Without forgiveness I will still be blind

(Here’s an excerpt from my latest book, Forgiveness: The Key to Happiness, now discounted for the holidays on Amazon.)

northern lights christmasI lay awake in the middle of the night as I sometimes do, adrift in that yawning chasm of lonesome silence in which my ego thoughts spring to life like taunting little toys, raucously reviewing problems large and small, worldly and intimate. Helplessly, hopelessly, pondering the state of the union and the state of my sun-damaged skin. The status of my little dog’s hurt leg, and the safest place to sit in a movie theater to avoid death by insane gunman. The escalating rhetoric in the presidential campaigns and the possible infection of my recently scraped toes. Looming work deadlines, the bitter sweetness of my daughter’s impending return to college, and what to do with the tiny golden beets I’d scored at the Farmers’ Market.

I asked to see things differently—through the eyes of the inner teacher of love instead of fear—over and over again, but nothing happened. I popped another magic herbal supplement and breathed deeply, tensing and then relaxing my muscles, head to toe. I squeezed the insomnia acupressure points on my ears and visualized the waves on my favorite beach rhythmically lapping the idyllic shore. I envisioned my chakras spinning in synchronized harmony. Still, I remained awake, increasingly concerned about the encroaching busyness of my Monday versus the guaranteed fatigue of my body if I couldn’t fall back to sleep for at least a couple hours.

I thought about the way I had often lay awake like this as a child, focused on every little creak in the house, the lights of an occasional, passing vehicle lunging wolf-like across the walls, the menacing rumble of the refrigerator, the hiss and tick of the hot-water heater, the roar of a distant jet perhaps launched by the Commies to bomb Manhattan a ways down the river. The possibility–however remote–that the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz had escaped the castle once and for all and were, at this very moment, winging their way up the Hudson toward a target with my name on it. In more ways than I cared to consider, I was still that frightened child, stranger in a strange land just waiting for the punishment I secretly knew I deserved for running away from home like every other frightened child here on planet crazy.

Eventually I drifted off to troubled dreams, the last of which found me alone in a pitch-black forest, immobilized with terror that any forward movement might mean stepping into a trap or a land mine. Breath held, seemingly paralyzed, willing myself invisible to nocturnal predators, I suddenly became aware of my hand nestled inside the perfect-fitting glove of a larger one. Embraced by the abrupt certainty that I would see my way through, if I could simply dare to place one foot in front of the other, and continue to hold that hand.

And so I did. Despite my crushing fear, I drew a deep breath, raised my right foot and set it down, followed by the left. Each time I did so, the path suddenly revealed itself in the light at my feet as if an invisible someone were flipping on an invisible flashlight. I walked faster and more certain then, and as I did, the light grew steady, revealing just enough of the path before me to prevent me from stumbling.

I awoke thinking about A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 247: “Without forgiveness I will still be blind.”

“… For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ’s vision comes to me. Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, and I am healed completely. (Lines 3 and 4).”

And I realized that although I’d been begging to see things differently, I hadn’t been willing to get Susan out of the way. I was still standing guard–wedded to the ego’s deliberate blindness and dubious security–trying to puzzle out solutions to non-existent problems while unwilling to take the hand of my right mind that would lead me toward the light of perfect oneness I really craved. I was still unwilling to fully acknowledge the pervasive darkness of the shameful, bereft belief in separation and fully trust in the inner teacher of forgiveness. Whose X-Ray vision penetrates the illusory facade of our many problems to the “tiny, mad, idea” of the one problem that never really occurred, our impossible, devastating dreams notwithstanding.

Now illuminated by the light of our right mind, I saw that I didn’t need to do anything about my perceived sleeplessness because I was never really awake here in this dream of exile from all-inclusive, non-differentiated love in the first place. I didn’t need to do anything about the problems and distractions that seemed to be keeping me awake either. I only needed to stop attributing my distress to outside causes and deliver the darkness of my illusions back to the light of one mind. Where Jesus–that symbol of our unalterable oneness–waits patiently to lead each and every seeming one of us through the dense clouds of our tortured dreams to the one real home we never really left.

It all comes down to trust. To my still intermittent but gradually growing willingness to grasp that hand in the darkness and put one foot in front of the other, allowing the part of my mind that can truly see to light my way. Although my body is tired this morning as I write these words it no longer concerns me. And I am a little more willing to embrace the possibility that I am not a singular body but a unified mind. Capable of choosing the guide that will lead me to the awareness that I have never left our one and only, blessedly formless, infinitely integrated home.

“So would I look on everyone today. My brothers are Your Sons. Your Fatherhood created them, and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well. Today I honor You through them, and thus I hope this day to recognize my Self. (Paragraph 2).”

Happy holidays!

MY LATEST BOOK, FORGIVENESS: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS, has been DISCOUNTED FOR THE HOLIDAYS: 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 WANT: 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

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The Foundation for A Course in Miracles has just published a new, hardcover, keepsake anthology of the complete Lighthouse newsletter articles, From The Lighthouse: To Look Upon Darkness Through Light Must Dispel It, by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick. https://bookstore.facim.org/p-383-from-the-lighthouse-to-look-upon-darkness-through-light-must-dispel-it.aspx  I just received my copy and am thrilled to hold it in my hands. I believe all Ken’s students will likewise want to keep this treasure of a book close at hand, to savor often and return to again and again to connect with the peace not of this world embodied in its teachings.

This unique, beautifully bound collection includes Kenneth’s original introductions to each chapter as well as a general introduction he wrote with Gloria several years ago and a chapter added by Gloria containing the Lighthouse’s final issue, filled with deeply moving, inspiring personal tributes of love and remembrance to Kenneth from his many grateful students. The anthology also contains an index of Course references and a chronological index of articles.

The articles cover a wide range of topics, reflecting the Foundation’s view of the world at large as seen through the guiltless lens of the Course’s teachings on forgiveness. They “provide a window into how we at the Foundation have seen A Course in Miracles as a spiritual path, as well as our own development as a center dedicated to preserving and teaching its principles.”

It seems to me that Ken was speaking to all his students in these thematic articles seamlessly melding A Course in Miracles’ fundamental metaphysics and mind-healing practice, but he was also speaking to his family members at the Foundation on a very personal level.  I consider this book a crucial part of the Foundation’s legacy, an invitation to everyone who loves the Course, Ken, Gloria, and the Foundation to join the metaphorical “orchestra” of shared (over separate) interests (Ken often referred to) and intimately connect with the healing symphony of forgiveness we can’t hear often enough!

You can buy it here: https://bookstore.facim.org/p-383-from-the-lighthouse-to-look-upon-darkness-through-light-must-dispel-it.aspx

You can register for upcoming live and streamed classes  being 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! :))

The Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of two previously unpublished audio titles by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. “Appearance versus Reality” and Forgiveness: “A Many-Splendored Thing,” are both available in CD, MP3-CD, and MP3 Downloadable formats.
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Here’s a NEW AUDIO I did a couple weeks ago with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on the last section of A Course in Miracles Text Chapter 15, “Christmas as the End of Sacrifice.” http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=8D4FE4F2-26B9-4187-86BAEBC2998CE207 If we are willing to change the purpose of our relationships to learning to heal our minds about our guilty neediness (with help from the part of our mind that knows only our shared innocence and completion), he will teach us what ending sacrifice means and how to do it.

Here’s a RECENT VIDEO discussion Bruce Rawles and I had about ACIM Text Chapter 11 VIII. The Problem and the the Answer: http://www.acimblog.com/the-problem-and-the-answer-susan-dugan-and-bruce-rawles-talk-about-acim-chapter-11-section-viii/

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. (I helped cofound the original organization and am just back from presenting with them at a  mind-healing weekend Christmas retreat in Colorado Springs, Colorado.)

THE SACIM’s 2016 Immersion Program starting in January here in Denver: http://www.schoolforacourseinmiracles.org/events/course-immersion-program/. IS ENROLLING NOW! If you’re at all interested, please REGISTER NOW! If you have questions, you may contact me at sadugan@gmail.com  I am one of the teachers in this program and very much looking forward to it. I was a student of the School for A Course in Miracle’s original Immersion Program several years ago, and a teacher in its next version the following year. This new, six-month version will help participants delve deeply into the Course’s metaphysics and forgiveness practice while exploring what it really means to make living a truly forgiving life our new purpose. We would love to have you join us!

HALF-HOUR, FORTY-FIVE MINUTE, OR HOUR-LONG ACIM MENTORING SESSIONS 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 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!)

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 recent video Bruce Rawles and I discuss themes from my new 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. Another eloquent description of how insanely afraid … of everything! … our egos are! … You summarized the solution nicely here: “I only needed to stop attributing my distress to outside causes and deliver the darkness of my illusions back to the light…” If we surrender our seemingly separate selves to supreme savvy, the delirious depressing darkness doesn’t have a chance! 🙂

  2. Thank you, Bruce! 🙂

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