The Bull and Me
By Paula Hardin
These comments are about suffering: How I choose it and what I want to choose instead.
First let me whisper into your ear what I wrote in my journal on New Year’s Day as a deeply held desire for 2016. My desire used the words from the following statement in The Dialogues, Chapter 16. Be in the spacious state of constant coming to know.
Coming to know involves paying close attention to all feelings as gateway to the spacious Self—to the new, to Christ-consciousness (or right-consciousness). It is about the embrace of what is. That means:
- NO opinions
- NO pre-determinations
- NO efforting
- NO judgments
- NO control
- NO casting out
- NO deciding what symptom is ‘bad’ then efforting to find out what’s wrong.
All those NOs are fear-based and I want to be love expressing. All feelings come to tell you something that is as yet unknown to you, but nevertheless for your benefit. D:Day16.12 Coming to know is not an aspect of the mind alone. It is not an aspect of the spirit alone. Coming to know is a quality of inner sight, of wholehearted human experience combined with spiritual experience. D:Day27.6
In my meditation time two mornings ago, I had an experience of coming to know. Unasked, images invaded my mind from a Facebook post the day before, a video of a young bull that was about to be loaded onto a truck and taken to a slaughterhouse.
A kind young man was petting the bull as the bull pulled against his restraints. Then in a moment of mercy, the man decided to unchain the bull and let him be free in the barn. The bull danced and pranced in his new freedom. Then he plopped himself onto a pile of fresh straw, pushing it about in ecstasy. Clearly the bull was glad–his whole body became GLADNESS!
After a short time, the animal was loaded onto a waiting truck for his final trip. The video closed with a close-up of terror in the bull’s eyes. Something snapped shut, protecting my heart. Hurriedly I erased the post. I’d had enough. I did not want to suffer over these images. So I chose to deliberately cast the pictures out of my mind and go about my day.
THE NEXT MORNING
Next morning in the quiet of my meditation time, the image of the bull came up powerfully. Tears surprised me, rolling unbidden down my face. They would not stop. I hurt. I felt the helplessness I often feel about my ability to do anything about such suffering. I wrote in my journal: “My heart hurts, God, I know I’m projecting here. What part of me does that bull represent? What part needs to weep over my suffering and over all suffering?”
Then a message came through my pen: “Let it pass through. Release the suffering to be free and healed. Refuse not this release. Do not cast it out into the world again. It is redeemed, liberated. Suffering now leaps out of your chest, out of your heart, it soars into the sky and transforms into sparkles like stardust, absorbed by the spacious Self. It transforms into kindness that is always there, kindness that is far greater than all suffering.”
At this point I got up and went to the porch where morning was playing across the sky. I found myself raising my arms and with sweeping motions lifting the sadness and suffering from my heart and releasing it into the morning.
WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT THIS
Why think you it is loving to believe in suffering? Do you not begin to see that in so doing you but reinforce it? What you might even call the ‘fact’ of it? Can you not instead ask yourself what harm could be done by offering a new kind of observance? T3:20.8.
Later in the D:Day2.24 Jesus added this nugget about his own life: “I” did not suffer, for I knew who I was and chose not suffering.
MY SELF TALK
In my self-talk, I believed I was further advanced than this experience of the bull demonstrated. Of course I know suffering is a choice. I keep telling myself that I am willing to let go of all choices to suffer! But I did not. I fell into my list of NOs. I judged, cast out, had opinions etc. instead of feeling wholeheartedly whatever I was feeling and letting it tell me what I needed to know. I neglected to live into my deep desire for 2016 to “Be in a spacious state of constant coming to know.” Even though I had pushed my suffering out of my awareness–it was still there–until the next morning’s revelation.
It is now June, 2018. My experience of life and my true Self has had 2½ more years to mature, 2½ more years to experience “coming to know.” This story of the “Bull and Me” no longer has the same power to disturb. I can allow it to pass through quickly. I choose the laws of fear less and less. I choose to live with the Laws of Love instead. You set the laws of the universe when you chose fear. The laws of love are God-given. C20.31
Laws of Fear: struggle, limits, danger, competitiveness.
Laws of Love: peace, abundance, safety and cooperation.
The universe is a dance of cooperation. You are but asked to rejoin the dance. C20.33
Paula Payne Hardin appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show when her first book, “What Are You Doing With the Rest of Your Life? Choices in Midlife” appeared in 1992. She is also the author of “Love After Love: Stages of Loving” (1996). Hardin directed Midlife Consulting Services and the David K. Hardin Generativity Trust in Chicago. Hardin has trekked around the world from the Himalayas to Zimbabwe. Now an Elder, she enjoys kayaking, cats, writing, and her extended family.
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Of Course. It’s LOVE
Poems based on A Course of Love by Jeff Gilbert
Book 1: Introduction
Oh, to listen to my heart
To be in a place I see
The world is love and love is me
I will not fight the Sea of Change
But rearrange grace to be my Sage
This Course for my Mind
Your Spirit for my Soul
The mind speaks of love
Yet Truth makes me Whole
“I will not be a clanging gong”
But Allow Desire to take me higher
and carry me along
I see within a tornado drawing into the Still
and still I will slide on Your ride until
There are no new rules to meet
No “everyone” to greet
But just One pair of Feet
The Seat of the One Heart
Which floods into the mind
And re-minds us the Start
Is where we find the finish line
Allah, Abba, Beginning and the End
Yawheh, Yahshuah, all call within
We are One in The Son
One Mind, One Love
We are the Way to Joining
One Heart, It is Done
And As We are One
Love flows into the Now
New brings us into the Ocean
“Whatever you say is the Tao”
“I in Them, and Us in You”
The Truth’s Seed fills our Need
The New is You
With, In, and As Me
(And so as We go on this journey of Love
Re-mind my soul that it is already done
Show me that there is no journey to take
But reveal to my Heart that I can have and eat my cake
I am ready to explode the gold and “Come, as You Are”
For Near and Far lose meaning in the Heart
Perhaps I will intercede once again
Or pray “Father, Forgive us for Our Sin”
But whether I find my Self on Top or Beneath
I Am grateful to Re-Member Who I Am
I Am Love, Love lives Me
Jeff is young in body yet remarkably mature spiritually. At three years of age he spontaneously, ecstatically, accepted Jesus. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and Philosophy from San Diego Christian College, lived in a charismatic community laying hands on people for healing, led a program for the homeless, and much more.
Paula, so nice to see more of your writing! I just watched the film Unity and could hardly get through the first 40 minutes, but I persevered because I knew there was a message…much like yours and the bull, tears for the suffering flowed, and I allowed them to pass through, cleansing the past and present from the horrors man has brought to himself and animals. To remember who we are in truth transcends all suffering, thank God! Hugs
A long time ago and for a decade I was a student of ACIM. After that I spend some years with ACOL
Two thoughts just came up I would like to share:
“To be fatigued is to be dis-spirited, but to be inspired is to be in the spirit. To be egocentric is to be dis-spirited, but to be self-centered in the right sense is to be inspired or in spirit. The truly inspired are enlightened and cannot abide in darkness.
You can speak from the spirit or from the ego, as you choose. If you speak from spirit you have chosen to “Be still and know that I am God.” These words are inspired because they reflect knowledge. If you speak from the ego you are disclaiming knowledge instead of affirming it, and are thus disspiriting yourself. Do not embark on useless journeys, because they are indeed in vain. The ego may desire them, but spirit cannot embark on them because it is forever unwilling to depart from its foundation.”
~ACIM, Text, The illusions of the Ego, Introduction.
“I call upon God’s Name and on my own.”
~ACIM, Workbook for Students, Lesson 183.
So it is about being “self-centered in the right sense.”
(In the text first typed out it was written “to be Self-centered in the right sense.”
What is someone’s name? What does it stand for? Is it not someone’s self-consciousness of identity? “I am (so and so)” we say when asked “Who are you.” “So and so” meaning the human name we identify ourselves with when asked.
That being so, what is the Name of God? Is it not God’s Self-consciousness of His Identity?
When we are asked to do things in the Name of God, we are asked to do them in God’s Self-consciousness of Identity. Be it still in human appearance. For it is God Who is then Self-centered in Himself as us when it seems it is but we doing it. But He is doing it as us when we do it.
Therefore we are not only calling upon God’s name, but also on our own when we do. For when we do it in what seems to be but our self-consciousness of identity, it is really God doing it in our consciousness as His Self-consciousness of Identity.
Much Love indeed.
Stewart, the joy goes back and forth! You are such a part of our ACOL experience here in Florida and I (we) treasure you.
Lodewijk Langeweg, I appreciate all the rich material you mined in this little writing about The Bull and Me. I have read it all and can resonate completely with your final sentence: “Thus God in one helps God in the other come to God and God’s joy, even while still in human appearance.” That’s the miracle isn’t it?!
By the way -the Way being our Self- the bull symbolizes the love power of divine Self-recognition. By opening one’s eyes in the morning and identifying with the human one seems to be, and the things one seems to do as a human, and seems have as human properties and characteristics, that power of divine Self-recognition is sacrificed.
Yet that power -that bull- is present in the stable of experiencing being but human animals at the birth of divine Self-recognition in the human. That Self-recognition -knowing again- is given by the human, and eaten and assimilated by that power, the Christ mind being the food laying in a crib in a manger for animals, the humans. The crib is made of the same material as the cross of merely human self-consciousness. By feeding oneself with the Christ mind the power of divine Self-recognition receives what gives It its Life after having plowed like a bull the earth which is the human nature, to soften its hardness, thus preparing it for receiving the seeds of divine Self-recognition which would yield a great godly harvest in humanity.
That power is shared with endurance, when human stubbornness has yielded to divine endurance, symbolized by the donkey also eating from the same crib.
It is riding on endurance -the donkey who has a cross on its back- in divine Self-recognition that one enters the spiritual community of divine inner Peace, the Jerusalem from above. For it is the Christ in us Who guides endurance to God in us, riding on its back, like Jesus on a donkey, the symbol of that.
Thank you for sharing your dream with us, thus evoking this understanding in me so I can share that here, and utilize it in my practice of contemplation.
Thus God in one helps God in the other come to God and God’s joy, even while still in human appearance.
Thanks I needed that I am joyed to know you!!!!
““I” did not suffer, for I knew who I was and chose not suffering.”
Yes, in Your divinity You knew Who You were, and in that divine knowing You did not suffer. Yet in Your fully experiencing being but a human You no longer experienced being Who You are, and missing terribly the experience of being Yourself cried out “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”
You were willing to undergo that, to remember and enjoy also as the humans Who You are. Entirly to their divine benefit.
Do not as a human deprive Yourself of this divine Self-recognition. It is Your heritage, Your inheritance, which You left for the humans in whom You would resurrect to Yourself again, that Your joy might also be in them, and thus their joy be made complete.
Much Love indeed.
Compared to our original infinitely great happiness, joy, and pleasure in oneness with God, the experience of being but a human entails experiencing being severely accused and made to feel guilty, and spiritually -as far as consciousness goes- constantly undergoing being tortured to death.
Yet in oneness with God we lovingly willed that also other beings would enjoy what we enjoyed. In such a way that also they would know that Who they really are cares so much to make also others just as perfectly happy as that Self is that as It they would be willing to experience being those others, knowing beforehand that experiencing being someone other than the Self would be like a crucifixion in hell. But also that eventually as Who they truly are they would come to their Self, their Life, and their infinitely great joy. Yet now as the thus created new beings, so that also the new beings would have the joy of the divine Self with the certainty that their true Being is and has but an infinitely great courageous wise creative pure altruistic Charity. For as their divine Self -God- they would not gain anything from it, but only recuperate and enjoy again what as the Self they voluntarily gave up, to have it back again but when also the other beings would have it.
You are the Self as Whom You gave Your Life for the human as whom you are reading this now.
Much love indeed.