So how do we know, in any given moment, which teacher we are internally choosing?
How do we know if our seeming act of kindness is genuine or not?
Does pain seem real to us in the situation?
How do we feel?
How can you know whether you chose the stairs to Heaven (HS) or the way to hell (the ego)? Quite easily. How do you feel? Is peace in your awareness?
Are you certain which way you go? And are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached? If not, you walk alone. Ask then your Friend (HS) to join with you, and give you certainty of where you go.
(Text Ch. 23, p.494, par.22)
How can you tell when you are seeing wrong, or someone else is failing to perceive the lesson he should learn? Does pain seem real in the (my) perception? If it does, be sure the (my) lesson is not learned.
And there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the (my) mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs.
(WB Les. 193, par.7)
Over and over the Course tells us that the way we save the world is by realizing that we and the world are already saved. The Course’s Introduction to the Text resounds throughout the entire Course:
The Course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim at removing the blocks to the (our) awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.
(Text p. 1)
In other words we are already saved, and pretending we’re not. Our innocence as God’s one Son is still intact. But we distract ourselves from that true identity with our finger pointing: “look at what you did to me!”
As the above Lesson# 193 says, “there remains an unforgiveness hiding in our minds”… hiding from us. The bottom line unforgiveness is always hanging onto the guilt for our supposed disconnection from God in our minds… which never really happened. We don’t really want to admit that, much less let it go. And we use all our projected wordly resentments and blames to cover that awareness over in ourselves and stay preoccupied elsewhere.
It’s the ongoing ego game of self deception. You may know the recurring line in the R.E.M. song “Bang and Blame.” Its lyrics keep repeating the phrase “bang, bang… blame, blame… so let it go.” We constantly target and shoot (bang) at each other with our judgements (blame), to stay distracted from our own made-up internal incrimination.
Every addict/alcoholic in recovery knows one of the first things they have to do is look… look at and initially admit that they are addicts (in the Course, the bottom-line ‘addiction’ is to separation). Without the addiction they believe they will die, even though the addiction is killing them. Same with us: without separation we secretly made ourselves believe we’ll die.
And by themselves without help, addicts can’t stop. With the Course, it’s the Holy Spirit who helps, and without Him we can’t stop our judging.
Underneath that understanding, recovering addicts begin to realize they’re tenaciously clinging to, and nursing, their resentments or unforgivenesses, to maintain and justify their addiction.
Similarly, what is preventing us then, in this very second, from feeling saved, or causing us to experience anything less than real peace? There is always a judgement, an unforgiveness, we are holding onto. And we have to convince ourselves and others, that judgement is justified. It is those judgements that block our awareness of who we truly are, “the awareness of love’s presence.” We and our brothers are love, and come from love, and will always be love.
So no matter how right we think we are about our conscious judgements… The only way to see past them is to acknowledge them, how awful and deep they do run. All of our conscious judgements are simply a projection of our own inner guilt for pushing Jesus away in our minds. So, to stop pushing him out of our awareness, ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit for help to let those judgements go, especially the underlying idea that we even could push God away in the first place. We then begin to have an experience beyond those judgements of others and ourselves to our true reality.
“I am never upset for the reason I think.”:
This idea can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain. Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you. The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different. This is not true.
(WB Les#5, par.1)
A restatement of Lesson #5 could easily have said… “What if I’m never judging for the reason I think?”
Like car maintenance plans, what if my judgements are simply a separation maintenance program… and that in my arrogance, I’m in total denial about what is really going on. I’m just making up reasons to blame and point fingers, even tho in the world those judgements may seem totally justified. However justified or not in worldly terms, what if all that is just a smokescreen for what’s really happening?
If all that drama is based on not who and what we truly are, what do judgements about someone else’s behavior or my own have to do with the real me or the real you! They simply keep me stuck in believing you and I are these separate vulnerable things, at the mercy of whichever way the wind blows, disconnected from our true reality.
So the Holy Spirit and Jesus ask us to try this:
Where concepts of the self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is. When every concept has been raised to doubt and question, and been recognized as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt. There is no statement that the world (and all of us) is more afraid to hear than this:
Yet in this learning is salvation born. And What you are will tell you of Itself.
(Text Chap.31, p. 660, par. 17)
Jesus says… my brothers, the willingness to ask for my help to see and experience yourselves the way I see you is true humility. Anything less is simply silly arrogance.
For an in-depth discussion on discerning which teacher I am listening to,
see Ken Wapnick’s
“A Hawk from A Handsaw”
(on 5 CD set or MP3 download)