What do we do when we find ourselves resisting A Course in Miracles? Maybe refusing to do the lessons or not paying attention when we read the text? Coming to situations that call for forgiveness and brushing them off. I’ll get to it next week . . . What is this resistance?
All resistance is ego-based. Faced with its undoing – which is really the translation of hate into love – it puts up a fight. And it uses any means necessary. It lies, cajoles, rages and schemes. Whatever works. It counsels that our head cold is justification for not practicing forgiveness. It reminds us that reading and study haven’t worked very well so far. And if it can’t rip us at the personal level, then it points to war and famine. See? It’s futile.
Resistance works for the ego primarily because it engages us with the ego. We resist the resistance, in other words. We try to double down and study harder, forgive more lovingly. We cancel the subscription to the newspaper, read only the New Testament and Joel Goldsmith. We not only read the ACIM text, we start underlining key passages. See how serious we are? How committed to spiritual growth and wellness? But it backfires. It doesn’t work because when we resist the ego – when we fight the ego – we acknowledge the ego’s power. By fighting it, we make it real.
We can never be at peace so long as we are fighting. We have to give up the conflict altogether. But how do we do that?
When resistance arises, just let it be. There is a great line in Rules for Decision where Jesus counsels us not to fight ourselves (T-30.I.1:7). Sage advice. We cannot “win” against attack with another attack.
So we step back from the egoic activity. We practice awareness of our resistance. It’s no big deal. In fact, when we stand away from it and just see it, its power to influence us will diminish tremendously. Awareness is a powerful healing tool. When we don’t buy into the ego’s thought system of hate and guilt and resistance, then we automatically weaken it.
Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
One last thought. Forgiveness is the means by which we make the atonement real. It is the way to Heaven. But it is not – contrary to everything the ego would teach us – an action. Consider what Jesus says in the introduction to the forgiveness lessons in Part II of the Workbook.
Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. If offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not (W-pII.1.4:1-3).
Resistance is undone by awareness. And awareness is simply observing what is – be it a problem in the world or a problem in our mind – without judgment. When we do that, we recall – however faintly – our oneness with God. And then peace and love are not just possible but inevitable.