A Course in Miracles Blog

Learning to have an authentic experience

  • By Paul West
  • In Mind, Reality, Teaching
  • 1281 Words
  • 6 minutes 24 seconds
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Lately what I've been trying to focus on is what can be *experienced*. The truth can be described in thousands of words but really it is an experience. We're really talking about you getting to the point where you can experience happiness, experience love, experience peace, experience God. God is an experience.

So what this means is looking at what you are experiencing NOW, and looking at what tools you can practically USE to actaully shift your experience to a happier, fuller, more truthful/authentic one.

And this has nothing really to do with what you are thinking about what you're experiencing or what's going on around it or what you should be experiencing, but the actual direct immediate experience - your feelings, your psychological reactions, your perception of reality, your union with God. What is reality to you right now, in honesty and not trying to 'please' Jesus?

This isn't done on a mental level or in terms of theory or discussion. What you really need is practical tools that WORK that bring about a real TRANSFORMATION of what you are experiencing. You are meant to LIVE the truth, not just talk about it. You're meant to actually feel God's love, live in God's love and be God's love.

What I've been seeing also is that when you try to be or attain a goal or theoretical truth that is too far beyond what you can actually EXPERIENCE, all of your energies start to flow into the intellect because they aren't grounded or rooted in what is real to you. You try to grasp at it and affirm it and think about it and make it seem like you understand it but you're not actually *experiencing* it because it's outside your envelope. It's very easy to conceptualize 'oneness' but, are you actually fully omnipresent and experience absolute unlimited psychological access to every part of existence? Nope.

I can testify that I went to great lengths in my mind and intellect in understanding the Course and the metaphysics and the high-level statements of truth and how it all fits together and all that. I was looking for some kind of a way to experience truth by having the biggest or best thought about it, or the widest grasp of where it fits, or the most abstract or subtle aspects of what Jesus has taught about the truth.

But even when I thought I really really really was getting it and understanding it, mentally, it was NOT followed by a result of experiencing love, or experiencing God. It did not bring peace. And it was like getting to the end of a path that you thought would lead you to the truth or to God only to find out that it does NOT lead there.

It doesn't lead there because its a journey in thinking and intellectualizing rather than the much more real, direct EXPERIENCING of truth. So I had to learn this, the hard way, that it can't be all about the talk or all about the theory or all about the metaphysics. It IS okay to seek for understanding (ACIM says understanding is appreciation of the truth), but you can't EXPERIENCE it on a purely theoretical level.

When we're not actually dealing with what we are experiencing - the immediate interaction of you vs what's in front of your face right now and how your mind is having a RELATIONSHIP with it - then it moves away from here-and-now and becomes removed and distant, turning into just a theory or concept.

Your head, your intellect, is quite capable of handling concepts and theories and thoughts about them, but its as though the intellect is an artificial ego device to be separated from reality, from the here and now. I would find myself tending to even intellectualize my feelings, transferring emotional energy into my head and trying to process it there through thought. Instead of feeling. Instead of experiencing.

I've also seen people get caught up in what they 'should' be doing or are supposed to be believing, launching into 'trying' really hard to force yourself to be those things, without ACTUALLY being able to do so. It creates the spiritualized ego. And when asked questions about what they are experiencing now or what they are really feeling, they are disconnected from it.

They will respond about what they think of it or what it means or what they think they're supposed to say or what lofty course idea they're meant to believe, but they don't REALLY believe it. They don't REALLY mean it. And they're out of touch with where they're really at, cut off from FEELING. Feeling is much closer to being than intellectualizing. But people don't want to feel. They don't want the immediate experience of reality, preferring to be buffered against it by all of these intellectual walls of thought and guilt and shame and force and pressure and ... using the wrong tool for the job.

What you may find as I have, as well, is that what I can experience has certain boundaries that prevent me from experiencing anything too far outside my 'comfort zone'. My mind won't stretch that far. If there's a suggestion to be or do something that I'm just not ready for, there's no way I'm going to be ABLE to do it yet alone willing to do it.

You can be willing enough to take small steps from where you actually are to where you want to get to next, but giant leaps are next to impossible. And when you try to make giant leaps before you're really ready, you will BYPASS, which means you're in denial about what you're really believing and experiencing and are pretending to be further along than you want to admit to. It's the ego that tries to throw you into 'advanced spirituality' before you are really ready or willing or able to actually BE it, because it wants the prowess of 'mastery' without ACTUALLY letting go of enough ego to experience it truly.

So you need to stop, go within, and look much closer to home, much closer to where you are realistically at right now. What are you experiencing right now. What are you feeling. And this is where you have to be really honest. Do you REALLY believe what the course is saying? Probably not. What do you believe instead? You have to work through this stuff. You can't pretend not to have blocks to awareness, you have to ACTUALLY look for them and acknowledge that they're there and then work on transforming your beliefs/viewpoints/attitudes so that you can ACTUALLY be free of these blocks.

They don't go away by sweeping them under the carpet, or by using denial, or by shutting them out, or making yourself unconscious, or bypassing to a level of advancement you're not ready for. There is nothing to be ashamed of in admitting that you are NOT the advanced spiritual successor to Jesus just yet. If you don't acknowledge what you're actually experiencing then you aren't going to be able to change your experience. And I think that's what this is all about - transforming what you are experiencing so that you can experience something better. And this means dealing with the 'reality' of your situation, not some ACIM-driven fairytale about how spiritual you are or how lofty the concepts are or what you are 'supposed' to be like.

How do you feel? Where are you at? What is honestly true for you right now? Have the courage to look at it, feel it, experience it, be with it. Acknowledge how fucked up you are. Then re-interpret your evaluation of yourself and transform your experience of yourself into a genuinely higher version of yourself.

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