See you in September

“Just put on the God-damn glasses,” I said. “I mean, who do you think you are, anyway? Icarus? A two-year old? The President of the United States?”

My inner professor tossed back his head and laughed. “We’ve talked about this,” he said.

But I was just trying to protect him, for God’s sake, and let’s face it; in no mood for sanity. “Hey mister, it’s my dream,” I said. “So put on the freaking glasses and pass that pitcher of mimosas, please.”

“In your dreams,” he said, leaning back in his lounge and slipping on the fetching, hot-pink sunglasses I had given him a few years ago. Ever willing to humor me until I came to my senses, or, as he often put it: “wait with you in hell a while longer.” What an optimist. Even though he’d left me to my own devices all summer long, apparently oblivious to studies that prove learning loss occurs when students are not properly engaged in their curriculum, a fact that had circulated in my brain like a bad, stuck song all morning long before I’d magically found myself transported courtesy of my revived, long dormant right-minded imagination to this turquoise swimming pool, rivaling that of a set for the TV show Mad Men.

Although the August 2017 total solar eclipse had come and gone, along with all the meanings frenzied, hopeful heavenward gazers–from astronomy geeks to astrologists to historians, psychologists, and social scientists who perhaps preferred staring at the sky to another twitter update–had sought to pin on it, the overhead sun remained just as dangerous an object of projection upon which to fix one’s gaze (even on a cloudy day like this) as it had been during the moon’s upstart run on it. On a metaphorical level, its effects seemed to have stalled, casting the corner of the universe within which my seeming body appeared to orbit into a surreal, panoramic twilight from which it seemed as impossible to wrest oneself as from a town straight off the pages of a Stephen King novel.

Leaving me once more haunted by phantoms of the past, the nagging sense that everything good in my life remained behind me. Comparing its romanticized highlights unfavorably with what seemed a diminishing present and threatening future. While likewise comparing the self I still think I am to certain fellow dream figures who appeared to be reaping the benefits of years wisely invested in special relationships from human to financial. Harvesting gratitude and recognition for short-and long-term accomplishments while I continued to flounder aimlessly, no longer sure what I even was stripped of so many roles I once played, apparently no longer required.

Worse, I seemed once more to have tuned into the ego’s 24/7 fake news channel hell-bent on endlessly pointing out that not only had I ultimately failed all worldly endeavors but had managed to flunk this Course, too. Doomed to spin out my all too finite days seeking and never finding the meaning of it all let alone the antidote to the loneliness within from which all who choose to enter this fictitious world apart from God suffer, consciously or not.

It seemed an especially cruel paradox that I, having vowed to change the purpose of my life from rooting myself more deeply in that futile dream to awakening from it through true forgiveness,  had managed to come far enough on the journey to make that loneliness super conscious, recognizing that every continually arising unkind thought had nothing to do with the person, situation, or political figure that seemed to have triggered it and everything to do with my continual choice for the ego as my internal news source. And yet seemingly unable to take the next step of choosing again for the inner teacher of peace, seated beside me now dutifully wearing his shades, perpetually unperturbed or deceived by the world’s mayhem disguised as admirable achievements or despicable assaults.

The question of why my teacher had finally chosen to show his face this last week in August after failing to respond to multiple urgent calls, texts, and emails weighed heavily on me now, a topic I found it harder to broach than I’d expected. In truth I’d been largely unsuccessful searching for him all year. My dream seeming of its own volition to stream ever darker, more twisted pilots involving my body and the bodies of those I love and, let’s face it, love to hate. Under nearly unrelenting siege as a result of other reckless, irresponsible, and sometimes downright malevolent “other” bodies with whom I was less personally familiar but no less intimately involved in hating back for their well and constantly documented hateful ways. I know. Hell, I didn’t even have time between internal attacks, defenses, rationales and spinning out new plots to chronicle these sorry scenes and try to make sense of them. Let alone surrender them to the part of my mind capable of transcending them with His God-Ray vision. Seeing beyond their diabolical something-ness to the silly nothingness from which they sprang.

Not that I felt like writing about the Course anyway. The essays within which I had long expressed Susan’s seeming stumbling journey home to the united Love we’re told we never really left (that once provided a lifeline to my teacher’s unwaveringly all-loving presence) reduced to a futile, mechanical exercise in identifying the problem as I see it, bringing it to my inner teacher to look at as it really is, changing my mind about its cause and solution, and repeating said process. Without so much as a holy instant above the smoking battleground within which to catch my breath and recapture a glimpse of our invulnerable, abstract innocence. Provided I even got that far before yet another seeming incident aka forgiveness “opportunity” arose, hurtling toward me at warp speed; plunging me more deeply into the cockpit of my defensiveness. But another asteroid delivered by a punishing universe in the ego’s gigantic, interactive video game. I know. God I was getting sick of myself.

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

“I’m guessing you do,” he agreed, smiling that confounding smile of his.

“It’s like you say in Text Chapter 18 IX., paragraph 3:

‘From the world of bodies, made by insanity, insane messages seem to be returned to the mind that made it. And these messages are witness to this world, pronouncing it as true. For you sent forth these messengers to bring this back to you. Everything these messages relay to you is quite external. There are no messages that speak of what lies underneath, for it is not the body that could speak to this. Its eyes perceive it not; its senses remain quite unaware of it; its tongue cannot relay its messages. Yet God can bring you there, if you are willing to follow the Holy Spirit through seeming terror, trusting Him not to abandon you and leave you there. For it is not His purpose to frighten you, but only yours. You are severely tempted to abandon Him at the outside ring of fear, but He would lead you safely through and far beyond.’

I forgot again that the tests you give, unlike the ego’s, are never multiple choice,” I said. “Contingent on picking the best person, place, or thing in the world to substitute for the one Love I think I abandoned and now lack forever, or blaming the secretly circulating guilt over believing I pulled off that impossible divine homicide on some other lost-in-the-dream soul. Your tests are always and without exception true or false. None of these “maladaptive solutions to a nonexistent problem” (as Ken Wapnick so succinctly put it) mean anything because nothing outside my mind is true. Not the risks and not the benefits. Not the redemption and not the damnation. Not the crime and not the punishment (sorry Dostoyevsky) and or any of its big- or small-screen, 24/7 consequences. It’s false, not good or bad. Just false. With no power whatsoever to make me feel better or worse about myself.”

“‘Don’t look!’ the ego warns, ‘without my special glasses,’” I continued, “or you’ll be burnt toast. But what we’re always blinded to, what is always totally eclipsed when we’ve secretly donned the ego’s special glasses, is simply the brilliance of Truth within every mind that has never stopped shining, stories of brazen moons swooping in to grab the spotlight notwithstanding.”

“Well put!” he said. “Maybe those studies about learning loss over the summer aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”

He had a point. He always does. “Besides,” I said. “You’ve been here all along, right. You’d never really leave me, no matter what I think or do, would you?”

“Absolutely not,” he agreed.

We sipped our mimosas. This day was turning out a lot better than I could ever have imagined—ha!

“Just one more question,” I said, after a while. “Where does that leave me, Susan? On the spectrum of true or false, I mean.”

“Spectrum?” he asked.

Jesus,” I said. “That’s what I was afraid of!”

He smiled. “It’s almost September,” he said. “How about we just leave that lesson for another school year?”

“Cheers,” I said, lifting my mimosa and clinking my champagne flute against his. “See you in September.” I mean the blazing sun was out again—go figure—still all ‘lazy, hazy, crazy’–and that turquoise pool I’d dreamed up beckoned.

“The circle of fear lies just below the level the body sees, and seems to be the whole foundation on which the world is based. Here are all the illusions, all the twisted thoughts, all the insane attacks, the fury, the vengeance and betrayal that were made to keep the guilt in place, so that the world could rise from it and keep it hidden. Its shadow rises to the surface, enough to hold its most external manifestations in darkness, and to bring despair and loneliness to it and keep it joyless. Yet its intensity is veiled by its heavy coverings, and kept apart from what was made to keep it hidden. The body cannot see this, for the body arose from this for its protection, which depends on keeping it not seen. The body’s eyes will never look on it. Yet they will see what it dictates.” (Paragraph 4)

 

Foundation for A Course in Miracles Announcements

Latest Book

A Symphony of Love is an compilation of selected writings of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, including autobiographies, poetry, short stories, and articles. 

Programs through December 2017

Please view our latest Temecula Schedule page http://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx   to see the Seminars and Academy classes, including Live Streaming of the classes, currently scheduled through December 2017.

(You can register for upcoming live and streamed classes taught by the amazingly gifted Foundation for A Course in Miracles teaching staff; who continue to communicate Ken’s work with such clarity and grace, here: https://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx. I really can’t recommend these classes more highly! Rosemarie LoSasso and Jeff Seibert continue to gently encourage us to bring the darkness of all we’ve dreamt up to hurt us (whenever we’re choosing to feel victimized and justified in victimizing others) to the light of the part of every mind that knows only our shared innocence and need to find our way home. Their classes offer us a safe, non-judgmental “space” above the battleground in which to allow the healing of our frightened minds. (And often laugh a lot, too! 🙂 Check out my recent interviews with facim teachers Rosemarie LoSasso https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/talking-with-rosemarie-losasso-spring-2017/ and Jeff Seibert https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/talking-with-jeffrey-seibert-summer-2017/.)

New Audio Release

The Foundation is pleased to offer a previously unreleased audio title by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. This five-CD set entitled “There is a Light in You the World Can Not Perceive,” which was recorded in 2010, is also available as an MP3 Download.

­­­The Message of A Course in Miracles—Volume 1: All Are Called; Volume 2: Few Choose to Listen, Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
ON SALE: Regular price: $25.00  Sale Price: $8.00 (contains two separate paperback books)

 

The Message of A Course in Miracles is a two-part work, the purpose of which is to provide a comprehensive overview of the teachings of A Course in Miracles, with discussion and guidelines on how to avoid some common misconceptions of these teachings. Volume One, All Are Called, could indeed carry the subtitle, “What A Course in Miracles Says,” while Volume Two, Few Choose to Listen, could be subtitled “What A Course in Miracles Does Not Say.” The focus of the first volume is therefore on what the Course actually teaches, while the sequel focuses on the ways in which students have misunderstood A Course in Miracles, not only believing it is teaching something it is not, but also denying what its message truly is.

The first book provides students somewhat acquainted with the teachings of A Course in Miracles with a summary which will help meet their needs for an in-depth presentation of the Course’s principles, including a discussion of the practical implications of these principles with regard to religious and spiritual practice, and ethical, moral, and behavioral issues.

The purpose of Few Choose to Listen, as stated in the Introduction is “to guide students in how to avoid certain potential mistakes or confusions as they read, study, and implement into their daily lives the teachings of A Course in Miracles. Such sidestepping of errors will, it is hoped, be of help in clearing the way for the student to be more accessible to the Holy Spirit’s ‘particular care and guidance’ (M-29.2:6).”

 

LATEST AUDIO RELEASE
Last month the Foundation announced publication of a previously unreleased audio title by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. This three-CD set recorded in 2012 is entitled “Future loss is not your fear. But present joining is your dread.” and is also available as an MP3 Download.

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The Interviews page on my forays website been revised to make it easier to find and access interviews with Ken Wapnick and others including Gloria Wapnick, and FACIM staff teachers. These interviews provide a wealth of practical information about learning to live a truly forgiving life, as well as some history of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

In this NEW VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I discuss A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 194: “I place the future in the hands of God.” https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/videos/

In this RECENT VIDEO, my friend and fellow Course student Danielle Scruton and I discuss how to weather the ego’s “backlash.”  https://youtu.be/7cIV4kSUajU. 

In this RECENT VIDEO, my friend and fellow Course student Danielle Scruton and I discuss changing the purpose of romantic partnerships/marriage from specialness bargains to classrooms for learning to accept the atonement for ourselves https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n8pn760h0U&feature=em-upload_owner.

In this RECENT VIDEO, my friend and fellow Course student Danielle Scruton and I discuss how recognizing our neediness in our relationships can help us learn to become needless and discover our only real purpose and need. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5BJ0YqqQKs&feature=youtu.be

In this RECENT VIDEO, friend and fellow Course student and teacher Bruce Rawles and I discuss what it means to “accept the atonement for myself,” as talked about in A Course in Miracles Chapter 2 and workbook lesson 139. https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/videos/

In this RECENT VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I talk about the challenges of trying to practice A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 330: “I will not hurt myself again today.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4RJosel0zA&feature=youtu.be

In this NEW AUDIO CA Brooks, 12Radio, and I discuss workbook lesson 2: http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=7A62AA33-26B9-4187-86A952E64B1B0EF5.

  In this RECENT AUDIO CA Brooks, 12Radio, and I discuss A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 41: “God goes with me wherever I go,” and why this is a good thing! 🙂 http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=D6390D92-26B9-4187-865888BFB8D98D75

In this RECENT AUDIO, CA Brooks, 12Radio, and I talk about A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 186: “Salvation of the world depends on me.” (And thank God it’s not the “me” we think it is! :)) http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=DE52D9FE-26B9-4187-860F309BBB8F9B42

RECENT AUDIO, CA Brooks, 12Radio, and I discuss A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 190: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.” http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=9F396171-26B9-4187-8664560FBC62D238

In this RECENT AUDIO recording of a show I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, we review the practice of forgiveness through A Course in Miracles workbook lessons 5 and 34 http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=0C205831-26B9-4187-86FD0B745FCD31FE.

MY LATEST BOOK, FORGIVENESS: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS, http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Happiness-Susan-A-Dugan/dp/0983742022, along with my second book in the forgiveness essay collection series, FORGIVENESS OFFERS EVERYTHING I WANT: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Offers-Everything-I-Want/dp/0983742014/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=07RKZW8SHE2RNC209A2D  are currently DISCOUNTED on Amazon.

Schedule individual MENTORING sessions with Susan Dugan here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/personal-coaching  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 in the classroom of their lives 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 choose to 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. 

Susan’s mentoring sessions provide valuable support in our forgiveness practice from a Course student and teacher deeply committed to awakening through learning and living true forgiveness. While keenly aware of our resistance to Jesus’ loving message from first-hand experience, she remains faithful to opening her heart to the Course’s universal answer for all frightened hearts and to sharing her ongoing learning and growing trust with kindred faithful, but sometimes frightened and confused, fellow students.

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. (No one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay!)

OTHER RECENT AUDIOS: 

Here’s a recording I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, in which we talk about the importance of catching our unkind thoughts and judgments and looking at them with the part of our mind that sees no differences and makes no comparisons … even while watching the news! http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=584A85D9-26B9-4187-86B672216F9D08E7

A recording on Changing the Purpose of the Body from Prison to Classroom: http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=C936F436-26B9-4187-862BC523BC16D778, and another on what it means to go “above the battleground” (ACIM Text 23, Section IV) http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=13D9C907-26B9-4187-86F1370A394E8755

And a recording in which we talk about ACIM workbook lesson 101: “God’s will for me is perfect happiness” and 102: “I share God’s will for happiness for me.” http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=16BFF184-26B9-4187-86DD07743FBB7355  You’d think we’d like to hear that God’s will for us is perfect happiness, but we can’t possibly believe that and also believe we attacked God and threw his love away.  Following our inner Teacher’s path of true forgiveness begins to dissolve the guilt in our mind, teaching us that it was just silly to believe we could oppose God’s will and create a separate one. Allowing us to gradually accept that we deserve the happiness we share within God’s presence and could never really destroy.

OTHER RECENT VIDEOS:

Here’s a video I did with Bruce Rawles on sharing perception with the Holy Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S45pmt7ntQ4

Here’s a talk I did with Bruce Rawles on Section 16 of The Manual for Teachers: “How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgHjOcxzrwg&feature=youtu.be

In this VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I discuss A Course in Miracles lesson 190: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPqUpNmAmG0

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The Denver-based School for A Course in Miracles (formerly the School of Reason), an A Course-in-Miracles http://www.schoolforacourseinmiracles.org/ offers great new and ongoing classes based on Ken Wapnick’s teachings.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Center for A Course in Miracles http://www.centerforacourseinmiracles.org/index.html, is an educational Center whose focus is to teach what A Course in Miracles says, address common misunderstandings, and help students develop a relationship with their internal Teacher, inspired and guided by the teachings of the late Dr. Kenneth Wapnick.

In this video Bruce Rawles and I discuss themes from my most recent book, Forgiveness: The Key to Happiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vEbI3jH8Sk 

My good friend and fellow Course student, teacher, and author Bruce Rawles frequently invites me to chat with him on YouTube about the Course and Ken Wapnick’s teachings. He continues to compile lots of great ACIM information well worth checking out at ACIMblog.com.

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 ACIMvillage.com. Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website including recorded talks available for purchase or free download.

 

Comments

  1. More great reminders to look gently and kindly on our “worldly endeavors” (our compulsive dream repair technician thoughts and behavior) so that we can minimize our self-imposed detention in imagined hell. Thanks, Susan! 🙂

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