Ask: How does one differentiate between feeling spirit and energy from energy work?

“I was doing a meditation the other day that guides you to feel the space around your body and eventually leads you to a state where you are "no self".  I noticed when I did the meditation that I felt a sensation of energy (lightness, tingling, a distinct presence of energy) and I did have a definite feeling of being something other than my body.  My question is how does one differentiate between the feeling of spirit/a connection to truth and the energy that you might feel that accompanies a level of our form (as in energy work such as Reiki)?  I had fear arise suddenly that I might be strengthening form instead of connecting with truth..." – MB

            If the feeling of being something other than a body was an experience of the dropping of boundaries and an expanded sense of Being then it was an experience of Truth or Formlessness. If you were aware of only Being then you experienced what A Course in Miracles refers to as a Revelation. If the “something other” was an awareness that you are mind, not a body, but you were still aware of the body or the world, then you experienced a higher miracle. Your experience of lightness, tingling, and the presence of energy were experiences of form. Your experience of not-body, whether a Revelation or a higher miracle, was the cause of these effects-in-form.
            There is always an effect in form when you touch Truth either directly (Revelation) or indirectly (miracle). Sometimes it is just taking a deep breath and relaxing. This is probably the most common effect of touching Truth during meditation or even when just touching Truth for a moment throughout the day. I’ve heard of others experiencing what you described as well as things like hot hands or “chakras” opening. One could also experience a spontaneous healing of the body or mind. After direct Revelations I experienced an almost uncomfortable euphoria. Sometimes the effect-in-form shows up as an expression of fear, like a panic attack or subsequent illness after a Revelation or a higher miracle.
            You only need to be concerned if you confuse with Truth what shows up in form as an effect of your experience of Truth. The experience of form is not Truth itself. The body is an idea in your mind and your experience of Truth in your mind affects the ideas in your mind. But these effects, like all form, have no meaning in themselves. Just as smoke reveals the existence of a fire the effects of your mind only attest to the existence of your mind. But it’s your mind, not its effects, that is real.

            To differentiate between Truth and not-Truth just know that if it happens in form it is not Truth Itself. The cause of form may be your belief in not-Truth or your awareness of Truth.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.


Comments

will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said…
I have mentioned many times on this blog my difficulty in understanding 'extension' and the resulting frustration that goes with it. I am a number of years into the Course and have put considerable effort into understanding it but without success. The personal mind had put up a very effective defensive. Liz sent out an email with the section on extension from her book 4 Habits for Inner Peace. I still had to read it three or four times before I could block out the minds need to argue about the wording. As I suspected, when I finally understood it it was simple. This is a common experience with Course stuff. But what I wanted to mention is I had misplaced my first copy of 4 Habits and bought another and began reading it. Originally the personal mind had decided this was a book for people just starting the Course and of course I was 'way beyond' that. Turns out this is a very in-depth look at the journey through the Course in Miracles. I am fortunate the reading material that I need at any given moment shows up; the moment when I will be receptive to what is being said. I only read one or two pages a day it is so enjoyable to have things fall into place without a struggle. I'm in no hurry. If you haven't read it, get it!
Christine said…
I concur! The 4 Habits for Inner Peace has been so helpful - and it "arrived" in my awareness (ha) at the right time. No struggle, etc. BUT - I do want to read Liz's Guilt book, and that has been a "struggle"...I don't have (or know how to operate) an e-reader thing. I like to have a book with paper pages so I can underline and dog ear it (just do), and one can't do these things on an e-reader tablet. Just saying.
will said…
Liz,
I went back to the beginning of the 4 Habits and was reading about Truth and not-Truth. Just for arguments sake, regardless if the mind is split, both Truth and not-Truth are coming from the same mind. Not Truth is a creation by the same mind as Truth. Free will. So not-Truth, regardless if it is a dream, has as much seeming reality as Truth. If a person remains caught in not-Truth he is subject to all the realities of not-Truth, such as life after death, reincarnation, the devil and so forth. Yes?
will said…
Where I’m headed with all this isn’t so much about truth and not-Truth but the idea that if the dream is a creation of the split mind then virtually anything could be possible in the dream.
ACIM Mentor said…
Actually, Christine, you can underline (or highlight) and "dog-ear", or bookmark, pages throughout a book on a Kindle. I cannot attest to other digital formats.
You can also buy "Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace" in PDF at www.acimstore.com. It's only $5. Then you can print it for yourself if you like. It's not very long.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, if you are using the word "creation" as ACIM does (extension), then, no, not-Truth is not a creation of your mind. It is "made" by your mind, as ACIM distinguishes. Just like a dream at night is made by your mind. It has no reality. It seems real to you while you are dreaming. But when you wake up you realize nothing has happened. It was only a dream - ideas in your mind.
Can you make anything happen in the dream? In the moment you can think anything you want about it. But it's not really happening at all.
will said…
The idea isn't mine, I picked it up somewhere reading, maybe Wapnick. But I found it interesting. Trying to pull these ideas apart when a person talks of Truth and not-Truth is difficult given the different interpretations of things like 'real' or 'mind/Mind.' For instance when you have a dream it is real in the sense that you had a dream and that it was 'real' while you are dreaming. During the dream we are subject to whatever the Mind wanted to happen. When I talked about "mind" I was not referring to the personal mind but to the mind of Truth which split. That mind "made" the dream so it has the same (power or intensity ? I don't know what word to use I need some leeway here)as Truth. It was an extension of Mind. Like I say I don't have an ax to grind with this it was just something I found interesting to speculate on.
Aleta said…
I have read the 4 Habits several times, and it was SO helpful in helping me during the time my father was dying, to help me to remember the Truth and how to maintain my peace. I have Releasing Guilt on my PC and am working my way through it; I love it!
Christine, I'm like you in that I enjoy holding a book with paper pages so I can highlight, etc., but you can highlight and put sticky notes on pages in the PDF version, which is what I have on my laptop. Liz's idea of printing it out is a great one too.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, when a body extends its hand the hand is still a part of the body. The body has been extended. The hand does not become something else. When ACIM says God extends God to you it's a way of saying God in you is God. In God there is only God "extending" infinitely. There is nothing else.
Not-Truth is not an "extension" of True Mind in that it is wholly unlike Truth. It is only a meaningless idea in Mind, but it is not Mind Itself.
There are no words to convey how wholly unlike Truth this personal experience is. Maybe using fire again - smoke is wholly unlike fire. If you did not know it came from fire and examined it on its own you would not know anything about fire except that it produced smoke. So it is with not-Truth. It in no way tells you anything about True Mind. Not-Truth is an effect of Mind with as much substance as...smoke.
I found it helpful to remember that just because something is real to me that does not make it truly real. I do not establish Reality. It simply is, quite apart from my understanding or not understanding It. Remembering this helped me put aside the ego's need to understand what it will never understand.
will said…
Yes. After reading the section on extension in 4 Habits I finally got it. Not just an intellectual understanding but a real gut level feeling and it is exciting just like you said in 4 Habits. One of my constant reminders to myself is 'the ego can't understand' but the temptation to wander around in the mind is still there of course. All this type of stuff is a puzzle and the ego loves a puzzle without a solution.
will said…
"You can experience Truth in two ways: directly (only Truth) and indirectly (an effect of your awareness of Truth)...An indirect experience of Truth is what occurs in your mind when you invite Truth into your awareness in your perception that you are a personal self in a world. It shifts your mind toward the awareness that Truth is within you and that It is the Truth...Ultimately indirect experiences of Truth prepare you to accept only-Truth by showing you, again and again, that the Truth is True. Over time indirect experiences of Truth make you aware of the Reality of Truth and the unreality of not-Truth."

4 Habits, pgs. 2-3

Well, I have not had a direct experience. I have indirect experiences all the time but still it leaves me somewhere on the bridge crossing over to Truth. The ego is still very real to me and at the present time I can only use what tools are available yet the Holy Spirit meets me where I am.
MB said…
I must say that I read The 4 Habits of Inner Peace at the beginning of my journey with The Course last year. At the time, I was resisting reading ACIM as it was overwhelming and difficult and thought the 4 Habits of Inner Peace could give me the same truth without the work. Hahaha. It definitely spoke to me as the truth always resonates with the truth deep within your mind, but I have been re-reading it now after reading the full Course and practicing the teachings and I find that the 4 Habits for Inner Peace has even more meaning for me. So, like Will referenced, it is not just for beginners. It is definitely a book to read over and over. As not-truth is undone in your mind through practice, the truth of the book resonates more and more. I am grateful to Liz's purist approach to ACIM. I have listened to another well known teacher who I find strays from some of the things the course truly teaches through the personal mind' own interpretations or by spiritualizing not-truth. When I want to know the best understanding of the course/a particular concept of the course, I always go to Liz!!
Aleta said…
We have an ACIM study group and when we come to a part of the Course that we find difficulty understanding, we always ask, "What does Liz say?" It seems to be a regular mantra in our study group -- What does Liz say? Anyway, we keep her books close by and refer to them often. They are so helpful!

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