I've had a stormy relationship with God. Welcomed into the Baptist church
at age 14, by age 19 I had turned into a rabid, cynical atheist. It was
not until around age 40 that a crack opened in the cosmic egg.. A book
by Gregory Bateson called Mind and Nature--A Necessary Unity
unlocked the door to a different reality. I read it on vacation in Mexico,
sitting at a table by the beach and drinking endless cups of fresh coffee,
the rich air coming off the water filling my lungs. I would have dismissed,
right off the bat, new ideas coming from a guru in dusty sandals, but
Bateson was a scientist. I could accept a new worldview if it came from
My dialogues with a higher power--first God, and then a more user-friendly
JC, the author of the Course--evolved from the practice of journaling.
For about a year--this was some ten, twenty years ago--I regularly practiced
free-association journaling, three pages written by hand, as fast as possible.
This is a practice suggested in a book by Julia Cameron called The
Artist's Way, and I highly recommend the practice and the book as
well. It takes about half an hour to write three pages. You may look her
up at http://www.theartistsway.com.
So I wrote and wrote. The writing changed with the passing of time, and
for a while I couldn't write at all. I began to repeat phrases or even
make wavy lines across the page. This development felt disconcerting and
annoying. I became confused as to what exactly I was doing, since my usual
guidelines of thought had stopped working. Then it occurred to me to use
the Course lessons as a springboard, a jumpstart on the writing--why not,
I was doing the lessons anyway--and to let the Course talk back to me.
Jesus, or JC as I call him, was a natural figure to dialogue with, being
the author of the Course.
BTW, I don't hear "voices." Or rather, JC is always part of
me talking to me. It is my higher self. I know that if I heard a voice
unlike my own, I'd freak out immediately, and that would be that.
In the beginning, JC could be quite flippant, mirroring some of my earthly
relationships. It would go like this:
MT: I'm quite stumped here. Can you answer me?
JC: Nah, I dunno either.
MT: Don't you know anything?
JC: Guess not.
MT: What kind of avatar are you, anyway?
JC: Do you really want an answer, or would you rather be pissed off?
We would go in this vein for a while, and then an answer would surface.
More often than not, JC's answer is a surprising new insight that washes
over me. So many times my attitude has changed radically, in a true miracle,
within a few minutes.
By the way, there's nothing mysterious about talking to God or JC or your
favorite prophet. I believe we are in constant communication with a Source
outside our egos, else we would perish. All we need do is to believe
in what's happening. You just need to say, I am ready, talk to me--and
then believe in what's happening, and dare write it down. This, I think,
is the hardest step, because we discount what doesn't fit with our preconceptions.We're
afraid to be spontaneous, to trust. Sometimes I feel like a basset hound
sniffing after a mouse: what was that thought again?
This has been a powerful process for me. It allows me to disclose and
recognize my less-than-virtuous motivations, but more than that, as a
shortcut to higher consciousness.