Sunday, March 2, 2014

Being Born Again – Over And Over And Over

This week in my A Course in Miracles (ACIM) group study/discussion we were in Chapter 13: The Guiltless World. The point of the writing being that the “real” world is the world of NOW. The world I perceive (and think is real) is the world totally colored by my perception of my past. To change that perception is always an inside job – a rebirthing from within. To change my world, and especially the people in it, I don’t focus on what is “out there.” I focus on my filters that are coloring the world I see. These filters come from my past, which doesn’t really exist.
Some excerpts from ACIM Chapter 13, Section VI. Finding the Present:
“1 To perceive truly is to be aware of all reality through the awareness of your own….
“2 You consider it "natural" to use your past experience as the reference point from which to judge the present. Yet this is unnatural because it is delusional. When you have learned to look on everyone with no reference at all to the past, either his or yours as you perceive it, you will be able to learn from what you see now. For the past can cast no shadow to darken the present….
“3 … To be born again is to let the past go and look without condemnation upon the present. The cloud that obscures God's Son [God in all of us] to you is the past, and if you would have it past and gone, you must not see it now. If you see it now in your illusions, it has not gone from you, although it is not there.
“4 … Past, present and future are not continuous, unless you force continuity on them. You can perceive them as continuous, and make them so for you. But do not be deceived, and then believe that this is how it is…. You would anticipate the future on the basis of your past experience, and plan for it accordingly. Yet by doing so you are aligning past and future, and not allowing the miracle [of being fully present], which could intervene between them, to free you to be born again.
5 The miracle [being born again] enables you to see your brother without his past, and so perceive him as born again. His errors are all past, and by perceiving him without them you are releasing him. And since his past is yours, you share in this release. Let no dark cloud out of your past obscure him from you, for truth lies only in the present, and you will find it if you seek it there. You have looked for it where it is not, and therefore have not found it. Learn, then, to seek it where it is, and it will dawn on eyes that see. Your past was made in anger, and if you use it to attack the present, you will not see the freedom that the present holds.”
I perceive you through the “filters” of my own perceived past. You perceive me through the “filters” of your perceived past. As a result, neither of us can truly see each other NOW. So, I need to change my “filters” or my perception – I need to eliminate from my perception the filters of guilt, shame, inferiority, resentment and anger that color my perception of the world. But how can I do that?
My ego reads these words and says: “Okay. That makes sense. I understand and I can make this happen.” But it can’t. It won’t. It would mean its own death if it really altered my perception as a sheer act of willpower. I perceive myself as the person my ego has created. If my ego changes my perception, I will simply become another person created by my ego. I will still not be able to perceive the real you, because I will still be looking at you through my (albeit different) filters.
I believe the only act of willpower I can make is to tell myself: “I am tired of being fearful, angry, frustrated, resentful or disturbed.  I want to enjoy the peace You have promised – the peace that passes all understanding. For that to happen I must see things differently. Lord, please help me become aware of my constant judgment and condemnation of everything. If I am upset, disappointed, resentful, exasperated, or frustrated, then I have been judgmental of others – of Your Children. I am really willing to see things differently. Lord, please help me truly see.”
I have been going through an unsettling time. I just feel anxious, edgy, and discontent, and I’m not sure why. This message from the Course has helped me. Obviously, there are some filters that have arisen to color my perception of things, and it’s disturbing me. Perhaps it’s something from my past that Im using to compare with my perceived present. I’m not sure. I don’t need to change my wife, my community, the ultra conservative Republican dinosaurs, the economy, the Russians, or the 1% to make me feel better. I need the willingness to ask – yet once again – for the awareness of the true Present. The Now. The Eternal. I need to ask, once again, to see.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#1 March, 2014

Copyright, 2014

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