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Wednesday, July 1, 2015
July is a month of celebration for us. The Course was born in July. If you go all the way back to the beginning of the blog, you will see that it’s all there; you will see that the very first blog entry was July of 2008. We celebrate Kay’s birthday on the 20th, and my own birthday on the 4th. (I came in with a bang.) The 20th is also our wedding anniversary, as we were married on Kay’s birthday (by her daughter Tiffany.)
So we invite you to approach the month of July as a time of celebration and appreciation for what we have received from the blog, and for those who participate in our Course via email, it is an auspicious time to feel our appreciation for it. My own appreciation of the lessons of the Course has expanded a great deal since we first started back in 2008.
I have a clearer understanding of where the lessons ‘come from.’ This was always a great mystery for me. It was obvious that such teachings could not have come from the person that I believed myself to be. My first Teacher transmitted the principles of Truth very clearly for me, and the Guru bestowed the Shakti to enliven the lessons, so that the Spiritual Energy of the lineage comes through the lessons to all those who are open and ready. Even I could not doubt their authority
If you read every entry to the blog as it comes out, and especially are engaged in the comments following the blog entries, then you get a lot out of it that is helpful and beneficial for you. It happens through grace. To me, it is the grace of the Guru—which is scripturally described as the ‘grace bestowing power of God.’ It is enough to simply understand that spiritual growth happens through grace. That is, simply because you are earnestly open to experiencing something entirely new, something happens inside you that is clearly something that you could not have done or understood or seen on your own.
I share this primarily because the transmission of the Principles of Truth, along with the Energy (Shakti) and will to actually apply them in our own life, happens to a much greater degree if we actually recognize and appreciate what exactly is happening. Can it be experienced as a transmission of higher (more expanded and refined) energies? The lessons as well as the blog are not, and never have been, mere words, you know. It takes a great deal of openness and trust to truly acknowledge and appreciate the transformative process that is actually happening through this totally unexpected form. Our karma has brought us together (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.)
In the final comments of the previous entry I promised I would answer the remaining questions in this month’s entry. Of course, it isn’t really a ‘blog,’ is it? It’s simply the most convenient form of mass communication available today. In the blog you are actually getting ‘mini-lessons’ that give you a realistic glimpse of what the lessons of the Course are like, except that the lessons are designed to go from one to the next, so that the unfolding or growth happens naturally and spontaneously simply by focusing on your current lesson.
The first unanswered question is this:
“My question relates to working in a corporate / professional environment. I struggle at times to truly practice the lessons in the workplace. Seeing perfection in things goes against the grain of the very nature of my work. I am in a senior position where my role, essentially is to find flaws in the performance of people and negate them for the betterment of the business results. For me to let go & see perfection, I fear I would be out of work.”
There is a specific dharma (righteous action for the benefit of everyone involved) that entreats us to give our very best to our job. In your case, in the realm of your job, perfection might require you to find the significant flaws in someone’s performance. Someone’s got to do it. So the job dharma trumps the idea of seeing things perfectly, (which in this case is actually ideally—otherwise, we would already see the perfection of whatever is without any effort or conscious engagement).
Seeing things perfectly includes seeing you performing your job as perfectly as everything else.
The perfection already exists, whether we see it or not. Learning how to see and experience the already existing perfection is one aspect of our Course via email. Lots of teachers can tell you what to do, but very few actually transmit how to do it in your own life. Lots of people have presented the idea that the present moment is the only reality, but do they actually live focused in the present moment? No, chances are they are entangled in the mind and ego from time to time.
Lots of teachers present the principle I call simply ‘what you think is what you get.’ But can they consistently focus on pleasant, uplifting, and cheerful thoughts? Chances are some egotistical melodrama has their attention. So even more than learning what to do, we need to learn how to do it. This is the foundation that brings about an actual transformation. The potential for transformation is one reason that we take birth in a physical body. Occupying this temporary form, experiencing the karma that comes with the body, presents a great opportunity for transformation, which is what the individual human life is all about.
Another question in last month’s comments was, “My only question at this time is how to occupy the mind when I am in the present moment. Love and contentment stays for a while and then follow the thoughts.”
I love this question. It is a living contradiction, and a great irony. In the present moment there is no mind. There is pure Awareness. This is the Truth of the Present Moment. When we start to occupy the mind, we lose present-moment-awareness. The mind brings us back into time and space, back to the outer world, to the world of objective humanity. The space between thoughts is universal, infinite, and pure Consciousness. Then the next thought brings us back into this karmic reality.
The present moment is the space between thoughts. It is always, eternally, the same space of pure Awareness. It is changeless.
Someone wrote this: "I have a query about what is madness? This has been an ongoing quest since childhood. My mother suffered greatly with paranoid schizophrenia. And just recently a colleague's nineteen old year son took his own life. He had a history of mental illness. In a spiritual sense, I would really like to hear some words from you on the subject."
I am not quite sure what to say about madness. Often I feel like a madman. The famous artist, Salvador Dali, once said, 'The only difference between me and a madman, is that I'm not mad.' I'm not so positive regarding myself. I could easily be a madman and not even notice. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
Some people have an imbalance of chemistry in the brain, causing unnecessary depression and anxiety, and present-day antidepressants are able to restore the chemical balance. This is okay. An Indian woman doctor swami told me many years ago in India, “Medicine is Shakti too.”
You say you want to hear some words in a spiritual sense. Well, paranoid schizophrenia is largely because of a lack of alignment between manas (conscious mind) and ahamkara (ego). If these two are not properly connected and balanced, then some form of mental illness is the physical manifestation.
The most important thing to understand is that each incarnation is only one of many that take place one after another, with perhaps some rest between, whereas a very worldly person, attached and addicted to the things of this world, will reincarnate rather quickly due to his or her desire to return to this world.
An incarnation dealing with any kind of mental illness is only working out a certain karma a person needs to finish. There will be many more incarnations for this soul that will be completely free of any sign of mental illness. It is only a certain kind of karma, which will expel itself very soon, allowing the incarnated being to experience a much greater incarnation next time around.
The next two questions in the comments were very poignant. One was from a woman I’ve known for a long time; I’ve known her daughter since she was 16, and now her daughter’s son has become violent. Excerpts from her comment:
“How can you tell if/when you are really in harmony with a situation and are observing from the heart, or if you need to develop greater compassion in order to get to that point? Now here's a little background for the question. I'm definitely looking at the backside of life as I'll be 80 next year. Gratefully I have taken the lessons for nearly 38 of those years. My daughter's 21 year old son was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic four years ago with addiction a complicating factor. My grandson is a danger to everyone, and especially to my daughter as he continually threatens to take her life. This generates some really strong feelings in me. Yet often these same feelings seem to be in neutral.....even absent. Then I begin to ask, Where is my compassion? Do I have any or have I been kidding myself? And this brings me back to the above question. Always with love, Ann”
Dear Ann, I wish I could just reach out and give you a comforting hug. We had one of our early workshops in the 70’s in Ann’s home in Rome, New York. After moving to Hilton Head, her cheerful, smiling, radiant face started showing up every year for our workshops in Atlanta, and it always felt so good to see her glowing eyes again. So I hate that she is going through these things (I did not include details of her husband’s declining health). She has a lot on her karmic plate.
And the comment following that was from a man who had to call the police on his own son, since he was becoming violent and dangerous. Such things are tough karma. When our children or grandchildren start becoming violent and/or irrational, or out of control in any way, it calls for tough love. We have to be compassionate, we have to be unconditionally loving, and yet we must be strong enough to deal with the situation and the person effectively, and from a position of strength. It is our dharma to do what we can to prevent loved ones from acting recklessly, in ways that could alter his or others’ lives.
Ann, it feels to me as though you have plenty of rational compassion. It also sounds as though you are also being detached from it all, which is a really great sign. You are approaching 80 years of age, each of them well done as far as I can tell. You’ve lived a great life and done the best you could for everyone involved. It should be obvious that not much is expected or required of you at this point. You have done your work, and you have always been true to your dharma. I’ve known you for a long time, and I have nothing but love and respect for you. Please give Holly my love and assure her of my subtle support.
Be there for her if you can be helpful, but don’t impose it on her (which I am sure you would never do.). Be supportive and encouraging. But don’t take on any personal responsibility for how any of this works out, because it’s all going to be the same to you no matter what happens. It is hard to be detached from our children’s karma, as it unfolds all on its own, having nothing to do with us. And karma can be very fleeting. Everything will work out as it always has, and you and she will always be cared for by the elder brothers who live among us in subtle form.
Margaret Peloquin, who does wondrous healing work up in the Gloucestor, MA, area wrote: “I am noticing that I'm reading the Lessons more frequently now that I have copies scattered throughout the house! I always thought it would be wasteful to print extra copies but I'm experiencing the convenience as well as the value of repetition so much more these days. (It's like I've been wasting the Shakti in the Lessons by not making several copies.). I know it's all been perfect as it is now. Great revelations though.
“As I continue reading about the radiant Light I realized that my Polarity training taught me that concept and I've been doing it for myself as well as for others during healing treatments. It's such a powerful tool for optimal health.
“I've incorporated it into my yoga classes as well either during the opening or closing meditations, drawing this Light in through the chakras and out into the energy fields. Very cool. I know I get blasted by the Energy. I hope others feel its power.....but then, I am working on not being affected by what others think!”
I mention these people’s names because they included their name in their questions among the comments of the previous blog entry, and since I didn’t answer it for them then, I am responding to it here and now. Probably it is still here and now regardless of when you read this.
Margaret is an excellent example of how one aspect of our Course is to prepare teachers to be better teachers, and through the process of participating in the lessons they experience a refinement and upliftment of their understanding and experience, as well as a greater capacity to transmit it to others. Many participants of the Course are teachers, leaders, and guides for others; a clear understanding of all the principles of Truth presented in the Course is essential to being the best possible teacher or guide for others. Without this understanding, it is the blind leading the blind.
Margaret, I know you have been a great help in the lives of many others. I am happy to hear you are learning the value, after all this time, of rereading the lessons, as there is great power in repetition. Many people never have that realization, and it takes the average Course participant about two years to finally discover, realize, or experience the power of repetition. I am also happy to hear you are focusing on the Light. I am certain that your focus on the inner Light will be transmitted to your own students and clients, and that is a truly great service in this world.
Someone wrote in a question that I often hear in various versions from different people.
"D.R. can you explain why someone who is aware of your course, even aware of what it might offer, doesn't jump at the chance to participate? It can't be the cost since it's cheaper than the cost of a couple pizzas a month. I can't imagine someone is so busy that they can't find 10 or 15 minutes a day to read it. This is one of life's great mysteries for me, knowing what the course has to offer."
My response to this is, I don't know. I know that many more people would enjoy and benefit from participating in the Course, just as many before them have already experienced, but I imagine for the large part they don't have the karma to ever hear about the Course, or for it to ‘register’ should they hear about it. When someone is ready for the Course, usually he or she magically learns about it through some unlikely source, gives it a trial, and then inexplicably remains a participant for life.
There are people participating in the Course who have received the lessons for 40 years now. They are great people, with an unsurpassed foundation of understanding, and the majority of them have helped many other people as well. They are people I deeply respect.
Back to your question, I would love for more people to learn of the Course. It wouldn’t be a big deal for me personally, but I have the knowledge, from many years of feedback, that most people who give the Course a trial end up benefitting greatly from it, and even transforming their lives. It has the power to change people's lives in ways that would have previously been undreamed of. I know that anyone who participates in the Course is taken care of for the rest of his or her life.
Ultimately, though, regarding why someone wouldn't start the Course, even knowing about it, is a great mystery to me. Some just aren't ready. If one isn’t ready he can’t possibly appreciate the value and power of the principles of Truth. Also, many doubt that the highest Truth can be communicated and transmitted in this particular form.
Written lessons via email can seem at first as a rather dubious source for the Truth. All kinds of stuff is available now, and some can offer visuals that require even less effort to understand. There are many good teachers with something to offer. Yet, especially for teachers who didn’t have a Guru to carve them into true teachers, it is good to have contact with a teacher’s teacher, to make sure everything is crystal clear.
As I’ve mentioned before somewhere, I will be 70 this month. I first came across yoga, meditation, and Creative Thinking, or the Power of the Mind, when I was 15 in 1960. I’ve seen a lot regarding the ‘spiritual scene’ over all these years, all the teachers who have come and gone, always having helped someone and perhaps many.
Anyway, I’m now too old to feel that I am deluded, or that I am being egotistical or arrogant to share the Principles of Truth as I have come to know them over all these years. I’ve learned to trust whatever I put out there, and to know that it is elevating to read, as this is my experience while writing it, or, later, while reading it. I’ve learned what’s essential to know, and I’ve learned what is completely irrelevant. In the Course I share the essential, while leaving out the irrelevant.
I have a firm conviction that these writings allude to pure Truth, considering all the limitations that are inherent in words alone. I cannot describe or define the Truth, but I can allude to it in ways that enable you to see and/or experience it. This is just something I’ve observed over the years, along with the feedback received from Course participants, sharing their own transformations.
I hope you have enjoyed the ‘blog’ entry for this month. My intent has been to share something of value, or perhaps something simply humorous, something that might even spark the beginning of true transformation, or a real-time psychic booster shot for the already transformed. Thank you for reading this month’s offering, and for being open-minded and open-hearted enough to take it in. Thanks to those of you who participate in the Course for your loyalty to the Training. Thank you for making it all possible with your contributions. Thank you for being here and for being you. In this whole cosmos, you are one of a kind.
If you wish to actually experience the Couse of Training, you will be immediately sent information about the Course, and a complimentary Lesson 1, simply by writing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The lessons are also available in Spanish and French.