Friday, October 30, 2009

Insane Runner, Course Student's Musings

I know you are going to think I think too much.

I had a brief moment of clarity this morning about sin and guilt and how A Course in Miracles changes everything. I don’t think I can explain it to everyone. If you think you are really here, or that the world is real, skip reading any farther today.

I am always processing my thoughts. I want to know what thoughts are coming out of my subconscious and creating my life. If I make myself aware of what I think, it is possible to change my thinking. What follows will seem incredibly weird, but it is the way I have thought. Further, my discussion of running and my subtle feelings is a microcosm of the bigger God picture.

This was triggered by several things:

- My lesson today is “Today I let Christ’s vision look upon all things for me and judge them not, but give each one a miracle of love instead.”

- What I read in the ACIM text 21.II.10, “The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world…When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect becomes inevitable. The purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the effect and make effect appear to be a cause…The Son is the Effect, whose Cause he would deny.”

- I have a huge desire to go running. My plan for today is to work from home this morning (actually suggested by my boss), go to my old house 50 miles away to meet with an engineer, and then go running in the park up there.

- I have no racing plans for awhile and hence will retreat into a type of running solitude, quiet, and peace. I will return to being more of a phenomenon than an identifiable thing.

- I still struggle with whether I am good enough for my current employer. The company I work for is so incredibly outstanding.

As I began my spiritual workout this morning, I was reflecting on my lesson. My first thought out of the bag was, “It’s not that I stop having an ego, but that I let Christ’s vision go first, rule first.” Then I experienced a miracle, the second thought out of the bag. A miracle, per ACIM, is a perception shift, a correction to the ego consciousness. Here is my miracle thought (then I’ll explain the shift), “Christ’s vision would see me healthy, happy, strong, optimal weight and running. My ego wants disaster and sin and pain. Hence it is my ego that eats too much or makes me feel guilty for running or doesn’t want to lift weights. Sloth and gluttony are pain and insane. The ego is the original insane idea. Running free is the truth of my inner being.”

Now, you say, “Spirit Flower, are you crazy? What do you mean by saying you feel guilty for running?” Let’s go back in time.

During my Harley riding days, when I was a full member in a sober bike club, I hung out with fat dudes who smoked and made fun of runners. At that time, I was a runner in the closet. Then, I got rid of the motorcycle and the fat dude and became only a runner. I was proud of being a runner. I could still run a 23 minute 5k race without even doing speed work. I trained for a marathon. I won trophies in races here in the city. Then, I went to the monastery. There, I ran everyday and it was impossible to be secret about it. But I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, being the only person trying to be physically fit. I always felt like I was guilty of wasting time when I should be helping out around the house or picking fruit or something. Instead I was using my unscheduled time to log miles on dirt farm roads; experiencing the wind in my face. I dreamt of marathons even though I was wearing a skirt was would never race again. I felt guilty for those $80 running shoes. The rest of the group was sedentary, mostly over weight, in poor health and “old.”

After the monastery, I encountered an ongoing internal thought pattern which told me running was a waste. I should be involved with charity or spending more time at work; not squandering my time on myself. Running has always prevented me from being a workaholic (for some reason, I feel guilty for not working enough). I should be trying to excel at my profession, be dedicated to the corporation or seeking higher education; not doing laps. My dieting is always directly tied to running; so any little weight gain or food binge causes me to feel guilty. Then, a couple of years later, I encountered A Course in Miracles (ACIM). In that theology, my body is an illusion, used by the ego to separate from God; and the ego is always trying to steal power from God. So running became a guilt trip because I was stealing self sufficiency from God (don’t try to understand this ACIM piece. It only means something to a Course student). The ego has a goal of sin, and must make everything into sin in order for it to have power (instead of God). Hence, all my running guilt was thoughts projected out by my ego.

So, I have been a guilty runner for a few years. This morning, however, I found my perception totally, 100% shifted. I must have allowed Christ’s vision to look upon me today. Running was suddenly part of the Holy Spirit’s happy dream for me. I no longer let my ego have the goal of sin (as in seeing it in the world, of which my body seems to be a part of) unchecked. Guilt is the realm of the ego. My ego has been throwing up a barrage of guilty running thoughts all these years because running is part of the joy the Holy Spirit wants me to have. My ego always wants to thwart joy; hence must find ways to make running guilty instead of freedom.

Running is freedom, not pain, so it is not ego. Running has become a miracle of accepting a gift of Love, not hating or fighting. Running is not insanity, sloth and gluttony are. Sloth and gluttony are the insane ego’s specialty.

And the bigger picture is that my ego continuously throws up a barrage of insane illusions, called this world, intended to keep me away from Love, or God. The ego absolutely wants me to think I am guilty instead of thinking I am innocent and loved by God. The ego is always building a wall to keep me away from God as well as thinking this world is real and I am bad.

I understood for the first time this morning how the ego denies God and Love; and how the world is really an effect of my projected thoughts. The world does not cause me, I cause it. I returned myself to God as a created idea of love. Running is an idea of love. I have kept up my relationship with God for decades despite downpours of doubt. The doubt is an ego creation and not really true. God waits silently for those who want Him more than ego illusions.

As I turned off the highway into town, I heard myself think, “You were wasting your time here.” I felt that my talents really were not that well utilized. Now I am living my life more at my potential. No, running is not my only thing. No, I no longer have as much solitude. I met with the engineer and contractor. No big deal. Then I went in running in my old park. I felt again that I was not the same person with the same goals as I had had when I lived there. I had been spinning my wheels and getting along because that was where I had been planted. Now, I have been transplanted to a different sort of garden. Coming back from my old house, I heard a interview on NPR about how wonderful running is for mental well being and intelligence. I heard about how humans were designed to run long distances. I heard about why I feel so good after even as little as ten minutes of running. Now, that is a happy dream.

"What you desire, you will see" (21.II.9.5).

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