Your world is exactly as you think it to be!

Projection makes perception!

The blank canvas was a powerful metaphor for me during my adventure with Savannah and Lauren. The simplistic stark white surface instantly spoke to me as I was grasping to comprehend, ‘What does it mean, ‘undoing’ one’s thoughts?’

Blank CanvasLet me explain it this way. Before I open my sleepy eyes and before the craziness of my day begins – my painting is already in progress; color palette already chosen, a particular attitude already decided, and the basic brushstrokes already made!

A Course in Miracles says it like this:

The world we see merely reflects our own internal frame of reference – the dominant ideas, wishes and emotions in our minds. Projection makes perception. (Text, p. 445) We look inside first, decide the kind of world we want to see and then project that world outside, making it the truth as we see it. We make it true by our interpretations of what it is we are seeing.

If we are using perception to justify our own mistakes – our anger, our impulses to attack, our lack of love in whatever form it may take – we will see a world of evil, destruction, malice, envy and despair.

All this we must learn to forgive, not because we are being ‘good’ and ‘charitable’, but because what we are seeing is not true. We have distorted the world by our twisted defenses, and are therefore seeing what is not there. As we learn to recognize our perceptual errors, we also learn to look past them or ‘forgive’. At the same time we are forgiving ourselves, looking past our distorted self-concepts to the Self that God created in us and as us.

Nothing is good nor bad, but our thinking makes it so. Shakespeare

Every painting tells a story, a developing vision detailing my travels on the open roads through life; each canvas a mental diary chronicling how I got from there to here. Mind first; same as Michelangelo, but it is me who puts the final touches of the brushes to the blank canvas and it is me who reaches for the stars and determines which painting will be the final Masterpiece.

As I stand back and admire my work, I hesitate for a moment before casting a critical eye. ‘Notice illusion do you?’ I ask. I forgive my ego thoughts and start again!

(See ‘Definitions’ & ‘Law of Forgiveness’ or ‘Lessons’ & ‘Undoing’ – ‘Lesson 3’ to understand ‘Forgiveness’)

Te quiero. Joey

Roll Film!

Dream world vs. Real world, hmmm, how do I explain the difference? How can I ‘show’ you with my writing the same gentle ‘kick’ or ‘aha’ moment I received from my teacher? After much thought, here is the trailer of my movie. Imagine the booming commentary of the voiceover artist; perfect inflection and tone, narrate the scene of my life – allow the images to fill your mind.

Thoughts of living in Paris reignite his passion for writing, and close the door on his mental suffering at the hands of a controlling father. The promise of dreams fulfilled quickly turns into a nightmare of survival on the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter. Boat Clutching the porcelain cup with both hands, he stares deep into its contents. Sadness overtakes his face as the metaphoric black hole reminds him of the wasted two years he spent lost in the underbelly of French society. Nervous and insecure his eyes avert downward to avoid making eye contact with Savannah, the American woman sitting directly across from him. Minutes tick by when without warning he is startled by the warmth coming from his heart; Savannah’s words of redemption and of hope reveal the sweet smile and boyish charm long hidden from the outside world, and magically, the troubled past of this young man begins to fade from view.

So there it is, a single paragraph summarizing the dream world I once inhabited. My character is placed in an unpredictable environment and must overcome several personal problems to leave it. Do you have questions? How does your character leave the dream world? By being reintroduced into the real world; which means I must ‘Wake up’! What exactly constitutes reality when the vivid recollections and experiences of the dream world are firmly planted in your mind? Good question!

Savannah’s words from my journal:

The alarm goes off every morning and you wake up. As you wake up, you understand the movie playing out as you slept was a dream. During your daytime hours you think you are awake walking through your world; it seems real, so real you can touch it! Here’s the truth. You are in a dream – and that makes you, the dreamer. All of your time, whether you are asleep or awake, is spent dreaming. If you can see this life as a dream, none of it is really happening, it’s all in your mind – you can begin to unravel it. This process is not about changing your world or your dream and making it more acceptable to you and everyone else; like ‘putting lipstick on a pig’! No. You need to wake up from the dream! When you understand your world is a dream it begins to collapse and fall apart. It is only your perceptions and beliefs- that make it real.

When I sat down on the chair in that Paris café I was a ghost of my former self; shoulders slumped from rejection with not an ounce of self-esteem left to be found. My one-dimensional focus on ‘poor me’ slithered away as I absorbed Savannah’s enthusiasm for life and adventure. I remember looking out the window and seeing the homeless youth I once called ‘mi familia’ huddled together under the street light on the corner; that life ending only hours earlier now so distant in my mind. I felt my shoulders straighten and a twinge of excitement stirred my passion; dare I hope for something better. When the lessons started a week later, I began to put the pieces together by reliving that night. Nothing physical can be attributed to moving from one world to the other; I remained seated in my chair during the entire café scene. There is only one conclusion I can make; from desperation to hope, from dream world to real world awareness – change is a thought, just a simple thought.

Joey, the lesson on surrender exposes the unconscious mind and the programs stored there; however this acknowledgment puts the burden squarely on your shoulders now. Are you willing to look at the perceptions and beliefs in the unconscious mind and recognize the unreality of the dream world? Unless this is done, the force of unconscious negative emotions such as; fear, guilt and the like will continue to suck you into a dream world, and prevent you from experiencing the real world of God.

Te quiero. Joey

There is nothing outside of our mind!

I was never driven by curiosity to find answers to the deeper more complex questions regarding life and God; so much of my young life was reduced to surviving day to day, and nothing more.Reflection I was lucky I found my bottom when I did and was forced to surrender; shedding the old self that was anchoring me down, turned out to be my biggest blessing. Surrender means you are tired of being right about anything, and you recognize you need help.

I was adjusting to my new surroundings; I think the saying is, like a duck to water. The first lesson on Commitment was easy enough and when Savannah made her final point, ‘You are either in or you’re out’, I was in for sure. Next! Lesson 2 on Surrender, okay, but Lesson 3: Reflection; uh oh, my mind twisted like a pretzel as I labored to get its meaning. I do remember thinking, not daring enough to say it out loud, ‘What the **** is she talking about?’ I tried hard to disguise my confusion, taking notes as fast as I could to study later in the quiet solitude of my room, but Savannah knew, she always knew when I had wandered away from the present, stopping mid-sentence to ask, “You okay?” The next paragraph will bend and stretch your mind, take a deep breath, and allow Savannah’s words to take hold – and then let’s talk.

This is about the mind and the perceptions and beliefs that are stored there. Thoughts are difficult to quantify; they are not solid or tangible objects you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands. A thought is not a rock or a potato. However, thoughts do have a basis in reality and produce detectable causal effects in the physical world. When a belief takes hold in your mind, with absolute precision it is transformed into solid tangible objects – right before your eyes. Your belief in fear creates a world of loss, guilt creates a world of retribution, unworthiness creates a world of victimization, anger creates a world of negative encounters, and joy creates a world of happiness, and so it is.

My ‘aha’ moment came when Savannah’s words switched from a flatline sound effect to an interactive show piece; names and places from my past, something I could relate to, colored in the meaningless words and brought them to life. I felt my body straighten in the chair as I visualized my own real life scenario. If you have read my stories ‘About Joey’ then you know my struggles, and you know about Fabron, my friend from the streets. Savannah adjusted her gaze to be eye level with mine, and then laid it out in simple terms, and this is how it went.

Joey, your last day in Paris, you had a confrontation with Fabron, if you now see your ‘reflection in a mirror’, Fabron was really Joey; you. When he said, ‘Leave or be killed’, it was ‘you’ saying those words. Fabron is an illusion created by you – to reflect your thoughts and nothing more. Let’s put you on a different street in Paris, hmmm, the ‘Rue de la Paix’. This time you are strutting down the promenade; feeling good, pleased with yourself, and a flirty female stops you and says forthrightly, ‘You are so handsome!’ That is also your ‘reflection in a mirror’. Do you understand? It clicked! Yes Savannah, I get it. I see how Fabron was reflecting my thoughts back to me. I had been thinking for a while, if I didn’t leave the streets, I could die. I get it, I really get it!

You are merely gazing into a world reflecting the perceptions and beliefs from your own mind. The world you see is created by you through these perceptions and beliefs. You have made-up your world and everything in it, and you sustain this world through your repetitious thoughts about it. This is very good news. Why? Because now when you look at your world you can see the thoughts that need healing. Every perception and belief is brought to the surface and projected in the world – so you can look at it again. It is essential you look clearly at your mind, pull back the curtain – be brave and expose what is hiding there. My journal entry continues:

There is nothing outside of our mind! There are a million little things that happen to you throughout the day to distract you from this truth; the world is a reflection of your thoughts. When these little things happen, look no further than the tip of your nose for the answer – every answer. Touch the tip of your nose now. Whenever you need to be reminded: There is nothing outside of our mind! Touch your nose. It is always and only about you. Memorize this sentence: There is nothing outside of our mind!

Te quiero. Joey