Lester Levenson: Keys to growth

Five practices to achieve growth

1. You must want freedom more than you want the world.

2. Take all your joy from within by releasing.

3. Make the decision to go free, and then do it.

4. Release directly the fear of dying.

5. From now on, get everything you want by releasing. Be not the doer.

6. Make your behavior that of a master.




The best place to grow is right where you are. The best time is now.

The Self

Your effort should be for proper identity. Identify with your Self.

The ego

The whole object of the path is to let go of the ego. What remains is your Self.
Growth is transcending your false self, your ego, which is no more than an accumulation of habits.
Whenever there is an emotional reaction, there’s ego.
Whenever there is effort, there’s ego.
If you aren’t making progress it’s because you are holding on to ego. Return to releasing.
No matter how far we have advanced on the path, the ego is always a treacherous companion that can take us off the path.


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.
The first teacher is misery; it is usually the first thing that causes us to seek the way out. We start on the path in order to escape misery, but then we experience the Self and we keep going because we have found pure happiness.
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.


Everything that happens can teach us something. There is no event that we can’t learn from.
Adversity helps you grow more quickly, so welcome it.
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.
Every experience that causes pain is a blessing in disguise. Change your wrong thinking and you will come out stronger.


It is necessary to do away with doubts. If any doubts arise, release them just as you release other feelings.
The moment we decide to be the Self—really decide—it is so!
We should expect to go all the way. Every one of us is born with the ability to do it in this lifetime.
Whatever your expectations are, raise them higher. Expect no less than infinity.
You will move as quickly as you expect to. To move more rapidly, expect it!
Every impossible, no matter how impossible, becomes immediately possible when we are completely released on it. And you know you are completely released when you just don’t give a damn.


Every gain is yours forever.
Every gain is an eternal gain. Every step forward you make now is forever.
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 away.

Focus only on yourself

Focus only on yourself, never on others.
You can’t help other people any more than you can help yourself; therefore, the best way to help others is to help yourself.
The moment we begin to concern ourselves with what others are doing, we turn away from what we are doing.
Giving advice is the ego playing God.


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 experience it first-hand, and then you know it.
Studying the illusion helps make it real. If you want to know the truth, don’t study the opposite.
Don’t try to complicate it; it’s the simplest thing in the world.
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 mastery over your body and mind.

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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