Life Lessons of Shawshank Redemption (Part III)

Shawshank Redemption

By Cathy Eck

 

Here are the links for Part I and Part II of this series.

 

Crime is Illusory

Red did commit a crime.  But through his relationship with Andy, he changes.  He starts to accept liberation as possible.  Crimes only exist in the illusion because people hide their beliefs and emotions.  They project their enemies outside of them.

The way to free ourselves from prison is to drop the beliefs that got us into prison.  We liberate the mind, then we go free.  The physical follows the mental.  When the illusion completely disappears, everyone returns to innocence.  Everything is forgiven, which means it went back in time to “before the giving.”

Eventually, Red gets parole.  He gets it when he stops trying.  He admits, in his last parole interview, that he doesn’t even know what rehabilitation is anymore.  Admitting that we just don’t know is powerful because we’re admitting that the false self doesn’t have the answer.  That allows the True Self to take over and do its magic.

Red: I know what you think it means, sonny.  To me it’s just a made up word; a politician’s word.  So young fellas like yourself can wear a suit, and tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know?  Am I sorry for what I did?

Parole official: Well, are you?

Red: There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret.  Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should.  I look back on the way I was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime.  I want to talk to him.  I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are.  But I can’t.  That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left.  I got to live with that. Rehabilitated?  It’s just a bullshit word.  So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time.  Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit.

 

Andy Knows His Strengths

Andy brings his natural strengths into the prison — his insight, his out-of-the-box creativity, and his fearlessness in risk taking.  Often people feel that their gifts are too weird or will be judged  so they put their True Self aside or hide it in the closet.  They become small. But when we bring our True Self’s gifts into the illusion, we see the exits.  Our True Self is our power; it can even dissolve the illusion when we allow it to shine.

Notice that even though Andy’s gifts cause him to rise to the top of the prison food chain.   He doesn’t start thinking he’s someone special.  He keeps his eye focused on the goal — freedom.

Brooks isn’t as wise.  He feels important in his prison role as librarian.  He even tries to harm another so he can stay in Shawshank.  When he does get out, he commits suicide.  He’s no one in the free world.

 

Andy Gives What He Wants to Others

When Andy succeeds in getting through to the guards on the rooftop, he gives his well-earned beers to the other inmates.  You can see by the smirk on his face that he didn’t do it for their friendship or loyalty.  He did it to plant the seed of freedom.  The library, teaching other inmates to read, and the infamous music broadcast are all ways he created freedom within the illusion.

These actions were slowly liberating Andy’s mind so that when he eventually got outside those concrete walls, he was truly free.  He too is nobody on the outside, and he doesn’t care.  He’s joyful in sanding his boat.

 

Act IV

The three-act story is normal.  We’re used to it.  Most screenwriters would have ended the movie with Andy standing in the water, a free man.  But Shawshank gives us a gift — a fourth act. I always imagine life having a fourth act.  It seems ridiculous that we work so hard to get free and then we die.  The best part of life is after our rebirth, and it should last a very long time so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Andy and Red have formed a sort of bromance — they have an honest firendship and we want them both to be free.  Now we get to see that unfold.

Andy: [in a letter to Red] Dear Red. If you’re reading this, you’ve gotten out. And if you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don’t you?

Red: Zihuatanejo.

Andy: I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I’ll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend. Andy.

Red decides to break his parole.  He chooses to join Andy.

Red: I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

 

I live near the Pacific.  I suspect that they say it has no memory because America was settled from the east.  People came for freedom, but unfortunately they brought their beliefs with them.  They didn’t realize they could just let go.

Andy: You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific?

Red: No.

Andy: They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.

Life Lessons of The Shawshank Redemption (Part II)

 

By Cathy Eck

For Part I of the Shawshank Redemption posts, click here.

 

Innocence

Andy is sent to prison for murdering his wife and her lover, but he’s truly innocent.  His innocence becomes a joke when Red tells him, “Everyone’s innocent in Shawshank.”

Shawshank prison is a metaphor for the false self — the illusion.  We are innocent when we enter the illusion; then we’re tossed in a polluted sea of beliefs and rules perpetuated by people who committed one significant crime — they’re living as if they killed their own True Self.  You can’t kill your True Self, but you can ignore it so well that it appears dead.  You do that by following the authority figures in the illusion.  You make them your false Gods.

Once we embrace the illusory way of thinking, we murder everyone, even if we never pull a trigger.  We do to others what was done to us.  We spiritually and emotionally murder them.  We don’t want to admit it — everyone in Shawshank is innocent.  So we reformat our mind focusing only on what we do or achieve; we ignore what we think.  We suppress and hide our fears, our judgments, and our beliefs behind our good persona.  We all look so innocent.

Warden Norton is a perfect metaphor for Andy’s false God.  The job of authority is to make sure the prisoners don’t escape the illusion.  Authority creates endless rules and punishments (pretending they’re God’s ideas).  Freedom isn’t achievable.  Uniqueness is labeled as nonconformity, insubordination, or stupid risk taking.  If we accept the labels of authority, we get stuck in their world.  Andy is insubordinate, in the Warden’s eyes, but he doesn’t let the Warden have his mind.  He doesn’t try to manage the effects of his situation or keep score.  Andy stays focused; he just keeps carting his wall out to the yard everyday.

The guards of the illusion play a role; their job comes wrapped with authority.  We’re supposed to respect authority, but why?  They didn’t earn it; they just bought some false knowledge or acquired a false title.  They’re imposters.  The power of authority is nothing more than beliefs that we’re forced to accept.  We see that at first.  But over time, we start to believe that authority does have power and that beliefs are more powerful than the truth.  Red calls that becoming institutionalized.

Red: These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.

Red: Goddamn right. They send you here for life, and that’s exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway.

Red: Forty years I been asking permission to piss. I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so.

 

Good Isn’t God

As you watch the Shawshank Redemption, something strange happens within your mind.  The prisoners suddenly look good (they remind us of ourselves), and the lying Bible-thumping Warden is exposed as evil.  Andy explains this to Red in a private conversation about how he’s cooking the Warden’s books.

Andy: If they ever try to trace any of those accounts, they’re gonna end up chasing a figment of my imagination.

Red: Well, I’ll be damned. Did I say you were good? Shit, you’re a Rembrandt!

Andy: Yeah. The funny thing is – on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.

 

It hard to distinguish good from evil in the illusion.  People can fake a smile, perform good deeds, or quote the right parts of the Bible to support their good facade.  Discrimination isn’t possible if our false self is too strong; our shared beliefs blind us.  But if we let go of the illusory beliefs, chip away at our false mind just as Andy did to his wall, we find that our clear sight returns.  We see the way out.

 

Who’s Your Warden?

Eventually Andy gets a chance at freedom.  But the warden isn’t about to let his cover guy go.  When the Warden denies Andy’s request for an appeal, Andy finally lets his anger out.  He takes back his power.

Andy:  It’s my life. Don’t you understand? IT’S MY LIFE!

 

The people who keep us stuck in the illusion aren’t our friends.  They’re our prison guards.  Prison guards want us to stay in prison with them.  They don’t love us.  If you love someone, you give them their freedom.  The prison guards fear that if you escape, you’ll blow their cover.  So they fill you with fear and guilt.  But the truth really does set everyone free.

You either get busy living, or you get busy dying.

 

Andy chose to get busy living.  He breaks free.  Red gets his parole.  And even the Warden gets freedom in the only way he can — he commits suicide.  The religious fundamentalists see freedom as death since Heaven doesn’t exist on earth.  Their beliefs assure their death although they do their best to project their beliefs in death on nonbelievers at the rapture.

So many people love this movie because each person gets exactly what they deserve, not based on actions or titles, but based on the extent to which each person’s mind has been liberated.  One person breaking free creates a ripple effect that makes everything right.  It’s exactly as it should be.  True justice handles all the details.

 

Andy Never Forgot his True Self

Andy: That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you… Haven’t you ever felt that way about music?

Red: I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it though. Didn’t make much sense in here.

Andy: Here’s where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don’t forget.

Red: Forget?

Andy: Forget that… there are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.

 

To be continued…

 

 

Life Lessons of The Shawshank Redemption

Shawshank Redemption

By Cathy Eck

 

I’m Not Obsessed With Much, But…

This is my 100th post, and so it had to be special — it had to be about Shawshank Redemption.  You don’t have to read my blog for very long before you find a Shawshank Redemption quote.  My Leadership Coaching program is based on lessons found in Shawshank.  Shawshank Redemption is a near perfect story; I love it.

Today I had an opportunity to attend a screenwriting webinar analyzing the Shawshank Redemption.  How’s that for perfect timing?

Without knowing it, screenwriters often see through the illusion because the illusion is also based on the three-act story.  Almost every good story follows this blueprint or arc.  We unconsciously identify with it when we see it on the big screen or in the pages of a novel.

Every human starts in Eden or the realm of the True Self.  Then we fall into the hypnotic illusion of the material realm, and finally we work our way back out to freedom.  We become our True Selves again.

It seems like a stupid trip to take since you end up where you started.  But the person who arrives at the end of this three-act journey is not the same person who began it.  They now have vision, knowing, and stability that they didn’t have when their journey began.

 Red: “It takes a strong man to save himself, and a great man to save another.”

 

We All Have a Fall Story

Everyone has a True Self that doesn’t fall.  The false self takes root pretty quickly; our parents usually make sure of that.  It’s our false self that has the storyline that causes us to forget who we really are.  Stories were originally invented by astrologers based on our date and place of birth; now they come from Hollywood and religion.

Andy Dufresne had the perfect life, or so it seemed — hot wife, great job, nice house, club membership. It looks like he’s living in paradise; but he’s not.  He doesn’t have freedom or love; he’s stuck in his myopic fallen illusion.  He’s winning, but winners are often more stuck in the illusion than losers.  They have to give up their winnings to get free; that often seems like too high of a price to pay.

None of this is conscious to Andy, so his wife reflects it for him by seeking freedom and love in another man. Like most women (or children) who reflect the men in their life, she’s just being his mirror and probably doesn’t even know why she’s doing what she’s doing.

So like most men (or people in the masculine role); Andy thinks he’s a victim of his wife and her lover.  He believes that his anger is because of their actions.  He wants to get revenge and break his own mirror; but fortunately, he doesn’t.

Later on in the story, Andy takes a big step toward freedom when he realizes that he caused his wife to cheat, in a way he killed her.

Andy: She was beautiful. God I loved her. I just didn’t know how to show it, that’s all. I killed her, Red. I didn’t pull the trigger, but I pushed her away. And that’s why she died, because of me.

 

Like Andy, we must all realize that we are the writer, director and producer of our three-act illusory play.  We can’t change it until we take responsibility.  It’s taking responsibility that puts the letting go eraser in our hand. Responsibility gives us the power to rewrite our story.

 

Beautiful Women

To most people, putting up posters of beautiful women sounds kind of like male lust.  But metaphorically; it’s perfect.  Andy hides his secret tunnel to freedom behind pictures of beautiful women.

Initiates knew that the way out of the illusion was through the feminine.  Initiates followed their own feminine emotions to show them what to let go — to point to the causal beliefs within their own mind.  You can’t find freedom by denying what you feel. Thus Andy hides his secret tunnel to freedom behind pictures of beautiful women.  Each night Andy chips away at the cell wall (his false beliefs) that lies beneath his feminine (emotions).

The Greeks put Athena in the Parthenon. The Egyptians dedicated temples to Isis.  Babylonians had Ishtar. America’s Congressional building is topped with Freedom (female). The female Statue of Liberty greets immigrants to America.  The path to freedom is feminine.

 

The Rebirth

Andy eventually escapes by crawling through a sewage pipe, a damn good metaphor for the small, dark birth canal; he pops out looking like a newborn.  He’s free, but he’s really dirty.

Red: Andy Dufresne – who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.

The story demonstrates that if we want to free our body, we must first liberate our mind.  It’s an old teaching that most have completely forgotten.

Most people use their minds to keep themselves in prison — a life sentence without parole.  They put art deco on the cell walls and flowers in the urinal and call it Home, Sweet Home.  It looks like acceptance of their destiny; but it’s really apathy.

Andy didn’t have apathy.  Regardless of what happened on the outside, Andy knew he was innocent.  Apathy occurs because someone else has convinced us that we deserve punishment because we broke their bullshit rules.  We wait patiently for them to give us back our innocence.   They never do.

Andy knew he was innocent. Therefore, Andy had real hope that redemption was possible, even when it looks improbable.

Red: I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

 

To be continued…

How to Get to Win-Win When You Feel Powerless

right and wrong

We can fight forever over who is right and who is wrong; but it’s moving to win-win that ends the battle.

By Cathy Eck

 

Feeling Powerless

People often believe that they can’t get to win-win because they seem powerless in a situation.  This is common for people who let go.  Authority figures often have a smaller perspective than we do.  It’s painful to live or work in their shadow.

Most humans believe that the goal of life and relationships is to prove that their perspective is right or good even when it’s harmful or limiting to others.  While everyone wins with a win-win perspective, if we make win-win the right perspective, battles erupt.  Usually the winner is the one with the most powerful role (the authority playing the masculine role) or the most battle toys.

The one in authority rarely gives up their competitive advantage.  We all must learn how to get to win-win from the seemingly powerless feminine role. This is the true essence and biggest challenge of initiation.  It creates invisible leaders who make everything right without guns, protests, or even charitable contributions.

 

An Example

Jane works as a server in an upscale restaurant known for fine customer service.  Her boss is a real jerk, and no one would deny that.  Jane is a top-notch employee.  Her customers always ask for her.  She receives excellent tips, and her reviews are stellar.  Jane’s boss doesn’t value the customers or employees.  He’s completely disorganized and unfair.  Jane would quit, but she loves her job and her loyal customers.

Most people in Jane’s situation would feel like a victim.  They would feel powerless to change the situation and probably spend a lot of time whining and complaining about their boss to friends and family. This is clearly the normal response, but it isn’t effective.  This response doesn’t change anything.  In fact, it makes it worse.  Every time Jane complains about her boss, she’s giving him more power.  She’s unconsciously admitting that his beliefs have power over her.

She could fight with him and try to prove him wrong.  But again she’s giving his beliefs power.  Since he’s the authority, he’s likely to win.

The truth is that anything that’s false has no power at all except that which we give it.  If we truly see the other person’s beliefs as false, then why argue.  They don’t have any power.  We argue because we believe their perspective or position has power.  If they agree with us, they believe they’ve lost even if the outcome is win-win; false selves hate to lose.

If Jane lets go of every belief that gives power to her boss’s perspective, she’ll gain all of her power back.  If she truly reaches this place of clarity; she’ll connect to her boss’s True Self.  They will reach a win-win settlement possibly without even speaking a word.  Often the other person suddenly does things your way, and they are happy to do so; letting go bypasses their win-lose false self.  Obviously wielding such power demands complete integrity.

 

Jane’s Possible Beliefs:

My boss is a jerk.

I’m powerless to change this situation.

This isn’t fair.

I do a good job but get no reward.

No one appreciates my hard work.

I should be treated better.

My boss doesn’t like me.

I don’t know what to do.

I can’t win no matter what I do.

 

Moving Out of Right and Wrong

When our mind is thinking this way, we’re powerless even if everyone agrees that we’re right.  Being right has no more power than being wrong in the illusion.  What has power in the illusion is the mask of authority.  All of the above beliefs generate emotion, proving they’re just beliefs.  None of them are true (even though they are the current reality).  Our current reality is always generated by our past beliefs.  To change reality, we need to let go of the causal beliefs even if we got them from the person we’re fighting.

Right and wrong live at the bottom of the triangle; win-win lives at the top  — the realm of the True Self.  Even if we are on the side of right, we lose in right and wrong because the bottom of the triangle is actually lose-lose.  At its best, living from the false self is an upscale prison.

If Jane lets go of these beliefs and stands in the truth, knowing that she loves her job, always does her best, and is loved by her customers, she’ll be more powerful than her boss’s position or beliefs.  He’ll have to move into win-win.  If he can’t or won’t, he’ll leave the situation because he’ll be stuck with his own emotions.  The discomfort will push him out of the situation naturally.  Authority wins in the illusion because the authority’s facade of power gives them the right to project their emotions, which are caused by them holding false beliefs in their mind, on to those below them (in feminine roles).  This makes them look more powerful and right than they are; feeling their emotions causes us to be unable to discriminate clearly.

The initiate understood that opponents exist to expose beliefs.  If an authority can pull us into their web, they are exposing beliefs that we can let go.  Since the initiate’s goal was a free mind with no beliefs, they welcomed opponents as tests that proved they were masters of letting go.

 

In Summary:  

If we stand completely in our True Self, holding no anger, resentment, or beliefs about the other or ourselves, we’ll win and the other person(s) will win too.  We’ll become invisible leaders and change the world.   This process is completely harmless, totally organic, and absolutely fair.

We won’t change the world by changing the minds of the false leaders, protesting, raising money, or winning wars.  We’ll change the world by letting go of the beliefs the leaders and authorities use to control us.  Truth, fairness, and love will ultimately win.

 

 

The Awkward Phase On the Path To Freedom

Awkward Phase

 By Cathy Eck

 

Awkward Phase

When I was little, I’d often find myself caught in some stupid habit or pattern of thought.  My mother would say, “Ah, don’t worry about it.  It’s just an awkward phase.”  What might have become an obstruction to my freedom, like OCD or a serious addiction, left about as easily as it came.

Those are great words to remember on the quest for freedom because it often seems like one big awkward phase.  The reason for this is that when you start to choose freedom (the True Self), the remnants of your false self show up so that you can let them go.  But often they look very real, important, and true.  Usually they involve others.  Let’s look at some areas where awkwardness shows up on freedom road.

 

Traditions

Let’s pretend that your family had a tradition of Uncle Joe dressing up like Santa and bringing gifts to the children every year.  Now you’re an adult; you’ve not believed in Santa for a long time.  All the kids are gone, but Uncle Joe still dresses up.  It no longer makes sense. It’s awkward.

But even worse, now that you’ve decided to live from your True Self, you find that you can’t lie anymore.  Lying obstructs our freedom; it feels bad — yes, even so-called white lies.  Uncle Joe isn’t Santa.  The tradition that once looked fun now looks abominable.

In time, every tradition looks wrong from the eyes of the True Self.  Traditions are just beliefs on a schedule.  Traditions serve the false self.

So you’re in a quandary.  You don’t want to ruin what others think is fun; but to pretend Uncle Joe is Santa, you have to honor beliefs that now look ridiculous.  Awkward!

 

Love, Heroes, and Care Takers

People who live with both feet planted in the illusion love heroes and often shine way too brightly in a crisis.  For twelve years, I lived in a rural Virginia town and never saw an auto accident; my friend saw them all the time.  She loved getting in there to help.  I started to wonder if she was helping or causing the accidents.

Love is defined in the illusion as rescuing people from their problems, honoring that they’re victims with no responsibility, and care taking or serving without whining.  Now do a 180 and head for freedom, and you realize that all suffering is the product of the beliefs we’ve borrowed.  You can’t bear to watch someone suffer, victimhood looks like a jail cell, and you abhor problems.  But what do you do with the problem lovers and victims in your life?  Awkward!

Then there is the flip side where you mess up and create some crap in your life.  You know you’re responsible, and you just want time alone to work it out and clear your mind.  But friends and family all want to help you.  They start to feel sorry for you, and you want to kill them.  Very awkward!

 

Intentions

The illusion is all about what you do and what is right and wrong according to the illusory rulebook you’ve chosen to follow.  Now you board the freedom train, and you recognize that intention is what really matters.  Your friend is whining about her bad child for the tenth time this week.  But you can see the truth.  Her story is contributing to her child’s behavior.  Social conventions say a friend is a good listener.  But you want your friend to have a great relationship with her child so you suggest that she drop her story.  Your friend gets very mad and says you’re rude.

Now who is really the rude one?  Is it more rude to bombard your friends with all your problems and victim stories; or is it more rude to say, “I think  you’d be better off if you dropped that story?”  Awkward!

Then there is the flip side where your friends are all talking about American heroes, war, their beloved political party, and pride in America.  They’re funneling tons of fuel into the illusion, and you say nothing.  They call you unpatriotic and say you don’t care about your country.  But you understand that they’re contributing to more war and problems for the country.  You don’t want to contribute to that.  So you look bad again.  Awkward!

 

Emotions

You work very hard on your mind and more and more you realize that if you are thinking something that generates emotion, it isn’t true.  So when your family or friends piss you off, you go to work on yourself.  They start to think they’re perfect.  They never cause a problem anymore.

But then you do something that causes them emotion, and they blame it on you.  They still think that others cause their emotions, and they have no intention of letting what they see in you go.   Even worse, most of the time you didn’t do what they thought you did.  They just caught a glimpse of their own reflection.  Now just try to explain that you didn’t do what they’re sure you did.  Super awkward!

 

The Cause

None of these situations are fun.  In fact, they often make you feel like moving to a remote deserted island.  You feel like the world is just too crazy to live in.

What causes these awkward moments is that in the illusion, we’re trained to see though the eyes of other people or other beings like the old-man-in-the-sky God.  When we move toward freedom, we start to see the world through clear eyes.  However, we still remember how others saw us before.  We’re meeting the past moments that caused us to adopt someone else’s rulebook and abandon our True Self.  Old fear arises that we’ll be judged, humiliated, or punished.  But that can’t happen if we just remember to let go.

What looks like an awkward moment really is one more opportunity to gain freedom.  As long as we remember to let go, it really is just a phase.

 

 

 

When It Feels Like Our Love is Not Enough

Path of Venus and the apple

By Cathy Eck

 

 

When Love Is Not Enough

Years ago, I met a sweet woman who was going through a tragic situation with her son.  At the time, I didn’t know how to let go of beliefs, but I could see that she had a very big belief.  She said it over and over again.  “How can I save my son if my love is not enough?”  I doubt that there’s a person alive who has not thought those words at some point in their life.  We all long to save the people we hold dear, and often we suspect that we just don’t have enough love.

I couldn’t get her story out of my mind for years even though I lost touch with her.  It felt completely wrong to me that we would be living in a world where our love is not enough.  Yet, I too had that belief.  I had memories to prove it.

Then I came to understand beliefs.  When we believe words, they become our truth.  We see proof of our belief/truth in the world, then we believe it even more.  We get caught in an infinite loop with no exit.

 

Conditional Love

Love is not enough because most love in this world is conditional or romantic.  Half people who complete each other or caretakers who simply do what others say is right or proper are operating at the level of the false self; and in the illusion, love is not enough.  If love was enough, the illusion would end.

You see, love is the most powerful force in the universe because it supports the truth while simultaneously dissolving the false. Thus if you can unconditionally love any situation, disease, or enemy, the false disappears.  But we can’t fake unconditional love, and beliefs mask it.  So most people can’t express it.  Their cure, their joy, their freedom is right inside of them; and they cover it up with beliefs that they have borrowed from others.

 

The Fall

I came to realize the meaning of the fall, and why our love is not enough, one day while eating an apple.  I don’t like apples and rarely eat them; but I’d wondered why they used the apple in the story of Adam and Eve.  I thought eating one might help.  I cut the apple in half and saw the picture above.  The symbolism immediately fell into place.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to eat it to get the answer.

The photo above shows the inside of my apple; it has a five-pointed star in the arrangement of the seeds.  The five-pointed star is also drawn by tracing the movement of Venus over eight years and five days.  Venus (Greek Aphrodite) was associated with love.  However, she’s associated with human love, not unconditional love.  Thus her love is dual in nature.

 

moving the points in the pentagram

So when Adam and Eve ate the apple, they ate the apple of the illusion (duality), where the knowledge of good and evil reigns supreme.  If you look at the five-pointed star with one point on top, it looks like the Vitruvian Man.

Just like the triangle process, one point is on top and duality is on the bottom meaning that we’re living within duality, but we put our True Self first.  Ideally, we lead with unconditional love and simply use the illusion or duality for its creative potential (called first-cause creation).  People who do this often capture our hearts; they put the wisdom of the heart (True Self) in front of their head (false self).

On the other hand, if we turn the five-pointed star upside down, we get something with horns, which is where Satan came from.  Satan, or the horned devil, often is depicted as a goat. The goat was associated with Old Capricorn on the Zodiac.  He wasn’t the Creator God (Genesis I); he was an earthly God with lots of baggage like the Roman Saturn or the Greek Zeus.

When duality comes first, good-evil, win-lose, dominance-submission, or right-wrong are the foundation (second-cause creation).  Competition is normal and accepted.  The devilish part of humans (false self) says it loves us or cares for us while it’s actually limiting us.  It says it loves us as it requires us to believe its lies and obey its rules.  It says it’s caring for us while projecting its beliefs on us.  It loves us when it beats us in competition and makes us the enemy when it loses.

 

Unconditional Love or Old Capricorn?

It is our choice, which way we use our mind.  Which Venus do we honor?  Pay attention when you see the five-pointed star because those who use it usually know the difference between the one point up and the reverse.  It is an old, old symbol.  It speaks volumes.

Sadly, the God of the Old Testament was modeled after Saturn, Old Capricorn.  When we put that God before us, we live from conditional love and reward and punishment; then our love is not enough.  But when we let him go, our spark of the Creator God comes alive.

 

Isis

The answer can be found in another loving goddess, Isis (Egyptian).  Isis was the wife and sister of Osiris, the Sun God.  When her lover/brother was tricked and cut into pieces, Isis brought him back to life (she re-membered him) because she had a pure virgin mind and unconditional love.  She remembered who he really was.  The virgin mind was a mind with no beliefs.  It creates anew with ease.  (A virgin body doesn’t mean a damn thing so have all the sex you want.)

When we let go of conditional love, we’re left with the heavenly man.  The Vitruvian Man stands within the squared circle, the symbol for the union of heaven (circle) and earth (square); he’s perfect.  He’s free.  This man was the ancient high initiate, who used his body as a temple for his True Self (his God within).  For this man or woman, love is enough.

 

Stuck in the Illusion with You (Part III)

Victim-Perpetrator

By Cathy Eck

 

No Victims/No Perpetrators

If you understand the nature of true and false selves, it’s clear that victims and perpetrators are two sides of the same coin (bottom of the triangle).  I’ve been there.  I totally get that when you’re stuck in someone’s illusion, you feel like a victim.  You think you must convince the perpetrator to free you from their beliefs.  That’s a lie.

The perpetrator is caught in illusion too.  According to their beliefs, they’re doing the right thing.  All human problems are caused by conflicting definitions of what is right.  The only answer is to find what is true.  If either person was at the top of the triangle, the event couldn’t even take place.

I couldn’t see this clearly until I let go of a lot of beliefs. That’s why I write this blog.  I want people who are reaching for freedom to have a life line.  I want my errors and lessons to be their shortcuts.

 

The Backstory

I had little religious training growing up.  When I first married into a Catholic family, I just kindly ignored them for the most part.  As a successful business women, I was pretty confident that my thoughts, beliefs, and choices created my reality.  Then I sold my business and became a stay-at-home mom, a feminine role to my husband.  Suddenly my husband was my bread-winner, my security.  His way of thinking became more dominant, and my mind filled with Catholic beliefs like someone was filling a bathtub with water.

Before this, his beliefs just looked like choices.  But now they were laced with fear, and they felt real and true.  I didn’t like his beliefs, but they were superglued into my mind.  I couldn’t get them out.

I felt like I was in hell.  But I also realized that I had the opportunity to understand how we all get stuck in the illusion of beliefs.

I now understood why my husband and his family looked at me like I was insane when I said, “Just change your mind. Let it go.”  They couldn’t; their minds were like tangled webs.

All drama and insanity is caused by the ridiculous notion that we can’t let go of beliefs.  Any belief system that’s declared to be true and can’t be dropped is absolutely part of the illusion. Beliefs are choices that limit our experience. People with beliefs can’t see beyond their veil; they’re like fish caught in tiny bowls that can’t imagine a big lake.  But their bowl is normal to them so it looks true.

In addition, we’re born with minds that are wired to feel calm when we hear truth and feel emotion when we hear something false.  That keeps the world peaceful.  But most people are at least partly psychologically reversed.  They no longer feel emotion when they accept a belief.  They feel emotion when they disobey the belief. They’ve been mentally and emotionally rewired to be blindly obedient to the false self.  In fact, the True Self often looks evil to them.

 

Freedom Writer

Writing saved me.  When I sat down to write, I connected with my True Self.  My emotional wiring would return to true-false, and I could look see the truth clearly.  It felt so good that I did it nearly all the time.  When I interacted with my husband, I fell into illusion land again because I’d believe him.  But I continued clearing the rubble in my own mind, and I started to recognize the attributes of True thoughts versus the very different qualities of false thoughts or beliefs.  Eventually, I could discriminate even when standing in someone else’s illusion.

I now felt such compassion for people who had been sold beliefs.  My husband didn’t knowingly borrow these ridiculous beliefs; he was handed them on a platter of fear when he was too young to discriminate.  That just wasn’t fair.  I fell into the illusion at an age where I could dig my way out.  Most people can’t get out because they don’t know out exists.

 

The Common Belief

Eventually, I could see that all dysfunctional relationships share common beliefs.  The common belief that triggered my avalanche into hell was stay-at-home mom.  We both had stay-at-home mothers who submitted to their husband’s beliefs and desires.  When I met the circumstances and stepped into this feminine role, I fell into his illusion.  Once inside his world, I saw through his eyes; and my own discrimination seemed wrong and bad.

My husband had beliefs that protected his beliefs.  My old mind was orderly based on true and false.  Now my mind was like a spider’s web of confusion; it told me that if I let the beliefs go, I’d be punished.  I suddenly feared God and hell.  I felt I had to obey authority blindly.  I believed that I was unworthy.  I felt jealous for the first time in my life.  I was an alien in a foreign land swimming in a sea of beliefs.  And the worst belief of all was that I couldn’t let any of them go.

But I did rediscover how to let go.  I got my discrimination back, and I’m much more secure in my life because of the experience.  I learned, however, that I just can’t live in someone else’s illusion.

I don’t judge beliefs anymore if people want them, but I won’t accept them as true.  I remind others that they don’t have to accept beliefs that don’t feel good.  Beliefs are optional; and if someone requires you to accept them, I suggest you run the other way.

In addition, I’m more comfortable letting people experience the natural consequences of their beliefs.  Beliefs have a price; usually a big one.  So I don’t pick people up so quickly or go into their world to save them anymore.  Natural law is the best teacher sometimes.

However, if they want to let those beliefs go, I’ll support them all the way.  Everyone deserves freedom, but we must choose it.