This is a series of e-miracles that I would like to share with you. I offer them with love and my intention is to inspire, inform and sometimes make you laugh! They will consist of insights that have been given to me, suggestions to help you have more inner peace and some quotations. I do hope you enjoy them, and I would be very happy to receive any feedback that you might have.
10) Pain Body
13) The Dream
14) Waking Up
15) Author of ACIM
For this first 'e-miracle', I would like to introduce the subject of miracles:
What do you think about miracles?
Do you think that miracles are supernatural?
Do you think that you can perform miracles yourself?
'A Course in Miracles', which I believe is one of the most profound books on the planet, has many things to say about miracles and I would like to share the following quotations:
"Miracles occur as natural expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle."
"Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong."
"Miracles are everyone's right, but purification is necessary first."
"Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less."
'A Course in Miracles' - 'Et Kursus i Mirakler'
'A Course in Miracles', or ACIM for short, is a channelled work and became available in 1976. It is essentially a mind training book, training one's mind towards love and away from fear. It claims that the untrained mind can achieve nothing, spiritually. We can read many spiritual books (and boy, I have read e few!) and do therapy for years (yeah, I've tried that too!), but unless we train the mind as well, we will never achieve lasting inner peace. What can bring lasting peace, it claims, is doing a healthy spiritual discipline consistently over a period of time. ACIM is one good example of this.
In it's introduction, it states that: "This Course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is our natural inheritance." Although it teaches a lot more, the central message of ACIM is that we can remove these blocks by practising true forgiveness. The book teaches us how to train the mind so we can practice true forgiveness and, as a result, reconnect with our innocence.
The big question is: What is true forgiveness? It is actually very different from what most people think!
More about true forgiveness and guilt>innocence later...........!
There are two books that can act as very good introductions to ACIM. One is 'Return to Love' ('Kærlighedens Mirakel' in Danish) by Marianne Williamson, and the other is 'The Disappearance of the Universe' ('Gud Er' in Danish) by Gary Renard. I highly recommend these two books to anyone who is seriously seeking inner peace.
'Guilt > Innocence'
Probably the most misunderstood issue on the planet is the one concerning guilt and innocence. If I said to you:
YOU ARE INNOCENT no matter what you do.
Would you agree, would you have some resistance or would you be really provoked?
All our lives we have learnt that we are guilty. I believe that the unconscious thought that we are guilty is the cause of all the problems in the world. Guilt is not a state of being, it is a thought!. Since it is a thought we have learnt, it is also something that we can unlearn.
Our unconscious guilt has caused us to make many mistakes in our lives. The people who have made the biggest mistakes shouldn't be punished for them. Punishment just makes them feel even more guilty. If someone has committed a murder, for example, of course they should be held in custody, but they need to have their minds trained to think they are innocent rather than have their guilt confirmed. It is a known fact that those who have been in prison are the most likely to commit another crime. Guilt is the cause of crime, not the reverse. The mind is always at cause. We have been putting cause and effect the wrong way round.
Guilt in our surface mind is relatively easy to heal as it is something we are aware of. This is done by choosing to think of ourselves as innocent whenever we have a guilty thought. The surface guilt, however, is just the tip of the iceberg and the major part of our guilt is unconscious. 'A Course in Miracles' says our unconscious guilt can be healed through true forgiveness. More about true forgiveness later..............!
Guilt and love cannot exist in the same space. As we heal the guilt in our minds, we begin to experience more and more love in our hearts. Then we spontaneously start to act more appropriately in the world.
"The guiltless mind cannot suffer." ('A Course in Miracles')
The way we usually forgive others is to look at what they have done to us, see it clearly - thus making it real, and then be big enough to forgive them for it. In this way we are actually seeing ourselves as better than they are. This is not true forgiveness!
True forgiveness is overlooking - overlooking what we think the other has done to us. It is looking back and seeing that there is nothing to forgive! "Forgiveness does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven." (ACIM)
This is all very easy to say, but not so easy to do. The ego mind is stuck in fear and attack, and it takes time and training to undo the ego's thought system so that we can start practising true forgiveness.
True forgiveness is not about being a doormat and letting people do unloving things to us. We can still ask for what we want and what we don't want. What this is about is achieving peace of mind. Peace of mind is not about what we or others do, but about our perception of what we or others do. The miracle is that as we learn true forgiveness, people are much more likely to treat us with love and respect.
The goal with practising true forgiveness is to get to the stage where it becomes a spontaneous reality. Then, instead of seeing the other as doing something to us, we simply see them as asking for love in some way. 'A Course in Miracles' says that all expression is either an expression of love or a request for love. It also says that if you have a problem of any kind in your life, then forgiveness is required!
True forgiveness is the key to happiness!
More details on forgiveness can be seen here >>
'Cause and Effect'
ACIM says the mind is always at cause. (We are not talking about the brain here. Many researchers and scientists think they are studying the mind, when in fact they are studying the brain.) The mind is the creative force. The mind has the power to choose either negative thoughts (fear) or positive thoughts (love). Everything our thoughts manifest in the world is what we call the effect. Hence 'cause and effect'.
As an fun example, imagine I have the thought to drop a brick on my toe to see how it will feel (oops, silly me!). The effect that I will produce is a very sore toe! For a moment, I can think I am my toe. Perhaps I go to the doctor and take a pain killer. Maybe I massage my toe or bandage it. Whatever I am doing here, I am working on the level of effect. Life is a lot like this. We get so wrapped up in working on the effect that we forget what caused our problems in the first place.
Sometimes we do need to work on the level of effect first if the effect is too uncomfortable. It is only once we have made the effect more comfortable, can we even think about the cause. In my example, how could I think of forgiving myself for dropping the brick in the first place if all I can think of is my toe!
In order to heal our bodies and our minds, and achieve lasting inner peace, we must eventually work on the level of cause. ACIM always works at the level of the mind and thus at the level of cause. Everything and every therapy we have ever done so far has brought us closer to being able to really work on the level of cause. True Forgiveness works at the level of cause.
'The Two Choices'
The decision maker within us actually has only two choices in every moment. It can either choose the thought system of our true Self or the thought system of the ego. The thought system of our true Self is about love, while that of the ego is about fear.
The ego can give us an infinite number of choices, but in reality we only have the two. A first step for most of us is to wake up to the fact that there is a 'decision maker' still alive within us, and that it does have these two choices.
Once we remember this, we can start to practise choosing the thought system of our true Self over the ego's. ACIM always makes the journey of waking up very simple, but it never says that it is easy. It does take time and commitment and a lot of practice. Practising the lessons from ACIM can really help to make this journey easier.
Gradually as we practise choosing the thought system of our true Self, it starts to become a spontaneous reality. Practice makes perfect. As it becomes spontaneous we begin to experience lasting inner peace and a state of joy. Choosing with our true Self always brings peace. Choosing with the ego always brings pain. Which teacher do we want to listen to?
When someone is feeling their pain, the most loving thing we can do for them is to remind them that they have just two choices. Then, when they are ready, invite them to choose for the true Self and against the ego. This is far better than endlessly examining all the choices of the ego.
'Darkness to the Light'
Just choosing love will not set us free. We have to fully experience the guilt, hatred, fear etc. and be willing to choose against it. If we don't fully feel it all, we will continue to project it out onto others. Rather than feeling our own guilt, we try and make others feel guilty.
We will do almost anything not to feel our darkness. For example, we can avoid feeling it by being busy busy busy, by projecting, blaming others or suppressing it with medicine (although in some cases this is obviously necessary). Sometimes we will get sick, and even die, rather than bring it to the surface and feel it. It is part of our identity even though it is suppressed, and the ego never ever wants us to lose what we think is our identity. Of course, this identity is not our true selves.
Another clever way we avoid doing the work is by bringing the light into the darkness. We can do this by endlessly analysing all the ego's many games and patterns. We give our mental condition names and put ourselves in boxes, but is doesn't really help.
We can also pretend that we are so healed and holy and wonderful, when we are not. Denial is not a spiritual state. Our purpose is to undo our guilt, not protect it.
This is a very narrow and tricky path to navigate. One of the problems is we don't want to be healed because we like to feel guilty on some level.
The darkness has to come into the light. It has to be felt and experienced. Only then can the 'decision maker' within us choose against it and allow the memory of our true Self to come through. It only requires our willingness......
'Importance of Training the Mind'
If we are not able to choose against our darkness, we will either blame others for bringing it up, or we will push it back down again, perhaps in a more complicated way.
Choosing against our darkness is no easy task. We actually live by the thinking of the world, which is based in blame, judgement and criticism. In order to choose against this way of thinking takes training. Actually a lot of training. We have to practice, over and over again, our willingness to see things differently, and to see peace instead. We could call this a shift from wrong mindedness to right mindedness.
'A Course in Miracles' says that right mindedness leads to a state of inner peace, or one mindedness, automatically. Training the mind opens the door to that inner peace that was available all along.
As with any form of training, our aim is for the result to become a spontaneous reality. In other words, our aim here is that eventually whenever anyone does something that would have upset us in the past, now we would respond with love automatically without even having to think about it.
One very powerful system for training the mind this way is by working with the lessons from 'A Course in Miracles'. There are many ways to train the mind towards inner peace, but the author of ACIM claims that this way is one of the fastest. I will be revealing the author's name in due course, but I will leave it up to you for now to try and think who it might be....
'Releasing Feelings - Safety and Support'
Often in our lives we have suppressed our feelings because we didn't feel safe enough to feel and express them. These unfelt feelings of hurt, anger, sadness, disappointment etc. stay in our systems waiting to be felt. If they are not felt and released, they either cause depression and stress or they attack the body and cause ageing and sickness.
Even though it is usually at an unconscious level, many of us choose to keep these feelings suppressed because we are afraid to feel them. We could even get sick or die rather than bring them to the surface. Releasing them is usually not as painful as when we shut down on them in the first place, but we think it will be. Therefore, an enormous amount of safety is required in order to release them from the subconscious.
We often can't give each other the safety that is needed to feel all these feelings, and actually encourage each other not to feel them in various ways. For example, we might say something like: "Oh, don't upset yourself dear", or "Don't cry dear, try and be strong". We stop each other like this instead of just listening. It is usually meant lovingly, but the consciousness around feelings is often the reverse of what is actually needed. We need to remember that it is only once a feeling has been fully felt and expressed that we can start to see it differently.
In order to be able to let go, it is sometimes important to be in the company of others who are safe with their own feelings. We are simply able to let go into the space they provide.
We also need to re-train our minds to think safe thoughts about feelings. For example we can use affirmations like:
It is safe to feel all my feelings!
All my feelings are welcome!
I have a right to express myself!
I am surrounded by love and support!
There is an enormous amount of energy locked up in suppressed feelings. Think what we could do when all that energy is flowing freely.............!
'The Pain Body'
We could describe the pain body as the sum total of all the suppressed emotional pain from our past. We all have a pain body, otherwise we wouldn't be here in the first place. Some of us have bigger pain bodies than others. It is not something we can see, but it is a symbol of what is there underneath.
The pain that we get to feel on the surface from time to time is just the tip of the iceberg, and the vast majority is under the surface. Believe me, I know from experience! Much of the time, our pain body is dormant and we can live our normal lives, but every so often it can be triggered by someone or something in our lives.
When we get triggered, most of us try and blame someone or something outside of us for causing the pain, not realising that it is simply our suppressed pain that has been triggered. If we blame and judge others this way, we actually add to our suffering and make our pain body bigger. If, on the other hand, we understand this process and work with true forgiveness, and even thanking the other for bringing this pain to the surface, then we begin to heal ourselves and dissolve the pain body.
If we allow the pain body to get smaller this way, then we become healthier, more flexible, physically warmer, more alive, less tense, happier etc. Eventually when the pain body gets small enough, we don't get triggered anymore and we simply see the other as asking for love in some way.
The way we avoid feeling our own unconscious guilt, hatred, anger etc. is to project it out onto others. This we do in the form of blame, judgement and criticism. When we do this, we can think it is not ourselves who is taking our peace away. It is them, or something out there, and that is exactly where our ego wants it to be.
Our ego mind thinks that if we project onto others we will avoid feeling our pain. This may work for a while, but very soon we start to feel guilty about projecting onto others, and this is how we keep the whole cycle going.
On one level, we never want to look within because we have a fear that we will see how sinful we are. However, according to 'A Course in Miracles', beneath that fear is a far greater fear.....! What if we looked within and saw no sin. This 'fearful' question is one the ego never asks, because if we do we are threatening the ego's entire thought system and therefore our very identity! Losing any part of our identity is like death to the ego.
Projection is our downfall. However, it is also our way back, and perhaps our only way back!
What the ego never realised is that projection is the means we can use for healing our own unconscious guilt and returning home to inner peace. Whenever someone or something out there triggers our pain, we can use it for healing purposes instead of attack. We can use it as an opportunity for practising true forgiveness (please see e-miracle nr.4). 'A Course in Miracles' states that a part of our own unconscious guilt is healed automatically whenever we practise true forgiveness on anything that appears to be out there.
Let us therefore be truly grateful for everything out there, no matter how it looks, and let us all go home together!
'Life as a Classroom'
We can see ourselves as a victim of the world, or we can see ourselves as a student of the world. If we stay stuck in blame and judgement about everything that happens to us, we will indeed stay a victim of the world.
If, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to see that everything that happens to us is an opportunity to learn, then we will start to wake up from the dream. We can allow the world to show us where we are stuck in our thinking and use our relationships with every thing, every situation and every other person to help us with this.
Our relationships with others, especially our intimate relationships, are the 'royal road' or our fastest way home. We need to change the purpose of our intimate relationships from the way we normally see them, and now see them as our main opportunity for waking up and remembering who we really are. More insights on relationships can be seen here >>
'A Course in Miracles' says we are given chosen learning partners and it says that meeting our partners is no accident. First we are 'given' them and then we must 'choose' them. So let us do this more consciously. Let us see our partners as our teachers and not as ones we can change. A quote from the 'Course' says: "Seek not to change the word, but seek to change our mind about the world".
It also says that the physical world is the only place where we can wake up, and we will have to keep returning to this classroom until we do.
A Course in Miracles' (ACIM) says that ALL our time is spent in dreaming.
The dream state we are in is quite simply a dream caused by our unconscious thoughts of sin, guilt and fear. This is the thought system of the ego, and in this world we are almost completely under it's spell.
We believe this state to be real, and the experience of Heaven to be the dream. ACIM states, however, that the reverse is true, and that Heaven is our reality and our natural state. We have simply blocked our awareness of this state through our attachment to the ego's thought system.
ACIM says that "We look outside and see what we have looked inside and seen". So, the dream we see inside is how we see the world outside. "We do not respond to the world outside as though we have made it up in our minds, nor do we realise that the emotions the dream produces come from within us."
Contrary to popular belief, we are told that the only reason we came into a body in the first place was to hide from our unconscious guilt, and that this world is simply our hiding place. So as not to feel our unconscious quilt while we are here, we project it out onto others and blame them for what we feel.
Fortunately there is a way back. ACIM claims that if we practice True Forgiveness, our unconscious guilt gets released automatically. This is the awakening process, and when we become fully awake we start to re-experience Heaven.
The dream seems very real and we don't doubt it because everything in the world seems to tell us that it is real. However, as we begin to awaken many of us will experience glimpses of Heaven. These glimpses may only last for a short time, but once we have experienced one of these, only then will we really believe that this is a dream and that we never left Heaven, or our real home, at all.
The purpose of true spirituality is to awaken from the dream. 'A Course in Miracles' is about giving us this experience and True Forgiveness is the means.
'A Course in Miracles' tells us that we are living a dream of separation, guilt and fear. Beneath everything that appears to be true on the surface of our minds, the real problem is that we think we have separated from God. We feel guilty for separating from God, and then we fear that we will be punished by God for having done so. This is the grand illusion, the big DREAM!
As a way of escaping this terrifying guilt and fear we try and suppress it and make it unconscious. The most effective way to do this is to re-incarnate and hide in a body. Once we have done this, all memory of this separation, and our past lives, is pushed down out of our awareness. The final step we take in order not to feel all this is to project our guilt and fear onto others.
Waking up occurs when all this unconscious guilt and fear has been allowed to come to the surface and be healed. In fact, this is the awakening process! We are so entranced by this dream that we don't realize that this life is a classroom, and our real purpose for being here is to use it as an opportunity to wake up and go home. It is only in a body that we can, in fact, awaken.
When we wake up, we discover that the separation never actually occurred, and we start to re-experience Heaven and our Oneness with the Divine.
For the vast majority of us, we have to awaken slowly so that we are not overwhelmed by feeling all this guilt and fear too quickly. The fastest way to wake up, according to ACIM, is through practicing True Forgiveness. A first big step in waking up is to know that we are, in fact, in a dream. When we do, we become a witness to our dream instead of being a victim of it.
We may or may not wake up fully this lifetime, but according to 'ACIM', whatever awakening we do, we get to take it with us into our next lifetime. When we do finally awaken, there is no need to hide in a body anymore and so we break the cycle of birth and death. The body is laid aside once and for all after the mind awakens from the dream.
Authors of 'A Course in Miracles' and 'Disappearance of the Universe'
In the 1960's a lady called Helen Schucman started to hear a voice. This voice claimed to be the voice of Jesus. This voice spoke to her over a period of several years and she wrote down what it said in shorthand. Finally in 1975 she finished the writing and had it published. 'A Course in Miracles' was born. Yes, this is the Jesus of the bible. However, much of the bible was written many years after Jesus was around, and also much of it has been changed along the way to suit the religion of the time. 'A Course in Miracles', on the other hand, is the word of Jesus directly and has not been changed at all. In fact, this is probably the first time in our history where it has been safe enough for his real message to be spoken in public.
Jesus never intended to start a religion. What he wanted was to teach us a way of thinking that would help us wake up from our dream, and lead us to lasting inner peace and joy. As I understand it, Jesus was probably the first whose thought system was wholly identified with the memory of his true Self (or what the 'Course' calls the Holy Spirit) and thus without ego.
The 'Course' is not always an easy book to grasp, and some of the teachings can be misunderstood. This is the reason why, 30 years later, 'The Disappearance of the Universe' has come out in order to explain and clarify 'A Course in Miracles'. In 1992, Gary Renard, the writer of 'The Disappearance of the Universe' was meditating in his living room when suddenly two ascended masters appeared on his sofa. It turns out that this couple were two of Jesus' disciples from two thousand years ago. They said it was time for the 'Course' to be brought more into the main stream and they had come to help that process. They appeared 13 times over a period of 9 years, and Gary recorded their conversations. The book is a basically a transcript of these conversations. Gary is extremely funny and is the perfect man to bring, what is perhaps the most radical teaching on the planet, into our lives in a simple and fun way.
These books have made a profound change in my thinking and understanding of life. Personally, I would rather listen to the teachings of someone whose thoughts were aligned with the Holy Spirit rather than anyone who still has an ego! It is my honour and privilege to share this with you. Like all teachings, this is not for everyone, but if it resonates with you, I am glad to be of service.
Christmas is the time for remembering the birth of Jesus.
Why did Jesus come 2000 years ago? In 'A Course in Miracles', which is authored by Jesus himself, he claims that he did not come to save us from our sins, as we have been led to believe.
He does claim, however, that he came to teach us to believe that there is no sin. He came to teach us what is called True Forgiveness. This is where we learn to see that what we believed our brother did to us, did not occur; that where, in the past, we perceived a brother attacking us, we now see it as a request for love in some way.
When we have learned to think this way as a spontaneous reality, then we will have lasting inner peace. This was Jesus' message then, and it is still the same now.
I believe the greatest gift I can give at this special time is this message of Jesus. It is one of the only messages that is real in this world of illusion!
And the only appropriate response to a request for love is .........? Ah ha!
Have a wonderful time with your family and friends at Christmas.