Who is responsible for what I experience?
I’m responsible for what I believe to be true. I’m also completely free to believe whatever I want. Every desire is a choice I make. Accepting my responsibility means accepting my free will and guilt has no dominion over a free heart. However, no form of belief is without consequences because belief is what shapes my perception and stages my experiences. Even the experience of a physical universe, including a body with sensory perception, all kinds of bodily states, sickness, and death, cannot exist without a strong belief to uphold it. This particular belief is one in which I have invested a lot of time and energy. That huge investment of mind power has made the physical universe into something very convincing for the dreamer.
How do I get in touch with reality?
No matter how big the investment of physical dream power it still has not made any impression on reality whatsoever. Because it never happened any illusion can easily be made undone. Not by the dreamer lost in his own nightmare, of course, but by the Undivided One who knows reality by never having been anything else. Both are using the same mind but only One has real knowledge and that makes spirituality – connecting with what I am – utterly practical. Real help is not an invasion from without but a resurgence from within. This cannot happen as long as I want to be in full control of my own salvation. However, my reluctant willingness to let go of dreaming and to accept what I am is more than enough to make an opening for reality in my awareness. It will never happen against my will and it will never be more than I’m willing to accept, which may not be much; honesty, then, compels me not to blame abundant reality for the poverty I wish to keep. As long as I’m still mostly identified with the dreamer I will experience any undoing as a miracle but in fact it’s a correction of perspective, necessary only until I’m fully restored to my right mind.
Is there anything real to hold on to?
Just as much as I believe anything to be true I’m also blind and oblivious to anything outside my belief system. This I need to remember constantly when I follow my still tottering faith in what I am. Faith, no matter how imperfect, is a powerful act of love and my love will always protect me because it’s the only thing that’s real in this world. As long as the old belief hasn’t yet completely been shed I’ll have to keep going in spite of fearful appearances. I could dramatize this by describing it as walking through fire or running the gauntlet of my own ghosts, but I prefer to see it soberly and sanely. This world is entirely devoid of facts. For me, therefore, it’s simply a matter of letting go of fear by choosing the love I am, again and again, and again. All that’s subject to change is an appearance created by belief; it’s not a fact itself, not even when the change is inspired by reality. Nevertheless, when change is supported by faith in an as yet unknown reality the illusion will be used beneficially until the mind has been restored to its wholeness.
How can I tell fact from fiction?
Having faith in the reality of my wholeness makes it easier to see that all so-called facts are nothing but fiction. Just consider how strongly I’ve often defended my own version of reality and immediately it becomes clear that it was merely a fearful belief, not an all encompassing reality everyone can safely rely on. If it can be threatened it cannot be real. Whatever can change is an illusion, a matter of thought. When all matter of thought is removed from my mind, if only for a moment, I’m left with an awareness of our changeless reality of total peace and unconditional love. That’s a close encounter with a real fact.
Why does being responsible not involve any guilt?
There’s really no need to feel guilty about what I choose to believe because I’m the only one to suffer from any choice that’s not in accordance with the peaceful reality of All That Is. I cannot sin against myself. Suffering is not wrong; just painful. Any choice that involves separation from another being, no matter whether I’m going for it as a martyr or an executioner, separates my awareness from reality. Being in a state of separated awareness means I’m not at peace with myself. How could I? There’s no safety outside reality. Even physical pain can sometimes be experienced in peace but suffering cannot, being nothing but resistance. Separation is the source of all suffering and only when I resist my physical pain, ailment, or discomfort does it become prolonged suffering.
Where does the illusion of guilt come from?
Although guilt has no basis in reality, it’s inseparable from separation. The belief that I can separate myself from the undivided whole that I am, is based on my own false judgment alone. Thinking in separative mode about reality I’m altogether out of it, yet my verdict is fixed. The idea of a possible division in reality sets me up as the judge of good and evil. This illusory power is what the Bible describes as the Tree of Knowledge. Judgment based on self-made knowledge has nothing to do with reality, of course, but it is the cause of all fear – the illusion of not being loved.
How does guilt work?
Because I have established separation as a reality guilt becomes inevitable. Being entirely on my own now I feel threatened by the greater being. Forgetting that love knows no bounds and is therefore unassailable I fear the same attack that I used against it. Guilt means believing attack is real and attack is what I deserve. Not for a moment do I realize that this doesn’t have to be; that it’s only the result of a choice I can change again and that it never really happened. No sir, I believe in attack and therefore have to be deadly serious about guilt. The fear of attack by everything I seem to have attacked makes guilt an unbearable feeling. So, before I know it I’m already angrily projecting my attack on the outside world that my attack created in the first place, saying things like ‘It’s not my fault. This world is full of dangers causing death and destruction. I have to protect and defend myself against it.’ That’s a trick learned very early in life. If I can impersonate a body that’s far from safe it’s only a small step to give more of myself away in projection on other bodies – leaving me powerless and all the more angry for it.
How do I keep myself imprisoned?
Fearful projection doesn’t make my judgment undone. It only puts the cause of guilt beyond my reach. Projection is the perfect crime against myself. Locking myself up and throwing the key away keeps me securely imprisoned in my own guilt system – which is just another way to describe a life of smothered suffering with occasional outbursts of violent anger. Is it a surprise, then, that my bodily experience reflects this belief system as lack of energy, sickness and mishap? Without a willingness to choose love again and thereby to let go of my fear I cannot accept my responsibility for what I experience and enjoy the freedom and power of love.
Can what is real ever be lost?
Remember that I’m completely free, fully at peace, and forever loving without bounds, and yet choose to identify myself completely with a perishable and loveless body that has no reality beyond the realm of ever changing appearances. Death is only a way to shed everything that’s not real about me and as such is part of every moment that I’m fully living. All that is really ‘me’ will be so forever.
How can I be of help in my own salvation?
No separated mind can avoid being touched somehow by reality but by just adding all my willingness to it salvation will practically have free play. Patience and faith, being acts of love and loving desire, make for a speedy awakening. Anxiety, doubt and fear only put up more resistance, thereby prolonging the suffering. If it doesn’t go fast enough I can be sure I’m still clinging to poverty-by-separation rather than surrendering to my boundless abundance. Cherishing a love of the truth will gradually reveal truth in every aspect of life. By allowing my thought system to change I can open myself to experiences of healing. Change comes natural to a thinking mind but only under the direction of reality itself can illusory changes be used to restore changeless peace to my mind. Changeless peace is what a silent mind knows without any interference of thought.
Will I accept my freedom to choose again?
It takes a thought to subtract anything from All That Is. A thought that, insofar as it separates from love, only can create fearful appearances. Without thought no separation. Without separative thinking no fear, no universe, no plants, no animals, no humans, no you, no me, no God, even. Just Oneness, beyond any imagination. Reality is all encompassing and therefore beyond the grasp of anything less than whole. However, in our individual approach of changeless reality an infinite number of different viewpoints, and consequently experiences, is possible, of which I may choose many in succession. No viewpoint can contain the truth but some do point at it more or less accurately, at least for a moment. Truth is something I recognize by the peace it produces in me in spite of everything. A viewpoint works for me as long as it helps me in letting go of fear and bolstering my faith in the infinite love I am. The inner peace that inevitably results from it welcomes me home. No need to run from home anymore when I’ve finally accepted that I’m responsible for my own free will.