Removing the obstacles to love's presence
This is the first of a series of posts that I will make regarding my experience of learning forgiveness.
This post is the story of how I learned to look at projected guilt
The following conversation is one that I had with the Holy Spirit at a time when I was very upset with someone else. This someone else was a spiritual teacher whom I had recently gotten to know on a somewhat personal level. I had been through an experience with this person where he seemed very upset and seemed to project a lot of blame onto others. Others felt victimized by his accusations in this situation.
As a part of this situation, he wanted me to do something that I did not want to do. Because of guilt (& the confusion of the ego), I decided to put my feelings aside and do it anyway. Then, he made a complete turn around and didn’t want what he had originally requested. I felt relief and realized I hadn’t wanted to do as I was asked. But then, he came back and wanted again for me to do as he had originally asked.
This second time he asked, I answered more slowly. I took 2 - 3 days to get back to him. I looked at guilt in my mind and realized it was the guilt that caused the feeling of coercion. I focused on letting go of guilt. I knew the guilt had to clear before I could know what I was to do in this situation. It was clearly a situation that involved healing for me and others, but I was only responsible for my thoughts and my decision.
After the guilt cleared, the feeling of coercion also cleared, and I felt free to tell this person “no.” He accepted the answer quietly. I went on peacefully and was no longer a part of this particular drama.
Just a few weeks later, I heard this same person teaching. He claimed over and over again to be at peace, to never feel anger and to be awake (enlightened). I instantly felt enraged. I saw him as a bold faced liar. My body got hot. I lost all sense of peace. I started shaking. I knew that I had identified another opportunity for forgiveness, but I was so lost in the emotion and seeming reality of this lie, that I could not hear the Holy Spirit in that moment.
I spent all day trying to forgive this person, but my mind was enraged. I saw him as the guiltiest man alive. He was lying and misleading others. They were buying into his story that he was awake. They bought it hook, line and sinker. I got angrier and angrier as I thought about it.
I can’t recall every thought that I had that day, but I know there was a lot of blame, confusion and anger. I felt that I was better than him, because I knew that I would not mislead people as he had done. I felt that I was honest and he was not. And I also felt fear. I was afraid that if people were buying into his lie, I had bought into the lies of others. I became afraid that my hopes for truth beyond this world had been fantasy, and that everyone who had claimed to know truth had been a liar, and gullible people like me who didn’t know better had fallen for it because we wanted it to be true.
In spite of all of these dark and painful thoughts, I also had a little willingness. I was willing to be wrong about every thought in my mind. And so, as the thoughts came up and even as I felt them, believed them and feared them, I gave willingness to be wrong about them. This went on all day. My prayer just before going to sleep was that I would be able to see this situation differently.
When I woke up in the morning, I was quieted enough to hear the Holy Spirit, which I could not do the day before. And we had the following conversation
Holy Spirit What are you feeling?
Me Fear that death is all there is.
Spirit But if death is all there is, how is it that I exist?
Me Maybe a better way of saying it is that I am afraid that there is no All-That-Is. (I was feeling afraid that I was talking to my own imagination.)
Spirit This fear points to the metaphysics of the Course, which says that this is what you believe. (God as He existed is dead because of the separation.) This is the thought that must be healed. Since you see this thought in your mind now, are you willing to give faith that it isn’t true? Are you willing to trust Me and be healed?
Me Yes, I give my willingness.
Spirit What else are you noticing?
Me Guilt. I see my brother as guilty of being willing to be dishonest with others so he can see himself as special. In this judgment, I feel above him because this is something I feel I would not do.
Spirit Your brother is innocent. Is this a thought you are willing to accept?
Spirit You see yourself, your brother, other brothers and the truth as separate from one another. And you see your brother as guilty of being responsible for the death of innocent ones. (Guilty of leading them towards nothing.) This is a projection of metaphysical guilt. This is the projection that made the world. Rejoice that you see it, for now you can choose to let it go.
Ask yourself this
Are you willing to trust Me? . . .
Are you willing to be healed? . . .
Are you willing to know your Self as only Love? . . .
Are you willing to know that Love is all that is? . . .
Then, are you willing to let go of the belief in guilt, a belief that made the illusion you see?
Forget not that it is an illusion. Forget not that it is the projection of an ego mind that believes in guilt. Forget not that you have chosen to let go of illusion and see with Light.
Release what you think you saw as untrue, as a trick, something that seemed real but is only the projection of a misperception. Forgive the misperception, and be willing to love the projection that represents your brother. Love him not for what he seems to be, but for what he Is.
It is through this willingness that miracles are ushered into your awareness, and it is through miracles that you are healed.
This conversation was an important one for my healing. Through this event and conversation, I did see that the metaphysical guilt that the course talked about was in my mind. I saw that I did believe that God had ceased to exist because of the separation. I did believe that death is reality. And I did believe that there was someone, other than me, to blame for all of this. I was the innocent one (the face of innocence) and someone else was guilty (projection). I saw all of this in my mind, and I was looking right at it.
Seeing this as undeniably in my mind was helpful, because I knew that if the course was right about this, it was right about everything. My willingness grew with this realization, and I gave willingness to forgive my brother for what he did not do. I gave willingness to accept that the guilt was a projection of my own mind, and I gave willingness to be healed.
I am grateful for this moment now. And now, I understand it even more than I did then.
My brother is innocent, and so am I. I feel this in my heart now. I feel it deeply and truly. And I love this one that I chose to hate for a little while.