Showing posts from 2018

The Stranger Within

The first time I saw her was last August when the Golden Light came into my mind and my first novel came through. There were only brief flashes of her. She was a dynamic, confident, and lighthearted personality. When she was around, the body stood straight and the muscles in its face relaxed. On one occasion, one of her sisters looked curiously at her when she responded to something with uncharacteristic lighthearted wit. “Oh, there she is,” I thought. “Even her sister doesn’t recognize her.”
Suddenly, there was a Stranger within animating the self this mind projects. Since the Holy relationship came in April and this mind went through huge shifts in May and June, this new Animator emerges more and more.
Over the years, when I was identified with the self, I experienced disorienting changes through personal growth and shifts in self-concepts that had me wondering briefly, “Who am I?” These were changes I felt were in me in my self-identification. But this time, I did not recognize at…

Higher Awareness and Emotions

The ego (personal thought system) comes up with a lot of funny ideas about how the self one projects will show up when they realize Higher Awareness. It’s been implied to me by more than one person that as I rise in consciousness I will become an impersonal automaton. Ha, ha! No. It’s not like that.
First, let me explain what I mean by “Higher Awareness”. The Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) is in every mind.Higher Awareness is an individual expression of the Awareness of Truth. It is the awareness/consciousness/perception that replaces the ego in relation to the self. When I am in the Awareness of Truth I am looking inward at Love. When I am in Higher Awareness, I am looking outward from Love at the experience of the self.
The difference between the view from lower awareness (the level of the self) and the view from Higher Awareness is stark. It is like the difference between seeing the Himalayas from Nepal and seeing them from the International Space Station. Higher Awareness is a …

Why the Mystical Holy Relationship Is A Shortcut

“The holy relationship is the expression of the holy instant in living in this world.Like everything about salvation, the holy instant is a practical device, witnessed to by its results. The holy instant never fails. The experience of it is always felt. Yet without expression it is not remembered. The holy relationship is a constant reminder of the experience in which the relationship became what it is. ” (T-17.V.1)
I have written over the years about this mind’s two different experiences of the Holy relationship. One I call “mystical”. The mystical Holy relationship is what Bill and Helen experienced. I did, too, when I first became a student of A Course in Miracles thirty four years ago. I recognized everything written about it in ACIM at the time. That experience was intense, but brief. And, if you have been reading my articles these past two weeks, then you know I am blessed to have another mystical Holy relationship. That one isn’t going anywhere, because I am now at a level to s…

Riding in My Slipstream

Some of you may be having a reaction to my last two articles about the ego (personal thought system) falling away from this mind. Your response may be like what happens after a higher miracle. What I call a higher miracle is an experience where you either see that the Truth is true, that illusion is illusion, or both. Whether or not you experience peace or joy with this experience, it is followed by shock as you realize that what A Course in Miracles teaches is true. It’s not just theory anymore! An ego backlash then follows on the heels of this. The shock and backlash may pass in days or weeks, depending on how advanced you are in your awareness of Truth. The more advanced, the less intense the reaction.
Watching the ego fall and this mind rise in consciousness in “real time”, as it were, seems to be having a similar effect on some of my clients and readers. This is what I meant when I said some of you may “ride in my slipstream” in the article about the ego falling away. In essence…

"Dying" and Being Reborn in Spirit

He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for. (T-4.I.A.7)
Nothing prepared this mind for dropping the ego (personal thought system). ( When it happened I was prepared to handle it, but not for the specific nature of the process I was to go through. That is unique to each mind, because each mind has its own distinct expectations, structures, and habits to undo. The shock and the need for ensuing adjustments, however, do seem universal.
The “life” in this mind before last summer when the Golden Light came to stay is over. It was not really a “life”, but a misidentification. So to the part of this mind that was identified with the self (body/personality) and ego (personal thought system), it is as though it “died”. I was very amused to find at the end of May that I wrote an article at the end of April saying the ego falling away is not frightening. I didn’t remember wri…

The Ego Has Fallen

Normally, I don’t write about my experiences until I have processed them and they have or are about to pass. But such a huge shift has occurred in this mind that it will affect what I write going forward and I need to lay the groundwork for sharing what occurs as I go.
I cannot even begin to describe the May I just had. I came to fully see that the ego (personal thought system) has fallen from this mind. The even better news is I began to slip into a Higher Awareness and have had regular experiences of unbounded Love and Joy. Every day of May was filled with thunderous insights, realizations, and copious processing. This episode is not over. It’s just less intense. At least for now. Who knows what’s up ahead?
Last April, I wrote an article describing how I knew self-concepts had fallen from this mind. The following week I wrote how writing that article helped me to see that self-identification had fallen away, only my mind had not caught up with this fact. What is self-identification…

Ask: What is your interpretation of the line about all events being planned for your good?

“What is your interpretation of the quote from Lesson 135, paragraph 18: ‘…everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?’” – KA
To understand this idea, you must read the whole paragraph:
“What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood His plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took. While you made plans for death, He led you gently to eternal life.” (W-135.18)
The lines after the part you quoted make it clear that the Holy Spirit’s “plan” is an interpretation of the self’s experiences in the world. The same “steps” it took can be looked at in two ways, one leading to the idea of death, the other to awareness of Eternal Life.
I wrote about this more here: http://acimm…

Ask: Would you explain how you understand ego dynamics in an unholy relationship?

“…Would you explain your understanding of the ego dynamics of the unholy relationship from (T-17.III) ‘Shadows of the Past’.” – WW (May 25, 2018)
What A Course in Miracles refers to as an “unholy relationship” in that section is one where you see, usually unconsciously, someone from your past in another in the present, and you then play out your anger with the person in the past in the present relationship. For example, someone may unconsciously remind you of the uncle who abused you, or the fifth grade teacher who was unfair to you, or your mother who abandoned you, or your father who was emotionally absent, etc. The unconscious reminder may be triggered by appearance, personality, or behavior.
This projection of the past on present relationships is how all personal relationships begin. After all, all we know is the past. It is not always negative. Sometimes you may instantly like someone because they remind you of someone you liked in the past. This is why it is important to get to …

Radical Self-Honesty Required

In order to undo all the false beliefs in your mind that stand in the way of inner peace, you have to be willing to be radically honest with yourself. If you are not honest with yourself you cannot be honest with anyone else—including the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind).
It is not enough to say to the Holy Spirit, “I have this emotional/psychological pain. Please take it from me.” If you really want it removed, what you have to mean is, “I have this emotional/psychological pain. Please help me find the thoughts causing it so we can undo them together.” This means you have to be completely honest with yourself first about all that you feel and think.
Oh, were you expecting the path to peace to be a comfortable process? Alas, no! You have to face your beliefs in guilt and sin and the fear they cause, in their many forms, no matter how trivial, stupid, or shameful you think them, to undo them. This is very difficult at first because they seem very real to you. This is why …

Seeing the Choice More Clearly

I have used my spirituality to not fully experience the pain of the human experience. I have not denied the pain completely, but I also have not acknowledged the pain completely. And now I see that I will not let it go until I fully accept the experience as it is. Otherwise, I hold back pieces of it and cannot totally release it.
For example, the Holy Relationship I had with E was also a special relationship that ended. Oh, I felt the pain. But I also used the Holy part of our relationship to mitigate the pain. I’d tell myself things like, “but there was no real loss” because of the Holy Relationship, which I remained aware of. But there was a loss! And, real or not, I experienced it as very real. In form, in time, loss happens. And it is never undone in time. One goes on, maybe even gets over. Time does mitigate the pain. But, in the story of time, the loss occurred at that point in time.
The way out of loss is not using Truth to deny it where it seems to happen. The way out is to r…

Ask: Can you clear up these purported paradoxes about the Holy Spirit and individuality?

“I've been studying/reading Circle of Atonement's Robert Perry's (co-author of the New ACIM Complete and Annotated Edition) " Return to the Heart of God" and in a passage about the Holy Spirit he talks about paradoxes the Holy Spirit as both the Voice for God and He (HS) is God's Voice. Then he brings up another paradox the Course paints a picture of Heaven in which there are beings that have their own identity and their own will, yet are also at one with the whole and in perfect unison with a larger will. This is a bit perplexing; how much do we bring with us, our individual identity into Heaven?” - JW
I’m not certain why the Holy Spirit as the “Voice for God” or as “God’s Voice” would be a paradox unless one reads “God’s Voice” as God speaking rather than as “God’s Spokesman”. If you read it as the latter, it means the same as “Voice for God”. (Voice for God = Spokesman for God/God’s Voice = God’s Spokesman). But perhaps the paradox is something else?
A Cour…

The Ego Falling Away is Not Frightening

The belief in guilt fell away from this mind. Then the self-concept fell away. This mind is now in the process of “unlearning” self-identification. Which is to say, the ego is falling away. It is not frightening.
I tell you this because all along the way on the path to transcending the ego (personal thought system), the ego says you are dying, you are killing yourself, it is impossible, it is terrifying, you will cease to exist, etc. And it was wrong. Surprise!
I knew this intellectually. I knew the ego was always speaking for itself and not for this mind. But now I can report, from experience, that it is not frightening for it to fall away. It is unfamiliar, yet natural. It is fascinating and awe inspiring. It is confusing and disorienting. So it is “unsettling”, as this stage is labeled in the Development of Trust in A Course in Miracles. But there is nothing to fear.
It is the ultimate paradigm shift. It feels like a massive undertaking. But, for this mind, anyway, just as the fir…

The Mind

When I was a brand new student of A Course in Miracles, I had a hard time understanding what it meant by “turn within”, not in practice, but as a concept. In practice, I turned into my mind: That which contains my beliefs and thoughts. But sometimes I tried to locate this “within” and, being identified with a body, I would become confused. How would I go within the body? This trying to locate “within” eventually dropped away, not because I had a concept that worked, but because all I really needed was the practice. I knew how to “look within” without needing to conceptualize “where”.
Mind has no location and we don’t have words for this. I say mind is “everything” and “everywhere”. But not “everything” as in “all forms” or “everywhere” as in “everyplace”. It is “everything”, as in, “all that is”, and “everywhere”, as in “formlessness”.
(I did not use an uppercase “m” for mind above because what I just wrote is true for mind at all levels).
Sometimes I hear from students who have a h…

Realizing Forgiveness

Since guilt has fallen away from this mind I find it thinking of certain things in the past that apparently need to be released (forgiven). But rather than needing to do anything, I find I am instead realizing forgiveness has occurred. I just watch as something from the past arises, I see it in a new light without effort, and I watch any emotional charge I had around it fall away.
For example, one of the big stories I carried around for years had to do with the Holy Relationship that I experienced with E. Over the years I learned many lessons from this experience, primarily that the Holy Relationship was really with the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in my mind) rather than with E. Our relationship was simply the doorway through which I became aware of the Holy Spirit and True Vision. But on the personal side, I still apparently carried around a story about what happened with E, who left my life after being in it for only a few months. In fact, it seemed to have defined much of the …

True Humility

A few times lately I’ve had the spontaneous experience of true humility and I’ve been asked to write about it. This is difficult because it is hard to characterize what true humility feels like. The nearest I can come is to say I realize this split-mind’s proper relationship to Truth and gratitude for it.
True humility only arises for me in the awareness of Truth. I do not try to be humble. If I did, that could only be the ego (personal thought system), and the ego is not at all involved in true humility. As the opposite of Truth it cannot be aware of Truth so it is incapable of true humility. It does, however, distort the idea of humility, and it is easier to write about what true humility is not to understand what it is.
The ego uses everything to glorify the self and the ego. Its version of humility is false humility: “Look how humble I am! Doesn’t this make me great?” If the ego feels good about humility, I know I’m not feeling true humility!
True humility is also not humiliatio…

An Instrument, Not a Channel

Whenever I put out a book I get questions about being a channel. I imagine a channel is like what Helen Schucman did with A Course in Miracles—she took dictation. I have never felt I am a channel. Writing is not passive for me. It has always felt collaborative. I write from my own understanding. And I am given, and I seek, clarification from the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) in my mind as I write.
My non-fiction books, all of which have been on spiritual themes, happen for me when I am ready to consolidate the lessons that end up in the book of the moment. In fact, it always signals I’m moving past the topic of the book. I only discovered this in hindsight. This is why I can’t “force” a book. If it ain’t there, it ain’t there. If I’m not ready, it ain’t gonna get writ.
The fiction writing I’m doing now, which came upon me so suddenly and shockingly, is much the same. I picture scenes and then I describe them. Some scenes seem more “given” than others. I also find inspiration in al…

Ask: Can you explain how the self has no motivation when ACIM talks about motivation?

“…That the self has no motivation is difficult to understand since the Course and other spiritual teachings tell us that there is a purpose to our experience, that the purpose is to awaken, or to manifest Love, or something like that. In other words, there is an intention or motivation. This seems in contradiction to the idea that the self has no motivation but just acts. It also leaves unanswered how it all started. Why should action have even started if there was no motivation?...” – RP (March 23, 2018)
As a spiritual teaching, A Course in Miracles is not an end but a beginning. Its purpose is to lead you to the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) and to help you undo your obstacles (guilt, fear, attachment) to staying aware of Truth. So, eventually, the Awareness of Truth leads you past ACIM.
“This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will g…

Actions and Motivation

I’m often asked by my clients and readers: Now that I have peace and the self is falling away, why do anything? What motivates me to direct the self to act? Ah, that is so thinking like a self! A mind thinking like a self thinks it does things because it is motivated, usually by guilt, desire, or duty to do it. And the basis for these motivations is the belief that the self is you and you need to get or to express something, tangible (material) or intangible (feeling). And without those motivations a mind identified with a self cannot understand acting.
I’m going to tell you something that I don’t know if you can understand until you can see it for yourself, but it is amazing:
The self acts not from motivation, but because it is going to act. There is no other reason. And here’s the mind-blowing thing I’ve come to see as I have learned to simply watch the self act without judging it: The self has never acted from personal motivation! It has always acted because it was going to act. I…

That's One Way of Looking At It

“And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance.” (W-4.I.A.7)
The quote above describes what A Course in Miracles calls the “period of unsettling”. I did not realize when I entered this stage that the judgment it was talking about was judgment on this mind. Although now that I have learned this, it makes perfect sense. The first judgment is against Truth. It results in a diminishment of Limitless Mind to a limited split-mind identified with a limited self. All other judgments follow from this.
Since I have written about the self-concept falling away from this mind as self-identification begins to fall away, I am often asked by clients if I still hear the ego (personal thought system). Yes, I hear, but I don’t listen. It goes by pretty quick. However, sometimes I get hooked and follow the trail of its thoughts. This happened to me the other day and…

Finding What Has Value

I have absolutely nothing to write about this week! No one has sent in a question. And I have not felt moved to write anything, though I am still in a huge shift. I can feel personal transformation occurring, but I am not clear on exactly what it is, except I know it relates to the Holy Relationship (also known as Spiritual Vision, True Perception, the Real World, etc.).
Why do I characterize it as personal transformation? Because I can feel changes being wrought on the self. Something is coming through this mind and it is affecting the self.
On a personal level, I have had different shifts brought about by the aging process in the past couple of decades. One occurred in my mid-thirties. It was really just realizing I was in my mid-thirties and my youth had passed. In my forties, I was visited by various experiences dealing with less time ahead than behind, and that with diminishing physical vigor. This was accelerated by losing both of my parents when I was around forty and realizin…

Nothing to Judge in the Unfolding

A couple of weeks ago I wrote how I (this mind) could not have accepted that the self’s life in the world is an expression until I no longer believed in guilt. Why, I wondered? I do speak to students who hear that the self’s life is not a cause for a future effect, but an expression of an idea long since over. And they feel immediately released from guilt and from the pressure of having to make something happen. But before I stopped believing in guilt I could not access that relief because I could not understand, much less accept, the idea. Why did I need guilt removed first?
It was because the idea meant I was not in control. And if I was not in control, I could do nothing to mitigate my guilt and that meant I could be subject to horrific punishment for it. In other words, I could not accept the forgiveness offered in the idea because guilt was too real to me. This was all unconscious, of course. It showed up as my being unable to understand the idea. It simply made no sense to me.