In Monday’s newsletter I wrote about the way in which judgment arises as a replacement for Vision. As the course asks: why judge when you can see?
Judgment is a form of interpretation, and interpretation is never without ego involvement (T-12.I.2:1). This is not a crime against God or Nature! It’s simply another form of conflict making us deeply unhappy. If there is a useful alternative, why not avail ourselves of it?
Judgment and projection are related, in the sense that judgment is too painful to bear so we project it outward. We judge the ones making war, for example, and that feels just. It feels right. And that self-righteousness allows us to temporarily allay the pain of judgment. It addresses the symptom but leaves the underlying cause of suffering untouched.
A Course in Miracles is very practical. Sometimes we forget this because of its overly-wrought language and density, and because of the drama that often attends our ACIM community in the form of ascended masters, spiritual lights, new texts channeled from Jesus et cetera. But truly it offers us a way to become naturally sustainably happy and to co-create – with God and with each other – a world in which we are all naturally sustainably happy.
“Projection makes perception” (T-21.In.1:1). Therefore, the world that we experience through the body witnesses to our state of mind. It is “the outside picture of an inward condition” (T-21.In.1:4). It always reflects either love or fear, and thus our decision to listen to either the Holy Spirit or the ego.
Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this you will project upon the world. See it as damned, and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son of God. If you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him. If you see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of God to set him free (T-21.In.2:1-4).
How is this practical?
Because if the world we see is no more than what we gave it, we can give it something else.
The world you see but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see in you, and to accept as yours. And if this is its meaning, then the power to give it joy must lie within you (T-21.In.2:7-8).
A Course in Miracles invites us to change our mind rather than the world. But it makes clear that as our mind changes, the world will change with it. Therefore, we are not ignoring war and famine, injustice and hate. We are simply responding to it at its source, which is inside us.
This is not an invitation to forget the suffering of our brothers and sisters. It is not an invitation to become distracted by metaphysical ruminations about illusion and reality. It is an invitation to become fully responsible for it. A Course in Miracles invites us to become peacemakers, living symbols of a joy that is merciful, just and nonviolent.
Mercy, justice and nonviolence create – by extending through relationship – happiness for all.
Our practice is not to ignore the world but to read it carefully and allow the Holy Spirit rather than ego to teach us what it means. The Holy Spirit will interpret in favor of love and peace, and as a consequence our behavior will naturally bring forth love and peace.
But it has to happen in that order! Read the signs, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what it means and how to respond.
If we reverse the order – decide what to do and then try to get our mind to go along – then we are simply listening to ego. And ego is happy to work for peace and justice. It will take that project over in a heartbeat. But if it does, nothing will change and we will simply be frustrated and exhausted and the list of people, institutions and belief systems to blame for our problems and the world’s problems will simply grow longer and longer.
There is – there is always – another way.
My practice of A Course in Miracles – in which I join with you, if you will join with me – is to go slowly and patiently through the world, humbly seeking to be helpful.
I am only here to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be whereever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal (T-2.V.A.18.2-6).
Note that “helpful” sometimes means – in fact, often means – just staying out of the way.
Thank you, as always, for sharing this path with me. It is not easy, but the company is good. Our shared desire to be healed is the answer to all the world’s problems, big and small. Let us support one another in changing our minds.