Wednesday, November 30, 2011

By Grace We Live, By Grace We Are Released

By grace we live, by grace we are released. I love that idea! I get it! Of myself, as Jesus said, I can do nothing. And he also said, it is my father in heaven who doeth the work. It means I am most mySelf when I am not myself. It means that I am not the pathetic, puny, frightened mouse ego, but the peace, harmony and glory of spirit itself – mySelf.

More and more lately, each time I can forgive myself for thinking I’m a separate ego entity, and not blame myself fearing punishment for the original sin of thinking myself separate, and remember, by grace I live, by grace I am released, each time I am able to experience the reality of those words, I am able to experience the reality of those words – grace, peace, joy, even anticipation and a little excitement. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning, eager to see what Santa has brought him, knowing that whatever it is, whatever transpires – big coaching contract or computer crash – will, if I allow it and get my bloated nothingness out of the way, bring me a reflection of my spiritual reality.
By grace we live, by grace we are released. Think about it; feel it - by grace we live, by grace we are released – and let it be true for you, too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Forgiveness reflects the willingness and the choice to experience our experience in the illusion differently. Each person, place or thing we forgive, returns us to our minds and allows the decision maker choose again, this time, this second, this moment, selecting spirit instead of the ego.

Forgiveness is about changing the focus from body to mind, from the specific to the general, allowing us to experience the world as a learning laboratory. Each time we forgive, and we need to forgive constantly, we learn we are not sinful body/minds, but spiritual beings who have simply made a mistake in the choice of our teacher.

Learning we have made a mistaken choice is the only useful purpose the world serves. Allowing ourselves to experience our experience here as a learning laboratory is the best that can come from the ego’s illusion. Constantly forgiving everyone and everything we experience here for what they have not done, returns our focus to the mind’s decision for guilt, and to release the guilt, fear and pain.

By grace we live, by grace we are released.

There is nothing out there to forgive in any event, for ideas leave not their source. If I’m thinking I’m a guilty, sinful, evil, fearful body/mind then I’m with ego. If I forgive those thoughts and seek to experience my real thoughts as spirit, I will no longer feel like a guilty, sinful, evil, fearful body/mind, but feel like a spiritual being connected to my Source. Ideas leave not their source.

We need not be concerned with the many forms taken by the one idea of separation from spirit - the root cause and source of the ego’s ‘reality’, because they are all as illusory as their source, all incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial, existing only to serve the ego’s purpose of distracting us from the mind’s ability to choose forgiveness. Learning to forgive ourselves our mistaken choice, and in turn forgive the myriad forms out there, gives us a moment of grace and reflects our reality as spirit.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Purpose – whether to awaken our spiritual reality, or sleep in the ego’s world illusion, is the sole determiner of meaning, uniting our disparate perceptions and reactions, allowing them to contribute to or disturb our inner peace. “Pain,” the Course says, “demonstrates the body must be real. It is a loud, obscuring voice whose shrieks would silence [the still small voice within us].

“Pain compels attention, drawing it away from [our reality] and focusing upon itself. Its purpose is the same as pleasure, for they both are means to make the body real. What shares a common purpose is the same. This is the law of purpose, which unites all those who share in it within itself.”

And so, the Course asks us to share true perception, the vision that sees beyond the illusions of differences, to the truth of the inner sameness of our minds. Using it, we can come to understand that since it’s all illusions, there can be no hierarchy of illusions - one being ‘better’ or ‘more important’ than the other, that everything we perceive with the ego is equally meaningless.

What is meaningful is how we interpret what we experience, who our teacher and guide is, whether our decision maker has chosen the ego or spirit. If we are able to be aware of the decision maker in our minds, then, when we experience the madness of believing in the ego, we are able to shift our purpose and teacher from remaining mired in the ego’s dreamworld of guilt - form over content, to awakening from this nightmare into the reality of our shared identity of oneness as spiritual beings, “God’s innocent Son” [masculine language courtesy of the Course].

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Non-Existent Problems

Seek but do not find is a core dynamic of the ego’s strategy to use the world to keep the problem of the decision maker’s wrong decision from awareness. The ego knows that a problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. That’s why it keeps us busy in the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved; indeed, it never happened. All the complexity of the world is but a desperate attempt not to recognize the real problem, and therefore not to let it be resolved.

The ego loves to make up nonexsistent problems and trick us into devoting our time and energy to solving them. Haven’t you noticed this phenomena in your own life, where something seems like a problem and you wonder and worry and as it unfolds it’s no problem at all? So much of our experience is coming up with solutions to nonexistent problems. One of my favorite sayings in the Course helps me remember this – I am never upset for the reasons I think. There is only one reason I am upset and one problem to be soled, my mistaken belief that the impossible has happened and I have separated from God.

That’s what forgiveness can help us understand, that there is no real reason for guilt, fear and terror except in the illusion; that when we’re feeling guilt, fear and terror we need to know we’re experiencing the illusion and need to forgive ourselves and the other people and things we mistakenly believe are the cause of our misperceptions. Trying to work out the seeming problem’s meaning, why is it there, why it is happening now instead of yesterday or tomorrow, why me and not my friend - is all taking the tiny mad idea of separation seriously.

Saying, ‘oh, well, there I go again,’ is the way to deal with taking things and seeming problems too seriously and returning our minds to choosing again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Despite the ego’s lies about the reality of specific forms and validity of our perceptions, we remain abstract spirit. The forms the illusions take are nothing - no thing. What is true is true and what is false is false – the size, shape and significance [to the ego] of the illusory forms notwithstanding.

The truth of this is available in our experience of being in our right minds, awaiting our joyful acceptance. The separation never happened, the impossible could not have happened! This means that not only does the problem of guilt, fear and pain engendered by the belief in the separation rest firmly in the mind’s content [the decision maker’s choice] and not the bodily world of form, but so does the solution – forgiveness – releasing the seeming reality of the illusion and accepting the peace of our, and everyone and everything’s, reality as spirit.

Yet this solution cannot be chosen if we deny the only place it can be found – our mind’s and the decision maker’s choice. That’s why looking to the world for happiness makes no sense and is like going up to the movie screen to fix an out of focus film. We continuously search for solutions to our perceived multitudinous problems in a world that was specifically designed not to have us discover them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

War and Peace

Only the mind’s purpose – who the decision maker has chosen - spirit or ego – establishes the holiness or unholiness of the external, not the value or lack of value we perceive in an object. Since our attraction as egos is always to form and form is unreal and illusory, how can there really be holy lands, books, garments, people, or theologies? Only the non-ego formlessness of spirit is holy. Externals can reflect the decision maker’s choice for spirit, but in and of themselves, they can never be holy.

Thus all conflicts and wars are, especially the ‘holy’ ones fought over plots of earth, stones and thought systems, absurd and meaningless. They are, without exception, mere acting out in form the mind’s conflict between itself and itSelf, our bloated ego nothingness trying to make itself right and spirit wrong.

As long as we believe, as you and I do, in the reality of duality, of a self separated from itSelf, and stay locked in conflicts and wars, the sheer insanity of the basic conflict remains safely buried within the locked vaults of the mind, entry forbidden the Sons of God who think they are bodies. The good news is we are free within the dream to believe whatever we wish, but such belief has no effect upon our Self and Reality. We remain as God created us, one with It, now and forever.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Words, 2

Words, like the body, and everything here in the illusory world, are neutral. They can be used to anchor me more deeply in the ego’s illusion or by reflecting spirit, remind me I too, am spirit. Words in and of themselves are meaningless. They only represent what s meaningful, and are intended to teach we have two minds – wrong and right – and a decision maker that can choose between them.

Am I to avoid the use of words, then? No, but I can learn to use words in a new way. Gradually, I can learn to let my words be chosen for me by ceasing to decide for myself what I will say. Thru this process, I learn to accept the words offered me by spirit and give as I receive. I listen, hear and speak.

My faith is not in the words – they are only symbols – but in the experience of peace, happiness and joy and the absence of pain, conflict and fear that comes when the words are used to remind me of my mistaken choice. It is the experience I learn to trust, not the words. That is why the Course emphasizes content, over form. It is the experience we want, not the words.

“We wait for the experience,” the Course says, “and recognize that it is only here conviction lies. We use the words, and try and try again to go beyond them to their meaning, which is far beyond their sound.” The crucial difference between words and meaning is that neither sign nor symbol should be confused with source, and we will know source by our experience.

The only issue is not whether we hear an inner voice, but which inner voice we pay attention to - spirit’s voice of peace, or the ego’s voice of hate and fear. Simply going within and listening, is no guarantee we are hearing the right voice. We also need our experience to guide us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Admitting that not only do I not know, but that I am wrong about what I think I do know, and that there is Someone who does know and Who is right, begins the process of undoing the ego illusion. Guilt over my original ‘sin’ of choosing the ego instead of spirit, and fear that I will be punished, prevents me from letting go of the ego. But I can begin letting go by looking at my original ‘sin’, fear and guilt through the eyes of vision, not judgment.

“Call it not sin but madness,” the Course advises. “For such it was and so it still remains. Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality [which it wasn’t]. And above all, be not afraid of it.” This holds not matter how serious the ‘sin’ seems to be, because there is only one problem despite appearances to the contrary – my belief that I am better off separate from spirit. Consequently, there is one solution: recognizing I was wrong in accepting the idea that the separation is true.

Deep down, my decision maker knows it is part of the oneness, not separate from It. My decision maker wants to make a complete surrender of itself to spirit, knowing that it has been wrong and that ‘surrender’ means coming over to the winning side. Surrender comes when I realize I cannot do it on my own, that I - my ego, has been wrong and doesn’t know, but there is that within me that is right and does know.

Surrender is a never ending process that brings a grateful sigh of relief each time I do it as, saying, ‘Enough, already!’ I put down the burden of feeding, supporting, and protecting my bloated nothingness, and exchange nothing for everything - the joy, grace and peace, brotherhood, cooperation, compassion and love of spirit.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The goal is to let my bloated nothingness, my ego, get out of the way of the divine circuits. Let it - no struggle, no battle. Just turn away from it and quiet my mind so I can hear my real Self speaking to me. I hear it once in awhile, but I’d like to hear it more often. I know it’s always speaking to me, saying love, grace, blessings and compassion, if I could just shut up and listen.

Part of the difficulty in hearing It and having a relationship with mySelf, is that I’m using words. What else could you use, you ask, and quite rightly. But words are of the ego. When I ask spirit for help or advice, I ask in my words. I am the one defining the situation, my hopes, desires and needs. I am literally putting words in spirit’s mouth. Words frame the situation and make it real, when what I want to do is see the situation as an illusion, not make it real. What I want to do is awaken to the truth beyond all words.

Choosing words is part of the ego’s plan to make the illusion real. Choosing words deepens the illusion, involving a large number of assumptions which inevitably limit the response, taking me still deeper into the illusion. A choice of words is actually a decision about the kind of response within the illusion that would be acceptable. The purpose of words is to limit and by limiting, make a vast area of experience more manageable by me. For many aspects of living in the world this is necessary. But not for having a relationship with mySelf.

Spirit, mySelf, does not use words and does not communicate in words. Haven’t you experienced this? Spirit only communicates with that part of my mind, where mySelf always abides, when the decision maker chooses to join with It. My job in getting my bloated nothingness out of the way is to realize that words are part of the problem; that I do not know what I think I know; that I do not even know what to ask or the nature of my problems.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Today is the day of complete salvation, not tomorrow or the day after, but now.
All who seek the way, please, do not waste this moment now.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot breathe for a moment ago, nor for the moment to come. I can only take this breath now. Now is all there is and all there will ever be. There is no past or future, there is only what we think about the past or future; and the thinking is always done now.

Being present means being awake and aware now. Now exists whether I am present or not. Now am I, and you, the sons and daughters of the most high. Not when we die, but now. In the now, we can listen to the still small voice within and experience life as it really is. Now I can know my purpose. Now I forgive myself and everyone and everything for taking the illusion so seriously. Now I set my intention to contribute to a world that works for everyone and everything. Now I trust divine timing and am patient.

Now it is done unto me as I believe, and I choose to believe that I, and you, are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. Now I set my intention to awake to this reality, letting go of my bloated nothingness and getting it out of the way of the divine circuits.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oops! 3

If we give our bodies over to spirit, returning to the decision maker in our minds, we will gradually, slowly – too slow and too gradual for me, most of the time – allow our bodies will serve a different purpose - to show ourselves and the other selves we associate with our true Self. Giving over the pain, fear and guilt and understanding that I, and you, simply made a mistake [easier said than done!], we can return to our minds and choose again. That’s what the ‘Oops!’ does.

This is gradual slow process, but you will notice an attitudinal shift, identifying less with your body and ego and more with compassion, forgiveness and gratitude. Do the ‘oops’ thing and watch for your experience to change. Rather than feeling imprisoned in a body, you will begin to see your experiences as opportunities to learn, shift, say ‘oops!’, and give over to spirit – letting go and letting God.

When I do this, I am not changed and shifted alone. As I am freed from the thought system of separation and the guilt, fear and hatred that goes with it, everyone must be freed as well, because we are all one. Again, this experience of oneness is difficult to understand from our fragmented perspective here. Yet, if you think about it, you’ll realize everyone has had moments of total peace and acceptance which are the reflection of the reality of our oneness with spirit. The way to truly heal the world, is to heal myself by accepting mySelf. I can do that now, no waiting, nothing to prove, no dying. I am doing it but it’s gradual and slow. But each ‘oops’ brings me a little closer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Students riot as Joe Paterno gets fired.

Oops, here I go again, taking things too seriously and ranting about them.

Some students at Penn State, and I hope it’s only some, are rioting because Joe Paterno was fired. They’re not rioting because for many years, I’ve heard as many as nine, young children - young male children, were raped and sodomized by a predator in Paterno’s employ, and the rioters have compassion for those poor innocent victims and want justice for them. No, they’re not rioting for that. They’re not rioting because current arrangements, sometimes known as the ‘system’, are shackling them with huge life-long debt for an ‘education’ of questionable value. No, they’re not rioting for that.

They’re not rioting because they won’t have decent jobs and will have to live at home [if it hasn’t been foreclosed] with their parents. No, they’re not rioting for that. They’re not rioting because of global climate change and the wholesale destruction of dolphins, other species and the potential destruction of the planet itself. No, they’re not rioting for that. They’re rioting because the great god of football, America’s religion, has been fired.

I heard a couple of them on TV a few minutes ago, talking about how the nasty school administration ‘over-reacted’ by firing their god. Soon, some alumni will withhold their donations and stop supporting the school.

When I first heard that the Board of Trustees fired both Paterno and the University president, I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that in this day and age of amazing, unbelievable public hypocrisy, sham objectivity and hyper attention to the ‘bottom line’ – money and winning, that a group of people would actually risk the wrath of the no-nothing bottom liners, and do the right thing. But they did and instead of some students and some alumni appreciating their courage, they’re rioting and withholding donations.

The veils of rhetoric that have masked our hypocrisy as individuals and as a nation are falling away. Now we see that a winning football team is much more important and valuable than the lives and health of a bunch of male children. Now we see who and what counts in America, and sadly, what has always counted. Sports, right wing politics and military preparedness are what count, not a silly, idealistic and unrealistic, compassionate, fair and just society. Winning, winning, winning – as another football god, the great Lombardi said, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!”

But the students rioting saddens and depresses me most. They are the future. I like to kid myself that the young people understand what’s important and are learning from our mistakes and will bring on a better future. Apparently not. At least for some of them, sports and winning trump morality and justice. Too bad, not just for them, but for us, as football, the modern equivalent of the ancient Roman bread and circuses, leads America laughing, high and drunk down the same path the Romans took to decline, third rate status and obliteration.

But the fact that Paterno was fired and that only some students and some alumni are assholes means there might be hope.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oops! 2

“There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand,” the Course says, speaking of the either/or nature of the ‘relationship’ between spirit and ego. Spirit knows nothing of the ego. Spirit is real and eternal, the ego is unreal, an illusion. The ego, aware of spirit, fears it, knowing if we were ever to waken to our reality as spirit, the ego would disappear.

There is no way a separated mind could comprehend the reality of eternity, timelessness and the illusion of time. Our whole existence is based on time; everything here is governed by the clock. As long as we identify with the body, how could we ever understand time’s non-linear and illusory nature?

“Yet, we need not fully understand the true nature of time and the Course’s metaphysics in order to understand how to forgive and the power of forgiveness to reflect spirit’s qualities here. All that is required is a willingness to be taught; to choose spirit as our teacher instead of the ego.

“Eternity is always present, and totally unaffected by the dream of time – a few minutes or a few billion years makes no difference to an illusion. What never happened [the separation from spirit] never happened. Oneness cannot be compromised or lost. The journey home [the awakening to our reality as spirit] is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. Despite the pained discomfort of our lives, they are still part of a dream.

The separation only seemed to occur. Choosing to remember oneness must be illusory, since we never left it. Spirit does not demand we accept this now, for it knows we ultimately will, and have already done so. So, if we experience spirit pressuring us to accept our oneness, it must be the ego. The urgency we feel comes from our pain and discomfort – the ego’s need to make the illusion real. Oops, there I go again!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oops, there I go again!

“Oops, there I go again, taking myself too seriously.”

“Our faith,” the Course says, “lies in the Giver [our Self], not our [selves]. We acknowledge our mistakes, but He to Whom all error is unknown is yet the One Who answers our mistakes by giving us the means to lay them down, and rise to Him in gratitude and love.” To me, this means we do not deny our identification with the ego’s world illusion. We think we are here, so we are here – cogito ergo sum. We need not feel guilty about it nor fight it, we simply need to have faith in the Giver and know we can choose to receive our birthright from It and awaken to our Selves anytime we turn from the world, return to our minds and allow the decision maker to choose anew.

When we catch ourselves taking things here too seriously, all we need do is say, “Oops, there I go again!” and let go and let God. This is a constant, second to second thing, a never ending process, as long as we think we are egos in bodies in the world.

We experience the reflection of spirit’s love and peace in this dream world by preparing for it, by admitting – gladly and gratefully – that we have been wrong about our identity. We experience only the reflection of spirit’s love and peace, because spirit is not in the world, because the world is an illusion and spirit knows nothing of illusions but only Its reality as all inclusive love and peace. There is no way for us to understand spirit’s reality here, in the world, the Course says; only the reflection of that reality. We cannot speak, nor write, nor even think of this at all because of our investment in the ego, duality and knowing through contrast and opposition.

So because we can not know, we accept spirit’s reflection here and take as our goal awakening from the dream; the undoing of the illusion, not its solidifying. We ease off taking ourselves too seriously and making our lives in the illusion happier or more peaceful. Instead, we use our experiences here as a means to be mindful, awaken from the dream, and return to the decision maker in our minds so we can choose again.

Just saying, “Oops, there I go again!” when we catch ourselves taking things too seriously is a great way to do begin to undo the illusion, be mindful, awaken and choose again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Form and Content

The Course in Miracles says we have a simple, either/or choice to make – do we identify with our egos or with spirit? The more we identify with the body and the world, the more we choose the ego instead of spirit. Both the ego and spirit are in our minds, which transcend, our brains. It is the decision maker within our minds that chooses. Fearful of the decision maker's ability to choose against it, the ego has developed a strategy of mindlessness, wherein we identify almost completely with it and our bodies (form) and not the decision maker in our minds and the choice it is making (content).

The ego tells us if we are to remain secure in our individual and special identities, that we avoid the mind and root our awareness totally in the external world, the ego's projected dream of separation. To further the aim of self-preservation as opposed to Self-awareness, we are attracted to anything in the world as a means of entrenching us there, reinforcing the amnesia, and avoiding the mind and decision maker that can choose heaven or hell at any instant.

The miracle the Course speaks of, does not awaken us from the ego's dream of a world separate from spirit, but merely shows us who the dreamer is. It teaches there is a choice of dreams while we still sleep, that the content of the dream, not its form, is where the choice lies. And, that being there is a choice and that the decision maker in our minds must make it, we need to look past the dream/illusion of the world (the form) and return to our transcendent minds and choose again (the content).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Humor

Paraprosdokian: Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.

"Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian.

~ I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

~ Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

~ I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

~ Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

~ Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

~ A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

~ You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

~ Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

~ I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

~ You're never too old to learn something stupid.

~ To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

~ Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

~ Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

~ Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

~ A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

~ Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

~ I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon and a shot of tequila.

~ When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Paraprosdokian: Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.

"Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian.

~ I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

~ Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

~ The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

~ Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

~ If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

~ We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

~ War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

~ Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

~ Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

~ To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

~ A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.