Creative Sparks

Revisiting Timeless Wisdom in Gerald Jampolsky’s Teach Only Love

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Creative Sparks, Soulful Living

When you are confronted with a life-threatening illness as I was suddenly four months ago, it’s natural to reach for spiritual inspiration and timeless wisdom to help make sense of the road ahead. It was in that spirit that I felt drawn to re-read Teach Only Love: The Twelve Principles of Attitudinal Healing by Gerald Jampolsky.

I first read this book over a decade ago when I stumbled on it in a bookstore. Now, Jampolsky’s stories of transformation among the children and adults with life-threatening illnesses at his Center for Attitudinal Healing took on a new depth. The principles developed at the Center are elegantly simple, offering a path to inner peace, freedom, and universal love. For months now, I’ve been wanting to share with you some highlights from that book.

These days, I’m learning at a whole new level how profoundly our thoughts determine our experience of life and impact our health on all levels—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. But beating ourselves up for having so-called “negative” thoughts is not helpful at all. Nor is trying to suppress those thoughts. Jampolsky suggests a kinder approach.

“If you simply think what it pleases you to think, what rests and comforts you, you will be doing all I suggest. There is no rationale in trying to force a change in your state of mind. Simply take careful notice of what it is that makes you happy to think and what makes you unhappy, and your mind will make the necessary adjustments itself.”

I love this. At any moment, I can stop and ask: Is this thought making me happy? Is it making me feel good? Again, I don’t try to suppress the unhappy thoughts. Sometimes I have to air those painful, stressful thoughts first. I just notice and allow myself to make better choices over time.

Here’s another quote from the book that I adore, as it puts authority figures in their rightful place in our healing journey: “One party’s accumulation of verbal knowledge is of little use to deep inner healing.”

So, what is of use to us? Love.

“Attitudinal Healing recognizes a reality that is not connected to problems, upsets, or even life-changing tragedies. That reality is love. And love is entered and assimilated only as our mind loses interest in either fighting against or succumbing to the miseries of life. When the significance of this fact first begins to dawn on us, our initial reaction is likely to be one of confusion about how we should behave, because our tendency is always to want to know in what way truth is supposed to be applied to life. And of course the truth of the love cannot be applied; it can only fill our heart. Once this is done, we will instinctively act in an appropriate way.… decisions are made by learning to listen to the preference for peace within us.”

Ah, learning to listen to the preference for peace within. This is so powerful and such a relief. Does this thought bring me peace? Does this activity bring me peace? Does this motivation bring me peace?

If not, I let it go. As best I can. And in so doing, the way to peace opens before me. Doing this grants me relief from having to know and decide so much in advance.

“If peace is our single aim in all we do, we will always know what to do because we will do whatever will protect and deepen our peace. This approach is in marked contrast to the exhausting attempt to decide every action beforehand on the basis of whether we think it will turn out right.”

I can check in with myself before taking a step: “Are we acting with love, with peace, with happiness, and with certainty? If we are, whatever we do will promote those states.”

Judging others and ourselves, even judging circumstances, does not promote peace within. But there is another option.

“Instead of judging everything and trying to twist people and circumstances into appearances we like, the way of peace proceeds quietly and simply. Whenever life surprises us, our first reaction is now to consult that calm place within our heart. We stop and rest a moment in God’s love. Then, if action is needed to restore our peace, we take the course that comes to us from our calmness. We act with assurance, for indeed we have been assured. And if later we need to ask again, we do so quickly and easily. Our purpose is not to seek peace in order to make rigid decisions or set for ourselves long-term rules but rather to make those decisions that will return us to peace this instant. For it is only when we are peaceful that we can be truly kind.”

I’m not claiming I’m able to do this all the time, but it is becoming more and more of my practice. It’s like consulting an internal barometer. But in this case, we have a choice about the kind of inner weather we wish to have.

As I’m engaging in this deep healing journey, this quote from A Course in Miracles, which is the basis of Jampolsky’s work, has been a beacon for me: “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” Think about that. Anything is possible.

Jampolsky goes on to say, “Miracles can be defined as shifts in perception that remove the blocks to our awareness of love’s presence. Therefore, they can be seen as a natural occurrence.”

So, what, then, is healing? “Healing is letting go of fear, because when our mind releases fear it returns to its natural state of love and peace and naturally extends them into every aspect of life.”

Sharing this love and peace with others becomes our only “job.” And it does not require us to do anything in particular nor to possess any special capacities or resources.

“As long as our bodies are alive, our job is to use them as a means of extending love in a form that others can recognize and receive.… It is what we do with our hearts that affects others most deeply. It is not the movements of our body or the words within our mind that transmit love. We love from heart to heart.”

I hope you found this inspiring or helpful in some way. I’m sending you love from my heart to yours.

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