Sweet Surrender – Jon Mundy’s Be You In Charge
Grace Notes: of Music and Spirit – Sweet Surrender
Jon Mundy, through his ministry of writing, (Living A Course in Miracles, Lesson 101: Perfect Happiness and numerous other titles) has been a key Course teacher to me. Reading Jon’s articles has helped me to heal. And Jon has a quality I have always deeply admired—one that is crucial for change to occur—he is willing to think outside of convention and act upon his convictions. Jon was simultaneously a student of A Course in Miracles and a Methodist minister, which ultimately cost him his ordination. He was among the first human beings introduced to the Course (or ACIM), reading it when it still existed only as loose-leaf typewritten pages. He knew the birthers of ACIM—Helen Schucman, who scribed this great spiritual work with invaluable assistance from her colleague William Thetford. When I read the following article back in 2010 I thought it was the best Course overview I’d yet seen. I still agree. This brilliant survey misses nothing and combines two qualities not often found together: detailed AND efficient. I am grateful that Jon has allowed me to reprint it here to answer the question, “What is A Course in Miracles about anyway?” I’ve added the music Sweet Surrender because it expresses the energy of the choice, be You in charge.
More about Jon Mundy, the Institute for Personal Religion and Miracles Magazine at: http://www.miraclesmagazine.org
Be You In Charge
by Jon Mundy
Miracles Magazine, Vol. 9 No. 3, Issue 51, May/June 2010
This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.
A Course in Miracles Workbook Lessons 361-365
The Course makes 465 references to “choice and choosing” and 273 references to “deciding and decision making.” Decision making is as unknown in Heaven as is forgiveness because being of One Mind there is no split; there is no division, and therefore, no decision (no judgment) to be made. The Course is trying to help us out of our split mind into the right-mind that contains the Holy Spirit, and thus, return us to One-mindedness. Heaven is One-Mindedness. That Mind is of God and cannot be conflicted. In this moment “right now,” I either know the peace of God or I do not. The next moment is the same, as is the next. The power of decision is our “last remaining freedom” (T-12.VII.9:1); and, changing the mind about the mind changes everything.
Mind is fundamental. It is the activating or energizing agent of Spirit. There are two uses of “mind” in the Course. Capital “M” mind is the Mind of God equivalent with Love, Heaven and Truth. Small “m” mind refers to the agent of choice in the world. Small “m” mind is further broken into right- and wrong-minded thinking. We are free to believe whatever we want. We choose to align our minds with the Holy Spirit, or with the small “m” mind—the ego, also referred to in the Course as wrong-mindedness. Miracle-mindedness means right-mindedness. We come to right-mindedness through the process of atonement (the undoing of the ego). It is necessary that we be in our right-mind in order to overcome guilt and separation. Right-mindedness is not the One-Mindedness of the Holy Spirit. It is, however, the state we must first achieve in order for One-Mindedness to be restored. We elect wrong-mindedness or right-mindedness. The only limit placed upon the mind is that it cannot serve two masters (Holy Spirit and ego).
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
Perception is the process by which we give meaning and value to what we see, hear or think. It is a reflection of our own thinking. Perception is a mirror—not a fact (Workbook Lesson 304.1:3). God—Truth—Love is changeless. Perception is a process of accepting and rejecting, shifting and changing. The ego limits perception to our brothers’ and sisters’ bodies and to the things of the world. It defines or concretizes the world. Perception is also a choice. Practicing the Course “purifies” perception by helping us remove the blocks to an awareness of love’s presence.
Knowledge, which comes from our True Mind (the Mind of God), is eternal, impersonal, beyond subject and object and the result of revelation (T-3.III.5:10). It is a direct contact with God that transcends time and abolishes fear. It is the experience of Oneness; the experience of essence or Being. It is “illumination,” and an insight into essence. It is stable, unchanging and free of conflict.
The miracle-minded are those who, questioning the nature of dreaming (pain, suffering and death), begin to practice steps leading to an awakening from the ego’s dream.
How the Mind Works According to A Course in Miracles
1. Life is thought. Thoughts are life. If we did not think, we would not exist. We can imagine life without a body but we cannot imagine life without a mind. As the father of modern philosophy, Rene Descartes (1596-1650, France), said it, “I think therefore I am.” Or, “I am therefore I think.” Either way—Life is thought. God is Life (T-14.IX.4:5). Life is not limited to the confines of a body. Life does not begin with the birth of a body. Life does not end with the death of a body.
2. Thought comes first. Before any “thing” (idea or object) can come into existence, it is first a thought.
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing that was made.
In him was Life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shined in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not.
Darkness is unconsciousness or unawareness of light. As light enters the mind, as the lessons of fear are released from our perception, darkness disappears.
3. Projection makes perception. This is one of the most important ideas in the Course. This simple, three word sentence, which appears twice in the Course, is straightforward, profound, and yet, not easily understood (accepted) because we are so persistently engaged in projection that we do not see that we are projecting. We do not realize that we are making up the world we see. According to the Heisenberg Principle in physics, it is impossible for the perceiver not to affect the object perceived. The preamble to UNESCO begins with the phrase, “Wars begin in the minds of men.” If wars begin in the minds of men then wars can also end in the minds of men. Everything is a projection—an assertion—from the first cry of the infant coming out of the womb onward. Projection makes perception and perception means interpretation (T-3.I.1:6). We are superimposing our interpretations on the world, thus, believing that what we see is reality.
The ego analyses; the Holy Spirit accepts.
The basic difference between the ordinary ego mind which includes most all of our thinking most all of the time, and miracle-mindedness is that the ordinary ego mind is a projector. Miracle-mindedness is receptive rather than projective. It simply sees. It simply is. In the Holy Instant, when time stops its ceaseless tides, we see truly. Miracle-mindedness sees without the contaminations of the ego—without putting anything onto the world. We cannot be projective and receptive at the same time.
4. Ideas leave not their source. The idea of separation has never left the mind that thought it. The idea of God has never left the Mind that thought it, which is why in order to be whole, I must give my mind back to God.
Since the Holy Spirit is in your mind,
your mind can also believe only what is true.
The Holy Spirit can speak only for this, because He speaks for God.
He tells you to return your whole mind to God, because it has never left Him.
When I was eighteen years old, I listened to a cassette tape by Earl Nightingale titled, The Greatest Secret in the World. According to Nightingale, the greatest secret in the world was that “we become what we think about.” Or, we are what we think about. What seems to be external is not outside the mind. What I see is witness to my thoughts. The world I perceive is a representation of my mind; the outside picture of an inward condition. Or, as someone once said, “The universe is constantly rearranging itself to accommodate my interpretation of reality.” Lesson Number 35 from the workbook of the Course is My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy. This is obviously not the way we see ourselves. It is, however, what vision will show us.
5. The thoughts “we think we think” are not our real thoughts (Workbook Lesson 45:1-2). Life is thought. Life is also God. Our real thoughts are those thoughts we think in line with the Mind of God. These are our true thoughts, our loving thoughts. All other thoughts are fantasies, images, illusion, or dreams. Like all dreams, they last a moment and then disappear. They are distortions of reality. They are make-believe or made up. When someone alters their appearance by decorating their face, we call it makeup. We make up a world. Our fantasies, dreams, and illusions are not true. And, there is a place inside us which knows that these thoughts are not real.
6. There are no neutral thoughts. Our thoughts are fearful or loving but never neutral; there are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level (T-2.VI.9:13). This is true both within the dream world (this world) and the real world (Heaven). In the dream world, my thoughts create a temporal, artificial, and fearful world. In the real world our minds are joined eternally in God.
Sweet Surrender – Beck Bogert & Appice
7. The real world is a state in which there is no good and evil. Dutch philosopher Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677) observed that “If men were born free, they would so long as they remained free form no conception of good and evil.” Although it is not so in this world (in illusion), in “reality” there is no division, thus there is no decision. Knowledge never involves comparisons (T-4.II.11:12).
The real world can actually be perceived.
All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else.
For if you perceive both good and evil,
you are accepting both the false and the true
and making no distinction between them.
8. There are no private thoughts. (Workbook Lesson 19.2:3) Minds are joined and only minds communicate (T-7.V.2:1). Just as the idea of separation has to be shared before there can be separation, as oneness is shared there is only oneness. Joy, peace, oneness, and love come with an integrated willingness to share and promote the mind’s natural impulse to respond as one (T-5.Intro.1:6). Our only completely meaningful relationship is with God, Who is Oneness Itself. And, we know the Oneness of God as we share that oneness with all our brothers and sisters.
You believe you can harbor thoughts you would not share,
and that salvation lies in keeping thoughts to yourself alone.
For in private thoughts, known only to yourself,
you think you find a way to keep what you would have alone,
and share what you would share.
And then you wonder why it is
that you are not in full communication with those around you,
and with God Who surrounds all of you together.
I read a study done on happiness by a group of social psychologists. Their conclusion: there was no one thing that can be said to make us happy. Happiness, they said, was subjective. Nevertheless, the study did find some basic traits of happiness. What made for happiness was nothing of the world—success, youth, good looks, money, or any of what are sometimes envied assets. The clear winner was close relationships. The study said that a supportive, intimate connection with others was the single most important ingredient in happiness. The thing which makes us the happiest is the experience of loving and being loved. The study concluded that the unhappiest people were those who did not experience the give and take of a loving relationship. We literally are one. We are literally of One undivided Mind. Separation is unhappiness. Fortunately, we do not have to be with other bodies in order to experience Oneness. The Course thus asks us, do you really think you are alone unless another body is with you? (Workbook Lesson 76.3:4) Christ [our true identity as God’s Son] cannot abandon us. The Holy Spirit is always with us. We are never alone.
Watch birds flying in synchronization or a school of fish all swimming as though guided by one mind. Each bird or fish is doing its own thing and yet they move as one. When the members of a symphony orchestra play together or dancers dance together, there is an inevitable exhilaration that comes with the profound sense of oneness joined as one (T-25.I.7:1).
9. Our only problem is our belief in separation! We overcome separation through the process of the atonement or the process of forgiveness—by letting the world be what it is without projecting onto it. When we stop projecting our perception, we experience Oneness. Only then do we experience true empathy; only then can we be truly helpful.
Belief that there is another way of perceiving
is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable.
That is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the Self.
10. Only minds communicate (T-2.V.2:1), and minds do not need bodies to communicate. The body can only do what the mind directs it to do. While the body in service to the ego can certainly hurt other bodies, minds cannot hurt. We’re all familiar with the old children’s adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” To communicate is to join. To attack is to separate. Although minds can communicate, they can communicate only in love. Everything else is a form of separation or miscommunication. Healing occurs when minds join.
11. We are never alone in experiencing the effects of our seeing (Workbook Lesson 18). I can call upon my loving thoughts which share everything with everyone. As thoughts of separation disconnect me from others, my real thoughts awaken real thoughts in others (Workbook Lesson 54). Just as hiding makes us miserable, nothing is more delightful than sharing. Joy comes into sharing. This is love. God is Love.
12. Everything I say, do, or think teaches the universe. We are all, at all times, students and teachers. The way we teach the Course is by living the Course. We teach the Course by doing the Course. We love by being Love.
13. All false systems of belief fail. The totalitarian system of communism failed because it was a totalitarian system. We cannot be made equal by taking away freedom. Many years ago, I became aware of what seemed to be A Course in Miracles cult formed around a charismatic leader. Concerned about this possible misinterpretation of the Course, I called Ken Wapnick. Ken’s response was to quote a piece of scripture which said, “If this be of God there is nothing you can do to stop it, and if it is not of God, it will come to naught.” The ego always eventually implodes and truth always comes to the fore.
14. I am determined to see (Workbook Lesson 20). Love can replace fear. Laughter can replace tears. Abundance can replace loss. It is not only possible for my will and the Will of God to be One, it is the only way—the only truth there is.
15. Who is in charge of the mind? The Course says that you (the decision maker) are in charge of the journey, the Sonship, the process of the atonement, the Second Coming, the Kingdom, and the Universe. Allowing the Holy Spirit to align my mind with the Mind of God, I know these statements to be true.
When you let your mind be drawn to bodily concerns,
to things you buy, to eminence as valued by the world,
you ask for sorrow, not for happiness.
(Workbook Lesson 133.2:2)
Who is it that lets the mind be drawn; and, when I see that I am letting the mind be drawn down a path of miscreation, can I refocus the mind so that I can get the results that I want truly and not simply something of the world? Into whose service do I place the mind? And, who is the “I” that does the placing? We never stop being decision makers. The Course is asking us to remember that we are Mind, and we can turn the mind back over to Mind. We can give the mind into the service of One who can lead us to our true Home and not simply turn it over to mindlessness—a place where we wander around lost in a dreaming of the world.
. . . sink into your mind, letting go every kind of interference and intrusion
by quietly sinking past them.
Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it.
(Workbook Lesson 44.7:3)
16. Stop It! There is a television clip with comedian Bob Newhart from the 1980s, where Bob plays the part of a psychiatrist. A woman comes into his office for counseling and Bob tells her that the consultation will be $5 in advance, and she says, “Five dollars in advance, why $5?”
He says, “I charge $1 per minute and this will only take five minutes.” So she gives him $5, and he then says, “How can I help you?”
She says, “I am afraid of being buried alive in a box.”
He says, “Well, STOP THAT!
She says, “You mean I should just stop thinking that way?”
Bob says, “Yes, STOP it.”
Then she says she has another problem. He asks her what it is, and she says that she lets men take advantage of her. He says, “Well, STOP it!”
Correction is not, of course, always so instantaneous but the principle remains the same. Not until I realize that I have a choice and I can decide to follow the Voice for God, can I indeed make that decision.
17. When judgment ceases, healing occurs. Judgment dissipates as we change the way we look at things. Vigilance requires effort until it does not require any effort. We’ve been judging all our lives and we don’t just stop judgment. Watch what is going on without judgments about what is going on. Not judging does not mean not making simple judgments or what might be called “discernments.” Am I having eggs or oatmeal for breakfast? What am I going to wear? What we’re wearing doesn’t make much difference unless we’re into power dressing or sexy dressing, in which case we are trying to manipulate the universe. Dress the way regular people do. Dress to be comfortable. What we’re watching for is projection, condemnation, criticism, attack, and blame. My fondest memory of Dr. William Thetford is seeing him standing in the background, wearing a cardigan sweater—watching and smiling. Try fasting from judging. See it and stop it. See it and stop it. Think more than twice before speaking. Look at the world without adding anything to it.
We are opening up in Sweet Surrender to the luminous Lovelight of the One – Rainbow Spirit Oregon
Freedom from judgment occurs when I do not see myself as any better or any worse than anyone else. It happens as I recognize my inherent Oneness with all things and I see that my needs are no more important than those of anyone else. Thus it is that we are truly loving. A Holy Instant is any moment in which I do not experience myself as separate. Psychotherapy works, according to the Course, when the therapist does not judge his client. There may, of course, be a difference in form, but not in content. God literally has no favorite sons, no favorite daughters. As my friend Rev. Sara Emrie says it, “Why don’t we just say things the way they are? We are One.”
Miracles are thoughts.
Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience,
or the higher or spiritual level of experience.
One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.
Principle Number 12 of the 50 Miracle Principles
Putting It In Hyper-Drive. What do we mean by a higher level? In the original Star Wars trilogy, our hero, Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) and his companions are able to escape Darth Vador and the Evil Empire by putting their spacecraft, the Millennium Falcon, into hyper-drive, thus taking it to another dimension. In the same way, when we move from the ego mind to the higher Mind, we take things to a higher dimension outside of time and space and our ordinary ways of thinking—we switch from eyes of fear to eyes of love—from being projective to being receptive.
After Bill Thetford retired, when someone asked him what he was doing, he would say that he was practicing forgiveness. Until I have brought my mind completely in line with the Mind of God, I keep asking, “Is this a truly loving thought or am I projecting?” If it is coming from guilt or fear; if it is some place I am hiding; if it is coming out of anger; if it is a form of vengeance—I can be sure that it is not true and I still need to take it to a higher level. I need another way of seeing. The last lesson in A Course in Miracles is repeated in Workbook lessons 361-365.
This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.
Thank you, Jon. Practicing the Course is all about surrendering our minds to Love, our Creator, with the promise that this surrender will always—eventually—be sweet.
And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.
If I need a thought, that will He also give.
And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind,
these are the gifts I will receive of Him.
He is in charge by my request.
And He will hear and answer me,
because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.
(Workbook Lessons 361-365)
Sweet Surrender – Luke Parker
With Peace and Love,
Healing Loss: Choose Love Now by Miradrienne Carroll
outlines spiritual principles and practices
for anyone who wants to heal, at any time,
from the context of healing grief and loss.
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