Yet Another Newsletter

I sent out another newsletter. If you are interested, you can sign up here or in the sidebar. If you’ve already signed up, it ought to have arrived. Let me know. I know not everyone is interested in yet another message cluttering the inbox, so no hard feelings. It’s just another way to keep in touch and think out loud together, if keeping in touch and thinking out loud is helpful . . .

This particular one reflects on on the ordinary but extraordinarily helpful work of “looking straight at all the interference and see it exactly as it is” (T-15.IX.2:1). Love is there – it is given – but our capacity for awareness of it is cluttered, most often by our insistence that we already know what love is and how to see it.

I wrote, in part:

The key word in that passage is “looking.” That is all we need to do. We are not called to “look and undo” or “look and change” or “look and analyze.” We simply need to notice those obstructions to our awareness of Love. Love is the given; we don’t invent, discover or restore it. Rather, we give attention to that which hinders our awareness of it. No more and no less.

So, you know, we just keep at it, the best we can. Sooner or later we see that all this attention and effort isn’t necessary, but until we see there’s no need for it, there’s a need for it. Hence my wordiness, hence your generosity in listening and sharing, and hence our slow but steady march to the Heaven we never left.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • sean L June 27, 2015, 3:26 am

    Sean the highlight of my day is your posts.keep them coming sincere thanks Sean l

    • Sean Reagan June 27, 2015, 1:43 pm

      Thanks, Sean – I appreciate the kind words very much –

      ~ Sean

  • GordonH June 27, 2015, 5:54 am

    You may well have posted something along these lines already, but what are your thoughts on when life is difficult, the brain a bit foggy, the world meaningless mayhem, (depressed, I suppose, in a word) and the text therefore seems too abstruse to offer reassurance?

    • Sean Reagan June 27, 2015, 2:03 pm

      Hi Gordon,

      I feel that way often about the text of A Course in Miracles. It’s not an easy text in the best of times, let alone when life is hard for various reasons.

      I have two general thoughts, both of which have served me in circumstances similar to those you describe.

      First, whenever I am feeling off, I always try to be sure that there is not something simple and even mundane I can do (or that I am forgetting to do). For example, I often neglect sleep and push myself a lot harder than is helpful, and it makes me a little crazy. I start eating sporadically, surviving mostly on caffeine, and working at odd hours. There’s a kind of mania that always leads to a crash.

      The answer in those instances isn’t so much to buckle down with ACIM, but just try to come down from the super-charged energy. Eat normal meals, sleep normal hours, walk with the kids, whatever.

      So sometimes when we are off, it is just a question of being sure that we are treating our bodies and brains gently and nurturingly.

      Second, even though the ACIM text and related materials are complex and abstract and poetic and all of that, the actual practice never is. In fact, the practice of A Course in Miracles, is very simple. We are just looking at the circumstances of our life with the willingness to see them differently. Nothing is excluded from this looking: the front yard, our relationships, our patterns of guilt, our headache, our craving for chocolate, the notes of Vivaldi, whatever.

      It took me a long time to appreciate these two ideas from the Introduction to the Workbook:

      1. That the overall aim of the lessons to increase my ability to extend course ideas to everything requires “no effort” on my part; and

      2. “You are merely asked to apply the idea as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them” and “you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy” (W-In.8:3-5, 9:1-3).

      Those are very liberating words, in the sense that they make clear we don’t really have to do a great deal. The lessons ask for a few minutes of our time at best. They don’t ask for superhuman effort, understanding, willingness or even appreciation. Thus, we can see that “we” are not really doing anything at all.

      This removes a lot of the stress, and a lot of the sense that being a course student is necessarily arduous or complex. The work is being done regardless of our awareness. The Truth is true regardless of any effort or openness on my part.

      So, you know, when the days are challenging or painful or whatever, I try not to add to the stress by pressuring myself to somehow make them better. Or bring the course to bear on them. Or figure out what I’m missing. I try to take care of myself (often asking a trusted companion to help me in that regard) and then let the spiritual chips fall where they may. And it works out.

      Thanks for sharing, Gordon. Keep in touch, as time and inclination allow.

      Love,
      Sean

      • Johan Stroman June 27, 2015, 10:43 pm

        Thank you Sean – it’s a powerful reminder. I appreciate your clear explanations as well as your very down to earth openness on your own day to day of applying the course. It quiets the ‘this is too much’ or ‘I am not ready’ or ‘How can this be useful’ thoughts and replaces it with – ok its really very human. and doable.

        With gratitude, Johan

        • Sean Reagan June 28, 2015, 7:37 am

          You’re welcome, Johan. Thank you so much for reading and sharing!

          ~ Sean

      • GordonH June 28, 2015, 12:46 am

        Thanks for your helpful reply, Sean. I’m very pleased to have found your website – a great resource!

        • Sean Reagan June 28, 2015, 7:37 am

          You’re welcome, Gordon. Thank you for reading & sharing!

          ~ Sean

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