Who's Living Life, You or Your Fears?
Guy has presented over 4,000 unique self-realization and self-growth seminars throughout North America and Europe over the past 25 years and has appeared on many radio and television shows.
BOYT: Guy, the title of your book, The Courage to Be Free, raises an immediate question. Why does it take courage to be free?
Guy Finley: The need to let go of something or someone would never even occur to us were it not for the fact that some part of us is clinging to it with both hands! It takes courage to be free because it isn’t the person, possession, or situation, that must be released, but rather it’s our identification with that condition that holds us captive. Self-liberation means just that: liberation from the (level of) self that knows itself only through whatever it first becomes identified with, then attached to, and finally dependent upon. You can’t separate this kind of false dependency from the fear it creates when the conditions that created it finally fall apart...which they always will.
BOYT: One of the main themes in your book concerns recovering what you call "our original fearless self." What do you mean by "our original fearless self?"
Guy Finley: Our original fearless self is that part of us that knows, without having to think about it, that whatever happens to us in life, no matter what its nature seems to be, happens to us for the good of us.
BOYT: Some of your short stories make the point that we've lost our right to be free, and what we need to do in order to regain it. Can you explain this idea a little further?
Guy Finley: Actually, we haven't really lost our right to be free; we've given it away. This idea of having given away our freedom is very paramount for a person to understand, because the mindset is that something has come in and taken it, or that somehow I misplaced it. And we need to be very clear about the difference between those things.
BOYT: So then, what freedom have we lost, and how do we reclaim it?
Guy Finley: The first step to reclaiming freedom is self-honesty. Without that, nothing can change. And the principle thing we've lost, that underlies all of the fear that visits most of us, is our ability to love. By love I don't mean the sentimental, common type of love that is full of sensation and everyday emotion. What I mean by the ability to love is the divine capacity each of has to become one with whatever we give our attention to.
BOYT: In one chapter you write of the need for us to shatter our false beliefs. What are some of our most limiting false beliefs?
Guy Finley: The father of all false beliefs is that we are separate and apart from everyone around us. Of course this is how our senses report reality to us, but what we see, touch, and take in through them represents virtually nothing of what is present and possible for us to know in other ways. This false sense of separation breeds fear and all the forms of greed that shadow it.
BOYT: You talk about seeing the good when things look bad. Many people are seeing a lot of bad right now – the economy has hurt many people and nature itself seems to be in upheaval. How can we see the good in events that seem to be so destructive?
Guy Finley: First, can we agree that freedom from whatever limits a human being is always for the good of them? If so, then the reason that there's always something good in what seems to be bad, is that the moment comes along as a gift from God to say, "Hey, look at what you are clinging to." It's not the thing, but the sense of self whose very premise is a limitation. The opportunity to see that is why there's always something good in what seems to be bad.
BOYT: You say, "To let go and flow with Real Life." Why is it so hard to just let go?
Guy Finley: People wrongly equate the idea of letting go with a condition outside of themselves seen as being responsible for the conflict they're in. The things people do to change their lives don't change anything, because the essential conflict is born in this comparative mind that doesn't understand its own workings.
So a person has to be present enough, aware enough to see how there are parts of him or her – fear, worry, doubt – that start running this negative "circle of self." And as it runs through that circle of self, it generates everything we identify with, all the sensations that in turn produce a powerful sense of self that then we resist because we don't like it. And the more we resist it the more substantial it becomes and a person is literally back in the prison of the first question. That's where one needs the courage to be free, to step out of that circle of self when it starts to drive itself through the dark cycle that it does.
About Guy Finley
Best-seller "Letting Go" author Guy Finley's encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. His ideas go straight to the heart of our most important personal and social issues -- relationships, success, addiction, stress, peace, happiness, freedom -- and lead the way to a higher life.