Monday, December 18, 2006

The Main Thing

The other day, searching through a bureau drawer looking for something else, I came across an old business card I had made for myself long before coming to Endeavor Academy and waking up from the dream through the mind-training of A Course in Miracles, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the tutelage of Master Teacher.

On the front of the card was, typically, my name, address, and phone number, and I turned it over, chuckling, when I saw what was on the back:


At the time I thought that this was the coolest expression of the highest reaches of my conceptual thought. I can't quite remember how I defined the main thing. It was probably couched in New Age terminology and Attitudinal Healing principles, like the main thing is to strive to keep a peaceful feeling, a cool head, a balance. For example, if you are confronted with a negative situation, you can choose either to go into reaction and stay in conflict, or to go into acceptance and experience peace. It is always a choice--reaction or acceptance, never questioning that the situation itself was unreal, made up by a self having no source in reality.

I probably tried to express this attempt at self-control by quoting the beginning lines of a poem I favored at the time, Rudyard Kipling's IF.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too,. . .

To keep your head is an expression of acceptance.

I can vaguely remember expressing this while smoking pot with my friends, and of course my memory is vague because, unlike Clinton, I did inhale. I think I remember my friends nodding in assent, saying things like, “I never thought of it that way,” and “That’s heavy,” and my personal favorite, “That’s groovy.”

I was probably then inspired to quote the last four lines of Kipling's poem because it ends with such a manly flourish.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

And invariably, one of them would sit pondering this great truth, holding onto the joint much too long, until someone yelled out, "Hey, don't Bogart that joint," and we would all laugh, and I would lose my train of thought, take a sip of wine, and begin to get the munchies.

And now, many years later, I am so grateful. enjoying a natural high, finding a place in my mind that is a reference point outside of the dream where I can rest, and hanging out with brothers in this state makes the slightest thing-- eating lunch together, or dancing after Session, or playing cards--, an occasion to look at each other and laugh and say, "There's only one thing to do now and that's party on."

That's because I have come to know that there is no world, and that making up a world in which my false self can choose this over that is a meaningless child's game, bringing not peace, but pain, because resolving the duality by choosing this over that only perpetuates the illusion.

I have come to know truly what the main thing is and how to express it simply.

Recognize that the self I made has no source in reality
ask the Holy Spirit for help to forgive this unreality
in order to
experience the reality of my True Self.

Relinquish the self I made
accept my Self as created by God.

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.

If I were now to make a business card, it would simply say on the back:


Merry Christmas.