Archive for August, 2010

There is no way to reconcile ACIM with any form of psychotherapy

Friday, August 27th, 2010

A psychologist friend of mine and I were having lunch. I asked what is the function of psychotherapy. His reply was to help the person cope. I asked, “Is coping the highest level we can hope for?”

All forms of psychotherapy attempt to repair the individual and make him/her whole within himself. A Course in Miracles says that in Truth there is no such thing as the individual. The individual is the symbol of Brokenness Itself.  The only True wholeness is in the realization of Oneness.

The Paradox of A Course in Miracles

Friday, August 20th, 2010
Recently a friend emailed me with a question about what he perceived to be a cadre of well-known spiritual teachers who merely proclaim “the fact that this whole universe is a illusion. In most cases they dismisses religion completely and say there is no meaning here and it is a waste of time seeking anything here. There is no self and no duality. Everything here is meaningless.” He goes on to observe, “No mention is made of God, Jesus or Holy Spirit. Even forgiveness isn’t given much credence.” He then asks, “how they could arrive at the same conclusions (about the world being illusion) as in A Course in Miracles or other ancient (mainly Eastern) teachings and wondered how they sustain these conclusions without the backing of some spiritual teaching.”
 
MY REPLY
 
Well, let us look at it this way: The Course asks us to use reason. So, IF the Course is true, then the bottom line IS no self, no world, no duality and no perception. Correct? Even A Course in Miracles is unreal and illusory. Right? And forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Jesus are meaningless and never really existed. Can you see that?
 
However, we find ourselves firmly enmeshed in the dream of separation to the point that we believe it to be reality. True? So, A Course in Miracles comes to awaken the sleeping one (who now thinks he is a bunch of different oneS). To do so requires a very paradoxical approach. The Course must address you BOTH as you are AND as you think yourself to be. It must try every trick in the book to get you to perceive and experience a difference between you and Bill; that you are not completely, totally and exclusively Bill; that there is something else within you. To do this requires the introduction of language and concepts, none of which is true, but which point in the direction of Truth. A Course in Miracles is written in such a way that you might finally have a serious doubt about the nature of your reality as you perceive it now. Its main aim is to raise doubts and questions.
 
In addition, the Course suggests that the leap from the perception of duality to the absoluteness of no world, no self, no duality is too great and fearful to be made in most cases; that there exists a perception of unity, of relatedness, of non-separation: also unreal, but having no quarrel with the Truth. This perception it calls by many various names – the Happy Dream, forgiveness, salvation, spiritual vision, the eyes of Christ, Atonement, true perception, etc. It says this should be our goal and no more. The Course as you know, does not claim to be the only way, just a faster and more efficient way.
 
Now come the so-called teachers and baby gurus…proclaiming what they think they know. One of two things is true of these proclaiming no world, no self, no duality:
 
1) They have had and ARE HAVING AT THIS MOMENT the experience of no self, no world and no duality.
 
2) They are merely parroting concepts that they have read or been told.
 
Now if 1) is true, to whom would one be speaking in a state of no self, no world, no duality? Who would hear?
 
The guru trip can be very lucrative and give one a great feeling of power and experience of adoration. Therefore,
 
If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!
 
Seek not outside yourself!

Do you know how to read the Course?

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Recently a friend sent  me an email stating that she did not understand the passage from Lesson 195 which reads, “Today we learn to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice and revenge. We have been given everything. If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness,….” Her concern was how to understand the segment marked in red. My reply was that it was a simple, “If…,then….” proposition. And she replied, “Oh, I see.” But did she?

The title of Lesson 195 is “Love is the way I walk in gratitude.” and suggests that gratitude be substituted for bitterness, anger, malice and revenge. But, who can truly do this? And I am not talking about some sort of namby-pamby, new agey pretense. Here is a question: What would make gratitude possible? The Course is written to evoke questions, not engender belief.

Even before that question, when reading the above segment from lesson 195, does not the question arise, “Am I actually refusing to recognize that I have been given everything?” Who has actually seen that in every moment he is actively refusing to reconize this “fact.” Is this “fact” real to you? Are you actively refusing to recognize your gifts?

The Course suggests that we question everything. It seems only natural then that we should question the Course itself.