From Thinking Love to Living Love
By Don Turner
Imagine that we, you and I and any number of friends, are all sitting in the most beautiful meadow without a care in the world. A spiritual Light and Love imbues us. Such beauty! Such peace! Here we can speak freely in Love. What would we want to say to each other?
For head-polarized people like me, letting Love speak freely can be a challenge. You see, I have degrees in both philosophy and psychology. I worked for many years as a psychotherapist. I studied Theosophy and A Course in Miracles for 40+ years. And so I had always assumed that enlightening my mind would lead to Self realization.
It didn’t. All my study, all my effort, never brought me the experience of Wholeness that I unconsciously sought. And I am not the alone with this issue, for in the many spiritual groups in which I have participated, I have noticed that many have difficulty shifting from being separate personalities inspired by the soul to living as a soul in Love and Oneness.
Therefore, I really appreciate Jesus’ Teaching in A Course of Love that allowed me to realize that the Heart is a portal and a path, opening to the kingdom of the soul. This is a shift away from identifying as a separate ego to being the One Self we all share. Surprisingly, this change in awareness and identity is much easier than the effort of trying to get to God as a separate personality. I am merely consciously connecting with that part me — the spacious Self — that is already accomplished and part of God.
It is natural for those on the spiritual path to first unconsciously try to spiritualize the ego to become enlightened, but at a certain point, we realize the limitation of this approach. When I belatedly reached that point, I had to change my personal focus, effort, and attachment to my wonderful thoughts, and to open instead to the unknown path of the Heart. I believe that we all have certain assumptions about what love and the Heart is, and don’t fully understand that it is a portal to another dimension of Being — the kingdom of the soul or House of Truth.
The path of the Heart that leads beyond the ego chooses a trackless space devoid of the landmarks of thought or emotion that have previously guided us. We must learn to listen to the voice within and trust our Heart with its intuitive Knowing. This field is luminous with gems waiting to be discovered and shared. We tread now into the infinite and eternal Mind of God, and become co-creators with God, whose Self we share. I had never understood or experienced a conscious connection with God, but now, thanks to Jesus, we can.
For myself, and for many, I think, it helps to see humanity’s struggles and issues in a wider perspective. Many people are working for a better world; but the fundamental issue, as I see it, is moving from a civilization based on being separate egos to one based on living as soul. This collective soul/Self is Christ who is now emerging into our awareness and offering us the opportunity to choose Him and thereby to become who we really are.
Therefore, the vision that Jesus shares of our ego-based and separative civilization being pervaded by the consciousness of God that has ever been within it, greatly appeals to me and is in sync with my own intuition. It is exciting to participate in the prophesied transition of Earth that will entail the revelation of God and the transformation of Earth to a spiritual world of unity, love, light, and peace. I believe that we all must be excited about cooperating in this process together and of being able to directly embody the conscious Presence emerging into our collective awareness.
I have been endeavoring to stay aligned, centered, and receptive to an inner sense of what wants to be known and expressed in the moment. Rather than going to my head and my thoughts, I’m trying to wait until an inner Knowing reveals an idea, feeling, image, intention, or vision. I’m trying to give Love the reins and let come what will be. For head-polarized people, letting Love direct one’s life can be a challenge. Therefore it’s reinforcing to realize that we all inwardly know the same Truth that we are remembering together. The thoughts of the ego are circumscribed compared to the livingness of the Truth within.
Another change I’ve noticed in endeavoring to live ACOL is a sense of being within a more relaxed unfolding of time. No longer needing to control life or impose my agenda on the moment allows me to flow by trusting an intuitive sense. This gives what IS and would be a chance to be discovered and shared. Sharing in relationship is the key — sharing what we are inspired to express from the Heart. So I conclude by sharing a poem from my heart.
When I saw you and felt the love you expressed
Every thought of mine felt pointless.
All I could really do was to praise you
And appreciate the beauty you embodied.
You were conscious life living and new
And the day and moment became an original creation.
I was grateful to be in your presence
In awe, actually, with how you could transform experience.
Something inward and invisible could now be seen
Something subtle became more manifest and real.
You just simply were your Self
With no pretense or specialness.
However, everything ordinary you touched became imbued
With the extraordinary — with some enchantment you carried.
Now I knew what magic really was
Now the spiritual realm was manifest on Earth.
You knew a secret we all must know
You wielded a Power with gentleness and Love.
When I looked into your eyes I saw spirit dancing
And Joy enough to set the world aflame!
After college, Don spent a number of years traveling and living abroad while exploring various spiritual paths. He is endeavoring to embody a Wholehearted synthesis of the path of the mind and the path of the Heart in sharing present moment Self consciousness. He is married, lives in Seattle, and has worked as a psychotherapist for many years. A year ago he started a dialogue blog at his website, www.SoulLifeCenter.org that is now a book, Christ Self Reflections: A Year’s Communion, available from Amazon. Don can be reached at email@example.com.
“You can only be who you are by sharing who you are.” C:31.17
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Life, No. 1
By Tom Reussé
Back when the world was very young
and I, much younger still
would leave my bed on moon lit nights
and wander from this hill.
The moon helps cast a silvery beam
of light to guide my way
while walking on the path of life
each dawn brings a new day.
The choice is mine which path to take
some safe, some hard, some wrong
and the melody keeps changing
in this never ending song
For life is an adventure
filled with love and joy and pain
I keep searching for an answer
is my searching just in vain?
The path I take is up to me
for it really is my choice
I make my own heaven on earth
with thought and deed and voice
But with spirit as my travel guide
I will always have a friend.
for I know my soul can be at peace
and this will never end.
Life, No. 2
By Tom Reussé’s Evil Twin
Back when the world was very young
and I, much younger still
would sleep-walk out of bed each night
getting lost on this damn hill.
The night is cold and windy
with no light to guide my way
I stumble, trip and bump my knee
will night err turn to day?
Oh great! a fork is in the path
do I turn to right or left
my diet isn’t working
it’s hard walking with this heft
Adventure, schmenchure that’s a crock
cause life is full of hissies
my knees and back hurt all the time
Growing old is not for sissies
Lots of choices, most are wrong
I wonder what it’s worth
this thing called life it’s just too much
it sure is hell on earth
Who ever said that life was grand
was it something that I read?
I’m all alone so cold and sore
I’m going back to bed
Tom Reussé is a retired business owner. He and his wife spend winters at their home in Florida and summers living on a boat in Minnesota. He enjoys photography, tennis, and writing. This his first attempt at writing poetry.
Thank you for your sharing, for the pure expressions of love, and for the appreciation of the fact that we are all opening to the same Self of Love that we share together.
Love this sharing. I so identify with your experience when you write “A Course of Love that allowed me to realize that the Heart is a portal and a path, opening to the kingdom of the soul.” I came to ACOL 36 years an engineer, 17 years of them with ACIM. My brain hurt. I could barely read another word. Then came ACOL and my mind finally let go … relaxing, allowing me to rest in my heart. Thank you Don 💖
Don, thank you for that very sublime sharing and insight. I’ve gone through virtually what you’ve described and so I respect and appreciate where you’re coming from. Good for you!
In regard to what you’ve shared with us, once I understood what the holy instant (ACIM) was and starting living in it, my whole consciousness and life changed from (in short) fear to Love, defending to accepting (ACOL), anxiety to peace, conceptualizing to knowing, etc. and my outer world became a beautiful reflection of my inner world.
And one day these words came to me, “The holy instant is the milieu of my life. It is the only safe place”.
Joined, Don, in Who and What we are,
I really enjoyed that. Thankyou for sharing Don.
The following is a call for help, even though I don’t feel hopeless, and accept it as God in human appearance calling to Himself as the Godhead for salvation from what seems to be:
By experiencing things we morally do not like, about our human selves and others, we come to realize we don’t like them because we are unlike them. Even our character and behavior we might begin to increasingly dislike, proving that in our heart -our conscience- we are dislike them, dislike meaning unlike. We are unlike what we dislike.
All that God is willing to experience as each one of us -this cross of experiencing being but an imperfect human having imperfect desires and doing imperfect things- and feeling bad -suffering guilt- because of them.
Who but God would feel and react like that while under the impression and belief He is but this imperfect human?
No one else.
The union with God experience I once enjoyed entailed such a deep peace, such a great joy, and a pleasure so great that during it even the offer of having sex with someone I was passionately in love with, and found the most attractive creature on earth, was unattractive compared to it. It would have brought my attention back to earth and my body then, and have greatly diminished the divine pleasure I was enjoying.
I learned through that and many other spiritual experiences, including an NDE-like one, that as God we have all given our life for the human souls, to have our divine Life and joy back again when also the souls would have it, entirely to their benefit.
Yet knowing all that, it is but a memory, and all I have left is the power of decision: whether to listen to the ego or the Holy Spirit.
When I sit opening my heart to God -our true Being- with the understanding that it is God experiencing sitting as I to come to Himself in me to the benefit of my soul -and hopefully that of others as well- many thoughts memories and imaginations come up. Some very unpleasant, even painful.
But the strongest suggestion that presents itself then is to go do something to distract myself from that unpleasant experience, something less boring and more fun, but which throws me off track for many hours, often a whole day or night, when I give in to the seduction.
It has become so powerful -maybe also because of meditation- that as a counter reaction it made me write and print out in big letters just before coming here :
“Regard the internal images and suggestions to go watch porn as an invitation to throw yourself from your balcony.” (I live on the fifth floor.)
As there is not one hair on my head -as we say in my country- thinking of throwing my body of off the balcony -on the contrary, I want to be here now more than ever- I hope it will help me to stay put where I sit when I do, and instead of heeding the ego’s voice to go watch porn, choose to endure to hear the Voice for God.
Lodwijk, that’s a very beautiful and vulnerable sharing. I love vulnerability because I know it is the only way to invulnerability.
I believe I understand what you’re saying and wanted to offer this to you for your consideration. What I have been taught and learned, and now experience, is that nothing in the dream matters. In my ACIM/ACOL group, as a catch-all for any and all illusion, we laughingly say that “sex is no different than cornbread” (both of which were at one time brought up in group dialogue). I also know that when we defend against something we make it real.
Everything, in essence, is the same. Nothing that is illusion matters at all. And as the Holy Spirit has told me, regarding seemingly ideal and non-ideal states, “Being just is, so love what is”.
Love embodied is such a beautiful poem, so lovely to read.