Friday, December 11, 2015

Sight And Vision – A Key To The Spiritual World

As I mentioned last week [Msg-1-Dec-2015; The Stuff Of Life … And Death], I am currently reading a book by Jon Turk entitled “The Raven’s Gift” [St. Martin’s Press, 2009]. He describes how a Siberian shaman, Moolynaut, healed a fractured pelvis he had sustained during an avalanche. He is a chemical engineer by trade and authors science textbooks for college-level courses. The reality of this healing is beyond something he comprehends. Trying to “fit” that reality he experienced in a world view of science and technology is not an easy task.
I fully understand that dilemma. I, too, have had instances where I experienced a reality that I could not dismiss, yet could not explain.
Early in my recovery from alcoholism I came face-to-face with a visceral experience I came to rely on but could not verbalize. I wrote about this in my book (p. 184):  Before I had gotten sober I would get an unmistakable knot in my stomach every afternoon around four o’clock. I know now it was an early withdrawal symptom. By the time I’d get home the knot would’ve turned into a real pain. A shot of vodka would make it disappear—just melt it away. After I stopped drinking the knot continued to appear every afternoon, right on schedule. But I was going to AA after work, not home for a vodka. I began noticing, however, that when I simply touched the doorknob to the church basement where the AA meeting was held, my knot began dissolving. This was a physiological phenomenon that I could not ignore but could not explain. As I talked about it, old-timers just smiled. [How the Bible became the Bible. Infinity Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7414-2993-3]
A few years later I was living in Saint Augustine, FL. I was still sober and still consulting. I had a severe attack of sciatic pain while consulting. I had a disappearing disk between my lumbar vertebras and my sciatic nerve was being compressed. I am very pain tolerant, but this was debilitating. I worked with orthopedic doctors for almost a year using physical therapy to correct my situation without resorting to surgery. I finally gave up and had the surgery. It was very successful – although I later had to have additional surgery to remove a growing synovial cyst that also began exerting pressure on the opposite sciatic nerve.
Several years later the pain returned – albeit not as severe. I was very worried that the entire medical procedure would have to be repeated. I had a friend that went to many “spiritual” meetings we were attending. She mentioned that she had been rather successful in providing spiritual surgery on back pain and asked if I would be willing to let her help me. I thought about it and said I would. She worked on me for several hours following a very strict regimen of hers. When finished, she told me she had added disk material where it was needed and I was to go home and remain very quiet and still, to the best of my ability, for 96 hours. “After all,” she said, “Surgery is surgery. Your body needs to recover.”
I followed her directions. Although my lower back was very stiff  – with a dull ache –she had never physically touched me during her healing. That “achy” pain slowly dissolved over the 96 hours. That was almost 10 years ago and my back is still fine. If I overextend taking care of our acre, my lower back will ache and twinge at times, but exercise and stretching keeps it under control.
How do I explain these visceral events? I’ve long since quit trying to verbalize what can’t be truly communicated. I just acknowledge that there are experiential events whose reality I cannot ignore nor can I explain.
I’ve learned, however, in working AA’s Twelve Steps, as well as in my study of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) that, just because I cannot explain something (or “see” something), doesn’t meant it isn’t there. The rods and cones of my retina can only discern a small spectrum of light waves that gets passed on to my optic nerve. Why should I limit my physical reality to just what I can “see?”
 One of the primary principles of ACIM is the distinction between sight and vision. This is best stated from the Introduction and Section Four of the Clarification of Terms at the back of the book:
INTRODUCTION: 1 This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology. It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of perception. The means of the Atonement is forgiveness. The structure of "individual consciousness" is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the "original error" or the "original sin." To study the error itself does not lead to correction, if you are indeed to succeed in overlooking the error. And it is just this process of overlooking at which the course aims.
4. TRUE PERCEPTION – KNOWLEDGE: 1 The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end. 2 The body's eyes are therefore not the means by which the real world can be seen, for the illusions that they look upon must lead to more illusions of reality. And so they do. For everything they see not only will not last, but lends itself to thoughts of sin and guilt. While everything that God created is forever without sin and therefore is forever without guilt. 3 Knowledge is not the remedy for false perception since, being another level, they can never meet. The one correction possible for false perception must be true perception. It will not endure. But for the time it lasts it comes to heal. For true perception is a remedy with many names. Forgiveness, salvation, Atonement, true perception, all are one. They are the one beginning, with the end to lead to Oneness far beyond themselves. True perception is the means by which the world is saved from sin, for sin does not exist. And it is this that true perception sees.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.

#2 Dec 2015

Copyright 2015

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