Your true nature is love. Not romantic love. The unconditional love that accepts what is before it in every moment of life. The love that casts out fear and the demons that spread fear. Love reveres all life and protects life. Love unites most of us. (I am not naiive any more. Love is an impossibility for those who have no connection to Source, our Creator God. Those individuals form the parasitic, psychopathic class.)
This is one of my favorite passages by Osho:
Love is a natural state of consciousness. It is neither easy nor difficult, those words don’t apply to it at all. It is not an effort; hence, it can’t be easy and it can’t be difficult either. It is life breathing! It is like your heartbeat, it is like blood circulating in your body.
Love is your being…. but that love has become almost impossible. The society does not allow it. The society conditions you in such a way that love becomes almost impossible and hate becomes the only possible thing. Then hate is easy and love is not only difficult but impossible. Man has been distorted. Man cannot be reduced to slavery if he is not distorted first. The politician and the priest have been in a deep conspiracy through the ages. They have been reducing humanity to a crowd of slaves. They are destroying every possibility of rebellion in man – and love is rebellion, because love listens only to the heart and does not care a bit about anything else.
Love is dangerouse because it makes you an individual. And the state and the chuch… they don’t want individuals, not at all. They don’t want human beings, they want sheep.Osho, Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously, p. 89
There are two paths that you can take in life: the path of Love or the path of fear. Life moves you along the path of Love. The Devil and demons pull you onto the path of fear. My understanding is that negative thoughts come to me from outside of my mind and attack my being. I have been able to successfully dissolve these thoughts and protect myself from future attacks through prayer, asking for protection from God, and vigilant awareness.
The 8 Tempting Thoughts
Evagrius Ponticus was a monastic theologian of the 4th Century. In Praktikos, he outlines the eight tempting thoughts, which are the basis for the seven original sins. They are: gluttony, sexual immorality, love of money, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride. Evagrius believed that these arose out of passions and that the 8 tempting thoughts were actually demons. He referred to the thoughts as the “demon of sexual immorality” or “the demon of pride”.
Evagrius said, “Whether these thoughts are able to disturb the soul or not is not up to us; but whether they linger or not, and whether they arouse passions or not; that is up to us.” So the demons can attack, but we can deflect their attack by mastering our mind through reading, vigils, and prayer.
Evagrius provides specific tactics to defeat the individual demons, including fasting, work and solitude. His wisdom seems to have been lost in an age of psychology that points to the individual as the source of negative or tempting thoughts. Let’s compare Evagrius Ponticus’ ideas with those of the 20th Century author, Napoleon Hill.
Outwitting the Devil
In Napoleon Hill’s Outwitting the Devil, he has a conversation with the Devil about the control of minds. (The book was considered so controversial by his wife and family that it was released in 2011, 41 years after his passing.)
In the book, the Devil states, “I enter the minds of people through thoughts which they believe to be their own. Those most useful to me are fear, superstition, avarice, greed, lust, revenge, anger, vanity, and plain laziness. Through one or more of these I can enter any mind, at any age, but I get my best results when I take charge of a mind while it is young, before its owner has learned how to close any of these nine doors. Then I can set up habits which keep the doors ajar forever.” Don’t these bear a striking similarity to Evagrius’ 8 tempting thoughts?
The devil goes on to say, “Accurate thought is death to me. I cannot exist in the minds of those who think accurately. I do not mind people thinking as long as they think in terms of fear, discouragement, hopelessness, and destructiveness. When they begin to think in constructive terms of faith, courage, hope, and definiteness of purpose, they immediately become allies of my opposition and are therefore lost to me.”
Apparently the Devil also teaches children to drift though school without a definite purpose so that this habit of drifting continues into adulthood and makes them easy to control through these nine types of thoughts.
Does Psychology Have it All Wrong?
I’m not sure how Napoleon Hill created this conversation with the Devil, but it has made me stop and ponder whether psychology has it all wrong. Are negative, fear-based thoughts really your thoughts? Why are so many fear-based thoughts universal? Thoughts like “I am not worthy. I am not lovable. I am broken. The world is against me.” seem to torture most of us.
There is an epidemic of self-hatred in this world. Society seems to be running on fear, superstition, avarice, greed, lust, revenge, anger, vanity, and plain laziness – the nine doors of the Devil.
What is the role of Love in this situation? Love and Truth are the same. Love pursues truth. Love can discern lies and deceipt. What can we do to heal? Healing the world begins and ends with healing the Self.
First, Love your Self
The first step is to love your Self by understanding that you are not a person. You are impersonal awareness that is aware of your role as a man or woman. People need love. Awareness loves unconditionally. Re-read Osho’s quote. Love is your being.
So the first step to loving your Self, is to correct your identity. We did this in the first part of this course.
Second, Declare Your Values
My values flow from my recognition of my true nature as Love, Peace, Truth and Beauty. What do you value? What are your values? Most people unconsciously live their life by society’s values. I hope by this point in the course you realize that 99% of the values that society is based on are not in alignment with Love (money, competition, scarcity, etc.)
Take a minute and write your values down. Make a piece of art to display them if you like.
Third, Dissolve Negative Thoughts by Not Believing Them
The next time you are overcome with fear, superstition, avarice, greed, lust, revenge, anger, vanity, or laziness realize that demons are attacking and trying to implant thoughts in your mind. Do I know this to be absolutely true? It is true in my life. Rather than believing any of these thoughts, I am now able to dissolve them.
What works for me is noticing the thoughts, welcoming them and then stating that they are a lie. I also recite out loud the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. I start every day with a prayer of gratitude to God for the day and a direct request to protect me from all negative and evil beings, energies, forces, and vibrations.
When your individual will (not personal will from the ego, but rather the ability to make decisions and act accordingly), is in alignment with God’s will and the values of Love, Truth, Peace, and Beauty – you are a force of nature. Let’s build a paradise on earth using love and the wise exercise of free will.
Note: this was originally part of the 7-week online course Free Your Soul.