From differences to sameness

From the moment we are born into this world, we learn to perceive differences. No two people are the same; not even identical twins are. We admire artists with special talents, and we strive to develop our own unique personality, hoping in our own unique way to make a difference in this world. On the other hand, many differences are also perceived as dangerous. People with different belief systems might attack us for what we believe — we call them terrorists — and character differences between spouses account for two out of five marriages ending in divorce. Still, whether positive or negative, we would all accede that differences characterize the world, and therefore truth.

Then along comes Jesus with A Course in Miracles, telling us that our perceptions of differences are merely forms of mind distraction used by the ego to keep us rooted in the illusory dream of time and space. We, as seemingly separated individuals, in league with the ego, like to perceive differences because it sets us off from everything and everyone around us; this way we can continue to believe (hallucinate, really) that you and I are separate individuals, autonomous and on our own. It’s just that this focus never leads to peace; no inner peace and therefore no outer peace. Beneath the surface of well-being, we all walk the planet “uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear” (T-31.VIII.7:1), heading towards an inevitable physical death. This is taken to be fact of life, which everyone will have to deal with as best as he can.

“If this were the real world, God would be cruel”, Jesus states in (T-13.in.3:1). He explains that the goal of his mind-training curriculum of A Course in Miracles is to realize that lasting inner peace is quite possible. This is attained by giving up the perception of differences, which automatically leads us to give up judgment; the heart of forgiveness. In this respect, Jesus asks us to reconsider the reality of differences on the level of content. Surely, on the level of form in the material world, everything differs. But: “Where do all these differences come from? Certainly they seem to be in the world outside. Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that interprets the eyes’ messages and gives them ‘meaning’. And this meaning does not exist in the world outside at all. What is seen as “reality” is simply what the mind prefers. […] It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful.” (M-8.3)

This distinction between form and content is crucial to understand, if we are to successfully follow Jesus’ advice and attain lasting inner peace. What if, in spite of all the differences in form you and I see in people around us, their very essence as spirit (the content) would be the same in everyone, regardless of differences in form? Rejection would become impossible. “Only the different can attack. So you conclude because you can attack, you and your brother must be different.” (T-22.VI.13:1-2). We only reject each other because some aspects (forms, be they physical or psychological) in others are perceived as threatening. But what if we taught ourselves to see beyond form to the inherent sameness in each of us as the One Son of God? Jesus continues: “Yet does the Holy Spirit explain this differently [note the pun]. Because you and your brother are not different, you cannot attack. […] The only question to be answered […] is whether you and your brother are different.” (T-22.VI.13:3-6).

Jesus does not ask us to deny that in our worldly experience, we are still convinced of the reality of perceived differences and therefore feel justified to feel threatened. However, he also notes that each time we succeed in practicing true forgiveness, discarding differences, we have an experience of oneness and inner peace that transcends the ego. It is this continued experience that A Course in Miracles aims at. The way to do this is to shift our perception of our relationships with everyone we know. Literally everyone. The key distinction lies in a shift from an unholy relationship, which is based on the perception of differences, to a holy relationship, which is based on the perception of sameness, which Jesus calls vision. That is why Jesus pleads with us at the end of each year to “Make this [next] year different by making it all the same. And let all your relationships be made holy for you. This is our will. Amen.” (T-15.XI.10:11-14)

Please note the subtle but crucial distinction above: “be made holy for you“. This shift is not something we can do on ego-power. We have to be willing to step back and let the mind be guided by a better teacher: the Holy Spirit. This, in turn, requires that you look within and see no lack. The Holy Spirit, being invited in, then “…extend[s] this [absence of lack] by joining with another, whole as himself. He sees no differences between these selves, for differences are only of the body. […] Think wat a holy relationship can teach! Here is belief in differences undone. Here is the faith in differences shifted to sameness. And here is sight of differences transformed to vision. Reason now can lead you and your brother to the logical conclusion of your union.” (T-22.in.3:1-4:5)

Again, this sameness and union are not the case on the physical level of bodily form, but you and I are not bodies — we are spirit. One of the unique characteristics of A Course in Miracles is that Jesus does not ask us to deny our experience of being in a body. He says: “The body was not made by love. Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions.” (T-18.VI.4:7-8). In fact, the even encourages us to use the body to extend his vision of sameness to everyone we meet: “For this alone I need; that you will hear the words I speak, and give them to the world. You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands, through which I save the world.” (W-pI.rV.in.9:2-3).

Accepting that the seeming differences of the body do not matter does not mean that we should reject the body, or the world. In fact, Jesus says that to deny our physical experience in this world is a “particularly unworthy form of denial” (T-2.IV.3:11). Just like Buddha, Jesus pleads with us to walk the spiritual middle road of leading a normal life, but centered on the Holy Spirit as the only Guide to the mind, Who will always help in efforts to see the truth of sameness. Only by choosing to join with another — in the mind — do I allow the Holy Spirit to correct the ontological error of separation. He then gladly and instantly turns my special relationship into a holy relationship. Now I am healed.

This, on the other hand, also does not mean one should never end a relationship because “this would be the mistake of focusing on differences in form instead of the sameness of content”. In our spiritual curriculum, not all relationships are meant to last life-long. Just leave your decision whether or not to break up to the Holy Spirit. It may be that a peaceful splitting up may eventually be the most loving decision for all parties involved. Even if you do acknowledge the same loving light in the both of you, the form of the relationship may shift, as do all forms. That’s okay. As Ken Wapnick emphasized in this regard: “The difference between the special relationship and the holy relationship is simply one of perception: through whose eyes do we perceive the relationship, the ego’s sin or Holy Spirit’s innocence?” This choice, “between two choices or two voices” (C-I.7:1), between form and content, between differences and sameness, is the only real freedom that we have left while asleep in the dream. Practice your decision making power well. Make the next year different by making it all the same.


See also “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:

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Angry? Deal with it!

In this world, no-one escapes anger always, everywhere and all the time. If you think you are beyond anger, try for example an Ayahuasca ritual or a good psychotherapy program, to discover the anger that’s below the watershed of conscious awareness. In fact, in the seventies and eighties, Janos’ Primal scream therapy, in which you basically live out your anger as intensely as possible, was in high demand. Its decline illustrates the insight that merely living out anger does not dissolve it. It may provide temporary relief, but nothing is truly solved, and the anger will resurface sooner or later.  There must be another way to truly deal with anger.

In A Course in Miracles, effectively dealing with anger (or better: the source of anger) is a key theme, as we read in the Psychotherapy pamphlet: “Its [Psychotherapy’s] whole function, in the end, is to help the patient deal with one fundamental error: the belief that anger brings him something he really wants, and that by justifying attack he is protecting himself.” (P-2.In.1:5) Attack is caused by anger, which is in turn caused by condemnation. The Course teaches us that condemnation is unforgiveness. That’s why “psychotherapy, correctly understood, teaches forgiveness and helps the patient to recognize and accept it.” (P-2.In.2: 6) So in Jesus’ view, dealing with anger is a fundamental aspect of his curriculum for inner peace, and we do this through practicing forgiveness.

But what is our anger actually about? Why do we keep condemning this and that, while we could as easily choose inner peace? For example, many people keep complaining about the weather, even though they know it’s beyond their sphere of influence to improve it. Similarly, many people complain about people around them — their boss, their colleagues, their parents — while they realize very well that all this complaining will not change these ‘bad’ people a bit. So why do we keep doing it? As we have seen before in these posts, we point at people, things and situations outside us so that we can perceive evil “out there”, and not inside. We project our own guilt over (seemingly) having separated from God, so that everything “out there” should be punished while we ought to be accepted back into Heaven.

Although from the perspective of A Course in Miracles, all of this is completely illusory, since time/space itself does not really exist, we are nonetheless still convinced that the separation from God is quite real; and everything our senses report to our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin, attests to this. Again, since the guilt over this seeming cardinal “sin of separation” is too huge to face, we project it out, even onto God Himself: “You were at peace until you asked for special favor [i.e., to be recognized as an autonomous individual entity]. And God did not give it for the request was alien to Him, and you could not ask this of a Father Who truly loved His Son. Therefore you made of Him an unloving father, demanding of Him what only such a father could give” (T-13.III.10:2-4).

In other words, all our anger, be it about the weather, about the boss, about our own failing body, is ultimately a shadowy reflection of our anger towards God, Who ‘fails’ to recognize us as an important autonomous individual being. Countless generations have prayed ceaselessly to God to fix things for them in this world, and guess what — God doesn’t respond, since from Heaven’s point of view there is nothing to fix since there is no world. So God fails us! To add to our anger, every day we are forced to accept that our attempt to usurp God’s status as Supreme Creator did not make us omnipotent. On the contrary, we find ourselves in a vulnerable body trying to cope in a viciously dangerous world. We constantly shout: “I want it my way!”, but we keep bumping against the wall, as conflicting interests constantly collide and cause collateral damage with everyone. “Your brother is your ‘enemy’ because you see in him the rival for your peace; a plunderer who takes his joy from you, and leaves you nothing but a black despair so bitter and relentless that there is no hope remaining.” (W-pI.195.3:1) This, we reason, justifies our anger, which ranges by the way from ‘a mild twinge of annoyance’ to ‘intense rage’ (cf. W-pI.21.2:5); it’s all the same.

In A Course in Miracles, Jesus teaches us that “Perhaps it is helpful to remember that no-one can be angry at a fact.” (M-17.4:1). Anger always erupts due to my interpretation of a situation. Therefore Jesus concludes: “If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. Now it is possible to take the next step. The interpretation can be changed at last.” (M-17.8:6-9). So this is why Jesus instructs me to train my mind to ever more quickly realize that “I am never upset for the reason I think.” (W-pI.5). I thought I was angry at what my senses told me is gospel truth; but I now see that I am angry because of my interpretation of someone or something that has nothing to do with reality anyway. “There is no world!” (W-pI.132.6:2). So anger is, in the end, always about my own unconsciously perceived guilt over rejecting God (Who knows nothing of this), which is why it is so important to learn to forgive the dark spots in my own mind.

Having said all this, you and I shouldn’t pretend that we’re higher on the ladder of forgiveness than we actually are. Merely an intellectual grasp of this truth doesn’t mean that we won’t ever be angry anymore. On the contrary, such insight paves the way for the “black cauldron” of anger to come into full awareness. At best, the Holy Spirit uses this as a classroom in which we slowly learn to forgive yet another perceived black spot in the mind. But it’s usually not helpful to pretend that the anger is nothing since “the world is illusory anyway”. That does not really undo the anger. It is much better to become fully aware of anger, but from the perspective of the decision maker above the battleground. If, at the same time, you can fully feel the anger in your bodily system, and yet not live it out but ask yourself: “Does this serve me? What if I looked at this differently?”, you will notice that the wave of anger will subside. The decision maker has chosen the Holy Spirit, Who gladly takes all this squander from your mind, to replace it with the peace of God.

One final note on this seemingly simple process: it does require the acceptance — without anger — of the metaphysical Course principle that the Son of God is one, and that individuality will not bring peace — not now, not ever. At the beginning stages of this practice, I am willing to listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, but only as long as I can keep my self-concept intact. That is why most psychotherapy in this world doesn’t work, as we read in that pamphlet: “Their [patients’] aim is to retain their self-concept exactly as it is, but without the suffering that it entails. Their whole equilibrium rests on the insane belief that this is possible.” (P-2.In.2:3-4). That is why Jesus teaches us that in some stage of mastering true forgiveness, we will reach a point, a “dark night of the soul”, as Kenneth Wapnick puts it, wherein we realize that salvation lies in the acceptance that individual consciousness is a defense against Heaven; salvation requires us to relinquish what we feel is our very individual essence. But even then it still suffices to navigate on our trust in Jesus / The Holy Spirit, Who will take us along this road to peace, to the real world, at a pace that we are able to accept. So don’t feel guilty when you feel angry, but do decide to hand it over to your loving inner Guide as quickly as you can.


See also “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:

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We wish, and then perceive

We are brought up with the idea that those who are most likely to survive on this planet, are the ones that adapt best to the environment around them. We are taught to keenly observe people, places and situations around us, and then react to these things in such a way that will solidify our effectiveness and welfare in this life. We first look; we then give meaning to what our eyes behold, and then we react. This world is clearly a stimulus-response environment to which we need to adapt as best as we can.

How startling, then, to read in A Course in Miracles that this is a complete upside down perception of reality! In the nondualistic metaphysics of A Course in Miracles, which incidentally includes several core principles of quantum physics, the world did not cause us: we caused the world we seem to live in, including the entire notion of time and space. It’s mind-boggling to read that the collective mind that we all share (somewhat similar to the collective mind of a large flock of birds), actually made up an entire universe in time and space, and then split up in billions of seemingly amnesiac fragments, to hide from the supposed wrath of a vengeful Creator, intent on punishing His Son for trying to separate from Oneness. And yet that is what Jesus tries to convey: our senses do not report reality; we made our senses to forget about the reality outside time and space, to see a dualistic world instead, in which we can dream we are an autonomous individual.

In the workbook, Jesus tells us: “The purpose of all seeing is to show you what you wish to see. All hearing but brings to your mind the sounds it wants to hear. Thus were specifics made.” (W-pI.161.2:1-3:1). And from the text: “You see what you expect, and you expect what you invite. Your perception is the result of your invitation, coming to you as you sent for it.” (T-12.VII.5:1-2). Thus Jesus’ general axiom, repeated several times in the Course: “Projection makes perception” (T-13.V.3:5, T-21.in.1:1). The seemingly sleeping Son of God projected away his guilt over the seeming sin of separation, resulting in a split mind, wherein guilt is seen in what was split off to billions of fragments, and perceived innocence of self remains. Yet both aspects remain in the mind, since ideas leave not their source (T-26.VII.4:7). We made bodies in a myriad of forms to be able to perceive sin and guilt outside of us. And we are constantly on our guard, fearful that these perceived forms might attack and kill us.

That’s why Jesus tells us that everything and everyone we perceive, including ourselves, are forms of unforgiveness: “Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness. Yet that is the content underneath the form.” (W-pI.193.4:1-2). Since we believe what our eyes and ears report to us, we do not even remotely consider if our perception might just be false interpretation: “Of one thing you were sure: of all the many causes you perceived as bringing pain and suffering to you, your guilt was not among them. Nor did you in any way request them for yourself. This is how all illusions came about. The one who makes them does not see himself as making them, and their reality does not depend on him. Whatever cause they have is something quite apart from him, and what he sees is separate from his mind. He cannot doubt his dreams’ reality, because he does not see the part he plays in making them and making them seem real.” (T-27.VII.7:4-9)

To summarize up to now: A Course in Miracles, as a strictly nondualistic spirituality, teaches us that we do not first perceive and then interpret: we first choose what we wish, and then perceive. We first wished to be on our own (apart from God) and then, in a seemingly nightmarish dream of time and space, made up a plethora of forms as a container for the guilt that we wished to see outside of us – the content behind all forms. Our sensory organs perceive these forms and, not surprisingly, report that sin and guilt are indeed outside of us. This process of perceiving is so distracting to the (seemingly sleeping) mind, that we do not reconsider this strange notion of first perceiving and then interpreting. And so we live our lives in this world as strangers in a strange land, “uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear” (T-31.VIII.7:1).

Now you might argue that this may be explicable from a metaphysical point of view, but that it isn’t very practical. As long as we experience ourselves in time and space, what value can this offer us, who “count the hours still, and rise and work and go to sleep by them?” (W-pI.169.10:4) What’s the use of abstract nondualism while we still experience ourselves working hard to be able to pay the bills and taxes, and to be able to maintain some kind of orderly structure in the hours, days, and years of our lives? This is where we touch upon one of Jesus’ core messages in A Course in Miracles: ‘you may not yet believe that there is no world, but you can accept that you have a split mind that chooses each instant of the day between judgment (the ego’s voice) and peace (the Holy Spirit’s voice, or true intuition).’

“Whose manifestations would you see? Of whose presence would you be convinced? For you will believe in what you manifest, and as you look out so will you see in. […] Remember always that you see what you seek, for what you seek you will find. The ego finds what it seeks, and only that. It does not find love, for that is not what it is seeking. […] As you look in, you choose the guide for seeing. And then you look out and behold its witnesses.” (T-12.VII.5:3-6:3). In other words, although we usually choose to perceive sin and guilt around us, since that is what we made this world for, the decision making part of our mind has the power to choose another teacher. This is a most crucial choice to change what we are looking for: while we used to look for separation and autonomy, we now choose to look for sameness and unity. And Jesus patiently explains to us that the first way of looking only leads to suffering, while the other way of looking leads to inner peace.

“‘Who walks with me?’ This question should be asked a thousand times a day, till certainty has ended doubting and established peace.” (W-pI.156.8:1-2). Jesus means this quite literally. Since we are so conditioned in seeing misery and (potential) enemies outside us, even if we try to repress that by indulging in special love relationships and blissninnihood, we ought to be vigilant for the choice of guide the decision maker in our mind makes: we either listen to the voice of the ego or that of the Holy Spirit. We literally make this choice a thousand times a day; we should therefore ask ourselves a thousand times a day to which guide we are choosing to listen.

I conclude by quoting an inspiring passage from the same workbook lesson 156, reminding us that salvation does not lie in how we choose to interpret the world, but in how the Holy Spirit interprets the world, namely as a classroom to learn to forgive unconditionally, and so undo all black spots in the mind, leading to real lasting peace (W-pI.156.6:2): “As you step back, the light in you steps forward and encompasses the world. It heralds not the end of sin in punishment and death. In lightness and in laughter is sin gone, because its quaint absurdity is seen. It is a foolish thought, a silly dream, not frightening, ridiculous perhaps, but who would waste an instant in approach to God Himself for such a senseless whim? Yet you have wasted many, many years on just this foolish thought. The past is gone, with all its fantasies. They keep you bound no longer. The approach to God is near. And in the little interval of doubt that still remains, you may perhaps lose sight of your Companion, and mistake Him for the senseless, ancient dream that now is past. […] Today let doubting cease. God speaks for you in answering your question with these words:

I walk with God in perfect holiness. I light the world,
I light my mind and all the minds which God created one with me.”

 


See also “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:

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Hindering the pulse of peace

The five final lessons in the workbook of A Course in Miracles all carry the same lengthy title: “This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain Your direction gives me peace.” (W-pII.361-365). Clearly, one of Jesus’ main goals for the workbook is to motivate his students to consistently step aside, accepting that they had been wrong about everything, and let their lives be guided by the directions of the Holy Spirit, through whatever means they allow these to reach them. The reward: “Inner peace; happiness; a quiet mind; a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world; care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always.” (W-pI.122.1). Sounds compelling enough, wouldn’t you say? So why don’t we follow through?

Most students of A Course in Miracles know very well why we do not yet choose this guidance: it is because we still think we know what’s best for us to find our much-desired lasting inner peace and happiness. Of course, all attempts to this end eventually fail, since any imagined attempt to separate from Oneness cannot work: “You were at peace until you asked for special favor. And God did not give it for the request was alien to Him, and you could not ask this of a Father Who truly loved His Son. Therefore you made of Him an unloving father, demanding of Him what only such a father could give.” (T-13.III.10:2-4). So we told this made-up god that we can do very well on our own, ‘hellbent’ on proving that we are very much able to find peace and happiness by ourselves.

Early in the text, Jesus debunks the myths that form the basis on which we think we can find this peace and happiness: “First, you believe that what God created can be changed by your own mind. Second, you believe that what is perfect can be rendered imperfect or lacking. Third, you believe that you can distort the creations of God, including yourself. Fourth, you believe that you can create yourself, and that the direction of your own creation is up to you. These related distortions represent a picture of what actually occurred in the separation, or the “detour into fear” (T-2. I.1:9-2:1). Needless to say, Jesus makes it abundantly clear elsewhere that all of this never actually occurred; time and space constitute the illusion of duality, wherein everything is separated, uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear. But in this world we certainly believe the separation has actually happened, which means we still believe we are right about where salvation can be found.

In Chapter 29 of the text, Jesus presents to us the bottom line of his message: “Do you prefer that you be right or happy? Be you glad that you are told where happiness abides, and seek no longer elsewhere.” (T-29.VII.1:9-10; my italics). Happiness abides in the choice to relinquish our precious autonomous individuality, and choose to return to the Oneness of the Heart of God. This is the ultimate terror for the ego, for this choice means its demise. Jesus continues: “No one who comes here but must still have hope, some lingering illusion, or some dream that there is something outside himself that will bring happiness and peace to him.” (T-29.VII.2:1). This is the case for everyone who walks the face of this earth. Anyone who is born here has decided, as a fragmented part of the one sleeping Son of God, that happiness might yet be found as an individual in time and space. Jesus explains to us, gently and with infinite patience, that this is not so, and that there is something much better, which we will experience by waking from the ego-dream of dualism.

The ego interprets this ‘waking up’ as annihilation. Since we’re so identified with the ego, we unconsciously sabotage our spiritual efforts all the time (that is, we keep rejecting, judging and condemning), until the pain gets too much and we exclaim that “there must be a better way!” According to A Course in Miracles, this ‘better way’ is called forgiveness – not in the sense of making the errors of others real and then haughtily overlooking them, but in the sense of seeing the same ‘face of Christ’ in every living thing, and rejoicing in everyone’s inherent sameness as the Son of God. Practicing forgiveness is the process by which we slowly wake up to what Jesus calls the real world, in which we still inhabit a body, in which we still interact with others, but these are now correctly perceived as the one Son of God, in Whom we will waken as one, without any comparison, rejection or judgment whatsoever. In fact, seen from outside time and space we are already awake. We are merely reliving the movie of time up to that instant.

This joyful state of mind of forgiveness, or right-minded thinking, is not something I can (or should) make and cultivate with much diligent labor within the ego in my mind. This would be fruitless, as the ego is the idea of separation, judgment and attack. I ought to realize, every day again, that the Holy Spirit is already present within my mind. “The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the voice that calls you back to where you were before and where you will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that voice and no other.” (T-5.III.3:7-9). And from Chapter 18 in the text: “You have been wrong in thinking that it is needful to prepare yourself for Him. It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness, and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace. God has established them. […] Your willingness is needed only to make it possible to teach you what they [the conditions for peace] are.” (T-18.IV.4:3-5) Choosing forgiveness, therefore, is a constant practice in which the Holy Spirit occupies the mind increasingly more often, whereas the ego’s presence slowly but steadily decreases. This is how the black spots of unforgiveness in the mind slowly dissolve one by one.

The Holy Spirit’s voice is, as it were, the pulse of peace that is continually present in my mind, but which is obscured as long as I choose to focus on the ego, by judging and attacking people and things around me. Therefore, the basis for successfully practicing forgiveness is to stop hindering this pulse of peace. An important key here is to simply choose not to condemn any longer. When I say ‘simply’, I do not mean ‘easily’. Really quitting condemnation may be comparable to quitting smoking: you know it’s bad for you, but you still keep doing it. It requires, first, a solid understanding of the purpose of life here in time and space (which is to realize you are the dreamer of the dream and to accept the Atonement for yourself), and, second, a firm understanding what you and I essentially are: the pure spirit of the Son of God, albeit holographically asleep in a dream of time and space. In this regard, it may help to realize that you and I are not here for the first time, nor may it yet be the last time. As long as there are forgiveness lessons to learn, we will reincarnate over and over again, not because we are punished, but because we still choose to condemn. So, again, the royal road to the real world is: stop hindering the pulse of peace, simply (but not easily) by giving up condemnation.

Any time I catch myself becoming even mildly annoyed over anything (literally anything!), I can realize that the situation at hand is irrelevant for salvation; in fact, I’m pointing a sword at myself. Condemnation will hurt my own mind, as it feeds the ego and obscures the voice of the Holy Spirit still further. If my spouse or my parents seem to push my red buttons, I can realize that it’s not important, at least not for accepting the Atonement. This doesn’t mean one should not take care of worldly matters any longer. Any (ego-based) pain that people bring up to discuss, should be given loving attention, without metaphysical preaching that “it’s all illusory anyway”. Nor would it be wise to end all insurance policies because you have stopped condemning and now think that God will take care of everything. You live a normal life just like anyone else, except that you now radiate peace, where you used to radiate judgment. This inner peace will not go unnoticed. “When I am healed I am not healed alone.” (W-pI.137). Radiating peace attracts peace. If for about a month you practice reasonably successful in forgoing condemnation, you will at some point realize with astonishment just much more peaceful you feel compared to all the previous years you’ve spent in rejection and attack. This realization in turn nurtures the “little willingness” (T-18.IV) that Jesus says is required to follow him to the real world, where we will see the open gate to our Home before us and will not hesitate to pass through, and once again experience the eternal peace of our Creator that “passeth all understanding”.


See also “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:

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