A Tale of Two Dogs

This post is a story, a fable of the Universe. This story is an analogy, a display of my metaphysical reality. In a story of two dogs, I found my own behavior and how it should change if I want to receive good things from the Universe. I got this story from a YouTube video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p14efOyweM)

Two stray dogs were lost out in the Colorado wilderness. One dog was a little bit older. One dog was a big puppy. Two nice people, a couple, were camping in the area. The couple saw the dogs and stopped their car. The puppy comes over, just like puppies do, licking and wanting a pat. The puppy slurps down a piece of salami. The older dog is afraid, too afraid to come near and get a piece of salami. The older dog gets too frightened and runs off into the bushes. The puppy jumps in the car and gets driven off to a wonderful new home. (Yes, start crying at this point at how lucky that puppy is).

My point? When the Universe answers your prayer with an unexpected handout, act like the puppy and not the older dog. Get in the car. Sure, life has beaten me up a bit, but it is not too late for me to receive a miracle. I need to put aside my fear or arrogance and accept the gifts. The gifts come, but it is up to me to try to act like the puppy. I should just jump in the car and get driven off into the wonderful new situation available to me. Be humble. Receive the surprise. Allow the miracle. You never know when some other person will stop and offer to help. Take it.

Charlie Salami

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.

Nothing Bad Happened

\”Thoughts create reality\” is something I heard decades ago for the first time. While Christian denominations don\’t teach this, many other philosophies do.

For the past 14 hours or so, I have been suffering a subtle worry, a nagging fear thought: what if someone breaks into my car during the night and steals my clothes? See, my valuable papers are here with me in the hotel, but I didn\’t unload my entire car. I kept hearing the nagging fear and I kept replacing it with my ACIM lesson for today: Let miracles replace all grievances. What I am studying in Brunton today has to do with Karma and how that works.

Grievances are the hateful fearful thoughts my ego mind continuously spews out. Miracles are expressions of love. You are a miracles. In letting miracles replace all grievances, I am seeing every person as the expression of love that they truly are. I am NOT allowing my ego to draw a veil of hate and fear in front of that truth. This practice holds for all people, known and unknown. Each one that I see as an expression of love walks with me to the real world where there are only expressions of love.

Allowing grievances unchecked in my mind produces bad luck, bad karma. Retribution is for the thoughts. Regardless of what actually happens, if my mind is full of unchecked fear, I am in hell already. As it is, I deny hell its place. I insist on heaven by insisting on miracle thinking.

So I had fear, miracles and karma on my plate; plus thoughts create reality. Was that fearful thought creating a car break-in and much anger or unhappiness or blame for me? Was the daily lesson correcting the thought?

I was resistant to walking down and looking at the car. But just now, I realized that my car was parked where I could see it from my window, if only I opened the curtain.

My car is untouched.

I said thank you to Whomever for the lesson. Its not that my material possessions are important but that I direct my thinking. Its not that I prevent my ego mind from spewing out hate and fear all day, but that I calmly answer it with a corrected thought. I get these corrected thoughts from my daily spiritual reading. Corrected thoughts are literally opening the curtain/veil of the ego\’s negative mentality and seeing the real world of miracles beyond.

The Miracle is the Right Answer

List of RIGHT ANSWER CORRECTED THOUGHTS

Hate does not exist. There is no ego.
If I am afraid, I am deceived.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Love alone is my reality.
In the holy instant I forgive.
And miracles come forth as love expressed.

The Holy Spirit is the Voice for God.
I hear Him speak quietly in my mind.
I am not alone. Jesus is here.
Jesus is the undoing of the dream.

God is not symbolic. He is fact.
His peace cannot be shaken. I am free.
The innocent always truly see.
Christ vision is their one and only sight.
Into God\’s Hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens to His peace.

This is my commitment and the Truth.
Love is my intention as of now.

Musings, ponderings, decisions:

I know I hate because I feel conflict when I think of certain people, places, things or situations. But, these thoughts are the ego’s hateful thoughts. However, the ego does not exist unless I think it exists. So I have a choice. I can make choices about what thoughts I have. This choice is my responsibility. But after I decide to choose something different, I can accept help from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Of myself, I don’t know. But I can let Jesus guide my thinking. A Course in Miracles is a course in mind training.

In 2.VII.1, Jesus says, \”…you do not guard your thoughts carefully enough.\” Guarding thoughts is also a monastic concept. And, training the monkey mind is a Buddhist concept. To make any progress in this world, I must find a way to change my thinking. It is the thing that stops me the most. If I didn\’t want to know God, in this lifetime, I suppose training my mind would not be necessary. But to know God, I must give up my ego thoughts, lose my life as it were.

Thinking hateful thoughts about another person is a thought attack. I may not go and love them in the physical world, but I can discontinue my thought attack. The end of my hateful thoughts is in and of itself a loving act. It is a miracle, an expression of love.

Every time I don’t watch my thoughts and answer my ego thoughts with a right answer corrected thought from Jesus, I find myself in a thought attack. But, A Course in Miracles gave me the right answers and helped my put them into an easily remembered form. I can retreat at any time from my thought attack and choose a right answer corrected thought.

I must be willing to do this over and over. No quibbling about progress or lack thereof, just make the choice.

My reality consists of what is in my mind. That is why it is so important for me to keep learning what to do about my thinking. It is vital. Nothing in the world is more important than taking up the means of healing which I was given by the Holy Spirit. Nothing.

The Morning after the Miracle

A. I have been listening to a series of classes on the 50 miracles principles (see below) which was focusing on the miracle as an expression of love (1) and as natural (6). It was enlarging the definition beyond the standard course definition of a miracle as a perception shift. The definition of a miracle in ACIM has always been different than what the world thinks a miracle is (think parting of the Red Sea). But as a course student, I have always believed that I have not achieved the ability to do miracles.

B. Yesterday (Friday) I had started re-reading the ACIM text for the seventh time. The 50 miracles principles are the very first thing. So I had been praying for understanding yesterday morning.

C. During the day, I had these encounters:
– Very early in the morning, I had stopped to chit chat and tease a grumpy old mechanical engineer.
– I had spent 2 hours during the day working together with a grumpy old electrical engineer.
– I had left my ivory tower office and gone to the basement in order to see the company trainer. I wanted her to know I had accepted her apology for something. I did require prayer on my part to do this. I supposed it wasn’t mandatory and almost skipped it for now, but the trainer was very happy to know she was off the hook.
– At Target, I told a lady to go in front of me in the check out line.

D. And then, bota-bing, standing there in line, I realized I had been doing miracles that day. I knew that I had been naturally doing expressions of love (miracles). Part of this revelation was related to the fact that I often let others go first in lines, but had never accounted that as a miracle.

E. This morning, I was again reading the 50 miracles principles. I realized that they had come into my being:
– I believe in miracles now that I think of them as expressions of love; and not fantastic things and not a sudden land slide of money. I am free of my vague “Marianne Williamson” type definition of miracles.
– I don’t think of miracles as a special privilege from God (7). How many of us have been to Christian revivals and believe that only specially gifted people can do miracles? I am free from the belief that on Moses sized occurrences are miracles.
– We devalue small expressions of love (1).
– We don’t know that all love comes from God and that our true purpose is to be channels of that love (2).
– (9) I had experienced giving love and feeling more love as a result.
– (15) I believed I had used time effectively; and could envision a life focused on expressions of love as all I did each day.
– (26) I had experienced a few moments when my fear was undone. That is, I forgot my fear and approached people with love. I could envision a life free of fear.
– (27) I felt like doing expressions of love was somehow a result of the course, hence I must have the privilege of the forgiven. I believe I am forgiven and so are you.
– (18) I felt like I had honored the other people’s worth.
– (31) I felt like I had honored the other people’s holiness.
– (33) Being free from fear and freely expressing love, I was free from the ego imprisonment of this world. How much do our small egos force us into hold-back-gear and secretly cling to fear?

SO, conclusion: I know what a miracle is and I believe I can do that. I am a miracle worker. I see that my other fears will fall.

My spiritual life is no longer about personal enlightenment, but love. Oh, how grateful I am to Jesus for that shift!

For reference, here are the 50 miracles principles:

1 There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.
2 Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their Source, which is far beyond evaluation.
3 Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
4 All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life. His Voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know.
5 Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.
6 Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.
7 Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.
8 Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.
9 Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.
10 The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is a misunderstanding of their purpose.
11 Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.
12 Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.
13 Miracles are both beginnings and endings, and so they alter the temporal order. They are always affirmations of rebirth, which seem to go back but really go forward. They undo the past in the present, and thus release the future.
14 Miracles bear witness to truth. They are convincing because they arise from conviction. Without conviction they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless and therefore destructive; or rather, the uncreative use of mind.
15 Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively. It is thus a teaching device and a means to an end. Time will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.
16 Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating it is as blessed to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver.
17 Miracles transcend the body. They are sudden shifts into invisibility, away from the bodily level. That is why they heal.
18 A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbour as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously.
19 Miracles make minds one in God. They depend on co-operation, because the Sonship is the sum of all that God created. Miracles therefore reflect the laws of eternity, not of time.
20 Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.
21 Miracles are natural signs of forgiveness. Through miracles you accept God’s forgiveness by extending it to others.
22 Miracles are associated with fear only because of the belief that darkness can hide. You believe that what your physical eyes cannot see does not exist. This leads to a denial of spiritual sight.
23 Miracles rearrange perception and place all levels in true perspective. This is healing because sickness comes from confusing the levels.
24 Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both. You are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of your Creator. Everything else is your own nightmare, and does not exist. Only the creations of light are real.
25 Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. Atonement works all the time and in all the dimensions of time.
26 Miracles represent freedom from fear. “Atoning” means “undoing.” The undoing of fear is an essential part of the atonement value of miracles.
27 A miracle is a universal blessing from God through me to all my brothers. It is the privilege of the forgiven to forgive.
28 Miracles are a way of earning release from fear. Revelation induces a state in which fear has already been abolished. Miracles are thus a means and revelation is an end.
29 Miracles praise God through you. They praise Him by honoring His creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification.
30 By recognizing spirit, miracles adjust the levels of perception and show them in proper alignment. This places spirit at the center, where it can communicate directly.
31 Miracles should inspire gratitude, not awe. You should thank God for what you really are. The children of God are holy and the miracle honors their holiness, which can be hidden but never lost.
32 I inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you are perfect.
33 Miracles honor you because you are loveable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.
34 Miracles restore the mind to its fullness. By atoning for lack they establish perfect protection. The spirit’s strength leaves no room for intrusions.
35 Miracles are expressions of love, but they may not always have observable effects.
36 Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.
37 A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.
38 The Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles. He recognizes both God’s creations and your illusions. He separates the true from the false by His ability to perceive totally rather than selectively.
39 The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.
40 The miracle acknowledges everyone as your brother and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God.
41 Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct, or atone for, the faulty perception of lack.
42 A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack.
43 Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle-readiness.
44 The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and acceptance of His Atonement.
45 A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.
46 The Holy Spirit is the highest communication medium. Miracles do not involve this type of communication, because they are temporary communication devices. When you return to your original form of communication with God by direct revelation, the need for miracles is over.
47 The miracle is a learning device that lessens the need for time. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval not under the usual laws of time. In this sense it is timeless.
48 The miracle is the only device at your immediate disposal for controlling time. Only revelation transcends it, having nothing to do with time at all.
49 The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of misperception. It is a device for perception correction, effective quite apart from either the degree or the direction of the error. This is its true indiscriminateness.
50 The miracle compares what you have made with creation, accepting what is in accord with it as true, and rejecting what is out of accord as false.

The Key to the Miracle

It is called A Course in Miracles. So ummm…when do I get the miracle? My life has not exactly become a wondrous as whats-her-face that wrote all those books.

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Today\’s lesson is a review (204): The Name of God is my inheritance.

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So, think about it.

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I\’d rather count on the name of God than a 401K, or a man. Stop everything right now and think: God. Does that mean a thing to me?

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I\’ve been through everything that people do to be happy: world travel, riding Harley\’s, sex, rock and roll, contemplation in a real monastery, career, skiing, horses, winning awards, drugs and alcohol, you-name-it-I\’ve-done-it.

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But I wouldn\’t trade a true understanding of the Name of God for any of it. Think. If I know the name of God is my inheritance, would I bother judging anyone? Would I bother trying to control or manipulate my way into a secure place in life? That is the miracle. The key is: seeing and knowing you are not a body but an idea of love in the Heart of Love. If you are able to truly understand that you could only be love in the Heart of Love (translation of \”the Name of God is my inheritance\”), you would see everything differently. Just stop thinking you are a body surrounded by other bodies which you don\’t like. We are all one idea of love in the Heart of Love. Knowing this and living like it is the miracle. Letting everyone off your judgment hook because you know you are love is the miracle.

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The Name of God is my inheritance, and now is when I inherit It. It is always there and always mine.

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Today, I may have solved a conundrum: I want to run on trails. But for a variety of reasons, I\’ve not done it until today. Today, I found about two miles of hilly, rocky, rooty, big stepper trails, right near where I live. Trails work so many more muscles than flat running or road running. I needed to add them to my repertoire. So here are a couple of pics:

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Rocks:

Roots:

Internalizing A Course in Miracles

This morning, in my morning ACIM study (28.II), I read, “The miracle establishes you dream a dream, and that its content is not true. This is a crucial step in dealing with illusions. No one is afraid of them when he perceives he made them up…. The miracle is the first step in giving back to cause the function of causation, not effect.”

I thought, “I must have learned something from the course or experienced something of a miracle if I believe, or am willing to believe, that the world-as-I-see-it is my dream. Some healing must have occurred.” It may have required reading the ACIM text almost 5 times and the work book twice, but I think I finally took the first step. [Wow! Amazing! Considering ACIM is so far off the religion map, it truly is amazing that I might have learned some of it. Maybe I can gain inner peace after all.]

The ACIM text dryly discusses the dream and the dreamer. I have to get the text into my own heart to know I am learning. My thinking I might have taken the first step framed my thoughts from last night into a context that made sense.

Last night, I thought, “I have held the ‘world-as-I-see-it’ in a strangle hold of hatred and a death grip of fear since ancient times;” all the while attempting to pound it to death with thoughts. Just before thinking this, I realized I was finally able to take my hand off the hot stove of certain social interactions. If I finally let go of the hot stove, I am free. When I realized how I had been trying to strangle the world-as-I-see-it, but that it was not the real world, I somehow did sense the innocence of the real world.

Today I recognized that last night’s thought (the strangle hold of hatred which I could let go and see innocence) was my internalization of ACIM. This morning I realized that “the-world-as-I-see-it” is my own terminology for the dream. Reading a book is interesting but useless if you can’t do what it says. When I work at something long enough to put it in my own words, internalize it, then I know the information did help me progress somehow.

I don’t have to be afraid if I understand that my former hatred has no effects, no payback, no punishments, nothing. It was a dream of hatred. When I sense the innocence of the real world, all around me, I also sense that it is God; and it is God I been trying to choke to death while bashing His head into the ground; and whom I have been afraid of since ancient times. I understand that I hate God because I didn’t know the dream was mine. I feared God because I thought he would know of my hatred and punish me for it.

Really, I admit this! Sit quietly with your thoughts and the Holy Spirit long enough and you’ll admit the same thing. I am not unique, just different in that I do sit quietly with my Teacher and work on my lessons.

This world is full of miracles. They stand in shining silence next to every dream of pain and suffering, of sin and guilt. They are the dream’s alternative, the choice to be the dreamer, rather than deny the active role in making up the dream. They are the glad effects of taking back the consequence of sickness to its cause. The body is released because the mind acknowledges “this is not done to me, but I am doing this”. And thus the mind is free to make another choice instead. Beginning here, salvation will proceed to change the course of every step. in the descent to separation, until all the steps have been retraced, the ladder gone, and all the dreaming of the world undone.”

I have hope that perhaps I actually am re-tracing my steps to go home.

I apologize that my explanation might not be good enough to strike you with how momentous it is that I might actually understand that I am the dreamer of the dream and that it is just a dream. I realize that what I cut out of ACIM text is out of context and not really understandable without reading the whole book. Also, when I try to explain how bits and pieces have suddenly fallen together for me, it is impossible for me to put it into words in a coherent way without writing a book. So, if my blog confuses you, don’t feel bad.

[Before I started to read the ACIM text the first time, I read a book by Gary Reynard. After reading that book I decided to tackle ACIM. At the outset, I knew I would have to dedicate at least one year to doing the workbook, but that it would take at least 5 years of study to have a good understanding of the material]

I ran 3:25 in bright sunshine, showered and ate a cheese sandwich. Melted cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread qualify as a major food treat for me.