Want to talk?

Email thread sparked by my post on /r/FACIM

Mike

Hello freyr/grumpyfreyr :)

I nabbed your email from here: https://freyrlepage.com/true-spirituality-youtube-channel

After checking out your post here: https://reddit.com/r/FACIM/comments/l18ggq/conversations_with_teachers/

I read your post here which spoke to me and is prompting this email: https://freyrlepage.com/sfacim

I think you and I have something in common, which is that we both have studied the course in earnest for some time, and have found that people like each other who aren’t fresh-faced beginners or outright pretenders are hard to find. I’m actually not sure what happens if we come in contact, the universe might explode like theorized in bad sci-fi movies when you touch your former self!

In any case, I identified a lot with your post. I’ve found that I’ve mostly had to tread my path alone without any (explicit) learning partners who could talk about the course with me. Of course, that in itself has been a lesson.

I wondered if you might want to talk and just have an honest to God conversation about the course and life and such. I know it might be hard to believe in this day, but I don’t want to try to preach at you or act like I’m some level I’m not. Just good healthy chit-chat. If you’re up for it, I’d love to do a FaceTime session or similar some time. I find text pretty tedious for an informal conversation.

If it helps you feel better about such a cold solicitation, I’m spot on for all but two of your criteria here: https://freyrlepage.com/audience

Namely, doing The Work (although I am familiar with/have had brush with Byron Katie material), and having read Radical Honesty (but I’m not thin-skinned if that’s a worry).

Let me know.

Best,

Mike

Freyr

There was a time, not long ago, I would have leaped at such an offer. I used to complain to Jules that I want more people to play with (the game we play is good, but more players is always better).

Recently there’s been a glut of people wanting to talk to me and all I want to do is have a nice long rest, catch up on my anime and forgive my dad.

I need to be more selective, or perhaps just less inviting, especially to those who haven’t done the reading.

Most seem to flame out because they don’t do The Work, so they don’t investigate their stories about me, and I don’t see it as my responsibility to correct anyone else’s story about me.

Or because they are in the manipulative speech paradigm (without knowing it and knowing there’s an alternative - see Radical Honesty) and hear everything I say through that filter.

I think you and I have something in common

We’ll see.

I’m actually not sure what happens if we come in contact, the universe might explode like theorized in bad sci-fi movies when you touch your former self!

When titans collide

Of course, that in itself has been a lesson.

Isn’t it.

I wondered if you might want to talk and just have an honest to God conversation about the course and life and such. I know it might be hard to believe in this day, but I don’t want to try to preach at you or act like I’m some level I’m not. Just good healthy chit-chat. If you’re up for it, I’d love to do a FaceTime session or similar some time. I find text pretty tedious for an informal conversation.

You have a lot to learn. I’m always suspicious of the words “if you” when I hear them out of my mouth. They tell me I’m trying to hide my attachment to outcomes and trying to get the other person to reveal themselves so I don’t have to reveal the true contents of my own mind. Everything about that paragraph is defence/manipulation.

And video chat is a nice way of avoiding putting your thoughts into writing where you can see them and undo them. You’re not ready to hold yourself accountable for your words in real time. You are far too tolerant of mind wondering.

In any case I have no interest in chit-chat. Got no time for that.

I find text pretty tedious for an informal conversation.

So you’re trying to avoid formality. You used an email address you found in a blog post, instead of paying for consultation, which means you’re looking for equality: someone at your level who needs you too. That’s not me Mike.

Now I want to blog this too. It’s been hilarious.

I’m not thin-skinned

Is that so?

Well however thick it is, I’m sure we can cut through it.

Mike

Okay, Freyr. Have it your way :)

You took it upon yourself to cut my words to pieces as if they were an attack on you that you had to ferociously defend. I can’t convince you that I’m not after you in some underhanded way if you are as predisposed to believe so as it would seem.

For the record, I have nothing against talking in text and I’m happy to do so. I like talking to people face to face, and thought it might be especially nice to do so with a fellow course student. We all have egos and ego-driven needs until we reach that Jesus level. If there is anything I was hoping to “get” from you it was chance to connect with another course student, and one who seems to have been studying for a while in earnest. I haven’t been blessed in that way. You mentioned a “Jules” you can talk with. That’s nice. I haven’t found my Jules, so I guess that’s maybe the sort of thing my ego desire hoped for. Is it so bad? It sounds like you quite like your Jules, lol

Well, the offer still stands, Freyr. If you’d like to talk, continuing this way over email, and/or face to face (which I think would cut through the amazing array of defenses erected here quite quickly), I’m right here.

Take it easy, Freyr.

Mike

Freyr

Huh. You were right about having a thick skin; I won’t waste my words on you, but I might keep talking if I can blog it.

Mike

If you think it’s helpful/worthwhile to blog this (might be, I read some of your previous conversations, found them interesting and eye-opening in some ways…although definitely a niche audience as you pointed out on your site), go for it.

To be clear, though, I’m not desperate for you to keep talking. I can find a battle of wills and words a stone’s throw away on any corner of the internet. We can find stuff to disagree on. We can find “chinks” in each other’s armor to expose one another and try to out one another for having some weakness or masked ill-intent. It’s really easy. I am a Redditor among other internet associations, you know :) This is old hat.

I genuinely wanted to have an easygoing conversation, preferably face-to-face, as I said. We might smile and put up a pretense of not wanting to kill the other…could be nice. But I totally understand if that’s too jarring a thing to accept from some rando on the internet in this day and age, or if you have some vey real disliking for talk outside of text medium.

So that said, you are going to have to offer some “ping” to my “pong” if I’m not just going to sound off into the void. I’m not sure where you want go, so I’ll just leave it here and leave it to you.

Best

Mike

Freyr

It sounds like you quite like your Jules, lol

Holy relationships isn’t about who you like. Me and Jules have been studying and training together for 10 years. There’s enormous trust between us, but that’s really a reflection of the trust we both have in our teacher. That’s really the nub of it. We have the same teacher.


I can find a battle of wills and words a stone’s throw away on any corner of the internet.

There’s no battle to be found here except the battle you bring with you.

We can find “chinks” in each other’s armor to expose one another and try to out one another for having some weakness or masked ill-intent.

That’s not really my purpose. It’s not about exposing the other person, but about exposing myself. With every word I say, I reveal something of myself, which I can then look at with Jesus. Your weaknesses (if you have any - I don’t know if you have any) are of little interest to me.

You’ll get a lot more out of this (and also your life generally) if you do the reading and The Work.

Mike

Okay. It’s not really my style to reciprocate in a point by point fashion, but I feel I get the gist of where you are coming from.

I’m not sure if we are doing anything, or can do anything here other than attack each other, or purport to know what the other should read or work on to get what (to the other) seems the appropriate level or perspective.

I have to admit I find it a bit odd how adamant/confident you seem to be that your narrow list of essential prerequisites (for being a “good” student on the path?) are absolute.

I can understand the Course as a bedrock, and DU as a setter of one’s orientation to the Course. I can see the usefulness of The Work, and I’m sure it has served you, but I’m unconvinced I’d be unable to progress without it (in that exact form).

You didn’t ask for it, but I’ll give it regardless: the piece of advice I would offer you is to look up and review every Ken Wapnick class/book/article with the word “Kind” in the title. I think your approach to people indicates a glaring lack of empathy that isn’t really optional in the Course. It’s not to say we must be warm and syrupy and sentimental (definitely not), but to disregard any feelings another might have to what you have to say or do, to plow forward with your thoughts with no regard to others (because they should be able to handle it, or it’s “their problem”) is in no way in keeping with the Course. Your blunt force trauma approach to conversation has its place, but I think you might have gotten the idea it is virtuous or high-minded across the board…it’s not.

I don’t know what else to add, so I’ll leave it at that.

Take care,

Mike

Freyr

Thanks for everything.

Mike

Thanks for everything.

Are you sure? I have an ego, yes, if your aim in being cold and curt towards someone simply trying to extend an offer of conversation was to prove that, I suppose you’ve succeeded. I feel like I was somehow tested here without ever intending to enter any such trial. I understand that you are the screen that I’m projecting onto. You’ve given me so little, that certainly most of this conversation reflects more on me, than you. If that was your intention, I guess that’s clever…and perhaps we “accomplished” something here, but I feel a void of any kindness, that I’m not sure anyone should be lacking in their endeavors to learn in the Course.

Best,

Mike

Freyr

I was being sincere.

I have no aim with regards to you. But congratulations on discovering your ego. To me that’s a cause for celebration.

If there is a test, it’s not one I’m running. I do not know how you will respond to anything, nor what I will say next. I just watch the unfolding of the way you think interacting with the way I think. It’s like a beautiful dance. There’s no conflict.

You share yourself with me, I share myself with you, then you share yourself with me and so on.

So for example you have shared with me that you feel on trial. Thank you.

Each step of the dance makes forgiveness that much easier.

I feel a void of any kindness

Another beautiful thing to share. Thank you.


I understand that you are the screen that I’m projecting onto. You’ve given me so little, that certainly most of this conversation reflects more on me, than you.

Initially I gave you more, telling you directly. But you showed me that you aren’t ready to listen to me, so I give you a blank screen onto which to project. Without any ‘me’ there (or as little interference as possible), you can see your own message more clearly. You get to listen to yourself. That’s the best gift I can offer you. You don’t need my advice, you need yours.


Still working through my thoughts…

I have an ego, yes

I did not know that. I thought you were like me.

Thank you for telling me.

Mike

Grumpy, I think you’re a lot less farther along then you think you are. If you think your oddly exact concoction of the Course, DU, The Work, and Radical Honesty is the one and only path…and additionally throwing around terms that suggest you are dropping me scraps from a “higher” place and I should be grateful for your attention or perhaps rather I’m some bother to you (“Got no time for that”, “you’re looking for equality: someone at your level who needs you too. That’s not me”)…I think you might be oblivious to your rather overt superiority complex.

You claim to be a big proponent of Ken Wapnick. I cannot for the life of me fathom that one would think conversing with anyone in this way, over the internet or in real life, would be in any way in line with what Ken advocated or stood for. It’s almost as if you maybe read one of Ken’s scholarly articles and never watched or somehow inoculated yourself from the eminent kindness and compassion he radiates when actually interacting with other human beings.

It’s funny to think of it, because I certainly never intended it, to come to such a base level of distinction…but if we must have it, and it seems that you thrive on establishing who is the teacher and who is the student (with predictable results), I think I am actually the teacher here. You have a lot to learn, Grumpy. You should do what I suggested, and sincerely review some of Ken’s work (audio, or better video…so you can grasp that these aren’t just abstract concepts to Ken) specifically with “Kind” or “Kindness” in the title, or perhaps “Mercy”.

Mike

Freyr

Thanks for all your help.

Forgive, and you will see this differently.