Any person who believes in a passage to heaven as their right for merely professing some belief — or who asserts he or she is already being one of heaven’s bulwarks — is not just deluded but constitutes a real danger to anyone foolish enough to believe in their assertion of having such privileges.
This statement can be made without reservation because the fact of its reality is all around us; our lives are the evidence. The choice of our daily actions testifies to the truth of our present spiritual shallowness, so that seen aright these facts verify that few have the spiritual life that they claim — either in a “time to come” or in their professed “now.”
We who would be changed must be willing to examine ourselves. Truth must be our religion. We must look at what it is that occupies our minds and hearts for the vast majority of our time. And this vision is easy to obtain if only we won’t turn our heads way from what is before our eyes. Let’s look at what is there.
We move from stressful concerns about our tomorrows to resentment towards anyone who threatens our projected peace. We condemn ourselves for our own weaknesses as fast as we fall asleep in them, and then give ourselves over to their destructive pleasures. We would rather dream of better times to come than contend with those bitter parts of our nature that actively contaminate our present.
If we want a real life, we should make a list of these contradictions in our own consciousness. See the truth of yourself and that truth — its light — will attend to what you have been unable to do until now: let go of yourself.
Dying to oneself implies not only understanding what must be sacrificed in us – this time nature and its sufferings born of its own ceaseless selfish considerations – but, for this dawning realization, to be willing to do the true inner work that our new discoveries direct us to undertake in their cause.
Here are a few areas where we can work to lose ourselves for the sake of gaining our real life:
- Catch yourself about to run off in an anxious state to try and quell some fear of a negatively anticipated moment to come. Deliberately step out of that dark flood of fearful, rushed feelings, and into your awakened awareness that this stressed condition, its conflict, and the sense of self it is generating, are secret conspirators. You can do this once you realize that these punishing and punished parts of you are indeed “one for all” — but that none of them are for you!
- Die to the threats of any unwanted moment, and that fear-filled sense of self that lives only to resolve them will fade away as well. Then true fearlessness itself will take the place of this shaking self.
- Try to see the self that loves to revel in suffering. Watch yourself about to take center stage in the dark drama of something you are sure has been pressed upon you, and right there, right then, walk off the stage. Pull the curtains closed on these self-pitying feelings and you shut down the theater of the absurd — the belief that the self that suffers can rescue the suffering self!
We must each find our own ways and means to do this work of dying to self even though the actual inner task is always the same. And of this you may be assured: There is never a shortage of self-stuff to see when it comes to opportunities to lay our self down for the sake of Truth.
For those of us who can recognize the reality behind these words, and that they reveal a true need for a real transformation, the time for this change in our consciousness must be Now. The place for this work must be wherever we are, regardless of circumstance. And everything inside and outside of us must be subjected to this awakening intention to become new in the Truth.
Photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/@michaelcarruth?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>Michael Carruth</a> on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/s/photos/truth?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>Unsplash</a>