I had a few “aha’s” over the past year and Bruce encouraged me to share them on this blog. I hope you will find them useful in your acceptance of God’s Love.
I work at home and sometimes there are gaps between jobs which I use for studying. I do 3D animation and the field is so deep and wide that it requires a HUGE amount of studying. Fortunately I love doing it but at some point you can get saturated and that’s where I found myself on this particular day.
I decided to go out and get totally away from the computer for a little while. I wanted to do something tangible, like climb on some rocks, feel the sun on my face…that kind of stuff. So I went to the local reservoir for some hiking.
Being a weekday there was no one else out there and I mean no one! Also it had just snowed so everything was bright, crisp, and cold. As I was walking I was remembering what Eckhart Tolle was saying about being in the moment, and that the next moment is not better than this one. So instead of walking at a fast pace I was walking very slowly enjoying the crunch of the snow under each footstep.
There was a little bit of a wind which made it slightly uncomfortable so when I finally found a place that was out of the wind I sat down on a big rock. The sun was bright and warm and I could feel it’s warmth sinking into my skin as I shut my eyes and faced directly into it. I was calm and quiet anyway so I figured why not take that moment to do some meditation.
A little backstory: In the ACIM class I attend there’s a new guy who was talking about hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. He had been living in Utah somewhere and felt a need to move but was not sure where he would move to. Later he heard a voice that said “Pueblo”. Being new to the course he didn’t know if he could trust what he heard so he asked again and got the same response. Two more times he asked and got the same response. But in his own mind he was imagining this and didn’t give it credence. Finally the next day he was doing something and a voice clear as a bell said “Trust me, it’s Pueblo”.
I was happy for him but at the same time I was a bit jealous. Here I have been studying this stuff for many, many years and right off the bat the “new comer” scores a hole-in-one. It’s not like I begrudged him hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice, or that I have not heard it myself, but it had been a long, long time since I heard the Voice.
So back to the reservoir. I was sitting, trying to meditate, straining to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice and at one point said: “just give me anything. One word, one feeling, anything!” And there was total silence, not a single thing. Then I realized that I was trying to force the whole situation. I was creating such a resistance that even if the Holy Spirit was trying to say something to me he probably wouldn’t be able to get through. So I let the whole situation go and stood up so I could start walking down the trail again. But as I stood I paused for just a moment to take in some more of that wonderful sunshine and these words occurred to me: “hold a perfect vision of the world”. There were no trumpet blasts or the sound of a choir. There was no wonderful feeling or fanfare of any kind. But I started to think about them and the more I thought about them the more powerful they became. I remember I was looking out at the reservoir with Pike’s Peak in the distance and I had the most powerful feeling that I could actually see this world perfect. And as I saw it perfect it returned to me whole and perfect. My mind felt so clear and whole and alive. All of this comes from Eckhart Tolle’s practice of giving the NOW credence as opposed to the past.
This is an image that is particularly helpful in understanding what Eckhart Tolle is saying. When we first start to become aware of the now, we are aware of a moment that starts to spread out and become all there is of time. We begin to relax into this, remembering that, indeed, we don’t need to be anxious about the future because it doesn’t exist. Then a shift begins to happen where we begin to sense what Eckhart calls the Field of Now. This is the stage on which all the actors act. At first we are just aware of the actors but as we become more attuned to the feeling of the Field of Now we begin to sense the subtle background environment in which all the acting occurs. This is what my big “aha” was. To ”Hold a Perfect Vision of the World” all you have to do is remember what the Field of Now feels like. To use Course terminology, the Field of Now is Eternity! It is the continuous Holy Instant. When we can be aware of this in the background we have exchanged the idea of time (the ego’s domain of past and future) for eternity (the present moment-eternity). Our Real Selves live in eternity, so when our minds are Present, so do we!
Here is the deception: The ego is convinced that there is something wrong with it and that it can be fixed by mulling over the past and analyzing it. That is the fallacy! There is nothing wrong with us if we focus on the now (eternity). In A Course in Miracles there is a chapter called The Quiet Answer. It says the holy instant is where your problems should be brought and left. This is also what the Song of Prayer says in a slightly different way. Don’t bring the problem into the meditation. State your question before you go into meditation and then let it all go as you focus on the current moment. Personally I have not experienced any instantaneous answers but in my brighter moments I am aware that my problems don’t really exist. The identity that has all the problems is not the Real me!
This is not to say that I do not continue to wrestle with unconscious guilt and the things that arise from it. But the difference is that the ego believes that we are inherently flawed. The Holy Spirit on the other hand, remembering our Holiness FOR us, councils that we are still perfect but have covered it up because of our fear of God’s Love. When we feel “flawed” what is really happening is that a chunk of unconscious guilt has come into our awareness. The ego then makes the mistake of judging thusly: “How can i be part of Holiness when I feel so angry/depressed/guilty/greedy/lustful/vengeful/<whatever>? It is the ego’s judgment and subsequent self-condemnation of the ugliness it perceives that seems to separate us from our Source and that is the reason we feel so lost. In reality God’s opinion of us has not changed by one micron. What we need to do is to suspend our OWN judgment and remember that we are incapable of judging correctly. Then, as ACIM tells us, ask the Holy Spirit to judge for us. Bring the pain of our self-judgments to the HS and ask to see a different reality. Our judgments are made in a mind that believes it is separate from God and also believes it is right. What a dangerous combination! How can anything beneficial come out of that? What we need is an Answer from beyond our own thinking; this Answer will bring us Peace. It is the only Answer that will free us. Our own, independent thoughts are the reason we are experiencing pain in the first place!
Another insight I had this year was about how hatred uses judgment as a tool:
Judgment (the kind where we judge another person’s worthiness) is the tool we use to separate others (and thus ourselves) from God’s love. It is a deadly tool although we may not realize it. It is, in effect, hatred. All hatred is self-hatred though it may be targeted toward someone else. Think about what you FEEL when you hate: you are cutting off the object of your hatred from inclusion in God’s Love. You are judging once and forever that the object of your hatred is totally unworthy of God’s love. In effect you are sending this person (or whatever) to hell in your mind. So if all hatred is Self-hatred then you are determining that YOU are forever unworthy of God’s Love.
Remember that there is nothing beyond the HS’s power to heal (how could there be?). We don’t NEED to hate anyone for taking God’s love away from us because it can’t be taken away. But usually we can only feel the presence of love by taking our pain to the HS and asking to see a different reality than the painful one we currently see. In my own life what has worked for me is to ask: “Please let me UNDERSTAND this situation in a way that brings me Peace”. The act of doing this will result in forgiveness if we are sincere. In some cases we have to work against our UNwillingness and just be persistent. (:O).
The other thing to remember is that each time we are unwilling to forgive certain people and situations, they become symbols that hatred CAN overcome God’s love and this will weaken us. This is dangerous because the Voice of Love seems to grow farther and farther away from us. In effect we come to believe that hate is Reality and love is the illusion (The Laws of Chaos in ACIM). We simultaneously become more afraid of love making it more difficult to trust and ask for help.
Thanks to Bruce for starting this blog where we can learn from each other’s experiences. I hope you find these insights useful in your own learning. One of the most beautiful things I have found is how much the Holy Spirit cares for us. We each have HS’s total concern and kindness. There is nothing we need be ashamed or embarrassed about because HS knows it anyway (:O). There is no problem too difficult to be healed completely IF we just decide to put our trust in Him. This decision is really the ONLY one that is failsafe!
Lux et pax,