V. The Lessons of the Holy Spirit, P 3
3 A wise teacher teaches through approach, not avoidance. He does not emphasize what you must avoid to escape from harm, but what you need to learn to have joy. Consider the fear and confusion a child would experience if he were told, “Do not do this because it will hurt you and make you unsafe; but if you do that instead, you will escape from harm and be safe, and then you will not be afraid.” It is surely better to use only three words: “Do only that!” This simple statement is perfectly clear, easily understood and very easily remembered.
My mind is finally becoming simple. I would never have believed that this was a good thing, but really it is. My thinking processes are simplified. My prayers are simplified. It is the ego that chooses complexity and it is only when I am especially identified with the ego that I become mired in that complexity.
Here is an example. My son is recovering from back surgery and is supposed to be very careful not to jar his spine until the fusion is strong. Yesterday his dog jumped on him and he flinched. He was afraid he had damaged the surgery, but as the pain resided he felt like it would be OK.
When I heard about this I felt fearful for him. I had a lot of thoughts about what he should be doing and what he should avoid, and this was painful because I couldn’t do anything about them. If I were with him I would probably have driven him nuts and caused him to be more afraid. As I watched these thoughts about how he could protect himself, I had the thought that I wish I could put him back in the womb. This woke me up to what I was doing and I tried to stop the flow of ego defenses.
It was hard for me to stop the ego fear thoughts once they got going. I flailed around for another way to think, another way to see this. I tried to focus on the positive, or not to think at all. I knew my thinking was screwy, but now that I was in the fear thoughts, I became confused about how to extricate myself.
But my true desire is to have a healed mind and though it is not yet my only desire it is my strongest desire, and it was answered. One thought emerged from the jumble of thoughts. I don’t know how to achieve peace right now but I want peace. Then I remembered a very simple prayer. I said, “Here I am, God. I rest in Your certainty.” I remembered Lisa Natoli’s advice to be still and just let God be God. I stood there in my desire to be healed and let peace flow through me.
It was so simple as I stopped trying to figure it all out. The ego always has a plan for whatever I want to do, and that plan will be complex, because the complexity hides the ego’s ultimate goal. Above all, the ego plan will be designed to ultimately fail. The ego is designed to seek but not find because it is the design that insures the ego continues to exist. God’s plan always works. I had to go back to resting in God a few times, but then it was done.
Here is another example. When I began to understand that to enter the Kingdom I had to let go of the idea that my brother was guilty, I often became confused. I was looking at his behavior and seeing guilt, knowing that I had to forgive what I saw and see him as innocent. What a mess my mind was as I tried to do that! The ego took me round and round as I tried various ways to see him without guilt.
Then, as my desire to see innocence grew greater than my desire to place blame, the whole thing simplified. I suddenly realized that my brother is innocent. He is never guilty no matter what I show myself with my eyes. He starts out innocent and he remains innocent. If I see something else, I must be confused.
It was complicated before because I started out with the belief that my brother was guilty. Then the ego presented me with an array of solutions, none of which worked because the original premise was faulty. But I stayed stuck in the ego thinking for a long time because, first, I wanted someone to be guilty, and then, because the ego plans were so byzantine that I couldn’t extricate myself. What saved me was simplicity itself. There was nothing to solve because there was no problem.