When we first begin our journey and really see the job of reprogramming that awaits us, our ego will experience a threat because of a necessity to change certain lifetime habits that keep us on lower consciousness levels. But once the ego gets familiar with the rules of the game, it learns how to distort these rules so that we can rationalize our avoiding other tools for consciousness growth.
Let us suppose that you annoy yourself when someone asks you to repeat something you just told him. Your ego puts your consciousness on the power level by introducing the thought that if the other person had given you enough of his attention and realized the importance of your words, he would have been able to hear you clearly the first time. Your ego then tells you that it is important that the other person learn to respect you enough to pay attention when you speak. You are showing your irritation in order to help him develop better habits of attention. Your ego at that time does not permit you to remember that your uptightness is a sure sign of an addiction (in this case a power addiction) and that you are creating duality and alienation between yourself and the other person. All of us from time to time ask people to repeat what they have said. And so the other person is just doing something that all of us have often done. If we were responding from the Love Center of Consciousness, we would feel no irritation and simply repeat the information asked for.
It is very important that you learn to automatically spot addictions in your moment-to-moment flow of consciousness. You can recognize an addiction by your awareness that your biocomputer is using emotional programming to make you irritated, angry, jealous, confused, tired, bored, defeated, fearful, resentful, or upset in one way or another. Once you are well on your way to reprogramming your more gross addictions, you may then become aware of your subtle addictions. A subtle addiction does not get you upset emotionally but your consciousness is preoccupied with the addiction for a period of minutes, hours, or days.
When you can love a person only if he or she is able to act in a fashion that fits your addictive programming, you are treating the other person as an object to be manipulated. When you were growing up, you probably experienced a lot of dominating behavior from your well-meaning parents. You now have ego-backed programming that addictively resists dominating "intrusions" into your life. Of course, as you grow into higher consciousness, you reprogram even these power-resisting addictions, so that dominating behavior on the part of another person is understandingly seen for what it is. Thus you select the communications you find useful, and let the rest quietly go by and most importantly, you no longer mirror another person's addictive "stuff."
It is important that you deeply perceive that love and expanded consciousness are enough to give you everything you need in your life. We need to remind ourselves that getting irritated will only make the situation more complicated. Oftentimes we get annoyed when we are inconvenienced in some way by another person. We irritate ourselves when people do not follow agreed-upon rules or when someone is thoughtless. We often create resentment in ourselves when we're trying to explain about how we think and what we're trying to do—and other people do not seem to be interested. We irritate ourselves when we perceive that another person is deceptive or he or she lets us down in one way or another.
We may get irritated when someone tells us something we already know. Or perhaps we are meditating and we annoy ourselves when someone is not sensitive to our desire for silence. Or perhaps we are busy and someone is not aware of our inner flow when we are trying to finish a task. Or we have responsibilities and another person does not recognize that this is our province where we're entitled to make decisions.
It is necessary for you to tell yourself that you have been trying to handle these situations all of your life by using dominance, pecking-order forcefulness, emotional uptightness barter, gifts, and other manipulative techniques. These power methods have not yet enabled you to create a fulfilled and beautiful life. Now it is time to switch over and use only love and expanded consciousness as your guides whenever the actions of people do not fit the programs that you have conditioned into your biocomputer.
You need to realize that each situation is a part of the nowness of your life. The game is to emotionally accept the unacceptable. You are trying to liberate yourself from your addictive traps. So you use all of these experiences to grow in consciousness. If you do get trapped into unloving dualistic Power Level behavior, you just consciously see the drama for what it is and you resolve not to get trapped again. If you stumble, just get up and go on. Don't become addicted to not stumbling. Use each fall back to the Power Level as a gift from your life to help you become more conscious and accepting.
The energy you put into your growth toward higher consciousness can be increased if you deeply realize the enormous price you are now paying for your lower consciousness addictions—a toll in lost happiness, lost peace, lost love, lost serenity, lost wisdom, and lost effectiveness. If you put half the energy into expanding your consciousness than you do into living out your programmed addictions, you would soon begin to live in the warmth and beauty of higher consciousness. The level of consciousness at which you operate determines what you notice and what you don't notice. Your programming influences whether you see it all clearly or see it through distorting ego filters —whether it grabs your consciousness or is simply seen clearly for what it is.
Always remember that the individual with higher consciousness is the one who is most flexible, who avoids fixed patterns, who flows in every life situation so as not to get involved in addictive irritations. The individual with higher consciousness creates a peaceful world in which to live. This can be done regardless of whether or not you are with people who are consciously working on their growth. It takes two people to have an ego battle. But it only takes one person to create the peace and love of higher consciousness! The other person does not have to know the Living Love Way and does not have to be trying to reprogram his alienating addictions. He can be inflexible, power-oriented, ego-dominated and hostile. If you can operate from the Love Level of Consciousness or any higher level, your love and your conscious perceptiveness will enable you to flow in every situation.
Love and peace are not only your goals, they are also the methods you use to get to the goals. Always realize that it is only the programming in your head that is separating you from the beautiful feelings of higher consciousness every second of your life. Happiness is there waiting inside of you and it becomes more available every time you reprogram one of your addictions.
Reprinted with permission from: "Handbook to Higher Consciousness", ?1975, by Ken Keyes, Jr., published by Love Line Books.
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About The Author
Ken Keyes is the author of numerous books and the founder of The Science of Happiness. For over 25 years, Ken lead personal growth workshops throughout the United States and in other countries. At his death, Ken was the founding director of the Caring Rapid Healing Center in Coos Bay, Oregon. He facilitated individual and group workshops designed to enable individuals to rapidly transcend the roadblocks in the way of happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace.