One day some time ago, a client was processing a negatively charged memory from her childhood. When she had partially completed the processing to the point where her younger self was safe, she was invited to see what it would be like to assist that younger self to grow up her whole life in such a safe and healthy mode. She agreed, and as the process was just coming to an end, she had a sense that she was her current self sitting in the chair and that it was now the Holy Spirit raising her up into mature adulthood. She was surprised and said aloud, "I am being blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in me". I was very struck by her words, since I myself had a similar powerful experience during prayer about 2 years after I learned how to do the inner processing work of Autosomatic Training. And there have been a number of other people with similar experiences. As I reflected later, I recalled that in the Sermon on the Mount the counsel to remove "the plank from your own eye" before trying to remove "the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5, The New King James Version (NKJV), 1990). Immediately after, the suggestion was given that removing the plank (the negative memory) is a holy, sacred or spiritual practice.
This experience sent me back to re-read the Sermon on the Mount. I was then struck even further. After the reference to 'what is holy', I read the next few verses (7-11) that essentially say that if you seek, you are sure to find what you seek, and if you knock, the door will be opened to you. What will you find? What door will be opened? The book of Luke's version of this seeking activity gives virtually the same words in the same order (Luke 11: 9-12), except for the last few words. In Matthew the final words say: "how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him". In Luke, in harmony with the removal of the plank being a holy or sacred process, it states: "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
The clear implication is that the process of finding the imaged memory (plank) in the mind's eye and effectively and thoroughly removing it, as we do in Autosomatic Training, is a spiritual practice with the spiritual reward of the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is therefore the work of the Holy Spirit. There is an action required in Matthew: "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them" (Matthew 7:12, NKJV). Share your knowledge and healing with others!
I then recalled that this theme was similar to King David's repentance process in Psalm 51 of the Old Testament. When King David repented from arranging the death of Uriah the Hittite, he referred to the same process of cleaning the heart from the effects of all of life's problems and achieving wisdom, and how this is connected to the presence of the Holy Spirit. He said to God in his prayer of repentance: "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom...Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:6, 10-11, NKJV).
Telling the truth about our faults and our pain is often a fearful process. The charge David faced of having Uriah killed was a very painful and serious one. In verse 17 he says: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart - these, O God, you will not despise". As in Autosomatic Training, there is a process of deliberately going into one's heart, a painful and often scary process, expressing the complete emotional truth, and receiving or maintaining the presence of the Holy Spirit. In another Psalm suggesting processing of great rage as an inner experience he says: "Then I beat them as fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets" Psalm 18:42, NKJV). In another Psalm, describing the feeling of distance from God, and desiring God to help him in distress, he says: "You turned for me my mourning into dancing" (Psalm 30:11).
We see, then, the same process, in both the 51st Psalm and with Autosomatic Training, of going inside to acknowledge the inner truth deep in the heart and deal with negative feelings and attitudes, with the same results of peace and spiritual connection. The change, in harmony with the work of the Holy Spirit, results in action: "Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you" (Psalm 51:13, NKJV). Share your knowledge and healing with others!
I should make something clear before proceding with this discussion. I see the scriptures of all traditions through my own experiences as a Practitioner of Autosomatic Training and the powerful and moving spiritual experiences I have had. I do not specifically follow the traditional teachings and views of the various religious and spiritual organizations and practitioners. Many of these organizations and practitioners are not practising and demonstrating a clean heart, let alone a pure heart. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus states: "everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand" (Matthew 7:26). In other words, don't follow the foolish man. If a person or organization is not clearly emotionally and spiritually clean, in word and deed, I will pay repectful attention to look for what is correct and valuable in their approach, but I wil not be a follower. I will not have blind faith. Since I am basically in agreement with the content and precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, when those people and organizations say they follow Jesus but do not clearly practise the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, I do not find them credible. When I discuss what the scriptures are talking about, I only talk favourably about those things I can verify by my own experiences of cleaning my heart, and seeing the world from that position.
Many people describe the advice in the Sermon on the Mount as 'Counsels of Perfection', meaning it's nice to talk about the principles but you can't expect to be able to practise them. I disagree. The advice in Matthew 5:48 says; "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect". The original Greek word used here is 'telios', which is better translated as 'complete', as opposed to 'perfect'. 'Telios' - do it to completion, do it to the end, don't do a partial job. Be meticulous and thorough when you do your Autosomatic processing. When you process, go to 100% resolution of each image, each set of images, and each thought and behaviour pattern that you process.
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Chapter 7, the last chapter, half of the chapter, from verse 13 to verse 29, is a warning about, first how difficult the job of processing can be, then second, don't follow anyone who doesn't do a meticulous job on their own processing. That is: "Beware of false prophets". Don't follow someone who can only talk the talk. Become someone who walks the walk. Do your processing to completion. That's how you will arrive at wisdom and understanding - and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
A detailed description of the origin and practice of Autosomatic Training is given elsewhere on the website. I do not think I have ever met an adult person who did not, on closer examination, reveal some form of distress. That distress can be labeled in many different ways. Generically, we tend to call it pain or fear, or we see the results of pain in overt behaviours.
In Autosomatic Training we focus on the pain in order to find the inner pattern that is orchestrating the visible behaviour. In the Sermon on the mount, that pain is referred to as 'poor in spirit' or the need to 'mourn'. We manage the pain by an internal search for its source. When we find the source, we are adised to acnowledge the full truth of our distress, and work internally for the relief of that historical distress. The result of resolution is the presence of understanding, wisdom and inner peace.
The search starts with finding the pain in the form of any uncomfortable body feelings.
There are Six Basic Principles of Autosomatic Training:
- Every problematic thought or behaviour has an associated negative feeling (generic pain or fear)
- Every negative feeling has at least one associated image (memory; symbolic image; dark, coloured, and/or light)
- Every image can have a satisfactory resolution
- Every series of memories and images can have a satisfactory resolution.
- Every life can be lived in the present, not imposing the unresolved past onto the present, nor projecting the unresolved past into the future.
- Autosomatic Training is a spiritual practice.
The basic steps of Autosomatic Training are:
- Focus on any one chosen problem: thoughts, feelings or behaviours, e.g. anger, greed, addictions, money, anxiety, worry, etc.
- Constantly monitor your body sensations (heart) - all the time - for any sense of discomfort.
- Close your eyes in a quiet, undisturbed place.
- Find the physical feeling associated with the issue.
- Actively focus all your attention on the feeling - concentrate on it.
- Passively await the imaged memory while focused on the feeling.
- Experience your way through the memory/image resolving issues as they arise, letting your heart, your inner feelings, direct the action, always expressing the whole truth, the good and the bad.
- Notice when the imaged memory is gone.
- Check back to any uncomfortable body feeling still present when the image is gone.
- Repeat steps 5) through 9) until you have good feeling only - 100%.
- Re-consider the problem you started with.
- Repeat steps 3) to 11) as often as needed to get to and remain with good feeling only, even when contemplating the now resolved problem issue, or re-exposing yourself to the problem situation. Note that image/memory is replaced by a healed image/memory or a completely different memory.
- You may also go back and check each individual memory to see if they are all 100% resolved, with healed images, thoughts, and feelings (100%) - the pure heart.
- Having now integrated your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, you can now re-consider your situation vis-a-vis the presenting problem. You can do reflective integration.
- You will now feel comfortable and healed - mentally, emotionally, and spiritually - about that issue. If, you have thoroughly progressed to the clean heart about the issue you started with, and over time all other issues that you can actively discover in your life, to clean your heart about them all, and you continue systematically to keep searching your heart to keep it clean every day, you will then get to having a pure heart. The result: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8, NKJV).
We will now consider the Sermon on the Mount and compare it with Autosomatic Training.
The Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is contained in the first book of the New Testament, the book of Matthew, in chapters 5 to 7. The book of James, also in the New Testament, may be considered a 'sermon' on the Sermon on the Mount, since it covers many of the same themes. We will refer to both sources throughout this discussion.
When looking at the entire Sermon on the Mount from the perspective of a practitioner of Autosomatic Training, it becomes clear that the description of the basic technique in Autosomatic Training fits into a small portion of the whole Sermon. Specifically, Autosomatic Training technique fits into Matthew 7 verses 1 to 5. That is, it fits into the comment about removing judgment by removing the plank from the eye of the beholder, to better see how to remove the speck from his brother's eye, if indeed there is one. Autosomatic Training spells out exactly how to get 'the plank out of your eye' (7:5). The plank, depending on the translation, is also called beam, log, wooden beam, etc., and the 'speck' is also called splinter, etc., again depending on the translation.
On the other hand, the overall discussion in the Sermon provides the wide and important setting in which Autosomatic Training is used and is useful. In a sense, the larger portion of the Sermon on the Mount may be considered to describe the overall Practice of Autosomatic Training. And that Practice setting deserves close attention. First, the whole Sermon was a secluded seminar for his disciples only, not a teaching for the larger crowds that were following. Presumably, Jesus is setting out the parameters of practice for his dedicated followers.
These are the required attitudes, operating principles and practices that must be completely followed to achieve satisfaction, comfort, mercy, kinship to God, a sense of living in heaven on earth, finding out that the "kingdom of God is within you" (cf. Luke 17:20-21), and the possibilty of 'seeing', God - a direct encounter with God.
Only those who follow The Way completely, that is those who have not just a partly cleaned heart but a heart cleaned to the state of 'pure in heart' "will see God" (5:8). A similar distinction is made in the practice of spiritual contemplation. The following are the words of a Catholic priest, monk and abbot who has made a practice and study of contemplation. "We should distinguish contemplative prayer from contemplative life. The former is an experience or series of experiences leading to the abiding state of union with God. The term contemplative life shoud be reserved for the abiding state of divine union itself, in which one is moved both in prayer and in action by the Spirit" (Open Mind, Open Heart, p. 13, Keating, 1991). Another way of looking at this is to say there is a difference between the ongoing practice that repeatedly brings the practitioner to 100% good feeling with access to the Holy Spirit, and the state of living virtually continuously with the presence of the Holy Spirit - living at 100% resolution every day.
When there is complete resolution, there is no pain or fear. Only love remains. This is the practical result of completing the processing in Autosomatic Training. Emotional pain and fear are eliminated. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." This is a quote from 1 John 4:18 (NKJV).
Fear - being poor in spirit or having unresolved mourning - is torment. The processing in Autosomatic Training is started by identifying the pain, as is the implementation of the practice of the Beatitudes. Even in the inner work recommended in the Yoga tradition, pain is the starting place. In the Sutras of Patanjali, perhaps stretching back to the 4th century B.C.E., painful 'thought waves' are the starting place. Sutra 5: "There are 5 kinds of thought-waves - some painful, others not painful" (How to Know God, The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, Mentor, 1953). In the commentary it states, "First we have to overcome the "painful" thought-waves...Only much later, when the "painful" thought-waves have been completely stilled, can we proceed to the second stage of discipline". Notice the emphasis on completion in the inner work in Yoga as well.
The Structure of the Sermon on the Mount
By the way, my reading of the Sermon on the Mount is as if it really is a sermon, with a beginning, a body, and an ending. The various sections and how they relate to each other are first summarized below:
Section I) Matt. 5:1-12: There is a thread that is presented in the Beatitudes - facing the pain and cleaning the heart and the results of doing this thoroughly.
Section II) Matt.5:13-16: Here the important position of those who follow The Way is described.
Section III) Matt. 5:17-20: In this section there is the admonition to follow the spiritual tradition - the Law and the Prophets, which also clearly involves the Wisdom Literature.
Section IV) Matt. 5:21-6:21: In this section there is a presentation of a number issues that need to be faced and dealt with.
Section V) Matt. 6:22-23: The main problem of the clouding of the inner eye is presented as the key issue to be addressed. The clouding of the inner vision is a potential source of depression and darkness of the soul.
Section VI) Matt. 6:24: One of the most signifcant problems is presented here: the greed and enlsavement associated with money.
Section VII) Matt. 6:25-33: In this part there is an indication of the results that will come from resolving the issues, e.g. the loss of worry and anxiety.
Section VIII) Matt. 6:34: This part gives an overall direction to not be concerned about the future through projecting the unresolved past and present onto the future. This is accomplished by cleaning up the issues every day as they happen, or as a plank gets recognized. That means that to have a clean and pure heart you must process every day.
Section IX) Matt. 7:1-5: In this section we actually are given the method for dealing with all of the issues: we need to clean our inner vision, our inner eye, removing the plank - using the example of being judgmental. We need to resolve the double-mindednss. This is the place where the Autosomatic Training technique comes to the forefront as a specific method to detect the plank while focused on the problem issue, and remove the plank.
Section X) Matt. 7:6: There is is a warning here to use your wisdom in how you share the spiritual practices when approaching others.
Section XI) Matt. 7:7-12: This Section is encouragement by way of a promise the we can succeed and receive the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 11:9-13).
Section XII) Matt. 7:13-14: There is then a warning that the process is not easy, and many will not do it.
Section XIII) Matt. 7:15-28: Finally, be careful about those who will not do the work, but will talk and act as if they have.
Examining the Sermon on the Mount - Section by Section
We will now look at the Sermon, Section by Section. The first section is that of the Beatitudes.
Section I: Matt. 5:1-12
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for thay shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Beatitudes is a set of 8 foundational approaches to cleaning the heart and approaching God. I am going to work through a discussion of them from the perspective of a Practitioner of Autosomatic Training.
In the Practice of Autosomatic Training, the initial focus is on a specific problematic attitude, feeling, thought, or behaviour that is identified and then worked through to completion. The focus of the Beatitudes is on the approach that must be made, or healing work that must be done, to get to the outcome of being right with God. I will approach the Beatitudes in a different order than they are listed in the text.
A fundamentally important attitude is expressed in Beatitude no. 4. An essential ingredient to succeeding on the spiritual path is that you actively seek to find The Way. Help is provided. Later, in Chapter 7:7-8, it states: "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened' (NKJV). This is good to know, because it supports us in tackling the difficult task of Beatitudes no. 1 and 2, dealing with emotional pain and unresolved grief.
The passageway to solving any difficulty is to directly approach it with the deliberate intention of resolving it. The implication in Beatitudes no. 1 and 2 is that we need to actively seek the pain of our poorness of spirit and any issues that need to be mourned. King David said: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit" (Psalm 51:17). In other words, if we actively seek out where we feel the worst pain, and resolve those issue by telling the whole truth inside our selves, that is like a spiritual sacrifice that advances our mental, emotional and spiritual health.
The same is true for the mourning. We need to deliberately mourn everything that needs to be mourned. In Ecclesiastes it says: "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning" (Eccle. 7:4, NKJV). James said: "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials" (James 1:2, NKJV). He also said: "Cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom" (James 4:8-9, NKJV).
The active seeker is happy to find the problem areas in him or her self; actively seeks them out by focusing on the problem thoughts and behaviours; focuses specifically on the painful feelings; actively sets out to find how he or she is double-minded by finding the images of the past in the inner eye that are superimposed on the images of the present in the outer eye; and sets about resolving those issues by reliving and resolving all the negative experiences from the past.
Another perspective on the inner world and how it is operating in our psyche is presented by Carlos Castenada in his book Tales of Power, 1974:
"Sorcerers say that we are inside a bubble....The bubble is our perception. We live inside that bubble for all of our lives and what we witness on its round walls is our own reflection."
How do we deal with that false perception?
A similar point of view, respecting the necessity of tackling the painful past and its effects on how we see the world, is found in other sources. Consider, for example, the following quote, also from Thomas Keating, that views double-mindeness as expressing a false self: "The false self is a monumental illusion, a load of habitual thinking patterns and emotional routines that are stored in the brain and nervous system. Like programs in a computer, they tend to reactivate every time a particular life situation pushes the appropriate button...To act spontaneously under the Spirit's influence rather than under the influence of the false self, the emotional programming of the past has to be erased and replaced"(Open Mind, Open Heart, p. 16, Keating, 1991). The erasing and replacing of the past emotional programming is exactly the Practice of Autosomatic Training.
The result of this hard processing work is , especially when done completely, a pure heart. The person with the pure heart (no.6) is also mild (no.3), merciful (no.5), and a peacemaker (no.7). As James put it: "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peacable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17, NKJV). Beatitude no. 8 may result while being criticized and attacked by those who do not do the inner work of processing completely, or by those who simply oppose and criticize the whole healing process.
These attributes of mental, emotional and spiritual healing are available and attainable to those willing to ask, seek and knock until the gate opens. Autosomatic Training is an effective guide to accomplishing that goal.
Section II: Matt. 5:13-16
You are the Salt of the earth... You are the Light of the world
With the attributes that come as a resullt of the spiritual work outlined in the Beatitudes, your postion and effect on the planet is of great value and importance. Those who follow a spiritual practice and get the spiritual rewards are invaluable to everyone else. I know these goals can be reached with Autosomatic Training, but I expect these goals can be reached by peoples in all the spiritual traditions. However, as far as I know, the use of Autosomatic Training is the most rapid and efficient way to get the plank out of the eye. Also, this is not a strictly human endeavor. My experience was that my discovery of Autosomatic Training was an act of Grace. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit. I felt like I was guided to it. In fact the name itself was not invented by me. It was given to me when I was doing my daily meditation 2 years or so after my first Autosomatic Training experience. I finally knew the name for what I was doing.
What are we to do with our enlightenment? We spontaneously become the salt of the earth, the light of the world. We are to let our light shine like the beacon on a hill.
Section III: Matt. 5:17-20
The Law and the Prophets
This section has a load of historical and spiritual significance. It is a potential 'hot button'. Many issues get raised. Is the Law still in effect? What is the impact either way on non-Jewish people who hold Jesus as the Messiah? Did standard Christianity take a wrong turn in advocating abandonning the Law?
The early followers of Jesus were sometimes called followers of The Way. The Way was not inconsistent with Judaism. In fact those followers of The Way worshipped at the Temple and followed the Law. The Way is not hostile to Judaism. In fact, the followers of The Way were following a more demanding form of Judaism by raising the standards of personal conduct. Since the Law did not apply to non-Jews, they are not required to follow it. It would appear then that following The Way is of value to both Jews and Christians. In addition, Muslims honour Jesus as a Prophet. In the Holy Qur'an it says: "We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of Messengers; We gave Jesus the son of Mary clear signs and strengthened him with the holy spirit" (Surah 2:87). In another Surah it states: "The same Religion He has established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah...and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus (Surah 42:13). The Way presented in the Sermon on the Mount is consistent with Judaism, Chritianity and Islam.
In my Blog on Autosomatic Training and Science, it is demonstrated that Autosomatic Training is harmonious with principles common to Judaism, Islam, Christianity and modern science. There is an intersection of agreement and potential harmony of all these approaches in their patterns of practice. In short, these fundamental principles of The Way are acceptable to all of the People of the Book and modern science. In addition, as will be developed in further Blogs on Yoga and Budhism, it will be demonstrated that these principles are essentially universally acceptable - except for those who would impose their private will on other humans for monetary and other personal gain.
Section IV: Matt. 5:21-6:21
The Problem List
The Beatitudes give us a bit of a roadmap of where we need to go on our spiritual quest. It sets us up to know what to expect and what to watch out for - what the issues are that we need to keep in mind. The effect of the ungrieved past and the avoidance of dealing with our spiritual pain and poverty, is to keep us hostage to the negative events of our past that we constantly relive and re-enact in the present and project into the future
Instead of being single-minded, mentally and emotionally clear, and living fully in the light in the present, we are double-minded and living in the dark - shaded by our unresolved imaged memories - the planks in our eye. The pain of the unexamined and unresolved past has us suffer in various ways. These problems, these ways of suffering, and causing others to suffer, are elaborated in detail before the remedy is presented as the process of taking the plank out of our eye (Matt. 7:1-5). These problems based on unresolved personal issues take various forms.
First from chapter 5: murder and criticizing others (verses 5:21-26); extra-marital lust (verses 5:27-30); inappropriate divorce (verses 5:31-32); making inappropriate oaths (verses 5:33-37); fighting with wrongdoers as opposed to tactfully yielding and peacemaking (verses 5:38-42); becoming caught up in hatred towards people who are acting like your enemies, instead of expressing love, gentleness and peacemaking (5:43-47); and not perfecting your healing, i.e. not completely removing the planks in your eye (verse 5:48).
Then from chapter 6 the problems are: doing apparently spiritual practices that are mainly done for self-aggrandizement (6:1-4); doing vain and repetitious prayers as if God can't hear you the first time (6:5-15); doing religious acts that show others you are self righteous (6:16-18); and contaminating your heart by valuing worldly goods more than spiritual values (6:19-21).
Section V - Matt. 6:22-23
The Nature of Perception
The above problems listed in Section IV are based on distorted and darkened inner sight (6:22-23). The distorted inner sight is the seeing of negative explicit images (memories and symbolic images). The darkened inner sight is the seeing of implied or implicit images which are constituted of colours only (dark, light and coloured). These latter images are very unpleasant or even very painful, and referred to in various ways depending on the spiritual tradition being followed. Some refer to it as part of the new birth. Others may call them 'body memories', or even passing through the Dark Night of the Soul.
The inner eye holds the imaged memory that is projected onto the world such that the person in distress or in the throes of inappropriate behaviour, is seeing the world through his distorted projected image. The image is a pereceptual filter. As a perceptual filter, the inner eye also determines how we think, feel and behave in the world. Negative inner images project that darkness onto the world, and distort the incoming data to match the inner darkness. When the inner image is that of the dark/light/coloured type, it is often associated with strong feelings such as rage, frustration, helplessness, powerlessnes and depression-like hopelesness - and "how great is that darkness" (as in verse 23). This key to what is happening inside the human psyche is a preamble to the solution presented for all the problem issues mentionned above. Chapter 7:1-5 provides that solution, using the example of being judgmental and indicating how to get yourself out of the judgmental state. Of course, the advice in that scripture is expanded through the lense of Autosomatic Training, as discussed above. The nature of the dilemma of having unseen negative images of the past that have not changed since the time they were first experienced is clearly referred to in the Secret Gospel of Thomas.
Several hundred years after the life and death of Jesus, in the third or fourth century of the Common Era (C.E.), a book was buried at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. It was uncovered in 1945 and eventually translated. That book is called The Secret Gospel of Thomas. Some accept that the content of this book extends back to the time of Jesus, and therfore should be part of the New Testament literature. A specific verse in that book, verse 84, neatly sums up what we have been talking about so far. It ties together the cleaning of the heart and the distress we feel, i.e. what we 'have to bear', with the imaged memory that is below the level of awareness (i.e. unconscious). Comparing the conscious to the unconscious, the verse says: "When you see your likeness [in a mirror], you are pleased. But when you see your images that came into being [in front of] you and that neither die nor become visible, how much you will have to bear" (in Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels, Vintage, p.238).
These images then, are unresolved memories that have not been resolved since the time they first occured (i.e. they have not died), and they are not visible (i.e. they are below the level of awareness - unconscious). The message is, pay attention to your heart (feelings, emotions), find the imaged memory (the plank, log, beam) in your inner eye and eliminate its negative effect on you and others by fully expressing the emotional truth that you would have liked to express at the time of the original incident. You have to express the complete truth in your processing - the good and the bad. The result will be the removal of the 'plank' from the eye. As the scripture says, when Jesus was talking about being a "slave to sin" (the problems), he said: "you shall know, and the truth shall make you free" The process is to clean the heart, remove the plank from your inner eye, relieve your emotional distress, and at the same time heal your personal and spiritual relationships.
This elaboration of the structure of the problems and the nature of the solution is referred to in other texts. In brief the solution is to not take negative actions and do not tolerate negative thoughts. The time you have negative thoughts and take negative actions is when your inner eye has a negative unresolved inner image. In that sense you are of two minds, i.e. double-minded. Stop the addictive bad behaviour (i.e. being a slave to sin), and clean out the plank in your eye (use Autosomatic Training). As Jesus said, "if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off...if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out" (Matt. 18:8-9, NKJV). James put it a little less metaphorically when he said, "Cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep" (James 4:8-9, NKJV). It is totally consistent with the Autosomatic Training experience to connect purifying the heart with removing the double-mindedness. You cannot purify your heart without cleaning out the plank, and you cannot remove the plank without purifying the heart. They are both the same process of tracking the feeling to find the negative inner images, and removing them by working them through via experiencing and expressing the complete truth in your heart.
Section VI - Matt. 6:34
The Conflict Between Spirit and Money
This short section of one verse almost appears to be out of order. Should it not come before the verse indicating the inner eye structure and function, and how problematic that is? I think it is placed here to signify the magnitude of problems about money. We live in a highly monetized (Mammonized) world of fear and greed where money is King. The worship of money rivals the worship of God, since the "love of money" appears to be "the root of all kinds of evil" (1Timothy 6:10, NKJV). In New Testament terms, money belongs to Caesar and the corrupt world of business, government and politics, not God's realm (Matthew 22:21). Our relationship to money is one of the main problems that induce the worry that is talked about with respect to clothing, food, etc. above in Section IV. In this world, without money you may not stay alive. I believe this verse is positioned as it is (verse 6:24), between the structure of the damage within (verses 6: 22-23), and the relief that is on the way (verses 6:25-34, and 7:1-5), to emphasize the power for evil through the possession and control of money. In this vein, of The Beast from the Sea in the Book of Revelation it is written, "authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation", and of the Beast from the Earth it is said "no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev 13:7,17, NKJV). I quote these verses to indicate the important place of our attitudes to money and possessions, and how they may significantly affect our spiritual lives and how we interact with other people around money and possessions.
Section VII - Matt. 6:25-33
Results to be Expected from Following Right Precepts
In short, if you follow the practices and precepts presented in the Sermon on the Mount, you will not have worries and anxieties. When you follow God's lead as laid out in the Beatitudes and the cleaning of the heart and mind in section IX (Matt.7:1-5), you will enter the Kingdom of God. You will find your spiritual home.
Section VIII - Matt. 6:34
Living in God's Kingdom
When you live in God's Kingdom, you will no longer project negative experiences from the past onto the present and future, you will no longer project any negative present experiences onto the future or the past, and you will no longer cloud the present with forebodings of a negative future. You will simply live this day. Since, "Sufficient to the day is its own trouble" (verse 6:34), any difficulties that come up today will be fully dealt with today, internally by removing any planks, and externally you will follow the precept : "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). By doing so, you will be following Paul's advice to "not let the sun set on your wrath [or distress]" (Ephesians 4:26). You will clean everything up today, so there is no residue to cloud tomorrow. The result is living with full humility, compassion and respect - you will "inherit the earth".
Section IX - Matt. 7:1-5
With the practice of Autosomatic Training, i.e. locating the plank in the eye and removing it, worry and anxiety spontaneously dissipate. You can only really appreciate this by practising it yourself. If you do the work thoroughly and consistently you will lose your worry and live in the moment, but with a clear psyche, not one clouded with the unseen command images of the unconscious mind, the plank in the eye.
The suggestion in this Section, of taking the plank out of your own eye before taking the sliver out of your brother's eye, is often taken as a simple suggestion to do a reflective self examination before judging others. However, this plausible but comperatively simplistic solution does not suggest the tremendous power of fully removing the plank in the eye. The promise in Section XI indicates that the removal of the plank is a very important procedure. There is great importance in the significant promise that God will honour your persistent seeking to remove the plank from your eye and that he will definitely grant your requests.
The effect of granting the requests of the persistent seeker, resulting in the living of the Golden Rule, is spoken of as being the essence of "the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 7:12). Emphasizing the importance of removing the plank from the eye of the persistent seeker, Luke, in the eqivalent discussion of the persistent seeker says "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him" (Luke 11:9-13). This result takes us back to the beginning of this discussion when the client spontaneously acknowledged the presence of the Holy Spirit related to the removing of the plank from her eye. It should be noted that there had not been a previous discussion of such religious or spiritual matters with this client. She was, however, a member of a 12-step program that mentionned consulting a higher power of one's choosing. In addition, if this had been the only person, other than myself, who had this result from Autosomatic Training, it would not have been so remarkable. There have been a number of others with similar experiences.
The removing of the plank from the eye, the thorough processing of the imaged memories with Autosomtic Training, is a powerful spiritual process. As discussed in another Blog on Autosomatic Training and Science, this process of identifying and removing the effect of negative imaged memory is in fact a Perrenial Psychology that has come and gone multiple times over at least the last 3 1/2 millenia. It was resurrected in 1978 in the form of Autosomatic Training, a practice that in fact is able to manage all negative experiences, right back to the earliest days of life in the form of 'body memories' or what may be called 'implied memories' (the dark/light/coloured images). Autosomatic Training may also used in a series of imaged memories that constitute a specific clinical pattern, resulting in the eradication of the clinical pattern. In the last 20+ years Psychological and Psychiatric practice has used imaged memory for specific individual memories in the management of posttraumatic stress.
Section X: Matt. 7:6
What is Holy
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."
This comment is placed in between the counsel to remove the plank from the eye, and the process and effect of doing so. Why is this comment placed here and what is its significance?
It is clearly a warning that it is important to act thoughtfully and carefully. There may be undesirable consequences. You may be persecuted severely as indicated in the Beatitudes. One does not want to show indiscretion by putting "a ring of gold in a swine's snout" (Proverbs 11:22, NKJV). In Section XIII, we are warned there are "false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwaredly they are ravenous wolves". In Matthew 10:16-17, comes the warning: "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men" (NKJV). In essnce, this is a holy process. Use it wisely.
Section XI: Matt. 7: 7-12
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
This Section has been discussed in the Introduction and in various places throughout the whole Blog up to this point. Basically we are assured that this is a do-able process with spiritual rewards since it is the work of the Holy Spirit. The process is simple but not easy, since we need to confront all our inner distress.
The Gnostic Secret Gospel of Thomas, on commenting on the inner work, said things like "put you hands over your eyes, and tell me what you see", or "One does not see through the soul, nor through the spirit, but the mind which is between the two: that is what sees the vision", or "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you" (in Beyond Belief, Pagels, 2003, p.102, 104, 237). Silvanus said: "Enlighten your mind...Light the lamp within you", and "Knock on yourself as on a door and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For if you walk on the road, it is impossible for you to go astray", presumably because of the presence of the Holy Spirit (in The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels, 1979, p.127). Thes quotes are clearly referring to the type of inner work that is done in Autosomatic Training, and they endorse both the effectiveness and the spiritual results.
Section XII: Matt. 7:13-14
The Narrow Gate
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it".
This is simple and clear. To get the spiritual and emotional result, you have to do the work. There is no way around it. Those who do not do the meticulous inner cleaning, are not demonstrating the pure heart and are not be followed - man, woman or organization. Some people think they have done the work, or claim they have done the work, but are clearly not able to demonstrate the effects of of completing the inner work. James said: " The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17, NKJV). Or as Paul put it: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control" (Galations 5:22-23). If these qualities and behaviours are not quite visible, repectful caution and observation is appropriate.
Section XIII: Matt. 7:15-29
Those who fall into this category may well think they have done their inner work sufficiently. However, these people are not to be believed or followed, because they are still clouded inside - double-minded, or like a falswe self. Luke, in the Sermon on the Plain (Lk.6:17-34, NKJV), puts this in a way that points clearly to the need to clean the heart before following others or allowing others to advise you. He quotes Jesus in verse 45 as saying: "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks". This saying points out clearly how it is the heart that needs to be meticulously cleaned by feeling its pain and clearing out the 'plank' from the inner eye. Until that cleaning is done thoroughly, the brain thinks, the mouth speaks, and the body acts on the abundance of good or evil in the heart. Listen to the pure of heart as a guide to achieving a clean heart within yourself. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, not of another human.
Autosomatic Training is an original discovery through spontaneous introspection arising from an urge to develop wisdom and understanding of myself. Before discovering Autosomatic Training I had no satisfactory explanation for my erratic thoughts and behaviours. They were beyond my comprehension.
Eventually I realized that what I uncovered within myself was not a new phenomenon. It was a spontaneous discovery of a universal phenomenon. It is universally available to the seeker.
Discovering Autosomatic Training within myself is the most important thing that has ever happened to me. And yet, I cloud not help but think it is all due to God's grace.
My job is to share this wisdom with anyone who wants to share in it.
Read this website and the sacred writings carefully. Share the good news with others.
Practise your practice.