Shoulds

QA133 QUESTION: My current effort is to differentiate the ego effort, to find what is the natural ego building; there’s such a conflict all the time. I have so many shoulds.

ANSWER: You’re quite right in saying that the immediate obstacle is the should. And there is a fear in you that the should is violated. In other words, that you are not up to standards, that you are not being a good person because your feelings are at variance with what you think they ought to be.

Incidentally, you will also find considerable help by the last lecture [Lecture #133 Love: Not a Commandment, But Spontaneous Soul Movement of the Inner Self], but let me specify here for you it is of utmost importance that you determine in your daily meditations to allow yourself to feel freely what you feel, without any encumbrance, without any hindrance on your part, because where you hinder this is where you use your ego in a wrong way, in a way that is detrimental for you.

There is in this a misunderstanding on your part that the fact that your feelings are not perfect to your ideas is the same as being destructive in action. You take it for granted that your feelings are destructive in many ways, but they cannot harm you in action – and not even in inner activity – if you can adopt or learn this attitude of being in the Now in this respect.

In other words, “This is what I now feel,” whether this feeling now is hostility, hopelessness, self-pity, whatever it is. If you can formulate in exact terms what it is you feel at this moment, then you will come out of this conflict you find yourself in. And at the same time you will come out of perfectionism and out of striving away from the Now.

Therefore you will go to the root of the problem. You will stop straining and will learn being, even if that being at the moment is destructive. In the moment you allow yourself admission and being in this momentary destructiveness, there can be no destructive effect on you or others, while your denial of what it is now has a negative effect.

Determine in your meditation that this is what you want – to allow yourself recognition – and let yourself be immersed in what you feel now, whatever these feelings are. If you’re vaguely disturbed and you do not quite know why, say, “Now, I would like to know what is it I really feel at this moment.” If that is your aim, you will get to this understanding.

It will be an entirely different thing from what you have done so far – namely, “I suspect I feel thus and thus, but I really shouldn’t,” and you try to make yourself feel away from what it is you feel now. If it isn’t that you made yourself feel love, at least you made yourself feel other than hostility or vindictiveness or whatever it may be at the moment. And there is where you lose your peace.

QUESTION: What exactly do you mean by immersion?

ANSWER: By that I mean you let yourself sink in but not in a destructive way, where you lose yourself. You just feel what you feel and observe what you feel. You say, “I want to feel what it is truly that I feel at that moment, and I want to know what it is.” Then you immerse yourself; then you own up to it; then you do not struggle away from it.

This is an entirely different thing than self-indulgence, where one is self-righteous about it. You simply want to – for what it may be worth, good or bad – feel what you feel. Then you can begin to evaluate whether this feeling is in proportion to the reality of the situation and why you feel that way. But first of all you have to allow yourself full cognizance of what it is you feel.

QUESTION: Then how can you prevent self-destruction?

ANSWER: It is very difficult to do this by yourself, because one does not have the distance and the objectivity. But the time will come when you perhaps can find your way clear – working with a Helper, privately as well as in group – and then it would be much easier for you – much, much easier. Perhaps you can even find some way of making such arrangements soon.

When you are in such a situation, the proper meditation at this time is declaring that you wish to see what is underlying and waiting for the result to come up. But you will find this much easier with help. In the meantime you just try to go along these lines.

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