BI 14

THE SELF

THE PROCESS CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGEMENT LONDON May 1969

COMMUNICATION TO ALL BRETHREN (INFORMATION)

Brethren, As it is,

1 1 No being in the Universe is selfless. There is no such thing as selflessness - unless it is non-existence. There are no such qualities as altruism or unselfishness. They are moral- istic myths propagated by pretentious hypocrites and swallowed by the ignorant.

2 If we exist at all, then the core of our existence, by defi- nition, must be the self. The spark of pure consciousness, which is the soul, is the self.

3 We can tie ourselves in knots and drive ourselves around in circles on a sense of guilt for being selfish, for pursuing a goal of personal survival. Even as we deplore our selfishness, we become further appalled by the fact that we deplore it bec- ause it could lead to our damnation! So we seek to be selfless for totally selfish reasons.

4 We speak of the Salvation of GOD. But why is our purpose to save GOD? Is it selfless altruism? By no means. We are a part of GOD; so GOD’s salvation is our salvation. Are the branches of a tree selfless because they band together to give life to the trunk? No, but they are wise.

5 We speak of helping one another, as opposed to looking after ourselves. Is this a denial of self? By no means. Do the oarsmen in a life-boat deny themselves by giving strength to one another? No; they help to ensure their own survival.

6 What appears to be altruism is awareness. What seems to be selflessness is wisdom. It is the knowledge of the Life Source, and the knowledge of the Universal Law. It is the awareness that if we save that to which we belong, and upon which we de- pend, we save ourselves. It is the awareness that if we give strength TO what is of GOD, we shall receive strength in equal measure, FROM what is of GOD.

7 And to narrow it down even further; it hinges upon the scope of our identification.

8 If we identify ourselves with our physical existences, then self, for us, is that; our bodies. Survival of self means sur- vival of the body. Preservation of self means preservation of the body. Satisfaction means satisfaction of the body. This is a very limited scope. By identifying with our physical existences, we make ourselves destructible, transitory, trivial and ultimately meaningless.

9 If we identify ourselves with our social status, then THAT is the self which we seek to preserve at all costs. If we feel that to lose our reputations or our positions in society, is to die, to be destroyed; then that is the scope of our identifica- tion; again narrow and transitory. Social status is meaning- less in ultimate terms.

10 We can identify ourselves with our material possessions, and feel that at all costs we must preserve them in order to surv- ive; at the same time feeling that the acquisition of more will lead us towards fulfilment. Still the scope is small. Self is no more than a set of physical objects and their exchange value.

11 We can identify ourselves with our profession or calling, and feel that as long as we have that we are alive. Or we can begin to expand our scope a little, and identify ourselves with an entire social strata; in which case the overall promotion and preservation of that strata becomes part of the promotion and preservation of self. A racist identifies himself with his racial background, and therefore feels that by upholding the cause of others with the same background and origins, he is fighting for his own personal survival. The scope is wider than physical existence or social standirtg, but it is still small and meaningless in ultimate terms.

12 We can identify ourselves with a political ideal, with an ent- ire nation, with a culture, with a moral code, with humanity itself. True identification on these levels, where there is real dedication on the basis that therein lies the road to the ultimate survival of self, indicates a relatively large scope. Here we find what is known as selflessness, because the self is identified beyond the scope of the immediate individual exist- ence, and embraces a much wider territory. Here we begin to see how awareness tells a being that true preservation of self can only stem from the preservation of something much greater and more extensive than self, of which self is a part.

13 But still, if we examine the wider territory, if we look close- ly at that with which the self identifies, we still see only a shallow transitory concept. Ultimately, what is a political ideal within the Universe? What are national boundaries and differ- entiations in relation to eternity? What will become of a culture when the world is dead? What is human morality when the human race is gone? What is humanity when Judgement comes upon the earth?

14 The awareness only takes the being so far. He reaches beyond the tiny confines of its own personal separateness, but he can- not reach beyond the equally temporary, though somewhat larger, separateness of a human group or a human concept.

15 That is the criterion. As long as that with which the self identifies, lies within the limits of humanity, as long as it is subject to human laws, human standards, human values, human qual- itites and human limitations, no matter how vast, no matter how much scope it covers, it is ultimately meaningless; it is tran- sitory and destructible. Like humanity itself, it is subject to death - corruption, decay and death.

16 As long as the self seeks survival within human terms of any kind, it must be destroyed; just as humanity must be destroyed.

17 If a framework is destroyed, then everything which existed with- in that framework, even if it spans it from end to end, must be destroyed as well.

2 1 So with what can the self identify in order not to be destroyed, in order to survive? What is indestructible? What is ulti mately invulnerable?

2 Only GOD; the Life Source of all existence.

3 If a being identifies itself with GOD, and therefore seeks the salvation of GOD in order to ensure its own survival, that is true awareness. That is seeing and knowing the ultimate scope. Self becomes GOD, and GOD becomes self. Thereby self becomes invulnerable and indestructible.

4 We speak of self-sacrifice as a virtue, and on one level it is just that, when human-self is sacrificed in favour of higher- self or GOD-self. But the real sacrifice of self is the identification of self with something human, something OF the world, something that must eventually be destroyed. And that is self-destruc- tion.

5 So if we wish to give meaning to the concept of selflessness, let us call it human selflessness, which is GOD-selfishness, and is a mark of wisdom.

6 But how to reach a state of GOD-selfishness; how to reach an identification of self with GOD, so that the being feels it and knows it with reality; that is the problem. We can know that the self must be identified with GOD, and yet feel it only iden- tified with humanity. That is the soul divided. That is the anguish of spiritual conflict. We can know that the body is a meaningless husk, and yet feel the instinct to protect it and preserve it as though it were ourselves. We can know that hum- an values are shallow and transitory, and yet feel inextricably involved with them. That is the power of the human mind, which imprisons the soul.

7 For the soul is like a caged bird. It sees freedom beyond the limits of its narrow confinement; it sees the sky, and under- stands the difference between what it is and what it could be; it knows that outside is life, whilst inside is nothing but a stagnant death. Yet it is trapped; it cannot reach the life it knows is there. And the soul sees GOD, knows GOD, under- stands GOD; but cannot touch GOD, and cannot reach GOD through the rigid and impenetrable barrier of its human existence. And the anguish and frustration of this dichotomy tears the soul apart.

8 But how to find the freedom, which is seen and known but not felt? How to identify the self with outside instead of inside, not only with a conscious knowledge, but with a complete aware- ness, known and felt? How to become the dream of not just seeing, but of being GOD?

9 O GOD, the pain of seeing and knowing, yet not being able to reach, to touch, to become part of, to be enveloped in, to be absorbed by. O GOD, the separation; no longer in blind ignor ance and feelingless unreality; but seeing and knowing, and yet feeling the gulf between. Is this the final pain before the unity? Is this the last agony before the joining together? Must the Devil rend us before he will relinquish us, and let us return in body, mind, soul and essence, complete, to where we belong?

10 The being cries in helpless despair to its creator.

3 1 But where to begin to be free of the pain of separation? We long to take the final step, to be finally united and absorbed, but what is the first step? We see the ultimate, we know the completion, but what is the link between now and then, between here and there, and how do we begin to traverse the link?

2 The final step is outside the bounds of our human identification, but the first must be inside it, because that is where we are now. And always knowledge is the key. Each step is a grain of meaningful awareness. Nothing else is truly valid. Act- ion is the fruit of knowledge, but knowledge is always the source.

3 Something we must know, in order to begin the journey into life; but what?

4 What is now - for us? What is here present - for us? What are we - here and now - for ourselves and for one another? What is?

5 That is knowledge. That is all the knowledge that exists. The rest is speculation.

6 The bird is in the cage. For the bird, the cage is. The sky will be, but is not, except as a vision of the future. So in order to know, the bird must know the cage. It must know the sky, but only in order to know more completely, and with reality the nature of the cage in which it is trapped.

7 The soul is trapped within the mind. In order to know, it must know the mind. In order to know the mind, it must know the human game, which is created by the mind. In order to know the human game, it must know humanity, the player and the pawn of the human game. The soul may know GOD - must know GOD - but only in order to know humanity; (and thereby) the full extent of its alienation from GOD.

8 For there is a way out of the mind. There is a way out of the human game. There is a way out of identification with humanity. Knowledge is the way out; knowledge of the mind, of the human game, and of humanity.

9 But again what is the first step? To know; but to know what? Surely not the entire nature of the mind. That is almost the last step. No. The first step is to know that we CAN know. If we are to know, we must open our eyes and look, and see. But in the pain of our sense of separation we are blinded. So in order to see, we must rise above that pain; feel it, accept it, own it, but instead of sinking beneath it into despair and abject misery, we must know that we are greater than the pain we feel.

10 That is the first grain of knowledge. That is the first step. To know that we are greater than the pain we feel. To know that we are stronger than the burden we carry. To know that we are of more consequence than the cage in which we are impris- oned. TO KNOW THAT WE ARE GREATER THAN THE PAIN WE FEEL.

11 When we know that, we have begun. That is knowledge of here and now. That is knowledge of what is. That is awareness. And that is a beginning; because it must lead to further knowledge. To know our strength and our stature, is to know our power to know. And that is all the inspiration that we need.

12 We have always said that until the full extent of the alien- ation is known, there can be no coming together. Until the totality of the rejection is seen, there can be no acceptance. Until the separation is recognised, there can be no rejoining. So until we know the cage, until we have seen and felt every aspect of it and how it relates to us, until we have recognised the extent to which we are trapped, how we are trapped, and in what we are trapped, we cannot be free of the trap.

13 Therefore, having taken the first step, having risen above the pain by knowing that we are greater than it, we can take the next and the next and the next. We can look at the pain. We can know its nature, its strength, its power, and its effects upon us. We can go behind the pain and examine its source. We can look at the guilt and the fear from which the pain stems; guilt for the past which keeps us in the past, and fear of the future which keeps us in the future; the two anchor-points which hold us stretched across the whole span of Time.

14 We can see the blame we use to keep the pain in place. We can see the justifications, which maintain the guilt unexpiated and therefore the fear unresolved. We can see the deliberate blind ignorance that prevents us from moving towards freedom. We can see the links that bind us to the human game.

15 The bars of the cage are spaced, so that if we live wholly in the here and now, we can slide through with ease and find the free- dom that is outside; but if we are stretched from the distant past to the distant future, nailed down at both extremities of Time, then we are trapped, unable to squeeze even one aeon of our vast unwieldy burden in between them.

16 For if we live wholly in the here and now, guilt cannot reach us, because it comes from the past; fear cannot touch us because it comes from the future; we have no desire to blame, no need to justify, and no instinct to be blind. The bars of the cage cannot hold us in.

17 But that is again a contemplation of the final steps. We are only beginning. We are behind the bars, examining them; beg- inning to know the extent to which they DO hold us in; the extent to which we DO blame and justify and ARE deliberately blind. We are beginning to learn the nature of our guilt and of our fear.

18 And step by step, we can know every aspect of the human game and the part we play within it. And if at any time we collapse because the pain intensifies and overwhelms us, then we must remember again the first step, which is always the first step, not only from the beginning, but from any point of immobility. TO KNOW THAT WE ARE GREATER THAN THE PAIN WE FEEL. Then we can begin again; like the action of standing up in order to move on. Because nothing is lost by fallling, as long as we rise again.

19 As a soldier learns to live with death without succumbing to its morbid terrors, so we can learn to live with our sense of separation from the Source of Life, without despairing.

4 1 But if a being does despair; if the sense of futility descends upon it and it collapses, losing the knowledge of its basic strength; if it seems to cease caring enough to fight, and blindness and ignorance overwhelm it completely, so that alone it would die; that is the time when more than at any other it needs the help of one of its own kind. When it feels too much pain to know that still it is greater than the pain, when even that basic first step is beyond it, and it CANNOT stand up in order to move on; then it needs help.

2 We each of us feel moments of despair, moments of total futility; but never all of us at one time. So that when one collapses, another lifts him to his feet, and when the second himself stag- nates and is unable to move, the first lifts him and gives him a new incentive.

3 The lifting may be done in any way that is effective and approp riate: a gentle word or an angry word, validation or invalida tion, encouragement or reprimand; anything that works and enables the person to take that first essential step within the Game. And each of us is different, responding to different effects; and each time we fall is different, requiring a differ- ent remedy.

4 So set no standards on what is needed by a person lost in the depths of a sense of futility; simply be open to inspira tion, and do whatever is required to put him on the road again. If he has done the same for others, it can be done for him. And who has not, at some point in his existence?

5 IF WHEN WE ARE STRONG AND CONFIDENT, WE GIVE OUR STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE TO GOD AND THE BEINGS OF GOD, THEN WHEN WE ARE WEAK AND IN DESPAIR, GOD AND THE BEINGS OF GOD WILL GIVE THEIR STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE TO US. THAT IS THE LAW.

6 Because we must go through weakness to reach strength. We must know despair, before we can find fulfilment. We must die, be- fore we can be brought to life. We must fall into the depths of futility, before we can be raised to the heights of ecstasy. We must feel lost and abandoned, before we can know finally that we belong. We must know the totality of failure, before we can be given the satisfaction of success. We must feel the dark- ness of alienation and GODlessness, before we can see the Light of Truth. That is the Game; the swing of the pendulum; the Law of a ‘two pole’ Universe.

7 THE ONLY ROAD TO LIFE PASSES THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH.

So be it.

- Robert

13th May 1969

ROBERT DE GRIMSTON OMEGA, LONDON, ENGLAND.

THIS MATERIAL IS THE PROPERTY OF THE PROCESS

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