I don’t know

Is absolute knowledge possible?

Plato thought so as do advocates of most religions and idiologies.

I’m turned off from A Course in Miracles because it imagines that everything is the way it says and no other possibilities exist.

I just wrote in a post about the present moment about Ram Dass saying that his favorite Mantra is, “I don’t know.”

People who are sure of their belief system may harm others for the sake of ideas – how utterly stupid…

No one who is humble enough to keep repeating I don’t know will ever get into deep deep trouble.

There are so many people who imagine they have direct line to god (I write god not God since their beliefs about god are so different that all but one must be wrong and chances are that not are absolutely right). These people are ready to partake in so much cruelty for the sake of their god or political ideology. But people who don’t know can love and forgive any one and everyone…

Back to the problem of knowledge. Even if an absolute did exist (it does go against everything I know about modern physics, cognitive science and epistemology) how would we be aware of that absolute truth.

I do talk about Ultimate Reality, but live it undefined. As the Tao Te Ching says, “The Tao *Ultimate Reality) which can be defined (put into words) is not the true Tao.

***

So where does this experiment (doing the ACIM workbook in one year) go. I don’t know. I’ll continue going through the workbook but only where it makes sense to me. I was ready to follow the thoughts for the day in the beginning no matter what. That was then and this is now. I still think A Course in Miracles is a most wonderful book but it is not the Gospel truth – nothing is

My mind holds only what I think with God

We start another review period.

From A Course in Miracles workbook for this review period:

Now we review again, this time aware we are preparing for the second part of learning how the truth can be applied. Today we will begin to concentrate on readiness for what will follow next. Such is our aim for this review, and for the lessons following. Thus, we review the recent lessons and their central thoughts in such a way as will facilitate the readiness that we would now achieve.

There is a central theme that unifies each step in the review we undertake, which can be simply stated in these words:

My mind holds only what I think with God.

My comment: In reality there is only God’s thought and the idea that we exist as independent beings is an illusion. The mind (if I do not really exist how can this mind be mine) can only think what God thinks. Thus dis-ease, death, oil spills, anger, lack of forgiveness are all God’s thoughts.

And yet the illusion of the separate ego in a skin is so realistic (the ultimate virtual reality) that we need affirmation like, “My mind holds only what I think with God,” to remind the non-existent ego of its ultimate source.

When writing about things like this one great challenge is self-reflexivity which leads to paradoxes such as the liar’s paradox: “I always lie.” Is that statement true or a lie or Russel’s paradox of the set of all sets which do not include themselves. Dose this set include itself?

In the same way I talk about I not existing and who the I which claims that I am an illusion? And who is the I which goes through these ACIM workbook exercises?

Back to the workbook:

That is a fact, and represents the truth of What you are and What your Father is. It is this thought by which the Father gave creation to the Son, establishing the Son as co-creator with Himself. It is this thought that fully guarantees salvation to the Son. For in his mind no thoughts can dwell but those his Father shares. Lack of forgiveness blocks this thought from his awareness. Yet it is forever true.

Yet Jesus said, “I and the father are one.” Obviously the I which one with the Ultimate Reality (God) is not the ego in the skin I but the “I am” or “I am becoming” pure consciousness. I already mentioned my bias against the idea of salvation as it implies a fall from which we have to be saved.

To me enlightenment is the visceral understanding that all is perfect and we are part of that perfection.

In Zen Buddhism there is the saying:

Before enlightenment – a field is a field and a mountain is a mountain.
On the road to enlightenment – a field is not a field and a mountain is not  a mountain.
After enlightenment – a field is a field and a mountain is a mountain.

I suppose the ACIM work book is on the road to enlightenment.

Another idea comes from I believe Mahayana (greater vehicle) Buddhism where the vehicle (ACIM in this case) is like a boat we use to cross the waters of illusion and we throw away once we reach the other side.

However, I suppose my favorite affirmation comes from Ram Dass and it is, “I don’t know,” which I suppose is a good answer to self-reflexivity and all other paradoxes.

So back to the workbook:

Let us begin our preparation with some understanding of the many forms in which the lack of true forgiveness may be carefully concealed. Because they are illusions, they are not perceived to be but what they are; defenses that protect your unforgiving thoughts from being seen and recognized. Their purpose is to show you something else, and hold correction off through self-deceptions made to take its place.

And yet, your mind holds only what you think with God. Your self-deceptions cannot take the place of truth. No more than can a child who throws a stick into the ocean change the coming and the going of the tides, the warming of the water by the sun, the silver of the moon on it by night. So do we start each practice period in this review with readying our minds to understand the lessons that we read, and see the meaning that they offer us.

Begin each day with time devoted to the preparation of your mind to learn what each idea you will review that day can offer you in freedom and in peace. Open your mind, and clear it of all thoughts that would deceive, and let this thought alone engage it fully, and remove the rest:

My mind holds only what I think with God.

Five minutes with this thought will be enough to set the day along the lines which God appointed, and to place His Mind in charge of all the thoughts you will receive that day.

They will not come from you alone, for they will all be shared with Him. And so each one will bring the message of His Love to you, returning messages of yours to Him. So will communion with the Lord of Hosts be yours, as He Himself has willed it be. And as His Own completion joins with Him, so will He join with you who are complete as you unite with Him, and He with you.

After your preparation, merely read each of the two ideas assigned to you to be reviewed that day. Then close your eyes, and say them slowly to yourself. There is no hurry now, for you are using time for its intended purpose. Let each word shine with the meaning God has given it, as it was given to you through His Voice. Let each idea which you review that day give you the gift that He has laid in it for you to have of Him. And we will use no format for our practicing but this:

Each hour of the day, bring to your mind the thought with which the day began, and spend a quiet moment with it. Then repeat the two ideas you practice for the day unhurriedly, with time enough to see the gifts that they contain for you, and let them be received where they were meant to be.

We add no other thoughts, but let these be the messages they are. We need no more than this to give us happiness and rest, and endless quiet, perfect certainty, and all our Father wills that we receive as the inheritance we have of Him. Each day of practicing, as we review, we close as we began, repeating first the thought that made the day a special time of blessing and of happiness for us; and through our faithfulness restored the world from darkness to the light, from grief to joy, from pain to peace, from sin to holiness.

God offers thanks to you who practice thus the keeping of His Word. And as you give your mind to the ideas for the day again before you sleep, His gratitude surrounds you in the peace wherein He wills you be forever, and are learning now to claim again as your inheritance.

***

Since I’m writing about issues I have ACIM: What’s all this crap about referring to God as he? I also have great trouble with the term, “Lord of Hosts.”

Oh well…

The good news is that the ideas to review and repeat each hour today are:

  • Forgiveness is the key to happiness.
  • Forgiveness offers everything I want.

And these are exactly the types of ideas which I love and the reason I study ACIM and I am going through the workbook.

Peace.

Only salvation can be said to cure

This is one of those days that I just don’t get A Course in Miracles. I am a radical monist. That means I believe in the unity of the whole shebang. That unity of the all (whatever the all is, is irrelevant for now) is what I call the Ultimate Reality and others may call God, the Spirit, the Self, Tao, Brahma, Aum and so on.

As is written in the Tao Te Ching, “The Tao which can be put into words is not the real Tao.”

Thus it really does not matter what you call it. A question is that do you believe in Unity or in some form of non-unity (dualism and beyond).

In today’s piece  the ACIM workbook is written: “When it tries to heal the mind, it sees no separation from the body, where it thinks the mind exists.” To me all is one.Thus the mind/body/soul/spirit unity is not for different things but for different ways of looking at the same thing.

You see I agree with Hermes Trismagistess (Toth the three times great Egyptian philosopher): As above so bellow.

Thus the unity of the Ultimate Reality (the macrocosm) is replicated by the unity of the person (the microcosm).

Moreover, I totally disagree with those Gnostics who imagine matter does not exist or matter is evil. At times I think A Course in Miracles tends to deny the reality of matter or the ultimate goodness of whatever is. However, most of the workbook exercises make me a better person.

From today’s ACIM workbook exercise:

“Cure” is a word that cannot be applied to any remedy the world accepts as beneficial. What the world perceives as therapeutic is but what will make the body “better.” When it tries to heal the mind, it sees no separation from the body, where it thinks the mind exists. Its forms of healing thus must substitute illusion for illusion. One belief in sickness takes another form, and so the patient now perceives himself as well.

He is not healed. He merely had a dream that he was sick, and in the dream he found a magic formula to make him well. Yet he has not awakened from the dream, and so his mind remains exactly as it was before. He has not seen the light that would awaken him and end the dream. What difference does the content of a dream make in reality? One either sleeps or wakens. There is nothing in between…

Atonement heals with certainty, and cures all sickness. For the mind which understands that sickness can be nothing but a dream is not deceived by forms the dream may take. Sickness where guilt is absent cannot come, for it is but another form of guilt. Atonement does not heal the sick, for that is not a cure. It takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible. And that is cure indeed. For sickness now is gone, with nothing left to which it can return…

Let us not try today to seek to cure what cannot suffer sickness…

Today we seek to change our minds about the source of sickness, for we seek a cure for all illusions, not another shift among them. We will try today to find the source of healing, which is in our minds because our Father placed it there for us. It is not farther from us than ourselves. It is as near to us as our own thoughts; so close it is impossible to lose. We need but seek it and it must be found.

We will not be misled today by what appears to us as sick. We go beyond appearances today and reach the source of healing, from which nothing is exempt…

So do we lay aside our amulets, our charms and medicines, our chants and bits of magic in whatever form they take. We will be still and listen for the Voice of healing, which will cure all ills as one, restoring saneness to the Son of God. No voice but this can cure. Today we hear a single Voice which speaks to us of truth, where all illusions end, and peace returns to the eternal, quiet home of God.

We waken hearing Him, and let Him speak to us five minutes as the day begins, and end the day by listening again five minutes more before we go to sleep. Our only preparation is to let our interfering thoughts be laid aside, not separately, but all of them as one. They are the same. We have no need to make them different, and thus delay the time when we can hear our Father speak to us. We hear Him now. We come to Him today.

With nothing in our hands to which we cling, with lifted hearts and listening minds we pray:

Only salvation can be said to cure.
Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed.

And we will feel salvation cover us with soft protection, and with peace so deep that no illusion can disturb our minds, nor offer proof to us that it is real. This will we learn today. And we will say our prayer for healing hourly, and take a minute as the hour strikes, to hear the answer to our prayer be given us as we attend in silence and in joy. This is the day when healing comes to us. This is the day when separation ends, and we remember Who we really are.

***

As I do the meditation and say the affirmation I notice that I do not like the word cure. I like the word heal which comes from health which comes from whole. It is the unity which brings healing and hence health.

At the same time I’m not sure I understand or like the concept of salvation. I believe the word relates to saving and being saved. Being saved only makes sense in the Christian mythos with its concept of the fall. The Gnostic took this even further by claiming that matter is fallen evil and was created by the false god the Demiurg.

However,  in Sufiism (Islamic mysticism) in fact the separation (the myth of Adam and Eve being ejected from Paradise) is an elevation. It is like the mother bird nudging the fledglings out of the nest so they can learn to fly and soar.

If you read the myth in second chapter of Genesis without prejudgment you’ll notice it is a game (maya – illusion). Just imagine putting  a cookie jar in front of a child and saying, “Don’t you dare eat one of these tasty, yummy cookies.”

Another point about the Genesis two myth is to note that God puts Adam into a deep sleep but there is no mention of Adam ever being woken up. Some Kaballists and Christian mystics think this is a mythical way of pointing out that this phenomenal world is illusory.

By the way I talk about the bible as myth not saying that myths are mere stories but to point out that these are not historical or scientific facts but they have psychological and spiritual truth…

Back to the point about salvation – it is only needed if there is a fall. However, if the whole phenomenal world is an illusion (dream as mentioned in today’s ACIM workbook) then there is no salvation but enlightenment (waking up as the Buddha did).

Again, I believe the world is real and perfect. Again, since there is no dis-ease other than the perception of dis-ease, as soon as we realize the unity, there is wholeness and hence health.

I will accept Atonement for myself

Atonement can be read as at-one-ment. It thus can mean being one with the father. But in reality there is only the One (Ultimate Reality – God – Tao – or whatever). So we cannot escape atonement. We are one with the father (three persons in one using Christian mythology and terminology) whatever we do. The only choice we have is to be aware of this at-one-ment or not.

Thus the Buddha means being awake to this at-one-ment…

The few times that I have had mystical experience and felt in touch with (at one with) the Ultimate Reality I knew that this the only real state of being and the normal state of waking consciousness is in fact an illusion…

From ACIM workbook for today:

Here is the end of choice. For here we come to a decision to accept ourselves as God created us. And what is choice except uncertainty of what we are? There is no doubt that is not rooted here. There is no question but reflects this one. There is no conflict that does not entail the single, simple question, “What am I?”

[] Atonement remedies the strange idea that it is possible to doubt yourself, and be unsure of what you really are. This is the depth of madness. Yet it is the universal question of the world. What does this mean except the world is mad? Why share its madness in the sad belief that what is universal here is true?

Nothing the world believes is true. It is a place whose purpose is to be a home where those who claim they do not know themselves can come to question what it is they are. And they will come again until the time Atonement is accepted, and they learn it is impossible to doubt yourself, and not to be aware of what you are.

Only acceptance can be asked of you, for what you are is certain. It is set forever in the holy Mind of God, and in your own. It is so far beyond all doubt and question that to ask what it must be is all the proof you need to show that you believe the contradiction that you know not what you cannot fail to know. Is this a question, or a statement which denies itself in statement? Let us not allow our holy minds to occupy themselves with senseless musings such as this.

We have a mission here. We did not come to reinforce the madness that we once believed in. Let us not forget the goal that we accepted. It is more than just our happiness alone we came to gain. What we accept as what we are proclaims what everyone must be, along with us. Fail not your brothers, or you fail yourself. Look lovingly on them, that they may know that they are part of you, and you of them.

This does Atonement teach, and demonstrates the Oneness of God’s Son is unassailed by his belief he knows not what he is. Today accept Atonement, not to change reality, but merely to accept the truth about yourself, and go your way rejoicing in the endless Love of God. It is but this that we are asked to do. It is but this that we will do today.

Five minutes in the morning and at night we will devote to dedicate our minds to our assignment for today. We start with this review of what our mission is:

I will accept Atonement for myself,
For I remain as God created me.

We have not lost the knowledge that God gave to us when He created us like Him. We can remember it for everyone, for in creation are all minds as one. And in our memory is the recall how dear our brothers are to us in truth, how much a part of us is every mind, how faithful they have really been to us, and how our Father’s Love contains them all.

In thanks for all creation, in the Name of its Creator and His Oneness with all aspects of creation, we repeat our dedication to our cause today each hour, as we lay aside all thoughts that would distract us from our holy aim. For several minutes let your mind be cleared of all the foolish cobwebs which the world would weave around the holy Son of God. And learn the fragile nature of the chains that seem to keep the knowledge of yourself apart from your awareness, as you say:

I will accept Atonement for myself,
For I remain as God created me.

***

A question which keeps repeating itself (in various forms) is, “who is the I which accepts atonement for itself?”

The challenge or bind is that I by definition implies separation duality and hence illusion. Even worse than the concept of “I” is the possessive pronoun myself. Reminds me of a story by an Iranian mystic (most probably Rumi) where:

This seeker searches and searches until he gets to The Gate. He knocks and a voice asks, “Who is it?”
The seeker replies, “It is I, brother.”
The voice replies, “You are not ready,” and The Gate disappears.
After many years of further seeking and learning many truths the seeker finds The Gate again. Once more he knocks.
Once more the voice asks the question, “Who is it?”
The seeker replies, “It’s you brother.”
At this The  Gate opens and the seeker disappears…

That’s why I am a bit unsure of this thought of the day. I think – again the catch 22 – who is this I which thinks when all I’s are illusory…

Even with all these binds the exercises work. It is good to repeat, “I  accept Atonement for myself.”

Note: i removed will from the affirmation. At-one=ment is only when you are here and now, and by definition you cannot in reality be anywhere other than here and now.

Heaven is the decision I must make

From ACIM workbook for today:

In this world Heaven is a choice, because here we believe there are alternatives to choose between. We think that all things have an opposite, and what we want we choose. If Heaven exists there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way we make what we perceive, and what we think is real.

Creation knows no opposite…

Choice is the obvious escape from what appears as opposites…

Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven’s help. And all mistakes in judgment that the mind had made before are open to correction, as the truth dismisses them as causeless. Now are they without effects. They cannot be concealed, because their nothingness is recognized.

The conscious choice of Heaven is as sure as is the ending of the fear of hell, when it is raised from its protective shield of unawareness, and is brought to light. Who can decide between the clearly seen and the unrecognized? Yet who can fail to make a choice between alternatives when only one is seen as valuable; the other as a wholly worthless thing, a but imagined source of guilt and pain? Who hesitates to make a choice like this? And shall we hesitate to choose today?

We make the choice for Heaven as we wake, and spend five minutes making sure that we have made the one decision that is sane. We recognize we make a conscious choice between what has existence and what has nothing but an appearance of the truth. Its pseudo-being, brought to what is real, is flimsy and transparent in the light. It holds no terror now, for what was made enormous, vengeful, pitiless with hate, demands obscurity for fear to be invested there. Now it is recognized as but a foolish, trivial mistake.

Before we close our eyes in sleep tonight, we reaffirm the choice that we have made each hour in between. And now we give the last five minutes of our waking day to the decision with which we awoke. As every hour passed, we have declared our choice again, in a brief quiet time devoted to maintaining sanity. And finally, we close the day with this, acknowledging we chose but what we want:

Heaven is the decision I must make.
I make it now, and will not change my mind,
because it is the only thing I want.

***

Heaven is within – it is a state of mind – it is a choice to be at peace to be present to be in this moment.

Heaven means no judgment. Heaven means Islam (surrender or loving acceptance).

Heaven is Shalom (peace).

Heaven is love.

Heaven is the eternal now.

Heaven is…

***

Near the end of the day:

The decision is still a change of the state of the mind. It is an alteration of attitudes. It is in the words of A Course of Miracles letting go of fear (hell) and allowing unconditional love.

You may have heard a world where the forks and spoons are more than a yard long and you have to always eat with them. The foods are the best foods in the universe. This world is hell when people try to feed themselves (impossible with the long forks and spoons) and heaven is when they feed each other (easy with the long forks and spoons).

When I am healed I am not healed alone

Some of the ACIM ideas of the day I reject viscerally and others I accept immediately. Most I may be positively inclined toward. Today’s idea is one of the ones I love. Since I believe I do not exist in reality, and the only thing which exists is the One (Ultimate Realty)  it follows that when I am healed I am not healed alone…

As I write this I wonder who is the I which believes that I do not exist and who the I which does not exist and the eye which healed – coincidentally at this time I am doing various exercises to improve my vision. I have been wearing glasses for more than twelve years and my vision has bees getting worse all the time.

***

From the ACIM workbook for today:

Today’s idea remains the central thought on which salvation rests. For healing is the opposite of all the world’s ideas which dwell on sickness and on separate states. Sickness is a retreat from others, and a shutting off of joining. It becomes a door that closes on a separate self, and keeps it isolated and alone.

Sickness is isolation. For it seems to keep one self apart from all the rest, to suffer what the others do not feel. It gives the body final power to make the separation real, and keep the mind in solitary prison, split apart and held in pieces by a solid wall of sickened flesh, which it can not surmount.

[] healing is accomplished as he sees the body has no power to attack the universal Oneness of God’s Son.

Sickness would prove that lies must be the truth. But healing demonstrates that truth is true…

Healing might thus be called a counter-dream, which cancels out the dream of sickness in the name of truth, but not in truth itself. Just as forgiveness overlooks all sins that never were accomplished, healing but removes illusions that have not occurred. Just as the real world will arise to take the place of what has never been at all, healing but offers restitution for imagined states and false ideas which dreams embroider into pictures of the truth.

Yet think not healing is unworthy of your function here. For anti-Christ becomes more powerful than Christ to those who dream the world is real. The body seems to be more solid and more stable than the mind. And love becomes a dream, while fear remains the one reality that can be seen and justified and fully understood.

Just as forgiveness shines away all sin and the real world will occupy the place of what you made, so healing must replace the fantasies of sickness which you hold before the simple truth. When sickness has been seen to disappear in spite of all the laws that hold it cannot but be real, then questions have been answered. And the laws can be no longer cherished nor obeyed.

Healing, forgiveness, and the glad exchange of all the world of sorrow for a world where sadness cannot enter, are the means by which the Holy Spirit urges you to follow Him. His gentle lessons teach how easily salvation can be yours; how little practice you need undertake to let His laws replace the ones you made to hold yourself a prisoner to death. His life becomes your own, as you extend the little help He asks in freeing you from everything that ever caused you pain.

And as you let yourself be healed, you see all those around you, or who cross your mind, or whom you touch or those who seem to have no contact with you, healed along with you. Perhaps you will not recognize them all, nor realize how great your offering to all the world, when you let healing come to you. But you are never healed alone. And legions upon legions will receive the gift that you receive when you are healed.

Those who are healed become the instruments of healing. Nor does time elapse between the instant they are healed, and all the grace of healing it is given them to give. What is opposed to God does not exist, and who accepts it not within his mind becomes a haven where the weary can remain to rest. For here is truth bestowed, and here are all illusions brought to truth.

Would you not offer shelter to God’s Will? You but invite your Self to be at home. And can this invitation be refused? Ask the inevitable to occur, and you will never fail. The other choice is but to ask what cannot be to be, and this can not succeed. Today we ask that only truth will occupy our minds; that thoughts of healing will this day go forth from what is healed to what must yet be healed, aware that they will both occur as one.

We will remember, as the hour strikes, our function is to let our minds be healed, that we may carry healing to the world, exchanging curse for blessing, pain for joy, and separation for the peace of God. Is not a minute of the hour worth the giving to receive a gift like this? Is not a little time a small expense to offer for the gift of everything?

Yet must we be prepared for such a gift. And so we will begin the day with this, and give ten minutes to these thoughts with which we will conclude today at night as well:

When I am healed I am not healed alone.
And I would share my healing with the world,
that sickness may be banished from the mind of
God’s one Son, Who is my only Self.

Let healing be through you this very day. And as you rest in quiet, be prepared to give as you receive, to hold but what you give, and to receive the Word of God to take the place of all the foolish thoughts that ever were imagined. Now we come together to make well all that was sick, and offer blessing where there was attack. Nor will we let this function be forgot as every hour of the day slips by, remembering our purpose with this thought:

When I am healed I am not healed alone.
And I would bless my brothers, for I would
be healed with them, as they are healed with me.

***

My comment: “our function is to let our minds be healed.”

This is the meaning of not being healed. It is the mind which needs be healed. It is not that necessarily we can physically cope with every physical sickness, but that we can become whole (the root of the words health and healing come from being whole). It is knowing (not with the mind but with the guts) that only the one (son of God in A Course of Miracles terminology or Ultimate Reality, The One, God, Tao or whatever you call it) exists.

First exercise period:

Today my sickness is acute.  It relates to events going on in the world. I see state terrorism and find it difficult to forgive the war criminals. I know I need to forgive and be one with the people I imagine are murderers and terrorists. I pray for their souls…

I do much self cleaning (forgiveness of the shadow self – or the other within – this is based on total responsibility for all that is).

It is very difficult not be angry given today’s atrocity in International waters by agents of state terror. What do you do in face of war crimes. Do you just say they did not happen?

I do more clearing and forgiving but it is tough.

Second exercise period:

I continue clearing and forgiving. In the same way when the world is sick it means I’m sick.

I remember a statement by the great Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing who asked, “Is it sane in an  insane world to be called sane?”

I suppose the only thing to do in the face of evil and that is to send out love.

I remember that you can only forgive apparent harm. So these terrorists may be angels in disguise. I send more love and more forgiveness.

Sickness is a defense against the truth

Today’s idea makes no sense to me. I don’t know what the purpose of sickness is. There are times when negative events serve great spiritual purpose. There are times that we do not learn the lesson of negative events.

I do not believe the physical world does not exist. Often I think this is the most fantastic virtual reality game that God is watching. To quote a wisdom book I was reading recently, I am being “I am” being me:

I am (Ultimate Reality) is conscious of I am (God) being me (this individual ego as a phenomenal maya – game).

From ACIM workbook:

Sickness is a decision. It is not a thing that happens to you, quite unsought, which makes you weak and brings you suffering. It is a choice you make, a plan you lay, when for an instant truth arises in your own deluded mind, and all your world appears to totter and prepare to fall. Now are you sick, that truth may go away and threaten your establishments no more.

Of course sickness is a decision (like everything else in the universe). But because it is a decision (part of Ultimate Reality) makes it meaningful. I am not saying that there is no need for healing. And I do not believe in “New Age guilt.” There is no fault here. We are responsible for all that happens to us which makes it all “good.”

Whatever happens is God’s will and good. The sickness and the healing are both God’s will and we (our ego in a skin self) do not understand.

From ACIM workbook:

today, if you will choose to practice giving welcome to the truth.

This is our aim today. And we will give a quarter of an hour twice to ask the truth to come to us and set us free. And truth will come, for it has never been apart from us. It merely waits for just this invitation which we give today. We introduce it with a healing prayer, to help us rise above defensiveness, and let truth be as it has always been:

Sickness is a defense against the truth.
I will accept the truth of what I am,
and let my mind be wholly healed today.

Practice sessions:

  • First:
    I was thinking about truth. What is the truth? And is it understandable by the conscious mind?
    I think “tat Tuam Asi:”  That thou art.
    As the Tao Te Ching says the truth which can put in words is not the real truth.
    I think about the truth of statements like two plus two equal four – I notice that such truths are definitional truth or tautologies. In case you do not know number theory and philosophy of mathematics, the point is that the definition of two, four, plus mean that two plus two make four. We have not added any new information. Either a system follows from the definitions or postulates or it does not follow and then there is no semblance of truth.
  • Second:
    Again I ask to be shown the truth.
    This time I let go of the words.
    Light…
    Being…
    Is, is…

I will write much more on the question of what is truth and can the human mind aware be aware of ultimate truth in a layer post.

If I defend myself I am attacked

Continuing with day 135 of the ACIM workbook – from the book:

Who would defend himself unless he thought he were attacked, that the attack were real, and that his own defense could save himself? And herein lies the folly of defense; it gives illusions full reality, and then attempts to handle them as real. It adds illusions to illusions, thus making correction doubly difficult. And it is this you do when you attempt to plan the future, activate the past, or organize the present as you wish.

You operate from the belief you must protect yourself from what is happening because it must contain what threatens you. A sense of threat is an acknowledgment of an inherent weakness; a belief that there is danger which has power to call on you to make appropriate defense. The world is based on this insane belief…

The body is in need of no defense. This cannot be too often emphasized. It will be strong and healthy if the mind does not abuse it by assigning it to roles it cannot fill, to purposes beyond its scope, and to exalted aims which it cannot accomplish…

The “self” that needs protection is not real. The body, valueless and hardly worth the least defense, need merely be perceived as quite apart from you, and it becomes a healthy, serviceable instrument through which the mind can operate until its usefulness is over. Who would want to keep it when its usefulness is done?

Defend the body and you have attacked your mind. For you have seen in it the faults, the weaknesses, the limits and the lacks from which you think the body must be saved. You will not see the mind as separate from bodily conditions. And you will impose upon the body all the pain that comes from the conception of the mind as limited and fragile, and apart from other minds and separate from its Source.

These are the thoughts in need of healing, and the body will respond with health when they have been corrected and replaced with truth. This is the body’s only real defense…

A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own…

The mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control of future happenings. It does not think that it will be provided for, unless it makes its own provisions. Time becomes a future emphasis, to be controlled by learning and experience obtained from past events and previous beliefs. It overlooks the present, for it rests on the idea the past has taught enough to let the mind direct its future course.

What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?

[] Without defenses, you become a light which Heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own…

We will anticipate that time today with present confidence, for this is part of what was planned for us. We will be sure that everything we need is given us for our accomplishment of this today. We make no plans for how it will be done, but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty.

For fifteen minutes twice today we rest from senseless planning, and from every thought that blocks the truth from entering our minds. Today we will receive instead of plan, that we may give instead of organize. And we are given truly, as we say:

If I defend myself I am attacked.
But in defenselessness I will be strong,
and I will learn what my defenses hide.

Nothing but that. If there are plans to make, you will be told of them. They may not be the plans you thought were needed, nor indeed the answers to the problems which you thought confronted you. But they are answers to another kind of question, which remains unanswered yet in need of answering until the Answer comes to you at last.

All your defenses have been aimed at not receiving what you will receive today. And in the light and joy of simple trust, you will but wonder why you ever thought that you must be defended from release. Heaven asks nothing. It is hell that makes extravagant demands for sacrifice. You give up nothing in these times today when, undefended, you present yourself to your Creator as you really are.

He has remembered you. Today we will remember Him. For this is Eastertime in your salvation. And you rise again from what was seeming death and hopelessness. Now is the light of hope reborn in you, for now you come without defense, to learn the part for you within the plan of God. What little plans or magical beliefs can still have value, when you have received your function from the Voice for God Himself?

Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you can not conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning. Learn today. And all the world will take this giant stride, and celebrate your Eastertime with you. Throughout the day, as foolish little things appear to raise defensiveness in you and tempt you to engage in weaving plans, remind yourself this is a special day for learning, and acknowledge it with this:

This is my Eastertime. And I would keep it holy.
I will not defend myself, because the Son of God
needs no defense against the truth of his reality.

I like the idea of Eastertime. At the same time even though I know intellectually that defending oneself is a major cause of most troubles it is difficult to be free and clear and not allow my hot buttons be pushed.

But then what are these hot buttons other than just living in the past and judgment. One can look at it from cognitive science point of view where habitual patterns are like automatic subroutines which are set off by the appropriate stimulus.

I remember one of the earliest exercises in the ACIM workbook where we worked on the fact that we see nothing as it is now.

I had to stop as we are getting a new refrigerator today and a gentleman came from the recycling company to remove the old energy hog one.  Later they will deliver the energy efficient one…

Back here I remember Alan Watts talking about a meditation where you listen to sounds with no thoughts, no commentary as though hearing each sound for the first time ever. The same is true about all other senses. When you are a blank state you are the kingdom. I was going to write you are in the kingdom of God. However, other words came out.

I have been talking to a dear friend about free will and how when I write the best is when I can get out of the way and allow the writing just happen…

First exercise:

After I did the first exercise something happened which would have made lose my cool. I decided not to go on the defensive. I remained calm.  It felt so good to let go of control and so keep full control. Later I got stuck in traffic and lines and yet because of today’s exercise I felt good and never had to get on the defensive.

Second Exercise:

Again I felt happy and at peace. All is well with no defense.

***

Today all has been well. I had to stop the ACIM workbook for a while and now that I’m back at it I feel peace. It (the theory of A Course in Miracles) makes no sense but the meditations do work in bringing peace and allowing me to love more.


Let me perceive forgiveness as it is

From the workbook lesson for today:

Let us review the meaning of “forgive,” for it is apt to be distorted and to be perceived as something that entails an unfair sacrifice of righteous wrath, a gift unjustified and undeserved, and a complete denial of the truth. In such a view, forgiveness must be seen as mere eccentric folly, and this course appear to rest salvation on a whim.

This twisted view of what forgiveness means is easily corrected, when you can accept the fact that pardon is not asked for what is true. It must be limited to what is false. It is irrelevant to everything except illusions. Truth is God’s creation, and to pardon that is meaningless. All truth belongs to Him, reflects His laws and radiates His Love. Does this need pardon? How can you forgive the sinless and eternally benign?

The major difficulty that you find in genuine forgiveness on your part is that you still believe you must forgive the truth, and not illusions. You conceive of pardon as a vain attempt to look past what is there; to overlook the truth, in an unfounded effort to deceive yourself by making an illusion true. This twisted viewpoint but reflects the hold that the idea of sin retains as yet upon your mind, as you regard yourself.

This is the thrust of the ACIM philosophy that all that is wrong with the universe is illusory.  I believe that sin exists but sin to me is the same as it meant in the original Greek of the New Testament. The Greek word translated as sin was a term derived from archery. It signified missing the mark. So when Jesus said, “Go and sin no more,” he meant do not miss the mark or at least do your best to not miss the mark.

Again keeping with the archery metaphor you can always improve and hit the target better…

[] Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the illusions of the world. It sees their nothingness, and looks straight through the thousand forms in which they may appear. It looks on lies, but it is not deceived. It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt. It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, “My brother, what you think is not the truth.”

[] There is a very simple way to find the door to true forgiveness, and perceive it open wide in welcome. When you feel that you are tempted to accuse someone of sin in any form, do not allow your mind to dwell on what you think he did, for that is self-deception. Ask instead, “Would I accuse myself of doing this?”

This is where I had a major challenge with. The point is not that i would accuse or not myself but that we cannot but help doing whatever we do.

Thus will you see alternatives for choice in terms that render choosing meaningful, and keep your mind as free of guilt and pain as God Himself intended it to be, and as it is in truth. It is but lies that would condemn. In truth is innocence the only thing there is. Forgiveness stands between illusions and the truth; between the world you see and that which lies beyond; between the hell of guilt and Heaven’s gate.

[] Today we practice true forgiveness, that the time of joining be no more delayed. For we would meet with our reality in freedom and in peace. Our practicing becomes the footsteps lighting up the way for all our brothers, who will follow us to the reality we share with them. That this may be accomplished, let us give a quarter of an hour twice today, and spend it with the Guide Who understands the meaning of forgiveness, and was sent to us to teach it. Let us ask of Him:

Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.

Then choose one brother as He will direct, and catalogue his “sins,” as one by one they cross your mind. Be certain not to dwell on any one of them, but realize that you are using his “offenses” but to save the world from all ideas of sin. Briefly consider all the evil things you thought of him, and each time ask yourself, “Would I condemn myself for doing this?”

Let him be freed from all the thoughts you had of sin in him. And now you are prepared for freedom. If you have been practicing thus far in willingness and honesty, you will begin to sense a lifting up, a lightening of weight across your chest, a deep and certain feeling of relief. The time remaining should be given to experiencing the escape from all the heavy chains you sought to lay upon your brother, but were laid upon yourself.

Forgiveness should be practiced through the day, for there will still be many times when you forget its meaning and attack yourself. When this occurs, allow your mind to see through this illusion as you tell yourself:

Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.
Would I accuse myself of doing this?
I will not lay this chain upon myself.

In everything you do remember this:

No one is crucified alone, and yet no one
can enter Heaven by himself.

Practice sessions – I ended up thinking about a brother who hurt me a huge amount when I was young and affected my life to a huge amount perhaps negatively (at least apparently) or perhaps positively (who knows until the universe ends):

  • First practice session:
    I actually did the meditation and forgiveness as a walking meditation. As I thought about the person who I had imagined had hurt me as a teenager and in my early twenties, I felt great love for this person. I saw that any apparent hurt he may have done was out of his own fear. As ACIM says there is only love or fear.
    So I sent this person love and asked for his forgiveness.
    I asked for his forgiveness not because I had harmed him but because I never appreciated his situation, his loneliness, his vulnerability.
    As I sent him love, the world around me looked better and more beautiful.
    I sent out love for about half an hour and then I remembered an appointment so that was the end of the first session.
  • Second practice session:
    I changed the target of the love and sent love to all sorts of people I imagined have harmed me. Forgiving may be easy but sending love to your “enemies” is much better.
    I suppose that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Love your enemies.”
    I feel good. I feel the love I send out coming back to me, but that’s not why I’m doing it.
    It’s love or fear and I would rather love.

Restart

Quite a while ago I stopped writing this and my other blogs. There were many reasons. I was moving and had to pack thousands of books and tapes (I’m a bookoholic) in boxes and take to storage and then I just procrastinated.

However, I had stopped writing this blog a while earlier.

I had started going through “A Course in Miracles” workbook day by day. I had reached day 134 and got to a part that made no sense to me at all.

The challenge was that forgiveness was to be achieved by considering all the evil things that you imagine the person you wish to forgive had done, and each time ask yourself, “Would I condemn myself for doing this?” This made absolutely no sense to me at all. I would condemn many things in myself that I would not condemn in others. The reason I forgive is that I don’t believe we have free wills as such.

It’s but for the grace of God there go I. That’s to say if I were someone else with that person’s genes and environment I would act the same way as the other did but I’m not the other, I have my genes and my past, so what is OK for someone else may not be OK for me.

God knows I have enough problems (sins, mistakes) of my own but they are mine and I would not condemn myself for my sins as I do not condemn you for yours.

However, I’ll continue from tomorrow with one workbook day at a time…