Donald O'Dell holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree in history from North Texas.
As an ordained United Presbyterian minister, he served as a street gang minister in Trenton, NJ. In addition he had two separate pastorates in Oklahoma, where he also served as Chaplain in a county hospital. He continued to serve smaller congregations after he joined the private sector in business.
Today he enjoys a semi-retired living in North Carolina. He also remains an active in networking with groups and organizations in new thought and critical thinking strategies.
I hope each of you had a wonderful Easter, which was celebrated while I was away.
A Course In Miracles (ACIM)’s Lesson 106 in the Workbook for Students is titled: Let me be still and listen to the truth.
I believe this is the quiet whisper you’ve heard me write about if you’ve gotten my messages before. (If this is your first message, go to my website www.DonODell.com and subscribe. There are no advertisements and it is easy to unsubscribe.) Hearing these whispers is what it means to me to truly understand that I am an already-loved eternal spirit having a human experience rather than being a human body that has housed, somewhere, an eternal soul.
I believe this passage is related to the resurrection. In the vernacular the resurrection is about the rising of Jesus’ body, which proved to believers He was divine. In ACIM, however, Jesus says it is about the rising of the mind from the ego’s dream of frailty, pain, fear and death to the awareness of eternal life or from the insanity of the ego to a perfectly healed perception. In this healed state I will perceive everything as acts of love or calls for love. Jesus’ resurrection was the proof, not of his divinity, but of the indestructibility of true, spirit-filled Life. His bodily reappearance was a symbol of the fact that true resurrection is of the mind and, thus, it is about the disappearance of the body as a real thing – rather than a magical reappearance.
When I touch base in quietness with my true Self – that innermost part of me – I am in the presence of my already-loved spirit: the real me. From that place I understand there is that place in you, as well. In that place we are One. The separateness we think is so real has vanished into thin air! The peace and serenity I feel is palpable and quite overwhelming. In that instant, there is no time, nor space. That is the reality of the Love of God. That is who I really am. However, I sense it only briefly. It is not a once-and-done exercise. I have also had similar experiences in AA, feeling absolutely connected, on a spiritual level, to all in the room.
Wherever I experience it, it is wonderful!
Lesson 106 states: “1 If you will lay aside the ego's voice, however loudly it may seem to call; if you will not accept its petty gifts that give you nothing that you really want; if you will listen with an open mind, that has not told you what salvation is; then you will hear the mighty Voice of truth, quiet in power, strong in stillness, and completely certain in Its messages.
2 Listen, and hear your Father speak to you through His appointed Voice, which silences the thunder of the meaningless, and shows the way to peace to those who cannot see. Be still today and listen to the truth. Be not deceived by voices of the dead, which tell you they have found the source of life and offer it to you for your belief. Attend them not, but listen to the truth.
3 Be not afraid to circumvent the voices of the world. Walk lightly past their meaningless persuasion. Hear them not. Be still today and listen to the truth. Go past all things which do not speak of Him Who holds your happiness within His Hand, held out to you in welcome and in love. Hear only Him today, and do not wait to reach Him longer. Hear one Voice today.
4 … His miracles are true. They will not fade when dreaming ends. They end the dream instead; and last forever, for they come from God to His dear Son, whose other name is you….
From my book, How the Bible became the Bible, p. 82-3: The Prophet Elijah [circa 9th century b.c.e.]. “Known as Elijah, the Tishbite from the northern kingdom…. He lived during the time when Ahab, King of the northern kingdom (Israel) married Jezebel, a Phoenician and worshipper of Baal….
“Elijah was known throughout his life as a champion of the “little people.” In the narrative of Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21) we can visualize Elijah standing strongly against Ahab and all the subtle (and not so subtle) messages of the king’s wife, Jezebel—shrewd and calculating as the emissary of the Phoenician god Baal. When Ahab comes to take the vineyard, Elijah confronts him with the terrible word of doom from Yahweh. Elijah is supporting this common peasant against a king. His passion for fearless support of the “little man” is deeply rooted in the religion of Yahweh—very similar to Nathan’s condemnation of King David over his theft of Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11–12).
“Secondly, of course, is Elijah’s challenge to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Elijah, with Yahweh on his side, challenged Phoenician priests, with their god Baal on their side, to a “duel of the gods.” For Elijah this was a “fall on your sword” issue….
“However, an interesting and touching note: Following this highly dramatic pyrotechnic confrontation, Jezebel, the queen, threatened Elijah. He feared for his life and hid in the mountains looking for the Lord to protect him. He looked in an earthquake, in mighty winds, in fire. He finally heard the “… still, small voice …” of the Lord (1 Kings 19: 9–14).” This, of course, is also reminiscent of Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.”
All I need to de is be truly willing to see things differently and ask the Holy Spirit (the voice for God in ACIM) to help me develop a different perception, I just need to be willing and to be still and listen, not to the loud voices of my ego, but to the quiet whispers of the Lord. Just like Elijah. Just like the Psalmist.
As I’ve stated before, “I have to understand, on a visceral level, who the “Me” or “I” really is when I am speaking or thinking. The “I” that says to myself, “I really need a newer, more reliable car” is a different “I” than the one that says to Spirit, “I can’t do this anymore; help me perceive things the way You see them.”
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening to me and getting to know me – warts and all. As always, feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.