I have been studying the principles and I can’t help feeling like I don’t get it. When will I get it and what if I don’t?

Question: I have been studying the principles and I can’t help feeling like I don’t get it. When will I get it and what if I don’t?

Answer: Believe it or not, I have had moments of feeling like I don’t understand the principles, too. Here is what I’ve learned with my experience of my own uncertainty and insecurity about learning the principles and everything else for that matter!). The principles simply are a logic that explains how our feeling comes to be and sheds light on the common misunderstanding that there’s something outside ourselves that makes us feel the way we feel. You have the thought “I don’t understand this,” and that thought creates a feeling, perhaps of confusion or discouragement. You either understand it or you don’t but discouragement is not inherent in the fact that you don’t. The discouragement comes from you, not the fact that you don’t understand. You are living in a reality such that there’s something to get, you don’t get it and hence you feel bad. You have created a logic that makes discouragement seem appropriate and validated by something outside of yourself (as if there is some hard standard).

It helps to know this because it brings some humility to our experience. It challenges our assumption that our thinking is right and valid. That brings space and in that space new thinking can emerge. The new thinking might be that you indeed DON’T understand but without the weight of the feeling of discouragement and consequence that looks really different. All of that happens in the moment and in that moment we have some understanding and we get a sense of what understanding feels like. That is what learning looks like. The more moments we see that and the more profoundly we see it, the more our orientation changes from “outside-in” to “inside-out”. That orientation is the only way that we can “get” the principles. That you are even still a student of the principles suggests to me that you have gained some understanding of them. Otherwise you would have written them off as irrelevant or something you already know.

The infiniteness of the principles in our quieter and more reflective moments is wonderful and comforting, in other moments it is evidence that we “don’t get it”. Understanding the Principles is not an “it” to get, it is simply a moment when you realize the Principles at work and the more we have that insight, big or small, we put another brick in the foundation of our understanding. As we continue to see the fact that our experience only works one way (from the inside-out) we relate differently to all of our experience and we begin to shift our understanding of how life works from an outside-in to an inside-out paradigm. That doesn’t mean we won’t forget how it works, we certainly will, but the more often and profoundly we see it, the more solidly we find our footing in the paradigm that is actually true, that everything comes through our thinking.