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Showing posts from April, 2007

How I Overcame My Addiction to Politics

I used to be a political junkie. I love to analyze and there is nothing so given to analysis like politics. Election years were the most absorbing to me and I spent my time flipping between 24 hour news programs and the C-Span channels to get my fix.

When I got back into A Course in Miracles after a few years away from it I lost much interest in politics. But when the U.S. went to war against Afghanistan – and then Iraq – I felt I “should” pay attention. It was simply that my ego had found a hook to draw me back. I spent a couple of years completely absorbed with politics again. It filled my mind and I was often in a tizzy over something in the news. I drove my life-partner crazy. I was not happy; I was addicted.

Finally I asked myself why I was watching this stuff. What was it for? Why was I making it real to me? It only fed my ego. I’ve heard that some say you have to watch this stuff to forgive it, but that doesn’t make any sense. When you forgive illusion you let it go. So I stopped…

Why Does the Course Emphasize Relationships?

You will never know that you are co-creator with God until you learn that your brother is co-creator with you. (T-9-VI.7)

In A Course in Miracles “creation” means Oneness with God. The quote above means that you will not know you are One with God until you learn you are One with others in this world.

Sometimes students ask me why the Course puts such an emphasis on relationships with others when it teaches you that God is within you. Why do you have to see God in others?

If your brothers are part of you, will you accept them? Only they can teach you what you are, for your learning is the result of what you taught them. What you call upon in them you call upon in yourself. (T-9.VI.3)

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)

We’re back to the law of mind: The mind always sees itself. There is really only One…

The Temptation of the Law of Mind

Many of my students have mentioned a book that is out now called “The Secret”. They all recognize that it is the law of attraction repackaged for today’s world. I have not read it, but it does seem to confuse some of my students who see parallels with what A Course in Miracles teaches about being responsible for what we see and experience.

The thing about the law of attraction is that it is real and it works. It is simply the law of mind: The mind always sees itself; it sees what it wants and what it believes. Understanding this law of mind often leads to the temptation to use it to make a better dream of separation from God rather than to transform the dream of separation into one of Oneness.

One of my students was particularly disturbed because friends of hers who follow “The Secret” now think they only have to ask God for something and it will show up. It is a fact that once you start communing with God your outer life improves as a reflection of your improved inner life. But that is…

Overcoming Jesus' Crucifixion

Long after I had accepted the ideas in A Course in Miracles I still had a lingering fear that if I totally gave my life to God I would eventually be asked to suffer through something horrible, like Jesus’ crucifixion. Even though I was not raised in any religion, the idea that God asks horrible sacrifice of those who serve Him best is so imbedded in our culture – and so reinforced by ego -- that it was not until fairly recently that I was able to overcome a superstitious feeling that I would be called upon to suffer. After many years of listening to and following the Holy Spirit and learning that the Holy Spirit always gives me so much more than I am asked to give, I have finally accepted that God does not need me to suffer at all.

If it has taken so long for me, who had no formal religious training, to accept this, how much harder is it for students who come from a religious background? Still some students tell me they are grateful that “Jesus died for my sins” when the Course makes …

Sex and the Course Student

Appetites are "getting" mechanisms, representing the ego's need to confirm itself. This is as true of body appetites as it is of the so-called "higher ego needs." Body appetites are not physical in origin. The ego regards the body as its home, and tries to satisfy itself through the body. But the idea that this is possible is a decision of the mind, which has become completely confused about what is really possible. (T-4.II.7)

Inevitably students of A Course in Miracles come around to the question of sex and its role in their lives now that they are on a path to become teachers of God. They learn that pain and pleasure are the same, that whatever the body experiences is in the mind, that God did not make bodies, etc.

Sex plays several different roles in our lives: Pleasure, bonding/connection, power and reproduction. So let’s look at each of these individually.

Pleasure

Pain compels attention, drawing it away from Him and focusing upon itself. Its purpose is the sa…

Error and Sin

It is essential that error be not confused with sin, and it is this distinction that makes salvation possible. For error can be corrected, and the wrong made right. But sin, were it possible, would be irreversible. (T-19.II.2)

A Course in Miracles makes a distinction between error and sin as a way to release you from guilt. Error is correctible, and as such has no real effects. Sin is imperfection-made-real and cannot be undone. The Course uses the word “error” to describe our perception of separation from God because it is not real – it is only a perception so it can be undone. And it teaches that "sin" cannot happen at all because you cannot change God’s creation. This world and everything you do in it is an error in perception that has already been corrected by the Holy Spirit within you. You learn this as you make the Holy Spirit manifest in your life by extending holiness into all that you see. By seeing your holiness everywhere you realize you have not left God and rele…

Opening Your Mind to God's Help

There’s a parable that many of you have probably heard in some form that I am going to share here:

An old man wakes one morning to find his town flooded and water lapping at his porch. Soon a fire truck comes sloshing through the water and the firefighters offer to take him to higher ground. “That’s okay,” the old man responds. “God will take care of me.”

The next morning the water has risen above the first floor. The old man is looking out a second-storey window when a boat comes by and the rescuers offer him a ride. “No thank you,” the old man says. “God will take care of me.”

Overnight the water continues to rise and morning finds the old man sitting on his roof. A helicopter appears and a rescuer descends with a basket to help take the old man to safety. “I’m okay,” the old man reassures him. “God will take care of me.”

The old man drowns that day. When he reaches heaven he sees God and asks, “Why didn’t you save me?”

And God replied, “I sent you a fire truck, a boat and a helicopter. …

Letting Go of "Why"

Everyone is born into this world that is not of God and therefore is not real. Because of this A Course in Miracles calls this a dream or an illusion. There are really two layers to this dream: The collective dream we all dream together that makes up the whole world and what happens in it; and your own individual dream within this dream. The collective dream is made up of all of our individual dreams. There are areas where we have agreed to agree – like the earth is round, the sky is blue, etc. But the collective dream is also full of conflict because each of us is having our own dream and pulling against everyone else’s dream. Even where we agree we often have subtle differences – the sky is blue, yes, but what shade of blue is it to you?

All this is the separation. None of it matters. It does not matter what we have made collectively or individually. It is not of God. Sometimes students get bogged down in why. Why did I make this painful situation in my life? Why did we collectively …