A Letter to Neale

Reader Question:

Dear Neale...

It was a scary thing to read your recent newsletters about Contentment.  I wondered...didn't DIScontentment offer the drive in which we may seek Enlightenment? I mean, contentment sounds very static. Was the Budda content when he sat under the Bodhi Tree and decided he would meditate until enlightenment? 

Now I wonder if Contentment is a stage in consciousness where finally we move a little more in alignment with the flow of life, allowing other stages to open up.  Contentment offers the space where consciousness opens to events passing through its awareness.  My mental image is, if we view life as a stream of the most brilliant white light, and consciousness as a filter which, by contraction and tension, divides this light into a million colors. Contentment enables the tension to let go, allowing light to return to a more natural state.

I used to wonder if my actions and beliefs held enlightenment as a means of escaping life. Such an idea almost seems like a form of suicide. I had a simple solution to this, I started getting more evolved and life started becoming much more enjoyable. Maybe part of my motivation is still: "When I'm enlightened, things will be better".

Thanks for the opportunity allowing me to dig a little deeper into my beliefs. 


Dear Tristan...

You are welcome.  I agree with you that Contentment can, in a sense, be "a scary thing" if it stops us from moving on in our eternal process of becoming and experiencing Who We Really Are.  I also understand that Contentment truly is the first step on the road to self-awakening, and it is a very holy place.

Contentment is not the mountaintop, but a plateau.  Yet it is a beautiful plateau, a wonderful resting place for the soul, and it can be a spiritually challenging place to reach. 

Many people never get to this first stop on the Path to Self Awareness.  Others arrive there, but do not remain.  Not because they move on, but because they find themselves falling back.  They return to abandonment, requirement, resentment, argument, or discernment. (See: the Road to Contentment, previous Weekly Bulletins)

Discontentment is not a holy place to be if it is robbing us of our peace and our joy, or our ability to appreciate Life and the moment that Life is bringing us.  The urge to "move on" spiritually is highest when it is motivated by a desire to create "more of the same, in even larger amounts," not when it is motivated by an idea that we do not have "enough" of what we want.  The very idea of "not enoughness" that at some level accompanies all lack of contentment only serves to reinforce the experience of insufficiency in our reality. 

The secret is being okay with exactly what is, right here, right now.  When things seem to be getting very complicated or difficult in our lives, the only way that I know of to get to that place of "okayness" would be through the doorway of discernment -- or knowing that all things are perfect exactly the way they are right this moment.  They are perfect in the sense that they are leading us to our next opportunity to recreate ourselves anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are.  They have created a context within which such an experience may be had.

It takes a very high level of understanding and acceptance, a very deep comprehension and an unshakeable faith, to go to that place.  Most of us allow life to rob us of our peace when difficult and unwanted and challenging things occur.  Precisely when we need to hold more tightly to the hand of God, we let go.  Precisely when we need to have more faith in the outcome, we have less.

This is only human nature.  Unless it is not.  Unless we have become a New Human, creating a New Reality in our personal experience, in the experience of all those whose lives we touch, and ultimately, in the experience of the whole of humanity.

There are people who have had that kind of impact on our world.  Nelson Mandela is an example.  Jailed in South Africa for years for opposing the government's system of apartheid, he refused to be angry over his circumstance or upset with his jailers.  When he finally emerged from prison, having been released after more than a quarter of a century, he rose to become president of his nation.  Such was his peace and power under unfathomable and extraordinary pressure of circumstances. 

Our own personal circumstance is nothing compared to this.  How do people such as Nelson Mandela "keep their cool" when everything in their life is going "wrong"?  I would submit that it is by understanding that nothing is going wrong at all, but that everything is going perfectly, allowing the right and perfect demonstration to occur.  It is a demonstration to ourselves about ourselves.  It is a demonstration and a sublime experience of Who We Really Are.

And so we say, "Thank you, God.  Thanks, and thanks again, for this present circumstance and condition, for this perfect moment in this perfect day, allowing me to perfectly create the experience of perfection itself, in me, through me, as me.

 "Thank you for giving me, once again, the opportunity to know You, to experience Your Presence, and to express that presence in every moment of my life.  For I live and breathe and have my being not so that I may move through each day without challenge, but so that I might challenge myself each day to move closer and closer to Thee, in Whom I will find my True Identity and the glory and wonder of Life Itself."  

In this clarity is found the place of Contentment, Tristan, and the possibility of Enlargement -- the Second Step on the Path to Attainment of Self-Awareness.

Much love to you on your journey.


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