Showing posts from 2016

What If You Knew That The Ending Was Happy?

A Course in Miracles teaches, not in one place but by cobbling ideas introduced throughout, that the unfolding story of the universe of form in time is the expression of the moment in the Mind of God (Truth) of the-idea-of-not-God/the-undoing-of-the idea-of-not-God. The idea of the opposite of God arose and was undone instantly by God’s All-encompassing nature. But what was undone immediately in Truth seems in time to have begun long ago and as if it will be undone in some indefinite future. However, the outcome is inevitable; the “script is written”. The idea of Not-Truth will be undone in time because it is already undone in the Mind of Truth.  Looking at your life today or at the world today you cannot see this. But step out of time (Holy Instant) and you can see that everything in the story of time is perfectly a part of that undoing.
Looking at the story of the universe of form unfold is a lot like when you watch a movie. What you see on the screen already happened months ago whe…

The Holy Spirit Works in You

A Course in Miracles teaches that God (Truth) did not make the universe of form and does not come into it. Yet some students make comments to me about how the Holy Spirit made certain things happen in their lives in the world. Well, actually It didn’t. The Holy Spirit is in your mind. It affects your perception of the world and your interaction with the world but It does not leave you (or anyone else) and go out into the universe of form and make things happen. If you attribute “good” things in the world as coming from the Holy Spirit, wouldn’t you have to attribute “bad” things to the Holy Spirit as well? Or, perhaps, just that It is indifferent to the things that you deem as “bad” and so doesn’t intervene?
The universe of form works on cause and effect at the level of form. These causes and effects are a very complex, interwoven tapestry. What you think of as “you” in the world – the self (body/personality) – is part of the universe of form. The self is the product (effect) of vario…

You Are Not A Victim; You Are Making A Choice

Often I hear from clients who are in painful situations that they are not ready to leave. They feel powerless but they are not. And this is what I show them. They are in the situation because something they value in the situation outweighs the pain of the situation. When I point this out they find what it is that they value and they feel empowered. They realize that nothing is being done to them; they are at choice.
Here are some examples. (These are generic and not from any client’s specific story):
Bob’s boss, Teri, finds reasons to blame Bob for things that go wrong even when Bob is not responsible. Bob has examined his own behavior in each situation and taken responsibility where it is appropriate. But he’s also learned from other employees who have worked for Teri longer than Bob has that Teri always finds a scapegoat. And now it is Bob. Bob is unhappy and feels powerless. But he doesn’t leave because he needs the income and he has no other job prospects. When it is pointed out t…

Ask: When we attack aren't we projecting guilt?

We often hear that when we attack another in thought or action we are attacking ourselves. I wonder. Aren't we simply projecting our guilt and in so doing we are avoiding looking at that guilt which in turn reinforces it, thus delaying its release? Or is that the equivalent of self-attack?” – ES
You attack when you feel you need to defend yourself. And you feel that you need to defend yourself when you feel vulnerable. So you must be identifying with a self in a body in a world. This mistake is described in A Course in Miracles as an “attack” on yourself. So in any situation where you perceive that attack is real, whether you are the attacked or the one doing the attacking, the first attack you make is the one yourself. All other attacks then proceed from this first error.

Part of the error of perceiving yourself as a self in a body in a world is to believe that guilt is real. Yes, you are projecting guilt when you attack others. You really believe the guilt is in you but you try t…

From Projecting Fear to Extending Compassion

Let’s say you have a bully in your life. Or maybe you just know of a bully. This person may be always on the attack. Or perhaps they only bully when they feel threatened. In any case, when you even so much as think of them you are feel fear.
This fear does not come from them. This fear is because of beliefs in your own mind. This person is a symbol of the guilt and fear in your own mind. Unconsciously you recognize the motivation for their behavior is guilt and fear. And you can understand this because you are like them. You understand being defensive when you are afraid. So what you see in them is a projection of your own guilt and fear. They are a mirror of your mind and this is the actual source of your fear.
So how do you move past projecting fear and increasing it in yourself? You bring your unconscious beliefs to conscious awareness. You do this by asking yourself, “Why do they behave this way?” You can answer this because you, too, are human and you understand human behavior. …

Questioning Does Not Necessarily Mean Tossing Out

When I was very young I realized that I didn’t feel love when others loved me but rather when I loved. This is why I was a nurturer. I had learned, though not in these words, that what I give I receive.
When I was twenty I became a student of A Course in Miracles and read that lesson in those words. But I made the mistake of thinking that ACIM could not be talking about a lesson I had already learned. Helen Schucman was in her fifties when she scribed ACIM. Certainly she had to have already learned this lesson? Maybe this meant something else? So I took the lesson deeper and learned that it was saying, as it says elsewhere more plainly, that I can only give to myself.
My mistake was thinking that I could not know something at twenty that someone at fifty had yet to learn. Of course we do not all learn the same lessons in life. And even when we do we do not learn them in the same order. A twenty year old can know something that someone at fifty has yet to learn. I was young and inexpe…

What Do I Want This Mind to Be About?

“He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance.” (M-4.I.A.7)
The above quote is from the Development of Trust in the Manual for Teachers of A Course in Miracles where it lays out the stages through which a student will go. This refers to the fifth stage, the “period of unsettling”. But I’ve always found that sentence to be vague. In my translation of ACIM into plain, everyday language I translated it as:
“Now, to attain Complete Peace, you must learn to lay aside the personal mind and forgive in every circumstance.” (M-4.I.A.5)
This was to make clear that “what he really wants” means peace; that laying judgment aside means laying the personal thought system aside because it is always evaluative (judgmental); and exactly how this is done (forgiveness).
Peace is always here. So “asking for Peace” really means being willing to let go of that which is not Peace. When not-Peace is released (forgiven) Peace remains.

In practice, when my min…

Reassurance and Recourse After the U.S. Election

Usually I limit what I put out through my newsletter and blog to those things related to the concepts and practice of finding inner peace through an awareness of Truth. But in my work one-on-one with clients I often find myself reassuring and giving practical advice about very worldly things. Lately I have had to reassure and suggest courses of action to help my U.S. clients deal with their anxiety after our recent national elections. I find I’m repeating myself several times a day so I decided I would just put these ideas out there in one fell swoop. 
(If you voted for Donald Trump or are not a U.S. citizen you can disregard this email or just read the spiritual practice advice in the last two paragraphs).
The reassurances:
If you voted for Hillary Clinton remember you are not alone. In fact, you are with the majority of voters. She won the popular vote by what may turn out to be a significant number of votes. (More on recourse for this below). On the surface this may not seem comfo…

Dealing With World Convulsions

This was not the article I intended to send today. But I know that many of my readers, all over the world, are upset about the results of Tuesday night’s election in the US. And those results did not happen in a vacuum. Sure, there are always political swings one way or another and wars and financial crises, etc. But right now those things are happening on a global scale and affecting far more people than usual. The world goes through this kind of global upheaval now and then and it is intensely uncomfortable when it reaches your part of the world. Some of my readers, I know, live in parts of the world that have been convulsing for a while. Maybe you have never known much but chaos. But most of my readers are in the West and are used to stability. Paradigm shifts are rare in the modern history of their countries. It is much nicer to be past it and reading about it in history!
But here we are. And what are you to do to deal with the stress? Of course the size of the stress does not re…

Technique: Come Into the Room

Back in the day my thing was not dwelling on the past. It was living in the future. Some of this was goals and plans. But most of it was just fantasy, even fantasizing about one day being at peace. But either way it was not being here, now, the only time in which it is possible to be at peace.
The personal thought system is always about the past or future or just elsewhere. The “elsewhere” thinking can be dwelling on something that is not in front of you, like a completely made up time, place, or story; or something going on in the world or someone else’s life. This was common for me, too. So when I found I was in the future or elsewhere and I wanted to be present I’d bring myself back into the room. I’d remind myself that this is where I am now. All I have to do is deal with what is right in front of me right now. And any lessons I have to learn are right here.
To do this I’d say to myself, “Come into the room” and then I’d make a point of looking at what was in the room with me. It…

Trust Takes Time, With People and With Truth

I’ve always preferred to be in love than to fall in love. Oh, sure, falling in love is exciting. But it’s also terrifying. (There’s a fine line between exciting and terrifying). It takes time and exposure to a person to know if you can trust them. And in the beginning your feelings for this stranger far outstrip your knowledge of them. If you feel early on that you can trust them it is an illusion based on your trust for someone of whom they unconsciously remind you. In other words, when you fall in love you risk getting hurt. And this makes it stressful.
It is the same when one first becomes aware of Truth. Can this wonderful experience be trusted? Of course it is stressful when you begin a spiritual path. Oh, sure, it’s exciting at the beginning, too. You are so hungry for the experience. You are so hungry for books and teachers and anything that will bring the experience to mind. But don’t underestimate your distrust. This is why when you step away from those moments and books and…

Trust Builds From Everyday, Ordinary Miracles

Occasionally I hear from students or readers their discouragement that they have not experienced direct Revelation or "higher” miracles. Sometimes they think that without those experiences they will never attain peace. But it was not those experiences that helped me to build trust in Truth. What was helpful in building trust was the simple practice of being open, or willing, for Truth to come into my awareness in whatever form I needed. The simple, everyday miracles that were the result of this practice led to my trusting Truth and finding peace.
A Revelation, as A Course in Miracles uses the term, refers to a direct experience of Truth. It is beyond perception and is Knowledge Itself. In this experience there is no world; the world is not even a thought There. A Revelation reveals the end goal of a spiritual path. If a revelatory state was sustained the world would be over for you. So it is rare to find a spiritual seeker who has experienced Revelation and even for those of us …

Are they "awake"?

Often students will ask me if I think a certain spiritual teacher is awake. I tell them that I don’t even know what that means. A self cannot be “awake”. THE Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit, Christ Consciousness), Which is all that could be called “awake”, is in every mind. Seemingly-individual split-minds are aware of the Awareness of Truth to varying degrees but I would not call any of them “awake”. As I wrote last week, a split-mind never attains the Awareness of Truth. It falls away and the Awareness of Truth is what is left. But only the one experiencing this would know that this has occurred. And they would feel no need to bring it up unless they were asked.
A split-mind can never see past itself. It only ever sees its projections onto others. Sometimes those projections mirror itself; sometimes they are what the split-mind hopes to see. Clients will share with me their disappointment in someone they thought was “awake” but then who did something human that they have determined…

The Whole "Awakening" Thing Falls Away

This may be one of those things no one can understand until they experience it, but I’ll try.
I used to focus on “awakening”. I wrote about it a lot. (Sometimes I called it “enlightenment”). The concept behind this word is attaining a state of awareness that the Truth is true and that illusion is not true. I call this state the Awareness of Truth (also, Holy Spirit or Christ Consciousness). But my experience has led me to see that attaining this state never happens. Oh, yes, the Awareness of Truth is real and can be a mind’s experience. But It is never attained.
This split-mind is always aware of Truth to some degree now. That the Truth is true has become a quiet knowing that suffuses its experience. This split-mind is also still aware of an ego (personal thought system) and its world but they are less and less significant to it. But would this split-mind say it has “awakened”? It would feel inaccurate to say so. What would have awakened? This split-mind is aware of the Awareness of…

Ask: Why does the ego always speak first and how do I counter it?

A Course in Miracles says that the ego speaks first, is always wrong, and the Holy Spirit is the Answer (see T-6.IV.1:1-2) Why does it speak first? How to counter it? Rule no. 7 for me is the last & easiest of the Rules for Decision and seems like a good antidote for the ego speaking first.” – ES
The ego (personal thought system) always speaks first because it wants you to listen only to it. It is defensive, so it is reactionary and emotional, and this grabs and holds your attention, pushing out all reason and any other Voice.
You don’t need to counter the ego. In fact, trying to do so will only give it more power over you. Instead, you want to allow its response to come up and go past. Then you can turn to the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind). Sometimes you can do this quickly; other times, when you are more emotionally charged, you may have to take some time to let the charge pass.
The Rules for Decision (Chapter 30, Part I) provide an excellent process for getting pa…

The Seemingly-Parallel Goals for the Self

A few weeks ago I wrote about the two spiritual paths, spiritualizing the self and transcending the self, and then a week later a follow up. Since those articles some have spoken to me about their confusion over which path is theirs. Part of the confusion is because, as I wrote, even those on a transcending path will go through a long period of spiritualizing the self. The greater arc of their path will lead to transcending but while they are in the stage where they spiritualize the self they can’t really see beyond it.
Another reason for some confusion is that they expect that if they had truly made the choice for Truth, Truth would be all that they wanted. And it just doesn’t work that way. The choice for Truth is made in an instant but in time that choice unfolds as a process. For a long time, even if your goal is to transcend the self, you have what seems to be two parallel goals for everything.
As an example, last week I wrote about my experience of the mystical Holy Relationshi…

An Example of Misusing the Specificity of ACIM

(This is very, very long so you may prefer to read it on something larger than a mobile).
I know it bothers some of my readers when I teach that A Course in Miracles was written specifically to Helen and Bill in their Holy Relationship and that it is helpful to read it through this awareness. I do not mean to take anything away from anyone by pointing this out. Instead my intention is to help readers avoid some of the pitfalls of guilt and misuse of ACIM into which I fell and into which I hear other students fall. ACIM is not diminished as a useful instrument that the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind) can use to teach you because it was written first and foremost to Helen and Bill. Many spiritual teachings are about someone’s specific experience and guidance. In fact, it is helpful in deepening your awareness of the Holy Spirit when you have to use discernment to sort out what was meant for another specifically and what lessons you can generalize for yourself. This is how…

More on The Two Spiritual Goals

My last article about the two spiritual goals ( led to my receiving a few questions. So I will attempt to clarify here.
“Spiritualizing the self” means using one’s awareness of Truth to better the self’s life in the world.  One who does this continues to identify with a self and does not seek to transcend the self. They bring their Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) with them into their work, relationships, etc. to help guide them to a more harmonious life. This is the most common choice for people on a spiritual path. It is always the way for those who are religious rather than spiritual. (Some are both).
I wrote that those who are called to go past the self to Truth are willing to wholly let go of the belief in guilt. This implies that, yes, those who do not transcend the self still believe in guilt. You would not continue to identify with the self unless you valued it. And if it is valuable to you then it is real to…