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Showing posts from July, 2007

Pollyanna and True Perception

There is some confusion about the difference between true perception, denial and being a “Pollyanna”.

Denial and Pollyannishness both start from the premise that how you perceive what the body’s eyes show you is fact, and that your experience (your feelings about it) comes from the person, thing, situation or event you are looking upon. In denial, you pretend you are not seeing and experiencing what you really do believe is fact. If you are a Pollyanna, you believe the situation is “bad” but that you are going to make the best of it. You are going to make lemonade from lemons.

True perception, however, first recognizes that what the body’s eyes show you is neutral and that how you experience it is determined by your own learning goal, not the person, thing, situation or event itself. True perception recognizes that the world’s only value is as a classroom and that you get to choose what you want to learn in it. True perception interprets the world as a means for remembering that you are…

Perception is Interpretation

Knowledge is not the remedy for false perception since, being another level, they can never meet. The one correction possible for false perception must be true perception. (C-4.3)

In God, you Know and what you know is God. In God your Knowledge is complete and you have nothing to learn. In the decision to be not-God, however, you gave up Knowledge and learning was made to fill this lack. Perception was made as the means to learn who you are and the world, which is the opposite of God in every way (material form, finite, time-bound, diverse) was made to teach you that you are not-God.

There has been much confusion about what perception means, because the word is used both for awareness and for the interpretation of awareness. Yet you cannot be aware without interpretation, for what you perceive is your interpretation. (T-11.VI.2)

But like any classroom, the world itself is neutral and perception, being interpretation, is a choice. What you learn in the world depends on the teacher you cho…

The Truth Really Does Set You Free

The knowledge that illuminates not only sets you free, but also shows you clearly that you are free. (T-2.I.4)

Somewhere in the beginning of my spiritual searching, in a book about Buddhism or Hinduism, I read that the world is an illusion that is the source of all pain and that the only way to peace was to let go of all attachment to this illusion. I realized the Truth of this idea and it set me free. I felt the uplifting peace and joy that always attends true freedom.

This freedom and peace and joy became the experience that helped me recognize the Truth when I embarked on my study of A Course in Miracles and other spiritual teachings. I knew a concept pointed to Truth when I felt this freedom. I knew I finally grasped an idea when I felt this freedom.

Should I wait in chains which have been severed for release, when God is offering me freedom now? (W-279.1)

This is not to say that I personally liked an idea that set me free. In fact, I was always personally threatened by it. I resisted…

Reality and Value

Some students tell me that they go around looking at the world thinking, “This isn’t real.” Then they wonder why they are depressed! You cannot fill your mind with thoughts of unreality and experience anything but emptiness.

What is seen as "reality" is simply what the mind prefers. (M-8.3)

In the world, the experience of “real” and “unreal” is one of “valuable” and “not valuable”. What you value is more real to you. At first, the ego and its world seem more real to you because you value them more. Then you go through a long phase of valuing both the Presence of the Holy Spirit and the ego/world. You vacillate between peace and conflict because both seem to be equally real to you. Finally, as you value the Holy Spirit more and more the ego/world starts to fade from your values and therefore your attention. It seems less important and therefore less real to you.

You see the world you value. (T-16.VI.5)

You cannot force yourself to not value what you do value. You cannot force you…

Different Expressions of the Holy Relationship

The holy relationship A Course in Miracles most often refers to – especially in the Text – is one where both people in the relationship have asked to see their holiness reflected in the other. They have decided together to change the goal of the relationship:

You undertook, together, to invite the Holy Spirit into your relationship. (T-17.V.11)

In the Course, the Holy Spirit is speaking directly to Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, who together accepted the Holy Spirit into their often contentious working relationship and who together brought A Course in Miracles into the world. What the Holy Spirit had to teach them about their specific relationship can be generalized to all of us.

Of course, you can look upon another’s holiness at any time, even in the most casual circumstances. But for most students the first time they invite the Holy Spirit into a relationship it is with someone they know well. Often, they find the relationship conflicted in some way or they recognize it as a special…

It's An Internal World

Peace is not a material object or a thought or way of being or form of any kind, but an internal experience – a feeling. What you are seeking is within you. So are all the experiences of perceived separation from God: Irritation, anger, depression, fear, emptiness, loneliness – all of these are internal experiences.

It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. (M-17.4)

The ego tells you that the external world causes your feelings. You are angry, depressed, fearful, lonely, etc. because the world is a crappy place or because someone has treated you in a bad way. But what really happens is you decide to feel separated from God and then you look outward and interpret the world in such a way as to justify your feelings of separation. You can just as easily decide to feel peace and look outward and interpret the world in such a way as to justify your feelings of Oneness.

Perception follows judgment. H…