Friday, July 10, 2015

Why Should I Care About Anything?

I was very pleased when the South Carolina Legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of their capital and move it to their Museum of Confederate Relics and History. But my “being pleased” raised an issue in my thoughts, which sometimes can be a scary place to go.
If all I “see” or perceive in the world is of my own thinking, then the world I perceive is illusionary. The Course in Miracles (ACIM) makes this very plain. If I’m “seeing” an illusionary world, why should I care about what South Carolina does or doesn’t do?
For that matter, why should I care about anything?
I have spoken here many times about trying to live in this world without being of this world. I think that idea applies here and I want to explain my reasoning.
ACIM tells us that each thought and each action we take is either adding to the Love or adding to the Fear that exists here. It is one or the other. There is no middle ground. I am either contributing to the well of Love or the whirlpool of Fear – both of which coexist on this planet. I contribute, one way or the other, with every thought I take. The Holy Spirit can take thoughts of Love and transform me and others if I’m willing to allow Him.
I do believe these statements. I believe that “my world” is illusionary. I also believe that I contribute to either Love or Fear with every thought I have. How can that be?
While we “live” in this illusionary place, we need to be aware of our thoughts and actions. When I drive in my illusionary world, I drive on my side of the road in the faith that oncoming drivers will also be driving on their side of the road. We will avoid a head-on collision by doing that. I also believe there are rules we all sign-up to follow: red or green lights, stop signs, speed limit restrictions, pulling over for emergency vehicles, etc. These are some of the rules we all adhere to for general safety. As we make these traffic rules, we imbue them with intentions that serve Love – in this case public safety.
We could also make traffic laws without regard for public safety – laws that only respected individual liberty. This would transform our freeways into massive carnival “bumper car” areas and cause general mayhem. Public safety would be relegated to simply having the biggest, baddest car on the road.
I believe it is the same in other areas of life. We can do things (or not) that will help create an environment conducive to either Love or Fear. Granted, we cannot control outcomes, but we can attempt to create a positive or negative environment. A posititve environment – acceptance, care, respect, cooperation, spirit-filled – may help induce spiritual reflection and personal growth. A negative atmosphere – competing for resources, win-loose, success-failure, striving only for wealth – may help keep someone from being more open to another way of looking at the meaning of life.
So, for me, the issue is one of subjugating my self to think and act in ways that are conducive for Love: thinking and acting in terms of respecting people, looking for the Christ in them, providing a welcoming demeanor to strangers, encouraging tolerance for “different” behavior, being open to new ways of viewing issues and situations, etc. It also includes developing my awareness of when I’m contributing to Fear – which usually shows up as anger, guilt, attempts to justify my feelings, being envious, or having resentments, judgments, disappointments, or frustrations. These are the typical reactions of my Fear – of not getting what I want (including an outcome) or fearing something might be taken from me. Once I recognize these feelings I need to give them to the Holy Spirit for Him to handle because I can’t.
But I have to do all this without expectations – without attachments. To expect an outcome is to allow my egoic Felix take control of the situation. This is the issue behind my feeling “pleased” at the actions of South Carolina. I think feeling pleased is okay because I perceive it on the side of an act of Love. But I wonder what I would have felt if the decision had been to keep the flag flying where it was. How understanding or accepting would I have felt then? I don’t really know.
I am a work in progress. I am not perfect nor am I perfectly consistent. So, I freely participate in the public debate over policy. I freely write these messages expressing my progress (or lack of same). I concentrate on making decisions to help create an atmosphere or environment of love, acceptance and respect. I try to recognize, acknowledge, and curb my expressions of fear. I try to do this without expectations and leave the outcome to the Holy Spirit.
I still have a long way to go.
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 Jul 2015
Copyright 2015

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