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Lester Levenson Finds the Answer - Part II (Reprinted from the Abundance Course Website.)
Was there a limit to happiness? He hadn't found any boundaries to it and the possibilities were staggering.
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How Far Could He Take This?
Another thing that intrigued him was the question of how far he could take this. As he corrected each thing, he became happier, he could feel it; but he wondered how far he could go. Was there a limit to happiness? So far, he hadn't found any boundaries to it and the possibilities were staggering. So he kept on, around the clock.
His strength was returning, but not wanting to be distracted, he avoided getting involved in social activities and would sometimes even pass up the Sunday get-together with his family.† He did his food shopping in the middle of the night, around two or three in the morning. There were very few people up and about at that hour, and he enjoyed the quiet of the city. He went on correcting his life, even while doing the necessaries. And he noticed that when someone in a store or on the street would annoy him, he was able to correct that response with love either immediately or shortly thereafter. This pleased him, and he found himself loving others with an intensity far beyond anything he had imagined possible. As he described it many years later,
"When I mixed with people, and again and again when they would do things that I didn't like and within me was a feeling of non-love, I would immediately change that attitude to one of loving them even though they were opposing me.† Eventually I got to a point where, no matter how much I was being opposed, I could maintain a feeling of love for them."
He continued to correct his life with consistent results for about a month until one day he got stumped. He was working on the last time he had seen Nettie, the day she chose someone else. He had already corrected a lot of the pain with regard to her; she had come to his mind again and again, and it had not always been easy. In fact, it had been very difficult at first to work on that old relationship but gradually as he gained strength, he had been able to confront some of those long-buried feelings and correct them.
But on this particular day, no matter how hard he tried to correct it with love, there was still a feeling of despair which he could not dislodge. He wanted to escape, to get out of his chair and run, to get something to eat, to do anything that would get him away from his intense feeling. Instead, he decided to sit there until he handled it. Something told him that if he let that feeling push him around, if he lost that battle, he would have lost the war. He stayed in his chair, determined to ride it out.
He probed, "What's wrong here? Why isn't it dissolving? Nettie, oh, my Nettie." He began to cry now, tears streaming down his cheeks, all the pain he had locked up on the day they parted came now in a flood. "Why did you do it, Nettie?' he cried aloud. "Why did you do it? Why did you leave me, my darling? We could have been so happy, we'd have married and been so happy."
"Damn," he thought, "why do people do things like that? They throw their happiness away and everyone else's too. They have no right to do that... they shouldn't be allowed to do that... there should be some way of making them change... some way of changing the things they do and the effect they have on people..."
He felt the old pain of ulcers starting up again in his stomach and realized with certainty that the ulcers had started that last day with Nettie. He'd drunk the beer and thrown up; that had been the beginning. He wished it had been different. More than anything else in this world, he wanted to change what had happened. He wanted to go back and live it over again the other way with Nettie choosing him, with them getting married and being happy forevermore.
"Well, you can't change it, stupid," he shouted at himself, "so you might just as well stop trying to." That jolted him. He saw that he was still trying to change something that had been finished more than twenty years ago.
"No, it can't be finished," he cried. "I won't let it be finished." His throat hurt now and he felt like screaming and smashing things.
Then, like instant replay, he heard what he'd said, "I won't let it be finished."† That was the source of his anguish; he'd wanted to change it all these years and so he kept it alive inside himself, the pain buried deep, eroding his happiness.
"Well, the hell with that," he said, almost flippantly. Suddenly, with that decision, the whole thing was gone. He couldn't believe it. He felt for the hurt, the pain, the despair. It was all gone. He thought of Nettie as he remembered her, so young, so beautiful, and he simply loved her. There was none of the old painful feeling left.
He began to look now in this new direction. He realized that the cause of his ulcers was that he had wanted to change everything, starting with his nearest and dearest and extending out to the rest of the world, including the United States, other countries, government heads, the weather, endings of movies he had seen, the way businesses were run, taxes, the army, the President; there was nothing he could think of that he had not wanted to change in one way or another.
What a revelation!† He saw himself subject to and a victim of everything he wanted to change!† He began dissolving all that.† When he thought of something that caused him pain about a person or situation, he would now either correct it with love or dissolve wanting to change it.
This added a new dimension to his work, and his progress accelerated. By the time a second month had gone by, it was all he could do sometimes to stay in his chair, he became so energized. And there were times, when he had worked on particularly painful incidents in his life, that he literally could not sit and would go out into the city and walk for miles, reviewing, correcting, dissolving until he had burned off enough energy to sit still again.
Sometimes he felt as though he had hold of a chain with many links of incidents on it which needed correcting. Once he got hold of the chain, he would follow through incident by incident until there was nothing left to be corrected. An example of such a chain was jealousy.
He had always been intensely jealous but managed to hide it most of the time under a facade of not caring. Nevertheless, his insides used to burn if the girl he was with so much as looked at someone else, or even mentioned another man. Once he decided to correct this tendency in himself he looked for it, not content to let it come willy-nilly.† He would probe his memory for instances where his jealousy had driven him; correct it; then look for more. When he thought it was cleared out, he tested himself by imagining the girl he loved most making love with the man he would least want her to be with. It was a good test because he could see immediately if there was more work to do. Sometimes the intensity of his feelings would almost drive him mad, but he continued for days until there was no last vestige of jealousy left in him. When he could finally enjoy their enjoyment of each other, he knew he was finished with jealousy.
Insights came with increasing frequency. He would often gain a sudden, complete understanding of something which had always puzzled him. Philosophies he had studied became clear, and he could see that they had often started off on the right track, only to veer off into distortions, having been diverted by an incorrect idea springing from the author's own storehouse of uncorrected feelings.
His mind began to feel like crystal ... clear, sharp. Colors seemed brighter and everything was more sharply defined.
Lester Asks "What Is Intelligence?"
There was a certain greater freedom I felt. It was easier to concentrate because of it and I began to look more closely at my mind. "What is my mind?"
I asked. "What is intelligence?"
Suddenly a picture flashed of an amusement park bumper-car ride. Small round cars each have a flexible pole in the rear which connects to a wire screen spread across the ceiling. The energy to power all the cars comes from this single source, the ceiling, and is transmitted by means of the pole at the rear of each car. The amount of energy is regulated by individual drivers using a foot pedal.
This makes the ride more interesting. The steering mechanism is constructed to be oversensitive. Therefore, it requires the utmost delicacy of handling to maintain control of the car because the slightest movement of the wheel sends it careening and the cars are constantly bumping into each other, out of control.† And it seems that the more a driver tries to control his car, the more erratic becomes the action. This was a picture of mankind today. We all use the same single intelligence and power taken from above. But most of us are out of control, using the energy to bump into each other.
However, I began to see that I could regulate the amount of power and intelligence for my own use and that I could have control of it. I liked that so I began to dig at it.
I began to examine thinking, and its relationship to what was happening. And I saw that whatever was happening had a thought behind it at some time prior. And that the reason I had never before related the two was because of the element of time between the thought and the happening.
But I did discover that with everything that was happening to me I'd had a thought of it before it happened; and that, if I could grab hold of this concept and find a way to use it, I could consciously pre-determine everything that would happen to me!
Above all, I saw that I was responsible for everything that had happened to me, formerly thinking that the world was abusing me! And I saw that my tremendous effort to make money and then losing it was due only to my thinking; that I had been always seeking happiness, and thought that making money would do it. So whenever the business started to make money, and the money did not bring me the happiness I wanted, I began to lose interest and the thing collapsed. I had always blamed it on other people and circumstances, not realizing that it was simply my subconscious knowledge that this is not happiness which caused me to lose interest and that, in turn, caused the business to collapse.
This was a tremendous piece of freedom, to think that I am not a victim of this world, that it lies within my power to arrange the world the way I want it to be; that rather than be an effect of it, I can now be in control of it and arrange it the way I would like it to be. That was a tremendous realization, a tremendous feeling of freedom.
Discovering that my happiness equated to my loving, and that my thinking was the cause of things happening to me in my life gave me more and more freedom; freedom from the subconscious compulsions that I had to work, I had to make money, I had to have girlfriends. Freedom in the feeling that I was now able to determine my destiny, I was now able to control my world, lightened my internal burden so strongly that I felt there was no need for me to have to do anything.
Plus, this happiness was so great. It was a new experience for me. I was experiencing a joy that I never knew existed, never dreamed could be. So I decided, "This is so great, I'm not going to stop until I carry it all the way." I had no idea how far it could go. I had no idea how joyous a person could be. But I was determined to find out.
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How Joyous Could He Get?
During the third month, things went even faster. There was a depth to his feelings that threatened to bowl him over at times. His knees sometimes buckled, but he stayed with each feeling until it was corrected.
He was becoming happier and happier, still looking to see if there were any limits to what he could accomplish with this new process. "How much further can I go?" he would ask himself, then push it even further.
It was also during the third month that he ran into an old adversary, one he had seen out of the corner of his eye again and again throughout his life. It had lurked nearby, always on the periphery and he had never before been willing to meet it head on. It was the fear of death.
Now he recognized it as the basis of every single feeling he had ever had. He began to coax it out into the open, wanting to take a good look at this biggest foe of all, which had so very nearly won the battle only a few months ago. He began to lure those feelings into the open and to dissolve them. And it worked!
He got to the place where, with great confidence, he laughed and laughed and laughed at this foe which had kept a fire lit under him his entire life so that there had not been one moment of real peace, ever. This last of the monsters turned out to be, after all, only a feeling.
As he dissolved the fear of death, he realized one day that his body was sound, healed. The physical impairment was corrected. He couldn't explain to anyone how he knew; he just knew it as surely as he knew who he was. His body was sound.
By the end of the third month, he had slipped into a blissful, joyous state, which he could only describe as feeling like a million orgasms surging all at once through his entire body.† It went on and on, and he realized that this feeling, although not sexual, was what he had always been looking for but never found in sex. He felt light, living for weeks with joy exploding inside him every moment. Everyone and everything became exquisitely beautiful to him. He kept looking for more things to correct, but there didn't seem to be much. Occasionally something would occur to him, but it would be gone almost before he could define it and the joy would surge through him even more strongly.
After several weeks, he began to wonder if there could be anything better beyond this joy.† He was sitting in his chair in the usual position, slumped down, legs stretched out, chin touching his chest. He had the idle thought without expecting an answer, but the answer came.
What was beyond this incredible, joyous state that didn't stop?† He saw that it was peace, imperturbability... and he realized with certainty that if he accepted it, if he decided to move into that peace, it would never, ever go away... and he went... slipped into it so effortlessly... with just a decision to have it... he was there.
Everything was still. He was in a quietness that he now knew had always been there but drowned out by incessant noise from his accumulated, uncorrected past. In fact, it was more than quiet; it was so far beyond anything imaginable that there were no words to describe the delectable deliciousness of the tranquility.
His earlier question about happiness was answered too. There were no limits to happiness, but when you have it all, every minute, it gets tiresome. Then this peace is just beyond ... and all you have to do is step over the line into it.
"Is there anything beyond even this?" he wondered. But as he asked, he knew the answer.
This peace was eternal and forever, and it was the essence of every living thing. There was only one Beingness and everything was It; every person was It, but they were without awareness of the fact, blinded by the uncorrected past they hold on to.
He saw this Beingness as something like a comb. He was at the spine of the comb and all the teeth fanned out from it, each one thinking it was separate and different from all the other teeth. And that was true, but only if you looked at it from the tooth end of the comb. Once you got back to the spine or source, you could see that it wasn't true. It was all one comb. There was no real separation, except when you sat at the tooth end. It was all in one's point of view.
Lester Discovers Amazing Natural Powers
If that were really true, he thought, then he could tune in at any point he chose. If he were the whole comb, he could tune in with any tooth at all.
He thought of a friend in California, wondered what he was doing at that moment and was immediately there in his friend's living room. He could see the room, the people in it, his friend sitting there talking to them. He picked up the phone and called. "I just want to check something with you," he said. "You are in the living room and there are three other people there...." He went on to describe in detail the room, the people and what they had just been talking about. He heard a gasp from the other end of the phone and asked if what he had described were true.
His friend answered, "Yes, but how the hell could you possibly know that?"
With a laugh Lester said, "I'm right there. Can't you see me?"
There was a long silence. He could feel panic and realized with surprise that it was his friend's panic he was feeling. He felt as though he were right inside the other man, feeling and thinking exactly as the other one. It was a totally new experience, and it suddenly came to him that he was the other one... that he was, in fact, every other one ... because his essence was the essence of all.
He was sitting at the spine of the universal comb. He had a new point of view and could see everything.
To ease his friend's fear, he said, "Oh, come on, you're kidding me, right?† When I described those people and what everyone said, you only told me that I was right to make a joke, didn't you? It wasn't true, was it?"
He could feel the panic subside as his friend answered, ''Lester, you son-of-a-gun, are you trying to tell me you made all that up?."
"Certainly I made it up. What do you think I am, some kind of a nut? It was just a joke."
"Well, you really had me going there for a while, because everything you said was true," his friend was laughing now.
"Wow what a fantastic coincidence," Lester said. "Well, I won't keep you from your company any longer. Give me a call when you get to New York next time.† We'll go to lunch together and have a good laugh over this."
"Okay, Les, be seeing you."
Lester hung up realizing that he'd have to be more careful in the future. He'd forgotten that people think in very narrow terms, unable to accept anything outside the usual.
Suddenly, he remembered himself a few short months ago. He would have thought anyone crazy who had tried to tell him something like this. How rigid he had been then, how closed his mind had been, how limited ... and now... he roared with laughter at the change.
When I started my search, I was a very convinced and absolute materialist. The only thing that was real to me was that which I could see, feel and touch. My world was as solid as concrete. Then when these revelations came to me that the world was just a result of my mind, that matter had no intelligence, and that our intelligence and our thinking determined all matter and everything about it; when I saw that the solidity which I formerly had was only a thought, my nice, solid, concrete foundation began to crack. A lifetime of build-up began to tumble and my body shook and shook. I just shook for days. I shook like a nervous old person.
I knew that the concrete view I'd had of the world was never going to be again. But it didn't drop away gracefully with ease. For days, I actually shook, until I think I shook the whole thing loose.
Then my view was just the opposite of what it had been months previously-that the real and solid thing was not the physical world, was not even my mind; but it was something which was much greater; that my essence, the very Beingness of me was the reality and that it had no limits, that it was eternal, and that all those former things that I used to see as me, like my body and mind, were the least of me rather than the all of me. That the All of me was my Beingness.
It was April 1952 when he made the last tremendous breakthrough into the quiet state. "Can it be only three short months since I was dying?" he wondered. It was hard for him to believe all that had happened to him in such a short span of time. It seemed as though a million lifetimes had gone by and yet it seemed like only a moment.
Lester Shares His Discovery
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His sense of time had changed radically.† When he thought about it, he realized that, from where he was, in the quietness, there was no time. There was an ever-nowness. Time was relative and had meaning only in the world of differences, of separation. Where he was, everything was the same, made up of the same substance, the same inexpressibly beautiful, all-powerful peace which was inherent in every atom of the universe.
He was that peace... his body seemed small and distant sitting in its chair.† He could see it there if he chose, but he felt himself spread across the entire universe; that body was only an infinitesimal speck in the vastness that he was. He was omnipresent. There was no travel, only a thought, and he was there.
It was obvious to me that I wasn't that body and mind as I had thought I was. I just saw it -- that's all. It's simple when you see it.
So I let go of identifying with that body. And when I did, I saw that my Beingness was all Beingness, that Beingness is like one grand ocean. It's not chopped up into parts called "drops of bodies." It's all one ocean.
That caused me to identity with every being, every person, and even every atom in this universe. And that's an experience so tremendous, it's indescribable. First you see that the universe is in you, then you see the universe as you. Then you know the Oneness of this universe. Then you are finished forever with separation and all the hellishness that's caused only by separation.
Then you can no longer be fooled by the apparent limitations of the world. You see them as a dream, as an apparency, because you know that your very own Beingness has no limits!
It was a very interesting trip. I had never known the things that I experienced existed. I had never known there was such power in the mind. But I saw how my mind could trick me so I had a maxim, "I only know that which I can do." When I would ask myself the question, "What can I do?", it was a shock every time. So I would keep experimenting until I could do whatever it was.
I kept that going and great things opened up. "If I am these things, can I do them?" I would ask. "If I am all-powerful, what power can I exert?"† And powers came to me. And I proved each one to at least two witnesses. That's because I was trained as a physicist. You always have to go to the lab and do it to prove it, but it's good training.
I'll tell you the first thing I did. There was a cup on the table and when someone came into the room, I said, "I can move that cup to the other side of the table with my mind. Do you believe I can?". If they said Yes, it was instantly moved; if they said No, it remained still. I wouldn't impose on other people. If they didn't accept it, I wouldn't bother them. Of course, not having had much experience with it at first, I made mistakes. I even had people walk away from me and not talk to me. I learned to keep quiet and not disturb peoples' beliefs and convictions.
Once he had proven, beyond any doubt, that he had indeed acquired the powers he used to scoff at, he saw that they, in themselves, were a trap if he tried to hold onto and develop them for the amazement and amusement of himself and others. They were not an end in themselves, and so he let go and moved on.† Later, there were occasions when someone needed a demonstration in order to break through his or her own limitations, and, at those times, unusual things would happen. But Lester never felt like the doer of them. He was only the clear catalyst, without ego involvement. He also realized the source of intelligence. He saw that there is only one intelligence and we all have it. Therefore, unlimited knowledge, omniscience, is available to all. And he saw it was the same with power; we all have unlimited power, omnipotence. Omniscience and omnipotence are within each one of us.
Contemplating the source of intelligence and energy, I discovered that it too was available in unlimited amounts, and that it came simply by my freeing myself from all these former compulsions, inhibitions, entanglements, hang-ups.
I didn't have to be subject to anything. Seeing this allowed the power that was right behind my mind to flow through as it had never flowed through before.
I saw that I had previously dammed this energy, this power and all I had to do was pry loose the logs of the dam -- and that's what I was doing. On discovering each thing, I was removing a log and allowing this infinite flow -- just like a water dam would flow if you pulled the logs out one by one. And the more logs you pull out, the greater the flow, so all I needed was to remove the logs and let the infinite energy and power flow.
And there were times when I'd get the realization of what I am that would put so much energy into me I would jump up from my chair. Then I would go right straight out the front door and start walking and walking and walking, for hours at a timečand sometimes for days at a time!† I just felt as though my body could not contain that much energy, that I had to walk or run some of it off.††
I remember walking the streets of New York City in the wee hours of the morning sometimes, just walking at a very good pace, not being able to do anything else.
By the time he had finished these experiments, he had proven for himself that the source of all objective physical phenomena was the mind; that the mind has no limits except those one mentally imposes upon oneself; and that this is true for everyone, with no exceptions. Inherently each person has the ability to have, be, or do whatever that person wills or desires.
The realization of the omniscience and omnipotence of each mind is what finally got him out of his chair. He wanted to share with others what he had discovered, wanted to help them discover it for themselves. He wanted others to know the incredibly beautiful, tremendous Being that each one is.
To read the rest of Lester's story, please go on to the next page
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Lester Shares His Discovery
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