Split mind and “minor” miracles

This is a perfect example of how unique and valuable the course is. I originally read this a month ago, and did get quite a lot out of it, but I reread this passage in a study group this morning and had a completely different understanding. That’s why you can never really be done reading this book. After only a month this little idea has changed so much. And this book is like 1,000 pages long…

The course often talks about a split mind. On one side we have the ego, and on the other side we have our spirit. This naturally produces a lot of friction, as these two sides seem to be in direct opposition to each other.

This is a fundamental concept that is talked about in pretty much every spiritual system, and it seems like everyone has a different solution. Some say to eradicate the ego, that ego death is the ultimate goal. Some say you have to retrain the ego. Force it to produce different, loving thoughts. Others say this split is irreconcilable. That it has to be accepted for what it is and lived with.

I’ve tried all of these, but ultimately they did very little to help. They actually probably did more damage than anything else. I realize now that self attack is never a solution, which was my approach to the ego for some time.

The course lays out why trying to resolve this split on your own is a lost cause.

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Chapter 4, section 1 “Right Teaching and Right Learning”, paragraph 2:
“Nothing can reach spirit from the ego, and nothing can reach the ego from spirit. Spirit can neither strengthen the ego nor reduce the conflict within it. Your self and God’s Self are in opposition. They are fundamentally irreconcilable, because spirit cannot perceive in the ego cannot know. They are therefore not in communication and can never be in communication”

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These two minds live in completely different worlds. There is no frame of reference for either one. You can’t teach the ego anything.

The course poses a different solution.

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“If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of your thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you back to God.”

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Hmmm, that’s a new one. I don’t fight the ego, I don’t try to change it, I let the divine take care of that. Another burden dropped. And this is actually something I’ve been witnessing within myself for years. Where I will start having a very ego-based thought loop start, then all of a sudden I get this completely different thought dropped in that breaks that loop and brings me out of it. It’s like a friend is reminding me “hey, you don’t have to do this, let me lift you up out of here before you get sunk in too deeply”.

Sometimes I go right back into the loop, but most of the time I smile seeing how silly it was. I’d always kind of thought this was dumb luck, or just a random coincidence. But now I see this was the divine reaching down and helping me out. This intervention has happened to me a couple times today, and afterwards there has been immense gratitude and appreciation that wells up within me. It’s such a validation that the divine is connected to me, helping me out in my day to day existence. On the surface it might not appear to be some huge miracle where I am walking on water, or emerging from an accident unscathed, but to me these gentle reminders are just as special.

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“And gratitude to God becomes the way in which He is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and a thankful mind.”

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This is so cool to me. For the course to explain something that is already happening. So I can consciously direct it. Put more energy towards it and see the results.

It feels like so many solutions that other spiritual systems propose are creating something out of nothing. It’s like you’re almost going against your nature. Fighting upstream. Trying to force these changes. I’d much rather just tap into something that’s already happening. Especially something that allows me to relax. Drop burdens and responsibilities instead of adding more. The more I can offload onto the divine the better… I’m tired of fighting upstream…

god of the chair

I just moved into a new apartment, and my mom was here this weekend helping set everything up. We spent a couple days shopping for new things, and she spent $200 on this chair to go in my office area. I was never crazy about the chair, but thought it would grow on me… But it hasn’t. So now I’m caught in this trap of asking her for the receipt without hurting her feelings.

chair

Which was producing a lots of fear in me, which I had just read about in the course. Specifically Chapter 2, section VI. “Fear and Conflict”.

“Being afraid seems to be involuntary; something beyond your own control. Yet I have said already that only constructive acts should be involuntary.”

I totally look at fear this way. It’s something that bubbles up from the depths, which locks me in its grip and throws me about at will. Something I can try to fight, but it has little effect. But I like this point above. Truly involuntary acts are a mark of the divine. Where what I say and do are largely controlled by the divine working through me. The acts aren’t mine, originating from the ego, they originate from spirit. Since this fear definitely doesn’t originate from the divine, that would mean it’s not involuntary… As much as it seems that way…

“The presence of fear shows that you have raised body thoughts to the level of the mind. This removes them from my control, and makes you feel personally responsible for them.”

The phrase personally responsible really struck me here. It made me really think about how I’m trying to control the situation with the chair. And then it struck me, in the course they are always talking about how God created us in his image, so we create our world in the same way. When we create our world together with the divine everything is groovy. When we separate ourselves and try to create the world on our own, that’s were fear originates. We are trying to be gods of our own little worlds, but without God’s help.

That’s what I was doing with my mom. Trying to be the god of that situation. To control the conversation, to control her response, to control the outcome. It’s like in the very act of trying to control the situation, that’s what removes control. The only way to truly be in control is to be present, to be synced up with the divine. To be creating in lockstep with it.

In this, there is no fear. I’m no longer tied to the outcome. I know if I’m connected with the divine, it will undoubtedly be in the highest good.