Message for the Week
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As a Man Thinketh, so Is He, Part 2 of Chapter 8 of Awakening Love
As a Man Thinketh, so Is He, Part 2 of Chapter 8 of Awakening Love
“As a Man thinketh, so is he” doesn’t mean that you are bad if you have bad thoughts—everyone has bad thoughts. What this means is that the thoughts that you believe and act on determine how you see yourself, how others see you, and what you draw to you in life through karma and otherwise.
“As a Man thinketh” determines a person’s sense of self and what results from that sense of self, but this sense of self has nothing to do with who you really are. Your divine self is never harmed or changed by anything you think or even do. Your thinking determines the false self’s experience of life, not your true self’s.
When you’re lost in a negative sense of self and behaving badly, it’s like the divine self is temporarily lost in a bad dream. Just as you, the dreamer, is untouched by what happens in your dreams, the divine self is untouched by the experience the illusory false self is having and allows that experience to play itself out. The divine self allows the false self to have whatever experience it is creating, knowing that valuable learning will be gained from that, at least eventually.
God allows all manner of experiences created by the ego and by negative entities who are lost to love because God is willing to have such experiences. As a means of exploration, God created a realm, such as yours, in which good and the appearance of evil exist. I say, “the appearance of evil” because there is no such thing as evil. Only love exists. Evil is what results from the absence of love, from someone becoming divorced from love.
That God would allow evil and even choose to experience it as a human being is very difficult for most to understand and accept. Nevertheless, this interplay of dark and light is just the way it is on earth and must be accepted. The best explanation for this is that compassion and deep devotion to love are developed by experiencing the opposite of these. The value of love is realized by experiencing its opposite.
You are fortunate to be encountering this teaching now, because once you see the truth about love and its importance, you no longer have to be at the effect of negativity. If you don’t believe the voice in your head’s thoughts, you can’t be affected by those thoughts. To the extent that you’ve seen the truth about negativity, you have transcended duality: the perception of good and evil.
Here is the truth about negativity: The negativity in your egoic mind is never true. The negative pole is a mirage. All there is, is love: positivity. The negative pole is simply the absence or near absence of love, just as darkness is the absence of light.
The negative pole is created by the egoic programming and reinforced by negative nonphysical entities, who don’t believe in love. They are lost to love only because they’ve believed others who’ve told them that love doesn’t exist. They’ve been told that if they go toward the Light, where they will experience love, they will perish. They believe that love is deadly.
Negative nonphysical entities believe the opposite of the truth, so that becomes their reality. The same is true for you: If you believe the opposite of the truth, then that becomes your reality: “As a Man thinketh, so is he.” Reality conspires to prove to you what you believe to be true.
To negative entities, it really seems like love doesn’t exist and that what is termed love is dangerous, because they are associating only with those who believe this and who, consequently, behave horrifically toward each other. These negative entities are living in a hell realm of their own creation because of what they believe. This happens to human beings as well.
Fortunately, once negativity is no longer believed, it stops existing as part of your reality because it’s been seen for what it is: a deep misunderstanding. Once a lie is seen as a lie, it can’t be believed anymore, and then it stops being a force in your life.
What remains in your mind when negativity has departed or is no longer given any weight is Truth: love. The truth is positive. Life is essentially and inherently good, benevolent, and of love. This is wonderful news!
How many are not aware of this? How many are living in the ego’s illusory world and perceiving life through their ego’s eyes? Unfortunately, most people. But that is not your fate, and it isn’t anyone’s ultimate fate, for everyone will see the truth about life at some point.
Now that you’ve seen the truth, what will you do about it? Unfortunately, you won’t be released from negativity the instant you see the truth about it. Becoming free of the ego is a process. You have to see through the negative thoughts one by one as they arise.
This means you have to become aware of what you’re thinking moment to moment. You have to be very committed to seeing this, or your negative thoughts can still trip you up. But as you see these thoughts for what they are—useless lies—they will weaken and show up in your mind less frequently. Eventually, many of them will drop away forever. Your mind will become more spacious, quiet, and more positive. This is the process.
The first step is to learn to become aware of your thoughts. This awareness is what is developed in meditation. The second step is to question your thoughts, especially your “I” thoughts and any that are negative or limiting. Ask yourself, “Is that true?”
The answer is always no, but can you see this clearly? The reason these thoughts aren’t true is that they don’t contain the whole truth. They leave out so much, and they aren’t always true. Something that is true is the whole truth and always true.
An example of a true statement is “Love is behind life.” This statement is always true but not something the voice in your head would tell you. You might tell it to yourself to quiet the voice in your head, but the voice in your head won’t be what comes up with such a truth.
If you apply this standard to your thoughts—that, to be true, they must be true always, throughout time—it will become obvious that nearly all your thoughts are not true. Most are neither universal truths nor facts, but assumptions, beliefs, fantasies, desires, faulty memories, fears about an unknown future, stories that tell only part of the story, incomplete characterizations of yourself, and out-and-out fabrications.
The voice in your head is the spinner of the Illusion that is the cause of all suffering, what Hindus and Buddhists call maya. The illusion it is spinning is the negative pole. The negative pole is created by the voice in your head. Without the voice in your head, all that remains is Truth, with a capital “T,” and facts.
Facts are neutral and can’t cause suffering unless you spin a story about them that makes you suffer. And Truth is always positive: Life is good, love is behind life, suffering is a great teacher, there is a way out of suffering, you are eternal, life is a school, everyone is always learning and evolving, people are essentially good and loving, you have all of the inner resources you need to be happy, happiness is here right now. I could go on.
These are immutable truths. Look at the thoughts in your egoic mind, and you won’t find these kinds of thoughts. What you will find is thoughts that cause suffering, thoughts that don’t serve you—thoughts that are, in fact, not true.
“The Truth will set you free,” while what is false will imprison you—and that is exactly what happens. The lies and half-truths your egoic mind tells you imprison you and keep you in a state of suffering, confusion, and discontentment. But there is something outside those prison walls, and that is good news. There is Truth, there is love, there is freedom from suffering. I am so happy you are discovering this, and it brings me joy to support you in seeing the Truth. Welcome to my world, where there is only love.
Once you’ve seen that a thought isn’t true, it will stop being of interest to you. Like a magic trick that you’ve seen through, those thoughts will no longer captivate, frighten, or motivate you. Then, it will be easy to give your attention to something that is true: real life.
Once you really see that your mind has nothing to offer you—no good advice, wisdom, guidance, insights, or even entertainment—you’ll be more willing to turn to the present moment for satisfaction, and you’ll find it there. The more satisfaction you find in the present moment, the more you’ll choose to stay there, and the more you stay there, the more that becomes your established way of being.
“As a Man thinketh, so is he” is not only a basic truth, but also a formula for speeding up the process of freeing yourself from the voice in your head. Since what you think affects how you feel and what you experience and become, you can choose to think thoughts that will help you become who you are meant to be: your divine self. You are meant to be an expression of goodness, of God, in the world!
What is it that can choose to turn away from a thought or think a thought? That is your divine self, your true self. While you don’t choose the thoughts that appear in your mind as the voice in your head, you can choose to not believe those thoughts and you can choose to think thoughts that are true instead.
When the divine self is awake enough within you, it begins to counteract the egoic programming and other false conditioning with the truth. The truth is received by you intuitively, and then you, as your divine self, choose to affirm it and focus on it mentally or repeat it out loud to yourself. This is how the unconscious mind is reprogrammed and the voice in your head quieted. Before one awakens, some reprogramming of this nature is often necessary.
By replacing negative thoughts from the unconscious mind with true statements, the negative thoughts are healed or uprooted. Some will never resurface again, while others will be so weak when they do surface that they can easily be ignored.
This is essentially what happens when people awaken: They realize the truth about life on a deep level, and this wipes out many of their mistaken beliefs. Over time, the rest fall away one by one. The Truth becomes so apparent that they can no longer be fooled by the voice in their head, at least not for long. The result is that this voice falls into the background and is easily ignored. What they are left with is the present moment’s love, peace, wisdom, and delight.
People who’ve had lengthy and deep experiences of the present moment don’t want to return to the suffering of their old way of being—and they can’t. Once you’ve seen through all the magic tricks, you stop going to the magic show for entertainment. You’ve discovered a whole new way of being that has made the old way obsolete.
This new way of being feels magical, delightful, vibrant, alive, beautiful, wondrous, sparkly. All these words are attempts to describe the state of presence, the domain of your divine self—the kingdom of heaven—when it’s being experienced deeply. This is the state young children experience when they’re lost in play. Walt Disney, in much of his animation, captured the beauty, vibrancy, goodness, love of life, gratitude, and joy of this state, which is why his creations are so beloved.
This beauty and goodness is what people want and what they know to be true on a deep level. When you’ve fallen deeply enough into reality, you see that the beauty and goodness of the world depicted in Disney’s animation is not a fantasy.
As a Man Thinketh, so Is He, Part 1 of Chapter 8 of Awakening Love
As a Man Thinketh, so Is He, Part 1 of Chapter 8 of Awakening Love
Few wiser words have ever been spoken than these from Proverbs: “As a Man thinketh, so is he.” Many live in a hell of their own making without realizing their responsibility in this. And because they don’t realize this, they remain stuck. I will do my best in this chapter to help you see that this is unnecessary. Life can be challenging, but it need not be a hell.
Hell is supposedly a place of eternal torment. It is something you, your divine self, would never wish on anyone, but the ego might. Because the ego is devoid of love, it has no empathy and no remorse and no moral compass. Its only compass is its desires, and those get the ego into trouble. So, the ego has dreamed up a place—Hell—where it threatens to put people or put itself to keep itself in check. The ego uses fear to intimidate and manipulate others despite the fact that love works much better. But what does the ego know of love? It knows only fear.
Hell is a reflection of the ego, of the ego’s hatred, self-hatred, selfishness, and intolerance. Hell is everyone’s worst nightmare. It is absent of love, sympathy, compassion, and forgiveness, with no way out. It’s what you get when you take love, compassion, and forgiveness out of the picture.
Fortunately, love, compassion, and forgiveness are very much a part of the picture of life on earth. And fortunately, your true nature is not at all like the ego. It’s because you’re not like the ego that Hell is your worst nightmare. A world or realm without love would be horrible indeed for beings, like yourselves, that are of love. The unhappiness, despair, and cruelty would be unbearable.
And yet, societies can devolve into a hell of sorts. When the ego is allowed to reign, that is what happens. What keeps the ego in check? Besides your true nature and inborn moral compass, which points you toward love, the ego keeps itself in check to some extent through the superego, which is an aspect of the ego that judges and punishes the ego with shame and guilt—an interesting development in human evolution!
Through negative self-talk, shaming, and self-hatred, you judge and punish yourself internally for your mistakes and the things your ego causes you to do: “You are so stupid! How could you do that?” or “You’re getting nowhere spiritually” are the types of things you say to yourself. This is the superego. The superego is what believes in using punishment and cruelty to reform itself and others. The superego is no more evolved than the very primitive ego that gave birth to it.
The problem with shame is that it is neither the best deterrent to bad behavior nor the best teaching device. Shame is unloving and hurtful, and there’s a price to pay for shame, and that is self-esteem. When you shame someone, as the ego does, that person feels bad about himself or herself and remains vulnerable to further ego manipulation. Shame keeps people in the egoic state of consciousness, in a state of negativity.
To truly reform and transform people, they need support in moving out of the egoic state of consciousness. The first thing they need is love and forgiveness from others. This makes it easier for them to forgive themselves and to connect with the love within themselves. Then, it will be impossible for them to behave badly.
This is why forgiveness is so important and such a valuable tool for personal and societal transformation. Forgiveness allows people to begin again anew and reconnect with their innate loving nature rather than stay stuck in the egoic state of consciousness because of guilt, shame, or low self-esteem. Once people are connected with the love of their true nature, they begin to love themselves, and then they’ll behave lovingly toward others.
As a society, you must help people end the vicious cycle of self-hatred by forgiving them and giving them skills to improve themselves and become more loving. The first skill to offer them is meditation. Teach them to meditate. This is how people can most easily connect with their true nature and see the truth about the voice in their head. Once they’re on this road, transformation is possible. No one is so wayward that they can’t be uplifted by helping them connect with their innate loving nature. There is a solution to much of the crime and violence in society.
The other means of uplifting people is attending to their basic needs if those needs are not being met. Love them by giving them what they need to be healthy members of society. Do they need food? Give it to them. Do they need training or education? Give it to them. Do they need emotional healing or health care? Give it to them.
This is obvious, isn’t it? If people are committing crimes because they lack the basic necessities of life, then society has failed them. Serving those in your society this way is just good policy and good for society. If you don’t, you’ll pay the price through crime, incarceration, unrest, and unhappiness.
“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me” means whatever good or harm you do to another, you do to yourself. Others are you in another disguise. You take care of them because that is how you would want to be treated. You “love one another” without exceptions—because there are no exceptions: Everyone is God. Everyone is your very own self, your divine self, in disguise.
People are healed and uplifted by one thing: love. Society is improved only through love, not through punishment or unequal treatment. Love is generous of spirit, caring, and compassionate. Love is also just and wise. Love gives, and it is wise enough to give what is needed and no more. You are always being guided in your giving by your intuition, inner wisdom, and the good feeling of rightness.
The reason given for not giving to those in need is often that giving will spoil them or make them lazy or weak. It’s true that giving inappropriately or giving too much to others can lead to dependency or lack of self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, that reasoning is too often just an excuse to be selfish and unconcerned about others. Be your “brother’s keeper.” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Give—if only to ensure that you also will be given to in your time of need, in keeping with the law of karma.
When people do give, they discover that giving is its own reward, and they’ll continue to give simply because it feels good. And why does giving feel good? Because it’s the right thing to do. By all means, do what feels good, not in the sense of physical pleasures, but what feels good intrinsically. Love feels good, and this good feeling is part of your inner guidance system.
I said that it is impossible to love yourself if you believe that you are the ego and if you’re behaving like the ego, since the ego behaves badly. When you begin to give more and love more, all this changes, because this is doing the opposite of what the ego does. The reward of giving is not only that you make others feel good, which you surely do, but that you make yourself feel good about yourself.
This last part is important: You make yourself feel good! You have the power to make yourself feel good and to do things that result in loving yourself. You have always had this power, but most people don’t use it to their fullest. They’re too busy making themselves feel bad, creating their living hell.
Just as life can be hell, life can also be heaven, depending on what you are thinking and believing. So, we return to the chapter’s theme: “As a Man thinketh, so is he.” And you could add: As a Man thinketh, so does he feel. Your thoughts cause you to be a certain way and feel a certain way. So, let’s explore this further.
It all begins with a thought: A thought arises in your mind. You didn’t put that thought there, you didn’t call it up, you didn’t choose it from lots of other thoughts; it just showed up unbidden. You had nothing to do with that. Where did that thought come from?
It came from your unconscious mind. Although the unconscious mind is mysterious, it isn’t completely unknown territory. People have known about the unconscious mind for a long time. It’s a storehouse. It stores memories and all sorts of information and conditioning you’ve gathered throughout this and all your other lifetimes. It also houses the collective unconscious, which stores impressions gained from humanity’s history. And it stores the programming that is the ego.
But that’s not all: The unconscious mind is also a porthole to the soul. What I mean by this is that the soul’s lessons and the soul’s plan, including one’s personality, karma, talents, psychological issues, wounds, and proclivities from past lives, are part of the programming stored in the unconscious mind.
In short, the unconscious mind stores information from one’s current life, past lives, and humanity’s history as well as the soul’s programming and the ego’s programming. Just as your computer is programmed to perform specific tasks, you have programming that causes you to respond to life in habitual and programmed ways.
This is all to say that you are not in control of what thoughts arise from the unconscious mind and appear as the voice in your head. This is determined by forces beyond you, some of which are benevolent and some not, for there is one other aspect to the unconscious mind that must be mentioned: negative influence by nonphysical entities.
Just as those guiding you work with your unconscious mind to help and heal you, negative nonphysical entities can also influence you through your unconscious mind—if you are in a negative state. This is all the more reason to keep your thoughts as positive as possible, which I will say more about shortly.
I mention these negative entities because it’s important that you understand that some of the most ugly, hateful, and violent thoughts you have come from beyond you and beyond your ego, from nonphysical entities who have lost their way and are divorced from love.
I hesitate to use the word “possessed” because it’s so highly charged, but these negative entities can use the unconscious mind to cause people to do things that they would never do were it not for their influence. This influence is largely through the voice in the head, which arises from the unconscious mind.
These entities are not to be feared, as they are not powerful. But they cause many to hate themselves and even harm themselves and others. They are most certainly involved in most suicides and violent crimes and other sociopathic behavior. Eventually, these negative entities will “see the light,” literally and figuratively, and return to love, as everyone does.
If this phenomenon were more widely understood, there would be more compassion for criminal behavior and better tools for dealing with it. As it stands, the negativity heaped by society on those influenced in this way makes this a real win for negative entities, who want nothing more than to promulgate fear and hatred in human society.
If you’d like to understand more about this phenomenon and how to work with such negativity, I refer you to this author’s book Getting Free: Moving Beyond Negativity and Limiting Beliefs. The point I want to make here, now, is that your hateful and extremely negative thoughts are literally not yours. Your darkest thoughts are not coming from your ego but from beyond you. They’re being planted in your unconscious mind by those who wish to manipulate you and wreak havoc in your world.
There’s no reason to feel bad about having such thoughts, or even about the thoughts that come from your own ego. They mean nothing about you. Your true nature is love, and nothing these entities do can change that. As I said, these entities aren’t powerful except if you believe them and do their bidding.