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Would the Holy Spirit ever Guide me to invest in real estate?
Four years ago my father gave me some money to buy some property. I have the feeling that buying property is not very “Course in Miracles” of me, so I'm in conflict about the whole thing. Can I invest my money and still do ACIM properly? Am I being a fraud if I participate in these things (insurance, investment, etc.)? I would be very grateful for some enlightened words.
Thanks for writing and sharing what's on your mind. Where your treasure is there will your heart be also. It is helpful to think of the word "investment" as meaning "what you value." The belief that this world holds anything of value is the "source" of all fear, guilt, and anxiety. Valuing is wanting, and it is helpful to hold all things you think you want up to the Light of the Holy Spirit. In Lesson 133 in ACIM "I will not value what is valueless" Christ gives 3 "tests" of choice "...by which you can distinguish everything from nothing."
1. "If you choose a thing that will not last forever, what you chose is valueless. A temporary value is without all value."
2. "If you choose to take a thing away from someone else, you will have nothing left. This is because, when you deny his right to everything, you have denied your own. You therefore will not recognize the things you really have, denying they are there."
3. "Why is the choice you make of value to you? What attracts your mind to it? What purpose does it serve?"
"If you feel any guilt about your choice, you have allowed the ego's goals to come between the real alternatives.... All things are valuable or valueless, worthy or not of being sought at all, entirely desirable or not worth the slightest effort to obtain."
Beneath the complexities of the ego belief system and its projected time-space cosmos, the Truth of Spirit is extremely simple. In approaching the Truth within, in moving in the direction of Awakening, let the Holy Spirit Guide you every step of the way. The Holy Spirit will Guide you in what would be most helpful to invest in during the "process" of undoing/unlearning. In the parable of David, first came the Guidance to use "time" to meditate and read spiritual texts and contemplate and question the underlying beliefs. Guidance received on the surface of consciousness led from job to job, relationship to relationship, and place to place as I uncovered and exposed the ego belief system within the mind. Debts were handled, mortgages and credit cards assumed and paid off, arrangements were made to handle obligations and duties that had been made. The "teaching" and "missionary" work of the last decade was completed under the backdrop of various nonprofit variations using the name "Messengers of Peace" and later "Foundation for the Awakening Mind." Then came the Guidance to release all remnants of attempting to value something of the world. This has sometimes been called renunciation or sacred vows to God, and I express it as singleness of Purpose. In this Purpose there is Joy and Peace—there are no possessions, no striving, no effort, no reciprocity, and definitely no lack. Divine Providence is free of cares and worries, for the Holy Spirit is the Provider and nothing is personal.
It is most important to understand that Awakening is the same in Content for everyone, yet the form varies enormously, and in this sense, the Curriculum is "highly individualized." At every step of the way, the Holy Spirit offers Gentle Guidance as to what to think, say, and do. There is a feeling of calmness and ease that comes from making decisions with the Holy Spirit and releasing ego goals and expectations. It is a big turnaround from pursuing ego "future goals" to accepting the Spirit's Purpose of Present Peace. Yet in the Holy Spirit the seeming "task" is already accomplished. Accepting Atonement (the Correction Which is already accomplished) is the aim of everything, the aim of all apparent effort and dedication. It is the aim of your work with “A Course In Miracles.”
The guilt and fear you feel with regards to money and property is a direct result of the investment in the ego belief system. While the ego seems valuable to the mind, guilt and fear will seem to be valuable and attractive. Ego, guilt, and fear go together, yet the Holy Spirit's Purpose offers an Alternative which has nothing to do with the ego. Money and property are entirely neutral to the Holy Spirit, for the cosmos is nothing more than symbols that the Holy Spirit uses to Awaken the sleeping mind. Things and concepts do not defile. It is the ego's use of things and concepts that maintain a false sense of self, and guilt arises from the attempt to deny the Reality of Christ and God. The Holy Spirit uses the symbols of the world to release the belief in the reality of the world:
"As Mediator between the two worlds, He knows what you have need of and what will not hurt you. Ownership is a dangerous concept if it is left to you. The ego wants to have things for salvation, for possession is its law. Possession for its own sake is the ego's fundamental creed, a basic cornerstone in the churches it builds to itself. And at its altar it demands you lay all of the things it bids you get, leaving you no joy in them.... Therefore ask not of yourself what you need, for you do not know, and your advice to yourself will hurt you. For what you think you need will merely serve to tighten up your world against the light, and render you unwilling to question the value that this world can really hold for you.
Only the Holy Spirit knows what you need. For He will give you all things that do not block the way to light. And what else could you need? In time, He gives you all the things that you need have, and will renew them as long as you have need of them. He will take nothing from you as long as you have any need of it. And yet He knows that everything you need is temporary, and will but last until you step aside from all your needs and realize that all of them have been fulfilled. Therefore He has no investment in the things that He supplies, except to make certain that you will not use them on behalf of lingering in time. He knows that you are not at home there, and He wills no delay to wait upon your joyous homecoming.
Leave, then, your needs to Him. He will supply them with no emphasis at all upon them. What comes to you of Him comes safely, for He will ensure it never can become a dark spot, hidden in your mind, and kept to hurt you. Under His guidance you will travel light and journey lightly, for His sight is ever on the journey's end, which is His goal." (T-13.VII.10-13)
Be still a moment, and catch a glimpse of the State of Mind to Which the Holy Spirit leads. You are being Guided to an experience of carefree Joy and Peace and Happiness. Such is Divine Providence. While the mind believes it has needs and projects them onto the body and world, the Holy Spirit offers miracles of perception in which those needs are met in highly unconventional and nontraditional ways. The parable of the life of David is sprinkled with these miracle stories, yet they but witness to the experience that in following the Holy Spirit, all seeming needs are met without effort.
The recent tour of gatherings was representative of Divine Providence in action, so to speak. Resta and Kathy and I were taken in, housed, fed, and cared for by many angels (Holy Spirit) along the way who blessed us at every turn. Donations and love offerings (Holy Spirit) covered the expenses of the travels, and it would take a book to hold all the miracle stories and synchronistic happenings of this 2-week trip. It would take volumes to share all the miracle stories of the parable of David for the last 15 years. I share them freely with those I meet, for they but witness to another way of looking upon this world that is not of this world.
My message is simple: I am Calling you out of the thinking of the world. I Ask everyone to join the Purpose the Holy Spirit has Given the Awakening mind. It is a Purpose that Gives everything away freely—It Gives All to All. No one is turned away from this Purpose. Everyone is Called, and now is the time to listen to the Spirit and accept our Inheritance as the Child of the Living God. The mind that Answers the Call to return Home will not be disappointed. In devotion to one Purpose, everything is Handled by the Holy Spirit. Fears dissolve away in the Light. Worries of the future vanish. Guilt about the past is forgotten as the remembrance of the Christ dawns in awareness.
The security you seek will only be found and experienced through following the Spirit within. Invest your mind's energy in the Present Moment, and let the Spirit tell you what it is that you are to do or not to do. Everything we believed about this world gets undone, and the question facing the sleeping mind is always: To Be or not to Be. Christ Is. All struggle is the attempt to deny One's True Identity as Christ. To Be only seems to require a relinquishment or letting go to the ego. In Truth, there is nothing real to let go of. For God creates Christ Whole and Complete in Spirit, and the illusion of Waking gives way to Mind Awake. Mind Awake is Constant and Certain and Eternal.
The Holy Spirit will use the concepts in which you believe to strengthen your commitment to Purpose your function offers. Then as this commitment grows, you will aim it at the true Purpose of commitment: accepting the Atonement. All earthly commitments are redirected to Waking by the Holy Spirit. Your task is simply to be still and accept the Guidance and instructions offered you in prayer. Holy Spirit meets the mind wherever and whatever it believes it is. It is really this simple.
I am with you all the way, for our Self is One in God.
Love and Encouragement always,
How can we live practically in this world without competition?
You have said that from the Course's point of view, competition is undesirable. My question is, what do we do in this plane we live in, where there is competition in everything such as competition for a job or promotion? How can we live practically without competition?
Jesus began with practical instructions 2000 years ago. His teachings then were also greeted with much resistance, as if they were impractical. He said things like: Take no thought for what you should wear and what you should eat. In terms of vocation, he simply said: Follow me. It did not matter if they were tax collectors or fishermen. It did not matter if they were single or married. He just looked into their eyes and said two words: Follow me. For a young wealthy businessman, he said: Sell all that you have, give to the poor, and follow me. When a man protested that his father had just died, Jesus said: Let the dead bury the dead. There was not even an allowance for a period of grieving, because Jesus was the "way, the truth and the life", and had nothing but good news to share, nothing to grieve about. In terms of vocation, Jesus said: Look at the lilies of the field. They neither spin nor toil. The lilies certainly did not fight or compete, and Jesus said, Look how our heavenly Father has clothed them.
When you study "A Course In Miracles," you find the message of Jesus has not changed, not in 2000 years and it never will. For myself, I had to realize that in order to serve God completely, in order to serve one master, I would have to learn how to trust. There is no way I could even attempt to live his message without taking a leap of trust. In the workbook, Jesus says we believe we would starve if we didn't have stacks of green paper strips and metal discs. He says that all the things that we believe support and sustain us in this world are just foolish beliefs made to take the place of truth. He told me that the truth would sustain me in all circumstances, without exception. He repeated his teaching of 2000 years ago: Seek first the kingdom of Heaven, and that all other things would then be given.
How is it possible to maintain contact with Holy Spirit amidst all the busyness, chaos, and ego-chatter of the world?
This question is asked at the beginning of the following audio, which is part of an interview with David Hoffmeister, Paul & Candace Doyle: http://www.livingmiraclescenter.org/MP3/QandA_audios/DC10.mp3
If it doesn't ultimately matter what I do for work, then how can I decide?
As I learn more about remembering and being my Divine Self, it becomes more apparent that it is not important what I do for work in the “world.” Maybe that is why I cannot decide what I want to do with my life here?
Your question is a version of beginning to step aside and letting the Spirit within lead the way. Wherever you seem to go and whatever you seem to do, your thoughts and words and attitudes and actions are demonstrating to everyone who you believe you are. Once the mind is clear and illuminated, there is no question about the words and actions that seem to flow from alignment with God. In approaching this sacred alignment it is always important to ask "What is this for?" with regard to the things that pass through the mind. This question is an undoing or unraveling mechanism for returning the mind to Divine Silence. As ego motives and desires are seen as meaningless, the Meaning or Identity that the ego sought to deny becomes evident.
What the world calls "work" is a backdrop for undoing the ego until there is nothing left to obstruct the awareness of Divine Providence. As the mind Awakens it learns to follow Inner Guidance, Which is ever Present, and the mind discovers that all perceived "needs" are met in following this Guidance. Divine Ease and God's Grace are reflected in a clear and open mind which has forgiven, thus transcending the belief in worldly problems. Once the belief in scarcity and reciprocity is released, there is no desire to "get" anything from anyone. Wholeness knows no lack or need, and every step in the direction of Wholeness is helpful in Awakening.
In Awakening it is important to remember to work with Love, and to let all actions be a reflection of a tranquil mind. As the seeming debts of false belief give way to forgiveness, the seeming debts of money are handled by the Holy Spirit without an emphasis upon them. Expressing God's Love ceases to seem awkward and seems more and more natural. Open communication is the priority and all ego attempts to achieve and get and fix and accumulate fall away. Work done with Love leaves the mind open to rest in God. Work done in Love leaves the mind in a natural State of Being, open to the I Need Do Nothing Solution. Work done in Love eliminates all "shoulds" and "ought tos" and "have tos." Everything flows from the Highest Good, the Will of God and the Will of God's Beloved Creation. All that remains is a Song of gratitude.
The Call to Awaken is the Call into Divine Providence. To accept the Inner Guidance is to be without a problem. Trust in Guidance is most practical. There is nothing else to trust.
Love & Blessings,
Should I release ALL goals as Lesson 25 says, and if so, how would I survive in business?
Lesson 25 says that all goals are of the ego, and asks me to relinquish them. Does this mean that I should not have any goals in my life? Should I then not even plan my day? How am I to survive in the business world where everything is goals and quotas?
ACIM gives the goal of forgiveness to replace the ego's goals of form outcomes that maintain the belief in separation from God. The Holy Spirit works with the mind, whatever and wherever it believes itself to be, and helps loosen the self-concept that the ego made to take the place of Christ.
I held a gathering many years ago in which the following q&a dialogue took place:
"Q: I have to go back to work today and do some computer work and some other things before tomorrow morning. I'd rather stay right here. You talk about intuition and Spirit leading you. Now how do I do that?
D: The Holy Spirit starts from where and what the mind believes it is. Suppose you believe you're a woman who has a particular job, and tonight that looks like having to do work at a computer. Let's suppose that this scenario is all just a motion picture of a belief system that you have, and that this is simply the way that you perceive yourself at this moment. The Holy Spirit doesn't try to yank this web of beliefs apart. The Holy Spirit will use those things that you believe in, to help you realize that you are much more than the self-concepts in which you believe. This discussion, for example, is bringing witness to your mind's desire to wake up and remember your reality as the Son of God. All one has to have is the willingness, and the Holy Spirit will undo the false self-concepts and replace them with forgiveness. Start with this prayer: "Abide with me, Holy Spirit. Guide me in what to say and do and where to go." If you welcome and trust Him, you will experience immediate results.
Q: I'm having some trouble with the description of duality saying that it's our perception that's the problem. I work in a business where I have to see things exactly as they are happening, not as I might like them to happen. So, the problem for me is understanding how to get to that place that you're talking about.
D: It certainly seems that when one has identified one's self, for example, as an employee in a business, that there are "external" constraints and restrictions to abide by. For example, let's say one is identified as a manager. As a manager, one seemingly has to hold other people accountable for doing certain things. A manager monitors and evaluates employees, directs them, conducts performance reviews, and so forth. Also, every manager has a "boss" whose job it is to make sure the manager is accountable. What one must do is look closely and go deeper into the belief system that is producing the faulty perception, that is producing the scenario I have just described. One must be willing to examine what one's priorities are, what is most important in one's life. Is peace of mind one's only priority?
I've had to take a good look at everything I believed, turn inward for strength and support, and realize with certainty that the Holy Spirit is my only "Boss" and forgiveness my only function. One may say, ”How practical is that? What do you do when you have two bosses, if you have the Holy Spirit and your employer telling you two different things?" Again, the Holy Spirit meets the mind where it believes it is. He works with the mind, helping it to exchange accepted self-concepts for the more expansive self-concepts that approach true forgiveness.
As you lay aside judgment and change your mind about the world, what happens on the screen of the world will be a symbolic representation of that mind shift and of your perception of relationships. So really we're back to just saying, ”Okay, Holy Spirit, work with me right now where I believe I am and help me loosen my mind from these false beliefs. Help me let go of the ego and my perception will be healed." Trust in the Holy Spirit for everything, and He will take care of you in ways you can't even envision."
Let the Holy Spirit Guide you in all things and everything will work out for the best. The inner journey goes very deep, but the Holy Spirit Guides surely and there are many free resources available for the asking. I am joined with you in the Awakening. You are dearly loved.
Blessings of Peace,
I'm searching for my Calling but not hearing anything specific... can you help?
I have spent the last year in turmoil over losing my house, giving up belongings, garden and pool, lots of space to smaller space; then moving in alone. I have been searching for a calling—the path where I am to be used in the Spirit. It seems as if Spirit is holding out for something, as I am still waiting for direction. Please help.
Thanks for writing. Yes, the Holy Spirit is Calling you. Everyone is Called, though in this world few seem to listen to or answer the Call. Yet nothing of the world matters to Eternity. Peace and Happiness are a matter of decision and the willingness to decide for God. The Call can seem to get covered over with many distractions and ego pursuits, yet the Call remains. The Call, if followed, will Guide one toward the Holy Instant in which Love simply Is. Everything I share is Given freely, as assistance in answering the Call. With a little willingness, the door to the turnaround will be apparent. Make use of all that is offered. Take the baby steps of a little willingness. And above all expect miracles, for they are natural and a reflection of our Heavenly Inheritance.
A deep and thorough talk (1 hour, 23 minutes) about Divine Providence, including why you cannot be a CEO and simultaneously be Enlightened!
General description: The Course is taking us to God dependency. Person-based dependency is stressful, and the scarcity principal is played out whether we are protecting wealth or trying to get it. Divine Providence can only give. When we go deeper into Divine Providence, it transcends reciprocity entirely. There will only be peace of mind when we are dependent on God.
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfdHvxtLM-Y
Form and Guidance video: If the goal is Peace of Mind, and form doesn't matter, how do we deal with things of the world?
General description: If the goal is Peace of Mind and form does not matter, how do we deal with things of the world such as locking doors and taking out insurance? While we seem to be in the world we are not asked to overthrow those laws but to follow guidance on practical matters. We don't need to ask "is this spiritual or not?". These things are like props coming in to use. We need to be open and prayerful as to the use of the symbols. When we are tuned in and listening there is no problem.
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT3YBDUmIYQ
Time's End Audio: David speaks about the ideas of "saving for retirement", borrowing money, debt, credit cards, etc...
This is an hour-long discussion with David and Jason which followed the viewing of a profound Star Trek episode called "Time's End" about the unreality of time. This advanced discussion goes deeply into examining the concepts of "borrowing and going into debt", "saving for retirement", and being "financially responsible" as opposed to true Giving, Stewardship, and Divine Providence. Enjoy!
Listen to the audio here: http://www.livingmiraclescenter.org/MP3/QandA_audios/Star_Trek_Times_End.mp3
How can I overcome my feelings of shame around financial irresponsibility and debt?
Being a student of ACIM, I am aware of how giving your life to God is a serious undertaking. I seem now to be torn between really trusting God and wanting the trust of the world. I have debt that I owe and cannot right now pay back. It greatly distresses me because I want to make things right with the people I owe and I just don't have the money right now. I become scared that I will never get it paid back and will always wander under this burden of being a failure financially. I am really trying to be under no laws but Gods. And I am really aware of my true inheritance. I just want to be free. As I write this, I am getting a clear message that I am free; I am just going through a period of sorting out—and it's pretty uncomfortable. My irresponsibility in the finance department is one of shame and distress sometimes because my family was so successful. I do have great need of seeing this differently. I used to base all my hopes and dreams and visions of "success" in dollar signs. That is changing, but not completely. I still must see this as a way to measure my worth. My worth was established by God and I need to remember that. I have a long, long way to go spiritually. I am still looking at the two worlds. How do I resolve this? Can you help? I'm sorry to be a bother. I really need understanding.
Rest assured that a request from you is never a bother and that you never need to feel sorry for anything or apologize for anything. Our Worth is truly established by God and nothing that is said or made or done or undone can change Whom God created Perfect. Together we are questioning the ego belief system so that the Holy Spirit may reveal the Truth of our Identity in God. Your questions are sincere and there are beliefs about debt and responsibility that need to be uncovered and released. The fear of future consequences (ie., "I become scared that I will never get it paid back") is only a cover or distraction away from the fear of the Present Moment. The Present Moment is the Point of Intimacy with Christ and God, and nothing is so fearful to the ego as the Moment in which it is undone and dissolved away forever. This is another way of describing the resistance to extended and deep meditation.
It is Helpful to be reminded that financial debt and financial irresponsibility are only projections of the debt of ego belief and the denial of accepting the Atonement/Correction for the error (our SOLE responsibility). You are not responsible for the error, yet you will need to see the error exactly as it is (in mind) in order to accept the Correction, which is our responsibility. The cosmos was the ego's attempt at "seeing" the error in form, thereby concealing itself (the error) from being uncovered as merely a belief in the mind. The ego was made by false belief and is undone by withdrawing all belief from it. The ego is anger and guilt and fear and uses these emotions along with denial and projection to maintain these unreal emotions which keep the Light beneath it concealed from awareness. The Light is buried deep within and we must go through the darkness of false belief to reach the Light of truth (the Kingdom of Heaven within).
The ego (or Satan in Christian terms) is the belief that debt is possible. It is the belief that something is lacking, something is owed, and something needs to be paid back. Debt implies a repayment for something that was borrowed or taken away, yet in God there is only completion and Eternal Giving and nothing CAN BE borrowed or taken away. The belief in debt is the same as the belief in scarcity, and this belief has nothing at all to do with God—Who is All-Loving and All-Knowing and All-Powerful. The belief in debt needs only to be raised to awareness and forgiven or released, for debt has no reality on which to stand. The Holy Spirit is sorting out the true from the false in your mind, and you can rest assured that the ego and all its concepts of debt and economics and abundance and scarcity are false. Our Inheritance is Spirit and the Holy Spirit leads directly to the remembrance of Eternal Spirit and Divine Love.
As you perceive yourself in awareness "you" have needs, and if you are willing to be a miracle-worker you will increasingly recognize those "needs" as being handled through our Higher Purpose. All needs have already been dissolved in the Atonement/Correction, yet while the mind seems to invest in the ego belief system it will experience the illusion of debt. Miracles show that the mind is sustained by the Source of Love, God, and thus the mind is willing to relinquish all false concepts of sustenance. The mind asleep (everyone who seems to walk this world and believes in its reality) believes in the "laws" of economics, scarcity, supply & demand, and reciprocity. Miracles undo these false "laws" by demonstrating that the mind is not bound by them. It is impossible to serve two masters and it is therefore impossible to serve the ego AND the Holy Spirit because they teach opposite lessons. The ego teaches imprisonment/guilt/fear and the Holy Spirit teaches freedom/innocence/joy. Financial freedom is therefore a contradiction in terms, for freedom is of and for the mind and cannot be found in specific forms such as money and possessions.
The Holy Spirit is Guiding you surely. You can trust this because it is true. The ego is being undone in your awareness and "it" seems to feel "pretty uncomfortable,” "shame,” and "distress,” because "it" seems to be vanishing. It is always Helpful to be reminded that You are not the ego, Christ is not the ego, and Spirit is forever of God and is our True Identity in God. As you become more confident in allowing miracles to be performed through you it will dawn in awareness that mind is one and there is nothing apart from mind.
I am with you every "step" of the way, for we share the same Self. Salvation from illusion is certain because no illusion can stand in the Light of Truth. We walk together on the Self same road and must recognize our Oneness to remember God. There is literally nothing "else,” for Love is All.