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Excerpted from Out of Darkness Into the Light by Gerald Jampolsky. Copyright 1989 by Gerald Jampolsky. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Only recently have I found that I am responsible for and can choose the thoughts I put into my mind. I know that only my thoughts can imprison me, and only my thoughts can set me free."

Jerry Jampolsky, Out of Darkness, Into the Light, Part 2

In my mind the World War I statement that "there are no atheists in foxholes" was only further confirmation that people believed in God only when they were scared to death!

I believed that when you were fearful, you did not use your head. Fear made you intellectually soft. I was convinced that no definition of God could ever satisfy a person who was intellectually aware and alive. It never occurred to me, even for a second, that I might be the one who was fearful.

As a child I believed there was an external, super-human God beyond the sky. I pictured him as an old man with a white robe, a long white beard, and bushy white eyebrows. I believed that if you did what God wanted you to do, you would be rewarded. If you went against God, you would be severely punished in some way. Mine was a belief in a frightening, vengeful, unforgiving God.

Only recently have I found that I am responsible for and can choose the thoughts I put into my mind. I know that only my thoughts can imprison me, and only my thoughts can set me free. It had never before occurred to me that in making decisions I have a choice between listening to my ego, with its voice of fear, or listening to the voice of God, the voice based on love. It is only of late that statements such as "Let my will and your will be one" or "Let thy will be done" have begun to ring true in my heart.

Immortality and Fear

Like my parents, I had always been fearful of death, since I thought my reality was limited to my body and my ego. This meant to me that when you died, that was the end, there was no more of anything. I decided that if that was the script God wrote, I wanted no part of it. At the same time I thought that people who talked about eternal life were dreamers who obviously did not know the facts.

What little faith I had in God disappeared when, at the age of sixteen, a good friend of mine was killed in an automobile accident. In my eyes, my friend's death was cruel, unfair, and insane. I was certain that there could not be a just, trusting, loving God. And that left me feeling more fearful, vulnerable, and unlovable than ever.

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