Rev McCulloch on WORDS


The Miracle of Words
By Rev. Logan McCulloch*
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[as it appeared in the March 2010 Newsletter]
 
  

 

 

I found Love in the back of a Nissan Xterra on a frigid night in November of 2001. No, dear reader, this is not that kind of a love story! I was parked at a trailhead adjacent to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in the mountains of West Virginia, having arrived too late in the day to begin a solo backpacking trip. I had no idea that my life experience was about to be irrevocably changed as I opened a little book I had grabbed off my wife’s nightstand before I left my home that morning.

At the time I told myself I needed this trip to clear my head as I prepared to begin a new job. In retrospect, this trip represented so much more. Disintegration by definition must precede integration, and at the time it felt as if my life was falling apart. My work environment was poisonous, my marriage (my third) was deteriorating, my family relationships were strained, and my yearning for meaning was intense. I did not understand what was occurring in my life.

And then that night in my sleeping bag in the back of my vehicle, by the light of my headlamp I read Change Your Mind, Change Your Life by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione. I began reading at 7pm and finished as dawn was breaking. It was my first introduction to A Course in Miracles, and over the next three days as I walked through the forest I thought of little else. Those words, symbols on a printed page, stirred and released some long held emotion locked deep within me.

Now eight years later, I am a student and a teacher of ACIM. And of late I have become fascinated by language; more specifically the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) messages imbedded in our Self-created words. If ultimately every language, every assemblage of symbols, was created in an attempt to describe, interpret and communicate reality, then perhaps it is no stretch of the imagination that in the very creation of language the Holy Spirit was offering loving guidance.

Recently I’ve begun to believe that we (our higher Self) have left ourselves clues, pointers if you will, in the very language we absent-mindedly utilize for our day to day existence. Perhaps we’ve left a trail of symbolic breadcrumbs as we journeyed along our various paths from home.

Information, Imagination, and Emotion

Here are three powerful examples of the breadcrumbs we may have left ourselves within the English language. Perhaps it’s time to create a new metaphysical dictionary, one that defines and illuminates the overlooked power of these symbols we use to *communicate.

In-form-ation: the process of coming into form; be-coming something, somebody; the substance of the universe.

I once heard a quantum physicist describe the universe as “an infinite sea of potentiality composed purely of information”. Physicists commonly use the language of mathematics to attempt to describe and define reality. It appears to be a growing belief in scientific circles that the essential substance that comprises our universe has the potential to become anything. If this is so, then it is an absolutely true statement to declare that: anything is possible. This is true because quite literally, everything and everybody is information.

Imag-in-ation: the ability to form images and ideas in the mind, especially of things never seen or experienced directly; an act of creating a semblance of reality.

Where does creation begin? Where does something or somebody begin to come into form? In my experience I am, and have always been, exactly who I imagine myself to be. Why do I so stubbornly resist the idea of imagining myself as being One with God, created from the substance of my Creator?

If we live in a holographic universe, as more and more evidence confirms, and if then it follows we are holographic beings, then every individual image we hold in mind contains the potential to create a collective image. In other words, each part contains the potential for the whole (Holy). Our many minds are whole and complete aspects of the One Mind. Said another way, there is One Universal Mind, and we share it. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, “We are it”. Hence, the images we hold in mind contain great potential power.

E-motion: energy in motion; a strong feeling about somebody or something

If, as many quantum physicists now posit, matter is merely a sensory illusion, then emotion is quite literally the universal force. Energy is perhaps set in motion by our imagination. When we create and hold an image in mind, and then feel the emotions we associate with that image, we engage the creative power of the universe to bring the image into form. We are always creating…either unconsciously in fear, or with loving intention. Author Greg Braden, among many others, refers to emotions as “the language of the Soul”. Perhaps it is the one universal language that has the power to bridge any communication gap. If so, why are we so resistant to learning, or perhaps remembering, this language when it contains the real potential to remind us who we truly are?

The Language of Creation

Imagination (the universal mind) + Emotion (the one spirit) + Information (the substance of the universe) = Creation. If we are naturally creative beings, imbued with the power of our Creator, then we have the God-given ability to combine our spirit and our universal mind with the substance of God and bring into form our hearts desire. Perhaps creating a physical version of “heaven on earth”, realizing our ability to bring that potentiality into form, only depends upon our hearts desire. What if we surrendered to our hearts desire to be who we truly are, as opposed the image we’ve been conditioned to believe we should be? Can you imagine that? Can you feel that? Can you bring that into form? Yes, you can. Allow, allow, allow.

God offers us his eternal information, imbues us with our infinite imagination, and patiently awaits our willingness to allow them to combine and divinely create using the language of the Soul…the emotion that naturally flows around and through us. Are you willing to allow your hearts desire to flow through you? Are you willing to see things differently?

*Authors Note: The words in italics are those the reader may choose to reflect upon in greater measure. They are among the countless “breadcrumbs” we may have left ourselves as we journeyed on our paths from home. Perhaps through examining their deeper meanings they can help expedite our return.

Footnote to Reader: In my experience it is common for most of us to evaluate something we read, some reformed information, through the filters of our past conditioning. More specifically, we unconsciously compare and contrast a new point of view against our current model which is typically derived from past experiences. My invitation to you is this: before you judge what is correct or incorrect, right or wrong, take a deep breath and look for value and unity in any teaching. Both always exist. But the human mind is often conditioned to first look for exception and division. An open heart coupled with an open mind allows the natural unity to be revealed.    

~*~

* Rev. Logan McCulloch is active in the Louisville KY community and is currently writing his book, “Breadcrumbs”.

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Robin and Sofiah


The Loneliest Feeling
By Robin ~ Response by Sofiah
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[as it appeared in the March 2010 Newsletter]

 

 

Here’s a story I haven’t told before. My old man is in hospital after suffering a minor heart attack. I don’t feel anything? I either don’t want to feel anything or I really don’t care. Either way it’s a little disturbing.

At the age of 15 I left his house never to return. At that young age I had strong feelings about both my parents and those feelings drove me to move as far from them as I could get. I went to work and saved for a year and when I was 16 I left New Zealand forever.

My father was out of control. He was physically abusive and totally arrogant in his approach to family,. He hated my mother and he hated the responsibility of his 4 children. The 5 of us continually attempted to please him but of course it never worked. 

I remember feeling very frightened as a young boy.  I was never safe and I have horrible memories of hiding out under the hedge and in the potting shed, hoping he would go out or that he might forget my latest crime. 

    

He beat me with a length of electrical cord that doubled as a jug cord for boiling water. He did this on a regular basis until I left. His beatings today would land him in prison and he kept me in the prison of his psychosis for 15 years.

My mother was driven insane by him. She could never please him and she loved him totally, though she had another relationship with a man of similar character to my dad, after he threw her out of the family home and moved his whore in. She never got over him. Until she died she was, in her mind, still his wife.

It was strange. My father successfully destroyed my family so that he could rebuild it in his own image. The whore he replaced my mother with moved right in and though I have never met her it seems she may have brought my father’s psychotic bent under control. At least things looked better.

My sister Deb was the other casualty of the family war. No one has seen her in years. I hear rumors that she is living in Sydney Australia or somewhere else but her life, apparently has been a horror of psychiatrists and drugs. 

No one will admit to my father’s insanity. They say, you’ve got it all wrong. He’s a good man. Well maybe he is now that he has gotten rid of the problem. Now that he has thrown out his family and fixed up his pathetic life.

Now he has a heart attack at 80 or whatever age he is and I get emails even from my X-wife in Australia. I don’t know why. She divorced me years ago?

I think I’m still angry and although I do not act out I have the same Psychosis – I do not beat people or even enjoy conflict but I feel him in me like a cancer. 

I forgot my family as a self protective device, I literally had to give them up even in memory in order to have a life. Now I hear that the old man is on his way out. Well, I couldn’t care less and that is the loneliest feeling ever.

RESPONSE BY SOFIAH

Response written by Sofiah, a Muslim woman and Course in Miracles student.

Dear Robin,

Last night I dreamt, a huge chunk of my hair falls off and the left side of my head became completely bald. One of the feeling, I remembered from the dream was horror, and the dream then shifted to something else, very vague, and I just can’t remember and then it went back , to me and my hair again and this time I find my right hand pulling out my hair and it starts coming off very easily and I find that, there’s just a few strands of hair left, and I decided to take a shaver and shave whatever remaining hairs off my head. And the thought I have in the dream is that, people is going to shun a bald headed female, and I felt utterly alone in the dream.

What has my dream to do with your blog??. Here’s some pointers:

”Dreams show you that you have the power to make a world as you would have it be, and that because you want it you see it. And while you see it you do not doubt that it is real. Yet here is a world, clearly within your mind, that seems to be outside. You do not respond to it as though you made it, nor do you realize that the emotions the dream produces must come from you. It is the figures in the dream and what they do that seem to make the dream. You do not realize that you are making them act out for you, for if you did the guilt would not be theirs, and the illusions of satisfaction would be gone. In dreams these features are not obscure. You seem to waken; and the dream is gone. Yet what you fail to recognize is that what caused the dream has not gone with it. Your wish to make another world that is not real remains with you. And what you seem to waken to is but another form of this same world you see in dreams. All your time is spent in dreaming. Your sleeping and your waking dreams have different forms, and that is all. Their content is the same. They are your protest against reality, and your fixed and insane idea that you can change it. In your waking dreams, the special relationship has a special place. It is the means by which you try to make your sleeping dreams come true. From this, you do not waken. The special relationship is your determination to keep your hold on unreality, and to prevent yourself from waking. And while you see more value in sleeping than in waking, you will not let go of it.”
[ACIM-oe CH.18.SecIII.paragragh 18]

For many years, my studying of the Course was one of utter frustration because my ‘I’ of the body that try to grasp its message, until I read DU or was it Wapnick, that said it was meant for the mind, which is beyond time and space.

Think of your father as, a renegade mind, that believe in the reality of guilt and punishment, sending very sick messages to his brain/body which CANNOT BUT OBEY the dictate of that mind. If you can imagine the unhealed pain and sickness that must be there to make him behave that way, you cannot but pity him…as Jesus pitied and prayed for those who nailed him to the cross.( I know you were a child, and Jesus was 33 years old when he was crucified, but still you can go back in time and with HS’s help see the dream differently) Here’s some lines out of so many many others that Jesus taught in his Course about our true reality:

”The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. It cannot change what is its waking state. IT CANNOT MAKE A BODY,NOR ABIDE WITHIN A BODY. What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source. For mind creates all things that are, and cannot give them attributes it lacks, nor change its own eternal, mindful state… It cannot make the physical… Yet mind is mind, awake or sleeping…” [ACIM Lesson 167]

“When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while. It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen NEVER HAS OCCURED, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was.” [ACIM Lesson 167]

Jesus said, ‘the sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept atonement for himself’, and as glib as this may sound to some, but I feel you must be ready to hear it, because you want to see things differently, so here goes: All that beating in your childhood, is your dream dear brother. Your father acted out the wishes of your sleeping mind. And for that matter, all the beatings I received in my childhood is my dream. My blessed mother acted out the wishes of my sleeping mind. My ”I” of the body feels itself a victim, but through the Course, I know that is not my reality. And there are times, since understanding begins to dawned on my mind bits by bits, when I actually feel great remorse for holding so much that is untrue against my mother. I actually feel ashamed for having dreamed such a dream and dragging her into it, for not accepting Atonement in an earlier lifetime, recalling a few other passages:–

”There never was a time an idol brought you anything except the ‘gift’ of guilt. Not one was bought except at cost of pain, NOR WAS IT EVER PAID BY YOU ALONE. Be merciful unto your brother, then. And do not choose an idol thoughtlessly, remembering that he will pay the cost as well as you.” [ACIM-oe CH.30.SecVI.Paragraph67]

”What matters it which concept you accept while you perceive a self that interacts with evil, and reacts to wicked things? Your concept of yourself will still remain quite meaningless.” [ACIM-oe CH.31.SecV.Paragraph57]

”If you can be hurt by anything, you see a picture of your secret wishes. Nothing more than this. And in your suffering of any kind you see your own (mind) concealed desire to kill.” [ACIM-oe CH.31.SecV.Paragraph57]

”Be vigilant against temptation, then, remembering that it is but a wish, insane and meaningless, TO MAKE YOURSELF A THING THAT YOU ARE NOT.(i.e. a body) And think as well upon the thing that you would be instead. It is a thing of madness, pain and death; a thing of treachery and black despair, of failing dreams and no remaining hope except to die, and end the dream of fear.” [ACIM-oe CH.31.SecVII.Paragraph80]

When my mom passed away, in March’93 of brain tumor, I was the only one at her bedside, being an atheist and not fasting in the month of Ramadan. All my siblings left the hospital to break their fast. I was there, and it was her last gift to me. I cannot accept afterwards that God does not exist. And after dabbling in this teaching and that… found the Course in Nov’98, felt intuitively from reading the first few lines, that it felt familiar to me, as if I am meeting an old friend once again… I must have done the Course in my previous lifetime, and probably resisted its call for Atonement tooths and nails. Got born this time around in a Muslim world for that resistant, a female on top of that! My family are not fanatical, but do their best to be devout Muslim. After the Iranian revolution, fundamentalist starts to flourished in M’sia and lots of missionaries everywhere in the early eighties. I gave up on Islam shortly after my 23rd birthday in’82 and also in a way escaped putting on the veil which become so popular throughout the Muslim world from the eighties onwards. Yes I knew from the moment I read just a couple of paragraph of the Course that it is going to be the path for me, though now and again I’d get very resistant to its message and would leave it for months and months.

Thanks to the Course, I am now more willing to relinquish (Wapnick always said it is a process and to be gentle with ourselves in doing the Course) the dream of hatred that still lingers in the minds of my brothers and sisters for the Jewish state of Israel, and all things Jews. But for me the escape from this illusory world now looks more and more possible.(For those who think all these are not a dream but real, I’d say ‘selamat’ to them and I sincerely hope it be a happy dream for them, and may it never turn into a nightmare as it did for some people in the third world countries.) I truly feel I owed gratitude to three great Jewish figures in my dream, Jesus, Helen and Yes Wapnick.

Before I close, the link below, is a song that speak a truth for me. There’s a line in it, that goes, ”till I (I took it as my ”I” of the ego/ideas of bodies) finally die, which started the whole world living…” well I have said it before, separation is a sick joke we played on ourselves, now I’ve got a song to backed me up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7r0piYk19o

The word ‘selamat’ mean a few things in Malay. It can mean, God’s speed, be safe, good grace. I wish you, dear Robin.

Selamat, Sofiah

Q and A with Carmen


Good Questions
 
Questions & Answers

By Carmen Cameron*
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
[as it appeared in the March 2010 Newsletter]


 


There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It isalso a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. 

 

Question: The Course places such an emphasis on meditation and prayer but I find it is just so hard to get really quiet in meditaiton because my mind is FILLED with random thoughts. Any suggestions?

 

Answer:

Ah, “monkey mind” is just SO familiar to all of us on the spiritual path! Here’s what helped me learn how to “tame” it.

 

Psychological studies have shown recently that only 5% of our thoughts are conscious while the remaining 95% of our thoughts are repressed into the subconscious meaning that a person can control their conscious mind 100% and still have a stampede of mental activity going on – and that stampeding horde is literally set free when we attempt to relax our mind (in either prayer or meditation).What to do in the meanwhile?  Try defining “meditation” a little more broadly for starters. Absolutely everyone I’ve ever asked, “Is there something you do that makes time stand still for you? Like walking or painting or playing music?” has answered with a resounding “YES!”  Well, in essence that’s a form of meditation, a way that comes naturally and easily to YOU.  Start there.  Begin your walk or other activity with your intention to be open to whatever the Holy Spirit wants to communicate with you in the coming moments.  I think you’ll be amazed at the results you’ll get.

So what to do? Pay attentioin to the thoughts that come up instead of JUST rejecting them, for one, understanding tht they’re coming up into your mind simply BECAUSE they’re Unattended.
Cleaning up the thoughts that arise from a “freed” subconscious eventually leads to a simpler state of mind, one that can relax AND be quiet because it’s no longer a mental prison for a virtual circus of undealt-with thoughts!

AND you’ll be both learning what getting quiet actually feels like – so you’ll be more capable of discerning what interferes with it – plus getting motivated to do it more frequently.

I hope this info has been helpful to you!

~*~

Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and is scheduled to present again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is:  http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/

Scribing by Sun~Rose


YOU ARE LOVED AND SAFE

 
Jesus Expanding The Miracle Principles
Given In His Course In Miracles
original edition

as received and transcribed by Sun~Rose*
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[as it appeared in the March 2010 Newsletter]
 

9. Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are ALWAYS miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring MORE love both to the giver AND the receiver.  And how can the physical laws be reversed?  They seem so … solid.  Again, can You cut the air – can You slice a sunbeam – with a knife?  Or do the breeze and Light just laugh and continue as they always were?  So like the breeze and Light are You.

10. The use of miracles as spectacles to INDUCE belief is wrong; or, better, is a misunderstanding of their purpose. They are really used FOR and BY believers.   A miracle is a gift to get your attention.  It is a call to Remembrance.  In a sea of despair, a miracle is a life raft of hope.  It is a glimpse that Something Good exists and is right now available to You.

11. Prayer is the medium of miracles. Prayer is the natural communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.  Prayer is the gold of human experience.  The longing of the heart for something better, something dimly known that must exist.  Through the miracle the reality of this Thing called Love shows forth.  It comes not just to heal the body or the situation, but to show the possibilities that stand behind Its Gift.  It asks but that You take Its offering.

 

(1972 manuscript as given to Hugh Lynn Cayce
by Helen Schucman and William Thetford)

 

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION TO MIRACLES

 

12. Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent lower-order or higher-order reality. This is the basic distinction between intellectualizing and thinking. One makes the physical and the other creates the spiritual, and we believe in what we make or create.  This is necessary of some clarification because it seems to give some realness to the physical, as if there were two things: Spirit and its somehow-opposite called matter.  Here is a key point, and it is born out in Lesson 97 and the lessons preceding it.  There is only Spirit. 

What I have called ‘intellectualizing’ simply misperceives, as if You were seeing a vine draped over a garden wall at a distance and You mistook it for a snake.  The vine stands for Reality here, the distance is your supposed separation from God, and the snake is the world, which is how Reality appears from the insistent stance for supposed separation. 

Again, I say ‘supposed’ because You have never become separated.  At this instant You are embraced as the Father-Mother Love and can choose this Love at any moment. 

The ‘physical’ is but a dream sense.  Spirit always remains the Reality no matter how often You choose to be ‘born’, ‘age’, ‘sicken’, and ‘die’. 

It’s just a silly painful game, and – like the Light, the Love – You – right now, even as You seem to yourself to be a ‘mortal’ subject to danger, suffering, and death – right now – are no such thing.  Right now are You Spirit – the Presence of Love.  This is your healing and the healing of the world. 

13. Miracles are both beginnings and endings. They thus alter the temporal order. They are always affirmations of rebirth, which seem to go back, but really go forward. They undo the past in the present, and thus release the future.  This is such a delightful experience.  As you gently shift your mind in the present, your old past is gone, and with it, freedom from self-justification.  This may sound awful.  If my mother, my father, my ex-spouse, my boss, my teacher didn’t do it to me, are you saying that it’s my fault, all this mess?

There is no fault when there is no guilt.  There is no guilt where there is no sin, and a dream of sin does not make it real.  Accept this for yourself and You win freedom for the world.

This is the hardest thing for the mind to accept because We’ve worn the coat of victimization for so long.  My mother, my father, my husband, my wife, my children, my government, the economy, my race, my religion, my caste … and ultimately all blame is settled on God who is said to have created this mess. 

This is a heavy garment; like a suit of armor, it seems to protect while weighing Us down.  And yet, I say ‘Us’ because while You are so garbed I wear it with You to lighten the crushing load.  This is the ‘yoke’ I spoke of: “Take My yoke upon You … for My burden is easy, and My yoke is Light.”Text Box: ????

Come – will You?  Come and help lighten the load for yourself and our brothers and sisters.  Our beautiful brothers and sisters who lie sleeping next to You as You stir.

This is no sacrifice – in the ordinary sense of the word.  This is no sacrifice I ask of You, but a sacred act (which is the literal, original meaning of sacrifice), which can only bring You Happiness. 

Is this too much to ask?  That You might – right here in life – that You might come to play with Me as We gently waken our drowsy family.  Heaven Here – not up in the sky – awaits Us All.    

I ask You only that You be not so quick to condemn the unlovable, but rather extend a gentle patience, perhaps tinged with loving amusement at them – and at yourself – that anyone could ever think them thus.

Think of the burden it is for the Presence of Love to pretend that she – or he – is unlovable, even hateful.  No wonder You all spend so much time in front of the tv and sleeping.  To think the unthinkable is agony.

Let Us free All of Us from this pain – exchanging it for Joy.

14. Miracles bear witness to truth. They are convincing because they arise from conviction. Without conviction they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless, and therefore destructive; or rather, the uncreative use of mind.

May 16, 2006

Don’t worry about having skipped the other day.  What you needed to hear and share began at .  We’ll speak of now, which meets today’s need. 

Truth is Reality.  Truth is All Good.  So miracles stand witness to the All Good (phone interruption) of ever-present Reality.

This attests to the need to be ever Conscious only of Now, because what You need is Now – not found in dwelling in the past or the future – neither of which has place as Reality.

Let Me repeat that: All that You could ever need is present Now.  It is only visible – for lack of better words – Now.   It is not only visible, but feel-able, audible, fragrant and sweet to the taste.  (Your senses are never separate.  The experience is multi-sensory.  Any time one sense appears solo is it always supported by a chorus of the others.  A simple bird song of Heaven is more complex and exquisite than a symphony orchestra.)

All that I am describing is the expression of the fullness and richness of Heaven.  The word ‘need’, itself, is an impossibility.  You come complete, full and running over as We all give to each Other as part of our natural, normal Divine interaction.

I will give You a glimpse of what this feels like – and it is an expansion of the question I gave You so many years ago: What would it feel like if every meeting You have – with anything – a brother, a sister – a rose – a grain of sand – a flea – what if they all were maximal expressions of Love?  Yes, I know I have taken it further, including every thing.  This is the ‘running over’ (referring to the twenty-third Psalm) when one is so full of Love – so filled with Love – that It cannot help but pour forth and bathe everyone and everything.

So, like children having a water fight on a hot day, dousing each other, laughing joyously, so Our Now is: full with Love, with Joy, ever shared.  ‘Alone’ – in the human sense of it – simply does not exist.

Life is Miraculous … Forever.

~*~

to be continued….

Sun~Rose is the scribe of this soon to be published book: “You Are Loved and Safe”. She has also written”A Radiant Life: Raw Food and the Presence of Love“, available at Amazon.com

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