A couple of days ago, I had a rather long conversation with an individual, and during the course of this conversation I became increasingly angry at some of things he said. I was surprised at the extent of my anger and contempt.
The next day, I played it over in my mind. I actually listed the things that he said that pissed me off. I imagined scenarios where I really trashed him. I imagined another where I got into a teaching, even though he is barely familiar with A Course in Miracles. Then I turned on myself and asked how I could get so angry for so long when I have been at this mind-training for some time now.
Finally, I asked for help and sat down to read something that would remind me of the truth of what I am and what he is, the holy sons of God. I picked up, or rather I realize in retrospect , I was guided to pick up a folder of readings by Raj/Jesus who speaks through Paul Tuttle at the Northwestern Foundation of A Course in Miracles. I just love this material because Raj/Jesus reads a section of the Course and comments on it through Paul during a Study Group meeting. It is simply Jesus commenting on what he transcribed to Helen Schucman, only using a different set of metaphors, making it incredibly personal while expressing the truth of His unworldly masterpiece. I “happened” to select the transcript of March 13, 2005, as Raj/Jesus reads the section, “Two Evaluations,” Chapter 9, Section VII.
Early on, Raj/Jesus cites this sentence from the Course:
Every minute and every second gives you a chance to save YOURSELF.
He goes on to comment:
You’re presented with the opportunity to see and be in your Sanity again. Every single thing that confronts you is nothing less than the Kingdom of Heaven seen clearly, or through a glass darkly. (Raj/Jesus Transcript, March 13, 2005, p. 2)
After reading those two sentences, I simply melted into the peace of God with no trace of anger or contempt. The dark night of the soul was over. It is always a matter of remembering and forgetting.
When I was reminded that the conversation presented me with an opportunity to choose to see clearly, or see through a glass darkly, I was free to choose, and melting into peace was the choice.
At this point, I became curious about the origins of the word, “opportunity.” The key is to see “port” hidden in the word. In Latin, opportunus, means “favorable,” deriving from ob portum veniens, meaning “coming toward port with a favorable wind.” What I had labeled as extremely negative, seeing through a glass darkly, was, in fact, an opportunity to see clearly, returning Home with a favorable wind.
And now, sitting here experiencing the peace of God, I am grateful for this individual and our conversation, and I trust when it happens again I will remember to look at it as an opportunity, a chance.
Do not lose these chances, not because they will not return, but because delay of joy is needless. God wills you perfect happiness now.
Now, I am not making this up; as I am sitting here typing this, he just knocked on the door. He is my landlord, and he came, unexpectedly, to take care of some problems created by the recent flooding here in Lake Delton, Wisconsin. I took a deep breath, invited him in, and he, typically, said some things that would ordinarily have provoked me, but this time, I managed to look at him clearly, and we had a rather enjoyable conversation.
You can never forgive a person. You can only ask for help to let go of your unreal thoughts about him, projected from your insane, egoic mind.
Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show
you what to do, through Him Who is your Guide,
your Savior and Protector, strong in hope,
and certain of your ultimate success.
He has forgiven you already, for
such is His function, given Him by God.
Now must you share His function, and forgive
whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees,
and whom He honors as the Son of God.
(W-p11. 1 What is forgiveness? 5)
Now, Dear Reader, I invite you to practice forgiveness, just in case your ego-mind sometimes makes up a storm, driving you out to sea.
Please bring to mind an individual who seems to be out there, causing you to see through a glass darkly.
Imagine looking at him through the ego’s eyes, the body’s eyes, projecting on him all of the scorn and anger from this state of mind, separate from God. Just allow the negative stuff to surface without resistance. Resist not evil.
Now, look at him with the vision of Christ, looking through his body to the Christ that he is, seeing a reflection of your true Self, joining with the Christ that you are. Namaste.
Obviously, I have no idea how this worked for you. Just stopping for a moment, stepping back, is sometimes enough to experience a shift in your mind.
It turns out then that everything can be used to undo perception, enabling you to learn to see with vision. Sometimes, when I find myself persistently looking through the body’s eyes, I practice by literally closing my right eye and looking at his image through my left, representing the egoic state of mind. Then I imagine looking through his image with my right eye, representing Christ’s vision. This literal shift from left to right, from misperception to vision is sacred.
Brother, this day is sacred to the world. Your vision, given you from far beyond all things within the world, looks back on them in a new light. And what you see becomes the healing and salvation of the world. The valuable and valueless are both perceived and recognized for what they are. And what is worthy of your love receives your love, while nothing to be feared remains.
Regarding this exercise, I find it helpful to look at the connotations of left and right in our culture. “Left” comes from Old English, lyft, meaning “weak.” And worse, “sinister” comes from the Latin, sinister, “on the left side, unlucky, inauspicious.” While “right” comes from the Old English, riht, “go straight.”
The act of forgiveness, this shift from one state of mind to another, to the only true state, can be expressed in a variety of ways.
Letting go of the unreal.
Being carried Home.
Loosing the world.
Remembering and forgetting.
Raj/Jesus expresses it in reference to wishing to see the Evidence of Love.
Now, “I wish to see the Evidence of Love” doesn’t mean looking at somebody who’s behaving badly and say, “Man, I wish to see the Evidence of Love there. I wish they would change. I would like to see them behaving nicely.” That isn’t what it means. What it means is, I wish to see them without looking through a preexisting definition I am holding about them. I wish to see there what I know is the Truth about them. I wish not to see my misperception of them. I wish to see what revelation, insight, has uncovered to me about them which I am seeing there, in spite of the way I used to interpret their behavior, and in spite of the way they see themselves.
You see what I’m saying? When you say, “I wish to see the Evidence of Love,” it’s you engaged in an act of projecting the True Consciousness of them there, instead of getting hung up on your perceptions of what’s going on based on your own tiny, fearful frame of mind, coupled with their behavior that is based on their tiny, troubled frame of mind. To say, “I wish to see the Evidence of Love there,” doesn’t mean, “I wish they would change.” It means I wish to see them in a new way. I wish to extend to them whatever Consciousness of Truth God will reveal to me. You see? It’s far different from saying, “Gee, it would really be nice if they were a little more pleasant to be around.” That’s not wishing to see the Evidence of Love. There’s no gift in it.
“I wish to see the Evidence of Love” means you are going to take the proactive step, we’ll say, of insisting upon asking for the Vision that will let you see or grasp the meaning of the fact that if there’s anything there at all where your Brother or Sister is, it has to be God. The moment you do that, the lens through which you’re looking shifts and you are looking for something different. You are looking to see the Evidence of Love there. You’re looking to see the more of What’s Really There than what you had seen, or even what your Brother thinks is there and calls himself or herself. Are you getting what I’m saying?
To wish to see the Evidence of Love is not a wish to stand in receipt of something. It’s a wish to make a gift of a new way of seeing that is gathered not from your memory, but a willingness and an expressed desire to have the Holy Spirit reveal to you What Is Truly There, just as the Holy Spirit, your Right Mind, looks at you and sees What’s Truly There and extends it to you, and does not believe what you think you are and all the feelings you have associated with what you think you are. And that’s why your communion with the Holy Spirit is always healing. And that’s why the Holy Spirit can turn everything, every situation to your advantage. You have the OPPORTUNITY with your Brothers and Sisters to be that which turns whatever is happening in their life to their advantage.
(Raj/Jesus Transcript, March 13, 2005, pp. 5,6)
And now I understand what it means to say I am responsible for what I see. It is significant that the following quotation comes from a section in the Course entitled, “The Responsibility for Sight.”
I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked. (T-21.II.2:3-5)
All along it has been difficult to understand how I could possibly be responsible for the things happening to me, particularly the bad things. Why would I ever ask for that? And now I realize I am responsible when I choose to see through the body’s eyes. I can just as well choose to see with vision. My choosing is my responsibility. My choice is the cause; I get the results, fully responsible for the choice.
Sometimes I go about pitying myself
all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky.
(A Native American Saying)
And so I say to myself:
Each moment is an opportunity
to be carried gently home by the wind.
The Raj/Jesus transcript is available at the Northwest Foundation for ACIM.
Scroll down to the March 13, 2005, transcript.
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