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. I find it joyful because for me I seek the experience of liberation that is beyond considerations of emotional coldness or warmth. Liberation transcends the human experience.

This is when I realized that another way to characterize the two possible goals is that often those who spiritualize the self are seeking for emotional connection with others and/or a Supreme Being. They seek for emotional satisfaction that is characterized as emotional “warmth”. Those who seek to transcend the self seek for liberation from all limitation, including emotional satisfaction. It is easy to see how, to those who seek to spiritualize life in the world, “liberation” may seem emotionally “cold”. But I can assure you that there is no lack in liberation.

I don’t remember the first time I learned of the idea of transcending the self. I believe I was a teenager and read something about Buddhism. I do know that I immediately recognized the Truth in the idea of transcending the self and experienced a delightful taste of the liberation that was possible. Of course this was immediately followed by stark terror at the idea of dropping the self. So I shut down any thought about it but it was too late. Once tasted, liberation cannot be forgotten.  It is like being a prisoner and suddenly discovering that there are no guards and the door to the outside world is open. How could you stay? I was destined to end up on some path toward liberation after that taste of it.


Emotional satisfaction has a powerful pull and it continued to attract me along the way, too. But over time I also experienced liberation more fully than just that initial taste. And there was no comparison between the two experiences. Emotional satisfaction is a puny experience compared to the power and joy of liberation from limitations. I can only think that those who do not seek liberation have simply not tasted liberation yet. Once experienced, even if only faintly, liberation draws you like metal to a magnet. Nothing else will satisfy.

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Do you want a spiritualized life in the world or liberation from the self? As a mentor of ACIM I work with students who want either. The goal is yours to choose. My job is to help you reach it faster and easier than you would on your own.Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

nicci said…
thank you for this sharing liz. it did bring up a wondering about the initial terror that is so often described in experiences where personal dissolution occurs. when searching deeply within for an "I", right at the moment there is awareness of no "I", a slight sensation of terror arises; this quickly turns into a quiet resting in the Loving Presence of the HS. i take this to be the result of His gentle Guidance as He directs my course, and as i learn to turn myself over more fully and Trust He is preparing the way.

i wonder this: does the vision of the Real World - a World Who's only purpose is Love - occur only after the experience of dissolution? or can it be experienced in flashes in the same way that glimpses of no-self occur .... this seems to be happening.


ever grateful, n
nicci said…
after walking away and remembering the experience i describe here, it goes like this: in that moment, there is a brief experience of limitlessness, which brings up the wave of terror, followed as quickly by the resting in HS. i have yet to experience full limitlessness. your sharing today seems to be helping to prepare for that . . . to open me ... thank you. n
Deb Baczewski said…
Thank you Liz and nicci. . . ever so timely and I echo nicci's question about experiencing in flashes. In the middle of the night terror rose up in my mind with images that had no distinc form but I allowed whatever to be as it was but then I remember a thought coming up with the words, "I love you" and then I experienced a wave of love for a few seconds. A new experience for me. Earlier in the evening I was in meditation for quite some time.

Thank you, Deb
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Nicci and Deb,it begins with glimpses.
hannah said…
liz, im wondering, as you continue along your path, have you found the, um.. the feeling, the substance of your emotional connection with courtney changing? and how, if thats not too personal.

after reading the blogs you reference in this one, and asking myself about what i was most drawn to, i realised im drawn to liberation, but still have a desire to love and spiritualise my self, and to feel connected and closer to people, and id still like to be in a partnership. (i feel strange about wanting that, it makes me feel guilty, and im aware that i feel lack). i asked myself, if it had to be one or the other, which could you not give up, and i couldnt give up wanting to know the truth, to experience true love, unconditional, no guilt... to experience as a constant state the peace and love that cant be disturbed as in the higher miracle experience.. and whatever is beyond that, that i started to shift into in the dream where it became apparent that the world of light was not even truly many perfectly innocent beautiful things made of light, but there was only one light, and 'i' started to fade away. but i feel like id have missed out on something if i never felt a mutual romantic and sexual love as an adult that didnt contain fear or control.
ES said…
After my divorce in my sixties, I fantasized about rebuilding my life along pretty conventional lines ie. I would remarry or find a romantic partner, I'd buy a comfortable home with nice property where close friends would come to spend long visits and so on. I did manage to fulfil the house and property part but the rest is not happening. In the meantime the pain and emptiness of the divorce motivated me to start seriously studying the Course. As we know things don't change overnight and I kept measuring myself against my original goals. This of course was a prescription for dejection and self-pity. I was looking in the wrong places. Fortunately I kept studying the Course with Liz, asking questions, meditating, getting frustrated and so on. I finally began to see that finding or creating "warm" friendships was a quite a tall order. Over 99% of the people I meet or know, including old friends, have no interest whatsoever in what I think, feel, or do but rather simply want to tell me all about what they think, feel or do. Most conversations I have are disjointed, unfocused and truncated. In short they make no sense. Even the best of my relationships always seem to fall short somehow. It's nobody's fault. Its just the nature of human relationships.

The other day I was standing in my living room looking out the window when I experienced a phenomenal sense of support (for lack of a better word) for "no apparent reason", ie. nothing had happened to explain it - no monetary windfall, no new relationship, no satisfying project, no new toy, no endorphins from a workout. Just plain old peace. That's what I'm talkin' about.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, I would say my feelings for Courtney have only deepened over the years. The breadth and depth of my love for her is what I hoped to experience in marriage. There's no drama between us because neither of us look to the other to make us whole. We are truly partners.

About 5 years into our relationship (we've been together for 23 years now) I remember feeling exactly as I did when I was single. I still felt like me and I still felt free. So I knew I had not given my power away to her. I noted this because I was so used to people complaining about marriage, how trapped and bound they felt. I have no idea what they're talking about! Imagine being yourself but having someone who is always on your side. That's what it is for me.
will said…
ES, I don't know. Your description of communicating with others is exactly what I ran into. I began to think my friends had narcissism. I was told repeatedly by my very closest relationship that I live in a fantasy and had become irrelevant. Ouch. With others I was someone who was a good listener but trying to talk about my life caused...I don't know what, an assortment of reactions. Right now my closest and only friend is 80 and has Alzheimer's. True.
Bente hove said…
Hi,
I think your post here is right on the spot, Liz !
I see it the same way, the two ways of 'spirituality' - and the Course is definitely not asking us to spiritualize the world, quite the opposite...
I recently wanted to go back to a worldly 'special love relationship', and, boy, it was/is complicated ! And, it was definitely of no help to bring the Course into the world ! We are asked to LOOK (from above the battlefield) and bring the world to the Course, you can say...(he spoke about him and me both being so 'special', whick I tried to deny (from a Course perspective), but in fact that is what we seem to love in the world... Wo don't want to just marry anyone, but 'the one' that 'sticks out', different from all the other ones...
And it is okay to want all the things of the world ! AND to be as 'loving' as can be ! The biggest reflection of Heaven possible here...
But, inner peace and love is innate - not caused by the outer world/partners etc. (that's confusing cause for effect...)
Love and peace to everyONE!
Bente hove said…
Hi again...

A few moments after my former posting this arrived in my 'in-box',from a relationships coach, (just to confirm what I stated ;-) ):

"When it comes to loving, romancing, and appreciating our spouses, sometimes we just need a prompting so that we can get back in the groove of making them feel special!”

love and peace....
Thank you, Liz, thank you all;I can appreciate what Will says about others thinking that we ACIMers live in a fantasy world and are irrelevant. As a newbie here,( I'm half way through the Book,) it's encouraging to have you all as my friends and to read your helpful and supportive comments. Happy Dreams ! George.
nicci said…
this is for deb concerning the arising of terror: the Course explains it as the result of the fear of God, the fourth obstacle to peace outlined in chapter 19. i am finding the final section, "The Lifting of the Veil" helpful, most particularly Liz's rendering in her translation of the Text in plain language. careful restudy and meditation on this section along with guidance of the HS is helping me move closer to compete correction.

may we move through this day extending and receiving the gift of faith that only God is Real. endless Love, n
Anonymous said…
"Do you want a spiritualized life in the world or liberation from the self?"

Why not both? As we become liberated, don't we simultaneously become "spiritualized in the world"? We can have satisfying liberated emotional, physical and sexual connections, can't we? I don't see the two as being mutually exclusive.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, everyone spiritualizes the self initially. The self is all they know. But some(most) will be satisfied with that. They have reached their goal. And others will find it does not satisfy and pass through that stage on the way to the goal of liberation.

As goals they are mutually exclusive. You cannot have as goals both the experience of the self and to transcend the experience of the self at the same time.

You cannot have a "liberated" emotional, physical, or sexual connection because "liberation" means you are free of that which seeks those experiences.
hannah said…
liz, because i kind of had the inkling regarding what you described in your answer to anonymous, (You cannot have a "liberated" emotional, physical, or sexual connection because "liberation" means you are free of that which seeks those experiences.) i wasnt sure if it was possible to be in a relationship and have the kind of experiences you described in your answer to my question. and yet you had described before the happiness, enjoyment, freedom and love you experience, so i was, still am, confused. i remember you writing once something about your relationship, and courtneys fear that you would somehow transcend her? am i remembering that correctly? but then, if that were so, you would leave all friendship behind, and that cant be part of love!?

so do you mean .. as goals they are mutually exclusive, they cant both be what you are looking to for truth and peace? yet, if you are looking for peace where it CAN be found, love for and enjoyment of others (and the self) will still be experienced, but not as an (attempted) source of peace and freedom? do you mean that one can experience enjoyment in emotional (and perhaps physical) connections, while still being liberated, if one isnt seeking liberation in those experiences? is that what you are experiencing?
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, yes, they are mutually exclusive as goals because you cannot be looking to both for Truth and peace. And, yes, you still experience love and enjoyment of others and things in the world but you know those experiences are passing and are not peace and liberation.

But you do not experience these things "while still being liberated". The experience of the self is in one part of your split mind. The experience of liberation is in another part of your split mind. Another way to put this is the experience of the self is limited. And the experience of liberation is the experience of Limitlessness. You see how they exclude each other? So when you experience one you are not experiencing the other. You can vacillate, often very quickly, between them. But you cannot experience them simultaneously. If your goal is liberation (Limitlessness) then your goal is to eventually stop vacillating and drop the self (limitation) completely. (This also results in a unified - no longer split -mind so an end to conflict, also known as peace).
Christine said…
I think back on my having been a Christian Scientist from the day I was born (I was taken to the church nursery Sunday School before I could sit up)...and the 33 years I attended my CS Church...at 20, I joined the adults upstairs...on either side of the "pulpits" there were two quotes, one on the left was a good one by Mary Baker Eddy, but the one I used to stare at was the Jesus quote: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have life more abundantly". (John 10:10)...I had been thinking about this statement recently and just after reading Liz's post I think of it more clearly now.
Years ago, I used to think of its meaning with my "personal sense filter", I thought - "have life more abundantly" - oh yeah, where's all the 'good stuff' this seems to promise? Great salary,fancy cars, big homes, travel, etc...but that wasn't the point. Those things are fine to have, they can be added to your experience, or not, whatever helps our growth or undoing...I think it means now: ..."that they might have Truth more abundantly"....or"Limitlessness more abundantly". "Reality more abundantly".
hannah said…
ok, thanks liz.. that is clear, i can see how the experiences exclude each other and it explains why i was confused! i was trying to mix oil and water, and so had the experience of conflict. love as the self can experience it will always be limited, (no matter how beautiful love as a person can be, it is still as a candle flame to the sun) it has to be limited because it is being experienced by the idea of limitation. and whole, true love is experienced only in truth, not as a self, or as not truth.

so, liz.. im thinking of the 'sleeping' dream experience of the higher miracle i had, where at the end of it i was going back and forth between the light world and the 'usual' vision world, which still at that point involved seeing death as real, but the idea of victim-hood and perpetrator-hood could no longer be justified or maintained as true. and i knew id simply go back and forth until i chose completely the light world. im kind of remembering you speaking of.. oh how to say that.. you said once that guilt keeps you attached to choosing things that make you unhappy. like.. once you drop the idea of absolute guilt, then the attraction to choices that bring conflict simply drops away. oh, something is tickling away in my mind, but i cant seem to identify the question. its about vacillation/choice and guilt/self attachment/attraction to self.. maybe ill get back to you here or wait til we speak again.. or can you already see what im getting at in this jumble?

ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, I do not see what you are getting at.
will said…
Special relationships are spiritually deadly. I'd like to qualify that, be less absolute but I can't. Two people "falling in love" is an invitation to the ego. Is the ego.
The Course gives a lot of warnings but they seem so abstract that the love attraction just overwhelms them. Sex. Physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, two people blocking out the world feels incredible. It affected me by hijacking my mind, obsessive thoughts of your lover, day and night. A single minded focus to be with the other. An almost immediate loss of the ability and commitment to meditation as well as the personal sense of communication with the Holy Spirit. Talking with the Holy Spirit is either when you can squeeze it in or asking for help with the love relationship. Then fights, breakups, jealousy, loneliness, sadness, despair...
will said…
I can say, in my case, without judgement, it was one of the most devastating things I have experienced. Only partly due to the ups and downs of the relationship, but it hijacked my life, my goals, and my intellectual and emotional life. But then most of us have experienced this in one form or another. But truly, you put the Course on the line.
Ive been following your writing with great interest Liz for a while Liz. Although I am not a student of the course. I have been on a 'spiritual" journey for many years and for a long time I was aiming for transcending the self. I realised at a time of deep depression and despair that my goal was driven by a desire to transcend suffering. And as a result of that I sort of used practice to skirt around and avoid a whole heap of deeper pain which kept me deeply stuck and caught in mental activity which felt painful because I was so identified with it but also because I had not met any of it with compassion. So I have found that meeting the sticky stuff with gentleness and kindness has been releasing a lot tears and whenever I have a really big sobbing cry I feel a huge amount of relief and opening, I wonder your thoughts about the difference between trancending the ego and bypassing the wounded ego in a false way that is more about trying to avoid pain? Regarding relationships as some people have mentioned, I remember hearing once that relationships are the hardest part of awakening. And I think think that intimate relationships trigger our earliest childhood longings for connection and invariably we choose partners that tend to trigger the oldest painful disconnections we felt. And then I believe that all the longing and yearning for emotional satisfaction, connection, love is an essential yearning for connection with God/spirit/presence. .... thanks for your writing and for the online format for sharing too . Warmly Rebecca
will said…
Rebecca, Your post has made me realize something for the first time. I have always thought of the personal mind in the conventional psychological way. But from looking at the voice in my head as a separate entity from myself it has lost its conventional make up as Freud would see it, to something without a human construct. This is the first time I have realized it so it's hard to put into words. I think I am seeing it as something non-human.
ES said…
2 QUESTIONS FOR LIZ

1.) You say above: "I would say my feelings for Courtney have only deepened over the years. The breadth and depth of my love for her is what I hoped to experience in marriage. There's no drama between us because neither of us look to the other to make us whole. We are truly partners." Yet in your post you mention, "she [Courtney] finds my spirituality to be cold and cerebral. She wants warmth; she wants emotional satisfaction." These two statements combined can be read with two different interpretations (that I can think of): one, you are a couple with disparate goals and personality styles yet somehow it does not interfere with the relationship, or two, you are fine with her but she wants something different from you which could cause big problems. It's hard to believe how someone who craves emotional warmth and spiritualizes the self can not want their partner to make them whole. Please explain.

2.) Over the course of your spiritual growth did your personality change?

It goes without saying that I appreciate your candor and ask these questions only to gain insights to further my own growth.
ACIM Mentor said…
Rebecca, one who is seeking liberation, rather than just to avoid pain, is not only pushed by pain but is also pulled by their experiences of Truth. Without those experiences there is indeed a risk of using the idea of liberation as a form of denial.

Years ago I was trying to convince myself to give up the ego by focusing on how painful it was. Then the Holy Spirit said to me, "I don't want you to give up the ego because it is painful. I want you to give it up because it is not real." I realized that as long as I focused on the pain I was not going to let it go. I needed to continue to have experiences that would show me it is not real and then letting it go would come naturally.
ACIM Mentor said…
ES:

1) I said Courtney found my SPIRITUALITY - not me - cold an cerebral. She gets warmth and emotional connection from me. But she wants that from her god, too. She knows I cannot make her whole.

2)Yes, my personality has changed. But it would in time anyway, wouldn't it? As long as I was learning and growing. It's just that my learning and growing has been psycho-spiritual rather than just psychological.

I can see by the questions I've received I need to write a follow-up to this blog.

Anonymous said…
liz,
your message from the HS on why to want to give up the ego . . . sublime in its helpfulness. thank you. n
Rebecca said…
Thank you Liz for your reply and indeed I appreciate so much that the drive to seek liberation is pushed by pain and also driven so much by the pull of ones love for truth and the desire to be steeped in it more fully and continuously.. I would love to hear what sort of experiences you had that kept showing you ego was not real? Many thanks Rebecca
Rebecca said…
Hi there Will and I was interested to hear you realised something that is hard to put into words but is about having noticed that the voice in your head as a separate entity from your self. From my understanding ( and curious to hear Liz's perspective, there are many different voices in our heads that come from different "parts" of the ego self and I see these parts as psychological constructs. Our identification with these constructs keeps us locked in but here is nothing wrong about having these constructs and they don't need to be eliminated. Just last night after posting above I opened a book on non dual wisdom and found this piece regarding Mahayana buddism " the very structure of our personality reveals the transpersonal nature of being itself. In fact any attempt to resist or escape our conditioning blocks is from experiencing our unconditioned nature. ... Every aspect and dimension of our experience is an exquisite expression of freedom and transcendence. " this is from a book called The Sacred Mirror. Bye
will said…
Rebecca,
I had been assuming that the way people think was universal but that may not be the case. A large part of the time when I am thinking I am talking to myself in my head. Hence the use of “voice in my head.” God it’s easy to get tangled up in this stuff. I don’t pay any attention to the voice per se as in what it sounds like, it’s just me talking to myself. I am increasingly seeing myself as separate from everything going on around me. For instance, I went to KFC tonight to get some chicken. They didn’t have what I wanted but said they would cook up a batch and it would be ready in about 20 minutes. I said fine. While I was waiting I walked over to the front windows that face the street. As I looked out I could sense that I was not a part of the world going on around me. I’m not referring to the physical Will. It is the same inside my head. There is the personal mind thinking and there is ‘me’ aware of it but not a part of it. At this point in the Course this only happens when I intentionally look at the personal mind. As soon as I stop looking at the mind I go back to my normal state. When I was lying in bed last night in the dark it just seemed like my personal mind (the voice) was something that is on auto-pilot. It just runs of its own accord. When I’m watching it, it appears to have something causing it to think, but it isn’t me because I’m separately watching it. When I am watching the voice it might as well be a stereo speaker. I do not see it as something with psychological constructs. It’s just a stereo speaker separate from me running on and on.

I want to add one other thing. This looking at the voice is the simplest thing in the world to do. Anyone can do it in a second. When you begin your meditation and the mind hasn't settled down it is very clear it is separate from you. Just listen to what is going on inside your head!
will said…
That wasn't very clear but I'm in the middle of a process and writing it down will be a help to me.
hannah said…
liz.. ok.. i was thinking about the pull of wanting to be a self, and wanting to be able to perfect this self, to make myself an absolutely loving being, despite seeing, as you just clarified to me, that True love/complete peace/wholeness and individual selves cannot both be real. and i can feel how wanting to make this self perfect in loving and in peace holds me in attack of all selves. and i was thinking, if i understand you correctly, that both that desire to make the self.. well, godly, AND the attack and the guilt that follows both hold me attracted to this self too? both the love for and the hatred of my self slow down the process of reaching the point of a Wholehearted choice for truth?

because, if ive got the above correct?, what was niggling at me was your description in RGFIP of the oneness (in the personal thought system) of love, guilt and sacrifice, following from choosing to identify with an individual being. ok.. i got the bottom line question for the moment in my mind, phew! i think, from what i read, that it is the guilt that most keeps this weird circle of conflicted desires (love me, punish me) in motion. so.. is dropping the guilt for the selfs desires and for wanting to be a self the .. optimum way to unravel the web?? i mean.. i have been trying somewhat to WANT this selfs desires less. (fail!) ive also been trying to not feel like the things i do for others that take my time in ways i dont actively want are a sacrifice. (fail again) ive also been trying to not feel like this selfs desires sacrifice my peace (but they feel like they do, desire isnt peace). is what youre saying that simply.. dropping the guilt for experiencing the above things WILL start to lessen the pull of them, and lessen my own reaction to them? and so, also.. dont feel guilty for seeking personal emotional satisfaction? um.. would the guilt that would keep that desire in place, slow the process of accepting/choosing truth more than the desire or the lack of wanting to help others always? does that make sense now!?
Deb Baczewski said…
This blog points to much inquiry and contemplation. . .emotional desires, fear and appeasing God, which voice is being listened to, how to be truly helpful . . . Much gratitude to the mighty companions that take this journey to ever lasting peace. D
hannah said…
hi Deb xx i love you! your first post above reminded me of something. im going through waves of increased guilt/depression/fear lately, the intensity has been a bit surprising. about three weeks ago i was reminding myself once again that these thoughts didnt MEAN anything and that only the truth was true, and still feeling the fear. then i realised that it had been quite some time since i remembered to bring the fact that i actually WAS love, and that that included loving this self, into now, to see if i could relax into an experience of truths reflection as well as an intellectual reminder of sorting out what was and what wasnt real. it was so relieving to rest in knowing that it was TRUE, i did love me, even though the fear didnt totally disappear!

le quote springs to mind.. "miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. the real miracle is the love that inspires them. in this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle'

oh. liz.. i just thought of this first part, in relation to the above inspired by deb.. and chased up the whole quote

'ingenious thinking is not the truth that shall set you free, but you are free of the need to engage in it when you are willing to let it go.'

hmmm.. ;) and yay! but.. my previous question to you still stands, LAUGHING!

Deb Baczewski said…
Hannah Divine a bright light we share as one. This comes to mind that was truly helpful, written on a note card for a reminder because ego would block with forgetfulness.

Depressed, you are living (identifying) in the past. . . Anxious or fearful, future . . . Peaceful, present.

Another note card I found helpful . . . Turn off the analyzer which was really about just witnessing her and would say this, "I see you but I don't believe you.

I identified with a very active pschological mind which engaged with fixing problems for "other s". It was an interference to a quiet mind and so along the way to peace, I was guided to keep it simple and reminding the mind to keep it simple was what the Doctor prescribed for peace.

Now . . . in the now, the ego doesn't invade or block as before and Grace is seen and experienced as a knowing. So now When fear rises, I remain as the witness (I see you but don't believe you) and making growing my trust a priority as Liz's love reminds, I know and truat Grace is there with Her Love Connection. xx ;D





Deb Baczewski said…
Correction . . . "I know Grace Is Here".

I now recognize and thus correct the position of where Truth Is. Truth has shifted from out there to always here. Peace
ACIM Mentor said…
Rebecca, higher miracles and direct Revelation are the experiences that show me that the universe of form (including the ego) are not real. Guided by them I've also been able to detach from the ego and watch it and see that it is just a thought system - a construct, not something real.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, the belief that guilt is real is what keeps you attached to the self. And your attachment to the self keeps alive in your mind that guilt is real. It's circular. Also from RGIP:

"You do not desire the self for anything inherent in the experience of the self. It is a painful, limited experience. But fear of Truth makes the self desirable to you. The self seems to protect you from Truth. The thinking is circular here:

Your identification with a self causes you to fear Truth.
Your fear of Truth causes you to cling to your identification with a self.

You fear Truth only in your identification with a self, just as you experience guilt only in your identification with a self. Your identification with a self is your only problem." (RGIP-10)

You talk about dropping guilt. But that won't happen until Truth is true enough for you that you can look at your belief in a god outside of you that sits in judgment on you. As ACIM says, it takes preparation to look on stark insanity. You can try. But if you are not ready you may just have to learn to recognize guilt and accept that you are not yet ready to undo it. I was in that position for many, many years.



will said…
The brain, the physical brain, needs to be healthy to get the benefits the Course promises. For instance, when I was drinking, alcohol created a permanent limitation to communicating with the Holy Spirit. Alcoholism being a brain disease blocked communication when I stopped drinking. When I stopped the brain was running at 1000 mph. Thoughts running through my head at high speed. I couldn’t concentrate. A very effective block to communication with the Holy Spirit. Later I was diagnosed with endogenous depression, depression caused by a chemical malfunction. I needed meds. Then co-dependency, another mental illness that still flares up. When the brain is not running properly the HS is trying to help but he is blocked. ACIM by its very nature requires clarity. Even when my brain is running properly I still have ‘the voice’ to deal with.
will said…
Some interesting asides with this. One of the benefits of the difficulty of the text is that it slows us down to a crawl. Reading, then re-reading sentences. This is a very good thing even if it isn't much fun. Codependency is put into permanent remission by doing the Course (all things being equal). Who doesn't have mental problems? It is just a good thing to be aware.
hannah said…
thanks deb! for all of that..

"I identified with a very active psychological mind which engaged with fixing problems for "other s". It was an interference to a quiet mind and so along the way to peace, I was guided to keep it simple and reminding the mind to keep it simple was what the Doctor prescribed for peace." ive been looking at that aspect of my identification deeply for a couple of months now. noticing, watching. i was sitting under a bridge down the road the other day listening to a talk of ken wapnicks called watching with angels, and this topic came up, and i expereinced a domino effect of emotions.. the new experience in my mind around the ideas was that when the idea dropped away of the usefulness of changing other minds or situations, i felt what i call the floating guilt, guilt not attached to specifics of my personality but to simply being. and i felt/saw how i fix in an attempt to atone for being. after i cried, i laughed! "reality of self, importance of self.." so funny in that moment! so many words and yet they simply cant describe an experience hey!
hannah said…
liz.. ok, thank you. yes, i can see that those ideas are circular and self perpetuating (LOL.. pun unintended!)

i talk about that to myself (how 'x' conflict only 'makes sense', or 'y' could only be experienced if i beleive in something outside of me that has power over me and judges me. i mean.. it just comes up, its part of the flow of thought, its.. kind of logical. but i havent FELT it, i havent go to a point of .. well, having an experience of the belief TO look at. i can at this point only look at the idea. its getting hard not to trust the flow of timing.. and i can see how even there i am putting my trust in something outside of me, as well as experiencing fear of something outside of me, laugh! yet.. im enjoying the lessening of struggle, the quicker time frames of being able to just let anger or attachment to a whole story go. your words about connecting to truth, rather than trying to reach for silence, were so helpful, and a barrier of anger around meditation dropped away. my experiences of the higher miracle come to mind during the day much more often in automatic response to conflict in my mind.. im trusting the unfolding of it all more and more, because i seem to be expereicing more flow. and when i dont, i choose to learn. ill be ready when i am i guess.. right now it doesnt seem to matter when that is, which is a miracle, laugh! and thanks for that..
nicci said…
liz,
thank you for the reminder of the connection between perceiving guilt and fearing Truth and identifying with a personal self.
endless L, n

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