Wednesday, April 01, 2015

One Story

I have come to a higher vision where I see the universe of form as a tapestry; a unitary, unified story where once I saw it as a collective (macro story) of independent stories (micro stories) all playing on each other. The choices for this self have not been independent choices influenced by and influencing the larger macro story as I thought they were. The choices for this self have all been part of one whole unfolding story. I experienced those choices, and still experience the choices for this self now, as though they were made by a singular independent split-mind among many independent split-minds. But now I know they are simply the singular unfolding of one larger story. Every choice is the effect of only one split mind. And none of the choices have any real effects. The Truth goes on untouched by any of it. It is just a story.

I knew back when I studied A Course in Miracles that the “you” it was speaking to was not what I experienced as the individual “me”. For example, where it speaks to the choice to be separate from God I knew it was not referring to a choice that I made as an individual. This individual, like all individuals, is an expression of the choice of one split-mind (what ACIM calls the “Son of God”) to be separate from God. But only now do I see this. And of course this choice, again, is not a real choice. Nothing real is occurring. It is just the playing out of the idea of the opposite-of-God.

I went from being almost wholly ego-identified and feeling that the self was reality. I thought this self was one among many. Then I shifted to being aware of a mind split between ego (personal thought system) and the Holy Spirit (the thought system that comes from an awareness of Truth). I thought this split mind was one among many. Eventually I saw that there is really only one split mind that takes many forms. The content of all of these minds is the same though their forms are different. So I came to understand that these minds were a projection in the likeness of one split mind. But I still thought of them as independent of that one split mind. And now I see that they are not.


Does this change anything for the self? No. Whatever its choices they are part of the one story. They cannot be anything else. But I say this vision is “higher” because, apart from the self, I can see the whole story, as though I am above it, rather than in the midst of it seeing only what is in front of me.

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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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In the Flow of the Universe

Many years ago I met a woman who told me that as soon as she wanted something for the self it manifested for her. This had never been my experience. In fact, I was confused about the whole manifesting thing. (This has since become popularly known as the “Law of Attraction” because of the book that brought together long held ideas behind manifesting what you want). I was left wondering if she truly did manifest what she wanted or if the desire for something grew in her just before it showed up. Maybe she was just in tune with the universe of form.

I first learned about manifesting when I was a new student of A Course in Miracles. The theory, as I understood it anyway, was that what did or did not show up in the self’s life was determined by my own thoughts. If I didn’t have what I wanted for the self it must be because of obstacles within me. For example, maybe I felt unworthy of or afraid of what I wanted. I was supposed to dig around in my mind for those obstacles and, if I removed them, lo and behold what I wanted would show up. My initial discomfort with the idea of manifesting, or attracting, what I wanted was the recognition that I would only be concerned with what did or did not show up for the self if I thought that this was the cause of my peace or conflict. Wasn’t I learning that being aware of God (True Being) was the only lasting source of peace and happiness? I wasn’t there yet, but I felt early on that concerning my mind with manifesting was a distraction from being aware of God (True Being).

My other problem with the concept of manifesting was that I had always intuited the flow of the universe of form, whether I wanted to or not. Sometimes I wanted something for this self but would feel that it was not going to happen. Sometimes the feeling was “not yet”. Other times I would know that what I wanted was coming soon. Also, desires for the self would shift. They would show up or fall away. Yes, I was sometimes aware of unworthiness or fear when it came to something I wanted. But more significant to me was the sense that I was trying to force something to happen if what I wanted didn’t jive with my intuition about the flow of the universe. And how was I supposed to know what was best for this self, anyway? It doesn’t live in a vacuum. Anything that shows up for this self affects others selves, too, especially those close to it. Wasn’t this self’s life part of a larger picture? It always felt that way to me.

I learned to look for the “flow” rather than to try to force what I wanted to happen. I was not happy with this, because I wanted what I wanted. But I always eventually concluded that it was easier to ride the flow than to swim against it. Especially since swimming against it wasn’t going to make happen what I wanted to happen anyway!


Eventually I gave more and more of the self’s life to the Holy Spirit (Teacher of Truth in my mind). It has become clear to me recently that some of what I thought was guidance from the Holy Spirit over the years was really my tuning into the flow of the universe. Where the Holy Spirit came into it was in my willingness to be rational, open, and without judgment.  This opened my mind to the flow of the universe of form. So the Holy Spirit was not so much my guide as my mind-set. But even though I sought the flow, rather than to manifest what I wanted, I still lived through the self. I sought through it for happiness and peace. But when I undid guilt I let go of a need for a story – for a self. I let the self go into the flow of the universe – where it always was, anyway. It was always just a character in a story, though I selfishly thought it was there for me to live through! Now I simply watch it, without judgment. Since I don’t identify with it I am not concerned with controlling its life. It is only part of a meaningless story that has nothing to do with Truth.

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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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How "the world isn't real" Shows Up

I often tell students that much of this path has not unfolded in the way that I expected. I had ideas about how it was going to look and feel. So I often missed shifts in my experience because I was looking elsewhere for a shift. Or I simply didn’t recognize them for what they were. Eventually I learned I have no idea how this will unfold! I learned to release expectations, to trust the process,  and to keep an open mind.

One of the first examples of this is with the awareness that the world isn’t real. It’s hard to know how I expected this would show up. I think I expected a wholesale shift in my perception and that the world would disappear. But the shift in awareness began almost immediately after I became a student of A Course in Miracles with a shift in my values.
           
A Course in Miracles tells us that we believe in what we value:
“Remember that where your heart is, there is your treasure also. You believe in what you value.” (T-2.II.1)
“And your thinking but reflects your choice of what you want to see. Your values are determiners of this, for what you value you must want to see, believing what you see is really there.” (W-130.1)
“I am grateful that this world is not real, and that I need not see it at all unless I choose to value it.” (W-53.2 [12])

This used to confound me. I thought it was backwards. Don’t I have to believe something is real before I value it? No, ACIM was telling me my giving something value is what makes it real to me. I did not understand this until I experienced it. The way that “this isn’t real” first showed up for me was in my no longer according value to certain thing that I once valued. They no longer seemed significant or to have meaning for me. So I did not think about something “this is not real” or “this is an illusion”. Instead I just stopped thinking about it no longer had meaning for me. It “disappeared” for me in that it was no longer on my mind even if in form it was still in my mind. What has no meaning to me does not exist for me. Eventually, this generalized to the whole world as I found value and meaning in my awareness of Truth instead of in the world.

This is not a foreign experience. Everyone does this all the time. You do not give your attention to thousands of things that pass before you every day. The whole world does not exist for you all of the time. Your attention automatically goes to what has value for you. And things that once had value for you fall away from your attention when something you value more comes into your awareness.

Another way that “the world is not real” showed up for me was in the acceptance that everything in the universe of form passes. This includes not just painful things but also pleasures. Only the Eternal is real because it always is. What passes is not real because it passes. Interestingly, this not only mitigated the pain of life in the world for me. But I enjoy pleasures more because I do not cling to them in desperation to “save” me from the pain of the human experience. I accept them for the time that they are present and then let them go. So my enjoyment of them is not diminished by my desperation to hold on to them. All in the world passes but the Eternal is always with me.

Lately another way that the world isn’t real shows up for me is in how stories in my mind about the world fall away easily. They can be about the past, present, or future. They can be a story for this self or a person I know or a public figure. As soon as I start to give anything any real thought I become acutely aware that it is only a story in my mind and nothing more. Then it seems to turn to dust and fall away and my mind is set free.


I do not go around thinking “this is not real” all of the time because that awareness has quietly become my “new normal”. This came about through a slow and steady shift in my mind over time. I become aware of how dramatically my mind has changed only when I hear how much others still believe in the world and are so invested in it. Then I remember that I used to be that way, too, and I feel the contrast. I can remember that I used to be that way but I cannot recall the actual experience. It seems alien to me now and it doesn’t make sense.

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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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ask: Can you go into more detail about "the script is written"?

“I have a question I hope you will consider answering for me and others.  In your most recent post; “All A Mind Needs Is Willingness,” you speak a little about the meaning of “the script is written,” and mention “it does not mean that every detail of the self’s story in time is pre-ordained.”  As I understand this to be true, being that our choices can alter our course in time, I still have so many questions the rotate around this one statement.  I was wondering if you could go into more detail about what “The Script Is Written,” actually means.
When I think of this I believe it is saying that everything that seems to come our way we have asked for being that we chose to listen to the ego’s voice instead of the Holy Spirit’s—which was the detour into fear.  And from that choice, we set into motion everything we think is happening.  Also, Gods Will is done, meaning that the separation never happened, just the desire to listen to another voice which caused us to sleep rather than wake into God’s Will.  Outside of that, It is at large to me.  Would you care to touch on this?  It would be most helpful.” – BO

            Like “I need do nothing”, “the script is written” is one of those phrases in A Course in Miracles that the ego latches onto, reads totally out of context, and runs wild with. Here’s how that phrase is used in ACIM:

“Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by.” (W-158.4)

Here is this paragraph in my translation of the Workbook into plain-language, Practicing A Course in Miracles”:

“Time is a trick, a sleight of hand; a vast illusion in which illusory figures seem to come and go as if by magic. Yet, there is a plan behind these appearances that does not change. It is as though there is a script with the ending already written; the Experiences that will end your doubting have been set. There really is no journey, but you imagine that you are taking one, learning what you have really already learned.” (PACIM-158.4)

And here is what I said about this paragraph in my mentor’s notes in PACIM:

“Paragraphs 3, and 4 are referring to the fact that the moment that the idea of not-God occurred it was undone, because God is All-encompassing and cannot have an opposite. But the idea of not-God contains the concept of time, and only in time does it seem that you separated from God in a distant past, and that you will return to God at an indefinite time in the future. Time is the illusion on which all other illusions rest. This is why the Experience of the Holy Instant is so important. In the Holy Instant, you step out of time and into Eternity, and you realize that you have never left God; there is no time, no world, and no journey. And when you return to time from a Holy Instant, it never again has the same hold over you.” (PACIM-158.mn)

            Time is only an idea that is an expression of that instant of the-idea-of-not-God/the-undoing-of-the-idea-of-not-God. So one’s life in the world is an expression of one of these ideas. The idea-of-not-God, which you are born into by default, is expressed by a life that moves away from God. It expresses the concept of “separation from God”. But you can become aware of God and at that point your life becomes an expression of the undoing-of-the-idea-of-not God. You “retrace your steps” back to God. In any case, both are meaningless stories (except to you while you still identify with one of them) because not-God is not possible so the undoing-of-not-God is not necessary. So “the script is written” is a figurative phrase that means that once you’ve chosen God the outcome is inevitable. The “theme” or trajectory of your life has changed and you cannot go back. You cannot unlearn what you have learned.
            Keep in mind that the ego thought system gets caught up in the details of what is or is not occurring in the unfolding story. It cannot see beyond what is right in front of it, or its own desires, so it is always in lack. But the thought system of the Holy Spirit (your awareness of God) in your mind sees the larger unfolding story. It sees the whole picture. Where the ego sees minutiae the Holy Spirit sees the larger unfolding theme. The ego sees what is not yet done in time. The Holy Spirit sees that time is over.

So you can relax and trust your unfolding awareness. You don’t have to nitpick the details of your every thought and mood and choice every moment of the day. The arc of your life has changed. The outcome is inevitable.

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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.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

All A Mind Needs is Willingness

For a mind to be aware of Truth and at peace it really is all about willingness and nothing else.

Looking back to when peace began for this mind so much time and energy were wasted trying to make peace happen when “my” part was over as soon as Peace came into the awareness of this mind. This awareness could not be sustained so this mind thought “I” had to make it happen again. But in hindsight it is clear that for this mind time has been about undoing the obstacles that stood in the way of this mind keeping Peace in its awareness. All of this was done within this mind as the natural unfolding in time of the awareness of Truth that came to it all those years ago. For this mind this is the meaning of “the script is written”. It does not mean that every detail of the self’s story in time was pre-ordained. It simply means that the outcome of this mind’s experience in time was inevitable once Truth came into its awareness. This awareness changed the trajectory of this mind’s story in time. In fact, time was really over for it once Truth came into this mind. And all it’s really had to do since then is to accept this.

This mind’s mistake over the years was focusing too much on whether it was happy or comfortable in its identification with a self. It looked and worked for the ego (personal thought system) to become peaceful. It expected the self would not go through the usual life processes. But when Peace came into the awareness of this mind it was not to the ego or to the self. The ego is still in this mind, blathering on with its judgments, conflicts, and confusion. The self’s story continues on with the usual life processes. But Peace is here in this mind despite the ego and the self. This is how this mind came to see it is not an ego or a self.

When this mind recognized that Peace was not leaving its awareness it wondered why there was still a world in its thoughts. And the Holy Spirit (this mind’s awareness of Truth) noted, “What difference does it make? You have peace.” Of course! This mind was focused on the wrong thing. Peace is what is real, not the story of a universe of form and the ego’s interpretation of it. Whatever this mind attends to grows in its awareness.

Despite this mind thinking what it needed for Peace, Peace came anyway. Not because this mind knew how to make peace happen in its identification with a self and an ego. But because this mind was was willing to have It in its awareness. Willingness allowed the awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit/Teacher of Truth) to work in this mind to undo its obstacles to Peace. Any obstacle that it needed to look at and undo, any technique that it needed for centering itself in Truth, came into its awareness because it was willing not because of any effort it made.

What does it mean for a mind to be willing? It means for it to be open, despite obstacles and fear, to letting the Truth work in it. The transformation occurs mostly on an unconscious level. This mind had shifts toward Peace, insights, miracles, and Revelations. And none of these ever came where this mind was “working on” the ego and the self trying to get them to change. These came despite this mind’s efforts in the ego and the self.

This mind’s willingness was demonstrated by its invitation to Truth to come into its awareness with no agenda but to be aware of Truth. It was demonstrated by its inviting the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit/awareness of Truth) to be its Constant Companion, Guide, and Teacher. It was demonstrated by its turning to Truth throughout the day simply to remember that It is here.

This mind’s willingness was never perfect. But as A Course in Miracles says, you only need a little. It does not have to be perfect; it just has to be there. If this mind had accepted this long ago it would’ve saved itself a lot of effort and pain and guilt. But it couldn’t accept it because it found it unbelievable, and somewhat insulting, that “I” did not have to make peace happen. It was all wrong about what is real. A mind naturally at peace is real. The rest is just a meaningless story.

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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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ask: What comfort can you give a child whose father just died?

“I know this world/body is not real it something I created out of my vane imaging {ego}. I understand that but What comfort can you share with an eight year old child whose father just died. I know the usual "He's in heaven with God ", etc.  Confused on how to counsel My Great Grandaughter  from an ACIM VIEW POINT. I GET TEARS EYES THINKING WHAT SHE IS GOING THRU.” – JP

It is the same comforting a child as it is comforting an adult. First, get yourself out of the way. Put aside your own need to comfort and ask what the other needs. Most people just want to be heard and understood. So listen to your great-granddaughter and validate what you hear. “I see you are missing your Dad. I know it’s very painful”, etc. And you may want to give a lot of hugs! But make sure she actually wants the hugs and that you are not just satisfying your own urge to “fix” her.
Loss is a part of life in the world. Grief is not bad or wrong. It is the normal response that the body and the human psyche have to loss. It is a process and you may want to educate yourself about the process to help your great-granddaughter understand her physical and emotional feelings. She is going to experience loss in many forms as she goes through life and she needs to understand the experience. You can reassure her that time does make it better.
Don’t try to give your great-granddaughter more information than she’s asking for. Put aside your own need to inform or to educate. If you try to give her more information than she’s seeking then you will only confuse or overload her in her already overwhelmed state. If she does ask about where her father has gone, ask her what she thinks happened to him and let that be your guide. If she has her own ideas, then let them be. If she’s truly open and wants to know what you believe then you can share what you believe.

It is difficult as students of A Course in Miracles to share what we’ve learned and experienced with others because even though it is comforting to us it is not comforting to others who are not seeking Truth and are still identified with an ego (personal thought system). So you probably don’t want to say, “Your Dad never really existed in the first place so nothing happened when he died.” But you can point out that he is still with her in her thoughts. Or you can say something like there is a part of God (or whatever she will understand) in everyone and It is Eternal and That she shares with her dad.

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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.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ask: What about PMS making it hard to get past the ego?

“I notice that despite all of my work with the Holy Spirit and using correct perception of my ego's thoughts that PMS time still gives me a difficult time.  It seems that a hormone shift just changes my ability to deny the ego its "voice".  I know Eckhart Tolle addressed this as a manifestation of our collective experience here....I was wondering what your understanding is.” – MB

Mood-swings are just part of the experience of female selves. The degree varies from woman to woman and month to month. If you know your cycle you know that negative emotions can be chemically induced or exaggerated when you are pre-menstrual and when you are ovulating. You know not to take them seriously and to ride out the episodes each month. Sometimes, if it’s bad enough, it does make it seem like you cannot get past the ego. Irritability, depression, foreboding, and/or sadness are its playground and if you aren’t aware of what is going on it can have a field day with you! But if you pay attention to your cycle you can learn to detach from these episodes.

Since I have been in peri-menopause for the past few years, and negative mood-swings are par for the course during this stage, it has become crystal clear to me that peace does not come to the ego or to the self. I have peace, but the ego is still judgmental and the self still goes through the normal life processes. The peace allows me to detach from the ego and the self. But it has not changed them. It has changed my relationship to them. They are not reality.


It has also made it clear to me for how long I made the mistake of judging my progress toward peace by the mere moods of the ego or the self. I was looking in the wrong place! Peace came despite the ego and the self. It is wholly apart from them. This has allowed me to let them go – to forgive them. I rest in peace and observe the ego and the self without judging them or judging myself by them.

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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.