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Gentle Healing Journal Day 13. 9-22-18

Journal for Day 13
LESSON 13
A meaningless world engenders fear.

I must be more open and receptive to this lesson than I have been in the past. When I look around the room and admit that I am looking at a meaningless world, I feel the prickling of tears trying to form. I guess I have worked so very hard to give the world I see meaning that it is depressing to realize it was all for naught.

Or maybe it is the realization that I am going to have to face the fact that I have put myself in competition with God. That’s pretty depressing, too, and more than a little scary to the part of my mind that thinks it succeeded at this insane task. I amaze myself at how often I have learned the concepts put forward in the Course only to discover that I still rejected them and did so without acknowledging that rejection. Maybe now that I have allowed myself to see my avoidance of the truth, it means I am ready to accept the truth.

NTI
Romans 6

This is all about my relationship with Jesus, which is my relationship with the universe. Just as the universe is in our mind, so is Jesus.
“The universe is in your mind, so that all that has been accomplished has been accomplished by you. And within this universe, the model that rises to the top of your mind is the symbol of the man called Jesus. This is because Jesus represents your true desire. Jesus is the freedom you want to be. Everything else that floats within the universe of the mind is from a past desire and is not your current desire.”

All that Jesus did, I did, because we are one. He is in me and I am in him and there is no separation. He gives me strength and guidance and yet, he is in me. How can this be? It is not understandable within the construct of a world based on separation. But if we throw that construct out, and remember that there is only One and that there is only God, it is clear that we are That and in That, an extension of That, and It is in Us.

Of course, Jesus is in me. He is a symbol of my truest desire. Jesus/Holy Spirit can guide and help in the perfect way because they are part of me and therefore know what is needed to return me to the truth of my being. I used to be disturbed that Jesus could be thought of as a symbol, but I suppose that I, too, am a symbol. Certainly, this Myron character is not what I am, so it must be a symbol, perhaps a symbol of what I used to want before the symbol that is Jesus helped me to remember my true desire.

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Gentle Healing Journal Day 12. 9-17-18

Journal for Day 12
LESSON 12
I am upset because I see a meaningless world.

As soon as I read that all of the things I have been thinking about the world are attributes I have given it, I knew that was right. So many times I have changed my mind about a meaning I gave the world and the world “seemed” to change to meet my expectations. The world, of course, didn’t change, my mind changed, my thoughts changed. It seemed to affect the world because the world is neutral and reflects only the meaning I give it.

The most important thing I am learning about this is that if I would stop writing my own script for the world, I could see the Word of God written there. Jesus says it would make me indescribably happy. Why is it that I insist on writing my own meaning instead even knowing that it is not making me happy? Sure, I have moments of happiness, but underlying the happiness is the expectation of sadness., so it is not true happiness.

Something I noticed when I first did these lessons is that the idea that the world is meaningless terrified me. The idea that my life has no meaning was even worse. I suppose that is the reason I continue to write script, but I am changing my mind. I am more aware of my thoughts than ever before and of their meaning in terms of script writing.

Yesterday, I talked about my upcoming visit to the prison to see my brother. I looked at all the thoughts I have about this trip. If I kept those thoughts and continued to strengthen them with my belief, I would make them true for me. Not only that, and worse yet, I would have been feeding them into the Consciousness and making fear stronger in our shared mind.

Writing them out and sharing them with others helped me to see what was happening. I consciously made a different decision. I allowed the thoughts and the emotions they evoked. I accepted them. I am responsible for the belief I was giving them and I accept that. Then I changed my mind. I decided that this is not what I want. I don’t want to increase the belief in ego and I don’t want to suffer.

My choice for different thoughts changed the world as I see it.

NTI
Romans 4 is a love letter from God. I love you, too, God.

Romans 5
My favorite sentence says: “As I have told you, the world was made by guilt, but guilt is not sin. Guilt is only the belief in sin.”

I review my life and it seems like I have been guilty so many times and by the time one reaches 69 years, the guilt just piles up until you can hardly breathe. How could that not be sin? But then I remember that there is only one problem and one solution so it cannot be that I have thousands of guilty moments to somehow atone for. And, sure enough, I get my affirmation and my answer in the next paragraph.

“One thought of guilt was born into your mind through one judgment of yourself for something you did not do. This then is imagined guilt, multiplied in the world through your belief in what you made. But that which is untrue is nothing, and nothing multiplied infinitely still remains nothing.”

God still loves me and I still love Him. I am dreaming of separation and this world and all that happens in it, is just a dream. Nothing is happening and that’s the only true thing we can say about the world. It appears as if there are many guilty people doing many guilty things, but there is only my belief in guilt playing out over and over again. And, nothing is happening outside the ego mind. There is no guilt because guilt is not real. There is no guilt because the guilt never occurred. What is there to atone for?

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Gentle Healing Journal Day 11. 9-16-18

Journal for Day 11
LESSON 11
My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

It seems like I see something in the world and what I see is what there is to see. But actually, it is my thoughts that determine the world I see. And I have already determined that my thoughts don’t mean anything because they are not my real thoughts. This week, I have seen the ego in action, filling my mind with its interpretation of the world.

I have a brother who is doing time in Angola. I speak to him on the phone once a week and I email him, too. Sometimes I buy things for him and send money to make his time a little easier. What he really wants is for me to visit him and I did do that once when he was at a smaller facility. It was perfectly awful.

The only thing that kept my younger days from being any wilder was the fear of going to jail. I have a sickening dread of prisons. When I was working, I could have made a lot of money selling to the prison system. I made one visit to a prison to talk to the purchasing agent and when I heard that door clang shut behind me, I knew I would never be back. Maybe I was incarcerated in another life, but something, some long past memory is influencing me in this lifetime.

James really wants me to visit again. He made arrangements through another inmate’s family to pick me up and bring me to the prison when next they came to see their loved one. I agreed because I just couldn’t say no. Friday is the day. I have been watching the thoughts in my mind about this visit. Well, part of me is watching, the other part is involved with those thoughts. I have been using the lessons to help with my distress.

My thoughts go like this:
It is a three hour drive there and three hours back. That’s a lot even with someone else driving. I know I used to drive all the time, an average of 50,000 miles a year, actually. But it was beginning to take a toll on me before I retired and now it is a lot harder for me.

We are leaving at 4 AM. Seriously?

I don’t know these people at all and I am truly uncomfortable with small talk especially when we have nothing in common other than family in prison.

I am going to have to go into a major prison and one with a harsh reputation. This fear won’t make sense to anyone else, but it is real to me.

They plan to stay all day long. I love my brother but sometimes we run out of things to talk about in our 15 minute calls.

I know prison has changed him and I dread to see the outward signs.

After what could be a long day and an emotional strain, I am going to ride back for those 3 hours with people I still don’t know.

All of the above thoughts are meaningless and they are showing me a meaningless world. Other than I will be riding for three hours with people I don’t yet know to see my brother in prison, there is nothing that I have thought about the trip that is necessarily true. Every other thought is the result of using the ego-thinking mind to decide what this situation means.

These ego thoughts don’t mean anything because they are not my real thoughts. They will, however, determine my day if I don’t release them. I don’t want these thoughts to determine the world I see when Friday rolls around. I don’t know what anything means and I will not use what I have learned in the past to teach myself what it means now. My only real problem is my thoughts, and I don’t have to keep thoughts I don’t want.

At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now. And so I hope I have been wrong. I want another way to look at this. Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking?

I am willing to see this differently. These ego thoughts are not making me happy and on that basis alone it is insane to keep them. I give them to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to correct my thinking and heal my mind. Show me another way to see this.

NTI Romans 3
How is it that we got so lost in our “what if it could be true” story? We used judgment. We judged that the story was real and that we were guilty.

“Every option and every judgment that came from this was an option or judgment based on fantasy, and so it resulted in additional layers of fantasy.”

I imagine how deep these layers might be and I realize why it is that we take some time to undo this illusion in our mind. And it is an illusion, pure fantasy. The judgment did not make the fantasy real; it just enlivened it. Every judgment we make adds more layers of fantasy and takes us deeper into the illusion and the resulting guilt.

Since none of this is true and since truth has not left our mind, we can extricate ourselves from this web of deceit. We do this by no longer practicing judgment and guilt. It is really so simple to do, and the only reason that it takes time is that we can hardly believe the whole world we see does not exist outside our mind, and we cannot believe that judgment is the problem, nor do we find it reasonable to believe that we are not guilty.

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Gentle Healing Journal Day 10. 9-15-18

Journal for Day 10
LESSON 10
My thoughts do not mean anything.

Something I realized this morning is that for all these years I have just been paying lip service to this idea. I noticed that because this morning it is different. My thoughts really don’t mean anything. They are not important. A friend on Facebook has an idea about what something in the Course means. He is willing to argue for his version and he feels the need to get others to believe he is right.
He thinks he needs to be right. He thinks his thoughts mean something and therefore he must defend them and spread his good news.

I know how he feels. Over the many years I have studied the Course, I have had ego “revelations” that I firmly believed in. I have wanted everyone to know about them and to believe them with me. Slowly, this has changed. Recently, I read something in the Course that I had not noticed before and it really helped me. Once I saw it there, I was surprised that I had not known this before. It was so helpful to me that I wanted everyone to know about it, but no one else seemed to be aware of its significance or to be interested in it.

I wondered if I was completely wrong and was being unhelpful in sharing. I wrote to Regina and told her what was going on and asked her if I was seeing this all wrong. Regina said the most helpful thing she could have. She said that if it can be put into words it is not truth. Here is what matters: Is it helpful? She said the way I was using it was helpful to me and I should continue to use it.
I still use it, and I talk about it when it is appropriate to the conversation. I no longer think that anyone else needs to know it or believe it or use it unless that is where their Inner Guidance takes them. I no longer believe my thoughts about all that mean anything. When my friend was arguing his point on Facebook, I understood how he felt, but the thought that went through my mind was this. Do these ideas that we are attached to help us wake up? Or do they just distract us and separate us further?

I am happy to let him believe what he believes at this moment. I am happy to believe what I believe at this moment. I am happy if all that changes in the next moment. None of it means anything because it is just thoughts in the ego mind. It is a weirdly strange and wonderful place to be for someone who has been chasing THE truth all her life. It is freeing. And more importantly, it leaves a
place in my mind for truth to reveal itself in whatever way is helpful to me.

NTI Romans Chapter 2 cont.
The Holy Spirit goes on to explain that when judgment was applied, something new was made, so our experience began immediately. Now we had two options and so we had to choose. Did we want to laugh at this idea and remain in Reality, or did we want to explore this new idea that while not real could be interesting. Well, we know which option we chose. This exploration required that we believe what we had done was real even though it was only fantasy and so here we are.

This is moment that we lost our way because having to choose judgment again, we judged ourselves for making this choice. In ACIM, Jesus says that we took a detour into fear and guilt. This must have been quite a shock for us never having experienced anything like it. We became engrossed and lost our way out as we lost our identity. All the while, nothing was happening, there was no sin and nothing we did has ever been real and so we are perfectly safe even as we believe in danger.

“Judgment is the tool that built the world, and judgment keeps the experience alive. But judgment came from nothing but an impossible idea and the desire to think about it some more.”

No wonder Jesus tells us to give up judgment. He talks about this all the time in A Course in Miracles, but here in NTI, the reason we must relinquish judgment finally becomes crystal clear to me. I also see great resistance to this idea within my own mind. I am of two minds about this. No surprise there, we do have a split mind. I don’t want judgment anymore and when I notice that I am judging, I quickly give it over and ask the Holy Spirit to judge for me.

On the other hand, I seem to be unwilling to simply stop judging. I forget all about my decision to relinquish judgment for periods of time until judgment gets me in trouble and suddenly I remember. I don’t kid myself about the “forgetfulness.” It doesn’t just happen. It is a decision I make and then make a choice to forget I made it. I could become discouraged about this and even sink into guilt, but the next paragraph is what keeps me from doing so.

“All judgment is fantasy. Judgment spins fantasy. Judgment is a way to explore. It is a game, a folly, and nothing more. It has no purpose and makes nothing real. Judgment is a web of meaningless thoughts given only the power of fantasy and absolutely nothing more.”

Whew! Thank goodness for that.

© 2018, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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Gentle Healing Journal Day 9. 9-11-18

Journal for Day 9
LESSON 9
I see nothing as it is now.

As I started to do the lesson, it felt silly to me. I’ve done this so many times, and I am past practice. I understand it now, I told myself. But, I am good at doing as I’m told and following directions, so I did the lesson. I got up from my chair and went into the other room to do it, thinking that I was tired of practicing on the same things.

A funny thing happened. I stood over my old recliner that I enjoy sitting in every day and I said that I do not see this chair as it is now. For a couple of minutes, I was confused. Why don’t I see this chair as it is now? Oh, yeah. Because I see only the past and my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. So I stood there a few more moments and let my mind settle into now and looked at my chair.

Nothing extraordinary happened, but I at least for that moment my mind was not preoccupied with the past. I’m glad I didn’t just blow off this lesson as done without actually doing it. I’m glad I didn’t just go through the motions. I look forward to doing the lesson again later this morning. I open my mind to be enlightened about the things I see today.

NTI
Romans Chapter 2 gives my favorite explanation of the tiny mad idea. It describes the process we took to get to where we are now, emphasizing that it was play, curiosity, and nothing more. It was not creation so nothing we did changed reality.

“Imagine yourself with this idea, for this was the idea you had:
What if nothing was as it is?”
What if I could make something completely different,
and make it whatever I want?
What would that be like?”

If I look on the world I made from that point of view, there is nothing to fear and no grounds for guilt. What if I accept this viewpoint and begin looking on my “life” in this way? An interesting idea I am exploring and nothing more.

Then I read this:

“You needed a tool to create this experience that would allow you to explore. The building block that you made was judgment or decision and this became a new creative force. It allowed for experience without creation. And from judgment, experience was made.”

I understand now why it is we need to give judgment over to the Holy Spirit. In reality, in the Kingdom, judgment is unknown but here we need a bridge from what we made to what is real and the Holy Spirit provides that bridge. I judge something or someone and I change my mind and ask the Holy Spirit to judge for me instead.

He always judges everything the same way, either it is true or it is not true. He always judges us innocent because that is the truth. If I hold onto my own judgment, the world I made continues to exist in my mind, but so does hate and anger and fear and guilt and many more separation effects that will make my life hellish. If we made the illusion through the use of judgment, we will unmake it as we give up judgment.
.

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Gentle Healing Journal Day 8. 9-11-18

LESSON 8

My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

No one really sees anything. In Lesson 15 he will tell us that we think we use the eyes to see but that it is not real seeing, it is image making. Instead of seeing what is there, we see what we think. So if we are thinking of the past, which does not exist, then we are “seeing” an image of something that does not exist. The world we see with our eyes does not exist. It is an illusion.

I want to see what does exist. I want to see what is real. I won’t do this with my eyes because my eyes are not made for that purpose. But I will see with my mind what is real when my thoughts are real. I can find my real thoughts, the thoughts I think with God if I stop myself from being continuously preoccupied with past (unreal) thoughts. This is a really hard habit to break!

What I do is to decide that I am not interested in thoughts of the past and so when I notice this happening, I stop. I rest my mind and let it re-set. The chatter (which is always based on the past or the future) will start up again, but when next I notice it, I do the same thing. I rest my mind from the chatter. I notice that the chatter has slowed down and that I seldom give credence to what I hear now. Hopefully, this new way of being will become the norm instead of my previous preoccupation with the past.

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Gentle Healing Journal Day 7

Journal for Day 7
LESSON 7
I see only the past.

I had a strange reaction to this lesson. As I looked at each thing that caught my attention and reminded myself that I see only the past in it, I watched a quick slideshow of images from the past. I look at my battered copy of NTI and I see myself at Regina’s house at the dining table sharing a meal with her and Jasmine and Danielle. I see a group sitting in her living room, read from NTI and discussing a passage.

I look at my calculator and I see images from the past, working with calculators. I see myself sitting in my mom’s accounting office, adding columns of numbers, talking to her once in a while. I see my string of Buddhist flags and my mind fills with images of the woman who gave them to me, especially being at her house with guests who have come to see her ordained.
It went like this for a while, but I also noticed that there was an emotional reaction that came to a head when I looked at my hands and saw images from the past. Holding my baby, cooking for my family, fumbling with tools for some little project, handing my welder his stick and then looking away as he applied it to the metal. So many memories in only an instant of time. But that wasn’t really the surprise.
The surprise was the emotion attached to these images. I felt like crying.

What is that about, Jesus?

Jesus: Endings. You see the past as if it is still there, a long carpet rolled out behind you, and you are sad that it is coming to an end. You are sad that you didn’t do more with the time you had, enjoyed it more, made more of a difference, made fewer mistakes. The past breaks your heart, and yet, you cling to it as if it were the treasure your heart longs to keep.

This is why you keep it before your eyes; you don’t want to let it go. But, dearest Sister, in so doing, you are repeating the same mistake. Tomorrow, you will look back on today and wonder where it all went. You will list the things you did to convince yourself that life happened, but you will not succeed. You will feel a sense of loss, just as you do now because you are not living life. Instead, you are constantly reviewing the past.

That is why I have given you these lessons and led you to them. I want you to love your life, not pass it by while you dream of the past. Do these lessons again. Do them with dedication and devotion and in joy. Forget about every other time you have done them. Revel in this moment only. You will be delighted at the discovery you will make. Thank you for asking me.

NTI
Luke 17

I think that Luke 17 is my favorite so far. I did study NTI for months, but it was a good while ago and I had forgotten how simple and easy to read it is.
Luke 17 begins by reminding us of what we learned in 16. He reminds us that judgment is what makes thoughts seem real and that believing these thoughts we use them to decide the meaning of everything.

Here is a paragraph I underlined.
“Based on God’s law, the Spirit of God is one. There is no separate one that can offend or hurt you. There is only a collection of thoughts, which you hold within your mind. Of themselves, the thoughts have no meaning. And so you feel offended or hurt based on what you think you know.”

As I read that paragraph, I think of Byron Katie’s counsel to question our thoughts. I think I know what something means and that assumption is based on past learning that might be true and might not. Almost without thinking about it these days, I question my beliefs; is that true, am I sure it is true. Just asking myself the question reminds me that these thoughts in my mind are meaningless and that I give them all the meaning they have for me and most importantly, I can change that meaning.

Now here is another really good part.

“So what is forgiveness? Forgiveness is simply an acknowledgment of the truth of how the offense or hurt has come about. It has not come from your brother. It has come from the meaning you have applied to thoughts within your mind. Without this meaning, you could not be hurt.”

The Holy Spirit follows up this excellent definition of forgiveness with this advice:

“And the, forgiveness is taking this realization one step further by acknowledging you do not want to be hurt anymore. You acknowledge that the meaning that has hurt you is within the mind. You are the owner or believer in that meaning, and so you are also the one that can let go of any meaning you have applied. And when the meaning is let go, the offense or hurt must disappear also. What was made has been undone.”

This makes forgiveness so easy to understand. This is why I never look for the offender outside me. I, instead, turn inward and look at the thoughts in the mind that I have interpreted with the ego mind. I then ask the Holy Spirit to show me another way to see this. ACIM, C 30, Rules for Decision has an excellent process for when this seems hard to do.

I’m sure that I am not the only one who has asked (perhaps with some discouragement) when will my perceptions be healed? The Holy Spirit gives an interesting answer to this question. He says that healing is not a matter of when, not a matter of time at all, but it is a matter of willingness.

“Forget about time and the future. Focus on now and the thoughts that are in your mind now. Lay aside resistance now. Dismiss meaningless thoughts now. Focus on your willingness and nurture gratitude for being. This is the process that brings about the healing of misperception, and it is a process of now.”

“The kingdom of God is with you now. Do not let yourself be distracted away from it.”

Clearly, this is not hard to understand nor hard to do. It does require vigilance, dedication, and devotion. I am happy to give all of that. What else is there to do that means anything in this world?

© 2018, Pathways of Light. https://www.pathwaysoflight.org
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