Every Child

In wrong-minded perception, every child who appears to be born here is a spirit who is hiding out from God!!! Their birth is an attack on God. In right-minded perception every child who appears to be born here is a spirit straight from God who can teach the world the Truth!!! It all depends on perception. When the parents plan to have a child, their spiritual development, their perception, determines what kind of a child they will attract! If they would attract a right-minded spirit who wishes to come to share Truth, then they must be pure in thought and in their love.

My dear friend, Dr. Ken Wapnick, the teacher of ACIM, was talking to one of his ACIM students who told him she wanted to have another child. He said, according to her, “Why do you want to have a child? It’s an attack on God!” He obviously knew that his student was still wrong-minded. A much different story was given by an equally great teacher of ACIM, Tara Singh. Taraji talked to his students about raising a child of God. http://youtu.be/yQN_jCBh_W8 He wanted to open them up to right-minded perception about children and what they can be. Unfortunately, most of us forget that we came from God when we appear to come to this planet. Our parents, unfortunately, are the ones who help us forget by teaching us the ways of the world, fear, separation, suspicion, anger. “It’s dog eat dog out there son.” (sic!) So we forget we are from God and start believing we are a body! Such an insane thought can be undone! That is the atonement, the undoing of error in thought.

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The Lessons of The Bridges of Madison County

The Lessons of The Bridges of Madison County
 
Last night I watched one of my favorite movies, The Bridges of Madison Country, the story of true love starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. This beautiful movie has so many lessons to teach us about true Love. True Love is often unconventional. It does not come to you the way you wanted or envisioned. Most people “settle” for a conventional marriage and then get divorced in a few years. In my generation, in the American South, you got married young and if you found out that you didn’t really love your spouse, you stuck it out, like a prison sentence. That was your duty. Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep) is living in THIS generation in the American Midwest. Her conventional marriage is like everyone else but her heart is sad, but not yet crushed. Deep within her heart she still yearns for love. It is just that her conventions of being a wife on a farm have steam-rolled over her deeper desires. This beautiful movie shows us many things. True Love may be very unconventional. If you are bound to convention you may miss out on Love! You would need to know yourself to know love, wouldn’t you? How else could you recognize love when it came to you. You have a conventional image in your mind of marrying your high school sweet heart, having good jobs and a house, 2.5 kids and vacations in the Hamptons! Isn’t that about it? Really? That is also the picture of a 60% divorce rate. What if your true love came to you in a very different form? An older man, a younger woman, you name the different form.

One of the things I loved about the movie is the attention to details. I grew up in this time in the Midwest. People really lived that way. Nobody locked their doors. Nobody thought of bad things happening. People would just drop over for a visit and home made ice tea was always on hand to offer people. Most of us couldn’t afford to drink cokes so we drank ice tea. I used to love to visit friends more well off than us because they had soda pop to drink!

The little country roads in this film are all straight out of my childhood. I recognized them all. I have been over them so many times. The little town square with the big Court House in the middle that looked like a castle… that looked exactly like my town of Carthage, Missouri. The people were also accurately portrayed. On the one hand they were neighborly and helpful, unless you stepped out of convention, in which case they were bitterly judgmental and unforgiving. So just what does the movie teach us about real Love (especially as we look at love through the lens of A Course in Miracles)? It teaches us many things. First Francesca did not marry for love. She married Richard to escape Italy. She had dreams of making a life for herself in America. Richard did not respect her dreams. When she found something of herself in teaching, Richard wanted her to stop, so she stopped. Her children didn’t respect her. She liked to listen to Callas on the radio. When they came into the kitchen they immediately changed the station without even asking her. Nobody cares for HER. She is the slave around the house to keep all their lives running in the world Richard wanted. Then when she has lost all hope, her true love comes to her door, in an unconventional way. Robert Kincaid, a photographer for National Geographic, has lost his way on Iowa country roads and has found Francesca. She is amazed at his life of freedom which she wishes she had. Then they fall totally and completely in love with one another, but Francesca does not know how to respond to love. She has never really had it before. She is addicted to her routines. She makes excuses that it would be bad for the kids were she to leave. But look how her kids grew up. They grew up not knowing love and having terrible marriages that didn’t work. By staying with Richard when she really loved Robert she taught her children the life she led, denying love and living by sacrifice.

So there Robert and Francesca are in town after Richard has returned and Francesca has very tentatively decided not to leave with Robert. Robert’s truck is in front of Richard and Francesca. He stays at the light, giving Francesca one last chance. Her hand goes to the door handle and wants to open it. She wants to run into Robert’s truck. At this point anyone who has ever loved is cheering for her, “Open the door! Run quickly to Robert.” She is just finally ready to open the door when Robert drives on, never to see her again. Stupid old Richard cannot even see what is going on.

So what would she have taught her children had she run away with Robert? She would have taught them to accept love wherever it comes to you, especially if it defies convention. She would have taught them to analyze their lives and really look at themselves. In the end, they have to do that anyway as they read her diary. Sacrifice is not the road to love. True love doesn’t call for it. It only asks us to receive it from whatever channel it comes from, conventional or unconventional. Francesca’s love for Robert is the crowning event in her entire life, but she cannot receive it because she believes in sacrifice and convention. That’s a helluva lot of truth in one movie!!

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Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear, buried under the deepest level of repression, is that love will fail us in some way! We do not yet firmly realize that nothing real can be threatened. We still carry around this haunting, debilitating fear that either we are inherently unlovable or that love will suddenly turn on us and become hate. This fear is the biggest gun in the arsenal of the ego and at some time our repression mechanism will indeed fail us and we will have to confront this, the deepest of all our fears. That one person you love more than anyone else in the world will be the subject of the ego’s next little story it tries to create in your mind. S/he will fail you in this story. S/he will turn on you and say she/he never really loved you, or worse yet, that you are too old, too fat, too ugly, too this or that to merit her/his love. And in this story you will be devastated, left with nothing to hold on to and no future to look forward to. We still do not realize that we help to create this holographic reality by entertaining this, the worst of all stories. We will play out various ends to the story a hundred times, see ourselves homeless, destitute and loveless, or see our suicide which we will commit as one last act of anger against such lovelessness. You will see yourself asking a thousand times, “Why didn’t s/he love me? I loved her/him so deeply. How could she/he fail me? How could God fail me?” That is the deepest pit in this fear, the belief that God is not enough. In your story you will suffer without God’s intervention. God is powerless to change your story! Is this not the deepest despair? That is where the ego wants to take us and that is where we cannot go. As any soul who has done it will tell you, suicide will not change things. You will just be a despairing soul without a body. The ego believes there is no way out of this despair except to change the “other” person. “Make her/him love me, God! Change her/him!” And you really know that the “other” person is not going to change! She is NOT going to change her mind and marry you! He is NOT going to come back and tell you he loves you!! We have set up the story too well!!! At some point–take as long as you like–we are going to have to surrender our despair! We are going to have to trust God again!! We are going to have to hear the music and ignore the little stories!! We CAN create a world based on love instead of fear! We can! Love is our natural inheritance. We can find the way!! Though the path be dark, because we have tried to extinguish the light, we can find the way. And as we do, look to your left and right and see you are not alone. We are all on this journey together. We have all lived in the same world of fear. In our minds, love has let us all down a thousand times and made fools of our passion. To me, the first step in turning on the lights, is to have compassion for our brothers and sisters in this journey with us. In this journey, someone you may not know well, will say to you, “I love you.” It will surprise the hell out of you and you will react with fear. You will come up with a thousand things to say to make him/her go away. Let me hand out one little piece of advice. When someone says, “I love you” to you, you might want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Precious few people will say those words to you in this life!! Don’t jump into a lecture about how s/he is simply obsessed or needy or experiencing attachment! You might just say a simple “thank you” and smile, and if the spirit leads you to, you might even want to know that person a little better. This is a good first step out of the hologram of fear that we recreate daily. S/he might indeed really love you! Wouldn’t that spoil your story?

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What Attracts Us That We Call It Love?

What Attracts Us That We Call It Love?

One of the interesting after effects of a Near Death Experience is that the spouse of the person who has died and returned often cannot handle the positive changes that have happened to the near death experiencer. The spouse sees him/her as a different person. Even if the changes are for the better, the spouse falls out of love. The spouse “fell in love” with a mate who was a certain way. He/She may have been a flawed person but all that “stuff” is a big part of what attracted the spouse. With all that stuff gone, with only Love in its place, the spouse feels all alone. S/he falls “out of love.”

If that is the story of a typical marriage, and it seems to be, what can we say about the “love” of marriage? For one thing, it is very shallow. All of the stuff of one personality gets attracted to all the stuff of another personality. In Buddhist psychology we would call all this personality “stuff” the “skandhas,” the aggregates or “bunches” of things, attitudes, and deeds that manifest as a person.

Marriage is said to be of this world, not the higher orders (“Til death do we part”). We can get a big help in sorting all this out by the cosmology of A Course In Miracles. The Course points out that there is a God created universe called Heaven which is characterized by Love, Truth, and Eternal Laws, where the Father and the Sonship forever extend their Love. In this Cosmology we learn that God is only unconditional Love. “He” does not know judgment, punishment, evil or any of the things that characterize the man-made world within the illusory universe. The man-made world does not know Love. It knows attachment and attraction. One set of skandhas finds it fits in with another set of skandhas! Then all the conditional rules come it: “Don’t you change on me…don’t think about other men/women…come home after work…I don’t like you hanging out with the boys…I expect you to show me some respect…we never make love anymore…I need you to want me.” And on and on it goes. Two unreal personalities are entangled in an unreal mess that we call marriage! Is it not insane? So, into this insane marriage comes an event of awakening for one of the spouses, whether it is an NDE, meditation, ACIM or something else. The awakened spouse gets to peek behind the curtain and see some Truth. S/he gets awakened to Love’s presence and S/he thinks: “OMG THIS is what Love is!! I had no idea.” So all s/he wants to do now is think about Love, helping others, including her/his spouse. He may make dinner for her and vacuum the house, bring her flowers, be kind and considerate.

SHE sees this and says, “OMG where is my husband and who is this man in my house!” She tries to like the changes but she can’t because she doesn’t know the real Love that he knows. She only knows “fitting” into his skandhas, and they aren’t there anymore!! They are gone! He has new ones now based on Love. What is she to do? She explodes, “Where the hell is my husband?” Eventually they divorce. She finds someone else who fits in well with her skandhas and he becomes a Lightworker. It is at this point that the Course in Miracles offers us a new understanding of a true and lasting relationship. It can last past death because death is not real. The Course offers us a “Holy relationship” rather than the marriages found in the man-made world. A Holy Relationship does not come from finding someone you fit in with like one set of skandhas finding another set to match. A Holy Relationship is one in which two people experience real Love, the only reality in truth, in each others’ presence! It is unconditional Love so there are no contracts of expectations and demands. Love is wise and will provide the atmosphere and the actions the couple need to stay real. The two, experiencing One Love, join in mind and become an example to the rest of the Sonship of the journey of joining before us. A Holy Relationship does not require a formal marriage ceremony. The relationship is already real by Love and the two are joined in mind. However, if they choose to have a former ceremony it will not contain any of the contractual neediness of the man-made marriage. Like guarding their peace, the couple will guard their Holiness. In their lives they will chose to do their work while sharing the Love that joins them in mind. There is no other rigid template. It is as flexible as Love is unconditional. If they choose to have sex, the sex will be an expression of that Love they share. In the man, that divine Love evokes the desire to give to his partner. In the woman, it arouses the desire to receive and nurture. There are no templates or plans. Their lives would be given to them through guidance. None of the earthly rules apply. Their relationship will not be based on physical attraction, body shape, age, or any of the other skandhas. Their relationship is given by God, and because it is, they respect the body of the other. If you really Love someone with Divine Love, it doesn’t matter what their body looks like or how their personality is shaped. You just know that the most real and wonderful whole of being you is found within the Love that you share with that other person!

Now by this time you may be asking, “How can this work in the world we live in?” It is a good question. The man-made world is all based on separation and duality. “I like this. I don’t like that. I am unique. I am separate from you…etc.” And in addition to all that, “I am also separate from God…whatever that is,” because in the dualistic world you would not know unless you discovered Light. So into this dualistic world with special relationships (special loves, special hates) comes the Course in Miracles and it shows you how to live a non-dualistic life within a dualistic world!! You really get it that Love is the only thing real. You will stop projecting the opposite of Love which is fear. The Course will take you by the hand and very gently but very firmly help you to undo all the mistakes in thought you made about how things really are, including relationships. You will discover that God’s plan for you is that you should be a Light to the world by offering forgiveness. One person who has seen his own Light has something to give to humanity. In a Holy relationship, two people who have joined in mind and seen their own Light can speed up the joining process within the Sonship and bring the Kingdom of Heaven down on earth. That is just a little bit better than what you thought a relationship could be. Holy Relationships are the result of miracles that Jesus inspires. The miracle gives Light where there was darkness and Love which is to be shared. Holy Relationships are not earned because there is no economy in Heaven. There is no lack, only abundance. The Holy Relationship is of the spirit, although it respects the body. It is not of time, which is an illusion. It is of eternity. “Til death do us part” belongs only to the body and man-made marriages based on patterns. The Holy Relationship is a perfect picture of the whole Sonship joined in One and in One-ness with the Father. There is no place where the Father ends and the Son begins, neither any place where the Son ends and the Father begins. There is perfect One-ness, extending Love and Light throughout the universe of Spirit they create. The Holy Relationship is a picture of our co-creation with the Father. Yes, this can work in the world we live in now! It just takes work and vigilance. Is it worth it?

Marriage and A Course In Miracles…

Marriage and A Course In Miracles…

Marriage as the physical world understands it,is the epitome of the “special relationship,” described in ACIM. Two people are “attracted” to one another, and whether they are conscious of it or not, they perceive there is something in the other that they want or need. This relationship is bound to fail and does about 60% of the time, and percentages of failure rise much higher for multiple marriages. Clearly there is something wrong with marriage the way the world views it. The Course talks about our “joining” with others. This joining is of the spirit, of the mind. It means that two characters in the dream have sensed that they share the same identity in spirit as Love’s Presence. When you are with that person, the Love of God is intensely felt, and it is not coming from one and being given to another. It is an experience you both share. This joining is needed for all the members of the Sonship. The Holy Spirit’s job is to bring together all the separate pieces of the Sonship back into one Whole for our awakening journey back into the Mind of Christ, at Home in Heaven, where we have never left in truth. We travel but in dreams while safely at Home. So….if you have joined in mind with another person and share Love’s Presence, what form will that take in the illusory world? It doesn’t have to take ANY form or it can take multiple forms. The form is not important. Such a couple can choose to be married in the world’s sense and share their work together as they continue to share Love’s Presence. That would be quite a different marriage than what we usually observe in the world! But marriage is not needed for these two. They can simply share their life’s spiritual work and live in different parts of the world if they so choose. What if you are joined in mind with someone who is also married in the conventional sense? No problem. For example, I am joined in mind with one of the leaders of ACIM who happens to also be married to a woman. Is she threatened? Of course not! She is joined to her husband as one Love and views joining as does the Holy Spirit! What if she is in her ego and objects to her husband being joined in mind to others? Well this would be a little work the couple would need to address in their own relationship because some “specialness” has crept in to project this jealousy.

What an example for the world could two people be if they are joined in mind, share their spiritual work in life, and share Love’s Presence! Wow! That is the example we should wish to put into the world as a living example for an alternative to the world’s insane ideas about love and marriage.

What if you are joined in mind with someone and they are still in their ego and cannot join with you? Well that would not be a real joining would it? Because both people do not sense Love’s Presence as being something they share. The person in the ego would even be afraid of joining. It might upset his/her plans for having a conventional marriage!! So you who would join, being in spirit, must hold the space for your friend until s/he can come into his/her right mind. Then joining can take place. And then the form it takes is up to them. FORM AND SUBSTANCE is the continual issue we deal with. I hope this helps a little to clarify marriage and ACIM! May the Peace of God be yours today and may you join in mind with your brothers and sisters.