Showing posts from July, 2006

Overcoming Fear

All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. (T-2.I.4)

Think of something in this world you are afraid of right now.

You fear it because you believe it is real.
If it is real, then it means you have successfully overcome God.
Now you feel guilty and fear that God will punish you.
This is the true source of your fear.

When you turn your mind over to your Holy Spirit you are acknowledging:

Only God is real.
What is appearing is not real.
You don’t have the power to change what God created.
Therefore, there is nothing to feel guilty about or to fear.

Seeing God in Others

And meaning always looks within to find itself, and then looks out. All meaning that you give the world outside must thus reflect the sight you saw within; or better, if you saw at all or merely judged against. (T-20.VIII.10)

The Course tells us to see God in our “brothers”. It’s not referring to what the body can see – another body. Nor is it referring to another’s personality or ego. If this is what you see, you have looked within and seen ego first, before you looked outward.

In my own experience, I do not see God “in” anyone. When I am centered within in God, anything my eyes see is neutral and frankly unimportant or meaningless. And I just experience God, within, without, everywhere.

Everyone describes the experience differently, so don’t get too hung up on words. Some may say they see God “in” or “around” or “beyond” or “instead of”. The words are not important; the experience is. Just be certain that you will experience “out there” what you experience within yourself first.

So if y…

Overcoming the Appearance of Spirituality

Some of the early obstacles we have to overcome as students of the Course are our own ideas of what it is supposed to be like to be a truly spiritual person. All of these ideas are steeped in the belief that sacrifice is required to be accepted by God. They inspire fear and make a spiritual path seem undesirable. These ideas are heavily fostered by the world, and some students are initially offended when they learn these treasured ideas have nothing to do with truly being in touch with God. They expect – rightly – that if they take on these undesirable appearances the world will pat them on the back. Here’s a partial list of situations, behaviors, attitudes and attributes that have nothing to do with truly being spiritual but may be an obstacle to you:

Loving everyone to the point of not having boundaries
Being “nice” to the point of being a hypocrite
Serving others
Preaching to and converting others
Living in isolation from the world
Sacrificing what you value

The Experience of God

Ah, bliss!

Sometimes when you are stuck or feeling discouraged on your path it helps to remember the goal, not in general terms, but the actual experience you are moving toward. Even if you haven’t experienced peace and wholeness for a while, or if you are new to the Course and think you have not experienced them at all, it can help to imagine and contemplate what it is to be in God and free from all illusions. Words fall far short of the experience, and the experience cannot be conveyed to you by them, but try to imagine these experiences and see what happens:

Peace, pure and deep, that extends everywhere.
Joy and Love that rise to ecstasy.
Wholeness and fulfillment so complete the idea of lack or need does not even exist.
Security so sure doubt of any kind is not possible.

These experiences are Truth, they are what you really are. Now contemplate that!

The Pull of Self-Righteousness

Everyone makes an ego or a self for himself, which is subject to enormous variation because of its instability. He also makes an ego for everyone else he perceives, which is equally variable. (T-4.II.2)

The realization that you make an ego not just for yourself but for others too can be very uncomfortable. Because that means only your mind has to be changed. This is particularly frustrating to ego, which wants to see the world and others as having the problem that needs to be solved. But spiritual awakening is an inward path that requires you take full responsibility for what is in your mind.

When you embark on a spiritual path, ego can take refuge in self-righteousness. It may stay here for a long time, mitigating your discomfort by telling you that you are better-than others because you are spiritual, or because your spirituality is more “right” than theirs. The pull of self-righteousness is very strong and can be very subtle. Whenever you look on others or some situation in the world…

The Course and Morality

Do you prefer that you be right or happy? Be you glad that you are told where happiness abides, and seek no longer elsewhere. (T-29.VII.1)

You don’t have to be a student of the Course for long to realize it is not at all concerned with what is happening in the world. The Course does not lay out the “right way” for you to live in the world because the world is not your reality. There is no right or wrong because a dream is a dream is a dream. There is no “morality of God” because to God all of this is meaningless.

It can be a while, though, before you have the experiences of the holy instant and holy relationship that will lead you to see that this “life” you seem to be living is a dream, a projection of your mind. Until you have those experiences again and again it will be difficult for you to detach from what is happening in the world. An intellectual understanding of the Course is not enough to help you see that questions about how to live in the world are meaningless.

So, in the meant…