Lady Gaga’s JUDAS and ACIM by Corinne Zupko

 

Lady Gaga’s JUDAS and
A Course in Miracles

by Corinne Zupko*
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

http://www.innerbalanceliving.com

“Judas was my brother and a Son of God,
as much a part of the Sonship as myself.
Was it likely that I would condemn him
when I was ready to demonstrate
that condemnation is impossible?”

~ A COURSE IN MIRACLES,      I am a fan of Lady Gaga. I love her for her messages of choosing love, acceptance, and non-judgment, over hate, exclusion, and judgment. And I believe she often listens to her Inner Guidance System, which is what “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM) is teaching us to do.

Being that my operating system is A Course in Miracles “one-point-0,” I tend to look at everything through the lens of ACIM. When I first watched Lady Gaga’s video, “Judas”, I didn’t get it. But as I watched it over and over through my ACIM lens, I ended up being moved to tears. If you haven’t seen it check it out on YouTube.

To me, the lyrics of “Judas” speak to the state we find ourselves in this world. The song is about the split we feel in deciding between truth versus illusion, or love versus fear. We know that it is love that is good for us, and yet, we persist in choosing fear. In the song, Jesus represents love, truth, and Oneness. Judas represents the ego, which, according to the Course, is the part of our mind that WANTS to be separate from Oneness. Another way to describe the ego is fear.

ACIM OrEd.TX.6.20 

♫ “I wanna love you,
but something’s pulling me away from you,
Jesus is my virtue,
but Judas is the demon I cling to” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

Our true state is one of Love. We are eternal, and we are One. And yet, according to “A Course in Miracles” we had the “tiny mad idea” that we wanted to experience ourselves as separate from our Source. And so we chose to enter earth school – this state of seeming separation that we believe is really happening. We chose to listen to the ego rather than to Love. And so the ego coaxes us to follow it, but all it offers us is dissatisfaction, loneliness, and pain. We know that Love is our virtue and will make us happy, and yet we cling to the ego to hide from Love. We really believe the ego has something to offer us.

♫ “I’m just a holy fool, and baby it’s so cruel
but I’m still in love with Judas, baby.” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

We are holy fools! The Course constantly likens us to spiritual children. We think we know everything. We think we know what is best for us. We think we know what makes us happy. And we think a love affair with the ego brings joy. Yet, we’re mistaken. Nothing here in this world really satisfies us or lasts forever.

The ego’s motto is, “Seek but do not find” (~ACIM).

How many times have we said, “when I get that better relationship, then I will be happy” or “when I get that new job, or those new clothes, then I will be happy.” When we achieve that which we were after, maybe we’re satisfied for a minute. Then we’re off searching for the next thing.

The only true place to find happiness is within. Nothing outside of us can make us happy. The only thing that will really satisfy us is our connection to Spirit. With that comes a knowing of WHO we really are – that we are love, we are never alone, we are whole, and eternal. Being a channel for Love is what will make us happy.

CONTINUED READING FROM NEWSLETTER

And then the ego sings:

♫ “I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down.
A king with no crown, king with no crown.” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

When I intently watched the video and listened to the lyrics, seeing the forceful swoop of the dancers hands as they motioned bringing Jesus “down” I couldn’t help but feel emotional. In Jesus’ example, his persecutors (those who were identified with their ego) wanted to bring him (Love) down. Yet, we still do this over and over every day when we choose to listen to our egos and block out the Voice of Love. Judging one another and attacking one another are all various forms of wanting to bring love down. They are not acts of love, they are calls for love.

According to ACIM, our egos are not our friends. The ego actively wants to keep love out. It doesn’t want you looking within, because if we really find what we are, which is love, we would stop believing in the ego. So the ego wants to take down Love. It wants to kill it.“The ego is therefore capable of suspiciousness at best, and viciousness at worst”(~ACIM).

And yet, the Course also teaches that the ego is really nothing, and it is certainly nothing to be afraid of! It is just a dream with no power to change love at all.

“Where there was darkness now we see the light. What is the ego? What the darkness was. Where is the ego? Where the darkness was. What is it now and where can it be found? Nothing and nowhere. Now the light has come…” – A Course in Miracles

Where love is, the ego is not. And when we choose to identify with Love, the ego has no power over us. This makes me think of this “Judas” lyric:

♫ “Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after 3 times, he betrays me” – Lady Gaga’s “Judas”

Jesus forgave everyone. Even his crucifiers. The ego’s actions had no power over him.

I watched a documentary on the Gospel of Judas recently, and was struck to learn that according to that gospel, Jesus instructed Judas on what his part would be. According to this gospel, Jesus actually told Judas that he should turn him in. Judas had a key role to play, so Jesus could demonstrate with an extreme example that love, which is what we are, cannot be destroyed.

In the Course, Jesus states:

“I elected, for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter.”

No matter what awful picture the body seems to go through, Jesus’ resurrection showed us that we cannot kill love.

We are not asked to be crucified. We are simply asked, in much less extreme situations, to be willing to see with the vision of Love, rather than with fear. We cannot choose to see with love on our own, we need to call upon our Inner Guide that is within each and every one of us, for help. For this Inner Guide knows the way to love. We don’t. Learning to remove the blocks that we’ve put up to love and discover the beauty that is already within each of us what “A Course in Miracles” is all about.

~*~

*Corinne Zupko, Ed.S., M.A., C.P.C., is a speaker, adjunct professor, coach, writer, and meditation teacher. Corinne began her work with the Course in 1996 after struggling with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. By practicing the Course principles, “what appeared as terrifying and  Love or Fearunresolvable, ended up being one of the most growth-enhancing experiences in my life.” Her growth and healing journey led her into a career in the helping professions where she is passionate about helping others find and connect with their inner truth.
For more information, Corinne is a regular contributor at  www.twitter.com/CorinneZupko

Website:

 

Forgiveness 1-2-3 by Gene Skaggs

Forgiveness 1-2-3
by Gene Skaggs*

*~*~*~*~*
[As it appears in the March 2012 Newsletter]

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

www.geneskaggs.com


       Forgiveness, the main doctrine of A COURSE IN MIRACLES is described by personally invoking the taking of two steps followed by the Holy Spirit taking the final one. Sounds simple, 1 – 2 – 3. Let’s look at each step individually because each one is independent of the other but naturally leads one to the unfoldment of the next.

“This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced.” Workbook Lesson 23

The first step is the identification of the cause of the discomfort. I have found this to be, for students, not only the most misunderstood, but the most difficult to implement. Look at the first step and what it says, “that the cause be identified.” The identification process is observing the emotional response that the event/person has brought to your awareness.

Example: Someone did or didn’t do what you have deemed appropriate and the action or lack of action has caused an emotional response to the event might take the form of anger. The first step in the forgiveness process is now complete. You have identified the emotion that you have chosen to keep you from your Source – anger. The identification process is NOT what the other person did, but your emotion to what took place on your perceptual viewing screen/world.

“Unless you give it back, it is inevitable that your perspective on reality be warped and uncorrected.” – – – A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Technically your part in the forgiveness process is complete. The next step is taken by the Holy Spirit and that is the removal of the unwanted emotion of anger.

The Course doesn’t give you a step four but it explains another step. After the guilt (anger) in your mind has been removed you will have to do something. You might be guided to do nothing, but in the refraining from taking action motivation is done consciously.

The Holy Spirit will speak to you and tell you what to do in any particular situation that you have allow the mighty Voice for Truth to be in charge. It will always be a win/win situation for both parties.

“The Holy Spirit will not delay in answering your every question what to do. He knows. And He will tell you, and then do it for you.” – – – A COURSE IN MIRACLES

http://www.geneskaggs.com

Gene Skaggs has been a student of A COURSE IN MIRACLES since 1979, a teacher since 1988, has written four books on A COURSE IN MIRACLES entitled: A BEGINNER’S GLOSSARY TO A COURSE IN MIRACLES, THE RELATIONSHIP GAME CHANGING THE RULES, 101 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE COURSE, and BIBLICAL QUOTES FROM A COURSE IN MIRACLEGene SkaggsS  REINTERPRETED.

Gene has a private counseling practice, and is a certified psych-k facilitator. He also has written a book about his son who laid his body down at the age of 22 in 2009. The book contains messages after he laid his body down, as well as, who he was as a person while he walked this planet.

 

Shekinah by Amy Torres

Shekinah, Divine Feminine
and the Holy Spirit

by Amy Torres*

[As it appears in the February 2012 Newsletter]

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

http://www.amytorresacim.com/


Last night we had a guest from Israel in our Course in Miracles class. About an hour into class, I referred to the Holy Spirit as “He” and our guest, Hila, bolted upright with surprise! “He?” Hila said, making sure she heard me right. “Yes,” I answered, “The Course is written with Christian terminology. It’s a genderless “He” but the masculine is used.” “Not in the Hebrew edition,” she said. “What does the Hebrew edition say?” we asked. “She,” was the answer. And then a lightbulb went off in my mind: Shekinah–the Divine Feminine.

I suddenly remembered my interfaith seminary education where the concept of “Shekinah” was introduced to me by an African-American classmate. I am no scholar when it comes to Shekinah, but this is what I’ve gathered from a bit of research:

Shekinah is the spark of the Divine within us, what A Course in Miracles calls the memory of God within us, aka, the Holy Spirit. Shekinah and the Holy Spirit each seem to be a bridge to help us Home–both are often presented visually with the symbol of a dove. Shakti is also an aspect of Divine Feminine, found in Hinduism, but it is more concrete as an activating force within the world of form–Shakti is the life force within humans, animals, minerals, etc. I’m sure the Divine Feminine goes by many other names offered by countless cultures (Kwan Yin, Yemaya, Green Tara, on and on). The point is, as the Course teaches me, I don’t know anything. But I can use everything I think I know in service of God’s Will with the Holy Spirit/Shekinah as my Guide. I have ascribed meaning and interpretation to everything in the world, because I am the dreamer of the world. When I allow my source of knowing to be from Beyond this world then Love becomes the only pronoun.

Women, and sometimes men, often ask for inclusion of the feminine in A Course in Miracles language. It is interesting to find out that “She” is used in the Hebrew translation of the Course to represent the Holy Spirit. Remember, what is most important is that both “He” and “She” in A Course in Miracles are all-inclusive, therefore genderless. A pronoun is necessary to communicate with us, but whether it is male or female is ultimately unimportant. A Course in Miracles is not political–it is spiritual.

Spirituality, by definition, must be both female and male because the truth is we all are One. Spirit is the ultimate equalizer. Spirit is what truly empowers us. Miracle principle #1: “There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.” Because Love is maximal. No matter what the representation of Love–Jesus, Mary, Holy Spirit, Shekinah–Love is maximal. Love is the content which is constant, eternal. Everything else is symbolized in form, which is ephemeral, ever-changing.

My background is in psychology, not the bible nor the torah. And my resonance with A Course  in Miracles has a lot to do with my desire to understand human nature non-judgmentally, with an  open heart and an open mind. The Course tells us that anything that upsets us is of our own  making–we have chosen pain and victimhood.

CONTINUED READING FROM NEWSLETTER

So when women (or men) feel left out or  devalued by the omission of the female pronoun in A Course in Miracles, it is an opportunity to  examine how we are separating and devaluing ourselves. Eleanor Roosevelt told us, “No one can  make you feel inferior without your consent.”

The scribe of A Course in Miracles was Helen Schucman, a very accomplished professional  woman. Her partner, without whom she could not have fulfilled her task, was a man, Bill  Thetford (who happened to be gay). Ken Wapnick was instrumental in helping to organize the  raw ACIM material, but Judy Skutch was the one who got it published. Ken started the first  ACIM teaching institute, with his wife, Gloria Wapnick. And Marianne Williamson is the one  who really popularized the Course–on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Everyone is included in  God’s plan. If we are excluding ourselves, and we are true Course students, it is incumbent  upon us to take responsibility for self-exclusion and give that fear-based belief to our Higher  Self: Shekinah/Holy Spirit.  

Sometimes students ask me, “Where is Mary in A Course in Miracles?” I don’t know. I don’t  see Mother Mary or Mary Magdalene in A Course in Miracles, but it doesn’t matter to me.  Because I know that if I want to commune with Mother Mary or Mary Magdalene, or Kwan Yin  for that matter (the Buddhist Madonna, or Mother of All Buddhas) They are Right Here, Right Now.  All I have to do is tune in to Her and ask for Her Grace, Her Compassion, and Her Guidance. Any spiritual  teacher you desire is available to you–take the time to pray and meditate and you will find that  out for yourself.

When the Course in translated into other languages, it is translated back into English again before  being published, to make sure the Course teaching is accurately retained. Isn’t it beautiful and  true that whether we say “She” or “He” the Holy Spirit remains the same Loving Memory of God  in our mind? We can count on the constancy of Love Itself. There are no semantics, there is no  discrimination within God’s Mind. God is empowering, God is empowerment. God is Love  Power. Know God and you will know Thyself, masculine, feminine and everything in-between.

P.S. I received an email from Hila, the student who told us about “Shekinah” on her arrival home  in Israel. Hila said: “Just one more thing: my teacher, Efrat, was involved in the translation  process. She told us that there was a “debate” as to whether the Holy Spirit should be translated  to the Christian term “Ruach ha-kodesh” or to the Jewish term “Shekinah.”

Eventually it was the Jewish Shekinah that was used. However, in Hebrew, even the Christian  term for Holy Spirit –Ruach Ha-kodesh – is feminine. The decision was between the Jewish or  Christian term, but both alternatives in Hebrew were feminine.”   What a beautiful reminder that we are all the Same.

© 2011 Amy Torres

~*~

*Amy Torres is a Gestalt psychotherapist, interfaith minister, and yoga teacher, who teaches A Course in Miracles, which is the foundation of her work. She has developed the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty© which is a form of emotionally responsible communication, conflict negotiation, and a way of “undoing” our identification with the ego. Reverend Torres is affiliated with One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in NYC. She loves dance, qi gong, the Sufi turn, latihan, and all forms of percussion. Her practice is based in Naples, Florida.

Amy Torres ~ The Yoga of A Course in Miracles

 

The Yoga of A Course in Miracles
by
Amy Torres*
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

http://www.amytorresacim.com/

 [as it appeared in the March 2011 Newsletter]

 

          

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) offers us a highly individualized curriculum where we use the body as a learning device under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Yoga is one of the classrooms the Holy Spirit offers me to use my body for spiritual purposes. ACIM provides a mind training, therefore all of its practices are in thought-form, or ideas. This can be challenging since the body demands our attention all day long. Yoga offers a body-based sadhana, or spiritual practice, using the body and breath to reconnect with God’s Mind. This way, instead of letting the body run the show, we have concrete techniques so that the body serves the Mind.

“The body, valueless and hardly worth the least defence, need merely be perceived as quite apart from you, and it becomes a healthy, serviceable instrument through which the mind can operate until its usefulness is over.” ACIM Workbook, Lesson 135.

Most of us think of yoga as a physical practice, but the physical movements or asanas, known as hatha yoga, is but one of five yoga systems. Hindu philosophy speaks of hatha yoga, raja yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga and karma yoga. Each of these systems can be used autonomously to realize God, or they can be used in combination.

Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means “to yoke” or “join” as in union with our brothers and communion with God. Swami Satchidananda defines yoga as “the science of mind” and explains that “the mind is a veil woven with thoughts.” Yoga is a system that helps us harness the mind, because as long as the ego mind gives us the runaround, we’ll remain unaware of the One Mind in which we all truly live.

Hatha Yoga
Hatha yoga is the physical movement of yoga, the asanas, or postures. The Rishis of five thousand years ago inadvertently “invented” hatha yoga when they surfaced from deep meditation and felt stiff. The stretching they did to limber up was based on what they saw around them in nature: they mimicked animals, mountains and trees to loosen up and invigorate the body. Nowadays, hatha yoga is used as preparation for meditation. It can also be seen as a moving meditation in itself. When the movements are linked to the breath, and smooth transitions melt one pose into the next, the mind is smoothed also. By relaxing and strengthening the body, we calm the mind and are more able to harness our thoughts and concentrate, which leads to meditation.

ACIM is not strict about a formal ongoing meditation practice. “Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming, for all of them look to the future for release from a state of present unworthiness and inadequacy.” T-18.VII.4:9-11 [T-18.VIII.66 original edition] Yoga is an unhurried ancient practice based, to some extent, on an accumulation of good karma. It takes time to balance chakras, activate kundalini energy, and transcend the sheaths of the koshas. The Course is a refreshing counterbalance to yoga in this way: ACIM promises us over and over again that it will save us time. It provides a structured practice of meditation in the Workbook Lessons, but after that, we are on our own, listening to our Inner Teacher and using the Holy Instant to connect with Universal Mind as often as possible, and in our own way.

Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti yoga is a path of selfless devotion to God. Krishna’s gopis exemplified bhakti yoga. Gopi mean “cow-herding girl.” The story goes that when Krishna played his flute, gopi women dropped what they were doing, whether it was cooking, tending to the cows, or washing clothes. Everything would be left in the middle and the gopis would abandon their families to dance ecstatically around Krishna as he seduced them with his flute. At night, Krishna would visit every gopi, in a unique form just for her, and make love to her. Bhakti yoga has a quality of unreserved love and passion for God, a full faith that recognizes that God comes first above all others.

A Course in Miracles asks us for the same level of devotion. Lesson 157, “Into His Presence would I enter now” expresses it this way, “From this day forth, your ministry takes on a genuine devotion, and a glow that travels from your fingertips to those you touch, and blesses those you look upon.”

Jnana Yoga
Jnana yoga uses the study of scripture as a means to comprehend our true Self. What starts out as an intellectual pursuit deepens into a felt experience. Jnana uses inquiry to uncover meaning beneath meaning beyond meaning until the Self is revealed. The great sage and realized master Ramana Maharshi taught through the question, “Who am I?” This question, aimed at everything, takes us back to the Witness, the Observer, the Decision-Maker (in Ken Wapnick’s parlance). “It undoes the veils that the ego has interposed between its little slice of mind and its Source.

Jnana yoga helps us return to the decision-making part of our mind by stripping away the false self, layer by layer. “This single purpose creates perfect integration and establishes the peace of God.” T-3.II.5:6
 [T-3-III.19 original edition] Ultimately, the Course tells us to “Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.” W-189 Until we reach that point, immersing ourselves in scripture can be the royal road Home. Rather than be lost in the ego’s unconscious, we saturate ourselves in the Holy Spirit’s teachings.

Karma Yoga
Karma yoga is the yoga of taking action in the world through selfless service. It is a pure practice of brotherhood. It is the natural expression of the miracle, seeing Christ in everyone indiscriminately. It is the application of generalization. “You will recognize that you have learned there is no order of difficulty in miracles when you apply them to all situations. There is no situation to which miracles do not apply, and by applying them to all situations you will gain the real world.” T-12.VII.1:3-4 [T-11.VIII.61 original edition] And the way to do this is to see Christ in each other.

Raja Yoga
Patanjali, the sage who compiled the Yoga Sutras, lays out the path of raja yoga. Raja means royal and is considered a complete system. Its goal is to improve our concentration so we can move all our attention toward our Being in order to become that Being. Raja yoga is also called ashtanga yoga because of the eight limbs on which the system rests: They are 1) Yamas, outward morality 2) Niyamas, inner ethics 3) Asanas, physical postures 4) Pranayama, control of breath and life currents 5) Pratyahara, withdrawal of the senses in order to turn within 6) Dharana, concentration 7) Dhyana, meditation and 8) Samadhi, holy trance, what the Course would call revelation, a direct experience of God.

As the Course says in the Clarification of Terms, “A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary.” ACIM also has a curriculum, and uses a text, workbook and manual for teachers as its “limbs,” which, when used vigilantly, integrate its teachings and deepen our learning. The ACIM curriculum is not aimed at teaching Love or samadhi because that is beyond what can be taught and is naturally revealed as we remove the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence.

The Yoga of A Course in Miracles is fun. I like doing a headstand to reverse my upside-down perception, and to evoke the holy instant by chanting “aum.” In concluding, I say to you, “Namaste. The divine Light in me bows to the divine Light in you” or, in ACIM-speak, “You are one Self with me, united with our Creator in this Self. I honor you because of What I am, and What He is, Who loves us both as One.” ACIM Workbook, Lesson 95

~*~

*Amy Torres is a Gestalt psychotherapist and teaches A Course in Miracles, which forms the foundation of her work. She is also a yoga teacher, an EFT and reiki practitioner, and a writer. She has developed the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty© which is a form of emotionally responsible communication, conflict negotiation, and a way of “undoing” our identification with the ego. Reverend Torres also serves as an interfaith minister and is affiliated with One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. She loves dance, qi gong, the Sufi turn, latihan, and all forms of percussion. Her practice is based in New York City. miracles@amytorresacim.com