Welcome to Simply Consciousness….
I am honored today to have the opportunity to interview David Hoffmeister. David is world-renowned for his practical application of spiritual awakening.
His teachings are based on A Course In Miracles and have been translated into 13 languages and taken into the hearts and minds of millions through the intimate style of his books, audios, and videos.
Over the past 31 years, David has traveled to 44 countries across 6 continents to extend the message that truth is available for everyone.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
My journey can be summed up as a love affair with God. I hold onto no concepts, and therefore I have no expectations. This enables me to live in the present moment, with no past beliefs and no future worries or concerns. This is how my life has unfolded. It was not planned that way in the sense that I certainly did not consciously grow up thinking this is how I wanted to spend my life. I was raised as a Christian and encountered things that a lot of people encounter. I had certain resistances and reactions to a lot of the things I heard from the pulpit and bible school.
When I was a child, I never felt like I completely fit into this world. While others were deciding what they wanted to be when they grew up, I had no clear idea of what I would do. In high school when they gave me aptitude tests, the scores came out very funny. It was as if there was no vocation waiting for me. Now I can laugh and think of the teachings of Jesus: “I am calling you out of the world.” Still, I attempted to find a meaning and a vocation.
During the many years in college, I spent most of the time in the library reading psychology, philosophy and religion, asking deeper questions and looking for the meaning of life. Through the years of searching, I was able to eliminate a lot of questions because I saw that none of the disciplines saw the same world. As I came to understand the underlying assumptions of each discipline that I studied, I realized that no one had the answer. A Course In Miracles came to me in 1986 as an answer to an inner prayer for a systematic way of clearing the mirror of my mind, of learning to trust the Spirit and listen to the Voice and lay aside all judgment. I immersed myself in the Course and for the first couple of years read about eight hours a day.
The last twenty-five years have been my opportunity to really shine the light. This is the fruit of taking to heart and practicing A Course In Miracles with my steadfast devotion during those early years. After the two and a half years of study, I started to hear an audible voice giving me very specific suggestions, helpful pointers. It told me where to go and what to do. It gave me words to speak and I knew this to be the answer to my prayer to be in touch with the Holy Spirit. My happiness was assured by listening to and following this Voice.
What is your definition of consciousness?
Arriving at a higher level of consciousness is part of our spiritual journey, but I will say that it is only the first part, the part that we can control and even “speed up” by our own willingness to wake up. Consciousness is actually synonymous with split mind; the mind that has a separate, “dual” experience in this world. Consciousness can receive messages from “above” or “below,” the Holy Spirit or the ego; it is the whole focus of the mind training lessons in the ACIM Workbook and can be trained to reach the forgiven world that ACIM calls the “real world” or the forgiven world.
The real world is the dreamer of the dream Perspective that I speak of frequently, which is a state of consistent peace and non-judgment. God and Christ are Spirit and consciousness is the belief that there is “something else” in “addition to” Spirit. It is dualism. Awakening could be described as the “release” of the make-believe “something else.” Still, consciousness is used in awakening, in the sense that it is the receptive mechanism, receiving messages from the Holy Spirit or the ego, as the mind chooses. Consciousness has levels and awareness can shift quite dramatically, but it cannot transcend the perceptual realm. At its highest it becomes aware of the real world, and can be trained to do so increasingly.
Consciousness is the level of perception. It was the first split introduced into the mind after the separation, making the mind a perceiver rather than a creator. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are. Yet you can know yourself only as you are in truth.
The structure of “individual consciousness” is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the “original error”. To study the error itself does not lead to correction, if you are indeed to succeed in overlooking the error. I use the metaphor mentioned in the ACIM Workbook. If Divine Mind were a vast Circle of Light and if this Circle was seemingly surrounded by dark clouds of false belief and perception, consciousness would be the illusory experience of being “outside” of the Circle. In sinking beneath the clouds of illusion, the experience is One of Pure Light. In Truth Light cannot be surrounded or circumscribed, for Light is literally the Allness of God and Christ Which Know Perfect Oneness.
Here is a practice from ACIM that you can do in meditation:
“Very quietly now, with your eyes closed, try to let go of all the content that generally occupies your consciousness. Think of your mind as a vast circle, surrounded by a layer of heavy, dark clouds. You can see only the clouds because you seem to be standing outside the circle and quite apart from it. From where you stand, you can see no reason to believe there is a brilliant light hidden by the clouds. The clouds seem to be the only reality. They seem to be all there is to see. Therefore, you do not attempt to go through them and past them, which is the only way in which you would be really convinced of their lack of substance.”
In summary, it is consciousness which seems to unlearn the ego (or split) and thus learn of forgiveness (perceived wholeness), yet the realization will come that consciousness is an illusion which will disappear before remembering the Knowledge of Pure Oneness.
The mind which sleeps and dreams of images appears to play with idols, toys of its own “making,” yet the Holy Spirit uses what was made to go far beyond what was made. This leads to a waking Dream cleansed of judgment. The Holy Spirit knows the distinction between the real and the unreal, and the judgment of the false (illusion) AS false (illusion) is the only meaningful judgment to be made. This is the gateway to freedom beyond all dreaming – to remembrance of Self as Christ in the Mind of God. God and Christ are Abstract Eternal Love, and the seeming world of parts and specifics is the veil which HAS BEEN forgiven.
The Kingdom of Heaven is within. I rejoice in the forgiveness of illusion, for a Child of God cannot be limited in awareness except by illusory belief. And happily this need not be.
How did you accomplish such a joy you are emanating? How is it you are so happy?
In the beginning when I first received the Course, I thought I was ready to ascend! And I smile remembering this. I asked the Spirit to point me to the nearest mountain, and He said: “You are far from ready.” Then I was given very practical advice to go back to the relationship I was in, to wait and receive guidance as to a job I was to get, and use the income from the job to pay off loans and debts. This was an intense period of about eight months in which I had to learn to pray and let go of the years of college learning, since that were getting in the way of Holy Spirit working through me. (The Holy Spirit’s use and purpose for our skills and abilities is very different from the ego’s purpose. The ego wanted to use the skills to prop up the personality self: pride, fame, achievement, status.) So in answer to your question, the first couple years I was given specific assignments and these jobs allowed me to pay off loans and learn how to listen and follow the Voice of the Holy Spirit.
Since I let go of concepts and opinions and since I have no expectations, I live in the present moment. Therefore I have no past thoughts and no future concerns. I have no worries. I have given up the belief in attachments and possessions. Whatever is helpful in my teaching shows up: plane tickets, cars, food, etc. This is a divine flow of living in the miracle. I have forgotten the old way of living and past learning does not light my way. What I learned in ten years of college has been unlearned, or the Holy Spirit has taken those symbols and translated them so I can use them to teach peace and freedom, the pathway out of the world. I no longer use form symbols for pride or personal gain, and this is my joy. As Jesus taught, I give all glory to God.
To get to this state of mind, much darkness had to come up. There was much resistance and lots of tears. It took many miracles to convince me that it was okay to trust God. The journey into the mind has very intense emotions, and at times it can feel like your world is falling apart. It’s just that, being invested into this world, the mind is upside down, and now the Spirit is turning the mind right side up, toward the Light. I learned that the only way to have a peaceful world is to be peaceful for yourself, that it is totally an inside job.
I had to be gentle with myself because I knew I had discovered the escape from this world. I would let nothing get in the way of it. So I would take a walk, have a snack, or have a swim and then come back with full passion and my eyes open and read the Course for many hours more.
It is always a Joy to share what is Given, and the “how” is the Holy Spirit. I realize Now that the past never “led” to the present, so nothing that seemed to come “before” Now had any use but the Purpose of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sees means and end as one, for time is but an illusion.
The Holy Spirit uses time to teach that there is no time, and this Present Moment experience is not a “process.” In the Present Moment there is no paradox, for there IS only Now.
In sharing the Holy Spirit’s Perspective I experience that the ego’s purpose of death has “gone,” and only a blessing “remains.” Therefore the only message I offer is that it is healing to forget or release the past (the belief in the reality of images and appearances) and Pure Joy to remember that the Present is the only “time” there is. The Present is the Innocence of Spirit.
The Holy Spirit shares words and parables and stories with the Purpose of pointing beyond them to an experience of Pure Stillness beneath them. The “search” is effectively over, and Now the cosmos witnesses this Joyous experience!!! This experience is forever free of the constructs of “past” and “future.” Like all symbols the constructs of linear time are neutral and are now simply used to point toward Atonement or complete forgiveness, which I call the “last” illusion – the happy dream. Mind Awake, Divine Mind – is Reality and far “beyond” words. Though this experience cannot be described or explained, here are the words I am Given to express it and point to it in this interview:
I rest in God.
Now sink beneath these words.
In Stillness experience the I am Presence.
What are you the most aware of in your daily life?
Christ’s Love that just extends and extends…
What was the deepest internal change that you have personally experienced from transforming your consciousness and how it did impact your life in both spiritual and practical ways?
The Holy Spirit has a great sense of integrity. When I first picked up A Course In Miracles, I told Jesus: Money does not grow on trees! And I had debts and bills to pay.
Jesus told me to begin working with the Course and He would give me specific instructions, he would get me a job so I could pay off my debts. This happened immediately. Not only were the loans paid off, but a big chip of pride was knocked off my shoulder, the pride of being independent and providing for myself. Jesus began to dissolve away the Protestant work ethic I had been raised with and helped me open up to divine providence. I learned that I had to be very humble to accept sustenance from God. This was my biggest difficulty in my early travels: letting go of pride, the belief that I personally was responsible for my survival on this planet. At first this was hard to believe, because all my training taught me the opposite. I had lived a life of competition, competing in sports, competing for grades, competing for jobs. Spirit said: No, the messenger is worthy of his keep. He said: If you will let me speak words through you and bring hope and cheer to your brothers and sisters, I will take care of ALL the details of your life. For thirty years, Jesus has kept his word. Everything I seem to need is provided for me, with no effort on my
What is the best advice, words of wisdom that you would like to share with our readers about the importance of becoming more conscious?
There is nothing to do but to remember. We can finally give up seeking for the light. To desire wholly is to experience the desirelessness of creation, of Being. To “try” is to make an effort to achieve something that is believed to be missing. Seeking and searching is thus the “activity” of lack, and in accepting Correction the search has vanished. The search was the sickness, and the experience of the present moment is now the peaceful contentment of forgiveness. The seeking was the stress, and the tranquil surrender or release offers only relaxation and divine ease. The “taste” of the light is always a present experience, and only the attempt to place the “taste” in the past or future is erroneous. Remembering the present and forgetting the past go hand in hand. It cannot be difficult to Be as One is Now, but the belief in linear time introduces the illusion of the “necessity” of change. What could it mean to change our mind about our Mind but to accept our Changeless Oneness? Desire is not a matter of degree. Neither is our One Self in God. Simply forgive the “try” to be any “thing.” Being is beyond the concept of change. Even vigilance vanishes in the holy instant, for there is nothing to be vigilant against in the full experience of Now.
I rejoice in the Living Moment! Now is wholeness true, and happily wholeness has no opposite.
Please inspire us by telling us about your current project or projects?
It would be a retreat I will be offering in The Netherlands in October called Into The Kingdom; my new book, This Moment Is Your Miracle that came out in early February this year; a movie my friend Frances Xu and team has been working on called Take Me Home; and a new chat bot and app for transcending upsets called Spiri.
What is the biggest problem in the world today?
The mind that is asleep and dreaming of separation perceives many problems on many levels. It perceives inter-psychic problems, interpersonal problems, problems in neighborhoods, countries and international affairs. The training aims to realize that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. A miracle can solve any problem there appears to be. The sleeping mind is convinced there are many problems that have many degrees of severity. A sore throat seems to be very different from a world war, yet both are upsetting. Here is the profound truth: all believed, and therefore perceived, problems and conflicts are equal blocks to inner peace.
Let us look a moment at the concept of war. The Course teaches “The war against yourself is almost over now.” This is good news! It is describing the war of the mind which is attempting to hold two contradictory thought systems: love and fear. These two emotions do not go together. In truth the mind is unified in love, so to attempt to hold onto these two thought systems, as if they both are real, the situation is intolerable. A cosmos was projected out to see the split in mind as if it was in the world. The mind that is asleep sees good guys and bad guys, victims and victimizers and many, many dualities – as if they exist in the world. The world is a giant distractive device to see the hurt and pain of the mind as if it is outside, in an external world.
So the healing is to release all scraps of fear so that the mind is clear and free of all attack thoughts and grievances. When this occurs, one perceives the world with the Holy Spirit as one whole tapestry in which all things work together for good. The present moment is very literally the end of all war. When you have forgiven the error, you see a very different world. It is impossible to judge against anybody else, because you see that the mind is one.
Many years ago, Gandhi was asked if he believed in the devil, and he replied that the only devils are the ones running around in our own hearts. When you see that all is one mind, there is nothing to defend or to protect and your mind is all inclusive. This mind does not know an enemy. In this mind there are no countries, no nationalities, no cultures. This mind is incapable of seeing differences because the error of differences has been exposed and the heart is purified, pure.
So how do we apply what we are learning to things that happen in the world: hunger, strife, war. What is the most helpful attitude toward world problems?
The Holy Spirit asks us to look closely at all the thoughts behind our feelings. He does not teach us to turn away blindly and be like cold and stiff robots. Mother Teresa is an example of one who let the love of God flow through her. When someone was hungry she fed them. If someone was sick in the street she pulled them off the street. She learned how to live very simply and let God move through her without letting an interpretation of pity creep in. Pity is an arrogant thought that says you are better off than others. If you are acting out of pity or guilt, you are reinforcing the separation in your mind. So always ask the Holy Spirit how to be “truly helpful”, then act appropriately as the Holy Spirit moves through you, from a spirit of lightness and joy.
To inspire is to be in the spirit. It is your attitude that is really teaching. When I worked with dying patients in Hospice, I was in complete joy. The doctors and nurses told me how helpful it was to have someone peaceful and happy in their midst, because they typically felt so sad and depressed about the dying. I realized there was no death, so I was used by the Holy Spirit to speak to these people. I would be carrying a tray of food down the hall, and someone would call me into their room. They would ask me questions about the meaning of life. In most cases they were just hanging on because they were afraid to let somebody down. Even in their final hours they were “people-pleasing”! I told them, “Don’t worry about it. Just go to the light.” The next day I was told this person had passed.
You really start to realize that life is not of this body. Life is truly a state of mind. It’s kind of funny to think that six billion people are running around doing crazy jobs and occupations, full of stress, trying not to die – when they are all afraid of living!
Nobody in this world is aware of how much they fear love. But when you work with A Course In Miracles, you come to see the fear of intimacy. You learn to drop the mask, but also feel the fear of dropping the mask. The ego says: “Look at all your past relationships, how you put your heart on the line and got hurt.” The ego says it is not safe to love. It teaches that love always leads to hurt feelings. Now we have to listen to the Holy Spirit and learn that it is helpful to forgive and love. You realize that you cannot give away something you do not already have. So the more that you practice loving, the more you realize you have love and you are love.
The first few steps are the most difficult, because you are going against all of your past learning. I was raised to think you could love just one person and such a belief makes it seems awkward to open up to many people. But as we follow our inner guidance, we learn that’s exactly what we have to do. Then we see how silly our old ideas of relationship were. We see that it is possible to be in love with everyone! Love is not limited. The ego says there’s only so much to go around, so you’d better save it. But you find that the more you give it away, the more you have – and it feels good. That’s how you know it is of the Holy Spirit.
Love & Blessings always,