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 experience we seek. Many who seek to spiritualize the self and its life in the world seek an emotionally warm experience. I brought up how my wife finds my spiritual path to be cold and cerebral because she seeks emotional warmth from her spirituality. She does not find me cold and cerebral. And she finds our relationship emotionally satisfying. But she is also aware that our relationship is not what would make her whole. She expresses her opinion on my spiritual path as her own perception given her own goal, not as a judgment on it or as an attack on me. So I do not take her comments personally or find them offensive. As I wrote, I know her opinion arises because she has not experienced liberation so she really does not know what it is I want. Our relationship is fulfilling and harmonious to both of us because neither of us asks the other to make us whole and we both respect the other’s spiritual path. Even though our spiritual goals and paths are very different what we do share is a relationship with the Holy Spirit (or what she calls her Higher Power or God). And it is to the Holy Spirit we both turn, instead of to each other, when we seek wholeness.

So as you can see emotionally warm relationships are not only possible when seeking liberation but are the result of growing spiritual awareness. It’s just that for those of us who have tasted liberation from the self a warm emotional relationship with Truth for the self does not make sense. In the last article I was not saying that you cannot have both emotional warmth in the self’s life and to seek liberation from the self. I was saying that as spiritual goals they are mutually exclusive. If you want from Truth an emotionally satisfying relationship for the self you cannot at the same time want liberation from the self. Neither path is better or worse or right or wrong. It’s just what you want and it can be helpful to know which you want as you read something like A Course in Miracles and its teachers. Your goal for yourself will determine how you read ACIM and which teachers make sense to you.

As I mentioned in one of the earlier articles, even those who seek liberation go through a stage of spiritualizing the self. It’s unavoidable at the start because the self is all you know even if you have had instants of liberation. The mind seeks to integrate the two experiences and it takes a long time to accept that a unified mind is not the result of blending the experience of the self with the experience of liberation from the self. A unified mind is what is left when the self is dropped from the mind (liberation).

Both paths are about avoiding pain. Those who seek to spiritualize the self seek a less painful life in the world. And they will be satisfied with that. Those who have tasted liberation know that it is possible to transcend pain by transcending the self. They are not just pushed toward liberation in the hopes of transcending pain. They are pulled toward liberation knowing it is possible.

Here’s something I wrote that was going to be part of another article but that fits well here:


The contrast between the experiences of Truth (liberation) and not-Truth (the self) is always wondrous to me. I am always struck by how completely unlike the other is each experience. And this contrast makes it so clear to me why not-Truth can never satisfy. It is like craving steak and having only apples available. The apples may be good as far as apples go, but no matter how many you eat they will not satisfy you when you crave a steak. The texture, taste, and nutrients are all wrong. And so it is with life in the world. No matter how good it gets it is never wholly satisfying. There is always a craving for the limitlessness and wholeness that only Truth can offer.

>>>>>
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

hannah said…
liz, i am curious about the (waking) higher miracle experience after reading this

'Both paths are about avoiding pain. Those who seek to spiritualize the self seek a less painful life in the world. And they will be satisfied with that. Those who have tasted liberation know that it is possible to transcend pain by transcending the self'

when i experienced that miracle, i had been immersed in such great terror and pain and had just acknowledged to myself the futility of continuing to attempt to take away or absorb the pain of my nephew in his suicidal state. seeing that there was nothing i could do felt like it would tear me apart, then the words 'not my will be done but gods' went through my head and i flicked into the 'one song' experience. what im wondering about is, during those seconds there was no pain, only complete (as i would describe it) love and peace that encompassed all situations all selves all the time. strangely, there wasnt even compassion for any of the encompassed story of time and space, because there was nothing actually wrong to feel sorry for, not really lots of notes where when you step back you can hear the harmony in what seems like discord up close, or anything, but one song, no discord. and yet, i was still there experiencing no pain as a self. there was no interpreting going on in my head during the experience, no thoughts, but 'i' was experiencing it.

so, my question is, do you think i would call that a no pain experience only in comparison to the selfs usual experience?? there was zero conflict, nothing out of place. but its true the world kind of.. faded into the background, it lost all sense of being reality, but it was still in my awareness. this experience happened years after the sleeping dream where i did start to dissolve into the one loving light, then flicked back into my self in fear? of no self. (i didnt *consciously* experience fear of the oneness, that felt beautiful, but i felt fear of not being me anymore) so maybe my mind could extend that 'knowledge' of loving oneness into the waking experiencing?
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, that was a higher miracle. It was a moment of transcending the self and therefore pain. You can extend that awareness into your experiences in the world by remembering it. Eventually, in time, you will have more experiences like that until one day that Vision is where you live.
hannah said…
oh, liz. we can LIVE there!? you live there, you KNOW that, right!? right. trust! so i wasnt mistaken about there being no pain, but about what a self is. thats ok, i get the feeling i cant understand that yet. i was imagining that transcending the self was what you experienced in revelation, where there was only Truth.
will said…
Hannah, Have you got Liz's book 'The ACIM Mentor Articles?' You can cover a lot of ground in a hurry with it.
hannah said…
no will, i dont have that one, i have been just exploring them online. hmm.. not having wifi i can only read them sitting at the computer.. and in winter would be nice to check it out somewhere un-freezing! but thered have to be a volume two out soon, hey? ;)

on a funny note, i have bought 6 copies of 4 habits for inner peace cos friends keeps wanting to borrow mine, and taking that book back always seems unkind, laugh ;)
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Hannah, we can live there. No, I don't live there fully yet. I'm on the edge of it. But sustaining that Vision has always been my goal. Or so I've assumed. Won't know until it unfolds!

The self is the body and the personality and the story that you tell yourself about you being the body and personality. Transcending the self simply means coming to a recognition that it is not real. Your existence is eternal. However, you project that sense of existence on the self and confuse them. That's what you are sorting out - your existence from the self. When you have you can let go of the self without fearing that you will lose your existence.

Thanks for the plug, Will.

I do not have any plans at this time to put together another book.
hannah said…
liz, OH MY GOD. gobsmacked. the first paragraph made me just smile, cos i felt connected and patient and trusting reading it. the second paragraph oh my god-ed me. like when you helped me get that even though this experience (being a separate individual) is the opposite of truth, truth cant NOT be present and constantly reliable in my mind because its all that IS. never isnt.
hannah said…
ok, it actually makes sense that transcending the self is something that.. well, how to say that? i mean.. it contains the self, its an experience of the self, right!? just.. of the right-minded self? so, transcending the self cant actually be part of the experience of revelation. cos there is no self there. right? no-thing is happening in Truth. self has no actual existence, just an idea of itself. hmm, that gets messy, tangled again. but.. the experiencing of awakening cant be part of revelation, unless part of truth had actually fallen asleep. so.. seeming to awaken must just be part of the higher miracle. which is just.. an experience of accepting and knowing complete innocence right? no conflict? no separation, other, no acted upon and actee? no self TO dissolve back into the oneness. cos that cant actually happen unless a split happened, in which case there would be a god outside of me? ah, crikey.. i think i need to go sleep.
will said…
Hannah, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I spent 8 or 10 years trying to understand "extension". Liz probably explained it a dozen times trying different ways to help but I just couldn't get it. Sometimes I would understand it and then in a flash it was gone. It seemed like extension was mentioned on every page and if you didn't understand it, well, you couldn't understand the Course. There may be a little truth in that.
I'm about eleven years into this and I'm still not on firm footing with the interactions going on with the different levels. Extension goes to the heart of that, the interactions, so I guess that's the difficulty. It may be that I cannot figure it out, it may have to be given to me.


ES said…
Liz,
Despite your best efforts to elucidate this topic of choice between the two types of spirituality with multiple articles, the topic remains incomprehensible to me. It could be because my own connection to Truth is so tenuous and ephemeral - I feel lucky if I can muster a drop of willingness just to keep going. It could also be that I don't see any concrete definition of a "warm" spirituality. For example, for one who has or wants a warm relationship to the Truth - what does that even mean? What does it look and feel like? Cherubs floating by? Violins in the background?

But getting back to the issue of choice. I would be interested in hearing from any readers who are aware of having made - or even faced - a clear choice regarding these two types of spirituality.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, both the higher miracle and Revelation transcend the self. In the higher miracle you are aware of transcending the self. In the Revelation, as you said, there is no self to transcend. It is a state of no-self so in that sense it transcends the self. And, yes, the idea of transcending the self only has meaning on "this side" - the perceptual side.
ACIM Mentor said…
ES, the moment that I came out to myself as a lesbian I heard the Holy Spirit. It was not the first time but it was the first time I identified it as Something spiritual. I didn't label It. I just knew. And what I experienced was that I was loved by God. In that sense it was an emotionally satisfying, warm experience for the self. Because at that time I was only identified with the self so if God loved me I could only understand it as God loved me as a self. In other words, the warmth came from my interpretation of what I felt. This is where most people are happy to stop. They want to know God loves them as they pursue happiness through the self. And if this is all that they can accept the Holy Spirit will meet them where they are.

Three years later I experienced Revelation and higher miracles which took me out of the self. I transcended the self and experienced liberation from limitations and wholeness. Those experiences, sometimes by other names, were what I was always seeking through the self but could never find. I discovered that transcending the self brought me what I really wanted and what was far more valuable than limited, transient emotional "warmth". For many years I would sometimes go back to wanting to keep the self and have God love me as the self, but liberation from the self beckoned stronger. Eventually wanting emotional warmth from God, Which I came to call Truth, didn't make sense anymore and fell away.
will said…
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ACIM Mentor said…
I speak with clients who also have the experiences I have had. As Hannah shared above, too.

Any student who feels "God is playing favorites" is missing the message of ACIM. God is in every mind so how could It play favorites? The correct response to "I don't have these experiences" is to be open and willing to have them.
will said…
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will said…
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ACIM Mentor said…
Everything you listed, Will, is certainly what the ego says. Pretty universally, from what I've heard from students (and experienced myself). Is this what you mean by the "intellectual answers"? The ego's resistance that a student hears in their own mind? You've given a great example why it always comes back to the student's mind: that's where the obstacles to the Holy Spirit are. If communication is always flowing toward a mind but a mind won't let it in how is it supposed to get through? There is a world of difference between wanting something and being willing to have it.
will said…
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will said…
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Kathy said…
It seems experience drives the path. If one experiences transcendence and/or a higher miracle the stage is set for the relationship with God. Until that happens the relationship sought will be what feels most fulfilling and familiar. As you said, Liz, Spirit meets us where we are. If we can be here now, in whatever we are experiencing, willing to be open, we will experience what is right for us. Trusting this.
nicci said…
it has become this for me: trust (in guidance from the HS - that only God - Truth - Love is Real), willingness, remembering and returning, determination and perseverance. endless L, n
will said…
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will said…
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will said…
Sorry, got a little too self indulgent.
hannah said…
will, this is as far as i can get a handle on extension.. im curious now you mention it to know if im off course, liz? its kind of like.. the word for the active principle of the law of mind, that mind knows only itself. if if got that right, then projection and extension are the active principles of that law. itll be funny if ive got that wrong, cos it helped me to understand extension, once i kind of.. 'paired it' with projection!
hannah said…
will.. oh.. you werent saying you didnt get it, just that youd had trouble with it? yeah.. me too :D




hannah said…
will again. hope you dont mind me commenting on one of the deleted comments? in the comment which started as 'i guess. it always puts it back onto the student.', you also said 'if the communication was taking place as the course describes...' and it made me remember something, and it clicked. i totally get why that bugs you so much.. in my own experience, learning to find an 'arena' in which i could trust COMMUNICATION has been TOTALLY key. (this story might piss you off or help.. or neither.. hmm!) im not sure if im trying to fix or overstepping some bound or if the click was to share or if it was just for me. but.. here goes..

i had the lowest self esteem, i had zero conscious trust in my own mind, i doubted myself in almost every part of my life, and saw myself as substandard. but then i started to open to the possibility that maybe life wasnt what i had thought it was.. that maybe there was some kind of spiritual reality that wasnt just mumbo jumbo that people used to try and feel better cos life was so shitty. around that time i was loaned a few books about synchronicity. the idea seemed both fun and helpful.. god or your higher self talking to you via the world around you. now, part of me still thought that it was probably something that only happened to 'special' people, and most certainly not to inferior me, but the books all said that this wasnt so. so i just said.. well, universe, if its real, can you show me? and youll seriously have to smack me over the head with it, cos i firmly believe in coincidence, youll have to prove its not just that, IF you actually want to talk to me as much as i want to talk to you. the latest book i had read was by an aussie woman and she had opened to this experience via synchro around canada. and that is when the weird stuff started happening to me surrounding canada. so weird i couldnt dismiss it as not happening, i wont share the stories here, i dont even know if what i AM sharing is helpful or hindering.

and now, maybe 15 years later, i can see my ideas around synchro morphed a lot, but it WAS always helpful, in the end. the communication aspect was real in that it helped me to start trusting, both myself and a loving source. it helped me to start knowing that i was worthy and juuuust maybe possibly lovable, laugh! (still got layers there, ho-hum, but like you said,, the ball had to start rolling somewhere, right!?!) and it helped me to start seeing (though i didnt know it was doing this til ACIM) that the lines of temperateness and differentiation between me and the world werent as solid or as real as i thought. like.. it continued 'working' and being helpful as i started to shift the idea i was communicating with a loving 'isness' outside of me, (i didnt know what it WAS.. my guides, god, the universe) to knowing i was communicating with myself. and, synchro happened in a BIG, beautiful way directly after the higher miracle experience, so i knew i could trust it and not write it off, even though i still didnt know what id just expereinced. and i reckon thats what helped open me to the kind of inner communication you, like me, really want.. the actual experiences of peace. i dunno, mate.. maybe youd also benefit from letting communication in via some side door too? it got the show on the road for me. else i would have given up on the course after a year i reckon.. but the synchro kept me going, plus it started me trusting in my dreams as another form of communication. weirdly that aspect worked backward in time, 'past' dreams began to lead me toward truth too. my deep apologies if this is out of line, will, or arrogant or inappropriate in some way.
hannah said…
hi ES :) for me i THINK it was during the higher miracle experience i spoke about above. id already had experiences that made me feel personally loved.. like the time i expereinced synchronicity which showed me that there was a part of my mind i could trust in above what the worlds teachers might tell me was the truth .. my mind used flamingos, lol, in that awesome experience.. but it could have been any symbol i chose (this flamingo thing was what the big beautiful synchro i mentioned above to will was right after the higher miracle experience.) but, that higher miracle experience had happened right when i was accepting that i could not change the experience my suicidal nephew was going through. i was in pain and deep despair. and the higher miracle experience showed me that True, Real, Complete, un-disruptable Love had nothing to do with this self (or any other self) experiencing itself as loved by god, or more accurately, rather, on a personal level, as supported by god to what the self would see as happy outcomes in the world. and that point was where the choice started to become clear. i still want emotional warmth from god too. but i want that total Peace and Wholeness more, nothing can compare to that. in my experience so far.
hannah said…
well, funny! Liz, i was wondering about why i felt so uncomfortable responding to will as i did.. and then i read this in one of your blogs

'Sometimes students tell me that they just want to go off into a cave somewhere and commune with God for the rest of their lives. The Course tells us that that is a long way around to God, and it offers us a path to use right in the world that is a short cut. If you were to find peace by withdrawing from the world how could you be certain that you have really undone conflict in your mind? Conflict is not undone by avoiding it but by facing it, seeing its unreality, and letting it go. By engaging with the world everyday you confront your belief in separation everyday, and you have the opportunity to forgive it. Teaching in the world is the same process. Ideas rattling around in my mind are never challenged, but a soon as I think of writing or saying it “out there” my own mind is full of projecting how others might respond to it. Of course what I think “others” might say are really my own thoughts. Now I get to look at these thoughts that challenge the ideas I’m teaching. Some of them will help me hone the idea as I clarify it, others will help me see where I still have fearful or erroneous thoughts. Then when I do teach the thoughts “out there” I am confronted by opportunities to clarify, and hone, and overcome challenges presented by “others”. Some of the comments that seem to come from outside of me will go right by me, but the comments that bother me give me an opportunity to see why I agree with them on some level, and what I have to work through.'

so.. without even having had a response from will, im trying to see what it was. im worried about offending him. im worried that im being to big for my boots, lol.. giving help that is not needed or is unhelpful. and im worried that you will see my ego even more clearly liz, (though part of me knows that would be helpful, and its what i expect when we talk, laugh!) because i have noticed that the more i respect someone the more i care how they perceive me! i know ive been a fixer, and think i should get back in my box! but i pressed 'post' anyway, cos i decided that really it didnt matter anyway, and there always turns out to be something helpful, even if its just in forgiving some aspect in this mind. im still feeling confused about what i have to work through though. any clarification??
will said…
Blowing off steam at Jesus isn’t for everyone. For me there are big dividends. If you were raised without religion you probably don’t believe in Jesus. Given my history if I didn’t have those beliefs I don’t know where I would be. My mind is more like Helen than Bill. There is some madness there. Jesus knows this. He says this evening that people who have spiritual experiences need them. I want them but don’t need them. I’m driving back from Wal-Mart at 1am and I’m thinking about all this. I’m thinking about Helen. Helen is talking on a personal level with Jesus every day. They discuss things. Put yourself in that place for a moment. But she is arguing with him, refusing to co-operate almost continually. She is angry with him and lets him know it. She tells him he doesn’t know what he is doing so she refuses to co-operate. This goes on the entire time she is scribing the course. She clearly knows it is Jesus but it doesn’t faze her a bit. I have thought about this quite a bit but I am unable to wrap my head around it. I come up with simplified reasons, simplified scenarios, but they really don’t cut it. She has a deep love of Jesus. He of course is aware of this and is gentle with her most of the time. They can’t be strangers to each other. They must know one another. There isn’t a one of us that would act this way or could even imagine acting like this. We visualize ourselves honored to be chosen to help.

The Holy Spirit takes us as we are. Some have different religious back grounds than others and some none at all. He moves us in the direction that fits. Trying to be or trying to have the spirituality and beliefs of another person is foolish. You go where you are led.
will said…
Hannah if you didn't talk straight we would be in a real fix. You're doing fine.
hannah said…
cheers will ;) funny.. see i feel such relief.. so i can see that im still attached to approval. and i believe that i can hurt and be hurt. and what comes to mind is.. being fearful of god. but i dont REALLY get it!
will said…
Hannah, God knows all of us have tons of this stuff going on. You just happen to have the courage to voice it. That is your gift, you have fear but you do the things that most scare you. That is a rare courage.
hannah said…
will, you mirror you!
hannah said…
Will I Am ;)
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Hannah, projection and extension are the same thing. Only projection is extension+denial.

All you have to work through, Hannah, is the belief that you have to be a certain way as a person to be okay with a god who sits in judgment on you.
Christine said…
Will, that is such an interesting point! That Anyone else (just about) would have been "honored" to have been "chosen" by the HS to scribe the Course! Helen (whom I think of off and on) was so "bothered" and annoyed by It, Him....to think about it, someone who was "honored", well,that could bespeak of satisfying the ego type of thing...Helen was the "right person" or mind to come through because she was so smart in her field, she was organized, tough, persistent, dedicated, and she was a prickly pear person!! Look how she got along (mostly NOT) with Bill Thetford! Oh my! But they hung in there.
will said…
Christine, the whole thing is very strange. Some say that Jesus or the Holy Spirit cannot be active in our personal lives, but this is a very active participation. Helen believes and Jesus concurs they have a history back to Jesus lifetime. Helen and Bill have had a number of lives together but I'm not sure how all this works, it's been a long time since I read it. But back to Helen's describing, it's when I really try to visualize this going on, I don't know what to make of it. Ken Wapnick had her poetry published after her death, I think it's called God Calling, it is some beautiful poetry. I'll have to dig it out.
will said…
When I was driving home in the middle of the night yesterday and was mulling over this stuff I was thinking about how I was raised with religion. The Course and religion have a different paradigm. But what I was realizing was that to make the change from one to the other the religion part has to be replaced. You can't really just make the switch because you want to. Something experiential has to take its place. An internal change. I had been trying to just say "OK I believe this now" and it was causing conflict within myself as well as making me unhappy.
will said…
I ran across a book called Poem of The Man-God by Maria Valtorta. I think that's right. Actually it is an enormous five volume set. You can read it online, it's right after the Wikipedia entry. Check it out. Jesus dictating his life to a scribe from what I understand.
will said…
It is the archive.org link
ES said…
ANOTHER QUESTION

You mentioned that Courtney felt your spirituality - which you characterized as feedom and liberation - was cold and cerebral. On what basis can she make that assessment when she has never experienced it?
hannah said…
liz.. ok.. ok. well, its been a very 'strange' few days. nah, not strange.. just very communicate-y.

im very in touch with the fear of my own judgement, which often tends to present as what i think others think of me, or what i think theyd think of me. and i know my intense judgemental-ism of others is just the flip side of this coin. oh BOY would i love to live without this denial of reality. and i know (will talk on thurs.. your weds, dont panic ;) your in for a lovely 'dream' discussion, mwahahahahaha) that now is the time, not once some 'task' has been completed, now is the only time to make the choice for Love. what feels bloody .. foreign? nigh on impossible?! is trying to bring 'god' into this.. which must therefor be great fear. so.. ive asked myself if im ready, and all i hear/feel is 'you betchya, you got you and you got liz.' and yet still all that is currently pouring out/in is support and love and easy choice for, well, Choice, laugh.. easy to drop whats not true.. with ONE experience standing apart from this. but even that feels like a gift, i know it IS. abandonment is the thing. i feel guilt for abandoning and 'creating' loneliness in others is real so i kinda.. know that all the other stuff must still be there, though as i said im finding it easy right now to see it as purposive to an insane mind. but ive been meditating on the two experiences of higher miracle and its making it easy to see all this stuff as a smokescreen to truth. ah, why am i trying to squish all this in here???! speajk soon. oh, just remembered another dream.. we totally got this. all it took was a simple flick of the wrist to escape the hungry dogs of fear.. oh BLOODY HELL... bahahahahahahaha.. still all synchro communicate-y. rereading your response to me makes me feel so happy. and a twinge of. um.. anxiety, bless you ;)
hannah said…
liz, i after reading one of your blogs? a section of your book 4HIP? regarding fear of god due to our mistaken ideas of god/truth, i wrote down the words capricious and arbitrary, with their definitions, as i had never used either word before, only read them without fully understanding their meaning. its still sitting here by the computer, though i did a huge clean out of this room over this last week. i was hanging some curtains two days ago and ripped off the tabs, and the word 'caprice' caught my eye. in tiny letters underneath that it says 'the choice in yours'. im pretty sure thats a cute chinese translation error :D but.. i really think im ready to get in touch with this fear of god. hey?
ACIM Mentor said…
ES, don't we all make judgments on things we've never experienced? Because she comes from belief she does not realize that I come from experience. It's a common error.

She does not delve into my spirituality or experiences. Very early on she asked me to stop talking about it because it scared her. So I don't discuss it. She only knows in a very superficial way what ACIM says. It scares her and her judgment is a way to hold it away from her. Of course I don't say any of this to her! I just stay quiet and let her share her beliefs and judgments.
ES said…
Your response to my comment reflects my own view. With all due respect, this whole topic which seemed to suggest that there was some kind of viable, though lesser, alternative to real peace eg. some kind of "emotionally warm" relationship with God struck me as less than authentic. People who seem to feel that way think that there is some man in the sky who loves them; who saves them from the plane crash while everyone else involved perishes; who will reward them if they do good in enough lifetimes. If only it were true. Unfortunately the flip side to this way of thinking is fear as you point out.
ACIM Mentor said…
ES, it's not inauthentic if it's what they really want. "Authentic" means what is natural to a person. Remember, anything you do here is temporary. It does not matter if you spiritualize the self or transcend the self. Either way its not real.
will said…
ES I'm not advocating anything but how do you know it's not true. If it is a dream by a mind how do you decide what is possible?
hannah said…
thanks ES. that helps highlight the guilt i feel. the hungry dogs of fear i send out in denial of truth. if i can be ok while others suffer, then who am i? and i guess this must reflect.. then.. what is god? it seems insane to try and get to the bottom of a crazy thought system (get in touch with my fear of truth) made to keep not truth seeming to have replaced truth. and yet, isnt this what youre saying is all i need to do liz? or.. no, hang on. knowing the truth is true is what would do that. do we each seem to have an individual tipping point where we have undone enough blocks for turning to truth to be relief rather than undying a specific fear? oh.. that feels totally different when i put 'truth' rather than 'god' in the words in brackets. putting god makes the sentence fearful, putting truth makes the sentence feel helpful. ah, sheesh. if i undo my belief in guilt, will i next be able to face the fear of pain (which feels to me like separation, and loneliness, or isolation) and then of death?
will said…
People determine Truth by their experiences with the course. They then determine by those experiences the way Truth is for everyone. That Truth can only be the way they are experiencing it. Over time there is spiritual growth and their understanding of Truth changes. On and on it goes with each new paradigm being the only new Truth. The new real knowledge. At some point the current belief barely resembles the past. But there is always that human urge to say this current one is the only Truth.
will said…
The only understanding of Truth.
will said…
ES Have you ever heard a spiritual teacher that didn't believe their understanding was true for everyone?
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, to undo guilt the Truth has to be true for you to an extent that you trust It enough to look at and undo the guilt. So at the same time your fear of death falls away because you are in touch with the Eternal. After guilt all there is to do is acclimate to the Awareness of Truth.
Deb Baczewski said…
Liz, thank you for your compassion.

Something about your words that act like a key opening a golden chest of treasure within.. ."After guilt all there is to do is acclimate to the Awareness of Truth". The simplicity is here when truly accepted. My gratitude beams.
hannah said…
liz, so, look at and undo the guilt as you have been helping me do? no more than that? i think courage to look honestly at guilt is just growing daily it feels like. trust in truth is growing. so.. just keep looking within myself at what comes up daily? talk to you about it also? relax and just keep doing what im doing? i feel i could be doing more, somehow! or like.. im getting something a bit off, a bit wrong. hmm, trying to clarify that and it feels like the floaty non-specific guilt a bit, when i try to look closer at the feeling, it gets vaguer. except oh.. specifically im pushing quite hard i guess. but.. what else is there to do really? i dont really want to let go of the intensity of my focus. i dont want to push though. ive been told i make people feel pressure, and i can see that. actually.. it does make me feel guilty, id like to just have this between me myself and i as you say.

acclimating to the awareness of truth sounds joyful. maybe a bit odd, but joyful!
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, it's actually guilt that make you feel you should do more and that you may be doing it wrong! For a long time you will be able to identify guilt but not be able to remove it. You can try by addressing your false belief in a god who sits in judgment on you and remembering your experiences of Truth. But you will only actually undo it when your awareness of Truth has grown to the point where you can look on it without going mad. Until then, use guilt to grow your awareness of Truth.

Acclimating to the Awareness of Truth has the potential to be joyful. But first one must address their final fear of loss.
ES said…
This discussion was irritating to me because it posed some kind of choice which made no sense to me. It also made me doubt what I really wanted. My final take-away from this discussion however, is that anyone for whom the core principles of the Course in Miracles resonates as relevant to their lives and who has made the commitment to honestly examine their guilt (as defined by the Course) on a regular basis in order to release it, has made the choice for peace and not for a so-called emotional connection to God. (And as Liz has pointed out you can't do both.) This is obvious to me now.
hannah said…
thanks liz. um.. something es said made something click.. is looking for an emotional connection to god an expression of guilt? is it seeking to mitigate guilt? is it like, not feeling good enough (and therefore guilty) for a power over and outside of you, and so being shown and having the feeling of an emotionally warm connection with that power would mean that maybe youre both lovable in its eyes and safe from its punishment of you for not being perfect? but youd be holding on to the idea of the not perfect self as real, and hiding from the deeply held belief that this makes you guilty of attacking perfection, and deserving of punishment. oh.. it would keep the final fear of loss at bay, wouldnt it. if god is loving me from outside of me, then id be able to *maintain* me.

so.. this judgemental god then! is the looking at it and going mad without trust in truth like.. well. say the last five years particularly, where i got more and more harmful to myself, angry, physically and mentally abusing myself, as i became more honest about my motivations? i saw my manipulations, mistrust, judgement and hatred more and more clearly. cos that was like going mad, totally psychotic sometimes. i got less nasty to others as i saw it (cos i hadnt even know i was nasty to others before that, i thought i was pretty damn nice!) at least, in less expressing it outward to them. but i got muuuch nastier to myself. and i started screaming and ranting at god and at HS, now i think of it.. rather than always approaching them in my mind with a mask of 'oh look at us together like this, how holy am i being now, so sweet talking with this sweet god' and the rants would be telling god how very nasty 'he' was for not taking this nastiness away from me, for my own good and for the good of those who had to come into contact with me. and then id usually fall into self harm and/or smoking pot (marijuana) to 'ease the pain'. so. therefor.. that IS the belief in a god who judges me, right? i 'knew' god could see the nastiness as real and having real effects.. and oh.. it felt like punishment that 'he' wouldnt take the disgustingness away. 'he' left it with me, as i deserved. smoking pot almost always clicked me into study mode, id connect with a non judgemental part of my mind, and write and write. id study what i wrote the next day, and it was usually helpful. and i valued that, but it had so many other negative effects, on health and family connections and motivation for my worldly 'duties', that i still felt it, like the other self harm, was a punishment i was inflicting on myself. it felt like love WAS battling hate in me, and it was driving me mad, and i couldnt talk to my family about it cos they all said 'for gods sake, just stop studying that ****ing book' and i couldnt make them see that i was heading into this before ACIM came along, id just uncovered what was already there, and it provided me with the only relief i felt from my self hatred and fear, even though it was surely helping me to see what was already there!

but then i had the second higher miracle experience, and Knew deeply for a few seconds, laugh, that none of any of this had any effect on what was really true. so.. some of the madness started to ease out of my response to continuing to look honestly at my motivations. and i started communicating on your blogs rather than just reading them.

hannah said…
i guess what im saying is, liz, i doubt i could ever go into that level of madness again, and if i did.. well, we talk now, right! if i found myself totally blocking turning inward to truth, id be able to contact you and youd help me re-centre in Truth. over the last few days ive been having recognition come to mind re this belief in a judgemental god, in the moment, as in 'oh, right now im feeling i need to atone for this thought/action' but whats weird is, it keeps.. flicking into well. um.. like. well, me, hannah, im the judgemental god, outside of what really is, the god-self outside of Truth. im the power outside of peace, sitting on the throne of judgement. but.. this a defense, right, against continuing to look at my belief in a judgemental god outside of me?

talk about rant.. its a been a while since i write so much i had to break it into two posts :D
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, I've never thought of looking for an emotional connection with God as an attempt to mitigate guilt. It would be unconscious because those who do so are not aware of the guilt. When I wanted that instead of to transcend the self it was a desire for the self to be real. So it was a way to hold onto guilt, though I had no idea of this at the time.

Really, I think those that seek an emotional connection with a god really are not aware that there is another experience to be had. It's what I would expect if I had not experienced transcending.

Let me just share my process with undoing THE guilt. This all unfolded over about 30 years: First I read about it in ACIM and had no idea what it was talking about. Oh, sure, I felt guilt for things I'd done or still did. But I was not at all in touch with THE guilt. So I just let that go as I learned about other things and figured one day I would understand.

After about 15 years I got it intellectually. I could understand the whole connection to guilt, the ego, fear of God, etc. But I wasn't ready to look at it and when I tried my mind would skitter off onto other things.

Then came a time when I had reoccurring dreams, weekly at least, where either I had killed someone or I had helped someone cover up killing someone. I figured this was THE guilt surfacing. But I still could not look at it. My mind would still skitter away when I tried. I continued to grow my awareness of Truth.

Then one day I felt ready to look at the guilt. I felt like I was on a rope descending into a dark pit in my mind. The Holy Spirit was holding the rope. I realized I was ready because the Holy Spirit was real to me. But I couldn't find the guilt! I looked and looked, again and again. I was frustrated and asked the Holy Spirit if maybe I wasn't ready. And the Holy Spirit laughingly said, "I've been telling you that there is no guilt!" Ohhhhhh. Now that I could see that there is no guilt I was ready to undo my BELIEF IN guilt.

I began to get in touch with my belief in guilt. I could actually feel my fear of a judgmental god. The feeling wasn't new; seeing it for what it was, was new. I began to address it by comparing my experiences of Truth with this concept of a judgmental god. I did this over and over and over again, whenever guilt came up. The non-judgmental experience of Truth began to chip away at the idea of a judgmental god.

Then I began to see all the ways guilt showed up, some of them obvious, others more subtle. I continued to apply the comparison until it undid the guilt.

Then I wrote "Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace", which is when I consolidated all that I had learned.

So you see the Truth has to be true for you, for you to see that there is no guilt. And then you will be ready to undo your belief in guilt.
hannah said…
liz. thank you. i feel totally weird right now. happy/scared. i think i might just skitter off and go for a walk with all of this! or none of it. oh, my BELIEF in guilt. ok holy spirit, lets walk ;) i feel displaced liz. dreamlike and surreal.
Theresa McG said…
Thank you for this blog post - it answers a question that I have been trying to sort out for months.

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