Undoing the Ego

W-6: I am upset because I see something that is not there.

scary shadow tim burton

Ego “seeing” and ego “thinking” are forms and perceptions.  Forms and perceptions are illusory.

Reality is Content and Truth, not form and perception.  Content and Truth are formless.

Without a body, there is no perception and no need for perception.

Communication is Immediate, Natural and flows without obstruction directly from God-Source.

It is the ego which obstructs communication with upsets, grievances, wounds, perception, duality and other insane ideas which seem indisputably convincing when you’ve chosen the limitations of ego-time-body-mind, but, as The Everly Brothers sang, Wishing Won’t Make It So.

Our treasured wounds keep us upset.  At first it is unthinkable that we would treasure our wounds.  But as you contemplate your wounds, you can discover many ways that they serve you.

Wounds maintain loyalty bonds, the perverse power of victimization, inertia, procrastination, excuses for avoiding life, justifying failure, etc.

It’s well worth discovering what your wounds are and how they have served you — if you’re ready to shed your self-imposed shackles.

LESSON 6

I am upset because I see something that is not there.

The exercises with this idea are very similar to the preceding ones.  Again, it is necessary to name both the form of upset (anger, fear, worry, depression and so on) and the perceived source very specifically for any application of the idea.  For example:

I am angry at ____ because I see something that is not there.

I am worried about _____ because I see something that is not there.

Today’s idea is useful for application to anything that seems to upset you, and can profitably be used throughout the day for that purpose.  However, the three of four practice periods which are required should be preceded by a minute or so of mind searching, as before, and the application of the idea to each upsetting thought uncovered in the search.

Again, if you resist applying the idea to some upsetting thoughts more than others, remind yourself of the cautions stated in the previous lesson:

There are no small upsets.  They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.

And:

I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go.  For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.

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.

W-5: I am never upset for the reason I think.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Fear, guilt and death keep us involved in ego “thinking” … in other words, the ego is playing us.

00-Smooth-Youve_Been_Played_(Menace_II_Society)-(CDM)-1993-(CD)-hlmTo be “played” is urban jargon for he/she used you for his/her own personal gain until he/she got what was needed and dumped you. Guys do it, spies do it, gals do it, cops do it, gangstas do it, mobsters do it, even people with angel-faces do it – you get the picture.

And guess who is the original player?  The ego.  The inventor of play — as in mind games.  Play in which the fun is short-lived at best.

Lesson 5 makes it very clear that we are never upset for the reason we think.  Listen to “That’s Not the Reason Why” and notice the lyrics.

The only reason we are ever upset, really, is we’re afraid of uncovering the truth of what we really are because then the personal identity disappears.  The ego tells us that to be without personal identity is death, but that’s simply not true.  And you can function in this dream realm, within the time-body, for a while longer after personal identity is gone … as Mooji says, it’s like turning off the switch on a fan.  The fan continues whirring for a while until it comes to a complete halt.

LESSON 5

I am never upset for the reason I think.

This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain.  Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you.  The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different.  This is not true.  However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day.  Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same.

When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you see the upset, and the cause which you ascribe to it.  For example:

I am not angry at ______ for the reason I think.
I am not afraid of _______ for the reason I think.

But again, this should not be substituted for practice periods in which you first search your mind for “sources” of upset in which you believe, and forms of upset which you think result.

In these exercises, more than in the preceding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others.  It might help to precede the exercises with the statement:

There are no small upsets.  They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.

Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.

You may also find yourself less willing to apply today’s idea to some perceived sources of upset than to others.  If this occurs, think first of this:

I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go.  For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.

Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so, and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them.  Apply the idea for today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feeling as you experience it.  Further examples are:

I am not worried about ___________ for the reason I think.
I am not depressed about _____________ for the reason I think.

Three or four times during the day is enough.

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.

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-4: These thoughts do not mean anything.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This lesson asks us to look at our thoughts – watch them parade by, and apply today’s idea, “These thoughts do not mean anything” to thoughts that are crossing our minds.  It explains that what I consider “good” and “bad” thoughts are really neither, since they are often contradictory, which is why they don’t mean anything.

Ramana Maharshi says the same thing in Regina Dawn Aker’s book, The Teachings of Inner Ramana, “If all of the concerns for one day are written down, it may be seen that concerns and imagined solutions conflict with one another, so that no true peace can be found with the mind.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lesson 4 goes on to say that good thoughts are “but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult.  The ‘bad’ ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible.  You do not want either.”  After reading this, Bowl of Saki arrived in my email with Hazrat Inayat Khan’s daily commentary, “When you stand with your back to the sun, your shadow is before you; but when you turn and face the sun, then your shadow falls behind you.”  Synchronicity — reinforcement of The Message.

Turning towards God, towards the Light, towards the idea that we are all one in His Sonship shifts the position of the shadow we have placed between ourselves and God — from there, God lifts us Up.  In time, this seems to be a process, although in Reality, there is no time nor shadow at all.

Good thoughts are the way the ego keeps us tempted to stick with it and bad thoughts are the way the ego keeps us narrowly consumed with a problem, therefore endlessly distracted from our True Nature.

Towards the end of Lesson 4 Jesus says, “Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so.  You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.”  This makes me bust out laughing.  Feels good to be understood, doesn’t it?

LESSON 4

These thoughts do not mean anything.  They are like the things I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

Unlike the preceding ones, these exercises do not begin with the idea for the day.  In these practice periods, begin with noting the thoughts that are crossing your mind for about a minute.  Then apply the idea to them.  If you are already aware of unhappy thoughts, use them as subjects for the idea.  Do not, however, select only the thoughts you think are “bad.”  You will find, if you train yourself to look at your thoughts, that they represent such a mixture that, in a sense, none of them can be called “good” or “bad.”  This is why they do not mean anything.

In selecting the subjects for the application of today’s idea, the usual specificity is required.  Do not be afraid to use “good” thoughts as well as “bad.”  None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them.  The “good” ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult.  The “bad” ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible.  You do not want either.

This is a major exercise, and will be repeated from time to time in somewhat different form.  The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful.  It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless outside you, and the meaningful within.  It is also the beginning of training your mind to recognize what is the same and what is different.

In using your thoughts for application of the idea for today, identify each thought by the central figure or event it contains; for example:

This thought about __________ does not mean anything.  It is like the things I see in this room [on this street, and so on].

You can also use the idea for a particular thought that you recognize as harmful.  This practice is useful, but is not a substitute for the random procedures to be followed for the exercises.  Do not, however, examine your mind for more than a minute or so.  You are too inexperienced as yet to avoid a tendency to become pointlessly preoccupied.

Further, since these exercises are the first of their kind, you may find the suspension of judgment in connection with thoughts particularly difficult.  Do not repeat these exercises more than three or four times during the day.  We will return to them later.

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.

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-2: I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This morning I did Lesson 2 while seated in a swivel chair. It was fun to slowly turn 360 degrees and apply the exercise to anything my eyes lit upon. This reminded me of whirling dervishes — when I do the Sufi turn, the eyes are kept open and eyesight is transformed to unseeing Vision as forms melt away and merge in Joy.

blue whirler zhikr

LESSON 2
I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.

The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is on either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything you see in a given area, or you will introduce strain.

Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you. Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-3: I do not understand anything I see.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Lesson 3 states, “The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them.”

cosmic heart infinity

We are asked to keep an open mind and suspend judgment.  In the world, if I keep an open mind and suspend all judgment, couldn’t I get into trouble?  But when Jesus firmly suggests that I follow his instructions and have my own experience, how can I refuse?  I gaze around the room and find that my mind softens … I, who love precision, have no desire to even assign words to what I’m seeing … there is a blur of familiar objects devoid of names or relevance.

My heart eases in my chest as some internal pressure I live with daily abates.  Something widens expansively, moving through the heart, the lungs, the arms, and radiates beyond the body.  Here is the love, peace and joy the Course promises.

LESSON 3

I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind.  Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea.  Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea.  These are not exercises in judgment.  Anything is suitable if you see it.  Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you.  Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.

The point of these exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them.  It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied.  For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful.

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.

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

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.

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

W-1: Nothing I see in this room means anything.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

The first time I did the A Course in Miracles Workbook, this lesson was disorienting and a little scary.  But as I practiced, I felt a child-like sense of wonder and a good not-knowing.  Now when I review Lesson 1, it’s amusing, relaxing, and freeing.  To be told that nothing I see anywhere means anything, is to be offered a whole new experience of life.  An experience which is free of pain, loneliness, inadequacy, guilt, sin, fear, and death.  To absorb this lesson is to begin to know that everything I have held as meaningful is meaningless.  This is not a mockery of me–it is a clarification of how I’ve been thinking.  “Jesus can be snippy,” someone said to me the other day with pleasure, and I agree.  What a relief to have Jesus be a bit impatient with a thought process which is driving all of us crazy, and for no reason!

magritte personal values

The purpose of this exercise, we are told, is to be indiscriminate, and to begin to experience everything as equally the same.  “A comfortable sense of leisure” we are told, “is essential” to doing this lesson successfully.  I get a kick out of this because one of my bigger challenges is to slow down and relax, and my spiritual teacher, Jesus, knows me so well.

We are advised, “Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see for these exercises should not become ritualistic.”  We might think that if we apply “That [object] does not mean anything” to absolutely everything we see that we could erase our entire thought system right then and there.  But that is a fear-based approach, superstitious (similar to avoiding stepping on every crack in the sidewalk) and compulsive, (in order to this exercise well, I will overdo it, that is, do it totally and completely and double check myself afterwards), as well as perfectionistic (God doesn’t really know what the instructions for this exercise should be–I’ll show Him how to really do it well).  Ha ha ha!  Do it for yourself and find out that He really does know what He’s doing ;-)

LESSON 1

Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.

Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:

This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
This hand does not mean anything.
This foot does not mean anything.
This pen does not mean anything.

Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:

That door does not mean anything.
That body does not mean anything.
That lamp does not mean anything.
That sign does not mean anything.
That shadow does not mean anything.

Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied.  That is the purpose of the exercise.  The statement should merely be applied to anything you see.  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.  On thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.

Each of the first three lessons should not be done more than twice a day each, preferably morning and evening.  Nor should they be attempted for more than a minute or so, unless that entails a sense of hurry.  A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.

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

To ask Amy a question, email miracles@amytorresacim.com

How to be your natural Self

If you’re anything like me, you’ve broken a lot of New Year’s resolutions.  That’s because personal willpower only goes so far.  It takes tremendous effort to assert your individual will to get what you want, rather than plugging in to your original power Source, God, to give and receive what He wants.

“To use the power God has given you as He would have it used is natural.” (T-26.VII.18:1)

The power God has given you is your natural state.  When you get out of your own way and open to It, you follow guidance and just know what comes next.  This power comes from pure innocence and beautiful humility.  It is always available, but we rarely avail ourselves of It.

Happily, a part of your mind insists on awakening to your True Power, or you wouldn’t be drawn to A Course in Miracles.  Jesus tells us in the Introduction to the ACIM Workbook that Part I (the first 220 lessons) deals with “the undoing of how you see now” and Part II (lessons 221-365) with “the acquisition of true perception.”  True perception allows you to live from your natural power.

Isn’t this quietly thrilling?  Even if you don’t quite know what it means, something inside stirs at being handed the key to unchain your mind.*

That’s what the ACIM Workbook is for — to help you, one day at a time, undo how you see now and acquire true perception!  You can do the Workbook on your own.  But I’m happy to hold your hand with my e-course, Workin’ the Workbook.  People tell me it really helps:  Testimonials

Daily Email 1 with arrowHere’s a peek at the daily emails.  Workin’ the Workbook is an online VIDEO class that helps you stick with the ACIM Workbook practice, clarify concepts from the Text, develop a relationship with your Inner Teacher, and experience miracles for yourself!  WtW guides you through the entire 365-day workbook practice found in A Course in Miracles.

This is a flexible program with the ability to receive daily emails and/or visit the online classroom at your own pace.  You can start at Lesson 1 or pick up at a lesson further along where you left off or got stuck.  “Other good stuff” ties the Text in with the lessons.  Worksheets help you structure a journaling practice.  And much more.

Click here to register and for more details on WtW’s many benefits!  ONE MONTH FREE if you sign up by Dec 31st, 2014.

Sign up now and make 2015 the year you find out how to be your natural Self.  It’s so much easier and happier than anything the ego dreamed up.

Email me at miracles@amytorresacim.com if you have any questions.

 

 

* Click here to watch Unchain Your Mind

Every Day Is A Holy Day

Amy Thanksgiving 2014 Holidays schmolidays! I’m not a curmudgeon — it’s just that holidays are no big deal when every day is a holy day.

It’s a new and holy day today,
for we receive what has been given us.
Our faith lies in the Giver,
not our own acceptance.
(W-168: Your grace is given me. I claim it now.)

A holy day is spent claiming God’s Grace. You do this by opening to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. You open by surrendering  your will to His. Remember, you are not your body, you are not your personality, you are not your name, gender, nationality, social security number — you are Spirit! And Spirit is Whole and Holy.

One way to sustain your connection with your holiness is to do the ACIM Workbook practice. Workin’ the Workbook, my online VIDEO class, guides you one day at a time through the entire 365-day workbook practice found in A Course in Miracles.

WtW helps you stick with the ACIM Workbook practice, clarifies concepts from the Text, invites you to develop a relationship with your Inner Teacher and experience miracles for yourself!

You can do the Workbook on your own. But since the Holy Spirit moved through me and produced Workin’ the Workbook with over 365 videos to support the ACIM workbook practice, WtW is here if you want it. People tell me it really helps: Testimonials

If you’d like to see what the daily WtW emails look like, just scroll down to the previous blogpost.  Click here for more info and to sign up.

“I’m so in love with you, honey”

Remember Danny’s Song by Kenny Loggins?  It used to make me cry with hope that I would one day have a beautiful family.  After my marriage ended in divorce and bankruptcy, and my child-bearing days were over sans kids, I cried with despair that happiness would never be mine.

Now Danny’s Song brings tears of joy to my eyes because ACIM has proven to me that “everything will bring a chain of love.”  For the past 18 years, through thick and thin, I have been happy — and I know you can be happy, too.

Last email (if you aren’t on my email list and would like to be, the sign up box is to your right), I asked you to read the Introduction to the ACIM Workbook.  It’s one and a half pages of pure inspiration.  In it, Jesus promises you “undoing of the way you see now” and “the acquisition of true perception” which will light up your life forever.  He assures you that even if you don’t understand or actively resist the ideas in the Workbook, they will work anyway — if you just do them.

You can do the Workbook on your own, but for many this is easier said than done.  That’s why the Holy Spirit guided me to develop Workin’ the Workbook, an online class that helps you stick with the ACIM practice, clarify concepts from the Text, develop a relationship with your Inner Teacher, and experience miracles for yourself!  Students says it really works: Testimonials

Before you look at the online class, let’s sing along with Kenny Loggins:  Danny’s Song

Okay, now take a peek!  You will receive daily emails like this: Daily Email Lesson 34

Sign up here for WORKIN’ the WORKBOOK, a 365-day online VIDEO class (available on smartphones, tablets, desktops, PCs, MACs)
that helps you experience miracles as a normal part of your daily life.
“Miracles are natural.
When they do not occur something has gone wrong.”
(Miracle Principle #6)

Only $37 a month.  Just about a dollar a day.  

ONE MONTH FREE if you sign up by Dec 31st, 2014.

Click here for more details and to register 

If you want a miraculous life,
there’s no reason not to give it a try!

 (You can always cancel if it’s not for you.)

Give yourself or a friend Workin’ the Workbook as a holiday gift.  It’s not a lotta money and it is a lotta Love!
(Hey, that’s a Neil Young song!  Listen with the Holy Spirit: Lotta Love)
Email me at miracles@amytorresacim.com if you have a question about Workin’ the Workbook or would like a quick tour of the program.
Whole lotta love!  Amy

(Wait, that’s Led Zeppelin — here ya go: Whole Lotta Love)

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