Question: “Hey Nick, how are you? Nick I think we are alike in many ways, I also gave up and detached from almost all material things, information, knowledge, beliefs, dreams, illusions, programs, souvenirs, etc.., And you surrendered to the Holy Spirit and I to God (same). I say that I am almost detached because I’m still working in a place I don’t like where there is no love with my wife, where I still do not know what my true talents are, although I am still asleep it still hurts and I still suffer. I’m still reading your book and has much resemblance to the philosophy of Ho’oponopono (which is really true, ¿right Nick?) I’m telling you because Ho’oponopono and a Course in Miracles and serve the same purpose (awakening from illusions, from this dream, there are no idols in Ho’oponopono) Write when you can and that the Holy Spirit or God will continue to guide I inspire you, blessings Nick! ”

Comment: Well, before sharing my comments, you say, “... I’m still reading your book and has much resemblance to the philosophy of Ho”oponopono .. ” Yes, the course has many similarities with Ho’oponopono until the ego began using the Ho’oponopono and became another tool to try to make changes in the world which distorts the original message of Ho’oponopono, which is to heal the mind and not the form (illusions); heal the cause which is responsible for the world we see (projection) so that we can awaken from the dream. As I shared in my book What Happens When You Let God:

 

———————————

Before elaborating on how I apply the process, and to show you how The Course is just one path out of many, I am going to briefly share about a healing modality from Hawaii called Ho’oponopono, which means to make right, just to demonstrate how it compares to the teachings of The Course if used within The Course’s context. The reason I mentioned if used within The Course’s context is because many traditions operate from the belief that the world is real. Although I am not suggesting that is what Ho’oponopono believes, that is the place where most healers and practitioners of different healing modalities appear to be coming from. They see the world of effects (illusions) and use their healing mantras or tools to attempt to fix what their eyes seem to see. The Course on the other hand, is always operating at the level of cause, from the level of the mind. It is not concerned with what we see because The Course clearly states that what we see with our physical eyes are illusions.

“So without deviating from the teachings of The Course, let’s see how Ho’oponopono could be employed as a tool for awakening. According to their practice, the words they use as their healing mantra are:

I love you

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

If I use those words within the context of what The Course teaches, the intention behind them would yield the same results. For example;

Ho’oponopono: I love you

ACIM: I love you because you and I are one

Ho’oponopono: I’m sorry

ACIM: I am sorry for having judged you

Ho’oponopono: Please forgive me

ACIM: Please forgive me for having projected you or I forgive myself for having projected you

Ho’oponopono: Thank you

ACIM: Thank you for letting me see what needs to be healed within me so that the Holy Spirit can correct it.”

———————————

 

Continuing now with your question, when you say, ”…I also gave up and detached from almost all material things, information, knowledge, beliefs, dreams, illusions, programs, souvenirs, etc.., And you surrendered to the Holy Spirit and I to God (same)…” Well, I do not know if it was me the one who truly let go, but I felt inspired to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit through the pursuit of inner peace, and that’s how I found myself letting go of most of my attachments.

 

But the thing was, it all began to happen naturally and gradually. Even when I was looking for that inner peace, I realized that I still had attachments. However, as I already mentioned, I was not the one who let go of them, I simply offered my attachments to the Holy Spirit so that He can helps me detach myself from them, and as a result, the detachment did not feel like sacrifice.

 

When we are not ready to detach psychologically from an illusion, what the Holy Spirit does is, He first helps us look at it differently (correction of perception) and then we find ourselves naturally experiencing detachment from whatever it is we were attached to. That’s how gentle the Holy Spirit is. But we, however, have to be willing to offer to him our attachments, our illusions. That’s why this process seems so hard, because we think we want to let go, when in reality, we want an exchange of illusions. For example, if you find yourself arguing or attacking someone, even if you have studied and even taught A Course in Miracles for many years, it is because at a much deeper level, you truly want your drama over your peace. And therefore the ego will remain intact. It’s really that simple! That’s why we have to be very vigilant.

 

Yes, I would say that when I let go of all the books I had read and all that information from the world of self-help, that’s when I was finally ready to hear the Voice from the heart of the Holy Spirit because in truth, what I was doing was setting all distractions aside. But again, that was my process. I’m not here to make any suggestions.

 

Obviously, I am still experiencing attachments just that at a much deeper level, however, I grabbed them at the moment, therefore finding it much easier to let them go. That’s really how you know if you are advancing on this spiritual journey. Yes, your level of peace is the ultimate barometer, but when you can catch the ego at the starting point without letting him take on speed, that’s how you know that you are truly doing the work because that is where you can choose again the right mind. Otherwise, once the ego pick up speed, it is very hard to stop it.

 

Using the very same example, if you feel bothered by someone, or feel like having an argument, obviously the reason is because of your attachment to your opinion. But if at that moment you catch yourself, because from the heart you want the peace of God, and here is the key, from the heart, all you want is the peace of God, you have another opportunity to choose again. In that choosing again, all the Holy Spirit is going to teach is how valueless our opinions, ideas and beliefs are so that we no longer have to defend them, and the result is peace.

 

That’s why the course reminds me, “I want the peace of God: To say these words is nothing. But to mean these words is everything. If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time.” W-pI.185.1:1-3 Then it goes on to say, “To mean you want the peace of God is to renounce all dreams (beliefs, opinions, ideas, concepts, everything we’ve learned, everything we have taught and we’ve been taught, in other words, everything that our physical senses can see, hear, touch, smell, perceive, imagined, EVERYTHING!). For no one means these words who wants illusions, and who therefore seeks the means which bring illusions.” W-pI.185.5:1-2 ¿Can you honestly say that you are truly willing to do that? ;o)

 

That’s why one of the most overlooked paragraphs, and yet, probably the most clear and important of the course is: “Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself.  Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed.  Hold onto nothing.  Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything.  Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.” W-pI.189.7:1-5

 

Continuing now with your question, when you say, “…I say that I am almost detached because I’m still working in a place I don’t like where there is no love with my wife, where I still do not know  what my true talents are, although I am still asleep it still hurts and I still suffer...” Let’s look at your comment a little closer because it seems to me that you are confusing form with content. Your job, as your wife and your personal circumstances, are all neutral.  They don’t have the power to affect you. What affects you is the teacher with whom you are looking at your live experiences, the story you have in your mind about your circumstances. The ego makes up a story, the Holy Spirit liberates you from it, not by replacing it, for that is self help stuff, but by liberating you from it. It’s a bit different.

 

These circumstances, or rather, projections, can be used for completely opposite purposes. If you see them with the ego they will serve its purpose, which is the perpetuation of fear in your mind, but if you see them with the Holy Spirit your projections will serve another.

 

As the course reminds us, “The ego has a purpose, just as the Holy Spirit has. The ego’s purpose is fear, because only the fearful can be egotistic. The ego’s logic is as impeccable as that of the Holy Spirit, because your mind has the means at its disposal to side with Heaven or earth, as it elects. But again, remember that both are in you. … We have learned, however, that there is an alternative to projection.  Every ability of the ego has a better use, because its abilities are directed by the mind, which has a better Voice.  The Holy Spirit extends and the ego projects.  As their goals are opposed, so is the result.” T- 5.V.1 :2-5 .. T-6.II.4 :1-4

 

The first thing I have learned is to recognize that wherever I am, that’s where I’m supposed to be. And if I look at that experience with the Holy Spirit I can use it to heal through letting Him teach me how to perceive love and innocence in all things, remembering that any judgment (attack) is a judgment against me, and what I love is a recognition of what I am.

 

“The Holy Spirit begins by perceiving you as perfect. Knowing this perfection is shared He recognizes it in others, thus strengthening it in both. Instead of anger this arouses love for both, because it establishes inclusion.” T-6.II.5 :1-3

 

That obviously does not mean I should stay in a situation that for lack of a better word is not healthy or positive (I know these words are judgments but in this world of illusions are the words I can use to convey this message), but while choosing the peace of the Holy Spirit, I can choose to remove myself from any situation. But if for some reason I can not remove myself from a particular situation, then I do not resist anything, for I understand that that is the perfect curriculum for my learning, always remembering what the course says, “All things work together for good. There are no exceptions except in the ego’s judgment.” T-4.V.1 :1-2

 

When we are dominated by the ego’s thought system, we only see, or I should say, perceive fear, judgment, terror, and we don’t know how to get out of whatever experience we seem to be trapped in, because as the course reminds us, “When you have been caught in the world of perception you are caught in a dream. You cannot escape without help, because everything your senses show merely witnesses to the reality of the dream. Preface

 

In your case, you’re so trapped in your apparent circumstances, or as I said, your perception of them, that you can not see another way out. However, there is another way of looking at things; another way to perceive, which is the same as to say, there is another way out.

 

But you are not the one who teaches yourself how to get out of anything as the course reminds us, “You cannot be your guide to miracles, for it is you who made them necessary.” T-14.XI.7:1 It is your right mind that can set you free. And that’s why when you do not resist anything, and choose inner peace, a change in perception takes place. This change in perception all it does is uses the same illusions that the ego employs to perpetuate fear in your mind to recognize the innocence and love in everything.

 

That innocence is your innocence, only that has been covered by a veil of unconscious guilt that is being projected outwards by your fearful mind, and now it is the excuse the ego uses to justify your anger, your fear, your suffering. But beware, I’m not suggesting that you are guilty or anything like that. It’s just a recognition that nothing is happening outside but inside for everything is a projection. That’s why the course reminds us, “I am not the victim of the world I see.” W-pI.31

 

However, having said that, there is only one solution, the choice of inner peace which is the same as to say, to choose again, or to practice forgiveness. In my case, while I was writing my book, I did not even know what was going on with my life. I was lost and confused, and yet, I learned through the practice of choosing internal peace, that during those three or four years, and obviously the rest of this illusory life, each and every one of my experiences have served and will serve a purpose, the only purpose that there is, forgiveness.

 

Back to your question, if you keep complaining about your experiences, you’re not letting the Holy Spirit teach you. That does not mean you have to stay in uncomfortable circumstances as I mentioned earlier, but you have to take full responsibility for your projections and your experiences, for you are only given the opportunity to undo the internal guilt by choosing the thought system of the Holy Spirit.

 

That’s why the projections are there, NOT to be fixed, for there is nothing to fix. You are not seeking a change in circumstances (effects, form, world) but a change of mind (cause, content, mind). “Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.” T-21.in.1:7

 

Remember that the Holy Spirit does not share the thought system of the ego (illusions). If anything, all the Holy Spirit is teaching you is not to take this world seriously. As the course reminds us, “He bids you bring each terrible effect to Him that you may look together on its foolish cause and laugh with Him a while. You judge effects, but He has judged their cause. And by His judgment are effects removed.” T-27.VIII.9:3-5

 

Your whole problem, which is everyone’s problem, mine too for my whole life, and even after being sharing A Course in Miracles, aside from the fact that the only problem which is illusory is that we think we are separate from God, but is that you have taken your experiences seriously, and now, instead becoming a happy learner you are now resisting your experiences making it difficult for you to let them go and to be taught.

 

Remember that once something is healed in the mind, no longer needs to be projected. But we have to be WILLING to look at our fears, and judgments with the Holy Spirit so that He can remove the cause, for as the course reminds us again, You judge effects, but He has judged their cause. And by His judgment are effects removed.” T-27.VIII.9:5

 

Keep also in mind, that this course is not about exchanging illusions for more pleasant ones, but to undo our false sense of self, and now we use our illusions to recognize our innocence in everyone and everything, so that the mind can heal and can be reverted to its natural state, peace, love.

 

Once your mind is filled with peace and love, ¿does it matter what you do in the world or who you are with, or what anyone does? Because whatever it is that you end up doing, being with, or watching others doing, you’ll be at peace and filled with love. And that’s the true meaning of the happy dream! But like everything, it takes practice. Just remember, “The way is not hard, but it is different.” T-11.III.4

 

All I can say is this, you are exactly where you need to be, as we are all exactly where need to be for if we needed to be somewhere else, that’s where we would be.

 

The question now is, ¿with whom you want to look at your experiences,  with the ego, which is nothing but a believe in order to continue perpetuating the belief in separation in your mind, or with the Holy Spirit so that He can teach you how to awaken from this dream?

 

That’s the only freewill you truly have.

First, a disclaimer: The information I give here about the early days of the Course is sprinkled with a few direct observations but comes primarily from many conversations my wife Gayle and I had with Bill Thetford over the years. If there are any inaccuracies, please chalk these up to my faulty memory of what Bill told us, because nothing here is taken from books and biographies about the Course.

Bill thought it amusing that many “official” details about how the Course came were not what he recalled, even though he was by that time the only one alive who had been there from the beginning. For instance, once he laughed and said, “Now they’re saying the Course came over a period of ___ years. I always thought it was ___ years.” For reasons that I hope will become clearer as we go along, my purpose is not to correct historical details and for that reason I am not getting into them. “Getting into details” instead of getting into God is what causes all the trouble.

The lesson for Gayle and me was that although Bill disagreed with some of the “facts” that were being recorded about his and Helen’s lives, and some of the actions that were being taken in the name of the Course, he did not feel the need to impose his position on other people. However, please note that he did have a position on these and many other subjects, and, primarily as a form of humor, he often would voice his position.

It simply isn’t possible to have an ego and yet have no position, no opinions, no attitudes. In fact, when we look at our minds honestly, we see that we have mixed feelings and multiple opinions about almost everything. It is how we respond to our positions, to our own points of view — not staying unaware of them — that determines our sense of wholeness and peace. Bill’s gentle example was: Do not become preoccupied with your position — which you inescapably will do if you try to force it on someone else.

In 1978, Gayle and I met Bill Thetford, Judy and Bob Skutch, Jerry Jampolsky, and several other people associated with the Course, all of whom were living in Tiburon at the time. Even though there was an underlying sense of family and mutual support among these people, several of them seemed to be wrestling with two contrasting attitudes toward the Course . One was that the Course needed protecting and promoting. In those days, this point of view was still quite weak because the original thinking — during the period when the Course was being turned over to The Foundation for Inner Peace — was that “the Course is for everyone” and shouldn’t even be copyrighted, which of course would mean that no one organization could control it.

There is an interesting parallel between the early days of the Course and the early days of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy, like Helen, felt that she was writing down a teaching that was coming to her from a higher source. I believe it is no coincidence, especially since this same attitude was present in the early days of Unity and many other spiritual teachings, that Mrs. Eddy’s original impulse was not to copyright and not to organize.

In the case of A Course in Miracles, this attitude was most clearly embodied in Bill Thetford’s light-hearted and humorous perspective that the Course could take care of itself, that it merely pointed to a Truth that could never be contained in words, and that no harm could come from doing what it says, which is: forget it and turn to God. For example, I know of two separate times when Bill advised people who were arguing about “what the Course meant” to “tear the page out,” because, he said, “nothing should come between you and your brother.” If only one manuscript of the Course existed, and if we had all followed Bill’s advice, it is safe to say that by now there would be no pages left. And in many ways, that might be a good thing!

Until Bill died, the Course, for the most part, rocked gently on a sea of flexibility and good humor. And despite some very crazy uses that its words were put to by various individuals and groups, no real harm was done. As a consequence, I naively thought that the Course was going to be the first spiritual teaching to escape becoming a tool of separation. But my thinking that the Course was different was part of the mistake many of us were making. Even though separation had overtaken the teachings of Muhammad, the Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, the Prophets, and even “The Big Book” (AA), how could it happen, I said to myself, to the only teaching that contained nothing but oneness and forgiveness? In other words, how could separation overtake a teaching that was so separate?

It could happen and it has happened. In my opinion, it has occurred for the same reason that many devout Hindus practice subjugation and slavery. For the same reason that children are slaughtered in the name of Mohammed. For the same reason that students of the Buddha make statues of gold in the image of his body. And for the same reason that Jesus, who taught that we should give all we have to the poor, practice total forgiveness, and devote ourselves to each other became the symbol of the most prejudiced and privileged segment of our culture.

But the lesson for those of us who have chosen A Course in Miracles as our path, the lesson that we must now take — in fact are being forced to take — into the 21st century, is to distinguish between the book and the Reality that the book points to. Only what is separate about the Course, only the part that is in the world — only the part that you and I have been instructed to forget — can be manipulated. A book is mere words, and in Lesson 1 we have already been gently led — perhaps some would say divinely tricked — into looking at it and saying, “This book does not mean anything.”

Merely the Course’s words can be seen by egos. Merely the words can be taken away from this person, given to that person, used for money, used for litigation and sanctions, used for titles and certificates, and used to leave behind a now long trail of resentment, anger, financial loss, hurt feelings, and bitter righteousness. But what does God have to do with all that insanity? Nothing. Words are just words, and the Course itself assures us that our need for words is almost over.

Make no mistake; the inevitable march toward separation has nothing to do with the particular egos involved. The world is nothing but separation. Regardless of what individuals do or don’t do, everything in the world eventually becomes a force for still more separation. This fact should not sadden us but free us to let go of what was never a part of God in the first place. God is not a book.

As I suggested earlier, it is virtually impossible to do the first lesson in the Course without saying, “This book does not mean anything.” But if we really believed that, how could we possibly fight about who should control it or what that control should look like? We can try to control the controllers of the book, or we can turn to God. We can be preoccupied with who is and who is not allowed to make money off the book, or we can turn to God. We can argue about which ego can interpret the book best, or we can turn to God.

So what will happen to the book in the 21st century? My guess is that it will continue to decline in popularity and eventually become so associated with the organizations and personalities that war over it that they will become its meaning in the eyes of the public. The words “A Course in Miracles” will end up symbolizing something quite unlike their true meaning, just as has happened on a much larger scale with the words “Christian,” “Jesus,” and “the Bible.”

But none of this will matter to you because the truth will still be true. Love will still be all around you. The holy light of God will still shine within you. And the One who has never left your side will bring you safely home. I suspect that even in the world, the Source of the thousand courses that have already come will send us a thousand more, and a thousand after that, and still more after that, until at last we see that it is not the form that any true teaching takes that has meaning. All that has meaning is the one Reality they point to.

What, then, is our function regarding the Course in the 21st century? It is to be acutely aware of the world’s call to separate and love more God’s call to come home.

A few years ago, I attended a gathering where I saw many of the people associated with the Course that Gayle and I had gotten to know in the 70′s. As I said earlier, I am aware of no teaching that emphasizes innocence and unity in more straightforward terms than A Course in Miracles. I know of no teaching that ranks itself more clearly as just one of many, as a temporary aid only, and as helpful to some but not to all. A Course in Miracles simply does not present itself as a superior or even a permanent teaching, and, in my opinion, the heart of the teaching is that we must turn from our belief that we are individually “special” to the recognition that we are not only equal but one with each other and one with God.

What effect does the long-term study of such a teaching have on its students? I was surprised that after twenty years it was the opposite of what I expected. With two or three exceptions, everyone I saw at the gathering was far more separate and egocentric than they were when Gayle and I first met them. In fact, their egos were so large that many of them had lost the ability to carry on a simple conversation. They made pronouncements and listened deeply to no one. I was appalled, and when I returned home, I said to Gayle, “If this has happened to most of our Course friends, is there any chance it hasn’t happened to us?”

The answer was that indeed it had happened to us. Even though we had long noticed the unhelpful effects of most religions and spiritual teachings on their students, we had thought that as Course students we were immune — because the Course emphasizes reversing this very dynamic. If the dynamic is not the fault of the teaching or religion itself — and in most cases it clearly is not — what mistakes do students make that cause it?

When Gayle and I finally looked at ourselves honestly, we discovered that although we had been ministers and spiritual teachers for many years and had written over a dozen books on spiritual themes, we personally had not become kinder or even more sane through our devotion. We, like most individuals, started a spiritual path with the intention of becoming better people and finding ways to be truly helpful, only to move in the opposite direction. The more time and thought we had put into teaching and writing about our path, the more self-absorbed we had become. We had ended up less flexible, less forgiving, and less generous than we were when we first started our path!

What we had actually learned was how to mask our egos, act spiritual, and make our own thoughts less conscious. In addition, we had accumulated hundreds of new spiritual concepts, which, unfortunately, is the primary standard by which spiritual teachers are judged (as well, of course, as TV pundits, columnists, politicians, non-fiction authors, talking-head experts, and the like.).

As happened to us, most devout people seem unaware that these changes are occurring. They think they are making good progress, until one day — if they are lucky — they come face-to-face with the fact that their worst impulses have been growing in power and influence over them. In lieu of a true awakening, they make an unconscious determination that they have arrived, or that they have come close enough to the end of the journey that the remaining distance is of no consequence and requires very little of their attention.

There are clearly many individual exceptions to these generalizations, but not as many as we thought there would be when we began studying the phenomenon. This discovery has led us to place far greater emphasis on exposing the ways that the ego takes over spiritual efforts. Because the fact is, the day you started your spiritual path, your ego started it also, and for every spiritual motive you have, there is an ego motive as well. This is not reason to be afraid, but it is reason to be more aware.

Those individuals we know intimately who we believe are close to being awake, seem to have no interest in contrasting themselves with other people. Generally speaking, they live simple, ordinary lives. They are comfortable if not restful to be around. Their time is usually devoted to unimportant things and their hearts to “unimportant” people. They have no inflexible concepts or rigid patterns and there is nothing particularly unusual about the subjects they choose to talk about or anything outstanding in the personal mannerisms they exhibit. They are easily pleased, and often they are happy for no apparent reason. Because their own egos are no longer destructive, they find other people’s egos amusing and endearing. Above all, they are equal and familiar. They would not be good subjects for a magazine profile. And yet, into the mundane, everyday circumstances of their lives, they quietly pour their comfort and their peace.

Bill Thetford was such a person. He didn’t talk the Course. He didn’t write books about the Course. He very seldom made public statements about the Course, and then only because someone had pleaded with him to do so. What Bill did was quietly and happily live the Course. And even though he saw that this was the best approach, he never said to his Course friends: “You can either teach the Course or live it, but you probably won’t succeed in doing both.” In this way he was truly a “teacher of God” because he taught in the way the Manual defines teaching.

Does this mean those who lecture or write about the Course have turned down a dark side road? Certainly not. Does it mean that anyone who loves discussing metaphysical ideas has lost his or her way? Certainly not. But it does mean that those who coat themselves in spiritual concepts run the risk of thinking that they are the concepts. It’s not hard to notice that the people in our culture who are conspicuously devout and talk continuously about God usually begin to take on an all-knowing, all-seeing attitude. In other words, in their own minds they have become the God they profess.

“Everyone is on a path,” many openly devout people say. But what they seem to be thinking is, “I, however, am on a spiritual path.” In other words, “Now that I believe in oneness, I see that you and I are not one.”

From having fallen into this trap ourselves, we realize that nothing is more selfish or separating than thinking that you, personally, have a higher approach to life than most other people. How could one person’s way possibly be superior to another person’s way if God is leading us all?

It’s ironic that individuals with strong spiritual beliefs often have larger egos, are more rigid, are more unconsciously judgmental, and are more uncomfortable to be around than people who have little interest in pursuing mystical, religious, or metaphysical teachings. Those who value the concept of oneness often lack the desire to feel oneness and equality with anyone.

The ego part of us does not act independently of our wishes, because it is us — at least that is our evident and deeply felt conviction. If we are still judgmental of our teenager; then we still want to be judgmental of our teenager. If we are still confused about what our partner wants from us, then we still want to be confused. Obviously, believing in oneness doesn’t automatically decrease the desire for oneness, and many people both believe in it and practice it. Yet it’s interesting how often we trumpet what we ourselves fail to do and criticize in others what we ourselves do regularly.

Ironically, those who think they have the smallest egos usually have the largest egos. The self-proclaimed “seekers of truth” often have personal superiority as their unconscious agenda and end up convincing themselves that they have attained it. Those who think of themselves as normal, ordinary, and equal, and who are quite aware of their many limitations, simply are not tempted to believe that they personally can discover a spiritual truth that other people are unaware of. And yet, by definition, that is what a “seeker of truth” believes.

A Course in Miracles can survive in the 21st century, in fact it can transform the 21st century, if those who see the Reality it points to choose to extend themselves beyond their ego boundaries and make the interests of another their own. Awakening is not joining with some shining concept in the sky. It is joining with each other. It is lived and expressed in the hundreds of small encounters, errands, and tasks that fill each day. Only instant by instant do we choose to see our sameness, our equality, and our oneness with others. Only by loving do we wake to Love. Only by extending peace do we wake to Peace.

Every day we have hundreds of little encounters with other people in our activities and in our minds. In each of these contacts we leave something behind, and that something determines whether the Course continues to exist. Only by giving the tiny miracles of understanding, support, forbearance, and happiness can we assure that this precious teaching does not fall on dead ears and dead hearts. Let us walk away from the bloody battlefield where egos fight for the rights to ego words. That was never where the Course was in the first place. God is now. God is here. We never left home. So let us be happy that God’s arms are still around us. His heart is still our heart. His eyes are still our eyes. He is all there is.

Question: Dear Nick, Does the course talks about the darkness in the world, and how to handle it?

Answer: What the Course reminds us is that the darkness is never in the world but in our mind. That’s why it says, “seek not to change the world but to change your mind about the world.” When we remove the darkness from our mind, we will see the world differently, thought the eyes of love, and not fear.

So what we do is, instead of judging our experiences, we simply offer them to the Holy Spirit, or whatever you want to call it, to help us see things righteously. That is really all we are asked to do. And then trust that the work is being done, and the way we know the process is working is when we are no longer reacting to the world.

Remember that the world is duality so we will always see opposites, but our true nature is Oneness. And that will reveal itself in due time when our mind is healed from our false sense of separation.

So don’t worry so much about the world, just keep offering your thoughts to Spirit, and you’ll understand that I mean.

A friend of mine whose in the middle of a family challenge, who also practices A Course in Miracles shared with me about a former partner who has been sending her very negative emails, and how difficult has been for her to deal with the experience.

Although because of her forgiveness process she is being able to experience more peace, that being said, every once in a while she finds herself reacting to her former partner comments and replying to his email.

I was having the same challenge with someone whom I was also involved in a relationship with, and another friend, whom I truly trust with my affairs responded with the following email:

“My feeling is that when I have received an email of this sort (attacking), my lesson/test is to delete it without response and simply focus on my love for the “attacker”. ANY response is a sacrifice of power and a distraction. I Love You Nick and we will talk but give this no attention because it needs none. All temptations are nothing more than that.“

That helped me so much, that I shared it with my friend. Then she emailed me the following comment:

“If I allow him to bully me, he will keep bullying me. I can be kind and still stand up and have a voice. A kind, firm, Christ-like voice!”

Below is what I felt moved to share with her, which as always, is really an opportunity for me to remember what I have to learn, or practice:

“Dear friend, With practice, the time comes when he can bully you, without you been affected. That being said, yes, if you need to speak your truth, you simply speak it. This is not about being oppressed, it is about recognizing BOTH of your innocence without judgment, always remembering to bring in the Holy Spirit first!

Because in any situation, when we invite the Holy Spirit, we respond to the situation, ‘if’ a response is needed. But when we bring in the ego, we ‘react’ to the situation.

The thing is, if we try to convince someone of our point of view, is like trying to convince a rattlesnake to stop biting, when that is their nature (yes, it is our projection, but follow me on this thought). The best thing with a rattlesnake would be to instead of trying to negotiate with it, to simply get out of its way, and go on with our life (to not respond to their emails, unless it is absolutely necessary, and again, with the Holy Spirit).

So if you still need to deal with him because of kids, or other responsibilities, the answer is still always the same: bring in the Holy Spirit, and just be present. As long as he is not picking up a chair and try to throw it at you, if it’s just words, to let them slide.

Like the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never kill me.”

I did not say it was easy, but again, with practice, you’ll experience that inner transformation, which is nothing but the recognition that love is all that there is, no matter what it look like on the outside.

However, because of your situation, as you have already learned, and continue to do so, you are experiencing healing on a much deeper level, and becoming more loving as a result of that. Specially since he is an outward representation of an inward condition. He, who is really ‘your own’ projection, is giving you an opportunity for you to heal your mind. Don’ you love him? :o )”

So congratulation!!! Continue doing the amazing work that you do, and know that Love Is!”

I hope you enjoyed this post, and, have I told you lately that I love you? :=)

Remember to order a copy of Nick’s book What Happens When You Let God at: www.TruthAndMiracles.com or www.WhatHappensWhenYouLetGod.com
And to hire Nick to speak at your church, college or corporate event, simply visit: www.NickArandesPomo.com

Recently I received a wonderful article by Hugh Prather written back in 1999 entitled: What is the Course? Will it exist in the 21st Century? Although was very extensive, one of the paragraphs that caught my attention was:

“Does this mean those who lecture or write about the Course have turned down a dark side road? Certainly not. Does it mean that anyone who loves discussing metaphysical ideas has lost his or her way? Certainly not. But it does mean that those who coat themselves in spiritual concepts run the risk of thinking that they are the concepts. It’s not hard to notice that the people in our culture who are conspicuously devout and talk continuously about God usually begin to take on an all-knowing, all-seeing attitude. In other words, in their own minds they have become the God they profess.”

That’s why I keep asking myself, why is it that I find myself writing books, and speaking, even when I am still facing my own darkness? Shouldn’t I have it altogether before I can teach? And the answers I keep getting is that I am doing it to remind myself of what “I” need to learn.

It is like someone who was born with the innate desire to surf, and is destined to be a great surfer, but in his mind he does not want to get on the surfboard until he thinks he can master it first. Well, that will never happen. He has to get on that surfboard, fall out of it many times, before he can master it. And yes, at the beginning, he may hit people with the surfboard for not having mastered the right balance and control. He also have to ride all kinds of waves until he gets a better feel for them, and eventually, he will reach his destination, which is becoming the great surfer he was meant to be.

This came to mind because since I have written books, and for some reason speaking is something I enjoy doing, and based on the feedback I have received, I guess I must be getting better at it, what I often remind people of, is that I experience the same challenges everybody else does. I do not claim that I talk to Jesus, or that I have achieve some kind of enlightenment, or that I am guru, or pride myself that I have reached some kind of spiritual level of consciousness, or that I know something, because in reality I don’t. I may be working towards it, but I guess that when that happens, people will naturally sense it, and at that point my writings and speaking are just stuff that I do.

I don’t know if tomorrow I may feel guided to take my facebook profile down, get rid of my websites, move to a little town, get a job and live a happy life there. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I just keep writing, and sharing, and trusting that hopefully, what I am doing is what I am supposed to be doing. And like the surfer, before I get to that place of complete unconditional love, for me, writing about it, and talking about it is one way of getting on that surfboard for the first few thousand times. And along the way, some people may experience my ego and may think, “who the hell is this guy teaching A Course in Miracles?”

But as I keep “practicing” and my love keeps flourishing, some people may say, “this guy really walk his talk.” But to get to that place, it requires, first and foremost, willingness to choose again, to choose love, over and over and over and over again and again and again, until I have experience all sorts of waves, just like the surfer. Because even if he can master a particular kind of wave, it does not mean he is able to ride every single wave. But the more he is exposed to different kinds of waves, the better he is equipped to maintain a good sense of balance in all circumstances.

I am very grateful for the journey I am on. But I do have to say, I have had to face a lot of darkness, and still do in many different areas. I am becoming better equipped to handle what comes my way, but I am still practicing, and as long as I am in what appears to be a body, the practice will never stop. My sense of balance may be more steady, but that does not mean I will not be faced with experiences that may rock my boat.

So if you like my writings and my speaking, I thank you, and I hope that in some way I am able to serve you through the use of these particular talents and gifts I seemed to have, But do not make the mistake of putting me on a pedestal, because if you do, you are now turning me into what A Course in Miracles refers to a “false idol.”

Trust me when is say that YOU are the guru you have been searching for. And my writings are simply pointing you in the direction where you should always look; within your Self!

I love you!

“i want to thank you for letting me be myself again” -Sly and the Family Stone

Remember to order a copy of Nick’s book What Happens When You Let God at: www.TruthAndMiracles.com or www.WhatHappensWhenYouLetGod.com
And to hire Nick to speak at your church, college or corporate event, simply visit: www.NickArandesPomo.com

Question: Dear Nick, Does the course talks about the darkness in the world, and how to handle it?

Answer: What the Course reminds us is that the darkness is never in the world but in our mind. That’s why it says, “seek not to change the world but to change your mind about the world.” When we remove the darkness from our mind, we will see the world differently, thought the eyes of love, and not fear.

So what we do is, instead of judging our experiences, we simply offer them to the Holy Spirit, or whatever you want to call it, to help us see things righteously. That is really all we are asked to do. And then trust that the work is being done, and the way we know the process is working is when we are no longer reacting to the world.

Remember that the world is duality so we will always see opposites, but our true nature is Oneness. And that will reveal itself in due time when our mind is healed from our false sense of separation.

So don’t worry so much about the world, just keep offering your thoughts to Spirit, and you’ll understand that I mean.

Remember to order a copy of Nick’s book What Happens When You Let God at: www.TruthAndMiracles.com or www.WhatHappensWhenYouLetGod.com
And to hire Nick to speak at your church, college or corporate event, simply visit: www.NickArandesPomo.com

Question: One of the problems I have with the Course’s metaphysics as contrasted with its psychology is the teaching that “the world was created as an attack on God” If that view is correct that would make the Course gnostic as seeing matter as evil or pure error.

Answer: The reason I am projecting this world is because I believe I can create a world separate from God. That is what the ego would make us believe. So words such as “an attack on God” is simply symbolic of my own ignorance. That’s all. Ignorance because being one with God I have everything, instead I projected this world of duality where I experience lack and limitation. Even if I had a billion dollars, that is still limitation compared to the Kingdom where I have everything!

Remember to order a copy of Nick’s book What Happens When You Let God at: www.TruthAndMiracles.com or www.WhatHappensWhenYouLetGod.com
And to hire Nick to speak at your church, college or corporate event, simply visit: www.NickArandesPomo.com

The only reason people attack is NOT because they are bad, but because on a much deeper level they feel hurt (fear). When we feel hurt, the automatic response seems to be attack (blame) because we have forgotten that the seeming attacker is in our own mind.

Now, what is an attack? It is either a call for love, or an opportunity to extend love. How does it work? Simple! When someone “seems” to be attacking us, and we react, who is the one calling for love? WE are. We just projected our own guilt outward so that we can react and pretend that we have been done wrong. However, when someone “seems” to attack us, and we do not react, we are now in a position to extend our love. But who are we extending the love to? Ourselves! Because there is no one out there. It is all happening in our mind.

That’s why A Course in Miracles is so uncompromising with its teaching. It rattles people’s cages by reminding us:

“The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. 2 No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. 3 Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. 4 Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. 5 For you would not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming. 6 Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.” T-27.VIII.10:1-6

Now the ego, who’s existence is threatened by our new level or understanding, tries to disguise itself as a spiritual teacher and says, “oh, that person is really attacking you, so you need to be compassionate.” I know this sounds very spiritual and wonderful. But the issue is not the compassion, the issue here is that we believe that there is someone out there that needs our compassion, and in that sense, the separation is perpetuated. That does not mean we are going to be mean or ignore anyone’s plea for help. It simply means that in EVERY decision that we make, we choose to put the Holy Spirit before us FIRST, to ensure that our act of kindness is coming from Truth and not guilt (fear). Otherwise the illusion will manipulate us emotionally and what appears to be kindness, it is really more guilt in disguise.

This is not an easy thing to do, specially when we are dealing with loved one, or if we are just very caring people who wants to give change to every beggar on the street. It takes practice to relinquish our thoughts to the Holy Spirit to ensure that our actions are motivated by love and not fear. Love does not perpetuate fear by judging the behavior of a loved one who seems to be hurting us, or by feeling sorry for the seeming homeless, it simply allows us to recognize the Truth in every situation, regardless of the form it may seem to take.

We are better of seen the Christ in a beggar while offering a smile than seeing them as destitute and offer them some money. In judging them as less than perfect, even if we gave them money we have already crucified them because we unconsciously agreed with the way they see themselves. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” [Matthew 18:20]

In that same way, back to the “seeming” attacker, we are better of NOT resisting the behavior of others by attempting to defend ourselves, but by asking the Holy Spirit to enter into our mind while the seeming attack takes place. From that place we will know what to do, and we are now giving ourselves an opportunity to truly heal the attacker, maybe not in form, but in Truth, because the attacker is really in our own mind. Same with the beggar. It is all in our imagination.

“This is how all illusions came about. 7 The one who makes them does not see himself as making them, and their reality does not depend on him. 8 Whatever cause they have is something quite apart from him, and what he sees is separate from his mind. 9 He cannot doubt his dreams’ reality, because he does not see the part he plays in making them and making them seem real.” T-27.VII.7:1-6

Although we know it is all an illusion, we still do not have the power to transform them, however we do have the power to choose with Whom we want to see that illusion so that our mind can be transformed:

“When you have been caught in the world of perception you are caught in a dream. You cannot escape without help, because everything your senses show merely witnesses to the reality of the dream. God has provided the Answer, the only Way out, the true Helper. It is the function of His Voice, His Holy Spirit, to mediate between the two worlds. He can do this because, while on the one hand He knows the truth, on the other He also recognises our illusions, but without believing in them. It is the Holy Spirit’s goal to help us escape from the dream world by teaching us how to reverse our thinking and unlearn our mistakes. Forgiveness is the Holy Spirit’s great learning aid in bringing this thought reversal about. However, the Course has its own definition of what forgiveness really is just as it defines the world in its own way.” Preface

Remember, no one is attacking anyone. It is all happening in our imagination!

Remember to order a copy of Nick’s book What Happens When You Let God at: www.TruthAndMiracles.com or www.WhatHappensWhenYouLetGod.com
And to hire Nick to speak at your church, college or corporate event, simply visit: www.NickArandesPomo.com

Question: “I just watched your conference video at ft. lauderdale Florida, and I’ve noticed that you talked about not taking spirituality seriously, but just to instead laugh at it. You also talk abou how the choices that we’ve made up until this point in our lives, we couldn’t do it any differently. What do you mean by this, don’t we have a choice? Towards the end of this conference, you talked about us not really having free will. Growing up, I was always taught that free will was a gift, from our Creator. What’s your take on this?”

Nick’s thoughts: This is something that A Course in Miracles helped me understand. I could not figure out how come most of the choices I made did not leave me to where I wanted. And I did not understand how could it possibly be that things would fall apart in my life at times when I needed them the most. And the reason being was, this world is not of my Creators’ for if that was the case, how come God that is love would create a world filled with hatred and anger, in other words, separation?

A Course helped me understand that the world I seem to be living in was my own projection so that I can make myself believe that I could create another world beside God’s. In this world I projected, I also projected the script. In other words, if I could create the world I really want, there would be no reason for me to want to return to the Real world, also known as the Kingdom.

So in the divine scheme of things, not being able to have what we want in this world, sooner or later is going to lead us to questioning everything. In that questioning is where we begin to turn within and realize that if we keep choosing the ego as our guide, we will project a world of duality, which sooner or later is going to hurt us. But if we choose the Holy Spirit as our guide, in other words, the voice within us, we can then live a more peaceful life before we can experience the Kingdom, which is “not of this world.”

That’s why the Course then reminds me:

4 An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. 5 Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. 6 Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. 7 As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. 8 This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. 9 The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute. 10 But the outcome is as certain as God. T-2.III.3:4-10

So the choice is, do we want to suffer or do we want to be free? If we choose the ego, we will end up suffering no matter what. If we choose the Holy Spirit we will live a more peaceful life, AND, we get to eventually experience the Kingdom, which once again, “it is NOT of this world.”

So really, if one choice leads to suffering and the other one to freedom, do we really have a choice? In the end, no. Because nobody wants to suffer. And sooner or later, we are all going to turn within. In regards to free will, A Course in Miracles reminds me:

“The acceptance of the Atonement (meaning our oneness with God) by everyone is only a matter of time. 2 This may appear to contradict free will because of the inevitability of the final decision, but this is not so. 3 You can temporize and you are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate.” T-2.III.3:1-3

In other words, you can project, which seem as if you are making choices. However, if your choices lead you more and more to separation, there are limits to which you will not be able to continue projecting. And that is why we don’t have the free will to make all the choices that we want. And sooner or later our frustrations will lead to let go and let God.

Finally, not taking spirituality seriously, is because who we are is pure joy! This world is hell! And the reason why we experience hell in this world is because we are looking at it, and believing in it. How can you take something serious that does not exist? Well, I will be very honest with you, that has, and still is, one of my biggest lessons. However, only practicing offering my thoughts to the Holy Spirit can assists me in seeing Truth instead of illusions. Once we learn to look at the world with vision, not eyesight, we can then laugh it all away!

“In gentle laughter does the Holy Spirit perceive the cause (the mind), and looks not to effects (the world that we see). 2 How else could He correct your error, who have overlooked the cause entirely? 3 He bids you bring each terrible effect to Him that you may look together on its foolish cause and laugh with Him a while. 4 You judge effects, but He has judged their cause. 5 And by His judgment are effects removed.” T-27.VIII.9:1-5

Don’t expect to make sense or intellectualize what you’ve just read. When you are ready to let go and let God, it will all make sense, not because you have found an answer but because you have had the direct experience.

“The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. 2 It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. 3 The ego may ask, “How did the impossible occur?”, “To what did the impossible happen?”, and may ask this in many forms. 4 Yet there is no answer; only an experience. 5 Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you.” C-in.4:1-5

Remember to order a copy of Nick’s book What Happens When You Let God at: www.TruthAndMiracles.com or www.WhatHappensWhenYouLetGod.com
And to hire Nick to speak at your church, college or corporate event, simply visit: www.NickArandesPomo.com

Quesion: “I used to be very goal oriented and then I decided not to have any goals and let the Holy Spirit bring me what I needed. But I still was attached to my “wants” and have not been accomplishing anything… Any ways, I think I need to have some kind of a plan for my life now….finding balance in “doing” and “not doing

Answer: There is nothing wrong with having goals, just make sure you write them in pencil. In other words, do not attach yourself to them. Now, when you are ready to completely let go, you stop becoming goal oriented and instead become internally driven.

A goal is my way of saying I know best. Internally driven is about Spirit using me. The thing is, when we let go and let God, the lesson is in trusting. Can I be okay without having to know where I am going? This is the opposite of what the world teaches.

Someone once said, “Most men’s troubles comes from the inability to sit in a room by themselves alone.”

> now….finding balance in “doing” and “not doing”.

The doing becomes a natural expression of our being. When I am on purpose, I am always doing. Doing something that is in alignment with being of service. When I am on outcome (goal oriented), I am also doing. The difference is, I am doing to accomplish something that I think will make ME happy. It is always thinking about me.

The great paradox is that when I am on purpose, whatever it is I am doing, not only makes me TRULY happy, and fulfilled, but it always serve others as well.

I am very happy sharing this thoughts with you, and I don’t do it for me, I just do it to serve you. Interestingly enough, I feel naturally happy in taking the time to share this with you, without any attachments. My attention is always on how can I server you.

From the ego’s perspective serving you is sacrificing me. From the Spirit’s perspective, serving you is serving me because we are One! It is a win win situation.

Remember to order a copy of Nick’s book What Happens When You Let God at: www.TruthAndMiracles.com or www.WhatHappensWhenYouLetGod.com
And to hire Nick to speak at your church, college or corporate event, simply visit: www.NickArandesPomo.com