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