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The Delusions of Temptation

Posted By: Randy GageMarch 1, 2011

Last post we looked at the stages of enlightenment and how temptation plays a part in the process.  It’s a fascinating discussion.  So how do we speed up the process?

You must conquer the two biggest delusions…

First, that temptations come from the external, your  surroundings.

And second, that you are tempted because of your goodness.

Temptations will hold you in bondage until you realize that these two beliefs are erroneous.  When you let them die and replace them with true understanding, then temptation falls away rapidly and you move into the higher stages of enlightenment.

Let me know what you think about this, and I’ll pick up there tomorrow.

-RG

33 comments on “The Delusions of Temptation”

  1. I agree with you here Randy. We are tempted when drawn away with our own lusts. (Thus internal).

    Not from how good we are, but how the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life can do these things in our life.

    When we can learn to look at things the way God see's them, we can be delivered from such things until we allow the flesh to get the better of us.

  2. I think what you mention in this post is completely true. The temptation is external. Actually I think we must be very clear with the concept of temptation. For me temptation is all that can move us away from God, or for those who do not believe in God, the temptation is everything that makes us do bad things and behave badly with the universe and neighbor.
    Money can be a temptation when you get greedy, ill-tempered, there the money is a temptation for you, i ie, the outer is influencing your life to do anything to get, even bad ones. However, I believe that when it achieves a level of enlightenment and wisdom, the money becomes a secondary thing, and you can find it, in order to achieve stability and a desire to help others, there is the approach.
    We are tempted, because we often do not have the wisdom to distinguish between them. Many times we want things to happen and then we are tempted to do things that do not help but put us away from the third level, we spoke yesterday. When we are aware of "this temptation "is because we want change, then it becomes a temptation. If we did not feel like this, we will not distinguish between good or evil in our mind and heart. I think

  3. Wait a minute!

    Temptation is around us all day. A chilled glass of water on a hot day is tempting.
    This comment is a little to generic. We give something a label of good or bad and that's it. Nothing is bad, or good. It is the result that we infer as being good or bad. For example, making love to my wife is tempting and the result is positive, having group sex while the wife is home, not so much. Both can be temptations.
    As you put it, "Temptations will hold you in bondage until you realize that these two beliefs are erroneous. When you let them die and replace them with true understanding, then temptation falls away rapidly and you move into the higher stages of enlightenment".
    Being obssessed is not necessarily healthly but temptations are what drive us to the next level.
    It is the temptation of enlightenment that drives us to furthar growth and development.
    It was your wants and needs that drove fueled your desire to succeed, and it was temptations that got you to where you are today.
    So were your temtations good for you? Are you living in an unfurnished, unheated destitute apartment? In fact it was the temptations out there, cars, travel that fueled your obsession to succeed!
    That's a good thing!!

    Or did I misunderstand your statement and question?

    1. Exactly, and that apple up there in the picture has been bitten into. 🙂 Someone gave in to that temptation. Randy was that you?

      In the Adam and Eve story the biting into the apple could also be viewed as positive. If knoweledge and truth are the ultimate good, then being tempted to bite into the tree of knoweledge is a good thing. Knoweledge and truth may be a more difficult thing to grapple with, but ultimately it is what leads us to true grace. Ignorance may be bliss, but knoweledge is powerful.

      I agree with you both Brian and Eve.

  4. I don’t think I believe in either of those delusions. I believe in this one! Lol, I don’t think it’s a delusion but it’s my blueprint perspective:

    I believe spirit moves towards "god" to reunite with love and away from "god" to grow and experience life. I think we are god's desires moving away from itself into the world to explore each other and when we have no more energy left we return to our home of love and tell our stories. We can only take the love back, as we return anything else is burned away by loves light and this can be felt as pain.

    On our way back home, sometimes, in an attempt to avoid pain we get tempted or side tracked. It’s not what our soul is really wanting but we trick ourselves into thinking it is because we are avoiding the pain of letting go of “things” we don’t need. These substitutes give us temporary pleasure but do not allow us to return to God and fully rejuvenate our soul. This happens with every breath, at the end of each day and at the end of our lives when we die.

    So we are tempted by our inner self wanting to avoid pain and reach for what it can have now instead of the full pleasure it could have by following our path.

    Are we tempted because we are good and that which tempts us is bad? I don’t think so. I think the energy of temptation was put inside us because it is the motivating force that gets us to grow away from home into a scary world. Without this force we would just stay home. It was placed there on purpose to get us to grow, to leave. Otherwise who else would willing leave God? Or leave the garden? No one. The devil wasn’t a mistake that accidentally messed up God’s plans, it is all happening exactly as God intended and for a higher purpose, a higher love that we can’t even imagine possible from where we stand.

    Our job is to take this energy of temptation, understand it’s real message and transform it into it’s higher form. And we do that by directing our will towards things of a higher nature and not their equivalent lower nature. We can’t go backwards. We can’t climb back into the womb. We can’t go back to the innocence of the garden but we can return to God and to each other with a greater understanding of life and of love. We return as one but each with experience, in harmony, creating something better.

  5. I agree with Randy and James Allen too. I think in some ways we will see it is all the same.

    James Allen postulates that the evil within is our own dark desires that arise from the false self. The self that seeks gratification only and does not see the truth and the light of divinity. That is true. I think Allen is talkin about temptation as the evil we want to do because we are seeking to satisfy something more base than our true humanity.

    So, the value in temptation is that it gives us light to our own darkness if we take the time and the pains to discover the truth of our own desires. Perhaps it is a longing for approval or the void that comes from not loving ourselves enough that makes us want to do evil. Lots of other possibilities too.

    The false self is the one that wants to be gratified by the approval of others, and seeks only comfort and pleasure. When we recognize our true self the self that is a part of God, we no longer need those gratifications, we are fulfilled from within.

    Some things are temptations are evil and some temptations are good. That is true too. I think Mr. Allen meant the temptation to do evil.

    I don't know if you looked at Martin Buber yet. But, Buber's "I-Thou" relationship with the self and the world is the same as Allen's Third stage. When a person has an "I-Thou" relationship with self and others, the person is relating with their divinity and therefore sees all others as devine. It is only when we choose to relate to other's as object's "I-It" that we do evil. If we see others as objects we will use them for our selfish desires and gratification and not treat them as the "I-Ams" that they are.

    Martin Buber's philosophies like James Allen's, I think lead to or contributed to the existential movement.

    1. "So, the value in temptation is that it gives us light to our own darkness if we take the time and the pains to discover the truth of our own desires".
      looks like were on to something!

  6. To blame an outside source for failures is an escape from reality of being responsible for ones actions.
    So yes, when a person understands that thinking before doing something is a smart thing to do, next time temptation may be evaluated before an action is taken.

    For exapmle, for several years prices of real-estate went sky high. Some people without thinking jumped on the wagon and purchased properties for 190,000, which in 2004 and today are appraised at 80,000. Common sense would dictate that a 70% increase in price, ($60 per square foot to $140 per square foot) was unreasonable. But because the TEMPTATION of greed took over reason, mistakes were later realized.

    So who or what to blame? Conscious decision to speculate was made. No external force made them do it. Therefore, I agree that temptation is NOT external.

  7. I've really had to contemplate the whole idea of 'temptation' before knowing how I've wanted to respond to the last couple of topics.

    I think that the key to moving past any sort of temptation is to understand what actual feeling we are seeking as a result of the thing or behavior we are tempted to pursue.

    For example - if someone is tempted to cheat on their spouse, they aren't actually tempted by that other person (outside themselves), what tempts them is the feelings (passion, love, reassurance, etc.) that they believe the experience of being with that other person will give them that they feel devoid of in the now.

    If one is following a certain eating program and they are tempted to eat something that they know is not in alignment with that, it is because they are seeking to replenish the feelings they believe eating a particular tempting food will bring them - (satisfaction, pleasure, nurturing, etc.)

    Once we can recognize and identify what feelings we are lacking in and where we are needy, we can then consciously choose to find a productive, healthy way to meet our own needs without having to violate our personal integrity.

    That's my take on it.

    K

  8. Your environment can have a huge impact on your temptation. For example if I'm trying to stay clean from drugs and I live in the Ghetto, the temptation will be very challenging to avoid the run-ins with all the drugs. So sometimes we have to change our environment completely, and move away from destructive relationships, to keep us free and clear from the things that can be a temptation. I personally believe there is Evil Spirits in the world that can wreak havoc on us.

  9. Temptations just bring to our minds weaknesses that already exist within us. If we aren't unhappy with our relationship(feel something is missing),how can we be "tempted" to stray? Lying, cheating, stealing... usually mean there is lack of self esteem/value within us so instead of working on ourselves, we take from or try to destroy others, to make us look/feel better.

  10. I don't agree, imagine that, that temptations are outward. I believe that my temptations may be triggered by senses, that they are manifested and acted out in the mind where they are brought to fruition. When I am tempted, my mind will start to justify reasons why this is something I should act upon. That is the devil's way of manipulating my right thinking to persuade me as he did Adam and Eve, that they misunderstood what would happen if they ate from the apple. It works the same way in my mind. I can be filled with thoughts of justification for a wrongful act or thought and unless I have faith and lean on God for guaidance and strength, then I often become weak to the temptations. I can do all things through Christ, who strenghtens me. I can tell you for sure, that I can't get through this life without prayer and faith and I am so grateful that I don't have too. If people only would allow themselves to experience unwavering faith, they would see how beautiful life can be even though the longsuffering. Give it a try. Please.

  11. So Randy, I'm wondering why you haven't mentioned internal temptation. Neither eating nore sex are intrinsically bad, actually, they're pleasurable activities, but if you're tempted to eat something that's bad for you or engage in sexual activities that might end up with negative consequences, then they're not in our best interests.

  12. Thanks Randy, because what it really comes down to is DISCIPLINE. If we can manage and protect our greatness, then those around us will accept, protect, and even EXPECT our greatness. I am learning to create levels of access, I appreciate all you do, even though I'm chopped liver and left you at the alter in Vegas....LOL (our own inside joke) next year!!!

  13. Temptation is a connection to the elements here on planet earth that stand in the way of fulfilling the destiny of our divine self. If you have an impression of who you ought to be that is a cut above the rest, the world will challenge you through temptation (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) in an effort to force you to earn the high position that you seek.

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  • 33 comments on “The Delusions of Temptation”

    1. I agree with you here Randy. We are tempted when drawn away with our own lusts. (Thus internal).

      Not from how good we are, but how the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life can do these things in our life.

      When we can learn to look at things the way God see's them, we can be delivered from such things until we allow the flesh to get the better of us.

    2. I think what you mention in this post is completely true. The temptation is external. Actually I think we must be very clear with the concept of temptation. For me temptation is all that can move us away from God, or for those who do not believe in God, the temptation is everything that makes us do bad things and behave badly with the universe and neighbor.
      Money can be a temptation when you get greedy, ill-tempered, there the money is a temptation for you, i ie, the outer is influencing your life to do anything to get, even bad ones. However, I believe that when it achieves a level of enlightenment and wisdom, the money becomes a secondary thing, and you can find it, in order to achieve stability and a desire to help others, there is the approach.
      We are tempted, because we often do not have the wisdom to distinguish between them. Many times we want things to happen and then we are tempted to do things that do not help but put us away from the third level, we spoke yesterday. When we are aware of "this temptation "is because we want change, then it becomes a temptation. If we did not feel like this, we will not distinguish between good or evil in our mind and heart. I think

    3. Wait a minute!

      Temptation is around us all day. A chilled glass of water on a hot day is tempting.
      This comment is a little to generic. We give something a label of good or bad and that's it. Nothing is bad, or good. It is the result that we infer as being good or bad. For example, making love to my wife is tempting and the result is positive, having group sex while the wife is home, not so much. Both can be temptations.
      As you put it, "Temptations will hold you in bondage until you realize that these two beliefs are erroneous. When you let them die and replace them with true understanding, then temptation falls away rapidly and you move into the higher stages of enlightenment".
      Being obssessed is not necessarily healthly but temptations are what drive us to the next level.
      It is the temptation of enlightenment that drives us to furthar growth and development.
      It was your wants and needs that drove fueled your desire to succeed, and it was temptations that got you to where you are today.
      So were your temtations good for you? Are you living in an unfurnished, unheated destitute apartment? In fact it was the temptations out there, cars, travel that fueled your obsession to succeed!
      That's a good thing!!

      Or did I misunderstand your statement and question?

      1. Exactly, and that apple up there in the picture has been bitten into. 🙂 Someone gave in to that temptation. Randy was that you?

        In the Adam and Eve story the biting into the apple could also be viewed as positive. If knoweledge and truth are the ultimate good, then being tempted to bite into the tree of knoweledge is a good thing. Knoweledge and truth may be a more difficult thing to grapple with, but ultimately it is what leads us to true grace. Ignorance may be bliss, but knoweledge is powerful.

        I agree with you both Brian and Eve.

    4. I don’t think I believe in either of those delusions. I believe in this one! Lol, I don’t think it’s a delusion but it’s my blueprint perspective:

      I believe spirit moves towards "god" to reunite with love and away from "god" to grow and experience life. I think we are god's desires moving away from itself into the world to explore each other and when we have no more energy left we return to our home of love and tell our stories. We can only take the love back, as we return anything else is burned away by loves light and this can be felt as pain.

      On our way back home, sometimes, in an attempt to avoid pain we get tempted or side tracked. It’s not what our soul is really wanting but we trick ourselves into thinking it is because we are avoiding the pain of letting go of “things” we don’t need. These substitutes give us temporary pleasure but do not allow us to return to God and fully rejuvenate our soul. This happens with every breath, at the end of each day and at the end of our lives when we die.

      So we are tempted by our inner self wanting to avoid pain and reach for what it can have now instead of the full pleasure it could have by following our path.

      Are we tempted because we are good and that which tempts us is bad? I don’t think so. I think the energy of temptation was put inside us because it is the motivating force that gets us to grow away from home into a scary world. Without this force we would just stay home. It was placed there on purpose to get us to grow, to leave. Otherwise who else would willing leave God? Or leave the garden? No one. The devil wasn’t a mistake that accidentally messed up God’s plans, it is all happening exactly as God intended and for a higher purpose, a higher love that we can’t even imagine possible from where we stand.

      Our job is to take this energy of temptation, understand it’s real message and transform it into it’s higher form. And we do that by directing our will towards things of a higher nature and not their equivalent lower nature. We can’t go backwards. We can’t climb back into the womb. We can’t go back to the innocence of the garden but we can return to God and to each other with a greater understanding of life and of love. We return as one but each with experience, in harmony, creating something better.

    5. I agree with Randy and James Allen too. I think in some ways we will see it is all the same.

      James Allen postulates that the evil within is our own dark desires that arise from the false self. The self that seeks gratification only and does not see the truth and the light of divinity. That is true. I think Allen is talkin about temptation as the evil we want to do because we are seeking to satisfy something more base than our true humanity.

      So, the value in temptation is that it gives us light to our own darkness if we take the time and the pains to discover the truth of our own desires. Perhaps it is a longing for approval or the void that comes from not loving ourselves enough that makes us want to do evil. Lots of other possibilities too.

      The false self is the one that wants to be gratified by the approval of others, and seeks only comfort and pleasure. When we recognize our true self the self that is a part of God, we no longer need those gratifications, we are fulfilled from within.

      Some things are temptations are evil and some temptations are good. That is true too. I think Mr. Allen meant the temptation to do evil.

      I don't know if you looked at Martin Buber yet. But, Buber's "I-Thou" relationship with the self and the world is the same as Allen's Third stage. When a person has an "I-Thou" relationship with self and others, the person is relating with their divinity and therefore sees all others as devine. It is only when we choose to relate to other's as object's "I-It" that we do evil. If we see others as objects we will use them for our selfish desires and gratification and not treat them as the "I-Ams" that they are.

      Martin Buber's philosophies like James Allen's, I think lead to or contributed to the existential movement.

      1. "So, the value in temptation is that it gives us light to our own darkness if we take the time and the pains to discover the truth of our own desires".
        looks like were on to something!

    6. To blame an outside source for failures is an escape from reality of being responsible for ones actions.
      So yes, when a person understands that thinking before doing something is a smart thing to do, next time temptation may be evaluated before an action is taken.

      For exapmle, for several years prices of real-estate went sky high. Some people without thinking jumped on the wagon and purchased properties for 190,000, which in 2004 and today are appraised at 80,000. Common sense would dictate that a 70% increase in price, ($60 per square foot to $140 per square foot) was unreasonable. But because the TEMPTATION of greed took over reason, mistakes were later realized.

      So who or what to blame? Conscious decision to speculate was made. No external force made them do it. Therefore, I agree that temptation is NOT external.

    7. I've really had to contemplate the whole idea of 'temptation' before knowing how I've wanted to respond to the last couple of topics.

      I think that the key to moving past any sort of temptation is to understand what actual feeling we are seeking as a result of the thing or behavior we are tempted to pursue.

      For example - if someone is tempted to cheat on their spouse, they aren't actually tempted by that other person (outside themselves), what tempts them is the feelings (passion, love, reassurance, etc.) that they believe the experience of being with that other person will give them that they feel devoid of in the now.

      If one is following a certain eating program and they are tempted to eat something that they know is not in alignment with that, it is because they are seeking to replenish the feelings they believe eating a particular tempting food will bring them - (satisfaction, pleasure, nurturing, etc.)

      Once we can recognize and identify what feelings we are lacking in and where we are needy, we can then consciously choose to find a productive, healthy way to meet our own needs without having to violate our personal integrity.

      That's my take on it.

      K

    8. Your environment can have a huge impact on your temptation. For example if I'm trying to stay clean from drugs and I live in the Ghetto, the temptation will be very challenging to avoid the run-ins with all the drugs. So sometimes we have to change our environment completely, and move away from destructive relationships, to keep us free and clear from the things that can be a temptation. I personally believe there is Evil Spirits in the world that can wreak havoc on us.

    9. Temptations just bring to our minds weaknesses that already exist within us. If we aren't unhappy with our relationship(feel something is missing),how can we be "tempted" to stray? Lying, cheating, stealing... usually mean there is lack of self esteem/value within us so instead of working on ourselves, we take from or try to destroy others, to make us look/feel better.

    10. I don't agree, imagine that, that temptations are outward. I believe that my temptations may be triggered by senses, that they are manifested and acted out in the mind where they are brought to fruition. When I am tempted, my mind will start to justify reasons why this is something I should act upon. That is the devil's way of manipulating my right thinking to persuade me as he did Adam and Eve, that they misunderstood what would happen if they ate from the apple. It works the same way in my mind. I can be filled with thoughts of justification for a wrongful act or thought and unless I have faith and lean on God for guaidance and strength, then I often become weak to the temptations. I can do all things through Christ, who strenghtens me. I can tell you for sure, that I can't get through this life without prayer and faith and I am so grateful that I don't have too. If people only would allow themselves to experience unwavering faith, they would see how beautiful life can be even though the longsuffering. Give it a try. Please.

    11. So Randy, I'm wondering why you haven't mentioned internal temptation. Neither eating nore sex are intrinsically bad, actually, they're pleasurable activities, but if you're tempted to eat something that's bad for you or engage in sexual activities that might end up with negative consequences, then they're not in our best interests.

    12. Thanks Randy, because what it really comes down to is DISCIPLINE. If we can manage and protect our greatness, then those around us will accept, protect, and even EXPECT our greatness. I am learning to create levels of access, I appreciate all you do, even though I'm chopped liver and left you at the alter in Vegas....LOL (our own inside joke) next year!!!

    13. Temptation is a connection to the elements here on planet earth that stand in the way of fulfilling the destiny of our divine self. If you have an impression of who you ought to be that is a cut above the rest, the world will challenge you through temptation (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) in an effort to force you to earn the high position that you seek.

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