National Captal Marathon – The Silence After

It is the morning after my trip home from Canada. I learned alot during my weekend and I felt success in the spiritual growth area. The picture there is of my Course in Miracles (ACIM) text open to 15.IX, which is where I happen to be reading this morning; and of the spinny finisher\’s medal from the National Capital marathon. The maple leaf spins and the middle gold ring spins.

The first sentence of 15.IX says: \”As the ego would limit your perception of your brothers to the body, so would the Holy Spirit release your vision and let you see the Great Rays shining from them, so unlimited that they reach to God. It is this shift to vision that is accomplished in the holy instant.\”

I was working on the ACIM concept of \”forgiveness\” all weekend but especially yesterday during my trip home. Forgiveness means: this world is an ego dream, an illusion and not what God created, hence it can be looked beyond to the Christ, the Son of God, who we all are, who is innocent and no sin exists because nothing happened, the world is an ego illusion and never happened. We mostly live in the ego consciousness, which we made not God, so we think the world is real and never ask the question: what if it is an illusion. However, mystics and physicists have know this is an illusion for centuries and decades. ACIM gives me the practice of \”forgiveness\” which sets me free to see things differently.

So here is my example. Yesterday, unbeknownst to me, the President of the United States was flying in Chicago air space. That means that the entire world of United Airlines was disrupted for hours. So, I was delayed. It was a strange delay because no one seemed to know why and plans kept changing every 30 or 40 minutes. For my part, I kept thinking about my ACIM lesson: \”Forgiveness is the key to happiness.\” I kept thinking, forgiveness brings me happiness, not on-time flights. My ego wants things to go its way and be angry if it doesn\’t. Yesterday, I mentally rejected the ego\’s view of things and practiced the Holy Spirit\’s forgiveness. I saw only light. I rejected anger. I thought about the holy Son of God beyond the delusion of the world. I refused to judge God\’s will for me based on an ego perception. I accepted that the Holy Spirit was giving me happiness through forgiveness. So, ta da, my inner peace was not disturbed by the world and I was seeing the holy Son of God instead of being angry. Thats the point: Forgiveness is the key to happiness (nothing else). Now carry on.

So my big Canada trip is over. It is now time to pause, be still, listen to The Voice and hear God\’s will for me. As I pause to listen, it seems that the idea of the lunar nite flight ultra-marathon materializes in my mind. It means keeping my running in the area of endurance and not speed. It means giving up the idea of running two marathons back to back so I can join \”Marathon Maniacs\” (really, why should that matter, it is a harmful distraction).

Today, I am going for a slow run and doing laundry.

I really want what ACIM teaches more than anything.


Easter Hourney 3 – Grand Finale

My dear readers, well I know there is at least one of you, you deserve an ending to the Easter story of Spirit Flower, spiritual athlete.

Last night, in the dregs of what could have been the Easter Vigil, I sat in my solitude and thought:

The monastics while away their time in liturgy, claiming the highest purpose and vocation. I, in solitude, while away my time as nothing, purposeless and useless and worthless, I visit the likes of Mr. Rushdie, a baffling author to say the least. In the two styles, their high Mass versus my reading on the bed, a circle is formed. We become united and overlapped at the ends of the three dimensional bell curve, a geometric temporality wrapped around the cylinder of the existential time warp. Both of us face the bleakest of futures unless able to step out of the bell curve and into the blackness lightness of the time warp. In the black light, eternity stands accepting and embracing all existence willing to let go of form and function and merely be.

I woke up this morning with the alarm clock in a surprisingly positive state of mind. I have spent more than two years studying A Course in Miracles and its practice of forgiveness, which is inside out and backwards of the Christian idea of forgiveness. Especially the past 3 or 4 days, my bafflement for the practice has loomed large in my forward consciousness. I kept asking the Holy Spirit for help, “What is it? How do I do it?” My mind continued to give blank impressions of what I should do; until this morning.

This morning, I imagined an extremely ugly and obese person I had seen in Wal-Mart awhile ago. At the time, I had judged and silently thought deprecating thoughts about that person. This morning, as the image flashed into my mind, I envisioned that person instantly awakened to Heaven and Truth. Then I thought of the various persons in my life and easily imagined them also gifted with spiritual awakening. I was surprised at my total lack of judgment or hatred of anybody. Fear and loathing were totally replaced with the ability to see anyone as an enlightened awakened being, existences far superior to their earthly illusions.

And so, I accept that at least for today I have a handle on the ACIM practice of forgiveness. This is my Eastertide.

I went running for 10 miles. It was an enjoyable run cut short by the idea of entering marathon next Saturday. I patronized Wal-Mart in search of Brussels sprouts and veggie patch meat balls, my intended lunch. I did a little work for work and again visited Mr. Rushdie. The space in my life not occupied by running was comfortably left vacant with some meditation time.

I have nothing to do, except perhaps lift weights in a little bit. I have nothing to show for my life. I have a silent and secret practice of projecting enlightenment (instead of disgust). I guess I will continue on with my waiting and watching and projecting of something hopeful. Tomorrow will be something else and the day after that something else and then a marathon and then another marathon and then weight lifting and then more long boring running. I refuse to stop looking and delving into the inner black light; and continue to resist the siren call of worldly involvement.


Thoughts of God

My Course in Miracles lesson for the day is: My mind is part of God\’s. I am very holy.

This morning, I read in the ACIM Text (6.II):

  • …the Holy Spirit is in your mind…
  • …the peace of God lies in you…
  • Each of us is the light of the world…

I need to pause and give these thoughts some consideration. How difficult it is to allow my mind to leave its worldly bondage and think of itself as in God.

The major spiritual practice of ACIM is forgiveness; expressed as looking beyond the worldly illusions and seeing everyone as one thought of God. As I think of today\’s lesson, I think it for or in the mind of everyone else. In this way, we are joined in my thoughts and the frightening illusion of the ego world loses its grip.

When I go out into the world, I face others. Relationships are like hot stoves to me. I seem to always get burned, yet I go out each day and attempt to get along. My help is in the thoughts which ACIM gives me and the practice of forgiveness.

Jesus Forgave

Remember how Jesus walked around Galilee encountering sick and crippled people? He would say I forgive you, be healed, go in peace.

The practice of forgiveness is completely consistence with Jesus in A Course in Miracles. What Jesus was actually doing when he looked at someone and forgave them is a bit more detailed and metaphysical in ACIM. Forgiveness means Jesus saw the truth of that person (the presence of God within), seeing their truth, they received it themselves and went away healed; because the truth is never sick or in pain. The truth is inner radiance, Great Rays created perfect by God Himself. Would God make something imperfect and miserable? Not a God who is only love.

In ACIM, we learn to forgive by using Christ vision to see the inner radiance in others, hence receiving it also. The miracle is the perception shift from seeing misery to seeing wholeness.

We are able to choose how we want to see things. We will see what we want to see, because we project it. I had to ponder the choice for awhile. I had to really hear the nasty ego thoughts in my head and be willing to give these to Jesus. Through this practice, I understood more and more how much I want to see inner radiance rather than misery and pain. So I choose to stop projecting the misery and pain (yes, what I perceive comes from my projection); and instead I accept Christ vision in order to see only love, inner radiance. And, thoughts can be changed after you think them. So if I notice my ego is stabbing someone in the back, which it does quite frequently, I stop it and re-make the choice to forgive.

I really want inner peace. I cannot have it if I allow the thoughts of back stabbing to go on unchecked.

Urban Tree House of Solitude

I have been given the gift of an urban tree house (2nd floor apartment). Within the upper level is one spirit (me), silent within the sound of the nearby freeway. It doesn\’t spark the yearning like a cave in the Himalayas or a hut in the dense forest. That rent is near $1000 a month, that the first floor garage contains a new Prius, that the urban solitary goes to work as an engineer, seem wholly normal and not very hermit. Why would that person bother with the ethos of solitary?

Because the life is wholly ermetical. Because the tree house is a transition between the realm of pure spirit and the delusion of the world. The solitary retreats into pure spirit for extended periods of time and then carries the consciousness of spirit into the delusion. The world is an illusion, or as I say delusion. Not even my body is real. How do we approach the truth?

A Course in Miracles 1.III.2 says, \”You are the work of God and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving.\” Usually we look at ourselves and think there must be something wrong because we are not wholly loving. We usually think God made a flawed person. We never say that it is our perception that must be wrong because God cannot have made something unloving or unlovable. If I allow myself to ask the question about my flawed perception, I am on the way to seeing the world as a delusion and not real.

The miracle is a perception shift which corrects my perception error. When I accept the miracle and believe I am love, I am forgiven.

Miracle principle #36 is, \”Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.\”

I am willing to let go of everything and live the truth that God made me wholly lovable and wholly loving and that whenever I think otherwise, I have contradicted God and wanted my delusion more than pure spirit. I think about it, ponder it, reflect on it, pray for more letting go.

The perfect axiom is that you too must have been made by God wholly lovable and wholly loving. Part of my practice is to see this in you. ACIM calls that forgiveness.

The forgiven are forgiving and this is what will end the delusion of the world.

I hope I have made some headway in explaining some terminology from ACIM: forgiveness and miracle. I hope I have made some headway in explaining the basic premise of ACIM that the world I see is my insane delusion; and that I have given an opening into consideration that the premise could possibly be true. God really is love and we would not expect love to make a world of fear and suffering. Therefore, it must be my perception that is wrong. The miracle is healing.

The delusion of my body weighs 129.2 this morning (new diet is working). Now, this illusion of a body is going out running. There is a light dusting of new snow. It is 20F. I \”think\” I will be cold for three or four hours while I do my long run so I better bundle up.

Spiritual Push Comes to Shove

No workouts this morning. I became wrapped up in an argument with Jesus and wanted to linger over my spiritual studies. Then, I thought that since I am going in a race tomorrow, I should rest up a bit so I have some speed for the race.

It was hard to get out of bed. I rarely remember dreams; but I remembered what I dreamed last night and am feeling guilty for it. I have a late afternoon meeting with three Germans (I work for a German company). I am afraid of them; and also, I wanted to get out of work on a Friday afternoon, but it ain’t goin’ to happen. Then, I smacked into the spiritual wall: my ego beliefs vs spiritual truth and my inability to really want spiritual truth.

If you read Jesus’ words in the New Testament, and take them seriously, you realize that you are in a trap. I am not going to do what they say, but I believe I should so I am guilty. Since I believe I am guilty, I am afraid. I judge others and fear my thoughts are not private. I fear others because I know what I think of them. I am damned all around because I don’t know how to stop my thoughts. The only thing I can do is accept spiritual help.

In this world, I tried to escape damnation by joining a monastery. Hoping to live by the Rule of Benedict and obedience to a Prioress, I hoped to escape my own guilt. I got kicked out of the monastery and was left to seek salvation under my own direction.

I found A Course in Miracles. This morning, reading the Text 21.VII, I ended up between a spiritual rock and an ego hard place. I accept that my thinking is insane and need spiritual help. But I know I am blocking the spiritual help; and Spirit respects my wishes. So what do I do? All I can do is admit my insanity and ask God to help me anyway.

No matter who you are, if you enter into spirituality, you find your ego and your character defects staring you in the face. So either forget the spirituality and live solely in the ego experience; or lay down before your Higher Power and surrender everything. I cannot quit spirituality. Something beyond my ego drives me to keep studying and keep talking to Jesus about my shortcomings. I keep using the spiritual sand paper on my stubborn unbelief and ego fears. I keep asking for help. I truly believe a Power Greater than myself will restore me to sanity.

Sanity in A Course in Miracles, salvation as it were, is to believe that this world including my guilty thoughts are a bad dream, they never really happened or hurt anyone, and allow Jesus to awaken me to union with God, who always loved me and keeps me safe in Him, and the same goes for everyone, we are all one Son of God. If this is truth, I can only accept it, put my faith in it and accept the spiritual help. This is no different or harder than accepting what is said in the New Testament. These two things are the same theology and provide the same salvation. (The church has misinterpreted what Jesus said.) Jesus is Jesus period. God is Love period. I have to admit my insanity and accept spiritual help or else. What is my choice to be?

ACIM on the Road

Dear Friends, I come to you today from Texas City. I flew in last night and leave again tonight. I had a wonderful surprise on the trip down: everything went smooth, but best of all is Southwest Airlines now has a business class so you can get a good seat. The fly by lane relieves the cattle car feeling I’ve always gotten from Southwest. I hearby endorse the airline. Besides, it has been many years since I heard one of their irreverent flight attendants. I’m certain that my world appears improved in these little ways because of the rearrangements to my thinking made possible by studying A Course in Miracles and letting the Holy Spirit teach me.

Supper was a box of lettuce from Walmart. This morning I put in 30 minutes on the elliptical. Yesterday morning, I was blessed with 22 miles of long slow distance running.

Text 21:III:

– For all who choose to look away from sin are given vision, and are led to holiness.
– As they desire to look upon their brothers in holiness, the power of their belief and faith sees far beyond the body, supporting vision, not obstructing it…they have renounced the means for sin by choosing to let all limitations be removed.
– Those who believe in sin must think the Holy Spirit asks for sacrifice, for this is how they think their purpose is accomplished.
– …if you seek to limit Him, you will hate Him because you are afraid.
– …He Who loves the world is seeing it for you, without one spot of sin upon it, and in the innocence that makes the sight of it as beautiful as Heaven.

I have had a little nagging fear since Friday: I am totally afraid of being laid off due to lack of work again. Consequently, I project my fear onto others, like my boss. Oh so subtle, I think, “What if he keeps work for himself or gives it to a co-worker so that I have nothing to do?” Well, actually, fear of not enough work translates into putting faith into work as security instead of relying of God to take care of me. Just because I have a job now doesn’t mean I don’t need to turn my life over to God the same as I did last summer when I had no work. Actually, this fear has been with me my entire work life and I have lived it out over and over again, because I keep projecting the same thing. My life is my fault. This time, I want to let God help me.

The solution to the fear however is spiritual. I need to look away from the world and keep my eyes on Jesus. When I look at the world, I am looking for the bad things which I myself have projected, fearing them and attempting to control outcomes. I can bring my fear into my conscious mind and talk to Jesus about it, asking for help. Then, I ask for Christ vision. Christ vision is given me immediately and is useful if I accept it. In Christ vision, I am not an ego looking hatefully at a world which is out to get me. I am allowing the Holy Spirit to look through me to the holiness and innocence beyond the world, Heaven and the Son of God. To see the Son of God, I turn my “seeing” and perceiving over to the Holy Spirit, set my projections and perceptions aside, and see my brother sinless. Of course, I cannot do this by myself and must have help. Jesus will teach me and help me.

Jesus, I want to be free of my fear and see things differently. I am terrified of running out of work and being laid off. I project that my boss will keep work for himself or give it to my co-worker, and I will get laid off. Please, You handle all these details for me and show me the way to forgiveness and vision. Please remove what I see and help me to forgive (look beyond to the holiness and Christ in everyone). Let me put my faith in You and not the world. Please help me.

Ultra Retreat day 7

Today’s lesson 214: I place the future in the hands of God.

SF reflection: I just love being able to do this. I love how ACIM continually reminds me of God and to turn my life over. I am so happy when I do this. As a person in transition, I love working with God instead of listening to the news and being dejected.

The past is gone; the future is not yet. Now am I freed from both. For what God gives can only be for good. And I accept but what He gives as what belongs to me.”

From Text 5.V:

V.7 Irrational thought is disordered thought. God Himself orders your thought because your thought was created by Him. Guilt feelings are always a sign that you do not know this. They also show that you believe you can think apart from God, and want to. … The purpose of the Atonement is to save the past in purified form only. If you accept the remedy for disordered thought, a remedy whose efficacy is beyond doubt, how can its symptoms remain?

V.8.4 What you want you expect.

VI.2.8 My (Jesus’) role is to unchain your will and set it free.

VII. 1.4 …you need merely cast your cares upon Him (God) because He careth for you.

VII. 5 Whenever you are not wholly joyous, it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to one of God’s creations…6. …you must have already decided not to be wholly joyous if that is how you feel…you actively decided wrongly…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.

SF reflection: I spent my run working on the lesson and then deciding to be wholly joyous instead of worried about the future. In some ways, I don\’t know what joy is. But if I shut my mind up, I could sense a universal hymn of joy silently present everywhere. I could tap into that joy. I could ask Jesus what joy is or for help feeling it. Then I would feel a calm inside wherein rested an assurance of God\’s love and protection. Feeling safe, I felt joy. Knowing I\’m protected doesn\’t mean I am special to God because God protects everyone. It is a matter of learning God\’s lessons and believing they are all good.

Also while running, I decided that I am a practicing spiritualist, metaphysicist, supported by God\’s Hands. I just am. I think I am so I am. A practicing spiritualist is what I\’ve always wanted to be. This time of transition is provided for me to be intensive in my training and my practice. So there!

I am having a tiny bug invasion at my house: millions of little bugs. They don’t bite me but they are everywhere. So, I kill them. Clean them up. Bomb the house. Clean it up. And do it again if necessary. I asked God, “What am I learning from this?” Each of these bugs is a symbol of my negative ego doom and gloom thoughts. My killing and cleaning is the practice of turning these over to Jesus and then thinking with God, practicing forgiveness (seeing holiness, Christ presence and joy no matter what). I have millions of these thoughts and I’ll have to go through this procedure many times. But eventually, it won’t be a problem.

Hah! It is hot here. I continued my ultra-retreat today with 14 miles jog/walk in an 85 degF humid soup. One young doe observed very close to me. I applied for jobs online. Now, I need a nap. The high today is supposed to be 96 (ouch).

Ultra-retreat – 5, pm

I went for a 50 minute walk this afternoon. I noticed as I hiked down the hill to the park that my quads are still unhappy. Unhappy quads do not do a very good job of keeping knees properly aligned. So I will stay on flat roads for my morning jogs. I really really enjoyed what I did this morning.

On to the metaphysics:

I am a Course student (A Course in Miracles). This means that I am serious about learning the Course material. The Course\’s premier practice is “forgiveness.” Course students do not forgive sins; but they practice seeing only holiness and innocence, using Christ vision, because no sin ever happened. God only created the holy. Nothing else exists. What we humanly think of as sins are really mental errors which need correction by Jesus. Hence the second Course practice is for me to bring all my mental errors (grievances and fears) to Jesus for correction.

If Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself;” then anyone should understand perfectly why I am a Course student. The Course offers the most clear cut directions I’ve ever studied about how to get the junk about myself out of my mind, and how to get the junk I think about others out of my mind.

So, I come to the great gift I’ve received in being temporarily unemployed. The opportunities for resentment abound; but I am a serious Course student, hence I recognize that the opportunities for practicing authentic, genuine, heart true forgiveness abound also. It is more important to me to learn forgiveness than to have financial security; because the world is an illusion anyway.

Step 1: In looking at myself, I see that my ego whispers to me, “You must have done something wrong or you would not have been laid off. There is some flaw in you.” This is not true even on the material world level. According to the Course, I did nothing wrong and have never done anything wrong: because the world is an illusion. So, see only holiness and innocence in myself. Deny the ego its power by not believing it, but believing Jesus instead.

Step 2: “They” didn’t do anything wrong either. They are the Holy Son of God who can bless me endlessly if I give them their holiness and innocence back by seeing only that in them. I am not a sacrifice or a victim. They are not unfair cheaters or somehow luckier than me. The only truth is the silent presence of God everywhere and in everyone, seen in holiness and innocence.

Step 3: Keep using Christ vision no matter what. In the mean time, follow Jesus guidance both on the mental plane and the physical plane. Wherever it is that I accept employment, it will be where I can be of maximum service to Jesus. That is all that matters.

Thank you Son of God. Thank you Jesus.

Ultra-retreat – 2

I got up late (5:30) because it was another ferocious thunderstorm outside, and I felt like a shorter run this morning was necessary for healing of fatigue. After studying ACIM, I’m not so sure I need to believe these physical limits. “I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me.” I have a plan to get back on schedule.

Lesson 208: The peace of God is shining in me now.

I will be still, and let the earth be still along with me. And in that stillness we will find the peace of God. It is within my heart, which witnesses to God Himself.”

I was looking at the fear my ego offers and the peace Jesus offers. My ego thinks I am in a predicament: no job. What if I question the ego’s opinion? You see, my true position in life right now is safe and neutral. Any fear I feel is an ego projection. My ego continuously tells me to be afraid of the future. I’m coming to see however that the ego’s main fear is that I will realize its fears are false and turn exclusively to the peace Jesus offers.

I read in the Text (Ch 4): God is inevitable…you will merely know God…the Unalterable…

The name of God, the Unalterable, can evoke an image of a wall, rigid judgment, a feeling of fear that God will keep you away because you are bad. This is the image the ego throws up. More quiet and arriving second is the Holy Spirit and Jesus\’ image: total Love. Love asks you to come without any ego specialness but as the innocent and pure idea of love which you truly are. Of course the ego fears God, because you cannot return to God with the ego.

Instead of dwelling in fear and listening to the ego repeatedly shriek, “What will happen to me?” I admit that my thoughts are literally killing me. When my ego cries out in fear, it is not fear of physical insecurity, but really a fear that I might start to disregard the ego entirely because it lies to me. The ego is terrified I might throw my entire trust and mental investment to the Holy Spirit and Jesus. “Jesus, I need to live in the sunlight of the spirit.” To heal, I turn to the lesson. I feel the peace. The thought of peace keeps me safe. It gives me a place to go in my mind that is not destructive. A place which returns me to God. I don’t need to fix the fearful predicament at the illusion level, that is this world. I can just disregard it and return to God. The ego offers me a list of people to hate in conjunction with its predicament. I can choose to forgive, that is, see everyone only in the sunlight of the spirit and not at the level of illusion. I choose to see everyone as the innocent and pure idea of love which they truly are. This job of forgiveness is my real profession anyway.

I choose not to dwell mentally in fear, but dwell mentally in Jesus’ lesson and its light. I read the prayer and feel its light. I rise up to it.