Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Emotional Satisfaction or Freedom

A few months ago I wrote a couple of articles about the two possible spiritual approaches (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-two-spiritual-goals.html, http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/09/more-on-two-spiritual-goals.html). The most common approach, the one of religions and most everyone else on a spiritual path, is to spiritualize the self and its life in the world. The other approach is to transcend the self.

A while later I was having a discussion with my wife, Courtney. Her path is to spiritualize where mine is to transcend. I have never put it in those words to her because from past experience I know that she doesn’t understand my desire for liberation from the limitations of the self. In this discussion she said, again, that she finds my spirituality to be cold and cerebral. She wants warmth; she wants emotional satisfaction. I understood, but did not explain to her, that she finds my path lacking because for her it is only an idea. She has not experienced what I have. I find it joyful because for me I seek the experience of liberation that is beyond considerations of emotional coldness or warmth. Liberation transcends the human experience.

This is when I realized that another way to characterize the two possible goals is that often those who spiritualize the self are seeking for emotional connection with others and/or a Supreme Being. They seek for emotional satisfaction that is characterized as emotional “warmth”. Those who seek to transcend the self seek for liberation from all limitation, including emotional satisfaction. It is easy to see how, to those who seek to spiritualize life in the world, “liberation” may seem emotionally “cold”. But I can assure you that there is no lack in liberation.

I don’t remember the first time I learned of the idea of transcending the self. I believe I was a teenager and read something about Buddhism. I do know that I immediately recognized the Truth in the idea of transcending the self and experienced a delightful taste of the liberation that was possible. Of course this was immediately followed by stark terror at the idea of dropping the self. So I shut down any thought about it but it was too late. Once tasted, liberation cannot be forgotten.  It is like being a prisoner and suddenly discovering that there are no guards and the door to the outside world is open. How could you stay? I was destined to end up on some path toward liberation after that taste of it.


Emotional satisfaction has a powerful pull and it continued to attract me along the way, too. But over time I also experienced liberation more fully than just that initial taste. And there was no comparison between the two experiences. Emotional satisfaction is a puny experience compared to the power and joy of liberation from limitations. I can only think that those who do not seek liberation have simply not tasted liberation yet. Once experienced, even if only faintly, liberation draws you like metal to a magnet. Nothing else will satisfy.

>>>>>
Do you want a spiritualized life in the world or liberation from the self? As a mentor of ACIM I work with students who want either. The goal is yours to choose. My job is to help you reach it faster and easier than you would on your own.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 www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Ask: Can you clarify "God created Love"?

“… I don't recall precisely where in ACIM, but I remember reading the sentence "God Created Love." This sentence struck me as, in my thought process, it implied at one point Love did not exist in God's Awareness or at least was not as Complete in His Awareeness as it is now. (Trying not to include "time" in this concept.) I also believe the statement was made "God IS Love" (emphasis I believe is mine).
After some attention on this (and I realize the disadvantage of trying to understand God from my particular viewpoint), I came to the conclusion that Awareness by Nature is expansive and seeks to increase. As such, it would explain a God that increases in Awareness - that is "Expansive" in Nature.
If this is True, it is logical to consider that God started at a point of Awareness and increased His Awareness from that point. It is also logical to conclude that any sane and logical expansion of Awareness would ultimately reach the Awareness of the concept of Love and would realize that Love is the Ideal Scene i.e., any solution or thought or action etc. based in Perfect Love is invariably the optimum solution/action.
At that point of Awareness, the most optimum action would be to "become love." This "becomeing of Love" would also suggest certain logical subsequent (time again) action(s) such as sharing and the "Creation of a Son," because love desires or foments the desire to share of itself…Do you have any thoughts on this subject? Can you clarify?”
– MM

A Course in Miracles redefines many words in new ways so that, as you figure them out, you come to see how very different is your limited experience of a self from Truth (God). “Creation” is one word that it is vital as a student of ACIM that you understand is used in a new way:

“If creation is extension, the Creator must have extended Himself, and it is impossible that what is part of Him is totally unlike the rest.” (T-19.III.6)

In the world we use the word “creation” to mean “to bring something into being”. As you see in this quote in ACIM “Creation” is the extension of God’s Being. And God’s Being is one and the same throughout. Therefore, any part of God’s Extension is God and what is not like God cannot be of God. It is an illusion.

God is whole and complete so God has no need to bring something into being, to expand, or to become something. “Love” is another word in ACIM that is used differently. As people what we call “love” is attachment based on like, familiarity, family connection, etc. In ACIM, when Love refers to God, It means “wholeness”. The experience of God is True Love, or wholeness.

Those passages in ACIM about God increasing are from our point of view, not God’s. The idea of “extension” is also from our point of view, not from God’s. In God there is only God. There are no boundaries or limitations in God so God does not need to “increase” or “extend”. Into what would God do so? God? Then we are back to: In God there is only God. The idea of “extension” only arises because, from our point of view, God seems to be blocked. So ACIM uses the term “extension” to explain that God is still in your mind (“extends” into your mind) even when you are not aware of God. God seems to “increase” as more seemingly-separate minds experience God.

God is also beyond “awareness” (“perception” or “consciousness” in ACIM). God is Knowledge and what God knows is God. Again, in God there is only God. This is the meaning of “Oneness”.

So “God is Love” and “God ‘created’ Love” simply mean God is Whole and God’s Wholeness extends everywhere, always. God is All-that-is.


The experience of a self is always lack and limitation of some kind. You get fulfilled in one area temporarily and it only makes you aware of how you are not whole in another area. And then eventually you may find that are not fulfilled where you once were. You are always busy doing. From this perspective it is hard to understand pure Being (God), in Which you do not have to do anything to be whole. But that Wholeness is within you and it is to just this experience that ACIM leads you to open.

>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

"I am not a body, I am free..."

Sometimes when I share with my clients that I used to take certain ideas and phrases in A Course in Miracles and meditate on them to take them deeper they want an example. So here is an example of what I mean by meditating on a concept:

“I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.” (W-Review VI-intro.3)

Notice how this phrase begins with a negative but quickly fills in the blank: “I am not a body. I am free.” It is never a good practice to stay in a negative or “not” phrase. It would leave me in emptiness. The obvious question that arises in my mind with the negative “I am not a body” is “Then what am I?” So the answer is immediately given: “I am free.”

What is fascinating is that what I am is not described as something abstract like “I am Spirit” or “I am Mind”. Instead ACIM gets to the experience of what I am: Limitless. It also reveals with the word “free” that my identification with a body is the reason that I feel limited. So instead of trying to conceptualize what I am in Truth, I should pay attention to my experience. I recognize that I am aware of Truth by the experience of freedom or liberation or limitlessness.

Then: “For I am still as God created me.” “For” meaning “because” and “still” meaning “nothing has changed”. I am still Limitless because God’s Creation is not changed by my temporary experience of the limited body. Elsewhere in ACIM it redefines “creation” as “extension”. The limitless Extension of God’s Being is God’s “Creation”. I am Limitless because God’s Limitless Being extends into me. This is just another way of saying that, in Truth, God and I are one and the same.

In my translation of the Workbook of ACIM into plain, everyday language (Practicing A Course in Miracles) I bring all of this forward:


“I am not a body. I am Limitless, because I am Eternally One with God.” (P-Review 6-intro.3)

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The "Evidence" For Truth

My wife and her friends play role-playing games, online and in person. They create elaborate fantasy worlds and if you overhear them you hear how real their characters (avatars) and fantasy worlds are to them. Years ago I had huge judgments against this. There was one friend of hers in particular that I judged as immature and unable to deal with life. He “hid out” in these fantasy worlds. I couldn’t just release these judgments so I realized I must be projecting. I was willing to look at my own thoughts and beliefs with the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in my mind) and what came up out of the depths of my subconscious mind was, “How is this any different from what you do with A Course in Miracles?”

Whoa…what???

Here was the ego’s (personal thought system’s) total unawareness of Truth. Of course Truth is not real to it because it is the opposite of Truth and cannot understand Truth. But my projections of judgment meant I held its lack of awareness of Truth as my own doubts about Truth. In dark periods of severe doubt I’d listen to the ego explain away my spiritual experiences and fear it was right. For example, it would say that my Revelations and higher miracles were just the result of random chemical or electrical changes in the brain. It would mock me for thinking that certain “convenient” thoughts were the “Holy Spirit”. It would tell me that I was just an anxious person who could not cope with life so I had to “hide out” in a fantasy of another reality that I called “Truth”, etc. It could be quite vicious and frankly convincing.

“Faith” is not a word I’ve ever liked because for me it has the connotation of “blind faith”, which means believing in something without evidence. And “belief” is just an intellectual acceptance of ideas anyway. Faith and belief were never enough for me. But trust is different. Trust comes naturally through experience. Trust is not something that one can fake. You either trust or you don’t so pretending to trust (blind faith) is extraordinarily stressful. And I felt I deserved more than just “faith” or “belief”. I didn’t want mere ideas or the stress of pretending. What I wanted was evidence so I could trust. If Truth is true, I reasoned, there has to be evidence of It somewhere in my experience so I could learn to trust It.


Agonizing episodes of doubt eventually resolved when in time a quiet knowing returned. But when I found I feared that the ego was right about Truth being a fantasy I realized I needed more. I needed irrefutable evidence. But where? I went through my experiences of Truth and found that the ego was right that everything could be explained away...Except for one thing: The transformations that had occurred in me since I began the path to Truth and inner peace. Putting aside the experiences of Revelation, higher miracles, and everyday miracles, which the ego could explain away, there were huge shifts within me that could not be explained. I had peace, confidence, detachment, and a deep sense of security in always having the Answer with me. But there was no one working on me. So there was Something working in me. And it wasn’t what I had always thought of as “me” because certainly I had never worked hard at the process. I had done a lousy job with the Workbook. I was a terrible meditator. I never reached a quiet mind or a transcendental state. I was inconsistent and rather lax with any practice. I spent most of my time, in meditation and throughout the day, in ego. Where I did work hard on myself is not where transformation ever came because I was always focused on the wrong things: the ego and the self. When peace came to me it came apart from them, which was so unexpected to me. So much of the path unfolded in ways I never expected or imagined or even knew was possible. I had no idea what in my mind needed to be done and where in my mind it needed to be done to be at peace. So I could not possibly have caused the transformations I’d experienced with what I had always thought of as “myself”. My only contribution to these transformations was willingness for them to occur. And this willingness was not my submitting my will to someone with a stronger will to transform me. Not only was there no such person but how would they do this anyway since the transformations were within me? It had to be that there was Something within my mind beyond the body and the ego that is untouched by them but transforms my experience of them and myself when I am willing. This was the “evidence” of Truth that I could trust.

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Correcting "this is not real" Mistakes

A Course in Miracles reminds us that only the Truth is true (only God is real). Truth (formless Being) is Reality. The universe of form is not-Truth or is not reality. You come to understand this not through your intellect but through what I call a “higher” miracle. These are shifts in your perception where you actually experience the Truth as true and you see that the universe of form is not real. Sometimes the focus of the higher miracle is more on one or the other of these but what’s essential to understand is this is an experience not just an intellectual acceptance of an idea, or belief.

Here are three mistakes students make applying the idea “this is not real” to the world:

First, students try to apply this idea without having experienced it. This leads to feeling depressed and de-motivated: “Why should I bother doing anything when it isn’t real?” Until you have experiences that show you that the universe of form is not real just forget about applying this idea. You cannot apply it without misusing it unless you have experienced it. What you can do is be open to having experiences that show you that the world is not real. Instead of focusing on “this is not real” focus instead on growing your awareness of Truth in your everyday life. Your trust in Truth will grow and this will prepare you to have experiences that show you What is real and what is not real.

The actual shift that occurs from the experience of a higher miracle is release from guilt and fear. It is a joyful, uplifting experience. When you realize that you cannot affect Truth with anything that you do or do not do in the world you feel set free to allow the self to do what is authentic to it without judgment. It takes many higher miracles for this awareness to sink in, however. Right after a higher miracle you may experience the ego’s (personal thought system’s) resistance and feel de-motivated and depressed for a while. But you can always counter these by remembering the liberation that you experienced at the time of the miracle.  Once you have experienced a higher miracle you have a basis to start applying “this is not real” by remembering the higher miracle.

Another mistake that students commonly make is to try to apply “this is not real” to singular events or circumstances. “How can I see this horrible event is not real?” What you imply to your mind is that only this “bad” event is not real but everything else is real. It is impossible for your mind to accept this division. And it is also not an appropriate application. When you have an experience of “this is not real” it encompasses the whole universe of form, not just certain aspects of it. You must be willing to turn away from all illusion, not just those aspects that you judge as “bad”.

The third mistake is closely related to this last one. Students try to see that an event or circumstance, or even the entire universe of form, is not real while looking right at it. I don’t mean looking at it with the body’s eyes, because what the eyes report is neutral and has no meaning in itself. Students look right at their interpretation of the event or circumstance and at the same time try to see it is not real. But looking at it and interpreting it is exactly how you make it real to you! You cannot give illusion meaning and at the same time see it is not real. You cannot detach from illusion with the thought system that is part of it. You cannot be in the midst of illusion and see it is an illusion. You must step into the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) to see that illusion is illusion.

In practice this means you have to be willing to turn your mind away from illusion and inward to Truth. Instead of focusing on what is not real, you must look toward What is Real. The body’s eyes may continue to report the same forms but your mind will shift toward Truth. The personal thought system’s interpretation will fall away and you will see the forms that the body’s eyes report as insignificant.


In fact, it is always best for you to allow the awareness “this is not real” to arise spontaneously. It will do so as you grow your awareness of Truth. If you have had experiences of seeing the universe of form is not real you can try to invite the experience again by applying “this is not real”, but if you do not experience a shift then stop trying. Instead, turn to Truth and the awareness will come.

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"I Need Do Nothing" Discussed

I’ve written a few times about how the heading in A Course in Miracles, “I Need Do Nothing” (T-18.VII), is universally misused by ACIM students. They read this line and their ego (personal thought system) panics because they think that they are not supposed to direct the self to do anything at all ever again so their life in the world will fall to pieces. And then their mind shuts. They are then unable to take in anything that follows that heading and they miss the point of that section entirely.

(A study hint: If you read something in ACIM that inspires fear you are misreading it with the ego. Truth inspires liberation, not fear. Put it aside for a while, then invite the Holy Spirit into your mind and read it again with Love. If you are still too afraid to let the Holy Spirit through then you may benefit from studying with someone who has more experience – like a mentor!)

The section headed by “I Need Do Nothing” is really about the release from guilt that you find in the Holy Instant. In the Holy Instant you realize that you are Home in God, not separate from God, so you are not guilty. Therefore, you “need do nothing” – you don’t have to perfect the self or make it “right” or “good” - to be released from guilt. This section has nothing to do with ceasing all activity of the body. It is solely about the mind. In fact, it acknowledges the “busy doing” of the body in the world.

Since this section is almost never read as it was meant, I thought I’d take you through it paragraph by paragraph to ease the anxiety that the heading seems to evoke in students’ minds.

(This is very long and it may be difficult to read on a small device. The italicized parts are from ACIM and from my translation of the Text into plain language, The Message of A Course in Miracles (MACIM). I use both here so you can choose which you prefer. My comments then follow and are not italicized).

(T-18.VII);(MACIM-18.7) I Need Do Nothing

(ACIM)
1. You still have too much faith in the body as a source of strength. What plans do you make that do not involve its comfort or protection or enjoyment in some way? This makes the body an end and not a means in your interpretation, and this always means you still find sin attractive. No one accepts Atonement for himself who still accepts sin as his goal. You have thus not met your one responsibility. Atonement is not welcomed by those who prefer pain and destruction.

(MACIM)
1. You still have too much faith in the body as a source of strength. All your plans involve the body’s comfort, protection, or enjoyment in some way. This means that you interpret the body as an end in itself and not as a means for correction and that you still find separation from God attractive. You have not accepted correction if you still have separation as your goal and therefore you have not met your one responsibility – accepting correction of your perception that you are separate from God. You will not welcome correction while you prefer pain and Self-destruction.

You have too much faith in the body as a source of strength. [The “body” in ACIM  includes the physical body, the personality of the self, and the thought system of the self (ego)].  That’s why you are so concerned with it. You see it as an end in itself, so you are attracted to it. This means you are unconsciously attracted to guilt (the belief that sin, or separation from God, is real). Remember, elsewhere in ACIM it says that your “sole responsibility” is to accept the Atonement (correction of your belief that you are guilty for being separate from God) for yourself. Your attraction to the body, therefore your belief in guilt, makes you believe that correction is impossible. So you do not meet your one responsibility of accepting correction. You won’t welcome correction while guilt (pain and destruction) seems meaningful to you.

(ACIM)
2. There is one thing that you have never done; you have not utterly forgotten the body.  It has perhaps faded at times from your sight, but it has not yet completely disappeared. You are not asked to let this happen for more than an instant, yet it is in this instant that the miracle of Atonement happens.  Afterwards you will see the body again, but never quite the same. And every instant that you spend without awareness of it gives you a different view of it when you return.

(MACIM)
2. There is one thing you that have never done: completely forgotten the body. Perhaps it has sometimes faded from your awareness but it has never completely disappeared from your awareness. You are asked to do this for only an Instant but in that Instant the miracle of correction happens. After that Instant you will be aware of the body again but never in quite the same way. Every Instant that you spend without an awareness of the body will give you a different view of it when you return to an awareness of it.

Helen is being told that she has not yet allowed a Holy Instant, Which is described here as completely forgetting the body for an instant. (As you read this you may or may not have allowed a Holy Instant). An instant is all that is needed. In that instant you realize that the body and the story for time are not real. You are not separate from God so you are not guilty. Even though it is only an instant, it is enough to change how you view the body. You begin to realize that the body has nothing to offer; it is just a temporary experience as you learn to remember God. The body is no longer an end in itself; it is a means to remember God. The more you experience the Holy Instant the less you value the body.

(ACIM)
3. At no single instant does the body exist at all. It is always remembered or anticipated, but never experienced just now.  Only its past and future make it seem real. Time controls it entirely, for sin is never wholly in the present. In any single instant the attraction of guilt would be experienced as pain and nothing else, and would be avoided. It has no attraction now. Its whole attraction is imaginary, and therefore must be thought of in the past or in the future.

(MACIM)
3. There is no instant in which the body exists at all. You always remember it or anticipate it but you never experience it now. Only the personal self’s seeming past and projected future make the body seem real to you. Time controls your perception of the body entirely because your perception of separation from God is never wholly in the present. In any single instant you experience the attraction of separation from God as pain and nothing else and if you recognized this you would avoid it. Guilt has no attraction to you now. Its whole attraction to you is imaginary and therefore you must think of in the past or in the future.

Time is the illusion on which all other illusions rest. This includes the body. You have a story for the body’s (self’s) past and you imagine its future and this is what makes it seem real to you. Your attraction to the self’s story means that, unconsciously, you are attracted to guilt. The story for the body, which is the story of your guilt for being separate from God, contains stories of guilt from the body’s imagined past and you expect punishment for your guilt in the body’s future. You have a hard time being present because guilt arises in your mind and you experience how painful guilt is. So your mind avoids guilt in the present in an imagined past and an anticipated future in which you do not consciously see the guilt.

(ACIM)
4. It is impossible to accept the holy instant without reservation unless, just for an instant, you are willing to see no past or future. You cannot prepare for it without placing it in the future. Release is given you the instant you desire it. Many have spent a lifetime in preparation, and have indeed achieved their instants of success. This course does not attempt to teach more than they learned in time, but it does aim at saving time. You may be attempting to follow a very long road to the goal you have accepted. It is extremely difficult to reach Atonement by fighting against sin. Enormous effort is expended in the attempt to make holy what is hated and despised. Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming, for all of them look to the future for release from a state of present unworthiness and inadequacy.

(MACIM)
4. Until you are willing to see no past and no future for just an Instant you will have reservations about the Holy Instant. You cannot prepare for the Holy Instant without placing It in the future. The instant that you desire the Holy Instant you will be released in It. In the world that you perceive one way to God is to spend your time preparing for the Holy Instant and this does have its moments of success. This course does not attempt to teach more than that path teaches in time but it does aim at saving time. You may be trying to follow a very long road to the Goal of God that you have accepted. It is extremely difficult for you to reach total correction of your perception that you are separate from God by fighting against perceived “sin”. You will have to expend enormous effort trying to make Holy the body that the personal mind despises. It is also not necessary for you to spend a lifetime in contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body. All these attempts would ultimately succeed because of their Purpose but these means are tedious and very time consuming and they all look to the future for release from a present state of unworthiness and inadequacy.

You must be willing to let go of time, the body, and therefore guilt, just for an instant, to experience the Holy Instant. That is all. If you think you need to prepare for the Holy Instant you are putting release from guilt off into the future. The belief that it takes time to be released from guilt puts distance between you and the Holy Instant. You don’t have to perfect the body (fight against sin), which is so difficult because the ego despises it. You don’t have to take yourself off to a cave or a monastery and spend a lifetime struggling to detach from the body. These would ultimately work, but they are the long way to peace because they make sin (guilt) real to you and put peace off to the future. Instead, you can use the Holy Instant right now and save time.

(ACIM)
5. Your way will be different, not in purpose but in means. A holy relationship is a means of saving time. One instant spent together with your brother restores the universe to both of you. You are prepared. Now you need but to remember you need do nothing. It would be far more profitable now merely to concentrate on this than to consider what you should do. When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; "I need do nothing."

(MACIM)
5. Your way is different from these paths, not in Purpose, but in means. A Holy relationship is a means of saving time. One instant of Holiness that you extend to your relationship with another restores Reality to your mind. You are prepared for the Holy Instant and all that you now need to remember is that you need do nothing. It is far more useful now for you to concentrate on this than to consider what you should do. When Peace comes at last after wrestling with temptation and fighting against “sin”, when enlightenment comes after a lifetime of contemplation, or when the Goal is achieved in any way it will come with the happy realization: “I need do nothing”.

Helen and Bill are being told that they are given a different means, the Holy Relationship, to save time. But what can you, who may not have a Holy Relationship, do to save time? Remember from earlier in ACIM that the Holy Relationship is the expression in time of the Holy Instant. But whether you have this expression available or not the Holy Instant is still available to you and to everyone. No one needs to prepare for it. All you need is willingness to put aside guilt and experience God. The realization, “I need do nothing” to make yourself not guilty comes when you are willing to recognize that you are already not guilty.

(ACIM)
6. Here is the ultimate release which everyone will one day find in his own way, at his own time. You do not need this time. Time has been saved for you because you and your brother are together. This is the special means this course is using to save you time. You are not making use of the course if you insist on using means which have served others well, neglecting what was made for you.  Save time for me by only this one preparation, and practice doing nothing else. "I need do nothing" is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation, or of struggle against temptation.

(MACIM)
6. Here is the ultimate release that you will eventually find. You do not need time for this because time has been saved for you since you extended your Self to your perception of another. This is the special means that this course uses to save you time. You are not making use of this course if you insist on neglecting the means that was made for you in favor of other means. Save time for your Christ Mind with this one preparation and practice doing nothing else: “I need do nothing.” This is a statement of undivided allegiance to your Christ Mind. Believe it for just one instant and you will accomplish more than you would accomplish in a century of contemplation or of struggle against temptation.

The Holy Instant is the moment of release, or forgiveness, from guilt. It is the special means offered by ACIM as a short-cut for those who are willing to use it. You only have to be willing to realize that you “need do nothing” to make yourself guiltless because you have never left God and so are not guilty. Your willingness to use the Holy Instant attests to your commitment to peace. If you just accept for one instant the awareness that you are Home in God you accomplish in that instant what others have taken a century to accomplish through contemplation and attempts to make the self perfect.

(ACIM)
7. To do anything involves the body. And if you recognize you need do nothing, you have withdrawn the body's value from your mind. Here is the quick and open door through which you slip past centuries of effort, and escape from time. This is the way in which sin loses all attraction right now.  For here is time denied, and past and future gone. Who needs do nothing has no need for time. To do nothing is to rest, and make a place within you where the activity of the body ceases to demand attention. Into this place the Holy Spirit comes, and there abides. He will remain when you forget, and the body's activities return to occupy your conscious mind.

(MACIM)
7. To “do” involves the body. When you recognize that you need do nothing you will withdraw the body’s value from your mind. This is the door through which you quickly slip past centuries of effort to escape from time. This is the way that the separation loses all of its attraction for you now because you deny time and the past and the future are gone for you. When you need do nothing you have no need for time. For you to do nothing is for you to rest and to make a place within your mind where the activity of the body ceases to demand your attention. The Holy Spirit then comes into and abides in this place of rest within you. And the Holy Spirit will remain with you when you forget again and the body’s activities return to occupy your conscious mind.

When you recognize from the Holy Instant that you don’t need to perfect the body to be with God and be released from guilt you release yourself from valuing the body. It, and therefore guilt, cease to attract you right now. You don’t need time to do this. You just need to rest in the Holy Instant with the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit will remain in your mind when you return your mind to the body’s activities.

(ACIM)
8. Yet there will always be this place of rest to which you can return. And you will be more aware of this quiet center of the storm than all its raging activity. This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent. For from this center will you be directed how to use the body sinlessly. It is this center, from which the body is absent, that will keep it so in your awareness of it.

(MACIM)
8. There is always this place of rest within you. Within it you are more aware of the Quiet Center than of the storming personal mind raging around it. This Quiet Center in Which you do nothing remains with you and gives you rest in the midst of all the busy doing to which the Holy Spirit sends you. From this Center you will be directed in how to use the body for correction of your perception of separation from God. It is this Center, from Which the body is absent, that will keep you aware that the body cannot separate you from God.

The Holy Instant is always with you, a Quiet Place within to Which you can return to rest. The more you practice it the more aware you will be of a Quiet Center as you go about the body’s busy-ness. From the Quiet Center you will be directed how to use the body in a way that will not increase your guilt because it is from this Center that you know that you are not guilty.

As you can see, there is nothing in this section about ceasing all of the self’s activities. On the contrary, it makes statements in the last two paragraphs that acknowledge the activities and busy-ness of the self. Moreover, this section emphasizes the ongoing message of ACIM: You don’t have to prepare yourself for God by perfecting the self. All you need is willingness, which is of the mind, to be released from guilt and to experience God. So why would it then tell you that you have to live a certain way? This would contradict its central message of forgiveness, which is that nothing you do or do not do as a person has any effect on God at all. This is hard to accept because needing only to have a willing mind completely cuts out the body and ego from the process. This is what this section is explaining.


You bring the Holy Instant with you into the midst of a normal life in the world. You don’t have to stay in a Holy Instant. You only have to be willing to practice it a few times a day. And it becomes the means through which you grow your awareness of God. This releases you from the value that you have put on the self, and therefore from valuing separation from God and guilt.

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Free Will

Whenever I write about the story of the universe of form unfolding as an expression of an idea that is already over, as I did last week (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-if-you-knew-that-ending-was-happy.html), it brings up questions from readers about free will.

“Free will” means the ability to make choices and act independently of any other power. Immediately you can see that a “person”, or “figure in the dream” as A Course in Miracles would call one, does not have a will that is independent from the split-mind (dreamer of the dream; Son of God). Every person’s story is part of an intricate, complex unfolding of the universe of form. What feels like one’s independent desires and choices is really the story of the universe of form being expressed through their seeming-individuality.

Even knowing this, your desires and choices and the actions to which you direct the self feel as though they are your own. You feel independent when you are identified with the dream figure. But knowing that the self’s story is part of a greater whole you can learn to find the flow of the universe to live more harmoniously with it rather than to try to force to happen what simply is not going to happen. (I wrote about this here: http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2015/03/in-flow-of-universe.html and http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2015/04/one-story.html). You can find the purpose for the self in the flow, knowing that its unfolding story, whatever it is, is an essential part of a larger unfolding story.

In Truth there is only Truth so there is no need for a “will”. (In ACIM, “God’s Will” refers to God’s Extension of God in God, not to God’s desires in the world). Truth is whole, so there is nothing to desire, nothing to choose, nothing to make happen. But within the idea-of-not-Truth, not-Truth seems to have a “will” that is separate from Truth. The split-mind projects, or “wills”, a universe of form in which to play out the idea-of-not-Truth. It is free to do this, but this freedom comes from the nature of Truth, Which does not oppose. Not-Truth is undone instantly in the Mind of Truth not through opposition but simply by Truth’s All-encompassing nature. Not-Truth arising in Truth is like fire trying to start in water. It is impossible so it is over before it can start. Not-Truth is never more than an idea just as fire starting in water can be imagined but can never actually occur.

A Course in Miracles introduces the idea of free will right in its introduction:

“…Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time…”

If you read this as a seemingly-individual split-mind it refers to your experience, which certainly seems, to a new student, to be independently chosen. It feels as though you independently make the choice to learn what ACIM (or some other form of the universal curriculum) teaches. The personal experience is the narrowest reading of that passage. But if you read this as speaking of the one split-mind that projects the universe of form then it refers to how the undoing of not-Truth in time occurs independently of Truth. The outcome is inevitable but how that outcome is reached is time’s, not Eternity’s, story.

So your seemingly-individual will is not independent from the will of the one split-mind. It is an expression of the free will of the one split-mind.

>>>>>
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 www.acimmentor.com.