True kindness has no fear in it. It wants nothing from the other because it knows the other is its own self. There is no compromise in kindness, no negotiation. It knows what is true. And because what is true is not separate from it, it is kind.
If I feel fear, then I cannot be kind. If I perceive differences, then I am fear-filled, regardless of whether I describe my feelings that way or not. Perception of differences drives a way of thinking that produces fear and fear does not question the appearance of differences. It just defends itself.
So we need to get a handle on fear, not kindness. Kindness is easy; kindness is what we are. But fear stops us from practicing kindness. It stops us from extending what we are.
We are fearful because we believe we are guilty. The guilty expect punishment because they believe they deserve punishment. The guilty wait on death. Their whole life is death row. They cannot be anything but fearful.
Therefore, in order to end fear, we need to recognize and accept our guiltlessness. We need to realize that our innocence is established in Creation, and is a fact of life that includes all life, not just “Sean” or “Cheryl” or whatever.
The reason this is not perfectly clear to us right now is because we have forgotten what it means to be one with God. We like parts of our life just fine – the dog, walks on the beach at dusk, coffee with friends. And we think that by joining with our brothers and sisters in God – a joining in which differences lose their value – then we will lose all those things.
We do not trust God. We do not trust Love.
We are attached and invested in this life, and when it is threatened – by rain, by a stranger or by the Love of God – we defend it. We’re like the one who says they’ll follow Jesus right after they bury their father. It’s no skin off Jesus’s back – it’s not a crime against God or Nature. But there is a better way, and the better way is to say “yes, Lord,” drop everything and follow.
For you and me, as nondual-minded Christians studying A Course in Miracles, this means letting go of differences. Which really really means letting go of their value. Notice when you are valuing differences and just stop.
If it sounds too hard then you haven’t tried because when you actually try it you realize it’s not hard at all – it’s impossible.
That’s why we need a spiritual practice like A Course in Miracles. That’s why we have to chill out about ascended masters and awakening and all that and just, you now, follow Jesus.
This is not a spiritual accomplishment, the fruits of which await us in the future. Disciples are disciples now. Fear of God and Love is a habit we can break today. It is a joy we can feel right now.
Let the dead bury the dead, said Jesus. He means that we don’t actually live in the world. Life is not in differences – like bodies that are dead vs. bodies that are alive. Life cannot be judged because it is one-without-another. Its value is not set by us.
Life is kind. It will take nothing from us. It will only give us what we already know is ours in Creation. It does nothing but make what is true clear: we remain as God created us, and our long suffrance believing otherwise is over.
I found your reflection on the nature of kindness insightful. Undoubtedly, kindness, as the Course speaks of it, is intimately related to Love and the Presence of God. But, from what I understand of the Course’s teachings, it is not clear why perception of differences entails fear. If that is the case, then wouldn’t it follow that there can be no perception of the difference, without it being full of fear, between my hand, my keyboard, my computer screen, and of the different things such as the cup on my desk as I write this, or even between each word that’s in your essay ? Indeed , if I didn’t have awareness of the difference between my cup and my keyboard, I’d try to type on my cup and find no new letters arising on the screen.
Further, would there not have to be some sort of difference between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit if we distinguish among them, so that the awareness of the notion of a ‘Holy Trinity’ or even a ‘universe of Love’ composed of many different spirits, such as the Creator and those created, would have to involve this ‘fearful’ state, at least according to the point you make? That point is expressed: “If I perceive differences, then I am fear-filled, regardless of whether I describe my feelings that way or not.” But perhaps you meant something different from this? Indeed, when I did a search in FIP I could find no passage that makes or implies such an idea.
I look forward to your clarification of what seems to be something quite important.
A second point that you expressed is “If it sounds too hard then you haven’t tried because when you actually try it you realize it’s not hard at all – it’s impossible.” Here I’m not clear on what ‘it’ refers to. It is also quite puzzling how, if ‘it’s not hard at all’ that it could be ‘impossible.’ From what I understand by ‘impossible,’ it could not follow what is such could be ‘not hard at all.’ Could you clarify this?
Thank you, Theodore.
Your perception of the difference between your hand, keyboard, computer screen and cup IS fear-filled. You’re just not seeing it yet. You will 🙏
Sometimes the relationship between fear and difference is clearer when we look at a brother or sister. The difference between a cup and the desk it rests on is easy (but still helpful, see here. But the difference between us and a brother or sister – especially one we are threatened by – can, when we are ready and willing, show us just how terrifying differences are (e.g., T-28.III.3:1-6, 4:1-2. The mind that projects separation is unhappy indeed.
The world of perception is not real; therefore, perception of differences is not real either (e.g., T-17.II.2-4). If there’s a “Sean” or a “Theodore” in it, taking stock, collecting evidence, organizing and collating, then that too is part of the illusion (e.g., T-4.11:5-10). Everything percieved – including a perceiver – is the same nothing. The real world bears no resemblance to what eye sees, hand feels and brain cognates (e.g., W-pI.131.10:3).
This applies to your question about the trinity, too. All the symbols we use – including Father, Son, Holy Spirit, universe of love, spirits, Creator and those created et cetera – are symbols OF a dream IN a dream. They’re the same dream; they’re nothing. The mind that projects them – i.e., values the differences between them, thus making them appear real – is filled with fear. Why else project?
A healed mind does not project differences, full stop (T-12.7:10). If we try to make sense of this as a body (which we are not (W-pI.199.8:7) in a world (which is not actually there (W-pI.132.6:2)), then we are just reifying the dream. Let it ALL go. What happens?
For passages relating to difference in A Course in Miracles, you can start with the passages I’ve cited here – it’s good to read the whole section, rather than just the isolated sentences. Lessons 130 through 140 are profoundly helpful in terms of this idea, both in terms of understanding and application; it’s never a bad idea to review them. If you are looking for secondary material, Ken Wapnick’s book Healing the Unhealed Mind is on point.
This is a pervasive theme of the course AND the nonduality to which it (sometimes clumsily but never unhelpfully) points.
Regarding your concern about “not hard at all” vs. “impossible,” reread the sentence. I am agreeing with you 😀