Weekly Questions and Answers, 02/02/2005

This week's questions/topics:

Q #666  Is there a mind outside of time that creates situations?
Q #667  If there is only oneness, then who are we "extending" to ?

Q #668  Who is "Peniel"?
Q #669  Questions about bach-flower remedies and dowsing.

Chronological List of All Questions.
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Q #666: After reading some of your answers I've got a picture that there is some mind outside time, space and partly consciousness that creates situations, conditions, even determines place and time of birth, and gets you to particular places and people -– all this according to the content of that mind. Is this impression true?

A: Yes, it is. The mind of the Sonship that has chosen separation is asleep; dreaming of a world where it is in charge, and making all things in this world reflect its choice for separation from God. It is outside of the time and space it fabricates because the mind is thought not form, and cannot "be outside itself." As A Course in Miracles teaches, its thoughts can be projected into form, but do not leave the mind: "Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them. Ideas are of the mind. What is projected out, and seems to be external to the mind, is not outside at all, but an effect of what is in, and has not left its source" (T.26.VII.4:7,8,9). God shares His creative power with His Son who is one with Him, and when the mind chooses separation the son projects the guilt for making this choice, which is a misuse of this power. This projected guilt is the origin of the circumstances of our lives that you refer to. They are effects of the mind’s choice to separate. Their purpose is to prove to the mind that it is right in believing that the separation is real and has had real effects. The strategy works, because when we choose separation we do in fact experience ourselves in bodies having all kinds of relationships, and finding ourselves in situations that seem to be out of our control. The immediate specifics that occur, such as plumbing breakdowns or car accidents, are inevitable effects of the mind’s choice to identify with the ego thought system. All kinds of breakdowns are built in to this system because it is founded on an important ego rule: "Seek and do not find"(T.12.V.7:1). We can be certain that whatever circumstances occur, or whatever experiences we have in the world, they will never satisfy us nor meet our real need. We will not find what we seek; the world will always fail us. We can also be certain that life in the world will always succeed in fulfilling the ego’s goal to make us feel victimized by forces beyond our control.

Denial is one of the important tricks the mind plays on itself to make its plan work. Once the mind chooses separation it denies that it has made the choice and dissociates itself from its creative power. This does not mean that there is a power external to ourselves that is manipulating events, like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. It means that the mind agrees to subject itself to the ego’s laws by identifying with the body, thus believing that life begins with birth and ends with death. The laws of God are thereby denied, and an insane reversal of these laws seems to make us victims of things beyond our control. That is precisely what the mind intends for us to believe in order to support its claim that the separation is real. In choosing separation the collective mind of the Sonship has filled the world with accidents and an endless barrage of events. This is not the work of the individual mind. When the individual mind chooses victimization, we can be sure some "accident" will happen to "make us feel victimized." This does not mean that we put a truck in our path to hit us, it means we were looking for a truck to hit us, actually hoping one would come along to hit us, to give form to our chosen (and cherished) victimization theme.

The limits that time and space impose are "real" in our experience of them: the body will in fact die, and we cannot stop the sun from rising. Since we are asleep and believe our dream is real, we are not asked to disbelieve these occurrences, but to question our interpretation of them. We interpret them according to the ego or the Holy Spirit. The ego sees these occurrences as proof that the world is real and we are powerless victims of its whims. The Holy Spirit, Who represents the part of the mind that knows it is a mind, teaches that they prove that we have a mind, with power that can be misused by making a physical world where God can be excluded so we can carry on with our separation scripts. Those are the two possible thoughts/content that the mind chooses between. Although the specific form involved in any situation may be the same, it can be used for the ego’s purpose (the separation/world is real) or the Holy Spirit’s (separation is impossible/the world is an illusion).

Q #667: A Course in Miracles says, "Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within" (T.18.VI.1:5,6). Regarding this, I read in the book, The Disappearance of the Universe: "If there is nothing else, then there are no obstacles, and no friction to impede your extension." What does that mean? If there is only oneness who are we extending to? Would you talk about extension?

A: Jesus uses the term extension in two ways. First, he uses it to describe the ongoing process of creation in Heaven, wherein spirit extends itself: God creating Christ. Since Heaven is beyond time and space, extension cannot be understood as a temporal or a spatial process. Therefore, there is no "from" and "to." Jesus also uses the term in reference to the Holy Spirit’s or Christ’s vision being extended in the form of forgiveness or peace. Forgiveness and peace extend naturally, just as love naturally extends itself. Our part in that process has only to do with removing the blocks to that extension; and the blocks are mainly our insistence on seeing our interests as separate from others, rather than the same. Thus we exclude others (in our minds) from the all-inclusive embrace of forgiveness and peace.

In this second sense of extension, Jesus is contrasting the Holy Spirit’s use of the law of mind with the ego’s use, which is always projection. Since ideas leave not their source, what is extended remains in the mind, where it is reflected in the world of illusion. This is difficult for us to understand because we are so identified with our physical experience in a world of time and space that we think is real. Extension is always of the mind and is never between two separate entities.

Q #668: Has Christ chosen an individual named Peniel to be his spokesperson exclusively? I have been observing his claims and am concerned about not recognizing him as Christ's direct voice!

A: There is nothing in A Course in Miracles about this person. He apparently is associated with Edgar Cayce’s predictions, which would represent a thought system different from the Course’s. Yet, the Course recognizes that the universal course can come in thousands of forms -- A Course in Miracles is "a special form of the universal course" -- and that "Helpers" may appear in many forms as well: "Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God" (see M.1.3,4; C.5.1). Jesus is saying in the Course that people are guided in different ways, and so you should follow your own guidance, discerning that as best you can.

Q #669: I have been drawn to dowsing Bach flower remedies, which are said to work energetically, with helpful results for friends, myself, my son, and my cat. I recently had an experience in which the remedies I offered another were perfect for me. And once I had realized this, it seemed then that none of the specific remedies were needed any more by either of us. I felt a rush of gratitude that, while I was dowsing for others, I also was benefiting energetically from the remedies. My sense is that I have glimpsed the difference between the healed healer and the unhealed healer, which now makes a lot of sense. I cannot heal anyone other than myself.

If any further remedy dowsing is to be done by me, rather than my offering my ego-invested services to others, I guess it'll be because someone else has come to me as my healer. That is, so I can gratefully receive the message of whatever remedies come up for them for myself too. Perhaps this explains why two different people dowsing for remedies for a third person could come up with different remedies? It doesn't make dowsing inaccurate -- it, along with everything (and everyone!), is simply here as a messenger for/of love. In a word, we are each others' healers, and knowing that helps us to laugh at the ego-concept of ourselves, helps us to recall that there is no threat. Can you comment?

A: It sounds as if you’ve had a genuinely helpful experience around healing, coming in the specific context of Bach flower remedies. To clarify further the nature of your experience, it can be helpful to remember that everything (and everyone) is actually a symbol within our mind. And their meaning -- as either a messenger of love or a messenger of guilt and fear (T.19.IV.A.i) -- depends, not on anything about them, but on which teacher we have chosen to view them with.

The healing A Course in Miracles is speaking about happens when we recognize that our interests are the same as our brother’s or sister’s -- we are all looking for a way out of the painful, fearful, guilt-ridden thought system we have been embracing and operating within all of our lives. With that recognition, we will then experience the healing in some specific form that will have a special meaning for us -- the Bach flower remedies, for example, in the situation you describe. But again, the specific form is nothing but a symbol of the underlying content in the mind. As you observe, if you were to be identified with your ego, you would see yourself as having a special gift with the Bach flowers that you give to others who are separate and different from you, with their own special needs, different from your own -- you would be acting as the unhealed healer (T.7.V.7:1,2,3,4, S.3.III). And so the same form or symbol can be used as either an instrument for separating or an instrument for healing, depending on our choice of teachers. And when we recognize that, it becomes clear, as you note, that the specific forms or remedies become secondary, or irrelevant, to the real healing in the mind.