Ask: Does Lesson 68 have it wrong?

“During our discussion (in the study group) of Lesson 68:’Love does not hold on to resentment’, you made it abundantly clear that you personally could not follow the part about seeing everyone as your friend because trying to do so made resentment even stronger. What mattered, you said, was being in Truth, so regardless how others showed up you would be at peace. And in the event that someone was so dysfunctional, you could set up a boundary and still be at peace. This made total sense to me and suited my own personality. What I can now take out of that lesson is to think how resentment disturbs my peace; how it reinforces my guilt and belief in a false god.
What hangs me up however, is that lesson 68 is quite clear when it tells us to see these others ‘as my friend’, when I know that doing so will be counterproductive. So I choose to ignore it. Is the Course wrong here? Where else does it give ‘bad’ advice? Are we free to pick and choose how to interpret it based on what feels comfortable?” – ES

A Course in Miracles is not “wrong” nor is it giving “bad” advice. This is a good example of what I mean when I say it is important to read spiritual material in context. And it is also a good example of why it is important to read spiritual material with the Holy Spirit (your awareness of Truth).

The context of ACIM is Helen Schucman’s mind and her relationships, particularly the one she had with Bill Thetford. Reading the Text and Workbook it is abundantly clear that she held onto a lot of dark thoughts about others. She was full of resentments and stories of victimhood. This seemed to be her primary issue in relationships with others. And it was the way her obstacles to peace showed up. She was being asked to be open to a new way of looking at others. Asking her to look at others as her friends rather than as her enemies probably worked well for the way her mind worked.

But it didn’t work that way for this mind. Focusing on seeing others in any way kept me in ego (the personal thought system). I tried for many, many years to apply ACIM as written and found it did not work. Finally, I said to hell with it. I was no longer going to try to “see Christ in others” or to forgive as ACIM teaches forgiveness (to see it is not real). It wasn’t working. I decided to focus on what did work for me: Communing with God daily and my companion-like relationship with the Holy Spirit. After focusing on these for a while, lo and behold, forgiveness came! Instead of seeing Christ (Truth) in others I found I could be aware of Christ’s Presence no matter how others were showing up. My awareness of Truth with me always led to my letting go of the ego and its world. It led to forgiveness.

When I was finally tired of stubbornly applying ACIM in a way that never worked for me I was open to the Holy Spirit giving me a new approach. The reason I wasn’t open earlier was because in guilt I was very rigid about ACIM. Like many students for a long time I thought doing ACIM right was the goal rather than that ACIM was simply an instrument that the Holy Spirit could use to reach me. If I’d understood that the Holy Spirit was the point I would’ve been a lot gentler with myself and brought my problems applying ACIM to the Holy Spirit much sooner.


You are always free to read ACIM however you want! There is no “right” way or “wrong” way to read it. But there are helpful and unhelpful ways to read it. You only have the choice of two teachers as you study: the ego or the Holy Spirit. I tried to apply ACIM with the ego for a very long time. The clues that I was studying with the ego were in how it wasn’t working and how my guilt increased with my sense of failure (not helpful). The ego is a rigid, judgmental teacher. The Holy Spirit is the Gentle Teacher. It will always help you find what works for you and It will never increase your guilt (helpful).

>>>>>
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.

Comments

hannah said…
so... is one way of looking at the process you went through here, that you stopped trying to change or fix the ego, but started observing it with holy spirit? "looking and waiting and judging not"?

"Like many students for a long time I thought doing ACIM right was the goal rather than that ACIM was simply an instrument that the Holy Spirit could use to reach me."

after all these years studying, holy spirit still feels like an abstract idea. and yep, i feel like that is failure! im still trying to make my ego kinder. meditation has begun making me feel alternately angry and bored.

Christine said…
Liz, lately in my study, the term "other/s" has popped up a lot. Twoness, another, opposites, etc. It all stems from where we believe in more than Oneness...sure, the forms are multitudinous, but the content is where there is no "other". Hannah - I just looked up the definition of 'abstract', and you are right in saying -" the holy spirit still feels like and abstract idea...", It is!!! Abstract: as an adjective/ existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence."
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, no I wasn't at the stage yet where I could merely observe. That came later, after my awareness of Truth had grown to where I could do that naturally. I was still very much in the world and bringing Truth into that experience to grow my awareness of Truth.

And, yes, as Christine noted the Holy Spirit is abstract. Here's a way to experience the Holy Spirit: Think of a situation that upsets you. Think about the upset. Now think of how the Holy Spirit must see it. If you can do that, then you have experienced the Holy Spirit! All the Holy Spirit is, is the thought system in your mind that comes from your awareness of Truth.
sosolobi said…
I've been struggling with ACIM for so long. Very Hard to digest... And I must admit I DO have a very judgmental mind. And I think rightly so because I see so many wrongs in the world (wars, injustice and much more...) that upset me beyond words... Forgiveness for people who make others suffer for the only purpose of gain is a tough one!!
hannah said…
thanks christine and liz.

liz, that puts a different spin on it in my mind, and raises a question, because i do that all the time. i have become very observant of where my mind is at, and aware of thoughts that exclude truth and sameness/oneness, and when i observe those thoughts its easy and automatic to remember 'acims' teachings as well as my experiences of 'one story/song'. what does NOT happen (or rarely) is a shift to FEELING peace or joy, which is why i didnt think of it as holy spirit, but as my ego remembering the truth.. or another way of saying that, as the ego intellectualising ideas of truth.

recalling truth and oneness DOES relieve (always to some degree, and sometimes completely!) the belief that i need to fix or change something in someone elses mind, or in the world. this letting go has been happening over the past couple of years, mainly the last few months (triggered in a great part by communication with liz). i am very very grateful for this shift, the weight of responsibility was huge, i trust completely that this process of letting go will continue, so guilt over recognising that im trying to fix a projection is fleeting, shifts quickly to gratitude to the 'other' and gentleness with myself.

but in a nutshell id say that while i feel less concern/responsibility over what shows up outside of me, i feel greater depression and concern over not experiencing an increase inside myself in joy/happiness. acim says (as i understand it) that choosing the teacher for peace will increase our peace, right, and our happiness? so if i am becoming more aware of the thought system which stems from an awareness of Truth, (honestly, acims teachings come into my mind frequently throughout every day, it just happens now) why is my depression growing again, rather than peace!? i no longer rage at myself, which is truly bloody awesome.. (thanks again for this shift liz, i know you didnt do this, but communication with you (in my perception that im in a world ;) ) has been the trigger!). ok, laugh.. am clear in my mind on the question now (nutshell within a nutshell!) why doesnt truth FEEL like reality to me, if i am communicating frequently and automatically with holy spirit? it made sense while i thought of it as thinking about truth with the ego. im missing a link here somewhere, or not understanding something.
Anonymous said…
Perhaps "seeing" the "other" with a Cheshire grin offers another passage to the term "friend".
Christine said…
Hi, Hannah - we're at the pre-beginning of the beginning of healing our split minds and returning home to our True Self...takes time and Trust/Faith....like you see an acorn and you know that the whole oak tree is in there. Stick with learning Truth - in any form you can - some are slow, some quicker and more layers of doubt are removed. These fits and starts are normal and are "par for the course"...I recall Ken Wapnick's stating in a CD in a lecture that you finally figure out that "nothing here ever works". When I first heard that I thought boy is he wrong! Plenty of things work out here, then I really listened to what was in back of that statement: nothing works out permanently here.
As students of Truth, we are looking for what is permanent deep down inside...something that lasts no matter what the outside circumstances seem to be telling us/perception, etc. That's Peace finally! Practice peace every day - it's not about denial, it's just looking at things/situations/people/pets who bug you - whatever - driving on the highway and someone cuts you off - practice looking at your reaction! Nowadays I laugh a lot at my self - like Ronald Reagan's saying, "There you go again!"
hannah said…
thanks christine, for your kind gentleness :)

youve actually expressed another aspect of whats been getting to me. it was obvious that attachment to outcomes in the world would keep me rooted in the world, in my awareness. that is what has been shifting, and i am now happy to let that keep changing at the pace that it will. i had a dream a while before starting to study acim, and also an experience a few months back which showed me that it is possible to be peaceful and joyful in my perception of being in the world exactly as it appears in its current state, whatever that may be. liz helped me work through some big blocks to my accepting that, and i just trust that that process will continue 'under its own steam' so to speak... im in the process of ceasing to demand anything of 'outer circumstances'. but as fas as my inner state goes, its like.. noticing that even if i remained attached to outer circumstances, there is nothing that could disturb my peace, because i dont experience inner peace!! i am attached to how this self feels.
Frank C said…
This is such an awesome subject... I'm really glad we are exploring this. In fact, I have been searching for an "answer" to this "dilemma" for quite awhile. As I add this discussion to my "search for Truth" (and Peace), I'm beginning to "get it"... unfortunately, like most of this material, I'm finding it quite challenging to put into words. Well, anyway, here goes:

I have observed that one of the most persistent (and troublesome) characteristics of the "brain" (personal thought system/ego/small self) is that it is uncomfortable when it doesn`t have an "answer"... it doesn`t like "being in the question". Paradoxically, having been designed (by you) to hide the Truth from your awareness, it has no idea of what IT (real answer) would be anyway, so it can never bring you the closure you are seeking. And, as is often stated in ACIM, there is only one “problem”: the illusion of separation.

In short, whenever we get into these “deep, complicated discussions”, we are essentially falling into the ego trap of “figuring it out”, which is simply a form of mental masturbation, designed (by the ego) to keep us forever “stuck in our stuff”... we are seeking to NOT find (or, looking for Love in all the wrong places ;-) We are making the illusion of a problem into something “real”... obviously, a waste of time!

So, by now your brain is going absolutely crazy, trying either to make sense out of what I just said, or trying to find the “logical flaw” in this assertion, or engaged in any number of other useless, self-sabotaging mental mastications that you think will bring you some kind of “peace” and/or closure. But, as you might have guessed by now, no matter how much time or effort you put into it, you will never find what you are seeking (at least, not by asking the ego). But, there has to be some way to break free of this quandary… right?

Well, the good news is that there is an “answer”, and you already “know” IT, and IT is “hidden” inside you, and you will “find IT” the instant you stop searching for it!! Ok, I’m done… I could go on and on about this, but that would be just a continuation of the same pointless “logical explanation”.

The main point I want to make is that although there may seem to be many “sources of truth” in this world, the only way for each of us to find our way “home” (The Reality of Oneness) is to learn to ask for (and to discern) the “answer” from the part of each of us that “knows” the TRUTH…and, the best way to learn how to “do” that is to to develop a solid relationship (and trust in) your Higher Self (Jesus, the Holy Spirit, whatever name you choose). No one, and no thing, no matter how wise or “holy” they (or it) may seem to be, has the “solution” to your imagined problem. And please, DO NOT believe anything I say… what I am saying here is simply MY perception of the “truth”. That is all anyone (including Liz, Helen, Ken, or any other person you think is an “expert”) has to offer… yes, their “sharings” may inspire and assist you in your journey, but ultimately, it will always come down to finding, and honoring, your personally unique path to Wholeness!

May the FORCE be with You!

Frank
hannah said…
lol, falling down the rabbit hole of solving non existent problems. the rabbit hole of complexity. of selfdom! made me laugh frank.. i just had an email from desert dreams (follower of this blog) and they signed the email 'may the course be with you' ;)
nicci said…
some time back i began to realize that my forgiving wasn't just uncovering hidden guilt, but was resulting in increased guilt. i began to understand that the process could and often was being hijacked by personal ego.

more and more i am noticing how my relationship with acim is directing me towards a deepening relationship with HS, which i experience as a Presence. and so meditating to strengthen this connection has become central to the practice, as well as turning all forgiving over to that Place Within where i find Him.

i am grateful for your sharing this morning liz, and will return to it through out the coming days. your words are helpful; they strengthen my trust in this process and the desire to cultivate a stronger relationship with HS.

so grateful to all who have met here to share their hearts.

endless Love, n
As an old/new boy to ACIM I'm so grateful for Liz's letters and all the comments that you add. Thank you,keep them coming.I've reached Lesson 83 in the WB and perhaps I would have given up but for my long background in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy and Joel Goldsmith et al.It all seems to flow and fit in.I'm just hoping that I can get through the Course before I kick the bucket ! Namaste. George.
Unknown said…
Yes, Liz, this was an extremely helpful post. I too long to cultivate the relationship with Holy Spirit within.
And to you, George, I'm reading Joel as well ~ and may you live long and be happy!
Chris
Jeremy said…
The only way I have been even slightly able to wrap my mind around true forgiveness is to remember that all that I perceive in this world is illusion. So, when I look at 'what someone has done' or look upon 'a person's inadequacies', etc. I am not seeing my brother at all. In fact, when I look at something 'marvelous' that someone has done, some 'good deed', etc., I still am not seeing my brother; I am seeing only illusion, that which I have projected onto the screen of consciousness. It is much easier to forgive when you realize that nothing at all has ever happened! My 'brother' remains as he always has been and eternally is, as created in God's loving Mind. (Metaphysically we need not get into whether there are really individuals -- 'brothers' -- within the one Son of God; if there are, they are not SEPARATE individuals as we perceive them.)

In fact, in the Holy Spirit's interpretation, the actions of the 'evil', or even minor annoyance, that we perceive is simply another loving opportunity to choose again. And one can truly appreciate each opportunity. I can appreciate and be thankful for the perception of murder or rape or child abuse as an opportunity to once again realize that I have chosen, at the level of the mind (of course!) to perceive this. It is lovingly 'given' as I have asked. What is perceived is not really going on at all. It is just what I have chosen to perceive by my having chosen the ego as my teacher. And so, in observing this, and in realizing that all I am seeing is what I choose to perceive, I can then ask myself if this is what I want; and choose again.

In this sense, the appearance of some brother seeming to attack another, is lovingly provided in response to my own choice. And in that sense, that brother IS my friend, 'giving' as I have asked.

Keep in mind too that since the world is illusion, no one is actually being attacked and harmed. And to minds that perceive being attacked, they have chosen to perceive that. Nothing actually happens to us, and what SEEMS to happen is just an effect (though in illusion) of what the mind has chosen, based on the choice of voices (thought system).
BarryMac said…
Thank you, Liz, I find that very, very helpful especially with my perfectionist "am I doing it right?" habit which I am gradually letting go of, much to my own great relief!
Anonymous said…
One thing that has proven to be helpful for me with this lesson is a quote from Marianne Williamson, "Just because you have forgiven someone doesn't mean you have to have lunch with them." ��
Anonymous said…
Jeremy, Be careful you don't go to far with this. We only have the personal mind. Forgiveness is not something the personal mind can work with. It's just words. You may be setting yourself up.
ACIM Mentor said…
Sosolobi, true forgiveness recognizes none of this is real. That awareness comes when the Truth is true for you and you can let go of the whole story of a world. In the meantime, don't try to forgive. You will only make yourself more uncomfortable. (ACIM calls the ego's version of forgiveness "forgiveness-to-destroy"). Instead, grow your awareness of Truth and don't judge yourself for your reactions to the world. They will pass.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, it was over 20 years before peace came to stay in my awareness. In the meantime I had to accept that I was going to be uncomfortable until I had grown in an awareness of Truth. It was a great relief to stop striving for happiness. And when peace came it came to me apart from the ego.

Also, be aware that depression=anger=fear=guilt. When you are depressed ask yourself (with the Holy Spirit) why you are angry. Anger is a defensive response. It means you are afraid. So when you find the anger ask yourself why you are afraid. And all fear in the end means you feel guilty. So when you find the fear then ask yourself why you feel guilty. Sometimes finding the guilty belief is enough to undo it. But if you still believe in the guilt this will not undo it but at least you will know what is going on in your own mind.
hannah said…
ok, that hit home liz, thanks. i can see the logic in what you say. i can see how ceasing to strive for happiness would be a great relief, easing resistance and releasing attachment to 'self and story'. and i can see that ceasing to strive for happiness means/is accepting this discomfort as part of the process. but man, that feels like a big big habit to kick, considering that even choosing to grow in an awareness of Truth, is about desiring happiness. peace, but happiness as well. i imagine they go together? you say when peace came it came apart from the ego.. did happiness come as well!? oh, hang on.. you didnt say you stopped desiring happiness, you just didnt try to force it into being!? oh wow, accept discomfort. crikey.

so.. peace came to you apart from the ego.. this feels significant but i cant quite get it. um. so the ego is the thought system for not truth, for 'separation/individuality as real'. so peace came to you with the thought system for 'one mind as reality'? and one mind knows completeness and strives for nothing?

liz, are peace, happiness and joy anything like you imagined it/them to be before peace actually came to your awareness??

and thank you a LOT for the process for clarifying what is going on my mind, im grateful. when the feeling of depression wells again, i will follow the thread.
Jeremy said…
Anonymous,

You said, of my earlier post: "Jeremy, Be careful you don't go to far with this. We only have the personal mind. Forgiveness is not something the personal mind can work with. It's just words. You may be setting yourself up."

Well, one of the central messages of ACIM is that we do NOT have only the personal mind. We also have the Holy Spirit, that part of our mind that remains in complete awareness of truth. That part knows that nothing outside of us can touch us, victimize us. There IS nothing outside of us.

No, one cannot go 'too far' with Truth. Truth simply is. The question is: are we going to compromise it with untruth? Of course, but when we do, all we perceive is untruth.

Look at Lesson 130: "Perception is consistent. What you see reflects your thinking. And your thinking but reflects your choice of what you want to see. Your values are determiners of this, for what you value you must want to see, believing what you see is really there. No one can see a world his mind has not accorded value. And no one can fail to look upon what be believes he wants."

I see nowhere where Jesus cautions us not to take this paragraph too seriously. But keep in mind that no harm is done; therefore there is no guilt. I do see your point, however. You are afraid that if we fail to condemn 'the evil doers' we simply encourage them and give them our blessing to attack. But don't you also see that a world that depends upon condemnation MUST be illusion and therefore meaningless?

Value nothing in this world! For it is a world of conflict and death. Some that we call joy, yes. But joy that is mixed with misery is not true joy.

No one said that ACIM is easy. It is simple, yes. But not really easy to accept.

I don't agree with Liz in one respect. I agree that we should not try to forgive when our minds seem to be imprisoned in the ego thought system. The ego cannot truly forgive. And she is correct that if you grow your awareness of Truth, forgiveness will fall into line. But I say that one way to grow your awareness of truth is to realize fully that all that we see here, in our perception, is what we choose to see. Otherwise we truly feel victimized by our 'lives' and what we perceive as evil and misery. And ACIM seems to agree, since this is a point it makes. And why would ACIM make a point that we are to ignore?
Anonymous said…
Jeremy,
My sense is in using the extreme examples you were trying to make a point. However, the course as our reality is not really available for most of us. Most of us are in the discussion stage trying to make sense of it all. Things like Forgiveness are impossible to understand with the personal mind and are not available to us as a state of mind. It's something we talk about. We need to keep grounded.

However your point was taken.
Anonymous said…
The ego wants us to believe that understanding the course is the goal. Understanding the Course get us to the start line, the first rung on a very tall ladder.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, I would certainly say the deep contentment I feel is a form of happiness. But it is not personal happiness. The ego still goes on with its stories of lack. They just do not affect me.

As for joy I only feel that in contrast. For example, when I have a moment of release from guilt I will feel joyful for a bit. But I do not go around over-joyed all the time. Nor do I go around thinking I am at peace. Peace has become the new normal so it does not stand out as it did when I felt it in contrast to ongoing conflict.

Peace feels as I thought it would. What surprised me was it coming to me apart from the ego. It was then I realized I'd been trying to "fix" the ego or make it peaceful. That will never happen. And it's irrelevant, of course, because I have peace!
Jeremy said…
Good, Anonymous. I am happy that some point might be taken from my posting.

And I hope that you realize that I am not insisting that you accept the Course's teaching now. I certainly do not fully accept it; not at all. I am still a fence-sitter, often embroiled in condemning and guilt and fear. Almost always I am perceiving that I am a personal self.

But I have found that 'making sense of it' is extremely helpful and that is what you say your too are trying to do. So, my posting, and the quote from Chapter 130 is exactly that: an attempt to help us all make sense of it.

It seems to me that to have a discussion about forgiveness when the one thing that is left out is the Course's actual teaching of forgiveness is simply unhelpful. I simply want to remind folks that the whole ACIM teaching of forgiveness involves the ESSENTIAL step in seeing that the world is an illusion, one that we wanted to be real, but that we are now making a different choice. And this is what I would say is 'making sense of it all'. Remember, you are NOT the ego; your mind is not the personal mind. You need not insist that the personal mind is the only mind you have. If we insist upon it -- the same is true of all of us -- then it is because we THINK that the personal mind is what we want. But in fact we only want it because we already identify with it and believe that by letting it go we will die. Thus we are now choosing the personal self out of fear, not truly because we, in our right minds, would want it.
Anonymous said…
An interesting thought that Liz seems to make is that we learn the course so that we can let it go and begin the serious work in our spiritual growth.
ACIM Mentor said…
Jeremy, I'm not quite sure why you think I said we should not recognize that what we see is what we choose to see. That's what I teach all the time! Otherwise there's no way out...
Jeremy said…
ACIM also wants you to understand the Course! Yes, intellectual understanding is just a first step and only a means (not the goal, as you correctly state), but it is clearly the way that ACIM offers! Why study ACIM and refuse the help that it gives? Not that you are doing that, but your statement might lead you to think that understanding is unimportant. It IS important!

I don't recall the Course emphasizing how tall the ladder is, as if it is out of your immediate reach. To believe that salvation depends upon great effort and a great amount of time would be in direct contradiction to all that it teaches.

To believe that release from our confinement is beyond our immediate reach is a statement to deny what you are: the Son of God, one with God. Even if you feel that you will not make the choice for Truth today, it is most helpful to accept the teaching that Truth is always within your grasp because it is within your own mind.

Effect is not separate from cause. The effect of salvation is directly one with with cause of acceptance. All you need do is accept the Holy Spirit't teaching fully. That start line is also the finish line. You may choose for it to take much time, but that IS simply a choice. And too is fine. I am not saying that it is wrong. Since all time is illusion, it only seems to take time, and only the extent that we want it to take time... still insisting that time (and thus separation) is real.

You say: "An interesting thought that Liz seems to make is that we learn the course so that we can let it go and begin the serious work in our spiritual growth."

Yes, but does that mean to put the Course aside before we have accepted its teachings? Clearly not.
Jeremy said…
Liz, you said: "Jeremy, I'm not quite sure why you think I said we should not recognize that what we see is what we choose to see. That's what I teach all the time! Otherwise there's no way out..."

I don't recall indicating that I think what you suggest that I think. :-/ My only comment about you was about your suggestion to Sosolobi: "true forgiveness recognizes none of this is real. That awareness comes when the Truth is true for you and you can let go of the whole story of a world. In the meantime, don't try to forgive. You will only make yourself more uncomfortable. (ACIM calls the ego's version of forgiveness "forgiveness-to-destroy"). Instead, grow your awareness of Truth and don't judge yourself for your reactions to the world. They will pass."

I agree with almost all of it, and in fact you do state the most important point, that none of this is real. And yet the Course teaches the importance of forgiveness from the very early chapters and throughout. Yes, it is meaningless to try to 'forgive' in the ego's way. Absolutely! But without forgiveness there will be no real growing of the awareness of Truth. So one MUST begin to accept the unreality of the world, even from the beginning of the path. Otherwise there IS no path. In any case, that is what has worked for me. And though I am still a fence sitter, I have made huge gains along the path and it has started with taking the Course at its word.
Jeremy said…
I now reconsider and realize that I was not speaking truly when I said, "So one MUST begin to accept the unreality of the world, even from the beginning of the path. Otherwise there IS no path."

That is not quite true.

But in implication it is true. When you offer a loving smile to a brother you are already on the path. And ultimately that loving smile -- seeking nothing you need -- is a denial of the ego's thought system and a recognition that the world of perception is not the truth.
Anonymous said…
I used the ladder analogy from what I see going on with students. Liz mentioned the 20 year mark before peace came to stay. Of course there are exceptions but again there is a need to stay grounded so we don't go flying off on some tangent because we are in a hurry.
Anonymous said…
...or because we feel Special.
Jeremy said…
Yes, I agree completely, Anonymous.

And I note your use of the word 'grounded', and I presume that you must mean that we do not want to lose any sense of self, or attempt to bolster the false self based, as you say, on ego-based accomplishment and specialness. Yes, so important.

All grounding must be in Truth.

Though when we contemplate letting go of the personal self it may feel that we are threatening the 'grounding' that the personal self *seems* to offer. It does seem to take a long time to gain the confidence to acknowledge that the personal self offers nothing of value. Yes, in that sense the ladder analogy is a good one. And it is important to never feel that we must hurry, as if the world of time is real. Nothing is lost in it seeming to take much time.

Thank you!
Anonymous said…
Grounding as I'm talking about is pretty simple and straightforward. Finally knowing that your not special, your not going to be Tolle, the Holy Spirit isn't going to tap you on the shoulder and tell you "your the one," that your just a regular guy trudging thru this thing. There's is a relief in it.

We don't let go of the personal self, we can't realistically contemplate what letting it go means. This is the Holy Spirits area and contemplating strengthens the ego. But what I writing has turned into just a bunch of words so it's time to stop.
hannah said…

liz, that was a very intriguing response! like your last response, i get the feeling that the confusion it engendered has the potential to lead to an understanding which would stop me beating my head against a brick wall! i have a couple of questions.

do you think what you described (peace coming to you apart from the ego) is a concept that can be grasped, or begin to be understood, by a self, before the experience has been.. experienced?!

because i dont think i understand what you mean by 'it is not personal happiness'. what IS it that experiences peace, happiness etc in your mind, if not your perception of you as you? you said re the egos stories 'they just dont effect me', and 'i have peace'. isnt that me the personal self.. and so the peace would be personal?

is there still a voice/perception in your mind, that you simply dont believe anymore?? and a voice/perception that you do believe? while we perceive ourselves AS selves in a world, does the one spilt mind, the 'son of god' remain split, but just no longer taken seriously!?


hannah said…
laugh.. or at least id KNOW im beating my head against a brick wall ;)
hannah said…
ive just read through the conversation between jeremy and anonymous, and it raises another question, not actually related to their topic of conversation, but inspired by a comment in it. i was actually wondering just yesterday, what liz' perception would be on some experiences i had years ago. i wasn't actually going to ask the question though, as i dont think it matters what was going on beyond that it was part of my starting to trust help was available, and that the world wasnt the concrete reality i had perceived. but the synchronistic timing of wondering about it yesterday, and then anonymous speaking of shoulder tapping changed my mind.. ill ask :)

about 16 years ago, pre acim time, i was standing in a friends kitchen and i felt what i thought was brett tap my shoulder firmly, twice, i turned around and there was no one there. (brett had been teaching me that perceptions i believed and trusted in fully could be completely mistaken, and was also teaching me about 'spirit guides'.)

then, in my very early acim days i went to learn how to do 'reconnective healing' and the same thing happened while i was listening to a talk. all i can recall is that just before the taps on my shoulder, that the speaker was talking about 'a secret garden' in our minds, where there was an undisturbable peace. it struck me as i had brought a notebook along to the course which a friend had given me, and she had written 'hannahs secret garden' on the front cover.

the last one actually happened a couple days before the shoulder taps at the 'healing' course.. i was actually having the 'reconnective healing' done myself, which i knew was supposed to be a hands off healing, no touching the body. i thought desley was running her finger along my fingers and toes, and was getting annoyed as id paid $333 to get the reconnection done, and i wanted her to be doing what id paid for. then i felt (what i thought was her) hold me firmly on my right forearm. it didnt feel 'mystical or radiating love' or anything, it just felt like a warm, firm and very human touch. i thought to myself 'bugger 'surrendering to the experience', im going to say something to her' and opened my eyes. the hand on my arm disappeared, and desley wasnt there, i turned my head and she was a metre away on the other side of the massage table. i started laughing, and hardly stopped for the remainder of the session.

now.. i can understand that all these experiences where simply a way to start leading myself into trust, into not feeling so alone, and also possibly to get myself to pay attention to aspects of learning i may have missed otherwise. what im wondering is.. why did the touches feel so human and normal? i had already been experiencing very vivid energetic kinds of feelings, my attention could have easily been 'got' by a continuation of that kind of non physical experience. why would these feel completely solidly person like? doesnt matter if theres not an answer, my peace isnt disturbed by these memories, but i have wondered about it.

ok, thats odd, i just had another experience of synchronicity relating to that time.
Jeremy said…
Hannah, In a sense I may be intruding in your dialogue with Liz, but I offer one explanation; but I suggest that we not get into whether this interpretation is true and others perhaps false. That kind of 'figuring it out' in our thinking is rather meaningless. The only value to an interpretation is whether or not it resonates with that part of your mind that is desiring to be free from the rigid thoughts of separation. So you can just put this suggestion into the well of guidance and let it be, in peace, and no further thinking or deciding, on a conscious level. I suggest that you also consider any other thoughts about this that are given either in your own thinking mind or which seem to come from 'others'. Realize that every idea is really given by your mind, and that mind is more than what you call your personal mind.

I do not intend to interrupt or hijack your dialogue with Liz. So, of course, feel free to bracket this off, if that feels better.

So here it is: You want connection with what you perceive as others, because you know on some level that you are the One Self, and thus there is no separation. But, at the same time, you still fear that oneness because you have identified with the body and the personal self; and you value this identification. So a compromise is reached. You experience contact with others physically but also 'feel' the connection even when the bodies are not in contact. Thus you are giving yourself the confirmation that connection is more than physical, yet still seeming to experiencing it as a 'physical touch' so as to protect your identification with the body. So, in this sense, the experience is just what you are giving yourself as transition to a less rigid thought; from the thought that all that exists is physical, to the thought that real connection is somewhat beyond the physical, while still experienced as physical.

Of course you already know that communication -- connection -- is more than physical (though in truth it is not physical at all), but you don't really believe if fully unless it has a physical aspect, so this is what you have decided to experience, as a transition, or compromise.
Anonymous said…
A quote about putting the Course down. A little out of context as it is about forgiveness but I think the point about the Course is there.

“It lets the Holy Spirit make exchange of pictures possible, until the time when aids are meaningless and learning done. No learning aid has use that can extend beyond the goal of learning. When its aim has been accomplished it is functionless. Yet in the learning interval it has a use that now you fear, but yet will love.”
Pps. 573-74 Text
hannah said…
hi jeremy, it is no intrusion :) it actually makes sense, the transition idea. i can see that it has acted as a bridging experience between beliefs. maybe it was as simple as that! thanks for the input!
hannah said…
liz, i have been going through some of your earlier blogs to see if i could find clarification. is the following blog what you are talking about? practically, is it like say, feeling sad or whatever, but not believing that the sadness means anything, not adding further stories to the feeling, because 'another part' of your mind knows the Truth? so when you say 'its not personal happiness', do you mean that its not happiness based on personal desire fulfilment??



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't Measure - Trust

For a long time if I was cranky or uncomfortable or simply not at peace I thought I was “failing” on my path to reach God. This was of course a daily occurrence. I measured every tiny up or down as though my mood was the measure of my success on my path to God. And if I was depressed, conflicted, or unhappy – which was most of the time – I’d think that perhaps I was stalled, or worse, that I’d had a set-back.

What I’ve learned along the way, though, is that what I am personally going through has nothing at all to do with the Holy Spirit in me. To think it does is the arrogance of the ego. The Holy Spirit works through me and in me regardless of all of the ego’s frantic distractions. I did my individual part years ago when I invited the Holy Spirit into my awareness so I’ve already “succeeded”, if you want to call it that. In time I learned that peace comes when I stop measuring and I trust. I trust that God is here despite what is appearing in front of the body’s eyes or the ego’s variable moods. When I listen to the ego and ride its roller-coaster of moods I am not failing, I am not even delaying – I am doing nothing. God is. And being aware that God is unchanged and unchangeable is peace.
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Hannah, that article expresses it.

As to your question about what is experiencing all of this if not the personal self: it is a mind that thinks it is having an experience of a personal self. It was the experience of peace coming to stay apart from the personal self that taught me that the personal self is not me.

For your question about those experiences of tapping: I have no idea what they were about. They seem like idiosyncratic experiences that it is best to take to the Holy Spirit for an explanation.
Christine said…
My grandmother (my Mom's mom) was "tapped" really firmly a couple times on her shoulder (late 40's early '50's) in our basement where I grew up...but she was having fun and using a Ouigee Board at the time!! She was "open minded" and was the one who got the family to study Christian Science (at least her two daughters did...). Liz - isn't even an episode like what Hannah wrote about - it is still We as the other who is tapping us? Even if it seems to be a scary ghostly apparition - it is some aspect of ourself?
Christine said…
Oh, and when I was walking one of my little dogs this morning, a neighbor who was walking her dog just out of the blue told me to go listen the Joni Mitchell song, "Both Sides Now"... I went on line and I actually just read the lyrics - and they are so appropo to this topic! (not about being tapped by an invisible hand, but about illusions!)
ACIM Mentor said…
Christine, I'm not sure what you mean by "We as the other" but Hannah's experience is within the mind of the one split-mind (dreamer of the dream). Whether it came from outside of or from within the dream figure is what she would figure out with the Holy Spirit.
Anonymous said…
Liz,

On page 642 of MACIM it says: " The body's health is your witness to a healed mind. As long as healing is not manifested in the body, your belief in healing will not have conviction. Healing is proved by demonstration that compels your belief..."

Do we take this literally?
Christine said…
I think my grandmother was more into "Christian Seance" (with the Ouiga Board event!)
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, I'd say, yes, that is not one of the figurative passages in ACIM and it is meant to be taken literally.
hannah said…
liz.. thanks you. im thinking that what you are speaking of must be what the 'one song/story' experience is opening to. ok. identity shifting from the individual self to the one dreamer of the dream. what does something coming 'from outside of or from within the dream figure' mean? what i mean is.. is that the same as asking 'does it come from the one split mind or from the personal mind?

christine! yesterday at 9:04 am (such detail... i just went and checked!) i shared a video to my timeline that someone else had posted (on facebook) of joni mitchell singing both sides now, back in the 70's!! laugh.. speaking of One Mind! ;)
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, that means, at the level of form, what you may want to discuss with the HS is: was the tapping sensation coming from a source outside of the body with which you identify or was it coming from the brain of the body with which you identify. For example, was there a presence of some kind at the level of form tapping the body. Or was it just a nerve sensation from within the body. This body has experienced pressure sensations like someone touching it when no one was touching it. It was just a nerve thing occurring. (This has never happened at a significant moment. It was just a rare random nerve sensation).
Anonymous said…
Liz/Hannah,

A few comments above I asked Liz about a quote from MACIM. When I asked I was thinking in terms of the dream is real. That was the way I was asking. In meditation this morning and doing a little reading I really realized how impossible it is for this mind to grasp "Ideas leave not their source." To grasp "the idea in the mind-which literally means there is no world outside our minds." It's impossible. I say this because I could sense the faintest glimmerings of the Holy Spirit making the transition to experience this in this mind. "You cannot understand forgiveness, let alone the practice of it, let alone what it means to hear the Holy Spirit, unless your really understand what the underlying metaphysics is. There is literally no world outside our minds." I am excited because even with this very faint shift in my experience the world moved.
Quotes from a Wapnick piece on the Rules for Decision in Chapter 30, Section 1.
hannah said…
anonymous.. this is where my mind has been at also, what is behind my questions regarding 'what experiences peace?'.

ive been actually starting to realise/accept what 'the course isnt talking to me personally', but to the 'one split mind', the decision maker as ken calls it, the learner as liz calls it.. (im pretty sure ive made the right connections between what ken and liz are speaking of) means.
this led to some confusion, because while i thought the course was talking to me personally, it made sense to imagine the personal self changing, transforming into the holy spirit i guess! which meant in practise that i was still trying to fix myself, others; the world. in other words, i was trying to change my ego, not change what voice i was listening to!
this has led to another understanding/connection, upon awakening this morning. when i feel as though the course is 'talking' to me personally, im taking the idea from acim 'the world you see is an outer picture of an inner condition' personally, which leads to me feeling personally responsible for pain and suffering, and therefore responsible for fixing it. all of which just made the individual self seem realer. even sitting here right now, focusing on growing in awareness of true perception, im believing that ideas have left their source and im trying to bring peace to this 'i'! but i can see now what im doing, and the impossibility of that.. and what im loving (right at this minute anyway ;) )is that i dont feel guilty for it!! im at the beginning of this process, of developing trust that truth offers what i really want, not the personal self. im sure i will experience ego backlash to these perception shifts, which will offer the opportunity to practise remembering all of the above!



hannah said…
this has led me to wonder... i have become aware that when i say to someone in distress something like 'i hope you feel better soon' i feel guilty as i have felt torn between offering comfort/showing care that the person will understand/accept, and feeling like maybe i was expressing a lack of faith.
hannah said…
ok, i think i just answered my own question. i WAS expressing lack of faith, but not by saying 'i hope you feel better' specifically. truth doesnt need me to express faith in it! the course actually addresses this, saying worrying about what to do (or say) or not do is an ego concern. my 'responsibility' is only to accept the truth in my own mind, and when i come from that awareness in my mind, whatever i do or say will be helpful. i guess i could also say, another aspect, is that i was attaching the past to the word hope.

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