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.
Thanks Sean. What you have to say about being aware of our thoughts and actions without going into solve mode or guilt mode is so important. Peace is quietly waiting on the other side of our resistance. I think our willingness to just let things be is our show of faith in the Course in Miracles and its promise to lead us back to peace. I recently had a lesson with this and it showed me once again that I can allow myself to be taken out of peace with the silliest things. Fruit Loops in the morning and throughout the day are part of diet of a family toddler. I was surprised and appalled but I knew there was a lesson here. I was able to quash my ego based nutritional opinions and let go and say nothing. I realized that although there may be consequences on the form level, my job was to focus only on the reality of eternity. Of course it wasn’t enough that I didn’t say anything, my work was to let go of my ego motivated judgmental thought so that I could return to peace. Sometimes its easy and sometimes it hard to get back to peace, but the difficulty is just my resistance. In so many situations a quiet soft “Say nothing” has come into my thoughts so often its almost like a mantra. Most times I listen but there are other times it’s after the fact that I realize those two words are part of being miracle minded and will dissolve the blocks to peace. Just listen.