The Present and the Process

First, this mind believed it was a self in a process toward the goal of peace. Then one day it had an experience while meditating that Truth is right here. It was the Holy Instant and It was breathtaking. This mind realized that in meditation, and in everything else, it always reached for Truth. And in that reaching it over-reached Truth and missed It because Truth is right here. It was like when the self looks for the mustard in the refrigerator but does not see it because the mustard is right in front of it and the self is looking past it to find it.

And then the awareness of the immediate Presence of Truth was gone. Each day in meditation this mind tried to be present and experience the Truth again but could not. It could remember the experience but not conjure it. How long did this go on? Months? Years? Then it happened again and this mind would think, “This is it. This is all I need to experience. This is all I need to remember. Stop reaching. It’s here now.” And then…It couldn’t make it happen again. More months, maybe years, before this mind had the experience again. But then, over a long, long time, it began to happen more often. And this mind began to take the awareness that “Truth is here now” into the unfolding of each day. “It’s here,” it would remind itself throughout the day and it would just be with It. If this mind couldn’t experience Truth it still reminded itself that Truth is here. This mind does not need to experience Truth for Truth to be.

Over a long time this mind re-trained itself to stop reaching, to stop thinking in terms of a goal, to just stop and be present to Truth. If this mind reached for peace it missed peace because peace is here. If this mind set up peace as a goal it would obtain in the future it put distance between itself and peace because peace is here now. And, over that long time, all that reaching and goal-setting diminished until it finally ceased. The Truth is here now and so is this mind. This mind no longer has anything for which to reach.

But there is still something in this mind that is in a process and that still seems to be learning. This mind has come to understand that actually time was over for it many, many years ago when it first allowed Truth into its awareness. Since then all it has been doing is accepting this fact. And now that it has accepted it, it can see that the self and its story was only ever an effect. Originally the self’s life in the world was an expression (effect) of the idea of not-Truth. Then, when this mind allowed Truth into its awareness, the story of the self became an expression (effect) of the-undoing-of-the-idea-of-not-Truth. And that part of the story is still going on. But this mind is learning to no longer confuse itself with the story. The unfolding story of the self is just an idea in its mind that it observes while it rests in the present in peace.

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Christine said…
Thanks, Liz - nothing could be added to this or taken away from it, it is perfectly clear. I am re-reading Practicing A Course in Miracles a little bit each time I sit down at this computer - and lately, the sentence which is repeated a lot is "That 'part' of your mind that thinks it is in a world"...Is it only a "part", then?
And about "overlooking the mustard in the refrigerator", I had a funny little experience this morning. When I pulled in to buy gas, a woman with a clipboard raced over to try and sell me garage work there at the station - I was kind to her and said I get my repairs at another garage, my family always had, and i am a loyal customer there, but I do buy gas here all the time! She was quite insistant, and even took my gas cap off then she did something I NEVER knew about: she put the gas cap in two little hooks right in the tiny door which opens and shuts over the gas cap! I said, "Wow!! I never knew it was supposed to go there when one is filling up the tank!!" Like, it was always there, with me (had this car 12 years so far) right under my nose! I didn't even know I didn't know this made me laugh so hard! I immediately in my mind equated it with Truth always being there, even if one is unaware.
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Christine, only a part of your mind thinks it is in a world. The other part knows Truth. This we call the "Holy Spirit".
Parsa Peykar said…
Liz sometimes I get a feeling that this is long way ago finished and wish to exeprience Truth fully without any world. I dont know if you feel that way sometimes but its not easy to relate to others; to me it seems the world and its story is far distant from "my" exeprience
hannah said…
ah, so thats the holy instant.. you KNOW truth!? what do you mean by time was over for you? um.. was it over in that you had recognised that which holy spirit uses time to know?

i laughed christine, ive been learning via my car too. plus earlier this year i had the experience of discovering that my car of years has a switch in the glove compartment that opens the boot.. such fun!
hannah said…
speaking of not reaching reminds me of something that happened recently, that i have a question about.

i was riding my bike and there was a huge flock of red-tailed black cockatoos in a stand of trees. i have wanted one of their tail feathers for years, and i thought 'thats a perfect place to search for one' as there were nuts and debris everywhere, theyd obviously been hanging out there for ages. i got off my bike to look in the thick undergrowth, and realised there were christmas spiders everywhere, hundreds of them. it seemed such a golden opportunity to find a feather, so many cockatoos.. but to look id have to destroy so many spidery homes. i stood there for quite some time, not wanting to miss the opportunity, but not wanting to disturb the spiders just for a feather. i thought 'if im meant to have a feather, i wont have to try so hard or destroy homes in the process' and got back on my bike and just forgot about it. less than a week later, out on a ride again and almost home, i heard a squawk loud enough to hear over my headphones, and stopped the bike and looked up. a red-tailed black cockatoo was right over my head, and as i watched it dropped two tail feathers right in front of me. they spiralled down with the sun shining through the red in them in such a glorious way.

i was quite gobsmacked. and while one aspect of it, the 'message' regarding not having to strain for things seems apparent to me, ive been confused about the dynamics of what happened there. i feel like im missing something, not understanding something. something about letting go? faith? timing? ease? desire? every conclusion i come to does not ring completely true for me! any thoughts anyone? cos it just occured to me maybe i cant 'get this' on my own! there were two feathers ;)
Parsa Peykar said…
Hey Hannah. I feel thats how everything works in life here. If you let it go with no attachment, it will show up in another time
Christine said…
The birds are another aspect of 'your self' or Self, I guilt about it! You gave the desired feathers from your Self to your Self...with no effort because there was no guilt in your mind. The spiders were thanking you for not making a mess of their homes. Are they only called 'Christmas spiders' at this time a year? Will they have to be called 'Holiday spiders' soon?? ;)
Annie Simone said…
You had me at searching for the mustard!

Whenever I get worked up that will be my go to visual.

Thank You.
Frank C said…
I accept the Atonement... I am the Light of the World, Here, Now, In TRUTH...

ACIM Mentor said…
Parsa, the more my peace has grown the less I've been able to relate to others. Of course! What they relate is far from my experience now. It's past for me. But there is no sense of loss because Truth is abundant wholeness. Sounds like you need to focus on growing your awareness of Truth. It will more than make up for the illusion of "relating" in human relationships.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, "time was over for me" means I am outside the story of time.
Ed Stone said…
I enjoyed your recent blog ,"The Present and the Process". I've been thinking lately how pleased I am with my decision to abandon my "formal" study of the Course. So much striving. As I go about my life now I watch the constant stream of thoughts, feelings, guilt, hope, fear, plans, and desires and liken it to sitting on a beach, watching the waves roll in. Oooh, here comes a big one! Wow, look at that one! And then, one by one, they crash and disappear, back where they came from. What was once so mighty is now a mass of bubbles. And so I sit and watch the ebb and flow, patiently awaiting that which will replace it.
Ed Stone
Desert Dreams said…
Loved the responses to this blog entry 'The Present and the Process'. I especially like the entry about the reverence for life and letting things come in their own time (feathers) and also the response that spoke of watching thoughts as they come in without any ego identification with them.

My analytic mind can get caught-up when thinking about the different parts of mind and especially as they relate to the Inner formless presence of Divine Being (visualize a cat, laying on her back, totally tangled in yarn!). I'm beginning to see that my part (at my nascent stage of learning) is to do the lessons, observe my mind, attempt to 'see' what is in my right mind (Truth based) and what is in my ego mind (not-truth, form, etc) and with Guidance... let go. I call it non-identification with insanity.

When I observe my ego self when it mistakenly chooses to react to something, as if there was anything outside my mind to cause me emotional upset, more and more I realize that this is It! This is the Moment to take responsibility; realize that I am being shown something unhealed in my ego mind and forgive myself for 'reacting' to what wasn't actually a threat (or an imperfection) at all.

I had this happen at the doctor's office recently. When I made the appointment I was clear that if my regular doctor wasn't available, another doctor or physician's assistant would be fine, just so long as they could preform a small procedure in the office, if they found it to be necessary. Well, it turned out the person I was assigned couldn't do the procedure and wanted to refer me to a different doctor at a different facility (30 miles away). She blamed the scheduler, but it was small comfort. I felt frustrated and angry!

When I looked at my emotions I asked myself what I was believing about this situation; what did I need to own? I began to see that I had the thought that when things don't go as planned, after I've spent energy IN that planning, that it's something 'done to me'. Obviously, my egoic mind and personal self were running the show. As Byron Katie asks... Who would you be without this thought? I would be my sinless, Divine Self! There was no recrimination. No self-judgment. Just smiles.
ED said…
Just to clarify my comments above re. those "waves" coming and going. Believe me, I'm deeply affected by all the crash and splash while it all seems to be happening. But while I'm very concerned about my specific concerns, I've learned not to be concerned about being concerned in general. Think about it - this speaks directly to the title of this blog, "The Present & the Process": Peace is in front of us but we don't see it. Instead we engage in a "process" of discovery that takes place in a dream of time. We take care of business while keeping the invitation open.
Christine said…
Very clear, Ed - thanks!
"The world I see holds nothing that I want.Beyond this world there is a world I want.I choose to see that world instead of this, for here is nothing that I really want." A Christmas blessing to all. George.

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