ACIM Conversations, Part 23

ACIM Conversations, Part 23
Steps to Awakening

Student: I’ve come across students who seem to think there are no steps to awakening. They seem to think there is just one leap and that is it. They quote these passages:

“What difference does the content of a dream make in reality? One either sleeps or wakens. There is nothing in between.” W-pI.140.2

“You cannot dream some dreams and wake from some, for you are either sleeping or awake.” T-29.IV.1

Teacher: And I suppose that those who use this quote think they are on the awake side.

Student: That seems to be the case.

Teacher: You might point out that the Course tells us that “It is impossible to see two worlds which have no overlap of any kind. Seek for the one; the other disappears. But one remains.” W-pI.130.5

Tell me my friend, which world are you seeing right now, the dream of earth or the formless and eternal heaven?

Student: I’d have to admit that I am seeing this world.

Teacher: And do your friends see the words you type, their electronic devices, their homes or do they see their heavenly abode?

Student: I know they see the words I type, for they answer me in kind.

Teacher: Then they are obviously seeing this world and if they are seeing this world, they cannot see the eternal world for the Course tells us we can see only one of them at the exclusion of the other.

Student: That is powerful reasoning, but I’m sure they will come up with some argument that they are seeing the true reality.

Teacher: Now let us examine those verses you quoted. They say that we are either asleep or awake which makes sense when we compare it to our sleep in this world. You cannot be asleep and awake at the same time. On the other hand, assuming there is no alarm clock do you wake up suddenly or is there a process?

Student: I usually wake up gradually over a period of ten minutes or so. Then, other times I drift in and out of sleep. But you’re right. I am either asleep or awake though the line may be a little blurred for a few seconds.

Teacher: Would you rather be awakened gently over a period of time or suddenly?

Student: I prefer a gentle awakening.

Teacher: God agrees with you and tells us the plan is to gently awaken us:

“How can you wake children in a more kindly way than by a gentle Voice that will not frighten them, but will merely remind them that the night is over and the light has come? You do not inform them that the nightmares that frightened them so badly are not real, because children believe in magic. You merely reassure them that they are safe now. Then you train them to recognize the difference between sleeping and waking, so they will understand they need not be afraid of dreams. And so when bad dreams come, they will themselves call on the light to dispel them.” T-6.V.2

Student: It says we will be trained “to recognize the difference between sleeping and waking.”

Teacher: Indeed, for it says of this problem that “The dreamer of a dream is not awake, but does not know he sleeps.” T-28.II.6 And how long do you think this training to tell the difference between being asleep and awake will last?

Student: Well, I’m kind of dense sometimes so I wouldn’t be surprised if God has been working on me for several lifetimes.

Teacher: Do you suppose there are other steps?

Student: I would guess that the answer is yes and you are going to tell me one.

Teacher: Good answer; let us give one mentioned by the Course:

“So fearful is the dream, so seeming real, he could not waken to reality without the sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear, unless a gentler dream preceded his awaking, and allowed his calmer mind to welcome, not to fear, the Voice that calls with love to waken him.” T-27.VII.13

What is another step mentioned in this quote?

Student: Dreams of terror will be replaced by more gentle dreams.

Teacher: Yes. Since fear is the big obstacle to waking up we are given more gentle dreams, or lifetimes so fear, is reduced.

Student: I’m not sure if my current lifetime is a gentle dream or not as I have certainly had my share of problems.

Teacher: And you are certainly not alone my friend. Overcoming fear is definitely one of the steps toward awakening and this is done in two stages as stated here:

“The escape from darkness involves two stages: First, the recognition that darkness cannot hide. This step usually entails fear. Second, the recognition that there is nothing you want to hide even if you could. This step brings escape from fear.” T-1.IV.1

 There are many steps that are taken that lead to awakening. Read this one:

Student: “The first step toward freedom involves a sorting out of the false from the true.” T-2.VIII.4

Teacher: This is obviously important for if you cannot sort out the false from the true you may wind up thinking you are awake when you are really asleep.

Student: It’s kind of funny when you think of it. If a guy thinks he is awake when he is really asleep then he will not take any steps to awaken.

Teacher: That’s why we need training to recognize whether we are asleep or awake.

Actually, the Course mentions many other steps to waking up such as learning to forgive, letting go of grievances, letting go of ego judgments, realizing our true nature and numerous others, but there is one major step we all must take. Do you recall what that is?

Student: That must be seeing the real world.

Teacher: Indeed, here are two references on that for you to read:

Student: “The awakening of His Son begins with his investment in the real world, and by this he will learn to re-invest in himself.” T-12.VI.4

“The real world is the symbol that the dream of sin and guilt is over, and God’s Son no longer sleeps.” W-pII.8.4

Teacher: The Course describes the seeing of the real world as an awakening, but it also says there is one more step after this. You might call it the step that transcends awakening.

“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.

Student: Then we will be back home with God fully awake

Teacher: Can you see now that the Course clearly teaches that there are numerous steps to the waking up process and entering the eternal world?

Student: Yes, and I can see that it is easy to get the wrong idea from the passage that says we are either asleep or awake. It’s not a matter of just snapping our fingers and being awake in heaven but there is a process that involves numerous steps that must be taken.

Teacher: And now that we realize that we are not fully awake what do we need to do?

Student: Find our next step and take it. I kinda feel bad for those students who think they are awake when they are still asleep, for they will not be looking for their next step, for they think they do not need it.

Teacher: That inertia happens in all spiritual belief systems. Let me end this discussion by emphasizing this important point mentioned earlier. An essential beginning step is “to recognize the difference between sleeping and waking.” T-6.V.2 If a student is asleep and thinks he is awake he could be trapped in illusion indefinitely.

Student: And that is a trap we want to avoid. Thank you for these conversations. They have been helpful.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

Copyright by J J Dewey

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, Twenty-Two HERE, Twenty-Three HERE, Twenty-Four HERE, Twenty-Five HERE, Twenty-Six HERE, Twenty-Seven  HERE, Twenty-Eight  HERE, Twenty-Nine HERE, Thirty HERE

ACIM Conversations, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part  16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25

Index for Original Archives

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Easy Access to All the Writings

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The Love Potion, Chapter 15

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By  Ted Dewey

Chapter 15

It was nine o’clock in the morning. Cliff Harris, was sitting at his desk in the trailer. A big loose-leaf book was in front of him. In this one was a record of all the cars that were bought and sold as well as the make, model and serial number of everything on hand.

There was four of them out there in the lot that he hadn’t got around to changing yet. Cars that, he had sold, pocketed the profit, then replaced with another which he bought wholesale.

Yes, Cliff was doing alright, and he had quite a bundle put away. Those Bishop playboy twins were just too trusting.

Not counting those four cars which he had taken the profit for himself, the lot had about broken even this last month. Joe had called and said they might be over in a few days, He had better get these books straightened out.

A familiar car pulled up in front and stopped; it was Bill and Joe. There were two women with them. He had never seen them before. The four people got out and looked around. The two women got into the front seat and closed the door. Bill and Joe came to the door

Cliff opened it and greeted them with a big smile. “Come in boys, it is sure good to see you. Wasn’t expecting you so early in the morning. In fact, I didn’t even know you were back.”

“Well, how goes the business?” Bill asked.

Cliff glanced down at the loose-leaf folder in front of him. “I was just catching up on the bookkeeping. For a change, I think we are going, to show a profit.”

“How much of a profit?” Joe asked.

Cliff shook his head and waved his hands around. “Well, you know, maybe not big, but a profit. Times have been tough, you know.”

Bill and Joe had made up their mind. And there was nothing that this man could say, would change them. “How much?” Bill asked.

“I was just catching up on the books Got a little behind.You know how it is. You know.” Cliff had a way of using the expression, you know, whenever anyone tried to pin him down for an answer.

Joe spoke up. “We are closing the place, Cliff and going out of the automobile? business entirely.”

Cliff’s face was pale, “When?”

“As of right now.” Bill walked over to the door and waved at the women in the car. “Come on In! We brought along a C.P.A. and her assistant. They will go through the books and take a complete Inventory.” Joe’s voice had a positive ring.

The two women stepped through the doorway. Bill motioned them to a chair. “Sit down please, we will get started in a minute or so.”

Cliff looked the women over. There was some doubt in his mind. Neither of them looked like any C.P.A. he had ever seen. Maybe the Bishops were bluffing or just plain firing him.

“And which one of you is the C.P.A?” he asked.

Genie drew a white card from her purse. On it was her picture, name and business address. She handed one to Harris. “Here’s my card. Would you like to see my license?”

Cliff stared at the card for a moment, and his heart sank inside him. He was trapped Like a spider caught in his own web!

He cursed himself. Why hadn’t he changed those1 titles before! He had waited until the last minute, and now he was trapped! The first thing they would check, would be the cars and the serial numbers! When they found the cars that didn’t match the ones in the books, they would dig deeper. Probably go back over a period of several months or even years!

Cliff began to sweat. He had gotten careless, and now he could end up in San Quinton! He must do something and do it fast! He had quite a sum of money stashed away. “And what are you going to do with all the cars?” he asked.

Bill answered. “Sell them, of course. We’ll get rid if every one, and take no trade-ins. Either that or go to the auction.”

Cliff’s nimble mind was working fast. The thoughts of spending years behind the bars, terrified him. He must find a way out! At least he would try!

He forced a smile. “Maybe I could buy you out. My uncle John kicked the bucket while you were gone.” he lied. “He remembered me in his will.”

Joe frowned. “I didn’t know you had an uncle John.”

“He lived over in Phoenix and was my mother’s brother.”

“How much money did he leave you?” Bill asked.

“Quite a bundle. I haven’t got It all yet, but I think I can raise enough if the price is right. What do you want for the works? Everything!” The Bishop brothers exchanged glances. “We haven’t arrived at a price.” Bill answered. “We will have to talk it over.”

Cliff was on his feet. “I’ll step outside for a few minutes and let you talk. If the price is right, maybe we can do business.” He stepped out, closing the door behind him.

Joe and Bill exchanged glances. This was unbelievable! Cliff was always telling how hard up he was. Did he really have an uncle John?

“Well what do you think, brother dear?” Bill asked.

“I think there is something funny going on, but as far as I am concerned, I’ll be glad when it’s all over.”

“Me too. If we could get wholesale price for all the cars on the lot, we would be lucky, don’t you think?”

“Indeed I do.” Joe answered. “I want to keep my trailer. He can find something else for an office. Also my Cad, which is parked In the back row.”

“I think we should insist on all cash, don’t you?”

“By all means. Shall I tell him to come in?”

“Yes. And you do all the talking, Joe, and don’t back down one bit. I got a feeling about that guy.”

Joe opened the door and looked around. Cliff was polishing one of the cars in the front row. He motioned for him to come in.

Cliff stepped into the trailer and looked around. Joe was sitting in the chair behind the desk, just like he owned the place. Harris felt his temper rise! His ears turned a deep red. He felt, like he was going to explode! He closed his eyes for a second. “Better take it easy,” he told himself. The thoughts off that Greystone Hotel, with steel bars over the windows once more rose in front of him. He was shaking like a leaf as he slowly sat down in the chair opposite Joe Bishop. He felt like a convicted criminal about to be sentenced. He opened his mouth and the words just seemed to slip out. “Well, what is the verdict?”

Joe felt like he was sitting in the drivers? seat, and he intended to keep it that way. He answered. “As you know, Cliff, we got rid of all the bummers at the action sale. All of those out there are nice clean cars. Bill and I have talked it over and decided to let you have them for low book. Wholesale. This, as you know, is the going price to dealers.”

“You expect me to pay that price and take them all?”

“Yes Cliff, and that is a bargain. Gas has been going down every week. People are discovering that a good big used car is a better investment than one of those high-priced little Japanese coffins! And they can buy a lot of gas for the difference in the price.”

Bill looked over at his brother and grinned. He was quite a car salesman at that! “We checked the book prices for the past few months and the prices are going up.”

Cliff was sweating. He was on the wrong side of the desk! He felt helpless. There was only one way out. After all, he could make a pile of money on the deal. “How much do you want down?”

“All cash!”

Cliff sighed. “I got to keep doing something, and the car business is all I know. And if I didn’t take you up on the deal, I would have to find a lot and start all over.”

“We will turn our lease over to you. The rent on this one is quite reasonable.” Joe’s voice sounded mighty final.

Cliff got to his feet and walked over to a small safe, that was setting in the far corner of the room. He twisted the handle and swung the door open. He drew out a large leather wallet and walked over to the desk. He opened it and took out a thick stack of bills and handed them to Joe.

“Here Is ten grand, count it. I will pay you this now, and the rest before the day is over.” Joe nodded as he counted the money. Lying on the desk was a piece of white poster board. Cliff picked it up stared at it for a moment, then handed It to Joe.

“Here.” he said. “Is a list off every car on the lot with the make, model and serial number. I just checked them out this morning. So, if you will take my word that the list is; correct, we can save a lot of time.” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a small blue book and handed it to Genie. “This book will give you the wholesale price off everything on the lot. With this and that cardboard that I just handed Joe, it shouldn’t take you long.”

Joe handed the poster board to Genie. “Sounds like a deal.”

Cliff glared at Joe. “Now, if you will, get your ass out of my chair, I will call my banker. You will have your money, in about an hour.”