Sunday, December 7, 2014

Talking positively

Colonial fireplace (early 1700's), High Falls, NY

Question:

Do you think there is some use for things like affirmations, positive self-talk, and focusing on positive things in the moment (especially if you can’t sense yourself at that moment) when you are in a highly negative state, if using it gets you into a positive one and you aren’t identified with it?

I ask this in light of the fact that some negative states, such as the emotion of depression, are highly damaging.

Response:

Here we come to the question, what can be of use in the moment, if one is very negative?

I suppose chanting positive things can have a certain palliative effect; and no harm done, if this is all that can be achieved. But there is a dilemma in the question.  On the one hand, there is the proposition here that one can’t sense one’s self—unlikely, since sensation is usually heightened in negative states, just in a rather horrid way—and on the other hand, you suggest that somehow one isn’t becoming identified with the way one is dealing with it—already, a considerable inner feat.

I don’t quite buy it.

Generally speaking, I think the kind of energy or action you propose here is weak. It’s largely mechanical; and in my own experience, although every effort to go against destructive negativity is good (and we must do the best we can, weak or not) there is a need to come into relationship with a higher energy if any real effort against negativity is to be possible.  Only then, with the help of that inner and sacred action, can a real effort arise.

We don’t know when that will come; but as we align ourselves with angelic energies, they support us more and more, even if we find ourselves bereft and doubt our ability.

Recently, after returning from China, I found myself completely drained; it was without a doubt some of the worst jet lag I have ever had, and it took nearly two weeks to feel better. I was depressed and disconnected from both the energy and my inner work; all I could do was note the intermittent reminders that come in the form of Grace, to show me that I wasn’t completely lost; and all the time the depressive factors that wanted me to believe I had come to the end of some kind of metaphysical rope were active.

I had to bootstrap myself, not by telling myself positive things, but mostly by ignoring the negative ones. This is a bad time of year for inner energy on this half of the planet, anyway; and one has to tough such things out. Indifference to the bad turns out, I think, to be more powerful than affirmation of the good; the key is not to buy into the downward spiral. If one holds where one is, help will come.

I think the point is that coming into relationship with a higher energy is what’s really needed when the negativity arises. Not just a verbal dialog.

Be there in relation to a ForceThen it doesn’t matter so much, what happens.
—Jeanne de Salzmann

Hosanna.

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