ACHIEVING A HIGHER STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Prayer is achieving a higher state of consciousness. Prayer is not getting. Prayer is not a gimmee. It has degenerated in our mind into a gimme formula.
If is an attempt for the person saying the prayer to achieve a higher state of consciousness, then it is worthwhile. If it’s just gimme, gimme, gimme, then, of course, it is an attempt to use it as a magic invocation to get what you want.
Question: Then prayer would be not saying a word?
Answer: Right. It’s all in the attention. Where is your attention at this moment? You’ve got to raise your consciousness unceasingly. It doesn’t matter about the words.
So if you did do any asking, do it for them. And the only worthwhile thing to ask for anybody is what? Consciousness! It’s not worthwhile to ask that they get all the goodies they want and so forth
If says you ask and do not receive because you ask amiss. You ask that you may spend it on your fashions or your senses. But if you ask properly, which is to raise the consciousness, it’s always answered,
WHERE TO BEGIN
(HEADLINES page 41)
One may start the work of self-observation by observing under what circumstances one feels certain emotions. A few possible ones to start with are: anger, annoyance, resentment, guilt, regret, fear, worry, insecurity or feelings of inferiority and let’s not forget jealousy. Observing the presence of these destructive emotions and one’s reaction, one begins to see that these feelings only arise when one is not getting or anticipates not getting some ideal thing or situation that one feels would make one “happy”. Now one is near, but not seeing clearly what one values. We want to be happy but what makes one happy? That is what we really value, that which we know will make us happy.
By going slowly and going deeper we may travel this rough road and see that what we mean by happiness is to be in a state of pleasure and comfort with lots of favorable attention, lots of approval and that I have no pain.
The Teachings say that we think by association. In addition we see, smell, taste, hear and touch. These sensations also associate with a past time, place and circumstance. From the association which we rarely recognize, the thoughts then play a game with us of “then is now”. In this mix within, there are many ideals of how things and people “should be”. So much is illusion and the Teachings give us a way to sort out the real from the imagined.
So we can begin the Work by observing our thoughts and our feelings. Derogatory thoughts and feelings about self, others or circumstance are called “”Not-I’s. We can observe these without criticism or judgment without feeling that we have to act on them.
(Excerpts from Phoenix Workshop 1970)
The next phrase is “which art in heaven”. This would remind us to direct our attention to the invisible realm, spiritual realm or the meaning realm. It would remind us to see meaning in ALL things. Heaven being that realm of meaning, the area where everything is harmonious when you see the meaning behind things. There isn’t anything you want to change or feel obligated or necessary to make over into your little “picture senses.” This reminds us not to be concerned with what the senses are reporting, but to see the meaning behind it.
The next word is “hallowed be thy name.” Now hallowed means to hold in great respect or reverence. That it is dedicated to all that’s real and that it is set aside from the profane or from the senses. BE is always in present times, NOW, the state of being. So it is not “once in awhile” or “now and then” or “at some future date”, or some “past date” but BE is a state of beingingness or meaning RIGHT NOW.
The word “name” does not refer so some name like “Darlene”, “Bob”, “Joe”, etc. The word name in the prayer refers to the nature of something. Now formerly everything that is a name was to represent its nature…So another way to say it would be hallowed be that nature. Obviously the nature is that of creating. It is also the nature of having meaning to everything. We see the purpose of things. We also begin to see that Life is all ONE.
(Excerpt from School Talk # 38)
You might reconsider and we could see the world is populated with wonderful people. They are all nice. They are just lost and befuddled. The least I can do is feed them with a nice feeling somewhere along the way. I don’t know whether my observations about them are going to change them a whole lot, but it sure makes my life a lot less painful and miserable. And, in addition, I don’t have all these misfortunes that come everybody’s way.
Now, if I walked up to somebody and said, “You are always cursing everything around you,” you would probably call me a “dirty fibber” or “bob” me, or tell me what a “jerk” I was. But if you look at is for a little bit, everytime you are contributing to an unpleasant mood wherever you are, whether it’s by temper, by worry, by anxiety, by fretting, by stewing or whatever else it is that one does, by fault finding, by self-pity, what are you doing? You are cursing whatever you’re having that fit about. I’ve read in many places that the person that dishes out curses is in a very unpleasant situation because they all come back tenfold. One fold is enough to comeback. But tenfold? That gets wearisome.
So, I would say that it is probably a matter of life and death. And that gets it down to about as far as we know to go with it. So it is essential that we remember.
Remembering that I’m doing one of two things. I’m feeding (feeding with a nice feeling) or cursing every situation that I come up with. Now, there’s sometimes that you’re going someplace and you have a wonderful feeling and you talk about how wonderful it was. You’re feeding that one. But for every one you feed, probably, how many do you curse?
You can go radiate an “UP” mood, even though things are not going so good? If you go out there and add a good feeling it goes better that if you go out there and kick and scream. It that right?
THE JOY OF DISCOVERY
A STORY: Somewhere in the Teaching material I remember Dr. Bob saying: “Let others experience their own JOY of discovery.”
Hmmm. Because of my absorption with self, this took a while to soak in. I had valuable information that I was eager and happy to dish out because I thought I knew what they needed to improve their lives. UGH! Besides this information would help them in their journey toward self-realization……
Then I began to have some understanding. Why? Because I was discovering all sorts of information that was simply breath-taking. (Such as: Anytime I make something or someone important I become tense) I was so excited about this, checked it and found it to be true. WHAT A WONDERFUL DISCOVERY!
I was giddy!
Now I knew. I knew that if I gave unsolicited advice or even solicited advice, I had robbed others of this great joy. This is ego…plain, vanilla ego….” I’ll show you how smart I am and I’ll get good feelings of superiority, plus attention and approval. Surely I’m beyond all that childish stuff. Hardly. It is really hard to keep my mouth shut when I have a tidbit that I know would be helpful. When confronted with a question, it is difficult to say, “You know the answer to that. See what you can come up with.”
This doesn’t mean that I will not answer questions under any circumstances. I just know that I can be more discriminating. I can cease to cast a shadow on information that another has to work out for him/her self.
One of the aims of the Teaching material is to put us in contact with the Teacher within each of us. It’s there. Solid. My meddling only muddies the water.
My how you’ve changed since I’ve changed.
Distance doesn’t make you any smaller but it does make you a part of a larger picture.
Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes a free annual trip around the sun.
All I ask is a chance to prove that money doesn’t make me happy.
If you can’t learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.