McCall Gathering 2000, Part 9

 

McCall Gathering 2000, Part 9

Handling Divorce

JJ: It’s interesting that the religious world is proclaiming, “We have the highest divorce rate in the world and this is really terrible.” In many ways this is good, outside of the children involved. If there are children involved you always have to make a judgment call. You may have to sacrifice and stay in a relationship you don’t want. You just have to evaluate if it’s worth it or not.

If the relationship is going nowhere, if the person you are with refuses to change or if the personality is in the way so much that there is no way you can force yourself to look at the soul all the time, then maybe you just don’t have the wherewithal to see the soul all the time in that person. Oftentimes what happens is a person moves from one person to another and the new person is just as hard to get along with as the last one. Maybe the problem is within themselves. Maybe they have to straighten out their own life. They also have to look at that. If you are going from one relationship to the other and you find out that this tenth guy is just as bad as the first, second, third on up, and the new guy is always as bad as the last guy, then we just have to ask ourselves, “Maybe it’s me. Maybe I have something to do with it’s not working this time.” There is a lot involved in relationships.

The key, to making it work again is to get to soul here. In our relationships we have to remove the physical deception, make our words 100% true and remove the emotional deception, so that everything you communicate emotionally to the other person is 100% accurate. If you feel a grievance between you and any other human being you need to go to that person and say, “Hey look, I’ve felt this bad feeling toward you for five years and I want to heal it. You did this to me and you made me feel this way toward you and I just need to get rid of it.” You need to get rid of any grievance you may have.

Audience: One of the ten steps in Alcoholic’s Anonymous is to write your grievance down and the fifth step is to go to that person, if it won’t do any harm.

JJ: That’s a good step.

Audience: It’s not something you can do by yourself. You can’t just go to your sister and say, “I forgive you for everything you’ve done in my life.”

JJ: I’m glad you said that. That’s a great point. Many people say, “I forgive everybody.” Saying it isn’t enough. You have to let the grievance out. My sister recently died of cancer. One of the biggest causes of cancer is a grievance. You are holding in hurt. When I heard she had cancer, I analyzed her handwriting and sure enough it showed some suppression. Every person I’ve seen with cancer has had it. Because what you are not revealing to yourself, your body is trying to reveal to you by what it’s suppressing.

I visited my sister and told her what I discovered, that she suppresses and I’d been trying to figure out what it may be. I said, “One of your sons is gay. Maybe it’s that.” “Nope”, she said, “It’s not that.” I named a couple things and she said, “I do not suppress. I call a spade a spade. End of discussion.” She wouldn’t let me go any farther. She sensed I was encroaching on something that she didn’t want to face. Unfortunately, she died a few months later. I was never able to finish that discussion with her.

Audience: What if the person you need to discuss it with has died?

JJ: You can have a conversation with them as if they are here. Or, you can have another person in their place and just talk to them as if they are still here and that will help release. Ask for their forgiveness, and have the other person stand in and give the answer he thinks the dead person would give.

Audience: Can you have a grievance with yourself?

JJ: No. You can have negativity towards yourself. I come down a lot harder on myself than on anybody else. You can be mad at yourself. You can be angry at yourself. You can’t really have a grievance with yourself, but you can have guilt which is just as bad. You can’t really hide from yourself. If you’re angry with yourself, you know you’re angry with yourself. You can have anger because of a situation and you just pretend the anger doesn’t exist; that’s the closest you can come to a grievance with yourself.

Audience: I have a friend from Russia and her mother died of cancer and then my friend got cancer and then her 10 year old child had leukemia and another child has an inoperable brain tumor they believe is cancerous. What is the correspondence here that this family has been so taken over by this?

JJ: We incarnate in groups. Your mother, sister, brother, father, you have known them in past lives. Oftentimes the groups you incarnate with will have characteristics very similar to your own. If you are a person who will carry a grievance, you will be associated with people close to you who may also carry grievances. Children that have bad things happen to them – they are often results from karma from past lives. Sometimes there will be a grievance from a past life that wasn’t resolved and the kid is born with maybe a brother or sister that he has to resolve the grievance with even in this life. That can carry over and cause cancer. It could be other things too. There is usually never one single cause of any illness. It is usually caused by a multitude of things. From a bad diet to emotional problems, to suppression, to lack of exercise, to negative thinking, there are all kinds of things involved. Suppression is a really big problem with cancer. Probably 50% of cancer would disappear if we could get rid of suppression.

We’ll go into removing the barriers between us and the soul tomorrow. Any other questions before we wrap it up.

Audience: You talked about releasing suppression and that you can see suppression in handwriting. If you release suppression, will the handwriting change?

JJ: Yes. As you change your personality, your handwriting will change.

Audience: Will your handwriting be vastly different?

JJ: You’d think it will be. People will have a change of slant and it looks like a really big change. But it’s only a change in one thing.

When I was back in college, I got this card from this girl, that was signed, “A secret admirer.” She did her best to hide her handwriting. She changed her style. Have you ever seen somebody but a straight edge on their writing? They write and then they fill in the lower part, it makes their writing extremely straight across. They write with a piece of paper over the other paper and you write everything but the lower zone. Then you take the paper off and fill in the lower zone. It makes the handwriting look really neat. It also makes the handwriting look a lot different than the regular writing. She did her best to disguise her writing by using this method. So her writing looked a lot different. I don’t think she knew I was a handwriting analyst. Maybe she did, but I thought, “This is a challenge.”

We went to this thing called MIA every week with the church I was connected with. A friend of mine was the secretary. There were a couple hundred of us. When we would attend, we would sign the roll, every week. I contacted my friend that was the secretary and asked him if I could look at the signatures. That was all I had to go by. She had a couple things in her handwriting that stood out quite well and I found the one that was it. She had done a really good job of disguising her writing. I met her at a dance a couple of weeks later and thanked her for the card and she was just flabbergasted. She figured I must have been a prophet or something.

Audience: (laughter.) You can change your personality by changing your handwriting. You can?

A different audience member asks:

You told me to keep my “m’s” open. I can’t seem to keep them open.

JJ: Changing the “m’s” is the most difficult thing. Just like “I.” Changing your suppression is really difficult. It’s very difficult to do in your handwriting. There is one thing that is pretty easy to change; I’m going to give it as an exercise. I may have given it to the internet group, I don’t remember. They’ve done experiments with this in France with kids’ handwriting. They had them change their handwriting. They gave them exercises to change their handwriting and then saw if that changed their behavior. They found out it took about six weeks. In about six weeks the kids started changing their behavior. Because the handwriting was to change the kid’s behavior for the better, it made the kids better behaved, more cooperative. The easiest thing to change in your handwriting is your “t” crosses. (JJ demonstrating on the chalkboard.) How high you cross your “t’s” shows how high you set your goals. (He finished up by illustrating changes in handwriting that can produce changes in personality).

First posted July 30, 2004. The Gathering took place June, 2000.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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McCall Gathering 2000, Part 8

McCall Gathering 2000, Part 8

Sharing Energy

JJ: Let’s put it this way, any relationship you have should be moving somewhere. If the same thing happens over and over and over and there’s no motion, then the best thing to do is move on to another relationship.

Audience: You suggest moving into another relationship if it’s not moving?

JJ: Yes, unless maybe you’ve been in the relationship fifty years and set in your ways and you’re happy. You can just stand still if you like. If you leave, the other person doesn’t know where to go. The biggest thing that causes instability is the desire for the new and exciting. I’ve had friends before, who can’t seem to be happy in a stable relationship. They find somebody and they’re really excited at first and think, “this person is really nice” and they settle down with this person. Then they wonder, “Where’s the excitement with this person? I want excitement. There’s no excitement anymore, there’s no passion anymore.” And the person begins to look outside the relationship for the passion.

What we need to do once we get beyond the experience level, once you make soul contact and want to provide service for humanity then if you decide you want to enter into a relationship, you have to make that relationship stable. Once it is stable you fulfill the need for new experience not by looking outside the relationship. Now, you are a unit and as a unit you have new experiences together. This is what you have to do because we all have the need for new experiences and the need for new experiences in a relationship is often caused by affairs, causing a lot of pain for the person that you’re with so you can have this new wonderful experience.

The way the disciple does it is to include his partner in the journey and have an experience together and that fulfills the need for new experiences. The need for new experiences is a need that is so great that even when you fall asleep you continue to dream to fill this need. The God that created us all created everything there is because of a need for experience. You, as one of his creations, are having an experience that is unique, different from any other being in the universe. As you are having a unique experience for yourself, different from any other being in the universe is having you are having an experience that is fulfilling natural curiosity. You are having an experience that is one of the dreams of God.

You are a part of God’s life by having an experience unique unto yourself. As we evolve we join others in their experience, instead of looking outside of committed relationship and having experience as an individual. Instead we first include our partner in that experience. Later as molecules are formed we include others in that experience. Businesses and different organizations include many within a group in an experience. As human molecules are formed the experiences will not only be material but spiritual. The realm of experience actually amplifies. The more people that are joined in oneness, the greater the possibility of the experience. That experience will, as molecules are formed, as people unite in greater and greater groups in oneness of purpose, the experiences will be beyond that of what we can experience at this moment in time and space.

Audience: What I’m wondering about is, a stable romantic relationship is there a time on this? If you’re going to do a relationship, that this energy exchange, once it is initiated, does it take a certain amount of time to cycle? Or is it possible to evolve two beings basically, for the most part of our lives we do the solo thing. You can do a relationship that lasts a weekend.

JJ: That type of weekend experience is the thing you do for experience. If you have a one-nighter type thing, you have an exchange of energy and there is some romantic energy that to be involved if you’re human. Unless maybe, if you’re Hugh Hefner. I don’t know if he has any real romantic energy exchange left after sharing with all those playboy bunnies over all these years.

If you have a one-weekend fling with someone, you’re releasing maybe thirty percent of your romantic energy because you know you won’t be letting down many walls. You release small amount of romantic energy and most of that will be the physical energy. The emotional energy will usually be taken back into yourself after the weekend.

Audience: After the weekend fling are you still bonded to this person for days, weeks or months?

JJ: It depends. If it’s intense you may have a memory that lasts years. You could have a ten percent residual five years down the road if it was an intense experience. This could keep you from having a full experience with another person later on.

The goal is to move beyond passing romantic experiences, to keep the good memories, but let the past emotional ties go and concentrate on the relationship at hand.

I found that when you enter a romantic relationship that it takes about three years to stabilize. If you’re involved in a spiritual quest, it is really the wrong time to enter a relationship because, it’s been my experience that it takes about three years to stabilize everything to where you can really center yourself on the things of the soul.

Audience: Is a weekend fling a healthy thing to do?

JJ: Who do you want to have a fling with here?

Audience: Laughter, joking

JJ: We have the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. If you begin the relationship on the physical then it is much more difficult to increase the energy sharing on the higher levels. If you have 100% increase in sharing on the higher levels there has to be 100% trust. If you begin on the physical and you’re easy, so-to-speak, then when you try to move up to these higher levels, then the person will think “if he’s easy with me, what’s he going to do when he’s away from me?” The trust will be difficult to establish so the sharing will have obstacles in the way. Most people when they make love share on the physical level and the physical level is pretty good. There is also making love on the emotional level and the sharing there can be pretty intense. On the plane of the mind, the sharing is even greater there, more refined. On the spiritual level you bring in the soul and you have a trinity of energies being shared.

You notice in the Bible says, “Adam knew Eve and she begot Abel.” It didn’t say Adam had sex with Eve. It says, “Adam “knew” Eve.” Then using this exactly same word the scripture says later on, that “this is the eternal life that ye may ‘know’ God.” To have eternal life you have sex with God. The same word for knowing God that brings eternal life is the same word used for having sex.

Audience: That’s the most different interpretation that I’ve heard in a long time. Laughter.

JJ: Sex is the correspondence of the interplay between spirit and matter. The attractiveness of spirit and matter is the sex between sprit and matter. What we have to learn in sex is to evolve the way we handle sexual energies so it encompasses all four levels. We have the interplay of spirit and matter as we are having the highest form of sex possible. This brings the soul in so you are not only having sex between two people; it’s also sex between Father, Son and Holy Ghost energies. The Trinity enters it. The male is the Father, the female is the Holy Ghost energy and The Son is the soul which is the window to the spirit. It brings the spirit into the relationship. What you want to do is begin the relationship with the highest plane, not the lowest, which is the physical.

This is what happened with Artie and I. When we began our relationship was when I was giving a class. She returned because she was attracted to the spirit of the teachings. Then during one class she merely looked at me and together we felt the spirit together. We thus began with the soul. After the class was over, she came to me and said, “When you spoke to us today, you made love to my mind.” That was the best compliment I ever received in my life. After affecting her spirit and mind the third thing was to stimulate the emotional body, which happened a few days later when I told her I loved her and our emotional bodies really got going. The last step was the physical consummation.

When you make love from the top down, the trust is much easier to establish. When you make love from the bottom up, the trust and the complete honesty and communication is difficult to keep in the relationship. When you start from the bottom up, you can stimulate the emotions in the other, but the 100% of sharing is difficult to establish. You can over a period of time. It is much more difficult than starting from the top down.

First posted July 4, 2004. The Gathering took place June, 2000.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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McCall Gathering 2000, Part 7

McCall Gathering 2000, Part 7

Dealing with Hurt Feelings

One of the keys to contacting the soul is to produce balance in all of our centers. Perhaps the most important key I can leave you with would be the key of honesty. The soul is 100% honest. Anything that comes from the spirit will be 100% honest as far as we are able to interpret it accurately. If anything said to us seems untrue it’s because of our own wayward desires causing us to look at things incorrectly. As we receive impressions from pure spirit it will always be 100% accurate. Because it is 100% centered in truth and does not see anything that is not true. The only way for us to establish communication through the soul is to be the same way.

Everything we say must be truth. That doesn’t mean you have to say everything you think. If you meet someone who is overweight you don’t need to tell them that. That’s just totally rude. You don’t need to insult them, but what you say to that person should be true. “You have a pretty face. You’re an intelligent person. You’re a very thoughtful person.” You can say lots of good things. You don’t need to pick on a negative thing just for the sake of being honest.

This is the way the Masters are. If you meet a Master everything he tells you will be 100% true but there are many things he knows that he will not tell you. Like it says in the Bible, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing.” (Proverbs 25:2) God is always honest and everything that has the spirit of God will be into honesty but he’s not into revealing everything. In the writings given out by the Masters there are many things they do not say which is true but would be dangerous for us to have because we’re not ready for them yet.

It’s the same thing in your personal life. If you don’t feel like telling someone something about yourself, that is not dishonest, but it would be dishonest if you did tell them something about yourself that is not true.

Audience: If everything you say is true it’s important that we express feeling truthfully.

JJ: Right, that’s what I was getting to next. You can be dishonest without speaking. Let’s say Xavier hurts my feelings. He says, “Man, you’re a lot uglier than I thought you’d be. I thought you were a good looking guy!” (laughter) If that doesn’t hurt my feelings it’s no big deal. Maybe I’ve been told that so much it doesn’t bother me anymore. (laughter) But let’s suppose it really bothered me and I felt a grievance. I have a choice. I can pretend that it doesn’t bother me or I can go over to Xavier and give him a shove and say, “You son of a gun!” Or I can say, “Xavier, you kind of hurt my feelings when you said that.” Xavier, being the sensitive guy that he is replies, “Oh, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”

If someone has his feelings hurt but pretends they aren’t hurt that is communicating something that is not true. You’re communicating something that isn’t true by giving the wrong impression. This is a form of dishonesty. Unfortunately in this age, in relationships we’re praised for doing this. The world thinks this is wonderful when someone hurts your feelings and you sweep it under the run and leave others thinking it’s fine. Let’s take Hillary Clinton. There are all these affairs going on and suppose she says, “That’s fine. It doesn’t bother me a bit.” I’ve heard rumors that there are dishes being thrown at the White House. But she’s pretending that everything is fine. In a situation like that something has to come out.

A person has to tell another when his feelings are hurt. He has to communicate honesty what those feelings are so they can be dealt with. When a person covers up those feelings and is deceptive about them it creates one of those layers or clouds between him and the soul. So we have this cloud of deceptive communication of feelings or words. Most of the layers between you and the soul are caused by some type of deception. We have to remove all the deception.

So if you’re in a relationship and the other person hurts your feelings on a regular basis and you want to get closer to soul contact, you need to approach the person and communicate how what they’re doing is making you feel. This is especially important if you’re in a romantic relationship because a large percentage of the emotional hurt that comes into your life will be through a romantic relationship.

You’re escaping a lot if you’re content being single. This is why many people on the spiritual path remain single. Their soul may have guided them into this place where they can keep the clouds away and remain completely honest as they’re pursuing their spiritual quest in this life. They may come back in another life and leave the spiritual life behind and go into love/hate relationships for awhile. Eventually all must learn to master the intimate relationship on the road to liberation and unity.

Audience: You have released your energy but that continues on their part.

JJ: Sometimes. It depends on how they react. If they don’t feel any responsibility involved, what we need to realize that in a relationship, a romantic relationship especially, you’re both responsible to a degree. Oftentimes the things that come up are very silly. There have been times that Artie has hurt my feelings then it dawns on me that it was such a silly thing and she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. It’s such a dumb thing that I’m not even going to tell you what it is. (laughter)

Then I think I should practice what I preach and tell her even if she laughs at me. It’s such a silly thing to be offended about. Mentally I’m not offended at all but my solar plexus has a grievance. So I’ll say, “Artie this may sound silly but this is how I feel.” Sometimes she’ll do that to me too.

You need to get these feelings out. Get them out, no matter how ridiculous it may feel – for remember the feeling nature is not logical. This is the biggest thing that keeps us from the soul. One may think, “This is so silly I’ll ignore it. I’m a disciple and shouldn’t let it bother me. I can’t be feeling something this low, this silly. I can’t be driven away from the spirit by silly little things like this.” You’re made to feel like you’re being ridiculous by feeling this way so you tend to sweep it under the rug. But, no matter how ridiculous, you need to face that feeling and honestly communicate because it won’t go away any other way.

Audience: There’s something on my mind I need to clarify and it will probably reveal my lack of enlightenment. I’m thinking about my relationship with my children and how sometimes I say things out of anger that really aren’t true. But I say them and I hurt them. You said everything you say needs to be honest.

JJ: Kids are really good at picking that up. They’re watching and they’re learning from us how to communicate and behave. So anything you tell a kid that isn’t true, they’re going to pick that up. All of us need to make sure when dealing with children especially that everything we tell them is 100% true.

Audience: But sometimes those emotions speak.

JJ: Right. Kids can be very frustrating.

Audience: They know how to push buttons.

JJ: They do. What we need to do when a kid pushes our buttons is to sit the kid down and say, “Look, when you did this it made me feel like a bad mother” or whatever. Tell that kid how you feel and you may be surprised that he’ll understand how you feel when you explain it. He also understands how you might say things that aren’t true when you’re angry and in the heat of the moment. He’s also picking up that this is the way the world is so you’re teaching him a pattern.

Every mother in the universe has the same lesson to learn so you’re not alone. It’s part of evolution.

Audience: Why doesn’t it affect the men the same way?

JJ: A mother has a totally different relationship with her children than the guy does. Kids don’t usually bond strongly with their father until they’re about 10 or 12. I remember how I felt when I was a little kid. One thing I noticed as a kid was that adults didn’t understand how kids think. I made a covenant with myself and said, “When I grow up I’m not going to forget how I felt when I was a little kid.” Have you felt the same way?

Audience: I thought, “I’m going to remember all the bad things so I don’t do them.” I can’t remember anything really good. But you’re looking all these things. When you’re looking at a man and a woman and how they operate with a child, it is different.

JJ: I remember how different I felt as a child with my mom and dad. Both of them drank too much and left us home alone a lot. By most standards, they weren’t very good parents but when I was a little boy I still loved them a lot and I felt extremely protective of my mom. I worried about my mom but for some reason I didn’t worry at all about my dad. My dad could take care of himself but my world would end if anything happened to my mom. It’s amazing when I look back and see that most children feel this strong passion for their mother that they just don’t feel for their dad. They play different roles.

The feminine energy is nurturing. The child picks up that nurturing energy and feels a tremendous bond. Even though my mom wasn’t the best mom on the earth when I was young, she’s totally changed her life and is as sweet as can be. She wasn’t what we’d call the ideal mom when I was young but nevertheless I felt this tremendous bond with her.

Audience: You said you made this pact with yourself that you would remember how to tell if a child was being misunderstood. Did it work?

JJ: Yes, I think so. I think I remember clearly and when I talk to a small child I think I communicate okay with him. I think it does help a lot to remember how you felt as a child. One thing I noticed as a child was that no one seemed to understand how we kids felt about stuff. One thing I remember very clearly was how adults would talk down to me like I was an unthinking entity. When my dad talked to his friends he had a certain tone of voice then he talked to me in a different tone of voice. I wanted him to talk to me like I was a friend. I remember when I was helping him paint his car and he turned around and asked me to hand him some tool. He used his normal tone of voice and that was one of the happiest moments of my life as a little kid. Then I realized he was talking to the guy behind me and I was disappointed. That was the first time my dad talked to me like I was on his level then it turned out he was talking to the other guy. I remember thinking that when I talk to children I’ll talk to them like they’re intelligent human beings.

I think that’s important to keep in mind when talking to our children. They still need the discipline and need you to be their parent. That’s one place where authority is really essential. You’re the boss but talk to them like they’re intelligent beings. When they hurt your feelings, tell them.

Audience: I’m able to do that, it’s just the consistency of it. I’m not always able to do it. I can see the harm that I do when I don’t handle situations that way that I should.

JJ: It all comes down to good old fashioned self control. You need to stop yourself. It comes to the word ‘attention’. You have to keep attention on the part of you that you want to change. You need to catch yourself and keep catching yourself. If you don’t put attention on it you won’t catch yourself. You can only keep your attention on so many things so you might need to take if off something else for awhile. You need to hone focus down to maybe the three most important things in your life and put attention on them.

Audience: Maybe she looses her temper because she isn’t honest enough.

JJ: That’s a good point. If you find another method that works, another alternative to getting mad, that takes the pressure off.

Audience: I was in an abusive relationship for 15 years and I took a lot of my upset feelings out on my kids. After I became aware of what I was doing, as I was getting out of the relationship and going through counseling, I set them down and told them what I had done was unacceptable. It was abuse. I told them, “I was being abusive and that’s not right. I’m sorry.” I gave them specific instances of things that I had done. They turned around and told me of other things that I hadn’t been aware of. That changed me greatly.

Audience: My children are aware of how human I am. I’ve been there.

Audience: Going back to the situation where Artie did something really silly that you don’t want to share. . . are you saying you shouldn’t turn around and examine yourself and why that silly little thing bothers you?

JJ: Yes I do, I examine it. You examine why things affect you the way you do and lead your life in such a way that you can direct the energy so it won’t happen again. The solar plexus energy does not have a lot of thinking power. It’s very simple. It doesn’t synchronize with your mind. Your mind may be saying you shouldn’t be hurt by this solar plexus energy because it’s like a computer program. It may run hurt feelings on you when you’re thinking they shouldn’t hurt. When you analyze the situation and change the outward circumstances you think, “What caused my solar plexus to react this way? What caused my feelings to react like this?” Then you use your mind to change the circumstances so that hurt doesn’t occur again.

Maybe Artie said something she didn’t mean and I communicate with her. She says she really didn’t mean it that way. Now that I know that she means it differently, the next time she says it, it won’t hurt my feelings anymore because my solar plexus understands that she really didn’t mean to hurt my feelings. When the honest communication comes out you have more input into the computer program that controls your solar plexus. The computer program says XYZ does not mean hurt feelings so now your feelings aren’t hurt if XYZ happens. You’re reprogramming your solar plexus. It’s not highly intelligent. When you’re working on your computer and the system crashes you think, “Well that’s not very intelligent. Why is this crashing?” You don’t have a good reason for it but maybe with a little bit of thinking you’ll find what made it crash then be able to avoid that in the future. You don’t do that thing again and it doesn’t crash. That’s the way the solar plexus is. It’s like a computer program and you eventually learn how it works. By directing the energies through the mind you prevent the crashes.

If a person hurts you too much you get that person out of your life so they can’t hurt you anymore. You remove the things in your life that cause intolerable grief to your solar plexus.

Audience: Somebody who you’re in a relationship with hurts you or upsets you and it’s something small. You communicate that to the person and they handle it well. They don’t get upset but say, “Okay I see you have a point there and I’ll accept my share of responsibility for that.” But then it doesn’t change.

JJ: The person doesn’t change?

Audience: Yeah, the same hurt comes up again and again. The person obviously doesn’t feel that they’re continuing the same mistake or they wouldn’t continue with it.

JJ: You need to keep communicating. If you reach an impasse you’ll need to work out a way to handle it so it doesn’t hurt you each time or else you need to move on to a new relationship if there’s no progress at all.

Audience: So you would literally kick someone out of your life?

JJ: If you reach a point where the other person is not open to communication and there is no hope of progress then it may be time to dissolve the relationship. You must consider the whole situation, including your children, and seek guidance from your soul.

First posted July 1, 2004. The Gathering took place June, 2000.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 22

The Mystery of Judgment

Some may question the idea of associating judgment with mystery and wonder where is the mystery in it. After all, isn’t judgment pretty cut and dry? Isn’t this something we are just supposed to avoid and that is pretty much all there is to it?

It is not quite that simple. Yes, there are some passages in ACIM that make it sound like the rejection of judgment should be an easy black and white thing, but then there are others telling us that judgment can be a good thing. As usual to understand what the Course is really saying we have to look at the whole rather than the isolated part.

The most famous statement from Jesus concerning judgment is not in A Course in Miracles but the Bible. He said this:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Often these are all the words of Jesus on the subject that people focus on and do not realize that Jesus explained what he meant right afterwards saying:

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matt 7:1-2

Instead of saying point blank that all judgment is bad he was telling us how the law of cause and effect plays out when we do judge. The way we judge will produce an effect that will come back to us. If we judge benevolently or harshly we will wind up being judged the same way by others.

Because erroneous and harsh judgment can come back to haunt us he advised this: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24

We seem to have the same problem in understanding judgment in A Course in Miracles as from the Bible. For instance, if we read this passage we may figure that all judgment is bad and to be avoided:

“God’s teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. Judgment without self-deception is impossible. Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers.” M-4.III.1

Then it says something like this that puts quite a different spin on the subject:

“Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one right use of judgment. Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect; to hurt or to heal. The ego should be brought to judgment and found wanting there. Without your own allegiance, protection and love, the ego cannot exist. Let it be judged truly and you must withdraw allegiance, protection and love from it.” T-4.IV.8.

A key sentence here is, “Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect; to hurt or to heal.”

Again, the student must step back and look at the whole meaning the Course is trying to put forward on this subject. When this is discovered then that which seemed to be contradictory seems complementary instead.

To understand judgment we must first define it. This is especially necessary because ACIM puts a different interpretation on it than is held in common usage for most dictionaries give a definition like this one:

“An opinion that you have after thinking carefully about something or your ability to understand a situation well and make good decisions.”

The Course defines it in a more negative light, especially in how we use it in relation to our brothers:

“Evaluation is its obvious prerequisite. Judgment always involves rejection. It never emphasizes only the positive aspects of what is judged, whether in you or in others. What has been perceived and rejected, or judged and found wanting, remains in your mind because it has been perceived.” T-3.VI.2

This seems to be the meaning the Course attaches to judgment unless stated otherwise, but this is just one aspect of judgment, something we can call the negative aspect. The positive aspect does not involve rejection and exclusion, but acceptance and inclusion. For instance, you may meet people you like and make a judgment that they would be fun to spend time with. Or perhaps you made a judgment that ACIM is good material and you should study it. These are judgments of acceptance and inclusion.

Some think we should avoid all judgments but consider how impossible that would be for even a couple hours. When the alarm clock goes off in the morning you have to make a judgment as to whether to get right up or stay in bed a few more minutes. When you shower you make a judgment as to how hot the water will be and how long you will be in there. When you eat breakfast you have to make a judgment on what will best satisfy you. When you drive to work and approach a yellow light you have to make a judgment as to whether to go for it or be cautious and stop. By noon you will have made hundreds of small judgments.

It may be that when we return to heaven that judgments of any kind will not be necessary, but to function here in this world they are a necessity, even for advanced ACIM students.

The Course doesn’t say much about mundane and necessary judgments we use to function but in most cases it is referring to a negative assessment of our fellow men and women. It particularly discourages us from judging others to be sinners or bad people in the traditional sense. Any judgment where you see a brother as morally inferior to yourself just takes us further into the illusion. Because “we were created as equals” (T-5.II.9) and since it is the “perfect equality of giver and receiver on which the miracle rests” (T-1.II.6) it is necessary that one member of the Sonship not judge another to be inferior, or even superior for that matter for “Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality.” T-1.II.3

Now inequality concerning a skill is another matter. If you have never skied and join a class it would be insane to think you are equal in skill to your instructor. But you can see yourself as equal in potential and that would make sense. The key to the correct use of judgment is to avoid the ones concerning inferiority that lead to shame and guilt.

Another category that the Course tells us we should avoid is where a correct judgment is impossible because we do not know all the facts. It asks:

“Remember how many times you thought you knew all the “facts” you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were!” M-10.4

Because we rarely know all the facts in a situation, “It is surely good advice to tell you not to judge what you do not understand. No one with a personal investment is a reliable witness, for truth to him has become what he wants it to be.” T-12.I.5

It then tells us why making accurate judgments on our own is so difficult:

“In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself?” M-10.3

This gives a clue as to why it is such an egregious error to make negative judgments on our brothers and sisters, especially where we condemn them in any way. The problem is that when we judge another we are only going by a small slice of his life. We are unaware of all the struggles he has gone through, the bad relationships, the frustrations and other negative things he may have had to endure. But the biggest factor usually left out is that every brother, no matter how much in error he seems to be, is a Son of God at the very core of his being and this divine life can surface when judgment is suspended and forgiveness extended.

Since we humans are so bad at making judgments one may wonder how we can possibly function in the world. We have to make some judgments, but we do not want to be wrong all the time.

Again the Course comes to the rescue and tells us how we can make accurate judgments.

“We said before that the Holy Spirit is evaluative, and must be. He sorts out the true from the false in your mind, and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it in the light of what God put there. Whatever is in accord with this light He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom in you. What is partly in accord with it He accepts and purifies. But what is out of accord entirely He rejects by judging against. This is how He keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified. Remember, however, that what the Holy Spirit rejects the ego accepts.” T-6.V.C.1

A key thought expressed here is that the Holy Spirit “sorts out the true from the false in your mind, and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it in the light of what God put there.”

He can do this accurately because, “He does know all the facts; past, present and to come. He does know all the effects of His judgment on everyone and everything involved in any way. And He is wholly fair to everyone, for there is no distortion in His perception.” M-10.4

That sounds great, does it not? We all have a source of infinite intelligence so the judgments we do make can be accurate. How do we go about accessing this great source? The answer given may be said to be an act of faith:

“And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me. He sees what I behold, and yet He knows the truth.” W-pII.347.1

The answer is quite simple. We first realize how flawed our own judgment is, especially when judging others, and then we give judgment over to the Holy Spirit. This may be easier said than done for we are told “It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn.” T-5.II.3

It takes effort and great willingness because the Voice of the Holy Spirit is often called the “still small voice,” and it takes a lot of focus and willingness to listen and follow before a sure connection is made. He is called our “link with God,” where “perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge.” W-pI.43.1

The trouble is that all who think they are guided by the inner Voice do not put forth the “effort and great willingness” to remove the veils of communication and in this case the ego is happy to step in and be the substitute voice of the Holy Spirit.

It is obvious that all who claim to be guided by God or the Holy Spirit are not all connected to the same source as many disagree with each other. Egos will disagree with the Holy Spirit as well as other egos, but those who listen to the inner voice and truly hear it will not disagree with each other on issues related to oneness.

“Because He (Christ) hears one Voice, He cannot hear a different answer from the one He gave when God appointed Him His only Son.” T-31.II.7

“It is His (the Holy Spirit’s) holy function to accept them both, and by removing every element of disagreement, to join them into one. He will do this because it is His function. Leave, then, what seems to you to be impossible, to Him Who knows it must be possible because it is the Will of God.” T-15.VIII.6

There are indeed a plethora of teachers out there claiming to speak for God. How do you tell who is speaking the truth when so many disagree?

The responsibility lies on each individual seeker. He must make his own valid connection with the Holy Spirit. Then he can recognize that same spirit in another who has that same connection. When two or more give judgment to the Spirit their judgment will agree.

The Course sums it up well in this quote:

“If you will lay aside the ego’s voice, however loudly it may seem to call, if you will not accept its petty gifts that give you nothing that you really want; if you will listen with an open mind, that has not told you what salvation is; then you will hear the mighty Voice of truth, quiet in power, strong in stillness, and completely certain in Its messages.

“Listen, and hear your Father speak to you through His appointed Voice, which silences the thunder of the meaningless, and shows the way to peace to those who cannot see. Be still today and listen to the truth. Be not deceived by voices of the dead, which tell you they have found the source of life and offer it to you for your belief. Attend them not, but listen to the truth.” W-pI.106.1-2

The ego offers many “petty gifts” to distract seekers away from the true voice, but the successful student must ignore them and keep his mind steady in the light that comes from the one mind of God.

We’ll end this chapter by shedding light from ACIM on that mysterious subject pursued by many Bible students called the “Last judgment.” Many Bible believers see this as a future time when God will call forth all souls to stand before Him to be sternly judged as to whether they will go to heaven or hell. The Course gives us a different interpretation on this.

For one thing it says that “Judgment is not an attribute of God. It was brought into being only after the separation, when it became one of the many learning devices to be built into the overall plan.”

So, if the last judgment does not involve God judging us where then comes the judgment?

It comes from none other than ourselves.

So what is it we are to judge?

We are to eventually re-establish ourselves in our right mind and correctly judge our creations.

And what creations are these?

Before the separation we participated in right-minded eternal creations with God. Then after the separation we lost the awareness of who we are and participated in wrong-minded creations that were temporary and not eternal. In the last judgment we become aware of our true identity and make a judgment as to which type of creation in which we will participate. Our last judgment will be when we arrive home and continue the process of eternal creation in extending the universe of God.

The Course sums it up this way:

“The Last Judgment might be called a process of right evaluation. It simply means that everyone will finally come to understand what is worthy and what is not. After this, the ability to choose can be directed rationally… Everyone will ultimately look upon his own creations and choose to preserve only what is good, just as God Himself looked upon what He had created and knew that it was good. At this point, the mind can begin to look with love on its own creations because of their worthiness. At the same time the mind will inevitably disown its miscreations which, without belief, will no longer exist.” T-2.VIII.3-4

Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE,       Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE, Twenty HERE, Twenty-One HERE

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 21

The Mystery of Oneness

One of the greatest points of confusion as well as disagreement among students concerns the Course’s teachings on oneness. There are a number of interpretations that have surfaced about how oneness and non duality play out with God, the Trinity and the Sonship.

There is a fair amount of agreement that there is oneness in the true reality but disagreement as to how literally it manifests.

We discussed some of these points earlier but in this chapter we will explore the subject a little deeper.

The problem comes from the Course itself for the intent seems to be to place strong emphasis on oneness. In doing so some passages give the impression that there is not only union in heaven but a oneness with no parts, or any individual identities or choice.

Then other passages give other impressions interpreted as there being many types of beings in heaven, to heaven being a perfect version of earth.

The best authority on this subject is the Course itself so let us take a look at the whole context to see what it has to say.

The oneness of the life of the Son is the main point of disagreement but there is also the oneness of the Trinity to consider. Concerning them it is written:

“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.” T-25.I.5

“The ego is legion, but the Holy Spirit is One… For reality is one with the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” T-6.I.10

“Christ knows of no separation from His Father,” T-15.VIII.4

This oneness includes us as Sons: “God created you as one with Him.” T-13.VII.8

Concerning God as a whole it is written:

“there are no separate parts in what exists within God’s Mind. It is forever One, eternally united and at peace.” T-30.III.6

So concerning the Trinity, which includes us as Sons of God, we are told in these verses that we are “one,” there is “no separation.” And “no separate parts.”

If one takes these statements too literally he could wind up believing that God has no parts whatsoever and after our awakening and return to heaven there will no such thing as any individual life or choice for all there will be is one life. You as an individual entity will no longer exist. What is left of you will be God all alone with no one else with which to share anything. If there are no parts there is only the One all alone.

One can get this idea if he goes by a few isolated passages, but the Course as a whole des not support it. The first thing we need to clear up is what the Course means when it speaks of oneness.

It gives us a clue in the first passage we quoted. Here it is again:

“Father and Son and Holy Spirit are as One, as all your brothers join as one in truth. ” T-25.I.5

Here it tells us that oneness is created by joining “as one in truth. ”

This joining together of parts to maintain oneness is emphasized a number of times in the Course. Here is a good example:

“In the holy meeting place are joined the Father and His creations, and the creations of His Son with Them together. There is one link that joins Them all together, holding Them in the oneness out of which creation happens.” T-14.VIII.4

A key phrase is that “There is one link that joins Them all together.”

Then we have passages like this that seem to support oneness with no parts:

What is the same can not be different, and what is one can not have separate parts. T-25.I.7

Some will quote this and say, “See, in heaven there will be just one life with no parts.”

But notice that the verse does not say “no parts” but no “separate parts.” When the many parts of God’s creation are joined together into “one link” then they are no longer separate parts, but united parts of one life.

Think of a puzzle with the pieces separated in a box. You look at one piece and it is not joined to anything and only confusion would result by trying to see the whole picture from it. But then if one joins the pieces together he sees a completed picture. The pieces are no longer separated parts, but joined into a union that creates the one picture.

Similarly in heaven all lives are joined together so they are not separate but create the one life. If there are missing pieces the life of God itself is affected:

“God is lonely without His Sons, and they are lonely without Him.” T-2.III.5

The oneness of heaven can be manifest by a oneness through God’s teachers here on earth:

“God’s teachers appear to be many, for that is what is the world’s need. Yet being joined in one purpose, and one they share with God, how could they be separate from each other? What does it matter if they then appear in many forms? Their minds are one; their joining is complete. And God works through them now as one, for that is what they are.” M-12.2

These teachers are individual entities living on earth yet they are not separate from each other because they are joined together since “their minds are one.”

This joining or linking together through sharing the one mind of God is what the oneness of ACIM is all about. It is not telling us that God or the Son is all alone with no parts.

For one thing we are told that there are four categories of the parts of the One God in heaven.

The first is the creator who is called the Father. The second is the Son who was created by the Father.

I and my Father are one, but there are two parts to the statement in recognition that the Father is greater. T-1.II.4

We are told that the Son was “created only to create” T-14.I.4 and though the Father and Son are linked as one there is a difference in that “the Father is greater.”

Then we have a third entity called the Holy Spirit who was created to fill a need that neither the Father or Son could do:

“He came into being with the separation as a protection, inspiring the Atonement principle at the same time. Before that there was no need for healing, for no one was comfortless. ” T-5.I.5

Then we have the fourth major part of the one united life in heaven which are the angels:

“You (the Son) were created ABOVE the angels because your role involves creation as well as protection. You who are in the image of the Father need bow only to HIM, before whom I kneel with you.” UR T 1 B 30y

Whereas the Son was created to create, the Holy Spirit to atone, the angels were created to protect. Interestingly, the mission of the Son is said to be “above” that of the angels.

So the Course tells us that in heaven there are four categories of lives with four different purposes yet united as one, all sharing the same mind of God. They are not separate parts, but united parts joined together by the one mind.

The next point of confusion comes over the life of the Son. All students agree that the Course clearly tells us that the one Son of God is us, but that is as far as the unity goes. Because the Course says several times that God has only one Son they literally interpret this to mean that there are no parts and one entity who is the Son is all there is. In other words, when they awaken and find themselves in heaven they will discover that this whole world was a dream of the one Son with no parts. None of the people in the dream existed in any fashion.

It is amazing that this belief has gotten as much traction as it has since the Course gives us quite a few details of what it means by the “one Son.”

Here is just one example of many that could be cited:

“It should especially be noted that God has only one son. If all His creations are His Sons, every one must be an integral part of the whole Sonship. The Sonship in its Oneness transcends the sum of its parts. However, this is obscured as long as any of its parts is missing. That is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all the parts of the Sonship have returned.” T-2.VII.6

Notice that the word “part” is used four times in this short statement about the “one son.” Each individual, such as you and I, are “an integral part of the whole Sonship,” and if “any of its parts is missing” the transcendent oneness is “obscured.”

One of the best illustrations that there are parts or groups in the Sonship is the account of the initial separation as follows:

“The Atonement actually began long before the crucifixion. Many Souls offered their efforts on behalf of the separated ones, but they could not withstand the strength of the attack and had to be brought back. Angels came, too, but their protection did not suffice because the separated ones were not interested in peace.” UR T 2 B 43

Here is a description of the beginning of the journey of the Prodigal Son (or separation) and the interplay of three groups. The first were the Sons (a part of the Sonship) called the “separated ones” who began the journey into the world of dreams and illusion. These are the Prodigal Son in the parable.

The second was another group of Sons, or “many souls” who did not separate and tried to prevent the separation. These are represented in the parable by the faithful son who remained with the Father.

Not mentioned in the parable, but in the Course were angels who tried to help “but their protection did not suffice.”

Thus was oneness disturbed and heaven “shattered” for a time (See T-18.I.12)

This shattering caused this situation:

“The Sonship in its Oneness DOES transcend the sum of its parts. However, it loses this special state as long as any of its parts are missing. This is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved UNTIL all of the individual parts of the Sonship have returned. Only then, in the true sense, can the meaning of wholeness be understood.” UR T 2 E 52

This account clearly tells us that the Son consists of not just one part, but all the individual lives are a part with free will. We can use that will to unite with the One Life of God or we can create the illusion of going against it as happened in the separation.

A point of confusion and division occurs among students as they read certain passages that sound like we are in the midst of the separation and need to be saved, but then there are others that make it sound like we never left home, nothing has happened and nothing needs done. These two descriptions sound like they cannot both be true. Here is a passage that sheds some light.

“Therefore, it is the tiny part of yourself, the little thought that seems split off and separate, the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God’s keeping, and needs no guide… This is the little part you think you stole from Heaven. Give it back to Heaven.” T-18.IX.1

“Any part of the Sonship can believe in error or incompleteness if he so chooses.” T-2.VII.6

So the answer to the conundrum is that there are two parts to ourselves. The first is that “tiny part” of ourselves that split off. That is you as you seem to exist in a body in this world. Then there is the “rest (that) is fully in God’s keeping.” This is the real part of yourself that is still linked to the one life of the Sonship in heaven. This is sometimes called your “other self” as in this text:

“There is another vision and another Voice in which your freedom lies, awaiting but your choice. And if you place your faith in Them, you will perceive another self in you. This other self sees miracles as natural.” T-21.V.3

Concerning this “other self” it says:

“You are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of spirit.” T-4.I.8

That little part of the Sonship that “you stole from Heaven” is “irreplaceable”:

“You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part in it, and while you leave your part of it empty your eternal place merely waits for your return.” T-9.VIII.10

Sounds like the part that is you is pretty important for “without you there would be an empty place in God’s Mind.” T-11.I.2-3

Another point that produces some confusion are the Course’s statements about the part and the whole such as this one:

“The idea of part-whole relationships has meaning only at the level of perception, where change is possible. Otherwise, there is no difference between the part and whole.” T-8.VIII.1

“The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you. “T-16.II.3

Those who believe in no individual parts will say that this proves their point. ACIM talks about parts but the parts and the whole are the same meaning that the talk of parts is symbolic as there is only one life with no parts. There only seems like there is more than one part in our dream world. When we wake up there will be no parts.

Speaking of parts this thinking is another example where the whole rather than the part of the teaching needs to be considered. We have already given ample evidence from the Course itself that there are four major parts or divisions in heaven itself and that the Son has parts. When the Course speaks of the parts containing the whole it is not saying there are no parts, but describing the parts similar to how we would a hologram.

A hologram can appear as one image or be divided into many. When divided the parts contain the information of the whole so they can duplicate the image of the whole. It is interesting that the investigation into holograms was very elementary when ACIM was received and Helen Schucman

most likely had never heard of one, yet the Course talks about God and its parts as if they correspond to a hologram.

The Course also says this:

“The whole does define the part, but the part does not define the whole. “T-8.VIII.1

That is an amazing description of how the initial hologram relates to its parts. The whole affects all the parts but the part does not affect the whole. Change the image of the initial hologram and all the parts change, but anything you do to the part does not affect change to the whole.

ACIM tells us that God extends or expands His creations and all creation shares in the extension, but the part cannot create itself and affect the whole.

Students with a knowledge of holograms are therefore quite impressed with the correspondence in ACIM of God and Its creations with holographic science since the Course was written before the general public knew what a hologram was.

So, just as a hologram can have many parts with each part containing the whole so can the many extensions of the one Son do the same

There are, however, two ingredients of heaven that are one with no parts that link the Sons of God so all the parts function as one life. The first is the mind of God and the second is the Spirit.

ACIM tells us the Spirit is perfected so even the illusion of division with it is impossible. It is not even aware of our world but only has contact with us through the Holy Spirit which was created for that purpose.

The mind represents the creative function of God and He has shared it with us. With the separation the one mind had the illusion of being split into the higher and lower with the higher being linked to Spirit and the lower to the ego. But the split only happened in the illusion of the dream but all powers of the mind whether in or out of the dream come from the one mind.

You could compare Spirit and mind to space that contains our universe. When we send a rocket into space or observe stars in it through a telescope we do not speak of spaces plural but always space singular.

Why?

Because there is just one space, but that one contains everything, trillions of parts.

Similarly, the mind and Spirit from God are one, singular, yet Spirit contains everything and mind links everything.

You are a Son of God, a part in the divine space or Spirit of God, yet when in your right mind you are the life of the whole as if you are the whole.

We “are of one mind and spirit with Him. (God)” T-5.VII.3

The paramount fact that “God is love” (T-9.I.9) tells us that there are many parts to the one life we call God. For love to exist there has to be more than one. After all, we are told that “love is the same as union.” T-16.V.3 Union can only happen when there is more than one part.

To be united with His Sons is very important to God for it is written that “God is lonely without His Sons, and they are lonely without Him.” T-2.III.5

Because God is love He desires to be united with His Sons and for this reason seeks the end of the separation.

The very function of love tells us that many parts are involved:

“For it is the function of love to unite all things unto itself, and to hold all things together by extending its wholeness.” T-12.VIII.7

Love “holds the universe together in its meaning.” T-15.XI.6

This tells us that love is a power that can “hold all things together” and holds the actual “universe together.”

We can see that this teaching on love is true when we examine how it plays out in our lives. Think of a time that you fell in love. What was foremost in your mind? There was nothing you wanted more than to be with that person and be as close and intimate as possible.

Because God is love He desires to pull all of His Sons toward a great center where they all share their essence.

This could not happen if God were all alone. If this were the case love could not exist because there would be no sharing or union.

As it is we stand “before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. Not separate from Him Who is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our one Self.” W-pI.187.10

Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE,       Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE, Twenty HERE

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 20

Reason and the Mysteries

There is some division among ACIM students over the use of mind, logic and reason in pursuing the objectives of the Course. Some think we should just study it and accept what it seems to say without question, whereas others see many items that seem to warrant greater understanding and ask questions to seek more depth in the meaning.

Actually, this type of division is very natural and is found to some degree in every group and organization as one side represents mind and the other emotion and the heart. Those polarized in mind are full of questions and are always seeking greater understanding, whereas those centered in emotion just like to accept things at face value and move on.

We are all influenced by both emotion and mind, but each individual tends to settle in one direction or the other. The mature person will balance the two, but many focus so much on one side that they miss the benefits of the other.

For instance, some who are centered in emotion will love the Course teachings on love, peace and awakening, and dismiss the idea of using mind and reason to understand the mysteries and nuances of the Course.

The question then arises as to whether it is of value to pursue the Course using mind, asking questions and using reason to see beyond what is written in black and white.

I submit that the use of mind in succeeding at understanding the Course is invaluable and will speed the student toward eventual graduation from the it. The understanding of any true piece of the mystery of existence can only help the student, not hinder.

The use of mind and reason is accepted by the Course itself.

“What reason points to you can see, because the witnesses on its behalf are clear. Only the totally insane can disregard them, and you have gone past this. Reason is a means that serves the Holy Spirit’s purpose in its own right.” T-21.V.7

Reason takes us to the source of ideas:

“reason sees the source of an idea as what will make it either true or false.” T-22.II.5

Reason is an important attribute of the higher part of our minds that can aid in our journey back home:

“The part of mind where reason lies was dedicated, by your will in union with your Father’s, to the undoing of insanity. Here was the Holy Spirit’s purpose accepted and accomplished, both at once. Reason is alien to insanity, and those who use it have gained a means which cannot be applied to sin. Knowledge is far beyond attainment of any kind. But reason can serve to open doors you closed against it. T-21.V.9

Here it calls this higher mind our “other self.”

“Reason lies in the other self you have cut off from your awareness.” T-21.V.4

The ego fights against the power of reason:

“Consider what the ego wants defenses for. Always to justify what goes against the truth, flies in the face of reason and makes no sense.” T-22.V.2

The ego is “devoid of reason” and doesn’t ask questions related to it:

“How can the segment of the mind devoid of reason understand what reason is, or grasp the information it would give? All sorts of questions may arise in it, but if the basic question stems from reason, it will not ask it.” T-21.V.4

Reason is a key ingredient in the undoing of the ego:

“The introduction of reason into the ego’s thought system is the beginning of its undoing, for reason and the ego are contradictory. Nor is it possible for them to coexist in your awareness. For reason’s goal is to make plain, and therefore obvious. You can see reason. This is not a play on words… reason sees through errors,” T-22.III.1

The Course gives this advice:

“Listen to Him Who speaks with reason, and brings your reason into line with His.” T-21.VI.8

“Reason cannot see sin but can see errors, and leads to their correction. It does not value them, but their correction.” T-21.VI.1

“You do not leave insanity by going somewhere else. You leave it simply by accepting reason where madness was. Madness and reason see the same things, but it is certain that they look upon them differently.” T-21.VI.3

Overall, the Course tells us that we gain the ability to transcend the erroneous thinking of the ego and gain the ability of pure reason through the Holy Spirit, which links us with higher mind, for reason is a quality of the mind.

Unfortunately, many spiritual seekers dismiss the mind as something that needs to be ignored. Many teachers of meditation say that we should be “mindless” and follow the script of the ego mentioned in the Course:

“the ego believes that mind is dangerous, and that to make mindless is to heal. But to make mindless is impossible, since it would mean to make nothing out of what God created.” T-8.IX.6

They may have a point when talking about the lower mind used by the ego, but the higher or real Mind “never sleeps.”

“The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. It is hard to recognize that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains.” T-2.VI.9

If we wish to correct the errors of separation and awaken to true reality, the mind is essential:

“It is essential to remember that only the mind can create, and that correction belongs at the thought level. ” T-2.V.1

So, how important is mind?

“If I did not think I would not exist, because life is thought.” W-pI.54.2

Then the ultimate mind is from God:

Father, Your Mind created all that is, Your Spirit entered into it, Your Love gave life to it.” W-pII.263.1

When we as humans use reason, mind and thought we become seekers and ask questions, yet many in the various spiritual traditions discourage such things. A popular Christian bumper sticker a while back read: “I found it!” This was a declaration that they had found the truth and there were no more questions and nothing more to seek.

Indeed, some religions excommunicate their members when they ask too many questions.

Since there is no organized body or authorized theology with ACIM, there is nothing to get expelled from, but there are times that seeking, reasoning and questioning does draw some criticism. Such a person is sometimes accused of being in the ego, insinuating that if he were not controlled by the ego he would not be delving into anything not accepted by the common thoughtform.

So let us look at the only real authority on the Course, which is the Course itself, and see what it says about the matter. Does it approve of seeking and asking questions?

First, it tells us who doesn’t approve – the ego:

“Its dictates, then, can be summed up simply as: “Seek and do not find.” This is the one promise the ego holds out to you, and the one promise it will keep.” T-12.IV.1

It repeats this idea several times. Here is one more:

“the ego’s basic doctrine, “Seek but do not find.” W-pI.71.4

The ego does not want you to seek and find because “The ego cannot afford to know anything.” T-7.VI.4

“true perception, a state of clarity which the ego, fearful of being judged truly, MUST avoid.” UR T 4 F 13

The Course is quite encouraging about asking questions and using the Holy Spirit to receive and verify answers:

“In all these diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, “What for?” This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything” T-4.V.6 The ego does not know what a real question is, although it asks an endless number” T-8.IX.1A Voice(God) will answer every question you ask, and a vision will correct the perception of everything you see.” T-12.VIII.4

As far as seeking goes, the Course speaks very positively about it:

“To seek and not to find is hardly joyous. Is this the promise you would keep? The Holy Spirit offers you another promise, and one that will lead to joy. For His promise is always, “Seek and you will find,” and under His guidance you cannot be defeated. His is the journey to accomplishment, and the goal He sets before you He will give you.” T-12.IV.4

“It is impossible that anyone could seek it (the truth) truly, and would not succeed.” W-pI.107.6

It is not the Holy Spirit that discourages questions. Instead, the Course says this:

“The enemies of love do not want questions: With love as enemy must cruelty become a god, and gods demand that those who worship them obey their dictates and refuse to question them. Harsh punishment is meted out relentlessly to those who ask if the demands are sensible or even sane.” W-pI.170.6

It is recommended that we ask sincere and meaningful questions:

“A pseudo-question has no answer. It dictates the answer even as it asks… An honest question is a learning tool that asks for something that you do not know. It does not set conditions for response, but merely asks what the response should be. But no one in a conflict state is free to ask this question,” T-27.IV.5

“‘Seek and ye shall find’ does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize. Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. The goal must be formulated clearly and kept in mind. Learning and wanting to learn are inseparable.” T-4.V.5.

“Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking? Thus you now can ask a question that makes sense, and so the answer will make sense as well.” T-30.I.12

Many more positive references could be supplied, showing that ACIM approves of seeking and asking questions. Since this is the case, why would some discourage such things as being motivated by the ego?

There are several statements that seem to give ammunition to this idea. Here is one:

“The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts. The appreciation of wholeness comes only through acceptance.” T-11.V.13

From this some students conclude that seeking, asking questions and analysis are related to the ego and should be avoided. Instead, we should just go with the flow and accept.

But accept what?

One can accept truth as well as error, and we certainly do not want to be on the side of the ego accepting error as truth.

“the ego proceeds to the next step in its thought system: Error is real and truth is error.” T-11.V.14

Instead of taking the passage concerning analysis in isolation, we need to examine the rest of the text which reveals the big picture. It continues:

“for to analyze means to break down or to separate out. The attempt to understand totality by breaking it down is clearly the characteristically contradictory approach of the ego to everything. The ego believes that power, understanding and truth lie in separation, and to establish this belief it must attack. Unaware that the belief cannot be established, and obsessed with the conviction that separation is salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives by breaking it into small, disconnected parts, without meaningful relationships and therefore without meaning. The ego will always substitute chaos for meaning, for if separation is salvation, harmony is threat.” T-11.V.13

Far from reinforcing the idea that we should just blindly accept and not use our minds, these important words inform us as to the deceptive tactics of the ego in creating chaos.

It is a master at creating chaos because “The ego’s logic is as impeccable as that of the Holy Spirit, because your mind has the means at its disposal to side with Heaven or earth, as it elects. But again, remember that both are in you. T-5.V.1

Yes, the ego is great at arguing, but it has a major flaw in its conclusions:

“You may have carried the ego’s reasoning to its logical conclusion, which is total confusion about everything.” T-7.X.1

Instead of telling us that all use of mind, analysis and questioning are wrong, the passage under consideration reveals the mystery behind the master tactic of the ego to create chaos and confusion so that the truth will not be realized. And what is this tactic?

It is “to analyze means to break down or to separate out.”

“But isn’t that a good approach?” one may ask. Sometimes you have to see the separate parts of a thing to understand the whole.

True but this has nothing to do with the ego’s reasoning. It doesn’t break down and analyze to find the truth but instead is “obsessed with the conviction that separation is salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives by breaking it into small, disconnected parts, without meaningful relationships and therefore without meaning.” T-11.V.13

The sincere seeker of truth may brake the whole into its parts and put them together again to enrich the understanding, but not the ego. It breaks the whole into parts and keeps them in separation. Looking only at the separate parts creates chaos and confusion. The advantage of dealing with the parts is that the ego can substitute truth for error and direct the needed parts to proving error is truth.

Let us pick a controversial topic today, such as global warming/climate change and see how the ego deals with it. The first thing to realize is that the ego uses the same tactics on both sides of something controversial like this. It doesn’t care if you are on the right or the left. It only cares that you will not see the whole picture and support confusion.

When you see people arguing on either side of this issue do you ever see them attempting to paint a picture of the whole problem and a wholeness solution?

Rarely.

Instead, what we see are those breaking the argument down to selective parts and using the part as proof of the whole.

Here’s an example. In the summer there is a particularly hot spell in your part of the world, though temperatures may be quite normal in other parts. Those representing the ego will say this is proof that we are having global warming and we must act.

Then when winter comes and there is a cold spell, the other side will say, “Doesn’t look like the earth is warming to me.”

Another example:

We have a period where there are more serious hurricanes than normal. One side will proclaim they are due to global warming and must act.

Then we have a period where there are fewer hurricanes than normal and the other side will say this is proof there is no problem.

Arguing using only a piece of the whole will not give us the whole truth, but lead to error and confusion instead. The only way to get to the truth of this or any other controversy is to look at the whole picture with all of the parts put together. Only then can two see as one and be in alignment with the Holy Spirit which does see the whole.

The problem is that “The ability to see a logical outcome depends on the willingness to see it.” T-7.X.2 Too many are just not willing to see the whole rather than the isolated part that supports their bias.

We must remember that all things were created by the mind of God and we share that mind. To not use that mind with its powers of reason is to neglect who we are.

“Alone we can do nothing, but together our minds fuse into something whose power is far beyond the power of its separate parts. By not being separate, the Mind of God is established in ours and as ours. This Mind is invincible because it is undivided.” T-8.V.1

We’ll end this chapter with a passage that presents a wonderful ideal to which students can aspire:

“Yet I do want to share my mind with you because we are of one Mind, and that Mind is ours. See only this Mind everywhere, because only this is everywhere and in everything. It is everything because it encompasses all things within itself. Blessed are you who perceive only this, because you perceive only what is true.” T-7.V.10

Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE,  Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 19

The Mystery of Salvation

Some may wonder about the title of this chapter, thinking that the meaning of salvation is pretty cut and dry. We achieve salvation and go to heaven, right? That seems to be a Course teaching that is in harmony with orthodox Christianity with not a lot of mystery behind it.

As with many concepts presented in ACIM there is always more depth than meets the eye. Though it often uses the word as if speaking in a general sense one must examine the overall presentation to get a clear picture.

For starters ACIM makes this statement which runs quite contrary to the orthodox view:

“Your Self does not need salvation, but your mind needs to learn what salvation is. You are not saved from anything, but you are saved for glory. T-11.IV.1

To obtain salvation then one must be saved from something but the Course says we “are not saved from anything.” If this is so then why does it speak of salvation hundreds of times? If there is nothing to be saved from why even bring the subject up?

Actually, there is something to be saved from and that something is nothing, or perhaps we should say NO THING. Because we are saved from nothing the Course tells us we are not saved from anything.

This nothing the Course calls illusions or the dream within which we seem to find ourselves.

“What is there to be saved from except illusions? And what are all illusions except false ideas about myself?” W-pI.58.3

This illustrates just one of many examples where the reader needs to get a whole picture of what the Course is saying, especially where illusion and true reality are at play, for it often dismisses everything in the dream of separation as if it did not happen. But keep in mind that the comparison is to a dream and the correspondence is enlightening.

When you dream at night and then wake up you may say to yourself, “that was quite a dream, but it never happened.”

Yes it is true the dream did not happen in your waking reality, but that doesn’t mean it did not happen within the totality of reality. After all, you did actually have a dream and did have experiences within it. So, from another way of looking at it the dream did happen. Whether or not you discuss the dream as a real event depends on your reference point.

If the Course’s reference point is heaven then nothing happens anywhere in time and space. But if the reference point includes time and space then lots of things are happening.

So when the Course tells us that we “are not saved from anything.” It speaks from a reference point of eternity in heaven. But then when it turns around and speaks many times of things we need to be saved from it speaks from a reference that includes the dream of time and space.

This shifting in the Course of the reference point from eternity only to eternity plus time and space produces confusion in students and causes many to come up with some odd interpretations on various subjects.

Therefore, when reading about salvation, or any other subject, we must look at the context to see where the reference point lies. If it is heaven only then there is no need for salvation and such a concept is not needed; but if time and space are included then we have a situation where the Sons of God are trapped in the illusion of the dream state and definitely need to be saved. In this reference the Course asks:

“The question is always twofold; first, what is to be saved? And second, how can it be saved?” T-12.III.2

We have partially answered that question with the statement from the Course about the main thing with which salvation is concerned and that is illusion. (W-pI.58.3) We are caught up in the great dream and need to be awakened as noted by God Himself who the Course quotes as saying: “My children sleep and must be awakened.” T-6.V.1

The illusion is quite complex and there are many ingredients involved from which we must be saved before we can awaken. Overall there are four main things that ACIM tells us from which we need to be saved or delivered so awakening can happen.

The first and prime problem is that we must be saved from our false belief about ourselves. While in the illusion we see ourselves as powerless imperfect beings who are at the mercy of outer events which are often beyond our power with which to deal. The Son sees himself as “the victim of this ‘something else,’ a thing outside himself, for which he has no reason to be held responsible.” T-27.VII.1

To escape being a victim the student must begin to question who he is:

“There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this: ‘I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.’ Yet in this learning is salvation born. And What you are will tell you of Itself.” T-31.V.17

To this the Course adds: “Again, how simple is salvation! It is merely a statement of your true Identity.” W-pI.77.1 The student must realize: “I am not the victim of the world I see.” W-pI.31

The Course makes it clear that when our true identify is realized that we are not a victim but share in the very powers of our Father God.

God “created you out of Himself, but still within Him.” T-14.IV.4 You are to “accept your rightful place as co-creator of the universe.” W-pI.152.8 “all His extensions are like Him.” T-12.IV.6

Then we have this powerful statement concerning those who realize their true identity:

“There is now no limit on his power, because it is the power of God. So has his name become the Name of God, for he no longer sees himself as separate from Him. (God)” M-23.2

So we have all this power, but are asleep and under the illusion that we have no power. What are we to do to manifest our true self and salvation?

“Let us look closer at the whole illusion that what you made has power to enslave its maker. “ T-22.II.9

Thus the Course acknowledges that the illusion does appear to enslave us. Since our very salvation depends on us waking up to our true reality the question that needs to be addressed is what stands in our way. There are three main problems the seeker must solve. Let us examine them.

The Problem of Forgiveness

Perhaps the most discussed barrier between separated Sons of Gods and true reality deals with forgiveness.

The Course gives a somewhat different slant on forgiveness than does orthodox theology. In the standard teaching the one who forgives is seen as a person of superior virtue who overlooks the sins of an inferior person who usually doesn’t deserve it. They see Jesus on the cross as asking to forgive his persecutors but thinking they they really deserved to burn in hell.

Concerning this wrong-headed idea of forgiveness the Course speaks of the “better person” who “deigns to stoop to save a “baser” one from what he truly is. Forgiveness here rests on an attitude of gracious lordliness so far from love that arrogance could never be dislodged. Who can forgive and yet despise? And who can tell another he is steeped in sin, and yet perceive him as the Son of God? Who makes a slave to teach what freedom is? There is no union here, but only grief. This is not really mercy. This is death. … All forms forgiveness takes that do not lead away from anger, condemnation and comparisons of every kind are death.” S-2.II.2&8

“Unjustified forgiveness is attack. And this is all the world can ever give. It pardons “sinners” sometimes, but remains aware that they have sinned. And so they do not merit the forgiveness that it gives.” T-30.VI.3

Therefore, if Jesus had the ACIM attitude of forgiveness when on the cross he had no thoughts of comparing himself to his enemies and didn’t see himself as superior. He would not have been angry or had the spirit of condemnation at all where the standard believer trying to forgive may be thinking: “I’ll forgive you SOBs, but you don’t deserve it.”

To this attitude the Course asks: “Who can forgive and yet despise?”

The Course presents us with a radical standard for us to attain. It says:

“Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven.” W-pII.1.1

To this a skeptic may say: If a thief steals $100 from me then I am dealing with something that did happen. Aren’t I in denial if I say it did not?”

The answer is that you do not deny anything that has happened from your apparent past but the key is to see the past in the light of eternal reality. It says this:

“Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist.” T-15.I.8

The Course tells us the present is the only time there is and the past only exists as a memory in our minds and is not real from a higher angle of vision.

In other words, if you got hit on the head and lost your memory then it would be as if the thief had never stolen the $100. For you the present would be all the time there is.

This is the state of mind with which forgiveness must be approached.

We do not deny that in the universe of time and space that we have all made mistakes but the disciple realizes that all such mistakes are in the past and only have reality if the mind decides to give it to them. Instead, the mind can dismiss the past and enter into the eternal Now where salvation leads us. No wonder the Course tells us

“Salvation and forgiveness are the same.” W-pI.99.1 “Forgiveness is release from all illusions.” T-24.III.1

“He will teach you to remember that forgiveness is not loss, but your salvation. And that in complete forgiveness, in which you recognize that there is nothing to forgive, you are absolved completely.” T-15.VIII.1

So this attitude of mind creates a tremendous benefit for the seeker. He or she is “absolved completely” and enters a state of innocence as well as “release from all illusions.”

Now some may say there are some offenses just too great to forgive. What if someone raped your sister or killed your parents. You couldn’t just dismiss such things could you?

It would be difficult but when the correct attitude of mind is attained it can be done as was demonstrated by Jesus. His spiritual brothers who were supposed to represent kindness and love crucified him. Where others would have cursed them with their dying breaths Jesus asked God to forgive them. He thus gave us an ultimate example to follow.

If the student can realize one important concept around forgiveness all will come into perspective and make universal forgiveness much easier. It is this: The greater the offense is the greater will be your opportunity to advance toward liberation. Forgiving the thief for stealing the $100 may be a challenge, but most could do it without suffering much sense of loss. On the other hand, forgiving something big like rape or murder takes a lot more presence of mind but offers a much greater opportunity for moving forward toward salvation or backward into greater illusion.

If one suffers a great offense and forgives as if it did not happen then he has demonstrated his invulnerability which the illusion normally hides. Thus the great offense offers a great opportunity.

On the other hand, if he suffers a great offense and allows it to consume him for the rest of his life he is demonstrating his own perceived vulnerability and enters deeper into the illusion making awakening more difficult than ever.

Therefore, while caught in the world of illusion the rule of thumb should be to see all offenses as past illusionary events that can be dismissed, as if they never happened.

I have found this “never happened” idea quite useful in my own life and when I treat offenses this way it removes their power to affect me in any negative way. It proves its validity by working out in harmlessness and peace through practical application in life.

The Course sums up the importance of forgiveness is this profound quote:

“Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest… Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. All illusions save this one must multiply a thousandfold. But this is where illusions end. Forgiveness is the end of dreams, because it is a dream of waking. It is not itself the truth. Yet does it point to where the truth must be, and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself. It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are One.” W-pI.198.2-3

The Problem of Grievances

Let us recap where we are with salvation. To obtain salvation we must see through the world of illusion to understand who we really are as Sons of God, but before this can be realized we must forgive all things that could disturb our peace. Just as a lack of forgiveness stands in the way of realizing our true selves we have several obstacles standing in the way of complete forgiveness.

The first is quite obvious which is merely a lack of motivation to forgive on the part of the student. The best cure for this is to make a serious attempt to practice it and witness how much peace iis attained by it.

However, there are other problems that confront those who are sincerely attempting to live the spiritual life. A master hurdle that must be neutralized is any grievance the seeker has.

We are told in lesson 68 that “Love holds no grievances.” One could also say that forgiveness holds no grievance as well. Then there is this:

“For every grievance is a block to sight, and as it lifts you see the Son of God where he has always been.” W-pI.78.3

The Course tells us clearly that a key to forgiveness is to see the Son of God or Christ in our brothers: “Christ stands before you, each time you look upon your brother.” T-25.V.2 “For as you see the Son you see yourself.”S-2.I.3

The lifting of grievances is essential to forgiveness and remembering who we really are:

“It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.” W-pI.68.3

The lifting of grievances is a key to releasing the light within us:

“your grievances are hiding the light of the world in you, everyone stands in darkness, and you beside him. But as the veil of your grievances is lifted, you are released with him.” W-pI.69.1

It is important to understand that grievances are a key ingredient to a counterfeit plan of salvation:

“The ego’s plan for salvation centers around holding grievances. It maintains that, if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved… Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, ‘If this were different, I would be saved.’” W-pI.71.2

“Holding grievances is the opposite of God’s plan for salvation.” W-pI.71.10

“By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness.” W-pI.86.3

Since a grievance is a powerful obstacle to forgiveness which in turn is a powerful obstacle to seeing our true reality it might be helpful to examine the problem more deeply. The Course makes this statement:

“Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.” W-pI.79

Many do not understand grievances and do not even acknowledge they have them so the first step is to understand them and learn how to dispel them.

A grievance is basically a negative feeling harbored toward another individual for saying or doing something that is seen as offensive or hurtful. The one offended sees the cause of the grievance as being the fault of another and not himself. The supposed solution is for the other guy to humbly apologize for the offense and to promise not to do it again.

The problem is that many do not take the correct action to solve the problem, the desired apology never comes and the grievance remains as a festering wound that continues to grow in strength often to the point of causing physical illness.

Just declaring you forgive the one who offended often does nothing for a part of you still wants to hear the words “I am sorry” and just can’t let the grievance go. What do you do?

ACIM says, “communication is salvation.” T-15.VII.11 And indeed it is. The one suffering the hurt feelings must communicate with the offender. Taking this step is often very difficult and may require a determined act of will, but this is where the solution lies and it is quite simple.

The one offended must approach the offended and merely explain to him or her what he did or said to hurt his feelings. In the best case scenario may go something like this:

Bill: When you said ABC it really hurt my feelings. It made me feel like I was a crazy man.”

Ted: Sorry about that. I was just joking around and didn’t mean any harm. I don’t think you are crazy at all.

In cases like this where the communication was made and accepted the grievance disappears instantly., This is one of the Miracles mentioned in ACIM.

Probably about half the grievances we experience are caused by innocent remarks that are interpreted too seriously. But then there are others more difficult to resolve. In another situation maybe Ted did know what he was doing and wanted to hurt Bill’s feelings. What does Bill do then?

The answer is the same. Communicate.

Even though Ted was intentionally hurtful there is a good chance his heart will be softened if Bill communicates his feelings sincerely. But even if he refuses to apologize or work things out Bill will have a chance to get the grievance off his chest. After he has done all he can to resolve the matter, if he is willing, he can then legitimately forgive and let it go. If he does this the miracle of peace will be his. On the other hand, if Ted continues in the attack mode he will have the negativity of the original grievance rest upon him. It will be as if the dark cloud of grievance was moved from Bill to Ted through the wrong-mindedness of himself.

Fortunately though with sincere and honest communication most grievances can be resolved and both parties can benefit and obtain peace.

Conclusion: To dispel the grievance honestly communicate your feelings followed by forgiveness on your part. Then move on as if nothing has happened.

The Problem of Guilt

The final major obstacle to our salvation is guilt and its negative power over the human spirit cannot be overstated as it stops the progression of many in their tracks.

ACIM says this:

“Guilt is always in your mind, which has condemned itself.” T-13.IX.6

Notice that it doesn’t say that God, the Holy Spirit or even angels have condemned us, but guilt comes from our own minds which condemn ourselves.

Why in the world would we create so much pain and distress for ourselves as guilt is able to produce? It all boils down to seeing ourselves as having sinned and in need of punishment:

“You can hold on to the past only through guilt. For guilt establishes that you will be punished for what you have done,” T-13.I.8

So why would we condemn ourselves when God does not and “The innocence of God is the true state of the mind of His Son. In this state your mind knows God”? T-3.I.8.          

The Course itself answers this question:

“You will not make decisions by yourself whatever you decide. For they are made with idols or with God. And you ask help of anti-Christ or Christ, and which you choose will join with you and tell you what to do. “ T-30.I.14

So whether you see yourself as guilty or guiltless is determined by whether your decisions are made through the influence of idols or God, which is like saying the Christ or the anti-Christ.

Indeed, deception by these idols, representing the anti-Christ are the source of guilt:

“There never was a time an idol brought you anything except the ‘gift’ of guilt. Not one was bought except at cost of pain, nor was it ever paid by you alone.” T-30.V.10

Since the idols, representing anti-Christ in this world, are the source of guilt it then behooves us to understand exactly what an idol is and how it is able to accomplish such a nefarious deception.

An idol is basically a substitute for God. In Bible times people made idols, such as the golden calf, and bowed down and worshipped them. The Course tells us this act is a great error:

“A sick god must be an idol, made in the image of what its maker thinks he is.” T-10.III.4

The question to be considered now is how does an idol bring “the gift of guilt” as taught in the Course? Perhaps an understanding of this is a key to the elimination of this major obstacle.

The main thing that produces guilt is the creation by our minds of a feeling that we have offended God or “sinned” against Him. To the contrary the Course teaches that we are in a dream state and nothing we do here is real enough to offend God.

If guilt does not come from sinning against God then where does it come from?

It comes from sinning against an idol, a substitute for God.

And where do we find such substitutes?

They are everywhere. Many there are who get in line to be your idol or voice of God from without rather than the true God which is contacted within.

In a religion or spiritual group the voice of the outer god comes to you from your religious authorities, scriptures or books. If such an outer voice speaks for God and you accept it then a violation of the word is interpreted as a sin against God which is followed by guilt.

If this outer voice from an accepted idol tells you to not drink coffee, dance or go to certain movies and you violate the order your mind will see it as a sin and you will eel guilt.

Another person who does not see such commands as coming from God will feel no guilt whatsoever.

The difference is that one is being controlled by an idol and the other is not – at least in this area of living.

Idols, or substitutes for the true inner voice of God, are everywhere and few escape the guilt they produce. Idols are found in not only religious leaders, but parents, family members, political and many other groups. Even hardened atheists accept idols that nurture their guilt.

But here’s the strange thing and the hidden cause of much residual guilt. Even the text of the most holy and accurate words on earth can become an idol that substitutes for God and can create guilt. Yes, even the words in the Bible or A Course in Miracles can become an idol that leads the mind away from the true God to a false outer one.

The problem is that words themselves are an imperfect substitute for the perfect word that comes from the Inner Voice. The Course says:

“Words can be helpful, particularly for the beginner, in helping concentration and facilitating the exclusion, or at least the control, of extraneous thoughts. Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols.” M-21.1

Then we have this from ACIM: “I have made every effort to use words that are almost impossible to distort, but it is always possible to twist symbols around if you wish.” T-3.I.3

So the greatest and purest words from the Bible, the Course or any sacred writing can be interpreted incorrectly and if the student accepts this error as infallible literal truth the may suffer guilt through the illusion produced.

This problem is obvious when we see that there are hundreds of religions who interpret the simple words of Jesus in the Bible hundreds of different ways. A Course in Miracles is very straightforward in what it attempts to say, but even here many students disagree with each other about its meaning. The truth is that taking in the black and white words as infallible words from Jesus or God creates a idol. To escape this control of an outer God the seeker must always rely on a connection with the inner God through the Holy Spirit as taught in the Course. Then the student can read any outer words and not be led into the trap of guilt. He will then be able to find more truth in the National Enquirer than one who is in illusion can find in the Bible.

To escape from guilt the seeker must first realize that the inner Voice never condemns, but the outer voice does. If he feels any guilt at all then this is a sign that he has been deluded into accepting the idol of an outer god who has falsely taken the place of the true inner One. What he must do next is to identify the outer God to whom he has given power to control him with guilt.

Sometimes this idol is obvious and other times it is not. If he is a member of an authoritarian religion then it is most likely that it is the religious authorities and teachers who have taught him how he is to feel guilty.

On the other hand, there are those who have tried to leave an orthodox religion behind and think they are free, but are not. The authoritative decrees still echo in their minds and have power to produce guilt.

The for some it is more subtle still. An infallible acceptance of scripture or even A Course in Miracles followed by distorted black and white interpretations can create a false God even out of the best of the world’s symbolic words. If the seeker gives the black and white words more authority than the Inner Voice or ignores the Inner in favor of the outer then the student will suffer guilt.

Accepting this in theory is not enough. The student must take action and identify the source of guilt and dismiss it. When guilt comes he can say to himself: “The true God does not condemn. Where then is this condemnation coming from? I will identify it and let it be as if it never was. I refuse to be deceived any longer.”

When the seeker truly finds the source of guilt, dismisses it, and commits to following the Holy Spirit within no matter what the outer voices seem to say then in that instant guilt will just evaporate and be no more. Never again will the pilgrim have to suffer from guilt.

To this some may ask if it is not necessary to have a certain amount of guilt. After all, do we not need a conscience to guide us on the right path?

This illusionary idea is a final hurdle that must be handled to neutralize guilt completely. Our true conscience does not condemn and has nothing to do with guilt. Guilt is produced by a supposed sin that is committed, but the word “sin” as was used in the days of Jesus was much different than how it is used to induce guilt today.

The word “sin” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word HAMARTANO which means “to miss the mark.” In other words, when the Greeks, 2000 years ago, shot at a target with an arrow and missed, they “sinned” (HAMARTANO) or missed the target. Is this how the word “sin” is used today? Verily no. When the religious person thinks of sin in our age, he generally thinks of being unclean and ridden with guilt.

When you shoot at a target and miss the bull’s eye, do you feel degraded and guilty to the extent that you feel paralyzed and even feel unworthy to shoot again? No, of course not. When you miss you may find it mildly irritating, but you generally can’t wait to have another try at it.

On the other hand, if the archer were to feel guilty he would not consider himself worthy to shoot again until he has paid some price for redemption.

We would laugh at any sportsman with this crazy idea yet that is how the ego manipulates us with guilt in our lives and most find it no laughing matter.

Guilt has been identified with sin by those who have sought to control the souls of men, but among the enlightened prophets it was not always so. To them sin was seen as a human error and salvation from sin is the path that leads to a correction of error. The prophets in times past did not seek to control through guilt, but sought to shift consciousness from error to perfection as they saw it.

The most prevalent sin today (using its true definition) is to be ensnared by guilt, for guilt is caused by, not your conscience, but by an error in human thinking.

It is indeed a great error to make a mistake and then condemn yourself through guilt to the extent that you become paralyzed and do nothing to fix the problem until you feel worthy again. When a mistake is made the seeker needs to jump right back in making an effort to correct himself.

Indeed, the idea of correction of error rather than sin is a threat to the ego:

“Any attempt to reinterpret sin as error is always indefensible to the ego. The idea of sin is wholly sacrosanct to its thought system, and quite unapproachable except with reverence and awe. It is the most “holy” concept in the ego’s system; lovely and powerful, wholly true, and necessarily protected with every defense at its disposal. For here lies its ‘best’ defense, which all the others serve. ” T-19.II.5

The diligent ACIM student will defy the ego and again see sin as mere error as was its interpretation in the days of Jesus.

Let us conclude then by itemizing the basic ingredients of salvation. First the Course makes salvation sound like the simplest thing in the world. All we need to do is recognize who we really are and act accordingly. Then there’s a big “but.” But there are three main roadblocks that take our vision away from our true reality. They must be mastered before this simple true vision can come. The student must forgive, let go of grievances and finally completely neutralize guilt and let it go back to the nothingness from whence it came.

When these steps are taken he is said to be saved from living in the illusion of who he is not rather than who he is.

Does this mean the journey is over and the seeker has entered heaven?

Not quite though it will seem like heaven by comparison as he has established a solid link with God through the Holy Spirit. But…

“Salvation stops just short of Heaven, for only perception needs salvation.” T-26.III.5

If salvation stops short of heaven then what is missing? Here is the answer:

Salvation is nothing more than “right-mindedness,” which is not the One-mindedness of the Holy Spirit, but which must be achieved before One-mindedness is restored.. T-4.II.10

So, salvation takes us to right-mindedness stopping short of the goal of one-mindedness which is the awareness that exists in eternity. The Course tells us what it means by right-mindedness:

“The term ‘right-mindedness’ is properly used as the correction for ‘wrong-mindedness,’ and applies to the state of mind that induces accurate perception.” T-3.IV.4

So we achieve salvation through accurate perception and the most important things to perceive accurately are forgiveness, grievances and guilt leading us to an understanding of who we are.

So, where does this salvation take us?

“How much do you want salvation? It will give you the real world, trembling with readiness to be given you.” T-17.II.7-8

“Salvation is a borderland (real world) where place and time and choice have meaning still, and yet it can be seen that they are temporary, out of place, and every choice has been already made.” T-26.III.3

So salvation is not the end of our journey but it does take us to the real world which is the final step before our final atonement and liberation.

“The real world still is but a dream. Except the figures have been changed. They are not seen as idols which betray. It is a dream in which no one is used to substitute for something else, nor interposed between the thoughts the mind conceives and what it sees.” T-29.IX.7

Arriving at the real world leads to the final step:

“When you perceive yourself without deceit, you will accept the real world in place of the false one you have made. And then your Father will lean down to you and take the last step for you, by raising you unto Himself.” T-11.VIII.15

Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE, Eighteen HERE

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