Life is simple. Therefore, healing is also simple. It doesn’t require complex treatments, medications, or therapies, though these are apt to be a part of most patients’ healing regimen, if nothing else simply because people believe in them.
The ego is a system of thought rooted in, and thus forever bound to, complexity. Convolution is a key ingredient in the ego’s defensive network, which seeks to protect itself by making what is very simple appear to be too complicated to see through and thus escape.
Look upon the world, the home of egos and bodies, and you will see endless variations, shades of color, types of life, and shapes, sizes, weights, and heights, as well as an endless list of diseases and their respective “remedies.” None of these differences actually exist, not in Reality, but it does not matter whether you believe this assertion or not. Healing does not even require that much of you. Once again, only the very simple is asked.
Differences create complexity, and what is complex and divided becomes vulnerable by its very nature. This is clear even within simple worldly terms. Mechanical engineers know this to be true. For instance, the more parts that go into a machine’s design, the more likely something will break or go wrong. Another good example of this in physical terms is that a whole, unbroken beam is stronger than one that has been cut and attached back together by bolts.
Healing requires you to take a step back from all the complexity of the world, the variances of form, the differences and the divisions, the opinions of this doctor versus that doctor, the medications and their side effects, and focus on some basic healing principles instead. Forget about how difficult healing seems to be according to the world’s dictates; the world knows little of healing.
Breaking the Guilt Cycle
The end of guilt is the end of sickness. Like all things about awakening, releasing guilt is a simple process. This is so because guilt always requires you to focus on the past, and the past is gone. It no longer exists at all, except in the mind of those who actively choose to focus on it, and by doing so force the past to remain with them.
Ending guilt asks only that you accept what is right now, and stop forcing your mind to dredge up and continually relive old wounds, pains, and regrets. Forget the past; it is gone and is therefore unreal. Healing can only occur by aligning with Reality, which is located in the present.
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Consider how focusing on the past also reinforces our false sense of separation. The past usually emphasizes those things that set you apart from others — grievances, superiority, inferiority, guilt, and so on, thus making you feel different, either for the better or the worse, it does not matter which.
Clinging to the Past Keeps Healing Away
It is only your own clinging to old thoughts, dead ideas, and painful errors that keeps your past alive and real for you. Karma is but a belief fostered by the ego that you can never be free of the past, or that your release must be postponed until a magical future point arrives that is as equally imaginary as the past itself is. As with the past, there is no future! Only the present is real, or ever will be real.
Do not cling to the past, nor the future, but come to understand the passage of time for what it really is — a liberating force, not a prison house, from which you need no release, for the now is eternal and always present. So too is it with the body. You have no need to be freed from either one, nor the karma that so many believe binds them to lifetimes of meditation and service in order to be undone.
Your past and your karma are gone. You are limited and held prisoner only by the bars of your own belief. Time cannot keep you from immediate liberation, unless you would keep yourself limited and held prisoner.
Guilt is the weapon the ego uses to hold you prisoner to the past. Free yourself from guilt and present healing will no longer be feared. Here is a series of simple steps to get you started:
Stop Reinforcing the Guilt
As a part of his prescribed Eightfold Path, the Buddha instructed his followers, “Guard your thoughts, words, and deeds.” This is how many disciples begin their first, uncertain steps toward enlightenment, and to be successful advancing along your path, this must eventually become a daily focus; at first, it needs to be intentionally practiced, and then, as its benefits are realized, it becomes a way of life.
You may begin this process at the behavioral level, by “guarding” what you say and what you do, although this step eventually should saturate your thoughts as well because internalized anger has the same effect as externally expressed anger. So you will have to find a way to break this cycle at a much deeper level than by merely changing your behavior alone.
It is also true that the depth of the animosity you harbor does not matter. A little annoyance has the same capacity to destroy your peace as does rage because true peace is a total state. If its opposite is present at all, peace vanishes from your mind entirely. Both anger and peace cannot be found in the same place at the same moment, any more than cold and hot can coexist.
Change Your “Self-Image”
The purpose of this step is really one of transition. Its function is to make the journey easier and more gentle by gradually reducing fear along the way. It does not ask you to abandon your sense of ego altogether, which can, and often does, increase resistance and fear. It only asks that you allow the image you hold of yourself to progressively change from a negative-based perception to one grounded in gentleness.
How long this process takes is more in your own hands than you may realize. The sooner you accept a version of yourself that in no way conflicts with the gentleness and unconditional love inherent in your Self, with no exceptions, the sooner your conflict will be over. More and more, everything you do and think must come to reflect your highest Self.
You are a natural-born creator, a cocreator of the universe, a Divine spirit in a Divine universe of love and eternal life. If you think of yourself in any other way, you are attacking your true Identity and setting yourself at odds with it. Likewise, to view anyone else in any other light is to separate yourself from them and reinforce your sense of isolation from the universe.
I suggest that each day you meditate on the following mantra until it becomes something you have accepted as a fact:
I am a divine spirit; a wholly loving, creative, innocent child of a wholly loving, creative, innocent Source. I cannot be apart, nor different, in any way from that which created me. Therefore I am a divine spark of God, which means I cannot be sick, I cannot be separate, and I cannot be made to suffer against my will.
If you told yourself this mantra a thousand times a day, in varying forms, it would not be too much. Ideally, all your thoughts should reflect this sentiment because it is the truth and thus realigns you with that which has always been true within you, though it may have been buried under layers upon layers of ego.
As you release these false self-concepts, you peel back the illusions of the self to eventually discover the Self that thrives at the core of them all — the original blueprint from which your life, as you know it, developed.
Cultivate True Forgiveness, Compassion, and Unconditional Love
Love and its cousins, forgiveness and compassion, take us in the opposite direction of the ego, and therefore they open us to healing and to peace. These practices are like stepping stones that carry us safely through the turmoil of guilt and into its relinquishment. With each loving thought you hold, and with each kind gesture you make, a little light is added to the darkness of the ego’s domain, shedding its beneficence unto a world desperately in need of illumination and peace.
So much can be said of this holy trinity — forgiveness, compassion, and love — that it is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps the most important point to keep in mind is that each one has true and false versions, which are apt to be confused, but which lead in fundamentally opposite directions. For instance, false forgiveness always feels like a sacrifice. That is, it seems like you are giving up your right to be angry at someone for something they did, but you are getting nothing in return for your gift.
When you undertake false forgiveness, you will still be angry and you will still suffer as a result. This is because you have failed to absolve the guilt attached to your grievance, and guilt is torture. On the other hand, true forgiveness cannot feel like a sacrifice because it unfailingly brings joy and a sense of fulfillment with it. You can always tell true forgiveness from its artificial counterpart by the transcendent peace that accompanies it.
Similar feelings can be intuited in reaction to false versus true love and compassion. A general rule of thumb is that whatever releases guilt, brings happiness, and heals, is authentic, while that which curses, elicits emptiness, and causes sorrow, must be false. Telling them apart is simple because they generate starkly opposite responses in the emotional body. You only need examine your own feelings to determine which you have offered.
Accept That Your Core Self Is Already Perfect and Pure
That the core Self is already perfect and pure underlies the first three of our suggestions. The idea is that, in the ultimate sense, breaking the guilt cycle does not involve doing anything; it only requires simple acceptance.
What you are in truth has never changed. It cannot be made to be impure, either through your own actions or anyone else’s.
Nothing you have ever done has changed this Divine Self. Thus there is nothing you need to be forgiven for. When you sleep at night, you dream, but in the morning when you awaken, you know that the things that happened in your dream never really occurred, and so your actions were irrelevant to what, and who, you truly are.
Dreams have no power to either imprison or liberate. They are fantasies. When you discover the Real in you, you will understand that the same is true of your life in Earth School. Time is not your prison any more than your body is. The cage door has never been locked. You are free.
© 2015 by Tobin Blake.
About the Author
Tobin Blake, the author of The Power of Stillness and Everyday Meditation, is a longtime student of meditation, healing, and the mind-body connection. He received training in meditation and Kriya Yoga through Self-Realization Fellowship, but has studied many forms of dharma. He is also long-time disciple of A Course in Miracles. Tobin has appeared on numerous radio shows and television, and he holds workshops on meditation and spiritual awakening throughout the Pacific Northwest. For more, visit www.TobinBlake.com