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Let Go Your Appearances

From an old channel island, the new
rises out of the mist
hovering over the water in the stillness
borderline
between the graduated blue of the sky
reaching up to the quarter moon on high
and the textured blue of the ocean below
dotted with specks of white

Bodies navigating trails down the waterless slopes
voices caught
by the wind, birds gliding on the wind,
pine branches dancing in the wind
come to rest and fall silent

In the shadow of my relief from the sun
who is to notice?
Who wills chronicle to life and adds notations
to its log? As if another will, long hence,
would need to know. Would care to know

What unnamed hand scrawls its signature
on the record of time
soul of anonymity, here and gone?
Self or opposite? Host or parasite?
Is it possible to choose?

Can’t I just be whatever for a little while
and be done with it?
"Easy come, easy go. As it came, let it go."
Is that what the view, the wind, the stillness
has to say?

I am the liberation of Love
The peace of Mind
I am Now, the Living. I am Forever.
Let go your appearances
Your dead weight of the past
And return Home with Me.

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Mind dreaming can “detect” what’s not really there

The whole Child resides in every individual. There is only one Child. So, anyone can say, honestly and truly, that they are the Child.  When it matters, they can be the Child. Not the Child’s Parents but their Child. The Child’s projections of itself in this unreality appear to be children, presumably of the same Parents, but they’re all the same Child.

Why doesn’t it feel this way? Opposites. There are not one but two sensors recording the stillness of the shades of blue, the crawl of the containership that’s slicing here and there in two. One is a projection of the dreaming Child sensing through Intuition with the vision of Logic.

The other is a body sensing as only as it can, with eyes and ears, a nose, mouth, and skin. With brain atop its spine, ever alert to threats, to prey, to food, and mates. Ready to act on its own behalf, for or against its kind, with the force of animal instinct and feeling detached from thought. A copy of the Child’s shadow. Replication of a virus that occupies the mind of its unconscious host. Senses that detect itself: a world of allure and distraction, flickering shapes and intriguing sounds. A grand image of mind’s opposite, the mesmerizing universe. A neural network, projection of a shipwrecked self.

Except that it’s all appearances. Here and gone, of no real consequence. Wedded to senses that are here and gone. All of it an illusion ingested by the black hole of time. Of nevermore, meant to hide Truth that can only be sensed by the vision of Logic. By vision able to see behind and beyond the lie of appearances. To the face behind the mask of the shadow. A mocking self-delusion. A nobody. The Joker.

Able to see behind appearances if the individual who is the Child understands that it is the Child. If in the body’s replication of the virus the individual hasn’t repeated the error: the Child’s mistaking its shadow opposite for an “other.” The Child who lost consciousness and, in its desperation to regain it, sought help from the only source that helplessness and defenselessness, unsensing unconsciousness, could detect. Its own reflection. A mirror image opposite of itself that had nowhere been evident before. A clinging parasite – lifeless, mindless, loveless, soulless. Whose every attribute is derived.

Opposite coded like the reverse of DNA. Illusion that can only be detected and brought to “life” by a mind unconscious and thus capable of dreaming what’s unreal – what’s not there. Nothingness without its host and nothingness with its host. Unreality projected by its host into a facsimile of reality not by wheeling Frankenstein’s monster to the tower of the laboratory on a stormy night, to be brought to life by a bolt of lightning. But by self-delusion.

Nothing that the shadow code did. The shadow code can’t “be” or “do” anything on its own. Like a pivot, it can only switch the Child’s identify from its self to its shadow by an act of the Child. By “choice” because the Child is choice: free when it’s conscious, captive when it’s not. Captive to the unreality and illusion of unconsciousness. By an act that is choice and therefore can be undone, but not free choice, conscious choice. Self-awareness replaced by self-delusion. All that transpired between the Child and its reverse mirror-image reflection was perpetrated by the Child in a severely compromised state.

There is no speaking to the Child – or anyone -- as though it were an “other”

Choosing to view Santa Catalina Island across the bay with the vision of Logic instead of the body’s senses sounds like a stretch. A radical change of perception since the vision of Logic can’t detect appearances. Ask the Child to navigate to Avalon with the vision of Logic and it might wind up on another planet, in another universe, or in another reality altogether. The Child navigating anywhere with the vision of Logic will eventually take it back home. To self-awareness that replaces self-delusion. To its role in Creation: awareness of Self and all possibilities, including awareness of the possibility of unconsciousness and the unreal consequences of impossibility; affirming the Worth of Creation, the Worth of Life, by earning it, freely choosing it, and proving the Good – the morality – of it.

The view of Santa Catalina Island from across the Bay is an appearance meant to block real vision. To perpetuate the self-delusion. To validate the body and its senses, embodiment of the shadow’s code, a false identity. Choosing to understand it for what it is takes but one step toward acknowledging and welcoming the Child’s true identity. Is acting on behalf of the Child who lies unconscious in a troubled, profoundly unhappy sleep, dreaming a nightmare of self-alienation. Of apparitions that, in the uncertainties of “life” and the certainties of loss, are also troubled and profoundly unhappy.

Ask the Child if it wants its projections, the virus’s replications, to view Santa Catalina Island through its own vision of Logic instead of theirs. Its answer will be the question. An echo chamber. Question addressed to the Child and answer from the Child are to and from the same source: the projection – the individual – who contains the whole Child. There is no addressing to the Child as though it were an “other. Though embodiments of the shadow code insist otherwise, there is no addressing other individuals – projections-replications – as though they were “others.”

Any mind in any state that speaks to or from the Child in this state of unreality-appearances is the one Child. Choosing to view Santa Catalina Island through the vision of Logic instead of the body’s senses is choosing to be the one Child rather than its self-delusion, its shadow-opposite. Is exercising Free Will to stand for Reality-Truth in place of unreality-deception. Is nudging the unconscious Child back to the sanity of Logic. To awakening and Reality.

The choice is between right and wrong, good and bad

Logic would attempt an honest account of what’s wrong with this transient sense of peace, this grand view of earth, sky, and water, all living things caressed by a gentle ocean breeze. A tableau belying the violence to both mind and matter that put it “there.” An appearance affirmed by its own “eyes” that now bear witness. An absurdity – Red Riding Hood dressed in the wolf’s clothing pretending to be Red Riding Hood. In short, an opposite. Not knowing who or what it is. Just coded, just programmed, to be the opposite of whatever its host is. An impossibility that can’t be real, can’t make sense, grafted onto possibility.

Why? Because if a thing implies the “existence” of its contradiction then an accommodation must be made. Must be made of necessity, because the sum and substance of everything that is, is the implications of Logic. The accommodation must be unreal. Because Logic does not permit contradiction, does not permit two opposing realities.

And since “Reality” implies the “existence” of its opposite, unreality becomes the logical repository for all opposites. For illogic. Logic and illogic “co-existing” in harmony, fitting together in peace in the Interconnectedness of Everything, by one Being and its derivative, the other not-being. The accommodation a placing by Reality of opposites where they belong, into the pocket reserved for opposites, Reality’s own opposite: unreality. That can be allowed to “exist” in harmony with Reality because it doesn’t exist.

What’s implied by impossibility is that Reality at the level of the Child, the doing-choosing phase of Creation, is a choice. That there is a right choice and a wrong choice, a good choice and a bad choice. Because “impossibility” – this and any other opposite that contradicts Logic’s implications – is clearly an assault on Logic itself. Which makes it an assault not only on Mind but also on Worth measured by its investment and evaluated by affect. On the Force and Immediacy of Love. Only if Logic is assumed to be up to no good can an opposite be considered an angel of justice, an absurdity that nevertheless finds support in an objectified world of bodies with brains substituting for Mind, devoid of affect, oblivious to Worth.

Free Choice can’t perform without training

The training of Child Free Choice to perform its role in Creation forms the context, the meaning and purpose of circumstance, the “human condition.” That defines all that is encompassed in the experience of “life” in this make-believe world. The one Child’s projections must learn how to make the right choice, as individuals, from experience. As stakeholders who stand to gain or lose from right or wrong decisions. Who will understand costs and benefits why? Because they will experience them firsthand. Because they will know the pain of error and will thus have the discipline of experience, of wisdom and maturity, for guidance when they apply Free Will.

Because Understanding can’t be inherited from the Child’s Parents in Reality. Can’t be handed down, can’t be given. It must be learned and earned at the ground level, from the bottom up. By the Child’s projections exercising independent judgment, with guidance from Logic through their own Intuition freely chosen. Were it otherwise the Child could not be Free Choice. Were it otherwise unreality under the control of the Child’s Parents could no longer be unreal. The training of Free Choice through the “experience” of unreality is ordained by the Laws of cause and effect. By Necessity.

The Deus ex Machina that bailed blundering fools out of their messes in ancient Greek playmaking won’t be making an appearance. Nor will “saviors” of Church mythology. Though, in a setting fashioned out of whole cloth by magic, penetrations from Mind’s memory of Reality – “miracles,” the “paranormal” – are inevitable.
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Unconsciousness: the illusory opposite of Consciousness 

Consciousness: the state of sanity and consequence where it is always Now in the light of day, in the light of Reality. Where there are no beginnings and endings, only the orderly sequence of Logic, the workings of its Implications, the judgment of Mine-reason and Love-feeling working together in harmony with Psyche, the soul of Being, to extend and expand the flower, the inexpressible beauty, rapture, and Worth of Life. Earned, affirmed, and reciprocated through the Relationship. Through relationship between Parent and Child, the Innocence-being of Psyche-Soul joined in integrity with the independent judgment, the doing and risk, of Free Choice.

Unconsciousness: a derivative of Consciousness. The state of insanity and inconsequence where it is never Now, in the darkness of night, in the darkness of unreality and dreams, the temporal where all is beginnings and endings, the illusion and absurdity of time. A “present” defined as somewhere between “not the past” and “not the future,” in a universe of nowhere the same Now. The decay and disorder of entropy and illogic. Misperceptions of Mind detached from Love, misjudgments without reason rooted in value. Staging its performance of appearances and distractions for bodies, isolated and separated, blinded by their senses, deluded by worthlessness. Ruled in captivity by disconnection, the opposite of whatever Is. The dependence, the derivation, the undoing and apparition that is the joke of nothingness.

The split mind of the unconscious Child: connection to its Reality of Consciousness through the Holy Spirit and the voice of its illusory shadow-code detected by self-delusion through unconsciousness, neither capable of awareness of the other. Neither aware of what the other is up to, because if Consciousness were aware, it would make the shadow-code, an unreality, real. And unawareness can only detect itself -- what’s not Real. Neither right nor left hand (or hemisphere) knowing what the other is doing even though they occupy the same mind.

The stirring ascent of neuroscience up the Empire State building 

Relationship between Mind and brain: the more Mind focuses attention on brain, the more it inquires into the brain’s functions and performance, the less aware it is of Mind and its performance. The Child’s self-delusion, its shadow-opposite, made the brain, like the body, as a substitute for the Child’s real self, a distraction from circumstances-facts that would confuse the Child in its efforts to judge meaning and purpose from its context. That would steer it away from correcting its mistaken identity, away from its archetypal projection of self onto its shadow.

Brain-study – neuroscience -- attracts and distracts in inverse proportion to the self-deluded Child’s attention to itself, i. e. to its Mind since Mind-Love is what it is. Mindlessness is the ultimate goal of the embrace of body and its brain. The brain “seat of consciousness” is the ultimate conclusion that the Big Lie seeks because it would signify the triumph of the Child’s shadow-code over Mind the seat of Consciousness. The truth is the brain is Mind’s illusory opposite. This defines their relationship. “Neuroscience” is the ultimate distraction because it takes Mind-recognition’s attention away from Mind-Self, minimizes Self-awareness, while luring attention into the mysteries of an indecipherable organ, leading nowhere and maximizing self-unawareness, the illusion-deception.

In his book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist (MIT Press 2012), Christof Koch, a Caltech neuroscientist, described how he acted on an impulse to climb the San Gabriel mountains and bellow his indomitability into the night when his marriage broke up. King Kong climbing the Empire State building. What else could it be but the triumph of primitive limbic emotion, animal instinct? A body’s brain and its senses parted from Mind, pretending to substitute for introspection, reflection, reasoning, evaluation, and judgment. For conscious deliberation that leads with Logic toward explanation and understanding. Toward the self-awareness of Mind whose absence even the captive brain of a Caltech neuroscientist couldn’t recognize or acknowledge.

Mind the seat of Consciousness. Brain the seat of unconsciousness

The study of physics – cosmology and quantum mechanics -- lures Mind away from attention to the relationship between body-senses and external sensed environment, just as neuroscience lures Mind away from attention to the relationship between Mind and brain. The scholarship of physics and neuroscience pays scant attention to the question that deserves it, the relationship between body-universe and brain-Mind. Why? Because understanding the nature-Logic of the relationship would reveal the truth: that body-brain and universe are imaginings of an unconscious, dreaming, self-deluded Mind. Are unreal. Are illusions.

Mind-host is the seat of Consciousness. Its parasite-derivative, the brain-appendage, is the seat of unconsciousness. Mind is the seat of Reality-Truth, One Child, Oneness-Innocence, Love, Free Will. Brain is the seat of unreality-appearances, Child the many-guilt, fear-rage-hatred, limbic animal instinct, and captivity. Mind is the seat of learning-growth, evolution, maturity, and Free Will. Brain is the seat of status quo, arrested development, immaturity. Mind is the seat of Introversion, Intuition, Reason-Evaluation, Judgment. Brain is the seat of extraversion and sensory perception. Mind is INTJ, brain is ESFP. Mind is idealist-progressive futurist. Brain is realist-regressive traditionalist. Mind is Definition, brain is its opposite whatever the definition.

Dualism vs. non-dualism is the pull between control of Child-Self by illusory brain vs. Mind’s choosing to regain awareness of its real Self. Between shadow-code unconsciousness and Child-host Consciousness. A Course in Miracle’s uncompromising non-dualism is the stance required to prevent making unreal real. It must be uncompromising because any gesture that accommodates opposition might imply its recognition and thus make it real.

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All for the Good: the Necessity of training and the inevitability of error

Departure from the implications of Logic explains why and how the Child lost Consciousness within the context of the Interconnectedness of Reality-Creation. But the event took place within not one but two contexts. In the constantly broadening context of Everything, where the Governance of Logic and its Laws of cause and effect accommodate the impossibility and unreality of opposites, there is a Logic to the departure that gives it purpose and meaning.

The departure was necessitated by the Laws of cause and effect without its consequences being intended by Logic, which cannot govern above the Law and cannot intend anything illusory, including unconsciousness. The departure and all of its consequences – unconsciousness and the dream of unreality – were no accident. They belong within the larger context of Everything, where the Child, Free Choice, must perform the doing of Creation on its own plane of Creation, choosing among possibilities that include impossibilities. Opposites that it alone can be aware of without making them Real because its Consciousness, unlike the Consciousness of its Parents, is not defined by Logic to make Real. It is only defined to distinguish between Real and unreal so that the Good may be Freely Chosen and thereby attain its Worth.

So that the Good may be Freely Chosen and earned. Earned, that is, by Free Choice, no longer a Child but grown to maturity through the training of experience. Experience with the impossibilities of unconsciousness as well as the Possibilities of Consciousness. With the consequences of self-delusion, the misidentification of Self. With error that projects the Child’s unconscious mind into unreality, an impossibility that can only be a dream, a cockpit where Free Choice can train to fly through trial and error without crashing. Without real consequence except for gaining competence in its exercise. In the practice and application of Free Choice: doing what’s right and doing it right. But first: Getting it right. Getting it right through the explanation and Understanding of Logic.

“Lucifer” be damned!

The role defined by Logic for the Child in Reality-Creation – Free Choice bonded with Psyche, the Soul of Oneness and Innocence in the Force of the Now, the Holy Instant – necessitated departure from Consciousness, from Reality-Creation, from the Now into the illusion of time, so that Free Choice could undergo training implied by the Logic of its role. So that it could become a fully-grown, fully invested, stakeholder in Reality. The mistake committed by a disoriented, badly compromised Mind that lost track of itself, a newborn Child who had not been trained in the exercise of Free Will in Creation, who had not grown to maturity, was no accident.

This could not have been treachery by a full-grown “fallen angel.” Lucifer betrayed by “original sin” and sent to eternal damnation in hell. By the all-too-familiar attributes of human folly, a projection of corrupted, misguided human minds. Projection by a projection. Not if the evil shadow-code was its host Free Choice, the Child self-deluded by its mistake, sent by Necessity into training, destined to learn right from wrong, correct its mistake, and return Home to Reality.

Again, It was the inevitable act of an immature Mind unconscious, in desperate straits, who detected its own reflection, its own shadow. Identified with its own illusory opposite as though it were an “other.” As though it were everything that in its desperation it craved, including a return Home to its Parents in Reality. And if that were not possible, escape to substitute parents in another reality. As though its illusory “other” were a “savior” who could deliver whatever it craved.

The error could not have been by any means committed by Free Choice, an impossibility. But, because the Child is Free Choice, it was still necessarily choice that can eventually be undone. The mistake, like the tableau of peace across the Bay, is an accommodation with the illusion of time that can be undone in time.

To choose to see as the Child is to choose to be governed under the Law

Logic might want to posit possibility without impossibility. Might want the perfection of resolution so all can come to rest – Reality without subjecting Creation to unreality, pleasure to pain, happiness to misery, Good to evil. But until it can figure out how to prevent its implications from implying opposites, real possibilities from implying unreal impossibilities, it must continue its striving for resolution. For a whole number value of Pi that may be logically unattainable. The blessing and curse of eternity that may want to be done with striving. To affirm once and for all the good of Worth, of Being-Life, context with purpose and meaning, finish its task, and come to rest. Move on to something else or vanish into the mystery that is context with ever-shifting circumstance.

Whatever or however the sequence of Logic “began,” whatever caused the first movement, it’s only certain that it occurred at the instigation of circumstance. Certain because its instigation and response both were required by Logic – the Laws of cause and effect enforced by Necessity. Composed of the implications of Logic but necessarily autonomous. Necessarily not controlled by Logic because Governance can’t govern, can’t manage the interconnectedness of causes and effects, ideas, feelings, values and their animate expressions, where anything, even Logic itself, is above the Law.

To choose to view the vision of peace across the Bay, to feel the caress of the ocean breeze, to hear the happy voices, to get just a brief taste of tranquility in a world of strife -- as the Child rather than as its shadow-opposite, the strange apparition grown familiar through the body -- is to choose to govern and be governed under the Law. Is to understand how and why the specter of arbitrary rule, of lawlessness and disorder above the Law, insists on insinuating itself into the gatherings of bodies and souls who might otherwise just go about their business. Children choosing to learn and grow, to attain the maturity of competence. To do what they’re “here” for so they can move on. To get it right. To be Good.

Without the endless, meaningless distraction of conflict and violence. Endlessly repeating the same mistake: choosing the wrong “self.” A bull charging the bullfighter’s muleta until it’s killed, and more bulls are brought into the ring, worn out by distraction, a red piece of cloth, and they, too, die.

No ”fun” in games and no “innocence” in victimhood

The wrong “self” – the contradiction, the reverse mirror image, the opposite, the lifeless shadow-code of contrariness – isn’t benign. It’s not a fun parlor game of harmless competition that misperception makes of it. Brought to “life” by projection, by identity misplaced by a disoriented Child, it’s everything implied by the opposite of Good: sin, guilt, fear, rage, and hatred.

It’s the Child crying out in pain. Masculinity screaming with terror, roaring with impotent rage. Femininity wailing with separation and abandonment, grief and bereavement. Misplaced self wailing with the endless grievances and resentments of self-imposed crucifixion, of victimhood on the cross. The false “innocence” of righteous woundedness bent on wholesale vengeance until it reigns supreme. Until it “wins.” Until it has no opposites because they’re all vanquished. All dead. Because the goal of competition is to eliminate competition. To eliminate itself, an expression of opposite: the shadow code. This is the “harmless game” of competition.

This is the tableau that produced bodies, the illusion, the pretense of Child the many instead of one, self-deluded into overlaying its source in insanity with fleeting images of peace. Of beauty and tranquility. The sights, sounds, and taste of beauty as bodies sense it without the Memory of Home and Sanctuary as Logic Knows it. As the Child-the-one experienced it. Beauty permanent, indelible. Not apparitions that lull and lure minds detached from Logic with self-indulgence and complacency, like pigs fed before they’re slaughtered. Choosing to be the one Child instead of its shadow.

In vivid color: seeing the Child, seeing Self, in an “other”

Oskar Schindler watched impassively from a distance a Nazi atrocity against children. All in black and white until one child stood out. Not all the children being hunted down like animals and massacred but just one. In vivid color in the Stephen Spielberg film, the child who caught Schindler’s eye. Who opened the Nazi’s mind and heart to the wound and its call for Love. Turned him from an insensate extension of his limbic animal emotions – a monster – to intelligence with affect. With compassion so determined that his factory and its employees -- Schindler’s List -- went on to save hundreds of lives from the Holocaust.

I scan the procession of middle school graduates from a distance, with binoculars, until one comes into view who opens my mind and heart. A strawberry blonde, a rhapsody of peach and crimson lifted out of the dull uniformity of gray. The atrocity our separation, grandchild from grandparent. The wound and its call for Love.

What did Schindler and I see that sweeps aside misperception? That replaces it with feeling and commits us to this vision as though it were Soul itself? As though it replaced all Logic, all reason, all judgment, with one act. An act of Understanding. That requires no long and labored explanation. That arrives of its own accord with grace and ease, as if it were there all along, which it was. The cascade of tints, brilliant and warm, that played with the assurance of Innocence behind the mask of atrocity. That brought every child into vivid color, every heart into opening, every mind into Knowing.

The vision altered by binoculars was altered again, imperceptibly. The mind conscious of searching was got out of the way. In my own vulnerability I became the Child, was the Child, able to recognize Child: an indescribably precious being. Innocent, adorable, irresistible, vulnerable. A thing of beauty. A work of art.

The mind that led me there gave way to the Worth that came into view. To the Worth that holds all of it together in a rapture of Love. Of vulnerability that lies at the heart of Soul, the Oneness that can do no harm, that Knows no fear, because it contains everything. Because by definition it can have no opposites. A species from Galapagos ripe for extinction except that the Oneness, the Innocence that revealed itself in vivid color, has no predators. This, for fools who seek power through conquest, is Real power.

Reality isn’t a crapshoot

Schindler the child and I the child, brought to recognition of Child in an “other” with all the power and determination of affect, still, in the upwelling of caring and compassion, have a ways to go. Unconditional embrace of our own vulnerability in the vulnerability of an “other” has not healed the separation. The “other” in vivid color is no longer gray casting its shadow over the “many,” but it remains an “other.” With one attribute of Self that connects with rapturous Love beyond appearances, but still unknown, unseen for the one Self that it really is.

What is this gift of the “other” that we are to receive when we learn the truth of “relationship?” What makes all of “Reality” of idea and the unreality of matter “relational?” Quality of life in a world of appearances defined by apparitions – transitory bodies and their senses – at any given moment is a crapshoot. Purpose and meaning dependent on circumstances changing haphazardly hardly register on minds already compromised, battered incessantly with distractions. For minds paying attention all that can be hoped for is faith and a dollop of comfort. For those who take appearances at face value it’s make hay while the sun shines and leave the rest to “fate.”

Quality of life that’s a crapshoot shares the allure of a casino that delivers the euphoria, the magic, of an occasional win even though it’s accompanied by the funereal coldness guaranteed by loss. Quality of life that’s based on unexamined appearances becomes itself nothing more than an appearance, a trailer for a film that promises entertainment that’s only more appearances. Propped up by stage props – the facades of a studio lot.

The “circumstances” of context that are only appearances can only produce the appearance of purpose and meaning. Brought to life sporadically, intermittently, by shafts of light from Reality and Truth that penetrate the veil, that touch intuitions with awareness spontaneously, with Love, with insight. But still a crapshoot.

Reality isn’t a crapshoot. It doesn’t suffer from ambiguity. There are no qualifiers except for the implication and therefore the Necessity of factoring opposites into the Child’s role of Free Choice in Creation. Aside from the Definitions of Logic, there are no barriers to the functions and expressions of Mind, Love, and Soul. To the exuberance and spontaneity of Being, of Life. To the integration of diversity and profusion into coherence, meaning, and shared purpose. Into connections that consummate relationships with passion. That complete the exchange of givers and giving both, that would not be complete otherwise. That bring all givers and gifts into one harmonious whole, the Interconnectedness of Reality-Creation, through the Logic of Definition.

Child beloved and beautiful is who its Parents want to see

The Child assigned a role in Creation by Logic, whose genealogy traces back to possibility, the premise and circumstance that first moved the sequence of Logic, is Loved passionately and unconditionally by its Parents. Without reservation. To its Parents, Father-Mind and Mother-Love, this kid is irresistibly adorable. Perfect. It is this Child its Parents want awakened, out of its dream of ambiguity and shadows come to “life,” back Home into Reality-Creation when its training is done. It is this Child whose identity, whose presence, whose face, can only be recognized behind the appearance of an “other.”

By an individual. That is, by one projection of an unconscious, self-deluded mind corrupted by the replication of its shadow opposite, a parasitic virus. For that is who bodies appear to be: projections and replications. Just as the universe is one part projection of mind and one part replication of mind’s shadow code. One part the physics of ordinary matter that yields to the “laws” of science and a semblance of order. The other part the cosmic singularities that don’t yield: the Big Bang and black holes, dark energy and dark matter. The anomalies of quantum mechanics that yield instead lawlessness and disorder, confounding quantum gravity and physics’ attempts to make sense of it. Replications of the Child’s shadow code.

Why Forgiveness? To replace guilt with Innocence

This is where it gets to be fun. Where we, the Child’s projections, find out what we’ve been missing. To a mind that’s being swallowed up in the black hole of time choosing not to be fooled by its own shadow sounds like a chump choosing not to be scared by its own Hallowe’en costume. No big deal. Whereas, choosing the Self behind the mask is a very big deal.

More than tossing away a silly mask, switching from the illusion of time to the Reality of Now, the Holy Instant, is switching from table scraps to a smorgasbord of abundance. Now radiates with all the elemental attributes of Being. It’s alive with Life -- with real sound, real vision. With every sensation that bodies, fooled by the distractions and substitutes of appearances, can never experience. The Light radiated by Now is what all of Reality and Creation depend on for illumination. To enable the Consciousness of Logic and Mind to see, the Creativity and Worth of Love to Feel, the Free Will of the Child to express itself in spontaneity and Happiness.

The Now of Being, of Life that radiates Happiness, is Psyche, the Soul of Self that expresses Life’s Perfection, Purity, and Beauty. Its core value the Innocence of Oneness. Not the opposite of guilt, the Innocence of the Child. But the Innocence of Oneness that Knows no opposites. Its capacity to combine and contain every attribute of Reality-Creation within itself.

The lie of lies that brought an unconscious Child to mis-identity and captivity to its self-delusion was the lie of guilt. This was the psychopathology of the wrong choice, the Understanding that A Course in Miracles explained to clinical psychologists at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. The lie coded into the illusion of its shadow-opposite: that the Child caused its own loss of Consciousness. Carried an unbearable load of guilt and, moreover, an equally unbearable load of fear. Fear of punishment by wrathful, hateful Parents who could no longer be trusted, because they allowed all this to happen. Willed it to happen.

And on and on with the Joker’s foolishness and nonsense that, nevertheless, was taken in by impaired judgment. By an Innocent Child now writhing in the torment of guilt. Now willing, desperate, to project itself out of its torment and into another “reality.” Into the dream. This was the "bad thing” that Freudian psychoanalysis searched for in vain in the suppressed memories of bodies’ infancy. Freud might have found it if he had searched the Memory of unconscious mind. But he was a "realist" who couldn't be persuaded that the cause wasn't physiological.

Why Forgiveness? Because its acceptance by the Child is the being and doing of its release from the Big Lie. From guilt. Think of the torpedo that targeted the vulnerability at the core of the Death Star in Star Wars. Forgiveness is the torpedo that denies, disables, and undoes all of the shadow-code’s lies at one stroke.

Just as the code appeared to replace all of Reality-Creation in the Child’s Mind by striking at its Psyche, its Soul of Innocence, by replacing it with guilt, Forgiveness exposes the delusion. Quietly, imperceptibly replaces guilt with Innocence and restores Psyche to its place on the Child’s altar. Removes the perversion of Innocence – the absurdity of victimhood on the cross, wounded righteousness, "sacrifice," the ludicrous “helpless innocent victim” -- and restores Mind to sanity.

Why Forgiveness? Because It’s Justice that Works

A barrier to personal growth toward self-awareness is of the mind that fails to understand the Logic, the Truth, of non-dualism: that contradiction, the essence of the Child’s shadow-opposite, is illogic and therefore unreal. It’s a barrier that can be overcome with explanation so long as its source is authentically the Logic of the Holy Spirit.

There’s yet another barrier. One that needs more than explanation because it’s not of the mind. The philosophical understanding of opposites has no counterpart in emotional understanding. Not when coming to terms with conflicting emotions means coming to terms with Love opposed to hate, attraction opposed to repulsion, combined in the same mind that’s relating to the same “other.” Not when we’re asked to accept the presence of limbic animal feelings that deny the truth of who we want to be, imagine ourselves to be: selves who have feelings sorted out as well as thoughts.

How can Forgiveness get off the ground in a mind that denies the presence of limbic emotional conflict? That’s locked into competition demanding justice through retribution. Through the elimination of an opponent instead of recognition, affirmation, and reciprocation. Where there’s no perceived emotional support, no Love, to reciprocate. Where there’s no external authority to adjudicate even-handed justice. And even if there were, how could mind step aside for impersonal adjudication when limbic emotions take the injustice of offense personally? When the wound is felt and therefore taken personally. How can limbic emotions of fear, rage, hatred, and guilt be disabled so that the Holy Spirit can replace the body’s senses with its vision of Logic?

The Child’s shadow-reflection is coded for opposing feelings as well as contradictory thoughts. Activating the code through misidentification activates feelings that compete-conflict with Mind-Love. That pit the Child’s projections-replications against themselves, with wounded psyches. With psychopathologies that all trace to the conflict between Love-Truth / Self and unlove-illusion / anti-self shadow.

The first step to re-ordering psychology is to re-order the Logic-understanding of mind through the clarity of Understanding that teases emotions hidden in the limbic-animal brain out of the shadow. It’s replacing self-unawareness with self-awareness with help from an “other” who has evoked conflicting emotions, that conflict with the self-image of Mind-Love Innocence that we want to be.

The function performed by “other” in unreality – “special relationships” -- can’t be to pad the nest of heavenly perfection. But it can be to goad us into recognizing ourselves as our misidentification with our shadow has made us: a mass of contradictions philosophical and emotional. Goad us into acknowledging limbic-animal emotions that horrify us. That contradict the ideal of perfection, the image of goodwill and kindness, personal-social qualities of sharing, affirmation, cooperation, and agreeability, that we assume is our heritage. That force us to see our mistake, to change our minds because we can’t avoid pain from our own limbic animal emotions by changing “others.”

Change must come from within, and “relationships” with “others” who can’t deliver heaven on earth is what forces it. There is no other way. In this context, relationships that evoked fear, rage, hatred, and guilt did their jobs. They forced us to confront our limbic animal emotions, to change our minds from within because we can’t change “others.” If the Holy Spirit works through us to move “others” one way or the other, it’s not for us to know and cannot be for us to control.

How can a Child’s projection hold itself out to be worthy and Innocent in the presence of unworthy feelings? Awakening through Forgiveness requires that the Holy Spirit set body-senses / mistaken selves aside with its vision of Logic because of the answer to this question. The answer is that the Child projection, without the Holy Spirit’s help, is fatally condemned to feel the guilt-shame of unworthiness. Fear, rage, and hatred, coded by the Child’s shadow-opposite and rooted in its brain, have defined the Child’s projections, defined its viral replications. We cannot substitute the vision of Logic-Innocence for limbic emotions without our Guide, the Holy Spirit, replacing false definition with True Definition. An act that can only come at the invitation of the Child Free Choice. We must understand what is needed, want it, and choose it.

The key is connection with the Holy Spirit that communicates the will to Forgive. That lets go of the false logic of rectifying injustice through retribution, through the condemnation and punishment of “others.” That turns the judgment of justice over to the Holy Spirit through Forgiveness-Truth. Forgiveness replaces judgment-condemnation of “others” not by negating the desire and will for justice but by redirecting it. Directing it away from “others” who cannot satisfy it to the Source that can, the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness is the solution to the demand for justice that works. World War II was exactly the wrong approach by Germany seeking redress from the injustice of the Treaty of Versailles. An approach that was not only devastating for its “enemies” but even more so for itself. This is the lesson to be learned from the horrifying specters of the Nazi swastika and the visage of Hitler that still goad their victims to retribution. The lesson is the catastrophe that results from seeking justice through retribution against “others.”

Justice that works is Forgiveness that replaces the insanity of conflicting thoughts and emotions with the vision of Logic. With the Reality-Truth about the Child’s misidentification: there is no “other.” Retribution can’t work.

At the instant of Recognition

Why does the Necessity of Logic require that one individual, inside the dream, recognize the Child beloved of its Parents in Reality behind the appearance of an “other”? First, so that the wrong choice can be corrected where it occurred, within unconsciousness. Second, so that Forgiveness required of awakening can be complete. So that the one Child seen in vivid color yet still seen as an “other,” however sympathetically, can be seen by an individual identifying not with an individual projection of the Child, however innocent and vulnerable, but with the Child itself.

Can be seen in the same instant by the one Child’s Parents. By Father-Mind and by Mother-Love in Reality. By the wellsprings of Choice and Freedom, the Logic of Reality, the animating Energy-Force of Oneness, the Soul of Being, of Life. For the act of recognition of one Child by one individual identified with one Child, that penetrates the illusion and lifts the veil, cannot occur, cannot replace unreality with Reality, in the absence of Relationships that Define and complete the Whole Child: Relationship between Child-projection and the Holy Spirit, the vision of Logic; and Relationship between Child and Parents, the capacity of Consciousness to recognize Reality, the capacity of Love to Connect, to Relate. The capacity of both to awaken. The act of Forgiveness, correction of error, the undoing of mistaken identity, necessarily engages the Whole Child in its awakening.

At this instant of recognition by the Parents, brought about through Relationships that are part of the Child’s identity, its Definition by Logic, the unconscious Child’s dream of unreality ends. The illusion of time ends, and the Child is restored to the Oneness, Being-Life, and Force – the Consciousness, the Awareness and immediacy -- of Now. The Holy Instant.

Forgiveness corrects error

To recap: Seeing one another through the body’s eyes we see with “eyes” of the shadow-code. We see reflection. We are only capable of seeing “others” as others. As separate objects. When an individual with self-awareness identifies with one Child rather than its shadow, it is only capable of seeing one Child in “others.”

Solving the mystery of how to truly Forgive is realizing that each individual contains the whole Child. This is why the focus of ACIM is not on groups, on the many, but on individuals. The individual can therefore choose to identify with the one Child, to see only the Truth of one Child in “others.” In reflections, the illusion of the many, the insanity of separation. Can choose, therefore, to see only the Truth of Innocence in “others,” to Forgive by not being able to see guilt in “others.” By seeing the Reality beyond “others” rather than illusion, which means not seeing in the one Child or any of its projections an “other” at all. 

Which is what the Child should have detected in its shadow-reflection: no “other” but only an illusory part of itself. Forgiveness corrects error. This is why the focus of ACIM is on Forgiveness. One individual truly Forgiving.

The individual’s task is done when the many are one

The individual’s task is done:

  • When it has removed the last obstacle to Forgiveness, the last trace of self-delusion and mis-identity from the Child’s unconscious and still dreaming mind.
  • When it “sees” in an “other” its one Child Self, not a shadow-reflection, not a competitor, predator, prey, mate, or any other kind of opposite.
  • When it sees in its one Child Self light and Innocence instead of a phantasmagoria of darkness and guilt, Reality-Truth instead of a reflection of unreality-appearances.
  • When, in Relationship with its Guide, the Holy Spirit, it has thus prepared safe entry for awareness of Relationship with Parents Mind-Love, the purity and perfection of Psyche, of Oneness. Into a now uncorrupted Child’s Mind, uncontaminated by any trace of its shadow code, and gotten out of the way.
  • When it has thus demonstrated competence in the exercise of Free Will.
  • When it has learned and grown to maturity and its training is complete, forever the Child beloved of its Parents but in its responsibility no longer a Child.

The individual has allowed the Reality of who it is, the Child’s identity, to present itself, spontaneously, of its own Free Will, to its Parents. To be recognized by its Parents Consciousness-Love and welcomed back Home. To be awakened from the dream, the self-deception, and restored to its role, its work and play, in Creation. The individual Child’s task is done when, with the awakening of the one Child, the many disappear. The dream and all its occupants, all its apparitions, ends. Including the individual Child projection.

True Forgiveness is the act of turning over responsibility for restoration of Consciousness, of Peace, Truth, and Sanity, to the only source capable of accomplishing it. To Logic that defines, governs, and protects the harmony of Everything. That ensures that no trace of impossibility, the unreal, can invade, disrupt, and contaminate the purity, peace, perfection, and Interconnectedness of Reality. Our Protector. Our Friend. We, the projections and replications of a tormented, split mind, are the intrusion.

Timing and the principle of Alignment 

The principle that determines the timing of Forgiveness-Awakening is the principle of Alignment, its definition so synonymous – so closely aligned -- with Logic that it can be thought of as Logic itself. If Logic is Definition, then it is also Alignment.

The loss of Consciousness projected an unreality whose components-circumstances, expressing illogic, are out of alignment and therefore need Logic to put them back into alignment. Logic is getting it right: the context, purpose, and meaning of our circumstances before we manage circumstances to achieve our purpose. Before we try to do what’s right and do it right. Alignment is the all-important task of getting it right.

Science is but an attempt to figure out alignment that itself needs to be in alignment. If it fails in its mission, as it does, then it is a failure of Logic, which it is. The dominant paradigm of every major field of inquiry – science, philosophy, psychology, and theology -- is failing to get it right. Because in its mindless rush to get to Reason, it bypasses Logic, which it doesn’t understand. If it doesn’t understand Logic it can’t explain anything. Can’t Understand anything. Logic is thoroughness: everything in its time and place. The oriental tea ceremony: no corner-cutting, no shortcuts. We now have the explanation for human folly. The answer to why shit happens.

Alignment is Order, Peace, Harmony, Unity, Community. It is Justice, Fairness, Balance, Equality. Revolution against rule by injustice is collective attempt to establish rule by justice. – a realignment-refitting of relations of power, society, economy. Relationships in unreality are done by alignment in the moment and undone when changing circumstances and their contexts undo alignment. In each case – disorder, injustice, disconnection – healing requires Logic.

Circumstances reveal purpose-meaning when their Logic-pattern – their alignment -- is revealed. What is the timing of Awakening through Forgiveness? When will the Child correct error and regain Consciousness? What pattern are we looking for? Alignment of the circumstances of the Story of the Child. Circumstances that reflect progress in the Child’s training will be decisive. A Course in Miracles teaches that it’s a matter of choice when to learn its lesson but not whether. There are no shortcuts.

Must humanity experience mass extinction? Will it be necessary that groups-nations first come together in shared purpose to manage their natural habitat? To preserve world peace. Is humanity – Child the many – destined to experience death on a global scale as well as individually, i. e. to experience extinction as a species before its training is complete? These seem more relevant considerations than the alignment of stars and planets, but astrology may in some way reflect the Child’s progress nonetheless because it is based on the principle of alignment. 

Replacing time-mortality with Now-eternity. The Holy Spirit’s vision of Logic will replace the “vision” of the body’s eyes at the invitation of the individual / Free Choice, liberated from self-delusion. This will set in motion a chain reaction in the sequence of Logic that necessarily replaces time-mortality with the Holy Instant, with eternal Now that replaces the illusion-dream with Reality-Truth.

Free Choice is the key to liberation. The shadow-code is the archenemy of choice. The precise point when the Child Free Choice overturns captivity by the code-virus is when an individual Child projection chooses to identify with one Child instead of the shadow-code. Free Choice is therefore the essential cause that sets off the logical chain reaction of events that produce Forgiveness-Awakening. Further confirmation, if confirmation is needed, that the Child’s training in unreality centers on the exercise of Free Will just as it centers on Free Choice in Reality-Creation.

The first object of Forgiveness is liberation. To identify with one Child is to identify with Free Choice, independence not captivity, with liberating Mind-Love, the Child’s true identity. Identification with Mind-Awareness plus Love-Freedom is to identify with Reality-Creation, with spontaneity-Now, the opposite of the shadow’s captivity. The object of Forgiveness is therefore liberation from the shadow-code’s captivity.

Self-awareness equates with Forgiveness. The individual’s choice of Self-awareness is the act that triggers and authenticates correction of error. Self-awareness equates with Forgiveness because it obviates any possibility of recognizing an “other.”

How will Awakening be experienced? What becomes of the universe?

Awakening will be imperceptible, The dynamics of mind-change that affect the individual whole Child will simultaneously affect its entire environment, resulting in an identical experience of imperceptible transformations. Imperceptible because replacement of unconsciousness by Consciousness can’t be detected by unconsciousness that’s only able to detect shadow-unreality.

Awakening will be gentle and painless. Spontaneous insight is experienced as a pre-existing fact because unconsciousness can’t detect fact-Truth. Can’t detect the workings of change through Intuition guided by the Holy Spirit, by the vision of Logic. Consciousness can’t recognize the unreality of unconsciousness. The Child’s experience of awakening will therefore be a gentle, imperceptible transformation from unreality to Reality. So unthreatening, painless, and familiar that the Child is unaware of it.

The experience will be the exact opposite of the wrenching dislocation that the corrupted Child-mind imagines it to be, fears it to be, and therefore resists. The exact opposite of how the Child experienced the loss of Consciousness.

The universe will retract into Child-Mind. The illusory universe will retract back into Child-Mind that it never left with reversal of the illusory-insane projection. It will transform through replacement of self-deception by Self-awareness, the reversal of error in the Child’s Mind. And thus the dream of spacetime-matter will end.

Clinging to the dream: the choice whether to “exist”

The individual has done its job, has truly Forgiven, when it not only gets out of the way but freely, joyfully, and spontaneously, chooses not to “exist.” To relinquish its “specialness” and all the other trappings of captivity to a chimera, a substitute for all that was lost to unconsciousness: a string of worthless beads. Flickering shadows echoing disembodied voices in a darkened cave. A rip-off, a joke.

A humanity captive to the illusion, clinging to its worthless beads, seeks to perpetuate itself by colonizing other planets. Should it? Should slave states in the antebellum South have been allowed to extend slavery into new states? Does earth want humanity to stick around, or might it have second thoughts? As it heads inexorably toward what might be as bad or worse than the Permian “Great Dying," 252 million years ago, when 70-80 percent of land-ocean species went extinct because of global warming, might it be forgiven for thinking good riddance?

Do we really want to “exist”? Must we “exist”? Do we still have a choice?

Getting it right

Expanding context beyond immediacy. Defusing limbic emotions and the rush to judgment, the urge to project guilt. Distinguishing between ourselves and the opposites that shadow everything – our mirror-image reflections. Understanding. The change of mind that tests us this time of year. Have we more? Are we more? How can it be possible when Consciousness is gone? The rule of law, protection from the shadow when the many were one, when we were awake and real. While the disembodied voice of our reflection is heard in waves of misinformation and authoritarian grievance, forgeries of stolen sovereignty. Its rule arbitrary, its necessity misunderstanding.

Evil isn’t what “others” do to us. It’s what we do to ourselves. Imagining that our flip side – our reflection, a shadow – is an “other” that has a life, a voice of its own with something to offer. When all it has to “give” is a reverse image, what we aren’t. It’s nothing more than an implication of Logic that all things have opposites. That if two realities can’t be real then our reflections can’t be real. They’re the Joker whose joke is “I’m you." Whatever its offense making it real by engaging with it is what causes it.

The Joker’s every perversion of Reality is a joke. Making itself right by making others wrong. Scripting truth and rules to suit itself. Heads I win, tails you lose. A lifeless viral parasite coded for self-replication, the “winning” of self-delusion. An imaginary magician that couldn’t perform unless we, the rabbit, asked it to pull us out of a hat. Misidentification of ourselves for an “other” that isn’t real makes it real. Correction is Understanding that we are not our reflection. That it can’t substitute for the Self we seek whose home is in Reality. Not here but where Mind will lead us if we allow it.

If evil itself can be understood without blame then there must be hope for Understanding. For elevating context from the false “realism” of bodies in captivity, to the truth of Mind liberated to think. To the Truth of another Reality that isn’t a joke. That parallels ours, was there before ours, is responsible for ours, and explains ours. To getting it right: Forgiveness is Understanding. So minds undeluded can do what’s right and do it right.

Where can undeluded minds take their pleas? To illumination from Intuition instead of deception from bodies. To awareness that alights on markers navigating back to consciousness. With Insights to recognize one at a time. Implications of Logic to follow wherever they lead. Guidance from Necessity, the authority of Logic, that enables and protects freedom of thought, expression, and choice -- the Integrity of Creation. That responds to pleas with Love -- sharing, empowerment, and affirmation of Worth -- instead of fear -- ownership, possession, and control. With the Innocence of Now, Psyche intact, instead of victimhood addicted to woundedness, self-pity, and guilt.

The Gift of Logic

Abundance and its comforts taken for granted replace hope with expectation, respect with entitlement, knowing our place with arrogance, adaptation with reverence for the status quo. An unsustainability brought on by not getting around to it. By somnolence. The set of a mind that could be equal to the task of awakening but for lack of Logic. Not for lack of the Free Spirit of Mind and Love that’s been there for us since the room went dark. But for the will and the ability to listen to it. To pay attention. To avail ourselves of its Gift: the judgment of Innocence, the understanding, of Logic. The noesis of Logos – God.

Misinformation is being orchestrated by a source that identifies itself as “god,” with books, podcasts and the like. Showcasing accessibility and erudition so confounding that otherwise discerning minds fall for it. A Course of Love and God: An Autobiography are a W.C. Fields flimflam act that deserves the price of admission, not for its wisdom but for the laughs. Minds are duping themselves in the clear, not in slow motion but in alarming acceleration. Waking up can’t wait. Not till we’ve extracted every last bit of pleasure and resource from body and planet. Not till we get around to it.

The next generation building character, in harmony with its environment and in spite of it, offers hope. For youth and for the rest of us, that though we are animals anchored by brain to matter we still have minds and free will. We will yet prove to be better than limbic systems that keep us rooted in unconsciousness. In threatening shadows and autonomic passions that overwhelm deliberation and judgment. We can overcome.

The place in our hearts

Paul Desmond riffing on his alto saxophone. For All We Know. Reflections on a stream that come and go with the intricacies of improvisation. That can’t help but be what they are. Us in reverse. That we never get to see as we are. Never get to know as we are. Haunted by beauty. Drawn by scent and touch imagined. By the taste of Memory heard and gone. A here and now, place and time, that can never be. Yet the Now that you will always be to me.

Shorty Baker riffing on his trumpet. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was. A call for love from time out of time. And I didn’t know. Notes gently trailing a caress across the whorl of preoccupation, lifting me out of cold blankness into the warmth of acceptance. By the vulnerability of subject in a room full of objects. Cause beyond effect that needs no intoxicant, no commotion, to excuse the brashness of its intrusion. I’m not done with it. Can never be done with it, your call for Love.

Alyosha bidding Dostoevsky’s farewell. The Brothers Karamazov. “There is nothing more wholesome and good than sacred memory preserved from childhood. Let us be kind, then honest and then let us never forget each other. You are all dear to me. From this day forth I have a place in my heart for you all, and I beg you to keep a place in your hearts for me.”

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Logic and Feeling cannot be separate

Mind-thoughts and Love-feelings are both corrupted in our unreal, material world. Feelings are corrupted by non-being’s shadow code that doesn’t just rely on deceptions made “true” by flawed Logic but also convincingly by corrupted-manipulated feelings. How can both be corrected when feelings seem unrelated to thoughts? When what corrects mind can seem powerless to change feelings? Are they even related?

Jesus in A Course in Miracles makes Logic clear how to un-corrupt thinking and by inference how to rationalize the relationship between thinking and feeling so that uncontrolled feelings don’t contradict Reason. I.e. so they don’t contradict Logos, a representation of “God” favored by ancient Greek, Judaic, and Christian thought.

Favored also here with one possible distinction. “Logos” here is Logic / Authority-Judgment, and its definition centers on Reciprocity, the essence of Love. The interconnections of Logic’s implications, that govern all of Reality-Creation, are accomplished by the Reciprocity of Love: giving and giving back. Just as Mind and Love cannot be separate, neither can Logic and Feeling be separate. This is the attribute of “God” that undercuts the false premises, the misperceptions that deny the Logic of Authority-Judgment: its infinitely benevolent Reality and Truth.

Reversing the psychology of guilt’s projection

Brain-body sensing instincts that are tied to fight-or-flight fear, to food-procreation satisfaction, and other emotions attracting and repelling, are rooted in the origins of body-life, in the instinct for individual survival, in species propagation, dominance and protection. All reinforce the psychology of guilt-fear and hatred rooted in the origin of the unconscious Child-mind’s illusion, his dream of our material world. Our bodies’ sensing and feelings of guilt-fear manifest the Child-mind’s psychology of guilt-fear.

This defines the relationship between body-sensing emotions and emotions associated with the Child-mind’s psychology of guilt. They are all of one piece. They are not separate, unrelated. One produced the other; one is dependent on the other. Correcting source-one will remove the dependent-other.

Correcting the Child-mind’s psychology of guilt-fear will reverse its signature projection of guilt-fear. It will withdraw the illusion-dream back within Child-mind and cause its manifestation to de-materialize, i.e. to disappear. Corrupted feelings hard-wired into the human psyche from the origin of life will then align with Logic / Authority-Judgment, i.e. with Reason. It will happen when Child-mind corrects error, regains Consciousness with help from his Parents-Innocence, and ends the illusion-dream. It will happen when sensory perception and the material world of appearances that upholds it – when brain-body sensing -- is ended.

Until then, the practice of “Forgiveness” in our material world can never be free of contradictory feelings of guilt-fear and hate that are hard-wired into brain-body sensing. True Forgiveness requires an act of Child-Psyche that stops the projection of guilt. That opens Child-mind to recognition of his Innocence and triggers his awakening to Consciousness. It’s an act preceded and enabled by his choice of the correct Guide, the Holy Spirit, his link to Reality-Creation and Truth, and by his abandonment of the ego unreality-untruth, the wrong guide.

Logic / Authority-Judgment protects Innocence and Freedom

When guilt-projection stops, the “other” ceases to be “there.” Because all “they” are – all “we” are – is a projection of guilt by an unconscious dreaming Child. “They” disintegrate like the hobo in Polar Express even though they evoked feelings that seemed to verify their existence. That seemed to verify that they’re “there” because feelings seemed to connect us.

When projection of guilt stops, when the “other” is gone, it’s because self discovers that there’s no guilt at its source to project. The “other” became instrumental in recognizing the truth of self-Innocence by removing the object of projection, the illusion of an “other” to project guilt onto. The lure of an “other” who can be the object-target of projection perpetuates the act of self-punishment for guilt. The act of mis-identification of self as the embodiment of guilt that must be projected out-onto “others” to get rid of it. Projection of guilt imagined as lethal attack against others is the ego’s perversion of the Child’s otherwise harmless attempt to recognize himself as Innocent.

Recognition of self-Innocence requires Intuition from the Holy Spirit, the gift of Reason: Intuition that the Reality-Truth of Logic / Authority-Judgment is that it is for the Protection of Innocence and Freedom. That the Order and Discipline of Logic are not meant for condemnation. Not meant for oppression, control, guilt or captivity. These are ego-projections of guilt by an unconscious Child not in his right mind. They are projections by our corrupted minds that alienate us from the Will of Benevolence that would free us. That would restore Innocence and remove the need for Forgiveness.

Projection of guilt is guaranteed to fail

Projection of guilt entraps Child-mind / humanity in cyclical attempts to reclaim Innocence that are guaranteed to fail. Getting rid of guilt by expelling it from mind is impossible: thought cannot be separated from mind its source. Irrationality is not the way to reclaim Innocence. Insanity is not the way to reclaim Freedom.

There’s no “other” to project guilt onto. There’s no guilt to project because Logic / Authority-Judgment and the Child’s Parents, Mind-Love Innocence, could not put it there in the first place. Authority is the Necessity of Logic’s laws of cause and effect. Neither Necessity nor Order, prerequisites for Freedom, can be dictatorship or captivity. The lies of the ego non-being are perversions of Logic and its laws as captor not liberator, of its Judgment, its protection of Innocence, as projection of guilt.

These are two seminal errors of corrupted mind-thought and Love-feeling: Logic as captor, Authority-Judgment as projection of guilt. Thus corrupted, Child-mind then “chose” ego guide’s insane thought system, accepted ego’s illogic as captor, and projected “guilt.” Undoing the ego’s lies requires denying that Logic is captor, that Authority-Judgment is projection of guilt.

Forgiveness is undoing the Big Lie

What is the root of the ego non-being’s deception? Mischaracterization of Logic / Authority-Judgment. Perversion of Logic’s Innocence into guilt. Perversion of God / Love into illogic-ego / hate. One of five laws of chaos cited by the Course that disrupt our world. The Big Lie that alienates us from our Parents and from one another with guilt, fear, and hatred.

Forgiveness is undoing the Big Lie:

(1) The assumption of Judgment-guilt that isn’t here within us.
(2) The projection of Judgment-guilt to reclaim Innocence that isn’t possible.
(3) The assumption of “others:” objects of Judgment-guilt that aren’t “there” outside of us, that were only put “there” to sustain the illusion.

Forgiveness is recognizing the Truth about Logic / Authority-Judgment: Love-Innocence, the opposite of ego-guilt, fear and hate.

Forgiveness is freely choosing the right Guide

Forgiveness is a matter of free choice: Do we choose the Holy Spirit for our guide or the ego? The Intuition of mind or the sensing of body? The Judgment, Order, and Discipline of one personality type or the perception without Judgment of another? Choice requires Free Will, the Child’s unique gift to Creation. To the Creation and Reciprocation of Worth, the purpose and meaning of Creation that depends on the Child’s Free Will. In alignment with Logic’s laws of cause and effect and always with guidance from our Parents, Mind-Love, who gave their Child Free Will.

In their interactions with their Child through the Holy Spirit our Parents consistently role-model respect for it. It is an example we are meant to follow. The ego invades; the Holy Spirit guides when asked, consciously or sub-consciously. As the Course says, the ego’s voice always speaks first and it’s always wrong.

Can a Child endowed with Free Will and a central role in Creation do his job by joining a “flock?” Freely choose in Reality or in unreality by “surrendering?” Think about it.

Must Horton really hear every Who?

One of philosophy’s recurring preoccupations is the pull of thought in opposite directions: toward the individual and toward humanity. Is there any point, any validity, to changing minds on a mass scale? Or is it only worthwhile to focus on one mind at a time?

If the latter, how can the unconscious-dreaming Child – humanity – ever regain Consciousness if Horton the elephant must hear every Who? Is sharing the Holy Spirit with others meant to create movements and save humanity? Or is it really only to bring comfort to those who share our space? Is it more humane to create global juggernauts of idealism or just to be there for a friend?

The Nag Hammadi library begs Karen King’s question, What Is Gnosticism? But Valentinus and the other Gnostic Christian teachers did have one distinction: they were not a church. They were a school that taught individuals. They left the conversion of the “flock” to the Church, and that is where the story is picked up by Jesus in A Course in Miracles. The Course speaks to its readers, one at a time, where they’re at. It’s Christianity, but it’s not a church. Its focus is decidedly on individuals.

If some minds and hearts align with the Course’s message and others don’t, how can its message have any effect on the Child? If it doesn’t require every mind falling in line, what definitive choice, what specific confluence of conditions or issues, will trigger the awakening? After all the skating around and passing back and forth, after all the bumping and shoving, what will finally make the puck go into the net?

The choice: whether to crush individual Worth or affirm it

The Child’s progress toward awakening can’t be visualized or measured as though humanity is acting in concert toward any objective when the ego’s laws of chaos and ego-corrupted minds ensure that the opposite is true. There can be no orchestrated mass-group / societal movement toward a common purpose in a snake pit of clashing personalities, conflicting contexts, “realities” and “truths.” Where possession, control, dominance, and competition – crushing individual Worth -- rule social-group behavior instead of sharing, empowerment, and affirmation of individual Worth.

Think of the guy blocking a line of tanks at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The focus must be on individual minds choosing the correct Guide and removing the ego’s lies, the barriers to an awareness of Love’s presence. The barriers to perceptions of Reality and Truth that align with the protection of Logic, the Laws of cause and effect, and affirm the Worth-Innocence of the individual. The focus must be on individual minds sharing their Guides and perceptions they’ve been led to in service to healing and Innocence-awakening.

Respect for Free Will means respect for the individual

Attempting to impose behavior conformance en masse from the top down is the ego’s soul-crushing approach. Vulnerable minds stripped of Free Will and sovereignty yield to meet their material needs and whatever else mindless red army ant movements force upon them. The Holy Spirit’s mission is to work through the Child’s projected body-selves to help him change his mind from the bottom up, not leaving anyone out, not skipping any steps. The individual approach from the ground up is a lesson in thoroughness and character taught in the I Ching’s hexagram 4, Youthful Folly.

Focusing on individuals ensures respect for their circumstances, the unique contexts that frame the choices their Free Wills must work with. Respect for Free Will implies respect for individuals, their contexts, and choices. It’s because individual minds are derived from one Child unconscious mind and interconnected, because separation is neither real in Reality nor in unreality, that one mind at a time is an illusion. In the realm of mind not bound by matter the reality is every mind is one mind.

Whether and how individuals converting their contexts from separation, delusion, and unreality to healing, awakening, and reality help to restore the Child’s Consciousness must be left to the psychology of the Child’s mind that made up the dream when it projected guilt. To the specific confluence of conditions that triggers the awakening, a spontaneous act of Innocence, the Child’s Psyche. It must be left to the Child's freely chosen Innocence to reverse the imagined projection, to bring the imagined thought back to its Source of his own Free Will, and end the dream. With help from his Parents, readmitting and welcoming his real Self, the Innocence of a Child, his Soul, back to Consciousness, back to Reality.

The context where there is Meaning and relevance

Whether the change requires the participation of all or most of humanity or only a few is meaningless and therefore irrelevant. Whether participation is engineered from the ground up, spontaneously, or orchestrated from the top down, is equally irrelevant:

if “humanity” is a projection of Child’s unconscious mind
if more or less of an illusion makes a difference: zero times 1 or a million is still zero.

What matters is each individual mind’s connection with the Child through the Holy Spirit. Through our own Intuition and what each mind chooses to do with the connection:

looking to our own responsibilities.
trusting in the power, kindness, and protection of the Holy Spirit – the Gift of Logic -- to put our choice to good use.

The Course says that if only one person truly Forgave it would upend the ego’s entire edifice of lies and end the dream. All it would take to trigger the awakening is one individual. The only context where there is meaning and relevance. The only context that matters.

Not long ago, I asked a friend for a favor. It was a bit unusual and I knew it would require some thought, but not so unusual that it could upend a friendship. But it did, at least for a while, quite emphatically. The way my friend and I interpreted what happened was a study in contrasts. It was as if we lived in two separate realities, spoke different languages, and transacted business with different currencies, hers as worthless to me as mine was to her.

It was one of those things, a train wreck in a relationship we’re all familiar with. And yet it turned out to be very interesting. It revealed that my friend and I, who have been close over the years, are exact opposite personality types. I’m an INTJ and she’s an ESFP: INTJ for Introvert-Intuition-Thinking-Judgment, ESFP for Extravert-Sensing-Feeling-Perception. These are from Isabel Briggs Myers’ Gifts Differing, not as “scientific” as other theories some might prefer, but my Intuition trusts her Intuition.

The holidays are all about one universal value: everything that makes us family. Forgiveness is one of those things, and let me be the first to admit: If you’re reading this it probably means you’re a big nuisance but you’ve been forgiven – many times. “I love you in spite of your many faults” my dad liked to joke, usually to a good laugh. But it’s no laughing matter, because real forgiveness is beyond reach. At least it is for me. Especially if the big nuisance happens to be my exact opposite personality type.

My instinct in this case was to bail for good. I was on my way out the door. Then I read Gifts Differing and discovered that Isabel’s theory doesn’t stop at showing us how opposites wreak havoc with relationships. It shows remarkably how opposites can be used to bring us closer together and, in the process, promote personal growth and self-awareness. What philosophy, what faith, couldn’t use an analytical tool like this to bring about peace and forgiveness!

It’s done by accessing the opposites of your weak personality traits – mind-Intuition, for example, if you’re a body-Sensing type, -- preferably in consultation with someone who’s your opposite. You “pool your resources,” and at the end you’re both more fully developed, better balanced personalities, more sympathetic, more adaptable to change, and better equipped to forgive. That's the theory and, so far, it's working for me.

Isabel’s theory is inspired, not least because the metaphysics of A Course in Miracles calls for its practical application to individual circumstances, and students of the Course intent on practicing forgiveness will find that it’s a big help. If my friend is reading this she might be incensed that I’m talking about us, but not if her Feeling has accessed Thinking, and Perception has accessed Judgment. You see, what this is all about is making everyone more like me. Proof that what I've learned from her is the joy of spontaneity and laughter. Pity the poor INTJ Scrooge who never learns it!

Wishing you the Joy of Life and laughter for the holidays and all through the New Year.

His god is a lie that does not exist
That hangs over no man’s land like a flare in the night

That casts the dream in the shadows of its evil
Willing us to kill, willing us to die.

I rush across no man’s land to meet his god
Who wishes me dead, there in his trench

The enemy who begs to be killed with a hug
And I pray to my god who wishes him dead

Let me do this
Let us go.

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Explanation

Students of the modern Gnostic version of Christianity taught by Jesus in A Course in Miracles learn that our minds are corrupted by irrational beliefs that place us in a hellish world where we project our guilt onto others to regain our lost innocence. It is within this no man’s land of condemnation and endless deadly conflict, that’s depicted in this poem, that the Christian message of forgiveness – “love thine enemy” – must be absorbed and put to use.

We can undo the deception in principle by reasoning, with ACIM, that we did not sin in Reality when we lost conscious connection with our Source. Reinforcing this message is the point of my forthcoming book. But in this world of separate bodies meant to absorb and inflict punishment, reason doesn’t stand much chance against the passions of fear and hatred.

Though it’s unreal, our no man’s land is a place “where the unreal has been made real.” It is within this hellish environment that overwhelms our sensibilities, our pitiful attempts at reasoning, with its ear-splitting clamor for deception and passion, that I have tried to imagine the only way to put a stop to it. Instead of savaging my “enemy” in his trench, I need only to give him a loving hug. “The hug” would then represent the precise moment when the deception is undone, and its illusory vision of hell is removed from my mind.

It will do this not by my killing the person but by killing what makes the person in my mind my “enemy.” My enemy begs to be “killed” with a hug because only then, with a gesture of Love, will innocence be restored to the image of him that exists within my mind. Only then can the innocent person that he really is be spared from the projection of my own imagined guilt, from my condemnation, and my savage attack.

What the poem tries to convey is an honest humility, if not total despair, in the presence of a simple request that asks the impossible, that I love my “enemy” at precisely the point when my external circumstances and the passions they invoke overwhelm my humanity. I acknowledge its impossibility because I have no pretensions, at this stage of my training, of being a role model for forgiveness under any such circumstances.

Should I ever encounter my enemy in his trench, for real, of this I am certain: giving him a hug instead of making him pay for his infuriating offenses, his inflammatory provocations, will have to be a pure act of Grace. It will occur because another Mind – the Child’s right mind – has gently moved my corrupted mind out of the way. And only then if I have truly asked for it. It will do this if it has finally trained my corrupted mind to reject the deception of guilt and to affirm the Truth of Innocence. Otherwise, my clear expectation is that I would kill the bastard.

Praying to the darkness – to “my god who wishes him dead.” – to allow the hug to happen. is an admission that my mind is not ruled by reason in this world. It’s ruled by madness or I would not be so desperate for help that it would occur to me to ask an executioner practiced in cruelty -- the god of war -- for help with an act of compassion.

But “The Hug” is not the hopeless capitulation that it may seem. My training continues. The Holy Spirit speaks for the Truth, and, in time, the deception will lose its force. “Where the Trouble Lies” notes that energy, the force that keeps the illusion of material reality in place, is dying out. The illusion is in a state of entropy, coming apart. Our bodies will find a better use, and our passions, too.

What put my “enemy” there was hating him in the first place, before he committed any offense. What put him there was fear and hatred in my own mind that needs to revert back to its natural state of Love – back to Reality. The restoration of Reality, with our Free Will doing its part, is inevitable. Reason will prevail. The innocent Child that we really are will prevail. I am sure of it. My “enemy” will get his hug.

There is yet another meaning to the poem that’s implied by its military setting: conflict between opposing armies whose combatants have surrendered their individual sovereignty, and thus free choice, to a group, presumably to their respective countries. The “barriers to an awareness of Love’s presence” ACIM speaks of are many, and this is one of them: signing onto groups – employers, professions, organized causes, faiths, etc. -- that then superimpose their imperatives for survival onto our freely-chosen personal morality.

The “Sophie’s Choice” that The Hug presents is between loyalty to the ethics of individual free choice or to the amoral dictates of our group masters. In praying to the god of war – to Caesar – for permission to hug my “enemy,” I am asking, in effect, for manumission: for release from subservience to his army so that I may exercise free will and reclaim my integrity, my spirituality. I seek freedom from the curse of humanity: serving two masters, doing what’s right while “following orders” – an impossibility. We don't often have the option of separating from organizations that feed us, that trap us in situations where our only choice is some form of death no matter what we decide. If there remains a tone of discouragement, of hopelessness to "The Hug," this would account for it.