I would like to take this opportunity to share with you how much benefit I derive from participating in MiraclesOne’s Wednesday study group as well as their Thursday evenings’ eight weeks’ program. Like several others, I have done so for a number of years and I have not only learned from my own practical application, when I am not insanely stuck in ego, but, also, from fellow students. SO much so, there are no words to express my gratitude to them all. Yet, I also realized as I have attended so consistently that it was my little willingness to be open-minded to seeing how their sharing their experiences was meant for me as well. Sure, the form can widely differ, but the content is the same, that is, with their dedication to living the Course, they were able to have Him transform their unloving and fearful thoughts to those of holiness and harmlessness. And when and if they are able to, this means I can too!
The Holy Spirit, I am learning, will use anything to impart His wisdom and strength to us and it seems for me, anyway, that His speaking through others whom I trust is less threatening to me than if He were to be more direct. Whatever that means.
Anyhow, I admit that this week was not at all pleasant and I found myself enormously and stubbornly resistant to all the lessons that I studied AND practiced. Yes, I applied them all, read a few as I rotate with Mari every morning on the daily lesson call, but it became apparent to me that the ego had become highly vicious in my mind, feeling threatened itself, and I listened to its voice. Such a trickster, a relentless trickster it is.
By condemning our neighbors in my mind and heart, who did I hurt? Myself. Why? Why would I do this to myself?
Among the reading assignments for our Thursday class, Rev. Deb assigned The Consistency of Means and End in the Text, Chapter 20, Section VII., pages 439 through 441 in the blue book.
Although I know I am writing about Lesson 33, I truly understand that Jesus, throughout ACIM, is teaching us how to choose the Holy Spirit throughout our day. There is always another way of looking at the world and we can truly see through His vision and not the body’s eyes as directed by ego.
I want to quote just a few paragraphs from that section in the Text as you may find them helpful:
“To see the body is the sign that you lack vision, and have denied the means the Holy Spirit offers you to serve His purpose. How can a holy relationship achieve its purpose through the means of sin? Judgment you taught yourself; vision is learned from Him Who would undo your teaching. His vision cannot see the body because it cannot look on sin. And thus it leads you to reality. Your holy brother, sight of whom is your release, is no illusion. Attempt to see him not in darkness, for your imaginings about him will seem real there. You closed your eyes to shut him out. Such was your purpose, and while this purpose seems to have a meaning, the means for its attainment will be evaluated as worth the seeing, and so you will not see.” (Most of paragraph 8, page 441 in the blue book.)
The paragraph that just blew me away and which I will refer to time and time again is the last one, paragraph 9:
“Your question should not be, “How can I see my brother without the body?” Ask only, “Do I really wish to see him sinless?” And as you ask, forget not that his sinlessness is your escape from fear. Salvation is the Holy Spirit’s goal. The means is vision. For what the seeing look upon is sinless. No one who loves can judge, and what he sees is free of condemnation. And what he sees he did not make, for it was given him to see, as was the vision that made his seeing possible.”
OK, my last thought is that sometimes I rush the healing process and that’s ego, for me, as well. If I could just sit with my discomfort in feeling such rage, irritation, inconvenience, etc., toward our neighbors, just sit with it by practicing a lesson, any lesson, and allow Him to help, the way would be clear to resolution for the Highest Good of all.
All too often, however, I feel SO much guilt for feeling such unloving thoughts, I go into fixing my own pain by masking my frustration, thereby never truly looking at it, and I end up reinforcing the vicious cycle of martyrdom and victimization I invented. I cringe when I write that I all too often bend over backwards to accommodate other’s requests as a result and that is why the pain feels so undeniably acute.
Oh well, onward and upward, right?