Forgive My Blog

Kenneth Wapnick specific ACIM subreddit

Freyr says:

After a lovely exchange with /u/flash_ahaaa, I thought “someone should make an FACIM sub”. Then I realised no one else was going to do it. That makes it my responsibility.

/r/FACIM


/r/FACIM sidebar as initially set up

/r/ACIM, but without the arguments

Rules

1. The Foundation for Inner Peace is the authority on what A Course in Miracles is
No use or endorsement of non-FIP editions of A Course in Miracles - we are here to learn, not to follow every potential distraction.

2. The Foundation for A Course in Miracles is the authority on what A Course in Miracles means
No use or endorsement of any teaching that isn’t consistent with that of Kenneth Wapnick.

3. Agree
No disagreeing - we are here to learn, not to debate. Though pointing out when shared content isn’t consistent with something Ken says, is encouraged.

The only one here who gets to be right, is Ken.


kayellemeno asks:

/u/grumpyfreyr can you explain why you chose to include this in the sidebar?

The only one here who gets to be right, is Ken.

I’m genuinely curious of your thinking behind it (full disclosure, I do disagree with the sentiment, so I’m wondering about the motivation)


Freyr replies:

I’m genuinely curious

Thank you for sharing your curiosity with me.


kayellemeno says:

Hahaha I like your answer. Good luck to you!


Freyr replies (to kayellemeno’s original question):

I’m still thinking about this.

It’s a sort of joke, that is unlikely to be appreciated by anyone who has a special (love or hate, doesn’t matter) relationship with Ken.

If it puts you off, then it’s doing its job perfectly.


kayellemeno says:

If it puts you off, then it’s doing its job perfectly

What job is that?


Freyr replies:

Naturally separating the wheat from the chaff (i.e. those who want to learn from Ken from those who do not want to learn from Ken).

Though this is just my understanding of one possible purpose, guessed at in retrospect. The mind of correction is multifaceted.

I know that the words are correct. You disagree. That is all that there is to it. But since I’m the one who created the sub, it is my business to choose the words and not yours. So (on this level) I am right and you are wrong. This would still be the case even if all I wrote in the sidebar were dick and fart jokes.


kayellemeno says:

I said I disagree with the sentiment, but I don’t disagree with your right to put whatever you like there, so neither you nor I are right or wrong.

I will say I think you enjoy pushing people’s buttons, when they react I think you get to feel some sort of victory over them within your belief system where a reaction is evidence of separation. And I am not going to condemn you for it no matter how much you might or might not want me to haha ;) I might be wrong but that’s the impression I get.

For what it is worth I appreciate you engaging with others even though they obviously disagree with something important to you. That’s commendable! If I haven’t offended you, I would like to know more about why the concept of someone being right or wrong resonates so much for you.


Freyr replies:

A literal translation of the phrase (so we are really clear about ‘sentiment’) might be:

This subreddit is for people who want to learn from Ken, and not from people who do not want to learn from Ken.

But I can’t just say that. People are liars even to themselves. And they don’t follow instructions.

So the only question for you is, “do you want to learn from Ken?” If you don’t, then there’s nothing about the sentiment for you to disagree with. It tells you that the subreddit isn’t for you. It’s like toilet signs. Left for gents, right for ladies. You are like a man who wants to go into the ladies and disagrees with the sign that says “ladies”. You wish it said “gents”. But why disagree? Why not just go into the gents if that is what you are looking for? Bringing it back to here, what about /r/ACIM is lacking? If you don’t want to learn from Ken, you can just stay here!

Disagreement is just another word for unforgiveness.

you enjoy pushing people’s buttons

It’s more that I don’t care. I’m not trying to avoid people’s buttons. People have so many buttons, trying to avoid them was an unending task.

If I haven’t offended you

I am almost impossible to offend. Offence is just another name for unforgiveness.

why the concept of someone being right or wrong resonates so much for you.

When I say right and wrong, I really mean correct and incorrect. Nothing to do with morality.

And these concepts are straight out of the course. Right minded Vs wrong minded. Most of the course is a flip-flopping contrast between two ways of thinking, the one it calls the “wrong” way and one it calls the “right” way.

I guess applying it on the level of behaviour is another one of my jokes. There is no right or wrong on the level of behaviour. So it doesn’t resonate for me at all except as a great joke. But you must believe in an objective right and wrong behaviour on some level or you would not disagree.

disagree with something important to you.

I’m unaffected by your disagreement. And it’s not really important to me - Ken’s not special, he’s just, right (i.e. correct).


kayellemeno says:

I think we got off on the wrong foot when I said “I disagree with the sentiment”. I disagree with the idea that any person has a monopoly on the truth, seeing that we are all human and fallible, but I don’t think being fallible keeps someone from being a wonderful source of wisdom and learning. I do not in any way disagree with you creating this new subreddit, and I wasn’t intending to convince you otherwise. I genuinely wanted to understand the reverence for authority many people have that I don’t really understand. I didn’t want to talk to you in bad faith, so I opened with that and that might have been a mistake. Since we started this conversation I have been watching some videos from Ken and I got a lot out of them. I may post some to the new subreddit. Cheers!


Freyr replies:

I disagree with the idea that any person has a monopoly on the truth

See my reply to littlewillingness.

It’s not that Ken can be the only one who is right. Other people are capable of being right. And there are many I know of who are. They don’t even have to be Course students. Byron Katie for example, is also right.

The trouble is that almost all Course students are wrong. And then they become teachers, speading their wrongness.

I am very right. Almost as right as Ken. I can listen to him talk for hours without hearing anything I haven’t known for years (and I see many nuances that he doesn’t mention) and then just occasionally he says something I hadn’t thought of.

But as right as I am, I do not want to teach. I would rather be a great student than a great teacher. I would rather correct my own flaws than point out someone else’s. And in the past I have so often taken on a role of teacher, neglecting my own learning. It’s a trap, easily fallen into. When you grow in wisdom, all that old wish to “be right” surfaces and you want to tell everyone.

By making Ken the teacher and not me, I avoid that trap. And it’s not like he is going to get an inflated ego from it, because he passed on a few years ago!

So, I might guess that the reason why there are so few teachers who are right like Ken, is that like me, they decide to become great students instead! The thing that makes Ken ‘special’ is that he didn’t have hours and hours of Ken lectures to listen to. There was a job to be done. Explaining what ACIM means. And no one else was in a position to do it. If Ken hadn’t been there, someone else would have had to do that. Anyone who becomes right like Ken, defers to him, not because he’s personally special, but because he was the first. And the thing about firsts is that there can be only one. You can’t have two firsts. That’s not how numbers work.

It’s the same with Jesus. He even says it in the Course. That he was the first to complete his part (in the Atonement) perfectly. That doesn’t make his state of mind unattainable. It just means that he was first. And that’s why he gets to be the ‘author’ of the Course.

And in the same vein, I am the first to realise that an /r/FACIM is needed. I’m not the only one (or there would be no subscribers), but because I was the first, I am the one in that position of power and responsibility. That doesn’t make me inherently special, but it does make me the absolute authority of that space.

I didn’t want to talk to you in bad faith, so I opened with that and that might have been a mistake.

I have been perceiving you as being split between a wish to prove me wrong on one hand, and a wish to be proven wrong on the other. In a way it was helpful. Your expression of disagreement revealed a lot about you. I probably wouldn’t have responded to you otherwise. It was an honest expression of how you felt. Honesty is key to learning.

I genuinely wanted to understand the reverence for authority many people have that I don’t really understand.

Yeah I get that.

This goes back to that thing about firsts. Ken isn’t the only person who sees the Course that way. I do too. And it’s not just because I’m a student of his. I already saw the world that way, before I even picked up a copy of the Course. When I first read some of Ken’s words I was like “woah, this guy is me, but better/matured”. I recognised his thinking as fundamentally the same as mine, but with the benefit of time to mature, that I hadn’t had.

So I can save myself a lot of time, by learning from him. I don’t have to figure everything out myself. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

And this “not reinventing the wheel” is the crux of the matter. A bad computer programmer solves problems. A good computer programmer combines existing solutions made by other programmers.

And when a new theory is made in the world of math or science, it is generally named after the first person to discover it. Such a method can be used by anyone, but by convention it will always be known as the [name of scientist] method. It’s not about reverence. We all know that there’s nothing inherently special about those scientists. If they hadn’t discovered it, someone else probably would have. But we have to call it something and scientists are bad at naming things, so they just use the name of the person who discovered it first!

I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. The wheel (explaining what the Course means) has already been invented by Ken.

I also don’t want to leave the door open to every idiot who thinks (wrongly) that they can invent a better wheel than Ken. That’s not to say that there aren’t teachers whose wheels are equally good. But since Ken is (a) correct and (b) the first, the test of all other wheels/teachers must be “are they consistent with Ken?” Since Ken is right, any teacher that disagrees with him must be wrong. To put it in wheel terms - having found that a perfectly round wheel cannot be improved upon, any wheel that isn’t round can be discarded without further analysis.

And the only way to know whether a teaching is consistent with Ken’s is if you understand Ken’s teaching. Any way you slice it, the conclusion is that Ken’s work must be studied. When you get it, then you can start to look at other teachers and go “oh yeah, that one’s right too”. But otherwise, you are wandering around, looking at different kinds of bumpy wheels, never having seen a round one.

The only thing that matters about wheels is that they work. The same applies to the Course and to Ken’s explanations of its meaning.


kayellemeno says:

Wow, I was just thinking about Byron Katie and The Work yesterday, but I couldn’t remember her name. That seems meaningful!! I haven’t thought about that in years so it must be in this energy groove somehow.

I appreciate your answer and I do think I understand where you are coming from, though again we have different philosophies. I think the crux of it is you say Ken is objectively right, and from that premise it (correctly) logically follows that he would be a litmus test for rightness in others. I guess where people differ from you is the idea that even assuming Ken were right, no one, not even him, could know that absolutely. And so to claim that, rather than encouraging listening to your own heart and the holy spirit, seems wrong/incorrect. Does that make sense?

I am not trying to prove you wrong or be proven wrong, since again, I don’t see either one of us as being wrong. I am, certainly, trying to understand your opinion with the greater goal of seeing how it can be reconciled with mine, put another way I want to assume we are both reasonable people and point out how we can have equally reasonable but opposing views.

I think people get frustrated with people that say “my opinions are good and yours are bad”. To continue the thought above, if you reject the notion of doubt or fallibility and say- no, I know Ken is 100% right, I believe he is guided by the highest truth and my own knowledge or holy spirit or whatever corroborates that, and I embrace it on faith without any doubt. I don’t think anyone would bat an eye.

I think a little trouble arrises when that is coupled with the idea that everyone else is not only wrong, but inferior. eg:

I also don’t want to leave the door open to every idiot who thinks (wrongly) that they can invent a better wheel than Ken.

Since you brought it up, I think maybe it would be useful to try the Byron Katie method in this situation, even if you are not upset. Like, “I am wrong and they are right” vs “I am right and they are wrong”, or “Other teachers are idiots” vs “Ken Wapnick is an idiot”, etc. Really consider those possibilities and see how you feel. Would you be willing to try and share your reaction? I would also like to try it, though I think I need some suggestions on what premise to consider, if you are willing to offer some.


Freyr replies:

This path has stages.

In the beginning, doubt is helpful. You have to question everything, in order to undo the old way of thinking.

At a much later stage, doubt becomes an obstacle and must be given up. To someone at that earlier stage, it sounds horrifying.

seeing how it can be reconciled with mine

I can relate to that. Kinda. Oh right! That’s why I’m still talking to you! How lovely. I have a belief that reconciliation on that level is possible. It isn’t.

Would you be willing to try and share your reaction?

The Work (Katie’s method) has been an integral part of my thinking process since 2005. It might be helpful for you to think of everything I say (especially the most radical thoughts) as the result of a turnaround. As you can see from two paragraphs ago, I do occasionally discover things I’m wrong about, but it’s second nature to me (or perhaps first nature), so I don’t even need to ask the questions. I just flip it and see how it feels.

I’m a bit like one of those aerodynamically unstable fighter jets. I can change beliefs very quickly if I find a better one. And I do find new ones. The current idea that is kicking my arse at the moment is a new theory of respect based on True Empathy (T-16.I) and Byron Katie’s thing about being in your own business. For me, changing stressful beliefs is not challenging at all. The ‘limiting factor’ for me is discovering what my beliefs are. Often they are unconscious. As soon as I discover/name a stressful belief, it’s gone.

I would also like to try it, though I think I need some suggestions on what premise to consider, if you are willing to offer some.

Righto. eh, I need a bigger screen for this.

can you explain why you chose to include this in the sidebar?

Perhaps it might be helpful for you to talk about your thinking on this. Why you think such a thing should not be included in the sidebar? And then do the work on that.

I don’t disagree with your right to put whatever you like there

that’s probably worth investigating.

so neither you nor I are right or wrong.

That too.

I will say I think you enjoy pushing people’s buttons

Definitely that.

when they react I think you get to feel some sort of victory over them within your belief system where a reaction is evidence of separation.

And that.

And I am not going to condemn you for it

And that.

Maybe just do the work on the entire conversation. Especially the ones you feel “sure” about. Pretty much everything you’ve said looks to me like a lie. But I can only know what’s true for me. You have to do your own investigation and find out what’s true for you. So what I really mean is, if I said the kinds of things you say in the way you say them, they would be lies (not true for me).

There are some days I find myself in my wrong mind and all my thoughts are lies, so I don’t take any of them seriously, and just wait to become sane again. Other days all (or almost all) my thougths are true (Katie’s meaning of ‘true’). I keep checking either way.

Edit: one of the limitations of The Work, is that sometimes thoughts that are truer seem more stressful, because they bring an underlying (false) belief closer to the surface.


kayellemeno says:

I see you are someone earnestly seeking for truth through the open discovery and expression of who you truly are at the maximum at which you can understand it. I guess I think that’s good. But to be honest, beyond that you just sound extremely arrogant. I offered to do the work as a kind of “hey we’re all in this together”. But you didn’t actually do your part. So I can share my insights after you share yours on the Work I suggested. I assume we will just keep it to ourselves.

I have a belief that reconciliation on that level is possible. It isn’t.

This part is a bummer. Holding on to that idea will keep you in isolation. You are going to have to let go of the idea you are superior to everyone else, and I assume the fear that if you aren’t superior that means you are inferior, because it doesn’t.

You know, right now there are at least 4-5 people on this sub earnestly trying to talk to you in the hopes of coming to some sort of understanding. That’s actually really lovely! Despite your insistence on being isolated, you are not. And yep, that message can apply just as well to me and is just as needed by myself as you, so there you go ;)

I really adore this sub <3 To you (and anyone else who has read through this long thread!) thank you for being here!


Side conversation

littlewillingness says:

How is Ken not special if he is the only one that gets to be right?


Freyr replies:

Great question.

The short answer is: because he’s the teacher.

The long answer is: because I said so.

Let’s clear up those levels. “Ken’s not special” is a level 1 statement. “The only one here who gets to be right, is Ken.” is a level 2 statement. For the purposes of that sub†, Ken already is right, and doesn’t need correcting. Anyone who disagrees with him is wrong (and therefore doesn’t get to be right in my sub). Anyone who has become right by learning from Ken, doesn’t need my sub. My sub is strictly for people who trust Ken’s rightness. It’s not for people who haven’t made up their minds.

† this is an important qualifier. I can make decisions (in this case for the sub) based on my discernment, without giving it level 1 significance. The sub does not require anyone to actually believe that Ken is the only one who gets to be right, but while in that sub they must speak and behave as if he is. I can specify guidelines for speech and behaviour without justifying them - hence “because I said so”.


littlewillingness says:

Since Ken is no longer around he won’t be here to tell if anyone is actually following what he teaches. The one that gets to determined that will be you. But you are not Ken. Ken is the teacher you are the student. So if you are to take up a role that is meant for Ken yourself, aren’t you trying to be a teacher yet again but in a round about way?


Freyr replies:

Would you prefer to switch places?

Job’s yours if you want it.


littlewillingness says:

Thanks but no thanks. My sole responsibility is still to accept the Atonement for myself. Teaching is the Holy Spirit’s function, not mine.

If it is no longer what you wanted, you can always give it to the Holy Spirit.


Freyr replies:

you can always give it to the Holy Spirit.

Great idea! Do you know his reddit username so I can invite him as a moderator?


littlewillingness says:

I meant let Him decide where to take the sub and what the rules should be. In deciding the rules yourself you have limited what He can do for you and the sub.


Freyr replies:

How do you know the rules (and everything else about the sub) aren’t from Him?

The Holy Spirit is a poor witness. Everyone is free to disagree about what He says. And ACIM clarifies nothing in this respect, since it gives no guidance on behaviour.

We can never know whether someone else is following the Holy Spirit. I’ve found it best to assume that everyone is. Total, unshakable faith in every brother.


littlewillingness says:

They’re not from the Holy Spirit because it have not brought you and everyone else peace.

  • T-14.XI.5. You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God’s lesson, and not your own. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your mind that hurt and hinder you, and everyone around you. The absence of perfect peace means but one thing: You think you do not will for God’s Son what his Father wills for him. Every dark lesson teaches this, in one form or another. And each bright lesson with which the Holy Spirit will replace the dark ones you do not accept, teaches you that you will with the Father and His Son.

Freyr replies:

I don’t accept your interpretation of ACIM.


littlewillingness says:

If you have total decided that everyone is following the Holy Spirit then how it can it be that you find my interpretation unacceptable? That sounds very much like a contradiction to me.

Or are you choosing to reject the Holy Spirit and embrace the ego instead?