Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Unfolding Detachment

One upon a time as this mind’s awareness of Truth grew the natural result was that this mind came to experience that it was “in the world but not of the world”, as the popular phrase goes. This meant that it felt that it was still a self operating in the world but that it had a growing awareness that its interest was really in Truth. It was a lot like being at a party but standing on the edge of the room and watching the party rather than fully participating in it.

Then this mind attained an experience of detachment that was “not in the world but aware of the world”. This meant that it no longer lived through the self to fulfill a sense of lack but that there was still a world in its awareness. This was a lot like being outside of the house in which a party was occurring but still being aware that there was a party.

Now this mind is attaining an awareness that it is “not in a world but aware of a meaningless idea of a world”. This is like being in a quiet place and remembering that once it had an idea, far distant now, of a party that was only ever an idea.

In the A Course in Miracles community there is a lot of talk about “observing the world” and “observing your thoughts”. This practice comes naturally as a mind’s awareness of Truth results in it experiencing itself as apart from the world and its own thoughts about the world. At first this detachment is vague but grows as one’s awareness of Truth grows. This first experience of observing helps a mind to gain an awareness that the ego’s (personal thought system’s) thoughts are not the mind. Since the mind can observe them, the mind cannot be them. This practice results in the first two experiences described above. It is done by mind as a “decision maker” or “learner”. This is when it still makes sense to mind that it has a choice between Truth and illusion. Mind seems to be making a choice, or a decision, to detach from the thought system (ego) about a self. Mind is becoming aware, very dimly at first but stronger as time goes on, that the self and its world is not reality.

Beyond the decision maker or learner-mind is Mind Itself. Mind Itself observes it all: the ego, the world, the decision maker, the mind’s growing awareness of Truth. The Observing Mind is always present. It is not something that a mind practices; It is something that a mind allows. This leads to the latter experience described above.

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, September 23, 2015

"Separated from God"

A Course in Miracles says that your one problem is that you feel “separated from God” and that you feel guilty for this. But it’s fairly common for students to tell me that they have a hard time getting their minds around this concept. They don’t go around thinking “I’ve separated from God and I’m bad for this” and they even believe in God. The concept is too abstract for them to grasp.

The belief in separation from God is largely unconscious and it is the source of all guilt. It is actually the consciousness into which you think that you are born into in your identification with a self. The concept is there at the core of the ego (personal thought system) in your mind. It is the idea that “proves” that the ego is real and that also protects the ego by keeping you from looking inward. You are not meant to see it consciously because then you’d be motivated to undo it and therefore undo the ego. Because the belief in guilt is the consciousness of the world, the world reinforces guilt, overtly and covertly. Rather than question this experience of inherent guilt the world’s (ego’s) religions try to explain it with concepts like “original sin”. They reinforce guilt as valid and true. (All of this I go into in depth in my book “Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace”).

So, practically, what is really meant by feeling “separated from God” and how does this lead to guilt? Since God is your True Being then to think that you are “separated from God” means that you are not aware of your True Being. You are not in your natural state. Perhaps it is easier to understand that you are unhappy and conflicted and just uncomfortable in general because you are not in your natural state rather than “separate” from some abstract concept of a god.

If you think of “separated from God” as “not in my natural state” then where does guilt come into it? Since you are not in your natural state you feel that something is “off” or “wrong”. And, to preserve itself, the ego (personal thought system) tells you that this feeling is because you are inherently “wrong”; you have done something “wrong”. And if you did something wrong there must be something against which you did something wrong. In your unnatural state of identification with the ego your True Being seems outside of you. The ego tells you this Being outside of you – this “god” – is that against which you did something wrong. In your identification with the ego you fear your True Being as though It is something else: a god outside of you with power over you and which sits in judgment on you. No wonder you do not want to approach your True Being!

So guilt is the ego’s distortion of your discomfort when you identify with the ego. And the ego makes a god out of your Reality but telling you that It is outside of you and sits in judgment on you. This distortion is to protect the ego from your looking inward into your mind and looking past the ego. It tells you that if you look inward at all you are not to look too far or you will find out how truly “wrong” you are. But, of course, if you do look inward, after you get past your belief in guilt, you realize that you are uncomfortable not because you are guilty but just because you are not in your natural state. And that’s easy to remedy by welcoming your True Being back into your awareness. This is the “one solution” to your one problem. This is the “Atonement” or correction of your perception that you are separate from God, which A Course in Miracles teaches. 

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, September 16, 2015

Deal at Your Level of Awareness

Often when I answer in my newsletter/blog a question from someone experiencing an upset in their life they explain that they have tried and failed over and over again to forgive the situation as just a projected image in their mind. This effort would seem to be in line with A Course in Miracles but in practice it is not helpful. If your awareness has not grown to the point where you see something as just a projected image trying to forgive it leads to repression rather than to release (forgiveness).

What shows up at the level of form is the result of cause and effect at the level of form. The mind in which this occurs is the one split mind, which ACIM calls the “Son of God” or the “dreamer of the dream”. What you experience as “you” having the upset is a figure in the dream. Your mind is ultimately the one split mind (dreamer), but that is not how you experience it. You experience it as though it is the figure in the dream. And you have to deal with the thoughts in your mind at the level at which you experience them. It is not helpful to pretend you have an awareness that you have not yet attained. So my answers address how the writer experiences their problem at the level of form. I deal with their projected interpretation of what they see rather than with the image itself because their upset is in response to their interpretation, not to the actual image.

For example, sometimes I get emails where someone writes something like: “I just learned that my sister has stage 3 cancer. Since she is an image that I project I have tried and tried to forgive this but her cancer persists. I want to know what I’m doing wrong. How did I cause this? What thoughts do I have to forgive to heal her?”

At the level of form the writer is not responsible for all of the forms that she sees. She did not think her sister into cancer. Logically, how could that be? She does not live in a vacuum with her sister. What about everyone else in her sister’s life? Did they contribute to her having cancer also? If this were the case then everyone who ever saw the image of her sister would have to heal whatever it was in their mind that caused her cancer so that she could heal! And what about her sister’s own mind? Didn’t that contribute also? The writer is not responsible for the cancer but for what she tells herself about the cancer and its effect on her sister and her own life. These stories are what determine her experience of peace or conflict.

When you do rise in awareness and become aware that you do project what you see you are no longer identifying with the figure in the dream. You are the “dreamer of the dream”. You realize you are the one split mind and that you project the whole dream not just individual parts. And you also see that it is nothing. In other words, forgiveness and the awareness that you are the dreamer occur simultaneously. The “dreamer of the dream” is the level of awareness that is forgiveness. Until you have that awareness, concerning yourself with what shows up rather than just with the meaning (interpretation) that you project onto it only increases guilt. Form is still real to you and you think that it has meaning. So deal with undoing the meaning that you project onto the images that you see and eventually you will realize that what you see has no meaning in itself. It is nothing. All the meaning that you see you give to it. This will help you to see that there is no justification for guilt. And as guilt falls away your awareness will transcend the dream and forgive it.

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, September 09, 2015

Why It Is Important to Accept the "Dream" As It Is

A Course in Miracles teaches us that Reality is formless, eternal Being extending without limit. It likens our experience of Reality’s opposite - a universe of time-bound, limited form - to a “dream”. It isn’t real but it sure seems real when you think you are in it.

Sometimes students ask, “If it’s a dream, why can’t anything be true? Why can’t reincarnation or unicorns or a ten-thousand year old earth or humans with wings or human civilization as the result of beings from other planets, etc. be true in the dream?” What they imply is that since it is a dream it can be anything one wants to dream it is

Very simply, the dream cannot be anything but what it is because it is over. The “dream” is what the “dream” was. When ACIM says you are always looking at the past it means this on two levels: As a self you look at the present through the filter of your personal past. But on another level the entire experience of the universe of form is over or “past”. The idea of the opposite of Reality was over as soon as it was thought because Reality’s all-encompassing nature makes an opposite of It impossible. Only within the idea, the “dream”, does the idea seem real and present. And when you think in terms of an “I” and of changing the universe of form you think you are a figure in the dream, that it is reality, and that it is happening now. You are not aware that you are the dreamer of the dream, that it is a dream, and that it is over. And when you do eventually realize that you are the dreamer of the dream you no longer care to change it because, not only is it over, it was a dream. It was nothing.

Think about the last time you had a dream while sleeping. When you woke up I bet you thought it was funny or sad or frightening or weird, etc. But I bet you didn’t spend any time at all on changing it because not only was it over but it wasn’t real. You will eventually realize this about the universe of form. Until then it is important to accept the dream as the evidence within it reveals it to be because otherwise you are fantasizing about the dream within the dream and you are twice removed from Reality.

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, September 02, 2015

Ask: Accepting What Is and Accepting what is

This week’s article follows up on an earlier article about living in the flow of the universe ( as well as last week’s “Ask ACIM Mentor” article ( When you accept What is – that only the Truth is true – it follows that you also accept what is at the level of form without resistance or judging the self’s role in the unfolding story of the universe of form. When you find your wholeness in Truth you stop living through the self so you accept it as it is and just watch it unfold.

The play/movie “Amadeus” always comes to my mind when I think of an example of how miserable a life is when one does not accept it as it is.  The story is a fictionalization of the relationship between the genius composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the composer Antonio Salieri. In the story Salieri as a young boy is so moved by beautiful music in church that he makes a deal with his god: He will devote his life and his chastity to his god if his god will give him the ability to make beautiful music. Salieri indeed goes on to become a composer and is talented enough to rise to be the composer to the Austrian emperor’s court.

Then one day Salieri hears the beautiful music of Mozart and knows that only someone touched by his god could make such “forgiving” music. He is eager to meet the man whom his god has blessed. But in the story Mozart is depicted as vulgar, uncouth, and undisciplined. This man is blessed by god? Salieri is appalled and feels mocked and abandoned by his god. He vows to take revenge on his god by destroying Mozart, whom he sees as his god’s favorite. He does everything in his power to obstruct Mozart and he terrorizes Mozart with visions of his late disapproving father. When Mozart is dying (kidney failure) Salieri can’t resist taking an opportunity to be touched by his genius and helps him finish his final composition (Requiem). Mozart dies in poverty and is buried in a pauper’s grave. Salieri’s obsession with Mozart lands him in an institution and he ends his life lamenting his own “mediocrity”.

Salieri made a deal with a god that existed only in his own mind. Even if there was such a god the deal was all one sided – Salieri alone decided the terms of the deal. For this deal with an imaginary god he made sacrifices no one asked him to make. When things didn’t turn out the way he demanded he destroyed his own life as he tried to destroy another. He never saw that it was his own arrogance and resistance to what is at the level of form that led to his sense of persecution.

Now imagine if instead Salieri knew What is - that only the Truth is true. He would have found wholeness in Truth. So he would not have needed to seek through the self’s life in the world for wholeness. He would’ve accepted the self’s talents and limitations, without judging either. When Mozart came along he would’ve felt blessed to be around to hear such music rather than feeling deprived because the music didn’t come through him. Instead of judging Mozart he could’ve used his power to assist Mozart in getting his music out to the world. Salieri would’ve understood that his love of music was for playing out the role, not of a composer genius himself, but of facilitating the genius of another (Mozart). How much more harmonious and peaceful would Salieri’s mind have been if he had accepted the self’s role rather than insisting that it play out the way that he decided it should?

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.

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