“The secret of salvation is but this: That you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. (T587-T588)”
1 – Are We “Blaming the Victim”?
If life seems very hard, we can think of these words. They are not easy to understand, because they sound like a “blame the victim” scenario. But the Course never intends this. We do not consciously bring bad things upon ourselves, at least most of the time. And the evil that is in the world is not our own personal fault.
2 – Some Misinterpretation of ACIM
This aspect of the Course has been misinterpreted by many people. And many have rejected it because of the “victim” problem.
3 – Pain vs. Suffering
Do not reject any longer. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will see happier days. We will ponder the happenings around us, and they will cause pain. But suffering is our own choice, and we can choose to turn over to the Holy Spirit all things that hurt. This includes for others as well as ourselves.
4 – From Eckhart Tolle
We never have to let pain turn into suffering, though most of us are not so evolved as to miss this mistake in all instances. Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth says a great deal about the fact that it is ourselves who turn pain into suffering. He has a concept called the “pain body” that he believes is activated either frequently or infrequently in virtually everyone. This concept is not a part of A Course in Miracles, but Eckhart quotes from ACIM, and so his study, following his Awakening, included ACIM. And he does not, in the reading that I have done of Eckhart, ever say anything that contradicts ACIM.
5 – Choose Again
When we realize that we are doing this unto ourselves, we can choose again. And that is a very important concept. We need simply to start the day afresh, regardless of what hour on the clock the day actually is. (ACIM recommends starting the day afresh if we begin amiss.) I often start the day again, because I have a tendency to arise with a great deal of pressure to get started on what I need to do on any given day. (This compulsion dissipates in an hour or two, but why stay with such a compulsion even an hour?)
6 – Choose to Be Free of Neurosis
We must choose again. That is the only way that we will be free of the neurosis that has dogged our days. And Jesus can heal us of our madness, our insanity–the state of virtually everyone in this world.
When my day turns grim, may I pause just a moment and remember that I can choose again. I absolutely do not have to turn pain into suffering, an idea that Eckhart reminds me. I would not let fears that I am blaming myself for my misfortune turn me into bitterness, even for a second. I would know that bitterness is a form of insanity, of neurosis, and I would be free of the madness that is surely elicited by listening to the ego’s madness.
I would not be egotistical today. I would let my ego wither away, and I would ask Your help in doing this. Any time that I am tempted to let pride intrude, a false pride that is disastrous, I would ask that my Guide gently remind that I have turned aside from walking the pathway to You. And I would walk the pathway to You on a constant basis.
Be with me on this, a sunny day outside. May the joy that spring will surely bring help me to remember to thank You for this beautiful world. We have spoiled the environment in some ways, but may we know that the beauty is always there, waiting to be reclaimed.
I thank You in advance for keeping me “in the flow” of You and Your gifts today. May I follow my intuition unfailingly, unless I am misled by an egotistical thought that would take me away from You.
Thank You for Your felt Presence.