Ask: What remains of the specific "me" after death?
“Thanks for this article (On Life After Death and Level Confusion http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2017/07/on-life-after-death-and-level-confusion.html); a very complex subject, but you've provided some clarity. It opens up questions concerning 'reincarnation'. If the micro split-mind (body and personality) dissolves at 'death' then what (if anything) remains of the specific ‘me’ (soul?) that ‘rolls over’ into another worldly experience? Much of what we read on this subject implies that the spiritual ‘progress’ (Undoing/ Healing) we make in this life will lighten the burden in our 'future' lifetimes. On the other hand I've come to understand that there is no 'specific me’, there is no ‘world’...only the Macro split-mind projecting itself as billions of micro-minds. So, when this particular ‘Parenthesis in Eternity’ (J. Goldsmith) closes do we say that only Awareness remains, and it is no longer identified with a specific entity?
I've always been curious about the difference between the ego saying that if we return to the Mind we will be ‘obliterated’, and the Course saying we ‘disappear into the Heart of God’. My personal analogy is a drop of water on a dock that someone wipes up with a towel and discards versus someone lifting the drop (individual 'self') and returning it to the Ocean. The Awareness that was the essence of the drop experiences Itself as the All. Does that sound roughly correct? (I'm trying to keep it simple as this could go on and on as an academic exercise)!” – RB
The point I was trying to make with that article was that one reason that beliefs like reincarnation persist is because of level confusion. A micro split-mind’s experience of individuality is confused with the macro split-mind’s projection of billions of individual forms of itself. A seeming-individual ends in the story but the story continues on without it. No part of that seeming-individual “goes on”. It has only one “lifetime”. But the macro split-mind has billions of lifetimes. In other words, there is no re-incarnation just billions of incarnations of the macro split-mind. Some micro split-minds are able to tap into those other micro stories and they feel that they lived them themselves individually but really they just tapped into the macro split-mind. (This is why so many people claim to be the reincarnation of the same famous person).
There is nothing specific about your experience as an individual that goes on after death, in time or into Eternity (Timelessness). That experience is the false that falls away. So there is no “soul” or individual spirit. But there is Something Universal in your mind That is Eternal. The Truth in your mind is completely apart from time and It is universal because the Truth in your mind is the same Truth in every seemingly-individual split-mind. And you don’t have to wait for the death of the self to experience It. You can practice the Holy Instant at any moment and experience Truth now. And when you do, you will never experience time the same way again. This is why the Holy Instant is so central to the practice of A Course in Miracles. And this is why ACIM’s teaching is so radically different from most spiritual teachings. It does not aim you toward the future for relief from the false. It asks you to be open to Truth right now to be relieved right now.
The ego (personal thought system) says that “you” will be obliterated if you return your mind to Truth because it will disappear. The ego speaks only for itself. You feel its fears as your own only as long as you identify with it. In this process of undoing, you will learn that you are mind and that the ego is only a thought system in your mind that tells you, falsely, that the self (body/personality/ego) is you.
Awareness (or consciousness or perception) is the experience of the split-mind (both macro and micro – there’s really no distinction between the two). A split-mind can be aware of either illusion or Truth. The highest level of awareness in ACIM is called Christ Consciousness or the Holy Spirit. In this awareness one is aware that only the Truth is true and recognizes that the universe of form is an illusion. No part of awareness “goes on” to Truth. It is the false experience. But this highest form of awareness is necessary to prepare one for the experience of Truth. When the illusion falls away only Truth is left in a mind and it slips easily from the Awareness of Truth (Christ/ Holy Spirit) to Knowledge of Truth. It’s like the awareness of Truth is seeing Truth through a veil and Knowledge of Truth is when there is no veil. All boundaries are gone. (I’m not sure if this is what you were talking about with “the essence of Awareness”).
Here’s another way to think of it:
Imagine a piece of white paper. This represents the Mind of Truth. (Unlike paper, Truth has no boundaries, but, hey, gotta work with what we got…). Now imagine a circle on the paper. This is the part of the Mind of Truth where the idea of not-Truth occurs. Color in that circle with a pencil. Now the circle represents the split-mind (macro or micro, it doesn’t matter; same thing) because the paper, representing Truth, is still there under the penciling, which represents not-Truth. As you advance in your awareness of Truth, it is like erasing the penciling. More and more of the white paper, Truth, shows through until finally you are left with the white paper both inside and outside the circle. This is the highest awareness a split-mind can have. It knows that only the Truth is true – or only the white paper is true. It’s hardly even split-off anymore so the circle, the boundary, is easily erased (in ACIM this is described as “God takes the last step” because only God is left in mind and Mind).
So this process of undoing reveals That Which is already right here. There is no “returning” because nothing real “left”. It was just “covered over”. And as each micro split-mind erases the false, that much is erased from the macro split-mind, just as each little erasure reveals the paper beneath the penciling. And, again, this is not done through death. Focusing on what happens when you die (what part of your mind does that, do you think?) can be a way of avoiding being present to Truth.
(The passage you quoted from ACIM, “disappear into the Heart of God” (W-pII. 14.5), is referring to a split-mind in its “purified” – how ACIM describes the “erasing” – state. It refers to the boundary as a “gate” rather than a veil or circle as I did here. ACIM speaks to “you” not as a person but as a split-mind, only the Truth in which is true).
Speaking one-on-one with a mentor you can address the very specific questions and confusion that you have about this process. Email me at Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment. Learn more at www.acimmentor.com.
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