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Posts Tagged ‘A Course in Miracles’

Invisibility

Posted by Amanda Gray on August 6, 2015

I’ve been invisible.  It’s not as cool as you might think; like Harry Potter and his Cloak of Invisibility, sneaking around, spying on secret conversations.  No, it’s not like that.

First of all, I don’t know when I’ve gone invisible.  Everything is normal in my experience.  I only know I’m invisible through the consequences of not being seen by others. Like, for example, nearly getting run over in the middle of the street.  And, before you ask, no, it’s not like the driver was just distracted.  I have observed cars driving by me, with multiple occupants, none of whom were seeing me – and literally, looking beyond me – as if I wasn’t there.  It’s pretty unmistakable, and I’ve encountered it more than once.  There was a period of time, in fact, where it was happening rather regularly.  Until I decided I didn’t like almost being killed in the street, and then those particular occurrences stopped.

I bring this up today because I’m seeing a common thread of this ‘invisibility’ issue in my consciousness.  Fifteen years ago, just before I started on my spiritual journey, I had been a mad seeker of fame.  A sudden epiphany led me to realize that this seeking was due to feeling invisible and needing others, not just 1 or 2 others, but the whole world of others to pay attention to me, to recognize me as being special.  I thought that when I was famous, I would feel special, and therefore, loved.  I’ve had many years now to look at this prior seeking behaviour, and I thought I was done with it.

Bond_Faceless_ProfileYet, now I see it’s come up again, in a seemingly different way.  In the past couple of months, I’ve become completely, obsessively, boy crazy!  It started with a surge of desire, perhaps energy in the root chakra that I was rejecting over the past 10 years that I’ve been practicing celibacy, but, whatever the case, it came on in such a torrent, that I couldn’t resist it.  I decided not to judge the desire, and went with it.  The desire wanted sex, so I went after sex.  There was a fellow at work, who I fixated upon at first, but when it became apparent that he was in a sound relationship, I joined the dating app, Tinder.  I chatted with a few guys, went on a few dates.  While my intentions were clearly sexual, I didn’t feel right about the ‘hook up’ thing.  When sex was offered too quickly, I rejected it.  Anyway, two months later, several first dates, a smattering of second dates, and joining a second dating app, OKCupid, alas, I’ve still not found the right person/moment to have sex.  The desires have diminished somewhat over that time.  I’m still interested, but it’s not as overwhelming as it was at first.  Now, I can take or or leave it.  Yet, I’m still boy crazy – ogling cute boys everywhere I go and flirting aggressively anytime I catch an eye.  I want their attention so badly, I’m like a wounded beast on fire, begging them to help me, “Please, put out my flames!”

And yet, they don’t… won’t… can’t.  There’s been interest from many corners of the Tinder-verse and OKC-land, but the interest seems to fade fast.  Young men who express interest in an ‘older woman’ cancel our first dates, or stand me up (and by young, I mean 25).  Men closer to my age drift before we get to a second date. By ‘drift’, I mean that I assume they’re finding someone younger and cuter, although actual feedback, when I’ve asked, assures me they’re still interested.  Perhaps interested enough to keep me hanging on as ‘backup’ but not interested enough to become more involved.  Whatever the case, I’m clearly not getting what I want, so I have to ask why that is.  Is my overweening desire blocking the actual fulfilment of it?

I recognize that my activities have been motivated by some crazy ego thing.  I was thinking that I was addicted to the attention – the attempt at specialness through the ‘getting’ of a boyfriend.  Yeah, that’s probably in there.  But today, I also realized that there’s a tremendous amount of fear behind this seeking.  What am I afraid of?  Well, I feel lonely.  So I’m afraid of being alone.  When no one is paying attention to me, I feel alone, empty.  The feeling of loneliness is like a burning in my heart – sooooo uncomfortable – so I make any attempt I can to distract myself and avoid it!  There’s a feeling of ‘desperation’ in there too.  For example, I’m desperately grasping for the attention of anyone who passes by my desk at work.  If these people don’t stop to talk to me, then what?  Why is that a problem?  Could it be that I’m desperate for them to SEE ME?  What if it’s, literally, that I need them to SEE ME, because I still fear being ‘invisible’?

A Course in Miracles says that the body doesn’t truly exist in the moment, it’s only ever an image that’s remembered or projected.  It only exists in the past or the future, and requires a belief in time  to extend or manufacture it.  So, I have to be telling myself some kind of story about it, believing the body and it’s story is useful to me in some manner.  Yeah, to attract a boy (really, don’t get me wrong, I mean a MAN, of course) and have SEX before I’m too old and nobody wants me anymore!  I have to say, it’s not entirely about sex either, I’m also VERY interested in CUDDLES.  Some men have offered cuddles and THAT, for whatever reason, completely blows a gasket in my brain-basket!  I WANT CUDDLES!!!  I’ve gotten some cuddles, on a few EPIC first dates, and some lovely kisses, but there’s never ENOUGH – and I WANT MORE!!  ARGHHHHH!!  And, there’s also love.  Where does love fit into this?  I want to give and receive love.  UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Anyway, it’s all very curious, and, as usual, I don’t have any answers.  It’ll bother me until I let go of the attachments, and then it won’t.  Eventually, I’ll see through whatever bullshit is making me a crazy, obsessive monster.  Such is the way.

Posted in Sex & the Body | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Invisibility

Erasing Programs, Rewriting Software

Posted by Amanda Gray on November 12, 2014

I had this dream the other night:  Two busses in an underground parkaid.  One is in a well lit area, and as I walk around, a shadowy female body I’m with, tells me that it’s broken down and can’t be fixed.  I remember to myself that this was a bus I used to enjoy on tours with rock bands.  Then I find myself riding on a second bus, as a shadowy male driver tells me that he’s been instructed to park it where it can’t be seen, and he pulls into a narrow, shadowy spot in a remote corner of the parkaid.  Upon disembarking, I walk around and note that the parking spot is mostly enclosed with windowed walls, and that glare offers some additional obscuration of the bus.

My interpretation is this:

– Two of any symbol indicates a duality.  The broken down bus in the well lit area refers to a conscious decision I recently made to disengage with a particular duality that has caused me grief in my waking life for a long time.  The other bus, I’ll come back to in a minute.

– A bus symbol, as a community form of transportation, refers to a ‘journey’ I take with an organization or group, and the rock band ‘memory’ is the group I won’t be involved with anymore.

– The rock band, particularly glam rockers with black leather outfits and makeup – like KISS – are a symbol of my long held desire to be recognized in the world for my creative or performing ambitions.  It’s a rather powerful ego driven energy that craves attention, ‘scrambles’ in my mind for devices to achieve a very particular picture of how the desire may be satisfied, and yet, by experience, I know the desire, even if I achieve it’s goals, in whole or in part, will never abate, because it’s an endless, bottomless bucket.  This is the very thing I spent 14 years avoiding, denying, and trying to pummel down into submission.  Yet, energy can’t be killed, so it just gets divided into the subconscious and bounces around there as symbols of whatever’s not being expressed in my waking life.  So, just as I return to Vancouver, begin to let it free and start to express that ‘actor’ energy again in the world – trying to do it in a healthy, responsible way – it starts to produce this ‘scrambling madness’ quality in my mind.  I start to become obsessed with goals to get more attention, trying to make my body more beautiful to acquire what I crave, and yet then, constantly enraged at the body that’s clearly failing – getting too old and flabby – for the job!

The outer picture of my life showed me what’s happening in no uncertain terms.  It’s no coincidence that I went to a double feature at the cinema last week to see ‘Maps to the Stars’ and ‘Birdman’.  Both movies about famous people ‘scrambling’ to remain in the spotlight as they age.  Did I get the message from watching the movies?  Hell, YES!!  IN-FRICKIN-SANITY!!  Do I really want to pursue that insanity for myself?  Hell, NO!!  Then, a few days ago, as I recognized the scrambling thoughts arising in my mind, I made a concerted effort to say ‘no’ to them.  All day long, whenever they arose, I said, “No. Go away.  I’m not interested in you.  I’m not going to follow you or give any further energy to you.  I’m completely done with that.”  And I was.  And every time I reiterated my new desire to have peace instead of madness, the madness energy became smaller and smaller.  It seems to be gone now, and the dream indicated that it won’t be back, but I intend to be vigilant with even the most subtle risings, if they return.  This meinterstellar-movie-trailerntal effort is, I hope, the way to erase the energetic program and rewrite the software, once and for all.

– The other bus, being hidden in a shadowy spot, refers to a community association that isn’t known to my consciousness yet.  It’s on hold for the moment.  It tells me that I’m not going to be playing the duality – separation – game of the world anymore.  My new goal will be unified, from a unified consciousness, joining with others that share my core values, and moving forward for the highest best interest of the whole.  This symbol also reflects my worldly experience, because just that day, I’d had a job interview with a company that seems to reflect my core values, seems like something I’d like to do, and I could reasonably be offered the position… but they want a week to decide.  So, it could, potentially, be the community I’ll be joining, but I don’t know yet.  It’s on hold.  And maybe something else will arise in the meantime.  And maybe I won’t be offered the job in the end.  Who knows?

Another movie I saw the other day was ‘Interstellar’.  It also served as a reflection of desires within me.  Particularly, to be a ‘pioneer’ – an adventurer into the unknown.  I even used the word ‘pioneer’ in my job interview as I related how much I’ve always jumped at new projects, to enjoy exploring and learning new things, and to boldly go where no one has gone before!  This is what I do, what I’ve always done.  In fact, it may be that same ‘actor’ energy, from a positive perspective, as the motivator for my ‘role’, not just on a stage, but on the ‘stage’ of the world at large.  This experience we humans have is, when you really look, about worlds within worlds, dreams within dreams, stages upon stages, and reflections of reflections.  Isn’t it?

I have this vague feeling, like there’s something brewing on the horizon of my mind.  A cloud constellating around a bunch of ideas that have been floating innocuously about, and that, when they come together, in a crystalline fashion, they will create something entirely brand new.  A ‘vision’ for my life, perhaps.  A goal for the second half, perhaps.  I can’t jump on it too fast (although I’ve tried), because it’s still in parts and pieces so far, and I have to be patient, trust, and wait for the combining effect – the eureka moment.  Ugh.  It’s difficult for me.  I want to jump in!

Hmmmm… anyway… perhaps, perhaps….


ADDENDUM: 

I had a waking ‘dream snapshot’ shortly after this posting.  I’m distinguishing this phenomena from a regular sleeping dream.  I often refer to the parts of a dream that I focus on for interpretation as ‘snapshots’, because those particular images are like a still ‘snapshot’ in the whirlwind of multiple dream images, and they stand, somewhat, apart from the rest.  So, anyway, an image, just like the ‘snapshots’ I might glean from a sleeping dream, came to me when I was awake. It just popped into my mind and said, look at me!  It’s important here because it was also of a bus.  The bus was parked at the far end of a football field.  The open air stadium was empty of people and the sky was twilight.  The bus was parked perpendicular to the touchdown line, next to the goal posts, and had a big, neon blue, digital clock on the side, flashing 00:00:00.  Around the bus, were many other neon blue lights, flashing, as if in ‘celebration’.

Interpretation:  when I first thought of this image, I felt that it meant ‘touchdown!’ – like it was a confirmation that my activities of the previous day were a successful transition to my new community journey.  (I recently signed up with a website to do freelance voiceover work and have been submitting auditions like crazy.  And I’m feeling really great about the possibilities of the work.)  But, upon further consideration, I realize that it’s still a shadowy image, indicating information that isn’t fully conscious, and the bus is still parked.  I’m not on it.  I’m looking at it from far away.  And there’s no other people – no community.  Now I think it might be indicating the end of a game.  A game that I’ve been playing in my mind – the end of some cherished ideas about the world, my life and what it all ‘means’.  Do any of these symbols mean what I think they mean?  The Course in Miracles would say that all symbols are meaningless.  It’s only an attempt of my mind to put meaning on a thing that has no inherent meaning.

Lesson 1

Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.

Lesson 2

I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.

Lesson 3

I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

Lesson 4

These thoughts do not mean anything.  They are like the things I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].

As you see, it’s clear right from the outset of the workbook lessons.  So, however I attempt to interpret symbols, dreaming ones or waking ones, is it merely a fools game?  Because none of them mean anything?  And, I have to begin to see all symbols as the same – meaningless – in order to see past them to what’s real?  Dream-making, as I understand it, is the function of ego. Do I want to believe in dreams – illusions – or do I want what’s real?  Even if I don’t have any idea what ‘REAL’ is?

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Inspiration

Posted by Amanda Gray on March 11, 2013

Where does inspiration come from?

Have you ever thought to ask?

Yesterday, I rearranged a few things in the store where I work.  Inspiration struck me an hour before the end of my shift, and even as I finished the arrangement, I knew the idea wasn’t entirely complete.  Perhaps my co-worker would add to it and make it better.  Or perhaps we could discuss the idea the next day and discover where to go with it.  Yet, as I walked home, I felt that it was more likely the changes would be disapproved and my work would be changed back.  It was just a question of how long it would take.

This morning I arrived for my shift and it was already reversed.  My idea didn’t even live a day before it was killed!  Squashed like a bug before it even had a chance to breathe!  AAARGH!

It was funny, because I knew it would happen.  Yet, at the same time, I was angry and hurt.  I blamed my co-worker.  I wanted to point out how, regularly, I’d compliment her ideas, and even when I didn’t entirely appreciate her contribution, I wouldn’t consider invalidating her creativity by (how RUDE!) reversing her work!  Still, as a student of A Course in Miracles, I eventually opened my mind and asked to see the situation differently.

Since it was an ‘idea’ that I thought was rejected, I asked, is the idea MINE?  Do I POSSESS this thing called an ‘idea’?  Where did the idea come from?  Did I make it?  The idea came from inspiration… where does ‘inspiration’ come from?  Did I make that?

I had to laugh.  No, of course I don’t make inspiration.  God makes inspiration.  That’s why God is Cause and why I’m an effect.  I receive inspiration and act on it.  Is it up to me what happens after I act on an inspiration?  Does it matter if my co-worker dislikes it?  Is it up to me what the outcome is?  Do I know what God planned when the inspiration was given?  Do I think I’m ‘specially’ valued by God (the Authority) when an inspiration is bestowed upon me?  Do I think I’m devalued if a ‘special’ inspiration is bestowed upon someone else?

By invalidating my idea, I felt that my co-worker was invalidating ‘me’.  That I’m not welcome to participate in the store and that she doesn’t care about me.   Hmmm… this thought of “others not caring about me” has been a common theme lately, particularly when it’s an ‘authority’ (she’s an elder) who doesn’t seem to care.

If I want an authority figure to care, what I really want is for the ultimate Authority, God, to care.  And to SHOW me He cares.  How?  By treating me SPECIAL.  I want to be loved SPECIALLY.  Could an all loving God love anyone SPECIALLY?   My studies say that God loves all EQUALLY.   Yet my mind – being what the personal mind is, swinging always between extremes – thinks, “Well, if You won’t love me specially, then I must be totally unlovable.”

… and thus, I create a witness to my belief who will treat me carelessly (my co-worker).  So I can justify my unlovable belief and be RIGHT.  So I can make someone else the bad guy.  What?  Who me?  No, I didn’t think of myself as unlovable – it was HER!

The co-worker’s rejection of my idea, as a rejection of ‘me’, is much like how I’ve rejected my Self.  Specifically, the parts of my Self that I don’t like… like ideas I’ve had in the past that were BAD ideas.  Am I an idea?  How can I expect to be a whole, lovable being, if I’m constantly dividing myself into parts!?  This part’s good, and lovable, but this part’s bad, and unlovable.  Geesh!  Nuts!

Also, if I think others aren’t caring about me, am I caring about them?  Is one lovable, while another one isn’t?  Is one only lovable when they do something particular to show me they’re worthy of my appreciation?  By what standard do I judge that?

These are important questions.

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What is True?

Posted by Amanda Gray on December 30, 2012

“I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.” I was just reading that line in the Course this morning. My lesson today is to see that I have been trying to make this body valuable, but that the only value the body has is its use – like a pointed stick pokes, or a hard rock hammers.

As the body ages, gets sick, becomes weaker and weaker, fatter and uglier, the stronger is my urge to prove it’s usefulness. Is it only the belief that I AM a body that must prove itself? If I’m not a body, what am I? If I don’t use this body or those other bodies ‘out there’ to punish and hang guilt upon, what are they for? If “I am only here to be truly helpful,” what is ‘truly’ helpful besides the doing of a body? The truth of this physical world – that this body is, ultimately, entirely expendable – is like choking a bitter pill down a dry throat. Anger yields to grief. And that is why we don’t want to see this awful truth. It hurts.

Yet, can this be the whole truth? The body must yield to spirit… grief must yield to love… mustn’t they?

And with this small light of hope I look into my mind and ask again, “What is true?”.

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Following Inspiration

Posted by Amanda Gray on October 4, 2012

I spent nearly 3 months this past summer at the Living Miracles Monastery in Utah, USA.  Since my arrival, in May, I haven’t been inspired to blog.  An early lesson at the monastery taught me that I had been attempting to use writing to separate ‘true’ thoughts from ‘untrue’ thoughts.  A Course in Miracles teaches that an illusion is an illusion, full stop.  Therefore, no thought is true.

Spirit moves via inspiration, not thinking.  So, while I haven’t been inspired to write, and make lengthy stories out of a lot of blah blah blah, I have been inspired to make short videos.  Below is a link to my most recent creation – a music video – that, we might say, somewhat encapsulates my experiences at the monastery.  If you’re particularly keen, you may also notice other videos on my AnagramDay channel that were created while I was at the monastery.  Mostly, they’re videos of our ‘project days’ in which we prepared for the Strawberry Fields Forever Music Festival and Enlightenment Retreat at the end of July.  Enjoy!

 

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Slippery, Slippery

Posted by Amanda Gray on March 14, 2012

This morning, I’m on crack.  Not literally.  I only use that phrase to describe a quality of feeling.  The ideas that came to me this morning are so out-of-the-box that they induce a feeling that’s sort-of like intoxication.  The revelations are so ephemeral, so “slippery”, that the mind can’t grasp them, and so it’s orientation becomes rather “spacey”.

I’m just going to write how it came to me, and you can make heads or tails of it as you like.

I began on page 312 of the Text of A Course in Miracles, The Holy Instant and Special Relationships.  It says:

The holy instant is the Holy Spirit’s most useful learning device for teaching you love’s meaning. For it’s purpose is to suspend judgement entirely. Judgement always rests on the past, for past experience is the basis on which you judge. Judgement becomes impossible without the past, for without it you do not understand anything. You would make no attempt to judge, because it would be quite apparent to you that you do not understand what anything means. You are afraid of this because you believe that without the ego, all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love.

The past is the ego’s chief learning device, for it is in the past that you learned to define your own needs and acquired methods for meeting them on your own terms.

I saw this as the way in which I create boundaries.  For example, I’ll give another this much cake, but not that much cake.  Then, the lesson goes on to say:

Yet you had judged against yourself first, or you would never have imagined that you needed your brothers as they were not. Unless you had seen yourself without love, you could not have judged them so like you in lack.

Then, to the next section on page 314, The Holy Instant and the Laws of God:

You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you. And so you seek without for what you cannot find without.

And:

God is an idea.

And:

In the holy instant you recognize the idea of love in you, and unite this idea with the Mind that thought it, and could not relinquish it.

Then I began to write about my experience:

I judge the ego/body of myself, guilt arises, then I project the guilt and judge the ego/body of another. I’m believing that because I’m sometimes selfish or annoyed, etc., that it makes me weak or incomplete. That I somehow need to fix myself, or another. I’m believing that the presence of selfishness casts out the presence of perfect love/God. But what if these IDEAS can and do co-exist? It’s only my DECISION to make “selfishness” a “bad” thing and keep it separate from “love” which is a “good” thing. I’m creating these arbitrary boundaries because I think I know something about what’s good & bad, what’s ego & Self.  HA!

I can have an IDEA that I’m a person, separate from other people, and project that idea into physical form to give it some authority of reality. Yet, if “ideas leave not their source“, then the projection can’t be “real”. It just seems so, especially if I keep choosing that idea over another idea – perhaps this – that we’re all created by and out of LOVE, so that we’re not separate “people” at all.  And if that idea comes from God, then it hasn’t left its source and we’re all still IN God. If “God” and “me” and “you” are all, simply, IDEAS, then we’re all the SAME. There’s nothing to JUDGE between!

I create separation and boundaries by judging ideas. In improv theatre, it’s called “blocking.”  Improv becomes very difficult if someone rejects ideas offered by their team-mates.  The flow of the improv is interrupted and the audience feels disappointed when an idea isn’t followed through.  As I’ve personally experienced, it’s also internally disruptive and feels terribly awkward.  Back then, I didn’t understand what was going wrong.  In fact, I just blamed my team-mate for doing a bad job.

Here, now I also understand the Course lesson, “I do not know what anything, including this, means.”  It’s because when I use judgement to arbitrarily separate ideas into categories of “good” and “bad”,  accepting some and rejecting others, this only separates me from source.  If I see it, instead, that I don’t know what these ideas MEAN, then I don’t attempt to categorize, I can just accept them all.  Perfect love means perfect acceptance.  If I accept that perfect love is within me, even when I’m feeling greedy or arrogant or angry, then I can accept the truth in the moment, however it arises, and STILL welcome it with LOVE.  In myself, or in another.

The Course says, on page 316:

In the holy instant God is remembered, and the language of communication with all your brothers is remembered with Him. For communication is remembered together, as is truth. There is no exclusion in the holy instant because the past is gone, and with it goes the whole basis for exclusion. Without its source exclusion vanishes. And this permits your Source, and that of all your brothers, to replace it in your awareness. God and the power of God will take Their rightful place in you, and you will experience the full communication of ideas with ideas. Through your ability to do this you will learn what you must be, for you will begin to understand what your Creator is, and what His creation is along with Him.

Ok… too slippery.  Too much… have to stop thinking about it now.

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I am Here Only to be Truly Helpful

Posted by Amanda Gray on March 9, 2012

A Course in Miracles

Thus begins a prayer from A Course in Miracles, in the Text on page 28.  I’ve been considering this phrase a lot recently.  What does it mean to be TRULY helpful?

 A few days ago, I travelled to the city with my mom.  When we arrived, I dropped her off to spend the night with her sister, while I went to stay the night with friends from my meditation group.  The next morning, I arose early and picked up mom to take her to three appointments.  At first, I thought I would be early enough to grab a quick chai latte, but an unexpected traffic jam delayed me.  Then, I was angry that we had to crisscross half the city to go from one appointment to another, in no reasonable sense of driving order.  Also, it was snowing and the road conditions were less than optimal.  Grrr.  Well, from there, the whole day just spiraled down into more feelings of anger, arrogance and blaming.  I could observe what was happening, and I took responsibility for it, apologizing to my mom several times, but I couldn’t seem to shake the negative attitude either.  The verbal attacks that sprouted from my mouth like a bunch of thorny weeds – aimed at, pretty much, any excuse I could concoct – felt like it was completely out of my control.
 

As I thought about the day later on, I wondered why I hadn’t remembered some lessons from the Course, designed for these very situations.  I could have used, “I am not upset for the reason that I think“, or “I do not know what anything, including this, means“, or, failing to recall precise lessons, I could still have just stopped and prayed at any point.  Any words would have been fine, but I didn’t do it.  Instead, I let the negativity grow and grow, until I sucked my mom into its insidious gravity so we were both in bad moods, and then I juiced the situation for every drop of dark satisfaction I could get.  The bottom line is that I WANTED to juice that negative energy.  But WHY???

It was really hard for me to understand the underlying motivation of it, so I used a technique that Adyashanti recommends: to talk to the anger.  Anger said that it didn’t want to do things it didn’t want to do.  It didn’t really want to help my mom.  It was too much trouble to do all that driving, especially when there was nothing in it for ME.  Anger only wanted what benefited its own selfish little self!

So, somewhere along the line that day, I went into resistance about helping my mom, and then I couldn’t help but operate out of the internal conflict.  That’s why it felt so “out of control”.  Resistance occurs when we’re doing something we don’t really want to do – or not doing something we really do want to do.  Doo-doo-de-doo, de-doo-de-doo-doo.  If I would’ve just been honest with myself, as rude and embarrassing as it is to admit the truth, the whole negative condition would’ve melted away.  If I would’ve allowed myself to feel how I felt, been OK with it, then I could have made an active and free CHOICE to help my mom anyway.  At that point, feeling fully engaged and positive about the choice I was making from an honest place of power.

This morning, while I was doing the dishes, thoughts of complaint and blame arose again.  Right away, instead of trying to ‘figure out’ why I’m so bitchy about dirty dishes, I just surrendered and asked spirit to see it differently.  I admitted that I truly didn’t know why the dirty dish conflict kept rising in my mind, and I dropped the whole problem into silence.  And, from silence, the answer came.  I could see that it was the same issue as the travel day with my mom.  Oh, for Pete’s sake!  For so long, I danced around the issue because I didn’t really want to see the truth.  It’s not just about being frustrated at chaos – although that may be part of how I was perceiving it – it’s more about being selfish.  It’s hard to admit to being THAT selfish.  After all the things my mom does for me, totally unconditionally, why don’t I have the same generosity toward her?  No, my helpfulness definitely comes with conditions.

I was watching Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen yesterday (she’s like a female Andrew Dice Clay and she kills me!) and she said that she’s an only child and that she’s grown up used to doing everything she wants for herself.  Yup.  Me too.  She made me laugh about it, which was good, so today I can look at this monumentally selfish beast that I have been and I can forgive myself. 

The truth is that I don’t know how to be unconditionally helpful.  I don’t know how to do things for others without expecting a quid pro quo…

… BUT I AM WILLING TO ASK FOR HELP.

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Fragments

Posted by Amanda Gray on February 14, 2012

Watercolor/Pastel.Title:Rahway

I had this dream a couple of days ago:

– I’m in a workshop of sorts, inside a big warehouse.  There is clay, moulded into flat squares on a table.  There are boxes of other materials too, metal and plastic shapes.  As I look at these materials I start to think about using them to make something.  I start to look for specific kinds of materials in specific shapes.  Then I think that the materials belong to my dad.

Interpretation:

Upon awakening, I realized how silly it was to take all those random materials and apply meaning to them, in rather random ways.  Does the mere presence of these materials indicate that I must do something with them?  Why do I think I need to create something out of them?  None of the materials resembled anything that ever belonged to my dad, so where would that random idea come from?  Perhaps it’s like what the mind does with random fragments in the world too, applying meaning, or doing, or ownership where there, truly, is none.  The materials are also neatly sorted into boxes, indicative of the minds’ tendency to keep things separate, organized and controlled.  What would happen if I dumped all of the pieces together in a big, chaotic mash-up?  Hmmm….

I had another dream this morning that was also full of fragments.  These fragments were, supposedly, from my theatrical past – old scripts, sheet music, photos, and other ornamental memorabilia.  I looked through this stuff to find the lyrics of a song because there was contention throughout the material and in my ‘memory’ about the last verse.  After I awoke, I could see that nothing in the dream was representative of my ‘real’ past in any way.  It was all totally random and imaginary, yet my dream character accepted it as ‘real’ and made up stories about it to further attest to its ‘reality’.

Can I apply these dream messages to my waking life?  To perhaps see that even what I consider a ‘real’ past is also made up of random, imaginary fragments that only continue to seem real because I continue to make up stories to validate it?

In A Course in Miracles, text page 602, it says:

"It is not they [the senses] that hear and see, but you, who put together every jagged piece, each senseless scrap and shred of evidence, and make a witness to the world you want.  Let not the body’s ears and eyes perceive these countless fragments seen within the gap that you imagined, and let them persuade their maker his imaginings are real."

Far out, man.  Deep.

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When the Devil Knocks

Posted by Amanda Gray on February 8, 2012

I watched a show called “When the Devil Knocks” last night.  It was about a woman, named Hilary, who suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder and it included a little of her therapy to re-integrate her various personalities.  It helped me to decode a dream I had early that morning:

– I’m in the kitchen of an open space apartment.  I’m across a red coloured bar/counter from a man.  I know that this man is a murder suspect and I’m the investigator on the case.  The murder happened in the apartment.  The man explains that he got angry and then forgot what happened.  I reply, “It’s what they call a ‘blind rage’, Mike.”

– I realize that we’re not alone in the room and I turn to see an old woman at the dining room table.  She’s in a wheelchair and she holds a lit cigarette.  “Where did you come from?” I ask as I approach her.  “I’m usually kept in that room,” she indicates a closed bedroom door.  I understand, “Oh, you’re the room-mate.”  She says, “I’m entirely under the direction of God.”  I reply, “Oh, I love people who’re under the direction of God.”  I touch her hand gently, then explain that I’m conducting an investigation in the kitchen, “At least that’s what they call it anyway,” I add flippantly.

– As I return to Mike, I see that he’s got a small steak knife stuck to the rim of his ball cap.  He boldly walks past me and out of the apartment.  I follow and call to him, “Mike!  Mike!  Please, don’t. Give me the knife.”  Mike gets into a large freight elevator.  Another man walks in front of me and hands him a small paring knife across the elevator door, “Here, I stole this one for you.”  The ‘friend’ walks quickly away.

– Mike takes both knives in his hands and abruptly exits the elevator toward me.  He puts both knife points under my chin, intending to stab me up through the face/neck.  I sweep with my right arm to block his attack, but I know it’s futile – or too late.

– I jump awake.

So, the hour program about the woman with multiple personalities, Hilary, helped me interpret this dream-riddle: 

– One of Hilary’s personalities was named Tim.  They explained that the Tim personality was the ‘friend’ of her abuser and the one that hated the original personality, Hilary, the most.  I realized that my ‘Tim’ was ‘Mike’.  Although my childhood abuse wasn’t enough to form complete personality separation, it was enough to create a fracture where I could store my murderous anger and rage – then repress and deny it.  This is also known as the core of the ego. 

– Clearly, ‘Mike’ wants to murder ‘me’.

– The elevator is how Mike will try to retreat back into lower consciousness, if I let him.

– The red counter in the kitchen relates to blood.  First, from the abuse, then later, from my period.  Also as a symbol of murder, passion and hatred.

– Two boys, Mike and his ‘friend’, because there were two abusers involved.  Knives, because my abusers used a knife.  Also, everything showing up in pairs indicates a split, or dualistic, pattern of thought.

– I’m playing the ‘investigator’ character.  The authority figure or judge.

– The old woman represents the ‘wise old woman’ archetype, higher wisdom or the Holy Spirit.  Mostly, she’s been kept ‘locked away’ in the bedroom.  She’s now free to make an appearance, but she’s still in a ‘handicapped’ state in the wheelchair.   I’m not allowing her to be fully helpful, or surrendering completely to guidance and direction from God.

The cigarette? Perhaps a symbol of a spiritual fire/torch that burns and cannot entirely be extinguished, no matter how much I might ever have wished it?

Then, of course, my A Course in Miracles reading was right on target. On Text page 582 about the “avengers knife in his own hand, pointed to himself.”  And on page 584 for the “murderer who stalks you in the night and plots your death…” etc.  The main point of the reading was that I DO THIS TO MYSELF.  I AM the attacker – no matter how much or in what ways I try to project it out on the world or on my body, or in what form it takes.  MIKE is ME.  He’s probably the ‘invisible force’ from the dream in my last entry as well (Embracing the Feminine).  At least now I got a good look at him.

I also intuited this picture – I call it, GETTING OFF THE SEE-SAW:

Duality See-Saw

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A War Over Food

Posted by Amanda Gray on November 30, 2011

Last night, I was reading page 143 of the text of A Course in Miracles.  It said:

If God’s Will for you is complete peace and joy, unless you experience only this you must be refusing to acknowledge His Will.  […]  You cannot exempt yourself from His laws, although you can disobey them.  Yet if you do, and only if you do, you will feel lonely and helpless, because you are denying yourself everything.  […]  My will is His, and your decision to hear me is the decision to hear His Voice and abide in His Will.  […]  You must accept guidance from within.

I was reminded of an occasion a few years ago.  I was with my family at a Montana’s restaurant to celebrate a birthday.  I was enjoying a half rack of baby back ribs and was becoming full.  I lifted a rib from the plate, and as I considered whether I could handle another bite, a VERY clear voice in my head said, “No.”  My next thought was, “But, what happens if I do?”  Would I be struck down with a bolt of lightning?  It’s only a piece of meat and I’ve already eaten half of this rack, so what harm could there be?  I took another bite… and when nothing further happened, I finished the rib.  Huh.  Strange.  As I shortly tucked into some truly indulgent doughnuts for dessert, I put the incident out of my mind.

As I remembered it again, I realized that it was a case of ignoring guidance from within.  Yes, I can disobey.  It’s my decision to make.  I’m free to do so.  And, at the time, there appeared to be no negative consequences to it.  Yet, the invitation of guidance wasn’t extended to me again for a long time after that.  It was like a test.  Was I ready to follow higher wisdom yet?  No, apparently I wasn’t.  I was like Eve in the Garden.  My garden was Montana’s.  My apple was a luscious, meaty, sweet, baby back rib.  Oh, the temptation!  I realize today that when I choose against such direct and clear guidance, I also choose against my innocence.  The opposite of innocence is ‘knowledge’.  So I’m preferring to think that I know more than God knows.  Yet, it’s just a pretend kind of knowledge, an illusion of ego.

Just like every teenager begins to question authority as they begin to develop their egos, they also suddenly think they know everything.  They stretch the boundaries of right and wrong, good and bad.  “My Dad told me to do it this way, but what happens if I do it another way?  I can think of a hundred other ways to do it, so why shouldn’t I try something else?  Why is his way right, and my way wrong?”  And they quickly learn that they can do it another way and it usually works out fine.  Yet, there must be guilt in those decisions too.  We must choose to believe that the authority doesn’t have our best interests at heart, that they would guide us in a detrimental way.  We must create a division of right and wrong and vacillate as we attempt to decide which is which.  We must give up the innocence of our childhood.  And, as time goes on, we lose that childhood innocence more and more.  And, less and less, we trust the authorities around us.  And as we trust them less, we trust ourselves less.   And, if we’re really hard headed, like I have been, we keep trying to do everything by ourselves, to keep control of every detail, because we know how it should be done, and they don’t.  Ultimately, we trade innocence, freedom, peace, and joy for ‘knowledge’, guilt, indecision and anxiety.  Why would we continue to choose such pain, if the alternative is just to listen to and trust the authority of a greater wisdom?

What does it mean to “accept guidance from within”?  Well, today I understand that it’s not just some mental exercise of words, I have to actually be willing to DO what I’m told to do.  I have to trust the inner wisdom, even if my past experience tells me something different about it.  Do I want to keep repeating the past?  How far has that gotten me?

 

This morning, upon awakening, I started to consider some other food issues.  I realized that often, when my mom cooks food for me, I become bitchy and attack her.  I complain that she didn’t make the food I’d most prefer, or cook it the way I’d most like.  I can observe that I’m doing it, but, for some reason, I can’t seem to curb the negative habit.  This morning, I related the issue back to the time in my childhood when mom tried to switch me from baby food to solid food.  A battle of will ensued between us and she withheld the soft baby food, hoping that I would become hungry enough to eat the solid food.  I didn’t.  Eventually, I became malnourished and had to be hospitalized with a gastro-intestinal infection.  (I mentioned this in my last entry: I Am Content, I Am Tranquil.)

I saw the similarity between the two situations.  Just as my mom ‘withheld’ the food I preferred as a baby, I believe she’s ‘withholding’ the food I prefer now.  Even though I’ve tried to tell her what I like, she continues to make food to her own satisfaction, not to mine.  It’s become the same battle of wills.  As I become more frustrated, I become more bitchy.  And I’ve generated a gastritis condition in my stomach.  Yes, it’s the past repeating itself, exactly.

Then I realized that I’m not the only one complaining over the food.  My mom does it too.  If I cook for her, and she doesn’t give me step by step instructions for how she wants it, she complains about it in exactly the same way I complain about her food.  Often, if we go out to a new restaurant together, she’ll bitterly complaint about the food that’s offered.  I see her inner child come out, whining and crying, because the food is improperly cooked, or tastes bad.  And because she’s stuck in that childish state, she can’t make adult choices to reasonably address the situation – to send the food back, or whatever.  It also doesn’t escape notice, that she also has major stomach and digestion conditions.

Don’t get it twisted, this war is NOT over food.  No.  Food is only the symbol.  This war is over love.  For my mom, food has always been the way she’s expressed love to her family.  She’s been greatly blessed with a talent and joy of cooking that I acknowledge openly.  Yet, when I complain about her cooking, I’m telling her that I’m rejecting, directly, her gift of creation and, indirectly, her love.  I’m also confirming my own belief that I’m unworthy of her love.  If I allowed my mom the freedom to make whatever she choose to, and accepted her gift with total gratitude, we would both experience perfect peace and joy.  We would both be accepting God’s Will (what IS).  We make a mistake when we try to control one another.  We mistakenly put the importance on the FORM (food), instead of on the MEANING (love).  As we both make the error, we both need healing.

We suffered greatly over the food incident when I was a baby.  I don’t remember what I really felt at the time, of course, but I can safely assume that I felt rejected, unloved and abandoned.  My mom has told me that she felt guilt, regret and depression.  Why choose to repeat the past?  Why choose to continue to suffer?  No, it can end.  This morning I prayed and surrendered the error to the Holy Spirit and asked for a healing miracle.  Will I be healed alone?  No, of course not.  My mom will be healed as well.

My Course lesson today adds on page 145 and 146:

Freedom is the only gift you can offer to God’s Sons, being an acknowledgment of what they are and what He is.  Freedom is creation, because it is love.  […]  Your identification is with the Father AND with the Son.  It cannot be with One and not the Other.

My identification is with God AND the Son – the Son is Jesus, or holy guidance within, but ALSO as my holy mother.  I offer her freedom to create as she chooses and I accept her gift of love with gratitude.

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