ACIM Conversations, Part 25

ACIM Conversations, Part 25
Creation vs Made

Student: I’ve been getting a lot of grief among students over my use of the word “creation.” If I use it referring to anything in this world, they correct me and tell me that everything here is “made” not created.

Teacher: Yes, I know, some who are very black and white will correct you even though your English is correct, and it is obvious what you are saying. Can you give me an example of a correction?

Student: I could give you several. The other day I mentioned something about the creation of the universe we see about us and I was jumped upon with a correction telling me that this world was “made,” not “created,” and this isn’t even the real universe. Then I was talking about the creation of some new offerings by Apple and was corrected again telling me that all Apple products are “made,” not created.

Teacher: Do you think the students understood what you were saying?

Student: I’m sure they did.

Teacher: Then they need to take the Course’s advice: “To communicate is to join and to attack is to separate.” T-8.VII.12 Are you familiar with the Course’s differentiation between “create” and “made?”

Student: I think so, but will be interested in your comments.

Teacher: Why do you suppose they corrected you?

Student: I felt like they were just trying to demonstrate a superior knowledge of the Course.

Teacher: Yes, and it is a problem that some are more determined to be technically correct than in understanding each other with real communication. Read this extract as it is perhaps the most common one to stress the difference in the two words:

Student: “A clear distinction between what is created and what is made is essential. All forms of healing rest on this fundamental correction in level perception.” T-2.V.A.12

Teacher: Here it seems to stress the importance of understanding the difference in the two words, but now read the same text before it was edited:

Student: “Clear distinction between what has been created and what is being created is essential. All forms of correction (or healing) rest on this fundamental correction in level perception.” OE Tx:3.5

Wow! In the original edition the word “made” is not even used. When it talks about “what has been created,” what does it mean?

Teacher: It is referring to miscreations of the past here in this world that cause our problems. They need to be replaced with correct creation the Course refers to as the “miracle.”

Student: So, instead of “made” Jesus himself in his original dictation used the word “created” in referring to what has been made in this world. I wonder if those critical students are upset at Jesus when they read the original.

Teacher: I wouldn’t bet on it, but one can see where they have made the distinction because the Course often uses “creation” in reference to eternal things and the word “made” in relation to the temporary things of this world, but just as you may use the word “create” sometimes in reference to this world so does the Voice in the Course. In fact, there are 27 times the Course refers to things made in this world as “miscreation.” Here is one for you to read.

Student: “The fundamental conflict in this world, then, is between creation and miscreation. All fear is implicit in the second, and all love in the first. The conflict is therefore one between love and fear.” T-2.VII.3

Teacher: It is interesting that “miscreation,” or things made in this world, has the word “creation” in it. If nothing else, this illustrates the impracticality of insisting that creation must only refer to what God directly makes. Read this quote in the original text:

Student: “The acceptance of the Atonement by everyone is only a matter of time. In fact, both time and matter were created for this purpose.” OE Tx:2.47

Teacher: Time and matter belong to the world, not heaven, and here it says they were originally created. Time and matter are a part of the dream also indicating the original dream state was an idea created by the Godlike powers of the Son for an idea is eternal and cannot be destroyed.

Student: Now I do not feel so bad for using “create” in reference to some things in this world.

Teacher: This problem just illustrates the importance of looking at the context of what is said and seeking to understand rather than insisting on some literal accuracy being always applied.

That said, it is helpful for Course students to understand the general distinction it makes between “creation” and “made.” First, can you tell me the difference as seen by the general public using dictionary definitions?

Student: I’d say that when you create something you are putting together something new, like Edison did with the light bulb. Since then, many have made light bulbs. We make things by duplicating the original idea.

Teacher: Is this how your student friends used these words when they corrected you?

Student: No. They tell me that create is to only be used in relation to something eternal that God makes and is not to be used in reference to anything in the world

Teacher: So, using this definition then we would have to say that Edison made the light bulb.

Student: Yes, with this definition there would be no differentiation between what Edison did and what a manufacturer does in copying it, for they are both done in the world.

Teacher: And this points us to an important key in understanding the Course. It sometimes usus a definition of terms peculiar to itself, and if the student is not aware of this, he may not fully understand what is being said. For instance, we talked earlier about forgiveness and how its meaning in the Course differs from the dictionary.

Student: So exactly what would be the definition of creation according to ACIM?

Teacher: The Course tells us that true creation involves extending that which is eternal, basically anything that has an end is considered being made, not created. God creates by extending Himself in creating additional sons through sharing. The idea of sharing is an essential ingredient in the process as noted here:

“You cannot separate your Self from your Creator, Who created you by sharing His Being with you.” T-7.V.6

Basically, true creation, according to ACIM, is the complete sharing of everything that is eternal. We are told that we cannot fully understand this until we return to our eternal state.

Are there any other areas where you are receiving correction?

Student: Yes. This one concerns the body. When I mention something that seems to indicate that I am in this world functioning in a body someone pops up and lectures me, telling me that I am not a body

Teacher: Do you believe you are a body?

Student: Of course not. ACIM makes that very clear

Teacher: Then why do they accuse you of thinking you are a body?

Student: The problem comes when I mention any experience that involves a body. They somehow twist that into my believing that I am a body. In reality, it is almost impossible to have a conversation about any experience in this world without involving the body.

Teacher: Indeed. ACIM tells us that there is no form or bodies in heaven, but here in dreamland they are almost impossible to ignore. I would just tell them that you are also not your car, which, like your body, is a tool you use to navigate in this dream. To talk of driving your car doesn’t mean you think you are a car.

Student: Sounds good. Another thing they accuse me of is thinking that I am in my body.

Teacher: And why do they say that is not correct?

Student: They say I cannot be in my body because the body does not exist and is just projected by my mind.

Teacher: The problem is that the Course only accords true reality to things that are eternal. Anything that exists in time and space that will someday have an end is regarded as not real or part of the dream. But it does say this:

What you believe is true for you. In this sense the separation has occurred, and to deny it is merely to use denial inappropriately.” T-2.VII.5

So, does the fact that this world is not real mean that it should be denied?

Student: Not according to that quote.

Teacher: Let me put it this way. When you wake up from a dream would it be an honest thing to do to tell me that you had no dream?

Student: No. That would be a lie and go against being honest, as taught in the Course.

Teacher: But the dream wasn’t real.

Student: It didn’t happen in my waking reality, but it still happened and I had an experience.

Teacher: Is it possible to even talk about the dream without relating your experience in it?

Student: Not really.

Teacher: And is it possible to talk about this greater dream without talking about your experience in it?

Student: I do not think so.

Teacher: And when you talk about an experience you had in your dream body at night, does this mean that you believe you were actually in a real body?

Student: No. That would be a silly belief.

Teacher: And when you talk about the body here which is an illusion in a dream, does this mean you think you are in a body?

Student: No more than being in a dream body at night.

Teacher: It would appear then that the needed correction is on your accusers who are trying to correct your views which need no correction.

Student: That’s the way I look at it. Thanks.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

 

ACIM Conversations, Part 24

ACIM Conversations, Part 24
The Historical Jesus

Student: I’ve been coming across some unusual beliefs by students about Jesus who is said to be the author of A Course in Miracles.

Teacher: Why am I not surprised? Okay, I can pretty much guess what they are but hit me with something.

Student: The Voice in ACIM pretty solidly identifies himself as the historical Jesus, but many students reject this. I think the statement of greatest error is that” We are all Jesus.”

Teacher: Why do you think they say that?

Student: I suppose it is because the Course teaches that there is one Son, so they assume that what one has done all have done.

Teacher: Yes, the idea of oneness is confusing to many, especially if they see all life as being one with no parts as we discussed earlier.

Student: Oneness indeed makes much more sense and is in harmony with the Course when you see it as many parts that are united as one.

Teacher: Now if a student accepts the strange idea of oneness so all can claim to be Jesus, one would also have to say he is Hitler as well.

Student: Yeah, don’t hear anyone making that claim.

Teacher: There are many statements made by the Voice in the Course that tell us that though we are all one with God, we are individual lives and what Jesus accomplished is different from what students of the Course have accomplished. Read this text:

Student: “I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I render complete because I share it. This may appear to contradict the statement “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

Teacher: What does Jesus call himself here?

Student: Our elder brother.

Teacher: Can you be an elder brother to yourself?

Student: That would be as difficult as creating ourselves which the Course tells us we cannot do.

Teacher: Good point. And who does it say is in charge of the Sonship, you or Jesus.

Student: Jesus

Teacher: And where do we come in?

Student: It says that Jesus shares the sonship with us.

Teacher: So, does it make sense that instead of being Jesus, we are one, or united with our elder brother by accepting the shared sonship?

Student: Seems obvious to me.

Teacher: There are many passages which tell us that Jesus is a distinct individual from ourselves. Here’s another one.

Student: “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.  T-1.II.3

Teacher: So, what is the difference between Course students and Jesus?

Student: Jesus has nothing but what comes from God. I suppose we rely on the ego instead.

Teacher: And what is the promise to us?

Student: We can attain the same things he did.

Teacher: Here’s another passage to read giving encouragement in that direction:

Student: “I have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same Mind to do this. This Mind is the Holy Spirit, Whose Will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought, and to behave like me as a result.”  T-5.II.12

Teacher: How then is the student supposed to view Jesus – as himself or something else?

Student: It says we are to see him as a model from which to pattern our behavior.

Teacher: I suppose it may be tempting to be able to claim the works of Jesus without making the effort to attain to his stature, but obviously there are steps that each of us must take to attain as he did.

Student: You would think that would be obvious. There’s another point that some students bring up. Some say that the Jesus in the Course is not the historical Jesus from the New Testament.

Teacher: And why do they say that?

Student: Some come from an atheist or agnostic background and never accepted the story of his life. Others believe the identification is just symbolic.

Teacher: If one doubts the perfection of the Course script then doubting whether or not the Voice is Jesus makes sense. But if one accepts that the Course is a divine revelation without major errors then one would have to accept that the Voice is that of the historical Jesus.

Student: Can that be proven from the Course?

Teacher: The proof is pretty solid for the Voice specifically identified with the Jesus of history numerous times. Here he verifies the garden experience, his crucifixion and relationship with the apostles:

“My brothers slept during the so-called ‘agony in the garden,’ but I could not be angry with them because I knew I could not be abandoned.” T-6.I.7

“The Apostles often misunderstood it (the crucifixion), and for the same reason that anyone misunderstands it. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the “wrath of God” as His retaliatory weapon.” T-6.I.14

“As you read the teachings of the Apostles, remember that I told them myself that there was much they would understand later, because they were not wholly ready to follow me at the time.  I do not want you to allow any fear to enter into the thought system toward which I am guiding you.” T-6.I.16 

And here he specifically identified with “Christ Jesus.”

“The Bible says, ‘May the mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus,’ and uses this as a blessing. It is the blessing of miracle-mindedness. It asks that you may think as I thought, joining with me in Christ thinking.” T-5.I.3

Student: That is pretty strong evidence. Didn’t he specifically mention Judas?

Teacher: Yes, here it is:

“Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?” T-6.I.14-15

Student: That sounds like the entity who is Jesus recalling what happened.

Teacher: Now read this as he is even more specific:

Student: “My body disappeared because I had no illusion about it. The last one had gone. It was laid in the tomb, but there was nothing left to bury. It did not disintegrate because the unreal cannot die. It merely became what it always was. And that is what “rolling the stone away” means. The body disappears, and no longer hides what lies beyond. It merely ceases to interfere with vision. To roll the stone away is to see beyond the tomb, beyond death, and to understand the body’s nothingness. What is understood as nothing must disappear.

“I did assume a human form with human attributes afterwards, to speak to those who were to prove the body’s worthlessness to the world. This has been much misunderstood. I came to tell them that death is illusion, and the mind that made the body can make another since form itself is an illusion. They did not understand. But now I talk to you and give you the same message. The death of an illusion means nothing. It disappears when you awaken and decide to dream no more. And you still do have the power to make this decision as I did.” From “Special Messages”, by Jesus…Additional material through Helen Schuchman. Also quoted in Absence From Felicity by Ken Wapnick

Wow! That is pretty specific

Teacher: But perhaps the coup de grâce is the many quotes the Voice of ACIM uses that are attributed to the historical Jesus of the New Testament. The Voice often indicates that he is quoting himself. I’ve compiled a list. Go ahead and read them off.

Student: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me”

“I and my Father are one,”

“Heaven and earth shall pass away”

“Lead us not into temptation”

“Except ye become as little children”

“the meek shall inherit the earth.”

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”

“Do this in remembrance of me”

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”

 “Before Abraham was I am.”

“Many are called but few are chosen” should be, “All are called but few choose to listen.”

“Judge not that ye be not judged,”

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven”

“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you”

“Seek and ye shall find”

“turning the other cheek.”

“thine is the Kingdom,”

“I am come as a light into the world,”

“I am with you always,”

When I said, “My peace I give unto you,” I meant it.

“Who is my father?”

That is what I meant when I said, “Blessed are ye who have not seen and still believe,”

“Seek and you will find,”

I said earlier, “By their fruits ye shall know them, and they shall know themselves.”

“Thy Will be done,”

“Let me not wander into temptation.”

“This is my beloved Son

“Of myself I can do nothing” is to gain all power

“praying for one’s enemies.”

Wow. That’s quite a list. Obviously, the Voice identifies with the Jesus of the New Testament.

Teacher: Like I said. If one doubts the perfection of the Course then one may be justified in considering that the Voice may be merely symbolic, but if one accepts it as a real Divine revelation then one should conclude the Voice is the historical Jesus.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

 

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:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

 

ACIM Conversations, Part 22

ACIM Conversations, Part 22
Is Anyone Awake?

Student: I keep coming across fellow students who tell me that they have awakened from the dream, yet see no evidence they are any more awake than I am. How should I respond to such people?

Teacher: First, you need to decide whether or not a response would be helpful.

Student: And how do I do that?

Teacher: What does the Course tell you to do as far as decision making goes?

Student: I suppose you are telling me I need to check with the Holy Spirit.

Teacher: Exactly. And do you suppose the Holy Spirit will give you the same answer for each individual.

Student: I would think there would be different answers as some may be open to discussion and others not so much.

Teacher: Yes. Some interpret any questioning of their belief system as an attack, and any attempt to correct errors in them are fruitless. On the other hand, there are some who are open to discussions that reveal greater light and the Holy Spirit will give you a favorable nudge for them.

Student: I think there may be a third category, like the authorities who tried to entrap Jesus. He responded and put them in their place. Some people just seem to be asking for it.

Teacher: And even here you need to listen to the inner voice. Sometimes it will prompt you to respond and other times not.

The first thing you need to be aware of as a student is all that would transpire if you were to be fully awake. Who is it that we can look to as the greatest example of enlightenment?

Student: I’m sure that would be Jesus.

Teacher: And are you aware that even he is not fully in heaven?

Student: No I was not. Do you have a reference on that?

Teacher: Read this:

Student: “Because my feet are on the ground and my hands are in Heaven, I can bring down the glories of Heaven to my brothers on earth.” UR T 1 B 40ab

Teacher: Now, why is it that he can still assist us?

Student: Apparently his consciousness extends to both heaven and earth for his feet are on the earth and hands in heaven. Interesting.

Teacher: The Course tells us why he must yet stay linked to us here on earth. Read this:

Student: “Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out, and now will lead you out with him.” W-pI.rV.in.6

Teacher: Why must a savior remain with us?

Student: So he can lead us out with him.

Teacher: This harmonizes with a promise he made to his disciples. He said: “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matt 28:20

Now read these two quotes that reveal why he is committed to stay and work with us.

Student: “The reawakening of every Son of God is necessary to enable the Sonship to know its Wholeness.” T-6.I.12 “Souls cannot rest until everyone has found salvation.” UR T 1 B 24a. 24

It looks like even Jesus or others who are awake will not be able to rest until all are awake.

Teacher: And this thought is reinforced in this next quote:

Student: 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. Only then can the meaning of wholeness in the true sense be understood.” T-2.VII.6

Teacher: Here we see that we are all integral parts of the Sonship and we must all return before we can completely comprehend the meaning of its wholeness.

Student: That is quite a statement. It appears then that no one can claim to be fully awake for the whole Sonship must return before complete wholeness is realized.

Teacher: But we can make great strides toward the Eternal World. The first major step is to attain the real world. Do you have a grasp of what that is?

Student: I understand it is some type of bridge between heaven and earth.

Teacher: Yes. The Course describes it as “a borderland of thought that stands between this world and Heaven.” T-26.III.2

It says “The real world is the second part of the hallucination time and death are real, and have existence that can be perceived.” T-26.V.12 “The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else.” T-11.VII.2

Student: It appears then that anyone who claims to be awake has first learned to see the real world.

Teacher: And how many do you suppose there are who perceive it?

Student: I encountered a number who claim they are in heaven but haven’t heard any of them talk about seeing the real world which must come first.

Teacher: Read this – it gives interesting evidence that one is beginning to see the real world:

Student: “You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.” W-pI.15.2

Teacher: So what happens when you obtain real vision?

Student: You see edges of light around familiar objects.

Teacher: Take a look at that chair over there. Do you see light around its edges?

Student: No. I guess I do not have real vision yet.

Teacher: Now take another look. Tune out the chair and focus for about a minute. on the empty space at its edges

Student: (A minute passes) I think I did see some light but it’s gone now. Maybe it was my imagination.

Teacher: It will seem that way at first but keep practicing and you can see the light from the real world everywhere. It says: “The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you.” T-11.III.4

Student: Wow. That’s cool. I haven’t heard anyone talk about this before.

Teacher: And there is much more to see beyond that light at the edges, which anyone who claims to be at least half awake should be able to register. And this is just part of a first step in the awakening process.

Student: What else should I look for in one who claims to be awake?

Teacher: First let me say that there are degrees of wakefulness, for even Jesus will not be fully awake in heaven until you and I join with him. The first major hurdle is the realization that we are asleep in a world of illusion and need to wake up. The next step is to see the real world so we can at least perceive truth from error while we are in the dream. From then on it is a step-by-step process until we arrive at the wakefulness demonstrated by Jesus when he was here. Do you recall the story of John the Baptist when he was in prison and was not sure if Jesus was the Christ?

Student: Yes. He sent some friends to Jesus to ask him if he was the one who was to come.

Teacher: Perhaps if John had been A Course in Miracles student he might have asked if Jesus was the one who was to demonstrate being awake. When the friends approached Jesus he told them to spend some time with him and tell John what they saw which was: “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matt 11:5

Student: That should have been enough to convince anyone. If I recall John went to his death comforted that a true messenger had arrived. So, should I expect similar things from anyone who claims to be enlightened or awake?

Teacher: First let me say that any declaration of being awake is a sign of the ego at work. Did you notice in reading the gospel account that Jesus never declared himself as the Christ, or even a Christ?

Student: Now that you mention it I think that is true.

Teacher: What made people think he was the Christ?

Student: His works as well as his enlightened teachings

Teacher: Yes, and this is the only way a true messenger will announce himself. It will be through his words and works. Do you know of anyone in this age who has announced himself in this way?

Student: Can’t say that I do but have encountered several who have announced themselves using the ego’s method by just declaring themselves awake or enlightened. If you are correct all students I know have a long way to go for I do not see any of them performing great miracles as did Jesus.

Teacher: And do not forget the greatest miracle of all – the overcoming death itself. Even after they destroyed his body Jesus was able to bring it back to apparent life.

Student: It’s kind of amusing that many think that some Course luminaries have overcome death even though there have been no bodies missing from their tombs or appearing to friends afterwards.

Teacher: This idea of placing high profile teachers in the same league as Jesus overcoming death is quite common. Many spiritual movements have declared, with no evidence, that their founders or significant teachers were ascended after they were dead and buried. The truth is that they were overtaken by death just like everyone else.

Student: Is Jesus the only one in history then who has overcome death?

Teacher: No. There are a few but not many of their works are known to history. The Course mentions them once here:

“There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain.” M-26.2

Student: I must have read this but not registered it correctly. These individuals can appear to people after their death just as Jesus was reported as doing.

Teacher: Yes, and miracles also followed them but they didn’t receive the recognition as did Jesus, for Jesus had a mission to demonstrate power over death in a dramatic way so others could see beyond the illusion.

Student: That is encouraging that there are others besides Jesus. I can see though that I still have a ways to go as I have never been able to make the blind see or the deaf hear, let alone raise the dead.

Teacher: But you are much further along the path than others who believe themselves to be awake while they are yet in a deep sleep.

Look at it this way. Imagine a path going from point A to Point B. The first person thinks he is just a couple steps from his destination, but in reality he has taken a wrong turn and does not know where he is. The other person is 75% there, knows his true location and how far he has yet to travel. Which one has the advantage?

Student: The second, of course.

Teacher: Is the belief of the first guy that he is almost there helpful at all?

Student: No. His delusion is a great hinderance.

Teacher: Even so, it is with students who believe they are a step away from heaven but do not realize where they really are. Such an illusion will delay the awakening.

Student: I can see that I need to monitor my own progress so my ego does not lead me into that trap. I appreciate your counsel.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

 

ACIM Conversations, Part 21

ACIM Conversations, Part 21
The Key to Health

Student: Another teaching where there is strong disagreement is over how a Course student should handle health problems. Some think we should just get our mind right and we’ll always have good health and not need doctors, medicines or needles, and others and others think that orthodox medicine is fine and in harmony with the teachings. What are your thoughts on this?

Teacher: To understand how to put the teachings to the best use you have to understand a core approach that is used by the Course which is this. It always presents the ideal, and even though that ideal may be lifetimes beyond the reach of the average student and difficult from our view, it presents it as if it is easy to attain. For instance, have you noticed that the path to waking up is talked about like it is the easiest thing in the universe?

Student: Yes indeed. Sometimes I feel like I must be missing a lot or I would be completely awake by now.

Teacher: In fact, the Course makes is sound like it is beyond easy. Read this:

Student: “When the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; ‘I need do nothing.’” T-18.VII.5

Teacher: So, how easy is it to do nothing?

Student: It should be a piece of cake.

Teacher: Yet many thousands have devoutly studied the course. Do you know any who have fully awakened and returned to heaven?

Student: Some may think they are awake but haven’t seen any disappear into heaven the way Jesus did. I also do not see anyone performing miracles as he did.

Teacher: What does that tell you about the presentation by the Course and the reality of attainment?

Student: It presents the ideal as if it is easy, but for us who are asleep waking up seems difficult.

Teacher: And the strange thing is that when all is said and done it is easy. Have you ever jumped out of a plane before?

Student: No.

Teacher: Imagine that you are in a situation where you have a parachute on and are all ready to jump for the first time. You are told that it will be easy. All you have to do is to jump out of the plane and pull the chord when you are part way down. How easy would it be to jump that first time?

Student: I think I’d be really frightened. Even though the mechanics are easy the fear is difficult to overcome.

Teacher: And that fear is amplified for those seeking to wake up. We have seen many parachute safely out of planes, but we can’t fine one associate who has fully awakened.

Student: Good point. So, what does this have to do with handling modern medicine?

Teacher: The point is that the Course presents the ideal before us concerning health but achieving this for the student is easier said than done. And what do you suppose the main obstacle would be?

Student: Perhaps it is the same as jumping out of a plane – fear.

Teacher: Exactly right. Read these words given to Helen:

“I am repeating here a Biblical injunction of my own, already mentioned elsewhere, that if my followers eat any deadly thing it shall not hurt them. This is what Cayce could NOT believe, because he could not see that, as a Son of God, he WAS invulnerable.” UR T 3 C 39

Here Jesus was referring to this scripture concerning believers:

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:18

Now if someone offered you a drink you knew was poisoned what would prevent you from drinking it even if you were familiar with these words from Jesus?

Student: I admit that I would be afraid that my faith was not strong enough.

Teacher: And why do students not refuse modern medicine when the Course says you do not need it if you are in your right mind?

Student: I guess many are afraid they are not in their right mind.

Teacher: Correct and the Course repeatedly teaches that illness is caused by misguided thinking from the mind and has nothing to do with the body. Read this:

Student: “Only the mind is capable of error. The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. Physical illness represents a belief in magic. The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control.” T-2.IV.2

Teacher: The Course repeatedly refers to all healing treatments that deal directly with the body as magic. What does it say that this mistaken magic rests upon?

Student: It says it “rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control.”

Teacher: And what does that mean?

Student: It means that there is a mistaken belief that the body can create an illness or be subject to healing that is independent of mind.

Teacher: And does modern medicine have anything to do with treating the mind?

Student: No. It just treats the body with physical agents as if the body is only subject to them and not mind.

Teacher: For those who are afraid they are not centered enough in mind to heal the body the Course offers this advice:

“If you are afraid to use the mind to heal, you should not attempt to do so. The very fact that you are afraid makes your mind vulnerable to miscreation. You are therefore likely to misunderstand any healing that might occur, and because egocentricity and fear usually occur together, you may be unable to accept the real Source of the healing. Under these conditions, it is safer for you to rely temporarily on physical healing devices, because you cannot misperceive them as your own creations. As long as your sense of vulnerability persists, you should not attempt to perform miracles.” T-2.V.2

Who does it say should rely on orthodox medicine?

Student: It says those who “are afraid to use the mind to heal.”

Teacher: Yes, those who are afraid and have a “sense of vulnerability”. Can you give me an example of someone in this situation?

Student: I’d say just about everyone including myself. I got the Covid virus a while back and I’ll admit that I didn’t have enough faith to just rely on my right mind to take care of it.

Teacher: The Course almost makes fun of those who do depend on orthodox medicine. read this:

Student: “Think of the freedom in the recognition that you are not bound by all the strange and twisted laws you have set up to save you…You really think a small round pellet or some fluid pushed into your veins through a sharpened needle will ward off disease and death.” W-pI.76.3

Wow. I do not know of anyone who never takes pills or gets shots.

Teacher: And why do we rely on these remedies? Read this next passage for the answer:

Student: “If you are afraid of healing, then it cannot come through you. The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed, and cannot heal.” T-27.V.1

So, it appears that we take orthodox treatments because if we do not, we become afraid and the fearful cannot be healed.

Teacher: Now read this next one that tells us why we resist healing:

Student: “Lack of faith in the power that heals all pain arises from your wish to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy.” T-17.I.3

Teacher: A while back you mentioned that there are things you want to accomplish with your life. Just about all have aspects of life here that we are attached to and this can interfere with healing. Like I said the Course presents the ideal and the path seems simple as stated here:

“Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain.” M-5.I.1

Student: Yes, it would seem easy to let go of one’s value of pain but I’ve heard it said that there are subtle values we attach to sickness.

Teacher: The Course seems to support that idea for it tells us this:

“Sickness is a decision. It is not a thing that happens to you, quite unsought, which makes you weak and brings you suffering. It is a choice you make, a plan you lay,” W-pI.136.7

Student: The choice has to be subtle indeed for I do not recall choosing to get Covid.

Teacher: We’ll end this discussion with a quote that leads us to universal healing. Read this:

Student: “Love cannot suffer, because it cannot attack. The remembrance of love therefore brings invulnerability with it.” T-10.III.3

Sounds like the Beatles were right. All you need is love.

Teacher: Love takes us to the ideal and eventually the ideal becomes the reality. The time will come that each of us will awaken to our invulnerability and let go of our fears concerning the body. Then we will have no need for the magic treatments that the dreamers think they need for the body, which is really controlled by the mind.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

 

ACIM Conversations, Part 20

ACIM Conversations, Part 20
Time in Heaven

Student: I’ve been thinking about the Course’s teachings on time and having difficulty in understanding it.

Teacher: What’s the problem?

Student: It seems to teach that time does not exist in the eternal world for it is just an illusion.

Teacher: You’re only partly right for time does exist in heaven. There are, however, two ingredients of time that exist only here in this world. What do you suppose they are?

Student: If I recall correctly, it says the past and the future do not exist in heaven.

Teacher: But it does say that an aspect of time does exist in heaven. What would that be?

Student: Would that be the present?

Teacher: Yes. the Course makes this definite statement: “The present is the only time there is.” W-pI.164.1 Here, read a couple more quotes:

Student: “The present is before time was, and will be when time is no more. In it are all things that are eternal, and they are one.” T-13.VI.6

“The only aspect of time that is eternal is now.” T-5.III.6

Teacher: So what aspect of time exists in the eternal reality?

Student: Now, or the present.

Teacher: So time does exist in heaven and it is called the present. Here is what it says about the past and the future: “Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist.” T-15.I.8

Then it makes this interesting statement: “time itself involves intervals that do not exist.” T-2.VII.5

Student: Wow. No past or future and no intervals between them – that’s what I have a hard time getting my mind around. I’m glad you pointed out that the aspect of present time will still exist in the eternal world, but still have difficulty understanding what that would be like.

Teacher: First let us examine what creates time as we know it here. The Course gives a very interesting clue when it tells us that our time is made from intervals. In other words, it is always measured in an apparent movement from the past to the future. This movement is measured in seconds, minutes weeks, years etc. So, time as we know it, consists of a conscious registration of short intervals, like seconds, merged into greater intervals. This creation of the passing of time is called a trick or an illusion by the Course.

Student: Why would our time be called a trick?

Teacher: Because real time is in the present and an interval of consciousness skips over it so we never see the real now. Instead, we register the interval which is a leap from the past to the future which only exists in the dream.

Student: That’s pretty deep. So, what would happen if we could see the true present?

Teacher: This world of form would disappear for everything here is created by motion through time. In the present we would see the eternal world which the Course says is something that cannot be put into words.

Student: So, what would be the difference between living in this world of time and the eternal present which I believe the Course calls timelessness?

Teacher: One of the main differences is this. Everything created in time has a beginning and an end. Everything dies here. Everything created in the present time is eternal because no intervals between past and future exist.

Student: What I do not understand is this. It is said God created me. So, wasn’t there a past time before my creation and another one afterwards?

Teacher: There was not an interval between the past and the future because you were created in present time which was all the time there was.

Student: I do not understand the difference between before and after in heaven and before and after creating something here.

Teacher: Read these two quotes that should be helpful:

Student: “Time (past and future) does not really exist. The statement is more meaningful in terms of a vertical rather than a horizontal axis.” T-1.II.4

“The miracle entails a sudden shift from horizontal to vertical perception. This introduces an interval from which the giver and receiver both emerge farther along in time than they would otherwise have been. The miracle thus has the unique property of abolishing time to the extent that it renders the interval of time it spans unnecessary.” T-1.II.6

Teacher: Time in this world corresponds to the horizontal where you travel from the past to the future. To what does the vertical correspond?

Student: I guess that would be heavenly time, the present.

Teacher: Yes, the present, vertical time of the holy instant has no forward and backward or past and future, so switching to this abolishes time as we know it, as mentioned in the quote. In vertical time there is no past and future as we understand them.

Student: So there is just up and down, but no forward and backward.

Teacher: There is just up, speaking symbolically here. In this world we think of time moving forward but in the eternal world there is not movement as we understand it but something the Course calls extension. As we enter vertical time creation happens by extending upward in an eternal present with no horizontal past or future. So, when you were created in the present you were created with no past or future and it was as if you had always been and always will be, except there is no “as if” in heaven but only IS.

Student: That is interesting but still difficult to understand.

Teacher: We are told that there are many things we can question and receive and then understand here, but this one is beyond our understanding unless we experience it. I will give this illustration that may help. Picture God and the universe as a circular balloon that has always existed that is being blown up and expanding. There are always under creation, new molecules of air (Sons), being added so the balloon is always expanding. See this as never contracting or changing shape but always creating and adding new molecules that identify with the whole and each other. The only thing that changes is expansion for it says, “the present saved to quietly extend into a timeless future.” W-pI.110.4 You might want to read this quote next:

Student: “What is timeless is always there, because its being is eternally changeless. It does not change by increase, because it was forever created to increase.” T-7.I.7

Teacher: So, why is heaven called changeless, even though there is expansion or extension?

Student: That is interesting. It says because it was forever created to increase.”

Teacher: So it appears there is change but because the change is always occurring one could say that the process is changeless.

Student: Reminds me of the statement that the more things change the more they stay the same.

Teacher: Yes, you could say that the more the universe expands the more it stays the same because the process does not change for real creation “extends the present rather than the past.” T-13.IV.9

Student: So instead of moving from the past to the future, as we do here, in heaven we move from a present to an extended present, but we are always in the real present. Is that correct?

Teacher: Yes. Here we are never in the real present except in those times we enter what the Course calls the holy instant. In the eternal world the present is all there is. It calls this state “timelessness.”

Student: You’ve helped me get a sense of real time but I also sense that I do not grasp it completely.

Teacher: No one in this world does. Have you noticed that when you sleep at night that times seems to flow differently?

Student: Yes.

Teacher: And do you also notice that your awareness of this world and what it is like does not exist there?

Student: Yes again.

Teacher: And do you also notice that some of your thoughts and experiences in the waking world are imperfectly reflected in your dream world?

Student: Yes, sometimes almost insanely.

Teacher: And finally, do you notice that your dream self has no awareness of the difference between its reality and your waking reality?

Student: Yes. I think one would wake up as soon as that awareness came.

Teacher: You are correct sir! And the fact that we are still here in this world tells us that we are not yet reached full awareness, but because we are talking about it and trying to understand tells us something. What would that be?

Student: I would say that our rough understanding that we are in a dream and that there is another world indicates we are on the verge of awakening.

Teacher: Yes. That may still be sometime ahead, as we measure it, but most of the dream is behind us, which the Course said took millions of years to materialize.

Student: I can see that I may not be ready to awaken for there are still things I want to do with my life.

Teacher: And sometimes you have a dream that you want to continue and not wake up for a while.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

 

ACIM Conversations, Part 19

ACIM Conversations, Part 19
The Ego and the True Self

Student: In our last conversation we established that the Course teaches that the self exists independent of the ego, but it seems that this self is merely interpreted differently here on earth, under the domain of the ego, than it is in heaven.

Teacher: Indeed. And what do you perceive that difference to be?

Student: Under the ego the self is seen as a separate life living in isolation from other lives. In heaven the self is seen as a part of a greater whole and identifies with that whole which we call the Sonship.

Teacher: You are in harmony with the Course here which states this about the self of the ego: “The ego’s goal is quite explicitly ego autonomy. From the beginning, then, its purpose is to be separate, sufficient unto itself and independent of any power except its own. This is why it is the symbol of separation.”  T-11.V.4

Now read what the Course says about differences between the two selves:

Student: “The one created by his Father is wholly Self-encompassing and Self-extending. The one he made is wholly self-destructive and self-limiting.” T-20.VI.1

Teacher: Here’s another difference:

Student: “To be egocentric is to be dis-spirited, but to be Self-centered in the right sense is to be inspired or in spirit.” T-4.in.1

Sounds like our true self just realizes he is not alone and understands who he is.

Teacher: Yes, and when this happens, we are told that “you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of Self.” T-18.VI.13

Student: I like that as all that is in me recoils from the idea that my self will be no more after I wake up.

Teacher: The beauty of waking up is that you do not discover that your self does not exist, but that your true self is much greater than you realized because you, as a unique part of the Sonship, identify with the whole:

“You are one Self, united with your Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace.” W-pI.95.10

Instead of seeing ourselves this way we are told that we had a misguided “plan to lose your Self.” W-pI.166.10

Student: It sounds like the real problem is not that of having a self, but that we lost the knowledge of what the real self is.

Teacher: Yes, we are told that the ego is “A concept of the self is made by you. It bears no likeness to yourself at all.” T-31.V.2 Instead, “Christ is God’s Son as He created Him. He is the Self we share, uniting us with one another, and with God as well.” W-pII.6.1

Student: So when I wake up I will not find that my self does not exist, but that it is much greater than I realized. That sounds much better than waking up to nonexistence and non-duality, which doesn’t even make sense.

Teacher: To understand think of how you feel when you wake up from a dream. Do you feel like your self in the dream has vanished?

Student: No. I still feel like I am the same self that was in the dream.

Teacher: And what is the difference between your dream self and waking self?

Student: The waking self is more aware. There seems to be a conscious part of my mind missing in the dream.

Teacher: And here in the greater dream what seems to be missing?

Student: I would say it would be the spiritual or real part of the mind.

Teacher: And when you wake up do you think you will feel you lost something?

Student: If it is like waking up from a night dream, I would have to think it would feel like a gain, not a loss.

Teacher: Does that understanding help dispel the fear of loss when you return to your true home?

Student: It certainly sounds better than myself going into oblivion, as believed by the atheist.

Teacher: Indeed, for many, going into non existence is a more frightening thought than going to an eternal hell. Just consider that if you woke up and found that you were God existing in pure non duality all alone – not having anything or anyone to love and you had to be alone for all eternity. Would not that be the greatest hell one can imagine?

Student: I cringe at that thought. So how do I use the correct understanding of the ego to deal with students who accuse me of being in the ego when I try to think out of the box?

Teacher: You could cite the example of Jesus. Do you think they would agree that he was not controlled by the ego?

Student: Definitely.

Teacher: And would most agree that both his teachings and actions were out of the box in his time?

Student: Don’t think there would be any argument there.

Teacher: You’ll recall the Course compared the ego to the Devil. Do you realize the authorities of the  day made that same comparison toward Jesus?

Student: I know they were certainly threatened by him.

Teacher: When they saw him performing miracles they accused him of working “through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.” Luke 11:15

Student: So that was like saying he was working though the chief of egos. Now I don’t feel so bad about the accusations toward me.

Teacher: So when they saw the devil in Jesus what did they really see?

Student: I suppose it was the devil in themselves projected toward Jesus. But what can I say to those accusing students to make them realize that I am not speaking from the ego, but I see myself speaking in agreement with the Holy Spirit?

Teacher: Is the problem that they seem to think it is your ego making you seek for answers outside the box.

Student: That seems to be the way it is.

Teacher: Here are some quotes that should set them straight, but I wouldn’t bet your mom’s operation money on it.

“Its (the ego) 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

 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

Student: I like that statement about true clarity for it seems that when I seek to clarify some teachings that I am told that it is my ego speaking and I should cease asking questions. That attitude reminds me of my religious teachers when I was young telling me that I lacked faith for questioning things.

Teacher: Yes. That Seek and do not find thinking of the ego manifests itself in every belief system, even in one as pure as ACIM.

Perhaps it would be helpful to list some differences between the approaches of the Holy Spirit and the ego. First, what does the Course tell us about the ego?

Student: Like you just said; it says to seek and not find so everything questionable remains a mystery.

Teacher: Now read this to see the approach of the Holy Spirit:

Student: “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.” T-12.IV.4

Sounds like the ego wants to avoid the truth but the Holy Spirit wants to help us find it. I think some of my fellow students must have missed this.

Teacher: And what would you say another difference would be?

Student: Some students do not agree with me, but I would say that the Holy Spirit supports logic and reason and the ego does not, though it tries to make you think it does.

Teacher: The Course agrees with you. Read this about the ego:

Student: “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

Teacher: Now read this concerning the Holy Spirit and reason:

Student: “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

Teacher: Would you say that seeking truth and using reason is endorsed by the Course?

Student: It certainly seems so.

Teacher: There are many other differences such as the ego separates and the Spirit unites. The ego condemns, the Spirit forgives. The ego encourages negative feelings whereas the Spirit focuses on love and inclusion. The ego judges harshly but the Spirit sees the Christ in us. The ego leads to fear, but the Spirit takes us to peace.

So, when a fellow student accuses you of being in the ego just go through the contrasts in your mind and if you see that you are on the side of the Holy Spirit ask them to justify their accusation.

Student: The other day I was asking some students how they would define what love is and one acted insulted and said that question was from the ego. How should I respond?

Teacher: First realize that the ego does ask questions, but it doesn’t want true answers as you obviously did. Rather than offering him a long explanation, just ask him to explain why he thinks this way. When someone attacks unjustly, they can never explain themselves without revealing flaws in their reasoning. Accusers are generally projecting their own flaws and are afraid to face them. Just make your case and let it go, for accusers rarely change their minds.

Student: I appreciate your comments.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

ACIM Conversations, Part 18

ACIM Conversations, Part 18
Understanding the Ego

Student: Another term that gets used in a wide variety of ways is the ego. Some seem to think that when the ego is gone there will be no self or even parts but we will be just one lone life. Then others use the ego to dismiss any statement with which they disagree.

Teacher: How do they do that?

Student: When I say something that runs contrary to their mindset, they tell me I am speaking from the ego – as if they have risen above it and taking the superior position that is beyond challenge.

Teacher: That dismissive attitude is not unique to ACIM students but found in every belief system. For instance, a fundamentalist Christian may tell his questioning friend to not consider certain teachings or read certain books as God would be offended and they are entering the devil’s domain.

Student: Yeah, I get that feeling sometimes with Course students when I think out of the box – that Jesus would be offended with the wrong questions.

Teacher: We have the same problem with talking about the ego as we did forgiveness in our last discussion. The Course does not start us out with a clear and concise definition. I personally had to go through it three or four times before I had a clear idea of what the Course actually meant when talking about it.

Student: I’ve only gone through it once so I am still a little confused on the subject myself. I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Teacher: First let us again check with the standard definition. Care to look it up?

Student: I’ll use the Oxford dictionary again. It says the ego is that part of the mind “responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.”

Teacher: The sense of personal identity is the key phrase there, but in ACIM there are two entities that tell us what reality is. And what would they be?

Student: The ego certainly does though incorrectly.

Teacher: And what source reveals it correctly?

Student: That would be the Holy Spirit.

Teacher: The general sense of personal identity, or self, is the common feeling of what the ego is to those just beginning the Course. That doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to most people.

Student: Yeah, I remember that as I got into the Course, I was surprised at how negatively the ego was presented, as if it were the devil himself.

Teacher: The Course does associate it with the devil, (M-25.6) and beyond that, it flat out states that “The ego is insane.” W-pII.12.2 and speaks of its insane direction numerous times.

Student: Yes, that is a lot more of a negative view than commonly held, as society only sees a handful of egos as being insane. It considers normalcy to be sane.

Teacher: So, as an earnest student how would you define the ego as presented by the Course?

Student: It is clear that the ego in the Course includes our identification with our lower nature, but what is not clear is how far up it goes. Does it mean that we have no identity as a higher self either, and is there even a self in the eternal world?

Teacher: You have struck a note at the core of the problem. Most spiritual traditions see the self in the lower nature as a problem and at odds with the Spirit, but most do recognize that there is a higher self that is eternal.

Student: But what is not clear about ACIM is whether there is an eternal self, united with other selves, or do we just merge into one lonely isolated entity which is called God?

Teacher: Sounds like you do not like the idea of merging into one life with no parts.

Student: I cringe when I think about it as it sounds like nonexistence to me. I would think that there would have to be interplay with other lives to make living enjoyable, but maybe that is just my ego talking.

Teacher: Maybe not, for the Course tells us that God agrees with you. Read these quotes:

Student: “God is lonely without His Sons, and they are lonely without Him.” T-2.III.5 “His joy is not complete because yours is incomplete. And this He does know. He knows it in His Own Being and its experience of His Son’s experience. The constant going out of His Love is blocked when His channels are closed, and He is lonely when the minds He created do not communicate fully with Him.” T-4.VII.6 “They are part of you, as you are part of God. You are as lonely without understanding this as God Himself is lonely when His Sons do not know Him.” T-7.VII.10

Sounds like the idea of being one lone life in the universe is not an idea that even God embraces.

Teacher: This takes us back to our earlier discussion of duality that there is a big differenced between one life with no parts and one united life with many parts.

Student: Yes, with many there can be unlimited sharing, but with pure non duality there could be no sharing

Teacher: Sharing and communication are important ingredients that brings joy in heaven: “Communication, unambiguous and plain as day, remains unlimited for all eternity.” W-pI.129.3 “all talents will be shared by all the Sons of God.” T-1.V.3

Student: It seems then that the One Life consists of many Sons or parts who share, but do we still have a self, and if so, how is that different from the ego which the Course says is insane?

Teacher: You actually have two selves. One is real and the other is an illusion. When we speak of self we normally think of the ego, but read this:

Student: “You are what God created or what you made. One Self is true; the other is not there. Try to experience the unity of your one Self. Try to appreciate Its Holiness and the love from which It was created.” W-pI.93.9

Teacher: What are the two selves mentioned here?

Student: One is our true self that God created and the other is an illusion that we made.

Teacher: And what does the Course call that illusionary self we made?

Student: The ego

Teacher: Here is another passage for you to read:

Student: “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

Teacher: This tells us that there is “another self in you.” What do you suppose that is?

Student: That would be our true self which is united with the Sonship.

Teacher: Yes this is called “the Self you do not know.” T-16.III.5 Would you say then that you still have a self when the ego vanishes?

Student: That’s what the Course seems to say.

Teacher: Not only that but it is something we must understand for “in ideas minds can communicate. If you would give yourself as your Father gives His Self, you will learn to understand Selfhood.” T-15.VI.7

So, selfhood not only exists apart from the ego, but must be understood and to deny its reality is a problem. Read this:

Student: “All real pleasure comes from doing God’s Will. This is because not doing it is a denial of Self. Denial of Self results in illusions, while correction of the error brings release from it.” T-1.VII.1

Teacher: What happens when the self is denied?

Student: Illusion. I would presume that would be dominated by the false self

Teacher: And because the ego is created by illusion the Course goes so far as to say that “the ego is not the Self.” T-4.II.4

Student: Wow. That is a lot different than comments I’ve heard from students who claim that all ideas of self belong to the ego.

Teacher: This misunderstanding illustrates the importance of looking at the whole of what the Course is trying to say rather than the part. In fact, it tells us that one of the tricks the ego plays is to segregate a part and present it as if it is the whole.

Student: So, it looks like we have two parts to ourselves. Is this the same thing as the higher and lower self as taught by various spiritual traditions?

Teacher: The Course does not use the terminology of higher and lower self but it does say something similar. Read this:

Student: “I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home.” T-4.IV.11

Teacher: So, the Christ works with your higher mind. What does your ego work with?

Student: The lower mind. I’d say that is about the same thing as saying the lower and higher self.

Teacher: I think you are correct. Do you think we have gathered enough information to understand the ego as presented in ACIM?

Student: I’m not sure, but why do I have the feeling that you are going to tell me there is more?

Teacher: Because you have good instincts and we shall discuss more on this in our next encounter.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

ACIM Conversations, Part 17

ACIM Conversations, Part 17
What is Forgiveness?

Student: I’ve been involved with some ACIM students over the subject of forgiveness and find their thoughts on it are all over the place. In your studies of the Course have you come across a definition that pins it down?

Teacher: First, let me ask you this. What is the definition of forgiveness as defined by the world?

Student: I’ll check with an online dictionary to see what it says. The Oxford dictionary seems to offer a concise definition as is commonly understood. It says it is when we “stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.”

Teacher: That seems to sum up the way most people perceive it. How are the students you are involved with seeing it different from this?

Student: Some really expand unrealistically on the idea. Like if I stub my toe on a rock then I am supposed to forgive the rock for the discomfort, or if there is bad weather I’m supposed to forgive it also. They say I’m supposed to forgive all kinds of inorganic things. That seems silly as I cannot see anything to forgive toward a rock or things that just get in the way.

Teacher: The problem is that the Course has expanded the meaning of forgiveness much beyond the standard definition. Since this is a core teaching in the Course it would have been helpful if it had given us a concise, easy to understand definition at the beginning of the text, but, as it is, one has to plow through the entire course to get a true impression of what it is really trying to say about the subject.

Student: You’ve studied it more than I have. What have you come up with?

Teacher: The Course just seems to assume that we know what forgiveness is, as if the standard definition would apply, but then it takes us into new territory without any redefining.

Student: You mean that you can’t find a definition of the word throughout the whole Course?

Teacher: There are all kinds of effects described that forgiveness is to produce but the closest specific definition is this passage

“To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten.” T-17.III.1

Student: That is pretty much in harmony with the dictionary definition. If you have only loving thoughts, you will not be taking offense over what someone does. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to apply to forgiving a rock for being in the way of my toe. I have no feelings positive or negative toward a rock in my path.

Teacher: But stubbing your toe may make you angry and that is not a loving thought.

Student: Yes, and this is where the Course seems to go beyond the regular meaning of the word.

Teacher: Yes, in normal understanding forgiveness only applies to offenses created by other human beings, but the Course has it applying to painful circumstances where individual humans are not involved. It even tells us we are to forgive the world. What do you suppose that means?

Student: I’m not sure. The world is not some entity that insults you. The regular definition does not apply there.

Teacher: But if we apply that definition I quoted from the Course one could say that a lot of things seem to happen in the world that produce unloving thoughts.

Student: So, if you are facing a disaster like a hurricane, one would find it pretty difficult to focus on only loving thoughts.

Teacher: It would, but perhaps that is what you would do at that time if you are successful in forgiving the world for the hurricane is a product of the world we made.

Student: In fact, most of my thoughts that are not loving are not caused by other people but by circumstances that just happen. I got fat tire the other day and was late to an important meeting. That made me vey angry. Who was I supposed to forgive – the tire?

Teacher: That may be part of what it means by forgiving the world, for that was an event manifested in it.

Student: But a flat tire out of the blue is much different than someone who attacks you with intent to do harm. I can’t find anything to forgive with the flat tire, but I admit that some people’s actions do affect me and I can see where forgiveness in the traditional sense may be in order there.

Teacher: Forgiveness as taught in ACIM is definitely not the traditional one, though it includes that.

Student: So, from your study of the Course how would you define the meaning of forgiveness as intended by its Author?

Teacher: The ACIM definition would include the dictionary definition you gave earlier and it appears that is what it is often talking about.

Student: How about summing up the ACIM non-dictionary definition?

Teacher: The Course tells us that this world of time and space is an illusion and does not even exist in the true reality. It also says that we cannot see two worlds but see either this world of illusion or the real one. So, putting all this together the Course seems to be telling us that true forgiveness is the application of true vision. To forgive the world and all that is in it one must see it as not existing and as having no real effect. When one does this, he will begin waking up

Student: I must still be asleep then because I would certainly attempt to get out of the way if a hurricane was headed my direction. I do not think I could just tell myself that it was an illusion that would have no effect.

Teacher: I have to admit that I probably would also, but do you recall how Jesus reacted when the ship he was on was threatened by a storm and his disciples thought they were going to die?

Student: He commanded the storm to be still and it went away.

Teacher: In ACIM language he forgave the storm. In other words, he saw it as something that did not exist in his waking reality so it did not exist. Do you recall another instance where his life seemed to be threatened?

Student: I’m not sure.

Teacher: Another time a mob from his home town tried to throw him off a cliff and he merely disappeared out of their midst. (See Luke 4:29-30)

Student: That would be so cool to have power. like that

Teacher: Indeed. The Course tells us that we will be invulnerable with a simple change of mind. We understand the theory behind the forgiveness as taught by the Course but applying it is something else. Do you know any of your fellow students who have forgiven the world to the extent that they have achieved invulnerability or have power to heal like Jesus did?

Student: Not really.

Teacher: We all have to work where we are, not where we are not. For most students it is a challenge just to forgive in the normal sense of the word so they can cast out all grievances and be at peace within themselves.

Student: So, is there a wrong way to forgive?

Teacher: Read this:

Student: “Forgiveness is not pity, which but seeks to pardon what it thinks to be the truth. Good cannot be returned for evil, for forgiveness does not first establish sin and then forgive it. Who can say and mean, “My brother, you have injured me, and yet, because I am the better of the two, I pardon you my hurt.” His pardon and your hurt cannot exist together. One denies the other and must make it false.” T-27.II.2

Teacher: So, what is the wrong approach according to that text?

Student: It appears that we need to avoid the attitude of superiority

Teacher: Read this to discover the correct approach.

Student: “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

Teacher: So, what is the difference between the incorrect and the correct approach?

Student: The wrong-headed approach is the one used by most religious people in that they see the sin in a brother and forgive because of their moral superiority. When the student has the right approach, he will see his brother as a Son of God as himself and see the mistake as an illusion that does not even exist in the true reality so there is nothing to forgive.

Teacher: I think we can assume that we must take this step, which is something we can believe we can achieve in this life, and when this happens the door to greater miracles that can manifest.

Student: Good advice that reminds me of one of my favorite sayings of Jesus. Let me read it to you:

“He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12

Teacher: The promise of doing even greater words than Jesus is quite profound. It should provide encouragement for all seekers of truth. Applying forgiveness to the best of our ability is a significant step in the right direction.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

 

ACIM Conversations, Part 16

ACIM Conversations, Part 16
Managing Feelings About Ukraine

Student: Many Course students have been in a quandary lately about how to handle Putin. They think that he is not there, the war is not happening yet they cannot get beyond their feelings that they hate the guy and are greatly disturbed about the plight of the Ukrainians. I’d be interested in your views on the situation.

Teacher: What are your feelings about the situation?

Student: In the world we live in something is happening and my heart goes out to not only the Ukrainians who are suffering, but I’m sure many Russian soldiers are caught up in this thing against their will. I have very negative feelings toward Putin for what he has done.

Teacher: It is good that you are honestly facing your feelings for honesty is a key factor in obtaining liberation from the illusion. To pretend you are not affected by the war when you are is not being true to yourself and can take you further into the illusion. Consider this quote:

“The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming is not really healing his split mind. You dream of a separated ego and believe in a world that rests upon it. This is very real to you. You cannot undo it by not changing your mind about it.” T-4.I.4

Student: So, how can I change my mind and stay at peace, as taught in the Course, with so many disturbing things happening in the world?

Teacher: There are two things I use to help me stay at peace during tempestuous times caused by out-of-control individuals. The first is something I call the Lion Principle.

Student: What in the world is that?

Teacher: We’ll get to that. Tell me, my friend, do you hate lions?

Student: Of course not.

Teacher: What do you think of them?

Student: They are powerful and respected. They are kind of like the royalty of the animal kingdom.

Teacher: Don’t you realize that if you were in the presence of one that is hungry you could be eaten alive?

Student: Of course.

Teacher: And are you aware that lions stalk innocent and weaker animals and eat them?

Student: Yes.

Teacher: Then why do you not hate them?

Student: I guess it is because that is just the nature of a lion and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Teacher: And Putin and other supposed bad guys are just following their nature as it exists in this world. How are they different from lions following their nature?

Student: Interesting comparison. So if I view Putin as a provoked lion I should just accept him as he is for that is his nature in this world and there is nothing I can do about it.

Teacher: Correct. There are many people we meet in life with undesirable characteristics that we could allow to disturb our peace, but if we use the Lion Principle, we realize that is just who they are and if we just accept that, as we do lions, then they no longer have power to disturb us.

Student: That may not be easy with some people I know.

Teacher: It is also helpful to not provoke the lions in your life and stay out of their way like you would a lion. Treat them like lions and they will have no more power to take away your peace than real lions.

Student: Sounds like good advice. What is the second method you use?

Teacher: The second is the Principle of the Observer. Consider this famous quote from Shakespeare:

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.”

How do you see this relating to the teachings in the Course about this world being a dream?

Student: The Course calls this life a dream which means the mind is kind of acting out a drama for us that is not a part of real life – like a play.

Teacher: And if you acted in or just observed a play where people were suffering, does this cause you to suffer?

Student: No. I might imagine what it would feel like, but I would not actually suffer.

Teacher: Why not?

Student: Because I would just be an observer, not a participant.

Teacher: And here in this life, which is a like a play unfolding in the dream state, could you also be an observer and thus not allow events to disturb your peace?

Student: I would suppose so but it is easier said than done.

Teacher: It helps to change our minds about the dream to make what the Course calls “a happy dream.” We are given this advice:

“It is not difficult to change a dream when once the dreamer has been recognized. Rest in the Holy Spirit, and allow His gentle dreams to take the place of those you dreamed in terror and in fear of death.” T-27.VII.14

Until we can make all our dreams happy ones, taking the vantage point of the observer is a big help. It works for me.

Student: Does this mean I should take the attitude that nothing is happening as do some students?

Teacher: Not quite. Read this:

Student: “The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. Its abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated. However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in this world. Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial.” T-2.IV.3

Teacher: Now this idea would apply to the world as well as the body. What is “a particularly unworthy form of denial?”

Student: To deny the existence of that which feels like it has a real existence. I would think it would also mean we should not deny the truth of how our bodies or this world affects us.

Teacher: Or maybe that we should not deny that the dreamlike play we are in is happening on some level. As the director of a play, you can be the observer, but still realize that the play is happening and you want to make the best of it. You cannot enjoy a play or movie with your eyes closed and ears plugged. You have to be aware of it but keep the attitude of the observer so the negative events will not disturb your peace.

Student: Good advice. I’ll work on incorporating the two principles.

Links to The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles:

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, Chapter Twenty-Seven  HERE, Chapter Twenty-Eight  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

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE