Copyright Tam Black 2018
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Go deep within your inner stillness, and feel Divine Mind’s presence within. Hold out your empty hands, symbolic of leaving preconceptions behind, symbolic of seeking True answers, and ask, “What is the essence of healing?” Let these words resonate within you, as though in a vast cavern. The word essence reverberates with these thoughts, “For what do you care most deeply?” “What is your own essence?”; “What is your Truth?”; “Where is your deepest hurt, your pain, your sorrow, that all may be healed?”
Here’s what I see today:
The essence of Life is movement and change.
Sickness comes either when we try to “pluck” a thing out of its constant motion, and freeze it to make it permanent or when we attach ourselves to the things we perceive and experience.
First, the body is the “thing” we most often “freeze”. Sickness in the body arises because we have frozen thoughts or feelings that try to convince us that if we hold on to them, the body will be reliable for us as a permanent thing.
Healing the body comes in three parts. 1) Recognizing and releasing those thoughts and emotions that we have frozen in order to maintain the reliability of the body 2) Allowing Life Itself to flow in and through the body–keeping the flow of Life energy at all times (being attuned with the constancy of change, Truly “going with the flow”) 3) Being both a participant in and an observer to the flow of Life.
Second, my essence, at its core participates in the movement and change, but from a point of stillness. Movement happens around my essence, but it does not affect that core.
You’ve heard the phrase, “we are spiritual beings having a human experience”. Just so. Our Spirit–our essence–is unchangeable, unmovable.
When we attach to Our Spirit-Self and observe from Its place of Its Truth (unchangeable, unmovable), the perception of movement ceases, and is replaced with the experience of being Spirit.
From this, healing can be approached in these two ways: 1) Learn to observe from that point of our Spirit-Self, where we are the observer to the movement, being truly our Spirit, but having a human experience or 2) we can experience the flow, the movement, the change, but not be attached to it. As anything arises–thoughts, emotions, interactions, just let them go and move on.
I give today to Light. I feel the Light within pour forth; I feel my radiance, my glow. I see—with my inner eye—this light envelop and infuse all I encounter, all my words, and all my actions. I watch as others resonate with me, their light growing brighter in the sanctity of my own. To all beings and all situations today, I offer only light, and learn, as I do, the Wholeness of my Self.
One follow-up comment from yesterday: Yesterday, I mentioned feeling angry and embarrassed at being wrong about a practice I have been doing for a very long time. There is a flip side to those feelings: I also feel more free and very grateful. I acknowledge that doing the practice in the way that I was doing it (the “wrong” way), I learned, I grew; it lead me; it got me to a new place; ultimately, it accomplished what practices accomplish–moving me through ego-burdens and showing me a new level, or state, of Freedom. But then I outgrew the “wrong” way, and I’ve have now been given the next level, the next step.
In A Course in Miracles, there is a reassurance that not only does the Holy Spirit unify all, but It also utilizes everything for Its Highest Purpose, when those things are given to It. Even in doing the practices “wrong”, my intention has always been: purification, nearness to God, for the benefit of All, with everything offered to God. I feel like I’ve received a tangible demonstration for “how this works”. And for that I am truly grateful.
I want to be a vehicle through which the Divine enters the world to love and serve All Life. But, there is a bit of a paradox here that I have been mentally working through (on and off) for a while, and today’s Guiding Thought has brought it up.
Here it is, as best I can explain it: “I” cannot do anything for the Divine to enter the world or, as the Guiding Thought indicates, to give Light. If “I” do something, then whatever I give is not of Light, or of the Divine. “I” must put myself aside, so that IT (the Divine, or Love, or Light) is doing what It does naturally, without me, yet through me.
There are two examples that I turn to when mulling this over. The first is something my Reiki master says: Reiki is always available. You do not “push” the energy, you do not “give” the energy. You make the energy available, simply by being. It’s the other person’s body/energy that recognizes the energy is available, and then pulls it through you”.
The second is the fifth Principle of Miracles: Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.
In both of these examples “I” am not in control; “I” am not doing anything. If “I” do something the energy is impure, or misguided.
But I have prepared. I have attuned my energy and my chakras to receive and transmit Reiki; and I have purified, and continue to do so, to allow the Holy Spirit to direct miracles through me (the seventh Principle of Miracles: “Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first”).
Even though I understand these things intellectually, through these two examples, I find that in a more general sense–like the Guiding Thought– “I” continue to want to do something…which would only inhibit what I really want to accomplish, because if “I” do something, we’re back to impure or misguided.
It does not help that with Reiki, with Miracles, and with being a vehicle for the Divine to enter the world it often happens that you don’t get to see (or perceive) the results. Speaking for myself, this leads me to wonder, “Is anything happening?” “Did ‘I’ do anything?” “Was anything accomplished?” “Why do I spend so much time purifying/praying/making myself ‘ready’?”
I never actually “see—with my inner eye—this light envelop and infuse all I encounter”; I never “watch as others resonate with me, their light growing brighter in the sanctity of my own.” To me, these are visualizations that promote the feeling of what happens, but they are not literal (have you had a different experience?).
This is why it’s easy (I think) for people to not be diligent, to not be faithful, to think that this energy-stuff is all hooey. I get it, really I do.
What I can do–and what is important to me today about the Guiding Thought–is that I can give today to Light–all my thoughts, words, feelings, and actions can be dedicated and devoted to Light.
As for me, I choose to believe it. I choose to believe that when I invoke light, light shows up. When It shows up, it’s available for Everyone, should their bodies and energy choose to pull it in, should their Higher Selves choose to utilize it (and why wouldn’t they!?), should the Holy Spirit choose to direct it on behalf of the Divine.
I have to admit, I believe also that I have come a long way in learning about Love, learning about Wholeness, learning about my Self, because I practice this. Maybe this is merely a self-fulfilling prophecy, maybe nothing is “happening”. But I would rather spend my time and energy promoting Love, Peace, Wholeness, Healing than anything else. That’s good enough for me.
I am the Light of Love. Light saturates my mind and body, surrounding every thought, and radiating out to All. Everything radiates Light in return. Everywhere is Light. I rest in Peace, Being Light.
Have you ever thought, “What if everything I think is true is false?” or “What if everything I believe is wrong?”?
I ask myself such questions sometimes to keep me on my toes.
For everything I believe, or for everything I think is true, there is someone who believes the opposite, or thinks that I’m wrong. But it’s also more than that.
There are people who have been in long term relationships, even marriages, who wake up one day to find that everything they had been believing in, and building their lives on, was not what they had thought. The other person did not feel the same way–and suddenly the relationship was over. I know people who have gone through this.
I wonder–in my current relationship–what would I do, if this was all false? What if I were to become one of those people who wakes up one day to find my life turned upside down?
So, you see…this is a fairly practical reason to keep myself on my toes and ask “what if things aren’t what I think they are”.
This is not an exercise to promote fear or suspicion–I hope it does not come across that way. It is, rather, an exercise in expanding how I live, think, and make choices.
People do not always share the same opinions, the same perspective, the same understanding–even when it seems like they do. People are people, living the best way they can. Not everyone is honest with other people. Not everyone is honest with themselves. Sometimes people are simply uninformed. Sometimes they are taught something that is not correct. Sometimes they stand adamantly by something they have learned, without even thinking they could be wrong.
That is why, sometimes, I play this game, wondering “what if I’m wrong?” I give myself that space, that option. I play it out in my head…what would I do if I am wrong?
There are two ways then, to approach this: 1) Would I regret my actions from the past, if I found out everything I thought was wrong? 2) Would I change my future if I learned something I believed was wrong?
As for #1: If I woke up tomorrow and found out that my relationship was not what I thought it was, would I regret anything? Would I think I had wasted my time? Would I feel resentful? No. I would not change anything. Of course, life would change because I would no longer make the same choices, but I would not regret anything about the past.
As for #2: I just learned that some things (spiritual practices) that I have been doing have been “incorrect”. I am in no way a traditionalist, and I have learned my practices mostly through reading and practicing. But in these, I either had not read enough to find more-correct information, or I missed it if I did read it. What I thought was correct- isn’t. I feel a bit embarrassed and angry with myself…but how was I to know? I was ignorant, uninformed; I was doing the best I could with who I am and what I have. Now I feel like I must change my behavior; I must forego habits that I have developed for years and do something new and different. Will I see a difference? Do these spiritual practices make that much of a difference? (FYI: I generally believe that what is in my heart is what translates to the Divine, and my heart has been in the right place. I also believe the Divine is very forgiving!)
What is “right”? How do we learn? What do we do when we are wrong? Can we change? Can we grow? Can we do something different?
Change is the only constant. Being “right” or “wrong” is part of that territory.
I may be wrong, but…
There are things that I believe in so strongly that they are the cornerstones to my personal philosophy, and they help to assuage me, when I find I am wrong, and I need to evolve my thoughts, actions, or beliefs.
Living with pure intentions establishes all actions in the right (higher) direction.
Love does not mislead. Anything done with Love is worthwhile. Doing things with Love is a way to live with no regrets.
The heart is the best guide. People can only make decisions for what is true and right for them at any given moment. This is the best we can do.
Learning matters. When I am willing to learn–even if it means acknowledging that I’ve learned something “wrong” in the past–I can learn and grow into better and better versions of myself.
Love is Wholeness. The essence of Love is Peace. The essence of Wholeness is Unity. My essence is Love, therefore, my essence is Peace; my essence is Unity. Since my essence is Unity, I share Love and Peace wholly. Knowing the Unity of Whole Love and Peace with All is the essence of holiness. I choose to be aware, to understand and to Know my Whole and Holy Self, which is Love.
I’ve been sitting here for almost an hour, trying to wrap my head around this Guiding Thought. I have not succeeded.
I want to understand it with logic, and it’s not working.
I’m not saying I don’t believe it. I’m not saying I don’t buy it. I’m not even saying that I don’t get it. I do, all these things–I believe it, I buy it, and I get it.
But it doesn’t make sense to me logically, and that bothers me. I know… since when is Love logical?
The logic that I have to offer from my hour of contemplating this Guiding Thought is this:
A first rule of logic is to set the premises. When setting the premises, the question that comes up is, “do I accept this as a premise”? When two people are arguing (in the logic-sense, not in the emotional sense), both parties must agree to accept the premises. The logic then flows from the agreed-upon premises.
Note: someone does not need to believe the premises in order to accept them for the sake of the argument. But, if you accept the premises, and the logic is solid, then you must also accept the conclusion (though you need not believe the conclusion).
Here is the Guiding Thought, as a logic puzzle.
The first four phrases are premises, that one must accept before continuing:
Love is Wholeness.
The essence of Love is Peace.
The essence of Wholeness is Unity.
My essence is Love.
Before I continue, ask yourself: Do I accept these as premises? Do I accept the idea that Love equals Wholeness? That the essence of Love equals Peace? that the essence of Wholeness equals Unity? Do I accept that my essence is Love?
I find no reason not to accept these as premises.
We then come to the first conclusion, derived from these premises:
therefore, my essence is Peace.
If you accept the premises, then you must accept (logically) this conclusion, because the essence of Love is Peace (premise 2), and your essence is Love (premise 4); by the transitive property (if a=b and b=c, then a=c), if the essence of Love is Peace and your essence is Love, then your essence is Peace.
Then comes the second conclusion
My essence is Unity.
If you accept the premises, then you must also accept this conclusion, because Love is Wholeness (premise 1) and the essence of Wholeness is Unity (premise 3), and your essence is Love (premise 4).
So far so good, but then here is where it gets sticky. The argument relies on a jump that has not been established by the premises.
Since my essence is Unity, I share Love and Peace wholly.
Even though I accept that my essence is Unity, I do not see the logic to the remaining assertions; I cannot see why that means I share Love and Peace wholly, or that Knowing the Unity of Whole Love and Peace with All is the essence of holiness.
I am not saying that I don’t believe it; I am not saying I am not willing to accept it for what it is. I am simply saying that these statements do not follow logically from the premises.
I can, however fully embrace the final sentence.
I choose to be aware, to understand and to Know my Whole and Holy Self, which is Love.
Because being aware, understanding, and Knowing are what this is all about. And the more I can do those things about my Self as Love–I’m all for that.
This is the day I provide a bit of an assessment about the “results” (if you will) of the most recent Journey– Worth. First, a recap:
I began the Journey with the intention of having a closer/better relationship with the Holy Spirit/Shakti Energy/Divine Mother, to develop a life worthy of the Holy Spirit
There was a lot of emotional turmoil (panic, anxiety) during the Journey
Some themes throughout the Journey were:
Holding on/release: when there is change and transformation, there is an inherent letting go of something in order for it to transform into something else. Regarding the panic episodes–I became aware of what I was holding onto, and not wanting to give up.
Connection, having to do with Unity and Oneness.
How did I do, and where am I now?
The more Journeys I do, the more I see that the Journeys are both linear…and not. Like a “real” journey, they are full of unplanned places to explore, unexpected stops, meanderings, surprises, and adventures that lead to places previously unknown.
For example, on a “real” journey—let’s say—to visit my friend in Clonmel, Ireland—the linear part of the trip would be getting from point A (Newark) to point B (Dublin, then Clonmel), and visiting with my friend. This would be like working through the 40 days of a Journey, from beginning to end. But once in Clonmel…there’s so much to see and explore!
Those things constitute adventures, which may have their own unexpected stops and meanderings. In the same way, while on a Journey of Worth, I detour for a day or two to explore something like faith, or connection, or letting go. These small stops and detours do not detract from the overall journey, they are part of it, and each new experience enhances the overall trip.
It’s become common for me now to expect the detours, surprises, and adventures while on a Journey. But these things make it very difficult to evaluate a Journey, or assess it, or explain what I’ve learned, how I’ve changed, or how I “got” here.
What did my panic and anxiety teach me about worth? Do I now have a better relationship with the Holy Spirit? Do I have a deeper understanding of Shakti, the Divine Mother? What do I know now about Worth, because of what I’ve learned about Unity and Oneness? Have I changed?
Contemplating answers to these questions does not bring me solid answers. But I can tell you what I feel might be the right direction for the answers:
What did my panic and anxiety teach me about worth? My panic and anxiety were a way of letting go of things that are worthless. On day 23, I said this: “You see, there’s this “thing” that I want. And I never want things. I always, always want God and spiritual right-mindedness more than I want things. I cannot even think of a time when I wanted something like this. It’s not like desire, or envy, or possession, or clinging to some-thing. It’s like there’s so much at stake, so much that hinges on this thing; I have so much invested in this thing.” My panic and anxiety were because I was invested in wanting things my way. I did not get it–and that was part of the learning and the letting go. Letting go of things that are worthless makes room for things that are invaluable. Also, in this lesson, I have had to reinvigorate faith.
Do I now have a better relationship with the Holy Spirit? I think so. I believe so. If the Holy Spirit is the power or force behind all things manifest, then I have always had a relationship with the Holy Spirit–we all have, because we interact with the manifest all the time. The difference is having a conscious relationship with the Holy Spirit: recognizing the Divine Power in, through, and around everything. This is what’s new. I am at the very beginning, but I have been praying and seeking this conscious recognition and understanding more and more…and I want to continue.
Do I have a deeper understanding of Shakti, the Divine Mother? Yes. I have been very intentionally acknowledging and learning about the Divine Mother. But also see the answer to #2, as it is very much the same here.
What do I know now about Worth, because of what I’ve learned about Unity and Oneness? On day 16, I wrote this:
There is no living thing (even the little self) that does not share the universal Will that it be whole. Here’s how I currently understand this:
Oneness is “that place” (that is not a physical place, but more like a mental place) that is beyond the senses, beyond the body, beyond all material reality.
Oneness is (simply, ha) a shift into non-perception, into Knowing, also known as salvation or moksha or freedom.
This place can be called (and even has been called) Pure Consciousness, Pure Love.
It is “Oneness” because in that place of no-perception, Everything is simply Known asEverything.
But here on planet earth, we live with senses, in a material reality, with brains that like to categorize and think, and discern, and judge.
So we have to teach our brains to go beyond, to let go of perception, discernment, judgement, and all of its divisions.
This is (one of the) the role(s) of healing and forgiveness. In a moment of healing, we “perceive” ourselves as whole. In a moment of forgiveness, we unite with another person.
We can do this again and again and again, with every moment, with every perception: heal and forgive, heal and forgive, heal and forgive.
The more we do this, the more our little brains expand into broader perceptions of wholeness and unity. But it takes time, because our brains like to work how they work (separating, categorizing, etc), and we do not really insist on shaping our brains in a new way. The more we practice heal and forgive, heal and forgive, heal and forgive, the more our brains evolve, the faster we get beyond perception.
In other words: Oneness is the only thing that is worth anything. In Oneness is Knowing; in Oneness is Freedom; in Oneness is Pure Consciousness.
5. Have I changed? Yes. It’s a bit intangible, but I have changed. Here’s how I know: I am not thinking as much. Literally. My mind is quieter, I am not thinking about what needs to be done, I am doing…what seems right to do…and everything is getting done. I am differently motivated. In doing without thinking, I want (am motivated) to do. Doing now feels like an expression of something that is coming through me, not that I am initiating. How do I know? Because I have no clue, nor do I want to have a clue, about the results. I am not “doing something to get something”; I am just doing, and the results will be what they will be. I’m not invested in “how things will turn out”–I think this this is another effect of “having” to work through and release things associated with the anxiety and panic. I have a different relationship to Faith. When I went through all that panic and anxiety, then did not “get” the thing that all the fuss was about, it was as though something in me gave up and surrendered. The panic and anxiety began (now that I think about it) when I told God I could not do it on my own, that He had to help me because I did not know what to do, much less how to do it; I had tried everything I knew, and I did not have any clue what else I could do. All that panic and anxiety: it was God giving me what I asked for, releasing me from the last holds I had on “doing it my way”, clearing the path for Him to make things right. Now it’s up to me to keep that recognition, keep my mind right, and allow (hold on to Faith) Him to do it.
What’s really cool is that all of this leads right into Journey of Healing–which begins later today! Check in later to see those insights…
We claim who we are, the essence of our Self, established in and by Love. Our Self shines with the strength, beauty, and power of its essence, Love. As we open to our Self, accept our Self, and Love our Self, the Life of Unity infuses all activity and transforms our consciousness. Life as our Self renews our Joy and restores our trust in Life itself.
Several things are coming together with today’s Guiding Thought.
My “Why” for doing this Journey: Living a life worthy of the Holy Spirit
The only way to live a life worthy of the Holy Spirit is to live as my Self.
I have forgotten my Self. All I need to do is remember. Right–it’s not always that easy. Who am “I” after all? What is this “Self” that I have forgotten, that I am remembering?
I can choose to remember. I can shift my thoughts away from those which deny my remembering, and choose thoughts that strengthen my remembering. This is my responsibility. This is a wise use of my free-will (at least considering what I want to accomplish).
The Moola Mantra has increased my understanding about the relationship between my Self and the Holy Spirit. In the Moola Mantra the Self, as I call it, is referred to as Paramatma–which means (loosely) the Self of the Soul. It is not only your highest best Self of the body, it is the highest creation of you, your lived Divine Self. I would dare say it is also known as Christ Presence. When I remember my Self/Paramatma/Christ Presence, I become a vehicle for the Holy Spirit, Divine Energy.
Isn’t living in the reality of my Self the essence of simplicity?
With this in mind, the Guiding Thought comes together in a new way:
We claim who we are, the essence of our Self, established in and by Love. (#3: This is my use of choice and free will).
Our Self shines with the strength, beauty, and power of its essence, Love. (#4: how could my Self/Paramatma/Christ Presence do anything but shine with strength, beauty, and power of Love?)
As we open to our Self, accept our Self, and Love our Self, the Life of Unity infuses all activity and transforms our consciousness. (#2: Just remember. A part of you already does. Open. Accept. Be.)
Life as our Self renews our Joy and restores our trust in Life itself. (#1: This is the life worthy of the Holy Spirit, a life of Joy and Trust in Our Self, our expression of the Divine.)
We know our Self when we share our Self. As we give our Self, we see our Source returned to us. All that is Whole, all that is Beauty, all that is Holy, reflects back to us in the Joy of Being, in the brilliance of Life, in the Unity of Self. We choose to share only the Self of Beauty, Wholeness, and Joy, that we may Know our Self as Beauty, Wholeness, and Joy.
I’ve felt this spinning-panic-detached cycle for, yeah, since the Journey began. First my mind spins–while I’m watching it, so I don’t let it get too out of control, then, maybe because I reign it in, it goes into a panic. Then, I pray or do a fire ceremony, and I seem to calm down a bit…but the spinning has lingered in the wings almost constantly. I’ve gone through this cycle about 4 full times in the past 3 weeks.
I am currently verging on another episode of panic. I keep it at bay, but I can feel it ready to spill out.
You see, there’s this “thing” that I want. And I never want things. I always, always want God, and spiritual right-mindedness more than I want things. I cannot even think of a time when I wanted something like this. It’s not like desire, or envy, or possession, or clinging to some-thing. It’s like there’s so much at stake, so much that hinges on this thing; I have so much invested in this thing.
Is this what people feel and go through when things have this much significance to them? Is this why it’s so hard for people to pull themselves up into spiritual thoughts and right-mindedness?
Because as I am “here” in this place, watching myself, aware of my own mind, it is really hard to stay focused on what I really want: God and right-mindedness.
From A Course in Miracles:
Both Heaven and earth are in you, because the call of both is in your mind. The Voice for God comes from your own altars to Him. These altars are not things; they are devotions. Yet you have other devotions now. Your divided devotion has given you the two voices, and you must choose at which altar you want to serve. The call you answer now is an evaluation because it is a decision. The decision is very simple. It is made on the basis of which call is worth more to you. (ACIM T-5.II.8)
And this brings me to gratitude.
First, I am so grateful for my spiritual practices, including these Journeys. In this moment of “divided devotion”, I have practices (devotions) that I have been doing for a long time (some longer than others…), and I can turn to them. Practices demonstrate devotion; practices act-out where place my value; practices declare to the universe what I really want. And I need that now. I need to be able to rely on tradition, and constancy, using what I have established as strength in devotion to pull me through this.
Second, I am thankful that I have developed some small faith in God. It is currently a bit hard to tap into it (and I have talked to God about my faltering), but I acknowledge that I want to rely on Him, and trust Him, and that I can “let it be” (though waiting with patience is also very difficult at the moment).
Third, I am thankful for God and my relationship with the Divine. I think this situation is only strengthening this relationship.
Accept your Father’s gift. It is a Call from Love to Love, that It be but Itself. The Holy Spirit is His gift, by which the quietness of Heaven is restored to God’s beloved Son. Would you refuse to take the function of completing God, when all He wills is that you be complete? (Lesson 281)