We tend to put the Holy Spirit’s voice outside of us as something external. We make it something “other.” We think, “Oh, I’ve got to wait for the Holy Spirit to tell me this or that, or tell me what to do. I’m listening, I’m listening, but I’m not hearing anything.” We make the Holy Spirit an external symbol for the Truth that is actually in our right minds as the Sons of God. It’s not something external. It’s What our minds are when we release the ego and its ravages of terror. But right now, we probably still fear to claim that Voice as our own voice, at least in any full and consistent way. At this point, we may need to make the Holy Spirit and Jesus external symbols of the Love of God. We can think of them as our Constant Companions and Comforters, always with us to heal and guide. And that’s fine. It’s progress. But gradually, as we’re faithful to applying Jesus’ teaching, we shrink that gap. We go from “calling on” that Voice to hearing It as our own (right-minded) voice.
It’s like the story about the guy who got caught in a flood. I’m sure you’ve heard it. He climbs up onto the roof and cries out, “God, help me! I’m going to drown!” A boat comes by. The guy turns down the offer to get into the boat. He says, “God’s gonna help me.” Next a helicopter comes by and offers to rescue him, and he turns that down too, insisting “God’s gonna help me!” Finally, he drowns. When he gets to Heaven, he asks God why He didn’t help. God says, “I sent you a boat and a helicopter.” That’s kind of like what this is. God already put the Truth in our mind when He created us.
What’s the practical application here? It’s the idea that if we are tuned in to our feelings and we’re feeling peaceful, then we know we’re hearing Holy Spirit’s voice. Holy Spirit’s voice is our voice (the voice of our true Self not our ego self). Holy Spirit’s voice is the voice of peace. We already have that voice of peace within our minds. It’s there already. We just need to choose It. We don’t need to be in a state of perplexity and uncertainty, thinking we’re not getting guidance. We are getting guidance because that guidance is already in us. It hasn’t gone anywhere! It’s a matter of learning how to tune in to it.
Sometimes we don’t trust what we’re hearing or feeling because we think the Holy Spirit is this external thing outside of us somewhere. For instance, if I go to a restaurant and I’m uncertain about what to order, I think I’ve got to ask Holy Spirit. Instead, it might be more helpful to look at what my body feels like eating. I know what I’m feeling if I tune in to myself. If my stomach isn’t feeling its best, I might feel like eating something light and plain. I don’t – and we don’t – need to go outside for specific guidance. Instead we can ask: “Do I feel peaceful about a decision for tofu in lemon and dill sauce with steamed rice? I do? Well, bon appétit!” If we’re feeling peaceful, we’re in touch with Holy Spirit. That’s moving toward closing that “gap” that tells us that we and the Holy Spirit are two different things. In our right minds, we are the Holy Spirit! But realizing that is a process, and when we’re first starting out, we do need that seemingly external symbol to help us break out of the habit of always listening to the ego’s voice.
But we want to move along in this process and claim what is rightfully ours. The ego wants us to make the Holy Spirit something “other” and outside of ourselves – an outside source, even if it’s a helpful outside source – just like we’ve made everything else seem to be outside ourselves. The whole world, including our bodies, is a projection outside of our mind! So putting the Holy Spirit “out there” is continuing that flight from God. We can thank Holy Spirit, seek His guidance, sing His praises, “How Great Thou Art!” and all of that, and the ego is happy enough as long as Holy Spirit is safely over there, separate, different, away from us and not us. We continue with our mistaken belief that happiness and joy are “out there.” We think we’ll find Holy Spirit’s voice “out there” too. Does this mean we never get messages out in the world? No. We’ll see images, open books to certain passages, and get stuff from films and TV shows, songs and music and so on. Sure, we’re going to get these prompts, but if we’re constantly making Holy Spirit this thing outside ourselves, as Ken Wapnick says, we will stunt our own growth. We’ve got to grow into the realization of the truth that there is only One voice. The Holy Spirit’s voice is our voice, too.
What Ken wrote is worth repeating: “As long as our lives our dominated by the thought system of guilt, fear and attack, we need a symbol that is perceived external to the ego and represents the Voice we still fear to claim as our own.” We are afraid to believe that we have that voice within us. Ken goes on to say, “Our path should be one that gradually shrinks the gap between our voice and our Voice, allowing us to grow into who we really are.” Interesting, isn’t it? The ego has a great investment in persuading us and frightening us into maintaining our supposed separation from Holy Spirit and Jesus. We’re here, and they’re out there. We’re different. We’re separate. That “gap” of externalizing Holy Spirit is an ego defense strategy to keep the Love of God away from us. It’s really saying, “Stay the f**k away from me!” and it’s rooted in fear and terror. But like any other defense or attack, it’s really a cry for Love. Our minds are sick and they need healing. So Jesus tells us, “Healing is the way in which the separation is overcome. Separation is overcome by union. It cannot be overcome by separating” (T-8.IV.5:3-5). But until we heal and grow into that ultimate Unity, we need a symbol, and that’s OK. It’s more than OK. We’re on the right path. There’s no pressure or rush. We just need to know where we’re headed.
Are you ready to learn more about connecting with Holy Spirit? See Chapter 7 “Only Equals Are At Peace” in our book, Change Your Mind! Talks on Living A Course in Miracles .
The entries in this volume of Change Your Mind! are taken from Revs. Deb and Paul Phelps’ weekly Practical Miracles Messages that are given each Sunday at MiraclesOne in Madison, Wisconsin. Each Message is recorded for video and audio but many people have been requesting that we make them available in print form. The Change Your Mind!series is our response to that request.
Volume 1 – Can You Hear Me Now? * Grandeur vs. Grandiosity * The Only Teacher * Forgiving Yourself * What, Me Angry? * Off the Beaten Path * Only Equals are at Peace * Attack and Defense * Happy Laughter * Healthy Body or Healed Mind?
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MiraclesOne – www.miraclesone.org