Thoughts on A Course In Miracles: Lessons 19 – 22

Why I Am Here, No 002
Why I Am Here, No 002

I am jealous of monks and nuns. The idea of retreating from the world to focus on my spiritual practice is so appealing…but it is not for me. I am occupied with the business of trying to see through this illusion every day while I feel myself in conflict. And I know the conflict is a thing of my own making, and I think I must dismantle, but I can’t seem to escape it and I also know I can’t run away from it. I have to be here, NOW, to solve this puzzle.

Daily life is eating away at my time, my energy and my mojo. It doesn’t take much: boys needing more of my attention and Mark missing me have made most nights this week intense, especially on top of a work schedule shifted later by an hour or more due to car swap logistics. I’ve been away from my blog here, but more importantly also away from my reinvigorated artistic endeavors, and my mind is running its own agenda everywhere but in the present. I’ve been going through the daily lessons, but not spending much time absorbing the experience. Still, there have been a few interesting developments.

Lesson 19: I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.

January 12, 2015

Reflections

Not much to say on this one. Just that…I am tired of my thoughts.

Lesson 20: I am determined to see.

January 13, 2015

Reflections

I primarily remember feeling frustration with this one: why am I blind still.

This is the EGO tricking me again: I want to be angry with God for not helping me get out of my own way. Even though I know God did not create my false identity. Rather, I should be angry with the Ego. And even this the Ego will accept: so long as I’m focused on my anger and frustration, I am not dwelling in the space that the Ego has brought me to, where I can look it in the eye and recognize it for the fraud that it is.

Lesson 21: I am determined to see things differently.

January 14, 2015

Reflections

I am starting to see things differently. Also, having my “mojo mantra” – Celebrate Beauty in the NOW – really helps me to refocus myself in difficult moments.

After struggling & having plenty of angry and upsetting thoughts for practices 1, 2 & 3 (mostly family stress and feeling like I was getting sick), I had a distinct recovery in my positive energy. I did a number of things to ground myself in the present, of which the piece de resistance was literally a piece: a slice of red velvet cheesecake from Atwater’s Café. I truly savored every bite: the creamy cheesecake, the lightly sweet whipped cream, the moist and not-too-sweet red velvet cake filling and the oh my goodness! yummy chocolate graham cracker crust. This sensory experience actually solidified a positive energy swing and when I started my fourth practice session of the day, I couldn’t find myself troubled about any of my thoughts. I recalled the things that had troubled me earlier in the day, but even though none of them had really changed, I could not feel upset or anger about any of them. I felt peaceful.

I did experience a dip in both my sense of health and my mood when I got home, so there was plenty of angst to supply fodder for my fifth practice session of the day. But I remain determined to see things differently, and by calling this lesson to mind I was able to repair a misunderstanding with Mark when it would have been much easier to let it spiral totally out of control.

Lesson 22: What I see is a form of vengeance.

January 15, 2015

Lesson

Look at the world about you at least five times today, for at least a minute each time. As your eyes move slowly from one object to another, from one body to another, say to yourself: I see only the perishable; I see nothing that will last; What I see is not real; what I see is a form of vengeance.

At the end of each practice period, ask yourself: Is this the world I really want to see? The answer is surely obvious.

Reflections

I find this lesson complicated and it does not rest easily in my mind as compared to the other lessons I have completed so far: It is one thing to admit the world I see is an illusion, another entirely to say everything I see is a form of vengeance. How is a coffee cup a form of vengeance? Who exactly is attacking who when I exchange a friendly smile with the tollbooth worker as I enter or exit the Turnpike? I don’t see how the unreality of a thing means it is a form of vengeance.

The preceding statements did resonate and click for me: at times I felt as though I could see the entire world about me changing – as though I were watching a time lapsed recording of the buildings and landscape around me: pipes going to rust, people growing old and fading away, paved roadways being chewed up by invasive vines and plants…even the planet is not exempt, and I imagined its death in the dull glow of a red dwarf star many billions of years hence when the Sun has run its course. All this I felt very viscerally…but how it is vengeance I do not clearly understand.

Amen.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on A Course In Miracles: Lessons 19 – 22

  1. Hi! I’m a new follower/reader of this blog and I’m looking forward to reading more of your thoughts, especially with regard to A Course In Miracles!

    Remember the distinction that the Course makes between seeing and Vision? According to the Course, Vision is spiritual sight, the right-minded perception of the Holy Spirit, which reflects Truth and Reality. On the other hand, seeing is the body’s sight, the wrong-minded perception of the ego, which reflects deception and illusion.

    Seeing is also projection. We see “out there” what we fail to take responsibility for in our minds. The formation and continued perception of the entire universe – and all of time and space – is the result of projection of the “tiny, mad idea” of separation from the sleeping Son’s (our) mind. The physical universe and the countless lives of men in it is an exploration of this idea over and over again. As you know, everything in this projection is absolutely devoid of reality.

    Not only is the entire projection devoid of reality, it is an ATTACK on ourselves, on God, on Heaven and on Reality. The original “tiny, mad idea” itself is an attack. It is not passive, not something that just happened to us. When the Son of God accepted this idea, he ASSERTED attack instead of love, illusion instead of reality, deceit instead of truth.

    The idea of separation, asserted and uncorrected, became our original sin. Along with the birth of sin in our minds came the death of Heaven from our awareness, instead replaced by complete emptiness. The experience of the ensuing desperation and isolation caused by throwing away everything for nothing is our underlying guilt, which was and remains too immense to bear.

    In order to protect himself from the unbearable guilt, the sleeping Son split his mind again and projected the idea outwards from the mind. In so doing, he would no longer experience it IN his mind. Instead, the chosen “reality” of separation became an external experience impressing itself upon his mind from outside of himself – seemingly.

    Of course, the sleeping Son could not have just two parts of the unholy trinity. Sin (the tiny, mad idea) gave rise to guilt (experience of total loss and devastation) and the projected guilt into the world gave rise to fear. Fear is the feeling of dread the Son feels coming back to him from “without”. In his nightmare, the Son believes that God is the source of fear. And what the Son fears is his existence being blotted out forever by an angry Father. We call it death. It is a “reality” for everyone and everything in the dream. As you described above, you’ve seen your own visions of the death of the entire physical universe. This is the retribution we believe is due to us because of our “sin”.

    Over and over again, our belief in attack and retribution is played out in the physical universe, like a fractal. Therefore, what we see with our eyes is a form of vengeance because it reflects the moment where our Perfection was exchanged for sin, guilt and fear.

    Vengeance is defined as, “punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.” The world IS the vengeance we experience, for the world is the mirror for the punishment we believe is due ourselves (and everyone else!) for destroying Heaven and making ourselves into something God does not Will for us. It is here in this mirror that we see the myriad forms of retribution enacted against us: sickness, war, attack, death. Everything the body’s eyes look upon reflects this continual battleground wherein God enacts His retribution upon us.

    Does this help at all??!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Joseph – this does help. I feel sure I have read this concept, but the ego is very tenacious and its illusions very strong. I want to thank you, too for making yourself known to me through my blog. I popped over to yours and will be following it as well.
      If you do not mind, I would like to repost your Invocation here so I can find it readily and perhaps help others to find it, because it is a much needed reminder while the ego maintains its hold.

      Liked by 1 person

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