Putting Aside the Alienation

Living in the limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying peace

-      -     Limelight [Rush (Chronicles)]

A recurring theme with students on a spiritual path is the personal alienation they feel while still being aware of a sense of Wholeness and Peace beyond. And this is the choice before you: seeking for connection with others as a person or resting in the Wholeness and Peace that is always here within you. Your choice is to live in a lack that will never be filled or to accept the Wholeness That is. You cannot have it both ways.

The real question is why, when you are aware of Wholeness and Peace, you still go back into a feeling of loneliness and lack and a desire for connection to fill the loneliness and lack. The answer is simply that you are used to being a self and when Peace comes it does not come to the self or its thought system (ego/personal thought system). You are used to seeking through the self for fulfillment and when you find that you no longer need to it is baffling even when it is also a relief. The habit of seeking – the habit of being a self – takes some time to undo. And there is often a sense of loss, too. You may have enjoyed seeking. You may have enjoyed “doing”.  When you find all of that is unnecessary it is like the sudden quiet when a loud machine has been shut off. Yes the clamor was annoying but you had adapted. The sudden emptiness is shocking.

Much of this process comes down to acclimating to – getting used to – just being and being whole in Being. It is a process of learning to be without the empty, limited, always-seeking, always-doing self. Instead of seeking for love and connection with others, you learn instead to come from the Love (wholeness) already within you to remain aware that It is already here.

A spiritual path is not going to lead to an emotionally (ego) satisfying sense of connection with others. If it does, you are coming from ego, not an awareness of Truth, so the effect is temporary. An awareness of Truth offers so much more than emotional satisfaction. It lifts you out of the need for emotional satisfaction, which is a lame substitute for true Wholeness.

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.


Christine said…
"...it is like the sudden quiet when a loud machine has been turned off." That is what I experience when I cut off the air to my bagpipes! Made me laugh!You can just let your bagpipe deflate slowly, and it makes a groaning awful noise - or, you squeeze your left arm really hard and stop the tune you are playing at the precise cut-off note. This being symbolic: I have learned so very gradually my (Our) Awareness of Oneness (Holy Spirit, God Consciousness, etc.) - took a long time for the undoing. I do fine my wee self getting over being angry/fearful/impatient, etc. quickly now, I must say. It dissipates.
When or if I do start having ego palpitations, I now ask inwardly, What is it for? I don't deny the feeling, thing, whatever, I just look at the situation quite differently now - without going any further. I used to feel 'alienated' at first while studying the Course...now I fell a 'sameness' all the time.
hannahlily said…
liz, at the moment it feels like the universe is organising my whole life around the lessons youre teaching, it seems that i experience.. you write and show the way through. ive started crying, sadness like i havent felt in a while, because i accept this teaching, after this last week, i accept this, and yes, the sense of loss is there. but after this week i also see that this seeking identity can NOT coexist with peace. i realised yesterday that the conflict i was experiencing was due to attachment to 'spiritual' identity.. and this rounds it off so perfectly. the sadness has passed now.. im REALLY accepting the teaching, relief at no longer feeling the need to try ;)

"A spiritual path is not going to lead to an emotionally (ego) satisfying sense of connection with others. If it does, you are coming from ego, not an awareness of Truth, so the effect is temporary."

i love the way you said that christine.. (scottish synchronicity this morning!) what i got from it is that eventually we learn to simply CHOOSE, NOW. clear, simple choice for truth, no longer trying to undo the unreal.
suzanneberry said…
The help always arrives exactly when needed. Thank you for this! It's exactly what I needed this morning!
Judith said…
I've been (The witness/wise woman "I") trying to "help" my personal ego grasp these ideas using the idea of the "flow" of love or a "current of love" like a stream of energy. I can choose to step into this and to become it by changing my Mind. Love flows through me, flows from me and I am "connected" to others who are either also in this current or who are touched by this current.

When my personal self is trying to fill "alone time" with activities and do-to lists and seeking, I have lost the awareness and the experience of this flow and current.

So choosing Awareness to me does not mean also choosing to feel lonely and unconnected, but choosing to help my personal self experience a different, Real experience of connection. And I have to keep choosing again and again because "feeling lonely" is a sign that I have forgotten again!
SKR said…
Hi, Liz: Thanks for this blog. Yes, I have experienced this; got scared and ran back to ego. Breaking up is hard to do. Ha Ha. Slowly choosing the way back to peace. Timely post. Blessings.
Luckily for myself, before ACIM came back into my life, I had already decided that there was not much in the world, that was of great interest, nor did the world as we normally see it, hold much attraction. So when I started to understand ACIM more fully, I understood that at some level, I was prepared for what it teaches. Since I am 73 now and have lived a fairly "full" life, I could see where this might be harder for the younger generations to come to grips with. It really is a gradual process and so has not been hard to finally get to that position in life, where internal peace is of much more importance, especially since I know where it is "taking" me. Seeing this world with my God Mind, has not quite been accomplished but I know it will totally happen! I was given the gift of seeing it that way, for about a 3 month period and then all of a sudden it was like someone turned off the Light switch and a quiet gentle voice said, "Now you know what it feels like, but you have some post graduate work to do!" If I ever get discouraged then I can go back to that time, knowing what it can be like. Not long after that experience, ACIM came back into my life and I realised that it was the "post graduate work".

I appreciate all the assistance I have had along the way. :-)

ps The address I aways use is yellowjaguar2004@msn.com and not the one shown below.
will said…
I like this quote very much. Forgiveness, both the definition and the process has always been difficult for me to understand. Resistance I guess. It is from 4 Habits (p.68-69) and is talking about forgiving others.

“As an example, let’s say that a friend promised to pick you up to take you to a job interview that you judged as important for the personal self, They didn’t show up and you did all that you could to reach them in time. But in the end they simply forgot so you missed the interview. You are now angry with them. You see them as guilty for neglecting your needs. What is making you angry, however, is not that they did not pick you up. Your thoughts about them not picking you up are what anger you: “This was an important interview and they made me miss it”, “They are thoughtless, selfish, insensitive”, “My life would’ve been better with this job”, “They don’t care about me”, etc. What you need to forgive, then, is not the person or the situation but your own pain-causing thoughts.”
ACIM Mentor said…
Someone just wrote a response to me regarding this article. It didn't post here and seemed to come from "Blogger" but there was no return address so I will respond here.

The writer suggested I was asking people to take an emotional bypass and ignore messy relationships. My response is that I always tell people to not deny their emotions. For one thing, they reveal what they really believe. I was not suggesting anyone pretend a detachment that they do not feel. I was discussing what occurs when detachment comes naturally. None of this process can be forced by pretending an awareness that one has not yet attained.
will said…

You really have to go to hell and back to finally say enough to the ego. But what a relief.
hannahlily said…
this just came in an email

'The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity.' – Don Juan, Tales of Power
Hi, Liz, I'm trying to get through to your website with a comment,but Google seem to be making it difficult.Why?
Well,blow me down! I'm through.I been trying to say how I've appreciated your e-mail. I've bought your 4 Habits and have your Mentor Articles on my Kindle. I've studied Mrs Eddy's works for the last 25 years and joining you seems to me natural follow on.
George from the hillside in Wales UK
ACIM Mentor said…
Welcome, George.
Sage Starfield said…
Wow. Rush. I always thought the last word of that quote was "dream", not "peace". Looked on the lyrics in my CD - it's "THEME"!!!. Oh well, they all tie together nicely! And then Hannahlily quotes Castaneda in her comment - one of my absolutest faves going WAY back to my 20's...(Tales of Power one of his best for me!)

Question tho: Liz, are you saying that all emotions are derived of ego and that there are no emotions which reflect Truth? That Truth is an emotionless state? I'd have to ponder that one...

Inquisitively yours, Sage
ACIM Mentor said…
Ha! That's funny about the lyrics. I heard what I wanted to hear. Never questioned it.

Truth is an emotionless state in Itself. But our awareness of Truth inspires emotions, for example, joy.
Christine said…
George Arthur Fordham - Yes! I was raised in Christian Science - never (or rarely) missed Sunday School, even had to go on vacations because there were so many CS churches four or five decades ago still....I taught Sunday School, then I kind of took a break from it - in form, the principles were always with me, I went back a little in the mid '90's, then stopped (it wasn't exactly for me anymore) then I was just not studying or going to any church...until 2001, when my sister sold a little rental house she had and her realtor gave her a copy of A Course in Miracles, she bought one for me shortly thereafter, then poof!! It was like a geyser was allowed to flow again! So - yes, Mrs. Eddy's work was an excellent "stepping stone" to the Course. Lot of "undoing", though - use your seatbelt!
Thanks,Christine,for your encouraging comment.I think I read somewhere that Dr Schuchman had a Christian Science background.One obvious difference between ACIM and Mary Baker Eddy's Science & Health was the time element they were written in.The religious culture of the 19th century had changed to the scientific outlook of the 20th.Thanks for the tip about belting-up...clunk-click ! The ride has been pleasant so far.Best wishes, George.
ACIM Mentor said…
Actually it was Bill Thetford who had the Religious Science background.
Sage Starfield said…
Thanks Liz, I like that definition. I've been practising with an idea I heard from Bentinho Massaro which is that there is only one emotion, and it is our inner guidance on whether or not we are aligned with our higher Self. If we feel good - we are, if we feel bad, then something is out of alignment, a belief perhaps. I've found it a powerful practise, since it requires that we look deeper into the causes of "bad" emotions and see where we may have a false belief which is causing it. I haven't found anything about this which is contra-indicated in ACIM...
will said…

Sage I didn't know anything about Massaro so I went to his sight and read some of his blogs. His focus seems to be on how to have a happy life?
ACIM Mentor said…
It all depend on what you mean by "higher self". Some people use that term to refer to True Being, which would not be in play here. Others use it to refer to a an authentic self, which is what this sound like.

If you are willing, eventually you will learn that there is no difference between feeling "good" and feeling "bad" just as you will see that there is no difference between "pleasure" and "pain". You will see that it is all meaningless and irrelevant. Only the Truth is true and only the Truth matters.
will said…
I wanted to ask you about this more out of curiosity than anything else. Last night I was reading Wapnick's book called A Vast Illusion. He is describing the role of the decision maker:
"The ego's script was written and chosen by us as decision makers - we are, so to speak, the writers, directors, producers, actors, and actresses."
Is the Course directed to the decision maker?
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Will, ACIM is directed to you as the "decision maker". You can also think of the "decision maker" as the split mind or as the learning mind.

My experience has led me to a different understanding of what he describes. But the important thing to understand is that as a decision maker you have the choice of to which thought system you will listen: ego or Holy Spirit. Understanding your mind as the decision maker, however, makes it possible for you to detach from the ego and realize it is not you.

will said…
You can't leave it there:)! What is your different understanding?
ACIM Mentor said…
Since it is off-topic I will answer you in a private email, Will.
hannahlily said…
he doesnt mean individual scripts hey will, just the general script to keep us believing in and choosing separate, individual selves, and in 'sin guilt and fear'. is that how you understood it? (apologies for going off topic, this is just part of what ive been studying at the moment)
will said…

I don't know hannahlily, I had picked up A Vast Illusion just to look at before I fell asleep. I don't know what he means, I thought I did but sometimes his analogies get so complicated that my eyes cross and it's just words on a page. From what he says he goes into this in more detail in his other books; that this was just a lead in for this book.
will said…
People with the skill to simplify something like ACIM while remaining accurate are few and far between. It is a very rare gift to begin with and ACIM really doesn't attract those folks (an opinion).
Sage Starfield said…
Hi Will. Not sure how to sum up his teachings. Lot of it (like ACIM) is aimed at realizing Truth in a more-than-human Absolute sense. I just liked that idea that emotions are simply signals from our inner guidance system as to whether we are in or out of alignment with Truth. If we feel "bad" we are getting an emotional message that something about our beliefs is out of alignment with Truth. To me this resonates with the teachings of the Course, which I believe also reduces emotions to only love and fear? So if we feel any form of fear, it's just a signal that we're a little out of touch with Truth and can look at moving more towards Love and Truth. A bonus is that it puts a positive spin on "bad" emotions by cluing us in to their hidden meaning which ideally leads us to more alignment with Truth!
hannahlily said…
the term 'decision maker' rubs my feeling of victimhood the wrong way!
thanks,Liz,for info re bill Thetford.his parents were Christian Scientists and left the church when Bill was 7years old.Also according to Groeschel Helen Schucman's mother was a Christian Scientist so Helen would have had a long period of exposure to CS teachings.As a CS myself for the last 25 years I am finding a lot of similarity between ACIM and Mrs Eddy's text Science&Health,although the language is more up to date in ACIM.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hanna, instead of "decision maker" how about "learner"?

George, I knew her mother was a theosophist but I do not remember learning she was into CS. It would explain why there are so many similarities between the two teachings. This also helps me understand why I have been led in a different direction with regard to the body. I do not know who Groeschel is. A friend of Helen's?
nicci said…
it is now several days since this posting, and going back to reread it again this morning.... a deeper understanding. and thinking of the decision maker as the learning mind is very helpful. meditating regularly has become an essential retraining for the learning mind in returning to present moment where i find the Voice of the Holy Spirit quietly awaiting me. reflecting on the presence of alienation in my life at this time, yes, seeing that my desire for connection and relationship is being driven by ego-personal need. stepping quietly back into present moment, forgiving this separation driven need and turning it over to Him for undoing. letting Him show me . . . thank you. nicci
hannahlily said…
you know what.. that feels better, and when i combine the two, it feels great. adding chooser to decision maker also just popped into my head. thanks :)

also laughing, in regard to liz' response to george (hi george!), as this is the beginning content of the latest emails ive been receiving with the don juan quotes... while the 'changes in energy' part im not sure about in light of my understanding of acim being that the world itself, as a 'whole' is not heading toward any transformation? ive included it as it may just be a way of describing how teachers/students of truth seem to evolve, to expand in perception toward knowledge.

'According to Don Juan, massive changes in energy are happening at the present time, which will inevitably cause the emergence of a new cycle of warriors. To differentiate them from their predecessors, I have called them modern seers, or seers of the new era. ~ Carlos Castaneda

As more and more of these warriors-seers emerge, the teachings of Castaneda are undergoing a wonderful transformation. As Castaneda said to Armando Torres, the most remarkable thing about them (modern seers) is their capacity of revision. At this time, seekers of knowledge are forced to thoroughly examine everything that has been said in the past, adapting traditional knowledge to the modality of the time, in order for the warrior's way to be truly and finally understood by people.

Liz,Benidict Groeschel was a life-long friend of Helen,he was her student when she was a professor of psychology.He suffered a car accident that left him with severe brain damage.From ACIM point of view he was a bit of sheep in wolf's clothing.I'm not sure his opinion of Helen is reliable.Sorry to wander off topic like this.I love your blogs and like others have said,they arrive just at the right time.I've now added your first volume Messages for ACIM to my Kindle.At 88 years of age I have a sneaking feeling time is not on my side to study all you have graciously published !
ACIM Mentor said…
Thank you for the information, George. Another had also sent me a little information about him. He came to see Helen as being led by the devil? Perhaps you meant he was a wolf in sheep's clothing? I'm not sure if any of this changes his knowledge about whether or not she had a background in CS. In any case, none of this has anything to do with Truth! That's the bliss of it. It's all just a story...
I got mixed up with the wolf and the sheep: you knew what I meant, anyway.While I was writing it I came to the same conclusion as you: none of it has anything to do with Truth.We can stay with the Peace of God! Your writings are a great help to me ,Liz,Many thanks.

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