Denying the denial of Truth

Denial ... denied

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative.

However,” he pointed out, “there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

The peace that the pure non-dual metaphysics of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) inspires in us – and we’re inexorably drawn to – becomes attainable when we practice our forgiveness lessons, requiring ever-increasing mindful diligence in watching our thoughts and feelings of specialness, victimhood, condemnation, annoyance, discouragement, envy, anxiety, hopelessness, doubt, expectations, exasperations, and exhilarations … the list of fleeting, ephemeral states is seemingly endless. It also can seem ever more daunting when we dedicate ourselves to looking at the contents of our minds and discover what seems to be expanding desolation as we drain our oceanic ego identity of importance, revealing these maladaptive monsters with greater clarity, to our horror! But what if they have been there all along, and in our state of (egoic) denial, we white-washed the problems with ‘invisible paint’? What if that’s our way out of the ego’s maze… By rising above the metaphoric maze – with the help of our Inner Kindness Teacher (a.k.a. Holy Spirit or ACIM’s Jesus a.k.a. J) – we get glimpses of the peace that awaits us beyond the insane battlefield of ego’s terrorizing turf of sin, guilt and fear.

Those glimpses – afforded us by even short bursts of honest assessment of ego’s madness, followed by a sincere willingness (however seemingly slight) to relinquish ‘our way’ – which is actually just ego’s denial of sanity … as J reminds us, have both immediate and long-term benefits for genuine peace. The short-term advantages include, but are not limited to: instant relief from our (fraudulent) self-inflicted misery, reinforcement of the habit of ‘seeing peace instead of this’ and realizing that we’re ‘never upset for the reason we think’ which has the side-benefit of expanding the scope of our dream-world choices to the vastly greater realm of possibilities that include considering what benefits All, not just some, even if we don’t have a clue what the full implications of these choices might lead to. That can actually be rather fun! 🙂 What a true relief to ponder statements such as this that let us all ‘off the hook’ for feeling like we must bear the unbearable burden of trying to figure everything out – as dream figures in a game designed for everyone to lose by fighting against each other!

In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things, past, present, and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests, now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? – M.10.3:3-7

The ultimate cumulative benefit of our forgiveness practice is that – as ego’s shenanigans are exposed … and we become less and less enamored and seduced by its lies – the ‘tractor beam’ pull of our eternally shared Identity has ever greater appeal, we become less and less willing to submit ourselves to ego’s masochistic and insatiable need machine agenda, and eventually we kick that dysfunctional habit altogether as the ‘final step’ is taken for us. The unchanging peace that this represents we can only dimly imagine at this point, yet each of us, no matter how profoundly suppressed, has heard the call to return to the Home we never left, and where we All abide in Truth.

Ego’s grandiosity ironically narrows our range of vision to the blindness of it’s ‘dark star’ (black hole) singularity illusion, where no light can be found, nor can it escape. There IS no hope in a world conceived and dedicated to guilt; that guilt, born of the mistaken belief that we trashed perfect Oneness, is completely unfounded, but we will never know that liberating idea from within ego’s realm. We have to call for help! Meanwhile, J waits patiently, tapping us gently on our proverbial shoulder, reminding that Limitless Light – our common, shared inheritance – merely awaits our decision to choose against the darkness of self-at-the-expense-of-others interest. We just have to choose against the insane thought system that denies light … and then the light that has been there all along is revealed, with a gentle sigh of relief! Ego is the original denial of truth, seemingly staining our identity with the tainted stench of unresolvable guilt caused by the undoable sin of fragmenting Truth into warring aspects, and to further it’s insanity, it immediately made up a projected cosmos of unbelievable sophistication to keep us entranced in the space-time dream drama, as we dreamt deeper into a realm of nightmarish predicaments, each tailored to alleged separate selves.

We all have enormous resistance to our forgiveness practice, of course, and the author of ACIM has built into the curriculum generous reminders that we can afford to relax about any need to compulsively ‘fight ourselves’. Who would be the one fighting, anyway, and against whom? 🙂 Whenever we detect an inner struggle, we can easily guess which thought system (the denial of Truth) has been given the reins again. Why not just practice looking at our mind-on-ego without condemnation? … And remember, whenever we can, to not to beat ourselves up for those lapses when we choose that maladaptive masochism. If we’re already ‘safe at home, dreaming of exile’ then there’s nothing to worry about in Truth. Practiced glimpses of this ease can loosen our identity ‘grip’ on the imposter trying to get away with Identity theft, an echo of the original mistake, the initial authority problem where we thought we usurped the throne of God. God (silently) thinks otherwise. 🙂

The crucial distinction between sin and error is at the heart of our ability to deny ego’s denial of our inherent sanity. Sin would proclaim that we’re stuck forever in a nightmare, and then insanely try to foist the problem onto anything, everything, anyone and everyone (including our own bodies) in order to avoid bringing the unfounded guilt into the light. Conversely, the acknowledgment of error is like backing up out of a cul-de-sac, rather than taking up residence there, having merely made a temporary wrong turn! 🙂 Once the simple solution (forgiveness) is glimpsed, why would sanity hang out in despair’s diverting dungeon; the jail door is unlocked… Welded wide open, actually, when we look closely with help from Holy Spirit.

What a tremendous relief! There IS a way out of ego’s labyrinthine quagmire… Not by traversing its endless dark corridors, but by gratefully allowing ourselves the gift of our Inner Kindness Teacher’s vantage point above ego’s foolproof (proven irresistible only to foolish ego) incarcerating battleground where we are metaphorically lifted up – even if just for a moment – to see that our true Identity (which we ALL share) is beyond the tiny, mad dream of space, time, separation and individual selves: crazed, ineffective dramatizations of an insane script to keep the guilt propaganda machine working, but fiendishly out of of sight.

Sin (according to ego) is unpardonable, irredeemable, inescapable … a bleak denial that makes a big deal out of nothing, although it hardly seems to be nothing from within ego’s mesmerizing, denying dirges. Seeing – with J’s help – error as easily forgivable and amusing as a parent would dismiss a child’s game is the relief we’ve been looking for, and it is simply a choice to forget to condemn ourselves (or others) as the Psychotherapy pamphlet advises. All we need ‘do’ is to deny the denial of truth: to say no to ego’s negation of the perfect Innocence we never abandoned, except in flimsy dreams. Here are some relevant quotes that will likely be familiar, echoing the simplicity of our our Inner Kindness Teacher’s curriculum of gradually removing our investment in the separate identity that fantasizes a silly ‘alone against the world’ tragic dream:

“Forgiveness is still and quietly does nothing. It merely looks, and waits and judges not.”
– W-pII.1.4:1

The miracle “merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false.
– W-pII.13.1:3

“The miracle establishes you dream a dream, and that its content is not true. This is a crucial step in dealing with illusions. No one is afraid of them when he perceives he made them up.”
– T-28.II.7:1-3

Bruce Rawles

Bruce Rawles will be sharing favorite ACIM insights at the Weekend of Freedom Retreat (WOFR) in Estes Park, Colorado, June 16-18, 2016.

NOTE: On May 2, 2016 the Estes Park YMCA (where WOFR is being held) will release the block of rooms it is holding for WOFR attendees to the general public, and due to the popularity of this destination resort, they tend to go very fast, so here’s the link if you want to reserve your lodging and meals through the venue where WOFR 2016 is being held.

FAQ #1097: Our empty blocks that hide Love from our Awareness

Menger sponge

Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles talk about FACIM Outreach FAQ #1097 in this audio program, which addresses how all of our blocks are actually only in our minds, empty of content, but because we believe in them, we must address them with all the specifics that ego throws in front of us for our forgiveness classroom. The FAQ suggests that “… our spiritual journey must be centered on identifying and then undoing the blocks we have constructed and are upholding in the present to keep ourselves apart from Love.” (Humorous note: I start off the conversation apologizing to Lyn about ‘dominating the conversation’ – a reference to the fact that the link she sent me for LAST WEEK’s audio recording somehow only recorded my voice and not hers. I didn’t upload that recording, but it was fun to kid about it that way.)

Lyn Johnson

FAQ #1082: Beyond survival at another’s expense

bacteria

FACIM Outreach FAQ #1082 is the topic for this audio recording with Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles. They elaborate on this FAQ’s theme which talks about how ego’s complex system of difference is designed to divide, conquer and keep mindless, regardless of the scale or imagined order… It is all propaganda for survival of a dysfunctional thought system … Yet we all have access to the real alternative where our peace of mind does not come at another’s expense. This FAQ also references Chapter 21: Reason and Perception of ACIM.

Lyn Johnson

Shared Interests to Shared Identity: FAQ #1071


In this audio recording
 Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles talk about FACIM Outreach FAQ #1071 which suggests that we can gradually shift our mind’s focus to shared interests – a means for undoing ego, which ultimately leads to the shared identity that reflects the Perfect Oneness we all share.

Lyn Johnson

Weekend of Freedom Retreat 2016 – A conversation with Gary Renard, Cindy Lora-Renard and Bruce Rawles

In this video conversation, Gary Renard, Cindy Lora-Renard and Bruce Rawles, several of the presenters at the 2016 Weekend of Freedom Retreat, talk about freedom as A Course in Miracles (ACIM) would define it – in the mind – undoing guilt, remembering to laugh, and the upcoming 2016 Weekend of Freedom Retreat (June 16-19, 2016) in Estes Park, Colorado. In addition to 4 days of playful camaraderie-ship … is that a word? 🙂 … and insightful community and sharing with fellow ACIM students, the venue – YMCA of the Rockies – provides some superb recreational facilities and lots of time for in-depth exploration the non-dual metaphysics of ACIM, with generous opportunities for interaction, leisurely conversations and round-table sharing! Gary and Cindy also talk about some of their upcoming events and appearances, Cindy’s new music, Gary’s new book, hiking, movies, weather and more! Please join us in Estes Park this June!

Gary Renard and Cindy Lora-Renard

Gary Renard and Cindy Lora-Renard

Weekend Of Freedom Retreat

I’m quite enthused to be part of this event for students of A Course In Miracles this June! Mark your calendars now!

Weekend of Freedom Retreat 2016

The 5th annual Weekend of Freedom Retreat (WOFR) event, based on A Course In Miracles (ACIM) will be June 16-19, 2016 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. The WOFR website has much more detail including registration, lodging, past events including slideshows, and more info. I will be posting video conversations with the organizers and other presenters about the event … and freedom! Freedom from what? Freedom from the needless self-tyrannizing thought system of ego’s separate interests – of course! 🙂 … And what better place to share 4 days of that exhilarating awareness than beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, adjacent to the magnificent Rocky Mountain National Park! Hope you can join us! You can use this link to stay informed about the event.

The Lighthouse Metaphor

Lighthouse

In this audio recording, Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles touch on ACIM Workbook Lesson #30: God is in everything I see because God is in my mind. We also talked about the metaphor of the Lighthouse used by Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) to symbolize the unchanging and unchangeable nature of what we all really are, and how – like this humorous video relates – our prodigal ego identities keep demanding that what is unchanging recognizes our seemingly separate selves and defer to our absurd wishes.

Announcement! ACIM in Estes Park, June 16-19, 2016

WeekendOfFreedomRetreat-masthead-Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 3.38.32 PMThe 5th annual Weekend of Freedom Retreat (WOFR) event, based on A Course In Miracles (ACIM) will be June 16-19, 2016 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. Presenters include Gary Renard, Cindy Lora Renard, David Hoffmeister, David “Dov” Fishman, Lorri Coburn, Craig Villarrubia, Maria Felipe, and Bruce Rawles.
WOFR2016-Presenters-Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 10.31.09 PM

 

 

Metaphysical Movie Metaphors: Wizard of Oz

Wizard Of Oz
Any movie, just as any life experience from our space-time projected cinema, can be interpreted by our Inner Kindness Teacher in a way that leads us home – to where we’ve never left. Since we all have two mutually exclusive thought systems: ego 100% insane, and Holy Spirit (represented by the Jesus of ACIM) 100% sane, and the decision-making faculty to choose between the two at every juncture, every moment. Since we’re dreaming – and projecting the contents of our mind – 24/7, movies are a great metaphor for what are minds are doing, and a reminder that our lives literally ARE metaphors. We have it all backwards; our material world, bodies and the personas that hide behind them are the metaphors, while our unchanging essential nature (which at times seems metaphoric because we don’t understand pure abstraction) is the underlying reality, in contrast with the dream we call life. What we see on the screen literally and figuratively is metaphor, and it is the mind beyond the projection where our reality can be found.

I think that’s why I’m intuitively drawn to movies, particularly those of the ‘virtual reality’ and allegorical genres; the ones where the inspiration for the film has been influenced by a recognition that there is something more than meets the eye, a better way and a purpose for both recognizing both thought systems and their intended realms.

The Wizard of Oz is rich with metaphysical metaphor. Here are a few examples:

Dorothy’s initial home is in Kansas, in the center or heart of the country; she only dreams of leaving it. The bulk of the movie is in Oz (the dream) where she must overcome her fear by using the classroom of Oz (our forgiveness opportunities) to return home (awaken from the dream) through numerous ‘adventures’ that ego interprets as scary.

The first part of the movie is in black and white; when Dorothy dreams of landing in Oz, she experiences Oz (the dream) as being more ‘real’ (vivid, colorful). By contrast (from within the dream), Kansas seems monotone (gray-scale) and surreal; yet Oz is actually the realm of the surreal, where bizarre characters and events seem to occur.

Dorothy’s arrival in Oz seems to have caused the demise of a wicked witch; which she appears to recoil in (unconscious) guilt upon learning she was responsible for this death. The deceased witch’s ruby slippers magically appear on Dorothy’s feet (the color of blood) becoming both a symbol of her (unconscious) murder and the object of her living sister’s envy and quest for vengeance throughout the film.

At the end of the film, Dorothy discovers that she had the power to go home all along, by clicking the ruby slippers (our under-standing, pun intended) together – bringing what seems apart together. When we bring the symbols of our unconscious guilt (ego’s imagined protection, a.k.a. shields of oblivion) to the light of inclusion, the unfounded darkness disappears and we seem to return home (awaken from the dream) where we never actually left.

The yellow-brick road seems analogous to Ariadne’s golden thread through the labyrinth of the Minotaur in Greek mythology; it could be symbolic of trusting our Inclusive Guide to take us home by forgiving every inch of the way, as we traverse the dark and frightful dream of the unknown with a golden light that remains a path we can trust (the content of kindness) even as the terrain and characters change dramatically (form).

The spirals of the tornado and the yellow-brick road’s origin invoke the geometric symbolism of the duality of any spiral; it can spin outward away from the center where all is calm … or inward (back to the mind) where peace has always been. Ideas only seem to leave their source in dreams.

After leaving the land of the Munchkins, the first character Dorothy meets is the scarecrow who is looking for a brain. If we substitute mind for brain, Dorothy’s question to him becomes “What would you do with a mind if you had one?” This is a terrifying question to pose to ego, equivalent to “What am I?” If we’re mindless, we’ll think that our spiritual instruction is being given to a specific person (I call mine “Bruce: a fiction”) or it’s poster child, the body we see in the bathroom mirror every morning. Ken Wapnick reminds us that our progress in studying ACIM reaches a milestone when we realize that our beloved blue book isn’t addressing us as a person, but rather as the decision-making mind, specifically one that has the capacity to choose against ego, restoring our real Self to our awareness, by default when ego’s identity has been chosen against.

The next character is the tin woodsman, looking for a heart. When we mechanically, dogmatically practice the form, but not the content (our feelings are often a clue when something is ’tilt’) we often feel stuck, usually because we’re not paying attention to when we’re indulging in personal interests at the expense of ‘others’ … we realize that we’re sacrificing kindness to others (being a victimizer) or ourselves (being a martyr or victim); we need the oil of shared interests to loosen up our rigid thinking and find the real heart-felt comfort that transcends ego’s artificial comfort zones.

The third companion Dorothy gathers on her journey is the lion looking for courage. The obvious oxymoron of a lion without courage is a reminder that we’re solidly in the dream world, where everything is upside-down, inside-out and backwards to reality. From within the dream battlefield, everything is fearful and our intrinsic fortitude is reduced to a trembling mass of immobility. It’s only when we bring these aspects together (as protagonist Dorothy does as she gathers her companions with the shared interest of going home together) that we find we can go forward toward Oz, where we can confront bigger fears, having joined forces and practiced on smaller challenges first.

When the four (plus Toto) arrive at the great hall and await audience with the great and mighty Oz, they experience the greatest – and most terrifying – theatrics of all, complete with a huge, monstrous head … but it’s all smoke and mirrors. Our minds are unimaginably powerful, since we made up an entire universe of space-time to hide out in, and it seems so realistic; the best special effects houses in the world with all their computer generated imagery are just tiny reflections of the power of mind … and the lengths we went to (in the tiny mad idea) to escape from an uncommitted crime against perfect Oneness.

They journey further to the wicked witch’s castle where Dorothy finally overcomes her with a bucket of water, which is a metaphor for mind in many symbolic systems. When we just confront – look without judgment, but with a clear, mindful assessment – at the absurdity of ego’s thought system, it just melts away, along with it’s ‘beautiful wickedness’ – our resistance to truth, which often take the form of treasured wounds and savored victimhood ego revels in.

Finally, returning with the witches broom – as requested by the wizard – Dorothy and her team now expect things to change in the land of Oz; they figure they’ve done their appointed task and now it’s time for the wizard to make good on his promises. In other words, we still want to bring our help into the dream and fix the prodigal situation we think (dream) we’re in. Ego never gives up on it’s level confusion tactic, since it doesn’t want to be undone. If we actually address cause (mind) ego knows it’s non-existent (dream) game is over, which is why we keep looking for yet one more dream repair solution to bring us happiness from specifics and circumstances.

Back in Oz’s fearful hall, it’s only when Toto pulls back the curtain revealing the pathetic man posing as a wizard, complete with impressive special effects, that we realize that ego’s highly convincing projections are all just a sham and a diversion to keep us identified with the big screen, instead of what’s going on in the projection booth of the mind. We then realize that our fears of looking at the mind were unfounded; looking at our unconscious guilt by forgiving the dreamer didn’t kill us, but instead gave us even more courage and conviction to return home and awaken from the dream.

The wizard plans to take Dorothy back to Kansas in a hot air balloon – ego’s attempt to use the form of rising above the battlefield of duality, but without the content of changing the cause in the mind that can actually achieve it. It’s then that the good witch reminds Dorothy about the ruby slippers, we bring together (in under-standing) what seems to be apart (seeing the intrinsic equality and sameness of all illusion as being meaningless … which reveals the intrinsic equality and sameness of all that is real and unchanging ) and return from the dream to where Truth – our real, eternally shared Identity has never left, back in the heart of Oneness. The surreal dream (symbolized by Oz) merely ceases to seem to be.

Here’s a related audio interview with CA Brooks on her Sep. 12, 2014 internet show on 12Radio.com and Bruce Rawles on this topic.

WIzardOfOz-CA-Bruce-600x506

Brent Haskell article: Jeshua: On Faith

Greetings to you this day.  I am Jeshua.  You have asked me about faith.  And of that, I have come to speak with you this day.  Faith is mentioned so often in your life.  Faith is mentioned so often in A Course in Miracles.  People say in religious organizations, “You must have faith, faith in God, faith in many different things.”  And I tell you to have faith in God.  I tell you to have faith in your brother.

And now you ask me, what really is this faith?  And if I have and exercise faith in my life, what shall I do? Ah– Always comes the question, what shall I do?  When I walked this earth 2000 years ago I said one day, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could move a mountain.”  That seems like a tremendous claim, does it not?  And they attribute to me miracles– healing the lame, healing the blind, controlling the storm, walking on water.  And indeed, all of those things happened.  Was it because of my faith that it happened?  And the answer is yes, indeed.  There is a story of one who simply touched my robe and was healed.  And I said to her, “Your faith has made you well”.

So what of faith, then?  Faith does not come from your thinking.  I have told you so many times, your thoughts do not have creative power.  Your thoughts are not your real thoughts.  Your thoughts have no meaning.  Your thoughts are simply images.  So can a simple image move a mountain?  And the answer is, no.  So when people say “Have faith”, it is not as simple as simply saying, “I believe in an idea.”  It is not as simple as saying, “I will think these thoughts.  And that must be faith and all of the rewards will follow at once”.  No, indeed.  Faith is beyond your words, beyond your thinking.  Faith arises from the very core of your being.

So in this world, if you would have faith, what do you do?  And this is what you do.  Faith is when you connect with your source.  Faith is when you connect with God.  Faith is when you connect with me.  Faith is when you connect, most of all, with your life.  For I have told you, your life is love, nothing more.  Totally love.  If I say, have faith in yourself, I mean, pause your thinking.  Therefore, let go of your fear and connect with your life.  And why you connect with your life you simply experience the truth of what you are, beyond and without fear.  If you have faith in me, you connect with me, Spirit, without thought, without contemplation, without fear.  If I say to you have faith in God, that simply means pause, and be still, and connect with All That Is.  For that is the only way to define, if you will, God– All That Is.  But simple it is, indeed.  For All That Is, is love.

So ultimately, if you would have faith, you open your life and connect with that which is real, that which you are.  You open your life unto Love.  Ah–  When you connect with love, so many times I have told you, you will, in the sense of this world, know what to do, know where to go, know what to say, know what to be.  And everything will be peace and joy and love.  And yes, happiness.  So, it is that simple.  Have faith.  Let go of your fear.  Open to love.

But the nature of the world, here, the nature of the ego, which you have conspired to make up in order to let you experience space-time, the nature of the ego is such that it is so very strong indeed.  And if you feel– if I let go of my fear, if I let go of my ego, then surely I will die.  And that is true.  The image, the collection of images you have about who you are, will pass away.  And in exchange, you will find yourself in the presence of Love; in the presence of myself, for I am the same; in the presence of the One Self, for it is the same; in the presence of God, for it is the same; and in the presence of your own life, for it is the same.  Your life, when seen through the eyes of forgiveness, beyond fear, and beyond the ego, is simply an exercise in love.  When you can open to that fact, and experience it at the core of your being, beyond your thoughts, then that is faith.  So how about the power to move mountains?  How about the power to walk on water?  How about the power to heal yourself, or another?  For if you have faith, have I not said, you can do all these things.  And did I not say, all the works that I do, you shall do as well.  And greater works than these shall you do.

So what of faith, then?  Herein lies the catch, and the dilemma.  You cannot arrive at faith through the pathways of the ego.  You cannot arrive at faith through your thinking.  So can you decide of your ego, ah, I would like to move that mountain today, and then do it?  It is by careful design that you have created this world.  For if anyone could simply think a thought and move a mountain at will, you realize at once your world would be chaos in its appearance.  So can you of your thinking, of your ego, exercise the power of faith, if you will?  And the answer is no.  For you cannot experience faith itself in that venue.

So what does that mean?  You begin by having faith in your life, which is faith in me, and God, and All That Is, and every brother who walks this earth with you.  And out of that faith, you will be free of your thinking.  And you will know what to do, and where to go, and what to say, as I have said.  Within that pathway, you may have a knowing that you are to do something within this world that will truly look to your brothers like a miracle, which will truly seem to override and overcome the laws of this world, if you will, the patterns you have set up in order to make it seem consistent and stable for those of you who walk this life.  You may come to a point where you will know what to do and it will seem like a miracle indeed.  And then as you allow love to flow through your being, things can happen.  It arises not from your thinking, but from the power of spirit with which you connect.  I said, when I walked this earth, about the miracles, “It is not I who is doing these works, but the Father working through me.”  And that is an expression of how faith works.  Not one time did I say I, Jeshua, ego, elect to do this miracle.  Always I was connected with the source, love, God, and my life, and simply allowed things to flow.

The power of your spirit is so great that it could create an entire universe.  And so connecting with an illness to allow fear to disappear, so it can heal, is indeed, minor.  Even moving a mountain would be indeed, minor.  So I lived my life as I urge you to do, having faith, which means staying connected to love, which is, as I have said, you, and your brother, and me, and God.  I lived my life connected.  And I came to show you that it is, indeed, possible.  And, indeed, it is possible.  And that is, in essence, all that I am trying to share with you in A Course in Miracles.  If you let go of fear, which is to let go of your thoughts, which is to let go of your ego, and connect with spirit, which is love, that in the absence of fear, Spirit can, without effort, move mountains.

So can you demonstrate your faith to show off, if you will?  And the answer is, no.  Can you listen in your stillness and express infinite love through your being that others can experience because you have made it available to them.  And the answer is, indeed you can.  And in the presence of that love can fear disappear?  And it can.  And in the absence of fear can your world seem to change without effort?  And indeed it can.  That will only happen if it is part of the chosen pattern for your life, as it was the chosen pattern of mine.  So faith does not arise from your thinking.  Faith never arises from separation.  So could you use the power of faith to overcome an enemy.  I’m sure you laugh as you hear those words. For how can you connect with the ultimate source of all that is, love, while you yet believe in separation, much less having a desire to overcome your brother to substantiate and to support your own sense of separated self.  So can you with faith win wars?  Of course not.  Can you with faith dominate your brother in competition?  Of course not.  Can you with faith bring unto the world infinite love that flows through your being, when you have gone beyond your fears?  That is what I did.  And still, 2000 years later, the world remembers.

So if you would have faith, in words, ‘tis simple indeed.  So if you would have faith, and every time that you feel anxiety, or fear, or competition, or a sense of separateness between you and your brother, then you are standing face to face with that which you would let go of.  And as you let go of your sense of separation, then you will connect, in one small piece, further, with your brother, until all the blocks are gone.  And then you will, at the core of your being, realize that you and your brother are one. And then you will have faith in your brother.  And you will understand the nature of life, the nature of love, and the nature of God, and the nature of who you are.  For they are all the same.

My blessings upon you all.  That is all.

Brent A. Haskell, Ph.D., D.O.

Brent Haskell

(Editor’s note: Brent Haskell is the author of Journey Beyond Words and The Other Voice: A Companion to the Text of The Course Chapters 1-15 (Miracles Studies Book). During October, 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Brent at the Miracles In The Mountains conference in Cañon City, Colorado and hearing him give a presentation there, during which he offered to send several articles – including this one – via an email to those interested.)

Brent Haskell article: Jeshua: On Fear

Greetings to you this day.  I am Jeshua.  I have come this day to discuss with you, fear.  For you have asked me about fear.  You have asked me what it is and how it functions in your life.  You have received in your quiet times, some of the answers.  But today I will clarify for you many of those things and more.

So what is fear, you ask.  For I have told you in A Course In Miracles, there are only two emotions, love and fear.  Now I tell you, love is all that is.  The entire universe is comprised totally of love.  The word you can use is non-dualistic.  A non-dualistic universe means there is one; God is one; you are one; you and your brother, you and your sister, are one.  And that means there is absolutely nothing which is not love.

So what is fear, then, if everything must be love?  Fear is that of which this world is made.  And I have told you, have I not, that fear has made everything you think you see.  Now why would that be so?  When you, creative spirit, son of God, decided to create a world of space and time, you needed to work out the logistics, if you will, of how it would work.  And in order to experience space-time, in order to experience this world as you seem to, even though it is not real, it is necessary that you not be fully aware of the nature and essence of what this world is, which, as I have said, is love, nothing but love.  And so as I have told you before, part of the creation of this world was imagined bodies, and an imagined brain, and imagined thoughts that seemed to be within that brain.  And I have told you in A Course in Miracles, your thoughts do not mean anything.  I have told you that your thoughts are just images that you have made.

And what is an image?  An image, for you, is a picture, if you will, something you project onto a screen that you can then observe and experience.  The thoughts of your brain function as images that you can look at, if you will, in order to experience the world of space and time.  This was necessary in order for you to believe, if you will, that this world is real, even though it is but illusion and it is not real.  So when you experience this world, in order for it to play out as you have desired, you need to look at images.  And those are your thoughts.  You need to look at images you have made that allow you to experience what you will of space and time.  And I have told you that perception involves an exchange or a translation that knowledge does not.  And that is the exchange or translation.  The truth of what you are is modified into an image that is pasted, if you will, within your brain.  And you think thoughts.  You think thoughts with such clarity and with such a vivid nature that you absolutely believe them to be real.  In fact, one of the things that causes you to believe it is real is the fact that you seem to think at all.  And you say, “I think, therefore I exist”.  And that is a most powerful illusion indeed.

Now when you look at your world of space and time and limitation and isolation and separation, you are seeing that which is not real.  However, this world, illusion though it be, was created by you, creative spirit, child of God, one with God, and in a non-dualistic universe.  Everything must be love.  So this world, this world that you seem to live in, in these imagined bodies is, in essence, love.  It is not possible that it be anything else in a universe where all is one.  But in order to play out the illusion of space and time and bodies, you must see it differently.  And what allows you to see it differently, if you will, are the thoughts of your brain, the images that you have chosen to place in that brain, that you use to play out this illusion of space and time.  And if you will, all of the thoughts of your brain, all of the images which seem to show you a world that is not perfect love, which it of course must be, — all of the images that seem to show you a world that is not perfect love, that is fear.

Doubt, fear, you can use as a word.  And it has meanings and connotations for you.  And you think of fear as being afraid of something.  And that is exactly right.  However, the fear can be extremely subtle, even though in your silence it can be extremely strong in its expression.  So fear is the thoughts of your brain, the images.  Fear is anything that would cause you to believe in this illusion, rather than to see the world of perfect love.  Now I have told you that the thoughts, which are not your real thoughts, the thoughts that are images you have made, have no meaning, and no effect.  The thoughts of your brain do not have creative power.

This I have told you before.  And yet you seem in your world to have choices.  You seem to process within your brain.  And you believe, in your thinking, that you make choices which determine what happens in your life.  And that is one of the grand illusions as well, that thoughts have creative power, and that they can determine what happens in your life.  Hear me well, this day.  It is not so.  And the reason it is not so, I have already told you in A Course in Miracles, is that the script is written.  Time but seems to go in one direction.  And what seems to be the flow of cause and effect is but façade, and is part of the illusion itself.

The thoughts of your brain do not have creative power.  However, those thoughts are most powerful in the world, the thoughts of your brain.  The images you have made, which are not your real thoughts and are not real, have power.  They do not have the power to create.  They do not change or alter your life.  They do not make it happen.  The power that lies within your thoughts is the power to block your awareness of the presence of love.  And have I not told you that A Course In Miracles is all about removing the blocks to your awareness of love and its presence.  So, in a word, how do you remove those blocks?  You do it by letting go of fear.  But if fear is the thoughts of your brain, then you remove the blocks to the presence of love by letting go of your thoughts.  And have I not told you, be still and know that I am God.  And when you are still, when you have gone beyond your thinking, then what arises, like the most illustrious sunrise?  What arises is the world as it truly exists and as it was created, a world of perfect love and beauty and joy.

So it seems easy, does it not?  Stop your thinking, and you will see love.  And that is true.  However, herein lies the catch.  The thoughts of your brain, the thoughts that are indeed fear, are the very same thoughts that define who you are.  The thoughts of the brain define your ego.  And you equate your ego, while you are yet living space and time in the illusory aspect of it, you define your ego as who you are.  And, therefore, to give up your thinking is tantamount to dying.  And I said to you when I walked this earth 2000 years ago, “He who would seek his life shall lose it, but he who shall lose his life for my sake shall find it”.  I did not, indeed, mean dying physically.  I meant that he who has the courage and the fortitude to give up the image of himself defined by his thoughts, he who has the courage and the fortitude to cease to exist as ego, will discover the world of love.  That is called, if you will, enlightenment.  That is called the atonement.  That is called the world of forgiveness.  Though, when you let go totally of your thoughts, including your very life as it is defined by those thoughts, when you let go of that, you simply see the world differently.  Instead of seeing through the false images, you see and experience the truth of love.

What of ego, then?  What if you give up your ego?  What if you cease to think?  How would your life look?  Would you physically die?  And the answer is no, indeed.  In your life, the script is written.  And you were born, and you will play out your days in space and time until the chosen moment when your body seems to die and you evolve back into spirit only, and its freedom, and the essence of love.  Is it possible to flow through your life without ego, and experience it here?  And the answer is yes, indeed. That is what I meant when I said for you to live in the world but not of the world.  For the illusion of this world cannot define what you really are.  So would your life look different from what it might look if you gave up ego and continued to live in this body, to someone observing you from the outside?  There would be no change.  For the script is written.  But what you would experience is a world beyond fear, beyond the thoughts that define who you are.  You could still be aware of your space and time.  And you could still be aware of the images and what they look like.  And you could still flow through your life and keep appointments, and above all, experience that which you came here to love and to do.  But all of it would be the perfect, almost unfathomable for you, flow of love.  For your life was created as exactly that.  It is entirely possible to live this life without ego in a world of oneness and perfection and joy.

And could you still enjoy the same things that you enjoy now.  And the answer is, of course.  For you all come here with choices which give you the huge variety of experiences here.  Some of you might like music and some of you might not.  Some of you might enjoy being on stage and acting in a play.  Some of you might not.  Some as you might be academic and scholastic and some of you may not.  Some of you may enjoy athleticism and seeing what your body can do in performance and others might not.  Can you still live all of that in the awareness of love?  And the answer is yes, indeed.  For in a world that is comprised totally of love, everything in it is love.  It cannot be otherwise in a non-dualistic universe.

So the goal for you is to give up your fear.  In fact, that means dying to your ego.  How can you tell if your thoughts are of ego?  One is if you feel threatened, then that is fear.  One is if you feel that you, as you define yourself, will change, and you have apprehension, that is fear.  One is if you wonder if you will be able to understand something and are not sure you will, that is fear.  In the absence of fear, you flow through your life.  You flow through the experience of infinite love here in space and time, reveling in every moment, but without agenda and without attachment.

Does that mean you should not love your life here?  If you look out at a world that is comprised totally of love and you experience it, is it possible not to love?  And indeed it is not.  What would seem to block your awareness of love, which is also fear, as I have told you, are your values.  And your values, in simplest form, are the building blocks of your ego.  The things that you value you feel you must have or maintain in order to be at all, or in order to be who you are.  In the absence of fear, you will value nothing.  You will value nothing.  That sounds in fact, negative, does it not?  But it is not, indeed.  For I have told you, you want nothing you value to come of a relationship.  And what does that mean?  If you value a relationship, you use it to define who you are, ego.  And that is a special relationship.  And that will always, as I have told you, bring you pain. It is not possible to love, which is to allow freedom, if you value anything.  So when you give up your values, you simply allow your world freedom.  That is all.   That is the beings in it who seem to be walking this world with you, that is your possessions, that is your livelihood, that is your job, that is your hobbies.  That is everything in your life.  Can you live it, can you love it with great passion, but without valuing, without attachment, and to simply experience it as you will?  And when it passes away to move onto something else.  And, indeed, you can.

And how do you do that?  By living, if you will, in this moment.  And I have told you that is the holy instant.  The holy instant is just my term.  Some people say, live in the now.  Some people say, live without attachment.  Some people say, live in the moment.  It is all the same.  For when you live in the holy instant your life will flow through time, but you will not sense that the past has determined what you are, and you will not fear.  Hear me well.  You will not fear that what you experience in this moment will affect the future, for it does not.  Remember the script is written.  You are playing out your life in an arena where you are absolutely safe.  In a life that is comprised of nothing but love, when you fear, you are simply choosing to see it differently.  But that does not change the fact that it is nothing but love.  You are here playing out a life that has already been created and ordained by you, creative spirit.  And you play it out in an arena where no harm can come to you.  And you can choose, if you will, to see it through the eyes of fear or see it through the eyes of love.  And that that is your only choice in this world.  And I have said, you have but one remaining choice in this world, and that is which voice you will listen to.  You can listen to the voice of fear or you can listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, the voice of love.  And that is your choice.

Eventually, I promise you, you and every one of your brothers will flow into seeing the world only as the love.  And when that happens all of your fear will pass away.  Even that moment has been set, as I told you.  But you can choose.  You can choose to see through the eyes of fear or through the eyes of love.  It does not change the flow of your life.  It only changes how you experience it.  And that is the power of fear.  It cannot change your life.  It cannot change the script.  It only has the power to let you see it as fear instead of love.  And what you have to do to let go of fear, as I have told you, all you have to do is die.  All you have to do is let go of this ego that you cherish as if it were your very self.  And in your dying, in your letting go of fear, you will open, as I have said, to a world of perfect, infinite love.  And you will experience the rest of your days of space and time in exactly that love.

My blessings upon you all.  That is all.

Brent A. Haskell, Ph.D., D.O.

Brent Haskell

(Editor’s note: Brent Haskell is the author of Journey Beyond Words and The Other Voice: A Companion to the Text of The Course Chapters 1-15 (Miracles Studies Book). During October, 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Brent at the Miracles In The Mountains conference in Cañon City, Colorado and hearing him give a presentation there, during which he offered to send several articles – including this one – via an email to those interested.)

Brent Haskell article: Jeshua: On Marriage

Greetings to you. I am Jeshua. You have asked me about marriage. Of that I would speak this moment.

How is it that you can marry? For indeed, can you change in any sense what already is? Do you not desire but to become One in the eyes of the world? But I tell you truly, you are naught but One, and can never be otherwise. I would advise you at this moment, as you come to marry, be very cautious that you not allow your marriage itself to set up a barrier between the two of you and the others in your world.

It is all well and good that you should stand before those whom you love, and take these vows. For the sharing that you do openly, with your words, through your bodies, benefits not only yourselves, but all the others whom you would share this with.

As you come to marry, what can you bring? What gift can you bestow upon someone you love who has everything? Ah, the gift you shall bring to this marriage is the promise to honor the truth that your spouse has everything, always. And how is it that you honor the simple truth that everything is his, or hers? You honor it by promising to do your best, from this moment until the end of time and beyond– by promising to do your best, each moment, not to allow any fear to enter this relationship, this marriage.

For what is it to marry except to make a public statement that says, in your presence, my beloved, I stand unafraid? What is it to marry except to stand before the world and to say, I have found this being, this person, in whose presence fear dissolves into a nothingness? And what is it to marry except to say, in the absence of my own fear, I promise you the right to live your life without fear, as well?

Do not think that the absence of fear promises that there shall be no change. For it is not so. Each of you, man and woman, myself, God, Life itself, is change, in a never-ending ebb and flow, within and without, of Being, unrestricted, again without fear. That is, indeed, but Life. And that is indeed, but Love. So never think that you can stand and promise not to change. For in the next moment, I promise you, you are a different being from the person that seemed to occupy the moment before.

If you cannot promise not to change, then how can you dispel fear? For does not safety lie in the absence of change? No, indeed. Safety lies in the awareness that you are free to be what you are, without judgment and without condemnation, for all of your life, and for all of time. And so you come to each other to bring, to receive and to give, the absence of fear, for the rest of your lives.

How can you promise, in your time, to give that, when everything is change, moment upon moment upon forever? And you can, and shall, do it thusly– your true love, the love that shall release you from your own fear, and release your beloved from his or hers, is your total openness and honesty. Of course, I am speaking now of the Holy Relationship, and the Holy Instant. As you marry, there is but one promise you can make, which should be a valid attempt for you to keep for the remainder of your days, throughout space and time and beyond. And that is the promise of openness, and honesty.

And so if you would bring a marriage vow to this day, to this moment, then let it be this– My beloved, I come here this day to set you free. The gift that I bring to you, which shall be my gift to myself, and to us in our Oneness– the gift that I bring is my openness and my honesty. I pledge to you this day, and from henceforth, that there shall be no secrets between us. I pledge to you this day that I stand open and naked in spirit before you, always to remain so. And therefore, as I stand open and naked before you, you are free to be the same with me. If you shall change, I promise you to do my best to allow you that freedom to do so.

Ah, but what if fear creeps upon your being, either one of you? Then contained within this same promise of honesty and openness you bring, your promise shall be thus– In my openness and my honesty, in my willingness to stand before you naked in spirit, I promise to do my best to realize, when you are afraid, that what you need is Love. I therefore promise to do my best, when you are afraid, not to react to that selfsame fear, and not to participate in it with you. For were I to do so, it would no longer be love. And it is my wish that in the days when I am afraid, that you, in the same openness, shall out of Love, not participate in my fear with me. For if one of us stands beyond fear, then that shall carry both of us beyond that same fear, for now and all of our days.

You come to marry to become One. But you cannot change what already is. All that you can change is appearance. So as you stand before the world, there is appearance that shall change. And these words shall help to structure that appearance. And always let that appearance be a message of unity, a message of Oneness, and a message of Love to the entire world. As you stand, together now, in your Oneness, let it be your pledge, that in the safety that you share, in your openness, let it be your pledge that all other beings shall from henceforth be absolutely safe in your presence. Let this be your pledge to all those present, and to everyone in the world, that they shall, in your eyes, both of you, see but safety and openness, and love, and the freedom to be, without judgment or condemnation.

And what you shall find, I tell you this day, is that as each of you, the individual, learns true openness and true freedom from each other, then shall you extend it outward to your world. And as your world receives it, it shall magnify your own lives. And you shall grow and grow and grow in this marriage, and in this love, in ways beyond what you can measure this day. That is all.

Brent A. Haskell, Ph.D., D.O.

Brent Haskell

(Editor’s note: Brent Haskell is the author of Journey Beyond Words and The Other Voice: A Companion to the Text of The Course Chapters 1-15 (Miracles Studies Book). During October, 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Brent at the Miracles In The Mountains conference in Cañon City, Colorado and hearing him give a presentation there, during which he offered to send several articles – including this one – via an email to those interested.)