By Cathy Eck
Initiation is a Mental Path
Initiation is a thinking (mental) path, not a doing path. This can be confusing at first.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that you won’t ever do anything again once you choose to move in the direction of initiation. Initiation isn’t a path of contemplation or avoidance of activity. The initiate simply gets his or her thinking correct before taking action. If it appears that a decision needs to be made, they know they aren’t ready to take action. The perfect path is always clear and obvious.
On the other hand, the illusion emphasizes doing. We’re good if we work hard. We’re good if we do nice things. Religious people copy what Jesus did, without regard for how he thought. They don’t notice that Jesus never took action without getting his thinking straight because he followed the path of initiate.
Let’s assume that we’re having a problem with another person. The doing path will cause us to think that we need to say something to them. We might think that we need to change our behavior or ask them to change theirs in order to fix the problem. Worst case, we might manipulate or trick them into being or acting different. We might use reverse psychology or behavior modification on them. Any of these options amount to nothing more than fixing the effect.
Our society confuses doing with love. People often write to me and say that their spouse doesn’t give them attention or their boss doesn’t appreciate them. What we do is always an extension of what we’re thinking or what we believe. If another person’s doing is an issue for us, then we must get to the cause of our discomfort (which is always in our minds). We have to eliminate the thinking that’s causing the need or want that we believe the other should fill for us. We want or need people to behave in a certain way when we have an emotional or spiritual void (always caused by beliefs). We can let go of the causal belief and eliminate the void.
In masculine roles, we get angry when people reflect our unwanted or negative beliefs; we expect the people in our life to behave better than our own beliefs about them. In initiation, we don’t break our mirrors.
In initiation, we put right and truthful thinking first. First of all, we need to know what we’re thinking about any situation. Any thoughts that produce emotion are false even if they match our current reality. Regardless of whether the thought that feels bad is about us, the other, or the relationship, we let it go. The goal is to get our mind back to the truth. This is much easier to say than to do. Our minds are highly stuck on observing reality; we’re sure that whatever we observed or experienced was true.
For most of us, reality is simply an illusion produced by our beliefs. We can only get to the truth, which is always positive, win-win, and good, by letting go of the unreal. Eventually, our mind becomes peaceful and clear. If at that point, we’re inspired to take action, it will be the right action for everyone concerned because it will come from a truthful and free mind.
Too often, we jump into action because we want things to be complete or resolved. We just make matters worse.
Getting What You Need
Let’s look at another example. We need to make some quick money. We’re frantic that we’ll run out before money comes in. Our knee-jerk reaction is to get a job, any job. We take action after action only to get more and more confused and desperate.
Granted it isn’t easy to let go when we’re filled with fear, but it’s the most important time to do so. In a situation like this, I give myself an entire day, and allow my thoughts to arise. With each thought, I decide if that thought feels good or doesn’t feel good. If it doesn’t feel good (has an emotional component), then I let it go. Then I let the next thought arise.
If we can’t feel any emotions, we can create a quick mental image of a perfect work situation. Then witness our thoughts. If a thought arises that moves toward that vision, we keep it. If a thought comes up that moves away from that vision, we let it go. Remember, letting go just requires recognition that the thought is false. Usually false thoughts feel bad unless we’ve trained ourselves to suppress our emotions.
If we do this process for an entire day, something will change. we’ll have a much freer mind, more options, and our actions will pay greater dividends. But it’s a rare person who can do this for more than a few minutes. Most people will be surfing the internet or whining to their friends before long. Others will wallow in their emotions and feel sorry for themselves. These so-called normal activities all strengthen our problems.
Initiation and Payoffs
For initiation to work, we must eliminate all payoffs. If we’re out of work, perhaps we don’t really want a job. If we’re sick, we might be getting attention for it. If we’re having relationship problems, we might feel superior to others when we play the martyr role. Hidden payoffs can really get in the way of change. We often won’t see what we need to let go until we release all the hidden payoffs.
Finally, we must be honest and ruthless with ourselves. Avoid guilt, shame, or blame. We don’t have to share what we let go, don’t have to make amends, and don’t even have to explain ourselves. When we let go, the world changes. Things take care of themselves because we’re no longer feeding the illusion. Eventually, by letting go, all things can be made right again without anyone else doing a thing.