Ask Amy

Ask Amy: Are you the creator of your universe?

Guy QuestionQ:  After working with the Course for several years, I take from it the message that I am the creator of my universe.  A dear friend of mine was killed in Syria recently.  Did I create this?  If I did, I don’t know how I can live with myself.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Rest assured, you did not create the killing of your dear friend in Syria.  Only the ego thinks in terms of guilty responsibility, magical powers of influence, and the loss of life.  Jesus, in his Course in Miracles, would never put you through this kind of psychological agony.

The idea that you are the creator of your universe is a common misconception among Course students.  The primary mistake lies in not understanding who you really are.  Typically, every human, and therefore, every reader of ACIM, begins with the assumption that he or she is a body, identified as male or female, labeled with a name, assigned a role as son or daughter, and so on.  These designations are nothing more than ego brainwashing, layering assumption on top of assumption that the body is “you.”

But you are not a body.  God’s Creation is an extension of the Creator Himself — consequently, you are Spirit, not human.  Therefore, when referring to yourself, know that You are Imageless, Formless, Timeless, and Unified as God’s One Son.  It is not the little ego “you” who creates; the ego “you” mistakenly dreams and that is all.  The real You creates the way God creates: You naturally and effortlessly emanate Loving Light.

“Yet what is it except a game you play in which Identity can be denied?  You are as God created you.” (W-191)

The one collective ego mind (of which people appear to be individual fragments) is a terrorist dictatorship thought system.  The way out of this tyrannical, punitive, and vicious ego-mind cycle is to observe the ego with Jesus.  Then you discover the only reason the ego felt so real is that you believed in it, while forgetting it was nothing more than a passing idea in God’s Mind.

“In a split mind, identity must seem to be divided.” (T-27.II.11:1)

When you stop unconsciously denying your true Identity, it is revealed that as long as we seem to live in a world with others, the only sane choice is to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance and be a miracle worker.  You will feel peaceful, comforted, liberated and illuminated, as you devote the body to serving God’s Will instead of reinforcing a false personal identity.

“It is impossible that God lose His Identity, for if He did, you would lose yours.” (T-14.XI.7:5)

Let us conclude with a prayer for your friend.  May he rest in God, at Home with his Father, enlightened and free in the recognition of his true Self.  Death can serve as one of the many doorways to Who we really are.  Happily for all of us, it is inevitable that everyone awaken to our God-Self, each in our own perfect moment.

“The word ‘inevitable’ is fearful to the ego, but joyous to the spirit.  God is inevitable, and you cannot avoid Him any more than He can avoid you.”  (T-4.I.9:10-11)

Note:  If you found this topic interesting, click here to read the Ask Amy column in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Miracles magazine, which delves into this same concept from a different angle.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2015 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: Sexually abused by a priest: are you responsible?

Guy QuestionQ:  As a boy, I was sexually abused by a priest, and it has crippled me as an adult in many ways.  The Course has helped me to forgive him, but I feel like Jesus is blaming me when he tells us to say, “I am responsible for what I see.  I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve.  And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T-21.II)  How could I be responsible for this priest’s actions, especially since I was so young at the time?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Thank you for your courage in sharing this devastating situation.  Your question is shared by so many people who were betrayed as children.  There are several layers here, so let’s peel them away together.

First, you reveal that due to the abuse you are crippled as an adult.  As realistic as this seems to you, please consider that no matter what your circumstances, feelings, or state of mind, Jesus clearly states in Chapter 1, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving.”  Somewhere deep inside we all know this is true.  Allow yourself to be a sponge and soak up this loving testament to who you really are, and always will be, God’s perfect child.

Second, you say the Course has helped you forgive the priest.  In the ACIM Preface, Jesus explains that each special relationship holds the “chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other.”  This could be taken to mean that one person forgives another, but the Course clarifies that forgiveness occurs when you invite the Holy Spirit to take charge and work through you.  The Holy Spirit truly empowers us by undoing projections of victimization no matter how justified they appear.

In the process, guilt may seem to move from “other” back to “self” until it evaporates entirely.  Eventually, we discover forgiveness undoes the identification you have as a person and reveals there is no one to be forgiven.  You don’t have to figure this out.  ACIM is like a Zen koan — it boggles the mind in order to open the mind to its true Identity.

Third, you feel Jesus is blaming you, which reveals you are still carrying guilt.  Not to worry.  Guilt is the glue that holds the ego together.  When you catch yourself feeling as if Jesus is blaming you, be aware that ego-thinking has taken over.  Let this become an ongoing reminder to “choose again.”  Simply say, “Holy Spirit, I choose your guidance. Remind me of my innocence.”  Miracles are guaranteed.

Last, you ask, “How could I be responsible for the priest’s actions, especially since I was so young at the time?”  Notice within your question is the inherent assumption that you are a person.  Don’t fall for this ego trick.  “A pseudo-question has no answer.  It dictates the answer even as it asks.” (T-27.IV.5)  The ego lures us to speculate endlessly about human affairs.  Dismiss this temptation.

The prayer you cite is about a higher power of decision.  There are only two choices: God or ego.  You are responsible for choosing to see with the Holy Spirit’s unifying vision or the ego’s divisive eyesight.  This prayer is neither an accusation nor a law of attraction mantra.  Jesus is not concerned with people improving their personal lives, which only strengthens belief in ego illusions.  Happily, the part of you that reads the Course understands this because it is the memory of God within you, awakening to its true Self.

Try this: “I, the One Son of God, am responsible for what I see.”  Choose peace, make peace your goal, and you will come to feel peace, receive peace, give peace, and know you are peace.  “Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy.” (T-21.Intro)

Suggested reading:  A Course in Miracles, T-11.VIII. The Problem and the Answer; T-26.II. Many Forms; One Correction; S-1.I. True Prayer, and How to Take Yourself Less Personally.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2015 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

 

Ask Amy: What Is the Mind?

Guy QuestionQ:  According to the Course, the mind is not the brain because the brain is a body part and we are not our bodies.  But how do we think if not with the brain?  What is the mind?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Your question cuts to the core of the metaphysics of A Course in Miracles.  What is beyond the body that can comprehend the message of ACIM?  And who is reading the Course if not you, the person, encased in a body complete with a brain?

There is no way to actually explain or pinpoint the mind because it is formless and beyond the deliberate limits the ego has set on human comprehension.  “Problems that have no meaning cannot be resolved within the framework they are set.” (W-96.3:1)

Having said that, it is a major turning point in the life of every Course student when she or he realizes that Jesus is always addressing the mind — not each of us as people.

ACIM uses the term “mind” in three ways: ego mind (wrong-mind), God Mind (One Mind), and the decision-making part of the mind that has free will and choose to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance (right-mind).  The ego dreamt up the body and its brain as a symbol of separation to keep us unaware of our Source, God’s Unified Mind.  Ego thinking is dualistic and based on opposites, contradictions, comparisons, judgment, guilt and attack.

But the Holy Spirit can translate what the ego has made and give it a loving purpose.  “Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless.  … Only forgiveness can relieve the mind of thinking that the body is its home.” (W-192)

Throughout the Course, Jesus is addressing our power of decision as a right-mind, not as a person with an ego-brain, to stop deluding ourselves about our true Identity.  When we “remove the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence” (ACIM Intro) it is revealed that we are a formless Oneness joined as One.

Whereas the brain is tangible, the mind is abstract, meaning it is not a physical entity.  “Complete abstraction is the natural condition of the mind.” (W-161)  Over and over, Jesus tells us that “Ideas leave not their Source.” and “You are as God created you.”  Somewhere inside we all know, “I am as God created me.”  That knowing is what led you to ACIM.  That knowing is what is reading this column right now.  That knowing is helping you awaken to your true Identity.

“A sleeping mind must waken, as it sees its own perfection mirroring the Lord of life so perfectly it fades into what is reflected there. … the wakened mind is one that knows its Source, its Self, its Holiness.” (W-167)

The answer to your question lies in your willingness to not know anything as a person.  Step back and let the Holy Spirit lead the way.  Lesson 45 teaches, “God is the Mind with which I think” and asks, “Where, then, are your real thoughts?” … We will have to look for them in your mind, because that is where they are.”

God Thoughts are not based on memory or language — they are extensions of love equally shared with all.  You, your One Self, is God’s Thought.

I invite you, right now, into your One Self.  Be willing to trust the Holy Spirit completely in this moment.  Allow your attention to shift from ego-brain to One Mind.  In this holy instant discover your mind is within the Heart of God where it has always been.

For more on this subject, watch Metaphysics of A Course in Miracles on YouTube.

“On this side of the bridge to timelessness you understand nothing.  But as you step lightly across it, upheld by timelessness, you are directed straight to the Heart of God.  That knowing is helping you awaken to your true Identity.” (W-167)

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Nov-Dec 2014 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: Insight Into Prayer: ACIM and Ho’oponopono

Guy QuestionQ:  I pray that we would know the Peace of God, but I have mixed feelings … for those I see as suffering in some way, I take responsibility by saying, “I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you; I love you.”  Can you offer some insight about prayer practice?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Let’s begin with what A Course in Miracles means by prayer.  In Chapter 3, we’re told, “… the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness …  The prayer for forgiveness is nothing more than a request that you may be able to recognize what you already have.” (T-3.V.6:1-5)  You can apply this to your brothers simply by requesting that they recognize what they already have — which is timeless, formless, unified Love.

In The Song of Prayer, an essential supplement to ACIM, it says, “Prayer is a stepping aside; a letting go, a quiet time of listening and loving.  It should not be confused with supplication of any kind, because it is a way of remembering your holiness.” (S-I.5:1-2)  Holiness belies suffering.

It may seem harsh or unrealistic to point this out, but suffering is only seen by the ego.  Since ACIM is teaching us to identify the voice of the ego in order to be free of it, it is necessary to clarify your thought process.  You’re not being asked to pretend or lie — if you see human suffering and your heart yearns to help in some way, prayer is a great choice.  However, the way you pray makes all the difference.

Jesus is uncompromising in explaining that seeing suffering is not compassionate, and what we consider worldly problems are not only absurd, but unreal.  Still, we are using the world as a classroom to discover that we are delusional and hallucinating, and prayer uncovers the Answer.

Your mixed feelings indicate you are lacking faith that God can provide the Peace of God.  Your desire to take responsibility is an indication of playing ego god.  As a Course student, look very honestly at your motivation for saying, “I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you; I love you.” which is the Hawaiian practice of ho’oponopono.

According to www.ancienthuna.com, “Ho’oponopono means to make right.  Essentially, it means to make it right with the ancestors, or to make right with the people with whom you have relationships.  We call this the Hawaiian Code of Forgiveness, and it’s an important thought, because when we forgive others, who are we forgiving?  Ourselves, of course.”  Ho’oponopono is a valid spiritual path.

The Course also teaches that it is only yourself that needs to be forgiven, and that the only  mind that needs healing is your own.  The telltale sign that your choice to use ho’oponopono is ego-driven is that you have mixed feelings.  Inner conflict is always of the ego.

If you were practicing with your Inner Teacher, your prayer would be that everyone recognize what they already have and what they already are.  As a Course student, your prayer method is to step back and let the Holy Spirit lead the way.  Say, “Holy Spirit, help me recognize what I already am, and, in so doing, save the entire world.”

Then you come to realize the world is not real and you have been dreaming!  Prayer is both a process of discovering your true Identity, and a state of Being in which you live as your true Identity.  Forgiveness helps you undo all belief in individuality and discover you are prayer.

Through the prayer process, you come to realize that by imposing a personal sense of responsibility you actually reinforce the very suffering you wish to heal.  Rather, you need do nothing except to allow the Holy Spirit to use you as a conduit for His loving, light-filled miracles.

If you would like to pray together, watch Five Keys to Forgiveness on YouTube.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Sept-Oct 2014 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: You Have to Feel to Heal

Guy QuestionQ:  I’ve been told, “You have to feel to heal” and I’m not sure what this means, whether it applies to Course students, and how to do this.  Can you clear this up for me?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  “You have to feel to heal” is a saying used by psychotherapist, members of 12-step groups, and many other recovery venues.  John Bradshaw may be the one who introduced this expression in 1986 in his excellent PBS series, The Family.

Normally, in a healthy organism, e-motion (energy in motion) flows unobstructed through the body from head to toe.  Just watch a baby laugh or cry to see this is true.  “You have to feel to heal” means you allow yourself to become aware of emotion that is held in your body.

You learn to stop denying, avoiding, minimizing or blocking emotional pain (and sometimes joy).  You raise your consciousness about how you tense your muscles and restrict your breath in order to not feel.

Lots of people are “living from the neck up,” in other words, stuck in their head, compulsively thinking, without a healthy, integrated flow of thought and feeling all through the body.

What does this have to do with A Course in Miracles?  Well, in ACIM, Jesus asks us to look with the Holy Spirit at the ego and how it works.  This is not just an intellectual process.  On a physical level, you need to locate your repressed feelings in order to heal what has been hidden.  “When what you have dissociated is accepted, it ceases to be fearful.” (T-10.II.1:6)  As you “feel to heal,” you dissolve the fear that makes the ego seem so real.

In lots of families you’re not allowed to be angry, frightened, sad, or even happy.  As children, we learn to get with the family program and bury or split-off taboo feelings.  Some families repress and numb out, other families overflow with emotion.  The excess of feeling (hysteria) is another way of protecting family members from the genuine deep pain underneath all the commotion.

The ego loves to divide and conquer.  Spiritual healing is about integration, and on a practical level it usually involves a lot of breathing to locate old wounds and soften tough emotional scars.  The way to feel to heal is to pay kind attention to yourself.  Be willing to discover your physical holding patterns and develop an appreciation for your defenses.

These blocks were brilliant creative adjustments you made as a young child to cope psychologically with abuse, neglect or trauma (this is not unusual — the ego sets up families to fail, be it dramatic or subtle).  For those of us who are practiced at stoicism or dissociation, it can seem impossible to loosen control.  A “little by little” approach is recommended.

Try body-oriented psychotherapy — look into the Hakomi Institute, Dr. Margaret Paul’s inner bonding work, the Center for Somatic Studies, and yoga psychology by Anodea Judith and Bo ForbesGary Zukav’s book, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness, is worth reading, and I’ve been told that Raphael Cushnir’s work is very good.

The body is the symbol of the ego thought system of separation.  Paradoxically, embodying your feelings heals the split mind, eventually revealing your True Self — perfect and whole.  “Would God teach you that you had made a split mind, when He knows your mind only as whole?” (T-6.V.1:4)

If you “feel to heal” the guilt-ridden personal self, ultimately you will uncover the Innocent Formless Self you truly are.  Remember, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving.” (T-1.II.2:3)

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the July-Aug 2014 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: Grieving While Not Believing In Death

Guy QuestionQ:  After Ken Wapnick passed away, you wrote on Facebook that you will cry as much as you need to.  Why do you feel like crying if you are truly applying the Course, which teaches us that death is not real?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  What I wrote on Facebook was, “Only his form is gone, but I will cry as much as I need to, even as my mind remains clear that Ken is always with us, always.”

Intellectually and intuitively I know that we are spirit, there is no death, there is no world, there is no body, and there is nothing to fear.  But I am not yet fully established in this Knowing.  Early in the Text we’re told, “The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world.  Those who [deny its existence] are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial.” (T-2.IV.3:8, 11)

When I heard that Ken had died, there was an immediate reaction in the body.  It could have reinforced the ego’s agenda, but because I was willing to use it for the Holy Spirit’s purpose it became a release from the belief in loss.

Tears came.  I didn’t fight them.  They were sweet with Love.  Somehow, there was a paradoxical experience of sorrow without pain.  The result is an increased conviction that we are a Oneness joined as One.

In Chapter 21 we are asked, “What if you looked within and saw no sin?  This ‘fearful’ question is the one the ego never asks.”  I looked, with the Holy Spirit, at the ache which moved through the human heart, the sense of disbelief that Ken could be dead because he had always been so youthful and healthy.

I looked at my concern for Gloria, his wife, and his staff at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, who had been with him for almost 40 years.  I looked with the Holy Spirit and trusted that, “The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.” (T-15.III.5:5)  Peace moved through my body with the quiet knowing that all is well.

I remember asking Ken if he missed Helen, and he said no, there was no need to miss her — she wasn’t gone.  I also asked him how he felt about his stutter, and he said it was nothing, he no longer gave it any thought.

Ken and AmyKen and I shared a similar background, both growing up in New York City, and both entering the fields of psychology and ministry.  To me, he’s “Uncle Ken,” the only family member who doesn’t think I’m crazy for knowing I’m not a person.  I speak in the present tense because there is no past and Ken lives in my heart.  His warmth, his wisdom, his humor — still here.

I turned to him many times to better understand and apply Course principles.  He helped me discern the voice of the ego from the Voice for God.  He helped me “get it” that we are a Mind, not a body; that we are Innocence, guilty of nothing.  He helped me when I first began formally teaching the Course.  The joke was that after I turned to Jesus, I double-checked with Ken.

“Within the dream of bodies and of death, is yet one theme of truth; no more, perhaps, than just a tiny spark, a space of light created in the dark, where God still shines.  And as you see [your brother] shining in the space of light where God abides within the darkness, you will see that God Himself is where his body is.” (T-29.III.3:1, 6)

This is how I choose to see Ken.  As he himself says in his YouTube video called Q & A: Death, “You never were in the body.  What happens when you die is nothing.”

Click here to read my interview with Ken Wapnick.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2014 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: How to Maintain Peace of Mind When with Your Mother?

Guy QuestionQ:  I love my mother, but she is hard to be around.  Everyone agrees she is very critical and demanding.  How can I apply Course principles to maintain my peace of mind when I am with her?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  For so many of us, mothers are our greatest challenge!  Actually, as obvious as it may be to you (and others) that your mother is critical and demanding, it is your interpretation.  “It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification as what appears as facts.” (M-17.4:2)

To apply Course principles to maintaining peace of mind with your mother, you must give your relationship with the Holy Spirit first priority.  This means confiding in Him all the time.  How easily we forget that we are not alone — the Holy Spirit is always within us.

Begin by observing with Him what you are feeling when your mother pushes your buttons.  “You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is merely a veil drawn over intense fury.” (W-21)  Under that fury lies a broken heart — on the worldly level we all want to feel loved by our mothers.  But remember, the memory of God within you predates your mother!

As you get upset with your mother, give every feeling to the Holy Spirit.  Hold nothing back: you might wish she were dead, want to cry like an infant, or tantrum like a two-year-old.  In addition, notice your yearning to love and protect your mother.  We humans are contradictory creatures.  Allowing contradictory feelings is liberating and restores true empathy and innocence.  Inevitably, guilt will come up, but when you observe with the Holy Spirit, He undoes the judgment that leads to guilt.  Be willing to feel all your feelings without guilt.

As you allow your awareness of the Holy Spirit to increase in your mind, you will view what you experienced as criticality and demandingness as a call for Love.  The Holy Spirit will use you to deliver loving miracles.  To paraphrase T-18.VII., you need do nothing, except not to interfere with the Holy Spirit’s communication.  This is the forgiveness practice that leads to inner peace.

young-mother-renoir 1898Both you and your mother are calling for Love.  By entering into a holy relationship with the Holy Spirit, you transform your special relationship with your mother into a holy encounter.  Expect to be happily surprised by your new responses to her.

To review, put your relationship with the Holy Spirit first; give your feelings to Him; be honest; receive His guidance; and open to experiencing your feelings without guilt.  Peace of mind is your God-given inheritance — who better to practice with than your mother?

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Jan-Feb 2014 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: The Body As Repository for Unconscious Thought or Communication Link?

Guy QuestionQ:  I’ve been told by a couple of people that I need to get out of my head and into my FEELINGS and work on healing using the body as a “portal.”  I know you did a workshop recently that had to do with ACIM and the body.  I would like to gain insights and healing through/by using the body.  I’m also wondering how you’ve worked with your own body to grow spiritually, and how you meld that with ACIM’s view of “the body”?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA: I love how A Course in Miracles reverses (un-reverses, really) everything!  For instance, in order to be free of the body, we need to embrace the body.  Many of us are too much in our heads and benefit from bringing our body experience into our awareness and then integrating its energies into our daily lives.  In that way, anger, for example, is embraced as fire energy, and becomes a motivating force rather than a divisive one.

I think of the body as the repository for unconscious thoughts.  Body-oriented psychotherapy led to my spiritual awakening.  For me, and many of the clients with whom I’ve worked, breathing through feelings brings the ego into our conscious awareness and then we release guilt, fear, grief, shame, anger, pain, etc.

Giving our thoughts and feelings to the Holy Spirit is the ACIM forgiveness practice.  Definitions are dismantled. Judgment is dropped.  Assigning meaning is relinquished.  Sinking into bodily sensation takes us through the viscera, into the cellular structure, DNA and beyond … eventually we melt into pure Joining.  This usually takes practice because the ego will sense its demise and throw up resistance.

A portal is a gateway to knowledge.  The Holy Spirit can use the body as a vehicle for God’s Love to be extended in the world; a communication link through which miracles flow.  “The body is the means by which God’s Son returns to sanity,” is what we’re told in W-Pt II.5: What Is the Body? (which is worth reading and re-reading).

The body becomes a symbol of unity and forgiveness rather than personal identity and personal satisfaction.  We can maintain the body like a car, using it well until the time it is no longer necessary, and, little by little, dis-identifying with it.  Rather than “my” body, try saying “the” body.  This needs to be done with the Holy Spirit’s help or it becomes a particularly unworthy form of denial and dissociation, rather than true perception and loving detachment.

We are also told in more than 20 lessons in the Workbook, “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”  Yet Lesson 353 clearly directs us:

My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet todayJesus-washing-feet-12
Have but one purpose; to be given Christ
To use to bless the world with miracles.

ACIM explains that we each have an individualized curriculum, and once we are willing to choose the Holy Spirit’s purpose for our body, His wisdom will prevail in the form that best suits you.  For me, I often experience the present memory of God throviolet lightugh yoga and chakra work.

There is a feeling that God’s Loving Light pours in through my crown chakra, circulates within the body and then radiates through my limbs and skin, brightening my presence which then shines on my brothers.

NOTE:  Since I wrote this article, it has become clear that That which brightens “my” presence, is the Presence the little “me” ego-mind/time-body lives within.  “I am” is the name that precedes all names and forms.   In other words, that which lives in the body is that which the body lives within.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Nov-Dec 2013 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: Is This Planet An Illusion?

Guy QuestionQ:  Jesus has taught us throughout the Course that there is no world and then, in Lesson 184, he states: “Think not that you made the world, illusions yes!”  I understand that everything that we have made and named is meaningless, but is this the world that Jesus is referring to, or is the planet an illusion, as well?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  Sometimes the Shakespearean prose with which Jesus speaks in A Course in Miracles can throw us for a loop!  As if the concepts weren’t staggering enough, a turn of phrase can further confuse us.  But Jesus knows what he’s doing, and, in this case, it brings to light something important: there is no world.

ACIM is very definite when it teaches that there is no world.  “No world” includes planet earth, and the entire cosmos.  It includes anything and everything material, dualistic, and sensory.  If we can see it, taste it, smell it, hear it, touch it, feel it, or sense it in any way, it does not exist and is not real.

Mighty Lesson 132, “I loose the world from all I thought it was,” is a great review of this principle.  It states, “There is no world!  This is the central thought the course attempts to teach.  Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth.  He will return and go still farther, or perhaps step back a while and then return again.”

om skyThis is another way of reinforcing that there are no exceptions, a core teaching in the Course.  When we are willing to take Jesus’ hand and awaken to our Unified Oneness, there is no reaching back with the “other” hand and holding on to something we value in the world. 

At first, the awakening process threatens to deprive us of our “life,” but as we do the ACIM practices we learn to discern between the ego’s beliefs and the Truth.  And the truth is, Eternal Reality has nothing to do with an illusory world.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Sept-Oct 2013 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

Ask Amy: How Does God Know What’s Best for Us If He Doesn’t Even Know We’re Here?

Guy QuestionQ:  I think I’m having a little crisis.  How does God know what is best for us if he doesn’t even know we are here?  How can I have trust/faith with this notion?  Another ACIM teacher told me “But the Holy Spirit knows you are here.”  What do you think, Amy?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  It is true that A Course in Miracles explains that God doesn’t know we’re here.  Many ACIM students find this scary and even devastating.  It begins to make sense, and actually feel comforting and liberating, when we realize that God doesn’t know we’re “here” because we’re not “here” — we’re with Him in Heaven.

Heaven is a metaphor for being eternally alive and unified in the formless Mind of God.  We are God’s Creation, and we are always joined together in a Limitless Life of Creating and Being Love.

Remember, the metaphysics of the Course teach us that this world, our bodies and belief that we are separate people with personal lives is only a dream!  Once we accept that we are dreaming (and, in fact, that we are the dreamer of this dream) then it makes sense that God doesn’t know we’re here because we’ve never left Him.  Just because we dream that we have separated from the Wholeness of His Mind, doesn’t make it so.

“You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality.  Is it your decision to do so?” (T-10.I.2:1)

God’s Holy Spirit lives within us as a memory of our True Self.  The Holy Spirit can be visualized as Light, like a lighthouse illuminating the way Home.  When we decide to awaken to reality, we feel motivated to look towards the Holy Spirit’s Light more and more.  Following His Loving guidance strengthens our trust and faith.

Lesson 26 puts it like this, “My home awaits me.  I will hasten there.  If I so choose, I can depart this world entirely.  It is not death which makes this possible, but it is change of mind about the purpose of the world.  If I believe it has a value as I see it now, so will it still remain for me.  But if I see no value in the world as I behold it, nothing that I want to keep as mine or search for as a goal, it will depart from me.  For I have not sought for illusions to replace the truth.

Father, my home awaits my glad return.  Your Arms are open and I hear Your Voice.  What need have I to linger in a place of vain desires and of shattered dreams, when Heaven can so easily be mine?”

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the July-Aug 2013 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved  staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com