I am 52 years old and still surprise myself on how easy it is for my lower self to take the lead in my life. For example a couple of months ago I was in a bad mood one morning, that led into me foolishly backing into another car in a car park. That made me think " Oh no, I don't have time for this" and so I drove off all the time thinking that this is wrong and I will somehow suffer the consequences, but the "naughty me" had to give it a go.
Another thing is, why do I find it so enlivening to surf soft porn sites? I can feel myself getting sleepy, but I just have to look at some beautiful naked women and before I realize it I have spent hours into the night without so much as a yawn.
Then there's my love affair with Mary Jane that I can feel is becoming detrimental to my health but still I carry on.
Then, finally, I have a beautiful wife and four beautiful children, but I find it very easy to have extramarital affairs. I have spoken to her about this in the past but she took the stand of preferring not to know about it.
I feel I am on the lookout for some spiritual inspiration but I can't get my teeth into anything. I've become such an old cynic that everything seems so ho-hum these days.
(Name withheld by Neale)
My dear friend...
Thank you for your brutal honesty about what is going on in your life. You have moved through three of the Five Levels of Truth Telling described in Conversations with God: (1) Tell the truth to yourself about yourself; (2) Tell the truth about another to yourself; (3) tell the truth about yourself to another. This is not easy to do, and only someone on a path to mastery would even attempt them. I am inspired by you.
Now, let us look at some of the particular points in your note.
All of us "give in" to our "lower selves" as we move through our lives. It is very common, and it is all part of the process of evolution. CwG tells us that the moment we decide anything about ourselves, everything unlike it comes into the space . I have found this to be very true.
This is the Law of Opposites, and it is particularly vexing to persons who have embarked on a path of self creation. It is clear to me that you have embarked on such a path or you would not be familiar with the CwG material and you certainly would not be writing me this letter. So get ready for the "opposite" of what you are wishing to call forth in your life to show itself hugely in your space.
For instance, you have made a deep internal decision to place personal integrity in your life -- and so you create situation after situation allowing you to decide that about yourself anew every day. The incident in the car park is but one example. I'm sure you will create many.
You have also obviously made an unconscious decision (or perhaps a very conscious one) to get your sexual energies in order, to begin moving your Life Force from your lower chakras to the higher centers within you, in order to begin experiencing yourself moving through life with different motivations, operating from different levels of consciousness, and focusing entirely different energies in entirely different directions than you did in your youth and in the previous years of your life, when you did not understand what was really going on here.
Having made that decision, you are called by your ego to turn to soft porn. Your ego, you must remember, is the part of you that wants to "hang on" to things just as they are, and that holds a very limited view of you. This is ironic, when you consider it, because most people think that it is the ego's tendency to inflate you...but it is exactly the opposite. It is the ego's job to DEflate you, reducing you to a Singular Self once again, not connected at all with a higher reality or a unified life expression.
Sex is a particularly vulnerable area for persons on a spiritual path for many reasons. First, because sexual energy and spiritual energy are very closely related. In fact, they are the same thing , simply expressed in different ways. (This is explained in Conversations with God in some detail.) Second, we humans live in a society in which we have, by and large, inhibited our sexual expression, shamed our natural sexual curiosities, and "made wrong" virtually all of our basic drives and instincts. It is mildly pleasurable for you to watch soft porn and see naked ladies because it is humanly natural to experience pleasure and joy and wonder and fun and excitement and enticement in the opposite sex. If it were not, the human race would no longer exist.
It is not "wrong" to look at pictures of people engaged in sexual activity (human beings have been doing so since humans learned they could draw). The question is not, why does it bring you pleasure? The question is, why does it bother you that it does?
The answer, no doubt, lies in the sexual repression of human society, which has told itself that its most natural instinct is its most shameful.
It is regrettable that this idea is lived out by so many, for it is the repression of this natural instinct that causes sexual dysfunction, and, ultimately, sexual crime. People who watch soft porn watch soft porn because the people in the pictures are doing things that the people watching rarely, if ever, do. Viewers thus experience the energy vicariously -- which is in most cases the only way they think they are allowed to do so.
We get to be "naughty" by watching other people being "naughty." It is as simple -- and as innocent -- as that. Now if this activity becomes an addiction, that is another matter, and may signal an out-of-balance energy around sexuality, rather than a natural scintillation and curiosity. If this is your concern, you are right to look at it and question your motives and seek to make a change in your behavior. Yet you must know this: You will never become your whole self by disowning a part of your self.
Assuming you choose to stop this activity because you perceive that it threatens to become an actual addiction, and if the solution were up to me, I would simply have you watch soft porn many hours a day, every day, without exception, for six weeks. You would probably never want to watch it again.
With soft porn as with anything else, when you're done with it, you'll be done with it. Until you are, you won't be. So long as it does not harm others or yourself (does it? You will know the answer to this question as soon as you ask it), there is no reason to call yourself "bad" or make yourself "wrong" about this. I suspect that one day you will say, "this is no longer who I am. This is no longer who I choose to be. I will always be interested in sex, and I will always feel scintillated by sexuality and always welcome my own sexual energy, but I no longer feel a need to watch other human beings in sexual situations in order to feel or express that." And that will be that.
CwG says, "Every act is an act of self definition." Each time you think about watching, or actually watch, pornographic material ask yourself, "Is this who I am? Is this who I choose to be?" Watch the answer that emerges and simply act on it. This powerful formula can be used with any behavior or addiction. I stopped smoking in 24 hours and never picked up another cigarette again, using this two-question process. It's absolutely and utterly amazing. I am strongly considering having these two questions tattooed on my left wrist!
Is this who I am? Is this who I choose to be?
Ask yourself the same questions with regard to Mary Jane. Ask yourself the same question with regard to your wife and children. When you are with them, when you are enjoying the life you have created with them, ask yourself, Is this who I am? Is this who I choose to be? If the answer comes up Yes! , take the actions that are necessary to hold that reality in place.
Do the same on your job. Do the same in every area of your life, every day. Just watch yourself. Simply watch yourself move through your day, and ask yourself at every Choice Point: Is this who I am? Is this who I choose to be? If the answer comes up y es , keep doing what you are doing, and do whatever you need to do to hold that reality in place. If the answer comes up no , stop doing what you are doing, and release that reality.
Do this whether we are talking about a piece of lemon meringue pie, a fender-bender in a car park, or an hour with Mary Jane.
Finally, if you are "on the lookout for some spiritual inspiration," why not provide it for yourself by providing it to others...through your example? Conversations with God says, whatever you wish to experience, cause another to experience. BE THE SOURCE of that in the life of another.
I wish you well on your journey, my friend. I am walking it with you, every step of the way. I send you my love.
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