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Showing posts from 2018

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.

The Vision of Forgiveness

“Be comforted, and feel the Holy Spirit watching over you in love and perfect confidence in what He sees.” (T-20.V.8)
Once upon a time when I read a quote like this in A Course in Miracles I could accept the love but I had a hard time with the “perfect confidence”. I realized it was saying that the Holy Spirit had confidence in me as the “Son of God” not as a person. In other words, the Holy Spirit had perfect confidence in the Truth in me not in the self (body/personality/ego). My initial response, when I was still very identified with a self, was, “What the hell good is that to me?” I felt rejected as I thought I was, even though intellectually I got that the problem was that I didn’t know the Truth in me.
Eventually, though, I got past being almost wholly identified with a self and became aware of the Truth in me and could take some comfort from a phrase like this. It was okay that the Holy Spirit’s confidence was not in the thing in which I identified. I was aware of and identifie…

Ask: What changed the first time you experienced a Revelation?

“Over the years I have noticed that spiritual teachers over the centuries who have had a direct experience, revelation, unity are different than those who have not. There are very good Teachers who have not experienced this direct unitive revelation. To intellectualize a spiritual teaching like ACIM is very easy to do. Helen was a prime example, yet you can tell when reading the Text and from some of your works that the words are coming from a place beyond the intellect. I think the Workbook is perhaps where that transcendence is attempted. However there are many cases where it randomly occurs naturally, drug induced or a near death experience. What changed the first time it happened to you? Did your writing change?” – ES
Everything changed the first time I experienced direct Revelation (an experience of only Truth). It was shattering. I could never be the same after It, though I tried to forget It. I went into a kind of shock. It was a few months before I could acknowledge It happene…

The Self's Life in the World is an Expression

Truth, being All, cannot have an opposite. But, being All, It must consider the idea of Its Own opposite. However, the moment the idea of not-Truth arises, it is undone by Truth’s All-encompassing nature.
Since Truth is Eternal (Timeless), Infinite (Limitless), and Formless the idea of not-Truth is time-bound, limited form. So within the idea of not-Truth it seems like not-Truth, or time and limited form, arose long ago and will be undone in some indefinite future. This is what you seem to be experiencing as a self. The unfolding story of the universe of form is the instant of the idea-of-not-Truth/the-undoing-of-the-idea-of-not-Truth expressed as the story of time. Realizing this means turning your mind around to understand that all you see as the universe of form is an expression of that moment of undoing. The undoing is over and you are just watching it play out as a story of time. You don’t have to make the undoing happen. It is already happening through the self with which you i…

Without Guilt, Clarity

This intersection of perimenopause in the self’s life with the falling away of the belief in guilt from this mind has made something very clear to this mind: Much of my sense of personal identity was determined by hormones. Much of what I thought of as “me” was just mere moods passing to and fro because of chemicals washing over the brain.
Of course, I am simply describing the human female experience. Before this stage in this mind’s awareness there was no disentangling itself from the human experience. And the belief in guilt rode the hormonal ride, compounding the darker aspects of it. Only without the belief in guilt can I (this mind) see this, because the hormones are still there causing occasional darkness of varying degrees, but there is no belief in guilt to convince me there is something inherently wrong in me that needs to be fixed. At first, especially when it hasn’t happened for a while and/or it is subtle, I am sometimes deceived. But I always return to the awareness that…

All Is Well, Always

All is well and perfect and always has been. I have resisted this experience from the beginning for many reasons.
For one thing, it was too good to be true. I didn’t trust it, though it was something I had always sensed. For another, it obviously did not apply to the self and its world—or the self’s thought system’s (ego’s) interpretation of the universe of form. So I didn’t want it. What good was this idea to me in my identification with the self? The personal thought system in my mind was saying, as always, “What’s in it for me?” and, because I identified with it, those words were my own. I wanted it to be well and perfect according to my definition of well and perfect at the level of form. Of course, what I couldn’t see was that the personal thought system would never, ever see things that way. It is a thought system of lack, guilt, and fear.
And, of course, there was my belief in guilt in the way. How could I accept that all is well and perfect when guilt was real to me? This is …

Ask: What is the relationship between Vision and sense?

“In section T-22.III.1.4-6, it reads: ‘You can see reason.  This is not a play on words, for here is the beginning of a vision that has meaning.  Vision is sense, quite literally.  If it is not the body’s sight, it must be understood.’ My question lies with Vision, and what it actually is.  For years as both a devoted student and teacher of ACIM, I have been aware that the body’s eyes were made to hide what could be seen.  So my understanding is if what we believe we see is not there, than it is Vision, the Holy Spirit’s sight, in which is gifted us through our practice of willingness and forgiveness.  (along with reason, being HS’s knowledge)  The above readings say; “Vision is sense, quite literally.”  I am a little confused.  If I try to understand, it is telling me that Vision is to sense or experience that which the Holy Spirit sees and knows—beyond the body and the world of form.  It cannot be “sense” as we know it in the world, sensing with our ears and eye’s and noses and hands…

After Guilt

This mind wondered, what happens when the belief in guilt falls away? Well, first the self- concept fell away. This mind sometimes wonders if this is the same as saying self-identification has fallen away. After all, what is the self but a concept? Sometimes this mind is comfortable with that. Sometimes it feels it is not quite accurate to say, yet, that all self-id has fallen away. It sees evidence that this is not yet so.
After the self-concept fell away this mind spent a good three years in a type of limbo or stasis. The personal thought system (ego) was very loud, insistent, and persistent. Of course, there was also always a present Peace. This mind could do nothing but allow the noise and wait and see what would unfold. And, frankly, that is what is left after the belief in guilt has fallen away! There is nothing to do but watch. Everything is automatic and the mind only needs to observe the undoing of the part of it that no longer has a use.
Mostly, for now anyway, this mind is…