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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.

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...