I have sent out another newsletter. If you are interested in signing up to receive it via email, you may do so here or in the sidebar (or down below, depending on what type of screen you’re using). I seem to have gotten a tad long-winded with this one. Thank you, as always, for being here . . .
The prayer of the one who heals is “let me know this brother as I know myself” (T-5.in.3:8). No other knowledge is required. No other method will suffice to make whole what a belief in separation has viciously rent.
In Gifts from the Retreat, Tara Singh taught that “wisdom begins/with the discovery of who and what you are.” Wisdom is self-knowledge and self-knowledge is neither exclusive nor special. It is impersonal. It begins with our brothers and sisters and encompasses them, as their knowledge encompasses us. This is the radiant extension of God’s love in the world and it yields a circle of atonement (T-14.V.h) which “the power of God Himself supports,” guaranteeing “its limitless results” (T-14.V.6:7).
Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be. Your brother is the mirror in which you see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts (T-7.VII.3:8-9).
Can we be honest about our view of one another? Not our good intentions, not through rose-colored glasses, not as an ideal, psychological or otherwise, but the actual fact of how we see one another?
If we are honest, we will probably not like what we see. We want others to give us stuff – their attention, their bodies, their money, their praise. We can be very skilled at hiding this or reinterpreting it, but isn’t it true? So long as we believe we are bodies we will see our brothers and sisters as bodies and treat them accordingly.
Our debt to one another is large. We are literally the means by which our brothers and sisters are saved, as they are the means for our own salvation.
When we conflate our spiritual Self with a body, the body’s appetites and desires take on unholy importance. The body is weak and fragile, forever staggering toward the grave, and as such it begs defense. We forget God in our rush to satisfy the body and protect it from a world fraught with scarcity and filled with other bodies as helpless and hungry as our own.
The ugliness of this vision may take many forms, apparently harmless but nonetheless impeding our capacity to remember God. For example, sometimes when I teach, I find myself doing a sort of stand-up comedy routine that has nothing to do with teaching Emily Dickinson, and everything to do with wanting to be loved and admired. As the course teaches, “the particular result does not matter but the fundamental error does” (T-2.VI.4:7).
The results of our wrong-minded thinking are not the problem; they are symptoms of the problem at the level of illusion and as such do not deserve serious attention. However, the underlying error – or problem – which gives rise to the symptoms matters very much. That is the level of guilt and fear, and at that level our attention and willingness can literally heal the world (T-2.VI.3:7).
Our debt to one another is large. We are literally the means by which our brothers and sisters are saved, as they are the means for our own salvation. Do not think only in terms of how you see them, but also how they see you, and be willing to forgive any such perception that is temporarily not aligned with God. We are in this together; all we can do is help.