Love is a Game you Play to Lose

Spiritually, most of you have gone just about as far as you can with the amount of surrender you’ve had to this point. You really need to be less self-centered. If you try to go any farther holding onto your present level of resistance, you’re going to hit the wall and hurt your head. And you know that, too.

Heaven is for the pure. You have to give it up. You have to be straight up. The fogs and smoke screens you’ve used, habitually, to protect yourself—those are incompatible with your present goals.

And love? Love is a game you play to lose with all you’ve got. You don’t play it to win. You don’t play it to look good. You play it to lose your heart, to lose your place, to lose your pride, lose your center, lose your mind—everything. That’s how the love game is played. It’s not like any other game.

When you love, you sure don’t play it to protect yourself. You play to make sure the other person wins with every hand. That’s the difference between love and everything else.

I know what your real goal is; I know what you want: You want to give yourself. You want to be truly confessed. You want to lose face. You want to let go of every shred of decorum, politics, pride, and dignity, so as to be a lover for real.

But for that, you have to philosophically regroup. You have to realign your objectives. And you have to get up a little earlier in the morning to see the things you’re putting in your own way or holding onto. You have to see where you’re fighting yourself—in those places where some of your objectives are opposed to others. Otherwise you’ll continue in a battle with yourself which is terrible and inefficient. You’re stuck with intention/counter-intention. Without a doubt, a real lover doesn’t have that battle going on.

Don’t kid yourself

Don’t kid yourself, and try to proceed with conflicting objectives. It’s no use. All it does is create unnecessary problems. If you want what you really want, figure out how to align yourself behind a single purpose. About those intentions you’re clinging to that are opposed to higher spiritual-emotional goals: you have to get rid of ’em. That’s the only way to go. Anything less is to stay stuck.

What you want to achieve is a complete integration of self toward a single purpose: to lose. To lose face. That’s the Way of Truth. God’s Way.

God’s Way is for the broken hearted. It isn’t for the winners. God’s collecting all the losers. Everyone else is fighting for survival. Trying to save face. Trying to cut a corner. If you look at it very carefully, you will see that I am telling you the absolute truth.

The “winners” and would-be winners are completely lost. They want to look good. They want to come out on top. They live for self, and when it comes to morality, they cut corners. That is exactly the course most people are following, religiously. They are doing what ego has in mind. Trying to win in that way. What’s up with that? Down is up with that. Ego’s agenda is in direct opposition to the Way of Truth, the Way of Undoing, the Way of Love. Absolute opposition. The followers of ego’s little way will do hard time, and die imprisoned in smallness.

Blessed are the poor in spirit [those who aren’t living for ego] for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

God’s Way is the Way in which weakness makes you strong. It’s the Way in which only service and emotional interdependence are dignified. It’s the Way in which the last should be first. In God’s Way, nothing but love and surrender make sense.

God’s Way is the Way in which the last shall be first, he who loses himself shall find himself, and he who dies to himself is born again in the Spirit.

(these are metaphors; meant to be understood in spirit, not literally)

Only by humbling yourself can you be exalted.

Only by being the lowliest servant can you be great.

Only by losing your mind can you possibly have peace of mind.

The first are always last.

The only way to win is to lose.

The love you take is equal to the love you make.

Heartbreak makes you whole.

Humility dignifies. Tears strengthen.

The moment of losing face is the most dignified moment in a human life.

Self-denial produces spiritual wealth.

Look at your hand. Play your worst card.

Look at your feet. Put your worst foot forward.

God’s Way is that in which you could never possibly 
remember yourself except insofar as you forget yourself.

Spiritual maturity is in keeping with: unless you 
be as little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Nothing but love makes sense.

And of course, you mustn’t make anything grandiose out of this, because if you do that, you’ve lost the Way entirely. Instead, you must find infinite little ways to apply it. The left hand should not know what the right hand does. Almost never has spiritual life had anything to do with obvious heroism. Heroism is for earthly winners; the Kingdom of Heaven is for earthly losers.

And don’t let the ego get a piece of even the littlest action, because it will dig its heels in where nobody thinks it matters. Ego takes over the kingdom because nobody expected it to come in that door, you see. So be smart. Stay awake. Be well-advised that spiritual peril or spiritual victory lies in attending to the smallest detail.

Confucius says, “The wise man, if given the opportunity to take one step forward, takes two steps backward.” So:

Give yourself to anything your ego hates, and be undone.

The only happy ending is the ending of your ego and pride. There is no other happy ending. “It’s a good day to die!” as the American Indian warrior, Crazy Horse, used to say.

That’s it. I’ve said it. Truer words were never spoken. I wasn’t willing to bullshit anybody this time. That’s all you really need to know in life. If it has anything to do with love and truth. Anything worthwhile.

You’ve got to celebrate your undoing. You’ve got to be very, very happy with your surrender. Absolutely, 100% sure about it. No ifs, ands, or buts. That’s the ticket. Okay, that’s impossible, but that’s the challenge: to embrace that absolutely.

If someone says, “You’re a liar and a cheat,” tell them, “That’s true, and that’s not all.”

If it looks like you might fall, ask, “Can you kindly move that mattress out of the way?”

If it looks like almost everything’s going wrong, ask, “What’s left?”

Now those are good questions. Infinitely better than the kind of questions people generally ask.

An enlightenable mind says,

“I could win on this move—what’s the alternative?”

“I could live through this—give me another choice.”

“I could look good here—is there anything I can do about that?”

“I can keep it together—can that be fixed?”

Such a mind shows consistent appreciation of the value of losing, an unerring homing instinct. True appreciation. The crest jewel of existence. To lose!

You can appreciate the real value of these statements the moment you understand that ego-driven life is only for a complete death-bound fool.

This article is taken from Heartofspirituality.com.

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Love is For the Stout of Heart

Q: Sometimes I feel like everything is going okay, but lately I’ve been wishing I had more love in my life.

A: Are you sure you want it?

Q: I think so. 

A: Love does resemble the ultimate comfort to us, no doubt. Like a blanket of warm swirling clouds to enfold us and protect us in warmth and happiness. In that aspect love is the absolute security blanket, the paradigm of all creature comforts. When we think of love all sorts of visions may come to mind, visions of how perfectly we were nurtured as children, how safely we were swaddled in some breathy cooing, how perfectly we were adored and held above all possible harm and grief, far from all the vicissitudes of mortal existence. And then come the visions of luxuriating in some sensual delight, gently feathered in peaceful passion by kind fingers. Every sort of soft intimate delight. Who could turn down such unspeakable pleasures? Who would?

Q: I wouldn’t.

A: But yet you do fear love, don’t you? What do you suppose it is that you fear, if not all that wonderfulness?

Q: Intimacy, I guess. Being known. Having somebody get to know me.

A: There are many aspects to love then, as we consider the subject, and it is not all simply attractive. Love asks a great deal of us, and is not simply a passive form of indulgence like sunbathing. When you say you want love in your life, you must take the entirety of what love amounts to into account. Otherwise you could very easily sabotage the possibilities of love in your life because there are aspects of love that you fear subliminally, but have not dealt with consciously. Those can so dampen your enthusiasm that they can secretly poison your chances.

Q: Basically I’ve always thought of love as perfect.

A: Perhaps it is perfect, but if it is, we still may have difficulty in facing perfection. The fact is, most of us find it extremely difficult to face another human being, perfect or otherwise, directly. Love involves that. Almost the instant we really face each other, we feel this tendency to experience big emotions. Have you ever been to the beach? You may start out with some eminently superficial motivation to go down to the shore to pick up a few pretty sea shells, something innocuous. But when you get there you find yourself gazing out on the ocean. Gradually a certain feeling of awe begins to arise in you, as you get this sense of the power and alien majesty of what you are confronting. It makes you feel small, and a little bit vulnerable. Your pleasure outing has turned quite unexpectedly into a confrontation with the infinite.

The same thing happens in human relationships. You might start out intending to be casual and glib, but there often comes a time when you begin to feel the weight of it, the power of it, and you feel exposed; you want to retreat somewhere. The fear that arises at that time is the fear of the actual profundity of love, of human beings, human emotions in love relationships. It is impossible to truly enter into any meaningful interaction without running into that syndrome, unless you are completely disposed to it, unless you have penetrated your fears of love completely.

Love is not ultimately a consolation, a refuge for the weak and weary, the timid and insecure. Love is for the stout of heart. Love requires you to face another being squarely, and to be squarely faced. All the feelings that arise in the process must be experienced headlong, admitted, known, lived, resolved in the context of your meeting. Everything you think and fear will bubble to the surface in the intensity of the process of loving. To move through this boldly, to persist and not to collapse, is required of lovers. If fear gets the better of you, you will find yourself engaged in acts of avoidance that will tend to erode established love relationships, or discourage the advent of new ones.

Q: It is hard for me to believe that I am avoiding love on one hand, because I think about it a lot. On the other hand, I must be doing something, because not much is coming my way.

A: There are numerous insidious ways we have of not getting close to people, and because we would never like to be party to such a dismal confession as, “I am avoiding or ruining love,” we are almost invariably unconscious of what we are doing in the way of sabotage. At least we claim unconsciousness.

One sure fire way to avoid or abort love is to do nothing at all. As an avoidance passivity is effective not only because it makes love impossible and prevents anything from being responsibly created, but also because it is hard to prosecute someone for doing nothing. Nothing is not considered an act; sins of omission are not the easiest sins to recognize, in oneself or others. And yet it is obvious that if one does nothing, nothing will happen, and to have nothing happen is certainly an effective avoidance.

So if you find yourself being relatively inactive in pursuit of your relationships, and doing a lot of waiting for whatever is supposed to happen on its own, or to be done by someone else, then take that into account. Not to say that love can ever be forced, but there is a line in there somewhere between forcing the issue and having it die of neglect or malnutrition.

Love does require enthusiastic participation, or whoever is involved with you will rightly tend to assume that you do not want to be sufficiently implicated to be a part of a dynamic relationship. Often we have such magical ideas about the way love is going to manifest that we tend to overlook the fact that love is the product of two people. And no matter how much we hope in chemistry, it takes great energy on everyone’s part to create and maintain any relationship. Otherwise it cannot thrive.

Q: I feel I am quite active. What I find happening is I have gotten close to people to a certain point but then it seems to fizzle out or it doesn’t seem to get any further.

A: Are you really paying attention to the people you’re with or are you just doing things together?

Q: Both, I guess. I feel I am paying attention.

A: I’m sure you are to a certain degree, and at the same time you might stop to consider what the primary focus is. There are ways to avoid love and the direct experience of loving even while being with someone, that are easy to miss. Let’s say you decide to have a particularly interesting day together. So you start out taking a nice picnic to the beach and while you are there you collect some shells and driftwood, climb on the rocks, and take a nice jog down the beach. Then you enjoy your picnic and the very scenic drive home. You savor the fare and the wine at an excellent restaurant, take in a movie and go home. You listen to the news, go to bed, read a magazine, enjoy a little sex, and go to sleep. What could be a more poetic expression of togetherness?

Now there is no doubt that the enjoyment of aesthetic pleasures could be a wonderful adjunct to your experience of mutual enjoyment. On the other hand, it is also possible that in the midst of the act of concentration on such pleasures, the couple could have entirely missed the direct experience of one another. There is always this beating heart beside you, no matter what you may experience together, and in it there is every kind of reaction, hope, fear, mood, understanding, emotion, and desire. To have a relationship without being appraised of the nuances of the beings involved is itself a form of withdrawal or avoidance. Not that there has to be constant engagement in endless subjective content, but there is a stronger tendency in most people to go to the other extreme in obsessive orientation to some form of outward experience. Even a sandwich can come between you, and you could spend an entire day which amounts to little more than the mutual appreciation of things on the level of mustard, in effect. The mustard, the bread, the sea, the woods, the sunset, the waiter, the news, the sex. Even the objectification of the sex experience can make what might be intimate into a third object for the two lovers to focus on to the exclusion of each other. It is subtle, at that point, to hone in on the difference between relating to each other and relating to something else, some kind of subject matter, but the distinction is dramatic at the feeling level. You know when someone is really looking at you, and you know when you are looking at someone. We find it much easier, in general, to take the edge of intensity off everything by finding endless ways to focus elsewhere.

Q: In my last relationship, I really did try to communicate a great deal.

A: About what?

Q: About all kinds of things.

A: Did you really want that relationship to work?

Q: Yes.

A: Did you tell him so?

Q: Not in those words.

A: Maybe you could tell somebody that, if it’s important to you. So many things can be communicated, in so many ways. The least popular way is the most direct, and we usually save it as a last resort, if anything. There are endless ways to use speech as a form of avoidance, even including saying the right words in a joking or insincere way. You must have noticed so-called gregarious people doing all this communication with a kind of tone that makes what they are saying difficult to take seriously. Most of us find it hard to shoot straight from the hip, without being oblique, frivolous, complicated, or equivocal. For instance, if you’ve met someone you like, you could say, “It was nice meeting you,” but if you really meant that, you could do much better than to disguise your real sentiment in a cliché. You could say instead, “I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have met you. I’m so excited about it. I want to see you again as soon as possible, and I’m anxious not to have you slip out of my life, because there’s a lot more I want to share with you.” It may not always seem possible to say something like that in a new relationship, but it may be. In an ongoing relationship it is not only possible, but essential.

What about your previous relationship? Maybe you could have expressed your concern directly: “I want this relationship. I want to be close to you. I don’t want to be separate from you. I don’t want to make a joke out of it. I don’t want to use forms of sarcasm, skepticism, belligerence, humor, superficiality, to prevent us from having a deep and heartfelt relationship in which we touch each other, we move each other, we breathe each other, and we feel serious about that. I don’t want to be a ship passing in the night. I don’t want to be a lovelorn person. I don’t want to feel somehow strange and alienated, and like I’m pinballing around in my world, without contacting you, without getting the sense that, ‘By golly, we are deeply connected to each other and we mean it, and we’re not making a joke out about that.'”

I do understand that nobody wants to be maudlin or overdrawn, but if you’re telling the truth, then you are not being anything of the kind. It’s merely a matter of being accurate and true to oneself, in that case. And true to the person with whom you want to have an honest relationship. How are you going to be honest if you are not willing to tell the truth?

Q: That does sound scary.

A: That’s why I say love is for the stout of heart. What is love without honesty? So much goes on in the way of hiding, until love itself and even the desire to love becomes hidden. We may have to stop everything, if we need to, to make this contact and to make this commitment. All the games, all the bullshit, all the stuff that would otherwise use up a lifetime very neatly without any problem at all, just like it was a day going by, and bingo! There you are, dying without having experienced a profound, serious relationship, somehow feeling like you missed something.

Love requires that degree of boldness to flower and thrive against the insidious threat of a conventionally trivial lifetime. What could be more threatening to the advent of love than what we ordinarily call personal safety? Love without risk, love without the emotional gamble of putting one’s heart on the line, is difficult to imagine.

Q: You’re making love sound awfully dangerous.

A: Maybe so. When you are not used to such wholesale commitment, it is hard to indicate it to you without indicating the direction that you have come to presume is risky. The association of love with danger has more to do with unfamiliarity than reality. Perhaps when you get used to it you will find it safe. I believe love is safe. I believe what we now call safety is the ultimate danger. Anyway, it’s something to think about, more than that, it’s something to experience.

~

Please feel free to share copies of this article.

We only ask that you mention its source.

– The Living Love Fellowship –

This article is taken from Soulprogress.com.

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Love – the Purifying Fire

Love: the purifying fire

love-in-fire2

Ego is reasonable to fear love, because the truth is, if we were to let love run its natural course, it would eliminate egoism from our lives and mentality altogether.

True love is like a great fire that arises in our hearts. If it is allowed to burn high enough, it will melt down the walls, the separation, the distance. It will bring about a fusion of souls, and give us an awareness and experience of our unity, our togetherness, our connectedness.

This is true in great friendships as well as in great romance. Wherever love is true, unity and togetherness are!

It’s like this: Two or more souls, when you rub them together, make a spark. If you feed that spark with activity, energy, and attention, the spark becomes a flame. That flame grows bigger and bigger, and pretty soon, we have a fire!

It heats up not only ourselves—our hearts, our lives, our emotions—but the whole space around us. It affects everyone we meet. It spreads like wildfire! A love flame, once ignited, gradually grows into a full-blown forest fire. Or at the very least, it tends to do so. But, not against our will. And the fuel of love, desire, surrender, and care are needed to power it.

Once ignited, a love fire will start to burn up all the pain, the negativity, the ego-garbage that burdens our lives and souls. Just like a forest fire, it starts by burning up the little stuff. For example, a person newly in love will start noticing their selfish and destructive habits, and want to change them.

Then, add a little wind, a little fuel, and the fire takes off. Under favorable conditions, it soon reaches a critical mass, and the forest fire actually becomes a vortex, a firestorm. It generates huge wind, a wind that blows from all directions into its fiery core. That vortex sucks in everything that isn’t bolted down, and burns it up. Then, with huge convection power, it shoots the ashes of all it has consumed way up into the sky—into the heavens.

That’s what happens to ego when we let our selves and lives be directed by love. A love fire, once inflamed, starts to melt down ego and everything else. It starts sucking everything into itself. It calls for more! It calls for letting go of everything one usually clings to. Selfishness is sucked in. Fear is sucked in. Doubt. Cruelty. Indiscipline. Self-destruction. Insecurity. Mistaken identity. It consumes our ego-identity, and shoots the remains up into the heavens—and what is left is who we really are.

If you want to purify silver, you put it into the hottest part of a fire. Gradually, the impurities are burned away, until all that’s left is pure silver. Love does the same with us. It burns away everything that we are not, and leaves only our pure selves.

This is an excerpt from the e-book “Scared Separate” from Soulprogress.com.

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Relationship, a Dance for Two

A relationship is a dance for two, in which each person’s contribution is essential. What does that mean? We need to do our part.

Why approach life demanding that the world must prove to us that it’s sincere, that it’s willing to fill us, sacrifice for us, prove its goodness and worthiness to us? When we do that, what generally follows is a tragic standoff between our unwilling heart, indisposed to give itself, and the unwilling hearts of the world—like two children trying to trade toys, but not trusting each other. One child wants the other to give him her rabbit’s foot, the other child is unwilling to relinquish it unless she FIRST receives the cat’s-eye marble. We cannot get what we want, because we will not give what we have. This happens all too FREQUENTLY in life.

Love is not barter, trade. In love it is essential to give what you have in order to be fulfilled. Just as it would be deluded to demand a huge profit from an investment not made, it is unreasonable to expect great love where great love has not been given. One cannot get what one has not been willing to give. We must become willing to give of ourselves the very thing we desire, in the quantity or with the intensity we would like to receive it.

What about the other person’s part? Well, as you know, the only person we can control is ourselves. The only person we can change is ourselves. But that counts more than we may think! According the birds of a feather theory, we attract to ourselves what we ARE. That’s a true theory. If we are truly loving, we attract to ourselves others who truly love. And, by the principle of resonance, we bring more of what is truly loving out of all we meet.

Therefore, to see the change, we have to BE the change we want to see.

This is an excerpt from an article called  “How to Create Deeper Love” from soulprogress.com.

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Why Love Is Nothing to Fear

Fear of love—what a confused idea. It’s like the confusion of those who swear, ever since they went to Las Vegas, that the desert causes water. In fact, the desert yields so little water that they import the stuff to Vegas at a great expense. But when the water flows and the ice tinkles in the tumbler, we forget, sitting by the pool holding this oddity in our hand and growing more carelessly associative by the hour, that none of it belongs here, or that one bit of it could come from elsewhere.

It makes just as little sense to associate something as beautiful as love with awful things like pain and sorrow, hurt and harm. Yet after a few trips to the front lines of intimacy, the love-hurt connection gets wired up in our heads as tight as water in Vegas.

Fear can make us uneasy about love, and if that’s all it did, we could live with it; but fear puts us totally out of touch with reality: it makes us forget what loving is, what loving does, and what loving means.

The solution is to restore a true image of love by breaking that false association between love and negative experience.

How pain gets linked to love

Any two items can and will be associated if they happen simultaneously. Pavlov’s dog salivated at the sound of a bell because after many experiences, he “learned” that bells cause dog food. As a result of many experiences with selfish and UNloving attitudes and behaviors which happened within the context known as love relationships, we “learn” too. We build an association of pain with love, and that association creates a Pavlovian fear reflex. But the matter of cause and effect is tricky business: one can easily read things wrong.

A Case of Mistaken Diagnosis

A woman fell terribly ill during a period when she happened to consume fresh fruit in abundance. She blamed her illness on the fruit in her diet, even though the fruit was not its cause. As a result of her wrong conclusion, she stopped eating fruit, to her detriment.

Unfortunately, our negative convictions will cause endless repetitions of negative experiences until we figure out what hurt comes from what. If we “learn” from pain that love is unsafe and conclude that we had better act selfishly to protect ourselves from the so-called dangers of love, we raise our defenses—and increase our offenses, too. The more unloving we become, the worse things get, until we lose our chances for true intimacy. The correct conclusion from painful experiences is not that LOVE is dangerous, but that SELFISHNESS will rip your heart out, and that SELF-CONCERN will compress you into a black cloud.

Like the lure of the devil’s triangle, paranoia has a certain appeal to the psyche. But as spiritual beings, we prefer the real safety of love to the real dangers of distance. We never really ARE happy except when we are more concerned about someone other than ourselves. This is our experience! We WERE at our happiest when we were really loving. Remember those fond memories!

Evaluating personal experiences with intimacy

Whenever we catch ourselves fearing love, how do we realign ourselves with the reality of love? Perhaps we could read books on love or listen to inspirational speakers. Such resources can provide a booster shot for the soul. But like booster shots, which work by mobilizing the body’s own defenses, love guides can do no better—and no more—than put us in touch with our own experience of love.

Evaluate sad and bad memories. Think about the painful intimacies you’ve suffered in the past. Were they love relationships, or not? Since they had some love in them, you called them love relationships. But truth be told, it was not love that attacked those intimacies.

Many are convicted that love hurts, and will show you their battle scars to prove it. But what caused those scars? Was it a gentle caress, perhaps, or a tender look? Or was it the fights, the betrayals, the abuse? No doubt about it: those are scars of UNLOVE, not of love. No use pretending: it was unlove, ego, selfishness, and reactivity that left the scars.

Evaluate fond memories. Fond memories of love remind us what love REALLY feels like and is like. Remember a time when you were free of self-concern, wholeheartedly loving someone, and being loved by them. You could soar like an eagle—free, safe, blissful, and strong. Love created THOSE beautiful feelings. The way to keep love’s good name clear is to remember what caused those experiences. No use pretending.

Take the sour out of sweet and sour love!

Surely love holds nothing worthy of fear. Two emotionally immature people will profess eternal love, and then fight to the death and blame the whole mess on each other, and on love. But this pain is only a result of inconsistency and irresponsibility in the context of love.

Perhaps the hurtful, love-hate style relations of the past were all we could manage in our emotional infancy, but now we are ready for something more truly loving, and more consistently so. Let’s take the sour out of the sweet and sour soup—by taking the unlove out of relationships. Consistency in loving is all we need to clear love’s good name.

This is an article from soulprogress.com.

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Soul Honesty

Part of the function of the Sonship of God, or the Family of Man, is to liberate each other through the use of Higher Mind*. The higher mind functions that work for this purpose include forgiveness, understanding, and, most of all, recognition: the recognition of the true Self in one another.

We’ve all experienced the incredible uplifting and unifying power of “great minds think alike”! But, oftentimes, when people say they have a “meeting of the minds,” the effect is not particularly uplifting or unifying. Why not? Because whether they are alike, or different, Lower Mind** thoughts don’t touch the soul. Only when higher minds think alike do we find the effects uplifting and liberating.

Often when we think of support, we think of the joining of lower minds. We think of the meeting of minds, but not of hearts. Such agreements, though perhaps comforting on some level, provide little comfort to the Higher Self. Consequently, a support system as it is usually conceived is practically useless to our true Self.

On the other hand, human beings who are sufficiently in touch with their Higher Self can connect and agree at much deeper levels. They can touch one another as authentic entities and true children of God. Together they can genuinely feel the core issues of life: the struggles, the aspirations, the issues of spiritual substance. Agreements made in the sphere of soul honesty have the stamp of Divine approval, and are therefore liberating. Forgiveness is like that.

What IS soul honesty?

Soul honesty is honesty in the feeling realm of the heart. It is deep, but we can find that depth if we just keep reaching for the DEEPEST honesty we can feel. Until it becomes second nature, that reaching is a PROCESS. The process works like this:

“I find your tie disgusting.”

That is an egoic opinion, and it is honest on its own level, but it is by no means SOUL honest. The following questions lead to deeper honesty:

“What ELSE do you feel?” For example, how do you feel about the DEGREE of disgust you feel for my tie? How do you feel about the way your disgust affects you?”

To these questions, a soul-honest answer might be:

“I don’t feel good about being pushed around by my own negative reactivity***.”

NOW we’re getting somewhere!

“Great! AND . . . How do you feel about the way the expression of your disgust affects me?”

 “Not that good, really. I don’t feel good about creating pain for you because of my insensitive expression of my superficial reactions.

“Great!”

Such is soul honesty.

As you see, by bringing into play deeper sensibilities, soul honesty resolves superficial problems, and finds levels where deep, soul-satisfying agreements can be shared. (All of this assumes, of course, that the person is willing to GO there. Soul honesty is not a technique. It is a sincere investigation into the depths of one’s heart.)

If practiced regularly, soul honesty puts us safely in touch with who we REALLY are—our true Self. The human mind, illumined by its contact with the Truth, can appreciate the true nature of Selfhood, while still appreciating the common struggles and challenges in the evolutionary journey. Once habituated, soul honesty is a marvelously effective way of relating in everyday life. This effectiveness evolves from having dug to the root of life, and found the wellspring of Self-knowledge.

* Higher mind: The divine brain, the subtle “organ” through which truth and understanding are immediately and spontaneously known (in the absence of dependence or focus upon the lower or cogitating mind). The headquarters, source, refuge of the heart. (See LOWER MIND)

** Lower mind: The human brain; the seat of memory, association, and the process we call thinking or cognition (including all mentality which functions within the confines of memory, fear, doubt, predisposition, tape loops, and worldly information). The headquarters, source, refuge of the EGO and egoism. (See HIGHER MIND)

*** Reactivity: A strong or sudden emotional response to stimuli, usually triggered by some coincidental association with past memories (conscious or unconscious). The tendency to strong or sudden emotional responses due to over-identification with the content of the lower mind. Identifying with the reactive content of the lower mind reduces one’s ability to see the present as distinctly separate from the past. And that creates a lot of trouble.

This is an excerpt from an article called Soul Honesty from soulprogress.com.

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Is there love after romance?

Obviously, the upsides of romance are grand, including wondrous pleasures, and possibly thrills of a lifetime. But of the many forms of love, romance deserves the title “Most Likely to Recede.” Why?

Could it be that romantic highs turn people greedy? In romance, fresh eyes see wondrous depths that jaded eyes ignore, and open hearts feel thrills that touch the very soul. But other times—some people would call these the best of times—romance becomes a feeding frenzy, fueled by intense wanting and strong expectations of personal benefit. The fire of desire burns high for a while, but before long people get burned.

We need to understand WHY romance can be a dizzy high, or a dizzy low: Trouble starts if wanting exceeds loving. We can keep love on track from the start by:

1. Taking stock of the forces at work in romance.

2. Consciously shaping those forces into beauty.

High hopes

The mooning of enthusiastic new lovers is nauseatingly similar to the enthusiasm of business partners embarking upon a promising new venture, buzzing with groundless compliments and confidence. Tomorrow they may call each other different names, but this is now, and they think they stand to win big, so they admire each other. Couples anticipate rewards even bigger than big business: physical and emotional gratification, a chance for growth, and perhaps even the security of long-term companionship. No wonder lovers go wild!

You can predict the destiny of the affair by noticing how far out of shape the lovers bend themselves. Naturally, new lovers put their best foot forward, but when longtime friends witness behaviors so far out of character that they stare in utter disbelief, watch out.

Fantasy: the motive force of romance

Where does it come from, this peculiar selfishness that creeps into romance and erodes the love within it? When people go crazy all of a sudden, it didn’t just happen; they were primed for it mentally. A lot of steam behind the romance dream comes from fantasies.

Of course some psychology experts speak in glowing terms about the wondrous power of fantasies—”Fantasies are a process of creative visioning. Acting out fantasies can set us free. . .” Fair enough, but if fantasies can set us free, they can just as well set us up for failure. The real impact of a fantasy depends on its nature. Therefore, understanding the import of our romantic fantasies can help us refine our approach to intimacy*.

Consider, for example, your favorite romantic fantasy: What is it in that fantasy that thrills you? What features pack the punch? Consider the nature of the social transaction enacted in the fantasy. What have you wanted from your lovers, and what have you offered them? Have you been primarily oriented to loving and giving, or to collecting personal benefits like gratification, consolation, attention, or security?

Most fantasies are selfish, devoid of anything like real love. People who indulge in selfish or base fantasies are bound to think in selfish and base terms when it comes to real-life relations—and that orientation in turn subtly undermines our intimacies.

Re-shaping the dream

Many personal benefits may arise from love relationships, but if we make “loving” the outgrowth of a selfish dream, love will surely be ruined. We need to be truly loving individuals in our own right, and fantasies can help.

Beautiful dreams spawn beautiful realities, ugly dreams breed ugliness. A healthy intimacy starts in a kind mind. Humane fantasies prepare us to satisfy the real requirements of real love relationships and real human beings. They include genuine feeling and concern for the long-term happiness of the other person.

Fortunately, we can consciously control, shape, and modify our fantasies. We can replace selfish dreams of romance with dreams of VIABLE love by envisioning forms of relating that are reasonably true and credibly real. Instead of saying, “I dream of a person who will take care of and gratify me in this and that way,” try this: “I dream of a person I can love and who will love me too—and we will both love genuinely, softly, unselfishly, and wisely.”

How to do it right

Love is a consecration of self to other. Romance or no romance, love-not selfish desire—forms the right foundation for intimacy. Not that we have to be models of unselfishness in every thought and deed. Not that we could be so perfect. Just as long as our loving EXCEEDS our wanting, love can succeed. Then the wonderful energy of romance can make love sing.

May our PRIMARY vision be caring, and all the rest secondary—even inconsequential. For indeed it is.

This is an article from soulprogress.com

* Intimacy: A feeling of closeness and connection generated between people as a result of a strong mutual intention to share feeling, understanding, and communication; may or may not include sexual closeness. (definition provided by soulprogress.com)

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