On Perception & Clear Seeing | Wiping The Mirror Clean
I was first introduced to ACIM (a course in miracles) back in May of 1995. On May 30, 1995 beaten down by a ravaging Opiate addiction I entered The Bridges of Hope long term recovery program in rural Argyle, Georgia via the Sheriff’s department and county jail system.
At that time The Bridges of Hope was a real game changer for recovering addicts and alcoholics. We called it the last house on the block because many like myself who arrived there had already run the full gamut of detox centers, recovery programs, and other available institutional programs for substance abuse treatment.
I spent about 10 months there and managed an almost 4 year consecutive clean and sober run after leaving. For inquisitive minds, my sobriety date is now 1-10-2005 by God’s grace one day at a time. Back in 1995 during that first month of sobriety at The Bridges of Hope
I met a man by the name of George Allen Sirmans. George was the founder of The Bridges of Hope, a long time sober recovering alcoholic himself who would later become a close friend, sponsor, and lifelong spiritual mentor of mine.
It was during May of 1995 when being introduced to ACIM teachings and beginning the workbook sessions that I became fully conscious of the magnitude of my erroneous thought system that I had for so long mistaken as reality. It was the tumultuous (as it often is) beginning of the undoing of what had kept me bound for years, false perceptions and subjective distortions of reality. Prior to beginning the course George had lent me a copy of the book “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles” by Marianne Williamson. I could not stop reading her writings as every word was like sweet nectar to my tired soul.
Grace quickly swooped in that May and I will never forget the most simple, yet likely most powerful prayer I had ever prayed to that point. It was simply – God, I don’t know who or what you are but I am dying and I’ve got to have some relief… Please help me! I knew I had to be emptied of my so-called religious knowledge and spiritual platitudes at least in regards to this spiritual awakening business. This prior so-called knowledge I had accumulated to that point thus far had not helped me one iota in achieving true and sustained freedom from active addiction. An addiction that was both literally and figuratively killing me and sucking the life and joy out of everyone and everything I touched including myself.
Our perceptions are so powerful. How we interpret things on automatic which is deeply ingrained in our subconscious and psyche not only colors the world we see… it creates it as well. Unexamined, these false beliefs and erroneous perceptions keep us enslaved to addictions, feelings of separation, anxiety, depression, toxic relationship patterns, and the list goes on ad infinitum. The false identity, mind based ego is very cunning as well. Not only does it create the conundrum of suffering but it likes to masquerade as its own savior too. Thus ensuring its pleasure/pain/suffering cycle of samsara is not broken or escaped.
This (cycle of samsara) must be seen clearly, honestly, and more often than not painfully as we begin to offer up our erroneous perceptions for correction. There are many effective tools, practices, and teachings available to assist us to achieve this “clear seeing”. This letting go, so to speak. 12 Step Programs and ACIM are quite helpful although I don’t visit the workbook practises any more as a daily event. I’ve cycled through the yearly daily exercises on more than one occasion since being first introduced to the principles 28 years ago. It was more of a transitory tool for me although all principles are still both applicable and practical for me today.
I think a lot of techniques and teachings are just that. Bridges to higher planes of conscious spiritual realization.They ferry us to the next shore and eventually home where there is no need for any thought of any “way out”. We are home at last, resting and spontaneously operating from pure heart space. Any wiping of the mirror of our perception that remains to be done is surrendered to divine intelligence. All is grace from that moment on.