This lecture really helped me to consolidate a lot of the spiritual information I have received from various sources. There are a lot of wonderful spiritual teachers who elaborate on such scriptural passages as "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he", "ask and it is given" and "judge not lest ye be judged" and so on. Dr. Hawkins was able to explain from a different context, that which includes an experiential knowingness of past lives, how this all can fit together for someone like me who has not yet evolved to his level of understanding.
His message is profoundly simple in that we "become" the qualities that we cherish. If I want to become more loving, honorable and reverent or want to see more of these qualities in the world, then I must "be" these qualities and perhaps cease complaining about people in my life who are not this way or do not seem to be this way in my current perception of reality, if such is a habit or pattern of behavior to which I have grown accustomed. The nature of life and spiritual/karmic law is that I get to make or mar my experience by the choices and alignments I make, and predominantly by means of the thoughts and emotions that I hold in consciousness, in the "Secret Place of the Most High" (to quote the 91st Psalm). Thus, I get to move past the blame game, and looking for apparent "causes" for my suffering in the past and realize that there is no punishing God "out there" who is making things difficult for me but rather that my focus and intention in consciousness have been on things which Spirit does not really want deep down.
I realized at some point that my frustration in life has come about because I am "reaping what I have sown" today based upon past decisions and identifications with qualities I cherished in the past and the illusory belief systems that I held in mind in the past. Trusting that there are multiple lifetimes with this one being just one chapter or embodiment in the soul's journey has helped me to see that there can be no "victims" in reality and that playing the victim it is an easy way to avoid the more difficult work of changing my mind about myself (who I think I am), and letting go of negativity and attachments. Instead of seeing myself as "a helpless victim of unfortunate circumstances" or as "a misunderstood or misapplied genius" (as such are some favorite self-created ego stories that I have used as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for my life in the past), I now see that I have victimized myself by buying into or "identifying" with qualities, ideas and belief systems that were not in my highest interests, though it may have seemed like a good idea at the time....:)
So I have free will and complete freedom under the laws of the universe and I reap the consequences, for good or ill, of my identifications and illusions. Even if I do have misapplied talents and gifts, for instance, I may have chosen to identify with people and personalities who do not appreciate or recognize them or who think that spirituality is wishful thinking and impractical. So I have set myself up to be a "victim" of those who don't "understand" when it is really by my own choice that I bought into and identified with these illusions. It is no one's "fault" that this is the way it is. It is just the nature of consciousness and it is a karmically perfect arrangement....how else could we learn how to do better in the future! It is a great message of hope and liberation to realize that I now have the freedom to "choose differently" and that no one can stop me from so doing. My freedom lies in my choice about what thoughts I hold in mind and if things don't work out the way the ego wants, then I can trust that this a karmically perfect occurrence as nothing can happen by mistake in a coherent universe. At the same time no sincere spiritual striving is "lost" to the universe and so every effort to align with spiritual truth, no matter how falteringly I may progress, "counts" in the long run. I am really only "oppressed" by the enemies within - fears, doubts, self-pity or a failure to forgive - to name just a few.
So Dr. Hawkins is able to make investigation of the human ego palatable and enjoyable as he does not take himself all too seriously, as such is one of the fruits of owning the ego's downside, it seems to me. In other words, a sense of humor and a lightheartedness about life and oneself tend to go hand in hand with an appreciation for one's own limitations, which includes a thorough understanding of the nature of the human ego. His description of how the ego is a left-over residual of our animal nature (our natural or God-given biological instincts for survival) helped me to avoid such traps as pompous moralizing, self-righteousness and hypocrisy, which were behavioral tendencies that seemed to stem from a lot guilt I felt about about having an ego, or an inability to accept my own humanity, my personal karmic "package" or "situation" and the limitations that necessarily implies.
While mis-identification of "who or what I am" as the ego is one of the core mystical revelations that has occurred in Enlightened beings for millenia, I find that Dr. Hawkins's scientific training, command of the English language and diverse intellectual knowledge facilitated a comprehension of the practice of spirituality that is intensely practical, immediate and "right now/relevant" in this day and age. I tried applying my own version of the "practice of the pan-fried trout" (if you will) on a recent restaurant visit, for instance, and sure enough, the simple act of kindness and appreciation was not lost on me, the recipient, or the Infinite Field of Consciousness which records and knows all things.
So simple, but not easy, is the spiritual life I have found. It is not easy because I have an ego that is innately self-interested (by its very design) and is not really interested in surrendering, letting go or forgiving others unless it sees a good reason to do so. Once I admit the truth about that and realize that this is indeed the human condition and that I am not unique, different or special in this condition, I can move past being "driven" by its selfish and self-centered programming and focus on "being" the timeless virtues which are truly spiritual, and that lead to the sort of life that my spirit longs for and truly desires. St. Augustine, a man who was very much in touch with the downside of his ego after a "misspent youth" once wrote that "our hearts are restless until we repose in thee". So I see how a deep soul longing for peace of mind and contentment can easily be obscured by old ideas and ego-identifications about what will truly make us happy, and that this is a common and age-old struggle.
The information in this lecture is golden, and inspired me to write a sort of sermonizing review for the lecture....thanks for putting up with me...:) I hope my exuberance and elation about discovering this teacher does not obscure the great importance of these life-changing spiritual principles. I owe an inestimable debt of gratitude to Dr. Hawkins and the many worthy teachers of diverse spiritual traditions who have helped me to piece together an understanding that works for me.
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