What would a course intended to teach something be without something to practice on?  And so as I embarked on my study of A Course In Miracles, naturally an issue to practice on had to appear.

moth and candleIt is a fortunate thing that this issue was presented to me gradually because it is by far the most potent challenge I have had in my life: love and romance.  This is the one issue that has proved to have the ability to threaten my sanity.  I have had other serious challenges in my life, but none have rocked my boat like this one has.  As the issue began to impose itself on me more and more in my thoughts, I began to panic.  I felt quite threatened by it.

I had already read The Disappearance of the Universe by then, so I tried to apply the thought that this was all a dream, that there was no one else out there.  It helped some, but this was a very difficult situation to relegate to a dream.  I also actively applied the ideas from the lessons to the issue.  Lesson 24 (“I do not perceive my own best interests.”) was rather helpful and quite true.  My thoughts with regard to what was going on resulted in a great deal of conflict.  Another helpful thought was the idea of making a choice to identify with the body or the spirit.  Those who have chosen the spirit say that the rewaThe Dog and the Shadowrds far exceed anything the body can provide.  For now, I’ll have to trust them on that.

The situation also reminded me of one of Aesop’s fables: The Dog and the Shadow.  Grasping at the shadow would most definitely cause me to lose what I already have.

And so, having gotten some hint from reading The Disappearance of the Universe, I began reading A Course In Miracles itself—again.  I had studied it for a year or two in the late 1990s, but I will admit that while I sensed that it was important, I found it to be somewhat negative at the time.  Now, with the help of DU, I understood why ACIM was written the way it was, and it became a positive message for me.

In an early lesson in the Workbook, J tells us the following:

“As we go along, you may have many ‘light episodes.’  They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected.  Do not be afraid of them.  They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last.”  Lesson 15

Indeed, by this point, I had been noticing instances of a pinprick flash of light here and there.  Gary Renard reporting having light episodes even before Pursah and Arten showed up to tell him about ACIM.  He would notice little flashes of light out of the corner of his eye, or occurring around certain objects.  In a more dramatic case, Suzanne Segal reported in her book, Collision with the Infinite, that as she began to practice meditation, solid matter transformed into the luminous transparency of silence.  The effect went away after some months.

But right now, for me, it’s just little pinpricks of light here and there from time to time.  This has actually happened for me before, back when I was studying ACIM the first time around.  Back then, sometimes the sky would sparkle in pinks and blues.  I suppose that will happen again soon.

One detail that stood out to me in just about all of the NDE stories I read is that virtually all of those who had experienced a NDE came back to say that the experience was more real and more vivid than anything they had experienced in this life.  Indeed, a central theme in A Course In Miracles is that this life is a dream, and it is not real:

“You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams, but the sleep is not real and God calls you to awake.”  T-6.IV.6.

“You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality.”  T-10.I.2.

Do you remember the movie, Inception from 2010?  It was a heist thriller in which the perpetrators of the heist would enter the dream world of their targets to implant thoughts that would instigate the behaviors necessary in their targets to pull off their heists.  There were dreams within dreams within dreams—multiple levels of dreams, with each level down being more chaotic than the one above it.  To escape from a dream and return to the level above, the dreamer would kill himself.  (This is a method certainly NOT recommended in THIS dream!)  Cobb would carry a token with him that would help him determine if he was in a dream or in “real” life—a top that would not topple over in a dream level.  At the end of the movie, supposedly in “real” life, he spins his top.  It spins and spins and spins.  In the final moment of the movie, it is just beginning to wobble.  If you look on the Internet, you will find many discussions of whether the top ever actually fell over or if what Cobb thought was real was really just a dream, too.

Shakespeare seemed to be trying to tell us so much when he wrote:

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”  Macbeth

“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”  The Tempest

I have pondered the idea that perhaps what many experience in their NDEs is actually a dream level above this one, more real than this life and yet still a dream itself.  If we were to awaken fully, I do not think we would reincarnate and fall into yet another dream, as so many who have NDEs say we do.

This idea of life being just a dream is key to the process of forgiveness.  It is the first step in the process.  It is key to recognizing that nothing has actually happened.

It all began (at least in this recent chapter of my life) with the question, “What is God?”  There’d been rumors that we had been created by some alien race from the planet Nibiru, at least if you believe the Sitchen books.  According to him and ancient Sumerian texts, we were genetically engineered to mine gold for the Anunnaki.  While I can see why the ancients might have called these beings “gods”, are these really worthy of worship?  What is it exactly that we worship when we pray?  Who are we asking for assistance?  I would hope it isn’t extraterrestrials.  The Source of all things in the Universe certainly couldn’t be human or even another being of form in the way we understand them.  And so I set out to answer the question.

Early on in the exploration of the nature of God, I came upon reports of near death experiences (NDEs).  Some of the people who had experienced a NDE reported meeting God.  This God they told about certainly was not any kind of alien of physical form.  So even if the Anunnaki did create our physical form, they would not be the God that we pray to.

In some of the NDE experiences, God was a personage of light that sat on a throne whose face could not be seen.  There seemed to be something rather limiting about such a concept.  It also seemed too much like the gods that had been written about in OAHSPE.  While that book made for interesting reading, something did not seem to be quite right about that, either.

There was another form of God reported in the NDEs: a being of light and love without any particular discernable form, a being that was omnipresent and omniscient.  This one made more sense to me.

And then I remembered that I had once studied A Course In Miracles, and I was drawn back to it.  The problem was that I found it to be somewhat negative the first time around with it, and yet it still felt to me like it was something more important than the Bible.  Somehow, recently, I was lucky enough to find The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary R. Renard.  It helped ACIM to make more sense to me.  Now as I read ACIM, it is a positive message.  According to DU, the key to miracles is forgiveness.  I have included an outline of a thought process for forgiveness on its own page on this site for easy reference.  That is the methodology I will be working with as I work through those things in my life requiring forgiveness.  It isn’t that anything wrong was done; rather, nothing has really happened.