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?”

A Myth of Eternity and the World

Imagine this: There is a small point of light. You are that light. The light that is you begins to expand and grow brighter and brighter. You are light, love, joy, and knowledge. These attributes are you and you are all of them. In your light, your knowledge is complete. You know everything there is to know. In your love, which is your union with all of creation, your joy continues to increase. Your love and joy continue to expand into infinity. Your mind is filled with unspeakable gratitude to your Source, your Creator, and your mind is filled with the thought, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” You know your Creator completely because He made you like Himself. In your joy, you desire only to extend your joy, so you create like your Creator by extending your attributes into infinity. In the light that is you, you are free to express all thoughts and ideas without limit. Your play is unlimited, free, and joyful. You know that you were created as an eternal being. You don’t need to look out of a body’s eyes on a small part of the universe. You don’t need to hear with a body’s ears only sounds in a small, limited space. You are unlimited light and joy. Within this sea of love and joy, a thought comes to you: I will do something my Creator has not done. In fact, I will contradict his will. The next instant, a frown appears on your metaphorical face. Then you wink, and are filled with uproarious laughter, laughter that reverberates throughout the entire universe. You realize that you had made a tremendously funny joke, and you cannot limit the joy that you created. Your joy extends to infinity and all of creation shares your joy. All of creation realizes that creation is eternal, that life shares one will, and that the Creator cannot be contradicted. This knowledge is what keeps all of creation in complete security and happiness. You continue to praise and thank your Creator and you continue to create by extending yourself into infinity.

Why am I sharing these abstract ideas about eternity? Reality is beyond anything that we can say, isn’t it? Yes, but words can point us towards the truth, even if they cannot fully represent the truth. The previous paragraph is a metaphor, or myth, that can point us towards the truth. Eternity is unbroken, unlimited joy. However, we can be blind to eternity while we are in time. In fact, the previous paragraph basically explains how A Course in Miracles says the visible world was made. The whole world of perception that we now share was made from the idea that we had contradicted the will of God. Our whole timeline occurred in the instant that we metaphorically frowned. The next instant, we shared the joy of our joke. However, when we “frowned,” we made a world of perception and time, a world of separation in which real love, joy, light, and knowledge cannot exist. Even though eternity is not affected by this world of time, we still get to experience this world of time. The good news is that nothing we do here can destroy our eternal reality. The bad news is that we can experience time for as long as we wish and we can delay our return to the light as long as we want.

The instant that we entered time, we actually believed that we had contradicted the will of our Creator. We believed that we had “sinned.” That is why we feel guilt deep within ourselves, and this guilt is what keeps the world going on in its separated form, with separate bodies and separate thoughts. Our Creator answered our separation and guilt by creating the “Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit gently encourages us to forgive ourselves and to awaken to our reality in the light. In reality, we are not guilty of anything, because our excursion into time has no effects on eternal reality. However, since we believe we are guilty, and we continue to judge and attack ourselves, we need to forgive ourselves to reverse our thoughts of guilt and purify our minds. Once all of the parts of this world have completely forgiven themselves, everything here will re-enter the light and this world of perception will cease to exist. It is all about what we think. What we choose to think has power–the power to make unreal worlds, or to extend eternity. The thoughts that we share with our Creator are the ones that we can extend into infinity. The thoughts that we try to think apart from our Creator have the power to make inconsequential worlds of perception, and while we believe in these separate worlds, we will see them. The question is this: How long do we want to stay in this world of separation, guilt, fear, and pain? It is only a matter of time until we return to the light. We can delay this return as long as we want, but time has an appointed end, and we will re-enter the light to our great joy. This essay gives us the big picture. In a future essay, I might discuss more details about our work to make the end of time come more quickly. Let me know if you would like to read more essays about this topic.

Freedom, Fear, and a Dog Named Happy

When I was a child, my family had a pet dog named Happy. This dog mostly stayed in the backyard. Like most other dogs, she would bark at strangers and cats that she could see walking around outside the yard. On a rare occasion, we would put our dog on a leash and let her go for a walk in the neighborhood. However, when we tried to take off her leash, and put her back in the yard, she would start to growl and even try to bite us. Apparently, our dog associated the leash with freedom. The dog did not know that she would have been really free if she had had no leash at all. For then she could have gone wherever she wanted.

Why am I telling you about my pet dog? I am telling you because I think the dog’s behavior is relevant to our lives. We are like the dog in that we believe that our freedom comes from things that limit us. In particular, we believe that if we have a lot of money, we will be freer to do what we want. However, as with the leash, money provides us with only a partial freedom. If we could live without money, we would be much freer.

Most civilizations in the world have been using money for thousands of years. The people in these societies have learned of the importance of money from an early age. We are told to work hard for money and to save money so that we will have some in the future. However, when we examine the world of money, we find out that it is based on the belief in scarcity. We expect things to be limited in amount, so we try to get our share by working hard or by some other legal or illegal way. We believe that if we don’t have money, which we use to buy food, shelter, and clothing, we will get sick or die. The fear of starvation and death motivates us to provide for ourselves, but many of the things we do to provide for ourselves are not things that we like to do. In essence, we have become a society of prostitutes. We do what we don’t like, for money that we think we need, because we are afraid of death.

Is there a better way to live? I believe that, in the future, the world will be ruled by the belief in abundance rather than the belief in scarcity. One reason that we believe in scarcity is because we believe that our work can give our lives value and worth. We believe that hard work can overcome our inner sense of inferiority. But no matter how much work we do, we still feel that there is something basically inferior or wrong with ourselves. In the end, our work cannot make us feel like people of worth. On the contrary, our activities cannot be truly effective and meaningful until we accept ourselves as we are.

When we accept ourselves as we are, and learn that we are really powerful spiritual beings of love, then all good things become possible. When Jesus was on the earth, he did many miracles–he turned water into wine at a wedding, he turned the little food that was present into an abundance of food, he healed many people of their sicknesses, and he brought dead people back to life. Jesus has shown us what is possible. And Jesus told his followers that they would one day do even greater things. But miracles are not the point. They are not the most important thing. Knowing ourselves as love is the ultimate goal. Miracles are merely some benefits of this knowledge.

The time will come when we give up fear and the belief in scarcity. Then we will know true abundance. However, if we hold on to old ways of life, as my dog fought to keep her leash, then we will miss out on true freedom. It takes faith to do something that we have not done before, but all of heaven will support us if we let go of our fear. We might not understand how everything will work out, but our faith will allow us to create a new world. Even economists don’t know exactly how all the details of the money economy work together. It is not our job to know how all the details will work together, but it is our job to listen to our inner guidance and to do the small part that our faith allows us to do. Each of us, doing our small part, will help transform the world of fear and scarcity into a world of love and abundance. Then we will know true freedom and happiness.

The Only Thing We Need To Learn

The only thing we really need to learn is what we are. What we are cannot really be described in words but, to put it simply, we are unlimited spirits of love. All our fear comes from believing we are something else.

We currently believe that we are bodies, and we believe that our bodies are always subject to many threats and dangers. We do many things to protect and provide for our bodies. We put on protective clothing, we live in climate-controlled buildings, and we eat and drink when we feel hungry and thirsty.

When we are not able to protect and provide for our bodies, we sometimes become fearful or angry. We become afraid that we will be injured or that we will die. We become angry when we think that someone has taken away our ability to live the life that we want. We make enemies because we want someone to blame for our problems and lack of satisfaction. This is the normal condition of humans.

Is there another way for humans to live? Yes, there is. If we could eliminate our fear and anger, we would have a peaceful world. If we knew how powerful our spirits are, we would not worry so much about our bodies. We could enjoy and take care of our bodies without being afraid of injury or death. This will happen when we learn what we really are. When we learn that we are eternal spirits of love, we will see this world as a playground, where we can temporarily experience being in a body, and not see this world as a desperate and competitive war zone, in which the body must be defended at all costs. When we realize that what we are cannot really die, we will experience the unlimited joy and love that we are.

What do you believe? You probably believe what you find easy or comfortable or convenient to believe. Someday, we will actually know without a doubt what we are, but belief and faith now have roles to play. The conversion of the world from one ruled by fear to one ruled by love will come about because people have faith in what they cannot currently see. This faith is powerful and will change the world completely. How soon do you want to wake up and learn what you really are?

Lucky or Blessed?

Recently, I had a conversation with a Chinese friend of mine. She said that she sees some things as being lucky and some things as being unlucky. Specifically, there are some things about her name that she doesn’t like.

In China, one’s name has a specific meaning, and Chinese parents usually try to choose a favorable name for their child. However, this name can be either a benefit or a burden to the child, depending on how people perceive the name. A person with a certain name might feel unlucky all his life because he has a name that is perceived negatively.

In the Bible, one’s name is associated with one’s character or personality, and a good name is highly valued. For example,

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. –Proverbs 22:1, NASB

However, we cannot control how other people view us, and we cannot control what other people say about us. Therefore, our name, or character, can be tarnished or corrupted by other people even if we have done nothing wrong. In the following verse, we are told what will be given to those who “overcome.” The word “overcome” refers to those who endure difficulties and keep their faith in God.

‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ –Revelation 2:17, NASB

The following quote from the internet tells what the “white stone” in the previous verse represents.

 The second picture represented by the white stone is that of a voting ballot. Many sources refer to the custom of using stones as a means used by jurors of casting votes after arguments have been heard in a trial. A white stone signified a vote for acquittal, while a black one meant a vote for the defendant to be condemned. –Peter Anderson

In other words, the “white stone” means that the overcomers are viewed as guiltless and pure. The “new name” means that the overcomers will have a new character or personality that is untarnished and uncorrupted.

This verse reveals the benefit of having a pure heart:

 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. –Matthew 5:8, NASB

God does not have a physical body, but the pure in heart will “see” God in the sense of knowing or experiencing Him. I also believe that everyone will eventually “see” God. In this world, people can be divided into different groups based on their characters, but it is only time that separates people and makes them seem different from each other. In eternity, in heaven, we will all be the same and know the same things.

In conclusion, we cannot control many things about our life or name. However, when each of us overcomes, we will be given a white stone that signifies our guiltlessness and purity. In fact, we are guiltless no matter what we do because we are still as God created us. God created us in His image, and we are love as God is love. However, we will not see ourselves as guiltless until we overcome and our vision has been corrected by the Spirit. At that time, we will not see ourselves as lucky or unlucky, for luck has to do with things that we cannot always control. Instead, we will see ourselves as eternally blessed by God because He is holy and He created us in His image as holy and pure beings.

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.

The Spirit Gives Life

Just as a reservoir is of little use when the whole country is flooded, scriptures are of little use to the illumined man or woman, who sees the Lord everywhere. ─The Bhagavad Gita 2:46, translated by Eknath Easwaran

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. ─Habakkuk 2:14, ESV

 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me . . . ─Jeremiah 31:34a, ESV

 . . . the way can be indicated by words, but only understood by intuition. ─The Eternally Practical Way, Chapter 70

 For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. ─2 Corinthians 3:6b, ESV

The Spirit gives life. All is life and all is Spirit. The letter (words, dogmas, scriptures, etc.) can stunt or inhibit this life. When people adhere to attractive words, when they do not let their minds flow with the surrounding life, they can miss out on life. When people view a statement as valid for all time, they may end up overlooking or ignoring changes and differences that arise.

People who see the Lord everywhere, and expressed in everything, are free to follow the leading of the Spirit wherever the Spirit leads. Those who have preconceptions of how things are, or should be, are not free to change along with the changing world. Of course, we don’t change passively as the “outside” world demands that we change; being part of the world, we are able to actively direct or block the flow of life to a greater or lesser extent. The more we are in sync with the flow of life, the more we can direct these energies, for good or ill.

If someone tells me to “honor my father and mother,” how should I understand this rule? Should I understand it as meaning that I should never disagree with my parents? Should I leave gifts on my parents’ graves? By interpreting this rule in their own ways, people can make their own personal, more specialized, rules. Once they have set their minds on an interpretation of the rule, people may find it difficult to view the rule any other way.

However, if people simply will what is best for all, and trust that the Spirit will inspire them and show them how to achieve this good in every moment, then people can free themselves from the adherence to worn out dogmas and words, and make themselves more available to the ever-present intelligence of the Spirit.

Selfishness: Cause, Consequence, and Cure

In the world there are natural consequences of our actions. In truth, we receive what we give. When we forgive “others” we forgive ourselves. When we condemn “others” we condemn ourselves. I put “others” in quotation marks because the idea of the existence of beings completely distinct from ourselves is misleading. We are all united by God.

To use an analogy, a hair cell in a human body may see itself as distinct from a blood cell in the same body. However, the soul of the human unites the purposes and actions of the hair cell and the blood cell. If not for the presence of the soul, the body would disintegrate and break down. The body would no longer serve the purposes of the soul that once inhabited it. In the same way, all of creation can be seen as integrated cells in God’s universal body. God’s spirit animates creation and gives creation a unified purpose. If not for God, the universe would disintegrate and break down. In the same way that the soul is more than the body, God is greater than his creation. While God is immanent in (or present throughout) the universe, God also transcends (or is above) the universe.

Everyone knows when he has acted selfishly or egotistically. If a person is acting selfishly, he is acting with the beliefs that he is more important than others, that the good in the universe is limited, and that he must attempt to transfer this limited good to himself. The person who acts selfishly does not realize that all of creation is connected. He does not realize that good cannot be accumulated in one place. Any true good benefits all of creation.

From selfishness come pride, envy, anger, and fear. Pride comes when a person believes that he is independently excellent, that he is better than others. He forgets that many people have contributed to his “success” and that if he compares himself with others he will always come up short in some area. Envy comes when a person believes that goods are unjustly distributed. He does not realize that a person cannot truly enjoy any good while those around him are suffering from lack. Anger comes when a person believes that he has been unjustly cheated of some good thing. He does not realize that the universe cannot take something from itself. Fear comes from the knowledge that a person must face the consequences of all of his actions. A person must reap what he has sown. If his actions have been motivated by a dualistic, selfish mindset, he will reap separation, loneliness, and anxiety. He will be cut off from good in the way that he has tried to cut off others from good.

There is a cure for selfishness and the consequences of pride, envy, anger, and fear. The cure is to realize that there is only One and to act with this knowledge. What if we have acted selfishly in the past? Do we still have to face the consequences of our selfish actions? The good news is that God can help us deal with the results of our actions if we confess to God that we have not acted with love for all. Each time we realize that we have acted selfishly, we can repent—that is, change our minds and head in a new direction—and have a new relationship with God and his creation. The consequences of our selfishness do not have to overwhelm us if we put our faith in God’s power to forgive and save us through Jesus Christ, God’s mediator.

It is not easy to act unselfishly in a world that is run according to selfish principles. In a world in which the mindset of greed, competition, and fear is common, it is not easy to live with a different mindset. It takes continual attention to one’s attitude, and a continual effort to think and act differently. This effort is not without compensations. In this life we are rewarded by freedom from fear, and in eternity we are rewarded with joy. I cannot prove these things to you. However, you can prove them to yourself by living an unselfish life, a life of goodwill toward all.

The Wings Of The Spirit

This poem is about leaving the world after our purpose here is complete.

If there is for spirit a reason
To stay in this world for a season,
Is it not to reveal to another spirit
The voice of reason until it can hear it?
For reason says that the world here is base–
It cannot be a spirit’s resting place.
For a spirit cannot be at peace
While it must its material home lease,
In a world where bodies always change
And all of the elements rearrange.
Can a spirit find security
In birth, growth, and maturity?
For then the spirit must find and await
The death that is its unquestioned fate.
But if a spirit looks past physical things
It will find that it really has wings
That can take it beyond material stuff
When of this world it has had enough.
But before it leaves the world in haste,
It does not its physical life waste.
It will attempt with all that it knows
To convince others wherever it goes
Not to see death as a fearful end
But as a dear and welcome friend.
And when more spirits have found
That they are not chained to this ground,
They will take off and fly up as one
Like a flock of birds towards the sun.
And all the world will disappear
With all of the stress, sorrow, and fear.
And the loss of the world will not pain them,
For it will only serve to unchain them.
And all errors and mistakes will be righted
When all of creation is forever united.

Why Delay?

This poem discusses how the body, which is not our true home, was made to keep us apart and to limit love.

Why postpone and delay
Your body’s final day?
Why delay and postpone
Your spirit’s return home?

You will not be happy alone
In this body you call your home
You will not know the joy of union
While you focus on exclusion
While you are physically apart
Real love cannot enter your heart
And to reject heaven’s constant call
Is to accept a part instead of all

Why postpone and delay
Your body’s final day?
Why delay and postpone
Your spirit’s return home?

You fear to lose your identity
By giving up the body’s specialty
But you will not your self know
Until you join with all that is so
Our perception of many will be undone
For identity is the knowledge of one

Why postpone and delay
Your body’s final day?
Why delay and postpone
Your spirit’s return home?

It is illusions that cause us such pain
Until we build forgiveness’s chain
Forgiveness puts out of our mind
Errors, as they have been defined
Forgiveness helps the world to heal
By keeping in mind only the real
When the earth has accepted real love
It will shine with light from above

Why postpone and delay
Your body’s final day?
Why delay and postpone
Your spirit’s return home?

Now the earth is a place of distress
And we must its conflicts address
For the ego has taken control
Of many a man’s life and soul
The ego believes separation
Is the way to everyone’s salvation
The ego continues illusions
And fights against love’s solutions

Why postpone and delay
Your body’s final day?
Why delay and postpone
Your spirit’s return home?

The ego fears disappearing
So its cruelty is unsparing
In the end, it would kill you
To prove that life is untrue
It claims that eternity’s a sham
And that you are a sacrificial lamb
The truth is that the ego is not real
For the ego will leave you when you heal

Why postpone and delay
Your body’s final day?
Why delay and postpone
Your spirit’s return home?

When you stop heeding the ego’s screams
You will drink from the life-giving streams
You will know what you really are
And heaven will no longer be far
You will stay in this world for a time
To help others from the misery climb
For not one part of creation will be lost
It does not matter how much is the cost
For all of creation will be collected
And not one small part will be rejected
For life is not about exclusion
But about union through inclusion

Why postpone and delay
Your body’s final day?
Why delay and postpone
Your spirit’s return home?

1 2