The two rooms

Nasa magic“Have I mentioned lately how much I just love Thanksgiving?” I asked, while standing at the kitchen sink, drying yet another drainer full of pots and pans. “The way it’s all about just being grateful for this wonderful world of ours. For the blessings of family, and friends, and food and, you know; God-damn pumpkins.”

His eyes widened.

“OK,” I said. “Until about three days into prepping the feast, when I find myself fantasizing about—how do I put this?–doing something all together other than chopping another freaking onion or strand of celery with my trusty chef’s knife.”

His brows shot up and down the way they do.

“Alright, just forget about Thanksgiving,” I said. “I mean, we were already on to Christmas the very next morning, anyway, so get over it, right? Or even earlier, this year, come to think of it. Catapulted into the black hole of Friday madness before we’d even managed to spoon the last smear of whipped cream on Thursday’s pie down our greedy, little gullets; fa, la, la, ti da, da!”

My imaginary Jesus just continued to smile in that absolutely genuine way of his, which can really tick you off sometimes, if you let it.

I slapped the damp dish towel down on the counter. “OK, how about we talk instead about the torture chamber I find myself in when I can’t let go of my feelings? That seems to be caused by, and directed at, a problematic costar. (Really, are there, ultimately, any other kind in this dream of separate existence apart from united being?) Who, I may have mentioned before, just refuses to ever comply with my teeniest, tiniest, most absolutely reasonable and appropriate requests?”

“We’ve talked about this,” he said.

I recalled the way I’d recently begun to experience my choice for the wrong mind, my insistence on continuing to see myself unfairly treated, as a kind of solitary confinement. Dark, bleak, dry, and hopeless, “where starved and thirsty creatures come to die.” (From A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 341, paragraph 5) Cold cement walls pressing in on me, without windows or doors into which the tiniest ray of light, the remotest possibility of exit, might shine, eternally banished and alone.  The cell my faulty decision-making mind ejects the self I still think I am into when I refuse to let a special relationship off the hook. The asylum I found myself silently raging in again just last night, despite the spirit of the holidays already pinging glad tidings of “Cyber Monday” into my cell phone’s email inbox, quietly furious at this person for no real reason other than their colossal failure to ever comply with my meager wishes and respect my oh, so delicate feelings. I know.

How ironic it still seems that I usually find myself here after first having entered another room entirely, which–if I could render it on canvass as I see it clearly etched in my mind’s eye–would involve no boundaries whatsoever, only freedom; a sense of disconnected walls, ceilings, floors, and story lines, enveloped in every possible shade of the rainbow. Expanding ever-outward at warp speed before disappearing altogether (in the best possible way) into endless white light that is somehow, inexplicably, everything I ever wanted and in no way associated with the prerequisite of physical death. Moved to tears by true gratitude to all before suddenly experiencing myself once more seemingly plunged back into this dungeon of a personal hell.

“Jesus,” I said, dropping my face into the dubious cradle of my palms. “I really can’t stand this anymore! Please help me in some form I can understand, to see things differently, to feel your freedom and kindness, your peace and release!”

I opened my eyes seconds later to find myself sitting back in my imaginary chair across from him at his imaginary office desk.

He reached toward me, handed me a tissue from his infinite, invisible supply.

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

“OK.”

“It’s like you say in (A Course in Miracles text) Chapter 24: II, paragraph 6:

‘Would it be possible for you to hate your brother if you were like him? Could you attack him if you realized you journey with him, to a goal that is the same? Would you not help him reach it in every way you could, if his attainment of it were perceived as yours? You are his enemy in specialness; his friend in a shared purpose. Specialness can never share, for it depends on goals that you alone can reach. And he must never reach them, or your goal is jeopardized. Can love have meaning where the goal is triumph? And what decision can be made for this that will not hurt you?’

“But, I mean, Jesus!” I cleared my throat, leaned in and lowered my voice. “I don’t want to see our sameness. I mean, if they’re being awful, that would mean I am, too!”

“We’ve talked about this,” he said.

“I know, I know. We both share the same selfish need to blame each other to prove we exist independently from our one, real Self, but it’s not our fault. And the same need to learn that we are wrong about believing we pushed real Love away, then and now. I mean, I understand all that, but I don’t think I really have the faintest clue what it means to truly share.”

“And yet you have.”

He had a point. He always does. Because I knew what he meant. There were definitely times, increasingly, actually; welcome, comforting, sometimes deeply moving, elongated periods when my need for anyone or thing outside me completely fell away, leaving only a well of gratitude. But also other, inexplicably healing times in which I caught myself childishly wishing to have things my way, to blame someone for thwarting me, without feeling compelled to condemn myself for it. Realizing, instead, that maybe everything is really OK; convincing appearances to the contrary aside. Even though things seem to be going to hell everywhere in my dream, even though there are still so many areas of my life that seem to be a mess, in which I seem to be failing. Realizing somehow, even so, however briefly and intermittently, that my goal is still peace; I will still make it home, we will still, each and every seeming one of us, make it home to the inclusively loving, united place we never really left.

I sighed, the Olympic-caliber sigh for which I am justly famous in certain circles. “It’s just that I’ve been asking and asking to see everyone and everything, including the self I still think I am. as you do, for such a long, seeming time. But a part of me just refuses to let go for good of this weighty, recurring problem caused by this seeming ‘other,’ you know?”

He nodded. “Well, so your mind is still split. You trust me way more than you used to but not yet all the way.”

“You might be understating things a bit,” I said.

He laughed. “You still don’t know what you would be without the noose of this relationship you have tied. Without the flaws of your own character your compulsion to emote exponentially magnifies. But maybe you could just cut yourself some slack. You’re doing the best you can. Even deeply flawed people (are there any other kind?) can be peaceful, loving, and loved.”

I blew my nose. “Well, that’s a different story all together,” I said.

“It certainly is.”

We sat for a while in a silence so deeply soothing; I felt no urge whatsoever to fill it.

“Still, you might have spoken up about this a little sooner,” I said, after a while.

He just continued to smile.

And, damn-it, I had to genuinely smile, too. Really, I just couldn’t dream up a single thing left to do.

“The miracle is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand. Yet faith will bring its witnesses to show that what it rested on is really there. And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it, and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before; a world redeemed from what you thought was there.” (Workbook lesson 341, paragraph 4)

Sharing this EXCITING NEWS FROM THE FOUNDATION FOR A COURSE IN MIRACLES!:

Live Streaming of Programs:

Beginning in 2015, the Foundation will begin live streaming its Seminars and Academy classes. If you are unfamiliar with live streaming, you can find a basic description here. Take a look at our Temecula Schedule page to find out more about this new addition to our electronic outreach.

 New Audio Title:

“Who is Unwelcome to the Kind in Heart?” “Not One Does Christ Forget” is now available as an eight CD set, which contains two programs that Dr. Kenneth Wapnick presented in 2012 and 2013. It is also available as anMP3 CD and an MP3 download. 

HOLIDAY GIFT: My most recent essay collection, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, about learning to live a forgiving life and remembering to smile, is on sale for the holidays on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Offers-Everything-I-Want/dp/0983742014 

ANOTHER HOLIDAY GIFT: Schedule a HALF-HOUR, FORTY-FIVE MINUTE, OR HOUR-LONG ACIM MENTORING SESSION in November or December 2014 and get a second one free! 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 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 I attended, and can’t wait to return next year for more! Check out all their current offerings including the Winter 2015 schedule here:  http://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx

You’ll also find new releases from the Foundation’s bookstore here: https://www.facim.org/bookstore/t-latestreleases.aspx, the online bookstore here: https://www.facim.org/bookstore/online learning aids here: https://www.facim.org/online-learning-aids.aspx, and questions on just about any topic Course students could dream up sanely, lovingly, and eloquently answered here: https://www.facim.org/online-learning-aids/question-answer.aspx

You can listen to my latest talk with CA Brooks, 12 Radio, at the top of my audios page: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/audios , in which we discuss happiness from the Course’s perspective, focusing on our only real function of forgiveness and sections of Chapter 4 in the text, and workbook lesson 64. Another of my discussions with CA on the topic of “What Is the Ego?” and “What Am I” in the second part of ACIM’s workbook will air December 19th, 9 a.m. Mountain Time.

I’m honored to be presenting a workshop at the invitation of Jim Peterson in Portland, Oregonin March 2015. The subject is close to my heart and A Course in Miracles forgiveness practice: “The Parent-Child Relationship: Transcending Guilt Blame and Need.” To find out more and register, please go to Jim’s site: http://www.alchemical-transformation-guidance.com/SusanDuganWorkshop2014.html  and/or check out my Classes/Events page.

Jim Peterson has just published a book, Wisdom Rising, about his journey in learning to connect with an unwaveringly kind-to-all part of our mind l http://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Rising-Writings-Directed-Living/dp/1499630360/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417449653&sr=1-1&keywords=wisdom+rising, useful tools he has discovered in his spiritual quest, and his inspiring poetry. 

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.

Check out recent videos on living a forgiving life here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/videos 

My good friend and fellow Course student and teacher Bruce Rawles, author of The Geometry Code http://www.amazon.com/Geometry-Code-Universal-Reminders-Separation/dp/0965640574/ref=la_B003ZZVZVK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411567229&sr=1-1, 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 http://www.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 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.

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. Perhaps we’re all in the same room, but perceiving it from two completely opposite thought systems, one of which is slowly gaining emphasis in our mind with the result being a more profound peace, and the other (impostor) still actively trying to sabotage every kind motivation, every true sharing and every moment of appropriate levity; the mind’s two architects/interior decorators have mutually exclusive sensibilities about total inclusion, which usually is projected out onto our favorite victimizers. 🙂

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