Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #68
Going back as far as the mid-1970s, Eric held a summer retreat in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This is an early Sunday morning talk where he describes what goes on during those retreats. He describes the many “mini-selves” that we experience and explains how the retreat process can help us understand our inner dialog of these mini-selves and how we can find and unfold the “real you.”
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But as we said, today we’re going to deal with kind of a resume of some of the things that we’re involved with at our weekend retreat out at Seabury House. Our theme is unfolding the real you. And I might say also that the things that we will share with you today are a little bit of a departure from our normal approach to spiritual things and such a Sunday morning session as this because the kind of involvement that we have at our retreat is a little more personal, a little more involved in the free exchange with people in small groups, but we want to take a look at it because I think some of the insights may well be helpful to us. And we can use them as we will in our own experience, perhaps at other times.
There is a body of opinion that holds that religious groups should be devoted to trying to solve the problems of the world, the problems of cities, the problems of the economy, the erosion of moral values and the cause of international peace. And there are those in this body of opinion that feel that we should not spend so much time dealing with the spiritual nature of the individual and the release of one’s innate potentiality.
Well, I find myself in a quandary when I read or hear such things because I ask the question and I’ve asked it of myself for a long time, what’s the purpose of creation anyway? I think there are those that assume that the purpose of the creation is to build bigger cities, to expand our technology, to develop spaceships so that we can go soaring off into outer space somewhere. Obviously, these are all a part of the expanding awareness of man, but as the poet once says, “Why build these cities glorious if man unbuilded goes?” You are the goal of creation. This is not my thought, though I agree with it, this is the concept of Professor [James Henry] Breasted of the University of Chicago, in his book, The Dawn of Conscience. After studying the cultures of the world, he concluded that the final creative goal of the creation is the full becoming of the person.
And Henry Drummond once wrote, “It is idle all the talk of religion as the agency of social reform. It’s first and only task is to provide the world with better people.” And of course it follows that if there are more spiritually aware and lovingly motivated people at the bargaining table and the councils of government, and in the halls of commerce, then the problems of the world will easily be resolved. It has always seemed to me that the purpose of the religious experience and of the religious study is to help individuals to know themselves, to become integrated with the transcendent flow of inner guidance and light, and power, and love. And this is the goal that we set for ourselves at our retreats, both our weekend retreats and our summer retreat of Allentown. And it’s the goal that we have certainly in this Sunday experience here, to help people, to help you to realize a deeper awareness of your own innateness, to release your imprisoned splendor.
And then, once one has this greater integration of his spiritual depth, he will be so much better equipped to cope with the challenges of life out there, better motivated to be a creative part of the solution to the problems of society, the problems of the cities, the problems of business, the problems of morality, the problems of world peace and so forth. Now in our study of what we often call the New Insight in Truth, we build constantly on one basic premise that is stated and reiterated so often as possibly to need to be redefined and rephrased because sometimes we hear things so much that we no longer listen to it, and it’s very simply that you are a spiritual being. You’re a child of God, you are a whole creature and that you have within you innately, always, the unborn possibility of limitless experience.
This is always within you. This is the reality of you. Sometimes it’s expresses itself in beautiful ways. Sometimes it expresses itself in limited ways. Sometimes it is totally frustrated and seeks unsuccessfully to express, thus creating problems out of the frustration of potentiality. Today, there is a good evidence of the existence of a universal principle that is referred to often as syntropy, S-Y-N-T-R-O-P-Y, which simply means the drive toward wholeness. The movement in biology, the movement in physical things, even in subatomic particles, the movement within man that is constantly working to restructure itself, to reform itself, to work toward what Teilhard de Chardin calls the Omega Point, or perhaps what Jesus would refer to as Be perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect. In other words, in this is an innate drive toward wholeness, toward self perfection, which is the basis of healing. It’s the basis of growth, it’s the basis for the personal drive for excellence, to surpass ourselves and to surpass other people, and so forth. It’s innate within the every person.
Now, there’s a great deal that’s going on in the world around us today. Certainly outside of what we like to narrowly think of sometimes as the world of metaphysics or new thought. There’s a great deal that’s going on in what we could call the new psychology of personal growth, which is breaking with the tradition of Freud’s long-held theory that the unconscious is composed primarily of wishes and of memories that are so painful and undesirable that they are repressed from consciousness, and thereby our subconsciousness contains all this terrible confusion and garbage that is constantly stirred up within us. The Freudian Concept, which was so long considered inviolent, gave great emphasis to the negative factors in personality and was very grim and very dark, and for many very confusing, but the new insight that has come about as a result of some of the new ideas are in awarenesses of the depth potentially within men.
The new insight is that neurosis in the person is not due to repressed fears, but rather because something creative and meaningful is seeking, even though unsuccessfully, to express itself. And that man then is not simply a bundle of repressions, but he’s a bundle of possibilities. Now, this sounds so much like the kind of thing we talk about so often, but this is a sort of substantiation that is coming today from the new field of psychology, and various areas, Assagioli’s concept in the new transpersonal psychology, the depth psychology and various other fields. But it’s dealing, actually, with this innate drive towards synthesis. And the fundamental premise, which is the basic theme song of my whole approach, that every individual contains within himself a wholeness, a divinity which is ever seeking to express itself, but which often is frustrated and creating a frustration of potentiality, which is at the heart and root of emotional problems, mental disturbances, moral elaborations, and certainly all the many physical ills that so many of us know too much about.
Now in our study of truth, we know and we affirm constantly that life has consciousness and that the perversions or limitations in consciousness in our self image, in our identification with ourselves as certain individuals or certain levels of consciousness determine the degree to which this whole great self is unfolded. As Elbert Hubbard used to say, “Man’s not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks he is.” Now when we lack the mooring of this conviction of our divine self, when we’re not completely aware of this realization that underneath there is this tremendous depth of goodness and vitality and divinity within us, there is a tendency to drift with the tides, to kind of move from thing to thing to be the victim of circumstances and chance and bad luck and that’s the way people are and so forth.
And we move from one kind of self identification to another. The interesting thing is that these moods and these traits and these characteristics and these complexes in the subconscious mind tend to group themselves together in little communities of mental activity. Now this may seem a little different, a little unusual to you, but if you’ll just kind of go along with it for a moment, it’ll help you, I think, to get a better insight into yourself. You don’t have to buy the technique or to accept what it is we’re talking about, but use it as a device right now of looking at yourself.
Now these little pools of consciousness or groupings or aggregations of moods and complexes and feelings and attitudes within ourselves sometimes have been called sub-personalities. Now they tend to develop a will of their own. You may wonder about this, but look at it. Our overall personality then begins to be variously dominated by many differing sub-personalities.
Now you may recall the poem that I have often expressed. It’s one of my favorites and I have no idea who the author is. It says, “Within my earthly temple, there’s a crowd, there’s one of us that’s humble and there’s one that’s proud. There’s one who’s broken hearted for his sins and there’s one who, unrepentant, sits and grins. There’s one who loves his neighbor as himself and one who cares for naught but fame and pelth. From much perplexing care I would be free if I could just determine which is me.”
Who am I? Will the real self please stand up? That’s the complication that we face. The interesting thing is we see these changes in another person and usually, we’re very judgmental and we say, “Well, he’s insincere. He’s hypocritical.” You know, because you never trust him, he’s undependable. But within ourself, how do we know which is the real self, the real you? You may take a look at the dilemma that Paul had.
You may recall Paul’s classic soliloquy, which tells of this inner turmoil of conflicting pools of consciousness within himself or sub-personalities, if you will. He just can’t understand what’s going on within him. He becomes convinced and through him articulated an idea that has absolutely been a fundamental part of the whole Christian tradition ever since. He becomes convinced that he’s possessed of the devil, possessed of an evil force. Listen to him. He says, “The good which I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I practice. But if what I would not that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me for I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see a different law in my members, warring against the laws of my mind and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin, which is in my members. Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
He’s pretty troubled about this, but out of that troubling mood and that confusion of his own consciousness, and I say lovingly and respectfully on this issue, I totally disagree with Paul. Some people, “You can’t disagree with the Bible,” well, I do. I disagree with Paul totally and completely and it is out of this momentary sense of confusion that has come the whole idea of the theology of sin, devil, evil, the frustration of limitations within persons as being totally bad and so forth. Because you see, what Paul did not understand was that this sin within himself was basically something that was being frustrated, something creative and meaningful that was trying to express itself that he wasn’t understanding, creating the frustration of potentiality. As a result of that, there was a sense of pushing it aside, repressing it, get out of here, I won’t have anything to do with you. You see, but it wasn’t being properly understood.
Somerset Maugham had a realistic understanding of these inner conflicts. He wrote, “There are times when I look over the various parts of my character with perplexity. I recognize that I’m made up of several persons and that the person that at the moment has the upper hand will inevitably give place to another.”
Recall, for instance, Robert Lewis Stevenson’s, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, referring to distinct polarities or sub-personalities within the individual. It’s a character, of course, it’s a parable, but it has personal applications. Or if you want to think of it in a little more acceptable form, think of a Saint Augustine’s Confessions where he gives a profound description of the struggle that goes on between the animal man and the spiritual man. Or more contemporary times, a whole new experience in the progressive psychology of the day has given rise to, for instance, Eric Burns popularized by Harris, I’m okay, you’re okay. Transpersonal psychology, transactional analysis in which he deals with the idea of the sub-personalities of the parent, the child, and the adult as being various aggregations or pools of consciousness within us that have a great deal to do with the way we act and so forth.
Get an insight into yourself in the light of this experience, of these different kind of personalities within you, even though it may seem rather unusual to deal with. I would like you to reflect for a moment of an illustration that you can very easily image. You’re sitting at home in your apartment or in your house or wherever you happen to be, and the doorbell rings. When the doorbell rings, you have not preconceived what it will be. There’s an expectancy, there’s an open minded this even as the telephone ringing and it could be the same thing as the telephone.
The doorbell rings and I’d say, first of all, think of three different entirely set of circumstances. The first one, you go to the door and you open the door and it’s a neighbor who is a friend, a good friend, and he’s coming perhaps to borrow a wrench or a little bit of tea or something or other, and you have a particular reaction. Now think of another circumstance. Number two, the doorbell rings and you open the door and it’s a book salesman. Now think of a third one. The doorbell rings and you go to the door and you open the door, and there before you is a very suspicious character asking if he can use your telephone. Three entirely different circumstances. Now think about this, kind of imagine it and can you see how you would probably deal with each of these in a uniquely different way? Not through a kind of emotion, but in a whole different way, in a framework that is entirely unique and different, a particular set of values and emotions and attitudes, even the kind of language that you use.
And sometimes when this happens, especially if it’s one that was not particularly pleasant, we may look at ourselves and say, “Why did I act that way? Did all that come out of me?” Things you said, emotions that you’ve expressed and so forth. Now this can very helpfully, I think, lead to an understanding of the behavior of others, and certainly of your own behavior. Someone, for instance, may express himself rudely or in an unfriendly way in a social situation where you happen to find yourself, and he’s very unpleasant and so you find yourself thinking and maybe even saying to someone nearby, “He’s obnoxious.”
And then at a later time, maybe several weeks later, you happen to run into this same person now in a different social situation, different people, a whole different set of circumstances, and you see him this time acting in an extremely friendly and kind way. Now you may have several reactions to this too. You may deal with it in your own mind, first of all, by the thought, you might even whisper it to somebody, “He sure has changed, hasn’t he?”
The other reaction might be, “Well, he’s totally insincere. He’s a hypocrite.” Because you haven’t been able to put the two together. Whereas it is much more likely that neither of them are the case and that’s the thing I think that that can help us a great deal to understand ourselves, because you see, it’s the doorbell situation again. In other words, he now is responding to the doorbell and he’s acting in an entirely different way in an entirely different situation. He’s simply dealing with different people, different situations on different levels of consciousness governed by different pools or aggregations of consciousness, which in this case we’re referring to as sub-personalities, much in the same way as we all do.
Now, what we’ve attempted to do in our retreat is to use this kind of thing purely as a device to isolate and identify some of these areas of consciousness within ourselves, to look at them, to talk about them, be honest with them, trying to understand them, and always to realize the principle of the syntropy, the principle that that deep within every person, no matter how perverted, how frustrated, how confused, how distorted the consciousness become, that deep within every person is this divine level, this God self, which is seeking, even though sometimes unsuccessfully, to express itself. So that deep within the core of every one of these aggregations of consciousness, which we’re calling sub-personalities, which seem to have a will of their own, that react in certain ways, is that which is innately good, no matter how distorted it may seem to be.
This is fundamental. You see, it’s the idea of I behold the Christ in you. I see the good in you and trying to see the good in various areas of our own subconsciousness, to know that the heart and the root of it all, there is that in us which is seeking, even if unsuccessfully, to express itself, to give us a supportive message. Now we’ve identified these sub-personalities and whole lists of them and we tried to do it in kind of a humorous way, not to make light of it but so that we don’t get so grim about it that it becomes a very negative thing. So we’ve tried to identify certain sub-personalities and to give them kind of humorous names to give the light touch to it. We’ve had each one kind of think about it in himself and then we’ve talked about it together and then summed up some of them in a group session together.
Some of them for instance, may express what would be called the green eyed monster, and we know what this is. This is a part of a pool of consciousness within us that that has a sort of warped sense of love and a great deal of fear and confusion, jealousy and so forth, and this monster rears its head so often when the doorbell rings in a particular situation that is threatening to the person. Another one, maybe the scared kid, this is somewhat the child of the TA or I’m okay, you’re okay concept. That part of us, which has a sense of inferiority, which has a tremendous fear of authority, every time you’re pulled over to the side of the road and the policeman that comes up with his ticket book in his hand, you just kind of wilt. This is the little scared kid.
And in other situations, perhaps a very successful, sophisticated business person may be called upon to stand up in front of a group and render a financial report or something and he just wilts withinside himself. He’s totally incapable of handling this type of thing. Or another one that is quite common with many persons is what our folks called the perfectionist. This is that sub personality or that pool of consciousness within you, which is always needling you, which will never let you be satisfied with anything. This drive for betterment, for perfection. And even though this person otherwise may be a very disorderly person, he does disorderly things, but he can never be happy with them. So he always has that needling sense of the perfectionist always working within him.
And there is the mystic. We talked about this a good bit because many of them felt that this was a very common sub-personality within us. This is that part of our nature that takes hold of such things as absolute metaphysics. God is good. God is all. Divine order is established everywhere. That hides behind these beautiful high sounding words and actually lives sincerely in the consciousness and the context of this metaphysical insight, but which quite often is completely incapable in other ways of accepting the fact of human needs, and thereby sometimes runs against the grain with another sub-personality, which is the doubter or the realist that is, “Look, I have a problem,” and the mystic of your consciousness says, “Don’t talk to me, we’re knowing the truth about it, you see.”
So even though we may be knowing the truth and we may plaster our whole consciousness with affirmations and treatments, yet deep within there is that something that’s saying, “But I hurt. I have a problem. You’re not getting to the heart of it.” So again, we have these conflicts within us which sometimes we don’t deal. And other more humorous ones are the worrywart, a little part of us that’s always disturbed, always worried, always anxious about everything and can never accept anything is working out right. Or the Crusader, the part of us that’s always trying to help people, even if it means intruding on their rights in their personal domain. The matchmaker is always trying to bring people together, regardless of whether they need to be together and want to be or not.
But the Crusader, always trying to save the world. A sincere motivation from within, but which sometimes becomes very egotistical, ego centered and thus becomes in conflict with other aspects of our nature. And sometimes two or more of these pools or aggregations of consciousness, or these sub-personalities, come in to grips with one another. And there are so many of them. We had a lot of fun with some of these. One of them that possibly suggests what we’re dealing with is the classic struggle between what we might call the jolly epicure and the grim dieter.
And the jolly epicure is that part of your nature which essentially believes and is convinced that life is for living, and what’s wrong with that? Life is for living. But it is tremendously threatened by the attempts at restraint by the grim dieter, who believes that life calls for discipline and restraint. Now both of these are essentially good motivations, essentially very practical and very helpful and very supportive wisdom coming out of our inner self, but which gets all distorted and gets all ego centered and becomes very defensive. And there is a tremendous struggle going on.
So then this is probably the most classic common struggle of our day. The struggle between the jolly epicure and the grim dieter. You sit down at the table and the jolly epicure has been instrumental in creating a cuisine that is finished with the epicurean taste, and it’s delicious and it’s savory and it’s beautiful. But before you can take a mouthful of it, the grim dieter is needling you with guilt and saying, “But that’s going to hurt you and this will make you fat,” and so forth. So there’s this struggle going on at the table. And then away from the table, then the grim dieter becomes the disciplined part of your nature that says, “I will not go near the ice box. I’m not going to nibble between meals.” But the jolly epicurean is saying, “Come on out and play. It’s fun.”
Again, this is an oversimplification of some of the things that happened, but you can understand that this in a way is what Paul was talking about, “That which I would, I do not. And that which I would not, that I do.” And we’re not trying to oversimplify, but we’re trying to understand ourselves and to know that these personalities, or sub-personalities, develop a will of their own. They need to be understood, because at the heart and root of it is not this repression of all sorts of terrible stuff within us, but the frustration of potentiality. And within every one of them there is something good.
So what we try to do and what we’ve been doing in our weekend, is to take some time to do a little technique of inner dialogue, to have an imaginary experience where we have perhaps the one, or several of these sub-personalities, come together and we have a talk with them. And talk back and forth. “What do you want? What are you trying to do? What’s your goal in my life? How can I help you?” Try to understand, try to bring about a greater sense of rapport. And the interesting thing is when the jolly epicure and the grim dieter get together and understand one another and communicate with one another, both of them become very, very supportive in bringing about the fulfillment of the kind of balanced, joyous, fulfilled person that we all want to be.
And we have this same problem that exists between what we might call the compulsive worker and the goof-off. I’m sure that’s self evident, that the compulsive worker is the person who’s caught up in work, has this drive, drive, drive, can never let down. The kind of person who is constantly climbing the ladder of success and takes his work home with him. His or her, whatever. And is always involved in this compulsion to work. Now there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a very basic and a very fine and a very important part of our own inner self that is seeking to give outlet to this creativeness of our nature. But you see, it becomes unbalanced.
And so the goof-off comes into our consciousness. And that’s the thing that will never let you be completely free from these tormenting fantasies of, oh how nice it would be to be sunning myself in far off Tahiti. Now wouldn’t it be great this afternoon to be playing golf, but I won’t. No. Drive, drive, drive, drive. But then, when there was the opportunity to relax, when the compulsive worker goes home or goes on a vacation, then when there’s plenty of opportunity to relax, the compulsive worker is constantly needling, needling, needling, making him feel guilty. There’s so many things I should do. I can’t really enjoy myself because back home the children need me, and all that sort of thing. So there’s this drive, drive, drive. This fight, this turmoil going on between us.
Again, both of them are essentially good. It’s important that we give expression to the creativity within us, and that we have the commitment to really work at it. But it’s also important that we relax and that we have a balance in our life. So that what we’ve found is, in a little inner dialogue, if we sit down and really imagine in our consciousness for a moment, even though it seems totally ridiculous and unreal. Just imagine these two sub-personalities sitting before you. Talking together, shaking hands together, getting an understanding that both of them were working for your highest good. Both of them were trying to help you. Both of them have a very important message to you.
And see the light of sun bringing warmth and illumination and understanding to each of them. Suddenly the answer becomes so simple. They just come to an agreement. The goof-off takes over when you have plenty of time on your hands, and the compulsive worker works when you’re at work. And they agree to leave one another alone. It sounds ridiculous. But it’s interesting, in dealing with your innermost thoughts, how this can actually open up a whole new experience for you. But again, this is the kind of thing that we’ve been doing in the format of a retreat where we can handle this type of thing much more easily.
We’ve also tried to understand that many persons would find this somewhat objectionable. For a number of reasons, mostly because the traditional thought of truth is you just deny the thing. You rise above it, you don’t look at it. Or the more popular word is we transcend all of these things. We don’t listen to them, we just know the truth about it and transcend them. But we’ve looked at it, at a very important insight, and I think this is something that every truth student needs to come to grips with.
And that is, there is no way that you can transcend anything by avoiding it. You can’t transcend it by avoiding, and this is a mistake that is often made. One can delude himself that he’s rising above a thing or transcending it when actually he’s simply repressing it. The only way you can transcend something is to accept it, look at it, and then transcend its limitations. And the tendency so often is, I won’t look at it, so I judge it. As Paul did, I call it sin. It’s bad, bad, bad.
And quite often in our experience, in metaphysics, many of us tend to become very judgmental about ourselves. We talk about how terrible it is. Quite often a person, they’re getting the doorbell and the person reacts in some sort of a negative way and then you say, “How could I, a good true student, be so negative? How could I express in such an unloving way?” So we become very judgmental and we say, “I will not do that again. That is not a part of me. I refuse to accept it.” It is a part of you. It came out of you. Who did it come out of? The point is when Jesus says, “Agree with your adversary quickly,” He would be saying what some of our modern psychologists would say when they say, “You must own your situation, own your concept, own your reaction.” It is a reaction in you. It’s a feeling in you, not somebody else. It came out of your consciousness.
Own it to the point that we accept it as a part, even if it’s frustrated, a part of this flow of innateness within ourselves. Take time to recognize it, to listen to it, to understand it, to sense the light of spirit radiating upon it, to give it freedom and release, and then you can transcend it by transcending its limitations. You can pull its fangs, you can get rid of its sharp teeth and its horns, and its thorns, and its nails, and suddenly the beast is tamed, and suddenly it becomes a very beautiful flow of divine guidance within yourself. I think this is very important. I think it’s significant. Obviously, this can be overdone. But the important part of it is the acknowledgement of the built-in drive toward wholeness. The realization that there is within every person the desire to express, from within, the divine level of his own being, the uniqueness of his own nature.
So in working with the whole person or what sometimes we call the Christ self or the divinity within, that part of you which is always seeking to grow and unfold; what we’ve done is to develop a little exercise, already utilized, a little exercise that has been quite helpful. Though we can’t take time here to deal with the kind of inner dialogue that we’ve done with working with some of these sub-personalities, we can take a moment just to experience this type of dialogue with our whole self, with the God-self of us. I would like you, just right now, to take a moment to enter into this experience. Just close your eyes. You might call this an experience of prayer or meditation or you might think of it as neither. Really doesn’t matter what you call it, but just be relaxed for a moment and have a little experience of imagery and experience of inner oneness.
Take a few deep breaths. In the inner-self, in the chamber of your mind, your imagination is very vital. It’s possible for you to imagine almost anything. So what I’d like you now to do in the screen of your mind, in the center of your consciousness, to just imagine a beautiful rose bud, just a single bud maybe in a vase. You may not even think of how it is, but there it is. The bud is before you and it’s a beautiful fragrant bud. Delicate, lovely colors, fragrance that is just transcendent. Experience it for a moment. Just look at it and let it communicate itself to you. And then as a part of this imagery, just see that rose bud begin to unfold petal by petal. As it just opens up before you and a deep beauty upon beauty, upon beauty unfolds; fragrance, color, until the rose is totally unfolded before you, breathtaking in its experience, just look at it, sense it, feel it, experience it.
Now again, in your imagery, just imagine that suddenly almost as out of a hazy fog in the very center of that rose, see it taking shape before you, the face of a very wise old person, man or woman, looking at you very lovingly, tenderly, supportively and this is your own God-self. I want you, as you would if you were sitting within any person where there’s a great respect, and trust, and faith, and you feel therefore very secure in the relationship, to just engage in a conversation. Talk to this Sage of the Rose if you will. Perhaps share some personal feelings, or fears, or concerns, or delights. Remember that this deeper awareness, this God-self in you has a very important message for you, and so remember conversation is two-way and you must listen. So let this divine sage within you communicate itself to you and see what it says.
Well, you may engage in this experience for as long as you care to, but let the dialogue go forward on a very high level in this inner communication, talking back and forth, but listening, listening, listening. Then at a particular time when you feel that you have experienced about all that is important or needful or all that you can take at this time, then just let it all kind of fade away in consciousness with a great sense of gratitude knowing that this is something which is ever present, always there, never leaves you. Always ready whenever you’re ready. A very beautiful way to follow this up would be to turn to perhaps a notebook or a pad of paper and just sit and write about everything that happened.
Write down the things that you shared and write down the feelings that came to you in response. As we say, it is a kind of effective prayer and meditation, but what it tends to do is to break down the idea of reaching to God out there somewhere for help. You come to feel a sense of the presence of God which is present in you and as you, your own God-self. Remember Jesus said, “The father within knows what things you have need of even before you ask.”
This is your own God-self. This is, if you will, the Sage of the Rose. This is the heart of you. If we build our lives and our whole faith upon this consciousness, then we develop a conviction that wherever we are, whatever may be the need, whatever may be the challenges, we are never more than one flash of insight from the answer to our problems, the guidance, the support, the strength, the love and the healing that we need because that is the deep inner self of us which is always present. The message is quite often frustrated. The activity, the radiance of this inner presence quite often becomes distorted and by the time it gets to the surface gets bogged down in all sorts of, as we’ve talked about, little sub-personalities that they’re not always properly communicating their real needs to us.
But that’s at the heart of us and that’s always at the root of us. This is not just a new insight into psychology. This is fundamental to the process of truth that we’re dealing with that makes it a reality. Oftentimes, truth students get so caught up in, first of all, the idea, “Well, I believe in truth, so I know that God is everywhere present,” but so caught up with the idea of an intellectualization and metaphysical principles that there is a tendency of putting new wine in old wine skins. But quite often the person may be still dealing with the truth, affirming the truth, treating with very beautiful spiritual realizations, but still somehow trying to reach out somewhere saying, in effect, “While I’m saying these things, I sure hope God is hearing it.”
The point is we don’t need to deal with God out there. God is omnipresent, which means all present, everywhere present, which means present in you and as you, as the depth within yourself. This is fundamental. So working with this inner self, this inner realization, we can at any time that we care to and any time we have a need, just get still in a few moments. You don’t have to follow the dialogue with the Rose technique. That’s just something we’ve used in our retreat experience. But to get that very real sense of communion and communication with the deep inner self that knows the answer.
We look so far and so hard and run here and there and we become plagued with the intellectual know-it-all of our own consciousness, but won’t even listen deeper within itself because as, after all, “I learned this in school and the teacher said that, and I have these things right here, so obviously here’s the answer.” Yet actually somewhere along the line that intellectual know-how, know-it-all has blocked off its own source of inspiration. Deep within it has an awareness of truth, but sometimes it gets all bogged down in intellect or in the ego or in the confusion or in the doubts or in the fears. But deep within ourselves always there is that fundamental depth of us, that God-self of us that is always seeking to be to us the inspiration of the almighty, which give us this understanding. That’s the basis of it.
We have long talked about the thought people of our minds, but actually what we’re trying to experience here is an awareness that these thought people, much like real people, sometimes congregate in little groups and little cliques and often there’s the development of jealousies and factional differences as in any social situation. The same kind of thing goes on in our consciousness sometimes, which keeps us from expressing and experiencing our own innateness.
So what we’re trying to do, and all we’ve been trying to do in our weekend retreat is to establish peace within our inner household so that we can pull together in the effort with which we’re all engaged in the full becoming of the person that we’re created to be. Then out of this, we can be a much more effective and creative part in the full becoming of society, in being a part of the solution of the problems around us, rather than simply being a part of the problem. It’s very basic. It’s very much a part of what we do all the time, but it’s a little technique, which we’ve had a lot of fun with working on in our experience at the retreat.
So once again, just as we close, let’s just give thanks. Let’s give thanks for the tremendous realization of the truth, but knowing that the truth is not simply a series of intellectual propositions that we cram into our mind and not simply a series of metaphysical phrases and treatments and affirmations that we paste over our consciousness. But the truth deals with the great jewel of our own inner self, a jewel that has many facets, a diamond that is sparkling in all directions.
Every one of these sparkles has a message for us, and we simply want to remember that sometimes these are not properly seen and understood and experienced. As the Scripture say, “Behold, I created man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.” Behold, the sparkle of truth that radiates from our innate self becomes distorted, discolored and shadowy forms express on the screen of life, rather than the light of our own innateness. So we give thanks for the truth, we give thanks for the jewel, the radiant jewel, the many-faceted diamond within us.
And we give thanks for the perception, the understanding, the humility, the receptivity to carefully weed through all the many seeming limiting forms of our subconsciousness, to know that at the heart and root of us and at the heart and root of every person is this great, beautiful, wonderful God-self, which is totally good, totally creative, totally loving. We acknowledge this, we give thanks for it and we go forth in this consciousness. Amen.