The following lecture was given by Rev. Dusa Althea Rammessirsingh on October 6, 2002 at the Community Miracles Center in San Francisco. What follows is a lightly edited version of that talk.
Does the mind matter? (from the audience) “Maybe” (laughter) What is the mind? The mind is where our thoughts come from.
I looked up “mind” in the dictionary, according to Webster, “1. the element, part, or process in a human or other conscious being that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges etc. 2. psychology. The totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities.”
That’s what it is all about.
What made me want to talk about the mind? Well, I recently took a class and part of the study was on the mind.
As many of you know, I went to France and Germany. I just returned about a week ago. There were ten other students. I went to France to study with Alain Gehin a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) who is French. To my surprise, and to the surprise of my fellow students, we had two other French osteopaths and a psychologist who joined him as our teachers. Osteopaths use their hands and this is known as “Manual Medicine.” They treat the whole being encouraging the body’s own inherent processes to self correct. They can adjust the spine, work with the nervous system, organs, structure and the mind. I’ve studied with various osteopaths. Many of you know I do CranioSacral Therapy which is an osteopathic technique.
So I went there to study with one teacher and instead got four. (Alain Gehin, two others osteopaths and a psychologist) We were lucky. We stayed in a chateau. I learned a little French: “chateau” means castle, “bonjour” – good morning, “au revoir” – good bye, “d’accord” – okay. Some people decided to camp outside, so this castle wasn’t quite as big as one would imagine a castle to be, but there was a lot of property with figs, quince and other types of fruit trees and the classes were held outdoors. It was a pleasure to be outdoors listening to the teacher, the mornings being cool and the days being warm. Sometimes there was a little rain but not enough to make us go inside.
One of my teachers, Jean Michelle Maumin, brought our attention to a Dr. Hamer’s work about the mind. Dr. Hamer, is a German doctor, who developed this new idea called the Biology of Disease. His focus is working with the psychic, mind and body. He talked about how all three of these are not separate from one another. I know many of us know that, but he’s done some scientific studies and research on the nature of disease. He says, often when the mind is in conflict, if the mind cannot find a solution, what it does is manifest a disease. It does not matter whether the conflict is acute, such as an unexpected shock like the sudden death of your spouse, or if it’s chronic, such as a bad marriage or family situation. If the mind cannot find the solution it will create a disease in the body.
When I heard him say that I said, “Boy, I’m so glad I’m studying A Course In Miracles, because one of the principles the Course advocates, is shifting of the mind when you are in conflict.” Right? By changing our perception when we are in conflict we allow ourselves to look at things differently and are then able to help the healing process. A few other things that were said which were Course like in my mind were: there are no victims, there is no sin and there should be no dogmas.
My friend Alanna was sitting next to me. I said, “Alanna, did you hear that?” She’s from Oregon, and she is also studying the A Course In Miracles. She said, “Yeah!” This similarity with the Course really grabbed our attention.
Then he said “What you need to do when you’re working with your clients is to find out what their conflicts are. And, if you can find out what the conflicts are – and if the person is able to find a solution to the problem – it’s 100% certain that the disease will reverse.” John Michelle Maumin explained that Dr. Hamer does brain scans. Of course, he’s a doctor, the rest of us can’t do brain scans. What he found is that when a person is in conflict, he or she will manifest disease by first swelling the brain, which can be seen on CT scans of the brain. He referred to the brain as having relays that correspond to different parts of the body. The purpose of the brain scan was to help Dr. Hamer diagnosis, rather quickly, where the person would most likely be developing a disease in the body because the CT scan would show the swelling of a specific relay in the brain and then he would know where the disease would manifest in the body. During the active stage of a disease, the “sympathetic stage”, you usually don’t have noticeable symptoms but you would have some swelling in the tissue of the brain. However, when the body starts to heal, which is known as the healing phase, or the “parasympathetic stage”, the body begins to show symptoms. Detailed information about all of this is found in Dr. Hamer’s book “Summary of New Medicine.” Dr. Hamer’s theories about the nature of disease were not popular in Germany, and he felt hounded by the medical establishment and the press. He now mirs in Switzerland where his ideas are not as controversial. Our teacher Jean Michelle Maumin has begun to teach the work of Dr. Hamer.
It was tremendously exciting to get this kind of scientific fact that you could actually see in the CT scan where a person’s conflict affected the brain and thus the mind. I was excited when I came back and I told Tony. I said, “Tony, guess what? Part of our class was about the mind and disease. It had some Course like theory.” A possible exception is Dr. Hamer’s idea that you have to find out what the specific conflict is that is causing the disease. In a way we are doing that by just reading A Course In Miracles every day. Many of the lessons that we read show us the conflict that we are facing in our mirs automatically. I am excited about Jean Michelle Maumin coming back to the Untied States in June to give us more details about Dr. Hamer’s work. This whole experience was complex because Dr. Hamer’s book is written in German and we were being taught by someone who only spoke French and it was being translated to us in English. I am sure that we did not get the complete theory of Dr. Hamer’s work since we had such a short period of time to study it. However, I got enough understanding of Dr. Hamer’s work to know that being a student of the Course is important for my self healing.
I happened to run into Larry and I talked to him about his cancer. He admits he shifted his attitude. Whatever conflicts he was going through – by changing his attitude he helped his healing. I went with Larry to his radiation treatment and his attitude was remarkable. He would go into the hospital and say to the nurses, “Okay, I’m ready.” It was almost like “I’m ready for my lollipop, give it to me.” The nurses loved him. I saw him come through it as a very powerful person. He didn’t really want anyone to drive him, but we frequently did anyway. His attitude is what helped him to heal. That makes me realize how much we can heal when we shift our minds with a good attitude. Our mind does matter!
I know I am on the correct path, because I know that A Course In Miracles is a course in mind training. This is what the Course is about. It’s purpose is to change your mind. Everything meaningful is within our minds. Everything outside our minds is meaningless. “The aim here is to train you in the first steps toward the goal of separating the meaningless from the meaningful. It is a first attempt in the long-range purpose of learning to see the meaningless as outside you, and the meaningful within.” (W-pI.4.3:2-3) We really need to find the meaningful within and I think the Course does this for us as we study it.
Another experience I had was with one of the other osteopaths, Marcos. He was so enthusiastic about coming from his heart. He would frequently instruct us, “Come from your heart!” Also, his strongest point was go within, listen to what you hear and say it right away. One time he put his hand on me, and said, “Rib two and seven are tight on your left. What is that about?” I knew that was my heart area. I looked at him and said, “I don’t know.” He said, “Go within quick and just say it!” What came to me was an issue that I had had with my mother. I thought she was unkind. Then I thought to myself, this can’t be it. I didn’t want to say it to him. I sat there and struggled with it and the translator said, “What?” I said, “Okay,” and then I told him. He said, “You know what, that was only a moment! It was just a moment.” She wasn’t unkind to me every day or all day. It was just that moment, but I have held onto it. All these years I have thought, “Well, I’ve done my work. I’ve been studying A Course In Miracles. I’ve been in therapy. I go to visit my mother we don’t seem to have any obvious struggles anymore.” Still, there was a part of me that was holding onto that unkindness, and I had no idea until Dr. Marcos suggested that I go within and listen. Then, he pointed out to me what I was carrying in my mind and how it had gotten reflected in my heart area after so many years because it stayed in the unconscious. My mind mattered. I felt like a weight had been lifted from me. “Okay, I don’t need to carry this anymore!” Nothing negative is forever, and I think that’s a very important thing to know. As we study the Course it even reaches the unconscious.
The next topic that was talked about in relation to conflict was fear and loss. That sounded like a familiar topic in A Course In Miracles because I was recently reading about fear and conflict. Here is a quote, “The first corrective step in undoing the error is to know first that the conflict is an expression of fear.” (T-2.VI.7.1) Jean Michelle Maumin pointed out we’re afraid to lose our territory. We’re afraid we won’t be able to protect our children. We have the fear of someone taking something from us. All of these fears, plus other types, stop us from doing what we want to do. We are not always aware of the these fears and they can take over our mind.
Another thing I remembered from A Course In Miracles is, “You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this a matter of willingness.” (T-2.VI.3.1) I also remembered, “Whenever there is fear, it is because you have not made up your mind. Your mind is therefore split, and your behavior inevitably becomes erratic.” (T-2.VI.5.8-9) I did observe an erratic behavior moment when I went to Germany. I went to visit my friends Beverly and Andrea in Frankfurt who were both in the Peace Corps with me 35 years ago. Beverly mirs in northern Germany, so she came to Frankfurt by train and Andrea and I met her at the train station. Frankfurt is a big city like San Francisco. After picking her up we decided to walk around downtown Frankfurt in an area similar to Union Square – very beautiful with expensive shops like Tiffany’s, Lalique and other great boutiques. As we were meandering down the street the three of us were laughing and talking “Gosh, we haven’t seen each other in five years and we’ve known each other 35 years!” We were reminiscing and updating each other about our mirs. All of a sudden, this woman comes up from behind us and she gets off of her bicycle and she looks directly at us. She said, “We all understand English here! You don’t have to be so loud. You’re just too loud!” We said, “Oh, my goodness, what is this about?” It was so funny and strange we just started to laugh more. My friend said, “She must be practicing her English.” It made us laugh more. There are a lot of foreigners in Frankfurt just like in San Francisco. There are: Asians, Turks, Africans, Latins, Slavs and other ethnic groups from all over the world. They were all speaking in their different languages other than German, as we were. If you see people walking down the street, laughing and talking in a different language from you, do you stop them and tell them they can’t do this? That illustrated for me how a split mind manifests and how it can be extremely erratic. The mind does matter.
Another thing very interesting in A Course In Miracles is, “You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.” (T-2.VI.2.5-6) I think the Course is giving us the solution to our conflicts so we do not need to manifest a disease nor do we need to get a brain scan to tells us that we need to shift our perceptions. If we can do the lessons every day like the Course says – and I know this from studying the Course as many of you also know – it does bring up our conflicts automatically. It brings up a lot of stuff. I know from the years I’ve been here and I know that Rev. Tony has spoken about this a lot. Many students have come in and said, “I want to do ACIM-1 and ACIM-2 together.” He tells them that it is not a good idea and when some students have studied ACIM-1 and ACIM-2 together, in the middle of the class year they quit. What do you think that it is about? All of their feelings of conflict come up and they are not easy to handle. It’s too much conflict. I agree that it is much better to do the Text and then do the lessons as the classes here have been set up.
I think every day we get great lessons from A Course In Miracles. I picked out a few lessons that are really remarkable for me. “Today I will judge nothing that occurs.” (W-pII.24) That, to me, is really important, and it’s not so much that I judge others. Sometimes, I think I judge myself too much. I think we all do this. We judge ourselves and that creates another conflict in us. I see that this lesson is important. Another great lesson is “Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.” (W-pI.62) We have to forgive ourselves for thinking of ourselves in not a good manner. We have to do this! I see that we really need to practice these lessons.
I always used to think, “Oh, my goodness, I don’t want to think about that lesson again today.” However, I know that some mornings when I have gotten up and felt depressed, when I read the lesson I shift. My friend Norma is here in the audience and we read the lesson together on the telephone almost every morning. Believe me; it’s a lifesaver! It saves me from a day of going through hours of trying to figure out what am I conflicted about. It shifts my mind; it shifts my perception.
Last night I was at dance concert performed by Chitresh Das from India. He performs a type of Indian dance from northern Indian called Kathak. It is a style of dance where the dancers are in bare feet with small bells on their ankles. Through their graceful movements, the expression of their eyes and the strong sounds they make with their feet they are telling the story of their history. It was an exquisite concert. I had seen him a couple of years ago but did not feel the same excitement I did last night. Last night his spirit, his wholeness, was truly there. He talked about himself and how he was very happy in his life. He talked about how he practiced until his dancing became him. It became him in such a way that he felt now he was doing service. His whole involvement in bringing classical Indian dance to America moved him in many ways. That service was a very important thing to him. In fact, when he finished his performance, he got down and bowed to the audience. When his compatriots, or the other people, came over to him and wanted to bow down to him or touch him, he wouldn’t let them. He refused it. It was such a heartfelt performance.
What I really want to say is that practice is what we need to do, not just read the lesson and go on, but during the day to try to practice it. Practice like the dancer Chitresh Das did, until your practice becomes you. That’s what will shift our minds. Then we can shift our behavior. Or maybe we can do both at the same time. I don’t know what comes first, but somehow it seems that it does begin in the mind. The mind does matter, and we have to shift your perception to make it matter even more.
I’d like to say that one of my greatest lessons that I really love is about gratitude. “Love is the way I walk in gratitude.” (W-pI.195). I think it is a great lesson and I was thinking about the gay rally in our neighborhood today. (The famous Castro Street Fare was going on while Rev. Dusa Althea gave this lecture. This festival draws hundreds of thousands of people.) I hope everyone who is down there is walking in gratitude. You know how that lifts you up. It makes you stand up straight and look ahead. We need to spread love, not only to our community here, but to everyone. Anyone who’s going to the rally, walk in love and gratitude. We have a lot of things here to to be grateful for. The fact that we are all studying A Course In Miracles here, and there are many other groups studying the Course, but just think of it – we have a church! We can give gratitude to Rev. Larry and to Rev. Tony, because they started this and have built it into this space where we can come. We have this opportunity to express gratitude, to study relationships, to research A Course In Miracles, to do whatever we want. It’s really up to us.
True healing occurs in the mind. The mind matters. Y
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This article appeared in the December 2002 (Vol. 16 No. 10) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles 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.