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 the Characteristics of God’s Teacher? Development of Trust section. I also realized that “unsettling” was a great description. Oy.

What precipitated this was a visit to pure joy a week before while meditating. The joy was so intense that if I had experienced any more of it there would have been nothing but joy. There would have been no “I” left. It was wonderful. And fast on the heels of this experience came terror. The terror came from “I”. For a moment I visited the split in my mind: The Joy and Totality and Completion of One, Which contains nothing else; and the terror of the individual self that has just seen its own extinction. There is no “I” in God.

When I have these experiences there is a lot I learn. It can take days, even weeks to absorb it all. What has changed is I no longer deny the experience and force the fear into my subconscious, where it erupts inappropriately all over the place. I still can’t face the fear head on – it’s much too intense to tolerate. But I’m able to glance at it and I feel it as a low-grade anxiety and unsettledness. This may not seem like progress, but it is. Acknowledging fear is the first step in its undoing.

For a few days I couldn’t meditate for fear I’d go “there” again. I could hardly acknowledge the Presence of the Holy Spirit, Who I eventually let in enough to be reassured that I would not be hurled into Complete Joy until I had let go of fear and went willingly.

Everything I have been through up to this point has been to bring me here, to the point where I could look on this split in my mind directly. Now the real work begins. I can see vividly the gap between the pure Being of God and the gobbledygook of thoughts/world/ego. The terror that seems to stand in the way of my letting go of individuality so that Oneness can just be again seems immovable. This is where I really have to let go and trust I will be guided through/around/over the fear.

The peace of the stage before “unsettling” has not left me. It is the foundation on which I stand while learning to “lay all judgment aside” – another way to say “stop thinking with the ego”. I could not face the fear without it. I am drawn to the bliss of God’s Being but I still desire “I” – yes, this is the whole conflict of the whole path, but I have shifted to a deeper awareness of the dichotomy. I see the exact choice to be made. And I feel relief. I’ve never before been able to identify which stage I am in. Since the only time I felt any “reasonable” peace (a relative term), as referred to in stage 4, has been for the past couple of years, I was pretty sure I was in stage 4, but not certain. I was always aware I wasn’t fully “there” yet, that there was still fear to uncover and deal with before I could reach real, complete peace. Now that the ground has truly shifted beneath my feet I am grateful to be at the “end” – even if it takes “a long, long time”.

Stay tuned as I am sure I will be sharing what I learn.

One-on-one study, support and guidance are available for students of A Course in Miracles who want inner peace, harmonious relationships and a deep sense of purpose faster and easier. Visit www.acimmentor.com. There you will also find an archive-by-topic for this blog and booklets to deepen your understanding of the Course.


Father Luke said…
Yes Liz. Long time listener, first
time caller.

Question: Will we be seeing a post on
The Unhealed Healer any time soon?

I'll take my answer on the air.

- -
Father Luke
ACIM Mentor said…
Interestingly, I have had in mind a blog about people who work in the healing professions. This may touch on some of the issues of the unhealed healer. Stay tuned.

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