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Showing posts from April, 2006

What Happens When I "Die"?

This question does not have a real answer because you were never born and so can never die. You have no beginning and no ending. Yet, though they learn this, students often ask me what will happen when they “die”. Only in ego could one ask this because, being unreal, only to ego does death have meaning.

The body’s only use is as a way to bring the awareness of One Mind to what seems to be many minds. When you have learned this, the body will no longer manifest illness or injury. The Course tells us that when the body’s usefulness is over, you will merely put the body aside.

If you have not awakened, then the body may seem to die from some worldly cause. What is True in your mind will remain with Truth; the personal self will seem to be gone; and the part of your mind that dreams will continue to dream until it chooses to awaken.

Ego offers “death”, Spirit offers awakening. Questions about death reveal questions about your identity. Part 12 of the Manual for Teachers, “How Many Teachers o…

Quieting Your Mind

Once I read about a man who had become a Buddhist and was struggling to quiet his mind while meditating. The Buddhists use a technique that entails focusing on your own breathing. He went to a priest and asked for help. The priest said, “After you have listened to your breathing for five years come back and I will help you.” Of course, after five years he no longer needed any help.

It seems to take many, many, many years to get to a quiet mind meditating. But is the goal to have a quiet mind or to connect with God? You can connect with God even with a noisy mind. You simply need to find the quiet among all the noise and rest there as all the commotion goes past. Your mind does not have to be absolutely quiet to connect with God.

One technique I use is to take a listening attitude and to pick out the quiet in all the cacophony of thought. It is much like trying to pick out a single instrument while listening to music, or a single voice while listening to song, or a single voice in a crow…

A Special Relationship With Money

Let not their form deceive you. Idols are but substitutes for your reality. In some way, you believe they will complete your little self, for safety in a world perceived as dangerous, with forces massed against your confidence and peace of mind. (T-29.VIII.2)

You make idols of others and have special relationships with them that are supposed to replace your relationship with your Self. But you can also make idols of things that are supposed to fill in some perceived lack in yourself.

One of these special relationships can be with money. Some people pursue money in such a way that it is obvious that money is an idol for them. This may show up as being greedy or as being stingy. Either way, you can see that money is viewed not as a means to an end, but an end in itself.

But with students of the Course what I often see is a special relationship in which money is viewed as some evil in itself. There may be discomfort with what they earn if they perceive themselves as earning a lot; distrust …

Reading the Course in Context

We’ve all seen examples of a quote taken out of context, whether its from a politician or a religious teaching. This is when something someone has said or written is excerpted without regard for what the speaker or writer intended it to mean. A classic example of this is the quote “The truth shall set you free” from the Bible. Did you know this quote is used by the FBI? Certainly, “truth” here does not mean the facts of a criminal investigation! And religious extremists are well known for picking quotes out of their religious teachings in order to justify their cause.

There are a couple of ways this can be done with the Course. One is to take it out of its immediate context – out of its place in a paragraph. For example:

Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. (T-27.VIII.6)

You can read “remembered not to laugh” as forgot to laugh; or as remembered to not laugh -- as though He was not supposed to laugh. If it’s the l…

Other "Versions" of the Course

The urtext of the Course is the original, unedited text of the Course. There is also another version, called the “Hugh Cayce” version (because they sent it to him) that was only slightly edited, that came after the urtext and before publication. Some Course students have taken issue with the editing of the Course by Helen Schucman, Bill Thetford and Ken Wapnick. They feel that Helen scribed some things that are very important to them that they wish she had been included in the published version of the Course.

The excerpts I have seen from the urtext all contain ideas that are included elsewhere in the published version. Ken Wapnick has described the Course as a spiral reaching upward, addressing the same ideas again and again each time from a slightly different view. In this way, the Course is self-correcting. Helen had a hard time hearing in the beginning, and has said the first five chapters are harder to read because of this. Yet each idea contained in those early chapters is also …

Actually, You Are Already "There"

The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God's Son, in that same instant was God's Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all. (M-2.2)

The journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. (T-8.VI.9)

In essence, spiritual awakening is really a process of realizing where you already are. Just as when you sleep at night and awaken to find that, despite your dreams, you have not gone anywhere. While you slept your mind wandered, that is all. Though it seemed real at the time, nothing real actually happened. You are unchanged.

Be still and know that you are in God and there is no place else to go.

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Give Yourself a Break!

The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore, this self does not exist at all. And anything it seems to do and think means nothing. It is neither bad nor good. It is unreal, and nothing more than that. It does not battle with the Son of God. It does not hurt him, nor attack his peace. It has not changed creation, nor reduced eternal sinlessness to sin, and love to hate. What power can this self you made possess, when it would contradict the Will of God? (W-93.5)

You haven’t done anything wrong, ever. You’ve made a mistake about your own Identity, but that is correctible. And it is your Holy Spirit that corrects it. You don’t have to do anything but let the correction happen.

When I led a study group the students would sometimes come in depressed because they felt they had fallen off their path that week: They let trivial things bother them; they forgot to do their lessons; they lost their temper; they’ve been angry and depressed all week; they yelled at their kids; they forgot to …

Either God is Love or God Made the World

What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist. (W-14.1)

The reason many of the world’s religions are so contradictory is that they try to reconcile a hellish world with a loving God. Yet only one of these things can be true. No one can look on this world and think the god that made it is love. And if God is love, it must follow that God did not make this hellish world.

Some try to reconcile hell and God by telling you that God has a purpose, even if you cannot see it. You are supposed to just submit to misery and trust that it is all for your own good. Yet,

God has no secrets. He does not lead you through a world of misery, waiting to tell you, at the journey's end, why He did this to you. (T-22.I.3)

It takes a while for new students to break the habit of thinking that God made the world. So many prayers of gratitude that are learned in tr…

Overcoming Loneliness

You cannot maintain the illusion of loneliness if you are not alone. (T-8.IV.2)

For loneliness in God must be a dream. (T-17.VII.10)

All loneliness is caused by the decision to be separate from your Self. It doesn’t matter how it shows up or when it shows up. You may think you are lonely because you are in a crowd and no one is talking to you; or because someone you love is gone; or because others are not meeting your needs. These are all symptoms of loneliness, not the cause of loneliness. First you see yourself as separate from God; then you project this outside yourself; then you seek outside yourself to fix this. This is how loneliness is caused and then maintained.

Everyone realizes at some point that the presence of other bodies/egos does not dispel loneliness. Loneliness is an internal experience caused by an internal separation. It is the True You that you seek.

The way to overcome loneliness is to go within, quiet your mind and invite your Self to join you. This never fails to di…

Why Hasn't the Message of the Course Spread?

New students, who are so blown away by the Course and its effect on their lives, often wonder how it could have been published thirty years ago and still remain largely unknown. Actually, many, many have heard of the Course; many have looked it over; and some have become students. But the only student you have to be concerned with is yourself.

In their enthusiasm new students make the mistake of seeing others in pain and wanting to get them to accept the Course as a way out of it. This overlooks the central lesson of the Course, which is that the journey is within and it is your own mind that you need to change. You do not have to be concerned with “others”, but rather with your own perception of them. If you see others as lacking, it is you who has projected lack outward. The urge to evangelize the Course is actually the temptation to not practice the Course by continuing to see the problem “out there”.

It is important that now that you have heard the Call you answer it. This is all yo…