Monday, December 31, 2007

Dark Ages

Perhaps in time the so-called Dark Ages will be thought of as including our own.
-- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mysticism

... the essence of the mystical experience is the encounter between God and the human being, the Creator and creature; this is a union which leads the human being to an ‘absorption’ or loss of individual personality. It is a movement of the heart, as the individual seeks to surrender itself to ultimate Reality; it is thus about being rather than knowing.
- Oxford Philosophy Dictionary

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We are not here...

In a book I read, a philosopher was trying to impress upon somebody the great uncertainty of all our knowledge, and said: "we are here, and this is now. Beyond that, everything is guesswork."

This illustrates how advanced ACIM is, and how crazy this world is... no matter how basic you think you get, how little you assume to be true, you're still wrong.
Because we are not here. There is no world.
And this is not now. Time is an illusion.

The Course is really the negation of everything we think we know. It's no wonder that that book (and this universe) drives us crazy!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Einstein

"The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe." - Albert Einstein

This is a surprisingly profound statement. This is basically the decision which decides whether you stay in this universe indefinitely, or you go free and go home.

Carol Howe taught me this exercise: imagine that every single thing and every single person in the town where you live, has only love for you, and only wishes you the very best.
This exercise obviously scales up or down as you want.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Peace

I'm getting a growing sense of Peace.

It's like being cold to the bone, and then sitting in a bath tub in which into which is running warm water. Only an inch or two yet, but wonderful.

My own best interest

One of the many things which will seem really offensive about ACIM is the statement that I don't know my own best interest.
How condescending! :)

But I'm finding out how true it is.

And what painful learning that is.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It follows

If one speaks or acts with a cruel mind, misery follows, as the cart follows the horse... If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows, as a shadow follows its source.
-- the Dhammapada

Lose the shore

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
-- Andre Gide

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Self-importance

Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it - what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.
-- Carlos Castaneda

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Meta-consciousness

I've printed and pasted this on my wall:

"We are appearing to you as symbols whose words will help facilitate the disappearance of the universe."
-- Pursah

For me it represents one of the wonderful aspects of The Disappearance Of The Universe. It is hard to put the finger on exactly what it is... but it feels very strongly to me that no human would ever say something like that. It is a statement from not only a super-human entity, it is a statement from a meta-conscious entity (beyond consciousness). It's a statement from a place totally without ego or separate consciousness.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Handling emotional troubles

I got a tip from Carol Howe about how to deal with emotional troubles. Like depression, but I guess also anxiety and other things. I have fleshed it out with my own experiences and observations.

1: Disregard the explanations and theories you have about why it is like that. There is no reason in the world of Form.

2: Don't use any artificial buffers between you and the emotion. Don't indulge in any addictions or distractions. This includes anything you usually do when stressed, drugs, TV, drink, Internet, working hard, even just compulsive thinking... Anything can be an avoidance strategy.

3: Just experience it directly without reacting or backing off. Invite the feeling into your space with love.

It will heal fast. It may become harder momentarily, but it will be well worth it.

It seems to me that this works best if you do nothing else while doing it. Be alone in a quiet and semi-dark room, without distractions.

By the way, this works often with physical pain too.

Of course one may have to get off some addictions gradually so as not to get overwhelmed, this is just what to aim for.

Form and Spirit

Here's a reason that The Law of Attraction is so limited:

When you focus your mind on Form, you're not peaceful. When you focus on Spirit, you are. (Or become so.)

It does not matter if the form is "good" or "bad". Focusing on being rich or popular does not make you more peaceful than focusing on being deprived or hated. You might become rich and popular, but not peaceful.

Because all form is the same, it's all illusion, and it is not Spirit. And if you accept the good parts of the illusion, you accept the bad parts too, and it's all symbolic of the Separation from Source, and so not Peaceful.

Thanks to Carol Howe. I recommend her book Healing The Hurt.

Eckhart Tolle

Interesting article by Eckhart Tolle.
I was not familiar with him, but he speaketh much sooth here.

Thinking about his book title, though: A New Earth... I've been very, very concerned with this myself most of my life. With saving the world and creating a great and spiritual civilization for the ages...

But I think we need to get beyond that. In The Disappearance Of The Universe, it is hinted a couple of times that we should not expect this civilization to be the final or eternal one, and that this fact is not important.

Sure, so long as we still have Guilt and Ego left, it hurts to think of big disasters and so on. But the thing is, the Big Mind is waking up. There is no way around that, it is done, time is an illusion. And it was done in the best way possible. It does not matter what happens in the world of form until the end. Because There Is No World. This is one of the absolute statements of ACIM.

"Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Illusions

"Every illusion carries pain and suffering in the dark folds of the heavy garments in which it hides its nothingness."
ACIM text, 22

It is something which is being brought to me more and more clearly, and sometimes painfully: there is no lasting joy to be found in this illusion. It's a dead end.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Getting better or worse?

Ken Wapnick says at some point something similar to: if a new student's life get better and not worse after he starts studying The Course, he probably has not really understood it.

That's funny. Well, I think so. :)

Why would you want to study a thought training system which makes your life worse? Well, even if it may last for a while, it's still only temporary. And it's the only way out. Not the Course, but the way through all the mess is the only way out.

Think of it like this: everybody has a room in their house which is full of radioactive waste. And only those who open the dreaded door and face it head on will ever get rid of it. But those people will also have an awful mess on their hands for a while.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wapnick interview

Wapnick interview video.

Quitting the game

Corinne Edwards talk about spirituality, including The Secret (the popular movie), which teaches how make things happen by thinking Right. Here's a dialogue with her:

Me:
I am wondering, though: after ACIM, is The Secret not a step back? Strongly desiring certain things to happen in The Dream? Instead of forgiving The Dream and letting the HS direct life?

Corinne said:
Dear Eolake -
Thanks for your comment. Happy to connect with you.
The Secret is based on the work of Esther and Jerry Hicks. Look up their book, The Power of Intention. [Update: "The Power of Intention" was written by Dr. Wayne Dyer not Esther and Jerry Hicks. The Hicks wrote "Ask and It Is Given".] Or their website. It is interesting. They were not included in the Secret because the publisher wanted too many rights to their material. Their work is helpful. Coming from a different direction from ACIM but interesting. Very much like the Seth materials.
I think the book serves its purpose. Might get a certain type of person going on their life.
There is nothing on the planet to compare with A Course In Miracles. I think it is important to note that it is a spiritual thought system and not a religion.
As far as wanting things as we live in the “Illusion,” I think it is like my nine year old grandsom who plays video games. Loves them. He knows they are not real but he still wants to win the game. Then he goes out and shoots some baskets in the driveway. He knows he is not in the NBA but he still enjoys gettting the ball in the basket.
My thought is that if we are in the “game” here, why not play it to win!

I said:
Fair enough.
I think, though, that there is tendency to see Mind-Over-Matter as being *spirituality*, when it’s most of the time simply Playing The Game better. It looks like spiritual progress, but it just gets you to higher levels in the video game, and will never get you out of it.

Some of the most heinous and materialistic people in history have used “The Secret” very successfully. They weren’t spiritual, they were just hot-shots on the joystick.

And like you say, your grandson sometimes quits the games console and goes out. A Course In Miracles is the way to do just that, so you’re not stuck in the game forever.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hicks

It's just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.
-- Bill Hicks


It's my opinion that Bill Hicks was a better philosopher than he was a comedian.

To stop being a victim

Article on how to forgive by Corinne Edwards. (I looked her up on the web after seeing on DVD a nice interview she conducted with Ken and Gloria Wapnick about A Course In Miracles, and it turns out she has a rather active blog.)

I think the ACIM way goes beyond it, because it realizes that the offense never took place. But sometimes we can't readily reach this point.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Friends

Isn't it funny how it's much easier to conceive of forgiving when it's other people's?

This week one of my oldest friends is accusing me of the wildest things. And if it was somebody else it happened to, it would be so easy to see that it's simply a matter of forgiving, nothing else is important.

And I'm working on it, and making progress. But I still have many moments where the only thing that I can think of is to argue with him. "You idiot, where is your head? Can't you see?!..."

Advanced forgiveness is so much easier to preach than to practice!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bradley

"The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring." - Francis H. Bradley

Monday, October 1, 2007

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen says in the documentary "I'm Your Man" that he studied under a Japanese zen master not because of zen, but because of the master himself. Under this study, Leonard's 'self' unraveled, and the smaller it became, the better he felt. Clearly he had hit upon one of the "thousand ways to god", one of the ways of undoing the ego.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Leonard Cohen

"I found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win."
- Leonard Cohen

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stroking the ego

I've found out that I need to be stroking the ego while I'm murdering it.

Being undone is the source of the most amazing pain and fear for the ego. Which makes it hard for you too, obviously.

So be kind to the ego on a regular basis while you're forgiving. Give it some nice things. Get it some admiration. Some sex. Some candy and whine. Entertainment. Take care of its "security".

And doing these things is also each time an opportunity to look with the HS at the thinking of the ego, while seemingly endulging it. The looking undoes it too.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
-- Carl Jung

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Posts

Two important posts on my other blog:

Peace Pilgrim

Irv Thomas

Quote from the top one:
You see, the ego is never in control. The ego is controlled by wishes for comfort and convenience on the part of the body, by demands of the mind, and by outbursts of the emotions. But the higher nature controls the body and the mind and the emotions. I can say to my body, "Lie down there on that cement floor and go to sleep," and it obeys. I can say to my mind, "Shut out everything else and concentrate on this job before you," and it's obedient.

I notice one difference between her philosophy and the Course: she recommends getting rid of all possessions you don't "need". The course might say that this is making the possessions real. What you do is forgiving your need for the possessions in your mind. What you do in the physical universe is not real and does not matter, except where you change your mind at the same time.

Another difference is that she recommends doing things in the world that need doing. The Course says "there is no world". The mind creates the illusion of the world, so only changing the mind will help.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Your own strength

From ACIM workbook lesson 48:
"The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness. The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear."

This is perhaps one of the hardest lessons to learn. Certainly for a person like me, who has had it as a hardcore, unshakable tenet in his life that your own strength is the only thing you can ever count on. The only thing you must ever count on.

Giving up your own strength for a "higher power" was seen by me as a weak position. A ridiculous position. A patently, obviously, wrong position.

And yet consider that what seems to the ego like a "higher power" is in actuality your own real self. And that even the strongest person in the world is ridiculously weak. A few days in the wrong temperature or without water, and he is dead.

It that's not enough, even if you could build your power to god-like proportions, it would still only be the power to move illusions around.

I am one of the strongest people I know. And yet I have found in my subconscious absolutely ridiculous amounts of fear. So it's clear that "strength" in the ego sense is no solution at all. It's not easy, but I'm giving it up in favor of the Higher Self.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Giving and receiving.

I have come to believe that giving and receiving are really the same. Giving and receiving - not giving and taking.
-- Joyce Grenfell

I think that's a wise observation. Deep.
And the course says the same thing. At least as regards miracles.

Of course "taking" involves force and the ego. It has no value.

But both "giving" and "receiving" are at the deepest level a form of miracles. They are joining two apparently separate egos, and thus undoing the ego.
And it does not matter which illusory ego does the giving and which does the receiving.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Take me to Truth"

Interesting interview and book.

“... awakening is not a glamorous affair. It’s really a demolition project. The ego loves to spiritualize the whole awakening process by suffusing it with the special beauty or power of certain objects, places and practices. It thrives on intellectual knowledge and is enthralled by amazing phenomena."

Isn't that the truth! If we're not careful, we can stay forever in fascination of ghosts, crop circles, UFOs, blah blah blah.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The dark night of the soul

Spiritual or psychological novices may be quite surprised to find that not only is the process a difficult one, but that they paradoxically begin to experience darkness more than light, especially after the initial "honeymoon period" that so frequently occurs. Once again, the Course provides us with descriptions of this seeming paradox of sincerely desiring the light, yet at the same time choosing, if not embracing the darkness:

"The more you approach the center of His [God] thought system, the clearer the light becomes. The closer you come to the foundation of the ego's thought system, the darker and more obscure becomes the way" (T-11.In.3:4-5).

[Later]
It should go without saying that the pain inherent in undoing the special relationship is not the Will of God, or the "plan" of the Holy Spirit. Rather, it is the certain consequence of our resistance to accepting the truth about ourselves.

Again found here.

All thought systems...

"...every thought system centers on what you believe you are." - A Course In Miracles

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pain

In looking at the special relationship, it is necessary first to realize that it involves a great amount of pain. Anxiety, despair, guilt and attack all enter into it…
(ACIM T-16.V.1:1-2)

"one does not journey to the light without experiencing great difficulties and pain."
- Ken Wapnick article

This is apparently generally denied, you certainly don't hear a lot about it. But I think we need to know about, simply because normally pain indicates something is wrong and so you run away.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Not There

A friend said:
"However you look at it, it still sounds like something imperfect came from something perfect."

It's one of the most challenging points.
And I suspect it's one of those points which we simply have to give up understanding with human minds.
The good news is we may not stay human forever.

I also suspect it has something to do with The World not existing.
"There is no world" is one of the absolute statements of The Course, they say.
If you say it to a human, even bright ones like you and me, we'll say: "yeah, sure, I get it, but..." and thump a wall. We just know it is there.
But I have had several intense experiences of perceptions where I in a split-instant saw that the world (or a bit of it) was not there. *Really* not there. Not "sort of not there" or "ultimately not there", but totally, absolutely not there.
This brought hints of great relief, so I'm looking forward to more certainty and experience with this.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nothing

It takes great learning both to realize and to accept that the world has nothing to give.
- Ken Wapnick

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Proactive forgiveness

I believe in proactive forgiveness. :)

For instance, today I noticed a hint of shame in my thinking. Now, seeing as how, as a human being, I don't have all that much to be ashamed of (comparatively:), I had assumed that I did not have much shame. But when I started to just look at it with the HS, it turned out I had loads! It just ballooned and ballooned. It was not easy, but I like confronting things. And I get the impression that I got a good ways towards defusing something today.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Retaliation

If retaliation worked, then countries which retaliate would be more safe.

From The Disappearance Of The Universe

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New eyes

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. -- Marcel Proust

Remarkably this is the key to almost any progress, even progress which leads to God. This is profound.
It is not what you do, it's how you think.

Life in a computer

It is funny how the HS has all kinds of ways of telling us the world is made up.

Shifting minds

For some reason it suddenly seems clearer to me:

You have two minds. One is the little human one, the ego mind. It is a robot and believes in conflict.
The other one is the Big Mind. It is outside the universe and knows the universe is not real. (It is solely a construct of the Mind believing in it.)

The way to freedom is the deliberate shifting from the first mind to the second one.

Monday, August 13, 2007

"Exorcising" the body

Finally in my middle age, I've started to "exorcise".
The thought occurred to me that this would amount to focusing on the body, thus making it real.
But heaven knows it's real enough already. And I find that exercising is forcing me to focus on the body, and so nudging me to forgive it a lot more than I've been doing.

Of course the reason I've been grossly neglecting the body is not just that I'm only interested in the spirit, as I've been telling myself, but that I have/had a profound resentment towards it. And of course I need to work through this. Resentment is the epitome of not-forgiven.

Forgiveness and emotion

I said:
"The essence of forgiveness is just looking at the ego."

And Laurie commented:
I really like that. I had a bit of difficulty with the emphasis on "forgiveness" in ACIM at first because I grew up in a false notion of forgiveness and was seeped in it. I had an alcoholic parent who verbally abused the lot of us, and I, a good Christian girl, just kept forgiving her, going back to her with open heart and warmth, and kept getting pounded emotionally. My "forgiveness" was based on feelings, thinking I had to "love" my enemy through warm fuzzy feelings. But now, I'm learning that true forgiveness has little to do with feelings of "love", and nothing at all to do with what appears "out there" -- it has to do with looking at the Truth, looking calmly at ego, and all the false images and beliefs fade away. i.e. "I am being hurt", i.e. "I have to love this person". Love is already and always present.
True forgiveness is seeing rightly, it is not an emotion.

Quite right. Ken Wapnick writes:
"It is possible to be free of judgment (condemnation and anger) toward another person, yet still not trust his ego -- egos are not trustworthy."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Being healthy

"The psychologically healthy may have reached a compromise with the world that allows them to function with some degree of satisfaction, as well as a certain level of acceptance of their personal and the world's limitations But there is a quiet desperation that must lie beneath the surface, for life in the world is like a house of cards, always on the verge of falling apart"

-- fACIM FAQ #836

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Owning insults

"If someone offers you a gift, and you decline to accept it, the other person still owns that gift. The same is true of insults and verbal attacks."
-- Steve Pavlina

Only you can attack yourself. Only you exist.

Just looking

The Disappearance Of The Universe taught me almost all the essentials about ACIM, making the entry into the philosophy wonderfully easy.
One thing I feel is missing though, is a thing I learned from Ken Wapnick:

The essence of forgiveness is just looking at the ego.
Just looking, without guilt or fear.
Or looking with the holy spirit, if you will.
The ego can't look at itself.
This must be why therapy works sometimes. If you're really looking, you must be looking with the holy spirit.

It can be applied to anything. Anytime you are not 100% peaceful and happy (and how many of us are thus most of the time?) just look at what's happening and what you're feeling and thinking about it. Just look, without judgement, without fear.

For example today I was watching a documentary about police and vigilantism. And I was getting all upset about how people were conned into the idea that only the selected forces in society has any right to use force. Then they showed a governor who a long time ago went on TV and spoke supportively of a mob who had lynched two kidnappers/murderers. And I got all upset about this idiot. I suddenly noticed that I had seamlessly changed viewpoint 180ยบ within seconds! Total ego thinking.

And just by watching this and not judging it, I have defused the ego thinking a little bit more.