This issue originally published as A Course for Teachers
Recently, I asked my students to participate in a short survey. I wanted to know how they view the world, their perceptions, problems and possible solutions. Since I have been teaching for almost a quarter century, I have a belief that students are similar to adults in experiencing basic truths. Since all minds are joined, surely common concerns, solutions and grounds should surface.
The Holographic View
From the results of the survey we might conclude that students are aware that their world view is in large measure the result of their own thinking. In the book, The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson writes about David Bohm's (a protégé of Albert Einstein) thinking that reality is not what is out there, but rather it is a "representation of frequencies interpreted by the brain and on another's brain." Bohm suggested that the brain and its memory of the past are holographic. Just like a hologram, which when cut into even smaller pieces, presents a complete picture of the original, the brain maintains memory even when pieces are removed. It seems memory might not reside in one place in the brain. Instead, it spreads about equally as a process. If this is the case, then what defines as reality cannot be separate from what we are and how we think. Our world view is internal, a particular and specific interpretation of external events.
Ferguson suggests we live in a holographic universe, where reality is not what we witness with our five senses. She writes that the "holographic super theory says that our brains mathematically construct hard reality by interpreting frequencies from a dimension transcending time and space. The brain is a hologram, interpreting a holographic universe."
Scientists are ever more conscious of the necessity of preventing their observation techniques from affecting experimental outcome. It can be argued that any scientific observation places the observer in the realm of the observed. Since we all observe reality, could it be that as observers in the reference frame of the observed, we affect what we observe? In effect, we create our own reality. How do we convey the implications of this holographic world view to students who see the world as unhappy? How do we teach them that they are part and parcel, of the world they observe? My small survey suggests that if we leave behind the high-powered rhetoric and vocabulary, youngsters are automatically aware of the part they play in creating their universe. The definitions and cause of some of their unhappiness is evident in more than 50% of those surveyed. For these aware students, the techniques of altering perception are beneficial. As teachers, we role-model such techniques daily. Our resolution of conflicts, our daily coping with our projections could show a better way.No-One
All the respondents to the survey, regardless of whether they chose themselves or others as the cause of their problems, missed an important possibility. Although the questions in the survey clearly led the students to pick their sources of conflict and unhappiness, there was no opportunity, except in the fill-in-the-blank question at the end, to blame "no-one."
Whether we choose to blame others or ourselves, the game is the same. Guilt is the operative word. The recognition that we have no problems engenders the elimination of guilt and fear. A Course in Miracles states that memory or "remembering is as selective as perception, being its past tense. It is perception of the past as if it were occurring now, and still were there to see."
Memory is a choice. Our old habits and ego-dominant thinking require us to choose someone as the cause of our problems. We "are so long accustomed to believe that memory holds only what is past, that it is hard for," us, "to realize it is a skill that can remember now." We can train ourselves to consistently remember the always nowness of our lives. Since this now-memory has no link to the past, it ends the guilt and the blame. The past is gone. The miracle actually does nothing, entering our minds when we stop an instant and are still.
When we indulge in accepting the holographic mind as the process of reality, and memory as the awareness of now, then our moment to moment existence is not merely healed, but recognized as always being healed. There is nothing to heal, nor was there ever.Age Quod Agis
Buddha said, "When the monk walks he is fully in his walking, when he stands he is fully in his standing, when he sits down he his fully in his sitting down, and when he lies down he is fully in his lying down...he commits himself fully to what he is doing with perfect understanding of his actions."
Age quod agis translates to "do what you do." As the Buddha implied, we are what we are when we are conscious and involved in what we are doing. How often do we teach noticing that our students are somewhere else? How often do we have conversations only to discover that we listened but did not heard the discussion? We enter into a fantasy world brought about by the processes of the holographic mind. This non-awareness of the mind is being not here now.
If there is no-one to blame, if memory is holographic, then practicing doing what we do is an exercise in reaching perfection (in the sense of the monk in his perfect understanding).
Reaching perfection, "doing what we do," is not synonymous with being happy. Just as there is and never was anyone to blame and nothing to heal, there may not be a need to be happy. Such a radical idea may be an error of western human culture.
In The Handbook to Higher Consciousness, the Science of Happiness, Ken Keyes, Jr. writes about the two extremes of happiness and despair. Most humans bounce between the two. Keyes suggests that we can reach a higher level of consciousness, called the "cornucopia" level, where we recognize that life always gives everything that we need. The idea is to avoid the two extremes. Rather, we stay even-keeled between them, somewhere in the center. We do what we do and nothing else. We, as the Buddhist monk, are in the now.
In Courage to be Myself, Carlos G. Valles, S.J., dares to suggest that the basic assumption, so ingrained from early on, that we are supposed to be happy, is wrong! He further suggests that the cause of our unhappiness is our inability, as hard as we try, to achieve inescapable happiness. Ken Keyes, Jr. says it is our addictions to those things that we think will give us happiness, and our not getting them, that cause suffering and pain. It is as if we experience symptoms of withdrawal from our addictions. Valles dares to suggest what life might be like without the burden of the pursuit of happiness. By letting go of this addiction, the search for happiness, we can do what we do. We can reside in a no-one to blame, nothing to heal universe, knowing that our universe in centered in the ever abundant cornucopia of life.
When we teach, we can do what we do. We just teach. We are like the monk, fully in our own teaching. By example, thought and deed, with minds that are joined, we spread our doing what we do to our students. They have an uncanny ability to see us for what we are. Imagine if they recognize age quod agis in us! Imagine if they incorporate doing what they do into their own lives.The Survey
The questions in the survey and the results appear below. The numbers correspond to percentages of total responses and in all cases add up to be 100%.Whenever I have a problem , I:
My problems are the result of:
My biggest problems in life revolve around:
The way I see the world depends upon:
The world could be a better place if:
Who is the cause of my problems:
The introduction to A Course in Miracles states, "That a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary." The Course is just one version of the universal curriculum. There are many paths.
Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD, founder of The Institute of Attitudinal Healing, lives with his wife Diane V. Cirincione in Tiburon, California. The Institute of Attitudinal healing is a not-for-profit, no-cost organization, which deals with catastrophically ill children and their families. Applying the concepts of attitudinal healing, the Center helps families cope with their illness/wellness. Dr. Jampolsky and Ms. Cirincione lecture throughout the world about the concepts of Attitudinal Healing that are based upon A Course in Miracles. The Course greatly influenced Dr. Jampolsky's life. In turn, Dr. Jampolsky influenced my life and led me to read A Course in Miracles. Dr. Jampolsky and his wife Diane authored many books about achieving peace of mind. One of them, Wake-Up Calls, lists daily thoughts and phrases that act as reminder that love is what we are. The book is about giving and helping others.
I wrote Dr. Jampolsky when I donated a kidney to my then five-year old son, Dylan. He promptly replied to all my letters. He sent his new children's book, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, to Dylan at Boston Childrens Hospital. This book based upon A Course in Miracles expresses loving ideas through cartoon story imagery. It is never too early to teach children to live in harmony, without fear in the ever present now moment. It is never too late to start. Each of us is a teacher and miracle worker. As professional teachers and parents, we are entrusted with the privilege of dealing with children every day. We can always teach love for that is what we are.Summary
When students have a problem, they simply solve it, twice as many as those who blame the world. Students believe "they" are the cause of their problems. We live in a holographic world where reality is not what we witness with our five senses. Memory is a choice. The recognition that we have no problems engenders the elimination of guilt and fear. The miracle actually does nothing, entering our minds when we stop an instant and are still. There is nothing to heal. Age quod agis: Do what you do. Life always gives us everything that we need. The basic assumption that we are supposed to be happy may be an error. Our unhappiness is caused by our addictions to being happy. Life always gives us everything that we need. We are what we are when we are conscious and involved in what we are doing. When we teach by doing what we do, our students will learn by what they do. It is never too early to teach children to live in harmony, without fear in the ever present now moment. It is never too late to start.Resources
A Course in Miracles, © 1975, the Foundation for Inner Peace, Inc., Glen Ellen, CAISBN 0-9606388-2-2.
The Aquarian Conspiracy, © 1980, Marylin Ferguson, JP Tarcher, Inc. Los Angeles, CA, ISBN 0-87477-191-9.
The Handbook to Higher Consciousness, The Science of Happiness, © 1975, Ken Keyes, Jr., Living Love Publications, St. Mary, KY, ISBN 0-9600688-8-0.
Courage to be Myself, © 1980, Carlos G. Valles, S.J., Doubleday, New York, NY, 10103 ISBN 0-87477-191-9.
Wake-Up Calls, © 1992, Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD. and Diane V. Cirincione, Hay House, Inc., Carson CA. ISBN 1-56170-055-X.
The Dhammapada, Sayings of the Buddha, © 1989, Audio Literature Inc., Spiritual Classics on Cassette. ISBN 0-944993-18-4.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, © 1991, Gerald G. Jampolsky, Health Communications, Deerfield Beach, FL, ISBN 1-55874-191-7.Final Thoughts
BUKKYO DENDO KYOKAI
© 1993 Jozef Hand-Boniakowski