Teaching Indifference and Love

In A Course in Miracles, Jesus explains the importance of the crucifixion:

I elected, for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter. As the world judges these things, but not as God knows them, I was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, torn, and finally killed. It was clear that this was only because of the projection of others onto me, since I had not harmed anyone and had healed many.
A Course in Miracles, T-6.I.9:1-3

In other words, Jesus did not consider himself to be a body, so the attack on his body did not matter. We cannot find peace in this world unless we are indifferent about what happens to the body. If we worry that we will be attacked, that we will get sick, or that we will die, then we immediately lose our peace. When we worry about our bodies, we attempt to protect them by building walls between ourselves and other potential attackers, by putting special foods or substances into them to try to ward off disease, and by preemptively attacking anything that might be a threat to our body.

However, as Jesus explains, when we think of ourselves as a body we are thinking insanely. What is real cannot be destroyed, and the body, by virtue of being destructible, cannot also be real. What are we really? We are an extension of the love of our Creator, an extension of the thought of union. Instead of believing that we are spiritual love, we often believe that we are fragile bodies, and thus we feel a continual fear that we will be destroyed along with our bodies. We cannot feel peace or experience our true nature of love while we are afraid of the death of our bodies.

Thus, we need to be indifferent about our bodies in order to accept perfect love into our mind. Jesus gave us an extreme example of indifference. He endured many assaults on his body without fighting back, thus showing us how we could overcome our fear of death and have faith in eternal life. Jesus doesn’t ask us to be martyrs but to be teachers. We continually teach others our beliefs, because our beliefs directly influence our actions and our words. When we react in a fearful manner, we are teaching others that we are a fragile body. However, when we respond to assaults with love, we are teaching that it doesn’t matter what happens to our body, that we are indestructible spirit, and that no one can become sinful by attacking us.

The belief that the body is real, and that reality can be destroyed, lead to the belief that sin is real and that guilt and fear are justified. On the other hand, if we believe that we are God’s eternal and indestructible creation, then we can overlook all attacks on our body, we can teach others that only love is real, and we can regain our peace.

If Loss Were Real

If loss were real anywhere
Then life would be unfair
If loss were really the truth
Then despair would end our youth

Wake up
Death cannot take what is eternal

If we put our hope in rotting skin
Then no one can ever hope to win
For death will take away all our hope
And we must deny this death to cope

You want to live forever in your child’s mind
You think you will, in this way, eternity find
But the reality is much better than this
For when our minds join, no one will we miss

While we value loss and separation
We’ll return to this world of degradation
But it would take only an instant of desire
To leave this world and to rise higher and higher

How long will we believe in losing?
This belief is of our own choosing
But loss is not compatible with God’s will
He desires our lives with joy to fill

How long will we believe that loss is true?
How long will we believe that pain is our due?
How long until we accept love and grace?
How long until we welcome God’s embrace?

This world is old and worn!
A new world wants to be born!
Don’t join all of the cowardly beasts!
God’s preparing the greatest of feasts!

Special Love or Real Love

The ideas in this essay are abstract, but the truth is abstract because it applies to everyone. Statements about specific details are not important. What is important is finding the truth that can solve all of our problems at the same time.

All of the world’s problems came from our feelings of guilt. Actually, the whole visible world was produced and is maintained by our feelings of guilt.

Originally, we knew ourselves as a holy and guiltless spiritual presence, at one with all that is. Although we are still guiltless spirit, we now perceive ourselves as separate, guilty bodies and do not remember our state of guiltless love and joy.

While we were in our state of guiltless love and joy, we had the idea of sin. And because we were free to think and do anything, this idea of sin had the power to block from our awareness our innocence and joy. Because we began to believe in sin and guilt, the world we see was made to express and experience these ideas. Because we now believe we are guilty, we want to get rid of this guilt to make ourselves feel better. One way that we try to get rid of guilt is by forming “special relationships” and by attempting to obtain “special love.”

“Special love” is really a contradiction in terms, because real love does not see differences but instead loves everyone and everything equally. Special love separates one part of the world and tries to gain acceptance and love from this special part of the world. Because we feel that we are guilty, we search for someone who will tell us that we are special and important. Without feelings of guilt, we would never attempt the impossible and try to find union through exclusion.

Because we feel guilty, we “sacrifice” our self on the altar of the relationship and attempt to replace our guilty self with the other special self that we have found. However, when we try to steal this special self and take it as our possession, this makes us feel even guiltier, because we feel that we have nothing of value to give in return. Therefore, special relationships continue the cycle of guilt and continue the belief that we are sinful and guilty.

Another side effect of our feelings of guilt is the desire to attack ourselves and others for our perceived guiltiness. If we did not feel guilty, we would not condemn ourselves or others, for we can only see sin in others if we see the same sin in ourselves first.

We cannot get rid of guilt by ourselves because the thoughts of sin and guilt have become a habit and a cycle. We need someone who is not locked into this cycle to tell and show us that we are guiltless. We need the help of someone who does not share our belief in sin and guilt. When we listen to this voice, sometimes called the “Holy Spirit,” we will gradually learn that we have never sinned and that we are still guiltless.

The “Holy Spirit” (the spirit of oneness) teaches us to forgive ourselves and others—to forgive everyone equally. The only way to get out of the mess that we are in is to forgive, or to overlook everything that we think is a mistake. This way, we will not even see sin in ourselves or anyone else.

Special relationships make us feel fearful, selfish, jealous, and even guiltier. On the other hand, holy relationships bring us closer to the awareness of oneness, real love (which is spiritual union), peace, and joy. We are all sick until we are all well. No one can be completely joyful while one of us is separated from the whole. That is why we must all work together and help each other to forgive. We are all working together on this project of regaining our awareness of heaven. We are already within the heaven of real love, but we need to practice forgiveness in order to cleanse our minds of the remaining feelings of guilt.

You might say, “But I really am guilty, for I have done many bad things, and I have hurt many people.” In response, the Holy Spirit says, “What is real is eternal and cannot be destroyed or hurt. Only mistaken thinking can cause anyone to suffer. Are you ready to choose to forgive, let go of the belief in sin and guilt, and return to your home in heaven, which you have never really left?”

Reality and Forgiveness

If we consider bodies and physical things to be real, then all of our forgiveness is useless because all physical things will dissolve and all of our hopes and dreams and plans will come to nothing.

On the other hand, if we consider only eternal things to be real, then forgiveness is not needed because eternal things cannot be destroyed and no action can affect what is eternally real.

It is only while we are in the middle that we need forgiveness. When we are tempted to believe that bodies are real, we make plans that involve the body. Then we become angry and judgmental when someone does something that disrupts our plans that involve the body. Forgiveness is needed in this case because we need to overlook what we thought was evil. This “evil” is not real in an objective, absolute sense because it depends on our thoughts about the supposed reality of the body and the importance of our plans concerning the body.

We are not a body. If we were a body, then we would have no reason for faith or hope or love, for these things are impossible when we think that we are a body that will die. Instead, what we are is the thought of love (spiritual union). Most of the time, we don’t believe that we are spiritual love. We have forgotten our reality. Forgiveness is for those of us who still believe that the physical world is real and has value. While we believe that the experience of being in the body can give us something we want, we become resentful when someone does something that prevents us from fulfilling our body wishes. However, when someone does something that disrupts our body plans, this action cannot be objectively and absolutely evil. We can see the action as evil and something to be condemned if we believe that our body plans should not be changed. On the other hand, we can see the action as something to be thankful for if we see it as a reminder that we are not a body and that we should focus on eternal reality.

Therefore, we have a choice. We can either focus on the body and think of our body plans as holy and something to be defended, or we can focus on the eternal and realize that all of our worry, fear, and anger have no foundation. Forgiveness helps us to go from the first perspective to the second. Once we have forgiven all of the “evil” that has been done to us, we will realize that that evil had no real existence. And without the existence of evil, we will know ourselves as the love that we all are.

An Open Letter to the Oppressed People of the Earth

This poem introduces five ways of dealing with suffering.

Around the world, people are suffering
From hatred, attack, and plundering
But each has his own way of dealing
With the pain and sorrow he is feeling

The first way of dealing with oppression
Is to stoically endure the aggression
To grit one’s teeth and to brace
For the pain that one must face

The second way of dealing with abuse
Is to return the punches, and to refuse
To endure the attacks without
Trying to knock the abuser out

The third way of dealing with forceful whim
Is to feel that one is a superior victim
By suffering, one feels that one is better
And that one’s attacker will be a debtor

The fourth way of dealing with attack
Is to pity the one who strikes one’s back
To believe that the attacker will receive
Punishment for his acts, without reprieve

The fifth way of dealing with insults
Is to see that error has no results
The body that does hurt and ache
Does not of reality partake

This is the way that the mind does transcend
The suffering that does not seem to end
The mind that can transcend by forgiving
Will find a new peaceful way of living

The body cannot suffer without the mind
So the mind simply needs to seek and find
A way to cancel all thoughts of pain
That travel through the physical brain

The mind that does not cling to guilt or fear
Can overlook the past, and become clear
For the past and its errors do not exist
And only thoughts of love and truth will persist

So to the oppressed I say
Look with hope toward that day
When the past is canceled out
And peace and joy are felt throughout

You don’t need to feel the pain forever
You don’t need to hate the oppressor
You don’t need to feel superior to him
Or pity him for reaping his harvest grim

Be glad that creation is all the same
We all need to give up attack and blame
And when we conquer the darkness within
We will finally achieve the win-win

The Purification of the Earth: From Fear to Love

Among native cultures, there are prophecies of the Great Purification of the earth. Among the world’s religions, there are other prophecies of the end of the age or the end of the world. What do these prophecies mean? In my view, there will be a purification and an awakening on the earth, after which there will be peace, harmony, and happiness on the earth.

What needs to be purified? Is it not our fear-filled and anxious minds? In the world, in recent years, there has been a dichotomy between native cultures and technological cultures. These two types of cultures, however, share a characteristic, which is fear. Both cultures relate to the world with fear. The statements that I make below are generalizations, and they do not apply to all members of these cultures. The fear of the native cultures is expressed in the overvaluing, worship, and propitiation of nature and life on this earth. Native cultures tend to overvalue nature because they fear losing their lives by not living in harmony with nature. Native cultures, because of this fear, have tended to practice blood sacrifices in order to propitiate their gods or the nature spirits. Fear, in technological cultures, is expressed in the devaluation, domination and disrespect of nature and natural systems. Technological cultures tend to fear nature and to believe that nature is an enemy that has to be conquered and subdued. Otherwise, nature will overcome and destroy society. Both cultures, therefore, have an unhealthy view of nature and the earth. Both cultures are afraid of loss, and both have their own ways of dealing with the fear of loss (of life, possessions, happiness, etc.).

If there is to be real peace and harmony in the world, this fear of loss must be purified or eliminated from our minds somehow. A Course in Miracles states: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” This is a simple statement, but what does it mean? It means that the part of us that is real, our spirit, cannot be threatened or destroyed. When we know this reality about our spirit–when we have no doubts about it–then we will have nothing to fear, and we can live in peace–on earth or in eternity. Jesus, the Christ, was killed and put into a tomb, but he rose from the dead. He showed us with a perfect example that life is eternal, that nothing can destroy real life. Those who put their faith in this example can realize that they have nothing to fear. They don’t need to fight for their lives or for the earth, in order to save themselves. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Ironically, it is those who neither overvalue nor devalue the earth who will inherit it. If we overvalue the earth, we will fear losing our bodies or our ways of life. We cannot feel peace while we feel fear. If we devalue the earth and its inhabitants, we are devaluing our brothers, our equals. When we devalue others, we fear that we ourselves will be devalued in return. When we realize that we cannot be destroyed (that we are not really corruptible bodies, but rather incorruptible spirit), we will see a world in harmony and peace. At that time, we won’t fear our brothers–the earth and its inhabitants. We will feel gratitude for the chance to have loving relationships with everyone we meet. Our love will not be ruined by the fear of death or loss. Our love will spread throughout the earth, and our joy will increase without limit.

The Writing Is On The Wall

This poem is about reaping what we have sown.

You have devised a shameful thing for your house
By cutting off many peoples;
So you are sinning against yourself.
Surely the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
And founds a town with violence!
(Habakkuk 2:10-12 NASB)

Sinners in Zion are terrified;
Trembling has seized the godless.
“Who among us can live with the consuming fire?
Who among us can live with continual burning?”
(Isaiah 33:14 NASB)

God has sent his word throughout the land
And his word is not hard to understand
God is a God of love and oneness
He wants to free us from pain and illness
But there are some who have not gotten
The meaning of love, or have forgotten
To love means to see that every part
Of the whole world is within one heart
Although we are almost blind in spirit
Those who know God’s word still can hear it
For those who listen with faith’s inner ears
Can hear the song that dispels their fears
This song is faint, but it is still heard
By those who desire to know the word
But those who follow the world’s wrong ways
Think that they will prolong their days
By taking with greed whatever they find
And doing to others as they are inclined
For they see only limited supplies
And they grasp what is before their eyes
Because they have no faith in eternal life
Their fear of the body’s death causes much strife
They believe that their limited perceptions
Define what is real, despite their deceptions
Their life is marked by confused thinking
They are drunk, but not from drinking
They sent their fear throughout the land
And destroyed many, as they had planned
So what will happen to them when the light does shine?
Can they save themselves, or their lives realign?
All the evil that they did send out
Will return to them, without a doubt
For the seeds of destruction that they sowed
Will return to them and find their abode
And everything that they rejected
Will return and find them unprotected
For everything is a foe or a friend
And everyone will find out in the end
How many friends they really have sought
For a true friend can never be bought
But those who love all need never fear
For all of their friends are gathered near
But those who stir up hatred and conflict
Are always afraid and can never predict
When their hate will return and bite them back
For they are afraid their foes will attack
And when the light comes and all is revealed
The wounds of the healers will all be healed
But what the haters feared will cause them to fall
For the word of God will be written on each wall
And each window and door and ceiling and floor
Will cry out for justice as they underscore
That hate is a ghost that cannot survive
In a world that is fully real and alive
For there is no shadow that will be able to last
In the light that will purify all things at last

Either Or

Either we know what we are, or we don’t
Either we are one, or we are alone
Either God is love, or God is judgmental
Either we are like God, or God is a stranger
Either we want peace, or we don’t
Either the truth is true, or illusions are true
Either love is real, or fear is real
Either truth exists, or confusion prevails
Either life is eternal, or life does not exist

The Rebirth of the Collective Consciousness

This essay discusses the transition from a nightmare world to a world of Heaven on earth, a world in which the collective consciousness has been born again.

Now is the time of prophecy fulfilled. Now are all ancient promises upheld and fully kept… now we cannot fail. (A Course in Miracles)

A Course in Miracles and Traditional Christianity

In 2010, I discovered the book A Course in Miracles. This book has been a great blessing to me because it has answered so many of my questions regarding religion and life in general. The book claims to be one of many paths to truth. Not everyone will read the words of this book, but everyone will eventually learn what it teaches. The reason for this particular book, or path, is to speed up our progress and eliminate delays on the way.

A Course in Miracles (or the Course) uses Christian terms (e.g., God, Christ, Son of God, Holy Spirit, miracle, salvation, creation, atonement, etc.), but it uses these terms in a new way. The Course aims to correct the traditional Christian beliefs that have been keeping people from making progress for so long. What are these mistaken beliefs? Among them are the ideas that man is sinful, that God is judgmental, that sacrifice is necessary, and that the fear of God is our proper response to his existence. The Course, on the other hand, claims that God’s creation is forever innocent, that God is changeless love, that sacrifice is impossible, and that the extension of God’s love is our ultimate destiny.

We can see that, if we don’t live in fear of God’s judgment, we can be free to love others in a non-judgmental, accepting way. God is our eternal security, not someone who is always waiting around the corner to punish us.

Three Types of Awareness

According to the Course, there are three types of awareness: the awareness of the “world,” the awareness of the “real world,” and the awareness of Heaven. The world and the real world are both part of our dream, but Heaven is what we will be aware of when we wake up from the dream. The world and the real world are both based on perception (we see what we want to see), while Heaven is based upon unified and complete knowledge (that which is ultimately true).

At this point, most of us are aware of the world. This is the world in which scientists tell us that it is normal and natural for beings to kill and/or eat each other. This is the world in which we judge and attack and try to stay separate from each other. This is the world in which we are afraid of peace, joy, and love.

According to the Course, the “real world” is the world we presently see, but after it has been completely forgiven. The real world will be a world at peace, one in which we will cease to attack ourselves and others for our perceived mistakes. We will have learned that what we really are cannot be threatened or destroyed, and thus we will have lost our fear of death and bodily harm. We will have realized that we are indestructible spirits and that we are only temporarily using a body.

After we have entered the real world, we will hardly have time to thank God for it before he takes the last step of bringing us back into Heaven, our true home. What Heaven is, we cannot say, for our words are merely symbols, and they cannot encompass the ineffable.

Life in both the world and the real world is basically a dream because it is based on changeable perceptions rather than on changeless knowledge. However, before we return to Heaven, we will have a taste of Heaven on earth, and we will exchange this world of nightmares for the real world of happy dreams.

From Nightmares to Happy Dreams

How will we get to the real world of peace and joy from the present world of chaos and misery? According to the Course, “communication is salvation.” However, as long as we practice judgment and attack, and do not forgive (or release the past), we will fear to share our “private” thoughts. We believe that we can keep some thoughts private, and share others, but that is not how reality works. In reality, we are all one and we share everything with everyone. However, we currently choose to believe that we are separate from each other and that we can keep our thoughts from others. Interestingly, the idea of separation had to be shared before it could produce the world of separation that we live in. Now we are separate by consensus, but the time will come when we give up the fear of sharing what we are, and this will be the time that the real world will appear. Our thoughts don’t have to be pure before we share them, for our sharing of them is what makes them pure.

Therefore, the future “real world” of Heaven on earth will come when we are willing to share all that we are, when we are willing to communicate completely. However, we will not be willing to communicate completely until we have completely forgiven all mistakes and ceased to judge and attack. Our task in the world is to heal the world through forgiveness. We need to forgive ourselves and others for what we haven’t done. Reality cannot be threatened or destroyed, so the only thing we can destroy is part of our dream, and this destruction is repairable and thus ultimately inconsequential. So, we haven’t done anything that is ultimately destructive and, therefore, there is really nothing to forgive. However, since we still feel guilty and since we still judge and attack, we still need to practice forgiveness in order to purify our thoughts and emotions.

After the world has been completely forgiven, we will share everything with everyone in a life of spiritual unity. We will develop powers that we don’t usually have nowadays. We will be able to communicate by thought with humans and other forms of life. We will be able to interact with and influence nature with only our thoughts, and we will live in harmony because we will know–at a deep level–that the “other” beings are one with ourselves. We will know that what is good for one is good for all, and vice versa. Instead of having a collective consciousness that promotes separation and attack as the “normal” way of life, we will have a collective consciousness that promotes spiritual unity, trust, and cooperation as the new norm.

Are you ready for the shining world transparent
When the contents of your heart will be apparent
For the mind’s eye will see what is unblocked
And the secrets of the world will be unlocked
(From “The World Transparent,” by Alan Steinle)

In the transition from this world to the real world, there will be some distress that comes from adjusting to a new way of life. In the Bible, Jesus is recorded as saying that the next age will be preceded by a great tribulation. He compares the tribulation to birth pangs, and the next age to the time of joy when a new baby is present. The woman who gave birth will forget the pain when she is able to experience the joy of a new life.

The transformation that has been slated for these times will not be without a certain measure of birth trauma, for the collective consciousness is being born anew. And, with that process goes a measure of discomfort, the pain and agonies of bringing forth the Essence of Life Itself into form.
(A Journey to Oneness: A Chronicle of Spiritual Emergence, Rasha)

During the transition, many beings will leave their bodies behind and move on to other realms. It is possible that some will return to the earth after the real world has been established. However, those who leave and those who stay will all eventually learn that, as the Course says, “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.” In other words, we are spirit, and we cannot be limited by a body. We are still the eternal idea of love, for God created us by extending the love that he is.

Inside, everyone is the same
We all forever hold love’s flame
And when we see that this is true
The world will harmonize anew
(From “What Is A Man?” by Alan Steinle)

The Fear of Love

Recently, I was discussing with someone whether we will have bodies after we die. His opinion was that we will have bodies. He thought our bodies would keep us from “freaking out” or from becoming extremely uncomfortable. He thought that our bodies would help us retain our individual identities.

A few days ago, a friend told me that he thought this world could not be any better than it is.

Let’s consider these two ideas: (1) we need a body or some kind of physical form to be comfortable, and (2) the world cannot be any better than it is. Don’t these two ideas come from the fear of love? Love is spiritual union. We are afraid of this spiritual union because we fear that we will lose our self-identities when we unite with the Whole. In bodies we can pretend that we are separate from others and that we can be protected from love, protected from spiritual union. While we think that the world cannot be any better than it is, we “protect” ourselves from the better reality of heaven, where love and union rule.

The reason that we fear love is that we know that love wants to understand and know us completely. We fear this understanding, this exposure of who we really are. However, if we knew that our basic, essential nature is love, we would not be afraid. God is love, and we are also love (as the creation of God, or the extension of God). However, we are confused about what we are. We look at our actions in a body, and we judge ourselves for not meeting our expectations and for not meeting the expectations of others. Others also judge us for not meeting their expectations. We believe that we are sinful, guilty bodies.

However, our limited bodies and our limited lives in this world have no effect on reality, no effect on eternal heaven. Therefore, we simply need to realize that we are not sinful, guilty bodies. We need to “forgive” ourselves and realize that we are still as God created us. We are still unlimited love.

God does not judge us, for God knows us only as love. In order to decrease our fear of spiritual union, and decrease our fear of heaven, we need to know ourselves as God knows us.

We will not be happy or satisfied until we realize that we are unlimited love and unlimited knowledge. To enter heaven is to be who we really are. We are unlimited love and knowledge. We will never be completely satisfied while we are limited by bodies, while we live in an imperfect world, and while we are afraid to know and be known.

Forgiveness is the door to heaven and the door to our true selves. Forgiveness is not unjust or unfair. Forgiveness is just and fair because it only sees what is true and real. Forgiveness overlooks errors because they are not true. Our “sins” are only temporary errors that disappear when we meet the eternal truth.

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