Something caught my eyes while reading:
A Course in Miracles Rules for Decision Making #1:
Today I will make no decisions by myself.
This means that you are choosing not to be the judge of what to do. But it must also mean you will not judge the situations where you will be called upon to make response. For if you judge them, you have set the rules for how you should react to them. And then another answer cannot but produce confusion and uncertainty and fear.
This is your major problem now. You still make up your mind, and then decide to ask what you should do. And what you hear may not resolve the problem as you saw it first. This leads to fear, because it contradicts what you perceive and so you feel attacked. And therefore angry. There are rules by which this will not happen. But it does occur at first, while you are learning how to hear.
~ ACIM OE, Tx.4-6. Italics theirs, bold mine.
Learning how to hear is, I believe, one of the desired outcomes of the mind training aspect of the course.
This also rings of the "period of sorting out" mentioned in Manual for Teachers section 4 where the outcome is "understanding that all things, events, encounters, and circumstances are helpful. It is only to the extent to which they are helpful that any degree of reality should be accorded them in this world of illusion."
How these "heard" messages are conveyed and received is perhaps an individualized process, but I thought I'd share some learnings I've gained while "learning to hear."
How the guidance sounds:
Perturbations within the field of emotion. Happy/sad, extreme/barely (eg terrified/startled). All of these are valid expressions of an idea. Not good or bad, just understanding. Move toward stimulus, move away from stimulus, you are not a body, you are free.. I always understand the specific application when this happens.
Much like headphones use electricity to transmit data, fiber optic cables use light, there is a medium of emotions. You know it when you feel it, But there is no form. This is our plausible deniability to why this could possibly be not real.
"God is but Love." The Love I’ve found is in the field of emotions. We have the ability to master it, and to know ourselves more fully in doing so. "...and therefore so am I."
Conspicuous events in the environment is a call to return to Decision Making 1. I'm pretty sure this works because everything in the environment is a call from Him. ("All things are echoes..") A conspicuous thing is a sudden attention disturbance that allows me a split second to remember to decide again.
Often the conspicuous thing in the environment is really very funny if I think about it; a pun, an inside joke.. (The humor is found because I look for it, of course, but hey, miracles are seen in levity or something like that).
It reminds me that what I thought was Is Not. There is usually a belief that need challenging and correction. The ultimate challenged belief being my insistence that form is primary, the life story important, opinions justified, and the future set.
If I can accept that correction, "I am mind". If I cannot, I can usually admit that I am not ready and be presented with an acceptable answer regarding forgiveness.
Caveats: this has worked so far, there will probably be more "hearing avenues" added as I understand more and some taken away as necessary. Future: in the hands of God.
That's me. Q's for you:
What have been your experiences in "learning to hear"? How do you know if you've "heard"?
Here's a gif of a cat listening:
- alex brady