Sunday, 23 March 2014
Reservations and responses
Here are some common fears, reservations, and forms of resistance to the programme ... and some responses:
"The programme will not work for me. I will stay miserable and/or drink."
It has worked for hundreds of thousands of people. Why do you think you are so different?
"I will have to force myself to believe in a God I do not believe in or trust."
You do not have to force yourself to believe anything. The only 'forcing' is the willpower required to take the actions indicated, on the basis that the people who are suggesting them are doing better than you, precisely because they took said actions themselves. You do not need to believe in an entity. You need only believe this programme has worked for others.
"I can only believe in a punishing God."
If you were taught that, treat it as an error, like being told that Helsinki is the capital of Peru.
If you believe this because you see bad things happening in the world, consider the idea of God as a power that transforms you from the inside to be able to handle any adversity with cheerfulness, courage, and grace. That's even before the internal transformation transforms your external life.
Like creates like. You know this below the level of consciousness. If you are vengeful (which will be if you believe the insane system of your ego), you will believe, in turn, that God is vengeful.
If you attack others mentally (or in other ways), you will feel guilty and feel you deserve punishment, and the logical inference is that that punishment will come from God.
The belief in a punishing God might just be the projection outwards of your own vengefulness.
"I am scared, if I lose my attachments to things of the world, I will no longer enjoy anything."
Consider what happens when a best friend says he is moving to another country. If you are attached, you can no longer enjoy his company, because you're frightened of what will happen when he leaves. The truth is the reverse of the objection: enjoyment is the result when the attachment is dropped. The fewer attachments you have, the greater your ability to enjoy everything.
"I will become irritating and sanctimonious and superior."
Just because some people on a spiritual path become like this does not mean you have to. Find people on a spiritual path who have fun, enjoy life, and laugh at themselves. Do what they do. Stay away from the irritating, sanctimonious, and superior ones.
"I will have to take the blame for the actions of others."
No. You are responsible only for your actions. They are responsible for theirs. If they acted in retaliation, they're responsible for the retaliation, not you, but you remain responsible for your contribution to the situation.
Even for our own actions, we're responsible for recognising what needs to change and going to God for the strength to change. If we feel guilt, we're denying the powerlessness at the time to do anything other than what we did. The very fact we feel guilty shows we knew it was wrong, which prompts the question, 'why did you do it, then'? Paul would say the sin that lives within you. We might say the ego was responsible. But we still get to clean up the mess.
"I will have to make amends to people who have harmed me."
Only if you have harmed them too.
"I will be forced to sponsor people I do not know how to help."
It is not us getting them well. We share our experience, and God uses that as a channel to get them well. God draws straight lines with broken pencils. The more solutions you learn and apply yourself, the more you will have to offer.
"There will not be enough time for everything the programme requires."
The programme is more a method of living than something separate and additional. However you live, you need a method. Might as well have one that works. If you do not make time for the programme, you will spent far more time clearing up the emotional and material train-wrecks stemming from living based on self-will, which is the only other semi-viable alternative.