Wednesday, June 8, 1994

Aaron's talk

I am Aaron. My love to you all. Barbara was just meditating in the backyard, eyes open and looking at the young evergreen trees. As she was sitting in meditation posture, she felt very much like those triangular trees and about the same size. Breathing in and breathing out with her eyes open, she very much experienced her connection to the tree. I won't say 'becoming the tree,' because she has always been the tree, she can't become it, and the tree has always been her. She experienced the falling away of boundary.

Moving into that sense of connection with the tree, she experienced the tree's roots into the soil and the sun being absorbed by the needles. She felt her own connection into the soil. She felt this light line moving in and nurturing her.

I am not suggesting that you would experience precisely what Barbara experienced. Whatever you experience is fine. What I would like to ask you to do is to take a cushion and blanket, whatever you need, or a chair if you prefer, and sit, eyes open, exhaling and moving your energy into a tree, inhaling and absorbing the energy from the tree. Just that. Wherever it takes you is fine. If your mind starts to wander, simply come back to the tree as primary object. Just resting in that treeness.

I know that it is cool out. We will keep it short and then gather back in here to talk further. That is all.

(Break while group goes outside to sit.)

Aaron: I am Aaron. I'm not going to give a long talk tonight. Rather, I want to have you share your experiences and to answer questions. Before I go any further, will you share some of what you just experienced? Please remember this is not a competition. There are no good or bad, wrong or right experiences. Whatever happened was fine, even if it was just sitting and looking at a tree.

My hope is to give you tools to work with during the summer which will deepen your awareness of that angel in yourself, your own divine center and your connection through that center with all that is. These are just tools to deeper awareness. Like any tool, they are only of value if you practice the use of them. Words cannot take you where the experience of sitting with a tree, a cloud, a flower, an ant, a friend can take you. That is all.


D: At first I wanted to tell myself stories about the tree and me, so I let that go. It seemed hard to concentrate on just the tree, but then I opened up to everything. I experienced a vibration of everything. Then I went back to the tree and that was more quiet.

Barbara: Aaron is asking, when you experienced the vibration of everything, was your own vibration part of that everything?

D: Yes. For a little bit, but then I felt my heartbeat and that separated me from the vegetation because they weren't beating.

Barbara: I'm paraphrasing Aaron who is asking, can you all see how as you let go of self there is the distinct vibration of this versus that. They're part of each other and vibrating like instruments in an orchestra in relationship to one another. But none of them have any separate self to them, they're simply doing a dance together and you're part of that dance. But then, the heartbeat or the brain, thought, something intrudes and brings back self and the illusion of separation again. It's okay … Let Aaron speak.

Aaron: It is of no concern that there is this illusion of self. If it's there, it's there. We're not trying to get rid of one and replace it with the other, but to understand that both coexist: the relative reality which contains the illusion of a self and the ultimate reality which is free of any separate self. I do not expect that you will ever fully immerse yourself in that ultimate reality. Indeed, to do so will be to deny the relative reality which is part of the picture. I only hope that you can learn to rest in both. That is all.

Barbara: Other comments?

J: I started feeling these waves of energy moving through me: very strong. One was startlingly strong, it shook my own energy. I was breathing in the tree and breathing back to the tree, back and forth, and could feel this cycle of energy moving through me, moving through the tree. It was wild!

Barbara: I'm paraphrasing Aaron who is saying, that's why he asked you to work with a smaller tree. (J had begun with a large tree and Aaron asked him to move to one closer to his seated size.) The waves of energy from a big tree would have been overwhelming so that you could not have kept cycling it like that.

J: The first wave that swept through me startled me. It was like a head rush, like drugs.

D2: I was skeptical that I would feel much of the tree energy. And so I sat and I thought a lot. My mind was very active, thinking about some work that I am in the middle of. But I just kept coming back to the tree. Then at one point, I felt very compassionate towards the tree. I noticed that both the tree and I had mosquitoes around us and I felt this compassion for the tree that could not defend itself against the elements and bugs or other things. Then I thought that the compassion I was feeling was really compassion for myself when I feel like I cannot defend myself.

C: I also sat in a big nest of mosquitoes and was watching a lot of them flying around the tree and they were biting me. I frequently have been sending love to trees, this spring in particular. I've done it a lot, practically every morning. But I was feeling a lot of resistance tonight. I was noticing the bugs and noticing my resistance and just sitting with it and recognized that I was afraid of connecting strongly with the tree because there was so much longing for that deep connection. I know the connection very well and I was defending against it because there was a lot of sadness connected to it that I didn't really want to get into. I was just watching it all.

Barbara: Very hard. We all want that connection and we're all afraid of it. Anybody else?

F: As often happens with me in the woods when I focus like that, I begin to pulsate and it feels like I am pulsating with the entire nature world much like a heartbeat. This usually leads to a loss of self. Tonight that happened until I kept getting bitten.

Barbara: Aaron ended sooner than he intended because people were getting bitten. I had been sitting out there just twenty minutes earlier and there were no mosquitoes. They suddenly swarmed. Anybody else?

C2: I felt much more connected to the little red flower in front of my tree than the tree itself. I kept looking down to the flower. I watched the flower.

Barbara: A tree, a flower, clouds, any of these things with eyes soft and unfocused, just allowing energy to move back and forth … Sometimes it's very helpful to do it with a tree that's just about your size whose energy is very much equal to yours, but it may be much less threatening to do it with a flower. It may feel very inspiring to do it with a big tree and feel the power of its energy. Try it with all kinds of things.

D2: What about doing this with animals?

Barbara: Absolutely, Aaron says, and with people with their permission. Anybody else? Within my gaze were J and C and C2, just within the field of my vision, and four trees. At first there were three people and me and four trees. And after a while there were just eight energy fields just moving back and forth and they really stopped being trees or people. It was amazing. You had the form of J and the tree had the form of the tree. It wasn't that you were merged into one so much as you were just both energy. And both of you as you were sitting with your trees. Then the mosquitoes started bothering me and I lost that sense of just different energies and started looking at my aversion to the mosquitoes. They were all swarming around the tree in front of me. I started doing the same thing with the mosquitoes, just allowing myself to be open completely to their energy. Then I had such a deep sense of compassion for the mosquitoes and really felt a lot of love for them and the very difficult life they live.

It's hard to explain this. I had a sense of all of us, people, trees, mosquitoes, needing to feed off of other energy. The mosquitoes do it literally, but we're all mosquitoes in a certain way, picking up energy from other people. As I stopped disliking the mosquitoes so much and really allowing myself to be present with their mosquito experience, I started to see that part of myself that's like a mosquito, that wants to pull energy out of where it can. I began not to have so much aversion to that in myself. That's just how we are: we give and take energy.

Aaron: I am Aaron. I will speak rather briefly and then I do want to turn the microphone over to all of you to hear your questions. We began this year looking at the balance between relative and ultimate reality. I said last September that we'd spent several years learning to work with the catalysts of relative reality and that we were going to focus our energy this year on learning the tools to allow ourselves to be more fully present with ultimate reality. To differing degrees you have mastered many of these tools. There is not one of you who has not learned to recognize those moments when you rest in ultimate reality. Some of you are more stable there than others, some have practiced it more, but you've all learned the first step of it which is to recognize that core of light in yourself, to recognize, one might say, your true nature which is light, and to recognize that not as concept but as experience.

Now we come to our summer break. It is a wonderful to take what you've been hearing and practice it. You have all heard me say that the only real emotion is love, that love in itself is a distortion of awareness-which I will not explain here as we have talked of it before-but that fear is a distortion of love. We have looked at that balance of love and fear in the catalysts of your lives: the inmost catalysts of your emotions and how those emotions are a gift of the incarnation, the next outer circle of catalysts which are the immediate events and people in your lives which give rise to the emotions-these are your family, your relationships, your work, your friends, the immediate situations of your home and environment-and finally, those catalysts of the more outer world, the non-personal environment. When I say non-personal, the pollution of a river 5000 miles from you does not affect your everyday life in the same way that pollution of your air in this immediate environment affects your everyday life. But, of course, there's nothing non-personal about pollution or war even if it's thousands of miles away. We relate to it differently, so this is a further-out circle of catalyst.

I hope that this summer you will begin to look at these myriad catalysts in your life and at your relationship to them, that you will begin to understand that skillful choice comes best from this place of balance between relative and ultimate reality. When you are stuck in the relative, you may go on a campaign against those polluted rivers or a campaign against this war, but there is this person trying to fix the world and attacking the world as if it were broken. The balanced perspective allows you to know that the polluted river is creating harm for many beings and to work skillfully on clean-up of the world environment without violence or attack.

We speak seeming paradoxes, such as, 'There is nothing broken anywhere, so fix it.' Do you understand that? It's not the fix-it of the fixer who fixes, subject to object. It is the fixing of the being who attends to that which is intimately a part of itself with precise and loving attention, which allows that which has become distorted to undistort itself. It is the perspective that knows that nothing needs to be fixed, that doesn't grasp but allows that which has been knotted to unknot, that which has been tangled to untangle. There is nothing broken anywhere, so fix it; allow it to heal itself.

I want to hand you that thought for the summer, that seeming paradox, and ask you to work with it. There is nothing broken in yourselves. Your anger, your fear, your jealousy, your greed, these are not places where you are broken. That light line is unbroken and always has been, always will be.

Notice the wrinkles in yourself, in your families, your workplaces, in your world. Learn to come to them with an open heart that does not demand that they be fixed but treats them with loving attention and concern. Within those two attitudes is a world of difference.

Most of you practice meditation regularly. Within that meditation practice, now that you have summer, lie on the grass, meditate for awhile, eyes open, watching the sky, day or night. Follow your breath out. What happens when it comes to the end of your atmosphere? How far out does your breath go? Any end to it? Does it go on out into the universe? Breathe in. Are you only breathing in the immediate air in your vicinity? Are you not breathing in your entire galaxy? The universe? Everything? Any limit to what you're breathing in? Allow yourself to feel at home in your universe.

Now do the same thing with awareness. Send your infinite awareness out. Breathe in the unlimited awareness of the universe. Rest in that pure state.

Mindfully through your days, notice each time barriers come up, each time you experience a boundary to the self. Note that that arising is a manifestation of fear and, with a deep degree of kindness and gentleness, ask yourself as much as is possible to let that boundary dissolve again. Spend your summer connecting, not only to the flowers but to the mosquitoes, not only to the sunshine but to the storms.

Try to find the experience of that light line within you and the light line within the tree or the rabbit; follow them up and find God there. Feel your brother/sisterhood with all that is through the divinity in each of you. This is not only a very joyful practice, but is the best tool I know to take you deeper into ultimate reality and your interconnection with all that is.

We certainly are not finished with these energy practices. We will be continuing with them in the fall but less intensely, expanding into some new directions with our work. Remember the various meditations that we did through the winter, especially this four-step process with which many of you have been working, this process of recognizing that which is old conditioning, recognizing that it does not need to be re-manifest in this moment, and allowing the willingness to let it go. Just, 'I don't need this fear, or jealousy, or greed anymore.' No judgment about it. Just 'I don't need it. I see how it's arisen and I let it go.'

I hope you will continue that practice over the summer but, along with that, rest in this place of pure mind within. It makes the letting go very different because from that place of inner divinity there's nobody to let go and nothing that ever needed to be let go. The more fully you can rest there, the clearer you will understand who you really are and the more joy and peace you will experience. That is all.

Barbara: Aaron would like to concentrate on whatever questions people have. He asks, do you understand at some level what he means when he says 'Nothing was ever broken, so fix it?' He's saying that's not something the brain can grasp at all. It's got to come from a much deeper level. Do you want to talk about that at all? He says it will work easier if you take one part of the phrase at a time, looking at the arising fear which says, 'I need to fix that,' and asking, 'What's broken, what do I need to fix?' Coming to the place of clearly seeing, 'It never was broken; it's just my fear and need to control. Can I trust that it's as it needs to be?'

Aaron: It is polluted because the people who live along it need to learn to be more interconnected with their environment, need to learn that they are responsible for what they create. The 'it was never broken' comes from the recognition 'it is as it needs to be.' There is an order in the world. The 'fix it' comes from recognizing your responsibility. Your job, once you understand that the river was never broken, is not to go on campaign to clean up the river, but to help to teach those who live along the river that they are responsible for cleaning it up. Can you feel the difference?

You see that it's doing harm, that it's creating pain for many sentient beings. You don't turn your back on that pain. The need is to understand clearly what needs to be fixed. Then you don't enter into it as 'I am the teacher and I'm going to show you how to do it.' Perhaps you talk to the people who live there about how sad it makes you to see this pollution. You help them to understand their responsibility for creating it and that they are empowered to clean it up if they wish to. Teach them how to do so.

In a sense, your work is to empower others to do their own learning so that the conditions which have created pain, but have been catalyst for their learning, will no longer be necessary. You cannot 'do' that learning for another, but you can help to empower them. That empowerment grows out of a place of non-separation with them. Through your own recognition of your own empowerment, you empower others. Through your own recognition of your own divinity, you help others to find that divinity and self-respect within them which leads them to make the changes they need to make in their lives.

Here it doesn't matter whether it's a polluted river or a dysfunctional family. On one level the dysfunctional family is broken. On another level it is the creation of those who moved into that family for learning. Yes, you may wish to protect those who seem innocent, as babies, to see that they are not harmed by the situation; but you cannot fix another, you can only empower and inspire another, and then the need for the dysfunctional family will cease to exist. That is all.

Barbara: I am paraphrasing Aaron. He says, keep this phrase in mind. It's a kind of slick phrase, it's simple, but he thinks it will keep coming into your attention. There's nothing broken-attend to that part of it.

So fix it-how do I fix it? Aaron asks if the question, how do we bring more joy into our own and others lives is an important question for everybody? He wonders if that would be a starting place? If so, he would like some of your thoughts about it. Where are you stuck with not finding enough joy in your life or feeling that you're not giving enough joy to others lives?

C2: I get stuck when I feel like I should be working on these hard issues or I notice my attachment to having them resolved.

Aaron: I am Aaron. C2, even if you try, can you avoid working on these issues? That is all.

C2: No. (Laughs.) They follow me everywhere.

Barbara: He's saying, so what are you worrying about? I think what C2 is really saying is that she gets stuck with her self-judgment when she sees aversion to the work that lies before her. Do you have thoughts about that?

C2: There's a part of me that doesn't want to let go of things that I am ready to be done with … (Tape ran out. Tape begins.)

Aaron: I am Aaron. Please remember that you never have to let go of anything until you don't feel you need it anymore. We come back to this image of the person with the broken leg who needed a crutch. There was excruciating pain with any effort to put full weight on the leg. The crutches became habit. The cast is off. The first steps with the cast off, there was pain, so one is still using the crutches. One does not have to let go of the crutches until one is ready, but one must also recognize that as long as you hold onto the crutches you can't run freely through the meadows and chase butterflies. It is you who limit your joy. Your fear, more specifically, and your unwillingness to give up that fear, limits your joy. This doesn't mean that you go on a campaign to get rid of fear, only that you develop the courage and willingness to trust that you will know when it's time to let go of a crutch and will do so. It's not skillful to let go of the crutch while the leg is still broken.

Trust your deepest wisdom to know when you no longer need your jealousy or greed or sense of unworthiness, to know when you have grown beyond those and they're simply old habit. This is where we move into that energy practice and letting it go. It is the hardest thing you will ever be asked to do as humans, to let go of the accumulated debris of so many lifetimes and come into the fullness of your true self. It truly is your final thesis and it's hard work. Honor yourself that you are willing to even consider this work. And remember that once you have done it, there is tremendous joy in running barefoot through the meadow. No crutches. That is all.

F: I find that often when I'm having too much fun in the meadow, I get a sense of guilt and I look for usually international issues that touch my heart, usually of great suffering, and remind myself that I should perhaps be suffering a bit more. So I read 'The Nation,' get angry again.

Barbara: Aaron said something to me as you were talking and I asked if I should say it out loud and he said no, he prefers to avoid ethnic jokes. But then he said okay. 'Jewish mother complex.' That sense of guilt: Other people are suffering, I should be, too.

F: I was raised with a strong social awareness and compassion. I have to learn how to integrate my inner peace and joy with active social work.

Barbara: I'm paraphrasing Aaron. Your own peace and joy are genuine as is the suffering in the world, as is the occasional suffering within you. He is saying we all need to find that balance in ourselves, that many of us stifle our own joy out of that sense of guilt and then …

Aaron: I am Aaron. This may seem contradictory at first glance. Many of you work a bit deviously to continue to manifest suffering in the world, although you would so strongly like to alleviate that suffering. You push-guilt is not the correct word, but it is the closest approximation to the correct word.-Let us go back to that polluted river in Peru. Perhaps you feel anger about it. You may not recognize that your anger is not so much about that polluted river so much as the polluted lake in your neighborhood, and verbal and noise and other kinds of pollution, emotional pollution, that are constantly running past you. You feel helpless to correct that endless stream of pollution in your own life. Here's something you can fix over here in Peru. Fix the rainforest. Fix the environment. Not that it doesn't need help. Certainly it does. But then you can perhaps make those people, those governments, feel guilty. The manufacturers; whoever added to that pollution. In so doing, you can feel self-righteous: 'I'm helping resolve a major problem in the world.' And it also frees you from having to look at the stream of pollution in your own life and to which you are probably contributing.

When I said, laughingly, 'Jewish mother complex,' we have this stereotype which, of course, is in no way limited to one of the Jewish faith nor to a woman. But this stereotype of one who has great love for those around it, great love for the rainforests and the rivers and the atmosphere, but is not able enough to be honest with its own needs so it pushes its fears on the other, tries unconsciously to create guilt in them in the hope that somehow they miraculously will resolve its own pain.

When you're concerned about a river on the other side of the world, or even on the other side of town, what else are you concerned about? There is nothing wrong with attending to that which pollutes the river but, simultaneously, attend to your own internal pollution, both as receptor and as giver. F, you will find that when you do this, you stop feeling guilty about your joy. You find that you can happily play in the meadow because you've become honest with yourself and recognized that there are nettles and wasps in the meadow and that's okay. The meadow is no less beautiful for the nettles and wasps. When you feel that sense of guilt, my belief is that it stems from your enjoyment of the meadow and recognition that your enjoyment has grown out of denial of the nettles and wasps. Can you see that?

Barbara: Aaron is asking then, after the break would it be useful to talk about the ways we may work skillfully in the world and the ways we may increase our own joy and playfulness? This interrelationship: How, when we become more honest about our pain it stops being 'our' pain, 'their' pain, we stop trying to fix 'their' pain as an escape from 'our' pain. And, once we can be more open about our pain, we can also experience more fully our joy. He asks, would you like to talk more about that whole thing? If so, he would like to hear specific questions about it after the break. He's saying, you're not limited to that. He would be glad to talk about anything. That's just something that seems primary to many of your concerns, especially the question, how do I find more joy and what gets in the way of finding more joy for myself and others?


Q: I have been looking at the reasons I hold myself back from feeling good about my accomplishments and my abilities. For me, this is connected to feeling like I'm competing with others. Part of this, in turn, is really an old childhood wish to be accepted and valued by my father. My fear that I am not accepted and valued leads me to feel uneasy about competing and tense about feeling proud about my abilities. Would Aaron like to comment?

Aaron: I am Aaron. This is a complex question and I'd like to break it down into parts. First, each of you has a wish to be unconditionally loved. So often when you're children you feel that the love you receive is conditional. When love is given, part of you wants to reject it: 'Don't love me for being smart or kind or capable, just love me because I'm me.' Some of you then refuse to be smart or kind or capable or whatever in order to hope to gain that unconditional love.

Another aspect of this-I'm laying parallel foundation bricks here upon which we will build-is that you were not born a blank slate. The issues of worthy/unworthy, accepted/rejected, have come from many, many lifetimes. In effect, you have recreated those conditions in this lifetime as you have done so many times before. You are trying to learn that there is no duality, there is no acceptable/unacceptable, no worthy/unworthy. So you keep creating the conditions of unacceptable/unworthy, hoping that you'll finally make sense of it.

Finally, for many of you there is some or considerable anger with the birth family, but there was this young child that you were that needed to be loved and agreed to play the part to which you were assigned with the unstated agreement, 'If you do this, then you'll be loved.' Some of the parts that you were offered were horrendous and everything within you rebelled at being abused or ignored or abandoned. But it seemed to be the only way you could be loved, so you agreed to play the part. Others of you rebelled and said, 'No, I won't play that part. I won't be the abused one, or the caretaker or whatever.' You're working in a different way. To avoid complexity, we'll save that path for another time and hold our talk to those who agreed to play the part.

Part of that agreement was not to be good, for some of you. For others of you, part of that agreement was to be the 'good' one who never complained. It doesn't really matter which way it went. The point is you could not be who you were, you had to be the one in the part assigned. Regardless of which part it was, for many the fear of competing grew out of agreement to play the part. With whom were you competing? Parents? Siblings?

In competing, you are giving voice to the part that says, 'What about me? I need. I want. Pay attention to me.' The intensity of that need is so strong; the pain of not being attended to is so severe. So, one of the things that many of you did with that sense of competition is to bury it, to bury the 'I need' or 'I want.'

In some way, competition became a dirty word-not only because of its connotation of grasping for the self, but for a much deeper reason as we just expressed, that that sense of competition introduced a needing aspect of the self which was too frightened to allow in such pain.

Now you are adults. Many of you are still casting yourself in similar parts through old habit. To succeed, in terms of flowering in one's relationships and work, is great joy or might be. But there is still that dilemma: I've got to keep this buried.

Competition is not a dirty word. It depends from what stance one competes. If one is taught to stomp over others in order to get ahead, then one unleashes all the potential violence, grasping at fear in one's nature. If one is taught to compete simply for the joy in doing one's best, of expressing one's energy fully, then one understands that that expression ends where another's back begins, that one cannot climb over others. It's not competition which is the problem, it is the discomfort with the potential grasping in one's own nature. That discomfort has grown out of that original grasping, 'I need, I want. How do I speak up for myself? I can't, I've agreed to play their game.' With that agreement, it was all stuffed into a hole.

To work with this is a two-part process. It does not involve meticulous analysis of old history, old motives. It's enough to simply recognize: 'In this childhood and in so many past lives, I've fallen into this pattern.' 'Who' has fallen into the pattern? This present being in this present job or relationship? Yes, this present being is the outcome of all that's gone past, but in this moment there's just this.

How can I better express this? Let's look at a river. Upstream, pollutants are being poured in so that one cannot safely put one's face in the river. One learns how polluted the river has become. One needs then to work in two places: To understand the source of that pollution, and end it-that is, the looking at one's childhood and past lives and seeing the misunderstandings-and then one can put up filters and purify the water. One does not need to identify every source of pollution. You're not going to be able to find every source. You filter the water right here in the river, create a safe area for swimming, perhaps don a mask if it's necessary, and dive in. Right here, at this point in the river, I can swim. Right here it's safe. That doesn't mean there are not still pollutants pouring in from above, but right here I can swim.

Old fear. Old conditioning. It's going to keep arising in your experience. You have the choice: Is it going to stop you from experiencing success, joy, openness? Or are you going to look at the situation and say, 'It's old mind; right here, I am free'? The first leap into the river is the hardest. Obviously, this is not a perfect analogy at all, but I hope it will help.

Then there's one more step. Here's where the river analogy fails. The old ideas of unworthy, rejected, no-good-they were just ideas. The river really does have pollutants in it, but this lifestream of yours-in one sense, yes, it's got what seems to be the reality of abuse or abandonment or other kinds of pain; on the other hand, they're just things that happened because they needed to happen. But the one to whom they happened was never bad, not in this or past lifetimes, was never unworthy. This is the third step.

It does not take analyzing of history. There's nothing in the past that you need to change or fix, just know it for the old mind conditioning that it was and let it go. How to be joyful? How to experience the joy of manifesting one's energy fully? What blocks it? Look deeply. Recognize that in this moment it's simply not valid anymore and let it go. It's the 'crutches' story: The leg has healed, let go of the crutches.

This is the place where some of you get snagged. It's not that you don't believe the leg is healed so much as that you fear, 'What if I step on it and break it again, I better carry along the crutches anyhow?' You don't need them. Some of you are carrying along those crutches, a hundred pair of them, and staggering under the burden. I speak especially to several here who are somewhat of collectors and use their assorted collections as excuse from diving into the next step of their lives. 'How can I run across the meadow. I know my leg is healed, but I've got to carry these hundred pair of crutches?' Well, put them down.

Why did you start to believe you had to carry them in the first place? Look at that deeply, at that fear, that one moment when you said, 'Yes, the leg is healed. I see I can walk. But I better hold onto the crutches. What if it happens again?' That is the point that traps you, that 'What if it happens again?' Do you want it to happen again? If you do, it will. If you choose that it not happen again, then why should it? It's your choice. This is what you must come to see. It is your free will choice to re-manifest that old pain or to let it go.

To a certain degree in your childhood, you were not given that conscious choice. It was thrown at you. Yes, you were a participant, but you were also not free to choose in the way that you are now. Now you understand how it works.

It's like watching a mob scene where people are becoming increasingly angry and violent. You may feel, 'I could steal away quietly, I don't need to participate.' Or you may feel, 'Well, there are so many people around, I'll get hurt if I don't participate. I've got to do what everyone else is doing.' And then you say, 'It's their fault. They started it. I just did what everyone else was doing.' It was your choice. If everyone else is carrying their crutches, you still don't have to. Especially not a hundred pair.

Look at it. And then one by one, lay them done. Feel how wonderful it is not to carry that burden. Experiment with that. Quite literally. Find one specific crutch like 'I can't do this. I'm unworthy. I'm not strong enough, or wise enough or good enough.' Give up on analyzing where it came from, just recognize, 'I don't need to carry this old concept anymore. I leave it here.' And let your energy move forward to express its fullness. That is all.

Barbara: Are there any questions related to that? Aaron is suggesting the question of competition, not being a success, not manifesting our energy as fully as we can for various reasons is one that we all do in many ways. It's part of our human experience. He wonders if people want to talk more about that. Are there things that you'd like to achieve in your life where you find yourself blocked and you don't really understand, 'What is this blockage about? If I would like to do this, why can't I do it?' He's asking if that's a question that people want to raise and talk about.

Q: I just read Yogic Scriptures and Other Spiritual Writings. I almost get the feeling that God views us as I would view artificial life. What really is the purpose of withholding so much information and knowledge? It seems gamy. Is it sport? Isn't faith really giving power to someone else? I can't imagine needing so much knowledge if I indeed am the Creator.

Aaron: I am Aaron. It is indeed not sport, nor does that which we call God want you to pay homage to It so much as to pay homage to your own divinity and to manifest your own free will to learn what you incarnated to learn. God does not pull strings. God doesn't make decrees: This one will live; this one will die. This one will succeed and that one will fail. Your own genetic make-up which is karmic, your own karma, your own past acts and choices create the next moment.

Faith. The primary lessons of third density are faith and love. Fourth density is compassion and fifth density is wisdom. That does not mean you don't learn wisdom and compassion in third density. But there are those who put aside faith and love and deepen the learnings of compassion and wisdom to the exclusion of faith and love.

Your incarnate experience is the perfect opportunity for these learnings of faith and love; if you miss them here you're not going to have the chance to develop them in such perfect conditions again. It's like the child who was sick for a semester of third grade and missed learning how to carry numbers in addition. It may figure out some semblance of that, but forever its arithmetic skills will be distorted a bit unless it comes back to that skill which it missed.

Faith is not giving over your power to another. Faith is finding the place of deepest empowerment within you. I would ask the questioner to read a past transcript which Barbara can point out. It's immediately available. I will not repeat the information in it now.

You move into the incarnative experience agreeing to this veil of forgetting because it is only within this veil that deepest faith can be developed. If there were no veil, if you immediately upon incarnation and throughout the incarnation knew who you were, how could you learn faith?

You wonder, why is faith important? It is faith which pierces holes in the concept of self. It is faith which leads you to the deepest experience of emptiness of self. Faith in what? Faith in your true nature as divine. Faith in the whole system. When you do not believe in your own divinity, your ego self becomes dominant, working eternally on controlling, manipulating, forever caught in the delusion of separation. You cannot let go of that delusion of separation by willpower.

You may well ask, if the delusion of separation only exists on the Earth plane, why do I need to experience it in the first place? Why not just stay with the reality of non-separation? It is the difference between that which is learned by concept and that which is learned by experience. That original spark of God that you were knew that it was not separate. One of its choices was to remain with that knowledge of non-separation and to evolve on the non-material planes. It still had moved into the awareness of self and other though, of self-awareness and God. As soon as it found itself experiencing itself as a spark of God, there was spark and there was God. One way or another you've got to move through it. On the material planes, it knows that that's delusion, and yet it still experiences the pain of that delusion. It then may make the choice to move this way or that-perhaps to move into a material plane, to work with the various catalysts that plane offers as a way of learning. A primary catalyst of the Earth plane is the veil of forgetting.

So, why do you need faith? I said it pierces holes in separation. It goes where willpower cannot go. Your faith allows you to trust enough to move out of the illusion of self and into the full experience of connection. Once it's experienced, you don't need faith anymore. Faith becomes verified and then you know. So it punches holes in the ego; it allows the ego to dissolve.

As the ego lets go of its need for power, the deeper self understands that it has always been empowered. God is not playing with you. God is holding Its hand out to you and asking you to recognize your own divinity and power and move back into that non-separation with the divine. That is all. Does that answer your question or would you like me to speak further on it?

Q: I can't understand why I chose a material plane … (Tape ran out. Tape begins.)

Barbara: I'm paraphrasing Aaron. He is saying that it's like the stage of childbirth, that very painful stage just before the cervix is completely open and the baby is born where you are wondering, why did I get into this fix? And then the baby is born and you understand. He says you chose wisely.

Aaron: I am Aaron. You choose wisely. It's not the only choice possible but each of you is unique, even from the beginning as that spark. Each of you has a sense of your own strengths and weaknesses. That spark doesn't spin a dial, play a game of chance.

In essence, this Earth experiment-for that's what it is-has given the universe a place of learning which includes the physical and emotional bodies together with the mental and spirit bodies. We're finding that those who travel that path move into the higher densities much more highly evolved, with much greater degree of compassion, of wisdom, faith and love.

You tend to think of it as a schoolroom where, to graduate from eighth grade, you've got to have mastered these skills. But, in fact, there is no limit. There are not a number of degrees of compassion and once you get to the top, that's it. In fact, those of you who are entering the learnings of compassion in fourth density, come to that learning with so much deeper love and wisdom, so much deeper sense of compassion already that you teach those of us in the higher densities. You give a gift to the universe.

This gift, in a sense, expands the divine. Just because God is that of unlimited wisdom and compassion, doesn't mean it can't have more. You bring more in. That is your gift to the universe and that is why that courageous spark that you were, understanding that it had the capacity for this learning, agreed to move into this learning. That is all.

Barbara: I have a very strong sense that I've gained from Aaron of the rightness of everything. It may not make sense to me right now, but I've really come to trust that it will make sense some day, somewhere, and I don't need to figure it out or control it or worry about it anymore. It's just everything is just as it needs to be. Trust the whole thing. I don't need to know where I'm going.

It's become the difference for me-I find this is true in my daily life, too-of needing an accurate map that shows me step-by-step where I'm going before I take the first step versus being willing to just go down the road. I no longer need the map. I know the end is there.

I just drove to Philadelphia last week. I used to get a Triptik and check off the pages. I didn't even have a specific Pennsylvania map in the car. I had an atlas with a general sense of 'I'm here and I'm going to Philadelphia. When I get there I'll find out where I need to go.' I drove there alone and it's the most enjoyable trip I've ever taken. I saw the scenery so much more. I just was where I was. I wasn't even looking at the odometer, asking 'How far am I?' Just, 'I'll get there when I get there.' Looking at the mountains, looking at the trees, it was wonderful.

I think we really can develop that in our lives, to learn to stop asking, where am I going? and just be here and enjoy the journey.

Aaron keeps saying that to me, 'Enjoy the journey, it's why you're here.' Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers, that kind of thing.

D: … my physical body interacts with my emotional body and I can't control it. I try to let it be. It is frustrating. Monday and Tuesday, everything was working great. I want to hang on when hormones are right and everything is easy.

Barbara: Does that seem unusual to you?

D: No.

Barbara: We all do. I have a sense that you're judging yourself for that.

D: It seems like magic when everything works easily. No effort.

Barbara: One of the most important things I've learned from Aaron is when something doesn't go right, instead of forcing it, to stop-whether it's something physical, like I'm trying to disconnect this from that and it won't disconnect, or the whole day is going wrong, something emotional, whatever-just to stop and ask, what's wrong here? And, just the way you look at the way something is coupled to find out instead of breaking it apart, how does it work? How does it work if I'm feeling tense and blocking my energy?

I've become much more attentive to that and I find it really makes a difference. There was an example in one of this spring's transcripts. (Barbara describes here the experience of the tape above her altar coming loose, the match going out, Aaron's talk about 'threads of intention.' See March 30 transcript for details.)

Our energy fields do really interrelate with everything and if you stop and ask yourself, why is it going wrong? Am I forcing it instead of working with it? Then you start to notice the place of fear. It wasn't a big fear with me, it was just a 'let's get on with it, stick the tape on the wall, I don't want to be bothered with it,' instead of attending to those little details. Things start to flow and we start to work with that flow instead of pushing it. It doesn't mean that everything's always going to go right, but it doesn't seem to go as wrong for as long because you get more in touch with 'Where is it going wrong?' and 'How am I aggravating the situation through my grabbing or fear?'