What is A Course in Miracles?

W-30: God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Real vision is unlimited by space and time.  Real vision does not depend on the body’s eyes at all.  Real vision comes from “within,” that is, from God’s mind.  Today we use “projection” as a way of seeing the All in all.  

God is in everything I see … because God is in my mind.  God is in my mind, and so everything I see is infused with God.

If God is Light, then Light is shining through my mind, and illuminating all that I see.

Darkness cannot exist in Light.  Who am I?  That Light which is Shining.

LESSON 30

God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

The idea for today is the springboard for vision.   From this idea will the world open up before you, and you will look upon it and see in it what you have never seen before.  Nor will what you saw before be even faintly visible to you.

Today we are trying to use a new kind of “projection.”  We are not attempting to get rid of what we do not like by seeing it outside.  Instead, we are trying to see in the world what is in our minds, and what we want to recognize is there.  Thus, we are trying to join with what we see, rather than keeping it apart from us.  That is the fundamental difference between vision and the way you see.

Today’s idea should be applied as often as possible throughout the day.  Whenever you have a moment or so, repeat it to yourself slowly, looking about you, and trying to realize that the idea applies to everything you do see now, or could see now if it were within the range of your sight.

Real vision is not limited to concepts such as “near” or “far.”  To help you begin to get used to this idea, try to think of things beyond your present range as well as those you can actually see, as you apply today’s idea.

Real vision is not only unlimited by space and distance, but it does not depend on the body’s eyes at all.   The mind is its only source.  To aid in helping you to become more accustomed to this idea as well, devote several practice periods to applying today’s idea with your eyes closed, using whatever subjects come to mind, and looking within rather than without.  Today’s idea applies equally to both.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, her online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

A New Measurement of Love

“Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation, and used for purposes of love?” (T-18.VI.5:1)

I was raised with the understanding that love is measured by how devastated you feel when someone dies.  Inconsolable grief was a demonstration of depth of feeling and loyalty to the departed.

In fact, pain was a tie that kept the relationship between the deceased and the living “alive.” To stop feeling pain was to be a callous monster.

Guilt turned out to be an intrinsic part of all love relationships, whether dead or living.  Guilt was an ongoing barometer of how often I fell short of loving well, and the punishing consequences of my inadequacy and/or selfishness.

Such is the nature of human love.  There are always conditions and loss.

However, after studying A Course in Miracles for a while (along with 12-step work and psychotherapy), I began to realize that giving on human terms was supporting conditional love rather than unconditional love.  It was also enabling me to maintain ego control rather than developing faith in relying on my Inner Teacher.

What a relief to discover my true purpose, “Everyone has a special part to play in the Atonement, but the message given to each one is always the same; God’s Son is guiltless.”   (T-14.V.2:1)

Ego tempted me with the idea that accepting innocence (when I was convinced I had done something wrong) would be the equivalent of not having a conscience. Or that if I forgave someone when he had clearly done something wrong that I would be encouraging or enabling cruelty and its results.

But Jesus so clearly explains in A Course in Miracles that our original state is Innocence and Innocence can only beget Love, that he changed my mind.  My attention moved from ego madness to Jesus sanity, as he explained, “Your only calling here is to devote yourself, with active willingness, to the denial of guilt in all its forms.” (T-14.V.3:4)

I embraced this “active willingness” and it removed the deep-seated guilt that plagued me, gently excised the judgment that condemned me, and in the process released all my brothers as well.  People make mistakes and mistakes deserve Correction.  Turning to the Holy Spirit always provides a loving Answer.

For almost 20 years now, rather than using relationships as instruments of separation, I have used them for the purpose of love.  My new measurement of Love has withstood the test of time and experimentation with real human beings.  Love inevitably leads to Timelessness and shifts the human to the Being.

It should be no surprise God’s Love turns out to be Innocent, non-judgmental, non-obligatory, non-expectant, bargain-free, no contracts, freely given and received, easy and natural, overflowing with generosity, and always alive.  For God’s Love can never die, nor betray, nor harm.  And we are an extension of God’s Love.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to Amy reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

W-29: God is in everything I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Photo: Scott Johnson

We are used to attributing the grandeur and beauty of nature to God.  We are not used to the idea that God is in the mundane and the revolting as well.

God is in everything we see because we are within God’s Mind.   Seen correctly, every “thing” is not a thing at all, but an extension of One Formless Source.

Therefore, God is in this and God is in this

God is in everything I see … because I am within God’s Mind.

Pantheism regards the universe as a manifestation of God; pantheism is a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe.*  Today’s lesson is not saying that God created the physical universe.  It is saying that what the ego mis-created can be used for God’s Loving Purpose which will help us see differently.  The word “universe” is used to mean different things depending on its context in ACIM.  In W-29, universe is used to mean Oneness.

Lesson 29 could also be titled, “The Whole Basis for Vision.”  The alternate title I proposed for yesterday’s lesson was, “The Purpose of the Universe.”  When we want to see things differently, the purpose of the universe is revealed: to see with God’s Unified Vision, not with the ego’s divisive dream-mind.

Your Inner Teacher, the Holy Spirit, provides a Vision bridge for you to cross.  golden bridge

The manifestation of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, holds out his hand for you to help you cross that golden bridge.

Since we are equals with Jesus, we are also manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

Cross the bridge and find out for yourself.

Jesus Hand

LESSON 29

God is in everything I see.

The idea for today explains why you can see all purpose in everything.  It explains why nothing is separate, by itself or in itself.  And it explains why nothing you see means anything.  In fact, it explains every idea we have used thus far, and all subsequent ones as well.  Today’s idea is the whole basis for vision.

You will probably find this idea very difficult to grasp at this point.  You may find it silly, irreverent, senseless, funny and even objectionable.  Certainly God is not in a table, for example, as you see it.  Yet we emphasized yesterday that a table shares the purpose of the universe.  And what shares the purpose of the universe shares the purpose of its Creator.

Try then, today, to begin to learn how to look on all things with love, appreciation and open-mindedness.  You do not see them now.  Would you know what is in them?  Nothing is as it appears to you.  Its holy purpose stands beyond your little range.  When vision has shown you the holiness that lights up the world, you will understand today’s idea perfectly.  And you will not understand how you could ever have found it difficult.

Our six two-minute practice periods for today should follow a now familiar pattern: Begin with repeating the idea to yourself, and then apply it to randomly chosen subjects about you, naming each one specifically.  Try to avoid the tendency toward self-directed selection, which may be particularly tempting in connection with today’s idea because of its wholly alien nature.  Remember that any order you impose is equally alien to reality.

Your list of subjects should therefore be as free of self-selection as possible.  For example, a suitable list might include:

God is in this coat hanger.
God is in this magazine.
God is in this finger.
God is in this lamp.
God is in that body.
God is in that door.
God is in that waste basket.

In addition to the assigned practice periods, repeat the idea for today at least once an hour, looking slowly about you as you say the words unhurriedly to yourself.  At least once or twice, you should experience a sense of restfulness as you do this.

*  Source of definition:  Merriam-Webster.com/dictionary and Google dictionary

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

W-26: My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

mauve-sky-with-lightningThis is one of those lessons that is thunderous.  It reverberates through my mind with powerful claps because my memory of God is sparked by it.  It says, “The idea for today introduces the thought that you always attack yourself first.”

The ego mind scared itself into believing that we had separated from God’s mind and that in order to alleviate that fear we lashed out at God as if He had done something wrong (first projection).  This led to us believing that now we could be attacked in return.

First we believed we could be attacked by God–before we were even in a form.  We believed this while just an ego thought without the coverings and the veils of space and time and worlds and bodies.  Next we believed that our brothers could attack us … we were so delusional we thought our brothers were separate entities.  As if the fingers on our hand were separate entities independent of our hand, arm and body.

Every person we see “out there” is a piece of us.  We are all aspects of the same ego mind.  One aspect may be homeless and in the gutter, another may be English royalty, but both are facets of the same One.

This lesson helps us really comprehend that.  “And what would have effects through you must also have effects on you.  It is this law that will ultimately save you, but you are misusing it now.  You must therefore learn how it can be used for your own best interests, rather than against them.”

The practice today is worth writing out on paper.  Very deep and powerful.  We are asked to be specific in recounting what concerns us, what we fear could happen, and then to tell ourselves, “This thought is an attack on myself.”  What a relief!

If this is not the first time you’ve done the ACIM Workbook, you might want to partner W-26 with W-38 which provides a further antidote.  In 12-step they say the only person you can change is yourself.  ACIM goes beyond the person entirely and shows us that with God’s help, little “me” is naturally absorbed back into my True Self once and for all.

LESSON 26

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

It is surely obvious that if you can be attacked you are not invulnerable.  You see attack as a real threat.  That is because you believe that you can really attack.  And what would have effects through you must also have effects on you.  It is this law that will ultimately save you, but you are misusing it now.  You must therefore learn how it can be used for your own best interests, rather than against them.

Because your attack thoughts will be projected, you will fear attack.  And if you fear attack, you must believe that you are not invulnerable.  Attack thoughts therefore make you vulnerable in your own mind, which is where the attack thoughts are.  Attack thoughts and invulnerability cannot be accepted together.  They contradict each other.

The idea for today introduces the thought that you always attack yourself first.  If attack thoughts must entail the belief that you are vulnerable, their effect is to weaken you in your own eyes.  Thus they have attacked your perception of yourself.  And because you believe in them, you can no longer believe in yourself.  A false image of yourself has come to take the place of what you are.

Practice with today’s idea will help you to understand that vulnerability or invulnerability is the result of your own thoughts.  Nothing except your thoughts can attack you.  Nothing except your thoughts can make you think you are vulnerable.  And nothing except your thoughts can prove to you this is not so.

Six practice periods are required in applying today’s idea.  A full two minutes should be attempted for each of them, although the time may be reduced to a minute if the discomfort is too great.  Do not reduce it further.

The practice period should begin with repeating the idea for today, then closing your eyes and reviewing the unresolved questions whose outcomes are causing you concern.  The concern may take the form of depression, worry, anger, a sense of imposition, fear, foreboding or preoccupation.  Any problem as yet unsettled that tends to recur in your thoughts during the day is a suitable subject.  You will not be able to use very many for any one practice period, because a longer time than usual should be spent with each one.  Today’s idea should be applied as follows:

First, name the situation:

I am concerned about _____________.

Then go over every possible outcome that has occurred to you in that connection and which has caused you concern, referring to each one quite specifically, saying:

I am afraid _____________ will happen.

If you are doing the exercises properly, you should have some five or six distressing possibilities available for each situation you use, and quite possibly more.  It is much more helpful to cover a few situations thoroughly than to touch on a larger number.  As the list of anticipated outcomes for each situation continues, you will probably find some of them, especially those that occur to you toward the end, less acceptable to you.  Try, however, to treat them all alike to whatever extent you can.

After you have named each outcome of which you are afraid, tell yourself:

That thought is an attack upon myself.

Conclude each practice period by repeating today’s idea to yourself once more.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

W-25: I do not know what anything is for.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

hands_making_love_heart_with_shining_lightJesus tells us in Lesson 25, “… the ego is not you.”  This means you are not the ego; you are not your body; you are not your personality; you are not a person.  In Chapter 6, we learn “When God created you He made you part of Him.”

Our goals have been centered around the person and the body, not our Self.  When we begin to experience clicks of recognition that we are not the person, but God’s Child (One Self), we want to withdraw our interest in worldly goals.  At first there is some inner conflict, but then it becomes clear that to Love and Be Loved because we are Love is our sole purpose and meaning.

We understand the purpose of worldly things, like a cell phone is used to make contact with another person.  But that contact is not true Communication.  Communication is what the ego has tried to usurp, and Communication is what the Holy Spirit helps us restore.

Lesson 25 is a step in the direction of being willing to give up the goals we have established for everything.

“You cannot know the conflict until you fully understand the basic fact that the ego cannot know anything.  The Holy Spirit does not speak first, but He always answers.” (T-6.VI.3:1-2)

My practice today goes like this:

“I do not know what that door is for.  I do not know what this cat is for.  … I do not know what that machine-thing is for. … I do not know what that square is … I do not know what anything is for … because I do not know anything.”  There is a bit of irritation in the stomach … and then a long, full exhale of relief.

How relaxing to give up all my goals.  All my goals.   Life is now–not the ego’s version of the present, but the Timeless-Always-Now.  I do not know what anything is for when I’m looking with the ego’s eyes.  But place myself in Spirit’s hands and golden vision filters through the dream while “I” still seem to be a bit groggy.

LESSON 25

I do not know what anything is for.

Purpose is meaning.  Today’s idea explains why nothing you see means anything.  You do not know what it is for.  Therefore, it is meaningless to you.  Everything is for your own best interests.  That is what it is for; that is its purpose; that is what it means.  It is in recognizing this that your goals become unified.  It is in recognizing this that what you see is given meaning.

You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals.  These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you.  This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for.  As a result, you are bound to misuse it.  When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them.

Another way of describing the goals you now perceive is to say that they are all concerned with “personal” interests.  Since you have no personal interests, your goals are really concerned with nothing.  In cherishing them, therefore, you have no goals at all.  And thus you do not know what anything is for.

Before you  can make sense out of the exercises for today, one more thought is necessary.  At the most superficial levels, you do recognize purpose.  Yet purpose cannot be understood at these levels.  For example, you do understand that a telephone is for the purpose of talking to someone who is not physically in your immediate vicinity.  What you do not understand is what you want to reach him for.  And it is this that makes your contact with him meaningful or not.

It is crucial to your learning to be willing to give up the goals you have established for everything.  The recognition that they are meaningless, rather than “good” or “bad,” is the only way to accomplish this.  The idea for today is a step in this direction.

Six practice periods, each of two-minutes duration, are required.   Each practice period should begin with a slow repetition of the idea for today, followed by looking about you and letting your glance rest on whatever happens to catch your eye, near or far, “important” or “unimportant,” “human” or “nonhuman.”  With your eyes resting on each subject you so select, say, for example:

I do not know what this chair is for.
I do not know what this pencil is for.
I do not know what this hand is for.

Say this quite slowly, without shifting your eyes from the subject until you have completed the statement about it.  Then move on to the next subject, and apply today’s idea as before.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

W-23: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This lesson is riveting.  We are given the “only way out of fear that will ever succeed.”  And it cannot fail.  The cause of the world I see is my attack thoughts.  Period.  If I give up my attack thoughts, my perception of the world will change–this is the happy dream which the Course talks about in the Text.

First, we need to identify what has caused the world–choosing the ego thought system.  Second, we need to be willing to let go of our attachment to the ego thought system.  Third, God takes the final step for us and reveals the Light and Love which we already are.

One tricky point is that our thoughts of attacking someone or something else are exactly the same as our thoughts that someone or something (e.g., a tsunami) is attacking us.  We have to get the hang of understanding that an attack thought is an attack thought no matter which direction it is going … it still indicates we have chosen the ego.

And now, here comes one of the many Course definitions of “salvation.”  Salvation is escaping from the cause of the world.  Salvation is that moment of decision when we opt for the Holy Spirit’s Vision rather than ego-seeing, eyesight.  Then loveliness can light all of our images. 

Now get this:  “There is no point in lamenting the world.  There is no point in trying to change the world.  It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. [emphasis mine]”   What a huge relief.  I no longer have to lament the world.  I do not have to worry about Mother Nature and the countless ways we defile Her.  I do not have to hate myself for not being an organ donor, for not adopting every orphan child and animal out there, for not always recycling!

What’s more, I need to grasp that the world is an effect of my choice to think through the ego mind.  It is a narrow mind, filled with guilt and fear, and it believes it has separated from God. That’s what’s happening.  That is the cause of me picturing a world.  I am outpicturing, projecting an image outwards … an image of attack, hatred, fear, retribution, vengeance.  And the world I see is the effect of my thoughts.

So Jesus says if I change my thoughts I will change my mind.  I will literally switch over from the limited edition ego mind :) to the Full Edition.  We see a world but we don’t see ourselves as the image maker of the world.  We call that arrogance, to claim we could make a world–isn’t that a brilliant way of avoiding the Truth?

This led to a discussion between me and Scott about the law of attraction.  Scott said that he read a book on the subject a while back and found that “there was no traction in the law of attraction” for him.  He didn’t feel drawn to the teachings–he had an innate sense of this lesson: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts, which originated during his 12-year-old lacrosse experience (see blogpost “W-21: I am determined to see things differently” posted on Jan 21, 2015).

There’s been some public concern about the law of attraction being used for greedy manifestation without spirituality.  True law of attraction taps into a higher vibration that guarantees the highest good of all.

My sense of the law of attraction is that the undoing process can bring us to the point when a piece of God’s mind said, “Let’s try being separate from God.  Let’s try duality.  Let’s try felt experience and gross form” and that this pure moment was free of fear, attack, hatred, guilt, death, etc.  This was still within eternity and could be achieved playfully in endless ways … this is my sense of what the law of attraction provides: a way to write our dream script in all variety of gorgeous, abundant, brilliant, peaceful, harmonious ways, just for the fun of it.

Playing at God’s feet, so to speak, and awakening refreshed when we feel like it.  Some of us want to pause here and have some fun in the world.  Some of us are ready to go Home.  What’s interesting to me is that Helen wasn’t thinking about the law of attraction when she scribed the Course–Jesus didn’t offer her an alternative to living in the world for manifestation purposes.  He offered her an alternative thought system–a doorway Home because that must be what she asked for whether she always knew it consciously or not.

LESSON 23

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.

The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed.  Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless.  But this way cannot fail.  Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see.  It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.

If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do  not want.  There is no point in lamenting the world.  There is no point in trying to change the world.  It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect.  But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world.  Here you are changing the cause.  The effect will change automatically.

The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance.  Each of your perceptions of  “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts.  One can well ask if this can be called seeing.  Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?

You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker.  You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause.  This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone?  Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now.  Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate.  For you will not be making them alone.

The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed.  This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced.  The first two steps in this process require your cooperation.  The final one does not.  Your images have already been replaced.  By taking the first two steps, you will see that this is so.

Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practice periods are required in applying today’s idea.  As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself first, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching your mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you.  As each one crosses your mind say:

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about _________.

Hold each attack thought in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.

In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked.  Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same.  You do not recognize this as yet, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today’s practice periods.  We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see.  When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Why Subscribe to Workin’ the Workbook?

WtW verticalWorkin’ the Workbook (WtW) is an online class that helps structure, clarify and support your Course in Miracles Workbook practice.  WtW also helps you persevere and stick with all 365 lessons. Many people quit before completing the Workbook and don’t get to experience the rewards of choosing the Holy Spirit rather than the ego.

You can begin at any lesson — start with Lesson 1 or resume where you left off.  The price is $37 a month (just a bit more than a dollar a day) and no one is turned away due to lack of funds (email me at miracles@amytorresacim.com to ask about scholarships).

Most importantly, WtW encourages you to trust your personal experience. Messages and signs that you might overlook will be illuminated as WtW helps you recognize symbols of God’s Love and Light.

As you do the workbook practice, you will find it easier to connect with your Internal Teacher, the Holy Spirit, and recognize His guidance. You will develop more focus, faith and trust as your own experience strengthens the Truth which is already in your mind.  Here are some basic recommendations from the Holy Spirit as given by Jesus in ACIM:

Recommendations from the Holy Spirit

★ Develop the good habit of practicing your workbook lesson as close to awakening, and going to sleep, as possible.

★ All the workbook lessons should be done in an unhurried manner. A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.

★ As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned. This is important because it impresses on the mind the first miracle principle: “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” When this becomes real to us, there is nothing else to do but naturally and effortlessly spend our lives extending miracles.

★ “The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance.” ACIM, M-29. Isn’t it comforting and inspiring to know that the Holy Spirit is working with you individually?*

★ Open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and feel His power surging Life and Love into you. Doing the workbook practice is like plugging in your cell phone–a powerful energy is charging you up! And there will be signs to boost your confidence along the way.

★ There is also a purification process involved, so it’s natural to experience unpleasant side effects at times. But remember, when swimming pools are disinfected, first the muddy, murky sludge that has gathered at the bottom is churned up to the surface. Only after the filter has been going for a while does the water become clear. In the same way, you are cleansed and purified through the workbook practice. After a while fear and darkness dissolve, and all that remains is the loving light You Really Are.

* There will come a day when you realize that you were working with the Holy Spirit, not He with you. The distinction is, when you choose His guidance, you are connecting with your Source and being enlightened, little by little, by your very own Source. The same Source which we are all connected to; the same Source within which we all live and shine.

For a long time, it seems as if your path is your own–very personal and filled with unique experiences. It is your particular set of experiences, relationships and understandings. This is because first you must become your self, and that readies you to realize your Self.

Imagine you are climbing a ladder to Heaven, rung by rung. Each rung is brightened with more and more light, as you draw nearer and nearer to Heavenly Light. The Holy Spirit is not shining brighter–you are drawing nearer. And when you reach the top you realize there is no individual “you”–there is one big unified Us :)

WtW Lauren crisp n clear

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres. All rights reserved worldwide.

A True Declaration of Independence

fireworks purple goldLet’s transform Independence Day, the July 4th holiday, into a mystical holy day by looking closely at what Jesus calls “independence” in A Course in Miracles.

In Chapter 4 of the Text, he offers us this prayer:

The Kingdom is perfectly united and perfectly protected, and the ego will not prevail against it.  Amen.

He says that it is a declaration of independence, and that we will find it very helpful if we understand it fully.

Here’s my translation for fuller understanding:  The Kingdom is our true Home. At Home we are all joined in one perfect, formless union.  We are perfectly protected at Home because as the Oneness we really are, there is nobody to attack, threaten or endanger anybody else.  The ego cannot defeat God’s Kingdom because the ego is a figment of our imagination, while our Home shines timelessly with absolute loving light.  And so it is!

Jesus also clarifies that the Bible says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you” but it should be, “The Kingdom of Heaven is you.”  In Chapter 5, we learn, “God is not in you in a literal sense; you are part of Him.”  Reminding ourselves that we are the Kingdom of Heaven helps us dis-identify as individual people and reconnect with Spirit.  Effortlessly, we rise above the battleground of the world.  Transcending the human identity doesn’t require a fight–just a change of mind.

This change of mind is affirmed in Lesson 31, “I am not the victim of the world I see” which explains that this idea is “the introduction to your declaration of release.”  As you grasp that you are not the victim of the world you see, you “remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom.  And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world.”  At first, this seems unrealistic, but with practice, miracles shift your perception from person to Presence.

Paradoxically, we come to realize our true independence relies on our complete and utter dependence on God!  Chapter 11 reveals, “Your whole creative function lies in your complete dependence on God, Whose function He shares with you.  By His willingness to share it, He became as dependent on you as you are on Him. … The belief in ego autonomy is costing you the knowledge of your dependence on God, in which your freedom lies.”

Another way of understanding this is that Jesus was able to lead because he was following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  As Lesson 169 puts it, “The Son of God has merely disappeared into his Father, as his Father has in him.  The world has never been at all.  Eternity remains a constant state.”  The ego wants to be a self-governing entity, but the truth is, God “has included you in His Autonomy” and that is true freedom.

Happy Independence Day, Mighty Companions!

You might also enjoy:   How The Homeless Made Me Feel At Home

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

You Can Learn to Awaken

Did you know that A Course in Miracles is a gentle alarm clock for a part of your mind which has deliberately hypnotized itself into a deep, deep sleep?  This sleeping part of your mind is called the ego.  But you are not the ego.  You are God’s ever-present, never-sleeping Child.

When I began studying A Course in Miracles, I had no idea I was sleeping.  Even though it said over and over that we are dreaming, it took years to filter through my many layers of unconscious denial and blossom into right-minded comprehension.  In the meantime, like most ACIM students, I was approaching the Course as a person, and applying its forgiveness practice to my relationships.

As I willingly chose to give all my relationships and self-concepts to the Holy Spirit, He stripped me down to practically nothing … and I found myself at a crossroads: to continue believing I was a person, or to awaken to the truth that I was not a body, I was free, I was still as God created me.

Ego doubt whispered that this kind of freedom was out of reach, that only saints and avatars  reached Self-realization.  “Sure,” it said, “Dedicated yogis, Indian sadhus and Tibetan monks have a small chance of awakening.  But you?  Ha ha ha ha ha!” Yet Jesus kept explaining that I was already awake, and the only reason I didn’t know this was due to my own active interference with that Knowledge.

The wonderful thing about willingness is that it snowballs into full faith.  The ego could roar menacingly, whisper sweetly, and laugh demonically, but it could no longer convince me that its dream was Reality.  I want you to be this clear and certain, too.

Let’s take a moment together, right now, to absorb this truth.  You are awake.  You are God’s Creation.  You are Beingness Being Itself, right now.  This only seems far-fetched and impossible to “reach” when you actively resist Knowing your True Identity.  Let’s face it.  The real reason we actively resist is not fear.  It is that we want to play God.

There is nothing wrong with this.  But as we all find out sooner or later, playing ego god is a very painful choice. “Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit.  Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be another way.  As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point.” (T-2.III.3:5-7)   Hopefully, this essay activates your turning point.

Once you tire of playing God, awakening occurs naturally.  First there is some tossing and turning.  Then a bit of blinking.  There comes a sleepy insistence on “five more minutes.”  And then an Aliveness, an Awareness, and a simple Joy of Being takes over.  What seemed so real fades away in a holy instant.  What is Real prevails.  “Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening.” (W-190)

What a comfort to have Jesus tell us, “You are not yet awake, but you can learn how to awaken.”  And then he holds your hand every step of the way.  Every lesson in the Workbook gives you a daily instruction.  Chapter 30 guides you with Rules for Decision.  The Manual for Teachers devotes section 16 to how you should spend your day.  And all the pages in between are overflowing with the Holy Spirit’s Direction.  Make no mistake.  You can learn through the ACIM unlearning process if you so choose.

“You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams, but the sleep is not real and God calls you to awake.  There will be nothing left of your dream when you hear Him, because you will awaken.  Your dreams contain many of the ego’s symbols and they confuse you.  Yet that was only because you were asleep and did not know.  When you wake you will see the truth around you and in you, and you will no longer believe in dreams because they will have no reality for you.  Yet the Kingdom and all that you have created there will have great reality for you, because they are beautiful and true.” (T-6.IV.6:2-7)

You are beautiful and true,
and this Truth can spontaneously arise in you right now!

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Torres.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Healing Sexual Abuse through A Course in Miracles

Ken Wapnick has an invaluable question and answer section at www.facimoutreach.org.  Below is his explanation of how to heal sexual abuse through the forgiveness practice offered by A Course in Miracles.

Q:  I am in my first year with A Course in Miracles. I was sexually molested as a child. The severe shame I feel from this has made relationships difficult. With each new failure to keep or maintain a relationship, they seem to become progressively more difficult. I don’t mind being in the constant process of forgiving the perpetrators. But my life struggle seems to be in sustaining forgiveness of myself. Is there any way I can address this specifically in my renewed relationship with God?

IM000631.JPGA: It is your ego that has convinced you that the shame you feel now is the result of those traumatic and shameful abusive experiences of your childhood. That way, the problem remains in the past, never really capable of being undone. But you are not alone in thinking this way. This is the purpose of the world, to keep our focus away from the real problem in the mind, the original and only source of guilt and shame, and on events in our lives that have happened to us and cannot be reversed.

This is not to say that those childhood experiences were not horrific or that you don’t continue to be haunted by thoughts related to those experiences. But what the Course offers you now is another way in the present of looking at all of that so that it need not maintain the grip on your life and your mind that it has up until now.

The guilt buried deep in our mind over the thought that we would want to and could separate ourselves from love is the real source of all of our shame. And it is a shame so severe that we believe that we do not deserve to be loved, that a lifetime beginning with abuse by those who are responsible for us is a fitting punishment for our “crime” of assaulting love. We carry the belief that we are somehow fatally flawed and that is the real cause of our shame.

But we never go back and look at that source of shame in our mind, where with the gentle support of Jesus, God’s symbol of love in our mind, we might begin to question the validity of that original self-accusation. Instead, we shift our focus to the world of bodies and the shame associated with being helpless and abused by others over whom we have no power or control. And then this seems to be the shame that poisons our whole life, and all the relationships we embark upon in search of the love that is missing that we yearn for. But the good news of the Course is that the problem is not where we are seeing it, in the world of bodies, but rather in our minds, where the solution — forgiveness — is as well.

And so this is where your renewed relationship with God and His representative, Jesus, and his Course, offers hope. For as you are willing to uncover the deeper ontological guilt and shame that your lifetime of personal shame is pointing to, looking at it with Jesus’ love beside you, you will gradually allow yourself to recognize that there is nothing to be ashamed of. For with his love there with you, you will begin to recognize that you have not abandoned or betrayed love, and love has not abandoned or betrayed you.

*******

Thank you, Ken, for the clarity and power of your prolific teachings on A Course in Miracles which have made being a Course student much easier for so many of us.