Saturday, July 28, 2007

Overcoming the Lower Nature

Overcoming the Lower Nature

The lower nature, also called the "humanimal nature" and the "fear-nature," among other synonyms, can be both "enemy" and "teacher." If we fiercely resist and hate it, it becomes an enemy, and to have this "enemy within" is not the best situation.

So, let us begin our work with the lower nature by recognizing that God has permitted it to exist for a purpose. That purpose is education: Without the resistance of the lower nature, we might not learn anything at all from life.

Like fear generally, it is NOT a factor in God's active will, but is an aspect of His permissive will. It exists not because it is the will of Love, but because Love simply permits it, as a teacher.

The best way to eradicate the lower nature, or to neutralize its power in the heartmind, is to practice regular meditation, "interior prayer," or the "prayer of silence." In this relaxed state of mind, we invite the Love-nature to enter our minds and "take over" our lives. We permit it; we allow It; we surrender to it.

How we invite the higher nature to enter our lives is summed up by the word PLAYS. The enlightened person "plays" her way through life. This acronym stands for: Permits, Lets, Allows, Yields, and Surrenders.

We must first discover God (the Spirit, "Father," "Mother," "Absolute," "Ultimate," etc.) exists as purest Love deep within the Mind. Then, moving forward with this powerful conviction, we can invite God (Love) to begin to think and act through us. This phase is called "surrender."

NOTE: We never surrender our will to any human pastor, minister, preacher, guru, priest, rabbi, imam, or other religious leader. We surrender to only God as Love in the heart.

Gradually, through repeated inward reaching, introspection, and meditation, we begin to establish a relationship with the living Love-nature within. This becomes much brighter, stronger, and clearer with practice.

We also make an interior vow, not to be "perfect" (for that is unrealistic), but to follow the higher nature of Love in all our ways. The flipside of this vow is to cease the activities of the lower nature. These include all fearbased activities and all actions that can harm self or others.

This is an indispensable vow. It is called ahimsa. It says, "I solemnly vow, to God, the highest Self, and to all spiritual creation, that I will never again act in any way that can harm or hurt another living being-- especially human beings. I will refuse to harm anyone physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually."

Before making this sacred vow to God, we must be prepared to follow it. Then, we make it, with or without human witnesses to the vow; and after that, we live it every minute of every day. This is a very sacred and holy vow, and so, must not be made carelessly. And, of course, we call in the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to stay faithful to the vow.

These are the beginning steps in overcoming the lower nature. After a long time, it begins to lose its energy ("die"). The process, say enlightened souls, can also involve personal suffering. (In those cases, it has been called, historically, the "interior crucifixion.")

After these steps are taken, the lower nature is weakened significantly; it has very low energy, and is very "sick." But it does not lose all energy until we begin to live each and every minute, of each and every day, from the state of pure Love. This is Love for all creatures, and respects all; no one is excluded, not even "enemies." You can see, it is a challenging path!

But there is none more splendid, glorious, or ecstatic!

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