“What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself. (T80)”
Affirmation: “perceive in others. . .strengthen in myself”
1 – Without Reflects Within
This passage shows us a way to know what is really going on internally with ourselves. Whatever we perceive in others, we have, usually unconsciously, looked within and found (a Course concept).
2 – The Prathers
Hugh Prather and his wife Gayle once wrote that they were aware that when everyone that they encountered seemed to need “fixing” in some way, it was their own perception guiding them to take a look internally. (Note: This is a paraphrase of their writing.) Certainly we can easily see the truth of this assertion. If we are living “in the flow,” and all seems right in our little world, then it is likely that we are at peace and that we are not trying to change anybody. A Course in Miracles does not emphasize changing our brothers and sisters. Repeatedly we are encouraged to take a look at a brother or sister, and to try to determine what, if anything, they are ready to accept by way of salvation. We are not meant to be aggressive (an interpretation of ACIM, not stated directly therein).
3 – How Do We Live in the Flow?
How do we easily live in the flow? We do not hold such strong, stubborn attitudes in our daily lives. We are flexible, and we guide our lives by the guidance that the Holy Spirit so often gives to us when we are receptive. If we are having a good day, it is very likely that we are, consciously or unconsciously, giving up our self-will and living in the flow of the Holy Spirit. What would it take for us to do this, to follow His guidance, all the time? It takes the flexibility that I alluded to, just above. We need to stop being so certain that we are right in the plans that seem necessary for our day. We may have first decided that something is so, when actually the truth is far from us. We need to ask that the truth about what we need to do with our day be shown to us, as the day unfolds. The day is not often shown far in advance. (This is personal interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)
4 – Changing What Is Within
This truth of perceiving in others what we really hold within is a powerful teacher. The “sins” that we perceive in others are, first of all, within ourselves. Seeing this, we can see what needs to be changed. And it is not our brother. It is something within ourselves.
5 – Projection Makes Perception
Our brother will seem much more loving as our own thoughts become loving. “Projection makes perception” is a Course concept. May we learn from our brother, even as we sometimes note lamentable emotions in him or her. These emotions (and often actions) have first been within ourselves.
May I learn from others: What I see in them is actually something that is within myself. May I use this knowledge to improve my disposition, my mind and spirit, and my behavior.
When I am in a critical mood, I am not happy. In fact, I would say that a critical mood is the primary factor if I run into a rough patch in which I seem to experience unhappiness. Take this habit from me, dear God. I would be tolerant of my brothers and sisters, and I would reap the benefit of a more benign attitude toward all of them.
As my thoughts become more loving, my brothers and sisters will be perceived as more loving. This is a great boon for us. May we realize the truth that projection makes perception, as we learned in the Course.