The Secret Dream

Chapter 27 of A Course in Miracles (excerpt):   \”…The dreaming of the world is but a part of your own dream you gave away, and saw as if it were its start and ending, both. Yet was it started by your secret dream, which you do not perceive although it caused the part you see and do not doubt is real….A brother separated from yourself, an ancient enemy, a murderer who stalks you in the night and plots your death, yet plans that it be lingering and slow; of this you dream. Yet underneath this dream is yet another, in which you become the murderer, the secret enemy, the scavenger and the destroyer of your brother and the world alike. Here is the cause of suffering, the space between your little dreams and your reality. The little gap you do not even see, the birthplace of illusions and of fear, the time of terror and of ancient hate, the instant of disaster, all are here. Here is the cause of unreality….Youare the dreamer of the world of dreams…Accept the dream He gave instead of yours…\”

Gruesome eh?

Today, as I was running, I was pondering some phrases from this chapter. I spend time in solitude. Which means that my inner most thoughts come to my consciousness in stark visibility. A Course in Miracles explains that no one is guilty, but dreaming a dream of guilt. I hadn\’t seen it before, but this time, of numerous readings of the Text, I noticed that bit about the secret dream underneath the dream of the world. And as I ran, I felt the secret dream. The guilt was attacking me for not being perfect enough, or being afraid of what others think of me, or…..yadda yadda. I am always guilty in my world dream and in my secret dream.

So, in  A Course in Miracles, you bring this fear and guilt to the Holy Spirit Who \”un-does\” it. See, it never existed except in my dreams. And, the Holy Spirit can awaken me from my terror dreams to happy dreams to full awakening from dreams.

And you see, that leaves me with my belief and faith in such a thing as a Holy Spirit, or a Higher Power, or Something More than just my ego consciousness and the world I see.

How do I know there is a Holy Spirit? I have no proof. There is an explanation for this in A Course in Miracles. But right now today, I need help with guilt feelings for not being super woman, or \”engaged with the guys at work woman\”. Over and over each day in this world, I feel guilty for some shortcoming. Every day I don\’t measure up. And I feel guilty and I fear what the others think.

In my solitude, I face this reality. My prayer goes to the Holy Spirit. My prayer is thoughts from this Course which negate the guilt and fear. And, yes, I forget the guilt and fear until the next time. This seems to be my life\’s work: practicing the Course over and over each day.

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ACIM Breakthru Moments

I\’ve had a fabulous training weekend. 56 miles over 4 days. Today, I finished up with 33 laps of the short loop in Meador Park. I was there because it has many trees for shade.

Each day, I study the Course in Miracles text. I usually make myself a short paragraph to memorize and take with me throughout the day. Each paragraph of A Course in Miracles presents the same idea over and over; but with different words so that maybe you\’ll get the idea.

Yesterday, I had a major breakthrough in understanding when in Chapter 13 it said, \”The only miracle that ever was is God’s most holy Son...\” (We are God\’s Son). That floored me since it takes much learning for an average American to understand that miracles are not related to winning money or being cured of cancer. Seeing God\’s Son in everyone is all that\’s needed to see everyone healed and living in peace.

Today, continuing reading in Chapter 13, I had another breakthrough: I decide what the world means. See, I\’ve spent much time in prayer asking God what is the meaning of my life. \”The world can give you only what you gave it, for being nothing but your own projection, it has no meaning apart from what you found in it…Guilt is always in your mind, which has condemned itself. Project it not…\”

Right here is where I took power from my ego (defined by ACIM not Freud). There are other parts of Chapter 13 I incorporated into today. And so, my phrases for today became my declaration of freedom:

I have decided that the world means love.
And guilt is always totally insane.
I look within and see the light of love.
I accept Atonement for myself.

I did my jogging to this. Over and over.

The 3 Agreements

Many of my peers (new age yuppies, tail end of the baby boom) have read \”The Four Agreements.\” These seemed like wisdom when I read them.

Recently, my spiritual journey with Jesus and A Course in Miracles, has lead me to understand that there are 3 agreements which I can break. They are the secret vows that everyone of us makes with the separation concept.

I have broken my agreements with: fear, hatred and guilt. I no longer believe these are true and I am no longer totally vulnerable to them. I don\’t believe the ego\’s lies without question. I think I must have accepted Atonement somewhere along the line. I am/have forgiven myself. So I do not have to go along with any agreement to hate anybody, be afraid of others or feel guilty for my dream.

In this, the pain disappears and the Son of God is free. I walk with the living Christ instead.

Today I am on Lesson 287: You are my goal my Father, only You.

Who would have thought when I got kicked out of a monastery that I\’d go on to a greater Communion?

I am getting ready for a 50k race next weekend. So, I\’m going a bit easy on myself so I\’ll be ready. I\’m feeling competitive. At the same time, the 10 day Self Transcendence Race is underway in Flushing Meadows, NY. I also truly year for endless time on the trail. My body cannot do 50 miles a day for days in a row, so the Self Transcendence race is out of the question.

But I still go for hours as suits me. Even walking uphill on the treadmill fills my need for endurance. Endurance activities are merely a dream of eternity, where I truly am. Accepting Atonement, the dream is undone and I live in eternity.

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?

Insane Runner, Course Student\’s Musings

I know you are going to think I think too much.

I had a brief moment of clarity this morning about sin and guilt and how A Course in Miracles changes everything. I don’t think I can explain it to everyone. If you think you are really here, or that the world is real, skip reading any farther today.

I am always processing my thoughts. I want to know what thoughts are coming out of my subconscious and creating my life. If I make myself aware of what I think, it is possible to change my thinking. What follows will seem incredibly weird, but it is the way I have thought. Further, my discussion of running and my subtle feelings is a microcosm of the bigger God picture.

This was triggered by several things:

– My lesson today is “Today I let Christ’s vision look upon all things for me and judge them not, but give each one a miracle of love instead.”

– What I read in the ACIM text 21.II.10, “The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world…When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect becomes inevitable. The purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the effect and make effect appear to be a cause…The Son is the Effect, whose Cause he would deny.”

– I have a huge desire to go running. My plan for today is to work from home this morning (actually suggested by my boss), go to my old house 50 miles away to meet with an engineer, and then go running in the park up there.

– I have no racing plans for awhile and hence will retreat into a type of running solitude, quiet, and peace. I will return to being more of a phenomenon than an identifiable thing.

– I still struggle with whether I am good enough for my current employer. The company I work for is so incredibly outstanding.

As I began my spiritual workout this morning, I was reflecting on my lesson. My first thought out of the bag was, “It’s not that I stop having an ego, but that I let Christ’s vision go first, rule first.” Then I experienced a miracle, the second thought out of the bag. A miracle, per ACIM, is a perception shift, a correction to the ego consciousness. Here is my miracle thought (then I’ll explain the shift), “Christ’s vision would see me healthy, happy, strong, optimal weight and running. My ego wants disaster and sin and pain. Hence it is my ego that eats too much or makes me feel guilty for running or doesn’t want to lift weights. Sloth and gluttony are pain and insane. The ego is the original insane idea. Running free is the truth of my inner being.”

Now, you say, “Spirit Flower, are you crazy? What do you mean by saying you feel guilty for running?” Let’s go back in time.

During my Harley riding days, when I was a full member in a sober bike club, I hung out with fat dudes who smoked and made fun of runners. At that time, I was a runner in the closet. Then, I got rid of the motorcycle and the fat dude and became only a runner. I was proud of being a runner. I could still run a 23 minute 5k race without even doing speed work. I trained for a marathon. I won trophies in races here in the city. Then, I went to the monastery. There, I ran everyday and it was impossible to be secret about it. But I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, being the only person trying to be physically fit. I always felt like I was guilty of wasting time when I should be helping out around the house or picking fruit or something. Instead I was using my unscheduled time to log miles on dirt farm roads; experiencing the wind in my face. I dreamt of marathons even though I was wearing a skirt was would never race again. I felt guilty for those $80 running shoes. The rest of the group was sedentary, mostly over weight, in poor health and “old.”

After the monastery, I encountered an ongoing internal thought pattern which told me running was a waste. I should be involved with charity or spending more time at work; not squandering my time on myself. Running has always prevented me from being a workaholic (for some reason, I feel guilty for not working enough). I should be trying to excel at my profession, be dedicated to the corporation or seeking higher education; not doing laps. My dieting is always directly tied to running; so any little weight gain or food binge causes me to feel guilty. Then, a couple of years later, I encountered A Course in Miracles (ACIM). In that theology, my body is an illusion, used by the ego to separate from God; and the ego is always trying to steal power from God. So running became a guilt trip because I was stealing self sufficiency from God (don’t try to understand this ACIM piece. It only means something to a Course student). The ego has a goal of sin, and must make everything into sin in order for it to have power (instead of God). Hence, all my running guilt was thoughts projected out by my ego.

So, I have been a guilty runner for a few years. This morning, however, I found my perception totally, 100% shifted. I must have allowed Christ’s vision to look upon me today. Running was suddenly part of the Holy Spirit’s happy dream for me. I no longer let my ego have the goal of sin (as in seeing it in the world, of which my body seems to be a part of) unchecked. Guilt is the realm of the ego. My ego has been throwing up a barrage of guilty running thoughts all these years because running is part of the joy the Holy Spirit wants me to have. My ego always wants to thwart joy; hence must find ways to make running guilty instead of freedom.

Running is freedom, not pain, so it is not ego. Running has become a miracle of accepting a gift of Love, not hating or fighting. Running is not insanity, sloth and gluttony are. Sloth and gluttony are the insane ego’s specialty.

And the bigger picture is that my ego continuously throws up a barrage of insane illusions, called this world, intended to keep me away from Love, or God. The ego absolutely wants me to think I am guilty instead of thinking I am innocent and loved by God. The ego is always building a wall to keep me away from God as well as thinking this world is real and I am bad.

I understood for the first time this morning how the ego denies God and Love; and how the world is really an effect of my projected thoughts. The world does not cause me, I cause it. I returned myself to God as a created idea of love. Running is an idea of love. I have kept up my relationship with God for decades despite downpours of doubt. The doubt is an ego creation and not really true. God waits silently for those who want Him more than ego illusions.

As I turned off the highway into town, I heard myself think, “You were wasting your time here.” I felt that my talents really were not that well utilized. Now I am living my life more at my potential. No, running is not my only thing. No, I no longer have as much solitude. I met with the engineer and contractor. No big deal. Then I went in running in my old park. I felt again that I was not the same person with the same goals as I had had when I lived there. I had been spinning my wheels and getting along because that was where I had been planted. Now, I have been transplanted to a different sort of garden. Coming back from my old house, I heard a interview on NPR about how wonderful running is for mental well being and intelligence. I heard about how humans were designed to run long distances. I heard about why I feel so good after even as little as ten minutes of running. Now, that is a happy dream.

\”What you desire, you will see\” (21.II.9.5).