We go toward love still hating it

HandsIn my sleeping dream I am visiting my daughter in Seattle, although the city looks nothing like the real thing. Instead of a 19-century logging port today buzzing with construction fueled by a burgeoning high-tech industry, it is very old, its ancient buildings furry with moss, its cobblestone streets, cold, slick, and largely deserted. I have been here a couple days, apparently, and currently find myself exploring on my own, far removed from my daughter’s neighborhood and nearby downtown I’ve become relatively familiar with since she relocated here last year. Now I find myself discovering, en route, that the city has many, heretofore hidden levels; literally appears tiered.

Somehow I have a visual sense of it all laid out before me, as if I am watching a movie on a big screen, the camera panning out and offering a wide-angle view of its sprawling mass, even as I traverse its streets “within” the movie. Allowing me to observe horizontal roads layered vertically, with small sets of perpendicular stairs centered between them. Allowing travelers like me the option of a more direct ascent up the hill (on which the buildings are pitched) that appears to grow steeper at every level versus a more meandering, horizontal approach.

Despite the same nagging pain in the heel of my foot also plaguing me lately in my waking dream, I eschew the gentler route for the stairs, climbing and climbing in the semi-darkness, a kind of inexplicable, perpetual twilight, until I sense a white light approaching in my peripheral vision as I reach yet another street. I pause to catch my breath and turn toward the light, realizing, as it draws nearer, that it is actually my daughter, dressed in white jeans and shirt, looking more like herself as a younger teen than the woman she has become. Glowing as she always has in my perception from the time she came in, as if somehow literally and figuratively illuminating our way.

Now we climb together more slowly, relishing the gentler incline, thoroughly enjoying ourselves, talking and laughing, until, at last, we come to the top of the hill and encounter a gigantic, medieval cathedral, complete with crumbling gargoyles and flying buttresses. I am vaguely aware this is my destination, has always been my destination; the metaphorical top of the ladder, end of the road. We sit down at the summit of the marble stairs, leaning against the concave walls outside the heavy, arched wooden doors, as the darkness of night falls at last, extinguishing our view of the city below.

My daughter takes my hand, explains she has to leave; still has things to take care of. She cannot go inside with me, but will wait with me a while longer, until I’m ready. A sense of panic envelops me. I am not sure I will ever be ready to enter without her, and so don’t want her to leave. But I don’t want her to stay for me, either, and struggle to keep it together. She squeezes my hand, rests her head on my shoulder, the way she would when she was little. When she was little; and would sneak up behind me and tackle my legs. Or, if I were seated, leap onto my shoulders, throw her arms around my neck, creep up beside me as I meditated and assume an identical, cross-legged position, forefingers pinched together like mine, cracking us both up.

I become aware as I sit outside this church in this dream with my daughter, my heart cleaved open, that inside both heart and church wait perfect acceptance, but acceptance of what? I know truly, sanely, deeply there can be no “me” behind those doors, no “her.” Distant, celestial music calls from within; every fiber of my seeming being responds to its magnetic pull.

Beside me my daughter continues to smile, shine. I can tell she senses my fear. I sense her restlessness, her need to return to her city, her life. The narrow band of light seeping out the bottom of the church doors cannot possibly come close to the light she appears to embody beside me, that has seemed, for a long while, to illumine me, too. I have never felt more torn, more afraid of the dark, more terrified of losing her forever to the city below, more frightened of my fate inside those doors. It grows darker and darker until I can’t see my daughter or the cathedral anymore.  I have never felt so alone.

Half awake now in my bed, in the dark, heart pounding; the word “arise” echoes from somewhere further and closer than I have ever dared venture. Uttered as if from the wings of a stage in a deeply familiar voice, a kind of cue in a drama I am suddenly aware I’ve been rehearsing far longer than I can consciously recall. For a moment, the urge to obey that voice, its promise of a peace, a love, a support not of this world, surrounds and completely sustains me. I begin to stand, ready to take my next step, before the overwhelming sense of loss from the dream returns and my legs and resolve buckle.

Jesus Christ, I think, nestling under the covers once more, nonetheless certain of my inner professor’s gentle, patient presence (in stealth mode, but still). Meeting me in the condition I think I’m in even now in my waking dream on this dazzling May morning, as sons and daughters of friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, high school and college students around the greater metro area, Colorado, and the country at large, don caps and gowns and march to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance, pose for photographs in late Spring’s Technicolor glare. Pause to celebrate with family and friends before taking their next dreamy steps away from home as my daughter did just a year ago.

And I am all at once aware that maybe, just maybe, I am exactly where I need to be right now, after all. Fully conscious that my readiness to arise and step into the light behind those  proverbial doors in my sleeping and waking dream is still very much a work in progress, but a work with a purpose—a classroom!—nonetheless. Within which I can choose right now to forgive myself for my fear. Because Jesus doesn’t take it personally that I would still rather hold my daughter’s hand, than his, bask in her light, than claim the light we share I’m still not quite sure I can trust, however excruciating the darkness I often experience between my visits to Seattle.  All the while recognizing that there really are no substitute hands to hold or lamps to light and warm. That taking my daughter’s hand (having years ago and countless times since chosen to change the purpose of our relationship from a prison of specialness to a classroom of true forgiveness) actually must mean I have been taking his hand all along.

As long as I still dream of hands to hold, and hold hers most dear, maybe, just maybe, I can still remember that his hand must be sandwiched between ours (along with every other hand in this long strange dream). That my destiny–all our destinies–ultimately lies not in the many roads seemingly stacked up against us and ultimately leading nowhere in a dream world below but in the abstract light beyond those imaginary doors above all dreams. That will open on our one light that has never stopped shining only when I am completely certain I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by finally choosing to step up and follow our Teacher through them and into the eternal embrace of our all-encompassing brilliance. Within which no lights are really eclipsed, appendages lost.

 

“As the light comes nearer you will rush to darkness, shrinking from the truth, sometimes retreating to the lesser forms of fear, and sometimes to stark terror. But you will advance, because your goal is the advance from fear to truth. The goal you accepted is the goal of knowledge, for which you signified your willingness. Fear seems to live in darkness, and when you are afraid you have stepped back. Let us then join quickly in an instant of light, and it will be enough to remind you that your goal is light.

 

Truth has rushed to meet you since you called upon it. If you knew Who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible. You do not know because the journey into darkness has been long and cruel, and you have gone deep into it. A little flicker of your eyelids, closed so long, has not yet been sufficient to give you confidence in yourself, so long despised. You go toward love still hating it, and terribly afraid of its judgment upon you. And you do not realize that you are not afraid of love, but only of what you have made of it. You are advancing to love’s meaning, and away from all illusions in which you have surrounded it. When you retreat to the illusion your fear increases, for there is little doubt that what you think it means is fearful. Yet what is that to us who travel surely and very swiftly away from fear?

 

You who hold your brother’s hand also hold mine, for when you joined each other you were not alone. Do you believe that I would leave you in the darkness that you agreed to leave with me? In your relationship is this world’s light. And fear must disappear before you now. Be tempted not to snatch away the gift of faith you offered to your brother. You will succeed only in frightening yourself. The gift is given forever, for God Himself received it. You cannot take it back. You have accepted God. The holiness of your relationship is established in Heaven. You do not understand what you accepted, but remember that your understanding is not necessary. All that was necessary was merely the wish to understand. That wish was the desire to be holy. The Will of God is granted you. For you desire the only thing you ever had, or ever were.”

 

(A Course in Miracles Text, Chapter 18, III. Light in the Dream, paragraphs 2-4)

 

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 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. Beautiful…
    And this was the key sentence that did it for me this time:
    “And you do not realize that you are not afraid of love, but only of what you have made of it.”
    Well thanks, I do now 😉

  2. Thank you, Annelies! 🙂

  3. Susan, I just love your honesty and refusal to gloss over the “bad stuff,” our hatred. So just the subtitle of your latest article alone was “refreshing.” Your writing style is so delightful and engaging, too. Thank you.

  4. Thank you, Lenore. Glad to hear my essay spoke to you! 🙂

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