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Resistance as a Divine Gift December 2, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 11) Resistance as a Divine Gift.
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I think I can make a fair argument that resistance is a divine gift. At the very least, it’s the closest thing we can ever find to being a divine gift. I like to watch televangelists when they talk about heaven. It’s a very interesting thing to hear them describe a heaven that is free of resistance. They can get the congregation all wound up in a tizzy that makes them feel “reeeeal good.” Little do they know that they are denying what is possibly the greatest gift of life: resistance—the force that makes our very consciousness possible. Without taking a few moments from their busy lives to check out their fragmented ideas, they wish for total unconsciousness, death. They are, unknowingly, asking God to destroy their lives.

We’ve established that resistance is necessary. I’ve heard resistance referred to as “divine force” or “divine resistance,” implying that it came from higher intelligence. My personal preference, if I were to refer to it as divine, would be “the divine element” of the four elements, drive, resistance, culmination, and result. Certainly we’ve established that it is vital to awareness or consciousness—to life itself. It is a most difficult thing to see this divine element as a gift, however. Even those who have devoted a major part of their lives to Godly studies will deny that resistance is divine. I mentioned that I like to watch the high-octane televangelists. They almost universally see resistance as evil. I’ve many times heard something like this.

“The devil is working to keep you from having the benefits in life that God wants you to have.” This is usually reference to money, objects, or so-called success, or some other gratification of our basic urges. We live in a bizarre, upside-down world when the supposed spiritual leaders teach that resistance is from the devil.

What about the possibility of seeing resistance something of value? We’ve established that it’s necessary for our very existence, but maybe there are more plusses to this. How about that college education that we were speaking of? Obviously, a college degree has value in the job market or for some sort of recognition, but what gives it that value? Suppose you could go down to the local college and pay some nominal fee to have a college education poured into your ear from a jug? If that were the case then every Tom, Dick, and Harry in town would have a degree and it would be meaningless. The fact that resistance makes a degree difficult to obtain is the very thing that gives it value. How about the difficult and time-consuming task of driving that nail we were talking about? I have an air-nailer that I use occasionally that overcomes some of the resistance of setting nails. Someone has made a bundle money by manufacturing and selling air-nailers.

Were it not for the need to overcome the resistance to driving nails, we wouldn’t have a market for air-nailers and a people wouldn’t be employed in that business. How about that trip to the market that we were talking about? We might get in a fender bender on the way to the market and that is resistance. If we didn’t have the potential for car wrecks, an entire collision repair industry wouldn’t exist. We would all be unemployed were it not for resistance. If we stop and take a look at it from a strictly pragmatic view, we pay construction workers to overcome the resistance to building houses; we pay lawyers to overcome the resistance to wading through the legal system; the grocer is in business because of the resistance to hunting and gathering food. This second element of the four elements not only gives us life itself, but it gives that life value at every turn.

What do you think our outlook on life would be if we could see so completely that when resistance came along, we could see its value? What sort of attitude do you think we would have if we had that outlook? Do you think it may be possible to be thankful when some rude person flips us off when we’re driving down the road? After all, it is an opportunity to see if we’re paying attention to those trolls. If there were no trolls, we would have no need for a major purpose of our awareness function. How could we have the awareness function if there were nothing to be aware of?

If we carefully and diligently look, maybe we can see that resistance has a value. There is a trick to this. There is no way that I know of to force oneself to see the value in resistance. …Does that entirely confuse everyone? That would be like pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. This is again one of those occasions when we try to do things backwards. What we can do is observe the self in action when resistance arises and we realize that we’re getting the urge to use a string of four-letter words. Our only chance is to observe that we don’t value resistance or that we see it as having a negative value.

Remember our little talk regarding the maxim of a given quality or trait? “The greatest restriction to experiencing a particular trait is the belief that we already have it.” What if I turn this around and work it to my benefit? This is a pivotal point worth checking out. The trait that I’m observing is that I hate resistance. I’m doin’ the high-octane preacher thing and repeating this. The observation that I am making of self is that I hate resistance. Are we getting this? I cannot force myself to like resistance.

What we have done here is made an objective observation of self, without condemning or justifying the observed and without trying to change the observed. I’m looking at self and watching the hatred of resistance. The self and its trait is the observed. This is the trait I am observing in self when this particular troll raises its head. I’m going to change one or two words in that maxim that I quoted. “The greatest restriction to experiencing a trait is the observation that we already have it.” When we observe the quality of self, in this case that self hates resistance, that observation is the first and last step in going in a new direction. This maxim works both ways. This is the message we will send to Delta, and only Delta has the ability to de-claw this troll.

Do you want to try that experiment? Put that counting device in your pocket and see how often you get disgusted with the element of resistance. This can be an eye opener. How embarrassing would it be if you had the opportunity to meet your maker and you had to fess up that you hated your greatest gift?