Thursday, June 21, 2012

Course Note #153: Is the World Real?

                Many spiritual teachings tell us that this world is an illusion and that it is not real.  Intellectually we may get behind this idea, but if we are honest with ourselves, we don’t really believe it.   We walk in a world that seems real to us, we have a body that seems real to us, we have relationships, jobs and all kinds of stuff going on, and it all seems to be so real.  If we try to pretend that we understand this when we don’t, then we’re never going to understand it.  If we think we know, then we are not open to know what we don’t know.
            It’s helpful first to look at the words “real” and “reality” and to recognize that they pertain to that which is real in God’s kingdom – that which is eternal and infinite.  In that sense, what I see, taste, smell and touch can tell me about the physical world, but not about the real world because the real must be discerned from within.
            This inner work that I am doing in the 7steps journal is currently on the topic that this world, body, etc. are not real.  I have felt some frustration while working with this because I can say, “I am not a body”, and I can even believe it, but I still think and live in this world identified with myself as a body.
            It is not helpful to pretend that we get this because if we try to pretend that we know or understand something that we don’t, then we remain in denial, and thus this world cannot be the classroom of opportunity that it really is.  All of our worldly experiences can be used to practice awakening to the truth of who and what we are – the real and true Self.

            So that said, the guidance I am receiving through the quotes in the 7steps book, through RDA and through personal guidance is amazingly helpful to navigate through this.  In fact, in the very first quote I received this guidance:

            Seek first the Kingdom.  This is all.  The kingdom is you – your true Self.  Shift attention-focus away from world/body/job/relationships/etc. 

I do this with the practice of mantra and surrender, prayer or any other practice I may be guided to in the current moment.  Through this journal I see that my True Self is guiding me home to Itself.  My part is to be willing to notice, to see…the stories and thoughts in my mind and to recognize that this is no longer what I want.
So instead of trying to intellectually understand the nature of this world and Reality, I can notice where my attention is focused.  When I see that it is focused on body, world or Sheryl, I can be reminded of what I really want. 

            So it could go like this:  I notice that I am thinking thoughts of lack when I see that there are more bills than money at the moment.  I can observe that I do believe that this story of lack is real.  Or perhaps I do believe that the economy is affecting my ability to get a job or make a living or whatever… 

It’s the practice that sets me free.  Ah…I am listening to this story of lack again.  My focus and attention is on this story of lack.  What do I really want to focus on?  The Freedom-Self.  And so in that moment I rest the thoughts with the practice of mantra or prayer or perhaps one of these quotes come to mind.
In this way, our very lives can be used to remind us of what we really want.  I want to remember who and what I am, and so I will shift attention-focus from the body, bills or the future to the silent-Self within. 
When I am willing to see where my attention is focused, and then if necessary, shift it within, then I cease creating from those old scripts.  The script is “my” thoughts.  When I look at my script, some days I am starring in Lost and other days I am starring in Glee, but these impostor-self roles must eventually come to an end if I want to know the Real Self.

Next I was prompted to quote #234 where I had this conversation with inner guidance:  
I want to live from that which is Real rather than to continue making a world from that which I no longer want.  What would it be like to experience this world, this body, Sheryl…through the vision of “real”?
They would disappear.
Really?  How would that look?
The world, body, Sheryl…would disappear in that there will no longer exist an attachment to the world-body-person as being You or having any effect on You.

This can actually be scary at first glance – I will disappear?  Say What?  Believe it or not, some feel that if they get to into this awakening stuff that they well die.  Don’t let such ideas stop you.  A Course in Miracles actually addresses this:

            “Fear not that you will be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality. Time is kind, and if you use it on behalf of reality, it will keep gentle pace with you in your transition.” (T-16.VI.8.)

Without attachment to the things of this world, one is free to move in the world unencumbered.  Imagine living the unencumbered life. 

The True Self is Existence-Awareness-Life!

The Freedom-Self lives in the Heart, not in the world.  Look away from the world and direct your gaze firmly within.

Enter the silence.
Speak from the silence.
Move from the silence.
Rest in the silence.

And Know thy Self.

                In my Sunday teachings of late, I have been inspired to teach from my 7steps journal, and to teach on those quotes that I am prompted to during the hour.  I have created another blog for that journal, where I have the quote from the book The Seven Steps to Awakening, the commentary from Regina Dawn Akers and then my own guidance.  If you are interested it is here:

The audio contains the entire teaching – It was recorded on 6/10/12 and is 54 min.


    MP3 File


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