I resonated with ‘Letters from 500’ after my initial read of the manuscript in 2009. It was something I believed in my heart, and after reading the manuscript it reassured me. Upon reading Chapter 12 – “Three Suggestions,” it was clear that this was the perfect guide to carry with me, through my life. It’s a simple guide. You can keep it in your pocket without any clutter and pull it out when times seem disturbing. I’ve brought these ‘Suggestions’ back to life here as we begin this New Year in somewhat uncertain times. The ‘Great Storm’ is not apocalyptic, it’s transformative. Let’s not make it hard for ourselves, let’s move into this transformation with the grace of awakened beings.
There are three suggestions I’d like to offer. You need not take them as gospel truth, but they exemplify vigilan attitudes toward life. They can help for humans as well. Many of you may already practice what I will say in some form or another. First, simply notice; next, do not increase resistance; and lastly, act in accordance with your own authenticity.
1) I’ve already extolled the virtues of noticing, as the single-most powerful step you can take into consciousness. This is because it is so humble and unassuming an action, so quiet and discreet. Yet it can go anywhere you go; it can reveal anything. It can show you great universal truths. It can connect you to the presence in yourself. It seems so inconsequential to the mind. The mind dismisses noticing as a simplistic diversion, certainly not anything that could make much difference in the advancement of consciousness.
Notice what the mind would dismiss. It will tell you about everything the mind is not. Some of those things are very valuable, such as consciousness itself. The mind would have you believe that it is consciousness. It will say, you need look no further, I think therefore I am. But who is this I? It is the total you, the greater part of your awareness. It is the I that is directing the thinking, the living, and the evolving. Notice this, and the world will open up to you.
As you find yourself thinking, stop once in awhile and notice. Notice that you are thinking. Then look at the space you are in. Are you indoors, outdoors? What is your body feeling? What is happening to the thoughts you were absorbed in? What new thoughts are coming up? What do they feel like? Do you recognize your own ego in any of this? Do you actually want to be thinking these thoughts, or would you prefer to be thinking something else? Exercise a choice here, any choice.
You may choose to continue with the thoughts, or to let thought drop away. Awareness gives you that choice. Where is this awareness? What does it look like? Is it inside you or outside you? Is it clear or misty, or nothing at all? If these questions generate new thoughts in your mind, just notice. Notice also the space between any of these choices. How deep is it? How large? What else is in this space? Go exploring. As you go, notice what you find.
“That sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try.”
2) Now let’s talk a bit about not resisting. Whenever you resist or feel uncomfortable about what exists in the moment, you are adding resistance to the quality of your experience.
“What do mean? If we didn’t resist bad experiences, we would never make any improvements in our lives. I think resistance can be a good thing sometimes.”
Resistance, directed at the moment, is always unhealthy. It poisons your psychic environment. Resistance does not produce change; action does. If you decide to improve your situation, that is commendable. Act on it. Resisting that situation, however, undermines any improvement you seek to perform. It disempowers you.
“I think that’s a matter of semantics. Resistance is change.”
But it is not. Look more closely. Resistance is an attempt to keep something from existing, whether it is an action, idea or emotion. In an electric circuit, resistance slows the flow. Your word ‘resistance’ comes from Latin, sistere, meaning ‘to stop’.
When you inject resistance into a situation, you are negating it. You are refusing to participate with what is. Do this often enough, and you build one negation after another into your life experience. This is called negativity. It makes you miserable. It is unhealthy and harmful to you as a conscious creator in the world. What’s more, your creations become unhealthy and harmful. Then your resistance is magnified all around you. It is no wonder humans have such a mess on their hands!
Resist not lest ye be resisted. ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged.’ I am not talking here about non-resistance, which is fine in its place. That is pure passivity. I speak of actively not resisting. Do not put your energy unconsciously into action to deny what is. Use that dynamic energy consciously to enhance your own creative presence.
If you are washing dishes and you would rather be walking in the park, you may feel resistance to the washing. You may try to rush through it, or fantasize already being somewhere else. You may feel anger at having to do such a menial task. Whatever it is, you want to escape where you are at the moment, to stop this moment from existing! The problem is, there isn’t any other moment! There is only one moment, the one you’re in—the one you are! To negate this moment is to negate Life itself, all that unfolds from within it.
As another exercise, notice some situation in your life, in which you feel resistance, great or small. Imagine that feeling to be a fluid. What do you choose to do with that fluid? Do you pour it on? Do you hold onto it or repress it? Whatever you do, notice the motivation behind your feeling. Is it anxiety? Is it your inner judge? Is it your ego telling you this moment isn’t good enough? If you are pouring resistance into the mix, feel what it’s like when you deliberately pour in a little more resistance. Then feel what happens when you intentionally ease off on the resistance. Just feel it, and notice.
Realize that you have a choice to use this fluid of resistance or not. That fluid is your own emotional energy. This energy can be sent out into a situation or it can be recycled back into the system of your being. Also, it is easier to deal with resistance before you apply it than after it has gained a foothold. If you choose not to send it out, remarkably you will feel less burdened and less resistant.
Feeling resistance, either around you or within you, is the clue to recognizing that ego is controlling your perception. Resistance may be thrust upon you in powerful and threatening ways, or it may be subtly disguised within your thoughts and emotions. The outer forms that come are more easily recognized. However, resistance may also come in quiet feelings. It may be a plain lack of inspiration, or perhaps a stranger who speaks irritably to you; or it may slip in when you look askance at another person.
Notice that underneath this feeling is always a reference to yourself, as the standard for correctness. That reference is guided by a defensive posture. Notice, at these times, the feeling you have inside. Great or small, this is resistance to what is. Always look at your own resistance if you wish to awaken. Ego wants to continue to exist. Therefore, it will resist your awakening in every way it can.
“What about the other side of ego, the pushy, over-confident type? Is this connected to resistance too?”
Yes. That’s intuitive of you. When an ego assumes arrogance, it is looking for a strength it feels is missing. Ego always feels it is losing or missing its identity. It continually tries to re-create its own existence by identifying with things. It craves form and fears formlessness. It wants to deny the formless reality. Denial is resistance. The arrogant ego wants to deny the soul itself.
“I feel resistance in myself sometimes from a basic lack of trust in this world. Sometimes I’m just plain lost, like there’s something going on, but I haven’t the faintest idea what it really is! This is different from my common worries. It feels like some kind of root, existential fear. Is it my ego clinging to form, denying the formless?”
Yes. The ego is actually correct here. You are lost, my friend. Accept it. It is the state of being in a homo sapiens body-mind. I don’t mean this to sound glib or hopeless. Rather take heart from recognizing the reality of your species. This is ego feeling the truth about its lack of power. It cannot be avoided. Feel it directly and fully whenever you encounter this.
Take it as a high opportunity and gift. Feel it all the way through. Do not let it dominate your awareness. As you notice fear, regard it as a doorway. Accept it as a portal into the Now. Then walk on through. This is your true salvation from fear. In this Now, all energies and powers arise.
You do not have to find your way out of being lost. Finding is a function of thinking; it cannot get you out. At best, thinking provides only a distraction. It puts wallpaper on a crumbling wall. Let the walls all fall. Let the consciousness rise up. Rather than finding your way, allow your way to find you. Be ready and alert when it arrives in your presence. That means practice your presence. To fully acknowledge your feelings is to open the door to acceptance and empowerment. This is destiny in action. When destiny comes clear to you, I guarantee, you will no longer feel the slightest bit lost.
“Can we use techniques like this to become more like you?”
You guessed it. These are steps into the transmutation of your genetic structure. While you cannot make it happen through mental or physical action, as I have said, you can get ready. For each and every one of you it surely will happen when your time comes.
“How can time come, if there is no time?”
Time is a form, part of the flowing stillness. It is a manifestation of our lives in this world. As we create forms of any kind, time is generated. All forms change continuously, but the Now never changes. It is always the space where action happens, the space into which forms come and go. Time is a way of measuring the change of forms within this space. If you do not look through the forms, you will come to identify with them and make yourself like them—always changing, always restless. Awakening is about disentangling from form, and finding peace.
3) The third suggestion I’d like to make has to do with your presence and authenticity. Being in the moment, without resistance, noticing all you can, you come eventually to a still, small voice within. This voice whispers very softly. Typically, it makes no sound whatsoever. But don’t deceive yourself; it is speaking to you at all times. It is telling you who you are, both in the world and out of it. It is letting you know, subtly, what is right and appropriate for you in any situation, at any moment. This is your authenticity!
The Greek word root, authentikos, means ‘principle’. Your authentic being is your principle Source. It is what comes first— your genuine being. But for ages, most of the human race knew nothing of its Source, its first cause. Greek philosophers first gave you the idea that such a thing existed.
As I’ve discussed before, the human stage in evolution created a wall between itself and Source. But there were always cracks in that wall. There were always those who strove to see through and beyond; sometimes they found ways to climb through the cracks, to come back and tell what they found. These were the most authentic of all humans, your awakened ones.
Often these visionaries spoke of a still, small voice within. That voice was said to be a spark of God, an open doorway into divine guidance. From its centermost place, it could reach out in all directions. In reality, this still, small Source generates every aspect of our being; and it generates the Now! Absolutely everything comes from this tiny point. All we know and cherish, and even what we despise, arises here. It is the place where we come to comprehend our sense of self. It is the Cosmos, and yet it speaks directly to us. We may hear it if we choose to listen! For long ages, this Self looked out through the clouded eyes of your species, into a world that rarely wanted to hear what it might be saying.
I ask you to feel your authenticity right now; you can recognize it by coming to a stop. Bring all your thoughts and worries to a halt, just for a moment. Look at the playing field you’re on. Step back a bit. Spread out your feelings. This field is what’s left after all the tumult subsides. If you can lay all the noise in your mind down to rest for one instant, there is an opening there for the still voice. Listen, even if ever so briefly.
You know by this voice what is right for you, what is true for you in this moment. There are no questions about it, not at the level of actually feeling your authentic self. Not a single question! It is pure simplicity. You know intimately that this is so. Take hold of this awareness, which paradoxically is to say—let go and let it take hold of you. Do not attempt to take it out of the moment, however. If you try to take truth out of the moment, you can at best only use it as a pointer.
These letters are in the same vein. I am speaking of my truth to you. But it is second-hand from my words to you; then it is already third-hand from you to any other audience. We must be frank about this. What we write here is not the Truth. It is only an interpretation of truth. Reader beware! Having said that, I now will be bold enough to say that this material, and likewise materials from any authentic Source, will stimulate the arousal of your own authenticity. It is for this reason that I repeatedly ask you to look beyond what I am saying and listen to your own heart.
From our truly genuine Source within, any action we take will be our destiny. Bear in mind though, each personal destiny begins small and, in essence, remains small. As it reaches out and touches the authenticity of other souls, it may seem to take on greater proportions. It may gather around it a resonance with other souls. But the destiny itself remains small, like the voice at its center. Any action or vision you create from this space will have an enormous power behind it. By virtue of the narrowness of the aperture, a commanding force will flow through you. But remember, even though the power is great, the destiny is still small. Reflect on that. Here’s a hint: greatness equals humility. Authenticity equals simplicity.
So, my suggestions are three: Notice, first and foremost, your own presence in the moment of Now. Do not add resistance to anything you are noticing. Follow your presence down into the space of authenticity within your being. From that Source allow the power of presence to return out, and create within your world. This is your destiny.
Copyright © 2010 by Robert Lee Potter
To read the complete chapter please click on this link: “Three Suggestions”
You can also read the followup to this chapter at this link: “Three More Suggestions”