32. Forgiveness in Action
We all experience losses of peace everyday. Anywhere from a minor irritation, a little twinge of guilt, a feeling of being a little down to a rage, a deep shame and self-blame or full on depression. These are negative emotions and are caused by interpreting the movie, the dream with the ego. Our first decision to interpret with the ego was so powerful it caused the Big Bang, the making of the level of form, time and space. So our interpreting with the ego is no small thing. As a matter of fact, it has become like a narcotic to us. Consequently whenever its use is challenged you can expect a violent response by “the addict”. We, more specifically the characters that we think we are, want our drug: interpreting with the ego. They /we believe they/we will die without it. And in a way that’s true. Because if we stop interpreting with the ego, the characters will fade away into the nothingness from whence they came.
The ego is intent on us continuing to side with it’s interpretation about the seeming separation. It told us that we had attacked God and truth and that He was going to retaliate in a vicious way and we had better run and hide. It told us we had sinned and were guilty. WE AGREED. That was our mistake in the dream. We continue to replay that moment of agreeing every second, every minute, every hour, every day. We ran in terror from God right into the arms of the ego. But this was not a death sentence. WE CAN Change our minds. How do we do this? We practice forgiveness. We practice interpreting with the Holy Spirit instead of the ego. Just as we spent millions of years talking ourselves into this mess, we have to be just as vigilant at changing our minds. We must be firm with ourselves. We will not engage in projecting guilt outward. We are 100% responsible. We will only use the illusion, the story, as a way to release the guilt in our unconscious mind. We will not make it real. No one is guilty of anything. Not now, not then, not ever. We simply fell asleep and dreamed of hell. We are safe in the arms of God and ready to awaken.
We made the separation real with our faith and belief. Now we have to redirect our faith and belief. We have to have faith and believe, that even if we can’t see it with our physical eyes, there is a real world where forgiveness rules, not judgment. It exists. The real world is just short of Heaven and has been given to us to help us get home to God. You might call it Heaven on earth. But we cannot have it as long as we insist on making the ego world real. Just as we deny our real Self, we deny the real world every second of the day. Our addiction to making our separate identity and the world it seems to exist in real is costing us the sight and experience of the Holy Spirit inspired world of forgiveness. Its natural to see and to exist in the real world. There is an unbearable strain on us as we try to fend off our seeing and experiencing of it.
The ego uses every trick in the book to make the body and the world seem real. Believe me, it is no small task to go through withdrawal and stop drinking of the illusion (making it real). We cannot do it alone. But by surrendering to the Holy Spirit and supporting each other we can. Let’s practice forgiveness diligently. First stop the real world, then home to God.
Many Course students use the Course to make themselves, the selves they think they are, feel better in the ego world, the place they think they are. This is completely different than wanting to leave the world and seek reality instead. Are you using the Course to make the self you think you are more comfortable or are you willing to do whatever it takes to retire from the world and seek reality, GOD, instead? Do you want to pretend to manage your drinking and its effects or stop drinking altogether? Until you decide to stop drinking, stop making the ego world real, you will continue to reincarnate. The good news is everyone will eventually choose to stop drinking. How long it takes is up to us.
If you are ready to stop drinking you must be willing to make everything in the illusion NOT REAL. The process of forgiveness is simple but challenging because the ego is threatened by the light and the addict doesn’t want his drugs taken away. Fortunately for us we are neither the ego nor the drug addict. This process requires the desire to stop making the illusion real, to stop valuing it and the wholehearted commitment to do whatever it takes to get sober of that thinking. We are not going to make it real. We have decided. We acknowledge that we are addicted to making the illusion real. If we find ourselves drinking, and we will until we don’t, we will forgive and recommit. That’s the process. Not making it real one day , one hour, one minute at a time.
The process also entails an essential element that is often overlooked by Course students. In addition to learning to stop making the illusion real we must give up the wrong-minded thoughts that fuel the addiction. Many alcoholics stop drinking but don’t change the thinking that had them drinking. They are referred to as dry-drunks. Exchanging our wrong-minded thoughts for right-minded thoughts is a mandatory step in our journey to mastery. This is how we ultimately heal the unconscious guilt in our minds. Forgiveness is an empty gesture unless it entails correction. We must accept the Holy Spirit’s next right thought, the correction. This is what ultimately moves us up the ladder of separation back home to God.
As we accept the unreality of the world of separation and the unreality of the selves we have made, sobriety and sanity will dawn on our mind. We will remember where and who we have always been and will always be, the Supernatural Sinless Son of God in whom He is well pleased at home resting in His arms.