We keep looking for Home and not ﬁnding it, so I thought that if we looked for this Pit, we’d be sure not to ﬁnd it, which would be a Good Thing, because then we might ﬁnd something that we weren’t looking for, which might be just what we were looking for, really.
A A Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Life is a paradox; something only Winnie the Pooh, children and Mystics seem to understand.
We believe in a linear world; an if this, then that world, and because we believe this we think we are very clever. If you go to school, you learn to read and write. If you study, you will gain knowledge. If you try hard, you will achieve…
Ahh! How we believe in trying! In the world we have made for ourselves it indeed seems to work – at least to bring us the meager little benefits that may bring us comfort, but not happiness. But that is not the real world. The real world is Life. In Life, trying doesn’t work. That’s why, when Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life”, we did not understand Him. When he said, “You are the light of the world”, we did not understand him either.
In her magnificent book The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff wrote about the Yequana Indians helping Europeans move heavy canoes past rapids in the Amazon:
All were doing the same work; all were experiencing strain and pain. There was no difference in our situations except that we had been conditioned by our culture to believe that such a combination of circumstances constituted an unquestionable low on the scale of well-being and were quite unaware that we had any option in the matter. The [Yequana] Indians, on the other hand, equally unconscious of making a choice, were in a particularly merry state of mind, reveling in the camaraderie; and, of course, they had had no long build-up of dread to mar the preceding days.
Suffering is a belief; a belief that has its origin in resistance to life. We believe we have to change everything, including our own thoughts and emotions, in order to achieve what we want and to become who we want to be. Therein lies the origin of all pain.
And so we spend our lives trying to be nice, good, successful and the like. Where Jesus said, “You are the light of the world,” we changed that to “You must try hard to be a light in the world,” and set ourselves up for our hamster-like existence on a wheel that turns faster and faster while we remain exactly where we are.
How do you try to be what you already are?! It is impossible, and the inevitable result is despair. We are tense, we have panic attacks, we become neurotic or even violent, and ultimately we become depressed. Not that we are necessarily aware of this; most of it usually happens below our level of awareness.
In our trying, we suppress and deny everything that does not fit what we believe to be nice, good or appropriate. Yet Life does not let itself be denied. Removing it from our awareness does not mean that it disappears. On the contrary: we give power to what we deny.
And so our “shadow” comes to rule our lives, and will do so increasingly until we let go of the denial.
Because we have given our “evil” side so much power by denying it, allowing it to surface can be a traumatic experience. That’s why we avoid it! And yet … and yet … if we can take that first step, which is always supported by Life itself, life changes. To the extent that we can deeply “enter” the darkness, we find, not more horror, despair and darkness, but “salvation”: “The deeper you go into the blackness of the ego’s foundation, the closer you come to the Love that is hidden there. And it is this that frightens you.” (A Course in Miracles T-13.III.4)
The only way to find “salvation” or “enlightenment”, in other words true joy and abundance, is by NOT trying to find it!
The intellect cannot understand that. To try to understand merely exacerbates the conflict and suffering, as it is merely another form of resistance. The very intellect that has made up our if this, then that world can become the greatest obstacle to finding peace, because the intellect wants to try.
I have been through this process, and thereby found the joy of my own Being. Because ultimately my Being is the same as your Being, I have a deep desire and passion to share it with you.
Pamela Kribbe also experienced the process, apparently even deeper than I did. Herewith some quotes from her book The Dark Night of the Soul:
When you say yes to the darkness, it begins to release and flow, and that is the art of living this life.
The pain of not feeling becomes greater than the pain of feeling your emotions. That is your salvation, and this is the turning point.
The desire for death is essentially a desire for change, a desire to live again. People who wish to commit suicide have a deep desire for life, not for death.
No matter which way you twist or turn, life is more powerful than any death wish. Life always reassumes its right to be, you cannot kill it; therefore there is always hope.
Would you like to take the risk of learning to LIVE again?