1 – Basic Cause of Fear
“Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. (M45)”
Has someone whom you always considered a very rational individual suddenly started expressing what appear to be irrational thoughts? I think this is because each strong character trait, such as rationality, has a shadow side, as Jung would tell us. The shadow side of rationality is irrationality, and irrationality is very threatening, especially when a significant other seems to be reversing trends of a lifetime.
2 – Irrationality
This irrationality, which we may hear, is what we are perceiving as a magic thought. And this is a prime reason that we fear, if we get angry about the threatening of our world view. If we become afraid, our own better thinking may fall by the wayside, and we ourselves may become irrationally fearful.
3 – Stress
Stress can bring all of this lamentable thinking about. I have come to see stress as a manifestation of the fear vs. love dichotomy in our world. And stress is the manifestation of fear.
4 – Holy Spirit
Let’s do what we can today to walk a smooth pathway. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice to us, will help. He can keep us calm even if our significant others are not calm. Even if our significant others are caught in irrational thinking.
5 – Irrationality
If we ourselves have ever been irrational (and who of us has not been?), then irrationality in another will become more threatening to us. Let’s pray together today that all such insanity fall from us. Let’s pray today for a good day.
6 – Magic
“A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. (M45)”
We are having magic thoughts also when we let the irrationality of another get to us. This is because when we are attached to God in prayer, we don’t feel fearful of presumed irrationality. We know that God has everything in hand. It is when we ourselves allow ourselves to become fearful (and this will happen when we are threatened by another’s fears) that we are most cognizant of our separation from God.
7 – Prayer
Pray today to mend this separation. Pray today to mend the barrier between you and your brother/sister. Barriers fall down when we get guidance from the Holy Spirit.
8 – Counterproductive
It may be counterproductive to tell someone else that he/she is being irrational, or that we are perceiving that he/she is being irrational. By the very definition of irrationality, if someone else is being irrational, that person will not recognize truth when confronted with it. He/she will see our evaluation as a kind of attack, which indeed it is. It may very well be best to keep one’s interpretations (for they ARE interpretations) to one’s self, and just smooth the troubled waters.
9 – Later On
Later on, when the coast is smoother, we can ask our significant other about those expressed opinions which have upset us. We need to share everything that we possibly can. There are no exceptions to this rule, unless sharing would hurt the other person. Sharing is normally healing.
10 – Sleeping Guilt
“But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but awaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, ‘You have usurped the place of God. Think not He has forgotten.’ Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. (M45)”
This passage explains why we are sometimes confronted with magic, or irrational, thoughts in another. We are being shown our “sleeping guilt.” We have become frightened of God. We are fearful of God.
11 – Insanity
This is stark insanity. There is nothing in our relationship to God that, in a sane mind, is fearful. All of us are said, in A Course in Miracles, to be mad, to one extent or another—until we awaken. Let us pray to be healed of our guilt, for it is the guilt that has driven us insane, the guilt of our presumed “sinful” nature. But we have only made mistakes, correctable mistakes. And we don’t need to stay insane. The Holy Spirit will take us by the hand—indeed, Jesus will take us by the hand. And we will be led to freedom of thought, to freedom of thought without fear.
12 – God
Then the irrationality of magic thoughts won’t hurt so much. We will know that God is handling this situation for us.
13 – God’s Teachers
“Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God Himself. There is a way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. (M46)”
Here Jesus laments the worsening situation of our world. He knows that we cannot continue to survive, nor to thrive, if those of us who have followed him do not do our part in salvation. But he is optimistic, even as he sounds a cautionary note. We can help ourselves and our brothers and sisters to escape from this impossible situation in which we find ourselves. But we need patience and abundant willingness to do so.
14 – Practicality
What does this mean for us, practically? I think that for those of us who have chosen the Course as “our Way,” then this passage means that we must study and learn ourselves all the time that we are trying to reach others. The Course is long enough and sophisticated enough that we cannot recall all its tenets unless we refresh our memories on virtually a daily basis. This does not mean just doing the workbook, but also dipping into the text and the manual for teachers.
15 – The Course
If we study the Course, our own lives will go better. We will then be in a much better situation to reach our brothers and sisters. We will be in the right frame of mind to want to share the good news. We will not be resistant. Remember that Jesus is there to help us always. He promises this. And our guidance from the Holy Spirit is a sure thing. With Helpers like these, how can we fail?
16 – Anger
“If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. (M46)”
We are interpreting the magic thoughts of another. And if we get angry about being confronted with irrationality, we are not feeling something that is justified. We get angry when we are threatened in our world view. We don’t want our boat rocked. But sometimes, in our troubled world, this happens.
17 – Facts vs. Interpretation
But we never get angry at a fact; it is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger (ACIM tenets). And our anger at irrationality may be so subtle as not to be felt very keenly.
18 – Hidden Anger
This hidden anger is especially insidious, for it subjects us to fear, to stress manifested in ourselves. If we are not careful with our emotions, this stress will have an outlet, and that outlet will be an expression of anger.
19 – Brothers/Sisters
Our brother/sister deserves better than this from us. Let us pray to have our own magic thoughts, our own irrationality, healed around these concepts. We are safe, and when we fear another’s irrationality, we think that we are not safe. And, on some level, this makes us angry.
20 – Calm Mind
There are rules by which this will not occur, but first and foremost, we need a calm mind.
21 – Madness
“Madness but seems terrible. In truth it has no power to make anything. (M46)”
Madness can do nothing, for it is illusion. Be calm, be not overwhelmed by another’s irrationality. It is only madness, and madness has nothing that can cause fear in a mind (ours) that is steeped in comfort given us by God’s holy Presence.
22 – Fleeting
So the irrationality of another cannot ultimately hurt us. The fact that irrationality is mostly fleeting is a blessing. We don’t have to dwell on these magic thoughts. We can set them aside as insanity. And we can know that the expression of magic thoughts, the expression of madness, is “distress that rests on error” (from the ACIM Text).
23 – Walk a Green Earth
Pray today to do your part to assuage that distress. Then you, as well as your significant other, will walk a green earth again.
May I have the patience and willingness to function rightly as a teacher of God. May, indeed, I be a teacher of God. May I never lead anyone astray.
I know that not all of my brothers and sisters are ready to receive direct teaching. May I be sensitive to what they are ready for, and may I offer only this in confidence that I am making the right decision in reaching them.