OK, I'm in a rather gushing mood right now so I thought I'd take the time to express some appreciation. And maybe be instructive to other readers of the book. I don't know how well everybody understands it, but I get the impression: Not very much!
I'm a really smart guy and the book left me stony eyed like "huh?" for a long time (though, of course I PRETENDED to myself that I understood it
). It's so dense, so all encompassing, so broad, and seemingly abstract that I was overwhelmed. I have to believe other people were at least as overwhelmed by the information as me.
There are three main difficulties:
- Understanding the concept Steve is describing
- Deciding whether I agree with what he's saying
- The book only makes sense once you're aligned with Truth, Love and Power and have experienced the benefits of doing so.
Initially I thought it was about rationally understanding the three principles. But, the true genius of this book, that I've come to recognise, is how all three principles blend together and relate to one another in practice
. And when one does it the result is just wonderful.
Through re-reading chapters of the book multiple times and gradually integrating it with reference experiences, I have come to understand this. The exercises are invaluable for accelerating the integration process.
My ultimate summation of this book is this: you have to practice it for it to make sense.
All of this has come in retrospect. Through learning from many other sources, I can look back and realise the elegance of the TLP model.
Here are my big "Aha's" that have genuinely, positively got me on track with life:
1. Relationships with other people are the main mechanism for learning new truth about yourself. Relationships bring forth all the dark stuff from the depths of your consciousness. You can sit alone meditating and that's fine, but when you go down from the cave and start getting triggered emotionally by other people: that's when you learn about yourself. True feelings are 10 times as intense and 100 times harder to ignore in the company of others. Now I know to welcome this. It's an opportunity to grow, but only if I accept the situation. If I try to suppress the emerging truth I just torture myself
2. The power of responsibility. Until recently I did not get it. People would talk about power and I did not get it, at all. Now I do. Taking responsibility really is the access point to power. Without it you play victim forever. I think of it as OWNING my results in life. In doing so I become able to respond. Response-able. It's like options open up. I feel in control of my life. It feels tremendous.
3. The importance of acknowledging my true desires and feelings. I spent years shutting down the dissatisfied, concerned voice in the back of my head. Now I realise: heeding the message of that voice brings tremendous freedom though it takes courage to do so. It's the only way to break avoidance patterns. You reach a point where you say to yourself "I've got to deal with this haven't I? I have to do this." And it's pure relief to do it.
Admitting to dissatisfaction is vital. Pretending to be happy is death. As with almost everything Steve writes, it only makes sense ON THE OTHER SIDE. When you in a state of denial this is horrible to hear, and you will be tempted to deny it. After you've done it you think "WOW, I WISH I'd done that sooner. This is bliss, this is freedom, this is IT."
4. Authenticity is the only way to live. I can't pretend to be something I'm not. Although I still do, of course, it's something I can work on and I know that now. Before when somebody would say "Be yourself" I'd be utterly confused. Now I get it. At least on this current level understanding I'm at.
5. Oneness really is the combination of truth and love. When I acknowledge truth and embrace it (love) I enter a greater alignment with oneness. I literally become more "Present" in the Eckhart Tolle sense. Except rather than being a fleeting glimpse, it is a stable state. It actually took Genpo Roshi's "Big Mind" process for me to integrate this on a cellular level. In retrospect I can look back at PDFSP and say "Ahhh, I get it now."
I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg but already I feel tremendously better than I did before. And it's lasting this time. In the past I would have emotions that would come and go but something always felt off in a way I couldn't explain. When I improve my alignment with truth, love and power I find a stable state of... Intelligence
(authenticity, creative self-expression, growth, flow, and beauty).
Also, it provides a clear roadmap. Now I understand at a core, integrated level what it means to be aligned with Truth, Love and Power, and have some techniques for doing it that I'm comfortable and confident with.
I recommend everyone do the "Consciousness Assessment" at the end of Chapter 7 for an aspect of their life, if they haven't already. It doesn't look like much but... well, do it. The proof is in the application.
I'm going to do it right now.