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Apples and Oranges

The mind is useful in making distinctions between things, finding differences, and evaluating them. The ego loves to use that mental capacity to compare things and people. It loves numbers because numbers seem to give it a clear way of knowing where it, others, and other things stand—what or who is better. The ego loves the ten-scale for that reason, and it’s always seeking to be a ten or have someone or something that is a ten. The ego is just as happy to bask in reflected glory.
 
The mind uses comparisons to make wise, practical decisions: It chooses an apple that isn’t bruised over a bruised one. However, the egoic mind compares people in the same way the mind compares things. Comparing an apple to another apple is one thing, but comparing a person to another person is like comparing an apple to an orange. Such comparisons aren’t useful. They are false. When we compare ourselves to others, we always suffer, whether we come out on top or not.
 
Making comparisons is one of the ego’s favorite ways of causing suffering. The ego looks for ways we fall short so that we feel we have a problem, and then the ego offers a solution. In this way, the ego keeps us tied to thoughts about how to improve ourselves and our life. It keeps us very busy this way and involved with thoughts about ourselves. We are the ego’s project, and it takes this self-improvement project very seriously.
 

Your Favorite Things

The audiobook has just been released.
 
What do you like most about being alive now on planet earth? The song from “The Sound of Music” about favorite things (“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… these are a few of my favorite things”) is an expression from Essence. When we are in Essence, we love the little things, like whiskers on kittens—what a miracle! There’s so much joy when we are really present to life and the miracle that it is. We get joy from the littlest things.

This is so unlike the ego, which disparages such things. “Oh that—I’ve seen that before!” is its attitude. The ego wants life to be about it, not about life itself. The ego loves whatever makes it feel good about itself, not what makes it feel good. This egocentricity is one of the most obvious differences between the state of ego identification and our natural state, or Essence. The ego refers whatever is happening back to itself: What will it mean to me? But when we are in Essence, we experience Essence’s joy at experiencing itself through all of creation.

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Borrow Gina’s and Nirmala’s Ebooks on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Prime

You can now borrow several of Gina’s and Nirmala’s ebooks by being a member of the Kindle Unlimited program, which is like a Netflix for ebooks. For $9.99 per month, you can borrow and read an unlimited number of ebooks from the Kindle Store on Amazon.com. And the first month of membership is free. Once you sign up, then the books can be downloaded to your Kindle device or read on a Kindle App on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
 
Also, if you have a Kindle device and are a member of Amazon Prime, then you can borrow one of our ebooks for free every month. This Kindle Owner's Lending Library (KOLL) is separate from the Unlimited program described above. (Note: Unlike the Unlimited program where you can download the books from any device, you have to be logged into Amazon on your Kindle device to borrow the ebooks from the Kindle Owners Lending Library program.)
 
These are both great ways to read more of our books, plus hundreds of thousands of other books that are also available through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owner's Lending Library for Prime members. The following books of ours are available on Kindle Unlimited and KOLL: Embracing the Now, From Stress to Stillness, Radical Happiness, Anatomy of Desire, Return to Essence, Choice and Will, Nothing Personal, Living from the Heart, and Beliefs, Emotions, and the Creation of Reality. To participate, go to the book’s page on the Amazon store and then follow the "Read for Free" link under the "Buy Now" button.

Why Bad Things Happen

Here is an excerpt from Living in the Now. The audiobook has just been released.
 
living in the now
 
It would be more accurate to say “things happen” than “bad things happen.” There is a world of difference between those two statements. The first one is true, and the second one is a story told by the ego. Bad, after all, is a concept; it doesn’t exist. We can’t touch it, hear it, see it, or even sense it in any way. Bad is an idea that egos can generally agree on, but that doesn’t make that concept true or real. That is the problem with consensus reality: What is accepted as true often isn’t, but seeing things otherwise can be challenging.

There is hardly anything more pervasive in consensus reality than the concept of good/bad. It is the ego’s primary judgment—something is either good or bad, usually in relationship to me. That is how the ego sees the world. The fact that everyone else who is ego identified also sees the world this way doesn’t make it true. So when people ask why bad things happen, it’s a trick question. It presumes bad things are happening and, in truth, they aren’t—things are happening.

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The Illusory Reality

 
Beliefs create an illusory reality, which becomes one’s reality. This illusory reality stands between you and actual reality. Like a pair of colored glasses, this illusory, mind-generated reality changes how reality looks: like clouds, it hides aspects of reality; like a magnifying glass, it magnifies the importance of some things while minimizing the importance of others; and like a fun-house mirror, this illusory reality deceives and makes reality seem scary. Beliefs cause you to perceive things that are not there and to not perceive things that are there. Moreover, beliefs cause you to see the world through a singular point of view, the view of “me.”
 
The me that you feel yourself to be is the sense of yourself that is created and upheld by your beliefs. You also have some images, or internal pictures, of yourself, but the sense of you is largely comprised of what you believe yourself to be—beliefs about yourself: “I am this and I am that; I am not this and I am not that. I am someone who likes this and not that.”
 
If you take away all of your beliefs about yourself, you are left with “I am,” a simple statement of existence, which is the only absolutely true statement you can make about yourself. If you examine your other beliefs about yourself, you discover that none of them is completely true or true all the time, and therefore none of them is true. Your beliefs about yourself only seem to be true and only seem to be true all the time.
 

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