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Showing posts from 2008

How to Stop Taking Responsibility for Others

Students often want to know if I am also detached from those who are closest to me, and the answer is yes. I live in the recognition that all I am experiencing are my own thoughts, so I do not get caught up in ego-thoughts as though they are reality. I don’t mean that I am perfect at this, but correction comes much quicker than it used to. Even in my mind when I say “they” I am aware that the “they” are my own thoughts, not “others” who are outside of me. I’m aware I’m really always speaking to myself, even now as I write this. My path is wholly inward.

In the beginning I was of course very much in ego and “others” as something real outside my mind were very real to me. I was also very co-dependent, and I felt it was my responsibility to “fix” others when I saw they were hurting or unhappy. When I learned to change my co-dependent behavior I still felt guilty for not fixing others because changing my behavior did not change my mind. Change came when I decided to accept what A Course in…

Instant Karma

Many years ago a student of A Course in Miracles shared with me that her friend was worried about something negative she did to another because she was afraid of “karma” – meaning she feared that there was going to be a negative consequence in the world for her for the negative action she’d done. She was afraid that if her actions didn’t come back to haunt her in this life they would in another. I explained to her that karma is actually instant: What you give you receive – immediately. If you are coming from Love you experience Love right now, and if you are coming from fear you experience fear right now. There’s no great mystery here, nor is there any delay in consequences. But you can see here how the ego is always concerned with the past and the future and overlooks the present. You are experiencing something right now, and that is the consequence of the thoughts that you are having right now. You can only undo your sense of separation from God right now. The ego would prefer that …

Understanding One Mind

A Course in Miracles teaches us that there is only One Mind, but when it seems like your only experience is being a unique individual mind among many unique individual minds it is very hard to understand that there is only One Mind! I was given a means of explaining One Mind, but it is too long for an article, so I have put this metaphor on a page at my website, and the link to it is below. Keep in mind that the more ego-identified you are the more what is written in this story will just be theory to you. But as you peel away the many layers of your ego-identification, and individual identity begins to fall away from you, the way this story explains One Mind will make more and more sense to you. Eventually, it will be the concept of many minds that will not make sense to you!

As a bonus, in the process of going over this story I found that it provides the answers to many of the questions that students ask: If God is all there is and God is Perfect, how could the separation have happene…

Choose the Experience, Not the Appearance

“I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T-21.II.2)

The ego is always concerned with what is appearing in the world because it wants you to believe that the world is your cause and that you are its effect. It tells you that what you experience is determined by what is happening in the world. The Holy Spirit, however, knows that you first choose the experience that you wish to have, and then you interpret what is happening in the world according to the choice that you have made. The world was made to be separation from God, and the ego uses it as such. But the Holy Spirit uses it to teach you forgiveness. If you choose to experience conflict – ego – then you will judge the world to make it real to you. If you choose to experience Peace then you will overlook – forgive – the world. Some students interpret the third sentence in the qu…

Why Do Anything?

Why Do Anything?

Last week I received an anonymous email, which begins with a quote from my article last week:

>> Some students read the term "Son of God" in A Course in Miracles to mean everyone in the world collectively, but actually "everyone" in the world is only an erroneous idea in the one mind of the Son of God (Part of God).<<

So why should we listen to you, Liz, if you are only an erroneous idea? This logic is hilarious. If what you say is true, none of your mentoring is worth anything. Isn't that clear? :-)

Let’s begin with the idea that I am an erroneous idea. In my article I didn’t say that I am an erroneous idea, only that “Liz” is an erroneous idea. I am One with God, so I exist Eternally, but not as ego. However, to ego my True Being is the same as ego’s non-existence! What I read behind this person’s statement about the logic of the message of A Course in Miracles, and the worth of my mentoring, is a lament that I hear in ma…

Reading the Signs

Whenever something dramatic happens in the world I hear from students who read something into it indicating the “Son of God’s” regression from or progression toward God, and they share with me their own despair or hope because of it. Lately students have been interpreting the world economy and the U.S. elections. What these students are seeing is the judgment of the ego within themselves that something in the world is “good” or “bad”, and they are deciding that what they think is “good” means that the “Son of God” is moving toward God, and what they think is “bad” is a sign that the “Son of God” is moving away from God. Whenever you “read the signs” out there in the world – or even in just your own life - you are simply seeing the ego’s interpretation that the world is real and meaningful. You are perceiving nothing and interpreting it as something. The Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the world is always the same: The world is not real, so you do not have to interpret it, or give it m…

The Holy Relationship vs. Soul Mates

Sometimes when students of A Course in Miracles talk to me about the Holy relationship I realize that they are confusing it with the idea of “soul mate”. In fact, if I hadn’t had both experiences I think I would have a hard time understanding the distinction myself. They are completely opposite experiences. “Soul mates”, as an experience of the special relationship, is about individuality, ego, and limitation. The Holy relationship, though a special circumstance with one other that you once perceived as separate from you, extends your awareness of yourself beyond individuality to the One Spirit That is Everywhere.

In the soul mate experience you feel as though you have found your other half, or someone who completes you. You may feel that you knew them before, maybe in another life. But it’s limited to the two of you, even if it’s limited to your “souls” or spirits. What happens in the "soul mate" experience is you and another unconsciously find in each other similarities to …

It's Only Temptation

I’ve always loved the use of the idea of “temptation” in A Course in Miracles: You cannot make yourself separate from God, so listening to ego is only a “temptation” to be separate from God. Your separation from God can never be real; it is never more than a temptation.

There is only One Mind, and it is yours. There is no “God’s” Mind, “my” mind, “their” mind. There is only One Spirit, and there is only one ego, too. There is no “my” ego or “their” ego. What you perceive is in your mind, and it is either an extension of Love, or a projection of ego/separation. Those are your only choices. The great deception of ego is the many forms it takes, but it is all the same because all illusion is illusion. So when you are affected by appearances of separation in any form you are seeing your own temptation to make separation from God real to you. It does not matter where you think the idea of separation is coming from; if it affects you, you are seeing your own temptation.

When you are bothered …

Staying Centered in God

I have offered my Four Habits for Inner Peace to help students stay centered in God, but many report to me that they are confused as to how to apply them on a daily basis. (The Four Habits should come after you have completed the lessons in the Workbook). Understand that if you find it difficult to have only one thing to do each day – stay centered in God – that this is just your resistance because you have other goals. In fact, one of the benefits of using the Four Habits is that they make you bump up against your obstacles to Peace sooner, and one of those obstacles is your having other goals besides Peace. So if you are resistant to centering your life in God this resistance is the first obstacle you must overcome. You do this through persistence, and in time, the rewards of practicing the Four Habits will motivate you to keep doing them, and you will overcome this obstacle.

Practically, keeping yourself centered throughout the day using the Four Habits looks like this:

As soon as yo…

The Holy Spirit Does It All

Though it makes the ego in me squirm when I admit this to myself, the truth is that none of the considerable (though not complete) Peace I experience, nor any of my awareness of God, nor my knowledge of A Course in Miracles is due to anything that I have done. The Holy Spirit has really done it all.

In my last article I mentioned the arrogance of me thinking that I know what I need to learn. Unfortunately, this has characterized much of my spiritual path. I would work and work on myself in a certain direction only to find the Holy Spirit causing a shift in me that had nothing to do with what I was working on! In other words, I am where I am not because of anything I have done, but in spite of what I have done. All the Holy Spirit has really needed all along is my little willingness, just as the Course says. Truly, I need do nothing.

So I’ve learned to do nothing but to be open to God so that the Holy Spirit can do the rest. I do not need to judge what I am asked to do, or not asked to …

Because It's Not True

A couple of weeks ago I watched a movie that left me contemplating loss. The movie had a happily-ever-after ending but I got to thinking about how the characters’ relationships would change over the years, how nothing stays the same, people leave, people die, etc. I was getting depressed so, in my arrogant belief that I know what I need to be learning, I started thinking about loss in a way to get myself to stop valuing the world. I was trying to use the temporary nature of everything in the world to loosen even further any hold that I still give it over me. Then I thought that if I’m going to think about this I should do so with the Holy Spirit. So I turned to the Holy Spirit in my mind and the Holy Spirit brought me up short by saying, “I don’t want you to give up the world because it’s painful; I want you to give it up because it’s not true.”

Wow. Once again I’m slapped upside the head with the awareness of how easy it is to fall into the ego-trap of making the world real to me. The…

True Justice

"Beware of the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated." (T-26.X.4)

Years ago, after taking a total break from A Course in Miracles for a couple of years, I returned to studying it and joined a local study group to get back into the groove. At that point I had almost totally forgotten the core teachings of the Course. One day at the study group a gentleman who was involved in a lawsuit (I cannot remember if he was suing or being sued) started talking about “justice”. He felt that the Course somehow supported his cause because he was certain he was “just”. This didn’t feel quite accurate to me, but I had gotten so far away from the Course that I wasn’t sure what was meant by “justice” in the Course. And since then I sometimes run into students who feel that something is their just due, or that they have been unfairly deprived by another, and they will say, “I know God wants me to have what is rightfully mine” or “Why would God deprive me of this?”

In essence you can sa…

Stories for the Separation

Once upon a time when separation from God was more real to me than God I had to have a story for the separation. I had a narrative for the separation, and I have even offered it in my articles. But as I practice the Holy Instant more and more, and I spend my time living present to the Presence of the Holy Spirit, I find that all stories for the separation simply crumble as I try to grasp them. I literally become disoriented because there is no story for the separation because the separation isn’t real. Any story about it is totally made up, and I can see that now.

Sometimes students ask me about how the separation works: Is reincarnation real, what happens when they die, is the story of Jesus real, how will the Great Awakening unfold, what is their part in it, etc. And over the years students have shared various stories with me that they brought with them to their study of A Course in Miracles, and that they feel the Course justifies. The Course itself offers a narrative for the separa…

A Choice, Not a Compromise

A Course in Miracles makes it very clear that Truth and illusion cannot be reconciled. If there is any illusion in Truth, then Truth isn’t Truth. And if you bring illusion to Truth illusion disappears because unreality is dissolved by Reality.

For many years I tried to bring the two together. Every now and then I’d sit myself down and try to come up with some sort of philosophy to live by that was based on my experiences of Oneness in direct revelations with God, and in the Holy relationship. I struggled to come up with a way to live, the appropriate attitudes to strike, and the politics to adopt in light of my experiences. But there was no relationship between my experience of the world and my experiences of Oneness, and I couldn’t make them come together at all. I’d always reach a point of relief when I saw the contrast between the two experiences clearly, but I didn’t really want to understand that, either. So I’d wander off, only to come back again and again to try to find some way…

Arguing About the Course

Occasionally a student writes to tell me that the way that I interpret A Course in Miracles is wrong. Sometimes they say this outright, sometimes they couch this statement in more subtle terms. This is fine with me because what students think of me or what I write is about them, not about me. But I used to feel trapped because I didn’t want to get into dueling interpretations. If I just say “you’re right” when what they are saying contradicts what I just wrote, then they’ll think I’m lying. If I defend what I wrote – which I don’t even feel is required - I’m making them wrong, and I don’t believe this. There is no one “right” way to read the Course – there are only helpful and unhelpful ways to read it. And this evolves over time. What is a helpful interpretation for you now might not have been so before, and it might not be so in the future. Your Teacher is within you, and your Teacher knows what you need to hear now, and what you can understand now. So I asked the Holy Spirit how I …

"You" in the Course

A student has asked me to write about the use of “you” in A Course in Miracles, some of which makes him uncomfortable in his ego-identification.

In the world, you have three experiences of “you”: “You” in your identification with ego; “you” as the neutral decision-maker who can choose ego or Holy Spirit; “you” as Part of God (Christ Mind; Holy Spirit). The Real “you” is Part of God. The decision-maker “you” is, like the ego, your separated mind, but it has stepped back from the active separation-seeking of the ego, and so is neutralized enough to be able to choose either further separation (ego), or healing (Holy Spirit).

A Course in Miracles addresses “you” in each of these experiences at different times. But the Course is a conversation between Helen Schucman and our Christ Mind (represented to her by Jesus), and the “you” in the Course is quite specific to Dr. Schucman and her experiences as she took down the Course (for example, for her “your brother” referred specifically to Bill T…

Sometimes Forgiveness Means Moving On

So often I hear from students who are deliberately staying in a painful situation because they think that they “should”, they think that they are still in the situation because they haven’t forgiven “enough”, they are waiting for the “miracle” that will transform the situation. They will say they have tried and tried to forgive the person/people/situation but he/she/they/it has not changed. But forgiving means letting go, and that often shows up as you moving on. To deliberately stay in a bad situation is not forgiveness, or waiting for forgiveness; it’s self-flagellation. A situation that they recognized they needed to forgive is now being used by the ego in their mind to point out how they have “failed” to forgive.

I hear about this form of self-flagellation often in regard to relationships. You change when you become a student of A Course in Miracles, and your relationships with others around you may no longer reflect your new values. Sometimes others fall away from you; sometimes y…

The Quiet Way

There comes a time when you find that you are losing interest in the world around you. You find it harder and harder to find common ground with others. You have little interest in social gatherings, and when you are with friends and family you find it hard to be interested in what interests them. You find yourself listening more, and sharing less. This is a natural part of the process of detaching from the world.

A true spiritual path is a quiet sinking inward. As your mind grows quieter you lose interest in the clamoring world. You want your life in the world to be simple so that you don’t have to think too much about it. People fall away, or your relationships transform into simpler arrangements. You happily spend a lot more time alone, or with simpler creatures – children, animals, nature; those who know how to just “be”. When you do have to be with others you still take an interest in them, but not in what they find interesting. Some people will be drawn to your peace; others will…

Beyond Self-Image

Sometimes students will say to me: “I want to be a (gentle, strong, wise, happy, etc.) person.” Sometimes they say: “I want to be a person who (is looked up to, makes others laugh, is there for others, etc.).” These are all ego self-images, and they are all equally meaningless.

For a long time I struggled with how to see myself, and with how I was “supposed” to be as a spiritual person. Was I supposed to have strong boundaries with others, or was I supposed to be there for everyone? Was I supposed to be peaceful or fun-loving or serious? Was I supposed to be wise and distant, or goofy and friendly? My values, I realized, were all over the place. Sometimes I valued strength, other times vulnerability. Sometimes I valued detachment, other times closeness with others. Finally I would get so confused as to how I should be I’d ask the Holy Spirit and the answer was always: “It doesn’t matter. You’re not a person.” Of course I’d immediately feel relief that I didn’t have to make myself, and …

The Body as a Communication Device

A student has asked me to write about the body as a communication device that the Holy Spirit can use.

From the Holy Spirit’s perspective the world that you perceive has only one purpose – forgiveness of your perception of separation from God. This is the one purpose for every thing, every relationship, and every situation. The body’s purpose, then, is to be used for forgiveness. A Course in Miracles calls the body a “communication device”, but as is often the case with familiar words in the Course “communication” is used differently. There is only one mind, so you can only communicate with yourself. In the Course “communion” and “communication” refer to Oneness – to the Oneness of your Mind, and to your Oneness with God. So the body is a means for you to teach yourself that your mind is One – that there is no separation between “you” and what your mind perceives. When you have learned this your mind is healed, and it is ready to wholly remember God.

The body serv…

Where Students Get Lost

A question students of A Course in Miracles often ask is if the Holy Spirit makes things happen in the world for them. How could this be so if the world is in your mind, and the Holy Spirit and the world are opposed and cannot meet?
The world that you perceive is an effect of your mind. The Holy Spirit is also in your mind, but the Holy Spirit does not go into the world to make things happen for you. When you are centered in God what you need in the world that you perceive manifests as a reflection of the Wholeness of your mind.
When you first learn this the ego may tempt you to use this awareness to get what it wants. Sometimes student’s get lost trying to manifest or - to use today’s popular term - “attract” a better illusion of separation from God. However, this does not make any sense. If you really understand that the world is only an effect of your mind, why would you care what was showing up in it? If what happens in the world is important to you then you …

Practice and the Real Thing

Ultimately, a Holy Instant is a direct revelation of God. Ultimately, a miracle is an experience of Oneness. Ultimately, a Holy relationship, which is a miracle, is also an experience of Oneness with what seems like another outside of you. But many students haven’t yet experienced Oneness, and there is a difference between the experience of actual Oneness, and the everyday practice of the Holy Instant, the miracle, and the Holy relationship. The practice is to prepare and open you for the actual experience of Oneness with God (revelation), or with the part of your mind that seems “out there” as a world (miracle).
As A Course in Miracles says, God is in charge of revelations, and your Christ Mind is in charge of miracles. Only God and your Christ Mind can recognize when you are open to experiencing Oneness, either through a revelation or through a miracle. You cannot force the experience of Oneness. But by practicing the Holy Instant, by extending God’s Love in your awa…

Misusing the Mind to Heal the Body

The ego uses physical illness and pain to make the body real to you. That is its primary goal for illness and pain. This shows up as using them for many reasons: To get attention, to punish you, to avoid situations, to make others guilty, etc. But of course no matter how physical symptoms show up their origin is in your mind. Ultimately all healing is the result of you accepting healing in your mind, either directly in your mind, or through “agents” like medicines, doctors, and treatments that seem outside of you and that remove the symptoms in a way that your mind can accept. Using external agents is what A Course in Miracles calls “magical thinking”, but it is necessary until you can accept healing directly.

“The miracle is useless if you learn but that the body can be healed, for this is not the lesson it was sent to teach. The lesson is the mind was sick that thought the body could be sick; projecting out its guilt caused nothing, and had no effects.” (T-28.II.11)

Often stud…

Each Holy Relationship is Unique

There is a lot of discussion in A Course in Miracles around the Holy relationship in which it says that you can “trust your brother”. What it really means is that you can trust the Holy Spirit within you to guide you in the relationship.

It must be understood that much of the Course specifically addresses Helen Schucman’s experience, and this is most apparent in its discussion of the Holy relationship. Helen was in a unique position with Bill Thetford in that they had a specific task to do together. They learned about the practice of the Holy relationship as they scribed the Course together. But most students do not have the privilege of having a Holy relationship with another who is also a student of the Course, and who is willing to go through the experience with them.

The experience of the Holy relationship is not like anything in this world. It is an experience of Oneness with another that completely wipes out of your mind any separation between you and another. The “…

The Teaching Teachers

In A Course in Miracles you are told that you are always teaching, and that you are always teaching only yourself. What you are teaching yourself is what you believe that you are. Come from ego and you teach yourself that you are ego. Come from Spirit and you teach yourself that you are Spirit - you are being what the Course calls a “teacher of God”. This is occurring within you every moment. You never really learn from others; you learn from the teacher within you that you choose at any given moment. Read a book, or listen to someone speak, and you will read and hear what you have chosen to learn about yourself.

The world thinks of teaching as something you do for others. You may accept that what you teach you learn, but if you are a teacher you are supposed to see yourself helping others in some way. But the Course shows us that there are no “others” to help. Everything is your mind. You do not live in a world, but in your thoughts about a world. You are always only relatin…

Not "Should", But Sorting Out

We are so used to the ego’s religions with their “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” that almost every student goes through a phase where they read prohibitions and admonishments into A Course in Miracles. But the Course does not tell you a thing about how you should live in the world. What it does is compare the ego’s thought system with the Holy Spirit’s thought system to help you to sort out when you are coming from ego and when you are coming from the Holy Spirit. It is helping you to sort out illusion from Truth because they have become confused in your mind. The mistake that many new students make is thinking that they are supposed to make the ego more like the Holy Spirit. This is where they think they read how they “should” or “shouldn’t” be.
Students will say, “I know I shouldn’t judge.” But what the Course says is that judgment is the way that the ego thinks, and that it really doesn’t have the capacity to truly judge because it doesn’t know what the Truth is. Only th…

The Impractical Life

This view of payment may well seem impractical and in the eyes of the world it would be so. Yet not one worldly thought is really practical. How much is gained by striving for illusion? How much is lost by throwing God away? (P-3.7)

The quote above from the supplement to A Course in Miracles on psychotherapy refers to money, but really you can use the ideas in it for any aspect of life in the world once you decide to follow only the Holy Spirit.
People tell me all the time how I should do things, especially with my mentoring practice or my writing. If they are students of the Course then I remind them that I follow the Holy Spirit. If they are not then I tell them I’m not interested, or I smile and thank them for their suggestions. This used to bother me and I wondered why until I figured out that others were simply reflecting what the ego was telling me. I have the intelligence and discipline to do anything with my life that I want to do and the ego wants me to do anything b…

Because It's the Truth

I’ve noticed that there are three types of motivations for being on a path of spiritual awakening, and that the motivation determines how easy the path is for the student. You may have more than one motivation, and over time your motivation may change. In fact, the third motivation below is the one you have to have to let go of ego and the world, and to fully remember that only God is Real.

The first motivation is the avoidance of pain. This is a negative motivation because you are not pulled toward something that attracts you, but you are pushed by something you wish to avoid. This is the least successful of the motivations because the ego interprets a path of spiritual awakening as one of sacrifice. So if you are already in pain it seems at first as though you are simply choosing another form of pain. You can get through this if you understand that you are not being asked to sacrifice but to give up all pain. But it’s much easier when you have a positive goal as well.

It's The Goal, Not the Form, That You Want

There comes a time when students start to get what A Course in Miracles is saying and they start to mourn the loss of the things in the world that they love: Blue skies, sunsets, ice cream, children’s laughter, puppies, sex, shopping, attaining goals, good books, long walks, etc. But these are distractions from what you really fear that you will lose.

The things that you love in the world are really nothing to you. Not just in the spiritual sense, either. To the ego their only value is in how your attachment to them can mask what you really do not want to lose: Separation from God. Separation from God is the ego’s only goal, and everything it uses is the means to this end. So your attachments in the world only represent your real attachment to an individual self that is separate from God.

Some students embark on a path of trying to loose themselves from specific attachments. But until you let go of ego you will always be attached to something in the world. This is the form that separati…

The Last Temptation?

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.I.A.8)

The quote above is from the “period of unsettling”, the 5th stage of the Development of Trust outlined in the Manual for Teachers of A Course in Miracles. I used to wonder what was meant by “heavily reinforced” and what was so hard about this stage. I always felt like whatever I was going through at the moment was hard enough! What was this going to look like?

Now I know.

Last fall I shared with you my latest revelation and some of the lessons that I learned as I came back from it (see Unsettled, and There Is No “I” in God). I also said that I would keep you updated on what I have experienced and learned. It always takes a while for me to process the lessons. In fact, what really happens is that I live out …

What Are Others, Then?

As students learn that all that they see is in their mind, they tell me that they become confused about how to see others. A Course in Miracles tells you that others are part of you, but it also seems to talk about others as, well, others. This is because the Holy Spirit recognizes that you experience others as something outside of you, so it needs to use these relationships to return your mind to Oneness.
I wrote before about how the miracle unites your mind. Extending love to others is a miracle that begins the process of bringing your mind back to Oneness. Your mind seems to be split between a mind in you and a world outside of you. So if you imagine your mind as a cloth that is split in two, extending love from your mind to a body that seems outside your mind is like extending a stitch from one cloth to the other to sew them back together. Instead of seeing a body and projecting an ego onto it, you choose instead to extend Christ from within you to encompass y…

The Illusion

It’s hard to grasp that the world is an illusion. The word “illusion” means something that’s not there but that you see anyway. In the midst of the illusion it’s impossible to accept that it’s an illusion. And there’s this expectation that if you ever did get that it’s an illusion it would be like vapor before your eyes. Now, this may happen. I’ve had experiences where the physical world for a moment seemed transparent, but this experience is not sustained. If it were, I would have learned all that I need and the world would be gone from my mind! The everyday experience of the world as an illusion, though, is that the world's significance pales in comparison to the Peace of God that you experience within.
I wrote before about how what you value is what is real to you (see Reality and Value). The world fades into the background as it becomes less valuable to you. Sometimes students ask me if there will ever come a time when they will cease to see the horrors of the world or somebody…

The Miracle Unites Your Mind

It cannot be said too often that everything is thought, everything is in your mind, because to understand the miracle and how it works you have to understand this. To the ego, material, concrete form is real and thought is meaningless. Of course, this is upside down. Mind is what is real and it is formless and abstract. So one of the first things you have to do is grasp that you see this backwards, that mind and thought are what are real and material, concrete form is what is not real.

There are two levels of perception. The first level is the thoughts that make the world for you and this layer is neutral. Look around the room you are in now. Everything is a thought – round, blue, rough, chair, refrigerator, rug, etc. even though you aren’t conscious of yourself “thinking” it. What you are seeing with the body’s eyes – remember the body itself is unreal – is the screen made by the split mind so the separation could be projected onto it. This level of perception is neutral because it ha…

Having Faith

As with everything else, A Course in Miracles uses the idea of “faith” in a way that is different from the way that the world usually uses it. It still means trust, and trusting Something that the body’s eyes cannot see, but faith as the Course uses means acknowledging that only God is Real.

One day I was having a conversation with my life-partner, Courtney, about prayer. She comes from a traditional Christian background and sometimes I have questions because I don’t understand Christianity. I told her about overhearing two women talking and one told her friend that her daughter had had a medical procedure and she had come through it okay. Her friend said, “God is good. Our prayers were answered. ” I asked Courtney if this woman would’ve thought God was bad if the first woman’s daughter had not come through okay. Of course not. The woman would’ve accepted that as God’s Will. Okay, so what’s the point of these petitioning prayers if God is going to do Its will in any case? Courtney expl…

Your Outward Life Will Look the Same

Back in the summer of 2005 I went to see my therapist to help me sort out what was my grief over my father’s recent death and what was just regular mid-life stuff. She’s not a student of A Course in Miracles but she is a great therapist and I don’t go to her for spiritual stuff but for practical stuff – like what I was going through then. I saw her for a few weeks and at one point I found my mind flooded with story ideas. Once upon a time I wrote (terrible) fiction and I have always been filled with story ideas. But this was so overwhelming I had to make notes on some of the stories just to get my mind to shut up. I shared this with my therapist and she got this far-away look in her eye that I recognize as someone listening to the Holy Spirit and then she asked me, “What are you not doing that you need to be doing?”

At first I thought she was saying I was supposed to write novels, which I had no desire to do anymore. But then a few days later I realized she asked that question without …

It's Not Personal, Really

You are not an ego, a personal self; you are One with God. When in A Course in Miracles it says that you chose to be separate from God and you feel guilty for this and you fear God will punish you it does not mean that you personally made this choice. When the Course says that you are responsible for making the world it does not mean that you personally made the world. It means you the mind-that-has-decided-to-split from God made this choice and that all of the egos that seem to have been made by these choices are born into guilt and fear. If you identify with a personal self you will feel guilty and fear God. You can only escape guilt and fear by putting aside the ego in all its forms. All that is left then is God.

In sorting out Truth from illusion you have to realize that the personal self is the illusion. The questions students ask: “What happens when I die?” “Is reincarnation real?” “Did I plan this life?” All of these are questions about the personal self and are not really quest…