Posted 25 March 2017 by Sal
The Way of Negating vs. The Way of Affirming
I’ve been speaking a bit lately on our weekly inquirer group calls about the two ways people engage in this type of work. It came to me to write a bit about it.
One way of engaging in 'spiritual' work is the way of negating, and other way is the way of affirming. Obviously, psychological inquiry is the way of negating. Going ‘in’ there and analyzing, sorting out, fixing, correcting, trying to get rid of—all these things assume the judgement of a problem, something is wrong, with ‘me’. But who this me is, is not substantial. To the one seeking truth, it has to be seen for what it is, a myth. Once we get on this carousel of mind, there is no end. Round and round we go, forever.
But I don't want to get too much into the psychological method here, because most of the so-called spiritual paths are just as much the way of negating. There is still something wrong, with ‘me’. Now we call it vasanas, which have to be released or destroyed. Or now we say we have to purify the mind of all thoughts. Or now we say we need to correct our behavior, or not do certain things that are against ’spirituality’ or enlightenment.
We wind up again on the carousel of mind, fixing, purifying and correcting. And again, as we see with most paths, that is endless as well. But not only is it endless, much more importantly, it never gets down to the essential truth of being. The reason is that there is no progressive ‘path’ to knowing your essential being. You either know or you don’t. So the way of negating is both endless and never 'arriving' at truth.
The way of affirming is completely different. In this way, we are not trying to correct, fix, analyze or purify anything. We do not even set one little toe on that carousel. We stay off the carousel completely. Why, because we have come to know our essential being, and that is where we stay. Of course, first one has to come to know, without doubt, essential being, otherwise it doesn’t work. You can’t pretend or fool yourself; you need to know.
The good news about the affirming way is, firstly, you go straight to freedom. No path, no more endless rides on the mental carousel. You simply jump. But, the other good news is that, at the same time, most of those things you spent a lifetime trying to resolve by the way of negation, get resolved automatically, on their own, without you doing anything about it at all. Over time, perhaps slowly, by continually remaining true to your essential being, things resolve on their own. And you begin to experience more and more peace and freedom. I see this all the time on the weekly calls with people who have been doing this work with more for some time.
Why would that be? Because you have turned the power switch off. What is the power switch? Belief. As long as you believe in vasanas, there they are. As long as you believe in afflictions from the past, there they are. As long as you believe there is an ego, there it is.
Some people will complain that this is too radical and does not properly respect or address past afflictions. That is because that person has not yet come to know that which is free of afflictions already. Perhaps that person is simply not yet ready for that. (I have no judgement about that and I do not think this work is for everyone; if someone feels they need a more therapeutic approach then that is how they should go.) But for someone who hears this message and is ready, it is essential to come to know your free, essential being first. It is the beginning of the ‘true path’, so to speak.
In coming to know there is no past, no future, and no self/ego, it is seen that what is, who I am, is free of all of it, here and now, already. Continuing to know this, continuing to stay off the carousel, which I call having holidays, means that you continue to abide as truth as freedom, as peace. This is the way of affirming. Being who you are now.
I say come to know who you are and continuously affirm that knowing. Forget what is going on ‘in there’. Yes, ignore. You have spent your whole life trying to fix and get rid of all of that, but it is endless and fruitless. Be free. Be who you are. See that everything is already resolved here and now. Turn off the power switch of belief in mind.
Sat Chit Ananda