This amazing article is from my dear sister and colleague, Coreen Walson. Enjoy!
I was recalling an account in the Bible where Jesus’ disciples were asking him about a man who was born blind. They asked Jesus who sinned, the blind man or his parents that he should be born blind. This very question is so typical of ego and how it operates! The question itself presumes several ideas as fact but which are actually not true! The question “who did sin?” assumes that someone has sinned and that sin was the cause of the man’s blindness. It also assumes that God is a punishing God and sends blindness to His children.
Jesus’ response was extremely helpful and points us to the Absolute Truth that “neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”. Jesus very pointedly is teaching each of us that there is no sin, and that the blindness had no cause other than to prove God as all powerful and all Loving.
When you and I look with our physical senses and see imperfection of any sort, aren’t we immediately asking what the cause of the seeming problem is? Ego would have us assigning a real cause to the appearance, such as contagion, heredity, disease, scarcity, age, and so on. We immediately assign it a cause which then anchors the appearance in our thought as not only real but having a real cause or reason for its existence. Just like the disciples of long ago, we want to know why something has occurred. We don’t even recognize that in our questioning why something is occurring, we never stop long enough to ask whether the appearance of imperfection is true or not! In 2000 years, the ego has not changed in its subtlety and tactics.
We learn in A Course in Miracles that a portion of the Christ mind dreamed a dream, and in that dream the Christ splintered into billions of separate entities, each one housed within a physical body, equipped with physical senses, all to report a sense of separation from the One Christ we are, our Oneness as the One Shared Holy Self and our Union with God. Like everything in the dream of separation, all we experience or encounter is simply the Truth inverted and misperceived. The ego has taken the Effects of what God has Created (Reality) and has distorted these Effects through its filter to make unreality. So what we see with our physical senses is not the Truth at all, but a distorted view of Reality.
As always, we ask how did this problem come about? Why is there sickness, sin, disease and death? The ego is quick to respond to our questions with its pseudo answers, giving false causes to unreal effects. Allergies are from the Spring season, scarcity is due to poor economy, sickness is from contagion or exposure to something harmful, death is inevitable as part of life in matter, and on and on. We are constantly linking a false effect back to an unreal cause and taking that as the gospel truth. Had Jesus agreed with his disciples that the sins of the blind man’s parents caused the man’s condition, they would have been satisfied and the belief that sin is a cause would have continued unchallenged.
Referring back to ACIM, we are instructed that all these false effects that we are looking upon are actually within our minds and not “out there” in a world beyond the body. Jesus tells us plainly that the fear and guilt we experienced from the belief we separated from God (Love) is projected by us out into an unreal world. It is here that the ego continues to sabotage us in a huge way, one that further perpetuates guilt and shame.
If all the problems we experience are not outside of ourselves but are actually originating in our own mind, we conclude then that we are “causing” all our grief, sickness, sadness, etc. Many students fall into this trap of self-condemnation and become stuck. They will reach out and apply many varying techniques to try and rid themselves of this guilt for having “done all this to myself”. The way Jesus instructs us to rid ourselves of fear and guilt is through forgiveness and accepting the Atonement. If we are not very careful and alert at this juncture, again, the ego will interfere in this process as well. Let me explain.
The spiritual ego, the unhealed part of our mind that agrees to jump on board with us to awaken, becomes the part of us that practices the forgiveness and accepts Atonement. But this is impossible! Look at how the ego makes the problem a real one, say for instance, sickness. The ego starts off with a real problem, uses pain and how the body feels or looks as evidence of the actuality of the sickness, and then attempts to forgive itself for having used sickness to attack itself. It may even go on to declare that it is accepting the Atonement, asserting that it and God are one. But do you see again how ego is camouflaging itself again in the assumption that the sickness is real in the first place?! Aha! As long as we start with the presumption that sickness is real, it CANNOT BE FORGIVEN. Let us recall that true forgiveness is the realization that there is ultimately nothing to forgive because God is the only Cause and Creator, and that anything that needs forgiveness does not in Truth exist. We forgive ourselves for having BELIEVED that error is real; we do not forgive ourselves for having used something real to separate from God. Do you see the difference? This is extremely important and the difference between demonstration, and staying stuck.
“The ego, too, has a plan of forgiveness because you are asking for one, though not of the right teacher. The ego’s plan, of course, makes no sense and will not work. By following it, you will merely place yourself in an impossible situation to which the ego always leads you. The ego’s plan is to have you see error clearly first and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real? By seeing it clearly, you have made it real and cannot overlook it.” ACIM COA Edition, T.9, Section III
Now that we see how ego has attempted to wiggle its way into our forgiveness process, let’s turn back to the Absolute (pure) teaching from Jesus about Cause and Effect. When he declared that neither the blind man nor his parents sinned, he removed all theory about a cause for blindness. Jesus knew that man in the image and likeness of God cannot BE blind. He was aware that blindness is only a misperception, a distortion of the Christ Vision that we each have as the Children of God. Jesus was certain that blindness has no real cause, and because it has no cause, it could not exist as effect. Effect without a cause is an impossibility. This Understanding of the Truth was the light in consciousness that cast out fear, dispelled the darkness, and revealed what had always been true, perfect Man made in the image and likeness of Perfect God. In other words, the so-called blind man received his sight.
Sin, sickness, and death have no cause. Because they are without a real cause, they do not exist.
Now that we have exposed the ego for the ways in which it first assumes a problem is real, it then lays guilt upon us for having attacked ourselves with this real problem, and then IT forgives this real problem and accepts the atonement, we can see clearly why we are not demonstrating. We have given what has never been true, a real cause. Again, we cannot forgive (see through to its nothingness) that which we have made real.
Jesus final teaching on Cause and Effect is as critical as the rest. Every seeming problem is only a distorted view of what is true and Real. He is telling us then that whatever we see as a problem is NOT to be used for condemnation or to increase fear and guilt, but is ALWAYS an opportunity for God to be made manifest.
“Forgiveness that is learned of me does not use fear to undo fear. Nor does it make real the unreal and then destroy it.” T-9, Section III
As we acknowledge that a problem is only a distorted view, that the problem has no real Cause because it is not from God, we can then appeal to Holy Spirit, our right Mind, to provide us with the Correct View. This correct view is the view God has of His Creation. Because God is Cause, and God is infinite, the true Effect is always right where the seeming problem asserts itself. This false view must give itself up in the presence of the Truth. We, as the Christ, are this Truth. The Truth is within us, and we can bring the Light that we are to the darkness, just as Jesus brought the Light of Truth to the belief that God’s man can be made blind.
What a relief to know that we are innocent, that we are not the cause of all the seeming errors in the world, and that the only Cause is God, good. Any seeming imperfection is simply the call for God’s will to be revealed. Time to take off those self-imposed shackles and get on about our Father’s business of Being the Light of the World. You may as well, it’s what you already are!
“Forgiveness through the Holy Spirit lies simply in looking beyond error from the beginning and thus keeping it unreal for you. Do not let any belief in its realness enter your minds at all, or you will also believe that you must undo what you have made in order to be forgiven. What has no effect does not exist, and to the Holy Spirit, the effects of error are totally non-existent. By steadily and consistently canceling out all its effects everywhere and in all respects, He teaches that the ego does not exist and proves it. Follow His teaching in forgiveness then, because forgiveness is His function, and He knows how to fulfill it perfectly.” T-9. IV. 5
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