Rather than continue the chapter, you can read the rest of it at this link. I enjoyed the whole section quite a bit, but I lost the thread as I've moved further into the book, and I'd like to write about other things.
It has been an interesting time over the past few days for me. My wife as left on a three week trip this past Thursday and a number of my family have gone off on their on expeditions. Rather than feeling set adrift, I feel oddly relieved. It's as if living a few days without the usual safety nets allows you to experience your day to day life in a new way. Without these comfortable, loving people around I'm enjoying the opportunity to be a little quieter and more introspective. My usual work continues of course, but all these quiet moments with just me, the cats and God have felt like revelation.
I expected I'd feel alone in some fundamental way, but I don't. When I sit down to meditate, or just ponder what I'm going to do next on a slow-moving Sunday, I feel like my decisions have more weight than they used to. I feel as though my happiness and peacefulness are truly within my own purvue, independent of what is going on around me. I sit on the front step of my house and feel closer to everyone walking by on the sidewalk, no matter how preoccupied they may seem. How could I ever feel alone with such ease and love available to me? Even the meditations in my bedroom hum with a sort of inclusiveness, as if my perception of solitude has always been just that. I am never truly alone, I share my thoughts with everyone and they share theirs with me.
Me, God and the cats prowl my house. Seeing the cats has always been easy and experiencing their company has always been a joy. Realizing this "new" companion of mine was easier still, once I caught on.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
I said before that what you project or extend is up to you, but you must do one or the other, for that is a law of mind, and you must look in before you look out. As you look in, you choose the guide for seeing. And then you look out and behold his witnesses. This is why you find what you seek. What you want in yourself you will make manifest, and you will accept it from the world because you put it there by wanting it. When you think you are projecting what you do not want, it is still because you do want it. This leads directly to dissociation, for it represents the acceptance of two goals, each perceived in a different place; separated from each other because you made them different. The mind then sees a divided world outside itself, but not within. This gives it an illusion of integrity, and enables it to believe that it is pursuing one goal. Yet as long as you perceive the world as split, you are not healed. For to be healed is to pursue one goal, because you have accepted only one and want but one.
When you want only love you will see nothing else. The contradictory nature of the witnesses you perceive is merely the reflection of your conflicting invitations. You have looked upon your mind and accepted opposition there, having sought it there. But do not then believe that the witnesses for opposition are true, for they attest only to your decision about reality, returning to you the messages you gave them. Love, too, is recognized by its messengers. If you make love manifest, its messengers will come to you because you invited them.
The power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world. You can decide to see it right. What you made of it is not its reality, for its reality is only what you give it. You cannot really give anything but love to anyone or anything, nor can you really receive anything but love from them. If you think you have received anything else, it is because you have looked within and thought you saw the power to give something else within yourself. It was only this decision that determined what you found, for it was the decision for what you sought.
I included that third paragraph since it is so important to making sense of every other part I've quoted so far. We have invented the world that we see, but we do not always want to accept or take responsibility for that. We pretend control over things we cannot control, and claim we have no choice when we are free to choose. We agree that the world as we see it now is illusion, but we continue view everyone around us as separate individuals. Viewing them as separate, we project those things we do not like in ourselves onto them, as if these negative feelings were real or worthwhile to begin with.
Our free will to choose love leaves us equally free not to choose it, but it is a choice that we make. We are not at the mercy of "other people" or the world to dictate how much love we have in our lives, we get exactly what we look for.
Posted by Shawn at 1:32 PM
Saturday, August 05, 2006
You see what you expect, and you expect what you invite. Your perception is the result of your invitation, coming to you as you sent for it. Whose manifestations would you see? Of whose presence would you be convinced? For you will believe in what you manifest, and as you look out so will you see in. Two ways of looking at the world are in your mind, and your perception will reflect the guidance you have chosen.
I am the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and when you see me it will be because you have invited Him. For He will send you His witnesses if you will but look upon them. Remember always that you see what you seek, for what you seek you will find. The ego finds what it seeks, and only that. It does not find love, for that is not what it is seeking. Yet seeking and finding are the same, and if you seek for two goals you will find them, but you will recognize neither. You will think they are the same because you want both of them. The mind always strives for integration, and if it is split and wants to keep the split, it will still believe it has one goal by making it seem to be one.
A Course In Miracles spends a good deal of time speaking to how powerful the mind is and how our perceptions begin and end in it. Perception is a barometer for what you believe in the moment. If everything outside of ourselves is illusion, what we perceive is only a story about what we think the world is. I know that when I'm grumpy it's not because bad things are happening to me, it is because I am looking at the world without a greater context. I'm telling a story that makes me feel badly rather than one that makes me feel loving and joyful. Neither story is reality, but a positive outlook takes us closer to Oneness.
Our minds are so powerful, we need to be vigilant about what we call to us with our attitudes and intentions. "What you seek you find" becomes apparent in our day to day lives as we pay more attention to our experience following the choices we make.
Posted by Shawn at 2:55 PM