the soloist

I have just seen the film “The Soloist” with Jamie Foxx as a metaphor of the Son of God in an insane state of mind (called Schizophrenia by the ego). He loves Beethoven, and plays his instrument, the violin, with only two strings. He carries his insane luggage with him, it keeps him “safe” and “somebody” – his luggage has a potted palm-tree and glittering clothes and a high hat, and it is his home, really –

He was emitted of Julliard, the elite-school for artistic talent, and is roaming the street of the homeless in L.A when a journalist spots him and takes an interest in him. (This is a true story – and OH how I love to see the metaphysics of the Course played out for me to recognize.)

The journalist becomes manic in his attempt to “save” the musician – with the result that the musician says to him, “you are my God” – and after a while, it dawns on the journalist that what the musician needs, is not a savior, but a friend (p.s. the journalist has his keys attached to a small  world-globe )

There is this immensely moving scene when the schizophrenic screams to his benefactor, “I LOVE YOU” and the journalist is terrified of his love ( and the responsibility he believes it means)

I recognize my own attempt to “save” the insanity inside me /  my patients/ with clever maneuvers – that would make me the savior – but all I need, is being kind and gentle and a friend to myself and my/our/ insanity

It was such a relief to see my craziness in this “soloist” – and also his divinity when he played his instrument like any great artist do: getting out-of-the-way, allowing God to play through him

The film ends in the concert-hall – the orchestra is playing Beethoven’s third Symphony – and the musician is not soloist, but listens with his friends – he is all dressed up in glitter, and I love him so in this moment: completely carried into bliss by the music, and there is only music left –

fighting with teeth

Had a visit yesterday which I seemed to enjoy, but which seems to have mixed up a lot of rage. I had a dream where I fought with my former Expressive Arts-teacher (ah, could be an ego-symbol) – and we both used our teeth to bite through the other’s bones ( I still remember the force in my jaw, and the thought: “I am going to crush you so you cannot crush me!” ) Around us stood a multitude who moaned each time a bone was crushed – “Oh no, how CAN they…”
Reading my dream now, I recognize ego fighting ego to be stronger and mightier than, because feeling/being crushed is unspeakable awful.The thought behind the dream would be “I am under attack and must defend myself” – and boy do I forgive that thought. The thought itself is silly – but  I see how I INSTANTLY believe it.
Now forgiven.

the hairdresser from hell – or my savior?

I had got a group-on offer of a haircut on a new place. When I entered, my heart fell down into my stomach: an angry-looking male “boss” who just shook his head when I smiled. But  a 7-feet tall slim pink-dressed young  smiling man got my heart to rise again – he had a woven silver belt too, and looked like 16. We clicked at once, and he gave me a hair-wash that was indescribable delicious – just his touch made my scalp relax instantly. I told him he had healing hands, we talked about the healing arts – and then the dragon entered: pitch black colored hair in a completely wild and weird fashion. She told me her name was Glinda and she was from Albania. I told her what I wanted and I soon understood that she had not understood me at all.

When I encounter people with this kind of energy, I become very young and energetically lie down flat with my belly up. The feeling in the place was dark and scary – when I am writing this, I recognize the atmosphere from a lingerie-shop in Germany I visited while my husband had some errands with the authorities. I was 23 then, and quite a sight. When I entered, the lady in the shop looked at me and got an indescribable look on her face – like a tiger waiting for her kill. I froze – and then I heard behind the curtain somebody breathing fast and short. I “saw” through that curtain and saw a man, waiting for his prey. I sensed a clear warning inside -“get out and pretend everything is OK.”

I smiled and pretended I needed to fetch something and got out. I think I just avoided to be caught and sold into white sex-slavery.

The atmosphere  around the two Albanians  yesterday had the same feel about it – and when I sit here, writing in the sun, I fully take in the degree of my terror, being “in the hands” of that hairdresser.

She did mostly the opposite of what I asked, she did not smile once, and I had to hold her hand back physically to stop her when she wanted to spray my hair.

Outside in the sun, I was shivering and feeling very small. The evening and night was unbearable scary, and so I got up and sat in my living-room with the text of The Course. I prayed to be helped to see how this woman was the Son of God, and not the ogre of my story.

T-5.III.2. The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing. 2 Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared. 3 Being the Call for God, it is also the idea of God. 4 Since you are part of God it is also the idea of yourself, as well as of all His creations. 5 The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the universe of which it is a part. 6 It is strengthened by being given away. 7 It increases in you as you give it to your brother. 8 Your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit in himself or in you for this miracle to occur. 9 He may have dissociated the Call for God, just as you have. 10 This dissociation is healed in both of you as you become aware of the Call for God in him, and thus acknowledge Its being.

T-5.III.3. There are two diametrically opposed ways of seeing your brother. 2 They must both be in your mind, because you are the perceiver. 3 They must also be in his, because you are perceiving him. 4 See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognize Him in yours. 5 What you acknowledge in your brother you are acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you strengthen.

I recognized how I somehow was subconsciously accusing myself of being a dangerous unscrupulous human being, cold as ice – and I did not want to strengthen that perception, and again meeting it outside myself as my projection. I asked to see her as God sees her – and images were presenting themselves quickly. The more I saw, the more I could see her innocence beneath all that hardness – and how awful it must be to live under such a burden of self-hate. I saw the degree of her self-denial .

T-5.III.9.5 What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself.

T-5.IV.1. What fear has hidden still is part of you. 2 Joining the Atonement is the way out of fear. 3 The Holy Spirit will help you reinterpret everything that you perceive as fearful, and teach you that only what is loving is true.

“Only what is loving is true.” That means that this image of a criminal belongs in my mindand I have held on to it to push Love away. But it is not TRUTH. I am shaken by this insight: I am glad I have the ability to “see” what others are up to – but that does not mean that what I see is TRUTH. That ability no doubt saved me in Germany – but still, it is only “true” in the world. And since the world springs from my mind, it is proper that I ask for help in seeing her Spirit now – seeing through the illusion of hardness and cold, to the essence within. I feel a burning wish to TRULY see.

I hear a “clangg.” It is a green polished stone on the end of a thin red ribbon: it surrounds a book mark my daughter gave me many years ago. She made it herself for me – and when I am aware of its design now, at the signal of the “clang”, I know that she made it for  this moment.

It has three layers. The outer is cardboard, and is covered with drawn thorns, meandering all over the bookmark. At the end, she has cut a hole in it: it allows us to look into the next layer – a bit of painted silk. A sort of soft pinkish/orange loving flower is looking at me, smiling – I am looking at the reality behind the illusion of thorns and suffering.

If the cut-out wasn’t there, I would never got the idea that this truth and beauty was behind it all the time. I start to shiver and cry, and a feeling of Presence is here.

The backside of the bookmark is also cardboard – painted in the  same essence-color as The Flower. A small ribbon in the same rose-red color is framing the whole bookmark.

 

Here is my choice: where do I go for my reality – the thorns or the flower?

do I believe in the reality of evil – or could I choose to remember the Truth of the pink Heart we all share?

correcting self-attacks

There is something that repeats itself again and again – and  the feeling and belief that this is “my” story and “important” make it repeat itself: the ego is frantically trying to control the situation and prevent others from disrespecting my borders in any way at all – so I tell people what I need. They say yes  – and then disrespect our common agreements. And I go nuts.

Today, in sitting with this agony, I discovered a part of me who believed that “she” needed to accept “punishment” until she heard “God’s voice” telling her that it was enough punishment now. I recognized it as a “logical” decision from an ego who feared the god of the ego, and brought the whole belief to the H.S for correction.

The sentences from today’s lesson have been very valuable for me:

As I look on this, let me remember my Creator. This has a great effect: each time I am having grievances of any sort and recognizing it, I just remember/notice Love at the same time and you can guess what has more power.

My Creator did not create this as I see it. ( I will use that one each time I look at TV or read a paper.)

I will not use this to attack love. (Great for reactions to “bad news.”)

Let this not tempt me to attack myself. This one helps me to see how frequently I do attack myself:  “I should/shouldn’t have …” is an attack – just as ” what did I do wrong?”

sleeping and loving it:-)

– well,  this goes for sleeping in the night without any pill at all. The circadian rhythm is truly changing – I slept and had a long dream before I woke up at 1 am! I usually fall asleep about  3-4 am, so this is big for me.And then I had several sleep-periods with nice dreams  after that. Woke up at 9 o’clock, amazing.

I always love to read rev.Myron Jones’ daily blog through the Course-notebook. This resonated  with me today – it gave me such a feeling of grateful release: it is OUR story, not “mine” alone.

“Often now I see a thought that needs to be forgiven and I am happy I noticed it. Its more like my job is to inspect this gorgeous tapestry and to notice if I see any errors in the weave. If I do then I “forgive” them or undo them. What a happy outcome that is! Did I make the error, or was it someone else? The question doesn’t make sense. There is only one “body of Christ” so how can I separate out a part of that body and accuse it of error, and why would I?

When it seems that forgiveness has become a burden again, it is because I have become closely identified with the error I found. When I am in my right mind, it feels more like I am watching an interesting movie. My focus seems to be on a particular character. However, if I become so involved with that character that I forget it’s a movie and start to see myself as her, then I start to see her errors as mine, and as real because now I believe the story is real.

This is when guilt becomes associated with finding the error and naturally I am reluctant to admit to something that makes me feel guilty. The conflict of wanting to heal all errors and at the same time, not wanting to find an error that makes me feel guilty, is wearying. I’m glad that I am learning detachment from the story of Myron. As observer of the story rather than participant in the story, forgiveness is a much happier and easier job, and one I delight in. When I am this clear it all seems so simple and straight forward. It is only when I lose my detachment and feel like the illusion is real and has real effects that I become confused about forgiveness.

Black Swan and Acim as cartoon

I just saw it – about someone called Nina projecting like crazy her dark side on others – I loved the film, and forgave all I saw that I have made. After the tumultuous night, described in last post, it did a big impression to see the same theme illustrated on the screen: the dark sorcerer possessing the white swan, and bringing her under his power. I see that someone who denies her dark nature of course must be prey to it – it’s just that “she” has given it all the power it has, by denying it inside.

I also liked how the film showed how the process of saying yes to darkness started: by stealing a lipstick – a symbol of the other stars’  glamor.

But I want to talk a bout “The Universe is a Dream” by Alexander Marchand. It is a book who is drawn by Alex – and Acim as cartoon is awesome, funny and wise. Alex starts to demonstrate how the book we read is dreamt up by ourselves – just as the Universe is. I love his use of drawn symbols: sin, guilt and fear come in the form of apples( logical, isn’t it?)

I love how Alex draws the body: since it is the hero of the dream, it is headless and wears a big wavy hero-cape. Completely ridiculous and wonderful image of the body – suddenly I start to see people as headless and I find myself giggle a lot -( until I meet my not-face in the mirror…)

I enjoy so many of his ideas  – how he use metaphors for films, for example – there is a cute place where Helen tells a patient, “I already  know why you are here. You think you are separated from God”. It is great fun to spot all the film-examples, so I won’t give it away—well, there the one with Julie Andrews sitting on the bed you know singing about your favorite illusory things…

and so Alex was OK with me sharing this – and here’s a link to his website:

http://www.alexandermarchand.com/

I am under no laws but God’s

Dear a*, so good to hear from you! thanks for writing although the head is heavy.
So is mine too. This night I was visited by an old old occurrence – but it had been gone for so many years now that I thought it was not there any longer. – I was dreaming that I was flying ( and I almost never fly in dreams, but this time it was easy) – and I was sharing with a friend that we just needed to get through that door and outside. Inside that door-opening, I experienced a strong pushing back from something invisible – and in that pushing, there was anger and power and hatred. I felt a shock, and gave up all of my power and strength to that “outer power” – as an apprentice would do to a sorcerer.
And in that surrendering power to ego, all of my connection to Spirit seems to be completely lost – I am trying to find it, to pray, to reach out, to practice, and it is not possible – it feels like I am completely filled up with the other’s energy – a regular possession. The feeling of being possessed is very scary.
I am wondering why this repeats itself now – and I hear from inside:

Remember that you are not in linear time – you exist in every place and seem to have multiple identities – all going on at the same time. This might be a visit to one identity where you need to forgive yourself for your choice to give your spirit ( or believing this is possible) to another “person.” Remember – you are under no laws but God’s – blessing the situation, and knowing that this is over eons ago – it just awaits your forgiveness for dreaming this – and for believing you are an evil “entity” who has snatched the power away from God, and therefore need to give it back to sorcerers (-: ( and he is giggling)

Right now all that darkness, that I believed was real, is lifted out of my head and I feel like waking up to a new day –

not taking ego seriously

I got a foretaste on this through a dream this morning:

I am in a not familiar, vast  field-like landscape with slopes. It is winter. I am in a little sledge, or toboggan – and there is a magician /illusionist here too. He is making a one-man-show, and I am in awe of how completely real this seems. Now he is multiplying himself – how does he do that!!?? suddenly there is five of him! And he makes dogs, now, too – I sense the air pressure when they are whizzing past me – wow, can illusions make air-pressure??

Now, seeing that all this is illusion, I get a prize: a tour on my toboggan ( now it is driven by an un-known  phenomenal force) to a place I don’t know. The speed is enormous, and the air is filled with a soft cool mist – this mist is the very boon, it seems –

I am screaming and crying in ecstasy, driving uphill in darkness toward the point of the uttermost North. The crying is so releasing – I  L O V E  T H I S

Wake up happy 🙂

And this day, I know with all of me that the tension inside is ego – the impulse to hurry –  the thoughts that I “should” do things …the identification with ego gone

-and I notice that each wondrous time this happens top me these days, it is more solid. Today I have several times laughed at the ego – really! It is true!

And the only difference from being stuck, like earlier, is this:  recognizing it, not taking it seriously – in short, not believing in it

I am under no laws but God’s

I believe I am under the law of electronic equipment which fails, where matter deteriorates, where bodies crumbles and dies –

but I am under no laws but God’s

I think I am under the law where loss is seen everywhere

but I am under no laws but God’s

I think I am under the law  of ego where inner myths are determining how we behave – ( and some would call that genes)

but I am under no laws but Gods

I think I am under the laws of archetypes

but I am under no laws but God’s

I think I am under the law of Karma

but I am under no laws but God’s

I think I am under the law of nice being better than bad, pretty being better than ugly, thin being better than fat, young being better than old

but I am under no laws but God’s

I think I am under the law of being victimized by sickness and attackers and injustice

but I am under no laws but God’s

I think I am under the law where you/I can be better/smarter/happier/luckier/ than me/you –

but I am under no laws but God’s

I think I am under the law where evil and loving thoughts can affect me –

but I am under no laws but God’s

AMEN

INVITATION to readers:  please share the laws you see yourself subjected to

Susan Dugan’s interview with Ken

After my former blog post, I read this interview with Ken and found it helpful for me and my recent experience about taking attack-thoughts seriously. Here it is, with Susan’s kind consent – and the red letters are what I find is really is helpful for me where I am right now:

Ken Interview: 2011


OK, so admittedly I did most of the talking when Ken Wapnick once more generously agreed to answer some questions about practicing forgiveness and looking with Jesus. Along with the other characteristics of God’s teachers mentioned in the Teachers Manual, he also demonstrates honesty, defined in A Course in Miracles as consistency. I found his response to my overly complicated questions newly humbling. “Don’t take it seriously,” he answered, in response to every query. He has said this before and will likely have to say it again because eventually we begin to try to make awakening a goal and we’re not smiling with Jesus anymore but gritting our teeth with the ego, once more seeking and never finding our self. Thank you Ken, for reminding us to quit working so hard and simply smile.

You talk a lot about forgiveness being a process of the decision maker looking with Jesus/our right mind. I’ve noticed lately in practicing forgiveness that I really want Jesus to look with me rather than look with him.

Oh, you’re pretty slippery. And here I thought you were a nice person.

Nope. I think I need a review because that’s what I’ve been doing and what it shows me is how resistant I am to really looking. Could you go over the process of looking and maybe speak to our tendency to deceive ourselves about what we’re really doing?

Well, the whole idea of looking makes sense when you realize it’s the correction for the ego’s not looking. That’s really the bread and butter of the ego’s thought system because if you don’t look it means you’re mindless. If you look you become a mind instead of a body and if you don’t look you can never see that the ego is really nothing. Forgiveness defined as looking is really just the correction for the ego telling you not to look.

When you want Jesus to look with you, then you want him to look at your body and your experiences as a dream figure. To look with him means you look at the world and see it as a projection of an inward condition which means you go back to the mind. That’s the key. That’s why nobody wants to do it that way.

Well, I want him specifically to see how awful these people are treating me.

He just smiles at that. That’s when I get a phone call saying, “You know what she just said to me?” And then he just bursts out laughing.

I knew you were going to say that.

Well, I’m glad I didn’t disappoint you.

I have been practicing forgiveness in a special relationship each time conflict arises and experience deep comfort when I look at what’s really going on with my right mind but sooner or later feel once more attacked. I get discouraged and I suppose impatient wondering if I’m ever going to heal my mind completely about this relationship.

That’s what trips you up right there. At that point you’re making it into something serious and real and impossible when all you want to do is just look at your ego and smile at it. Don’t try to let go of your ego. I kiddingly say that Jesus hates serious people and he especially hates serious A Course in Miracles students because all they want to do is let go of their ego. And if you’re so hell-bent on letting go of your ego you’ll never let it go because the ego is not the problem.

So that impatience I feel should clue me in that that’s what I’m doing?

Exactly right.

It amazes me how quickly I can go from right-mindedness to really feeling genuinely attacked and completely out of my mind. Even though I understand what the Course is saying and am committed to practicing forgiveness it feels like an ambush. Does it ever get easier?

Yes, when you stop taking it so seriously.   You’re such a nice person, Susan, but you’re so damn serious. That’s what trips you up. It won’t start getting easier until you give up the idea that there’s an “it” that has to get easier.

So, it’s still that idea of having to do this right that’s the problem.

Yes.

That’s a hard habit to break.

Yes, it is. But the whole idea is to live lightly. As I quote all the time the problem was not the tiny mad idea but that the Son of God forgot to laugh at it. The problem is not anything of the ego; the problem is that we took it seriously.

So when we find ourselves taking it seriously the answer is looking with Jesus who only smiles?

That’s what looking with Jesus means. And he’s smiling at the silliness of ever having thought that this is important, which is silliness.

So not joining with an ego attack, just letting it all pass.

Letting it all pass which doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a behavioral response but it means you don’t get upset by it and you don’t want to change it.

And you don’t want to get upset with yourself when you do get upset.

Yes, absolutely.

I have found myself mentally complaining a lot about all the external demands on my time that seem to keep me from spending quality time with Jesus. It makes me laugh because even though I understand that A Course in Miracles is a path in relationship I still want to withdraw from relationships and just be with my right mind, be with Jesus. Does that make me a really bad student?

It makes you a really bad student only if you don’t laugh at yourself.

Because that’s really trying to take away the curriculum, right? So, don’t do that?

Not unless you want to get me angry at you. Jesus will laugh at you and I’ll yell and scream at you.

It’s just this desire to have a little time in between forgiveness lessons to breathe. Because sometimes it seems like there’s just this unrelenting, incoming barrage of lessons that just won’t quit.

(Internationally renowned priest and author) Henri Nouwen said something like I kept getting interrupted in my work and then I realized my interruptions were my work. So, if you want to spend time with Jesus, then see him in everybody; that’s the answer.

I fear sometimes that some really catastrophic forgiveness lesson is looming around the corner. I know there’s no hierarchy of illusions but sometimes it seems that the lessons are becoming more challenging.

It’s true that the lessons are getting more challenging because you’re becoming more and more serious.  So ego issues that you (unconsciously usually) held off; now you’re saying I can’t get it unless I look at all these spots of darkness. So these are the ones that we have the most fear and guilt associated with and so our experience is that they become more difficult.

So all of them have to come to the surface and those are just the ones we are the most frightened of?

Yes. At the beginning we tell Jesus I’ll look at this one with you and that one with you but I don’t know about this one. And after a while you say, well, I better start looking at this one because this is really starting to be a problem.

I was flying back to Denver recently in turbulence and suddenly found myself demanding to have an embodied Jesus holding my hand to protect me. I know you say we need to mature as Course students instead of relying on Jesus because we’ll never begin to see that we are one with Jesus otherwise. But when I’m really frightened I still need that thought of a hand to hold. Is that OK?

Yes, of course. You’re really too strict with yourself. Did I mention you’re too serious? Just do your daily stuff and be as normal as you can and try not to take your ego or the ego of others seriously. Be patient with yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Looking with Jesus really just means sharing that sweet, knowing smile. That’s what it means. He takes nothing here seriously because there’s nothing here. And when you get serious about something especially if it’s about the Course then you’re missing the whole point.

That’s a big trap; getting too serious about the Course.

Oh, God; that’s the worst trap. That’s why we already have the regurgitation of Christianity with the Course; it’s already happening.

Yes. I wanted to ask you about the proliferation of channeled and abbreviated and new and improved versions of A Course in Miracles that are cropping up all the time. I haven’t even looked at any of them because I came to this path after a lot of seeking and I don’t believe there can possibly be anything faster or simpler or more loving than the Course.

I think that’s very true.

Can you talk about this whole impulse to improve on perfection?

It’s the ego’s thing. We tried to re-write Heaven right at the beginning and we’re still trying to. If the Course is a reflection of the truth of God and the love of Heaven, which it is; then people are going to try to re-write it, too. And that’s just another form of a magic thought talked about in the Teachers Manual. The idea is to not get angry at it because that’s what people do and there’s nothing wrong with people doing it.

You often talk about how there’s no need to teach A Course in Miracles but is there anything wrong with teaching the Course?

No, I think I do that. The whole idea is not to identify with your role of being a teacher and to also know that the real teaching is to demonstrate what the Course is saying and the formal teaching is just another way of demonstrating. And that’s what you want to identify with. If you start to get serious about your teaching then you know you got caught in the trap. Just don’t take it seriously, that’s all.

What’s really important in practicing the Course or teaching the Course is not to work at it. If you’re working at it you’ll never get it. What you want to do at this point is not to work at it during the day which means don’t work on your ego, don’t work on anybody else’s ego, don’t work on your response to anybody else’s ego; just keep asking Jesus to remember to smile. The end of Chapter 27 is wonderful because it’s all about the importance of smiling and laughing. When you read it, though; read it seriously. J

A Course in Miracles, Chapter 27, The Healing of the Dream, VIII., The “Hero” of the Dream, paragraph 5, text page 586:

“How willing are you to escape effects of all the dreams the world has ever had? Is it your wish to let no dream appear to be the cause of what it is you do? Then let us merely look upon the dream’s beginning, for the part you see is but the second part, whose cause lies in the first. No one asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon himself. No one believes there really was a time when he knew nothing of a body, and could never have conceived this world as real. He would have seen at once that these ideas are one illusion, too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away. How serious they now appear to be! And no one can remember when they would have met with laughter and with disbelief. We can remember this, if we but look directly at their cause. And we will see the grounds for laughter, not a cause for fear.”

Visit Susan’s blog, Foray’s in Forgiveness.

 

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