Hooray for Hollywood Redux

(Here’s another excerpt from my recently published book of forgiveness essays, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want. Hope you enjoy!)

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comIn the middle of a winning performance with one of my costars the other day the ego apparently hacked into the script.

“You always …”

“I can’t believe you …”

“How could you …”

Her accusations multiplied exponentially like runaway cancer cells. My improvised responses to this sudden shift in dialogue precipitated by what I considered a legitimate, serenely delivered request were met with unexpected rage. Shrieks and tears followed. I backed out of the room before any heads started spinning around, the dog cowering at my feet. The door—having taken sides–slammed in our faces.

This was the third time in a week that a special relationship (not always the same one) had appeared to go ballistic on me without any seeming provocation, shattering a period of seemingly tranquil right-mindedness during which I had naively begun to believe that my ongoing choice for a better way of living in this world was reaping actual benefits in form. Even though the Course makes no such claims because, after all, there is no form.

“There is no peace except the peace of God,” I read the next morning, following this latest opportunity to see things differently.

“Seek you no further. You will not find peace except the peace of God. Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt. Seek you no further. There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain.” (Paragraph 1)

(And people say this Course’s message is unclear.)

I read A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 200 all the way through for what felt like the billionth time.  Despite my intimacy with what this lesson was saying–that nothing in this world will ever deliver lasting peace and happiness and will, in fact, sooner or later, break my proverbial heart–I was not “glad and thankful” but sad and bitter it was so. I suppose a part of me still clung to the romantic notion that practicing forgiveness A Course in Miracles-style would eventually deliver the goods. My career would finally find its destined meteoric trajectory. Financial worries would dissolve. All conflict in my closest relationships would resolve, and I would at last enjoy the calm, grounded, loving, and supported life I had been seeking and never finding for as long as I could remember.

But in the past two weeks the “ego’s raucous shrieks” the Course refers to had been escalating to say the least in my apparent forgiveness classroom. My special relationships had been acting out again all over the place like nobody’s business, all red-faced and righteously booming my thoughts about them back at me almost faster than I could frame them.

I did my best to remember it was my projected guilt I was really looking at, my unconscious choice for the ego’s dire story of competing interests. I continued to ask my right mind for help in viewing this latest installment in the long-running series of my life as merely another opportunity to choose the inner teacher of peace over the inner teacher of conflict with whom I had obviously aligned. But the explosive drama just kept coming until I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally called on Jesus much the way Elizabeth Montgomery used to call on Dr. Bombay in the sitcom Bewitched (I still enjoy in reruns) whenever she had problems with her secret powers. “Emergency, emergency, come right away,” I cried out to Jesus, doing my best Samantha impression.

And so it was I found myself draped in a girlie black frock, once more magically borne aloft on my broom and coming to rest atop the Hollywood sign, my favorite fantasized venue for observing with an imaginary, embodied Jesus the comings and goings of the actors I commissioned to make this movie of Susan’s perilous individuality real in the battleground below.

Jesus seemed to be getting used to this and handed me the popcorn.

I lobbed a kernel down at one of them passing below. From a distance he looked a lot like Brad Pitt. I have never liked that man.

“You know they can’t feel that, right?” Jesus said.

“You can’t know that for sure,” I replied.

“We’ve talked about this.”

“You need to lighten up, mister.”

He threw back his head and laughed.

I picked up another kernel, aimed, and fired. I think it was one of those sisters this time, Kourtney, Kim–who really cared? In my peripheral vision I swear I saw Jesus reach for a kernel, too. A girl can dream.

“Please don’t make me go back down there,” I begged. Because as much fun as I was having, the real targets were not these celebrities I loved to hate but these costars that just wouldn’t quit blaming me for what anyone with half a mind could clearly see was happening only inside their twisted little heads.

Jesus smiled. He eavesdrops sometimes; I just know it. I hate it when he does that.

“Did you see that?” I said. “She just slammed the door on me again.”

“Beautiful girl, that daughter of yours,” he said. “Such an open heart; you must be so proud.”

Yeah, right. “I know what you’re really thinking,” I said.

His brows shot up.

“You’re thinking that I called you.” I had a point, you had to admit.  I usually do. “You’re thinking that I keep forgetting this is a path in healing our mind about our relationships and yet I keep trying to avoid them. You’re thinking I need to look at them with you so I can see them for the hallucinated barriers against eternally inclusive love they really are, but, you know what?  I’ve been practicing forgiveness like crazy and nothing ever changes down there. I mean, honest to God, did you hear what he just said? Just look at him—right there.”

Jesus squinted in the general direction of the perpetrator I was frantically stabbing the air with my finger toward, but shook his head.

“Christ,” I said.

“Hey.” He smiled.

“Why don’t you just come out and say it already,” I said.

“What?”

“I’m trying to get you to look with me instead of looking with you. When I’m finally ready to do that, I will truly see. And I’ll feel better, too; you know I will. Because right now, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not exactly feeling the peace of God.”

His eyes widened.

I studied the scene below. “They’re still there; I can see them. And I’m telling you, they so do not have my best interests at heart. So, I have a better plan. Let’s get rid of this popcorn and find some real ammo. I mean, if it’s all an illusion anyway, why not just nuke them?”

“We’ve talked about this.”

I sighed. “Yeah. Don’t you have any special glasses you could give me?”

“Sorry.”

I tossed another couple kernels of popcorn down into the fray. “I’m never going to have the perfect family, am I?” I said, after a while.

He shook his head. “But look at it this way. You did get the family of your dreams.”

“Funny.”

“Thanks.”

I watched the battleground a while longer. “You know it’s not even well written,” I said. “The screenplay, I mean.”

He nodded.

“No, wait, I think it’s getting foggy or something down there because they’re all starting to look alike.”

“Imagine that.”

“Oh, my God, now I can’t see anything at all. Nada thing.”

He lifted the palm of his hand in the air.

I high-fived him back.

“You planning on sharing that popcorn, or what?” he said.

(PLEASE NOTE: Just getting back from dealing with family issues back East. Hope to resume my regular, weekly posting schedule soon.)

HALF-HOUR MENTORING SESSIONS NOW AVAILABLE: Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally sane and loving right mind, mentoring can help remind Course students having trouble applying its unique forgiveness that the problem and the solution never lie in the difficult relationship, situation, behavior, health issue, etc., but in the decision-making mind. In every circumstance, without exception, we can experience inner peace and kindness toward all, unaffected by the seemingly random strife of a world designed to prove otherwise. By choosing to look at our lives as a classroom in which we bring all our painful illusions to the inner teacher of forgiveness who knows only our shared innocence beyond all its deceptive disguises, we learn to identify and transcend the ego’s resistance, hold others harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. One-on-one, hour or half-hour mentoring sessions are conducted via traditional phone or Skype (your choice). Please contact me to find out if mentoring is right for you before submitting a payment below. (No one ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.)

Enjoyed talking the other day with fellow Course student and teacher Bruce Rawles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQCB04ccc_Q about using everything in our lives as our forgiveness classroom, shifting our approach from dissociation to association, and bringing our projected dreams back inside where we can forgive ourselves for them.

I’m making some exciting new changes to my Tuesday-night forgiveness class, designed to deepen our study and practice and accelerate our learning in the New Year! (PLEASE SEE THIS SITE’S CLASSES/EVENTS PAGE FOR DETAILS.) We’ll begin 2014 with an exploration of true prayer, forgiveness, and healing as described in The Song of Prayer pamphlet (pamphlets available for purchase from the RMMC or already included within the most recent edition of A Course in Miracles). The Song of Prayer was scribed by Helen Schucman following the Course’s publication and helps clarify misunderstandings about its non-dualistic metaphysics. Our classes on this topic will conclude each week with an optional 20-minute true-prayer session.

We’ll devote the rest of the year to considering the text, chronologically, from the beginning, through selected readings, occasionally augmented by complementary workbook lessons and/or selections from the Manual, pamphlets, and recordings by premier Course Teacher, Author, and Scholar Kenneth Wapnick. Each week will conclude with an optional, 20-minute question and answer/comment/sharing session.

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, is now available at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center in Denver, Colorado, where I teach regularly on Tuesday nights. Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want takes up roughly where my last ACIM essay collection left off, and conveys my growing faith that no matter how wrenching, wild, or wacky the dream of our lives may appear, we always have a choice about which inner teacher we are looking and listening with: the ego, the part of our mind that believed the “tiny, mad idea” of separation from our source had real effects. Or the “right mind” that remembered to gently smile at the bizarre thought of it. If you’re thinking about buying a book and live in Denver, please consider purchasing a copy from the RMMC to help support their great work. The new book is also available on Amazon. If you read and find the book helpful, please consider posting a brief review on Amazon. 🙂

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store: http://www.acimstore.com/default.asp.

 

 

Comments

  1. I do so appreciate these reminders to take my screenplay, the actors, dream figures, wind-up toys (my alleged ‘self’ and a whole host of ‘special appearances’ included) or whatever metaphor works – not quite so seriously! THANKS! 🙂

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