Our Life as a Movie
Diseases of the Ego and the Keys to Liberation
May 4, 1994 - New York, New York
(First day back from India)
Whatever our realities may be, whatever constellation of factors and causes we may give importance to the experience of our reality is still internal for each one of us. The sense of touch is just an antenna for a touch experience but it isn't the touch antenna that's actually having the experience, is it? We even know through the physics of the body that once the stimulation is picked up by a nerve receptor, it still has to travel and send the message somewhere for that message to be perceived. We also know that if there's something wrong with the message system or if that message system is altered, where something should feel hot, it might not.
People have two eyes and the eyes are open gates, literally open gates, with a nerve that sits at the back of the eye. That's how they work. Behind the lens there's a nerve that sits back there. Some people will look at this flower and see that it looks red. The most common opinion among us here is that it is a red flower. Someone who is color blind, who has the same two types of receptors with the same equipment, might not see that flower as red. So we just start to get the first glimpse that internal experience is potentially different for each individual.
Where is the internal experience located? The yogic conception of the internal experience is that it's located on something that is likened to a screen of consciousness called "Ciita". You can kind of imagine it like a big cosmic internal movie screen that all of our experiences when they come through the senses, and all of our thoughts and expressions when they come internally, have to have a place to get played out so that they can actually be perceived and experienced. And the place where they get played out isn't the physical location, but is a dimension that is a screen of consciousness: Ciita, a screen of consciousness, a big spiritual movie screen, so that when my eyes see something, and the gate, the receptor picks it up, it takes the message all the way in and translates it into a reflection. The reflection has somewhere to reflect against and it's on that screen internally and then it plays back.
What I see is a reflection of what I'm experiencing. What I feel is a reflection of my thoughts. I see my thoughts metaphorically. I see my emotions metaphorically on this movie screen.
That's not too far fetched for us to imagine because if we've ever been inside of a movie theater with some really emotional compassionate people during a really creepy part of the movie, and everybody is really wrapped up in the movie and someone in the film goes to open a door and we know that there's a boogie man on the other side of the door and someone just can't hold back anymore, as the person in the film goes to open the door, someone in the theater yells, NO, DON'T DO IT! DON'T DO THAT! I'M TELLING YOU NOT TO DO IT!" Someone just jumps up out of their seat yelling. Have you ever seen that in a movie theater? And sure enough the person in the movie goes ahead and opens the door anyway, and the response is, "Oh man, I told you not to do that! I told you not to do that." Right?
There it is, on the screen, and they're passing by. And what just happened to that person sitting in that movie theater is that person just got wrapped up into that movie enough so that person is now identified with that scene in the movie. "Man, don't do it, don't do it. Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Don't do it. Don't do it. I told you not to do it." They are identified with that scene in the movie at that moment. So much so that . . have you ever been in the movie theater when the film broke? The movie theater goes into shock. There's this feeling in the room that sounds like this (choking sound) and then, "Hey man, put the movie back on" and the crowd gets rowdy. Or have you ever walked over in a room where a TVs was going and the whole room is focused on the TVs and just walked over and turn the TVs off? And then watch the whole room go through withdrawal. They don't know what to do. Or just walk into a room where a TVs is going and no matter if there's something else going on, everybody is kind of doing this (staring?).
So here's this screen going. The images. The thoughts. The feelings. The emotions. It's going and it's going, except the movie is your life. Now this stuff is getting played onto a screen, but for stuff to be played onto a screen and be taken seriously like this is really happening there has to be somebody who is watching this stuff. I mean if they roll movies in movie theaters where there is nobody sitting in the theater, they go out of business, right? We need people to see the movie in order to keep the movie going. That's what a blockbuster is. It's a movie where enough people get enrolled into the movie that they're going to it. Some people go more than once. They go two or three times to their favorite movie, right? That's what makes it a blockbuster. So, our life is a sensational movie. Somebody has got to be watching that movie, inside, on that screen. Who's watching the movie? Who's the seer of the movie?
Well, yoga says that's the ego, the sense of I. I see, or, actually, giving the attribute of seeing, right now, in this particular example, because we're talking about a movie, but yoga actually calls it the "doer I" the one that is involved with and associated with that action: I see, I think, I hear, I feel, I taste, I smell, I touch, etc. That's all doing. Each one of those things is a doing. It's the doer I. Sanskrit calls it "aham". I do, that's the ego. Why do we say it's an ego? We're not giving any value judgment on it right now; we say it's the ego because it has a separate sense of itself. In order to get identified with something, I have to have something to be identified with, right? I see that. I'm enrolled in it. I become associated with it. I assume that it is me and I am it. There has to be something present there that goes through that mechanism. That's the ego.
Now, everything that's in existence has to maintain some structure or degree of ego in order for it to be in its existence, otherwise if it doesn't have structural existence, why is it in form? The unique thing about human beings is human beings have the ability to self reflect. In other words, they have even a further layer that's able to say, I get it, I am seeing what I'm seeing. See, there's a bit of self reflection in there. It's not just that I am seeing it; I see that I am seeing it. We call that the witnessing state. I see that I'm seeing this. I feel that I'm feeling. I hear that I'm hearing it. I smell that I'm smelling it. I taste that I'm tasting it. Right? We've all had that glimpse, right? There in the background, it's not just being endlessly enrolled in the experience, but we actually have the experience that someone is the experiencer of the experience. That's the "I am" feeling. The first is the "aham", the doer, and the I am. See how those levels come back?
Now, the problem becomes how seriously do I associate with the movie? That's where the problem kicks in, when the screen is going and it's not going to stop. God in God's attribute of Absolute Reality, is reality absolutely, all the time, always, without beginning, without end, through all time, so it's not going to stop. The impressions are not going to stop. It's going, it's happening: Sights, sounds, colors, tastes, smells, feelings, pleasure, pain, preferences, dislikes, likes, black, white. As long as we're here, it's going, it's going, it's going and it's not going to stop. It's an infinite river of variegated forms on all levels.
The problem becomes, which one of these forms do I take seriously? I'm not sure how to take myself seriously. That's the problem I prefer to take seriously. What I choose to take seriously is myself, my movie, my part in it, how I perceive it. At this point, when I start to take myself seriously in any one of these preferences, likes or dislikes, pleasure or pain, up or down, in or out, male or female, whatever the association is, my ego just went from being an ego to being egotistic. It went from just being an ego which is a form that has a mechanism, that is an I form that has a mechanism, to becoming egocentric, egotistic, egoistic. And that's the difference between having an ego present, and being attached to one's ego or being egotistic. No one is here in this world without an ego. That's what death is, the letting go of the ego. Gotta have an ego to be here. This is the ego place. The problem is, how attached, or associated or identified is one with the script.
So the disease of the egotistic ego is first: it lacks faith. The egotistic ego lacks faith. It feels that because it has so much a sense, a constricted sense of itself, that in order for things to be okay, it has to manage, run, control and guide the outcome of things. That's its first disease; it doesn't have faith. Because it has become so encapsulated and defined and egocentric in itself, it loses the perspective that the whole bloody universe on every level is going on with it or without it. It forgets that and it thinks that it's the center of the universe at that point and that if it's not feeling good, that the universe is going wrong.
The second disease of that egotistic ego is that it's associated with the doership of actions. It actually thinks that it's getting something done and doing something and accomplishing something. It thinks that it has the power and capacity to perform, and not only to perform but to accomplish. And that leads to the third disease of the ego, which is: if it thinks it can accomplish something, then it's attached to the fruit of its accomplishments. It wants what it wants out of what it does, and when it doesn't get it, the fourth disease of the ego is: it feels ownership of what those fruits are and when it doesn't get what it wants, then it feels the lack of ownership or the deprivation of what it wants. And the fifth disease of the ego that makes it egotistic is, because it lost its perspective on things, it is no longer ascribing Divinity or seeing the Divine Nature in all things. Those are the five diseases: Lack of faith, associated as the doer, attached to the fruits of the action, feeling of ownership and loss of identity.
One who is consumed by these five diseases is an egocentric person. I didn't say a bad person; I just said an egocentric person: consumed with their self. What about me? What about mine? What about what I'm feeling? What about what I like? What about where I want to go? What about how I want it? As a matter of fact, some people's disease is so powerful, that you can't have a conversation with that person without that person converting, at each juncture of the conversation or the interaction, that conversation or interaction back to themselves. Have you ever met a person like that? That's a very diseased ego. That ego is so afraid that it can't simply allow what is to be any longer. The Sufis have an expression that says: As it is, so it is. So it is. And that ego can't allow it to be. Just simply letting somebody else's life be where it is, and appreciating it. I remember being around kids when my kid was growing up and watching the competition between kids sometimes, and sometimes the less secure kids, the more insecure kid couldn't just be in appreciation of another kid doing something that was really good, you know like if it was like riding a skateboard you know and just stand there in awe of that person, let that person be a better skateboarder than they are. You know, they just go nuts over that.
We all have these kinds of examples in ourselves where we get hooked. Now when the ego is diseased by these five diseases, its main problem in being out of control is it doesn't know who it is anymore. It thinks it knows because it thinks its identity is located in these five places. It thinks its identity as a result of lack of faith is located in what it can perform itself. That's what it thinks: If I'm going to get it done, I'm going to have to do it myself. In order to do it right, I've gotta do it myself. So there's association there. And you can see how that takes it right into the next place, which is that it becomes the doer: I'm doing this and I'm doing that. I'm doing this. I'm feeling that. I'm thinking this. And I'm, I'm, I'm . . . So it thinks it's that. And as it is trying to accomplish things, whatever happens around it, which it terms a success or failure which is just on some continuum; I mean what's one person's success is another person's failure it's not good enough, right? And what's one person's failure, another person would be happy to be at peace with that. But it now is lost because it thinks that it's the fruits of its actions. So when it gets back a good sum total, a strong percentage of its accomplishment, temporarily it's happy, it likes it. When it doesn't get back what it wants, it's unhappy. It doesn't like it. Because this thing is wanting what it wants when it wants it. And so on and so forth.
The reason why it's in so much pain is that it doesn't know who or what it is anymore. Because it has now extended itself to think that its identity is the extension of these diseases. How I look, how I walk, how I talk, what I wear, who I'm in relationship with, how much money I make, whether I'm a man, whether I'm a woman, where I live, how old I am, how comfortable I am, whether the sun's out, whether it's a cloudy day, whether its a sunny day, did I like the way somebody said something to me or not, etc. See, it goes through all those machinations. Wave up, wave down. Wave up, wave down. It's in the movie. It's the same phenomenon. It's like "Don't open that door, don't open that door, don't, I told you not to open the door man." Have you ever seen people leave the movie theater pissed off, pissed off at the people in the movie? Have you ever seen people watch soap operas and then they meet the actor on the street and they get in a fight with the actor because they did something to so and so one day and that was a bad thing. And it's like, "Wait a minute, I was acting, you know, I'm just the actor." "Yeah, well you wouldn't have done that if you hadn't been that actor." Lost. The whole center. No sense of Self with a capital S. Only the sense of what I do, what I see, what I am. See, identified with that.
Now this identification in simple terms, by the spiritual approaches of life, has been called attachment. That's what it is. That's the definition of attachment: what I'm identified with. Buddha very clearly tells us that attachments are suffering. Why? Because if you're identified with something and you don't have it, then whatever that was identified with, suffers. Buddha says you can do one of two things in order to alleviate yourself from suffering. (The alleviation of suffering in this example is no different than becoming liberated or realized or enlightened. It's the same thing. Liberation of suffering is enlightenment.) So he says you can do one of two things: 1) You can fulfill all of your desires and make sure that you fulfill every single one of them, that they're all fulfilled, or 2) you can have no desires. But as long as you're in between, you'll be dealing with attachment. Now how is it possible for a person to have no desires? Many people think that having no desires means having no feelings. Wrong. Every unit, every entity, every individual entity that's here, by virtue that it exists as an ego identity, it has a sense of self, that self has desires in the form of preferences. I get up, I go to sleep, I like this food, etc. It has desires. It has preferences. The question becomes whether or not these desires are attachments. Am I attached to my desires? It's a good question.
The person who is no longer attached to their desires for themselves, that is a liberated person; that person is free. How do we get to be a person who is no longer attached to our desires? How do we get to be that person? I didn't say, how do we get to be a person without a personality? I didn't say how do we get to be a person who doesn't have feelings? I didn't say, how do we get to be a person who doesn't have desires. I said, how do we become a person who is not attached?
Let's go back through the diseases. The first way to become a person who is free, who is liberated, who is enlightened, is by having faith. What's faith? Faith is the trust that no matter what I'm experiencing, to my like or dislike, to my pleasure or to my pain, to my understanding or to my confusion, that this experience is a custom course that's designed completely for me in order for me to fulfill myself. That's faith. Otherwise it wouldn't be here. Faith is the trust that this is going on. It has nothing to do with an intellectual understanding. You can't figure out what I just said. You've gotta live it. You've got to be a baby and fall into it. You've gotta be like in one of those trust exercises where you stand up on the stage or on the top of the pole and there's an audience of like a hundred people there and you just fall backwards into it. Anybody ever done that exercise? You fall backwards into the universe. That's not a figuring out. You're not going to set that one up in your head. But you can hear about it. Faith is: whatever happens to me, whether my like, my dislike, my pleasure, my pain, my understanding, or my confusion, by dint of me being here and that the whole universe is taking place, this is a custom course designed specifically for to work out my stuff. And so I step to the line with my life in developing faith and no matter what comes, I say, "Thank you; I'm grateful. Boy, that's a really tough one, but I'm grateful! Thank you. I didn't know I could feel this intensely, but thank you; otherwise I would have no feeling at all."
The second disease was associating oneself as the doer. So the second key for becoming the liberated person is to remove oneself from the doer position, to longer associate myself as the doer. To understand that God in God's form as Divine Spirit, Absolute Reality, Divine Presence, the life force of me, is doing through me. That's the movie I'll start to watch. When we come into that movie, we come back right into the witness and we start to see ourselves. He's moving his hand now. He's speaking now. He's feeling now. He's hearing the siren now. He's tilting his head now. He's breathing now. No longer am I lost as the doer. But the doing is happening and I let go of being the doer. And I let go of being the manager of the universe. Being the manager of the universe is a big pack to carry on this trek of life; it's a heavy, heavy pack for those of you who like to carry it, you know. Please put it down. The universe is being managed and going along fine, thank you. If we would do less interfering with it, we would actually be healthier on this planet at this time right now.
The third key to becoming a liberated soul is, after relinquishing the doership of one's actions, is to relinquish the fruits of one's actions. So to do one's best, and because one now has faith, once one has done one's best, one is no longer attached to the outcome. What one did was that one did one's best. And what comes back is our course work. Understand? See the relation? What comes back is our course work. And one can only do one's best with where one is at. We all know that to get caught into trying our best and trying our hardest and trying for approval and trying to make things right and when they're not turning out exactly the way we want, we suffer and suffer and suffer. And things are just going to turn out the way they're going to turn out anyway. The universe is going to unfold the way the universe is going to unfold. Because it's the course work that's designed for you to work out your stuff, that try as you may, try as you might, try to be the doer, try to be the manager, still if you've got stuff to work out, it's still going to come back here to the course work anyway. Do your best and let go. Do your best. Let go. Do your best. Let go. We're going to find that that's going to be associated with the last thing in a moment, but the next thing is to let go of the ownership.
Letting go of the fruits of one's actions is also relinquishing the ownership of one's actions, one's fruits and one's life. Ah, scary idea: You don't own your life. Where did you get it anyway? Where did it come from? Who are you to think that you own it? Look at the dimension of conflict that we have on the planet over ownership. We don't own even the stuff that we make. See we can't create anything. We just make stuff out of what is already created. We rearrange it. But we're into the ownership of it. But let's go to something even more basic than that. Look at the conflict over ownership of land and water and air. People have been fighting for thousands of years over this stuff. It's like when they were babies who did it belong to? Before they were born who did it belong to?
And then the fifth thing is to ascribe divinity to every thought word or action, which is how we let go of ownership and how we let go of the fruits of our actions by ascribing divinity, which Sanskrit calls Brahma Vidya or Madhu Vidya, honey(?), knowledge. The knowledge of Brahma, that every thought, word and action in all forms at all levels is a reflection of the divine manifestation, this course work I've been talking about. So we look to see it. We look to see it. Just like you look to see that candle, you look to see that light in all thoughts words and actions. Oh there it is, there it is, there it is, there it is, there it is, the One, the One, the One, the One. You look and see it in every face. You look and see it in every form. You look and see it in every sound. You look and see it in every smell. You look and see it in every taste. You look and see it in every touch, in every emotion: oh there you are, there are you are, just like when you are in love.
When you're really in love, at the height of being in love, no matter what happens around you, you feel like you're seeing this for your lover too. Anybody ever had that experience? You're thinking, I wish they were here and could see this; and you feel like you're seeing it for them. That's being in spiritual love, you see the lover: There you are, there you are, there you are, there you are. That's the formula. Developing faith. Letting go of the doership. Relinquishing the fruits of the actions. Relinquishing the ownership and ascribing divinity to all thoughts words and feelings. That's the formula for becoming liberated, for becoming enlightened, for being enlightened.
Now, when you start to practice that, this thing that was previously so invested in what it was invested in, goes: Whoaaaaa! Wait a minute! You've got to be kidding me! It's the same phenomenon as that person who is sitting in the movie theater when the tape breaks who can't stand it anymore, who stands up and starts yelling at the projectionist, Put the movie back on! Or when you walk over and change the channel on somebody and they say, Hey! I was watching that! It's the same phenomenon in your life: Hey, I was watching that. Hey, wait a minute, I like that program. That's my favorite program. Yeah, but there's three thousand people that just got shot, murdered and raped. Yeah, but it's exciting, I like that program, put it back on!
You know families get in fights over this thing. As a matter of fact, I read a survey once that was a consumer marketing survey on cable TVs that actually established that less selection of TVs channels was better than more because families were getting in fights over having too many channels coming into their homes. Each one wanting to be identified with the movie, so they have to either buy more TV's which they couldn't afford, or they'd have less harmony. People were unplugging their cable when they had 127 stations. Then you've got some people who are so nuts that I've actually seen people who've got two or three TV's and two or three remote controls mounted on the same board and they're like channel surfing . . . you talk about being in the movie!
So when you start to do these five things that I'm speaking about (loud clap!) then there's the backlash of it, because the momentum, the inertia, what this movie's been doing, the way this person's been invested, comes back and goes Wait a minute! I want to own that! I want approval. I want to do good things. I want to feel good. I want to be liked. I want to have a relationship. I want to have a lot of money. I want to get things done in the world. But that's so temporary and illusory because none of those things are happening anyway. And those things are the very same source of things that we're measuring our suffering against, that we became addicted to. See people aren't so interested when they're asleep they're not so interested in being happy; they're interested in the feeling of being happy, and there's a big difference. Being happy, being enlightened, being liberated, being free of this stuff is a state or a station of being. Whereas the feeling of being happy or the feeling of pleasure is a sensation. That's how you know if you're with someone who's liberated or not. Are they attached to their sensations? Find someone who's not particularly attached to their sensations, whether it's like or dislike, pleasure or pain, black or white, male or female, and find that person who keeps going, whose being and essence is focused like a lens on the One regardless of the sensations around, you'll find someone who is free. They'll still have a personality. They'll still have their own preferences, but they won't be attached to their preferences. How is that possible?
Ever sat in front of a river? If you sit in front of a river you know by sitting in front of the river that you can't stop the river from flowing. It's flowing. If you sit there long enough, you'll see that things are being carried in that river. Here comes a beer can. Don't like that, but it's gone after some time. Here comes a piece of driftwood. Oh, I like that. Well. Here comes a sailboat. Oh, I wish I had one of those. Well. Here comes a motorboat. Why do they put that in that lake; it gets polluted. Well, see. But those things are still . . . if you sit in that one spot. I've said before, you can't stop a river from flowing and you can't push a river. It's going to go at some point. That boat is going to be there for some period of time, on your horizon in the periphery of your vision, and then it's going to be gone. And so is that driftwood and so is that beer can and so is your life. Whatever you're feeling, whatever you think is important, however important that you think it is, is going to last, relatively speaking, as long as it lasts, as long as it's in the periphery of your attention or your vision, as long as you're attached to it, then it's going to be gone.
So what about the river. What's the river, the essence of the river, not the stuff that's floating in it? It's important for us in our growth to have a contemplation, to have a feeling of these things that I'm saying so that we can transcend I didn't say avoid, I said transcend the limitation that we place on ourselves by the continual preoccupation of self importance that we have about the self that we think that we are: The movie. Because that's the stuff that makes us suffer. And it's not all that important anyway. For every one of your pleasures, somebody, somewhere is having more pleasure than you with the same stuff. You know it's true. You can't pick up a magazine I read five magazines on the way over from London and every one of them had an advertisement about how to have better sex on videocassette. You know somebody out there is doing it better than you are somewhere, right? When it comes to suffering, somebody out there is also suffering more than you are, somewhere.
Who is the One, who is the One, that single, singular entity, behind the movie, behind all these shapes and forms, that is present, ever present, there to experience? That's the Self (inaudible).
When you find that, when you let yourself go into that through these five means: faith, letting go of doership, relinquishing the fruits of the action, relinquishing the ownership, and ascribing divinity, then that beingness will be ever present in you, wherever you are, wherever you go, and whatever state that you're in, whatever opinion you are having at the time, whatever body form that you're in, whatever country that you're in, whatever type of food that you're eating, no matter how old or young you are, that ever present being will be and it won't turn off. It doesn't sleep. That's freedom. That's being free. That's knowing God. Allah says in the Quran, in the celestial conversation between the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Allah: "I wished to be known, therefore I created creation so that I could be known". That's being the One that is ever present, all the time, always.
Student: How can someone not be attached to their preferences? I heard you say that we still have our preferences, but we're not attached to them, but I don't understand that.
Sheikh Din: You lose your attachment to your preferences when you start to experience that even though you didn't get your first choice, that that's still God's grace, by the infinite divine arrangement specifically and perfectly for you. These things all work together. It's like the state of kids, before they're two years old and they're really getting developed in their ego identity, where they can have a red lollipop and they can be ecstatic about it, and you can take it away from them and they're completely crestfallen. Then you can hand them a green one, and they're just as ecstatic with the green one as they were with the red one, instantaneously. Spontaneously. Had a preference. Didn't turn out that way. But the peace, the ever present being, is not lost because of not being fulfilled by its preferences. It's not dependent on being fulfilled by the preference. It's exercising the preference as a utility. That's the difference. An enlightened person doesn't depend on preferences for fulfillment.
Student: Where does the preference come from?
Sheikh Din: The person's personality. When a person is ready to relinquish their personality, they leave this world.
Student: So is it really just letting go of expectation?
Sheikh Din: I think letting go of the attachment of one's expectation is key. I don't think that it's practical, I think it is too fantastical and too philosophical to say, Don't have expectations. Because in this moment it may be appropriate to have an expectation about the future, like, do I need to move the car because it needs to be on the right side of the street. I mean that's located in the realm of expectations, right? So really what we're talking about is how fixed or frozen or bound one is to their expectations, which is different than not having them.
Expectations can be a utility. Positive expectancy for things to happen in a way that's more healthy for more or for all is a utility, but once I've done that, if I'm crestfallen by the lack of fulfillment of those expectations, I've lost my peace because my peace was dependent on them. That's the difference. So I don't see a problem with expectations in and of themselves, I see a problem with being identified with the expectation.
Student: How does one develop faith?
Sheikh Din: I think one has three choices in developing faith. One is by dint of one's karmic or conditioned predilection - one can be disposed to having it already. That's kind of a no-brainer. There are some people who are just kind of in the groove of faith, you know?
Student: Who just believe everything.
Sheikh Din: Well maybe not believe everything, but they're predisposed to have faith in the process, right? That's one way. The second way is one's life story, one's movie can build up to such pressure and build up to such a level of crisis that the crisis causes a shift in perception of reality. And the third is, you practice it. And you have increasing amounts of experiencing it, and you forward your experience of it by practicing it and feeling self conscious of it. But the way to practice faith, until you absolutely are feeling it, is to put yourself into a spiritual path, and in many cases I would say, put oneself at the disposal of someone you trust, which we call a spiritual guide. That's like something we do that all the time. We go to a doctor when we're not feeling right. We try to go through our process inside and try to figure out, "God what's wrong with me, I've got the flu or a sore throat, or my stomach doesn't feel right", then it just gets to the point where we go seek somebody out. We put a certain trust in that person, that position, to find out, and at the point, that person is finding for us where it's not going right that's faith and then helps us in finding it ourselves too.
Whether we went out into the jungle or we went out into Bangladesh, we needed a guide who knew which dirt roads to go down to get into the village that was at the end of the last stop of the last stop which I spent five days at the last stop this trip. Five days there. There's a sign over the city: The Last Stop. I wouldn't have known how to get there, but I had to have faith that I was being taken in there. And had to have faith, figuratively and metaphorically speaking, that I'd be able to get out of there. Who did I put my faith in?
So that's that middle category of learning, acting "as if", practicing, being on a spiritual path, having a spiritual guide. Now the way the spiritual guide oftentimes builds faith or builds detachment in the spiritual seeker is to interrupt the movie. That's why sometimes a spiritual guide is not very popular, because the spiritual guide is the one who walked over and turned the TV off. That's one of the functions of the spiritual guide. The TV was going really loud. I know this happened with my son, who can sit in front of the TV and have it blaring loud so that every room in the house was filled with this thing, and he was eating red candy at the same time. And walk over and turn off the TV. Boom, the trip is interrupted right? At that moment, a crisis is perpetuated, a mini crisis; the person has to go get some faith.
I was with somebody over the last couple of weeks who didn't know how to be. The person didn't know how to be. When they ran out of their trip, they didn't how to be. Had to get some faith. The guide interrupts the process. Hey, the guide knows because the guide's been down that tunnel, knows that that tunnel has no cheese at the end. You think there's cheese, 'cause you've been in that tunnel for a long time now and your mom told you and your teacher told you and the TV told you. But I've been there, and there ain't no cheese there and I'm your friend and you're not listening to me. You did before, last week, you changed directions, but you're still going down that tunnel. So, (clap) put up a stop light in that tunnel. Put a door down there to stop you from going down there. You want to be pissed off at me? Fine. The tunnel doesn't have any cheese down there. Get some faith in yourself. Go back and look inside, see what it is that you want, what you really want. What is it that you really want? Why were you going down that tunnel anyway? Three things. If one has a natural disposition one can actually we all have some of that, we can find it when we trust more often. The second thing is that if you don't trust and you live your life without faith as the doer attached to the fruits of your actions, as the owner and you forget to ascribe God to all things, eventually God in the form of the Mother (the Mother is the form perpetuator and creator) sets up the circumstances and the consequences of action.
She will take care of you in enough time. She will raise the pressure to the level that you'll be seeking relief. Then it just depends on how much pain you can stand. If you've got a really high threshold of pain, you might need a lot of pain before you actually seek relief. Somebody may need to hit you across the face with a baseball bat several times before you are actually waking up and going, "What?" But it could happen. Just like it's happening to our planet right now. I mean doesn't it amaze us constantly, how people don't get it? How much does it take? That's exactly what I'm saying you know. But the consequences will still go up, it will still go up and still go up. That happens not only in the physical environment, in the collective in the society, it happens in each individual's life. It's the same.
And the third thing is to make a conscious decision to participate in a spiritual process that's going to demand in part that you act "as if" until you feel it; and as you act "as if", you're going to feel little pieces of it as you go along the way. Because you don't yet know it, sometimes you're not going to feel it at all, but you're still going to be demanded to act "as if"; and it doesn't matter that you don't feel it, because the person who you placed your trust in, they know what they're doing. I've seen that a lot. I've seen it in people who've become debilitated by physical disease, who've become anorexic or whatever, and had to go to a coach. They couldn't even run around the block, they didn't have the emotional or physical momentum to get up and go around the block; and I've seen those same people turn into 10K and marathon runners. We know it when the coach is there. He says: "Get off your butt. Don't settle for that behavior, for that attitude, for that mentality. Go one more step. Okay. Here, okay, now rest. Now eat some food. Okay. Get back up. Try it again. Alright, you're looking good, take some time off, go have a party, okay now come back, now do it again." You know? That's spiritual coaching. Those are the three ways.
It also can't hurt to ask for faith, to ask for help. There are a lot of people who are so caught up in their story that they can't stop and actually turn toward the spirit, toward God, to the greater goodness, to humble themselves and find enough humility to actually prostrate themselves, to put
themselves in the most vulnerable position and to say, "Please give me faith. Please help me." Because they are too invested in being the manager. I recall the scene in the movie Malcolm X that was also in the book, did everybody see that movie Malcolm X? and he's first getting the idea of Wow, this Islam is pretty good, I kind of like this or whatever and he's with this person in his cell who is trying to teach him how to pray and he says, Pray to Allah. And his response is, I don't know what to say to Allah. Malcolm X says, "I don't know what I'd say to Allah." And the guy says, It doesn't matter. Just do it". "Well I feel weird doing it." "Just do it. Just pray to God."
"Please." It's even okay to say please. To say, "I don't know how to say it. I don't even know how to pray. I don't even know what I'm doing. I don't even know if you exist. But please." That's how it starts.