Let Me Make Yet Another Effort To Heal Igbo Minds
Generally, Igbos are not a spiritual people; they are people of the here and now world; they take this world rather seriously and struggle to make it in the world; they effectively compete for the things of this world; each of them is trying to become important, as the world construes social importance to be; some of them seek material wealth hoping that in obtaining wealth they would be seem as very important persons; some pursue education hoping that piling degrees after their names would make them seem prestigious. Alas, in time, like all human beings they grow old, sicken and die. Upon death their bodies rot. Worms eat their bodies; human bodies are food being prepared for worms. On the scientific level, our bodies are composed of twenty six elements, primarily carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen potassium, phosphor, sodium iron, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium and so on. Those elements are composed of electrons, protons and neutrons. Neutrons and protons are composed of quarks. Quarks and electrons were made from light (during the first minute during the big bang explosion that initiated our physical universe 13.7 billion years ago). Ultimately, the human body (as well as everything on earth, including animals, trees, stars, planets, mountains etc.) is made from light. Since light has no mass it is nothing (it is no particular thing). Actually, the original light from which material light came from is not the physical light we see with our physical eyes; it is the light of God that we took, during the big bang, and used to invent our phenomenal world. In the meantime, Igbos take the phenomenal world as real and pursue it with total vigor. Many of them make it. I am an Igbo and did what Igbos do. I was unbelievably ambitious; in my twenties I already was a PhD holder and was teaching at an American university. However, I soon learned that what the writer of Ecclesiastics in the Bible said is true: life in body, on earth is vanity upon vanity. We are nothing; all our earthly activities end in vain. So, does life have a point and meaning, I asked. I tried to find out. Having found out I feel sorry for my fellow Igbos who take illusions as reality. When you try to teach them about the nature of ultimate reality they make bleeping noise trying to tell you that their childish egoism is reality. Even secular, scientific psychology sees the ego as problematical; grandiose egos, the types found in many Igbos, are pathological. What is psychosis but having grandiose ego (plus hallucination)? Anyway, I am motivated to make yet another attempt to help Igbos redirect to God and in so doing discover their real selves; that is, return home. Our home is in God, in heaven; we are aliens on earth. Ozodiobi Osuji
A course in miracles, lesson 132
Please take the time to examine the below excerpt (lesson 132) from the spiritual classic called A course in miracles. The 1350 pages book is divided into many sections; the first part is a 669 pages text; the second part is about 480 pages book of lessons, one for each day of the year; the third part is A Manual for teachers; the last part are supplements including a short piece on spiritual psychotherapy, clarification of terms, songs of prayer and so on.
The book is a compendium of writings on spirituality. If you are a Hindu you will find all of Hinduism in it; if you are a Buddhist you will find all of Buddhism in it; If you are a Taoist you will find all of Taoism in it; if you are Gnostic you will find all of Gnosticism in it and if you are a philosopher, say, a Platonist you will find all of Plato in it (as they say, all philosophy is addendum to Plato, meaning that you will also find Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Leibniz, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume, Berkeley, Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, William James, Henri Bergson, Wittgenstein and others in the book).
Let me examine lesson 132 as a means of explicating what the book is teaching. This lesson says that we tend to believe that we come to a world that exists apart from us and the world influences us; in other words, we see ourselves as victims of the world that supposedly determined us (as the philosophy of monistic materialism, aka empiricism and scientism teaches us). The lesson said that this is not true.
The lesson says that there is no world apart from our minds and our thinking. My mind, your mind wished to experience a certain type of world and went to sleep and in a dream see that world.
In our natural state we are spirit; we are part of unified spirit self, aka God. There is God and we are his sons. Where God ends and each of his sons begin is nowhere. There is no space between God and each of his sons; we are in God and he is in us.
Heaven, aka eternity is a unified whole (in philosophy this is called monistic idealism); there is no space and time in it. We are always part of God and each other and cannot separate from him or from each other.
Somehow, we wished to experience the opposite of our nature. We are equal and the same so we wished to experience inequality and differences; we are unified and we wished to experience separation; we are spirit and we wished to experience materialism. We are eternal and we wished to experience time and mortality. We are permanent, changeless and eternal and we wished to experience their opposites: transitory, ephemerality.
(If you are smart it probably already occurred to you that it may well be the case that the writer of the course merely posited the opposite of our earth and called it heaven. Keep your skepticism and cynicism; they have uses; no one is out to pull wool over your eyes. Be that as it may, please bear in mind that A course in miracles was written by a Jewish lady professor at Columbia University, New York, Helen Schucman; she was a gifted mathematician and clinical psychologist with an IQ of over 160. We are dealing with a book written by a first rate mind. Indeed, the lady considered herself an atheist; I consider myself agnostic yet the book appeals to my scientific mind; pay attention and learn.)
We are love and we wished to experience the opposite of love, hate. In heaven we could not experience what we wanted to experience and, as it were, seem to have gone to sleep and dream the opposite of our nature.
The phenomenal world of matter, space and time we live in is our dream of the opposite of heaven; they are our mental projections.
Ideas leave not their source. We are the ideas of sons of God (parts of the whole) in the idea of father, God (idea of the whole); we cannot leave God (the part cannot separate from the whole); the son cannot leave his father; if separation were possible both father and son would die. We are forever inside God and he is in us; we cannot separate from God for we complete him and he completes us.
While still in God (right now), we metaphorically went to sleep and seem to have accomplished the impossible, separated from God and from each other.
Our world is made by us, A course in miracles says. Our world is our thinking projected out into a dream state and we see ourselves in that dream and it seems real to us (this happens every night when we sleep and see ourselves in a dream and while sleeping and dreaming believe that that world is real).
In the dream we see ourselves in the world of matter, space and time. Each of us sees his self in body and that body interacts with other selves in bodies; we walk around in space and time; it all seems real to us.
We make our bodies seem vulnerable and prone to fear, pleasure and pain, sickness and death. We see people born, sicken and die. It all seems true except that it is not true (in our nightly dreams we see children born and the old die and get buried but when we wake up in the morning we realize that no one was born and no one died).
It is all taking place in a dream and what is done in dreams have not been done in reality. The course is teaching us that the world is as dream and, as such, not real; it teaches ways to awaken from the dream, to return to the awareness of spirit.
Its primary teaching is that one must see one's self as not in body and not living in the world of space and time. One must see the world as a dream and see what is done in it as not real and has not been done.
If the world is a dream the people we see do seeming bad things to us did so in a dream and have not done those things in fact.
Despite what you see people do to you on earth they have not done so in spirit hence they remain as God created them: innocent, holy, guiltless and sinless.
People have not separated from God and are not in the dream, not on earth. It is you, the dreamer, that projected the people you see do bad things to you and they projected you to do bad things to them (you may call this solipsism).
I, a nominal Christian, projected out Muslims to attack me, attack Christians, so that I feel angry at them, and want to cut off their heads as they cut off Christians heads.
Muslims have the illusion that they are tough and violent; they fancy that Christians are soft; well, Christians are also tough; I personally would not mind cutting off all Muslims heads! Alas, I know better than to behave as I see Muslims behave, violently, for I know that they are my projections; their violence is my violence that I projected out and disowned as mine; I am supposed to overlook their violence and love the sons of God beneath their violent exteriors; they remain as God created them: innocent, despite their apparent violence in our phenomenal world.
Muslims in turn projected me, Christians, out and want to convert me, Christians to their dreadful religion of violence.
Since the world is our mutual projections, therefore, I must overlook what I see Muslims and other violent folks do; I must forgive them.
If I can look at those who on earth seem to have harmed me, even those who destroy my body, with forgiveness, overlook their behaviors and accept that it was all done in a dream I would realize that they do not exist in body and have not done what I see them do in bodies; I would also realize that I do not exist in body hence no one actually attacked me or destroyed my body.
If I forgive people, first, I would see them in light forms and, ultimately, experience myself and them as one unified spirit self ( A course in miracles calls this experience Holy Instant, heaven given to one to experience while one is still on earth; eternity experienced in time; time and space momentarily banished so that one experiences timelessness; Hinduism calls it Samadhi, Buddhism calls it Nirvana, Zen calls it Satori and Christian Mysticism calls it the union of the father and the son).
Lesson 132, like all the other 365 lessons in the work book of the course is telling us that the world we see as out there is our projection.
Perception is projection. There is no world apart from our projection. What we see as out there we put out there.
I see you as out there but in fact you are inside me as I am inside you; both of us share the one self of God and his son.
We made ourselves seem separated and projected each other out and see each other as apart from each other.
The world is a childish game we, the children of God, engage in; we remain as God created us, one with him and are always inside him; the external world we see does not exist.
We find out that the seeming solid external world does not exist when we overlook the world and forgive what folks seem to do to us, good or bad.
This is essentially the teaching of A course in miracles; this teaching is repeated in lesson 132 and the other lessons.
All the lessons say the same thing in a variety of ways hoping that one would have the courage to practice one and in so doing awaken to one's spirit self.
Today, I am supposed to see the seeming external world as not outside me and overlook it and forgive what all people did to me. If I do so I would experience a different world. That world is still like our world but everything in it is in light forms; it lasts for as long as the phenomenal world lasts.
That different world can be experienced through practicing today's lesson or other lessons, or through out of body experience or near death experiences.
Different people occasionally experience the world of light forms. Bahaullah, an nineteenth century Iranian mystic experienced it while in prison and thereafter began his Baha'i religion; Ramakrishna, a nineteenth century Hindu mystic experienced it; in the twentieth century Ramana Maharshi experienced it. Indeed, some even experience the formless unified world of God, aka heaven.
From such experiences those folks come to know that our present world is a dream and is not real, is an illusion.
So, is what A course in miracles teaching true or false? Therein lays the rub! It says that the only way to find out if what it is teaching is true or false is to practice it. Therefore, today I am supposed to forgive all people the seeming evils they did to me and generally see the world as a dream and overlook it and not take it as real.
If I can go throughout the day forgiving all people and overlooking the world I would feel peaceful and happy; finally, I would momentarily escape from the world and experience the world of light forms, even the world of formless light, aka heaven.
Forgive all and overlook the world and keep your mind quiet. In your silent mind, a mind from which all ego thinking is removed the experience of union dawns.
Until one overlooks the world and forgives the seeming evil other folks did to one, one cannot experience heaven.
Jesus was crucified and he forgave those who murdered him, for he knew that they did so in a dream and in reality have not done so; in forgiving and overlooking the world Jesus resurrected in the world of light forms (the world of light forms is what Christians call New Jerusalem or New Israel, what Catholics call Purgatory and Muslims call Paradise; Hinduism calls it the astral world).
The world of light forms is not heaven; as it were, it is at the gate of heaven; heaven itself is formless; heaven is the world of formless unified light; heaven is a wave of light and each of us is a particle of light in that wave of light; particle and wave are one (even physics says so...if you are interested in physics read up on Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Eugene Huygens, Johannes Kepler, Thomas Young, James Clark Maxwell, Ludwig Boltzmann, James J. Thompson, Max Plank, Albert Einstein, Ernest Rutherford, Marie and Pierre Curie, Neils Bohr, Louis Broglie, Werner Heisenberg, Emil Schrodinger, Pauli, Paul Dirac, James Chadwick, Lise Meitner, George Lemaitre, Alexander Friedman, Edwin Hubble, Fred Hoyle, George Gamow, James Wheeler, Eugene Wigner, Murray Gell-Mann, John Bell, Hugh Everett and the other giants of classical and new physics).
Heaven is love; no one returns to heaven, to love, who does not love. Forgiveness is the means to returning to the awareness of love.
Are these teachings true or false?
You are probably skeptical and cynical; your doubtful ego is probably dying to ask me if I have experienced the world of light forms and the world of formless light. If I say that I have not experienced them you probably would say: aha, I told you so, the whole religion business is bullshit.
Instead of worrying about me, why don't you find out for yourself whether God is true or false? Do not give us your shabby understanding of science as excuse for your doubt; some of us can teach you physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, geology etc. and yet the course appeals to us.
Atonement is for the atonement worker. My sole obligation is to awaken from the dream of separation. Therefore, today, regardless of whatever spiritual experiences I had in the past I will practice what lesson 132 teaches me to practice: forgive all and overlook the world. The least benefit of this practice is peace and happiness; God knows that I could use peace!
Don't you desire peace? What have you got to lose but your pride and egoism; considering that those gave you conflict, war and hell you ought to be glad to lose them!
May 15, 2016
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
I lose the world from all I thought it was.
What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs? And what can save the world except your Self? Belief is powerful indeed. The thoughts you hold are mighty, and illusions are as strong in their effects as is the truth. A madman thinks the world he sees is real, and does not doubt it. Nor can he be swayed by questioning his thoughts' effects. It is but when their source is raised to question that the hope of freedom comes to him at last.
Yet is salvation easily achieved, for anyone is free to change his mind, and all his thoughts change with it. Now the source of thought has shifted, for to change your mind means you have changed the source of all ideas you think or ever thought or yet will think. You free the past from what you thought before. You free the future from all ancient thoughts of seeking what you do not want to find.
The present now remains the only time. Here in the present is the world set free. For as you let the past be lifted and release the future from your ancient fears, you find escape and give it to the world. You have enslaved the world with all your fears, your doubts and miseries, your pain and tears; and all your sorrows press on it, and keep the world a prisoner to your beliefs. Death strikes it everywhere because you hold the bitter thoughts of death within your mind.
The world is nothing in itself. Your mind must give it meaning. And what you behold upon it are your wishes, acted out so you can look on them and think them real. Perhaps you think you did not make the world, but came unwillingly to what was made already, hardly waiting for your thoughts to give it meaning. Yet in truth you found exactly what you looked for when you came.
There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly. Ideas leave not their source. This central theme is often stated in the text, and must be borne in mind if you would understand the lesson for today. It is not pride which tells you that you made the world you see, and that it changes as you change your mind.
But it is pride that argues you have come into a world quite separate from yourself, impervious to what you think, and quite apart from what you chance to think it is. There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth. He will return and go still farther, or perhaps step back a while and then return again.
But healing is the gift of those who are prepared to learn there is no world, and can accept the lesson now. Their readiness will bring the lesson to them in some form which they can understand and recognize. Some see it suddenly on point of death, and rise to teach it. Others find it in experience that is not of this world, which shows them that the world does not exist because what they behold must be the truth, and yet it clearly contradicts the world.
And some will find it in this course and in the exercises that we do today. Today's idea is true because the world does not exist. And if it is indeed your own imagining, then you can lose it from all things you ever thought it was by merely changing all the thoughts that gave it these appearances. The sick are healed as you let go all thoughts of sickness, and the dead arise when you let thoughts of life replace all thoughts you ever held of death.
A lesson earlier repeated once must now be stressed again, for it contains the firm foundation for today's idea. You are as God created you. There is no place where you can suffer, and no time that can bring change to your eternal state. How can a world of time and place exist, if you remain as God created you?
What is the lesson for today except another way of saying that to know your Self is the salvation of the world? To free the world from every kind of pain is but to change your mind about yourself. There is no world apart from your ideas because ideas leave not their source, and you maintain the world within your mind in thought.
Yet if you are as God created you, you cannot think apart from Him, nor make what does not share His timelessness and Love. Are these inherent in the world you see? Does it create like Him? Unless it does, it is not real, and cannot be at all. If you are real the world you see is false, for God's creation is unlike the world in every way. And as it was His Thought by which you were created, so it is your thoughts which made it and must set it free, that you may know the Thoughts you share with God.
Release the world! Your real creations wait for this release to give you fatherhood, not of illusions, but as God in truth. God shares His Fatherhood with you who are His Son, for He makes no distinctions in what is He and what still He is. What He creates is not apart from Him, and nowhere does the Father end, the Son begin as something separate from Him.
There is no world because it is a thought apart from God, and made to separate the Father and the Son, and break away a part of God Himself and thus destroy His Wholeness. Can a world which comes from this idea be real? Can it be anywhere? Deny illusions, but accept the truth. Deny you are a shadow briefly laid upon a dying world. Release your mind and you will look upon a world released.
Today our purpose is to free the world from all the idle thoughts we ever held about it, and about all living things we see upon it. They cannot be there. No more can us. For we are in the home our Father set for us, along with them. And we who are as He created us would lose the world this day from every one of our illusions, that we may be free.
Begin the fifteen-minute periods in which we practice twice today with this:
I who remain as God created me would lose the world from
all I thought it was. For I am real because the world is not,
and I would know my own reality.
Then merely rest, alert but with no strain, and let your mind in quietness be changed so that the world is freed, along with you.
You need not realize that healing comes to many brothers far across the world, as well as to the ones you see nearby, as you send out these thoughts to bless the world. But you will sense your own release, although you may not fully understand as yet that you could never be released alone.
Throughout the day, increase the freedom sent through your ideas to all the world, and say whenever you are tempted to deny the power of your simple change of mind:
I lose the world from all I thought it was,
and choose my own reality instead.