Letting go is similar to a process of loss and grief

Monday, Aug 13, 2018 1881 words 8 mins 21 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2018 Paul West

It's difficult to put this into words, but here goes.

To understand letting go, you have to first understand what it means to "hold on". What is it you are doing with your mind?

Before the separation, you knew you were love. After the separation, you believed you were not love, and that your self/love was separate from you. You perceived this as outside of you, disassociated and projected onto others.

You believed other people had stolen your love/self and locked it up inside themselves. You simultaneously valued what seemed to be in them, but wanted to steal it back. You see this as "specialness" which you value highly and is what gives value or reality to illusions - you believe in them. This is all described is "the laws of chaos."

The ego mind then "makes illusions real" and assigns special value to external, separate things. This is idol worship, and part of "seek and do not find." An emphasis on external salvation, believing the body, objects and the world are important, valuing special relationships and so on.

If you place "reality" and "value" outside yourself, you will put something on a pedestal and worship it. For example if you associate a person with their body, you will think their body is part of what's valuable about the person. If you value a car and have a psychological "need" for it, you become attached to and dependent on it as your savior. You see it as having power to do something to or for you, which makes it capable of saving you, makes it able to affect you, and makes you *dependent* on it.

Perceiving an external "cause" of you puts you at the "effect" of that cause. This happens in level confusion and reversal of cause-effect. This external cause now represents your "creator". If it is lost, the cause of you is lost and your savior is lost, and that's symbolic of the idea that God has died.

Your mind in a state of believing in special value, or the reality of external things and people, shifts some of its own sense of identity onto those things. You displace your "self" externally and see it as value/meaning within people and objects. If there were to be a perceived "loss" of those objects or people, you experience it as the loss of your own self.

Now, let's say that you mis-identified that you are a body, and thus saw other people as bodies, and valued them as body-people, and then one of these bodies dies. Because you made the body seem real/valuable, you cannot help but perceive there has been a "real loss" or loss of value. In what you think is reality. This will be experienced as "loss". And this kicks in all kinds of layers of denial, which show up as "stages of grief."

At first, you may not even be able to accept that a loss has happened. It seems pretend, impossible, unreal. You may be what they describe as in shock, but really it's that your mind is still psychologically attached to this external value and even though the valued thing is gone, it still believes in it strongly being there. There is a mismatch between expectation and reality. Really strong belief in specialness can produce very strong denial that a loss has even occurred, and denial that the person died.

If a person can `process` the fact that the person died, they might start to shift perception towards at least acknowledging that "it happened". However, this will at first be a cross between acceptance and denial. The mind still does not WANT to let go of the specialness. It's like the mind forms a "bridge" that connects its psyche to something external like a cord of attachment, which is like "holding on" - like you would with a hand, but using a psychic hand. The mind latches onto the external special thing and doesn't want to let go of it. You can actually FEEL this sense of "attachment" and external connectedness if you are observant.

Acknowledging that a death "happened" is a step in the right direction because it at least admits that, to some degree, the person/value doesn't seem to be there any more. But this also is met with another layer of denial. The denial says, "I do not want to let go". This is partly because the mind in its "belief in" things believes it gives reality TO things, and makes them be there, and gives them value, and so if it will just keep believing in those things, it will "keep them alive". There will be active resistance to actually letting go, and reducing your belief in their specialness means you are trying to destroy them or contribute to the perception that they are lost. To let go, to the ego, seems murderous, which induces guilt.

The mind in this state is not fully conscious because, by projecting specialness outward, it made itself unconscious. To "let go" would have to mean stepping backwards in the mind and getting "behind" the attachment and projection and becoming more aware. This seems insurmountable to a mind that is sleeping, that it needs to somehow tap into a greater awareness that underlies where it's "at". The only way to do that is to actually let go of projection of specialness. But the mind doesn't want to do that yet.

It takes a lot of willingness to "admit the truth" that you do not want to let go. This is because you think, if you let go, the thing will stop existing. If you let go, it will be your responsibility that the thing is lost. If you let go, you will have to admit that there HAS been a loss and that the person isn't there any more. You won't be able to delude yourself that you are maintaining their existence with your belief in them. Admitting that you do not WANT to let go is good because it at least lets in some truth. This is one step away from looking deeper at WHY you don't want to let go.

Not wanting to let go is really a layer of denial which covers up the "fact" that the thing HAS GONE. That there HAS been loss. I struggled with this step a lot in relation to grieving for the loss of someone because I didn't want to admit that I didn't WANT to let go of them. I wanted them to NOT be gone, because I wanted to keep what I valued as special. My letting go would somehow mean they are "even more lost". To admit it removes denial. Once I admitted I wanted to keep them, I was able to move past that to admitting what's underneath - an actual sense of loss - that something HAS been lost and isn't coming back. The ego doesn't like this.

Now, this sense of something being "really lost" is still actually another form of denial, and a layer of delusion, because in truth nothing real can be lost. Real value is not lost. Nothing real can be threatened or die. So if the body dies, it's only a body that is "lost", not the person's immortal spirit. Confusing the two things makes you think there has been a loss of something important. Valuing the body makes you believe ITS loss is important. It's nothing. So in truth, although you have to process the sense of loss, underneath the loss there is a deeper truth: you cannot lose what never existed.

And so at some point you have to realize, the thing you think you couldn't let go of, wasn't even REALLY there to begin with. You were actually letting go of NOTHING, and you stood to GAIN EVERYTHING by letting it go. You thought you'd lost real value, but in the BELIEF in its loss was an illusion of it being lost. Real value isn't special value. And so the loss of the specialness was not actually loss of anything REAL. So there hasn't REALLY been a loss. Getting to that point is what allows you to enter into the "acceptance" state and truly the LETTING GO, which is a state of allowing, surrendering, accepting the truth, and finally "detaching" your mind from its dependence on the illusory external thing. Nothing real can be threatened.

So this letting go thing, it's a process typically, and you go through stages and gradually come to accept that the thing you thought was lost is not really something worth losing. It was not even really valuable to begin with. That's where you become set free from grief and loss and have no more need to grieve. An unwillingness to let go is only based on the belief that you're letting go of something you need, letting go of something special, or letting go of the part of your self/love/salvation that you see as separate from you. All experiences of loss are really experiences reflecting your belief that you have lost yourself and God, which you cannot really do.

You won't let go of something while you think it has special value, or while you think it's real or important. And if it should happen that your ego mind is still valuing it WHILE it is being denied to you - such as when someone dies - your mind WILL experience loss and grief. This is because the mind is still trying to depend on that thing as its salvation and truth, something it values as real, and its absence is experienced as "loss". This loss will induce grieving. Grieving and loss are not NATURAL. You do not need them. But they are generated by a sick mind that believes love is outside of itself and can be threatened.

So it's really all about letting go of psychological attachment, which means your "belief in" the special value of things which don't really exist. Ultimately you are letting go of something that never even existed. You're letting go of holding onto an illusion, which never really had any value other than what you gave it. And in that relinquishing, you are shifting to what is really valuable and accessible - inner love. The re-integration of your self. Letting go of false beliefs by learning to recognize that they ARE false, recognizing them as illusions, and thus giving them no value or credit. Illusions recognized must disappear.

Quite often Jesus says to me, "let them". He is telling me to let go - to allow, to let other people be free, and to stop controlling. That means accepting that they are free to do whatever they want, and it doesn't matter because it's an illusion. They can't really hurt their real self. He has also been telling me "let go" through various waves of grief recently and I just couldn't see to gain the awareness to let go. Not until I could admit that I didn't want to, which opened up the door to a sense of loss, which eventually cleared away to reveal that nothing real had been lost, and thus acceptance and peace returned. Letting go, especially at an emotional level, is hard. It takes willingness, acceptance, admittance, letting go of fake values, removing dependencies, detaching and setting yourself free.

"Miracles are everyone's right, but purification is necessary first."

Read more on: Loss lack and need

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