Whatever we project or extend from ourselves to the world and those in the world will be real for us. This law is true in both the world that we have created and the Kingdom created by God. It is a fundamental law of the mind (T-7.II.2:4-5) and we cannot escape it. Indeed, accepting it is a cornerstone of salvation.
Lesson 34 of the workbook is a succinct restatement of this principle: We could see peace instead of this – where “this” is anything that does not bring us peace and joy. The power to choose is ours. We are not projecting by accident or at some other cause’s behest. It begins with us and, in a sense, ends with us as well because we are always the one who feel its effects.
So we have to make a decision. We have to decide how we are going to use this power of the mind. If we are resting on the ego’s shaky (and shady) foundation, then we are going to project doubt and fear and anger and guilt. And we are going to perceive a world in which those emotions run amok, creating a dangerous place where one just scrapes by, eking out little moments of happiness that do nothing to stave off the final darkness of death. For most of us, this is the predominant experience. This is what A Course in Miracles urges us to see and accept. When we do see it – and take note of the painful effects – we are apt to make be open to a positive change.
That positive change is the Holy Spirit, a symbol of our right mind. That is to say, our right mind is that part of our mind that remembers it is one with God and at home in the Kingdom now. It is not struggling in any way. We can picture the Holy Spirit as a communication mechanism, a bridge between the two parts of our mind, a means of healing the separation.
The ego is focused on form – it sees separate bodies. It sees nice houses and ugly houses. It sees big incomes and poverty. It sees hunger and lack and scarcity – always manifesting in the world. Even when it allows a few scraps of abundance – a nice meal, a lovely sunset – it quickly steals them back. Its ace in the hole is always death. That cheesecake might have been delicious but good luck enjoying it when you’re rotting in a hole in the ground.
The Holy Spirit looks past form because it knows that form – any and all form – doesn’t matter. Only content matters. This is deeply unfamiliar to us. In fact, it is uncomfortable. When you see that sunset or partake of that cheesecake, you’re not really looking at anything or tasting anything. You’re just getting a little taste of the divine Love that underlies and permeates everything.
But when we begin to accept that as true – when we allow ourselves to consider the possibility that that is the right interpretation, that is reality – then the ego’s hold becomes increasingly tenuous. We begin to look past form ourselves – and that includes looking past the form of ourselves. And we begin to sense that there is something easier and softer and far more powerful than we could ever have imagined and that thing is us! It is in us and available to us, because it is in everything and available to everything.
The Kingdom of Heaven is this condition of knowing freedom from want. There is nothing to desire because we have everything. The only way to begin to approach this experience is to consciously choose to look past all the forms that you see – the pleasing ones, the unpleasant ones, all of them – and allow your mind to perceive only the Love. As you see it, you will realize that you see it because you are it. It is what you are extending because it is what you are. And the you we are talking about it is not the body and not the self with which you seem to be identified.
This, then, is the Holy Spirit’s gift to us: an ability to recognize the fundamental law of mind and use it to regain Heaven.