Friday, March 18, 2011


My anxiety grows ever more pervasive and it scares me. Maybe I need medication. It goes in cycles, from times with no or very low anxiety to others in which the intensity and duration is increasing. The cycles of low or no are shorter and fewer. Things in the world outside my life [in most respects, thank God, my life is better than its ever been] – the ongoing deterioration of American politics and community values, ever more severe and frequent natural disasters, the situation in Libya - are good reasons to be anxious.

But if I’m wanting to live from the inside-out, I want to ‘overlook’ what’s going on in the world, my life and even my body, and with spirit’s help, see through all that, ‘overlook’ it, to see the truth of spirit’s presence behind these appearances and temporary conditions. Overlooking is not seeing spirit is in the events, horror and pain. Overlooking means having an active awareness that these things are not the truth; that we are spiritual beings having earthly experiences, most of which are occasionally benign but essentially nasty and brief. The wonderful loving experiences we have here, in the world, reflect our momentary awareness of our spiritual reality, and do not arise from the world in spite of what we think and feel.

The world is a nightmare made by the ego in opposition to spirit and was designed not to work so we’d be pre-occupied by it, constantly anxious, and unaware of the spiritual reality we are and the help we can connect with to awaken. As long as we keep trying to fix the world and contribute to a world that works for everyone, we are trapped in the nightmare, going up to the movie screen to fix a focus problem.

If we can realize we’re having a bad dream, we can wake up. So, in a perverse way, the ever increasing cycle of anxiety is a good thing, because it shows me that I’m trapped in the nightmare, don’t know what to do, can’t fix the world, have been wrong all this time going up to the screen to fix the focus, need to give that up and rely much more fully on spirit.

The Course says, before you go to spirit for help, you first have to feel uncomfortable. “We need the experience of misery and anxiety for that is what motivates us to go to spirit for help.” Once we are motivated and sincerely ask for help – “I want to see this differently – with spirit, not ego” – spirit can use the contrast between the happiness and peace It offers and our misery and anxiety.

“Be not conformed to this world,” the Apostle Paul is said to have written. “But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The source of my anxiety is being mesmerized by the problems of the world, seeing them as real and taking them too seriously. The world IS real, in the dream I’m dreaming. But with spirit’s help, which It wants to give, has given and merely awaits my awareness of it, I can have a lucid dream – a dream in which I’m aware I’m dreaming and can manipulate to be saner and happier.

With spirit’s help, I can rethink and reexamine what is going on within and without, and having chosen spirit, be essentially renewed by the transforming of my mind, and in that transformation have the happy dream of contributing to a world that works for everyone. But only with spirit’s help, only motivated by my anxiety and desire, not to fix the world, to go up to the screen to fix the focus, but to shift from the ego’s thought system to spirit’s. Sigh. Not easy but at least I guess that means I don’t need meds…yet.

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