Talking with Jeff Seibert

facim Jeff SeibertJeffrey Seibert (along with colleagues and fellow teachers Rosemarie LoSasso and Loral Reeves) has worked closely with Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM.org) for decades. Jeff and Rosemarie continue to present Ken’s mind-healing message of forgiveness through the lens of their own forgiveness classrooms in their Foundation classes (live and streamed), truly teaching, to paraphrase the Course; that he did not die by demonstrating that he lives in them, and every one of us. Jeff has also worked in various office roles since joining the Foundation for A Course in Miracles staff in November 1992. In addition to teaching, he currently oversees the Foundation’s order department and performs a variety of other duties. You can read more about Jeff’s journey with A Course in Miracles here.

In one of your recent academy classes you pointed out something to the effect that it doesn’t matter when you are right-minded who you’re with or what you’re doing because you know you’re not really here, and neither is anyone else. But is that awareness the right mind or the real world? I have experienced that I’m the same as someone else and had that lovely shift in perception where the differences between us that seemed so paramount fall away and whatever is most loving in form just flows, but I have no conscious awareness (as opposed to intellectual understanding) that I and they are not really here in the world.

I think maybe a good way to think about it is that the idea that we’re not really here is always behind any experience we’re having that’s right-minded because that’s the Holy Spirit’s or Jesus’ true perception. So that’s always there underneath but we may not be in touch with it because of our own fear. But just as you described, recognizing our sameness, that’s one of the steps up the ladder toward that experience that we’re not really even here.

Well and I know the Course says that we’re not really here and I try to work with that, but sometimes when I do it becomes more a form of kind of shouting down the ego. It isn’t as effective for me as just trying to focus on asking for help to see that the other person is not the problem, not the enemy.

Yeah. I think an intermediate step is recognizing that things are not what they appear to be. That’s not the same as saying that we’re not here but it is saying that my perception of what’s going on here on so many different levels is most likely mistaken.

Along the lines of that workshop you and Rosemarie did recently about learning to be happily wrong?

The last seminar we did in June.

That’s a helpful practice that I’ve been using a lot in all sorts of situations. Reminding myself that I’m wrong about the cause of whatever I seem to be experiencing. And that trying to figure it out is counterproductive and just makes it seem more real.

Yes. You need to just deal with what’s in front of you but you kind of have that split awareness that it isn’t what it appears to be. It’s not saying I’m not really here when it sure feels like I am. That intermediate step can be just realizing that this seems very, very real to me but I can accept that things are just not what they appear to be. And what seems to be the cause here, while I might be able to get a lot of people to agree with me about it; I’m still wrong. And that’s where Ken’s little book When 2 + 2 = 5  https://bookstore.facim.org/p-329-when-2-2-5-reflecting-love-in-a-loveless-world.aspx (also in audio format) I think is just so very helpful in understanding that. We operate within these laws of the world but again; nothing is what it seems to be.

Just by considering that possibility that things are not what they seem—all the drama that’s going on that people around you are taking so seriously and you find yourself taking so seriously and certainly seems very serious and even dire—you are stepping back to the mind, just by questioning the cause, right?

Oh, yes, absolutely. Just to be able to have that thought, that willingness to acknowledge that maybe I’m wrong and everyone else is wrong about what we think is happening here.

And yet, you kind of join with others on the level that they’re at, pretending that it must all be real, right? I mean, that’s the kind thing to do?

Definitely. It’s really just an inner perspective and has nothing to do with how you then are behaving in form. The content of it then can be different as you go through it: you’re responding, you’re acknowledging their concern and expressing concern yourself, but there isn’t that same level of fear and identification with the fear because at some level there isn’t that identification with the body.

Right. Thank you, I think that answers that question.

This one is also related to one of the academies you gave recently that I think was related to a question someone asked and I wondered more about later. You were citing Chapter 22 VI. Paragraph 13, line 10, which says: “And therefore it is necessary that you have other experiences, more in line with truth, to teach you what is natural and true.” The question that came up in the class was whether this suggests that we have “happy dreams” or peaceful experiences? Perhaps in situations or relationships previously fraught with conflict, where the same issue may be coming up but I now feel peaceful?  Because I think a lot of times as Course students we want to think that the Course’s “happy dreams” mean big improvements (in form) in our personal lives or something.

Right. Well, just going back to the last seminar we gave, what we think we need to be happy is all ego-based. So the ego’s definition of the happy dream is getting what we want. And the Holy Spirit’s definition is realizing that my peace and joy doesn’t really depend on anything external so it could go whatever way it goes in form and it is possible for me to be peaceful. It doesn’t mean that I will always remember or be willing to acknowledge that the peace is there, but if it even gets us to recognize that there is some kind of a choice involved at this point, that opens the door. Even if I want at some level to stay caught in the drama of whatever it is that’s going on because I’m not getting what I think I need or want.

Yeah. And it almost seems like as we work with the Course that there are two things going on. There’s the me that is choosing to participate in the drama and then there is this other sort of watching, peaceful self that must be with the Holy Spirit/Jesus or would not be feeling that everything’s really OK, right?

Yeah. And it’s really the same mind that’s split between those two choices.

Right. But it’s a more simultaneous experience than it was at the beginning where I’d feel all the way sided with the ego, the drama, and then I’d have to consciously back up. Now it seems sort of simultaneous.

That’s very helpful. It sounds like there’s some progress being made because that perspective is more accessible. Before it took more effort to get there and now it’s more available because you’ve been practicing.

Baby steps, baby steps. So the happy dream, and I just want to get this kind of clearly defined here because I think it can be so misunderstood; it has nothing to do with how things go here in form in the world in my dream?

Absolutely nothing! And actually that’s good news. To the ego, of course, it’s bad news. But it is really good news because then it means that it really doesn’t matter at all what seems to be happening here. That’s such freedom if we can really get it.

Yes it is; thank you, Jeff. You know I listen to Ken’s CDs all the time and he says so many times that the peace of God is not a feeling but an absence of feeling, nothing positive or negative, just still, serene. I’ve had many instants of that but are there also right-minded feelings such as gratitude, joy, compassion? I often have those kinds of feelings well up when I’m reading the Course, during Foundation classes, in teaching the Course, or in imaginary dialogue with Jesus. Can that be an interim step, along the same lines as the happy dream question, where we have those kinds of comforting feelings? I mean, are those valid?

Sure. These kinds of feelings still seem to be experienced in the body but it’s really a right-minded way of interpreting what we do seem to be experiencing here. I remember a long time ago Ken was talking about an experience where he had a realization while he was on the beach after his divorce and suddenly had this feeling that he was forgiven, that he was loved. And he said he just burst into tears, but they were of joy, this sense of relief from the guilt. I think that’s what’s behind these sorts of feelings you describe. We may not realize that’s what it is. But there’s a lot of tension always with guilt, it’s just part of the territory. When we let go of that, that relief and release, we may experience as gratitude or joy or something like that but it’s really a stepping back from whatever it was we were caught in with the guilt. So the contrast will be a feeling.

That makes sense. And for me there’s almost always a sort of realization when I have those feelings that I am still loved and loving, which so much of the time I feel I’m not because of that underlying guilt over secretly believing we pushed God’s love away. That’s really what brought me to the Course in the first place, this inner sense of feeling like an imposter or something.

Yes. And there’s a lot of denial and resistance involved with that identification as an imposter, a lot of fear, a lot of pain, and any time we are able to step back from that, there’s going to be that sense of a different feeling replacing it in contrast. So even though the peace of God may be an absence of feeling I think it’s just inevitable that along the way we’re going to interpret it as a feeling that’s in contrast to what we’re otherwise just experiencing all the time.

Until we’re in the real world and know that we’re not here?

Yeah, then there’s no question that I’m forgiven—in fact, there’s nothing to be forgiven and guilt is not real. There’s total trust at that point.

OK, Jeff. I’m going to have to trust you on that.

(MUTUAL LAUGHTER)

In another academy class I liked what you said about how we confuse the “spiritual ego” with the Holy Spirit—which Ken talked about a lot, too. You said that the spiritual ego is always saying look at what a bad Course student you are, throwing Jesus under the bus like this. So my question is any harshness or self-judgment we experience around practicing the Course is always an example of the ego joining the journey, correct?

Yeah. There can be certain times when a correction is right-minded, such as when Jesus was pointing out to Helen and Bill what their egos were doing. But if you then feel guilty about it you may feel like you’re being judged. But if we can really just hear the love that’s behind [those kinds of passages in the Course] then we realize it is a loving correction, not a judgment.

Well, I think as students for a long time as we begin to really pay attention to our thoughts and judgments and catch ourselves in the act of being unloving it’s kind of inevitable that we’re going to then condemn ourselves, right?

Yeah, and feel guilty about it. The ego always wants to jump in and judge when we’ve been looking at what we’re doing.

I wonder if you could give any more examples of how the “spiritual ego” presents, maybe in subtle ways, because it’s often hard to recognize the ego’s sneaky involvement.

Well, I think when we feel that we’ve been kind and experience a sense of satisfaction about that and then feel good about ourselves as a result.

Oh, that.

(MUTUAL LAUGHTER)

And it’s not the kind of thing we were talking about before where there’s a sense of relief to know that there’s this other kind and loving part within me. It’s when there’s a desire to take credit for it, even if I don’t need other people to recognize it but am using it within to make myself feel better or good. Maybe not to tell others, but I want to make sure Jesus knows.

That sort of patting yourself on the back and saying to Jesus, whew, they were really challenging, right? But look how well I handled it.

(MUTUAL LAUGHTER)

Yeah, exactly. As you’re suggesting, anything that makes the differences between us real and important is a clue. It can seem spiritual but it is reinforcing a sense of differences. I think experiences of that gratitude for teaching the Course we were talking about are fine but if there is a sense of achievement or accomplishment around what I have done or am doing; that’s the ego slipping in. The point with all of this, too, is not to try to stop it, but just to recognize what’s always behind it, that there’s always a re-identification with the guilt and then somehow I need to do something with that guilt; either to try to put somebody else down or try to build myself up.

That’s a good example. I just teach a small, weekly class, but I know that even if I become identified while teaching with my personal self in any way, say if someone seems to be giving me a hard time or arguing with the material or something and I start to feel that separation between us; then anything I was saying (which shouldn’t be coming from me anyway); I start to lose it. And I realize I’m no longer useful to anyone at that point.

Yeah. And the goal is not to try to stop the judgment or self-judgment, the goal is to recognize why the judgments are there. Because the judgments really are a symptom or a cue that tells me I’ve re-identified with the guilt which means that I’ve pushed Jesus away, pushed the Holy Spirit away. And that’s really the fundamental problem.

One of the things we’ve started looking at in the Thursday class [taught weekly by Jeff or Rosemarie at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles in Temecula, California] is the idea of spending the day with Jesus, which is something that Ken had talked about.

Please talk more about that.

Well, it was a recording that Rosemarie had played at her last class before I was to teach and I happened to have an opportunity to listen to that particular class and Ken was talking about when he was in some situations the world would see as difficult where he had to decide whether he’d spend his time with Helen or his family or sit next to Helen or his mother. And he ended up saying it wasn’t a difficult choice because he knew he was spending the day with Jesus so none of the rest really was anything to be in conflict over. If you’re spending the day with Jesus, you can’t be in conflict.

And it just hit me that that’s a very reasonable goal to have for myself each day, to say that I want to spend the day with Jesus. And it doesn’t mean that I do spend all or even most of the day with Jesus but it becomes a way of then just recognizing when I’m ignoring him. Because he’s always with me, I’m just not always with him.

Right.

And so that’s really the fundamental problem. So whenever I have forgotten Jesus and am ignoring him, that’s when the guilt comes up and that’s when I’m going to find myself caught in judgment of some sort. So something Ken has always emphasized is that the problem really is that we pushed the love away. And there was just something about hearing Ken talk about spending the day with Jesus that I found very helpful and so have been emphasizing that in class since, reminding people that it’s something to practice. And to try and think about what that means.

When you’re new to the Course, it’s going to mean something different than it means after you’ve been practicing a while. We understand at a deeper and deeper level what the Course is telling us about who we are and who Jesus is and where we’re spending the day, which is obviously in the mind. It’s not really bringing him here into the world as we’re going through our activities, although that may be where we begin. It’s more just recognizing that there’s an inner presence that I can be aware of whenever I want. And when I’m not in touch with that love, there will be guilt, and the way I know there’s guilt is when I’m judging. So to just try to stop the judgments and say I shouldn’t be doing this doesn’t really solve the underlying problem.

Exactly. I really like the practice you’re describing. It’s a different way of thinking about practicing forgiveness, as spending the day with Jesus. How you can make that part of setting your goal for the day and checking back in throughout the day, maybe similar to what’s talked about in the Rules for Decision in the Text and How Does a Teacher of God Spend His Day in the Manual. I think the goal of spending your day with Jesus really is a good way of remembering our only mind-healing function of forgiveness, and kind of reaches you wherever you happen to be on the journey or the ladder home from the body to the mind.

Yeah, exactly. And that’s one of the really great things about the Course and Ken’s teaching as well. And we realize it when we go back to things that we’ve read in the Course or have read or heard in Ken’s teaching and read them or listen to them now and think, I didn’t realize that’s what this was saying.

You can hear so much more of it.

You were talking about setting the goal for the day and actually the context in our Thursday class where I brought up the idea of spending the day with Jesus was we were just beginning to look at what it means to be an advanced teacher of God. We’d been going through the December 2012 Lighthouse newsletter on “Living A Course in Miracles as a Wrong Mind, Right Mind, and Advanced Teacher of God.” (https://bookstore.facim.org/p-383-from-the-lighthouse-to-look-upon-darkness-through-light-must-dispel-it.aspx)

We finally started discussing the section on the advanced teacher. And Ken quotes how the advanced teacher of God keeps in constant contact with the Answer. (M-16.1:8-9) Well, I was going to focus on that discussion in the next class and then I heard Ken talking about spending the day with Jesus and it hit me that that’s really the same thing, being in constant contact with the Answer. And Ken was saying there was no conflict because he was spending the day with Jesus which means he was in constant contact with the Answer. So, it was another way of framing that goal for ourselves. As we’re trying to allow the undoing of all of the ego, it’s a very helpful way of remembering that that presence is always right there with us.

Even when you’re in resistance, that presence is always there within your mind. Because I’ve had a lot of experiences lately of that dark night of feeling that Jesus has disappeared, has abandoned me. It had always worked for me before to remember the presence of Jesus and suddenly it seemed to stop working. But maybe it’s kind of that simultaneous awareness we were talking about earlier where just setting spending the day with Jesus as your goal and then refraining from berating yourself for not feeling something can be a way of realizing you’re not really abandoned.

Yeah. We may not be in touch with that presence but as the trust grows, we trust that it is there even if at this moment we’re not experiencing it.

Right. Thank you so much for that.

Here’s another question from a recent academy class and it was probably the one entitled “The Body: A Chronic Illness,” where you said something to the effect that sometimes what the world calls healing is really trading special hate for special love. And the example you gave was people concluding that their serious illness helped them see how much another person means to them, that sort of thing.

Yes. I don’t want to diminish the fact that that could be a right- or wrong-minded awareness, but there is that risk when we experience a relationship that has been very difficult as having been healed or where there was conflict and there now doesn’t seem to be any that what can then come in its place is a kind of dependency.

Where you go right back to special love and that needing the other person to be happy, whole?

Yeah.

And also people often have a sense of epiphany after a serious illness where they’ll say effectively that the most important thing now is my life as a body. So now I have to really defend and protect that and put myself first and everybody else second.

Right, but it’s still about me and the world. And not to say in terms of climbing the ladder home that those kinds of experiences may not be steps but if you’re a student of the Course you still want to recognize that there’s been some healing but there’s really more healing that needs to happen. When you asked this question I realized what comes to mind for me is those “Hallmark moments” that we’re all familiar with. The Hallmark movies that have these wonderful, happy endings that seem like healing but if you scratch below the surface you realize there’s something else going on. It’s a special love relationship now that has been established.

And sometimes that’s just a deeper retreat into the dream, too, right, a kind of detour, a way of saying I don’t really want to consider that this is all only about healing the mind and so I have to bolster up the dream more?

Yeah, exactly. Now I am getting what I want and I am happy.

Right. None of that ever really worked out very well for me.

You could say actually that that’s a reflection at another level of your willingness to get to what really matters.

Well, either way, I never really thought I would start to be kind of maybe not grateful yet, but able to see that the inability to deny, to shut out the darkness of the world, the dream, is in some ways helpful. To be able to see that this is not working really is helpful.

There’s the motivation, really. Unfortunately for most of us the motivation to avoid the pain is still more powerful than the motivation for peace. Not to say that there isn’t a shift that’s happening and as we have those experiences we do realize we do want that peace and we trust more.

Well, it’s like the pain still has to get pretty excruciating to get my full attention.

Right.

So here’s another question about the purpose of the body. From my understanding of the Course my decision-making mind’s choice to experience physical or emotional sickness can be given a right- or a wrong-minded purpose. I can use it to justify my sense of unfair treatment or as a classroom in which I learn I am not a guilty body but an innocent, invulnerable mind. So even though theoretically the body doesn’t need to age or experience illness, it still has to have the appearance of eventually aging and dying of something, right? It’s just that the mind will not experience pain or distress over the body’s aging or illness if it’s choosing to identify with the loving mind, is that correct? Because the body still does what bodies do?

Yeah. We kind of collectively agreed this was going to be the nature of the body, the form of it and how things progress over time, the laws of 2 + 2 = 4 we were talking about before. And so the laws of aging we’ve pretty much agreed to, except for maybe somebody like a Hindu avatar who can come in and out of the dream. But the fact that somebody doesn’t seem to age as rapidly as somebody else doesn’t really indicate anything at all about their spiritual development. It could just be good genes. 

And that’s just part of whatever script you’re experiencing, right?

Yeah.

Healing has nothing to do with the body, right? That’s one thing in the Course that can be very confusing because of the way the Course meets us in the condition we think we’re in. For example, I was just re-reading in the Manual the section on “How Is Healing Accomplished?” And I started reading it on my own and I thought, I need to go look at Ken’s Journey Through the Manual https://bookstore.facim.org/p-24-journey-through-the-manual-of-a-course-in-miracles.aspx because you really can take this in a wrong direction. For those of us still identified with bodies, it sounds like Jesus is saying that the body’s healing is witnessing to the healing of the mind and that’s not at all what the Course is saying, right?

Yeah. That’s not to say that that might not be our experience at times. But the problem is when we make that our goal. I know that Ken has said that if the symptom is really coming from guilt that if the guilt disappears then the symptom should disappear unless it’s also there to serve another right-minded purpose.

And we have no way of judging or knowing that, right?

Right; we can’t know that. There’s so much that really is unconscious and to try to understand it is futile.

Even if the symptom continues, though, you can still experience peace, right? That’s the whole point. Peace is in the mind, not the brain. So in that sense you’re being right-minded and experiencing true healing, which is of the mind, not the body?

Right. That’s the only true healing.

I still sometimes get confused, and it seems that so many people have taken the Course in the direction of healing the body, and interpreting that as proof of a healed mind.

Yeah. I know that the audio of Ken’s called Silent Testimony: the Power of Healing https://bookstore.facim.org/p-311-silent-testimony-the-power-of-healing.aspx  discusses that idea in terms of the form versus the underlying content.

That’s a wonderful CD set. And I was actually just listening to the CD set The Arc of Peace https://bookstore.facim.org/p-46-the-ark-of-peace.aspx where Ken says something really strident and clear about how what the body does or doesn’t do physically is of no importance whatsoever. So I guess that’s pretty absolute.

Yes.

OK, so the next question is about the June seminar you and Rosemarie gave–which was really great, by the way–about whether we’d rather be right or happy, in which you stated that “consciousness is the decision maker.”

Yes.

And it seemed like that statement caused light bulbs to go off for a lot of people. I am paraphrasing, but you went on to say something like it’s not really that we are not aware of the decision maker. It’s just that we are not aware of the right and wrong mind because we’re dreaming we’re a body rather than a decision-making mind. Which explains why, as Course students, we often feel victimized by our own decision-making mind; as if the decision-maker is plotting something dire in our script from behind the scenes, as someone put it in one of your other classes. 

I really related to that fear of our own decision-maker. I understand the Course is saying that I’m not really here in the dream so I can’t have left the decision-making mind in truth, but what seems to happen is I’ll be feeling very right-minded and something seemingly very threatening suddenly comes up in my life. And I get worried that because I was experiencing an extended period of right-mindedness; the decision-maker outside the dream became afraid and chose the ego again which was projected as something very scary happening to make the body real again. Does that make any sense?

I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure why anything happens since there are right- and wrong-minded reasons for everything and you really can’t judge that. For whatever reason, now that it’s there in my experience it’s always a question of how am I going to look at it, that’s really the only thing that we want to focus on. The only real problem is that we are mistaken in what we are identified with, but the only real consciousness is the decision-maker, [not the personal self we identify with]. As Rosemarie was saying, we made a decision not to remember we are the decision maker.

All of consciousness, the collective consciousness before there was any fragmentation, that’s the decision maker. But when the fragmentation seemed to occur, it then seems like we are one little piece of consciousness, but that’s not true. Essentially what we seemed to have done when we fragmented was to make all the rest of it unconscious but it’s all really part of the one decision-making mind. There really aren’t all these little individual decision makers running around, there really is just the one decision-making mind that seems to have fragmented. The same mind that is dreaming Jeff is also dreaming Susan. But because of the fragmentation, it seems like we have our own individual consciousness but it’s really just part of the same error. And Jesus is saying he’s not concerned with individual consciousness.

In a sense then, it seems like we can be victims of our individual decision maker but it’s really the collective decision maker and we are really not victims. There’s so much that’s unconscious that any little fragment of seemingly separated consciousness can’t know all of why anything is happening, what purpose it’s serving or what meaning it has other than whether we’re choosing to give it a right- or a wrong-minded purpose right now. So that’s the only thing that we do want to make increasingly conscious in our mind is that content, nothing about any of the specifics or why anything does or doesn’t happen. Because we’ve split almost all of that off essentially so we can be a victim.

But the power to choose how I’m going to look at this (right- or wrong-mindedly) is there in every seemingly separate fragment even if all, or nearly all of the specifics are unconscious. And each little fragment lets a little bit in that I seem to be aware of, I seem to know about, I seem to have some control or choice about. And that’s the trap. Because then that just increases my identification as this separate fragment.

So the truth is we do have the power right now to give anything that seems to be happening to us a right-minded purpose, and that would always result in an experience of somehow not seeing ourselves as different, separate, victimized, or somehow special?

Yes, definitely. Now we usually start with an experience where we react to something in terms of how it’s affecting me personally, so that is that wrong-minded perspective. But at some point we recognize that is my wrong mind that’s focusing on my separate interests, my personal needs. And not only does that not make me happy, it’s not true. This illusion of separate, fragmented minds is what the ego wants to reinforce in our experience and when I realize it isn’t really the specific things that are going on that are making me unhappy, it really is the fact that I feel like I’m separate and apart from love, I can come to some recognition that that’s really the only problem. That’s really developing that right-minded identification that allows me to say no to the wrong mind. And so, what you were talking about earlier, being able to see my interests as the same as my brother’s, is a way of beginning to undo that isolation, the painful experience of just focusing on me and my needs.

Right. And it does seem like increasingly for me as I practice and work with the Course that the sense of isolation I experience when I’m wrong-minded is so much more terrible. There really is a literal sense of solitary confinement, a sense that I’ll never get out of this isolated cell. And I remember Ken talking about the increasing pain of choosing the ego. Because the more we look at it and pay attention to it we become more aware of how it feels. And actually, my next question leads right into that.

OK, but I like your image of solitary confinement. That’s very powerful. And, of course, what the ego doesn’t want us to realize is that it’s self-imposed.

Yes. But it’s that experience of how terrible it feels that makes us choose again.

It just becomes increasingly intolerable, that’s the motivation.

Well, actually the next question is about how in that same seminar you and Rosemarie talked a lot about how everything experienced by a body arises from the decision maker’s mistaken belief in separation. You also talked about the importance of paying attention to how miserable we feel when we’re judging because that’s what opens the door to the right mind. 

In one of Ken’s CDs, I heard him say something similar to the effect that the Course is lowering our threshold for tolerating the pain of separation.  In a way that’s how it feels. I think our tolerance, our denial of the pain that we’re in from believing we’re here in a guilty body that separated from God is so high in the beginning because we’re so focused on projecting it outside ourselves. But then we start looking within through the Course and see we’re choosing to experience this. And we begin to really feel that solitary confinement that was really always there. I just wondered if you could comment any more on that. 

I think as you said, we just become increasingly aware of how much pain we’re in and the Course helps us recognize where it’s really coming from. Because as long as we attribute it to circumstances and situations outside ourselves, then all of our energy is spent in trying to change those externals. And then when we do get what we want, we think somehow that the pain has gone away and I think that’s probably the ego’s biggest trap and trick. The so-called ego pleasures really have pain underneath them, still, if we just scratch below the surface. The pleasure is always the brief cessation of this experience of lack and want that keeps saying that it’s real and I need to get something from outside me. And that’s really painful, that just keeps that sense of being separated and isolated reinforced in our mind. So even when we seem to be getting what we want we don’t realize we still are reinforcing that pain of separation.

So when you begin to realize that all the tricks of the ego don’t work anymore, the things we used to be able to escape into, from our ego’s perspective that seems like a bad thing, but in terms of our healing that really is a helpful thing. It is giving us an opportunity to go back to the mind where the real healing can be found. To be able to recognize that this solitary confinement really is self-imposed; there’s the only real freedom again, realizing that it’s a choice. We’re motivated more by the pain but we can at least now use the pain as an index of a faulty choice, to take us back to the place where the choice was made, where the real power is. As Ken always says, Jesus is addressing us always as a decision-making mind, not as the body that we think we are and that’s really the good news. Because basically it’s saying that we may have buried it, but that choice is still always there. There is such power in that, such freedom.

Yeah. I really could relate to what you were saying about how we begin to see that even the “pleasures” of this world that we use to try to fill this sense of lack, to appease our neediness–the people and things that help us feel better about ourselves–don’t really work the way they used to. I had an experience visiting my daughter in Seattle recently where I was so looking forward to seeing her and I miss her so much. She moved there a year ago after graduating from college and it’s been really hard. 

But I realized while visiting this time that she can’t really make me happy or sad, that that was never really true. And it was a painful realization. But I also realized that it was leading me to freedom. Visiting didn’t take the underlying lack, that need to fill it away that I was hoping it would. I had already realized over the past year that believing that I need her presence to feel better, happy, is not kind or even healthy. But during this last visit I saw that it doesn’t really even work and wasn’t even true. I’ve been lying to myself.

Yeah, we need to make that connection, that’s really powerful.

I think it is, ultimately. And it was good ultimately to see that it doesn’t destroy the relationship, looking at that, or threaten in any way the enormous love I feel for her. That maybe boundless love without need really is possible.

And again, like we were saying earlier about judgment. It’s not like you want to stop what you’re doing. You just want to realize that the only reason we’re looking for all of that in these kinds of relationships and believing that we’ve found it in the past and wanting to hold onto it still is always just coming from this underlying belief in our lack, that’s the real problem. And that does have a solution. That’s always the good news.

And the solution is spending your day with Jesus, right?

(MUTUAL LAUGHTER)

Yeah, exactly.

Because if you’re in touch with that true relationship with universal love within, the lack disappears?

That’s it. The only reason we would experience lack is we’re not remembering that, yes. And again, that’s what makes it so simple. The fact is we can’t get rid of Jesus even if we want to.

I’ve tried very hard.

(MUTUAL LAUGHTER)

We can ignore him; that’s about as good as we can do.

That guy just doesn’t take a hint, does he?

No.

(MUTUAL LAUGHTER)

Well, that’s a good place to conclude this on an upbeat note. Just remember to set the goal of spending your day with Jesus. Thank you so much for taking time to share your teaching and practice of the Course with us all, Jeff. And thank you so much for your continuing classes with Rosemarie at the Foundation, and carrying on Ken’s mind-healing work. We are so lucky to be learning and healing with you.

 

Foundation for A Course in Miracles Announcements

Programs through October 2016

Please view our latest Temecula Schedule page https://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx   to see the Seminars and Academy classes, including Live Streaming of the classes, currently scheduled through October 2016.
You can register for upcoming live and streamed classes (AND GET THE NEW SCHEDULE) taught by the amazingly gifted Foundation for A Course in Miracles teaching staff; who continue to communicate Ken’s teachings 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! :)) If you haven’t read it yet, check out my recent interview with Rosemarie LoSasso here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/talking-with-rosemarie-losasso

Latest Audio Releases

The Foundation is pleased to offer two previously unreleased audio titles by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. The first of these is a five-CD set entitled ” ‘A Hawk from a Handsaw; Discerning the Holy Spirit,” recorded in 2010, and the second is a three-CD set entitled ” The Godspot: Spirit or Body,” recorded in 2006. Both titles are also available as MP3 CDs and MP3 Downloads.

Super Inventory Sale

We are continuing to clear out the warehouse of all printed books as we make the transition to electronic books. After the current supply of books is sold, the books will not be reprinted, and will be available only in digital download format.

You may view all of the books currently on sale here. Please note that some orders may take up to two weeks to ship after the order is received.

 

Closeout of Single DVDs
Classes on the Text of A Course in Miracles
Classes on the Manual of A Course in Miracles

Single DVDs of the Classes on the Text and the Classes on the Manual are now available for $3.00 each. This sale is restricted to the stock on hand, which is very, very limited. You can view the DVDs of the Classes on the Text here, beginning with the Introduction through Chapter 31. The DVDs of the Classes on the Manual can be viewed here, beginning with Volume 1 through Volume 10.

 

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Here’s a NEW VIDEO I did with Bruce Rawles, discussing 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

Here’s a NEW AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12 Radio, 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

Here’s a RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on ACIM workbook lesson 138: “Heaven is the decision I must make.” Despite the countless decisions that appear to confront us throughout our days there is really only one choice to make right now: Heaven or hell? Do I choose to side with the inner teacher of separate interests and root myself more deeply in this dream of exile from all-inclusive Love or choose the inner teacher that will help me take another step toward awakening to our prevailing innocence? http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=AC6D703F-26B9-4187-86E87DD038247D38

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

In this RECENT 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

Here’s a RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on 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. Here’s a NEW AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on

Schedule individual MENTORING sessions 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. 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!)

The Denver-based School for A Course in Miracles (formerly the School of Reason), an A Course-in-Miracles teaching organization, has a beautiful new website: http://www.schoolforacourseinmiracles.org/, with information on 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.

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.

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. I have been studying ACIM for about 27 years. I attended workshops and an academy class for a week in the 1990’s when the Foundation for a Course in Miracles was in Roscoe NY. I attended many workshops and have all the newsletters from the 90s to when they finished after Ken’s death. I have met Jeff Seiberg, Rosemary LoSasso.Ken and Gloria Wapnick. Loved and remember those time as a great learning experience. I have all the books Ken has written including the little gems, I believe eight in all. Ken had written at Gloria ‘s request. Love to all. <3. Jeff I believe you sold most of Ken's books to me. Thank you . I still read them including the blue book ACIM.

  2. Hi Josephine:

    I have been out of town, and for some reason did not receive a notification of your comment and just noticed it now.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with Ken, Jeff, and Rosemarie from the Foundation’s early days. We are so lucky to have Jeff and Rosemarie continuing to carry on Ken’s mind-healing teaching!

    Kind regards,
    Susan

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