Showing posts from 2017

Finally, A Real Choice

A Course in Miracles teaches that we always look inward before we look outward. And it has always been easy for me to see True Perception (the Real World, Christ’s Vision, Holy Spirit’s Vision, etc. in ACIM) as a wholly inward Vision. When I experience It I also see the universe of form is meaningless. It is a blank canvas. The Vision may extend to form but I know the source is me, not the forms the body’s eyes report. In a way, I see a world overlaid over the world of form and I know that “real world” is in me. This overlaid world actually overlooks form because it is meaningless.
But the ego’s (personal thought system’s) perceptions are harder for me to see as only an inward perception. And that is because it always projects its perceptions away. Even though I have learned to take back my perceptions by practicing sorting out facts in form from my projection of meaning onto them, still there has always been an attachment between my perceptions and the universe of form. This is what …

Ask: How do I know it's the Holy Spirit?

“Lately, through spending much more time in meditation (not necessarily stillness!), I seem to be able to “drop into” a space of deep quiet and a new kind of being (knowing??) for brief periods of time. My question is this: What does the Holy Spirit ‘feel like’?  I would love to think I’m finally able to experience my own Teacher, but my mind (no surprise) kicks up a fuss and tells me this is just brain waves, nothing special, don’t be silly, etc. etc.  I do seem to get responses to sincere requests for clarity, answers to questions and so on, but again my mind tells me I am making everything up on my own.  How would I know the difference?” – MG
You have experienced the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind) in the quiet knowing you described as well as in the clarity and answers you received. You can trust this.
You know it is the Holy Spirit when you feel set free from confusion, guilt, and fear in their various forms. There’s a lifting and lightening. When it is the ego (per…

Ask: How do you know if you have outgrown your relationship?

An interesting follow-on topic in your blog may be specific examples that may be used to determine if you have outgrown your relationship…as it applies to ACIM followers…” – JW
It does not matter if one is a student of A Course in Miracles or not. It does not matter the relationship, whether it be romantic, family, friend, to a job, to an object, etc. The determinant of when to leave a relationship is the same:
When the pain of staying outweighs the pain of leaving.
Some people are healthier and can recognize it is time to leave before it gets too painful. In their case, they recognize that if they stay the pain of staying will outweigh the pain of leaving. They do not wait for it to get too painful.
>>>>> Are you in a painful relationship and trying to determine if it’s time to leave? Email me at to set up a telephone appointment. Learn more at

If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others, email it to me at

Resistance is the Path

A common issue with my clients is the resistance they feel to practice, be it study, meditation, doing the lessons, making the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind) their Constant Companion, etc. But resistance is part of the process. It does not mean something is wrong. It does not mean you are failing.
Resistance really means “not ready” or “not now”. It does not mean you have fallen off the path. For example, you may go through a hungry stage where you cannot study enough. But then you find one day that you do not want to study at all. Or if you try the words just seem to bounce of your mind and not penetrate. This is not necessarily resistance to further study. This can be that you are so saturated with what you have taken in that you need to process it before you can take in more. A lot of this processing is unconscious. It shows up as a lack of motivation to study. But when you are done processing you will find yourself motivated to study again.
Sometimes you are just …

Only What You Have Not Given Can Be Lacking

“Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation.” (T-17.VII.4)
This quote is from the Text of A Course in Miracles. In context, it is about Helen Schucman’s and Bill Thetford’s faith in their Holy Relationship. They were being told not to blame the other when they lost sight of the Holiness of their relationship. The Vision of the Holy Relationship was within each. It did not come to each from the other. So if one did not see Holiness in the other the problem with within them, not in the other.
This is, of course, a central lesson in ACIM. The issue is always within you. I often use this quote with clients in a slightly different context. They will share with me that they are not getting something from a relationship. Often they will take this idea and feel that if they just gave enough forgiveness or love the other would change. But I ask them if they are giving themselves, through the relationship, what they want from the other. For example, if they are in a relationsh…

Willingness, Not Submission or Surrender

There are certain words that students still identified with the self use in their relationship with the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in their own minds) that not only have negative connotations that indicate or increase fear; they are also not applicable. Two of those words are “submit” and “surrender”.
To submit or surrender to the Holy Spirit would mean, first, that the self is the correct view of yourself and it is from this view that you must submit or surrender to the Holy Spirit; second, that the Holy Spirit is something separate from you; third, that you can give up your power to It. All of these are erroneous.
The difference between submission and surrender is that submission sounds less defiant than surrender. Submission means you recognize the Holy Spirit’s greater power and surrender sounds like you were defeated by the Holy Spirit. But neither attitude is applicable toward the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is the thought system in your mind that speaks for the Tr…

Sorting Out the Self, the Ego, and You

“I know it is ego, but…” is a phrase that is often said or written to me by clients and readers. But often what is called “ego” (personal thought system) is actually not the ego. Often it is just the personality of the self expressing itself.
Why is this important? Because in order to let go of the ego you have to see its boundaries. Otherwise you attempt to release what does not need to be released. And this can feel discordant, giving the ego an opportunity to tell you that you are being asked to sacrifice.
To recognize the ego’s boundaries you have to understand the self’s boundaries, too. The self, as I use the term, is a body and personality. It is part of the universe of form. It is the result of cause and effect at the level of form. Your particular self is the effect of what has gone before in the story of time. It has an authentic expression as part of the unfolding story of time. And it is neutral in that it is neither good nor bad. It simply is what has resulted from what …

Ask: Did the ego ask for the world and then for a better way?

“Liz the ego's way into the world began with the thought ‘Is there something better?’ and a way out of the ego's world began with Bill Thetford's thought ‘There must be a better way’.  Is it possible the ego asked both of these questions? The first question responded to by the Father (God) and the second by a son Jesus?” – ESA
God (Truth), being All, must think of Its Own opposite. But being All, God cannot have an opposite. The idea of not-God arose and was undone immediately by God’s All-encompassing nature. It is as though God said, “What’s my opposite? Oh, wait, I am All; I cannot have an opposite” and the idea was done. So there is no intention behind the idea of not-God. Like God, it merely is. But unlike God it has no meaning because it is impossible. Only in time, which is part of the idea of not-Truth, does it seem that the idea of not-God began long ago and will be undone in some indefinite future. So only in time, in not-Truth, does lack and a need to fill the la…

Ask: About Non-Violence, Morality, and Why Bother to Study

“I have one thing keeping me from embracing ACIM, and that is that I still don’t understand non-violence. My question is, ‘If violence does not exist, then wars don’t exist, genocide does not exist, because it is all an illusion? Then there is no good nor bad, and one can do whatever they want?’ But then, nothing has meaning, and studying the book, and learning to think right also has no meaning, and no merit. I simply don’t understand, the thinking seems circular to me. I must be peace, killing an animal is peaceful? If I had the opportunity to kill Hitler in the middle of his act, with the thinking of non-violence, I should let him live? I am lost with this work. Please help me.” – Anonymous
You actually have three questions here so it is no wonder you feel lost! One is a question about non-violence, another is about morality, and the last is about why you bother to study at all.
With regard to non-violence, A Course in Miracles does not take a stand one way or the other on non-violence.…

Ask: How do I deal with a sister who is constantly sick?

“I am 78 and my sister is 70. Ever since I can remember she has been ill with different conditions. Before I learnt from ACIM that we choose our own sickness I always felt helpless about this. Now I just feel angry! I feel she is using the illnesses to get attention! It really irritates me that her attitude is 'Poor me. I can't do anything because I have just had this fall or I have this or that’...... Now on another level I know that this is my lesson but on a practical level I don't know how to interact with her. We are told to be kind! My reaction to that is that I should try to fix her problems. I seem to have been doing that all my life but I don't want to do this anymore!!!!! Help!” – Anonymous
The choice that A Course in Miracles refers to with regard to what happens to the self in the world is for the entire experience of imperfection and dysfunction that is the human experience. It is the opposite of God (Truth) in every way.  Illness, the vulnerability of the …

Ask: Is choosing to not follow personal thoughts the daily now dream?

“We (I) did not choose separation, still, I , being a personal ‘mind’, choose to believe ego's thought system, now.... although the Course teaches me otherwise . You personal LIZ still experiencing LIZ as LIZ constantly choosing to not follow her personal thoughts:  Is this the daily NOW dream..? I experience the dreamflow as reality with momentary ‘forgiveness’ workouts when things get STUCK because I forget the dream as being a dream...” – ER
A Course in Miracles does not teach that you as a micro split-mind chose “separation from God”. It teaches that the Son of God, or macro split-mind, made that choice. Your (micro split-mind) choice is made only in the present.
You are also not a personal mind, or thought system. Your mind is split between the thought system of the Holy Spirit and a personal thought system (ego).  You are not the thought system but the mind choosing it. And that choice is made so unconsciously that you do not even seem to have a choice. It’s like being aware …

There Was No *Choice* to be "Separate From God"

There are things that become so clear without the belief in guilt in the mind! For me, one of those things is the idea that “separation from God” was not a choice made somewhere, sometime, perhaps by the “Son of God” (macro split-mind). While I was studying A Course in Miracles the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth) would try to get me to see that God (Truth) is One so there is no choice in God. Choice is a part of not-God, which is the opposite of God, so there could be no choice that caused the separation. Choice only has meaning within the separation. But I felt, without articulating it to myself, that someone had to be responsible for the error. In fact I worked at being hyper-responsible for the separation by always referring to it as something I chose even though I couldn’t see it. This is all over my early writing.
What the Holy Spirit was trying to get me to see, and what I can see now, is that nothing real has occurred, so how could there be a choice that caused it? I don’t me…

Ask: Am I upset because the world is meaningless or because of my projections on it?

“I'm a bit confused. In Lesson 12 it states the world is meaningless in itself and what is meaningless is neither good nor bad, but then it says I am upset because I see a meaningless world. I thought that I was upset because I projected meaning onto the world…” - AS
The answer you seek is in Lesson 12 itself (the underlines are mine):
“I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world,” (W-12.3)
“But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.” (W-12.4)
This lesson is pointing out that beneath the upset that you feel for the meaning that you project onto the world, the deeper source of your upset is that the world is meaningless. This is elaborated on in the next lesson, #13:
“A meaningless world engenders fear because I think I am in competition with God.”  (W-13.5)
Here A Course in Miracles is introducing the true source of guilt and the fear it engenders in your mind, even if you are not ready to see it yet:
“You are not e…

Ask: What remains of the specific "me" after death?

“Thanks for this article (On Life After Death and Level Confusion; a very complex subject, but you've provided some clarity. It opens up questions concerning 'reincarnation'. If the micro split-mind (body and personality) dissolves at 'death' then what (if anything) remains of the specific ‘me’ (soul?) that ‘rolls over’ into another worldly experience? Much of what we read on this subject implies that the spiritual ‘progress’ (Undoing/ Healing) we make in this life will lighten the burden in our 'future' lifetimes. On the other hand I've come to understand that there is no 'specific me’, there is no ‘world’...only the Macro split-mind projecting itself as billions of micro-minds. So, when this particular ‘Parenthesis in Eternity’ (J. Goldsmith) closes do we say that only Awareness remains, and it is no longer identified with a specific entity? 
I've always been cu…

On Life-After-Death and Level Confusion

A topic has come up recently with clients and readers that has illuminated for me why my explanations of what happens to the ego or the split-mind when a self seems to die often leads to further questions that I have not been able to satisfy for others. It is because of what is called in A Course in Miracles “level confusion”. This means confusing what happens on one level of the mind with what happens on another.
To explain, I hope more clearly than I have in the past, I am going to use the language that I feel is more directly descriptive than the language of ACIM. Here’s a key:
Truth = God Macro split-mind = Son of God Micro split-minds = Sons of God Not-Truth = macro ego Personal thought system = micro ego
(ACIM does not distinguish between “macro” and “micro” ego just as it often does not distinguish between “macro” and “micro” Son of God. This distinction is implied in ACIM by the context of each particular passage.)
Awareness of Truth = Holy Spirit Undoing = Atonement Manifest…

Ask: What's with "remembered not" to laugh?

“…How curious that the text says ‘remembered not to laugh’ instead of ‘forgot to laugh’ (because it is impossible to be separate from God).  Since it was such a mistake, what’s with ‘remembered’???” – KA 
Actually, it is “remembered not”. The “not” is what makes it mean “forgot”. Here is the phrase you referenced:
“Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.” (T-27.VIII.6)
Well, you want to remember to laugh? It is all because Helen Schucman had a love for iambic pentameter, the meter in which Shakespeare wrote. A Course in Miracles was dictated to her in this beat so that she would be more open to and comfortable with it. She would find it beautiful. Unfortunately, this led to some awkward passages, just as you shared. Instead of “forgot” we get “remembered not”. However, the next line clarifies with “in his …

Overcoming Resistance to Meditation

Meditation is the core practice of a spiritual path. (By “meditation” I mean sitting quietly and simply being with Mind, not reaching for an altered state). Why and how you meditate evolves over time, but its centrality to gaining inner peace cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult practice because your mind’s resistance to it is strong. You are mind and meditation should be natural. And it will become so as you become more aware that you are mind. But in your unnatural state of identification with a self (body/personality) you (a mind) find unnatural what is natural. The driver of your identification with a self, the personal thought system (ego), is threatened by anything that turns you inward to the mind. This is the source of your resistance (and why so many give up on meditation).
When my clients complain about their resistance to meditation I suggest that they pay attention to the feelings and thoughts that come up when they try to meditate. Feelin…

Ask: What does listening to the Holy Spirit entail?

“I hope this isn't a silly question but listening to the Holy Spirit entails what? Are we listening to an audible voice, or a deep knowing of what is right, our intuition etc. How does it actually manifest when we've heard the Holy Spirit?...” – AS
This is most definitely not a silly question. It is an essential question.
We speak of “hearing” the Holy Spirit (the part of your mind that is aware of Truth) but It does not always come into your awareness as a Voice. (If you do hear a Voice It is, of course, within your mind. If It seems to come from outside of your mind and no one is actually speaking to you, you are hallucinating!). Often the Holy Spirit’s answers and guidance come in unformed thoughts, or, as you said, a deep knowing or intuition.
The Holy Spirit is in every mind and people hear or feel It all the time without identifying It as the Holy Spirit. The ego (personal thought system) in your mind has many voices and causes many feelings so once you make the conscious de…

Listening for the Holy Spirit

One of the common things I hear from clients and readers is, “I do trust the Holy Spirit. I just don’t trust myself to hear the Holy Spirit.”
“Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough. But trust implicitly your willingness, whatever else may enter. Concentrate only on this, and be not disturbed that shadows surround it. That is why you came. If you could come without them you would not need the holy instant.” (T-19.IV.2)
You have only two thought systems in your mind: The ego (personal thought system) and the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth). At any given moment you give your attention to one or the other. And that will be whichever one you trust at the moment. (For a long while you will trust both and vacillate between them). When you put your attention on your ability to hear you are thinking with the ego. It is what tells you to focus on your own abilities. It is what tells you to doubt your own abilities. But the Holy Spirit knows that you can hear It because It is the …

Ask: Why not empathy as well as sympathy in your last article?

“Re: Your last article (May 26) I am wondering ‘WHY Not EMPATHY as well as SYMPATHY’ in the last sentence of your paragraph #4 in this edition?” – MA

“Empathy” means the ability to enter into what another is feeling because you feel or have felt that way, too. “Sympathy” can mean this or compassion or pity where you feel sorry for another without entering into their feelings. Because I was using them comparatively I meant sympathy as “compassion” rather than “empathy”. I was making the point that a shift had occurred for me. I could no longer step into the personal thought system (ego) without feeling disoriented. My awareness that the personal thought system does not make sense was no longer just intellectual but experiential. So instead of trying to empathize with my friend, or enter into her feelings as I once would have done, I could offer her only sympathy.
>>>> A lot falls away as you get closer to Truth and your peace grows. It can be confusing. One of the things I he…

The Effects of Real Perception Become the New Normal

When this mind entered the “period of undoing”, or the first period in the Development of Trust discussed in A Course in Miracles (M-4.I.A), I experienced spiritual Vision through the Holy Relationship. This Vision is what is called, among other things, the “real world” in A Course in Miracles. In my translation of ACIM into plain language (The Message of A Course in Miracles) I called this Vision “Real Perception” because “real world” confused some students. They expected to see a different material world or for the material world to change. But Vision is a perception not of the eyes but of the mind. I can understand why It is called another “world” in that you perceive a different “reality”. But it is not concrete like what the eyes show you. It is, well, a perception. The best I can do is to describe It like a smile beyond the concrete world. But of course there is no smiling mouth seen! It simply cannot be adequately described. (To myself I just call It “the Vision thing”). But t…

Ask: Is there anything this separate sense of self is responsible for?

Liz, thank you for your recent post on what if I run out of time. It’s helped me to stop struggling and let things play out. My question is: Is there anything this separate sense of self is responsible for?...” – AS
“The sole responsibility of God's teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors.” (M-18.4)
Now that you are aware of the Undoing of the idea-of-not-Truth (the “Atonement” in A Course in Miracles) you are responsible for accepting the Undoing for yourself. This may seem to contradict what I wrote last week about the Undoing’s unfolding being inevitable. But “down here on the ground”, as it were, the Undoing unfolds through your taking responsibility for correcting in your own mind the error of believing in not-Truth. This shows up in your day to day life as whatever study and practice you feel moved to do. And also what you feel not moved to do, as well. From now on, however you feel moved, it is the manifest …