Opposition and special relationships

Sunday, Aug 22, 2021 1753 words 7 mins 47 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2021 Paul West

In ACIM we're often talking about "the separation", or being separate. This is a way to describe a divide between two things. But another way is to refer to two "opposites". Heaven and hell, life and death, reality and illusions, etc. The separation was an act of opposition against God, producing an opposite state of mind.

When we're in a "separated state", we're in a state of opposition. This means we have an opponent, which we are totally un-like. And it also means we are at war. And because we are un-like our opposition, we do not "like" it. And this produces great tension.

When there seems to be opposition, there is tremendous temptation. The more extremely opposite two things are, the more they contradict each other and are in conflict. They can be in a state of extreme disagreement. In this disagreement, there is a maximal likelihood or temptation that conflict will arise, given how much the two seem to be at-odds with each other.

Tension arising from arguments, disagreements, conflicts, debates, righteousness, defensiveness, denial, protection of one's truth, opposition to or disbelief in the enemy's view, is all very likely to induce a form of war. There will be fighting and bickering and hatred and weapons being thrown and a taking of separate sides.

It's very difficult to "stay out of" such a conflict, when faced with extreme opposition. And the more they oppose you the higher the temptation is. If someone is digging in their heels and does not want a single shred of what you are offering, for example, there will be a stand-off, rejection, a communication breakdown, and a high chance of attack. They may want death, while you want life, but it won't stop them from trying to destroy you.

In this world, things which seem more alike or have something in common, seem to also experience an illusion of less conflict. I found this to be true when, for example, a person who was highly obnoxious and aggressive decided to walk a road with me one day. This person would take up a very opposing position of rebellion and anger, and this would produce a high likelihood of temptation and a flare-up of aggression. He was easily triggered due to his unhealed pain.

I decided on this occasion to pretend to be like him. So I sort of acted like him and agreed with him and spoke things he might speak, even though what I was agreeing to was not what I believed. And strangely this person started to see me as a friend or ally. I was actually doing this to try to protect myself at the time, but it showed me that it's really the distance or contrast between opposites that incites violent reactions, and so long as I did not "oppose" overtly, this person didn't target me at all.

There is similar temptation in ACIM circles, on any forum or discussion. When someone believes something opposite, particularly if it is wildly or deeply opposite, this produces a great temptation. Someone who is very patient, forgiving and calm, can perhaps resist the temptation. That takes some profound mastery. Someone who can't keep their cool in the face of intense conflict and contraryism, however, will likely lose it. How do you not be tempted by extreme evil? "One ring to rule them all"?

There is the most temptation or "tension" when something is completely opposite and contradictory. This is as if to say, someone is 180 degrees from you across the table and going head-to-head. There is also tension from misunderstanding, when someone is at 90 degrees, whereby the two do not look at anything from the same angle, like they are talking entirely different languages. They conflict more on a basis of not even understanding what each other is saying.

You'll perhaps notice that all the wars in the world are generally based on two parties very strongly disagreeing. They oppose each other. One tries to suppress the other to protect their own truth. They don't see it possible that they can live together in peace or accept each other's extremism. And just the mere existence of the other seems enough justification to destroy their heinous hedonism.

"Tension" is that sensation of very strong discordant energy between two opposites, and as each party has a stand-off and doesn't want anything to do with each other, it intensifies the tension. It's as though they rip apart from each other and pull on the fabric of existence in an effort to put as much distance between them as possible. The sense of resistance and rejection of each other heightens the tension, until breaking point.

The opposite of that tension is peace and harmony. But this can only exist either when the two opposites are able to be totally at peace with other without trying to disagree with each other, or when there are no opposites. It should also be obvious that you can't really hold a position that disagrees with someone else and be at peace. Like "let's agree to disagree" is really just a standoff, not an agreement. Either you have to be inclusive or you will be exclusive. And the only way to truly agree is that both believe exactly the same thing.

This all seems to be the same basic temptation presented over and over again in many forms in this world. Groups of people disagreeing with other groups. Nemesis and enemies going at it all over again. People getting heated because they think their beliefs are under attack. The sense of offense and hurt from other people seeming to be against your ideals. Everyone trying to correct and destroy everyone else that is different to them. Conflicts based on different bodies and genders and so on. The whole world is riddled with such temptations.

"Everything the body sees is a form of conflict." - ACIM

Sometimes when there is less contrast between two things they seem to get along. ACIM refers to them as allies, where the two are still in subjective egotism, but because their egotism "matches" they become in a way blind to each other. Neither of them "stands out" in opposition so they seem to be in harmony. But it is an illusion of harmony between two equally insane individuals. And if one of them defects, the claws come out and they scream betrayal.

Atoms and molecules conflict with each other, just by being different. Difference IS disagreement. Bodies conflict with each other just by being different. The first law of chaos is that the truth is different for everyone, and everywhere, and for everything. Every single particle of matter is different to, therefore in conflict with, every other. Everywhere you look, everything the body sees, mountains and forests and oceans and cities, it is all conflicting in its form. To be unalike is to be discordant and at war.

"The world was made as an attack on God."

"For this world is the symbol of punishment, and all the laws which seem to govern it are the laws of death."

And so where there is conflict or difference of opposition, there is temptation, because there is extreme disagreement. Difference IS attack. And if you buy into the opposition or give it any power whatsoever, you set it up as an enemy in your mind. And then you will feel attacked by it, and will be attacking yourself, and will retaliate defensively, trying to preserve your sense of truth.

All special relationships demonstrate this. They're all founded on an illusion of peace, brought about by two conflicted individuals, who are at war with the world, finding an escape from the conflict seemingly with each other by having something in common. They hide from a mutual enemy together in the confines of an exclusive relationship prison.

"When two INDIVIDUALS seek to become ONE, they are trying to DECREASE their magnitude. Each would DENY his power, for the SEPARATE union EXCLUDES THE UNIVERSE. Far more is LEFT OUTSIDE than would be taken in."

So you've got a world of differences which tempts war, and two people who are at war with the world, who "take sides" together because they see an absence of war in each other, because they both are warring in the same way. They both hate the same stuff, they both exclude the same stuff, and so they are narrow and closed off in a similar way. And this produces an illusion of love. The same happens when siding with political parties or sports teams or segments of society or religions.

But this love is very volatile and unstable and riddled with conditions and contradictions. And if any of those conditions are not met, it quickly devolves into the special hate that it's based on. If one person even decides to be more unconditionally loving, the other conditional person may see this as proof of defection, and that the other is against them and unwilling to hate with them. And then it's bye bye relationship.

I think its probably true of most people that we tend to avoid conflict and try to create an illusion of peace in life. A safe house to live in. A way to avoid sickness. An avoidance of bad people. Trying to eat the right food. Staying away from known threats and dangers. All to try to pretend that the world is not a world of conflict, to make a nice comfortable corner in the desert where you can hang out with a false sense of security. Until shit comes knocking.

True peace can only come from a transcendence of opposition. But it has to also come from "taking sides with God". That doesn't mean being against anything because in God there is no opposition. God is all encompassing and love has no opposite. It is really only the opposition to God that believes in opposites. This is why the ego attacks and hates the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit completely ignores it. He doesn't attack the ego at all, He just shows you that it is invalid.

To take sides with God is to be vigilant for his truth and his Kingdom. It means to believe only what God believes, if God had beliefs. To know what God knows. To be under no laws but his. To recognize that opposition is truly fiction and there is only one real world, one reality, one truth. This light then shines and shines away the darkness of rebellion and of sin and war. And in the final recognition that there is no opposite to love, conflict disappears forever.

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