'They ought to make it a binding clause that if you find God, you get to keep him.' - from Valis by Philip K Dick.
In the novel Valis, Horselover Fat, the thinly disguised alter ego of science fiction writer Philip K Dick, had a peak experience which he spent the rest of his life trying to make sense of. Yet the more he sought to find his way back to that experience, the further away it seemed to become.
I understand how Dick / 'Horselover Fat' must have felt. A few weeks ago, I posted rather smugly here about being 'in the zone', about the 'connection to joy' I sometimes experience. The postscript is that the following day, this connection was gone, and I have rarely felt so far away from getting it back.
This should not have come as a surprise to me. I've blogged about a similar experience before. On that occasion, I described what it's like to be 'in the zone' rather well, I think, even though I say it myself:
' The other day, I found the key and turned it in the lock and emerged into that wonderful garden where struggling ceases. The tension inside me faded away and I felt an energy flowing through me, as though everything I'd been raging against was now a part of my own power instead. It was as though I had been struggling against the river of life, but now I had turned and allowed it to carry me forward.'
Yet a few days later, sure enough, I had lost that wonderful connection again. I was 'outside the garden' again - and I didn't know how to get back in.
What I concluded in that previous post, and which I have just discovered again now, is that I couldn't find my way back because I so much wanted to do so. My very wanting was pushing it away.
This shouldn't really come as a surprise to any of us. It's the cardinal rule of what has become known as the law of attraction. I first came across it in Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations With God Book One . All of us who have read about the law of attraction know about it, but we tend to forget it because it's the awkward bit. It's the tricky sub-clause which means that for much of the time, the law of attraction doesn't actually work the way we want it to.
As 'God'/Walsch puts it: 'You will not have that for which you ask, nor can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce that precise experience - wanting - in your reality.'
So just when we think the law of attraction isn't working, it's actually working very, very effectively thanks very much - it's just not quite what we had in mind when we expressed our needs in the first place. What's happening is that when we want something, we are indeed attracting exactly that: a condition of wanting. The more we want, the more we push it away.
My recent experience of feeling very much connected in to the universe, then losing that feeling and very much wanting it back, yet now feeling further away than ever, has confirmed to me what a powerful mechanism this is. Whatever we want to manifest in our lives, we have to lose our attachment to it first. Otherwise, we're just pushing it away.
This applies to whatever we'd like to see in our lives, whether its a new car, enlightenment, or world peace - the mechanism is the same. If we don't lose the attachment, we're working against ourselves.
It's important to understand that, in contrast, it's fine to have a vision - and to use this vision as an incentive to take the action we need to achieve it - but if we get stuck in wanting something, if we resist not having it, that's where we run into trouble.
It's the same with however we're feeling, whether it's being out 'of the zone', sad, or angry, the more we want to feel differently, the more we reinforce that condition of want. It comes back down to my favorite word, acceptance, though for this post - just to ring the changes - I thought I'd use a related word 'equanimity' instead, just because I like the way it sounds.
Now I look up the definition of 'equanimity', I see that at first sight it's not exactly right. Apparently, it means 'evenness of mind, especially under stress'. So it isn't really right - and yet it is. It actually highlights the enigma which lies at the heart of all this. I'm talking about evenness of mind while feeling angry, evenness of mind while feeling sad or even depressed. Is such a thing possible? Well yes, it is. It's all about calmness in the eye of the storm. It is possible to feel these so-called difficult emotions and feel OK about them. It is possible to feel sadness and equanimity at the same time.
And you know what? When we can do that, when we can be OK with these feelings, the sting goes out of them. It's actually our resistance to them which makes them feel so heavy - and which keeps them hanging around. Because the added bonus is that as soon as we stop pushing these feelings away, as soon as we stop wanting to get rid of them, they're much more likely to go away of their own accord.
None of this is new to The Secret Of Life. I covered it in the Ultimate Truth series of posts - and it's no less the Ultimate Truth now than it was last year. It's just that I don't read my blog as much as I should so I keep forgetting it. So now I've reminded myself, I'm reminding you. Because this is really it. This is the secret. Be OK with what is, however you are feeling, whatever is going on, and you have taken the most important step towards freedom.
As ever, I look forward to hearing what you think about this post but Typepad is still playing up. So if you have a problem posting a comment, please email me using the link near the top of the sidebar and I'll post it on your behalf. I'm hoping to go away for a few days next week, so please be patient if I take a while to respond.
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