Saturday, December 01, 2012

Making Explicit the True Meaning of Forgiveness: November FB Statuses

Two, or three, years ago, I set up a Facebook account, but I never really did much with it, until Sunday 8 April, Easter Sunday, auspiciously, when it occurred to me that I could post a Status statement on Facebook, daily.  These are my mini-essays for September.

On Sunday morning, August 5, 2 012, a white supremacist opened fire at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing 6 Sikh worshippers, and wounding 3 others, and severely wounding a police officer, Lt. Brian Murphy,51 , who was first on the scene.

Reading a recent account in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Monday, October 29, I simply marveled at the extraordinary calm that pervaded Murphy during his ordeal.  The article is entitled, Training makes heroes, and here are some excerpts.

The first shot hit him in the face, left side of his jaw, the 9mm bullet moving down, ripping through his larynx, bouncing off his spinal column and lodging in his right neck.
He remembered his training - "in a high-risk incident I will survive." And he moved, even as 11 more bullets pierced his arms, hands, legs and the back of his head, even as three more bullets struck his protective vest, even as the gunman kept coming, firing at close range.
And he thought to himself: "I'm not going out like this. I'm not going out in a parking lot."
His guys were on their way, led by veteran officer Sam Lenda, a marksman.
His guys would end the terror.
Murphy says. "My entire adult life has been based on working in a situation that can at times become uncontrollable and chaotic. But the training I've been provided has always set me up to work very positively and to do the right thing without thinking."
"I would love to tell you some religious aspect, but my initial thought was, 'that's going to leave a mark,' " Murphy says. "I know it sounds stupid and nobody buys it, but I just looked and thought, 'ooh.' "
He was calm, controlling his breathing. All he requested was that they have a little something at the hospital to control his pain.

"I didn't give him anything back," he says. "I didn't yell in pain. I'm not giving you anything. While it might be very self-serving and egotistical, I wonder if there was not some part of him that thought, I don't want to get too close because he's not stopping. No matter how much I shoot him, he's not stopping. And maybe that just held him off enough . . . before Sam could get there. You know what I mean?"

•        *     *     *     *

Finally, I don’t have much to say.  Mind training is mind training.  We get the results.  I’m grateful.


I have my own routine for my writing practice, and it is pretty simple.  Usually, from late morning to early afternoon, I sit quietly and read the Course and other books and articles, just being receptive, and more often than not, ideas just start pouring in, and I write them down in my notebook.  With little editing these notes become FB Statuses, or blog posts.

I am always curious about the routines of other writers.  Here is an account of the routine of the novelist, Hilary Mantel.

When she wakes in the morning, she likes to start writing right away, before she speaks, because whatever remnants sleep has left are the gift her brain has given her for the day. Her dream life is important to the balance of her mind: it’s the place where she experiences disorder. Her dreams are archetypal, mythological, enormous,  full of pageantry—there are knights and monsters. She has been to the crusades in her dreams more than once.
When she’s starting a new book, she needs to feel her way inside the characters, to know what it’s like to be them. There is a trick she uses sometimes, which another writer taught her. Sit quietly and withdraw your attention from the room you’re in until you’re-focussed inside your mind. Imagine a chair and invite your character to come and sit in it; once he is comfortable, you may ask him questions. She tried this for the first time when she was writing “The Giant, O’Brien”: the giant came in, but, before sitting down in the chair, he bent down and tested it, to see if it would take his weight. On that occasion, she never got any further, because she was so excited that she punched the air and shouted “Yes!” But from then on she could imagine herself in the giant’s body. (Larissa MacFarquhar, The Dead Are Real, The New Yorker, October 15, 2012, p. 52)

I am still appreciating how people stay calm in different situations, how different kinds of mind training pay off.

It was shortly after 10:30 on Sunday morning, August 5, after the white supremacist shot the worshippers at the Sikh Temple that Travis Webb, the 39-year-old trauma surgeon, began working on the police officer, Oak Creek Lt. Brian Murphy, who had just been shot a dozen times.

And here's what would lodge in Webb's memory.

The wounded man was utterly calm. He was awake, alert, not thrashing around. Just calm.
“We're going to take good care of you,” Webb said, “You're going to be OK.”
The officer nodded his head.
Like his patient, Webb had a calm appearance. He has dark, collar-length hair and keeps an acoustic guitar in his office. On breaks, he sometimes strums to relax his mind.
After several hours performing various surgeries, Webb realized that Murphy’s voice box, almost completely destroyed, needed the attention of a specialist.
By this point, Michael Stadler, the head and neck surgeon, had scrubbed in and was waiting with his team. Stadler has been a doctor for seven of his 33 years.
"It was the worst injury that I had seen," the surgeon recalled. "I was amazed that he was on the operating table alive."

The surgeon had performed many 12-hour and even 20-hour surgeries. As he worked, he was in the moment, unaware of any fatigue. Last of all, he sewed up the neck incision. He took his time. He thought, as he always does, how he would want the scar to look if it were on a member of his own family. (Froedtert surgery team worked smoothly to save officer shot at Sikh temple, Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 29, 2012.)

•        *     *     *

•    Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.

While reading Lesson 191, I am the holy Son of God Himself, I thought of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.  In the beginning, Plato represents man’s condition as being “chained in a cave,” with only a fire behind him. He perceives the world, the illusion, by watching the shadows on the wall in front of him. He sits in chains in darkness with the false light of the fire and does not realize that this existence is illusory. It merely is his existence — he knows no other, nor offers any complaint.

Plato next imagines what would occur if the chained man were suddenly released from his bondage and let out into the world. Plato describes how some people would immediately be frightened and want to return to the cave and the familiar dark existence. Others would look at the sun and finally see the world as it truly is.

The Cave is to the illusion and the Sun is to Reality.

When I am in the recognition my true identity, the holy Son of God Himself, I am released from my bondage to my illusory world.

Here is your declaration of release
from bondage of the world. And here as well
is all the world released. You do not see
what you have done by giving to the world
the role of jailer to the Son of God.
What could it be but vicious and afraid,
fearful of shadows, punitive and wild,
lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?

A miracle has lighted up all dark
and ancient caverns, where the rites of death
echoed since time began. For time has lost
its hold upon the world. The Son of God
has come in glory to redeem the lost,
to save the helpless, and to give the world
the gift of his forgiveness. Who could see
the world as dark and sinful, when God's Son
has come again at last to set it free?


For 10 days now, I have been sick with the flu, the crud, a cold—runny nose, congested lungs, fatigue, and coughing, sneezing.  I take frequent naps and try to sleep in mornings.

But, what simply amazes me,  is that all the time my mind is clear.  I can read and write and think and talk with clarity.  I still get bright ideas.  My body is doing one thing, and my mind is doing another, like right now as I type this.

This direct experience of my free, still mind is my reference point for a general statement like this:

I am not a body.  I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
Lesson 199

I am certainly not this body, and I am in the direct experience of my mind, my consciousness, my awareness as God’s creation, His Son,complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love.


Philip Chard, a psychotherapist, writes a column for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, entitled, “Out of My Mind,” and a recent one is called, What does seeing a ghost mean?

His patient, Jacob, had come to him because his wife thought that, perhaps, he was crazy for seeing the ghost of his father.  Here is the account:

One evening while reading quietly in bed, Jacob had a visit from his father.  They had a nice talk.  Nothing heavy, just the usual fare such as, the weather, sports and local gossip,  Finally, his dad asked him what he was reading, smiled and bid him goodnight. 

It all seemed matter of fact.  “I knew he was dead but it seemed so relaxed and ordinary that I just went with it.”

Fortunately, Chard did not go into whether or not ghosts are real; he simply asked Jacob what was the meaning or message in what he experienced.

“I miss him a lot.  We were good friends.  And when I was a kid, he always read to me in bed.”

Chard smiled and told him, “Seems like he still does.”  (Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 3E)


Browsing through a bookstore, I came across this book by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling.

This account caught my eye.

I first experienced the Presence of God in a setting of exquisite beauty.  I was living and studying at a Christian community in a tiny Alpine village in France, after having graduated from Wellesley College.

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains.  I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty.  The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale.  Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me.  I became aware of a lovely Presence and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.”  This utterance was totally uncharacteristic of me, and I was shocked to hear myself speaking so tenderly to Jesus.  As I pondered this brief communication, I realized it was the response of a converted heart; at that moment I knew I belonged to Him. This was far more than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching.  This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe.   (pp. Vll, Vlll)

In her Introduction to her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young tells us that she was inspired to write her book by reading God Calling. She writes:  This is a devotional book written by two anonymous “listeners.”  These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. 

She goes on to say:  I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.  Sitting quietly in God’s Presence is just as important as the writings I glean from these meditative times.  I believe that He speaks to those who listen to Him, and I continually depend on the Holy Spirit’s help in this.  I have written from the daily passages from Jesus’ point of view; i.e., the first person singular (I, Me, Mine) always refers to Christ.  “you” refers to you, the reader, so the perspective is that of Jesus speaking to you.

Here is an echo from Jesus in His Course.

This day my mind is quiet, to receive
the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept
what comes from You, instead of from myself.
I do not know the way to You. But You
are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son
along the quiet path that leads to You.
Let my forgiveness be complete, and let
the memory of You return to me.
Lesson 291


I have always had a particular fondness for the first line of The Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace.

We are a great variety of instruments, receptive to channeling God’s Voice.

A wonderful example is two women, “Two Listeners,” who sat patiently each day  and listened for Jesus to speak to them.  These daily words of Jesus are published in the book, God Calling edited by A. J. Russell.

The following is from the Introduction.

We sat down, pencils and paper in hand and waited.  This was in England in December 1932.  From the first, beautiful messages were given to us by our Lord Himself, and every day from then these messages have never failed us.

Always, and this daily, He insisted that we should be channels of Love, Joy, and Laughter in His broken world.

Still came this insistent command to love and laugh and be joy-bringers to the lives we contacted.

He encouraged us daily, saying that He would not break the instruments that He intended to use, that He would not leave the metal in the crucible longer than was necessary for the burning away of the dross.

This book is published, after much prayer, to prove that a living Christ speaks today, plans and guides the humblest, that no detail is too insignificant for His attention, that He reveals Himself now as ever as a Humble Servant and Majestic Creator. 


Here are the words that Jesus gave on November 10 to the “Two Listeners” who scribed the book, God Calling.

New Forces

Remember that Life’s difficulties and troubles are not intended to arrest your progress, but to increase your speed.  You must call new forces, new powers into action.

Whatever it is must be surmounted, overcome.  Remember this.

It is as a race.  Nothing must daunt you.  Do not let a difficulty conquer you.  You must conquer it.

My strength will be there awaiting you.  Bring all your thoughts, all your power, into action. Nothing is too small to be faced and overcome.  To push small difficulties aside is to be preparing big troubles.

Rise to conquer.  It is the path of victory I would have you tread.  There can be no failure with Me.

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from failing and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding Joy…”

And this is from Jesus in His Course:

Christ is the link that keeps you one with God,
and guarantees that separation is
no more than an illusion of despair,
for hope forever will abide in Him.
6 What is the Christ?


Here are the words that Sarah Young received from Jesus for November 11, as they appear in her book, Jesus Calling.

DO NOT LET any set of circumstances intimidate you.  The more challenging your day, the more of My Power I place at your disposal.  You seem to think that I empower you equally each day, but this is not sol.  Your tendency upon awakening is to assess the difficulties ahead of you, measuring them against your average strength.  This is an exercise in unreality.

I know what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly.   The degree to which I strengthen you on a given day is based mainly on two variables:  the difficulty of your circumstances, and your willingness to depend on Me for help.  Try to view challenging days as opportunities to receive more of My Power than usual.  Look to Me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do.  As your day, so shall your strength be.

And here is Jesus in His Course.

Try to pass the clouds by whatever means appeals to you.  If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you.  And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy.  Lesson 70.9:2-4

One practice I find very helpful I learned from my friend, Diane Poe.  In one of her Improv classes, I learned the key to the success of an Improv skit:  the key is YES/AND.  If a fellow actor says, “Let’s do this. . .” you always say, at least to yourself, YES/AND, with the idea that Yes/But would kill the act.  The YES/ANDs  enable the skit to find its own direction.

So, now, when I find myself in a difficult, painful situation, wandering in the dream, as my projections seem to be “out there” victimizing me, I say to myself, “YES, this seems to be going on, AND I am the Holy Son of God, resting in His Presence.”

  The dream always presents an opportunity for improvisation.

This all came to mind while reading Lesson 292, A happy outcome in all things is sure, and I practiced simply saying YES after each affirmation, and YES/AND after each description of the dream.

God's promises make no exceptions. And He guarantees that only joy can be the final outcome found for everything.

Yet it is up to us when this is reached; how long we let an alien will appear to be opposing His.

And while we think this will is real, we will not find the end He has appointed as the outcome of all problems we perceive, all trials we see, and every situation that we meet.

Yet is the ending certain. For God's Will is done in earth and Heaven. We will seek and we will find according to His Will, which guarantees that our will is done.

We thank You, Father, for Your guarantee of only happy outcomes in the end.

Help us not interfere, and so delay the happy endings You have promised us for every problem that we can perceive; for every trial we think we still must meet.

YES, I am “in” the world, AND I am not “of” the world.

I love to hear echoes of the words of A Course in Miracles.  Here is an echo from a man born over 350 years ago, Francois Fenelon (1651-1750), a French priest and a poet.

God never ceases to speak to us; but the noise of the world without, and the tumult of our passions within, bewilder us, and prevent us from listening.  All must be silent around us, and all must be still within us, when we would listen with our whole souls to this voice.  It is a still, small voice, and is only heard by those who listen to no other.  Alas!  How seldom is it that the soul is so still that it can hear when God speaks to it!
And here is Jesus in Lesson 49, God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.

It is quite possible to listen to God's Voice all through the day without interrupting your regular activities in any way. The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not. It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world's laws. It is this part that is constantly distracted, disorganized and highly uncertain.
The part that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain. It is really the only part there is. The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind. Try today not to listen to it. Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever. Try to hear God's Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son.

Reading Lesson 297, Forgiveness is the only gift I give, I realized that saying to myself, YES/AND, i.e. YES, this incident is occurring in my dream, AND I am the holy Son of God is a formula, or a method, and this recognition and this shift in my mind is forgiveness.  In this simple act, I accept Atonement for myself.

Forgiveness is the only gift I give,
because it is the only gift I want.
And everything I give I give myself.
This is salvation's simple formula.
And I, who would be saved, would make it mine,
to be the way I live within a world
that needs salvation, and that will be saved
as I accept Atonement for myself.
And it is accomplished by the grace of God.

Father, how certain are Your ways; how sure
their final outcome, and how faithfully
is every step in my salvation set
already, and accomplished by Your grace.
Thanks be to You for Your eternal gifts,
and thanks to You for my Identity.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
For the past week, newspapers have taken on a tabloid-like quality, reporting the indiscretions of Gen. David Petraeus.  However, Kathleen Parker, a columnist for  The Washington Post, ended her column with these thoughtful paragraphs.

“Warte!” was the word Franz Kafka had over his bed.  “Wait.”  I can’t guess why he had it over his bed.  Perhaps this is where he worked.  Studio apartment?  Walker Percy, the writer, took this word as his own and hung it over his desk.  I have copied them both and added a similar sign above my desk.
We can’t wait for the news because it’s the journalist’s job to uncover it.  But we can and should wait for judgment.  Let the investigations proceed.  Let the facts be verified.  Let these people survive the humiliation they are certain to suffer.
We are better than the mob—until we become one.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 14, 2012, 15A)

And now He asks but that you think of Him
a while each day, that He may speak to you
and tell you of His Love, reminding you
how great His Trust; how limitless His Love.
In your name and His Own, which are the same,
we practice gladly with this thought today:

I will step back and let Him lead the way,
For I would walk along the road to Him.
Lesson 155

No matter how brilliantly the brain performs, the performance is still, simply, thought images projected from an unreal source.

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
Introduction, A Course in Miracles
This came to mind when I read this account.

A man named Zac Vawter performed a remarkable feat the other day.  He climbed 103 floors of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, wearing a bionic prosthetic leg; bionic means thought controlled.
The robotic leg is designed to respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring.  When Vawter thought about climbing the stairs, the motors, belts and chains in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and knee.

This is a dramatic example of Lesson 15, Thoughts are images I have made.
No matter how heroic and dramatic this achievements, it only helps clarify the distinction Jesus makes between seeing and vision.

It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your "seeing" was made. This is the function you have given your body's eyes. It is not seeing. It is image making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions. Lesson 15.1

Vawter’s achievement is a reminder that, no matter what, we want to learn to see with vision, true perception.

The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end.
Clarification of terms. 4  True Perception-Knowledge.1

Over the years I have observed just how juicy gossip is.  Because of recent events at high levels of government, it is becoming increasingly prevalent.

In a newspaper yesterday, I came across a rather extensive description of gossip by Hinda Manadell, an assistant professor of communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

But gossip is so seductive.  It allows us to get creative about motive, desire, consequence and circumstance when we’re comfortably removed from the searing spotlight.  It’s as if we’re creating a movie drama in our heads that we share with friends.  Even though we’re not privy to the details, we embark on a determined course of speculation.
The Bible certainly censors it.  In Leviticus, we read:  “Thou shall not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.” (USATODAY, 4E, November 15, 2012.)

I also came across the meaning of the German, Kaffeeklatrsch: coffee gossip.

The living-room in a German household always contains a large sofa at one side of the room, which is the seat of honor accorded a guest.  At a Kaffeeklatsch, the guests of honor are seated on this sofa, and the large round table is wheeled up before them.  The other guests seat themselves in chairs about the table.

For me, now, it all comes down to this: 

Our preoccupation with gossip is one of the ways the ego sets out to defend us from experiencing the truth of what we are, the Holy Sons of God.
My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.
I see only my own thoughts, and my mind is preoccupied with the past. What, then, can I see as it is? Let me remember that I look on the past to prevent the present from dawning on my mind. Let me understand that I am trying to use time against God. Let me learn to give the past away, realizing that in so doing I am giving up nothing. Lesson 52

I rather enjoyed this quotation, posted as a FB Status by my friend, Elise Maria.

There is no such thing as a Self-realized person;
When there is no ‘person’ the Self is realized. 
Sri Poonja (Papaji)

It is so on the mark, reminding me of the root meaning of person.  It comes from  Greek drama.  The early plays were staged in large amphitheaters, and in order to project sound, actors wore wooden masks called Personas, per means "through," and son means "sound."  It is so appropriate, then, to realize that our personality is a mask we wear, defensively covering our real Self.

The body suffers just in order that the mind will fail to see it is the victim of itself.  The body’s suffering is a mask the mind holds up to hide what really suffers.  Lesson 76.5:3,4

Here is another marvelous echo of A Course in Miracles, a passage from Jacob Boehme (1575-1624).

When thou art gone forth wholly from the creature, and from that which is visible, and art become nothing to all that is nature and creature, then thou art in that Eternal One which is God himself:  And then thou shalt perceive and feel in thy interior the highest virtue of love. . .Whosoever finds it, finds all things.

And from Jesus in His Course.

The world stands like a block before Christ’s face. But true perception looks on it as nothing more than just a fragile veil, so easily dispelled that it can last no longer than an instant. It is seen at last for only what it is. And now it cannot fail to disappear, for now there is an empty place made clean and ready. Where destruction was perceived the face of Christ appears, and in that instant is the world forgot, with time forever ended as the world spins into nothingness from where it came.
Clarification of Terms. 4True Perception-Knowledge. 4

After coming across an inspiring passage by Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), the Teutonic Theosopher, I became curious about his awakening experience, and this is what I found.

Born of poor, but pious, Lutheran parents, from childhood, Jacob Boehme was concerned about "the salvation of his soul." Although daily occupied, first as a shepherd, and afterward as a shoemaker, he was always an earnest student of the Holy Scriptures; but he could not understand "the ways of God," and he became "perplexed, even to melancholy, — pressed out of measure.
“Then, after some farther hard fights with the powers of darkness, my spirit broke through the doors of hell, and penetrated even unto the innermost essence of its newly- born divinity where it was received with great love, as a bridegroom welcomes his beloved bride.”
"No word can express the great joy and triumph I experienced, as of a life out of death, as of a resurrection from the dead! . . . While in this state, as I was walking through a field of flowers, in fifteen minutes, I saw through the mystery of creation, the original of this world and of all creatures. . . . Then for seven days I was in a continual state of ecstasy, surrounded by the light of the Spirit, which immersed me in contemplation and happiness. I learned what God is, and what is His Will. . . . I knew not how this happened to me, but my heart admired and praised the Lord for it!"
At the age of twenty-five, Boehme was given another great illumination, in which the Lord let him see farther into "the heart of things . . . the true nature of God and man, and the relationship existing between them." Ten years later "the divine order of nature" was opened up to him, and he was inspired to write what the Lord had revealed to him.
From 1612 to 1624, he wrote thirty books.

Source:  Jacob Boehme On line Manuscripts

Jim Self, the founder of Mastering Alchemy, in his book, The Shift, makes it clear that we are now making a transition from the Third to the Fourth Dimension.  Dimensions are not places.  Rather, they are levels of consciousness, each with its own characteristics and ways of thinking, feeling and experiencing.

(At the end of his book, I came across two sentences that gave it great credibility:
Since childhood, Jim has retained a conscious awareness and ability to recall his experiences within the sleep state.  Over the last ten years, this awareness has expanded into relationships with the Archangels, Ascended Masters and Teachers of Light.)

Here are three aspects of the Third Dimension.

Time:  To keep it simple, we take our past experiences and project them into our future and then step into that experience in a future present-time moment to feel it all over again in a different size, shape or color.
Duality:  Duality is a predominant structure of perception.  In duality are the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, and should and should not.  In this rigid belief system of heavy thought-form, fear and pain are anchored.

The rational mind:  While the rational mind is a wonderful tool for measuring, comparing and making decisions, it only knows what it knows and has lost access to what it does not know.  For thousands of years the rational mind has kept humanity tightly focused in the Third Dimension. 
Here is a strong parallel from A Course in Miracles.
The world was made as an attack on God.
It symbolizes fear. And what is fear
except love's absence? Thus the world was meant
to be a place where God could enter not,
and where His Son could be apart from Him.
Here was perception born, for knowledge could
not cause such insane thoughts. But eyes deceive,
and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become
quite possible, for certainty has gone.

The mechanisms of illusion have
been born instead. And now they go to find
what has been given them to seek. Their aim
is to fulfill the purpose which the world
was made to witness and make real. They see
in its illusions but a solid base
where truth exists, upheld apart from lies.
Yet everything that they report is but
illusion which is kept apart from truth.
3.  What is the World?

Jim Self, the founder of Mastering Alchemy, in his book, The Shift, describes aspects of the Fourth Dimension.  Dimensions are not places.  Rather, they are levels of consciousness, each with its own characteristics and ways of thinking, feeling and experiencing.

The Fourth Dimension provides us with an opportunity to re-frame our reference points, review our beliefs and attain a new understanding of what is possible.  It allows us to be “in” the world, and not “of” the Third Dimensional world.

Here are two aspects of the Fourth Dimension.

Present Time:  This is a quiet NOW moment.  We only exist in the Now, but most of us hold very little of our attention here.  The present is all there is.
Choice:  In this Dimensions, reaction is replaced by choice, providing flexibility and new possibilities.  With choice you have an opportunity to observe, and to  experience, and to choose without judgment, right or wrong, good or bad, or the fear of being punished.  Conscious choice invites a wider range of possibilities, allowing for well-being, happiness and realignment with the Heart.  Choice  creates  opportunity.  Opportunity allows for well-being. Well-being awakens happiness, openness and the inner smile within the Heart.  From your open Heart, your purpose and the fulfillment of all your dreams are within your grasp.

Here is a strong parallel from A Course in Miracles.
The real world holds a counterpart for each
unhappy thought reflected in your world;
a sure correction for the sights of fear
and sounds of battle which your world contains.
The real world shows a world seen differently,
through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace.
Nothing but rest is there. There are no cries
of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing there
remains outside forgiveness. And the sights
are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds
can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.
8.  What is the Real World?

Jim Self, the founder of Mastering Alchemy, in his book, The Shift, makes clear the aspects of the Fifth Dimension. 

When you enter this consciousness, you experience a full reintegration with your Higher Self and merge with your Soul.  This reconnection with your higher aspects allows you to once again know yourself at a Soul level.  You begin to think from Heart and act from the wisdom of your Soul.  Your innate intuitive spiritual abilities now become fully available to you again.

This dimension vibrates at a very high, brilliant and fast frequency range of Light, Love and great  beauty.  Heavy, dense thoughts and emotional vibrations, such as, reaction, anger, judgment, and fear cannot be held in this realm for long.  In  this  frequency  range  of Light there are no limitations, all possibilities are available for creation.

Here is a strong parallel from A Course in Miracles.
I am God's Son, complete and healed and whole,
shining in the reflection of His Love.
In me is His creation sanctified
and guaranteed eternal life. In me
is love perfected, fear impossible,
and joy established without opposite.
I am the holy home of God Himself.
I am the Heaven where His Love resides.
I am His holy Sinlessness Itself,
for in my purity abides His Own.
14.  What am I?

A few years ago, I wrote an essay that became a booklet entitled:


Of all the things I have written, this is one that people most often mention to me.  In fact, it has been translated into 4 other languages:  German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch.   You can find them on my web site:  

Here is the beginning:

Part 1: Awareness

This paper begins with what may appear to be a startling declaration:
“By changing your mind, you can change the world.”
All that is required to demonstrate that this is true is your commitment to shift your awareness, and that is everything. If you choose, by the time you finish reading this paper, you will clearly experience the steps you can take to train your mind, systematically, to a new way of seeing and listening.
This transformation of your mind will change the world.
Let’s begin. Notice that this paper is addressing you. There is only you. Even in reading this sentence you are listening to a voice in your mind. This voice is so familiar, that you may not have noticed it. It is your perceptual mind; a familiar narrator, a story teller, telling you a story.
Now, look up from this paper and look slowly around you. . .
Observe how this story teller says to you, automatically, “table” or “cup” or “hand.” Whatever you see has been given a name. In fact, it is not there without having been named. The objects that appear to make up your world spring from within. They are not imposed from without. There is only your subjective reality. There is not really a world, there is only your world.
A little reflection on what you “see” shows you that you are simply unable to see objects without a flood of associations. Your narrative voice tells you stories about the table, cup, and hand. After doing this simple exercise, you can realize that seeing is completely subjective, that your voice does not really describe any thing as it is, only as you would have it be, based on associations from your past.
So, right now, what are you making of this realization?
“I don’t get it” “How could it be different?” “I’m confused.”. . .
Please click on the link to my web site.

The other morning, I found myself thinking about some future events, saying to myself, “What will I do, what will I say?” And then the Thought came in, “Let it go, you will be guided then as you are guided now, just stay focused on the present.”

Later, I decided to read the day’s passage from Sarah Young’s, Jesus Calling, and I was astonished at its contents.

AS YOU LOOK at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path, with branches going off in all directions.  You wonder how you can possibly find your way through that maze.  Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your right hand.  You recall My promise to guide you with My counsel, and you begin to relax.  As you look again at the path ahead, you notice that a peaceful fog has settled over it, obscuring your view.  You can see only a few steps in front of you, so you turn your attention more fully to Me and begin to enjoy My Presence.
The fog is a protection for you, calling you back into the present moment.  You can communicate with Me only here and now.   Someday the fog will no longer be necessary, for you will have learned to keep your focus on Me and on the path just ahead of you.  (November 16)

It is mid-morning, and I am sitting on our couch in our Sun Room, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the Course.  The room is well-named because the sun is pouring in; in fact, I grabbed my prescription sunglasses to make it easier to read.  Large windows, 4’ X 6’ grace the room, 2 to my left, facing east, 3 to my front, facing south, and 2 to my right, facing west.

I am reading Lesson 299, Eternal holiness abides in me, and I am astonished at the synchronicity of reading these lines in bright sunlight.

Father, my holiness is not of me.
It is not mine to be destroyed by sin.
It is not mine to suffer from attack.
Illusions can obscure it, but can not
put out its radiance, nor dim its light.

The implied metaphor is that the sun is to my holiness as clouds are to my illusions.  The root meaning of metaphor is meta, meaning "beyond," and phor, meaning "to carry."  Recognizing that the sun is always shining, even though it may be obscured by clouds, I am remembering that my holiness is always as radiant as the sun, even when my illusions are obscuring my awareness of it; I am being carried beyond them.

And just look at this sentence from Lesson 300, Only an instant does this world endure.

Yet this is also the idea that lets
no false perception keep us in its hold,
nor represent more than a passing cloud
upon a sky eternally serene.

Several years ago, not long after enrolling in Endeavor Academy, I went to a class taught by a brother who had been here for some time.  At the end, he said, “All I know is this:  “When I am in conflict, I ask for Help, and when I experience Peace, I say Thank You.”  That was very helpful for me, undergoing my transformation.

Conflict is sleep, and peace awakening. 
(Lesson 331)

This came back to me when I read a brief interview with the best-selling author, Anne Lamott who has just published a book entitled, Help, Thanks, Wow!  She said, “Everyone knows that feeling of being in a situation that can go either way.  It could be a huge mess, or it could turn out OK.  When you realize that ending will be a good one, you are so relieved and amazed that you didn’t screw it up.”

I am happy for Anne that she has learned to ask for Help.  However, if I had an opportunity to attend her class, or one offered by the brother, I would be inclined to attend his because he has learned to ask for Help, standing outside of the duality, outside of the illusory world, praying to let it go, while Lamott seems to stand in the middle of the duality of the world, asking for Help to be OK as opposed to experiencing the “huge mess” of the opposite.

Anne Lamott will be just fine because her gratitude will enable her to be receptive to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, talking to her in a small, still Voice all through the day.
Here is the last stanza of Lesson 300, Only an instant does this world endure.

We seek Your holy world today. For we,
Your loving Sons, have lost our way a while.
But we have listened to Your Voice, and learned
exactly what to do to be restored
to Heaven and our true Identity.
And we give thanks today the world endures
but for an instant. We would go beyond
that tiny instant to eternity.


Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal talk about catching glimpses of God in their Introduction to their book, Small Miracles:  Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life.

There are moments in life when we catch our breath and glimpse God’s presence.  Sometimes it is when we see the radiant face of a sleeping child, sometimes it is when we hear a fragment of melody that stirs awake an unfamiliar yearning. These moments—which flicker for a tantalizing instant and then vanish in a flash—convey to us a sense of the Divine.  Every leaf, every blade of grass bears God’s imprint.

A story is told of a holy man who radiated an unusual aura of inner peace and joy.  An unearthly, almost celestial glow shone from his body.

“Blessed one,” he was asked, “are you God?”  “No,” he answered.  “Are you an angel?”  “No.”  “Are you a prophet/” “No, I am simply awake.”

This reminds me of a brief passage from The End of Your World by Adyashanti.

In my own case, I had my first glimpse beyond the veil when I was twenty-five.  Something about that realization never left me.  Somewhere inside I always knew that everything as one—that I was eternal, unborn, undying, and uncreated.  I understood that my essential nature was not limited by or confined to my personality structure or the body I seemed to be inhabiting.  (p. 24)

And from A Course in Miracles:

Listen—perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered.  (T-21.1:6)

Reading  Lesson 296, The Holy Spirit speaks  through  me  today, I heard the echoes of two poems, one by Robert Frost (1874-1963),  and the other by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

First, here is the passage from the Lesson, relating to Frost.

We teach today what we would learn, and that
alone. And so our learning goal becomes
an unconflicted one, and possible
of easy reach and quick accomplishment.

And here is the third stanza of Frost’s poem, Stopping  by Woods on a Snowy Evening:

He gives his harness bells a shake  
To ask if there is some mistake.  
The only other sound’s the sweep  
Of easy wind and downy flake.  

Frost’s narrator is in the woods in his sleight, still, and instead of taking the opportunity to be receptive to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, he listens to his ego voice telling him of his worldly promises, and he hurries off.

Here is the passage from the Lesson, relating to Tennyson:

How gladly does the Holy Spirit come
to rescue us from hell, when we allow
His teaching to persuade the world, through us,
to seek and find the easy path to God.

Here is the last phrase of Tennyson’s Ulysses:

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

In Ulysses, the Roman name for Odysseus, Ulysses is becoming restless sitting idly, after 20 years of adventures, traveling to and from Troy, battling with his might companions, and now he summons them one more time to journey forth, seeking more adventures.

Jesus, the master poet, writes the poetry of His Course, layered with meanings that are so evocative for the reader.  The root meaning of evocative is the Latin, evoare, meaning, "to summon, to rouse,  to call."  We are being called to our transformation by sheer poetry, learning to turn within and letting go our worldly desires.

To read the two poems in their entirety, please go to my blog post for November 29,  2012, and read “Echoes of Poems in A Course in Miracles.


The other day, I was idly walking through the mall, Christmas shopping, and I heard these lyrics.

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings.

The next day, first thing in the morning, I picked up Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling, and I came across her first paragraph for November 27, marveling at the synchronicity.

LET THANKFULNESS RULE in your heart.  As you thank Me for blessings in your life, a marvelous thing happens.  It is as if scales fall off your eyes, enabling you to see more and more of My glorious riches.  With your eyes thus opened, you can help yourself to whatever you need from My treasure house.  Each time you receive one of My golden gifts, let your thankfulness sing out praises to My Name.  “Hallelujahs” are the language of heaven, and they can become the language of your heart.

And I, Ray, know full well that a grateful heart enables me to be receptive to God’s Voice speaking to me all through the day.