Your self is shared with other people

Thursday, May 26, 2022 2080 words 9 mins 14 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

Your whole life, since you found yourself in a body, you've believed that your self is SEPARATE from other people. That you are isolated and alone INSIDE your body, and no-one else is in there with you.

You have believed that everyone else is excluded from you, is not a part of you, and exists outside of you, stuck in their OWN bodies. And that therefore they are NOT you. But this is completely untrue and unnatural.

In heaven, the whole Kingdom of God, which is the Sonship, comprises many beings. But all of these beings are SHARED. They share all of themselves with each other. So much so that a part of each being is IN and AS other beings. They are all one. One brother is all brothers, every mind contains all minds. So the sense of "self" really means, "I am myself AND I am everyone."

In the separation from God, bodies were invented as separation devices to IMPRISON each self, to cut it off from others and to NOT SHARE with them. This produced a sense of a self which is only you, and not anyone else. A self which is alone, isolated, separate, exclusive, and DOES NOT SHARE with others. This self appears to be trapped inside a separate body, kept apart from others by a gap of space, and confined.

So now you grew up believing that anything that refers to you, refers to the "only me" that is inside your body. The sense of self that EXCLUDES everyone else. Me, and NOT you. Only me. Only MY self, and NOT your self. That's what your sense of yourself has turned into. A self which shares nothing, a self which is special and exclusive, a self which is alone, and a self which is DISCONNECTED from others.

But what you may not have realized is that, in applying the imprisonment of bodies to your unified self, you actually split the mind and separate off PART of you into your body, and LEFT OUT the part of you that is IN OTHERS. The part of you that is them, became seemingly disconnected from you. You were "separated out" from the shared group collective mind. And it's still true that PART OF YOURSELF IS OUTSIDE OF YOU.

So whereas before, your whole experiencing of how to receive something was to bring it INTO you from the outside in, to "get" from the world, to possess something ONLY for yourself, what needs to happen in truth is that you realize that the parts of you IN OTHERS have to also receive in order for YOU to receive. Because, literally, you ARE in them and if you exclude the part of you that's in them from receiving then you are literally deprived.

So now your whole sense of "who and what am I" has to EXPAND and become MORE INCLUSIVE. It has to go from "only me by myself" to "me including everyone else". That you ARE everyone. You are the whole sonship.

"The sonship is your soul." "We are the Kingdom, WE, the Sons of God." "One brother is all brothers. Every mind contains all minds."

So now the dynamic of giving and receiving has to change. To your separated self, giving has been interpreted as LOSS, because to give away to someone NOT yourself is to LOSE what you had. And this is how the ego - the "me alone" sense of identity, sees it. And receiving was only ever seen as you GETTING for yourself and depriving others of what you have, so that they are the one sacrificing.

In truth, if you ARE everyone, and part of your very own self is IN them, then when you give to THEM, you are STILL INCLUDED, because the part of you in them receives it. And therefore to receive anything, you have to give it to YOURSELF AND OTHERS simultaneously. And the word for that is SHARING, or joining. Or even oneness.

It will seem odd at first, and counter-intuitive. It will seem ridiculous to suggest that you have to GIVE to someone "else", in order to receive. That whatever you want for yourself, you have to give it to someone else. That if you want to be healed, you have to give healing. That if you want to feel loved, you have to GIVE love. It will seem like you're being fooled, that someone ELSE is going to get all the benefit, and you will be left hanging. You'll be wondering to yourself how YOU are going to benefit at all if someone ELSE is getting all the stuff given to them.

But as you practice this and SHIFT your sense of self away from "I am only me" to "I am us", which is true sharing and natural oneness, you will realize that it does in fact work. When you do give love to another, you DO become elevated. This is why "miracles benefit both the giver and the receiver". Giving love makes YOU feel loved. Giving healing brings healing TO YOU. Making someone happy makes YOU happy.

This is actually the only way that miracles can be given to others. Because "miracles unite you with your brother" and "healing is when two minds recognize their oneness and become glad." This is also where shared interests come into it.

If your SELF really encompassses and means, "You plus them", and you really start to develop a sense that YOU ARE IN THEM, then whenever you are thinking of your "own" interests you actually think of what is in the best interests of BOTH of you. You think of how you can BOTH BENEFIT and BOTH RECEIVE equally. You start to be your brother's keeper, because it is on your own best interest to do so.

The course also says that when you do this, when you start to see yourself as IN others, shared with them, which results in you looking out for your MUTUAL interests, you can now call yourself a Teacher of God. Because you are now TEACHING something BEYOND separation, beyond isolation and exclusion. You are teaching inclusiveness and sharing, which is aligned with God's nature.

"A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else's."

It can feel strange at first, but as you start to practive this, you realize that you need to "target" the you that is in someone ELSE, in order for YOU to really receive anything. And that when you try to target the you that is ONLY in your body, you end up being deprived. After a while you start to actually expand your sense of identity and self to INCLUDE other people. You start to feel like, references to "ME" are references to "US". That you start to ENCOMPASS others like a kind of umbrella.

Whatever is truly given is therefore given FOR you and TO you but also FOR others. This is why the light of God is given to you in order to move through you TO others. This is how miracles are working. Because we're really talking here about the basis of a holy relationship, a relationship in which "my selfish self" is being put aside and my sense of identity is transcending "just me" and is opening up to INCLUDE others.

That means you are becoming more WHOLE, or having more "self-fullness", because the whole of you really is the whole sonship. You ARE the Kingdom of God. You INCLUDE everyone in yourself. You are christ just as everyone is. So to be whole, you have to be everyone. Otherwise you exclude huge portions of yourself by excluding your brother.

You can't be seeing other people as "NOT ME" if you are to be spiritually awakened. Atonement is the TRANSCENDENCE of separation.

"Specialness is a lack of trust in anyone except yourself. Faith is invested in yourself alone. Everything else becomes your enemy, feared and attacked, deadly and dangerous, hated and worthy only of destruction."

"But NEVER you alone. This world is but the dream that you can BE alone, and think without affecting those apart from you. To be alone MUST mean you are apart, and if you are, you cannot BUT be sick."

"Specialness is the function that you gave yourself. It stands for you alone, as self-created, self-maintained, in need of nothing, and unjoined with anything beyond the body."

"It is not true that you can make decisions BY yourself, or FOR yourself alone. No thought of God's Son CAN be separate, or isolated in its effects. Every decision is made for the WHOLE SONSHIP, directed in and out, and influencing a constellation larger than anything you ever dreamed of."

"You communicate with no-one, and you are as isolated from reality, as if you were ALONE in all the universe. In your madness, you OVERLOOK REALITY COMPLETELY, and you see ONLY YOUR SPLIT MIND everywhere you look. God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself ALONE."

"You BELIEVE that it is possible to harbor thoughts you would NOT share, and that Salvation lies in keeping your thoughts TO YOURSELF ALONE. For, in private thoughts, KNOWN ONLY TO YOURSELF, you think you find a way to keep what you would HAVE alone, and share what YOU would share. And then you wonder why it is that you are not in full communication with those around you, and with God, Who surrounds ALL of you together."

"Salvation needs your help as well as mine. Do not forget you do not answer for yourself alone."

"You cannot hear the Voice for God in yourself alone, because you are NOT alone. And His answer is only for what you ARE."

"Remember that you learn not for yourself alone, no more than I did. It is BECAUSE I learned for YOU, that you can learn of ME."

"You can no more pray for yourselves alone than you can find joy for yourself alone. Prayer is a re-statement of INCLUSION, directed by the Holy Spirit under the laws of God."

"The idea for today is obviously the reason why your seeing does not affect you alone." (I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.) "WITHOUT His guidance, you will think you know alone, and will decide AGAINST your peace, as surely as you made the wrong decision in ever thinking that Salvation lay in you alone. Salvation is of Him to Whom God GAVE it FOR you."

"The ego teaches that your strength is in you ALONE. The Holy Spirit teaches that ALL strength is in God and THEREFORE in you."

"And how could your request be limited to you alone? No gift of God can be unshared."

"The gifts you have are not for you alone. What He has come to offer you, you now must learn to give. This is the lesson that His giving holds, for He has saved you from the solitude you sought to make, in which to hide from God."

"It will NOT be for you alone, for therein lay its misery. As its UNholiness kept it as a thing apart, its HOLINESS will become an offering to everyone."

"Atonement is for all, because it is the way to UNDO the belief that ANYTHING is for you ALONE."

"This you COULD spare him AND YOURSELF. For reason would not make way for correction in you alone. Correction cannot BE accepted OR REFUSED by you, without your brother."

"Salvation IS His Will BECAUSE you share it. NOT for you alone, but for the Self which IS the Son of God."

"The contrast is far greater than you think, for you will love this concept of yourself, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT MADE FOR YOU ALONE. Born as a gift for someone NOT perceived to be yourself, it has been given YOU. For your forgiveness, offered unto him, has been accepted now for BOTH of you."

"Neither of you alone can serve at all. Only in your JOINT will does healing lie. For here YOUR healing is, and here will YOU accept Atonement. And in your healing IS the Sonship healed, BECAUSE your wills are joined."

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