Consciousness and Insanity

From A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers 4: \”They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. God’s teachers trust in Him. And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. They hold His gifts and follow in His way, because God’s Voice directs them in all things. Joy is their song of thanks. And Christ looks down on them in thanks as well. His need of them is just as great as theirs of Him.\”

Expressed there is what most of us want: safety and being needed. Most of us also add ambition to the formula. Thus ensues competition and attack. Or maybe the men also compete for a woman.

I like the idea of joy being a song of gratitude, I can make that choice right now. Gratitude for the sense of Presence and willingness to turn to Spirit for mental and emotional comfort right now.

I slept late today. It is cooler in Texas now so getting up early for running is not so important. My first thoughts were on how easy it is to forget God. In my world at the moment is a tremendous amount of mental flak related to the split in my company and the uncertainty of where I\’ll be assigned. But none of that matters if I am employed by God and only here to serve Him.

But honestly, I am not that evolved. Fear producing hatred permeates my brain. My mind is aware of this. In awareness and consciousness, I can direct my thinking. Yes, it is a discipline and an effort to remain in observance. But just letting my thoughts spiral out of control is terrible. First awareness of my thoughts which separates me from them. In my choice, I also employ whatever is a higher consciousness (God, Spirit, Jesus) and ask Him to direct my thinking. And usually some peaceful thought comes along, some thought of trust and reliance on God. And then I am fine. 

This spiritual way of life is pie in the sky for many. Without it, I am hopelessly insane and probably would not be sober.


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?

The Choice for Freedom

The thing I love about A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is that it saves me from my own thinking; the root of my problem. If I look around and see a bunch of sinners, including myself, and go to a regular church with this information, I would be counseled to accept the world, confess my sins and forgive the sins of others. In this, Jesus is my Savior who hides my sins from God so I can go to heaven when I die.

In ACIM, I am taught that the sin I see is the sin I chose to see, want to see. I am given tools for looking beyond my illusion to see the Love of God, Christ, residing in everyone. As I overlook what I made for me to see, I am free and so are they, my brothers. Jesus is my friend and brother who helps me change my thinking.

This morning I read in the ACIM text, 20.IV:
– Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so.
– Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit…
– He (Holy Spirit) gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor its results as the world sees them—sickness, and death and misery and pain.
– Salvation is a lesson in giving as the Holy Spirit interprets it. It is the reawakening of the laws of God in minds that have established other laws, and given them power to enforce what God created not (this world of sin I see).
– Your savior (your brother) gives you only love, but what you would receive of him is up to you. It lies in him to overlook all your mistakes and therein lies his own salvation. And so it is with yours.
– Sin has no place in Heaven…and therein lies your need to see your brother sinless. In him is Heaven. See sin in him and Heaven is lost to you.

My ACIM workbook lesson for the day is: I will receive whatever I request.

Why is this all so important to me today? I looked out at my world and made this assessment. I have to go to a dinner on Wednesday evening for work. The way I see it is I’ll have to drive to an inconvenient part of town, park in a strange garage and then pretend to be nice for a few hours, getting home way past my bed time. Then, I have to go to Texas for work; flying down on my Sunday afternoon and coming back on Monday and having to hassle with airplanes and an unfamiliar city. Then, worst of all, I have to fly halfway around the world to attend a work seminar for 10 days; spending 12 hours a day with guys from work with whom I can only have superficial conversations, disrupt my eating routines and running routines and risk illness from being cooped in an airplane for two long long flights, trying to get home on the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year.

So, this morning as I prayed, I realized how hateful I am. As I read ACIM text, I realized that the hate was my choice. I was projecting hate and sin onto Mr. Vice President who was causing all the inconvenience in my life. I was making him, my brother, into a sinner because I wanted to. It was all my choice. Whereas, if I overlooked, looked beyond, the man and saw only the Christ residing within, I would be much happier. In fact, my hate instantly faded and was replaced with gratitude. Gratitude for the man and his situation, gratitude for Jesus and the Holy Spirit for teaching me to think differently.

Reading on in the text:
– Those who choose freedom will experience only its results. Their power is of God, and they will give it (power) only to what God has given to share with them. Nothing but this can touch them, for they see only this, sharing their power according to the Will of God. And thus their freedom is established and maintained. It is upheld through all temptation to imprison and to be imprisoned.

It is my ego who dwells in hatred and projects it on the world. This morning, in taking my own inventory and bringing it into the Holy Spirit’s thought system, I was set free. I am not in ego prison right now. I am free to see what I can do contribute to life instead of hate it.

So, I went for a run. Lightening was all around but no rain on me. I went the hilly route and enjoyed the fresh warm wet air. As I ran, I reflected: I have requested a new outlook on life and I was given it immediately. I am so grateful.

I’ve entered a very small low keyed race this weekend in Blue Springs MO. Good thing I did because my Texas trip precludes the Springfield marathon the following weekend. So this Sunday, I will be blessed with the company of maybe 50 other runners on a quiet flat bike path, with someone handling our snacks and water, as we mosey our way through 31 miles (50k). We pass one point three times, so I can leave a bag there with my own goodies, drinks and extra clothing. We’ll get t-shirts but no medals or age group awards. Afterwards, I’ll pack up my stuff and drive in silence back to my apartment; where I will eat and lay on the bed. Quiet. No big deal.

Reflecting on Ego

Yesterday, I complained about church. This type of expression is actually my ego attacking other sons of God, the Sonship.

Last night, after sleeping two hours, I woke up and was awake for an hour. I couldn\’t figure out why last night. I was playing in my head a song from church about the God beyond all names. It is a haunting melody with a refrain that goes, \”in our living and our dying we are bringing you to birth.\” Last night, this bothered me because I don\’t agree with the theology of the statement.

This morning, as I did my spiritual reading and prayer, I was challenged to look directly at my church experience and try to find my own hatred and underlying fears. I had chosen to hate the service instead of love the Sonship. I chose and decided on judgment instead of thinking only love. Hate was predominant in my mind instead of love; by my choice.

Ok, hate was concealing love; but really, under hate is fear. What was I afraid of? What if I had loved instead of hated? I stopped thinking and waited, listening for the Holy Spirit to answer: I consistently chose hate because I am afraid to give up the original source of my hate, my first hate, the first decision to hate because I was afraid of God. I was afraid of God because I felt guilty. I thought I had shattered Heaven and made God angry.

Somehow, there was a tiny mad idea in the Mind of God. I, the Unified Sonship (before separation), somehow wanted what the tiny mad idea offered (specialness, autonomy from God) and I tried to \”remember not to laugh.\” One day, I remembered not to laugh and joined the tiny mad idea. This shattered the unity and I became fragmented into all these little pieces of individual minds. God immediately re-unified, but somehow, my consciousness remained in a dream illusion world; afraid of God and hating. But God/Love would never not forgive. Love always loves; that truth is what I try to dissociate from.

I am ready now to look at my original decision to be afraid of God. I offer it to the Holy Spirit for healing. If I choose love, I cannot hate. Love is scary because I loose my specialness. In church, I am just one of thousands of communicants. Being one of many makes my ego feel like part of a cattle drive or a slave covered in the muck of a pig pen. My ego is not special and hates it. I am afraid of being seen as \”one-of-them.\” In order to feel special, I attack the situation with my judgment. This consciousness is my vendetta against God. It is what conceals love and it is my decision.

I have to give up my vendetta against God; but sense how desperately my ego, the tiny mad idea, does not want to give up. My willingness to surrender, give up, is my acceptance of the Atonement (Redemption) that Jesus offers. Jesus will awaken me to Love.

I am responsible.

Lost My Leg

Last night, even after I posted my blogs and shut off the computer, I thought, \”I am arrogant to the core and hatefully so.\”

This morning, when I sat down at my table, I thought, \”Peace.\” Even as I sat in an AA meeting this morning, I thought, \”I don\’t feel hateful right now.\”

So, I accept a reprieve from hatred. My emotional condition seems to me rather like a missing leg. The condition won\’t ever change, but I don\’t have to let it be the only thing in my life. Yes, it impacts everything, but it is not everything. I don\’t feel so bad. Now, I can laugh when my ego accuses me of being a spiritual failure because I still feel hate. Hate belongs to the ego. I can laugh. It just means I\’m missing a leg. This perception shift in my view of my hatred must be a miracle.

I\’ve lived with alcoholism all my life, but never desired to drink after that last one (23 years ago). Actually, I quit drinking on hatred. Yes, the morning after my last drink, I thought, \”If you keep drinking, you will end up like your mother;\” and I hated her. I quit on the spot and it was several months before I broke down emotionally, went to a shrink, and was advised to go to AA because I was an alcoholic. I am either a hateful drunk or hatefully sober. My hate is my handicap. But, sober, I can work with it. Sober and spiritual, my hate is not a weapon (except perhaps against myself).

AA is not about not drinking. It is about having a spiritual experience. I discovered religion before I discovered spirituality in AA. Having learned of the 12 Step techniques, I have expanded. I am actually quite happy with today\’s consideration of what hate is to me. It loses its power if I realize it is no different than missing legs and I can work around it.

  • The Holy Spirit teaches one lesson…all power is yours.
  • God has lit your mind Himself, and keeps your mind lit by His light because His light is what your mind is.

What is meant by this power is the power of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is of God. I am of God. Hatred has no power over me.

I ran 74 miles this week.