SFACIM

I had a fantasy about finding some ‘real’ ACIM students to play with, and in a moment of inspiration, searched for “Kenneth Wapnick forum”. I discovered the School for A Course In Miracles and got quite excited quite quickly. They seemed to be ‘making all the right noises’:

  • Unambiguous espousal of Ken’s teachings.
  • Lots of evidence that they understand the Course.
  • A rigorous training programme, after which a student can become a lecturer under their organisation.
  • 1:1 mentoring:

    If you think you would benefit from a one-on-one session that has healing as its only purpose you can schedule an appointment…

I was all over that shit.

I signed up for a 30 minute mentoring session with Lyn. We ended up talking for 50 minutes. I would describe it only as Holy.

I followed up with an email…

Subject: judgements to laugh at

Freyr:

Dear Lyn (and I assume Tim will also be reading this),

I’m gradually starting to come out of the ‘funk’ I’ve been in. The discovery of the disproportionate impact of childhood abuse and neglect got me excited, and for a for a few weeks I thought that something other than plain old ACIM-style forgiveness might be faster. But no, the best approach, as with all lessons, is to give it to the Holy Spirit (which I do by writing it in my list of “things to forgive” and then not giving it a second thought. So I’m back to plodding along looking with Holy eyes at all the little things that come along, like a tourist in my own life.

Inwardly, I apply Course principles. Outwardly (socially) I practise sincerity with those who take the world seriously, while while reporting my darkest thoughts to those who won’t take my judegments seriously. I was introduced to this kind of speech by Brad Blanton’s Radical Honesty.

I find that sharing one’s judgements with others on this path, when there is trust that judgements aren’t to be taken seriously, to be a great accelerator of learning.

I’m going to take a leap of faith and share my judgements of you, that I noted down following our video call. I would be delighted to hear your own judgements of me, should you wish to share them.

  • We teach what we are learning. You speak of Heaven a lot, so you must be uncertain of Heaven. I don’t think about God/Heaven much (and thus don’t discuss them much). The descision maker is where my attention is directed. That is my one responsibility. Heaven is not my responsibility. Truth can take care of itself.
  • The moment we open our mouths we reveal ourselves. By revealing my judgements, I’m revealing myself.
  • Like so many Course students, you’re great at relinquishing special hate, but not so great at relinquishing special love. I think of you as a bit of a bliss ninny.
  • When both special love and special hate are undone, there’s either nothing to say, or we move down to the next layer.
  • I suppose I imagined you would be like I imagine I will become like when my way has matured: nothing of oneself to speak of.
  • I hoped you would be ‘like me, but better’ (that’s how I used to think of Ken). You disappointed me hahahahaha. Now I’m not even sure you’re ahead of me except in worldly ways. Though without question, our meeting was very Holy. So now I guess I’m testing that Holiness, by showing you a bit more of myself. Among my worthy friends, this kind of openness is the highest respect that can be shown.
  • I have a fear (is it a fear? no, a suspicion, a thought) that you will become the proverbial wrathful god in response to all this. So that’s me projecting my mother onto you.

Things in my notes that are not really judgements/jokes - they are more sincere:

  • I’m going to use you and your School for my learning (one way or another).
  • I want to talk to Tim.
  • I want a call with both of you at the same time.
  • I’m uncertain about whether me giving you money for further sessions is the helpful thing. I seek clarification as to the purpose of the financial component of the relationship.
  • Your other email address (the one on the contact page of the website) did not work for me. I got no reply.

Okay cool.

Lyn:

‏‏‎ ‎

Freyr:

I request another appointment. Same arrangement as before. 30 minutes.

Lyn:

Hi Freyr,

I am in the midst of responding to your email of a few days ago and you email just came in. I want to finish the thoughts in my response, send it, and then get back about some dates. I enjoyed the process very much.
Thanks,
Lyn

Freyr:

Oh, you replied with a blank email. I assumed that was intentional.

No problem. No rush. In God’s hands we rest.

Lyn:

Oh, dear.
No, it was not intentional.
I make frequent mistakes with technology.
I don’t know how the blank escaped, but I am laughing.
All is well.
Lyn

Lyn:

Hi Freyr:

I appreciated your letter and needed to wait for time for a thoughtful response. I am also rather slow these days. From the heart, may also go to the heart.

I am smiling because I am a bit of a blissninny. I take that kindly. But I don’t lie. And I do want to share an experience that is absolutely real even though words can never express it. I heard someone else say that it is like a painter trying to paint the wind.

A couple of evenings ago Tim and I accidentally happened upon a video with the Dali Lama and a panel esteemed leaders on YouTube. He took his time getting situated, first taking off his shoes, then seating himself (cross-legged) on a throne like chair. Then there was some more “getting comfortable”, and finally pulling a red visor out from under his robes and placing it on his head to shield his eyes from the bright overhead lights before the questions began. I could feel his ease and his silence in spite of his activity.

Throughout the 20 minutes or so that we watched the Dali Lama address the problems of the world it was clear that he did not carry the world with him. He was resting the whole time. There was not an ounce of reaction in him. The next day I reviewed my experience with Tim. I could not remember a single word of what was said (neither could Tim) but the experience he offered stayed with me. We are in danger nowhere in this world. I am safe. You are safe. We are all safe. He conveyed it without a word, because he knows it. I felt his certainty moved me a bit closer to knowing it for myself. A true helper he is.

Back to our time together and your letter.
These are honest:

I felt inadequate to meet your needs. I tend to place myself in a “less than” position when I encounter a superior intellect. This has been brought to the Holy Spirit for healing/correction.

I did take notice of your kindness in spite of your intellect. Hmmm. Maybe intellect is not dangerous. I have experienced it sometimes being misused in the hands of the ego.

You did tell me you are autistic, as if it mattered. I have no desire to make that real.

My social practice/guideline is the one Jesus gives us in his Course at the the very outset (Chpt. one)

The Golden Rule:
“Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both, so will you do to both.
You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others.”

I believe that is what you said you signed up for. Correct?

On the subject of money:

You can make a donation to School for a Course in Miracles via paypal if you want to support our work. (We are a non-profit under the name Ark of Peace). We have classes almost every day and there is no cost attached to them. You are welcome to attend any of them. I think you might enjoy the company. We all share the same Teacher. The more we learn the better teachers we can become. Ken is recognized as Jesus’ right hand. The rest of us aspire to be truly helpful.

Enough for now.

From the heart, may it also go to the heart.

Lyn

.

Freyr:

I heard someone else say that it is like a painter trying to paint the wind.

That is a lovely image.

I felt inadequate to meet your needs. I tend to place myself in a “less than” position when I encounter a superior intellect. This has been brought to the Holy Spirit for healing/correction.

How wonderful. Thank you for sharing this with me. My eyes are welling up.

I did take notice of your kindness in spite of your intellect. Hmmm. Maybe intellect is not dangerous. I have experienced it sometimes being misused in the hands of the ego.

Yes. Intellect is quite weaponisable. It’s one of my forgiveness lessons. Cleverness is overrated. I would rather be kind. I have a special (love) relationship with intelligence. I believe that if I’m not clever, people won’t love me.

I am blessed with a learning partner (my friend Jules) who is, uh, not the sharpest stick. It really forces us both to look at our special relationship with intellect. Being clever and winning arguments is how you get ahead in the world. I would rather put my intellect in the hands of the Holy Spirit where it’s safe. It’s like. It’s like having a very long and sharp sword that is permenantly attached to my hand. I can’t get rid of my intellect, but I can give it to Him.

I am crying now.

You did tell me you are autistic, as if it mattered. I have no desire to make that real.

Yeah. It doesn’t really matter. I probably mentioned it out of habit more than anything else. A defence. Some people react to my non-standard communication style, and sometimes offering something for them to attribute those differences to helps. But in this case it really just reveals my lack of faith in you. My fear. My fear of being misunderstood. It’s funny, some people find my communication style very easy to understand. Maybe it’s more about them than about me.

I feel like, I was a bit on autopilot during our call. I didn’t know what to expect.

The Golden Rule:
“Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both, so will you do to both. You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others.”

I believe that is what you said you signed up for. Correct?

Yes of course. But that is a general principle of the mind, and I needed more specific help with how to speak. So I read a book about speaking and listening that helped me with a specific block I had there.

Re money, I was referring specifically to the mentoring sessions. The purpose of the donations related to the classes is clear to me.

For me, money is a tool for communication, nothing more. It is another teaching tool in the toolbox of the Holy Spirit.

What do you communicate by asking for money in exchange (bargain) for sessions? What do I communicate to you by paying you? Unlike the free (donation optional) classes, one-to-one sessions are transactional. So if I am paying you, what am I getting in return? Isn’t the whole point of relationships dedicated to healing, that both gain? If we are both gaining, then why am I paying you and not the other way around? Does that mean that you are not gaining as much from the sessions as me? These are some of my thoughts.

Uh, the end :D

PS: All this, the Holy Spirit is in charge, without exception.

Freyr:

More thoughts on money:

Usually when someone is paid at an hourly rate, it is generally an exchange of time and attention for money. That suggests to me that you have a shortage of time and attention (and therefore need to be compensated for it with money), in which case I’m not doing you any favours by asking for mentoring appointments. I do not want to use up your time and attention if it is in short supply. That is not win win.

Lyn:

Dear Freyr,

Thanks for your patience. Since Covid and our commitment to offer classes every day during “shelter in place” we have been very busy, enjoyably so, but things like correspondence get put off because there is always “the next class” to prepare for.

It is my feeling (and Tim’s) that attending the regular classes we offer would be the best way for you to get to know us and our community, how we teach, and what our message is. That way if you have questions or concerns we can talk about them relative to what the school offers and you can make a decision based upon your experience as to whether you would like to join us. If the time for the class doesn’t work for you most are recorded and appear on our YouTube Channel or as Podcasts. All those details are on the website.

Our weekly on-line classes are offered cost free. Students who attend regularly can donate on the website via Pay Pal.

Our main form of education is through six-month long immersions in study and application of the Course. The Immersion Programs include mentoring.

As far as mentoring goes, program related mentoring ( 2-45 minutes sessions per month) is included in the price of the program. Mentoring is done by Tim or me.

Aside from Immersion Program mentoring, the only mentoring that I do is with students who are regular attendees in classes with the school. That ensures we are on the same page regarding the metaphysics. The classes and discussions are catalysts for looking, undoing and learning together.

You are correct. Paying for a relationship in which both parties are learning shared interests makes no sense. I am blessed by every encounter. So paying for this blessed opportunity is not how you or I, or anyone should think of it. Making a donation to School for A Course in Miracles might make the relationship between mentoring and money cleaner. What you are actually paying for/supporting, whether you donate or pay for a mentor session, are school expenses and a small income for Tim and myself since neither of us are independently wealthy. Everything we offer through the school happens in a small, two bedroom apartment that we live in and work in. You asked for clarification, and I hope this helps.

I understand that the way in which we have structured learning (unlearning) with A Course in Miracles for may not work for you. Who could possibly do it justice? It is indeed like trying to paint the wind. But there isn’t anything else that I can think of that can even come close to trying.

I appreciate your insights, challenges and interest in what we are up to here. Let me know if you still want to have a chat. I can’t do anything until next week, meaning the week of the 22nd in the morning.

Blessings,

Lyn

At this point in the email thread, I attached the following note to a $400 donation:

Freyr: “money is a tool for communication, nothing more. It is another teaching tool in the toolbox of the Holy Spirit.”
Lyn: “What you are actually paying for/supporting, whether you donate or pay for a mentor session, are school expenses and a small income for Tim and myself since neither of us are independently wealthy.”
Holy Spirit: “$400”

Freyr:

Your only morning class is on a Tuesday, 10am which translates to 5pm for me - right in the middle of the busiest time in my week.

Send me the zoom details. We’ll see. Holy Spirit in charge.

I watched a few minutes of your “Nothing so blinding as perception of form” class from 2 years ago and wish to report my impression.

It sounds like you’re studying A Course in Miracles. That isn’t my classroom currently. I understand the Course well enough that I don’t need to talk about it. I only talk about it if people ask for clarification on something. Otherwise I just get on with the business of applying its principles to the situations in my life. My current classroom is mental illness.

For me, the point of social interaction is to use those relationships for healing. Me and jules don’t discuss ACIM that often, but it is the context for our entire interaction. So it’s like we never put the book down. There’s no “study time” and “non-study, normal social time” - all our social interaction is an excercise in applying the Course’s principles. And this is how I wish to interact with everyone. And I do, including with those who aren’t ACIM students.

So I suspect that, at least for the moment, your classes aren’t for me. Their purpose seems to be to educate. I am already educated. That’s not to say that my education is perfect. But it feels like the classes are meant for people who don’t understand (and to help you, the teachers, to strengthen your understanding).

I enjoy Tim immensely.

Okay, I’m going back to my classroom of being mentally ill now.

Thank you for everything.

Let me know if you still want to have a chat.

It sounds like you have your hands full at the moment. That’s fine. I also have a lot on at the moment. We’ll get to it. I have a feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship :P

How about, you let me know if/when the Holy Spirit says its time for another meeting with me (non-transactional).

Freyr:

How about, you let me know if/when the Holy Spirit says its time for another meeting with me (non-transactional).

I want to clarify this…

I do not feel like I need another appointment with you. I would have you make no sacrifices (of time and attention that you could spend on preparing classes) for me.

Thy Will be done

Lyn:

Dear Freyr,

First thing: We received your generous donation to SFACIM. Tim and I are very appreciative. Thank you.

I was surprised and delighted that you showed up in class the other day. I would like it if you show up now and then when the time works for you. Whitney and I are doing a once a month discussion this Saturday morning, the 20th at 10 am on Practicing/Living the Course. Whitney teaches with us. She is a long-time Katie student as well as the Course. Tim does some mornings, too. I’ll let you know when that happens. No demands; just an open invitation.

I have wanted to know more about you but not the usual things people want to know. More interested in your mind and how you choose to express it. So I went googling and spent some time with Minecraft and a few other places that attracted me. The degree of honesty was the first thing that got my attention and inspired me. Also trust. Not much hidden.

I feel my specialness keeps me from trusting that “open and honest” with myself (even though unpleasant) is always best and can’t hurt anyone. I immediately saw my belief (more guilt) that I must be careful or I could hurt. Your manner inspired me to look deeper into the possibility of taking bigger risks in my communication with others. I don’t know how to talk to anyone either. There doesn’t seem to be anything worth saying except when I occasionally slip out of self-concern and everything becomes effortless. It is a relief not to care and I think that’s “better”. But there is another possibility before slipping out of self-concern (which, let’s face it, doesn’t happen all that often) and that is being “open and honest” with all the faces of guilt. This also may be truly helpful. That has led me want to check on Radical Honesty. I haven’t yet, but intend to. Do you have any recommendations?

Truly helpful. I know the prayer very well, and when Covid came down, I started writing what I thought might become a book: Truly Helpful, Living A Course in Miracles. Writing is one of the ways I “work on myself”. I attack myself throughout the process of trying to complete, even a single paragraph. It is yet another way of uncovering my attempts to crucify Christ. Self-hate is a new awareness for me. I may be getting to the end of the line.

I noted your tendency to “work” on everything, including resting in God. hahaha. It’s a curse for sure in the hands of the ego, but hopefully useful, in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Sharing, which is different from work, seems to be my need now. I get that there is one huge call for love happening “out there”, and it’s all mine and requires learning what sharing truly is.

I have a class in a few minutes. Gotta go.

Thank you.
Lyn

Freyr:

discussion this Saturday morning, the 20th at 10 am on Practicing/Living the Course

That sounds more my thing. Though, my experience thus far with ACIM teachers is that when they say “discussion” they mean themselves talking a lot, rather than giving everyone else space to work through their stuff. I mean, you’ve already decided what the discussion is going to be about. How could you know that? I’ll put it in my calendar and put the f***ing Holy Spirit in charge. I don’t know why I even bother having an opinion when I always do what he says.

I have wanted to know more about you but not the usual things people want to know.

Haha yes.

Also trust.

That’s what it’s all about. The development of trust (M-4.I I believe).

My blog is introduced here: https://freyrlepage.com/audience

This one, written by the Holy Spirit because I was too tired describes how I came to the Course.

And this one gives a good summary of recent learnings, without having to read too much.

And my new model of ‘respect’, based on True Empathy (T-16.I) is the state of mind towards which I walk. It challenges me.

taking bigger risks in my communication with others.

I encourage you to take bigger risks with me, if no one else.

Trust/bravery is like a muscle. When you excercise it, it gets stronger. I’ve been taking incrementally bigger and bigger risks (as guided by Holy Spirit). My relationship to you is like a dumbbell. You are someone I do not completely trust. I believe that I need to be careful in order to avoid hurting you. You hold a special place to me. If I say the wrong thing, I will lose a valuable contact.

As I watch, as I excercise my boldness, that specialness is increasingly seen to be of no substance. You do not matter. I will be okay with or without you. I do not need the SFACIM. I thought it was very important when I first saw it. I got so excited. But, surprise surprise, it’s just another forgiveness/celebration lesson. Just another special relationship for me to look at with Jesus. No different than any other.

being “open and honest” with all the faces of guilt.

I smile at this. A broad smile. There is nothing the light cannot touch.

That has led me want to check on Radical Honesty. I haven’t yet, but intend to. Do you have any recommendations?

I would say, read the book by Brad Blanton. And then talk to me. There’s a lot of subtle nuance that he doesn’t discuss. And when combined with our understanding from ACIM, it is much more powerful. I’ve taken it far beyond what he talks about in the book. For a few years this was my excercise: ACIM-style mind searching, for whatever words I was afraid to say or action I was afraid to do. And saying or doing precisely that. That’s how I ended up with a website. I found that the scariest thing I could think of was to set up a website under my full name and present myself as a ‘spiritual teacher’, so that’s what I did. And then it turned into a blog, and then any time I discovered anything in my mind that the ego wanted to keep secret from the world, I would blog it. It’s sort of like, if you want to undo the ego, act/speak/think against its wishes!

But then, the other part of it I discovered, that Brad doesn’t discuss, and maybe hasn’t even realised(?) is refraining from saying anything I’m afraid not to say. Like, if I think there will be a bad social consequence if I do not apologise, then I am not allowed to apologise. I have to just watch as that social consequence unfolds. Same for actions. So in the end I’ve gotten to this state where fear is neither an obstacle, nor do I act or speak out of fear. I am increasingly unconcerned about outcomes (though there are always new situations presented to me, where I’m like, oh look, here’s something about which I’m still attached to outcomes) and basically my will is just bonded to the Holy Spirit. I do not have the burden of choice. I used to argue with him. A lot. Now I don’t. I just wait as he brings me lessons to further His goal, which I ultimately share with Him.

I noted your tendency to “work” on everything

It’s something I’m working on.

That was a joke. I couldn’t resist.

Subject: Comments on your class: “Why look at our hatred? What is it that we are really afraid of seeing under that?”

Freyr:

Rather than disrupt your class, I took notes. You may have noticed my head bent down much of the time. I was writing each thought in my journal. I will now type them up (with annotations highlighted) as a gift for you:

  • This is just your sharing session. Your classroom, for you to learn by ‘teaching’. Your students are the ones teaching you, by listening. Speaking is easy. Hearing is the real challenge.
  • Ken says “don’t make the Course your life”. I think that’s exactly what you’ve done by setting up SFACIM.
  • When will you run out of things to say?
  • The one who is sharing is the student. The teacher is empty of personality, only responding to need. The expert learner has no need to share. - actually, given what you said about where you are at in terms of taking risks in communication with others, I want to share my personal experience that learning how to really listen to people only comes when we have run out of emotional risks to take. We have to learn to tell the truth, before we learn to hear it. That’s how it’s been for me. And, I’m realising now that, I have had uh, very high expectations of you, and all of this long rant is just going to be a long winded process of me taking you off a pedastal.
  • Your students are suited to your teaching, and therefore vice versa.
  • It’s very basic teaching. 101 stuff. Nothing new to me after 30 mins - I didn’t hear anything new-to-me in the whole session
    I appreciate the value of this kind of learning, for those who need it. For those without hyperlearning abilities/without 100% willingness.
  • Seeing what your students are like, really helps me to understand why you teach the way you do. It’s a match made in heaven.
  • Y’all seem so serious. no one seems to be laughing much. - in contrast, I remember my video chat with you being full of raucous laughter, and my conversations with Jules are like an endless comedy sketch.
  • My new way is not to try to teach or help anyone. I suspect you of trying to ‘help’ others. I suspect you of ‘teaching’ other than by demonstration. I suspect you of concerning yourself with the healing/healing of others. - your only function is to accept the Atonement for yourself.
  • Your class is all theoretical. You don’t discuss the specialness in the relationships between members of the class.
    “wasted opportunities for learning/healing”. The abolition of specialness (ongoing) has been game changing for me.
  • You guys are so boring! Oh my god! I’ve fallen asleep already.
  • Why are they learning from you and not from Ken? That was an hour and 15 mins that we could all have spent listening to Ken instead of to you. Why are you teaching? What is it for?
  • Who died and made you king?
  • I don’t want to interfere. I see what you are doing as very helpful but I do not see how I could become a part of it. My style of teaching and learning is different.
  • (later) There’s an interesting recent discovery I can imagine sharing with your group: that sexual orientation is just a pattern of special love and hate relationships, and can therefore be undone (so we are no longer attracted to anyone of any gender).
    But your class feels saturated already by your discoveries.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!
(this is a reference to a scene from Gladiator)

I notice apprehension about how my thoughts will be received. I notice concern. I notice worry about ‘hurting’ your feelings (which means I am empathising with weakness instead of strength - it reveals my lack of faith in you).

But I have learned to be prepared not to hear from people again. I hand out forgiveness lessons like cupcakes and see what happens.

Subject: Re: Comments

Lyn:

Dear Freyr,

Respectfully we have returned your donation…

We feel our continued interaction is not helpful nor healing to you or us….

Go bless you in your own healing process, and good luck and fortune on your path …

Sincerely,
Tim Wise.

Freyr:

Was it something I said.

Forgive, and you will see this differently.