Barring those moments when we find ourselves in real physical danger, conditions of themselves have absolutely no authority over us. It's true. No event or circumstance has any power to make us feel one way or another. The only command any condition may have over us is that which we unconsciously surrender to it. And what we've given away we can take back. Insight coupled with action is all the power we need. Here's why.

All conditions, events and circumstances are neutral-they are neither for you, nor against you.

Spinoza, the great Dutch philosopher and metaphysician, tried to help his students grasp this meaningful idea. He taught, "All things which occasioned me any anxiety or worry had in themselves nothing of good or evil, except as in so far as the mind was moved by them."

You're invited to prove this important concept for yourself by taking a special inner adventure in the form of the following exercise. The new freedoms that come with your discoveries will belong to you. This exercise is great fun, too!

The next time you're with a group of people, family or friends, or even out at a mall or restaurant, be an event watcher! What's an event watcher?

1. Someone who better wants to understand that events are always neutral in their origin.

2. Someone who sits quietly at a psychological distance from events as they unfold.

3. Someone who watches to see how events make others behave, and who is self-observing as well.

4. Someone who doesn't confuse his or her reaction to any given event to the event itself.

Let's say you're out with a group of friends for a meal at a nice restaurant. Everything is casual, relaxed - just as it should be, a pleasantly neutral atmosphere. And then, someone at your table says, "Did you hear the news! They just announced that the price of coffee is going to go through the ceiling!"

In the next instant, because of that one comment, the atmosphere at your table suddenly shifts. You can feel it, and your awareness calls you into a wide-awake state. You know it's time to be an event watcher.

So you relax, sit back, and begin watching everything as it begins to unfold. This one point is clear from the start: the fact that coffee beans just jumped is truly a neutral event.

If you watch the event unfold, the odds are you'll soon observe one man or woman in your group become captive of the news. But don't judge, just watch. All judgments of others as they're drawn into an event make you both a part and a prisoner of that same event. So stay awake to this tendency. Stay free.

As an event watcher how do you know when someone has fallen victim to conditions and become a psychic prisoner?

He or she will make some comment that the way the world turns just isn't fair, especially as it revolves around his or her interests; or you'll be able to see his or her spirits sink before your eyes. But remain detached. As long a you don't jump into it, the negative atmosphere or anyone else around you is just another neutral event, as far as you're concerned! This higher spiritual standpoint allows you to remain watchful and ask the next two important questions of yourself.

If conditions are really powerless to make you or any other individual captive, then what happened to your companion in this illustration? What is it that has captured him or her? Was it the event that tied that individual up in knots? Did the conditions of supply and demand as they concerned the economics of coffee produce that person's prison? Or was his or her temporary confinement created only by an unseen thought as it whispered, "Oh, no! What's going to happened to me if I can no longer afford to enjoy my morning coffee?"

The lesson from this adventure as an event watcher should be clear: it's never the event or the condition that holds us captive, but the way we think toward it that creates our sense of captivity.

Help yourself to the keys of self-liberation hidden in these next ten insights. The truths you are about to meet are actually alive. If you embrace their healing presence, their life becomes yours. This is a hint of what it means to know the Truth and to then be set free by that Truth.

1. Nothing in this world-or any other-can stop you from finding, and then knowing freedom from the ties that bind.

2. When it comes to changing the unhappy conditions you meet in life, remember that nothing about your life can change, until you do.

3. Give yourself permission to long for a freedom so great that it includes the end of all painful longings.

4. Whatever it may be that holds you captive is nothing compared to what wants to set you free.

5. Freedom from the ties that bind begins with getting completely fed up with being all tied up.

6. In any inwardly restrictive moment of anger, worry, or fear, always remember there's nothing outside of you tightening the ropes.

7. A hundred times a day, notice how unfree you feel, and then drop that feeling.

8. Nothing real has a hold on you, so become highly suspicious of those parts of yourself that are certain you must live with limitations.

9. The next time you feel overwhelmed by some contrary condition, remember the only power that circumstance has over you is what you want from it.

10. Your experience of this world is determined by how you think toward it, which is why , as you change the way you think toward yourself, you also change the world you live in.

Excerpted from "Freedom From the Ties that Bind" by Guy Finley, Llewellyn Publications, 1994.

Author's Bio: 

Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 18 books and tape albums on self-realization and higher success. His works, which have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into ten languages, are recommended by doctors, ministers, and industry leaders. For information about Guy Finley's books, booklets, tapes, and helpful on-going study groups call (541) 476-1200 or visit where you can also sign up to receive a free, weekly Key Lesson.