Earlier this week I happened to find my may to the ACIM Devotional Center web site. I noticed there was a blog and clicked the link. A beautiful blog entry unfolded before me from my mighty companion and devotional center co-habitant, Zach. As I read through the blog I felt a crunch in my chest and heard the words “how come I haven’t been asked to blog”? The contraction of smallness seemed to grab my attention. Yep, I could feel it. I just defined myself as less. It is so humbling to recognize how in that moment I had chosen to give up joy. The opportunity to fully experience the deep lesson and love in Zach’s expression dropped from awareness.
“Stand still an instant now, and think what you have done. Do not forget that it is you who did it, and who can therefore let it go.” (Song of Prayer, 1.III.4 )
Oh, I can choose again! Gratitude sweeps into my heart knowing that it has been through the help of my mighty companions at the Center that I remembered quickly to sink back into the now in order to find peace. It is their dedication to all joy is a choice in this moment that helped me quickly recognize this misperception and give it over to truth. I handed the idea of blogging over to the greater wisdom of Spirit and my mind floated free.
Yet in the ineffable way Spirit has of showing me I really don’t know anything, the next day Salita asked, “Who wants to write blog for the Center?” I thought, “Oh jeeze, there you go. You can share how you watched your mind spin around blogging.” Humble, yes indeed. I am gently reminded that Spirit definitely has a sense of humor and wisdom far beyond my understanding. Thankfully Spirit keeps showing up in my mind through these mighty companions who shine a light in the right direction.
In the story of the past I felt I was “less quick” in linear time in accepting my choice and thus would spin into fear. It felt so real. I have come to realize how often I accepted the spinning into fear of separation. I did not want to be responsible for my thoughts and choice to join with Spirit and his representatives, my brothers. To my ego this felt like loss. I wanted someone or something else to be responsible. There was a deep anger about it, too, this resistance to owning the power of my mind to choose again to join.
Yet I know in my heart that stepping forward to join with a brother is the healing of this fear of separation. It is a celebration of what is already joined and honors what God made as holy and blessed. My gratitude pours out when I remember the times in the past when I spun out in fear, only to look up find the stillness in the eyes of a mighty loving companion here at the Center. Like the Holy Spirit, they stand beside me beaming light and inviting me to join in stillness and in love that is ever present. Where I would have found guilt about spinning out I can recognize that now is a new choice for love in each moment.
This constant gift is given that I may remember always to welcome the opportunity to choose again. The memory of light brings great joy as I reflect the gift back to my brothers.
“You who hold your brother’s hand also hold mine, for when you joined each other you were not alone. Do you believe that I would leave you in the darkness that you agreed to leave with me? In your relationship is this world’s light. And fear must disappear before you now.” (T-18. III.4)
It is becoming more and more evident and obvious that the simplicity of the present moment is actually all there is. It just feels like a slowing of the mind and soft melting of something that never had any substance at all. Today at the expression session Peter expressed that he kept having the recurring thought of giving of yourself completely, holding nothing back and with no reservations. My heart burst with a ‘Yes!’ as I heard this spoken. It’s becoming so clear that trusting ourselves and consequently our seeming brothers is beyond important, it’s essential. As each moment is met with an open and grateful heart all doings dissolve into joy and laughter. All appearances are forgiven as nothingness and the content of present joining and purpose is all that remains in shining radiance.
Always being mindful of ‘What is it for?’ and what is being called for in this moment? As Michael shares, ‘There is always something in the present moment which is truly helpful.’ I don’t know my own best interests and only He who does can communicate this to me in the most clear and obvious manner possible. It’s a matter of trusting this Voice of Truth implicitly and allowing myself to be completely dependent on this voice for Wisdom. I can join with my brother’s when I don’t feel clear which is one of the many gifts of community but in most instances there needs to be constant attention and devotion to listening for that Voice for Love which is always always speaking closer than our own breath or the beating of our hearts. It is this that we are learning to trust and depend on and welcome with each precious living moment! Don’t miss out on the present! Taking the perimeters off and dropping all the ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’s’ in a gentle surrender inward to what simply is in the miracle. There is a place in the Mind that is so Holy where all that is heard is a soft singing and gentle laughter. I will meet you there!
I awoke yesterday morning with a fervent prayer to God, ‘Help me to come to you! I don’t know how. Please show me!’ Rebellion had been playing out for me in the form of not being prompt with the timing of ringing the bell. Always just a few minutes off or needing to be reminded. It was addressed during expression sessions and I resolved to whip all rebellion into line and set my alarm five minutes ahead for all the times that the bell was to be rung. The next morning I hear that the schedule is to be unceremoniously dropped! As I had moved through the rebellion, I no longer had to ‘act’ out the ringing of the bell promptly. It was a symbol for me that Spirit is not asking me for proof that I am ‘worthy’ of love because of how perfectly timed my bell ringing is or anything else to do with form. My prayer had been promptly answered! As the concept of a schedule is released and all resistance is moved through I felt a beautiful expansiveness and relaxing in mind. Spirit is just reminding and teaching how loved and safe we all are and offering the invitation literally in every moment to drop into the all encompassing expansive quantum love that is who we are. That’s the invitation. “There is never nothing going on,” is a line from the movie “The Peaceful Warrior.” Spirit is always speaking to us in every moment asking us if we want to be truly happy and sinking into our deepest knowing that love is truly all there is. I feel a beautiful yes bubbling up in response to this increased trust and Self responsibility.
I feel gratitude to Spirit and my mighty brothers for allowing the mind to be shown the way and all concepts of hierarchy or planning be dropped as the ever present moment comes into sharper and sharper focus. The mind is so eager and willing to drop all sense of limitation and expand into the magnitude of present joining! If I trust absolutely in every instance the Spirit will ALWAYS be there to show everything in the stillness and reverence of the sparkling moment! Spirit is freely showing the way to be passers by and be stepped back in the mind without a thought of the past and zero interest in the future! It feels exciting to give full allowance to drop into the fullness of that invitation to welcome what is given and let go of all that interferes with that Yes!
I’m now taking a more persistent, devoted approach to mind training. There is so much time to sit and meditate or do inspired activities that I’ve made it through two days without going insane. The ego will ask questions like “what are you doing here, this is a waste of time, you’re weak and vulnerable and aren’t doing this right. And I’ll say one thing about removing all distractions from mind training, it does tend to bring up doubts and fears incredibly fast. But then I sink beneath these doubts and realize that there is no “me” “doing” anything “here,” what is time to eternity anyway and it is only my body and personality-self that is weak, while the mind that I am is so incredibly strong. And then my glimpse of right-mindedness ends and I’m back to the fear and doubt. But, you know… that’s part of becoming more consistent in right-mindedness. Undoing the doer, undoing the self-concept, undoing beliefs in time… It really is a lot of undoing! Truth is true, and it would be a strange sort of truth indeed if I had to go searching for it. The truth cannot be searched for, but one can search for blocks in awareness of truth’s presence.
The other people here are very helpful in raising these blocks to the truth. Two tenets which facilitate the dissolution of these blocks are no people pleasing, and no private thoughts. How often have you walked on eggshells in order to smooth things over? How often do you have a thought that you do not share because you are fearful you will be judged? There is incredible potential for healing in sharing absolutely everything on one’s mind when the shared purpose is consistent peace. What is shared is shared for the whole group. The personality self that is sharing is releasing a block in love’s awareness through the sharing. Other people may be able to stay in right-mindedness to hold a space of love while the sharing is occurring. By so doing, I see that there is no thought that could cause another pain when he is in his right mind. Therefore, there need be no hesitation to share the thought because either we help ourselves see that what we were afraid to share is simply nothingness, or we help others see that they have an attachment that they can release. In this way, sharing always results in healing the one mind that is behind all seeming personality selves. And when the clarity process is applied to everything, when we don’t try to fix people or situations and simply either radiate love or become aware of blocks to radiating this love in response to the sharing, you start to get a sense that attack is impossible. It was a mistaken belief that there could be both attack and love, because what is all encompassing can have no opposite. Through this process, attack is translated into a call for love. And if you live in a world where everything that happens is either love or a call for love, peace will become consistent. This is the purpose of no private thoughts and no people pleasing.
So I’m floating along, becoming aware of how much anger and guilt is still trapped in this mind, but that would be part of the process of expressing myself authentically every minute of every day. And sure living in a house with six people doing this lends itself to moments of brutal honesty, but it also lends itself to giving up on the church service halfway through in favor of an impromptu dance party. And if brutal honesty is the “price” I must pay for impromptu dance parties, I’m fine with mixing my peas with my porridge, as long as both peas and porridge seem real to me.
With Love, Zach
So today seems like a good time to talk, think, and speak about one of the most common phrases everyone wants to hear. That most insidious “I love you.” It seems like a good way to express love. Certainly “I love you” is not a bad stepping stone to peace, but really, I’m beginning to see that I have some serious issues with both the “I” and the “you” part of I love you.
Let’s take the you part of the sentiment and see what it’s doing. Buried underneath the “you” is an assumption that I never seemed to question. I took for granted that I knew what love is. That’s it, plain and simple. It is not my place to tell you what love is, but if you read my second post, you’ll get a sense of what I believe it to be. Can you really take a concept as vast and unquantifiable as love and collapse it down to attach to a person? Love has no object. This is a truth that is clearer to me ever since I more consistently started falling into function to be truly helpful and collapse the past and present into the now. All that’s left is an experience of indescribable joy that cannot be limited by form. This love is so perfect and complete, love of an object pales by comparison. This unconditional love does not make one object special. Rather it loves all things by seeing them the same, worthy of love, and without any other purpose. It seems to me that the belief that it is possible to love an object is actually a shroud over intense fear, because if there are objects that can be loved, there are also objects that can be hated. And so both love and hate seem real to the mind. It is impossible to attain consistent peace while both love and fear seem real. You cannot be peaceful by first seeing fear as real and then forgiving. You will never see cause to forgive in that case. The only way to consistent peace will be to forgive what never was. Fear is not real because love is all encompassing, and any attempt to ascribe love to an object is to invite it’s opposite into your mind, from which state, peace becomes impossible.
So now we’re down to “I love.” Which is all well and good, but unfortunately still entails a sense of strain. Who is the “I” you are talking about when you say that you love someone? If you view love as a verb, then you still believe that both love and fear are real. If love is something that you do, it invites the possibility of not doing it. If love is what you are, then there is no choice, or need to do anything to extend love. It simply is what always was, and searching gives way to acceptance. I love becomes I, love. Anytime the thought of love involves “doing” anything, anytime loving entails a sense of strain, I have identified with an illusion. There is no need to do anything to be loving. Simply give way to the present moment and allow spontaneous right-action to pour forth from a healed mind. It is a moment by moment decision (as I am painfully aware right now). This is why any mind training cannot aim to teach the meaning of love because the meaning of love is an abstract experience, wholly beyond concepts. I am gladly reminded that the purpose of mind training is only to remove blocks from the awareness of love’s presence in the mind. Through this mind training, we become convinced that love is not a verb, but what we already are.
What does this mean practically, then? I don’t want readers to come away with the belief that using the words I love you is in any way bad or wrong. Words are wholly neutral, and like anything else in this world, take on only the meaning that you give to them. So it is fine to use these words. But if you believe love has an object or that love is a verb, you are capable of feeling and being so much more. You are capable of being consistently happy, consistently peaceful, and in fact, in reality, you already are these things. You can identify with fear all you wish, but it will always be shown to be nothing when raised up to the light. The practice of meditation is for this purpose. It is to show the deceived mind that there is no need to struggle against fear when it is simply recognized as unreal. It is the purpose you imbue the words with that give them meaning. If the purpose is to collapse love down and make you search for it, you will suffer. If the purpose is to identify with what you truly are, you will be happy in that moment. These are the only two choices there are where love is concerned, love being everything there is!
I, love, you.
This sort of construction could be helpful if the purpose of love is not firmly fixed in mind. Ex. You could say I, love, you went for a walk in the park today. Alternatively, I, love, you, gave him, love, I, you a hug. See the thing is, when you have an experience of this love and realize that there is only one mind, pronouns become fairly interchangeable. And we can start having fun with appositives. Some will think this is just mincing words, but remember, it is the purpose of your words that is important. If you are clear on your purpose, it really doesn’t matter what you say. If you are not, I offer I, love, you as a substitute to I love you if that’s helpful!