Now, following the week of July 4 2016, not one of us can have any doubts that this world is a battleground. Further, we need to accept this concept: a passing snub, bird flip, casual insult, or rudeness are the same as murder. Each has the same content. They differ only in degree.
This idea is clearly stated in Text Chapter 1, THE MEANING OF MIRACLES: the first line of the Course. But it refers to Miracles,
There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.
Murder can be expressed in the same way.
There is no order of the effect of murderous thoughts. One is not less than another. They are all the same. All expressions of hate are maximal.
We all have heard this expression too many times, ”I could have killed the SOB.” That is why far too many rude or unintended traffic incidents have escalated to road rage, some even leading to gunshots and death. Recently, near where I live, an argument about the type of music playing in a late night bar led to a fight which ended with a man’s death.
We need to be aware that accepting a minor annoyance as real is the same as the most egregious assault –murder.
Let’s start with changing one of our most common kind of conversation; what my late wife and I called playing “ain’t it awful.” Steer conversations towards something—anything–positive. Further, stop and think before speaking or acting rudely: in any fashion. Then we can start to find the way to be, “Above the Battleground,” as in Section IV of Chapter 23, THE WAR AGAINST YOURSELF. Section III Sentences 5 through 12 prepares us for it.
There [is] no safety in a battleground. You can look down on it in safety from above and not be touched. But from within it you can find no safety. Not one tree left still standing will shelter you. Not one illusion of protection stands against the faith in murder. Here stands the body, torn between the natural desire to communicate and the unnatural intent to murder and to die. Think you the form that murder takes can offer safety? Can guilt be absent from a battlefield? (my emphasis)
The core idea of Above the Battleground comes in section I sentences 7-12.
You are not asked to fight against your wish to murder. But you are asked to realize the form it takes conceals the same intent. And it is this you fear, and not the form. What is not love is murder. What is not loving must be an attack. Every illusion is an assault on truth, and every one does violence to the idea of love because it seems to be of equal truth.
(my emphasis) [T-23,IV,I.7-12]
As with all parts of the Course, the difficult ideas come first in Above The Battleground, are then developed, but end with gentle helpful ideas that help us to cope with the problems we make in this world of separation. Here is the final passage of Above The Battleground. [reading the whole section would help]
The senselessness of conquest is quite apparent from the quiet sphere above the battleground. What can conflict with everything? And what is there that offers less, yet could be wanted more? Who with the Love of God upholding him could find the choice of miracles or murder hard to make?
[everything refers to Heaven] [T-23.III.9.5-8]
Thoughts that lead to murder are part and parcel of separation. Separate races, neighborhoods, towns, states, and nations. No one can deny that the source of our present conflicts here in America is separation. I’ll review that in my next post.