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#3001 - Thursday, November 29, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Nonduality Highlights -     


Excerpt from The Secret of Letting Go, by Guy Finley Link:  

Let Go of the Fear of Being No One
By Guy Finley

Why is it that we will challenge and even work to change the world's opinions as they concern us, but we almost never question our own beliefs -- no matter how much stress and anxiety they may produce within us? For example, we wouldn't dream of diving for sunken treasure in our bathtub, because we know that the best we can hope to find there are a few plastic pearls. And yet we still dive headlong into this world every day to try and become “someone” special. Over and over again, we sink ourselves into some new scheme that promises greater self-confirmation. And even though the best we have ever realized for our struggle is a temporary kind of elevation that never fails to fall back to earth, we keep doing the same thing. Here's the point: it is our belief we must be someone special that punishes us, not the world that won't confirm our beliefs.

With patient self-study and the help of truthful ideas, we can learn to lead an entirely new kind of life. I know I have stressed this time and again, but it is so important for us to understand. What is timeless and true is not something impractical and hopelessly distant from us. It is as close and immediate as our wish to understand why it is that we keep hurting ourselves and others. With this right intention to guide us, let's look at this wish that we all have to become “someone.” And during our investigation let's work to keep in mind it is what we can see about this world that is our real safety, not what we can win from it.

Everybody wants to be a “someone.” Why? Just ask anyone, and they will tell you in so many words: to be somebody special is to be someone who possesses power. The level of self that seeks power sees it as a necessity; without it, one can’t comfortably isolate and protect oneself from a crushing world of others, from those who want at all costs what we want: to become “someone.”

In short, the idea of becoming someone contains the unquestioned and pervasive belief that whatever measure of safety, security, and happiness we may win in this life depends directly upon just how “special” we can become. This is, whether spoken or not, what almost everyone on earth believes. And it is this very belief, this treasure hunt in the tub, that holds the seed of sorrow for all of humankind.

Neatly hidden within this false belief, not unlike the too-tempting poison apple offered to Snow White by the wicked queen, is this belief's opposite; an opposite that prowls through the psychic system of each unsuspecting believer just outside their ability to see and hear its message, but well within their capacity to feel its presence. And what is it that stalks the self that seeks power -- that pushes him or her along through life? It is fear. And here is the unconscious mindset that first produces these opposites, and that then unknowingly serves them: the prevailing feeling is if we don’t become “someone,” then we will never know safety and security. Fear’s powerful, almost unshakable, silent implication is that if we don't become special in our own eyes or in the eyes of others, we will have no power; and being powerless, we will perish and vanish. This is what drives men and women to the point of collapse. The promise of being someone special -- one who is powerful -- is only half the equation. The unseen half is the threat of unceasing unhappiness that drives us to succeed, no matter what the personal or global cost. Let's put it this way: we have not been running to something -- that goal or that dream -- we have been running from something. We have been running from the fear of being no one.

There is no successful resolution to this kind of race because we are tied to whatever we avoid. That's right. So far, fear has set the course and the pace. This is why it’s so hard for us to relax, even when the time has come for us to quietly enjoy the fruits of our labor. The facts are, the more we try to become someone special, or even seem to succeed at the task, the more in jeopardy we feel. The good news is that this problem is nothing new, nor is its real solution. Inspired men and women throughout the ages have come to understand these self-defeating inner traps, and, in doing so, have won lasting freedom for themselves. You can do the same.

Excerpted from "The Secret of Letting Go" Rev. Edition, Llewellyn, 2007
Copyright 2007 Guy Finley. All Rights Reserved.
Permission granted to reprint with author credit only.
Reprinted in the Nonduality Highlights with permission. link:

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