Manipulating the perception of others is not my way. And much of what I offer and represent is not likely to be appealing if presented even handedly. But I find advertising fascinating, so writing my own sales pitch is a personal challenge.
I am ambivalent about the idea of sharing my gifts directly. When sincere students with appropriate deference ask for guidance, we find the process easy and mutually rewarding. But any time I advertise such a service publicly, it only attracts the scorn of the insincere. My precious time and attention is more profitably spent alone/on my own lessons.
So rather than selling myself, I will attempt to sell my core practises.
A Course in Miracles
The universe (the place in which we appear to be) has two, mutually exclusive purposes to which it is ideally suited:
- A scapegoat for which all pain and suffering can be blamed. The universe contains many different objects, so it's very easy to find something or someone that has done you wrong. Yes, I'm talking about her/him/them - the one who did this to you. And if you can't find fault in other bodies, you can probably find it in yourself, in your own body, in your past actions and speech perhaps. If everything seems to be great then it won't be forever because you are in a body, and bodies get old and sick and then they die. And in fact the entire universe is in gradual decay. If nothing else kills our civilisation, entropy will in the end. If your goal is existential dread, then a little examination of the universe we seem to live in, will provide you with ample opportunity. What you may not realise is that there is another way, another purpose to which the universe is also ideally suited...
- A classroom in which the most lovely lessons are learned. As it turns out, the universe is more like a kind of nightmare in which the content of our mind is acted out. The part of our mind that dreamed the universe is out of our awareness, but we can change our interpretation of what we see - instead of seeing guilt in others, we can see innocence, which in turn changes the content in the mind that dreams the universe. And so the dream becomes a happier and happier one, until one day we are so happy and peaceful that we no longer care that it's only a dream. At this point we are ready to wake up from the universe. With this view, the universe is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of fuel for the Engine of Forgiveness, which turns misery into a happiness that expands without limit. What with the other purpose would be viewed as a difficult circumstance, instead is the most wondrous opportunity for healing.
The catch is, that our unconscious attachment to the first purpose (for reasons that are too complex to discuss here) and understandable resistance to the idea of being fully responsible for the entire universe (even though, when understood, no guilt at all is implied), means that for most people, it takes a lot of sincere study and practise (which will likely reveal that they weren't as sincere as they thought they were). This is why ACIM is 1333 pages even though it says pretty much the same thing throughout. And why I recommend reading Gary R. Renard's The Disappearance of the Universe first so you get the basic idea and answer all the obvious questions. And why I have 14 volumes of detailed analysis of it all by Kenneth Wapnick.
Learn more here.
Oh right this is meant to be a sales pitch. My journey is far from complete. About half of my mind still perceives the world with the first purpose, and half perceives with the second purpose. Speaking from the second purpose, I cannot say which is better, because I no longer think in terms of good or bad. I do not even wish that others would see things my way, as that would be to see evil in them. I see no evil anywhere. All seeming enemies are merely friends about whom my mind has not yet been willing to be corrected by my loving Teacher. I think of death not as something to be feared, but something to look forward to, as one might look forward to retiring at the end of a satisfying day's work. And I know that all these blessings are nothing compared to what is yet to come. Yet there is no rush. Everything is preceding according to plan. My trust in this Way is ever increasing, but not as 'blind faith', rather it is trust that has been earned by perfect reliability over many years and across circumstances.
Some words from ACIM:
There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet.
Your brothers are everywhere. You do not have to seek far for salvation. Every minute and every second gives you a chance to save yourself. Do not lose these chances, not because they will not return, but because delay of joy is needless.
ACIM's thought system offers a peaceful mind without any physical posture or activity.
If you don't feel ready for this discipline (and that's perfectly okay and right and good), check out my reading list.
Compared to ACIM, this is a doddle that almost any human can learn. Fuck I've got to go to the post office now.
When I speak of feminism, I'm talking about intersectional feminism. When I talk about the patriarchy, what I say can generally be applied to other marginalised groups and so I'm really talking about the kyriarchy - the system by which people with power oppress people without.
My first hearing of the word 'feminism' was as a child, from my mother who was very angry with 'men' and so I thought that's what feminism was. It is only more recently that a friend pointed out that with my keen interest in equality I was a feminist by definition. I had to update my definition of feminism. Don't let the name fool you - feminism isn't for women, it's for everyone. Smart feminism is based on the right-minded idea that equality is helpful for everyone and oppression hurts the oppressor as well as the oppressed. Real healing unites oppressor with oppressed. In the same way that ACIM is the antidote to guilt and condemnation, feminism is the antidote to the patriarchy/systemic oppression. Without ontological guilt, ACIM would not be needed; without the patriarchy, feminism would not be needed. If you accept the existence (or at least the appearance of) the patriarchy and want something different, feminism has your back.
"Intersectional Feminism" is the name of the thing that is the alternative to oppression.
Is that it? Is that the whole sales pitch for feminism? Apparently so.
Oh I probably need to mention that as with all things, there is a choice of purpose; when you see oppression you can judge/condemn or you can employ your ACIM training to perceive innocence instead. That goes also for those other feminists who are judging and condemning. They are innocent too.
Oh no there's more sales pitch coming. If you're looking for your own blind spots, feminism is very good at this.
Theories in feminism around privilege are extremely helpful for understanding differences in experience. It is very easy for ACIM students to get confused about levels, and to think that just because we are all equal in Reality that in this temporarily illusion of a world, we have the same experience. We do not all have the same experience. We are not all dealt the same hand, and if we have had the time and attention to dedicate to studying ACIM, it is likely we have a bunch of privilege that most do not.
As always, what are these differences for? Forgiveness! but you can't forgive if you deny that there is a difference in experience.
It's also a wonderful opportunity for more interpersonal healing. When healing is your goal, a robust understanding of the patriarchy and it's consequences will furnish you with a veritable feast of opportunities for healing.
A Course in Miracles says that advanced Teachers have the following characteristics:
Upon examination of myself, I find myself partially possessing these qualities. This makes sense given my current willingness level of 56%, and my being sometimes in my wrong mind and sometimes in my right mind. So I'm about half-trusting, half-honest etc.
That sounds terrible, but considering that the vast majority of minds are untrained and are almost entirely allied with the wrong mind/the ego, it's actually pretty great. The right mind can get a lot of mileage out of the tiniest willingness. And these characteristics will become more the norm over time, as my commitment increases, and one day I will be incapable of anything else.
There are of course many other attributes and skills that are unique to me, but right now they seem unimportant.
- Radical Honesty
- Bullet Journal
- Me (Freyr LePage)
and other ideas like "seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world" ↩︎
in so far as hurt appears to be possible within a universe that doesn't exist ↩︎
Most feminists would point out that oppression disproportionately impacts the oppressed more than the oppressor (and this appears to be correct), but any ACIM student unconfused by bodies will see this is not so. ↩︎
all illusory of course but here we are ↩︎