“Long time no see with,” my inner professor said, as I slunk into his office and slid into my seat facing his desk.
I really shouldn’t have taught him that line. But he was right, as always. It had been a long time; months in fact. It’s not that I hadn’t wanted to visit; just that I knew from hard-won experience the direction conversations in these ivy-cloaked environs eventually led. And I had other destinations, deep within the dream to conquer or, you know—not.
“I’ve been waiting for you to come to me,” I said, crossing my arms.
“Ah,” he said, nodding.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t get my texts,” I said, studying my thumbs.
I snuck glances at him but honestly, could hardly look him straight in the eyes this morning given where I found myself once again. Lost deep within this nightmare of well earned exile from all we are and ever were that feels so heavy sometimes I can barely breathe, let alone remind myself I’m dreaming.
I sighed, the sigh for which I remain justly famous in certain circles. “I know you prefer to meet in person for these sorts of chats—I mean; they don’t call them “come to Jesus” for nothing—but honestly, we both know I’d much rather have you come to me,” I said. “A little ‘come to Susan,’ now and then; is that too much to ask?”
“I’m pretty sure we’ve talked about this,” he said.
“Yup. And we both know that’s unlikely to happen any time soon, seeing as there’s no here, here, or there, there, or me here or there, if you know what I’m saying, which I’m pretty sure I don’t.”
His brows shot up the way they do.
“Besides,” I said, “I’ve been crazy busy. Just this morning I had another vocabulary lesson from the new administration to attend to, the precarious nature of addressing climate change to helplessly consider, a personality quiz on what kind of rose drinker I really am to take, a lesson on the hidden cardiovascular dangers of peanut butter, and a chance to uncover the gifts of my enneagram personality type, all before I made it through my morning email and first cup of Joe.”
“Almost sounds like you’re in school,” he said.
He had a point. He always does. “Just with the wrong teacher, you mean,” I said.
He shrugged again, still smiling.
“What I mean to say is—Jesus!—I am neither here nor there, just so freaking tired of this habitual striving to preserve this special self,” I said. “This suffering succotash of Susan I’ve been hoisting around for more years than I care to reveal. Shoulders buckling under the weight of the crucifix I carved and craftily claim instead as my rightful inheritance.”
His eyes widened.
“Even though you’ve told me like a million times in a million different ways to put the damn thing down and get over myself. Since there was no sin of separation in the first place, there really is no need to keep punishing myself like this in a crazed attempt to prevent a God who doesn’t even know about my unconscious fantasy from doing so.”
“I don’t think I used the word ‘damn,’” he said.
“Did I mention I got a rejection email today from a magazine I submitted a short story to? The first piece of fiction I’ve written in like eight years, ever since I swore off the stuff. And found myself right back where I was before I ever started this damn Course. My fragile identity dashed by the phrase ‘your work does not meet our needs at this time.’”
“Do you want me to pretend I’m your therapist again?” he asked.
Behind him, through the beveled windows, the green leafing ash trees swayed in the late spring breeze ahead of a thunderstorm bearing down from the west with a vengeance while an acrobatic squirrel shot from one branch to another as if going for the gold.
“The responses used to come by snail mail,” I said. “Returning to me in plain, self-addressed business envelopes like homing-pigeon road kill in flat, white paper coffins.”
“Do you think you’re being a tad dramatic?” he asked.
“As if,” I said. “Did I ever tell you how, even as a little girl, my daughter came to associate the arrival of those envelopes with a particular kind of sadness enveloping her mother?”
He shook his head.
“I didn’t want to take her to the playground or library after opening one. She wouldn’t even try to talk me into coloring or dress up or baking cookies. She would turn on the TV to Barney or Thomas the F-ing Tank and sit with me beside her as I wallowed in the just deserts of my supreme unworthiness. Skating her fingers down my face or forearm and humming a lullaby the way I did when she had a bad day or trouble falling asleep.
“You once told me my self-worth comes from God,” I said, after a while.
“Not from the number of tasks I’ve crossed off my to-do list. Not from the progress I’m making (OK, that’s a stretch) with my self-improvement and behavior-modification schemes. Not from the approval I’m receiving or not for my writing, the wildly fluctuating state of my bank account, health, marriage, or government, not even from the presence or absence of my beloved daughter. I cried when you said that, tears of relief I didn’t understand, immediately followed by tears of grief.
Because, here’s the thing—Jesus–yet another reason why it took me such a long time to finally muster the courage to show my sorry face in your office again this morning. If it’s true that my self-worth comes from God–and I’m not saying it is–then I’m kind of in a tough spot here, there; wherever, once again.”
“How do you figure?” he asked.
“Because I don’t want to go anywhere near God–OK? You might as well tell me my self-worth comes from a pit of writhing vipers somewhere over the freaking rainbow as far as I’m concerned. Even if I knew where that hell hole was, I would never in a gazillion lifetimes go there. God is not my friend. God is not a good guy. God is the one who takes innocent lives for his own mysterious reasons, decides this is the perfect day for a terrorist attack, mass shooting, worldwide hacking, environmental debacle, major earthquake or tsunami. God decides what he wants to publish and it does not include work by the likes of me.”
I sat biting my lip, deeply regretting having raised my voice, fingering a chunk of amethyst I’d pocketed this morning that’s supposed to calm and balance your chakras because–why the hell not?
“I thought you didn’t believe in him,” he said, after a while.
He had a point, he always does. I had never believed, consciously anyway, in the God I’d been taught as a child, the God who excluded and judged and meted out punishments far worse than the harshest of earthly legal systems. But I was not done yet. “On top of everything else; you have to admit I was the worst parent in the whole freaking world!” I said. “I mean, who cares about the God-damn rejections! I could have taught my daughter that nothing real can be threatened, that our strength lies in what we are, not in what we do or achieve. That happiness comes from us sitting here together loving each other just as we are, however flawed, without needing to change or fix anything. Instead, she taught me that.”
He smiled. “And where do you think she learned it?” he asked.
He had a point, he always does. Turned out everyone, everything was really (still) OK, right here, right now—who knew?!)
“You know,” I said, after I’d wiped my eyes and blown my nose and everything. “I really should think about coming here more often.”
“ … ‘Teach only love, for that is what you are.’ This is the one lesson that is perfectly unified, because it is the only lesson that is one. Only by teaching it can you learn it. ‘As you teach so will you learn.’ If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you. And what you project or extend you believe.
The only safety lies in extending the Holy Spirit, because as you see His gentleness in others your own perceives itself as totally harmless. Once it can accept this fully, it sees no need to protect itself. The protection of God then dawns upon it, assuring it that it is perfectly safe forever. The perfectly safe are wholly benign. They bless because they know that they are blessed. Without anxiety the mind is wholly kind, and because it extends beneficence it is beneficent. Safety is the complete relinquishment of attack. No compromise is possible in this. Teach attack in any form and you have learned it, and it will hurt you. Yet this learning is not immortal, and you can unlearn it by teaching it.” (Text Chapter 6 III., paragraphs 2, line 5-9-paragraph 3)
NOTE: A Course in Miracles uses the character of Jesus to represent the all-inclusively loving, completely non-judgmental presence in our mind that never took the “tiny, mad idea” of separation from our Source and Self seriously. He gently teaches us from outside the dream to choose again (in every difficult seeming moment) for unity, kindness, and peace.
Foundation for A Course in Miracles Announcements
A Symphony of Love is an compilation of selected writings of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, including autobiographies, poetry, short stories, and articles.
Programs through August 2017
Please view our latest Temecula Schedule page http://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx to see the Seminars and Academy classes, including Live Streaming of the classes, currently scheduled through June 2017.
(You can register for upcoming live and streamed classes taught by the amazingly gifted Foundation for A Course in Miracles teaching staff; who continue to communicate Ken’s work with such clarity and grace, here: https://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx. I really can’t recommend these classes more highly! Rosemarie LoSasso and Jeff Seibert continue to gently encourage us to bring the darkness of all we’ve dreamt up to hurt us (whenever we’re choosing to feel victimized and justified in victimizing others) to the light of the part of every mind that knows only our shared innocence and need to find our way home. Their classes offer us a safe, non-judgmental “space” above the battleground in which to allow the healing of our frightened minds. (And often laugh a lot, too! NEW INTERVIEWS with Rosemarie LoSasso and Jeff Seibert coming to my www.foraysinforgiveness.com site in 2017!)
New Audio Release
The Foundation is pleased to offer a previously unreleased audio title by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. This five-CD set entitled “There is a Light in You the World Can Not Perceive,” which was recorded in 2010, is also available as an MP3 Download.
MP3-CDs To Be Discontinued
The Foundation is discontinuing production of audio titles in MP3 CD format. The seventh grouping of MP3 CD titles, which is available through June 4, 2017 only, can be viewed here. These titles are also available at a 40% discount. Please note that all orders containing MP3-CDS will be shipped the first week of June.
We are continuing to clear out the warehouse of all printed books as we make the transition to electronic books. After the current supply of books is sold, the books will not be reprinted, and will be available only in digital download format.
You may view all of the books currently on sale here. Please note that some orders may take up to two weeks to ship after the order is received.
The Interviews page on my forays website been revised to make it easier to find and access interviews with Ken Wapnick and others including Gloria Wapnick, and FACIM staff teachers. These interviews provide a wealth of practical information about learning to live a truly forgiving life, as well as some history of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
In this NEW VIDEO, my friend and fellow Course student Danielle Scruton and I discuss how recognizing our neediness in our relationships can help us learn to become needless and discover our only real purpose and need. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5BJ0YqqQKs&feature=youtu.be
In this NEW VIDEO, friend and fellow Course student and teacher Bruce Rawles and I discuss what it means to “accept the atonement for myself,” as talked about in A Course in Miracles Chapter 2 and workbook lesson 139. https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/videos/
In this RECENT VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I talk about the challenges of trying to practice A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 330: “I will not hurt myself again today.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4RJosel0zA&feature=youtu.be
In this NEW AUDIO, CA Brooks, 12Radio, and I discuss a Course in Miracles workbook lesson 186: “Salvation of the world depends on me.” (And thank God it’s not the “me” we think it is! :)) http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=DE52D9FE-26B9-4187-860F309BBB8F9B42
RECENT AUDIO, CA Brooks, 12Radio, and I discuss A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 190: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.” http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=9F396171-26B9-4187-8664560FBC62D238
In this RECENT AUDIO recording of a show I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, we review the practice of forgiveness through A Course in Miracles workbook lessons 5 and 34 http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=0C205831-26B9-4187-86FD0B745FCD31FE.
MY LATEST BOOK, FORGIVENESS: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS, http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Happiness-Susan-A-Dugan/dp/0983742022, along with my second book in the forgiveness essay collection series, FORGIVENESS OFFERS EVERYTHING I WANT: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Offers-Everything-I-Want/dp/0983742014/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=07RKZW8SHE2RNC209A2D are currently DISCOUNTED on Amazon.
Schedule individual MENTORING sessions with Susan Dugan here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/personal-coaching Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally sane and loving right mind, mentoring can help remind Course students having trouble applying its unique forgiveness in the classroom of their lives that the problem and the solution never lie in the difficult relationship, situation, behavior, health issue, etc., but in the decision-making mind. In every circumstance, without exception, we can choose to experience inner peace and kindness toward all, unaffected by the seemingly random strife of a world designed to prove otherwise. By choosing to look at our lives as a classroom in which we bring all our painful illusions to the inner teacher of forgiveness who knows only our shared innocence beyond all its deceptive disguises, we learn to identify and transcend the ego’s resistance, hold others and even ourselves harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal.
Susan’s mentoring sessions provide valuable support in our forgiveness practice from a Course student and teacher deeply committed to awakening through learning and living true forgiveness. While keenly aware of our resistance to Jesus’ loving message from first-hand experience, she remains faithful to opening her heart to the Course’s universal answer for all frightened hearts and to sharing her ongoing learning and growing trust with kindred faithful, but sometimes frightened and confused, fellow students.
Sessions are conducted via traditional phone or Skype (your choice). Please contact me to find out if mentoring is right for you before submitting a payment. (No one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay!)
OTHER RECENT AUDIOS:
Here’s a recording I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, in which we talk about the importance of catching our unkind thoughts and judgments and looking at them with the part of our mind that sees no differences and makes no comparisons … even while watching the news! http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=584A85D9-26B9-4187-86B672216F9D08E7 …
A recording on Changing the Purpose of the Body from Prison to Classroom: http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=C936F436-26B9-4187-862BC523BC16D778, and another on what it means to go “above the battleground” (ACIM Text 23, Section IV) http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=13D9C907-26B9-4187-86F1370A394E8755
And a recording in which we talk about ACIM workbook lesson 101: “God’s will for me is perfect happiness” and 102: “I share God’s will for happiness for me.” http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=16BFF184-26B9-4187-86DD07743FBB7355 You’d think we’d like to hear that God’s will for us is perfect happiness, but we can’t possibly believe that and also believe we attacked God and threw his love away. Following our inner Teacher’s path of true forgiveness begins to dissolve the guilt in our mind, teaching us that it was just silly to believe we could oppose God’s will and create a separate one. Allowing us to gradually accept that we deserve the happiness we share within God’s presence and could never really destroy.
OTHER RECENT VIDEOS:
Here’s a video I did with Bruce Rawles on sharing perception with the Holy Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S45pmt7ntQ4
Here’s a talk I did with Bruce Rawles on Section 16 of The Manual for Teachers: “How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgHjOcxzrwg&feature=youtu.be …
In this VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I discuss A Course in Miracles lesson 190: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPqUpNmAmG0
The Denver-based School for A Course in Miracles (formerly the School of Reason), an A Course-in-Miracles teaching organization, has a beautiful new website: http://www.schoolforacourseinmiracles.org/, with information on great new and ongoing classes based on Ken Wapnick’s teachings.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Center for A Course in Miracles http://www.centerforacourseinmiracles.org/index.html, is an educational Center whose focus is to teach what A Course in Miracles says, address common misunderstandings, and help students develop a relationship with their internal Teacher, inspired and guided by the teachings of the late Dr. Kenneth Wapnick.
In this video Bruce Rawles and I discuss themes from my most recent book, Forgiveness: The Key to Happiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vEbI3jH8Sk
My good friend and fellow Course student, teacher, and author Bruce Rawles frequently invites me to chat with him on YouTube about the Course and Ken Wapnick’s teachings. He continues to compile lots of great ACIM information well worth checking out at ACIMblog.com.
My good friend and gifted A Course in Miracles teacher and writer Bernard Groom has been posting beautifully written, heartfelt essays about living A Course in Miracles for years at ACIMvillage.com. Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website including recorded talks available for purchase or free download.
from Forays In Forgiveness https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/what-you-teach-is-teaching-you/