12/31/09

ACIM is NOT nihilism

The term "nihilism" comes from the Latin word "nihil", which translates to the English word "nothing". Most commonly, the philosophical doctrine of nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism. Existential nihilism argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Subsequently there are no moral values with which to uphold a rule or logically prefer one action over another.

Nihilism can take an metaphysical or ontological form meaning that, contrary to our belief, perceived aspects of reality do not actually exist as such. Upon realizing there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws, one may develop a mood of despair at the perceived pointlessness of existence.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) posited an early form of nihilism which he referred to as "levelling". Levelling was the process of suppressing individuality to a point where the individual's uniqueness becomes non-existent and nothing meaningful in his existence can be affirmed.
"Levelling at its maximum is like the stillness of death, where one can hear one's own heartbeat, a stillness like death, into which nothing can penetrate, in which everything sinks, powerless. One person can head a rebellion, but one person cannot head this levelling process, for that would make him a leader and he would avoid being levelled. Each individual can in his little circle participate in this levelling, but it is an abstract process, and levelling is abstraction conquering individuality."

– Søren Kierkegaard, The Present Age
A Course in Miracles does not present or support a philosophy of existential nihilism.

-  oOo  -

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/30/09

108 seconds - Miacles





-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/26/09

Christ in You - Lesson three - Christ the life

Christ in You — Lesson three — Christ the life

The voice of spirit is far-reaching. It is the expression of omnipresence, and is both near and far. It knows nothing of space, but for the present we must deal with beginnings. Perhaps it would be as well to help you at your present stage of unfoldment. It is absolutely necessary that you should have times of quiet, that you should come out from the business of life for a part of each day. If you were to wait in silence, holding the attitude of growth and steady development, thinking above all else of the kingdom of God — your condition should not be one of strain or of blank nothingness, avoid both these extremes — the result would be of the highest value to yourself and to all around you.
Hold in your heart, the true place of understanding, a stillness which is alive, like the heart of a rose. The God powers within you would assert themselves; crooked things would become straight, rough places plain. All smallness and discord quietly but surely would drop away and have no longer any power. To spirit, stagnation is impossible. The creative energy is constant activity within.
All outside energy is waste and hindrance. As you quietly wait upon God, the breath of life renews each particle of the body by its silent, orderly activity.
We are not able to tell you of future events, but we can indicate their trend, for each individual makes the future by the thoughts and acts of the present. You are today the result of your past. You may be hopeful, as your present thought will be fully realized in the future day. Hold the positive attitude in all that you undertake for spiritual development, knowing that God never fails. This holds you above the sense plane, and you immediately function from the spiritual, substantial, and only real. All must be finished before the Christhood of the race is complete — complete, unselfish, impersonal. Loving God and loving man, all may enter into unity. The evolution of spirit through the material is the work of creation. It is God that works in you now. Rejoice that you have this knowledge, and give the utmost for the highest. Live in spirit, breathe and walk in the innermost heart of yourself.
I want you to give some part of the day to this silent growth, thus bringing poise and balance into your whole being. I repeat this, as it is so necessary, so pregnant with results. First, you will be conscious of good sound judgment, a better understanding of your neighbor, and clear insight. Afterwards, the result in your body will be realized, for in the silence the heart of flesh will have become one with the heart of spirit; and thus you bring about perfect circulation between the two.
You can understand how highly important this is when I tell you that the brain is fed by the spirit; a finer element has become ruler over the grosser, and the spirit of the living God breathes through the outer body of flesh. I am making this clear in order to emphasize the necessity for quiet. Later, you will not need this, as you will command at all times and in all places, heeding neither environment nor discord. Do not seek love — give it. This is your nourishment. Will you pay attention to this? Take what is your right from your Father. He who brought you to this very moment of your lives is speaking in your hearts. Awake, thou that sleep. Christ shall give thee light.
-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/25/09

Reading A Course in Miracles

Jesus has led the way. This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. - ACIM
Over a period of forty-three years, the great Sufi master Jalaluddin Rumi (1207 - 1273) dictated his Spiritual Couplets (Mathnawi-i-Manawi) to a scribe.

In his 1964 book The Sufis, the great contemporary Sufi teacher Idreis Shah wrote of the Mathnawi that its poetry and imagery is, "of such power in the original that its recitation produces a strangely complex exaltation of the hearer's consciousness."
"It contains jokes, fables, conversations, references to former teachers and ecstatogenic [ecstasy-inducing] methods — a phenomenal example of the method of scatter, whereby a picture is built up by multiple impact to infuse into the mind the Sufi method. This message, with Rumi as with all Sufi masters, is arranged partially in response to the environment in which he is working."
Assume for a moment that A Course in Miracles is a rare spiritual classic at least on par with Rumi's 750 year old Mathnawi.   How would Shah's remarks about Rumi's work apply to the Course?
  1. The effect of just reading or hearing the words.
  2. The scatter method, using jokes, fables, and conversations.
  3. Partially designed in response to current conditions.
First. There seems to be a strong tendency among many to consult secondary sources first, and to avoid reading the Course itself. Wapnick, Renard, Perry, Charles Anderson (a/k/a Master Teacher), and so on .  .  .  have each built careers around explaining A Course in Miracles.

The Course is a big book, highly abstract and difficult to read, and it requires a significant commitment of time. There aren't any pictures in it anywhere, just a lot of words. Surly, there has to be an easier way. The cry, "Just tell me what it says!" goes out, and it is answered.

Unfortunately, it is a lot like filtering wine through mud.  Not a lot of the wine gets through the mud, and the little bit that does get through is muddy.  "They lose the effect of what is in fact a special art form, created by Rumi for the express purpose of conveying meaning which he himself concedes have no actual parallel in ordinary human experience." Idreis Shah — The Sufis.

I can attest that on occasion I have been reading the Course and tears will suddenly start flowing out of my eyes and down my face, for no obvious conscious reason, accompanied by a deep inarticulate sense of boundless joy.  I have never had that experience reading anything written by Kenneth Wapnick, for example.

There is no substitute for reading A Course in Miracles yourself.  An easier way is not the same as a better way.
"I took a ride I didn't know what I would find there,
Another road where maybe I could see some other kind of mind there."
Got to Get You Into My Life — Lennon & McCartney




Second. The scatter method of teaching is evident throughout the Course.  A theme will be explored and dropped, only to be re-visited again several times later in the book.  The scatter method is a practical concession to limited attention span, different learning styles, multiple levels of psyche, and the value of repetition without indoctrination.  One aim of the Course is to change how you think, and not so much to change what you think.  It is not an alternate belief system in the sense of merely offering a new unorthodox credo.

Although nearly all of the conversational style, the jokes, and direct references to other teachers or psychologists were edited out by Schucman and Thetford to produce the 1972 Original Edition of the Course, those are now generally available again with the unauthorized publication of the ACIM urtext.

Third. A Course in Miracles was partially designed in response to current conditions.  Many have previously suggested that the Course is superior to the Christian Gospels, and the Course was intended to correct many of the errors that crept into Christianity over the millennia.  I have recently written The Easter Lily and cultural relativism in ACIM, on this subject.

-oOo-

50 Spiritual Classics

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/24/09

The sign of Christmas is a star




The sign of Christmas is a star,
a light in darkness. See it not
outside yourself, but shining in the
Heaven within, and accept it as the
sign the time of Christ has come.
He comes demanding nothing.
No sacrifice of any kind,
of anyone, is asked by Him.


— A Course in Miracles —



-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/23/09

Reading the Gospels

October 1991 through October 1992 was my one-year stint in an intense super-secret Fourth Way teaching school that had relocated in Louisville from Colorado just as I joined, and which moved on to Lexington, Kentucky, shortly after I got myself kicked out.  There were two teachers who were husband and wife, and about twenty students.  At first, most of the students were the ones who had re-located with the teachers from Colorado.  The focus of study was through a direct line of teaching from G. I. Gurdjieff, through P. D. Ouspensky, through Rodney Collins.

It was here that my reconciliation with Christianity began.  It was here that I first encountered a plausible alternative interpretation of the Gospels that made sense to me at the time.  The value to me at that time was immense. It opened a crack in the seemingly monolithic and impenetrable fog of contemporary mainstream Christian discourse that I didn't believe or respect.  It involved questioning the purpose and intent of the gospels.

The suggestion was simply this: The Gospels were never intended to be read literally.  The Gospels were written in coded language which could be understood only if the keys to understanding were shared by one who knew. The only way to know the secret was by direct transmission of the secret in an unbroken line by word of mouth only.  It is a Western form of Guru-ism, except the focus was not upon the teachers themselves, it was upon what they taught.

The written Gospels are a teaching tool and not a primary source of understanding.  There are four Gospels because there are four basic types of men and women, or four different levels of psyche.  Each Gospel speaks to a different level.  This explains the apparent inconsistencies.

I shall gather basic resource information and update here.

My theory is that reading A Course in Miracles apart from its relationship to everything else is a mistake. It is an ego mistake.

When you think about it, that's what the ego does - it separates, isolates and makes different. It makes "better-than" or special. Everything in the world, including sacred texts, can be used for opposite purposes.

So, I don't think it is even possible to usefully apply the teachings of A Course in Miracles without a basic knowledge of Christianity. But, I have found it very useful to read the Gospels with a questioning mind.

My reading the of the Gospels as suggested here was not an end-point for me. It was a starting point. After investigating the metaphorical meanings of the Gospel stories, there is then a return to literalism. Time is a spiral.

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

12/22/09

The Easter Lily and cultural relativism in ACIM

The symbolic association of white trumpet lilies (Lilium longiflorum) with Easter, and the phrase "Easter Lilies," is a fairly recent development. The cultural significance of the symbolism is limited primarily to the English speaking parts of the world, and particularly the United States and Canada. These lilies are native to Japan and were not introduced to England and the United States until the 19th Century.

Although Brewer's 1894 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable discusses the symbolic meaning of lilies, it makes no connection at all between that flower and Easter. In England and also in Russia the pussy-willow is the flower traditionally associated with Easter. The most ancient association of Easter and a particular flower is with the narcissus. This is still the tradition in areas of Southern France and northern Italy.

When A Course in Miracles states, for example, "This week begins with palms and ends with lilies, the white and holy sign the Son of God is innocent," in connection to Easter, the average Russian or Italian might be hard-pressed to understand the meaning of the reference. If a translation of A Course in Miracles into Russian aimed to adopt a relevant cultural symbol of equal significance, that sentence might properly be rendered as, "This week begins with palms and ends with pussy-willows."

This would be in line with what the Course itself has to say on the subject of translation:
"Laws must be communicated if they are to be helpful. In effect, they must be translated for those who speak different languages. Nevertheless, a good translator, although he must alter the form of what he translates, never changes the meaning. In fact, his whole purpose is to change the form so that the original meaning is retained."
White trumpet lilies normally do not bloom in nature until June and July. Considerable planning and expense go into creating the artificial conditions required to force Easter lilies to bloom in time for Easter Sunday in late March or April. The final phase of forcing potted lily bulbs to bloom at Easter time involves several months of cultivation in hothouse conditions.

One might assume, therefore, that the "tradition" of the Easter lily was invented and popularized by commercial greenhouse growers in modern times, and quite successfully it seems. Easter lilies are the fourth most popular potted plant marketed in the United States today. Easter lilies are a big, but specialized, business. See: Easter Lily Research Foundation.

Although the connection between the white lily and Easter is of recent origin, there is no denying the emotional impact of the symbol in the North America. The National Society for Crippled Children, for example, launched its first "Easter Seals" campaign in 1934, incorporated the lily into its logo in 1952, "for its association with resurrection and new life," and officially changed its name to "Easter Seals" in 1967. See: Easter Seals Disability Services.

A Course in Miracles first mentions the lily in chapter 20. Before 1975 this chapter was titled "The Promise of the Resurrection," and it begins with, "This is Palm Sunday . . . . ." Those words were actually scribed on Palm Sunday, March 19, 1967.

 Lilies are used to symbolize love and innocence, in contrast with the image of thorns which are used as the symbol of fear and guilt. The contrast between lilies and thorns is used to emphasize and make clear the nature of the choice placed before us in every inter-personal encounter.
"Offer your brother the gift of lilies, not the crown of thorns; the gift of love and not the 'gift' of fear. You stand beside your brother, thorns in one hand and lilies in the other, uncertain which to give. Join now with me and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them."

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

The unity of opposites

Anti-idolatry is no cure for idolatry. They are two sides of the same coin, and the reverse side affirms the belief in specialness just as much as does the obverse. When the Course says to reverse thinking 180 degrees, this isn't what it means.

This is the hidden unity in duality: You can't have anything without also having its opposite. As G. I. Gurdjieff said it, every stick has two ends. In the seeming opposites of apparent duality, opposites are in a mutually dependent relationship.

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

A Christian dialog - first

from Peace of God
A Christian dialog


Michaela: So, what does Contemporary Gospel mean?

Maz: Hi, its Maz Martin Weber-Caspers, Flevoland (a provence in the Netherlands).

Michaela: Hi Maz. I'm Michaela.

Maz: It means that the author of ACIM identifies himself as Jesus. He clarifies and correct 2 thousand years of upside down teachings. He gave the Course through inner dictation, great chunks in Iambic Pentameter Which is unworldy on the level of form, as well.

Michaela: Oh ok. I can see this isn't the room for me, Maz. But thanks for giving me a moment of your time to explain it. Take care...

Maz: No problem

Michaela: Cheers...

Maz: Look for yourself. Peace! BTW its NOT religious!

Michaela: Thanks.....it's living in me. Ok...that's no problem.

Maz: Good You may want to check out Ekkart Tolle or Marianne Williamson (Oprah's channels) for sharing ACIM "Perrenial Philosophy."

Michaela: Oh...Ok. I've heard a little about Williamson. I don't subscribe to her thoughts. But thanks. It might help you understand where I'm coming from if I mention I'm a born again Christian, and I believe the bible in its original text to be the supernaturally inspired word of God.

Maz: God Bless us all. Jesus is Savior to all. The Kingdom of Heaven is within.

Michaela: Not in the way you believe. But that's cool...thanks for your time. Bye now..

Maz: God's Plan of Salvation offers many paths, and cannot fail. Bye, take care.

Michaela: The bible says there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ.

Maz: Yes, that's correct. I believe that.

Michaela: That's good. Who do you say Christ is?

Maz: "I and the Father are One" Christ is God's Son.

Michaela: And you? Who are you?

Maz: We are all part of Christ, God's eternal children, equal and saved.

Michaela: All are saved?

Maz: I am a Child of God, like Jesus and yourself.

Michaela: You believe all are saved?

Maz: Yes, God is Just.

Michaela: Oh...ok. So you believe you are equal with Jesus?

Maz: No, Jesus is CHRIST realized, I am on my way He helps me. He protects me. He teaches me. He is the Leader of the Atonement and of the Sonship. He is the first complete witness to God.

Michaela: Oh....ok, so do you believe that you are corrupt in nature, sinful, and in need of Christs work on the cross to be saved? Do you believe in repentance?

Maz: Yes. I believe that all sin is an error, and that all of God's Creations are sinless. The world teaches the opposite, that sin is real. I listen to God's Voice, not the world. The Bible says that Adam fell asleep, and nowhere does the bible mention his awakening. But the Atonement restores every Soul to its truthful inheritance, to the Glory of God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is leader of the Atonement. That's my faith and experience. And I thank Jesus, as I thank you.

Michaela: The 'world' believes they are good enough to enter heaven. The 'world' doesn't believe Christ is in fact God himself. The 'world' doesn't see its need for repentance. True Christians believe the opposite of the world. We believe what God says....that there are none who do good, and none who seek after God. We believe that man needs a saviour, and Jesus Christ is that person; that all things we see were created through jesus Christ, that Christ is not a created being, but like God the Father, has always been...

Michaela: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16...

Maz: Jesus showed himself to me and my wife. He lives and teaches salvation, and freedom from sin and error. Theology can not split humanity since Jesus joins all. There are so many wars based on interpretation. Peace is God's Will for us.

Michaela: Really? Yet he said 'I have not come to bring peace'

Maz: The sword of Divine Wisdom IS the Atonement. A weapon that can NEVER be used to attack. After we saw Jesus Face in the Clouds in 1991, and read the prophesies in the Bible, we learned from him. We invited him into our lives, and he came.

Michaela: If you believe that Jesus Christ actually showed Himself to you, then there's nothing I can say to you that you will listen to. But I pray that God would remove the scales from your eyes, as He has done for me and millions of others, and I pray that Satan's deception will release its hold over you and your lovely wife. You are being severly deceived, as I was, and I truly pray for your eyes to be opened to the truth.

Maz: That's all that counts for me. A personal relationship with Jesus.

Michaela: That's correct. A personal relationship with Him, but the Jesus you say you know, I know nothing of and the bible does not speak of.

Maz: You are very kind. Read the prophesies, his 2nd coming will be announced in the clouds.

Michaela: No argument there....

Maz: Its in the Bible, and I trust I am not deceived. He works many miracles in our lives. He heals and restores.

Michaela: He does indeed....he shows mercy to whom he will show mercy...

Maz: He is available in the Holy Spirit for eveyone who asks.

Michaela: But I'm sorry friend, you don't know him.

Maz: Aaah, and how do YOU know that?

Michaela: Because the doctrine you speak of is not biblical. And the bible is the inspired word of God. If it doesn't match up with His description, then it just ain't true.

Maz: 'I will never forsake you or leave you comfortless' is his promise, and he keeps it.

Michaela: Yes, but He is speaking to those who are saved by grace, through Jesus Christ. He is not speaking to everyone.

Maz: And you think you know I am not saved by grace because I have a non-biblical doctrine? Are you a judge about my salvation?

Michaela: Not me friend, but the holy word of God is your judge.

Maz: I have no doctrine except my Love and Faith for God and Jesus.

Michaela: I didn't write the contents . . . God did. We can believe what we want, but it is useless if it is not the truth.

Maz: Well, i don't think its kind to tell me that I lie and am deceived.

Maz: The Truth is of God, not of man.

Maz: No man should judge a brother's salvation. Or faith

Michaela: You don't think it's kind to try to warn someone of the desperate state they are in, to try to steer them on the right path?

Maz: Desperate? LOL What do you know about the Miracles that Jesus works in my Life? How can you judge me as deceived? Is your Bible telling you to do that? I don't think so.

Michaela: Because of the words that are coming from your mouth. My bible tells me to share the Gospel, and that's what I'm doing.

Maz: I am not judging you for your belief.

Michaela: Your salvation is God's business, I am only saying that what you are saying doesn't line up with the Word of God, and that is my guide.

Maz: I am a brother and I don't understand why you would see me desparate and deceived.

Michaela: I know you're not. And I'm not judging you, merely seeking to share the truth with you.

Maz: That is appreciated. Thank you.

Michaela: If you knew that 2 and 2 makes 4, and your life depended on knowing that, but your wife said it really made 5, wouldn't you try to persuade her otherwise?

Maz: I know that sometimes 1+1=3, so I will always ask Jesus if something is true or not.

Michaela: In the same way you are sharing your understanding with me, I am sharing what I believe is truth with you...

Maz: My wife does the same.

Michaela: lol 1 and 1 = 3?

Maz: Yes. How? See, we are judging too quick sometimes....

Michaela: So you're saying there are no absolutes, and that God's word is incorrect?

Maz: Take the color Yellow (1) and the Color Blue (1) and mix them at the edge: What do you see? 3 colors, Blue, Yellow and Green. It all depends on the level.


Michaela: Absolutely,but the third colour does not take away from the truth of the other two. they are still yellow and Blue

Maz: Yes, but in this case 1+1=3. That's all.

Are you a Christian?

Are you a Christian? from ACIM Chat

Jed: Are you a Christian? I know it don't matter either way, but I'm just curious as to who feels they are and not. I for one feel I am a Christian. I Don't believe what most organised religions say about Jesus or Christ. However, I do feel Jesus that Jesus has set the record straight with the course. I consider it the Gospel of Jesus. For it is truly good new! Is it not? I'm not trying to change anybody's mind, just would like to take a quick survey about how you feel.

Tom: G. I Gurdjieff once said that the only person who could honestly call himself or herself Christian was one who actually followed the teachings of Jesus. That would not necessarily include all Course in Miracles students.

Billy: This is something that amazes me -- that certain people who study the Course obviously do not think that Jesus was the author of the Course. It seems to me that ALL students of A Course in Miracles are following the teachings of Jesus. I am aware that there is a theory in the Course community that Jesus is not the author of the Course (taught mainly by Wapnick -- or so I am told), but if we take the Course at its word (which some people do not want to do for some reason -- they want to read it metaphorically, when Jesus tells us in the Course, "You have surely begun to realize that this is a very practical course, and one that means exactly what it says." Now there are times when Jesus uses metaphorical language, but those times are usually pretty obvious) then it is clear that Jesus is the author. So, by Gurdjieff's definition, all Course students are Christians. I actually agree with this definition. It seems to me that Course students are "true" Christians. But, I realize that I am in the minority here. He even tells us in the Course, "those who accept me as a model are literally my disciples."

Here is what he says in T-6.I.8-10:
"A church is where an altar is, and the presence of the altar is what makes the church holy. 5 A church that does not inspire love has a hidden altar that is not serving the purpose for which God intended it. 6 I must found His church on you, because those who accept me as a model are literally my disciples. 7 Disciples are followers, and if the model they follow has chosen to save them pain in all respects, they are unwise not to follow him.
"I elected, for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter. 2 As the world judges these things, but not as God knows them, I was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, torn, and finally killed. 3 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.
"We are still equal as learners, although we do not need to have equal experiences. 2 The Holy Spirit is glad when you can learn from mine, and be reawakened by them. 3 That is their only purpose, and that is the only way in which I can be perceived as the way, the truth and the life. 4 When you hear only one Voice you are never called on to sacrifice. 5 On the contrary, by being able to hear the Holy Spirit in others you can learn from their experiences, and can gain from them without experiencing them directly yourself. 6 That is because the Holy Spirit is One, and anyone who listens is inevitably led to demonstrate His way for all."
Billy: In this passage, Jesus is referring to what we might call the "true" church and altar (here is an example of him using metaphorical language -- you and I are not literally a church with an altar inside), his crucifixion and resurrection, us as disciples, him as "the way, the truth and the life," etc. I don't understand how someone could say, "Oh, but that is not really Jesus saying those things. And, he doesn't mean any of that literally." It sounds pretty clear to me.

Tom: Reading and talking about a book does not amount to "actually following the teachings of Jesus," in my opinion.

Billy: I agree that just reading and talking about a book does not make us followers of the teachings of Jesus. Actually "taking this course" is what makes us followers of the teachings of Jesus. The three volumes add up to a spiritual path that leads to "true perception," and then God takes the final step and brings us the rest of the way Home -- a Home that we never really left. We study the Text as a way to get the "theoretical framework" that prepares us for the Workbook. It is with the Workbook that we practice the thought-system of the Course that we learn about in the Text. Then we extend love and forgiveness to our brothers through our unique way of teaching (Manual), thus learning (reinforcing) what we teach. In short:
  1. Study
  2. Practice
  3. Extension
Carrie: "I must found His church on you, because those who accept me as a model are literally my disciples. Disciples are followers, and if the model they follow has chosen to save them pain in all respects, they are unwise not to follow him." (T.6.I.8:6-7)

Tom: Are you a Christian?

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

12/21/09

The Psychic Grid


The Psychic Grid
by: Beatrice Bruteau
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Theosophical Pub. House (1979)
ISBN-10: 0835605310

This book has been on my mind since Carmen sent me her story about a vivid altered state experience she had during a reiki master attunement. Read it here - The Grid. It is time for me to re-read this book, again.


From the book: "Human consciousness is the most mysterious reality we experience.  The fact that we coincide with it does little to allay our uneasiness in its presence, for the only instrument we possess with which to study this mystery is again the same mystery, human consciousness.  If consciousness should deceive itself, we would be caught within an enchanted Hall of Mirrors from which there is no exit."

From a review: "This is not a book about psychic phenomena. It is a work of philosophy about how our perceptions are conditioned by the world view of the culture we are raised in. Each human being carries a "lens" through which he perceives everything that happens around and within himself, and with which he filters out bits of information which do not jive with the lens he carries. Our lenses are a product of family, school, workplace, regional, religious, and national influences--indeed there are many layers to each person's lens, and the layers begin to be formed when we are infants and continue to be added on throughout our formative years.
"The consensus reality of one's community therefore bestows upon each individual a field of knowledge, and this field determines what new knowledge we pick up. It is this field which Bruteau refers to as the "psychic grid." There are a multitude of psychic grids. They are simply different belief niches which people can inhabit. You might think of them as subcultures. No one psychic grid is "right," according to Bruteau. What makes a psychic grid "right" is if it works for a group of people, if it allows them to find meaning. If it does not, it will be replaced. . . . ." ( Read more )


-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

12/20/09

Saint Blockhead



Keeping in mind that history is written by the victors, looking at Western exoteric Christian church history with a gimlet eye can result in a few fascinating speculations.

Jesus' disciple Peter is a good example.  Of all the apostles, Peter is the only one to have had his name changed by Jesus himself.  Peter's birth name was Simon, which means "one who hears God" in Hebrew, or "one who listens."  It was fairly common for 1st century Jews to name their children with high-minded tags. Here are just a few examples:

  • Sheiramoth = From heaven.
  • Shem = Renowned.
  • Shifra = Beautiful.
  • Shadrach = Survived.
  • Simcha = Joy.

. . . the list is long.

When Jesus renamed Simon as Petros, which is Greek meaning a piece of rock larger than a stone or figuratively a stumbling block, it was not a compliment.  Names were important back then, and descriptive of a person's character.

Jesus was calling Simon Peter - Saint Peter - a block-head who does not hear God.

Perhaps Jesus' understanding of human nature was so profound that he knew the lowest common denominator from among his disciples would be the most popular and acceptable to the great mass of people. It gives new meaning to the Gospel parable of the laborers.

"So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."  Matthew 20:16

Cf: A Course in Miracles: "All are called, but few choose to listen."

On this blockhead I will build my church.

A potential problem is the fact that the Greek of the Gospels did not have a unique question mark.  The mark used was a semicolon.  Therefore, Matthew 16:18 might have been "And I say also unto thee, that thou art very dense, and upon this rock I will build my church?"

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

12/18/09

Selling Jesus to the Romans

This riff by Seth Godin — Think like me, agree with me — gives a good clue to what happened to the early Christian church as it went mainstream.  The only way to go mainstream . . . to appeal to the politicians and the patricians . . . was for the Christian mythos to adapt to the prevailing world-view.  It could not have spread as rapidly as it did if it relied upon people actually changing their ways of thinking.
"The challenge doesn't lie in getting them to know what you know. It won't help. The challenge lies in helping them see your idea through their lens, not yours. If you study the way religions and political movements spread, you can see that this is exactly how it works. Marketers of successful ideas rarely market the facts. Instead, they market stories that match the worldview of the people being marketed to."
The early church father-politicians adopted the Sol Invictus - Mythris Mysteries. By so doing, the Roman Catholic Church became moral successor to the remaining power of the Roman Empire itself.

They did exactly the opposite of what they were told to do.  They did put new wine into old wine skins, and those old skins are exploding like a slow motion train wreck.

Meanwhile, the true teachings of Jesus were handed down by an oral and encoded line of transmission through the centuries in an unbroken chain.

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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The question of money

 A Course in Miracles

"We have spoken of many different human symptoms, and at this level there is almost endless variation. There is, however, only ONE cause of all them. The authority problem IS "the root of all evil." Money is but one of its many reflections, and is a reasonably representative example of the kind of thinking which stems from it. The idea of buying and selling implies precisely the kind of exchange that the Soul cannot understand at all, because its Supply is always abundant and all its demands are fully met."

G. I Gurdjieff

Anyone discussing “money” and “spirituality” in the same breath bears a heavy burden. Gurdjieff carried this burden lightly. Moreover, his actions revealed unique relationships with and attitudes toward money. Turning to the final chapter of Meetings with Remarkable Men, “The Material Question”—which we assume our readers have read—we are awed by the extraordinary money-making talents that Gurdjieff mastered. Other narratives describing how he dealt with money—earning, “shearing,” spending, giving, using it to bring unconscious attitudes out of the shadows and into the light—indicate Gurdjieff’s amazing skill and freedom. Reading about his directness in going-for-the-money, as reported in the piece by Jean Toomer, some of us will react admiringly and others will be disquieted. Are we clear about the internal foundations of these reactions?

Several pupils reported that Gurdjieff wasn’t always “above” money. C. S. Nott witnessed a period when Gurdjieff was virtually broke. The fact that Gurdjieff, too, had difficulties can help us to accept the fact that most of us live beneath forces that entwine our lives with money-insecurities, whether arising from avidity, tightness, carelessness, the use of money to gain approval, or in connection with unearned money. His skill, his freedom in “shearing” people, and the vast sums that flowed through his fingers are especially striking because Gurdjieff’s teaching points to a higher level, untouched by money.

Gurdjieff said, “I am colleague of life.” Who among his living legacy can possibly say that? To be, in relation to life, with all of its pressures—including money matters—a “colleague”
. . . . ( read more )

Gurdjieff International Review
Fall 2005 Issue, Vol. IX No. 1
Editorial: “The Material Question
By James Opie, Guest Editor
Gurdjieff said, “Weak in life, weak in the work.” But what is real strength? Can we participate in bringing our attitudes related to money out of the shadows, into the light?

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Mind power or miracle?

The Roman Catholic Church has institutionalized miracles in a way that seems odd when viewed through the lens of A Course in Miracles.  ACIM defines the word 'miracle' in the most general terms as an extension of love that is, or ought to be, a normal part of everyday life.  The followers of Peter and Paul tend to view miracles as rare and bizarre phenomena frequently associated with ancient trinkets of dubious authenticity.

In chapter 5 - A Pocketful of Miracles -  of The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot describes the twice-annual miracle of San Gennaro, or St. Januarius, who was beheaded by the Roman emperor Diocletian in A.D. 305.
"The miracle involves a small vial containing a brown crusty substance alleged to be the blood of San Gennaro . . . when the crowd shouts at the vial, the brown crusty substance changes into a bubbling, bright red liquid. There is little doubt that the liquid is real blood. In 1902 a group of scientists from the University of Naples made a spectroscopic analysis of the liquid by passing a beam of light through it, verifying that it was blood. Unfortunately, because the reliquary containing the blood is so old and fragile, the church will not allow it to be cracked open so that other tests can be done, and so the phenomenon has never been thoroughly studied."
It is difficult to see how that event, by itself, amounts to an expression of love, and the odds are pretty good that the vial of blood is some Medieval forgery from a time when saint's bones were bought and sold as collectibles with considerable commercial value.  Nonetheless, something strange is going on with this, as Talbot explains:
"Occasionally throughout history (the first written account of the public performance of the miracle dates back to 1389) when the vial is brought out, the blood refuses to liquefy. Although rare, this is considered a very bad omen by the citizens of Naples. In the past, the failure of the miracle has directly preceded the eruption of Vesuvius and the Napoleonic invasion of Naples. More recently, in 1976 and 1978, it presaged the worst earthquake in Italian history and the election of a communist city government in Naples, respectively." 
One might conclude the event is simply demonstrating the power of mind, and particularly the power of group mind.  This is how Talbot sees it.
"Is the liquefaction of San Gennaro’s blood a miracle? It appears to be, at least in the sense that it seems impossible to explain by known scientific laws. Is the liquefaction caused by San Gennaro himself? My own feeling is that its more likely cause is the intense devotion and belief of the people witnessing the miracle. I say this because nearly all of the miracles performed by saints and wonder-workers of the world’s great religions have also been duplicated by psychics."
The phenomena defies the ability of accepted science to explain.  By all rights it should be a wake-up call to all genuine scientists to be open minded.  To all miracle workers, light workers, and healers it can be more evidence of the power that lays hidden in the world.


-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/15/09

Michael Talbot - The Holographic Universe


In The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot explores the idea that the entire universe is a hologram. Using this  new description of reality the universe is actually a kind of 3-D projection and is ultimately no more real than a 3-D image in space,despite its apparent solid materiality.

Talbot examines the works of physicist David Bohm and neurophysiologist Karl H. Pribram, both of whom independently arrived at holographic theories or models of the universe. Talbot suggests that a holographic model might provide a scientific foundation for understanding various paranormal and anomalous phenomena, such as extrasensory perception, and provide a scientific basis for understanding mystical experience. He also ties in elements of Carl Jung's "collective unconscious" theory, and the synchronicity phenomenon, to suggest the existence of an underlying unified field that ties all things in the universe together.

Talbot explains in simple prose the theory behind a holograph and its traditional applications to science. In part two, he shows the panoramic way in which the holographic model makes sense of the entire range of mystical, spiritual and psychic experience. Finally, in part three, he explores the implications for other universes beyond our own.

Talbot often referenced Stanislav Grof, whose work on Holotropic Breathwork (The Holotropic Mind) was also of obvious influence. Talbot attempted to incorporate psychology, anthropology, spirituality, religion, and science to shed light on truly profound questions.

There is evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it—from snowflakes to maple trees to falling stars and spinning electrons—are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time.
The main architects of this astonishing idea are two of the world's most eminent thinkers: University of London physicist David Bohm, a protege of Einstein's and one of the world's most respected quantum Physicists; and Karl Pribram, a neurophysiologist at Stanford University and author of the classic neuropsychological textbook Languages of the Brain. Intriguingly, Bohm and Pribram arrived at their conclusions independently and while working from two very different directions. Bohm became convinced of the universe's holographic nature only after years of dissatisfaction with standard theories' inability to explain all of the phenomena encountered in quantum physics. Pribram became convinced because of the failure of standard theories of the brain to explain various neurophysiological puzzles.
However, after arriving at their views, Bohm and Pribram quickly realized the holographic model explained a number of other mysteries as well, including the apparent inability of any theory, no matter how comprehensive, ever to account for all the phenomena encountered in nature; the ability of individuals with hearing in only one ear to determine the direction from which a sound originates; and our ability to recognize the face of someone we have not seen for many years even if that person has changed considerably in the interim. But the most staggering thing about the holographic model was that it suddenly made sense of a wide range of phenomena so elusive they generally have been categorized outside the province of scientific understanding. These include telepathy, precognition, mystical feelings of oneness with the universe, and even psychokinesis, or the ability of the mind to move physical objects without anyone touching them.
Indeed, it quickly became apparent to the ever growing number of scientists who came to embrace the holographic model that it helped explain virtually all paranormal and mystical experiences, and in the last half-dozen years or so it has continued to galvanize researchers and shed light on an increasing number of previously inexplicable phenomena.

Complete book online
-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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The Control of Self and Environment

Christ in You - Lesson 26
The Control of Self and Environment

The world around, or rather the visible world, is, as you know, full of wonderful possibilities, though yet imperfect, because un-mastered. The world you know is illusory and shadowy only because man has not reached the crown of being. As man evolves, the whole material plane is lifted into a higher condition. The seasons depend on God in man, and are according to the inner mind. The world is wild and lawless in some regions, so much so that man is subject to the nature or world spirit. Misused energy and uncontrolled force call for lord and master, as the trees of old asked for a king to reign over them.

The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the fi g tree, Come thou, and reign over us. But the fi g tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheers God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fi re come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

Judges 9:8 - 15

If you read this parable carefully, you will find much hidden truth. God made man to rule and to have all things respond to him. The world is gradually learning some of these higher mysteries. If you had a tree or plant under your control, in time it would respond, and assume its highest possible form, on condition you became at one with its hidden laws, and you are meant to become this. I merely give you this simple truth to lead you higher. The physical world is governed by its own forces and passions, and not by the spiritual, the only real. For the teaching of this very lesson Jesus stilled the’ storm with the word “PEACE.” Since He had control over His own natural and physical self, He afterwards used the God-given right of dominion. You are the channels through which the divine will and energy manifests its one self. To effect this you must become selfl ess and at one, for the Lord thy God is one Lord and not many.

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Spiritual eye - Walter Hilton

Walter Hilton (1340 – 24 March 1396) was an English Augustinian mystic. Little is known of his life. He was the head of a house of Augustinian Canons at Thurgarton Priory, near Newark, in Nottinghamshire. He was closely in touch with the Carthusians, though not a member of that order.

His spiritual writings were widely influential during the fifteenth century in England. The most famous of these is the Scala Perfectionis, or Ladder of Perfection. In that work the phrase "spiritual eye" is repeated 30 times. These are a few quotes.

"For that is the life which is truly contemplative to begin here, in that feeling of love and spiritual knowing of God, by opening of the spiritual eye, which shall never be lost nor taken away, but shall be perfected in a far higher manner in heaven."

"Nevertheless inasmuch as thou hast not as yet seen what it is fully, for thy spiritual eye is not yet opened, I shall tell thee one word for all, in the which thou shalt seek, desire and find it; for in that one word is all that thou hast lost."

"I believe that if a man could see with his spiritual eye how foul pride and covetousness are in God’s sight, and how contrary they are to Him, he would more loathe a stirring of pride, and the vain liking of it; and also he would more abhor and rise against that evil will of envy, or anger to his neighbour than many a stirring or liking either of gluttony or of lechery."

"I mean that Humility which a soul feeleth through grace, in the sight and beholding of the endless being, and the wonderful goodness of Jesus, and if thou canst not see it with thy spiritual eye, yet that thou believe it; for through this sight of his being, either in full faith or in feeling, thou shalt esteem thyself not only the most wretched creature that is, but also as nothing in the substance of thy soul, though thou hadst never done any sin."

"What this opening of the spiritual eye is the greatest scholar on earth cannot imagine by his wit nor show fully by his tongue; for it cannot be gotten by study, nor by man’s industry alone, but principally by grace of the Holy Ghost, and with human industry. I am afraid to speak anything of it, for methinketh that I cannot, it passeth my attempt,274 and my lips are unclean."

"But then through opening of the spiritual eye into Jesus the love is turned, and the soul is raised up according to its own nature above all bodily creatures. And then the beholding and thinking, and the using of them is spiritual, for the love is spiritual."

"This tasting of this Manna is a lively feeling of grace had through the opening of the spiritual eye. And this grace is not another grace from that which a chosen soul feeleth in the beginning of his conversion; but it is the self-same grace, only it is otherwise felt and showed to a soul. For why? Grace groweth with a soul, and the soul groweth with grace."

"And therefore the grace of the Holy Ghost, shutting the fleshly eye, causeth the soul to sleep from worldly vanities, and opening the spiritual eye, keepeth it awake to the sight of God’s majesty covered under the cloud of His precious Humanity."

"These are the tokens of inspiration in opening of the spiritual eye. For when the eye is opened, the soul is in full feeling of all the aforesaid virtues for that time."

"Unto this I answer that bodily feelings, be they never so comfortable, are not to be desired nor regarded much if they come; but spiritual feelings, such as I have spoken of, if they come in that manner as I have said, should ever be desired. I mean the killing of all worldly love, the opening of the spiritual eye, purity of spirit, peace of conscience and all other spoken of before. We should ever covet to feel the lively inspiration of grace made by the spiritual presence of Jesus in our souls, if we could."

"For by opening of the spiritual eye it is wholly applied to grace, ready to pray."

"Then mayest thou be secure, that at what time thou feelest thy soul stirred by grace, specially in that manner as I have said before, by opening of thy spiritual eye that thou seest and feelest Jesus, hold Him fast whilst thou may, and keep thyself in grace, and let Him not easily go from thee."

"See now, then, how grace openeth the spiritual eye, and Heareth the senses of the soul wonderfully above the frailty of corrupt nature. It giveth the soul a new ability whether it will read holy Writ, or hear it, or meditate in it, for to understand truly and savourly the truth of it in th manner aforesaid; and also for to turn readily all reasons and words that are literally spoken in spiritual understanding."

"And this is another work of Contemplation, to see Jesus in the Scriptures after the opening of the spiritual eye. The cleaner the sight is in beholding, the more comforted is the affection in tasting."

"The drawing of a soul fully to perfect love, is, first by the showing of spiritual things to a clean soul, when the spiritual eye is opened; not that a soul should rest therein, and make an end there, but should by that search Him and love Him who is highest of all, without any beholding of any other thing than He."

"And all this spiritual sight is nought else but the sight of Jesus, not in Himself but in His merciful secret works, and in His righteous judgements every day showed, remembered and renewed to reasonable souls. Moreover, to see with the spiritual eye the pains of the reprobate and the joy and bliss of chosen souls is full comfortable. For truth cannot be seen in a clean soul without great delight and wonderful content of blessed burning love."

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/14/09

Hotel infinity

The paradoxical nature of infinity is illustrated by the idea of a grand hotel, with an infinite number of rooms — all of which are occupied by guests at all times — but which can nevertheless always manage to accommodate a new guest by moving each existing guest over, one by one, to other rooms.

"You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Eagles: Hotel California (live acoustic music video)

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Gregg Braden - The Science of Miracles














-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Drunken road trip to beyond infinity

Deb "If A Course in Miracles truly does teach that being "here" proves I am separate from God then I know that I know it's not true."
------
The conceptual simplicity of it got edited out when Helen had her first post-scribal meltdown and went a little more nuts than was usual for her.

You are a thought of God.  I am a thought of God.  The Original edition of the Course  retains the name the Course uses for these thoughts of God.

The Original edition of the Course calls these thoughts of God . . . . souls.

As God created you, you are a . . .  soul.  "Your soul is your only reality."

Forget everything else you ever imagined or was told about the meaning of the word "soul." The Course redefines that word "soul" just as it does with so many other words.

A "soul" is a "though of God," and thoughts never leave their source.  Who you are in reality as God created you, your soul, you as a though of God, is safe and sound and cradled in the warm-fuzzy mind of God.

As a beloved child of God, your father gave you everything he had to give, including his will to create.  Some idiot . . . maybe it was me . . . came up with the crazy idea that it might be fun to create differently than God . . . and YOU bought into it, just as I did.  We are co-conspirators in the biggest baddest joke in eternity.

So, off we went along with a bunch of our peeps, high school friends and Facebook buddies on a miscreation tour of God's mind (the universe), generally acting the fools.

We got drunk and crazy.

I'm not blaming anybody.  I thought it was a good idea too, but who knew THIS would happen?

What's the name of that song about waking up in Las Vegas?

Katy Perry - Waking Up In Vegas - Official Video

Aside:  I'm thinking it's possible one of God's Laws is: "You broke it, you bought it."

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

12/11/09

A Course in Miracles - resources

50 Spiritual Exercises - 2X Large Print ed.

A Course in Miracles Text - 1972 edition

A Course in Miracles Original Edition - 1972 edit


A Course in Miracles 1975 — Online at Wikisource

Audio: ACIM Gather Radio

Forums & Communities:


Related pages - A Course in Miracles

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Fox's ACIM dictionary - nondualist


Nondualist: A fish who has gone to war with water and whose chief weapon is to deny the sea in which it swims. The assumption is that denial is the most effective way to rid oneself of illusions.

Low expresion: Fundamentalist evangelical missionary nondualists, or 'born again' nondualists.


To the nondualist, reality is ultimately neither physical nor mental. Instead, it is an ineffable state or realization. Nisargadatta Maharaj, when asked how to tell when someone is approaching this nondualistic understanding, commented:
"Even then it is a concept again. But I give you a criterion by which one can sort of judge something. When a stage is reached that one feels deeply that whatever is being done is happening and one has not got anything to do with it, then it becomes such a deep conviction that whatever is happening is not happening really. And that whatever seems to be happening is also an illusion. That may be final. In other words, totally apart from whatever seems to be happening, when one stops thinking that one is living, and gets the feeling that one is being lived, that whatever one is doing one is not doing but one is made to do, then that is a sort of criterion."


The Ultimate Medicine: Dialogues with a Realized Master by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The realization that experiential nondualists seek involves a total lack of responsibility for the events and circumstances of their lives and the world around them. In other words, this nondualistic goal is one of utter powerlessness. Latter day nondualists think of themselves as being 'meat puppets.'

The phrase, "one stops thinking that one is living, and gets the feeling that one is being lived, that whatever one is doing one is not doing but one is made to do" is similar to the realization of being 'mechanical' proposed by G. I. Gurdjieff and the various schools that he either started or inspired.

The primary difference between the this nondualist attitude and that of Gurdjieff is that for Gurdjieff a realization of being a powerless automation is a starting point for genuine self-discovery, or perhaps the discovery of a genuine unconditioned self. It is not a stopping point.

See also: Idries Shah, The Commanding Self

A Course in Miracles suggests that all illusory things can be used for awakening. It is simply a matter of re-interpretation through a direct personal connection with spirit.


ACIM has several nondualistic aspects.  The dualistic aspects of ACIM predominate, but it is an error to insist upon either to the exclusion of the other.

You see, the apparent schism between dualism and nondualism is itself a dualistic formulation, which many idiological nondualists ignore somehow.

The first way the Course is non-dualistic is to refute the idea that evil exists in eternity as an opposing force to God.  There is no devil or power of darkness that is on par with the level of the Godhead.  In other words, there is no error so great that it cannot be corrected.  Nothing real can be threatened. This, obviously, is contrary to the thinking of many mainstream Christian organizations and individuals, which are inherently and fundamentally dualistic.  Sometimes painfully so.

The Course is also nondualistic when it briefly discusses the levels of ultimate reality that is beyond both words and perception, but it doesn't dwell upon it because it has no real practical significance or application to us as we presently think.

We can't get there from here.  The Course is not suggesting any escape from the level I am at, whatever that is, directly to the Godhead.  The Course specifically talks about correcting error from the bottom up.  It is a progressive system of ascending levels.  It specifically mentions the level of nightmare, the level of happy dream, the level of real world, and the level of heaven.   It is expressed in many different ways.  Another is:  The totally insane, the partially insane, and the sane.  Different levels.  Few if any transition directly from totally insane to sane, without passing through the middle ground.  Maybe you know of an exception to this.


-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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12/9/09

ACIM Gather Radio



ACIM Gather Radio Schedule of events
-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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Soul seekers

Longing is the core of mystery.
Longing itself brings the cure.
- Rumi -
You were eternally fixated on God in your creation, and the pull of this fixation is so strong that you will never overcome it. The reason is perfectly clear. The fixation is on a level so high that it cannot be surmounted. You are ALWAYS being pulled back to your Creator because you belong to Him. Do you really believe you can make a voice that can drown out His?

- A Course in Miracles
You long for something different and call it a search for God. Isn't this what got you into trouble in the first place?



Bring Me to Life

Without a soul, my spirit is sleeping somewhere cold.
Now that I know what I am without, you can't just leave me.
Without a thought, without a voice, without a soul, don't let me die here.

Find it there and lead it back home.

Evanescence - Bring Me to Life (music video)



The Holy Longing: Spiritual Yearning and Its Shadow Side
— by Connie Zweig, PhD.

In many only the spark remains, for the great rays are obscured. Yet God has kept the spark alive so that the rays can never be completely forgotten. If you but see the little spark you will learn of the greater light, for the rays are there unseen. Perceiving the spark will heal, but knowing the light will create. Yet in the returning the little light must be acknowledged first, for the separation was a descent from magnitude to littleness. But the spark is still as pure as the great light because it is the remaining call of creation. Put all your faith in it, and God Himself will answer you.
- A Course in Miracles
The whole world is pining for light and freedom. To respond to this recurrent and poignant demand, there always arises a plentiful supply of those who claim to meet it adequately. Most of these claimants are impostors. - Meher Baba

-oOo-

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Facebook

12/7/09

Society of Friends

The Society of Friends is a religious movement with roots with some 17th century
Christian English dissenters. Today the movement has branched out into many
independent national and regional organizations. The most familiar name used for
the movement is Quaker, but various groups go by many other names:


Children of the Light
Friends
Friends Among Friends
Friends of the Truth
Quiet Helpers
Religious Society of Friends
Saints
Seekers of Truth


The name "Quaker" was first used in 1650, when George Fox was brought before
Justice Bennet of Derby on a charge of blasphemy. According to Fox's journal,
Bennet "called us Quakers because we bid them tremble at the word of God", a
scriptural reference (e.g., Isaiah 66:2, Ezra 9:4). Therefore, what began
apparently as a way to make fun of Fox's admonition by those outside the Society
of Friends became a nickname that even Friends use for themselves.


The names "Children of the Light" and "Friends of the Truth", reflecting the
central importance in early Quaker theology of Christ as an Inner light that
shows you your true condition.


George Fox and the other early Quakers believed that direct experience of God
was available to all people, without mediation (e.g., through hired clergy, or
through outward sacraments). Fox described this by writing that "Christ has come
to teach His people Himself."


Since Friends believe that each contains God, much of the Quaker perspective is
based on trying to hear God and to allow God's Spirit free action in the heart.
Isaac Penington wrote in 1670: "It is not enough to hear of Christ, or read of
Christ, but this is the thing — to feel him my root, my life, my foundation..."


Quakers try to bear witness or testify to their beliefs in their every day life
- an expression of "spirituality in action". These ways in which they testify
are often known as Quaker testimonies or Friends' testimonies - these are not a
formal, static set of words, but rather a shared view or attitude of how many
Quakers relate to God and the world. This leads to each Quaker having a
different understanding of what the testimonies are, and while the ideologies
remain quite similar for all Quakers, they go by different names, and different
values are included throughout the Religious Society of Friends. The Testimonies
are interrelated and can be seen as a coherent philosophical system, even
outside Christian theology. The testimonies have not always been consistent, but
throughout their history they have challenged Friends and provided them
guidance.


Source: Wikipedia


Testimony of Peace


Friends' peace testimony is largely derived from beliefs arising from the
teachings of Jesus to love one's enemies and Friends' belief in the inner light.
Quakers believe that nonviolent confrontation of evil and peaceful
reconciliation are always superior to violent measures. Peace testimony does not
mean that Quakers engage only in passive resignation; in fact, they often
practice passionate activism.


Testimony of Equality


Friends believe that all people are created equal in the eyes of God. Since all
people embody the same divine spark all people deserve equal treatment. Friends
were some of the first to value women as important ministers and to campaign for
women's rights; they became leaders in the anti-slavery movement, and were among
the first to pioneer humane treatment for individuals with mental disorders, and
for prisoners.


Testimony of Integrity


Early Friends believed that an important part of Jesus' message was how we treat
our fellow human beings. They felt that honest dealing with others meant more
than avoiding direct lies. Friends continue to believe that it is important not
to mislead others, even if the words used are all technically truthful. Early
Friends refused to swear oaths, even in courtrooms, believing that one must
speak truth at all times, and the act of swearing to it implied different
standards of truth with and without oaths; this doctrine is attributed to Jesus
in the Sermon on the Mount (specifically Matthew 5:34-37).


The essence of testimony to integrity is placing God at the center of one's
life. Quakers believe that the Spirit is in everyone. Integrity means focusing
and spending time listening to the small voice of the Spirit and being open to
being led by it - whether the Spirit is speaking within oneself or through
another.


Giving testimony to truth and integrity also means refusing to place things
other than God at the center of one's life - whether it be one's own self,
possessions, the regard of others, belief in principles (such as rationality,
progress or justice) or something else. It is the understanding that even good
things are no longer good when they supplant God as one's center.


Testimony of Simplicity


Simplicity to Friends has generally been a reference to material possessions.
Friends have often limited their possessions to what they need to live their
lives, rather than accumulating luxuries. The testimony is not just about the
nature of one's material possessions, but rather also about one's attitude
towards these material goods. Many Friends who have been considered exemplary
have also been wealthy; their commitment to the testimony, however, led them to
use their wealth for spiritual purposes, including aid to the poor and
oppressed. On the other hand, some Friends, such as John Woolman, gave up much
of their wealth and economic position when they felt it to be a spiritual
burden.[1] In recent decades Friends have given the Testimony an ecological
dimension: that Friends should not use more than their fair share of the Earth's
limited resources.


Additional:






Metaphysics and The Illusion
The following was written in a letter to Friends from Fox:
 All along ye may see, by faith the mountains were subdued; and the rage of the wicked, with his fiery darts, was quenched. Though the waves and storms be high, yet your faith will keep you, so as to swim above them; for they are but for a time, and the Truth is without time. Therefore keep on the mountain of holiness, ye who are led to it by the Light.
 Do not think that anything will outlast the Truth. For the Truth standeth sure; and is over that which is out of the Truth. For the good will overcome the evil; the light, darkness; the life, death; virtue, vice; and righteousness, unrighteousness. The false prophet cannot overcome the true; but the true prophet, Christ, will overcome all the false. (Here and below, Ch. XVII, "At The Work of Organizing, 1667-1670," quoted from a letter from Fox to Friends)
Here Fox speaks of time vs. eternity. He exhorts us to "keep on the mountain of holiness" or to stay in our right mind connected with Holy Spirit, so that we stay true to our eternal selves and not be tempted by the temporal. The false prophet is what ACIM calls ego. Like ACIM, Fox focuses Friends on the truth of their eternal spirit, rather than investing in what they see in this world of time and ego illusion.
Regarding his vision of the New Jerusalem he wrote:
 …I saw the beauty and glory of it, the length, the breadth, and the height thereof, all in complete proportion. I saw that all who are within the Light of Christ, and in His faith, of which He is the author; and in the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which Christ and the holy prophets and apostles were in; and within the grace, and truth, and power of God, which are the walls of the city; — I saw that such are within the city, are members of it, and have right to eat of the Tree of Life...
Here he is stating that these members are not only within the city but are the spirit, the faith, and therefore the walls. Thus, they must be one with the city _ they are part of this New Jerusalem or, as ACIM calls it, "heaven" or "the real world." In ACIM, when we reach the real world it will be when we are living on earth as one. We will know that we are truly dependent on one another, not in a co-dependent way but because we are truly one. Our minds, thoughts and energy affect the consciousness of the planet, so we need to realize our interdependence and that we `go together or not at all' since we are all part of the one son of God. According to ACIM until we all understand this, and are united, we cannot return to heaven.

from: www.universalistfriends.org - The Teachings of George Fox and A Course In Miracles - By Jean Weston, author of Course Koans

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Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky


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