- Nothing I see means anything.
- I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.
- I do not understand anything I see.
- etc. for 365 lessons...
I'm not going to walk you through it. I am going to say that I love learning to think in some way other than I was programmed to think by parents, schools, TV, religion, etc.
I have already done the workbook, but like the Steps of AA, it is worth doing more than once. I do have "a different perception" of some things. Like I try to explain to people about the spiritual reality and how you can actually live there instead of the ego reality; and no one believes me, or they think I am special and that is why I have experienced the spiritual reality. I try to explain to alcoholics how even one drink (such as a social drinker might have) breaks the energy of the God connection and drives you into unconsciousness of God. People still think that social drinking is harmless; and a desired past time.
Living "a different perception" feels, at first, very lonely. But, one learns universal love through the deconditioning process. Love is the predominant mode of existance; and it is what makes life LIFE.
I was born and raised in Berkeley, California. I was there, though only about 12, on Telegraph Avenue and People's Park when they had anti-war demonstrations and riots.
By 6th grade, I had travelled all around the world with my parents.
I became a long distance runner in junior high.
In high school, I was interested in Dune, and Don Juan, and BKS Iyengars Yoga. The only Asana I could actually do was called mountain; but I did attempt, as a silly teen-ager, to stand still in that posture for several minutes.
I studied engineering when extremely few girls did that. I was elected president of the mechanical engineer's student association; and awarded the university's outstanding senior recognition.
After my undergrad work, and before getting my Master's, I went to Israel, travelling there by myself, on a archaeological dig for a summer. I almost missed the plane because I was drunk. In Israel, there was another American college guy who liked beer as much as me; so...well, I had a drinking partner.
I got sober and have not had a drink since I was 26.
In my 30's, I owned 3 motorcycles (2 Harley's and a Gold Wing) before Harley's were popular. I was a full member in a bike club; wearing colors, going to Sturgis, taking solo trips across the country.
I learned Zen style meditation when I was 38.
I entered a contemplative monastery when I was 40 and got kicked out when I was 45.
Ten years ago I stopped eating meat; and I have not watched TV or been to a movie since then either.
Five years ago, I began a practice of periodic juice fasting. Fasting detoxes your body, emotions and mind; so your chemistry is actually different than most of the population.
Four years ago, I disentangled from The Church, and many other things, by moving to a small town and becoming a semi-hermit.
I don't participate in Christmas, or other mass social rituals.
Three years ago, I became a raw food vegan.
Two years ago, I began studying ACIM.
I work as an environmental engineer in a crummy alcohol plant which blows up every other year or so; and where I am the only woman in operations management.
Today, I went for a glorious run in a nearby park: rolling hills and the wonderful odor of damp oak.
Tomorrow, as usual, I will get up at 3 am for prayer and meditation. Then a little weight lifting. Then into work at 6. My commute is horrendous: 2 minutes, depending on the lights and the trains.
Saturday, I am going in a race.
I am an ascetic. All of the above mentioned marginalizing behaviors, which most people think of as asceticism, help me to let go of the world. Renunciation is not suffering or penance. It is liberation from society's conditioning and programming. In the liberated state, the soul soars up to God; and soars through a field of human light and love, learning of oneness and unity. As one soul learns, all souls together rejoice. The soaring is an icon to all of the reality of the spirit; and all together, no matter what their material configuration, know in their depths the truth of God's love.