Friday, January 26, 2007

~invulnerable and loving it: lesson ~

Lesson 26:

“My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability…”

First off, when I began the Course, the idea of pure invulnerability as an experience of my self seemed a concept so foreign to my mind ~like I just didn’t speak the language~ It was an idea equal to “Fairytales do come true” I thought I knew what invulnerability meant, but outside of ‘the best defense is a good offense’, type of invulnerability, I was in a foreign country.

Slowly I began to grasp the value of non-judgment and something about this kept calling to me and bringing with it a feeling of comfort and peacefulness. As I have given myself over to these sometimes ‘-foreign’ ideas and often ‘-foreign’ meanings of ideas, I have watched my mind transform to one where meaning is written for me. And acceptance is my only role. “The role of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself” …and apparently, this is how it’s done… thank you.

Every thought is either projected or extended. Attack thoughts are projected. Real thoughts are extended. The perceived world is just a representation of thoughts. Attack thoughts are kept out of awareness and then "seen" in the world as if they were external or independent of their "maker" -- our own mind.
There are no problems apart from my mind. Just as the Course says:
”You believe what you see because you see what you believe”

You see what you believe… I see that I am invulnerable and in choosing with the Holy Spirit within my mind, I no longer want to worry, be concerned, compare, regret…why attack myself…? Better to trust~ as “trust will answer every situation, NOW…. And funny thing, it turns out~ ‘Happy dreams do come true’!…

Thursday, January 25, 2007

~purpose and lesson 25~

Lesson 25:

“I do not know what anything is for….”

And yet, I notice...

Everything goes my way…

As I have become willing to question every value that I hold~ and to accept the possibility that what I think I see or perceive, just might not be just what I think it is and at least limited in what I think it is for~ and to allow myself to consider that just maybe I don’t perceive my (or anyone else’s) own best interest~ I have noticed that my willingness brings my mind more and more easily to the blank screen where meaning can be written for me, the screen where PURPOSE is the only choice.

PURPOSE IS MEANING… as the lesson says. I experienced this. Whether it has been ego special goals~ once set with a clear purpose in mind ~easy to seemingly achieve…Or the glorious correction to that idea: ~That goals of specialness are nothing. Valuing them only seemingly separates me from my brother and my self (duh, being the ego’s purpose). ~What I want can only be received by Onemind ~ where meaning has purpose and is given purpose.

I understand now, how the course says ‘purpose cannot be understood at these levels’, (nothing offers me nothing) ~and why, everything goes my way…I don’t know what my way is for, and by accepting this, I am constantly recognizing witnesses, all around me, that reflect this fact of perfect unity through our shared purpose. The witnesses may seem to be of ‘things’ in this world. Yet all around me, I see the Christ reflecting our one sure purpose of love and the inevitable removal of the blocks to love's awareness in our mind. Today, this lesson, this instant... Let this be our Holy instant of release together…

“The Holy Instant is not an instant of creation, but of recognition. For recognition comes of vision and suspended judgment. “

I’m thinking about the part in the course in chapter 18 under The Little Willingness section, it says:

“Forget not that it has been your decision to make everything that is natural and easy for you impossible. If you believe the holy instant is difficult for you, it is because you have become the arbiter of what is possible, and remain unwilling to give place to One Who knows. The whole belief in orders of difficulty in miracles is centered on this. Everything God wills is not only possible, but has already happened. And that is why the past has gone. It never happened in reality. Only in your mind, which thought it did, is its undoing needful.”(T-18.8)

And then in the next section “The Happy Dream”

“Prepare you for the undoing of what never was. If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. The holy instant, the holy relationship, the Holy Spirit's teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished, would have no purpose. For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge. Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.

Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is function. Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit's help. That is function. Your part is only to offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred, and to be forgiven. On your little faith, joined with His understanding, He will build your part in the Atonement and make sure that you fulfill it easily. And with Him, you will build a ladder planted in the solid rock of faith, and rising even to Heaven. Nor will you use it to ascend to Heaven alone.

Through your holy relationship, reborn and blessed in every holy instant you do not arrange, thousands will rise to Heaven with you. Can you plan for this? Or could you prepare yourself for such a function? Yet it is possible, because God wills it. Nor will He change His Mind about it. The means and purpose both belong to Him. You have accepted one; the other will be provided. A purpose such as this, without the means, is inconceivable. He will provide the means to anyone who shares His purpose.

Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy. And so they must be loving. Their message is, "Thy Will be done," and not, "I want it otherwise." The alignment of means and purpose is an undertaking impossible for you to understand. You do not even realize you have accepted the Holy Spirit's purpose as your own, and you would merely bring unholy means to its accomplishment. The little faith it needed to change the purpose is all that is required to receive the means and use them. (T-18.V.1-4)

I join you in the “Happy Dream” today, not knowing what anything is for, but where Atonement's purpose reveals What We Are…

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

~musings brought on by lesson 24

Lesson 24:

“I do not perceive my own best interests…”

Boy, it took along time of beating myself over the head and battering up my life for me to see the seductive lie that I knew what was in my best interest, what I liked and what would make me happy. What a thick skull the dream of guilt posses, eh? As I have looked with honesty at every seeming situation in my so-called life, reviewing the past, expecting a possible outcome in the future, or feel I even know what I am doing now, I see honestly that 1) I have never being right about any of it. 2) ‘It’ has never really been in the now, this instant’s seemingly apparent situation. And 3) Even my seeming “told-ya-so”s’ have required justification and a massive story to keep alive. No wonder I have felt weary, overwhelmed, exhausted…dis-spirited. The pain of having to have things figured out became the very catalyst for letting go. In whole hearted defeat by my ‘best’ judgment, I gave up…. I finally no longer believed anything that the guilty, self-loathing, self-aggrandizing voice tried to pass off as ‘right’ for me or anyone. For one instant, I completely emptied out. And in that moment of defeat I saw the present for what I was: All there is! In that instant of release, I found out what willingness means. It means, ‘I know not, yet knowledge knows and I am to be danced by its pace.

What a joyous relief! What a burden it is to think I know and then have the responsibility of making ‘it all go the right way’ for all the characters in my dream. Frightening…Exhausting…and futile…

Thank God there is One who does Know, the Holy Spirit within my mind is so close to me I cannot see, yet closer than my hand to reach out and touch ~ always, already. I need only accept this statement, “I do not perceive my own best interests”…

So, I am a peace with not ‘figuring-it-out’ (most of the time) I have found that only ‘not-knowing’ gives me peace, only ‘not-knowing’ cracks open my strategic mind to that still place within where I reside along with you…that place from which I emerge with new perception, with trust in all my brothers and myself~

The more I am willing to accept this, the more I experience peace of mind. And on a practical level, it is such a powerful and useful instrument in the process of forgiving the world. Apply the principle and allow the Holy Spirit to visit into my mind the replacement thought for the one I that I knew. One I so appreciate, value and utilize. It is enlivening to allow for the present moment to be enough; to trust that all that is needed will be supplied, that joy is here, now, the instant I am present and accounted for.

A phrase from a poem by David Whyte that really struck a cord with me and revisits my mind whenever I start deviating into weariness is, “The antidote for exhaustion is not necessarily rest. The antidote for exhaustion is WHOLE-HEARTEDNESS,” ~Yes~ Like the Course says, All Happiness comes from doing God’s will…and I can’t know God’s will as along as I think there is a will apart from Him…I need only relinquish what I think ‘my’ will is to see they are the same~

…only One purpose, unified and sure …

‘Trust will answer every problem, now… Thank God I was wrong about my own best interests ~and that the very futility of trying to know left me only one recourse, to throw my hands in the air, so to speak, and spill-out that desperate prayer, ”I just don’t know! There has got to be another way…” And, the other way has come…

“Spirit is in a state of grace forever.

Your reality is only spirit.

Therefore you are in a state of grace forever.”

We are joined in purpose, you and I ~ ‘I cannot go without you, for you are part of me…’

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

~the meaning of escape, Lesson 23

Lesson 23:

"I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts…"

This is such a comforting thought for me. The more honest with myself I have become, the more I have become willing to See…. And to just trust that although I might not see it at any particular moment, the world I see was made with attack in mind; victim and hero, good and bad, right and wrong ~all, an attack on OneMind. It has been just this kind of honest observation which began to show me, that I couldn’t escape the naked truth that I am the ‘image-maker’ of the world I see.

I notice that my willingness to just look, suspending judgment, brings a feeling of peace… After all, I am not looking along alone… This very willingness is the invitation to look with the Holy Spirit. And by looking with the Holy Spirit at my thoughts, which, apparently cause the world I see, I am opened up to the possibility of their falsity. And just behind that awareness turns out to be the replacement I was really looking for: peace. Ya know, peace asks so very little…. When I experience the true shift necessary for peace, and saw I came as the simple wholehearted willingness to be wrong, I felt the chorus of halleluiah sing me, know what I mean. Anyhow, whatever it is that replaces the previous condition is irrelevant in form. It always is just enough for peace….to let love enter….Just like the lesson says, “Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now. Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate. For you will not be making them alone”. …Ah, this is what forgiveness is… and I am living it…and you are here with me, always, already…

The beginning of Chapter 16 of the text, titled "THE FORGIVENESS OF ILLUSIONS” keeps surfacing to my mind~ it talks about “True” empathy, a concept I was completely upside-down about when I first encountered this reversal of perception. I came to understand that all this ‘helpfulness’ I was so fond of was a smokescreen for attack thoughts. All dressed up in hierarchies of illusion and justification…I am so grateful for this healed perspective…

I am not alone, and I would not intrude the past upon my Guest.

I have invited Him, and He is here.

I need do nothing except not to interfere.

I am really beginning to see/experience the complete thought reversal necessary and inevitable, which, available for the asking~ is expanding with my participation… I am humbled, as the word truly means (def: returned to the ground of my being) by the magnitude of this simple lesson ~FORGIVE~

How lucky/blessed am I/ we are for the curriculum prepared by the Holy Spirit/Jesus through the inspired, holographic/symphonic, design of A Course in Miracles.

I did not know the meaning of forgiveness (or anything else, it turns out), when the Course came to me… and this not knowing has given me everything… since this blank screen is where the Holy Spirit shows me what is valuable, meaningful, loving and One, already ~ every seeming day is a new awakening to the truth, beyond the symbols…

~I am the one ~with overwhelming gratitude~

Monday, January 22, 2007

~The miracle; a form of vengece to the face of Christ~lesson 22

Lesson 22:

“What I see is a form of vengeance…”

When I first read this statement, I just could not believe it was true~ not about me. “I look for the ‘good’ in things”, I heard myself think…”That’s just not the kind of person I am.”
I look at this now, and I see that ‘defense’ was my immediate response. Defense is a form of vengeance! …Obviously offering example #1 of what the first part of the lesson was saying. “Today's idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world. Having projected anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him. His own attack is thus perceived as self defense.”

What helped me here was remembering what it said in the very introduction of the workbook: “Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe, and others may seem to be quite startling. This does not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true… Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required.”

Actually this idea of just letting the ideas in and leaving my mind, faithfully, to jell with the ideas and find truth coming out on top, has been a sort of template for me with the Course. That alone is a true miracle; given the kind of intense “figure it out, get it done, get it done right” kinda gal that this model, Danét, is…

…Still, something about the intangible, silent call to peace, behind the words, where I felt/feel “home at last” … beckoned me to trust, to keep the faith… Even in the face of what might seem to come to pass… and believe me, many seeming horrors I didn’t think I could tolerate seeing about myself ~have been revealed~ come to pass ~sentenced by the miracle~ and obliterated in the light of forgiveness … somehow, that little willingness ~and the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, have seen me through, healing my mind.

I am not afraid to look today, I am not frightened by the ‘ego-belief’ that seemed to make this world real. I’m thinking about in chapter 4 of the text where it talks about the guiltless world and the threat it seems to be to begin to ‘take a look’… “Undermining the ego's thought system must be perceived as painful, even though this is anything but true. Babies scream in rage if you take away a knife or scissors, although they may well harm themselves if you do not. In this sense you are still a baby. You have no sense of real self-preservation, and are likely to decide that you need precisely what would hurt you most. Yet whether or not you recognize it now, you have agreed to cooperate in the effort to become both harmless and helpful, attributes that must go together. Your attitudes even toward this are necessarily conflicted, because all attitudes are ego-based. This will not last. Be patient a while and remember that the outcome is as certain as God…” (T-4.II.5-7).

I used to think that ‘the ego’ was really a force to be reckoned with –I see now that ~ it is a belief; a dream of a world apart from love, and actually, a wisp of nothingness.
Once held up to the light it's gone.

It turns out that my willingness to open to the Atonement is enough… Then the Holy Spirit does the correction in my mind...and I recognize the Christ…

These days, reality, for me, is seen from "above the battleground”, as it's referred to in the Course. I watch the play of mind called world. I resonate in and with 'borderland'. I am acutely aware I am the dreamer of the dream and this has become increasingly my ‘tangible’ experience of life…'the world is but a part of the dream I gave away, nothing more fearful than an idol thought' that I would claim now through forgiveness. I am experiencing the miracle. It is a stable state of deep peace and surety and contentment, imperturbable to the seeming “forms of vengeance; the perishable, that which does not last, that is not real, etc”. I need arrange nothing. This is the Holy Spirit’s expertise, which I gladly defer to! Turns out, trust does solve every problem now. As am I, my brothers are trustworthy… The answer to any question I might have, reveals itself in the face of Christ everywhere I look, in everyone and everything around me, even before I am aware of it… ~thank you~

Sunday, January 21, 2007

~opening through the determination to see, lesson 21~

Lesson 21:

“I am determined to see things differently…”

This is, after all, what it’s all about, isn’t it. I see/experience this mind-training Course applying itself progressively to “me” ~ I have become increasingly fine-tuned to the more and more subtle recesses of ‘private’ thoughts’ / ‘private feelings’.
Even the slightest irritation, or preference, seems intolerable to my peace of mind… And only total release to the Holy Spirit suffices.
I have learned (the hard way) this can only be done through complete honesty on my part and looking with the Holy Spirit squarely upon the seeming upset in my mind. When I do~ Always ~without exception ~I see it differently.
Chapter 7 in the text really addresses this beautifully:

"The Holy Spirit teaches one lesson, and applies it to all individuals in all situations. Being conflict-free, He maximizes all efforts and all results. By teaching the power of the Kingdom of God Himself, He teaches you that all power is yours. Its application does not matter. It is always maximal. Your vigilance does not establish it as yours, but it does enable you to use it always and in all ways. (T-7.III.1-6)
It depends on your mind, and as you made it by believing in it, so you can dispel it by withdrawing belief from it. Do not project the responsibility for your belief in it onto anyone else, or you will preserve the belief. When you are willing to accept sole responsibility for the ego's existence you will have laid aside all anger and all attack, because they come from an attempt to project responsibility for your own errors. But having accepted the errors as yours, do not keep them. Give them over quickly to the Holy Spirit to be undone completely, so that all their effects will vanish from your mind and from the Sonship as a whole. (T-7.VIII.5)

Ideas and beliefs I was totally unaware that I was signed on for (and would have actively argued against owning) continue to reveal themselves to me as I become increasingly aware and accepting of the fact that ‘they are all the same’. They are separation…
~Love thinks me, I notice~ and whenever I’m not thinking, planning, judging, etc. ~it is there, always, already. Even the little willingness to suspect I could be ‘wrong’ about the particular ‘mark’ or seeming understanding I find myself standing on at any given moment ~that is enough…
The Course teaches from two levels: 1) the metaphysical non-dual ‘Reality’. Which is the theoretical background from which the Course takes it metaphorical and symbolic reference for 2)the practical (mind-training) aspect designed to reach us ‘where we think we are’, in the seemingly dualistic universe of us and others.
I mention this because of my own experience in working with the Course. Which has been often a good example of attempting to bring truth to illusion and I have (certainly through my good intentions) misinterpreted much of it~ to justify ego pursuits (seems obvious to me, now) ~this has not mattered.
As a matter of fact, the Course is designed accordingly. Of course the wrong-mind ‘we’ will misinterpret, reframe, misuse what it says. That is its survival. And the forgiveness of the very same, is salvation. YEAH!
I love this yummy passage in the text in chapter 25, which beckons me now, addressing this very thing:

“Since you believe that you are separate, Heaven presents itself to you as separate, too. Not that it is in truth, but that the link that has been given you to join the truth may reach to you through what you understand. Father and Son and Holy Spirit are as One, as all your brothers join as one in truth. Christ and His Father never have been separate, and Christ abides within your understanding, in the part of you that shares His Father's Will. The Holy Spirit links the other part-the tiny, mad desire to be separate, different and special-to the Christ, to make the oneness clear to what is really one. 6 In this world this is not understood, but can be taught.
The Holy Spirit serves Christ's purpose in your mind, so that the aim of specialness can be corrected where the error lies. Because His purpose still is one with both the Father and the Son, He knows the Will of God and what you really will. But this is understood by mind perceived as one, aware that it is one, and so experienced. It is the Holy Spirit's function to teach you how this oneness is experienced, what you must do that it can be experienced, and where you should go to do it.
All this takes note of time and place as if they were discrete, for while you think that part of you is separate, the concept of a Oneness joined as One is meaningless. It is apparent that a mind so split could never be the Teacher of a Oneness which unites all things within Itself. And so What is within this mind, and does unite all things together, must be its Teacher. Yet must It use the language that this mind can understand, in the condition in which it thinks it is. And It must use all learning to transfer illusions to the truth, taking all false ideas of what you are, and leading you beyond them to the truth that beyond them”. (T-25.I.5-7)

Even when visited with apparent clarity, I have often held to my belief in specialness~ my judgment that I ‘should be doing it perfectly’, if I really cared, ~if I really wanted to wake up, I wouldn’t forget. I wouldn’t judge. I wouldn’t desire something else…blah, blah, blah… Then I remember: The distractions of the ego may seem to interfere with your learning, but the ego has no power to distract you unless you give it the power to do so. The ego's voice is an hallucination. You cannot expect it to say "I am not real." Yet you are not asked to dispel your hallucinations alone. You are merely asked to evaluate them in terms of their results to you. If you do not want them on the basis of loss of peace, they will be removed from your mind for you.” (T-8.I.2-4)
And when I wholly remember~ peace is restored. And nothing has really happened at all…

It has been a poignant lesson in level confusion. And an excellent specimen of the ego at work ~what the Course refers to as the ego being “suspicious at least and vicious at worst”… none of this has mattered… all of it forgiven… and behind it I hear in the echoes- the cosmic belly laugh- in symphony with the ‘forgotten song’ of joy… can’t you hear it now…

…ah, the determination to see things differently… one purpose, unified and sure… what Joy ~