Chapter II: Contact with a New Reality
There is an experience of a space or context, a place to come from, which is so intimately a part of the experience of loving and being loved, that one could say the two experiences are just different facets of the same thing; or are, in fact, the same. Without being willing to experience this space, it is impossible to experience and manifest love. This space is one of ultimate responsibility. I create my own reality. The word “reality” needs some clarification. For each of us there are two realities, only one of which is real. The reality we usually call real is the universe we perceive with our senses: what we see, hear, smell, touch, taste; the incidents, events, circumstances; our thoughts, judgements, evaluations, notions, concepts, conclusions, beliefs, etc. This reality is not real; it is constantly changing; it includes and is a function of time. It is the universe of illusionary persistence which is a function of change. I will call it the illusion-reality. It is the reality of process and organizing principles. It is the reality of dichotomies and opposites. It is silly-putty. The reality which is real is that which cannot be talked about except in terms which come from the illusion-reality. It is the reality of cause; generating principle; power of will and imagination; that which creates and allows for all illusion-realities. It is timeless, changeless, infinite, absolute. It can only be experienced directly. It cannot be found in the world of perception. Only its effects can be witnessed. It is the reality of our imagination. Love, emotions, and all experience dwell in this reality beyond time and place. In the illusion-reality there is apparent cause and effect. We say that the streptococcus causes “strep” throats, and that penicillin or other antibiotics “cause” a cure. We say that because the earth rotates, we have day and night; that because a sperm penetrates an ovum, a body starts to form. It is the universe of systems, of beliefs; because we do or do not do such and such, this or that happens or does not happen. When the illusion-reality is viewed from the real reality, it is obvious that there are only effects. We are always operating in both realities, but most of the time we do not notice that we, individually and together, are the source or cause or generating principle of the illusion-reality. That state of being which allows us to see that cause is not outside the Self , some call transformation. Transformation does not occur as a result of changing attitudes or points of view. That can produce conversion to another set of organizing principles, but not transformation. Conversion is easy to spot in yourself or others. The classic example is the sinner who suddenly sees the light, reforms, and now condemns sin and sinners. There has simply been a dramatic shift to a different set of operating principles, not a transformation. The test for conversion is simple; if you are making right what you are doing now and wrong what you were doing, you have converted, not transformed. Transformation includes all dichotomies, gives freedom to choose appropriate action, and is not based on a right-wrong system motivated out of fear.
In what I had said so far about the relationship with Jamie the result of such games should be clear. Perhaps the end will not be quite so dramatic as suicide, but there will be a slow dissolution into separation at all levels of experience. I cannot now, or ever, speak for Jamie; but I can speak for my experience of him in the light of what I know now about my responsibility for the failure of our relationship. From the very beginning of our time together, I dominated him. I was smarter, more educated; and eventually had more money. I almost always got my way even knowing that it hurt him in the only place we can damage others: his self-esteem. My survival act was to dominate him in order to avoid being dominated; his was to be dominated, using me as the excuse for his suffering. I was just as much the victim however. There are two ways to play victim: resist, or succumb. I resisted being a victim, which meant that I unwittingly became the victim of not being dominated by Jamie. I had no choice. I had to resist his domination. Jamie chose to succumb, and on the surface he gave in to my domination, but at the same time completely controlled me. When I won and he lost, I would get sick, or depressed. When he won, and he did sometimes, I would feel threatened because my battle plan had failed. I did not know then that I was getting exactly what I intended so that I could discover and experience what does not work in human relationships. Later, as my experience grew of being responsible for and being cause of my life, including the people in it and all the circumstances, I could see that he never really did anything to me that I was not allowing to happen. There was not anything to forgive him for! I could only forgive myself. After that, resentments and regret disappeared.
If giving up being a victim and giving up dominating and avoiding domination looks like too much for you right now, here is a simpler stairway: see if you are willing to pretend-just pretend – at least while reading this book, that you are the cause of your reality. You do not have to believe it, or agree with it, or experience it. Just see (if the experience of love is important to you) if you are willing to pretend, like a game, that you cause your illusion-reality – all of it – the good and the bad. If you are willing to play this game with yourself, proceed. If not, I suggest you stop reading this until you are ready to play life in this way. Do not wait too long – life will pass you by. There is good evidence that, within the next few years, the master physicists of the world will present incontrovertible proof that our illusion-reality exists because we think it into existence, and all that stuff we call soft or hard is made of nothing. It is no more real than the pictures we see in the movies or on TV: a light show made out of trapped and reflected light, a hologram. And the writers, directors, film makers, projectionists, and projectors of this light show? You and me. Each of us is watching a different movie with enough similarity of the props (by agreement) that it appears we are on the same set. We are not. To go back to the beginning of this chapter : I realized a few years ago , that as my experience of taking responsibility for all aspects of my life expanded, my experience of loving and being loved also expanded. I saw that self-esteem and self-love were functions of responsibility. As blame, guilt, resentment and regret dropped away, I began to respect and esteem myself and others more. And the love that was always there was revealed. Love exists in the real reality. It is absolute, meaning that it has no opposite. It manifests and expresses itself in the illusion-reality where it appears to have oppositions. One way of describing what is going on in the world could be this : there are only two things going on, only one of which is real. The two things going on are: 1. Love, and 2. The barriers to the experience and expression of love. Love is real, the barriers are illusions. The illusion-reality is a manifestation of our thoughts and beliefs — our frozen thoughts. The rest of this book deals with melting and dissolving that which is illusion.
Chapter III: Everyday Miracles
When I was in the seventh grade, age twelve, puberty happened. I fell in love with my best friend who had recently moved to the small Kansas town where I grew up. That one-sided being in love went on for over ten years, and I knew all along how it would end. He would marry and have children, and I would go on loving him anyway, all of which happened. That year I discovered that I could not see writing on the blackboard unless I sat in the front of the room. When a school nurse came around to test vision, I felt humiliated to find out that I was near-sighted and would need glasses. I knew Dad would be furious that a son of his would have less than the perfect vision he had. He was, but agreed that I should go to the best eye doctor in the area and be checked. I came home with glasses. Also that same year the musical ROBERTA opened, and the best known song, at least then, was one my mother loved to sing (she had a voice like Flagstaff), and I would accompany her on the piano when she sang it at home or in public. The eye doctor said my vision would probably get worse during my teen years, and it did, then did not change much during adulthood, until . . .Not long after the neck problem had vanished, I decided to see what belief was holding my myopia in place. In looking for it, I saw in my mind’s eye, visions of all kinds of people with no eyes, blind eyes, dark glasses, and in the background there was music. I suddenly recognized the music and the words:
“They said someday you’ll find All who love are blind. When your heart’s on fire, you must realize Smoke gets in your eyes.” I recall laughing for the next three days. My vision nearly cleared up , enough so that I no longer had to wear my glasses except at night driving in the rain. I had bought, hook, line, and sinker, the words to that song when I was in love the first time.
There were other considerations too like not wanting to look ahead too far into the future, and getting even with my Dad for something or the other. So that is the way it works. I will present you with more personal examples later.
Table of Contents
Overture .................................................... 1
A SYMPHONY OF ACTION IN 12 CHAPTERS
I. Introduction ............................................. 6
II. Contact with a New Reality ............................. 14
III. Everyday Miracles ..................................... 26
IV. Loving Beyond Manipulation ............................. 44
V. The Value and Magic of Love: Jerry ...................... 50
VI. A Lesson from Jerry .................................... 58
VII. The Mechanisms ........................................ 64
VIII. Love and Responsibility .............................. 96
IX. Don't Think 'Positively,' Simply Tell the Truth ....... 102
X. God or Man? ............................................ 106
XI. Which Scenario Gave Birth to the Other? ............... 114
XII. Levels of Consciousness in Love ...................... 116
FINALE .................................................... 137