Jun 18, 2010

Perception lies

I used to pride myself on my understanding of the metaphysics of the Course, which I got from years of listening to Ken Wapnick. Now I'm realizing that the experience has to come first and the intellectual understanding follows; not the other way around. Many concepts that I took for granted before, are losing their meaning. For example, I used to write that the Holy Spirit is the "memory of God within our mind." That was helpful to me because I couldn't see the Holy Spirit as separate from my own mind. But now as I think of "Holy Spirit" I don't really know what that is beyond a name that we use to symbolize healed perception.

My experience is that there is only me. There is nothing external. It was me identified with the ego before and now it's still me, but a lot less identified with the ego. That force within me that used to oppose has somehow been replaced by this other force that accepts. Attachment to outcome is replaced with awe of how perfect things are as they are. A desire to control, replaced with no desire to control or manipulate and trust that life goes on with or without my control and without it, it's a lot happier. Concern with the body, replaced with little concern with the body. Attachment to rules replaced with freedom from rules. This shift is internal. I act the same; I speak the same; only the purpose behind what I do is different.

I'm not equally clear every moment and I'm not sure why or how that works. I still notice ego reactions come and go. They are few and far between and as they are looked at in real time, they seem to lose their power quickly. The underworld of negativity that used to surface once in a while does not seem to be there now. There is more space in my mind so I can see the ego clearly and a gentle forgiving attitude accepts my state of mind as it is in the moment and offers no resistance to it.

I've been more aware of how our experience lies. For example, my experience is that I feel guided all the time. I seem to know exactly what I'm doing in the moment. All I have to do when an invitation to do something comes (an external invitation or my own thought that invites me to do something) is ask myself: "is this what I'm doing?" And I actually "feel" at that moment if this is an "honest" action for me, or not. An honest action is an action that requires no sacrifice. It's action that is consistent with the love that flows freely when the ego is not there; it's actually and simply, what I want to do at that specific moment. A dishonest action is an action that I would do with the ego's motives of seeking love, giving to get, manipulating or impressing others, etc. This "guidance" that I could swear comes from some higher power, is an illusion. A part of me knows there is no one out there to guide me, yet somehow; my experience is that I "feel" guided.

I was over at FACIM over the weekend and Ken (Dr. Kenneth Wapnick) said something that resonated with me. He said, as I've heard him say many times, that "the Holy Spirit does not send you messages…." (Basically, the HS does not tell you what to do; it doesn't guide you. How could it? It would have to first validate you as a separate self if it did.) Those messages that we experience, (or in my case the feeling that I am guided) "…….are just a metaphor for acceptance of what is." When we are in harmony with what is, everything "seems" perfectly orchestrated as if a higher power had its hand in it. The reality is that it's our perception that determines our experience of the world. When we perceive without judgment, the world appears to be perfect and we can't see a problem with anything. But even healed perception is an illusion. It's just a stepping-stone.

Lesson 169 says that "Grace is acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear. By grace alone the hate and fear are gone, for grace presents a state so opposite to everything the world contains, that those whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace can not believe the world of fear is real. (W-169 italics and bold mine)

As we look at the world with total acceptance, we come to see that every situation is perfect because it's for us. The right minded way of looking at the world is that it's for our use. Its only purpose is to help us become aware of our true nature. We can use every situation to lead ourselves out of suffering or root us further into it. So divorce, disease, war, loss, death, don't happen to us; but for us. We also understand that for others so when things happen to our loved ones, we see them as opportunities and not catastrophes. By looking at the world with a clear mind, we empower everyone we come in contact with to make the choice for peace for themselves. By our own acceptance of what is, we let others know that they also can choose to rise above suffering.

W-135:18-1 reminds us of this, "What could you not accept, if you knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?" And that One is you!