Know this need not be

Thought for the week, ACIM T-4.IV.2,”I have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but I have also said, and many times, that you can change your mind. 2 When your mood tells you that you have chosen wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need not be”

We are going to review the simple lesson tomorrow, “This need not be.”  I really love how the course lays this simple guidance out.  Whenever we are not feeling joyous, know this need not be.  The course goes on to say:

When you are sad, know this need not be

When you are anxious,  know this need not be

When you feel guilty,  know this need not be

When you dis-spiriting or fatigue,  know this need not be

None of these states are your natural inheritance.  If we are feeling this separation then something or someone has moved from their natural state.  None of these states are necessary even during the most stressful times.  Even during death, war, and major stressors.   You still don’t need these states in your mind.  Ideally, the beetles had it right, “All you need is love.”

To me, this is an inspiring state of hope.  To know that if any of these conditions are in my life, I know this need not be.  With this simple tool, I can reflect how to change my mind to a state of something better when I fall into these states.

I remember one time, driving home, and reflecting upon my life during a very stressful time.  I was going through divorce, didn’t know if I could keep my house, and thinking about how the divorce would affect my children, friends, family, and of course me.  I was definitely feeling loss and a huge change in my life.  I cried to myself.

However, believe it or not, it was not tears of sadness coming from a state of hopelessness, clinging, or the loss itself.  It was tears of appreciation and awe and wonder of all that this life had to offer.  The overwhelming sensations of all the emotions busting out of my heart all at once.   The experience left me in a state of awe.  Is this what the course means by love?  The loss and the opportunity, the uncertainty in this world but a sense of complete certainty that I was not alone and something will work itself out.  It was, quite frankly, overwhelmingly beautiful.  I was full of love.

It was like watching a great “chick-flick” movie where you cry for the main characters because you care and the movie is tragic, but you are not involved.  Here I was, at the center of my own movie, and yet not in desperation and despair.  It was as if I was just “watching it, I cared, and it was tragic.”  Tears of love.

When tempted, “know this need not be.”  Anybody else experience this before? Want to know more?

Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly

The thought for the week: T-8.VIII.9 ,“Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly.”

Interesting quote for me.  Is this true for you?  What comes up for you when you hear this quote?  I’d love to hear from you.

It seems true but then if I’m not healthy, how am I using my body lovelessly?  That’s the key… knowing.

Now I’m a big believer in not teaching guilt and if guilt starts coming up for any one of us over this phrase, I need to remind myself and others that guilt is a sure sign of wrong thinking. There are diseases in this planet and people do grow old.  Is all of it a decision to attack oneself?  From a mind perspective, the course says T-2.I.5, “Health is inner peace.”  When we can let go of all external searching, we will find health.  We can have health even when it’s time to depart this world.  A calm and certain mind is health.

But, I still believe our body can contain the reflections of our thoughts.  You may think you can sneak a pizza at 2:30am in the morning, but a couple of days later, the body will reveal the truth for all to see!  Now again, no guilt, and no attack is meant here.  There are many things in this world that appear out of our control, and that is okay.  That is not what I mean here.  Leave attack aside for now.

Lately, I have been going on a cleanse diet.  I said to myself before I started, “here I go again.”  However, I have been playing with a concept that I have known for many years, but wondered if somehow it was part of my blocks towards being my perfect weight?  The concept was revealed last week.  Nothing outside of myself will bring me happiness.  Only myself will bring me happiness.  Now sunny days and a good massage sure help, but truly it is me that still decides to be happy.

So, if this is true, then what “out there” will bring me any more joy than I already have?  The answer is, “None of it.”  With my body, I think I was trying to find joy in foods and other means that my body was not keeping up with.  My body was starting to show the signs by being a little over weight.  Apparently, I was showing signs of a decision to attack myself.

To get back on track, I have been mantra-ing,

“nothing outside myself will bring me peace.”

“That ice cream will not bring me peace.”

“That pizza will not bring me peace.”

The Course says in T-8,VII.13 “To see a body as anything except a means of communication is to limit your mind and to hurt yourself. 4 Health is therefore nothing more than united purpose.”

As I play with the idea of ideal weights and other things in the world, one thing is for certain, my mind and body should be united in purpose.  This unification will bring me peace.  I won’t look at my body in judgment with decisions that seem to “not be my own.”   I pray for myself and others, that we are truly aware of ourselves.  That we “know!”  When we can understand our actions and why we do what we do, we can then begin to correct if we so choose.  When we can be united in our body and mind, our soul will rejoice.

Join with me in United front and united purpose, and let’s celebrate a peaceful world together.

A happiness with no opposite

T-2.III.5. “The children of God are entitled to the perfect comfort that comes from perfect trust. 2 Until they achieve this, they waste themselves and their true creative powers on useless attempts to make themselves more comfortable by inappropriate means.”

Commentary: This second comment I bet we can all relate to.  How many times, have you tried to find happiness in something as simple as a meal, to something as complex as a relationship?   I know I have.  Often, in the journey, I’d “hunker down” and keep my eyes focused to the job at hand and continue to tell myself that, ”in the end, the means will be justified.”

However, the means are never justified because justification is an attack on your peace.  The means, ”your path”, is what it’s all about.  It’s about how you do what you do, not what you do.  If you are not happy now, something has gone wrong.  Happiness is the goal and that can be obtained now.

I use to be troubled by the word “happy.”  When I first heard this concept, my mind thought “What do you mean, be happy?  Life is hard.   Death and taxes are certain and by-golly,  it’s not always fun.  But then I heard a comment from Eckhart Tolle, author of Power of Now.  He stated that the goal is a form of happiness that has no opposite.  This was helpful to me.  A form of happiness that has no opposite.  That no matter what happens, there is a part of me at peace.

After many years chasing the “happy high’s” and followed on by the “dismal low’s”, I’ve come to realize that things “out there” won’t make me happy.  This is one of the great stories from the Buddha.  Siddhartha was a man born in riches, and when he let it all go, he found enlightenment.

Now, I’m not suggesting we let all our happy trinkets and things we like in the west go.  I’m still trying to have some of it, without completely following the Buddha’s path.  The key is for me, to not hold on too tightly.  Realize, for everything you own and have, is but temporary and not your source of happiness.  Another warning, everything you have an own requires some energy to maintain (Topic for another time).

Lesson 70 in the workbook lesson, is a great reminder of this concept and a practice towards escaping useless attempts.

  1.  “Nothing outside yourself can save you”
  2. “Nothing outside you can bring you peace”
  3. “Nothing outside you can hurt you”
  4. “Nothing outside you can disturb you”

It’s all from within.  You are in charge of your own happiness.  I believe we can do it even on our death bed.  That’s right… Be happy even then.  Perhaps a better word might be content, at rest, certain, or at peace.  In either way, consider these thoughts today.   If you truly believed you were in charge of your day, your path, and your means, ”how would you choose to be today?”  I know I want certainty and peace…. A happiness with no opposite.

No order of difficulty in miracles

T-1.I.1.,”There is no order of difficulty in miracles. 2 One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. 3 They are all the same. 4 All expressions of love are maximal.”

Commentary: What a relief this first principle of a miracle is to all of us.  That is doesn’t matter how big the miracle is.  The miracles are all treated the same and all can easily be overcome in an instant.  I feel called to remind some readers that one definition of a miracle is a shift in thought to love where there wasn’t before.

Some miracles seem “huge” to us.  That there is no way that love will come.  However, I’m here to say that a miracle can occur and with the strangest of situations with people you thought had no hope…  The course reminds us that hope is available in every situation.  This “no order of difficulty” keeps us open to the possibility that a miracle can occur in the most unlikely of places.

The course in miracles says, “Miracles occur naturally,” and they do.  Seeing a smile on a strangers face, or finding my car keys, can all be what seems to be “small” miracles.  However, the same feeling of love occurs.

Some miracles feel “huge.”  I had a friend of mine who had not spoken to me in over 7 years.  I had difficulty in this.  I am not even sure why he/she didn’t speak to me.  The best guess is that they didn’t approve of my previous marriage, which I’m un-proud to say, “he/she might have been right about all along.”  However, what an odd way to treat a friend by just “x’ing” them out of their life just because they didn’t approve of their friends choices?   If the choices harmed my friend, I guess I could understand this behavior as a way of protecting oneself.  However, I couldn’t see my last marriage was harming a long distance relationship with an old friend that was not hanging out with me frequently.

In either case, shortly after my marriage, he/she stopped returning my calls.  I tried to guilt he/she into calling me back;no success.  I tried talking through his parents as he/she’s parents were still in contact with me; no success.  I finally, just let all these behaviors of pursuits go and just did what I do.  Moved on as you would say.  When I was in the area, I did meet up with my friends parents from time to time as they continued to have a relationship with me.

A Long story short, 7 years later, while visiting he/she’s parents, I had this incredible conversation with my friend.  A lot of connection and catching up.  I was open to talking with he/she as I had no guilt or attack in me from even a recently “ignored” phone call.  We had this great connection.  Truly a miracle to me.

After 7 years, this miracle seems huge.  However, I can safely say, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.”  It was not harder or bigger than any of my other miracles.  The love was maximal.  I am glad.

Namaste.

Rev. Dr. Chris. Farmer.

Release from Guilt

Thought for the week: T-13.IX.2. “Release from guilt is the ego’s whole undoing. 2 Make no one fearful,…”

This is a strange thought indeed to the world as we know it.  I remember being brought up in a world that it was accepted practice to base learning off of guilt.  I should feel guilty for this.  They should feel guilty for that.  That my guilt somehow drives my decisions for better choices.

However, when we think this way, we have something backwards.  The course says, “Guilt is a sure sign of wrong thinking.”  I use to think that this means guilt will never come up if I’m in right mind and this is true.  However, I’m often not in my right mind yet.  When we are not in our right mind, guilt does come up.  When it does, you can sure bet that your thinking that got you to a guilty outcome is not good.  It doesn’t mean, start to deny you feel guilty.  This is a coverup and to further your mistakes.  You have to back up to the original thought or decision that caused the guilt in the first place and “choose again.”  This is a gentle correction.  Much like backing the car up and turning left instead of right.  The guilt itself and all the condemnation you may inflict upon yourself or someone else, does nothing.  Only a choice for a willingness to try it differently, with love, makes the difference.  The Course goes on to say, let Holy Spirit correct those things you can’t correct and just “choose again.”

Let us choose again.  Find something today, that didn’t feel quite right and ask “how may I do this differently?  Out of love.”  Wait for an answer….  It is in the asking that an answer will come and it will come.

“Mental Discipline”

Commentary: Have you tried the Course in Miracles work book lessons yet?  I have sometimes been told, if you are not doing the lessons you are not doing the Course.  We discuss and focus on portions of the text in our meetings.  However, you will hear me often say that the workbook lessons are your own personal journey.

Some of the lessons seem overwhelming, hard to follow, fearful, words that you would not use yourself, and abstract. The course will say you may actively resist the workbook lesson.  Sometimes, we don’t get where it’s leading us or how it would really help.  However, all of this are just blocks towards the truth.

The lessons give us a discipline to follow and an experience beyond theory to follow.  Something to take us out of the “hell” we have created with our own mind.  Ernest Holmes once said, “you must pluck the bad thoughts from your mind” like a Gardner plucking weeds from a garden.  The Course in Miracles says we are too tolerant of mental mind wondering. We must be vigilant towards the truth.

I find that I need a daily reminder “somehow” that I am more than the “little me” that thinks I am separate.  We spend way too much time focusing on “problems” and not enough time realizing that we are living with a power of unlimited potential that goes with us.  That love happens often and is as natural as breathing.

No matter where you are at with your mental discipline, take a moment today to join with me in remembering Lesson 95.  Read it thoroughly and understand the meaning of forgiveness on yourself by not having mental discipline up till now.  Decide, with me to “try again.”

Tonight, we’ll dive deep on this workbook lesson 95.  In summary, consider the possibility for just a moment that “We are one Self, united with our Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace.”  Close our eyes, and say it again but  allow the meaning of the words to sink in.   “Feel” what the words are conveying.

“Say no to mental paralysis” and join us tonight or “right now” with this email.

To heal is to make happy

T-5.in.1. “To heal is to make happy. 2 I have told you to think how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many you have refused. 3 This is the same as telling you that you have refused to heal yourself. 4 The light that belongs to you is the light of joy. 5 Radiance is not associated with sorrow. 6 Joy calls forth an integrated willingness to share it, and promotes the mind’s natural impulse to respond as one. 7 Those who attempt to heal without being wholly joyous themselves call forth different kinds of responses at the same time, and thus deprive others of the joy of responding wholeheartedly.”

Comments:  How simple the Course in Miracles(ACIM) places us on the path of wholeness and healing.  It simple says, “To heal is to make happy.”  There are countless references in the text that state that a healed state of mind is merely checking in to see how you feel.  If you don’t feel happy or joyous, then you have moved from the center of your source and perhaps listening to a wrong voice.

This ending statement above caused great spin for me initially when I first read it.   It did because while I teach ACIM, I am also a student.  I don’t consider myself completely healed.  I am on a path to enlightenment or if not enlightenment, perhaps simply being “happy.”  When I read “Those who attempt to heal without being wholly joyous themselves call forth different kinds of responses at the same time, and thus deprive others of the joy of responding wholeheartedly.” My ego used this to say I should stop trying to teach healing.  In the course in Miracles, teaching is demonstrating so… If I stop teaching or “demonstrating healing” than very quickly I have an unhappy outcome.  I deprive others of all sense of happiness.  This thought, of course, is insane.

The comment is true.  When we don’t teach love and happiness, we can deprive others of responding wholeheartedly.  We confuse them because for a brief moment, perhaps, we forget who we are.  A good “joyful student” may even say, “Wait, where did you go?”

The Course says, “Beware of the temptation of being unfairly treated.”  Go easy on yourself today.  Be glad that you are on your path and rejoice when you remember to “be happy.”  I rest in solace with the knowledge of the Text T-2.V.A.18 (8) “I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.”

My own experience shows me that as I put myself out there, I realize what I know and what I don’t know.  When I teach peace, I will have it.  When I teach love, I will experience it.  Often times, in our group, someone will ask a question I don’t even know.  In trying to explain an answer, I receive the answer simultaneously.  Want to experience this?  Come tonight.

Even if I don’t know yet, when I fall out of love.  I can feel it.  When I’m not feeling wholly joyous I can just say to myself, “This need not be.”

Let us rest today in the guidance of Text T-2. V.A., (8) You can do much on behalf of your own healing and that of others if, in a situation calling for help, you think of it this way: 2 I am here only to be truly helpful. 3 I am here to represent Him Who sent me. 4 I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. 5 I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. 6 I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.’

The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively

T-1.I.15. Each day should be devoted to miracles. 2 The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively. 3 It is thus a teaching device and a means to an end. 4 Time will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.”

Recently, I have decided to stop seeing time as an “attack.”  What I mean by this is that I have been feeling anxious from time to time (no pun intended), because there seems to not be enough time to do everything.  Therefore, the lack of time is “attacking me.”  How silly is it, yet I think that is what I have been emotionally feeling.

I am remembering to take a deep breath, slow down, and let go of what can’t be done today.  While, I continue to try my best and not give up.  I am remembering that there is infinite energy in the universe that has created all things and it is in me too.  This energy is available to me and can help me.  I don’t do this alone.

Time is not attacking me.  Everything is coming to me in “right timing” and I will say “yes” to all things I can say yes too.  I am learning to use time constructively.  I look forward to when time will cease for me.  I use to fear this phrase but it doesn’t mean the end of the world but the translation of the world into heaven.  When time ceases, I will have all the time in the world.

Pain is a wrong perspective

Lesson 190, “Pain is a wrong perspective. 2 When it is experienced in any form, it is a proof of self-deception. 3 It is not a fact at all. 4 There is no form it takes that will not disappear if seen a right.”

How bold the Course is around this idea of pain and that it is self-deception.   My first thought when I read this is was, “Oh yeah?  Feels pretty real to me when someone steps on my toe or worse.”  However, as you read on, the Course in Miracles is not talking about the physical world.  The Course says “Pain is but witness to the Son’s(all of us) mistakes in which he thinks he is.”

Our fundamental error, “what we think we are and not what we really are.”  What are we then?  How can you define the undefinable?  How can you take the infinite and put it in a box?  You are an infinite being.  You are from the same source that created all things and is from all things.  How could you be anything less than everything?  Yet, as I try to define it here I miss the point.  You are undefinable.

Now back to pain for a moment.  What is pain to the course?  The Course goes on in the lesson to say, “It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain.  Nothing External to your mind can hurt or injure you in any way.. No one but yourself affects you.”

From this we can see, that Pain is a state of mind.  A state we have begun to learn a lot about so we can get out of this state.  Pain is mental anguish.  It is when we think we are anything less than the undefinable.  It means that we are not certain and are not feeling joyful.

So how do we get out of a state of pain?  The course uses this lesson to give us great insight.  Just by recognizing that we are in a state that serves us not, is the first step in letting it go.  When we recognize it is an unnatural state for an infinite being with infinite possibilities, then the possibilities for something different emerge.

We get out of our pain by “seeing it right.”  We know this when the pain dissipates. Comes with reassurance from ourselves when we recognize who we really are.  It may change nothing about our circumstance but we will feel a great burden release from our shoulders.  When the image in our mind changes to one of truth of joy.  When certainty wraps our next steps in the progress of pain to the path of truth.

Use pain this week when it comes up, as  a portal into our awareness that we have not thought correctly.  That there is another way of thinking about this that can bring joy.  Ask yourself (your higher self), “How can I see this differently?”  From all questions comes an answer.

Join me today and this week, from the deliverance of any pain to the deliverance of joy.  Send me a note on your joyous adventures.

I Need Do Nothing

Thought for the week, T18 VII.5, “when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; “I need do nothing.

The Course says a beautiful thing about us all.  It says that our value is maximal and was given to us at birth.  There is nothing in this world that would increase or decrease our worth.  Our love is maximal and our worth far exceeds anything a mind can imagine.

What does that say about you and me?  We are worthy.  We are worthy beyond any measure.  We are such an incredible presences of divine expression that anything is possible.  To accept anything less than this true description, is the arrogance of the ego and little minded thinking.

Now… before you start getting a big head about yourself and decide everyone should serve you, forget it.  It’s not about “rights” or  to think you “deserve” something.  The ego slips in the back door with these quotes a zillion different ways.

Here is another truth, “Yes, you need to nothing” but nothing at all would be being dead in this world.  Which I do quite well while watching TV.  The only doing one needs to do is that which life inspires us to do.  Look for what brings us alive and make what we are currently doing, exciting fun and full of love.  Your worth is beyond measure and your value to this world is unfathomable.  Express my friend while realizing it’s not a “need to do something” but rather a “want to do something.”

I need do nothing, but I want to do everything!  Live, breath, and be marry!

Want to know more?  Come tonight, to our group.  Come learn how to “thrive” and be “alive.”