The Ego’s Last Stand

This poem is about letting go of the past, and abandoning our belief that sin cannot be undone

You’ve taught me to lie without a trace
And to kill with no remorse
On the outside I’m the greatest guy
But now I’m dead inside
—From “Dead Inside” by Muse

You would be responsible for the effects of all your wrong thinking if it could not be undone. The purpose of the Atonement is to save the past in purified form only…. The continuing decision to remain separated is the only possible reason for continuing guilt feelings.
—A Course in Miracles

If we cannot undo the past
And in its grip it holds us fast
Then sin must be seen as real
And guilt is what we all must feel

But if the effects of our deeds
Can be undone, then life proceeds
And if our mind this world has made
Our mind can allow the world to fade

For the mind can create or make
The mind can create when awake
But when the mind itself divides
It makes what the ego decides

The ego is a brief aberration
It is our choice for separation
But our nature is to be complete
By uniting all that is discrete

The ego knows that its days are short
And many are leaving its support
But what can the ego really give
That would help us to thrive and live?

The ego spreads the idea of sin
And that we must fight in order to win
Each on his lonely island must contend
And his private body and thoughts defend

But without our obsession with guilt
Which our strong belief in sin has built
The ego would not need to exist
And our “sinful” past would be dismissed

For eons the ego has been preaching
And we have been following its teaching
We have over-learned its lessons of hate
And we have accepted death as our fate

But some have begun heeding a timeless voice
And are learning that they have another choice
They’re learning about the strength of a healed mind
Which, alone and separate, they could not find

But the ego will not go away in peace
Until we give it up, its shrieks will not cease
It attempts to keep us apart and unique
And it uses every trick and technique

But the power is now in our hands
We don’t have to heed the ego’s commands
We only need to learn how to forgive
If we would begin to live and let live

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?”

The Emerging World of Oneness


Contents

The Desire for Oneness | The Richness of Nature | Some Important Terms | A World Based on Attack | Levels of Organization and Emergence | The New Paradigm of Love | The Importance of the Resurrection | Electromagnetic Energy and Communication | Separation Before Oneness | Characteristics of the World of Oneness | The Earth Is not the Ultimate Goal

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The Desire for Oneness

But if tomorrow everybody under the sun
Was happy just to live as one
No borders or battles to be won

But if tomorrow everybody was your friend
Happiness would never end

Lord, don’t you wish it was true
Lord, don’t you wish it was true
–John Fogerty, from “Don’t You Wish It Was True”

The wish for everyone to live as one is not an idle wish or a powerless desire. This essay will attempt to show how a world of oneness will emerge.

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The Richness of Nature

John Denver wrote “Annie’s Song” for his lover. In this song, he compares his lover’s presence to the experience of being in nature:

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
–John Denver, from “Annie’s Song”

When I was a child, in the 1980s, I lived in an average American neighborhood. I lived in a small three-bedroom house lined up close to two neighboring houses on a straight, concrete street. Each house had a small backyard and front yard. In our front yard, my dad had mowed the grass around the small oak trees that had just started growing. By the time I had reached eight or ten years of age, the trees had grown to tower over our house.

At that time, we had put up some bird feeders and bird houses around our house. One bird house that we put up was about 10 feet (3 meters) above the ground on the side of one of the oak trees. We had cut the door hole of the bird house at just the right size so that the common house sparrows could not fit inside, but smaller birds could fit inside.

It happened that a pair of chickadees (small black-and-white birds) built a nest in the bird house. One day, after the baby birds had hatched from the eggs, I climbed a nearby tree to get a better look at the bird house. When the parent birds got used to my presence, they continued to feed their offspring. Chickadees, in my opinion, have a very cheerful song, and they sang this song while they worked to feed their young. This experience of observing the chickadees cheerfully feeding their young was one of the highlights of my experience of being in nature and I have never forgotten it.

Those who have always lived in a big city or in a skyscraper might never have had the experience of being immersed in nature and absorbing all of its amazing sensory inputs. One cannot adequately describe or transmit this experience in words, for you have to experience it yourself to understand it. John Denver’s song above might sound strange to you if you have never been immersed in nature. Could it really be a compliment to compare your lover to “a night in the forest”?

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Some Important Terms

Love, oneness, God, and communication are related ideas that cannot be precisely differentiated or separated into different definitions. However, we can say that complete communication is necessary for love and oneness, and we can say that God is the intelligence of love or oneness. In this essay, you can substitute the word “oneness” for the word “God” if the word “God” makes you feel uncomfortable.

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A World Based On Attack

In John Denver’s most famous song, “Rocky Mountain High,” he sings about the joy of being in nature, either alone or with friends. However, in this same song he says,

Now his life is full of wonder
But his heart still knows some fear
–John Denver, from “Rocky Mountain High”

Why does he still feel fear? In nature, there is an undercurrent of fear, for different species attack and devour each other, and members of the same species attack and compete with each other for food, resources, and mates. For example, the chickadees in my experience had to kill insects so that their offspring could grow and survive.

My grandmother once told me about an experience she had at her house in Florida. She also had a bird house on a tree in her yard, and some type of birds had made a nest there. When the young birds were old enough to leave the nest, some of them came out of the bird house. However, an owl was patiently waiting for this event, and when the young birds left the safety of the bird house, the owl swooped down and snatched one of the baby birds for its meal. My grandmother said that she felt sad about this, but she decided that that was just how nature was.

The book A Course in Miracles agrees with this assessment of nature that my grandmother made. In fact, it claims that

The world was made as an attack on God [or oneness]. It symbolizes fear. And what is fear except love’s absence? Thus the world was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son [God’s creation] could be apart from Him. Here was perception born, for knowledge could not cause such insane thoughts. But eyes deceive, and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become quite possible, for certainty has gone.
–A Course in Miracles

We attacked oneness because we wished for reality to be different. However, we could not destroy oneness. We simply became blind to oneness and our knowledge of oneness became subconscious. Now we consciously perceive separation and fragmentation in the world. In order to maintain the illusion of separation, we have to continue to attack each other and every part of the world. Thus, attack is the basis of the world we see.

Everywhere you look now, Murder Incorporated
–Bruce Springsteen, from “Murder Incorporated”

Attack is incorporated in the world as we know it. And attack can include a nasty look or a verbal insult, as well as a physical assault. All of these things serve to separate us and maintain the perception of the fragmentation of the world. However, on the subconscious level, we are all still one. We are like icebergs. We cannot see how we all are united by the water of energy that surrounds us. We can only see the tops of the icebergs, which appear separate from each other. We are also like sleepwalkers. We are not awake to–or aware of–oneness. We are asleep and dreaming of separation, fear, and attack.

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Levels of Organization and Emergence

There are many levels of organization in the universe, from subatomic particles to atoms, molecules, cells, organs, organisms, ecosystems, planets, solar systems, galaxies, and so on. We have no idea how far down and how far up these levels of organization extend. Let’s start with an atom. Let’s imagine that we have an isolated individual atom (something impossible, except in our imagination). When the atom combines with other atoms, it can emerge as a mass of some type of substance in some phase (such as a solid, liquid, or gas). However, when one type of atom combines with (chemically reacts with and bonds with) another type of atom, the resulting molecule usually has characteristics and properties that are quite different that the properties of either of the component atoms. In fact, we cannot guess the properties of the resulting molecule merely by looking at the properties of the component atoms. The resulting molecule has properties and behaviors that are entirely new and different from the properties and behaviors of the component atoms. This emergence of new properties and behaviors occurs with every step up to higher levels of organization. We cannot tell how a human will behave merely by studying the cells that make up his body, for the human is a new level of organization with its own unique properties and behaviors.

The awareness of oneness is what we lost when we attacked reality. Now, oneness is only subconsciously part of us. Our bodies obviously work well when we do not attack them, for they are connected to oneness. We do not fully know how our bodies work, for only a small part of our body-awareness is conscious, and the subconscious workings of our bodies are taken care of by the so-called “autonomic nervous system.” The choice that we have to make is one of joining the rest of the universe in its oneness, or choosing to continue our illusory separate existence by attacking everything that we meet. Even if we choose attack, we cannot destroy ourselves or reality, for the reality of oneness continues to surround us.

God goes with me wherever I go.
–A Course in Miracles

A cell might find meaning in its life by being part of a human, while a human can find completion by nurturing each cell in his body. In the same way, a human can find meaning in life by doing the will of God, and God can find completion by loving and nurturing each human in His care.

God Himself is incomplete without me.
–A Course in Miracles

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The New Paradigm of Love

The heart has got to open in a fundamental way
–Leonard Cohen, from “Democracy”

When Jesus lived on the earth about two thousand years ago, he “seeded” the world with a new idea. In place of the paradigm of attack, he introduced the paradigm of love (a paradigm is a framework with which we perceive the world):

[Jesus said,] “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
–John 13:34 NASB

How did Jesus love his followers? He laid down his life for them. As he said,

[Jesus said,] “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
–John 15:13 NASB

It is this self-giving and ego-denying love that Jesus embodied and taught:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after [follow] Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
–Matthew 16:24-25 NASB

Many people think that they have to fight for their lives to survive (the attack paradigm), but those who hear Jesus’ message–and know that he conquered death by his return to life–have faith in eternal life, and self-giving love.

[Jesus] said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.”
–Mark 4:30-32 NASB

Jesus nourished the seed of self-giving love, and that seed has been spreading throughout the world. Some people accept Jesus’ message of forgiveness and love, while others reject it. Some people are inclined to accept the new paradigm of love and oneness, while others are unable to accept the new paradigm, and they cling to the old, familiar paradigm of attack.

[Jesus said,] “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end [of the age] will come.”
–Matthew 24:14 NASB

Once everyone in the world has been exposed to Jesus’ idea of self-giving love, and has been given a definite choice, the end of the age will come. Those who believe in love will form a new organism, and a world with the property of oneness will emerge. Those who are unwilling or unable to adapt to the new energy of oneness will leave the earth. Those that still cherish the attack paradigm will be like cancer cells in the body. The body (the earth) will identify the cancer cells, separate them from the healthy cells, and flush them out.

Those who choose the love paradigm do not instantly and automatically cease to attack, for the transition from attack to love requires the process of forgiveness. The feeling of guilt is what makes us attack ourselves and others, and attack, in turn, makes us feel guilty. Forgiveness of ourselves and others is the way out of the cycle of guilt and attack. Forgiveness is the process of reversing the first decision to attack reality and reject oneness. Forgiveness is the willingness to choose the reality of oneness instead of the illusion of separation. This willingness to give up attack and embrace love grows stronger with practice.

One of Jesus’ followers, named Peter, apparently did not yet fully understand Jesus’ command of love, for when some men came to arrest Jesus, Peter attacked one of the men with a sword. (His mind was still in the attack paradigm.) But Jesus immediately healed the man’s wound. (Jesus continued to embody the paradigm of love, even when being arrested.)

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The Importance of the Resurrection

It is important to understand and believe that Jesus, the Christ, died and came back to life. He was arrested (although he had done nothing wrong) and he was crucified (nailed to a wooden cross). He died on the cross and was put into a tomb. On the third day, he came back to life (a process called the resurrection) and came out of the tomb. He then appeared to his followers and his followers began to have a deeper understanding of eternal life and self-giving love. Without faith in eternal life, self-giving love becomes a joke, for who would give up his life for his friends if he didn’t believe in eternal life? As it is written in the Bible,

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. [Vain means empty or pointless.]
–1 Corinthians 15:13-14 NASB

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies…”
–John 11:25 NASB

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Electromagnetic Energy and Communication

The experience of being in nature does not just involve the five usual senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste, for nature communicates in conscious and subconscious ways with the whole electromagnetic spectrum. The world is bathed in electromagnetic energy, and natural systems and organisms use this energy to communicate with meaningful signals.

However, if there is too much electromagnetic noise in the environment, it becomes very difficult for organisms to communicate internally and externally, inside and outside the apparent boundaries of their bodies. If the signal-to-noise ratio gets too low, then the signal gets lost in the noise and normal communication is blocked.

When we are in nature, we don’t just see the light shining through the trees, hear the birds singing, or feel the grass under our feet. We are bathed by a symphony of electromagnetic energy. This energy is what makes us feel alive and connected to the environment. With all of the manmade electromagnetic energy in the world now (produced by, among other things, radio and television towers, cell phone towers, cordless landline phones, power lines, and Wi-Fi routers), many bands of the electromagnetic spectrum are blocked or confused. On a personal level, I haven’t received “good vibrations” from nature for many years.

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Separation Before Oneness

We can view the earth as an organism that is composed of component organisms (such as plants, rocks, animals, and humans). The world we now see was initially made as an attack upon oneness. However, Jesus initiated a new paradigm in the world that will restore love and oneness to our minds.

If you have built a house out of Legos, and you decide you want to make a hospital out of the same blocks, you have to take apart the pieces of your house first. In the same way, perhaps, the lack of communication between organisms, the jamming of their natural signals by manmade technology, has a secondary purpose. Perhaps, the old world of attack is being taken apart so that a new world of love can be assembled. Beings of attack are being electromagnetically decoupled from beings of love so that the beings of attack can be removed from the world-organism.

Love, as with electromagnetic communication, is also being jammed or blocked:

[Jesus said,] “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”
–Matthew 24:12 NASB

However, even if beings of love and beings of attack are being separated by the disruption of communication, all beings still have a subconscious connection to oneness that can never be severed, for life is eternal and it does not exist in isolation.

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Characteristics of the World of Oneness

The characteristics of the new world-organism will be new and different from the characteristics of the old world-organism. However, the prophet Isaiah gives us a hint about what the world will be like when the paradigm of love is fulfilled in the world:

“The wolf and the lamb [natural enemies in the world of attack] will graze together [in oneness], and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They [and all of nature] will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD.
–Isaiah 65:25 NASB

They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.
–Isaiah 11:9 NASB

In other words, oneness, love, and complete communication will return to the world.

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The Earth Is not the Ultimate Goal

Life on earth is not the ultimate goal, for life on earth does not last forever. The faith in eternal life is the faith that allows one to overcome the fear of death and accept self-giving love. No one on earth is perfect yet, for if one were perfect, one wouldn’t need to learn the lessons of forgiveness available on earth. The emergence of oneness on earth provides a place for the last lessons that we need to learn before God takes the final step of bringing us into heaven, our true home.

When the body [and earthly, physical things] ceases to attract you, and when you place no value on it as a means of getting anything, then there will be no interference in communication and your thoughts will be as free as God’s. As you let the Holy Spirit teach you how to use the body only for purposes of communication, and renounce its use for separation and attack which the ego sees in it, you will learn you have no need of a body at all.
–A Course in Miracles

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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.

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

Make Your Choice

This poem says that we must make a choice to listen to one of two voices. One voice leads to fear, and the other leads to love.

Make your choice
Hear your voice
Let the love within you arise
Or get caught in a web of lies

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice screams for your submission
While the other is the good physician

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice stirs up everyone’s hate
While the other offers heaven’s gate

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice offers you easy lies
While the other wears no disguise

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice tries to control your mind
While the other asks you to be kind

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice breaks in and steals
While the other only heals

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice threatens and raves
While the other quietly saves

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice hates unification
While the other heals separation

Make your choice
Hear your voice
One voice asks you to judge and attack
While the other holds no good thing back

Which voice will you heed?
What does your heart really need?
Will your heart become dark
As it refuses love’s spark?
Or will you find within you
The ability to undo
All of the mind’s sorrow and pain
As bad memories go down the drain?

In the end, you will follow
One voice, real or hollow
The hollow voice says that you are better
Than your brother, and that you will never
Know his suffering and pain
When he goes through the flame
The real voice says that you are the same
As your brother, and that you share one name

This real voice we will all hear in the end
When our enemy becomes our friend
When we let go of our dark fears
And wipe away our bitter tears
The only choice we have today
Is how long we will delay
The day of time’s final end
The day that love will transcend

So make your choice
To hear your voice
But realize that only One
Will last longer than the sun
Only one will support every being
And ensure its eternal well-being
So why delay and prolong this world of pain
When the other choice offers eternal gain?

“Non-judgment Day Is Near”

The following story is from the Bible. It is about some religious leaders who caught a woman engaged in adultery. At that time, their society had a law that such people should be killed by having stones thrown at them.

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:3-11 ESV)

Now, there are some questions we could ask about this story. If Jesus did not condemn her at that time, and he told her not to sin anymore, what would happen if she did sin again? Did Jesus believe she would never sin again, or was he waiting for her to sin so he could condemn or judge her for her actions? Did Jesus have a “three strikes and you’re out” approach to sin? Or, did Jesus represent God when he said, “Neither do I condemn you”? Is God a God of condemnation, or not?

Different societies have different rules about morality, and good and bad, and right and wrong. However, the people in these societies have one thing in common: they all feel guilty and practice self-condemnation. Even if people are not religious, they feel that something is wrong with their inner self.

The book A Course in Miracles teaches that God’s creation made a “detour into fear” when it accepted the idea that it could contradict God’s will, and “sin.” Ever since that moment, God’s creation has been driven mad by the ideas of sin, guilt, and fear. Sin is what God’s creation believes happened in the past, guilt is the “proper” feeling of the sinner in the present, and fear is about the fear of future punishment.

The salvation of the world consists in undoing (or forgiving) the ideas of sin, guilt, and fear. Either God is real or sin is real. They cannot both be real because they contract each other. Either God is all-powerful and all-good, or sin has destroyed God’s will and goodness and God does not exist. If we think of sin as an illusion in a bad dream, then the idea of God can be what remains real. If we see sin as real, then God becomes an illusion.

The book A Course in Miracles teaches that God knows that his creation is still like Himself–holy, guiltless, sinless, and eternal. However, God’s creation has accepted sin as real and is now in a dream-like state and having nightmares of future punishment. God’s creation feels guilty, so it punishes itself and expects God to hand out the final punishment at the end of the world.

The way out of this mess is to realize that God’s will cannot be contradicted in reality, sin does not really exist, and God has no need to condemn His creation at all. God’s creation needs only to forgive or overlook all ideas of sin and accept God’s judgment that His creation is still holy and guiltless. Non-judgment day is getting nearer because the suffering caused by the belief in sin and condemnation is becoming so intense that an alternative way of thinking is being sought. The alternative to self-condemnation is self-forgiveness. When forgiveness of self has been completed, God’s creation will wake up and realize that it is, and has always been, safe in heaven.

Two Types of Democracy

In this essay I want to describe two types of democracy: the democracy of the U.S. government, and the democracy of traditional Native American cultures.

The democracy of the U.S. government is supposed to be by the people, of the people, and for the people. However, since the U.S. is so big and complex, the U.S. government is composed of elected representatives, who make laws that they think the people who elected them want. However, this type of government has a weakness. This weakness is the fact that the government is based on competition and division. The nominees for office are chosen from the people and they have to fight for their office in contested elections. These elections create divisions between the people, divisions that can be deep and long lasting. And the winners of elections often do not care about the ideas and needs of those who have lost the elections.

In contrast, some Native American cultures developed democracies based on mutual respect and the attempt at reconciliation. These small societies were governed by a group of elders who made decisions for the well-being of their society. A typical democracy of this type would be composed of a group of elders who had authority and experience. If there was a problem within the society, the elders would get together and discuss the issue. Each elder would have a chance to speak and express his views. Then a decision would be made by the chief or the elders together as to what course of action would be taken. If there were disagreements among the people, the people would look for a resolution that did not divide the people into opposing parties.

Now, the Native American societies were not perfect. There were still conflicts within the groups and between different types of Native American societies. In fact, wartime bravery was usually an important virtue among Native American men. I don’t espouse the return to the past. My point is that the U.S. government can learn a lot from the Native American societies that lasted thousands of years. I want to emphasize, as well, that the divisions that have been created in the U.S. government and among the people might cause the country to eventually collapse due to a lack of trust between people. If people are not encouraged to look for a win-win solution, then people will tend to mistrust, hate, and even attack each other.

The seeds of destruction are deep within the systems of the world. The world’s systems are based upon separation, competition, and greed. Most people want to get and keep what they believe is theirs. Few people share, either because they don’t see the value in sharing, or because the system has made it too difficult to share.

From my perspective, I see two paths that can be taken by each individual. One path is the path of greed, selfishness, and physical self-preservation at all costs. The other path is one of trust, compassion, and the giving of self. The first path leads to division and destruction, while the second path leads to healing and oneness. The path we take depends on whether we believe that a good solution is possible for all beings, or we believe that one person must lose in order for another person to win. Personally, I believe that all can “win” if we expect this and look for a good solution in which everyone benefits.

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?

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