Would you choose to live in presence today?
Another way to say what the sign says is that we all face temptations from small, like addiction to worrying or being angry, to big, like physical addictions, from time to time, which reveal our addictions, meaning what we cannot do without. What is the definition of temptation? Temptation is the Universe* revealing our addictions, small or big, and testing us to see if we’ll go up or down in consciousness as a result of the test. If we were never tempted, we would not know we were conscious and loving. Everyone would be an angel and there would be no free will. In order for free will to exist, there must be a choice to move down in consciousness as well as up. So the purpose of temptation is to test us to see if we choose to go down or choose to go up when offered that choice in a conscious moment.
Why do I say “in a conscious moment”? That is because when we are tempted in an unconscious moment, our only response can be in accordance with our mental programming which comes from all our prior experience and from cultural programming. So if we’re drunk or stoned, we won’t be using our free will much. We will be as helpless as a robot operating on a previously written program, helpless to say no to temptation. That is why so many dumb things happen to drunken people. Happen to see the movie “Hangover”? Drunken people are not present and are unavailable to make a conscious choice, so they go with their programmed choice.
Let’s look at a common temptation, the sex temptation. If we are programmed to be promiscuous because “it feels really good,” then we’ll give into the temptation of a one night stand when we’re drunk. There is no choice there. We’re still responsible, but we did not choose – our program chose for us. And afterward it looks like a bad choice when the STD shows up. I use the example of sex, because sex drive has been recognized by several masters of consciousness as being a problem for most human beings. Jesus pointed out to the men who wanted to stone a prostitute that they were no less programmed to fall into temptation than she was. They dropped their rocks. They knew they had fallen into temptation and were just like her in that way.
So how to you deal with temptation, which is commonly called “resisting temptation”? I prefer asking, “How do you stop falling into it?” You stop it at the door, and that means the door of the mind, not the body. When you have a lustful thought, as both Judeo-Christian and Hindu doctrines teach, you have committed the sin until proven otherwise. The mind creates exactly what it holds in consciousness. So Jimmy Carter was right when he told Playboy back in the late 1970’s that he had lusted after his neighbor’s wife and that it was wrong. It’s a thought of temptation, because he had made a commitment to Rosalynn Carter to be with her alone. His mind was considering an alternative, which was the temptation to pursue his neighbor’s wife. So if you consciously continue to hold in mind “what you don’t want,” you have given into temptation, and the actual act of cheating is simply the punctuation mark. The standard of dealing with temptation at the level of mind rather than just body was a big step up from the initial Old Testament 10 Commandment standard of not committing adultery which is simply committing the act itself.
What is “sin” really? It’s simply separation from God, the All, Source. And it feels lousy to separate from that. It happens each time we choose to go down instead of up when facing a temptation.
So we’ll start with the more serious, but sometimes subtle addictions. What if you have a lustful thought about sex, drugs, or money (or about something less dramatic, as we’ll get to next…be patient. ; ))? It’s OK. It’s just a test. But stay vigilant and present. It’s the beginning of sin, the seed of sin, but when it becomes the end of the sin, there is absolution. That is a victory. The seed of sin dies when a temptation is transcended.
Many of us have no intense physical addiction. So what about being tempted to worry when the stock market goes down by 50% as it did recently or just a correction of a few percent as it did last week? Or being tempted to worry about our kids? Or to worry that the weather will be bad or that the roads are slick? Yes, it’s a temptation, because whenever we depart from the feeling that we are connected and One with God/Universe, we have succumbed to the temptation to be the ego instead.
Use common sense of course with the investing, kids, weather preparations, and driving in a hard rain or snowfall, but certainly don’t be tempted to worry about any of it. Falling into the temptation of fear never helped anyone. Being afraid a bit never stopped anyone, but the residual fear is NOT what improves performance. You’ll only know this if you try the same task without the fear of course. When we are tempted to fear, that sends a message to God/Universe/Source that we do not trust God/Universe/Source to guide us and provide for us as we are. Really? Ask if that is true.
So when you are conscious and are tempted to worry or tempted to be angry, or tempted physically, you have two choices: “Yes” or “No.” “Yes” we’ll call moving up in consciousness, and “No” we’ll call moving down in consciousness. So when tempted, remain present and affirm what it is that you actually want in your life. If you want a spouse who is monogamous, say yes to the thought of a wonderful monogamous relationship with your spouse. Saying “No” is not as effective as saying yes, because when you negate something, it still sits in your mind, as in “don’t think of an elephant” as the classic example.
When Faced with a Temptation How Do You Overcome It?
The Temptation Transcendence Process™
1. NOTICE you are being tested by temptation. Remain conscious. Take a breath for example and deliberately center yourself.
2. DECIDE what you do not want and then decide what good you actually want to manifest in your life (set your intention for good).
3. SAY “YES” to the good you want to manifest.
4. GIVE THANKS that you are back on track and in alignment with God/Universe.
An example using the common sex drive theme that plagues most humans including our Presidents:
1. NOTICE that you had the thought. “Hmmm, I’m being tempted.” For example, you are in a committed relationship and had a thought of lust when you see an attractive person in public.
2. DECIDE that if you are lustful toward another person and act on it (which you will do eventually if the programming gets stronger and stronger), you will manifest consequences you don’t want in your life. Decide what you want is a monogamous relationship in which you make love and connect on all levels, not to have sex with strangers.
3. SAY YES: “I say yes to having a wonderful loving relationship with my significant other/spouse.”
4. GIVE THANKS: “Thank you that I am in fidelity in mind once again, in a loving relationship with my significant other/spouse (insert their name).”
Now an example of being “tempted to worry about not having enough for retirement”:
1. NOTICE that you had the thought. “Hmmm, I notice I’m being tempted to worry about my retirement.”
2. DECIDE that if you continue to worry that it won’t actually help you create more abundance, because the message to God/Universe when you worry is that you don’t trust it as the Source of your good. Worrying is not “asking,” it’s holding in mind that the abundance is not coming. When you don’t ask, you don’t receive. Decide that what you want is to have an abundance both now and in retirement.
3. SAY YES: “I say YES to having an overflowing abundance now and in retirement as I know deeply that I am well taken care of.”
4. GIVE THANKS: “Thank you that I am now receiving this great flow of abundance.”
A shorthand approach when faced with a temptation is to simply ask:
“Yes or no?” (Yes means I’m choosing good. No means I’m choosing to go with the temptation.)
OR alternatively use:
“Up or down?” (Up meaning choosing to move up in consciousness and down meaning choosing to move down in consciousness.)
Done. You are not being “led into temptation.” You are being led to the doorstep of falling into temptation, just as Jesus was tempted when he faced the “Last Temptation.” You are being tested just as he was tested. Being tempted is simply being tested, and it’s not a problem; giving into temptation when tested is the problem. Face it. Say YES to moving UP in consciousness and you will pass test after test, just as Jesus did. We are not beyond temptation until we are fully realized, so don’t be shocked that temptations show up to help us raise our consciousness, which is their purpose. “Yes” or “No”?
A final note. It’s really simple, but as you know, it is not easy. This will work on many temptations. If this discriminative process is not enough for you, you are likely more deeply programmed, and I would recommend that you take the opportunity to work with me and learn how to be transcendent and present. I have helped many people drop major life programs very quickly. It’s harder to suffer in constant temptation than it is to drop a program. Freedom is a great thing. If you would like to speak to me (no charge for us to see if it would be a good fit for you), simply pick 2 times/days that would be good for you and contact me here:
Would you choose to live in presence today?
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* FOOTNOTE: Some call the force behind temptation “Satan,” but Satan, if you prefer to call it that, is a God creation that exists for testing purposes as described above, in my opinion. I’m more interested here in the phenomenon of temptation and how to respond to it on a practical level, so we’ll leave it at that.