Remember, if you seek anything [for yourself] you will never find God, for you are not seeking God alone. You are looking for something with God, treating God like a candle with which to look for something, and when you have found what you were looking for, you throw the candle away. That is what you are doing. Whatever you look for with God is nothing. All creatures are pure nothing. I do not say they are a trifle or they are anything: they are pure nothing. What has no being, is not. All creatures have no being, for their being consists in the presence of God. If God turned away for an instant from all creatures, they would perish. I have sometimes said, and it is true, that he who possessed the whole world with God would have no more than if he had God alone. All creatures have nothing more without God than a midge would have without God—just the same, neither more nor less. – Meister Eckhart, Sermon Forty (Walshe)
Ego is the cause of all misery.
(4:31) The reason why you’re not going free quickly is you’re releasing to feel good; and that causes you to stop when the goal is accomplished. But if you were releasing to go free, you wouldn’t stop; you would bless every opportunity that came your way to gain an additional piece of freedom. Every down would be a wonderful opportunity to you. Every down is a marvelous opportunity to release and go up.
You’re not falling into the later steps of the six steps because you’re missing the number-one thing—wanting to go free—and replacing it with wanting to satisfy the ego, the ‘I’ personality sense. Chasing after the high state externally in the world, where for each ounce of pleasure you take you get pounds and pounds of pain, you get pounded with pain. This is so obvious if you just look at it. The things you thought were most pleasurable in life have given you the greatest agonies—basically, the opposite sex. As you move up you should be releasing your sex desires, and you will reach a place where there is no sex, there is no male and female. You’ll look at souls without a tag, male or female.
(6:40) But every desire is an extreme bondage. Every desire is saying, “I lack that.” The All lacks nothing. The All is everything. The oneness includes every last atom. And so you pull yourself away into a new personality and you are trying to keep that personality surviving. And that’s more important to you than taking this tremendous high state, which is yours by nature, which is inherent, which you cannot change. But you can look away from it and assume this little ego-body-mind.
You’re not looking to go free, and that’s why a whole gang of you are not all the way by now. You’re looking to satisfy this body-mind, thinking therein lies your welfare. A nd every day it’s proven to you that your welfare does not lie there. You never win! For each ounce of happiness you take via the body-mind you get hit with so much pain!
You pull yourself away into a new personality and you are trying to keep that personality surviving.
(8:10) Every thought has a certain amount of pain to it. Why? It pulls your attention away from your beingness. When your mind is quiet, you’re in the most wonderful place there is. But every time you put a thought into it, it’s a disturbance of the inherent natural total peace, equanimity, tranquillity that is natural. But again, the reason why you’re not establishing that tremendous state is you’re looking for it where it isn’t. You don’t want freedom: you want that terrible game of playing ego, and having moments of pleasure with long periods of pain. So I’m suggesting that you wake up to this fact. Release when you’re high. That ought to be put down in your notes with big capital letters: RELEASE WHEN HIGH. GO HIGH TO RELEASE.
(9:40) Everyone has exactly what he or she wants in the sum-total of our wanting. The mind’s only creative. When you want freedom, you’re going to get it quickly—and I say months—because it’ll be your number-one priority, and regardless of what’s going on in your life, you’ll keep releasing. All that suppressed energy is trying to push up and out, and you’re trying to hold it down. Stop holding it down, and every bit of it would leak out. It would push right out. Holding it down is holding on to the ego-programs.
You’ve got to recognize that first you want to be a limited ego. Then you’ve got to accept that that isn’t it, just by looking at your life: it’s been miserable for millions of years. We all think we’re so smart, and boy, are we dumb. For an infinite being to live in the extreme limitations that we do, how smart is that? But that intelligence that we feel and think we are is subconsciously knowing our beingness, and the stupidity is forgetting that, that it is our beingness that is omniscient and intelligent.
(11:38) So we must get to the place where we identify all the time with our beingness. And when you do that, you see the mind-body-world as an out-projection of your mind that you set up. “And so what?” will be your attitude. And good and bad are exactly alike in that projected movie. It’s a projection! That’s the thing you’ve got to get to know. What’s the difference whether it’s black or white, good or bad, hot or cold? It is a projection out there, an imagination, an imaging in my mind, a thing that I set up. “I am not that; I am my beingness.” When you identify with your beingness, the mind matters not, because you know it for what it is. When you identify with your beingness, the mind and all its garbage matters not, because you know the mind for what it is.
(13:00) The sense of ego contains all likes, dislikes, all thoughts. Y ou must get your attention off of it and put it on your beingness, which is there all the time. Is there any time when you are not? No. This infinite beingness that you are is there all the time. Identify with it. Hold, “My mind is not it; my body is not it; my mind and body are out-projections from it.” Identify with your beingness.
(14:06) Release when you’re high. The higher we are, the closer we are to our beingness. Highness and quietness are the same thing. When you go high you’ve got the energy up here. Here you have the least energy; in apathy (discouragement) you’ve thrown in the towel (stopped trying). Up here you’ve got the highest energy. So move up into this area and then dig for the fear of dying. Down here you’re drowning in it and you cannot let go. Up here you can confront the fear of dying. And when you get that out, most of it, you can clean out the remainder relatively easily. Aim to go up here to release from.
Christ says: “Whoever would follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24, Mark 8:34). That is, cast out all grief so that perpetual joy reigns in your heart — thus is the child born. And then if the child is born in me, the sight of my father and all my friends slain before my eyes would leave my heart untouched. For if my heart were moved thereby, the child would not have been born in me, though its birth might be near. – Meister Eckhart, Sermon Seven
(15:25) If I had said these things to you some time ago it would have been meaningless, because you’re so drowning in your AGFLAP* that you just can’t see straight. The only thing you see is the AGFLAP. But every one of us has moved up into this area, knows what it’s like, can put ourselves there and then dig down deep and confront the fear of dying, the insecurity, the fear of living. And by so doing you’ll get rid of all fear. Fear is not natural. What does an eternal being have to fear, especially about dying? So from here on, make it a point to get up here. Feel high, and then dig for the fear of dying and release it.
(16:50) Your point of focus shifts from body-mind just onto beingness only. You stop thinking about whether this chemical or that chemical is going to do this or that to me. You don’t think, “Am I going to get approval or control?” No matter what anyone says to us, it does not hurt us because we are infinite beingness. How can what someone says interfere with that? They cannot. And so you move toward the imperturbable state. And I know of no better yardstick of checking where you are at now than by the degree to which you can be bothered. Move to that place where no one and no thing can bother you anymore. And remember that the ego is the mind-body, and the mind has to be quieted. And then you identify only with your beingness, and that’s the ultimate state.
(18:26) And that’s what I wanted to say to you today. Get out of the pits, go up here, complete the job! It only takes months or less. If step one is in there—wanting freedom more than you want the ego nonsense—the other steps fall into line. And you get down to step six where it’s a delight all the time, because you just go higher and higher and higher and higher, until you can’t go higher anymore. There’s no place to go: you’re all over the universe. You’re infinite. And that’s simply, all the time, identifying with your beingness, “I-am-ness.” Then you’ll see the whole truth that there is. There’s nothing but I, my beingness. Everything else was an imagination, an illusion.
(19:47) So, I say, Go for it. Keep it in mind. Go high and release. Of course, if you’re down, release to go high so you can release more deeply. Don’t stay there; move on from there to higher. You’re right: most of us have been using it to escape the misery. I’m saying, Don’t stop. Go higher until there’s nowhere to go anymore; you’re all over the universe. Use the highness to release. You have been using releasing to feel good, that’s it, and you stop. You’re ridding yourself of millions of years of accumulation, but it can be done in months. How do I know? I did it back in ‘fifty-two, not knowing what you know. Had I known the method, instead of taking three months I really believe it would have taken one month. Because for the first month I just released on approval, love. And then I was spending the second month releasing on wanting control, change. And then the last month I saw the fear of dying and I worked on that. So I was really going one at a time: approval, control, security.
(21:41) The aversions to the world are difficult to see. Your attachments are obvious, and you’re chasing them all the time, but the aversions you push out of the way. So when you go for a goal, up come the anti’s—“Oh, I’m afraid”; “I can’t” and all that stuff. So, it’s a gimmick for [bringing] up the aversions to the world, getting them up into sight so you can let them go. If you don’t get a thing into consciousness, you cannot see it or handle it. So, achieving in the world is a way of bringing up the negative. The only reason why the world doesn’t serve you with affluence and abundance of everything is because you have thoughts to the contrary, and they’re suppressed. Moving to get things in the world, the contrary feelings come up, and you release them. Because if you cannot be successful, it’s because you’re holding on to programs that are holding you down, and you don’t see them.
(23:02) That which you don’t like, don’t want to see, don’t want to be, you want to avert it: that which you want to avert. And the opposite side is attachment: that which you want to hold on to. Those are two big words: attachments and aversions. They keep us bound. If you are the All, how can you have an attachment or an aversion? There’s nothing apart from you. And you end up with the feeling, “The universe is mine. From infinity to infinity, the universe is mine.” And it is!
*AGFLAP: Apathy, Grief, Fear, Lust, Anger, Pride
Six Steps to Freedom
(This particular list is from https://youtu.be/jSO1IwMcMAY, beginning at 18:05 minutes)
1. You must want your freedom more than you want the world.
— Take all your joy from yourself by releasing
2. Make the decision to go free and then do it.
— If you make the decision, you will go free.
3. Beneath the desire for approval and control is the fear of dying, so go directly to the fear of dying and release it.
4. Make releasing constant.
5. If you are stuck, let go of wishing you could get past being stuck.
6. From now on, get everything you want by releasing.
— You will still engage in activity, but there is no effort in it.
— Action doesn’t hinder self-realization; thinking you are the doer does.
— If you tried to do no action, you wouldn’t succeed because your karma is driving you into action. Whatever your karma is, you would do. So trying to do nothing doesn’t help; only releasing helps, and only releasing will take you all the way.
Walshe, Maurice O’C. (2009). The Complete Mystical Works of Meister Eckhart. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company. (download pdf)