It is understood by most students of A Course in Miracles that the external world – from the smallest flower to the most violent war to our most intimate partners – is an illusion.
When you project, you disown, and therefore do not believe is yours. You are excluding yourself by the very judgment that you are different from the one on whom you project. Since you have also judged against what you project, you continue to attack it because you continue to keep it separated (T-6.II.2:1-3).
Projection is a device that sustains the separation, our dissociation from God. It is an active rejection of oneness.
The world has not yet experienced any comprehensive reawakening or rebirth. such a rebirth is impossible so long as you continue to project or miscreate (T-2.I.3:7-8).
So, it is imperative that we bring projection to its end, and it is also our personal responsibility to do this.
For many years, I approached the question of projection very much as from the center of Sean. This ACIM teacher is my projection. So is my wife. This student is, and that cashier, and both my parents, and the neighbor down the street whose dog is always after the chickens . . .
I tried very hard to look closely at these people: my feelings about them, my judgments, my desires. What I was willing to see, what I didn’t want to see. What was I disowning? How could I retrieve it?
There is nothing wrong with that approach. In fact, there is a lot that is helpful. Our careful attention to the external world as a sort of unconscious extension of the self can be very healing.
About a year ago, however, I began to experience this dynamic differently. Significantly, I saw that only were you my projection, but that I was part of yours.
This insight destabilized the personal I which was functioning as a center from which everything else radiated. Suddenly, the center was everywhere. As a result, my personal projections and perceptions became less important. I began to see in a deep and sustained way that we were in this together. That is the true beginning of awakening.
A teacher of God is anyone who choose to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness (M-1.1:1-4).
It can an interesting and even helpful experiment: go through your day thinking not about your own growth and spiritual evolution but rather everybody else’s. Think of yourself as simply another illusion in their dream of separation and then be the best illusion you can be for them!
If you do this, you will notice that you are far less focused on your own stuff. You become much more interested in other people – what they’re thinking and feeling. You will find it becomes very natural to understand what they want from you, and then to give that to them. If you have not yet seen the face of Christ, this can bring that experience much closer.
Few things are as satisfying as helping our brothers and sisters step a little closer to God. It is both an honor and a privilege to be a speck of light in another’s dream: be there as wholly and fully as you can. Give yourself to them without reservation.
When I stand in front of a class, I think: they have put me here. They made me. And I try to be aware of that as I teach – as I move around the classroom, shepherd our dialogues, grade their papers, answer their questions and prod them to go deeper or farther with this or that reading.
When I sit down at the dinner table, I do the same thing. And when I attend meetings with municipal leaders. And attend holiday gatherings with extend family. And talk on the phone with fellow students. And answer emails . . .
We are never not able to be of service to those who long for awakening. It is natural and simple and the way is always clear. The path opens up before us and we simply walk on it.
Remember the beautiful words Jesus utters in Matthew’s Gospel:
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
We are redeemed and saved by the power of attention: somehow, we have to claw our way out of self-interest and make our lives a record of service to each other. We have to be here for one another in very active and loving ways. We are not entering Heaven by degrees alone: we are going hand in hand.
Thank you for reading today. As always, if I can be helpful, simply ask.