[Article written for Miracle Network Magazine]:
Civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi used to tell people that his life was his message. This is true for anyone who lives on planet Earth. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles, ‘To teach is to demonstrate’. (M-In.2:1) As messengers of God, we are asked to receive His message for ourselves first, before we can deliver it. In order for us to receive the message, we have to apply the teaching without exception or compromise to our own life, so that we become the message.
The teachings of A Course in Miracles are to be lived, not just studied. We have learned the ways of the world and now it is time to unlearn them. Jesus says that the world ‘is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through. But the sooner he perceives on what it rests, how questionable are its premises, how doubtful its results, the sooner does he question its effects’. (W-184.7)
I was in my late twenties when I first began to experience the emptiness of the world. Although I had established a comfortable life with all the worldly possessions I could desire, a promising career and very special relationships, I felt empty and dead. Feeling there was nothing more the world could offer, I suddenly knew that none of my pursuits could lead me to happiness. In questioning the world, a calling started to emerge in my heart. I had to follow this strong and abstract calling to find God and leave everything else behind. Although my perception at the time was that I had everything to lose and nothing to gain in following this calling, I willingly jumped into the unknown. Little did I know that I would be taken on an amazing journey of discovering the most precious treasure—a peaceful and trusting state of mind.
The initial steps of my journey were the most difficult as I faced all the fear, guilt, shame and attack in my mind for choosing the road less travelled. It was also the first time that I experienced not being able to suppress my emotions or control my life. All kinds of emotions erupted like a volcano. Deep down I knew the emotions had always been within me and I was happy to finally dare to face them. Most people in the world are afraid of their emotions, and suppression is the most common way to deal with them. However, I found that once I allowed my emotions to come to the surface and be released, the hidden thoughts and beliefs underneath them were revealed and healed. The act of pulling away from everything that had once brought me a sense of security, approval and abundance, allowed me to see the ego’s beliefs and desires under the surface.
The world is built on hidden assumptions that few of us ever question, such as: we are separate bodies with separate minds and separate self-interests. Based on this, we believe that we are born from other bodies and we will die. We believe that in between birth and death, it is up to us to sustain ourselves. We obey the laws of nutrition and of medicine. We have to compete with others in order to maximise our self-interests. We believe in future happiness. We compensate for fear by accumulating money and building security for the body. We believe that external events are causes and our state of mind is the effect, so we spend our lives attempting to control and fix external situations. These laws and rules are all built on a lie and are designed to keep us preoccupied, never to discover the Truth.
No one can let go of what has value to them. Yet, it seems easy to let go of what is deemed valueless. The Course teaches that to have ‘the peace of God is to renounce all dreams’. (W-185.5) The only reason that it seems hard to renounce all dreams is because the valuelessness of the dreams hasn’t been seen. Nothing is stopping us from having peace. It is our split mind, with its conflicting goals and desires, that brings about conflicting experiences. The sleeping mind, which thinks it wants the Peace of God, also wants specialness within the world and values attack thoughts. To heal is to bring the darkness of the ego’s desires to the light for release.
The Spirit guided me to the Living Miracles community to live the Course 24/7. People from around the world came to the community with the same purpose: to bring all illusions to the truth and learn to let forgiveness lead their lives. The community has two guidelines, ‘No private thoughts’ and ‘no people-pleasing’. My real application of the Course began with sharing my private thoughts. The purpose behind it was to allow anything that was hidden to be revealed, which brought about an experience that we actually don’t have private minds or private thoughts. It was scary at first, but Jesus teaches that, ‘it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for its hiddenness’. (T14.VI.1) When we want to keep anything from our brothers, there is an underlying desire to hide it from the Holy Spirit. To share private thoughts does not mean to project thoughts onto others. The purpose for sharing determines the effect of the healing. Whenever the purpose for revealing the thoughts is to let them go and see them differently, the experience is one of healing and joy. When sharing is used to verbalise attack thoughts without the intention of letting them go, it will not bring about healing or release.
After years of releasing private thoughts, I was able to transfer the training to all aspects of my life. Now, nothing is hidden or private. I live with a community of friends who do not own or protect anything. We share our thoughts, time and resources. We pray together and receive guidance on how to serve ‘the whole’. For us, forgiveness is the only goal in any situation. It is a life of total transparency, integrity, and complete trust. Nothing I think is different than what I say or do. A mind that doesn’t hold or hide anything is empty and available to listen to the Holy Spirit.
To live the teachings of the Course means inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives. Jesus says in the Course, ‘a decision is a conclusion based on everything that you believe’. (T-24.In.2) The decisions I used to make in this world were all based on the ego’s beliefs and desires, and they never brought me peace. In order to transcend the ego’s beliefs and unlearn its thought system, I had to allow the Holy Spirit to be my guide when making decisions in the world. The Spirit knows exactly where our minds are at and what we are ready for, and He will guide us step by step, ever so gently, to unwind from the beliefs and desires of the world.
I discovered that letting go of the teaching of the world is only a starting point. Jesus says in the Course that from this point, ‘another kind of learning can begin’. (W-184.7) He is referring to the teaching of the Holy Spirit—to know that the idea, ‘the world I see holds nothing that I want’, is just a beginning. (W-128) Jesus wants to bring the mind into an experience that, ‘Beyond this world, there is a world I want’. (W-129) In allowing the Spirit to guide us in our daily lives, we give Him a chance to convince us that He can bring us peace and joy each and every time we ask Him. In that experience, the ego’s thoughts and beliefs are seen as valueless and are joyfully laid aside.
My life is a constant prayer to the Spirit of, ‘Guide me and show me’. My mind has shifted from focusing on how to accumulate for future security and bodily freedom, to focusing on how I can be in alignment with the Will of God. Peace has become an instant experience, instead of a future goal, because all illusions are relinquished the moment I choose to align with the Holy Spirit. All complications in my life are gone and all questions come down to one: ‘What is Your will for me?’. I am guided to visit different countries, meet many people and extend and share my experience of this journey. Everything in my life is supported abundantly and I see that everybody is supported abundantly, whether they know it or not. Everyone on Earth lives in divine providence and everything is sustained by God.
A life that is completely God-dependent leads to the realisation that there is no one in need and no one providing anything—there is no inner and outer. There is no separation. Rather, the world and I are one. In this subtle shift of perception lies the understanding of everything.
In the Course, Jesus asks us to change our minds. When my mind was truly changed to accepting a life of complete God-dependence, everything in my life and the entire world in front of me changed. Everything I thought I would lose came back to me in new ways. I let go of my personal possessions and I now live in a state of divine providence without limits; I let go of a career that didn’t inspire me and I now have a mighty purpose to devote my life to; I let go of co-dependent relationships and was guided to new ones that support the healing of my mind. Old relationship partners and family members were included in my journey. As I followed my heart, they also became happy and healed, and our relationships were purified and expanded. The love remains, but now it is without any conditions. Most importantly, my mind is now peaceful and trusting. I see the world anew, radiating with love that reflects the pristine state of mind. I truly have lost nothing and gained everything in this state of mind.
There is no pre-requisite to learn this Course or to be happy. All that is required is a willingness to question the ego and to follow the Spirit unequivocally. When we give our life to the Spirit, it becomes truly amazing. As we step back and let Him lead the way, we watch in wonderment at how the Truth reveals itself to us.
We are the beloved child of God and God is calling us to remember Him and be happy. We want to answer His call and we want to be happy. His Will and our will are one. I am joined with you in our devotion to this Calling and to the healing of the mind.