Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania has three F2F LP groups. Seventy miles away in Kempton, Pennsylvania there are two more. We were going to get together on Saturday, January 13th to look at our experience of anxiety and depression in the light of the Heavenly Doctrines. A weather forecast for freezing rain, sleet and snow had us postpone the big event to February 3rd. As it turned out, the roads were good enough, so seven of us who felt set up to meet did. This meeting was in addition to the one we will have in February. Our agenda was to reflect together on how our lives and our LP work are interfacing. Here are some of the points which came forward:
- The framework becomes more and more meaningful, not less so, as I’ve gotten into LP.
- It supports my work to read my task over every day.
- To write something at the end of every day, even if it’s a minuscule amount, opens awareness.
- Writing a summary consistently results in a valuable re-organization of my viewpoint.
- The huge gift from LP is the assurance that the Lord can work with me even if, in my insanely busy life, I am NOT following the framework.
Some current states in the group:
- I’m exiled to anxiety and depression in both LP and regular life: I’m having trouble distinguishing external from internal thoughts. Everything is annoying and I’m full of judgment. I have come through this chaos and ugliness before so there is something deep that is not involved, but it doesn’t make what is on top any less horrible.
- I’m in a planting time. For now, I am trusting in the framework and just doing what I’m told in humility, waiting til the season of fruit.
- I don’t have the ‘big love’ you’re supposed to have [for the stories in the Old and New Testaments]. I want to know the stories of the Word as a narrative. That’s the work I am called to now, since this summer. I haven’t done a thing toward it.
- LP has relieved me of being plagued by a life-long perfectionist dictate.
Some other observations and reflections:
- Before really taking in the truth that all thoughts and affections flow in from spirits, all thoughts and affections appeared to be my own. Recently it has been quite easy to distinguish the different ‘voices’ of various thoughts and get a distinct idea of where the thoughts are sourced.
- The intellectual richness of LP satisfies a long-time hunger
- It’s becoming clearer and clearer that regeneration is the Lord’s work, not mine.
- Spiritual focus is less and less about what I have to figure out to do, trying to be better.
- Taking a vacation from doing LP is like being in a desert
- At the F2F meeting, I am able to hear [and not identify with] the voice in my head which judges with negative assessments.
- In day to day life, I’m able to identify the good to do in front of me; it’s a better relationship to the concept of ‘use’–it’s being involved in use.
- Sometimes finding a task in the reading is like inviting a water bucket to be dumped over your head. Other times finding a task teaches the sneaky, hiding quality of evil.
- I am learning to discern my thoughts: there are times I laughed at what I see; other times I feel squinging pain at what I see. It’s not so painful to discover one is in falsity if one’s intention is for good. But being in evil, not just falsity, brings on a much deeper process. Is the first a temptation of the understanding and is the second a temptation as to the will?
- An LP meta-task asks us to trust, trust that there is a God of Wisdom and Love; trust that our states are there to learn from, not identify with (believe in) as being what is permanent. The
temptation is to doubt that the process we are in is a process. The temptation is to believe the Word is not working.