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This week, I started reading the Complete and Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles that was recently published by the Circle of Atonement. This edition is published based on the original notes of Helen Schucman. It includes important additional material that was not included in the official edition of the Course.
The first essay at the back of the book called “This Is Not A Selfish Gift” deeply touched my heart. It contains the notes that Helen recorded immediately before she started receiving the Course. First, Helen’s impressive ability to establish communication with her Inner Voice seemed so remarkable to me. Obviously, it didn’t just start happening to her when she heard, “This is a Course in Miracles. Please, take notes.” It seems that she has been in communication with the Voice that she called Christ for a very long time. She could even distinguish changes in the tone of the answers. Even before she started recording the Course, she was receiving very specific guidance on what to do and how to see various situations in her life.
Before reading this essay, I knew that Helen had visions throughout her life, which is indicative of her psychic abilities. But it was very revealing to me that she communicated with the same Voice before the Course. For example, she writes in her notes, “I was really quite depressed this AM, which is now very unusual, but He says “Be of good cheer – I have overcome the world” [John 16:33]. Helen’s ability to maintain an effortless dialogue with the Voice suggests that she was far from beginner at that point.
Continue reading On Receiving Guidance from Spirit: Reflections on Essay 1 “This Is Not a Selfish Gift” from A Course in Miracles (CE)
Nowadays, we often hear words like “consciousness” and “awareness.” With the emergence of neuroscience research on consciousness, we can begin to understand the biological basis of conscious experiences. With new technology, we can measure our state of consciousness, using heart rate variability (HRV) monitors and biofeedback tracking devices like Muse brain-sensing headband. There is even a new open-access journal called “Neuroscience of Consciousness.” Google search on the term “consciousness” produces 114 million results, and “awareness” yields 300 million links. But do we really know what consciousness is? Do we know what affects our state of consciousness and how we can improve it?
What is consciousness?
According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, consciousness is “the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world”. Being aware, in turn, is defined as “having knowledge or perception of a situation or a fact”. Therefore, we are conscious when our mind has knowledge or perception of itself and the world. We experience different quality of conscious awareness when being awake, daydreaming, being hypnotized, meditating, being under influence of mind-altering substances, or dreaming. Understanding various expressions of consciousness has been a focus of psychology since its onset. William James, who is often referred to as the father of American psychology, defined psychology as “the description and explanation of states of consciousness” (James). Continue reading Mind Map of How to Raise Your Consciousness
“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”
What is Stress?
After reading the quote above, you might rightfully wonder, “What is a positive stress? Isn’t all stress negative?” Earlier this month, I have attended a very insightful online panel discussion on how to manage stress organized by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). This conversation among very knowledgeable experts and participants made me think deeper about stress. To begin with, I decided to look up its definition. It turned out that the definition of stress itself is very controversial. While the dictionary defines it as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension” or “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize,” the original meaning of the word wasn’t all negative. According to the American Institute of Stress, the term stress was coined by Hans Selye in 1936, who defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” Hans Selye, an Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist of Hungarian origin, once said, “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” Despite disagreements about the definition of stress, current research agrees that the sense of loss of control is associated with stress.
Continue reading 4 Mindfulness Techniques to Relieve Stress