Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gary Renard interview

I found this obscure interview with Gary Renard. I post it here because apparently Evolve Magazine has disappeared, and the interview is too good to be lost. (I got it from the Google cache.)
Don't miss my blog Power Of Source, which is about Gary's book and A Course In Miracles and about non-duality. 

Spirituality for Smart Alecks
by Carl McColman

WITHIN A TWENTY-FIVE YEAR PERIOD IN THE MIDST of the last century two spiritual texts emerged that arguably could redefine Christianity and perhaps even world spirituality. Those two texts are A Course in Miracles, channeled by Helen Schucman in the late 1960s; and the Gospel of Thomas, an ancient Gnostic text that had been lost for centuries before being rediscovered in the Egyptian desert in 1945.
Fascinating similarities link these two books: both claim to contain the actual words of Jesus Christ, yet the ideas found in these books have the power to revolutionize old dogmas about Jesus and the Christian tradition. Both books “emerged” under wondrous circumstances: a centuries-old manuscript is found preserved in a desert cave, while a 1200-page exploration of miracles comes to light through the channeled work of a skeptical modern psychologist. Still, on the surface it seems these two books couldn’t be more different. The Gospel of Thomas is short enough to read in a single sitting, while A Course in Miracles requires at least a year to be properly studied. Thomas’ gospel is an ancient manuscript long thought lost; the Course is a psychologically savvy modern text that comes from New York City.

So just what do these strangely similar yet obviously different texts have in common? One startling and intriguing answer to this question comes from Gary Renard’s entertaining and insightful exploration of his personal spiritual journey, The Disappearance of the Universe. Skeptics who have grown tired of yet another book of teachings-by-ascended-masters might be tempted to dismiss Renard’s story of encountering two remarkable spirits named Arten and Pursah, who appear in bodily form in his living room in late 1992, and over the ensuing decade instruct him on a variety of topics. Early on, these two Bodhisattva-like sages help Renard find a surprising link between A Course in Miracles, The Gospel of Thomas and his own personal journey. But The Disappearance of the Universe is far more than one man’s memoir?in Renard’s sometimes-graceful, sometimes-clumsy journey toward spiritual maturity, truly universal themes and insights emerge. Anyone who comes to this book with an open mind and an open heart can find much in Renard’s journey that will speak to their own.


After reading his book and interviewing him, I’ve come to think of Gary Renard as the “bad boy” of contemporary metaphysical scene. Part of this comes from Gary’s own sometimes-irreverent wit (asked about his faith background, he quips “I have no religious affiliation, except that in the winter I’m a Buddhist and in the summer I’m a nudist.”), but it’s also clearly depicted in his book, where he challenges his teachers with sarcasm, skepticism, and various playful and not-so-playful responses to their radical spiritual ideas.

I asked Gary if he’s a natural born smart aleck. “Well, yes; that’s actually a part of my defense when I get a little bit nervous, but I’m not always like that! But it does show up sometimes, it even shows up in my workshops, but it’s in the spirit of good fun.” However, he goes to ponder how spiritual seekers can sometimes overlook humor.

“I’ve been to study group meetings since the book came out, and people tell me that my book reminds them of the way they actually talk. Sometimes they’re not happy about what’s being said, so sometimes they do make those kinds of smart-aleck comments. It’s just a way of getting to the ideas that aren’t always easy to accept at first.”

Renard sees humor as actually playing an important role in the both the style and the content of his message. “When [my teachers] appeared to me as people, I would have a [humorous] back and forth conversation with them. They knew that if by appearing to me in human form, that our conversations would therefore be more human. And I think that’s important, because a lot of the spiritual teachings that we have today seem to be coming from a place above the world?they’re very nice, but a lot of them are boring, frankly, in my opinion.

You have a lot of teachings that are scholarly or biblical, but they don’t seem to be put in a way that people really talk. People who read my book might be taken aback by it because they’re not used to seeing a spiritual book written that way.” But this startling spiritual humor has its place: “My teachers said that they are reverent?for God and Spirit. When you look at what they’re teaching, that’s the only thing that’s real anyway. They’re very consistent about their reverence toward God and Spirit, which in their opinion is reality, and everything else isn’t worthy of reverence. According to them, masters like Jesus were asking us to choose between one of two things, and only one of them is real. So why be reverent or have a high opinion of that which we are actually being taught to choose against? I think what my teachers are saying is, ‘Look, not only do you take the world too damn seriously, but if you really examine it close up, this world can not be taken seriously!’”

Asked if he could offer a glimpse into the heart of his message, Renard replaced his signature playful humor with an earnest discussion of the core metaphysics of A Course in Miracles. “ We have to reverse the thinking of the world. We think that what we’re seeing with our physical eyes is real, while the mind is hidden?something we don’t think about all that much. But in truth it’s the mind that’s important, because it functions like a movie projector, and the ‘screen’ [of the physical universe] that we’re seeing is just the effect?not the cause. Once we understand that, we can realize that the Universe is all a trick. Albert Einstein described the human experience as ‘an optical delusion of the consciousness.’

Understanding the illusory nature of the physical universe is essential to discovering how the secret to spiritual joy lies within us. “A Course in Miracles calls itself a course in cause, not in effect. It attempts to restore to the mind the function of causation.” In other words, when we feel like life has created problems for us, we are ignoring the vital role that our minds have in creating our own experiences. “It’s really a trick when we’re so busy and we have all kinds of problems?it’s a trick meant to distract us from where the answer is, which is in the mind, which is where the Holy Spirit is. Once we understand this then we can say, ‘Okay, I’m willing to take 15 minutes or a half an hour a day, and get control over my own mind.’ In doing that we learn that the way to undo the ego is in the way that we look at things, and interpret things.” Given that the key to enlightenment is in changing how we see things, Renard cautions against spiritual materialism: “With all the books out there, people think that the more spiritual information that you put into your head, the more you learn, the more enlightened you are. And ironically, that’s not true. The way to really undo the ego and become enlightened is by changing the way that you think about things, and how you look at things.”

Renard compares the spiritual life to learning how to play a musical instrument. It’s one thing to read books on playing the guitar, but truly mastering the instrument requires putting the book down?and practicing. “No matter how much information you put into your head, it won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t apply it?to what you’re looking at and what you’re seeing. That’s where spiritual practice and discipline come in. A Course in Miracles stands with Buddhism as the two major forms of mind training in the world. According to my teachers and also the Course, the mind has to be retrained, because right now it judges automatically. You can see this everywhere?everybody’s in a reactionary state, you can hardly walk down the street without making somebody angry. Everybody’s in a reactive state because they don’t realize how they’re thinking is so automatic and mechanical; they don’t even realize it when they’re judging or attacking other people, they just think they’re right.

“A Course in Miracles says that the mind has to be retrained. The way my teachers put it, eventually you go from a place where you are judging automatically to where you forgive automatically. That’s not a small change! But in so doing that, you will completely change the way you feel about yourself. How we feel about and experience ourselves is not determined by what others think of us or how they look at us?even though we think that that’s important. But in truth, how I’ll feel about and experience myself is really determined by how I look at the world.”

But the magic of A Course in Miracles lies in how it goes beyond merely changing our attitude to improve our feelings. This stems from its core metaphysical claim that all of us are, in essence, one with God. “Whatever we think about other people is really a message that we are sending into the unconscious mind about ourselves. So if we’re smart enough not to judge and condemn others?like the Buddha who had no judgment, and Jesus who not only had no judgment, but who had total love for everyone, and saw everyone as innocent and totally worthy of being with God?then that is the exact message that we would be sending into our own unconscious mind and that’s exactly how we would come to eventually feel and experience ourselves.”

Fascinated by this hopeful way of understanding the world, I asked Gary how to put such love and non-judgment into action. He responded by noting that there are two ways of undoing the experience of separation from God. “First, in the morning take some quiet time, 5 or 10 minutes, and forget about all the things you think you need or have to do or want. Just join with God in a state of meditation, with no words, and spend some quiet time with God?just joining with the light of God and feeling totally unlimited and getting lost in his love. If you do that every day, there is an aftereffect of inspiration. You will receive other gifts?not as physical miracles, but as inspiration in the mind that can lead to miracles.

“The other major way of undoing the sense of separation is through the practice of forgiveness. Forgiving others leads to an experience of rejoining with yourself and feeling whole again.” Such unconditional forgiveness may not be easy, but Renard suggests it is the core reason for being.

“My teachers didn’t always tell me that much about the future, because they said they didn’t want to deprive me of my forgiveness lessons! To which I felt like saying, ‘Thanks a lot!’ And at the same time, I understand that what they’re saying about that is good for me. Everything that happens?and it doesn’t matter how much your life appears to change?is really all for the same purpose; it’s all for forgiveness.”

I must confess: I am naturally a skeptic who feels more comfortable studying ancient mystical writings than pondering new revelations that may or may not be anything more than the ego-projections of the spiritual teacher of the month. Reading The Disappearance of the Universe with all of my “prove-it” defenses operational, I was genuinely touched by its humorous and yet earnest introduction to the metaphysics of A Course in Miracles and its elegant plea for a spirituality of total forgiveness. Believe what you will about Arten, Pursah, and Gary Renard. But their message of forgiveness, love, and taking life a little less seriously is timely, important, and wise.

Carl McColman is a freelance writer and spiritual teacher based in Atlanta, GA. His most recent book is 366 Celt: A Year and a Day of Celtic Wisdom and Lore (Element, 2005).

30 comments:

Final Identity said...

Too long! Summarize! :)

Steve said...

I'm currently reading The Disappearance of the Universe (I'm at chapter 10 - Healing The Sick - right now). I'm mixed about the book - there are some good ideas in there, but on others I am not convinced. It's also not as practical as I would like it to be, though I suppose it could be argued that's what A Course In Miracles is for, which I haven't read yet.

eolake said...

Steve, I recommend giving the book some leeway. It has some ideas that will rub most people the wrong way. (Except if they are buddhist or hindu.) But try and read it with the attitude that "who knows, it might be true, what do I know". You can always decide later that it's horribly wrong.

Magnetic Mary said...

I definitely have to play more guitar. :-)

ttl said...

Magnetic Mary said: "I definitely have to play more guitar. :-)"

Wow! Profound. Me too!

eolake said...

It's so profound I didn't get it.

ttl said...

I don't have a problem with the substance of ACIM. I think it is essentially correct. It's the way it is presented that rubs me the wrong way. Along with this is the notion that the text would be somehow ground breaking, which it certainly is not. These ideas have existed hundreds if not thousands of years, and have been presented in countless spiritual texts before ACIM.

But I am about to take a new look into this, so I'll refrain from commenting any more at this point. More later.

eolake said...

I have studied way more spirituality than almost anybody I know, and to me ACIM (or DU) feels, if not groundbreaking, then certainly profound and important.

One of the major differences, besides being very concise compared to Buddhism/Hindusm, is that it contains *practical* excercises for training your mind to look through the illusion, and finally break the reincarnation trap. 365 of them.

ttl said...

Eolake: "and finally break the reincarnation trap."

Oooh ... I had forgotten about this. It is exactly things like this that rub me the wrong way about the text. Given what we know about the nature of time, there can be no reincarnation in the spiritual sense. And therefore no "reincarnation trap" either. This is a distortion.

Yes, practical exercises are good. And as different exercises work better for different people, it is good to have a wide selection of them too.

eolake said...

"And therefore no "reincarnation trap" either. This is a distortion."

Exactly. What the course does is teach you how to see through the illusions which make it appear that there are.

And the lies and illusions are very, very deepfounded. They are basic to the universe, in fact. So it takes decades or lifetimes of practice, and precise knowledge.

laurie said...

My neighbor who came over for a visit saw the book "The Disappearance of the Universe" on our table. He looked at the title and said, "Now THIS freaks me out!" Didn't even want to know what it was about!

I have studied ACIM, and read DU twice. I find the ideas ring true. One thought though that I have problems with: My salvation depends upon forgiving my brother. It seems to impel "joining" with other people mentally, spiritually, when this feels dualistic to me. It feels more like myself I need to forgive for believing in "others" in the first place.

eolake said...

The neighbor's reaction is interesting.

What the course calls "forgiveness" *is* pretty synonymous (and certainly included) the realization that the separation is not real.

Steve said...

Eolake,

The ideas in general did not bother me. What I'll call the "Bible language" gets on my nerves a bit - and I don't mean talking about verses in the Bible - I found those discussions quite fascinating. But I understand that given the backgrounds of Pursah and Arten, it makes sense and is probably what would work best for them teaching Gary.

I think what bothers me is what appears to be a message of "Just work on forgiving and use the dream world of the body to do it, but don't bother enjoying what good there is of that dream world while you are at it." Sure, a lot about it stinks, but it's the good stuff that inspires us to do something about it. Just don't get attached to it, as everything on the outside won't last forever.

eolake said...

I was raised in a very laid-back environment, basically no religion or not even refusal of it. So I was also bothered by the Christian language, especially since the terms they use means totally different things than Christianity means by them.
But I got used to it, and the western world is seeped in Christianity, so it makes sense to start from there.

I don't think it tells you to not enjoy the dream while you're in it. It seems to say just what you say: just don't get too attached to it, for it's not real and not important.

Pascal said...

Quite interestingly, the Catholic Church has decreed the Gospel of Thomas as definitely apocryphal. They seem to quite dislike it. They seem to dislike a lot of ideas...
The covering up of internal pedophilia not being one of them, alas. "Okay, so we do abuse kids, but we always do it without a condom, so it's allright." ):-P

The physical universe may be an illusion, but this is very different from a hallucination. A hallucination has no real basis, it is false by essence. An illusion is an erroneous interpretation of something that exists. Whether you take a movie for real or not, it was acted, shot and edited. The images exist, something real caused them. The illusion is when you mistakenly interpret what they SEEM as what really IS. My reflection is an illusion, yet it's born from my very real mirror, face and the ambient light. And, indeed, anybody can fall victim to an illusion, only the mind can help you understand that it is not what it seems. Even though somewhere it is something real.

I think people who criticize these notions would make a big step toward serious debate if they understood the difference between illusion and hallucination. Nobody said the universe in its entirety was just a vision born from LSD or something. Well, d'uh! If anybody who says the universe is illusory still bothers to discuss it with others, it means they acknowledge that these others exist as more than a figment of the imagination.
So please, let's know what exactly is being discussed here, shall we? Misunderstandings are just a time-wasting illusion. :-)

At least, this is the way I see things. Provided I'm not completely delusional. :o)

I don't agree with everything asserted by ACIM. I seldom agree with everything anybody says. But, like Freud, Darwin, Galileo, Newton and many others, even if it is not the absolute truth, it goes in the right direction. It pulls (or pushes) us out of the knee-deep swamp (tar pit?) of intellectual contentment that's slowly drifting backwards, therefore helping us progress in the right direction. Wherever it may be exactly. There's probably more than one. Who cares? The horizon is the limit.
And, as you probably all know, the limit of the horizon is purely a visual illusion. :-)

“The way to really undo the ego and become enlightened is by changing the way that you think about things, and how you look at things.”

Quality is always better than quantity in these matters.

I think I assimilated the principle of non-judgement after reading chapter 1 of Dale Carnegie's book. It felt like so much more than just "winning friends and influencing people". Even though he clearly has a whole different approach than ACIM. I just read it and built over the ideas I found in there... and kept building, along with other foundations! What was that I said earlier about paths? ;-)
He who would tell you there's only one path (his, naturally!) probably has a nice concentration camp built at its end just for the likes of you. He wants to lock you up into a single state of mind, carefully closed and fenced. Find your own paths. Just make sure the one you're on isn't a mechanical conveyor belt going backwards at a speed equal or superior to your travelling one. (I've discovered that sneaky trick by playing the Dora the Explorer videogame. Really. Red Planet, first level, before Flinky's Giant Radar Dish. You pick a wrong conveyor belt, and suddenly it's dragging you backwards presto. Who said kiddie games didn't teach anything?)

Back on the topic of non-judging forgiveness, it really does the soul good. And not just because of some "why bother?" attitude of laziness. When you reach a certain understanding of human nature, you keep your lucidity about actions (starting the Iraq war, for example), but you lose all urge to punish for the sake of punishment itself. You understand how morally or comprehensively handicapped one has to be to do such things, and apart from wishing to limit the harm they may cause to others, you feel nothing toward such people but pity or compassion. What you really fantasize about is somehow having the power to magically make them feel that universal sense of fraternity that brings such peace and joy to one's heart. You want to share that treasure, a sharing which will only make it bigger.
Is that reasonably summarized for you, Professor Identity, sir?

Forgiving doesn't mean excusing, as in, "it doesn't matter what they do". It means jettisoning the absurd burden of wanting to keep tabs and give lessons to everybody, of holding spite for people being who or what they are. It means getting out of the vicious circle of constant mutual assessment and grading. Who in their right mind would spend their whole time worrying about every little theoretical sin they may be committing every other minute? It's a guaranteed one-way ticket to the cuckoo-house, a very toxic clinical obsessive-compulsive disorder. So, common sense says that it's equally foolish to do the same to others. Equally foolish, multiplied by the number of others you know! Terrible psychic poison, that's what it is!

I recall a recess supervisor, when I was in junior school, who was constantly taking mysterious notes in his little black book, most certainly writing down every little discipline violation he witnessed, with names and all. I always hated that attitude; it felt as if he didn't trust God Himself to remember everything and hold us accountable. He never made a remark to anybody, just took silent notes with a smug look that seemed to say "You'll see one of these days, you'll see, you just wait". How can a student correct their behavior with such a method? All he was doing was revel in deducing points from the Discipline grade. His kick was in judging, not educating. Intimidating? Perhaps. But also the best way to get yourself universally hated. (He had a VERY unflattering monicker, universally used in his absence.) When I think back about him now, I shudder at the thought of how disturbed and repressed I'd have to be to ever act like that. I'm not judging him back, hadn't thought about him once in more than a decade. Nobody loved or even liked him, that's more than enough daily retribution in itself, isn't it? He's probably a very lonely old man today.

Things have a way of getting themselves in order without us bothering. It may not be clearly visible, but it's there.
The greedy may become filthy rich and powerful. They'll also build their own solid gold prison bars, living in constant worry of being robbed of their wealth. The tyrants live in the terror of losing their position and power, or getting killed by one the the great many they have oppressed. Hollow people are their own judges. We don't need no stinkin' little black books. We don't need no paranoid soviet-like cloak of fear. Not for justice. Payback is pointless and harmful to the heart.

Other example: the judgementals will create a world around them where they absolutely HAVE to appear perfect, for fear of being judged in turn. Do you see where the moral flaw is? As long as it doesn't get known, you then can use any pressure valve to let off some of that astronomic steam pressure. Send obscene text messages to underage pages. Do "you-know-what" to children which you know will never dare talk because you made THEM feel guilty about potential public reprobation. This defines, quite simply, Hell on Earth. Built with our own hands. And filled with lost souls. Let's just shatter these shackles, shall we?

When I was "taught" about how God would account us for EVERY little thing we ever did (so what good is confession, huh?), I used to think, when I was only seven, that living in a worry of every instant was probably far worse than getting punished in the end, and that telling us this kind of stuff was pure sadism. A sure recipe for a horribly disturbed psyche.
There's no way I'm gonna let myself become one of those obnoxious sadists. Making up rules rigid as steel and claiming they are the One Truth? Bah! A guy named Jesus brought other very different rules, saying that you can forgive, absolve, and forever not judge your fellow man, woman or child. And apparently, it brought him great inner peace and spiritual strength.
Those "sadists"? They're not just unbearable to live with. They're also very sad, for they have to live with themselves with no hope of escape. There's one thing I'll do to them if it appears that I can: bring them happiness, free them from their self-built cages. *IF* they are willing to exit them. Can't force them. Being a bloody fool is every citizen's democratic human right!

Life is too serious not to be taken light-heartedly.

TTL said...
Given what we know about the nature of time, there can be no reincarnation in the spiritual sense. And therefore no "reincarnation trap" either.


Nobody up to now can truly claim to know the nature of time. All we can say for sure, is that physically there are corresponding and measurable durations for things that happen, durations which follow the equations of General Relativity (as far as we know today). All time-measuring methods actually use durations of certain phenomena, not sone kind of raw "time-o-meter". So far, nobody, not even the greatest scientific experts in that field, knows for sure whether these durations proceed from something called "time", or whether they are just there and Time by itself is non-existent. We are not yet sure of the existence of the theoretical graviton force particle. But the chronon? You'll only see it mentioned in daring Sci-Fi. No theory has yet predicted its existence... or its non-existence, either! Does Time exist? Is it non-existent? We know only one thing for sure, and that is that we don't know!

Sorry, got quantum on your assets again. :-)

I'd say, in consistency with my previous developments, that the only reincarnation/karmic trap there is, is the one we build ourselves, with our ignorance, selfishness or stubbornness. Therefore it is by definition an illusion: something that has a real foundation somewhere, but which crucially depends on our perception of it. Since it is self-referring, because it originates from our own attitudes and perceptions, changing those can and will change everything else. What's war, and what's the peace treaty that ends it? Mutual attitudes. Perceptions. Conflict is an illusion.
The destruction it brings, of course, is all too real.

Laurie said...
My neighbor who came over for a visit saw the book "The Disappearance of the Universe" on our table. He looked at the title and said, "Now THIS freaks me out!" Didn't even want to know what it was about!


Not a fan of discovering how Copperfield does his tricks/illusions, is he? :-)
I can picture it as a Sci-Fi parodic novel... Chapter one, page one:
"I woke up that morning, and the Universe wasn't there. All gone. There was nothing at all. At all? No nothing, even! Well, I was pretty upset, naturally. I mean, there I was, but there was no more space or time. What was I to do? WHEN was I to do it, anyway? I'd never bothered to read about the Big Bang's fancy theories, and now it was too late. Too late for anything to ever be late or early again. And where was everybody and everything, anyway? I grabbed my towel (fortunately, my whole house was still there, but my alarm-clock's display was just a hypnotically blinking 00:00, like some demented VCR), and without much hope I stuck out my thumb upwards... what seemed to be upwards, toward the ceiling of my room. Suddenly, at some (moment?)..."
You know, come to think of it, no wonder your neighbor decided to take a hike!

"It feels more like myself I need to forgive for believing in "others" in the first place."

The notion of "others" is also an illusion that is not a hallucination. You can consider that an organism (your body, for instance) is one. But each of its cells is at the same time distinct, without being separated from the ensemble. We as Humankind are a whole. We are whole with the rest of the planet, and with the Universe. And yet, we ARE individuals, distinct units, conscious individuals. Otherwise, selfishness would be a hallucination, and by just willing to see it no more, all the wars and injustice would disappear. Your own enlightenment is your own, and doesn't reach others until you communicate and share it in some way, either by words or by actions or attitude. You are you, I am me, and "WE" are one in another plan of perception. Grains of sand making the beach, drops of water creating together an ocean. Not separated, but not identical and blindly switchable either.
I hope this image helps you.

"I don't think it tells you to not enjoy the dream while you're in it. It seems to say just what you say: just don't get too attached to it, for it's not real and not important."

Not important, the dream? I perceive that you are mental, my friend. Every dream is important. Just ask Martin Luther King. ;-)
What would be the worth of sleep, if we didn't dream?
Why, no later than last night, I was in the dream company of Drew Barrymore, and we were all out of fig leaves. Um... sorry, but the rest is kinda private. :-))))

not fooled said...

Every dream is important. Just ask Martin Luther King.

Not every dream is important. Some are just a confusing maze of time and timeless flights of nothingness. King was just a black guy who got shot. He had been invovled in extra-marital affairs ect and needed help himself.
That book, disappearance of the universe is choked full of lies and deception. It's the devil's playbook to distract the world of God's true realities.
It isn't even worth using as toilet paper.

Not fooled's toilet said...

Well, that's a relief.
I hate reading anyway.

The Devil said...

Okay, I confess, you've got me all figured out. No point in hiding no more.

And the carpenter from Nazareth was just another jew who got nailed on a cross. The Romans didn't have shooting squads with guns, to my regret.
Curses, how I've hated that guy's dream!

J.C. the carpenter said...

In te facies, Satanas!
Serves you right, you sneaky temptator. And I am not done dreaming yet.

Gwen said...

Regarding DU, I could accept Arten and Pursah's teachings better, even though what they had to say blew me away..."God didn't create the earth or the universe" and all that followed that statement, if I could only get past this big question I have about the separation, which is: How was it possible for the separation to happen in the first place if all was perfect in our oneness with God? What would cause the perfect oneness to wonder "what if", hence creating the separation. And though Pursah and Arten explain that it has been corrected but we are still under the illusion that we are separated, once we all ascend out of the illusion and reunite in perfect oneness with God, what's to stop it from happening again? It happened once, why not twice? Is there something I missed in Pursah and Arten's explanation, because I want to accept the rest of the book's teachings but until I get past this question about the separation, I can't really do that.

eolake said...

This is one of the most common questions. It is difficult to grasp the answer because all our senses tell us that the world is here. But in reality it isn't. And the separation did *not* happen.

And there would be no "again", since there is no time in Heaven, only in the Dream.

I recommend that you join this group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Disappearance_of_the_Universe/

Many people there could help you better, I'm sure.

How'd you find this post?

eolake said...

I've shortened the address:
http://snipurl.com/d-u [groups_yahoo_com]

Gwen said...

Thanks. You're right; the separation did not happen; there is only the illusion of separation. I still wonder how that could happen, as well, if all is perfect oneness. I googled the author's name and found this link among the many that popped up. I was interested in reading about other people's perspective on the DU material.

eolake said...

Thanks.

"I still wonder how that could happen, as well, if all is perfect oneness."

Indeed. I think this is one of these things we just can't understand with a human (ego) mind.

One of the first experiences I had when practicing these materials is I was looking at the Universe from outside, willing to see it as it really is. And suddenly I saw it as being nothing. And what really impacted on me was that I saw that it was not just "nothing really" or "ultimately nothing", it is *absolutely* nothing.

eolake said...

Proof that many ask that question.

Anonymous said...

Evolve magazine has not disappeared it is a promotional magazine put out by new leaf distributors. Which is one of the larger distributors of spiritual books in the US. Gary's book has a lot of truth in it and his new book, " Love has forgotten no one,"should be out in mar of 2009 i believe.

eolake said...

So they said, but I just now looked it up, and it seems it's been pushed back to 30 September. This is the *fourth* time it's been pushed back, a bit lame.

geof said...

ACIM speaks about "the separation" as being "a tiny mad idea". CwG says that God experiences Himself through us. Can it be both, or one or the other? Any thoughts on this?

eolake said...

I think it depends on whether by "God" we mean the Big Mind which made the universe (but is itself illusory) or the Eternal, Timeless Source.

Peter said...

for Gwen:
A Course in Miracles discusses the separation in many places. One quote from the Text may help:

Into eternity,
where all is one,
there crept a tiny, mad idea,
at which the Children of God remembered not to laugh.
In their forgetting did the thought become a serious idea,
and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.
Together, we can laugh them both away,
and understand that time can not intrude upon eternity.
It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity,
which means there is no time.
–A Course In Miracles

This, of course, is just a single quote. If you get to the Course itself, you'll find your answer. But there is also a lot to discuss, that's why there are so many of us here - to help each other in understanding ...