I know this isn't going to change everything overnight (unless, of course, it does), but I hope it has helped. Not only helped you, Susan, but the thousands of others who have seen their lives taken over by behaviors over which they seem to have little or no control. See each moment as brand new. See each event as an opportunity to recreate and experience yourself in a new and larger way. Make a decision about who and what you are, and who you choose to be. Be clear about that. And stick to it, no matter what.

many blessings,

NOTE: If you would like to write a Letter to the Editor of this Bulletin, simply send an e-mail to Neale@NealeDonaldWalsch.com, with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line. Neale occasionally uses messages from other sources in this column.

 

From the Director's chair


I am exhausted. In a good way mind you. The last two weeks were spent going through a lifetime of memories while closing down my Family home. What a huge undertaking. What a gift. It was important to me to go through all of my parent’s things, to touch them, to be with them and to decide what must I keep and what I was ready to let go of. The process was for me about completion and saying goodbye to that part of my life, knowing that I will always have my memories. One of them will be the gratitude I feel for taking the time to go through this process. No regrets.

In the midst of it all, my Mom’s health took a sudden turn for the worse and she made a trip to the hospital. The good news is she is doing fine now but I thought I might have to fly home or worse that I might lose her before I could get there. I thought to myself, what are the chances that I go through all this work to get her close to me, so that I can be there for her when she needs me, only to then have something happen while I am gone! Was Murphy going to strike again?

This is what my mind offered me in the moment and I am quite certain that I could have run with that thought and built an entire painful story around it…here is what I did instead.

I chose again.

Having regular Conversations with God, I have picked up some pretty good tools along the way and I decided to use them. I’m remembered that I get to make up my response to events, so I simply chose again. I considered what thoughts, words, and actions I could choose that would benefit me and produce a positive outcome. Taking a deep breath to be in the moment I began to look within for the wisdom that, when allowed, flows through us all. The question that came: what is really important right now? The answer: Love, expression and connection.

So the first thing I did was speak to my Mom on the phone and I expressed everything I was feeling. I shared with her how much I love her and that everything was going to be okay. Because the truth was, and always is, everything is okay. Better than okay. Everything happens perfectly. Whether or not I am okay with what is happening is another matter. Yet because it does matter, I chose to be okay with me not being there. I could accept what was happening and be free or go down an even more painful path. It made no sense to me to argue with the reality of what was happening, but it did make a whole lot of sense to express all of my love for her. That is what really mattered. And peace followed, which is a sign of living ones truth. Peace, truth and love. Yes, these are the choices that really matter.

And so she is home again and so am I, and as always, I am grateful to you for your love and support. I am back in the office this coming week to catch up, so feel free to reach out. I always love hearing from you. And as always, I appreciate your supporting the Conversations with God Foundation!

I also wish to thank each of you who responded to my article last week and made a donation to the Foundation. It all helps and I appreciate you all so very much.

In Gratitude,

JR

(J.R. Westen, D.D., C.Ad, is a Holistic Health & Spiritual Counselor who has worked and presented side-by-side with Neale Donald Walsch for over a decade. He is passionate about helping individuals move beyond their emotional and spiritual challenges, transforming breakdowns into breakthroughs. His counseling and coaching provides practical wisdom and guidance that can be immediately incorporated to shift one’s experience of life. As is true for most impactful teachers, J.R.’s own struggles and triumphs inspired him to find powerful ways of helping others. Sober since June 1, 1986, J.R.’s passion for helping individuals move through intense life challenges drove him to also specialize in Addiction and Grief Recovery. J.R. currently shares his gift of counseling & coaching with individuals from around the world. In addition, he operates “Change House” a place where people come to transform. He also works with Escondido Sobering Services and now serves as the Executive Director for the Conversations with God Foundation. He can be contacted at JR@CWG.ORG.)

 

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