Nancy (N). What we really want to go into today is the Metapsychiatric concept that all problems are psychological and all solutions are spiritual. Now that sounds like gobbly gook at the beginning, so you have to explain that to us. First of all, how can all problems be psychological?
Ruth (R). It sounds very blameworthy, like there is something wrong with me. I have created this problem for myself and that is very off putting to many people so they don't like to hear the principle, but Dr. Hora was unequivocal about it, either it's a principle or it is not. How can we understand it? What does it mean that all problems are psychological? Dr. Hora explained it in a very simple way. We suffer from what we want and what we don't want. That's all.
N. So if my car breaks down, how is that a psychological problem?
R. It may not be. Maybe if you see it from a spiritual perspective, you may welcome it as an opportunity to learn something. Maybe you haven't paid attention to your car.
N. The problem is that I get upset that my car broke down and I am going to miss this appointment that I thought was important and spent a lot of money getting the engine fixed. But that's what makes it a problem - the way I am thinking about it.
R. It certainly can be a problem if you have a serious illness or a death in the family. These can be very difficult situations to understand from the spiritual perspective. But they are still opportunities to learn something.
N. They are serious things and they require more time or more attention than I might have considered and they may actually be painful in some kind of way. That doesn't mean that it's a problem. Is that kind of what you are saying?
R. That's right. A problem is actually, as we said, something that we are either wanting or not wanting. So if we look to the source of it which is our thoughts, rather than on the material level, then we might learn something. We might learn to spiritualize our consciousness about that particular situation. Metapsychiatry says, “Problems are lessons designed for our edification”. That's another one of the principles in Metapsychiatry. It tells us to pay attention to what is taking place so we may see it as an opportunity to grow spiritually.
N. Can you give us an example? Maybe in your own life or people you have worked with to help us understand this.
R. Yes, but let's look at the rest of the principle first so we don't get stuck on the problem level and, rather, look at it as an opportunity to spiritualize our consciousness. When Dr. Hora says, “All problems are psychological”, meaning they are thoughts that are manifesting themselves in a certain form, and that, “All solutions are spiritual,” he means that the only way to solve the problem is not on the level of the problem, its on the level of the spiritual.
So to give you an example, after I had been studying Metapsychiatry for a couple of years, I became very ill in the middle of the night and I had to be taken down to the emergency room at the hospital, and the doctor diagnosed that I had a serious case of flu. I returned home with a vial of medicine that I was supposed to take. I could hardly breathe. That's what took me to the hospital and I had a very, very high fever. I spent the night looking at that little vial and thinking, “You know, I have learned enough about what Reality really is and I have been studying this principle for a long time but I haven't applied it to myself in a serious situation. So this is my opportunity”. So I spent the whole night just looking at that little vial. I didn't dare go to sleep because I was afraid I would perhaps pass out in the middle of the night, and I stayed awake and I went moment by moment, step by step because I was going to take it obviously if my life was in danger. I am not that foolish. I thought, “I wonder if I can wait until morning with these symptoms I was experiencing.” I could hardly breathe and was running a very high fever of 103. “If I can wait until the morning, I will call Dr. Hora and see if he understands what the meaning of it is. The thought, that is to say, that is manifesting itself in that form”. I did manage to stay awake until morning and at the crack of dawn, I think it was about 7 a.m., I dared to call him. He answered the phone and he was totally awake and right with me. I told him about it and he said, “What you are suffering from is fear right now”. He knew enough about my life to know what I was afraid of and he said, “You need to heal that fear”. He gave me the spiritual counter fact to it which is “Perfect love casteth out fear”. So rather than being afraid, I could see that a sense of love was what was needed I also had to forgive myself for entertaining these fearful thoughts. There are a lot other things that I really can't go into because it's too personal. But what happened is that I suddenly began to feel well. Suddenly I began to feel better. Within a half hour of speaking to him, the fever started to dissolve and the breathing was gone. I felt so well that I went up and took a shower, came back and sat on my bed and got dressed after a few more minutes. I couldn't believe it because the doctor had said, “You have a very serious case of flu”. This was back in 1980 or so. “You will probably be in bed for three or four weeks or certainly confined to home”. Thanksgiving was coming. He said, “Forget about Thanksgiving because you probably will not be feeling well at Christmas time.” I thought, “You know, this is not what's happening. What is happening is that I am being healed”. So within an hour of talking to Dr. Hora, the fever was gone and the symptoms were gone. It was the most extraordinary demonstration of the fact that the symptoms that I had been suffering from were actually the manifestations of my thoughts.
N. Let's go back and apply this to what we talked about in the beginning, like my car breaking down which is similar to you having the flu. It's not a virus going through your body, that's not the problem. The problem is how you were thinking about it, right? That for you, it was the fear you had about being sick or something else.
R. No. I was in a state of fear before anything manifested. I did not understand that and so the fear transmuted itself into the form of the flu. Thought is mental energy and it has to go somewhere, and it follows a pathway. The first way a thought manifests is with ideas, and through speech. We can catch it at that point. Then if we don't catch it at that point, let's say we are angry or fearful, it moves to the next level which is to come out in a behavior or some mood, some sense of being lost. If it doesn't come out in that form, it comes out in the form of a physical symptom or an experience. So this fear that I had been entertaining, apparently for a long time, manifested itself in the form of a physical symptom. It didn't cause the physical symptom. It was appearing in that form. Mental energy transmutes into other forms just like water. Ice is another form of water or vapor is another form of water. The same thing happens with thoughts.
N. When Dr. Hora suggested or pointed out to you that you were suffering from having a fearful thought, what happened? Did you stop being afraid at that moment?
R. He identified specifically what it was because he knew me very well and he knew what my issues were in life and he was able to see that actually I was feeling suffocated by something. That's why I couldn't breathe. When I clearly understood that that was not part of my true being and that actually God is the source of my good, the symptoms started to dissolve. That's how the principle works. The problem is psychological in the sense that it is a thought, and the solution is spiritual in that once I understood what we call the spiritual counter-fact to fear and applied that in my life, reminded myself that I am loved and that I am able to understand - I saw myself in a greater context. In the context of God, and the symptoms dissolved. They just disappeared.
N. Let me go over this again because it sounds like you are talking about something that sounds miraculous to us. We are so steeped in this idea that illness is caused by some sort of physical cause. What you are suggesting to us is that even the physical is actually a psychological problem and that there is a spiritual solution to it. So let's just go over it.
So there was some experience in your life or some event or situation that you felt suffocated by. You had this thought that this situation was suffocating you. What was going on in your mind was a sense that there was no way out of this. You were thinking, “I can't get out” or “This is suffocating me”. Now in spiritual reality that's not true but you thought that it was.
R. Actually I wasn't even aware of the thought. What I needed Dr. Hora for was to help me to understand the thought.
N. You weren't even aware that you were in a situation that you thought was suffocating you.
R. Not at all. No it was beyond my awareness. Had I been aware of it, it wouldn't have turned into a symptom. It's because you are not aware of it that it manifests in another form. It is for us to come to understand that everything is a thought and that we live in a mental universe, not so much the phenomenal world, but a mental universe. That everything is a thought is a very liberating idea. However, it is very threatening because it sounds like “Oh, I am to blame” and so we need to be very careful when we introduce this thought to people. Actually, no one is to blame for anything. This is all new knowledge. It’s cutting edge stuff. By just applying it and trying to understand it in our everyday life, people do come to realize it's true, all problems are psychological.
N. So how do you know it's true? What else can you tell us about it so we can understand that this is true.
R. The way you understand that it is true is that you are healed, you are uplifted, you are liberated. All these wonderful things occur when you understand the spiritual solution to the problem. First you have to understand the problem. So all problems have meanings and we call the meaning a mental equivalent. We actually have two questions that we ask in Metapsychiatry whenever there is a problem. The first question is, “What is the meaning of what seems to be?” and the second question is “What is what really is?” Those two questions stand in contrast to the kinds of questions we normally ask which is to look for the cause. So the first thing we usually say is “What happened?” the second is “How do you feel?” the third is “Why did this happen?” the fourth, “Who is to blame?” then, “What should I do about it?” and finally, “How should I do it?” Rather than asking those questions, we refrain from that temptation because we are all steeped in that kind of questioning. We say “no, no”. The idea here is that everything is a thought so we are going to ask the first intelligent question. What is the meaning of what seems to be? What seems to be going on? Let's say we have a physical symptom the doctor has diagnosed as the flu and we are going to ask what the mental equivalent of that is. The meaning refers to the mental equivalent, not to the cause of it but the mental equivalent. In my experience, the thought was a fear that things were out of control and that I was being suffocated.
N. So what was really true. What was really happening once you could go to the mental equivalent? How did that apply healing?
R. We go to the spiritual counter-fact of that specific thought. So that is the second intelligent question. What is what really is? What really is spiritual - spiritual good. So what did I need to see there? I needed to see that no one was in control of my life, including myself and that there was no need to be afraid because God, Omniactive Love-Intelligence, is always available. I am an entity of awareness, we could say, capable of being aware of what is needed moment by moment and what was needed was not fear but to understand that perfect love takes care of me. Perfect love takes care of all of us. It gives us the right ideas and the right idea is simply that no one else is in control of my life, not even myself.
N. So this idea could take us to the example of the car breaking down. Instead of seeing it first as a problem I say I know what's really true is that God's in charge, and that whatever is happening I am okay right now and I can take the next step whatever that might be. I can handle it.
R. But we wouldn't even say we can handle it because we can't do it.
N. There I am, trying to handle it again. I want to be in charge. I want to feel like there something important about me and what’s important about me is that I can handle this. I can do it. And that's what you are saying is not really true.
R. That's right. Because you see, we are never alone. This idea that we have that we are separate from this higher intelligence is the problem. But when we begin to realize that we are one with it, that it is when the problem disappears. We are part, and actually one with that loving, intelligent force. Therefore, all we need to do is become aware of it. We meditate to become still mentally and to become aware of the inspired ideas that are needed. Each one of us, as we learn to apply the two intelligent questions in our lives, is able to find more and more of the understanding that those two questions reveal and we can heal ourselves. At first it's very helpful to have someone who is trained in this to help us to discern the meaning of our problems.
N. Trained but also they have to deeply understand what's really true because it's more than just a mental thing. It's not analysis. I think some people say, “This means that” and “That means this” and they kind of go to an intellectual analytic mode and that's really not what you are talking about.
R. No. Not at all. In fact you have to set your thinking mind aside because if you try to figure it out, you will never do so. When we figure things out, we are really just coming up with reasons. He who finds reasons finds excuses. That's not what we are talking about at all. You have to set your thinking mind aside.
N. Let's use another example. A very practical one that people experience. I was talking to someone the other day whose boyfriend had just left and so one of the thoughts might be what it means is “I am ugly and undesirable” and so we know that's not true but if someone believes that, and thinks that, so then what? What would you say?
R. It's a process of education. It's a slow process. It doesn't happen overnight that somebody is going to grasp what you learn to be saying to them but you plant seeds little by little. But the first thing you could say to them is "Do you know who you really are?" Because if we are thinking of ourselves as being unattractive or undesirable, then we are seeing ourselves as persons. We are back in the human scene again and we are not going to be able to find the answers on that level. But if you know we are actually Divine, that you are a Divine Consciousness capable of seeing yourself in the context of God, then you become assured. Your self-esteem changes. Normally our self-esteem is psychological. It is based on what other people think of us as well as what we think of ourselves but that makes us very vulnerable if we are always basing our judgment of ourselves on how other people might see us. Spiritual self-esteem is knowing who you are. It's realizing who you are and that there never is a separation from that intelligence and that love that always is available to be seen and that gives us a sense of assurance, peace, gratitude and love in the world. So we get back to PAGL again.
N. I have two thoughts in my mind. One of them is what is there to talk about at parties? Everyone is always talking about problems. Everybody wants to tell you about the pains they have, their frustrations, and how bad life is and the state of the world. How do you manage that?
R. Nonverbally because you don't want to engage in that kind of communication because not only does it hurt you, but it's not true. It's alright for other people to be speaking whatever they think. We are not trying to influence anyone. We are not trying to change anyone. We are just grateful we can see something from a higher perspective. That life really is good and that problems are lessons designed for our edification and nothing comes into experience uninvited. These are all principles of Metapsychiatry that we can be grateful for and we can pay attention to and learn from if we are interested but we don't influence other people. We are not interested, EVER, in influencing others. As a matter of fact, that is the cardinal sin of Metapsychiatry.
N. The other thought I had was what a wonderful phrase it is to talk about spiritual self-esteem.
R. Yes, everyone suffers from a lack of self-esteem. At one moment we might feel great about life because everything is going well, then we are down in the dumps. That's psychological self-esteem. That's vulnerable to what's going on around us. But spiritual esteem is never lost. Once we get it that we are one with the Divine, that we are one with this one mind, this one consciousness, Omniactive Love-Intelligence, and that we can never be separated from it, and that our good comes from it, then we have a whole different way of seeing and we never suffer again from a lack of self-esteem.
N. We will never suffer again, but that doesn't mean you don't run into challenges, right? That your car doesn't break down or that you don't get sick or something, right? It's a different way of looking at things.
R. But you know it's also true that the more you understand the truth of your being, the healthier you become and the less those problems seem to come into your life. It's an amazing thing. I have gotten healthier as I have grown older, not filled with more sickness. I used to have a lot of problems in my life. They are not there anymore. They just seem to not be there because I am seeking to live, as much as possible, on the level of spiritual consciousness.
N. How do you keep from having people accuse you of slipping into Pollyannaism? The world is wonderful and beautiful all the time and everything is goodness and light when clearly we live in a world filled with turmoil, frustration and troubles?
R. Again we are not here to change other people because each one of us has to travel our own spiritual journey. I am just grateful that Metapsychiatry has given me the kind of knowledge that has been helpful to me, and that I am very grateful for the opportunity to share that with many individuals and I see that their lives are also becoming healthier and improving in every direction and that's just a great blessing. It's not that we are trying to change anything in the world but to offer individuals the opportunity to understand where suffering comes from and how it can be healed by spiritual means.
N. Where does suffering come from?
R. Again it's this very simple idea I think I mentioned earlier which is that it comes from wanting and not wanting. That sounds so crazy that it's hard to get your awareness around it, right, but in fact it's true. The more I've lived with that idea for 25 years now, the more I realize it's absolutely true. Everyone I work with comes to understand that as well. So it must be true.
N. So suffering comes from wanting or not wanting. What else is there? Either I want to avoid something from happening or I want to have something to happen in my life. What else is there?
R. There is wanting what God wants. What does God want? God doesn't want anything of course but to keep it in the same idiom. What does God want? God wants to be manifested through his image and likeness, as a matter of fact, that's what gave birth to Metapsychiatry. When Dr. Hora, after his search worldwide through a great many wisdom literatures, he came back to that idea that is found in the Book of Genesis, which is that man is created in the image and likeness of God and when he realized that was true, it helped him to see we are here for God. We are not here for ourselves. His paraphrase of the image and likeness of God is that we are manifestations of Omniactive Love-Intelligence.
N. You said something so profound, I just want to highlight it for people which is the idea that we are here for God. We are not here to have life mold to the way we want it. I think that shift in itself is completely profound and will change everything.
R. It does and actually. There are three modes of being in the world. First is to be here for yourself, the second is being here for others, and the third, which is radical as you pointed out, is to be here for God. But we have to understand what does it mean to be here for God? To be here to manifest Omniactive Love-Intelligence, means to seek to live in accordance with PAGL. When you do, you are blessed with an awareness of spiritual values, spiritual qualities, and inspired ideas. And, amazingly, your presence and awareness radiates out and everything around is benefiting from it.
N. To live what God is which is this Love-Intelligence, which is this sense of peacefulness, gratefulness, lovingness, assurance, right. That's what God wants and that's what we are here to do: To be here for God rather than to be here to have life be the way we want it.
R. Right. So God wants to be manifested and it's through us that we can consciously know God. See, that's the point. But many people still say you can't know God or you can't know God directly or how can you describe God but actually that's not true. Those are old ideas and the fact that some people have not been able to understand it doesn't mean that others haven't. Many people do understand. So we are here to manifest God. Without mans ability to be aware of being aware, God would not be known.
N. When you say to manifest God, do you mean in a physical way? When I think of manifestation I think of matter.
R. Right here and now, in this physical world, in this seeming body that I am, I can manifest peace, I can manifest a consciousness which is loving, which is intelligent, which is understanding, and which is compassionate. Compassion is a beautiful word but again I think it has not been carefully described. Dr. Hora has given a beautiful definition. It's the understanding of the lack of understanding.