by Guy Finley
If we want to grow inwardly we must find new ways to learn about ourselves. These higher discoveries call for higher learning. Think of each of the following eleven laws as individual magic strands of a flying carpet. Make it your aim to weave them together in your mind.
Then watch how these lessons combine to effortlessly lift you to a higher and happier life level.
The First Law:
Nothing can stop you from starting over.
The greatest power you possess for succeeding in life is your understanding that life gives you a fresh start any moment you choose to start fresh. Nothing that stood in your way even a heartbeat before stands there now in the same way. It’s all new, even if you can’t as yet see it that way.
You’ve only to test the truth of this fact about the newness of life to discover the incredible freedom that waits for you just behind it.
And then nothing can stop you. You’ll know the real secret and the perfect power of starting over.
The Second Law:
Don’t be afraid to see when something doesn’t work.
Learn to be sensitive and to listen to the inner signals that try and
tell you when something isn’t working. You know what they are.
Frustration and resentment to name just a few. The presence of these
emotional troubles aren’t trying to tell you that you can’t succeed,
only that the road you’ve insisted upon taking so far doesn’t lead
where you want. Learning to admit when something isn’t working is the
same as teaching yourself what will.
The Third Law:
If it doesn’t flow, there’s more to know.
Learn to recognize all forms of strain — whether at work, in your
creative efforts, or in your relationships — as being unnecessary.
The friction you feel mounting when busy at some labor is never caused
by the task at hand, but by what you don’t yet know about it. This means
the only real reason for your strain is that you’ve got hold of a wrong
idea you don’t yet see as wrong. This new insight allows you to release
yourself by showing you what you need to know. Flowing follows your new
The Fourth Law:
Don’t Take the Easy Way
There’s no getting away from what you don’t know, which is why any
time you feel compelled to go around a problem by taking the easy way,
that problem always comes round again. And isn’t that what makes life
seem so hard? Learn to see the “easy way” as a lying thought that keeps
you tied up and doing hard time. Getting something over is not the same
as having it completed. And as this insight grows, so will your
understanding that the whole idea of the “hard way” has always been just
a lying thought as well. Now you know: the complete way is the easy way.
So volunteer to make the “hard way” your way and learn the real easy way.
The Fifth Law
On the other side of the resistance is the flow.
There are often times when it feels as though you can’t go any farther
in your work or studies. But you can learn to go beyond any blockage.
Make the following clear to yourself. Those moments — when it feels as
though you’re least able to get beyond yourself — are not telling you
that you’ve gone as far as you can go, but only reveal that you’ve
reached as far as you know–for now. This higher self-knowledge about
your true inner position allows you to see the resistance you’re feeling
for what it really is: a threshold, and not a closed door. Walk through
it. Nothing can stop you.
On the other side of the resistance is the flow. Learning to go beyond
you is the same as entering into the new.
The Sixth Law:
Watch for the opportunity to learn something new.
Everything is changing all the time. That means life is an endless
occasion for learning something new. But this means more than meets
the eye. Just as you’re a part of everything, everything is a part of
you. The whole of life is connected. And your ability to learn is part
of the wonder of this complete, but ever-changing whole. Learning serves
as a window, not only into the complex world you see around you, but
through it you may also look into the you that’s busy looking into the
world. And when you’ve learned there’s no end to what you can see about
the amazing worlds spinning both around and within you, you’ll also know
there’s no end to you. So stay awake. Learn something new every day.
You’ll love how that makes you feel about yourself.
The Seventh Law:
Learn to see conclusions as limitations
If you approach the possibilities of learning about your life as being
limitless, which they are, then it follows that any conclusion you reach
about yourself has to be an unseen limitation. Why? Because there’s
always more to see. For instance, let yourself see that all conclusions
are illusions when it comes to the security they promise. There may be
security in a prison, but there are also no choices behind its confining
walls. Learn to see all conclusions about yourself as invisible cells.
For that’s what they are. The seeming security these conclusions offer
are a poor substitute for the real security of knowing that who you
really are is always free to be something higher.
The Eighth Law:
Have no fear about being afraid
Fear can’t learn, which is why you must learn about fear if you ever
wish to be a fearless learner. So, the first thing you must learn is
how to get past your fear of being afraid. Here’s how. The next time a
fear of some kind tries to fill one of your moments, try to see the
difference between the fact of your situation and your feelings about
it. This it the right use of your mind. For instance, it’s a fact that
interest rates change. It’s not a fact you have to get scared when they
do. That fear is not a fact of life, but only becomes one for you as
long as you insist that life perform according to what you think are
your best interests. As you learn to see that these fearful feelings
don’t belong to you, but only to your wrong thinking, you cease to be
afraid, even of your own fears.
The Ninth Law: Never accept defeat.
As long as it’s possible to learn, you need never feel tied down by
any past defeat in your life. Here’s the real fact: nothing can
prevent the inwardly self-educating man or woman from succeeding in
life. And here’s why: wisdom always triumphs over adversity. But to
win real wisdom calls you to join in a special kind of struggle. And
if this battle had a banner under which to rally, here’s what would be
written upon that higher call to arms: “But I can find out!” Yes, you
can learn the facts. You may not understand how you could have been
blind to that evil person’s real intentions, but you can find out. Take
these four words that are freedom’s battle cry: I can find out! Use
them to defeat what’s defeating you.
The Tenth Law: Learn to let go of painful pretense.
Most people approach their troubles with one of these two
non-solutions: they either pretend their problem isn’t a problem, or
they pretend they’ve solved their troubles with temporary cover-ups.
But their pain remains. It doesn’t have to be this way for you. You
can learn to let go of painful pretense. Here’s how. When facing an
old problem, what you don’t want is another “new way” to deal with it.
What you really want is to learn something new about the true nature of
what has a hold on you. To go far, start near. When faced with any pain,
let go of what you think you know. Act towards your trouble as if you
don’t know anything about it. This new solution is the only true one
because the truth is you don’t know what the real problem is. Otherwise
you wouldn’t still have it. Letting go what you think you know puts you
in the right place for learning what you need to know.
The Eleventh Law: Persistence always prevails.
If you’ll persist with your sincere wish for higher learning, you can’t help but succeed. Persistence always prevails because part of its power is to hold you in place until either the world lines up with your wish, or you see that your wish is out of line. But, for whichever way it turns in that moment, you’ve won something that only persistence can pay. See the following: if you get what you think you have to have to be happy and you’re still not satisfied, then you’ve learned what you don’t want. Now you can go on to higher things. And should you learn you’ve been wearing yourself out with useless wishes, then this discovery allows you to turn your energies in a new direction: self liberation.
This article was excerpted from “Freedom from the Ties that Bind” by Guy Finley. Publisher: Llewellyn Publications, ©1999. Reprinted with the author’s permission.