Concepts! A Hindrance or Help?

ConceptsEver since arriving in community the idea of concepts has been playing on my mind. So I looked up Google for the meaning of concepts and in part, what stood out, is:


  • an idea or mental picture of a group or class of objects formed by combining all their aspects.

So there I had it. Concepts are an idea or mental picture of what I perceive about the world I see and everything in it. I guess I sort of knew this, as for the last few years I have been shown how my view of the world can change in an instant. My concepts of money, health, relationships have all changed, as have my concepts of spirituality, connection, love and many others.
Some have just dropped away and others have morphed into a modified version of their former self. Now I have joined with my fellow brothers and sisters in the concept of community, and this process has just accelerated and intensified which left me with the question today of ‘are concepts a hindrance or help?’

Jesus through ACIM tells me to:

“Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.” W-189.7

It has been my experience that while this looks simple enough, the actual implementation has been anything but easy, which I notice Jesus did not say! So today this led me to contemplate that maybe my current practice of “letting go of concepts and concentrating on not getting new ones,” was not as helpful as I first thought.

You see I thought that concepts were just a hindrance, and if I could just let go of them all it would be the fast track back home. If I could just get rid of all of them, then that would remove all the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence and, voila, it was done!

However my short time here in community has really taught me one thing, be open to (as well as letting go of), the changing and replacing of concepts. I have discovered that concepts when truly given can be, and are, very helpful. Like the concepts of “No private thoughts” and “No people-pleasing”, both these are the main stay of my current community and both have proved to be Truly helpful in bringing to my awareness old concepts that, while they worked in the world, were now only limiting my ability to reach God.

Recently I had an experience that I can only describe as a miracle. It was a huge shift from fear and disconnection, to Love and reconnection. It was only made possible through my concept of the Holy Spirit, and my loving brothers’ and sisters’ use of the concept of “No private thoughts”, implemented through expression sessions, and just an overall community vibe of authenticity.

So as I currently see it, that while concepts can, and have been a hindrance to me on my journey home, they can and have been very helpful in accelerating that very same journey. This has also led to a realization that it is not for me to decide which are helpful and which to let go of, as it is my only choice in which Teacher (Ego or Holy Spirit) I want to follow and show me.

I have discovered that the issue is never the concept, it is only ever in my choice of teacher. I have made my choice, and in that allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in whichever form that takes. Be it through a voice, feeling, loving brother or sister, prompt, etc. I choose not to judge the form it comes in and only experience the Peace, Joy and Love it leaves, and in some moments even experience forgetting this world, and coming with wholly empty hands before God.

It is also worth noting that during these moments with God, the very assumption that concepts could be real feels impossible.

~ Gavin