Spiritual evolution occurs as the result of removing obstacles and not actually acquiring anything new. Devotion enables surrender of the mind’s vanities and cherished illusions so that it progressively becomes more free and more open to the light of Truth.
Illumination refers to those spiritual states where sufficient barriers have been dropped, either deliberately or unconsciously, so that a greater context suddenly presents itself, and in so doing, illuminates, clarifies, and reveals an expanded field of consciousness actually experienced as inner light. This is the light of awareness, the radiance of the Self that emanates as a profound lovingness.
One’s commitment should be to God and Truth only. Teachers are to be respected, but devotion should be restricted to only the Truth. As Buddha said, “Put no head above your own,” meaning that one’s only true guru is the Self (the Buddha nature).
The Self of the teacher and one’s own Self are one and the same. The teacher becomes a source of inspiration and information. It is the inspiration that supports the quest.
Does spiritual commitment mean one has to give up the world? No, of course not. It means merely that worldly life needs to be recontextualized, restructured, and envisioned differently. It is not the world that is a trap but one’s attachment to it, along with one’s observations that cloud the search for Truth.
All of a sudden, a state more astonishing than any I had gotten used to over the years – being in that Presence – now became even more. It was like the splendors of Heaven showed that there were more, higher, advanced levels of Heaven. The revelation of spiritual truth was now spontaneous and occurring; and in that instant, that was when the ego really died. … That was the agony of letting go of ever being “me” again, letting go forever. It was the foreverness. I knew at this point one would never be an individual ‘I’ again.”
– Dr. David R. Hawkins, Dialogues on Consciousness and Spirituality, p. 41
Spiritual progress is energized by intention that reinforces dedication and commitment as well as alignment with spiritual principles and practices. This results in dedication and willingness to focus effort, determination, and patience that require overall good-will towards oneself and the process of spiritual endeavor. The above could be subsumed as a devotional attitude towards oneself that transcends any specific linear definition. Goals automatically prioritize value and meaning, which thereby tend to provide the necessary energy for spiritual effort.
Q: If there is no ‘objective’ right or wrong, then what guides behavior?
A: One’s awareness of Reality recontextualizes all meaning and significance as well as any appearances. There are no gains to be desired, no wrongs to avenge, no winners or losers, no causes to sacrifice for. The guide to all action becomes an unconditional lovingness, kindness, and compassion. All choices have consequences, and there is actually no injustice anywhere to be seen when one’s vision is unlimited by time, space, and perception.
Q: What prayers are useful?
A: Ask to be the servant of the Lord, a vehicle of Divine Love, a channel of God’s Will. Ask for direction and divine assistance and surrender all personal will through devotion. Dedicate one’s life to the service of God. Choose love and peace above all other options. Commit to the goal of unconditional love and compassion for all life in all its expressions and surrender all judgment to God.
Although the personal self likes to think that the thoughts going through the mind are ‘my thoughts’, they are actually only ‘the thoughts’ that prevail at a given level of consciousness. It’s like different depths in the sea attract different types of fish. Thus, if one’s calibrated level of consciousness is primarily in the field of pride, then the field itself impersonally attracts similar supportive thoughts that are quite different from the ones that prevail with an overall attitude of neutrality or acceptance.
Spiritual intention subserves, reinforces, and focuses on witnessing and observing rather than on doingness or specifics. Spiritual processing is like positioning oneself in the wind or in a water current.
Spiritual motivation, intention, and alignment could be likened to changing the magnetic or gravitational field of influence by which context is shifted, revealing a different understanding. For example, a presumed loss becomes recontextualized as a hidden gain (greater freedom, opening of opportunities and choices, etc.). By comparison, from the level of Pride, the options are few and limited, but from Willingness, Surrender, and Acceptance, the options are multitudinous.
The Spiritual Will is not like the ego’s understanding of will as ‘willpower’, which means emotional force with clenched teeth of exertion and increased emotionality. The ego-driven will takes energy and is taxing. It could actually be understood as a form of aggression. In contrast, invoking the Spiritual Will is like opening floodgates and then standing back. The ego/will contextualizes events in terms of cause and effect in which the personal self-will claims credit or blame because it sees itself as a causal agent. In contrast, the Spiritual Will is not personal but is a quality of consciousness that changes context by surrender to an invitation to the power of the Self. The Spiritual Will calibrates at 850, and the personal will calibrates at only the person’s current level of consciousness.
The Spiritual Will, invited by complete surrender, is thus capable of performing the seeming ‘miraculous’, whereas the personal will, paradoxically, often automatically triggers resistances, as anyone knows who has tried personal ‘willpower’ to overcome even minor habits.
Surrender of the personal will to the Will (Wisdom) of God (or Providence, Higher Power) signifies relinquishment of control. One can expect the ego to resist doing so, and it invents excuses, counterarguments, and multiple fears in order to maintain illusory control. The ego’s positions are reinforced by pride as well as desire for specific results. Thus, to the ego, to step back and invite the intervention of Divinity seems like a loss, whereas, to the Spirit, it is definitely a win.
Another limitation of the personal will is that it has no knowledge of karmic propensities or propitious timing, nor does it have the wisdom (omnipotence) to comprehend beneficial sequence. The Self orchestrates with an inner knowingness of capacity. For instance, to try to face a certain conflict prematurely may be unsuccessful, whereas it would have been successful after a few other layers of the conflict had been resolved.
Choosing the Positive
One surprising effect of the willingness to let go of our inner negativity is the discovery that the polar opposite of the negative feelings exists. There is an inner reality that we can term our “inner greatness” or “Higher Self.” It has much more power than the inner negativity. In return for letting go of the payoffs that we were getting from the negative position, we are now surprised by the positive payoffs that stem from the power of our positive feelings. For example, when we let go of blame, we experience forgiveness.
Our Higher Self, which we might say is the composite of our higher feelings, has almost unlimited capabilities. It can create employment opportunities. It can create situations for the healing of relationships. It has the power to create the opportunity for loving relationships, financial opportunities, and physical healing. As we stop giving authority and energy to all of the negative programs that stem from our own thinking, we stop giving away our power to others and begin to own it back again. This results in a rise of self-esteem, the return of creativity, and the opening of a positive vision of the future that replaces fearfulness.
Serious inner spiritual work may sound tedious and demanding (to the ego), but it is exciting to the spirit, which is eager to return home. Consciousness innately seeks its source. In so doing, it encounters obstacles from which it may periodically retreat, and this may result in periods of reflection and reorientation. Periods of resistance or even dismay are normal and to be expected. Their resolution is often the consequence of recontextualization.
Although the personal will and motivation, plus the mind and intellect, are strong tools, in and of themselves they do not have the strength to disassemble the ego because they are part and parcel of it. However, once a seeker becomes devoted, the strength of the spiritual Will via the Presence of the Self supplies the necessary power.
Spiritual evolution is a lifetime commitment and a way of life by which the world and all experience subserves spiritual intention. There is no greater calling than to choose to be a servant of God. With spiritual progress, each increment is of equal importance for, analogously, it is only by the removal of a single brick that an entire wall collapses, and the seemingly impossible becomes possible.
From: “Reality, Spirituality, and Modern Man” (2008), Chapter 19: Practicum, p. 350
The steps out of failure, unhappiness, frustration, lack, want, anger, and depression are deceptively simple. Life is a voyage comparable to being out at sea in which a shift of one degree on the ship’s compass will determine by the end of the trip whether or not one is hundreds of miles off course. The strongest tool, which already exists within, is the spiritual will itself, which, when firmly set, will face and take on any obstacle. It is this spiritual will that determines the success of the venture. From subjective experience, as well as many years of clinical practice, spiritual education, and research, it is confirmed that the spiritual will is the primordial rudder that determines not only this lifetime but also the course of one’s consciousness over great expanses of time, classically termed karma (cal. 1,000).
From all of us here at Veritas Publishing to all of you:
Wishing you a most wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!
In the energy field of love, we are surrounded with love, and that brings gratitude. We are thankful for our life and for all the miracles of life. We are thankful for the doggies and the kitties, because they represent love. We are grateful for every act of kindness from others, their affection, caringness, and thoughtfulness.
…In the state of love, we wake up every morning and give thanks for another day of life, and we seek to make life better for everyone around us. Because of the presence of love, things go better; the eggs get fried better; the ducky gets saved; the kitty gets fed; and the doggie is adopted from the pound and brought home. We share our love with everything around us, all forms of life: kitties, doggies, other people, all living things.
This beautiful story moves me to tears every time I hear it.
Q: Why is the ego so difficult to overcome?
A: One becomes addicted to the ego and preoccupied with its contents. It attracts all of one’s attention so that one becomes obsessed with the mind and its feelings. If the person believes that the mind and its contents are the real ‘me’, then the focus is certainly understandable. Basically, this error is due to naiveté. The mind is an amusement park, full of thrills and spills and curiosities. It is also a theater of the absurd for the drama of feelings and social identifications. It is an ‘act’ in that it is a personal characterization, dramatization, and display.
Susan: Today we’re going to speak on what is meant by spiritual.
Dr. Hawkins: Oh my, that’s a tough one. Religion is easy. Spiritual is the essence of religion. Spiritual means the realization that one’s reality is beyond the physical, that it involves other realms. These other realms are different qualities, nonphysicality, nonlocality. To feel the presence of God is so overwhelming, but there’s no way of explaining it. If a person has never had the experience of the presence of divinity, it’s very hard to explain to them. But you can attempt that a great feeling of beatitude and beauty and you’re aware that there is an infinite presence.
The infinite presence becomes overwhelming and dominates all that exists. And then as one’s talking at you, you realize that that same spirit is what is speaking through you, what is speaking through me right now, is of divine origin. The spiritual energy of the Ultimate Reality segments down, you might say, to the time, the place and the individual. But it’s ruled by intention. Intention is to rise to the highest possible level of awareness for the purpose of communication and because that level has a certain energy. So what I’m saying right now is comprehensible to many people who calibrate above a certain level and incomprehensible to people who calibrate below that level.
Q: Is the ego ‘wrong’?
A: The problem with the ego is not that it is wrong; it is just that it is limited and distorted. To conceive of the ego as an enemy is to become polarized, bringing forth conflict, guilt, anger, and shame. Positionalities support the ego. By enlarging context, opposites are transcended and problems are dissolved. Humility removes the ego’s underpinnings of judgmentalism, positionality, and moralizing. In Reality, there can no longer be opposites any more than there can be winners or losers.
The Eye of the I, ch. 12, pg. 244
I thought that this exchange between Dave and I was a good example of the difference between forgiveness and actually surrendering your perception of the event or person.
Susan: When you say to pray to the Holy Spirit for a miracle to see the truth about a situation or a person, are we to forgive that person if there was a conflict or just accept them for what it is?
Dr. Hawkins: No, because you’re still seeing them the same way or you wouldn’t be forgiving them. Through “The Course in Miracles” for instance, the miraculous occurs, but not as the consequence of how you’re seeing it, because you may still see it the same way and yet it happens. So when I ask for a miracle, I’m surrendering my perception of how I see it and then it’s transformed. And when it’s transformed, I see that it still is loveable, yeah. I see that somebody I’m angry at cannot help but be that way. So now instead of hating them or being angry, I feel sorry for them and I say it’s too bad that they can’t see it the way I’m seeing it. Because I know their life is painful the way they are seeing the world and when they see it my way, the world stops being painful. Yes, uh, huh.
We fear that the inner voyage of discovery will lead us to some dreadful, awful truth. In its programming of our minds, this is one of the barriers that the world has set up to prevent us from finding out the real truth. There is one thing the world does not want us to find out and that is the truth about ourselves. Why? Because then we will become free. We can no longer be controlled, manipulated, exploited, drained, enslaved, imprisoned, vilified, or disempowered. Therefore, the inner voyage of discovery is cloaked over with an aura of mystery and foreboding.
What is the real truth about this voyage? The real truth is that, as we go within and discards one illusion after another, one falsehood after another, one negative program after another, it gets lighter and lighter. The awareness of the presence of love becomes stronger and stronger. We will feel lighter and lighter. Life becomes progressively more effortless.
I thought this conversation between Dave and I was fitting on this Halloween.
Susan: How would you say is the best way to teach children about spirituality?
Dr. Hawkins: Well, I think teaching the value of love. I think the reverence in which we hold spiritual figures, Jesus Christ and the Saints and how all of society holds God. So I believe in teaching children from very early on about God and Jesus Christ and saints and good persons and the value of going to church and how we love the clergy, we love the priests and we love the nuns. We love them all those who help the church. The reverence in which society holds the spiritual domain. The reverence in which the integrous members of society hold it.
Other people, it’s their enemy. Holiness and spirituality and that which is Divinity is the enemy of people that are anti-God. There’s a lot of people that hate God and hate Divinity and hate spirituality and they exist in every religion. They hate Muslims, they hate Christians. So a good deal of hatred gets mixed into their religious sectarianism. So it’s very paradoxical, you know. Hate people who picture God in a different style than you than what you do so, you hate them. It’s tragicomic, tragic comical.
Susan: What is the spiritual significance of a couple choosing not to have children?
Dr. Hawkins: It’s not necessary. They might do it for spiritual reasons if they thought that having the children was going to interfere the spiritual design of their life. But that would be a selection that everybody makes, whether to get married or not in the first place and then whether to have children or not and the part that spirituality plays in that.
Nuns and priests don’t have children, you know. Well, priests do, in the Episcopal church, you know. Well, Catholic priests don’t. So in some churches you can’t have a family and other churches like Episcopal, you can have a family. So, it’s how it’s pictured. It can be pictured as a positive contributor to one’s spiritual dimension or could be pictured as retarding it. I think it’s how you hold it in your mind. I don’t think it is intrinsically is one way or the other.
It is necessary to develop respect for spiritual endeavor. Straight and narrow is the path; waste no time or effort. Precision is discipline that is innate to serious commitment. Some students may yet be in a period of exploration, but once one gets the “fire in the belly,” the urge to reach God becomes a relentless drive – or even, in the eyes of the world, a “madness.” From that point on, there is no patience for amusement or diversion. It depends on decision, will, the level of consciousness, and karmic propensities. As it gets more intense, the love for and of God allows no delay. Dissolving the Ego, Realizing the Self ch. 7, pg. 120.
This is a great little story that Dave shared at this lecture:
“I was happy being poor. I have been poor, I have been rich and frankly there is no difference between the two. You get up that day and you are happy or you are not happy. When I first came to the West, I slept on a cot I got at the Dime Store. We had an apple to celebrate any special occasions. I tested the teachings of A Course in Miracles. I left the house with no money, no food, and everything was provided for me. By 11:00 AM someone would say, ‘What are you doing for lunch? Come along with me.’ Everything I needed just appeared. I drove the old truck to Sedona; just as I needed a pair of pliers to fix the truck, on the side of the road was a brand new, never used pair. I fixed what I needed and went on. Everything went that way. It is true you do not need anything at all except faith.”
Q: If practically everything in one’s life depends on the evolution of the level of one’s consciousness, it would seem that, aside from mere survival needs, developing that level of consciousness would eclipse all other endeavors in importance.
A: That would seem to be so, but that has to be integrated into the overall context of one’s life. Endeavors and activities can remain the same but need to be recontextualized and repositioned within a spiritual framework. To spiritualize one’s life, it is necessary only to shift one’s motive. To constantly be aware of one’s actual motive tends to bring up positionality and the pairs of opposites, such as gain versus service or love versus greed. These then become visible and are available for spiritual work because one is now conscious of them.
…In spiritual work, there is no tangible worldly gain to be acquired, but there is instead an inner reward of pleasure, satisfaction, delight, and even joy. Goals replace gains as motives.
I thought all you folks would enjoy this great technique from one of Dave’s lectures on how to eliminate fears:
“In surrendering a stack of fears, you can use the technique of “And then what?” You take a fear and say “And then what?”:
I lost my car. And then what?
I won’t have transportation. And then what?
I will lose my job. And then what?
I will have to walk to work. And then what?
There aren’t any jobs like that and I won’t have any money. And then what?
Then I’ll be poor. And then what?
Then I will starve to death.
So at the bottom of every stack of fears is the fear of death, physical death. So once you’ve accepted physical death, then, most of the fears that we have which are focused on the body and loss of possessions and things disappear. You do that by acceptance.”
Choosing the Positive
We can ask ourselves: “When was I ever trained in the techniques of emotional self-healing? When I went to school, did they teach me courses on consciousness? Did anybody ever tell me that I had the freedom to choose what went into my mind? Was I ever taught that I could refuse all of the negative programming? Did anybody ever tell me the laws of consciousness? If not, why beat ourselves up about having innocently believed certain things? Why not stop beating ourselves up right now?
We all did what we thought was best in the moment. “It seemed like a good idea at the time” is what we can say about our past actions and those of others. We’ve all been unwittingly programmed without our conscious assent. Out of our confusion, ignorance, and naiveté, we bought into the negative programs. We let them run us. But now we can choose to stop. We can choose a different direction. We can choose to become more aware, more conscious, more responsible, and more discerning.
from Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, ch. 4, pg. 66-67
Guilt is an attempt to purchase salvation, manipulate God, and purchase forgiveness by suffering. These attitudes stem from the misinterpretation of God as a great punisher. We think we will assuage His righteous wrath by our pain, suffering, and penance. There is actually only one appropriate ‘penance’ for wrongdoing, and that is change. Instead of condemning the negative, we choose the positive.
To make progress and to change takes more effort than feeling guilty, but, it is a more appropriate response. We note from the Scale of Consciousness that Guilt is way down at the bottom, whereas God is way up at the top. Consequently, wallowing around in guilt at the bottom of the field of consciousness does not get us to the top.
Humility means that we see our own life as the evolution of spiritual consciousness. We learn from mistakes. Maybe the most useful of all quotes to revise whatever the past behavior is, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time’. Later, of course, in retrospect, it becomes recontextualized and seems to be in error. However, if other people are intrinsically innocent because of the nature of consciousness, then so is the self of the spiritual seeker. The Eye of the I, ch. 9, pg. 193-194.
Dave was so right on with this passage and his humor came out with every lesson he taught, allowing us to laugh at ourselves in the smallest detail.
Susan: I don’t know, I look at people and I see that so many of them, their wants are so large. Their wants are more than what their earnings are. “I have to have that car and I’ll be happy”. “I have to have this house and then I’ll be happy” and then “I have to have this pool for the house and then I’ll be happy”, but then when they get all that, it’s always another thing that they’re not happy with.
Dr. Hawkins: Yes, that’s the error of seeing happiness as something outside of yourself, something to be gained. The value of things is purely a projection, each and every thing of its own, you know. If you were starving to death in the middle of the desert, the Hope Diamond wouldn’t do you much good. So it’s desirability, then, and it’s called glamour or the energy of glamour is projected onto things. We think the attractiveness is out there. There’s no attractiveness out there. All attractiveness is in here. It’s because you desire that, want it and value it that it looks desirable and attractive to you. Pickled beets look very good to you, if you like pickled beets and if you don’t they aren’t attractive, you know.
So that’s the projection of value onto the external world and that of course is the basis of materialism and the whole economy is based on wanting this and wanting that and wanting something else and to instill such wants if you don’t want something then you’ll get programmed to wanting it. Better burial benefits! They’re out to sell you something. Prepaid funerals, I mean they are right down to the very last thing. Better coffins, you know what I mean. So, there’s no end to programming people to wantingness. So wantingness is the backbone of our economy, the backbone of our economy is wantingness. And when people stop wanting things, it all comes to a halt. But when you let go wanting the physical, then you want the emotional and you want the spiritual. What you’re looking for the world cannot provide. What you’re looking for is the return of love. A glance of love is all that you really wanted that entire day.
—from the “What is the World?” Feb 2009 lecture
I thought everyone would enjoy this passage from one of Doc’s books:
Lovingness is a way of relating to the world. It is a generosity of attitude that expresses itself in seemingly small but powerful ways. It is a wish to bring happiness to others, to brighten their day and lighten their load. To merely be friendly and complimentary to everyone one meets in the course of a day is revealing. That this is not a commonplace attitude is revealed by people’s responses when they encounter it. Often, they respond with surprise or even a pleased state of shock. “Nobody ever compliments what I do; they only complain,” is a remark that will be heard. Most people, because they are focused on their own wants and critical attitudes, apparently do not even see the positive aspects of life and cannot respond to them. They take others’ service for granted with the explanation, “Well, they’re getting paid for it, aren’t they?” (Which is really beside the point.)
Major segments of society operate on the level of lovelessness. Giant corporations and government agencies can only be described as dourly functioning. Gratitude does not appear nor is it even considered to be socially appropriate. Love is belittled as ‘touchy-feely’. Love is therefore socially restricted to romance, mothers and their children, or one’s dog. Expressed elsewhere, it becomes an embarrassment. There are a few masculine areas where love is okay, such as for family, sports, one’s country, or a car.
The large area of life that is socially acceptable and open to everyone is that which is called ‘caring’. To ‘care for’ is a wide open avenue for the expression and expansion of love. People say they can’t find love as though it were something to be gotten. Once one becomes willing to give love, the discovery quickly follows that one is surrounded by love and merely didn’t know how to access it. Love is actually present everywhere and its presence only needs to be realized.
From: “The Eye of the I: From Which Nothing is Hidden” (2002), Chapter 15: Clarifications, pp. 226–227
It has come to my attention that some students of Dr. Hawkins are advertising their Airbnb or other rentals as special locations near where he lived, places where he personally visited, or that the house is aligned with Dr. Hawkins in some special way. This kind of promotionalism implies that the rental space offers a special spiritual benefit to you. Beware of such profit-seeking. Remember Dr. Hawkins’ guidance to avoid using spiritual teachings for personal gain, and his assurance that the energy of the teacher is present and available to all who call upon it with a sincere heart.
Beautiful guidance to practice daily that I wanted to share with you all:
“So you identify with that silence and just maintain awareness. You can go about your daily life and do everything that you need to do and at all times still be aware of the presence of the silence. So that gives you a centering. A centering kind of prayerfulness is you’re always aware of the silence, which is the infinite context, the reality of the Presence of God is an Infinite Silence.”
– Dr. David R. Hawkins
All Dr. Hawkins’ products on dvd, cd, and in book format are copyrighted materials. Though we understand your excitement in wanting to share Dr. Hawkins’ work with others, please do not duplicate, copy, or share digitally. This goes against copyright laws. In addition, when you purchase your products from Veritas Publishing, it allows us to keep Doc’s legacy alive by enabling us to offer his work throughout the world and supports us in continuing our yearly event.
It is of considerable importance to appreciate that it is consciousness itself which is the source of life, and that innate to that consciousness are the qualities of creative growth and evolution which appear to seek a return to its Source. Although consciousness evolves from the ‘bottom up’ in evolution, it was sourced from ‘above to below’. An analogy is sunlight that pours energy onto the Earth upon which life progresses upward from the simplest to the most complex, and finally, through man who, through enlightenment, again returns to the Source of Life itself.”
– Dr. David R. Hawkins, I : Reality and Subjectivity, p. 546
I want everyone to remember what Dr. Hawkins said in this January 2002 lecture that I found in the Book of Slides and to not get caught up in “numbers”, but to realize that all that matters is that you are on the path:
“One level of consciousness is not better than another. Each level is suitable for that which it is. Somebody at 700 is not suitable as a carpenter, is not suitable to run a church, and is not suitable as a president. You do not want anybody at 700, as most of them cannot function at all. They just sit in their ashram and if they still survive, people come and say ‘hello’ to them and they smile happily at them and that is that. The 200s and the 300s, who are the builders of the world, the construction workers, the steel workers, the people who go to work every day, they are the backbone of our society. The 400s is the world of the intellect and reason that dominates America. 500 is rare, with 540 being extremely rare and upwards from 540 there’s practically nobody really.”
“I want you to live in such a way that your life is a prayer. I want you to live your life in such a way that you have no anxiety at all about meeting God. Are you willing to be answerable for who you are and what you’ve done with what you are? What more can you ask? What more can you ask, that I live in such a way that frankly I am not scared of talking to God. I have done everything I can in every direction here. I have pushed myself to the limit to be the fulfillment of my potential. That relieves me of all guilt because now I can make a mistake. Yes, I make a mistake, but in the overall context, you see, I have sanctified that mistake by overall intention.
So, by intention then our life becomes a devotion. We become the prayer. By virtue of that we invoke divinity and then through the heart, through the heart, through the devotion, through the alignment with divinity, we empower all mankind. So we say, Gloria in Excelsis Deo! Glory to God in the Highest! And what more could be said?” from the preface of “Book of Slides” and Dr. Hawkins’ 2005 Lecture, “Transcending Barriers”