Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fool's Logic and the Iceberg of Guilt

In Chapter three of Part II of Margot Krikhaar's Awakening in Love, she writes extensively on the very important issue of what it means that forgiveness is all about what happens in the mind, and that observable effects may or may not be part of our experience. Here is a key paragraph:
Besides: even when you have solved all unconscious guilt in your own mind, you still could encounter physical or other problems. You still have a physical existence in this world of appearances, which is projected by the collective ego. So you are still subject to physical and material ’laws.’ But no longer will you be identified with them, and therefore you will continue to feel inner peace. (Margot Krikhaar, Awakening in Love, Part II, Chapter 3)
And in the surrounding discussion she addresses these issues in various ways based on her own experience, moreover, her own life has since become a living demonstration of the issue. Like Ken Wapnick and many others besides she also resorts to the image of the iceberg of guilt, making the point that of necessity, in our dream lives we can only deal with the issues that surface above the waterline of the unconscious, the tip of the iceberg. So in the same passage she also writes:
As a result, forgiveness in this lifetime extends itself to all lives and into all of time—past and future. For those lives are all illusory and only a result of unconscious guilt. That guilt is in the mind, outside of time and space, and it is the mind that projects all of these lives. A change at the level of cause—in the mind—automatically results in a change in the projected film: the lifetimes in the world. While your forgiveness seems to take place at the level of the life in which you find yourself (and has positive results here as well), the real work of salvation takes place at the level of the mind, where you are in reality.
Since the ego is always focused on the form, it will always demand to see results in the form, which is the essence of the story of Jesus' tree temptations in the desert. The ego really wants nothing better than to fault Jesus for not changing the form, and to ignore the change in the mind, which is the level of cause. The effects of forgiveness are far reaching, because they happen in the mind which is outside of time and space, but our awareness at that moment is all preoccupied with one infinitesimally small part, our life, and we have no insight in the process of undoing that is gradually loosening the strings of the laws of the ego, and letting us out of prison. So while it is our experiences in form which present us with forgiveness opportunities in this lifetime, the point of the forgiveness work is not to move pieces on the chessboard, or to move one particular mountain as we perceive it. The point of the forgiveness work is in the mind to undo the decision that led us to perceive that our reality is this limited world of chess pieces on a board, that we call our 'life,' and while 'mountains' may be part of that experience, they are not our reality.
The result of forgiveness then on this level may equally be that certain mountains do move and others do not, our inner experience will increasingly be peaceful through the practice of forgiveness, so it will be indifferent where those perceptual mountains are, because we realize by then that our happiness is not dependent upon them.
Margot's life since then has become a demonstration of these issues, as she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer that had already metastasized to her organs at the time of her first diagnosis, and she has shared these experiences in a blog. Meanwhile she also finished up her second book during the time she was already dealing with that situation. Her other materials, including her blogs about the meaning of health and healing, will be published posthumously. Suffice it to say here, that she reported early on that she sensed that somehow at the level of the mind she had already come to the conclusion that this experience was simply her way of leaving this life, that her job was essentially over, and she was at peace with it. Which IS the point: the "mountain" (of guilt) moved indeed, so any 'mountains' in the perceptual world no longer bother us the way they used to, or rather, the way we used to think they did.

Copyright, © 2012 Rogier F. van Vlissingen. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Voice of the Holy Spirit

In her book Awakening in Love, and specifically in the first Chapter of Part II of the book, Margot Krikhaar gives some salient examples on how confused we often are in the process of learning to discern the Voice of the Holy Spirit from the Voice of the ego, and, she highlights how seductive the voice of the ego can often be, including appearing completely reasonable, and quite convincing. So the learning process is about listening past that ego voice, and becoming willing to tune in to the soft still Voice that is the legitimate voice of the Holy Spirit.

The Course has many, many useful ways of expressing this issue. Here is one example:
The two voices speak for different interpretations of the same thing simultaneously; or almost simultaneously, for the ego always speaks first. Alternate interpretations were unnecessary until the first one was made.
The ego speaks in judgment, and the Holy Spirit reverses its decision, much as a higher court has the power to reverse a lower court's decisions in this world. The ego's decisions are always wrong, because they are based on the error they were made to uphold. (ACIM:T-5.VI.3:5-4:2)
Margot in her book refers to the voice of our 'inner critic' which is often mistaken by many for the voice of the Holy Spirit, when it is really the voice of judgment and thus of the ego. We might also remember how any religious overtones in our upbringing have a tendency to condition us to mistaking our 'conscience' for the Holy Spirit. Conscience in this context is entirely a concept of the ego, and the very instrument that keeps the cycle of Samsara, the cycle of sin, guilt and fear, alive.

In her description, Margot uses a wonderful concept, namely that in sorting out these thoughts, you can detect how some of these ego-based reasonings have you move 'away from yourself.' Even by having every appearance of being ever so reasonable, including an appeal to 'common sense,' and we might think again about the Samaritan woman: her forefathers since Jacob had drunk from the well, so why was there anything wrong with drinking from the well now? So the ego-appeal lies in 'it was always done this way,' and 'if it's good enough for my dear father, it's good enough for me.' As always these are all ego thoughts, ripples on the surface of the water that prevent you from looking into the deep. Relying on them means you are not listening to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, but getting distracted by superficial appeals to circumstantial logic, instead of ever getting in touch with your True Self.

Thus the un-learning process of the Course helps us to move past all this 'conditioning' and back to the authenticity of who we are in truth - in the words of the Course: "For I am still as God created me (ACIM-W-218)" - when the ego always incites us to act from anything else but our authentic Self, whereby we continue permanently enslaved and beholden to the ego and its advice, almost by definition since our ego choices are bound to create more problems than they solve. In short the ego continues to serve up the water that makes us thirst again, while the still, small Voice that points us to Jesus, who offers that water that will not make us thirst again. Eventually we will recognize that we are in the position of the Samaritan woman, and join her in her choice.
You cannot understand the conflict until you fully understand the basic fact that the ego cannot know anything. The Holy Spirit does not speak first, but He always answers. Everyone has called upon Him for help at one time or another and in one way or another, and has been answered. Since the Holy Spirit answers truly He answers for all time, which means that everyone has the answer now. (ACIM-T-6.IV.3)

Copyright, © 2012 Rogier F. van Vlissingen. All rights reserved.