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Cause is in my Mind - A Dialogue on Interpretation 

Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.

Speaker: There is no ego outside of our own minds. Even when you start to pick up negativity, still the lesson is our own lesson and the more you are able to recognize the ego the more you can say, Ah, that’s the imposter. Little by little that’s why you can be defenseless literally anywhere because you don’t think of the negativity as somehow being outside you, or as people thinking things about you or doing things. You recognize the ego is the ego and when you start to recognize the content of the ego and that it’s not true, it’s not created by God then you start to get a real detachment without getting into all the analyzing of your ego and my ego, the collective ego and on and on. Just recognizing the false as false and not buying the bait. The more we go into spirit the more and more we start to see the unreality of those thoughts. That way the mind starts to detach from them and therefore the guilt leaves. The mind gets so invested in the belief that these thoughts are real that’s where the guilt comes from. It’s one thing for example to say, Boy, am I invested in my body and boy am I invested in my house and my car and the form things around me. But, when you think about it how invested are the private thoughts. It seems to be like a private world in there. Here comes the Course and it’s saying there aren’t any private thoughts, there aren’t private minds. Every thought you have goes into the constellation of the whole Sonship. That’s why it’s important to discern between these thoughts and to let go of the false thoughts, because you literally release the entire Sonship when you do that. It’s a full time job to keep track of your own state of mind and your own emotions because it really is a belief in the mind, and the mind doesn’t believe that it’s worthy enough to watch the mind that closely.

Participant1: So, what you’re saying is if I see someone who is in a fearful state like that, it’s our own lesson.

Speaker: Yes, first of all, it’s how do I feel about it. Am I really at peace or is it like we talked about earlier, am I getting pulled in or buying in. The first thing is to come back to a centered peaceful place and then from that peaceful place that place of relaxation, there may be a behavioral component to the miracle. The main thing is to be miracle minded, to be in your right mind, to be free of the fear in whatever form it may appear and then from that place the Spirit may work through you. It may just be a smile. It may be metaphysically they can’t hear many of these ideas that we’re talking about. It may be just a smile. It could be a pat on the back or a hug or it could even be a word or two of encouragement. But, once we step aside the Spirit will work through us and it will be the most natural comfortable thing. It would just be like an out picturing or a flowing through. But, our main responsibility is to just be absolved of fear and to be in our right minds. Miracles can’t be worked through us when we are in a state of fear.

Participant1: Right and it’s hard for me and I just want to say a couple simple things. Part of me wanted to move into judgment which is really hard for me especially when I’m dealing with something that I was caught up in.

Participant2: About being Catholic, right?

Participant1: Yes, this is the Catholic issue right.

Speaker: We can go into that a little bit deeper too. For instance, even the Catholic idea. Beverly was in the convent for nine years and when I go around people will say, Oh boy, I’m a recovering Catholic and I’m heavily ingrained into this and that. It’s like here’s all this Jesus stuff and I’ve got to unlearn this mess. I’m just trying to take it up to the next notch. I hear Catholic horror stories about the nuns hitting people over the fingers. But Jesus simplifies it all and says it’s the ego thought system. Jesus describes it as you’re a mind and when you believe in the belief in separation you have a lot of guilt in the mind. Let’s just take it from that level forgetting about upbringing and back ground. We’ll leave the world out of it for a second. We’ll just talk about the mind. The mind that believes it’s guilty. That’s the problem, and therefore will automatically call forth witnesses from the world that will reinforce the guilt that it already believes in. In other words, no one comes into this world as a blank slate. It sounds romantic, the idea of little kids coming in and they have such cute little eyes and they have done nothing wrong and then the parents, the society and the world comes in and messes them up. Jesus is saying no, it’s not that at all. Then the child would be a victim of the environment, the parents, the upbringing and the Catholic Church and we’re still back to victimhood thinking. Jesus is saying that the mind that feels guilty will call forth witnesses. It may seem to be I’m a person in the world and I’m confined in Catholicism or maybe I’m abused as a child or neglected or maybe I’ve grown up in an orphanage. It could be anything, but basically the mind will call forth and interpret what it sees as limiting it. People will say I can’t stand all this stuff in the world about sacrifice. The ego is the belief in sacrifice. The Catholic Church and all of the experiences that happen there are just the witnesses of what’s already in the mind. The mind has to believe in sacrifice before it can see sacrifice in the world. People will say, But, I’ve come a long way. I used to be involved in the Catholic church but then I would kind of go over into Unity and now I’m into A Course in Miracles and I’ve gone from believing in a vengeful God to saying I’ve come to the realization that God is love and then they go home and [growling distressed sound] Oh! Have we come to the realization that God is love? You see how the mind can do a little mind game?

Participant3: That’s what I’m saying. Being raised and feeling the same way. I don’t want to be involved in Catholic bashing.

Speaker: The ego would like to pawn it off on the Catholic Church somehow or the Catholic nuns. You can see the backwards thinking again because if it was the Catholic Church that taught me these beliefs that are giving me so much problem now then the Catholic Church would be the victimizer. Basically the Course says that, the Catholic Church taught me what I wanted it to teach me. From a mind level if I believe in guilt then I’ll perceive that the world, my parents or the Catholic Church is teaching me what I wanted it to teach me. You see, the Catholic Church is absolved then. Here we go its back to my responsibility, my mind, my guilt that I believe in. All Jesus is saying is you’re plugged into a fear based thought system. You have a lot of guilt but your guilt is not real. That’s not who you really are. You don’t have any real reason to feel guilty. Guilt is not justified and the more you start to open up to the Holy Spirit you’re going to see how silly and ridiculous this game of guilt and fear is. You just come to a point where you can accept total responsibility for the ego. At that point, without trying to project the blame for it anywhere else, you bring it all the way back to, I made this thing and it is this that I have done and it is this that I would undo. When you bring the cause back to the mind then the Holy Spirit will shine it away. But, it doesn’t get shone away when it gets projected. That’s how it stays reinforced. It’s good news.

Participant1: Maybe if you talk a little bit about backwards/forwards thoughts. I know we mentioned a little bit about it last night or this morning. I think that’s real helpful.

Speaker: We started to get into it earlier today when we started talking about cause and effect. God is cause or the source and the Son is the effect. Now, what happens when this mad idea of separation is not laughed at and is taken seriously is cause and effect are split off. In heaven cause and effect are simultaneous. The Father and the Son are one singing a song of eternal joy and gratefulness to one another. Even though you may say one is the Father and one is the Son, they’re just one. They’re so mixed in together because they’re of one will that there’s really no point where the Son leaves off and the Father begins. But, to the egos way of thinking, when the separation is taken seriously cause and effect get split off and turned around. So split off from heaven that heaven is not in the picture. Split off and turned around so that now my state of mind is the effect and the world and the ego system is seen as causative so that’s why it seems like all these events that happen in the world have the power to take your peace of mind away. Somebody can seem to cut us off on the highway or somebody can seem to steal something from us or leave us or say something to us that we don’t like or say one thing and do another. Cause is always seen to be in the script or on the screen because the mind believed it separated from God, and that started the secret dream. The mind believes it’s terribly guilty for separating from God. That’s too horrifying, so that gets jammed down and now the dreaming of the world comes from your secret dream, but the dreaming of the world is the way that the mind tries to hide…it’s like a giant smoke screen or a giant hiding or distracting device that keeps the mind distracted away from the very deep feelings of unworthiness and guilt for separating off from God. So, the mind gets distracted. Now it seems like the mind believes it’s in the dream, it’s a little dream figure. It believes that it’s at the mercy of all these things that are happening, so once again cause and effect have been split off and turned around. This is the first part of the secret dream in the mind that it doesn’t want to see.

Then the second part is the surface level in which things seem to be happening to me completely without my will, without me having anything to do with it. You might hear teenage children saying I didn’t ask to be born into this world in anger. It sounds to the parents like I didn’t ask for any of this. You could say it about families. Why was I born into that family? If I had my choice I would have picked another family or that school or that Catholic Church or why in this country? Why couldn’t I have been born into royalty in England or something like that. But, basically the underlying thing is I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask to be here. I didn’t ask to be mistreated by my parents in that case and I didn’t ask to be abused here and I didn’t ask for when I was in the 7th grade and the teacher embarrassed me by making me put my nose in the chalk hole on the board. All these memories, I didn’t ask for that. It was humiliating and disgusting. In the dream world it seems like all these things happen to me and I have no say in what happens. But the mind has just completely forgotten that the underpinnings of the dream world are from this guilt that is buried very deep within the mind. That’s why it’s important to pull back from all of the distractions and to go within and to get in touch with the beliefs that are holding up this dream world. It’s like when you get to a stage play and they’ve got beautiful sets for the Broadway stage play and you go around behind the set and it’s got all these wood supports. Jesus is saying don’t get too caught up in how nice the stage or backdrop looks. You’ve got to come around behind and get to the supports and when we get to these supports and take them down the world will not seem to be so big and horrible. It will just seem to be what it is which is just an image. These underpinnings literally make the world. There is no point in trying to change the back drops but it is important to change the thoughts that are the underpinnings.

Participant1: Anyone wants to give some examples of forward backward thoughts. That would be truly helpful. What I’m seeing is so many thoughts that seem common place and so familiar are really backward thoughts. It’s helpful to notice that because then you can start recognizing that the cause is really in my mind and not out there. Something as simple as I can remember saying on a hot day that I went and took a swim in the lake to cool off, now that’s not an unusual thought or thing to say, is it? But, it’s backwards. It’s backwards because my being hot or my being cold has nothing to do with the 95 degree temperature. It has nothing to do with jumping in a cool lake. It has everything to do with the thoughts in my mind. If I think the cause for my being hot is the sun or the temperature, see how that’s placing the cause outside myself. If I think the cause for me cooling down is jumping in cool lake water, then the cause is outside of my mind. It’s in the temperature of the lake water.

Participant2: That’s really the way it is though.

Speaker: It sure seems that way.

Participant1: It seems that way to the deceived mind.

Participant2: Boy, I must be deceived then because I couldn’t look at it any other way. I don’t see how you could not see how it was like that.

Particpant1: Well, I guess a strong witness to me that that couldn’t be the case is when you take temperature differences like not wanting to feel cold and then thinking if the room temperature was different or I had more clothes on then I wouldn’t be cold. Then you look at the yogis who are able to sit in chambers that are zero degrees in their little G straps. They’re comfortable. They’re at ease. Obviously it has nothing to do with the temperature in the space. It has everything to do with my thinking.

Speaker: Training your mind.

Participant1: The cause is in my mind and when the mind is trained then it’s apparent that every cause is in my mind for what seems to be on the screen. That’s the depth of mind training that’s necessary in order to have the thought reversal to see that everything that seems to be out here is in my mind.

Participant3: That’s why you call it a backwards thought because even as common as that sounds it’s a projection that something else is doing it; even the temperature of your body.

Participant1: Right, believing that the cause is not in my mind but it is out here in the world.

Participant2: That will save us on air conditioning.

Speaker: When you’re first starting out in this stuff you don’t start there at all. In fact, it may be that your husband or your wife are a little irritating and you’re feeling out of peace and once again it’s still that same dynamic, there has to be backwards thoughts involved.

Participant4: You think it was because of something particular. It was because they said something to you that hurt your feelings.

Participant1: The cause is what they said. The cause is not what I’m thinking.

Speaker: Right, or I know people around here have been saying there’s been a lot of rain this summer, there haven’t been many sunny days, and you can see how with something like that where you could go with, Oh, gosh it’s been a wet dark summer and it’s ruined my summer. Here we go again with how many days of sun and my state of mind. You can see how this is a practical example you could use that when you catch yourself thinking that like, Oh gosh, another gloomy day. Kind of feeling gloomy and down because it’s another rainy day. You could stop and say wait a minute here Holy Spirit I recognize that is a backwards thought here and I want another way to look at this. I want to be happy. I want to be peaceful. I don’t want to feel gloomy and I don’t particularly care if I turn on the news and the weather man says ‘Oh, another gloomy day!’ and the anchor person says, ‘Oh, I thought people told us we were going to have some sun. It is a terrible day and then the sports man comes on and says…

Participant1: Six more inches of rain.

Speaker: Six more inches of rain today. We had a rainy day of sports today. I don’t particularly care how many witnesses seem to be called that clouds and dark weather are gloomy. That’s just a concrete example of how deep this ego thought system goes into our mind and that as we start to generalize these principles we start to bring power back to our minds.

Participant1: That’s where the relief is. If there is nothing outside my mind then its bliss all the time, right? Its bliss and joy if I choose bliss and joy because I’m the one who chooses, it has nothing to do with anything here. It’s like WOW! I’m really in charge here. I can choose in any moment in any situation, in any circumstance to be in total peace and joy.

Speaker: For example, we’ll say a person touches a hot stove and yanks the hand back. Now, once again we’ve learned so called in this world that that’s why we don’t touch hot stoves because hot stoves will burn your fingers. Never mind firewalkers who walk across hot coals. If you put your hand on a burner then the pain will be experienced to be caused by the burner, right? Does that seem pretty logical and reasonable? So then we get into the Course in Miracles that says that the mind makes all the decisions and the body doesn’t feel at all. It seems pretty radical to be told that the body doesn’t feel. It’s like, what do you mean, Jesus? It doesn’t feel. I feel hot. I feel cold. I feel pain. I feel pleasure. I feel lots of things in my body. Jesus is saying your mind’s making all these decisions and then it’s telling the body how to feel and where to feel it too. So, in this instance when the hand touches the stove, in a sense there’s a message that’s sent to the body to feel the pain on the finger where the thing has been touched and the pain that’s being felt is coming about because of the painful belief that I separated from God. Wow! That’s quite a tracing back. Now, Jesus let me get this straight now. I’m feeling pain in my hand because of my belief in separation. Yeah, the mind believes that it separated from God and it feels guilty. It can’t stand that guilt. Remember how we said it’s intolerable and it projects that guilt onto the screen. In this particular instance the guilt is being projected onto the fingertips. It seems that the hand touching the burner is where the pain is coming from. Actually when you transcend the ego, when you find the guilt was silly and there is no guilt in the mind then pain is impossible. The only reason pain comes about is as a reinforcer but it’s not causative. It’s just a projection of a decision that’s being made in the mind.

Participant5: So, the guilty feeling is we’ve separated from God. Why is the guilt there?

Speaker: The type of guilt that we’re talking about in the mind now is a very very deep ontological guilt because the mind believes that it’s done something terribly wrong, and that’s because it believes that it separated from God.

Participant5: Because it has a body?

Speaker: That’s just the cover for the belief but the belief took place at the mind level. Like we talked about last night, into eternity there crept a tiny mad idea at which the son of God remembered not to laugh. It means taking such a ridiculous idea seriously, actually believing it, turning the mind and investing seemingly in this belief is where this ontological guilt starts.

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