III. Perception versus Knowledge, P 3
3 The questioning mind perceives itself in time, and therefore looks for future answers. The closed mind believes the future and the present will be the same. This establishes a seemingly stable state that is usually an attempt to counteract an underlying fear that the future will be worse than the present. This fear inhibits the tendency to question at all.
As long as there is a need to question my thoughts I am still in time and therefore still in the illusion, but that’s ok. Questioning my thoughts is a way to move out of time, eventually. I want to question my thoughts now so that the future will be more peaceful than the present. Lack of peace is a good way to gauge the need to question my thoughts.
If I am angry, fearful, guilty, sad, jealous, shamed, or any other of the egoic emotions, I know that it is time to question my thoughts. As I question those thoughts, find them to be unlike the thoughts I think with God and therefore untrue, I can ask for healing and receive it. My mind returns to peace as I accept the healing.
I was not always so eager to question my thoughts. I was so certain that I was right that I could not imagine feeling any differently. Recently I was talking to someone who was feeling betrayed and she said, “I will not forgive this, because when you forgive you just get hurt again.” I absolutely understood her desire to pull her grievance around her and hold it close like a protective shield.
I used to feel the same way. I felt like my anger was the only protection I had against further betrayal. I was afraid to question that stance because maybe forgiveness would make a future even worse than the present. I had to step out on faith and allow hope to overcome fear long enough to see that Jesus was right. In my defenselessness, my safety lies.
Once I experienced the miracle of a healed mind, I was motivated to try again and after awhile, I no longer did this on faith, but in full expectation of a happier future. But I still step into that fear occasionally, the fear that says I dare not let go of the thing that hurts because the cure will be worse than the present pain.
Sometimes it’s a matter of not being able to take my eye off the fear. I may be very afraid something bad is going to happen. For instance, someone I love is suicidal and I know it doesn’t help to be afraid for her. I know that the most help I could give her is to trust and to see past the ego story to the truth of who she is.
Yet, I am drawn to the appearance of tragedy and it is like I am keeping her alive through my fear. If I take my eyes off of the fear all will be lost. Even knowing that is completely wrong does not stop the feeling. At one point I realized how crazy I had gotten when I momentarily forgot to look at the fear and was having a good time with someone else. When I realized what had happened I felt intensely guilty. The ego’s idea of love is suffering, so if someone I love is in trouble and I don’t suffer along with her then it must mean I don’t really love her.
Even though feelings like this are unfounded and actually the opposite of the truth, they can have a very strong hold on my mind. When this happens it can take awhile for me to let go of them. Now that I know what needs to be done and now that I am certain of what I want to do, it is especially frustrating for me when I don’t just do it. Sigh. Well, at least my mind never completely closes the door on healing anymore. There is always a crack and the light draws me to that opening even if it does feel like I am wading through molasses to get to it.