Now on Bring4th.org
In the Now Episode #37
L/L Research Podcast In the Now
Copyright © 2016 L/L Research
Gary: Hi, everyone. This is Gary Bean welcoming you to the L/L Research Podcast, In the Now, Episode #37. L/L Research is a nonprofit organization, and we are dedicated to freely sharing spiritually-oriented information and fostering community, and towards this end we have two websites: (1) LLResearch.org is our archive website, and (2) Bring4th.org is our community website. During each episode we gather to form a panel to consider questions sent to us from spiritual seekers. That panel consists of the president of L/L Research and scribe of the Ra contact and late husband to Carla L. Rueckert, Jim McCarty, along with Austin Bridges and myself. We intend our podcast to be a platform of discussion. Please know that what we share is our opinion only. We are seekers stumbling our way through the dark, as well, and we ask each person to exercise their own discernment and listen for their own resonance when listening to us. If you would like to send us a question for the show, please do so; this podcast relies on your questions. You can either send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to LLResearch.org/podcast for further instructions. Again, I am Gary and we initiate our 37th episode of In the Now. Austin and Jim, Jim and Austin, are you there?
Jim: And we are.
Austin: I am here, ready to go.
Gary: All right. Well, we had a question travel all the way from Germany from a fellow named Michael. It’s about four paragraphs. Michael says:
I have read A Course in Miracles and the Seth books about the nature of reality, and in both there is the suggestion that a belief in opposites can be detrimental. This feels true for me since I feel opposite beliefs build up attention when they’re not in line. I even think that the desire to be of service to others has created the opposite effect for me, since the belief to be of service is connected with the belief to be “good,” which did not mean for me to love me equally as others. Or rather, I think he’s saying, which meant for him that he wasn’t loving himself as equally as others so that he thinks it’s really important to make no difference between one’s self and others. Somehow I begin to reject the idea of loss or sacrifice or suffering in the name of service to others since I feel it has no foundation in unity. If there is any opposition between service to self or others, how can there be true service to all? I feel there is no contradiction as long as I do not take from others while I love myself, and express love to others while I do love myself equally. In the moment, I would serve others outwardly without loving myself and maybe feeling a sacrifice. I think that that is no true service to others. I hope you can share your opinion about these thoughts. Thank you very much in advance.
Gary: Thank you, Michael. Per the usual, Jim, how about we start with you?
Jim: Okay. Well, I think that if you do not want to believe in opposites, that you’ve got solid ground to go on, because I don’t believe there are opposites. You look at the various things that Ra suggested we could balance, whether it’s self and other self or love and hate. Love and hate are just a continuum of either more love or less love. Hot or cold is a continuum of heat. Patience and impatience is a continuum of either you’ve got patience or you haven’t got very much patience. And for the self and other selves, well, we’re all the Creator. So I really don’t see a problem here. I’m not sure why he actually rejects the idea of loss or sacrifice or suffering in the name of service to others, and I’m not sure where that comes in because I don’t really equate those ideas with serving others, you know, because [when] you’re serving others, I don’t think loss or sacrifice or suffering has to be part of it. I think loss and sacrifice and suffering are what we have, maybe, to learn in certain areas of our lives. I believe that’s why we’re experiencing it, but I don’t see a relationship between that and being of service to others. And if you feel like you need to look at yourself as equal to others, well, that’s, you know, fine. We’re all the Creator, so I don’t [see] the problem here except perhaps how he’s looking at things. What do you think, Austin?
Austin: Yeah, actually his good question touches on a couple of topics or perceptions that come up often in relationship to Ra’s terminology of service to others and service to self. To be honest, I’m not necessarily a big fan of those particular labels. I understand completely why Ra used them, and I think that they do the job, but I have seen that people sometimes interpret these things in different ways than I think that they were intended by Ra. I think that Ra is talking about something much more complex than can be conveyed in the terms service to others and service to self, and the other reason I’m not a huge fan of this is because I’ve seen it cause a lot of confusion regarding the idea of polarity and what it means to serve self in a way which is polarizing. Some people hear these two terms and automatically assume that, since self is the focus of the negative path, all considerations and care of the self are abandoned on the positive path. They assume the same sacrifice that Michael is talking about here where the neglect of self is essential to service to others. And this can even go so far as people assuming that doing things like eating healthy food, exercising, or meditating, or doing anything that makes one feel good is serving self and is negatively polarizing. And from that perspective, the Law of One doesn’t necessarily seem as empowering as most people find it. But I have seen people come away with these impressions.
In my interpretation, though, the situation is not nearly as bleak. In fact, like Jim, I view sacrifice as not something that’s essential to be of service to others. And I view work upon the self, and love and care for the self as essential aspects of a balanced positive being, and not at all necessarily exclusive to the service-to-self polarity. So, one other way to view this that might be helpful to Michael is that these two paths described by Ra have a primary focus on our relationship to the other selves around us. I think the question of whether we are serving others or serving ourselves is how we view and treat those within our social sphere. In our interactions, are we hoping for their betterment? Do we wish for them to succeed upon their own evolutionary path? Do we wish for them to feel joy, peace and comfort? And do we express this through our interactions with them, whether they are sacrifice or not? Or, when we interact with them, do we simply see them as a means to our own end? Do we assess what value they have to us and our goals and figure out the best way to utilize them in that capacity? Are we considerate of their own path, or are we only considerate of our path? So these two different perspectives are what I view as the primary difference between service to others and service to self. And [from] that perspective, I think what Michael is viewing as service to self isn’t necessarily what Ra is saying. I don’t think that what he’s viewing as service to self is as Ra views service to self.
So, the third density is a density of social interaction, and its purpose is to put us in proximity of others and to give us the capacity to interact in these complex social ways and eventually have us realize that we have a clear choice of how we choose the interaction to play out. And you can see from this perspective that sacrifice is not necessary for serving others. In fact, there’re some instances where it could be detrimental to our long-term ability to serve others. Should we extend ourselves beyond what is realistically possible and burn ourselves out, so to speak, [it] could be detrimental to our ability to continue serving others in the future. And this is my view of the self-love and self-care as it pertains to service to others. I know that my ability to be in a mindset of serving others is greatly aided by my own comfort, peace and joy and health, and it’s hard to share these things if we don’t possess them ourselves. And likewise, I think negative entities probably have a pretty clear idea of how they should treat themselves in order to be at their best when it comes to maneuvering in these social waters in order to gain more power over others. But I would like to say one thing about the sacrifice aspect of this (and while it might seem like a contradiction to everything I just said); I do believe that sacrifice plays a central role in the service-to-others path, but only insofar as sacrifice is what allows the illusory aspects of ourselves to fall away and our essential realization of the Creator to appear. And I’ll give a general example: Let’s say you see an opportunity to serve another, but in this opportunity you sense an uncomfortable circumstance might manifest for you because of it. But your heart calls you to that service and you’re standing at a crossroads [as] to whether or not [to put] yourself in a state of discomfort in order to serve another, or turn away from that service and remain within comfortable circumstances.
As I’ve experienced it, following the heart is the path which usually yields the greater results for everybody involved. Whatever circumstance we’re hoping to avoid by following this path serves us as catalyst for personal growth, and if we take full advantage of that catalyst, those aspects of our selves which resisted them will be transformed or they will fall away. We become pure instruments of service through the fact that what was once blocking us from experiencing the joy and the peace of the Creator in that particular circumstance—whatever it was that we were avoiding—it’s no longer a hindrance to us and we walk more freely in our lives without those resistances pulling us away from our path of service. So, we all have limits, though. Of course, catalyst can go awry and we might be a bit too foolhardy in accepting a challenge which we’re unable to fully process, or it could even set us back on our own path. And so this is where the self-knowledge and the self-love are still an aspect of this path, but approaching discomfort and making the sacrifice. These illusory aspects of ourselves is an important aspect of the spiritual path from my perspective. And I see this communicated in the Law of One when Ra talks about the process of rebirth that adepts would experience within the pyramid. In 65.20, Ra says:
One meets the self in the center or deeps of the being. The so-called resonating chamber may be likened unto the symbology of the . . . resurrection of the body wherein the entity dies to self and through this confrontation of apparent loss and realization of essential gain, is transmuted into a new and risen being.
So, the sacrifice or loss is only apparent, but what we gain is essential and is closer to our truer natures as the Creator. So that’s what I thought about Michael’s good question. What do you think, Gary?
Gary: I think I liked both your and Jim’s replies. And mine, I think, waxes a bit more abstract, so I think I’ll try to work a lot with the concept of opposites. I don’t know how helpful any of that will be. Like Jim was starting off saying, there are ultimately no opposites and there is, likewise, no separation. But if going to work from that perspective, let’s expand it and consider all its consequences. From that standpoint there is also no individual “I”—there’s no Michael entity who is, as he now perceives himself to be, a self of consciousness that is independent of and separate from all other forms of consciousness—a wave who has forgotten that he is the ocean. So what I’m saying is that the individual “I” is as much a mirage as are opposites and separation and space and time and many-ness; yet, here you are, Michael. You find yourself working within fields which you know intellectually to be illusions. You are in a material world, which is an illusion. You are in a body which is an illusion. You have an identity which is an illusion. Yet, illusory though it may be, you react to the illusion. You react in pain and love, with motivation, without motivation, with desire for learning, desire for escape, desire to understand and so forth. So how do you reconcile the reality of your actual experience, which does include opposites?
You are navigating opposites right now, and the reality that you philosophically, intellectually understand to be true. And [in] my opinion (I stress opinion) you seek to honor and work with what’s in front of you, that which greets your senses in the moment—the creation that the One Infinite Creator made to manifest. This creation includes opposites. Opposites or duality are, in fact, central to the experience of an infinite creation. The Creator, it seems, wants to explore the possibility of an other—something that’s not Itself, or [is] outside of Itself or outside of Itself and another other, and another, until there is many-ness. And that many-ness seeks to explore every possibility on every (as Jim was describing) spectrum, and spectrums, by definition, have their opposite poles. To simplify this, how can the Creator know what is hot without having a corresponding cold? How can the Creator know what is light without having a corresponding darkness? Indeed, how can the entire exploration of Itself happen without infinite combinations of pairs of opposites. We see it right here in our biological senses and in the masculine and feminine principles and in the movement between day and night and so forth. So unity does not, in my understanding, mean ignoring opposites or pretending that they don’t exist, or pretending that one is not affected by opposites. Rather, the path to unity involves working with duality, balancing and harmonizing the opposites, such that the self is ever freer to know itself, to accept itself, and to see itself for what it truly is: the One Infinite Creator. And ultimately, there is a transcendence of opposites, of course, but that happens by working with honoring, accepting and eventually moving through those qualities. How does that apply to polarity? Well, Ra says that in this octave the Logoi implemented a veil and that veil created the possibility of the service-to-self path. It was discovered experientially, and through that process it became necessary for, in Ra’s cosmology, for third-density entities to bias their consciousness in one direction or the other to move forward. Austin wrote a great piece about polarity and non-duality (that actually I emailed to Michael previous to this) that is on the Bring4th forums that speaks to this as well.
And here I was going to launch into some thoughts that I think Jim and Austin covered really well, so I will skip ahead because I still have a little bit more to go and focus on where Michael says, ‘If there is any opposition between service to self and others, how can there be true service to all?’ This is interesting and I wonder what you mean by ‘to serve all’? Do you mean to serve all in a numerical sense? That to serve all you must somehow be of service to each and every portion of creation in each and every density of both polarities, finding out what they want and give that to them? My friend, you cannot serve all in this particular manner for each entity within creation has different needs and desires and you cannot be everything to every entity. Insofar as I understand, you serve all by becoming who you really are, by experiencing your oneness with the Creator and allowing that passive radiation of love and light to move through your fearless and balanced and activated system. The creation responds to this service and each other entity, insofar as they are an other entity, is free to accept, reject or ignore your service.
And finally, you say that ‘I feel that there is no contradiction as long as I do not take from others while I love myself and express love to others while I do love myself equally.’ And Austin, too, was especially emphasizing the need to honor yourself. So in my opinion, what you’re describing of your path correlates in my mind to the service-to-others path. It sounds as if, to me, you are polarizing according to the dictates of love by seeking to honor others, love them, embrace them, respect their free will and so forth. What is sounds like, though, is that you’re grappling with this philosophical concept of polarity, in which case, I would advise that you set it aside if it becomes a stumbling block. Because I think polarity needs to be a tool of clarity, and for me it is that. I have not found a more perfect lens through which to view our complicated human situation than polarity, which isn’t to say I can understand what is happening in any given circumstance according to service to others and service to self. But it lends some clarity to a non-clarified situation here, and it has its place within an even larger context or umbrella of unity. And if you can reconcile those two and make them work, it is a really seamless and elegant and beautiful philosophy to put forth a system of illusory duality within an overarching context of unity. But anyway, that shall be the conclusion of my rambling. Austin or Jim, do you have any further thoughts to share?
Jim: No. You guys did great. I think everything’s been covered well.
Austin: Yeah, I wanted to make a comment about the idea of service to all. I may have been presumptuous in my answer in assuming what Michael meant, but I have seen this actually multiple times through online communities, and Bring4th, and study groups online and stuff where a seeker will make a post and say something about “I’m no longer considering myself service-to-others. I don’t believe that we should exclude the self in serving, so now I declare myself that I am service to all. I am the third polarity that does not rely on the duality of service to others and service to self.” And then they’ll go on and they’ll describe exactly what I interpret Ra to mean as service to others as what they are now, and so that’s what I assumed Michael was doing. I think you got that too, Gary.
Austin: What Michael’s describing is exactly what I view as service to others. And I think, [in] my answer, I was trying to clarify really what Ra means by service to self and how it is different from service to others and that it’s a very specific thing. It’s not just caring for yourself, but it is polarizing and utilizing the lower three chakras, specifically, in order to gain power over others versus just caring for the self. So it comes up a lot; I see it a lot and it’s a very worthy topic of discussing.
Gary: Likewise, I think it’s a very salient point to make, because people do have misconceptions and think that (as you said earlier) that service to others means abandoning care for the self. And that’s emphatically not true. Service to others includes the self; it just does not omit the heart chakra as the service to self does.
Gary: And Michael’s words sound very replete with the heart chakra. Any further thoughts?
Austin: Not from me.
Gary: All right. Moving along to one of the best questioners who does a service of us by giving us some material to chew over. Jeremy writes via Bring4th, ‘I recognize the need to open my heart. Can you talk about this process and how I can participate more consciously in it?’ I, for once, have a shorter answer, so I’ll take the mic first. In my attempt to reply to this, I posed the question, “What are the qualities associated with the heart?” The ones which come immediately to my mind include compassion, kindness, [and] acceptance. And the more activated, unblocked and opened the heart, the more those qualities become universal and unconditional, the more they apply to everybody and everything and every circumstance, regardless of what they did—even in the case, as is discussed in the Law of One, of being attacked. And I am of the opinion that training the mind to focus upon those qualities is powerful. It will begin a process of filtering the moment through that interpretive lens that begins to see that which it seeks. It begins to identify where those qualities are, and where there are impediments obscuring those qualities, and what adjustments in perceptions and action might lead to their further discovery and deepening and meditation. How about Jim, what do you think?
Jim: Well, Ra says there is love in the moment, and one of our tasks here [is] to try to figure out where the love is in the moment. So, for Jeremy, I would recommend that maybe he use that as a mantra and just periodically throughout the day ask himself, “Where is the love in this moment?” And then maybe at the end of the day in his meditation, he could look at what his answers were, and if he couldn’t find love, then see if there was some place in the contemplation he could see the love. And then in the meditative state, try to let that love grow and let that love become a little larger, and see if maybe this exercise that combines meditation and contemplation might be able to make the love in the moment more available to him and more obvious to him.
Gary: Thank you, Jim. Mr. Bridges, what do you think?
Austin: Well, I think that the opening of the heart is a natural process upon the path of conscious evolution. What I get from both of your answers is the conscious part of that where you are consciously engaging in those qualities of the heart. And I feel like it’s safe to relate the concept of the opening [of] the heart to the heart chakra. I assume that’s what Jeremy was talking about, maybe, and I’ve always viewed the system of chakras as sort of this developmental system of evolution. In basic terms, we experience catalyst that allows us the opportunity to open and balance the chakras from the lowest to the highest. So the opening of the heart can be achieved by simply processing catalyst that we are presented with effectively, understanding our choice to interpret that catalyst positively or negatively, and choosing positively where we can. And where we can’t, working with that particular catalyst and finding out exactly where it is inside of us that is putting up that barrier to that positive interpretation. So once our catalyst delivers us to the heart chakra, our experiences are understood in terms of universal love. So I think that the best way to go about finding catalyst that will allow us to open our heart is to figure out what, within our daily experiences, we feel a lack of love towards. Is it: a person; a group of people; an experience; a circumstance; an aspect of ourselves? Like Jim said, the moment contains love, so there’s really nothing throughout your day that realistically can evade love. So if there’s any part of your day where you don’t feel that love, then you can sit down at night and think about those times and try to discover within yourself that love. And if you can’t find that, then start looking for those barriers that are blocking you from feeling that love that might result from the lower chakra blockages or imbalances or distortions. So, that’s what I have to say about Jeremy’s question.
Gary: If the moment contains love, then indeed there is nothing that can, as you said, realistically evade love and conscious work, and the conscious portion of this work which, of course, is greater than the conscious mind, and it includes our whole being in a long trajectory. There are powerful, you might say, underlying forces that aid us in our seeking of love. Ra describes how the empowering of seeking love within the moment, and then the addition which empowers the first seeking, and the next seeking which empowers the first two, and so forth. They say of it that it is a central act of will, and I’ve tried to understand that before, but I guess that’s a whole other essay in and of itself. But it seems as if you’re, in attempting to seek love, you’re so aligning your intention and your attention towards the primal foundation truth of this existence that you’re activating very deep cores, very deep programming. It’s like you’re calling out and that [it] is responding, because you’re attempting to see the truth and the truth as it were, wants to respond and wants to assist that and wants to accelerate that. So I think a lot of it is a big matter of disciplined attention and intention. So, any further thoughts from you guys?
Jim: Not I.
Austin: Nope, I think that’s it for me.
Gary: All right. That brings us to about thirty-one minutes which concludes our show. Jim, do you want to say anything to the listeners?
Jim: We want to thank you once again for listening to us, for tuning in to the show, most especially for sending in your questions. We also thank you for sending your love; we can feel that and we send love right back to you. We love you all and we hope you have a good two weeks. We’ll see you in two weeks.
Gary: You've been listening to L/L Research's weekly podcast, In the Now. If you've enjoyed the show, please visit our websites, L/L Research.org and Bring4th.org. Thank you very much for listening to us, and a special thanks to Michael and Jeremy for sending in questions this week. If you would like to send us a question, we would love to receive it. You can go to LLResearch.org/podcast for instructions on how to do that. We publish new episodes to the archive website every two weeks, roughly about 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesdays. Have a wonderful couple weeks and we'll talk with you next time.
Thanks to Mary A. for transcribing this episode, and Nancye G. for editing!