So let us get clear: my goal is to experience another plane reality; one different than the ordinary material one experienced by most people. My goal is to move to an extreme of the continuum; and see the heavenly lights. Mystics and metaphysicians, monks and witches, have all told us of other planes of reality. Even Jesus lived in another world.
I wasn’t born in Tibet as a man who could enter a Buddhist monastery. I wasn’t born in India with access to a guru or a yogi who could teach me his secrets. I don’t have access to a Sufi. I am an American woman, living in a mid-western city, who was raised without one shred of spirituality. But in the course of my life, I became determined to attain “enlightenment.” Given the circumstances of my life, I totally believe that God has provided the means.
Currently, I am a process safety engineer in the pesticide and herbicide business. My job is to help keep the nasties inside the plant. You can see, I am not engaged in any sort of touchy feely new age career. I am single and daily becoming less and less a participant in the social life around me. One way I hope to attain knowledge of another plane of reality is to stop participating in the ordinary one. Thus, I provide space in time and thought for “something else.” I don’t spend my thinking time on family or religion or TV or eating or sex. I spend it on contemplation. I am a physical fitness fanatic and long distance runner. As an extremely fit and slightly underweight 51 year old, I am living in a body which is distinctly outside the norms of my peer group and society in general. I am a student of A Course in Miracles. Through the Course, I hope to re-program my thinking in such a way that I remember God.
The reality of God is the reality I seek. I totally believe that a God of love would not be inaccessible or unremembered. I totally believe that it is human ego programming which takes us out of a reality of love and deludes us into thinking the material reality is real.
I got up this morning at 3:35 and spent an hour on spiritual study. This morning, I pondered several passages from the text for The Course:
“The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt…Adam's "sin" could have touched no one, had he not believed it was the Father Who drove him out of paradise. For in that belief the knowledge of the Father was lost, since only those who do not understand Him could believe it. (ch 13)
This world is a picture of the crucifixion of God's Son. And until you realize that God's Son cannot be crucified, this is the world you will see. Yet you will not realize this until you accept the eternal fact that God's Son is not guilty. He deserves only love because he has given only love. (ch 17)
It is still up to you to choose to join with truth or with illusion. But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. Which one you choose you will endow with beauty and reality, because the choice depends on which you value more. The spark of beauty or the veil of ugliness, the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth or illusion, freedom or slavery - it is all the same. For you can never choose except between God and the ego. (ch 17)
Only the Thoughts of God are true. (ch 17)
Every special relationship you have made has, as its fundamental purpose, the aim of occupying your mind so completely that you will not hear the call of truth. (ch 17)
The holy instant is a miniature of Heaven, sent you from Heaven. It is a picture, too, set in a frame. Yet if you accept this gift you will not see the frame at all, because the gift can only be accepted through your willingness to focus all your attention on the picture. The holy instant is a miniature of eternity. It is a picture of timelessness, set in a frame of time. If you focus on the picture, you will realize that it was only the frame that made you think it was a picture. Without the frame, the picture is seen as what it represents. For as the whole thought system of the ego lies in its gifts, so the whole of Heaven lies in this instant, borrowed from eternity and set in time for you. (ch 17)”
My spiritual pondering continued for another hour and a half as I did my workout. This morning, I did my workout on machines. Yes, it was pouring rain. But also, I am working on strength using the ex-bike. The treadmill is somewhat softer on my legs than road running and I welcomed a long but non-damaging workout.
I could see myself being more interested in fitness than the glories of racing accomplishments. I have no goals and my running is divorced from grandiosity. I am attempting to use running as a spiritual tool.
My contemplation today at work is on defining critical operating parameters. It seems that I am the only one at the site to understand what these are. So I have been pulled off all other work and assigned to defining critical operating parameters for all of our processes.
This weekend, I will continue my experiment in solitude. In solitude, I cannot hide from the blackness within. There are no distractions from who and what I think I am combined with The Voice which tells me the truth of my Being.