Monday, April 30, 2012

Reality and reality III

One of the great things about the experience of being in Reality is the trust and quiet calm that comes from that trust.  I can trust Reality precisely because it is not me, not my self, my small, ego self, but my Self.  Reality, my Self, is kinder, gentler, wiser and more loving than I am.  I, as an ego, am small, confused, scared, ignorant and mean. I as my Self am not. As my Self, I can know all that I need to know, when I need to know it. I don’t have to plan and prepare.  I can live in the present moment, without guilt over the past or fear of the future.  Reality, my Self, simply is.  It has nothing to prove and nothing to do. It doesn’t struggle as my self does.  God how I love being with It and being that way!

I can trust Reality, rely on It and enjoy It, precisely because it is not me, but Me.  How wonderful to get away from me, to let go, open to new ideas and creative vistas and to simply trust. That’s what Reality is, a vacation.  We know, deep down, and all our greatest metaphysicians from Jesus to MLK have told us, that we are more than we think we are. We know this!  And have experienced it as the intuitive, direct knowing of the immediacy of our Source, as our oneness with It and our identity as It.  This is me, too, the Real Me, so very kind, different and loving than the everyday me.

So it’s a paradox.  I can trust, rely upon and enjoy Reality precisely because it is not me, but is Me.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reality and reality II

The thing is to first understand, then practice the idea that there is another way of seeing things and being in the world, an alternative to my habitual, every day ways of seeing and being; that what I take to be ‘reality’ is merely one of a number of realities, most of which are dominated by the ego – my small, tiny, limited self.  Spirit –my generous, compassionate, unlimited Self, is the essential alternative to the ego.  In fact, spirit is more than an ‘alternative’ way of seeing and being, it is Reality Itself.

The ego’s ‘reality,’ what we take to be real reality, is merely a dream of Reality, a mere shadow of Reality.  Introducing Reality into reality is like lucid dreaming.  Lucid dreaming is a learned technique for managing our dreams and turning our nightmares into happy dreams.  With lucid dreaming we know we’re asleep and dreaming, but we consciously choose to access the power/vision/truth always present outside the dream and bring it into the dream, to consciously change the dream from a nightmare to a happy dream. 

Introducing Reality into reality when I think I’m awake, works the same way. First I understand I’m dreaming, that what I take to be reality is a bad dream.  Then I understand that I have access to my greater Self, that that is my real identity, not the ego, and I consciously, mindfully choose to identify with and come from that Self, not my self. Then, the nightmare can be changed from its reality to its Reality, the happy dream of our peaceful, kind and compassionate oneness with all that is.

Conscious choice and mindfulness are crucial.  The more I consciously and mindfully choose to engage in the process of exchanging reality for Reality, the better it works, and the seeming difficulties, which are legion, fade away. 

I practice; realizing that everything, absolutely everything, is an opportunity to choose Reality instead of reality.  I practice; I remember that while in the dream, the dream seems real, all encompassing and without an alternative.  I practice; knowing that despite this experience of dreaming, it is still only a dream and not Reality.  I practice; claiming my Reality, my Self, and releasing my reality and little self, without attack and struggle, peacefully and gratefully turning them over to my Reality and Self.  And the more I practice, the better it works and gradually, oh so gradually, I find myself spending more and more time awake in Reality as my Self than I do in reality with my little self.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reality and reality

What I’m trying to understand so I can do it more often, is what ‘work with’ means.  As I said in yesterday’s post and what my own experience shows me, is that to ‘work with’ the great invisible Reality actually means to not work.  It means letting go of the past, of my habitual, preconceived notions of right and wrong, and what the situation is or should be, emptying myself out (at least on the particular topic of interest) and allow spirit – the great and invisible Reality, guide me, define, diagnose and prescribe for the situation. 

It’s more of an undoing, than a doing.  It’s getting my bloated nothingness out of the way and if feels wrong to do that, like giving up and letting my side down, instead of ‘working with’; and because of the feelings of wrongness and guilt, I resist ‘working with’ in the most effective way.  Instead of ‘working with,’ I’m battling my ego, trying to get it out of the way. 

I want to let Reality shine, as it is always doing if I will but look, to catch a vision beyond the ego’s meager range of what bliss is and allow that vision to pull me towards it.  Doing this is ‘working with.’  Forget forcing or confronting my ego, leave it be and just go for the vision.  Be still and know.  Seek ye first the Kingdom and all else shall be added.  The pain pushes ‘till the vision pulls.

Usually the conditions I’m concerned about - a headache, cancer, being unemployed that I’m seeking spirit’s help to fix, will not magically disappear.  But, when I’m really able to work with spirit, not to ‘fix’ these conditions, but simply to know I am spirit, then how I approach the conditions and what they mean to me, will be different.  Almost certainly less acutely painful and more in line with the benign, compassionate and kind reality that spirit is. 

I will perceive what’s happening as ‘conditions’ not permanent Reality, but as part of my ego’s reality, not all of who I am, but only part of who I am.  And as I release the conditions from my ego’s grasp, as I stop thinking I know what’s going on and what to do about it, giving them over to my greater Reality, the conditions are free to change and reflect their spiritual reality.  I am able to perceive them, not as life-threatening problems, but as life-expanding opportunities to seek the Kingdom first and experience Reality.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mental Equivalents II

So, OK, when I’m experiencing fear, loss, lack and limitation, I’m using my ego as a mental equivalent.  I can realize my experience results from my projection, take responsibility and do the inner work to change my mental equivalent, or I can try to change the external ‘reality’ that I think is causing my experience.  Most of the time I do not take responsibility nor do I do the inner work, but simply accept the external phenomenon as real and work to change them.

The ego always speaks first, The Course says.  It speaks first and loudest and never shuts up.  It’s the default, what comes up automatically if I’m not being mindful.  But even being mindful and wanting to change my mental equivalent is not enough to actually change it.  For as long as I try to deal with it in it’s own terms as if it were real, I’m stuck, trapped and imprisoned.  The only way out involves more than being willing to shift mental equivalents, it involves a complete and radical shift in what I take ‘reality’ to be.

The non-ego reality is essentially beyond anything my ego can conceive.  This Reality, of which everyone and everything is a part, is just too big and powerful for my tiny ego to conceptualize.  I am constantly cutting Reality down to the size of my ego so my ego soelf can ‘manage’ it, when what I want to do is believe in It, more than my ego, surrender to It, and be guided by It. 

Haven’t we all experienced moments when we’ve felt this benign, all inclusive Reality, this inner sense of being part of a greater Reality; of bliss and a peace that passeth understanding, of unearned and unmerited grace?

We are able to work with this great and invisible Reality because It embodies and embraces us, is who we really are, is the other side of our human experience.  It is the stuff we and everything is made of, that we pour into the tiny mental equivalents of our egos to form our inner and outer reality.  We can also pour It into mental equivalents that more closely approximate It’s reality by surrendering to It and getting our bloated nothingness out of Its way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mental Equivalents

At some level, despite what may be happening on the surface of our lives, we always know who we are.  At some level, we never forget our divine identity, our immersion in the nature of spirit, the immense power within. Practices like compassion and kindness for ourselves and others; pausing to be grateful and sensing the benign patterns in nature; letting go and letting god, accepting grace, and catching the universe working for our good help us awaken to our true nature, to remember what we know, who we and everyone is, and dwell there more often.

Surrender to this inner knowing and awakening, is not about weakness but about having the strength to get egos - our bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits and let go of attachments to the surface things of our lives.  Surrendering, we become free of all thought and self-reference.  We surrender to the moment, right now and fall into the depths of being.  We recognize the truth of our being, that we are already complete and that whatever may seem incomplete or out of place in our lives and in the world is the result of our own limited view of things.

The creative energy that is God, from which all is made, responds to our thought, to the mental equivalents – the molds we pour our thought and feelings into.  If we are experiencing fear, loss, lack and limitation, we are using our egos as a mental equivalent, producing limitation, smallness and lack, when it is the mental equivalent of spirit, the limitless, abundant and benign spirit, that we want to be using.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Most of history’s great charismatic leaders who started movements that enacted change were young, in their 20’s and 30’s.  Today, young leaders will have to cultivate alliances and share leadership among diverse economic, social and racial groups with class becoming an important topic in the equality equation.  Young leaders will be ‘sophisticated,’ meaning they will not pander to their own natural constituency - their base, but will diversify their reach, dealing with more complex and nuanced issues than in the past, using social media. 

Dialogue, rather than diatribe will be their strength.  Compromise will not be a dirty word or a betrayal.  Common ground for the good of all, irregardless of age, race, sex and ideology will be valued.  Creativity, innovation and thinking out of the box will be sought, even from France.  Labeling, profiling and blaming will be properly regarded as useless blocks that waste time and energy and keep people from the common ground and the good of all.  Hidden agendas for special interests that undercut the common ground and the good of all will be shunned.

We can have leaders that embody these qualities right now, we don’t have to wait for anyone or anything.  Most people want leaders with these qualities.  We simply have to demand them and vote for them.  Vote for people that embody these qualities, not anger, fear and blame.  This is still a democracy.  Let’s get clear about what we want, and what we know will work, and vote for it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Carpe Diem!

I was in the ophthalmologist’s yesterday to get my glasses fixed, picked up an old copy of Ebony (10/11), mostly to look at the pictures, and read the following editorial by Amy DuBois Barnett, Editor-In-Chief, part of which I want to share with you.

“Since 9/11, I have not taken a single day for granted.  I understand that every day is a gift, and that the only thing we can control is how hard we live and how much pleasure we take in the small moments.  My mantra became: This day will never happen again.  What can I do to make it count?

“There’s no reason to waste time being afraid of risk, hesitant to have adventures and bitter about lost opportunities.  Live big and bold.  Try new things, visit new places, meet new people, laugh as hard as you can as often as possible.  Stay open to all new experiences and great adventures – and try to have at least one.

“Instead of buying things, focus on doing things.  Don’t shrug off the people and opportunities that come your way.  Think ‘Why not?’ instead of ‘Why?”  Get out there!  Remember, this life will never happen again, and tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Know it’s not about how much time you have, but what you do with it.”

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dominion Over Mind II

Changing my mind allows me to balance both spirit and ego.  As Patrick Cameron said, it is “listening with my ears to what is unfolding around me and listening with my heart to what is arising within me.”  It is the experience of addressing the tasks in my life from devotion, love, compassion and kindness in addition to obligation and ‘have to.’ 

Not honoring or cherishing the impact my deep compassionate kindness might have, and not sharing it freely, even profligately, limits my experience, makes me small, mean and full of lack.  Generosity and expansiveness are what is wanted.  Yes discipline and effort are necessary.  But they must be balanced.  All work and no play, makes Jack and me and you, dull, dull people, barely human. 

As Dr. Cameron says, “when devotion aligns with discipline, whatever I’m doing [and it could be everything I’m doing] becomes a prayer.”  Learning to pray in this way, is a process requiring devotion and discipline, time, awareness, dominion over our minds, mindfulness about who we think we are – who we’re identifying with, and a willingness to meet challenges with a glad heart and open mind.   

I really want and at times, desperately want, to listen with my ears to what is unfolding around me and listen with my heart to what is arising within me; and so balance my devotion and discipline that whatever I’m doing is prayer.  What about you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dominion Over Mind

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” George Bernard Shaw said. Seems obvious, doesn’t it, like common sense? To change the outside, I have to change the inside first. Yet, even tho I see the truth of this, it is easier said than done. It is much easier to change the outside first - to think I am right and need not change, while the outside is wrong, or if not ‘wrong,’ in need of a little tweak. Why is this?

In my case, and I think for you too, and probably for everyone else as well, I confuse my thoughts and beliefs with my identity, with who I am. But my thoughts are not who I am; I am the thinker, not the thoughts. I am a spiritual being having an earthly experience. By claiming dominion of my mind, not my brain, but my mind - the thing that knows the truth about my identity, the spiritual thing I really am, then I can easily and naturally direct my thoughts and feelings, not only toward my good, but toward a world that works for everyone and everything.

This claiming of my power comes with the realization that who and what I identify with – spirit or ego, determines my thoughts which create my beliefs which create my experience. The first thing to do, always, is to take dominion of our minds and identity, shift from ego to spirit, realize we are the thinker, not the thoughts, change our thoughts, then our beliefs, then work for change in the outer world. There will be challenges, but challenges can be seen as wake up calls, opportunities to take responsibility for our experience and dominion of our minds. Remember, “those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

Monday, April 16, 2012

Great Expectations

My wife and I just finished watching Dickens’s Great Expectations on PBS. If you haven’t seen it, don’t miss it! The production values are superior as is the screen play and acting. One of the things that stands out about the story are the metaphysical implications of the profound interconnections between the characters - some are blood relations - that they themselves are unaware of, that not only mold and shape the story, giving it greater depth and meaning, but once the characters become aware of these connections, give them the power to change and improve their lives.

So, too, for us; understanding the metaphysics of the relationships in our own life stories - with spirit, each other and the world, can not only give us the experience of greater depth and meaning, but also the power to change and improve our lives.

What kind of life stories are we living? Do we have great expectations of ourselves? Do we think and act as if we are always blessed with spirit’s love, grace and compassion? That everything’s unfolding for our greater good, even the ‘bad’ things? Or do we feel afraid and frequently overwhelmed trying to manage the world with our puny egos?

We have no choice but to project, but we do have a choice of what we project, and where we project from. Why not project great expectations from the fulcrum with spirit? Instead of looking for what’s going wrong and not working, as we do most of the time, why not look to see if we can catch spirit delivering on our great expectations and working for our good, even when things go ‘wrong’?

We can choose to be at the fulcrum with spirit and our great expectations, projecting peace calm and compassion and perceiving those qualities in the world, or we can choose to be with the swinging pendulum, projecting the dizzy experience of highs and lows into the world.

The choice is ours and, like the characters in Dickens’ story, it’s hidden from us, usually in the unconscious or by our habits. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re reading this, you know it doesn’t have to be that way, that you can understand the metaphysics behind your life story and take conscious control, choosing to work with spirit and have great expectations. Try it! It is so cool to try and catch yourself letting go and letting God, spirit and the universe conspire, inspire and help you discover and realize your greatest expectations, even when things seem to go ‘wrong’!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Funnies - Religious Humor

Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
A. Ruthless.

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany ?
A. German Shepherds.

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh's daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a
little prophet.

Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph
was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles
were all in one Accord.

Q.. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden ?
A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.

Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible?
A. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.

Q. Which area of Middle East was especially wealthy?
A. The area around Jordan . The banks were always overflowing.

Q. Who is the greatest babysitter mentioned in the Bible?
A. David. He rocked Goliath to a very deep sleep.

Q. Which Bible character had no parents?
A. Joshua, son of Nun.

Q. Why didn't they play cards on the Ark ?
A. Because Noah was standing on the deck.

PS... Did you know it's a sin for a woman to make coffee?
Yup, it's in the Bible. It says . 'He-brews'

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

At The Fulcrum

We see things, not as they are, but as we are. Projection makes perception. When we bring a lamp into a darkened room, where does the darkness go? Just as the center of a hurricane is calm, so our true nature - our reality as spirit, is calm and blissful regardless of appearances. We’ve all experienced these truths and the more we choose them, instead of the ego turbulence swirling in and around us, the more we will experience them.

The seeming duality of the appearances swirling in and around us - of light and dark, good and evil, Democrat and Republican, operates like a pendulum, swinging from one extreme to the other. But like our true nature as spirit, the fulcrum at the top that holds the pendulum’s pivot point is not affected by the swings. As Newton’s Second Law of Thermodynamics says, for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. The more we focus on the extremes and try to correct the swings, the greater the highs and lows. However at the fulcrum, from the transcendent position above, the pendulum’s swings between opposites are perceived as part of the whole.

When we are able to perceive ourselves at the fulcrum, as spiritual beings having an earthly experience, the highs and lows do not feel as extreme. We understand that we see things, not as they are, but as we are, that projection makes perception. At the fulcrum, as spiritual beings having an earthly experience, we are at cause, at the source of all movement, both highs and lows. From there we can perceive how our projections, our own thoughts and feelings, are the source of the opposites and the swings between them, creating our experience of the world. From there we can get off the merry-go-round of Newton’s Second Law, reacting, then getting an equal and opposite reaction, then reacting again, round and round in an endless, useless spiral.

At the fulcrum, as spiritual beings, we stop the projections, have no need of them. Instead of falling into the pit of fear and despair, we rise above the situation; no more projections, no more equal and opposite reactions. At the fulcrum, we are centered in peace, and even joy, and receive the guidance of our innate spiritual wisdom, knowing how to feel and what to do in order to make our own contributions to a world that works for everyone and every thing.

Monday, April 9, 2012


“Oneness [both within and without] is not a belief,” Dr. Jack Kornfeld says, “it is a reality. We are physically interconnected. The air we breathe is circulated from the trees around us, the salt water in our bloodstream comes from the clouds and rivers that rise out of the ocean; we are physically part of the cycling of the elements. In the same way,” we couldn’t survive without other people to grow our food, take care of us when we’re sick, pick-up the garbage, generate the electricity. To think that “we are somehow separate and free of dependence on others is one of the illnesses of modern times, one of the greatest causes of suffering, [bringing] environmental desecration, loneliness, and isolation.”

And, similarly, we are connected within, especially to our darker emotions. Western culture prefers to cut-off, deny and project – as in ‘It wasn’t me. I’m innocent; those are the bad guys’- our darker emotions. They scare us. We’re uncomfortable with them. But they are nonetheless part of us. If we knew that when we run away from something like our fear and anger, projecting it onto other people and things, such as the Communists and now Muslims, that not only does it follow us, but grows darker and stronger. If we knew this, would we still run from them and project them? Or would we embrace them and take responsibility for them?

Our culture prefers to look outside for the source of its problems; a behavior is based on a misunderstanding of how things work. When we become good learners and turn toward that which is difficult and frightening, taking responsibility for it, it brings dignity and courage, teaching us to live wise, compassionate lives. Our very difficulties can become the places where our hearts grow compassionate and wise; the place from which we are able to contribute to a world that works for everyone and everything.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Good Learner

They’re not making the future like they used to, Michael Caruso, Editor of the Smithsonian Museum, wrote. Boy! That’s the truth! At the turn of the 20th century, Caruso goes on to say, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a feisty newspaper once edited by Walt Whitman, published a special section peering into the next 100 years. The future then was “a bright, hopeful world of possibility. Just think of it: mighty airships crisscrossing the skies, electric lights solving the problem of crime, the elimination of houseflies due to the disappearance of horse-drawn carriages, and the ‘union of the telephone and phonograph’ bringing theater and opera right ‘into the salon of one’s own home.’”

How different from today, when “worst-case scenarios await us at every turn.” Still, Ralph Waldo Emerson says, writing seventy years before that, “Bad things have a scientific value. These are the occasions a good learner would not want to miss.” Well, no matter whether we choose it or not, we won’t miss it, for what’s happening is happening. What we do have a choice about is whether to be a good learner and see the value in the ‘bad’ things.

A ‘good learner’ is a person who seeks to understand and manifest the reality of a benign and loving single power behind all appearances of difference. ‘Seeks’ is the operative word, because learning to be a good learner, is always a sought after goal, a constant, on-going process. It’s a balancing of the inner work of building our consciousness of connection and oneness and then allowing that consciousness and connection to flow thru us, un-impeded by ego, into the world, contributing to a world that works for everyone and everything. Being a good learner, is, also as Emerson said, learning to “get your bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits.”

Emerson’s good learner is compassionate and nonjudgmental. She can often know that what appears as forces in opposition to one another – male/female, light/dark, god/devil, democrat/republican – are simply the natural polarities that exist in the ego illusion of the world; but when seen with spirit, are simply the two ends on a single continuum. A good learner uses his sense of compassion and connection to balance and connect the two polarities and accept the difficulties and challenges of doing so. A good learner has faith in the unfolding of a benign evolution and knows that wanting to be a good learner, draws to her situations in which she can express her faith and thus balance the polarities.

A good learner knows how difficult all of this is to do using her everyday, ego consciousness, and is careful of what she asks for, but is ready when it comes.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

John Steinback's Thou Mayest, last

I think Steinback is saying that the fundamentalist interpretation of the bible popular when he was writing, just after the turn of the previous century (and still popular today), had the metaphysics inside out, upside down and backwards. There is no devil to tempt us and God is love. Thou mayest. We do have a choice, to awaken to our reality as spirit or remain asleep in the fear and horror of the ego illusion. The Tem Commandments were not about Thou shalt not, but about Thou mayest. What Thou mayest means to me is that God is saying, it’s only a dream, your reality is with me, you are still with me, you are eternally my child, live from that space with that knowledge.

Thou mayest - we need not fight our natural emotions – love, sex, passion and hope, but experience them as blessings and opportunities to choose to awaken to our reality and everyone’s reality, as spirit. If I honor myself and you and everyone as spirit, “I need fear no evil [nor do no evil] for Thou art with me.”

Thou mayest is not an ego message, it’s a God message! It’s not a license to kill or indulge or commit mayhem. It’s an invitation, a plea really, to get our bloated nothingness out of the way; to hide nothing from God, not one spec of pain or fear; to let go of what we think we know (what we’ve learned with the ego), of our belief in sin, guilt and mistakes and give it all over. Its permission to live fully as spiritual beings (surrounded by other spiritual beings) having earthly experiences.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

John Steinback's Thou Mayest

In John Steinback’s East of Eden, a powerful story of choice, lust, love and redemption, he has one of the characters, I think it was a Japanese man, long-time friend of the family, say, by way of explanation for, and resolution of all the conflict, “Thou mayest.”

Thou mayest. In a family dominated by a strict, fundamentalist father who believes in the literal interpretation of the bible, natural desires and needs take on the extra weight of heavenly censure. Everything – love, sex, passion, hope, is temptation and must be resisted. Guilt accompanies almost every thought and action. Loving and innocent motives become twisted and conflicting. Not, Thou mayest, but Thou shalt not.

The characters struggle with one another, find some peace after great suffering and pain, and achieve a vague awareness that their conflicts, especially their inner conflicts, what they’ve been struggling against, aren’t necessarily temptation. They can be, but fundamentally their needs and emotions are neutral, not either good or evil, but with the power to be either good or evil depending on the heart and intentions of the individual.

In fact, perhaps not neutral at all, but actually good. All the natural human emotions - love, sex, passion, hope, aren’t temptations at all, but actually good because they’re ‘natural’ and therefore God given. Good because if God is love and original sin is a mythic metaphor created by the ego to explain its birth, then all of God’s creation is meant to be good, when seen without the ego, when we choose to see it with spirit instead of the ego. Thou mayest, not Thou shalt not.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Resign As Your Own Teacher, You Have Been Badly Taught

The ‘working’ and doing what it takes to allow spirit and our extraordinary, metanormal capacities to shine through, is essentially inner work, self checking and monitoring, a mindfulness, an awareness of what we’re thinking and who we’re thinking with, either ego or spirit. For example, if I’m thinking/feeling alone, overwhelmed, angry, anxious, I’m with ego and need to shift to spirit. The Course and indeed most of Murphy’s material says it’s almost impossible to shift away from ego on my own, help is needed. The Course says pure spiritual help, what it calls the Holy Spirit, is necessary; Murphy’s stuff agrees but suggests that the spiritual help can also come through other people. Either way, the bottom line is, as the Course says, and I love this, I have to resign as my own teacher.

“You have learning handicaps in a very literal sense,” the Course says. “There are areas in your learning skills that are so impaired that you can progress only under constant, clear-cut direction, provided by a Teacher Who [the Holy Spirit] can transcend your limited resources. The learning situation you have placed yourself in [the imagined separation from God/Spirit] is impossible. Poor learners are not good choices as teachers, either for themselves or for anyone else. Your [the ego’s] learning goal has been to not learn. The ego’s rule is, ‘Seek and do not find,’ ‘try to learn but do not succeed.’ Every legitimate teaching aid, every real instruction and every sensible guide to learning [and these are all around us, many in forms we would label ‘bad’ or ‘difficult’] will be misinterpreted. The aim of your teaching is to defeat itself, what can you expect but confusion?”

“But perhaps [no ‘perhaps’ about it!] you do not realize , even yet, that there is something you want to learn, and that you can learn because it is your choice to do so. Resign now as your own teacher. This resignation will not lead to depression. It is merely the result of an honest appraisal of what you have taught yourself, and of the learning outcomes that have resulted. Under the proper learning conditions, which you can neither provide nor understand, you will become an excellent learner and an excellent teacher. Your learning potential, properly understood, is limitless because it will lead you to God. You need offer only undivided attention [thus the mindfulness and self monitoring]. Everything else will be given you. For you really want to learn aright, and nothing can oppose the decision of God’s Son [you, me and every person – we, all of humanity are, in the Course’s context, God’s one son].”

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Future of the Body

I’ve been reading another book that has much the same impact and deals with much of the same content as the Course, Michael Murphy’s, The Future of the Body. Murphy musters vast amounts of evidence from prehistoric times to the present, suggesting that evolution is going on within each and every one of us right now, and moving human beings in the direction of more frequent everyday manifestations of extraordinary metanormal capabilities. In other words, every person alive on the planet now and in the past, is, and has been, a vector for evolution, and can, with discipline, training, faith and commitment, tap into latent inner powers that have seemed supernatural.

Grace, for example. Murphy says that grace, the Buddha nature, Hasidic joy, Hindu moshka, etc, is not a supernatural gift dispensed by a supernatural, external deity for the deserving few, but a natural, ever-present inner reality, equally available to all. Wow!
Imagine, having the ‘blessing’ of grace as a constant reality. How cool, how good! How different our individual lives would be, how much healthier, peaceful, joyous and productive; and society, too.

Grace is one of the extraordinary ‘metanormal’ capacities that evolution is bringing into increasing daily manifestation. Again, we can’t sit back and wait for evolution to do it, but knowing that it’s there for everyone, and then ‘working’ and doing what it takes to allow it to shine through, is quite different and much more empowering than believing that it’s dispensed by some whimsical deity to the faithful few.

In other words, the gift is given, it’s there within each one of us, waiting to be opened. Our purpose is to open it, and the other ‘gifts’, to open it ourselves and help one another open it. Murphy quotes Philip Novak, talking about the Buddha nature as about “not so much on our attaining it, but on our not obstructing its continuous salvific activity…. Far closer to the truth than the notion that grace is absent is that it is always and everywhere present…. We remain blind to the graceful immanence…failing to draw on its power.”