You are so eloquent, I here it, but I feel a deep river ahead of me to forge, slow and easy.
I have been waiting for this day * I will read this over and over to let it sink in, I am so grateful
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Following is a sharing from Jayem, in response to a question as part of an on-going dialogue on facebook.
'Doesn't understanding and experience come from words and ideas?'
Thank you for your very, very important question.
Take something simple, say... tasting chocolate. (a personal favorite!)
Imagine you have never done that. You hear about it (via words) from others, who MAY or MAY not have been to the promised land: pure organic dark chocolate. You MAY be hearing approximations, conjecture, and theory ABOUT it. For mind has a habit: it 'hears', then 'imagines' their meaning, and often draws conclusions it then confuses with actual knowledge. We may become comfortable in our 'analysis' OF the actual taste of chocolate: we form 'beliefs' ABOUT it.
Jeshua calls this stage 'Hearing the word'.
What MAY happen is that SOME will be inspired, and (the biggie) relax fear sufficiently to go off on their journey to actually find a store that carries chocolate. The search will be an integral part of their movement from 'hearing' to 'tasting'. They will discover much along the way: (Hmmm never knew this part of town even existed!!! Rather like this suburb called Forgiveness, etc). They will also discover capacities in themselves they didn't know existed back home, sitting on their couch reading ABOUT chocolate. As they exchange their money for the actual bar (let's say Green and Blacks... yummm!) their anticipation grows... ALL of the former ideas rush about in the mind.
But in the moment they bite into it, and the organic processes take over, they realize their experience of it transcends everything they 'thought' (heard, analysed, drew conclusions from) ABOUT it. It is direct, immediate, and we could say 'wholly embodied'; it affects every aspect of their being for it is no longer ONLY a mental thing.
What the course (ACIM) calls that 'tiny, fenced-off part': ego can only arise IN the part that translates everything into idea, concept, belief, perception, and it's RANGE is phenomenal, from low to very high (think depression to high philosophy).
There is a very, very real transition that occurs...
Awareness 'pops through' the limits of ALL idea-based 'understanding', and it's like a shock wave that 'blows the mind'. Suddenly, there is no mediation (all words and ideas 'mediate' between the thinker and what is thought ABOUT.) The 'taste' is Immediate, unveiled, and we can say tangible, palpable, even visceral as the Taste hits us.
SO THIS IS CHOCOLATE!
A Knowing - AND a new capacity in 'Mind' FOR knowing and operating - bursts open. (It will continue to develop as we find ourselves in a new domain of Being...)
One characteristic of all beings for whom enlightenment begins is that they ALL say the same thing: 'I had NO IDEA' the Taste would be like this, nor reveal what it reveals!' OR 'none of what I thought I understood can hold a candle to this Taste.'
In Way of Mastery, Jeshua shares that theory is critical because it meets the contraction of fear that has shrunk Mind to mind: the realm of mediated Ideas, and begins to gain the mind's consent that it might, after all, be okay to venture out of it's boxes of beliefs/perceptions.
This is the beginning of TRANSFORMATION, out of mere TRANSLATION:
ALL of us take this same path: we begin by 'hearing the Word', formulating 'understanding' (correctly or incorrectly) and there is a turning point where fear is sufficiently reduced to DO the practice. Forgiveness can only be 'tasted' in exactly the conditions where ego wants to recoil, react, judge, and... fear the outcome. The DOING of it brings a 'taste' that is 'known in one's bones' and is FELT in our whole being: and it changes us forever. By the way, if chocolate isn't your thing... just contemplate... SEX! Mom and Dad can give us ideas, and teachers, and our older brother... but nothing comes close to direct experience, true? When ACIM, WOM, etc. use Ideas like 'Reality', 'Heaven', 'Soul', etc. mind cannot help but formulate images/pictures/conclusions ABOUT them... but it will never satisfy.
This is why Jeshua says:
What grows is a desire for the Real Taste: ideas begin to be like a 'salt that has lost its savor'. Understanding is a sphere or stage of the Journey only; it prepares us for the Taste because it lessens the hardened wall of Fear, AND it can also be a tremendous trap (intellectualism). And so, it comes to pass (as it must) that understanding gives way to Taste, a 'knowing by Becoming that which is known': Forgive enough, and you BECOME THE FIELD OF FORGIVENESS ITSELF. It moves from something you consider to something you DO, and finally, something you ARE. The journey radically changes the 'seer' (the sense of 'I') AND radically changes WHAT is seen!
So... understanding is not Experience of the order Jeshua is pointing us toward via the brilliant teachings (it takes a brilliant taster to convey Ideas that point the direction so... well... brilliantly!!) Lastly, I feel it's important to suggest that a good teaching theory ABOUT Reality ALWAYS reduces Fear, and this reduction opens us, very deeply, INTO something we lose in Separation: TRUST.
Enlightenment is in the TASTE, 'beyond' the best of understanding: without understanding, Fear will not sufficiently uncoil so the Taste occurs. Think of Two Circles: a smaller one inside a larger one. 'Understanding' is the smaller circle, 'Taste' is the larger one. And then... and then... and then... BOTH circles disappear, for we become the Knowing by Being that which is Known.
In 'understanding' there is still a questioning, an uncertainty, a discomfort if our ideas are 'rattled' or 'challenged'. All these disappear in Being, all can be effortlessly welcomed, and loved. Here, there is pervasive Peace, for separation has ended entirely. Even the journey seems to vanish, save as an echo of something that one doesn't even know if they experienced it, or just had a temporary dream about it!
Hmmm, all this talk of chocolate: I think I will have a cup of hot chocolate and immerse in the miracle of this sun rising over the sea here in Penzance, Cornwall, UK, and melt away into this Shimmering Light that is everywhere in all that is seen, and felt, in this unmediated Now Moment!!
Ahhhh... God IS!!! blessings my brother...xx