Forgive yourself first to forgive the world

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 2775 words 12 mins 20 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2019 Paul West

"Forgiveness is the only gift I give because it is the only gift I want, and everything I give I give myself. This is salvation s simple formula."

"Only the self-accused condemn."

"It can be but myself I crucify."

"The secret of salvation is but this: That YOU are doing this UNTO YOURSELF."

"You but accuse your brother of your own sins."

As I learn that any upset I feel is entirely self created and internal and nothing to do with anything else, I begin to experience a strangely unexpected disconnection between what seems to happen and how I react.

I can see that things happen externally, and perhaps they trigger internal reactions initially, but if I work on those reactions or realize they are just some old unhealed junk surfacing in my awareness, and I heal it, I am then restored to a more peaceful happy state even in spite of the fact that the external situation may still be the same.

And so this shows me that there are kind of two things running simultaneously. There's the external story, the world, showing pictures of things happening. And then there's this internal story or dialog, this inner reactive ego response, which runs alongside it. The ways that I am attacking myself, and then USING the world as a scapegoat.

As I practice ownership of my inner experience and see myself responsible for choosing and causing it, rather than making a false ego causal connection between "what I feel" and "what is happening outside", the two previously merged stories are peeling away from each other. Whereas before I thought that my upset goes hand in hand with a given situation, it is suddenly evidence that the two are not connected.

They no longer completely coincide and I now see myself sometimes moving outward to join with the external story but then flowing back inward again to pull away from it. If I identify with the "what's happening out there" story, I lose myself and react to it. But if I recall that I'm doing this all to myself internally, and ideas leave not their source, and any reaction in me I have chosen to reinvent myself, the whole sense of being "caused by" the world diminishes.

Where there used to be simply a total confusion and distraction and immersion and absorption into the hierarchy of illusions, all of the effects the ego dream would suggest I have, and its entire script for what I "should" be experiencing as a result, there is now an intermittent but increasingly wide divide between "what the dream is doing" and "what I am doing to myself."

If I am being triggered a lot by some situation that is ongoing, but then I recognize the triggered reaction is a re-emergence of a prior condition of self attack in my mind, my own accusation of myself as sinful, and I work on that and undo it, and it goes away, and the external situation just continues in its normal form but without triggering me, I see that there is a definite difference between me and "it".

It's as if, we don't just become body identified, we become world identified. We believe that *everything* external to the mind, which includes the body, has become the storage place and cause of all the stuff we are experiencing. We bind with it, just as we bind with the body in pain. We fail to separate out what is the dream and who is doing the dreaming. It's like an attempt to be one with the dream, to merge with it, and to fail to recognize it is not dreaming you.

If I think the world is dreaming me and causing me, I'm going to go out of my mind and connect my sense of who and what I am to whatever the world suggests I should be, based on that causality. If I let the dream dictate everything I experience, I am now in a constant victim role. As I continue to believe that I'm at the effect of the world, I cannot separate out what is happening within me versus what is really causing it. Because the world is not really the cause at all, and I'm doing this all to myself from within, to within.

I have to learn to recognize that whatever is going on inside me, whatever feelings or upsets or experiences or beliefs I'm having, not one single one of them is the result of the external dream world. There is not a single cause in the world with the power to do anything to me, as an invulnerable, immortal being. And that means learning to stop having this symbiotic merging of identity with the world, where I plug myself into the external illusion and allow it to trample all over me under the belief that it CAN and IS doing so.

I have to learn that nothing I experience is caused by anything but my innermost self. And if I am upset, I must address what I am doing to myself. And if someone *seems* to trigger me, I have to not accuse them of causing what comes up because they did not put it there, I did. And I would then thank them for bringing it to my attention. And so I must then recognize, if it weren't for me hurting myself, accusing myself, upsetting myself, I would NEVER be hurt, accused, or upset. An in fact as Jesus says, "you cannot be hurt unless you hurt yourself."

It actually isn't really so much a matter of what the world has been doing TO ME. It's more in fact a matter of what I have been doing TO THE WORLD. I have been putting MY self-accused sins ONTO the world and have been attacking it and using it as a scapegoat to blame for causing the very things *I* have been doing to myself! The world has not been guilty at all, it's been innocent the whole time. And it's my own inner conflict that has been playing out projected and disassociated externally, to make it SEEM as if it's not part of me or in my mind or anything to do with me. I then get away with blaming the world for everything I do not like about myself.

MY task now is to step back, out of the drama I am causing, out of the rollercoaster of reactions and suffering that I'm producing based on what I've done to myself and tried to accuse others of, and constantly correct the "spilling over" of my inner wounds onto the world. Indeed I am to take off of the world all of the shite that I have been dumping onto it through my egoic projections of self attack.

All the guilt, sin, fear, unworthiness, shame, whatever.... if I address it as an internal scenario that I am doing to myself, NOT caused by anything or anyone else, and it is addressed honestly and correctly within my mind, then gradually I'm lifting off of the world all of this inner baggage that I was associating or attaching to it. And that means the world itself, the dream, is going to be recognized more as not really the cause of anything.

In this way, gradually the world becomes forgiven, in the sense that it is seen WITHOUT my inner content projections. As I stop seeing inner junk "out there", what was behind the junk - the illusory world onto which I projected more illusions - the illusory world is "revealed" more for simply what it is and not what I was making of it. Without my sins being projected, and without having any sins, I cannot see sin IN it.

The guilty meanings I was projecting onto it, the causality I was accusing it of, the sense of vulnerability and stress and suffering that I thought IT was responsible for causing but which I was doing to myself backwards, are no longer seen as "coming from" the world or from anyone else, but myself. It's all an inside job. And it's really me that needs the forgiveness, having accused myself of things that are untrue of my perfect divine holiness.

If I am wounded, by my self attack, I will project my wounds all over the place, bleeding out onto the world a blackness of self hatred. This will cloud my perception of the world and render it dark. As I heal the inner wounds, within, where the problem really is, in my mind, I can no longer have anything TO leak out onto the world. The world simply becomes automatically "forgiven", not because it did anything, but through simply being able to SEE what is there as the world, through self-forgiven eyes, rather than seeing THROUGH the old lens of sin and guilt.

As such, the world becomes uncovered, released, "saved" from me, from my projected self attack. And without a log in my own eye, I no longer HAVE sin in my mind TO attempt to displace onto external figures. And without this sin blocking my vision, I become more able to simply see the world for what it is, without all of the sin guilt and fear dumped onto it or filtering it. And without this angry dark content, perhaps the world is filled with light.

We're told that as we progress with this, the "real world" will become more visible to us. That is, the world we made, but without judgement, projection, disassociation, displacement, or all the other forms of disowned self attack masking it. Without this content, its forms seem less inherently meaningful. Without putting these dark meanings onto the world, the world IS meaningless. It is also neutral, and in a way pure, because it is nothing.

The world, in its "reality", or rather, seen "as is", is just a picture, without sin or guilt or fear or death projected onto it. It just stands like a thin veil before the face of Christ. It has no meaning of its own, because God only creates meaningful worlds and He did not create this. It is not dark. Or alive. Or dead. Or holy. Or sinful. In fact it can become more seemingly beautiful, as the inner beauty begins to look upon itself and shine outwards, illuminating the picture rather than attacking it. And as such the "real world", the forgiven world, begins to show up in awareness as a reflection of your OWN holiness projected onto a NEUTRAL canvas.

While the world in its physicality and form is "false perception", in which the forms are only focused on as part of seeing falsely and dwelling on separations, guilt and death, as perception rises toward the light within, looking first within and then looking outward, the forms are overlooked. They don't define anything quite so strongly as before. They don't separate off with harsh boundaries and walls. They become less solid, less heavy, less dark. They loom with less weight and seem to have less substance or meaning. As if they are not there, because they aren't, being just illusions.

The world becomes lighter, within, and seen without, as the dream seems to turn to a happier dream, where the unhappiness that was in you is no longer added to it. Where happiness returns to the mind and the world is seen as not containing any real sin or guilt - because the mind has none to project onto it. You can only look upon yourself. If you are love you see love in everything because the world is not real or evil. If you are guilty, you see guilt in everything and the world seems like hell. By forgiving yourself and restoring heaven to your mind, the world can be but a reflection of heaven to you.

The world without your guilt is the forgiven world, shining and sparkly and new. Still an illusion, yes. Still neutral and meaningless, yes. It is still nothing at all. But now the meaningfulness of love - God's will - is projected and seen within it, rather than darkness. This makes the world seem "lovable". Not because it is love or made of love, but because you can see only the love BEYOND it and can do nothing else. And God does love the world we made. This love, seen in it, is its only reality, and in the intensity of this love, all of the forms melt and disappear. Because the love is deeper than the forms and lives between the lines.

When eternity finally shines away the world, all its forms have vanished, everything has fused into oneness, love has erased death and the nothingness of the world of bodies ceases to exist. Without separation there are no forms. In light, there is no darkness. And in love there is no fear. All that remains beyond this disappearing world is heaven. Love looks upon itself. Christ looks upon Himself. And then God is known in completion.

"When you think you are projecting what you do NOT want, it is still because you DO want it. This leads directly to dissociation"

"The power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world. YOU CAN DECIDE TO SEE IT RIGHT. What you made of it is NOT its reality, for its reality is only what you GAVE it. You cannot really give anything but love to anyone or anything, nor can you really receive anything else from them. If you think you have received anything else, it is because you have looked within, and thought you saw the power to give something else WITHIN YOURSELF. It was only this decision that determined what you found, for it was the decision of what you SOUGHT."

"You are afraid of me because you looked within, and are afraid of what you saw. But you could not have seen reality, for the reality of your mind is the loveliest of God's Creations. Coming only from God, its power and grandeur could only bring you peace, IF YOU REALLY LOOKED UPON IT. If you are afraid, it is because you saw something THAT IS NOT THERE. Yet in this same place you could have looked upon me and all your brothers, in the perfect safety of the Mind that created us. For we are there in the peace of the Father, Who wills to project His peace through YOU."

"When you have accepted your mission to PROJECT peace, you will FIND it. For by MAKING IT MANIFEST you will SEE it. Its holy witnesses will surround you, because you CALLED upon them, and they will come to you. I have heard your call, and I have answered it, but you will not look upon me, nor hear the answer which you sought. But that is only because you do not yet want ONLY that. Yet as I become more real to you, you will learn that you DO want only that. And you will see me as you look within, and we will look upon the world as God created it together. Through the eyes of Christ, ONLY the real world exists, and can BE seen."

"As you decide, so will you see. And all that you see but witnesses to your decision. When you look within and see me, it will be because you have decided to manifest truth. And as you manifest it, you will see it both without AND within, for you will see it without BECAUSE you saw it first within. Everything you behold without is a judgment of what you beheld within. If it is YOUR judgment, it will be wrong, for judgment is not your function. If it is the judgment of the Holy Spirit, it will be right, for judgment IS His function. You share His function only by judging as HE does, reserving no judgment at all unto yourselves. For you will judge AGAINST yourselves, but He will judge FOR you."

Remember, then, that whenever you look without and react unfavorably to what you see, you have judged yourself unworthy, and have condemned yourself to death. The death penalty is the ego's ultimate goal, for it fully believes that you are a criminal, as deserving of death as God knows you are deserving of life. The death penalty never leaves the ego's mind, for that is what it always reserves for you in the end. Wanting to kill you, as the final expression of its feeling for you, it lets you live but to await death. It will torment you while you live, but its hatred is not satisfied until you die. For your destruction is the one end toward which it works, and the only one with which it will be satisfied."

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