The Rock of Salvation

I had just posted my most recent interview with Ken Wapnick and sat in my office on a Monday morning reviewing the copious notes I’d taken during the February workshop I’d attended at the Foundation for a Course in Miracles. “What Jesus is describing when he refers to us is paranoid schizophrenia,” I read, quoting Ken. Sitting in the lecture hall in Temecula I’d laughed out loud at that observation. But it didn’t seem all that hilarious this morning as I gazed out the window at dead grass crusted with dirty ice and snow in a seemingly endless winter and another day of howling winds that last week had blown over a kid at a local school bus stop and hurled a Chihuahua into the tangled branches of a tree, leaving me fearful about walking my five-pound dog, Kayleigh.

I’d slept fitfully again. The blanket on my lap did little to assuage a deeper cold that seemed to have settled into my bones over the last few days as my mind on ego stepped up its chilly lobbying efforts, intent on convincing me once and for all that this Course was just so not working for me. Although I’d experienced remarkable inner healing since returning from California, my certainty that all was well in truth had once more wavered and the ego’s backlash at my decision for right-mindedness seemed particularly real, vicious, beyond my control, and completely independent of any choice I had made.

I knew I was back to wanting things to go my way in form, to thinking that if I put the relationship under the guidance of Jesus/Holy Spirit–that symbol of the part of our mind that knew beyond all shadows of ego doubt that the separation never happened—things would somehow go my way. You know; a superhero Jesus would swoop down and deliver my requests with an Oscar-worthy, leading man smile–that sort of thing. In short, I was once more convinced there was a special me in need of special saving beyond the drama playing out in my tortured little head. Once more enthralled by the serial adventures of Susan in a world I made up in which I had visions and heard voices and seemed to suffer at the hands of insensitive, walking, talking co-stars intent on having things go their way.

“What makes this Course so impossible to practice?” someone had asked, during the February workshop. And Ken had talked about the fifth stage in the Development of Trust in A Course in Miracles Manual for Teachers in which all hell breaks loose as we realize we still identify with a body even though we intellectually grasp that the Course is saying there is no body. We literally do not exist as separated selves. That means none of our special relationships including our special relationship with the big, blue book and—hardest to swallow of all–our special relationship with the self we think we see in the mirror will ever work. At least not to the liking of my mind on ego, madly invested in a hallucinated world designed to prove I exist independently from my creator but it’s not my fault.

I know this is ultimately good news; once we open our eyes anyway. I know I just need to learn to treat myself with the same compassion I’d extend to the mentally ill. But right now, sitting in this chair, at this desk, with this computer–staring down another week in a dream that seemed so fraught with weighty responsibilities demanding sacrifices I didn’t want to make–it felt like loss.  “Jesus,” I muttered, aloud, and found myself once more transported into the teacher of inner peace’s classroom. “We need to talk,” I said, pulling up a chair.

He sat at his desk in his robe and sandals completely oblivious to the wind rattling the windows. “I see,” he said.

“Right. The thing is; I seem to have skipped the fourth stage in the Development of Trust, you know, where everything is all hunky dory. I was wondering if you could show me how to get there and just let me hang out a while. You know, to recover from this last year in the dream. I don’t know if you’ve been watching the whole time this season but it’s been a pretty bumpy ride.”

“Say what?” he said.

“I know what you’re thinking. The Development of Trust is not linear and not literal and only meant to give us a sense of the process of climbing the imaginary ladder home with you. But my point is; I’m tired of this resistance, OK?” I pressed my palms together like the good little Catholic girl I once tried and failed to be, and shot him my best, pleading, Susan of Arc look. “Can’t you do something about this dream? Can’t you give me a better dream, just this once?”

His brows shot up. “You think I can give you dreams?”

I sighed. “It’s my dream, is what you mean.”

“There you go.”

“I know what you’re thinking. I don’t want a teacher that tells me I’m the problem; I want a teacher that agrees with me that someone or thing else is the problem.”

“Ah,” he said.

“Except now I’m really screwed. Because, I’m far enough along on this imaginary journey home to the place we never really left to know I feel absolutely horrid when I choose the ego as my teacher; so unloved and unloving and anxious and scared; like I do right now. So, I really do want to look with you. I really do want to learn I’m a mind, not a body. Even though I think I’m reading this book with eyes that see and a brain that thinks the book is just a symbol of the one Love in the mind I really never left. A Love that embraces all the nut cases seemingly out to get me in the dream including the nut case I think I am.”

“Well put.”

“I just need to look with the sanity of your vision at the seeming problem as it is and not the way I set it up, is what you’re saying. And I suppose that means it’s time for another captivating episode in the long-running series Desperately Seeking Susan. Really, I could watch those reruns a thousand times.”

“I think you have,” he said, as we filed into the theatre.

“You really are funny. Oh, by the way; I have to go to Motor Vehicles this afternoon to try to get a duplicate title for that car I’m trying to sell. You available for a screening of that little adventure?”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he said.

“Ha!”


“The Holy Spirit has the power to change the whole foundation of the world you see to something else; a basis not insane, on which a sane perception can be based, another world perceived. And one in which nothing is contradicted that would lead the Son of God to sanity and joy. Nothing attests to death and cruelty; to separation and to differences. For here is everything perceived as one, and no one loses that each one may gain.” (ACIM Text, Chapter 16, VII. The Rock of Salvation, paragraph 5.)


I am now speaking regularly at ACIM Gather radio, Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m., EST.
Here are links to two recent talks: ACIM Gather talk 1 ACIM Gather talk 2

Comments

  1. It’s staggering … but helpful … to observe how many ways we want to drag Spirit in to form to fix our dreamscapes, huh! 🙂 Despite lifetimes of ‘been-there-done-that’ attempts at dream renovation, we seem to keep trying every technique on ego’s 24-7 HGTV (Hell Glorification TV) channel to make our mental slums more livable… while our Inner Kindness Teacher (with or without robes and sandals) patiently awaits our decision to return to our True Home, where we were never banned from, except in a silly nightmare.

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