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Showing posts from July, 2009

Journey to the Center of Ego

If the personal mind was a sphere like Earth, and you bore down to its core, you’d find guilt and fear. Guilt and fear are the foundation of the personal mind, not in the sense that they give rise to the personal mind, but in the sense that without guilt and fear the personal mind would cease to exist. Guilt and fear are the personal mind’s self-perpetuating mechanism because they are what keep you from God.

Many years ago I walked out my front door on my way to get something out of my car and suddenly the world was washed with Innocence. It was the same world it had been a moment before: the same street, the same cars parked in the street, the same winter-bald trees. The physical world did not change, but my mind did. Or, rather, I changed minds. For whatever reason, at that moment I was open to the Vision of my Christ Mind. The moment passed and I realized that, except for that moment and moments like it, I am perceiving guilt and fear. I didn’t think I felt guilty, but now I underst…

Retracing Your Steps

A Course in Miracles teaches that you have to retrace your steps back to God. The descent from God began with the idea of God’s opposite that is perceived as real within itself. The part of God’s Mind where this occurs is called the “Son of God” in the Course; this is the dreamer of the dream of separation from God. This one mind projects the world that you perceive. Part of its projection is billions of seemingly-individual minds (personal selves) that it made in the image of its own split mind. Each of these minds also projects onto the world. Where the one mind provides the “what” of perception (the world), individual minds provide the “how” of perception (interpretation). Retracing your steps, then, means your identity goes in reverse: From a personal self, to the dreamer of the dream, to God. So the first step in returning to God is undoing your personal projections. Though the world was made to be a place of separation from God, it has no meaning in itself. As a personal self, y…

An Apt Allegory

It isn’t often we students of A Course in Miracles find something written over sixty years ago that lines up well with the Course’s fundamental teachings. So I want to share with you an allegory written by C. S. Lewis, who was one of the most influential Christian writers of the last century. The little book that I recommend is “The Great Divorce”, which Lewis wrote in response to William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”. I have not read the latter, but judging from Lewis’s response, I’d say that “The Marriage” must, in the Course’s terms, “confuse levels” by trying to make both God and the world real (duality). The “divorce” referred to in Lewis’s title is the divorce of Heaven and hell. Through his allegory, he sorts out Truth from illusion (non-duality), just as the Course does. He even speaks of God as Reality and everything else as a dream!

The book is written in the first person, and the main character is never named. He has died and finds himself in a gray place that is…

This Has Already Happened

“But this has already happened, right?”

This idea has come up a few times with students lately, always in relation to their life in the world. I think it’s because of this passage from the Manual for Teachers of A Course in Miracles:

“The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there.” (M-2.3)

I think what throws off students is the “s” in “Choices” in the third sentence; the idea would be clearer in the singular. There is only ever one choice: Truth or illusion. You can phrase this in different ways: God or personal mind; Oneness or separation; Peace or conflict, etc. Read the passage above in context, and you wi…

Confusion of Levels

You don’t give up what in the world is considered common sense when you become a student of A Course in Miracles. You don’t throw out what a lifetime of living in the world has taught you about it. The laws of the world hold for the world; the laws of God hold for God. (As the Bible puts it, “Render under Caesar what belongs to Caesar; render unto God what belongs to God”). Trying to cross those laws over into each other is what the Course calls “confusion of levels”, meaning you are confusing the mutually exclusive levels of your mind: God and the personal mind. For example, some students think that since your mind is One in God that you are supposed to change the social and political structure of the world-level of your mind to reflect this Oneness. This is not only unnecessary, since the world is an effect of your mind and changing it is meaningless, but also impossible. Diverse form cannot be One; that is why the world and God are mutually exclusive.

In the world, trust in others m…