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The Cause of Your Temptation

Posted By: Randy GageMarch 2, 2011

Last post we looked at the two biggest delusions about temptation.  Let’s explore the first one: that temptation come from the external, your surroundings.

In actuality, the cause for any temptation you experience comes from your inward desire.  The outward object is the occasion for your temptation, but it isn’t the cause.  That cause came from your own mind.  If you purify those desires, the temptation disappears.

When you purify your thoughts, things that used to tempt you become dead and lifeless.  When that desire is removed from your heart, the outside object no longer holds any allure.  For example, the honest person cannot be tempted to steal, no matter how lucrative the opportunity.

The problem many people face is they work on the outward objects, but fail to address the inner cause.  Once you work on this, gluttony, addiction, infidelity or other temptations fall away.

I’m not saying it’s easy!  But I am saying that is how it’s done.  Please share your thoughts on this.  And on the next post, we’ll look deeper at delusion number two…

-RG

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  • 42 comments on “The Cause of Your Temptation”

    1. Take a stroll with self-control.

      Some would say that it is very droll.

      Don’t listen to them they are broke and out of shape.

      They can’t even say no to cake.

      Having control of your life is the only thing that you can truly control and I promise it won’t be droll.

      djm

    2. Lead not into temptation.

      As for the outside is temporal, the inside is eternal.

      Money is the most Envied, but the least Enjoyed. HEALTH is the MOST ENJOYED, but least Envied." - Charles Caleb Colton

      Do you agree the quote below:
      What for a public success but a private failure?

      You came to have life and life more abundantly!

    3. I agree with you whole heartedly. When I decided to quit smoking and drinking, it was done consciously for reasons that were personally meaningful. 27 years and counting, there has been no desire, even though I have friends who still smoke and drink, and on occasion would try to get me to "have fun" No can do.

    4. Interesting you should go there Randy because I was thinking exactly about internal temptation after reading your last post. Touching on some common themes, smoking and drugs hold absolutely no allure for me whatsover, even in the name of fun and 'letting your hair down'. Likewise with gluttony. The silver lining in the grey cloud of digestive sensitivities is that my body tells me loudly and clearly when I'm doing something that's not in my best interests. I choose to pay full attention, learn about foods and my body and in turn am rewarded. But like you mentioned in an even earlier post, some of us are osciliating between divine and animal tendencies. I can see that clearly in my own life. On one hand I can see the rewards of the mastery I have achieved in some areas but then fall over in others and reach for the instant gratification. The instant gratification normally sends me a message afterwards to rethink though.

      1. @Carmen; Connecting on a couple levels ... the "oscillation" is what annoys me, personally. However, there is value, and strength, in recognizing the feeling of weakness when the animal tendencies seem to have more influence. I also get much reward from listening to my body and its response when it is fed and cared for appropriately. Likewise, I feel like I violated my relationship with it when I succumb to convenience or temptation and subject it to poor quality foods, inappropriate intake and the resulting consequences. In the end, the more consistent we are in "mastering" these influences, the more reward we feel, the more control we will gain, and mastery becomes more internalized. It really is a lifelong process. Sometimes we beat ourselves up for "failure" and not living up to our own hopes and expectations - we need to accept the momentary failures and keep pressing on to mastering ...There is peace there too.

      2. Thank you, Carmen! Same here: in some areas I've achieved control, but in some I am still "getting there".
        Although, I must say, it is only very recently - literally weeks ago - I had a realization of what Randy is telling about temptation. Until now, I was using my will power mostly.

    5. "For example, the honest person cannot be tempted to steal, no matter how lucrative the opportunity."

      It's true. I absolutely agree. The same is true with the naturally loving person, as well, in regards to the forgiveness issue, I think. If you have naturally possessed love in you, and not really capable of hating people completely on an extreme level/degree, whether day-to-day events sometimes do upset us or burst us into unpredictable action or behavior simply being pissed off...coz we're an imperfect human beings, which of course we must learn to control ourselves ..for sure... [:)], but the degree/amount of natural love residing in us may be able to allow us to continue to forgive over and over without being tempted to allow ourselves to hold grudges inside, not for a long period of time anyway about the wrongdoings done against us, perhaps. It seems when we hold grudges in our heart we are unable to respect/love ourselves, feeling not good about ourselves with a good self-esteem, thus loving others without loving ourselves first is absolutely impossible (unless it's an unrecognized superficial love to begin with).

      But, of course, I must admit I ran into so many dishonest people in real estate industry, unlike home where I grew up, such as remodeling contractors, real estate agents, and tenants who happened to be dishonest and can lie just about anything when it comes to money without any guilts and yet smile and could continue on joking like daily food - breakfast and dinner, especially when you don't have much knowledge about the industry. So, using the word 'we' in general may not apply here but I must say it's a case by case with the type of people whom we deal with. I got off the track a little here, as I tried to comment about the honest people not being able to be tempted to steal vs. the people with love on the temptation issue not to forgive.

      I loved Douglas' first comment very much. Also I loved his comment on "The Value of Temptation." I almost added my comment to his but my struggle with the language (English) does create some misunderstanding sometimes and the comment gets lengthy, too, so I deleted it before I pushed the Submit button. : ) But, I enjoyed reading your comment on that, Douglas. : )

      -Saach

      1. Saach,
        It used to drive me crazy when people would lie or attempt to manipulate me. I would devour it for days asking myself over and over why those people thought that my kindness was a sign of weakness, when on the contrary - kindness is strength.
        Later I learned that there are people who lie and manipulate, and that's why they are called liars and manipulators. And now, when I face one of them, I simply accept them for who they are, and say to myself "Isn't that interesting" 🙂
        Victoria

        1. Nice to find your comment here, Victoria. Thanks.

          Like you said, I agree kindness is strength, and love and forgiveness, I believe, are also true strength.

          I'm learning we all are different people. I used to wonder or question why some people do what is obviously wrong and yet is capable of deceiving themselves, not feeling guilty continually carrying themselves happy outside. But I realized that it was me who must learn to let go of what I feel about them or what they do. I'm not here to change people, and people including myself can't be changed overnight. It's God's/Universe job to change whatever needs to be changed thru infinite wisdom. My job is to come to understand what God/Universe wants me to learn from what I encounter in life. Yes it's not always easy but I believe God has the power to stop whatever happens to us if he wants to and doesn't allow anything to happen unless he has a purpose in it, or some change must be made in us. I used to compromise a lot and letting people continue having their way, doing whatever they were doing or they could get by UNTIL I clearly began to see from one similar situation after another such as those manipulative and lying people in remodelling industry, tenants, criminal-like real estate agent stealing my money to the last possibilities in doing it that this is God trying to teach me something that being quiet and doing nothing, ignorantly not fighting back and letting the world have its way is not a good thing and is not necessarily the sign that I'm a good person by not fighting back, doing nothing. Stepping out, taking action or fighting back often takes courage, requiring us time and efforts. However, there is a difference between fighting back, aiming to win and standing up for what is right and leave the rest to the hand of the almighty God/Universe, letting have His way in trust/faith. We still have so many things to learn, don't we, to continually change for the better. It seems there is still someone like a little girl residing in me, I must admit, being naive seeing things in such a way that it's almost as if I've just arrived here (today) from mother's womb, not being too complicated in the way I think and just being one-track minded..according to my friends [lol], although I feel I've already gone thru enough of life struggles::: It seems.. god never gives up on me.. continually working on me.. lots of work to do toward perfection.. yet. : ) Thanks again.

          -Saach

    6. Very true...its the longings that attract the 'not to be's'. Like some, they choose their appetite over their health....true.

    7. Excellent post Randy. But can we say that this is the same reason why people think badly of money? is it because they have killed the internal desire for it and they start to victimize themselves? is that the reason why a lot of people make up reasons for not having or wanting money?

      Noor

      1. Boy, that question opens a whole can of worms doesn't it? If people believe that money is evil, then logic concludes that is a temptation they have to purge. Hmmm.

        But money isn't evil in of it self right Randy? It is the power that money affords a person that can be evil. Power can easily be abused and used to objectify others. For example, the wealthy land owners that bought slaves had the power to do so because they had the money to pay for them, and they saw the African people as objects to an end of making them more money.

        Is power always evil? No, only if it is abused. Maybe what people fear is what they will do with and how they will handle all the power that accompanies having lots of wealth. Just like those wealthy land owners feared the slaves would realize their own inner power that each person possesses. They didn't let the African people learn to read for fear they would become educated and rise up against them.

        I am Kunta Kinte! Remember "Roots", there was one slave James Allen wouldn't despise. For Kunta Kinte was never truly a slave, he never forgot his own innate divinity and power. Even though those around him, those that owned him were culpable of many evils.

        Excuse me, I got side tracked. I love, love Kunta Kinte. Sometimes, when I feel my power slipping, I say to myself, I am Kunta Kinte!

        Back to the original premise though. This is what people think about money being evil. It isn't the money, it is how people abuse the power that comes with money. So, there could be a resistance to wanting lots of wealth for fear of becoming a power abuser, or someone who becomes so enthralled with the material, everyone else becomes objectified to where love is no longer possible. That can happen without money too. Power over others comes from many other sources. But, money is one of them.

        Yes, everyone has the power of divinity with in them. But, like Kunta Kinte who was a slave, he owned his internal power, but it is difficult to be physically free when another human being has you at gun point or has schackled you, or in Kunta's case cut off your foot. Still despise those slaves in the same way? Those with money to buy weapons do that to others sometimes. I like to call it abuse of power, or injustice if you will.

        Perhaps, this is why there is a saying it is more difficult for a wealthy person to enter heaven than a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Because when one has wealth the temptation to abuse the power that comes with it is great.

        So, if you are going to wealthy, James Allen, has the best advice ever here. A pure soul, one in tune with their divinity would not even be tempted to abuse their power in such a way. Because they see the "I-Thou" relationship, that is that all of us are parts of God and should not be objectified.

        James Cameron was pointing out in the movie "Titanic" what happens when people abuse their power. That was a true story to some extent Big Guy. Who got off that ship first? Who? Who? You know who. If we are all a part of God was it fair to let the wealthy people off first? No. That was an abuse of power.

        You are right though, there is another side, not all wealthy people abuse their power and sometimes we poor slaves hand over our damn power. But, for goodness sake Randy let's get to the truth of this debate once and for all. Shall we?

        Having said all that, it is good that you raise your voice in saying being rich is not a sin, because it isn't. And your right believing that will only prevent one from attaining wealth. It will just be an excuse or in some case a fear of being evil, which it clearly doesn't have to be.

        1. Hi Annie,

          I don't think that fear of abusing power stops people from obtaining wealth.
          I think that it's lack of vision and goals that stagnates people.
          It's easier to sit and wait for something to happen than to make something happen. It's easier to procrastinate than to take immediate action on a thought or idea. It's easier to blame corporations and employers for low wages than to improve skills by attending Colleges or Universities. It's easier to blame immigrants for taking American jobs than to take any job available and be productive.

          Making money and obtaining wealth is easier than handling it when you got it. You pointed out that power can corrupt, and you are absolutely correct. That is why before obtaining wealth we must aks ourselves what kind of people we'll become when we have the money. Will we choose to become obnoxious and invincible egoists looking down at everyone, or will we choose to use money productively. e.g., invest some, live on some and help others to reach their goals.
          Take Randy for example, he is living well and is helping others to learn how to live well. He also donates to numerous organizations, as a result, helps others to do things they would otherwise not be able to do. He is making a difference in people's lives, and that to me is a great principle to live by.
          Movies such as Titanic are romantic, but they also plant seeds in the minds depicting wealth as evil and poverty as good. Randy calls it a mind virus. Randy is right.

          Victoria

          1. Yes, I agree with most of your premise Victoria. Probably most people are not achieving wealth out of a fear of abusing power. My point, and I may not have been very clear, was, that is what makes many people, I think, think money is evil. Because of the abuses that some people with wealth and power have perpetrated, the wealthy have been viewed as evil. Which is an unfair stereotype; like you say not all wealthy people abuse their power.

            I was responding to the comment posted about the view that some have of wealth being a temptation. I was giving my theory on why that might be.

            I did say that it was important for those who wish to be wealthy to read James Allen. If one follows his philosophies, they are most likely not to abuse power.

            As for the "Titanic", I really think it is equal truth and fiction. In so much, that I believe James Cameron is a social justice advocate and I believe the social justice theme in his movie was how the power of the wealthy is abused at times. That people are people and that those who have money should not have more rights to life than those who don't. As for making poverty look fun, well sometimes that is a true enough stereotype, and sometimes it is completely the opposite. Stereotypes are not good because they do not show the entire picture acurately.

            However, there is also a stereotype of the poor as being lazy. That is a stereotype too that is often erroneous. Stereotypes are mind viruses, in a way.

            Here is the thing about memes, they are taken from the word schemata. And, if I remember correctly from my cognitive psychology studies, these are subjects in our brains and the adjectives we give them, they can come from anywhere. Memes are mostly used as cultural schemata that gets passed from individuals to individuals. But, like anything our brain takes in, we all have our own personal interpretation of the memes that we recieve.

            It makes it difficult like all social science research undertakings, to positively say what effect any given meme will have on any particular person. So mind viruses can only hurt us if we let them. Moreover, maybe not everyone recieved the same message that Randy did watching that movie. Randy is subject to his own personal interpretations and valuations.

            In other words don't believe everything you read. If Randy says it is true and you agree, then it is true because you believe it. Not because Randy said it.

            Randy has said he is perhaps the best person in the world to apply these therories to personal growth and prosperity consciousness, and that may well be true. He does not always in my opinion evaluate all the philosophies and theories as they were intended. In my opinion. Not all, just some. Because he is human.

            I don't think it is vain of me to say that while I may not be as good at pratical application, I think I have a better grasp of some of these philosophies than Randy. Theory is my thing, and I am good at interpeting theory and finding the interconnectedness of different theories, and spotting the flaws in their interpretation.

            Thanks for your input, Victoria.

            1. Annie-

              With all due respect, "theory" is meaningless without application. True understanding comes from direct experience. I am not sure how one can be good at spotting flaws without experience.
              Also, I agree completely in "don't believe everything you read or hear." My opinion is that we all need to think for ourselves and take things for checking, meaning apply critcal thinking and put it into action and see what happens.

            2. If there isn't a theory you would have nothing to apply. Randy uses James Allen, Nietzshe, and others. Mostly, these theories he applies were supplied by philosophers, scholars, and teachers, not entrepreneurs. Actually, I guess Randy is both, it's just that I spent a lot of time learning how to analyze theories. I loved it. I also had to put those theories to use, but I have to say I think in this arena Randy is much better at it. I suppose if he had to apply it to educating small children he might say at that application I am better! 🙂 Although who knows, maybe Randy has spent countless hours teaching children the lessons of prosperity. If so, I think that's great. One is never to young or to old to learn. Also, I would guess Randy would maintain pretty good control of a classroom full of children.

          2. Victoria-

            There's an old saying that "money makes you more of what you are now." So if you are now loving and generous, money will make you even more loving and generous. If one is fearful and rude, more of the same.

    8. I have said a lot already, but I would like to say one more thing. Temptation and desire are not the same thing. You can for example desire something wholesome and good for you.

      And one more point, like so many things in life gluttony, infedility, and addiction, may have some good and proper use at times. I think when we are aligned with our own goodness we know when those things are evil and when they are not.

      Otherwise, rock on Randy and James Allen. I also like the fact that James Allen's wife's name is Lilly, just like Harry Potter's parents.

      1. I am replying to myself. What purifies temptation is inward fulfillment. You can't get rid of a desire by purification of thought alone. Knowing only you can fulfill certain needs and desires that previously you thought needed extraneous fulfillment, will your thoughts then be purified and your temptation eliminated. Temptation is bowing down to false idols and allowing our false self, that tell us lies to do our bidding.

        I can't believe you forgot greed. I did too. I guess what leads to abuse of power in the first place is usually greed.

    9. I think everything we attract in live is in direct connection with what we believe our self worth is and how we perceive ourselves as well as the enviornments we place ourselves in. I don't think it matters where you are as much as it matters who you are, where temptation is concerned. Our lives are like a mirror. What we see is what we get. If we are attracted to someone on pure looks, or power, or position, it is because we are looking for something we think we lack. Temptation always follows weakness and weakness is in direct proportion to our self worth. Our values and beliefs will attract us to whatever we think we lack. Human instinct is first about survival so if we focus on that then we look for ways to survive our own weakness's. When you love yourself, you have love to give. When you don't, the vacuum of need and desire works universally to fill our need Someone who needs something from someone is not aware of what true love is. True love can be tempted but never gotten unless it is something possessed. Temptation at it's core is all about possession and control. If you are complete in who you are, then temptation has no place to occupy. If we choose to live in illusions, then we get illusions of our own manifesting. If we choose to live in love, then we reflect temptation. There is no fooling ourselves with this one. Whatever we see in the mirror, is what we attract. If we are tempted, temptation will come. If we are not, it has no vacuum to fill.

    10. Hi Randy,

      I feel each individual's perception of outside sources creates the experience.

      As you note, an honest person won't steal. They wouldn't even see the opportunity to steal because it wouldn't be a reality to them. The idea is to reprogram yourself by becoming better friends with your will power.

      Thanks for sharing!

      RB

    11. I have to say that I just do not subscribe to the whole idea of willpower as being the key to resisting temptation - our will, as strong as it may be, has the potential to fail us at some point because we, as humans, gravitate toward pleasurable, feel-good experiences. Will power is only a temporary band-aid for a 'wound' that begins on the inside.

      To me, the ultimate cure for temptation is a process that must be discerned by working backwards.

      Identify:

      1) What am I tempted to do?
      2) What pleasurable feeling do I imagine I
      would experience if I did that thing?
      3) What is the real part of myself or my
      life in which I am lacking that feeling?
      4) What do I need to do to correct that
      within myself so that my own needs get
      met in a healthy way that serves my
      highest good?

      I do agree with Mary-Ellen’s comment above. It is our own perception of self worth that compels us to dig for the deeper root to our desires. Once we embrace our own value, we become willing to look honestly at our own vulnerabilities and voids. We commit to forego immediate, ‘un-lasting’ gratification in order to win a bigger prize – which is our highest potential; our enlightenment … and that 3rd stage that James Allen speaks of.

      K

    12. Yes I agree.

      I think I agree so much that I over do it by not reacting to adversary when maybe I should.
      But I'm not sure about this...after all if adversary is around me there is something in me that is attracting it...so why bother reacting to it when the real answers are to be found within?

      Time limited today and yesterday so going to jump ahead to next post!

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