From Awakening Together Radio.
I had often heard about the creative power of our attitude, of our inner mindset, of our thoughts, especially through the spiritual mind training of A COURSE IN MIRACLES, however I hadn’t been able to use this effectively for my own recovery. Doubts always remained. Could all this be true? Could I be responsible for my entire experience – from A to Z? This felt like a slap in the face. Often it got me real angry. I just couldn’t get it.
I had already been suffering from progressive MS and recurrent depression for 23 years and to get around I had to use walking aids or wheelchairs. In the last years of this sad phase I would furthermore suffer from constipation, incontinence, fatigue and neuropathies.
All in all this whole situation felt like an agonizingly slow process of dying, losing one capability after the other. I had often tried to get up to high buildings in order to jump down and end this suffering once and for all. However the fear this might not solve a single problem of mine and would only leave tears behind, not to mention that it would really be painful, consistently stopped me.
Then what finally slingshot me out of this hell was that one night I just was entirely fed up with all this dying-business. This here was my life and I wanted to live it abundantly and be happy again, and share this with others!
What I was fed up with most of all was this constant fear that had meanwhile crept over so many areas of my life like some exuberant cancer. Fear, fear, fear, wherever I looked in my life. Meanwhile I was afraid of everything. My fear of walking seemed to be at the core of it all. Of course there also was fear of eating something wrong. There was fear of smoke, fear of white bread, fear of meat, fear of my hunching about on two canes, fear of peoples’ reaction who saw me that way, fear of falling down, fear of death, fear of life. Fear of everything!
And it was this very fear that I had cultivated and pampered for so very long supplying it with my entire life-energy that I rendered a crucial kick that night. I wanted to live and be happy again and in communication. Not tomorrow or in a week, but right now!
In deciding so, without noticing, I had finally steered my mental attitude fundamentally into the right direction. And obviously this decision was driven by such sincerity and conviction that my depression was over instantly. Not so my MS-symptoms, however I really didn’t care about them anymore and gradually they began dropping away, each day a bit more. Meanwhile for walking I mostly don’t even need a walking cane any more. And generally as many abilities as I had lost over the decades began to come back to me.
Soon I picked up the COURSE IN MIRACLES again and realized I read it with completely new eyes. There was such thankfulness I felt for this mind training that was so clear and so radical. It literally felt like being taken by the hand through this COURSE.
In our weekly Course-groups ever more clearly the Voice for God, as it is called there, the Voice of the Holy Spirit or of Universal Intelligence began speaking through me. I just had to open up and hand over the management of the group to this higher intelligence. In some miraculous way I immediately felt guided to say exactly what would be helpful for us all just at this very moment.
Sometimes all barriers dropped away and nearly our entire group would plunge into the basic oneness of all of life.
It was experienced there is this Living Stillness and Peace deep within that becomes available the more that I give myself up to it. As I see it, all true healing and recovery comes from there. It feels like a radiant inner home that is absolutely unshakable. It feels like an unlimited inner reservoir of healing and life and happiness widely open to everyone who is willing to open up to it.
So there is actually only one thing I changed to get there:
I choose happiness and health the moment something unhappy comes along in my mind. Be it a feeling of guilt or a feeling of anger or a feeling of fear or a feeling of pain. Yet different from earlier on in my life, today I’m extremely determined in this.
And whenever any kind of relapse shows up, it doesn’t take long and I remember to take this as but another chance to find back to this inner radiant home of ours and to deeply refresh and recover in it.
It is truly our mind that is in charge of the way our lives develop. Any experience – good or bad – is but a mirror in which we can learn something about the attitudes we have adopted. And if the experience presenting itself to me does not match my Soul’s wish to be free and happy and in communication, it is my attitude I have to change first of all for the good to occur again.
Happiness is not some fleeting coincidence. Happiness is a decision. Happiness is not tied to outward circumstances. Happiness is a God-given quality of the Soul and can be chosen again anytime we forget it.
The COURSE IN MIRACLES offers a wealth full of information and thought-exercises in this respect. I’d just like to point out one of them here. It’s a pivotal one:
We can mentally hand over our problems and plans and feelings and thoughts to God’s Holy Spirit that in truth we are one with.
In case we need a visualization for that, we can picture hands of light reaching toward us, and put our personal issues right in there – our problems, our plans, our feelings, our thoughts.
Generally this takes frequent repeating and time. However sooner or later one will notice how suggested solutions for our problems are being given us by the light of this higher intelligence, how our plans are being returned to us purified, and how only those of our feelings and thoughts are upheld that make us and others truly happy.
Yet particularly this inner exercise leads to experiencing that we are indeed never alone, that the Good Spirit of Life always is here with us and that we can call on it anytime.
Christoph Engen, April 11th 2015
THE VEIL OF THIS WORLD
The wall of this world only grows thin
through the love that we bring.
And at last it becomes a beautiful veil
that breezes along as Love’s divine tale,
displaying each instant God’s blissful eternity
to the eternally free.
OPEN THE DOOR LAUGHING!
The other day I was once again pursued by nerve wracking spasms in my lower legs at night. Soon after I had gone to bed my legs would start jerking and kicking involuntarily thus keeping me from going to sleep. I was dead tired, but had to get up anyway to do something about it. A hot shower didn’t really help, neither did massaging my calves nor hunching around nor Magnesium pills nor getting some fresh and cold air on the porch. I felt the muscles of my face were all tight in expectation of the next spasm which I could feel building up distinctly in either my left or my right calf before discharging and making the affected leg jump once again. To top all that I would constantly have to pee due to a tenacious bladder infection and had already used up three or four diapers just recently. Gosh, I was so tired of all this. Couldn’t stand changing those diapers every 15, 20 minutes and having those legs of mine jerk the next moment.
Every once in a while I thought of a good word or sentence too however like “Healing” or “Peace to my legs and to everyone” or “Thank you, dear Lord, for my health” trying to somehow really concentrate on these good intentions. The jerking and peeing would pull me out of this however again and again.
Then the memory of Nouk Sanchez’ Miraculous prayer for healing arouse in my mind. Here is the whole of it:
“Holy Spirit, my belief in ______(issue or problem)______ as real, causes me to feel
attacked, and to defend myself against it. In my
defense I am alone, isolated from your Love and True healing in my awareness. Yet the Truth is your Love and healing is all there is.
Nothing exists apart from your Love.
I recognize in choosing to believe this fear, I reject your Love and healing. And I defend myself from your Love, joy and peace. I now decide to bring my concerns and fears to you, Holy Spirit, so we can look upon them together. We will look at my list of defenses together. I ask that you shine your Love into my mind, and reinterpret these fears for me. Cleanse them and transform them into areas of healing and inspiration.
I acknowledge my only part in this:
1) I invite you in to look at these fears and judgments with me. I will not judge myself or another while we do this; instead I will leave a space of total non-judgment, so you can fill it with Love and healing.
2) As I look upon it all, I will say to myself with sincerity, “Even though this appears to be a problem, and despite any feelings of fear,
anxiety, anger, guilt or doubt I may hold, in this instant I open myself to receive healing through the miracle. I accept this healing. And so it is. Amen.”
(From The End of Death by Nouk Sanchez, undoing-the-ego.org)
I somehow tried to put the main parts of this prayer together in my mind.
‘Okay, holy spirit’, I thought, ‘let’s look at this crap together.’ Nothing happened. However at least the invitation was expressed, I believe.
Finally I decided to lie down again and try to get some rest even though it didn’t feel like those spasms or peeing attacks would stop. With another fresh diaper I went to bed. Simultaneously the honest and serious question arose: ‘Say, what does this mean? What’s the real reason for all that?’
Then somehow, strangely enough, there was relaxation in my legs and I felt I was falling asleep.
A very unusual experience followed. I knew I was sleeping, however I kept being awake and aware. And then, like an answer to my foregone question, out of an inner darkness figures appeared, a slow silent parade of all kinds of unloved shadow characters. Some were mutilated, some wounded, some menacing, some apathetic, some looked like beasts. I could see them all very clearly. I was fascinated. There was no fear involved in this, just fascination about this dark parade.
Finally, I guess, seven dark hooded riders came toward me. They looked exactly like the threatening riders from “The Lord of the Rings”. The central rider came straight at me, but since I knew this was MY dream, again there was absolutely no fear. I knew I was the boss of this dream. With much interest I looked directly into the hood of this central black rider. There was nothing but darkness there to be seen. And as I looked closer and closer into this darkness I fell asleep.
After a good night’s rest I found myself sitting on our cold wintery porch again drinking a hot morning-coffee and puffing a cigarette. Slowly the light of a clouded and foggy day came shining through. I had put on a new pair of diapers. The peeing-impulses were a lot more back to normal again and the spasms were gone entirely. I remembered my waking dream of the dark parade and also this saying from Jesus, where he talks of himself as being the open door. The open door. I believe this is what he wants each and every one of us to be. Open doors. Instead of being locked castles or huts.
In a telephone talk with our good friend Nina, a psychotherapist, we talked this waking dream over and I remembered a Rumi-poem I had translated into German for my first book of Rumi-translations after Coleman Barks. It seemed to fit perfectly to explain my dark parade from the night before:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at your door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
(From The Essential Rumi – translations by Coleman Barks)
Meanwhile my bladder problems have diminished significantly and my nightly spasms are but short. What is astounding too is that my walking ability has gotten still a bit better after already having improved considerably since summer 2012, which had marked the end of a phase of 23 years on crutches and in wheelchairs.
Thanks to our Lord and His Living Holy Spirit!
Christoph Engen, February 3, 2014
We normally believe we are inside our bodies. And it generally takes lots of learning and sometimes also catastrophes to get us to remember this is not so. For in truth our bodies are inside ourselves, inside our minds. And it’s our minds that are calling the shots, nothing else. And our minds’ innermost essence is unbounded love, peace and happiness.
And like our bodies the entire Universe is inside us. That’s why some spiritual teachers say, once someone recognizes his or her true identity, or once one is enlightened, an entire new Universe comes into being.
Any true healing lies only in here. For this is the definitive end of fear.
THE TRUE MEANING OF FORGIVENESS
The true meaning of forgiveness reaches far beyond simply pardoning other peoples’ or our own wrongdoings. It’s a majestic way of giving up all of one’s treasured, unquestioned beliefs in body, space and time.
We generally hardly ever question our belief to be bodies bound by time and space. We generally cling to this beautiful and yet terrible body-identification leaving us in the end with bundles of loss: Loss of youth, loss of summertime, loss of health. However in the realm of SPIRIT there is no such thing as loss.
So forgiveness actually means to bring all those hidden and treasured beliefs in any kind of limitation up to the surface of our consciousness and to open up to the information we are choosing ourselves to be bound by them!
Then, as we honestly face these beliefs and our holding on to them, we can easily realize, we might just as well let them go! This is the moment when Spirit takes over with all his freedom and power and happiness. And it might not take long until we realize, it is this very same Unbound Spirit we truly are ourselves!
All that seems so very difficult and yet it’s as easy as opening up a hand! What makes it appear so difficult is nothing but our silly and futile love-affair with limitation.
So why not go for our real love-affair with the Divine?
Christoph Engen, November 12th, 2013