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When You Have Nothing to Lose


Spiritually speaking, having nothing to lose is a place of amazing power. Because having nothing to lose tends to rend us open us to the very highest selves of us in a way that daily life just doesn’t tend to do.


While we tend to want to avoid everything difficult, it’s Marianne Williamson who reminds us that it’s difficult experiences which return us to our knees, if only symbolically, where we should have been all along.


So, while having nothing to lose and while having difficult experiences are uncomfortable for us, let us not be quick to label these “valleys of the shadow,” if you will, as bad. Let us not fling ourselves through those valleys so quickly that we miss the gifts that all valleys would impart.


I remember being a very young boy who was experiencing something difficult. And, as a young boy, it was certainly beyond my control. And I remember deciding that if the difficult experience were my lot that I would not go through it for nothing. And so it is with us. Let us not fling ourselves through those valleys so quickly that we miss the gifts that all valleys would impart.


Such an attitude doesn’t justify every valley. Life can deal you some crap. But such an attitude does keep you from perpetuating your own victimhood.


So no, having nothing to lose isn’t the problem. Because having nothing to lose tends to rend us open us to the very highest selves of us in a way that daily life just doesn’t tend to do.


Having something to lose – now that’s where you have to be careful. That’s where you have to be careful because having something to lose tends to close us to the highest selves of us as we subtly come into the belief that the creative source that gave rise to the thing in the first place is no longer adequate to give rise to something greater in the future. And as we subtly come into this belief that the creative source that gave rise to the thing in the first place (oh, maybe the thing is a job, a business, a relationship, a windfall, a formula, a healing - it doesn’t matter) as we subtly come into this belief that the creative source that gave rise to the thing in the first place is no longer adequate to give rise to something greater in the future, then we start to think we have to protect the thing.


And lost is that total trust in nothing more than an illogical knowing, that total trust in nothing more than an undeniable pull, that total trust in nothing more than an irresistible inspiration, that total trust in nothing more than a next idea.


Having something to lose is the problem because again and again and again, our audacity is sacrificed on the altar of our ego. Again and again and again, our divine genius is sacrificed on the altar of our human fear.


It’s the real meaning of idolatry, you see. It’s not about worshiping calves made of gold. Calves made of gold are merely outer symbols for the ultimate idolatry of worshipping our own egos.


You see, beginners know that they, of themselves, possess inadequate skill. They know that they, of themselves, possess inadequate knowledge and inadequate experience for the task at hand. Beginners by default have to welcome wisdom beyond their personal wisdom for their success. And anytime we welcome wisdom beyond our personal wisdom for our success, that wisdom responds.


But as the ego tempts us to believe that the wisdom behind our success is our own, we begin to repeat the tactics of yesterday, to lower our risks, to guard our successes, ultimately to abandon the very wisdom from which our success was initially born. And we end up symbolically prostrate before the divine where we should have been the entire time.


There is no such thing as beginner’s luck. There is only beginner’s mind.


There is only an understanding that an infinite and unlimited mind sources you in every moment and a willingness to surrender the ego to this mind in all affairs.


Jesus is recorded to have taught that it’s more difficult for a rich man to get into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Now, I’d like to start by suggesting just how important it is that we learn to say things such as, “Jesus is recorded to have taught,” because it places us in right relationship with the Biblical collection and, in a sense, with Jesus. Jesus didn’t write books. In the same way, it’s so important that we learn to say things such as, “God is imagined to have said,” because it places us in right relationship with the Biblical collection and, in a sense, with God. God didn’t write books, either.


The Biblical collection represents the explorations of two early faith communities (specifically the Jews and the early “followers of the way,” shortly thereafter Christians) the Biblical collection represents the explorations of two early faith communities over some 1,000 years generally about the meaning of it all.


Jesus is recorded to have taught that it’s more difficult for a rich man to get into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. And what many don’t realize is that there was a narrow gate in Jerusalem known as the eye of the needle. So narrow was this gate that camels had to be unloaded in order to pass through.


I think it’s the same with us. This teaching doesn’t suggest that there’s something wrong with living decently. This teaching suggests that if we want to pass through the gate between our current consciousness and a higher consciousness, we will have to dump some stuff.


After living in Manchester, she married a man in Portugal who would become the father of her daughter through a marriage that dissolved as quickly as it started. And through her single parenthood, and through her inability to get a job, and through her enrollment into the welfare system, and through her battles with depression, this would-be writer’s life continued its spiral into discomfort.


“I had to fight my realistic side,” she reflected after completing that first book some five years into her spiral – a book which would be declined by the first twelve of the best names in publishing before being accepted by the thirteenth (for a meager sum, by the way) on the off chance that a least a few might enjoy meeting a character she named Harry Potter.


Now, I think it’s a fair question: Why didn’t Rowling give rise to Harry Potter before her spiral into discomfort? I think it’s because having nothing to lose opened her to the very highest self of her in a way that daily life just didn’t do.


Now, I don’t need to glorify difficult times. I don’t think we have to hit bottom before we turn around. And I don’t think we have to forget before we remember. But for some, it seems to be what it takes.


So, look: We know from the first cave etchings that the human creature has a long history of imagining ultimate reality, if you will, in its own image. The early hunters imagined gods of stamina. The early farmers imagined gods of weather. The early pagans imagined gods of fertility. The early states imagined gods of might and so forth. And this is to be expected, really, for the human is hardwired to project self.


And yet in our awareness that the human is hardwired to project self, we are finally positioned to free ultimate reality from our smallness. We can finally free God, if you will, from finite matters such as stamina, weather, fertility and might. And football.


How many have a God with a favorite football team?


So, for us in Unity, we would say (among other things) that ultimate reality (that God) is infinite mind. And quantum physicists would say the same thing – that ultimate reality is really more like a giant thought than a giant thing. So, for us in Unity, we would say that ultimate reality (that God) is infinite mind and as such, we would say that ideas are its currency.


For us in Unity, we would align with ancient civilizations predating the rise of Christianity by centuries by suggesting that that you cannot be saintlier than when you place a total trust in infinite mind. You cannot be saintlier than when you place a total trust in nothing more than that illogical knowing, a total trust in nothing more than that undeniable pull, a total trust in nothing more than that irresistible inspiration, a total trust in nothing more than that next idea.


And you cannot be worldlier than when you displace that total trust to an accumulated experience.


In a more traditional setting, I might be saying that you cannot be saintlier than when you listen to God. And in a more traditional setting, I might be saying that you cannot be worldlier than when you listen to everything else.


And I get it: it’s tempting to set infinite mind aside when we get the Cadillac. And it’s tempting to set infinite mind aside when we get the healing. And it’s tempting to set infinite mind aside when we get the answer.


But the good news is that the same infinite mind that has brought you to this point has even greater possibilities for you. The same infinite mind that has brought us to this point has even greater possibilities for us.


And so, the questions of the morning become, “How do I create the space to entertain the illogical knowings of infinite mind today?”


“How do I create the space to entertain the undeniable pulls of infinite mind today?”


“How do I create the space to embrace the irresistible inspirations of infinite mind today?”


And, “How do I create the space to invite the next ideas of infinite mind today?”

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