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Let’s Show God a Good Time: Our Tuesday Night ACIM Group

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I Invented the World I See

I Invented the World I See

Rev. Patrick always used to say, “I’m here to show God a good time.”  That, according to him, was our life’s purpose.  Because if each of us is the Divine Expressing, and the idea is that Source Energy experiences through each of us, then our jobs are to be good hosts/hostesses.  Live it up!  Make the visit worth the while.

Maybe that’s part of why we come together each Tuesday, because honestly I swear we spend half the evening laughing at ourselves.  This being human stuff is such fucked up shit sometimes.  And the more I study life and people and science and religion (or at least spirituality), the more convinced I am that it’s important not to thinks it’s so damned important. (Remember Rule #6.)  Lighten up!  It’s all a projection of our own screwed up thinking: “I have invented the world I see.”

We are still going through The Manual for Teachers, which though in some ways seems more straight-forward, comes with little an arousal of inadequacy.  Whoa!  I can’t possibly manage all this.

Yeah, that might be because, as it reminded us in the first line of our reading for the evening (II.Honesty), “All other traits of God’s teachers rest on trust.”

Great.  Pretty sure that means we are screwed.

Judgment destroys Honesty

Judgment destroys Honesty

Not that I, personally, am not a trusting person.  I am.  Mostly.  I’m really only semi-decent at it because, well – years of practice.

But I’ve long known that my primary issue is that sometimes I fall into that old habit of not trusting God.

It’s bizarre when I think about it, after all these years, after all this studying, after all this practice.  But the truth is that anytime I am in fear, I’m not trusting God. I’m trying to manipulate the circumstances because, for some stupid reason, I can’t imagine that God would give me what I want.

In Religious Science we often refer to this as digging up the seed.  I’ve declared what I want.  I’ve started down the path to getting it but it’s not looking the way I imagined it would, so suddenly I’m thinking God forgot to have my back and so I run out and dig up the seed I planted to make sure it’s growing.  Then we wonder why the dang thing dies!  (Law of Attraction, “This stuff doesn’t work!”  we declare.  And God says, “Bitch, it was almost there, but if you’ve changed your mind, so be it!”)

The whole trust thing is interwoven with the whole faith thing and it’s a complicated cluster.

God never (well, never say never, so almost never) comes in the front door.  What I think it’s going to look like and how Source has the pieces all fitting together almost never match.

But I’m ahead of myself.  Back to the “class.”

“I’m a liar,” says Tim.  “I trust a person more when they admit it.”

Because we all are, even if it’s just the occasional little white lie.  I think of myself of as an honest person yet I’ve noticed how frequently I want to reach for a little white lie rather than the truth.  I notice it.  I’m curious about it.

What I notice is in the underbelly is a lack of trust.

I’ve often said that we teach our children to lie by making it unsafe to share the truth.  I mean what fool in their right minds wants to spill their guts when it is only going to get them in trouble?  Right?

The Course says, “Only the trusting can afford honesty, for only they can see its value.”

It has to feel safe.  “So I should just trust everyone?  I should trust my daughter when she tells me she’s doing her homework and I’m pretty sure she’s playing around on the computer?” comes the question.

My response was, trust doesn’t mean you don’t call people on their shit, but how do you call them on it?  Are you attacking?  That’s ego.  Or are you inquiring with love?

And here’s the thing: Remember the fable of the frog and the scorpion?  Well, the scorpion has Buddha nature, but if he doesn’t know how to be that, I’m not sure you should expect him to be better than he knows himself to be.  Just saying.

Sometimes, personally, I think you can trust people to be true to who they have shown themselves to be.  Not saying that underneath they aren’t better than that.  I know there is a diamond encrusted under all that crud, but if they don’t know how to let that diamond shine, I wouldn’t get too attached to it suddenly blazing through.  People are where they are on the path and you can’t do the work for them; even if we are all one.

See the Buddha Nature; know who they really are (guiltless), help them to become a better version of themselves; but if they fuck you over, you don’t get to hold it against them for not being better at being true to themselves.

(If you want to be a teacher of God, you don’t get to be a victim and pretend you don’t know who you are.)

The Course says, “Honesty does not apply only to what you say.  The term actually means consistency.  There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other though; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another.  Such are the truly honest.  At no level are they in conflict with themselves.  Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything.”

And there is that little idea of separation.  Only those who believe themselves separated would want to attack rather than inquire with love.

Yeah, this running around in different bodies makes it easy to forget that piece; makes it easy to be oblivious to how we are all one, all connected.  But forgetting it doesn’t change what it really is.

“The peace of mind which the advanced teachers of God experience is largely due to their perfect honesty.  It is only the wish to deceive that makes for war.  No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict.  Conflict is the inevitable result of self-deception and self-deception is dishonesty.”

The ego finds this very threatening; at least mine does and the temperature in the room indicated I wasn’t the only one.  “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”  How frequently do we return to one of the daily lessons?  They are like mantras that I reach for to train me away from the ego thought system and back to the Love found in Source Energy.

The discussion turns to where the discussion pretty much always goes – how to be that vulnerable in the world?

But what world do you see?  Again, it goes back to the lessons.  “I have invented the world I see.”

“There is another way of looking at the world.”

“I could see peace instead of this.”

We choose again.  We notice how we aren’t choosing with love and then we choose again.

And yes, it all goes back to trust.  “Have faith, but tie up your camel.”  I mean, to me the truly faithful don’t need to tie up their camel, and yet….

We still live in the world.  What happens when you are finally an advanced enough teacher of God that you don’t need to tie up your camel?  The world disappears.  Because it’s all Maya anyway; all illusion.  “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” “My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.”

“It is only the wish to deceive that makes for war.”

It all goes back to trust.  Do you trust that God has your back or not?

“It is not danger that comes when defenses are laid down.  It is safety.  It is peace.  It is joy.  And it is God.”

There was lots of other stuff.  Amazing how three plus pages of text could incite such lively discussion.  (I won’t go into those that ensued from the sections on Tolerance, Gentleness, Joy and Generosity because, well, because I want to finish this post today!)

We were there to show God a good time and we did, as we do every week; because this is A Course in MiraclesIt’s a required course.  We had a new person in our midst and that perspective in and of itself brought lots of fresh energy.  The important part, from my point of view is that a good time was had by all.  And maybe, just maybe, our egos let go just a tiny bit more.  Our trust deepened just a smidgeon.  Maybe there was a little more willingness to fall into the arms of God and just allow whatever is happening to happen without the need to oppose it or be judgmental about it.

Okay, maybe we will go into the section on Tolerance (it’s just a paragraph).

“God’s teachers do not judge.  To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have.  Judgment without self-deception is impossible.  Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers.  How, then, could you not have been deceived in yourself?”

Ok, wait a minute.  Let me think about this.  As soon as I judge anything, I am thinking I know better than God (because remember, “I do not know what anything is for.”).  If I am deceived in my brother (and I’m pretty sure this is the part where I expect him to behave as I’ve always know him to behave rather than who he really is.  Damned scorpion!), then I am deceived in myself because I am coming from ego rather than my Buddha self.  (I’m reading something that talks about Buddha nature lately so that is the language I’m using.  Get over it.)

If I don’t remember who I am, then how the hell can I see who you are?  If I have stopped coming from love, then how can I see the truth of anything.  “Judgement destroys honesty and shatters trust.  No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn.”

Which of course, leads us to the next section, Gentleness.  “Harm is the outcome of judgment.  It is the dishonest act that follows a dishonest thought.  It is a verdict of guilt upon a brother, and therefore on oneself.  It is the end of peace and the denial of learning.”

Choose again.  Choose again.  (Gently.)

(Insert Love-Kindness.  Insert Forgiveness, both of self and others.)

Obviously, I am still learning this stuff.  I still have moments where I get to notice that I am assuming I know what something is for, and who someone is (NOT the Buddha nature part).  I am still learning.

And yes, sometimes it feels impossible.  Sometimes it feels like I will never get this stuff.  But the purpose of the Course, in my estimation, isn’t to kill the ego.  It’s to make peace with it.  To recognize that our egos, my ego anyway is just the frightened child part of me that doesn’t feel safe.  And my mission, should I choose to accept it (and it’s a required course) is to learn that it is safe.  That I made up the monsters under the bed.  God has my back.  The game is rigged and I can’t screw it up.

So, let’s show God a good time.  I know He can’t enjoy the ride if I’m crouched in fear, because then I’m not enjoying the ride and I am a cell in the heart of God.  Let go.  Trust.  Enjoy the ride.  Show God a good time.  It’s okay.  In fact, it’s perfect.

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.

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