Learning to Come unto Christ - PRESENTATION #6
LEARNING TO COME UNTO CHRIST
Merrill Bailey - Salt Lake City, Utah - 1991 (Transcribed and edited from cassette tapes)
Can Fear Motivate?
In Seminary today we replayed the crucifixion. We blacked out the windows and used the Living Scripture video recounting events on this continent (3 Nephi) . We had all the classes in one large room. In total darkness we flashed lightning, a picture of the Savior in the air, and we had a fogger, etc. It lasted about 45 minutes and then we had a testimony meeting for the last 15 minutes. When it was over I was not certain we had done a good thing…...it seemed that fear and guilt were the results. Later when they talked about it, the young people were saying, "We're going to hell anyway--we might as well go with a smile on our faces!"
The Greatest Motivators
The greatest motivators for change are happiness, joy, hope, and goodness. On an individual level, it is an exciting time to live! There is a great polarization taking place. This is not a "someday" situation--we are talking about NOW! Amazingly, the young people who were most frightened were the best ones. They probably have their little private sins, but they are the best youth in the world. The others do not read the scriptures, they do not hear the prophets…...so the warnings go to the better ones. The good young people do not realize how good they are. I think that carries over to the adults too.
Four Major Relationships
Spirituality is nothing but relationships, and we are going to talk about relationships tonight. The four types are:
1-2. Relationships With God and With His Creations. I combined these two, because to have a relationship with God is to have a relationship with everything He created. This is because He is in all things, through all things, and is light and truth. Having any type of relationship with Him at all is to start having a relationship with everything He created, including the universe, laws, principles, nature, etc.
3. Relationships With Ourselves
4. Relationships With Others. ·We talk about this least of all, and this relationship includes everything from tip-top relationships to deep-triangle relationships.
Relationships in the Scriptures
I had a person come for counseling and she said, "Why isn't there anything in the scriptures about marriage relationships--Christ never even told us He was married. If He is supposed to be our example and have us follow Him, why isn’t there anything at all about His relationship with his wife?"
Good question. The greatest battles take place within the walls of our own homes. (However, that is not what the plaque says above our kitchen sink!) The only thing in the scriptures about relationships is a little bit about serving others. Why do you think this is so? Because when our relationship with God is in tune, everything else falls into place.
Relationships With Ourselves
"Look what I created". We get everything we want. We are surrounded by 360degree mirrors (people) reflecting ourselves back to us the relationships we are having with ourselves. Most of us spend our time running away from ourselves--this comprises the real war. This war has got to stop, but we do not want to know that---we want to run and change mirrors. We want to change husbands, wives, bosses, etc. We spend a lot of time adjusting mirrors; we just get one adjusted and find there are three others to struggle with. This is because the universe is designed to teach us lessons. If we will not learn the lesson in one marriage; we runaway and get a new spouse…..and guess what? There is still the same lesson, just a little bit different, because we have got to learn that lesson before we can move on.
If we try to run away from the fact that we created all things, what better place to hide out than refusing to take responsibility for problems in our relationships--they are everybody else's fault! The people who "bug" us the most--especially the ones we have chosen intimately, such as husbands or wives---are the people we need most to mirror to us what we have yet to learn. When we have created peace and love with them and have learned that lesson with them, then we will be more centered and have more peace within ourselves. We can go out and carry on some fairly good relationships with total strangers until they get to know us a little bit…..then we create the same kind of havoc. For a while it is much easier to be around total strangers than those people who know us the best.
Sometimes our greatest conflicts, aside from those with our spouse, will be with our children--especially when they get old enough to think for themselves and become 'big" people (and even start talking back!) They know us better than anybody in the world. They know all our hideouts--so they push us a little too far, and they know exactly the right buttons to push! to humble us very quickly!
Teenagers Are Our Best Mirrors
Generally, the problems with our teenagers will reveal our own problems to a greater extent than anyone else. If there is anyone we are parenting more, it is ourselves, but it will show up with our teenagers. Why? Because that teenager in each of us is fighting for freedom, for release, for acceptance. And so we get the message--this is what we want mirrored. For example, "Okay, Dad, let's give you a little hassle here. Let's wreck the car!" Anytime we are having a conflict or hassle with our children, it is a perfect mirror to us. There is a place in ourselves that we are not accepting and embracing or coming to grips with. It is probably a blind side--the parts that bother us are not obvious to us, and they are saying, "I'm not like that person!" However, the person that bugs us most is like we are, but we cannot see that.
Apathy--Not Irritation--is the Opposite of Love
Apathy is a want of feeling, an utter privation of passion, or insensibility to pain, a lack of interest or desire, a lack of feeling.
Our strengths and weaknesses are part of the same coin, so if someone is showing us the negative side of our weakness, chances are we have the positive side of it within us. We also have the negative side, but we keep it blocked from our own awareness. Years ago there were things that bothered us, so we locked them up.
How do I know that? Because we do not pump power into something we do not have an investment in. We can always tell when we have an investment in something, because we pump power into it. If we have apathy toward it, we are experiencing no mirrors. Apathy is the opposite of love and hate; irritation is the opposite of acceptance and embracing. When we run into someone who is really messed up, we say, "Oh well, we all have our problems." There is no power in it for us, so the parts of ourselves we have come to embrace in that person do not bother us.
There needs to be opposition in all things, so if you are a male you definitely have a female side to you, and that female side is in you. If you are a female, the opposite is true. If that opposition is not accepted and embraced, you will spend a lifetime trying to embrace, accept, and unconditionally explore all facets of the opposite side of you. You will work with that for a long time. That is why you married--your spouse can show you those facets. He or she is a much better mirror, because the mirror in you is so weak.
Speaking from the male standpoint, if you are going to run away from a part of yourself, it will probably be one of the female facets…...those are the parts you keep hidden. So when your wife gets on her "witchy" female, it is a perfect mirror to you of something you are doing to yourself. You need to look at it carefully, because you do not want to divorce her. You have your free agency, and everything is given to you that is necessary for learning while here on earth (2 Nephi 2). If you are not careful you will miss the opportunity to learn these valuable lessons--you will run away from them.
2 Nephi 2:2;7 All things are given unto them (which are expedient unto man)
God Cares About Our Earthly Lessons
The Lord does not make mistakes. How could we possibly think that God could design a leaf that is intricately, mathematically, and electrically perfect and then just throw us down here with a bunch of laws and say, "Just bounce them around and you will learn a few things!" I am convinced that when we get back home we will realize how intricately our lives were designed moment by moment---for us to learn, grow and still leave intact our agency, our personhood.
God is not making robots. He gives us conditions and then leaves us to. work them out, so that when we get back home. we will say we had our agency every second of our lives .. All the choices were our own. That is why we will say all God’s judgments are just…...we will realize that everything was done with intricacy. I do not think it is by chance that we married the people we married--even if it is the right thing to. divorce them later. There are lessons to. be learned at different times of our lives--experience to be gained. They help move us on to higher levels of consciousness.
Look for the Great Models
We have so. few good models--not many people are living these principles. Until we can look into a mirror and see ourselves in a good model, we will not even recognize it..... we will be blind to it. We are most aware of the models that are there to teach us--the irritating ones. When our mirrors get less and less irritating, and we get more accepting and more embracing of everybody and all things in life, then we will say, "Wow! There have been people here who learned this years ago!" There are not many, but we will never see them until we change so they mirror back to us those qualities of love and compassion….. Light attracts light; otherwise, most of the people in our lives can be very irritating, confusing, and frustrating.
In one word—mastery is what we “striving” for. Mastery means we have acquired a level of excellence in an art, craft, or profession. It implies having risen above the complexities of the subject or activity in which we seek mastery. Mastery comes out of a commitment to excellence—it is a very pragmatic term. In the broadest sense, a master is one who has risen above the threat, obstacles, and limitations of a physical world. The object is to become masters of life--to master our lives and our existence just as if they are great pieces of art--because they are. Your life is your art. It is what you are working to master.
A master has control over what we call "reality"..... reality has no control or power over the master. Another way of saying it is: A master learns to control all of his/her mirrors. The mirrors do not have control or mastery over the person. Most of us have not accomplished this in our relationship with others.
Mastery in Relationships
Have we mastered our marriage relationships so they have no control over us: but we have control over them? Until we do, we are not the master. For example, I hear this response often, "You would not say that if you were married to the wife I am married to--she is the world's worst witch!".
Mastery has nothing to do with outside mirrors. Mastery involves not only relationships, it includes money, sex (one of the hardest to master), or anything we become obsessed with. We start out as children as pro-life.....we are so excited because we are determined to master it. Somewhere life gets so overwhelming that we surrender, give up, and start moving back the other way. It starts looking too complicated and vast. This is mostly because we hook onto several illusions that we are taught….. illusions that do not work. So we get the idea in our minds that all of life is too complicated and too vast, and we zero in on one particular aspect of it, usually something that is quite enjoyable or that gives us momentary pleasure, some obsession. It can be sex--anything pleasurable--where we become obsessed in a specific area. It is almost like running away from life and choosing one little part. We move backwards…...in a way, we have given up.
We Create Our Complexities
Being born again means to turn around and face life and realize that it is only complex in the head---it is not complex in the heart. We create that complexity from the traditions of our fathers (cultural things our fathers have taught us), from disobedience, and from the honors of men and things of the world. (See the 93rd section of D&C) Satan takes the light and truth, which means pointing to these illusions. Reality has no power or control over the master. Reality has surrendered to the master: That is the simplest way I can say it.
Learn to Surrender
Surrender means to give up possession of or power over: Think of surrender in terms of your teenagers. The only way we can win over our mirrors is to pull ourselves out of them---to surrender all power and let it be what it is. Most of the marriage problems involve people trying to own each other—we want to possess our wives or husbands, our children. We have to surrender possession of people---people are not owned. One of the most important scriptures in the four standard works is this one:
D&C 93:29-31……….”All truths (and all people) are placed in an independent sphere—to act for themselves.”
D&C 121:34…... "Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men that they do not learn this one lesson: That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness ..
That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man….
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen."
Set Yourself Free By Giving Freedom To Others
Joseph Smith said it this way: "We teach each other correct principles and then we govern ourselves." The great truth is that when we do that, it is not only our children we turn free--it is ourselves! When we· give freedom, love, or unconditional acceptance to anybody or anything, we are really giving to ourselves. Each of us is a closed system…..all truth is independent in the sphere wherein God has placed it. We can possess nothing, so possession is an illusion. We raise carrots, we do not raise children…...we sponsor children. We lose God's power in the ordinances (referring to D&C) when we use control or compulsion in any degree of unrighteousness. The heavens withdraw themselves.
Children and Agency
At what age do we start setting our children free? We start monitoring them when they are very small, and then give them freedom as soon ·as they are able to handle new experiences. The beautiful thing is that this principle--and it works so quickly—is people thrive under freedom.
There can be a lag time--especially as a teacher. With 35 or 40 students in a class, it does not take very long to recognize those children who are possessions of their parents, who have grown up under a stifled or controlled environment. I start giving a little space and they just run! So I take them aside and say, "You obviously need bounds.” Then I inflict the very least that I possibly can and still keep them within the walls of the building. It takes me all year to teach those few students that they can trust themselves to be free.
It is beautiful to watch your own children. When you get the urge to panic, do just the opposite--back off and give them a little space. Give them love and acceptance--and back down if that is what it takes--to give them space and approval and be on their side. It is amazing!
Everything We Give Comes Back to Us
When children are very small they have all the intelligence necessary to handle everything in this life if they are nurtured in freedom and love. It takes a lot of courage to believe that, so dare to believe it! The neat thing is that everything we give comes back to us. When we begin to give trust, love, and freedom to our husbands, wives, children, etc., we begin to come alive inside. The weapons start to be destroyed. We can look in the mirror and practice positive thinking, telling ourselves how wonderful we are…..We can unconditionally love and support our children and there is a peace that accompanies us all day long, because that is where our mirrors are. This is what being a source is all about.
Giving Freedom to Others
So reality no longer holds possession of or power over the master. Money does not hold reality, sex does not hold it--nothing holds it. For example, I had a girl come to me the other day who said that she worked around people who expose their bodies a lot. She said: "I work in a health spa where the girls are hanging out and the guys are there watching the girls 'hanging out' and the girls are noticing that the guys are watching them 'hanging out.' It drives me crazy! I don't know if I should be there.”
I told her a story about President McKay. Back in the late 40's when he was in his later years, he was watching the parade and the girls were on cars in their bathing suits. Someone near him said to him, "President McKay, can you believe this!" (Now remember, when President McKay was in his 30's the girls still had hoops down to the floor, and he did not see an ankle until he was 35!)
President McKay just smiled and said: “All I see are beautiful girls."
The point is we need to be able to give love and acceptance and be able to embrace others. It does not mean we will go through town in our bathing suits, but we can accept somebody else being there. If we cannot, then that little dark pervert behind the mirror is never going to get love and acceptance to come out---except maybe to explode!
Live Without Judgment
To accept and embrace all things and all people--wherever they are at--does not perpetrate evil in the world, because we are not in charge of anything anyway. Nobody is going to come up and ask us what we think about it. We think they will, but they do not. But it is a way of embracing and accepting ourselves. The person working in the health spa said, ”That feels right….I can go back there and let them be who they are and love them unconditionally." So who was freed? The girls who were 'hanging out' and the boys who were watching the girls who were 'hanging out'? She was free of all that. This is what being a source is about--when reality has no power over you, then you can be a source of reality.
We Choose To Be Angry
One or the greatest shocks that ever came to me was when I realized that my wife never made me angry. That was one big awakening, because lived for many years with my wife making me so angry! One day I realized “She is not making you mad…..you are making yourself mad! She has no power unless you give it to her."
Each of us can be in the presence of our husband or wife, and that person can be pushing all the buttons to make us upset. We have to realize that we are the ones who hooked up the wiring….. so we just push the cutoff. We cannot be vacuums in that we have nothing there, so if there is no anger or frustration, etc., what remains is just love. We are the ones who have mastery over anger--not outside circumstances.
Recognizing Our Own Problems
There are usually very good reasons for blaming others for our anger--ways of running away from the fact that we make ourselves angry. That is where we hide. So when we make ourselves angry, we should ask, "Why am I doing this to myself?" It becomes a perfect mirror and we can go back. and learn what there is in us, and find out why we are making ourselves angry. Once we realize it is our own doing, then mastery takes charge. As long as we still blame others for our anger, we are not a source--we have not mastered reality. And reality is that we have created and projected everything out there, so all the mirrors are telling us we still do it because we are human. But becoming the master is to say “The problem is with me, not the person I feel anger towards." When we go inside and find out why….we will find we are doing it for a very good reason.
Test the Mirrors
Fear is always withholding love--and always from ourselves. I do not want to downplay the importance of these mirrors where I say they are not causing any of our problems--we use the mirrors to correct the problems. We correct them, but remember they are only mirrors; they have no power or image of their own. They only reflect what we have projected. So if they are projecting hate or any kind of negativism, we can change the mirror. How do we do it? Love others and get out of judgment.
Throw something out to the mirror to see how you are doing.
If you love and get out of judgment and accept others, the mirror gives you love. Giving love is all you can do…..you are either withholding love, distorting love, or giving open unconditional, free love. It is one or these three.
Our Mirrors Are Our Teachers
The mirror becomes our teacher. If we get a mindset we can look into that mirror and examine ourselves in that situation. When we own the responsibility then we can grow. That is why people considering divorce should no get divorced until they have this conquered. It is not the mirror's fault. Use that mirror-the worse it is, the faster it can change us.
Of course it would be much more comfortable to move off by ourselves and not have to live with the problem, but there is a great opportunity for us to grow. When we have really conquered that mirror--not the person—when the mirror does not control us, we become the masters of reality. Then we can divorce it if we want. That is a real shock to people. They say, "Who needs this? I can get rid of it." I say, "You have a beautiful opportunity to grow here if you want to."
Gaining Control Over the Mirrors
We can change mirrors, but it slows us up because we pour all the power into them. When things are so bad and the mirrors are so bad, they must be teaching us a lot about ourselves that we do not want to know. We think of running away from them, but we need to learn to master them.
If we are having conflicts with others, they are merely mirroring back the conflicts we have in ourselves. However, we have been taught one gigantic, overwhelming lie that makes everything I have said very frustrating and confusing. Once we see the lie, the lights will go on. Reality will be this way, and it is. Once we get control over those mirrors, they will never have any control or power over us again. We need to work on the mirrors, so we do not want to get rid of them until we have conditionally loved and accepted, so we are not pumping any more power into them.
Change Anger to Love and Forgiveness
We do not just get neutral and say, "Okay, I'm not going to let him bother me anymore.” That is ridiculous…we cannot form vacuums with ourselves. What is meant by “vacuum”? A lot of people think that they are withdrawing their power if they just do not react. For example, we say to ourselves, "I just won't say anything when he yells at me. I will just shut up.”
We still have all the anger inside us….we have just short-circuited that anger! Better that we embrace it and start screaming. Change that anger to love and forgiveness…..get out of judgment. That is where we gain our power back. That person has our power, so we have to get our power back: We have given it to our relationships by putting positive energy into them, because everything we give, we always give to ourselves…..it comes back to us. So if we pump anger into it, it will come back as anger. We think it is the other person making us angry, but it is only ourselves; he or she has no power over us. We have to actively go out and give unconditional love and support to that particular mirror--just the way he or she is.
All Relationships Are Two-Way
Let me show you what usually happens. The hard work is living in hell all the time. Everything we say here is easy compared to the way we have been living. Here is where we usually get hurt. Here is a relationship. All relationships are two-way---even those within ourselves--we are either growing closer to ourselves or growing farther apart.
Which part is the real ME? Our minds/our bodies and our spirits are two opposites….. one needs to be in charge. The reason most of us are here tonight is because it feels so good as we start to have at-one-ment with ourselves. So here is a marriage relationship, and as we start to grow (if we are really growing within ourselves), we want our marriage relationship to do the same. But our partners do not want it. We move in and do something very, very loving, and he or she rejects us.
A Relationship Axiom
Now where does the conflict really start? We were rejected. Down deep we deserved to be rejected, but we did not think that person would really do it because we did such a loving thing. We will show them! Now there is real conflict. They moved in another direction because they did not want to move in close as we did. So they move back to where it started the first time….. that blankety blank! We have been rejected before….. we are not going to come close. We want a divorce. We have done this so many times; we want out! We do not realize that what we are trying to do is control the relationship. Here is an axiom: A relationship can go no deeper--no closer than the least-interested person wants it to go. We can move in no closer than that person. The person who has the least invested has the most control.
How To Handle Rejection and Be Happy
That person has no close relationship with himself, so how can he or she have a closer relationship with us than they have with themselves? So when he/she refuses to allow us to came close, we will always feel rejected. But it is we who are pumping the power into the rejection, so how do we handle it? We give unconditional love to that person where they are at. If they want this kind of relationship, then we unconditionally love them right where they want to be loved. Unconditional love means we are constantly supporting them right where they want to be. We do not try to push them into more than they want. And we do not get hurt if they do not want to go deeper. We wait for them….. we love them.
We may desire a closer relationship with all our hearts--maybe because we love the person so much. We see how miserable they are, and we know they would be so much better if they would let us move in closer and love them more. They will not….. and that hurts us. We can see that it is themselves they are not loving. But God did not place us in charge of the universe. All he gave us control over was ourselves so all we can do is be a master---all we can do is be a source.
Be A Source—The Greatest Gift We Can Give
Once we have mastered ourselves and have become a source, then we let our light so shine so that we create an environment of safety; and when they want to move, we are there. That is exactly how our Heavenly Father always works. He says in D&C 88:63: “Draw near unto Me, and I will draw near unto you” (in that order). We are all waiting for Him to come to us, and He will not do that. We are the actor with God in this case….. we can be as close to Him as we want. We can cause the veil to part .. it is all in our hands.
How Do We Show Unconditional Love?
It is all right to give 100% and expect nothing back if we do not misinterpret and say 100%--and they are running over us like a tank. Even though we are giving 100% (in a way they can accept it), we are still only 50% of the relationship. Maybe 100% of ourselves is leaving it right where it is. For example, I go home tonight and I know my wife does not want me to touch her, because she does not have a relationship with herself, so I love her and send the vibes of unconditional love and support; but I do not touch her; or I choose to. touch her in another way--with candy or just talking with her. I can sit across the room from her, but we are loving. There is no judgment. If she snaps something at me, I have power over myself so I continue to give her love. We learn with each other to unconditionally love each other right where we are.
Our Feelings Must Be Genuine
If we irritate the other person, we are not doing it right. What we are saying in effect, is," "I am loving you, but you are not loving me". That is not unconditional love…. do not lie to yourself. We think; "I am trying to show you and me that I don't get mad anymore." To be genuine, everything must come from the heart. When it is genuine we have a sixth sense as to how far we stay from our spouse, and he or she knows we are not angry nor are we flaunting that non-anger or that non-judgment. We back off to where he or she can barely feel it. Sometimes we have to be clear across the house to respect their position and love themselves, so that we are not sending those vibes of judgment. Non-judgment is a judgment if we are sending it covertly.
When You Become Master, You Become A Source
When people feel total love and acceptance and show respect--they are only giving to themselves.· When we are masters we become the source--we become that light. For example my wife thinks, "He loves himself so much and has such peace ,with himself---I want that peace. At first she will want to destroy my peace. Then she will say, "No, I don't want to destroy his peace, because he doesn't want to destroy mine. He wants to lead me wherever I have space and I want what he's got." It is not very long until she starts moving in. Confrontations will pretty well stop when we get to this point.
When we can be masters we will constantly be 'IQ-ing' (this is reflecting how the other person feels back to him or her.) But seldom will it be verbal (LQ). What it means is listening. I f we try to make it verbal or outward, it is another way or saying, "I am in control now!"
Unconditional Love Takes Away Judgment
Unconditional love is a mindset. When we get out of judgment, we are unconditionally loving and supporting others just the way they are--in all :of their magnificence. That is a mindset--it starts in the head, but it is not long until, with much practice, we can feel it in our whole bodies.
Sharing Space Means Sharing Love
What we do is share space with that person. Non-love is cutting others out of our space. When we are interested in others and share our space, that is sharing love. We can share space across the house--I can share space with my wife right now and she is in Bountiful--does that make sense?
We Do Not Have to React….. Hostility is a Choice
Sometimes we wonder how we get ourselves into distasteful situations. Remember the little saying I brought a few weeks ago that said, “Trials and afflictions and tribulations are mandatory, but hostility is a choice.” Maybe a lot of these lessons we give ourselves are to see how we will get out of them. If we never have any practice--then we can never get out of the headtrip.
We could come to this class and love each other and give this wonderful support, but this is not where life is lived--it is lived out there with the people who make our blood boil, who do not understand us and who honk at us, but that is where our real growth takes place. This class is a rest area--where our real growth takes place is in the world of reality. God gave us the world of reality to work with because that is where we need to grow.
Identify Your Mastery…. Or Lack Of….
There is probably one area of your material life where you are a master. It may be that your mastery is in money. or it may be that your mastery is over your own sexual nature. Perhaps it may be that your mastery is over your own eating habits, or over your ability to be on time…... in some area of your life you probably have total mastery. You do not have to think about it, you do not have to make plans, set goals--it just comes easy to you, it just flows.
It is possible to be that way in all the major areas of our lives, but we have to take the power and surrender (detach) our fear in that area. For example, if you know how to make money by doing a certain thing and it is very easy for you, you do not have any fear in that area--you could go anywhere and make money in that area and do well. There is very little fear because you have mastered that.
Take that experience and project it into the area you have the most problem with (no mastery over), such as sex or relationship with your spouse or whatever and realize that is the way it can be in all areas of your life.
You are the one who is pumping negative power into all of the areas and that is why you are not mastering them. When you learn to take the one thing you have mastered in to all areas, you will have mastery over all of your outside world. That is what we are here to learn to do.
Capture the Key to Mastery
That does not mean we will not have trials in that area--look at the area you have mastered--you have the same afflictions and trials that other people do in that area, but they panic and go to pieces and say, "Why did you do this to me, Lord?" And you just sit back and say, "He didn't do it to me, I did it to myself. I will pull out of it--I can do this and this, and it will work." That is the way it is in all areas of our physical lives, once we capture the key.
At one time I asked you to write down the things that bother you in other people, then take a good look at those items--whatever bothers you is usually your own problem. Perhaps you are highly organized and are bothered by disorganization. Does that mean you are secretly not organized? There probably is a secret fear that in some areas of your life you are not organized. Such a thought frightens you, but when you really master it, then you feel comfortable with other people not doing well in that area. YOU become the source.
Obsessions and Mastery
Things that are very simple to the spirit are very complicated to the head. Let us assume that I have a great fear of life, and so I really have to control everything in my life, which means that I mow my lawn both ways and make sure that all the grass clippings are always swept up, my garage is immaculate, my house is immaculate, etc. Everything in my outside world is absolutely organized.
This probably connotes inside a great fear of disorganization and not being in control of things. I am obsessed in that area--I just cannot stand it if a leaf comes over on my yard. I pride myself on that and I cannot stand people who are disorganized. It drives me crazy! If my neighbor does not rake his lawn the first time the wind blows, I am over there raking it for him---and burning inside!
Finding a Middle Ground
As we begin to gain mastery over different areas of our lives, we find that at first it feels so good when we free ourselves up in those areas that we feel we do not need to control them anymore. We may go to the other extreme and take pride in the fact that we do not care anymore. It is so nice to let the lawn grow long and let the children mess up the house--we almost go the other way to prove to ourselves that we are really free. Then what generally happens is we move back somewhere in the middle, because now we have mastered the situation. We can have it messy, we can have it organized--whatever way we want it.
We want what feels good--it usually will not be as immaculate as it was before, and it will never be as messy as we were frightened to death if we ever gave ourselves freedom in that area.
The Paradox of Obsessions
All obsessions are backwards. It is the person who has pumped so much fear, for example, over their sexual nature that they have never been able to accept themselves sexually. And so they have these deep fears, and it may be over 100 different ways:--it may be homosexuality, it may be lesbianism--it can be anything in any area. They are so afraid of it that they pump all their power into it.
How Do We Overcome?
When we become the master of the problem, we accept our sexuality (for example) for just what it is; then it has no more control. It goes back to this: Reality has no power or control over the master; reality has surrendered to the master. All the outside world surrenders because, first (and here is the paradox)...we surrender it. We take all of our power out of it; we surrender to it. How do we do it? By going out to the people who mirror those things and giving them unconditional love and acceptance just the way they are--all those mirrors that seem to reflect our own natures.
Let us assume we are deeply in debt--right on the edge of bankruptcy. We are in fear constantly. Every time we get a bill, we say, “I hate those guys, I hate them so bad! Twenty one percent interest! Oh, I know I got myself into this, but those blood-sucking leeches…... !" How do we give unconditional love and acceptance in all their magnificence to blood-sucking leeches! Easy, just go and say, "I needed to enjoy this car five years before I could afford it. and they are making it possible for me. They are businesses and I am helping their business. I am being a support unit for the universe, because the interest that they make from me, they put back into their business and are able to help other people. So I bless the money--the interest I paid them.” This is not a head-trip. We actually (with out hearts) realize how supporting they are.
The Secret to Mastery
Does that mean we never get out of debt? No ... but now we are free to get out of debt .. if we really desire to. Once we have blessed them and have loved what we have to pay, because that is part of their business and they have supported us, then we can pay all of our bills with love. Look at it ... it is true! They have made. it possible for us to have our car five years early and enjoy it with our families, and the interest we are paying them is how they make their money in their business. So their business is growing to where they can help other people--why should we begrudge them that?
The secret is--once we have become the master of those problems, we can choose to be out of debt if we want to. But as long as we are hating them, what we are focusing on enlarges--our debts, our bankruptcy, our dependency—they will all enlarge. We embrace the things that we fear. This is from the book, "The Owner's Manual for Your Life--A Book You Should Have Received at Birth and Didn't". I think Emery is the author. Unless I tell you otherwise, I will have a copy of everything that I show you.
Not Enough Love…. A Popular Belief
I was conducting a workshop a few nights ago for graduates of the Actualization workshop and their friends, and a woman who was there as a friend asked the question, "What can do we as adults to overcome the fact that when we were children our parents never gave us all the love we should have?
I hear this question very often, and when I do the television shows and there is a chance for viewers to call in questions, this one is inevitably asked. It is a popular belief that much of our unhappiness is a result of our not being given vast amounts of love when we were children. That is obvious. That is why we get married, so that we can find someone who will give us the love that we have always been denied.
True Source of UnHappiness
This is not the source of our unhappiness--even if we were unloved, this is still not the source of our unhappiness. The true source of our unhappiness is that the love we had within us as children was not received by other, usually our parents. For us to be truly happy, we must experience that we are loving. We must love consciously and we must experience that our love is received.... then it makes a difference.
Go back in your own childhood and see if lights start turning on. Was it really the love that your parents were not giving you that caused so much hurt and rejection, or was it the love you were trying to give and they were not receiving it? If that is true, you probably have carried that same thing over into your marriage relationship and into your other relationships. If, when you are trying to show love to others, they do not receive your love, then you feel loveless. Little children come into this world needing to give love--some women say that is when all the contractions begin!
That is the beginning of the co-dependency illusion. To be truly happy, we must experience that we are loving--we must love consciously. We must experience that our love is received and that it makes a difference.
Imagine that we live in a world in which we all believe that we must be loved if we are to be happy. It is not hard to imagine—that is what Hollywood teaches all the time—it is in every book and every movie—that what we need is to be loved. And we have got to find a person that we can trade with—one who will love us because we NEED that love so desperately.
When we want a divorce we are needing love and are not getting our needs met—I am giving it to her and she is rejecting it or not receiving it, and it is not a fair trade. So we want to go out and find somebody who will trade with us fairly. Imagine, therefore, that we are all rushing around desperately seeking to be loved. If we are all seeking—who then is available to do the loving?
Learn To Give Love Consciously
On the other hand, simply to be loving is not enough either. As a matter of fact, the most intense unhappiness that most of us ever experience stems from unrequisited (not demanded or required)) love. The experience of loving another passionately without this love being ever received or returned has driven many a soul to the depths of despair. Although we should add that such love is seldom, if ever, conscious and would better be described as a psychotic episode.
So the task before us is to experience love, to offer it consciously to have it received, and to see that it makes a positive difference. It is the mastery of the art of conscious love that can alone bring us the experience of real and durable happiness. This love is the answer to which the world must come to correct all ills. However, conscious love is rare.
Our Greatest Need…TO GIVE LOVE
The point is (and the light will go on), that it will enlarge and lives forever when we realize that our need is not to be loved. OUR NEED IS TO LOVE, and to find a way to give that love in any way that it can be experienced, because all love is just loving ourselves. If love is not received so that our mirror can come back to us in an acceptable way, then we feel rejected. But it is not by the other person, it is by ourselves. So when we can find a way to be loving and realize that our need is not to BE loved, then a big light goes on.
When I am doing marriage counseling I say, “What if you realize that your marriage was not there for you to get love from--this was never the purpose of it. You never went into that marriage to be loved…you went into that marriage to give you the opportunity to love, because that is your greatest need. What you need to do is work with all your heart to become the master until you find the way to love in your marriage totally to where your needs (to Love) are met. Your needs are met when you learn to love—not in always being loved.
Children Mirror Our Love
One of the class members had an exciting experience when she was involved in visualization around her children. She saw herself looking into their faces as a mirror. It was interesting to see, because with her oldest daughter she saw her face always in a scowl--that is exactly what came back to her. With her other two children, she looked at them very differently. In her middle child she saw two faces--sometimes she was very loving and happy with her daughter, and that came back. At another time her expression was with anger. It was with her very youngest child (she always spent time with her and looked at her with a smile and a twinkle in her eye) and that love is exactly what mirrored back to her! This experience taught her a great lesson--it made her realize that the more consciously we can give our love to our children, then love is what will come back to us.
If we go along thinking that we have to be loved by them, that is the wrong process. The approach is to love them, and then they will mirror that love back to us. Children are the best ones to practice on--start everywhere, but in children we will see results faster than in any other area. We will see results immediately!
True Love Comes From the Heart
The thing we must do with our heads is to realize that we have got to free our hearts--it is the head that gives the heart freedom to start to think and to feel and to figure things out. We must learn to turn our hearts loose in the area of our children and consciously let our hearts love them. It is always the heart that loves them and finds a way to get through to them. This quote comes from The Little Prince: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly—what is essential is invisible to the eye!"
Children Discern False Love
Children are the first ones to pick up "headlove"--they see through it and reject it so fast. They see Uncle George who says, "Hi, Hi, Kids!" They just scatter…... and you know where Uncle George is! Then you see Grandma come in and she can smile like she does and they are all over her.
Another class member has a daughter who is deaf, and she is a great reminder to them that 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. She gets a lot without being able to hear, and she is their great reminder that they are sending messages. No matter what they are saying, they are sending messages. To someone like her, you cannot be a fake.
My wife taught me to listen with my heart verbally and gave me a great gift of realizing that once I learned that I should do it all the time….. but do it with my heart. You may not think that I use it verbally all the time in my house, but I do spiritually.
Pets Accept Love
Statistics show that during a recession people will cut down on everything except when it comes to their pets. When given pets, older people, recluses, and people with problems do a lot better. One of the reasons is not that the animal loves it, but it accepts their love and mirrors it back. A pet is something they can love.
Practice Giving Love
What usually holds us from loving others--our children and those who are close to us--is that we do not do a very good job at it. We do not become masters simply by deciding we are going to be masters. We think of the areas we have mastered and we realize that we had to learn all the techniques and do all of the groundwork first…... and then we began to master that area.
This idea of giving love—this great need we have to give love…...cannot be mastered overnight. When we start practicing this, we make mistakes and then feel guilty for how well we are not doing. Instead of continuing and practicing and forgiving ourselves unconditionally, we pull back and that is where we generally have problems. It is ourselves we are rejecting and the mirror that comes back to us is that we are not doing real good at first in trying to give our love. We have lived under an illusion all our lives--and it is that we are here to GET love and we need to GET love. So once we see the light and realize that we are here to GIVE love, then we learn how to do it. The first few times we are going to give it so clumsily it is going to be misunderstood, so what we get back is rejection. And when we feel rejected, we feel guilt. So we have to always be gentle with ourselves as we practice giving love in a way that a very sick world can accept it. Guilt and fear are so intertwined that they cannot be separated. Love and guilt cannot exist simultaneously anymore than love and fear can.
We cannot be in judgment--of ourselves especially--we cannot judge how we are doing. We must realize that we are always doing perfectly--the-Atonement covers all our practice sessions. If we make a mistake and get angry at our spouse, the Atonement has covered that. It was all part of our learning experience, so we could learn to love.
That is why children learn so quickly and ever keep moving forward in the light..... because they never look at their mistakes as being some kind of an indictment. It is not until we start going backwards in life and give up, that we start looking at every mistake or failure as being a personal defect. As long as we look at everything we do as being okay, then we are moving toward light. That is why the Atonement was given so that we need not judge ourselves or others. Everyone is doing fine--everyone is doing perfectly!
A fundamental law of ego (the illusion that we created because we thought something was wrong with us) is the law of scarcity in relationships that imply that somehow we were put on earth with something missing, and we are supposed to find a person who can supply that missing piece. THAT IS UNTRUE! God would not put us on earth with something missing. He would not put us here incomplete.
Plato was wrong--we did not get cut in half in the pre-existence and then come and spend the rest of our lives looking for the other half. If that is true, then we are not free in the sphere that God placed us,· and we are not free to choose until we find our other half. If we find something that does not fit just right, then we had better divorce it and go looking for something else, because we have got to find that other half—we are not complete without a mate, and that is a lie. That causes much unhappiness and misery.
Get Out of the "Head-set"
We go along with the mistaken idea that there is something missing in us—something that will make us complete. It is much easier to change and get out of the head-set at a younger age than when we are older. At my age it is much easier to say, "I have got to do it--I have no choice." If we were to ask in a quiet moment how we can do this, we will realize that at any age we always know how to go into our heart—we are just not sure whether we should or not.
For example, loving your sister. She comes in and you begin to fight. When you realize that whether she loves you or likes you is not the question"--it is: "How can I love her in a way that she can accept it, because that is where my great need is….to love her. At this moment, maybe the way to love her (say this with your heart) is to back off until she can accept it." The wonderful thing is—once you change you—the mirror changes so quickly that it is amazing! Because the spirit and the heart comprise the mind of the spirit, none of those difficulties come up unless it is a head-trip.
Pray for the Power
A key we talked of earlier might help: Every time you pray, ask that your desires come from your heart and not your head. As you kneel down every morning ask that you can learn to come from your heart. You have to ask for that power.
Reacting to Crises
One of the class members--let's call him "Joe"--spoke of his father who was going to the hospital for serious surgery. All day long Joe badgered his co-worker--he was looking for a fight and he finally got it! Finally the co-worker backed off and said, "What do you want? I am here and you can say whatever you want to and it is fine." Joe began to cry. What if he dies?" His co-worker realized that the whole problem was his concern for his father. It was completely unrelated to what he had started a fight about. He said, "What can I do to support you?”
That made Joe realize that he needed to tell his friend so that he could support him. He did--and after that it was fine….. there was no mirror contention. ALL SICKNESS IS HOME-SICKNESS. ALL FEAR IS WITHHOLDING OF LOVE.
This Class Can Change Your Life!
Oftentimes when we take an interesting class or read an interesting book, we say, "I have learned some great new ideas….. they are going to change my life!'" Then about three days later we say, "Now, what was it? Oh, yes..... "But the magic is gone….. what we learned did not seem to make a lasting impression. The biggest difference you will find in this .class is we do not have to learn anything new.... we already know how to live in our hearts. We lived in them for eons of time before we ever came here. This is the only place we have ever had a head and a brain; and opposites in the sense that we have them here…. we are limited to this one little space.
Learn New Thought Processes
All we have to do is learn to do it a different way, with new thought processes—we cannot think ourselves through this life. That is the whole message for this eight weeks. If this course could have one title, it would be to "Learn to Live in Your Heart". The head is the problem, and we cannot cure the problem with the problem and to try and get exact thoughts to visualize is another head-trip. So what do we do? We surrender! Just give up thinking the head has the answers. Just go with your heart, with your intuition. If you do not get an answer, just say: "Okay, I am going to let loose of it for a few hours. I am just going out and enjoy the day--listen to some music and not think about the problem."
Our Hearts Have the Answers
What we are doing is throwing it to our spirits, our hearts. And before long, we find that our hearts will come up with answers. This class will stay with you for years, I promise you it will. The heart is vast; it is wholistic; it can deal with a thousand subjects at the same time.
This may sound stupid to the rationale, but once we learn to make the heart the master and start to let the universe take care of the details, life becomes so easy because our heart and our spirit (being one is equipped to handle this existence, but it is impossible with our heart--that is why we keep running into these walls. Relationships are easy once we let go, surrender, and pull our power out of the outside world--that is why we become the master and start to send out love with our hearts--which we were designed to do.
One class member recalled her mission. She felt he could not handle living with a companion all the time and told the mission president, "I can't handle this for two years….I am going home." The mission president advised her to go back and work on making her companion happy. She tried it and began to realize her negative thoughts were coming strictly from her head.
Before she knew it, she started coming from her heart, and soon her companion and her missionary contacts became her closest and dearest friends. Later, when she got home she got into the head-trip again. She has been searching for that feeling ever since and feels she can now regain it. She longed to go back when it was so simple, so Christ-like.
CD 9 - 8
Ears to Hear
It is so simple! You think, "Why have I made life so complicated? Why have I battered my head against a wall? I knew the answers all the time. Why didn’t I just surrender and give myself permission to do it!"
One of the younger class members told of going to the Gospel Doctrine class with her dad and then to Relief Society. In both classes they were trying to teach what we are learning here, but it seemed so complex to her. On the way home she said to her father, "Dad, church was so boring today--it's just not Merrill's class—I would much rather go to his class than go to church." Then he said, "There is something you need to learn--you need to be there." She thought about it and realized she was trying to learn the same thing…. but with a different view, from another source. She felt that our class has helped her understand herself and why she thinks the way she does, but also realizes the importance of learning in the church environment.
How many of you here heard things at conference this time that you had never heard before? You thought, "Why did I not hear these things?" All truth can be circumscribed in one great whole…have you noticed that? We can grow perfect in non-judgment. Obviously most members of the class need that lesson at this moment in their lives and that is why it is being taught.
Make Others Happy....No Exceptions!
Remember what was said about the mission field when the mission president said, “Go back, and make your companion happy." It solved all of that young woman's problems. It is the same here--go home and make your children happy, make your husband or wife happy. You cannot make them happy—no, but you can create an environment of trust and love where they can be happy if they so choose to be.
The difficult child is the child who is unhappy--he is at war with himself and consequently, he is at war with the world. The difficult adult is in the same boat--no happy man ever disturbed a meeting, or preached a war or lynched another person. No happy woman ever imagined her husband or her children. No happy man ever committed murder or theft. No happy employer ever threatened his employees. All crimes, all hatred, all wars can be reduced to unhappiness. This class is an attempt to show how unhappiness arises, how it ruins human lives, how children can be reared so that much of this unhappiness will never arise.
Miracles Can Take Place
Once we learn how to put the heart in charge or control and it becomes the master, then anything physically we can do is a miracle. No miracle is harder than any other miracle. I considered it a miracle when I learned to become master of one specific physical part of my life. Once I learned the trick of mastering one area, all miracles were easy. Exercise is easy, dieting is easy, sex control is easy, getting money is easy--everything in the physical world is easy, when the heart takes over. Surely the Lord God can do anything He takes it into His heart to do (That is taken from Abraham 3:17)
Once we learn how to let our hearts make that decision and not our heads, that miracle can take place. The reason it is so hard is we are trying to deal with our heads, and we are investing all this power, will power--and we are sabotaging ourselves.
With the Heart, Nothing is Too Difficult
The thing that we have feared comes upon us and our focus expands. If we focus on how fat we are---then it expands. Once we exercise because we want to, our hearts want to, and it is easy…...it does not matter whether we can run 20 miles or start out with three blocks….. it is easy. The idea that we start at easy and work up is a head-trip. With the heart; nothing is hard. We are so deceived with head platitudes…..if we can once capture how easy it is, anything we decide to master just becomes easy, Do not miss it because of the easiness of the way.·
Mastering Our Environment
All of this is part of coming unto Christ—I know it does not sound like we have talked about religion today, but that is all we have talked about. Mastering our environment is taking upon…...us the image of Christ, because He mastered the environment--He became the Master, His whole purpose is for us to become His sons and daughters. "I will give you the power to become my sons and daughters.” You do not get it from your head--that is what you are here to learn--you cannot do it yourself, but with Me it is easy. “My burden is Light, My yoke is easy.”"
True Masters Have No Use for Ego
I need to give you a warning here...sometimes the "masters" we look upon as being so great are “ego-trip”’ Masters. This is true in the entertainment field and in others celebrated by the media. You can learn to do this same thing in a few areas with the head and really impress a lot of people,
The one thing I need to warn you about is the true masters. You probably will not see them, because the true masters have no use for ego. He who is least in the kingdom is greatest, and you will find that men and women who are true masters are willing and usually seek the back places in the room. They usually seek not to have any notoriety or any outward manifestation, and they have not just mastered three or four areas--they have mastered all of life.
You can feel it—you will feel them before you can see them. You will walk into a room and you will feel something different. They seldom, if ever, will be on the stand. If they are on the stand, it well be as a gift of God…..because they do not want to be there. So do not be deceived by those who seem to have mastered and hold themselves up as masters—they seldom are.
One class member told about meeting the Chairman of the Board of Texaco. He had a conversation with him for 10 or 15 minutes without knowing who he was. When he found out, he thought, "Aha, I will find out what this guy's secret is!" He wrote him a letter and he responded back with advice just like we are hearing tonight. This man who, materially, had all the wealth in the world was living in a basement--it did not bother him--it did not make any difference to him.
I have only met one or two of these people--if you ever meet one of them, you never forget them, but they seldom hold themselves up for light. They are usually very inconspicuous because they have gone to a great deal of trouble to make sure they are inconspicuous. They debase themselves on purpose…..and that is so foreign to what we think and believe.
The Greatness of Eternal Mother
A woman came to the Savior and asked Him if her sons could sit on either side of Him so that they could be considered great. He just smiled and said, "He who is least in the kingdom is the greatest.” I think our Eternal Mother is the greatest of the Gods---I want to share that thought with you—this may give you a new perspective to close our meeting.