You are dissipating your energy out into existence through the personality, instead of using it to stay in your reality. The mask is kept on by energy going out. As you deny the projection of the personality, you conserve energy. When enough energy is retained, the mask collapses. It loses its independent and selfish existence.
I'm going to show you where you're wasting this energy. Since you will then be conscious of it because you've seen it in your own experience, you'll begin to stop the leakage. You'll have more energy to address other wasteful mannerisms, attitudes and behavior. Gradually you'll become more conscious, more responsible, more authentic. Your character will reveal itself and your personality will be less in control of your life.
Anger arises because you are
not getting your own way.
I am going to mention several things to do or stop doing. They will conserve your energy. To begin with, it will be a challenge. As you get deeper into the process, you may become confused. The personality will always be trying to bamboozle you and make you give up. But keep going: the six exercises will always be there to remind you and guide you. Your own undeniable experience that it's working will be the demonstration of the truth. You will notice that you are lighter, easier, more joyous. A new harmony will start pervading your whole life, within and without.
1. Stop Talking About The Past
The personality lives off the past and feeds off you telling your story. Each time you hear yourself indulging in talking about the past, stop. The more you practice, the easier it gets. You may lose some friends who'll say you're getting dull and losing your former interesting and stimulating personality. You'll know by this that you're doing well.
There will be times when you have to refer to the past. However, to break the old habit, initially you must be extreme. The extremity is to not say anything that refers to the past. This includes what happened a minute ago, unless there's a purely practical reason for speaking, such as 'Did you post that letter?'
Don't tell your sad, sad story. By stopping talking about the past you will eventually stop thinking about the past. And that will be the beginning of the end of worry.
2. Be True To The Situation
Be true to the situation and not to your personal likes and dislikes. The personality lives off emotional swings -- between what you like and what you don't like. It uses the dynamic of the pendulum to keep itself going. You can't be sure of your likes and dislikes. They change with experience and the years. So be true to the situation, to the event or circumstance you're facing.
What does the situation require? It may not be what suits you personally. For example, if you're employed to do a job, be true to what you're paid for, not to whether you like it or don't like it. If you insist on reacting in dislike, be true to the situation and resign, because clearly, you won't be doing a good job.
Complaining about your life,
and blaming other people and things for your difficulties,
is one of the main leakages of energy.
The personality, remember, actually enjoys conflict. It wants you to go on doing a job and not liking it, because then you can complain and emotionalize about it to your friends. This consumes energy which should be used for taking action one way or the other. Either you do the job by giving up your attitude, or you quit. That's being true to the situation. Action always clears deadlocked energy.
3. Give Up Your Dishonesty
Give up being dishonest to yourself and your life. Any time you're angry, resentful or depressed, it means you are not being honest: you are not facing life as it is. Anger arises because you are not getting your own way. Instead of being angry, you should be looking at what practical action you can take to get around the obstruction. If there's no practical action you can take, your desire is impractical at this time. To be honest you must face the fact and give up your wanting.
Remember, the mask of your personality is dishonesty itself. It hides the fact that if you have a very exciting experience today, you're likely to undergo depression in a couple of days. The personality gets its satisfaction both ways; and you pay for it.
4. Don't Talk Unless You've Got Something To Say
The personality is always talking. Talking consumes enormous energy. So this exercise is focused on learning to talk less. 'Talking' refers to talking about something, having a discussion, giving your opinions, speculating, rationalizing and repeating what you've heard. In this exercise, you learn the difference between talking and speaking.
For instance, everyone talks about what the politicians should do. You can't talk about what the politicians should do unless you do something yourself towards righting the situation: write to the politicians, phone them or cast your vote. Then you'll be taking action and be able to speak from your own experience. Otherwise you're just a talker. Only action, or speaking what you live, is true.
5. No More Complaining and Blaming
Complaining about your life, and blaming other people and things for your difficulties, is one of the main leakages of energy. When you hear yourself doing this, stop.
The truth is that you are responsible for your life. If you're not responsible, it's not your life; and that's absurd. Similarly, if you blame something else for what happens to you, you're giving up responsibility by giving it to others.
To be responsible is to be responsible for everything that happens to you, unfolding as your life. Indeed, there are continual difficulties you have to face. They may seem to have been caused by other agencies. But you have to do your best to sort them out. That's life.
You don't complain when you get a promotion at work, do you? You don't blame the boss. You feel you deserved it; that you must have earned it. In other words, you accept that you were responsible. So how can you duck out from being responsible for the not-so-good things that happen to you? Again, it's the personality being two-faced, not being straight. It presents life as it is not, and gets away with it while you continue to blame and complain.
6. Tackle Habitual Small Talk
Remember that the personality depends on habitual unconsciousness. Stop the conversational habit of using expressions like darling, honey, my love, and my dear when addressing your partner, friends or casual contacts. If anything, use the person's correct name. After you've broken the habit, you'll find the endearing expression occurs naturally and appropriately. But to begin with, to break the habit and make the situation conscious, don't use such terms.
Don't pat your partner down with silky words and actions when you know you're planning to be dishonest, or you've done something they don't like. Instead, say 'I'm moved to pat you down because I don't want you to react to what I've done or what I'm about to do'. Then tell them straight out what you've done or what you're about to do.
Mostly you'll find that you won't do what you were going to do or you'll just do it and cop the force of their disapproval. At least you'll be honest; and such honesty loosens the mask.
Don't say: 'What I mean is' and 'You know?' or any similar fill-in phrase. These are all unconscious in-words of the western personality, now globally habitual. And don't say 'To be honest' because that implies you're about to be dishonest, or that you're usually a liar. Such phrases have no real meaning and are actually the mask talking.
Practice these exercises in your daily life over the next twelve months or so, and you'll slowly separate from the domination of the personality.
Now here's an intelligence test. Please ask yourself this question: Do I want to be with, live with, or love somebody who's always moody, angry, restless, sullen, resentful or depressed? If the answer is 'no', then the next question is: Why do I believe that anyone would want to live with me while I have those emotions? As you dismantle the personality and become more one with life, you will start to feel some disintegration of yourself.
You will feel at times you are 'nothing', and that you're losing your identity. Know that it's your personality you're losing, not your identity. Nothing you are or have will disappear.
All that goes is the attachment, the identification with the things the personality calls 'me and mine'. And that includes your most intimate and treasured notions of what life and love are about. For in the end, I realize that nothing is 'mine', not even my own body. I am behind it all -- the being behind the mask in the bathroom mirror. I am the end of the masquerade.
The Joy Within
Life is to be enjoyed, to be made conscious by enjoying it. For joy is consciousness. When you enjoy anything you do, you are conscious.
If you enjoy dancing, you're conscious while dancing. If you enjoy gardening, you're conscious while gardening. If you enjoy your work, you're conscious while working. Enjoy every moment of your life and you're living consciously as well as joyously. It's as simple as that.
Joy or consciousness is your natural state. It's always there. It's like the sun that is always shining above the shadow of the earth and clouds. Stop living in your own shadow, and the sun, the joy, immediately shines.
Nothing positive can be done to find joy. What does it Is the practice of negation, shedding the shadow. Living joyously is the joy of clarity -- no problems. My whole life is then a joy or clarity of being -- a being of joy and clarity. This is there now, inside you, just waiting to be lived. You don't have to strive for it, search for it or make it. It's you. It's yours, your very being.
Excerpted with permission.
Published in England by Barry Long Books. ©1994.
Only Fear Dies: A Book on Liberation
by Barry Long.
Only Fear Dies is about the real possibility that we can free ourselves of unhappiness, which is another way of talking about enlightenment. This potential for freedom is the heart of all the work of the author. And this is one of the most important of his books. Barry describes in his inimitable and vivid way how unhappiness seizes hold of us from birth, how it forms our personalities, dominates our history, and is manipulated by the media. The root of unhappiness is fear - but the good news is that in the conscious or divine life, fear dies.
About The Author
Barry Long was an Australian writer and spiritual teacher who traveled and lectured internationally spreading his practical approach to the truth of life. He taught for over 35 years. His books, tapes and videos are comprehensive, encompassing all aspects of the spiritual life from meditation to raising children, from cosmic consciousness to making love. His works are published in 11 languages. Barry Long died on 6 December 2003, at the age of 77. It was his wish that his books and tapes should continue to be published and be made available by The Barry Long Foundation International. To find out more, visit http://www.barrylong.org/
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Books by this Author