Passing Through Grief on the Path


Historically, it was rare for me to put out in these articles what was going on for me in real time. (Three volumes of my articles are out in books titled The ACIM Mentor Articles). An article would come to me after I completed processing an experience. But for the past couple of years I’ve gone through so much immediate shifting that I find myself sharing pretty raw stuff. Sometimes an article is my processing so that I end up cutting and pasting it into my journal. And I shift so fast that often I have moved way past an article by the time I post it. This is one of those. But as it reflects the process, I will share it as I wrote it last week.
            It isn’t always easy to share my grief since the ego (personal thought system) dribbled away, because I’d rather tell you that when it falls away it is all happy-happy-joy-joy. And for some it is. Maybe it will be that way for you. But if it isn’t, you will be prepared to face whatever is in your mind, as I was.
Maybe this mind is simply more difficult than some. It has never been a happy learner. When I began A Course in Miracles at the age of twenty I very soon experienced a direct Revelation of Truth (God) and the miracle of the Holy Relationship. I experienced true joy, yes, but my experiences showed me that what ACIM teaches is true. I went through bouts of grief through my twenties, mostly showing up as depression and anger that I had been “robbed” of a normal life. I didn’t even have a chance to get disillusioned! All my personal values were undermined so young and I could no longer uphold the illusion that my life was solely my own. I was pissed off.
            But though I saw that Truth is true and got the implication that that meant that indeed everything else was an illusion, I also knew I was not yet ready to accept this. I could only get on with growing my trust in the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) in my mind, which I did for the next thirty years.
            We each take a path to Truth that suits our seemingly-individual minds. When the ego fell away from Bernadette Roberts’ (What is Self?) mind she felt she lost God. As a contemplative she had subdued the ego and put it in the service of God, uniting with God through the ego (or so she thought). So when the ego fell she felt her means of connecting with God was gone and went through a dark night of the spirit. Eventually, however, she realized the void left when the ego was gone is God, and united with God without the ego. (I wonder if I could state this another way? God was no longer something to reach for because she was in God).
            Here you can see how one’s path informs their experience. Until much later, when consciousness (what she meant by “self”) fell away altogether, Ms. Roberts followed a path well-worn by other contemplatives. But as a student of ACIM, I never thought to put the ego in the service of Truth, because I understood it to be false and something to release. I never sought “union with” Truth, because I understood Truth to be What is, therefore What, ultimately, I am. I sought to realize this as the Awareness of Truth Itself.
 I knew for a long time that I was not wholly aware of Truth. I knew “wholly” would mean a shift in my conscious awareness that I had not yet experienced. I felt I was perhaps 85% there, but I felt a dark block in my mind where the Light could not penetrate. I knew it was resistance to Light, of course, and sometimes I saw its shape. It was a sense that to lose the ego was to lose me. I thought that this was only something the ego said, and I would correct it for myself. But I wouldn’t feel it budge. It seemed impossible to move this conviction.
            And then the ego dribbled away. What I mean when I say this is that I ceased to believe in it, slowly, over time. The hard nugget of resistance in my mind was not belief in the ego and it also did not value the ego for what it was. But it was the part of my mind that over-identified with it and valued it as me, so that it feels I lost myself with it. Where Ms. Roberts felt she lost God with the falling away of the ego, I feel, in part, that I lost myself to Truth with the falling away of the ego.
            This “in part” is important because I do not go around in unmitigated grief. I feel the grief, sometimes more strongly than others, but I don’t feel it’s me. How could I, when clearly I still exist without it, so it could not be me. What greater proof could there be that it wasn’t me? You would think that my continued existence would be good news to my entire mind, but it is not to the ego-identifier. To it, a different existence means death. I am here; I “go on”, but not as I was, so what I was, is “dead”. In fact, it could contend that the age-old idea that when we “die” we become spirit is true. I experience myself now as Spirit; as immortal. But not as a Spirit-person or immortal person, as that part of my mind wanted. The body didn’t die, but my belief in it as me did. So this part of me limits my rejoicing at this realization for now. It sees these new experiences as “proof” its life is over. (Yet, it is still here to grieve, isn’t it?)
            So, fine, I’ll grieve. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, grief is the process we go through to acceptance. In fact, now that I face the grief head on, the discomfort I felt for five years, but did not realize was grief, is gone. That’s nice. And facing this ego-identifier/resistor/griever I have learned a tremendous amount about this mind in the past couple of years, to such an extent I spontaneously find the very beliefs ACIM has said are there but that I had not seen before. It has often been uncomfortable, sometimes extremely so, but always interesting.


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We are not all happy learners and you do not have to walk this path alone. If you want support and guidance from someone who has been there email me at Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment for mentoring. Learn more at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

Deb Baczewski said…
This may be a naive comment and I'm not even sure where it is even coming from but here it is anyway; Liz, didn't you "die" in your 20s with Revelation and so this grief is an ancient grief of experience that has lead to "It's" now fuller acceptance? Could you say, the early shock of a Revelatory experience was not fully accepted and then a gentler path unfolded?
ACIM Mentor said…
Deb, that's not naive. It's a perceptive question.

I remember coming to the realization that my life was "over" and my path to Truth was set way back when I first let Truth into my awareness. Maybe all the way to when I was a teenager and had my first experience of the Holy Spirit. And I realized all I'd been doing since then was coming to acceptance of that and to acceptance of Truth as truth. But that was only the beginning of the end of the ego. It dribbled away until finally it was gone in 2014. Then I went into denial, yada, yada, until The Break in 2018, blah, blah.

Yes, I grieved in my 20s. But I still had not dropped the ego. I simply saw what had to happen. So I got on with the business of growing my awareness of Truth and remained split between the two for thirty years.

This is really interesting Liz. I just recently read a post on someone's FB page which talked about the grief of losing someone close to them, (in this case it was a father), was more about losing themself as all the stories, etc... and self-concepts were gone when the relationship seemed to end.
ACIM Mentor said…
Witness, when my mother died I mourned the loss of the role of her daughter. When my dad went, I mourned the loss of the role of daughter altogether. When you lose anyone, you lose not just them, but the part you played with them. So when people say "I feel like I lost a part of myself" they are correct!
Deb Baczewski said…
Liz, following along your path, running along it's river bank, I find your descriptive quality truly a gift. Throughout, it carries a power of acceptance, accepting all experiencing and that wherever it flows, to trust. In appreciation and love, Deb

Also, thank you Witness for your share.

Happy Holidays to all.
will said…
Liz,
Your split mind likes to frame your spiritual experiences in a negative light. As if you are the victim of something horrible being done to you. Yes,I know they were difficult...
Just sayin.
will said…
In fairness you have recently gained some awareness of this.

But good, bad or indifferent you were given the the gift that God is aware of you.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, you seem to have missed my point. My discomfort had nothing at all to do with Truth and everything to do with this mind and the way it was structured. There are no victims. It's just a fact that Limitlessness breaks the boundaries of the limited and that has not been comfortable for this mind.
a sister said…
"it is just a fact that Limitlessness breaks the boundaries of the limited..."

thank you Liz.
i am willing to accept any discomfort that may arise for the revealing of this fact.
first the miracle...
then the revealing.

Thank you for witnessing for me; it increases my faith that I am being prepared for this vision.
Erich said…
For sure I've gone through a great deal of what I would consider profound grief - losing my last 2 cats in 2015 was more than I could bear - leading up to a suicide attempt in 2016. There has indeed been a bit of grief going on with this self. But I obviously survived etc. What I have found far more troubling is the idea of "courage". I don't see any discussion here - from students and teachers alike on this most central issue for me. I feel I've been headed towards a sort of psychic apocalypse. I live in a state of crisis at the collapse of every moment. And what follows is . . . guilt - for not facing fear. I sort of wonder if the current situation facing the US is actually a metaphor for where this mind is headed. I expect would be the case if what I see is literally a reflection of this mind. But courage would be the final obstacle to peace in my (this mind's) case.
ACIM Mentor said…
How do you define courage, Erich? "Strength in the face of pain and grief". How are you getting through each in your condition if not with courage? If you don't feel strong it is because you tell yourself you are not strong. Yet you make it through each day with crippling depression!

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