Self-Distraction

QA163 QUESTION: I have a tendency, whenever I’m about to get in touch with my inner self or get absorbed in something, there is a pull that takes me off on a tangent. I very often yield to this and get out of the good current and into a kind of sterile ground. This takes several forms. One can be preoccupation with political events, or it can be some kind of fantasy or sex fantasy. This pulls me away from actually being in the stream or engaging in what I am doing. Can you indicate something for me now about how to deal with this pull that I have?

ANSWER: In the first place, I would like to say that two answers that were given tonight would, in part, also be applicable to you. One is that fear of happiness, fear of good feelings, is very much responsible for that. And the other is that there is still the barrier in you to overcoming a line of least resistance, to use a certain discipline with yourself.

Now you see, here again, this is a very ticklish subject, because discipline can be so wrong. It can be something that is superimposed; it can be something thwarting of the vital, creative forces within. Yet it is also a necessary thing that is to be applied.

Perhaps you can use the last lecture I gave [Lecture #163 Mind Activity and Mind Receptivity] to see exactly what I mean and in what way it has to be approached here. But the discipline is inevitable, for if you do not overcome the line of least resistance that wants to be apathetic, that wants to let itself be carried in the wrong way, then you slide into a state of stagnation. Therefore, it is necessary to take a hold of yourself.

My advice is this, use it by saying into yourself, “I want to face what stands in the way and I am going to overcome it, for I have the say, not that part in me that is destructive. I commit myself to living as constructively as possible, and for that I allow and I wish the superior forces within me to guide me to see exactly what it is.”

Then ask yourself, to what extent do you shrink away from something that might be necessary to look at. If you feel this inner attitude, then you know exactly why you are where you are. And then you have to make a clear-cut decision within you. Do you choose happiness and growth, or do you choose stagnation and suffering? Do you choose to trust more that part in you that says, “No, no, do not go that way?” Or do you trust more the divine that unfolds. There is your self-confrontation.

This kind of self-confrontation should take place repeatedly, calling yourself to task in a sense of “What are you doing with it?” No other authority but you yourself must take command in what direction you wish to go.

As you assert yourself for growth, for God in you, for truth, for courage of truth, for trust in God, and for action in a relaxed way by trusting the God-self to make your action harmonious and meaningful so that it is not strained after the first effort of taking command of yourself, then and then only will life be lived by the greater being.

You will be activated by it so that action becomes more natural and leads to greater unfoldment and realization of the unlimited, abundant possibilities of living life as great as it is.

QUESTION: Very often there is a kind of emotional doubt in my mind that by doing this – committing myself to something I consciously or at least mostly know to be the right way – I’m giving up something that is very important. It might be a pleasure or some feeling of rebellion or triumphing, that I don’t want to give up.

ANSWER: Exactly. Right.

QUESTION: I feel that if I do, I incur self-contempt for it.

ANSWER: Well, I would put it this way: the self-contempt is actually much greater underneath for indulging in the game. I beg to be understood that this is not said in a punitive spirit or anything like that.

It is in all of you – that authority – that knows very well what you are doing. And that is much more contemptuous of the childish spirit of rebellion and often vindictiveness and the triumphing over others – and all these little games that all human beings play in one way or another.

Of course, if you give up these games only because it is some power whom you appease, then it will not help you. But there is an enormous difference of doing it for the sake of the truth of life in you, for the sake of wanting to be constructive, and wanting to be in truth.

If you hold on to being vindictive or to triumphing over or to being defiant – defying some kind of vague, imaginary authority that really doesn’t exist but in your mind – then you inwardly despise yourself much, much more.

Giving up all these attitudes, not to please the authority but for its own sake, because you want to live constructively, because you realize it isn’t true that it is a question of you triumphing over the other or the other over you, or that you do this because of whatever the misconceptions may be – then the trust in the greater being must grow.

You will see that you give up nothing. You are now convinced of giving up something to your advantage when you give up, for example, a defiant attitude, a vindictive attitude, the attitude of “No, I won’t be constructive.” Therefore, it is so necessary and such a blessing when the individual finds this attitude, is aware of it.

Then you can confront yourself about it and ask yourself, do you wish to give it up, and if so, why? If you give it up for its own sake, because it is childish and destructive and you no longer want it and you are generous enough to let go of it and entrust yourself to some other processes, then it will be a blessed thing. That is coming into your own.

Otherwise, you must rest perched on that very precarious vantage point where you defy life. And since life and you are one, you defy yourself, your own best interests. Recognizing this plainly is a wonderful thing.

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