Greetings. This is Jim McCarty welcoming you to the L/L Research Podcast, In the Now, Episode Number 68. L/L Research is a nonprofit organization dedicated to freely sharing spiritually oriented information and fostering community. Toward this end we have two websites: the archive website, llresearch.org, and the community website, Bring4th.org. During each episode, we respond to questions sent to L/L Research from spiritual seekers like you. Our panel consists of Austin Bridges, Gary Bean, and myself—each of us a devoted student of the Law of One.
Your questions allow us to explore the Law of One and related matters of metaphysical interest. We hope only to offer a resource that enhances your own seeking process. Please know that our replies are not the final word on these subjects. We ask each who listens to exercise discernment and be sensitive to inner resonance in determining what is true. If you would like to submit a question for the show, please do so. Our humble podcast relies on your questions. You may either send an email to [email protected], or go to llresearch.org/podcast for further instructions. Again, I’m Jim McCarty and we are embarking on a new episode of L/L Research’s weekly podcast, In the Now.
Before we get to our question, let’s see if our panel here is ready to go. Austin, Gary, are you guys ready to go?
I suppose so.
If you must, right?
I think I could.
Okay, onto the question. This one is from Major Third from Bring4th, and he says:
“I seem to sometimes run into a paradox when thinking about acceptance of the self. It seems sometimes that in my striving to accept all parts of myself, I forget to accept my own unacceptance or the part of me that judges myself, and perhaps other people too. It seems to me that if I accept that part of myself, then that could slow down the progress of accepting and balancing the parts of me unaccepted by this judging part. This might seem a little confusing, and I’m not sure I even fully understand the question myself. Have any of you thought about this possible paradox or can you comment on this topic?”
So, it seems like we’ve got a couple of questions here. One of them is the seeming paradox between accepting the self, and accepting the unacceptance of the self. And then we can get into perhaps more of the acceptance of the self.
Austin, how would you like to start us off?
Well, my answer touches on both of those points, but it really gets to the heart of the first question that you highlighted. Major Third said that he wasn’t really sure that he fully understood the question himself. So, in order to answer it I had to kind of reframe it a bit for this discussion. When he talks about accepting his unaccepting self, which I suppose could be correlated to like a judgmental self, I’m assuming that this is a view of him balancing that aspect of himself and allowing it to then fall away. He’s imagining that if he does this, he will lose this capacity to evaluate himself, which might slow down his progress. That was sort of quickened by his natural tendency to not accept those things within himself or to not accept the unacceptance—that circular paradox.
Essentially, I think he’s worried about losing the fuel of the judgment in self-development. So that’s sort of how I read his question, if I understood it. Taking that perspective, I would like to share one perspective that I think could help reframe his own perspective and perhaps offer a solution to the paradox, or at least take away the paradox from that thinking. And it’s informed by a book that I recently read called, The Willpower Instinct: How Self Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Dr. Kelly McGonigal. I don’t like the name of the book, but I do like the book a lot. Among the many useful points I discovered in this book was a scientific validation of a lot of Ra’s primary points, especially when giving the balancing exercises. There was a lot in this book that spoke to that.
In sharing the balancing exercise, there is a particular part in Ra’s statement regarding examining our distortions. Ra says, “Each acceptance smooths part of the many distortions that the faculty you call judgment engenders.” And so, in Major Third’s question, I see him going through the process of balancing and accepting those things that he finds unacceptable and then trying to accept the faculty that finds those things unacceptable. In his book, Dr. McGonigal presents a wealth of recent scientific research that speaks to the point that Ra talked about—that judgment engenders distortion, and acceptance smooths distortion.
Through the lens of helping people overcome habits that don’t serve them, and to help them to develop habits that do serve them, she presents studies showing our ability to change our so called “bad habits,” which are only bad because they are not aligned with our long-term goals. That’s not a value judgment necessarily but doing that is hindered by this internal judgment. If we place a moral judgment on our distortions, our behaviors, or our habits, then we are framing what we are doing as wrong or as failures. Doing that, according to these scientific studies, actually hinders our ability to change those things. Essentially, if we beat ourselves up over those bad habits, it actually works against us.
Instead, these studies say that if we want to change a habit or to find a way to smooth a distortion, as Ra would put it, it is acceptance of these habits that makes it easier to do that. To apply this to Major Third’s question, I think that while he may be worried that balancing the unacceptance of himself will slow his progress, this science speaks to the opposite of that. I think it’s a common misconception in our culture that in order to change attitudes and behaviors, or in order to address distortions, as Major Third might be doing, we have to sort of shame, shun, or reject old attitudes.
It seems that our culture has this rhetoric of shame where if somebody has a habit that they want to change or that we want to change—like if they’re overweight or have an addiction—there are people who will defend the use of a rhetoric of shame by saying, “well, how else are we supposed to get them to change?” There seems to be this belief that in showing compassion and acceptance for a bad habit, they’re sort of enabling it. But I think that as Dr. McGonigal points out in this book, the science shows the opposite. By withholding compassion and acceptance, we’re just creating a greater hurdle for someone to change their habits. In this sense, the function of habits pertaining to the distortions that Major Third is attempting to balance.
This works both outwardly and inwardly. When we judge ourselves, it becomes more of a hurdle to change and to balance things than it does when we accept things. As I hear myself say that, I don’t know if I actually addressed what Major Third was asking about. But essentially, the perspective of non-acceptance being more of a hindrance in the long term is true according to science. While it might seem useful initially to identify those distortions and have a desire to change them, in the long term non-acceptance is actually more of a hindrance than a help. I highly recommend that book. It’s a great book. Those are my initial thoughts on his question.
Oh, that was a great response, Austin. It’s also interesting and good to know that there’s something in the way of the scientific community that can validate some of what Ra had to say about judgment and so forth. Gary, how about you? What have you got to say about this topic here?
What I surmised was a central thread for replying that was similar to what Austin plucked out. I think Austin hit the nail on the head in terms of what I believe Major Third was seeking. Austin said, “losing the fuel of self-judgment,” like there was some concern on Major Third’s part that to accept those places of non-acceptance would mean that his motivation would atrophy, or that he would just become complacent. Another word for this is idle where you’re not doing the work.
To also speak to that, I chose #42.4-5 from the Law of One, which I will now read:
QUESTIONER: Would a perfectly balanced entity feel an emotional response when being attacked by the other self?
RA: This is correct. The response is love.
QUESTIONER: In the illusion that we now experience it is difficult to maintain this response, especially if the entity’s attack results in physical pain. But I assume that this response should be maintained even through physical loss of life or extreme pain. Is this correct?
RA: This is correct and further is of a major or principal importance in understanding, shall we say, the principle of balance. Balance is not indifference, but rather the observer not blinded by any feelings of separation, but rather fully imbued with love.
Don Elkins, the questioner, is asking about balance and love in the face of an attack because an attack is an extreme form of entity B relating to entity A. Exceedingly, few people on planet Earth would feel love in their heart toward an attacker. Yet, to allow love to flow through the heart into the illusory situation, even in the face of an attack, is a representation of the perfectly balanced entity. This illustrates the transcending power and the great possibility of love. Indeed, it’s likely that this is what Jesus was attempting to exemplify and embody. Love is intertwined and inseparable from acceptance. They’re synonyms and are two strands in the rope. Their equivalent, though in some respects, love seems the deeper of the two.
Major Third seems to indicate that acceptance itself would be similar to not doing the balancing. However, the two quotes I just read from Ra illustrate to me how acceptance rises out of balance. It arises out of doing the work. And as Ra communicates, the perfectly balanced entity will respond with total, unreserved acceptance—what we call love, nonresistance to the moment, total embrace, cherishing the moment, seeing through the illusory form of the moment, and recognizing that the Creator is manifesting right now love and acceptance.
So, I don’t think that to accept the self means that we’re ignoring the parts of the self where work and attention are needed, or that we’re giving excuses for areas that need healed and balanced. I think that with stringent honesty, one can see that they have work to do on a certain area and acceptance to apply. I think examining their motivations and thoughts, as well as looking into the mirror that others give them, a person can gain a clarity of seeing that helps to highlight where there is work to do. Acceptance doesn’t make one blind to that, is what I’m trying to say.
And acceptance actually helps clarify the sight even further so that one can see where one’s work lies. Because as Austin was indicating, judgment or non-acceptance or resistance just muddies the waters and makes it more difficult to see the actual situation that is occurring. Instead, you’re seeing your resistance to the situation or your non acceptance of the situation, and that distorts the Creator. The goal of the spiritual seeker is to undistort the moment and the Creator, and acceptance is the road to undistorting the moment so that they can clearly see and recognize the moment as it is.
That’s my take on your question, Major Third. I hope, as with Austin, that I spoke to what you’re actually getting at.
Okay, good job, Gary. I would agree that we need to be able to accept the fact that we’re trying to judge ourselves, as opposed to judging ourselves for judging ourselves. It’s possible to get into a vicious circle there. I think we need to call it like it is. We need to be as honest as we can be in our evaluation of ourselves and everything that we go through in our lives. Right now, we’re talking about ourselves. We have to try to imagine the steps that are necessary for us to take in order to reach this acceptance of our non-acceptance.
For the purpose of balancing, Ra said that the initiate would go into the Queen’s Chamber of the pyramid, which was used for initiation. There, the initiate would work to accept itself with both the distortions and to realize the perfection of itself—accept itself in both of those aspects and realize that it was all perfect. After doing that, the initiative was able to open itself to the universe, which it itself is. Through the desire to seek the Creator, which is intensified by the will of the entity, the opportunity for the initiate to actually experience the unity with the Creator is opened up. So it seems that this ability to accept the self that is distorted in some way or another is critical. We don’t have to be perfect entities in order to be able to progress spiritually, but acceptance of ourselves as we are seems to be very important.
I don’t know if I can use myself as an example, but for most of my life, over 60 years of it, I did not accept myself and I did not really accept the fact that I didn’t accept myself. I don’t think there was any good fuel that came out of being aware of the non-acceptance and not accepting that. I think that it prolonged the situation. I mean, it only took me 68 years to love myself. So, there may be a little problem there with efficiency.
I’m not sure, but I think it’s really important for us as seekers of truth, conscious seekers, to look at ourselves the best we can and move from that point—regardless of how distorted you might see yourself. If you can just see yourself in that sense and accept what you see as the best you can do right now, and then work on that, I think you’re building a good foundation that way.
We have to start somewhere with acceptance. I think all of the non-acceptance has a reason. Every distortion that we run into in this third density has a reason. The reason is that as we work with and process that catalyst, we are polarizing our consciousness. That’s the way it works. Having to work hard on yourself—how you judge, or how you do one thing or another, or how you may say you don’t want to do something, and not accepting yourself for it—all of those things are opportunities to learn.
We can learn from everything if we are really seeking to learn, which I’m pretty sure that all of us are. Every conscious seeker is trying to figure out how to learn the lessons that he or she has come here to learn. And the beginning of this learning is to accept the fact that we’re not accepting ourselves, as is in this particular case here.
So, that’s my take. Does anybody have anything to add on that particular part of this question?
I do. I want to bring up #18.5, which is one of my favorites. I think it’s a perfect way to consider this question, but I don’t have it in front of me and wouldn’t read it anyways because it’s quite long. Nonetheless, it’s the one where Ra says that the role of the entity in third density is to experience all things desired, then through analysis, meditation, and so forth, distill the love/light.
That whole quote describes a radical level of self-acceptance for the self. So radical, in fact, that it’s total and absolute in indicating that there’s nothing the self can do or think or be that is outside of the need for self-acceptance. It certainly encourages not carrying out certain actions which would infringe upon the free will of somebody else. But in terms of one’s orientation and attitude in relation to the self, Ra counsels total self-acceptance. So, explore that one.
The second thought that I had is regarding when Jim quoted the part where Ra talks about initiation. Jim, that quote is about the apparent distortions and total perfection, as far as I remember, isn’t in connection to the Queen’s Chamber. Don is asking about space and time and Ra uses that opportunity to riff on space and time by saying that these are mechanical concepts that need not be considered. They go on to say that in the mystical search for unity, the seeker seeks the One. The One is to be sought, as we have said, by the self-accepting and self-awareness of both of its apparent distortions and total perfection. I am referring to this from memory and I’m terrible with verbatim quotes. I think that was a great one to quote though because it’s perfect. Ra holds in tandem these two seemingly paradoxical contradictory truths—apparent distortion and total perfection—simultaneously.
It’s easy for spiritual seekers to become lopsided in either direction. One can engage in spiritual bypassing by focusing just on the perfection by saying, “Oh well, everything’s perfect and I have no work to do!” Maybe this is what Major Third was thinking—how self-acceptance may lead to believing that everything is so perfect that whatever my distortions are, whatever harm I’ve caused to an other-self is perfectly fine and I’m just going to ignore so many things. But that is bypassing and lopsided.
On the flip side, which is where most people probably are, there’s the possibility of seeing only the apparent distortions. One can become consumed by all that is wrong with the self, or by what is not working or blocked, or by how we don’t live up to standards. This negative thinking keeps us from recognizing that all those distortions happen in a context of perfection.
So, it’s the balance and holding of those two truths simultaneously that, like Jim said in quoting Ra, opens the self to the universe. That is a really good passage to study. And finally, a note. I’ve been rambling for a while. I was going to relate a bit of myself to this question, but Austin, do you have something to add?
Yeah, I do. I think that both of what you and Jim are talking about are very important in discussing this topic, which seems like a paradox. One thing that I would like to contribute, would be the positive quality that might be found once the unacceptance of our unacceptance is distilled, which I think could be discussed by comparing the difference between judgment and discernment. I think that it can be a bunch of semantics because you can talk about judgment in a lot of different contexts. Even Ra will use the term “judgment” in different ways.
For example, Ra used the word judgement when they said “judgment engenders further distortion.” They also use the word when discussing the archetypes. There’s literally an archetype called Judgment. So, I would hope that archetype isn’t there just to engender further distortion.
I think that the difference is that the archetype Judgment, is more of a discernment. So as you are working through the unacceptance of your unacceptance, it might be helpful to remember that that initial unacceptance of whatever distortions you have, does have a positive quality to it. It’s not wholly positive itself in that it doesn’t necessarily serve you on your long-term spiritual path. The unacceptance is clothed in the thing that causes further distortion. Getting stuck thinking about what makes it a moral judgment, what makes you feel like a failure, like you have done something inherently wrong makes you lose sight of the perfection that Gary and Jim were talking about.
But, I think that if you really dig down into that unacceptance and work with it, balance it and distill it, what you’ll find at the core of the unacceptance is the positive distortion of discernment. This discernment allows you to recognize what serves you and what doesn’t serve you on your greater spiritual path. This recognition that all distortions do serve us in some way or another requires the wisdom and the faith that Jim and Gary are talking about.
When we are dedicating ourselves to a certain path and hoping to find ways to serve in greater capacities, there are some parts of ourselves that can hold us back from that goal. To be able to shift our own configuration towards something that does serve us more, is a very beneficial thing. That small center core of the unacceptance, which is discernment, helps us recognize those things.
So, I think that is another perspective that Major Third can take in trying to figure out how an acceptance can be accepted.
Okay, very good. So, should we move on to the actual acceptance of the self and how that might be accomplished?
Yeah, if you guys have any ideas.
Okay, well Gary, why don’t you start us off.
Yeah, in thinking about Major Third’s question, I was scanning my own life to see if and how this manifests as well. I think back to the way I am at home often with my wife when I get into moods when I’m just in places of discomfort. I guess you could call it unease, and sort of being bent out of shape for whatever reason. I don’t want to fully acknowledge the discomfort or accept it, which becomes apparent to me when my wife will, of course, pick up on it and ask me if I’m okay. And I can’t explain why, but I get really irritated by the question, “Are you okay?” It’s kind of inexplicable to me. It doesn’t make sense because she’s coming from a good place, and it’s a fairly easy question to answer.
For some reason, I get even more out of shape at the question, and I’ve asked her not to ask that question. Something about it gets to me when I’m in that state. The situation kind of feels like an animal that’s frothing at the mouth and angry that is being agitated further because it’s being poked with a stick, even though I know that’s not the intention of the question. The best explanation I have is that I don’t want to fully accept that state when I’m in it, which could be defined as nonacceptance. Like, I’m in a state of nonacceptance or a state of resistance to the moment that is causing discomfort and pain, and I don’t want to acknowledge and accept it because it’s so uncomfortable. And what the question does is to bring it to attention. There’s some unacceptance of unacceptance, perhaps. I don’t know.
Jim asked the question about working with that unacceptance. As best as I can figure out, pain by definition is something that one wants to avoid or that puts one into a state of avoidance. Pain, of course, is uncomfortable. Therefore, when you’re in pain you tend to want to put your attention elsewhere so that you can escape, mitigate, or throw a cover over the pain as to avoid looking at it. Pain naturally creates this resistance state in you.
I think part of the beginning steps of accepting that unacceptance is placing the attention on it, turning to face it, and holding the attention there. This requires a certain quality of attention that is not pejoratively judgmental or that says “this sucks” or “I hate this”, or “I shouldn’t be this way” or “it’s somebody else’s fault.” The attention that is needed is one that just witnesses it with equanimity, and is there and present, and is able to be with the experience.
I think that’s part of beginning down the road of untangling the unacceptance of unacceptance.
Okay, good job. Austin, how about you? How do we go about really accepting ourselves?
I think Gary is on the right path, and I hear a follow-up question to what he said, which is “Well, then how do we do that?” I think there are a lot of different ways to start. But what I think has been most useful for me, particularly this past year, is the practice of mindfulness in a very deliberate and conscious sense. Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword. I think you can go to the grocery store and look at the magazines trying to sell you stuff as you’re checking out and find at least one magazine there that has the word mindfulness on the cover that probably has a picture of a woman on a beach meditating very serenely with her legs crossed, thumbs and fingers touching on her knees. I hope that the buzz-wordiness doesn’t turn people off of mindfulness, because I have found—especially this past year—an incredible benefit of practicing mindfulness in a very intentional sense.
Something happened to me in about the springtime of 2017 when a shift came about that made a level of mindfulness more available to me than was there before. And I’ve been very impressed with it so far. Basically, what I mean by practicing mindfulness is creating a habit out of the perspective that Gary was suggesting: being mindful and paying attention to things that might throw you off of your harmonious path distortions that sort of capture you and drag you along despite your best efforts to remain objective and harmonious in those moments.
Having a practice of meditation and mindfulness is essentially a practice where you remain focused on a certain point in an objective sense. Objective might not be the best word, but it helps to describe the act of simply observing a situation without getting wrapped up and identifying with the things that are happening to us in that moment.
I think that it’s a muscle that needs exercise, just like any other technique or ability that we can pick up. Having a daily practice, even if it’s just five minutes sitting still and paying attention to something such as the breath, could be beneficial because it strengthens your ability to bring your attention to where you need it to be when you find your mind wandering. Having a daily practice creates a muscle that can transfer into those moments, like Gary was just describing, where some sort of distortion has just taken hold and it can’t be worked with in that moment.
So, I think intentionally helping to exercise that mindfulness muscle outside of those moments will help you to bring that awareness into those moments. While the distortion might still be there initially when you recognize that you’re angry or are in a state of non-acceptance, it won’t take a hold of you like it used to because you’ll be able to observe it. There’s a sense of serenity that can be expressed outwardly as you inwardly observe this thing that is happening.
In sum, my primary answer is that to start down the path of accepting our distortions, it would be helpful to take up a practice of mindfulness. Meditation in general will be beneficial, but mindfulness specifically–defined as practicing attention and observance—would really help in this area.
What about the part on the beach?
No, that part isn’t necessary. I mean, you can , but that’s not what it is.
Then I’m not buying this mindfulness stuff.
Good job, Austin. Well, I would like to use Austin’s mindfulness and meditation, and add to it the balancing exercises that Ra gave us. Their basic piece of advice or description as to why balancing works is that it’s the nature of distortions that we’re talking about here. In order to balance distortions, you have to accentuate them. This is done most efficiently in the meditative state at the end of the day.
Another thing I want to add here is that Ra said, it’s not just what you do that needs to be balanced, but you must also balance what you think. It’s what’s in your mind that may need balancing. There are a lot of things that happen in your mind that don’t make it to the physical expression in reality, but they’re still there, and there’s still distortions that need to be balanced. So, I would focus on what it was in your mind during your day that threw you off your center of balance, your center of peace and acceptance, of love in either direction, positive or negative.
But let’s just take what Gary was talking about regarding feeling pain. Maybe this pain is an inner pain, an emotional, or maybe a psychic or even a spiritual pain. Maybe there’s confusion that goes with it. Maybe there’s anger that goes with it. To balance pain that you experienced on a particular day, you have to try to recreate the situation in which you experienced the pain while you are in your meditative state. But, you wouldn’t just imagine the experience as it was. You would have to blow it up until it’s ridiculously large and huge in your mind as though you were putting a magnifying glass on it until the pain was incredible. Then, just for one instant in your mind as you are in this meditative state, image the opposite of the pain or the lack of it, or the pleasure that comes after resolving the pain. Just for an instant, image that opposite.
Now you don’t have to blow this visualization up in the same way that you blew the pain up moments ago. This time, just watch it get larger. And when this image of the lack of pain becomes as large as the pain that you started with, try to work to accept and to love yourself for having both of those qualities within your being as means by which you can learn more about yourself, and about love, and about the Creator. And then go through the rest of your day. Anything that threw you off that center, use the balancing exercises to do the same thing. Blow it up, make it huge, image the opposite, let it get bigger, accept yourself, love yourself.
Over a period of time, what this does, is reintroduce you to the fact that you are all things. “The mind contains all things,” as Ra said, and all of them are acceptable as means to help us learn while we’re in this third density illusion. And once we can see that everybody is in this same boat—that we all have the same feelings and emotions and are all totally unified beings that are microcosmic universes—then it will be easier to accept those qualities in yourself and in others that were previously unacceptable.
Over a long period of time, the balancing exercises help us to realize that unity of thought that is us—that we are—and it brings us back into a center of our being where we can see more clearly. It helps us to not have as many distortions that block our clear vision of what we are experiencing and how.
That would be my suggestion to add to the mindfulness, which is extremely important. I think that’s what really gets you to the point of realizing what it is that needs balance. Then, meditation. That’s what seats this learning within your being. Analysis has a purpose. It’s a good way to figure out what it is that needs to be balanced. But analysis won’t seek the learning in the heart of your being. It has to be meditation. I believe the reason is that meditation takes us back to a larger part of our self. Perhaps we go down into our subconscious mind in some degree and feel the essence of our foundations as being a part of the one Creator. So, if we meditate on these qualities, then we seek them within our beings so we can go forward less distorted.
Anybody else have any comments to make on this acceptance of self?
Just to reinforce what Austin brought up and that you seconded, Jim, which is the paramount value of mindfulness. I’ve seen the necessity and utility of exercising that faculty in my own life. Without mindfulness and meditation, I think we’re bound to be at the mercy of programs, most of which are subconscious, that are running our mind/body/spirit complex. Mindfulness a means of getting behind the wheel, as it were, of waking up and becoming a conscious being. But that’s it for me. Excellent replies, guys.
Austin, anything more from you?
Just a final note that we have been using this term, “mindfulness,” and I think we described it pretty well. I do want to highlight that although it is something that you might be able to do yourself, it is really helpful to seek out guidance in this area. There are a lot of really good resources for developing mindfulness. So, if you’re confused about what exactly we’re talking about when we say mindfulness, I would suggest looking for a book or something that will help you develop it. There’s lots of resources online for free or to purchase.
All right. Well, I think we’ve had a good show, gang!
You’ve been listening to L/L Research’s biweekly podcast, In the Now. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please visit our websites: llresearch.org and Bring4th.org. Thank you so much for listening and for supporting this podcast with your questions. A special thank you to Major Third for sending us the questions that were featured in this episode.
If you’d like to hear us ramble on about a particular topic, please read the instructions on our page at llresearch.org/podcast. New episodes are published to the archive website every other Wednesday afternoon, Eastern time. We want you all to know that no matter how distorted you may think you are, it does not matter to us. We love each and every one of you. Keep on doing the good work of loving each other and working on your path. Have a wonderful couple of weeks. We’ll talk with you then.