This is a gem for anyone who wants to get free from the illusions that keep us from naturally and effortlessly living a happy life.” Quoted in Ken K…[ Ken Keyes ] >
Book Excerpt: Trying[ Nov 27, 2012 ] [ by Bruce M. Di Marsico ]
Trying is not believing that if I can do something, and I want to do something, I will do it (naturally, with no greater motivation needed). Trying is believing that that which I can only do by wanting, I can't do by only wanting. I must exert more effort than I want to. The exertion of effort cancels and nullifies the natural ease of the movement that wanting would produce. The harder I try the more impossible the movement. Trying is the same as fearing that you might not do what only your wanting can do.
This applies to all bodily and emotional activities, for example, only your wanting to go to sleep can lead you to sleep. Trying to go to sleep tends to move you awayfrom sleep, and the harder (with more effort) you try, the farther from sleep you will tend to be. Similarly, for trying to relax, or trying to digest.
Trying is doubting, or not being sure of, the outcome of your efforts. It is not always unhappiness. E.g., "I am trying to carve this stone into a sculpture of an apple" can mean, that insofar as I am able, I will, but the stone may crack and Imay not have the knowledge or training necessary to achieve what I hope for.
Doing without trying is to decide to do it insofar as one is capable, or insofar as one's own good intentions and ability contribute to the outcome. If I have decided that I truly want something or want to do something, then I can know that I will do it, insofar as the power is naturally within me and as long as I am wanting to.
For example: I want to read this book. My doing is: I now sit down and begin to read. If my mind wanders and/or I keep forgetting what I am reading, the following is happening:
1) I am no longer wanting to read (I am not interested in the material enough) or
2) I am afraid that I won't be able to maintain interest or be able to concentrate or remember what I read,
3) I believe that I should read and believe I will be unhappy, disappointed or some other way I don’t want to feel, if I don't.
These apparently different phenomenal causes really all amount to the same thing, and call for the same solution. Stop trying to read, and stop trying not to forget, and stop trying to prevent your mind from wandering!
Stop believing that what is natural needs help by your doubts and fears!
The solution in each case:
Decide anew whether you really would like to read (even though up till now you have lost interest since your first decision). Realize you might want to read and think, read and think, read, then think, and so on. You might not want to just only read. Realize that you might be interested in the material, or might not be especially interested, or not as interested as you had thought you were, but you still might want to read it, or might not want to read it now no matter how interested you are. You may want to come back another time. You can love changing your mind.
Don't base these decisions on any self-doubts that you couldn't read if you wanted to, or on believing you should or should not read. If you do, your real problem is #2 or #3. The fear of your mind sabotaging your desires is a perfect example of trying instead of knowing. If you really are wanting to read, and know how to read, nothing in you can prevent you unless you fear it will. You will read naturally because it is natural.
You just haven't decided that you really want to read. The reason you haven't decided is because you believe that in this case, your decision isn't enough. You may even feel that you don't really "feel" like reading and are constantly "tempted" to give up. The reason you are not believing that your decision would be enough, is probably "past" experience. You approach this book fearing that you might have the same "trouble" this time as you had in the past. Your problem in the past was that either you really didn't want to read, or that you tried too hard.
The solution is "Don't try. Want to, and just let it happen.” If your mind wanders, don't worry; just re-decide whether you want to read more this time. You can't read by trying to read, but only by wanting to.
Know that if you really want to, then you will. You will have no "trouble". "Really" want to means that you have decided that it is what you want, and that trying or forcing yourself is unnecessary (you naturally feel like it).
"Really" wanting to do something is believing that your wanting is natural and that you will naturally do it as long as you want to.
Not feeling like doing something you want to do is the result of believing that you may not do naturally what is only natural to do if you want to. It is not fully deciding to do something because you believe your decision won't help or make you do what you want. But that is based on the belief that something (even, your decision) has to force you to do what you want. You do not realize that, the decision that you really want to do something "frees" you enough to allow it to happen. It "frees" you to feel like it.
"Feeling like it" frequently is not a real feeling. In other words, it does not have a physical sensation. It is more like hope and determination. "I feel like it" means that on some level I am already beginning to move toward what I am imagining. One could "feel like it" about things or actions we want or don't want based on whether we are believing it is going to happen. I will find myself "feeling like" something I don't even want if I believe that it is going to happen anyway.
Feeling unhappy is like this. If I believe it is going to happen anyway, whether I want it or not, I will "feel" unhappy. The same is also true about "not feeling like it", if I believe I am not going to be especially happy or not turned on, etc. "Not feeling like it" about something I want, will happen if I believe that I will not make it happen even though I want it. Believing I will not make any consenting real moves, or decisive moves, toward what I want will produce "not feeling like it" feelings which are like despair and repulsion, lethargy and the feeling that someone or something will have to make me do it.
3) I "should” be reading is just another attempt to use "fear of repercussions" to motivate me to do what I want. Stop trying to motivate yourself. Believing we won't do what we could only do by just simply wanting to and allowing the feelings to arise in us is the same as trying. Trying is not doing. Trying is not trusting nature. Trying is not allowing. In fact, a person who is always trying will eventually believe that they must not be allowing themselves for some reason. They will even deduce that they must have something against what they're wanting:
“Maybe I have some deep fear?
Maybe I believe it is evil, bad, wrong.
Maybe I believe that if I get what I want I will screw myself.
Maybe my wanting is not to be trusted.
Maybe something is really wrong in me. A basic contradiction
working against me.”
They are hinting at the real problem. True they are not trusting their wanting. But not in the way they think. It is not that they really believe their wanting will mislead them or is to be mistrusted. It is that they do not trust that by simply wanting they will have the effects they want.
All their doubts and fears that there is something deep within them (impotence, fear, confusion, belief in evil which they don't really believe in) are deductions that are inevitable for someone who is sensing that there is no good reason why they should not be feeling what they want or are feeling what they don't want. They do not trust that by not wanting to feel certain ways they naturally won't (unhappiness, sleepless, turned on, turned off, etc.)
They do not trust that by wanting to feel certain ways, they naturally will. Parenthetically, it is interesting to note that the terms "turned on" and "turned off" refers in the mechanical and technological world as the necessary primary functions to begin or end all other subsequent or previous activities. The switch that makes the difference. No machine will begin to do its thing unless it is turned on. No machine going in the wrong direction can continue to if it is turned off.
Trying to do what you don't need to try to do is the only cause of craziness. It is the only cause of inappropriate and unwanted feelings. Unwanted feelings are the only cause of unhappiness and confusion and self-defeat.
Unhappiness is the only cause of deducing that we believe that which we don't really believe, or like believing. This is the cause of feeling that there is something wrong with us. Trying to be good is the cause of evil.