Who you gonna call?

spring snow

I was walking my dog and decided to check in with someone I regularly call whose approval I have secretly, unsuccessfully sought for decades. I interviewed her a while, reciting a rote script as disingenuous as the confession I used to make as a child. Inquiring about health and weather; movies seen, meals ingested. Until I’d exhausted the frame of reference of our seemingly narrow, unstable strip of common ground, my voice stalling in the same old awkward pause, wherein she complied with her end of our unspoken bargain by asking me what was new with me.

I’d been busy writing and preparing for a workshop I was teaching the following day, I told her. I didn’t mention the C (Course) word. I didn’t have to. Her question and my answer lingered, a stillborn after-image I could almost touch in the unsettled spring air.

“And how is the weather there?” she continued, her habitual non-response to any mention of my involvement with A Course in Miracles framed in the form of a completely unrelated question that sometimes does, and sometimes does not, seem to induce the burning resentment it now once more did.  And I had to laugh, really, actually began to, holding my not-as-smart-as-it-claims phone away from my mouth so as not to seem unkind, insane, or worse. Recognizing once more in our exchange my secret wish to feel slighted, unseen, unknown, in an unconscious effort to prove I really exist apart from the undifferentiated union of eternal Love but it’s not my fault. Interpreting her denial of my relationship with the big, blue book as a denial of my very existence, a denial of me!

At my feet, Kayleigh circled and tugged at her leash, sniffing out the perfect spot on the newly minted park lawn on which to deposit irrefutable evidence of her own existence. In the vast inverted bowl of a sky, cartoon-like cirrus clouds scudded by as if in search of intelligent life and a bird of prey I could not identify corkscrewed toward a nest exposed within branches still unwilling to show their leafy hands.

“It’s been such a late spring here, too,” I said, and made a few more polite noises, before excusing myself, and hitting “end” call. Kayleigh finished her teeny bodily business and I headed back home, thinking about how the ego seemed to have hijacked my chosen spiritual path, ironically aimed at exposing our belief in the importance of personal differences and separate interests, to instead reinforce the sense of isolation I had stealthily cherished all my life. So my family and most of my pre-Course friends had no interest in the spiritual practice now at the center of my so-called life. This could not possibly upset me unless I had dropped Jesus’—that symbol of the part of our mind that remembered to laugh at the tiny, mad idea of separation—proverbial hand, and picked up the ego’s instead.

I thought about what it says in A Course in Miracles Manual for Teachers, “13. How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?” About setting our intention first thing in the morning to make the purpose of our day learning from our inner teacher as we encountered the lessons in forgiveness of what never was we’d chosen to review at any given moment. I was presenting this passage from the text the following day, had been mulling over its message and yet, seemed to have found so many other more important things to take care of this morning than spending quiet time with Jesus, affirming my intention. Pressing issues such as checking out the weather on the Outer Banks where we’d be vacationing in several weeks, googling whether it’s safe to take probiotics with the antibiotics I was currently on which suddenly made absolutely no sense to me at all, and checking out the new photos on my daughter’s facebook page.

“Why did my mid-life crisis have to involve finding A Course in Miracles?” I whined, finding myself once more instantly transported to my inner teacher’s office. Slumped back in my chair at his desk once more. “I mean, I could have just taken some art classes or something.”

He smiled. “So you think the Course is the problem?” he said.

I sighed. “Not really.”

The Course had nothing to do with it, of course. It seemed so annoyingly transparent these days, the way I’d peopled my dream with costars guaranteed to bring up my sense of lacking the love and approval I secretly believed I’d forever squandered in my derelict flight from the “oneness joined as one” of our true nature. I had the ego on speed dial alright, knew just what call logs to access to trigger my sense of unfair treatment when I needed my victimization fix. And still all too often refused to contact the only presence that could fill that gaping lack, now sitting right here with me where he had always been, my imaginary solo walks, calls, and senseless wanderings into bereft nothingness notwithstanding.

On the flip side, I’d caught myself dodging the bullet of another dream figure for months in an effort to avoid the sense of feeling randomly, inexplicably attacked every interaction with this person seemed to provoke. And yet, when circumstances in my classroom conspired to force me to spend time with them recently, I actually remembered to invite the bearded wonder into my awareness as we talked. And experienced a welcome sense of sameness in our conversation, the solid, frightening lines of demarcation between us suddenly blurred. Defenses dropped; common interests restored.

“So what does that tell you?” he asked.

“That maybe I just need to take you with me all the time?”

“Imagine that,” he said.

He had a point; he always did, but still. I sighed. Again. “It’s just that no one has ever really gotten me at all,” I said, the call from this morning once more weighing heavily on my scant gray matter. “Stuck with me, you know?”

He handed me a box of tissues from his endless, invisible supply.

I blew my nose. “I know what you’re thinking,” I said, after a while.

He nodded.

“What am I, chopped liver?”

He threw back his head and laughed.

I didn’t want to join him, I really didn’t. But, damn it; his laugh is as contagious as my brother Michael’s all those years ago in church when we would sit in the front row of the balcony and drop dimes from our collection change down into the top of women’s bouffant hairdos.

Jesus thought that was pretty hilarious, too.

“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempt to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. It is not good enough for God’s teacher because it is not good enough for God’s Son.” (Paragraph 8)

(Please note: I am taking a couple weeks off mid-May to vacation and spend time with my family, Will post ASAP when I return. :))

I enjoyed talking again with Bruce Rawles last week about the importance of remembering the new purpose of our lives as a forgiveness classroom and being vigilant in looking at all our reactions with our new inner teacher. Please excuse the reference to audio problems that turned out to be only on our end. 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYGbSga-tis#t=11 

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

I enjoyed talking with CA Brooks of 12 Radio May 2nd about making practicing the Course’s forgiveness the new purpose of our days. http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=BF261942-1143-DC70-C4758C0D66D40C76  I will be joining CA as a regular guest on her ACIM show the first Friday of each month, 9 a.m., mountain standard time.

During  the month of May three of Kenneth Wapnick’s books are on sale at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles online bookstore: Life, Death, and Love: Shakespeare’s Great Tragedies and A Course in MiraclesParents and Children: Our Most Difficult Classroom, and Healing the Unhealed Mind. In addition, five Spanish translations of Kenneth’s books are also on sale: El perdón y JesúsDespierta del sueñoUn curso en milagros y el cristianismo: Un diálogoEl Mensaje de Un curso en milagros, and El Arco del perdón.

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

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles continues to offer illuminating classes taught by a talented, devoted, inspiring staff! I was so deeply moved and inspired by their presentations at the March academy, and can’t wait to return for more! Check out their offerings here:  http://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx

HALF-HOUR, FORTY-FIVE MINUTE, OR HOUR-LONG 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, forty-five-minute, 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. Gabrielius says:

    Ghost busters!

  2. 🙂 !

  3. Hi Susan,

    Regarding interactions with others. I visualize a plastic statue toy of Jesus with a lever on its base. If I move the lever to the left Jesus raises his arms attached to a cross, symbolizing my crucifixion of my brother. When I remember to move the lever to the right Jesus lowers his arms and simply smiles gently at me. As we have learned, our perceptions (interpretations) change as we alternate teachers. We also learn that we are only responsible for accepting the Atonement for ourselves.

    When I see myself crucifying a brother I am grateful that I know that it is me that is doing it and that I have the ability to move the lever to the right. A miracle extended is always received as soon as it is given, perhaps not in time, but always in timelessness.

    We need not carry the book, we are the book! 🙂

    It’s nice to meet you – you have a very nice site and thank you for the love that you share for Kenneth.
    Ben

  4. Gabrielius says:

    I liked your visual metaphor about J, Ben. Thanks 🙂

  5. Hi Ben:

    I love your image of a giant action figure Jesus with a lever you control! 🙂 It helps me so much to imagine Jesus beside me, converse with him, etc. He never has much to say, but he’s a great listener, and always ends up helping me remember to laugh at it all. (Just like Ken did! :)) You might get a kick out of this past post and the photo of an actual action figure Jesus versus that other inner teacher! 🙂 https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/which-teacher-are-you-listening-to It’s nice to meet you too. I do love Ken, and although I miss him in form, continue to feel such gratitude for his gentle, playful, brilliant presence still with us.
    Kind regards,
    Susan

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