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Showing posts from September, 2007

Ascending to God

When I was first a student of A Course in Miracles I was very ambitious. I half-jokingly talked about “ascending” one day. I imagined myself in a white-robe and Birkenstocks, transparent, rising into a pure white cloud, down from which beautiful rays of light poured. I had no idea what I was talking about, of course, and deep down I didn’t think I ever could ascend. It seemed like something magical or something that required an unimaginable – and unobtainable -- power. It was far beyond me to overcome the world and rise up to God.

So I was amused the other day when one of my students, having read my blog about entering “stage five” of the development of trust, said that he was afraid I would “ascend” soon. I hadn’t thought of “ascending” in decades!

When I was a twenty-year-old kid, “ascending” was very appealing to the ego. The ego will always use whatever we are doing on our spiritual path to glorify itself. Ascending was a lofty and unobtainable goal, the ego’s favorite kind. It coul…

Development of Trust

Since I posted on my website my recognition of my own “Development of Trust” (M-4.I.A) (see Relationship With God at www.acimmentor.com), I’ve received a lot of questions about the six stages of building trust with the Holy Spirit. For example, what does “sorting out” and “valuable and valueless” mean in practical, everyday terms? How do you recognize which stage you are in? Do you need to know which stage you are in? And what is required of you in each stage?

What you are “sorting out” is Truth from illusion, which in everyday terms means: What is the Holy Spirit and what is the ego in your mind? The experiences of Truth (the Holy Spirit) is what is “valuable” and the experience of illusion (ego) is what is “valueless”. It is natural for you to keep what is valuable and to let go of what is valueless, but you can’t do this when you can’t tell them apart, so you have to learn to distinguish them from each other first. The sorting out process begins with you learning to hear and then to…

Wanting the Ego

What seems to be the fear of God is really the fear of your own reality. (T-9.I.2)

When I wrote about the terror of losing my individuality I felt returning from my last revelation (see Unsettled) I was writing about the terror of ego, which isn’t me. It was the exact same feeling as the fear of death at its most extreme, yet I saw that there is Something in me that doesn’t die. The fear of death, then, is really the fear of loss of ego, and what but ego could fear that? I only experience the ego’s fear in direct proportion to how identified I still am with the ego. Even as I felt that terror my feet were firmly planted in the peace I have acquired. I could not have looked at it otherwise, because before this peace I would have thought that losing the ego was losing me and would not have been able to cope.

To look upon the fear of God does need some preparation. Only the sane can look on stark insanity and raving madness with pity and compassion, but not with fear. For only if they shar…

There Is No "I" In God

It takes me a while to fully absorb the lessons I learn when I have a revelation like the one I shared a few blogs ago (see Unsettled). The revelation itself – the direct experience of God – cannot be shared. It’s when I am “coming back”, as it were, that I learn something different each time.

Spirit in its knowledge is unaware of the ego. It does not attack it; it merely cannot conceive of it at all. While the ego is equally unaware of spirit, it does perceive itself as being rejected by something greater than itself. (T-4.II.8)

I’ve understood all along that God cannot know ego and that ego cannot know God. God only knows that a Part of It is unhappy and has sent Help (the Holy Spirit) to undo the unhappiness. The ego only knows that there is Something Else that gets your attention. They are diametrically opposed and so have nothing in common over which to meet. But this was the first time I experienced in all its starkness this complete disconnection between these two parts of my min…

The Course's Unique Means of Awakening

A Course in Miracles teaches us that we have to sort out Truth from illusion but for many of us the first thing we have to sort out is the Course itself! It is very confusing because the language of the Course is Christian but it doesn’t take long to realize that its message is nothing like traditional Christianity. The philosophy of A Course in Miracles is much closer to eastern religious philosophy with its emphasis of “salvation” as awakening to Truth rather than salvation as deliverance from sin through the death of Jesus Christ.

Traditional Christianity is very much like the pagan religions it has sought to replace. Pagan religions developed to give people a sense that they had some control over their lives in the world. They believed that unseen forces controlled the physical world and they made rituals that would help them to appease these forces. Later these forces were called gods and people petitioned and sought to appease these gods, through prayers, rituals, behaviors and …

When Others Believe Differently

God can be experienced but cannot be conveyed in words. How do you explain Being and Oneness and Wholeness to the ego-identified who think that they are defined by what they do, that fragmentation is reality and who are so used to lack that they cannot distinguish it from wholeness? You cannot. The most you can do is help others to become motivated to open to experiencing God directly themselves.

Sometimes students want to know how to support others who have a different theology, especially those close to them. The important thing to understand is there is no right or wrong theology or belief system. The only value any belief system has – even A Course in Miracles -- is related to the degree to which it helps one feel willing to open directly to God. The question to ask yourself is, what part of their belief system can you share with them or reinforce in them to help them remember God is love? For example, many Christians believe they can be directly guided by the Holy Spirit and you c…

Physical Healing

In the decision to be separate from God, the part of your mind that chose to be not-God, ego, needed a means to make separation from God real to you. This is what the body is for. It is the “proof” that separation from God is real and the means the ego uses to make you feel whole again. The ego teaches you to use the body to get what you want in the world, be they situations, things or other bodies.

Though made to make separation from God real to you, the body is actually neutral. It has no feelings or impulses of its own. All of its feelings and impulses come from your mind. When you identify with the Holy Spirit you have no personal goal for the body. The Holy Spirit uses the body as a means to reach minds that perceive themselves as separate from God to teach them of their Oneness with God. When the Holy Spirit is done with the body, It will not destroy it, but lay it aside.

Yet sickness is not of the body, but of the mind. All forms of sickness are signs that the mind is split, and …

Unsettled

The next stage is indeed "a period of unsettling." Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for. And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed! (M-4-1A-7)

The other day as soon as I woke up it came into my mind that I have entered the “period of unsettling” described in the Manual for Teachers under (M-4) What are …

Can You Be Misled?

Wow, I’ve never received a response to any blog like I did to the last two (especially the first one) about money and A Course in Miracles. “Money” evokes a very powerful emotional response. I know that students always read their own thing into my blogs, but I’ve never before had a wide enough response to observe how varied the response can be. This reaction was a clear demonstration of how the mind always sees itself!

My blogs are often written well in advance of my posting them. What follows below was written before I posted the blogs about money and it seems appropriate to post it after them.

>>>>>>

Sometimes students of A Course in Miracles write to tell me that what I write in my blogs is wrong or misleading. But can I mislead you? Like everything else in the world, my blogs are neutral. They contain words, which are symbols of symbolic ideas, which will be interpreted by the reader according to their goal for the world.

I have made every effort to use words that a…