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A Universal Theology is Impossible, But........

"The curriculum the Course proposes is carefully conceived and is explained, step by step, at both the theoretical and practical levels. It emphasises application rather than theory, and experience rather than theology. It specifically states that a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary"



This is probably a pretty irrelevant post in the big picture, but since I'm sitting at home bored, I'm going to write it anyway LOL.

For the past week, I have been reading Krishnamurti. What is it, finding these books when I am not consciously looking for them? Just like when I stumbled upon ACIM when I made a pact with myself that I would not ever read such a silly book and then one day, there it was, on one of the front tables at the bookstore I frequent by my house.

And then about a week ago, I went to the bookstore to pass the time while my wife shopped. Something that I do quite often. This time something compelled me to read Krishnamurti. So I found a couple of his books to sit and read while waiting, while my wife shopped.

I didn't really know all that much about Krishnamurti. Actually probably didn't really know anything at all about him, though I have heard his name mentioned.

As I read, I couldn't help but feel that what I was reading was actually helping me to understand on an even deeper level of what ACIM was saying. Not only on Truth, on the false self, the conflict only between illusions, the present moment/Now/Holy Instant, but also on using symbols to go beyond them. To look upon our concepts to go beyond them. To look upon ACIM to go beyond it. That true intelligence is not the accumulation of concepts, but the truth that is beyond the concepts. That Truth is not in intellectual knowledge or in some achievement in “enlightenment”, but in experience of a practical application.

What got me really contemplating the importance of this are a couple of things.

I posted my post, “Do I want the Peace of God?” on another course site also. I was curious as to see if others may have had a similar experience to what I experienced. I came back the next day, I found there was no replies to my post. And to be clear that is fine. It is not mandatory for people to reply to other people's posts. But what I did see, was that there was plenty of activity going on, while I was away and what I noticed was that people were going back and forth, about their understanding of the course. Not really in my perception of trying to help others with their own journey of the course, but to flaunt their understanding of the course, as if one person had a better grasp of the course than another. One person would give an explanation and then another would reply with a correction or an agreement while adding their own clever words to display their “spiritual depthness”. What it seemed to be, were people caught up in their concepts of ACIM, even while saying that they were talking about that they were beyond the concepts.

In the bigger picture this is not important I would say, but there is something else that I saw yesterday that made me think about what the course says about how the ego becomes pre-occupied with tangential issues and it stays busy with non essentials.

In a way, this post itself could be said to be pre-occupied with this, for as I mentioned in the beginning, I said that it was not really relevant to the bigger picture or said in another way, not all that important, except in a fragmented perception.

But maybe it could be important, at least in my own journey. For I also saw yesterday on a site on religion and spirituality that I used to get caught up in the same old debates and discussions from the same people that I saw two years ago. Nothing changed. The same arguments or discussions were being said by the same people. The only difference was some of the form, but the content was the same. The question is, what have they achieved? I saw nothing achieved. I saw the same old discussions with the same old results from the same people. Nothing changed and as I read some of the newer posts with the same old concepts, I thought of a couple of course people that have said that they have been having discussions/ debates back and forth for over two years and I am not sure if I have seen anything different just from the time that I have watched them go back and forth with their concepts and discussions. And yesterday on the other course site. I saw this same pattern happening, but on a larger scale, because there were more people that were participating in this.

This got me contemplating about this in my own path. How easy it can be discussing the course and how “we understand it” and trying to get people to “get it” also, can become a substitution for the practical application that the course emphasizes. The intellectualizing of the course. No matter how smart or clever or deep it may seem can be just as much of a distraction as anything else. For when we use our understanding of the course not to simply help ourselves, but to tell people what the course is really about, then are we truly healing?

Yes we learn what we teach, but is telling someone what we think the course is, as if it were a fact actually teaching or telling? I don't really know, I can only put this question out there. I have read people perceive the course in many different ways and at the same time seem to be surprised that other course students see the course in their own way, implying that their perception of it is correct and the other person by this implication is incorrect and are misguided.

But what is really correct? I don't know. I can't tell you. I can only tell you how I perceive the course, but I cannot tell you that what I perceive is the truth. Only my perception of the truth. The one thing that I can do that can point to truth is to apply the practical application that the course emphasizes. Maybe the truth can be said to be in the fruits of the course and not in the intellectual understanding of the course. For what is information without application?

This is not to say that we shouldn't talk about the course or ask questions when we feel stuck. But for myself at least, I can see how I can get caught up in the psychology and the theory of the course as a substitute for applying the course, because I know that I have done this already.

Reading Krishnamurti has helped me to realize that this really is a pathless journey. That the word enlightenment can be romanticized by the ego as something to be achieved as a spiritual accomplishment. Or trying to get the universe to disappear, which is also in my perception not only a future goal that overlooks the Now, but is also a concept that looks to for salvation and security. Two things that are actually illusions. For as the course says, “Our spirit is not in danger because God created it. Our egos are not in danger, because God did not.

Of course it can be just as easy for me to hold onto Krishnamurti's words and make then into a method or a concept as it is for ACIM. I hope that my awareness of this helps me not to fall into that trap and become pre-occupied in another form. LOL, after all, I did preoccupy myself long enough to write this blog, hopefully so that I can look past my concepts to what they point to and not keep me imprisoned by theology.

Take care,

Eric

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Comment by Melody Vantucci on December 22, 2009 at 9:48am
The comment below is like a blog in itself, and again so very helpful. I love the stories about Krishnamurti, and completely agree that all good teachers help us to go beyond the teacher to the Truth that we can become aware of, once the blocks are removed.

I am in the midst of a real forgiveness opp right now in which my "security" - as the world would describe it is extremely threatened at the moment, and for several "moments" over the last few days, and continuing. It is very interesting to me how caught up I am in this. One of the Course lessons is "I am not a body, I am free, I am still as God created me." Do I really believe it when the goin' *here gets rough?! Well........actually, I am doing somewhat better than I would have even a year ago. My point is, tho...that....truthfully, a large part of me still thinks this world has a lot to offer. Same thing as saying my identity with "melody" is still very strong. I am doing my best to put this Course into practice, and greatest lessons learned can be when things seem very fearful. The Course, and Ken tell me that this *threat I perceive, is a decision I made in my mind to push Love away. That *I (decision maker) love the pain, even while pretending I hate it....as that proves God wrong. Much like the authority problem that you speak of. Would I rather be happy or right? Well, I can say I'd rather be happy, but......*I still think that *I know what would make me happy! *I is always decision maker, not the *I that thinks I'm melody. Lesson 5, I believe is "I'm never upset for the reason I think." I think I'm upset because of what's going on right now, but, I have been taught that I'm really upset because I chose the ego in my mind vs J/HS in my mind. I am saying "help!", doing my best to trust this process, doing my best to just be....even if that involves watching myself be fearful. "Forgiveness is still and quietly does nothing. It merely looks....and waits....and judges not." So I tell myself this is a decision *I made in my mind to push Love away.....look at that........(without judgment or condemnation of myself for being very into the world ;-)) and wait......

Ken would say I get an A+....Tolle would suggest practicing the power if now.......and I have yet another message from Krishnamurti, thanks to you, Eric and Ruby too. I am grateful for all of these teachers that point the way for me.....and trust that way.....even as my impatience to have things resolved continues. ;-) I am watching myself watching myself watching myself watch myself....and right now that's as good as it gets....but, I'm assured that that is the "little willingness" I need.

With Gratitude,
melody
Comment by Eric G. on December 22, 2009 at 2:10am
Melody wrote: I will stop, now, and please don't anyone misunderstand me. I am only sharing what has been helpful, and what has made sense for me.

No reason to stop Melody and I see nothing that can be seen as a misunderstanding or I should say I don't see anything that is conflicting that would imply a perception of misunderstanding. You were simply sharing what has helped you in your path. And reading Ken's materials has also helped me a great deal too. Absolutely! His writings have simplified and clarified some of the concepts of ACIM for me and one thing also about Ken as you mentioned is that he constantly reminds people to use ACIM to go beyond it. To use the symbols and concepts to what they point to as Ruby pointed out, Tolle does to. As does Krishnamurti.

That to me is the sign of true teaching as being a teacher of God. To help others realize that ultimately they don't need a teacher, but are willing to teach until the person realizes this.

I'm reading Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti. Which is essentially a collection of his works that I am really enjoying.

There is a story in the begining of the book where he tells the story of the devil.

The devil and a friend were walking along a road when they noticed a man pick something up, look it over and then put it in his pocket. The friend asked the devil, "What did that guy put in his pocket?" The devil replied casually, " He picked up a piece of Truth." The friend looked at the devil solemnly and said, "Ohh, that's bad business for you." "Not at all", said the devil smiling. "I'm going to let him organize it."

This simple little story to me speaks volumes. For myself it made me realize something. I say that I am seeking Truth, yet where could it be but here and now? Truth is given me, yet I seek to substitute it and try to twist it and turn it and make it into what I want it to be, but what it is not. And it doesn't work, for as the course says, we cannot bring truth to illusions. And so I fail and I keep seeking, looking, wondering when will I come to the realization to know Truth? Maybe when I stop trying to think I know what Truth is and organize it to fit my limited ideas and beliefs will it come of itself.

Krishnamurti has an interesting answer to a question given to him by someone in the audience in one of his talks about seeking for Truth. He said and I'm paraphrasing, that most people that say they are seeking for Truth are really seeking for a substitute for it. They are seeking for security, for safety, for comfort, for beliefs, a savior, concepts, intellectualism or methods to make them feel better within the conflict but not for Truth, because they are afraid of Truth.
And that Truth is a pathless land. Once people stop trying to substitute Truth, there Truth will be.

Here is also something interesting. This was on FACIM outreach. Ken Wapnick's questions and answer site.

Q #331: Krishnamurti, in one of his books, says that all fear comes to an end the instant all psychological authority including our own ends in the mind. With no authority how can there be fear? He also mentions that all fear comes to an end the instant you realize you are the author of it. He said this doesn't even take a day. Maybe only ten minutes to see it clearly. Can you comment on the above ideas? Lastly, if there are no specialness thoughts why do we have to give them up? Doesn't that reinforce the ego by making it real?

A: Krishnamurti and A Course in Miracles are not saying anything very much different from each other. The Course simply adds a mythology of the ego to illustrate the origins of the "dynamics" of fear. With the belief in separation, the Course says we have made the idea of a separate superior judgmental authority -- the ego god, which is really nothing more than a projection of our own desire to seize authority/authorship from God our Source (T.3.VI.7,8) -- very real in our minds. And we remain at odds with this authority so long as we seek to maintain our own individual existence and so to see this controlling authority as separate from ourselves. Fear then is inevitable, for the illusory, fragmentary self we believe we are must seem very vulnerable if we are to deny our role in first seizing the authority for ourselves. We project responsibility for the attack outside ourselves in order to assuage our guilt.

The only real Authority is the wholly benign God of Love in Whom we find our being beyond any concepts of separation and individuality. And fear is impossible in this perfect state of Oneness in which there can be nothing apart from Self to fear. And so, in any moment when we release our belief in separate interests and conflicting authority -- our own and anyone else’s -- and we see our own role in making up the conflict in the first place, all fear must simply vanish. This need not take time, since nothing except our own thinking needs to shift. It is only our own resistance to love, which is how we maintain our separate self, that will make the release from fear seem difficult and likely to take a long time.

As for specialness thoughts, you are right, they are not real and they are not the problem. It is our desire for and belief in specialness, and not the thoughts themselves, that must be released, but not by fighting or resisting. We are only ever asked to look at what we have made real in our own minds and acknowledge the consequences of that illusory choice to our peace of mind. When we no longer want specialness and what it brings, the thoughts will simply dissipate "into the nothingness from which [they] came" (M.13.1:2).


Take care,

Eric
Comment by Ruby on December 21, 2009 at 8:00pm
Thanks Melody. I love your thoughts on this. And I love Ken Wapnick's teaching as well. He is refreshing in his candor. I so agree that "To realize and look at the viciousness of the ego is very helpful info to have, as it is only when we realize the hate of it, that we can make another choice - in our mind, for another Teacher, who would be J/HS.". I think the Course tells us that if we saw what the ego would make of us. We would withdraw all alleginace from it. And the ego is only treacherous to those who give allegiance to it. "Judgement, like any other defence, can be used to attack or protect; to hurt or to heal. The ego should be brought to judgement and found wanting there. Without your own allegiance, protection and love, the ego cannot exist. Let it be judged truly and you must withdraw allegiance, protection and love from it." "Only your allegiance to it gives the ego any power over you. "(T.,p. 67)

Much Love,
Ruby
Comment by Melody Vantucci on December 21, 2009 at 7:24pm
Excellent, helpful (for me) post, Eric! One of my dearest friends, a student of the Course and Ken Wapnick for over 25 years told me that Krishnamurti helped him understand the Course better....even tho he didn't begin reading K with that in mind. I would also say that I am a student of Ken's. I admit, that he has helped me with my understanding of the Course. I read the text and did the workbook on my own, before going to see Ken and listening to his workshops on CD, but I will admit, without shame that Ken is my main teacher (there are many ;-)) and he has enabled me to understand the forgiveness process, as well as helped me to go beyond the concepts and intellectual ideas to the experience of the Course....which can only happen when we apply it to our daily lives every day...and, for me, very often throughout the day. Ken has said many times - to use the Course as a signpost to get beyond it. Once, he threw the blue book down, and said (paraphrasing) that all it was is a goddamn book with words..... and to not make the Course an idol, it is one of thousands of paths that lead one to the Guide that is within us all. In the Course, Jesus is a symbol of the abstract Love that is in our right mind. Mind, is not the brain but mind is an aspect of spirit - outside of time and space.

I will also share that I have learned from Ken that the mind is like the "puppeteer" which tells the body what to do, as the body is nothing, just like a puppet. We are a mind dreaming we are a body. That mind, which we all share, has an ego (wrong mind) right mind (where J/HS which are a symbol for Love not of this world, ) and a decision maker that every minute is choosing between either J/HS or the ego..in our mind. This makes perfect sense to me, and in the last few months, I've been able to lessen my identity as *melody, the body ever so slightly. I've also seen how attached I am to *melody, an embodiment of the ego and my individuality. When I said in regard to Eric's other post -what the workbook is for, is to realize our resistance, which is the same as the attachment to our body was the purpose of the workbook, Ken does teach that. To realize and look at the viciousness of the ego is very helpful info to have, as it is only when we realize the hate of it, that we can make another choice - in our mind, for another Teacher, who would be J/HS.

I will stop, now, and please don't anyone misunderstand me. I am only sharing what has been helpful, and what has made sense for me.

Eric, your post says exactly what I have learned from Ken, as much of your writing has.... and Ruby, much of what you have written me does also. Ruby, I would love to read Krishnamurti, and if there is any way for you to download here it would be very helpful to all of us.

Thanks for listening to me blah blah blah.....and thank you, for the very helpful posts and comments! ;-)
Comment by Ruby on December 21, 2009 at 6:09pm
PS:: I love these passagesfrom the Workbook 14. What am I? p. 479:

"Our use for words is almost over now. Yet in the final days of this one year we gave to God together, you and I, we found a single purpose that we shared. And thus you joined with me, so what I am are you as well. The truth of what we are is not for words to speak of nor describe. Yet we can realise our function here, and words can speak of this and teach it, too, if we exemplify the words in us."

...
"Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Ours are the ears that hear the Voice for God proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds that join together as we bless the world. And from the oneness that we have attained we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy."

Amen
Comment by Ruby on December 21, 2009 at 5:45pm
Thank you Eric. I find your posts refreshing. To truly question and join in asking is what ACIM is about. The goal of this course is to know thy self/Self. I've been having the same feelings about what is "teaching" ...and what is truly helpful. I just love Eckhart Tolle's wisdom on this that words but point to truth... and to debate over signposts is wasted energy. Concepts desensitize us...and to try to define Love is to limit it. In terms of communication, it is good to clarify ... but the truth is... no one sees beyond their willingness to see. And we can communicate for purposes of joining .. bridging the gap. Revelation is beyond words and we will experience that when we are ready to receive...we then witness to Love and join in witnessing. Perception is relative. The Course clearly tells us that only to the extent anything is helpful should we accord it reality. ("It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful. It is only to the extent to which they are helpful that any degree of reality should be accorded them in this world of illusion. The word “value” can apply to nothing else." M., p.10)

I love Krishnamurti's work. His book "Think on these Things" is a gem. I may upload it onto this site. I need to figure out how to scan a book on PDF. I recently started to re-read it...and I agree... it echoes ACIM as well as Tolle. I guess it is a universal curriculum.

Thanks again Eric.
Much Love,
Ruby

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