Saturday, August 30, 2008

A 90-degree shift

"The world's training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one's judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation."
- A Course In Miracles, Manual

This is something I learned very gradually. You can't proselytize ACIM, because there is no on-ramp to it. There's is almost nothing, except for a general loving and peaceful attitude, which points in the this direction. Nothing in the field of personal development, because that all points towards becoming stronger and more independent.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Forgiving excitement

I think Excitement is about as big a trap as fear or anger.
It is also a contributing cause to depression.

I find I can forgive it, just like fear or anger.

Main thing is to remember to do it, because by its nature, when you're excited, you are caught up in the illusion and may not notice your state.

Periodically stop up for brief or longer periods, relax and remind yourself that the excitement and what you are excited about does not exist.

It also help to deliberately relax. Breathe very deeply, and take twice as long to breathe out. This sends a signal to the nervous system which relaxes the body.

And while breathing out, visualize the excitement radiate away from you like heat, draining.

A little wrinkle I sometimes add personally: when breathing in I fold up my arms and hands against my body, and when breathing out (longer) I let them unfold like a flower opening. It helps with visualizing the tension energy softening and flowing away.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A recluse

They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.
-- Emily Dickinson

Monday, August 25, 2008

Physical and limited

I am of the persuasion of those who believe the universe is not real, but created by the Mind.
And it seems provable to me.

Since the universe is physical, it must be limited.
But what is it limited by? Anything that can limit it would have to be in the universe.
So clearly the universe can't be real.

The second part seems bullet-proof to me, but the first part merely seems obvious. How do you prove that something which is physical has to be limited?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Slow growth

The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!'
-- John F. Kennedy

Acting loving or being a bastard

It is a common misunderstanding amongst people on a spiritual track, and one which I've had myself, that one has to act kind and loving all the time. Just not true.

For instance, I just watched a movie which just really rubbed me the wrong way, I just hated it.

Last year I would have hesitated (longer) to write a very negative review. But now I did it.

Just for one thing, if I'm right about the movie, it may save others the agony of watching it. And that is loving on a higher scale than being kind to the movie.

For another thing: even if my allergic reaction is just my own BS acting up, and an ego thing, so what? Spiritual paths are not a system of ethics, they are not made to make the world a more pleasant place. They are made for inner progress. And that is not accomplished by suppressing our nasty tendencies. They are made by looking at and recognizing our nasty tendencies. Self-awareness.

I am not saying go wild and be a bastard. I am saying that if you suppress all your impulses except the most saccharine ones, you're not doing anybody any favors, and least of all yourself. You can't change your mind by changing your behavior, you change your mind by changing your mind.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Small holy moments

"The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of what seem to be very casual encounters; a "chance" meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator, a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult "by chance," two students "happening" to walk home together. These are not chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the elevator will smile to one another, perhaps the adult will not scold the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come."
ACIM Manual section III

I have felt this instinctively. Some moments have just felt special and holy even if very small. For instance, once I borrowed a pen from a stranger in a supermarket, or even once my eyes met with those of a nun's on the street for a split second. I just knew something special had happened.


"Let the fear of danger be a spur to prevent it; he that fears not, gives advantage to the danger."
-- Francis Quarles

What a load of bollocks. Common sense protects you from danger. Fear paralyses you and destroys your health.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Many people get anxiety problems after some time on a spiritual path.

Rebecca had this comment:
A famous psychiatrist, Stanislav Grof, (whom I like and respect) once said,
“Anxiety is a fear that’s half-way out. Too often people and doctors want to stuff it back down with drugs.”

The Most Important Thing

An old spiritual teaching goes:

The most important thing is to find out what is the most important thing.

I've been working on that most of my life.
And I think if you're honest and keep at it, it'll keep changing. Nudging you closer and closer to Truth.

A breakthrough for me was when I realized, many years ago, that for me the Most Important Thing is something abstract, not something specific. It didn't make life easier, for sure, but it made it more true.

The best word I've found for that abstract quality, for me, is:


Another word for it is Beauty. But that is often used in very different ways.

Another word is Love. But that is used in even more different ways. In too specific ways. Like, many people believe that you can only really love one person. I think universal love is a quite different thing. Abstract, and yet more real.

I found the "Warmth" thing by looking at why was Art so important to me, and what as the most important ingredient for me in art, both my own and others'.

Late eighties and unity experiences

From The Translucent Revolution (2005) page 31:
"All over the world, from every imaginable background and system of belief, people report the trance of separation being broken. For the majority, this radical awakening has occurred within the last fifteen years."

That's what I've always been saying, something happened in the late eighties. It definitely did to me, and I've heard it from so many sides also.
And so it's one of the small things which puzzles me about D.U.: Arten and Pursah's claim that the reason more people are waking up is just that ACIM is here, nothing more.
If you look around, there's overwhelming evidence that big numbers of people have "unity experiences" (as I call them, I don't think it's a generally used term), and that most of them have never heard of ACIM.

Of course, maybe A and P were only talking about the final product, full awakening, no "guilt" or ego left at all, final lifetime. And it's clear that most people (including certainly me) who have these experiences have quite a ways to go before that.
But even so it seems to me that there's something going on which goes far beyond what the blue book is causing.

And actually the book itself more than hints at something like this, see here. It is clear that from a universal perspective, these are End Times, and it's playing itself out in myriad ways.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Things Take Time

I Meditate, I do Yoga, I Chant
and some days I still want to mess someone up!

The Road

"The road of enlightenment is surely onto like half a mile of broken glass."
- Mort, by Terry Pratchett

Half a mile? I wish.

Activity without competition or rules

Over fifteen years ago, but later than my first Unity experiences, I invented an activity which I gave the silly name "aesthetics chess". It consisted of two players and a chess board, and the "players" do not move the pieces to win, but instead they move a piece according to what movement they consider beautiful or interesting. A sort of dance.

I tried it with three different people at three different occasions, all of them intelligent people and occasional chess players. And all of them... couldn't do it!
They said so and stopped, all three, after less than two minutes. They simply couldn't stick to this activity without "purpose", goals, and rules. It upset them.

I think this is a rather potent illustration of how solid a grip the ego has on our desire to "win" in an activity, and also how solid a grip the human mind has on our desire for logical rules to an activity.

I am not sure which of those two limitations is most relevant here, but the second one is surely interesting. Most of us find it nearly impossible to willfully do anything which is illogical or silly.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"How does it look to you now?"

A wonderful healing process is:
"How does it look to you now?"
Just get an answer and repeat the question, until relief.
Can be used solo too.

It can be used for looking at situations, or directly at energy or mental phenomena.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What you do

"The holy spirit knows that with the exception of forgiveness, it does not matter what you do."
- The Disappearance Of The Universe, by Gary Renard

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Duane Michals

Powerful photo artist Duane Michaels talks about many things, including some that clearly indicated an awakened viewpoint.


I've realized why I'm getting less and less interested in drama, and more and more in comedy.

Drama comes from the standpoint that the things that happen to us are very real and very important.
Comedy comes from the standpoint that they are not important and maybe not even real.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Using words

Marian makes an interesting comment on the Choose Again blog, regarding the terms in A Course In Miracles.
"Why would I then take these processes, no matter how benevolent and full-of-grace they may be, and name them "Jesus and the Holy Spirit?" Why does the verb have to turn into a noun? And is that really a helpful step to take? What is the difference between bare attention to these aspects of experience, and giving them names? Isn't the giving of a name an increase in separation?"

Well, I think it is OK to name, since if you're in a well, you have to use the well to get out, even if the goal is to not be in the well. And while some people will spontaneously discover the "process" called the Holy Spirit, many will be helped by having a pointer, methinks. And it's hard to point to something which does not have a name.

But it's similar to the protest I had initially at least: why use well-known terms only to redefine all of them? Isn't that just an unnecessary detour? For example, to me, "God" is/was defined as "the person who created the Universe"... and then the first thing we learn from ACIM is that he didn't create the universe and isn't a person! Why not use a different term? (I tend to use "Source". It seems it is understandable by many.)

But I guess the answer is similar: if you are in a specific well, you need to climb up from that specific well. And many, many people in this world have instinctively reached for religious mysticism only to get stuck in religious dogma. God is what they want, not "Source". So you take it and you gently redefine it. At least that's what I guess is what the Course is doing. Of course it can only help those why are not too stuck, but that will always be the case.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

One of the awakened guys in Everyday Enlightenment speaks to me particularly. He says for example that his awakening was gradual, he didn't have the big sudden one like some have. He says:

"I think I was too mental for that. I'm a very mental person. I'm a very, very bright guy with an incredibly powerful mind, which I worked on for years. I made it. It was a deliberate effort to turn it into a powerful weapon. It's pretty hard to deal with once you've got it. It wants to run the show all the time. It's super powerful, and having constructed the "Death Star" (Star Wars metaphor) you can't deconstruct it that quickly. You've got to wear it out a bit. That was one reason why it was a slower process, more of a dissolving rather than being able to leave it behind like that.

"The mind is very helpful. The mind is a good thing in its place. Being identified with the mind is horrible. It's a state of imprisonment."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Will Durant

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
-- Will Durant

How ACIM is different

It seems to me that most people who speak about nondualism stand in sharp contrast to A Course In Miracles (and Disappearrance Of The Universe). They say stuff like: "There really isn't a person. You can't have a journey to enlightenment, because there isn't a you. You can't do anything to accomplish it. There aren't any levels. There aren't any steps on the road, and no road. You can't do anything to achieve enlightenment. It can't be done on purpose. There is no process. It only happens when you stop searching." In other words, not very helpful.

Maybe some people, unlike me, find it helpful. Maybe those people are a lot closer to enlightenment than me. So they can suddenly change their mind and get there.

In contrast, ACIM speaks on different levels, and it *does* provide things one can *do* to accomplish enlightenment. The fact that it works within the illusion to undo an illusion is of no consequence. In fact it's the only place you can work with the illusion.

Pursah in DU actually says something like this, she says that just telling people that life is an illusion does not help them very much, you have to teach them advanced forgiveness.

I think that those "most speakers" I talked about may possibly be speaking from an enlightened viewpoint, but that they have no clue how they arrived there, and so they can't help very much. They especially seem to have no clue about the existence of The Guilt, or how to deal with it. For them it's not there. Which is true, but not helpful to people who still believe it is.

Another thought on the Enlightenment stories I'm reading (the book Everyday Enlightenment): they must seem quite depressing to most people because all they say is all the time: "nothing really matters" and "you are not in control".

They are missing the ingredients the reason nothing matters is that nothing we see is real.
And that Heaven/Source *is* real, and it's what matters, and it is what we have in the end.
And that "we" are not in control because the Higher Self is, but this is also us.

Basically 90% you hear about nondualism is seen from a human standpoint, which makes it very depressing.

In most writings there is an absence of data about why is there an illusion/world, and why is there suffering. How did it come about? How do we undo it?

It seems that for people who have crossed over, the Guilt is not existing and it's like it never was. And it seems to them so easy to change your mind, why can't everybody do it?

This is why ACIM is different, and also it is more or less the only non-dualistic teaching which includes teaching about Source, or god. Which one might consider pretty damn important, since it is everything there is!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Relationship addiction

I was watching the wonderful show Dharma And Greg, an episode where Greg is going away for the first time since they got married. And Dharma freaks out, she really doesn't want him to go, and when she's alone in the double bed, she gets the dogs to get into it to fill the empty space.

And it hit me: having to have a relationship is just another addiction. It's comfort. Distracts from the pain/Guilt.

Levels of enlightenment

It seems to me that there has to be more levels of "enlightenment" than one. Just for example, Arten and Pursah says that Buddha only ended his trek in a later lifetime "which the world doesn't even know about". Clearly he had not undone all the guilt yet in the Buddha lifetime. And yet we would call him enlightened.

Also in reading about various people who have reached what seem to be stable levels of oneness and peace, some of them say that they still have phenomena like falling in love and being upset at a breakup.

Maybe we could call it levels of enlightenment, or maybe we could guess that for some there are restful plateaus on the way which are mistaken for real enlightenment.

Gary Renard interview

An older interview with Gary Renard, for some reason I'd forgotten to mention it here.

Absolutely nothing

How can the separation and the universe have happened if all is complete oneness?

I think this is one of these things we just can't understand with a human (ego) mind. The human mind is completely based on time and space, and can't think with them not being there.

One of the early experiences I had when practicing these materials is that I was looking at the Universe from outside, willing to see it as it really is. And then I saw it as being nothing. And what really impacted on me was that I saw that it was not just "nothing really" or "ultimately nothing", it is absolutely nothing.

That is a great relief (or will be), and obviously a fact which changes everything.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Money and the Guilt

[Green text is from other sites. Blue text is from comments on this blog.]

The text below is from fACIM's wonderful Q&A. (No longer a functioning answer service, but still a fantastic resource. Try using the alphabetical index.)

Q #113: I seem to have this recurring problem of never making enough money or never getting enough work for my business, especially during these periods of recession, although I am a highly-educated professional. Although over the years of practicing the process of forgive ness on this, I now have more and more peace when this problem occurs, I still get irritated and wish that I could get rid of this problem altogether and not have it occur again. From the perspective of A Course in Miracles, is there anything I else I can do to “cure” this issue? Will looking at the guilt or the origins of the guilt help in any way? What do you suggest?

A. We can only comment in general about the type of situation you have described, but it may be of help nonetheless. First, the purpose of the world is to be a place where we have an endless num ber of problems to solve. It is a smokescreen designed to hide the real problem, which is the decision we are constantly making in our minds to live separately, apart from God, as individuals, and to hold others responsible for our condition. Whether we are plagued by one recurring problem or by a multitude of problems does not matter. Problems come up in our lives because we need them to be there -- obviously, on an unconscious level. Therefore, if we are unaware of the real source of our problems (the decision in our minds) it would be fruitless to hope for a problem-free life; we would just be fighting against ourselves. Moreover, part of the ego’s strategy is to have us keep hoping that our problems can be solved, and that the day will come when we can live problem-free in the world.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Monsters in the movies, just as other powerful symbols, can teach us a lot.
Example: Frankenstein's Creature. Because of how it looked, everybody treated it with extreme fear and attacks, and it reacted fearfully and destructively. But then it met the old blind man, who couldn't see the apparently ugliness, and so just treated it as a potential friend, and they became friends. An excellent symbol of what we get back from the world is merely what we project upon it.

I enjoy movies and good TV shows a lot as relaxation. But I also use my hyper-active mind constructively by applying forgiveness when I'm watching. Double reward.