Lester Levenson: Get Off the Rollercoaster

Recorded on 31 October 1984 during a 9-day seminar

Part 1

Good morning.  I’ll take you on the major rollercoaster ride that we are on and have taken.  Your daily lives are rollercoasting all the time.  But we should know intellectually the whole complete picture, which, when we do, I think it better helps us place ourselves, better helps us move in a direction of getting off the rollercoaster.

If you can imagine it, life should be a straight line.  Not even that—a point.  Just never move, never act, never do, and that is the ultimate state.  Yet, if you have concocted a body or bodies, they go on without you doing a thing.  Your body moves, the world moves, and you don’t do a thing–you just sit back and watch it all.

So, this concept of being still, being a point, or better than that, being every point without moving, does not take away from you your dear, dear world that you hold on to for life, which is your nemesis.

So, this rollercoaster that we have decided to take a ride on, we start off in being only beingness, if you can imagine what that’s like, and you cannot.  The mind cannot see beyond the mind.  Mind is a come-down from beingness, so when you try to imagine it, it’s impossible.  But how many of you have experienced just being your beingness?  There isn’t a moment when you’re not.  There isn’t a moment when you’re not experiencing your beingness.  And this is what you’re looking for. In your every act in life, you’re looking for your beingness.  And what it is, you call  your Self, with a capital S.  When I am just my Self only, I am my beingness.  And you can’t help but be your Self; you cannot help but be your beingness.

So, what do we do?  We take a sleigh ride, a rollercoaster ride.  Out of this nice, even, perfect, wonderful spot, we start moving out, and we take a real downward ride; we go to a bottom, and then ride back again.

In this all-perfect state of beingness, in order to get into difficulty, we create what we call our mind.  So, right at the beginning here, we set up a mind.  It’s only an instrument to separate, only an instrument to create differences—parts, primarily—after which, the more parts we create, the more it hurts.  So, after we create this mind, we do everything to get back to the beingness with the mind.  But the mind cannot do it because it’s lower than beingness.  But what the mind can do is direct you toward letting go of the mind, so that you can just only be.

Part 2

But once we start out, that’s not enough; we set up a body.  The first body is a causal body.  It’s a delightful body, because there, every concept, every idea we have, is instantaneously fulfilled.  Every concept is instantaneously fulfilled.  And there’s not too much motivation to get out of that causal body, and yet it’s relatively easy to do it, to go back up.

But what we do is, we make a denser body, called astral.  And here’s where we really hang ourselves—I’m putting the neck right around that line when we get down to the physical.  In the realm of time—this was started eons ago—in the realm of time, we’ve been hundreds of millions of years into the physical.  This is how stubborn we are.  And theoretically, any time anyone should choose, that one goes right back up to the top.  But as you’ve noticed, you get so caught up in your toys, in your externals, you just don’t want to let go.

So, we develop all these externals—more and more and more.  And the more we develop, the heavier we feel, the slower we get, the slower we move, until you hit bottom—the state we are in, the physical.  It’s the slowest, densest state possible unto beings everywhere in the universe.  We cannot go slower, lower, denser than we are right now.

So, that’s a great place to be: we’re half-way through.  And we’re actually—those of us using the method—are beginning to move up and out of the physical.  We’ve chosen a time to come in when the incentives to get out of the physical are going to be the greatest, and that’s great, because it’s when all the props are knocked out, all the external props are knocked out, that we say, Enough! and we go back home.  Home is up here.

We’ve chosen a time to come in when the incentives to get out of the physical are going to be the greatest. And that’s great, because it’s when all the props are knocked out, all the external props are knocked out, that we say, Enough! and we go back home.

So, you’ve chosen a wonderful time.  You couldn’t have chosen a better time to come into the physical realm.  Because unconsciously we set it up—originally consciously—so that we will not be forever caught up in this heaviness, in this misery, in this limitation.  And when we set it up, we could see ahead of time that you get so blinded, you don’t know where you’re going, and so we set up the automatic protective stops.  That’s the physical, set up so that the physical can’t work anymore.  Then we have to go back up.  There’s only one way to go—up—when all the [supports are gone].

And I don’t know whether to mention it or not, but I will.  The leader of what’s considered one of the most spiritual countries in the world died this morning.  Indira Ghandi.  She was assassinated.  By who?  Two of her guards.  They were Sikhs. . . . But the irony of it—who did it?  Her closest personal guard.  What I’m saying to you is, there are no safeties in this world.  And what are you doing every day?  You’re trying to make it safe.  Even if you get to be the head of one of most spiritual, one of the largest countries, you still can’t be safe—until you identify with your beingness.  And when you do, you’ll have the absolute safety there is.  You’re untouchable, immortal, whole, perfect.

So, try not to hold on to this physical carcass with the intensity that you do.  Start looking towards moving up.  You’ll move back into the astral.  When you get up there, it’s different from here.  Here, you’re looking in a downward direction all the time.  Here (the astral), you keep your direction up.  And when you do it enough, you get to be a christ, a buddha, back in the causal—that’s where they are.  And where they are is such a thin line from just beingness only, that should they choose to go over the line, they can do it.  But they get caught up in wanting to help the world, such that the ones who start helping seem to hang around for thousands and thousands of years.  But they do it in a very comfortable body, the causal body.  So, be cause.

Question: And what about you, Lester? Are you in the causal?

No.  If I were in the causal, I wouldn’t be talking to you.  When I say you, I mean the world.  I sat in it for years, and then came out to do my duty to God and my country, obey all the laws and do good. (laughter)

Question: In other words, you were drafted. (laughter)

So, I volunteered for it: you had me volunteer. (laughter)

But once you sit in that quiet state, it can never leave you.  And it’s very difficult to stay with the noise.

Part 3

I still have to use the radio, news, read the newspapers, to know what’s going on in the world and so-forth, because if I don’t, I just automatically float up. And if you would ask me questions, I’d look at you and just smile. Because there are really no answers to the questions you’re asking. You’re asking me, Well, why shouldn’t we be limited the way we are? Why shouldn’t we have all these troubles? Why shouldn’t we have this heavy body? Why shouldn’t we suffer? That’s the way every question that you put to me sounds. And in the early days, that was the way I used to answer questions. I wasn’t even aware of it until an awfully sweet girl who worked with her husband at the Valley Verde School said to me, “Oh, Lester, you’re so rude!” And I said, “Am I?” She said, “You certainly are!” I didn’t know why, so I had to ask her: “Why?” She said, “I just asked you a question a few minutes ago, and you looked at me and smiled. You didn’t even answer me. Then I asked you a second question, and you did the same thing. Then I asked you a third question, and you did the same thing. That is rude!” And I said, “Gee, she’s right, but I still don’t think it’s rude. I said, “Could we ask them over again?” She didn’t want to.

But I did try to answer her questions more-so. This happened in Phoenix in a restaurant. And then I came back to Sedona; I asked closer ones, “When you ask me questions sometimes, do I just look at you and smile?” And they said, “Yeah.” I said, “Why didn’t you say something about it?” This was Reverend Lindsey. She says, “Oh, I understand.” And another fellow told me the same thing. And it was only then that I realized I was not answering the great majority of questions; but I was answering, see, where I come from, with a smile. That smile is: “Thou art that perfect being.” Of course, when you project that to the other person, it tends to lift them. But of course, I couldn’t lift them high enough to agree with me. So, they wanted an answer down in the pit. So, I had to learn how to talk pit language. (laughter)

Question: Is that when you moved to New York?

Lester Oh, no. No, it was back in the early ‘60s when I began. I think it was early ’68 I began watching TV—hour in, hour out; one program after another, until I could get my first feeling. And when I got the first feeling—I got a little tear in the corner of my eye—I just jumped up and I applauded. But it took me until 1968 before I could do that, from ’52 to ’68. Now, back in ’52, I knew I would be doing what I’m doing—I had the whole picture. When you’re there, there’s no time. You can see back a million years, forward a million years, or tomorrow. But I saw the picture and I knew I needed to come back. It took me 18 years to get into the realm of thinkingness, whereas it took me three months to get out of it.

(drawing on paper) See, this is beingness, this is thinkingness, this is more of a doingness: you’re quite active there. And incidentally, when you dream, and you see your body, that is your astral body. And that astral body is the matrix for the physical body, so it looks just like it. It’s the mother of this body; it forms this body. And down here we think we have to have in order to be. We start gathering the infinite universe back together by trying to own one plot; then more and more and more. And then, when we think we have the world, like some of our leaders do, they want to take in the moon. And this week, NASA was talking about Mars. They think the Russians will probably get there before us. You have to get Mars, and then you want the whole solar system after that, and you want the rest of it, when you’re in the realm of havingness.

So, when you’re in havingness and you start to do, it moves you up towards the astral. Now, there’s a difference between here and here. When we’re up in that top state, we’re up there in sort of a passive way. And when we run the gamut of all this, we come back to it in a positive way. And I think the best way I can explain that is like sickness. If you’re born healthy and you’re healthy your whole life, do you appreciate the health? You like it, it’s nice, but you’re not aware of the value of the health. However, when you’re sick for a decade or two or three, and then you become healthy, you will always appreciate the state of health. That’s a positive knowing of what is health, whereas if you’re born healthy and remain healthy all the time, it’s a passive knowing of what the state of health is. So, when we run the gamut, we go out no more, because, why live in a hell? And that’s the state we’re in here: the most limited, the most hellish state beings can ever get themselves into.

Because we’re down here, we have a tremendous advantage. When you’re in hell, the advantage is the incentive to get out of it. And we’re plagued with it, peppered like with bullets all the time, to get out of this state. And because of that, from here, we can go straight all the way back home when we so decide. And I’ll tell you this: once you get up into these nicer realms, it’ll take eons to go all the way. Things are nice; everything falls into line. You’re conscious of the fact that you’re going up without incentive to do it. And so, the old programs hang on and keep us in this nice state for eons. And yet, we’re never fully comfortable in any of these states until we get back there. We are always prodded by the memory of what it was at the beginning. So, to avoid the endless—

You see, when you’re in these states, you’re highly sensitive. The majority of the time, everything is wonderful; but when things are not, you feel them far more intensely than you can feel now. Your feeling is totally concentrated on whatever that feeling is when you’re up there, and by comparison to the harmony you’re living in, it’s extreme. It doesn’t last, but when you hit it, and you will hit it, it’s extreme. And so you’re occasionally going into a terrible feeling.

Part 4

How many people have read Autobiography of a Yogi? I can use that book to allude to these things. Here you take Yogananda: he was free before he was born. And at one time he’s going to visit one of the saints, and he meets him, and all of a sudden he drops down on the ground and he’s crying and screaming, “Oh, please, give me an experience of God.” From the high state, when you go into that non-godly state, it’s excruciatingly painful. He threw himself on the ground, he was screaming, he was writhing with the agony of not being one with God. Those are the things we go through in these higher states.

So, what I’m trying to say is, these states are awfully tempting. And as you move up, some of these characters will invite you into it. My recommendation is, bypass it all. Take this. Get off the rollercoaster. Go right back home. Being in the state we’re in, any one of us can do it. Remember, that’s the tremendous advantage of being here in the physical. We can go straight back home. You can do it in a few months, a few years, this lifetime, or many, many lifetimes. It’s up to you; you make the choice.

Now, the majority of people on this Earth, who do not have the Sedona Method, are going to take millions of years, through the trial-and-error, through the hard way of smashing up everything to show us that it doesn’t lie in things. I think you can see that as our trouble today. We have materiality; we were never so unhappy.

Back in the days when I was a boy, a youth, hardly anyone had enough food, if you can imagine that. We were dolled out the things like fruit, desserts—they were expensive. Things like cars, TVs, radios, airplanes, boats, a very small percentage, probably less than one percent, of us had those things back in those days. But today, everyone has more than what the wealthiest man had back then. And we think material things will bring happiness. And we still do; we still go after them. Discover where the happiness is. It’s not in the thing: it’s in letting go of the agony of not having it. Desire is an agony of lack. It’s letting go of the desire for having it that momentarily quiets our mind. And at that moment, we’re just being.

Discover wherein lies your happiness. You’ll stop wasting your time; you’ll stop pounding your head on brick walls. And you’ll go direct for where it is, right where you are. It’s just you, identifying with your beingness. Can you see why I say it’s simple? It’s the simplest thing in the universe to be. You are. That’s how simple it is. And when I say it’s easy, what does it take for you to be you? Nothing. What does it take for you to be you? Nothing. What effort does it take to be? None. But look at what you’re choosing—a tremendous effort to be otherwise, to be limited, to be sick, to be chasing after specks in the world when the whole universe is yours.

So, it is simple; it’s you, your beingness. And it’s easy, because you’re there now. Effort? It has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Effort is all the commotion you go through to be what you are not—an extremely limited physical body. Spending almost all your time trying to keep it surviving. Even though it’s so obvious that the body does not survive, everyone is spending ninety-nine percent of his time trying to keep the body surviving. It’s a no-win proposition. And still, we go after it. You see how brilliant our minds are?

Lose the mind; stop the thought, by ridding yourself of the motivator of thoughts, called feelings. No feelings, and you’re there. You see how simple it is? And when you so decide to let go of your feelings, it’s easy. It’s an accretion that takes tremendous effort to hold on to it. Become effortless right now, and you’re free. Let go of all your effort, every ounce, of it trying to be limited, of trying to be what you are not. It’s simple, you are it, and it’s easy—it takes no effort. Every ounce of effort you use is trying to be a limited body. Trying to keep it surviving, because you’re not smart enough to know that it doesn’t. If you were, you’d just give it its just due, and you’d turn, focus all your attention on going free. You would turn all your attention inward, take all your joy from you. Which is the only place where it is in the first place.

So, it’s simple and it’s easy. Everyone fights me on that. I think that is my biggest danger point. I think more people want to kill me because I say it’s simple and it’s easy than anything else. All right, what is it that wants to kill me? (“The ego?”) The ego, the effort, the mind—they’re all one and the same thing. Ego equals mind, mind equals ego. You’re so wanting to be a limited ego, that when I suggest otherwise, you want to kill me. Isn’t that silly?

Part 5

I don’t know why everyone chooses to hang on to the misery. And as long as you’re trying to get your joy from this world, for each ounce of pleasure you take, you get pounds and pounds of pain. For each ounce of pleasure you take, you get pounds of pain. Putting it another way, for each ounce of pleasure you take, you get pounded with pain. And you’re all experiencing this, more or less. Why not make the decision here and now to go free, and let it be in a matter of weeks, months? And then, to bait you, I say, “You want to have? You can have anything without effort if you’re free. You want to do? You can do anything without effort if you’re free.”

So, there is no giving up. There is only a taking on more and more and more until you’re infinite. So many of you think you’re going to give up. You give up (regurgitate) like you do with food. You give up your misery: that’s all you give up. But you have not convinced yourself yet of what I’m saying now, because once you do, it’s just a matter of months. And you’ll dump all the feelings and just be your beingness.

Okay, I’ve taken you on the rollercoaster ride, the main one. Of course, what we do on these rides is we impose another rollercoaster. Down here it’s really sharp.

Q: So, on our way up, we’re going to see that we have a choice to go into the astral and the causal?

Lester: Can’t you see it now?

Q: No.

Lester: You don’t think you have a choice.

Q: I don’t know anything about the astral or the causal.

Lester: It’s all in the mind. You’re experiencing both of them right now. When you have an idea, and you see it through to completion the moment you have it, that’s done by the causal part of you. When things happen immediately, that’s done in the astral part of you. Like in a night-dream: whatever you think, is, immediately. And when it takes time and years, you’re in the physical.


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