My dear friends...
Contentment is a great place to me. Many people spend their entire lives seeking to be there. And when--or if--they reach a place of "contentment", they are willing to let things rest right there. Getting to Contentment is enough for one lifetime. It is more than enough. It is truly an extraordinary achievement, and, truth be told, most people do not make it.
So why go on? Why--in a sense--not be "content" with Contentment?
Well, of course, you can't go on if you are "not content" with Contentment, because that means, by definition that you have not reached Contentment. So the first thing we can understand about the reason to go on is that it has nothing to do with the state of Contentment somehow not being "enough." It has nothing to do with need, or frustration, or dissatisfaction with Whom or What we are.
If our desire to move forward with our own evolution springs from one of those feelings, then we may have actually moved backward. Or, perhaps, we never arrived, after all, at the place where we imagined ourselves to be.
So the first message we receive when we reach the place on the Evolutionary Journey called Contentment is that--as Conversations with God says so perfectly, "there is nowhere we have to go, nothing we have to do, and no way we have to be, except exactly the way we are being right now."
Boiled down to its essence, this translates into a simple matter of Self Acceptance. Yet, for most people, Self Acceptance is not such a simple matter. Indeed, it may be the hardest thing in life to achieve. That is why it is such a wonderful accomplishment for a Being to reach a state of Contentment. And to be able to sustain such an experience is a sign of beginning mastery.
Yet there are grander places to which a soul may travel. There are grander experiences within the framework of human life which may be had. And the state of Contentment is by no means a state of total wakefulness. Or, to put it in other words, Self Acceptance does not equal Self-Awareness.
To accept your Self as you presently are does not mean that there is no greater version of your Self that you can experience.
It simply means that you are satisfied with your Self and that you have no need to go further, no need to be "more," no self-imposed or other-imposed requirement to be somehow even "better."
It means that you have understood the Ninth Illusion of Humans: Superiority Exists.
(You will remember The Ten Illusions of Humans from the extraordinary book, Communion with God:
1. Need Exists
2. Failure Exists
3. Disunity Exists
4. Insufficiency Exists
5. Requirement Exists
6. Judgment Exists
7. Condemnation Exists
8. Conditionality Exists
9. Superiority Exists
10. Ignorance Exists
The first five of these are The Physical Illusions, having to do with life in your physical body. The second five are the Metaphysical Illusions, having to do with non-physical realities, or ideas held in your mind.)
The idea that Superiority Exists can create a "need" within the mind to experience something other than what we are experiencing right now. This need, too, is an illusion. It is the First Illusion of Humans, and the false idea upon which all other false ideas regarding Life are based. It is the First Mistake. It is the Prime Misunderstanding. It is, in a sense, the Original Sin.
(There is no such thing as "sin," of course. The term is used here as a figure of speech.)
So, Contentment is a State of Being in which we realize that Superiority is an illusion. It is impossible to be superior to exactly what you are being right now. This is another way of saying that all things are perfect in God's world. God needs nothing to be any different than the way it is being right now.
Why, then, bother to change? Why bother to change anything, much less our very selves?
The reason to change
The reason to change is the same as the reason to do anything. Conversations with God tells us that there is only one reason to do anything at all: to announce and declare, become and fulfill, express and experience the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are.
CwG puts this succinctly in the following phrase:
Every act is an act of self definition.
This is profoundly true--and it is understood by very few people. It is embraced by even fewer.
It is important to realize here that "grander" does not in any way mean "better." A thing being bigger does not equate to a thing being superior. "Grander" means simply that: larger. Within the context of the statement above from CwG , it means "a larger version" of the greatest vision we ever held about ourselves.
A tree is not "better" because it is larger today than it was fifteen years ago. It has simply grown. It has become no "better" than it was before. It is in no way "nicer" or "wiser" than it was when it was a seedling. The tree knows nothing more now than it knew then. But it has GROWN . It has become more of what it always was, from the very beginning. It is simply exhibiting more "treeness." It hasn't become something other than what it was, but it has become more of what it was .
The reason for a human to change is not to become "better," but simply to become a larger version of what that Being already is. This process of becoming larger is the process of growth--and growth is the process of Life itself. Therefore, you could not stop the process if you wanted to, without stopping Life itself, and that is something you cannot do.
You can, however, slow it down.
(Not in real terms, but in terms of the Illusion you are living, which you call human life. In real terms, you always were, are now, and always will be, exactly what you are right now: Divinity, to the max. You cannot be "partly" Divine, for Divinity is a State of Being that is indivisible. It is non-reducible. It is Wholeness itself. It is the All In All being All In All. Yet, inside of the illusion that the All In All has created, called Time and Space and Physical Life, you can slow down your experience of Who You Are, and you do ...in order that you may "experience the experience" more completely, more fully, more long-lastingly, more "divinely," than you could if you experienced it All At Once. When you understand this, you understand the reason that you created all of the illusions, including the Illusion of Time.)
When you "slow down Life" you do not actually slow down Life at all, but merely your experience of it. It is like running a DVD in slow motion. Every picture is already on the DVD. You are simply telling your playback machine to run them past the scanner more slowly.
Consciousness is the playback machine of your mind.
The higher your consciousness, the more pictures you see at once. It's like looking at a film strip, laid out on a light table before you. You can look at the film one frame at a time, with a magnifying glass, or you can look at the whole strip and see all the frames at once. The frames exist simultaneously, but you can, if you wish, view them sequentially. Thus, the reality on the table before you is sequentaneous.
(A wonderful description of sequentaneosity is found in the final CwG dialogue book, Home with God in a Life That Never Ends.)
Next week we will explore the Second Step of Self Awareness: Enlargement .
Read this week's Letter to Neale here
Read a message from one of the prisoners impacted by our Prison Outreach HERE
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