From the BlogMeet Ron


Do not be discouraged. 
Few experiences are of less value to me than fast sobriety. Too many times discouragement has been the bonus for unrealistic expectations, not to mention self-pity or fatigue from my wanting to change the world by the weekend. Discouragement is a warning signal that I may have wandered across the God line. The secret of fulfilling my potential is in acknowledging my limitations and believing that time is a gift, not a threat. 
  Hope is the key that unlocks the door of discouragement. The program promises me that if I do not pick up the first drink today, I will always have hope. Having come to believe that I keep what I share, every time I encourage, I receive courage. It is with others that, with the grace of God and the Fellowship of A.A., I trudge the road of happy destiny. May I always remember that the power within me is far greater than any fear before me. May I always have patience, for I am on the right road.
Copyright 1990 
“Questioner: It’s been said that the end of sorrow is the beginning
of love.
Vernon: Yes, and I’ll start by telling you that humanity glorifies
sorrow. Look at how organized religion glorifies pain, suffering,
heaviness; how the music is slanted to give you not a light, vic-
torious spirit but a heavy spirit. Those musicians, those religious
musicians know what they’re doing because they know what they want
to accomplish by their music and they know how gullible you are and
how you even welcome sad, slow, mournful music because it matches
what you are inside, therefore you get a charge from that kind of
music into your spirit. You love it, it makes you feel dramatic.
The glorification of suffering is a hideous crime beyond comprehension
and everybody does it, including you, including those of you watching
this film. One of your greatest pleasures in life is to be morose, is
to be gloomy, is to look out at life with a dull, glazed look because your
very heavy spirit is serving your dark state. If you can reinforce your
gloom and keep it going, that is all you will have to do, to remain
gloomy. And that’s what you want, because now you don’t have to make an
effort against that state.
You’ve fallen into a ditch six feet deep. Here’s this ditch going for
miles down the countryside and you fall in it. The easy thing to do
is to stay in the ditch and walk along and complain that someone dug
a ditch there or they didn’t put enough warning lights there or some-
one pushed you in there and you can have a great time for the rest of
your life walking down in that miserable ditch hating, complaining and
not having to make a single effort to reach up and put your hands up
on either side of it and vault out.
Because there’s something wrong with man’s mind, he would rather stay
there and walk along and complain rather than put his hands up and get
out. And if you tell him, ‘Look man you’re very stupid, you’ve fallen
into the ditch; the only intelligent thing to do is to climb out. Don’t
call yourself intelligent. Call yourself stupid because that’s what you
If you complain you are stupid, because stupidity and complaining are
both crimes, crimes against your spirit. That’s a new thought to you,
is it, that you are a criminal against yourself? We’re developing in
this class, as an elementary responsibility, the urge to get out of
that ditch. It’s so confining isn’t it?”
Questions and Answers 19
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
We were now at Step Three.
 Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him:
“God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the 
bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them 
may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy 
will always!”
We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon 
ourselves utterly to Him. 
Seventh Step Prayer
-The Seventh Step Prayer is from page 76. The Big Book
   When ready, we say something like this:
“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now 
remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you 
and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”
We have then completed Step Seven.
-(Both derived from page 86 in the Big Book)
St Francis Prayer
-From Chapter 11 of “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions”
“Lord, make me a channel of they peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.”                        
St. Francis Assisi (1182-1228).

I do not believe that God has imposed suffering
upon anyone to punish them or to teach them a lesson.
Ernest Holmes
All you have to do is try and keep
sober and find out what works for you.
Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found,
bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

“Words are a pretext.
It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”

ACIM Workbook Lesson 119 Insights
Review: “Truth will correct all errors in my mind.”
and “To give and to receive are one in truth.”
One sentence that stood out to me in today’s lesson is that it is impossible that the Son of God could be hurt in any way. I tried to imagine what it would feel like to really know this. I experienced fleeting moments of a hint of what this would feel like. It was interesting to observe what came with it. In those moments, body identification faded to almost nothing. I was less limited to a place in space or a point in time. My sense was of being extended far beyond the body. It was very inclusive. I welcomed everyone into my circle of being, for there was no reason to defend or protect. There was no thought of harm. It was very peaceful and joyful. Everyone was my friend. I felt a joining of my heart with all hearts. There was a wonderful exchange of energy, of Love, of unified thought. I felt uplifted, free. I carried no heavy burdens. I felt like what could be best described as floating, weightless.
I seem to only be able to allow this feeling for brief moments and then I would pull back into my usual perspective of being in a body, identified with it. I would move back and forth between this body identification and feeling on the fringes of the experience of total safety. I wasn’t able to allow myself to experience it totally without reservation, to totally let go of all body identification. Yet I let go enough to taste the freedom, to taste the expansiveness, the limitlessness, to taste the joy and peace, to know that this is what I want in truth.
And so I will continue to practice these exercises so that I may move closer to the consistent recognition that harm is impossible, that I am innocent, along with the whole world. I am deeply grateful for these fleeting moments that hint at the reality of my Home in Heaven. My goal is clear and I journey on with a lightened step.
The first part of today’s lesson gives me the benefits of stilling my mind and listening to the truth. As I am willing to open to the truth, the errors in my mind are healed. It is the errors in my mind that are causing all the feelings of limitation and distress I experience. If I really think about it, I do not want to continue holding on to the errors in my mind. They only bring me pain.
I hold on to the errors many times because I think they are true. I think I am right in believing in them. Jesus is helping me to realize that this is a mistake. Very gently he reminds me that I do not know what anything means. He gently encourages me to let go of the meaning I have given to everything. He gently encourages me to step back from the meaning I have given to everything in this world.
As I practice stepping back, the first rays of light are able to shine through. I remember that everything I see through the body’s eyes is part of the dream of separation. As I practice remembering this, it gets easier to be aware of the truth that lies beyond the dream of separate bodies. Everyone is really still the same Light of God. Everyone is really still the same Love of God. No one can be hurt. No one can be harmed. No one is their body. No one is their ego personality. No one is anything but an extension of God’s Love. That is inviolate, changeless, eternal.
The truth shines forth as I quiet my mind and let it enter my awareness. The truth does heal all errors in my mind as I am willing to open up and listen, to open up and receive. As I receive the truth, I give the truth. Ideas leave not their source. The truth is continuous and eternal. It is the reason everyone is safe. It is the reason there is no death; there is no world of separation. I am willing to rest in this remembering today.
When I get my feelings hurt or I’m afraid, I’m like a little kid and run to my Father for comfort, to feel that safety with Him, so He can remind me that I cannot be hurt in any way. Of course, as an ego, I can’t imagine what that’s like, but somehow when I’m in quiet, deep down in my heart I know this is not only possible, but true; I guess that’s why I keep doing it.
I too was struck by the reminder that I could not be hurt in any way. But, I was intent on my interpretation, so I didn’t think to try another way of relating. This is the exact place for me to go during any of the exercises. I too need to be where I feel Daddy’s safety. I forgot that part. It was just recently that I absorbed the meaning of “Rest In God,” or “Rest In Peace” for that matter. This time it was my need, my craving for something elusive, and asking Him for it (what ever “it” is) that gave me the experience and then the understanding of the words. I guess I still forget His gifts.
© 2003, Pathways of Light.
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, 
provided this copyright notice and website address are included.
Church officials reasoned that it would hurt people’s faith to think that Jesus had to undergo a period of training under the guidance of other Masters.
Some argued that it didn’t hurt the faith of the disciples who were with Jesus and heard about it directly from him, but that plea fell on deaf ears. And in the end those 18 years were removed.
As Swamiji points out, one proof that they were taken out, rather than omitted by the original writers, is that there is a complete blank where those years are concerned. The officials had the nerve to remove information, but they could not bring themselves to create new facts.
Any biographer would have at least said, “And he grew up and worked in his father’s shop.”
Instead, there is nothing.
Also removed around this time – 553 A.D., at the Second Council of Constantinople – were all references to reincarnation.
The logic was similarly non-logical: “We need people to buckle down right now. We don’t want them to think they have all the time in the world to work things out.”
Again, counter arguments fell on deaf ears. Even the Pope at the time, it is believed, opposed the ban. Still it was carried out. Removing reincarnation from the Bible proved a little trickier than the lost years, and some direct references remain. (See p. 311 of The New Path, by Swami Kriyananda.)
Now how does all of this relate to Mary the Mother of Jesus?
You see, what has happened is that by taking out of the “Christian” teachings the concepts of Guru, sadhana, and reincarnation, you have removed the whole idea of Self-realization.
The Church accomplished exactly what it wanted. No longer can the devotee work on his own salvation, now it comes only through Jesus Christ, and – here is the worst part – through the intercession of “His” Church. Rituals, sacraments, blessings, absolutions, etc. were all gradually substituted for the direct connection between God and the devotee which is the heart of Self-realization.
Thus “Christianity” becomes “Churchianity.”
It is not when religion becomes “organized” that the damage is done. It is when the institution makes itself essential to the devotee’s salvation that true teaching dies.
The other purpose the Church had in doing this, besides strengthening its own position, was to make Jesus ever more unique and special. The teachings of Self-realization say that every soul has the same infinite destiny. That Jesus himself – and all Self-realized Masters before and after him – are souls like us who have completed the journey we are now on.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” was not a compliment, it was a commandment.
But if Jesus is unique, as the Catholic Church now tells us he is, then the whole process of Self-realization is moot, in fact, impossible. If Jesus never went through it, obviously none of the rest of us could either. We would have to simply depend on Jesus (and the Church) for our salvation.
And if there is no such thing as reincarnation, and one lifetime would obviously not be long enough to become “perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect,” then the meaning of that statement must be other than it seems.
Many translations of the Bible have been amended accordingly; “Be ye therefore good, as your Father in Heaven is good,” is but one example.
Paramahansa Yogananda
Ron Richey
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

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