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Not too long ago I had a conversation with someone about Gary Renard's (“Arten's) comment in his second book on page 27 about being in the Now. It was a not so subtle critique of Eckhart Tolle. I have also read where people have said that being in the Now is fine, but it is not practicing ACIM.

I have to disagree with Gary aka “Arten” on this. Not because I am trying to defend Tolle, (though I do appreciate his work), but because I think that it is misinformation to say that practicing being in the Now is not practicing ACIM.

For the course states, “ The holy instant (the Now) has not yet happened to you. Yet it will, and you will recognise it with perfect certainty. No gift of God is recognised in any other way. You can practise the mechanics of the holy instant(the Now), and will learn much from doing so. Yet its shining and glittering brilliance, which will literally blind you to this world by its own vision, you cannot supply. And here it is, all in this instant, complete, accomplished and given wholly.

Start now to practise your little part in separating out the holy instant(the Now). You will receive very specific instructions as you go along. To learn to separate out this single second, and to experience it as timeless, is to begin to experience yourself as not separate."

The person replied that maybe Tolle focused more on the Now and Gary focused more on forgiveness. Yes, I suppose that is true. But I also think that the Now and Forgiveness need the other. That the now and forgiveness are interchangeable symbols in a way, for you can only truly forgive in the Now and can only truly be in the Now if you have Truly forgiven aka Acceptance. In this sense, I would say that as far as explanation of the symbols, both Tolle and Renard's explanations using symbols could be said to be incomplete, because you cannot have one without the other.

It was suggested that I saw the Now in ACIM. I wouldn't say that I saw the Now in reading ACIM, but I saw the Now as a key component of ACIM. ACIM is so multi dimentional, that the more I read it, the deeper its meaning. But the Now has no hierarchy over Forgiveness or the Holy Relationship, but simply a key condiment in making the perfect sandwich, LOL. They all rely on each other as long as we need the illusion to point to truth.

It's not that I'm talking about the Now to try and overemphasize it over everything else, but to possibly bring into awareness the emphasis it deserves. From what I have read in the year and half I have been on these boards, is that the Now aka the Holy Instant hasn't been talked about as much as the other things in ACIM. And this may not be accurate, but it is my perception of it.

The people that I have discussed this with that have defended what Gary said in his book. Say that what Gary is saying is that being in the Now, may get you here as this is the statement in his book, but it doesn't do anything and by trying to stay in the Now, we are then simply overlooking all of our hidden guilts that the Holy Spirit needs us to bring into the light and if we are hiding our hidden guilts, then we cannot forgive them, which is the central theme that runs through the course.

But being in the Now is not about ignoring our guilts. It is about being in the only real place in time that this world offers so that we can be released from guilt.

As the course says, “His (the Holy Spirit's) emphasis is therefore on the only aspect of time that can extend to the infinite, for now is the closest approximation of eternity that this world offers.”

And that “Now is the time of salvation, for now is the release from time”

ACIM is a course in miracles. But where could a miracle be in time? ACIM states , “For a miracle is now.” and that “The Holy Spirit would undo all of this now”

So for the Holy Spirit to undo all of this we should do what the course states and “Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time”

What does ACIM say about the Now and the ego? It states, “'Now' has no meaning to the ego”

ACIM also says that the body is the ego's home by its election and is identified with the body and it also states this, “At no single instant does the body exist at all. It is always remembered or anticipated, but never experienced just now”.

I agree with Gary that Forgiveness is essential to the course's message. But we have to be in the Now to forgive. The course's forgiveness is not about dwelling in the past trying to find guilt to forgive. Doing that is then trying to usurp the Holy Spirit's function and make it our own. We only need to have the willingness and the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

By practicing the world's form of forgiveness of looking to our past “guilts” as course states, “Only the past is held in memory as you make use of it, and so it is a way to hold the past against the now”

And what could this be, but what the course states, “This is a sacrifice of now, which could not be the cost the Holy Spirit asks for what He gave without a cost at all.”

We must realize the importance of the Now. To remember Truth and not illusions. For again as the course states, “You are so long accustomed to believe that memory holds only what is past, that it is hard for you to realise it is a skill that can remember now.” . And, “The change of purpose the Holy Spirit brought to your relationship has in it all effects that you will see. They can be looked at now

And when we do realize this then, the course states, “For you have cause for freedom now.” And “see, instead, the new effects of cause accepted now, with consequences here.”

True forgiveness can only be experienced in the Now. Not in time.

“Arten” tells Gary that being in the Now may get you here, but it won't get you home.

The question is, isn't here the best starting point in the journey without distance? Only by being HERE can we begin to practice the Holy Instant. Only by being HERE can we begin to realize our Truth. Only by being HERE can we give the willingness to the Holy Spirit. Only by being HERE can we release the past, thus releasing the future. Only by being HERE can we BE. And where is HERE, but Now? Not in the past and not in the future, but Now.

Remember what the course says about practicing the mechanics of the Holy Instant aka the Now.

“Start now to practise your little part in separating out the holy instant(the Now). You will receive very specific instructions as you go along. To learn to separate out this single second, and to experience it as timeless, is to begin to experience yourself as not separate.”

We must look to the means and not focus on the ends. To say the Now won't get you home is in my opinion looking to the ends while overlooking the means, which then puts us right back into time, because it implies accomplishment and to accomplish must be in the future.

Be in the Now and the means and the ends will become one in the same.

Remember, Now has no meaning to the ego. But sin does. Guilt does and this is what the course states about sin, “Belief in sin arouses fear, and like its cause, is looking forward, looking back, but overlooking what is here and now.

Take Care,


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Comment by Melody Vantucci on December 28, 2009 at 7:08pm
I'm sorry, Eric ;-( - I did not twist your mind intentionally.

You did a great job at answering my question, thank you....you twisted mine in you answer....actually ;-).

I guess this comes from my being a student of Ken Wapnick. He is always talking about the decision maker.

Thank you for your kindness in answering, Eric, I appreciate it very much.

You are correct, words are but symbols of symbols, and like the Course itself, we need them to get beyond them..... Twisting our mind in the process...? Well, I guess I'll have to give that to the Holy Spirit to use for His purpose vs the ego's purpose....that's always what it comes down to, right?

Who knows? Maybe we'll both be a little clearer from this ;-)

With Gratitude,
Comment by Eric G. on December 28, 2009 at 6:12pm
Well Melody. I tried to answer your question. You twisted my mind. I don't know if this will make sense or not LOL.


Hi Melody,

I don't know if I can really answer that question. But I will try anyway and it is only how I see it. I'm not trying to say that this is truth, just my perceived truth as of Now. I haven't really thought too much about it. A real mind bending paradox if you ask me. LOL

Who is the “I” reading the course? Is this Eric reading the course? Is this Eric deciding on how to choose? Who is the Mind, the decider that is outside space and time?

How do I really go about answering this and will this information help me or get me stuck in ideas and concepts about myself? That was a question that just popped into my head as I was typing.

Who is the ego? The one that believes in separation, specialness, beliefs, ideas, the physical? It must be “I”. Not ultimately “I”, but who else could it be? Who made it up, but myself? Who believes in it, but myself? Who gives it power, but myself? What else could it be but a thought made by myself?

Who is the Holy Spirit? Isn't that “I” also? Is the Holy Spirit someone else? Or is it simply my thought that holds and remembers God? My own right mindedness? My own universal inspiration? Who else could the Holy Spirit be, but me?

Who is the decision maker that is beyond time and space? Isn't that “I” also? Who else could decide? Who's decision could it be but mine? Is there anyone else that could decide?

Am I the ego? Who else is? Am I the Holy Spirit? Who else is? Am I the decider? Who else is?

Am I Eric? Ultimately no, that is just a name. Am I body? No, but I have one here. Am I my beliefs, my ideas? No, but I seem to have and identify with them from time to time.

What about life? Do I have a life? Am I living a life? Only in existence. The Truth is, I am Life itself. If I were to describe it.

Do I use my brain and intellect? Do I use concepts? Yes. Who else could it be that does? The ego? Who else could be the ego, but me? I made it up. It is my own thoughts. The Holy Spirit(my right mind) needs to use symbols and concepts so that I may go beyond them, because of my belief in them. In order to do so, I must first use the body's eyes. I must first use the body's brain. I must first use the symbols of the world to go beyond them.

Who is reading the course? I AM. Who is at Home in God? I AM. Who is the “I”? AM I the ego, the decider, the Holy Spirit?

If I'm not the ego, this means that there is someone else thought that made the ego. If I'm not the decider, then there is someone else deciding for me. If I'm not the Holy Spirit, then there is something else besides me that is beyond space and time that is choosing again. Who could it be? It is not God, because God does not decide. To decide implies choice, options, a difference. An outcome that varies. GOD IS.

Conflict arises from not knowing who or what I am. From duality. But I AM. Everything else is details. A fragmentation of perception. An illusion of reality, but mine just the same. If I say I am not the ego. Then is the ego from something or someone else outside me. Is this true? Who then is the ego if not me?

Does trying to get rid of the ego create peace or conflict? Can I get rid of the ego? Isn't the ego my thoughts? Can thoughts leave their source? If not, then what is my option? To say that the ego comes from something else? Isn't that also disassociation and projection?

What would happen if I accepted that the ego comes from myself? Isn't that a fact? And where is conflict in a fact? Conflict only comes from our interpretation and perception of a fact. Now owning this, there is no conflict. The fearful thoughts. The angry thoughts. The thoughts of separation and doubts. They're all mine. Now with this realization the choice becomes simple, because there is no head game. There is no conflict, because there is no doubt about who I AM. I see that I have been playing a children's game and given my thoughts to the toys and now it is time to set those toys aside. How simple a decision it is to make to set aside children's toys when it is realized that the thoughts the toys seemed to have came from “I”.

The ego says, “I am Eric, American, an ACIM student, liberal in politics, a critic of organized religion. Afraid, hopeful, certain and doubtful.” Am I really this or is this the ego? Yet who is the ego? Who else could have these thoughts, but me? A dream, yes as dream, but who's dream is it but mine? Like the body, the ego doesn't have autonomy. It's power comes from my thoughts. The “I” that decides to identify with the ego. Yet there is the “I” that sees as a whole. That is constant. That is eternal. That IS. That is “I” also.
The “I” that is home in God.

Am I the ego? Ultimately no, but it is my dream. Am I the decider? No, but I need to decide as long as I am in the dream. Am I the Holy Spirit? No, but I need the Holy Spirit to help me choose correctly in my dream.

If I were to answer your question in a sentence. I would say that I am all of these and I am none of these. I AM.

Take care,

Comment by Melody Vantucci on December 28, 2009 at 12:06pm
Hi Eric~

Thank you for your reference to the Q/A as well as copying it! It was very familiar once I started reading it, and remember reading it before. That's what I like about Ken. He always says to use whatever works......even "magic." Sometimes that's the kindest and gentlest thing to do. I'm not insinuating that "The Power of Now" is magic, I'm just saying how open Ken is.

I don't feel guilty about not believing Arten and Pursah...or Gary. I don't even feel guilty for thinking that Gary is out to make money in the name of forgiveness. Suddenly, (it is my understanding from reading on his "DU" site,) that there will be books coming out every couple of years or so. Hmmmmmmm, lots of money for Gary, but, hey---if it helps people understand the Course better - or whatever - who am I to judge? Quite frankly, it's neither here nor there with me. I have his first two books, and they have been helpful to me in the past, yet I have no intention of reading any more, but who knows? With the way I change my mind ;-) maybe I'll change it about reading more of his books. Doesn't seem like it, now, but I don't know what the future will bring. In the meantime, I am honest about what I "see" while remaining honest about what I "see" being my judgment. I'm not a guilty sinner, ;-) only someone identified with the body, again, at the same time learning that *I am so much more than that. So, as we keep saying in different ways, J/HS can use everything for Their purpose.

As far as saying "It's all an illusion....." - I don't think that is kind or honest at all. If we all really believed this were all an illusion, we wouldn't need the Course or Tolle or any teachers. I guess that's what I've been trying to convey with all of my replies. A large part of "me" is invested in this world and does believe it is real.....otherwise I wouldn't have any issues at all. BUT.....I am learning to ask "who's the me that thinks whatever....." I am learning, albeit slowly, that the "me" isn't the me that thinks it is melody, but the "me" is a decision maker who is constantly choosing between J/HS or the ego in my mind. Not in the brain or intellect, but in the mind, outside of time and space, aspect of spirit.

Somehow, that is empowering to me, as the power of choice in my mind is my own. No one can take that away from me, no one can decide for me (not even J/HS) only, the puppeteer aka decision maker outside of time and space. The more blocks to Love (that is not of this world) I am able to undo, the more *I (dm ing mind) will choose J/HS vs the ego, and the more peace I will feel. This is a process, tho, and one that appears to take a long time. *I believe in linear time, as *I believe in the ego, however each holy instant that *I experience and each miracle that *I experience guides me closer to Truth. *I is always and only decision maker in the mind, not "melody." I can be aware of how identified I am to "melody" while at the same time know that all the work begins with what seems to be "melody" but is way beyond "melody."

Who is the "you" that thinks it is reading the Course, Eric? Do you think it is "Eric" the brain, intellect, or do you think it is something beyond the body, brain and intellect? I'm just curious, and don't mean to be challenging, but somehow, for me, this decision maker is the "glue" that kind of helps everything else make sense to me.

The body, intellect, brain, certainly changes frequently, so, my question to myself for a long time, and now to you, if you feel like answering only ;-) is "Is it something beyond the body that is 'running the show' - or is it the body itself?"
Comment by Eric G. on December 28, 2009 at 10:09am
Hi again Melody,

As for your other comments. I wouldn't feel bad or guilty for not believing in Arten or Pursah. There seems to be a taboo in the course community that if you don't believe in something or disagree with someone else, that you're not practicing the course. Well even "Arten" tells Gary to speak up and say something if he feels that he needs to.

After all, as it is often said, it is all an illusion and so it doesn't matter. I can't help to think of this statement as a trump card cop out. It is all an illusion it doesn't matter end of discussion, checkmate.

Yes, metaphysically it is all an illusion. But it doesn't matter? Alcohol for example is an illusion, but to the alcoholic that feels hopeless because they are under the spell of this magic. Is this illusion helping them or hindering them? Maybe it will cause enough suffering that they will break out of the cycle and ego identification, but almost always, this is not the case, because alcohol depreciates the power of the mind. Alcohol keeps the person in a perpetuated state of fear and guilt, to which they must continue to look to the very illusion to temporarily escape the very thing that alcohol keeps causing.

So, is this illusion helping or hindering the person? Is it saving or delaying time?

Ultimately, it doesn't matter, but one must be careful to be in denial of denial. To walk around saying, “Lolly lolly, it is all an illusion” is not really healing. It is a denial of looking at the ego honestly in hopes of escaping it. Thinking that if I keep denying the separation while at the same time seeing its effects, that eventually I'll be healed and “go home”. This is like being in debt and ignoring it, hoping that it will go away. As long as we're ignoring it, it will not go away. It is only when we look directly at it and do something about it, will it finally go away.

Many say, well it is all an illusion, so it doesn't matter. But doesn't it? If we try to build our house on the Rock of Truth with the foundation of a lie, then what could come of it, but more lies? A lie will only do one thing. Create more lies and this created more fragmentation within the mind.

This is why one of the characteristics of a teacher of God is honesty. For as the course states, “ Nothing that is genuine is used to deceive. The Holy Spirit is incapable of deception, and He can use only genuine abilities. What is used for magic is useless to Him.” and “There are, of course, no “unnatural” powers, and it is obviously merely an appeal to magic to make up a power that does not exist”

You asked that with all these books, is the ego sneaking in? Well I would ask in course terms, what kind of book about the course would be the most popular and/or successful? I would say the ones that least likely threaten the ego. Obviously the course itself is very threatening to the ego. Renard's books, don't seem to be threatening at all to the ego. As a matter of fact, I would say that it inflated my ego in a way, because I could identify with some of what was said. It wasn't that his books told me anything new, it was more of the fact that as I read them, I could say, “Oh me too, me too!! Yes that happened to me too!!” I was new to the course and impressionable.

I think that most of us that read the course understand it on some level, we just don't want to accept it and so we read another book about the course with layman's terms, crude jokes and personal experiences and then believe that we understand the course better. When I think it is that we read a book that didn't threaten our ego the way the course does/did.

I've supposedly had this conversation with Gary Renard, though not reciprocal, because he never answered any questions I posed to him. Supposedly, he came to Robin's site, because he was unhappy with the criticism of Arten and Pursah and made a few general statements of being wrongly accused with absolutely no proof or evidence to back up the claims and that simply relied on rumors and here say and pasted an article that favored him.

I asked him about his criticism of Tolle. I asked the question on how an “ascended master” and entity that was supposedly all knowing and all seeing would bother to critique another person's teachings? How an entity that saw everything as a whole would answer a question in such a fragmented perception and instead of looking to what was the same in the teachings, thus strengthening what the course says about the universal curriculum, the entity would actually merely focus on the differences, thus strengthening the separation? This doesn't sound like an “ascended master”. It sounds like a human with all their flaws and narrow perceptions.

Not to mention that the answer given about being in the Now, was such a faulty answer in my opinion, that had absolutely no understanding about the importance of the Now.

Every great teacher of God has taught the Now. Jesus is the Bible, Lao Tzu, The Buddha, Krishnamurti, Tolle, Byron Katie, ACIM and the list can go on and on. Not once, have I ever heard anyone say that the Now was not important, but emphasized its importance.

And the only reason I can think as to why someone would try to make the Now not seem to be important is to make it seem wrong so that it makes the special teaching seem right. I see nothing but specialness in that answer.

And I have re-read some of both his books and the more I read his books again, the more I see statements in it that are merely human and not from “ascended masters”. The more I read the words of Krishnamurti or Singh, the more apparent this becomes.

Since re-reading some of Gary's books, I cannot help but to have this perception that forgiveness is an accomplishment. That it implies that after a certain magical number of times that I forgive, that I'll “get home.” What could this create but time? For to accomplish is a future goal, much like enlightenment. An achievement. Another notch in the ego's belt. A concept full of ideas and beliefs.

But forgiveness should not be like this. Of course in the beginning the course says that we must forgive specifically until we realize the Holy Spirit's universal application, but I think that Martin Luther King Jr. said it well when he said that “Forgiveness should not be just an occasional act, but a permanent attitude.”

That quote essentially says that we are in a permanent state of gratitude. That we are in a state of acceptance of What Is and not in resistance of “How we want it thus!”

In this, there is no accomplishment. There is no goal. There is nothing to achieve. There is only the acceptance of Truth, Now. There is no worry about when the universe will disappear or when we will get to go home. For we are home, dreaming of exile. Heaven is not a place or a condition. It is simply an awareness of Oneness with God. There is no accomplishment in that, only a realization. There is no distance in our journey. Just an awakening.

It is said that someone asked The Buddha if he was enlightened or if he was a god. He replied, “I am awake.”

Take care,

Comment by Eric G. on December 28, 2009 at 10:00am
Hey again Melody,

If you go to the questions page. At the top it says something about a course in miracles as the first section and the 2nd section says other thought systems. It is in this section under The Power of Now.

Here is the actual question and answer.

Q #48: I have been reading "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, and find it in line with A Course in Miracles. Have you at the Foundation come across this book? If so, would you comment on the ideas in the book, and how they do or do not coincide with the Course.

A: It has always been our Foundation’s policy not to discuss the work of other authors and teachers of A Course in Miracles, or any work relating to the Course. One of our reasons has been the concern that this could very easily lead to divisiveness, which would override any potential usefulness to such discussion.

What we can say, however, is that A Course in Miracles is unique among spiritualities or spiritual approaches, both contemporary and ancient ones. This certainly does not mean that it is necessarily the best, but only that what it teaches, and the way in which it teaches it, is different from other paths. One can state this uniqueness in general terms as being the integration of a non- dualistic metaphysics, which states that only the non-material God is real, with a sophisticated psychological approach, heavily based on Freud’s insights into the human psyche. This integration helps us live within the illusory world under the principle of forgiveness, taught to us by the Holy Spirit .

In general, we can also say that if a student of A Course in Miracles benefits from another spiritual path, and such integration helps the student become kinder and more forgiving, then that needs no justification or comment. It is always helpful to return to the basic Course teaching of content rather than form, and to recall the statement at the end of the manual for teachers: "The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit's particular care and guidance" (M.29.2:6). Therefore, read and study whatever is helpful. What is most important is the degree to which you are able to practice forgiveness, rather than seeking to understand it.
Comment by Melody Vantucci on December 28, 2009 at 9:20am
What you say makes complete sense Eric. It is interesting to me, also that Tolle is considered an ACIM teacher. If you get a chance, where in the FACIM Q/A site is that stated? It's not that I doubt what you are saying, I just think it would be interesting to read it. I have some "empty spaces" today and tomorrow, and plan to listen to Tolle from what Ruby has kindly downloaded.

Also, I'd like to comment about the ego and addiction. Yes, in a way, we are addicted to the ego. Why wouldn't we be when most of our lives we have been programmed to think in the worlds terms.....ego terms. What is important for me, after several years of practicing ACIM is that I'm not taking my choice for the ego quite as seriously as I used to. As in "Rules for Decision"....it isn't "melody" that chooses or decides...but the decision maker, in the mind. I have learned to take responsibility for my choices, done at the level of mind. The ego always speaks first and is wrong. The Holy Spirit is the Answer. Also, I have learned from Ken, that what we think we "hate" we secretly "love" as this keeps our specialness....individuality going. There is a part of me that is very much aware of this.

Yet, the world is "too much with me still." I don't take it quite as seriously, I'm learning that nothing here will make me or anyone happy eternally...but it still is very much with me.

Jesus is a symbol for Love not of this world that *I (decision maker) can join with at the level of mind. That Love will always be there, and is patient, kind and gentle. The more I am able to observe without judgment or condemnation the insanity of this world, and what people, including myself think works, the more *I (dm in the mind) am undoing my belief in the ego. These are the baby steps that is putting the practice of ACIM to work in our lives.

Being in the now....practicing this Course...and seeing where it will lead me can be fun at times, unless my "security" - (admittedly what I have been programmed to think of as security of the world) is threatened. I have faith in this Course and I trust that I will experience a reflection *here of a decision in my mind for the Holy Spirit.

Yet, I will admit that I go back and forth in my decision making mind between J/HS and the ego so quickly that I feel like a ping pong ball. "I am never upset for the reason I think." "I can see peace instead of this." But.....do *I really want to? Sometimes yes....sometimes no....and, as Ken would say, that is very useful information to have. ;-)
Comment by Eric G. on December 28, 2009 at 8:30am
Good morning Ruby and Melody,

A belated Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year. You know this morning, I was looking at the FACIM outreach Q&A site and I noticed that Tolle is a considered an ACIM teacher. I'm a little surprised and didn't realize this. I do know that a lot of his teachings fall in line with ACIM and that he has read ACIM as he quotes it and other stories surrounding it, though he quotes the Bible,the Buddha, Lao Tzu, among others too.

I also read a post from Sheryl on Robin's site called “The Unobserved Mind”. I couldn't help to think of Tolle when I read this, because Tolle, though repeatedly talks about being in the Now, also repeatedly talks about observing the mind, our thoughts.

Or as the course states, “The correction of fear is your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about. These conditions always entail a willingness to be separate. At that level you can help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind's miscreations. The particular result does not matter, but the fundamental error does. The correction is always the same. Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.”

Melody, you mentioned that you keep resorting to the ego. That you keep identifying with it, though you practice what Ken teaches and look on your thoughts without judgment with the Holy Spirit.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but for myself this also happens quite a bit. It can almost be related to any other kind of addiction that people suffer from.
I think of the ego as an addiction and as much as it causes suffering and pain, there is a certain certainty within the ego. We have identified with it for so long and now we are told through reading ACIM that this is insanity. We are showed through applying ACIM that it is insanity. That we are insane to try and make ourselves safe through the ego. To make ourselves happy through the ego, to make ourselves special through the ego and that in reality what we believe that the ego gives us, is the exact opposite.

Like addictions, instead of protecting us from fear, it is creating our fear
and then convincing us that it is protecting us from the very fear that it has created.

We know deep down that this is not true, but day to day, the ego seems to give us the “defenses” that we need against such a “cruel world”. We're asked to give up these defenses and then we will be invulnerable? The ego says that this is insanity!! And we're listening and thinking, “Hey buddy, as much as you cause me grief, I think that you might just be right on this one.”

We're told to let go of our anger, our hates, our fears, our defenses, our specialness, etc. and then will freedom be realized. Yet we don't think of it as letting go, but that we are actually giving up our anger, our hates, our fears, our defenses, our specialness and by doing so, will this world then swallow us up into nothingness.

The deal with any addiction is that though the addiction is causing the person pain, suffering, misery as a whole. The person keeps pushing this out of their awareness and only focuses on the moments when they use their “drug” of choice to create the illusion that they have escaped all of this, by altering their perception by depreciating the power of the mind through chemical abuse, making the mind temporarily impotent to temporarily stop the mind's miscreations.

As the course again states, “Everyone experiences fear. Yet it would take very little right thinking to realise why fear occurs. Few appreciate the real power of the mind, and no one remains fully aware of it all the time. However, if you hope to spare yourself from fear there are some things you must realise, and realise fully. The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. It is hard to recognise that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains. It appears at first glance that to believe such power about yourself is arrogant, but that is not the real reason you do not believe it. You prefer to believe that your thoughts cannot exert real influence because you are actually afraid of them. This may allay awareness of the guilt, but at the cost of perceiving the mind as impotent. If you believe that what you think is ineffectual you may cease to be afraid of it, but you are hardly likely to respect it There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level.

And eventually the “drug” wears off and fear comes back full force in all its glory and now must the person look to the very thing once again in hopes of at least temporarily alleviating the fear and the vicious cycles goes round and round.

But to do what the course teaches takes faith. See we already have proof from our experience through the ego all of the years that we have been alive, but there is none in what ACIM is asking us to do. All we have is our faith. Faith like a newborn child, wavering in its strength, unsure if what is being said is true or not and unsure if we will be helped by it even if it is true.

Just like any other addiction. We believe that even though the ego has caused us years of pain and of suffering, that the unknown is even more terrifying! And often times we look to the certainty of what is familiar than the uncertainty of possibilities.

Or as the course says and I'm paraphrasing, “You believe that without the ego all would be chaos, yet I assure you that without the ego all would be Love.”

Here is something that I have realized has happened to me sometimes as I attempt to look on my thoughts with the Holy Spirit without judgment.

I have found that when I am in a situation that has made me angry or scared etc. That I will try and step back and look on this with the H.S., but what sometimes happens is that I am not really doing this. I seem to be going through the mechanics of this, but what I sometimes find myself doing is actually as I look upon the situation and my thoughts with the apparent help of the H.S. I am at the same time looking on my thoughts with envy, secretly wishing and wanting those thoughts still. It is almost as if I were holding the H.S. At arms length and at the same time getting angry because I am not being helped. I am essentially setting the answer and then asking the question.

As I catch myself doing this, I try to remind myself that I want peace, not this little scrap of satisfaction. Something that I have been reading also lately that helps me with this is Chapter 30's The Rules For Decision. I think that I am going to post that chapter.

There is a short little sentence in the course that I think is one of the most understated statements ever made. It is, “A tranquil mind is no small gift.”

How true, how true.

Take care,

Comment by Ruby on December 25, 2009 at 2:16am
Eric, I love the quotes you posted in your last response as well as your thoughts on them.. They are among some of my favorites:

"The Now takes us out of our minds and brings us into The Mind of God." This is an important point. Time has become overwhelming for me in the way it feels. As I've been practicing letting go, I now see the contrast of when I am lost in a stream of thought which is, as Eckhart Tolle and also Ken Wapnick, refer to as "my story" (concept of myself/ ego). It is relief when I can just be still and experience directly the appreciation of the moment (Presence); and as my willing heart joins with the Holy Spirit, I am able to experience the "Holy Instant" in the Now.

Your words: "Tolle says that we must practice being in the Now, until the Now becomes natural and in this state, we see the Oneness of everything." I love this. Eckhart also says when we experience our oneness we experience Love. This is very much ACIM. And as the Clarification of terms points out, a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary...what else could this experience be but Love where we reach across the barriers to our oneness.

. "We only need to provide the willingness and not try and hide anything. To do more is to usurp the Holy Spirits function.." This is so key and contains the prerequisites of the miracle:. willngness, hide nothing, to do more is to usurp the Holy Spirit's function. It is in the stillness, making room for truth... all we bring is humility and willingness.

Melody, I can relate to what you are going through. It is set up for the miracle. Rest in God. You are not alone...it but feels distressful. Appearances are deceiving. There is light behind the veil. Holding you in Love and I know you will come to a new experience of this and look back from a place of light.
Much Love, Ruby
Comment by Melody Vantucci on December 25, 2009 at 12:02am
Hi Eric~

I have been gone for about 12 hours fa la la ing with family and for various reasons it has not been an easy day.....

I will read your post, Eric again, several times, I'm sure, as there is much in it to absorb. I just will say, after this long day, and reading this post once, that ....I must confess.....although I read "DU" a few times, and it was helpful....I think Gary Renard has an ego that is more obvious to me than anything else. Of course, that is a mirror for my own, ego...but...be that as it may, I really don't believe the whole Arten and Pursah deal...I really don't....and all of these books...well.......can that be the ego sneaking in? To me, yes, but what do I really know? Only my judgments. We all as I say over and over obviously, to teach myself what I most need to learn, we all are the same at the mind-spirit level. Same right mind, same ego, same decision maker that chooses.

For me, the practice of forgiveness ACIM style, is a real process with baby steps. Much going back and forth--between my decision (as decision maker in mind) between J/HS and the ego. For instance, before I started my day, I, really had a change of perception/interpretation, but wow, that perception changed radically, and I really joined with the ego again, toward the end of the day and, I would say I'm joined with the ego at this moment, as I'm sure not peaceful.....BUT.....I'm watching myself not be peaceful without condemnation or judgment. I think it's really stupid, and pretty sad....which I suppose is a judgment in itself, but I'm looking at that judgment without judgment. Watching myself watching myself watching myself watch myself. For me, most often, that's about as good as it gets. I ask for a better way, know this can come only through the Holy Spirit, and my choice for Love in my right mind...but, I really am terrified, I guess...because except for holy instants at a time....maybe hours.....I go right back to my ego friend...which, is a choice I make, in my mind, that I'm not even aware of making. I am using the outer forms to get back to my decision making mind....but......the resistance is high, dedication weak....and so I stay with it. I know better than to fight and resist the resistance...so I stay with the resistance...part of the waiting....and judging not.... I trust, that the Guide that has gotten me this far, will not leave me stuck in this wall of resistance....but....it's not easy.

I really am going to listen to Ruby's downloads, which she so generously has shared about Tolle and the now....what I hear you say makes sense, Eric. Frankly, I'm having a really difficult time, and need to stick with what I trust as well as the "mighty companions" from my experiences...oops I want to say in the past. This whole thing is a hologram....everything is happening at once...but.....when I'm in a state of resistance, I don't even "get" what I usually "get"...much less the hologram deal, which I never completely "got" to begin with.....

With Gratitude,
Comment by Eric G. on December 24, 2009 at 5:58pm
I'm about to run out the door for an X-mas dinner, but I was doing my lesson for the day and afterwards I randomly opened my book and it was on The Lessons of the Holy Spirit.

There is a passage in there that reminded me of what I was trying to explain about being here and taking the first step and how the now is having a foundation on the rock of truth. A foundation set on truth so that true forgiveness can be applied. It also coincedentally talked about now and the word now was in italics in the book. Giving it emphasis.

Here is the passage.

How can you wake children in a more kindly way than by a gentle Voice that will not frighten them, but will merely remind them that the night is over and the light has come? You do not inform them that the nightmares that frightened them so badly are not real, because children believe in magic. You merely reassure them that they are safe now. Then you train them to recognise the difference between sleeping and waking, so they will understand they need not be afraid of dreams. And so when bad dreams come, they will themselves call on the light to dispel them.

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