Lester Levenson: Meditations for growth

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE BELOW APHORISMS BE ABSORBED ONE AT A TIME. TRY UNDERSTANDING ONE BEFORE GOING ON TO THE NEXT.

The best place to grow is right where you are. The best time is now.
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The whole object of the path is to let go of the ego. What remains is your Self.
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The only growth there is, is the eliminating of the ego.
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Ego is the sense of “I am an individual separate from the All.” In the extreme, it is egotism.
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Growth is transcending yourself, your habitual self, which is none other than ego.
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Growth is letting go of what you are not. Let go of your ego and be your Self!
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The ego is very tricky. It often talks us out of this path for a short period of time, sometimes for a longer period of time. So you have to be careful of the trickery of the ego-part of us. It can really take us away.
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No matter how far we have advanced on the path, the ego is always a treacherous companion that can take us off the path, and sometimes for an entire lifetime.
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The whole process of growth is letting go of thoughts. When our thoughts are totally eliminated, there is nothing left but the Self.
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Whenever there is an emotional reaction, there’s ego

It is necessary to remember that everyone can be our teacher. If we react to praise or approval, that is the ego. If we’re depressed by criticism or disapproval, that is ego. When we are our Self, there is no reaction.
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It’s what you have always been

‘It’ is you; when you say ‘I’, that is the Infinite. Great big joke! Here you are, infinite, looking for your Self, which you are!
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Everything you are seeking, you are, and very foolishly saying you are not. That’s part of the enigma: everything everyone is seeking with such intensity, one has, and much more.
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Your effort should be for proper identity. Identify with your Self!
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Spiritual advancement is determined by how much you identify with your real Self.
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We can only expand out of the ego. The Self is.
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Happiness is what tells us we are going in the right direction

There is no happiness except that of experiencing your Self. When you see that, it makes the path very direct. You stop chasing the rainbow and you go for the happiness where you know it is, right within you.
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The first teacher is misery. It is usually the first thing that causes us to seek the way out. First we start on the path to escape misery. Then we taste the Self and want It because It tastes so good.
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When you recognize the opposition of the ego you can let go of it. After practice it is easy, and after you let go of enough ego you just naturally feel the peace and joy of your Self.
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Take it for the sweetness that’s in it, not to get out of the bitterness that’s outside of it.
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It’s actually a path of taking on more and more of your natural state of being infinite. You give up limitation, you give up misery, but you never give up anything worthwhile. You never give up anything good.
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You lose nothing and gain everything

On the path you never give up anything–you just take on more and more of what you really want until you have the All.
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Only you can uncover what you are

Your only real friend is you. Your only real enemy is you. You are an enemy to yourself to the degree you limit your Self; you are a friend to yourself to the degree you free yourself.
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What you do to yourself, it being your own doing, only you can undo. You did it, you must undo it.
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Your growth depends only on you. The only one who is going to change you is you.
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This entire path is a do-it-yourself path.
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You must have a very strong desire to change, because you are such a victim of habit that you want the world as much as a drowning man wants air. To offset that, you must want to know your Self as much as a drowning man wants air.
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Your success is determined by your desire for it. If you allow yourself to become discouraged, you are not really interested.
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Keep working hard at it to the very end. The more you work at it the sooner you will get there.
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Longing for liberation is the key. Once you get that you’ll be carried all the way.
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As you grow, the whole world opens wide for you; you experience so much more. However, even if you have this whole world, you’ve only got a dot. Take the whole cosmos!
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Turn the negative into positive

Every negative experience is a blessing in disguise. If you stay in accord with principle, you will come out higher!
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Every place and every situation in life presents an opportunity for growth.
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If there is anything you don’t like out there, you need to change yourself.
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There isn’t anything that happens that can’t be used. There’s no event that cannot be used as a teacher.
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You should thank those who oppose you because they give you a greater opportunity for growth.
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Adversity is a prod to growth.
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Perseverance is key

Perseverance is necessary.
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When people are not growing they are going in the opposite direction.
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Keep working hard at it to the very end. The more you work at it the sooner you will get there.
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Do not allow doubts to arise

It is necessary to do away with doubts.
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You think you can’t, that is the reason why you can’t.
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It’s only the thought, ‘I can’t do it’, that prevents you from doing it.
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The moment we decide to be the Self–really decide–it is so!
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We should expect to go all the way: to us it is given to do that. We have the possibility of going all the way back home, right to the Absolute.
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Expect infinity, no more. You cannot expect too much.
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It will happen as fast as you can do it. To change more rapidly, expect it!
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Every gain is yours forever

Every gain is an eternal gain. Every step forward you make now is forever.
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We climb a ladder and each time we get up to another rung we forget about the rungs below. Then, when we get to the top, we kick the ladder a way.
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Focus on yourself, not others

You can’t help other people any more than you can help yourself. So, the best way to help others is to help yourself. It’s automatically so, that you’ll help others to the degree that you’ll help yourself.
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When we start concerning ourselves with what others are doing, we turn away from what we are doing.
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Be proud of your spiritual accomplishments, be happy with them, but keep them to yourself.
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Knowledge has to be experienced

It takes more than faith: it takes knowledge. You start with faith, but you must convert it to knowledge. You must test it out, and then you know it.
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In order to really understand, we must experience the knowledge. When you experience, it is no longer intellectual.
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Studying the illusion helps make it real. If you want to know the Truth, don’t study the opposite.
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Don’t try to complicate it; it’s the simplest thing in the world.

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It would be so fast if people would, with constant, intense effort ask: ‘What am I?’ When you get the answer to ‘What am I?’ then you have control over your body and mind.
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You may see fully who you are and not be able to maintain it. What happens is that, being the infinite Self, we can get a glimpse of the infinite, hold it for a while, and then suddenly feel as though we’ve lost it. The reason for that is that the mind has not been eliminated. The subconscious thoughts of limitation are submerged for the moment. You may go completely into your Self and let go of the mind temporarily. You haven’t eliminated the mind, you just momentarily let go of it. So there you are, for the moment, totally the infinite Self. However, the mind that has been submerged, reemerges and then the ego takes over and you just can’t understand what happened to you, what brought you back into the heaviness of the world again. What is required is that we re-establish that state of the Self again and again until it becomes permanent. Each time we do it we scorch more of the mind,until finally we have scorched the entire mind. Then we are permanently established in the Self. Then you sit back and the mind is out there and the body is out there and you are not the mind, you are not the body. As long as you know you are not the mind and the body, both of them can go on to their heart’s content, and you know that they cannot touch you.

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