Monday, February 27, 2012

Me, My Self, and I: Learning to be in the Right Part of my Mind

Little did I know, those many years ago, walking around the playground at my one-room schoolhouse, a little boy, chanting, “Me, my Self , and I,” that I was laying out the typography of my tripartite mind. It took me much too long to come to understand that I had spent a good part of my life knowing full well only one part of my mind, “Me,” the ego, thereby blocking my awareness of my “Self,” not realizing that “I,” the decision-maker, was automatically, habitually, in alliance with “Me,” rather than in union with my “Self.”

Thank God all that changed when I came across
A Course in Miracles, and began to undergo the mind training so superbly set out by Jesus.

This all came to mind a few days ago when I did one of my favorite Lessons,
God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day. This Lesson, like all the Lessons and the Text, is a reminder for me to pay very close attention to pronoun references. For example, look at the beginning of the Lesson.

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.

There… whether you are aware of it or not. The pronoun reference for you is the mechanism of decision. Jesus is addressing “I,” the decision maker with the pronoun “you.”

This “You” is always deciding between allying with the “Me,” the ego, or uniting with the “Self,” I am one Self, united with my Creator. (Lesson 95, Title) Now I know that full well, but for far too long I did not realize that “I” had a choice.

The decision to unite must be unequivocal, or the mind itself is divided and not whole. Your mind is the means by which you determine your own condition, because mind is the mechanism of decision. It is the power by which you separate or join, and experience pain or joy accordingly. T-8-1V.5:5-8

And now, Dear Reader, look at how Jesus characterizes “Me,” my egotistic state of mind.

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.

By contrast, here is a description of my “Self.”

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 great value of looking very closely at the pronoun references is to slow down my mind, so that I am receptive to hear
the Voice for God, speaking to me all through the day. And now, let us proceed slowly.

“Me,” the egoistic state of mind.

The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind.

In the following passage, “I,” the mechanism of decision, is referred to as “you,” the implied you, as Jesus uses the Imperative form of the verb, i.e., do this, do that.

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.

Finally, in reference to pronouns, Jesus is with us, right here, right now, helping us to hear God’s Voice, using the pronoun “We.”

We will need at least four five-minute practice periods today, and more if possible. We will try actually to hear God's Voice reminding you of Him and of your Self. We will approach this happiest and holiest of thoughts with confidence, knowing that in doing so we are joining our will with the Will of God. He wants you to hear His Voice. He gave It to you to be heard.

Jesus is addressing our mechanism of decision, "I," holding our hands, leading us to God, lovingly directing us with the Imperative, the implied "You."

Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind. Go past all the raucous shrieks and sick imaginings that cover your real thoughts and obscure your eternal link with God. Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. You do not live here. We are trying to reach your real home. We are trying to reach the place where you are truly welcome. We are trying to reach God.

While these ideas were going through my mind in preparation for writing this essay, I came across this passage echoing these ideas from I AM THAT by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

The world you can perceive is a very small world indeed. And it is entirely private, Take it to be a dream and be done with it. Your world is mind-made, subjective, enclosed within the mind, fragmentary, temporary, personal, hanging on the thread of memory.

I live in a world of realities, while yours is of imaginings. Your world is personal, private, unshareable, intimately your own. Nobody can enter it, see as you see, hear as you hear, feel your emotions and think your thoughts. In your world you are truly alone, enclosed in your ever-changing dream, which you take for life. My world is an open world, common to all, accessible to all. In my world there is community insight, love, real quality; the individual is the total, the totality—in the individual. All are one and the One is all. (Sri Maharaj, I AM THAT, The Acorn Press: Durham, North Carolina, 1973, p. 17)

I wrote this draft yesterday, and today I heard this song,
It’s Only a Paper Moon, and took it as an inspiration to include it in this essay. Here is the first stanza.

It's only a paper moon

sailing over a cardboard sea,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.

Listening to this lyric, I automatically began to play with the pronoun references. What if
believing in me referred to Jesus? In that moment “I” am uniting with my Self, the Christ within, and I am experiencing the peace of God. Now, when I look out at the world, I see a reflection of the peace of God, seeing through paper moons and cardboard seas, just as Sri Maharaj expresses it,

In my world there is community insight, love, real quality; the individual is the total, the totality—in the individual. All are one and the One is all.

And now let us continue reading the lyrics.

It's only a canvas sky
hanging over a muslin tree,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.

Without your love,
It's a honky-tonk parade.
Without your love,
It's a melody played in a penny arcade.

Without experiencing the love and peace of God, we see only our own projections, throwing out thought/images from "Me," not experiencing the reflection of our Self.

It's a Barnum and Bailey world,
Just as phony as it can be,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.

Without experiencing the love of God, we live in a circus.

The world I see holds my fearful self-image in place, and guarantees its continuance. While I see the world as I see it now, truth cannot enter my awareness. I would let the door behind this world be opened for me, that I may look past it to the world that reflects the Love of God.
W-p1. 53.4

And looking at this reflection is the meaning of forgiveness.

And now, I invite you to enjoy the song sung by Frank Sinatra.

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