Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ask: Any insights on accepting not having the partner and family I want?

“I am 39 and single, childless. I have spent the last 15 years doing everything (and at times letting go) to find a partner (and be the best I can be and absolutely everything under the sun) and have a family. This has not happened. I am a few months shy of 40, and am accepting the painful truth that it hasn’t and probably will not happen (I am not prepared to have a child on my own). It is so hard not to judge this as 'devastating' and 'wrong'.  I can’t even judge it as 'for the best' or 'meant to be'. I can’t seem to connect to the HS in my mind at the lesson or truth of this. There is shock, grief and denial. I’ve been able to accept spiritual understanding with so many things, but not this. In saying that, I am definitely in a process right now, and am quite certain I will come out the other side- I always do. Insights?” - HE

            The first thing you need to clarify for yourself is that what does or does not happen in the universe of form has nothing at all to do with God (True Being).  I say this in case you feel some anger toward the Holy Spirit for what has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. This anger could be why you are unable to connect to the Holy Spirit lately.
            Also your statement that you have been “the best I can be” may indicate that you believe that you have to “earn” what you desire from some power over and outside of you (a god). That god does not exist and the universe of form does not function as a system of reward and punishment.
            The universe of form is an expression of the idea of not-God. It is an idea that was over as soon as it was thought. And it is meaningless because the opposite-of-God is not possible. But the ego (personal thought system) in your mind, which is part of that idea, teaches you that form is reality and therefore meaningful. It teaches you that you are part of form (a self, or body/personality) and to seek to fulfill your sense of lack through form. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit (awareness of Truth) in your mind teaches you that you are already whole in Truth and to just observe the unfolding story of the universe of form.
            It has been my observation, of this self’s life as well as of other selves’ lives, that a self’s deepest authentic desires generally express the role that self will play out in the story of the universe of form. However, that does not mean it will play out exactly as one assumes or in the time frame one would like. For example, for much of this self’s early life it thought it wanted to raise children. This self is a nurturer and the natural assumption was that the desire to nurture would be satisfied by raising children. But this self nurtured in other ways and realized she didn’t need to have children to be fulfilled and does not regret not having children.

            Also, this self always wanted to be married. She wanted to experience a life-long commitment with another. But she didn’t meet her mate until she was 30 years old.      So the lesson is to trust the unfolding for the self and to open your mind to the possibility of the self’s desires being fulfilled in ways you perhaps have not considered. Where the Holy Spirit comes into this is in living present in the wholeness of Truth. When you know that you are whole in Truth you stop looking to the self’s unfolding life for wholeness. This frees you to trust and watch the unfolding for the self.

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"What could you not accept...?"

The level of form is one great story; one tapestry of interconnection. Nothing at the level of form lives in isolation from the rest of the level of form. Everything that happens affects everything else. When something happens at the level of form there are multiple contributing factors. There are causes and effects and effects which became causes themselves all playing on each other. The attitudes, behaviors, choices, and energy of the self with which you identify all play into this one grand story. And everything else happening at the level of form plays into the self’s seemingly-singular little story within the grand story.

All of this happens apart from Truth (God). It is the opposite of Truth, so it is without meaning because Truth cannot have an opposite. Therefore it is an “illusion” or “dream”. Its interconnectedness is not the Oneness of Truth, Which is not made up of discrete parts joining, but is the same throughout.

When you (mind) change, the self’s attitudes, behavior, choices, and energy change, thereby affecting the self’s relationship to the rest of the universe of form. In response, the universe of form changes in relationship to the self. These changes of mind can be within the self’s thought system (personal thought system/ego). These would be changes of mind in the context of the self-as-reality. Or they can be caused by an awareness of Truth. These changes would be the process of self (form)-identification falling away.

So Truth never enters into form directly to change it. Your awareness of Truth indirectly has an effect on form. And this is, again, always without meaning in itself. Any meaning you see in it comes from you. And you only have two choices of perspective: the ego/personal thought system or the Holy Spirit, Which comes from your awareness of Truth.

“What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?” (W-135.18)

So this quote does not mean that the Holy Spirit goes out into the world and makes things happen “for your good”. The Holy Spirit’s “plan” is an interpretation. The Holy Spirit lovingly interprets what happens in the universe of form for the peace of your mind. The personal thought system in your mind may not like what happens in the universe of form. It may judge things as “wrong” or “bad”. But the Holy Spirit in your mind sees everything as a lesson. It will always interpret what happens in a way that leads to your lasting peace and happiness. And its interpretation will always make sense to you where you are right now.

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

You Do Not Need to Repress the Self's Emotional Needs

My last article about the egoic experience of personal alienation as one grows in their awareness of Truth seemed to cause some confusion and perhaps led to upset for some readers. I was not prescribing a course of action in that article. Instead I was describing what occurs naturally when one becomes aware of Truth and of their wholeness in Truth. It was therefore for those readers who have attained this experience naturally. It was not meant to suggest that those who have not attainted this experience naturally try to force detachment to occur through repression or denial of the self’s emotions or emotional needs.

So let me paraphrase that article another way: As your awareness of Truth grows and you find yourself feeling whole in that awareness the ego (personal thought system) will still persist in telling you that you are not whole and that you need to connect with others to be whole. Your choice is to accept the wholeness that you are experiencing or to continue to listen to and believe that the ego speaks for you.

At no time are the self’s emotional needs “wrong” or “bad”. Lack is simply the experience of the self. And the self is not reality so nothing about the self has any real meaning. You simply mislead yourself when you think that the self’s experience of lack is your experience of lack. However, you will be driven by lack until you experience wholeness in Truth and naturally detach from the self.

At no stage do you need to deny the emotional needs of the self. You will naturally detach from them when you experience wholeness in Truth and realize that the self is not you. This will not result in you repressing or denying emotions. This will result in you releasing yourself from defining yourself by them. The self will continue to have needs and to seek to fulfill them. But you will not define yourself by the self. You will merely observe it without judging it because you will recognize that it is nothing.

If you cannot understand how this can be then you have not yet experienced the detachment that will make this clear to you. You must first focus on growing your awareness of Truth. Then, in time, detachment from the self will come naturally and you will understand.

On a lighter note it was pointed out to me that my quote of the song from Rush was wrong.
“The underlying peace” should be “the underlying theme”. Oh, well. I heard what made sense to me…

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Putting Aside the Alienation

Living in the limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying peace

-      -     Limelight [Rush (Chronicles)]

A recurring theme with students on a spiritual path is the personal alienation they feel while still being aware of a sense of Wholeness and Peace beyond. And this is the choice before you: seeking for connection with others as a person or resting in the Wholeness and Peace that is always here within you. Your choice is to live in a lack that will never be filled or to accept the Wholeness That is. You cannot have it both ways.

The real question is why, when you are aware of Wholeness and Peace, you still go back into a feeling of loneliness and lack and a desire for connection to fill the loneliness and lack. The answer is simply that you are used to being a self and when Peace comes it does not come to the self or its thought system (ego/personal thought system). You are used to seeking through the self for fulfillment and when you find that you no longer need to it is baffling even when it is also a relief. The habit of seeking – the habit of being a self – takes some time to undo. And there is often a sense of loss, too. You may have enjoyed seeking. You may have enjoyed “doing”.  When you find all of that is unnecessary it is like the sudden quiet when a loud machine has been shut off. Yes the clamor was annoying but you had adapted. The sudden emptiness is shocking.

Much of this process comes down to acclimating to – getting used to – just being and being whole in Being. It is a process of learning to be without the empty, limited, always-seeking, always-doing self. Instead of seeking for love and connection with others, you learn instead to come from the Love (wholeness) already within you to remain aware that It is already here.

A spiritual path is not going to lead to an emotionally (ego) satisfying sense of connection with others. If it does, you are coming from ego, not an awareness of Truth, so the effect is temporary. An awareness of Truth offers so much more than emotional satisfaction. It lifts you out of the need for emotional satisfaction, which is a lame substitute for true Wholeness.

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Getting Past the Ego's Response

Back in the day when I was a political junkie I’d occasionally read an editorial or an opinion in the newspaper that would get me so fired up I’d dash off a letter to the editor in response. But before sending the letter I would go back and re-read the original offending article to be sure my response was as sharp as possible. And many times, much to my embarrassment, I found that the original article was not offensive at all. Sometimes it was even on my side and my response said the same thing it did. After expending my emotional response the original article would read completely different from the way I originally read it. Fortunately, because I didn’t send the letters before re-reading the original articles, my embarrassment was limited to myself.

After this happened a few times I finally caught on: My emotional response to something early in the article blinded me to the rest of the article. In my expectation that I would be attacked I read attack. I was experiencing how the ego always speaks first. It not only speaks first but its response is always emotional and defensive. I learned to step away when I read something that evoked an emotional response in me. I’d let my own response run its course and then go back and re-read the article later. Needless to say after a while I wrote far fewer letters to the editor.

This lesson came in handy as a student of A Course in Miracles. Much of ACIM seemed loving to me, but there was also much that I felt condemned me, too. I was reading through the filter of the guilt in my own mind. I would have fearful and sometimes angry responses that closed my mind and blinded me to what followed. I was defensive because I expected to be attacked and condemned. This is why later I’d read something in ACIM that would release me from guilt and fear and I’d feel like I never read it before. Each time I read ACIM it was a new book! As layers of guilt and fear peeled away ACIM became more charge-neutral (matter-of-fact) and more loving. I began to read its parts through its whole message rather than as isolated, unconnected concepts.

It took another long while but eventually I learned to extend this lesson beyond my emotional responses to what I read. I learned to take a moment when I had an emotional response to something I heard from another, whether in person or on the radio or TV. I was always amazed by how much I didn’t hear once my emotions were engaged. I had nothing to lose but embarrassment by taking a moment to let the emotions and defensiveness pass before responding.

My emotional responses were very revealing. They taught me that I expected to be attacked and condemned because I felt guilty. The specific form of what upset me showed me the specific form that guilt took in my mind so that I could undo it. I was never grateful for the upset. But I learned to be grateful for the opportunity to see what was going on in my own mind.

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Questions for Deeper Study and Practical Application

Studying is more than just reading. It is thinking about what you read. Early on in my study of A Course in Miracles I found I was asking questions while I studied that would help me to take the ideas in deeper. This was especially important for me as a student of ACIM because ACIM gives so many words and concepts new definitions. The questions were like this:

1. How do I think of this concept now? What do I feel about it?
2. How is this concept being used here? Is it different from how I’m used to using it?
3. If I accepted this concept (or how it is being redefined) as true how would that change how I feel about myself?
4. If I accepted this concept (or how it is being redefined) as true how would that change my relationship to the world?

For example, ACIM was not the first place that I read that God is within rather than an outside being. But it was as a student of ACIM that I realized that I had to integrate this idea or ACIM would have no real effect on me. So:

1. How do I think of the concept of “God” now? What do I feel about it?

Traditionally, I think of “God” as a paternal, authoritative being outside of me that sits in judgement on me. This is a frightening idea to me. It makes me feel ultimately powerless and angry. And I feel guilty for feeling that way.

2. How is the concept of “God” being used in ACIM? Is it different from how I’m used to using it?

In ACIM “God” is the one Being That is. God is my True Being.  Yes, it is significantly different. God is not another being sitting in judgment on me. There is no separation between us.

3. If I accepted as true that God is within me how would it change how I feel about myself?

I would feel completely empowered. I would feel whole. I would not fear “sinning” and being punished by some outside being. This concept is so staggering that I don’t think I can even see all the ways that it would affect me. But it would all be positive.

4. If I accepted as true that God is within me how would it change my relationship to the world?

I would feel I could do anything I wanted. I would feel always safe and secure. I would feel wholly empowered.

I did not ask myself these questions to force myself to accept the concepts, only to understand them better. Nor did these questions cause me to immediately shift in a new direction. But they helped me to see what had to be accepted and the shift that had to be made. Often they made me see how much my mind had to change to align with Truth. So they helped me to formulate the correction that I had to bring into my day-to-day life to bring about the change. I realized I had to pay attention when I found myself falling into the old way of thinking and correct it to the new way. For example, let’s say I was driving and I saw a bumper sticker that said, “God loves you.” My initial feeling would be to try to convince myself that something outside of me loved me. Then I’d catch myself and think, “God is not outside of me. God is my True Being. So what does ‘God loves me’ mean to me now?” I’d realize that “God loves me” was an unnecessary statement. God is Love and is my True Being. That was a radical change in how I thought about “God”.

Deeper study led to practical daily application. This eventually led to the necessary shifts and integration of the concepts into my experience.

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ask: What steps can I take to overcome this fear of loss?

“My best friend and husband died suddenly one night a little over 3 years ago and your help was wonderful…the fear and pain of that sudden "loss" opened up a door to the Truth and I was able to move forward…However at the present time, I fallen back into the trappings of the dream.  With T gone and no family I've put all of my security and sense of well-being into the two Pugs we were raising together and our home…I see that I've come to believe my safety lies in having these things around me, this while studying every day and going into silence almost as consistently…
Each time something "happens" to threaten whatever illusion I've put my faith in, obviously, I quake with fear and run to the Course. Now it's one of the dogs. I can't believe what happens whenever something seems to go wrong with one of them…And with my years of studying I have felt the feeling of dark terror so much less than I did that when it does come I feel as though I might die. And then I remember that what is frightening me so isn't these "things" at all. And then the fear really comes.
My question is whenever I take anything in the dream seriously, do I bring those thoughts to the Truth in my mind? I do this, but with my head bowed in shame for being duped yet again, for taking it all seriously and making it real. How do I laugh gently
at these things I believe are so real and threatening. How do I get to look at the dream battle field from above?
The Course says it is never talking about form or to the dream figure reading its words, that the decision maker is the one who will lift the veil… My real question is...What, if anything, can the dream figure do to help the decision maker change its mind? I've reached a point where I feel like I'm banging my head against a huge iron door with the decision maker on the other side and there's nothing I can do to get in touch! And I know the more I believe it's impossible that is exactly what I will experience.
            …What's next? I guess I'm looking for steps... I've got one foot planted firmly in the dream and the other tentatively dipping it's toe in Truth and I feel lost.” – SB

            First, let me clarify that you are the “decision maker”. This is not a term in A Course in Miracles but it was one coined by Ken Wapnick to describe your mind in its split between Truth and illusion. The “dream figure” is the body/personality/ego (personal thought system) with which you as the decision maker erroneously identify. You have the choice to continue to identify with the dream figure or to grow your awareness of Truth. And what you describe indicates that you are smack in the middle of the process of choosing Truth over illusion. For a long time we students of ACIM vacillate between the two thought systems in our mind as we learn that Truth is more valuable than illusion. It is as though we have two competing realities. This is simply how this process works. You are not failing when you find yourself back in ego. It just means you have not fully realized it has no value for you. And identifying with the ego is not “wrong”. It is simply not Reality. Whether or not you want Reality is up to you. There is nothing and no one who says you have to choose It.
Two statements that you wrote explain why, instead of just going back into the ego (personal thought system) and being uncomfortable for a while, you experience such fear. One was your statement that you are aware that what frightens you is not the fear of losing things in the world. I assume that you mean that you are aware that your real fear is fear of Truth. And this fear makes you even more afraid. This indicates that you feel guilty for your fear of Truth. The other statement that you made was also of guilt: the shame you feel for being “duped” again by the ego. These statements reveal that you still believe that there is a god that holds you to a certain standard that you are failing. No wonder your fear is so extreme! And no wonder you keep turning back to the ego. You may not like the ego but it must feel safer to you than a disappointed god. You are experiencing one of the very reasons why for a long time students continue to turn back to the ego.
So what you must do now is root out that belief that there is something outside of you with power over you (a god) sitting in judgment on you and who is waiting to punish you for not being perfect. That god does not exist. It is a construct of the ego and your conscious and unconscious belief in it is the source of your fear. While you do this you want to remind yourself that the Truth goes on within you, whole and perfect, no matter what you seem to do or to not do in the universe of form. Remind yourself of these facts every time your fear of loss comes up.

If you want to know in more detail where guilt comes from, how it is maintained in your mind, and how to release it you may be interested in my book Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace. It is only in digital form and you can find it at (for Kindle) or (PDF or ePub).

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at