Today's newsletter arises out of an email dialogue from last week for which I am deeply grateful.
I am hosting another ACIM discussion group on Sunday, May 28 at 11 a.m. EST. We will continue to look at the early Workbook lessons. If you'd like to join, let me know. All are welcome.
In order for me to hold a grievance against you, I must at a minimum believe that we are separate beings with separate interests. There is no other way for conflict to exist.
But is this true?
Our best argument it is true, is the body. My body is not your body. When I am hungry and you eat, I am still hungry. When you step in a river, my feet remain dry. It makes sense.
But A Course in Miracles is clear. We are not called to deny or ignore bodily experience. We are simply called to remember that we are not bodies (W-pI.199.8:7).
The suggestion ACIM makes is that our identity with the body is a projection. And projection is always a defense (T-6.II.1;5). The idea we are bodies is an illusion with a very specific goal. It is designed and implemented to keep us from noticing something or becoming aware of something about ourselves. The idea we are bodies is a defense against this noticing, this awareness (T-14.VII.5:4-5).
The Course calls not-noticing, not-being aware, the "sleep of forgetfulness" (T-16.VII.12:4), for which the remedy is "awakening" (T-10.I.2:1).
Basically, ego puts us to sleep and keeps us there with vivid dreams of being a body, forever subject to the body's vulnerabilities, up to and including death.
The Holy Spirit awakens us through miracles - which are shifts in perception away from fear and towards Love - which gently demonstrate that we are not bodies and that the apparent gap between us is an illusion.
On that view, my conflict with you - my desire that you change, or the circumstances of our relationship change - is not really the issue.
The issue is further back - back where I accept the ego's interpretation of us as separate beings with separate interests, which acceptance manifests as "I am a body and so you must be one as well."
There is another way, and it is to realize that the only way to see the other as a body is to first accept that I am a body.
You see the flesh or recognize the spirit. There is no compromise between the two (T-31.VI.1:1-2).
Note the emphasis is on "recognition." The way we see each other is how we remember what is true about us.
No one who carries Christ in him can fail to recognize Him everywhere. Except in bodies. And as long as he believes he is in a body, where he thinks he is He cannot be (T-25.in.2:1-4-3).
In this way, A Course in Miracles teaches us that separation is a lie. It didn't happen because it can’t happen. Which renders all of this - the conflict, the separate selves, the separation-based conflict occuring in and to bodies - a bad dream of our own guilt.
The problem is never that you need a miracle or our relationship needs a miracle. The problem is that I need a miracle in order to recognize that conflict is impossible.
And I am too scared to see this clearly, which makes it easier to project my guilt rather than accept the miracle that will undo it.
We project in order to avoid seeing that salvation is a gift already given to us, that Heaven is the present presently unrecognized (T-18.VI.1:5-6). We don't have to suffer guilt or submit to gut-wrenching existential crisis and psychological nihilism.
We can undo all of that - we can come to a quiet sustainable happiness - simply by accepting our confusion where it is and in that way allowing the Holy Spirit to correct it. Which He is only too happy to do, having literally no other function than to re-establish, through miracles, our awareness of the inherent unity of Creation.
In you is all of Heaven. Every leaf that falls is given life in you. Each bird that ever sang, will sing again in you. And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you (T-25.IV.5:1-4).
When we accept fear and guilt within, we simultaneously refuse to accuse our brothers and sisters of causing our suffering. We refuse to blame them for what they never did. To see the other as wholly innocent is the forgiveness of our imagined guilt. In forgiveness, we remember that we are wholly innocent as well.
In that way, the illusion of conflict ends, and our shared happiness illuminates a world in which only healing is possible.
Thank you, as always, for remembering with me.
Thank you again Sean
I'm on my way to have dental work done and I really needed to read this.
Just saying dentist causes my heart to speed up - ugh 💓
There is a power in the universe, which is constantly working for our good. It will work for us in definite ways as we recognize it and let it.
My dentist and I are one😁
Thank you Sean
Lot's of Love & hugs 🙏❤️