So we have seen how with a simple pen and paper and a few universally acceptable ideas from teachers like Hawkins, Fox and Wilson that we can begin to see the Truth about our own egos. We can begin to see that the most valuable use of our time is to let go of all of the negativity that has accumulated in consciousness from this lifetime and many others. Becoming 'spiritual' or changing the course of our lives requires no seminars or 'guru' hunting, though many may find such activities useful and karmically appropriate at various stages of development. It is not my conscious intent to do a 'make wrong' of other ways of doing things. This personal inventory business has been the most effective use of my own time and I regret spending so much time "guru shopping" when the "answer" was right in front of me.
I would like to share another inventory that is related to a prior review titled “Oedipus Rex”. I would like to shed light on how as Bill wrote, "my troubles are of my own making" in a way that was not so readily apparent to me in earlier stages of my development. A man once told me that "ignorance of the law is not a viable excuse in court." I would expand upon that to say that, "ignorance of karmic law, does not excuse one from being susceptible to it." This is why I place such an emphasis upon studying Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and Emmet Fox's elaboration upon it, because this really is such critical information. I would agree with Fox's claim that (paraphrasing) "it is vastly more important that every man, women and child understand and believe to be true the hundred or so words in the "Judge not lest ye be judged" stanza than anything else they could learn in school." If I had known that for every unkind word I have said about another, that someone, somewhere at some time would say the same or similar things about me then my life would have turned out a whole lot differently. This is not an attempt at pity or sympathy, as far as I can tell, but rather to serve as a vehicle for collective evolution on these fundamental principles.
So I would like to share an inventory about a real monster of a resentment that I have had towards an old acquaintance/business associate of mine. The reason I felt so "justified" in resenting this individual so much was that it was a clear case where I had sold out my own sense of inner honor, integrity and principle so that someone would accept and like me and also so I might make quite a bit of money. This sort of moral and spiritual cowardice is so reprehensible to me these days that I find it hard to believe that I got involved in the first place, but such was the low state of consciousness I was in when I made the original decision and karmic commitment. The ill will towards this individual was so deeply ingrained that it drove me practically insane and I would be quite surprised if I were to learn that we have not had past life, and maybe even many past life encounters, which has lead to a very large karmic "stack" of "juiceable" negativity.
That said, he is, at the same time, my greatest teacher, in that without him I would not have needed to turn to God for help with as much desperation as I did and to spend so much time in prayer. Much like the Course in Miracles says (paraphrasing) "our greatest foe becomes our greatest friend." It was at that very same time in my life that I turned to God for help in prayer with such desperation and sincerity that I came across Dr. Hawkins' work. We know there are no "coincidences" in reality, so I felt this was worth sharing. In fact, the prayer that I uttered at that time in my life, a true ‘emotional bottom’, was "God, please lead me to the wisest wisdom on the planet and the wisest teacher and books to end all teachers and books." That is basically what I said and that prayer was answered almost instantaneously through discovering Dr. Hawkins in a spiritual bookstore. That’s a true story.
So here is the resentment. I have written "legal pads" worth of inventory on this topic so I am going to summarize some key points with the perspective of hindsight.
I resent “evil guy” because he “tricked me, stole my money and discredited my reputation”.
Self-esteem – I am the best friend a guy could ever have. I am the best spiritual teacher a person could ever have. I am the most forgiving, tolerant and patient person he will ever know. I am an honest and honorable man. I am the wisest investor in the world. (We have a few stage characters who are feeling ‘threatened’ here. We have “The greatest friend in the world”, we have “The genius professor” (probably Indiana Jones – remember, with the kind of ego I have I could not be just ‘any old’ professor). We also have the “humble and honorable servant” or “the spiritual man” – the whole game of this character is ‘spiritual pride’ or pride in one’s own humility. We also have the “macho man” or “the tough guy” who thinks that people who harm him “deserve to die,” as Dr. Hawkins has mentioned about the ego on many occasions.
Pride – People ought to trust me. People should see that I can be trusted. No one is allowed to think ill of my character and reputation. No one can give me a bad deal.
Ambitions – I want lots of money. I want my money back. I want everyone to realize that I know what I am talking about. I want to be the hero who was right all along and saved the day.
Security – I need everyone to trust me in order to survive and be okay. I need people who owe me money to pay me back. I need a perfect reputation in order to survive. I need enough money in order to do what I want when I want to do it in order to be okay. I need people to forgive me in order to be okay.
Personal Relations – A true friend admits when he is wrong and is honest with people. A real friend does not take advantage of you. A real businessman makes money. A real investor knows what he is doing.
My Money – No one can take my money unless I want to give it to them. No one should prevent me from being employed or employable. No one should make me uncomfortable about myself.
Okay. We have a lot going on in this inventory and a lot of characters in my one act play each with different voices all wanting to be the star of the show. We have the professor trying to “teach him a lesson” (when the professor here really wants to punish), we have the “spiritual man” who wants to “forgive him and see his innocence” when deep down he is being dishonest with himself as there is so much anger, we have the “best friend” (who wants everyone to follow his example when he is filled with bitterness and envy). We have the “business tycoon” who is all about the bottom line and performance.
We see how there is a whole delusional fantasy world barbed with negative emotion. We see how the world and all of the other players on stage could not possibly meet the expectations of one, let alone four or five different characters. We see how I have so many different characters and personalities going on in consciousness that my acquaintance probably had no idea who he was talking to at any given instance. How many marriages, in this day and age, have ended because one partner felt so disconnected from the other because he or she never knew who was going to ‘show up at the door’ since there were so many unconscious stage characters vying for attention? Relationships, at their best, are about intimacy and sharing, and how can we possibly achieve intimacy when we have so many guards and defenses that play out in the form of our stage characters?
Now let’s look at the “fourth column” of this inventory, for those familiar with Bill’s four column format. We say a prayer now to ask God that we “be shown the Truth” about how we may have done the thing we resented in the other person. Now that we have the spiritual awareness of knowing about past lives as being a reality, we can learn to “trust” that within the thing we resent is the “hidden offender” from past life situations. We believe it is helpful to say a prayer before looking at the “Truth behind the Lie” because we want to be free of the emotion so that we can really see our part in setting the ball rolling. That is because it does not matter what the other person did in terms of my happiness. If I need other people to change in order for me to be free then I am indulging in idolatry and I am limiting the Power of God. I like to pray to "see the Truth" because God is Truth and Truth is God. The more Truth I know, the more I know God.
What did I do with this resentment? Well, I gossiped about him and projected my own unresolved conflicts onto him. I went back and forth and was “wishy-washy” when I had originally made a firm agreement. I tried to change his mind and control him by writing nasty and manipulative emails. I feigned innocence and “tried to play the nice guy” when my underlying intent was to punish and control. I spewed venom and hatred towards him on several occasions and lied to him about my motives. I was not up front and honest with him about how much money I had in the first place and so I “overspent” and “overdid” how much I could invest because I was operating under the delusion that “martyrdom“, or “self-abnegation” is the Highest Good. I was disobedient to my family and did not heed wise council not to get involved in the first place because I was people-pleasing and approval-seeking and greedy about making a whole lot of “fast money”. I was ill prepared and ill equipped by not behaving practically and prudently as would have been contextually appropriate because I was reacting on unchecked instincts and emotions. I placed him on a pedestal and put unrealistic expectations upon him to meet my own egoistic demands.
Eeegads! That’s a whole lot of years of playing the victim because I was unable to take a good honest look at myself. We eventually get to a place of peace where we can say, “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, nobody is perfect, including myself.”
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