As students of A Course In Miracles we are asked to consider our True Identity.
We are born into a body, in a particular family of certain circumstances but seeking the answer to the age old question: Who am I? We learn (gradually) we are NOT who we THINK we are!
The Course tells us we are Spirit and little by little we come to understand that YES, that is true, our (eternal) spirit does reside in our body for now but the time will come when we will leave the body, thank it for its service and move on. We are really caretakers (or not) of our soul that is currently inhabiting this body!
The more and more we REMEMBER we are in fact SPIRIT, the more peace we will have. When the body has a problem, which it will, it is a chance to say: NOPE – NOT ME!
Of course we take care and “fix” the body and do whatever we can to stay in the world and learn lessons that are sure to come. A elderly friend became sick recently and the sickness was such that she decided NOT to “fix” her body! That was courageous but I know the time will come when I will make that same decision. I will know what’s right when that time comes and I will leave knowing I did the right thing.
Workbook lesson 199. I am not a body. I am free, is a wonderful lesson to explore the feelings of not being the body. You can go to http://www.acim.org and click on lessons and then close your eyes and listen quietly to let it sink in.
Remember, you are a decision making Mind! You have the power to choose! You have two choices: Love or Fear. You can listen to the ego’s fear or listen to the Holy Spirit’s grace and faith.
Isn’t it great to know you have a CHOICE! That is why you are not a victim.
http://www.facim.org – Lesson 199: “I am not a body. I am free. I hear the Voice That God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.”
“The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of an ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.” Ajhan Sumedho, ‘Don’t take your life seriously’, Buddhist Publishing Group
As a student of non-duality, a friend recently loaned me the above book. Ajahn Sumedho. Ajahn, (“teacher” in Pali) was born Robert Karr Jackman, July 27, 1934, in Seattle. He is the senior Western representative of the Thai forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. A bhikkhu since 1967, Sumedho is considered a seminal figure in the transmission of the Buddha’s teachings to the West. During the Korean War he served for four years from the age of 18 as a United States navy medic. He graduated in 1963 with an MA in South Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Per Wikepedia
A Course In Miracles has many similarities with Buddhism and the one that stands out from all others is our judgment of ourselves and others. I don’t know about you but I’ve been fixated on politics, our nation and world conditions since the January changes in government. Chaos and change happens in our lives and that creates nervousness and anxiety, the opposing poles of inner peace. Ajahn says the world is: “just the way it is!” Accept! We are not at peace when we judge anyone; feel superior or inferior to others.” As Babies we were not born with a self-view. That is developed over our lifetime. We therefore become a “created concept” and we suffer and seek answers to the suffering.
Whatever our self-concepts are we are not that! When we choose, we can acknowledge innate pure consciousness to receive wisdom. Wisdom operates through the marriage of awareness joining with consciousness. Suffering is the theme in The Four Noble truths. Judgment is suffering. As we become aware of pure consciousness, judgments shift and soften: “so it is” or “like this” to pure subjectivity. The ego personality says: “I like this or I don’t like that.” It is my choice then, should I get caught up in the annoyance, suppress it or try to change it? I know I want my way but can I be assured that will bring me peace? Until I can accept the world is just ‘like it is’ and ‘what is just – is’, I am the one choosing to suffer. Buddha called it Dukkha.
When you say: “I AM pure consciousness uncreated” your mind is at rest. Say it slowly with eyes closed. Say it slowly with eyes open. Pure consciousness does not have a sex, nationality or a world view. It means, I AM – not a permanent body; rather I am eternal, consciousness. Consciousness is behind awareness and when melded spark an awakening experience, like the Buddha, or Christ .
Contrast this with the impermanent, unsatisfactory “not self” that we think we are. The idea of “me and mine” created out of ignorance and separation from pure consciousness. The personality and life circumstances always change. You don’t stay the same person as the ego personality is reactive. Old age is another seeming failure but pure consciousness does not age. Awareness transcends the conditioned ego state. If we continue to give our allegiance and beliefs to the ego rather than to our natural pure awareness, we will suffer – until we tire of it. We can see seek refuge in awareness and pure consciousness.
As we look at national and world conditions, be aware and say: ‘so it is.’ The Course calls it our script. It just is and we can view it through the ego i.e. suffering or Awareness i.e the Holy Spirit. Consciousness is stainless, it cannot be contaminated. I am reminded of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, working for peace yet staying in pure consciousness throughout the tumult of his life and Jesus who assures us we are “As God Created Us” and not the thing or ego we created.
Perhaps we will become enlightened as insanity propels us to approach pure consciousness; non-attachment vs pure hell. The Holy Spirit within that is the alternative voice to the ego.
As the months and years unfold, our mindful practice, whether with Buddhism or A Couse In Miracles workbook lessons, will guide us to the wisdom and peace available at the center of our One luminous being.
See A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson 45. God is the Mind with which I think
I have been listening to a CD series of Dr. Ken Wapnick called: The Experience of A Course In Miracles, A Commentary on the section: “Development of Trust.” This 10 CD series covers the development of trust and the six stages a student goes through while on the path set forth by the Course.
All of the ten characteristics of God’s teachers rest on Trust which is the first. The other nine are: Honesty; Tolerance; Gentleness; Joy; Defenselessness; Generosity; Patience; Faithfulness and Open Mindedness. I am sharing the below notes because it is a powerful look at the dynamic of why we “LOVE to hate! (You can purchase the CD series at http://www.facim.org)
Notes from Ken Wapnick, Ph.D. – Development of Trust CD 2.4
“Love makes no comparisons. Love is perfect Oneness. In Heaven there is no duality – no comparing – no judgment. In Heaven there is only ONE – not even God and Christ are separate and that One knows nothing else. God does not know we are here. God does not know of illusions – if He did it would make it true. No Duality – only One. (For those who are put off by the term “God” just think Love because no one knows what the mystery of God could be.)
In this world however, we have the ego’s distortion of love which in the Course is called “Special Love.” Here, in the world of duality, everything is based upon comparisons. You have something that I lack and therefore what I lack is what I want – so I set out to get it from you. We make special relationships very interesting in all the ingenious ways we go about getting or stealing from others what we think we need for our own salvation.
This works both in the forms of special love and special hate. Special hate is when what you have, that I lack, which is innocence, I then feel sinful because I believe I’m a sinner (and I compare you to me) therefore what I do is I project my sin onto you thereby making you the sinner, and thereby making you worthy of my hate!
That’s why we all love to hate in our world. I hate you because if I make you are the repository of sin, then I am innocent because in the ego thought system it is always one or the other. (So when I hate someone that makes him the sinner and therefore I am innocent….. per the ego. This is why we “love” to hate. We get rid of our guilt nice and neatly. I’ve always wondered why it is we “love” to hate – especially those of another political party, or someone who is richer, prettier, more talented, etc. Find an example in your own life to understand the projection/psychology behind it but don’t feel guilty about it just look at what your ego does to keep love away!)
Everything in this world is based upon comparisons. It is impossible to avoid this. Perception is all about comparisons and judgments. You couldn’t see otherwise. When we perceive something we’ve already make the judgment that it is important and everything else is unimportant.
The Right minded use of comparisons is to evaluate the difference between the ego’s thought system and the Holy Spirits. What is the ego’s thought system is all about is judgment and separation. When we catch the ego’s tricks we understand what it is up to. We see it is false and it is all made up. Our resistance in looking is what makes this so difficult.”
I recommend going to the book: A Course In Miracles; see the Manual for Teachers towards the back of the book; and see # 4. What are the Characteristics of God’s Teachers, I. Trust. and A. Development of Trust.
The Elusiveness of Peace and Joy!
Do you want peace and joy? Of course you do. As least you think you do until you have a judgment or an upset that you won’t let go of. You are sure something was done to you and you are right and the offending party should go to hell. Or places like that. OK – maybe you are right but do you want peace and joy? You can’t have it if you want someone to go to hell or hold onto an upset that you will not consider in another way.
I know someone who is holding onto a grievance. He was actually attacked, pushed up against a fence and would have been hit if someone had not interfered. Why did the perpetrator assault him? He had responded to an insult with his own insult and that angered the attacker and so he took matters into his hands, literally. Who started it? It doesn’t matter. What matters is how we now find the peace that eluded us the first moment we reacted. That will be the subject of another article and an important one for now, let’s look at where we find ourselves and how can we choose another way back to the peace we want.
We have not found peace by remembering and replaying the event because we are stuck in our belief system and we are sure we are in the right. But are you happy being in the right? Would you rather be right or happy? Now when we see that person or think of them we are unhappy. Ask yourself: Do I want peace and joy?
If the answer is YES, then decided to STOP the set belief in your mind (just for a moment) and choose another way to look at this? Say: “OK – I’ll look at this another way for the sake of my own peace.”
*“Begin to think of that (person) brother who has been denied by YOU the peace and joy that is his right under the equal laws of God. You have denied them to yourself and now you claim them as your own. Think of this brother a little while and tell him in your mind:
My brother peace and joy I offer you,
That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.”
We don’t think that just because we have denied peace and joy someone else that in so doing we are in effect really denying them to our self. If you hold hate or a grudge in your mind, you are the one HOLDING the hate and the grudge in yourself. You are the sufferer. Do you think your brother is suffering? We don’t know but we do know you are.
Would you rather say to that brother?
My brother, misery and suffering I offer you
That I may have the ego’s misery and suffering as mine.
Which version do you choose? If the word God bothers you, take it out. God won’t care. That mystery is love and love never condemns. It doesn’t know how to. Make a copy of the pledge and paste it around the house. Take yourself on as a student and train yourself to accept that peace and joy is your inheritance and that you are worth it.
* This quote comes from the spiritual book, A Course In Miracles, Workbook lesson 105 God’s Peace and Joy are Mine. Visit www.acim.org go The Workbook lessons and then when the lesson comes up, click on “hear” and listen to the entire lesson and close your eyes. Choose peace!
Hint: When you give you also receive!
You are a decision making mind! Right?!
However, you are a decision making mind that has decided it is NOT a decision making mind! At least not all the time and here is why.
IN our world of illusion we have a split mind: the ego and the right mind which the Course calls the part of the mind we use to access the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the Love within. Observe your mind when it is on automatic. There are thoughts of worry, envy, judgments, fear, and also thoughts of appreciation, a friend, a loved one, clouds or spring flowers, raspberries, chocolate, or coffee. Understand that there are various categories of ideas, thoughts running helter skelter, hither and yon and where are you? If you are following your ego lock, stock and barrel you are not using the right mind. You are off course! The Course in Miracles, tells us our egoic thoughts are not out real thoughts. Our real thoughts are the thoughts we share with God, with love. It also says the memory of God comes to the quiet mind.
The Course In Miracles has a workbook of 365 lessons, one per day, that trains us to see through the veil and reclaim our decision making mind. That process helps us learns to make the choice between the ego and the right mind. It is a journey without distance. You don’t need to travel to see a guru or take a workshop but you will be led by a quiet voice of love within. The journey is inner, it is between your Self and the Love within that will hold your hand the entire time and for all time. Take the journey with the intention and determination that you are doing something very Holy. It is truly a mind training and life changing journey and you will succeed.
Take the journey to your real home. Start at lesson number 1 and read one every day no matter if you understand it or not. Keep going!
When you get to lesson 35 you will read: “My mind is part of God’s I am very Holy.”
Keep going – your decision making mind is in charge! You are on your way HOME to the true Self!
www.acim.org – look at the lessons and the text
www.miraclecenter.org – find a study group in your area.
www.facim.org – lots of wonderful books by Dr. Ken Wapnick
The Metaphysical/Spiritual book called A Course In Miracles contains a workbook that offers a lesson for each day. The lessons are offered online so you do not have to buy the book to get started. http://www.acim.org – see directions below.
You can start the lessons anytime you want but be sure to start at lesson #1, as they follow a mind training process that is powerful and helps us see through the world and the illusions that make us sad, angry, depressed, anxious, happy at times, sadness over death, destruction, injustice and more. I believe the Course has brought many back from the brink hopelessness because it did for me.
Would you like to forgive the world? It may not seem that you need to but the world has a way of showing us what we dislike as well as what we like. The world is dualistic. It contains the opposites that we then judge as good or bad! We gradually give the world up by forgiving seeing it for what it is and in doing so we become the Light that is our true identity!
Today, March 16th is the 75th day of the year and today’s Lesson 75. The Light Has Come.
The lessons can be read online and they have been recorded so you have the option of sitting back and listen to the lesson being read to you!
“The Light Has Come.”
Go to http://www.acim.org
click on Online Lessons
click on Workbook table of Contents and
Choose 75! Enjoy being in the Light! Listen to a lesson any time you want!
If we are 100% responsible not for WHAT we see but the WAY we see it we are withdrawing our projections and living the examined life that the Course In Miracle’s is encouraging us to do.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama has said on occasion that we will not have peace in the world until we have inner peace. Many spiritual paths help us become aware of the duality of the split mind containing opposite thoughts of love or fear. The thoughts of the false self, the ego is not who we are but it runs the world and our lives until we begin to awaken and learn to see it for what it is.
On that note, I awoke one morning recently with the following thought: “Our 45th President is operating from his personality, the false self. This false self, a mask is not the reality of his true identity. He is not that any more than my false self is who I am.” It was an “Ahh ha” moment because I’ve been aware that I certainly lose my peace when I watch him on TV or read the newspapers.
To delve further, it is our thoughts and judgments that determine whether we have the inner peace about which both the Course and his Holiness speaks. We can believe the thoughts or not, that is our choice. Judgmental thoughts come from our perceptions and then are projected ‘out’ and seen in someone else rather than accepted in myself. It’s called projection.
Some history per Wikipedia: “Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting. In 1841, Ludwig Feuerbach was the first enlightenment thinker to employ this concept. The Babylon Talmud (500 CE) notes the human tendency toward projection and warns against it: “Do not taunt your neighbor with the blemish you yourself have.” The term “Projection” was conceptualized by Freud. He considered that, in projection, thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings that cannot be accepted as one’s own are dealt with by being placed in the outside world and attributed to someone else. What the ego repudiates is split off and placed in another.”
To gain peace we gradually understand the projections we have placed on others by looking inward to see the “offense” is within. As Course students we honestly look and we recognize aspects of similarities if not in the exact form but similar in content. We thus, awaken because we look and gradually this is the way we undo the ego! It is not always easy to do because we prefer denial. But we accept and doing so we in effect forgive ourselves plus the one we are projecting onto. We are the same! We have looked at and withdrawn the projection. We changed our mind.
Inner peace and a piece of wholeness reclaimed is the prize! For example I may not send “tweets” attacking or insulting others but I may harbor judgmental thoughts. They may not be the same but still they are judgments. Freedom is: Looking without judgment, but when we do judge (and we will) don’t feel guilty for having judged! The ego will try and lay on the guilt but instead laugh, chuckle or smile at the folly of the crazy world. Eventually the ego will dissolve.
Why go to this trouble to acknowledge projection? If we keep it buried in our unconscious it will eventually emerge in anger, envy and hate. In making judgments we are in effect, depositing our “darkness or shadow” onto someone else. That may make us feel better for a while because we got rid of it but the downside is the residual blotch of guilt, a gift the ego neatly places in our mind. We are addicted to judgment after all we’ve been doing it since we threw our bottle across the room or whenever we decided we didn’t want to obey our parents, which echo’s the authority problem we have with anyone from bosses to God.
The Course In Miracles in Chapter 11. God or the Ego, Section V. The “Dynamics” of the Ego, pg 202 states:
“No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them,
for by not looking is the way they are protected.”
Whenever your peace flies away, democrat, republican or independent your ego has taken charge. You are pushing love away. The Course says this is reminiscent of the first thought of separation; the separation from God and from love. Whenever you feel a lack of love, look at your thoughts. Who or what are you judging? Judgment is separation and separation is not love; joining is.
We gradually learn we are One; we are the same; we all have the same false ego and the correction of the higher self.
Know this as you head out the door with your sign standing as a peacemaker -protester but at the same time exclude no one from your love. We can still disagree about policies while holding the hand of the other who sees things differently. Maybe put a few red hearts on your sign sending the subliminal message: Love is the reason I am here.
We are no longer staring at the shadows on the walls of Plato’s cave because we move to the Light by holding the hands of all brothers and trust knowledge and peace will lead the way. We are in good hands, we lack nothing and everyone is loved.
You are complete, healed and whole!