In “Healing Relationship” in Love Holds No Grievances, Tara Singh talks about forgiveness as a process of becoming responsible for what is going on internally. The problem is never “out there,” but inside.
Relationship is the site of learning how to forgive in this way.
Relationship has no opposite to it . . . Relationship is not subject to duality. Neither is truth subject to duality. In relationship there is no conflict (Love Holds No Grievances 58).
It is a new way of being. If we so much as perceive an other, then we are not in relationship, because we are confused and are still seeing only separation. We are taking the body’s perception of division and difference literally, and letting that mistake drive our thinking (which in turn drives our actions). “Where there is another, there is not relationship” (Love Holds No Grievances 59).
Sometimes we say, the problem is thought. If I could only think differently . . . But thought is not the problem either. Thought happens. Brains produce thinking, often very finely-grained thinking. Emily Dickinson poems are beautiful, prisms are beautiful and thought produced them both.
No, the problem is our relationship to thought. It is the way we take thought literally, the way we think there is some all-knowing direction or infallible intelligence behind it. And we imagine that direction, that intelligence, is in our head, guiding our actions.
We have to go beyond thought. We have to stop being obsessed with it. The law by which the brain produces thought is the same law that makes your toe nails grow. Do you want to ask them about the nature of reality?
There is direction and intelligence behind the brain, yes. That direction and intelligence reflects a lawful order. But thinking itself is disordered, riddled with bias, and generally unreliable. It takes skill to know how to think clearly and not to just follow one’s thoughts wherever they lead. Prisms aren’t accidents and neither are Emily Dickinson poems.
And to realize the thoughts we think with God – which is to realize the only reationship that is – is of another level altogether. Even Emily Dickinson poems pale before the light of God’s love for us in Creation.
. . . when you do not think like God, you are not really thinking at all. Delusional ideas are not real thoughts, although you can believe in them. But you are wrong. The function of thought comes from God and is in God. As part of His Thought, you cannot think apart from Him (T-5.V.6:12-16).
To have the intention to think with God is to come to an order of stillness and creativity, of freedom, that is natural and inherent but from which we have become painfully alienated. And because we are alienated, we cannot be in relationship. Every decision and every action is run through the ego’s filters and translated according to its interpretation which is always grounded in scarcity, survival and competition.
Tara Singh is so clear and lucid! If you perceive the other as separate from you – separate interests, separate objectives, separate needs, separate everything – then you will not know the other. You are stuck at the level of ego – its opinions, its judgments, its deceptions and distractions. It’s masks and halls of mirrors all the way down.
And there is – thank Christ there is – another way.
. . . everything is one and within the one there is relationship. If we understood that, then we would probably know what love is. Love would know what relationship is, for they are both the same (Love Holds No Grievances 60).
Therefore, the work of healing is to become responsible for our own self – our interior state, which is our relationship with the ego or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to see beyond the appearance of differences and the illusion of choice in order to reach a state beyond judgment and evaluation. That state is compassionate and intelligent; that state is cooperative and communicative. That state knows the relationship between tide and moon, between sunlight and maples trees, and black bears and forests.
To come to that state means to become honest about what is not working within us. It is to notice that we are being deceptive and dishonest – with ourselves. We always evaluate the other person or situation for what we can get from it, what needs to be protected or defended, what’s a good deal, who has the advantage, et cetera. We are experts at not holding ourselves accountable and choosing relationships that support our denial.
You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think (T-2.VI.2:5-7).
That’s all on us. It has nothing to do with the other. That is the invitation Jesus made long ago – to leave that way of being and instead relate to one another and to life differently, as children of a loving God. And they crucified him. But we still know his name. And he is still here in all these different ways, including the way of A Course in Miracles, trying to teach us to see beyond the appearance of differences, find the one love, the one truth, the one life. The message doesn’t change.
There is no separation in life, only relationship. It’s easy to say but the work – the reason we study the Course – is to bring it into application, to live it. And that is hard. It is hard because it is a correction. The way is given but we have taught ourselves for thousands of years to resist the way. We think resistance is love, we think hate is love, we think fear is love. There is another way but it takes willingness to see it, and it takes courage to follow where it leads – away from the past and into the present.
In the present moment you are related to the planet, to the earth, to Heaven. You are related to everything and to every living creature in the world. It’s a different state. It doesn’t know division. It is not distorted; it is not fragmented. You are whole. And in that wholeness you look through the eyes of holiness and love (Love Holds No Grievances 67).
Correction is hard and nobody can do it but us. We have to dedicate ourselves to the correction. We have to heal the mind that believes in separation; forgiveness is the healing of the mind that believes the perception of separation is real. It takes time and discipline, and the effects of our learning and practice aren’t our concern. What changes or doesn’t change outside of us – a new love, a healthier body, a bigger house, a more responsive sangha, whatever. That may happen and it may not. It doesn’t matter.
The point is that we could see peace instead of this (W-pI.34.h), and that is about how we related to both perception and thought. The work is to make the internal correction, to shift from taking thought and perception literally and instead offering them to God as a means of teaching us what relationship is.
And then – when we see through the eyes of holiness and love, when we see through the eyes of peace – we can be in relationship with the other because we are no longer relating at the level of the body. We are no longer playing the old game of separation. We have seen the truth, and the truth has set us free, together.