QA197 QUESTION: I feel like I have been unifying with my real self, but I’ve recently come upon the knowledge of my No to my Helper. It seems that becoming my real self means becoming my vulnerabilities, and becoming all my pains and feelings. I feel vulnerable as it is, and if I become more so, well, it seems very strange.
ANSWER: Yes. You see, in the first place, let me tell you there is a tremendous amount of difference between the vulnerability you defend against and the vulnerability you accept – as all these spiritual truths always seem full of contradiction. When you conceal your hate, you are much less loving than when you admit your hate. For when you conceal hate, you really project automatically onto others. When you admit hate, you are in truth and you are clean, even while hate is still in you. So you are already that much nearer to loving.
By the same token, if you admit you are dishonest, you are so much more truthful than when you claim you are honest while you’re not being honest. That is the way it goes – and the same about vulnerability: when you protect your vulnerability, you create a brittle surface that seems safe protection but it really is not, as you actually know quite well. Because all your life you have protected yourself against the vulnerability and have been more vulnerable than you could ever be if you admit your vulnerability.
This difference lies in the following way. When you protect yourself from vulnerability, what are you really saying, in effect, with your innermost self? You are really saying “I must not be hurt. I must not be angered. I must not be disappointed. I must not be frustrated.” And in saying this, you are truly creating an artificially vulnerable state that is not genuine, that is not real, that has nothing to do with the truth.
For in truth, if you create this concept that being hurt or being disappointed is devastating – and if you believe this – then it will appear to be that way. But it is not devastating. You already follow important basic spiritual precepts of courage, of honesty, of reality, of humility if you accept the fact of being hurt and know that this is not going to devastate you. Quite on the contrary, within this nucleus of pain lies your source of pleasure; within the nucleus of fear lies your potentiality for love; within the nucleus of weakness lies your true potentiality for strength.
If you know this, if you go into this weakness, into this pain, into this fear, you go into it in an entirely different spirit that can never break or diminish you, than when you suffer pain, weakness, frustration, and fear against your will because you have closed yourself up to it. So there is an enormous difference, my friend, between letting yourself be vulnerable in this way and being made vulnerable because you could not help maintaining the defense and the false protection that you had in the past.
QUESTION: What then is the specific key for going to the unartificial vulnerability more than the artificial?
ANSWER: In the first place, by listening very finely into yourself, to tune into yourself and find to what degree do you say, “No, I do not want to be hurt. I will hit out at the world if it hurts me, by making the hurt worse.” If you honestly own up to and express this irrational voice in you, this negative intentionality, as it were, then you are already in a strong position – the position of truth. It is up to you then to change this attitude.
The key would be to admit this. The key would be to say, “Here is one part in me that says I will force life not to ever do anything to me I do not want by exaggerating it until I really go into a spin so as to prove life treats me wrongly.” If you can connect with this and own up with this, you have your key.
It is what I discussed in the lecture recently [Lecture #195 Identification and Intentionality: Identification with the Spiritual Self to Overcome Negative Intentionality] about negative intentionality. That is the key that determines whether you can experience residual pain cleanly, or whether you experience it dishonestly by making it more or less. That is then the vulnerability that may really break you, but break you because you have somewhere on an inner level decided for it to break you.