I posted a quote earlier and received a question. What follows is the question, the quote and the answer.
Okay. That is great. Another Course quote. But what is the practical application of that in the world?
Like you, your brother thinks he is a dream. Share not in his illusion of himself, for your Identity depends on his reality. Think, rather, of him as a mind in which illusions still persist, but as a mind which brother is to you. He is not brother made by what he dreams, nor is his body, “hero” of the dream, your brother. It is his reality that is your brother, as is yours to him. Your mind and his are joined in brotherhood. His body and his dreams but seem to make a little gap, where yours have joined with his. (T-28.IV.3:1-7)
Let’s say you are talking to your neighbor. She tells you that her dog just died. In your mind, because you are a Course student and the more sane of the two at the moment, you are not going to buy the ego’s delusion that your personality self is talking to her personality self about a deceased pet. That cannot happen. Your personality self is the ego, a thought of separation. Her personality self is the ego, a thought of separation. The ego selves were made to break communication, to perpetuate the illusion of separation. You know that if you go along with the ego’s fairy tale, that there are two real selves communicating, it only crucifies her and you.
We have another choice. We, as mind, use the stories in the illusion to crucify ourselves. Jesus tells us that his was the last useless journey to the cross. From then on there was an alternative. We could use the stories in the illusion not to validate, make real, our own crucifixion stories but we could let the Holy Spirit use these stories to teach us that none of them are real. Our personality selves think they know exactly what to do in every situation. Some selves would comfort and empathize. The wrong kind of empathy, just like the wrong kind of forgiveness, makes the situation real first and then attempts a solution. Others would head for the hills. This would be a further breaking of communication. But the motivation of the ego self is ALWAYS to make themselves, others and the situation real. This makes the separation real and therefore the personal and shared ego real.
So in your mind, having declined to use your conversation with your neighbor for the ego’s purpose, turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him what to say or do. He will insure that the whole situation is used to get us all home to God. He might instruct you to nod and listen. He might instruct you to excuse yourself and leave. He might tell you to share about a past lost pet. But it would not be for the reason you think. Your neighbor is not broken. She does not need to be fixed. She needs support in awakening so the whole cycle of suffering might end. Only the Holy Spirit knows how to use this seeming encounter for that.
The Holy Spirit might even instruct you to let Him speak to her through you. Then you are going to have to get your ego self out of the way and let Him speak. This whole situation will be even more difficult if you are having a reaction to your neighbor, the story of a pet that died or the Holy Spirit telling you to say something you feel embarrassed about saying. Hang in there. It gets easier with practice.
It does not matter if someone is eating a ham sandwich or dealing with a dead pet. Your job is to not make it real and let the Holy Spirit use the situation to move everyone up the ladder of awareness. The more you learn not to let your ego self interfere in your interactions, the louder the Holy Spirit’s Voice becomes. As you stop listening to the ego about what you should or should not do, a supernatural way of living starts to come into focus. Don’t listen to the ego when it tells you to run the other way!