Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Keep An Open Mind as the Undoing Unfolds Through You

Keep an Open Mind as the Undoing Unfolds Through You
Back in 2014 when this mind described to a client its then-recent inability to answer some questions about the self within it he recommended the book, “The Experience of No-Self” by Bernadette Roberts. Ms. Roberts was a contemplative nun for 8 years but left the convent and returned to the world (or, as she calls it, “the marketplace”). However, she continued to live a contemplative life as she became a wife and mother, among other things. One day, after over 30 years on the journey, while meditating she discovered that she could not locate her self. And, even more disturbing for her, she could not find God because she was used to being in union with God and now there was no longer a self and an “Other” with which to be in union. She had not been seeking this and she had no idea it would happen.
At the time of reading this, this mind was uncertain exactly what it was experiencing or was about to experience so it was unsure if our jo…

Manifesting the Undoing of Not-Truth

After it wrote last week’s article, “The Self-concept Fell Away” (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-self-concept-fell-away.html) this mind had the sense it wasn’t accurate to say that the self-concept falling away was only the beginning of self-identification falling away. What it saw was that indeed self-id had fallen away but it had not yet fully caught up to this fact.
This split awareness is not new to this mind. For many years now it has seen that life in the world is over for it. It knows this with certainty but then it is back in the story of an unfolding process of undoing. This is because it vacillates between the two diametrically opposed parts of it. In one part it is not so much that it is past the world as that it has never entered it. In the other it is in a process of leaving. It is this experience that led this mind to truly understand how the universe of form is the unfolding in time of an idea (not-Truth) that was over as soon as it was thought. This split-…

The Self-concept Fell Away

When this mind entered the “period of settling” (A Course in Miracles, M-4.I.A) the way that “he has not yet come as far as he thinks” showed up for it was to realize that the period of settling and the three periods before were only preparation for letting go of self-identification. The real shift was yet to come.
About two-and-a-half years ago this mind realized its self-concept had fallen away. It wasn’t falling away; it had fallen away. This mind had entered the fifth period, the “period of unsettling”. Self-identification was beginning to fall away. This mind became aware of this speaking with clients who would ask it questions about how this mind saw itself as a self. This mind would have to tell its clients it had no way to answer. Their questions left this mind disoriented because when it tried to find the answer nothing was there. Many times on the path this mind has had periods of disorientation as its self-concept shifted. But now it was unable to find even a shifting self…

Ask: Is the fear of death behind all upsets?

“Like the other 7 billion people on the planet, every day I am offered opportunities to play out and examine my guilt in a myriad of ways. In the past I would ride the emotional runaway train into bad moods, depression, inertia, despair, rage against self, others and the world. After studying the Course for a number of years however, I handle all this differently. After processing the details of the upset up to a point (which may include acting out, feeling lousy etc.), I ask the question: "What is REALLY going on here?" The answer is always the same: There is a fear - make that terror - that if I don't find that missing sock, undo that faux pas I made that day, clear up that medical issue, put that person in his place etc. etc. - I will be cast aside and obliterated. (I know it sounds insane, even insanely funny, but think about it the next time you experience an upset.) So I ask: ‘Is the fear of death behind all upsets?’" – ES
Actually, you had it at the beginning …

Ask: Can you clarify the ego's use of time as hell?

“I just read in ACIM that the ego teaches that ‘Heaven is here and now because the future is hell.’ Then in the next chapter it says ‘the Holy Spirit teaches thus: There is no hell. Hell is only what the ego has made of the present.’ It seems to contradict; maybe you could talk about this in one of your future posts…” – AS
Actually, those quotes are in the same chapter and subsection (The Two Uses of Time) of the Text of A Course in Miracles, just a couple of paragraphs apart. Here is the first quote in context (my underlining):
“The ego teaches that Heaven is here and now because the future is hell. Even when it attacks so savagely that it tries to take the life of someone who thinks its is the only voice, it speaks of hell even to him. For it tells him hell is here as well, and bids him leap from hell into oblivion. The only time the ego allows anyone to look upon with equanimity is the past. And even there, its only value is that it is no more.” (T-15.I.5)
Notice that this paragraph…

Ask: Can you explain perception ending in time?

(This refers to the last article: (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2017/03/why-dont-i-just-kill-myself-and-go-to.html)
“I had to draw a picture of this to begin to understand. It helped! The last paragraph I do not understand though. Could you start with that on your next newsletter and explain it a little more…” - HW
Here is the last paragraph from the last article:
“Perception (awareness, consciousness), desire, lack - these are all temporary (time-bound) experiences. They can be satisfied in time through an awareness (perception, consciousness) of Truth. But they, and the awareness of Truth, end in time. Only Truth Itself has nothing to do with time.”
Using the language of A Course in Miracles, “Knowledge” refers to God or Truth. In God there is only God and what God knows is God.  “Perception” (also “consciousness” or “awareness”) refers to our split-mind’s experience apart from Knowledge/God. Unlike Knowledge, where all is One, or the same throughout, perception has degrees, grada…

Why Don't I Just Kill Myself and Go To Heaven?

The usual way of thinking about getting into Heaven is to wait until the self dies. And often Heaven is something to be won through righteous living in the world. In this view there is a direct correlation between the self’s life in the world and Truth (Heaven). Even if one does not have to earn Heaven it is implied that It can only be experienced when the body falls away. The body is one’s obstacle to being aware of Truth and experiencing Heaven.
A Course in Miracles, however, teaches that Heaven is here within you now and all you have to do is choose to be aware of It. There is no intersection of the self’s life in the world and Truth. You can experience both, but never at the same time, because they are diametrically opposed. Each cancels out the other. So the body is not an obstacle to Truth. But your belief in the body as your reality is. Heaven, then, is what is left when you let go of the belief in the body as your reality. This is an action of the mind and it has nothing to do…

To Deny the Body is "Unworthy" of Your Mind

To Deny the Body is “Unworthy” of Your Mind (March 10, 2017)
All students come to A Course in Miracles identified with the ego (personal thought system), which is another way of saying that they come with their mind steeped in guilt. So when they read that the body is not real they think that they are guilty for identifying with it. Actually, they do feel, unconsciously or consciously, guilty for identifying with it, but that does not mean that they are guilty for identifying with it. However, reading that the body is not real only increases their guilt at first and they attempt to deal with this guilt by pretending that they do not identify with it (“I know I’m not a body, but…”) or by denying or repressing their body’s feelings or desires.
Denial is never the way to deal with guilt. It suppresses the source of guilt (the belief that the body is real) instead of undoing it. And denying your experience also denigrates the power of your mind, which leads to feeling powerless.
“The body …

Ask: How can I lead my study group out of comparisons to peace?

“In my ACIM study group, I notice that when we get to a passage with convoluted syntax or a concept that pushes us out of our comfort zone, we’ll quickly engage in an off-topic discussion, for example, about “the media,” “religion” or “churches.” This is usually prompted by a participant’s remark about how the world of illusions doesn’t understand or live by the Course we so much appreciate. Like the rest of the group, I want to think there is something outside of me that can make me feel “good" about the Course. I’m curious how I can find a way to let go of feeling either “good” or “bad” and help the group locate the source of peace within the Course text.” – GB

What you describe is very typical for new students. The ego’s (personal thought system’s) thinking is always evaluative: right/wrong, good/bad, better/worse, etc. It’s simply the way it works. But although this thinking is from the ego I suspect its source is actually the speaker’s way of expressing gratitude for having …

More on Emotional Satisfaction or Freedom

Last week’s article (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2017/02/emotional-satisfaction-or-freedom.html) about the two possible approaches to spirituality and how one way to characterize them is the pursuit of emotional satisfaction for the self or transcending the self led to a lot of comments and questions that I will try to clear up here.
(The article was a follow-up to two other articles I had written on the same topic. Some of the questions readers had could be answered in those earlier articles and links were provided in last week’s article. If you still have questions I suggest reading those as well as last week’s article for a fuller look at the topic).
The emotional satisfaction I wrote about in the last article was not referring to what one seeks in relation to others. It was referring to the desire for an emotional connection with Truth (God) that one would characterize as “warm”. I was highlighting how which goal we pursue in spirituality can often be revealed by the experienc…

Emotional Satisfaction or Freedom

A few months ago I wrote a couple of articles about the two possible spiritual approaches (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-two-spiritual-goals.html,http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/09/more-on-two-spiritual-goals.html). The most common approach, the one of religions and most everyone else on a spiritual path, is to spiritualize the self and its life in the world. The other approach is to transcend the self.
A while later I was having a discussion with my wife, Courtney. Her path is to spiritualize where mine is to transcend. I have never put it in those words to her because from past experience I know that she doesn’t understand my desire for liberation from the limitations of the self. In this discussion she said, again, that she finds my spirituality to be cold and cerebral. She wants warmth; she wants emotional satisfaction. I understood, but did not explain to her, that she finds my path lacking because for her it is only an idea. She has not experienced what I have.…

Ask: Can you clarify "God created Love"?

“… I don't recall precisely where in ACIM, but I remember reading the sentence "God Created Love." This sentence struck me as, in my thought process, it implied at one point Love did not exist in God's Awareness or at least was not as Complete in His Awareeness as it is now. (Trying not to include "time" in this concept.) I also believe the statement was made "God IS Love" (emphasis I believe is mine).
After some attention on this (and I realize the disadvantage of trying to understand God from my particular viewpoint), I came to the conclusion that Awareness by Nature is expansive and seeks to increase. As such, it would explain a God that increases in Awareness - that is "Expansive" in Nature.
If this is True, it is logical to consider that God started at a point of Awareness and increased His Awareness from that point. It is also logical to conclude that any sane and logical expansion of Awareness would ultimately reach the Awareness …

"I am not a body, I am free..."

Sometimes when I share with my clients that I used to take certain ideas and phrases in A Course in Miracles and meditate on them to take them deeper they want an example. So here is an example of what I mean by meditating on a concept:
“I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.” (W-Review VI-intro.3)
Notice how this phrase begins with a negative but quickly fills in the blank: “I am not a body. I am free.” It is never a good practice to stay in a negative or “not” phrase. It would leave me in emptiness. The obvious question that arises in my mind with the negative “I am not a body” is “Then what am I?” So the answer is immediately given: “I am free.”
What is fascinating is that what I am is not described as something abstract like “I am Spirit” or “I am Mind”. Instead ACIM gets to the experience of what I am: Limitless. It also reveals with the word “free” that my identification with a body is the reason that I feel limited. So instead of trying to conceptualize wh…

The "Evidence" For Truth

My wife and her friends play role-playing games, online and in person. They create elaborate fantasy worlds and if you overhear them you hear how real their characters (avatars) and fantasy worlds are to them. Years ago I had huge judgments against this. There was one friend of hers in particular that I judged as immature and unable to deal with life. He “hid out” in these fantasy worlds. I couldn’t just release these judgments so I realized I must be projecting. I was willing to look at my own thoughts and beliefs with the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in my mind) and what came up out of the depths of my subconscious mind was, “How is this any different from what you do with A Course in Miracles?”
Whoa…what???
Here was the ego’s (personal thought system’s) total unawareness of Truth. Of course Truth is not real to it because it is the opposite of Truth and cannot understand Truth. But my projections of judgment meant I held its lack of awareness of Truth as my own doubts about Trut…

Correcting "this is not real" Mistakes

A Course in Miracles reminds us that only the Truth is true (only God is real). Truth (formless Being) is Reality. The universe of form is not-Truth or is not reality. You come to understand this not through your intellect but through what I call a “higher” miracle. These are shifts in your perception where you actually experience the Truth as true and you see that the universe of form is not real. Sometimes the focus of the higher miracle is more on one or the other of these but what’s essential to understand is this is an experience not just an intellectual acceptance of an idea, or belief.
Here are three mistakes students make applying the idea “this is not real” to the world:
First, students try to apply this idea without having experienced it. This leads to feeling depressed and de-motivated: “Why should I bother doing anything when it isn’t real?” Until you have experiences that show you that the universe of form is not real just forget about applying this idea. You cannot apply…

"I Need Do Nothing" Discussed

I’ve written a few times about how the heading in A Course in Miracles, “I Need Do Nothing” (T-18.VII), is universally misused by ACIM students. They read this line and their ego (personal thought system) panics because they think that they are not supposed to direct the self to do anything at all ever again so their life in the world will fall to pieces. And then their mind shuts. They are then unable to take in anything that follows that heading and they miss the point of that section entirely.
(A study hint: If you read something in ACIM that inspires fear you are misreading it with the ego. Truth inspires liberation, not fear. Put it aside for a while, then invite the Holy Spirit into your mind and read it again with Love. If you are still too afraid to let the Holy Spirit through then you may benefit from studying with someone who has more experience – like a mentor!)
The section headed by “I Need Do Nothing” is really about the release from guilt that you find in the Holy Insta…

Free Will

Whenever I write about the story of the universe of form unfolding as an expression of an idea that is already over, as I did last week (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-if-you-knew-that-ending-was-happy.html), it brings up questions from readers about free will.
“Free will” means the ability to make choices and act independently of any other power. Immediately you can see that a “person”, or “figure in the dream” as A Course in Miracles would call one, does not have a will that is independent from the split-mind (dreamer of the dream; Son of God). Every person’s story is part of an intricate, complex unfolding of the universe of form. What feels like one’s independent desires and choices is really the story of the universe of form being expressed through their seeming-individuality.
Even knowing this, your desires and choices and the actions to which you direct the self feel as though they are your own. You feel independent when you are identified with the dream figure.…