Saturday, April 2, 2016

ACIM’s Guide To Peacefulness

 My digging mind is not only relentless, but it is consistently negative as well. I never find it digging in a positive or hopeful place. I can't recall it dwelling on or digging in the hole of getting that great job, or relationship, or winning the lotto, or of having things work out. No, driven by a hundred forms of self-centered fear, it searches the beaches of disappointment and failure, and digs away.
ACIM addresses this same phenomena throughout – consistently reminding us that the Course, essentially, is a course in mind training. How do I train my mind?  Do I relinquish all my possessions and move to some mountain cave and live like a hermit? The Manual for Teachers (Part III of the Course) addresses this in Chapter 9, Are Changes Required In The Life Situation Of God's Teachers?
1 Changes are required in the minds of God's teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God's plan. It is most unlikely that changes in attitudes would not be the first step in the newly-made teacher of God's training. There is, however, no set pattern, since training is always highly individualized. There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. By far the majority are given a slowly-evolving training program, in which as many previous mistakes as possible are corrected. Relationships in particular must be properly perceived, and all dark cornerstones of unforgiveness removed. Otherwise the old thought system still has a basis for return.
2 As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God's Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. The world's training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one's judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation.[or peace or joy]“ [M-9:1-2]
Judgment is attack. Innocuous judgment is still attack. Any form of attack is a reiteration of my belief in my separateness. Attack thoughts come from me and at me. They are, however, one and the same. If I can get even, then someone else can get even with me. Anger, Getting Even, Rationalization, Uneasiness, Vulnerability, Apprehension and Worry are all attack thoughts. These are all components of Fear. They are all fear-based ideas grounded in my belief of my separateness and vulnerability. Attacks coming at me are simply my thought of attack bouncing back at me. As an example: I can feel an immediate uneasiness when a highway patrol car cruises by. This is an indication (attack in the form of guilt/fear) that I am speeding or have speeded in the past and "gotten away with it.” Now, I may get caught.
Changing my mind is the only way out of fear that will ever succeed. Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless. I have to always remember that the world I see has nothing to do with reality. However, if my “mind” is sick with fear-based thoughts, how can I expect to “think” myself into another state of mind? AA old-timers taught me that “I don’t think myself into a new way of living; I live myself into a new way of thinking. In short, I have to do something to counter the fear-based thoughts of Felix (my ego). I cannot think myself into a way to think differently. I can, however, learn to do something differently that will eventually impact my thinking.
So, when I am like Michael Z’s dog digging in the sand for negative thoughts, feelings or fears, I try to do the following:
I say to myself: "I am <angry, worried, disappointed, etc.> at/because <name, situation> but I am only reacting to a world whose meaning I created from a selective memory of my past. I am determined to really see! I am neither the victim nor the victor. I do not know what anything, including this situation, means, so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me.” So, I ask – “I really no longer want this; Help me to see another way of looking at this situation." Then I still my mind and listen for the message of my Spirit Guide!
For those of you who have asked me for guidance on how to change, I hope this helps.
#1 Apr 2016

Copyright 2016

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