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On the thread “How did A Course in Miracles Find You?”
We all seemed to share a theme. That before finding the book, we all seemed to have felt some sort of suffering. This is something that Eckhart Tolle mentions. That many people that experience an inner shift of some sort or seek a better way, most likely experienced a lot of suffering that brought them to the spiritual path.

Before coming to this site, I was on another site about spirit and religion. It didn’t take too long to see that it was a board where people just argued their “truths” back and forth. It wasn’t very productive really, so I left.

But I do remember a woman there. She was a very devout Christian. What struck me about this woman was that she was always talking about having to be vigilant against Satan and how she feared the power of God. Whenever someone would express their point of view that didn’t coincide with hers (which was almost always) she would reply with damnable scripture from the Bible. She always talked about the glory and the love of God, but her actions seemed to contradict what she was saying.

She disliked extremely the talk of the ego. It didn’t make sense to her.

One day in one of her replies in not understanding this talk of the ego. Someone replied to her about it. They asked her to become aware of that voice in her head, that dwells of the past or worries about the future. The voice that we listen to when you have been wronged by another, etc ,etc.

She responded to that person that they must be crazy, because she didn’t have any voice in her head telling her anything. And as I read her response, I thought “Wow, she is so identified with her ego, that she has become one with it.”

But it also reminded me of what Tolle had said. That some people suffer and this is why they end up on the spiritual path.

But I wonder. Do really only some people suffer? Or is it really that ALL(minus the exceptional few) people are suffering and that some people are just more acutely aware of their suffering.

I just want to throw this idea out there and see what people might think and get some feedback on this.

It seemed obvious to me that the lady I mentioned was suffering. She may not have realized it, but she was not at peace or even close to it. She was living a life of fear that she confused with love. Yet to her or maybe more accurately it would be to say to her ego, this was peace.

Then you have people like us that acknowledge, “Yes I was suffering.” And when we read spiritual books on the ego we say, “Ah yes, yes, that is it!”

So what causes this suffering or the awareness of suffering? Is it because maybe, though we are living our lives through the ego, that deep down inside we know that something is not right? That this “self” that we are living is not the truth of who we are? Is it because there is some unconscious awareness that something is amiss that causes this conscious suffering?



Do some people suffer, because this life( life-concept) that they are living is only creating a burning question that they don‘t seem to have an answer to?

I used to think that I was one of the few unlucky ones that “suffered”, but as I look at people today, It seems to me that everyone is suffering. That really the biggest difference is the awareness of the suffering.

Everyone that I know that I used to believe were happy, I see now the apparent futile attempt of them trying to find themselves in the idols of the world.

I know a couple that I am good friends with for example, that on the surface appear to be very happy people, yet seeing now, I see them constantly trying to find themselves in acquiring material things and an inability to be still. Meaning that they cannot just sit and do nothing. They must constantly be doing something as if they are trying to distract themselves from the suffering that may become apparent if they stop and be still an instant. They buy CD’s and DVD’s and quite a few are still unopened, yet they buy more only to be unopened.

And when I talk with people now days, I am more aware of just how much judgment and specialness and separation is in the conversations.

I’m not trying to make a moral judgment, but more of an observation of what I see now that I never saw before, because it is not just this couple that I see this in. I am seeing it everywhere with just about everyone, myself included. Though I am becoming more aware of this.

I suppose it could be said that if a person is unaware of their suffering, then they are not suffering, but a person that is dying from a disease, whether they are aware of having the disease or not is still dying from it. They are most likely still feeling the effects of it, whether they are aware of the cause or not.

Suffering seems to be a hindrance to life. But Tolle said something in a talk one time that suffering can really help to collapse a person’s life story and that there is nothing more beautiful than having a failed life story, for then life itself will flower out of that.

Tomorrow I might think differently, but today it seems that everyone is suffering. Some are just more acutely aware of it than others. It reminds of a sentence I read in ACIM today. It says:

“Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery.



With Love,

Eric

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Hi Eric, Interesting post. Here are a few of my thoughts on it.

In response to, "But I wonder. Do really only some people suffer? Or is it really that ALL(minus the exceptional few) people are suffering and that some people are just more acutely aware of their suffering."

I think that all suffer here on the earth plane. As long as we have bodies, we have an ego. And the egoic thought system's range is "suspicious to vicious". To be in fear is to suffer. I do think that many have learned to suppress their suffering...thus what Eckhart Tolle and A Course in Miracles refers to as being asleep. We deaden ourselves with distractions, physical remedies to what is essentially dis-ease..dis-spiriting.. the yearning of the spirit to come alive.

"I used to think that I was one of the few unlucky ones that “suffered”, but as I look at people today, It seems to me that everyone is suffering. That really the biggest difference is the awareness of the suffering."

Yes it is the awareness of sufferiing that begins enlightenment. It is in the awareness we begin to question. A Course in Miracles tells us tolerance for pain is not without limit, we all come to a point where we will ask for another way. "An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognise, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute. But the outcome is as certain as God." (ACIM Text Chap. 2.3, The Altar of God"). Our Course is so reassuring. It is a certainty that I have not found in the world. There is no doubt in my mind of the Love of God and the power of that Love.

"I know a couple that I am good friends with for example, that on the surface appear to be very happy people, yet seeing now, I see them constantly trying to find themselves in acquiring material things and an inability to be still. Meaning that they cannot just sit and do nothing. They must constantly be doing something as if they are trying to distract themselves from the suffering that may become apparent if they stop and be still an instant. They buy CD’s and DVD’s and quite a few are still unopened, yet they buy more only to be unopened."

LOL...I love this paragraph Eric. We all know people like that and have been like that. I think as we awaken...in what Eckhart Tolle calls Presence.. the Christ consciousness. The fear subsides and we able to be Present..allowing the reawakening of spirit. Awareness calls forth the willingness. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us "You are a mirror of truth, in which God Himself shines in perfect light. ... His Mind still shines on you and must shine through you. Your ego cannot prevent Him from shining on you, but it can prevent you from letting Him shine through you." (ACIM Text Ch. 4.4 "This Need Not be.").

Thank you for this last quote Eric: "“Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery."

Awareness and acceptance are 2 key factors to our awakening...and willingness to ask for guidance within. A Course in Miracles tells us God's Love shiines on all of us but it is up to us whether we allow it to shine through us....and in that shining is our fulfillment and joy. "As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause. And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. Nothing perceived without it means anything. And where there is no meaning, there is chaos."

Thank for you Eric for your contribution.

Namaste,
Ruby
I'm off to bed, but I just wanted to say thank you Ruby, This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. This thouhgt in my head that caused me to write this, felt fragmented and what you wrote really helped me to see what I was thinking much clearer.

Thank you

With Love,

Eric
I love your post margaret. I feel your energy of certainty and Love. Yes... denial in the positive sense is forgiveness. Only the Love is real. LOL... I love "Folks suffer because they have to, until they don;t have to anymore. Suffering is self inflicted crucifixion, preferably to awakening totally from the dream and losing the false identity. Suffering is the unawareness you already arose with Jesus from this nightmare... then the rejoicing and celebrating begins." Amen

Namaste,
Ruby
To me, suffering, when acknowledged, is like fertile soil in which in time happy flowers grow. Having lived a hard life, I had learned early that material things do not give real happiness. Since inviting Jesus into my heart back decades ago, my life slowly began to change. And now, for me, awareness of my states of mind are helping me to understand when I need to choose the miracle that sleeps beside each experience of suffering in me and for all my brothers the same.

I am deeply moved by your honesty and desire to learn, and I am grateful that I too can learn through what you write here. My journey is not yet over because there are still unhealed parts of me that make themselves known by a sense of embarrassment or discomfort. But the miracles that belong to this are so much healing and restoring respect. I found that to learn trust can be the most difficult thing to regain.

Above all I have learned not to worry and surrender all things instead, time and again, as my learning of the Course slowly deepens.

Love
thulananda
thulananda
Good morning thulanda,

Thank you for sharing your story. Suffering when acknowledged is like fertile soil.

I like that. I think that you are right. And you got me thinking again. Why do some people suffer? Maybe becuase they realize that the world and the things of it will not bring them happiness, but they are unaware or unable to see what it is that will bring them happiness?

"I know this doesn't work. but what does?" And this unanswered question brings in the suffering.
I think that everyone suffers. Most people just completely keep themselves disctracted with the idols of the world to keep the suffering from becoming too noticable.

But then there are people like us. And by the way, I don't want to use this terminalogy of separation like this, "Us" and "Them", but unfortunately lanquage itself can be a limitation.

But people like us, we see the suffering. We know it, we don't look so much to the world of idols for distraction, or maybe we do try that, but there is this knowing that this is not it. This isn't going to cut it, there is something not right here. There is something amiss in all of this. What is it? What am I missing? What is that magical pice of the puzzle going to be? Oh how I used to rack my head with these questions.

And when I stumbled upon this path. I was at first excited, and then skeptical. Was I just on another dead end road? Was I just on another idol that might fill the "void"? Was I just trying to grasp at something in a desperate attempt?

I know now, that no, I'm simply remembering my True Self. Do I still have fear? Oh yes, but somehow it is not so serious anymore. Do I still have doubts? Yes, but they do not insist on being so true anymore.

I'm on lesson 41 today. God goes with me everywhere I go. And it is starting to feel like that. There is a stillness that is walking with me and that is bringing me comfort.

With love,

Eric
I'm sorry I spelled your name wrong Thulananda. I just wanted to correct that.

Happy Friday!!

Thank you Thulananda and Eric, I love the analogy suffering as "fertile soil". It is, isn't it, an opportunity to acknowledge our hearts, misperceptions, learning to look with light provided by Holy Spirit when we become willing to acknowledge and remember Love and see our errors as a yearning to remember our true nature "a call for Love". I so love your writing Thulananda. You speak to my heart. Thank you Eric, for being willing to ask the questions we all share on the journey inward to the light within. Namaste, Ruby
Ruby said:
Hi Eric, Interesting post. Here are a few of my thoughts on it.

In response to, "But I wonder. Do really only some people suffer? Or is it really that ALL(minus the exceptional few) people are suffering and that some people are just more acutely aware of their suffering."

I think that all suffer here on the earth plane. As long as we have bodies, we have an ego. And the egoic thought system's range is "suspicious to vicious". To be in fear is to suffer. I do think that many have learned to suppress their suffering...thus what Eckhart Tolle and A Course in Miracles refers to as being asleep. We deaden ourselves with distractions, physical remedies to what is essentially dis-ease..dis-spiriting.. the yearning of the spirit to come alive.

"I used to think that I was one of the few unlucky ones that “suffered”, but as I look at people today, It seems to me that everyone is suffering. That really the biggest difference is the awareness of the suffering."

Yes it is the awareness of sufferiing that begins enlightenment. It is in the awareness we begin to question. A Course in Miracles tells us tolerance for pain is not without limit, we all come to a point where we will ask for another way. "An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognise, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute. But the outcome is as certain as God." (ACIM Text Chap. 2.3, The Altar of God"). Our Course is so reassuring. It is a certainty that I have not found in the world. There is no doubt in my mind of the Love of God and the power of that Love.

"I know a couple that I am good friends with for example, that on the surface appear to be very happy people, yet seeing now, I see them constantly trying to find themselves in acquiring material things and an inability to be still. Meaning that they cannot just sit and do nothing. They must constantly be doing something as if they are trying to distract themselves from the suffering that may become apparent if they stop and be still an instant. They buy CD’s and DVD’s and quite a few are still unopened, yet they buy more only to be unopened."

LOL...I love this paragraph Eric. We all know people like that and have been like that. I think as we awaken...in what Eckhart Tolle calls Presence.. the Christ consciousness. The fear subsides and we able to be Present..allowing the reawakening of spirit. Awareness calls forth the willingness. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us "You are a mirror of truth, in which God Himself shines in perfect light. ... His Mind still shines on you and must shine through you. Your ego cannot prevent Him from shining on you, but it can prevent you from letting Him shine through you." (ACIM Text Ch. 4.4 "This Need Not be.").

Thank you for this last quote Eric: "“Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery."

Awareness and acceptance are 2 key factors to our awakening...and willingness to ask for guidance within. A Course in Miracles tells us God's Love shiines on all of us but it is up to us whether we allow it to shine through us....and in that shining is our fulfillment and joy. "As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause. And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. Nothing perceived without it means anything. And where there is no meaning, there is chaos."

Thank for you Eric for your contribution.

Namaste,
Ruby
I believe suffering is part an parcel of being human and I also believe you will let suffering handle you by way of resistance or you may handle suffering by way of acceptance depending on how awake you are spiritually speaking. Suffering is a clear indicator of our insufficiencies and as such a blessing in disguise if we are disposed to find the reason behind them. If we accept it as a guide for our development, suffering as stated can be a blessing in most cases. Please do not infer I will be chasing suffering for my awakening for suffering will come, as contemplated in the design, when and as required by my present stage of development. We are capable of withstanding quite a bit of suffering if we have a good enough reason for it. Man has shown in many instances the truth in the above statement. Remember the words of Father Damien, who took care of of a leper colony in Kalaupapa, Molokai in Hawaii, who upon contracting the dreaded leprosy cried to our Father, "Thanks my God I am now one of them."
Carlos
it must be the disparity between the adept /inept suffering follows 2 major courses 1 being the rather large delusion that human beings are living under ...having to constantly judge the present from the vantage of the past rather than having clarity and living in the now / .also having no actual self because the mother eve who showed her child the qualitys of being that 1st led the child into trying to be her quality being /she then affirmed her presence into the child in the psychic........therefore we are all false beings having idols we apease and there emotions ruling the attitudes and not really being open to possiblitys that aforeto have not arisen /not having the ability to foretell events and there interactions /and most important not having the grace and kindness to enter into activitys that are rewarding karmicly unto the reactions that facilitate freedom from bad karma /thus the release of bad karma eludes beings ...largly ...as much as the may try.../having been studitious about this phenomina having suceeded in walking THE PATH i am 1 who can speak a little about the atitudes facillitaing release..NIRVANA.. i have found that in all situations it is nessacary to be impersonal to respond with love to embrace all beings equally not to be selfish ..enrolllment in this is the great facilitater especially with anger...and other things.... these are evil! they loosen the health from the body speeding the soul of from under the heaven to under the ground/so yes suffering is the human condition /it was the mother eve who showed her child the qualitys of being that 1st led the child into trying to be her quality being /she then affirmed it to him in the psychic.!! _untill 1 has reunified the mother -child light[being in the moment] there will be issues arising ...baggage to carry.the rather large delusion that human beings are living under .and no inspired insight ...leadership quality! [alas the child who is disturbed between the age of 2-5 years old]... for them they must get through there lost years they dont look through and its pain to reunify there light .. from there being.
this is the cycle of birth from death [the wheel of life]that at the time of death the light present enters into space[timeless dimension] and renters the same being as he opens his eyes at birth ...[the death passage to the light] some people wish to travel to the light some are just pushed along by ..some force ...[the fruiting stage from the tree of life ]those who are compelled into the light are born highly formed intelligent those who just exspect and are rotten in nature ..are born with things wrong with them...
the maternal nurturing force is substantiated by this world!!
look around even insects have this service aspect ..

sorry said:
it must be the disparity between the adept /inept suffering follows 2 major courses 1 being the rather large delusion that human beings are living under ...having to constantly judge the present from the vantage of the past rather than having clarity and living in the now / .also
having no actual self because the mother eve who showed her child the
qualitys of being that 1st led the child into trying to be her quality
being /she then affirmed her presence into the child in the
psychic........therefore we are all false beings having idols set up in our ego we apease
and there emotions ruling the attitudes [blame and shame judgementalism]and not really being open to
possiblitys that aforeto have not arisen /not having the ability to
foretell events and there interactions /and most important not having
the grace and kindness to enter into activitys that are rewarding
karmicly unto the reactions that facilitate freedom from bad karma
/thus the release of bad karma eludes beings ...largly ...as much as
the may try.../having been studitious about this phenomina having
suceeded in walking THE PATH i am 1 who can speak a little about the
atitudes facillitaing release..NIRVANA.. i have found that in all
situations it is nessacary to be impersonal to respond with love to
embrace all beings equally not to be selfish ..enrolllment in this is
the great facilitater especially with anger...and other things....
these are evil! they loosen the health from the body speeding the soul
of from under the heaven to under the ground/so yes suffering is the
human condition /it was the mother eve who showed her child the
qualitys of being that 1st led the child into trying to be her quality
being /she then affirmed it to him in the psychic.!! _untill 1 has
reunified the mother -child light[being in the moment] there will be
issues arising ...baggage to carry.the rather large delusion that human
beings are living under .and no inspired insight ...leadership quality!
[alas the child who is disturbed between the age of 2-5 years old]...
for them they must get through there lost years they dont look through
and its pain to reunify there light .. from there being.
Hi Eric,
A few thoughts about your post. Suffering comes from the idea of separation. This idea of separation created this dream where we experience separation at all levels. Ego uses suffering to makes us feel real-more separated. And when we start to understand about separation the ego then uses pleasure and suffering-which ever works at the time.
Is everyone suffers creates a question: is this really real? therefore affirming separation.Suffering, as the course says, is only as real as we are making it...as everything and everyone else...
Love and Light,
Nat

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