What is Faith and How Do I Get It?........................... 12
Humans are More than Mere Animals........................ 16
All About Compensating and Changing..................... 26
The Absorptive Personality Syndrome........................ 44
Where Does a Good Man Get His Power?.................. 59
Why You Must Learn Not to Be Intimidated.............. 69
Exchange Processes................................................... 93
The Ordeal of Trauma............................................. 100
The Genesis of Disease............................................. 122
True and False Meditation........................................ 130
Why We Feel Drained............................................... 145
God is the Great Awareness of the Universe............... 153
Understanding Compensation.................................. 172
Never Complain, Never Explain.............................. 192
Notes From My Physics Journal............................... 199
Salvation from Corruption and Despair.................... 207
The Heavenly State of Mind..................................... 223
The Problem with the Spoken Word........................ 234
The Living Word...................................................... 246
What Happens Without the Influence of the Light.... 256
The Meaning of Perfection....................................... 262
Recovery from a Dysfunctional Home..................... 286
External Stimulation................................................ 294
Men and Women...................................................... 315
The Problem with Symptom Removal..................... 366
The Law of Liberty................................................... 376
The Restoration of a Right Relationship with God.... 396
Living and Loving Wholeheartedly........................... 404
Many people wish to have peace of mind, a sense of spiritual purpose in life, and above all a right relationship with others, especially their loved ones. They want to live the good life, but become frustrated when cares and issues interfere with their spiritual walk.
There is a saying of Christ that is very relevant here: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His right way; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33).
A right relationship with God will automatically result in right relationships with everyone and everything else.
Today we have so much information. For example, our smart phones and the internet can be fantastic tools to find bargains, get up dated information or do research. I'm glad we have the new technology (it permits me to have a website where I can freely share articles and downloads with people). We have plenty of information.
So it is not a lack of information that we suffer from. We suffer from a lack of understanding. Today many people have so lost touch with their intuition that they don't even know they have it, let along how to find it. Yet it is through being attuned to our intuition that we receive wordless guidance from within, which is understanding.
And for a lack of wisdom and understanding, people err and suffer. In fact the whole world has always suffered for a lack of understanding. But some people are troubled by their lack and realize that if they had more wisdom and patience they could handle life's issues better. Such people honestly wish to find such love and understanding to help them deal lovingly and fairly with others.
The secret way to the fount of understanding has been hidden from the people. Christ spoke harshly to the Pharisees (the religious leaders of that day). He told them: "You know the way, but you keep it from the people and instead burden them with laws and traditions."
Yet the secret is there to be found by the sincere seeker--hidden in plain sight. The secret way is the way of objectivity, of finding the Inner Light of Truth and relating to it. It is the way of repentance, because it is impossible to come in contact with the light of Truth and stay in that light without seeing one's own errors, such as pride and resentment, and regretting them in the light.
The key to wisdom, love, and all the good things in life is within, and is not to be found in books, study, or knowledge.
A man like Christ was full of love and understanding. When people heard Him, His words and His Presence awakened them to the Light in themselves. Some hated it. Others loved it and learned to relate to God within. From this new rapport, they were healed of their infirmities and restored to wholeness.
We begin each day with meditation, thus we renew our commitment and our desire to have God enter our life. By beginning the day with meditation you are literally putting first your desire for a right relationship with God. David affirmed this desire for a right relationship with God when he asked God to "renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10).
With the help of the meditation you then go out into the world carrying this meditative state of mind with you--this slight detachment from people, circumstances, things, words and thoughts. You are thus attached to the inner light from God and slightly distant to the world. You are "in the world but not of the world."
Because of this, you will then be able to discern which way to go and which things to dissociate from. More importantly, you will discover an inner intuitive source of endless love and patience for others.
It is not possible for me to over-emphasize the importance of the meditation exercise. It is a simple technique for separating from the illusory world of the imagination. It is, in this regard, a simple technique for separating from worries, excessive thought, and the internalized pressures from the world. We have a tendency to go floating along with imagination, and we do so at the first sighting of stress. We seek refuge in the thought world where we feel secure. But what we are actually doing is escaping from where true security lies--in objectivity where we are closer to God.
We cannot solve our issues when we are lost in thoughts. We have no control over thoughts when we are immersed in them. We cannot know the truth when we are lost in thinking and daydreaming. In order to find true rest, real security, real solutions, and salvation from the nightmare world of illusions, we must separate from thought.
In The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis put it this way:
Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Gaze rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entangled and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" Matthew 6: 25
And He said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matthew 8: 26
In a recent YouTube lecture I talked about how the fall from faith leads to becoming increasingly reactive to things. This is how it was for Adam. First there was the fall from faith, then came worry. First the fall from faith, then ensued increasing responses to people, circumstances, and suggestions.
In our unsaved state, we are inherently prone to be emotional. Adam knew God intimately before the fall from faith. But for us, we are born into the kind of life he fell to. We have never known the pristine faith that Adam enjoyed before he turned his back on it. We have only known emotional subjectivity to the world.
But don't be too hard on ol' Adam. He did not know what he was getting into. Here is an analogy. When Adam had lived according to faith it was analogous to when you are healthy and feel good. You don't realize how nice it is until after you get sick. Then you think back on how nice it was to feel good. Adam did not appreciate what he had until he had lost it. Then, for him, it was too late.
Many people take their state of health for granted and assume they will always feel good. So they eat wrong food and make other lifestyle errors. Finally they lose their health. Just like Adam, when they began making wrong choices, they did not know what they were getting into. Maybe they were warned by others about their lifestyle choices, but they did not believe the warnings.
Only after they start to feel lousy do they think back about how good they had it when they felt good.
So it was with Adam. His faith was like a positive state of healthy being. But it was untested faith. Then when someone came along with the idea of being his great without God, he lent his ear, toyed with the idea, responded to it, and then ate the forbidden junk food.
God warned Adam about what would happen if he ate the forbidden fruit, just as people undoubtedly warned you about some of the choices you were making. But you didn't listen. Maybe you heard what they said but did not really believe them.
Perhaps it was the same with ol' Adam. He heard what God said, but he doubted it.
Getting back to our out of control lives. We did not start out that way. We inherited a condition without faith (and intimate knowledge of God). Therefore we were prone to respond to challenges emotionally, since we did not have faith. We had no choice but to respond when we were teased and challenged. Soon our responses become conditioned, and then we become obedient to the source of the challenges.
We had no choice about the life we inherited, nor did we have a choice about the conditions we were born into. But later in life, when we are grown up, when we have made mistakes just like our parents did, when we have been led astray, and finally when our choiceless choices have led us into grave problems and issues, we will be forced to see where all those smiling leaders, motivators, helpers and lovers have led us. We will see that the latent but untested clear vision and intuition of what we knew was right in our hearts was the lodestar we should not have doubted.
We will also have the opportunity see how our ego stubbornness and resentments have compounded our issues. At this point we soberly begin to question the way we have been going, the things we have believed, and our prideful attitude. Yearning for what is right, our sincere yearning will be met by light so that we may see our errors, and in the light, be repented of them.
This will be the beginning of salvation for those blessed ones who question the way they have been going and have a change of heart about the resentful, ambitious path they have been on.
For us, salvation from our servitude to people and conditions around us begins when we respond to what we know in our heart. Then we begin to grow in faith. First just a little faith. Then more and more.
What people mean by the term "maturity" is learning to remain unemotional. The mature person is calm and thoughtful. Unfortunately, most of us never got much past our learned emotionality from childhood. Though we pretend to be calm but are emotional inside.
But once having found and recommitted to what you know in your heart, you will become impervious to stress. Responding more and more to the inner light from God, trusting in it, and believing it saves you from responding to and becoming a slave of external tease and challenge.
- 2 - Humans are More than Mere Animals The ego of humans is not like the self of animals. The animal identity is fixed more or less (though animals, especially pets like cats and dogs, can be corrupted by association with humans). But the human is forced to gather bits of identity from the environment for the completion of his ego. This s/he does through reacting to external people and events. The bigger the trauma, the greater and deeper the imprinting. Though a series of small traumas over time will also build up to become the big trauma that alters the personality to the core.
This need for identity bits, as well as the obliging presence of prideful people all around, ensures that encounters with devilishly cruel, confusing, and seductive people will provide plenty of prideful identity imprints for the ego. Any sort of identification is ego building and ego supportive. Hero worship is a way of seeking to identify with and a desire to become like who we are worshipping.
Our hero worship, as well as the sick practice of putting others on a pedestal, are always self serving. We want to become like what we are worshipping. We want to become them in order to make our own ego into a glorious thing. If we fear them, or we are resentfully subject to them in some way, then our worship is both to get their identity (which we grudgingly admire) and also to pacify them and mollify them until we grow to be able to overcome them.
The bits and pieces of ego identity that we gather through traumatic experiences with others build the material and emotional side of our identity; but there is also a spiritual component. Behind pride stands the spirit of pride. The ultimate fashioner and model of pride is the devil himself.
Without realizing it, when we want to be proud, we are worshipping the author of such pride. So as you grow in your ego identity--taking your identity from culture, pride, and ambition-fostering institutions (such as schools and churches), from your prideful parents, peers and cultural, and from sports and entertainment icons, you keep seeking to be admired, worshipped and respected for what they promise to give you--a glorious image of yourself. But in your yearning and desire to be proud you also call upon a spiritual entity for his support, and as he enters you begin to resemble him.
All human institutions, with few exceptions, are compensatory structures--seeking to make up from below for what was lost from above. Look carefully and you will see that they all serve pride. Parents inculcate pride into their kids; schools force or tempt you to study to "make something of yourself." Prideful teachers (dead to true understanding and wisdom, and compensated with book knowledge) tempt you to be prideful just like them.
Most workplaces are teasing environments that tempt you to become ambitious and greedy. They seduce you to go along to get promoted; or the injustice there tempts you to "get yours" and prove something. Even false churches get into the act, telling you to study "the word," tempting you to become prideful and ambitious for religious knowledge.
Whether you love and emulate hypocritical authorities or whether you hate them--either way, you are tempted to become ambitious, and this attitude builds pride. Should you hate them and drop out and become a failure, your failing identity is also based in pride, your prideful judgment which sustains you in your hatred of them.
Of course we are all born as little egos, and we have no choice but to gather elements to build our ego from the world. So it is natural up to a point. If you grow up in a decent environment, you will still gather your identity from outside. You will be tempted and teased by other kids, and challenged and pressured by adults who tempt unconsciously. You will undoubtedly see some other kids or adults who you admire (hopefully they set good examples and are not overly prideful). Thus you will grow up to be a big ego.
As I said, this is all perfectly natural. Being a big natural ego, if you are not ambitious or resentful, is not to far from a natural innocent state. Especially if you have some principles, deal fairly with others, and aren't very resentful.
If there is salvation in your future, you will probably live within certain moral boundaries, and though you may make some mistakes, you maintain a love for truth. You will continue to yearn for what is right and you will have a sneaky suspicion that there has to be more to life. At some point, perhaps after having raised a family and after having gone as far as your earthly courage and good sense will take you, you will begin to experience the touch of God, as He begins to draw you to Himself, first by giving you light. You are repented of your sins, and then the second half of your life journey begins, this time back to the light.
Unfortunately for most people, upon reaching full adulthood, they then get caught up in the teases, temptations and cares of life. They become resentful and defensive; and one way or another they develop pride through either conforming to or rebelling against those they have encountered. They discover that they have no power, and resenting this truth, they seek to compensate in some way to protect their ego: they develop a hard shell, an aggressive personality, or seek to gain power through acquisition of money or position. Others develop a retreating, withdrawing personality and fade from life to protect their identity. Those who resentfully withdraw from life usually compensate with fantasy. The more resentful and withdrawn they become, the greater is their fantasy life.
Big egos soon make the discovery that they are becoming just like someone they hated, such as a parent. This is especially noticeable when they have kids of their own and they find themselves yelling, screaming and being impatient with their kids just as their parents had been with them.
For the blessed few, a time of soul searching begins, and a yearning for real answers. This wholesome need is eventually answered by God. But most egos cry out to the wrong god. In their resentment and desire to make it big or prove something, he answers with the kind of answers that may make them successful (but they have to sell their soul and become a slave of the devil in exchange).
Many decent people, who are resentful and compensated or withdrawn, might yet be saved. They have some decency and are not total sell outs. If they encountered someone who loves them enough to tell them the truth, and do so in a credible way, and in a way that throws them back on themselves, they might recover and then get on the path that will lead to God entering their life.
But most of them never make it because of a devilish thing called comfort. What comforts you as you are keeps you as you are. Other people have discovered that it is easier to assuage egos than to confront them. In return they expect you to not call them out. Most people will like you if you make them feel comfortable and they will resent you if your honesty makes them uncomfortable.
Most egos do not want to face the truth of what they have become, so they look for assurance and reassurance. They also want comfort to forestall the pain of being wrong. The wicked art of comforting egos takes various forms: lying to people, withholding the truth, praising them for what they are, reassuring them, and discouraging them from seeking true answers. Comfort is also the form of mild pressure that all cultures exert on their citizens. Everything around is geared toward denying truth, covering up, going along to get along and so on. And so it comes to pass that reassuring lies are comforting to the wrong ego.
The lies take many forms. A woman lies to the man. She lies that sex love is all women want, and that sex love is all it takes to be a real man. By and large, doctors are been turned into seducers--most of them start out wanting to do good and truly help others, but telling people the truth will drive them away. It is easier and more lucrative to tell them that the problem is with their body and not with their attitude.
It is hard to tell people the truth. The truth is hard to receive, and so many people will hate the truth speaker for bursting their bubble. Besides, there is lots of money to be made in comforting egos.
So it was pride that ushered in the fallen nature. For us it is by inheritance. But we need to understand the link between pride, failing, and the fallen nature. Through understanding we may rise in consciousness, shed the prideful attitude, and then our whole being can be upgraded and set free from our lowly enslavements.
When one is prideful, awareness brings self consciousness. For the prideful guilty person, awareness brings shame and pain in having to see the truth about their rotten life--so they avoid awareness like the plague. Bear in mind that we are all egos, and prior to being well along the path toward understanding through repentance and meditation, we tend to get hung up in either condemning or condoning the natural packaging we come with. Teenagers, who are becoming keenly aware of their physical nature as they leave behind childhood, become very self conscious. This is natural and just needs some wise guidance from parents who know that "this too shall pass." The natural ego is self conscious, feels a bit awkward in the physical casing we come with, modest, and a bit embarrassed about sexuality. As I have always said, our physical nature and especially sexuality, needs to be understood, not condemned or condoned.
A certain amount of modesty is a good thing. And a bit of self consciousness is not a bad thing either. We should be somewhat self conscious about our animal bodies that we inherit, as this fosters wondering about the natural needs that attend our fallen physical selves. These needs are natural for animals but unnaturally natural for humans. Just as Adam, once he had sinned, became aware of his nakedness; so we, the progeny of Adam, inherit our physical bodies and its needs. Without the slight discomfort of self consciousness, we would never be prompted to wonder, question, and perhaps seek higher ground.
Our fallen self needs to be understood not condemned or condoned. If we could just remain a bit self conscious and a bit troubled over our animal casing and its "natural" needs, this could lead to questioning and wondering. This healthy inquiry and wondering could lead to eventually seeing in the light the truth about our fallen nature and how it is inherited from our forebear who fell from a higher state to a lower animal one as a result of sin. This condition is what we inherit and what is quite properly called being born in sin.
So we live as best we can, awaiting God's calling us to understanding and helping us to gently lay down the animal life and take up the spiritual life. Until that time we make the best of it, modestly enjoying those joys and blessings that attend food, work, marriage and child rearing. We appreciate them, but our searching nature restrains us from living to the hilt and abandoning ourselves to just the physical side of things.
But what most people do is become impatient (as egos generally do), and then feel compelled to either condemn or condone our inherited fallen nature. Egos, which are not searching, are tempted to judge. And so they judge their fallen nature and its needs as either bad or as good. If bad, then they condemn themselves and others and try to suppress every need, even natural ones. By the way, it is not wrong to have a sexual need and to express one's sexuality within the bounds of holy matrimony. Modesty and propriety are called for, but not condemnation.
Others, after struggling with their natural needs and being unable to completely repress them, eventually throw in the towel and declare that it is impossible to restrain our behavior, since we are just animals. So they let it all hang out and wallow in sensuality, judging it as good.
Neither extreme is right. We have to be content with being natural egos, dealing as best we can with our natural needs with modesty and restraint within proper boundaries. So we get married and have kids and so on.
Then, usually in the second half of life, after having lived a natural decent life, dealing as best we can with our inherited nature, and being patient with ourselves and others, our searching and wondering about the meaning of life brings us to the threshold where God enters our life by sending His Light. As we become more objective in the Light we begin to be shown the truth about the fall of the human race. And as we see this truth, we begin to have understanding, and this understanding begins to modify our appetites. We become naturally more modest and thoughtful, as our soul is rectified and then the mind and body.
- 3 -
All About Compensating and Changing
Egotists can't stop looking for some advantage. For example, every word they hear might be some titillating gossip to pass along to make themselves seem important or to use to build themselves up by judging and relishing the failing of another. So they can't help lending an ear.
Knowledge, you see, is what egotist needs to build a storehouse to use to plan, to judge, to decide and choose. These are the prerogatives of a god, and in order to know himself or herself as a god, the egotist must ever accumulate knowledge with which to choose and make decisions.
All is compensation, you see. The egotist must compensate from below what he has lost from above. Knowledge is a compensation for true wisdom, and so the ego is avaricious to acquire more and more facts. Soon his brain bogs down in memories that should not even be there. Egotists learn how to emotionally react to events and words so that memories are imprinted in the brain. But the brain can only hold so much until it begins to bog down. Is it a coincidence that many people live out their terminal years locked into memories of the past or suffering from Alzheimer's disease?
The consciousness of the aware person, on the other hand, becomes increasingly free. There is less and less to fret about, and the aware person has more and more time to be truly productive, as well as free time to ponder life and understand more.
With advancing awareness, it is always a process of letting go, detaching, and becoming free. It is a process of defixating. With it comes a sense of liberation from the clutter of the past.
The aware person is increasingly free to discover, to wonder, and marvel at God's creation. And with a defixated and freed consciousness, the aware person is ever ready to deal perfectly with each new occurrence. Additionally, by not being tied down to prejudgments and prejudices, the aware person is free to give loving attention to loved ones, handling new situations with grace and wisdom.
The ultimate consciousness is one that finds complete fulfillment in God. It is a consciousness aware of God and in God. And this consciousness in God will live forever. The following are the words of the Messiah in His prayer to the Father recorded in the Gospel of John: "And this is eternal life - that they know You, the one true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
The aware person is freer and freer to discover and realize, whereas the hypnotized entranced person, as we all are before we begin to awaken, is increasingly entangled in people, objects, thinking, and words.
Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to respond to the sound of a bell by ringing it when food was brought. Soon just the idea of food, cued by the sound of the bell, was enough to start the dog salivating. The mental image of food was associated with the sound of the bell and soon only the sound of the bell would start the dog salivating. In other words, food did not need to be present to cause a reaction--just the idea of food cued by the sound of the bell.
Now look at the relationship that the average person has with words. The average person is completely caught up with words, because the words stimulate an idea and then the idea generates feelings. When a person is told that he is great, he reacts to the idea of greatness associated with the word. He then feels as if he is great. The idea generates the emotions, and the word cues the idea.
People get so caught up with words that they often mistake the word for the thing itself. They think that if they have the word, they have the thing. That is why people generally think that if they can name something, they understand it. People cling to ideas, self image, notions and words that make for a substitute emotional life revolving around responding to words as if they were things. Of course the flip side of such responding is where people react negatively to words, especially words that attack their pride.
Reacting for and against words, and reveling and wallowing in the feelings associated with the ideas generated by words, sounds, smells, and images is the false emotional life, the life that leads to death. It is a substitute for spiritual life. The fallen person's sensitivities to words and to music, poetry, and the high associated with intellectual learning are pure Pavlovian conditioning.
But because the ego has so completely sealed off conscience and awareness, such feelings are all it has, and for the most part, all it wants to know.
However, the spiritual person, the one who has begun to awaken in the presence of the inner light, has a different and healthy relationship with words. Now instead of reacting emotionally, words (if they have any value) awaken to true meaning and realization. Instead of reacting to the word and then becoming enslaved to feelings and emotions associated with the word, the person is free to stand back and hear the word without reacting to it. He is now free to realize, should some words awaken him to true meaning and to realizations and discoveries from that true meaning. Intuitive realization is the important thing. The word is just a vehicle.
Whereas before, his knowledge was intellectual and emotional, basically leading nowhere except to other conditioned responses, now he is free to realize true meaning associated with the word. Awakened, he sees and realizes in the light.
Old ideas and concepts that had once been accepted shallowly and emotionally are now seen to have far deeper meaning. Now the concept is not accepted hypnotically, but is seen to be true and meaningful in the light. Christ's words were especially put together to key discovery, realization and understanding. Do you now see why Christ said: the letter kills (dead words memorized and emotionally reacted to) but the spirit gives life?
In order to understand how a person can come to live a life that is not his/her own, often with great conflict, one must understand hypnotic identification. Let's begin with a quote from someone who understands the process thoroughly. "In our hypnotized zombie state we are all authority and personality prone, actually giving up power to others, as we transfer identification from object to object, from hero to hero. . .
Guileful men know full well that you demand escape through hypnotic identification, and knowing which identity it is you are seeking-- namely God's--they proclaim themselves as god and the escape seeking ego is all too glad to abandon their guilty identity and identify with their god in order to become that god.
Does this not explain the power of a Hitler, a Stalin, or a Jim Jones? People both want to escape from their own guilty identity, and they also want to identify with another, whose identity cloaks them in innocence, goodness, power, and (false) righteousness. Their current identity, which includes their inherited ego identity as well as identities they have acquired through interacting with petty authorities in their life (such as parents, teachers, peers, and the hero worship of athletic and entertainment stars). The ego likes to take on identities in order to clothe itself in what it lacks and what it aspires to be.
Kids identify with sports stars or entertainment stars. If the ego feels powerless, like many do, it might identify with a fictional superhero or a real life M.M.A. fighter. This is fantasy, but the ego also seeks out real life interaction with powerful people, such as bullies, gang leaders, politicians or people with the worldly power money brings.
This identification with a bully or powerful person also occurs when the person hates that person. Thus a child might identify with a hated tyrant mom or dad. The real life interaction with such a person results in a real transfer of identity from the tyrant to the victim. The tyrant is powered by the victim, and the victim through hatred acquires the identity of the tyrant. Fear and trembling before the bully also results in a transference--identity to the victim and power to the bully.
Egos also identify with whoever or whatever it thinks will give it something it lacks. I have already discussed how the powerless or inferior feeling ego identifies with imaginary or distant heroes or heroines who seem powerful. I suppose it is natural and harmless enough when kids identify with a Harry Potter or a basketball star. But the inferior feeling ego often also identifies with bad or wicked leaders and it might also admire, identify with and get caught up with gang, cult or criminal type leaders.
Once again, the immature ego cannot help but take in identity imprints from the environment. This is the way the fallen ego has some pattern to grow into, and it can't be helped and is natural up to a point. But the process easily goes awry when the ego identifies with wrong people, and it also goes awry when the ego feels excessively inferior and powerless and gets involved in hero worship and seeking power and might through identification.
Ideally a child and then young person would have a decent mom and dad with which to identify. Father is especially important in this regard. A good dad, who is there for his kids and who is well grounded and himself outgrowing his childish needs, provides a good role model and security for his child's ego.
When dad is stronger than the world, when dad is not overcome and beat down by life, and when dad validates on the outside what the child knows in his or her heart, the child feels secure in his or her given identity. Loving and respecting the good in the good father, the child identifies with dad in a positive way. Feeling secure and validated, the child does not have a need to identify with powerful or even bad models, nor does the child have an excessive need to identify with some star--as validation and security in his given identity is provided by father and what father stands for.
In this ideal home, kids and teens will still tend to put others on a pedestal, such as older kids, good authorities and even movie or entertainment stars. Like I said, because of the hungry and fallen ego we inherit, some hero worship and identification can't be helped. But it is not harmful, and is in fact beneficial when those admired are for example, a police officer, a good teacher, a kind neighbor, a doctor or someone who represents good in some way.
But all too often, kids now come from a home where there is no good dad present, or if dad is there he is weak or wrong. The popular culture now holds up the shallowest and vilest people, and movies portray anti heroes, where everything is backward and upside down. Just look at the rap stars, for example, or the vile offerings at half time at the "Super Bowl." In academia and the corporate world, the most ambitious types are lauded and rewarded.
So when dad is weak or absent, the culture lauds the shallow, and the young person is angry and resentful--not only will he or she identify with wrong or ambitious people (because of the absence of truly good people), but in its spiritually impoverished, angry and resentful state, the ego will feel the need to identify with what is perceived as powerful, as well has that which is compatible with how the ego feels about itself.
The young person is typically angry and resentful toward home, because of the temptation and tease there. The anger and resentment increases through the cruelty and tease found out in the world. Kids nowadays are left to fend for themselves in so many ways. Parents abandon their kids to the awful school system, dad is not there or he is weak and unaware, and home and school fail to provide proper guidance.
The resentful and angry person thus will feel guilt (for the anger and resentment), and will undoubtedly also have been led into various errors, such as drug taking, for which they are also guilty. No wonder they have so called "low self esteem."
It is the role of parents to protect the child from cruelty and excessive tease. Many parents fail miserably in this department. If they are not teasing and cruel themselves (doing to their kids what was done to them), they virtually abandon their kids to the pressures of school and the peer group. The inevitable result is the young person who is resentful, rebellious, and not feeling good about himself or herself.
The older we get the guiltier we become until our ego is so guilty that we will do anything for escape. As kids we escaped into fantasy, where we can imagine ourselves being a great hero or heroine; and we escaped into fantasy identification. The guilty adult, instead of outgrowing the escape into fantasy, begins to escape even more because of the greater guilt from which to escape.
This brings us to the key concept of identification--which forms the basis of our ego problems.
This universal need to escape is a result of wanting to escape from conscience. Conscience is a patiently persistent force, gently admonishing us when we stray. But when we resent the gentle admonishment of conscience, having instead taken on pride as a self protection, we become enemies of conscience.
Resenting its pursuing us, we seek escape from it. Such escape is through fantasy, distractions, and external people and objects. But just remember what it is that we are escaping from when we wish to put out the light of conscience--we are escaping from God's redeeming light.
This light for all people is our closest link to God. Were we to welcome the light and the truth and love that it bears for us, it would lead us to reconciliation with our Parent Spirit. Conflict would cease, and our guilt would also go away.
Understand this--your guilt is not so much for what you have done. Though you do need to be repented of your acts of commission and omission, your greatest wrong has been denying conscience. In this sense the excuse is worse than the deed.
God's light of conscience is a lamp unto our feet, guiding us to safety, right living, right acting, and a preordained purpose for our existence. But through excessive emotion, distractions, dwelling in thoughts and imagination, making things more important than what is right, or resentment, we lose touch with the inner light. It is still there but we have blinded ourselves to it.
Then in this blinded state of lower consciousness, we are bound to err. Why? Because we do not see the right path; and worse, because we are led into error. When you ignore and don't follow the wordless internal guidance of intuition, then you take direction from the outside.
This is perfectly natural for animals, who take their cues from external stimuli. But for humans this causes great problems.
Other people, you see, are also lost and through emotion, ambition, and resentment, they are misled and they mislead. Everyone needs some sort of direction--so when your direction is not the light of intuition, then it must be some other source. This other source is misguided people and what they feed you through your imagination.
So when you reject conscience, you are rejecting its guidance and leading. Before the time of enlightenment, we do not realize that that is what they are doing, so a little more explanation may help. So let's take another look at how we reject the inner light of intuition and conscience. For example, the excuse is itself a rejection of intuition. When you do something dumb, rather than admitting that you blew it again, we are prone to make an excuse. But the excuse is a denial of truth. The truth is that we really don't know why we do the dumb things we do, but we don't want to admit that it was external direction, pressure or programming that prompted our action. The ego is loathe to admit that everything it does is not its own idea, so the handy excuse denies reality. Another way we reject reality is with some sort of rationale, a false reason for doing something.
Then, of course, there is plain and simple denial. When confronted with the truth, we simply deny it. To assist us in denying the truth, we call upon emotions. Have you ever tried to get an angry person to see the truth? It's impossible. Their anger keeps them in denial by blinding them to the truth.
Most people have a whole array of escape tactics in order to keep from being confronted by the truth and having to admit it. So we busy ourselves with work, distractions, and even problems--anything to keep from having to become still and realize the truth.
What it boils down to is that the ego in its unwashed and unrepentant state simply does not want to admit it is wrong. It does not even want to admit that its ideas and actions are not its own. It is for this reason that you simply cannot change a person who does not want to admit the truth.
The ego is stubborn, and it will seek refuge in an excuse, justification, lie, emotion, and rationale that supports it in its pride. That is why the typical ego is not to be trusted. People are likely to betray you at the first opportunity to do something that they think promotes or defend their ego pride.
Beneath all our striving, denial of truth, and delusions lays an ugly fact. Most people are guilty of playing God. In fact, they want to be God. That is the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit. As long as a person wants to be God or play God (perhaps by secretly judging and condemning others for their faults), they will need pride to support them, as well as plenty of emotion and a panoply of ego supports to keep them propped up and sustain them in their lonely ego battle against God.
That's right. Little does the typical ego realize that he or she is actually in a war against God. And in your efforts to deny the truth and sustain your pride, you call upon God's enemy to sustain you. Where do you think the lies, excuses, and justification that pop into your mind come from?
Of course all you have to do is realize your error, be sorry in the light and cease and desist from all your striving for glory and self righteousness, and give up judging and condemning others, and immediately you will find yourself closer to God's inner light, and in that light you can be sorry. Your battle with Him will cease. You will know peace instead of conflict. Now heeding instead of rejecting intuition, all you do will then serve a purpose higher than your own. Life will have meaning again. And you will also be able to sigh a great sigh of relief.
You may have thought that God is mean and unforgiving (something like your secret self) and could not possibly forgive you. This is a lie. In fact, He is ready to receive you back (like a prodigal son or daughter). All He requires is that you admit and be sorry for rejecting Him, and start to follow Him and what He has planned for you instead of seeking your own will to be done.
Now that I have laid some groundwork, you can understand that the prideful ego has a dual goal--escape any reminder of and awareness of its own wrong and folly, as well as a desire to continue playing God, in fact being God, you will be able to understand the ego's desire to identify with people, places and objects.
The ego wants an identity, in fact it wants God's identity--and so if it identifies with someone or something big, powerful and mighty, it can participate and vicariously derive a sense of its own goodness (God-ness) thereby. So we identify with beautiful, rich, powerful, and popular people. We seek to share in their greatness or beauty. In identifying with them, we get a false innocence. This is especially true when it comes to identifying with someone who claims to be good like some religious or spiritual leader. If our guru is good, like God, and we identify with him, then we are good too. When he accepts us as we are, we feel cloaked with a false innocence.
The ego doesn't mind identifying with someone who is powerful and even wicked, like a Hitler or Jim Jones, because the ego in its inferiority (through resentment) and having been put down by other egos (who are also playing God) is so guilty it feels compatible with the wicked leader (who accepts him as he is).
Remember, identification serves a dual purpose--seeking the qualities of another with which to clothe our ego and make it feel great, good, powerful, smart or beautiful; and also escape.
Think of escapism as the urge to merge. By merging with someone or something, we take on their mantle of power or glory, and also escape from our own puny pathetic self that we have become.
Escape has a constant and consistent value for the guilty ego. Any escape saves it from conscience and realizing its own wrong, guilt, inadequacy and inferiority. Therefore the guilty soul will seek any port in a storm.
Now you understand how and why people seek to escape into identification with some leader, beautiful person, or sports or entertainment star, and now you see that the unrepentant ego has this compulsive need. Until the ego is willing to repent, it simply cannot bear the truth and about itself. The soul simply cannot realize the truth and remain prideful at the same time. Pride drops dead in the presence of truth.
This urge to escape is so strong and compulsive that the ego will identify with anything. People identify with sports teams, some entertainment star, some group, an organization, some organized religion, or even any petty tyrant. People even identify with their pets. People identify with their house and their possessions. Identification means to take on what that object is, so as to get its values and escape from one's own puny wrong identity.
This urge is so strong that people will quickly identify with any group they happen to be in. That is why people are joiners. They join for identity, escape, and for distraction. People want to be a part of something big in which they can lose themselves. When they lose themselves, they become detached from the conscience they have been trying to avoid. Detachment from conscience permits them to express their animal instincts and primitive hungers. In something bigger, whether it be a group, an organization, a crowd, or a mob, they feel shriven of guilt, and they acquire a false innocence. That into which they merged and which has ferreted them away from conscience and responsibility to conscience permits them to "let it all hang out." And do so without guilt or shame.
That is why any involvement is potentially harmful or even fatal. The involvement gives false innocence and also a false sense of power and liberation. The person at a party, in a mob, using drugs, or under the spell of some person can do things he or she never would have done when aware of conscience.
But it does not have to be a mob or drug that gives a sense of false innocence and liberation. Remember, any involvement will do it. Watch all your relationships. Especially watch your involvement with people.
Perhaps now you can also see how people who get involved in some false religious group, be it Hari Krishna or false Christianity, are liberated from their guilty identity and they take on the false identity of righteousness overseen by the false leader. They are glad to be rid of guilt and they are so grateful for their new identity and sense of innocence that they worship the false religious leader and his god. False Christians worship a false Jesus who loves them just as they are.
That is why many religious practitioners--whether mantra mumbling, prayer bead fondling, or getting involved in the emotional experience of music and mass psychosis--think they are marching to heaven when they are actually being led by a deceptive source in the other direction.
You must learn to stand back from emotions of any kind. Wait until the emotion has subsided. Don't be a joiner. Just because someone says the right things does not mean that he is truly a good person. Practice your proper meditation in order to stand back and have mental distance from involvements.