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Monday, July 9, 2012

Taming the Monster vs. Letting Go of Specialness

I'm waking up to more ways my neediness shows up.  Neediness creates the attachment/irresistible draw to special relationships...whether they be people, situations, or things. Neediness says "You are not enough, oh pathetic personal self. Consume this other thing/person/substance/situation outside you -- in endless quantities -- to make up the difference.  But!  Don't forget to run like hell before they deliver the tab, 'cuz you'll never be able to afford it."

Neediness is a cruel thing to's cruel to yourself and to others.  Neediness engenders guilt and fear and pain and a sense of owing what can never be paid. These often get buried and translated into the self or someone else.

We all deal with neediness, and we shouldn't feel bad. But we should want to undo it because ultimately it hurts. Neediness, the special relationships that we cling to...this is what causes suffering.

I am seeing how in subtle ways I have still tried to use faux "forgiveness" as a way to keep my own neediness under the rug:

  • I must feed somewhere because I am not enough. (The ego's dirge that we listen to unconsciously until it's fully exposed and let go of...a process.)
  • If I "forgive" the person/situation/problem in front of me -- i.e. overlook and keep doing what I'm doing and allowing them/myself to do what they do when it is not what I feel to be True/Right/Guided in my heart -- I can keep feeding off of them.
  • If I can keep feeding off them, I can preserve the hidden state of my own neediness.

I see that I have confused things in the world with things of the mind. I realize I have done it on purpose for the reasons above.  Not consciously, but as a deeper part of the mind chooses for the ego/personal self and isn't ready yet to let it go..this is the weird, distorted "miracle impulses" that show up.  The Purpose is good so it's got healing value, but it doesn't pack the big release that True Forgiveness offers.

The Holy Spirit reminds us we have no needs.  We don't need anything for a body or a personhood...not physically or psychologically.  But while we still think we're bodies, which we all do, He suggests we take a smaller step to get to that realization...that step is to just know all our needs are already met...or "Livin' in the given" as some Friends cheerfully say.

And with that knowing, He asks us to stop making plans, which is ego trapping us into fearful futures based on our guilty pasts. Start doing what feels right to the Heart when the Heart is in Peace with Him.  Deal with what is present Now.  Let the thoughts fly in to fill whatever seeming need unfolds right on time and not before. When they come, they are not attached to anything else...they don't drag in big stories with them.  They come from a wise source that does not misuse/abuse thinking like the ego does.

He also asks us another way -- he says "Step back and let Him lead the way."

I am seeing -- again --  that to really get to the core I must feel a lot of imagined pain first get to that Peaceful place.  This is the big problem -- this is where people like to bypass the whole mess and just bliss out.  It doesn't work that way.

Just like David says in the earlier gotta feel the hurt/anger/fear/guilt to let it go.  It is covering up where the Holy Spirit lives so we muddle around in circles...trying to hear guidance and wondering why the loudspeakers aren't working or whether it's the Holy Spirit's year off...or whether He just doesn't like us.

We gotta feel it...and it can feel like our guts are dissolving....i.e. Not Fun.

It's like going through a alcohol or nicotine withdrawal process.  All the fear/guilt/anger that the feeding business was covering up is exposed.  The ego wants/hopes we will give up and give in.  It hopes we will race over to the addiction and feed lies and says we can tame the monster by throwing it just one more carcass.

But we don't want to tame the monster anymore.  The monster never really gets tamed or's appetite is endless.  It has to be just to keep up the silly illusion that we're separate from everything.

Our guts are dissolving. We are in a cocoon, and we will break free to fly like the butterfly...but we have to work the process...we have to allow it to unfold even when it's dark and we think we're crazy 'cuz nothing looks right anymore and we hurt a lot.

I have good Hands physical and otherwise to hold as I do my current batch of toxic need-based ego pain, and I urge you to reach for One too if you find yourself relating.  And to all those who Join me in this Awakening process, I give thanks and my humble appreciation.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shadow Figures Vs The Guru

Chapter 17, Forgiveness & The Holy Relationship, Section 3 Shadows of the Past -- 

"Be willing to forgive the Son of God for what he did not do. The shadow figures are the witnesses you bring with you to demonstrate he did what he did not. Because you bring them, you will hear them. And you who keep them by your own selection do not understand how they came into your mind, and what their purpose is. They represent the evil that you think was done to you. You bring them with you only that you may return evil for evil, hoping that their witness will enable you to think guiltily of another and not harm yourself. They speak so clearly for the separation that no one not obsessed with keeping separation could hear them. They offer you the "reasons" why you should enter into unholy alliances to support the ego's goals, and make your relationships the witness to its power."

One day not long ago, I was soaking my body in a hot tub and using the quiet to watch the churning waves of thought within my mind. A situation with another person and the messages I thought I was hearing from them served as my contemplative focus point.  Suddenly, I saw this whispy shadow figure leap out of the image of the person I was seeing in my mind and run home to me.  I saw the shadow figure as a "living" story I was sending out into the world.  The story was my own, having nothing to do with Truth.  The shadow figure/story returned to me in the moment that I wanted to see, because I was, in fact, its master ...its maker.  

I was also the one who overlaid it, implanted it, repeatedly, on to various people, situations, and circumstances.  Each version of the same story was there to convince me I was a separate "me" by obliterating my Mind as my reality and reinforcing my needs, my specialness, my past/future, the world.  

The next morning, we read the above passage about just that -- the shadow figures. Perfect timing, J. as usual. 

The Brothers once said, "Invite them in for dinner like they are your orphan've been neglecting them so they run around wreaking havoc in the streets."  They were speaking about the shadow figures/projections we send out into our world.  We forget we've done it and then we cry when our own thoughts reflect crazy back to us in some situation/person.

I've been focused on listening.  Really listening.  What are you saying, and then what am I hearing?   These can be miles apart!  When I can see the shadow figure, the story, the ego meme I'm hearing come out of your mouth, then I'm finding that the only one really truly here is The Guru.  

"Guru" is not the world that ACIM would use. It's my word.  Much of my life has been spent in pursuit of the guru in various ways and forms, regardless of what it may have appeared like in the world. The big joke that I'm seeing is that He/She has always been with me. 

The bigger joke is that The Guru is only ever in my mind.  

The Biggest Joke of all is that I have actively pushed the Guru away...kicked at him with my heels....I've run as fast as I could run from his omni-Presence.  Running away from your mind is a recipe for crazy.  And that about sizes up all pain and suffering in this experience.

So let me listen to you for once.  Really listen.  Let me hear from you what I hear, and then let me own it. You are only always showing me what I believe.  And it's not even personal.  The only one I've ever been loving or hating or fearing or fighting is God. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

David Hoffmeister: Facing the Self Hatred and Rage

I muse a lot about different forms of my rage and self hatred on this blog.  All the so-called problems, moods, judgments....we know they are all thinly-veiled forms of rage and hatred.

We know because we are good students. We've studied hard and well. We are not fooled like we used to be. Still, our understanding doesn't pay the mortage, so to speak.  Forgivness pays the mortage.

Forgiveness gets more necessary the more understanding we have.  Irony!  You may have noticed that I (and you) find myself facing unadulterated MURDEROUS rage....the kind that inspired the "Twinkie defense" and 9/10ths of what the world regards as "news" more often than I wish. Yes, "after all these years" on the spiritual journey, I sometimes mutter with a proverbial sigh. It seems like I'm beside myself with strong feelings of various forms of, shall we say, unpleasantness, every other day or so.

And in between these states, I experience more states of Peace.

On a bad day, I can feel like Cybil...a very split personality. (As my husband and I were sharing earlier, Helen Shucman, scribe of ACIM, was the Queen of split personalities, so we have good company.)

And I write/muse about these experiences, because, well...they ARE my experiences. And the one thing we're here to do with each other (maybe you didn't realize we had a plan together but we did!) is be honest.

It is (the sharing, that is) "guided" by the J. fellow whispering in my ear or giving me that gut feeling/nudge that "it's time."  I never know what I'm going to write when I start a post, but always take away a big Something when I finish a post. Sharing my "uglies" -- exposing them here to the anonymous inter-world -- is the Purpose if you were wondering, because we all need some kind of Process to take us through this damn tunnel of illusory darkness as we shine the Light.

My lovely friend, David Hoffmeister -- an amazing fellow/symbol/reflection/Teacher/Gift -- reminded me today (via this YouTube video!) that feeling and exposing the rage is actually a Good Thing.  Yes, you hear me right.

We tend to think it means we've messed up, so we need these reminders often.  And I do mean OFTEN often.

We can't do this without a ton of encouragement and some symbols like those Teachers -- in our workshops, on our library shelf, and on the "inter-nuts" -- that remind us, usually with a virtual hair tousle and cheerful smile, that, yes, it's going to be damn uncomfortable, but no one ever died from being uncomfortable.  These are the folks who have spelunked through the same dark places and lived to tell about it, so we can believe, now look!  They are so damn Peaceful and Happy!

So, no, you and I aren't "wrong" or bad ACIM students.  As a matter of fact, we're right on schedule, if anyone is asking.  Ain't that nice to know? :)

See...underneath the hate is the REAL Love that the hate is trying desperately to hide with this freak show we call "the world."  But you and I know too much, and we're not satisfied with that story anymore.  We can't turn back, so we're going through....layer by steamy layer...

We fantasized in high school about it and we thought we meant boys.  We figured it out now, though, and look out!  We're going..... All.The.Way.

It looks freaky down this hole we think we're lost in sometimes, but a) we're not really lost and b) we're never alone.  And oh yeah... c) 'through' is the only way out.  We tried all the other ways and all we got is the dumb t-shirt and a credit card bill.

David talks a lot about Trust, too. It pays our way.  It greases the wheels.  I would say don't worry that your Trust account is too low, because it's like the fishes and loaves. You have just enough Trust or you wouldn't be where you are.  So put your nickel's worth of Trust in your rhinestone clutch, put on your strappy heels and fancy "going in" clothes, grab a Companion's hand, and as Bill Thetford said, Don't Forget To Laugh.

Enjoy David.....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Heaven's Peace

Heaven's Peace
by Laura S. Dudenbostel
Photo: Paul S. Olsen

Heaven's Peace

You who seemed to hurt me
And you I watched desert me
You are my Self

And you I took as lover,
And you I made my savior,
You are my Self

I roamed for eons
In a house of Mirrors
Looking for the exit
Pointing accusing fingers

You played your part for me  --
You with your many faces
Reflecting a crazy world
The one I chose to see

And Now I'm ready
 Oh so  ready
For Heaven's Peace

So tonight I finally thank You
Tonight I finally Bless You
You are my Self

Just like Christmas morning
I found your Gifts
Outside my door
You are my Self

I'm  tasting Freedom
Let's all Get Drunk on It
There's a Glass for all of us
And They never empty

If I  sober up
Will you, please, remind me
Of the Quiet Answer
The One that's Always Here

And I am Asking
I am ready
For Heaven's Peace

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dramas, anxiety, and gnat leg hairs

Oh, the little dramas that play out in my mind.  It's a constant stream of interpretation, an attempt to assign some meaning to the meaningless. Often, the little clues and signs, stories and events get strung together by my mind like beads on a necklace.  I put them together, then put them on. I wear them out and about, like a dime store wardrobe accessory that identifies me to others in that moment.

The accessory announces -- "I'm the person who knows something, has assessed a situation accurately, who has been slighted somehow or who has slighted someone else, who needs to worry about her child, worry about her future, who needs to fix a situation, heal a person, make amends for the past, etc. etc. etc."

Yes, it's all a sneaky way to make "me" -- the little 'I' -- right by making someone else wrong.   Sometimes, though, it's all about making "me" wrong, thus reinforcing the idea "I'm bad."    Either way, since "ideas leave not their source," guilt gets an extended invitation to stay.

I've also been tuning into this low-frequency anxiety within me.  It's almost imperceptible usually...but also almost always a hidden undercurrent, informing the upper spectrum of emotions and behaviors and thoughts that paint a picture of me day to day.

It's like I'm living under a giant power plant and being bombarded by electromagnetic "anxiety" emissions 24/7, but can only sense them by their absence -- and my involuntary deep sigh of relief -- when the power is shut down.

Peace makes visits now and then, thankfully, but, alas, has not unpacked to move in permanently.  Peace powers down the anxiety lines.  When Peace visits, all my stories and problems make a hasty exit out the back door without even so much as a "see ya later, bye." All that static energy gets absorbed into a great, beautiful resonant note of Quiet Joy that makes me want to sing.  Peace comes -- sometimes by surprise, most often as the result of some drama-induced epiphany -- and suddenly I'm like a rescued drowning victim, gulping huge lung-fulls of fresh oxygen.   I can't get enough.  My feet hover above the ground, and I get "the glow."

And then it slowly fades, and I hear that low "hum" again in the very depths of me.

I think there's no mistake that the stories, the dramas and the 'hum" coincide.

I'm learning to slow waaaaaaaaaay down when I perceive the hum and/or stories.  Instead of trying to do something -- even fix my thinking -- I just notice.  I try to really understand the stories being acted out inside me....give them all my attention for change, instead of trying to change the channel to something "happier."   I've even stopped trying to forgive.  I just add commentary -- like captions for the blind -- as in "I think that X is true."  (i.e. I did/said something wrong, someone else thinks I did/said something wrong, someone else did/said something wrong to me, I'm worried about the future, etc.).

And then I add,  "that means that I think God is wrong."

I do it with each part of the story....bit by bit.  I get lots of practice being as authentically honest to myself as I can.  I don't have to announce it to the world.  Just to me and Jesus.  He never judges.  And then whatever the sin was -- mine, his, or ours -- I just remind myself that it's all an "opposite" to "God is."

Half the time that's enough to make me laugh myself out of whatever snit I've been in.  It's the Laugh of Freedom, of recognizing how the impossible can never be true.

The other half of the time, it doesn't seem to "work."  When that happens, then I remind myself, "It's okay -- I'm afraid of God's love right now.  No problem.  I'd rather have my drama, my anxiety, and my me-ness. There's truly no rush."

Usually, right about then, I start getting a Peace flashback.  I may not melt into it entirely, but I can't forget it entirely either.  I feel better, too.

I think that's how this stuff works -- at least for me.  Everyday, just tuning into what is happening within the ordinary moments.  Trying hard not to run away, doing my best at the Honest Looking Business.

I used to see Peace as a destination at the end of a long journey.  Now it seems like my field of vision has warped, and I'm no longer focused on the the snowy, jagged peaks a 1,000 miles off in the distance, but on the tiniest hair on the leg of a gnat crawling on my little toe.  My eyes have looked right past a gazillion gnat leg hairs in these 46 years, and everyone of them held the Key.

The ego wants us to think waking up is a BIG LOUD THEATRICAL job with lots of excitement and Moses movie moments. But this Miracle mind training stuff, for me, is like being stranded outside the door to Home because we lost our Key.  The Holy Locksmith helps us undo each driver pin in the tumbler, one by one by one.  It's a job that takes Quiet and Focus and Nuance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crime and Punishment VS. Much Ado About Nothing

In my not a-typical, pendulum-swinging fashion, the days of Sweet Peace following my "no flat tires in Heaven" epiphany have  slowly tapered off.  Little niggling thoughts and feelings have wormed their ways back in to my Mind.  That is the ego's m.o., or, as I like to call it, the ol' "boil the frog" approach.  That means, the efficient frog boiler/ego does not grab its prey in a violent obvious way and hurl the little guys into a boiling vat of water which would risk the outcome via inevitable and passionately performed get-away attempts.

Quite frankly, if the ego did that, we'd be much quicker to see it for what it is and give it up.

No, instead, the crafty frog boiler/ego lures us into a vat of cool water/complacency.  What's worse, the ego whispers to us the whole while about how well we're doing (flattery) and how much we really deserve to take a mind-watching vacation. About then -- when we're feeling a "Wow, that is so true! I have been through so much and deserve a rest!" and we are off to get a bottle of wine to celebrate, the ego turns up the heat ...just a smidge.   "For take off the chill... and help you feel more 'settled'," the ego hurriedly reassures us.

Maybe we have a thought like "look at those fingerprints on that glass door -- every time I turn around, there's something new that needs cleaning. And I'm sure it will be up to me......again!"  We notice the thought vaguely but shove it under the mental rug (which is not the same thing as forgiveness, by the way) and sip our wine.  We try to remember "there are no flat tires in heaven," just so we don't forget that Sweet Peace feeling that we were really enjoying.  But it's kinda diminished somehow.

The hours and days and nights seem to pass.  It gets warmer and warmer.  If we're really honest, we see our Sweet Peace is becoming, well, more just a memory now, not an experience.  But let's give ourselves a break, ok?  (The ego was just saying that we are too hard on ourselves as it was putting away the wine opener).  We are doing our best, and besides....we're too busy to think about that right now.

All these problems need to be dealt with!

The problems at this point are "tiny" (in our ego-ordered hierarchy of problems, that is) and somehow worthy of our attention, yet not our Vigilance.  Daily schedules, chores, aches and pains...they all present various "problem" scenarios. Kids are rich sources of "problems;"  work that we do for money is another.  Relationships -- especially the ones that live with you, although that is not a requirement, nor is it key that the favorite problem relationship be with a still-living person -- offer an endless supply. Or you find house problems, car problems, computer problems, pet problems, yard problems, economic problems, political problems......yadda yadda yadda.

Ever so slowly, the ego turns up the heat.  Sooner than we'd like to acknowledge, we are back to simmering in our guilt and fear and blame.

But that's nothing to feel bad about.  Nope.  You see, "feeling bad about feeling bad" is just another trick the ego uses on us. The best a student can do is just to notice and then go back to the mind for a chat with that other Fella Who's always right there waiting for us to remember to turn to Him.

Me:  "Okay, Jesus, now, this time you have to admit it -- I really tried!  I was trying to think with You when Costco didn't have my tire and my kid got a D and I got frustrated at a meeting at work and I had all those judgment thoughts about myself --  but I still can't find my Sweet Peace spot again. IT'S NOT WORKING!"

Jesus:  "HEY Sport!  I LOVE You!"   **tousles my hair like I'm 8 years old**

Me:  ::sigh:: "Yeah, yeah, I know...I love you too, Jesus.  But did you hear what I said?  I need you to tell me what I'm doing wrong.  I'm taking notes.  Just give it to me straight -- I was doing GREAT, and then I was doing Okay.  But now I have the fear/guilt feelings up..and compared to Sweet Peace, they really...well.....suck."

Jesus:  "Yes, yes, good, good....but I gotta say I LOVE it when you are this way!"   **tousles my hair some more and offers me a lifesaver....I take cherry**

 (Quiet pause as we suck -- in the cherry-lifesaver sense --  for a while.)

Jesus:  "See, what you need to remember in times like these --and bully for you, by the way, that you noticed so quickly how miserable you are and turned to me -- is Faith."

Me:  "Faith? Jesus, are you going all religious on me all of a sudden??"

Jesus:  "Actually, let me rephrase -- you need to look at what you have invested your Faith in and see if it is giving you the results you want."

Me:  "I'm guessing you are being rhetorical in that last part...and that maybe that's a hint?"

Jesus:  "YOU are GOOD today!  I need a HIGH FIVE!"

Me:  "Wait, I need more help because I really GET that there are no stuck kitties or flat tires in Heaven.  Or kids with D's or dirty dishes or ...well, all that stuff.  But I am not FEELING tell me what I'm doing wrong!  Please, I mean."

Jesus:  "See, behind each of those 'problems' you cataloged so thoroughly there's a secret 'problem' the ego has you believing in.  And because you put your Faith in that dime-store crap story, you just keep generating more proverbial flat tires. And, more importantly, bad thoughts which lead to bad feelings."

Me:  "Jesus, you've shocked me...I feel a bit speechless. I've never heard you say 'crap' before."

Jesus: "What can I say...I'm a straight-shooter." (mutters a sideways comment near my ear) "With your vocabulary?  'Shocked'?"

Me:  ::giggle:: "Okay, no not shocked...I guess I just liked that you said 'crap' maybe You aren't the Perfect One all the time....makes me feel closer to you somehow."

Jesus:  "Ah, but you see that's where you've got it wrong!  I am the Perfect One all the time.  And so are you.  Which is a good segue into the crap Ego story, which is essentially this --

You committed a crime against God.  
You are a sinner. 
You must be punished.
Be Very Afraid.
Joining God will mean YOUR DEATH!

Me:  "Okay, yeah...I think you've mentioned this before in different ways.  But isn't that actually kinda  Like, don't I lose 'me' -- the 'me' I think I am -- if I join with God at Home?"

Jesus:  "You think that's a question -- but really it's an argument for the ego.  Let me ask you this:  Could this so-called losing of your 'laura' identity really be all that bad if being 'laura' makes you feel so (in your words) sucky?"

Me:  "Not feeling it, J...try again."

Jesus:  "To put it another way, oh Grumpy One, how can you lose what you never had?  Or try this one:  When will you be ready stop torturing yourself with various forms of suffering?"

Me:  "Okay, you had me at 'suffering.'" 

Jesus:  "That's my little reformed martyr!"

Me:  "I'm feeling better...I think you are having that Effect on me again."

Jesus:  "That's because we are healing Cause."

Me:  "Okay, but one more thing bothers me.  There are all these things -- responsibilities, chores, tasks, etc. -- that I just don't want to do.  I try doing them.  I try NOT doing them.  Either way I feel bad -- either resentful or miserable/bored."

Jesus:  "Yes, it's that whole Time drudgery...a common trap, even among the jet-setters, if you will believe it.  Here's a trick, which is actually a fast-track to Truth:  Approach each task, each moment, as though you have never done that thing before and never lived in any moment than the one that is NOW."

Me: "Huh..."

Jesus:  "Time is another ego device -- surprise.  And it can be a worse form of suffering than the hair shirt or bed of nails.  Save yourself the pain, and drop the past and future.  I swear to you once you are a Present Moment-er, you'll never go back. And let me add one last note....

The whole sleight-of-hand parlor trick of Time  keeps you believing in Crime and Punishment, instead of God's story about the whole thing -- Much Ado About Nothing.  Don't look back in the rear-view mirror, and don't worry about the map of the future.  Keep your eyes on the road in front of you.  And crank up the good tunes!  I love it when you do that!"

I love You when I do that, too, Jesus.  I love You. short:

Vigilance for Heaven must be my only Purpose now.  Whereas I've become a master at 911's, I need to stand guard of my mind ESPECIALLY when there are no crises to jolt me out of complacency.

Ego thought and I are in the match of a doesn't get any more Karate Kid than this.  If I don't watch my p's and q's -- the thoughts floating in my awareness -- and if I don't use all the so-called little stuff to Forgive the world in exchange for Heaven Now, I suffer.  I need to be especially sensitive to any Time thoughts that creep their way in....shoulda/woulda/couldas or what if's are always red flags for the ego.  As are feelings of anxiety about future, regret about past, boredom in the present.

When they appear, I can remember the Truth.  I am Innocent. My Home is Joy.  When I am with you and you are sharing your story/calling for Love, I can remember YOU are INNOCENT and Happiness is your due...and that we have the same desire for Knowing only that.

Ego thoughts seem so much worse when I can compare the feelings they create with the Sweet Peace that remembering Truth brings.  It's like before I experienced them as daily nuisances --like an annoying hang nail.  Now what they induce in me feels like a bad case of the plague.

And that's just all the more motivation to be Vigilant.... reminds me of the old joke:

*patient/me slapping his/my head*  says, "Doctor/Jesus, it hurts when I do this! What should I do?!"

Jesus:   "Have a lifesaver."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vigilance Part 2: "There are no flat tires in Heaven"

I didn't know the last post about "stuck kitties" and vigilance was going to be a two-parter.  Actually, as I write, it occurs to me that everything else must be a sequel to Vigilance, isn't it?

I'm always Choosing what to see FIRST.  Then I look with my eyes, but I see nothing unless I chose Truth/Love.  Assuming I've Chosen the Right Teacher, then no matter where I am and what I'm looking at, all I see are Purple Unicorns and Rainbows and Utter Silliness that often results in fits of those unstoppable Truth Giggles.

So, yes, I got that one good this time.  And the kitties and I are on friendly petting terms again,  Ray isn't hiding from me (at the moment), and I'm back to my normal self.

Wait, no, I'm better than normal. Let me explain, but I have to go back a few weeks.

I've said it before that sometimes Jesus uses the strangest ways to talk to me -- I've seen his work in billboards along the freeway, movies, passages in books, tea leaves. He often uses my kids to speak to me -- they are veritable "burning bushes" at times.

Which is why I should have known a big SHIFT was on its way when my just-turned-13 year old made this statement:  "Mom, I'm Happy all the time now.  I just decided to be -- and now I am.  And nothing bothers me at all...ever."

The darnedest thing about this is that I've SEEN the change in him with my own acute mother-eyes.  This kid's nickname since he was old enough to cast us his first and peerless "world class scowl" as his Grandpa named it (which I think was when he was 2) has been "Contrary Larry."  He's bright (always) and sweet (at times) and adorable (often), and yes, I have always felt very close to him and love him dearly.  But for 11 years since he figured out how to show displeasure, he's also had "a dark side."

It's hereditary. Like his mother, he wears his heart on his sleeve.  Unlike his mother, he's had no need for masks to cover up his moodiness and has instead announced every variation in his mood to the world, as in --

"WORLD, I'm feeling very ANGRY right now, and it's YOUR fault and I'm NEVER talking to you again!  We're Finished!!"

But a few weeks ago, something clicked.

Since the night of The Grand Declaration I see him NOT be bothered by his older brother (miracle!), or by Ray (when his inner 12 comes out) or by me.  I see him writing things down in a notebook he keeps with him always that he wants to remember. Little things he wants to share with me, big things he needs to remember for school.  He even wrote it down when I asked him to remind me to take the chicken out of the freezer to thaw...and then remembered, but just quietly, without mentioning it, did it himself.

Oh. My. God.  Anyone with a pre-teen/teenage boy will know this is a freakin' MIRACLE!

And I see him not taking things people say as hurtful criticism. Get a load of this:  I got an automatic alert email from the school system that one of his science projects had a sub par score, so I turned to him and gently said (before I braced for the reaction of an overachiever-wannabee-butnotquiteis-abee), "Hey Paul, I see you got a 20% of your [whatever it was] assignment."  He paused for a brief second and then threw up his hands victoriously, and said, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!  Twenty Percent! WooHOO!"

And even as we both acknowledged it was humorous, the Joy did not seem faked.  The Joy was real.

It's like he's in on the Big Joke -- "the tiny mad idea at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh" -- at a deep level, even though he doesn't consciously know it.  And I doubt seriously (ok, doubt? red flag for myself to look at later, but I'll continue) he'll live his life from here without a bad day or a problem or a fear.  But something has changed.

It's like Jesus is shining through that face I thought was my son's all these years.  Oh my goodness...Jesus, is that you?

Yes, in fact, It is.  Jesus is in every One of us....we ARE Jesus.

Whoa...this is getting heavy...or Light....or MIRACULOUS!

So anyhooo...back to me.

One of my big pleasures and life-long hobbies is playing guitar and doing a bit of singing/songwriting. For decades I have put on great concerts for my cats and house plants.  Recently, however, it has been signaled to me through various "burning bush" stand-ins that my classroom needs to change.  In other words,  there is a great hunk of Guilt lurking in the fear that I experience around performing, and Jesus has been saying in so many words -- "Hey about dealing with this particular form of your silly fear/guilt thing with me at last?  I promise it will be worth the effort. No?  Okay, how about now? No still? Okay, I'll wait...Okay, how about NOW?"

Of all people, I've been invited to perform at a music festival in the summer. It's for A Course In Miracles types, so I know they'll all be "forgiving" and everything, but still. I have been absolutely paralyzed at different points as I have contemplated a crowd listening to/looking at me. I feel the fear as though it were happening right now -- my throat closes, my larynx fills with phlegm from nowhere, my hands shake so I can't hold the guitar, and my mind immediately blanks on the words, chords, or even what the hell I'm supposed to do next.  And this is all when I'm just thinking about the future as I try to go to sleep for the night.

But over the weeks and months since the invitation, things have started to shift a bit.  I've seen the ego behind the curtain of fear:  The "look at me!" demand at God (who looks right through us and never sees the individual "self" we want to be) at war with the "I am sinful!" belief.  Back and forth, the ego tugs the rope, so we'll stay off balanced and never notice The Truth of how there's no one here but Ourselves.  There's no one to fail or to impress.  Only One Self to Love.

Along with these deeper insights of old intellectual ideas, since the shift started, connections with beautifully supportive and talented people have been made, opportunities have occurred to play for 1 person at a time (and not die), etc.  I have felt each little "miracle" and "holy encounter" chip away at the seeming bedrock of fear.

Most recently, through a great Facebook connection with an old music friend/teacher/amazing performer, I found out about a regular "open mic" for a wine bar where he manages the music. I tried to go there a few weeks ago. The few days leading up to The Night I was fine, but the night before I didn't sleep at all, and the day of I was sick -- I even manifested a sore throat and mild temperature.  Then the skies opened up and absolutely poured rain like they were never going to stop.  I still contemplated making the 2 hour trek over there, but in the end, I bailed.

Score  -- Ego:  1   Me:  0

But this week was another chance.  It was after my "stuck kitties" lesson, and I was feeling the Love.  I'm still feeling great.  Not because anything great is happening, but because I can feel so clearly that there's nothing between me and Joy except what I put's all MY dream.  This whole thing is a big, silly dream, and if we Choose Love, we just row our boats merrily, merrily, merrily along.

So I get in the car to go row my boat merrily merrily merrily down the freeway.  I'm singing all the way to warm up, the sky is clear as a bell, and the ambient air temperature is a comfortable 70.  Everything is perfect!  I get a little confused driving but I'm told "keep going" and after 9 miles or so of hoping I took the right turn, I see a sign that confirms that I had -- "YES!!!"  I yell aloud to no one and everyone. "Thank you Jesus for yet another Beautiful Reflection of Your Support!"

The words have hardly left my lips when I start to hear a funny sound.  And then it's a funny LOUD sound. And I notice a strange vibration -- ooh, and that funny dash light that looks like an exclamation point inside two parentheses turns on...the one that means I have a flat tire.

Oh wow!  I have a flat tire on the freeway!

I knew it was the old ego rearing its head again, trying to get a good battle going, trying to get a chance to sink its ugly teeth into my weak spots.  But I was not fooled.  I saw it, smiled at it, and continued feeling the Love.  The ego had no chance at winning this time. I did a mental inventory of my thoughts -- I found "disappointment" "fear" "doubt" "I told you so"  and the sneakiest one -- "Thank You, God, for saving me from embarrassing myself by 'giving' me a flat tire to prevent me from making it to the open mic" -- trying to skulk away and hide as I shone my Light in my mind.  I quickly gave them the boot, at which point the space they left was quickly filled by a new mantra that floated in from Some Inspired Source:

"There are no flat tires in Heaven."

I was in Peace again!  I rolled off the exit, turned on my emergency flashers, and floated into a driveway where I found a nice wide-open  "no parking...for emergencies only" space where I could stop. I had only a sketchy idea where I was, but in another turn of great "luck" I was directly in front of a restaurant.  That and my hunch that I was in Puyalllup were enough for the AAA dispatcher and tow truck driver to find me.

There were so many holy encounters -- people going in to eat, the dispatcher at AAA who lived right where I was stuck and knew exactly how to get where I was, my musician friend who encouraged me to come whenever I could because I was so close and we could still have a lot of fun.

I waited in the glorious sunshine after I'd made all the phone calls that needed to happen and basked in the Peace.  I had let go of the outcome, but still had this feeling of certainty that I would make it to the open mic.

The tow truck driver arrived, and he and I didn't stop sharing and laughing the whole time he fixed my tire.  It seemed to take only a moment, I was having such fun.  He had the little "premie" tire on the car lickety-split and I was ready to hit the road.  From the first hint of a funny noise to getting back on the boat to row merrily some more, it had been only 45 minutes.

The rest of the evening went pretty much like you'd expect.  I had some nerves, but, man, I'd had so many Miracles and Gifts of Insight by now that I just mostly ignored them.  I let'r rip.  I had the chance to play a whole set with my favorite dear teacher, who is also an amazing professional performer.  I made new friends.  I had so much fun it's hard to describe.

And I kept something in my mind the whole time I was on stage that made the difference -- it had come to me a few days earlier while I was having an excruciating experience practicing alone with my new amp and mic:

"You are Supported in Every Move ....and Every Note.  
Feel how Supported You Are by the Instrument, the Amplification, the Notes, the Vocal Chords in your neck, the Song as has been Crafted by your Brother.  

Feel How the Universe Supports You Always, Including Now." 

And I did.  And I was. And I am.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"There are no stuck kitties in heaven" or "Vigilance for what again?"

One morning not long ago, I woke up to a vision of death and destruction so technicolor in its gruesomeness that I was shaken to my core.  Unable to contain the flood of emotion that arose like volcanic lava when the full gravity of the situation hit me, I burst into tears before I knew what came over me.

It seems that Claire and Francis (brother and sister, yes, but saints, no) had been very busy during the night.  As I stumbled out the bedroom door to make my way to the kitchen coffee pot, a trail of dead baby blue jays, their barely formed (but surprisingly large!) bodies splayed out before me, made a trail of tears down the hallway.  The darling "kitties" had evidently used the back door in our room -- the screen door with the hole that they had carved out for themselves so they wouldn't have to disturb us to let them in and out -- to haul in their victims/loot all night.

What was worse was that "mom" and "dad" blue jay were no strangers.  No, they had been like members of the family.  We watched them work together as a happy domestic couple to painstakingly create their nest out of little scraps and dried up plants from last year that they scavenged off our deck.  We, the cat keepers, watched them make it, we did, right in our rhododendron -- right in front of the dining room picture window where we could admire their nesting business like we were watching a Wild Kingdom episode on t.v.  Right where Claire would sit in her kitty scratching post and enjoy the show.

This morning, we knew "mom" and "dad" had lost their poor helpless offspring...and probably watched the whole gory murderous attack without being able to do a thing to stop it.  Their poor babies!   These babies that were the sum total of so much labor and attentive sitting and responsible feeding and hope for the future....these poor babies who never hurt anything and had no chance to live!

All of that beauty -- murdered!  What's more, we, in our failure to at least try to thwart the inevitable by taking apart the nest or keeping the cats indoors or doing something/anything to avoid what I could see now was an inevitable baby bird massacre, were complicit to the crime.

But, no, I had been in denial. I had thought it was "cute."

As I was trying to pull myself together on the couch, Francis swaggered out, licking his lips. He had this "what are you looking like that at me for....I was just the look out" expression, but we were having none of his act. It should have been coffee and petting time, but all we could see was a murderer.  I, for one, was going to give no affection to this very bad cat -- in fact, I was imagining taking him and his unsaintly sister to the pound.

Punish the guilty ones!!!

I should probably stop saying "we" as though there were someone here sharing my confused, ego-induced perceptions.  It was really just me.  Ray, who decided to make himself scarce for a while, thought I had temporarily gone insane.  Ray was right.

What's more, I knew I had gone insane, too.  A part of me was sitting back watching myself think, feel, act, and speak like a lunatic.  I was shocked by the force of the anger and grief and guilt and desire to punish within me.

As I tried to pull myself together on the sun room couch, all I could see out the window -- in what is normally a lovely panoramic view of the best of Pacific Northwest nature -- was murder.  Even the cute little hummingbirds were in on the evil, bullying each other and trying to horde the food.  Birds elsewhere were murdering worms and bugs, cats were murdering birds, hawks were murdering cats, coyotes were murdering deer, neighbors were murdering deer, deer were murdering our young apple trees, trees were  murdering the grass, grass was murdering garden flowers, garden flowers and the "special love" they induced were inviting people to murder the "weeds".....

You get the picture.

Just now I can't really find the words right now to describe how completely horrifying it was to take in that scene in that moment.  Just then as I watched myself really getting freaked out  -- like the entire world had become one giant Psycho Shower Scene in my mind and there was no way to turn it off and nowhere to hide -- I turned to Jesus in my mind.

Me:  What the hell!?  HELP!

Jesus:  Yep.

Me:  HELLO?????  I said, "HELP!"  I'm NOT KIDDING THIS TIME.

Jesus:  Nope. Yep.

Me:  What is wrong with YOU???? It's like a horror picture down here!  Everyone's killing everyone else!  Even You said that a freakin' (okay, you didn't say "freakin'" ...actually that was just me) annoyance is just the same as murder.  SO????? GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!

Jesus:  *sigh*  Maybe you need a another cup of coffee. ::smile::

He was right.  I did actually need a cup of coffee just then, if only to switch my mind into doing something gentle and helpful.  I ground the beans, did some deep breathing while I waited patiently for it to brew, took out the customary two cups, filled Ray's and brought it back to our office as a Peace Offering. He smiled cautiously, looked at me carefully, thanked me for the cup, and stayed right where he was, busy at his desk.

I returned to the couch.

After I sipped my first cup and poured my second, I tried again.

Me:  Jesus?  You there still?

Jesus:  Always.  Feel better yet?

Me:  Yeah.  So what is all this about?  Right about now -- boy, do I want the Peace of God.  What I really can't figure out is how I could get this upset over something so trivial. Me, after all these years of forgiveness and mind training!

Jesus:  Actually, back up there ... you are getting ahead of yourself.  Say that first thing again....

Me:  You mean the part about how I want the Peace of God?

Jesus:  BINGO.  Good... let's just rest there for a minute.  Sip your cup.

Hmm.  Okay, I followed the instruction, although it seemed a bit lacking in "fixi-ness" for lack of a better word.  I thought "I want the Peace of God."  I felt the words echo through me. I felt how true they were.  For Real.  I hated the feeling of horror.  I wanted more than anything that feeling that all is taken care of, all is safe, all is comfortable, all is accepted, all is blessed, all is welcome.  Scratch that -- I wanted to feel those ways about myself!  I wanted to feel taken care of, safe, comfortable, accepted, blessed, welcome!  Yes, Yes, Yes!  That's what I really really want for me, the birds, all the baby whatevers everywhere...everyone!!!

*after a pause*

Jesus:  mmmmmmmmmmmm...... doesn't that feel nice?  So now that you are clear on what you want, let me tell you a big secret -- I think you are ready for it.  In fact, I think you are begging for it.  So here it goes:

You are still looking for Love in the illusion.  This is the equivalent of Seek but do not Find.  You will only Find Love where it is -- In Your Mind.  Once you Choose it in your Mind, you will never see anything in the illusion as anything else but 
Love or a Call for Love.


I let that sink in.  The sinking is still happening, as a matter of fact.  I can feel that a by-product of the sinking business is a further sloughing away of the the need/desire/inclination/compulsion to judge.  It's feeling impossible to hold on to both, as it, in fact, actually is.

Judgement, I'm ready to drop you like a bad habit. Because you are. And you never brought me anything I Want.

Never. Not once.

Why is it I can hear the same things over and over and yet they seem brand new on days like these?  It's like before I read them as bumper stickers on the car ahead of me -- they catch my attention, I chuckle or utter a knowing "oh yeah!", I share them a few times, and I think I really have it.  But then the car drives on and so do I.  We go our different directions and the idea fades.

Or maybe I just shelve it in favor of my own ideas.  Yes, that's it, actually.  That's honest.

But it never fails that there will come the day when the pain of choosing the wrong teacher has my motivation in Olympic Athlete Condition.  I feel the same bumper sticker line -- "out there" on the fender someplace ahead of where I am in this moment --like a tattoo on my heart that couldn't possibly be more present-moment with me, more internal, more permanently etched.  Then I know I will never forget.

I can never "find" love in the illusion.  I will never find it in the mirror -- the one in the bathroom or the one that is the "world" that reflects back to me.

We don't find love.  We Choose it.  Then whatever we see shows up as part of the Kingdom of Heaven, as it were.  What seems to be anti-Love is only something we put there.

"Great!" we learn to think and really mean when we run into the next thing that scares us, ticks us off, tests our patience, has us comparing ourselves to others or feeling insecure. "That's my next opportunity to remove the barriers that I have put in my mind to God's Love.  It has to be that, because there is nothing else Real out there.  And I know what I Want."

Back to the kitty saga, a few days later, Claire -- who may have been/who-am-I-kidding-probably-was up the tree hunting more baby birds -- got stuck (for the 5th time, by the way...) in a nice, tall fir tree behind our house.  For days and nights she sat up there howling for help.  Too high for a ladder, she found her cries only generated episodic spurts of ineffectual "Are you still up there? Come on down, Claire!"'s.

I've been watching my mind since this chapter started.  It's secretly wanted to revel at the justice, then has panicked at the thought of death by dehydration (especially on day 4 during the 84-degrees out there).

Back and forth, the mind flops trying to find a solid place to rest.  But there's no solid place "out there."

This morning, after 30 minutes of fighting blackberry vines to get close enough to maybe hopefully coax her down (like if only she could see how close I really was and how much I REALLY wanted her down now, she'd put her head below her butt -- a cat's biggest nightmare -- and climb down the right direction), I found myself on the aforementioned couch, sans stuck kitty, sipping the regulatory morning cup of coffee.

I thought about my thoughts about the tree-bound Claire.  I did an honest assessment of my judgments and realized I actually thought this was Cat Karma --

A part of me was saying: "Oh you who think you are so immune!  Slaughter defenseless bird babies for fun, eh Sinner? Mother Nature will send your biggest nightmare to teach you a lesson -- The Tree and death by dehydration....or worse!"

I noticed the thoughts and then went to my Mind for some help from You-Know-Who.  Jesus was quiet for a change.

After coffee, Ray and I read our A Course in Miracles section like we've been doing for a few weeks every morning.  Our new method is to take turns opening the book randomly.  Today it was my turn.  I opened a page that was all about Vigilance.

Nicely played, Jesus.

You can do a search yourself to see how many times Vigilance is discussed by Jesus.  It's a theme actually.  Basically, He's saying we need to be Vigilant FOR the Kingdom of Heaven and nothing else.  That's not a religious idea, even thought it's a religious-sounding phrase.  He's telling us we have to constantly -- and He means that literally for a change -- be Choosing Love over everything else we think we might be seeing (with those eyes that can't possibly see looking at a world that isn't there....remember that!)

Ken Wapnick might remind us that instead of "trying" to Choose Love constantly, we can simply notice how often we're NOT Choosing it.  Ultimately, it's the same thing, except Ken's twist maybe means we spare ourselves the agony of creating yet another spiritual mask we have to undo.  At least that's my take on his take.

So we finished our reading and we closed our eyes like we do to meditate a few minutes.  I thought about "Stuck kitty in tree" and "the Kingdom of Heaven."   The two ideas seemed contraindicated, because, well, they are.  You won't find stuck kitties in Heaven.  Or bird murderers.  Or sinners of any kind. Or the guilt I feel daily that shows up as insecurity, frustration, anxiousness, excitement.  You just don't find those things.

And that's a good thing.

I remembered what I wanted, and I said to myself, "Self, there's no stuck kitties in Heaven, and I want the Peace of God."  I knew for a moment Claire's fine, I'm fine...ultimately we aren't even here.  We're totally blissed out, loving endlessly in Endless Love.  And I can be there now, too.  And I was for a while.

A few minutes later, I was at my desk checking work email, and Ray came up behind me.  I was not really wanting to be distracted just then, but he persisted in trying to get my attention, so I turned around.

"I thought you might like to say 'hello' to someone.  She was climbing up the hill to the door when I went to check on her."


There are no stuck kitties in Heaven.

Or in my mind, which is where Heaven is.  And all the Love I Want, too.  It's right Here.

What's delicious weirdness is that Claire seems totally confused about why we keep fussing over her.  She shows not the least sign of needing recovery time from any "ordeal." She did last time she was stuck this long for sure.  It makes the mind boggle... but those are unimportant details about the dream that don't really lead anywhere helpful, I've found.

Instead let's focus here.  Every moment is a portal to what you and I always Wanted but were afraid wouldn't Want us back.  Or it's what we don't want because it means we don't get to keep our idea that we're separate. Oy.

Either way, when we want It more than the illusory 'it' -- no matter what kind of "problem" our wanting shows up as in the moment - It (the Answer, the Solution, the Love) is Right Here.  It's too good to be true almost, yeah?

Yeah, almost -- almost for sure, in fact, if you and I try to find it where it's not.  

But exactly True when we Choose it where It Is.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"The Secret of Forgiveness" by Burt Harding

Here's a gift I received from the Holy Spirit today, and now it's a gift I offer to you -- My hope is that it takes these ideas that have been developing -- and that now are like a big, round basket ball balancing oh so delicately on the skirted rim in your mind -- and does a happy SLAM DUNK!

Let's join minds for a big high-five. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Hopeless but not serious" or The Real Conspiracy

Let's go down a Rabbit Hole.  We'll do it together and bring the Holy Spirit with us, so we don't get too lost.  (He's even more helpful than breadcrumbs...)

Here's a confession: I'm one of "those" people...I would probably be bucketed quickly as a "conspiracy theorist" by both the folks who rely on CNN to serve them up their world view between commercials and the spiritual people people who have given up worldly news altogether.

I am not happy about this somewhat alienating state I've found myself in.  I mean, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up is a moderately successful NICE person. This conspiracy stuff does not fit in with my idea of who I ought to be in this world, but here I am.  As the joke goes, "if you want to give God a laugh, tell him your plans." Or as Byron Katie says, "when I argue with reality, I lose...but only 100% of the time."

It's been a long five years of allowing my feeling of "something is not right" and the questions that would bubble up if I allowed them to penetrate the resistance to lead me. It's led into a lot of dark areas where it's not safe to roam for long stretches at a time. It's also NOT yielded many solid answers, although this inquiry has led me to certainty within myself that things of the world are not as they are purported to be.

I'm not really saying much, I realize, but the point of this post is not to educate you on the various forms of manipulation and viciousness that fear/guilt take in the illusion, nor pop any of your worldview bubbles.  (You have libraries and the Internet for that.) And anyway, "the real story" -- whatever it may be -- has so many facets that you can pretty much spin the wheel and pick the one that suits you.

If it seems hypocritical (or "mistaken") to you that a person who focuses on a non-dualistic spirituality which only says about 10,000 times "there is no world" would wind her way down these rabbit holes looking for answers in the very same world that doesn't exist -- well, I hear you. I have questioned the very same thing about myself.  The last time was probably only 20 minutes ago when I decided to write this post.

When I ask the Holy Spirit --which I do regularly -- I know resisting this inquiry is not the right action.  Resistance makes persistence.  Taking His Hand, and following the steps on my Path...the one shown to me by the events that unfold before me and the impulses that my path. Evidently.

(Yes, and I realize it's not true inquiry at the level of the ego, but propaganda..but that's another post.)

Yes, evidently, there's no mistake that you and I were seemingly born at the time we were to be alive during this time.  (I won't say "seemingly" over and over, but you need to get that I get that this is a dream.) Hence, avoiding the very things that seem to confront me seems like a good way to avoid taking the very steps that will take me Home.  NONE of the steps are real, since I never left Home, of course, so given that, why not keep it simple and engage where I am? (which is where I'm not...I know...but it's where I brush my teeth every day, and that's about as good of a stake in the ground as any, classroom-wise.)

Why is this important to me, I ask myself?  Well, for a very long time, I've thought I needed to do something to be a better person, student, spiritual seeker, whatever, so that I could finally drop all these worldly concerns (before politics, it was career building and before that relationships, etc. etc.) and accept something holier, more spiritual, more loving as ""a path."  Something "suitable" for a good ACIM student. LOL!

What's more, I see now that deep down, beneath my conscious awareness but just barely, I was pretty sure there must be something waiting for me that would be clearly more worthy...if only I could get my forgiveness/mind training skills in Olympic Game condition and finally reach the ring.

This hypothetical path would probably hold out lots of goodies, too. (I see NOW that I thought that.) It would appear to the world as a "good Path." YAY!  I would be APPROVED of by some group of people -- while I would deny I needed approval -- and I would noticeably help others "out there" in ways I could see with my body's eyes.

I am chuckling at myself. :)  Yes, I have dabbled in those ideas, and they have been projected on to countless others by my ego.

But that's just all more ego story-telling and identification, isn't it. It's not really IT, is it. No, I don't really think the IT I expected to find, a "Peace that passeth understanding" coupled with a driving force of guidance that is so overpowering the waves would part, is anything more than what I experience during a good day now.

My specific Guidance -- the only constant I can name -- has been to just focus on Honesty.  Me 'n secrets. Just Honesty. 

If I am just Quiet -- and very Honest (meaning keeping a little part of my mind free of judgement of my own or an agenda/identity that I'm trying to keep alive like those spinning plates on top of the acrobat's long sticks) -- there is an Extraordinary Ordinariness that has been revealing Itself.  Sometimes when I seem to be helping another.  Yet also when I seem to be plowing through the world of the ego and flattering myself about my Sherlock Holme's skills. It seems that only a part of my mind is necessary.  I can still do what I do and notice.

It's all part of that Acceptance we were talking about last time.  Being non-resistant to what seems to be flowing, unfolding.  Just allowing it all, and then watching my own responses in any situation I am in.  How hooked do I get?  How "excited" by the gory details?  How does it begin to trigger fear?  Where do I need to be "right?"

I watch.  I notice.  I keep Truth at my side, and try to remember to hug It close when I have gotten too mesmerized for too long.

In fact, maybe this is the biggest lesson for me thus far -- that when the things that unfold within me do not happen to look "spiritual" then this is the very time that this Acceptance stuff is necessary.  Why? Because here's the big secret I just learned --   

The last thing I want to do is replace my identities of the world with a "spiritual" identity, which is just another way to keep the guilt and bury it deeper.  

Not this time. I have a feeling there are quite a few lifetimes in my sordid past like that. ;) And actually avoiding spiritual "behavior"/identity all together is a very hard thing not to do.  So just like a pie-crust promise -- easily made, easily broken --I throw it out, but I keep the lesson, which can be summarized this way:

There is nothing to become or that can unfold, etc. that can be taken seriously at all.  

But anyway, back to my confessional.  I've been learning something else, too.  Conspiracies are all alike, a dime a dozen really.  They are petty distractions meant to obfuscate the Real Conspiracy.  Hey, man, make your picket signs....this is where the heart of the matter is.  This is where it is all f'd up!  It's the missing capstone on the pyramid, dude!

The Real Conspiracy --which is the mother of all world's conspiracies -- is that the ego is a big, freakin', gargantuan, other-worldly deal to be reckoned with.  It's message is this  -- "Be very, very scared."

The Real Conspiracy, which is another way to say ego, is nothing more or less than this at its core:

1) Something outside of you has power over you.

Having defined the problem, like all good puppet-masters, the ego defines the answer:

2) You need to DO something to save yourself, save your world...but it's going to be a long Lord-of-the-Rings-esq ordeal, and pain and death are almost certain, except for a chosen few.

And finally, just to make sure you stay far, far away from the heavenly Whistleblower/Holy Spirit, the ego programs you over and over (any time you'll listen, that is) that --

3) God and His Love are at worst superstitious nonsense for the weak-minded, and at best quaint ideas that are nice on Sunday but which will leave you totally S.O.L. when the S.H.T.F.

It's an ingenious plan, really.  Indeed, fear within gets mirrored by the world without....which feeds the fear within, which gets mirrored without. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The situation is hopeless, but not serious. I'm not going to lie. At face value, it's a screwed up world with a lot of nasty ugliness playing out. But its our script.  Here the world seems to be, and here you and I seem to be, and so let's get to work. Forgiveness/Acceptance is all about Looking.  And you don't have to go out of your way to find things to forgive, either. An annoyance is the same thing as murder.  (Hey, I did not write ACIM! I'm just the messenger!)  It's all the same.

Here's my best non-advice advice. Just live your life and do what you do.  But keep a part of your mind aware that that the only Purpose behind doing anything is Forgiveness. Be particularly vigilant when you want to change something or make something into something else.

We look without Judgement, and then we notice how we can't do that. Again. And then we just remind ourselves why: "I'm just afraid -- not of the end of the world on 12-21-2012, or the Illuminati, or the Reptilians, or my fat thighs -- but of God.  I just keep reliving that same fear. So what else is new?"

There's a peace that comes when you know why you are really afraid or upset. You just experienced the Miracle. That's it.. no burning bush.  Just a Sweet Calm. We reach for His Hand again. We do it over and over and over.

You do it in your way in your classroom, and I do it in mine.  We go through our little fixations -- conspiracy theories, raising families, running a church.  They come, then go.  Along the way, the part of us that is Untouchable by the world Forgives.  That's what undoes the whole darn web of nothing and restores our Real Identity to our awareness.

On Waking Up is back: A New Beginning

I started sharing ideas at On Waking Up in 2010, almost 7 years ago now. Prior to that I'd studied A Course in Miracles for many years...