There is a place in you

Waverly_Lake_Minnesota_Dock_1511702392_o“Jesus,” I whispered, as I stood at the threshold of my imaginary inner professor’s office door, still anxious from yet another dream involving another life-threatening road trip, mirroring the seemingly perilous highway my waking dream appeared to have become.

He glanced up from the papers he’d been reading and smiled. “Long time, no see with,” he said, stealing my usual joke, as I settled myself into the worn seat across from him. And I had to smile, too, in spite of myself. He has that effect on me. Sometimes, I hate him for it, but mostly, I love him.

Still, he was the one who had gone missing again, just when I needed him most. I had rushed up the back stairs of this ivy-covered building numerous times over the past few weeks following one bad (sleeping and waking) dream after another only to find his office door closed. Even though he claims never to leave, I’m pretty sure he secretly sneaks back to Heaven now and then for a little r & r and a good laugh with God, and who the hell can blame him? (Well, as it turns out, that would be me!)

He started to laugh now, eavesdropping on my thoughts again, no doubt, but I gave him the look for which I am justly famous in certain circles and he stifled it, although his holy lips continued to twitch with persistent mirth.

He cleared his throat. “What can I do for you today?” he asked, all scholarly, removing his reading glasses, leaning back in his chair, and folding his hands.

But I just shook my head. I mean, where to freaking begin, right?

Outside the beveled windows behind him, the wind whipped the oak tree’s budding branches about with a vengeance, hissed and catcalled through the eaves. “Have you been watching the presidential primary coverage?” I asked.

Now he really did lose it, throwing back his head and chortling, tears streaming down his holy cheeks.

I folded my arms across my chest and waited him out, the look, clearly powerless. “It might be funny from where you’re sitting,” I said, when he’d finally recovered, “but here in the condition I find myself in, it’s a bloodbath.”

His brows shot up the way they do.

One candidate in particular (although his runner up, at times, understandably haunted my waking dreams, too) appeared to have hijacked my psyche to the point that my inner ego’s “raucous shrieks,” bullying name calling, profane raging and ranting–occasionally directed at my costars but more often at myself–now had a face, a colossal pie-hole, a head with a mass of something vaguely resembling hair, and, well, tiny, little hands. I know!

“What can I do for you today?” my teacher repeated, gently smiling, eavesdropping on my thoughts again. Clearly aware these senseless musings concerning the ego’s current impersonation were not the real reason I had come.

So I told him about the series of scary sleeping dreams I’d had over the past few weeks. The first one in which I found myself in a car driven by my husband on an extended road trip we had taken to some balmy, dangerous-feeling area of the United States I had never visited before. In which my husband kept falling asleep at the wheel–as in curled-up-in-fetal position, asleep!–although the rental car mysteriously clung to the road.

Nonetheless, terrified (although, oddly not angry with him), I kept waking him and begging him to pull over and stop for coffee. But he just kept driving a couple more minutes before nodding off again, and I just kept waking him; trying to convince him to pull over. Explaining I’d be happy to drive, even though I felt increasingly sleepy myself and doubted my ability to do so.

Finally, he stopped at a little road-side convenience store. We bought coffee and got back on the road. But over and over again he fell sound asleep at the wheel. Unable to rouse him, barely able to stay awake myself, I sat frantically trying to figure out how to drive the car from the passenger seat until I awoke in my bed, breathless. The magnetic pull of my husband’s sleep in that driver’s seat still heavy upon me. My little dog nestled against my ribs, snoring, as if in solidarity with any move toward deeper sleep for all on every level. And I couldn’t help but reflect on recent incidents in my waking dream in which I found myself seemingly once more thrown into chaos by unforeseen dream developments, many involving my husband’s work and his elderly father’s precarious state and escalating needs.

“But the car never went off the road?” Jesus asked.

I’d almost forgotten he was there. I shook my head no. “I came here to see you but the door was closed,” I said.

He nodded.

So I told him about the next dream I had the following week, wherein my husband and I were driving at night in the mountains. He made a wrong turn and somehow we ended up in Glenwood Canyon, even though in real life (well … ) the road remained closed to traffic to clear yet another hazardous rock slide, the likes of which had taken out cars and claimed lives over the years. The only vehicle on the dark road, we meandered through gigantic debris in the barricaded canyon and continued driving on I-70.

“But the car never went off the road?” Jesus asked.

I’d almost forgotten he was there. I shook my head no.

“I came here to see you but the door was closed,” I said. And I told him about the dream I’d had just last night. This time I was driving alone in the dark on a deserted, hilly highway, recklessly rounding switchbacks at perilously high speed. Aware of the danger but apparently unwilling to slow down, barely able to maintain control of the car.

“I know what you’re thinking,” I said, before he could get the words out, beginning to process what he’d been trying to tell me all along.  “The car stayed on the road. And then I came here to find you but the door …”

So I resorted to magic, I told him. Firing up my ipad to listen to the relaxation audio I sometimes use to calm this seeming body down. Closing my eyes and following the instructions to visualize a place in the farthest reaches of my imagination that felt perfectly peaceful and safe. Finding myself once again at that idyllic, imaginary cottage by the mirrored lake I’d been seeing in my mind’s eye as long as I could remember. Finding, to my surprise, Jesus himself, standing in the bright sunlight in the rowboat tied to the dock. Wearing those hot pink sunglasses I’d given him a couple summers ago, waving as I approached. Holding out an orange life jacket, the old-fashioned kind I’d worn as a child. I put it on, took his hand, and got in the boat.

He untied us and started rowing. I felt immediately guilty, and offered to take over—I was good at it, actually, had won a prize once in Girl Scout camp!–but he told me to just sit back and enjoy the ride. That my only job had been to come here and get in the boat.

“I think I see what you’re saying,” I said.

“You always do. Eventually.”

“Even though I was scared in those dreams. Even though I felt helpless, the car stayed on the road. I didn’t abandon the journey and you didn’t abandon me. I’d just forgotten you were there. Still, each time I woke up, I immediately tried to find you. Which must mean, on some level; that even though the door seemed closed, you never went anywhere, not even in the sleeping dreams. Because if I’d been relying on Susan’s specious strength alone, well; I couldn’t have stayed on the road. We would have wrecked, and that would be that. Adios journey.”

“Go on,” he said.

“And even though I felt completely alone and out-of-control in last night’s dream, even though I resorted to magic to calm the body down, a part of me still tried to find you, right?”

“And did,” he said.

“Right where you were always waiting in that safe, peaceful place in my mind. All I had to do was show up and let you take it from there. But the showing up part is no small feat, actually, given my resistance, and yet I did it again and again. So maybe my decision-making mind is a lot stronger than it seems. Because you’re saying there’s no turning back, right? No matter how scary it seems, how hopeless, we’ll still make it home?”

He continued to smile, so kindly. “I’m saying we have,” he said.

I cannot say how long we sat together then, cradled in that stillness beyond words where all questions cease, all mistaken beliefs dissolve into the nothingness from which they sprang.

“Does this mean I’m going to start having nightmares involving boats?” I asked, at last, because I was still too scared to stay there too long.

“Imagine that,” he said, laughing.

I started to laugh, too, in spite of myself. He has that effect on me. Eventually, I mean. Sometimes, I hate him for it. But mostly, I love him.

“The recognition of your own frailty is a necessary step in the correction of errors, but it is hardly a sufficient one in giving you the confidence which you need, and to which you are entitled. You must also gain an awareness that confidence in your real strength is fully justified in every respect and in all circumstances.”

“In the latter phase of the practice period, try to reach down into your mind to a place of real safety. You will recognize that you have reached it if you feel a sense of deep peace, however briefly. Let go all the trivial things that churn and bubble on the surface of your mind and reach down and below them to the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a place in you where there is perfect peace. There is a place in you where nothing is impossible. There is a place in you where the strength of God abides.” (A Course in Miracles Workbook lesson 47, paragraphs 6 and 7)

“Christ is at God’s altar, waiting to welcome His Son. But come wholly without condemnation, for otherwise you will believe that the door is barred and you cannot enter. The door is not barred, and it is impossible that you cannot enter the place where God would have you be. But love yourself with the Love of Christ, for so does your Father love you. You can refuse to enter, but you cannot bar the door that Christ holds open. Come onto me who hold it open for you, for while I live it cannot be shut, and I live forever. God is my life and yours, and nothing is denied by God to his Son.” (A Course in Miracles Text, Chapter 11, IV. paragraph 6)

 

NEWS FROM THE FOUNDATION FOR A COURSE IN MIRACLES:

Latest Audio Releases

The Foundation is pleased to offer two previously unreleased audio titles by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. The first of these is a three-CD set entitled “ The Mindless Madness of Miscreation,” recorded in 2013, and the second is also a three-CD set entitled “The Course’s Shortcut,” recorded in 2010. Both titles are also available as MP3 CDs and MP3 Downloads.

Super Inventory Sale

During the month of March we are continuing our “Going Digital Warehouse Sale.” We are clearing 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.

We have added an additional six English titles and three Spanish titles to the sale, which can be viewed here. Please note that some orders may take up to two weeks to ship after the order is received.
MP4 Downloads

The Foundation is now offering the following titles as MP4 Downloads:

 Cause and Effect,” “ Dreaming the Dream,” “ From Futility to Happiness: Sisyphus as Everyman,” “ Loving Not Wisely but Too Well: Othello, Specialness, and A Course in Miracles,” and “ The Pathway of Forgiveness“.

New Programs through July 2016 Now Posted

Please view our Temecula Schedule page to see the new Seminars and Academy classes, including Live Streaming of the classes, scheduled through July 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! These teachers 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! :))

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MY LATEST BOOK, FORGIVENESS: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS, remains DISCOUNTED on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Key-Happiness-Susan-Dugan-ebook/dp/B00VF7L1X2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1447948816&sr=1-1&keywords=Forgiveness%3A+The+Key+to+Happiness, along with my second book in the forgiveness series, FORGIVENESS OFFERS EVERYTHING I WANThttp://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Key-Happiness-Susan-Dugan-ebook/dp/B00VF7L1X2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1447948816&sr=1-1&keywords=Forgiveness%3A+The+Key+to+Happiness

Here’s a NEW AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on workbook lesson 132: “I loose the world from all I thought it was.” As we find ourselves tempted to jump into the fray of this contentious “world” and point fingers, we could consider another way, if our goal is inner peace. The gentle path of forgiveness in which we learn to recognize our same need to find our way home to our one loving union hiding behind all these glaring, frightening differences. A path that asks us simply to look at the only cause of our need to blame our anger on others: the hidden belief in separation from Love and each other. A belief that, in truth, had, and has, no real effects. Despite the drama “out there,” no bodies were sacrificed in the making of this movie. Love is still there for (and within) every frightened one of us if we but step back and choose to remember with the part of our mind that has never forgotten.

In this RECENT VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I discuss Grandeur vs. Grandiosity, the final section of A Course in Miracles Text, Chapter 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB8_B1bOwsY&feature=youtu.be

Here’s a RECENT AUDIO from a radio show I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on the last section of A Course in Miracles Manual for Teachers: “As for the Rest,” a great summary of the Course’s practice of forgiveness and what it means to be a student of Jesus/Holy Spirit. http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=FFE09368-26B9-4187-86AD9957D6DB2CE8

Here’s another RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio on A Course in Miracles Text Chapter 9, VII. The Two Evaluations

http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=511F2ACA-26B9-4187-8614B9EDC5C2B132.

SCHEDULE AN HOUR PHONE MENTORING SESSION NOW THROUGH FEBRUARY THE END OF FEBRUARY FOR THE REDUCED PRICE OF $50/HOUR (NORMALLY $60/HOUR) 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 and retreats 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. We’re all learning to forgive ourselves for dreaming of placing a terrified, white-knuckled over-steering insane asylum escapee behind the wheel of our mind, aren’t we! 🙂 Great essay, as always, Susan; thanks! 🙂

  2. Yes we are! 🙂 Thank you, Bruce!

  3. Gabrielius says:

    Great story!

    We like to get mesmerized in our seeming-separation stories, don’t we? And only series of the same sobering question of J pulls us out of the swamp to see it was really nothing.

    It was a funny part to read, how you try to drag J into your stories and he just asks the same question over and over again.

  4. So true, Gabrielius–thank you! 🙂

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