Shaping Experience

The existence of God is what is important in life. Accept events without labeling them as problems. Monitor impressions and reactions. Deliberately replace negative patterns with positive affirmations carefully creating the future.

Unedited Transcript:

[Guru Brahma,] Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Mahesvara, Guru Sakshat, Parabrahma, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.

Good morning. This is from yesterday's Master Course lesson:

"Religious learning is the greatest learning, the only permanent learning. All else is transitory and changing. Religion is the knowledge of the soul. God Siva created your soul. Your mother and father created your body, brought you into this world. But you create your own experiences in this life from the sum total of experiences in your past lives."

Three kinds of creation there, isn't that nice? Siva created the soul, mother and father created the body but you created your experiences.

"You came to this Earth for one purpose: to learn of your religion. You are on this Earth for the evolution of your soul. You are not here to earn money. You are not here to gratify yourself through excesses. You are not here to fight with each other. You are not here to accumulate material conveniences. You are here to learn of and then to fulfill your religion. It is knowledge of religion in your life that makes the soul evolve. So, learn your religion fully, properly, intelligently, and it will guide you through this life into a better birth or on into moksha, liberation from earthly existence."

So I got an e-mail early this morning. Yogaswami story -- a short one -- which relates to that:

"One day, as usual, my father (Subramaniam) when to see Siva Yogaswami. Yogaswami said to my father, 'I have to tell you a news.' My father was very attentive to hear what Swami was going to say. Yogaswami said to my father, 'God Siva really exists, and I have no other news other than that.'

Well making the same point that, that Gurudeva did in all those words that, you know: We have to pay attention to what's important which is religion or the existence of God and not get carried away with everything else.

Lesson continues:

"Seeing Oneself In Others

"It is a principle on the path that until we are rather advanced, we do not really know whether we have reprogrammed the subconscious mind or not, or if the reprogramming has been done correctly. However, we do know when we create something with our hands whether it is done correctly and carefully. We also know when it is finished, for we can see it on the physical plane. Taking a physical substance into our hands, using it carefully and systematically, and disciplining ourselves to finish that which we have begun is a powerful process. By doing this, we overcome habit patterns of carelessness and of not being able to pay attention to details. We also overcome the habit of becoming distracted. So, choose a hobby or a craft. It should be something that you do with your hands that changes the form of physical objects, such as taking clay and out of it making a beautiful vase or using yarn to weave a lovely tapestry."

That points out an important concept that we find repeated over and over again in Gurudeva's teachings, that the inner and the outer aren't different. What we do in our day to day life impacts our spiritual life as it impacts the internal of us. We often talk about willpower and the idea that when we use our willpower to do things that are difficult, during the day, that same willpower is strengthened. That strengthens out willpower, doing something difficult. That strengthened willpower is then available when we sit down to meditate. It's not a different willpower. But, as Gurudeva points out here, it's easier to work with what we can see. It's easier to work with objects in the external world then to work with our own thoughts. So if we're careful in how we handle objects in the external world, do a good job, finish everything we start, do it well; then those qualities are impacting us internally as well.

"As soon as the subconscious mind has been positively reprogrammed, even just a little, the channels of intuition begin to open, and you feel peaceful. Disturbances within your mind subside. At this stage on the path you often wonder if you are making progress anymore. You hold a consciousness like being in an airplane going at a thousand miles an hour while holding the feeling of not moving. When you feel as if nothing is happening to you inside anymore, you are living in an intuitive state, the eternity of the moment. Your intuition is now penetrating your external mind all of the time.

"When your subconscious has been cleared of past reactionary patterns and reprogrammed thoroughly, you do not take exception to things that happen in the world. In understanding, you love everyone and embrace every event."

Are you trying to do that? "Love everyone and embrace every event." It's hard to do but it shows us the goal. And when it doesn't happen, when we don't particularly like someone or when we don't accept what's happening, then we should realize that we're taking exception. That that's not the best way to react to something. For example: It's easy when you interact with someone and it doesn't go well afterwards, to complain about the person. But that's not really helpful. That's who they are. That's what happened. We're not accepting the person as they are. We're complaining about them for being who they are.

I remember a story from Northern Malaysia, custom at Deepavali time to visit relatives and give gifts. So this was an uncle, very difficult person to get along with. And so the niece and her husband went and gave the gift and as usual, he really didn't say thank you or anything pleasant, you know, grumbled a bit. They stayed a while and then they left. And it upset them. And this kept going on for years. They'd have to go and they'd dread going, dread giving the gift, dread getting, you know, upset. And I said: "Well, you're not accepting who he is. That's who the man is." And lots of people end up toward the end of life in an unhappy state of mind with no concept that they could possibly be different. The idea that we can change who we are is not held by everyone. So that's what this life and past lives have resulted in. He's not a very happy person. So, if you can accept that fact, then when he treats you as he does it shouldn't upset you. You should be able to accept it because that's who he is. Why not accept him as who he is and let it go. Don't get upset by it and don't complain about it.

So, they tried that and it worked. Now they go, they give the gift. He grumbles, doesn't say thank you. They go away and they're not upset at all because they've learned to accept him as who he is. So, very simple.

Events are the same way. And I've noticed something, Gurudeva pointed it out and I've thought about it ever since: We tend to label some events problems. Oh no! A problem has come up. And that makes it harder to deal with. Cause it's a problem, it's not, not a problem. We've got a problem. Oh no, we're not supposed to have problems, right? It's a very interesting phenomena that when you label something a problem it becomes harder to deal with it. You're not accepting it. Whereas, if you hadn't labeled it a problem, it'd be easier to accept as the next thing to do. It's a fascinating study. Therefore, the idea is if something difficult comes to you to handle or something easy comes to you to handle, something happy comes to you to handle, something sad comes to you to handle, don't label them. This is just the next thing to do. Some things shouldn't totally upset you because they're problems and other things shouldn't totally elate you because they're not problems. Problems and non-problems are all going to come to us and if we can treat them the same way -- accept them without labeling them -- it's actually easier to deal with them.

"You intuitively sense just what they are all going through..."

Go backwards. Read what the previous two sentences.

"When your subconscious has been cleared of past reactionary patterns and reprogrammed thoroughly, you do not take exception to things that happen in the world. In understanding, you love everyone and embrace every event.

"You intuitively sense just what they are all going through because you have, in your memory banks, knowledge of each happening acquired during all the lives that you have ever lived. This becomes available to you subsuperconsciously. You begin remembering when you went through the very thing that your friend is going through. It may have been a life or two ago, but you went through it all the same. Therefore you know his next step, because you know how you got out of the same experiential pattern yourself. Then you begin to know that your soul body and your physical body are becoming one. You are slowly beginning to realize that you truly are an effulgent, spiritual being living on the Earth."

We have another one from Merging With Siva:

"The only thing that is not spiritual, seemingly, is the subconscious mind, but that is an illusion because it has been programmed in a haphazard way."

For just a, hard to catch the grammar unless you're looking at it.

So, what Gurudeva's saying is: Because the subconscious mind has been programmed in a haphazard way it seems to us that it's not spiritual. But that's not the case. It's not the case that the subconscious mind isn't spiritual.

"You have gone along through your many, many lives, having many, many, experiences. (Dropped a many.) ...having many, many, many experiences. It has collected up diverse habit patterns and erratic programming. When you attack this programming positively and work with it, the subconscious becomes a tremendous tool and is no longer the unfriendly obstacle that it was. It becomes subsuperconscious and new energies start flowing into the physical body. New understanding begins to come from within. Your perspective in looking at life is steady now."

So I read that this morning. "Has been programmed in a haphazard way."

And I said: "I used that word somewhere." So, I looked and I found where I used it. This is in a keynote.

So Gurudeva's saying: Subconscious mind has been programmed in a haphazard way.

"The idea behind affirmations is that through the repetition of positive statements, we can improve our self-concept, make greater progress on the spiritual path and, in general, increase our magnetism to success. To progress spiritually, a positive self-concept is essential. For this, the use of affirmations can be quite helpful."

Gurudeva elucidates the basis for affirmations in the Cognizantability resource in the back of his book Merging with Siva: "The future is created by the impressions we have put into the subconscious in the past and those impressions we are placing there in the present."

If you're not used to that idea it's another way of talking about the law of karma involving the mind. We say what we experience is a result of our actions in this life and past lives. That's how we usually say it. That's the idea of karma. We're experiencing the result of those past actions. This is putting it in terms of the mind, it's saying: The actions have put impressions into the subconscious and that's the mental mechanism that creates what we experience or creates the future. So, you get the idea then that: What I put into the subconscious mind is creating the future.

"Many impressions that go into the subconscious mind are the actions of our life and our reactions to these actions both of which shape the experiences we have in the future in a haphazard way. (We have haphazard again.) Affirmations, on the other hard, are carefully chosen impressions we are deliberately placing in our subconscious mind to produce specific results in the future."

You can see the difference. Actions of life, sometimes we react to them in negative ways, all goes in the mind and it's fairly haphazard. Positive reactions are mixed with negative reactions, positive experiences with negative. All going in the mind, creating our future. Whereas affirmations: We're putting a deliberative statement into the mind, a positive statement. So it's not haphazard, it's deliberate. We're carefully creating the future according to the affirmation we're using by how we put it into our mind.

"Affirmations ... are carefully chosen impressions we are deliberately placing in our subconscious mind to produce specific results in the future."

An interesting and related idea is to monitor our reactions and see what kind of impression we're putting into our mind. For example: Certain activity is proposed, somewhat difficult activity. One of the difficult activities we did recently was to gold leaf Iraivan Temple. Oh, we need to raise hundred and eighty thousand dollars and figure out when it won't rain and get the team here and do all this. So, it's easy to think: No way! We can't do that. That's really hard. Economy's down, this and that. But, we did it. And one of the reasons is controlling reactions. So when a proposal is made such as that: We're going to leaf Iraivan Temple; you hear it for the first time. It's very important to monitor your initial reaction. Am I reacting positively? Am I reacting negatively? Do I think it can be done? Do I think it can't be done? Do I know it can't be done? What kind of initial reaction are we having because that is what we're putting into the subconscious mind; we're creating the future by that reaction. If enough of us have a negative reaction it's going to be very hard to accomplish. Want to avoid that. Therefore we need to monitor our reaction. If we do have a negative reaction then we want to replace it. We don't want to just let it sit there. We need to realize: I had a negative reaction creating an obstacle for this project to be successful by my reaction. What can I do? Well maybe I can talk about it with somebody else who doesn't have a negative reaction and see how they're looking at it and take on their positive concept after thinking about it. We want to be very careful is the idea. We're creating the future by the impressions we put into our mind and quite often we allow them to be negative.

So, nothing wrong with that but if it's negative, we want to replace it with a positive one and put that positive one in more than once. That's the idea of affirmations. We put it in every day. And that way make sure it happens.

That's the idea. Thank you very much. Have wonderful phase.

[End of transcript.]