A Year without Fear: GOING STEADY WITH GOD

A Year without Fear: GOING STEADY WITH GOD

going steadyThere’s a scene in Private Benjamin where Goldie Hawn enters an army recruitment office and is shown a beautiful, slick brochure on the benefits of modern military life. She’s so impressed, she enlists right on the spot.

But when she arrives at bootcamp in Mississippi, she’s confused: Quonset huts. Latrines. What the hell? This is definitely not what she signed up for.

“I think there’s been a mistake,” she tells the drill sergeant. “I joined the other army. You know, the one with the condos, and the private rooms.”

•          •          •

Asking to know spiritual truth is a lot like that. The brochure looks great, and plenty of us sign up for it right there and then. But it’s never what we think it’s going to be. We imagine a perfected “spiritual self” who never gets upset, never has issues. A luminous, blissful peace-bunny spreading divine love and joy to a thankful world.

The truth, it turns out, seems so distastefully alien by comparison to our spiritual fantasies—so upside-down from everything we think we want—that it’s damn near impossible to stand still long enough to even consider it.

At least, that’s how it’s been for me. For years I’ve been patiently shown the truth over and over, and over again. I’ve seen it in videos, I’ve read it in books, I’ve witnessed it in visions. It shows up in my email inbox.

But each time I’ve brushed it away.

Because that’s not the truth I signed up for. I wanted the one with the condos.

•          •          •

I really want to know God. It’s been an unstoppable urge for a while now. In the last post I spoke of being in the goodnight-kiss-at-the front-door stage of my relationship with God—but the desire to go all the way, so to speak, is a craving that seems to emanate from the depths of my soul. It’s really my one great desire.

And that’s a fairly uncomfortable predicament to be in, when the only way to know God is to get with the program and agree to accept the irritatingly, disappointingly unacceptable truth of existence:

There’s nothing to fix. Nothing to teach. Nothing to learn, and nothing to heal.

Everything is perfect exactly as it is right now, because everything and everybody is composed entirely of God. Joined in perfect oneness with God. No matter what things look like, and no matter what disastrous effects those things may seem to be having on your life, or the world…innocence and safety, love, peace and joy are the only things going on in truth.

 There’s nothing to accomplish or do. You already have it, and ARE it. Stop striving to be better. Stop yearning to wake up. Stop trying to escape from your perfectly imperfect circumstances. Your job is just to be. Recognize you don’t know anything about anything. Refuse to judge anything you see. Have faith that it’s all innocent. Disbelieve everything your mind tells you, and instead walk through life snuggled deeply, blindly, trustingly in God.

 There is no “you,” no spiritual self who can heal the world. You can’t bring love into this world—bodies can’t bring love to other bodies. You can only see through the illusions this world of bodies presents to you, and find your one true love in God.

 

Needless to say, I had some wee issues with all that—particularly the business about there being nothing to heal or fix or teach. Also the bit about being just dandy, thank you very much, exactly as I am right now. Come to think of it, I’m not crazy about big chunks of the truth, to be honest. My mind is still spluttering its indignation.

But I got sick of seeing the truth gauntlet thrown down in front of me every time I turned around. And even sicker of stepping daintily over it, pretending it wasn’t there.

•          •          •

Last night, before falling asleep I finally agreed to drop my resistance to the truth (despite its distasteful appearances), and to try joining fully with All-That-Is.

But on one condition.

A prayer, of sorts: You know everything about me, my thoughts, my beliefs. You’re there when I fart. You’ve seen me have sex. But I know nothing, really, about you. Give me a hint. Show me how you see things. Help me know you better.

I slept as I normally would, dreaming about nothing in particular. But then I woke in the early morning with a strong sense that I was in the presence of a huge entity of some kind. It was vast, deep, powerful. It felt thoroughly benign. No…more than just benign: It was wholly suffused with God.

I felt I ought to recognize who or what this entity was. It seemed somehow familiar, yet I couldn’t quite place it. And then suddenly I realized:

Oh. My. God. This is the devil.

I was seeing Satan—as viewed through a completely sane mind.

•          •          •

Well, I asked for an example of God’s truth. That was a pretty good one.

Alrighty then.

A radiantly gentle, spotlessly innocent Satan is pretty clear testimony to the fact that I know abso-freaking-lutely nothing about anything. (Not to mention that my lifelong terror of the supernatural is a pointless joke.)

If the devil is perfectly, luminously innocent, you might ask…then what the hell isn’t?

That’s a very good question. Oops-a-daisy. I may have made a teensy mistake here, wasting my time judging and condemning everything and everybody, 24/7…

Because, apparently I’m entirely wrong about everything. I mean, like, ENTIRELY wrong. About EVERYTHING.

Which means my distaste for God’s truth is probably all wrong, too.

Probably. In all likelihood.

•          •          •

So it’s looking like God might be marriage material after all. Possibly it’s time for me to get serious, and stop playing hard to get.

I guess I’d better start picking up the phone whenever the truth calls, instead of letting it go to voicemail. Because I suspect we’ll probably be seeing a whole lot more of each other from now on.

 

20 thoughts on “A Year without Fear: GOING STEADY WITH GOD

  1. Oh, Go ahead, don’t be bashful, Carrie! You’ll make a beautiful ‘blushing bride’ (again). And since you and ‘the body that seems to be separate from you’, (but we know darn well is not), are experiencing this Oneness gig in a Big One Way, there will easily be room for ‘seeming’ three at that altar (or canope or courtroom or judge’s chamber or beach) on the Big Day/moment/Holy Instant/Nirvana/cha-cha! I will attend no matter where you ‘appear’ to be. ‘You are always on my mind’, according to Willie Nelson and HolySpirit. Glee!

    1. Oh, T. Thanks for responding to that RSVP, you and your lovely ‘plus one.’ Have you checked out my gift registry? I’m asking for sanity. Lots and lots of sanity. And on that big day/holy instant, I will come find you and we can dance the nirvana cha-cha. (assuming the DJ is any good.) xox

  2. So glad you are sharing so frequently! Thank you. So I have a question/ thought. Yes everything is just perfect as it is but how often are WE not authentic with what is? How often do we live/ act out of habit, fear without dropping in to ask ” What is the truth here? ” . Of course we can only ask that for ourselves and of course we are already perfect but we perceive differently right, so then the truth is already and always true but we may not be aware of it. So when you say there is nothing to heal, learn etc , yes that is an ultimate truth however our tendency to react from fear etc blinds us to that, thus we perceive our need to heal, learn etc. Am I missing something?
    It’s that idea of leaning into the discomfort but for me I found the first step was just being aware of the discomfort. I had done such a great job of thinking the discomfort was authentic!

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly the issue I’ve always had with it too, MB. It seems (to me) like a very annoying form of level confusion, to say: ‘oooo, it’s all perfect as it is, so just chill and do nothing, because God has it covered.’ Please. God does not have anything covered, because I AM TOO DELUDED, TOO FEARFUL, TOO JUDGY AND CRANKY AND BELIEVING IN WHAT THE WORLD SHOWS ME, TO BE ABLE TO TOUCH GOD WITH A THOUSAND FOOT POLE. Or vice versa.

      So it certainly seems to me that my mind requires healing. And because it’s all one giant paradox, I’m pretty sure that’s true: The mind DOES require healing and increased sanity and efforts toward the remembering of truth…so that we can even get within spitting distance of willingness to take it all on faith. There is SOOO much I still don’t like about God’s truth. I’ve done quite a lot of work around the business of universal, impersonal, non-body-driven love. (The kind where unconditioned love is given freely whether one’s own needs are met or not.) My first instinct is still resentment when my own needs are overlooked or stepped on in some way; but I catch myself right away and adjust the lens through which I see the situation.

      But moderately corrected vision is not even close to being the same thing as receiving juice from choosing to let God’s form of love rule the day instead of the ego form of love that I’m accustomed to. (And addicted to.) I get no juice yet at all, from releasing my own beliefs about things, and leaning into God instead. I’m told (repeatedly!!) that all happiness, all fulfillment and joy and peace and whatnot come from withdrawing all hope for those things from the outer world, and resting only in God’s truth. But that requires a whole lot of trust to take those inward steps, despite the discomfort. Because from where I sit, none of it looks yummy. Yet.

      And of course, for one who has allegedly “answered the call” to be a spiritual teacher, and to create tools for purposes of healing the mind…then, what the hell? Whose call have I answered? It’s a dream within a dream within a dream. The answer, in this case, seems to be: Take those steps to release FountainLight, and whatever other tools or books I may feel inspired to bring forth. But keep it firmly in my mind as I work with people, that they are already perfect. That’s the only healing I can possibly bring them in truth, and even that (in truth) isn’t necessary.

      I guess for me, I’ve finally become willing to let all the paradoxes rest side by side, and venture into a trust relationship anyway. I don’t like it — the whole thing kinda makes my brain itch. But nothing else works, so this is the chosen course. xox

  3. Bravo! And yes our habits want to bring us right back into habitual vision and yes it seem like effort to transition to ” yummy” as you say. I am right there with you, leaning easier and easier into letting go of all perceived notions of how other should act and going within, within, within for all fulfillment. That is the threshold of realization that “my”true authenticity , and I use my lightly, is not at all what my thoughts would first have me believe.
    What was a real light bulb for me was my relationship with John Mark. I had such deep beliefs about how he should, shouldn’t respond in so many areas as an Awake Being. I had a moment while we were all in Israel where I saw that so clearly. I went to him and told him I released him. He understood it as me no longer needing a teacher which in some ways was perfect but it was the really the release of all beings in a way. From my desire to make them fit into any notion of should/ shouldn’t. From that place everyone is a teacher and there is an incredible honesty which then translates or feels like freedom! Yippee ! It makes me think of the title of a Grateful Dead song, What a Strange Trip it Has Been!
    Thank you again for the wonderful gift you have of putting words to this journey. I am grateful to be walking it with you!

    1. Just an addendum to my last response…my brain is no longer itching. I managed some real letting go of judgments about what the world is (both globally and specifically as it applies to people & situations in my own life). Which led to the agreement to forgive God the rest of the way. Which led to deepened trust. Which has led to a much different experience of life for me ever since. And I no longer mind nearly as many aspects of ultimate truth. I’m sure there are still more than a few that, if encountered in my daily experience, would send me round the bend, at least for awhile. But in general, the resistance is gone, because I’m recognizing for myself that the truth is true. And yes, it’s profoundly yummy! xox

  4. Thank you for sharing, Carrie. A couple weeks ago I searched, with more willingness, through my life experience to find something of me that had never changed. What I found was solid and encompassing. I don’t think I every looked at it full on before. But it didn’t feel like anything I’d ever identified as “me.” It wasn’t even the warm and encouraging impulse that I identify as God. It occurs to me now that the God impulse could be said to change. Any way, it was this alien thing that logically, was more likely to be “me” than anything I’m familiar with. Always there, unchanging, as opposed to everything else that fluxes, grows, gets discarded. I’ve been poking at this. I noticed that it completely accepts everything, and I’m uncomfortable with that. Abuse and lifelong sorrow are acceptable. That clashes with thinking I’m supposed to help fix things in life.

    This week I did a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on God, using a painful past experience. One of the questions asks what I need God to do, in order for me to be happy. I was looking at what I wrote, and realized that Spirit has already taken me through all my painful memories and shown me God doing those things: telling me everything is taken care of, holding my hand, telling me I don’t have to do anything, and showing me that everything will be alright. Those things are all that I’ve ever believed could bring true happiness, and they happened. So I can be happy. It’s allowed. I feel that somewhere I’m so stunned, I’m not moving. My jaw isn’t even dropping.

    I also have written down a statement about God being the biggest, most powerful “person” and not fixing the situation. Yesterday, I looked at this statement again, and occurred to me that if this is the case, I must be completely wrong about the universe. God is love. If something needed fixing, of course he would fix it. So I’m wrong in my perception–somewhere, somehow, fundamentally.

    Just some things I thought I’d share. You’re post was really soothing to me. Thanks again 🙂

  5. Hi Carrie,

    Entirely wrong about EVERYTHING. Yep, I get that.

    For what it’s worth, I recall somewhere where in ACIM there’s a bit of advice that says, essentially, “What if you could forget everything, every belief, every perception you’ve ever had?” (After all, those memories are all of the ego, right?)

    Were we truly able to do that we might find ourselves foundering on a sea of uncertainty. What would become of all our relationships? Our learnings? Our understandings of the world? Even our understandings of what we think ACIM is teaching us?

    If any one of us were able to do that we’d be facing the moment of “choosing again.” Of leaving the ego behind. Of choosing for God rather than the ego.

    For me, this idea is powerful. It might not be possible to “forget everything.” But the idea of perhaps being able to do that, at least in theory, gives me a reminder that each moment of our lives we can decide to “choose again” and leave the ego quietly behind.

    Maybe that’s a way to forget about all the healings, the teachings, the learnings, the “things” we think we’re bound to do in the name of the Course.

    Maybe?

    1. Hi Allan! You say here: ‘If any one of us were able to do that we’d be facing the moment of “choosing again.” Of leaving the ego behind. Of choosing for God rather than the ego.’ If any one of us were able!! We’re ALL able. How could we not be capable of rising up to disregard the power of the jailer we created/made/mis-created in order to imprison ourselves? There’s literally nothing we’re incapable of. We’re the full power of God.

      The key here is to move beyond the theory stage, and into practical application and firsthand knowing. My all-time favorite Course quote speaks of this forgetting of everything: “Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thought of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing.”

      This is the very thing I’ve begun doing in these last few days. And anybody can do this. Just take the words of that quote seriously, with full intention/belief that they’re true. Also the belief that recognition of God is just the other side of that action. That’s all it takes. It’s unremarkable, really.

      And the moment the laying aside happens (it’s not really forgetting — it’s the draining all those things of their alleged meaning or importance) then God and one’s own God-nature reveals itself. And you’re right, it sets you upon somewhat uncharted territory in terms of worldly relationship to everything “out there.” But not in a bad way! And it’s SOOO worth it!!!!!! And trust me, letting go of our understandings of the world, and what we think we know about ACIM…that’s a blessing. ACIM is gorgeous, but our understandings of it could all use a thorough spring cleaning from time to time! My own included. 😉

  6. thanks for writing this series, Carrie.
    Reading it today at this moment in my life in some obscure hotel room in an alien land/manila/when things look pretty dark brings some relief. I am tired of my bodily self as I know it, but the ego is still in charge, and I guess I will just have to live with all its nasty imperfections.
    If its all a dream, then that’s the best I can hope for.
    Thanks again,
    Anil

    1. Oh, Anil. I feel your pain. (and I’ve been to nondescript hotel rooms in Manila, so I TOTALLY feel your pain.) 😉
      It’s like Rumi, and the Buddha and Adyashanti and probably a hundred other wise ones have said: You’re already it. It’s closer than your next breath. You’re hunting for the jeweled necklace that’s already around your neck. You’re a sandal asking how to become a sandal. You’re a starving beggar with an unsuspected hunk of polished diamond sewn into the hem of your garment. (what is it with great sages and their fashion item analogies?)

      I know these kinds of statements seem tired and annoying and spectacularly unhelpful until for some reason the stars suddenly align and they ARE spectacularly helpful. And the ego doesn’t get in the way, at least for that minute, and you go: hmmm. Maybe I will take all these truths as the truth, and believe in them for a minute. And maybe I’ll try doing as they recommend, in a completely unconflicted way, and I’ll suspend disbelief and take the steps they recommend, and see where that gets me. And where it gets you is instant recognition as personal experience, that these things are true. You ARE the damn sandal, as it turns out. And the peace that comes of that knowing, is indescribable.

      And then from there on, it’s all a matter of practice, and asking to be shown, and developing more and more trust in God, trust in HS or however you want to put it. Speaking for me (and I have a whopping 3 or 4 days of experience with this, mind you. such an expert!!) those moments of resting in God and knowing myself as that — they last like 5 minutes, and I engage with it 5 or 6 times a day. I haven’t figured out how to walk around, eyes open, and rest in God while interacting with the world, yet. That’s on the to-do list. But the qualitative change was immediate, and I’m guessing that it’s the merest fraction of what’s truly available. But it causes me to recognize the truth of what all those great awakened ones are saying. And honestly, an obscure Philippine hotel sounds like the perfect place to discover the big honking diamond in the hem of your robe, if you don’t mind me saying. Don’t settle for needless imprisonment, my love.

      It’s intrinsically connected to a decision to release your grip on every thought/judgment/interpretation you’ve ever had about anything. Because you’re wronger than you can even imagine, about all of it. (getting to experience the mind of God as it looked at Satan was the thing that truly convinced me of how wrong all my thought processes really are. Beyond stunning.) And so you turn to God, or whatever you choose to call that Source of All-that-Is, “with empty hands,” as they say. And if those hands are truly empty (even if they’re still caked with mud under the fingernails, or whatever analogy you’d like to make for a mind that hasn’t fully released all judgment, but just had indicated that it wants to, or aspires to, AND has taken that first step) then one can rest in God and begin to gain true sanity and peace. It’s that easy, and that immediate.

      My heart is with you. And your nasty imperfections smell like God, by the way. (as do mine!) xx

      1. Dear Carrie, thanks so much for writing such a substantial reply. I didn’t expect it, because I figure you have so many emails and things to do, so..when I logged back a day or so later, I was almost literally blown away by the love, support and empathy I felt in your response.

        It also seemed to have blown away that shadow self, the one addicted to misery, and I started feeling lighter as the days went by. And several times I kept thinking, I must let Carrie know of how helpful she has been, and the love of her response.

        So here we are, many countless moons later (:
        Thank you, dear friend. For taking the time to write it all out (and re-reading it again this Sunday had me laughing out loud on the sages and their choice of fashion item analogies ! (:

        I haven’t found the jewel sewn into my shirt hem yet, but I do feel a lightness of spirit, (in spite of a leaden head this a.m)….(:

        Thank you for being you…
        Love,
        Anil

        1. Oh, Anil, I’m so glad to hear of this. I’ve thought about you and your despondent-sounding post several times in the last few weeks, and have wondered how you’ve been doing. Thank you for telling me!

          Yeah, I wouldn’t say I’ve definitively found the gem in my hem either–but I’ve glimpsed it often enough to know it’s there. Some days I just fondle that misshapen lump that’s still encased in its fabric shroud, and do my best to picture the twinkly thing that’s underneath. (some days that’s the best I can do.) But I’ve got my seam ripper in hand, and I’m loosening those hem stitches one by one. And like most seams, the first few undoings of stitches are the hardest. Here’s to the hope that the seam ripping process gets quicker and easier after that, for all of us. xx

          1. Hi Carrie,
            did I tell ya that I may be OCD ? (: like for instance, your kind response above probably needs no further response, but is it my oCD or something else that has been telling me to write back a short response ? (:

            My brother-in-law wonders with this habit when the email chain ever ends ? (:

            It’s always nice to hear from you, and reading your response above as no different. hope you’ve had a wonderful Aug and are enjoying September too !

            The lessons of forgiveness are sinking I deeper with each passing day, and for that and for friends like you, I am grateful!

            (:

  7. I’m so grateful for all your sharing… your posts, replies to peoples’ comments and for all people’s comments here. Just reading the sharing here makes my eyes watery… Thank you, Carrie, for being you and sharing who you are this way too. xoxoxo

  8. Thanks for sharing! Wonderful turn of events. I wondered what would be your strategy to encounter the dark world. Would you come up with some fortified angel army?
    No! The universe chose to present you a harmless devil. Really wonderful. The universe is such an ingenious teacher.
    But one question, since I don’t have any visions of angels or demons: If the presence was so lovely, how did you find out that it was supposed to be the devil?

    And from what you wrote as answers above: Yes, yes, yes! This turning the attention within (turning 180 degrees and looking back at who is looking) many times during the day and just resting there while waiting or even during routine stuff like preparing the dinner, that is what makes for me, too, the practice of getting in touch with God.
    That feels just so restful. Like a relaxing hot tub for the soul.

    1. Yes, I’ve sort of wondered about that question too, Karin. Why did I seem to have personal knowledge of the devil, like an acquaintance whose name I couldn’t seem to place? It’s possible that we’re old friends, I suppose…but I tend to think I was just in touch with the deep collective knowing that we all have of this terrifying entity we made up. And then (although seemingly nobody “told” me), the moment after I realized who it was, the recognition was given to me that I was seeing it through a wholly pure lens, a completely sane mind. The devil as seen through the eyes of God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *