Speaking of mirrors and doing mirror work – this gets expanded a lot in A Course In Miracles because using the idea of a mirror, the world itself being a mirror – all of our brothers and sisters being our mirrors – is a very foundational ACIM idea. It's talked about a lot. "Mirror" is mentioned frequently in the Course. I was always very happy to see these mirror references when I first studied A Course in Miracles because there was a famous Biblical quote about mirrors that I was fond of. Sometimes "a mirror" is referred to as "a glass," in some translations, but in many translations it will say "a mirror." The quotation is in Corinthians. This famous passage is read a lot at weddings. They will read from Corinthians Chapter 13, but the specific line that I'm referring to is this: "For now we see in a mirror, darkly..." in some translations it says "a glass darkly" – "but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known." (1.Cor.13.12)
The idea is that now we see in a mirror, but we see "darkly" in this mirror. We've got a dark covering, shadow, film ... something on the mirror that is the world, and so we see things that aren't really there, or we see distorted things. We see things that are being misrepresented. In fact, anything that speaks of lack, disharmony, or disease is a distorted image that we're seeing in the darkened glass that is the world. A Course in Miracles says, "Perception is a mirror, not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind reflected outward. I would bless the world by looking on it through the eyes of Christ." (OrEd.WkBk.304.1)
Getting back to loving more and fearing less, I think fear is one of the bigger problems in life. A Course In Miracles says, "It seems to be the body that we feel limits our freedom, makes us suffer, and at last puts out our life. Yet bodies are but symbols of a concrete form of fear. Fear without symbols calls for no response, for symbols can stand for the meaningless. Love needs no symbols, being true." (OrEd.WkBk.161.5) It seems that our bodies are what is fear, not really our spirit. I can say I have a lot of fears. I was once afraid to speak, and still get nervous now and again. But you know, I have to do it. I have to get over that fear. I have a bundle of fear when I see the clutter in my house. And I do try to de-clutter, but it doesn't always happen the way I want it to. I de-clutter and before I know it the clutter is back again. Oh well. But, it is working.
What do we really fear? What is it that you really think we fear? I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) the other day, and they claim there's one thing we all fear. Can anyone guess what that is? (A women in the congregation, "Death?") Death. Oh she's right on. That's what we fear the most – death. Even though we know our bodies are all going to die, we don't get our Wills in order. I haven't. We don't get our things in order. Do you have your affairs in order? See? Don't you believe your body is going to die?
Here I am. I don't know, it's funny how Spirit works. I had my first A Course in Miracles book in 1993, the year that Rev. Judy became a minister. And so off and on I would use it. Then, in about 2009, I began having work trouble. It just seemed like I was supposed to leave my job and the universe helped me leave my job. Then my father passed away and the universe helped again. The universe always helps me. I prayed for strength every day and strength came. I'm always answered.
I'm so grateful for CMC and Rev. Tony – it's been a collaboration. When he said it was okay to make the Mezuzahs,** I had the inspiration to put "Miracles", the "M" on it. It's like I just saw this big "M" and I thought, I know what that is, miracles! Okay! So I incorporated it and now when I make them, it's like spirit moves through me. I bought a piano and my husband helped me take the piano apart. I use the keys. This is made from an old piano key (holding up a Mezuzah). Then my friend painted some of the wood because I asked her to collaborate with me. It was like being given permission to be myself. So I'm going to continue being myself and more of myself.
I'm very, genuinely happy to be here. Thank you very much.
The African Americans in 1963 couldn't order a meal, at the Woolworth's lunch counter. They had separate schools. It was supposed to be separate but equal. It was separate - but it wasn't equal. Okay? They lived, essentially, as second class citizens with very few rights. They couldn't vote as well. It was really bad at that time. What Martin Luther King talked about in his letter was, "How can you ...?" In a very nice, eloquent way he said to the white ministers, "You are telling me that things are going to be okay. They've been telling us for centuries that things are going to be okay. They're not okay; they're not changing." And he said in his letter, "You failed to address the underlying causes of segregation." Of course the underlying cause of segregation is racism, and racism is fear based, right? Racism is based on separation - different color skin. This type of perception gets involved. "Oh, that person is less intelligent than me. That person is less worthy than me, ..." blah, blah, blah. Think about all the things that we do when this kind of perception gets involved.
What Dr. Martin Luther King said was the way you lovingly transform this racism is you have to confront it with direct non-violent demonstration or protest. It's not to be swept under the rug, but that people had to learn how to confront the racism in a loving manner. They had to confront the situation.
In this letter Dr. King also quotes Socrates. Many who know Socrates see him as a Jesus Christ like figure. In the sense of, Socrates was a great teacher, probably an enlightened teacher - Socrates gave us many different allegories that we study. This is what Socrates said, "In order for a student to learn you had to create tension in their minds" - tension in their minds. Dr. Martin Luther King was creating tension in the minds of all the white folk, of everyone, in Birmingham, Alabama, because when one has tension ... when we have tension in our lives, that's when we question what's going on. We question our perception, and that's how we learn. That's how we grow.