Ex-spiration of the world

From A Course in Miracles (ACIM) text chapter 5:

– The function of thought comes from God and is in God. As part of His Thought, you cannot think apart from Him.

– God Himself orders your thought because your thought was created by Him.

– Why should you listen to the endless insane calls you think are made upon you, when you can know the Voice for God is in you? God commended His Spirit to you, and asks that you commend yours to Him.

– Therefore, the first step in the undoing is to recognize that you actively decided wrongly, but can as actively decide otherwise. … the undoing process, which does not come from you, is nevertheless within you because God placed it there. Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace.

I am having another weekend of solitude. I think it has been about 9 weeks since I discontinued any participation in fellowships or society, outside of work. This weekend in particular, I gave serious thought to going to a roundup, so I could see people and say hi. But, Friday night, I felt sick and stayed home. Saturday morning, I ran for over 5 hours and didn’t feel like going out for the evening. Now it is Sunday and I’m using my non-participation as my touch stone for reflection.

Being alone all weekend does not produce anything definitive. Saturday evening, I thought, “What if I allowed myself to have a meaningless life? What if I truly let go of everything and lived (relatively) off the social grid?” To give up finding meaning in this world is to give up the ego hope of grasping God definitively. Wow! That is a huge huge step. All of the new age and religion and spirituality in general are a massive effort to grasp with the ego something which exists completely outside the ego’s capability.

It must be done with another part of the mind; and it is the aim of A Course in Miracles to teach and awaken that other part of the mind.

I worried my thoughts around the touch stone of not-going-to-the-roundup some more. I realized that the stuff of the world no longer interests me. The conversations people have no longer interest me. I remember that I used to be inspired by the world and its people but that feeling no longer happens. Not having the hope of inspiration, I have no motivation to go participate. I’ve taken my ego out of the race and denied it its playground and battlefield. I’ve removed it from games of passion and glory. The world has ex-spired in my mind.

The world is an illusion. What I see with my body’s eyes is my own thought projections. I can’t be inspired by any of the world’s popular gurus because they all spout nonsense founded on the reality of the world.

I can have a life of endless boredom and polite listening; or I can actively engage in looking beyond the illusions my body’s eyes produce and see the thought of God within, basking in its glory. God is in my mind and requires not my body’s eyes for vision. This is ACIM teaching and as you can see, it is way outside the box. As you can see, I could have an interesting conversation only with another metaphysicist.

I find love and joy by looking beyond. What could be happier than seeing a thought of God everywhere?

Separations

Out running this morning, I had a startling realization. When I got sober and joined a 12 Step Fellowship, it was when I began to consciously have two separate lives. There was the world, which mainly consisted of work and there was the fellowship. I kept the two separate because of the stigma of recovery at work.

I got along in the fellowship and the people helped me through early sobriety. I was attracted to 12 Step Spirituality. It is the spirituality that has been important to me. As time has gone on (24 years), the people in the fellowship have not been my focus. In the monastery, I was a third person. As a contemplative and solitary, I am a fourth person. As a runner and athlete I am a fifth person.

I said in my last blog that I live in a different paradigm. Today, I see how I got started with having all these different personas. Who am I really?

The one thing I really want out of life is to know God. I have tried many paths and persevered for decades. I may have made some progress; but I often hear my ego tell me I am a failure. The one thing in life at which I am not a failure is running.
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At 51, I am speechless that I have become a body builder in the past 5 months. I met with the trainer today to get some more ab exercises. Does it make sense now? Most women my age are weak and flabby and over-weight and on medication. Yet I thrive on exercise: the more difficult, the heavier, the hillier (running).

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LSD Paradigm

I live my life off the map, out of the box; in a new paradigm.

I think a 20+ mile run every weekend is normal. I\’ve been doing it for months if not years. I think running 50+ miles a week is normal. I\’ve signed up for a 24 hour race. This idea is within my paradigm; but so outside most other people\’s conceptions.

I am what is called a vegan; but I what I will actually put in my mouth is not what other people will put in their mouths. What I think is food and what others think is food are 2 different things.

I work as a process safety engineer at a plant where we will actually die if that stuff gets out or that other stuff explodes.

I\’m single for life. No relationships and one real friend. I have no plans to work on relationships. I\’m also not a property owner; but I do own a hybrid vehicle.

I am a student of A Course in Miracles. Most people won\’t read 669 pages of fine print let alone do the work to study and digest the material over a period of years.

I gave up peanut butter on January 1st and still haven\’t had any (but that might change). On January 22, the trainer at work gave me some suggestions about calorie counting and simple versus complex carbohydrates. I have a detailed spreadsheet for daily tracking. The weight has flown off and I am ready for more running.

Check out the weight chart:

To truly lighten and allow love to shine through the running; running cannot be an attempt to achieve anything other than truth, that inner constancy of spirit.

That said, the silly 24 hour race on a 1 mile bike path I signed up for in March is an attempt to just be at the most elemental level possible for me. Self transcendence is what I call this and self transcendence is what I hope to achieve in everything.

Communication

This morning, reading the Course in Miracles text, I came across this:

(voice of Jesus) \”God created every mind by communicating His Mind to it, thus establishing it forever as a channel for the reception of His Mind and Will…God created you by this and for this…the mind cannot totally lose the ability to communicate even though it may refuse to utilize it on behalf of being\” (4.VII.3).

This is an excellent passage to discuss meditating on scripture. If you are reading the text slowly and attentively, trying to continuously be awake and touched, a passage like this causes one to immediately pause. I need to stop reading and give this one some space and time. I need to comprehend the implications of what it says. My mind has been forever established as a channel for communication with God. Wow!!! This is it. This is the thing I was wanting when I started this spiritual journey decades ago.

After giving the passage a place of prominance on the altar in my mind (ie placed the Presence of God before my inner eyes); I hunker down, silence my own thoughts and gaze on the Presence. As I sit quietly, the communication occurs. It is abstract. My ego consciousness has no idea what happened. The results are not of this world. It is the peace which passes understanding.

And so, it is now possible for me to go outside and run back and forth for 20 or so miles. I go with and in communication, being the channel, receiving His Mind and establishing His Being. I am not really a runner, just a mind in awareness of Being.

Lent in the Rule of Benedict

\”The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. Since few however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times…let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing.\” (Rule of Benedict 49)

Living somewhat austerely is something of a habit for me. Austere in terms of food, running, solitude and spiritual study instead of entertainment and participation in society. My life continues to drive in that direction because what I really want is beyond negligences, food, drink, needless talk and idle jesting. A Lenten life is one of the ongoing legacies left me from monastic life.

I always wanted to be a thoughtful person. Unfortunately, I don\’t think I have too many authentic, true, honest or inspirational thoughts. But part of why I limit my input from society and even too many books is to allow thoughts to come from the inside of me. I have stuck to one spiritual text for 2 1/2 years hoping to go deeper into Spirit. I think I am, but have not learned enough to explain anything.

So much of my thoughts are wrapped up in differences; how I seem to rub people the wrong way for being healthy or eating right. I\’m worried about tomorrow. I have a meeting most of the day with \”the guys\” at work. They are bringing donuts and candy for snacks and going to a steak house for lunch. I go along, but it will be another occasion where I have to endur little comments about my eating habits. They would not understand someone who lives on as little as I do or who has two pieces of bread and an apple for lunch.

I have made choices in my life. I want the internal more than the external. I want to be an athlete and a meditator more than I want to care for family or engage in social events. Now, I need to learn peace with the areas of my life where society and asceticism need to mix. I have not got beyond the stage where I view relationships as anything but a hot stove. I will have to touch it and I will feel my ego burning. After such events, I go and do what I need to do the keep from dwelling in hatred of others. It involves taking my own thought inventory and giving the hatred to Jesus (or Pierre; Jesus and I have considered changing his name).

Going deeper: I have signed up for a 24 hour run on March 19 and 20. I am so excited to see what will happen to me.

What is Long Distance Running?

Running for many miles, I feel myself trudging forward; whether into a bitter ice laden winter wind or through the salty sweat and dusty roads and biting flies of summer. In these moments, after the freshness of my legs has worn off and dreams of racing glory have been left hours behind, I find myself in my simplest form. The ego\’s grandiosity and posturing are diminished. My body is showing signs of wear and tear from the long slow plod. I am just as I am. There are no dreams. There are periods of thoughtlessness.

It is in the time of thoughtless silence that I need to be awake. Not that some enlightened euphoria will descend, as the emotions of the event are ego possessions. Not that I will suddenly perceive the presence of Jesus or the aura of the forest, as the celestine world is also an ego treasure.

The thoughtless silence is an egoless state of slackened perception where peace is possible and a wordless existence is realized. Yes, this is God Himself. But God is not an ego feeding proposition and how my ego hates me for seeking the nothingness of peace. Having no rewards that can be put into an ego language, the Ineffable cannot be described.

I am invalidating the many stories of enlightenment I\’ve read and sought on the premise that if the ego can conceive of it, then it is not true and doesn\’t exist. If the ego can conceive of it and desire more of it, then it is yet one more in a steady stream of ego delusions which trick us into thinking we are really here. Beautifully attractive to the point of addiction, the hunger for more is a sure sign the presumed enlightenment is an ego aggrandisement. The ego preens over it\’s victory over your spirit and becomes obsessed with topping the achievement.

The deep solid quiet of real peace is the only thing I can experience which is beyond ego and close to God.

And so I bundle up and head out into a bitter wind, hoping for nothing.

Saturday Long Slow Distance

Can a runner be a work of art?
Can a runner be a ray of light?
Can a runner be a God?

A bird soars.
A lion roars.
The runner’s foot falls.

Eternity is breached along the plain path.
Timelessness is enacted on the flat endless road.
Nowhere is found in the forward and backward.

I saw her eyes.
I saw his sunken cheeks.
I saw him scuffing along.

They were a group on a journey.
That one was alone.
That one was pulled by a dog.

Red.
Black.
Shades.

There was no point.
It doesn’t matter.
No one cares.

I’ll be back next week.
I’ll be at it again tomorrow.
Another shipment of shoes has arrived.

The wet stuff hung up.
The notation made in the book.
The shower was magnificent.

How long?
How far?
Did you win?

No…
I just went along.
I duck away from the fat questioner.

I cannot explain.
I don’t want to talk about it.
My polite replies are killing me.

Please don’t say it.
Please keep your opinion to yourself.
Go take your meds while I eat these carrots.

I am a runner.
I ran today.
I’ll run again tomorrow.

What for?

In so far as anything is a contemplation of my soul, an entry into the inner spiritual reality which exists for everyone, then that thing is worth doing and being.

Running very much an example of the choice; either for magnificence or for littleness. Magnificence is the manifestation of spirit. Littleness is the pursuit of ego grandiosity. If I run a marathon in order to qualify for Boston, so I can brag about my BQ, then I have merely built up my ego and become little. If I run a marathon simply, just because I am, then I have joined my Creator in an expression of truth and I became solely spirit; magnificence.

The world appears meaningless and little. People shopping for trinkets and baubles with which to adorn themselves. People killing themselves with food and smoke. People vegetating their minds by parking them in front of TVs. I dis-entangled myself from this because I couldn\’t stand it for myself.

Even monastics participate in littleness. The resources of the monastic environment are squandered on religion and individual spiritual pursuit is annihilated. Monastic habits and emblems are more a badge of differentiation than quiet humility.

I ran 7 miles on the hills this morning. I contemplate my soul. I feel the rub of society. Tomorrow will probably be another one of those 20 miles runs. I run around or back and forth; but not to anywhere. I am not training for anything. I run just to run. In the darkness and the winter chill, I enter my inner being and touch my soul.

Morning Meditation

I woke up tired and thought: a spirit shouldn\’t have to study spirituality; or live like this.

I sat quietly and thought: The certain outcome of solitude is peace; but you must first go through ego turmoil. The intermediate stage of turmoil, a mental stress, is seen as a psychological disorder and recommended against. Indeed the ego turmoil frightens others and causes them to council the solitary to rejoin the mainstream; because they secretly don\’t want anyone to find freedom. Freedom is a witness to the devestation of society.

On the other side, for those who endure the ego turmoil, is peace; the state we\’ve all been seeking.

God Himself is nothing more than utter peace. His Presence is freely and quietly entered as soon as the ego is renounced.

And then I went running.65 minutes on hills, pretty warm, little bits of snow whapping me in the face. I love running on hills. They are my life\’s blood. I can\’t imagine why some runners hate hills!