I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
Today’s idea goes a step further from yesterday’s. It is more of the recognition that we are of one mind which makes sense when you think for a moment. We are all created by God, in Her likeness, and were created at the same exact time. Yes, not only do we have one mind but we have the same birthday! Of course, keep celebrating your own birthday but let this be a reminder that age doesn’t really matter, as we are all “technically” the same age in a cosmic sense and part of the same family.
Yesterday, our togetherness was a bit cozy. It makes us not feel so alone in this world knowing that our compadres see a chair, table, a person, flowers, even injustice, as we do. But, of course, unraveling the mind wouldn’t leave things so rosy. The Course asks us to go deeper into mind surgery today.
Let us think about injustice, can we accept that we are experiencing the same effects of our thoughts as someone who has appeared to do an injustice? Can we begin to see that we are of the same Creator as one who has appeared to do wrong? A mind that no longer sees separation would answer “yes” to both questions. During the practice periods today we see for ourselves if we truly live this way.
“This is rarely a wholly welcome idea at first, sense it seems to carry with it an enormous sense of responsibility, and may even be regarded as an “invasion of privacy” (ACIM Lesson 19 2:2).”
Many spiritual teachers will use the example of Hitler for such a lesson because what today’s teaching is looking for are places where we believe we are somehow separate from another. Typically, we can all agree that what Hitler did was an atrocity. We see Hitler as a symbol for hate, malice, cruel death and punishment, corrupt power, and lies. Because this man seems to be the poster child for such characteristics, we tend to think we are opposite of him and better than. But here is where the rubber meets the road and where the mirror is placed in front of the observer: can you begin to see that since we are of one mind that we all share in thoughts of malice, hate, corruptness, lies, and cruel death and punishment. Yes, even cruel death and punishment, which doesn’t have to pertain to only humans, it could be ecological or even to ourselves. Think about what you do to your own body and cells with what you put in it. Think about what your negative thoughts about yourself do to your body and you as a being. Our only, and biggest, bully is ourselves. We may not go to the extreme as Hitler and act out our thoughts, thank goodness, but in order for the atonement (at-one-ment) to take place means that we must accept Hitler as our brother, for salvation is only complete when all of our brothers and sisters return Home with us. If Hitler is left behind, then there is still separation and the need for salvation.
Hitler is an extreme example but one to get you thinking during your practice periods for the many levels, especially the subtle, where you keep parts of yourself or another brother and sister separate from the one mind. At this point, the Course is not asking you to believe that what Hitler, or any other such figure, did was okay. You are merely being asked to scan the mind, recognizing that even what seems to be negative thoughts, that we all share in those too. We all have the same capacity to explore any range of thought imaginable. What was once comforting yesterday in our togetherness is now our source of uncomfortableness, and growth, today.
Opening up our minds to this Truth can feel very confronting and invading. It is true, the Truth often feels that way as we are more comfortable with the walls we believe we have built around us. And what do you know, today shows us that there are no such boundaries. This opens up Pandora’s Box as this means that everyone knows that we each have hurtful thoughts sometimes. I grew up in the Southern part of the United States where everything is sweetened from the ice tea or our demeanor. But that doesn’t mean that everything is sweet and nice. Even the word demeanor has the word “mean” in it. It is often said that there are two different meanings of the phrase “bless your heart” in this area of the country. One is sincere and the other means “what an idiot.” I once heard there was a preacher that did a sermon on the “what an idiot” type of “bless your heart.’ As much as this part of the country likes to appear pleasing and nice, there are still the same range of thoughts that underly the outer façade. And the kicker is, we mostly likely know this on a deep, deep level. We know which “bless your heart” we are receiving when we get one. This is because there are no private thoughts.
“Yet it is a fact that there are no private thoughts (ACIM Lesson 19 2:3).”
Think about it. Haven’t you experienced this? It is likened to what we call the gut feeling or our sixth sense. Imagine this scenario, you are talking with someone at a party and notice as you are deep in conversation that the other person now appears to be in never-never land. This person is still nodding at you, looking at you, giving various noises of attentiveness to let you know that she is listening. The role she is playing in the “scene of conversation” looks convincing at the surface, yet you, as the other actor on stage, know that you have lost this person somewhere along the way and you don’t know why. You continue to talk but your mind knows that the line of connection between the two of you is severed and that all words you are saying are falling on deaf ears. At the exact same time, she is most likely thinking that she is holding up a convincing charade. At this point, you are trying to keep up the conversation knowing that the other person wants out and is waiting for just the right moment. What do you know, the moment appears and your fellow stage actress leaves the scene. Neither of you acting on your psychic abilities and calling the conversation over when it was, realizing now that her thought of disinterest in the conversation was not a private at all.
Deepak Chopra once said, “I can’t hear what you are saying because your energy is speaking so loud.” Our energy field, which is connected to the One Mind, is our billboard in this world and speaks our truth for us although we believe that we are safe behind the walls of the body and brain. As experience has shown you, this is not true, and today’s lesson gives us the opportunity to recognize our psychic abilities that come from being part of the One Mind. Thus, try not to think about it as scary and as an invasion of privacy but as the gift of knowing.
In closing, this is the question of the hour: can we accept we are more similar than different from our brothers and sisters? And that we are truly no different at all but actually One? See where this may not be so in the mind today. See separation and see the opportunity for only love.