The idea for this week’s ‘He Says, She Says…‘ topic actually came from an e-mail to a friend I started but never finished. I’ll have to send along the link instead!
Here’s what I wrote, and I’ll add to it at the end:
I’ve had a couple of ‘incidents’ recently with companies who, when I contacted them about their product/service, rather than listening to what I was trying to tell them held to their own entrenched position. BTW, one should never have to explain the operations of a product to a company’s own technical support staff. These two incidents were in contrast to another company, who, when I explained the challenge I had encountered, gave me a free ($650) upgrade!
Anyway, I was talking about all of this with Marcia (have I mentioned how lucky I am to have such a wise and wonderful woman for a partner?) and she said, “Well, you know what you have to do…” to which I replied, “Lower my expectations?” “No.” she said. “Raise them.”
Wham. Right between the eyes. One of those things that’s so obvious when it comes to you. At first it seems anacronistic… I mean, if you see physical reality as ‘fixed’, then if there’s a gap between what you want and what you see, raising your expectations only widens the gap, which provides more frustration, etc. It’s a fool’s errand.
But physical reality isn’t fixed. Not only that, it’s all ‘me’, experiencing my Self. Therefore the only ‘gap’ that exists is an opening between what I want and what I believe I can have, my expectations of results.
Now, over the years I’ve gone more than a few rounds with my Self. If you’ve read any of my ‘Mike’s Writings‘ posts you’ll know a little more about this. Part of the conflict I’ve experienced within myself came from studying so many different Ways of Being and picking them apart, trying to find the jewels amid the chaff. Part of it came from my own upbringing and what I was taught. Among those was the idea of never expecting anything good to happen, but learning to appreciate ‘God’s gifts’. I was also taught never to ask for what I wanted, but only to take something if it was offered. There’s more, but in the end it’s all ‘Me’. However, as Jane Rowling said in her Harvard University commencement speech, ‘There’s a statute of limitations on blaming your parents.” In the end it’s only my choices, my beliefs that matter in my life. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, and they have all served me well at one time or another. That’s certainly not to say that all of my ‘expectations’ have been in my best interest! Often they’ve been quite the contrary. As I go along I’m learning more and more to ‘unlearn’ much of what I once held to be true. Walt Whitman wrote, “Re-examine all you have been told . . . Dismiss what insults your Soul.” Maybe I’ve grown beyond those ideas and beliefs or maybe they just doesn’t work for me anymore. Maybe I’ve shifted into a different place within myself. Maybe all of the above. Maybe it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I accept myself for who I am in each moment, and that I continue to become more of what I want to be. Seth wrote:
“You must realize that any idea you accept as truth is a belief that you hold. You must, then, take the next step and say, ‘It is not necessarily true even though I believe it.’ You will, I hope, learn to disregard all beliefs that imply basic limitations.” ~ The Nature of Personal Reality, session 614.
“There is no event upon the face of the earth in which each of you has not played some part, however minute, because of the nature of your thoughts, beliefs, and expectations.
“There is no public act in which you are not in that same manner involved. You are intimately connected with all of the historic events of your time.” ~ The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, session 873.
The thing with us humans is that when something that we deem to be good or positive happens, we’re much more willing to accept the ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ of it without question than when something happens that we perceive to be bad, or limiting, or negative. In those cases we begin to question what happened, and mostly we start to look for someone or something -else- to blame. Here’s Seth again:
“Religion holds some ideas that are in complete opposition to each other in regard to the nature of suffering in general. Some believe that suffering is a punishment sent by God for past or present sins, or even omissions, while other religious schools insist that suffering is sent by God as evidence of his particular love for the individual involved: ‘God must love you very much, because he sent you so much suffering.’ (As Jane has been told by several nurses.)
“That remark, and similar ones, are often made to ill persons. The idea is supposed to be that suffering is good for the soul, is a way of atoning for one’s sins, and in some fashion the implication is made that such suffering in this life will be more than compensated for in heaven.
“Such concepts encourage individuals to feel like victims, with no control at all over the conditions of their own lives.
(It also arouses my sense of irony and dismay – for the nurses who told Jane such things are presumably in better health than she is. Their implications were that God loved Jane more than he loved them, and would reveal this in heaven. What kind of heaven does this leave those healthier individuals to look forward to, then? Surely a lesser one, in perhaps unknown ways? This ought to give such people pause…)
“Instead, it should be realized that as uncomfortable as suffering is, it does somehow have a meaning in the context of your entire existence – again, that it was not thrust upon you by some unjust or uncaring exterior force or nature.
“To some degree, that kind of understanding can help alleviate suffering itself to some extent. I am not advocating a fatalistic approach either, that says more or less: ‘I have chosen such and such an unfortunate condition at some level I do not understand, and therefore the entire affair is outside of my own hands. There is nothing I can do about it.’
“For one thing, again, almost all situations, including the most drastic, can be changed for the better to some extent, and the very attempt to do so can increase a person’s sense of control over his or her own circumstances. This does not mean that those adverse situations can be changed overnight in usual terms (though ideally that is also possible), but that the sense of control over one’s life encourages all of the mental and physical healing properties.
“In terms of ‘starting over’ at such a point, the main thing to remember is not to expect too much too fast, while recognizing that instantaneous cures are indeed probabilities.” – The Way toward Health, June 17, 1984.
Are we then ‘stuck’ with the choices that we’ve made, or those that we continue to make? No, of course not. Thinking so denies the very nature of our existence. What we do need to do is to examine our thoughts, our beliefs and our expectations, examine what we’re really thinking as we go through our days, and release those thoughts, beliefs and expectations that don’t measure up. We must understand our true power, for we are so powerful that we are capable of creating a world for ourselves where we seem to have no power at all. Fortunately, we’re also capable of creating a world that lies in line with our capabilities and the true nature of existence. Here’s Seth once more:
“A continuation of our discussion on suffering.
“I feel sometimes as if I am expected to justify life’s conditions, when of course they do not need any such justification.
“Your beliefs close you off from much otherwise quite-available knowledge concerning man’s psychology – knowledge that would serve to answer many questions usually asked about the reasons for suffering. Other questions, it is true, are more difficult to answer. Men and women are born, however, with curiosity about all sensations, and about all possible life experiences. They are thirsty for experience of all kinds. Their curiosity is not limited to the pretty or the mundane.
“Men and women are born with a desire to push beyond the limits – to … ‘explore where no man has ever gone before’ – a bastard version of the introduction [to Star Trek], I believe. Men and women are born with a sense of drama, a need of excitement. Life itself is excitement. The quietest mood rides the thrust of spectacular molecular activity.
“You forget many of your quite natural inclinations, feelings, and inner fantasies as you mature into adults, because they do not fit into the picture of the kind of people, or experience, or species you have been taught to believe you are. As a result, many of the events of your lives that are the natural extensions of those feelings appear alien …, against your deepest wishes, or thrust upon you, either by outside agencies or by a mischievous subconscious.
“The thoughts of children give excellent clues as to mankind’s nature, but many adults do not remember any childhood thoughts except those that fit, or seem to fit, in with their beliefs about childhood.
“Children play at getting killed. They try to imagine what death is like. They imagine what it would be like to fall from a wall like Humpty-Dumpty, or to break their necks. They imagine tragic roles with as much creative abandon as they imagine roles of which adults might approve. They are often quite aware of ‘willing’ themselves sick to get out of difficult situations – and of willing themselves well again (with humor).
“They quickly learn to forget their parts in such episodes, so that later, when as adults they find themselves ill they not only forget that they caused the illness to begin with, but unfortunately they forget how to will themselves well again.
“As I said, there are all ranges of suffering, and I am beginning this discussion, which I will continue now and then in between regular book dictation, in a very general manner. In times past in particular, though the custom is not dead, men purged themselves, wore ashes and beat themselves with chains, or went hungry or otherwise deprived themselves. They suffered, in other words, for religion’s sake. It was not just that they believed suffering was good for the soul – a statement which can or cannot be true, incidentally, and I will go into that later – but they understood something else: The body will only take so much suffering when it releases consciousness. So they hoped to achieve religious ecstasy.
“Religious ecstasy does not need physical suffering as a stimulus, and such a means in the overall will work against religious understanding. Those episodes, however, represent one of the ways in which man can actively seek suffering as a means to another end, and it is beside the point to say that such activity is not natural, since it exists within nature’s framework.
“Discipline is a form of applied suffering, as discipline is usually used. People are not taught to understand the great dimensions of their own capacity for experience. It is natural for a child to be curious about suffering, to want to know what it is, to see it – and by doing so he (or she) learns to avoid the suffering he does not want, to help others avoid suffering that they do not want, and to understand, more importantly, the gradations of emotion and sensation that are his heritage. [As an adult] he will not inflict pain upon others if he understands this, for he will allow himself to feel the validity of his own emotions.
“If you deny yourself the direct experience of your own emotions, but muffle them, say, through too-strict discipline, then you can hurt others much more easily, for you project your deadened emotional state upon them – as in the Nazi war camps [men] followed orders, torturing other people – and you do that first of all by deadening your own sensitivity to pain, and by repressing your emotions.
“Man’s vulnerability to pain helps him sympathize with others, and therefore helps him to more actively alleviate whatever unnecessary causes of pain exist in society.
“… Each person’s experience of a painful nature is also registered on the part of what we will call the world’s mind. Each say, failure, or disappointment, or unresolved problem that results in suffering, becomes a part of the world’s experience: This way or that way does not work, or this way or that way has been tried, with poor results. So in that way even weaknesses or failures of suffering are resolved, or rather redeemed as adjustments are made in the light of those data.
“In that regard, each person lives his or her life privately, and yet for all of humanity. Each person tries out new challenges, new circumstances, new achievements from a unique viewpoint, for himself or herself, and for the entire mass of humanity as well.” – Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 1, session 896.
So, where do we go from here? Good question, and there’s no one right answer, other than to say that we can go pretty much anywhere we want. We need to decide what we want to have, what we want to experience for ourselves, and then do whatever is necessary to bring our thoughts, beliefs, ideas and vibration into alignment with that. Here’s a quote from Abraham:
“Within the seed of your desire is everything necessary for it to blossom to fulfillment. And Law of Attraction is the engine that does the work. Your work is just to give it a fertile growing place in order to expand.” ~ Abraham-Hicks
For me, much of this implies changing my own ideas about ‘expectations’, and what it really means to be able to expect something positive in my life. It gets wound around personal ideas of value and of worth, and becomes intertwined with the nature of consciousness itself. I once believed that my own inner being was working against ‘me’, and I therefore resolved to take whatever action and to undertake any learning necessary to bypass those parts of my being. Were those years ‘wasted’? In the end, no, I don’t think so, for they brought me to where I am today. As with much of what I’ve learned so far in this life, I arrive at the end of some segment of my life thinking that the preceding journey wasn’t really necessary, but then I realize that it seemed that it was at the time, and so therefore it must have been. I can change my expectations, and in doing so I can allow the Universe, All That Is, Source, God or whatever term you wish to use (a friend of mine chose ‘Pink’) to bring me more of what I desire in terms of events, experiences, objects, relationships, learning, growth… Furthermore, I can expect it to happen, without trying to be shy, or coy, or pretending not to notice. And this is a very good thing.
I’ll leave the last word to Seth:
“The important lessons have never really appeared in your societies: the most beneficial use of the directed will, with great expectations, and that coupled with the knowledge of Framework 1 and 2 activities. Very simply: You want something, you dwell upon it consciously for a while, you consciously imagine it coming to the forefront of probabilities, closer to your actuality. Then you drop it like a pebble into Framework 2, forget about it as much as possible for a fortnight, and do this in a certain rhythm.” ~ Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 1, session 891.
“The true power is in the imagination which dares to speculate upon that which is not yet. The imagination, backed by great expectations, can bring about almost any reality within the range of probabilities.” ~ Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Vol. 1, session 891.
Follow this link to read Marcia’s View.