Looking with Jesus: Now in 3-D

Taking a break from my usual posting to work on other projects including compiling and editing my upcoming essay collection, Forgiveness: the Key to Happiness.  In the meantime, hope you enjoy this excerpt from my most recent book, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want.

3-D glassesI knelt on the floor and shot Kayleigh’s well-worn cloth piggy down the long hall. “Strike one,” I said.

Instead of fetching, my little dog merely blinked. Then she turned her back on me and pretended to scratch her belly.

“We’re burning daylight here,” I told her, glancing at my watch. I wagered I had exactly 10 minutes to play with the dog like the good pet Mama I strive to be before heading back to my computer.

“Speak for yourself, Mama,” I answered for Kayleigh, as I often do, perfectly delivering the little falsetto voice with which she converses with me in my imagination.

I rose, rummaged in her toy box for a more alluring trinket, knelt once more, and hurled the baby blue chick that emitted an irritating peeping noise down the hall. Kayleigh watched it thwack against the hard-wood floor with a shrill hiccup. Then she lay back down with a yawn, stretched out on her side like the world’s tiniest horse in a puddle of sunlight, and closed her confounding little eyes.

Jesus, I thought, exasperated; even dogs have authority problems.  I had been contemplating that very topic discussed in A Course in Miracles Chapter 3, VI. Judgment and the Authority Problem, and apparently running rampant in the objects of my projection for more than a week.

The issue of authority is really a question of authorship. When you have an authority problem, it is always because you believe you are the author of yourself and project your delusion onto others. You then perceive the situation as one in which others are literally fighting you for your authorship. … (From paragraph 8)

Just like they think God is. I had practically memorized those words and yet–although frequently and earnestly asking for help from my right mind to see my dog, my daughter, and my husband’s refusal to in any way, shape, or form comply with the simplest and most sincere of my requests to deliver on their meager family responsibilities differently–I remained annoyed by their lack of cooperation. Ironically, in another facet of my curriculum, multiple organizations with which I am affiliated vied for my attention, upping the ante in their requests for more of my “voluntary” participation even though I thought I had firmly stated my inability to expand my involvement given my currently overflowing plate.

I squeezed my eyes shut in frustration, mentally rehearsing yet another conversation with one of these apparent adversaries seemingly hell-bent on thwarting me. It was time to head back to the proverbial classroom and present my findings to Jesus. I wanted to get him to look at the authority problem run amuck in all these nut cases “out there” and help me forgive them. I had even designed a special pair of glasses to enable him to discern the bittersweet poignancy of the human condition which—with all due respect—totally seems to elude that man. They were pink, oversized, and studded with little plastic smiley faces.

“What’s up with these?” Jesus asked.

“Magic,” I said.

He looked puzzled.

“You know, to help you see my 3-D world. You don’t usually see it; I know you don’t. I can tell by that goofy look you get on your face. Admit it, you’re extremely farsighted.”

“You think?” He put on the glasses and squeezed into the desk beside mine.

I flipped off the lights, raised the remote, and hit play on the DVD player. “Exhibit A,” I said, as the machine whirred to life, featuring a scene of me walking Kayleigh yesterday around our neighborhood. “There,” I said, backing up. “Did you see that?”

Jesus tilted his head.

On the screen, I stood at a corner with Kayleigh, ordering her to stay as she yanked on the leash and spun in frantic circles. “Sit,” I commanded, but she stood her ground, peering up at a squirrel scaling a flowering pear tree, its buds raised in tiny fists. “No respect whatsoever,” I said, hitting play once more as the film advanced to the next scene.

I stabbed the screen with my little pointer. “Just look at that right there–can you even see the floor in that room?”

Jesus adjusted his glasses.

“Thumbing her nose at me is what she’s really doing. And here, allow me to zoom in on that volley of emails right there.” I enlarged them and adjusted the focus. “Demand, demand, demand, demand, demand—silent recrimination–demand,” I summarized. “It’s like they want to consume me, you know? Suck every little drop of lifeblood and sweat right out of me.”

“So let me get this straight,” Jesus said. “Your dog, your daughter, and your husband blow off your requests while the rest of them won’t stop badgering you?”

“You are a quick study.”

“Do you think you might be being a tad dramatic?”

I gave him the look.

He covered his mouth and pretended to cough.

“I know what you’re thinking,” I said. “You actually want me to believe it’s all just a symptom of theirauthority problem.”

Their authority problem?” he said.

“Exactly. The way she just has to have it all her way all the time.  OK, so that’s what egos do–especially, young ones. Annoying as it is, I suppose I get that. But what’s his excuse? I mean, he still perceives every little request no matter how sweetly delivered as a threat to his precious autonomy. And that group right there?” I tapped each one of them upside the head with my pointer.

“Demand, demand, demand,” Jesus said.

“Those glasses really are helping.”

“So this whole authority problem they all have, refresh my memory on that?”

I hit the pause button.  “Everyone out there has it,” I said. “They think they invented themselves.”

“Really?”

How many times did I have to go over this with him?  I mean, he might as well have written the book. It was a trick, of course; I knew that by now; just another thinly veiled pop quiz. I was so going to ace this class. “OK,” I said, “at some point–and please do not even think about asking me why–the one Son of God wondered what it would be like to strike off on his own and forgot to laugh at the tiny, mad idea of it. Suddenly, he perceived himself cast out of Heaven and no longer included in the one loving fold. Overwhelmed with guilt and fearful of God’s retribution the one mind seemed to split into the ego—the part of the mind that believed in and cherished the idea of separate identities—and the Holy Spirit—the part of the mind that remembered it never happened.”

“Seriously?”

“‘Funny.’ Anyway, curious to experience specialness while avoiding responsibility for it, the now little ‘s’ son of God followed the ego into an entire projected universe of form to hide out in. The one mind seemed to splinter into a gazillion fragmented forms, assumed bodies, and then started competing for its very survival. Oh, and all the seeming separated ones fell asleep so they would never remember they even had a mind outside the body to which they could return and choose again for truth.”

“Yikes,” Jesus said.

I nodded. “See, now they believe they exist at God’s expense and want to continue doing so. They believe they have to constantly defend themselves to prove their autonomy even though they secretly know on some level that it’s all based on a lie. Eternally alive God could not cease to exist, which means that the selves they think they are really don’t since they are still a part of God. See, they think their self-worth comes from being better than others, independent from others, proving they can manipulate others into doing what they want, and resisting allowing others to manipulate them all the while forgetting their self-worth still comes from God.”

They really do sound like nut cases.”

“Right?”

He took off his glasses, carefully blew on each lens, and cleaned them off with a sleeve of whatever you call that draped getup he wears. He did not put them back on. “I know what you’re thinking,” he said, after a while.

I thought a moment. “And tell me again what their behavior has to do with me?”

“Bingo.” He smiled.

I glanced back up at the screen but the images were gone. The DVD player, too, had miraculously vanished. The lights were back on. “I know what you’re thinking,” I said.

“Class dismissed?” Jesus said. “I mean, for now, anyway.”

“Hey.” I smiled back. You just had to love that guy. “Those glasses didn’t really take, did they?”

“Not so much.” He put them back on. “They are rather fetching, though.”

“Yeah,” I said. “They really do make your eyes pop.”

Father, Christ’s vision is the way to You. What He beholds invites Your memory to be restored to me. And this I choose, to be what I would look upon today. (A Course in Miracles, workbook lesson 271, paragraph 2)

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles continues to offer illuminating classes taught by a talented, devoted, truly inspiring staff who shine with the light of living this work! I was so deeply moved and inspired by their presentations at the July and March academies, and can’t wait to return for more! Check out all their current offerings here:  http://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx

The Foundation is celebrating Christmas in August by offering a 50% discount on all books written by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick (print version only). Now is the time to add to your library or gift a friend as there will be no lower price this year! Shop for your English and Spanish-language translated bound books at our Online Bookstore. http://www.facim.org/bookstore/

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles could use our help as they continue to so gracefully teach and publish the mind-healing, life-altering work of our beloved teacher and mentor Ken Wapnick, who selflessly dedicated his life to helping us change our minds about the world and find our way home. You can express your support and appreciation for this ongoing work with a donation here: https://www.facim.org/bookstore/p-195-donate.aspx .

Here’s a new conversation with my friend Bruce Rawles, this time about my experience attending the July 2014 academy at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpDe2SoBVzY&feature=youtu.be.

Here’s a link to details about my ongoing Tuesday night class on the text here in Denver https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/classes-events beginning in May 2014.

I’ll be speaking at the upcoming Miracle Share virtual conference in October. You can find out more and register here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/miracleshare-org-2014-virtual-conference

HALF-HOUR, FORTY-FIVE MINUTE, OR HOUR-LONG 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 and even ourselves harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. 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 is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.)

My good friend and gifted A Course in Miracles teacher and writer Bernard Groom has been posting beautifully written, heartfelt essays about living A Course in Miracles for years at http://www.acimvillage.com/. I found his recent, kindly right-minded contemplations there on the death of our beloved teacher Ken Wapnick deeply comforting! Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/ including recorded talks available for purchase or free download: http://uncoursenmiraclesenfrance.com/audio/.

My dear friend and wonderful teacher Lyn Corona continues to offer classes at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center through her School of Reason for Course students and teachers. You can subscribe to her website http://www.schoolofreason.org/ to receive information about upcoming classes.

 Here’s another ACIM hangout video I did with my friend Bruce Rawles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yogj9ckTXbc&feature=youtu.be . In this one, we talk about our love for our teacher Ken Wapnick, a demonstration of kindness to one and all, and how we can honor his life and heal our minds by practicing and living all he has taught us!

My latest book, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. If you read and find the book helpful, I would so appreciate you posting a brief (a sentence or two is fine) 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. Gabrielius says:

    Very nice story! Oh yeah, _THEIR_ authority problem 😉

  2. Thank you, Gabrielius! 🙂

  3. Once again, we observe how our persistent demands to have ‘others’ comply with our impossible expectations is a perfect set up to keep us in mindless victim mode and needlessly upset over the abuse of authority … we thought we pulled off … but never really happened … so we can forgive ourselves already … for what we and everyone ‘else’ never achieved in truth… only in silly dreams. 🙂 Thanks, Susan

  4. Jesus makes it seem easy to get over my “self.” That’s just the kind of action savior for all he is. 🙂

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