We are a peculiar race of beings. On one hand, each of us professes to be concerned with growing and self-developing while, on the other hand, none of us ever wants to be wrong. This is a paralyzing contradiction. If we are always right, or at least afraid of being wrong, what have we to learn? Couched in our hidden attitude is the belief that we already know everything. This is a serious problem if we are at all serious in our quest for self-liberation, since this Higher Freedom comes to us in direct proportion to what we are willing to learn about ourselves.
Learning is a correction process. Real correction, at any level, always purifies the matter and so leaves it less confused and thus in a higher state. Taking this beautiful idea one step further reveals to us the promise that self-elevation always follows self-correction. You may not as yet fully understand the implication of this powerful Inner Law, but it holds within it the promise of endless heights.
The whole idea of modifying ourselves, of slowly improving through time, is born out of our reluctance to be wrong. Perhaps this is why so few of us ever really learn to stop hurting ourselves. Let’s take a moment and look at the difference between self-improvement and self-correction. With self-improvement we teach ourselves lessons of our choice based on what we think we need to learn in order to grow. Self-improvement teaches and confirms the process of self-addition, in which we acquire new knowledge, behaviors and beliefs.
With self-correction we learn for ourselves that we have been teaching ourselves incorrectly. Seeing this allows us to let go of our incorrect thinking. As we experience the benefits of letting go of ourselves, vigorous new inner growth then takes place as naturally as it does for a young plant that has been moved from a shadowy place out into the sunlight. A new tree cannot grow in the shadow of an old one. Learning can only take place outside the shadow of pride. Anything that resists correction is a part of what is wrong.
While we are on the subject of resistance, we should recognize that pride is the middle name of the false self. It is this false nature of ours that always leaps to defend itself when confronted with any kind of meaningful correction. Remember, this lower nature is happy with its current disorderly existence. You lose when it wins and it wins by getting you to deny or protect your mistake. Denying any problem makes you its guardian and leaves you chained to being wrong.
Let’s go over these important principles once more. Being wrong is not the problem. Defending the life-level that produced the wrongness is where we make the mistake. Once we start denying or defending the problem, we have turned it from what should have been only a temporary condition into a permanent state. You are not tied to any past mistake unless you lash yourself to it. This is exactly what the false self wants you to do. It does this by convincing you that you are wrong. Once it has accomplished this, it can continue selling you anchors that look like life vests. This is why we must never hide anything from ourselves. Remember, once the problem is out of sight, so is the only possible solution.
Excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go by Guy Finley-Pages 55-57