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On November 8, 2015, Rev. Roxie Benson addressed the congregation at the Community Miracles Center for the Sunday Service. What follows is a lightly edited transcription of that talk.

Colorful Art from the MindI'm so glad to be here. I looked at the calendar and I'm here every day in November. It's exciting! I just want to be here more.

I'm going to talk to you about A Course in Miracles, of course, always, first and foremost. Where would I be without A Course in Miracles? It brought me home. Jeshua talks a lot, in A Course in Miracles, about our split mind. I'm often a little confused about that. What's split? What is it split from? I knew that it's split from Spirit. It's split from the Voice of Love. It's listening to the ego. But Jeshua is giving me a more clear definition of that in his later work A Course of Love. He told me what is split is my heart from my mind. That makes perfect sense to me. The heart is the Source of my being, the Source of Love. The heart is what we extend Love through. The heart isn't Love, but it's the Source of the extension of Love. If I'm cut off from that then I'm only listening to my mind, and it's not even my right mind, it's this wrong mind. Basically everything the ego says is a lie. Period. When it talks to me now I say, "You're lying. Anything you say is a lie." (laughter) Because it is!

The idea of joining my heart and my mind together makes so much sense. I felt it was doable. I think I can do this. I can bring heart and mind together. That really makes sense to me. But the only way I can do that, the only place I can experience wholeheartedness, is in the present. Wholeheartedness is a present experience. I can do that right now by being mindful and remembering the truth. That's what he asks us to do. Be present.

In A Course in Miracles Jeshua says the main thing you have to do is accept the atonement for yourself. My understanding of that has deepened so much. Accepting the atonement is accepting that I'm still as God created me, that I need to do nothing to be worthy of God's Love. I am the accomplished Son of God now. I don't need to seek; I don't need to prove. I don't need to try. I don't need to struggle. I am an accomplished Son of God. That's the atonement. Accepting that for myself is declaring it. I don't think Jeshua walked around doubting his identity and thinking "Am I really God's Son?"

The ego is the better than, worse than roller coaster. Am I better than someone or worse than someone? What I've come to realize, and what Jeshua is asking me to do, is to join him. I need to thank him for being my teacher, to honor that he's been a great teacher, and he has. However, now it's time for me to join him as his colleague, because he's not going to wake me up. He can't. I have to wake myself up. I have to have my own awakening, and I can't get it out there. I've finally figured that out. There's no external salvation. It's me and a lot of dialogue with him. It's inner dialogue with this Self from whom I've been hiding, that I've been running from, that I've been doubting. I've been thinking I am not God's Son, but I've been mistaken. I've been afraid of what I am. I've been afraid of what my ego made of me. The Art of Thought (This is a chapter in *A Course of Love*, Book 2) has given me a new way to deal with that.

What's going on is Love is being extended by Creation. That's all that's happening here. Love is being extended by Creation. And that's all Love. It calls for a response. But, because we're cut off from our heart fear reacts to that. What does the ego do with that? I had to write this down. (Rev. Roxie looks at her notes.) It struggles. It requires effort. It tries to control. It tries to protect. Sometimes it just shuts down and runs from Love or hides from it. The ego does all kinds of crazy, mixed up, wacked out, insane stuff. To this, Love is saying, "Here's Love. Here's Creation loving you."

Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love ask me to drop thinking, but A Course in Miracles tells me I'm not really thinking at all. If I'm thinking with the ego I'm not thinking at all. I'm image-making. I'm faking. I'm making it up. I'm just basically image-making. So Jeshua calls us to stop thinking with the ego and to respond with the Art of Thought.

I'm going to give you a real life example. This happened Friday. I was at work. I am a teacher. I have seventh graders. I'm healing my own seventh grader, because that's the grade I acted out in. Every student in my classroom is me. (laughter) Three of them acted out, and I got on their case. I know that I'm not a victim. I called for this. I created this incident. I snapped at them. I sat down and I said, "You know I'm over here wasting my time, reteaching you this stuff that you just flunked, which is a third grade standard, because you didn't pay attention. It's not that you're incapable. You know how to do this." I was just mad. 

Sometimes they take the world seriously and think they don't know things. This one girl, she cries. She starts crying, and one of the other girls goes and gives her some Kleenex. I stand up. I stand behind her and pat her shoulders. I tell her I am sorry that I snapped at her, but I knew she could do it. She was capable of the work. I wanted to see her capability, and who she really was. This goofing off thing was not who she was.

Then she says, "Oh, my God! Don't touch me! Don't touch me! Don't touch me!" I said, "Okay." Then I sat down and we have this whole conversation about why she doesn't like to be touched. Does she hug her friends? I am thinking this is a red flag, and so I want to talk. The girls are all there. This goes on and while I'm sitting there talking to her, I reach out to touch her shoulder again, trying to comfort her more. Then I pull my hand back and say, "I'm sorry. I'm nurturing. That's who I am." I thought this was nothing. 

Three periods later I get a call from my principal that I need to come into the office because there's been an accusation. I go in, and the principal reads me the student's statement. In her statement, she said I did it twice after she told me not to do it again. I went into fear, but not for very long. I basically stopped and I remembered the other thought. The other thought is this, everything in my human experience is a gift. It's a gift to myself. It's something I've called for. It's a gift from my Higher Self. It's a gift from my Divine Self. It's a gift from God. Because if I'm calling something into my experience, in order to learn salvation, then it's a divine gift.

It also connects me to my human experience. It connects me to my divine experience, but I don't negate my human experience. My human experience is that the separation belief is happening. Underneath that, it's just Love. It's Creation. This experience was created from Creation to show me the way to Love. It's a divine gift. It's a gift of humanity, and it's a shared gift. I've learned from this. The healing I get through this is that everyone involved in this situation is connected to every healing, loving thought I have regarding the situation. It's a gift to everyone, to all, from God to my humanity, and from my humanity, to all humanity, and then back to God. Because when we love our humanity and our divinity. We love God. So that's the Art of Thought. I got that we were doing the Art of Thought. 

I told my boss, "I know who I am, and I'm innocent. I'm not going to write anything down. I'm not going to write a statement. I don't need my union. I am completely innocent. I trust you to do whatever investigation you need to do. I know you will find the truth." She said, "Okay." 

She had me go, and I went and sat in the room and started reading A Course of Love. Then my phone died, because I wasn't supposed to read. I was supposed to just sit with Jeshua. I just sat and I loved everybody in the situation. The cops came. The cop came in and he was very nice. I was professional. We had a lovely conversation. What happened? My boss was beautiful. I just trusted her, and she showed up for who I am. That was the difference. I stood as the truth, and she stood for the truth of who I am. It's only when we doubt that, that it hurts. Then it's hurtful.

It was a beautiful experience. All the principal has to do is just write me a letter that says, "Don't touch kids." Nothing has to go in my file. I told her I'll have to change entirely who I am. She said, "Yeah I know." She has kids. She does this sideway hug thing. I'll probably touch kids again on the shoulder, like I do, but not this student.

The other big thing I got from this is I'm no longer willing to compromise who I am. If I can't hug, I don't want to be in this job anymore. If I can't love kids .… I'm not really afraid to love kids. I'm just going to keep loving them. But I'm also ready to move one. This chapter is closing. Mainly because I'm pretty healed. My seventh grader is almost healed. I'm almost not a seventh grader anymore. (laughter) My anger and my resentment, my bitterness towards authority, towards Stockton (the city Rev. Roxie teaches in), towards the mentality that I have pictured there is almost gone. I have projected and judged Stockton, but Stockton is innocent. I'm not guilty anymore and neither is Stockton.

When there's nothing left to forgive your work is done. I have other work to do. My next work is here. I don't know what that job is yet, but it will be something like this, loving and where I can hug. The Art of Thought, it's a response to Love. That's all we've ever been asked for. Here is Love. Here is Creation, giving you the gift that you asked for. You're not a victim of it, because you called it to be. So once we can start responding with Love, and knowing it's all Love, maybe the gifts will change. This Art of Thought it's relearning and unlearning. When this came up, this was the lesson of questioning my word. It's also the lesson of my story, "See How I've Been Unfairly Treated." That's my victim story, the one I wrote. But my victim story is no longer a victim's story anymore. It's a salvation story. I'm rewriting the book of victimhood, and now it's my salvation story. All of the characters who played tyrants in my past, they are all heroes now, because they all were angels in bringing me to whatever it was I needed to get to in order to get here with you today. I wouldn't have changed a thing because without everything I wouldn't have listened in this moment.

We're unlearning our old response, our old ego pattern, and we're relearning through the Art of Thought. The old ego pattern is even the sophisticated ego. In the reading, Jeshua talked about how the more sophisticated the ego gets, it just wants to learn, learn, learn. The ego will tell you that you're doing better, "Oh this reaction was so much more sophisticated than how I used to react to these kind of situations." And that is valid. It's necessary.

Now we get together, if you want to, we can do this together. We can respond and unlearn that pattern. I can unlearn this pattern of "Look, see how I've been unfairly treated," and see I wasn't treated unfairly at all. I do not feel in the least way that I was unfairly treated in this situation at school. I have no bitterness. I just love everybody. It's the first time this experience happened. Just absolute innocence for everyone from the Art of Thought. We don't need the ego to help us survive anymore. We know how to do that. Now, we're not doing that. The ego's not necessary anymore. I've been telling you that it's undone, and it is. The ego is undone because a lie has been exposed.

Once a lie is exposed, the lie is no more. But the patterns of thought, the patterns of response, the patterns of reacting, need to be unlearned. We are still unlearning them. Every time we notice the patterns, we should congratulate ourselves. We love ourselves through it. If we beat ourselves up we are still in the ego's pattern, but if we love ourselves, we break the pattern.

Creation is a dialogue. It's just a dialogue with Love. Creation loves us through our thought. It's a dialogue. It's a relationship. In that relationship, what happens when we have a challening experience is we see the innocence of everyone involved. We see that gift, that healing. That creates an interlocking chain of miracles, as Jeshua talks about in A Course in Miracles. Once you set up a chain of forgiveness like that, everybody who was touched by this incident — everyone's life — gets to be welcomed to this chain of miracles. It's very powerful. 

I want to acknowledge that The Art of Thought is a gift for us. It's a gift of Creation. I'm happy I got to share it with you. I want to read one more thing and remind you that the Art of Thought is in A Course of Love. I want to share the last paragraph from the chapter. This is it. The Art of Thought is for you. I want to reiterate unity. When I went into the room to sit down, to get clear, to listen to Jeshua, I started seeing the unity in all the relationships. These girls, the school, showed me that we're all connected. I ended up wrapping my love around everything. I started with the girls, the administration, then the school, then the city, and it just gets evermore expansive. You just feel it in your being, the expansiveness of that love. 

I want us to hear this:  "To acknowledge the relationship and the nature of the gift is to realize unity. To realize the call for a response is to hear the call to create like unto the Creator. This creating like unto the Creator may be used as a definition for the art of thought." (ACOL 2.2.22).  

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This article appeared in the October 2015 (Vol. 29 No. 8) issue of Miracles MonthlyMiracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members, Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.