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The Mind

When I was a brand new student of A Course in Miracles, I had a hard time understanding what it meant by “turn within”, not in practice, but as a concept. In practice, I turned into my mind: That which contains my beliefs and thoughts. But sometimes I tried to locate this “within” and, being identified with a body, I would become confused. How would I go within the body? This trying to locate “within” eventually dropped away, not because I had a concept that worked, but because all I really needed was the practice. I knew how to “look within” without needing to conceptualize “where”.
Mind has no location and we don’t have words for this. I say mind is “everything” and “everywhere”. But not “everything” as in “all forms” or “everywhere” as in “everyplace”. It is “everything”, as in, “all that is”, and “everywhere”, as in “formlessness”.
(I did not use an uppercase “m” for mind above because what I just wrote is true for mind at all levels).
Sometimes I hear from students who have a h…

Realizing Forgiveness

Since guilt has fallen away from this mind I find it thinking of certain things in the past that apparently need to be released (forgiven). But rather than needing to do anything, I find I am instead realizing forgiveness has occurred. I just watch as something from the past arises, I see it in a new light without effort, and I watch any emotional charge I had around it fall away.
For example, one of the big stories I carried around for years had to do with the Holy Relationship that I experienced with E. Over the years I learned many lessons from this experience, primarily that the Holy Relationship was really with the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in my mind) rather than with E. Our relationship was simply the doorway through which I became aware of the Holy Spirit and True Vision. But on the personal side, I still apparently carried around a story about what happened with E, who left my life after being in it for only a few months. In fact, it seemed to have defined much of the …

True Humility

A few times lately I’ve had the spontaneous experience of true humility and I’ve been asked to write about it. This is difficult because it is hard to characterize what true humility feels like. The nearest I can come is to say I realize this split-mind’s proper relationship to Truth and gratitude for it.
True humility only arises for me in the awareness of Truth. I do not try to be humble. If I did, that could only be the ego (personal thought system), and the ego is not at all involved in true humility. As the opposite of Truth it cannot be aware of Truth so it is incapable of true humility. It does, however, distort the idea of humility, and it is easier to write about what true humility is not to understand what it is.
The ego uses everything to glorify the self and the ego. Its version of humility is false humility: “Look how humble I am! Doesn’t this make me great?” If the ego feels good about humility, I know I’m not feeling true humility!
True humility is also not humiliatio…

An Instrument, Not a Channel

Whenever I put out a book I get questions about being a channel. I imagine a channel is like what Helen Schucman did with A Course in Miracles—she took dictation. I have never felt I am a channel. Writing is not passive for me. It has always felt collaborative. I write from my own understanding. And I am given, and I seek, clarification from the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) in my mind as I write.
My non-fiction books, all of which have been on spiritual themes, happen for me when I am ready to consolidate the lessons that end up in the book of the moment. In fact, it always signals I’m moving past the topic of the book. I only discovered this in hindsight. This is why I can’t “force” a book. If it ain’t there, it ain’t there. If I’m not ready, it ain’t gonna get writ.
The fiction writing I’m doing now, which came upon me so suddenly and shockingly, is much the same. I picture scenes and then I describe them. Some scenes seem more “given” than others. I also find inspiration in al…

Ask: Can you explain how the self has no motivation when ACIM talks about motivation?

“…That the self has no motivation is difficult to understand since the Course and other spiritual teachings tell us that there is a purpose to our experience, that the purpose is to awaken, or to manifest Love, or something like that. In other words, there is an intention or motivation. This seems in contradiction to the idea that the self has no motivation but just acts. It also leaves unanswered how it all started. Why should action have even started if there was no motivation?...” – RP (March 23, 2018)
As a spiritual teaching, A Course in Miracles is not an end but a beginning. Its purpose is to lead you to the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) and to help you undo your obstacles (guilt, fear, attachment) to staying aware of Truth. So, eventually, the Awareness of Truth leads you past ACIM.
“This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will g…

Actions and Motivation

I’m often asked by my clients and readers: Now that I have peace and the self is falling away, why do anything? What motivates me to direct the self to act? Ah, that is so thinking like a self! A mind thinking like a self thinks it does things because it is motivated, usually by guilt, desire, or duty to do it. And the basis for these motivations is the belief that the self is you and you need to get or to express something, tangible (material) or intangible (feeling). And without those motivations a mind identified with a self cannot understand acting.
I’m going to tell you something that I don’t know if you can understand until you can see it for yourself, but it is amazing:
The self acts not from motivation, but because it is going to act. There is no other reason. And here’s the mind-blowing thing I’ve come to see as I have learned to simply watch the self act without judging it: The self has never acted from personal motivation! It has always acted because it was going to act. I…

That's One Way of Looking At It

“And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance.” (W-4.I.A.7)
The quote above describes what A Course in Miracles calls the “period of unsettling”. I did not realize when I entered this stage that the judgment it was talking about was judgment on this mind. Although now that I have learned this, it makes perfect sense. The first judgment is against Truth. It results in a diminishment of Limitless Mind to a limited split-mind identified with a limited self. All other judgments follow from this.
Since I have written about the self-concept falling away from this mind as self-identification begins to fall away, I am often asked by clients if I still hear the ego (personal thought system). Yes, I hear, but I don’t listen. It goes by pretty quick. However, sometimes I get hooked and follow the trail of its thoughts. This happened to me the other day and…