1. Articles of Incorporation Secretary of State of State of California Feb. 9, 1987 (Shows Church intended purpose)
2. Recognition Letter Franchise Tax Board State of California Jun. 17, 1987 (Shows legal Church status)
3. Recognition Letter Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. Jan. 8, 1988 (Shows 501[c]3 Public Charity status)
4. Amendment to Articles Secretary of State of State of California Jan. 14, 1998 (Shows name change)
But back to your presentation. An increasingly common psychiatric disorder is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), that is, the conviction that something is wrong with the appearance of one’s body: nose, penis, breasts, set of eyes or lips – you name it. Women are more prone than men due to cultural standards of beauty that are nearly impossible to live up to. BDD is a disorder of the shame family. Shame leads us to feel inferior, defective, inadequate, rejected – and we’ve all experienced it in one form or another. No one is immune. Even dogs and cats demonstrate shame behavior.
Interestingly, shame is rarely mentioned in ACIM, in marked contrast to guilt. I wrote about the reasons for this recently in MDC’s Holy Encounter and I’m attaching that article here. I hope you’ll find it to be a useful perspective. One of the things I learned in training and mentioned in the article is that the “cure” for shame is exposure: ideally gradual exposure and always in a safe setting: like alcoholics sharing their life stories in A.A. If we expose whatever was deemed shameful in an unsafe setting, it only gets reinforced.
So ... when I watched your talk/ performance, I saw you letting go of the past through exposure of what had once brought on shame in what you considered to be a safe setting. Not that most people would have seen it that way, in front a big crowd. But this was your conference, your baby, your show, with those who know and love you seated throughout the audience. And this did take place in Las Vegas, after all – the queen of shameless towns, as you noted, with strippers doing their thing only a short distance away. The result? The shame that is inherent in bodies got exposed for what it is and reversed when you displayed it so brazenly, but in the context of a helpful talk on transcending bodies and division. Sure, it provoked shame in some audience members. But overall, mission accomplished.
Deep down the form doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all. There is Spirit within all of us. All of us are miracle workers. Sometimes we are the recipients of miracles at this time of joy. Sometimes we are the performer of miracles. We all know, for those of us here at the Community Miracles Center, just a couple of weeks ago Rev. Tony was talking about that. (“Depend on Miracles” 12.04.2016) Not only do we have to think about miracles, but we need to perform miracles. They are sitting there waiting for us. They are waiting to happen. In every conflict situation you have, in every distressing situation, there is a miracle that is waiting to happen.
A Course in Miracles tells us this from today’s reading. “This Christmas, give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us.” (OrEd.Tx.15.103) Notice what is says there, folks. “Give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you.” (OrEd.Tx.15.103) It doesn’t say to hold back anything. Don’t hold back that grievance against your partner. Don’t hold back that grievance against Donald Trump. Don’t hold back that grievance against Vladimir Putin. Don’t hold back that grievance about anyone: mother, father, financial situation, unresolved conflict with a friend, a lover, a partner. It says to totally release everything.
A Course in Miracles says “If to love oneself is to heal oneself, those who are sick do not love themselves. Therefore, they are asking for the love that would heal them but which they are denying to themselves … the light in another mind must shine into theirs because that light is theirs.” (OrEd.Tx.11.14) So that’s how we heal. People who need healing are calling for love. If we hear the call, we extend the love. That’s our job; we need to do it. We need to do it for their sake. We need to do it for our sake. They are us. They are a manifestation of us. The light in our minds hopefully shines into this other mind and it blesses them and it heals them. The light in another mind must shine into theirs because that light is theirs. It’s the same light and that’s how the healing happens. That’s the expression of love. That’s what miracles are, expressions of love. That’s what A Course in Miracles is about to me.
Some people are arguing with me about it and having these theoretical discussions about whether it’s right or wrong. Whatever. I’m fine to have the discussion with them, but I know this is right. It feels right in my soul. It feels right in my heart. I’m just extending love to someone or to situations that appear to need it.
A Course in Miracles also says, and this goes with what I just spoke about, "… you will have total gratitude, for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving, even as your Self." Let me reread that because it is a little wordy. "… for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving .…" (OrEd.WkBk.139.8) They deserve love because they are love even as you, yourself are. Isn't that interesting? When you compare and start saying, "This person is better. That person is better. This is good. That is bad." you start creating a sense that this person is worthy but that person is not. You can't be grateful when you think there is a competition.
Maybe you think you are being grateful but you are also worried. You can't be in true gratitude, saying that you are grateful for what is, when you are competing. It says once you have gotten into gratitude, you realize why you can be grateful is because my brother or sister is love. I can be grateful because I am love. He is loving. He is going to be loving, because he is love. He is acting from love. The Course says everything comes from love, or it's a call for love. But what is our response to either of those? It is always to come back with love. We can see that the person is really loving. We can be thankful for them even if it doesn't seem that they are expressing love, because they are love.