Thursday, January 29, 2009
I’ve read the Course in Miracles (ACIM) text 3+ times in the past year and a half. I am on my second time through the work book. I am almost daily amazed at how I do think differently. The misery of a purely ego driven existence is being relieved.
In the ego world, we sing a hymn of hate: that person is stupid, that person drives wrong, everything is unfair, I don’t have enough money, and I’m getting old and sick and fat. As I have been spending mucho time investigating my own hymn of hate, I realize that there is not one physical person in the world who I would not criticize (secretly hate). I have many special hate relationships. Even though I know better than to say anything out loud to fat over-eaters or wheezing smokers, I certainly think it (and they know it too).
Now people also have special love relationships. These are family ties, maybe special best friends. Special love relationships are also hate filled. They are a subtle dance of people trying to get other people to fulfill their ego needs. Certainly, non-ACIM readers will think I am being very harsh. But looking within myself at the subtle details of relationships, I see I’m always trying to get something for myself. Emotional gratification is found even in works of mercy. It’s just hard to admit selfishness when you appear so gracious.
Now I know my outlook on others makes me unhappy; and finding a way to be happy is the purpose of spirituality. The life given to God is filled with happy thoughts.
In ACIM, we are told we can give all our relationships to the Holy Spirit who will transform them. They will suddenly have the Holy Spirit’s goal of holiness for their purpose; not ego gratification. The relationship becomes totally the opposite of what it once was. A Holy Relationship can be when two people who decide to undertake a relationship with holiness as its goal. But the one real relationship is with God. God is in everyone.
I am saying all this as a prelude to my revelation, trying to lay some background. Pretty soon, I will get to my revelation. I am a solitary contemplative; and I have no intention of becoming entangled in groups. As a solitary, especially since I live in a small town, I do not know any face-to-face people who are practicing ACIM. I have no best friend nearby. I have no husband, no children and no family. Most Christians I know would be severely distressed by ACIM’s conception of Son of God and of humanity and of the non-existence of sin. So how can I have a Holy Relationship such as described in ACIM? We need the Holy Relationship in order to express the holy instant. The holy instant needs to be expressed or it is soon forgotten. For the past year and a half, I have been counting myself a failure because of who I am and my choice to disentangle from groups. The Course says that God cannot fail; so what does God do with a solitary contemplative like me? Am I not just a sinner because I refuse to join the group?
I have pondered these questions a good long time. ACIM teaching is counter-cultural and very different so I usually don’t speak much about it. This silence seems to separate me from other people. At the same time, I have a very strong practice of taking my inventory and giving my hate to Jesus. I have a strong practice of ACIM forgiveness: looking beyond the physical body, which is an illusion, and seeing only the Christ, present within.
Are you ready for my revelation?
I have only one relationship. Everything in the world was my hymn of hate; but if I give the whole thing, the whole projection to Jesus, then I can have a Holy Relationship with the whole Son of God, Christ. The one consciousness “Son of God” is present in everyone and this is whom I am having a Holy Relationship with. The individual people may be unaware, but the Christ certainly is aware. Christ is alive and looking at me, not with physical eyes, but with true vision. Here is where I put my faith. No matter what that body does in the physical world, including my own body, I stick to having a relationship with Christ. I am free from thinking I need to go find another person who agrees with me so I can have a Holy Relationship as the Course seems to require. This one Holy Relationship with Christ is Salvation.
In my revelation this morning, I actually sensed the Christ presence having a relationship with me. I was not a body, but Christ also. I can let go of individual bodies, which are an illusion, and relate only to Christ, whom we all are. Christ is the Son of God. A constant stream of love flows from the Father to the Son. We are one. We are in Him. He is in us. It is really true and I know it.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
- The holy relationship is the expression of the holy instant in living in this world.
- ...his (Holy Spirit's) goal replaces yours (ego's)...
- ...as the unholy relationship is a continuing hymn of hate in praise of its maker (ego), so is the holy relationship a happy song of praise to the Redeemer of relationships (Holy Spirit)...
- ...the goal of the relationship (which has been given to the Holy Spirit) is abruptly shifted (by the Holy Spirit) to the exact opposite of what it was. This is the first result of offering the relationship to the Holy Spirit, to use for his purposes.
When I was in the monastery and approaching the making of my vows, I studied the idea of "total self gift." It was taught to me that the making of the vow meant that I had totally given myself to God. This notion was one of the strong desires I had for becoming a nun; but also it was a promotional point for "selling" monastic life to young women. Yes, I desperately want to give my self to God. The Rule of Benedict indicates that this can only be done in the monastery.
So when I got kicked out, I was devestaed because I thought my opportunity for "total self gift" was robbed from me. It seemed totally unfair that an institution could decide to deny me that opportunity.
Even though I became "secular" religious, I never gave up on my total self gift. As much as possible, I devote my time and effort to God. Working at my job is part of listening to God and knowing God. Running is contemplation. What I eat or not is part of The Relationship. There is only one relationship that any of us have: our Relationship with God. Our human interactions are either part of The Relationship, because they have been given to the Holy Spirit; or they are part of the ego because we are using them for our own goals.
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Give up your life to Him; and join me on the Road to Happy Destiny!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This morning, I went for an early morning run. I have in mind that I will run a marathon in 8 weeks; but regardless of what I am accused of "training for" I would have been running anyway. I can runa marathin in 4+ hours. Every now and then, I dream of qualifying for Boston or winning an award. "Qualifying for Boston" is a purely egotistical desire. It doesn't mean anything. Fast 50 something women runners finish marathons in 3:30 or less. I couldn't do that even when I was 20.
So, ultimately, "training" is just doing time. If I do the time, I can do the race. If I do the race, big deal. I come home with my finisher medal and age group plaque and a deep sense of emptiness. I have accepted trinkets and baubles to represent an inordinate amount of "doing time running." Before the race I had high value of my self. After the race I have littleness.
5 minutes is up. I must go. I am on my way to Illinois in a corporate plane. Oh joy!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
This world is a bad dream lived by my ego consciousness. I am not an ego. I am dreaming. I am the dreamer. I believe the dream because I am asleep. If I would wake up, this bad dream would vanish and I would see I am but a thought/idea of love in the Mind of God. I cannot wake up by myself so Jesus and the Holy Spirit have entered my dream and are helping me to wake up. It doesn’t really matter how the dreaming began. What matters is that I now, right now, this instant, choose to wake up. I wake up by following the teaching of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been helping me to see why I don’t make this choice. If I give the why to the Holy Spirit, it can be healed so that I come closer to waking up. When I have finally given my entire bad dream to the Holy Spirit, I will be ready to wake up and God will awaken me gently. The awakening won’t scare me because I was ready.
This weekend, I have given considerable thought to my fear of financial insecurity. I have been using the “financial crises” as my touchstone. Like most people, I think I need money. But I am dreaming; in the real world, money is meaningless. I keep talking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit about my fear, my terror. It may be a dream but I believe it and cower at the thought of not having money to protect myself. Here, we arrive at exactly the point: I think money will save me. I do not believe God will save me. Here, going deeper, I look at the entire world as one huge frightening disappointment. Every time I thought I grasped salvation in the form of a material savior, it was ripped from my grasp by fate, by God. How over and over I have been terrified and believed that God would not save me. I believed it was God who ruined my dream. I somehow began dreaming because I hated God and pushed Him away. In the dream, I am afraid of God because I think it is God that is punishing me, not that I am punishing myself. My why: I am afraid of God because I believe I did something to hurt Him; and in my guilt and remorse, I made a dream of self punishment. Suddenly, I am able to admit that I have created this dream as a self punishment. My why, self punishment, can be given to the Holy Spirit for healing.
To get out of this dream, to have my fear vanish, I simply tell this to Jesus and the Holy Spirit and listen to their story of how I am holy because God created me holy, of how I am not the dream but love because God is love and nothing else is real, of how I am dreaming and in reality, I exist in the Mind of God and have never left it. It is impossible that I could hate God, fear God or leave God. God is love, not punishment. Instead of hating the other people in my dream, I see them as light with me in the Mind of God; they too are dreaming, but I don't have to believe any dream. I can keep choosing to listen to the story told by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Their story is beautiful. In their story, we have peace and light and joy. Money is meaningless because I am only a thought of love. What could a thought of love possibly need money for? Bodily pain, age and disease is meaningless, because I am not a body. Over eating and getting fat is meaningless. Even running and weight lifting are meaningless.
Only love means anything. Love is not a vain attempt to get another person to treat me a certain way. It is peace and joy and comfort provided solely in God. I have a vision I use. I see my self as an idea in a world of light. I look and see a tiny black spec. The black spec is my bad dream. I am not the dream. I tell Jesus and the Holy Spirit of my bad dream and give it to them. The black spec vanishes and I am simply safe in the light.
OK. I don't want to live my life in fear. I deeply believe that the true answer to fear is in the spiritual world. It is not in: a government bailout, not in railing my financial advisor to find an investment that will grow, not in frugality, not in increased savings, not in worrying about my job. No investment in this dream world will work. Only investment in the spiritual world will work. Truth can only be found in God. My help is in allowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit to teach me how to live in the spiritual world and not in the bad dream.
The Kingdom of God is in you. My peace I give you. Sell all and follow me. To save your life, you must lose it.
I am under no laws but God's. God is Love.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
It is clear I have lived my life with a mentality of hate and fear. Having discovered this, I also realize that I don’t want to finish my life with that same mentality. My decision of what to do about this was not arrived at without some considerable consideration taking many years. I read the Bible and participated in Christianity for 2 decades at least. When I was a nun, I went to seminary. After I left the convent, I was deeply immersed in parish life. I have thoroughly studied Catholic theology and community. I have read Buddhist and Hindu texts. As a person in 12 Step Recovery for over 23 years, I have the literature practically memorized. I’ve been in psychotherapy several times. But it is A Course in Miracles (ACIM) that has most improved my mentality. ACIM is what has disclosed to me my truth and offered my a better way.
ACIM has brought me closest into relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It has most helped me to change my thinking and perception. I do not recommend it to anyone because it takes more work than most are willing to expend to learn entirely new concepts of what a human is, what relationships and love are, what Jesus is, what this world is, what time is, etc.
My ACIM workbook lesson for today urges celebration and gratitude that today is the day of a new beginning for me and everyone. Driving home from my early morning grocery foray, I looked around. The sky was clear, the sun just coming up, the fields are a bare winter brown. I had the distinct realization that I was looking at it for the last time, that not only this beautiful landscape, but also the things I had been afraid of in the night, would not be perceived the same way ever again. I was in a place of both grief and celebration. I am leaving prison, yet I grieve the many years spent in a dark cell. I walk into the light with jubilation, anticipating a new life, yet unknown.
I put my life on pause this weekend. I wanted to think the new thoughts and listen deeply. The form of what seemed to be my life (work, running, money, people) will go on; but the content of it (thoughts, perceptions, spirituality) will be 100% different. I know it. I am on my second trip through the ACIM workbook. I don’t remember each lesson but I know I am changed since the first time. I see words that weren’t there the first time. I experience faith, hope and belief in God at much higher levels.
Several new things have occurred even this morning. I am going running; but instead of Gu, I am going to try out Succeed sports drink. It means I won't have to remove gloves to open Gu packages. I just got the Succeed in the mail. I've had it at ultra races. The sun has perhaps raised the temperature from 4 to 10. I just called Road Runner Sports and they happily adjusted their bill to what I thought it should be. I just talked to a nice lady photographer who lives on my running route. The government rejected my passport application because the photos weren't exactly according to specification. But, as she lives in such a great place, I think I will discuss having her take my 50th anniversary strength pose photo. I want to show off my stringy 50 year old body.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
From A Course in Miracles:
- The special relationship is the renuncuation of the Love of God, and the attempt to secure for the self (ego) the specialness that He denied.
- There is no veil the Love of God in us together cannot lift. The way to truth is open. Follow it with me (Jesus)...straight to the Heart of God.
That phrase "straight to the heart of God" is gripping to me. The Heart of God is truly where I want to be. The Heart of God is the focus of all my desire and all my spiritual practice. Why are some surprised that I give up TV or shopping for this?
While I am running, the world goes on around me.
The cops chasing the stoned teens.
The woman yelling at the kid about homework.
The man driving and talking on the phone.
The girls taking pictures.
Power tools whining in a garage.
A dog barking.
While I am running, my world stops.
I am one with a fine orange cat;
seated like a queen on a white car.
One with a woman frozen on a bench;
hunched over a book.
The sun frozen in the sky.
The sky a benign infinite blue;
No birds, no clouds mar the smooth blue surface.
While I am running, I don’t know anything.
I ignore my ego’s trafficking in grievances and guilt;
Its offerings of idle wishes;
Its bartering in dreams of sickness and disaster.
Running, I release tormenting fantasies of hell on earth.
While I am running, there is nothing else.
I am a void to the world, a nullity.
I am the worthless, the not living up.
I am the withdrawn, not special.
A runner, a piece of landscape, a mind unoccupied.
Silent, anonymous, free.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
There are certain events going on in the ego world today which seem of great importance. Use the delusion to enable LOVE to ascend to the place of supreme ruler in your heart. Imagine all the host of heaven crowding your inner temple of God and the hush as they watch you elevate your Higher Power, as you turn your will and your life over to Him. The most important thing in any life is to return to God. Making the desire for God real is my number one goal. I want to want to know my Self (Christ) above all else.
- ...the Holy Spirit is part of you...He is both God and you, as you are God and Him together.
- They are quite real as part of the Self you do not know.
- ...you who hold Him and whom He holds are the universe...
- ...this Self must be there...this Self you clearly do not know...even though IT functions...what functions must be there...it is only ikf you deny what IT has done that you could possibly deny ITs Presence.
Stop putting up barriers of unbelief against this Self. IT is there. Decide for IT. Deny your ego instead.
Jesus, I want desire to know my Self to be highest priority, highest desire, highest area of action in whatever I do. Please help me. Please help me hear.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Since I did my long run (22 miles) yesterday, and I had no fellowship meeting on the schedule, I slept in and spent extra time studying A Course in Miracles, meditation and reflection.
Here are a few ACIM gems:
- ...if you will merely sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through you, you will empathesize with strength...you choose neither to hurt it (any relationship) or heal it in your own way...step gently aside and let the healing be done for you...
- The power of love, which is its meaning, lies in the strength of God that hovers over it and blesses it silently by enveloping it in healing wings.
- Humility is strength in this sense only; that to recognize and accept the fact that you do not know is to recognize and accept the fact that He does know.
- ...the nature of miracles you do not understand...yet they have been done through you...so there must be Something in you that does understand...
- ...your relationship with Him (the One Who speaks for God, Host of God, Christ, Self) is real...to acknowledge Him is to deny all that you think you know...
- The Host of God has called to you, and you have heard. Never again will you be wholly willing not to listen. This is a year, in which your listening will increase and peace will grow with its increase.
- This year invest in truth...Have faith in Him...
OK...sorry, I could go on and on because ACIM is full of candy and sweet things for contemplation. Someone asked me to pray for them today. What they get is my willingness to "sit quietly by" and let the Holy Spirit help them. A request for prayer is a request for me to allow Love to heal; and the Holy Spirit picked the person who needed a miracle.
In my morning meditation, I took my consciousness to the inner Light. I sat and looked. I was in a place where I was willing to believe that each time I go and ponder the Light, I love it and want it a little more. I was willing to let go of the need for some emotional event to prove that the Light is real. I considered it more like a long slow conversation of non-words. All I needed to do was go there and sit quietly. The relationsip would grow and I need not understand how or have expectations. The Light is the "Something" in me that does know. All I do is give some attention.
All I want is to want the Something. Since Something is benign and peaceful; it is hard to detect and hard to want. This is why I seek solitude; for listening. I do not know but I am devoted.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
How much self transcendence is involved in the long distance run? Or the weight lifting and nutrition and time commitment necessary to be an endurance athlete? Or the patience required to just go along for several hours?
[This channel will be on hold for 4 hours while the runner goes running.]
Four plus hours and 22 plus miles later, am I still spiritual?
I began with humility and trepidation. The Presence of Holiness attended the lacing of the shoes and the layering of clothes, the filling of water bottles and the storage of energy packets; like a priestess preparing for the sacred liturgy in the temple of the long road.
I am a solitary runner. Today, in secret, I ran along and along; a mystery as I ran. The secret rock ritual, the secret pee, the hidden spat of anger at the stupid UA tights which were twisting around my leg; these little things are the mystery. To what purpose did that leaf hit me in the chest? For Whom have I endured the humiliation of the north wind and its inhumane lashes? I am shown to be the puny weakling that I am. My high tech gear does not prevent the wind from ravishing me to the bone.
I am a spirit and the mystery of running disembodies me. Today, alone in the park, down there, up there, down there, up there, put a rock on the post, squat to pee, take a package of Gu; around and around and around; I was nothing and nobody, a mystery. After three hours, I can’t think. I’m done praying, the song in my head has faded away, and simply run. I am moving forward, but my mind has begun grasping at straws.
I completed 6 laps plus ¾ of a lap. My butt was dragging that last partial lap. My body was not in pain, but my mind was having a tough time. At that point, any mind can rationalize shortening the run, not going all the way. This resistance is the self transcendence wall. Endurance takes you beyond your self; if you can somehow keep going. Each step is my affirmation to live, to be alive; to not live dead on the couch for the next 30 years. This is my way. Voluntarily strengthening the mind to go the last mile is why running matters. Distance running is optional; but so is self transcendence.
A shower, spirulina, chlorella, royal jelly, water, a salad, coffee.
I am having a hermit day. This means that I am not involved with people; taking a break from life. I did have my usual morning spiritual practice; but then I spent 4 hours on a long distance run. When I was in the monastery was when I first heard of hermit days. They allowed each person one day a month to be alone. This breach of community and reprieve from the liturgical work was justified in the eremitical tradition of monastic history. You were supposed to go into a silent desert (your cell) and spend time alone with your lover (God); and praying for the world. I did spend additional time in meditation those hermit days; but no more than I do every day in my current life as a solitary. I used hermit days to go for long runs. Of course back then, a long run was only about 10 miles; now as you can see, it is a bit more. My life in the world comes to fruition. The training leads to a marathon. The meditation leads to helping others. Now, when I pray for the world, it is my voluntary choice; not because I’m a nun and required to. My lover (God) still comes around, but His intensity is much more demanding. My self transcendence leads to voluntarily entering the inner Heaven; where the spiritual wind is as ravishing as the north wind I experienced on my run. The only difference is I have no protective clothing against the inner spiritual wind.
Candy from ACIM:
- God offers thanks to the holy host who would receive Him (Christ), and lets Him enter and abide where He would be.
- And by allowing Him to enter, the remembrance of the Father enters with Him, and with Him they remember the only relationship they ever had, and ever want to have.
Now, I think I will retire to a reclining position.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I was at my old convent, although it didn't look like it, and I was helping them set up Christmas. I wasn't a nun, just living there. After we got done setting up, I needed a shower. So, I began running back to where our rooms were. I remember running very easily and being impressed by how fast and easy running was. I got to my room and gathered a towel or something. Then I went to hunt for a shower which wasn't being used. I decided to walk down to another old building where no one would be. At the first shower, you had to walk down some stone stairs to the basement hewed out of rock. The stairs were chipped and the railing was rusted; but I thought I could get down ok. Halfway down, I noticed a long buried sister above the stairs. She was tiny and petrified, but still dressed in a red and blue habit (like the statue of Maria Rickenbach, the name of the Swiss madonna enshrined at the mother house for that order). Half of her was in the rock roof of the stairway and half exposed. One of her arms was hanging down and I decided to yank it off as I passed underneath.
You guessed it! Yanking the arm woke that sister up. She came alive and started to grow larger into a normal sized person, alive and beautiful. She began talking to me, though I don't remember what she started out saying. But I remember saying, "I think you should go back to being dead." To which she replied, "But it was you who woke me up." She seemed to imply that I wanted her to be alive, even perhaps uncovering her and waking her up. I remember being afraid of her. And then I woke up. It was maybe 1 am and I went to the bathroom.
I went back to sleep and got up at 5. At 7 I left for the city and bought a few groceries. At 8, I was at a 12 step fellowship for a meeting. I was reading "How It Works" when I realized that this dream meant something.
It meant something in terms of this: as part of my A Course in Miracles (ACIM) workbook lesson, I had been uncovering my grievances, my sacrifices and my pain (these things are what my ego has to say). But also part of ACIM, is trying to realize how it is that I decided to leave God and dream an ego dream of unhappiness. The work of ACIM is to bring your pain to the Holy Spirit, to give up your grievances and awaken to your true Self within. Our ego's message is that we should be afraid to look within because we will find an awful demon; that we really are truly nasty and evil people. The Holy Spirit's message is that we are love, ideas in the mind of God who loves us and from Whom we never separated. I am confused. Was the dead sister a grievance I'd uncovered? Or was she my Self, but I am afraid because I am still in my ego?
I am leaning towards the idea that I am awakening; because the dead sister was beautiful and I know I had taken the action to uncover her and wake up to her. But I don't understand my Inner Beauty, hence I fear it. This is more or less a message of ACIM, when we really let go of our ego world, what we find inside is a loving Self. When we give up our ego guilt, we realize we never left God and He loved us all along while we dreamed the ego's dream of separation. I think I need to keep looking at this Self and try to understand her beauty. If you read yesterday's blog, you will see that I am gifted with seeing the light but have not allowed it authentically in. The dream sister did at least impact me. She was awake, I was awake. This situation has potential.
I am really only bloging right now because I am waiting for the roads to thaw. When I got back from the city, I drove around my town and tried to decide where I could run without worrying about snow. I found a road that will be good for running, but decided it needed a little more melt time. It won't take long.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Today's ACIM workbook lesson for me is: Love created me like Itself. It struck me, here was love talking. You see, I had remembered my lesson while I was standing there; and then this tiny snowflake. The snowflake was a tiny door into the real world. It helped me.
I cry out to God as I did last night in this letter to Jesus:
“Jesus, if I could sit and talk openly to you, I might express pain and sorrow: how little I know and how futile things seem. I don’t have brilliance or originality; though even as I write that, I know my truth is that I am brilliance and originality. These ideas are woven by God into my very being, inescapable. I know my truth is that I was created by God; but I don’t feel deeply appreciative of that. I wanted a thought of the deep connection with God. I wanted to feel the punch, the pull, the irrepressible Thou. I have nothing I can feel; but I want Something More.
I want to complain: all this study and I still don’t know anything. How do I use my God Mind to think something higher?"
And so I retreat into silence. I sit and contemplate the light. I look inside at Brilliance Itself. I am ignorant and do not understand what I see. Someday, someday, someday.
This is what the Course says: don’t try to reason it out, just let go and experience God. And so I sit before the Light and listen to the gentle whisper of The Voice. The Light is penetrating me.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Pause. Stop right now and allow THE EXPERIENCE of the attraction of God to wash over you, around you, through you and right into your heart. When I do this, my very being wiggles and wags and shivers in the onslaught of Love; which is God's attracting me to Him. He wants me more than I am capable of realizing. No I am not illuminated; but I am called by God and the attraction of God is what I experience. The experience in and of itself is divine. Experience the Experience without limits, beyond illumination; allow it. That is all: just allow and you will know everything.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I am at work; the only one here for awhile. I'm the one that turns on the lights and plugs in the coffee pot. Although it is my birthday, my day started as usual: up at 3, spiritual study until 4:30, weight lifting and exer-bike, gather my stuff and come to work at 6. During my meditation, I realized that I was in an emotional slump. My ego does not want to serve God and often voices its concerns early in the morning. So I talked to Jesus about some different choices.
The truth is that there is nothing special about me. I will quietly suit up and show up everyday. My ego hates this. My ego despairs that God does not treat me special. Eating cake will not change this ego resentment. Only God can fulfill me, and so I turn to Him.
Most of my relationships are electronic. I am comfortable with this and grateful for the internet. I live in the boonies, so electronic is the only way to go. If I insisted on face-to-face, I'd have no one. Instead, I fancy I have a boy friend in South Africa and running buddies in Canada. I have received lots of best wishes. I'd love to hear from you.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Take a look at this from A Course in Miracles (15.VI.4 and 5):
"4 You do not find it difficult to believe that when another calls on God for love, your call remains as strong. Nor do you think that when God answers him, your hope of answer is diminished. On the contrary, you are more inclined to regard his success as witness to the possibility of yours. That is because you recognize, however dimly, that God is an idea, and so your faith in Him is strengthened by sharing. What you find difficult to accept is the fact that, like your Father, you are an idea. And like Him, you can give yourself completely, wholly without loss and only with gain. Herein lies peace, for here there is no conflict.
5 In the world of scarcity, love has no meaning and peace is impossible. For gain and loss are both accepted, and so no one is aware that perfect love is in him. In the holy instant you recognize the idea of love in you, and unite this idea with the Mind that thought it, and could not relinquish it. By holding it within itself, there is no loss. The holy instant thus becomes a lesson in how to hold all of your brothers in your mind, experiencing not loss but completion. From this it follows you can only give. And this is love, for this alone is natural under the laws of God. ..."
Jesus, for my 50th birthday, I would like to give myself completely. I am perfectly capable of recognizing the idea of love every where in the world, and of dedicating my life to increasing my performance in extending the conscious awareness of love as my only consciousness. May I be exclusively committed to love. Please help me. Upon my "blowing out the candle" may they say, "She gave herself completely to love."
Since I plan to keep my candle burning for another 70 years, I should get to see the consciousness of divine love growing in the consciousness of the general population during that time. Significantly, everyone will know: love doesn't die, it just learns to give up its illusions.
[...love is all there is, love is all there is....I love you yeah yeah yeah...]
I just realized, I am still idealistic after 50 years of life here in an ego world. Isn't that fantastic! After 50 years, I am not cynically hardened, emotionally vindictive or hopeless! I have faith! Celebrate! This is a joyful moment! I still think I will remember God in this lifetime. I still think I will give up all my ego judgments and learn to love everyone. I still think I will realize that a consciousness of love is all I need and all I will want.
Today I ran 21 miles. I started out under a full moon and finished in bright sunshine. The three big black puppies mauled me. Instead of hating them, I thought, "those dogs are love."
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I will be 50 on Monday. When my dad was 50, I wasn't even born. When my mom was 50, I was 15. I hated her guts; not just because it was a teen age thing, but she was a drunk. My mom drank every night, usually through a black out. She was mean in her drunkeness. I hated both my parents and did not value them. Looking back, I have no wisdom that I got from them. They did not teach eternal truths or character values.
Now, here is the retrospect part where I let them off the hook: because of watching them, I have a tremendous compassion and empathy for all people. In them, I saw extreme degradation of the human soul. I knew it was also my soul. I knew we were all degrading our souls by our petty lives. I felt divine sorrow, as if I was God himself lamenting over my lost children. I remember seeing my mother with my human eyes, swaying in drunken sluriness before me. I remember seeing with the eyes of my heart, the unactualized soul behind the drunk. I watched my father doze off on the couch after yet another dinner time emasculation administered by my drunken mother, or his terribly wounded pleading as he asked me to explain the drunk. In them, I could see their divine essence, trapped and crying out to me. The divine soul that I saw was not at all physically visible. It was just a thing I knew in my heart, as I hatefully looked with my human eyes at these impoverished people. When I see soul degradation today, in others or myself, I feel pain and sorrow. I work spiritually and metaphysically to undo the situation.
We, all of us, do things to degrade our soul and cut off the spiritual communication with God. [I say "our soul" because my real life is not my own, but God's; and everyone is the same creation of God. I say "my ego" because egos are separated from God and only pretend to exist as stand alones.] The real pain I feel in compassion and empathy is the tragedy of what we, all of us, do to hurt our selves and trash our divine dignity. My compassion and empathy come into play all the time: as people, we do things which are extremely little, puny and ego oriented. We do almost everything and anything to please our egos. We buy little trinkets, waste our time on TV, chase after money and cheap thrills, and over-eat our lives away; wondering why we are never satisfied and don't know God. The message of all spirituality is that God is within. While I participate in littleness to a great degree, I also resist the tendency, and practice turning in to the inner divine.
As a child, my parents certainly played a huge role in un-dignifying me; stripping me of any semblance of human dignity. I came out of childhood without a scrap of self worth; and maybe never even heard of the concept. In fact, I was an achiever; but I never thought of that as a message that I was a good person. I thought I had managed to fool all the other stupid people into believing I was good. I thought that I was really rotten but good at hiding it. I kept pleasing people and getting approval; and then thinking they were stupid because they approved of me. Nothing satisfied me.
A good deal of my adult life has been spent in finding and healing my human dignity, our soul. I haven't drank for over 23 years. Getting sober was the start of the journey. I'm sure that the only point of my life and my spiritual journey has been the finding of our soul. For sure, the reconnection to God is the main focus of my life.
A Course in Miracles, the Bible, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist writings, all of these are treasure troves. In them, I mine for true wealth, true connection with God and all that is. Since the age of 22, even before getting sober, I spent hours everyday meditating on some holy writing. And after listening to the words of the writing, I listen to the words of the Silence. I want to hear what God is saying to me. And then I go to work. And then I go running and lift weights. I drink distilled water, learning to enjoy it more than anything else I could put in my mouth. I listen to the Silence, learning to enjoy it more than anything else I could put in my head. All the while, I am strengthening the sense of our soul, allowing it to live instead of my ego. Our soul is my human dignity. Our soul is my heart. Our soul is my reason for being. When I am done with my ego delusion called human life, I will exclusively be this magnificent soul, that always was and always will be and is not my own. I really only exist in the heart of God.
Monday January 12 is my 50th birthday. Stop back by and leave me a comment!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
From A Course in Miracles:
- …Love dwells in you…
- …only holiness (the awareness of your divine indwelling) can content you…
- Value no plan of the ego before the plan of God.
- …willingly and gladly give over every plan but His.
- Every thought you keep hidden shuts communication off…
Today? Time for another promotion for “reflecting.” I read these spiritual things which remind me of God’s presence and I simply must stop, pause, be quiet, listen. If I can, I close my eyes and look inside.
I am Spirit Flower, a semi-hermit. I am approaching my 50th birthday. I find myself intrigued by this milestone. I don't feel 50; yet I have a recently found confidence in myself and my life choices which I never felt as a younger person.
I spent so many years pleasing people and trying to get their approval and validation. I struggled emotionally in my solitude with being "good enough" or "enlightened" and "what did the religious people think of me, am I bad?" I used to really hate normal society. These struggles seem to have run their course and like an infection, I got over them.
I have discovered a theology or spiritual system of thought which I can do alone in my house, no guru required, working directly with Spirit, no evangelization requirement. Maybe it was diligent work with this material, maybe continually investigating my feelings and writing about them, maybe just time; but I find myself at peace.
I think that anyone who walks away from society will feel some of these emotional pressures; but I say, "hang in there." The peace, light and freedom of living outside the social norms is totally worth it. I am a success!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Yes I was sure. I felt incredibly unselfish for once and willing to experience whatever, in the name of Christ. I thought a bit and it came to me: the call of Isaiah. If you glance through the first 5 chapters of the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, you experience God's huge love for us and our ignorance and disrespect for Him. Then in chapter 6, He calls Isaiah. After experiencing God's love in the first few chapters, it is impossible not to be filled with compassion and blurt out towards heaven, "Yes! Whatever You want. I'm willing."
In willingness, God extends the power to know His presence deep down inside. His inner Presence, the fundamental idea of God in every person, is what can protect and inspire my living. This inner Presence, this fundamental idea of God is what I call holiness. Eveyone has it, but it is easily forgotten. Holiness will not buy you anything. Holiness draws us away from littleness: our cheap seeking for satisfaction in worldly things or accomplishments or over-eating or drugs or gambling or TV. Holiness will drawn you into meaningful relationships with other people, because you respect, honor and silently bless their holiness. Holiness will draw you out of fear of economic insecurity or even fear of looking stupid and dumb. The Spirit of God in me goes wild with blessing the world if I allow It to flow out through my holy awareness towards others, and join with the same Spirit in them.
In my heart, quietly enthroned, is The Presence. I need stop to give it space and I will know it. Knowing it, I am sent to remember it for everyone. We all have it.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I sat down first for spiritual study and meditation. Wow, I discovered some strong feelings and gave these to my Higher Power. At 6 I lifted weights and at 6:30 bundled up for a 2 hour run.
It was 15F (maybe about -10C), a 20+mph north wind, and just an inkling in the south eastern horizon that the sun would come up today. I live on the south end of town. I decided to run north through town and around a loop in the fields north of town, then back. After about 15 minutes, I have the front of my jacket and three layers of fleece half unzipped as I am warm enough and I want to let out the moisture.
On Sunday in a small town, hardly anyone is up. Four old ladies in a Prius stop to ask me where they can get breakfast. Clearly they are not from here and we have no quaint diners. I send them to the grocery store which has a breakfast of sorts in their deli.
After about 40 minutes, I get to the top of the hill at the very north of town and get blasted directly by the wind. I snap up my hood and turn west on a dirt road through the fields. The sunrise is quite spectacular. I pass an elderly horse in a barren field; he has no windbreak.
Just before starting this run, I heard an interview on NPR with M. T. Anderson who wrote "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing." It sounds like a creative book. I just started reading Barak Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" last night. Mr. Obama seems to have thought deeply and identified the principles of our culture. I start to wonder about my own life, "The Astonishing and Audacious Life of Spirit Flower." Is it astonishing? Do I have values? I’m about to turn 50 years old. What do I stand for? So many things that I’ve tried have gone by the wayside. What has endured the test of time and can stand as my life’s foundation? As I remember some of my childhood images, I come up with the following opening line for my biography: "Spirit Flower's life was defined by long distance running and spirituality." That is, running and spirituality make me a full spectrum contemplative; and contemplation is my principle value.
A value is a principle or a quality considered worthwhile (akin to purpose). My value to others, or humanity in general, relates to whether others consider me to have worth in usefulness. Within my own heart, I must consider my life to have worthwhile qualities. Not everyone needs this; but I would kill myself without it. If my efforts at living result in others considering me valuable; that is secondary. I struggle with this issue a lot because I compare myself to others who do have fancy titles and identifiable purposes.
My life is defined by long distance running and spirituality. These are indispensable and have been my modus operandi since early teens. Other than running and praying, I spend my time earning money at my job, and worrying about my running and praying plans. I have as few social entanglements as possible. My life as a spiritual seeker and athlete appears incredibly selfish. Yet, I pursue it with an irrepressible type of conviction which seems to come from my soul; and there are people who value me. Therefore, I must assume that I have values and I am valuable, despite appearances. My value is not tangible; but it can be known.
I have value and purpose. How do I know? These can be seen if you consider me a living icon. An icon is an enduring symbol. A religious icon is an enduring symbol of the Gospel and the life of Jesus Christ. I am an icon for how to be spiritual and be an athlete; as a way of life. These are opposite ends of the scale, but they provide a life of thoughtful contemplation beyond the solely material way of life. They both aim at higher consciousness and human transformation. These intangibles are my personal concerns.
People see me and say they admire my spirituality. People come up and ask about running, or my other health practices. I am available to be seen in the world and I am connected metaphysically to all mankind. There are Japanese contemplative monks that run ultra-marathons. There are ultra-marathoners who discover God in the process of a 100 mile race. I am a contemplative in the world who trains as an athlete. Spirituality is approached as training and running is approached as contemplation. Every mile run or weight lifted is a meditation. Every meditation is building spiritual endurance and strength. Every time I go out in the world, someone observes something about one or the other of these practices; hence, I am an icon. People are always enriched in some way; perhaps astonishment, perhaps audacious hope, but their soul will put it into action for them.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
This prayer is a non-worldly prayer. Its efficacy does not exist in the ego's material world and hence cannot be perceived or judged. My ego bitterly resents my prayer and strives to thwart my actions. Today it did not succeed. NOTHING other than the name of Jesus interested me.
Friday, January 2, 2009
I didn't do it. Something inside me kept me from getting the cookies, eating them and feeling bad. What kept me from doing it? Did I unconsciously have a higher value with higher ideals which became my driving force? Was the power of God active and channeled through this higher value? The needed power to avoid unhappiness was there today.
Lets say that anything happy is powered by God through this higher value which I will call Soul. Soul empowers me to keep from hurting myself. (I have done alot of work to achieve this clarity of empowerment.)
So... running long slow distance (LSD) defies the ordinary person's unclear, non-Soul reasoning. Ordinary people just don't think LSD is a reasonable thing to do, especially if you are old (like me?). Yet for me, the needed power is there to do something extremely radical which produces transcendence experiences. I assume the needed power is that of God and Soul. I assume the power of God and the desire of Soul are behind the LSD; not ego. I must believe I run for some reason other than ego gratification; as the ego's running glory is widely dispersed and short lived. Hmmm...I run for my Soul's sake.
What is my Soul's purpose in LSD? As I internally ask, the answer immediately pops out: perhaps to keep me out of the ordinary so I will continue to awaken to the extraordinary. I have had many opportunities and success at ordinary social engagement. My Soul was not thrilled. My Soul kept urging me into the non-ordinary, transcending to extraordinary. My Soul's purpose could be what kept me from the ordinary man's cookies today; or his religion, or eating habits, or career, or entertainments, or chemical usage, or typical relationships.
Suddenly I am grateful. I want to find the extraordinary because I want to be free; not an ordinary slave. I want to be alive; not slowly die of ordinary materialism and satiety. I want to know my Soul and hence God. That is my purpose for life. It goes hand in hand with my Soul and together we rise to Heaven.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
This morning I got up at 5 for prayer and meditation. At 7, I went for a 10 mile run; very beautiful sunrise and diamond strings of geese overhead.
I just finished a 5 day juice fast/detox. My body feels great and looks great. I'm going to do a 40 day Daniel Fast to continue living in the realm of the spirit, and eating like it!
Here are some gems from A Course in Miracles Text which I read this morning:
- ...let all that would hide your glory be brought to the judgment of the Holy Spirit, and there undone (Atonement)...it is [these things we hide from God] that interfere with the recognition of the power of God that shines in you.
- The holy meeting place of the unseparated Father and His Son lies in the Holy Spirit and in you.
- You were created holy.
- The Atonement is so gentle you need but whisper to it and all its power will rush to your assistance and support.
- The Atonement offers you God.
- God has not left His altar...The temple is still holy, for the Presence that dwells within it is Holiness.
- In the temple, Holiness waits quietly...
- The graciousness of God will take (us) gently in and cover all (our) sense of pain and loss with the immortal assurance of (our) Father's love.
- The Presence of Holiness lives in everything that lives...
- ...you can become a spotless mirror, in which the Holiness of your Creator shines forth from you to all around you...leave the mirror clean and clear of all the images of hidden darkness...God will shine upon it of Himself.
- ...realize for a single instant the power of healing that the reflection of God, shining in you, can bring to all the world, you could not wait to make the mirror of your mind clean...
Beautiful stuff! I get these jewels everyday. They represent my wealth.
Given the knowledge that Holiness dwells within me/us, I pause and feel The Presence. I love The Presence and He loves me/us. I say me/us because I am in no way special to God. I am just persevering in the spiritual life. In knowing the Presence within, I am devoured by love and totally satisfied by the only Thing which ever can satisfy me. Don't you wish you could be thrilled by God each and every day? Just give up your ego and its toys.
Given the knowledge that "cleaning the mirror of my mind" (itemizing my ego's thoughts and giving them to the Holy Spirit) brings a reflection of God into the world is something I really want to do. In AA, we call this taking our inventory. In religion, it is called examining your conscience. I am not looking to see what "bad" thoughts I have, but what thoughts my ego is preoccupied with. These preoccupations are what keep me from remembering Holiness dwelling quietly within.
Knowing God is the top priority in my life; has been for a long time. I dedicated my life to God because I saw something I really wanted. Yes, I wanted to feel better; and I do. Yes, I didn't want to feel alone; and I have the utmost Companion. Yes, I wanted something higher than average mediocre consumerist life; and I do live in the realm of the Spirit.