Good Karma

Or was it, your thoughts create your reality. Or was it ACIM looking beyond.

Anyway, this morning I had an elaborate e-mail prepared to send to my soon-to-be ex-boss. I wondered if I should send it. Am I off base in what I think? I asked a colleague; who agreed with my point of view. In the end, I clicked SAVE AS DRAFT.

Suddenly, the customer service rep from Hilton called and apologized for the problem Hilton has created me, and offered me a free night. Then, I found out I received a recognition award. Then, a guy offered to drive me to my car from inside the plant, since it was pouring rain.

Score!

This morning, in my morning spiritual study, I read a bit of Emmett Fox\’s Sermon on the Mount, and a bit of Maggie Ross\’s Silence A User\’s Guide. Both talked a bit about thoughts and reality. I work on my thoughts every day. My brain is clear so I was able to let go of my instinct to let go of an injustice my ex-boss has done.

So, was my score due to metaphysics? Or did my one kindness give good karma so I received other kindnesses? Or is karma really the same as metaphysics?

You get to decide how your universe works. As for me, I will believe in Spirit. I will believe in connectedness. I will continue my spiritual studies. My real point is that I have been having a happy day. This despite the pouring rain, the scratchy throat, the FedEx issue…. etc.

My ex-boss is a real person even if he is German. He deserves the gift of Christ Within, which I can give him if I want.

Anything else doesn\’t matter.

Nothing

The result of my morning meditation is: I got nothing to stand on.

My life is secure in the life of God.

My life is not my own, but a gift. In prayer, even the prayer of silence, I can thank The Giver. To do this, I need to stop hating The Giver. As soon as I just look at The Giver, letting all my thoughts go, all my expectations of worth go, then I am free. I am in awe. I am nothing but completely able to carry out Life Itself.

No kudos. No approval of this world. I am closer to being a servant.

I am willing.

All this comes about as I brought into meditation a no-win situation at work. Despite good work and great work product, a colleague will continue to produce combative e-mails. He does this to all, and many don\’t even read his e-mails. But for me personally, I hate someone criticizing my work. This hate is my problem. This hate is a symptom of ego fear. My ego is my problem; not the quality of my work. I let go of my work and what anyone says about it, and refrain from self-promotion.

How could it be more important to me to deny ego despite what others are saying? That is the crux of my spiritual life. And this situation is just an example. There are others where the world may cause my ego to fight. To be fully in the spiritual journey, ego must be denied. The idea that all is God, and just go along with it, must rule. Look beyond everything to God alone. That is A Course in Miracles forgiveness.

Renunciation only means something if it includes your ego. Material possessions pale in comparison with ego possessions. In some sense, we thank God for offering humiliation so we can deny the ego. Doing nothing in the face of exterior activities is definitely hard.

I wish it wasn\’t so hot outside. I think I could put on some water and go walk in the trees, but I am not sure I feel up to it. Maybe just some indoor cross training will be what happens.

Memorial Day 2014

I am nearing the end of 5 days off. As usual, silence and solitude have provided a mental grinding post. This working away of the ego is the finest part of Desert Spirituality; but it is also the most dreadful.

After one day of solitude, I looked at my Black Berry and saw a troubling e-mail from a colleague. My ego suddenly wanted to take off on a rampage. I could see my sudden need to practice my spirituality very intensely. Truly, perfection of spirit, renunciation takes place on this inner field and because our egos get upset. The field seems sort of like ego vs spirit. But, really, the ego was never real and spirit is not really on the same playing field as the ego. I needed to work the aspects of A Course in Miracles known as \”holy instant\” and \”looking beyond\” or be miserable.

A Course in Miracles assures us that our thinking is undisciplined and gives us tools. I picked up my tools. The tools worked. this morning, I experienced a moment of knowing I shared the One Life with my colleague. It didn\’t have to be more than an instant of allowing my self to be spiritually healed.

And then continue to practice the mental discipline.

I am getting ready for my first marathon since surgery. It is a road marathon. I am not looking forward to the \”racers.\” But to give myself a chance in the race environment, I have been going easy during these 5 days. That means only 3-4 hours of workout each day, not all running. I\’ve still put in 60 miles in the past 5 days. Not sure really how that happened. Didn\’t seem like it.

I\’ve also been writing a paper on ammonia refrigeration. It surprises me how I got 5 pages written this weekend. I am grateful that finally my thoughts coalesced into sentences and paragraphs. Key points were focused on.

I did not celebrate memorial day other than take my day off work. I realize others must think I\’m wired wrong; but I am not proud of the stars and stripes. I don\’t agree with our middle eastern wars. I think our people are soft and the civilization we were decades ago is gone.

I\’ve been reading the works of Keith Akers (The Lost Religion of Jesus). Very astounding works; but definitely would be dissed by main stream Christianity. But his works do verify my own supposition that Jesus was a radical and would never have agreed with churches as they exist now, and in particular not with the Roman Catholic authorities. It fits with my vow to shamelessly follow Jesus; even if it looks like I\’m against Christians.

ACIM Forgiveness

I am always saying that A Course in Miracles (ACIM) defines common terms differently. One of them is forgiveness. Here in the ordinary world, we think of forgiveness as knowing someone is guilty but letting them off the hook. ACIM says it looking beyond.

But ACIM forgiveness gives students tons of trouble actually understanding it and doing it. And doing it or practicing it is key to ACIM. So, I\’ve been studying for 6 years. Now, here is a moment of clarity I had around this term yesterday.

I was driving through Wyoming listening to an NPR story about a woman who is priestess to the white lions in South Africa. I won\’t go into whatever it means to be a priestess to white lions. What I was thinking is how everyone has a task. Some people have fantastic tasks like being priestess to white lions. Some people have tasks which make us highly jealous. Some have \”special\” tasks that seem to make them better than everyone else. But most of us seem to have ordinary daily life. Then suddenly it clicked for me that all our tasks are equally needed.

My task appears very non-special. I work and run. But I know that I am at work metaphysically because the non-material side of my life is at least conscious; something I actively work at. And I realized that all our tasks are really one task in content but different in form.

And here is where I clearly understood what ACIM forgiveness means. If I know that everyone has a task, and that when I interact with them, I am helping them with their task and they are helping me with my task, then forgiveness has happened. Well, the whole Course in Miracles is completed in that instant of interaction. But it is also true that physical presence is not necessary.

I find it completely possible to walk the face of the earth helping others with their task. With that frame of reference, my life is not about going to work to earn money and retire and die. It doesn\’t have anything to do with whether I have a \”special\” task, or wrote a book, or was a guru. I just help others with their task.

Re-group

Last night, in the Charlotte airport on my way home from Germany, I saw a young female sailor in her whites with a big back pack and carrying her cap. I felt a slight swelling of tears. That was my wish a long time ago: to be in the military. I stood at the recruiting table in college and yearned; but back then, women didn\’t get to do anything interesting. I wanted the uniform and the way of life. I couldn\’t have it.

The same thing happened when I stood at the doors of The Church. I realized that within those doors was a mysterious religion governed by men. I couldn\’t go in. I went and became an Episcopalian. I eventually breached The Church and even entered a convent and went to school at a seminary. But in the final analysis when I decided to walk away, the all male hierarchy was something I couldn\’t devote my life to.

The customs agent was making small talk with me as she checked my passport last night. She wanted to know what I did. I proudly said I was an engineer. She seemed to perk up and wanted to know what kind. I even more proudly said I was a Process Safety Engineer.

So, I got home without any problems last night. I slept ok but got up at 6 am. I have been drinking tea and reading A Course in Miracles Text: The laws of chaos, chapter 23.II. I am doing laundry and I am dressed in running clothes. I reflect on my life as it continues on. I realize that Germany was good for my career, but not a dopamine reward experience. And then a breakthrough thought….

My convent life was really about leaving the world physically. A Course in Miracles is about leaving the world in your mind; because you learn it is an illusion. So, I have been on an intentional journey away from dopamine rewards (ego) and the result is that the world means nothing. Again I decide today that only God consciousness means anything to me today.

And so a person gets out of bed in the morning. I look forward to a practice of God consciousness and the ACIM practice of looking beyond. And whatever else, training or working, is not the focus. The focus can only be God.

The young woman in the sailor suit? I hope she gets her dreams. and I know that my dreams were yearning for Something. I now define Something as God consciousness. God is all I want.

Problem Solved

Does God solve problems? Probably not.

But, I can see things differently and in that is my world changed. I can ask for help in seeing things differently. The Holy Spirit is who saves me with Christ vision.

A Course in Miracles states the non-existence of guilt. And this is because God, being Love, could not have created anything other than love. Created love cannot be guilty any more than God can be guilty.

Anyway, I broke the rules of non-thinking obedience at work yesterday. I woke up in the night feverish with guilt, shame and \”I-am-not-good-enough-to-work-at-this-great-place.\” I mean really, I was attacked by negative emotion from all sides. I tried to project it out onto the company and its gate keepers. hate loomed.

Yet this morning, as I studied the ACIM text, I was reminded to let the Holy Spirit solve my problems for me. Ummm…yeah…I asked the Holy Spirit to help me with \”this problem.\” I did my morning workout engraving in my thoughts, \”I will accept forgiveness for myself.\” Forgiveness is overlooking, or looking beyond this world to the one of peace and light which is the real world of love. The function of the miracles worker is to accept salvation for themselves because in that they stop projecting their guilt onto others and all are seen as innocent, creations of love.

Today at work, nothing was said.

One of the first things that happened was I had an unexpected cup of coffee with 3 colleagues I don\’t normally see. But I got validation from them about my feelings related to stupid and inefficient work requirements. Then the first class I had was relatively interesting. Then the morning slipped quietly away. I got some work done and then the afternoon class slipped quietly away. Then I drove home on traffic-less streets in record time.

I kept saying thank you to Whomever. \”This problem\” has been solved and not by me.

My lessons tomorrow are so relaxing and freeing for me (remember, some of the following words are re-defined by ACIM): \”Salvation is my only function here.\” and \”God\’s Will for me is perfect happiness.\”

I am perfectly happy to surrender to the function of salvation as it means seeing things differently. and I am totally willing to have God\’s will of happiness for me; which I will have if I accept it.

Forgiveness

In A Course in Miracles, forgiveness means: it never happened. See, this world is a dream, an illusion. So nothing we think happened really did happen.

It means my true existence is in the peace of God. So there is no need to react to anything which my ego seems upset about.

Every day, someone steps on my toes, or I step on theirs. Daily I feel my ego flare up in anger and fear. But really, if I remember ACIM forgiveness, I am able to quickly let it go. It never happened. When I feel in my heart a true belief that I let it go, I feel totally free.

Why would I want to spend a life time, 80 or more years, gathering annoyances, beliefs that other people did me wrong?

Today was another beautiful Texas day. I went in a 10 mile trail race.

I ran really well, finishing in 1h51 min.

Here\’s a picture of my growing shrine to myself:

Accepting ACIM Atonement

The point of ACIM Atonement is realizing that this world is a delusion, none of it really happened; hence you and everyone are innocent. Accepting Atonement for yourself means you believe this and hence live that way: seeing only the light of love and not shadows of darkness. Accepting Atonement and ACIM forgiveness are the same: overlooking the shadows and seeing only love.

God is love. Reality is love. Anything else does not exist.

My ACIM workbook lesson for today was about the topic of seeing the world forgiven: The light has come. I have forgiven the world.

Reading the lesson for the first time, it seemed like such pie-in-the-sky to believe I would see a world filled only with light starting today. But a series of thoughts brought me to the conclusion that I do believe I have accepted Atonement, even if I clearly saw for only a little bit. Having seen once, I can continue to re-produce the opening.

I was thinking about the plant manager whose plant I just left. I was thinking about the move to Texas. I was thinking about the myriad of negative thoughts I have all day long and how, since I seem unable to stop them, they would prevent me from ever forgiving the world (seeing it as light). But then, my ACIM teaching whispered to me:

  1. My negative thoughts are \”just\” temptation. 
  2. And anyway, none of this \”really\” happened. 
  3. I am not guilty.
These 3 thoughts, constitute my realization that I have accepted the Atonement for myself; and that I know it in my heart. These 3 thoughts, realized as beliefs, put a distance between me and my ego. I identify less with my ego. If I am not my ego, I can be innocent. Being innocent is the only way to be free. I must be free; that\’s the only way I\’ll be happy or go to Texas as a free person. I must go to Texas as a free person because I have more to learn. I can\’t learn if I continually hold my past against the present. The spiral of my learning must go higher.
As of this moment, I do have a bright future as a free innocent person.

Spiritualized Thinking

It happened this morning. I was on my ex-bike listening to the BBC interview 2 Qaddafi troops about how they raped women. Now, that sounds terrible and I wondered how such young men could ever grow up to love women.

Then, I distinctly heard my mind grant humanity to the inside of these fellows. That is, no matter what they seemed to have done, the divine spark/inner self/ what-ever-you-want-to-call-it does reside in them. This thought happened spontaneously.

 It is what is know to ACIM students as overlooking: grant humanity to these people.

ACIM Forgiveness

Yesterday evening, I worked out for 3 hours on my ex-machines. Then today, I jogged for 5 hours. During my jog, I spent substantial time practicing ACIM forgiveness.

Am I ready to discuss ACIM forgiveness? It finally seems clear to me.

First, some Course principles:
a) This world is an illusion of the ego. The ego is a tiny mad idea that thinks it is separate from God. Everything you see with your body’s eyes, including your body, is a projection of the ego.
b) You are innocent. Everything you think you did wrong never happened because it is part of the ego projection. You don’t need to be afraid because you are innocent.
c) You don’t have to use your body’s eyes. You have spiritual sight and you can train yourself to use it.

So, ACIM forgiveness is literally overlooking. This means using spiritual sight to look beyond the illusion and see the Son of God instead. Learning the practice of forgiveness is what removes you from the ego’s illusion. Instead, you begin to experience a reality created totally of love.

I use my litany to practice ACIM forgiveness. When I say “true appreciation” I mean I have seen the Son of God within and loved it. When I say “see perfection” I mean I have seen the perfection God created. When I say “Christ vision” I mean I used spiritual sight, not my body’s eyes. When I say “God’s Majesty” I mean I have recognized God in everyone.

I did not see an annoying person. I did not see anything to fear. I did not believe the ego’s illusion is real. I stuck to my conviction that our minds are light, we are joy, we are spirit; and nothing else.

Here is my litany in total, but divided into movements. The first movement is a defense against the ego. We need this for when we feel fear, hate, annoyance or lack. The second movement is a practice of forgiveness. As I think the thoughts, I also see others in my mind, looking beyond their illusion and seeing Christ within. The third movement is a affirmation of God’s Authorship and my commitment to my identity as a creation of Love.

My ACIM Litany:

Defense against the ego:
Father in Jesus name remind me of,
Your love for me and of my love for you.

If I am afraid I am deceived.
I am spirit. Know this can’t hurt me.
Fear is lack of love Atonement heals.
Expanding Love is my reality.
I am not alone, Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.
The Holy Spirit is my choice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.

Forgiveness:
Giving and receiving are the same.
True appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Christ Vision is their one and only sight.
My mind has only light and shines it out.
I see God’s Majesty in all others.

My Identity:God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to Your peace.
Truth is my commitment. I am Joy.
Love is my intention. So I bless.
Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want. (Amen)