Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Modest Example Of Some Truths In A Course In Miracles

I have not been able to give this message proper thought. We are in the midst of having to decide to put our oldest dog to sleep.
From the novel, In Pursuit Of The Proper Sinner, Elizabeth George, Bantam Books (Random House), 1999, pp. 80; 271:  This is a great, complicated, well-written mystery set in England. The detective is a gentleman named Thomas Lynley. His partner is a detective constable (DC) named Barbara Havers. She has recently been demoted from a detective sergeant for an action, which saved a child’s life, but violated all kinds of police chain of command protocol.  Lynley had been away on a honeymoon when this occurred. However, when he received the details of Havers’ incident, he had agreed with her demotion and had assigned another DC to assist him in his current murder investigation.
Since his newly-wed wife, Helen, also new Barbara, they had a tiff over his support of the police reprimand and his subsequent reassignment of Havers.
“Helen, … there’s no place for friendship in a situation in which everything depends on an officer obeying an order. Barbara didn’t do that. And what’s worse, she nearly killed someone in the process.”
‘But you know what happened. How can you not see ––“
“What I see is that there’s a purpose to a chain of command.”
“She saved a life.”
“And it wasn’t her place to determine that life was in danger.”
… She said, “I don’t understand this. How can you be so unforgiving? She’d be the first person to forgive you anything…. You’ve bent the rules before. You’ve told me so.”
… He was beginning to get angry and he should have held his tongue. Why was it, he wondered, that Helen could push his buttons in ways no one else ever could? “Then I’ll ask you to see this as well. Barbara Havers doesn’t concern you. Her behaviour in Essex, the subsequent investigation, and whatever medicine she’s asked to swallow as a result of that behaviour and investigation are none of your business….”
She was as quick to anger as was he and just as capable of expressing it. “I’m not that sort of woman. I’m not that sort of wife. If you wanted an obsequious sycophant to marry ––“
“That’s tautology.” He said.
And that terse statement finished their argument. Helen had snapped, “You swine,” and left him [to gather the rest of his luggage for an out-of-town trip back to the scene of the crime he was investigating].
[Several weeks later, back in London, Lynley tried to apologize to his wife.] He said, “I’m sorry about the row, Helen. You were giving your opinion. That’s more than your right. I jumped all over you because I wanted you on my side. She’s my wife, I thought, and this is my work and these are the decisions that I’m forced to make in the course of my work. I want her behind me, not in front of me blocking my way. I didn’t think of you as an individual in that moment, just as an extension of me. So when you questioned my decision about Barbara, I saw red. My temper got away from me. And I’m sorry for it.”
Her gaze lowered. She ran her fingers along the edge of the stool and examined their route. “I didn’t leave the house because you lost your temper. God knows I’ve seen you lose it before.”
“I know why you left. And I shouldn’t have said it.”
“That remark. The tautology bit. It was thoughtless and cruel. I’d like to have your forgiveness for having said it.”
She looked up at him. “They were only words, Tommy. You don’t need to ask forgiveness for your words,”
“I ask nonetheless.”
“No. What I mean is that you’re already forgiven. You were forgiven at once if it comes to that. Words aren’t reality, you know. They’re only expressions of what people see.”
Several things in this back-and-forth reminded me of truisms from A Course in Miracles (ACIM). First, I am never upset for the reason I think. Initially, Lynley was angry because he believed Helen was ignorant of police protocol and thought friendship trumped that. Then it became obvious to him that he simply wanted Helen to be on his “side.” Secondly, Helen’s forgiveness of him because words are only expressions of what people “see,” or perceive – and that’s not reality.
Although both Lynley and Helen are still functioning from their egos, the movement of their thoughts in this argument is very much an example of the truth of the Course. My perceptions are of my ego – and they are not reality. I am to “see” the same Christ in others that I see in myself: I am an already-loved eternal spirit. That’s what I am. That’s what you are. That’s reality. What God loves is the only reality. All else is fear and a nightmare created by my ego. When I forgive others because I see them in myself, then the Christ in both them and me becomes a little more real. As old-timers in AA say, it’s all about spiritual progress not spiritual perfection.
As the introduction to ACIM summarizes: “The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite. This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
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 May 2015
Copyright 2015

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