Volume 2 No. 7
IN THIS ISSUE
Seven Fundamentals of the Master Secret
What's FREE and New at InnerTalk®
The Seven Fundamentals continued (for those of you who may not have received the first 2 Fundamentals, they have been posted on our website under newsletters at http://www.innertalk.com/newsletter/).
The third fundamental is to forgive and let go. That idea may be a bit startling at first, but think about it for a minute. Do you consider yourself to be a victim? A victim of your circumstances? Or are you willing to assume responsibility for who you are? There are two ways to be tied up in the world. One is to be tied, literally, by someone else and the other is to tie yourself, figuratively, by refusing to let go of beliefs that limit your expression of the whole and complete being you are. In other words, as long as you displace responsibility by blaming someone or something for who and what you are, you remove from yourself the power to be anything other than partial and incomplete.
All behavior is the result of choice. Sometimes our choices are made at an unconscious or a subconscious level. For example, we choose to avoid conflict by repressing our true feelings. Later our true feelings become so strong that we can no longer suppress them, and some small incident triggers an overkill response. That is a reactive model -- we have lost control. When we assume responsibility for every aspect of our lives, we get in touch with our deepest fears and feelings. The power we gain over our former, reactive behavior, provides us with the ability to respond appropriately to all stimuli. That is a proactive model -- we are always in control.
It has been said that the highest act of consciousness is inhibition - inhibition of animal stimulus-response conditioning. When we accept responsibility for our every thought and action, we empower ourselves by performing the highest act of consciousness: inhibiting the animal stimulus-response reaction. But that means we no longer have anyone to blame.
In fact, as long as we blame, we effectively eliminate our ability to grow, to be in control, or to experience peace, balance, and harmony. Power to grow resides in forgiveness. Forgiving and letting go will set us free. Forgiving everyone, including ourselves, provides the opportunity to become more than we have been, which for many is but a mere shadow of our real selves. And the irony of all this is that most of us know that we are much more than we have acted out our lives to be!
The most powerful force in the world is love. Love cancels fear. Fear is the only obstacle that must be overcome in order for all of our experiences to take on new dimensions of meaning and joy. This love is not romantic love between lovers but the unconditional love that we give our children. We are all children in some relative stage of development, learning how to live in joy and happiness. When we truly understand this truth, it becomes easy to forgive another of acts that are selfish and self-centered -- and forgive ourselves, as well. "Above all else, respect thyself," said Pythagoras. In order to love others, we must first love ourselves. We cannot pour from an empty container.
Contemporary studies of behavioral dysfunctions ranging from learning difficulties to criminal activity indicate one common denominator: low self-esteem. Low self-esteem grows out of fear of rejection -- rejection by a loved one, an employer, a stranger, anyone who might laugh at our efforts or who would misunderstand or disapprove. On the other hand, high self-esteem grows out of self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is self-love. Self-esteem comes from self-love. We cannot love anyone unless we love ourselves.
The fifth fundamental is that acceptance is mastery. Loving unconditionally suggests accepting others as they are. Furthermore, loving unconditionally suggests accepting yourself as a whole and complete being on the journey of learning we call life.
Acceptance, love, and forgiveness are as necessarily interrelated as each side of a triangle is to the triangle as a whole. Acceptance is the natural process we knew as children. When light faded into night, each of us accepted that this just was the way it worked, and we learned to live accordingly. As we grew older we began to manipulate our world by means of electricity. Some things in the world can and even should be manipulated to our benefit -- turning the dark into a bright space by flipping a light switch may be one of them. But there are other elements in our environment over which we have absolutely no control, nor should we. Attempting to change other people into what we want them to be by manipulating them is what many of us have spent our lives doing.
The best way in which each of us can influence our environment is in our presence of being. When we accept other people for who and what they are, we have taken the first step toward accepting ourselves and contributing to the improvement of any condition or situation. Krishnamurti once stated that "you are the world." When we reflect peace and joy from an inner level of being, the world mirrors it back to us. When we judge, condemn, hate, lust, and so on, the world shows us these qualities. The world is a mirror, for the principal function of the world is to provide us the opportunity to learn.
What we resist we often become. What we like least in another is almost always a reflection of something in ourselves. When we love and accept ourselves, we love and accept others. Each individual who comes into our lives is a teacher. Each has something to contribute to our learning. We in turn have something to contribute to their learning. When viewed from this perspective, our every transaction with another individual transcends the limitations of manipulation.
The fifth fundamental has been called the Golden Rule. Treat others as though they were you, and treat according to the best you there is, and the rest just happens. What goes out is what you get back. Just as the story in the Bible of the prodigal son teaches us that God has already accepted and forgiven us, so this fundamental suggests that for many of us the least of our brothers and sisters has been ourselves! Accepting and loving ourselves provides the ability to accept and love others, just as accepting and loving others provides the ability to accept and love ourselves.
Our free e-text books are posted under our book library link (http://www.innertalk.com/book_library.html/). Enjoy.
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Thank you and enjoy your Holidays!!!
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