Saturday, November 11, 2006

You are the mechanism of decision: Forgiving a glance and seeing with vision--Part 2

Now we know what we are up against, and it is nothing, simply electrical activity firing in a few cubic centimeters in the back of your head. This is classic problem solving. Once the problem is clearly defined, it can then be solved. Jesus tells us that the problem is the way you see now, and you solve it by forgiving it and acquiring true perception. Your current way of seeing exists for only a moment, and this moment is for giving away. Now that is forgiveness.

To be told that what you do not see is there (true perception) sounds like insanity. It is very difficult to become convinced that it is insanity not to see what is there, and to see what is not there instead. You do not doubt that the body's eyes can see. You do not doubt the images they show you are reality. Your faith lies in the darkness, not the light. How can this be reversed? For you it is impossible, but you are not alone in this. (W-p1.91.3)

Fortunately there is a plan, and you are not alone. The Holy Spirit provides the bridge between the illusions that you weave in your pea-brain and the magnificence of what you are.

The Holy Spirit mediates between illusions and the truth. Since He must bridge the gap between reality and dreams, perception leads to knowledge through the grace that God has given Him, to be His gift to everyone who turns to Him for truth. Across the bridge that He provides are dreams all carried to the truth, to be dispelled before the light of knowledge. There are sights and sounds forever laid aside. And where they were perceived before, forgiveness has made possible perception's tranquil end.

From knowledge, where He has been placed by God, the Holy Spirit calls to you, to let forgiveness rest upon your dreams, and be restored to sanity and peace of mind. Without forgiveness will your dreams remain to terrify you. And the memory of all your Father's Love will not return to signify the end of dreams has come. (7. What is the Holy Spirit? 1,4)

To understand exactly how the Holy Spirit teaches us to forgive requires a close look at the mind.

The term mind is used to represent the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy. (C-1.1:1)

Spirit is the part that is still in contact with God through the Holy Spirit, Who abides in this part but sees the other part (the firing in the brain) as well. (C-1.3:1)

Even though there is only Spirit, we find ourselves referring to the individual mind, so that we can talk about what seems to be going on in our dream.

The other part of the mind is entirely illusory and makes only illusions. (C-4:1) This part is called wrong-mindedness.

Wrong-mindedness listens to the ego and makes illusions; perceiving sin and justifying anger, and seeing guilt, disease and death as real. (C-6:1) And, by now, you know where this is going on--a very, small, dark place in the mind.

Right-mindedness listens to the Holy Spirit, forgives the world, and through Christ’s vision sees the real world in its place. (C-5:1)

To compartmentalize the mind in this fashion makes it easier to understand undoing and true perception. The third term we are going to employ is consciousness.

Consciousness is the receptive mechanism, receiving messages from above or below; from the Holy Spirit or the ego. (C-7:3)

This is the answer to St. Francis’s search, What we are searching for is the one that sees truly. You are the one that sees; you are consciousness, you are as God created you. This is what it means to say that you are God's Son. I am the holy Son of God Himself. (Lesson 191) As consciousness, you constantly make decisions about whether to listen to the voice of wrong-mindedness, the ego, or to listen to the voice of right-mindedness, the true Self. That is why consciousness is the mechanism of decision. A mechanism is defined as "a process, technique, a system for achieving a result, responsible for action." This refers to an action of the mind, shifting from wrong- to right-mindedness, or unfortunately, from right to wrong, as well. When you shift from dreams to truth, you are cutting away illusions as if they never existed, and they never did. “Decision” comes from the Latin, decidere, “literally to cut off.”

Your mind is the means by which you determine your own condition, because mind is the mechanism of decision. It is the power by which you separate or join, and experience pain or joy accordingly. (T-8.IV.5:7,8)

A word is to the breath as a thought is to consciousness. This means that when you say a word it is carried by the breath, and when you have a thought, it is carried by the consciousness.

This is the consciousness that Jesus addresses in the Course. It is this awareness that often seems suspended between two choices, two voices, the ego’s, or the Holy Spirit’s, thoughts from below, or above. Throughout the Course, Jesus addresses this consciousness by using the pronoun “you.” In fact, the pronoun “you” appears in the Course 17,710 times. As we learned in grade school, a pronoun stands on behalf of a noun. Each time you come across “you,” you have to ask yourself, this "you" is standing on behalf of what noun, what exactly is the reference point?

There are only three choices: 1) consciousness completely allied with the noun, ego, seeing through the ego’s eyes; 2) consciousness standing in the middle as the noun phrase, mechanism of decision; and 3) consciousness joined, united with the noun, Self, seeing through the eyes of Christ.

In the beginning of the mind training, the “you” is allied completely with the ego, unaware that there is another choice. Here is an example. The pronoun “you” is used 14 times, and in each case the reference point is the unholy alliance of consciousness with the ego.

1) consciousness/ego:

As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound. Your manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. (Just as the cow sees the frog as a cow, and the frog sees the cow as a frog, so do you see your self, or Self, wherever you look). Yet. . .God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone. (T-13.V.6)

When you decide on behalf of the ego, you are making up an entire world by cutting away the Truth.

By this (decision) you carve it out of unity. (W-p1.184.1:3)

You see something where nothing is, and see as well nothing where there is unity. (W-p1.184.2:3)

Perception is a mirror, not a fact. (W-p2.304.3)

You see what you are looking with.

In the next paragraph, the point of reference of “you” (10 times) is the mechanism of decision.

2) consciousness/mechanism of decision:

Little child, would you offer this to your Father? For if you offer it to yourself, you are offering it to him. And he will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of him. Yet he would release you from it and set you free. His sane Answer tells you what you have offered yourself is not true, but his offering to you has never changed. You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. (T-V.7:1-7)

The Holy Spirit serves as a bridge by helping you decide to overlook, forgive the thoughts of the ego, and join with the true Self. In the following passage, Jesus demonstrates this joining. The reference point for “you” (8 times) is joined with the Christ.

3) consciousness/Self:

Do not seek vision through your eyes, for you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness, and in this you are deceived. Beyond this darkness, and yet still within you, is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. Your "vision" comes from fear, as his from love. And he sees for you, as your witness to the real world. He is the Holy Spirit's manifestation, looking always on the real world, and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them to you. He loves what he sees within you, and he would extend it. And he will not return unto the Father until he has extended your perception even unto him. And there perception is no more, for he has returned you to the Father with him. (T-13.V.9)

Dear Reader, all you are asked to do, and it is everything, is to practice becoming aware of your responsibility as a mechanism of decision to decide for God, cutting away from, disengaging from, the ego by asking the Holy Spirit for help to overlook, forgive, the images firing in a few cubic centimeters in a very dark place in your mind, and drawing nigh onto your God, learning to forgive one glance at a time.

Jesus directly addresses “you” as the mechanism of decision in the following passage, asking whether you will decide to be hostage to the ego or host to God?

I asked you earlier, "Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God? " Let this question be asked you by the Holy Spirit every time you make a decision. For every decision you make does answer this, and invites sorrow or joy accordingly. When God gave Himself to you in your creation, He established you as host to Him forever. He has not left you, and you have not left Him. All your attempts to deny His magnitude, and make His Son hostage to the ego, cannot make little whom God has joined with Him. Every decision you make is for Heaven or for hell, and brings you the awareness of what you decided for. (T-15.111.5)

Practice right now. Look up from what you are doing and take one glance. Consider the images and the interpretations and judgments for a moment, and then ask the Holy Spirit for help to let them all go. Now, look up, take a glance and this time simply look through the images, not even interpreting or judging, and experience the holy instant of being in the world, but not of the world, seeing with Christ’s vision, hosting God.

The Holy Spirit looks through me today. (Lesson 295)

Christ asks that He may use my eyes today,
and thus redeem the world. He asks this gift
that He may offer peace of mind to me,
and take away all terror and all pain.
And as they are removed from me, the dreams
that seemed to settle on the world are gone.
Redemption must be one. As I am saved,
the world is saved with me. For all of us
must be redeemed together. Fear appears
in many different forms, but love is one.

My Father, Christ has asked a gift of me,
and one I give that it be given me.
Help me to use the eyes of Christ today,
and thus allow the Holy Spirit's Love
to bless all things which I may look upon,
that His forgiving Love may rest on me.

This is a required Course.

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