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#2805 - Friday, May 4, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz   

The Nondual Highlights -  

One: Essential Writings on Nonduality:    

Gina Lake speaks plainly, directly, and soundly about ... whatever she talks about. In the case, or book, presented here, Gina writes about relationships. Short excerpts are included. You need to read entire chapters to see how Gina develops a point and, very simply, makes sense. Gina Lake is all about making sense in a way that sets aside the influence of conditioned ego and exposes essence of being. Gina makes practical nonduality look easy. Everyone "should" have in their library at least one book by Gina Lake. Find a title that interests you and order it.  

Read more excerpts, order books, find out about consultations and retreats with Gina and Nirmala:    


Short Excerpts from

Choosing Love

About who you are

The difficulty in knowing the other is misunderstanding who he or she is. We take others at their word: They tell us what they do and what they like and don’t like, and we think we know them. We think that is who they are.

So we need to get back to basics, back to the essential Self—essence—that which is behind the mask of who someone says he or she is and who we say we are. What is behind the mask is the same from one person to the next because there is only one Being here! That is the most basic truth of life: One Being is creating all of this—all of these different expressions of life. Let this sink in a moment. What would your life be like if you really took in this truth and knew it in your bones? What if you knew that the other was your very self and, moreover, that the other was the divine Self?

About a spiritual and meaningful relationship

Essence has a purpose for living this life in this costume. It is unfolding its plan through you and through this personality and body/mind. It has goals for this life, and fulfilling them will bring meaning to your life. A particular relationship either supports these goals or not. If a relationship is compatible on the personality level but not supportive of these goals, it will not be fulfilling and probably will not last, no matter how attractive or wonderful you think one another are.

Because we want love on our terms, many of us don’t find it, or what we get is a person and relationship that matches our conditioning as much as possible. This kind of relationship is not necessarily the one that will make us the happiest, oddly enough. The ego thinks it knows best about relationships and will settle for nothing less than what it wants, but what it wants is just not a good guide for happiness. This is a profound and not-so-obvious truth: What we want is not always what will make us the happiest. Following our desires is not the key to happiness. It is what we think will make us happy, but it isn’t what actually makes us happy. Happiness lies in being aligned with essence.

When you are happy just being, then you don’t need your partner to be anything for you. You don’t need anything. Then, it is possible to have a truly loving relationship, one based on celebrating the truth—the ultimately reality of who you are.

About essence

Essence doesn’t seek to change life, but it does guide it through intention, and that is very different from trying to change what is happening in the moment, which is what the ego is all about. Essence shapes the moment, but it doesn’t try to change it as it is. It rejoices in shaping it and in the result of that shaping, Essence creates life, which is an ongoing process, but it doesn’t argue or lament in what results, as the ego does. It continues to shape it and enjoys this process of creation as it does this.

About conditioning

We expect our true love to line up with our conditioning, but maybe our conditioning—what we like and dislike—is not a good guide for finding true love. We are so busy going after what we like and don’t like that we don’t consider that our likes and dislikes could actually be keeping us from finding a satisfying love.

We mistake our conditioning for who we are, so naturally we fight over it because it feels like we are fighting for our life. Another reason that it is difficult to ignore our conditioning is that we believe it: When we think something, because it is our thought, we believe it is right. We think our conditioning is the right conditioning and that others should be like us. Even if we aren’t under the illusion that they should be like us, we still wish they would be and try to win them over to our way of seeing or doing things.

About the ego

Differences are not inherently problematic in relationships, but the ego feels that it must do something about differences. It points them out, judges them, argues with them, attacks them, and tries to change them. Differences make the ego feel superior, inferior, defensive, frightened, or angry—not loving, kind, compassionate, or even curious. For the ego, differences stir up inner and outer conflict and plenty of feelings. This is the ego’s experience of relationships.

About love

We learn to love by being loved, which makes us feel safe and secure enough to open our heart to another.Anything less keeps the ego on guard and defensive. Love disarms the ego like nothing else. It breaks through the egoic state of consciousness and evokes love in us, which brings us into alignment with essence, where we can more easily express the qualities of essence: love, peace, joy, serenity, happiness, kindness, compassion, patience, and fortitude, to name a few. That is why love is the greatest gift you can give another. It is the gift that allows others to relax and return to essence and the true happiness and peace that is our birthright.

Love is the recognition of the divine Self in another. It is the ability to see beyond (or behind) the egoic mask to the real Self, which is exquisitely lovable and which evokes love in others. All of the qualities that you love in another are qualities of the divine Self, of essence: compassion, understanding, wisdom, kindness, love, patience, and inner strength. These are not qualities of the ego, which is innately self-centered and focused on its needs. Is it any wonder that when we are identified with the ego, we don’t feel very loveable? The ego is not very lovable, but essence is, and from essence, even the ego is lovable.

Love is not about needs but about seeing beyond your conditioned needs and desires to the essence of the other person and sharing at that level. Essence’s purpose in relationships is to experience Oneness with another—to experience love. It has no other purpose. It is not trying to get anything from the other. It is just happy to be with the other and celebrate that beingness together.

About relationships

As long as you believe that you are your self image and that others are their self image or your image of them, you will find it difficult to have relationships. From the level of ego, relationships boil down to a struggle to change others and get your needs met. For the ego, relationships, like everything else, are all about me and what’s in it for me. What happens when you have two people trying to have a relationship with this as the basis? No one is happy. No one gets what they want because getting what you want misses the point.

It is possible to have a real relationship with someone—a relationship between what is Real in someone and Real in another. This is the ideal in relationship—not finding an ideal partner who will meet your every need but being the ideal partner by being the expression of loving kindness that you always wanted and that you have always been. You do this by being aligned with essence, your true self.

About the personality

We are told to look beyond appearances, but even then, we often just see the personality. How people behave and react—their personality—is still part of the costume. The personality has no more depth or significance in terms of who they are than their physical appearance. We think we are being less superficial by loving people for their personality rather than their appearance, but the personality is just more programming. People have no more control over it than they do over their appearance.

About judgment

Judgment is the easiest thing to do because it is the most natural thing for the ego. It is also easy because judgment is based on differences, and differences are everywhere. Life doesn’t duplicate itself, so everything and everyone is an opportunity for the ego to judge.

Judgment undermines relationship little by little or more quickly, but the result is the same—the demise of the relationship. A little bit of ongoing judgment is just as bad as a lot of it because, over time, it is enough to kill a relationship. Judgment is more pernicious than we would like to think. It seems rather innocuous in minor doses or over small matters, but like poison, a little is enough to kill.

About changing your partner

It is not your partner’s responsibility to change just because you have conditioning that demands that. Your wanting your partner to change is not enough reason for him or her to change. If you want a loving relationship, you have to take responsibility for your conditioning and the feelings generated by it and choose to give up your judgments and attempts to change your partner. When you do this, you will discover what true love is because your partner will love you for being so loving, accepting, and allowing. There is nothing that opens someone’s heart more than someone with an open heart.

Nothing is ever lost in choosing love. Your judgments never worked anyway. They only created anger, hurt, and separation. When you see the truth of this, it becomes much easier to choose love over judgment.

About falling in love

The feeling of attraction is not love. Attraction is just tied to a feeling of love, and it is a conditioned response, not real love. The feeling of love (attraction) is just masquerading as real love. This is why you can fall in love with someone you don’t even know: Falling in love is a feeling of attraction that gets triggered by something about the partner. It is a conditioned response.

About sex

We believe that fulfillment is possible through sex. This is a deeply conditioned misunderstanding. Sex cannot fulfill you anymore than Twinkies can. Sex is a pleasurable experience. We give it far too much weight and importance. We think that good sex will fulfill us and make us happy and make our relationship wonderful. Sex doesn’t have that much power. It is a passing pleasure. Our conditioning around relationships makes sex seem to be the key to happiness in relationships, and it is not.

The only fulfillment sex is capable of is momentary fulfillment by being fully present to it in the moment. The same could be said for any pleasure or anything of a passing nature: It has the potential to be fulfilling in that moment if you are present to it, but it is not going to fulfill you because this you (the ego) can never be fulfilled because it is not its nature to be fulfilled but to be dissatisfied.

About fantasies

It is good to notice that fantasies, by definition, do not match reality. They are therefore very poor guides for choosing a mate. However, we are programmed to think otherwise. We really believe that our fantasies indicate the kind of person we will be happiest with. Life has a plan for your happiness, and it isn’t given to you by way of your fantasies. It is given to you by way of real life: Life brings you the man or woman it intends for you.

About experiencing Oneness with another

The way out of the egoic state of consciousness and into essence is not a hard road after all. All it takes is paying attention to the love, joy, peace, contentment, compassion, wisdom, and happiness that are already here in this moment. Can you feel them—any of them—even just a little? That is your doorway into essence. Even a sliver of love or peace or joy can take you there. This is also the answer to finding love in relationship: Notice the love that is there and not the other person’s persona, words, or actions.

You are here to find love, not just for yourself but for the divine Self, which has been hiding it from you in this world of form just so that you could have the pleasure and amazement of discovering it in the simple quiet of this moment and in your beloved’s eyes.

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