Whenever you discuss matters of a spiritual nature with people you will invariably run into two distinct groups. There are those who claim to know the Truth, but who express their great certainty by attacking anyone who doesn’t see God as they do. And then there is the other group that comprises the majority of seekers: spiritual speculators who believe that their ability to argue over what may or may not be true of the spiritual Path is the same as having walked it.

Of course these comments are not intended for the “ears?of either of these factions, as it is impossible to show anyone anything new or true who has already seen everything; nor can you speak of what is Real to those who would rather dream of God’s Life than do the work of entering into it.

These thoughts are for those who are tired of fighting over the nature of Truth. They are intended for whoever is weary of guessing at Life’s purpose and who wants to be a Conscious part of Her Great Plan. If we can say, “Yes, this is the life I want but how do I move from this estranged know-it-all self to an awakened awareness of myself??then it becomes possible to find out.

In some ways the work of awakening to our Real Life is simple. If we want to know an uncharted river’s course or a region of unexplored forest we must enter them. We would think it silly for two people to argue about the nature of a valley ?what life forms it holds, sustains, or denies ?if these two people lived near its entrance but never dared to explore it!

Yet this is much of the way things are today when it comes to the heart of spiritual affairs. Christians argue with Buddhists or Jews, Muslims fight with Hindus, on and on it goes nowhere. Does God have one face, many faces, or no face? Say to me the right words and we are brothers. Answer incorrectly and we will fight over the nature of the Source of Perfect Peace.

And so-called spiritual “tolerance?is not the answer. The whole idea of tolerating another is born out of trying to push away an intolerant reaction towards him, so that we are not embracing what we struggle to tolerate, but are secretly strengthening our unconscious relationship with that dark nature in us that fears any person it thinks does not think as it does.

Plus, whenever we act out our idea of a kind “tolerance?of those “different?than ourselves, we secretly feel that it is our greatness that accepts these inferior persons. This means it is our pride that permits us to be so humble before others. What utter rubbish! Especially since none of this hypocrisy ?with all of its vicious seditious hatreds and fears ?is necessary.

Why do I say this is True? Because each of us is intended to know the Truth of ourselves, of this life, and of our relationship with others. We are created to walk consciously the Path of self-realization that allows us to recover our individual relationship with God ?as He permits us to know His unfathomable Self. What Path is there, open to all, that leads to such self-discovery?

We must learn to be (with) ourselves, and stop trying to be anything but awake to ?and within ?the Moment. Ponder the next insight for as long as it takes you to start seeing its extraordinary implications. Now (the Present Moment) and our awareness of it are one consciousness, much in the same way as a mirror and the object it reflects share the eye of the beholder.

And to this idea add that Now is Eternal. It is never not Now. Past and future are only concepts used to communicate the passage of things through the Perfect Present. Not to mention that all such tenses of time refer to places in our memory or imagination, places in our mind that ? even as we recall and enter into them ?still stand in the Ever-Present Now.

What these lessons reveal to us is that everything there is that is knowable is knowable Now. The seemingly hidden or impermeable purpose of our own existence awaits us right within the stillness of our own awareness that serves as the witnessing background for life’s mysterious passages.

The “catch?is that before we can see these Truths, before we can realize the Ground of ourselves that is the invisible Stuff of God’s Life, we must learn what it means to stand inwardly still ?to be. We must see the truth of ourselves without struggling to alter what passes before our inner eyes because something in us resists what it sees and wants to change it.

I want to give you a powerful inner exercise that can help us enter and explore this unseen ground of ourselves. The more we are willing to investigate these truths of ourselves ?in ourselves ?the less we will feel the punishing need to convince others of where they have missed the mark, or to continue explaining ourselves to ourselves and others.

This exercise is designed to help us do the conscious inner work of separating ourselves from the many false feelings of “I?that hold us captive of our own unawakened consciousness. This unconscious state of our self is ever in search of its own projected opposite as a result of having become identified with the endless mental and emotional forces that pass through its (limited) awareness.

For instance, imagine this (level of) self feels an angry flash pass through it. As this psychic heat makes its way through the system, this self then says “I?to the inner heat it senses. But in reality no such burning “I?exists until some aspect of self identifies with this heated feeling. Now this same false self sets out to either find who set it on fire or what it needs to become flame proof.

If we can see that any of the measures this false “I?takes to protect itself from the pain it feels only serves to make it and the pain it is experiencing seem more real, then we can begin to see why we must do the inner work of learning to detach ourselves from this fictitious self. The following exercise is designed to do just this.

The next time (and every time) you catch yourself with negative thoughts or feelings that are saying in your heart or mind, “I am anxious?or “I am scared,?or “I am so mad? “so stressed? “in so much pain?(or what have you), come wide awake to yourself. Then deliberately drop everything in that negative declaration except for the “I am?part of it. Then stay awake. Stand still. Just watch.

Your new awareness of these tormenting states roaming within you is the power that keeps their harmful and self-limiting influences from having power over you. Their aim is to get you to define yourself by their dark and defiling energies. Your Aim is to remember that who you really are cannot be confined by dark thoughts or feelings any more than the light from a bulb can be contained in its glass.

You must work at this exercise with great intention and persistence as these habitual dark states that have been directing you all along will not give up their place at the steering wheel of your soul without struggle. Never mind any setbacks or the (necessary) sense of self-loss that you may experience as you put forth these new inner efforts. Just continue to apply your wish for Real life to wherever you find evidence of a false one. God will handle the rest. This is Truth’s guarantee.

Author's Bio: 

Guy Finley is the best-selling author of a half dozen books on self-transformation. His works, which have sold over a million copies and have been translated into seven 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 www.guyfinley.com.