Tag Archives: blame

Give Up Blame!, by Ivor Sowton

Here’s a quote from Jesus in the 3rd Treatise of A Course of Love (ACOL). The context of this quote is that, having established that our only purpose here is to remember our true Selves, which will bring Heaven on earth, Jesus then tells us that to remember that true Self we first have to forget the false self:

The first think I ask you to forget is the need to find a place where blame can be placed. You who have been waiting to get to the “hard part” of this course of study may find it here. (10.3)

We’ll pick up with the rest of the quote in stages here, for (as usual!) each sentence bears great meaning for us. First let us note that we have been warned by the Master to expect resistance around this idea of renouncing blame. Knowing this, we can be more humble and open to the guidance that will see us through this great letting go.

How on earth, you might say, could it be such a big deal to let go of such a negative thing as placing blame? Let’s think here; if I’m depressed I am for sure (in my case, anyway!) blaming someone for it–someone else or myself. These are both very painful–for me–but they do let my ego stay separate from all those bad guys!

If I’m anxious I’m usually blaming myself. This also is very effective in making me feel separate and alone, with the ego as my only ally.

If I’m angry, well obviously it’s someone’s fault! Now I get to be both separated and vindicated by being right!
Hmm.

Some more of the quote:

The idea of blame is incongruous with the idea of a benevolent Creator and a benevolent Creation and as such is the only blasphemy. (10.3)

This chapter in the Third Treatise leads to the liberating idea that if we do what Jesus is suggesting here then everything that happens to us WILL be benevolent. Everything will be a lesson, and every lesson is a gift from our loving Father if we can but release this blaming reflex.

Now let’s get real. Do we really want unity in relationship–Heaven on earth? As who, though?! That’s the great ego fear, maintained by blame placing. Can I really dare give up my grievances? Who would I be then?! Would I even be an I? That’s the deep inquiry we’re being led into here.

Now, the ego really doesn’t care if we blame others or ourselves, for we get the same separation experience either way:

To blame yourself is just as senseless as blaming others and your inclination to place blame upon yourself must be given up. (Ibid.)

So, we can start to see that this IS a big undoing. To do it we have to watch our thoughts throughout the day with determined, loving attentiveness. I put in the loving part to get us out of the

” I should exercise but I don’t want to” syndrome. Jesus has so constantly reassured us of his completely constant love for us that maybe we are slowly coming to believe him on that. So now if he says it would be really good for us to forget blaming, we’re more inclined to trust that love and really try it out.

Taking away the idea of placing blame will change your thought processes beyond your wildest imagining…what you will find will come in the place of blame is an idea of acceptance of what is, an idea that is needed now. (10.4-6)

For to Jesus, what is is the eternal love of God? To live in that, always. Heaven on earth. As he says later, are you ready for that?!
So, having had our resistance predicted, we begin:

All you need do is catch yourself in the act of placing blame and say to yourself “I was placing blame again and I choose to do so no longer.” (10.4)

And then we heroically put our minds on something positive right away and we don’t let ourselves slip back into blame. Heavy lifting! You’ll see what I mean I’m pretty sure. Even looking at it from our very limited scientific perspective in terms of neural pathways, we have literally built our entire previous identity on fault-finding, establishing huge default connections–neural super highways– which have become completely automatic and almost completely effective at keeping us feeling separate from others–almost all of them, all the time!

So, yes, this is a big job. But this is the holiest of work, this forgetting of Illusion so the truth can dawn again upon our waking hearts. What makes it possible for us to undertake this practice sincerely and for the long haul?

For me, I need faith here, and a lot of it. God has given me enough proof of His Love for me to go on and follow through with this practice on faith. I think we will all find our own formula here, which will be the expression of our own True Self in us. As the Buddhists wisely say, we can call upon the Teacher, the teachings, and the company of truth-seekers at any time for help. We can all do that.

In a later ACOL chapter of the same name Jesus says all are chosen. That is, God loves us all, every last one of us, as misguided as we may be! So if we can relate to being chosen of God to be supremely happy all the time if we but can but remember that state, and if we can take Jesus at his word in saying we have to forget untruth first–well hey, bring it on!!
(This is) the thought system of Unity. It is your true thought system and will be easily remembered once you begin to let it automatically replace the old. (10.12)

Salvation a Game that Happy Children Play

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“Not one situation coming to you now will be a repeat of the past. How can it be when the past was lived in the house of illusion and the present is lived in the house of truth? Being cognizant of this is the only way that the simultaneous learning and unlearning that was spoken of earlier will be able to be realized. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.7)”

Affirmation: “I will seek to learn new things today.”

Reflections:

1 – Badly Taught

Earlier in this chapter in A Course of Love, Jesus asks us to forget as much as possible. Apparently he thinks that we were badly taught, and the reason comes out in the passage for today: We were living in the house of illusion. Now, he encourages us ever so much again by saying that we live now in the house of truth. He, if not we, are certain that we have walked far toward Christ-consciousness.

2 – How Happy Are You?

How can we measure our progress? A very simple way is to decide how happy we are, even if life is still tough in some respects and maybe in many respects. We will have an ineffable joy if we are living right. And actually things will turn out better, though Christ-consciousness and the preparation for it do not mean that all will always go swimmingly. Certainly Jesus had things go very badly, though he believed in what he was doing, and history has borne out the wisdom of his pathway.

3 – Do You Blame?

Other ways to know if we are proceeding along a path that leads ever closer to Christ-consciousness is to determine how we feel toward other individuals. Do we still blame them when they act badly? Do we still blame them when they blame us for something? Do we forgive readily? The life that is dedicated to Jesus’s way will proceed in concert with other individuals, always away that we hold each other’s hand as we walk through life. We walk side-by-side also, especially with our significant other, our brother (from A Course in Miracles). If we take turns moving ahead and falling back in this walk, neither we nor our brother make any forward progress. But if we walk gaily along, holding hands, we know salvation to the joyous game that children play (from ACIM).

4 – Walk to the House of Truth

So we walk to the house of truth. We may not always be certain what that truth really is, but nevertheless, we know that we are not wholly caught in illusions anymore. We feel better most of the time. Life seems a blessing, not a curse. And we walk in love of ourselves (for self-love does not have to be egotistical), others, and God.

5 – First Day of the Rest of Our Lives

Take time today to forgive, to love, and to reach ever forward on our walk. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let’s don’t rue the day. We can and will reach Christ-consciousness, if we remain true to what we are reading. Only remember that God Himself makes the decision of when we are really ready to accept the ultimate blessing of living in this time of Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would emphasize my walk toward reality in my prayers to You today. I walk as humbly as I can, though egoic notions still impinge. I am ready to be done with the ego, and indeed Jesus says in A Course of Love that we all, who have reached this far, are done with the ego. May I recognize the truth of this statement.

I would drop my illusions today. I would drop the things that I say to myself that are injurious to myself. May my thoughts and words in in Your will, today and always. Be with me as I seek to walk into truth.

Amen.

Blame

Towpath_Bridge - hass“All you need do is catch yourself in the act of placing blame and say to yourself, ‘I was placing blame again and I choose to do so no longer.’ You need not spend any more time with blame than this and I offer you no word of sentiment to replace it. I ask you simply to take the thought of it from your mind as quickly as it enters. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I will avoid blame today.”

Reflections:

1 – Blame and Guilt

It is easy for the ego to get one tripped up by encouraging the placing of blame on others and on ourselves. We need to do neither. We are all innocent, as A Course in Miracles so eloquently states. Blame is to my mind a first cousin to guilt, and it is guilt that has driven us mad (from ACIM). We need to keep our relationships with others as cordial as possible, and holding grievances would mean that this is impossible. We are not safe when we hold grievances, because we point a finger at another, but three fingers are pointing back at us. And grievances and blame are akin.

2 – Benign Emotions

Why would we harbor ill will if we could harbor more benign emotions? And we can harbor more benign emotions. We get ourselves all tangled up, criticizing (even in our minds) the words or actions of another. We don’t make friends that way; we alienate people. There is no way that we can blame without suffering repercussions that are bad.

3 – Blaming Ourselves

We often blame ourselves when we think that we have fallen short of our ideal behavior. And this is just as bad as blaming others for their shortcomings. We are innocent! And that is enough to know. We don’t have to chastise ourselves that we are falling short. We are enough.

4 – Let Grievances Go and Be Safe

The ego trap of blame need trouble us no further when we remember from the Workbook of ACIM that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. Without that knowledge, we invite anxiety, and blaming ourselves and others is a prime way that anxiety (and fear) can enter our lives.

5 – Being Good

We are good people, even when we don’t act in a good way. Our inner Christ Self knows no sin, and even our personal self knows only mistakes—not sins. And we would correct mistakes as soon as possible. Then there is no reason to blame ourselves for falling short of what we want to be. We can pick ourselves up and simply try again—no harm done, for we live in an illusory world in which God knows that his children are innocent. If the blame seems to invite it, we can ask for forgiveness of others and ourselves. God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (from ACIM). God just loves, and it would behoove us to follow the Almighty in this laudable task for loving only.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will not allow myself to fall into the temptation of blaming either myself or another for perceived shortcomings. I know that this is an egoic trap, and that blaming will only bring on the more sinister guilt.

Help me to keep to this vow. Help me to avoid blaming if things don’t go to suit me. The day is long and there is time for much to go wrong. But I can start the day over again at any time, and I would do so if I step amiss.

Be with me for a good day. Always be with me.

Amen.

You Need Not Have Tribulation

“In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world.  This is why you should be of good cheer.  (T56)”

Affirmation:  “be of good cheer”

 

Reflections:

1 – Differs from the New Testament

This passage from Jesus is a paraphrase of what he is quoted to have said in the New Testament.  But in the New Testament, we are led to believe that we will have tribulation.  His resurrection is meant to counter all of that; the resurrection happened after his teaching that said the reverse.  And the Course stands by the resurrection as truth.  The Course does not say if the resurrection was revelation or a miracle, but, given the definitions found therein, it seems to be a miracle.

2 – Tribulation Is Pain

Tribulation is pain that we would want to avoid at all costs.  Remembering that Jesus overcame the world, and harkening to good cheer are mental actions that we can take at any time.

3 – Recite the Passage on a Bad Day.

When we are feeling down, it is wise to recall such passages.  We can conjure up good cheer, even when the day seems drab.  It takes only a moment to recall us to ourselves.

4 – We Cannot Be Hurt

We need to know that Jesus did not blame his accusers.  He knew that he could not be hurt.  He knew also that he could not be abandoned, though his disciplines slept in Gethsemane–while Jesus prayed.  May we take a moment now to pray, as Jesus taught.  He will restore our good spirits, for he has told us that we are never without his counsel; we need only to ask, and he is there.  (This may not be a concept that we all can readily accept at this moment, but walk as far along this pathway as possible, and let the Holy Spirit guide ever further.)

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Thank you that in this world we do not have to have tribulation.  We can be of good cheer, because Jesus has overcome the world.

It takes only a moment of reflection or of prayer to recall us to ourselves.  We can know peace as well as good cheer, even in this world that too often seems filled with woe.

Amen.