A Course in Miracles

Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:25 am

Ah Smiiiiiley...ya got me. It was just a rhetorical question
o
And in the fresh breath of honesty that there is/was no offence and no thing to forgive is KNOWN and experienced within that which is unfolding. :D
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:40 am

The universe never fails to amaze me!!

I left alone the 'rhetorical' parts of the musings, because quite simply I do not have the experience that would create the awareness, capacity or willingness to answer the rhetorical questions posed...

Andy said: I do think compassion transcends blame and pardon, though. And if we can't forgive, then we still hold blame, we still have an offended ego, and well, maybe forgiveness is a test of some sort. Could the rape victim find compassion? Hard questions.


And then, into my inbox - literally - came an answer from one who does in experience have an awareness, capacity and willingness in exactly this situation - Iyanla Vanzant
Totally unasked in relative communication, her take on forgiveness, (yes she was raped as a child)
What I have learned during my 30-year sojourn through the science of personal and spiritual growth and healing is that forgiveness will cure whatever ails you. The other thing I am totally convinced of is that while forgiveness ain’t easy, it’s the most important inner work you can do within your mind and heart.

FORGIVENESS MEANS . . . accepting what is or what has been and becoming willing to see it differently. You cannot un-hear what you have heard or un-see what you have seen. What you can do is stop believing that what occurred has somehow left you broken, damaged and wounded. Forgiveness results in a shift in your perception and yourself and . . .everyone else. For this reason, forgiveness is an absolutely essential step toward your personal growth, healing and evolution. YOU MUST DO THE WORK!


We cannot answer for another, the 'other' is capable of answering for them self, if one will only be willing to receive it, and hear it.

:D Just having a 'gotta love this universe' moment.
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby Sighclone » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:04 am

If, to simplify, by "forgiveness," we mean "acceptance," I have no argument at all. But if we mean "I am stooping to give you my pardon," then we preserve a holier-than-thou ego -- we preserve our lofty station.

To quote Kathleen Brugger further:
Today forgiveness is often prescribed as a therapeutic treatment. When one forgives one's childhood abuser, for example, one does so to be set free, to no longer be under control of the abuser, to no longer be affected by the trauma of the abuse, to no longer carry the burden of hatred and shame. To experience real therapeutic results, however, compassion is required. The superficial ritual of forgiveness leaves in place the fatal belief that the offense was committed deliberately by an evil person.
(This gets into the free will discussion, of course.)

I have had very few experiences in life which warrant forgiving anyone, and many which warrant deep gratitude...I'm pounding away at returning many favors, including your powerful and delightful presence on this forum.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:27 am

Sighclone said: If, to simplify, by "forgiveness," we mean "acceptance," I have no argument at all. But if we mean "I am stooping to give you my pardon," then we preserve a holier-than-thou ego -- we preserve our lofty station.


I would agree with the delineation Andy, it's obstacles to the acceptance that create the separations and distortions of what 'is', and what 'stuff' means about our selves and about others. We are all saint and sinner both and neither - but only by perspective.

By degrees of separation in experience we have to step outside of accepting what is, in order to clothe it in layers of meaning. If you link it with ET's notions of acceptance (enjoyment & enthusiasm may not occur) or making enemy, obstacle, means to an end of a thing, situation or person, one can see the obvious split where ego rules the roost.
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby beginnersmind » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:56 am

It was reading Eckhart Tolle where I first of this book called, "A Course in Miracles." My first reaction to this book was that it sounded dumb. As I read some other books, I kept seeing this book either being mentioned and/or quoted. My resistance to it grew even stronger.I think I had a visual in my head of the cover of the book having someone on it with a bubble quote saying, "Who can get whatever your heart desires!" I even made a conscious vow that I would not read this "stupid book."



One day while making one of my many trips to the local book store, I walk in, and right on the front "feature table" is this thick, plain, blue book in shrink wrap. Curious, I pick it up and in plain gold letters it says, "A Course in Miracles". "This is A Course in Miracles", I thought. It looked nothing like I had imagined. For some reason I felt compelled to buy it even though I couldn't preview any of it since it was shrink wrapped and it was 30 dollars.



I took it home and read the preface. "Scribed?!!", I thought. I was furious. I threw down the book in disgust, upset that I didn't listen to the voice that was so resistant to it. It was only after I calmed down some, that I decided to at least try to read some of it since I already spent the money on it. What I found was something profound, even if my mind had trouble grasping everything that was being said. There is no doubt as some mentioned, that the course is a dense, sometimes difficult read. The first time I read it, I couldn't read very much before needing to put it down so my mind could grasp it. It is certainly not a book you read once and think, "Oh I get it." It is much more comprehensive than that and has what philosophers call a higher grades of significance. Meaning each time it is read, one understands it on a deeper level.



It is a book that I continue to study and have also read multiple times the early UrText version along with the HLC version. While authors that write about the course may be helpful, I think if one really wants to take on the course, they should study it on their own without accepting and adopting 2nd hand explanations of what the course is or says. In fact since some ACIM authors get a bit silly with their religious, theological speculations and claims, I personally would recommend authors not affiliated with ACIM such as J. Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and Tolle to get an idea of what the course is attempting to point to.



Eckhart Tolle is obviously a big fan of ACIM as he frequently mentions it and said that in his early days of teaching he used ACIM because he had some trouble putting into words his experiences. I have a suspicion that he also got the title to his book, "Stillness Speaks" from this course passage:



How instantly the memory of God arises in the mind that has no fear to keep the memory away. Its own remembering has gone. There is no past to keep its fearful image in the way of glad awakening to present peace. The trumpets of eternity resound throughout the stillness, yet disturb it not. And what is now remembered is not fear, but rather is the cause that fear was made to render unremembered and undone. The stillness speaks in gentle sounds of love the Son of God remembers from before his own remembering came in between the present and the past to shut them out.~ACIM
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby beginnersmind » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:58 am

As for forgiveness, there are some statements I'd like to address.



rideforever: Why do you need to forgive them ? You only need to forgive them if you had judged them in the first place.



Eric: The course is speaking on two levels. The relative and the Ultimate. It speaks of what is Real as that which is eternal and changeless, and that which is illusion as the ephemeral. Yet the course does not dismiss the relative, but uses the relative to help point to the Ultimate.



When looking on what we perceive as negative actions of another, it also speaks of two ways of seeing this. The ego sees it as sinful, unable to be changed, forever real, and forever condemnable. This is what the course speaks of when it says to make sin (which the course defines as a lack of love) real. It is the attempt to make it eternal and changeless. One's right-mind sees it as a mistake rather than a sin that can be corrected. This means it is able to be changed, thus not making it forever real and forever condemnable.



So when you ask why does one need to forgive someone? Simply because of what you stated, the person laid a judgment on another in the first place. The first thing the person must do is be honest with themselves in this. The course calls forgiveness a kind of happy fiction, but doesn't dismiss forgiveness as unneeded. It is very much needed.



The course defines forgiveness as the ability to recognize perceptual errors and overlook them. But I think this needs to be clarified a bit. The course is steeped in psychology and in psychology perception is not necessarily what we perceive, but how we perceive.



Why do we forgive another? Because when we forgive another, we forgive ourselves. As the Buddha said, "You will not be punished for your anger, but by your anger." Since it is as the course says, impossible for thoughts to leave their source, it is also impossible to have negative or attack thoughts of another and not experience these negative/attack thoughts yourself. That is why the course says you always attack yourself first. If one looks at this with introspection, they will see that this is very true.



Put in another way, the course speaks of the "ladder of prayer" and praying for one's enemies as it says:



At this level also comes that curious contradiction in terms known as "praying for one's enemies." The contradiction lies not in the actual words, but rather in the way in which they are usually interpreted. While you believe you have enemies, you have limited prayer to the laws of this world, and have also limited your ability to receive and to accept to the same narrow margins. And yet, if you have enemies you have need of prayer, and great need, too. What does the phrase really mean? Pray for yourself, that you may not seek to imprison Christ and thereby lose the recognition of your own Identity. Be traitor to no one, or you will be treacherous to yourself.



Eric: Forgiveness only seems to be a contradiction to those that look to the Ultimate while dismissing the relative. As the course says, it is not attempting to counteract error with knowledge, but to correct error from the bottom up. If one thinks that studying ACIM is about "blissing out" then that is a sure sign of spiritual bypassing. I don't think there is anything about doing what Carl Jung and Ken Wilber call doing the shadow work or what the course calls looking at the dark corners of the mind that is "blissing out". The honesty needed to really look at this so that it can be undone is hardly all sunshine and rainbows.



Why have a relationship at all with the person? Because you already have a relationship with the person. Since the experience of the world is all in the mind (this is a fact, as no one can experience the world apart from their own mind) a person doesn't need to be in physical proximity of another to still have a relationship to the other. Whether near or far, there is still a relationship, because the relationship has always been in the mind . One can try and repress this into the dark corners of the mind, but it will come up in one form or another. This is what the ego attempts to do to solve the issues of the relationship which usually ends up in projection. Tolle calls this thinking unconscious, while the course calls it insane.



And of course one is reading the course with the part of the mind that identifies with symbols, concepts and form. But it also should be noted that this is not the mind, nor is the ego some autonomous entity. So when we say the ego is the one reading the course, we are merely speaking of part of our mind that is concrete, conceptual, identifying with time/space and form. The course doesn't say that the ego will be destroyed or vanquished, but merely re-interpreted back into the whole. That's why the course says spirit need not be taught, but the ego must be taught.



Iyanla Vanzant said it beautifully:



What I have learned during my 30-year sojourn through the science of personal and spiritual growth and healing is that forgiveness will cure whatever ails you. The other thing I am totally convinced of is that while forgiveness ain’t easy, it’s the most important inner work you can do within your mind and heart.


FORGIVENESS MEANS . . . accepting what is or what has been and becoming willing to see it differently. You cannot un-hear what you have heard or un-see what you have seen. What you can do is stop believing that what occurred has somehow left you broken, damaged and wounded. Forgiveness results in a shift in your perception and yourself and . . .everyone else. For this reason, forgiveness is an absolutely essential step toward your personal growth, healing and evolution. YOU MUST DO THE WORK!



The course's definition of forgiveness is not the traditional Christian definition of forgiveness. While in the beginning it may seem like a series of acts, the course's forgiveness is more along what Martin Luther King Jr. said, when he said that forgiveness was a permanent attitude. Forgiveness is a new way of seeing the world and your fellow brothers and sisters.



Andy mentioned about stooping down to give pardon being egoic and he is right. It is what the course calls forgiveness to destroy.
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby beginnersmind » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:14 am

Here are some quotes on the present from the course that I think compliment Tolle's teachings very well. When the course uses the term "Holy Spirit" this is referring to your Inner Teacher. When it uses God, this is referring to Reality/ Tao/ Source etc. Sin is a lack of love that the mind projects to be unchangeable, forever condemnable and eternal. The word salvation can be seen as a release from suffering and/or spiritual vision.

“The peace of God passeth your understanding only in the past. Yet here it is, and you can understand it now”.~ACIM


“'Now' has no meaning to the ego.”~ACIM


“For the present is forgiveness.”~ACIM

“If you accept your function in the world of time as healing, you will emphasize only the aspect of time in which healing can occur. For healing cannot be accomplished in the past and must be accomplished in the present to release the future. This interpretation ties the future to the present and extends the present rather than the past. But if you interpret your function as destruction, you will lose sight of the present and hold on to the past to ensure a destructive future. And time will be as you interpret it, for of itself it is nothing.”~ACIM

"Belief in sin arouses fear, and like its cause, is looking forward, looking back, but overlooking what is here and now. Yet only here and now its cause must be, if its effects already have been judged as fearful. And in overlooking this, is it protected and kept separate from healing. For a miracle is now. It stands already here, in present grace, within the only interval of time that sin and fear have overlooked, but which is all there is to time."~ACIM


“His (The Holy Spirit's) emphasis is therefore on the only aspect of time that can extend to the infinite, for now is the closest approximation of eternity that this world offers. It is in the reality of 'now', without past or future, that the beginning of the appreciation of eternity lies. For only 'now' is here, and only 'now' presents the opportunities for the holy encounters in which salvation can be found.” ~ACIM


“Would you impose your idle wishes on the present, and hope to find salvation now?"~ACIM


“No change can be made in the present if its cause is past. Only the past is held in memory as you make use of it, and so it is a way to hold the past against the now."~ACIM


“ Now is the time of salvation, for now is the release from time."~ACIM


“The Holy Spirit teaches thus: There is no hell. Hell is only what the ego has made of the present” and that “The Holy Spirit would undo all of this now. Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist. There is no fear in the present when each instant stands clear and separated from the past, without its shadow reaching out into the future. Each instant is a clean, untarnished birth, in which the Son of God emerges from the past into the present. And the present extends forever. It is so beautiful and so clean and free of guilt that nothing but happiness is there. No darkness is remembered, and immortality and joy are now.”~ACIM


The Holy Spirit leads as steadily to Heaven as the ego drives to hell. For the Holy Spirit, Who knows only the present, uses it to undo the fear by which the ego would make the present useless."~ACIM


“ Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time.”~ACIM


“Start now to practice your little part in separating out the holy instant. You will receive very specific instructions as you go along. To learn to separate out this single second and begin to experience it as timeless, is to begin to experience yourself as not separate"~ACIM



"The Holy Spirit can indeed make use of memory, for God Himself is there. Yet this is not a memory of past events, but only of a present state. You are so long accustomed to believe that memory holds only what is past, that it is hard for you to realise it is a skill that can remember now".~ACIM
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby Sighclone » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:20 am

Thanks, Eric for the lovely direct quote summaries from ACIM. You know, we all know how dense that work is; for us to have someone like you extract the elements which relate to our general nondual focus here, is a blessing. I have read Perry's "Return to the Heart of God" for other summaries, but these are splendid. I particularly like the "holy instant" concept -- such a cognitive effort on my part was actually a trigger to a massive kensho six years ago.

Andy
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby beginnersmind » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:20 pm

Sighclone wrote:Thanks, Eric for the lovely direct quote summaries from ACIM. You know, we all know how dense that work is; for us to have someone like you extract the elements which relate to our general nondual focus here, is a blessing. I have read Perry's "Return to the Heart of God" for other summaries, but these are splendid. I particularly like the "holy instant" concept -- such a cognitive effort on my part was actually a trigger to a massive kensho six years ago.

Andy



You're welcome Andy. Funny you mention Robert Perry. He contacted me a few years ago due to a reply I left on one of his articles about the misunderstanding of ACIM and solipsism. Since then I have had dialogues with Perry via email on occasion. He's a very kind man and checks up on me occasionally to see how I'm doing. There is much I agree with Robert about ACIM and then there are some things I disagree with Robert. I think sometimes he is a little too literal in his interpretation. Though unlike some other course "teachers" Robert freely acknowledges that he is reading the course which uses symbols through his perception and perception IS interpretation.

I too like the concept of the Holy Instant and the practice of it. This to me parallels Tolle's teaching on coming to the now. Here are a few quotes on this subject. Jus to clarify, when it says not your function, it is speaking about the little/false self and of course the Holy Spirit is one's Inner Teacher/Right-Mindedness. Atonement can be seen as purification of the mind or At-One-Ment. God being Source-Tao etc.

I am not alone, and I would not intrude
the past upon my Guest.
I have invited Him, and He is here.
I need do nothing except not to interfere.

ACIM PRAYER

Correction is not your function. It belongs to One Who knows of fairness, not of guilt. If you assume correction's role, you lose the function of forgiveness.~ACIM



If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning.~ACIM

You cannot wake yourself. Yet you can let yourself be wakened.~ACIM

To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten. Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection.~ACIM

The holy instant is the result of your determination to be holy. It is the answer. The desire and the willingness to let it come precedes its coming. You prepare your minds for it only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else. It is not necessary that you do more; indeed, it is necessary that you realize that you cannot do more. Do not attempt to give the Holy Spirit what He does not ask, or you will add the ego unto Him and confuse the two.~ACIM

Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough. But trust implicitly your willingness, whatever else may enter. Concentrate only on this and be not disturbed that shadows surround it. That is why you came. If you could come without them, you would not need the holy instant. Come to it not in arrogance, assuming that you must achieve the state its coming brings with it. The miracle of the holy instant lies in your willingness to let it be what it is. And in your willingness for this lies also your acceptance of yourself as you were meant to be.~ACIM

The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts which are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep. Innocence is not of your making. It is given you the instant you would have it. Yet it would not be Atonement if there were no need for Atonement.~ACIM

Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is its function. Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit's help. That is His function.~ACIM

The holy instant does not come from your little willingness alone. It is always the result of your small willingness combined with the unlimited power of God's Will. You have been wrong in thinking that it is needful to prepare yourself for Him. It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace. God has established them. They do not wait upon your willingness for what they are. Your willingness is needed only to make it possible to teach you what they are. If you maintain you are unworthy of learning this, you are interfering with the lesson by believing that you make the learner different. You did not make the learner, nor can you make him different. Would you first make a miracle yourself and then expect one to be made for you?~ACIM
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby Sighclone » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:23 pm

Thanks, also, for these. Many of these statements are expressly and implicitly nondual. The tone is a bit too dictatorial for me, but we both know that certain phrases, styles and pointers resonate differently for each person. Glad to have an expert in ACIM on board here! You will note that several of our regular members have their favorite authors, me included, I guess. Yes, we will restrict shameless advertising, but having a favorite to which you return regularly is certainly OK.

Andy
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby Starseed » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:51 pm

What I find most disappointing in ACIM is the Christian language. That is such a big turn off. And that is why I can't touch this book as there is an instant repusliveness. It is almost as if the book was written only for Christians, and meant to exclude everyone else. In this sense, its message cannot be a universal one, as it is only intended for Christian audiences - and I really mean only, because as a non-Christian I find the religion of Christianity to be so ridiculous and laughable that I can't get near it (though I feel the same way about Hinduism, and to a lesse extent Islam and Buddhism). Now I was not raised in a religious family, both my parents were atheist or agnostic, yet I have been drawn to J Krishnamurti, Tolle, Ramana Maharshi ... perhaps because they use less dogmatic language.

ACIM may have some non-dual teachings, and I can't really judge its content, because I have not read it. But, the Christian language is enough for me to exclude it from my list of books to read.
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby beginnersmind » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:04 pm

Starseed wrote:What I find most disappointing in ACIM is the Christian language. That is such a big turn off. And that is why I can't touch this book as there is an instant repusliveness. It is almost as if the book was written only for Christians, and meant to exclude everyone else. In this sense, its message cannot be a universal one, as it is only intended for Christian audiences - and I really mean only, because as a non-Christian I find the religion of Christianity to be so ridiculous and laughable that I can't get near it (though I feel the same way about Hinduism, and to a lesse extent Islam and Buddhism). Now I was not raised in a religious family, both my parents were atheist or agnostic, yet I have been drawn to J Krishnamurti, Tolle, Ramana Maharshi ... perhaps because they use less dogmatic language.

ACIM may have some non-dual teachings, and I can't really judge its content, because I have not read it. But, the Christian language is enough for me to exclude it from my list of books to read.


I can certainly understand your position on this. Interestingly enough, this is the very same position that many course students often initially find themselves when first reading it. Marrianne Williamson being one of them, as I was too.

I don't consider myself to be Christian and many course students that I have interacted with also do not feel they are Christian per say. While I was baptized Baptist when I was a kid, I spent most of my life as a self described agnostic and had no time for God or spirituality for that matter. I was repulsed by what people did in the name of God. Christianity being one of them. While ACIM does use Christian language, it is not meant to exclude everyone else, as it re-defines these "Christian" terms and it explicitly states that it is but one form of the universal curriculum.

Yes, J.K., Tolle, and Maharshi, along with Maharaj are some that I am also drawn to. Tolle, who seems to be a big fan of ACIM and taught from it in his early days, has taken a lot of concepts from ACIM and put it into more secular language that is more accessible to more people. It is all about what speaks to one and resonates with the particular person.

Eric
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby Starseed » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:02 pm

Interestingly, I was moved by my own comments to just read a little bit of ACIM, Chapters 1 and 2. The Christian language is not too heavy, and it seems to be just a shell, while the meaning is totally different. At the same time, it got me depressed after a day, because of the emphasis on separation and the mischiefs of the ego, and all the work to be done. Not that I can say it is wrong, or right, I don't know. Initially, I felt good, then later I realized it fosters an attitude of seeking, and that is precisely what I have decided to drop, so I left the book on the side, and did not continue reading. Seeking seems like the ego's backdoor into spiritual minded people. So many words in the text ... however, the main message I got from my little reading is forgiveness, which I like and found myself applying more and more in the past few days(in my personal interaction with one person), and I think that was enough of a positive message to be reminded of, to have my reading feel worthwile.
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby beginnersmind » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:35 am

Starseed wrote:Interestingly, I was moved by my own comments to just read a little bit of ACIM, Chapters 1 and 2. The Christian language is not too heavy, and it seems to be just a shell, while the meaning is totally different. At the same time, it got me depressed after a day, because of the emphasis on separation and the mischiefs of the ego, and all the work to be done. Not that I can say it is wrong, or right, I don't know. Initially, I felt good, then later I realized it fosters an attitude of seeking, and that is precisely what I have decided to drop, so I left the book on the side, and did not continue reading. Seeking seems like the ego's backdoor into spiritual minded people. So many words in the text ... however, the main message I got from my little reading is forgiveness, which I like and found myself applying more and more in the past few days(in my personal interaction with one person), and I think that was enough of a positive message to be reminded of, to have my reading feel worthwile.



I'm not sure I follow about the "seeking". I think that definition could be said to be reading any spiritual book. Yes, the course does have an emphasis on the separation. This emphasis is that we have tried to usurp God (Reality) and in its place, put our own egoic and conceptual ideas in reality's place. This is not really any different from people like John Sherman, Sri Aurobindo, J. Krishnamurti, etc. The emphasis is to get the reader to understand the severity and reality of this thinking.

This conceptual thinking leads to egoic "separated self" ideas from the conceptual learning of the world. But in order to maintain them, the mind often uses defense mechanisms to dissociate one part of the mind from the other creating a type of cognitive dissonance. Through mistakes, beliefs, values, negative behaviors, etc. the conceptual self begins to repress certain aspects of ourselves in what Jung called our shadow and what the course calls the dark corners of the mind.

The reason the emphasis on the ego's "mischief" is to really get the reader to understand how the mind will use tactics and defense mechanisms to protect itself. It also demonstrates just how insane the mind can be and how insane some of our thinking is. This is not seeking, but getting the reader to understand that they cannot just spiritually bypass this work.

It is like J. Krishnamurti saying how people want to become non-violent and look to be non-violet. And as he says, admit your violence, look at it, deal with that. In other words, trying to change one's behavior while suppressing one's thinking is really not going to make any real change, as what one does comes from one's thinking. Or as the course says, you cannot separate yourself from truth by giving autonomy to behavior. We must look to the violence in the mind instead of trying to repress it with an ideal of being non-violent.

I don't think spirituality is merely about getting the positive out of things. Yes, that's nice and everything, but ultimately it is IMO about knowing thyself. Not just knowing the parts we want to keep or cultivate and disregarding our shadows in the form of repression. Once some of our seeming unconscious conditioned thinking and mechanisms are shown to us and they become conscious, it can cause a feeling of depression as it threatens all we hold together. But that is not the end all. As the course says:

The escape from darkness involves two stages: First, the recognition that darkness cannot hide. This step usually entails fear. Second, the recognition that there is nothing you want to hide even if you could. This step brings escape from fear. ~ACIM

Eric: The course is comprehensive in that when it gives an example of how our self concept tries to protect itself, we then might say, "Oh, ok, I get it now", but then the course will give another example and another and another. Then the reader begins to realize through self introspection that the mind finds many ways to protect itself. This is only for the reader to become aware of all the tricks of the mind. Yes, forgiveness is the central theme that runs through the course, but there are so many more sub-themes that runs through it as well. It uses interpersonal relationships for intrapersonal healing. Tolle speaks about how we see people as objects. ACIM goes into much more depth in this and the insights into how we are in relationship with others through our conceptual self is amazing, IMO.

Though it was not my major, I took quite a few psychology classes in college and I think the spiritual-psychology of ACIM is outstanding in my opinion.

But ACIM doesn't speak to everyone. It is a dense read and is not something to be read once and then put down. The Christian language can be off putting. The psychology may be off putting. And there are people out there making it just another religion by taking the language too literally. That is unfortunate. It is probably one of the most comprehensive spiritual texts I've read though.

Eric
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Re: A Course in Miracles

Postby Starseed » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:22 pm

beginnersmind wrote: I'm not sure I follow about the "seeking".


The seeker has not found. The object it is seeking is unattainable or so hard to attain that it makes the enterprise masochistic rather than heroic. Inevitably, the seeker is either disillusioned or unable to cope with the world of duality, and is seeking the ultimate release, nirvana, eternal bliss, or at least an escape. But does the seeker ever truly escape duality ? How many have you met in your life that did, and that you can verifiably certify that they did. The answer is obviously: nobody. So what is the point of the spiritual quest. Note, I am not talking about psychology but spirituality. Even what is labeled as spirituality works on the level of the mind, except it is often distorted and spiritualized and idealized (e.g. meditation). Working on psychological problems, knowing yourself better, etc., etc., all those are great things, but I don't call that seeking or spiritual. They are all valid endeavours. The mind needs correction, the mind needs sharpening, the mind needs a mirror to see itself, the mind needs rest, and work on the mind is fine - so is work on the body.
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