3/11/10

Accomplishing the atonement

"The Atonement will be accomplished by miracle workers, who understand and implement the miracles principles taught in ACIM. Principles, as in laws established by God and not subject to projected meaning by students wishing to change the curriculum. Miracles based on the complete equality of the real Sons of God and real brothers, not fear projected anti-miracles predicated on brothers as dream figures with no soul, and no individuality.
"Atonement as the complete restoration of the Sonship, not the disappearance of the Sonship."
— John Lopez on ACIM Chat

My note: There has been much hubbub about what A Course in Miracles means by the word 'disappearance.' Entire careers have been built upon the misuse and misunderstanding of that word. But, I say again, appearances and disappearances relate only to the world of perception. If, for example, the Course were to say the universe will disappear, it just means that perception will end where knowledge begins. The universe of God's creation will no longer be perceived, it will be known.

-  oOo   -

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

3/8/10

Helen Schucman's reading habits

Early in the process of scribing the A Course in Miracles Text, Helen Schucman recorded waking “part-vision experiences” while she was doing her exercises. The significance of this look into the personal life of Dr. Schucman is the fact that at the same time she was scribing the Course, she was also reading other books.

We can tell from her writing style and the wide range of literary allusions contained within the Course that Helen was an avid reader. Her husband Louis was a bookstore owner. One can easily imagine that the library in the Schucman household was extensive and varied. Book lovers are rarely satisfied with a mere handful of books.

Apart from the influence of numerous psychologists and educators, and in addition to the various literary or philosophical themes reflected in the Course, we know that Helen and Bill were familiar with the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, Edgar Cayce, and specifically, Letters of a Scattered Brotherhood.

That title, an anthology published as a book in 1948, is specifically mentioned in the Course urtext by name.


Helen Schucman: Last night I felt briefly but intensely depressed, temporarily under the impression that I was abandoned. I tried, but couldn’t get through at all. After a while, I decided to give up for the time being, and . . .
He [the voice] said,“Don’t worry. I will never leave or forsake you.”
Helen Schucman: I did feel a little better, and decided I was really not sick, so I could return to my exercises. While I was exercising, I had some part-vision experiences which I found only mildly frightening at times, and quite reassuring at others. I am not too sure of the sequence, but it began with a very clear assurance of love, and an equally clear emphasis on my own great value, beauty and purity. Things got a little confusing after that.
First, the idea of “Bride of Christ” occurred to me with vaguely inappropriate undertones. Then there was a repetition of “the way of Love”, and a restatement of an earlier experience, now as if it were from Him to me:
He [the voice] “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; Be it done unto you according to His Word.”
This threw me into panic before, but at that time, it was stated in the more accurate Biblical phrasing:
He [the voice]“Be it done unto ME according to HIS Word.”
This time I was a bit uneasy, but remembered I had misperceived it last time, and was probably still not seeing it right. Actually, it is really just a statement of allegiance to the Divine Service, which can hardly be dangerous.
Then there was a strange sequence, in which Christ seemed to be making very obvious advances, which became quite sexual in my perception of them. I almost thought briefly that he turned into a devil. I got just a little scared, and the possession idea came in for a while, but I thought it SO silly, that there is no point in taking it seriously.
This morning we reviewed the whole episode.
He said he was:  “Very pleased at the COMPARATIVE lack of fear, and also the concomitant awareness that it WAS misperception. This showed much greater strength, and a much increased Right- Mindedness. This is because defenses are now being used much better, on behalf of truth more than error, though not completely so.The weaker use of mis-projection is shown by my recognition that it can’t REALLY be that way, which became possible as soon as denial was applied against error, NOT truth. This permitted a much greater awareness of alternative interpretations."
It was also explained:
“Remember the section in “Letters from the Scattered Brotherhood” you read last evening about ‘Hold fast’, and please do so. You know that when defenses are disrupted there is a period of real disorientation, accompanied by fear, guilt, and usually vacillations between anxiety and depression.
This process is different only in that defenses are not being disrupted, but re-interpreted, even though it may be experienced as the same thing. In the reinterpretation of defenses, they are not disrupted but their use for ATTACK is lost. Since this means they can be used only ONE way, they became MUCH stronger, and much more dependable. They no longer oppose the Atonement, but greatly facilitate it. The Atonement can only be accepted within you."

After much searching, the best I can determine is that the reference to Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood is to this passage:

If I told you that every time you pressed your finger on a given spot the wishes of your heart would be fulfilled, you would come here and press your finger on this spot. There is reality in doing a sensuous thing that you can feel. But if I told you that you could do the same thing with your mind, at once there would be a strange barrier.
This childlike lesson illustrates the whole teaching of Christ; his spirit must be felt as this touch is felt, then you have control. You feel this reality of the flesh, but it appears that when you are asked to touch with the mind, a lost feeling comes because man is so constituted that it is difficult for him to shape his imagination so that it is as one-pointed as this feeling of physical contact. To tell an ordinary man he can touch a spirit with his mind bewilders him; even you who have been trained in this way of life realize how far away you are from the practice of being in actual contact. And yet the traffic of daily living is carried on through thought, though even the presentation of the idea confuses the average man.
There are currents of thought that flow in all directions, and you can touch a layer, a sort of strata of impulses and be caught and held captive. An irritating presence concentrates the finger of the mind on a layer of dislike and its attending mutations. Because of the pleasure of dislike the mind is held, the contact is easy. Again the mind touches the current of material success. You hear that success breeds success; why? Because the flush of excitement, pleasure, gaiety involuntarily keeps the finger in contact. So it is with evil; you can touch it with all the passions. In fact, once started in the negative, and more familiar layer, the concentrated finger of the mind is held fast, touching these unseen realities.
The question is, have you the will necessary to make you one-pointed toward the spiritual impulses? Perhaps not as yet; and that is why our sympathy is profound and long-suffering, because you are asked to transcend all known experience. You are asked to believe in the invisible, in something beyond all known experience. We ask you to make as real as the touching of your finger in the physical contact this other experience-and that is to keep the finger of the mind on this thought of awareness. Awareness of the Presence in oneness with your inner you; to be aware of him about you and in every activity of your daily life. This taxes all your forces. It is hard, with everything flowing against you, snatching at you, to do this. And yet you have already known a curious breaking through the clouds, glimpses of a great reality that can be sustained. It is as if you saw a shaft of light so golden, so crystal clear,,,, so unlike any light of your experience that you were struck dumb, and even while you looked, it has gone, and in trying to reconstruct it you had dulled it.
But these are indeed glimpses of the Light of the Spirit; be not faint-hearted. Turn to it; stretch out the finger of your mind and touch this light; touch it, touch it all through the day and it will clear the mind of vain imagining, of fear thoughts. It will empty the sub cellars of lurking fears; it will keep you from overstraining. Don’t live like waltzing mice in a cage; wake up, stop wherever you are and touch with your mind this high state, this high spirit, this light where you are!
Who is master? The world or you? It is the eternal struggle; the world, so dramatic, so exciting; the Spirit, so gentle, so . . . still.

-  oOo   -


Published on Scribd.com - eBook in PDF format

Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood
House of Light digital edition

114 pages
11 x 8.5"








Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

Looking at the bad stuff

Carrie wrote: "Students of New Thought, or THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING, tell me it is a mistake to look at the bad gunk, or if I happen to notice the horror show, I should over-look it quickly. The reasoning is that looking makes it real. That is not the way of acim. We do not need to be afraid of looking. That is the beginning of getting honest. That is the first step in the forgiveness process."

My 2 cents: New thought ideas expressed by Unity Church and Emma Curtis Hopkins emphasize a two-step process of denial and affirmation. This is reflected in A Course in Miracles in many places, and it is central to the healing-forgiveness process. The best known example from the Course is:

Denial: I am not a body.

Affirmation: I am free as God created me.

Carrie wrote: "If your goal is to feel good, to feel happy and peaceful, then you will use ego defenses to cover up the bad gunk. If your goal is Truth, you will begin the task of looking at your projected guilt. You will begin the process of accepting help in undoing the ego belief system."

-  oOo   -


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

3/7/10

The Outward Thrust of Faith


Published on Scribd.com - eBook in PDF format

Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood
House of Light digital edition

114 pages
11 x 8.5"





The Outward Thrust of Faith

There is a divine illumination from earthly things that will bring great joy and heavenly release to you if seen through the pure eyes of the Spirit; when you bathe, when you eat, when you walk, when you sleep-these are great symbols and are holy. When you work changing the unseen into maintenance - which you do when you use your mind to earn your bread) be holy by pouring the light upon humble ordinary things, for thus will you be transfigured and your day be blessed to you. Also it is one way to overcome the world which can be made a constant sacrament. Have more joy in your daily life, for renouncing the world is first of all to have a greater zest for things infinite than things finite.

The idea of renouncing joy is destructive. Have greater joy, but be sure the source of it is within rather than without — and lest you be misled, that simply means to be more aware of him you worship while you play, for he abides in a lifted heart. He overcame the world; put the world, therefore, at his feet. Sometimes in the past you have gone across the no-man’s land we have talked about for inspiration and then you have left it behind you and have stood in your workaday world and expected to get results for your workaday spirit.

No! Results may come that way, but slowly, inadequately. Your direct action is when you go back to your world charged and supercharged and stay charged. I have spoken at length on this for it is time you were more awake to your own power within. Go, therefore, plunge, experiment, do it joyfully. Nothing is too simple, too tiny. Go and move mountains and awake! The outward thrust of faith is your stand.


- oOo -

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

3/3/10

Practice not being startled

Practice not being startled, scattered by the daily assaults, bored into daydreaming by long hours of indecision and dullness. Be confident, be radiant, be aware that you do not walk alone.


-  oOo   -


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

The invisible world

Your world is invisible, the world of your spiritual life within; but invisible also is the world of rumor, ethnic fears, ignorance, the greed of multitudes, public opinion and human passions. All these are invisible. So are creative inspiration, honest endeavor and integrity. Invisible also is the intent which makes the true servant of medicine, that which is behind the long hours and personal sacrifice; all this is faith invisible. Many who see a sword see but a blade of sharpened steel; but it is a symbol of anger, pain, annihilation and woe. Those who look and are held captive out there by what they see are amazed and bewildered when invisible forces suddenly focus into an event. They are startled and disturbed when the hidden forces the mind has qualified are manifested in action.


from: Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood

To those without eyes and ears, everything is a surprise.

-  oOo   -


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

3/2/10

Love conquers all things.

Love conquers all things.

Give freely of thy spirit and judge not. Be long-suffering and patient, for when you are kind with the kindness of the spirit to those who are unregenerate, the act frees your own un-regeneracy as well. Blessed is he that sees and understands and forgives. Forgive and ye shall be forgiven the trespasses, the darkness, the things negative which terrify. They are forgotten in this high clear stillness. Love conquers all things.

In spite of the teaching of Jesus we have been taught to hate evil, but that only justifies the more our complete satisfaction in criticism. In such emotional criticism of our friends and enemies we appear better people to ourselves. It is not the way. It is not our business, and instead of freedom we bind the consequences of poisonous hates and resentments to ourselves. We can turn from abstract evil without harm and with a sense of human righteousness. But the human does not hate evil disincarnate; he hates it in a person.

from: Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood

-  oOo   -


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

3/1/10

Scraps of meanness

The Original Edition of A Course in Miracles reads:

"It has never really entered your mind to give up every idea you ever had that OPPOSES knowledge. You retain thousands of little scraps of meanness which prevent the Holy One from entering."

. . . . this was changed prior to the first FIP publication of the work to read:

"You retain thousands of little scraps of fear . . . . "



-  oOo   -


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

Extension and projection

Stimulus: "A Course in Miracles distinguishes between "projection" and "extention."

Response: Yes. Extension, according to the Course, is an inherent property of mind as God created it/them. Extension is the will to create, the ability to create, the authority of God to create, and the knowledge of God that allows creation to proceed along the lines of God's own creation. It is unstoppable.

Projection, as has been made clear in the Original Edition, is the same law of mind as is extension, except distorted and unlike God's creation.

The real world can actually be perrceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else. For if you perceive both good and evil, you are accepting both the false and the true and making no distinction between them. The ego sees some good, but never only good. That is why its perceptions are so variable. It does not reject goodness entirely for that you could not accept, but it always adds something that is not real to the real, thus confusing illusion and reality. For perceptions cannot be partly true. If you believe in truth and illusion you cannot tell which is true. To establish your personal autonomy you tried to create unlike your Father, believing what you made to be capable of being unlike Him. Yet everything in what you have made that is true IS like Him. Only this is the real world, and perceiving only this will lead you to the real Heaven because it will make you capable of understanding it. The perception of goodness is not knowledge, but the denial of the opposite of goodness enables you to perceive a condition in which opposites do not exist. And this IS the condition of knowledge.  —  A Course in Miracles

Projection distorts creation of reality by adding something that is not there.


-  oOo   -


Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat