In my defenselessness my safety lies

fox“You who feel threatened by this changing world, its twists of fortune and its bitter jests, its brief relationships and all the ‘gifts’ it merely lends to take away again; attend this lesson well. The world provides no safety. It is rooted in attack, and all its ‘gifts’ of seeming safety are illusory deceptions. It attacks, and then attacks again. No peace of mind is possible where danger threatens thus.” (A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 15, “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”)

The threat level in my dream of exile from undifferentiated oneness hovered at an all-time high. I could no longer seem to follow a single plot line in the seemingly endless, ever-complicating debates emanating from every orifice of electrical device known to humankind about the “appropriate” U.S. and global response to the atrocities apparently committed on Syrian citizens by their own government. Closer to home than I cared to consider, a couple of Colorado Senators had just lost their jobs in a recall election fueled by the gun lobby in retaliation for their votes on gun control legislation following the nearby Aurora movie theatre shootings last summer. And then there was the ongoing flash flooding just beginning to sweep across Colorado’s Front Range.

In my personal forgiveness classroom, several hours recently spent with a recurring guest costar that more often than not seems to trigger my need to defend my personal territory like nobody’s business found me once again berating the self I see when I look in the mirror. Chastising the body I believe I inhabit for the astonishing rapidity with which she could throw this big, blue book called A Course in Miracles that she purports to revere above all others out the proverbial window. Succumb to the inner teacher of separate interests and justifiable anger without so much as a pause to consider the possibility of another way.

And then, I heard these words in my head:

“Stop with the baby business.”

Uttered gently, but firmly, and with unwavering good cheer by my beloved external teacher, Ken Wapnick, instantly snapping me out of my current preoccupation with the comings and goings of imaginary bodies; vying for bogus survival in a hallucinated world of my own dreaming. Despite mindlessly surfing this wave of emotion du jour I’d generated to wash me ever deeper into the sea of hopelessness in which I was already helplessly floundering, a lifeline to our right mind appeared with that simple reminder:

“Stop with the baby business.”

In the last few years, in a couple of workshops and interviews, Ken had borrowed this quote from his grandson to gently, but firmly, and always with good cheer remind us that just maybe it was time to grow up with this Course. After all, most of us had been studying and practicing A Course in Miracles’ path of unique forgiveness, devouring Ken’s books, dutifully reveling in his vast library of CDs, and even traveling many miles to attend his workshops at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles for many years. Certainly long enough to grasp the Course’s metaphysics that the body and the world it appears to navigate are in the mind, not the other way around. Honestly watching the insanity all around us at any given moment should tell us there’s no one in charge “out there.”

Dreams to the contrary aside, we are not many helpless bodies, but one decision-making mind that always has a choice about which inner teacher it chooses to interpret its dream with. The teacher of sin, guilt, and fear that urges us to believe we are victims of a constantly threatening world. Or the inner teacher of forgiveness for all that reminds us we are the dreamer of the dream, not the victimized or victimizing dream figure, and helps us remember that the only appropriate response to every seeming threat is to choose again to share the perspective of the one lucid, loving dreamer in our mind.

Despite our mistaken belief that the “tiny, mad idea” that the one, abstract child of God had run away from home and projected the guilty thought of its defection into an entire universe of forms to hide out in, nothing really happened. The world of guilty bodies trying to prove they really exist at God’s expense but it’s not their fault—it’s the government, the deranged regime’s, the person invading my personal space, the special interest, the weather, the disease, my special loved one failing to meet my needs–does not exist.

Ken has taught us, in harmonious tandem with our right mind, that every moment presents a choice to take a step toward awakening from the dream, or rooting ourselves more deeply within it, thereby perceiving ourselves at its mercy. We will never heal our split mind and find the stable peace not of this unstable world if we keep searching for it in an imaginary external world of bodies. Magically hoping, as little children do, that things will get better, if we can just find the right talisman, the right book; engage the right fairy godmother, the right spiritual teacher, the perfect umbrella beneath which to weather the storm. Magically hoping someone else can save us when the cause, effect, and end of our suffering remain in the decision-making mind, where true comfort awaits every mind troubled by a perpetually troubling world. Maybe we should go there.

“Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play. It was designed by One Who loves His children, and Who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games, which teach them that the game of fear is gone. His game instructs in happiness because there is no loser. Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured. The game of fear is gladly laid aside, when children come to see the benefits salvation brings.” (Paragraph 12)

I can stop, right now, in any given moment, back away from the toys of my illusions, by refusing to justify my attacking/defending thoughts, and join with the mature awareness of our one inner teacher in seeing the impossibility of loss of any kind, the delusional nature of the thought of winning, and simply smile at the silliness of it all.

“Stop with the baby business.”

Like many refrains from Ken’s workshops that seem to be reassuringly echoing through my head, this one keeps pulling me back to the safety of the moment, inviting me to throw away the external toys I stubbornly insist I still need, and simply do what the Courses is saying: forgive. Reminding myself gently, but firmly, and always with good cheer that I am never upset for the reason I think—never. The cause of all my distress does not come from what another body does or doesn’t do. It springs only from my childish wish to keep playing this game of pretend in which I am a body not a mind. To keep acting out the cycle of attack and defense in the dream to prevent me from remembering I am the dreamer capable at any moment of joining with healed awareness and experiencing the invulnerable, formless, all-inclusively loving union with our source I have never really left. Capable of stopping with the baby business. Capable of seeing everyone seemingly out there—victim and victimizer—as equally frightened and confused about its true nature, equally deserving of my unwavering compassion and kindness, and equally capable of awakening to the oneness joined as one we never really left.

“You who have played that you are lost to hope, abandoned by your Father, left alone in terror in a fearful world made mad by sin and guilt; be happy now. That game is over. Now a quiet time has come, in which we put away the toys of guilt, and lock away our quaint and childish thoughts of sin forever from the pure and holy minds of Heaven’s children and the Son of God.”  (Paragraph 14)

My heart goes out to everyone in Colorado suffering as a result of the severe flooding our state has experienced over the last several days. If you’re interested in finding out how to help, click here: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24096409/colorado-floods-how-help-those-impacted?source=hot-topic-bar. 

I will be travelling to visit my family back East later this week and posting as soon as possible when I return. Love always to all.

Thank you, Gary Renard, for adding my new collection of ACIM essays, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, to your Recommended Reading list:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983742014?ie=UTF8&tag=garyrencom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0983742014 

Honored that 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.

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book,Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now available from the ACIM Store: http://www.acimstore.com/default.aspwhere I am honored to currently appear as featured author. 

I enjoyed talking with Bruce Rawles recently about my new book; Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and the importance of cultivating a relationship with the inner teacher of forgiveness in our one mind. You can watch the video by clicking here: http://youtu.be/D4fO6u_EP74 or on my home page.

You can listen to a recent conversation I had with my good friends and fellow ACIM teachers Lyn Corona, and Bruce Rawles about how to forgive ourselves on this journey home to the one Love we never really left here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IY4DZ0E5A0&feature=youtu.beor on the Videos page of this site.

Also had a good time talking with CA Brooks, host of the 12 Radio show Simpletales, about my new book and recipes for true forgiveness. You can listen to the audio here: http://goo.gl/iHydCor on my Audios page.

Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally clear and loving right mind, a mentor can help Course students apply its gentle forgiveness practice in their lives. In one-on-one phone sessions I help students identify and transcend the ego’s resistance to healing our split mind through forgiveness. By looking with and listening to our forever kind inner teacher we learn to recognize and release the unconscious blocks we use to push unwavering, all-inclusive Love away, begin to see everyone and everything as the same in God’s heart, and gradually awaken to our true, whole, eternally innocent natureFor information on individual ACIM mentoring; please click on the mentoring tab on this site. (Please note that no one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.)

Comments

  1. Always good to hear about your journey, Susan. Have a safe trip and enjoy your family. Hugs, Jim

  2. Thanks so much, Jim! 🙂

  3. Great commentary, as always… Eventually, we’ll OD on ego’s mind pablum 🙂

  4. Eventually … 🙂

    Thanks, Bruce!

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