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 various causes in the world as well as of your mind. And it causes effects at the level of form. Its attitudes, behaviors, choices, and energy all interconnect with the universe of form. When you allow the Holy Spirit into your awareness It changes your mind, and therefore the attitudes, behaviors, choices, and energy of the self.  These changes ripple out into the universe of form and cause different effects than if you were still almost wholly ego (personal thought system) identified. And the universe of form in turn responds to the changes in the self.

Here are some examples:

Attitude:

Nancy has spent many years growing her awareness of the Holy Spirit. It has become her Constant Companion. Her trust in It to always bring her the answers she needs has resulted in her having the confidence to handle anything that she encounters in the world. Her confidence shows and she is looked to as a leader by her family, employer, and co-workers. This has led to new responsibilities and positions in the family and at work.

Behavior:

Jorge comes from a large family that gathers often for birthdays and holidays. But he has social anxiety and used to drink heavily in social situations to deal with it. When he was drunk he was a bully and verbally abusive and no one wanted him around. The family asked him to stay away if he couldn’t remain sober. He eventually turned to spirituality and as he became aware of the Holy Spirit within he took responsibility for his social anxiety. He got into therapy and was prescribed a low dose of an anti-anxiety medicine to take while he and his therapist worked on techniques to lessen his anxiety in social situations. His family and friends are happy to see the changes in his behavior and he has found his social life with his family resuming.

Choices:

Cassandra has met a nice guy who treats her with respect and that she likes a lot. She doesn’t realize it but her self-respect and self-confidence were what attracted him. Soon after she met him an old boyfriend came back into her life. He was the “bad boy” type that she always found hot and sexy. But actually it was more complicated than that. She used to feel bad about herself and she was unconsciously attracted to him, and he to her, because of her lack of self-respect. He saw someone he could selfishly neglect and verbally abuse and she saw someone who treated her the way that she felt she deserved. However, when he re-entered her life, Cassandra had been on a spiritual path for a while and had become aware of the Holy Spirit within herself. She now has self-respect. She has quickly found the physical attraction to the old boyfriend empty and has no desire to get involved with him again. She chooses the new guy whose behavior toward her mirrors her self-respect.

Energy:

Carl was a very angry person. He didn’t realize it but for years his angry energy was taking an unseen toll on the cells in his body. After embarking on a spiritual path he found with the Holy Spirit the sources of his anger and worked them out. He didn’t know it but the positive changes in his energy had a positive, healthy effect on the cells in his body. If he had continued on as angry he would’ve experienced a grave illness when he was older. But his new attitude changed his energy in a positive way and halted the damage to the cells in his body. What he did see, however, was that his change in energy had an effect on those around him. His relationships became more harmonious and positive opportunities showed up at work and in his personal life.

Sometimes there is confusion about the cause for what shows up in the world because you may have a spiritual break-through at the same time something you need shows up. For example, you may hit bottom in a situation and be finally open for help. You may call out to the Holy Spirit, consciously or unconsciously. Then the help you need shows up in form. It can seem that the Holy Spirit supplied the help but what shows up in form is caused at the level of form. Where the Holy Spirit comes into it is in your recognition of the answer for your call for help. For example:

Hernanda was a compulsive over-eater and was grossly overweight. She had been on and off diets and food plans all of her adult life but she could not manage her eating. For years those around her have suggested she get help and she tried different things but she was not yet willing. When she reached middle-age she was diagnosed with diabetes. This terrified her and she hit bottom. She cried out to the Holy Spirit for help and this time she meant it. She remembered a therapist/life-coach/personal trainer she had worked with briefly years before. She recognized that this was the help she needed to get back her health. She got off to a rocky start but she stuck with it and in time lost the weight to reverse the diabetes and has been able to maintain a healthy diet with rare slips.


Help at the level of form was always there for Hernanda, but when she was truly willing the Holy Spirit was able to guide her to the form of help that would work for her at that time.

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Comments

bat said…
Such a great article. Giving examples really helps to see how the holy spirit works in our lives. I find a lot of course teachings on the same subject to be too vague, and easy to misinterpret. This was all very practical and made heaps of sense. Thanks again Liz!
nicci said…
i do understand what you are saying about attributing external changes in our lives to a direct or deliberate involvement of the Holy Spirit at the physical level. i've heard Course students suggest that and perceived some misunderstanding there. however and hmmm.... are ALL effects that show up at the level of form caused in form? are there not effects of form that are the result of resting in the Holy Instant and the Presence of the Inner Teacher? for instance, are there not effects of form that unfold out of the peace (an Inner Effect) that come when i am aligned with the Holy Spirit Within (the Cause)? forgiving, releasing and opening to His internal undoing that result in a changing effect in the dream world?

i will go back and read this again. i seem to be missing something. now that i look at this again, i notice further confusion about form effects being caused in form. i have perceived all form effects as being traced back to mind - with the misperceptions of the ego mind, or the corrected perceptions from joining with Holy Spirit in Unified Mind - either mind or Mind as always the causal element. the idea that form can be causal is a new one for me. oh, maybe you are saying there can be effects of effects. whew. endless L
will said…
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will said…
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Lionel M said…
How do I know I have contact with the Holy Spirit, when it is my mind that is always in operation ? When a thought comes into my mind, how do know it is from the Holy Spirit and not from my own ego mind?
will said…
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ES said…
Lionel,
You ask an excellent question, a key question, one I have asked myself and continue to ask. I have discussed this with Liz personally and it has also come up in past telephone study groups which Liz has archived and are available on her website. You may also want to use the search engine she has provided under "answers by topic". Here are some key ways to distinguish the HS from your ego voice:
If it is critical and punishing it's not the HS. If it focusses on minutiae or gives you the "pros and cons" of the situation it is not the HS. It is clear, quiet and matter of fact. Geez, I sound like an expert which I assure you I am not. Don't look for that "burning bush" moment either.
It may come when least expected - as words, an image, an insight. Good luck, be willing, stay open, says I to myself as I prepare to follow my own advice.
ACIM Mentor said…
Nicci, maybe you got this at the end, but I did explain this in the article. Mind changes and that causes effects at the level of form and that then may cause other effects.
ACIM Mentor said…
Lionel, when it is the ego your guilt and fear remain the same or increase. When it is the Holy Spirit you feel set free as guilt and fear lift. You also experience clarity. You may hear a Voice or experience unformed thoughts or intuitions when you "hear" the Holy Spirit. But the release is the key signal that it was the HS.

I am going to correct something ES said: When I have a decision to make the Holy Spirit actually leads me through pros and cons. That helps me to clarify what I really want or what is really at stake in the decision. It clears my mind to release the decision and wait for guidance.
nicci said…
yes liz, i did get straightened out. thank you. n
ES said…
Re. The issue of the HS and pros and cons.

Liz you once made it very clear that the HS was unequivocal. My own limited experience bears this out. Weighing the pros and cons intelligently as you did in the last blog re. choices, to me is the job of logic which any calm intelligent person can muster.
ACIM Mentor said…
ES, the Holy Spirit is eminently rational.
ES said…
Liz,
I'll admit it's a bit disconcerting for me to hear a "new version" of an older teaching but I find the original more helpful. (Even as I write this I hear a "voice" saying, "No need to go through all of this but if you must...) I'm going to stick with that one because my own experience of sorting out pros and cons of an issue before making a choice is always fraught with some degree of anxiety because my ego is taking each choice seriously and fears that if I make one choice I'll lose the benefits of the other. This fray is a hallmark of the ego and surely not the domain of the HS. When I'm finally at peace with a choice however, I know the HS is somehow involved. WTF, we're probably saying the same darn thing.

Lest we forget my good man Lionel and his excellent question - How to discern the "voice" of the HS amidst the cacophony of the ego's jabbering?, I'll defer to the US Supreme Court's test for pornography: "You'll know it when you see [hear/feel] it".
ACIM Mentor said…
ES, the ego is right! If you do choose one you won't choose the other and get the benefits of that choice. Part of sorting out pros and cons is facing that with honesty. And it's because of those fears that you need the HS's guidance when making a decision. However, if you are saying your guidance is to not go that route then that is what you should follow.
ES said…
Thanks for following up, Liz.
I'm going to leave it this way: The ego makes the decision-making process an excruciating
battle between competing choices. It will lay out these choices like it's doing us some kind of favor. With the help of a bit of logic and the HS, we can make the choice that is in our best interest which is always - peace.
Gosh darnit, I'm done!
Anonymous said…
I'm always trying to combine the dream with Reality. That's the payoff on writing on the blog. You give the Holy Spirit something to work with.
Susan B said…
If we are sick, in our physical body, can healing the mind have the effect of healing the body?
ACIM Mentor said…
Susan, I refer you to the examples of Carl and Hernanda given in this article.

The relationship between thought, energy, and matter is just beginning to be studied. I think it's called "noetics".
Anna Poulin said…
Hello,... I need help in understanding this one sentence in you article which is really great.. really understand it... but I feel like im' missing an important meaning due to the fact I don't get this one sentence.

These changes ripple out into the universe of form and cause different effects than if you were still almost wholly ego (personal thought system) identified.

I think what is throwing me off is the "than" is you were.....

thank you, Anna
will said…
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will said…
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ACIM Mentor said…
Anna, if you are wholly ego-identified you respond to the world a certain way. For example, very defensive. So your defensiveness causes you to behave in certain ways, for example, to push people away with your defensiveness. But as you become aware of Truth you become more charge neutral. Your energy and behavior changes and this in turn changes how the universe of form (as in, others) responds back to you.

You can see this in all of the examples I gave.
Anna Poulin said…
thank you...
will said…
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will said…
That was quite an ego attack. Merry Christmas...
will said…
Anna, Just as an example, all the stuff I wrote on the blog this week was the ego. But I'm not the ego. I'm guilty of listening to it but that's it. It is what it is, the ego. You get on you get off it remains the same but you are never the ego. No shame, no guilt. This is the foundation of what Jesus is trying to get across to us.
will said…
And slowly but surely as I internalize this I see the world in the same way. I see others in the same way. Slowly but surely. I'm not the madman (excuse the pun) I was years ago. A very good week on the blog. You stick your nose out there and write comments and you give the Holy Spirit something to work with.
ES said…
QUESTION FOR THE MENTOR:

I have found this article to be a fascinating topic ie. How the HS works in us, how to recognize it etc. Here is another question:

Would you say that a hallmark of the HS is when a person is working through some kind of problem that is perceived in a fearful way, whether it's something mundane like what to eat for breakfast or some major life choice - and "somehow" the fear goes away and the issue becomes charge-neutral - opening a path to peace and a choice without fear?



ACIM Mentor said…
ES, yes.
ES said…
Thanks Liz for your follow-up. It's always gratifying to get validation on some difficult issue that I've been working on for a long time. I also must say that everything I came up with in my question above was synthesized from this current article and your responses to some of the comments.

How about this as a "corollary" to what I just wrote above:

One good way to access the Holy Spirit is to reach a point of honesty whereby one can look at a problem and the fear that it engenders and see that it's all coming from within. There is nothing and no one to blame. We then ask for a new charge-neutral way of seeing the issue. The answer - if we are willing to hear it - is the cause, the solution is the effect, whether it shows up as peace or a Cadillac in the driveway.
ACIM Mentor said…
ES, yes.
ES said…
Liz,
Once again I thank you for your response, and once again I'm going to say that everything I wrote in my last comment was synthesized from the current article and your responses to some of the comments. Also, years of study, mentoring, and much thinking about the concepts as well as practice over the years have all contributed to a basic understanding
of this key topic. While most of my understanding is intellectual I'm confident I have a handle on it. It's a start - to be built upon.

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