Neil asked recently whether I track the results of following CMPEs. I had to him admit that I have not done this systematically, even though it’s been on my mind for a number of years, really because of time constraints. I have a very hard time keeping up with just recording and interpreting the signs I get.
So for now, I have a sporadic written record and an ongoing mental record/evaluation. The jury is still out for me on exactly how reliable CMPEs are in their guidance. Indeed, in the final analysis, I think this is an issue that can never be fully resolved. To some degree, it will always come down to a subjective sense of “Based on my overall experience with them, I trust them to this degree.”
I’ll give you a case in point, one that shows the subjectivity involved. I recently shared here that for years I have had CMPEs about using the perspective of A Course in Miracles to see death differently and help those dealing with it to also see it differently. Writing that post then became part of yet another CMPE delivering the same basic message. This was followed, two days later, by yet another.
The repetition of this message, which I have been getting for years, was so puzzling to me that I went over to the blog in the Circle of Atonement’s online community (the Circle Course Community) and wrote a post about how puzzled I was about it all. I called my post “Puzzling guidance about a role that does not seem a great fit.” As part of it, I wrote this:
I don’t know why these signs keep coming. I haven’t had to deal with a lot of death in my life. I don’t feel like I’m the person for this job, whatever it is. Yet here is my most authoritative form of guidance telling me over and over again (it goes way beyond these three signs) that I have this job. Strange, isn’t it? I can only assume that it will become clear in time.
To my utter surprise, this post elicited 40 responses from our little community (my posts usually get 2 or 3!). A number of people stepped forward saying they felt they had this very calling. Several were already actively working with the dying, in hospice, either as volunteers or as a nurse. One is starting a website to help those dealing with death, in which she plans to come from a Course perspective.
As the responses kept coming in, it became clear that we collectively wanted to do something. So someone suggested we form a group devoted to exploring this, which we decided to do. We are calling it the “end of life exploration” (Greg, in a nod to Sarah Palin, informally dubbed it the “death panel”). We have two excellent organizers and they have put together a wonderfully full document, which includes 16 suggestions for areas to explore, as well as a purpose of establishing something concrete that helps people. On a list of two purposes, this is the second:
- Working together in a focused and goal-oriented way toward establishing something concrete — something that helps people.
We are now just concluding our first phase, in which the ten of us have shared why we want to participate and what we want to see come of this. It has been a very rich sharing, involving some very deep life experiences. There is a feeling that something will come of this, maybe (emphasis on “maybe”) something as concrete as a Course in Miracles center for the dying. It certainly looks like we might be on the way to fulfilling those signs I have been receiving for over ten years now.
This suggests that the signs can be very far-seeing, taking a remarkably patient and long-range view. It also shows just how difficult it can be to evaluate the success of their messages within a reasonable time frame.