So you think I’m an asshole? Yeah… you’re probably right…

So good…

______________________________________________

Chapter 8, section V. The Undivided Will of the Sonship, paragraph 5:

“Whenever fear intrudes anywhere along the road to peace, it is because the ego has attempted to join the journey with us and cannot do so. Sensing defeat and angered by it, the ego regards itself as rejected and becomes retaliative. You are invulnerable to its retaliation because I am with you. On this journey you have chosen me as your companion instead of the ego. Do not attempt to hold onto both, or you will try to go in different directions and will lose the way.”

______________________________________________

Wow… That’s pretty ruthless. To basically say you have to abandon the ego. This brings up all sorts of unpleasant feelings. The ego usually masquerades as a helpless child, so initially it makes you seem like an unholy asshole for abandoning it. For even thinking of abandoning it. What kind of heartless creature would leave behind a child? One who needed its help? Who was desperately reaching out, crying, beaten, tormented by life? Could you possibly live with yourself if you turned your back on this?

This is obviously a trap, but it’s a damn good one. I think in a lot of ways this is a good illustration that to follow a lot of this course stuff, you could legitimately be called an asshole when being judged by the normal standards of society.

And I think the trick is that you have to be okay with this. To be okay with living outside what most people consider to be decent. To not conform to what is “right”. To be an outsider in this insane society.

And the greatest ally in maintaining this position is the Holy Spirit, and the perspective it brings into this. Like I quoted above, this is a journey to peace, to truth. You can’t bring illusion with you, it must be abandoned. But these things have no real substance. You aren’t actually abandoning anything. It’s just an illusion. The guilt that comes with this is just a trick to get you to turn around. It’s perfectly okay to feel happy as a result of this abandonment, as bizarre as this might sound when viewed through the lens of what society normally thinks…

I’ll quote one more passage which is from paragraph 6. It’s hard to describe how badass reading this makes me feel (which I’ve done probably 20 times now).

______________________________________________

“Never accord the ego the power to interfere with the journey. It has none, because the journey is the way to what is true. Leave all illusions behind, and reach beyond all attempts of the ego to hold you back. I go before you because I am beyond the ego. Reach, therefore, for my hand because you want to transcend the ego. My strength will never be wanting, and if you choose to share it you will do so. I give it willingly and gladly, because I need you as much as you need me.”

______________________________________________

Awwwwwwwwwww yeahhhhhhhhhhhh, I love that!

Progression of Correction

I’ve been doing a lot of chewing the past couple weeks on this idea of relinquishing control to the divine.

_______________________________________________________________________

Chapter 2, section VI. Fear and Conflict, paragraph 1:
“My control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose.”

_______________________________________________________________________

As I’ve seen this happen, I’ve been able to experience what a relief this is. How it removes this gigantic burden off my shoulders and lets me get back into the flow of life.

The past couple days I started to realize there is a progression here. When what the course refers to as the Holy Spirit first starts correcting the ego it’s very abrupt. I go for long walks pretty much every night, and a good example of this first stage happened as I was waiting for a car to pass in front of me before crossing the street. I noticed I was trying to do this thing where I would heal the person with my gaze. Like I would look into their soul and cure whatever ailed them.

I realized this is something I’ve been doing for a long time, and the Holy Spirit interrupted this process and was like “Hey, do you see what are you doing here? Healing people is my job, you don’t need to try to shoulder that responsibility. Let me do the hard work. Just relax.” And then I was like “Oh… You’re totally right, I’m beating myself up doing this, and not really accomplishing anything.”

So there was this whole dialogue that started where I saw this habit I was engaged in, had it interrupted, and then analyzed what was going on. Why was this habit there in the first place? What does it mean for my ego? What’s the best way to correct this? And on and on and on…. I do think dialogs like this are helpful to put things into context. Make all this a little more digestible, and easier to share with others. But at the same time they can very easily lead to stagnation. They can be a trap.

Here’s where I started noticing stage 2 of the correction process. When whatever habit was disrupted in stage 1 gets disrupted again in the future, that dialogue happens less and less. At first maybe I just summarize what I had gone through in stage 1. Then maybe it’s a few sentences. Then just 1… or just a few words. The basic idea is that I transition much quicker from a stuck position to getting back into the flow of life.

And what I’m just beginning to see is actually a third stage. I started noticing that it went from a whole analysis, to a couple sentences, to a couple words, to just one word, and then it dropped down to just a feeling. I could tell when this loop was starting before I got any thoughts in my head. So the correction happened RIGHT after the disconnected thought, so fast that I couldn’t even really tell what was happening. Just a slight slowdown, a slight restricted feeling, and then back moving again. Like I had digested pretty much everything I needed to learn from that lesson.

One of the main reasons I like walking at night is it really clears my head. Gives me a different perspective on all this stuff that’s whirring through my head. And I always have a notepad with me to jot down when things start clicking (many a blog post has originated on these walks…). I realized tonight that these walks are a perfect illustration of the stages.

When I first have a correction and am in stage 1, I stop walking, pull out my notepad, and jot down my ideas. This is very restrictive because I’m not moving anymore. I’m static. My ego might be learning, but at the expense of really living. Then in stage 2 I might just stop and jot down a word. And in stage 3 I never stop walking. And I noticed that if I stay in stage 3 for a little bit, it feels like I have a force field around me. A bubble of love. That there is nothing that can distract me or slow me down, because the correction is happening before it even enters my awareness. It’s like I’ve fully released control and the Holy Spirit is holding me in its hands.

 

So the take away here should be to get out and go on walks! Improve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health! Is there an easier, legal way to do all of this? I don’t think so…

4953353194_3fb0e2bd1c_z

Vulnerability in the eyes of the Divine – thoughts from “A Course in Miracles”

This is from “A Course in Miracles”. Chapter 2, section V. “The function of the miracle worker”.
Paragraph 7 and 8 have some really juicy stuff about feeling vulnerable. About what we try to hide from everyone.

“I said before that the Holy Spirit cannot see error, and is capable only of looking beyond it to the defense of Atonement. There is no doubt that this may cause discomfort, yet the discomfort is not the final outcome of the perception. When the Holy Spirit is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, he also looks immediately toward the Atonement… Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need for correction into awareness.”

Atonement here is really just a synonym for healing. So it’s saying that spirit can’t see all these walls you’ve spent so much time building up. It doesn’t exist to it. So when it visits you it immediately cuts through to your core. Which is definitely uncomfortable. That’s not a place that’s touched very often. But it’s ultimately necessary, because this is a very healing process if allowed to continue.

The term “defilement of the altar” really struck me. It does seem like that’s what I’m trying to protect when I think people are looking at me. That part of myself that was once pure, but that I corrupted. Soiled. Did the most vile unspeakable things to, which no one can ever know about. And I’ve constructed oh so elaborate methods to keep this hidden. I’m like 99% sure they will never see the light of day again.

But it seems like that’s the whole point of this Holy Spirit. That’s what it seeks out. It’s its purpose. So I think I had this belief that I needed to be “good” because that’s what would attract divine attention to me. Would lift me up. But what if it’s actually the opposite? That in acknowledging those places in us that are trapped in despair we are raising a flag, saying “Hey divine spirit dudes! Here I am! I’m ready for some lovin’!” And at first the attention we receive here is uncomfortable because it’s digging up all that crap, but the shovel is in the hands of the divine, so if we can trust in that and let go, we will be healed.