September 2013 ACIMblog bulletin

ACIMblog bulletin for September 2013:

audio-Bill Thetford Talks About His Life

Audio – Bill Thetford Talks About His Life

Thanks to Jonathan Joshua for alerting me to this wonderful 3 part audio recording of William Thetford, talking about his history and how it relates to ACIM’s origins (Part 1Part 2Part 3). As you might expect, Thetford’s humor, clarity and insight is evident throughout.

Sep 2013 LightHouse

The Sep. 2013 edition of FACIM‘s quarterly bulletin, The Lighthouse, is now available here. Always loaded with superb insights and highly recommended! This edition’s feature article by Ken Wapnick is entitled: “THE TREACHERY OF IMAGES”—Part I: Confusing Symbols with Source, Form with Content” … Here is a short excerpt:

“Herein lies the treachery of images or symbols, for they seem to be what they are not, seducing us into believing that an illusion (really, an hallucination) is actually true and is out there to be perceived. And so the purpose of the world: “Thus were specifics made” (W-pI.161.3:1). This leaves us as the “face of innocence” that suffers at the hands of people and events beyond our control.”

Love Has Forgotten No One – Gary Renard’s new book

The long-awaited 3rd book by Gary Renard, Love Has Forgotten No One, will be available on Kindle via Amazon on October 8. Here’s a short review by fellow ACIM enthusiast of Gary’s work ‘Giddyup Mikey’ Mike Lemieux.

Doug Sparks presentation and workshop at Rocky Mountain Miracle Center

Doug Sparks will be coming to RMMC on October 13, 2013, giving talks for the morning Gathering and an afternoon Workshop. It’s always a joy to attend talks given by this long-time student of Ken Wapnick, as he shares the depth of the importance of being kindly mindful as we apply our forgiveness lessons.

Daily post updates

Now you can quickly and easily subscribe to automated post updates to the ACIMblog.com website. Just enter your email below where it says the “ACIMblog.com post updates by email” on the upper right hand corner of any page, and click the “Subscribe” button. You’ll automatically get an email containing any new posts to ACIMblog.com made the previous day. Of course, if you prefer just getting one email a month, the bulletin you’re reading now (if you’re reading this in your email program) will still continue to provide that service.

Upcoming Interviews / Webcasts / Videos / Meetings / Conferences / Presentations/ Classes / Resources

Online ACIM study groups and presentations

There are several ongoing ACIM Hangout study groups and meetings; here’s a link to the ACIMExplained YouTube Channel (which has LOTS of wonderful videos) including regular interviews, presentations and online study group meetings. Enjoy, and join in if you feel inspired to share in the fun. Check back regularly on the calendar of upcoming online ACIM Hangouts for new events to participate ‘live’ in, and/or watch later. Here’s a how-to page with best practices for participating in these Google+ Hangouts.

ACIM-related websites and blogs of interest

Inner Peace For You – new blog

Sally McKirgan, who has contributed several articles for ACIMblog, has a new blog about ACIM: Inner Peace For You. Check it out! 🙂

ACIM Resources, Events, Musings – your suggestions and contributions invited!

Please contact me to share what YOU would like to see here, any suggestions for improvements, etc. If you have anything ACIM-related that you’d like to share, please send (or send a link) for consideration. This site is (among other things) a venue for conversations, so I eagerly encourage and await more contributions from kindred students of our Shared Teacher of forgiveness and kindness.

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Jonathan Joshua’s review of a Ken Wapnick workshop, March 2012

Ken Wapnick workshop, March 2012: “An unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates)

Let your mind be the hero of your day’s dream.
Dedicate each day to the Holy Spirit to serve the Mind, not the body’s needs: pain-relief/pleasure, etc.

Relationships must be healed at the level of the mind. There’s no real need to ‘talk things out,’ where you are working on a special relationship between two separate bodies, as in couples therapy. Work it out instead with thee Holy Spirit. Then it permeates down to the level of the physical relationship.

The ego owes its entire existence, and its continued power, in persuading the decision-maker to believe in it. Our power of choice is its real threat, not God or the Holy Spirit. So the ego’s job is to keep the decision-making mind off of the awareness of choice, by using our guilt of punishment for the separation of God to keep us in fear and unaware of our power to choose. But every thought the ego uses to defend the choice to be a body in the world has a corresponding thought that Holy Spirit offers our decision-maker instead so that we may choose the Mind.

The ego uses differences to separate. The Holy Spirit uses our oneness to unite. We relive the original moment of separation each time we focus on differences, or get angry, or judgmental.

When you attack someone else, you know on some level you are doing it unfairly, because you have a sense that they are not the reason you are upset. So you inherently believe you deserve punishment for attacking them, and expect to be attacked back. Even if they don’t react, you will make up their attack in your mind. But when you listen to reason and forgive from your right mind, you hear any attack as a call for love.
(note: When the Course uses the term ‘reason’, it is referring to right-minded thinking.)

Look honestly at your judgments with Jesus. Someone said to Ken that they don’t have to do anything, but just be. When Ken questioned him what he meant, the man said he just responds like Jesus would. Ken said that sounds like the same thing he was saying by looking at your judgments with Jesus, just inviting him in. (Jonathan’s note: The ‘I need do nothing’ statement taken out of context?)

Differences include denigrating your supposed enemy, saying they look different, speak differently, believe differently; so now you can ‘kill’ them without feeling immediate guilt. But any judgmental thought that is not love, is really murder. At the core of every perception of difference is the ego saying, “that other person is sinful, and I am guiltless.” And so the ego triumphs over God to get its needs met, which is to triumph over the mind.

The world makes no sense because it is an inadequate solution to our problem. It was made from the premise of insanity as a thought of separation, and so can never be the solution. There really is no problem to solve, except the belief in the ego itself.

I need do nothing was originally just a message to Helen during an elevator strike at her apartment that actually never happened, but she moved out for fear that it would cause her inconvenience! In truth there is no problem, so you need do nothing to solve it.

7 FAQs When Starting A Course Correction with ACIM

“There must be another way. But what?”

I was asked in a review of The Disappearance of the Universe I wrote for Amazon to clarify how the messages of Arten & Pursah (the author’s teachers) actually helped me out. As Arten says in the book, “The most striking validity of this approach will be demonstrated to you by the fact that it works” I couldn’t help elaborating a little on how this book opened A Course in Miracles to my closed mind!

1. Why do terrible things happen in the world, if, as most spirituality says, God made everything in it? Can you have both a loving and a wrathful, or uncaring God?

My understanding of the answer in DU (Disappearance of the Universe): God is pure Spirit and unchangeable, constant Love, and has nothing to do with the world and it’s creation. The world and the body are projections from a level of mind where it seemed to split from being one with God. This concept of pure non-dualism is ancient in Eastern philosophy, yet more recent Christian religious thought emphasizes the world and the body as reality, and so attributes them to God, ignoring the contradiction inherent in a limited God having created transitory forms, and Is sometimes kind, sometimes cruel, but always including sacrifice and suffering.

2. Why do I have all these fears that seem to run my life with repeating patterns even if I apply traditional and alternative healing modalities?

When the mind first thought to separate from God, in a ‘what if’ idea, it experienced unimaginable pain from a sense of disconnecting from God’s Love. This resulted in denial of the incredible guilt that followed, and an attempt to ‘hide’ from God through projection into form, with the idea that God was going to come after us, for being ungrateful s.o.b.’s! Much like entering into a fantasy or dream at the level of the individual, this massive denial at the metaphysical level was the big bang of the entire Universe. The unconscious guilt that was repressed is what really runs our lives, and until it is forgiven at that level by rejoining with the unshakeable Love of God, we will continue to experience being in bodies and repeating victim experiences, fearing the very illusions we made up. Taking responsibility for the separation at this level of cause is one of the fundamentals of advanced forgiveness. This completely undoes the unconscious guilt that is behind the fears and issues that I’m more consciously aware of, releasing them forever.

3. Why can’t I be at peace with certain people that I’ve had issues with, and bring myself to forgive them?

I was usually discouraged in trying to heal relationships because I was dealing with the person at the level of effect, seeing them as a separate body that had really done something that harmed me. Advanced forgiveness, as described, undoes the sense of separation at its cause, by realizing you and everyone are pure spirit, totally innocent, and it never really happened. When Arten says, the evidence for the validity of this practice is that it works, he didn’t say it was easy. The training that is involved is simple repetition but it calls for constant vigilance, and to those who are ready, peace is the result. I’ve found that after doing the practice around someone that upset me, I felt no resentment toward them the next time I encountered them. Again, this is because the unconscious guilt was being undone at a deep level in my mind, affecting every aspect of my awareness on a quantum level.

4. No matter how successful in the world I was, or in loving relationships, or even living with an ocean view of Hawaii, there was always a longing that remained.

DU explains this longing as the call to return to God and the Love that we really are, but have forgotten. It is like a song, faintly heard, but a call that cannot be denied, no matter how many lifetimes we made up to try to hide from it. This paragraph from the Workbook Lesson 182 (p.339) says it so eloquently:
“The world you seem to live in is not home to you. And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true. A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, or what it is the voice reminds you of. Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown. Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here. Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.”

Of course, we can celebrate here and bring joy into our lives in the world, where our experience tells us we are, and at the same time be ‘about our business’, preparing our minds through forgiveness to return to Spirit, where our true home is waiting. In DU, that is described as an experience where God’s Love never varies and every need is answered. Again, this is the experience which the practice in ACIM and DU is designed to bring about, not intellectual understanding. Although understanding is preliminary to choosing the Love and our rightful inheritance as one with God over the world’s meager offerings.

5. How is it this message of true reality is so rare?

Reality, as most are taught to accept it is of a world of transitory form where we eventually deteriorate through age, pain, and then death, with an endless emphasis on one’s identity as a particular body and personality. This book elaborates on A Course in Miracles’ definition of your reality, and that which ‘J’, (Jesus, or more accurately, Y’shua) taught, being that you are spirit having an experience of being in a body, and that at some point you will awaken to what you are, at home with a loving God. This concept is also quite old and there’s nothing new age or cultish about it.
This message of radical spirituality was quite upsetting to those in power 2000 years ago, who put people on crosses to silence those with a different view on reality. No one could hold power over another if they knew they weren’t some vulnerable body, or induce guilt and shame and sacrifice to serve the the current authority if you understood Jesus’ message of your absolute innocence. He understood Buddhist and Vedantic thought and knew the reaction he would get introducing it to western minds steeped in the traditions of the sacrificial god of Abraham. But he took Buddhism one step further, reconnecting the one innocent (prodigal) son back to the One loving God and then used his life to complete that journey as he rejoined with God, at the same time demonstrating the insignificance of his own body and our way home as equal ‘Son’s’. With only the understanding of the world as illusion, one can feel hopeless and depressed, but in the Course, J reunites us with God and reveals the purpose of the world at the same time–to offer us the opportunity to choose again by forgiving it.

Validity of an entirely different reality doesn’t come through corroborating evidence within your current reality. You have to get out of the box to discover you’re in a box, or as the ‘blasphemous’ Albert Einstein wrote, “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it.” The problem is we’re asleep in a false reality, and you can’t see the problem until you start to wake up. Holy Spirit knows we aren’t going to be happy campers if it shakes us awake before we’re ready, and so gently meets us where we think we are, and whispers from outside the dream through books, sleep, or other inspiration until we’re ready to ask for help.
That’s why this book is so unique. It isn’t afraid to question mainstream spirituality and gently offers an experience to those willing to have an open mind. We’re all having an experience that tells us we’re here, in a body. This teaching doesn’t ask you to deny that, or to not take care of yourself, or be kind to others. It’s just stating that it’s a false experience, and offers a way for you to awaken while still doing what you normally do. Your behavior or worldly work are not what needs to change for you to wake up, it’s how you see people in your mind, and your willingness to hand over separation thoughts and judgments to be lovingly corrected by Holy Spirit.
J understood the nature of the world as a dream and so transcended it. That was his purpose in life, and he now holds that out for everyone to follow, when they are ready. He turned the tables on the world of illusion and saw it as a place to forgive all the separation guilt he was holding by seeing everyone in his mind as pure, whole, spirit. Not part of God, but one with God.
Living out life as it unfolds is going to happen anyway, so go ahead and make your contribution here. But at the same time you can remember you’re really home with God having a dream and leaving the one purpose of awakening.
After a period of disillusionment (dispelling the illusion!) the ego quiets down it’s attempt to attack it’s way toward some control in the dream, and peace rules. You become much more effective in the world and in your relationships and you realize you’ve given up nothing (a life of quiet suffering; good times mixed with bad) for everything–a sense of connection to Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is described as God’s Messenger, the Voice for God that stays with the split mind, guiding us gently as to how to live in grace through practicing forgiveness, your constant companion in an ever-changing world of chaos.

6. If nothing’s real, why bother?

Many people misinterpret the concept of the ego or the world as illusion in a way that makes it sound like they don’t exist, so why bother? It is your mind that is real and offers true forgiveness, not the judging ego. It is asleep at the wheel in a make-believe world and only knows attack & blame, defense & guilt from seeing everyone as separate. It knows this level of release (advanced forgiveness) is it’s undoing, and resists it to maintain control. The situations that require forgiving are real to your ego, and the pain and upset you experience in holding grievances also seem very real, and so that’s where the Holy Spirit has to meet you–who you think you are in that moment, existing as a victim in a body–in order to help you heal the mind and eventually awaken to what you really, pure spirit and love.
By releasing the issues with this advanced forgiveness you realize they never really happened and join with Holy Spirit to correct your mind so you can see the situation and others as innocent. Why bother? Well, it wouldn’t occur to you if you’re content to keep appearing over and over in a dream where re-runs rule. But if you’re starting to feel you’ve done all this before and longing for what can never quite be satisfied in the world, this practice is the fast track that leads to peace of mind, and eventually, the end of reincarnation. It’s important for us to do the work of forgiveness and in this, participate in the healing of our mind, or by free will we would just keep appearing in the dream forever. God’s Will is that we be whole. The good news is, it’s our will too–when we remember!

Again, it’s really very simple, but not necessarily easy to apply, at least at first! The desire for peace, and the fulfillment that comes as you answer this calling to remember what you are (Love) will eventually provide the direct experience of that Love.
It’s not a ‘running away of the mind’ simplicity where you say everything is perfect and you don’t have to do anything; just ‘be’. Advanced forgiveness involves a proactive step of turning the tables on the ego when stuff gets brought up. Intellectual understanding of the concept of pure non-dualism are needed to approach this practice. Wisdom is required to choose to practice it. And honesty in viewing and forgiving what Holy Spirit pulls out of your hat, is the practice. This eventually trains your mind to choose against your ego by choosing Holy Spirit (forgiveness) at every opportunity. Over the years, the Holy Spirit’s thought system replaces the ego’s and old habits are released by continually identifying with your innocence each time you choose to forgive and see others as innocent. That translates into your unconscious mind as how you see yourself and the unconscious guilt is released bit by bit. Hey, I played around with bad habits for what seemed like lifetimes, so a few years to turn it around seems a bargain!

7. Okay, I can handle the world as illusion, I just don’t want my world turned upside down. What will my life look like if I live this?

A Course In Miracles is a self-study course, and a person can ‘graduate’ without anyone else knowing because it is correctly applied at the level of the mind, not in trying to change the world or it’s opinion of you. The miracle is your shift in perception from a world of pain and separation, to peace and oneness. I found The Disappearance of the Universe to be like a can-opener to ACIM due to my initial difficulty with the Course’s artful language. An answer to a call at this level is individualized for every seemingly separate mind.
Many move quietly toward their goal doing very similar things in the world as they had done, but forgiving the heck out of every situation that calls for it and so doing their part in the salvation of the world. And if you are called to share it, your real teaching will be done in thinking correctly and inspiring others to be directed to their own ‘right-minded thinking’. All healing is accomplished in the mind that chooses it, not by standing on a podium trying to heal others, or listening to someone like me carry on. At the same time if you’re called to stand up and teach as part of your forgiveness lesson, you should probably ask for something at the door! Just tell them you asked Holy Spirit how much you should charge :-))
This work isn’t for everyone right now, but if you are moved to practice it, you will just know, without anyone’s influence. There are many paths that lead home. We all left bread crumbs on our outward journey, and we’ll find those familiar crumbs in the practices that appeal to us. For me, the fear of buying into a delusion was momentarily offset by the thought: “there must be another way.” It took a life-changing event and the feeling of being in crisis for the ego to back off and surrender control of ‘my’ world long enough to follow my heart over my beliefs. I found the Holy Spirit right there waiting when it was my time, leading me to the experience of lasting peace that evaporated all my doubts–and I’m a hard nut to crack!
And now I salute you for reading this far, as you must have forgiven me to do so! Actually, my intention was to express gratitude for what can really never be relayed in words. Thank you for helping me try.  I wish to cherish your natural state of being, beyond form, beyond conflict, beyond words and concepts, eternally at home in the loving Mind of God.
Peace,
Jonathan Joshua

Three Step Process To Undo The Ego

The Disappearance of the Universe, straight talk about A Course In Miracles and a 3-step process to undo the ego.

A Course In Miracles is a spiritual teaching of pure love and forgiveness, written down by Helen Shucman as she heard the words dictated by Jesus. It is 3 books in one: a text that offers the theory of pure non-duality, a workbook to apply it in daily life, and a manual for teachers. It was presented in classic Shakespearean blank verse with Christian references, partly, it is believed, to be legible for future ages, and also to offer correction to traditional Christianity. It uses the masculine to reference God, and the Holy Spirit–or the Voice for God–and Christ, only for purposes of consistency with the understanding that they are genderless and really all one.

Gary Renard became a student of the Course after numerous remarkable visitations by his teachers who helped him offer Jesus’ message from the Course in a modern conversational format and offers clarification to many of the common mistakes made by students and teachers. Gary’s sense of humor, and the lightness his teachers bring to this advanced form of spirituality is so refreshing that it slips in the keys to secret of the Universe as disarmingly as a good joke!

3-part spiritual practice:

In the “Disappearance of the Universe“, Gary Renard’s teachers, two of Jesus’ disciples, now ascended masters, describe a silent prayer meditation practiced by Jesus 2000 years ago.

They suggested this meditation as one of a 3-part practice designed to accelerate the undoing of the ego by releasing the unconscious guilt that keeps us stuck in the cycle of reincarnation, as a way of hiding in the Universe of form and the belief that we chose to separate from God.

The practical results to this doing this work become obvious when you realize that peace, love, and true forgiveness brought into any area of your life have immediate benefits, not the least of which being peace of mind and a renewed passion to contribute toward positive change in whatever walk of life you’re in. Obviously, the world could use some change for the better, but the true power that results from practicing the Course is changing how you see the world and the people in your life. The focus is on affecting change at the level of cause (the mind and your thoughts) rather than effect (the world of illusory form). This is the only place of true change, since it undoes the unconscious guilt where it originated.

Meditate morning and evening for just 5 minutes in silent joining with God and you may find, over time, that the results can lead to direct inspiration in regards to your life purpose and any major decisions. On a day to day practical level, you may find that committing to this practice helps you become more peaceful throughout the day, and the things that used to really get to you, just don’t upset you anymore.

When you notice this, you’ll have solid evidence that this is working to undo the guilt and anger in your unconscious mind, and it will have lasting effects in your daily life. Your interactions with people become more harmonious and you will feel directly guided at times as to the best course of action in every moment of the day.
It has been revealed in A Course In Miracles that prayer as Jesus taught and practiced it, was intended to be done in silence as a joining of your mind with God’s. Becoming one with His love answers all worldly problems. Thinking of your complete oneness with God, rather than seeing Him as outside of you helps to put you in ‘one-mindedness’ or right-mindedness, as the Course describes, by choosing the Holy Spirit as our teacher and interpreter.

Apply Advanced Forgiveness to whatever disturbs you during the day. This isn’t about forgiving some guilty ____ for what you think they’ve done, but overlooking it by seeing who they truly are in their innocence, and so forgiving what never happened. It is a quantum approach to applying non-duality to every situation recognizing that you are not a victim. Pure non-duality, as presented in the Course, is the awareness that what God created is whole, and completely perfect and so cannot have any counterpart or opposite. At this level of awareness, the truth is revealed that you, as Christ, are one with God and there cannot be anyone or anything separate from the one.

You can start practicing this true forgiveness now, even though you seem to be experiencing separation in a body, by letting the Course retrain the mind to recognize there’s really no one outside of you making you feel the way you do. Seeing with true spiritual sight means seeing everyone as innocent and everything in the world as meaningless, except to offer it to the Holy Spirit for reinterpretation. This is the keystone to the work of getting home, where you remember you’ve been dreaming and you are really safe at home with God. Peace is the result of practicing this level of forgiveness, returning your mind to heaven, where God’s Peace is always the natural condition.

Einstein understood that what we’re seeing with the body’s eyes is an optical illusion of reality. In short, the only real problem is the belief that we’ve separated from our Source and are wandering around inside a body observing a real world. The one correction is to forgive the images we’ve made up since the beginning of time, whether they are bodies, trees, or universes. Here, the cycle of birth and death ends, and your immortality is all that remains.

A Course in Miracles describes our particular dilemma in this way: “You are safe at home in God, dreaming of exile, but perfectly capable of awakening to reality.” The key that Jesus found to waking up was to choose reality instead of the dream. He thought of everyone he saw as perfectly innocent and whole, not a part of God, but one with God. Eventually the guilt that had him perceiving incorrectly and judging others as separate from him and God was undone and he was able to think of them as pure Spirit and eventually experience that reality for himself. This practice of advanced forgiveness he offers through the Course is designed to be a fast track home, to reawaken to what he is–perfect and constant love–and to our mutual inheritance.

A good forgiveness example was offered by Gary’s teachers for times when someone is pushing your buttons: “You are Christ, whole and innocent. All is forgiven and released.” See them released into the light of pure Spirit and you are also being released from guilt and separation.

Ask the the Holy Spirit to guide you through the day as the final part of the 3-step practice. It is very simple, but not always easy to follow. Every morning upon awakening, hand over your day to Holy Spirit (the Bridge between your mind and God’s) to guide you through the day. When you don’t have time to ask, trust that His Wisdom will be there to guide you.

The ego is based on the fearful belief that you separated from God, projecting itself outside God and into bodies, and holding on to the guilt of separation in the split mind at an unconscious level. Projecting this guilt on to others is the only way we can sense some relief from this condition. Unfortunately it doesn’t last. The ego will continue to try to place it’s terrible burden of guilt outside itself and so never bring healing to the split mind that created it. The only way out of this is to undo the ego by choosing true forgiveness with the Holy Spirit, overlooking the belief in separation, thereby returning your mind to God.

This is a life-long practice for most, since the unconscious guilt must be removed gently by the Holy Spirit or we would be overwhelmed. But the immediate results from practicing forgiveness–ever expanding peace and more awareness of God’s Love–are constant reminders that your mind is being healed–forever. I’ve noticed the benefits also include a feeling of taking yourself more lightly. May your feet tread softly through the dream as you become a passerby!

– Jonathan Joshua

True Worthiness

I’m continuing to appreciate the peace attained through practicing advanced forgiveness as modeled in The Disappearance of the Universe. I know it’s working when I find no reaction from something that would definitely have upset me before. Forgive, realizing it never really happened, and so re-train the mind to eventually see everyone as innocent. It’s the gift that keeps giving, and as we’re all one, I’m giving it to myself.

Body symptoms have been up for me lately. The Course teaches that my body is a symptom (of separation)! When I asked for information, I had to be redirected to asking the ‘right’ question. “Do I want to let Holy Spirit be in charge of my life, including my health?” According to Arten & Pursah, and the Course; all illness, pain, and suffering begins in my mind due to the unconscious guilt from the mistaken belief it denied God. It is here that correction is to be applied, but an overview of my devious methods to create these effects was helpful. DU Chapter 10 ‘Healing the Sick’. (Forgive me ahead of time for indulging my conversations with mySelf. I won’t know if you don’t read it, only if you don’t forgive me :-)) just joshing.

I just looked up indulgence in wikipedia: ‘the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven. The indulgence is granted by the church after the sinner has confessed and received absolution.’ On second thought, I’d rather not receive any indulgence, thank-you very much.

My ego has been feeling threatened by the shift in perceptual reality from bodies to Spirit. By handing over my health to Holy Spirit, He will take charge of it all, including inspiration as to what ‘magic’ (medicine, exercise, etc.) would be helpful after forgiving the situation I made up to hide my guilt in. But the big one, letting God’s Love back in, so I can begin to trust in Him for everything, brought up the old unworthiness delusion. I’m often lax in this area, as was obvious in that I wasn’t even aware this was the subject I needed to ask help with! When they say the guilt behind our suffering is unconscious, they mean it!

The ego feels unworthy because it thinks it should be punished for defying God. (silly-willy). It projects this belief on to the body and the world and situations, then screams ‘abandonment!’ whenever things don’t go its way. It’s really accessing this unconscious guilt around separation from God and trying to mete out its own punishment by investing in the temporal: bodies, special relationships, validation, money, or power. These are its gods, and if I root for them, I’m in for a big disappointment! When the idols crash, as the ego knows they must, it tries to convince me I did something wrong: ‘that’s why they got angry and withheld the goods!’ It infers punishment by God. ‘You musta done something wrong; now you’re gonna get it!’ Here cometh the God of Abraham! And so starts the vicious cycle of unworthiness all over again.
I interjected at this point. ‘So how do I see this correctly!? What if I realize the ego is meaningless?’

From the silence: “Once you sided with the ego during the first split, you were bound to a script that must be played all the way out. It is possible to save time, however. But not by letting the ego analyze itself. That only reinforces your belief in its reality.”

So, like getting the cliff notes to a bad play, I could come to the instructor with a forgiving attitude and tell him “Confessions of a Madman” should have closed after the first night. The cliff notes being the ability of Holy Spirit to collapse time if I do my homework, I could get a passing grade even if I did leave right after intermission. (Bill Thetford, co-scribe of the Course with Helen Shucman, actually toyed with a musical based on the Course, “Call Me Mad” instead of Madam. Helen would come in with her operatic voice in a duet with Bill and they had them rolling in the aisles, even if it was just s friends living room).

Out of the silence, again: “How to see this correctly? No one is unworthy of God’s Love. You are that love! Put Holy Spirit in charge; keep forgiving and joining in silence until your experience reveals this is true.”
So I guess it would be curtains for the ego and it’s dark play?

The ego’s investment in images of bodies and personalities are used by Holy Spirit as vehicles for his communicating to our right mind that we are neither. And all the world’s just a stage. But we have to ask, or hand in our 3-d glasses to Him at some point during the last act, for him to correct our vision. Then they get used for his purposes and the final draft of the script gets rewritten into a comedy! The lines are the same, but the actors have changed and now we all get to laugh at our tiny, mad idea of separation–like watching a Godzilla movie, originally mis-created to terrify my tiny, mad ego.

My ego perpetuates the B-Movie with thoughts of self- (and other-) judgment to hide it’s sinister game. They go right to me, since there’s no one else out there. Self-judgment (my favorite poison of choice) results in apathy and depression; rage and vengeance from judging others. Now I can see ‘therapist’ Bob Newhart’s advice (on his comedy clip on Mad TV) to just ‘stop it!’ as more than a quick fix. “We but do this to ourselves.” The choice has always been mine.

Opening up to receiving love in the world can help support ‘true worthiness’ at the level of effect, but joining with God in silence, and inviting His Love into my mind by loving Him as best I can, goes to cause. There, I can see that I must give the Love I want to remember I have it, and so begin to receive healing for those damned unconscious blocks to It’s awareness. All little needs are contained in this one. I am so grateful to Arten & Pursah in The Disappearance of the Universe for demonstrating how to ‘pray’ in silence by joining with God and forgetting the things we think we need by getting ‘lost’ in His Love (our one need, and our inheritance to be rediscovered). [DUp351]

A lot of mental wandering, I know, for something that Mother Theresa practiced without a second thought! Babies get it too, but for whatever reason, I need to be led by the hand in this area, a bit like a toddler! As I visualize taking J’s (or the Holy Spirit’s) hand, I am reminded to offer love at every opportunity, no matter how weakly at first, to make practice become habit. Thanks for helping me remember to ask for help. I have it on good authority it’ll come right back to you!
So, as the curtain falls, I most humbly take my leave (cancel actual Hamlet ending).

Actually, at my wits end, I offer my love to you. May it continue to strengthen as I ask His Wits to rule this unruly mind.
Yours, in true worthiness,

Jonathan

You’re invited to an ACIM skype chat/meeting on your computer! Starts Monday, 14June2010, 7PM PDT

Hi all:

(Update: 24June2010: We actually haven’t started yet, but if this sounds interesting, email me your skype name and I’ll add you to the list for when we get started… soon! 🙂

A handful of our local (Rogue Valley, Oregon around the Ashland/Medford area) ACIM enthusiasts from the Wed. evening ACIM/DU group have been having way too much fun (at the ‘post meetings’ on Wed. evenings we call our ‘after parties’) to not extend it, so we thought it would be fun to have an informal Skype chat on a regular (or semi-regular) basis and just see where it leads… Skype (if you haven’t already used it) is a free application you can download and install on your computer with just a few clicks that allows free teleconferencing with video and audio (if just between two computers) and audio (if teleconferencing between 3 or more computers.) I’ve used it for several years and find it’s much better than the phone in many cases and best of all, free! (You call also use it for computer to phone and phone to computer calls for a reasonable rate, which is how skype is able to subsidize the free service. I’ve talked with friends and family in Europe, Australia, Canada and all over the US.

Here’s Jonathan‘s comments on the idea (from our recent meeting talking about this fun idea):

“Our Course study group is morphing into an experiential group as we share and offer insights into the practice of forgiveness, and how it continues to clear up our murky perspective on the world and our lives. We’re guided to extend the love and celebration, and so invite you to do the same! All students feeling called to the Course or connected works by Ken Wapnick, Gary Renard, and others are welcome. With close to 20 years of the Course combined between us, we realize that this is not an easy path, and even if it doesn’t feel so loving and celebratory at times, we aspire to offer a safe space with whatever transpires as a gift toward healing our minds with the love of the Holy Spirit.”

Anyway, we thought we’d give it a go and start an informal chat session this coming Monday (June 14, 2010) at 7PM PDT (for an hour or two) and just see how it goes. It could be a lot of fun! The intention is to share the same sort of inspiration, heart-to-heart connections and support for our mutual (eternal) interest as we do with all of our other (wonderful!) local study groups, just without the gasoline and logistics for carpooling, driving, parking, etc.

At some point, we could record the sessions and put them online (It’s quite easy to upload audio, and I think it might be fun to share with folks via the web. I sure enjoy a wide variety of online media from other ACIM students, ranging from Gary Renard & Gene Bogart’s podcasts, to videos from Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Vieira and  Ken Wapnick, to Regina Dawn Akers‘ audio recordings, Philip Urso’s “Crash Course In Miracles” podcasts and much more; all of these have been inspirations to share our common interest in undoing the ego and it’s sneaky made up unconscious guilt in a fun and enjoyable way. There’s lots of audio and video and other resource links on ACIMblog already, BTW, if you haven’t checked them out…

If you are interested, there’s really only a couple of steps, and the first one you only need to do once.

1) Visit http://www.skype.com with your web browser (e.g. Firefox) and follow the (relatively simple) instructions to install it. (You don’t need a video camera to use skype, but it is very fun for 1-to-1 chats. We’re going to just use audio for now.)

2) Email me your skype address, with “ACIM skype chat” in the subject heading.

This way I can add you to my skype ACIM list (different from the Wed. study group email list); since there’s no geographic boundary (aside from perhaps 7PM possibly not being a convenient time for someone in London perhaps :-), there’s no reason we can’t invite ACIM-minded friends from around the planet. Please forward to anyone you think might be interested… The current limit is 25 (including the one who initiates the skype conference call) but we’ll deal with that when we get to that point. 🙂

Then I’ll make a list of all the folks who want to get a ‘skype call’ Mon. evening at 7PM, and we’ll chat about ACIM with whoever show up! 🙂

Since we’re not limited to just the Rogue Valley (although the off-planet connections are problematic for a while), this little invite is for any ‘serious’ student of ACIM. This page is where I’ll also post announcements for folks that just want to spontaneously attend any of the future sessions…

If you’re not interested in the ongoing idea, after trying it out, just let me know and I’ll remove you from the skype-chat list. If you’re busy or not interested in a particular session, just ignore the call (if you have skype running on your computer)
when it comes in (just like a regular phone call in that sense). Pretty easy, huh! 🙂

Hope to see and/or skype with you soon!

Eternal smilezenhugs! 🙂

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