White Bird Flies Free

Psalm 119:129,30:
Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey them with all my heart.
When Your Word goes forth it gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

I live 1.5 minutes from work, and go home for lunch. I get a little prayer time that way. Today, as I was pondering that Psalm, the following thought came into my mind:

\”Spirit Flower, you have studied A Course in Miracles (ACIM) enough to know:

  • how to forgive; thus realizing Oneness and joining the Sonship;
  • that this ego world is a dream, the separation never happened and you are a thought in the Mind of Love;
  • to take your ego\’s inventory and give the darkness to the Holy Spirit\’s light for healing and correction;
  • to choose again, accepting the Atonement;
  • to listen to the Voice for God;
  • and to be responsible for your part/function, allowing yourself to be a channel for miracles.

Spirit Flower, that is it. You have learned The Course. Now just go live it.\”

I realized that ACIM is no different than engineering school. You learn the concepts and then use them in your work. You do not need to keep beating yourself over the head with first year physics. You may decide to take ongoing education, of course. But you do graduate from college and you do go on to live your profession. Self just explained to me that I am living my ACIM profession. No sense in complicating it any further.

I am free.

Darkness

Well, well, well. So what, so what, so what.

\”…the Call to awake is within you.\”

Jesus said we would take my fear inventory. Yesterday, I revisited the old fear that I am well familiar with: fear of others. I fear others. Maybe they will take my money, my security, my self esteem; and leave me hurt or struggling. My life has been about defending myself from \”them.\” My ego firmly states, \”They are my problem.\” On an intellectual level, I know my perception is my problem and I am responsible for it. I am the one that projected this world and I am the one that chose what I see.

\”…the Call to awake…\”

This morning, I sat at my table. Along with various memories, I was silently praying the name of Jesus. I realized that I was praying out of unhappiness and anger. The prayer was unconscious of fear; until…I pictured my self walking in blackness, the ego on the one hand with its anger. On the other hand was an unknown darkness: love and joy. At first thought I was walking a between land, then it became clear to me that the between land was really terror. I am terrified.

\”…the Call…\”

I realize my world projection is a movie of my terror. I live in an ego straight jacket. What is joy? Spirituality maybe brought me flashes of joy or love. Trying to live as I observe makes most others happy only brings me hate and disappointment. Religions (including the ACIM Text) make all sorts of promises of love and joy. I never have got that.

\”…the Call…\”

So, yes, I am sitting here in darkness today. I\’ve clearly been told that this is my choice and that Jesus is leading me out and it is not really reality anyway. Again I pray, \”Please help me.\”

\”……………\”

Jesus

Psalm 103: \”Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.\”

This morning, I didn\’t start my prayer time with much hope but ended it with deep love for Jesus and a total feeling of trusting intimacy, like I have for my elbow doctor (what could be more intimate and trusting than allowing someone to tear open your skin, chip and hack and drill; while you are asleep?).

Jesus was talking through ACIM. He said, \”The dynamics of the ego will be our lesson for awhile, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth.\” Imagine that you have a wise doctor who comes to see you each day (maybe someone who brought you back from the brink of suicide). You have had such a long relationship that you love him. Today he shows up and says, \”We are going to start going through your crap. I want you to see your source of fear. Your fear is not real; but you must look at it before you can look beyond it into the face of God. I will come and talk to you everyday about this for awhile. Honesty is intimacy. I know how your ego feels about this. But intimacy is also love and by now, you know how much I love you and you love me.\”

Jesus listed the type of thoughts the ego gives me. If I take my inventory and learn to recognize the ego\’s thoughts, I can give them to Jesus: wishful thinking…idle wishes…attacks (resentments against others)…feeling supercilious, unbelieving, emotionally shallow, callous, uninvolved, lighthearted, distant, desperate. Whatever seems to separate you from God is only fear. The ego doesn\’t really want you to understand your fear because you would find your fear is not real. So you listen to your ego and waste your time with idle wishes instead.

So, with an inner excitement and giddy trembling, I look forward to Jesus joining me for my daily and deep inventory \”for awhile.\” He will talk to me about my idle wishes and quietly we will approach my fear and undo it.

While I was in the monastery, one of the priests from the men\’s abbey befriended me by becoming my regular confessor. Once a week, he listened to my resentments, hatreds, shame and fears; then applied the healing balm of Reconciliation. Then, a mad man came into their abbey one day and started shooting any monk he saw. My confessor was shot but not killed. I was devestated. About three weeks later, my confessor was in the infirmary at his abbey and I had visited him a couple of times. He loved being a priest and he loved his priestly duties, but being tied to a sucking machine in the infirmary, he couldn\’t celebrate sacraments; which he very much wanted to do. He invited me to come back a week later and we would celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation together. It felt like Jesus Himself had invited me to come and surrender to His love. I felt that Jesus was joyfully happy that I would show him my stuff and let him heal it. That is how I feel now today. Jesus has invited me to come into his heart and he is in mine.

If you are a recovering alcoholic with many years of sobriety, the number one threat to your sobriety is your ego. I urge you to take your inventory at deeper and more subtle levels. This will ensure not only not drinking, but the development of conscious contact and living sobriety as an art form.

Life

Silence and solitude separate me physically from people. I love other people but I don’t understand them. I have chosen to enter a vast and infinitely beautiful desert. I have a flask of water, some dried fruit and nuts and a battered copy of holy writing. My outer garment is course and bland. All I do is ponder. I ponder the expanses of sandy dunes. I ponder the unending depth of blue sky. At night, shivering in the dry cold, I ponder the exquisite fabric of stars and blackness. Sitting in my heart is all of humanity. Sitting in my heart is the living flame of love. Sitting in my heart is the Voice, the sound of many waters. I am so alone. I am not alone. Love is all there is. (I love you yahhh yahhh yahhh!)

Dead Bugs

I just did some chores (2 pm). I put new string on the weed eater; which I won\’t need until next year. I swept up the dead bugs in the basement (grasshoppers). I vacuumed up the millions of dead lady bugs on the back porch.

I have had a totally discombobulated day. Jesus would tell me that is because I am resisting. I think it is because I don\’t understand the human side of human life, at least what I thought it was; and I am still learning to remember the spiritual joy which I always have. How can I forget the joy? My mind is split; lets face it.

So, I didn\’t sleep well and don\’t know why. The alarm went off at 3:35 because I wanted to pray and meditate before I decided anything else. Why so early? Because what I did was what I thought I would do the night before: I drove to the city at 5:15, went running in a park from 6:15 to 7:30, changed clothes in the car and went to church at 8.

I sat in church feeling the intangible God, but disconnected from the ritual form. That is, I was living in love as content; as well as hearing numerous cries for love. I was glad not to be full of judgment and left the door of my mind open for the Spirit to flow out. I left feeling tired and overwhelmed. I like people but can\’t relate very well to the average family\’s out look on life. And I don\’t know how to communicate the good news: God loves you.

I got a car wash and decided to come home instead of going to another fellowship. That way I could eat and nap before going to the monastery to meet with some people there. Good choice.

Who Cares?

Really, this is just a blog. This blog is the musings of a crazy woman!

In my sobriety, fasting, silence and celibacy, I renounce the primary inclinations of life. Renunciation is for the purpose of focusing on God, being devoted to God instead of all other choices. I recognize that there are no other gods or comforters but God and the Holy Spirit. It is a \”fake it til you make it\” existence. I mean, I am not enlightened but I go through the motions wishing I was. This action is not a sin. Being unenlightened is nothing to be ashamed of. I have not experienced the utter bliss of joyful ecstasy; but I am not too proud to walk the path of renunciation, patiently whittling away at my ego, until IT happens. However (and this is big), I daily have moments of the Holy Spirit\’s thinking. From this, I know that God is in me and does get through to me. He and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are my guests.

This morning, I cried out to God, \”Why am I here?\” What I thought next was that I am here because I love God and He asked me to come. I am made of love and:

I
AM
JUST
BEING
LOVE
That is it nothing more. Take each word one at a time. Take the words two at a time. Take the words in the various forms of tense and extension (ie Just is also justice, am and being are the same infinitive: to be).
I
AM JUST
BEING LOVE
I AM
JUST
BEING LOVE
Saying that I came because God wanted me and I love Him, so I obeyed sounds like a totally body/material world-centric thesis. Does this agree with the ACIM premise that the separation never occurred and this world is an illusion? Yes, because I said I was made of love by God. Being made of love by God is a constant and eternal. What I or anyone perceives of my physical life may not be what I really am. Yet still I am made of love and extend the love even into perception. The root of my being, the illusion of my life, the illusion of your life; all is love.
I love Him so I obeyed Him and I came. I was made. Now, I am here being love. My renunciation strips away everything else.
From ACIM:
  • …do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you.
  • …His peace surrounds you silently. God is very quiet…
  • The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you.
  • Walk in the light…God leads you.

In the Rule of Benedict, there is a chapter on silence. One translation entitles it \”Cherishing Silence in the Monastery.\” Related to ACIM, cherishing silence is the same as cherishing God, who is silent. Here is a line from the chapter on silence, \”As for vulgarity and idle gossip repeated for the sake of a laugh, such talk is forbidden at all times…\” People criticize me for not joining their fun, but to me it is not fun. Never have I been sarcastic or told a joke where someone else was not attacked; maybe subtly, but it is always there. What joke is not an attack on either someone\’s race, sexuality, gender, economic means, intelligence, physical stature, mistake, etc.

I see how such talk is a conscious act of separation between me and God. Since all people are God, any joking separates and attacks the God in them. So I try not to participate. I just watch and keep silent. I really want God more than guffaws.

Fire and Humility

Last evening, as I sat at my table in silence, gazing, I realized that my spirituality does not make me better than other people. I became conscious that at some level my ego hoped that spirituality would cause me to excell or be revered (ie special to God and worshiped by others). I am less successful at life than many many people. In fact large quantities of unspiritual people are hugely successful. I can barely get through a day. I am usually terrified of work and filled with hatred. Somehow, this reminded me of the seventh step of humility from the Rule of Benedict: I am a worm and no man. I love it when I voluntarily grovel in the dust. It is much easier (emotionally) to consciously be still and not compete or think I\’m better.

This morning, I was once again pondering my spirituality. Once again I was wondering how some people have the Oneness experience and others of us have the slow growth experience. I worked at stopping my thinking and not expecting anything. I realized that the muddiness of my exterior life will never go away. My problems may look different than other people\’s but the muddiness and futile attempts to fix them is the same. Nothing in the ego world can be fixed. Nothing, not a new job or a relationship or money, will ever make the mud go away. It will only always be muddy. A thought went through my head, \”There must be an inner fire, a blazing essence, which is Christ, which is everywhere and in everyone.\” I cannot see the fire. Its emotion is subtle knowing. I know it. The fire is the God Presence, Love. Seeing the fire in others and all around me is my new attitude which is grateful and doesn\’t fight the mud.

And so here I am at this muddy place where I work. I look not to outward things to satisfy me. All I find out there is problems. My problems are (metaphysically and directly) of my own making. I want them. I make them. I don\’t know how to quit; but fighting them doesn\’t help. It is so much easier to just swim in the mud than to try to fix it. In fact, loving the mud is my best chance for happiness!

This evening, when I go running in the pouring rain, I will be thinking about the fire and humility.

Before I went to the monastery, I \”worked\” AA\’s 12 Steps. After I went to the monastery, I was always fascinated with Benedict\’s 12 steps of humility. To me, it is worthwhile to keep these in your pocket or on the wall at work. It is so much easier to be humble than proud. Here is an excerpt from each:

  • The first degree of humility, then, is that a person, always keeping the fear of God before his eyes, should avoid with the utmost care all forgetfulness, and be ever mindful of all that God has commanded…
  • The second degree of humility is, that a person, loving not his own will, delight not in gratifying his desires…
  • The third degree of humility is, that a person for the love of God submit himself to his superior in all obedience, imitating thereby the Lord…
  • The fourth degree of humility is, that if, in this very obedience, hard and contrary things, nay even injuries, are done to a person, he should take hold silently on patience, and, bearing up bravely, grow not weary nor depart…
  • The fifth degree of humility is not to conceal from one\’s Abbot the evil thoughts that beset one\’s heart, nor the sins committed in secret, but to manifest them in humble confession…
  • The sixth degree of humility is, that a monk be content with all that is mean and poor, and, in all that is enjoined him, esteem himself a sinful and unworthy laborer…
  • The seventh degree of humility is, that a person not only call himself with his own tongue lower and viler than all men, but also consider himself thus with inmost convictions, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: \”I am a worm and not a man…
  • The eighth degree of humility is, that a monk do nothing except what the common rule of the monastery or the example of the seniors direct.
  • The ninth degree of humility is, that a monk restrain his tongue from speaking and, maintaining silence…
  • The tenth degree of humility is, that one be not easily moved or quick to laughter, because it is written: \”The fool lifteth up his voice in laughter.\”
  • The eleventh degree of humility is, that, when a monk speaks, he do so gently and without laughter, humbly, gravely, and with few and reasonable words…
  • The twelfth degree of humility is, that a monk, not only in his heart, but also in his very outward appearance, always show his humility to all who see him…

Fear

This morning I had a difficult time getting out of bed. Then, as I sat at my table, I could feel fear and hatred building within me. I did not want to go to work, face whatever comes up and be responsible. I could feel hatred of responsiblity.

I glanced down at my ACIM text:

  • Open the dark cornerstone of terror on which it (the ego) rests, and bring it out into the light.
  • …everything of which you have been afraid was based on nothing (meaninglessness, delusion, projection).
  • …the little spark in your mind is enough…
  • I (Jesus) give you the lamp and I will go with you.
  • His (God\’s) thought system is light.
  • You dwell in the Mind of God with your brother…

In the Bible, Jesus says, \”Be not afraid…my peace I give to you…\”

I realized I was back at the decision point. I did not have to be afraid. I could choose to accept the peace of Christ. My ego absolutely does not want to go and serve. My ego hates me because I have been refusing to attack my brother and learning to choose the belief that I live in God. So my ego generates fear and hatred for \”them\” and \”what-ever-is-out-there-which-could-hurt-me.\” None of that is true. It is all false perception and I can choose to believe Jesus instead.