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Friday, January 24, 2014

Today's Lesson, The Course in Miracles

I do want to let my readers know that this blog is substituting for my journal these days--my grieving process is such that it literally hurts to handwrite right now.  I don't mind writing for an audience, though of course anyone who keeps a public diary needs to remember that it is public, including myself.  I am working with the Course in Miracles after many years of trying to bond with the ideas there and rejecting them.  Now after a lot of time, I feel I am ready.  The Course is extremely gentle and I have been taking the lessons slowly, sometimes spending a day or two on ones I am not seeming to understand (I know this because I will literally forget what the lesson entailed, and so I work with it a little more).

At any rate, I am working through the lessons in The Course in Miracles and something really opened for me today.  I'm reminded of the phrase "the diamond that cuts through illusion" as I have read it, though I really do not know much about the Diamond Sutra yet (I suppose I shall as I am becoming involved with the Santa Cruz Zen center again as a spiritual community--I feel at home there).  Anyway, the lesson for today is "I am upset because I see a meaningless world" and the phrase to work with (each day has one) finally resonated with me:

I think I see a fearful world, a wicked world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world.  But I am upset because I see a meaningless world"--as is explained, what is meaningless is neither good nor bad; I literally write upon life its meaning, for me--and the lesson says that "beneath your words is written the Word of God".  At first I remembered the incredible yet greatly disturbing  Kafka story "In the Penal Colony" in which a machine is created that literally writes a prisoner's crime on his body with a metal stylus embedded in glass, over and over from back to front, until the prisoner dies.  To me, that is what illusory and destructive thinking does:  it writes itself over and over upon the psyche until a sort of death really does occur,. a spiritual death based in fear of what we think really "is"--when the truth is that we write upon the world and existence our own script, which is often so contrary to our good.

In Al-Anon, the prime directive is to "turn our will and our lives over to God as we understand Him (or her, or it), praying only for knowledge of His will and the power to carry that out."  Al-Anon also works a lot with releasing illusory thinking that we "write" upon the world.  I wonder if the folks who wrote the Course were also "a friend of Bill" (AA) or a "friend of Lois" (Al-Anon).

At any rate, I am looking forward to each lesson in the Course, as I am not only getting a lot out of it, but am also beginning to make parallels with some things I have read and studied in my own life.  It is a good process.