Chapter 15.VII

Today, twice, I found myself ignorant of pop culture in front of others. I am happy I am free of pop culture; but others think that\’s wrong of me.

Well, I don\’t eat meat or drink alcohol either.

Exercise. It is a piece that cannot be moved. Whether or not I can enter races is not relevant to the activity anymore. Just that it is done for it\’s own sake.

On July 29, it is my 6 year anniversary of being a Course student.

Chapter 15 is about the holy instant; but it talks also about special relationships and ego agenda and the one real relationship. The information about special relationships and how the ego is angry is nothing if not hard hitting. Actually, it is only now, almost 6 years and many readings of A Course in Miracles text that I begin to understand the anger. And that it happens every time my ego starts a relationship. Just watch. Every time.

A Course in Miracles discusses a practice of forgiveness, which means looking beyond (quite different than what denominational Christianity does). If I realize that my ego generates anger every time with every one, it is much easier to look beyond the dream. The ego is not one of the things that is real. It is part of a delusion/ illusion. It need not be relied on. It is easier to deny what it says if you realize it will generate the anger with every person every time.

So many would say to me, \”Oh, I\’m not angry.\” That just means they are unconscious of it and too distracted by this world to know how angry they are. But listen to them talk about how frustrating other people are; and you know I am right about the anger. We all have it until we realize it is a thing of the ego and can totally be devalued. Do the divestment of ego anger and find inner peace. That is the point of A Course in Miracles.

I can\’t explain the whole Course. All I can say is that careful study over a period of time will change how you feel about yourself, others and the world. What you value slowly changes. Truly I can see how fear could end.

\”For every relationship on which the ego embarks is special…The ego establishes relationships only to get something. …It is impossible for the ego to enter into any relationship without anger…The ego wishes no one well…every relationship the ego makes is based on the idea that by sacrificing itself, it becomes bigger. The “sacrifice,” which it regards as purification, is actually the root of its bitter resentment. For it would prefer to attack directly, and avoid delaying what it really wants…For each one thinks that he has sacrificed something to the other, and hates him for it…Whenever you are angry, you can be sure that you have formed a special relationship which the ego has “blessed,” for anger is its blessing…All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty, and this attempt is the only basis the ego accepts for special relationships. Guilt is the only need the ego has…\”


Of Groups, Chunks and Mirrors

I could have gone to Kansas City today and spent all day tomorrow running 50 miles in a snow storm.
I cancelled that and instead I\’ll be in Corpus Christi running a marathon:

I have some space in my life to build new chunks: compression of conscious data according to its inherent structure or the way it relates to preexisting memories. I live on interconnected facts assembled by awareness.

There may not be an I who does this. There is an abstract principle of life; at least I insist that there is. Is this a divine principle? I don\’t know the God behind it. I do know that when I seek the more silent area of my consciousness, I feel more calm and am able to go about my day with less stress.

Walking away from organized religion, I lose the meaning and purpose of life. The path of no-purpose is not grounded and therefore frightening. We scramble for something to hold on to in order to feel ok about ourselves. I have intentionally ripped my self from the society which gives it position.

I try again to know who I am without others approval or opinion. Like, what races or how many miles would I do if I had no one to tell about it?

Reading this blog, someone knows what race I am going in; but there is no one I\’m reflecting off of regarding this activity. I need to know. If something is purely for myself, with no outside input, would I do it?

I think I have a better chance of re-writing the ancient survival chunks (like continuous eating) and finding a new awareness of life if I do it apart from society. Society seems to force the ongoing dogma instead of going outside the norms. (see \”The Ravenous Brain\” for chunk explanations).

I just came back from a 13.6 mile jog. Many thoughts as I went along.

For one, if I maintain a certain speed of about 14 min/mile, I have no trouble with my skeletal deformities.

For another, I recently had an experience with a group. I got them mad at me because I didn\’t go along with their norms. They stoned me electronically. All groups are like this; either play nice or face the consequences. I know this and I know how to play nice. But in this instance, I felt like saying my opinion. They didn\’t like it. I got stoned.

This experience caused me to think about relationships. I see most of them as mirrors. That is, this group was a mirror for me to posture and preen in front of, receiving compliments and affirmations as long as I behaved. To some extent, my actual life and thoughts were affected by the mirror.

So now I have walked away from that mirror. I wonder how I will shape my thoughts and experiences without that mirror. I have other mirrors for other purposes; but how will I be in that particular area?

The Yoke of God

There are people who decide to put their lives in service of religion, whether secular or monastic. As a result of taking up these responsibilities, they receive the approval of the religious community and the belief that God is also happy with them. As they carry out their religious role and responsibility, they also have engaged certain chemical functions in the brain called the dopamine reward cycle.

So the result of religion is a steady drip of dopamine which provides a sense of well being. Like any addict, the person will defend their religious practices to the death; maybe not even knowing that they are defending an addiction, not anything that really has to do with God.

Wait a second! What did I just say? \”…not anything that has to do with God?\”

Yep, either God is every where and equally FOR everyone no matter what, or God is a selfish angry bastard which I want nothing to do with. All religions think they are special to god. The bible describes the angry version of god. I studied the bible in various venues from Roman Catholic Seminary to atheist publications to scholars in Ivy League universities. I no longer believe it is 100% true or sacred. While beautiful and containing wisdom, there are plenty of other documents which are beautiful too.

It is very difficult to leave a belief system because you lose the dopamine reward it was providing. To do without the approval and the dopamine is very frightening and depressing. But, to think different thoughts than the main stream of people, you have to step out of the stream. It is difficult to dare to be different. It is difficult to brave the disapproval of the group.

If there is one monastic practice I\’ve kept strongly, it is renunciation of the world. But I live here, so I renounce by taking myself out of the mainstream. There are numerous ways to not-go-along with the group. When you add them up, it produces a different out look on life. To have different thoughts, you have to get away from the main stream thoughts.period.

I don\’t want my life to be one dopamine reward cycle after another. I don\’t want my God to be a function of dopamine. In not-going-along, I lose my dopamine rewards. So happiness and life satisfaction has to come some other way. God has to have some other basis for being.

I do study some spiritual material, but it is not an evangelical matter. I can\’t even explain it here. The text has to be studied and digested. It\’s thesis is not at all what is taught to most people.