You know the drill. It’s been going on for millennia. We get up in the morning. We face uncertainty. We stress. We witness abuse. We experience crisis and loss. We grieve. We observe anger and hostility. We get upset. We hear a continuous stream of criticism, judgement and negativity. We take sides. We feel threatened, if not by hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires, by bullies and terrorists and a plethora of diseases. We play victim and we stress some more, fueling the fury burning in our minds. Let’s face it. We seem to live in a system – and a fear-based mindset – of attack and defend, of duality and despair. So, what is one to do? What is a family to do? What is a community to do? What is a nation to do?
In a word, the answer is Love. And that’s Love with a capital L.
No, I am not talking about love as the ego defines it. You know, the kind of love you fall in and out of? The kind of love that is temporary and conditional? The romantic kind of love that we envy in the movies. No, the ego can take anything – love, peace, religion, race, gender, business, politics, government – and define it in dualistic terms that divide rather than unite. Stop and take a good look. You will see these divisions everywhere, beginning with our government. Why? Because this is how the ego thought system works. It divides and separates. It pits one against another. In consulting terminology, we call this a “root cause.” And a flaw at this level will lead to all kinds of undesirable symptoms and effects that will not go away without eliminating the root cause.
So, what is Love with a capital L? And how is it different from the love so many people have come to know and adopt throughout life? To begin with, it is the divine energy that gives us life – synonymous with God, Source Energy, Tao, Chi, Prana, Buddha, Brahman, or whatever name you want to give it. It is our very essence, our Higher Self, extending far beyond the limitations of the body. It is pure, sacred, unconditional and eternal – the only Love that is truly real. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) teaches that “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” True love cannot be threatened. It is our infinite beingness.
For anyone not familiar with A Course in Miracles, it is a workbook with 365 lessons (one per day for a year), a comprehensive text, and a teachers’ manual. It was channeled in the 1970’s by Helen Schucman, PhD, a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University. It has since helped millions of people around the world “awaken” and transform their lives in miraculous ways. It is also believed by many scholars and practitioners to be a direct channeling of Jesus.
In a nutshell, the Course teaches us a different “thought-system,” or paradigm. It helps us transcend the ego thought system and awaken to a mindset of forgiveness, peace and authentic love. Here is the difference. The ego thought system is fear-based, dualistic and never at peace. It always wants more. It feeds on drama. Seek and ye shall not find. The grass is always greener somewhere else. There is an us and them, a right and wrong, a good and bad, a win and lose, an attack and defend dichotomy all around us. This system clearly governs many households, businesses and governments because it is what most people identify with as themselves. It is also known as human nature.
ACIM teaches us an alternative system – a system that is love-based, not fear-based. A system that is united and whole, not dualistic and conflicted. A system “outside the box,” a box most people don’t even know they are in. We are so conditioned to criticize and judge, fight over who is right and who is wrong, that we have lost sight of what peace really means. Peace is an internal state of consciousness, not an external phenomenon. It is forever available to us, despite the circumstances. Why haven’t we learned this? Because we have put the ego in charge.
Many of us grow up learning that heaven, if there is one, is some future destination and that God sits on a throne judging us like the ego does, perhaps even condemning us to hell. Now consider an alternative thought system. Can pure love condemn? Is this what Jesus meant when he said, hanging on the cross, “Forgive them. They know not what they do?”
And what if heaven isn’t a place or future destination? What if it is indeed a state of mind? A kingdom within? How does this play out in life? Could we learn to be a peace in any situation? A natural disaster? The loss of a loved one? A serious illness? A nation at war?
I believe the answer is yes. As I write this article, I reflect on the peace of mind I felt while on the beach in Florida watching hurricane Dorian fly by. I reflect on the dance I had with my mother in her memory care unit, wondering if I will ever see her again. I witness countless people around the world caring for one another, giving blood, helping out, and recognizing the unity we all share in spirit.
I liken the unity and atonement (at-one-ment) that ACIM teaches to the miraculous nature of the human body. Consider this. We have over 50 trillion cells in our bodies and they all have sacred intelligence. Every cell in the body knows what to do. It knows how to get along, like a symphony. Yes, we have different cells serving different purposes, just like an orchestra has flutes and tubas and percussion. But when we listen to the music of heaven – the loving Source Energy that gives us life – we synergize and attract more great experiences into our lives. This is the law of attraction. Misery isn’t the only one who likes company. Peace and Joy do too.
So how might this work in government? Does government have different departments, functions and responsibilities, like a human body has cells and an orchestra has instruments? Of course, it does. And does it have one common mission that holds everything in alignment? It most certainly could. And if this overall mission is to facilitate growth and health and peace and well-being, like a healthy body or beautiful music, could millions of people come together as one and prosper as a whole? Could a foundation of Love (capital L) pull us all together and help us remember who and what we truly are – sacred, spiritual, eternal souls sharing a temporary human experience? Could a foundation of Love help us get out of our own way and allow divine energy to flow through us without resistance? I certainly believe so. It is what I have been doing for many years.
Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. But what about people who get sick? What about people who die? What about cancer cells? What about terrorists? Yes, the body is subject to toxins, including toxic thinking, and it has natural immune systems, but it is temporary. And ACIM defines anything that is temporary is not real. Think about this. The body comes and goes. Most of the things we seem to be attached to come and go, just like the days and nights. So, what is real? What is eternal? What really matters? The answer is the infinite, timeless Love we share as souls. Despite what many believe, we existed before we came to earth in our current form and we will exist long after our bodies perish. Herein lies the peace of God.
“But, but, but,” says the ego. Can you hear it? Do you feel any resistance and doubt? “We need to fight. We need to stand up for what we believe in. We need to protect ourselves. We need to draw the line somewhere!”
Yes, ACIM teaches us to be vigilant and to protect what is real. So, like the human mind directs the body, a miracle-minded government can nurture the people it serves. It can help them grow and prosper and make intelligent decisions. We can bring more mindfulness, meditation, and spirituality (not religion) into our schools, businesses and governments. A shift at this level changes everything. It is a form of awakening – collectively. It begins with accurate information, meaningful education and practical training. We won’t get there with the blind leading the blind. And we won’t get there without rigor and discipline. People are so brainwashed about the unhealthy foods they eat, the drugs they are prescribed, and the divisive politics we witness. Trillions of dollars are made on a “sick care” system and a “defense” system with very little emphasis on prevention and peace. How often do we debate over who pays the bills for services we could eliminate? How long can we go on solving problems inside a box (ego thought system) when it is the box that is the problem? Again, a shift here changes everything. A shift to a new paradigm of leadership – Miracle-Minded Management – will reveal a whole new world.
John J. Murphy is a global business consultant, speaker, spiritual mystic, “zentrepreneur,” and award-winning author. He is Founder (1988) and CEO of Venture Management Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in creating lean, high performance work environments.
As a business consultant, Murphy has delivered services to some of the world’s leading organizations, including ADP, AlliedSignal (Honeywell), BMW, Chase, the CIA, GE, GM, GSK, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, Merck, the Michigan State Senate, Perrigo, Prudential, Raytheon, Spectrum Health, Target Stores, Teva, and the US Navy. As an educator and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Murphy has trained thousands of people from over 50 countries, including Fortune 500 executives, project leaders, military leaders, managers, and black belts. He has mentored dozens of project teams in Organizational Development, Operational Excellence, Business Process Innovation and Lean Six Sigma applications. As a speaker, Murphy has delivered keynotes and seminars worldwide. A critically-acclaimed authority on peak performance, transformational leadership and healthy mind-body-spirit, Murphy is a best-selling author who has published 19 books and appeared on over 400 radio and television stations and his work has been featured in over 50 newspapers nationwide.
Murphy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BBA Finance) and the University of Michigan’s Human Resource Executive Program. He is also a former quarterback for Notre Dame.
Miracle Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business releases on October 22, 2019 in paperback and e-Book.