ACFIP Newsletter
Issue 42 - September 2014
Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace



Michael Dawson
PO Box 125, Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island,
Queensland 4183,
Australia

Email: mdawson@acfip.org 
Web site: http://www.acfip.org



If you wish to read previous issues please go to http://www.acfip.org/newsletterarchive.html.

If your email address ends with .au I put your address on my Australian list for advance notice of workshops I am giving in Australia. If you do not want to be on this list please let me know. If you reside in Australia and want to be on this list, but you address does not end in .au, please email me and I will include it.

If you are new to the Course you might find my summaries of help.
You can find them at http://www.acfip.org/sum.html and http://www.acfip.org/art4.html

New
1. Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles.
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

2. A Course in Miracles - Explanations of Major Themes
New book in eBook format

3. Forgiveness - A Path to Inner Peace
Inspired by A Course in Miracles
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

The eBook versions can be read on Kindle, iPad, Microsoft eReader, Nook, PDF readers (Mac and PC) and most eBook readers.

• Downloadable MP3s of my Healing the Cause self-help CDs now available.
See below for details.

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html

Regards

Michael Dawson

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CONTENTS:

* Healing Others Part 1 of 3 - Michael Dawson
* Story of Awakening - Untamable Fire by Amoda Maa Jeevan
* 6 Degrees of Consciousness - Jan Frazier
* Life after death & rebirth? - Nisargadatta Mahara
* Death and A Course in Miracles
* Workshops
* Books and Audio Materials for Sale
* Links
* Inspirational Quotations


                ___________________________________________________________________________


Chapter 7 - Healing Others

Part 1 of 3

(Reprinted from  Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness. by Michael Dawson)


I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or do,
because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.

from A Course in Miracles
(T24; T-2.V.18:2-6)



Introduction

What is it that needs healing, and how is it achieved? Is it the techniques of healers which heal or are they only the forms through which healing can come? What is it that heals and is it only a certain gifted or chosen few who possess these abilities? What are the differences between the healed and the unhealed healer? This chapter will consider these questions and explore them in the light of what the Course has to say about them.


The Aim of Healing

This book began by stating that all our physical and psychological problems originate from only one problem, the belief that we are separate from each other and from God. Through the power of denial and the veil of forgetfulness which we have created about our true home, we are forced to seek outside our mind for healing. The pain in our body and psyche calls for instant relief. In this way we can get trapped into seeking help only for the symptoms of our one problem and forget to look more deeply at the cause in our mind. We seek healers to repair our damaged physical and emotional bodies and when this is done we become content for a little while until a new symptom appears.
It is not wrong to seek relief for our pain, but symptom relief is not true healing. If you have a severe headache, your attention will probably be centred on the pain and not on its cause. Taking some form of medication to ease the pain will provide an opportunity to help find the unforgiveness in the mind. We need to use these symptoms to remind us that the cause of our distress is not to be found in the world but in our decision to remain separate. As all our pain comes from separation, healing must come from joining. If we cannot find what it is that needs forgiveness, we can always begin where we are and join with those around us. By practising forgiveness from moment to moment we will undo the separation that has given rise to pain.
The true function of a healer is to remind the client, through the example and presence of the healer, that he is still as God created him. This is the way that Jesus performed his miracles. Like everyone in this world, Jesus first looked within before looking without. As he looked within he saw only the Son of God, the Christ, in his own mind. When he looked without and saw a sick person asking for healing, he could only see another Son of God, albeit a sleeping one.
As the sick person came into the presence of Jesus, he saw someone who accepted him as an equal, reminding him that he could make another choice. Until this moment, the sick person was probably surrounded by people who only focused on his bodily symptoms and thus reinforced the concept of him as an ego living in a body. The presence of Jesus reminded him that he was not an ego but still as God had created him. The very power of Jesus’s light was all that was needed to shine away the sick person’s darkness once he had made the decision to be whole. In that short moment, the sick person realised his true nature as the Christ and therefore had no need to defend himself with sickness. Although the person’s ego had been temporarily vanquished, Jesus knew it would counterattack at the first possible opportunity, and thus he would often counsel people to "go and sin no more".
To receive a miraculous cure does not guarantee it will last. It has often been observed by researchers that miracle cures are rarely permanent and the healed person often succumbs to the same or a related illness after a period of months or years. The removal of the symptoms of the sickness was not the healing, but only a byproduct of the peace which had now entered the person’s mind. Jesus’s presence was a reminder of another way of being, a call to come home to the Father’s love. We need to make the answering of this call the purpose of our life here. To be fully healed is to awaken from the dream of separation in which we are lost. As we begin to awaken and allow the presence of the Holy Spirit into our mind, we can act as a channel for His healing.

For this alone I need; that you will hear the words I speak, and give them to the world. You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands through which I save the world.
(W322; W-pI.review V.9:2)

The above quotation makes it clear that it will not be we who heal but the love and light of Jesus or the Holy Spirit which will extend through us and into the world. Jesus has become the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our world as he is now entirely without an ego.

Sickness or Healing is Our Choice
 
As sickness is our choice, so is healing. No one can make us sick and no one can heal us unless it is our decision. As the Course states, "Healing does not come from anyone else. You must accept guidance from within." (T134; T-8.IV.4:5-6) Even in the presence of someone like Jesus, a sick person must still choose to see themself as Jesus sees them. It is evident from the Bible that many people still preferred to listen to their own ego than to his voice of love and acceptance. Healing was seen as a threat to their ego’s existence and so they sought refuge in fear and sickness. The illusory realm of form was preferred to the formless realm of spirit which Jesus offered. His thought system was so alien to the ego that most people were threatened and not healed by his presence. To defend itself, the ego attacked what could destroy it.
In my own experience of working with clients, I have often noticed their ambivalence towards healing. One part of them wants to be healed, whilst another part is resisting the process. It is as if they are saying, "Please heal me but don’t change the way I think about myself or the world. Please remove my symptoms but leave my ego intact."
 
A madman will defend his own illusions because in them he sees his own salvation. Thus, he will attack the one who tries to save him from them, believing that he is attacking him. This curious circle of attack-defence is one of the most difficult problems with which the psychotherapist must deal. In fact, this is his central task; the core of psychotherapy. The therapist is seen as one who is attacking the patient's most cherished possession; his picture of himself. And since this picture has become the patient’s security as he perceives it, the therapist cannot but be seen as a real source of danger, to be attacked and even killed.
(P9; P-2.IV.9)

Progress is achieved in healing when the client begins to realise that he is not a victim of the world but only of his own thoughts. As he begins to understand this, his ego will counsel him to attack the healer, for the ego’s very existence is now being threatened. To help a client return to the cause of his problem in his mind is also to bring him closer to the Holy Spirit who resides there. The ego is well aware that the sleeping Son of God, the decision maker, on finding the presence of the Holy Spirit may well decide to choose His guidance against the ego. If the healer can meet the attack of the client without defence or counterattack, he will demonstrate that defences are not necessary and in that moment, the healer does not believe in the reality of the ego. This example will give an opportunity to the client to change his mind, to choose forgiveness instead of attack.

A sick person perceives himself as separate from God. Would you see him as separate from you? It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick. It is your function to recognise for him that what he believes about himself is not the truth. It is your forgiveness that must show him this. Healing is very simple.
(M54; M-22.6:5-10)

Part 2 of 3 in the next news letter in December 2014

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Untamable Fire
By Amoda Maa Jeevan

For every person that awakens, there’s a different picture.  We often look at spiritual teachers, enlightened masters, mystics and saints, and try to model our enlightenment on what we see.  We say, “Ah, this is what it looks like!” and the ego tries to make sense of it according to its own predispositions.  Inevitably, the outer expression of enlightenment is colored by history, geography and biography.  The stillness of Ramana Maharshi looks very different to the crazy wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa, and the secular life of one of today’s non-duality teachers looks very different from the mystical life of Jesus.  And yet we’re often fooled into packaging what we call “truth,” and then believing that this package is something we can claim for ourselves.  It’s a kind of spiritual reward system that keeps us on the wheel of seeking.  But truth—like love—is uncontainable.  It is untamable, unconditional, and universal.  True awakeness cannot be bought or copied or manufactured; it can only be discovered as that which recognizes itself in everything.
Perhaps because of my life circumstances, my personality, or my karmic predispositions—I cannot possibly know why and it doesn’t actually matter why—that which discovered itself through me was revealed in the midst of an extended “dark night of the soul.”  It was totally unexpected and radically changed the landscape of my inner life.  In time, it also altered the landscape of my outer life in ways I could not have imagined.  At the core of all of this was a death of “me” as a story-maker.

My story has many twists and turns, as do most stories of redemption.  The circumstances surrounding my birth were traumatic and shrouded in secrecy and shame, as were my early years.  I never knew my real father and my mother and her family covered up the fact that he left when I was born.  The social and cultural disgrace was a heavy burden for my mother, as was her history of abuse and abandonment, and she created a story around it that was far from the truth.  When I was born, she was sent to a different country to be married to a man she did not know.  I believed he was my father and when, at the age of 13, I found out that he wasn’t, my whole world fell apart.  Life continued to bring me many unexpected changes that caused me to question who I was and where I came from.  Much later, as an adult, this uncertainty about my ancestral roots would form the bedrock of a path of self-inquiry; but as a young child and adolescent, I experienced these unwelcome events as shocks to my delicate nervous system.  Some of these shocks were so dramatic they rendered me mute for periods of time and included emotional and physical violence, sexual abuse, abrupt changes in schooling, the sudden onset of war in the Middle East where we lived for a while, a dramatic evacuation by the military, the loss of all possessions, parental divorce, family lies, and probably a few other things!  All of these events contributed to a deep sense of shame and confusion but which would eventually become the catalysts for my spiritual search.

Communication was always a problem in my home, as neither of my parents spoke fluent English, nor did they speak each other’s language.  On the other hand, I could read and write only English and I spoke it perfectly.  I suppose I must have been confused, but this strange set-up was my normality.  What wasn’t so normal was the strictness of my upbringing: I never could work out why the adults in my life were so strict; it just was that way.  Playing with other children outside of school hours was forbidden, as was playing with dolls and stuffed toys.  Birthdays and Christmas’ were solemn affairs in which the most exciting gifts, other than pajamas, socks, and school uniforms, were a set of colored pencils and a drawing pad.
The denial of these basic childhood rights cut right to my core, and I came to the conclusion that I was flawed and I deserved to be punished by never getting what I wanted.  I felt impure and unworthy, so I prayed to Jesus most nights to cleanse me of my sins, and I prayed to the Holy Mother to take care of me.  Unsurprisingly, as an only child with no friends, I became isolated, introverted, and I retreated into a fantasy world that was my only solace.  I spent endless hours creating a secret fantasy life in which every detail was mapped out in incredible intricacy, where not only did I have parents who totally adored and understood me, but I also had every single toy and dress I ever wanted, a list of friends who celebrated me, a fascinating life of adventure, and a sense of magic that took me to faraway lands and even into outer space.  But this imagined perfect world in which I was perfectly safe, perfectly loved, and perfectly happy was never now, it was always in the future .  .  .  and the future never came.

Eventually, my escape into utopia became a prison.  By the time I was a teenager, I had effectively shut myself off from feeling the full vibrancy of life.  In fact, I had shut myself off from feeling, period.  When I left home at 17 to go to University, instead of feeling happy and free as I’d expected, I became depressed and felt socially inadequate, and my frequent attempts at suicide led me to believe I’d end up in a mental asylum.  I was sent to various psychotherapists and psychiatrists, but none of them could help me.  I just sat looking at the floor unable to utter a word.  My boyfriend at the time called it “the bell jar,” as in the title of Sylvia Plath’s famous autobiographical novel of the late 60s.  Sylvia Plath committed suicide shortly after its publication.  I understood intellectually what “the bell jar” referred to, but I denied that it had anything to do with what was going on for me.
Surprisingly, in spite of this internal landscape of darkness, I threw myself with great vigor into my academic studies.  I stopped believing in Jesus or the Holy Mother as my saviors, and I invested my hope of salvation in the achievement of a Doctorate of Psychology.  The seeking mechanism that had fueled my earlier fantasy world of perfection was still the driving force of my life, only this time it drove me to work incredibly long hours almost to the exclusion of anything else.  I struggled for 12 years against many odds, and then over a period of just a few months, unexpectedly and dramatically—as was the theme of my story—the whole edifice of my life collapsed.  At the age of 28, I found myself homeless and penniless.  Not only did my academic career come to an abrupt end, but my long-term boyfriend left me, my home was repossessed, I became financially bankrupt and without any income, and almost all my material possessions were taken from me.  As a result of all these losses in quick succession, I also lost my pride, my confidence, and my dream of a personal utopia.  Every single vestige of identity invested in being an academic high-flyer, an urban super-woman, an ideal girlfriend, or any other picture of perfection, came tumbling down.  It was both devastating and a great relief.  Without the usual attachments of modern-day life, and without the burden of trying to “be somebody,” I found myself fully open to living in the present.  I also found myself naturally drawn to asking the question that had been sown in my early childhood: “Who am I?”

The next seven years were spent in deep inner exploration.  A series of mystical and visionary experiences came without warning and were the catalysts for my subsequent immersion in meditation, primal therapy, rebirthing, metaphysics, psychedelics, and a myriad of psycho-spiritual methods.  I was particularly drawn to Buddhist and Zen meditation practices and devoted my attention to these.  The sanctuary of inner silence seemed very familiar to me and, unlike my brief encounter with TM during my university days, which had left me horrified at the intensity of voices in my head, I fell into this space effortlessly.  I also loved reading, so I devoured as many traditional and contemporary spiritual books as I could, and along the way I visited various spiritual teachers.  But I quickly discovered that truth is a fresh discovery not a learnt wisdom, so I didn’t stick with anything or anyone for too long.  In any case, I wasn’t looking for enlightenment; I was looking for happiness.
My search for happiness eventually led me to India and to the ashram of the revolutionary mystic, Osho.  Although Osho had left his body just a few years earlier, something deep within me stirred, and I opened to the unconditional love in his invisible presence.  I fell in love with his rebellious spirit, absorbed his words, gave my totality to his unorthodox meditative techniques, and bathed in the silence of solitude for several months.  I was consumed by an inner fire that blasted my heart wide open, and I willingly surrendered to the tantric mystery of existence.  By leaving behind the relative safety of my home and my relationship, I faced my fear of aloneness and discovered that love is at the core of everything.  Somehow this realization allowed me to see through the identification with form, and I stopped searching for a teacher or a teaching; instead, life itself became the guru.  For the first time in my life, I felt a certain freedom and joy.  Perhaps the many hours spent screaming, shouting, and shaking my way through different forms of psychotherapy had helped me let go of some of my emotional baggage.  Perhaps I had tasted the truth of emptiness.  Whatever the reason, I left India feeling reborn and with a new name, Amoda Maa Jeevan, which means “living a joyous life.”

Back in England, I started teaching transformational workshops and developed my own unique method of “ecstatic meditation,” which included breathwork, movement, and music.  I was growing beyond my limitations and life was good.  I was no longer looking for a spiritual high, but there was a subtle seeking still going on that had to do with relationship.  I still held a deep belief that I needed relationship to give me something I hadn’t yet found in myself.  I needed another to make me feel complete, to confirm my worthiness by giving me love in the form of a perfect relationship.  I clung to the idea that a soul mate would fulfill all my inner and outer dreams.  Unfortunately, the man I’d decided was my soul mate didn’t conform to my ideas of a perfect life, and so we raged, battled, and hurt each other, whilst passionately loving each other, for 10 years.  One day, seemingly out of the blue, our relationship exploded and there was no mending it.  I harnessed enough courage within myself to walk away.  Over a period of three years, I grieved intensely, healed my broken heart with all manner of therapies and bodywork, and eventually learnt to enjoy my own company and the freedom of living alone.
However, in the silent space of solitude, a deeper wound revealed itself: a profound existential fear that I’d been abandoned by God.  I felt empty and incredibly alone.  As I had done many years before, I began sinking into a black hole, except this time I had enough insight to recognize the call to true freedom.  I saw that I wanted to be free of the story of “me” and I was willing to give up my need for love, relationship, happiness, enlightenment—and even the need for any certainty—for this that I could not name.  I had no idea how to do this.  There was no teacher, no road map, no instruction manual, and no imagination of what I was falling in to.  But I trusted the gentle yet insistent impulse to be still and to stop running away, to not follow—as I had done a million times before—the familiar contortions of my mind, and to meet directly in naked awareness the most primal of fears: annihilation.  I opened to not-knowingness and allowed myself to die into this.  And in this dying, all notions of self dissolved into emptiness.  I suppose I expected a kind of cold no-thingness, but instead an incredible joy arose.  Without labeling it or packaging it or re-investing any identity in it, the emptiness revealed a luminosity of being.  It had always been here, and, contrary to appearances, I had never been separate from this.

From that moment on, I became a lover of what is, unafraid to get right up close and intimate with whatever appears in my experience.  My suffering became my doorway to freedom.  This freedom now looks nothing like I had imagined it to be.  I’m often asked: “How is your life different after awakening?” I can only say that life goes on as it always has.  It is utterly unchanged, and yet, in meeting everything as it is, everything has changed.
Today, 10 years later, the waves of phenomenal existence called “my story” continue.  Sometimes the sea is stormy; sometimes it is as calm as a millpond.  Sometimes there is pain, hardship, and unpleasant emotions.  There is an exquisite sensitivity to every nuance of movement, and yet nothing touches the pristine silence at the core of it all.  The radiant jewel that is this silence continues to illuminate those places in my body-mind vehicle that are still holding ancient patterns that do not serve the bigger picture of love.  It’s an on-going demolition project in which everything that is not true is destroyed.  It happens effortlessly and there’s nothing I have to do to make it happen.  It is ordinary and it is graceful.
I do not know what awakening will look like in you.  All I know is that this awakening hinges on your genuine desire for awakening.  If it is to flower in you, you must truly want liberation from everything that is false in you, you must want to give yourself totally to the inquiry into what is true beyond all inherited concepts, ideas, and beliefs.  When the flame of this desire becomes an untamable fire, it flips a switch inside of you and the direction of your destiny is irrevocably altered.  It’s like turning on the light only to discover that you are this light.  This in itself is extra-ordinary.  Even though you may have heard the words a thousand times, nothing can prepare you for the naked reality that is revealed.  And yet the living experience of this revelation is very ordinary: you have simply re-discovered the innocent wholeness of your essential nature.  It’s the you that never was and never will be separate from anything at all.  This discovery is the end of suffering and the beginning of freedom.
© Amoda Maa Jeevan, 2013
                                  
Amoda Maa Jeevan is a spiritual teacher, author, and the founder of the Foundation for Conscious Change.  The above article is an extract from her 3rd book, Radical Awakening. To find out more about Amoda, to contact her, or for a schedule of events, visit her website at http://www.AmodaMaaJeevan.com.

The above story was extracted with permission from The Journey Home: Awakening in the Dream, published by In the Garden Publishing in partnership with OneTheMagazine.com.
Available from GroundingHeavenAsEarth.com


                ___________________________________________________________________________

6 Degrees of Consciousness

- Jan Frazier -

http://www.janfrazierteachings.com



1. Unconsciousness
Nothing can be seen that will free you

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Sense of what self is

Self = ego/mind * Self = stable entity over time * Complete separation from outer life and other “selves” * Self = body, traits, roles, history, beliefs * All of this completely unobserved

Awareness of ego

Identification with ego is absolute and unobserved

Relationship to time

Past and future feel real, are where attention often is * Impression of life as a flow over time * Present is seldom experienced

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Ceaseless mental activity, unobserved * Complete identification with thought (which appears “true”) * Deep in unrecognized belief systems * Discomfort with not- knowing * Thought is used to manage or avoid feelings, which distort into emotions (suffering)

Nature of emotional life

Emotions completely subject to mental activity/patterns * Impression of being at the mercy of life * Spontaneous feeling confused with thought-driven emotional reactivity * Constant roller coaster of intense emotions (fear, desire, anger, shame, envy, etc.)

Relationship between inner & outer life

Life happens “to” you * Constant attempt to gain control over life * Assumption that the way to improve inner state is to fix outer circumstances * At the mercy of conditioning (unobserved) * Blame or credit events and circumstances for how you are inside * Resistance, reactivity, and judgment are rampant, unnoticed, not seen as optional

Perception of choice

Seen to operate in realm of action/behavior, but not in thought or emotion * No sense of choice in whether to believe a thought * No sense of choice in how outer life affects or changes you

Primary focus/motivator

Fulfillment of desire, escape from pain * Fear and grasping * Wish for security * Constant vigilance * Self-maintenance and enhancement * Concern with personal features and outer circumstances

What appears real

Egoic self * Other selves * Experience * Mental and emotional activity * Belief * Time and things “in” time

Characteristic statement

“Life sucks” alternating with “Life rocks”




2. A Little Consciousness

Seeing becomes possible.  Occasional flickers of consciousness

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Sense of what self is

Continuing solid sense of self and separation from all, with occasional observation of this

Awareness of ego

Glimmers of awareness that there is an ego * Occasional witnessing of ego in action

Relationship to time

Recognition of power of past and future * Present seldom experienced

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Dawning awareness of how busy the mind is, and of its role in suffering * Continued ceaseless mental activity and identification with thoughts * Thoughts are “true” * Thoughts still used to manage or avoid feelings * Ongoing search for better (“truer”) beliefs

Nature of emotional life

Some awareness that emotional burden is outcome of thought patterns and conditioning

Relationship between inner & outer life

Beginning of awareness of how at the mercy you are of outer life developments * Conditioning expresses itself, largely unobserved * New conditioning occurs, largely unobserved

Perception of choice

Realization of some choice re: where attention is directed (e.g., on activity of ego-mind, on inner state versus outer life)

Primary focus/motivator

Same as with total unconsciousness (fulfillment of desire, escape from pain, enhancement of self) * Growing desire for equanimity and release from suffering, but with familiar wish to achieve that via control of life and self

What appears real

Same as with total unconsciousness (egoic self, other selves, experience, mental and emotional activity, belief, time and things “in” time)

Characteristic statement

“My ego is a creepy little bastard, and I can’t seem to get the upper hand.”



3. Increasing Episodes of Consciousness

More is seen

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Sense of what self is

Growing observation of self as doer, thinker, feeler, reactor * Growing sense that there’s something else here, watching

Awareness of ego

Growing awareness of predominance of ego and how it functions * Recognition of attachment, reactivity, identification, resistance, conditioning, as it manifests * Discomfort with what’s seen (self-judgment, cringing, tendency to denial, attempts to “fix” or justify ego)

Relationship to time

Growing attunement to mechanics of fear, hope, regret, and the pull of unresolved issues from the past * Sense of being on a journey toward awakening

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Occasional awareness of thoughts-as-thoughts, and of their power over the

emotional life * Growing desire for spiritual “knowledge” * Observation of the power of belief and its role in sustaining the ego * Beginning of the awareness of the option to believe (or not to believe) a thought * Beginning of the awareness that a thought is a made thing

Nature of emotional life

Early awareness of spontaneous feeling, and how thought reacts to that, and how thought causes emotion

Relationship between inner & outer life

Occasional experience of gap between outer and inner >>> peace, immersion in presence, sense of option in response, relaxation of appearance of causality * Conditioning sometimes observed in action (both old and new)

Perception of choice

Occasional observation, in the moment, of gap between thought and emotion, and the causal relationship between the two

Primary focus/motivator

Same as before (fulfillment of desire, escape from pain, enhancement of self), with additional focus on present moment and on inner life * Growing wish for inner peace (but reluctance to let go of other – fears, satisfactions, etc.)

What appears real

Much of the same continues feeling real (egoic self, other selves, mental and emotional activity, experience, belief, time and things in time), but now attention from within the “state” outside ego also feels real, in a way that’s both more substantial and fleeting

Characteristic statement

“How can I get ecstatic experiences to occur, and how can I get them to last?”



4. Conscious Moments Occur Regularly

(but unconsciousness still predominates)  * Still more becomes apparent

                 ---------------------------------------------------------------


Sense of what self is

Softening sense of solid self * Growing awareness of our in-common humanity (more alike than different)

Awareness of ego

Increasing awareness of ego-in-action, with observation of how ego maintains itself and how “self” appears to benefit from ego maintenance * Better able to observe ego neutrally, without angst, avoidance, wish to change it

Relationship to time

Past and future increasingly seen as thoughts (i.e., not real) * Growing present- moment awareness

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Attunement to difference between thinking and attention * Recognition of the mind’s limited ability to access truth * Beliefs beginning to lose power * More able to observe thought without getting caught up in it, equating it with reality

Nature of emotional life

More able to stay with spontaneous feeling, without resistance or mental management of it * Emotions less volatile, seeming less to have a life of their own

Relationship between inner & outer life

Increasingly resistance gives way to acceptance * Reactivity is less automatic * Growing awareness that inner orientation plays a significant role in how life feels

Perception of choice

To believe a thought (or not) * To think or to attend * To be in the now or to be in the head * To resist or to accept * To allow circumstance to shape inner condition or to decline to * To stay with spontaneous feeling (or escape into the head)

Primary focus/motivator

Wanting to awaken, to be freed of torment

What appears real

Much of the same (egoic self, other selves, thought, experience, time), but the “higher” self is increasingly sensed, felt to be outside egoic impressions of reality

Characteristic statement

“I’m going to wake up if it kills me.”



5. Consciousness Predominates

(with lapses into unconsciousness) * Little is missed

---------------------------------------------------------------

Sense of what self is

Self and the now sometimes experienced as the same “thing” * Occasional loss of moorings, disorientation, fear (of “death”)

Awareness of ego

Ego acts up occasionally and is nearly always observed, when it does *

Ego is taken less seriously (because less and less it seems to be what you are)

Relationship to time

Past and future lose their grip, as they are seen to be thoughts only, not “real” * More contentment with the present, just as it is

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Thought occurs less on its own, and less compulsively * Thought tends to be more practical than egoic * Diminishing inclination to use the mind to “know” the truth * Thought used less to manage or avoid feeling * Thought recognized more consistently as thought * Optional to believe a thought * Increasingly in not-knowing (sometimes comfortably, sometimes unnerved)

Nature of emotional life

Unresisted momentary feeling is the norm * Feeling is not managed by thought, causing emotion, so emotional life is very quiet * Feeling is brief (but may be strong), lasting about as long as what stirred it into being

Relationship between inner & outer life

Acceptance is the norm * Less inclination to blame life, to look to it for fulfillment * Reactivity only very occasional * Conditioning recognized; little new conditioning occurs

Perception of choice

Primary choice is seen: to identify with ego or with consciousness

Primary focus/motivator

Being in the now * Knowing reality

What appears real

What is happening now, what’s perceivable via senses, present-moment feeling

Characteristic statement

“Maybe it doesn’t matter so much if I ever wake up” (since increasingly, the present, as it is, is what seems real . . . and since the desire to awaken is recognized as a thought).



6. Pure, Stable Consciousness

        All is seeing

-------------------------------------------------------------

Sense of what self is

No separate “I” * End of subject-object awareness * Self = all that is, the space in which everything occurs * Self = consciousness * Personality is readily assumed when needed but is not identified with and is not confused with reality * Dual awareness of being personality and space, form and formlessness

Awareness of ego

Ego seen as entirely artificial, unable to convince you of its reality, since consciousness does not waver, and identification with consciousness is complete

Relationship to time

Only now feels real * “Life” = now (only) * Past and future seen as thoughts only, never entered into as though reality * Ongoing stillness, rather than apparent movement (“through” time)

Orientation to thought & knowledge

Mind is quiet except when needed for something practical * Mind serves at the pleasure of consciousness * Thought never mistaken for reality * Comfort with not-knowing * Understanding (which comes via consciousness, not thought) continues to deepen

Nature of emotional life

Suffering has ended * Thought-generated emotion is a thing of the past * Feelings are fully allowed (so there is occasional pain, like grief) * Pain (because not resisted) does not persist and leaves no residue, no conditioning

Relationship between inner & outer life

No sense of being separate from present-moment life * Inner and outer are all one (“what’s happening now”) * No impulse to judge or resist (because not separate from what is) * You are what is * Inner state seldom affected by outer things

Perception of choice

Primary choice exercised is how wide or narrow to direct awareness (along the scale from a defined person to all-that-is, space itself)

Primary focus/motivator

What is (the now) * Concern for others

What appears real

Consciousness * The space in which all occurs

Characteristic statement

“This is what’s happening.”



Degrees of Consciousness: Overview

Consciousness is Being sensing itself in the encounter with momentary reality.

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Unconsciousness is the norm for humankind. Life is lived entirely within the enclosed container of the narrowly-defined self. Nothing can be seen that will bring freedom.

Then, for some . . .

A catalyst occurs: a severe loss . . . a deep longing to know the truth . . . weariness of suffering . . .  a vivid experience of beingness. The spiritual life begins. It has become possible to see, even with a small amount of consciousness.

With the growing willingness to see, without resistance or judgment or mental filters, the light of consciousness increases (gradually or abruptly), ebbs and flows, perhaps eventually becoming the predominant awareness.

It may be that at some point . . .

The walls of the the narrowly-defined self collapse. The shift to full wakefulness represents a qualitative shift (not just “more” consciousness), leaving pure, stable consciousness.

Keep in mind . . .

Each moment is simply itself, as it is, not necessarily indicative of a stable condition. Consciousness doesn't necessarily develop in a strictly linear way, in the stages depicted.

Growing degrees of consciousness may occur gradually or abruptly, and may or may not endure.

 
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Life after death & rebirth?
Nisargadatta Maharaj - from "I AmThat"

Q. Rebirth?

The memory of the past unfulfilled desires traps energy, which manifests itself as a person. When its charge gets exhausted, the person dies. Unfulfilled desires are carried over into the next birth. Self-identification with the body creates ever fresh desires and there is no end to them, unless this mechanism of bondage is clearly seen. It is clarity that is liberating, for you cannot abandon desire, unless its causes and effects are clearly seen. I do not say that the same person is reborn. It dies and dies for good. But its memories remain and their desires and fears. They supply the energy for a new person. The real takes no part in it, but makes it possible by giving it, the light.


Q. Life after death?

Questioner: When an ordinary man dies, what happens to him?
Maharaj: According to his belief it happens, As life before death is but imagination, so is life after. The dream continues.
Q: And what about the jnani?(a liberated person)
M: The jnani does not die because he was never born.
Q: He appears so to others.
M: But not to himself. In himself he is free of things -- physical and mental.
Q: Still you must know the state of the man who died. At least from your own past lives.
M: Until I met my Guru I knew so many things. Now I know nothing, for all knowledge is in dream only and not valid. I know myself and I find no life nor death in me, only pure being -- not being this or that, but just being. But the moment the mind, drawing on its stock of memories, begins to imagine, it fills the space with objects and time with events. As I do not know even this birth, how can I know past births? It is the mind that, itself in movement, sees everything moving, and having created time, worries about the past and future. All the universe is cradled in consciousness (maha tattva), which arises where there is perfect order and harmony (maha sattva). As all waves are in the ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all important, not the content of it. Deepen and broaden your awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow. You need not seek anything, all will come to you most naturally and effortlessly. The five senses and the four functions of the mind -- memory, thought, understanding and selfhood; the five elements -- earth, water, fire, air and ether; the two aspects of creation -- matter and spirit, all are contained in awareness.
Q: Yet, you must believe in having lived before.
M: The scriptures say so, but I know nothing about it. I know myself as I am; as I appeared or will appear is not within my experience. It is not that I do not remember. In fact there is nothing to remember. Reincarnation implies a reincarnating self. There is no such thing. The bundle of memories and hopes, called the 'I', imagines itself existing everlastingly and creates time to accommodate its false eternity: To be, I need no past or future. All experience is born of imagination; I do not imagine, so no birth or death happens to me. Only those who think themselves born can think themselves re-born. You are accusing me of having been born -- I plead not guilty! All exists in awareness and awareness neither dies nor is re-born. It is the changeless reality itself. All the universe of experience is born with the body and dies with the body; it has its beginning and end in awareness, but awareness knows no beginning, nor end. If you think it out carefully and brood over it for a long time, you will come to see the light of awareness in all its clarity and the world will fade out of your vision. It is like looking at a burning incense stick, you see the stick and the smoke first; when you notice the fiery point, you realise that it has the power to consume mountains of sticks and fill the universe with smoke. Timelessly the self actualises itself, without exhausting its infinite possibilities. In the incense stick simile the stick is the body and the smoke is the mind. As long as the mind is busy with its contortions, it does not perceive its own source. The Guru comes and turns your attention to the spark within. By its very nature the mind is outward turned; it always tends to seek for the source of things among the things themselves; to be told to look for the source within, is, in a way, the beginning of a new life. Awareness takes the place of consciousness; in consciousness there is the 'I', who is conscious while awareness is undivided; awareness is aware of itself. The 'I am' is a thought, while awareness is not a thought, there is no 'I am aware' in awareness. Consciousness is an attribute while awareness is not; one can be aware of being conscious, but not conscious of awareness. God is the totality of consciousness, but awareness is beyond all -- being as well as not-being.
Q: I had started with the question about the condition of a man after death. When his body is destroyed, what happens to his consciousness? Does he carry his senses of seeing, hearing etc. along with him or does he leave them behind? And, if he loses his senses, what becomes to his consciousness?
M: Senses are mere modes of perception. As the grosser modes disappear, finer states of consciousness emerge.

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Death and A Course in Miracles

Yet there is a kind of seeming death that has a different source. 9 It does not come because of hurtful thoughts and raging anger at the universe. 10 It merely signifies the end has come for usefulness of body functioning. 11 And so it is discarded as a choice, as one lays by a garment now outworn.

S-3.II.2.    This is what death should be; a quiet choice, made joyfully and with a sense of peace, because the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. 2 We thank the body, then, for all the service it has given us. 3 But we are thankful, too, the need is done to walk the world of limits, and to reach the Christ in hidden forms and clearly seen at most in lovely flashes. 4 Now we can behold Him without blinders, in the light that we have learned to look upon again.

S-3.II.3.    We call it death, but it is liberty. 2 It does not come in forms that seem to be thrust down in pain upon unwilling flesh, but as a gentle welcome to release. 3 If there has been true healing, this can be the form in which death comes when it is time to rest a while from labor gladly done and gladly ended. 4 Now we go in peace to freer air and gentler climate, where it is not hard to see the gifts we gave were saved for us. 5 For Christ is clearer now; His vision more sustained in us; His Voice, the Word of God, more certainly our own.

From “The Song of Prayer” Supplement to A Course in Miracles

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Forthcoming Workshops on A Course in Miracles


For up to date information on my workshops go to http://www.acfip.org/fws.html



Germany 2015 Dates


Bonn 2015

6-7 June, 2015
10.00am to 6.000pm

Living the Guided Life
A Course in Miracles workshop.

This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself. I do not know the way to You. But You are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.
A Course in Miracles. Lesson 291

The Course states that if we do not have inner peace and joy 24 hours a day we know nothing. Although we may be competent in using the mind to live adequately in daily practical life, we need to realise its limitations and open ourselves to hearing a wisdom beyond the mind - what the Course calls the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God. This Voice can be heard in many ways - an inner knowing, words, a felt sense, etc.

We play our part by realising we do not know the way to peace and are willing to be guided and allow our mind to become quieter through forgiveness.

The workshop will explore what the Holy Spirit is, how to hear Its voice, how to tell the difference between the ego's voice and the Holy Spirit's, resistance to guidance, true prayer, the ladder of prayer and attaining a quiet mind.

Exercises will be given to help quiet the mind and open it to spirit's guidance.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles required.


An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri 5th June 2015
7.30pm to 9.30pm


Contact:
Albert-Schweitzer-Haus
Beethovenallee 16
Bonn 53173
tel: 0228 - 36 47 37
http://www.albert-schweitzer-haus-bonn.de





Freiburg  2015


June 12  6pm to 9pm
June 13 10.00am to 6.00pm
June 14 10.00am to 5.00pm


Living the Guided Life
A Course in Miracles workshop.

This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself. I do not know the way to You. But You are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.
A Course in Miracles. Lesson 291

The Course states that if we do not have inner peace and joy 24 hours a day we know nothing. Although we may be competent in using the mind to live adequately in daily practical life, we need to realise its limitations and open ourselves to hearing a wisdom beyond the mind - what the Course calls the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God. This Voice can be heard in many ways - an inner knowing, words, a felt sense, etc.

We play our part by realising we do not know the way to peace and are willing to be guided and allow our mind to become quieter through forgiveness.

The workshop will explore what the Holy Spirit is, how to hear Its voice, how to tell the difference between the ego's voice and the Holy Spirit's, resistance to guidance, true prayer, the ladder of prayer and attaining a quiet mind.

Exercises will be given to help quiet the mind and open it to spirit's guidance.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles required.

Contact:
Margarete Sennekamp
Winterhaldenweg 4,
79856 Hinterzarten,
Tel./Fax: 07652-917530
email: M.Sennekamp@t-online.de
www.Sophia-Institut.de

                        __________________________________________________________________________


PLEASE NOTE: The Australian Centre for Inner Peace is not a counselling or psychotherapy centre; therefore we do not offer telephone or email service or counselling, therapy, or crisis intervention for personal problems. Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.

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BOOKS AND AUDIO MATERIALS FOR SALE - by Michael Dawson


New teaching and healing materials - eBooks and downloadable MP3s:

Ebooks:

1. Healing the Cause -A Path of Forgiveness.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles.
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

2. A Course in Miracles - Explanations of Major Themes
New book in eBook format

3. Forgiveness - A Path to Inner Peace.
Inspired by A Course in Miracles
This is the eBook version of the paper back.

The eBook versions can be read on Kindle, iPad, Microsoft eReader, Nook, PDF readers (Mac and PC) and most eBook readers.

For more details and how to purchase please visit: www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html


Downloadable Mp3s:

1. Healing the Cause: Self-Help Exercises 1
This MP3 contains the identical four exercises as the CD

2. Healing the Cause: Self-Help Exercises 2
This MP3 contains the identical four exercises as the CD

3. Healing the Cause: 3 Self-Help Exercises in English with German translation
This MP3 contains the identical three exercises as the CD

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html


Books:
Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness.  Findhorn Press 1994
Also available in German, Romanian, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness.  Findhorn Press. 2003
Also available in German, French, Polish and Romanian.

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html

MP3s (see above) and CDs:
Healing the Cause:
Since 1986 I have been conducting healing workshops in the UK and abroad, and have continually experimented to find healing and forgiveness exercises that are effective.  I have found that a particular exercise can be effective for one person but not another. Accordingly, I was led to develop a series of exercises. Over the years workshop participants asked if these exercises could be put onto audio cassettes and CDs so they could repeat them. This has resulted in the Healing the Cause - Exercise series - Tapes 1 to 4 (2 exercises on each tape) and CD1 and 2 (4 exercises on each CD)

CD - 3 Healing Exercises in English with German translation. 10 Euro
Content:
Ex1. Forgiving Ourselves.
Ex2. Changing Perception and Finding peace.
Ex3. Changing Perception of another - exercise for two people.

These exercises are similar to existing exercises already available on CDs but are translated into German.
 
Workshops:
1. Three Steps of Forgiveness.
This workshop concentrates on the process of forgiveness from the perspective of A Course in Miracles. Includes 3 healing exercises.
 Recorded at the Annual Miracle Network Conference in London, November 2001. 1 hour 12 mins. One CD
2. Finding and Eliminating the Blocks to Receiving Guidance.
This talk investigates what stops us hearing the guidance that is ever present in our lives. Recorded at the Annual Miracle Network Conference in London, October 20001 hour. One CD

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/audio.html

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CONTACTS and COURSE INFORMATION

Search Engine for ACIM Sites, Definitions and Articles by Joe Jesseph.
A Web search engine dedicated to finding discussion and definitions of terms and concepts found in
A Course in Miracles as well as Web sites, articles and other writings related to the Course.

Question and Answer Service from the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
Their electronic outreach section has a question and answer service on the theory and practice of the Course. Their database of 1,400 questions and answers is searchable. They no longer take new questions as they feel all possible questions have now been put.

Foundation for Inner Peace..........................Publishers of A Course in Miracles and responsible for the translation programme. On-line mail order.

Foundation For A Course In Miracles................FACIM is the official teaching organisation of the Foundation for Inner Peace and the copyright-holder of_A Course in Miracles and all related materials. Publishes the quarterly Lighthouse newsletter. They have extensive on-line mail order for their books, CDs and DVDs.
The Foundation was started by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick and has moved to Temecula in California. Kenneth is my teacher of A Course in Miracles. His body died in December 2013.

Their publications can also be ordered in Australia at:
Adyar Bookshop
230 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Kenneth Wapnick ......……… Biographical information and excerpts from his writings

Kenneth Wapnick on YouTube

Glossary of ACIM terms from FACIM

"The Most Commonly asked Questions about A Course in Miracles"
by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick

Index of Links to Miracle Studies Resources ...……....... A rich resource of materials on A Course in Miracles by an ex-staff member of the Foundation For A Course In Miracle. Joe also has a blog and has recently published  A Primer of Psychology According to A Course in Miracles.

miraclestudies.net  ………… A Course in Miracles Resource Web Site for ACIM Students

A Course in Miracles Study groups

Search for A Course in Miracles Study Groups Around the World.

The Foundation for Inner peace also has a study group search engine.

Miracles Studies Australia  http://www.miracle-studies.net.au  lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand


Purchase ACIM on line
ACIM Historical Recordings & Video


A Course In Miracles Pen Pals:
The Miracle Network http://www.miracles.org.uk hosts a A Course in Miracles pen pals group:
To  join this e-mail discussion group,  send your e-mail address to e.pals@miracles.org.uk. 
They will send you  updated lists of other e.pals and  inform them of your e-mail address.

Belief.net ACIM discussion:
This Belief.net web-based discussion is hosted by Joe Jesseph.
http://community.beliefnet.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=151

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INSPIRATIONAL QUOTATIONS

About three times a week I send a short quotation from some spiritual teacher or poet to people who have requested some uplifting thoughts. I have included some below. If you wish I can add your name to the email list.


How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, O holy Son of God, how long?

A Course in Miracles  Lesson 250


Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment.
Co-operate with your destiny, don't go against it, don't thwart it.
Allow it to fulfil itself.
All you have to do is to give attention to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.

Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That

 
When you listen to the voice in your head, that
is to say, do not judge.  You'll soon realize: there
is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching
it.  This I am realization, this sense of your own
presence, is not a thought.  It arises from beyond
the mind.
  
Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now


One is more likely to awaken through surrender than through seeking to waken. The effort to awaken is the effort of ego, whereas to surrender is to give up all efforts and to place oneself in the hands of a vast force that is more powerful than any realization of non duality.
When one finally gives up one's futile attempts to make reality conform to one's own wishes, and allows it to unfold on its own terms, all the energy that was tied up in foolish attempts to manipulate the universe is freed up.

Mariana Caplan
Halfway Up the Mountain - The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment


__________________________________

Michael Dawson
PO Box 125
Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island
Queensland 4183
Australia

EMAIL:       mdawson@acfip.org
WEBSITE:   http://www.acfip.org