Cindy Lora-Renard and Gary Renard are two of the presenters that will be at the Weekend of Freedom Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado, June 16-19, 2016, a 4-day event centered around sharing inspirations and insights about A Course in Miracles. You can read more about the retreat here. Here is an excellent, lucid new article by Cindy about ACIM:
A Course in Miracles is a purely non-dualistic thought system. Pure non-dualism is a state of mind where “you recognize the authority of God so completely, you relinquish all psychological attachment to anything that is not God.” (from DU) This is a state without compromise. There is only God, and nothing else. A Course in Miracles says, “God Is, and we cease to speak.” This is because there is nothing else to speak about. This means that anything that can take on a form, or shift or change is an illusion, because reality (God) is not a form. It is an awareness of perfect Oneness. And we are a part of that Oneness. The Course calls the world of duality a dream, because it is just a projection coming from the part of the split mind that believes in it and has become identified with it. The mind appeared to split the instant it took the thought of separation seriously, which the Course calls the “tiny, mad idea.” This was the instant the Sonship (all of us as One) appeared to have a thought that it could be separate from its Source. The problem is that we took this idea seriously, and chose what we now call the ego, which is this idea of separation, instead of just remembering to laugh at this tiny, mad idea thought. But in that same instant we chose the separation, God gave his Holy Spirit to us as an answer to the separation, and this Voice says, nothing happened. Being separate is an illusion. “You are still at home in God, dreaming of exile, but perfectly capable of awakening.” But because we didn’t choose to awaken in that instant, the ego created a God which would now punish us for what we believe we’ve done, although that is insane. So we had to come up with a hiding place to escape what the ego believes is the wrath of God. What is denied has to be projected, so we denied our guilt over this, and projected it out and made a world of time and space so that we could now see this guilt and fear outside of us instead of in our own minds which is where it still is. So, the world of time and space is just a dream of fear; a symbol of separation. The work now is to undo this belief in the ego, and with the Holy Spirit’s help, remove the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence. From a purely non-dualistic perspective, nothing happened and the separation never occurred. We are only mentally reviewing that which has already gone by. Ideas leave not their source, so the world is in our minds and we can withdraw our belief in it, practice Forgiveness and wake up to the home we never left.
Many people ask how the ego can be defined. That which is not true cannot be defined. However, for the purposes of understanding how we can look at the ego, it is the thought of being separate from God. The ego (part of the split mind we all share) wants to be special, unique, and different. It wants to be God. The ego is a destructive thought system based on guilt and fear. This guilt and fear is what made the world of time and space and runs everything until we learn to change our minds and turn to the Holy Spirit and Its way of interpreting things. The ego’s range goes from suspiciousness to viciousness. The two parts of the split mind are the ego and the Holy Spirit, which are mutually exclusive states of mind. Any thought that comes from the ego is not a real thought, because it’s not who you are. Our real thoughts are the thoughts that come from Love, or right-minded thoughts.
Most of the world is still caught in the trap of believing in the dream. Growing awareness is a process over time and doesn’t come all at once, but eventually everyone will come to understand what reality is, and renounce all dreams. In time, this can appear to take a long time. In reality, it’s already done and over. The ego thought system shows itself in all the seeming problems we have here in the world. Again, from A Course in Miracles perspective (which is a purely non-dualistic thought system in which Jesus is the author) there is only one seeming problem; that we are separate from each other and from God. The answer to the separation is accepting the Atonement for ourselves, which is just another way of acknowledging that the separation did not really occur, as it’s just a projection, or a dream. So, we make up all kinds of “big” problems here in the world, which is just what the ego wants. This is the way the ego stays alive. Choosing love over fear means the end of the ego’s thought system and that is threatening to the ego, so it makes up all kinds of problems here so that it can stay in the game. Our military industrial complex is one example of how the ego operates, producing more fear by producing weapons of defense where we use fear to entice the masses into believing we are truly threatened and unsafe. Ghandi was a great example, showing that the use of non-violence can work. The problem isn’t guns, it is the belief of the ego thinking that guns will protect us from violence. So, the ego is using illusions to heal illusions and that never works. Einstein said, “ We cannot solve the world’s problems at the same level of consciousness of which the problems were created.” So, the cycles of war and violence will continue until the people of the world have inner peace, which comes from giving up our children’s toys, letting go of the need to be right, and practicing forgiveness; seeing things another way, with a different teacher in our minds, the Holy Spirit. Having said that, if the military is used under the Holy Spirit’s direction, it could really change how things operate, where it just becomes a system to keep things in order, but without the intention to harm.
So, how do we know if we should take some kind of action in the world? My opinion is that one should only act on something if it was inspired from the Holy Spirit. If one acts from inspiration, then love is the guide. If one acts with the motivation from the ego, it would come from fear. So, you have a decision to make on whether or not you should take some kind of action, always turn it over first to the Holy Spirit and remember your goal…that you will not make any decisions by yourself (which means with the ego as your teacher). When you trust in the Holy Spirit and turn things over to Him, it is a way of joining in your mind so that you reinforcing the idea of oneness and connectedness. In everything you do, also ask what purpose does this serve? What is the purpose? What is the goal? You will know which teacher you have chosen (ego or Holy Spirit) by the answer to those questions.
The means of the Atonement in ACIM is Forgiveness. I practice the kind of Forgiveness A Course in Miracles advocates, which doesn’t make others errors or my own real. It sees everyone as innocent in Truth, because the separation from God has not really occurred. We are only experiencing a dream of pain, not real pain. In other words, here are the 3 steps I practice when something comes up to disturb my peace:
- I remember that I’m dreaming, and that I placed all the figures in my dream that would hurt me so that I could project my guilt and fear onto them and make them the cause of my problems instead of taking responsibility for how I feel or choose to interpret it.
- I forgive myself for both my projections and myself for dreaming them.
- I then Trust in the Holy Spirit and choose His strength
Along with these steps I keep practicing right-minded thoughts, such as “I am as God created me, His Son can suffer nothing, and I am His son.” Or, “The guiltless Mind cannot suffer.” These all come from the Course. By the way, this doesn’t mean that if someone is abusing you or hurting you that you just stand there and let them. That’s not what the Course is saying. It’s just saying that after you do what is necessary to take care of yourself, you can do the forgiveness work in the mind at the same time or when you are ready. Forgiveness is not about form, it’s about changing your mind about a person or situation or event so that it reflects the Holy Spirit’s thought system, which is one of non-judgment, innocence, and forgiveness of God’s Son who is One with you. Forgiveness is needed here as long as we believe we are separate from one another. When all is forgiven, you will be in the real world, where you will see fear and violence as calls for love instead of attack. Love will replace the fear we have made real, and you will see love and innocence everywhere. Mistakes will not call for punishment, but for correction in whatever way is most loving and helpful.
On several occasions, I’ve experienced a kind of peace and love that is not of this world. It is beyond the world, because it is the only thing that is real. These are very quick/brief moments of bliss, where all fear ceases and there is no doubt. There is just an awareness of being in total Oneness for an instant. From those experiences, I’ve come away with such gratitude for ALL my brothers and sisters who are on path with me. Our paths may look different in form, but the goal is the same. Just as the Course says, “A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary.” That experience is recognizing our Oneness and that we are all the Sonship as One Being. We need our brothers and sisters because they help to show us where we have work to do in our minds to heal our own false sense of guilt that we have projected outward. We are blessings to each other, and when we use challenges that come up as opportunities to choose again, to choose the Holy Spirit’s thought system in our minds, then we have chosen the Miracle.