Holy Relationships and the Solitary Contemplative

Is it possible at all for me to explain what a revelation I had this morning? This blog is about the most rambling ever, the most nonsense and the most useless; but I’m doing it for myself. I haven’t quoted passages but only shared what I think today. The non-Course reader may get a totally wrong idea of the Course from my musings. A more advanced Course student may want to correct me. Too bad, so sad. Sing your corrections to yourself.

I’ve read the Course in Miracles (ACIM) text 3+ times in the past year and a half. I am on my second time through the work book. I am almost daily amazed at how I do think differently. The misery of a purely ego driven existence is being relieved.

In the ego world, we sing a hymn of hate: that person is stupid, that person drives wrong, everything is unfair, I don’t have enough money, and I’m getting old and sick and fat. As I have been spending mucho time investigating my own hymn of hate, I realize that there is not one physical person in the world who I would not criticize (secretly hate). I have many special hate relationships. Even though I know better than to say anything out loud to fat over-eaters or wheezing smokers, I certainly think it (and they know it too).

Now people also have special love relationships. These are family ties, maybe special best friends. Special love relationships are also hate filled. They are a subtle dance of people trying to get other people to fulfill their ego needs. Certainly, non-ACIM readers will think I am being very harsh. But looking within myself at the subtle details of relationships, I see I’m always trying to get something for myself. Emotional gratification is found even in works of mercy. It’s just hard to admit selfishness when you appear so gracious.

Now I know my outlook on others makes me unhappy; and finding a way to be happy is the purpose of spirituality. The life given to God is filled with happy thoughts.

In ACIM, we are told we can give all our relationships to the Holy Spirit who will transform them. They will suddenly have the Holy Spirit’s goal of holiness for their purpose; not ego gratification. The relationship becomes totally the opposite of what it once was. A Holy Relationship can be when two people who decide to undertake a relationship with holiness as its goal. But the one real relationship is with God. God is in everyone.

I am saying all this as a prelude to my revelation, trying to lay some background. Pretty soon, I will get to my revelation. I am a solitary contemplative; and I have no intention of becoming entangled in groups. As a solitary, especially since I live in a small town, I do not know any face-to-face people who are practicing ACIM. I have no best friend nearby. I have no husband, no children and no family. Most Christians I know would be severely distressed by ACIM’s conception of Son of God and of humanity and of the non-existence of sin. So how can I have a Holy Relationship such as described in ACIM? We need the Holy Relationship in order to express the holy instant. The holy instant needs to be expressed or it is soon forgotten. For the past year and a half, I have been counting myself a failure because of who I am and my choice to disentangle from groups. The Course says that God cannot fail; so what does God do with a solitary contemplative like me? Am I not just a sinner because I refuse to join the group?

I have pondered these questions a good long time. ACIM teaching is counter-cultural and very different so I usually don’t speak much about it. This silence seems to separate me from other people. At the same time, I have a very strong practice of taking my inventory and giving my hate to Jesus. I have a strong practice of ACIM forgiveness: looking beyond the physical body, which is an illusion, and seeing only the Christ, present within.

Are you ready for my revelation?

I have only one relationship. Everything in the world was my hymn of hate; but if I give the whole thing, the whole projection to Jesus, then I can have a Holy Relationship with the whole Son of God, Christ. The one consciousness “Son of God” is present in everyone and this is whom I am having a Holy Relationship with. The individual people may be unaware, but the Christ certainly is aware. Christ is alive and looking at me, not with physical eyes, but with true vision. Here is where I put my faith. No matter what that body does in the physical world, including my own body, I stick to having a relationship with Christ. I am free from thinking I need to go find another person who agrees with me so I can have a Holy Relationship as the Course seems to require. This one Holy Relationship with Christ is Salvation.

In my revelation this morning, I actually sensed the Christ presence having a relationship with me. I was not a body, but Christ also. I can let go of individual bodies, which are an illusion, and relate only to Christ, whom we all are. Christ is the Son of God. A constant stream of love flows from the Father to the Son. We are one. We are in Him. He is in us. It is really true and I know it.

Total Self Gift

from ACIM:

  • The holy relationship is the expression of the holy instant in living in this world.
  • …his (Holy Spirit\’s) goal replaces yours (ego\’s)…
  • …as the unholy relationship is a continuing hymn of hate in praise of its maker (ego), so is the holy relationship a happy song of praise to the Redeemer of relationships (Holy Spirit)…
  • …the goal of the relationship (which has been given to the Holy Spirit) is abruptly shifted (by the Holy Spirit) to the exact opposite of what it was. This is the first result of offering the relationship to the Holy Spirit, to use for his purposes.

When I was in the monastery and approaching the making of my vows, I studied the idea of \”total self gift.\” It was taught to me that the making of the vow meant that I had totally given myself to God. This notion was one of the strong desires I had for becoming a nun; but also it was a promotional point for \”selling\” monastic life to young women. Yes, I desperately want to give my self to God. The Rule of Benedict indicates that this can only be done in the monastery.

So when I got kicked out, I was devestaed because I thought my opportunity for \”total self gift\” was robbed from me. It seemed totally unfair that an institution could decide to deny me that opportunity.

Even though I became \”secular\” religious, I never gave up on my total self gift. As much as possible, I devote my time and effort to God. Working at my job is part of listening to God and knowing God. Running is contemplation. What I eat or not is part of The Relationship. There is only one relationship that any of us have: our Relationship with God. Our human interactions are either part of The Relationship, because they have been given to the Holy Spirit; or they are part of the ego because we are using them for our own goals.

Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Give up your life to Him; and join me on the Road to Happy Destiny!

Doing Time

Write a blog in 5 minutes? OK…but, I won\’t have time to muse, edit, rearrange etc. Just raw thoughts, insane and incoherent.

This morning, I went for an early morning run. I have in mind that I will run a marathon in 8 weeks; but regardless of what I am accused of \”training for\” I would have been running anyway. I can runa marathin in 4+ hours. Every now and then, I dream of qualifying for Boston or winning an award. \”Qualifying for Boston\” is a purely egotistical desire. It doesn\’t mean anything. Fast 50 something women runners finish marathons in 3:30 or less. I couldn\’t do that even when I was 20.

So, ultimately, \”training\” is just doing time. If I do the time, I can do the race. If I do the race, big deal. I come home with my finisher medal and age group plaque and a deep sense of emptiness. I have accepted trinkets and baubles to represent an inordinate amount of \”doing time running.\” Before the race I had high value of my self. After the race I have littleness.

5 minutes is up. I must go. I am on my way to Illinois in a corporate plane. Oh joy!

My Current Understanding

EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION – I declare my freedom from ego slavery and prison.

This world is a bad dream lived by my ego consciousness. I am not an ego. I am dreaming. I am the dreamer. I believe the dream because I am asleep. If I would wake up, this bad dream would vanish and I would see I am but a thought/idea of love in the Mind of God. I cannot wake up by myself so Jesus and the Holy Spirit have entered my dream and are helping me to wake up. It doesn’t really matter how the dreaming began. What matters is that I now, right now, this instant, choose to wake up. I wake up by following the teaching of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been helping me to see why I don’t make this choice. If I give the why to the Holy Spirit, it can be healed so that I come closer to waking up. When I have finally given my entire bad dream to the Holy Spirit, I will be ready to wake up and God will awaken me gently. The awakening won’t scare me because I was ready.

This weekend, I have given considerable thought to my fear of financial insecurity. I have been using the “financial crises” as my touchstone. Like most people, I think I need money. But I am dreaming; in the real world, money is meaningless. I keep talking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit about my fear, my terror. It may be a dream but I believe it and cower at the thought of not having money to protect myself. Here, we arrive at exactly the point: I think money will save me. I do not believe God will save me. Here, going deeper, I look at the entire world as one huge frightening disappointment. Every time I thought I grasped salvation in the form of a material savior, it was ripped from my grasp by fate, by God. How over and over I have been terrified and believed that God would not save me. I believed it was God who ruined my dream. I somehow began dreaming because I hated God and pushed Him away. In the dream, I am afraid of God because I think it is God that is punishing me, not that I am punishing myself. My why: I am afraid of God because I believe I did something to hurt Him; and in my guilt and remorse, I made a dream of self punishment. Suddenly, I am able to admit that I have created this dream as a self punishment. My why, self punishment, can be given to the Holy Spirit for healing.

To get out of this dream, to have my fear vanish, I simply tell this to Jesus and the Holy Spirit and listen to their story of how I am holy because God created me holy, of how I am not the dream but love because God is love and nothing else is real, of how I am dreaming and in reality, I exist in the Mind of God and have never left it. It is impossible that I could hate God, fear God or leave God. God is love, not punishment. Instead of hating the other people in my dream, I see them as light with me in the Mind of God; they too are dreaming, but I don\’t have to believe any dream. I can keep choosing to listen to the story told by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Their story is beautiful. In their story, we have peace and light and joy. Money is meaningless because I am only a thought of love. What could a thought of love possibly need money for? Bodily pain, age and disease is meaningless, because I am not a body. Over eating and getting fat is meaningless. Even running and weight lifting are meaningless.

Only love means anything. Love is not a vain attempt to get another person to treat me a certain way. It is peace and joy and comfort provided solely in God. I have a vision I use. I see my self as an idea in a world of light. I look and see a tiny black spec. The black spec is my bad dream. I am not the dream. I tell Jesus and the Holy Spirit of my bad dream and give it to them. The black spec vanishes and I am simply safe in the light.

OK. I don\’t want to live my life in fear. I deeply believe that the true answer to fear is in the spiritual world. It is not in: a government bailout, not in railing my financial advisor to find an investment that will grow, not in frugality, not in increased savings, not in worrying about my job. No investment in this dream world will work. Only investment in the spiritual world will work. Truth can only be found in God. My help is in allowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit to teach me how to live in the spiritual world and not in the bad dream.

The Kingdom of God is in you. My peace I give you. Sell all and follow me. To save your life, you must lose it.

I am under no laws but God\’s. God is Love.

A New Beginning…

The only good that I have to contribute to the world is my thoughts, my mind. Whatever is in my mind is what I am doing to create reality; that’s my contribution and I am willing to pacify it. However it is that I have thought about things and seen them for the past 50 years has to change.

It is clear I have lived my life with a mentality of hate and fear. Having discovered this, I also realize that I don’t want to finish my life with that same mentality. My decision of what to do about this was not arrived at without some considerable consideration taking many years. I read the Bible and participated in Christianity for 2 decades at least. When I was a nun, I went to seminary. After I left the convent, I was deeply immersed in parish life. I have thoroughly studied Catholic theology and community. I have read Buddhist and Hindu texts. As a person in 12 Step Recovery for over 23 years, I have the literature practically memorized. I’ve been in psychotherapy several times. But it is A Course in Miracles (ACIM) that has most improved my mentality. ACIM is what has disclosed to me my truth and offered my a better way.

ACIM has brought me closest into relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It has most helped me to change my thinking and perception. I do not recommend it to anyone because it takes more work than most are willing to expend to learn entirely new concepts of what a human is, what relationships and love are, what Jesus is, what this world is, what time is, etc.

My ACIM workbook lesson for today urges celebration and gratitude that today is the day of a new beginning for me and everyone. Driving home from my early morning grocery foray, I looked around. The sky was clear, the sun just coming up, the fields are a bare winter brown. I had the distinct realization that I was looking at it for the last time, that not only this beautiful landscape, but also the things I had been afraid of in the night, would not be perceived the same way ever again. I was in a place of both grief and celebration. I am leaving prison, yet I grieve the many years spent in a dark cell. I walk into the light with jubilation, anticipating a new life, yet unknown.

I put my life on pause this weekend. I wanted to think the new thoughts and listen deeply. The form of what seemed to be my life (work, running, money, people) will go on; but the content of it (thoughts, perceptions, spirituality) will be 100% different. I know it. I am on my second trip through the ACIM workbook. I don’t remember each lesson but I know I am changed since the first time. I see words that weren’t there the first time. I experience faith, hope and belief in God at much higher levels.

Several new things have occurred even this morning. I am going running; but instead of Gu, I am going to try out Succeed sports drink. It means I won\’t have to remove gloves to open Gu packages. I just got the Succeed in the mail. I\’ve had it at ultra races. The sun has perhaps raised the temperature from 4 to 10. I just called Road Runner Sports and they happily adjusted their bill to what I thought it should be. I just talked to a nice lady photographer who lives on my running route. The government rejected my passport application because the photos weren\’t exactly according to specification. But, as she lives in such a great place, I think I will discuss having her take my 50th anniversary strength pose photo. I want to show off my stringy 50 year old body.

Real Light

I sit in meditation and observe the inner light. I call it the sun of my loving Self. I practice this day after day; morning, noon, night and in between. I do not know what could be true or real about this light. I repeat the journey to the light on faith. At a minimum, when I am looking at the light, I am not listening to ego. That is my claim to peace.

From A Course in Miracles:

  • The special relationship is the renuncuation of the Love of God, and the attempt to secure for the self (ego) the specialness that He denied.
  • There is no veil the Love of God in us together cannot lift. The way to truth is open. Follow it with me (Jesus)…straight to the Heart of God.

That phrase \”straight to the heart of God\” is gripping to me. The Heart of God is truly where I want to be. The Heart of God is the focus of all my desire and all my spiritual practice. Why are some surprised that I give up TV or shopping for this?

The Runner

The Runner

While I am running, the world goes on around me.
The cops chasing the stoned teens.
The woman yelling at the kid about homework.
The man driving and talking on the phone.
The girls taking pictures.
Power tools whining in a garage.
A dog barking.

While I am running, my world stops.
I am one with a fine orange cat;
seated like a queen on a white car.
One with a woman frozen on a bench;
hunched over a book.
The sun frozen in the sky.
The sky a benign infinite blue;
No birds, no clouds mar the smooth blue surface.

While I am running, I don’t know anything.
I ignore my ego’s trafficking in grievances and guilt;
Its offerings of idle wishes;
Its bartering in dreams of sickness and disaster.
Running, I release tormenting fantasies of hell on earth.

While I am running, there is nothing else.
I am a void to the world, a nullity.
I am the worthless, the not living up.
I am the withdrawn, not special.
A runner, a piece of landscape, a mind unoccupied.
Silent, anonymous, free.

Inauguration Day

Today, decide to deny your ego and allow the Holy Spirit to rule in your mind. Then, having made the decision, celebrate by inaugurating Him. Swear Him in and have a ball!

There are certain events going on in the ego world today which seem of great importance. Use the delusion to enable LOVE to ascend to the place of supreme ruler in your heart. Imagine all the host of heaven crowding your inner temple of God and the hush as they watch you elevate your Higher Power, as you turn your will and your life over to Him. The most important thing in any life is to return to God. Making the desire for God real is my number one goal. I want to want to know my Self (Christ) above all else.

From ACIM:

  • …the Holy Spirit is part of you…He is both God and you, as you are God and Him together.
  • They are quite real as part of the Self you do not know.
  • …you who hold Him and whom He holds are the universe…
  • …this Self must be there…this Self you clearly do not know…even though IT functions…what functions must be there…it is only ikf you deny what IT has done that you could possibly deny ITs Presence.

Stop putting up barriers of unbelief against this Self. IT is there. Decide for IT. Deny your ego instead.

Jesus, I want desire to know my Self to be highest priority, highest desire, highest area of action in whatever I do. Please help me. Please help me hear.

Holiday – Holy Day

I am enjoying a day off. I have a day off because of an extra gift from my boss; that today is MLK holiday is coincedental.

Since I did my long run (22 miles) yesterday, and I had no fellowship meeting on the schedule, I slept in and spent extra time studying A Course in Miracles, meditation and reflection.

Here are a few ACIM gems:

  • …if you will merely sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through you, you will empathesize with strength…you choose neither to hurt it (any relationship) or heal it in your own way…step gently aside and let the healing be done for you…
  • The power of love, which is its meaning, lies in the strength of God that hovers over it and blesses it silently by enveloping it in healing wings.
  • Humility is strength in this sense only; that to recognize and accept the fact that you do not know is to recognize and accept the fact that He does know.
  • …the nature of miracles you do not understand…yet they have been done through you…so there must be Something in you that does understand…
  • …your relationship with Him (the One Who speaks for God, Host of God, Christ, Self) is real…to acknowledge Him is to deny all that you think you know…
  • The Host of God has called to you, and you have heard. Never again will you be wholly willing not to listen. This is a year, in which your listening will increase and peace will grow with its increase.
  • This year invest in truth…Have faith in Him…

OK…sorry, I could go on and on because ACIM is full of candy and sweet things for contemplation. Someone asked me to pray for them today. What they get is my willingness to \”sit quietly by\” and let the Holy Spirit help them. A request for prayer is a request for me to allow Love to heal; and the Holy Spirit picked the person who needed a miracle.

In my morning meditation, I took my consciousness to the inner Light. I sat and looked. I was in a place where I was willing to believe that each time I go and ponder the Light, I love it and want it a little more. I was willing to let go of the need for some emotional event to prove that the Light is real. I considered it more like a long slow conversation of non-words. All I needed to do was go there and sit quietly. The relationsip would grow and I need not understand how or have expectations. The Light is the \”Something\” in me that does know. All I do is give some attention.

All I want is to want the Something. Since Something is benign and peaceful; it is hard to detect and hard to want. This is why I seek solitude; for listening. I do not know but I am devoted.

This Week\’s Long Run

Running Matters (to a lunatic perhaps, and to which station I claim):

How much self transcendence is involved in the long distance run? Or the weight lifting and nutrition and time commitment necessary to be an endurance athlete? Or the patience required to just go along for several hours?

[This channel will be on hold for 4 hours while the runner goes running.]

Four plus hours and 22 plus miles later, am I still spiritual?

I began with humility and trepidation. The Presence of Holiness attended the lacing of the shoes and the layering of clothes, the filling of water bottles and the storage of energy packets; like a priestess preparing for the sacred liturgy in the temple of the long road.

I am a solitary runner. Today, in secret, I ran along and along; a mystery as I ran. The secret rock ritual, the secret pee, the hidden spat of anger at the stupid UA tights which were twisting around my leg; these little things are the mystery. To what purpose did that leaf hit me in the chest? For Whom have I endured the humiliation of the north wind and its inhumane lashes? I am shown to be the puny weakling that I am. My high tech gear does not prevent the wind from ravishing me to the bone.

I am a spirit and the mystery of running disembodies me. Today, alone in the park, down there, up there, down there, up there, put a rock on the post, squat to pee, take a package of Gu; around and around and around; I was nothing and nobody, a mystery. After three hours, I can’t think. I’m done praying, the song in my head has faded away, and simply run. I am moving forward, but my mind has begun grasping at straws.

I completed 6 laps plus ¾ of a lap. My butt was dragging that last partial lap. My body was not in pain, but my mind was having a tough time. At that point, any mind can rationalize shortening the run, not going all the way. This resistance is the self transcendence wall. Endurance takes you beyond your self; if you can somehow keep going. Each step is my affirmation to live, to be alive; to not live dead on the couch for the next 30 years. This is my way. Voluntarily strengthening the mind to go the last mile is why running matters. Distance running is optional; but so is self transcendence.

A shower, spirulina, chlorella, royal jelly, water, a salad, coffee.

I am having a hermit day. This means that I am not involved with people; taking a break from life. I did have my usual morning spiritual practice; but then I spent 4 hours on a long distance run. When I was in the monastery was when I first heard of hermit days. They allowed each person one day a month to be alone. This breach of community and reprieve from the liturgical work was justified in the eremitical tradition of monastic history. You were supposed to go into a silent desert (your cell) and spend time alone with your lover (God); and praying for the world. I did spend additional time in meditation those hermit days; but no more than I do every day in my current life as a solitary. I used hermit days to go for long runs. Of course back then, a long run was only about 10 miles; now as you can see, it is a bit more. My life in the world comes to fruition. The training leads to a marathon. The meditation leads to helping others. Now, when I pray for the world, it is my voluntary choice; not because I’m a nun and required to. My lover (God) still comes around, but His intensity is much more demanding. My self transcendence leads to voluntarily entering the inner Heaven; where the spiritual wind is as ravishing as the north wind I experienced on my run. The only difference is I have no protective clothing against the inner spiritual wind.

Candy from ACIM:

  • God offers thanks to the holy host who would receive Him (Christ), and lets Him enter and abide where He would be.
  • And by allowing Him to enter, the remembrance of the Father enters with Him, and with Him they remember the only relationship they ever had, and ever want to have.

    Now, I think I will retire to a reclining position.