Daring to Think Competently

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Christ / Course Ideas

When I read Bucky Fuller, I tend to laugh out loud in joy at least once per page.  I’m a geek, yes- that is surely a contributing factor to this physiognomic response- but it is the joy of recognizing Bucky’s mind that really sets into motion the cascading processes that result in air being fired from my lungs in short bursts.  His writing bristles with intelligence, connection, humility and honesty.  One reason I enjoy reading him periodically is that he didn’t exactly take received notions for granted.  He relied on the workings of his inner faculties and challenged convention where his own conclusions differed.  He dared to trust the awareness living within himself.

Some might challenge that reliance upon our own inner faculties is akin to remaining caught in the ego’s web, particularly when this reliance gives rise to three-wheeled aluminum cars and air-conditioned geodesic domes spanning major metropolitan areas, but I think we have to be careful to jump to conclusions.  If we really wish to be free, we will each one day come to rely upon that which lives within us.  It is true that what we come to rely upon is not the logical mind alone, but the wholehearted union of heart and mind in which we discover the Christ within us- that living, inner conduit to our Creator- but ultimately we will have to make that decision to let go of our external crutches and trust in that inner Reality.

We accept our Father, Who has always accepted us.  Always.

Yes, the ego can be the over-confident, arrogant one who is lobbying for the abrogation of God’s Rule.  The ego can also be the downtrodden, doubting one who insists in our powerlessness.  I think Bucky had the courage to acknowledge the limits of what he knew, and was know-able, with his methods of exploratory logic, as well as the courage to follow the threads he discovered.  Bucky was obviously fairly rational in his approach, but is there anything wrong with that?  All of us treading our path to awakening would benefit from focalizing the light of our awareness into a fine point and burning out a few lingering falsehoods.  Hunting for logical inconsistencies in our thinking is certainly a valid way of rooting them out.  There is nothing about salvation that is inconsistent or illogical.   (T.22, Intro.5:1)

Bucky wrote in Chapter One of Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth that, “…we do not tend, customarily, to dare to think competently regarding our potentials.”  We accept what we are taught by the world.  Our “spontaneous initiative has been frustrated” a few times too often, so we set realistic expectations.

Where then, would daring and competent thought place our vision in light of what we have been taught in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love?  What exactly are we called to see and to accept in ourselves and others?

I think at some level we would be more willing to accept that one day in the future we will put on red capes and fly around above Manhattan than to accept all that these courses teach is accessible to us right now.  Superman’s powers, although clearly far-fetched, are powers that make sense in the world we have accepted as ours- the one with bodies and storms and diseases, and with courtrooms with big wooden balustrades and white-wigged judges who are the arbitrators of justice.  Superman’s physical prowess is manifest and obvious.  It is not formless.  We can see that power and touch it.  It is, therefore, real to us, however silly to the rational mind.  Bullets bounce off of him.  Heat cannot burn him.  His body defies gravity.  His body is invincible…  That would be power, right?  To at once be physical and yet indestructible…

It is hard for us to conceive of the fact that the power alive within us is far, far greater and more meaningful than Superman’s, and yet all the while we could be run over tomorrow, or riddled with disease, or momentarily unable to secure the living we desire.  We do not dare to think competently about all that we have been taught, because in doing so our fears overwhelm us.  Our willingness atrophies- mine does, anyway- when we look in the mirror and screw ourselves up to recite “And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T.21, II.2:5)

“It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him.  It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice.  His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident.  No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing.” (T.21, II.3:1-4)

Who has asked for this?  Who has asked to be lost at sea?  Who has asked to contract disease?  Who has asked to lose a loved one?  Who has asked to battle with meaninglessness and depression?  And if I had the power to change all this, to avoid it, then surely I must have screwed up in finding myself here…!

These are the thoughts of a conflicted mind.  These are not logical or reasonable, and if we dare to think competently about what we have been taught, we quickly move to call into question the world’s (and our own) stance on this.  We realize that if accepting our power as Sons of God is difficult or painful, then we must be viewing the situation incorrectly.  We must still believe in sin.  We must still hate somebody.  We must believe we could make a mistake, and make it real.  We must believe we could truly be harmed, and truly harm another.  We must still equate power with the ability to control other bodies.  We still believe, in other words, in the reality of death.

I find within myself this underlying belief that the bodies around me and the stories they portray are more real than the Reality of God.  This is okay.  Simple errors can be turned over to the Holy Spirit and corrected.  To find them and root them out requires vigilance and the right use of logic.  It requires that we dare to think competently, so that we do not settle for the distortions that result in our equating Self-recognition with the achievement of our sales quota, or with finding a partner, or with mastering a new hobby, or with accomplishment of some other short-lived goal.  To dare to think competently about our potentials is to embody the willingness to accept that greatness is in us, that the power to choose a loving Reality is who we are, and to challenge the thoughts and beliefs that have created any experience that is still teaching us something to the contrary.

What is this power within us, anyway?

It is the power to exist forever, within and of the Creator, expressing and being only Love, without ever having to fear loss or threat.  It is the power to bring more to every situation in which we could ever find ourselves, to extend Creation without end or limit.  It is the power to bless, and be blessed by, all things.  It is the power to Know.  It is the power to Be who we are right now.  When I dare to think competently about our potential, I am reminded that the Course emphasizes resurrection- not sacrifice and the crucifixion.  The power that lies within us is the power that conquered death…

(I tried to draw that, but you can see that drawing is not, perhaps, on my own personal list of super powers…)

Emphasizing the Resurrection

Emphasizing the Resurrection

The power that we are is the power to resurrect and to be resurrected…  I don’t know if Bucky quite imagined that, but we have as our teacher and brother One who has been there and done that, and is leading us on the most direct path each of us can walk out of the valley of death and into eternal life.

He’s teaching us right now, if we dare to listen…


  1. My husband and I have given ourselves the gift of free time this Christmas eve. He is working on an essay and I am catching up on the back posts at all my favorite reading spots here in blog world. We reconvene for family time in a bit.

    However, I think you just inspired me to post… yes the brother who has been there, done that…tempted, tested and tried… who sank beneath all things and lived again to tell about it through teaching us about the living of our lives. Thanks M. True meaning of Christ-mas in my home tonight. -x.M


  2. The flavor of Christianity I grew up with also emphasized the resurrection as a focus. There were no crosses worn or displayed at church or at home. No icons or special set prayers (other than The Lord’s and a few for specific ordinances). No paid clergy. No secret confession with set ablutions to wash one clean of sins. A very personal relationship with Divinity was encouraged. There was a glass ceiling to be hit, but it was found pretty far along some deep understandings and clarity in teaching Truth that have stayed with me to this day. I have such gratitude for my roots.

    Hitting the valley of death waking with no fear, is one of the most freeing things going around here.




    • This flavor of Christianity sounds full of presence and life. It is interesting to contemplate from time to time- the fact that Jesus lives at the heart of my every dream, and yet I’m not sure if I’m what the world would call a Christian. It matters not. I don’t mean that be divisive or inclusive, it is just an observation… Jesus is at the heart of something, and we share in it, and it is great. Michael


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