February 23, 2007

Hearing and Recognizing Truth

According to Schopenhauer, "every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self-evident."

I find these stages in my experience, in my mind. It seems to be how the human mind works. It absolutely will not listen to anything except its own meaningless chatter. Everything is looked at through its own judgment and concepts which are all self-contained. To really listen means to refuse, in my mind, to listen to these meaningless comments. It is an act of will, and in order to maintain a mode of true listening, I need to watch my mind continuously. Only then can I hear what anyone says, that is letting it simply be what it is. Anyone says what he says, and not what I think he says, or would have him say.

That is how I let you in, let you be in my mind, and doing so I experience that you truly are in my mind, an idea expressing itself.

To listen in this way is truly a challenge and a great adventure. It opens what otherwise would be hidden from me forever. It all depends on me. It is as Jesus said: "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Mt 13:13 ). To hear, I have to really want to hear.

To hear Master Teacher, I find it necessary and helpful to let him be talking directly and personally, only, to me. That lets me be easily motivated enough to truly listen. The infinite value he has for me is evident if I do this. Yet it all starts with me. To give is to receive. Thank you, God. Thank you, Master Teacher.

February 9, 2007

All Things I Think I See Reflect Ideas

"This is salvation's keynote: What I see reflects a process in my mind, which starts with my idea of what I want. From there, the mind makes up an image of the thing the mind desires, judges valuable, and therefore seeks to find. These images are then projected outward, looked upon, esteemed as real and guarded as one's own. From insane wishes comes an insane world. From judgment comes a world condemned. And from forgiving thoughts a gentle world comes forth, with mercy for the holy Son of God, to offer him a kindly home where he can rest a while before he journeys on, and help his brothers walk ahead with him, and find the way to Heaven and to God.

Our Father, Your ideas reflect the truth, and mine apart from Yours but make up dreams. Let me behold what only Yours reflect, for Yours and Yours alone establish truth."
(Workbook Lesson 325)

Everything is an idea. Everything. No exception. You are an idea. God is an idea. You are an idea of God. A thought, (the word) cannot be made physical (flesh), since thought is not physical. I only can think I am a body, separating myself from myself. Yet what is that? An idea, a mistaken idea. In that idea I am a mistake because I have misplaced myself, and experience myself as physical through my own belief. That is exactly why I need the mind training of A Course In Miracles. Let us go to workbook lesson 15:

"My thoughts are images I have made.

It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your "seeing" was made. This is the function you have given your body's eyes. It is not seeing. It is image making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions...
In practicing the idea for today, repeat it first to yourself, and then apply it to whatever you see around you, using its name and letting your eyes rest on it as you say:

This ______ is an image that I have made.
That ______ is an image that I have made."

Are people actually practicing this? Now it makes perfect sense to say that you have the keys to the kingdom of heaven: whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

You can give away everything, and it will still be yours. In fact, by giving it, you will know that you have it. If you do not give you cannot know you have it. In fact, only those being afraid would try hold on to what they have. Yet they have lost everything by it. Having been given everything they somehow believe they can lose. What does that mean but that they do not know who they are? And what would not knowing who you are be but death?

Now we also understand the lesson of forgiveness. It is giving away my ideas. No one did anything to me. I was mistaken in my idea about myself. There is no one outside of my mind. I only thought I was a body. Yet I have projected my ideas and thoughts outside of me, keeping them there by doing everything I can to defend myself against them. What an insanity!!! I need help! I need a miracle to undo my falsity. That is why this is a course in miracles. I need a new action. I need to give my ideas away. I give them to God, realizing that in so doing I am giving up nothing. God, the Holy Spirit will purify my thoughts. Everything that is not in alignment with truth, will be converted. That is the miracle. All that is required is that I give again. In giving I immediately experience a shift, because giving is what I am. God only gives. I for-give in my faith in God, accepting that I am still whole and perfect. Actually, it means that I give to myself again. I can only give to myself. In giving everything that is not true I will be released and healed. What an idea!!! I have to practice it, because this is not a concept. It is the truth setting me free. What an idea!!!

February 4, 2007

Real peace - a matter of will

Peace is part of any agenda here, at least according to what one may say. What kind of peace do you have in mind? Peace of mind, world peace, peace with your partner, peace with your past, peace with yourself, the peace of "me alone", of "just us", of "we rule", of "we, we, we..." etc. "Visions" of peace may be triggered by significant moments in the lives of individuals, groups and nations. It is always experiential. It is always about experience. You are looking for a certain kind of experience. Yet you think that this experience is associated with a certain thing or state. And so you try to get this thing or achieve this state as the bringer of the desired experience. You associate things with fulfillment of your hopes, often the most absurd things and states with your deepest hopes. Yet it never seems to work out. You are still looking, aren't you? You try harder, try to accumulate more of that thing, spend more of your powers on achieving that state. Since thousands of years you loop in this strategy of outer searching.

How much pain are you willing to suffer? What does it take to let you see the pain of your actions, the inconvenient truth that it never has worked out, because obviously you are still looking. Is it not common place, that you find yourself in more and more chaotic, more and more absurd conflicts in this world, everyone trying more and more insanely to achieve a better result by the same old means that always failed to bring him what he was looking for?

David A. Bell reconsiders today in The New York Times the question of peace. He refers to a political idea of peace, world peace if you like, and the observation that political ideals and hopes of peace in history had unleashed exactly the opposite, more conflict and more hurt. The more promising the "vision", the more the "vision" seemed to be within easy or near reach, the more devastating the battles fought for it, because it seemed to justify any means. Ironically he refers to it as the "peace paradox".

Is it not true that whatever we come up with as a solution, the problem does get more complicated and fragmented? A problem cannot be solved within its own framework. The real solution has to come from outside. That means for fact that we cannot solve the problem. We find ourselves in an unsolvable dilemma.

So what do we need to do? If we remember that we always look for an experience, our questioning would have to begin with an admission that our ways obviously did not bring us the desired result of peace. Is the experience of peace for which we look really linked to any thing in this world? Aren't we always excited, stimulated, inspired, made happy by ideas, insights, revelations, by a singleness of purpose that lifts us, for a moment, out of our condition of conflict, and to a lasting and reassuring effect especially, if we share it? Does it matter with whom we share? Do the distinctions we make teach us anything but the relevance and reality of our fears and judgments? There can be no peace in a condition of fear?

If there is peace, it has to be all-inclusive. Everything else would still be conflict. A Course in Miracles gives us the idea that there is no peace except the peace of God. We always ask for things, states, always striving for something. If we experience exactly what we asked for, we need to make a new decision for something else. We would have to want peace, in order to experience peace. Do you really want peace?