By Tom Montalk
The first and most important step in waking up is discerning between the positive and negative. One must differentiate what lifts up and what drags down. As spiritual beings inhabiting third density bodies, we are caught in a battle of opposites. This manifests within as a battle between our higher and baser natures, and outside as a battle between divine and diabolical forces. What is within resonates with what is outside, the divine resonating and working with our higher self and the diabolical doing the same with our lower self. Every moment is a choice, and every choice is a response to the following question: whom will you follow, the lower or the higher?
When faced with a choice, we may feel within us simultaneously conflicting influences. A part of us wants this and another part wants that. For the majority of asleep people, these conflicts are between the various sub-personalities making up the mosaic of their inconstant minds. But sooner or later the contrast is turned up until the conflict is primarily between what is written in our hearts as spiritual conscience and aspiration, and what is programmed into us socially, genetically, and psychologically.
Anything can fall down, but not everything can fly up – likewise, it takes little effort to fall into darkness but considerable effort at times to withstand the pull of this spiritual gravity and even more to rise higher. The intensity of this “gravity” fluctuates with time depending on physical and metaphysical factors, and the strength of one’s soul is put to the test during the more intense periods. Just as weight determines how strongly something is pulled downward by gravity, so does the level of dominance held by our lower aspect determine how strongly we are affected by negative influences. These weigh us down for as long as we are chained to them via our repeated indulgence in negative reactions and thoughtless mechanical behavior. But by consistently identifying and choosing that which uplifts and originates from our nobler aspects, the chains rust away from neglect and the possibility of flight becomes a reality.
So identifying the choice and making the right one is imperative. Some would say there is no wrong choice, and that is true because all roads lead to the same destination. However, some roads are far more circuitous than others. The yellow brick road circles the globe – if your destination is ten miles east, you could just as well get there by traveling twenty five thousand miles west. By right choice, I mean the smart choice.
Most esoteric literature you may come across, such as Sufi, Fourth Way, hermetic, alchemical, and inner Christianity literature, expound upon the necessity of distinguishing between higher and lower. The most basic of these discuss the importance of seeing the contrast within us. The more advanced ones mention influences that originate outside us as well. For example, Boris Mouravieff in his three volumes of Gnosis does an excellent job of showing how our inner progress depends upon what types of outer influences we assimilate. These influences he sorted into two basic categories: those that beckon one to stay within the current level of evolution, and those that compel one toward the next level.
Largely missing from esoteric literature is mention of the hyperdimensional factor. Save for a few writers like Michael Topper, most do not discuss its negative aspects like soul abductions, implants and mind programming, dimensional engineering and timeline manipulation, artificial synchronicities, technological soul frequency modulation, etc… This is understandable since the soul grows from hardship regardless of where the resistance originates, and one can therefore get by without having to know the specific methods of deception and persuasion employed by dark forces. Nevertheless, as much as darkness has a place in Creation as mirrors for our own weaknesses and catalysts for growth, its agents do have freewill and use extreme cunning and technological tricks to get their way. It is easy to be misled and the price can be heavy; we must bear the consequences not only as delay in progress, but in missed opportunities to be of service to others. Thus, more knowledge is better than less.
Readers often ask me, “How can one tell the difference between positive and negative synchronicities?” They would like to know which of the unusual opportunities placed before them are genuine and which are traps. It is an important question because since each incarnation has a finite span and making the most of it therefore requires discernment to avoid the pitfalls.
Toward that end I have sketched out some of my observations on distinguishing between positive and negative influences. These are tentative guidelines rather than absolute formulas. Formulas are mechanical substitutes for discernment undermining the very reason challenging situations are arranged into your life. So as always, take what makes sense and leave the rest.
In my wrestling with this issue of discernment, I have found it useful to divide influences into eight categories based on whether they originate from a positive or negative source, manifest within or outside us, and whether they are forms of encouragement or resistance. They are listed below together with identifying characteristics gathered from internal and external observation. To avoid writing solely about the obvious, the following list will focus more on the hyperdimensional than mundane types of positive and negative influences.
Negative external resistance
These are responses by the Control System toward individuals making or contemplating some positive form of progress; sometimes they are messages designed to instill fear and doubt, other times they manifest as distraction and diversion, and occasionally they are sheer outbursts of frustration. Whatever the case, negative forms of external resistance are but empty threats and optional obligations, illusions that only carry consequence if you choose to buy into them. They attack your certainty instead of your strength; rather than forcefully oppose your chosen actions, such influences merely attempt to undermine your confidence in continuing/undertaking them. Nevertheless, such messages can be highly manipulative because they work through anyone and anything that can be influenced by the Control System, allowing for methods of deception too subtle to be discerned by the average person.
Examples of negative external resistance include: irrational criticism/ridicule of your choices, being shown examples of others who failed, multiple individuals giving you the same baseless warning around the same time delivered in the same way, hive mind harassment like evil glares and cryptic mutterings from strangers, people exploding into rage at you for no reason, electronic glitches and paranormal phenomena that serve as overly dramatic omens, and twisted synchronicities that seem smug and contrived. All of these appeal to ignorance, fear, insecurity, shame, and self-importance.
Positive external resistance
Rather than deceptively baiting your freewill, positive external resistance comes in the form of subtle warning signs and logistical blocking of detrimental courses of action. The warning signs are clues that guide one toward gaining an expanded perspective of the situation in order to see some hidden danger. In contrast to their negative counterparts, these positive signs and synchronicities require a raising of awareness to decipher. The logistical blocking comes in the form of interruption and delay in plans. When severe, it manifests as an increase in accidents, mechanical failures, and health problems. Positive resistance is far more persistent, all encompassing, and final than the negative type, more like a brick wall than a stop sign. Forcing one’s way through these blocks results in mounting personal misfortune. Positive external resistance appeals to reason, intuition, and discernment.
Negative external encouragement
These are deceptive opportunities and messages that appeal to one’s weakness, ignorance, wishful thinking, and primal desires. They are spiritual hooks cast into our world by the Control System to reel in the weak and gullible for consumption. These hooks are baited with empty promises and artificial synchronicities, appealing to the ego and lower emotions and frequently reinforced by “confirmation” in the form of blatant coincidences designed to give the impression that this was all “meant to be”.
Examples of negative external encouragement: slick individuals giving you opportunities that are too good to be true, belief systems offering quick results and empowerment, “reality” responding to ego-based requests and “prayers”, dreams that are literal rather than symbolic and involve characters trying to talk you into something dubious, disinformative ideas pushed upon you simultaneously by multiple unrelated individuals, physically impossible anomalies and indubitable synchronicities appearing during periods of uncertainty in an attempt to sway your decision, and oddly timed requests for participation in some form of distraction.
Positive external encouragement
Reality aligns when one is in the flow. Confirmation in the form of genuine synchronicities and signs tend to come after the choice has already been made to pursue some positive idea or action. Another type of positive external encouragement is a serendipitous and unexpected opportunity that answers a soul-based calling or earnest need. What distinguishes positive from negative types is that positive ones appeal to reason and intuition, lifting one’s spirits and bringing relief; positive ones also lack the intuitive vibes of desperate baiting, plus they are not limited to working within the comparatively narrow range of what is susceptible to negative control. At its extreme, positive external encouragement conspires with destiny to make critical events fall into place unexpectedly and thus unavoidably, always for the better in the long run.
Negative internal resistance
When naturally occurring, negative internal resistance originates from psychological inertia and habitual resistance to change, as well as emotional addiction to old ways of being. Other natural factors include chemical, biorhythmic, astrological, and lunar phase variables. When intentionally induced or amplified, negative internal resistance generally arises from a combination of artificially lowered emotions and destructive posthypnotic suggestions, which send the fickle mind into a downward spiral of rationalization and reinforcement of these triggers. They may manifest passively as impulses that are followed without second thought because they so closely mimic real thought, or they may manifest actively as compulsions that push the mind firmly into resisting some positive action. The latter arises most commonly as procrastination or unfounded bias toward a beneficial field of study. Whatever the case, such influences can be discerned on the basis that they suppress lucidity and emotional balance.
Examples: incessant critical self-talk, mental block or fog in regards to some constructive thought or action, symptoms of trance state signifying activation of a posthypnotic command, sudden emotional envelopment in a dark cloud, feelings of fear and despair rationalized by dwelling upon personal insecurities, unexplainable hostilities toward a harmless idea or person, clenching sensation abnormally isolated in the solar plexus area and designed to imitate the more subtle gut instinct, symptoms of conversion (mind disobeying a hypnotic command and releasing the pressure in other ways) such as unexplainable fidgeting and sudden feelings of anxiety or panic that come to nothing, and positive thoughts immediately countered by discouraging or distracting thought loops.
Positive internal resistance
When the lower self acts contrary to higher wisdom, this shows up as an inner feeling of indifference or caution toward some matter. Despite superficial justification by the ego, this feeling persists and can only be drowned out by purposeful identification with lower impulses and desires. Sometimes this is accompanied by a faint inner voice or intuitive impression, the tone ranging from calm advice to urgent caution, but never does it manifest as spiteful criticism or threatening commands. When in the form of a gut-instinct, this feeling tends to circulate through the upper body rather than just the gut or solar plexus area; the latter in isolation can be post-hypnotically triggered to provide a false signal. In contrast to negative internal resistance, positive demands lucidity instead of hysteria and requires rationalization to ignore rather than to believe. As a whole, positive internal resistance is the heart and mind saying “no” in unison.
Negative internal encouragement
All of these play upon latent tendencies to compel one toward hastily and impulsively engaging in harmful or distracting behavior such as acting upon false assumptions or pursuing sexual and material fantasies. Programmed thoughts can be amplified by lower emotions and primal instincts to produce obsession, wishful thinking, and prejudice. Forms of negative internal encouragement range from the completely mechanical (habit, custom, hypnotic programming) to the completely emotional (hormones, ego preservation, primal instincts) but most often tend to be a synergistic combination of both. The subtlest types simply dress up fruitless ideas as good ones, and the most extreme types demand violent action. Any type of negative encouragement can be detected by its irrational, hasty, impatient, and desperate nature. Physiological clues accompanying negative internal encouragement match those of mechanical or emotional trance; mechanical trance involves mental and emotional muting preceding the carrying out of a programmed command, while emotional trance is accompanied by physiological symptoms like tightened breathing (subconscious activation of the thanatos death instinct), increased heartbeat (adrenalin surge from engagement of the survival instinct), or flushing and salivary changes (tapping of the sex drive).
Positive internal encouragement
This lights up the heart, mind, and soul. A truly good idea will be agreeable to both reason and intuition, deepening the breath, bringing a sense of relief and inner knowing that defeats any necessity for impatience. Whereas negative encouragement propels one into action like gravity sending one tumbling down a hill, positive encouragement puts spring in one’s step. It always sharpens and energizes the mind. It engages the higher emotions of wonder, curiosity, creative joy, enthusiasm, and spiritual satiety. If active on the mental level, it will come in the form of an epiphany. If solely on the intuitional level it will manifest as a deep and calm sense that something is a good idea — unlike negative versions of same where a “good idea” only seems so after sufficient rationalization drowns out any underlying lack of soul interest.
Positive and negative are never identical, but they can be very similar. The training of discernment demands increasingly challenging exercises. Whenever confronted with ambiguity, turn within and reflect upon your own experiences. Truth is found by reconciling example with counter-example, extracting insight from conflict like fire from friction. Below are some examples of positive phenomena and their simulacral negative counterparts. How does one tell the difference between:
1) “loss of faith in what is actually a good idea” vs. “intuition finally coming to light that something was a bad idea all along”? Both begin in hope and are interrupted by discouragement, so superficially these seem indistinguishable. Knowing that positive and negative are never identical, a difference must exist and here it is: while the first begins with excitement in what is and meets discouragement by “what if?”, the second begins with overconfidence in “what if?” and is eventually defeated by what is. In other words, loss of faith in a good idea happens when facts are overpowered by speculative failure scenarios and mental paralysis through insecurity and fear, while intuitive recognition of a bad idea starts with overenthusiastic fantasizing and ends in a rude awakening to the facts.
2) “indifference due to absence of soul interest” vs. “programming to resist and turn away”? Both involve lack of total enthusiasm for an idea or course of action. Nevertheless, they differ as follows: the first signifies total lack of inner soul enthusiasm, the second drowns out inner soul enthusiasm with negative influences (lower emotional encouragement toward distracting alternatives and thought-loops rationalizing failure and insecurity). In the first case, no inner enthusiasm can be found; in the second case, it can be found if one pays attention to it despite the noise.
3) “good course of action encountering obstacles” vs. “obstacles signifying a bad course of action”? Both involve goals being hindered. The difference is that that in the first case the factual and intuitive basis of the idea is not negated by the obstacle, while in the second case that basis is defeated by evident non-viability of the idea. The first logically requires a bypass of the obstacle, the second demands abandonment or modification of the idea.
4) “resistance out of intuitive perception of danger” vs. “being programmed to resist out of paranoia and feelings of doom”? Both involve the impression that there is danger, but the difference comes down to awareness vs. reactivity. The first creates a sense of urgency that heightens awareness and sharpens perception, while the second skews perception by inducing physiological symptoms of fear and panic. Both may involve fear, but in the first case fear follows perception while in the second case fear precedes and molds perception.
What is written in this article is not entirely universal because tests of discernment are tailored to the discerner. How much of it applies to you depends on how much you can recognize the above in your own life. The point of this article is merely to show you the necessity of discerning positive from negative and to illustrate by example that it can be done.