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The Lie of Your Goodness

Posted By: Randy GageMarch 4, 2011

Last post we looked at the first delusion about temptation: that it comes from the external.  Now let’s explore number two: that you are tempted because of your goodness.

People like to believe they are such a noble entity that the devil or some other supernatural power has singled them out for temptation.  Sorry, I’m not buying it.

I believe the temptation comes from inside us, because we’re still clinging to our animal or base tendencies.   We’re not tempted because of our goodness, but our sin.  And by sin I mean sin in the true definition of the word: to miss the mark.

The path to enlightenment is growing through our temptations and using them to build character, knowledge and wisdom.  To throw off the extraneous and get back to our true nature.  This is the holy warfare we must face down if we wish to conquer our false self and attain the stage of illumination that is our true self.

That’s my take.  What’s yours?

-RG

37 comments on “The Lie of Your Goodness”

  1. In Buddhism we ring the bell 108 times on New Year's Eve to purify our 108 temptations that we have to overcome to be truly human and uphold our Buddha nature.

    I dislike to use the word, sin, because it holds different connotation in different religions. I believe what we define as our negatives are there within us so that we can
    keep working on ourselves to be humane, compassionate, kind, and loving to ourselves,
    our fellow human beings, our nature whether
    it is an animal, plant, insect, tree, etc. and our planet in our universe. We are all One after all.

    The negatives we see around us are our own projection. When we do not see them as negatives anymore, that is when we have been transformed.

  2. Dear Sir,
    Death is unescapable...and all that incarnations..previous life etc.etc.. How can we use prosperity and abundence in this regard.
    Please reply

  3. There is nothing to conquer it is just to devour.. devour the joy of being alive, of living you. The ego(false self as you call it) it is also you(a part from you) and his role is to point to your full nature... and "he/she - ego" doesn't ever miss the mark, because there is no mark to be missed.. you are, that. The different "journeys" that a ego takes, are necessary to create contrast in other forms of expression(or in themselves or both) so their ego can look for more or for the opposite. Without contrast you can not experience the opposite and without opposite you can not experience you fully... and after you reach the point when you can see you, in all of your completitude(i know.. is a new word) then you can choose how are you going to live you while you are alive. You are already God, and life(especially human form) is the way you can see you back.. you can look back at you and see you.. after this..is just joy... devour it... so the ego(ego is just identification with something -- it is just the window through witch you can look at you(the completitude) --- some windows are bigger and some are smaller --- meaning some egos are better educated and more refined than others but are just what they are -- windows) --- or you(the complete you) are all including the window, the presence that sees the window.. lose the identifications and you can see yourself fully. You'll not going to lose anything because there is nothing to lose. You can not loose your rationality because you are that also, rationality has it place in your living of you and it always points to the whole you. You just gain sight and after this you live COMPLETE.. you are you(all of this and that is you) and now everything you do is molding you and you know it.. and you align with you, you give more life to all and less to none, because you give life to you. everything is good and it has it role in seeing. love you. I am you.

  4. Hey Randy,

    Would you mind doing a post showing EXAMPLES of temptations, getting past them, etc.?

    I'm liking this theme of temptations but it's going "just slightly" over my head. I'm only grasping the concept about 90%.

    Thanks in advance if you can do that!

    Jeremy Reeves

    1. Jeremy Dear. I like to believe that sin is anything that separates us from the goodness, love, mutual understanding, respect, respect for the values of the neighbor. Sin is everything that generates envy in your heart, lust, infidelity, lack of love, hate, greed, ingratitude, neglect of others. Sin is anything that makes us feel bad inside (even we not realize it, and makes us bad in the long term, the habits we have) and what is bad for others (that it is possible to realize.) That separates us from God, the universe or the universal intelligence (as you prefer to call it). Sin is what makes us to keep in the first state. If we sin we turn to the first state, the animal state, where the only thing that matters is survival and worldly pleasures. When we reached the third stage the pleasures pass on the other hand, enjoy life itself and your your environment. I think that is a sin.

  5. I don't know. Somehow I can't concentrate on the topic looking at the picture you posted today. Are those temptations? 🙂

  6. Goes back to self control,

    How good can you control yourself..

    (Your thoughts, emotions, fears, etc..)

    How you can control your mind (which is difficult as you need to watch yourself daily..) will determing how your life ends up..

  7. I agree completely.

    We are like rubix cubes mixed up of all things. Whatever we put out there we attract in others. If someone puts out there a pure color that is brilliant it awakens others in that same way. If you put out your chaos you can draw that out in others too.

    I can feel lots going on under the surface but I don't have time to explore it!

  8. RG,

    I agree that I was the only one bringing this into my life. When I would quit smoking it seemed that all of a sudden everyone around me was smoking. I finally quit 3 years ago and now when people smoke around me I move instead of wishing I had one.

    I think once we get our "sin" which is error thinking focussed on our true desire than we move from temptation. I was talking with a former soldier from Iraq and he said that he when on active duty. I think these addictions and temptations are tied to fear.

    When we move from feat to faith that is when we become closer with the Christ within us and temptation moves away.

    John Maxwell Taylor said the "real us" is the tension between the humanity and divinity within all of us.
    Jim

  9. To me illumination is to be able to vibrate in harmony with the Universe. (Sin= to miss the mark, excellent, then life is experience and we are here to make the mark, to experience it... Right?)

  10. I view "temptations" as the ongoing choice between short term satisfaction and long term happiness. Am I disciplined enough to deny myself a quick dose of pleasure that will ultimately be destructive?

  11. You did a really nice job of explaining that one. I don't know about your choice of pictures, but okay. I just don't know what a man picking his daughter up from night school has anything to do with this topic. 🙂

    I am not sure if "to miss the mark" is the true definition of sin or not. I do think it is at least part of it.

    My only thought is this, and it is about sin, and I will use your defintion. I agree with everything you say above, however, I do believe it behooves us to remember that our sins and someone elses' sins may not be the same. If sin by your definition is missing the mark, then only we know within our consciousness whether or not we missed the mark on something.

    Also, animal and base tendencies has also to be defined within our own hearts.

    I really liked it when you wrote about holy warfare within us. That is so true, we have our own epic battles going on, right inside us.

    Okay, I only have one more thought. If God is within us and without, couldn't it also be true of satan? Or do you think James Allen even believed in that?

  12. The temptation is buying into the illusions projecting from our consciousness, which typically reinforce our mistaken belief that we are limited, pathetic beings. Our true nature is that we are divine expressions of God, unlimited in all ways. We're just pretending we're not. All of life is an illusion so pick one that is empowering. What are you projecting?

  13. I don't buy into: the Devil made me do it...

    It is the low self-esteem that makes people do what ever it is that they do, e.g., steal, cheat, indulge in mind altering substances, etc.

    People with low self-esteem do not value themselves and as a result cannot value anything or anyone. They are attracted to what they perceive themselves to be, and the saying "show me your friend, and I'll tell you who you are", is a great example in this case.

    People with healthy self-esteem and low self-esteem are faced with temptation every day. But how they react to it is determined by their values. If the values are concrete and consistent, then temptation is just a word. But if the values are unclear, then temptation becomes an unthinkable act, which later is followed by guilt and increased self-disrespect.

    How does one get back to their "true nature"?
    Well, elementary understanding of right and wrong, would be a good start.
    Next, do not believe in negative characteristics imposed by others, such as "you are not good enough", "not smart enough", "not capable of achievement", etc. Evaluate the values of those who dare to imply such thoughts. And then, evaluate your own thoughts for entertaining such harmful values.
    Also, it would be nice to understand that we are NOT animals. Humans are NOT born with animal instincts. Animals DO NOT have a choice but to do what they were programmed to do by nature. Humans, on the other hand, are not programmed. Humans learn as they go, and are very much so capable of choosing what they want to think and do.

    Excuses, declaration of weakness, blaming outside forces, asking for forgiveness and then doing it all over again, and talking about human imperfections - is self-deception.

  14. I agree, but what's with the picture? Hope your temptations are not taking you there Randy. You've got every quality to get a great girl without paying. I do believe that our temptations do start internally. We live in a world full of them. We have all fallen to them but what differentiates us, is what we do with the wisdom and knowledge gained from the experience. Some of us hold on to the past and fear the future. When we learn to live in the now and take the lessons we have learned and use them to develop our weakness's, then we are capable of experiencing our spirituality. I am revisiting a book, How to stop worrying and start living, by Dale Carnegie. It's a classic and one of the quotes says, "The mind is it's own place, and in itself, Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. We are what we think and we think what we are. By prayer and supplication, strenght is given, the mind is cleared, and our soul is restored to it's devine nature. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    1. Mary-Ellen, I am pretty sure I know that girl. That's her Dad either picking her up or dropping her off at dental hygiene school. I think maybe they live in Randy's building. 🙂

      Sorry Mary Ellen, I am just being silly.

      Annie

      1. The day I would have ever let one of my daughters out of the house looking like that is the day hell would have froze over Annie.

  15. Be hard to turn down that temptation on that picture. LOL. Look into tantra and learn to enjoy hendoism with balance. This Devil/God thing is starting to sound real religious. Are you going into the ministry o something?

  16. Hi Randy,

    Growing through temptation is the best way to put it.

    We are faced with either low or high energy choices, and if we continue to grow and release on the low energy choices.

    Ultimately, the stronger the purpose you hold the less time you have for even dealing with temptation. Too busy serving others to spend much time chasing lower energy situations.

    Thanks for sharing RG!

    RB

  17. To me, there is no such thing as temptation.

    People call it temptation because they want something they believe is bad to have. And they think it is bad to want it. Thus they feel guilty for wanting it and having it.

    This is all bs to me, pardon the language.

    In the first place, if you believe it is bad, then why do you want it? Maybe you gotta take a look inside and figure that out.

    I'm a smoker. And I don't believe smoking is bad. In fact I enjoy smoking A LOT. And I don't feel guilty about it. I enjoy smoking just like how I enjoy eating, sleeping, etc. I don't like people imposing their beliefs on me that smoking is bad. That's just their belief so it's their choice to believe that. And they think they will die if they smoke, because they believe that. I don't. But that's another topic.

    If you want something out of a desire to improve the quality of your life or for enhancing your self-expression, then it is not temptation. You are clear on why you want it and you believe that it is good and it will improve your life and you are able to express yourself better, or experience life better, then by all means go for it. It is not temptation anymore. It is a goal you want to attain. And you feel good when you have attained it.

    There is no such thing as temptation. It is only called temptation when you feel you are not worthy of receiving it, or when you are battling with yourself internally between wanting to be "good" and having pure selfish desires to experience life. Being selfish is good. That's what Randy talks about here too.

    This is how I see it.

  18. So Randy, I was thinking today about all the posts this week. And I decided to purify my thoughts of wanting to change you. When I admire people, I want them to be perfect. My vision of perfect. Sometimes I forget to see that they are perfect just the way they are.:)

    As a so called Millionaire Messiah, I believe it is okay for you to hang out with prostitutes, because that other Messiah did too. And I think Mary M. was a pretty great girl.

  19. Great post.I think we are tempted, when we are in lack og something. How we react to that temptation depends how aware we are.

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  • 37 comments on “The Lie of Your Goodness”

    1. In Buddhism we ring the bell 108 times on New Year's Eve to purify our 108 temptations that we have to overcome to be truly human and uphold our Buddha nature.

      I dislike to use the word, sin, because it holds different connotation in different religions. I believe what we define as our negatives are there within us so that we can
      keep working on ourselves to be humane, compassionate, kind, and loving to ourselves,
      our fellow human beings, our nature whether
      it is an animal, plant, insect, tree, etc. and our planet in our universe. We are all One after all.

      The negatives we see around us are our own projection. When we do not see them as negatives anymore, that is when we have been transformed.

    2. Dear Sir,
      Death is unescapable...and all that incarnations..previous life etc.etc.. How can we use prosperity and abundence in this regard.
      Please reply

    3. There is nothing to conquer it is just to devour.. devour the joy of being alive, of living you. The ego(false self as you call it) it is also you(a part from you) and his role is to point to your full nature... and "he/she - ego" doesn't ever miss the mark, because there is no mark to be missed.. you are, that. The different "journeys" that a ego takes, are necessary to create contrast in other forms of expression(or in themselves or both) so their ego can look for more or for the opposite. Without contrast you can not experience the opposite and without opposite you can not experience you fully... and after you reach the point when you can see you, in all of your completitude(i know.. is a new word) then you can choose how are you going to live you while you are alive. You are already God, and life(especially human form) is the way you can see you back.. you can look back at you and see you.. after this..is just joy... devour it... so the ego(ego is just identification with something -- it is just the window through witch you can look at you(the completitude) --- some windows are bigger and some are smaller --- meaning some egos are better educated and more refined than others but are just what they are -- windows) --- or you(the complete you) are all including the window, the presence that sees the window.. lose the identifications and you can see yourself fully. You'll not going to lose anything because there is nothing to lose. You can not loose your rationality because you are that also, rationality has it place in your living of you and it always points to the whole you. You just gain sight and after this you live COMPLETE.. you are you(all of this and that is you) and now everything you do is molding you and you know it.. and you align with you, you give more life to all and less to none, because you give life to you. everything is good and it has it role in seeing. love you. I am you.

    4. Hey Randy,

      Would you mind doing a post showing EXAMPLES of temptations, getting past them, etc.?

      I'm liking this theme of temptations but it's going "just slightly" over my head. I'm only grasping the concept about 90%.

      Thanks in advance if you can do that!

      Jeremy Reeves

      1. Jeremy Dear. I like to believe that sin is anything that separates us from the goodness, love, mutual understanding, respect, respect for the values of the neighbor. Sin is everything that generates envy in your heart, lust, infidelity, lack of love, hate, greed, ingratitude, neglect of others. Sin is anything that makes us feel bad inside (even we not realize it, and makes us bad in the long term, the habits we have) and what is bad for others (that it is possible to realize.) That separates us from God, the universe or the universal intelligence (as you prefer to call it). Sin is what makes us to keep in the first state. If we sin we turn to the first state, the animal state, where the only thing that matters is survival and worldly pleasures. When we reached the third stage the pleasures pass on the other hand, enjoy life itself and your your environment. I think that is a sin.

    5. I don't know. Somehow I can't concentrate on the topic looking at the picture you posted today. Are those temptations? 🙂

    6. Goes back to self control,

      How good can you control yourself..

      (Your thoughts, emotions, fears, etc..)

      How you can control your mind (which is difficult as you need to watch yourself daily..) will determing how your life ends up..

    7. I agree completely.

      We are like rubix cubes mixed up of all things. Whatever we put out there we attract in others. If someone puts out there a pure color that is brilliant it awakens others in that same way. If you put out your chaos you can draw that out in others too.

      I can feel lots going on under the surface but I don't have time to explore it!

    8. RG,

      I agree that I was the only one bringing this into my life. When I would quit smoking it seemed that all of a sudden everyone around me was smoking. I finally quit 3 years ago and now when people smoke around me I move instead of wishing I had one.

      I think once we get our "sin" which is error thinking focussed on our true desire than we move from temptation. I was talking with a former soldier from Iraq and he said that he when on active duty. I think these addictions and temptations are tied to fear.

      When we move from feat to faith that is when we become closer with the Christ within us and temptation moves away.

      John Maxwell Taylor said the "real us" is the tension between the humanity and divinity within all of us.
      Jim

    9. To me illumination is to be able to vibrate in harmony with the Universe. (Sin= to miss the mark, excellent, then life is experience and we are here to make the mark, to experience it... Right?)

    10. I view "temptations" as the ongoing choice between short term satisfaction and long term happiness. Am I disciplined enough to deny myself a quick dose of pleasure that will ultimately be destructive?

    11. You did a really nice job of explaining that one. I don't know about your choice of pictures, but okay. I just don't know what a man picking his daughter up from night school has anything to do with this topic. 🙂

      I am not sure if "to miss the mark" is the true definition of sin or not. I do think it is at least part of it.

      My only thought is this, and it is about sin, and I will use your defintion. I agree with everything you say above, however, I do believe it behooves us to remember that our sins and someone elses' sins may not be the same. If sin by your definition is missing the mark, then only we know within our consciousness whether or not we missed the mark on something.

      Also, animal and base tendencies has also to be defined within our own hearts.

      I really liked it when you wrote about holy warfare within us. That is so true, we have our own epic battles going on, right inside us.

      Okay, I only have one more thought. If God is within us and without, couldn't it also be true of satan? Or do you think James Allen even believed in that?

    12. The temptation is buying into the illusions projecting from our consciousness, which typically reinforce our mistaken belief that we are limited, pathetic beings. Our true nature is that we are divine expressions of God, unlimited in all ways. We're just pretending we're not. All of life is an illusion so pick one that is empowering. What are you projecting?

    13. I don't buy into: the Devil made me do it...

      It is the low self-esteem that makes people do what ever it is that they do, e.g., steal, cheat, indulge in mind altering substances, etc.

      People with low self-esteem do not value themselves and as a result cannot value anything or anyone. They are attracted to what they perceive themselves to be, and the saying "show me your friend, and I'll tell you who you are", is a great example in this case.

      People with healthy self-esteem and low self-esteem are faced with temptation every day. But how they react to it is determined by their values. If the values are concrete and consistent, then temptation is just a word. But if the values are unclear, then temptation becomes an unthinkable act, which later is followed by guilt and increased self-disrespect.

      How does one get back to their "true nature"?
      Well, elementary understanding of right and wrong, would be a good start.
      Next, do not believe in negative characteristics imposed by others, such as "you are not good enough", "not smart enough", "not capable of achievement", etc. Evaluate the values of those who dare to imply such thoughts. And then, evaluate your own thoughts for entertaining such harmful values.
      Also, it would be nice to understand that we are NOT animals. Humans are NOT born with animal instincts. Animals DO NOT have a choice but to do what they were programmed to do by nature. Humans, on the other hand, are not programmed. Humans learn as they go, and are very much so capable of choosing what they want to think and do.

      Excuses, declaration of weakness, blaming outside forces, asking for forgiveness and then doing it all over again, and talking about human imperfections - is self-deception.

    14. I agree, but what's with the picture? Hope your temptations are not taking you there Randy. You've got every quality to get a great girl without paying. I do believe that our temptations do start internally. We live in a world full of them. We have all fallen to them but what differentiates us, is what we do with the wisdom and knowledge gained from the experience. Some of us hold on to the past and fear the future. When we learn to live in the now and take the lessons we have learned and use them to develop our weakness's, then we are capable of experiencing our spirituality. I am revisiting a book, How to stop worrying and start living, by Dale Carnegie. It's a classic and one of the quotes says, "The mind is it's own place, and in itself, Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. We are what we think and we think what we are. By prayer and supplication, strenght is given, the mind is cleared, and our soul is restored to it's devine nature. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

      1. Mary-Ellen, I am pretty sure I know that girl. That's her Dad either picking her up or dropping her off at dental hygiene school. I think maybe they live in Randy's building. 🙂

        Sorry Mary Ellen, I am just being silly.

        Annie

        1. The day I would have ever let one of my daughters out of the house looking like that is the day hell would have froze over Annie.

    15. Be hard to turn down that temptation on that picture. LOL. Look into tantra and learn to enjoy hendoism with balance. This Devil/God thing is starting to sound real religious. Are you going into the ministry o something?

    16. Hi Randy,

      Growing through temptation is the best way to put it.

      We are faced with either low or high energy choices, and if we continue to grow and release on the low energy choices.

      Ultimately, the stronger the purpose you hold the less time you have for even dealing with temptation. Too busy serving others to spend much time chasing lower energy situations.

      Thanks for sharing RG!

      RB

    17. To me, there is no such thing as temptation.

      People call it temptation because they want something they believe is bad to have. And they think it is bad to want it. Thus they feel guilty for wanting it and having it.

      This is all bs to me, pardon the language.

      In the first place, if you believe it is bad, then why do you want it? Maybe you gotta take a look inside and figure that out.

      I'm a smoker. And I don't believe smoking is bad. In fact I enjoy smoking A LOT. And I don't feel guilty about it. I enjoy smoking just like how I enjoy eating, sleeping, etc. I don't like people imposing their beliefs on me that smoking is bad. That's just their belief so it's their choice to believe that. And they think they will die if they smoke, because they believe that. I don't. But that's another topic.

      If you want something out of a desire to improve the quality of your life or for enhancing your self-expression, then it is not temptation. You are clear on why you want it and you believe that it is good and it will improve your life and you are able to express yourself better, or experience life better, then by all means go for it. It is not temptation anymore. It is a goal you want to attain. And you feel good when you have attained it.

      There is no such thing as temptation. It is only called temptation when you feel you are not worthy of receiving it, or when you are battling with yourself internally between wanting to be "good" and having pure selfish desires to experience life. Being selfish is good. That's what Randy talks about here too.

      This is how I see it.

    18. So Randy, I was thinking today about all the posts this week. And I decided to purify my thoughts of wanting to change you. When I admire people, I want them to be perfect. My vision of perfect. Sometimes I forget to see that they are perfect just the way they are.:)

      As a so called Millionaire Messiah, I believe it is okay for you to hang out with prostitutes, because that other Messiah did too. And I think Mary M. was a pretty great girl.

    19. Great post.I think we are tempted, when we are in lack og something. How we react to that temptation depends how aware we are.

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