“You think that to come in contact with violence is to have a relationship with it. This is not so. If this were so, you would be joined to all you come in contact with and the world would be heaven indeed, as all you see became blessed by your holiness. That you move through your world without relating to it in any way is what causes your alienation from the heaven it can be. (A Course of Love, 5.31)”
Affirmation: “I would see heaven in this world today.”
1 – Violent World Overcome
We who try to live good lives would make a difference in this violent world if we were truly in relationship to all of it. This is not a grandiose belief, unless this belief is viewed through the ego’s eyes. We can make a difference, but we at this point are not in relationship to all. And that is what is causing the problem.
2 – Make a Different World
If we truly turned aside from violence of any kind, we would make a different kind of world, a heaven in this world. That is what the passage is saying. And we would be blessed, along with all the world.
3 – Extend Love
But we turn aside from having any relationship with those who perpetrate violence, by denouncing violence in them. We do not extend our love to fellow human beings who are struggling, trying to do the best they can, even though we don’t think what they are doing is very good. We must see other people as the brothers and sisters that they are. And then we will see real change happening on earth.
I would reconsider my attitude toward those in this world who do violent things. I have so often wanted to turn off the radio when the news is on, for the violence being reported is overwhelming and, oh, so disturbing. This is a way that I denounce violence, by refusing to listen to it.
Instead, I would send a prayer abroad and in this country, that violence might be dispelled. In my own life, I would turn aside from any kind of verbal violence or verbal attack, because, just like the ones who perpetuate real violence in the world, at such times that I verbally attack, I am feeling anger–just as they are.
I would not directly resist, for I am not in the military service. But I would gently, very gently, just turn aside from violence that I hear about, giving it no credence. Misguided people need our understanding. If religious people do not offer understanding, to whom can the misguided turn?