Thursday, July 6, 2017

Learning to be what you know. . .

      Are their some days when you wonder if you have actually made any spiritual progress? There you are, doing your lessons every day, attending your favorite study group, reading the articles and blogs to keep you on track. And - BAM! Ego strikes a low blow. Jealousy curdles your insides, anger fires up a dose of acid reflux, guilt lowers your head and bends your back with its weight making you cringe your way back to bed like a dog waiting to be kicked.

      Do those days happen just a little too often?

      Well, there is a section in A Course in Miracles that reassures. (Paraphrasing just a little) When you have made progress ego gets really nervous and grabs you by the back of the neck and drags you back into the old coping methods of guilt, anger and fear.

      So, doesn’t that make you feel just a tiny bit better? Falling backwards may be a necessary step in moving forward.

      Now, for those of you who would like a bit more precise reassurance about how far you have actually come, there is a chart with informative chapter in “Sacred Steps, A Program for Soul Progression – Ancient Yoga and A Course in Miracles” that describes the levels of growth we all must go through. The chapter can help you place yourself on a scale of soul progression.

      There is also a parallel chart that will give you an idea of how fully you are actualizing what you have learned. Yes, that is a bummer, but unfortunately true, you can learn quite a bit and yet utilize only a fraction of that knowledge. As the Course has told us there are always many tools in the world that can keep you on the straight and narrow. The Sacred Symbols focusing tool offered in “Sacred Steps” is designed to keep your brain, your commitment and your actual progress in lock step so that what you learn is what you actually demonstrate. What you know, you are.

      Once more we must be patient and forgiving of ourselves, keep up with our commitment to our studies, roll with ego’s punches and allow those luscious holy instants to come at just the right times.  Remember. . .

“Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain.” A Course in Miracles

(If you are intrigued by the Soul Progession chart and want extra help to keep you focused on your path, try “Sacred Steps”, using ancient Yoga methods. You can find this program in the column to the left.)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Losing sleep lately over politics?

          Are you a political animal? I have always watched political shenanigans from afar, voting when asked and then getting on with my life. But, I have to admit these political times are addictively fascinating – sort of like a train wreck.
          When I found myself checking CNN as it rehashes every detail and opinion possible, or even impossible about the ongoing hoo haa in Washington, I realized I was doing the same thing I needed to go to Alanon meetings for – I was obsessed with what the other guys were doing. And in my humble opinion they were doing it annoyingly and scarily bad, bad, bad.
          Doesn’t matter which political party you are devoted to, that obsession is probably sucking you in, just like it was doing to me.
          So I went back to my Alanon training and decided to start with the first step and admitted I was powerless for the moment over Washington. Take a look at what I wrote in ‘Side by Side – the Twelve Steps and A Course in Miracles’ and see if it helps you, too.

 Step One - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (or in this case the idiots in Washington) —that our lives had become unmanageable ( with fussing, worrying and bouts of anger).”

“All of us eventually way “Enough!” We recognize that all the pathways we followed before, all the attempts to control our lives (or others!), all the manipulation of relationships, all the anger dumped and guilt accepted hasn’t brought us any real release. Eventually all of us say, “There’s got to be a better way.”
          Until this point is reached we will continue to try out methods based on pain, which promise relief. Not until the pain becomes too great to ignore, or too great to rationalize will we look for another way to lead our lives.
          At this point we are willing to gamble on anything that will help. Let there be one spark of hope that the old methods will still work, let there be one shred of doubt as to the efficacy of gambling on the new, and the bottom hasn’t been reached. For each of us that bottom is uniquely our own. No one can decide for you when you have had enough pain and no particular incident will be the motivator — we each choose our own limit. But the experience will be the same: We no longer feel we are able to control any aspect of our lives without disaster and so we desperately try ANYTHING else to find release.
          After all, we reason, what have we got to lose?”

This first step spoke eloquently to me once again. I had let my opinions get the best of me and now I must practice letting everyone do and be just the way they are without worrying about them. I do this by going to the second and third steps and give the whole mess to the Holy Spirit to sort out. If H.S. wants me to participate in some way, I will be told. 

So, with a deep breath I now watch the news with careful discrimination and take the attitude it is one huge comedy, have a really good laugh and get some solid shuteye.     

Monday, April 3, 2017

Which is the correct view of Jesus' life?

Last night I had the most interesting insight. Earlier I had ruminated on how many movies, TV shows, articles and books, even mine, were offered this time of the year about the life of Jesus. And though they all covered the same general info, they each depicted the times and the life of Jesus with their own peculiar flavor and color.

So I 'asked' which is the correct view? As soon as I asked, that  'interesting insight' floated into my mind: "Each one is correct from the viewpoint of the writer as well as the viewer/reader. We see the world, each other and especially the past through our own needs, desires, prejudices and predetermined beliefs. After all, the world is but a shimmering illusion of perceptions that are continually shifting and changing."

Huh! Well, as "A Course in Miracles" student that pretty much made sense. So, "Snapshots of Jesus though the Lens of History" offers my humble viewpoint from hours of researching 'history' and the 'experts' and then blending it liberally with my own beliefs. If you would like this ACIM student's perspectives just click on the book in the left column.