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.”
from “Serenity” August 2005 lecture and “Book of Slides” pg.125
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.
from I: Reality and Subjectivity, Ch. 5, pg. 155-156
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.”
from “Serenity”, August 2005 lecture, disc 2 and “Book of Slides”
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.