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- Bill Gaum
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Now that we know that the psychic-astral realm is capable of fooling us with all kinds of pseudo-spiritual phenomenon the question arises, “Can we actually have genuine divine experiences?” And if so, “How can we tell the real ones from the phony ones?” While Pearl cautioned her students to be very careful about being deceived by the “light side” of the dark side, she assured us that it is indeed possible to have authentic divine visions, voices, guidance, healings, and so on. But, as has been mentioned, she made it clear that genuine visions and inner voices are much more rare than one would think from hearing all the claims being made in the “new age” community.
So, it may be reassuring to know that these particular types of divine assistance are not at all necessary for our spiritual progress. Neither are they a prerequisite for living a happy, successful, spiritual life! We can just as well earn the Ascension without them. What is then essential? – striving to become ever kinder, more pure in heart, humble, and serene in the face of any and all difficulties; as well as gradually learning to follow our hearts in a natural happy way.
However, we still need to acquire some wise discernment. It is helpful in order to learn to feel our way through various circumstances in life and to decide if a particular feeling is really a genuine divine prompting. And it is especially needed if we seem to be receiving some of the more dramatic forms of inner guidance or sacred experiences in our lives. Likewise, this same understanding can be useful if someone else in our life seems to be experiencing them. In this learning process it is good to remember that even though Pearl had many different kinds of holy experiences in her life, regardless of how seemingly unusual they may have been, they were always accompanied by a soft, gentle, heartfelt knowing, that confirmed their divine nature. And she assured us that we too can learn to acquire this perfectly safe, natural, normal heartfelt ability.
The first essential is humility. Over and over again Pearl stressed, “Humbleness is your protection.” In fact, during her last two years on the earth there was no single teaching that she stressed more than the necessity of acquiring humility. It is one of the most critical spiritual qualities needed for achieving mastery over our fear based lower selves. Once we understand the vital need of humbleness and begin working on it, then we will be ready to learn the basic principles of true spiritual discernment. To put it simply – the humbler we become, the wiser we become.
What is the secret to humbleness? Basically, it is simply realizing that our human personalities do not get any of the credit for anything good that we do. It is our Higher Self, our true self, our Atma or I AM Presence which is the real “doer” and which rightfully gets the credit. Thus, if we truly identified ourselves with our true self, our I AM Presence then “we” could take the credit, but in this case the word “we” would refer to the Infinite GOD Presence that is the true “doer” within everyone, not to our separate, temporary human personalities.
A clarification may be helpful here. In the beginning, before we choose to incarnate at the physical vibratory level, we were “one in consciousness” with the Infinite I AM, the Paramatma. But, in order to become Ascended Masters and Lady Masters we choose to embody on a physical planet and learn the kinds of lessons required to become Arisen Beings. For some unwise reason, most of those who are still in embodiment on planet earth, at some point, little by little, began choosing to do this the hard way rather than the easy way. Thus, by focusing on creation, rather than the creator, most of humanity gradually began to move into “separation consciousness” and think that they were separate from our Divine Parent – the Infinite I AM. In other words, the more they focused on material things the more their consciousness became materialistic, rather than divine. Consequently, they lost conscious awareness of their own Divine Self – our I AM Presence – our own Atma.
Since they were no longer “one in consciousness” with our Divine Parent, they no longer knew how to use divine methods to solve the various challenges life presented. So now fear and doubt arose. And fear and doubt are the mother and father of all our other human problems: selfishness, greed, resentment, anger, and so on. So, instead of being in humble, blissful Oneness with our I AM Presence and our Mother-Father GOD, we gradually became, through long ages, immersed in materiality and “separation consciousness” and began thinking that “we” were the doers of everything we accomplished. Unfortunately, this had a horrible “side-effect.” Each one of us were now, through this illusion of “separation consciousness,” unknowingly using our creative powers of thought, visualization, and feeling, to create around ourselves a temporary, powerful, individualized energy field qualified with separation consciousness. This energy field or “emotional/thought-form” was unique to each person and surrounded and interpenetrated their physical body. Gradually it became more and more powerful, and unknowingly, because we were pouring all these misqualified thoughts and feelings into it, we endowed it with the power to “think” and “feel” on its own. And as time passed, it developed its own unique personality. And year by year, lifetime after lifetime, as we identified more and more with “its” thoughts, emotions, desires, cravings, and other associated fears, and doubts, we began to think that “it” was us – that “we” were “it.” This was the beginning of our so-called “human personalities.”
Meanwhile, our true nature was still divine (and always would be), and we still had a limited divine awareness, but we were submerging it more and more, by identifying with this new “human personality” that we were foolishly and unintentionally creating, empowering, and identifying with. Eventually, through long eons of time, we often even doubted the existence of our Divine Mother-Father. We thought we were “on our own.” And even if we still believed in our Divine Creator, since we had temporarily lost our awareness of its reality, we still felt that we were more or less “on our own.”
So, assuming that “we” were our limited, human personalities, “we” now took full credit for anything constructive that “we” did. We did not understand that whenever we did anything good, it was our true self – our I AM Presence, which was acting, rather than our limited human personality. On the other hand, our human personality was not only continually getting us into trouble, but it had the audacity to blame GOD, nature, and the “unfairness of life,” for all our problems that it was in fact creating. We have been doing this for a long time - too long. And it is time to wake up to what we have been doing to ourselves and break free from the illusion that we are separate from GOD. It is time to realize that we are divine and that the good side of us is an outpouring of our true selves, our I AM Presence, and the more we identify with it, the more we will break free of the fears and doubts of our impermanent human personalities. Thus, the sooner we will awaken into our blissful, wise, and loving, true divine natures.
Fortunately, now that we have the teachings of our Arisen Sisters and Brothers and Sathya Sai Baba, we can do this in a very, very rapid way. It might seem slow, because it generally takes years to do it, possibly a lifetime or two, but it is extremely rapid compared to the long ages and hundreds of embodiments it has taken us to get into this mess. The first step is beginning to identify with our true selves – our I AM Presence, rather than our “egos” or “personalities.” The next step, which follows logically from the first, is steadily becoming more humble. After all, if it is our Divine Selves who are the real “doers” of all the good that we do, and our I AM Presence is “One” with the Infinite I AM, which in turn is “One” with everyone else’s I AM Presence, then GOD gets the credit for everything. The really blissful thing about this realization is that since we are one with GOD, then we – as one with GOD – get the credit too, because in this sweet “Oneness” consciousness we are “One” with the Infinite I AM. Thus, it is win-win in the highest sense. But, it only works when we are humble, and humbly recognize that it is our I AM Presence that is the doer, not our temporary human personalities.
In summary, humbleness is simply realizing that our fear based "human" personality does not get any of the credit for anything good that we do. It is our true self, our Divine Self – our I AM Presence, which gets the credit. And the more we learn to intune to our Divine Selves, the humbler we become, because we realize that we are all “One,” no one is “special,” and it is the same Divine Presence within us all that is the real “Doer.” And the bliss which comes from this new ‘Oneness Consciousness,” and from identifying with our true divine selves is unfathomable because we are now awakening into who we really are and our true divine destiny. With this in mind we can now move on to acquiring better spiritual discernment.
Pearl discovered that not only do genuine inner experiences always “feel right” in the heart, but this heartfelt feeling, balanced with common sense, is the only reliable guide in ascertaining the authenticity of one’s seeming “spiritual experiences.” Fortunately, this process of quietly “tuning-in” to our hearts is a perfectly natural activity that will gradually grow within us as we patiently apply the teachings of the Ascended Host. As has been mentioned, as we begin to reduce the “static level,” of worries, hurries, feelings of self-importance, self-condemnation, self-pity, hurt, resentment, irritation, feistiness, anger, selfish desires, and all the other self-destructive emotional attachments that arise from fear and doubt, we will then be able to “tune-in” to GOD’s radio station more easily.
And as we all know, all these interfering fears and doubts arise from the illusion of “separation consciousness.” And as has just been shared, this depressing, false consciousness results from dwelling on worldly things, rather than having our grateful, loving attention on our Divine Source. But here is the good news: of all the spiritual practices that melt away separation consciousness, none is more powerful, effective, or easier than simply pouring our love to our I AM Presence with a grateful, open heart, while simultaneously visualizing and allowing GOD’s Love to pour down through us and out into the world.
So the first order of business, in acquiring the soft, gentle sensitivity and awareness that comes with inner peace, is beginning to practice the uplifting habit of loving grateful devotion. And we can do this as we simultaneously start applying, in every facet of our lives, the transcendent teachings that Sai Baba and our Ascended Friends have given us. Of course, it is essential to do this in a humble, step by step manner, without any fanaticism.
Then, as we gradually begin learning to recognize what inner peace actually feels like – even though it may seem rather fleeting at first – we can begin the next step. And this is to start using the spiritual “common sense” we already have. Marvelously enough, the more we use it, the better it gets. Now the actual process of spiritual discrimination will be briefly described.
Generally this process works in the following natural way. Let us say that we have just had what appears to be a sacred experience of some kind. Maybe it was a gentle, prompting from what seems to be the “heart area,” or maybe it was an inner voice, vision, or something else. How do we know whether we should trust it?
The first thing we need to do is to make the call to our Higher Self, our I AM Presence, to show us the truth of the situation. For example, we can say something similar to, “I AM the Presence of GOD showing me whether this inner feeling (or inner voice, vision, guidance, miracle, or whatever) is truly divine, or whether it is an astral deception. Please show me the truth of this. I AM the Presence of the Goddess of Wisdom amplifying this call and assisting me in this process.” We can call to whichever Masters and use whatever words feel right for us. And it is worthwhile to remember that while sincerity is much more important than getting the words just right, it is also helpful to be clear in what we are asking for. Also, after we have made the call to be shown the truth of the situation, it is absolutely imperative that we do not try to “hear an inner voice,” or “see something with our inner sight,” in order to “verify” the genuineness of the initial “miraculous” experience. If we did try, then it would be just another way of “seeking manifestation,” and so it would be quite easy for us to open up to the psychic plane. Consequently, if the “miracle” or “inner direction” in question had actually been an astral hoax generated by a discarnate human being, then they would be only too happy to also “confirm” that their previous projections of psychic phenomenon or phony spiritual guidance were the real thing.
Pearl explained that after we have made a call to be shown the truth of the situation, it is best to just “let go and let GOD.” Thus, instead of worrying about how it is going to be answered, we can just go back to doing whatever natural, normal thing we were doing before we made the call. The next step is an interesting one. Let us say that a few hours, or perhaps several days later, we happen to be particularly peaceful. Perhaps we have been meditating; watching a beautiful sunset; listening to relaxing music; working in the garden; reading a spiritually uplifting book; or doing some other similar calming activity. And let us say that we now find ourselves thinking about the recent “prompting” or “inner experience.” Since we are already at peace, and the thought has arisen naturally, this is often a good time to notice how we are feeling inside when we think about it.
As our attention turns to these thoughts in this perfectly natural way, do we still feel the same depth of peace within us as we did prior to the surfacing of these thoughts? Or are we now starting to feel a little tense, worried, apprehensive, or disturbed. Or maybe there is a “sinking feeling” or queasiness in our “tummy” area. If we are experiencing any of these “less than serene” feelings, or strange energies, then we had better be careful. These particular feelings, emotions, or sensations often indicate that something is not quite right. But if, over a few hours, days, or weeks, or whatever period of time we have available to us, we consistently get a good, quiet feeling about it - when we are already at peace - then it is usually worthwhile to take the next step.
Now we can begin to implement the early stages of whatever action, if any, the vision, inner voice, feeling, or “whatever,” seems to be suggesting. As we recall, Pearly referred to this step as, “Doing something about doing something.” And as we start initiating these actions, once again it is important to be aware of whether we still feel serene inside, or whether something is starting to feel uncomfortable, uneasy, or not quite “right.” If everything still feels fine, it is generally a good sign and it is okay to continue engaging in the prompted activity. If it does not feel good – now that we are actually trying it out – then it probably was not a divine prompting. It is so essential to be patient, relaxed, and easygoing about this whole process. Otherwise, through worry, this would be just another way to make ourselves “nervous wrecks.” And that would interfere with this natural process of “feeling things out.” The easiest way to stay relaxed is simply to stop worrying and continue “letting go and letting GOD.” Of course, that is sometimes “easier said than done.” It also helps to generally have an “attitude of gratitude” to our Divine Source. And like everything else, these constructive habits will grow stronger as we affirm them in our daily lives.
If we are still confused over whether we are getting true inner guidance or not, we can always just “make the call” for greater clarity, and then by using common sense, go forward doing the best we can. If in this process, something starts feeling wrong, or is not working out for some reason, we can always “back out of it” and try something else. It is worth repeating that it is essential to be natural and easygoing about all this. In fact, one of the things Pearl frequently told me when I first started coming to see her in her little home in Mount Shasta was, “Don’t be so serious.” Having just found out that GOD is real, my feeling at the time was, “GOD’s real! And you don’t want me to be serious?” But remarkably enough, as I gradually learned to approach life in a more relaxed and happier way, spiritual discernment became much easier for me. And this made it possible for me to begin trusting the sacred process at work, which in turn helped me to relax even more, which made it even easier to feel if something was right or not.
Another good rule of thumb in this whole process is, “When in doubt, use common sense.” It is helpful to remember that the Great Ones would much rather have us using common sense to make our important decisions in life, than fake psychic feelings, sensations, promptings, and so on. It is also infinitely safer, happier, and more successful! So we should never feel bad, guilty, or in any way “less divine” for using common sense.
Pearl stressed that as we are developing greater discrimination it is crucial to be patient with ourselves. Just like anything else it is a learning process. And as with most learning processes it usually takes a lot longer then we would like it to. So, when we think or feel that we might have received some form of “divine guidance,” it is extremely important to be patient enough to carefully “feel it out” over an extended period of time. This is more essential than it may seem at first. This period may be a few moments, days, months, or even years. The length of time required depends on: how serene we are; the degree of discernment we have acquired (humbleness is vital here – remember – we are the ones who are going to get hurt the most if we are fooled by the astral-psychic realm); the importance of the decision we are trying to “feel out;” and of course the time-frame we have to work within. In general, when trying to use inner guidance to make a decision, it is far better to take a little longer than seems necessary, than to do it too quickly. And naturally, the more important the decision the more essential it is to take adequate time to ascertain whether the prompting is genuine or not.
The reason that patience is so necessary is because unfortunately the psychic realm can simulate a nice soft, warm, gentle feeling within the heart area, that “kind of feels like a divine confirmation,” but which is instead a counterfeit astral sensation. As has been previously explained, these fraudulent psychic sensations are actually astral energies or emotional/thought-forms that enter our “emotional world” through the solar plexus. This is quite different than a sacred feeling which comes through our heart. So the problem is determining whether the “good” feeling is astral or divine. It is essential to stay calm while feeling these things out, because once we become excited or anxious, a deceptive psychic suggestion or sensation can then begin to whirl within our entire feeling world. When this happens the phony “inspiration” no longer feels as though it is just coming from our “solar plexus/tummy” region, but, as has been previously mentioned, it now feels as though it is coming from everywhere, including the possibility of feeling especially focused within the heart area. Of course, in reality it has nothing whatsoever to do with the heart. However, if we stay serene it will not be able to sustain this phony feeling or sensation for a “long” period of time.
This is because as we have our attention on our I AM Presence or other uplifting thoughts and activities, and keep our feelings harmonious, the continual outpouring of Light from our I AM Presence is gradually cleansing us of these hazardous “emotional-thought forms” and psychic energies which cause the pseudo-promptings. It works much the same way as water pouring into a mud-filled bucket. Little by little, as the water flows into the bucket and overflows its top, it is gradually washing away more and more of the mud. Thus, before long, only clear sparkling water is left behind. A similar process can occur in cleansing ourselves of an astral suggestion. The more peaceful we are, the more Light will be able to pour into us and “wash away” the psychic energy. As a result, we are gradually able to feel that something is not quite right about the supposed “prompting,” even though in the beginning it may have felt very convincing. Fortunately, this purifying activity can be continually at work within us, twenty-four hours a day. All we have to do is to go through life with an “attitude of gratitude” while choosing pure, uplifting thoughts and feelings as our daily companions.
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