Thursday, January 12, 2006

Resistance to pain

Reading David R. Hawkins' latest book, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness (TLC) has recontextualised the nature of resistance for me and I want to share what I have learnt.

On page 94 of TLC: "Spiritual research indicates that all suffering and emotional pain results from resistance. Its cure is via surrender and acceptance."

I wanted to learn if this applied to physical pain as much as emotional suffering, so I calibrated it myself. I found that the above statement also applies also to curing physical suffering. Furthermore, we choose our body and its conditions for optimum spiritual opportunity.

Then I realized that the nature of resistance is non-surrender and non-acceptance. This might seem obvious I suppose but for me it is a great release to realise that when I try to control or numb pain the subtle act is of resistance of divinity.

Hawkins goes on to say that suffering "can be seen as a valuable growth opportunity." In the context of loss, Hawkins suggest that the blessing of any suffering be "allowed to ripen" so that the lesson may be learnt.

What a positive and profound way to look at human suffering this teaching is! These teachings seem to me a major contribution to the relief of human suffering, and I feel blessed to have encountered them at a time when I am receptive to them.

Notes on -200 Hawkins "Transcending the Levels of Consciousness"

From reading Dr Hawkins' latest book and beginning work with it I have noted a few
guidelines, mostly commonsense and most gleaned from Dr Hawkins talks or from the
book itself. I hope they help if using this material.

- Start with the most obvious and aggravating LoC and "problem", then progress to the
more subtle.

- All fear is at root the fear of death, so it follows that surrendering fear of death cures all
fear - this seems the essence of the exercise Hawkins has "And what then?" to deal with

- Before taking a fearless moral inventory make sure that in the conscience forgiveness
has replaced condemnation as an overall style, otherwise inventory will have side effects.
From page 66 of TLC (Transcending the Levels of Consciousness): In normal persons a
"sizeable reservoir of guilt" tends to accrue unconsciously. And from page. 69: "The task is
to honestly acknowledge inner defects or faults of character without triggering guilt
attacks or self-hatred, anger or resentment of others."

- Acceptance is the core principle of confronting self-hatred, which Hawkins emphasizes
again and agian in the opening chapters of TLC.

- The traditional cure for apathy is faith, hope and charity. Hawkins recommends pets and
classical music and beauty too.

I hope these few notes are helpful for others working through the opening chapters of this
book. The teachings themselves are a guru, with liberating power, so working with them
using TLC seems tremendously useful for unearth resistance and negativity in the ego.
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