Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ask: What's the difference between being a sociopath and being detached?

What’s the difference between a sociopath and the kind of detachment you seem to teach is desirable? (November 19, 2014)

A sociopath is someone who has a disorder that makes them unable to feel empathy for others. They are amoral (without morality) because they cannot understand the consequences of their actions on others. Psychologists report that sociopaths are actually deeply enraged. Anger is a defensive response so they are deeply fearful. Their ego’s (personal thought system’s) view of the world is very real to them.
The detachment that I write about is the natural result of you being aware that only the Truth is true. So you no longer respond to the world with the emotions you did when the ego’s (personal thought system’s) interpretations of the world were real to you. In the awareness that only the Truth is true you feel whole. This is the same as saying that you feel an abundance of Love. So the self in your mind behaves in ways that are more likely to be considered “moral” by the world. You remember what pain was like so the self expresses compassion to others even though you know that pain is not real. You do not make others’ pain your pain but the self responds to their expressions of pain because the pain is real to them.

            There is a misperception that “detachment” means “coldness”. And it is true that some unhealthy people may perceive you as “cold” when you choose to no longer play emotional games with them or you put up healthy boundaries to which they are not accustomed. But when you come from Truth healthy people will find you warm and loving.

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.

If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ask: What authority assigned attributes to God in ACIM?

“Can you tell me if "God" and "Father" are the same in ACIM? Where does the authority come from to assign God attributes other than to say "God is". (Frankly, I even wonder where the "God is" emanates from?) The scriptures have some horrendous qualities designated to God but ACIM, although positive qualities, must have come from some knowledge given to Helen? Can you share your thoughts as to where the attributes assigned to God in ACIM originated?” – J

            Yes, “God” and “Father” are the same in A Course in Miracles. However, as with most everything in ACIM these symbols mean something very different from the way the world commonly uses them. “God” does not mean an authoritative being that brought the universe of form into being. “God” means Reality or Truth, Which is beyond the universe of form. God is the one Being that is. Everything else is an illusion.
            “Father” in ACIM refers to God in God’s Totality where “Son of God” refers to the Part of God that seems split off from God in a universe of form. This Part of God also seems split within itself between God and not-God. (What seems like “your” mind is a version of this split mind). Keep in mind that God does not really have “parts”. “Father” and “Son” and “Part” are designations that are only useful while God still seems apart from you. They are the symbols that you can use to become aware of God within you. Eventually they fall away when you come to realize that there is only one Being and It is God. This is the experience “God is” and it emanates from God within you.
            God is all that is real in any mind. And God is in every mind whether one is aware of this or not. Helen Schucman heard the Voice for God (what ACIM calls “Christ” or “Holy Spirit”) in her own mind. She labeled this Voice “Jesus” because she needed a tangible symbol for It. This is the Voice that dictated ACIM to Helen. So God is the Authority that assigned attributes to the symbol “God” in ACIM.
            The Preface to ACIM tells some of the originating story for ACIM. But you may also be interested in the book, Journey Without Distance, by Robert Skutch. It tells the story of how ACIM came to be. It is always important to understand the context in which a spiritual teaching arose. The context should inform your study.

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Ask: Is my life chaotic because I'm working ACIM?

“You have commented several times that when individuals start to seriously work with the Course, they can experience a lot of upheaval: bankruptcy, divorce, foreclosure on their house, etc. Why is that? I ask because it does seem that every time I really devote myself to Course study, “bad” things in my world start to happen. Then I back away from the Course for a bit, primarily because I’m trying to deal with all the issues created. For instance, the last time I was doing Workbook lessons daily, as well as spending time with Holy Spirit twice a day, I experienced a car break down on the highway, the HVAC system in our house died (much earlier than expected), the water heater went right after it (also unexpected according to its age), I was ticketed by a police officer for something I’m pretty sure I didn’t do, and I was disqualified for a large rebate I was counting on due to a mistake someone else made. This was all in one month. My life isn’t usually this chaotic. What is really going on?
I should add that it’s not all adverse because I do find that I’m coping somewhat better with all the unforeseen events than I may have in the past. And I try to remember to call on HS when I’m feeling fearful and upset. But it does distract me from the Course as more time is taken in trying to evaluate new purchases, worry about the money to pay for them, decide whether to go to traffic court and contest the ticket, and negotiate with the merchant who gave me the incorrect information about the product I was buying. So I get more anchored in this magical world once again. That doesn’t seem to align with the aim of the Course.” – MD

What you hear me refer to is a person’s life aligning with the changes in themselves as they undo the guilt, shame, fear, and false values on which they built their lives. For example, a woman marries a man she thinks she “should” to please others, they live a lifestyle beyond their means because they feel this show of prosperity is necessary to feel good about themselves, and she stays in a job she hates to maintain that lifestyle. In her pain she starts seeking relief and finds something like A Course in Miracles which tells her that she is inherently worthy and does not have to seek outside herself for love and acceptance. As she accepts these ideas it’s apparent that she made life choices from a sense of unworthiness. Her outer life is completely out of accord with her new awareness of her inherent value. So she goes through divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and temporary unemployment as her outer life realigns with her inner awareness. In time her outer life will settle down again as an authentic representation of her sense of worth.
What you are talking about is something different. These are just the petty, everyday disruptions to which you are meant to apply the Workbook lessons. Nothing special is occurring, but you are making them special by giving them special meaning. Threatened by your study of ACIM, the ego (personal thought system) in your mind interprets these events as being caused by you working the lessons. So it advises you to stop the lessons rather than to apply them to these occurrences as they are meant to be applied!

            Disruptions in the self’s life are not going to stop because you are a student of A Course in Miracles. Sometimes these disruptions happen in a cluster, but this does not have special meaning. These disruptions are the very classroom in which you are meant to apply ACIM. You can be distracted by them, or, as you said, you can invite the Holy Spirit into them with you. If you do the latter they become the means to remember Truth rather than to forget 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 www.acimmentor.com.

If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ask: Does ACIM use the word "soul" to mean the same thing as "mind"?

“When I was 10 my grandmother passed away. The music playing was Ave Maria and it made me cry. My mother tried to comfort me by saying, Your grammy's soul is in heaven now". I was miffed and said rather loudly, "Where was her "soul" before she died? And before she was born!" My mother had no answers. 
Now 6 decades later, I look back on that event within the perspective of ACIM and the Holy Spirit. I wonder about the Course's position in that only the mind is real, there is no birth, life, or death of the illusory body. Are the terms "soul" and "mind" similar in these situations? e.g. does ACIM use the term "soul" to mean the same thing as "mind"? 
Could the experience at the funeral mass have been an indicator of my mind being in touch with Truth at a time when I believed my body to be 10 years of age?” – J

When most people use the word “soul” they are referring to the ego without the body. They are thinking of the “essence” of the “person”. This is also often what they mean when they refer to a person’s “spirit”, which they think of as individual and unique. They think of this soul/spirit as existing before a person was in a body, that it then went into the body, and that it will leave the body when the body dies. So “soul”, or an individual spirit, as these terms are usually used, are concepts for something that does not exist.
A Course in Miracles avoids the word “soul” because it is a controversial word, as I just described. It uses “soul” only when referring to Biblical quotations. In those cases, it is equivalent to “Spirit”, Which in ACIM is the Thought of God (or Idea of God) in your mind. (You may wish to read “Mind-Spirit” in the Clarification of Terms after the Manual for Teachers).

You experienced at ten years old questions that many people have. You were not necessarily in touch with Truth but those questions may be what led you to eventually be open to Truth.

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ask: Do the following statements/questions about mind make sense?

“…If one has read ACIM and experienced a number of shifts in identity, do the following statements/questions make sense to you?

1.  IT is what we Are (MIND and mind) = ONE Mind
2.  Is the above statement what Jesus (a figure within the mind to point us to the MIND) meant when he said "when two become One, it shall be done".  I had experience where the two parts (seemingly) merged or crossed over. 
3.  Once one realizes that all is Mind, is there a natural merging back into the mind? Or is that still the conditioned mind (ego) demanding attention.  It feels like mind wandering again.  The running of different fantasy about a personal life and I know that I am hurting myself because at some place I again fulfill the wish (live, die, repeat ??)
4.  What stage would this fall into?  Once having realized being the Mind, the seeker within (so I don’t study like I use to) faded and now I just pay attention to my thoughts.  I want to play with them also, but this has led me to a feeling that I have to start all over Forgiving.  The secret dream that the Course refers to is just as demanding but different because one knows the separation never happened.  Instead of forgiving the world of form, I am forgiving my perceptions in my own mind.  Yet they are perfect if one was to stop and realize. I still mix the ego in with them it seems.  Does that make sense?
5.  The personal self does not know what to do to advance her career because I experienced a 'what illusions to choose from' realization.  The mind is always waiting for the next thought.
6.  There is no personal awakening, so how could Mind realize Itself and continue to pretend to be mind?
7.  All the personal yuk stuff resurfaces (only It’s in the Mind of the mind). So it seems... new to Salvation and still dealing with my stuff ha ha!!!  It is kind of funny.  And I get tired of my perceptions pretending to be separate…

…Basically, I want to perceive the Holiness of my Mind all the time.  Stable. Having experienced Eternalness I am not fulfilled with anything less than and with this thought I am not as joyous as I have been.  I know that IT is there, however I still get caught in my ego thoughts…” – DM

1. Yes, there is one Mind. It is the Mind of True Being. But where the thought of the opposite-of-Truth occurs it seems as though there are many minds split between Truth and illusion. Truth is all that is real and eternal in any mind. Everything else falls away.
2. If you are speaking of a quote in A Course in Miracles I could not find it. (I tried all sorts of configurations of your quote in my searchable ACIM and found nothing like it). It is possible that it was a passage referring to your mind no longer being split. However, often when in ACIM such statements are made it is referring to Helen and Bill’s unique Holy Relationship where they were at an equal teaching/learning stage, simultaneously learning the same things. They each saw their own Holiness reflected in the other. So it may have been saying that when they accept the Holiness that they see reflected in the other and realize that the seeming separation is not real, their “salvation” will be complete.
3. There is nothing to “merge back into” Mind. Mind is always Mind. The problem is that you believe that you are a self, which is a thought in your seemingly-separate mind. And you believe in all of the other thoughts you have about the self and the rest of the universe of form (also thoughts). And you believe in the thought system of the ego, which is a thought system about the reality of the self. So what must occur is you drop your belief in these thoughts. Then all that will be left is Mind.
4. You are in the” period of sorting out” or you would not be contacting me. Once a person enters the “period of relinquishment” they no longer have a need for an external teacher, except maybe at the very beginning of that stage. It is the stage where you become willing to follow only the Holy Spirit.
Watching your thoughts is the practice that makes you aware that you are mind. Forgiving (releasing your belief in) your ego thoughts is the whole process to peace. So you do not “start over”, you continue in that process.
The desire to study will come and go until all studying falls away naturally. Sometimes you will be hungry for study. At other times you will not want to study at all. In those times you are integrating all that you have learned up to that point. When it’s time to learn more, the hunger for study will return.
5. Your old motivations for the self fall away when you no longer try to find fulfillment by living through the self. Then you find it difficult to make decisions for the self. So give the self to the Holy Spirit. Say to the Holy Spirit, “Is there a next step for this self’s career? If so, I am open to Your guidance.” Then let it go and keep your mind open. If there are steps to take, you will know what to do.
6. There is no personal awakening in the sense that a self and its thought system (ego) do not become aware of Truth. But an individual mind can become aware of the Truth in itself apart from the ego thought system. But becoming aware of the Truth within and accepting that only the Truth is true is a long process where one vacillates between Truth and illusion for a long time as they undo all of the ways that their desire for and belief in illusion shows up. And then, finally, one must become used to a different way of being – as an abstract mind rather than a concrete body/self.
7. You will not be bothered by the ego’s perceptions of separation when you no longer believe in them. Then you will see that they are nothing and easily dismiss them. In the meantime, grow your awareness of Truth and the awareness that these thoughts are not real will come naturally.


Yes, once you experience Truth you will not be satisfied without It being wholly in your awareness. And that is the motivation that keeps you going in this long, sometimes difficult process. So as you work this process enter into Truth when you can, and when you cannot, remember that It is here whether or not you are aware of It. Accept that you are in a process that will result in Truth being always in your awareness. Joy will return!

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ask: Would a "peak experience" be a Holy Instant?

“I was wondering lately how the Course would describe or define Maslow’s “Peak Experience” occurrence? I didn’t know that I had two distinct Peak Experiences before I took a psychology course in college… Nothing since then! Would a “peak experience” be something like the Holy Instant? Thanks.” – CS

            What Maslow describes seems to take in many kinds of experiences. So I would say that his descriptions of peak experiences would include, but are not limited to, the Holy Instant.
            The Holy Instant is an experience of God (True Being). The ultimate Holy Instant would be a direct Revelation of God in which you experience only God. In this experience the world does not exist for you at all, not even as an idea. It is an experience of pure, joyous Being extending infinitely. This is very rare. Most never have this experience. And those of us who do experience direct Revelations have them very rarely.
            But as you practice the Holy Instant daily it can show up for you as an everyday miracle, like hearing the Holy Spirit or having peace suddenly come over you. Or sometimes you may have what I call a “higher miracle”. In a higher miracle you transcend the world but you are still aware of it. You have an expanded sense of being, beyond the limitations of a self. You are everywhere and you feel joyously connected to everything that you perceive. But you see that the world is nothing. The connection you feel is to content – the mind behind the forms that you perceive.

            So some of what Maslow calls a “peak experience” would be what I just described as a “higher miracle”. 

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.

If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Ask: How can people with brain diseases choose the Holy Spirit?

“I would like to know how ACIM deals with Alzheimer's, dementia and mental illness. These illnesses seem different from say from cancer, paralysis or heart issues. The latter seem to leave room to make decisions with the Holy Spirit. But what about diseases such as the ‘brain’ related ones mentioned above. How can these patients choose again for Spirit?” – J

A Course in Miracles does not address specific illnesses because from the perspective of Truth all illusion is illusion. The specific form of an illusion does not make it any less an illusion.
The mind is not in the brain but as long as you identify with a body you will allow your thinking to be affected by the brain as though it is. However, the Truth in your mind goes on untouched in any way by anything that seems to happen in the illusion. Your awareness or lack of awareness of Truth has no effect whatsoever on the Truth in your mind. So if a person’s identification with a body keeps them from being consciously aware of the Holy Spirit (the awareness of Truth in their mind) it does not affect the Truth in their minds. They just remain unaware of It.

Remember, your lack of awareness of Truth is temporary. In other words, it only affects what you think of as you in the story that you are that which is in time. That story is an illusion whether you are or are not aware of Truth. It falls away whether or not you become aware of Truth. Only the Truth in your mind is eternal. So no one has to become aware of Truth. It’s an individual choice of a mind that thinks it is in time and wants to find lasting peace.

>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.