1. Articles of Incorporation Secretary of State of State of California Feb. 9, 1987 (Shows Church intended purpose)
2. Recognition Letter Franchise Tax Board State of California Jun. 17, 1987 (Shows legal Church status)
3. Recognition Letter Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. Jan. 8, 1988 (Shows 501[c]3 Public Charity status)
4. Amendment to Articles Secretary of State of State of California Jan. 14, 1998 (Shows name change)
But back to your presentation. An increasingly common psychiatric disorder is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), that is, the conviction that something is wrong with the appearance of one’s body: nose, penis, breasts, set of eyes or lips – you name it. Women are more prone than men due to cultural standards of beauty that are nearly impossible to live up to. BDD is a disorder of the shame family. Shame leads us to feel inferior, defective, inadequate, rejected – and we’ve all experienced it in one form or another. No one is immune. Even dogs and cats demonstrate shame behavior.
Interestingly, shame is rarely mentioned in ACIM, in marked contrast to guilt. I wrote about the reasons for this recently in MDC’s Holy Encounter and I’m attaching that article here. I hope you’ll find it to be a useful perspective. One of the things I learned in training and mentioned in the article is that the “cure” for shame is exposure: ideally gradual exposure and always in a safe setting: like alcoholics sharing their life stories in A.A. If we expose whatever was deemed shameful in an unsafe setting, it only gets reinforced.
So ... when I watched your talk/ performance, I saw you letting go of the past through exposure of what had once brought on shame in what you considered to be a safe setting. Not that most people would have seen it that way, in front a big crowd. But this was your conference, your baby, your show, with those who know and love you seated throughout the audience. And this did take place in Las Vegas, after all – the queen of shameless towns, as you noted, with strippers doing their thing only a short distance away. The result? The shame that is inherent in bodies got exposed for what it is and reversed when you displayed it so brazenly, but in the context of a helpful talk on transcending bodies and division. Sure, it provoked shame in some audience members. But overall, mission accomplished.
I would like to talk about the gift that is my practice. It is a gift because only in my practice comes awareness of God’s knowledge. My studies have taught me that love is beyond this world’s comprehension which is why the Course doesn’t aim to teach us what love is. Yet, I can learn to unblock my awareness to it, to accept my awareness of it. It can only be really achieved through my practice. I can’t really learn it but I can experience it. I can be a demonstration to others which is ultimately an invitation to the world to step into truth along with me and we can all accept the atonement that way.
When I am in my practice, life unfolds in a collaboration with my practice. For instance, the current selection of daily lessons is the twenty day review of “I am not a body. I am free for I am still as God created me.” While doing these lessons I’ve experienced the death of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis of a friend, a terminated pregnancy from another, and being hit by a taxicab while crossing 7th Avenue on the way to work one day. (Rev. Myke lives in New York City) Seemingly intense stuff. Pretty intense stuff if I didn’t have the awareness of what is actually happening here. “I am not a body. I am free for I am still as God created me.”
We aren't going to say that you have to forgive. If we said that, what would we do? It's like when you are on a diet. People tell you don't have the chocolate cake. Then the only thing you obsess about is the chocolate cake. That is the worst! People will say, "Don't eat french fries." Then every time you turn around, there is a McDonald's right there on the corner. This is the same thing. You can't just say, "I'm going to forgive my brother, forgive my brother, forgive my brother." Because then what are you doing? You are thinking that need to forgive your brother for being a jerk. You are thinking that you will forgive them even though they did this crap to you. You are going to forgive your brother for …
My friend simply said, "I am going to stop repeating this story and I come to a place of willingness." He comes to a place of saying, "I ask that forgiveness set me and set that person free." It may not even be a specific person. It could be, "I ask that forgiveness sets me and sets the Republican party free." "I ask that forgiveness set me and my sister free."
We will reference my sister again because that is a big forgiveness lesson for me. I don't see her as perfect. I will admit that. I look at her life choices and I think that they are messed up. She's messed up. So every time I go to that thought, I have to pause and I say, "I'm not going to keep thinking that thought. I am going to stop." It only takes ten seconds. "I ask that forgiveness set me and sets my sister free."
I started thinking, “What is this God thing? What is this Divine thing?” A Course in Miracles talks about God a lot but it never defines God. There are all these definitions of A Course in Miracles terms. There are all those “What Is” sections in the Workbook. There are fourteen of them. The Course talks about “What is Creation?” It talks about, “What is the Real World.” It talks about, “What is the Ego?” “What is a Miracle?” “What is the Christ?” It even does a, “What am I?” It never does a, “What is God?” There is no “What is God?” in any of the “What Is” sections. Considering how important God is in A Course in Miracles, you might think “they” would give us some clue as to what God is.
Then there is also the Clarification of Terms in the back of the book. In the Foundation for Inner Peace book and in the Circle of Atonement book all kinds of terms that are used in A Course in Miracles are clarified, high level terms. They clarify Mind. They clarify Spirit. They clarify Holy Spirit. They clarify Christ. They clarify Jesus. They clarify Knowledge. However, There is no clarity about God, no discussion, no little essay, no little abstract on God – ever! They just leave it up to us. Yet, God goes with us wherever we go – without any very good definition of what God actually is. There are lessons that say to call upon the name of God. Of course the lessons never gives you what name to use – two lessons that talk about the name of God but never tell us what name God has. (See OrEd.WkBk.183-184) The Course leaves it a big open question. Maybe it’s supposed to be? The Course does tell us this, “Healing is but another Name for God.” (OrEd.WkBk.356) Okay “healing” is “another name.” What is the main name?