Saturday, February 7, 2015

How I Think Determines What I See

I received a lot of comments about last week’s message [Msg-1-Feb-2015; Letting a Dream Die]. Most were very supportive from folks who have had similar situations facing them. Some, however, were disturbed or curious about my comments concerning “sacrifice” and/or perception and projection.
These have been tough lessons for me, too. Let me attempt to clarify.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) asserts that our perceived world is but a dream. The Course is attempting to help us wake up to our true reality – namely, that we are part of the Spirit of God or part of the Mind of God.  Collectively, humankind is the Son of God – already! Here and now! Eternally! That is our individual and collective reality.  
In short, I dream my reality is different. I dream I am separate and the world “out there” is dangerous and has to be controlled to ensure my peace and safety. I continue to get angry at the reality I see “out there” because it doesn’t support my desire to remain as a separate and, therefore, a “special” and unique somebody.
Since we have dreamt that we have separated from God and have sinned against Him, we fully expect His wrath and damnation. If, however, we can actually sin, then God can actually sin since we are a part of Him. As Allen Watson explains in A Workbook Companion, [Vol. 1, Circle Publishing, 2005]: “I am perfectly holy because God created me that way. Holy means ‘sinless,’ and you cannot be partly sinless any more than a woman can be a ‘little’ pregnant. The logic here is quite simple and plain: If I am part of God I must be sinless, or part of God would be sinful. If I am without sin I must [be holy and] have holy perception as well. How I see myself affects how I see the world…. My awfulness envelops the world if I see myself as awful. If I am willing to see the world enveloped in holiness, I can learn to see myself that way. I know this sounds like I have it backwards; the order ‘should be’ that I see myself holy first and then the world. The thing of it is, what keeps me from seeing myself as holy is my unwillingness to see the world that way. From within the ego mindset it seems as if seeing the world as holy will make me unholy by comparison. The fact is that as I see the world, so I see myself, and as I see myself, so I see the world.” [p. 104]
When I am in a bad mood, nothing and nobody looks good. When I am content and serene with me and my life, everything seems to flow well and easy and people seem to be quite like me – maybe making a mistake here and there, but going about their business doing what seems to be responsible in their minds, just as I do.
A long time ago I wrote about an encounter with my neighbor and my comments to him over his politically incorrect email about the President being a black man.  I had shot a nasty email back in anger. I felt bad about it and the next day called him and apologized. He, too, was feeling bad – thinking the email was “funny” and not realizing that it could be interpreted as being offensive. There was an unexplained  “real-ness” about our conversation with each other. Neither of us was trying to “fix” the other or to be condescendingly righteous. We were simply being each other and recognizing each other in each other. We have been on a different, but unexplainable, plane ever since. It is beyond words, and it has been a beautiful thing.
I believe this kind of thing is what the Course is talking about. This kind of relationship can exist with all I meet. This kind of peace and joy can exist in all I do. All the time. Always. But I remain a little frightened of it. It feels strange. I feel vulnerable.
However, once I begin looking at people as a reflection of myself, ACIM tells me I will slowly learn (with the help of the Holy Spirit or my Spirit Guide) that all acts of hatred, anger, retribution, punishment, exclusion (which are all acts of the different faces of fear) are either an act of love or a call for love. That realization on my part – seeing either an act of love or a call for love – will be used by the Holy Spirit to transform the world. I do not understand how that can happen and it is just as well because it is not my job – it is too far above my pay grade. That is His function.
This “peace of mind” is what the Course promises us. Felix (the Name I give to my ego) thinks I have to “give up” something for this miracle to occur. That’s just who Felix is. But it is not who the “real” me is. As I discussed last week, when I “give up” a dream, I’m not really giving up anything. It was no sacrifice to replace my illusionary dream and its pain and shame for the joy and peace I experienced. It is not a hardship to give up anger for peace with a neighbor who is giving up anger himself. I just had to be willing to call him and to be willing, as well, to see things between us differently. He didn’t work at it, and neither did I. It just happened – just like the Course says it will. What my neighbor and I found was a peace between us that has made each of us more human to each other.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#2 February 2015

Copyright, 2015

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