Setting My Inner World on Fire

This story is lifted from the Supplemental Manual, more specifically from the chapter Making a Decision to Live. It is presented here separately and out of context due to its possible usefulness in making decisions favorable toward a full and enjoyable life.

The Last Great Battle

To many people being able to relax and enjoy a balmy summer evening may seem the perfect and ideal lifestyle, but I well remember one such summer night quite differently. That was the night I sat for hours in my hot tub out under the stars, steaming and stewing in a bubbling redwood caldron, and in more ways than one. This was the night that, while I bathed in soothing water, much of my old world went up in inner flames, as it burned to ashes in a searing test of my desire to live. It was a grand way to find out if I really meant what I had been asking and proclaiming as possible, literally putting me to the acid test and proving one way or another if I would and/or could “walk my talk.” For several days before that memorable and painfully distressing night my mind had been revving up with all sorts of judgmental business. It was racing, simmering with festering attitudes, judgments and loud squeals, commanding me in no uncertain terms as to what I must and must not do, who I thought I was and why. During these final few days of my mind’s unquestionable dictatorial sovereignty it screamed at me relentlessly all day and throughout the restless nights.

I did not know why this mental war was happening. I was puzzled why my mind raced, why it buzzed endlessly out of control, nearly tearing my head open as I walked and wobbled dazed and unable to reason clearly. I did not yet comprehend that energy desiring to live, but yet held back and denied, was beginning to twitch and move again. This “lost” energy was responding to my growing and conscious choices to more fully live and find myself, new choices that were giving permission for parts of me to live that I had not yet realized had lain fallow and were waiting patiently for my approving nod. Now, not-so-subtle energies were pushing against and disrupting the previously undisturbed jumble of judgmental concrete that made up my mind. Up till now my mentality had been largely a comfortable tangle of gray numbness, but that old mental jumble was now being triggered into a desperate defensive action by my new choices, a process that would eventually allow me to see and feel it for what it truly was.

My process of resurrection had begun, and was unfolding now as never before, although I was still too unaware to realize the blessing being bestowed upon me by a loving universe reviving itself as well as me. Although I temporarily perceived it otherwise, I was moving back into my totality and power inch by inch, feeling more of myself, including parts that were in pain but, in the feeling numbness of my generally deadened state, had not been allowed the movement necessary to be felt or noticed. My head physically pulsed with throbbing, painful energy that burned with a fierce and frantic desperation that seemed wholly out of my perceptible control. I did not yet understand that my mind’s triggered rampaging was clearly showing me my judgments and who I had made myself become. Nor did I yet comprehend that my perceived lack of being able to control or stop my mind was indeed also my choice, with the so-called lack of control caused by a muddle of forgotten and denied mental defenses programmed to protect and keep my judgmental status quo fixed, and do so in a way judged to be “safe” and/or necessary for my survival.

During the last few proceeding days I often found myself sitting and holding my head in my hands, it throbbing with a beating pressure and pain. My head was increasingly feeling like it was becoming brittle inside, cracking apart into little pieces. At nighttime there was no relent. I would toss and turn, unable to sleep. I hoped this wretched misery would soon end, but the triggering and intensity just kept building as time passed by. The inner raging was becoming unbearable to my rigid mentality, something had to give, or so I thought. I wished and wailed for it to end, rolling on the floor, moaning in agony. I asked myself, “was I dying of some awful malady? Was this painful misery what life was all about?” The questions went unanswered, but my torment went on unabated and without any sign of letting up, steadily multiplying in strength, as though my mind was engaged in some kind of final and ultimately decisive battle.

On that crucial summer night a milestone in my choosing to unconditionally live occurred. I sat in my hot tub for a very long time, clutching my burning head tightly in my hands. My head felt ready to explode from an intense inner sense of pressure, aching, pulsing and throbbing with a churning mentality gone rampant. Everything within was becoming a whirl of dazed unintelligence, as jagged pieces of mentality jabbed and banged against each other in great bruising battles. Violent flashes of colored light began smashing together like bursts of angry lightning, threatening to destroy anything in their path. I sat physically still, losing track of everything but the vicious combat raging inside my head. The mental fires roared ever more unchecked, glowing more menacing with every passing moment. Finally my vision was filled with nothing but fiery flames of brilliant red. My mind seemed to be incinerating itself with unrestrained determination, while I sat helpless in a big bubbling cauldron of warm water. Everything seemed hopeless, yet still the mental pain and commotion grew additionally wild and intense, becoming utterly intolerable, filling me with a great mental noise that roared at me from every quarter.

I could not escape myself, and nothing I did seemed to quiet or lessen the inner violence. I sat impotent and disabled in the bubbling water, no longer able to think or reason. Then, without any forethought or premonition, something remarkable and completely unanticipated occurred: I simply gave up! In what seemed like only a millisecond I totally gave up, resigned to my plight, whatever that might be. I had surrendering myself to life as it was, with all inner resistance suddenly and completely collapsing. In an instant I had gone from insufferable war to nothing. There was no thinking, no noise, no anything. All the mental pain and discomfort had instantly vanished without any remaining trace. Inside I felt empty, blank, suddenly quiet and open to whatever was there to see and feel, without judgment or consideration. There was no reasoning, no contemplation, no demands, no bargaining and no wavering. I just gave up, my mentality stopping dead in its tracks of its own accord, without force or coercion. Then, in that precious and holy moment of total release came the miracle of life: I decided I wanted to live—no matter what I must endure. This choice spread through me like wildfire, and as thoroughly as I could feel, effortlessly penetrating everything within my consciousness. I had chosen, and if that meant having to bear all the mental pain I had been experiencing up to this moment, if that was all that life was ever to offer, I no longer cared. I merely wanted to live, and I wanted all of myself to live. Throughout myself and deep down into my core I had suddenly and openly decided to live in a way that heretofore had not been possible, and I could feel the effects of my decision reverberate in places that were only moments before not a recognized part of me.

Next came the profound wonder and beauty of the stunning inner silence that had enveloped me. My head was silent, tranquil, softer, with nothing appreciable going on. It felt beautifully empty, momentarily clean and at rest. I remember lifting my head from my hands and looking about, perplexed. All the familiar physical sights still seemed to surround me, but with a slightly different visual quality. Something with vast consequences had moved and evolved itself within me. It was something that was still beyond any reasoning or comprehension, but I welcomed it nonetheless. I had long been called, even compelled, to follow an inner path leading toward some distant and vague home, always having an intuition that something gloriously magnificent existed far beyond what I currently could see, feel and experience. I was at a pivotal moment in my awareness journey. It was a moment of choosing that was to allow Creation to begin opening greater doors of opportunity for my inner awareness and growth, doors that before this point in time would have seemed impossible or nonexistent, but that now were made available by me merely choosing to accept whatever was offered by a Creation I had chosen to love and begin trusting. That was the greatest and most singularly decisive battle of my mind, with all its warlike armaments, its heavy artillery suddenly falling silent, the battleground becoming calm and serene. The great inner war was ending, although many skirmishes were yet to come, but a new day was dawning as the horizon cleared of smoke and haze. All this was set into motion by a simple decision to live, regardless of what may come. I slept soundly and easily that night, but knowing full well that my process was far from over.

This process of truly choosing a new way, one that allows life to flow more and more unhindered, is something that must happen for you, if you want all of yourself to live in joyous harmony and reflect that harmony in the outer reality that you experience. This does not mean that you will go through or experience anything like myself. We are all uniquely different, our inner wars are fought on diverse grounds, with differing banners and swords. But choosing to live does mean that, at some point, you will have to definitely and deeply choose, no matter what may come, if everlasting life and totality of your being is what you truly desire. There is no way around it. Either you want to totally live, or you do not. Middle ground is no ground, and it may be where you are now, going nowhere, except drifting into what you perceive as blissful death. Having the willingness to reach out and make the vital decision to fully live is what will give permission for the process and necessary experiences triggering you back into life to begin in earnest, thus enabling you to continue choosing life at deeper and deeper levels. Then, hopefully, without you continually having to waste further time by habitually having to stop and reason, contemplate, demand, bargain or waver ever again, so that you make swift headway until one day all of you is alive, with outer reality showing you your completeness and total inner joy at long last.

Terry Hathaway
Circa 1986