Yesterday I talked about giving our mind over to the Holy Spirit, both in terms of its content and its function. In that way, our problems end. I suggested a next post would relate to how to give our minds over. That’s still coming, but here I offer a side note about what the Holy Spirit is.
The ego is a thing you look at (or listen to, if you prefer). It is not a thing you are, nor a thing you do. It is an image in a black mirror that itself is a reflection in a mirror (T-4.IV.1:7).
You can look at ego or not look at ego. It’s up to you.
This is another way of saying that what you are in truth in not the ego – nor anything that can be looked at – but rather the looker itself.
You are the looker. And when you look for the looker you will realize that it can’t be found and that therefore, you are actually looking.
You are a process – not an object discovered by or affected by that process.
You are more closely related to photosynthesis than to a plant, to evolution than to a physical body.
Thus, the whole drama of ego – its arguments, its goals, its plans, its stories – is not you and you, as the looker, as looking, can choose to look away.
The choice to look away from ego is the decision to look at – or listen to, if you prefer – the Holy Spirit. When you no longer gaze at the ego, you are gazing at the Holy Spirit.
Or, better, you are the Holy Spirit’s gaze.
The Holy Spirit is in your mind as ego is, but where ego is a series of convincing images – a bad movie in which you are the maligned star – the Holy Spirit is a way of looking.
Process, not object. Not the eddy in the brook but the energy creating the eddy.
To look at the ego is death, because when you look at ego and believe it is real, you have no life. It offers you nothing helpful unto the creation of happiness. Thus, to look at ego is to be dispirited, disempowered and discouraged. It is to wander briefly through a landscape of despair awaiting death. It is to be doomed.
And there is a better way, and right now, you literally are that better way. You don’t need to wait a single second to reclaim the cause of joy and peace as your own self.
The Holy Spirit is alive; when you make contact with it, you make contact with your mind’s dynamic capacity to love fully and without condition. The Holy Spirit is a loving gaze that extends from the center outward and it welcomes everything. It includes everything.
The Holy Spirit looks with love on all things and, because of its innate capacity for miracles (which are shifts from fear to love), it does not recognize problems.
[The Holy Spirit] is a Thought of God, and God has given Him to you because He has no Thoughts He does not share. His message speaks of timelessness in time, and that is why Christ’s vision looks on everything with love (T-13.VIII.4:3-4).
There is nothing the Holy Spirit does not welcome, and no problem that it cannot solve perfectly. The Holy Spirit is not supernatural. It is in your mind as your capacity to be clear and coherent, cooperative and collaborative. The Holy Spirit cares, and its care is offered without discrimination to the whole world, which makes it love.
This is in you: your first awareness of it will be the sense of being the looker. Find the looker and you have found the Holy Spirit, and you will share its joy and peace. This is not the end of the spiritual journey, but the beginning because the “golden aspects of reality that spring to light under [the Holy Spirit’s] loving gaze are partial glimpses of the Heaven that lies beyond them” (T-13.VIII.4:6).
This becomes the new experience: our union with the Holy Spirit, which is the end of ego, and thus inaugurates the translation of the world from a place of suffering to the site of remembering the creations of a wholly loving God.
Hey, Sean! You’ve pointed out a simple but profound nuance of how one might hold “Holy Spirit” and being, itself. The word picture of sunflower vs. photosynthesis was SUPER helpful here. The idea that the Holy Spirit is a process and NOT supernatural is the kind of nuance that can change, well, everything! Thank you for taking the time to articulate something that has a cultural, religious and mythical history of being mysterious or unknowable and instead offers the recognizable potential to end suffering and accept joy. I may need to sit with the whole “looker” thing, though. Is it enough to recognize oneself as the looker? Is that how perfect guidance is conveyed? And is the beginning of awakening synonymous with our union with the Holy Spirit? And if so, why would awakening be partial (or beginning) instead of total and whole in that moment? Theses are just some thoughts I am left with after my first reading of this profound post. Thank you again for being here and for sharing this Good News with us all. 🙂
Thanks, Jessica . . .
Well, the Holy Spirit in course parlance is the mediator between the abstract nondual perfection of God and our crazy dualistic experience of world and body.
So, in that sense, when we make contact with the Holy Spirit – which, for me, can be tentative and clumsy sometimes for sure – we are really just accessing the sane aspect of “our” mind. To me, this is stillness – the mind alert and supple and not dashing off after every shiny object and neat idea. It’s receptive, open, present.
Sunflowers are a fun example (somewhat following Michael Marder’s ideas here). Unlike our egoic mind – which is frantic and spastic and forever inserting itself into the natural flow of life, interruptive and disruptive – the flower is simply present. It is still. It receives sun and water equally. It doesn’t upgrade its root system through therapy. It doesn’t move to Sedona. It doesn’t date a Zinnia.
The stillness of our mind is like that – alive and dynamic but utterly itself, not pulled at all away from its natural function. It can’t be.
“Looker” is misleading because it implies an object – a “one who does the looking.” That one does not exist, except as a mirage. So “sean” is not the looker, and the looker is not like some pure and true version of “sean.”
In looking – and, again, this is brief over here – there is no “sean.”
The course suggests that our unity with the Holy Spirit – our recognition of, “oh, this is the Holy Spirit” – is the beginning of learning to listen ONLY to the Holy Spirit. This is healing, which unfolds in time to a person, who is gently undone as a condition of the healing. It’s like getting better equals disappearing! Our identity shifts as our focus moves away from the illusions of ego drama and violence and into the intense peace-filled presence of the Holy Spirit.
To me it is a relationship. Suddenly it’s easier to see ego for what it is and thus to no longer see it. And it is correspondingly easier to give attention to – and as – the Holy Spirit, to ease into that process, that being.
The goal of the relationship is perfect healing, at which point, one is integrated into the perfect Love of God, and unified stillness of the Kingdom of Heaven, from which we never actually deviated.
One catches hints here and there the world and is guided accordingly. What else are prisms for?
Thank you, Sean. This resonates, particularly the part about quieting the mind and entering stillness. I can see where ACIM principals can assist with the process of re-framing externals in order to create a space for awareness, as well. In your video you referenced how this process can be terrifying….do you mean, the coming undone part? Disappearing?
Terror in the sense of the grim nihilism when you see the end of ego but before you realize the Holy Spirit, and so it seems like . . . nothing. Life has no meaning, everything is hollow, love and fear are indistinguishable . . . that sort of energy.
There is a little gap between seeing through ego and remembering Holy Spirit and . . . there be dragons 🙂
We can open up a heaven on earth with this gaze of the looker. Your words unveiled this reality so succinctly.
Yes – Heaven is present and wholly available . . . we merely need to change our mind to see it.
Thanks for reading & being here, Sydney.
hi sean over fifty years ago i asked god if it was possible to live from the essence of my being…the example i gave was ” a rose doesn’t want to be a carnation….it simply buds blossoms, give off its perfume and sheds its petals ”
the paradox of the looker actually, in real time, being looking, always looking, was freeing for me…at least at times today it was…..the actuality of looking without naming….your process is helping me to find peace in my process…..thanks
Thanks for sharing, Dennis.
The example of the flower living in its true nature without resistance is lovely. The world of trees, gardens, rivers and the many critters inhabiting them has been teacherly to me. There is so much to learn from their simple presence to their world.
Part of being human is asking questions, telling stories, going deeper, et cetera . . . but those qualities so often lead to tangled and dysfunctional thinking. This felt hopeless to me for a long time! But giving attention to looking – noticing the looker losing its primacy, becoming one with the looking, in a sense – was liberating indeed. I feel it that way, too.
Thanks again for being here 🙏
while driving home this evening i was thinking about my night vision deteriorating…..and it came to me that instead of the learner gathering knowledge that it was possible to live in this present state of learning…..just like looking….
I like this! Yes, in the holy instant nothing is lost and nothing is gained . . . one merely rests in the all-inclusive present, perfectly given . . .