The egg that cracked

(Here’s another excerpt from my essay collection, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want. Hope you enjoy!)

120px-Egg_foodWhen my daughter was in kindergarten she won an award in our school district’s “Young Authors” competition for a picture book she wrote and illustrated entitled The Egg That Cracked. The story involved an egg fearful of cracking, of giving up its shell to the life within. One day the long stationary egg found itself rolling down a big hill, terrified. At the bottom it hit a rock, cracked open, and discovered it was not the shell after all, but the baby bird within. In the nostalgic frenzy I currently find myself in preceding my daughter’s impending high school graduation I have been frantically searching for that book, along with a number of other missing talismen of our early life together,  including a diary she kept during a family visit to Paris at around the same age (but that’s another story).

The book about the egg came to mind last week when I awoke to a shocking ambush of emotion over the encroaching transformation of our relationship from live-in parent/child to the maturing long-distance variety. I had just been congratulating myself and bragging to a friend about my ability to embrace this perfectly normal passage calmly and philosophically, knowing the time had more than arrived for my daughter to test her own already vigorously flapping wings. And then, without warning, I found myself plunged into this darkest of places, grieving and consumed with regret over how quickly it all had passed, how elusive so many of my perfect parent/child fantasies had proven, much like the  photos and mementos I couldn’t seem to locate now.

As I sat with Jesus (that symbol of the awakened mind used in A Course in Miracles) and a box of tissues watching Susan rummaging in yet another file cabinet for documentation of her parenting role, all the special roles I seemed to have played in this lifetime bobbed to the Magic-8-Ball screen of my puny little brain for review. Can I survive the relinquishment of these roles, I wondered aloud, to you know who. Because releasing them felt like death to the self I still think I am.

Jesus just shook his head and smiled.

Even though I was in no mood for reality, I already knew the answer. My identification with the self I think I am would eventually have to go, along with the roles I created for Susan to play and then forget she was only playing. I would have to release my investment in these roles, and costars, sets and costumes. Not in the scary, obliterating, cataclysmic manner the ego keeps describing in gory detail but gently, gradually, kindly with a proverbial Jesus at my proverbial side. I would need to turn my fear of cracking the self I still think I am over to the part of my mind that knows no fissures. And then wait for these blocks to the awareness of love’s presence crafted from the secret fear I destroyed eternal love with my desire to experience individuality to pass. I would have to quit resisting the inevitable ride down that big hill, to trust that facing my fear of cracking wide open would finally reveal my true identity instead of the bleak emptiness a part of my mind could not stop picturing.

Jesus was getting on my nerves again with that little knowing smile of his so I took a break in my wallowing to open the big, blue book to a random page for a second opinion–a practice I refer to as A Course in Miracles as Ouija Board–and had to laugh. In Chapter 15, V. The Holy Instant and Special Relationships, paragraph 3, I read:

You cannot love parts of reality and understand what love means. If you would love unlike to God who knows no special love, how can you understand it? To believe that special relationships with special love, can offer you salvation is the belief that separation is salvation. For it is the complete equality of the Atonement in which salvation lies. How can you decide that special aspects of the Sonship can give you more than others? The past has taught you this. Yet the holy instant teaches you it is not so.

I was sitting beside Jesus again, acutely aware of all the highs and lows my special relationship with my daughter has offered as well as the roller coaster ride of all the other special loves I had turned to for salvation in this personal past. Acutely aware that—conceived from a finite thought system that seeks to mete out the punishment it thinks we deserve over that original belief in separation from our source realized—so-called love in all its seeming forms here in the dream can’t help but constantly morph into different forms and cannot, by its very nature, stay.

Because of guilt, all special relationships have elements of fear in them. This is why they shift and change so frequently. They are not based on changeless love alone. And love, where fear has entered, cannot be depended on because it is not perfect. (from paragraph 4)

Fortunately, we can transform our special relationships to holy (whole) relationships by taking responsibility for the belief that we exist separately back to the part of our mind that knows only the whole love we are and have always been. In the holy (whole) instant outside this tale of time in which we accept the right mind’s uninterrupted, benevolently amused certainty that the separation from perfect oneness was just a tiny, mad, idea completely void of consequences, we discover the one life within that has been waiting for us all along. In so doing, our mind is healed of the need to find its identity outside itself. We crack wide open to embrace the eternal, joyful present in which our attachment to the form of our special relationships dissolves, leaving behind only the infinitely loving content we continue to share and can always count on.

A Course in Miracles is not telling us to get rid of our special relationships but to change our mind about their purpose. To recognize the many ways in which we use them to reinforce a bogus belief in dueling interests, how we employ them as human shields to defend against our awareness of the only real relationship we have: our one relationship with our one creator with whom we are seamlessly fused in our one mind in ways beyond the comprehension of non-existent brains specifically invented by a guilty ego to accept only dualistic lies. We need to recognize what our clinging to specialness and exclusion has cost us with our inner teacher and choose again for the part of our mind that remains happily unaffected by our hallucinations and continues to smile the gentle, knowing smile of the eternally present.

God knows you now. The holy instant reflects His knowing by bringing all perception out of the past, thus removing the frame of reference you have built by which to judge your brothers. Once this is gone, the Holy Spirit substitutes His frame of reference for it. His frame of reference is simply God. For in the holy instant, free of the past, you see that love is in you, and you have no need to look without and snatch love guiltily from where you thought it was. (paragraph 9)

Even though I am not yet ready to let go of this shell called Susan completely, in honestly recognizing and forgiving the fear underlying that reluctance with Jesus/Holy (Whole) Spirit/right mind I can—for a moment—step out of time and allow the egg of false identity to crack. Thereby admitting a little more of the light in our one, united mind to shine away the dark idea that love has or ever could vacate the premises.

Here’s a link to details about a new Saturday workshop and new Tuesday night class I am offering here in Denver https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/classes-events beginning in May 2014.

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles is offering Kenneth Wapnick’s two-part work The Message of A Course in Miracles as well as “What It Says”: From the Preface of A Course in Miracles on sale only to online customers during the month of April.

Now, when you buy on Amazon, you can support The Foundation for A Course in Miracles, too! Details here: http://www.facim.org/announcements.aspx

Here’s a link to an outpouring of moving tributes to our late, beloved teacher Ken Wapnick, who deeply touched, and taught (and continues to teach) so many of us how to heal our minds, with an absolute grace that robustly lives on: https://www.facim.org/kenneth-wapnick-memorial-tributes.aspx

I enjoyed talking again with CA Brooks of 12Radio as a guest speaker on her weekly program about ACIM. http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=2EEBB2C3-1143-DC70-C4E17B70B16F3A15  

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

My dear friend and wonderful teacher Lyn Corona continues to offer wonderful new 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.

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/.

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 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 is also available at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center in Denver, Colorado, where I teach weekly on Tuesday nights, 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.  Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store: http://www.acimstore.com/default.asp.

Comments

  1. I always enjoy reading your lucid reminders to look at… and release our unfounded fears and step out of our imaginary shells. This post reminded me of some recent fear-releasing … and an excerpt from my 2nd book that seems appropriate:
    “Forgiving Fictitious Phantom Fable Foibles
    ‘There’s been a huge amount of tragedy in my life, and some of it actually happened!’ – Mark Twain, as paraphrased by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    “What if Twain didnʼt take this idea far enough? What if none of the tragedies (or grandiose fake-self-inflating experiences we think of as successes, for that matter) ever really happened? Perhaps our imagined failures and victories in this hypothetical world are just that: mental exercises performed by a deluded split mind, making some events out to be ʻbetterʼ or ʻworseʼ than others. Maybe weʼre all playing the part of Don Quixote, battling ferocious imaginary inner foes that just seem to go round and round the periphery of our circular lives. If we let ourselves off the hook by stepping back from the drama, it frees our identity from phantom quests that never get us anywhere.”

  2. Love the title of that second book, Bruce! Is it in the works?

    And thanks for the wise excerpt about stepping away from the windmills, rising above the battleground with our inner teacher! It always works, when we choose to let it. 🙂

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