I got a question about concentration… or attention… It seems to me that this is a function of the mind, and that the attention, or concentration, can’t be placed on awareness; on the subjective. Is that correct?
By the mind yes, that’s correct. Yes, yes. That which places the attention on awareness, or the intention, is love; is grace.
And then this love and grace…
So, it’s beyond the mind. You find yourself interested in the Truth, but it’s something that has happened, just as you got your flu, in a sense. In other words, the alleged “person” has nothing to do in this business with becoming a Truth lover.
And this concentration on our true nature, or the zooming in, onto our true nature, corresponds to a zooming out, of the body, the senses and the mind. So it corresponds to a decrease in interest for everything created; for every thing which is phenomenal.
So it’s a shift, of the desire, in fact; and the desire is the engine, so it could be said it’s a shift of energy, of the direction of our living force, or life force, away from the world, back to Presence.
But it is not something that we decided, we say, “Oh, right now for ten minutes I’m going to shift my attention away from the world back to Presence”, you see? No, that’s not how it works. As I said, it’s like the flu; at some point, you realize, “Well, for some reason, for some reason which is always in fact mysterious, I find myself less interested in the world and more interested in God / in Truth / Consciousness…”, whatever form this interest seems to take.
It is really the meaning of the word conversion. M? To convert? It means con-, “together”, and vert, “to shift”. So it’s a shift of the direction, and at the same time, a conversion of the energies. So that’s the meaning of conversion.
So conversion doesn’t mean [threatening look] “You are going to convert, otherwise…” [throat-cutting gesture; audience laugh]. No. That’s not what it means. That’s not… [Francis laughs too] Or… or to send people to do proselytism all over the world, you know, with white shirts. No. [All laugh]
When these moments of grace happen, and, I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks, just… the attention pops… a thought pops up; “Ah, yes!” And the mind will then, mostly out of curiosity and out of interest in that, will turn towards “Where did that come from?” Eh… Is there value in that? Or just… enjoy as it comes?
It comes from the peace. So yes, you can discover it came from the peace.
There… There is an initiation, or an initial moment of this conversion, an initial moment of grace.
Which is, in fact, the true meaning of initiation. To initiate means “to start something”. So there is a starting point. That is in fact a glimpse of our true nature. That is… [sweet expression] And that’s the true meaning of initiation.
Again, it’s not the rite, and… and everything that is done in various religions or traditions. No. That’s exoteric initiation.
Esoteric initiation is this first recognition.
Then, this transfer of desire from the world to Presence, is something that takes place incrementally; over, often, a period of years.
And we can, somehow, facilitate the process, we can, of course, yes, accelerate it.
But the way we notice it… In the beginning, we don’t notice the peace. We have just a few moments, when we are reminded, and then at a certain point, we realize that the Presence becomes more tangible, in a sense, because… becomes more…
In my case, I was feeling it very intensely when I was with my teacher; in his presence; and less intensely when I was on my own. But then, over the years, that changed.
So ideally, we… we want to be in this peace, all the time.
But there is not a sudden shift.
A sudden shift is with the initiation.
And sometimes this initiation is even hardly noticed by the mind.
And sometimes it can be a big event that then demands notice, that you see it.
Or, the initiation may have taken place, and then down the road at some point, a big event takes place also that gets noticed, by the mind, and that is believed to be the initiation, whereas the initiation had taken place earlier on.
This… To try to analyze this process, is kind of useless, because the only thing that matters… is the end game. Right? That is to be happy and at peace.
So that’s that which we have to recognize in hindsight and ask ourselves, you know, “Am I better off now than I was four years ago?”
The question comes out of a very real desire to employ the mind, in service of this…
The use of the mind is about belief systems. If by mind we mean what I call “the intellect”, which is the rational aspect, the use of reason, and the use of reason enables us to liberate ourselves from all kinds of belief systems we are attached to, of all kinds, and to become… kind of indifferent to those, and see that these have only very relative value, that they don’t have absolute value.
And then, the investigation of the body and of the resistances there, is important.
That’s the way to facilitate the process,
to live the Truth in our lives.
That’s by far the most important.
We have to think the Truth,
we have to feel the Truth,
we have to live the Truth.
To think the Truth is important… And to think the Truth, what it means is not that much… although in the beginning, it corresponds to thinking about the Truth, but later on, To think the Truth means “Not to think the untruth”. It means not to hold the notion of being a separate person; not to be attached to it; not to keep it; just, whenever it arises, to drop it right away. And then it stops arising. So that’s what it means. Therefore, in the beginning, the investigation is necessary, because it is our understanding that fundamentally eradicates this belief to be a separate consciousness. But once we are very open to this possibility, then all that it takes is to stop thinking along the old lines of thought, to stop thinking along the line of being a separate person. And then we become more aware of the feelings in the background, in the closet, so to speak, that were triggering this personal type of thought. And, again, we allow for these feelings, we don’t want to kill those feelings, but we want to look straight at them. So we see them for what they are: bodily sensations. And then they are not telling us any longer, “You are separate”. They are simply sensations that appear in something that is limitless.
That’s what I could call, To feel according to the Truth. It means “Not to feel the untruth”, the untruth being, to be separate. And what it means; it means every time I feel that I am separate, to look at these feelings, straight. Then we realize it’s just a bodily sensation that doesn’t tell me anything –regarding the question whether I am limited or not, separate or not– as Consciousness.
And finally, To act according to the Truth means –same thing– “To stop acting according to the untruth”. Just to stop the actions that are rooted in the belief to be a separate person. To pause before you take such an action. To become acutely aware… to become… to discriminate between the actions that are natural, normal, like having a good time, or putting… filling up the tank of your car… paying your taxes… whatever. All these actions are part of life, they are natural, you see what I mean? [Lowering his voice] Taxes I’m not sure, but…
So that’s how you can… support, if you will, the peace.
And the more you… you think, you feel and you act according to the Truth, the more vibrant the peace becomes; in your life.
And the peace is telling you:
And the peace takes care of many things in your life, as a result; of many issues. You see? If you leave it to the peace to… Not that you don’t act; you do your best, but you act always in this… according to the Truth. And then what seems impossible for you to achieve, with your feeble… with your very reduced power, the peace will finish the job for you.
The third part of that, putting into life as action, I’ve noticed that there are actions that have both an impersonal motive as well as a personal. Do you have any advice on… how to… I don’t know… purify those, or…
[to himself] How can I say that?
What… what matters… is not… what a rationale for an action seems to be. But what it is.
Now. There are only two possibilities. Either consciousness is personal, or it isn’t. Therefore, if the rationale for one action is that consciousness is personal, the rationale cannot be that consciousness is impersonal. And conversely. Are you following me?
I understand… I don’t see how… Eh… That doesn’t seem to be how to experience… the… the motives. I can’t give you anything…
Let me take another example.
I, out of love, you know, and desire to celebrate, and my friend is visiting, I buy a bottle of champagne, because I know that my friend loves champagne, and I love champagne too. And… OK, then you could say, well, this action is both impersonal, because it’s celebration, it’s love for the friend, but it’s also personal, because I love champagne.
Right? So that would be an example of an action that seems to be both personal and impersonal.
But to see it as both impersonal and personal, is mistaken.
Why? Because when I say, “I like champagne”, it’s not me. In fact, it’s this body that likes champagne. Right?
So by… The real reason for that, I mean if my friend wasn’t visiting, I wouldn’t have a bottle of champagne. Right? So, the determining reason was the visit of my friend. Right? So ultimately it was celebration. Right? Celebration of friendship, which is celebration of love. And the fact that the body of my friend, and my body, both like champagne, is just the reason in the first place why, you know, impersonally I chose to buy champagne; and not garlic!
So I think, if you… So, that which was confusing in the example I just gave, between personal and impersonal, that… There are two levels; there is the level of the body – and it’s perfect; if the body is happy, why not? In other words, an action which is impersonal, ah, can bring about pleasure for the body! Why not? It’s not a crime, you see what I mean?
But that which matters is the…
that the ultimate motivation for it,
be love, truth, beauty.
And in this regard, even if you eliminate the friend, if you are on your own, and you are going to cook dinner, and you are going to the grocery store to choose what you are going to eat… Well, it’s not a personal action that you want to feed this body well, with the proper type of food and the food that the body enjoys; you see what I mean? It’s not personal! Because you are the manager of your body, and you are the good manager of it. And you want to; your body is like your child, in a sense; you want the body to be happy. You are the only one who is involved in this decision, so why not? You see what I mean? It doesn’t qualify necessarily as a personal decision.
However, if you go to a restaurant, and if you feel that your happiness is dependent on that, of going to that specific restaurant, and if that one is closed on that evening and you are desperate because of that, then you’ve got a problem.
In religious terms, they have a beautiful saying; they say, “It is intention that sanctifies the action”. For it is… –in my… using my vocabulary– it is the impersonality of the decision that qualifies the deed.
Francis Lucille transcribed by Leon Hieros