Apres Paris — Is there “…another way?

Helen Shuchman began to scribe A Course in Miracles shortly after her colleague Bill Thetford, upset by the contentious relationships in their department at Columbia University, said to her,

                                      ”There must be another way.” *

There is “… another way” to think about Islamic terrorists who brand those who do not follow their version of Islam as infidels; and the terrorists  who believe they will be in paradise if they die while killing them.

This is OED’s definition of infidel, “One who does not believe in (what the speaker holds to be) the true religion; an ‘unbeliever’.”

The teachings in A Course in Miracles gives us “…another way” to consider terrorists other than to seek vengeance, retribution, or believing that they will be punished in hell. The Course teaches us how to forgive such acts without being “bliss ninnies.”

To reflect on this issue fully we must first recognize how denial blocks our ability to consider brutal behavior with an open mind. Helen Schucman wrote this on her bathroom mirror when she was transcribing the Course.

               “Never underestimate the power of denial.”*

When I searched my E version of ACIM I found many passages that give me new ways to think about denial. Following are two.

Guilt hides Christ from your sight, for it is the denial of the blamelessness of God’s Son. [T-13.I.15} {here “Christ” refers to our one being with Jesus/the Holy Spirit and God}

Your only calling here is to devote yourself, with active willingness, to the denial of guilt in all its forms. To accuse is [not to understand.] The happy learners of the Atonement become the teachers of the innocence that is the right of all that God created. Deny them not what is their due, for you will not withhold it from them alone. [T-14.V.3.6-8]

Denial, in keeping with the duality of our separated existence, occurs two ways. First, as in the above, is denying that our brothers/sisters are part of the one Son of God; and second, is denying that the world we make is the result of our insane egocentric projections.

When we believe terrorists are guilty we hide their “blamelessness,” — but blameless on the level of their oneness with God in Heaven. The ironic thing is that they think if they die killing infidels they go straight to paradise when according to ACIM, on the level of spirit, they are already there.

Is this irony something that we remembered not to laugh about? No. It’s tragic for the fellow humans they killed, and especially their loved ones.

As the last sentence in the above excerpt from T-14 states, if we deny that terrorists are part of the one Son of God (withhold it from them), we withhold it from ourselves. So can we forgive/forget terrorist’s atrocities?

Here is a succinct statement from the Course about forgetting the past.

The past that you remember never was, and represents only the denial of what always was. [Heaven] [T-14.IX 1.10]

That leads is to a deeper aspect of this issue. When it’s over its gone! The separation never seems to be over, but it is an illusion, and as such it never was. That gives us “…another way” to think about this issue, which is apparent from this passage from Text Chapter 3. I’ve quoted it in previous posts.

The statement “God created man in his own image and likeness” needs reinterpretation. “Image” can be understood as “thought,” and “likeness” as “of a like quality.” God did create spirit in His Own Thought and of a quality like to His Own. There [is] nothing else. [T-3.V.7.1-4] (my emphasis)

God created us in His Thought, “of a quality like to His Own.” Therein abides the innocence of us all. Our only reality is our being as God’s one Son with God in Heaven (terrorists included).
No one needs to believe that the reward for killing infidels is a sort of paradise where scores of virgins wait, because we all are still at home in Heaven where we exist as spirit in His [God’s] Own Thought and of a quality like to His Own.
In his Course Jesus asks us to think this way ———————.
God is, and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. [W-159.4]

* That’s why I titled my book about the Course, There is,”… another way,”
* Kenneth Wapnick, to author, e-mail, April 17, 2005

Complexity – How It Obscures Our True reality, and How To Lift Its Veil

Recently I read an article reprinted in the Browser about the Myers-Biggs Indicator (MBI.) It is a vivid example of how we make the separation as complicated as possible. MBI (some would call it an investigatory instrument), is designed to establish our personality “type,” and is used by hundreds of business and manufacturing employers to discover how the people they interview will fit with a job and their fellow workers.

It establishes 16 personality types differentiated by four letters. The author of the article, Merve Emre, was classifies as “ENTJ” to show she was an extrovert, intuitive, thinker and judgmental. The MBI is a perfect example of how we separate ourselves from each other. It distracts our attention away from oneness, changes how we behave towards one and other and exaggerates our differences. It deepens contrasts between us, and hinders us from remembering our true reality as God’s one Son.

On the other hand in his Op Ed, “The evolution of Simplicity,” NY Times’ David Brooks (Tuesday Sept.3) tells about some current efforts to simplify our lives. He thinks though, that throwing material things away is less noble than “moving generally from fragmentation and toward unity of purpose.”   Brooks is heading in the right direction. Thankfully, to add to his thoughts we have many ACIM passages which help us overcome our complex world.

Here are references to passages in ACIM which contain the words complex, complicated, and their derivatives. T-14.1.5; T-25.III.6.1; T-31.I.2.7-8; T-8.VIII 6.7; T-12.I.2.1; W-138.6.

I find the following one very useful, and succinct. [T-12.I.2.1]

The analysis of ego motivation is very complicated, very obscuring, and never without your own ego involvement. (my emphasis)

Jesus builds powerfully on this concept in the final section of Chapter 31, “Choose Once Again.” There we learn to make the ultimate choice here in this world: it’s between the ego and the Holy Spirit/Jesus. This final Chapter in the Text helps us leave our complicated world and return to Heaven.

Throughout his Course Jesus uses this simple metaphor. We make a veil in our mind to obscure the truth of our real existence. We draw it between what is real; our oneness with God, and our perception of the world.

These passages about the veil occur early in the Text. T-12.I.9.11; T-13.Vii.16.10; and t_15.VI.6.1-5. There are many other following these.

This passage from Workbook Lesson, Heaven is the decision I must make, tells us how to lift the veil. It echoes Text 31. Section VIII, and to be most useful, calls on our understanding of it.

In this insanely complicated world, Heaven appears to take the form of choice, rather than merely being what it is. Of all the choices you have tried to make this is the simplest, most definitive and prototype of all the rest, the one which settles all decisions. [choosing Heaven] (my emphasis) [W-138.6]

A most powerful statement that helps us lift the veil is Section 4 from The Clarification of Terms; TRUE PERCEPTION — KNOWLEDGE. I’ve included here the first and final paragraphs which I hope will “nudge” you to read the whole section. Following is the first paragraph.

The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end. [C-4.1]

The final paragraph is a plea from Jesus/The Holy spirit, our Voice from God, to let go of “this insanely complicated world.”

O my brothers, if you only knew the peace that will envelop you and hold you safe and pure and lovely in the Mind of God, you could but rush to meet Him where His altar is. Hallowed your Name and His, for they are joined here in this holy place. Here He leans down to lift you up to Him, out of illusions into holiness; out of the world and to eternity; out of all fear and given back to love.

The altar is the place in our right mind where we remember Heaven, and as is taught is the new Lord’s Prayer at the end of Text Chapter 16, where we receive guidance from Jesus/The Holy Spirit (the Voice of God).

And let us receive only what You have given, and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love. Amen.