Showing posts from February, 2007

You're in Ego? So What?

Students will report to me that they feel guilty and like they are failing because they have lost their temper, they have been in a bad mood, they became inflated over a compliment or deflated over a setback. So what? The goal is not to be a perfect person or to live a perfect life. The goal of spiritual awakening is to be happy and whole again.

All these mood shifts indicate is that you are listening to ego and believing what it says. Feeling guilty or like a failure over these mood shifts indicates you are still listening to the ego. The Holy Spirit never inspires guilt, knowing it is never justified. The Holy Spirit also knows you cannot fail because you are Part of God and this has not changed.

You have to be as willing to overlook your own ego – forgive – as you are willing to overlook the ego in others. They are the same thing. Ego is ego not matter where you see it. You want peace and this may be why you are bothered by these mood swings. But you don’t overcome the ego by trying …

But It's Not Real, Right?

You cannot know that your ego and the world are unreal until you experience Reality. A direct revelation of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the holy instant and the holy relationship are the experiences that lead you to this awareness. You must experience your Real Self and you must experience Oneness to know that what you have been experiencing is not true.

Many students reach a point where they try to accept the intellectual idea that the world is not real without having experienced Reality. They end up deeply conflicted because they still value the world. Sometimes they use this idea as a form of denial so as not to deal with painful issues in their life. They will say things like, “I shouldn’t feel this grief/depression/anger because it’s over something that isn’t real, right?” or “I shouldn’t want a special relationship/money/material objects/recognition because they aren’t real, right?” But you wouldn’t feel these emotions or desires except that they are for things that hav…

From Intending to Willing

Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough. But trust implicitly your willingness, whatever else may enter. (T-18.IV.2)

In one of my many read-throughs of A Course in Miracles in my first years as a student the line above came to my notice and boy was I upset. Certainly it meant to say “trust your good intentions” – that “not” must be a mistake. But of course the next two lines clearly indicate that the “not” was meant to be there.

I wanted peace soooo badly and I had oodles of good intentions. But I didn't have peace and it was clear that wanting and intending weren't enough. What is “willingness”, how is it different from “intending”? When you are willing you are open to receiving what you want now. It is demonstrated by taking some action. Intending implies that at some future time you will accept what you want. Intending is passive.

The difference between intending and willing is true for both worldly desires and the desire for inner peace. Think of all the things yo…

When Is It an Idol?

There are certain things in the world that practically speaking we need or want. Some of them can become idols, however. Money, relationships, material objects, social or business positions, etc. So how do you know when you have turned something into an idol?

The most obvious answer is that when you are unwilling to turn something over to the Holy Spirit, it is an idol for you. It has become an end in itself rather than a means of supplying you or supporting you or putting you in a certain place at a certain time so you can fulfill your role as a teacher of God. When something is an end for you rather than a means, you think you need it for your salvation. For example, an ambitious person may turn over everything in their life to the Holy Spirit – except their career goals. They still think they need to attain a certain position to be successful (fulfilled), to have recognition (love), or to make a lot of money (security). In this circumstance, their career is a replacement for God – i…

From Seeking to Having

The role assigned to your own mind in this plan, then, is simply to determine what, other than itself, must change if you are to be saved. According to this insane plan, any perceived source of salvation is acceptable provided that it will not work. This ensures that the fruitless search will continue, for the illusion persists that, although this hope has always failed, there is still grounds for hope in other places and in other things. Another person will yet serve better; another situation will yet offer success.

Such is the ego's plan for your salvation. Surely you can see how it is in strict accord with the ego's basic doctrine, "Seek but do not find." For what could more surely guarantee that you will not find salvation than to channelize all your efforts in searching for it where it is not?

When I was young I enjoyed seeking and learning. I would haunt new-age bookstores seeking for The Answer – despite being a student of the Course. In time I found …

Keeping Your Mind Open

To judge means to decide for yourself what something means. To not judge, then, is to keep an open mind, to not decide what any situation means.

For example, let’s say you are on your way to work and your car breaks down. Most of us decide in such a situation that it is a “bad” thing. You are going to be late for work; you are probably going to be behind in your work and may have to work late; you are going to have to go through the hassle (and expense, if you don’t have a roadside assistance program) of being towed and finding a way to get to work; and of course you are going to have to pay for repairs.

But what if you left your mind open and didn’t decide for yourself what these things meant?

What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? (W-135.18)

Some students are able to accept right off that everything that happens to them is “good”. For me, if I introduce the…


In the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible. There is no past or future, and the idea of birth into a body has no meaning either once or many times. Reincarnation cannot, then, be true in any real sense. Our only question should be, "Is the concept helpful?" And that depends, of course, on what it is used for. If it is used to strengthen the recognition of the eternal nature of life, it is helpful indeed. Is any other question about it really useful in lighting up the way? Like many other beliefs, it can be bitterly misused. At least, such misuse offers preoccupation and perhaps pride in the past. At worst, it induces inertia in the present. In between, many kinds of folly are possible. (M-24.1)

I always find it funny to read what A Course in Miracles has to say about reincarnation (Manual for Teachers, #24). It says that reincarnation is not real, yet it says you don’t have to give up your belief in it. It says that the only value in the belief in reincarnation is tha…

The “One Son” Needed to Save the World

In the Manual for Teachers there is the question, “How Many Teacher’s of God Are Needed to Save the World?” The answer is:

The answer to this question is–one. One wholly perfect teacher, whose learning is complete, suffices. This one, sanctified and redeemed, becomes the Self Who is the Son of God. He who was always wholly spirit now no longer sees himself as a body, or even as in a body. Therefore he is limitless. And being limitless, his thoughts are joined with God's forever and ever. His perception of himself is based upon God's Judgment, not his own. Thus does he share God's Will, and bring His Thoughts to still deluded minds. He is forever one, because he is as God created him. He has accepted Christ, and he is saved. (M-12.1)

Some students seem to think this refers to Jesus and that he has already done this. Others think there is someone yet to come who will do this. But there is only One Son, one Christ one Spirit; and It is the same in Jesus and in you and in everyo…