Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Ask: When we attack aren't we projecting guilt?

We often hear that when we attack another in thought or action we are attacking ourselves. I wonder. Aren't we simply projecting our guilt and in so doing we are avoiding looking at that guilt which in turn reinforces it, thus delaying its release? Or is that the equivalent of self-attack?” – ES

You attack when you feel you need to defend yourself. And you feel that you need to defend yourself when you feel vulnerable. So you must be identifying with a self in a body in a world. This mistake is described in A Course in Miracles as an “attack” on yourself. So in any situation where you perceive that attack is real, whether you are the attacked or the one doing the attacking, the first attack you make is the one yourself. All other attacks then proceed from this first error.

Part of the error of perceiving yourself as a self in a body in a world is to believe that guilt is real. Yes, you are projecting guilt when you attack others. You really believe the guilt is in you but you try to get rid of it by seeing it in others and seeing yourself as an “innocent” victim. This is the ego’s (personal thought system’s) “solution” for the discomfort you feel in guilt. Yes, this is a way to avoid acknowledging that you really believe the guilt is in you. And, yes again, this reinforces guilt in your mind and delays your undoing your belief in guilt. You can only undo guilt where you really believe it is. So delay, too, could be seen as a further “attack” on yourself.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

From Projecting Fear to Extending Compassion

Let’s say you have a bully in your life. Or maybe you just know of a bully. This person may be always on the attack. Or perhaps they only bully when they feel threatened. In any case, when you even so much as think of them you are feel fear.

This fear does not come from them. This fear is because of beliefs in your own mind. This person is a symbol of the guilt and fear in your own mind. Unconsciously you recognize the motivation for their behavior is guilt and fear. And you can understand this because you are like them. You understand being defensive when you are afraid. So what you see in them is a projection of your own guilt and fear. They are a mirror of your mind and this is the actual source of your fear.

So how do you move past projecting fear and increasing it in yourself? You bring your unconscious beliefs to conscious awareness. You do this by asking yourself, “Why do they behave this way?” You can answer this because you, too, are human and you understand human behavior. You are also defensive at times even if not in the ways that you see as bullying. You may be passive-aggressive. Or you may take out your anger by yelling at others without hitting below the belt emotionally. Perhaps you’ve learned to deal with your guilt and fear in other ways. Maybe you turn them inward rather than outward and you are depressed or you self-medicate. However you show up as defensive, now that you understand the other’s motivation you can shift from fear to compassion.

Compassion extends both ways. To feel compassion for another you must be willing to be compassionate about the same traits in yourself. If you cannot find compassion for another it is because you are not willing to be compassionate toward yourself. But when you are compassionate toward yourself you will find it extends automatically to others.

It does not follow that being compassionate means you do not set boundaries with others’ dysfunctional behavior. In fact, it is guilt and fear that makes you remain around a bully because unconsciously or consciously you believe that you deserve to be bullied. Since you must be willing to accept compassion for yourself before you can extend it to other, understanding and compassion come from a place of self-respect in you. And self-respect automatically results in boundaries with others’ dysfunctions.

When you come from a place of understanding and compassion you no longer take the other’s behavior personally. You realize that they are acting out their own guilt and fear. And because you do not respond with your own defenses one of two things occur: The other falls away from your life because they are not getting the reaction from you that they want. Or they change toward you and treat you with the respect that your new attitude toward yourself demands.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Questioning Does Not Necessarily Mean Tossing Out

When I was very young I realized that I didn’t feel love when others loved me but rather when I loved. This is why I was a nurturer. I had learned, though not in these words, that what I give I receive.

When I was twenty I became a student of A Course in Miracles and read that lesson in those words. But I made the mistake of thinking that ACIM could not be talking about a lesson I had already learned. Helen Schucman was in her fifties when she scribed ACIM. Certainly she had to have already learned this lesson? Maybe this meant something else? So I took the lesson deeper and learned that it was saying, as it says elsewhere more plainly, that I can only give to myself.

My mistake was thinking that I could not know something at twenty that someone at fifty had yet to learn. Of course we do not all learn the same lessons in life. And even when we do we do not learn them in the same order. A twenty year old can know something that someone at fifty has yet to learn. I was young and inexperienced and insecure and didn’t trust my own learning. I also felt ACIM was so radical that it couldn’t also contain mundane lessons. Another mistake. Yes, in its ultimate teaching that the universe of form is not Reality it is radical. But it is also meant to be used in a mundane world. It was answering Helen and Bill’s call for a “better way” to be in the world.

This is only one example of the mistake of thinking I couldn’t already have learned some of ACIM’s lessons before I picked up the books. Many ideas in ACIM were wholly new to me. But those that were not, those lessons that I had already learned, I questioned. And I questioned every other lesson I’d learned and continued to learn in life. This should’ve been a good thing because it could’ve opened my mind. Questioning means one considers the validity of what they have already learned. If the lesson is valid then questioning it strengthens it. If the lesson isn’t valid then it is tossed out. But questioning does not mean that one inevitably tosses out what they have learned. And this is what I did for a long time. I tossed out, or at least distrusted, all that I had learned and continued to learn about the world and my experience in it. My mind was closed, not open.

What ACIM actually teaches is that I should bring lessons to the Holy Spirit to determine what is useful and what is not. But since I didn’t do that for a very long time I drifted through the world unmoored. I think I thought that this was spiritual! But in fact I was just lost because I didn’t trust my own observations and experiences. When I finally did allow the Holy Spirit to guide me through the world I found my experiences and observations in the world were validated by the Holy Spirit. Most of it was useful. I found common sense prevailed. I found my footing again and felt grounded in the world. It turned out that being grounded in the world is not un-spiritual; it is the result of spiritual awareness. I was not going to transcend the world by denying my observations and experiences of it. I had to first accept those before I could begin to transcend the world.

The funny thing is, these mistakes led me to look deeper into ACIM’s teachings. I kept thinking that it couldn’t mean just what it said on the surface. And I found that deeper meaning every time I sought it with the Holy Spirit. I found a singular, profound, cohesive message that I eventually expressed in my translation of ACIM into plain, everyday language. Oh, well. Even our mistakes have their uses if they are given to the Holy Spirit!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What Do I Want This Mind to Be About?

“He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance.” (M-4.I.A.7)

The above quote is from the Development of Trust in the Manual for Teachers of A Course in Miracles where it lays out the stages through which a student will go. This refers to the fifth stage, the “period of unsettling”. But I’ve always found that sentence to be vague. In my translation of ACIM into plain, everyday language I translated it as:

“Now, to attain Complete Peace, you must learn to lay aside the personal mind and forgive in every circumstance.” (M-4.I.A.5)

This was to make clear that “what he really wants” means peace; that laying judgment aside means laying the personal thought system aside because it is always evaluative (judgmental); and exactly how this is done (forgiveness).

Peace is always here. So “asking for Peace” really means being willing to let go of that which is not Peace. When not-Peace is released (forgiven) Peace remains.

In practice, when my mind is churning on upsetting thoughts, I ask myself “What do I want this mind to be about?” This reminds me that I am not the victim of my thoughts. I am in charge of this mind. And it reminds me that I have a choice. There are only two thought systems from which to choose: The personal thought system (ego) or the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit). The personal thought system churns. If I am willing, the Awareness of Truth will offer me another way to look at the situation on which my thoughts churn which will quiet my mind. Those are my choices.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Reassurance and Recourse After the U.S. Election

Usually I limit what I put out through my newsletter and blog to those things related to the concepts and practice of finding inner peace through an awareness of Truth. But in my work one-on-one with clients I often find myself reassuring and giving practical advice about very worldly things. Lately I have had to reassure and suggest courses of action to help my U.S. clients deal with their anxiety after our recent national elections. I find I’m repeating myself several times a day so I decided I would just put these ideas out there in one fell swoop. 

(If you voted for Donald Trump or are not a U.S. citizen you can disregard this email or just read the spiritual practice advice in the last two paragraphs).

The reassurances:

If you voted for Hillary Clinton remember you are not alone. In fact, you are with the majority of voters. She won the popular vote by what may turn out to be a significant number of votes. (More on recourse for this below). On the surface this may not seem comforting because it does not change the outcome. But it may help for you to realize that there has not been a sea-change in American values. She won the voters; Trump won the game called the Electoral College.

Much of what the President-elect has suggested is impractical and unrealistic and is opposed by his own party. Moreover, the U.S. Senate requires a super-majority of 60 votes to get many things done. The President-elect’s party holds only 51 seats in the Senate.

Every two years in the U.S. one-third of the U.S. Senate and all of the U.S. House of Representatives is up for re-election. (More on this below).

The paradigm shift that threatens here is the normalizing of the President-elects attitudes and behavior. However, you can choose to not adapt to or to accept these. If enough people refuse to find these acceptable the paradigm shift will not occur. If you are concerned about your children you can use the next four years to teach them your values when issues come up.

The recourse:

The world may be a pseudo-reality rather than Reality but it is what you are experiencing. As A Course in Miracles points out, if you deny this you depreciate the power of your own mind. Until you reach a point where Reality is more real to you than the world you can take action to empower yourself and mitigate your anxiety. Here are some ideas:

The election outcome is not certified until the Electoral College meets on December 19. You can add your name to the petition at that asks the Electors to abide by the popular vote. (Scroll down on the home page to find the petition).

If you live in a state that voted for Donald Trump you can find out who your Electors are so you can put pressure on them to abide by the popular vote. It is not likely that the Electors will change their vote since they are chosen by the winning party and are very partisan. But at least you will feel that you tried.

You can get involved to change the Senate and House in 2018 to make the President a lame duck. And after that you can get involved to elect a new president.

You can go to to write to your state legislatures to change the Electoral College so that in the future it validates the popular vote rather than chooses the President itself.

You can forward this email or the links mentioned in it to others who feel as you do.

As I reminded you in last Friday’s article, use the world to grow your awareness of Truth. What is loving reminds you of Truth. What upsets you, no matter the source, by contrast reminds you to turn to Truth. Only the Truth is true. When you touch that awareness you can detach from the world and just watch it unfold without judgment. If you find that you have a hard time connecting to Truth then you have an opportunity to take your blocks to the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit) in your mind so you can undo them. If you need help with this then call (702-878-3274) or email me ( for an appointment.

You will for a long time vacillate between detachment and attachment. But this is a cumulative process and the more that you invite Truth into your awareness the more you will detach. Look at it this way: You’ve got four years of intense practice ahead of you!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Dealing With World Convulsions

This was not the article I intended to send today. But I know that many of my readers, all over the world, are upset about the results of Tuesday night’s election in the US. And those results did not happen in a vacuum. Sure, there are always political swings one way or another and wars and financial crises, etc. But right now those things are happening on a global scale and affecting far more people than usual. The world goes through this kind of global upheaval now and then and it is intensely uncomfortable when it reaches your part of the world. Some of my readers, I know, live in parts of the world that have been convulsing for a while. Maybe you have never known much but chaos. But most of my readers are in the West and are used to stability. Paradigm shifts are rare in the modern history of their countries. It is much nicer to be past it and reading about it in history!

But here we are. And what are you to do to deal with the stress? Of course the size of the stress does not really change the approach you need to take to be at peace. It also does not matter if you are stressed about something going on personally or globally. I recommend my 4 Habits for Inner Peace. If you have the book you may want to re-read the habits. I will discuss them in this context here. You can do them in any order. And if you find only one or two work for now, just do those. Use what works!

Habit #1: Commune with Truth Daily

This is the most transformative of all of the habits. And it leads to the other habits. It means turning your mind inward, stepping out of time, and resting in Truth for a while every day. When you go to do this you will probably initially find your mind processing. (See Habit #3). Let that happen and let it wind down. Then remind yourself that this is your time to be with Truth. You can return to the world afterward.

This practice is necessary to help you to detach from the world.

Habit #2: Turn Within to Truth Throughout the Day

This is a mini-version of communing with Truth. Simply take moments throughout the day to turn your mind inward and remember that only the Truth is true. You can do this at any time, no matter what you are doing or where you are because it occurs only in your mind. It’s just a moment. If you have more time, then you may want to close your eyes for a minute or two. This practice, too, will help you to detach from the world.

Habit #3: Call on the Teacher of Truth for Guidance

If your thoughts are churning then have a discussion with the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit) in your mind. It may help to do this in writing, which can take you into your deeper thoughts and feelings. Just lay it all out to the Teacher of Truth: Your thoughts, your fears, your hopes, your anger, your guilt, etc. Doing this can help you to quiet your mind so that you can commune with Truth afterward. It can also help you to see how your beliefs, not the situation, cause your feelings of upset.

Habit #4: Allow Love to Extend Through Your Mind to Remember That You Are Love

When you look on something that upsets you, turn your mind inward to Truth. When you touch Truth, It automatically extends to what you see. How this shows up for you will be unique to each situation. But each time you will feel liberation from guilt and fear. This is not something that you make happen; it is the result of willingness to have Truth in your awareness.

You will only find detachment from the convulsions of the world when the Truth is true for you. These habits are how you use your experience in the world to grow your awareness of Truth. At first they take conscious effort. But in time they become, well, habits. They will be your automatic response to stresses in your life or in the world. Detachment will come easier.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Technique: Come Into the Room

Back in the day my thing was not dwelling on the past. It was living in the future. Some of this was goals and plans. But most of it was just fantasy, even fantasizing about one day being at peace. But either way it was not being here, now, the only time in which it is possible to be at peace.

The personal thought system is always about the past or future or just elsewhere. The “elsewhere” thinking can be dwelling on something that is not in front of you, like a completely made up time, place, or story; or something going on in the world or someone else’s life. This was common for me, too. So when I found I was in the future or elsewhere and I wanted to be present I’d bring myself back into the room. I’d remind myself that this is where I am now. All I have to do is deal with what is right in front of me right now. And any lessons I have to learn are right here.

To do this I’d say to myself, “Come into the room” and then I’d make a point of looking at what was in the room with me. It did not matter where I was, at home or in public. If I was outside I’d say, “Come here, now” and I’d look at those things nearest me. This would ground me in the present. I’d remind myself that this is where I am. I am not with myself when my mind is in another time or place. And if I am not with myself I am not with the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) or peace.

Sometimes students tell me that they can’t stop dwelling on the plight of others in the world. So I share with them this technique. Be with what is right in front of you. This is where you are. You cannot live anyone else’s life. You cannot solve problems that are not in front of you. If you are to act in some way to help someone else, near you or a world away, you will know in the present what actions to take.

Other students are concerned with lessons they’ve read or heard of but that they have not yet learned for themselves. I tell them to forget what they do not yet know or do not yet understand. The way you get to more advanced lessons is to learn the lessons in front of you now. What are you going through in your life now? What is there to learn? Just as in school, what you learn now prepares you for what you will learn later.

What I learned from this was how much of my experience, my “life”, was a fantasy of ideas. I saw how my “world” was a world of thoughts. There is a lot that can go on in my mind. But there is very little actually going on right in front of me. How much simpler and more peaceful it is to live with only what is right in front of me!

Want support on the path to peace? read "You Don't Have to Go It Alone".
Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and 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